John doesn't know what to believe anymore.
He has actually become used to his girlfriend's threats to break up with him. It seems like every time they have an argument or she gets irritated with him, she declares that she's going to end their relationship and that she's “done.”
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This is upsetting for John to hear and the first 4 or 5 times she threatened to break up with him, he did everything he could to calm her down and make everything okay between them again.
What usually happens is the argument dies out or John gives in to what she wants and they return to normal. It all feels to him like a game. His girlfriend seems to pull out the “I'm breaking up with you” card whenever she's unhappy with him. She knows that he'll jump and do whatever she wants him to do.
Last night it was John who was “done” with his girlfriend's threats. She was upset that he planned to spend the holidays with his family instead of with her and said, “If you leave me alone for the holidays, you might come back and find yourself alone and single!”
John rolled his eyes at her and left the room. He's not sure what he'll say when they talk again.
We've all been in the heat of the moment when angry words are said or actions are taken that we later regret. Sometimes in a love relationship or marriage, one person gets so upset he or she will threaten to end the relationship. In that contentious moment, it feels like what the person truly wants to do. Later, once both have cooled off and are seeing things more clearly, breaking up isn't so appealing.
This leads to even more confusion and disconnection.
When your partner claims that he or she will break up with you and then doesn't actually end the relationship, you might feel unsettled, angry and wondering what your relationship status actually is.
As with John's relationship, your partner might have a habit of threatening to break up with you when things get tense or difficult. This can feel like a cruel game that nobody wins.
There are many moves you might make if your partner threatens to break up with you. Here are a few we do NOT recommend...
-- Don't call your partner's bluff about breaking up unless you are ready to really follow through.
-- Don't call your partner a liar or other names that might pop into your head out of frustration.
-- Don't ignore it or pretend that the threat wasn't made.
-- Don't leave and then go hook up with your ex or someone else to get back at your partner.
-- Don't complain about how “crazy” your partner is to your friends.
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Don't play games too.
There are all kinds of reactions you might be tempted to take when your partner threatens to break up with you. It can feel manipulative and upsetting to hear the words “I'm going to break up with you____” and not be sure whether or not your partner is actually ending the relationship.