I have been with my girlfriend for almost a year. I decided to start the relationship knowing that she had two children.

Suddenly a couple of things happened that I didn't plan. I was born in Venezuela, where we started our relationship. The crisis in the country increased radically and I had to leave. I helped her come with me. She left her children for 5 months with her mom and then she brought them. I helped her because the extreme situation. I love her, she is a great human being, and the kids are good kids.

Here's the Thing

We live in Peru and she only has a couple of friends here. She depends emotionally on me (I'm not sure until which point) as currently her family is in another country.

I have been planning to work in Europe as a Software Engineer for 4 years. I made the decision that I really want to live in Europe for two years at least. I don't want to hurt her feelings because she is in love with me and her older relationships weren't good.

My question is:

How can I tell her my decision, to go Europe and eventually end the relationship, without hurt her feellings too much.

I want the best for her and her Kids

  • 9
    "to go Europe and eventually end the relationship" <- what does this mean? Are you A) planning on going to Europe, promising her that you'll eventually bring her there, but actually break up after you've moved? Or B) telling her that you're moving, and your relationship - such as it is - is ending now. Also critical to clarify: do you guys currently live together, and do her and her children depend on you for shelter? AND Do you already have a job lined up, or are you just now looking for one?
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 20:18
  • 7
    I don't get why you want to break up if you love her and the kids. You could take them with you (see expats.we for help). Could you phase clarify? Also: is she aware that you are looking for a job in Europe or would this be completely new to her?
    – Arsak
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 20:35
  • I think A) is dishonest, i don't want to do that. for that reason, I'm going to B).. we currently live together. She and her childrens doesn't depend on me. I help her, but she don't depends on me. She's an self employed, and she is doing well. yes, I'm already looking for the job.
    – Darwin
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 20:37
  • 13
    Would you end your relationship if you stay in Peru? Would you bring her and the kids with you if you could? Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 21:44
  • 7
    Do you want to break up with her for other reasons, or do you just feel that this will be the inevitable result of moving to Europe?
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 6:29

2 Answers 2


If your resolution of leaving her is just for practical reasons (you don't know how to bring her and the kids with you, her family will be far away etc), then there's no reason for you to not speak about it with her. She could have some hidden resource or some great idea that could allow your whole family to move to Europe. She's maybe dependent on you emotionally, but she's your peer under any other aspect.

Don't take decisions unilaterally, give her the chance of contributing to it. I'm not saying that there is a way for them to follow you. I'm saying that since you two are in a relationship, don't take decisions in her place.

I decided to move to Europe to work as a software engineer. I'll be there for at least two years, probably four. I thought about a workaround for you and the kids to come with me, but regrettably I wasn't able to find any. What do you think about it?

If, on the other hand, your decision of going to Europe is also intertwined with personal reasons (doing an experience alone / not loving her anymore etc), then the decision is on you alone. Be aware that if you tell her that you're looking for a job in Europe and you're going to leave her for this reason, and then you don't find a work, your relationship is not probably going to be the same.

Either way:

  • Don't do it gradually, baldPrussian explains very well why in their answer. It will just create a setting of anxiety. Just be clear.
  • You will both cry a lot. It will be an emotionally difficult time for both of you. HOWEVER, you are leaving her, so don't try to get compassion from her or be consoled, at least not in the first times.
  • Give her options to not live with you, if she doesn't want to. Be prepared to move out, if it will be necessary.
  • Depending on your relationship with the children, you may need to talk with them as well. Don't be the person that abandones them inexplicably.
  • Be prepared to the possibility of being accused of choosing your own career over her and the children, of selfishness and egoism etc.

The simple answer to this is: you can't do this in a way that won't hurt her feelings. She relies emotionally on you, and that is difficult to end without hurting her feelings. You also don't know and can't really control how your actions will affect her.

The other question is timing. It sounds like you want to break it gradually to her. That assumes that she'll figure this out when you tell her. Generally that's not the case. Either she'll figure this out beforehand, and things will be worse, or she will be oblivious to what you are trying to build up, and this will surprise her. It's nearly impossible to have her grasp this at the moment you choose.

She is a great human being. You love her. Even if those weren't true, she would still deserve an honest conversation from you. You really have two choices at this point: give her some warning, or give her no warning. Either way, for you to do what you plan on doing, you will have to make this choice.

If you want to give her some warning, it will be uncomfortable for the remaining time you have together. But she will have time to prepare and possibly either move or have her family move to be by her. If you give her no warning, there will be no discomfort for anyone. But she will suddenly find herself without you.

Personally I'd make the harder choice about someone I care deeply about. I'd sit her down and explain to her. "I am going to move to Europe on [x date]. I love you but it's not possible for you to come with. I'll spend the rest of the time here helping you prepare for my moving out, or, if you want me out now, I'll do that and go live with friends. Please accept that this is something I need to do for me and has nothing to do with you."

It will be uncomfortable for her and the kids to still have you around, but that will also let you say your goodbyes to them. Be prepared for crying. But I think that, overall, it is a better thing for them than to have you say, "I'm leaving as of right now. I love you, but it's goodbye." At least this way she has time to make preparations for life without you.

  • If OP uses this approach, he needs to be prepared for the possible outcomes too. She might move on or she might get extremely emotional or something that no one can comprehend at this moment. OP has to be stern and not budge an inch from his decision. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 5:15
  • And don't forget that the OP actually brought her to a different country. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:51
  • OP brought her to a different country, yes, but not under normal circumstances. The situation in Venezuela is very bad, and nearly everyone who can leave right now is getting out.
    – Link0352
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 14:07

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