Business partnership breakup

The relationship with my business partner is deteriorating. Our business is starting to turn a profit and they now want to change direction completely.

They are abusive when I questioned their decisions. They berate me in public and belittle me in front of clients. They tell me what I should think and how I should feel. They make demands, then change their minds, without rhyme or reason.

I am constantly walking on eggshells, and have begun to doubt my competency and sanity. They aggressively demand my agreement with decisions, and forbid discussions. They say I am holding the business back and I should just be an employee instead of a partner. Sometime I think it is easier to just do what they want, even though this will likely destroy the business.

My dream has become a living nightmare. I sleep badly. I often think about stepping in front of a bus.


A business partnership, like a domestic one, can elicit powerful emotions. It can be an abusive relationship too; with the same patterns and impact.

Sometimes, we are not the problem. Psychopaths are real. They lack empathy and are willing to ruthlessly manipulate others for their own ends.

When our self-esteem is sub-optimal, we can give our power away without realising it. It can open us to choosing partners unwisely.

Our empathy can become a weakness when we lose sight of our own needs. Putting others before ourselves indiscriminately can open us to exploitation. When we avoid conflict, we can lose our voice.


The client chose their sanity over the business and walked away with some losses. The business folded not long afterwards.

They actively worked to cut off all ties with their ex-business partner to minimise ongoing damage.

They sought counselling to help them work through the trauma, improve their self-esteem, and build healthier interpersonal boundaries.

They also sought medical treatment for depression.