Sad woman, generic
Knowing your weaknesses and strength will help you face your partner, and will make him/her less likely to affect you, says a clinical psychologist. Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pexels


How do I leave an avoidant partner?

I have been with my partner for just under four years. He doesn’t actually do anything that one can pinpoint to as “bad behavior” but even after all these years, he always leaves me guessing and sadly, I don’t feel secure with him. Deep down I know he isn’t “the one” I am going to end up with, but I cannot bring myself to walk away. He will ignore my texts and many times gives me mixed signals. As the years progressed I transitioned more and more from a secure person to an anxiously attached person, due to his habits and certain responses to me when I open up about issues.

Even though my rational mind knows that I should not be with this person, my attachment system isn’t complying. How do I leave him without going completely cold turkey?

- A reader who wishes to remain anonymous asks

Answered by Asma Geitany, Clinical Psychologist, Openminds Psychiatry, Counseling and Neuroscience Center

Dear Gulf News reader,

Being involved in a toxic relationship affects your self-esteem, your happiness, the way you perceive yourself and disturbs your wellbeing. Typically, the toxic partner is filled with insecurity, self-centeredness and eager for dominance and control.

Walking away from a toxic relationship is never easy, however it is always possible.

First, have FAITH in yourself!

Knowing your weaknesses and strength will help you face your partner, and will make him/her less likely to affect you. Believe that you deserve to be loved, to be treated with care and respect.

Express your feelings

You may start by explaining to your partner how he makes you feel, because some people might not be fully aware of the impact of their actions. If it does not work, create and maintain boundaries: be assertive and clear about how you need to be treated.

Stay focused!

It is a bit hard to overcome your sadness while trying to leave a destructive relationship. Rumination will keep you stuck and will drain your energy. Stay calm, FOCUS on your main goal.

Things will get worse before they get better

A toxic person will not easily let you go without trying to manipulate you: they will use even more typical behavior in order to regain control. In the end, if they do not succeed, they will leave to fulfill their needs somewhere else.

Don't be afraid to take action, if you feel threatened in any way, seek outside help.

Talking to a psychologist will be very beneficial for you to overcome this stressful situation, to regain your self-confidence, self-esteem and to avoid going through similar situations in the future.

If you have questions that you would like answered by a mental health professional in the UAE, please write in to Also, please let us know if you'd rather stay anonymous.

Disclaimer: This blog is a conversation and is not an alternative for treatment. The recommendations and suggestions offered by our panel of doctors are their own and Gulf News will not take any responsibility for the advice they provide.