What can be a barrier to building a relationship? Men from different countries told about their feelings and the reasons that led them to the decision to break up. The stories are commented on by a psychoanalyst.


1. Manipulation of tears

Matthew, England

At the beginning of our relationship I lost my head – I was ready to do everything for her without thinking. Pretty soon I encountered the fact that at the slightest disagreement in the course of the main weapon – tears.

I couldn’t resist it. And now we went to get acquainted with people who are not interesting to me, or went to the dacha to her relatives
We planned our free days as she wanted. It’s hard for me to see her cry. Especially when it happened in public – she loved to make a scene in a restaurant, and I felt like a lowlife who tortures a woman in front of everyone.

Nikolay, Russia

It’s normal when a woman allows herself to be weak with a man and expects him to support her. If it is justified and something serious has happened, it is the man’s duty to be there for her and protect her. However, my girlfriend made a real show out of everything.

Any insignificant incident, the slightest difficulty gave rise to fright, and she tearfully entrusted the decisions to me. It turned out that I communicate not with an adult, but with an infantile child. What would happen if something serious happened to me and I needed help myself?

2. Complaints to outsiders

Andrey, Kazakhstan

As soon as we quarrelled, and disagreements are inevitable in every couple, she immediately called a support group – her mum, sister, friends – and told me everything. As a result, we reconciled, and I remained, as they say, on the bench of scoundrels. Eventually I got tired of being the one who always blames and offends the “poor girl”. To this day, I still learn from mutual acquaintances what should have remained between us.

François, France

I didn’t want to change anything in our relationship, except one thing: she shared too much with her relatives – her cousins and sister. And when we met at the common table at family holidays, I felt uncomfortable from their gazes. Nothing against these people, but I do not feel uncomfortable that someone else knows about the details of my personal life. And we broke up largely because her sister turned against me.

3. Ignoring

Simon, Canada

I, of course, like any human being, can be wrong and can take offence. This happened when I made a crude joke about her friends. She stopped talking to me that night. The next day I called to apologise, she didn’t pick up the phone. It wasn’t until a couple of days later that we managed to meet and reconcile. I didn’t expect this to be her usual response of just disappearing. Messages and calls were ignored. Eventually we broke up because of this.

Mark, USA

She was great at playing on my feelings. If something didn’t suit her, she would instantly put me on ignore. That meant go ahead and win me over, play by my rules, seek a meeting by any means necessary. It worked at first.

I texted her a lot. I sent her bouquets and notes. It was the only way she’d come down and say something back to me.

We started to communicate until her next offence. I went through it hard, even used alcohol, and finally went to a psychologist. Only then did I realise that it was just a game, so that I could confirm my own importance to her. No dialogue is possible in this case. This was a good lesson for me for the future.

4. Mercantilism

Artem, Russia

Of course, it is nice to please your favourite girl with flowers, gifts and surprises, if it comes from the heart. But when she is sure that a man owes her – it discourages any desire to continue the relationship. I do not owe anything to anyone.

Women are now exactly the same work and earn perfectly well. Moreover, everywhere they trumpet about partnership and equality when it comes to career or the distribution of roles in the household. Why then is one of the equal partners obliged to contribute financially at the request of the other?

Claudio, Germany

I have my own, well-established business and can afford a lot. I felt that as I reach a new financial level, I am increasingly attracted to girls whom I call “counters”.

They unmistakably determine your status. It’s immediately repulsive

And all this talk that the search for a more successful man is inherent in a woman’s genes, she is looking for a guarantee of protection for herself and her future child – invented by the predators themselves. A man protects a woman not with a bank account, but with other qualities, and if she is not able to appreciate it – why do I need such a woman?

5. Ultimatum

Vadim, Estonia

The worst thing that can ruin a relationship forever is harsh ultimatums. I don’t know why it is believed that women are more inclined to discuss problems and compromise. In fact, they like to put you before the fact: either your hobby (mine is taking up sports) or me. However, even if you fulfil all her demands, there is no guarantee that she will not continue manipulation.

Alexander, Russia

My ex’s favourite argument: since you don’t do it, it means you don’t love me enough. But I don’t want to be evaluated like a trained animal, whether it successfully jumps on its hind legs! Why do I have to pick and choose all the time and feel like I’m in the position of the guilty party? It’s the reason we got divorced. Now when I hear the commanding notes, I always wonder if I’ve chosen the right woman.


Lev Hegai, Jungian analyst

In the intimacy of partners, the scenarios of child-parent relations – that first, significant for us connection – always come to life. And offences of the beloved woman, expressed in tears or ignoring, often turn out to be not just methods of her pressure and manipulation. In a relationship, we inevitably confide our weak, wounded sides to our partner.

We have to become a good enough parental figure for the other, which he may have lacked as a child. This is normal. The task is not to shift the full weight of emotional problems onto the shoulders of the partner, but thanks to the atmosphere of love and acceptance to make steps in their own internal development, that is, to grow out of their childhood traumas.

Then the couple will gradually have less feeling of being used by each other and more understanding

However, for this to happen, it is important not to blame, but to take a step towards it. Perhaps these men are not ready to work on the relationship and tolerate difficulties. Some have a consumerist attitude towards their partner and are ready to return the “goods” at the first displeasure.

Many can not understand that their claims to the partner are often associated with the projection of their own shadow qualities, whether it is excessive emotionality, resentfulness, dependence on relatives and friends, mercantilism. Close relationships always highlight one’s own problems, and one must be ready to deal with them.