Q: My girlfriend has been really depressed and kind of falling apart because her family fights all the time about her going out with me. We Love each other alot but she told me she wants to take a break for a little while. Should I let her or should I stay with her and help her out? thanks

A: I wonder what you mean by “should I let her.” It’s her choice. A relationship ends whenever either person ends it. The reasons for it may be discussed and debated if both people want to have such discussions, but all it takes is one person’s decision to end it.

You can offer to stay and help, of course, but she can say yes, no, maybe, “only under certain circumstances,” “not for six months and then only maybe,” or whatever she wants to decide.

“Take a break for a little while” might mean just that, or it might be a nice way to say it has to end now. You’d need to clarify what she means. Will you ever call each other or write? Will both of you be free to date others? Who will initiate contact after the “little while” is over? Etc.

I’m concerned also about what would happen if you stayed in the relationship. Would you always feel in the middle between her and her family? Would she eventually decide that you matter more, or that the family matters more, or, worse, would she never make up her mind and there’d always be problems like this…?

She knows herself and she knows her family dynamic. She’s in the best position to decide.

None of this speaks to the pain you will face if it ends. I hope you have many good friends and family members for support.

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