Savvy Gal Spotlight: Surprising Reasons Why Men Leave Relationships

Dr Brenda Shoshanna ~

When a relationship ends, we wonder what went wrong and what we could have done differently to make it work out. Once we think we understand, it’s much easier to deal with emotional upset. By coming to terms with the reasons men leave relationships, we can understand what they need and how to avoid common relational pitfalls.

Whether it’s a 20-year marriage or a promising romance, when there’s a break-up, women ask themselves, their girlfriends and their therapists, what went wrong. Sometimes they spend weeks and months blaming themselves and often, become afraid to try again. But once they think they understand what happened, its always easier to move on.

Below are the most common reasons men leave:

They’re Waiting For The Perfect Partner

Some men have a secret fantasy that hints that a perfect partner is waiting just around the corner. This “ideal mate” will not only accept him as he is, but he’ll finally be able to express the parts of himself that are hidden; she’ll bring out the best in him. Rather than criticize and make demands, the perfect partner will give unconditionally and fulfill his every need. This fantasy fuels much of this man’s inner life, but when a woman comes to term with it, she hold the secret to helping that man thrive in the relationship.

They Hear a Call To Adventure

As soon as some men perceive a relationship as stifling their basic need for adventure, they feel trapped in a prison without bars. These men don’t realize that their true need is to find adventure within the relationship, so this man’s mate would do well to provide an element of challenge and connection.

They Suffer From a Fear of Commitment

The fear of commitment is widely misunderstood. When a man is in a relationship out of obligation, guilt, or to fulfill a false sense of self-esteem, true commitment is not possible. If he’s not committing, it’s because he doesn’t feel things are right for him.

They Fear They Can’t Satisfy The Woman

There are some women who can never be satisfied no matter how much a man gives or tries to please. Some men become tied up in knots in these types of relationships and start to feel terrible about themselves; no matter how hard they try, they cant get the approval they hunger for.

He’s Acting Out The Repetition Compulsion

The Repetition Compulsion is the unconscious notion to repeat a painful situation or relationship over and over, in the hopes it will turn out differently this time. Usually each consecutive time is worse and brings more pain and disappointment. Even in the rare instances when the person gets what he wants, the original hunger does not subside. The only solution to this compulsion is to go back to the original trauma, face it fully and work it out.

He’s Involved With The Ghost Of A Past Relationship

These Ghosts are memories, dreams and longings that linger from past relationships that may have ended but are not over. A man can hold onto the memory of a former wife or lover and idealize her to such an extent, it prevents him from being available to anyone in the present. These memories can also become projected on the current relationship. These men must learn to forgive the past, say good-bye, and develop the courage to love again. Here are some tips for both women and men to help foster connection and strengthen relationships:

Touchstones For Women

Realize the turbulence a man goes through often has nothing to do with you.

Give him space to discover himself, without guilt. His changes do not mean he does not love you. Allow him to be all that he is.

Get busy seeking your highest potential as well! There is nothing worse for a relationship than a man feeling you are clinging to him for your life.

Touchstones For Men

Restlessness and painful feelings can arise, but don’t blame them on the relationship. This is not a time to run away, but stay put and seek to understand what may be going on inside.

While you are unsettled and confused is not the best time to act. Choices made during this time are often ruled by feelings and needs from the past.

Make sure you help the woman realize what you are going through and do not blame her for it. It’s important to understand that craving other woman can become an addiction and escape from intimacy, bringing only more pain and repetition in its wake.


Brenda Shoshanna is an award winning author, speaker and relationship expert. Check out her website at and learn more about relationships at


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