I ended up buying one Date at least in part because I'm really at a loss with what to do right now, and could seriously use some advice and thought you might be more active on that forum. Anyways, I ended up posting this on both forums, and while I know its a longshot, I wanted to comment here on the off chance you saw it and felt like helping out (although I'm sure you're busy). I've gotten some decent advice so far, and am grateful for it, but wanted to shop the question around some more. Here goes:
A little bit of background with where I'm at:
I've been dating a girl for a while now - amazing personality, really attractive, and super into me too. Now, I am into her as well, but the interest has always been a little lopsided. I started off the relationship saying that I only wanted an open one, but she never wanted to be with anyone other than me, and while she tried it for a bit, eventually she would break down when i would go out with other girls. I never wanted to hurt her, and at that point I felt like the pros of exclusively being with her outweighed the cons. So, I became monogamous with her.
That was about three years ago, but while I've consistently had doubts about being in a relationship with her, I've reached the point where I know it'd be best for both parties if we separated. We fight very frequently (about smaller things though), have different desires for children, as well as very different religious stances. Her dad's a pastor, and she would need to have children and take them to church as well as marry me eventually in order for him to be happy - which is critical to her. I tried breaking up with her about a year ago, but she then talked about how much she needed me to feel safe and begged me to stay together with her while sobbing, and I couldn't do it. The way she talks about me sometimes is as if I am the only thing that keeps her alive, and thats a real sensitive spot for me. I had a brother commit suicide around 3.5 years ago, and that has since left me feeling as if I need to protect people. That combined with the remnants of love I still feel for her, and you can see why it is hard for me to simply say, "We're done."
So, I've come to the conclusion that the best path to take is to get her to break up with me. As stupid/cowardly/unrealistic as it sounds, I genuinely feel as though if I don't get her to fall out of love with me, I'll never be able to leave the relationship, for fear of her ultimately being so distraught that she takes her life. I know that the vastttt majority of relationships end in disappointment/sadness that eventually fades, but given my history, I just don't see myself being able to break up with this particular girl at this particular point in my life. Now, I can't just be an asshole to her, as that would probably hurt her just as much as breaking up I think. Rather, I want her to lose attraction to me, physically and emotionally. But I don't quite know how to go about doing this, since she is so invested in me and has known me for about 4 years.
I know this question might seem a little silly, and to be honest, if I were reading this post from someone else, I might be inclined to think that they were just being a coward for not simply breaking up with their gf when they want to, but the amount that this girl is into me is really intense. I feel like the relationship needs to end, but I can't see myself accepting and coping with my brother's death/the remaining protective feelings anytime soon, so I could really use some help.
Thanks a ton for reading a long (and weird) post,