It’s the worst scenario of life with depressed partners. They leave, shutting out a lot of love and support because of the illness. If you’ve been abandoned in this way, the first thing you’re likely to try is to get in touch. You need to say you still care and want to help in any way you can. They may refuse all contact or send an answer full of anger and blame. Or they might say the opposite. They still love you but need to stay away to deal with the problem and protect you from its impact. Or the messages can switch from one extreme to the other. What they say makes no sense, and you can’t figure out what to do.
I hear so much about this from readers here and at Health Central. They say things like this: (I’m putting together composite remarks here based on several letters and comments. These are not direct quotes.)
I sent a note and said somewhere that I hoped she could think of some happier times – it was just a small thing when I was really saying I wanted to help. She came back with a text about how I couldn’t possibly understand and how dare I tell her what to do. I tried to talk to her on the phone, but she just shouted to leave her alone and hung up on me. What can I do now?
I told him to remember that I still believed in him and felt a lot of love for him, but he answered right away with a huge outburst, blaming me for everything.
At first he said he was so sorry and that he was the one with the problem, not me. I really believed him and talked about a lot of things he could do to get better. But his only answer was to go through all the problems he said I had caused. He claimed I had forced him out of the house and how could I live with myself.
This is all no-win. If I try to talk to him at all, he shuts me up by saying I have no idea what it’s like for him. But if I stop trying to get in touch, he accuses me of not loving him at all and that all I can think about is myself. Is there any hope? I’m getting really desperate.
I’ve written a couple of posts at Recover Life from Depression (here and here) about trying to find hope in this extreme situation. I hope you’ll read them. They represent a somewhat different take from the many earlier posts I’ve done here, such as Why Depressed Men Leave series.
I’d like to add here a few additional ideas about why it’s so hard to communicate after a break has occurred.
If you’ve been left, the initial impulse, almost inevitably, is to try to hold onto whatever remains of the relationship, to find out why and how this could have happened. Staying in touch is the first thing you need to do, and the messages usually offer love and whatever help might be needed for your partner to get through the crisis. You might also make specific suggestions about starting therapy or taking medication.
The intention behind the words is loving, but the way the messages are interpreted can be completely different from what you intended. There are a lot of reasons for this.
First, they are depressed. The illness has drastically changed their thinking and behavior. They might have fantasies that leaving for a new life is the answer and that all the problems have been caused by the “old” relationship. Others just pull into themselves and can’t handle discussing their turmoil with anyone.
They probably aren’t doing much to get treatment. For them, leaving itself is the primary way they’re dealing with depression. Whatever they might say about you openly, the underlying message is the same. I’m doing this without you.
So when they hear from you, anything you say is going to be fitted into a depressed mindset. They’re going to search your words and offers of help for proof that they’ve done the right thing by leaving.
You, on the other hand, may spot depression as the real cause for their going. That gives you reason to hope that, as soon as the illness is gone, they’ll be themselves again and return to the relationship. You’ll find once more the loving partner you know is hidden by depression. So the solution is to bring the partner back to health as quickly as possible. You can offer all the love and support they’ll need and also can suggest the types of help they can get.
Those messages of helping, though, inevitably convey the underlying message: I want you back. In such a life crisis, it’s impossible to offer help in a disinterested way, and the urgency of your need gets the partner’s attention. They interpret what you say as all about you, not about them. Letting you in to help them can seem like stepping right back into the problem they’ve just tried to get away from.
The two of you are talking from completely different mindsets and needs. Small wonder that nothing is making sense. To make it worse, a person whose thinking and feelings are dominated by depression is going through an ordeal that could flip him around. One day everything feels great and seems to justify leaving, while the next can be filled with anguish and doubt. You’ll go through your ups and downs too, baffled, loving, angry, hurt. The messages from both of you are going to convey these shifting emotions.
There’s no easy way to deal with this. Keeping in mind the impact of depression on your partner is probably most important. That is behind the sudden changes in outlook and behavior, but getting rid of depression can’t be rushed. It is up to the partner to get help and to get serious about following through with treatment. No one else can take the lead. The process of recovery and healing is usually slow, and each person does it at their own pace.
Sometimes the messages do get through, communication works and your partner invites you in to help. But if your efforts keep backfiring, perhaps it’s best to step back for a while. No suggestion works well in every context, though, and it may well turn out that the relationship will never recover from this shock.
No matter what happens, finding your own support and taking care of yourself are probably the most effective actions you can take.
What has your experience been like in trying to communicate with a depressed partner? Have you been through a crisis like this?
Image by psyberartist at Flickr
I was recently broken up with. We had been together for almost a year and things were generally really great. We had a few issues here and there but it was all stuff we were able to get through. I had just gotten home from a trip and the night before something had triggered intense anxiety and depression in him. I was trying to comfort him, he seemed to be doing better. He was telling me how he wanted to plan a trip to my hometown and that he loved me and missed me when I was away. I stayed the night and he woke up extremely anxious and wanted to be alone so I left early for work. He told me he needed space. I gave it to him. We met back up the next day and we didn’t have much time to ourselves, I wanted to bring things up, but I wasn’t sure how or if he wanted me to. In hindsight, I should have. Things felt off, he went home and he needed space for the next few days. Then he texted me saying he would need to end the relationship if I didn’t make changes to the way I supported him. He said that I wasn’t enough and couldn’t handle his mental health. I will admit, I have struggled with talking about feelings and emotions and knowing when to bring things up, but I thought I was getting better. We met up to discuss and argued for a few minutes. I told him I would try harder and he said he would tell me when he needed to talk. Then he needed space for the next few days. By the end of that week, he broke up with me. In the span of like 7 days we went from planning a trip to never talking to each other again. Its been 3 weeks, I don’t know how to handle this and how to move on.
I am experiencing the same exact thing currently. I am feeling lost and alone and feel as if I am getting desperate at this point. I don’t know what to do anymore either. I have been going to therapy but I still feel like I am not getting answers. How are you coping so far?
My partner started with his mood swings back in October’21 and in January he said the wants to break up and he wants to “escape”. Only 24hrs later he came back around and apologise, said that I am showing him new ways of dealing with his issues. But somethings was off, so we decided that he needs to speak to a specialist. In March’22 he was diagnosed with Depression and detachment issues. This is coming form his childhood and has been growing bigger with his parents divorce.
We were living together, and from a conversation about having a family we moved onto “our future is uncertain, let’s see how we handle with it”.
I told him that I am there, and though I am not a professional and I do not know how I will handle I will do my best to give him all the support he needs.
In April we spent 2 weeks travelling, visiting my mom and the first week all was great. Over the course of week 2 he started to withdraw, got cold, distant basically 180° opposite to the man I know. I could feel he needs space, so I will often leave him in the other room (we were still on holidays) and let him approach me as he feels. But that was not enough. He picked a fight the last night and he asked me:”why are you with me? You cannot handle with my depression! I am only hurting you…. I do not see future for us”. Two days later all was fine again. I had additionally planned a weekend away for his birthday and we had good time as well. We returned rejuvenated, I though, but just before we go to bed on 1st May’22 he turned and said: “I want to end this relationship, I do not see future for us”. We started arguing and then he said “But I still care about you”. I was turned.
We had a conversation few days later and he said again: “I want to escape. I need time and space for me, and I do not have it here, so I’ll move out. I cannot be in a relationship until I am happy with myself. I do not want to hurt you, I do not want to hurt the people I love anymore. I am annoying. I want to focus on my therapy and be myself again. This has nothing to do with you, it is just me.I want you to be happy” So, a week later he found and place and a week later he moved out.
Before he leaves, he came to give me 3 big, long, very strong hugs and then he left…
I really tried my best, to my knowledge and abilities without being an expert in depression to be there for him. I did myself coaching, so to be able to handle better and yet I could not save the connection.
I believe, we could have handled and I believe it gets worse before it gets better but he started a therapy, the next step to come is few weeks in a clinic I assume they will prescribe him mess. Yet, he gave up and I had to see him going.
It is really painful 💔 😢 but as he said “you do not understand” and he is probably right. I could not understand where the silver lining is, so to make things btw us work jointly.
So sorry you are going through this. I also find that my partner has these ‘mood swings’. One day he will be horrible, wants to leave, nothing is going right, doesn’t love me etc…then the next day is quite positive and chatty and pleasant to be around.
Its definitely exhausting 😔 and leaves me not knowing where I stand.
Depression is so heartbreaking. My partner is a completely different person to before. Each day is a struggle not only for him but for those closest to him ❤
Look after yourself xx
The more I read these comments the more I realise how common this is. We all seem to be in similar situations. Sorry this is a long post 😔
I have been in a relationship with my partner for over 3 years. We found eachother and connected instantly. We were so in love, lived together, had so much in common and were inseparable.
We decided to have a baby together, she was born January this year.
2 weeks after she was born, he had a mental breakdown over finances (he has two businesses, one which he started just before baby was born – worst timing, but I couldn’t convince him at the time) and he told me he is depressed and no longer in love with me. He told me he has felt like this for a long time. I was in shock hearing these words come out of his mouth. There I was, in the heat of postpartum, nursing our 2 week old baby, dealing with all that comes with becoming a first time mum and the love of my life tells me he doesnt love me anymore.
He said he just wants to be alone to sort himself out, needs to go and get help and is very confused but wanted to tell me how he is feeling.
I was absolutely heartbroken.
This happened 4 months ago. Since then we are still in the same house, however he has been sleeping at his shop most nights. He comes home to shower and see his daughter which is for no longer than 30 minutes. If he does sleep at home he sleeps in the spare room. He spends all his time working at his two businesses and going to the gym. I get no help at home.
I have voiced my feelings to him so many times but its like he just can’t see it from my point of view?
He is into bodybuilding and is putting all of time into that and his businesses. He is struggling financially and as I am on maternity leave, im hardly able to help.
He ha simulated himself from his family, my family and our friends. Wont talk to anyone.
Im really close with his parents so I have been seeing them quite a bit, just to vent and so they can see their granddaughter. His mum is devastated. So many of us are struggling with his depression.
He has been put on medication but won’t go and talk to a therapist.
Im almost at my wits end. My head and my heart are constantly arguing. I get so angry about how he has just left me and our baby but then I think about the mental illness itself and feel sorry for him.
He is a totally different man to who he was before. He is exhausted, tired, stressed, run down. This depression is really taking its toll. He hasn’t smiled or laughed in so long. When I see him it’s as though we are just friends or housemates. It absolutely breaks my heart.
I try and talk to him and he shuts off and just again says that his feelings have changed.
I have support from friends and family. Most of them understand but they all love to give me their opinions, I know they are just worried about me but its draining.
I feel our situation is in limbo at the moment. Since being put on his meds he has some good days, but I can tell when he is having a bad day. The bad days he talks about separating, saying things haven’t changed (yet he won’t try anything to change it?!) He wants to move out. I said I will take our baby and go to my mums because honestly I could do with the help and support. I haven’t moved yet as I guess I am holding onto hope that his meds will kick in and he will change his mind?? He has removed all traces of me from social media, as though me and our baby dont exist. On one of his bad days he got jealous that I was following other men on instagram. He said he can’t handle seeing that and he removed me from his Facebook and instagram so he doesn’t have to see it. He said if I have moved on that quickly then I may as well hurry up and move out! He can be so negative and horrible on his bad days.
I see glimmers of hope on his good days. He’s friendly, chatty, helpful. I see hints of the person he was before all of this. After his bad day I got my suitcase out and started to pack some things to go stay at my mums. He didn’t come home that night and said that he saw the suitcase and he needs time to think.
This has all been going on for 4 months now and I am honestly so exhausted. Things aren’t getting worse but they also aren’t getting better either.
I’ve asked him multiple times if he has met someone else. Coming from a previous marriage where my ex husband had an affair, this naturally was the first thing that crossed my mind. He said there isn’t anyone else and I honestly believe him, he has no time or the energy at the moment for his businesses, his baby or anything, let alone someone else.
I get geared up to go and stay at my mums but then he will have a really good week and I think things are getting better so I stay.
I continue to tell him how much I love him, how I want to sort this out together and that I am here for him always. Despite how he has been treating me.
I’ve sought professional help for myself but there is a long wait to get in to see the therapist.
I feel like im losing my mind because I feel he isnt in the right head space to be making life changing decisions. This is all so sudden. He literally went from being so happy, funny and excited to become a dad to this she’ll of a human who finds no joy in anything. He said he has had suicidal thoughts but they have gone now, especially when he thinks of our baby.
I don’t want to leave him because I love him and want to support him and be here when he starts to feel better.
I just can’t understand how someone could be so in love and then switch it off and feel nothing? We were so in love, never argued or had a fight. He was just perfect and i adored him. I feel like the biggest idiot because I have always been so proud of him and told everyone who wanted to listen how in love with him I am. He was my everything. And to think that he has been feeling this way for a long time breaks me. He has NEVER once mentioned this to me or given me any reason to think his feelings have changed. It blows my mind.
I’ve tried explaining that its the depression talking and making him feel this way but he thinks he is depressed because he was so unhappy?? I just can’t fathom it.
I’m going to blow my own trumpet here and say that I have always been a happy, bubbly, positive person. I have always supported him in anything he chooses to do. I’ve been the person to do all of his bodybuilding meal prep, cooked all of his meals, taken his progress photos, encouraged him every single day! Im his biggest fan and he always said how lucky he is to have me.
Sorry for the long post, I am just so lost. I dont want to lose him. I just love him so much and can’t imagine being with anyone else. Yet I’m so angry at him for putting me through this with a new baby. We haven’t got to experience the little family unit we always dreamed of together.
My social media is flooded with friends out on weekends with their husbands and babies and it breaks my heart.
I think my next step is to go and stay at my mums for a few weeks, even just for a break and to eat properly. Ive always been small but I’ve lost a tonne of weight since bub was born due to breastfeeding and the stress this has given me.
Maybe he will miss me and our baby? Maybe giving him a taste of what he wants will make him think? …but maybe it won’t. Either way I need to do something.
What you are describing, your own feelings included resonates so much with what I am experiencing myself. This sudden change of personality, no underlying problems in the relationship, then my disbelief by the lack of consideration (no babies were involved but I left the job and the house and my whole life to move across the globe to be with him and then this happens)
I was wondering what happened since you posted your story here?
Hope you’re well, and the baby too
How did you get on because some of what you said is happening to me. We was trying for a baby for over a year but it didn’t happen. I’m still lost, keeping busy because it’s less time thinking about where it all came undone. It’s been 4 week’s now. He said I’m not in love anymore. It flipped from I deeply in love with you, will never go of you I love you so much. He got a 7 seater so we could go on day trips he said I wouldn’t of stressed myself out getting one if I didn’t want to be with you. Then messages 3 week’s ago saying I’m not in a good mental state at the moment, I don’t know what I want or see where anything is going. You deserve a lot more affection than I can give. Perhaps I rushed into a relationship I don’t know I will never know what I want. I was so confused by his message how can after 2 and half years have rushed into a relationship. I know his had issues he worries himself Sick when ill, constantly thinking his got cancer, his dad died of cancer. He wasn’t happy at last job he had a lot of pressure, he goes into another job HGV driving new truck’s up and down UK, his shifts changed, getting up early, being put upon he actually said I wish I wasn’t at work and text me wish I was home this day’s been hell, I know he don’t like it but works to give his ex maintenance, he struggles financially. His had problems with ex over kid’s with her bringing criminal into the house one who was talking to underage girl’s and Thief he had to get social services involved. His got to have op on his leg after football injury. This as all probably triggered it off but I think 4 days prior he had accident at work not his fault but the body repair people caused that could of caused a very dangerous accident, I think tipped him. I can see all the warning signs now he tick’s all the categories of depression. 1. losing interest in his weights and exercise. 2. Sense of humour was going. 3. Getting irritable. 4. Feeling tired constantly. 5. Waking up at stupid hours struggling to sleep. 6. Not eating properly. 7. Lack of interest in thing’s even sex. 8. Complaining about aches, pains, headache, backaches. 9 worrying about a mole on his head or stomach pain thinking the worse. His mom don’t know what to do his shutting himself in room. His kid’s went back to their mom’s early in school hols because it was up to his mom all the time. It’s like someone as took over his body. His mom said his lost load’s of weight. She’s tried to talk to him but he gets aggitated so she backs off. He says it’s not depression but says he’s trying to get help with doctor. Then he said a few weeks ago I got a lot of issues my health, I told mom I may need Therapy to get my head sorted I’m trying not to have a mental breakdown if I’m being honest so that’s confused me. He was on meds after his wife cheated and kicked him out. His mom said she used to belittle him in front of friends, put him down, call him names. He said she never gave affection his not used to it and perhaps his put barriers up. I think his so confused. I love him so much it’s hurt. I miss him so much. We was looking forward to Blackpool we had been on day trips. Perhaps he can’t see a future him struggling and living at his mom’s I don’t know. He said his not in love anymore I’m just trying to be honest and open. Is this depression talking. It’s screwed my head up because he wanted to live with me and have a baby. It helps to talk to people going through this because I’m feeling like I’m going mad. Going over old messages and thinking about moment’s we had. I’m going to gym to stop me going of the edge. It’s amazing how many of us going through this and I’m not alone. Not many have been through this so they don’t understand and keep saying move on but it’s not that simple when your still in love. Love to chat to someone, advice or to vent because it will help.
I too found this thread by searching for similar experiences. My partner and I have been together for 9 months. We both fell very deeply and incredibly hard pretty quickly. I have a 4 year old son. I had always promised myself I would wait at least 6 months before introducing him to a partner, but it felt so real and natural that I only waited 3 months. He moved in with us shortly after to help me out (I have chronic health issues and managing a home as a single, full time employed mom is really stressful).
We’ve been one big happy family up until he stopped taking his medication due to side effects of sleepiness and decreased libido. In his defense, he did try 4 different medications. Each one caused worsening side effects until he couldn’t take it anymore. Within one week I noticed a stark contrast in his mood. This highly affectionate, attentive, kind, empathetic, and loving man was suddenly a shell of his former self. Distant, cold, quiet, and irritable. We had our first real argument this past Friday, where he told me this relationship isn’t what it used to be and something has to change. We discussed how we could treat one another more compassionately during trying times (we’ve both been going through so much; including health issues, lost jobs, a dying pet, etc). I initiated asking if he would go back on medication and he agreed he needed to. He told me he had been considering moving to Florida to take care of his mom’s house while she travels as a nurse. I asked him if he could wait to make that decision while stabilized and he agreed. We made a plan on connecting and doing fun things together. It went well over the weekend. Sunday was Mother’s Day and we went kayaking with my son. We planned a camping trip for this upcoming weekend. I gave him a loving massage to connect Sunday evening, and I thought it was improvising. Then Monday morning, he left for work at his new job and didn’t come home or text me until 9 pm. The next night he did this again. It felt like he was fading himself out and avoiding me. Last night he texted me to say he was staying at a friends. I felt the inevitable breakup was coming, so I stated if that was his decision I would prefer knowing instead of the agony of waiting. He ended up coming home and we talked and cried until 3 am. He told me he loves my son and me both deeply and doesn’t “want” to end things, but he feels so overwhelmed and like it can’t possibly improve. He said he made the decision to move to Florida because he thinks that’s what he needs right now. This is crushing to me since we had so many things planned (and paid for) over the summer, and because my son and I have become so used to him being here with us every day. I can’t possibly imagine going back to doing this all alone, but it’s even harder to picture a day where I won’t see him- especially when I don’t know if he will be returning home to me or if this is his way of fading out permanently. I have reactive attachment disorder so this situation is causing me so much anxiety. He did reach out today and said he made an appointment with his psychiatrist, but the first available isn’t until May 30th, and he doesn’t feel he should live in my home while waiting to get medication again. So everything feels very up in the air right now. I’m trying to focus on the fact he’s been very loving about this, he has recognized his mood and how it’s impacting me, plus he says he loves me and doesn’t want to end things. But seeing this pattern with your stories terrifies me that he’s just said these things to soften the blow and is actually planning to disappear. There’s obviously no way of knowing what the future will hold; and that part is hardest for me (the fear of the unknown). I feel for everyone here who has similar stories. Mental illness is so hard.
We dated for more than four years. I’ve never met anyone who brought me up more than him, even in hindsight I can’t find anything toxic. Our friend circles merged, our families loved us. Almost two years in he chased a promotion which moved him out of state. The day he moved he broke down, realizing he valued us more than work. But we made it work, we talked every day and saw each other at least every other weekend, all the holidays. I could work remote in the pandemic and spent at least a week a month with him, we had so many fun adventures. His work became more and more stressful and toxic as pandemic consequences hit his company and he hated it. He finally accepted a demotion to come back home, signed the paperwork and was so excited. But his work didn’t want him to leave and ended up blocking his transfer but promising to send him home in a year. I was disappointed he didn’t just quit on the spot because he was so upset but I told him we’d figure it out, maybe I’d spend the year with him. The next day he was cleaning puke off the floor when he called me, a normal conversation otherwise but he didn’t end it with ‘I love you’. He didn’t answer calls/texts the day after that, then called me the day after saying he was breaking up, he has depression, he had an episode before he met me and never told me and this is goodbye. Over the next week he wouldn’t talk or text, slowly deleting internet evidence of the life we built. He committed to a phone call a week later but I could see in his eyes it wasn’t him, he was so upset and just not there. I couldn’t believe it, I asked him if this was the last time we’d ever speak and he said I don’t know and hung up. I went to his door Andrea weeks later and he wouldn’t talk to me. That was 8 months ago. About 5 months after this happened he reached out saying he missed me and I am an incredible woman and he misses our life but he went silent after I tried to get him to engage more. He’s still working the job he can’t stand and communicated his self worth is tied up in work and if he can find a job back home he wants to reengage but doesn’t think it will work out otherwise. I don’t know what to do, how to help, how to move forward. I am hurt and stuck knowing the person I thought I’d spend forever with still cares for me yet has ghosted me, and I have a houseful of his stuff including the car we own. I can only imagine every time I reach out supporting I’m making him feel worse. But not knowing if he’s gotten help, moved on or just in general what’s going on has me broken. What do I do? His 40th birthday was last week and I hoped that would change something. What can I say to him? How do I heal?
It is so painful to read all the stories here, so relatable, yours too. You said it was like seeing another person. I experinced the same.
Did the story develop in some way since you posted here?
I am going through something like this. My partner recently revealed he was struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts and broke up with me because he wanted to experience something different, move away, talk to other people. We’ve been together a total of 11 years, lived together two years, and got engaged in February 2021, he’s done this before when we were teenagers (at the time it wasn’t intense because, we were so young). But now we’re both 26, it hurts so bad and the wound is very fresh right now.
After we talked, we traced it back to his depression and unsatisfaction with the current state of our lives. ( My parent’s lost their place and had to move in with us & I financially support a family member in the prison system – He is working the same job for the past 8 years and is still in school for health science). I love and care for him so much that I am asking if he is willing to seek therapy, he said he will. My friend suggested and offered to cover the cost of a first session of couples therapy if we want to make it work, I’m willing to do it – not sure if he will be. We’ve been together so long, he says he does not want to lose the friendship we had. I don’t either. I hope he agrees to see a therapist together and we can work on the underlying issues that cause this doubt and feeling of worthlessness. I’m struggle with anxiety so this is making me feel horrible. As selfish as this sounds, I don’t want to lose a relationship that created so much happiness for me…
Time to go / time doesn’t return
I am currently experiencing a break up, due to him wanting to address his deep unhappiness.
He (33 y.o.) and I (32) were together for four months and it was going so well! We frequently expressed how much we respect and care for each other – and how lucky we feel we are. He frequently reminded me of how worthy I was. Every so often, he mentioned that I deserve better, but he was trying to be what I deserve. He lives an hour away (and we have completely different schedules) but we would both work to make sure we saw each other twice a week, even briefly. We messaged every day. Not all day – because we both are very busy.
End of September, he crashed. He works long hours at a restaurant, and was burnt out. He had cancelled one of our dates, and the next time I saw him, we spoke about it. He wanted a change, but didn’t know what that was – maybe change jobs, maybe move – and expressed that he wanted to go back to therapy. I said I fully supported him and was here for him. I asked if we were alright, and he said yes. He explained that he has this pattern: is good for a while, then gets burnt out, and then leaves and finds a new place. He said he doesn’t want to repeat this pattern and wants to stop the cycle.
October we kept with our routine, but work got harder and harder for him. We took a 4 day trip together and had a great time.
November I noticed a bit of distance, but when we were together it was wonderful. He even joked that we should quit our jobs together – and said he was possibly going to look for work closer to me, or a neighboring city ‘Come with me?’ He asked. We spent thanksgiving together and had a nice time, despite us going to bed early and sleeping for 13 hours because he was exhausted from work.
The next week, he canceled on our Saturday, saying he felt nauseous and exhausted, then was very curt over messages. He agreed to come out to me Tuesday, but I knew what was coming. When he arrived, he said that he felt lost in life – that he felt he should be farther along in life and in career than he is. He said that he was a deeply unhappy person, and that he has run from it repeatedly, thinking a change of scenery would help. Essentially, he said, he was drowning. He said he spent the day before looking for therapists, because he needs to focus on what is going on with him – and it wouldn’t be fair to me to be together. He made the decision to break up just yesterday.
We spoke for three hours, holding hands, with me intermittently crying.
I asked if there was a way we could still be together AND for him to work on this (heck, I’m in therapy right now too!), he said he feels like he needs to go on his journey alone and doesn’t want to burden me, or make me into a pseudo therapist. He referenced the book ‘Depression is Contagious’ and worried that, while I make him very happy, he needs to find his happiness in himself before he can give to a healthy relationship.
I asked if there was someone else (I really expressed my need for extreme honesty) – he said no, there’s no one. He doesn’t want to date. I asked if he thinks he would ever want to be with me again, and he said ‘Maybe’ to which I groaned. Then he said ‘I want to be with you now, I just can’t ask you to wait around for me.’
And then the kicker: ‘I know you aren’t going to believe this: But you did nothing wrong, you were an incredible partner, and I want to be with you, I just can’t. It really isn’t you, it’s me. I’m so sorry.’
Eventually we stood up, held hands, and he kissed me. Tenderly. He expressed his fear of turning into his father, a sad old man, and I told him I was proud of him for starting this long journey into himself – and loving himself enough to prioritize himself. He cried (for the first time in years) and held me and kissed me. He said ‘don’t disappear from my life, okay?’
So what do I do? Is it possible that he could get into therapy and want to come back? We didn’t even get a chance to get off the ground, we never even had an argument!
I miss him terribly and I want to be there to support him.
We are meeting today to discuss boundaries in friendship (I asked for this conversation). But I am so worried that he has already moved on from me.
It just seems like such an extreme option. It was a beautiful relationship that has so much promise! I feel so defeated.
My wife,of 12 years walked away. Her father had cancer, lost his battle after 2 years. It was her breaking point. She started an affair, our marriage ended. She went from a loving,funny,cheeky,beautiful person in Nov of 2013,and six weeks later she was gone. Walked a way from me,…and our two kids.
It is a brain illness…period. There is nothing you can do,nothing I could do. It took me years to figure this out.Coming form a man who inherently thinks he can fix anything,I turned to reading.Once I sorted out that this woman who I once knew,was no longer there I started to turn back to the empathetic person I am at heart. Instead of trying to hate her,I through all my uderstanding of mental illness, forgave her. My love, even to this days keeps me smiling inside that it’s ok to love her from afar. I never changed,..ever. I hear in your story his self loathing,his self deprecation which is a hallmark of depression. There will be days that no matter what,no matter how YOU feel,it will never register with him.One side feelings will always hit that brick wall.You deserve love, touch, feeling, a hand hold,a cuddle on the sofa,under a blanket,watching a movie,laughter. To know someone in your life, when you’re not with them, actually thinks of you, cares for you, worries about you…..for you. He will always “need” you for him.To prop him up ,but only when he needs that,if he can convince himself he’s worthy.Which is not often.That saying “he doesn’t even know I exist” is real. They struggle just to exist themselves. Depression tells them so, they are not loveable. If they hate themselves, they have little room for love for someone else.
Sure,you may have fleeting moments,I call those bread crumbs.Small emotional crumbs that keep us attached somehow. I still play with bread crumbs. In the 8 years now that she left,we have two now grown children,21 and 19,so I see her in person frequently. I try to get cheeky with her,even flirt a bit, and the darkness in her eyes is something I will never get over. She “had” the most beautiful eyes and smile,and no one knew her better then me. Her eyes have physically changed.
It took me sometime to realize it was never me, it was her. She has never said that, but knows it. She too quit multiple jobs, and has moved just as often. Common theme with depressives. In fact she has just done it again. always the same theme. I hate my job,I hate my co-workers,I hate this,I hate that”
Blame….they are great at blame. Never once looking in the mirror and taking stock. It’s called escapism .They constantly look outwards for literally anything to ignite some emotion. That’s my my ex had her affair. Anhedonia is the term used,where your threshold for happiness is so low, you seek anything to boost it,from affairs,drugs,alcohol,porn,gambling,and even work,a new career.
“wherever you go…there you are”. It doesn’t escape them. Sadly he is using you. For reasons he’ll never fully know. He doesn’t know it, but now…I hope you do. As you are fairly early days, my advice is to move on. However if you choose to talk about boundaries as you say, and still want to hold on to bread crumbs,he has to seek treatment. But,what is likely to happen is he will not. The self loathing kicks in and they fall further down the rabbit hole. Don’t let him take you with him. Put on your own oxygen mask. There mental health can take yours with it. I had a Nana with Alzheimers, a Grandad with Dimentia, a best friend with a brain tumor. All became people who they weren’t. From cussing, to anger,self harm,etc they were literally not in there right minds.
I saw my wife in less than two months turn into a cold and blaming stranger. Told me “we were never best friends” we should never have gotten married”…and “I never loved you”.
That, regardless of how hard I try has always left a scar . Once I understood her brain illness, I forgave her.
I wish you the very best, and you sound like an incredibly caring and empathetic person. Please, look in your own mirror, and no matter who you want to be with, always be you. As the saying goes, “don’t change so someone will like you, be who you are and the right person will love you”
Mental illness is so damn heartbreaking 🥲
Thank you so much Doug. Your response means a lot.
I have since met with him. He has expressed missing me a lot, regretting what he did – but then worrying he will withdraw again, and being unwell. He reached out to an old therapist and has been seeking a new one (but many practices are full). We have held hands, hugged, even a brief kiss. I swear I could see care in his eyes – but maybe I’m seeing what I want to see.
After so many weeks, I miss him as potently. I still feel like we make each other’s lives better – even a small amount. I know I can’t fix or change him, and it’s not my place. I can’t take away the pandemic, the stressful job, or the feelings of unworthiness – but we can be there for each other. Maybe.
I reach out once a week with something light – or a ‘thinking of you!’ – he tells me I’m the most empathetic person he knows, that he truly is thankful for me, and appreciates my support and positivity.
I wish he would just accept me back into his life. I don’t know how to move on. I just feel like we had so much potential and there’s so much left to do together. I don’t want to believe it is a lie.
At times I want to do a ‘hail mary’ and ask if he could just try – but I know that would be overwhelming. I often wonder if he misses me like I miss him. Maybe he has already moved on.
Thank you for listening.
Your story hits me right in the feels. I am going through something similar with my partner. It’s truly heartbreaking. Mental illness is such a sad disease. Thinking of you!
Oh, Laura – I am so sorry that you’re in a similar situation. This is very difficult and all the self care in the world (ordering sushi and crying) is not seeming to help. I really hope you are doing good things for you and have good, supportive people to remind you of your goodness. I’m thinking of you, too!
I hope that things work out with you and your partner. I asked my ex if he could meet up for coffee, and he said he could on a weekend before work. I asked him to let me know what weekend works for him – so we will see if it happens. I want to ask if our communication is still working for him, I fear being a hinderance or an irritant. I can get so critical of myself and want to do right by the both of us.
Just want to say your story is pretty much identical to mine, my boyfriend is suffering and broke up with me yesterday. He says he still loves me but needs to be alone to figure himself out and figure out how to be alone before he can be in a happy relationship with me. I’m really scared it will all end with us never being together again but I’m hopeful with the right treatment he will in time feel better and we can work on us again. I hope you are doing okay and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story on here, it’s helpful to hear of others going through the same thing, it feels less lonely.
I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a similar situation. I agree that it feels less lonely to know that our experience is not isolated – but I am sorry that you are in pain (and that he is, too).
I have been doing my best to be alright, but it’s hard sometimes. I have done all of the things ‘they’ say to do: time with friends, focus on hobbies, seek therapy. He has pretty much fallen off of the map, at this point. I believe him to be doing well; he got a new job last I spoke to him and is feeling ‘hopeful for the future.’ He does not initiate contact. I truly hope he has found a therapist and is feeling better in general. I still grieve, this time grieving the friendship we said we would maintain. The feelings of abandonment and rejection are the worst, but those are mine to sort through. I wish I could believe all he said during our split, but I don’t know if I do anymore – too little information to make that assessment.
I hope your situation ends differently than mine. In any regard, do your best to be kind to yourself. There are days that will feel terrible, and then days that feel sort of alright. One thing I would impart: Focus more on YOU and how YOU are feeling than caretaking HIM and HIS experience. Hopefully he has a support network around him, but that is not for you to do. I know you probably worry yourself sick (believe me, I get it), but you’ve got to look out for you.
I’ll be sending you my best,
I hope you’re doing ok Lou. Your story is very similar to mine. 4 months down the line my ex has fallen off the map too after responding a few times to me reaching out..he has run away to work across Europe & shaved his hair off. He seemed so happy to hear from me but initiates nothing. At a certain point it clicks that they guy that adored you threw you away like you’re meaningless trash & you’re trying for him..while he makes no effort for you. I have chosen to stop trying. I can’t keep chasing, hoping & expecting to be treated well. There is no sign he wants me in his life. I’m still completely heartbroken. Much like you I have good days & bad days, this weekend has been bad. I still question everything & wonder how this has even happened.
Hey Kelly – thank you so much for your message. I am sending you lots of good energy and virtual hugs.
I totally understand where you are coming from. I have tried to arrange a meet-up so we could formally look at each other and say ‘it’s okay – I don’t need to be in your life – I wish you all the best.’ I want to be in places where I am wanted.
It’s confusing when the detaching partner says, ‘Please stay in contact, please stick around – I want you in my life’ – and then actions are to the contrary. I know closure comes from within, but I am still a bit torn about just blocking and/or never reaching out again. At least without a departing message, I guess.
It seems as though his new job is better than his last, and he is getting around to reading books from my favorite author. So those are two good things, and for that, I am happy for him. I, too, am trying to grow and seek happiness on a daily basis (some days are better than others).
As a reminder (of things you probably already know): You are so worthy of someone sticking around and appreciating your value. Whatever is going on with your former partner does not define your worth. And we will never ever truly know why things happen – unfortunately, they just do. You have learned a lot about humans (and probably yourself) through this experience. And through it all, you’ve remained a person worthy of respect and good treatment. I really hope you give that to yourself – and I hope that you have people in your life and meet new people who treat you that way.
All my best,
I’m so sorry to hear of your situation Lou, what you are going through is both unfair and seemingly inexplicable; knowing those feelings are there from him and yet his not being able to commit to the relationship is a nightmare to live through.
It’s incredibly unfair on you and not reflective of the depth of love you’ve shown to him.
You are a very kind and caring person, to have invested so much consideration in his wellbeing, through it all.
I can speak from the other side of the fence as someone who is in the reverse situation (as the depressed/anxious partner in my case) and confirm that it is possible to have feelings of great love for your partner, and yet have such a constant sense of overwhelm, inadequacy , insomnia and evaporating self-confidence that it feels like there’s no choice but to step away, even though it’s the thing you fear the most.
It’s absolutely horrible for both parties, and stems from an illness that I pray we’ll better understand in the decades to come.
I hope you’ve been well supported by those closest to you and are able to lookout for your own well-being in a time of transition. Take care, David.
Thank you so much, your response means a lot to me. Thank you so much for your consideration.
I am doing my best – showing up at work for my students, I’m in therapy, I am trying to connect with friends. And, of course, reading many books on depression (and other things).
I miss him. I reach out once a week and get a little response. He is dragging his heels on meeting up. Told me he’s available weekend mornings, and I asked him to pick the time – nothing yet. Many people in my life tell me that he was just making excuses, and I suppose we will never know. Most are not convinced he had depression, and don’t understand why he would push me (goddess of empathy) out of his life. The first thing to go. He’s still in his job that’s killing him, but he dropped me.
All I know is he said I’m the most empathetic person he knows, and he wishes he could flip a switch in his brain and be better. And I remember how he held my hands last I saw him. And the look over his shoulder as he walked away. It felt real.
I’m conflicted. He said before that he greatly appreciates my support and my positivity, even if he doesn’t reach out to me. He had asked for me not to leave his life. But since we parted, I am the only one reaching out. I am happy to do so, if it really is helping, but I worry I am a nuisance. I’d hope he’d tell me if he didn’t want to hear from me anymore. I just kind of feel like a lovesick fool.
I know he said he doesn’t have a timeline. I don’t even know if he has found a therapist (finding one is hard right now). I can’t imagine trying to see anyone else, because my heart is still with him. I wish I had some magic words that would convince him to come back – I truly believe we made each other’s lives better by nature of being with each other.
So I’m in limbo. I don’t know what to do. Leaving him completely feels so wrong. I suppose if he told me he was better, or met someone new, I’d be happy for him and be able to shut that door. But…what if he still cares? What if he yearns for me like I do him?
Any words of wisdom are so appreciated. I miss him terribly, and these nightly ‘loving kindness’ meditations I do and energy I send to him just don’t feel like enough…
Everything you say makes sense, and the sense of anguish is very understandable given that you want something that is both desirable and seemingly unattainable, while he is in this moment of limbo.
If he has asked for you and he to stay connected, then making contact – even if virtual – may be a good place to start.
For the longer term, it is really on him to come to a position where he can commit to reconnecting beyond friendship, and I know this is at the apex of the maelstrom of emotions you may be feeling.
My advice to you would be to continue reaching out gently, and when possible and – and the same time – to focus on other areas of your life that build you up, and bring you joy.
It may be that he and you are able to connect more regularly, but where this cannot be guaranteed it is most important in this situation that you throw everything into feeling the most complete version of yourself.
I’m really sorry this is such a turbulent time for you – it may way be similarly turbulent for him, even as he’s not able to communicate that as such.
Please do keep sharing your situation as it develops , if that would be helpful – there is a lot of wisdom across the forum which may be useful for the moment you are going through.
Thank you for your response! I really appreciate your perspective from a person who has ‘been there’ – so to speak. And I so appreciate your compassion and thoughtfulness.
I will continue to reach out gently with innocuous well wishes each week. That is, unless he asks me to stop. But he has not yet. Eventually, I may breach the idea of grabbing coffee together again. I made him a piece of pottery that I had promised him over Christmas – so I’d like to hand that off.
I am doing my best in therapy, work, and assorted activities – I really am trying. The rumination is constant, despite my best efforts. I do not want to pursue others romantically, though. Many friends encourage me to, but my heart is elsewhere.
May I ask a personal question? Have you ever pushed out a person you had love for? Did you eventually come to a place where you wanted to reconcile?
I am worried that he is just beating himself up over this and telling himself that he is a burden and I deserve better – at least, that’s what it was sounding like a little while ago. It also sounds like he has gotten ‘worse’ since our split (the stress, panic attacks, and deep misery he has described since then). So I doubt he would feel like reaching out to reconcile at this point; if he felt he was not a good enough partner for me in Nov., no doubt he feels less capable now.
Regardless if he ever sees me as a romantic opportunity again – I do just want him to know he has someone in his corner. So I will continue to do that. And I’ll tell my heart to get with the program, I guess (even though the thought of dating someone else makes me nauseous).
Thank you for your time, David – it honestly means so much to me.
All my best,
Hi Lou and David. This resonates and hurts so bad. Thank you for making me not feel like I am going through this alone. Have you heard anything Lou? Thinking of you, and I feel your pain.
I hope you are doing well. Sending you lots of good energy.
I have not heard from him. I reach out once a week, say something like ‘Sending my best!’ etc. – or some random picture of something relevant. He always responds.
Friends have told me ‘he’s trying to send a message – stop reaching out’ and have likened me to a clingy ex – so I am presently feeling a lot of self-doubt. He has not told me to stop reaching out (with words, anyway).
I am debating sending him a ticket to a concert I got for him in November (he knows about the show). It’s only fair, it’s his ticket. But I am terrified that I am a complete nuisance to him at this point. Wish I could hear his perspective. Was he just saying all those things to soften the blow? Does he actually enjoy my support? No idea. So I feel like a fool.
How are you doing? I am thinking of you.
Hi Lou, David and KK,
I’m in the same position as well. He just ended after 2.5yrs, said he was feeling emotionally overwhelmed and that he can’t do relationships. Am so heart broken. When he first talked about breaking up, I cried so much until he suggested 3 mths no contact to hopefully get better. After a month, I texted him to say that I was still here for him. But that’s when he told me to let him go.
Everyone’s stories hit home. My gf of 9 months also fell into a deep depression in which I tried to be there to help her for but I ended up being pushed away. She has had a cycle of these depression and always runs away from them instead of facing them, they were mostly caused by a horrible childhood trauma. I feel helpless and useless at this point, I try to exercise and paint to get my mind right but shes always running through my mind wishing that I could somehow make her mental illness go away for good. She plants to leave by the end of may to Texas and live with her best friend for 6 months or so, at the moment we are broken up but she still reassures her love for me and that shes still in love with me but needs to do this self healing journey alone. Its gonna be so difficult fo me, especially since her friend sometimes encourages her to drink and stuff but we talked about it and made promises to remain committed and faithful to one another. We also promised to disciple our minds from alcohol and bad habits. I really hope she follows through since shes so good at convincing me that she will come back for us to be good with one another so that we can start building and have a family together. She reminds me that she deeply loves em but needs to sacrifice the relationship for a bit, she has made an appointment to seek therapy and is waiting for the confirmation. I hope shes being honest with me since she told me that all she wants from me is to trust her.
I hope you are well and things are slowly working out. I’m not sure if your still on this thread or not. But just wanted to reach out and say your post stopped me from crying this morning. It’s not been 5 months since my husband of 14 years left home to be alone due to his undiagnosed mental health. We have 3 kids and it’s been a roller coaster.
I work in the disability field and to support someone at work is so much easier but, when it is your own – it’s heart breaking. You question yourself, place blame on yourself and second guess everything. I still see my husband everyday, he wants to be involved with the kids. I try and be as supportive as I can but, often end up so emotionally heart broken all over again. We have been together 23 years. And in the person I see now is the complete opposite. There are days when I see the real him and it makes me hold on to hope that he will realise and see the real me who loves him and wants to support him through it all.
I felt different reading your post and your empathy astounds me. I will take a different approach to be there for him if he wants me to.
Thank you Lou.
Thank you so much for your message. I am so, so sorry to hear about your situation. I am sending you a giant hug. I commend you for coparenting during this difficult time.
I really appreciate your kindness. As it stands, nothing has changed for me. I have checked in every so often, and he seems to be doing well in his new job – so I am happy for him. Despite him saying he wants me in his life, he doesn’t put forth effort. I will eventually ask for a conversation about this, in order to get more clarity. If he does truly want me in his life, that’s fine – I’d love that. Yet I worry I am a nuisance and spending energy on someone who does not truly want me around. We both deserve better than that. I have made peace with him changing his mind and building a life without me in it.
I’ve worked hard to get to a place of truly loving him as an autonomous person, and not projecting my wants onto him. Therefore, if he’d rather not have me in his life, I’m in full support. I only hope he has people in his life to lean on. And I deserve to be around people who want me around. I can’t change anyone’s mind, can’t wake anyone up – all I can do is emotionally tend to myself and be realistic about what I can and can’t control.
Your work is so important and emotionally taxing. I work in education, so I also have a habit of doing more emotional labor than necessary. Empathy is a beautiful thing – AND – I want you to make sure you are prioritizing your own mental and emotional health. He is tending to himself, in whatever way he sees fit, so you need to look out for you. If you get to a point where you are open to holding space for him, you can do that. But please don’t do this at your expense. You are equally as important and valuable in this situation. And in case no one has told you lately: You are enough. More than enough. You don’t need to do or be anything more.
I love my former partner – he has never been mean or disrespectful or angry, I hold no ill will. I want him to be at peace and enjoy his life. I want him to find joy and be around those he wants to share that with. AND I want to be treated well and respected by those in my life (he doesn’t disrespect me, he’s just distant – more of an acquaintance at the moment). I will be here for him should he want to have a connection, but I need to set emotional boundaries so I don’t get wholly immersed in his experience. Just wanted to voice that because you seem to also have a very kind and generous heart.
I’m still leveled by this loss. And I wonder if I’ll ever truly be loved by anyone. I wish I could change so many things – but I just take it one day at a time.
Please be good to yourself.
How are you both going Lou?
My partner of nearly a year, whom I love dearly messaged me out of the blue telling that he knows I won’t be happy as long as I am with him and he knows he can’t be in a relationship.
We spoke on a phone once, I know this is his depression talking, not him.
We will meet hopefully in a few days, however this needs to happen on his terms.
For a moment I do not believe he truly wants us to stop seeing one another, but I know people living with depression need space sometimes and need to come back in their own time.
All I want is to go over to his home and hold him through all the dark things that are going on in his head. There isn’t a time when he’s not on my mind and the waiting hurts unbelievably.
I’m in the same boat….its agonizing ..
My fiancé ghosted me same he is also dealing with severe anxiety and depression. This is the 3rd time each time he leaves for a week. He hides in his room doesn’t answer.
I am finally calling it off – I think that we should value us, this isn’t a way to live … each time I’m worried sick about him. This time when he calls me again …. There will be no answer. I been a awesome fiancé – been there for him always. But he closes of I can’t help him. It’s time to leave now.
God bless you all
Time doesn’t return guys – let’s think this over
Mental illness is so damn heartbreaking 🥲
Iam in the same situation as you. We were together for 4 months everything was going well and during the 5th month he fell. I saw another person in front of me, he started to get angry over nothing, yelled at me, then he apologized and the next day told me he was diagnosed with depression and was afraid to tell me so I wouldn’t leave.
He started his antidepressant treatment and he is following with a therapist.
For two weeks I didn’t recognize him. I did everything I could to support him, I was there when he needed me, sometimes saying hurtful things to me but I took it in stride.
A week later he started to tell me that we are not made for each other and that I have a character that does not suit him and right after he says that I do not want to lose myself and that everything will be fine. I was lost, I didn’t know what to believe or what to do. Two days later he sent me a message saying that he had made his decision and that he couldn’t take it anymore, that he had to face his depression alone. I accepted his decision with sorrow. I suggested that we remain friends so that I could check up on him. He didn’t respond.
It’s been a week now and I haven’t heard from him. I don’t know what to do.
I am really happy btw I came across this. 🙂 It’s great feeling like you’re not alone dealing with this kind of situation.
I found this thread and felt encouraged to share my story here too. I’m okay on most days, but right now I feel really devastated once again 🙁 yet, I am happy I came across this, can read similar stories to mine and maybe a few uplifting replies too.
I went through a breakup, which has been pretty rough. My (now ex) girlfriend, we had been dating for around half a year, our relationship was very beautiful, honest and felt really right for me. Then, she quite suddenly broke up with me because of her worsening mental health. She’s suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts and burnout. She feels guilty for not being able to reciprocate love the same way, due to her mental health and feels like she’s being a burden. It has been very painful, for both of us. We love each other and it’s so difficult for me to accept that I should stay away – the natural thing to do when someone you care about is struggling, is to be there for them. Also, in a way she does let me be around her, just not in a relationship kind-of-way.
We cut contact post-breakup for around a month, then reached out to each other again, the contact intensified, we met up again. The feelings were still there, even almost half a year after we broke up, but she still thinks she needs to deal with this alone. I feel like it’s also really difficult to try to be “just friends”, when feelings and attraction are still involved. The whole situation is just super confusing for me – the connection between us is present as ever, but we can’t be together and I am not sure if some sort of in-between-state would be healthy in the long run, even though I truly wish sticking around was possible. Right now we’re trying to reduce the contact again.
I feel like I should try to move on with my life, but it’s tough – first, because it feels like I’m abandoning her with her illness – even though she basically asked for that when we broke up. Second, because I felt like there was literally nothing wrong between us – and then she just suddenly wanted me to leave.
Of course, the breakup does hurt me too, even though I don’t blame her for anything, I don’t feel any sort of resentment or anger – her depression is something out of our control. But it’s a separation, so of course I need to take care of myself too.
I feel you. Yesterday my bf broke up with me because he’s depressed and suicidal and wants to be alone. We have only had one argument in the few months we’ve been together. We’re both separated so understand each other well but I think he’s right and I respect his honesty that he just can’t give himself to a relationship right now and said he doesn’t want to hurt me more by continuing. I’m devastated but I understand. He knows I’m here to support him but I need to respect his wishes. He doesn’t know how hurt I am because I don’t want to add to his burden but I’m feeling so sad for myself and for him.
It’s so tough, but it does help knowing that so many of us are in a similar situation. I am now struggling a lot with the feeling of abandoning her, because I am trying to move on from the breakup. It’s really difficult for me, because I was there for her even when we weren’t together, but feelings did eventually show up and kind of got in the way. We do send a message now and then, but it’s not like before and I know she’s still struggling a lot. My feelings have become a total mess too, because on the one hand, I am trying to grieve the relationship, but on the other hand, I care a hell lot about her and want to support her, but I am scared of getting hurt again too, because of romantic feelings being involved…
My ex-boyfriend has suffered from lifelong depression. We were in a long-distance relationship for about two and a half years. He was never secretive about his illness and warned me from the start that he would most likely hurt me and run when things got hard. I should have listened and maybe considered running myself, but I fell deeply in love with him. It was always a roller coaster—when he was in a good place, he was the best boyfriend ever; we had the most amazing times and were so connected and he was so emotionally available, but when he got dark (which was pretty frequent, and usually after we had to separate after spending physical time together, which we always tried to do every two months), he would disconnect, his negativity would take over and his mind would sabotage him into believing everything was hopeless (including our relationship). Nearly two years in, he told me he lost his feelings for me and didn’t want to do it anymore. He said the only reason he even stayed alive was for his children (yes, he often made suicidal comments). We took a month off and he was still at the same place. I was sad and confused; just a month prior we had been talking about buying a house together. I knew love still existed between us and just tried to be patient. Shortly after, we started talking again and were back to being each other’s everyday person. We were missing each other terribly and decided to try again. So after six months of not seeing each other, we spent five weeks together over the holidays 2020 and into 2021. Most of the time was perfect; something felt different he felt more calm and more present. But then we had a pretty intense fight and it almost cut the visit short. We had a tear-filled heart to heart and I stayed and we felt somehow closer than ever.
It seemed like we had finally cracked it open enough to really tackle the issues. I came home and we started planning the next visit. He had asked for time off at work and made arrangements with his ex-wife for his kids so he could spend another month with me (the pandemic has been far from kind to long-distance relationships, we had to be creative because as to this day he’s still forbidden to enter the U.S.). But then it happened again. He broke it off again. Said he once truly loved me and had believed I was “the one,” but lost his feelings again. I don’t know how all this could change in a few days and without us even having seen each other. But this time I figured I had to take it seriously. This roller coaster was not fun anymore. But I still love him so much and the thought of losing him was devastating. After a few weeks of no contact, I gave in and reached out and we started communicating again. Writing, talking on the phone, video-chatting sometimes. He stayed firm that he was too unwell to be in a relationship and we tried to keep it to friend talk. But he gradually seemed to be coming around again, admitting that he missed me, saying he kept thinking that would see each other again, and telling me I was the sexiest woman in the world. I felt sure our feelings were mutual. How could he truly mean he didn’t want to be with me when he would share his personal thoughts with me every day, and photos of his life and his family, and call and talk for hours?
But then a few weeks after we had even gone as far as having very sexually intimate video chat, he calls me to tell me that he was going to go out with another woman. It really caught me off guard. I genuinely believed that he would want to be in a relationship with me when he felt ready again, when he was actually putting the work into himself (he is on medication but doesn’t have proper therapy, though he was planning to start in the fall). I got upset and stumbled; I said we couldn’t talk anymore and that he shouldn’t have led me on knowing full well how much I loved him. And he said rather coldly, “Don’t you think that if I loved you we’d be together?” This was like daggers to the heart. But then he seemed a little freaked out and was like, who knows what’ll happen with this woman and that it didn’t mean we couldn’t still talk. But of course it meant that for me. That was two weeks ago and five months into the breakup and I’ve been devastated, I guess because I finally have to accept the breakup as real, accept that he was moving on and probably was just using me so as not to be lonely before finding someone else. I blocked him not because I don’t care about what’s going on in his life (I do of course), but because I have to start thinking about myself more and I genuinely can’t handle the idea of seeing photos of him with a new woman. But yet I somehow feel like I am the one who is abandoning him. And that I didn’t support him enough, show my love enough. And how do you ever know when to really give up on someone fully aware that their feelings are so unstable? Last time he made it very clear how much it meant that I stood by his side. Has anyone gone through a similar situation? I have no choice but to move forward, right? So much of his depression involves him needing instant and constant validation, needing people to “see” him. So I, the girl he pushed away, certainly can’t complete with another woman when I live 4,000 miles away. The fact that he so often told me that his illness made relationships impossible, and that he knew he needed to learn to be comfortable by himself to have a healthy one but now seems willing to jump in and try with someone else is beyond upsetting to me.
“And how do you ever know when to really give up on someone, fully aware that their feelings are so unstable?” That is a really tough question that I ask myself very often… But we really have to stop focusing so much on THEIR wellbeing and focus on us. Even though you care deeply about him and his situation, you can’t forget about your own needs and feelings. You do not deserve to be treated like that, it does not matter it all because of his depression. You simply do not deserve to go through all that.
I can tell how much this hurts you, and I completely understand you. I’m literally in the same place as you. But with time and help from my psychologist, I was able to understand that my need to “fix” him and my willingness to stand by his side even though he didn’t want me to, was just codependency. And I also got to the conclusion that I was even being a little selfish; I wanted him to be okay or “back to normal” so badly, mostly because I wanted to feel happy again, with him by my side. I didn’t want to go through the breakup and admit that the relationship was just not going to work.
I think that introspection, focusing on our healing/life, and therapy can help accelerate this breakup process. That has been really helpful for me.
You’re brave for sharing your story! I wish you happiness and best of luck <3
Very good advice indeed. I’ve reached the point with my similar situation that I’m making the choice to move on with my life. The couple times my ex and I have had any dialogue has been when I initiated the text message to just affirm to him my support and stating my continued caring and being there for him and his response was just a very short brief text in reply. It’s been 7 weeks now since we’ve last seen one another and now 3 weeks since any conversation via text messages exchanged between us. All again have been initiated by me—none by him. I have made the decision not to reach out further to him. I’ve been steadfast with my compassion, concern and support for him. He’s making it abundantly clear to me he doesn’t want me to know anything about his situation in providing any details as to his progress with moving towards what he calls “a better place” that he wanted to be at or sharing and expressing his feelings about things in specific to our relationship. To be honest I have found this to be extremely inconsiderate,insensitive and disrespectful of him in regards to my feelings with what I am as well going through and having to process myself as a result of his depression and how he’s chosen to cope with this situation at hand. He has made the choice to alienate and withdrawal from people who love and care and just want to help him in providing support to him. I get it if you need and want to be alone at times when suffering from depression, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall off the grid all together in terms of communicating which is exactly what my ex has done in regards to communication with me. I know I can’t fix things and I’m not trying to. That is not my place. This has been an enlightening experience nonetheless certainly something I would not want anyone to go through for both the depressed person as well as the non depressed person. I have learned a lot about what depression is, my self , as well as my ex in realizing at this time things appear to not be on our side as a future relationship together and I am coming to terms with that. Be that as it may, we all have what our expectations are for a relationship and what we are willing and are not willing to tolerate within a relationship.
I’m in the same boat, how are you both going?
Thank you so much for your response and I’m very sorry to hear you’ve been going through something similar. I know what you say is 100% the right thing… it’s the advice most people give me, including my therapist, and what I intellectually know that I and everyone else in this situation needs to follow. But it’s so hard. He’s been such a constant presence in my life for the past three years and I miss him every second. I have to force myself a million times a day not to write him even with the silly little details of life that we’d always share. But of course I have become fixated on all the wonderful things we shared while I should be focusing more on the unhealthy stuff, like his emotional unpredictability caused by his highs and lows that would actually sometimes stop me from feeling like I could express my feeling and needs. And, as you say, a large part of it is dealing with the disappointment and devastation that the relationship failed. It feels impossible to contend with having to accept that the person you love and thought loved you in return would just give up, depression or not. And without being mentally ill yourself, it’s hard to fully comprehend the damaging extremes of their fears and negative thoughts.
My ex deciding to go on a date and, who knows, maybe even try a relationship with someone else, while painful beyond belief, in a way makes it easier to shut off to him finally. When he kept using the excuse of him not being well enough to be with anyone, I still felt hope that he at least wasn’t moving on from me. But I agree, this treatment isn’t fair to us. We need partners who will love us and be there for us through thick and thin. I did read your story below and am wondering if you think the pandemic and being long-distance played a part in what happened in your relationship?
I know it’s extremely hard! I pray we all can get through this difficult time soon. Everything feels really heavy right now, but you’ll figure it out, like you probably always have! I hope that knowing you’re not the only one can provide you some comfort.
And I don’t know if that played a part in what happened. When he told me he was feeling like this, he said he didn’t understand why he was feeling that way; that he didn’t have any reasons. I understand your frustration and anger because I feel the same way! I even feel bad sometimes for being so angry at him… We were doing so good, and he was the man I wanted to marry and have kids with. Somehow it feels like he screwed MY whole future (the one I had planned, with him in my life). Now I find myself depressed, disoriented/lost, unmotivated, you name it!
That’s a question I’ve been struggling with lately. To make a very long story as short as possible I’ve been with my (now ex) for 3 years. We have been long distance for the last year due to a move he had to make. Everything was going well (although I now realize that I saw signs of odd behavior from day one) but nothing of major concern.
I had been visiting him almost every month, we planned future trips, shows etc.
We also talked about me making a move at some point to be with him.
A few weeks back after a great visit with him, literally over night he seemed so cold and distant. Usually we would talk, text and FaceTime multiple times a day and may I add, so much laughter was part of a lot of those calls…. We just loved to egg each other on in a fun banter kind of way. I never didn’t get a good morning call (or text if he was busy at work and couldn’t speak) and we would talk every night before bed. That all stopped. If this man said he was going to call, he called. All of a sudden the “I’ll call you later” call never came, the good morning texts stopped. The cold short answers to my text “how is your day going” went from story after story about things going on in his day to a cold “days good” and never did I get back a “how is your day” in return.
This fun, silly, kind man seemed like a person I didn’t know, let alone one I would have been in a relationship with for 3 years!
When I asked him ( about 4 days after I Got home from the visit) what was wrong he just said “ I don’t think I have the same feelings for you” and blocked me on everything except email. I received an email about 2 days after that call saying he has been depressed and drinking way more then I ever knew and that his feelings changed. He then said goodbye.
About 2 weeks later I did send an email to see how he was feeling and he proceeded to tell me he had been hospitalized, drunk, depressed having black outs and suicidal thoughts. I was in shock. He also said that he was “talking to people” to get help. He told me all this lead to how our relationship came to an end. I responded to the email of course and told him I’m here if he needs anything and that although I don’t know exactly what he is going through …I’m a call or drive away need be. I never heard back… I reached out a few days later again with a similar email….nothing.
Fast forward another two weeks and I received an email saying he is doing well, took up a sport, may be buying a house, lost weight and is working out. Basically life is great! What!??!
And this is the short version of the story….I’m heartbroken and at a lose.
This is so confusing, insane actually.
Did you get in touch with him again since then?
My partner, who is the love of my life is living with depression. He broke up with me over text few days ago.
I too don’t want to give up on him, it is a normal reaction, which he won’t understand because of how his mind operates.
I haven’t got a great deal of experience with depression, but while I say you should never give up on those that are close to you, moving on with your life does not equal giving up.
You have to live too.
Also, it seems that the depression seems to be this other person inside of the person, who has temporarily taken over. When he has his episode it isn’t him telling you he doesn’t love you anymore.
My boyfriend and I broke up a couple of months ago. Everything seemed perfect, we had a beautiful, mature relationship for 2 years. Even though we were long-distance the whole time, distance was never a big problem. A month before we broke up, he told me he was feeling depressed and really anxious and didn’t know why, that he didn’t want me to go visit him at the time (he told me all this a day before my flight lol). Cancelled my flight, felt all type of emotions, but decided not to take it personally and be there for him. He stopped texting/calling me, I was always the one who initiated conversations etc… It got to a point where I couldn’t take it personally, and I told him to be honest with me about how he felt about me and our relationship. He told me that has emotionally numbed, he couldn’t feel love or affection for me, not even for his parents. THAT BROKE MY HEART INTO A MILLION PIECES. Having someone you love so deeply tell you that he doesn’t feel anything about you anymore must be one of the hardest thing to hear. I STILL STOOD BY HIS SIDE, and decided not to leave him because “it was just the depression talking”. But after a month, I couldn’t take it anymore and that’s when we broke up. I was dealing with my own things -that he didn’t even know about- plus dealing with the fact that my PERFECT relationship didn’t even feel like a relationship anymore.
I’m still so shocked with everything. He was a literal sunshine for me and everyone that knows him. I just can’t understand how he could go from being that person I wanted to grow old with to someone that would make me feel so miserable. I wish things could go back to the way they were, but I don’t know if that will ever happen. That uncertainty has me so devastated I can even put it into words.
I don’t know if I should keep texting him, letting him know I’m here for him, or if I should just give him space and wait for him to look for me whenever he feels ready (if that ever happens).
Have you heard from him at all?
We’ve talked a few times after we broke up. I initiated a couple of those convos but he has also texted me to check in. :/
I’m going through something very similar and I’m at a loss. I don’t know whether I should leave him alone and not communicate, or keep checking on him. I went online to find some words of advice and came across your post. Good luck and I hope it works out!!
Sorry to hear that, I wouldn’t want anyone to go through this! What are you doing to cope/deal with this situation?
And thanks, good luck for you too <3
I can tell how much you’re hurting; I am too. What are you doing to deal/cope with this situation and feelings?
and thanks, same goes to you <3
Your story is almost like mine. We were in LDR which were different counties. The night before broke up he said he love me so much and want to be with me, he said he will text me in the morning. He had been silence all day until 2 pm in his time, he said he was not ready to be in a relationship. He didnt know what he feel or what he want. He didnt know that he still love me or not. He said he need me physically more than text or call. So… he broke up with me and said he want space and time. I asked if we can still in touch. He said we could try but he need space to sort out himself first. I gave what he want. We didnt communicate since and it’s been almost a week now. And the day after we broke up, he unfriend me in discord. But still follow me in instagram and things.
I miss him. I hope that one day we will meet again and get back together.
My goal now is to focus on myself physically and mentally. I still hope that when the border open i could travel to see him but it could took months before that, at that time maybe he will completely forget me and his feelings. But this is all I can do for now to keep myself distract and focus in things.
I feel you :/ It’s hard when you don’t know what to do; either wait for that person to come back or let go of them COMPLETELY. You’re doing the right thing by focusing on yourself and other things. Give to yourself all the love you wish you could give him.
I’m positive we’re going to be okay, and soon this pain will feel a lot lighter.
Let’s trust the universe and its ways of teaching us life lessons.
Hey, I’m sorry you’re going through this – I’m going through exactly the same thing almost word for word 🙁 it’s so hard to know what to do, or what to expect. It’s been a week since my bf broke up with me and I just feel lost, and empty, I miss sharing the details of our day, I care about him. He can’t even say he wants to try again if he feels better, but still checked in with me today. I don’t know what to think! I want to be there for him but my heart is broken and I’m trying to deal with that so how can I be a friend to him? Depression is the worst – it completely destroys people. I just wanted to say you’re not alone in this xx
Same….my boyfriend left me 3 days ago, just last week we were talking about How we’re gonna paint the kitchen in our new home … We had a fight on sat morning because he was struggling with depression for a while… Every day was up and down and since we were living together I felt a lot of it so now and then we’d get into a discussion since he refused to get help …
I was out of it and told him that sometimes I rather be alone than with grumpy him…. I obvs didn’t mean it, but he packed his things and left me…. Just like that …. Last month we were in Paris and had the most amazing trip and now he’s gone …. Leaving me only with his TV and his memories and I room I can’t go back to because it smells like him
He told me he couldn’t be in a relationship rn cuz he was depressed and had to go through it alone….
I just can’t believe he’s gone, he is the love of my life and I just want him back …
I don’t know if this also happened with anyone else. Mine broke up the same way almost 2 months ago-suddenly like a light switch he has not admitted it was depression but I think it is. I believe he has that high function/hidden type. I am the love of his life, he is still in love with me, but he has a big problem that he can’t deal with it and being in a romantic relationship at the same. It is not fair to me and not good for our relationship. He does not know how to deal with it and doesn’t feel it is going to get better, our if or when. I deserve so much better type of talk. He said he tried to do the relationship and deal with the problem and he realized he can’t. He is working out (hasn’t told me but I believe this is his coping). We went from seeing each other constantly being super close to him just shutting down. He is very private so ofc he does not come out and say it.
No one else know of the problem he is that skilled at hiding it. I wanted to ask if any of your SO almost made a deliberate line of friendship. We still alot talk everyday (though he is quieter) and we have even seen each other and he keeps telling me I am helping him (the friend part). And he thinks of me so much, and I am helping him o much. I just find it so strange to have this demarcation. Also when we do see each other he is very affectionate, (huge and cuddle).
He has repeatedly told me that if not for this problem, we would be together. IT is horrible.
I feel that the friend thing is so that he feels he still has me. He is trying to keep the emotional piece alive. I can see he is having a harder day today.
Once I said to keep trying bc I need him back and he told me he doesn’t like when I say that, or talk about the thing that separated us.
Does anyone else see them draw this line of friendship and avoid the romantic relationship part–Like obsess bc they need to solve the problem on their own and not have that in it.
I have been with my partner for about 4 months. We are both older in our 50’s. He has 3 kids and I have 2. All roughly around same age teenagers. We have had an amazing first 3 months into our relationship. Connecting on many different levels and really enjoying our time together. He had taken on a temp job that he knew would be coming to an end late May. Around this same time when his temp job came to an end he went to visit his aging mother who lives in another state whom he hadn’t seen in over a year due to the pandemic. He wasn’t looking forward to the trip for a variety of reasons including seeing his mother in a declining condition from his last visit. Upon returning from his trip he became much more withdrawn with our relationship with the amount of texting and phone calls we would exchange. We did continue to see one another but our togetherness was different now than it has been prior to these events. I took note and we discussed this and he acknowledged things were beginning to affect him as a result of recent events that had come upon him with life events with now not working and having no luck in finding a permanent job in his profession and with his visit recent visit to see his mom. We continued to see one another but definitely with the weight of the stress in his life. What was the breaking point was when he learned of one of his best friends death that took place unexpectedly that really tip things for him and us. All these situational episodes has placed him in a state of mental trauma. He told me that he’s never had this much piled up on him at once as it is happening now and in the past he’s always had to handle his mental trauma on his own and this is the way he deals with issues. Right or wrong it’s his way by shutting everyone out and processing it on his own. He affirms he’s not in a good place and wishes he could be. I’ve expressed to him that I don’t want the relationship to end as a result of these events and that taking a step back might be better so that he can deal with these pressing issues. I’ve told him that I’m here for him and want to support him in any way that I can but I understand he’s not in a good place right now. I’ve asked him what my being there for him looks like to him and how I can best achieve that for him at his comfort level. His response was that he cares for me as well and that he just needs some time alone and appreciates knowing that I’m there for him. He says he hopeful when he gets to a better place we can discuss things then. I’m really struggling with this. How can I show him just how much I care and really love him when he’s asking to be alone? I want to honor his request and not overstep as I know too that might just push him further away. I’m just feeling helpless and confused. Probably many of the same feelings he’s feeling at this time. I have at this point no idea of how’s he doing and or feeling because we haven’t reached out to one another in almost 2 weeks. Suggestions would be appreciated along with prayers. I find myself seeking scripture more and more these days to help calm my insecurities and doubts about things. I’m just concerned about him and most importantly want him to get to a better place. I don’t believe he’s suicidal as I would be calling 911 for help. I don’t believe he suffers from chronic depression I think this is more situational depression based upon the homework I’ve been doing learning about depression.
Your situation seems very similar to mine right down to the age and prayers. Wondering if you have any updates
I would love to get an update from you to see how things are going? I’m in a very similar situation as well, similar age also.
The only suggestion I have comes from advice I’ve seen others give. Honor his wish to be alone, send supportive messages every now and then to remind him you are there and you care about him, and spend your time focusing on yourself and your own wellbeing as much as possible.
What’s obsess BC. I relate to this wholeheartedly as I’m the depressed partner and what he does is exactly what I do, imagine the pain of knowing, absolutely knowing your are unable to have a relationship fully with the person you love, it is never a reflection on you, it’s an illness, if you want to help study this illness from top to bottom. He wants your friendship for you are the one who knows him fully he believes, though not the depression side only the symptoms of it. He needs and I mean needs hugs and cuddles, to know he is safe and not about to literally die on the spot, it’s a reminder of life the hugs and cuddles, for when depressed you die a bit each time, so imagine being reminded of your death over and over, you should never talk about it to him like you know for you do not, take his lead however small and confusing, it will never be an easy road, but never try to let him feel your helping or looking at his illness, it’s the same as staring at a person in a wheelchair or someone with badly scared face, or pointing out an amputee. Let him own it!
Mine broke up with me nearly a month ago now. She said it’s because she is hurting me and can’t be there for me in a relationship sense because of the things that have happened to her over the past 8 months and if these situations hadnthave happened we would still be together. Throughout the relationship I always listened and cared for her, but similar to your ex I never shared my deep feelings with her. She felt so one-sided emotionally. Because of her depression she drifted from me and stopped doing the things she used to do. It really hurt seeing her like that because I’m still so protective and caring towards her. It was only in the last 2 weeks of the relationship that I opened up to her and told her about the situations with my family and in life. And she felt do overwhelmed that she replied with “its okay”. I didn’t want to put any added pressure onto her which is why i didnt say anything throughout bc I didn’t think she could handle it. But the main point is that she would have been able to, if it wasn’t for her own problems too. We are both at our lowest which is why it hurt so muchnthat she felt she needed to end it just so she could stop hurting us and get her head sorted bc she feels that she has only relied on others in her life to overcome problems and now is finally taking action. We are still friends, we still text everyday since. But there isn’t any confirmation of us getting back together when she is better bc she doesn’t know when she will. I just wish I had treated her better but she would disagree with that and vice versa. I used her depression as an excuse for hurting me – and I still do when i know it isn’t right for her to have completely shut me out and take anger out on me, show no affection or interest so suddenly. I was still there for her and did my best and she recognised that, but couldn’t talk to me. And thats what hurts that she has been emotionally unstable since the beginning of the relationship and it got better to the point she truly loved herself and now it’s at the lowest point. I relied on her and I should have let her know in the relationship but I didn’t realise I was depressed because I had been so overwhelmed for so long. Truly miss this girls smile.
I want to help her solve the problems together and she can do that with mine, but we’re doing it as friends and on our own – I fear her seeing me as a stranger bc that’s how it seemed in the last few months. Depression really fucks people up. Like your ex I was good at hiding it because I didn’t want to put any pressure on people or I thought that they wouldn’t care. Things have been numb for so long and she made it better and now she’s there as a friend. Looking back at recent photos texts and memories is awful, seeing your happiest loving other turn miserable that’s what is upsetting. She said not to wait for her bc it’s unfair and it is but i still want to bc my feelings are so strong towards her i have never had a connection like that in my life and it’s all with her.
The first part of your story is mine, word for word almost.
I have only just heard that he needs to leave me.
I have made the decision to stand by him simply because I love him unconditionally, however now because he has pushed me away I must give him space and simply check on him occasionally.
I am sorry I can’t provide more at this time but you’re not alone in this shit situation xx.
My boyfriend and I were together for 10 months total. We became official after 3 months of dating. We met at work, he is still my manager. Everything was perfect, we went on trips, lots of dates, it got to the point where we were together everyday. We both have a history of depression, and it was something we had talked about the first few months of dating. In March, I broke up with him because I needed reassurance and validation that he wanted to be with me, he asked me to stay, and it was all I needed to hear, I know it was wrong and I promised I would never break up with him again unless I meant it. I later let him know why this was and he said he understood me. A week later he broke up with me but we decided to try again that same day. He was distant at first but then things felt normal again. I could tell he was going through some things but I was patient and tried my best to be there for him. I gave him the space he needed until he was ready to start going out again and spending time with me. We were happy, seeing each other almost everyday again, telling one another how much we loved and appreciated each other. Then two months later, we started arguing again and he broke up with me again, but once again decided to try again that same day so we never officially broke up. Again he was distant afterward and I believed it was just another thing we were going to get through but it began affecting me and when I talked to him about it he told me he needed a break. He reassured me that there wasn’t anybody else, and that I had been an amazing girlfriend and did a lot for him but he just needed time to figure things out on his own. We took a break last weekend for a week and officially broke up this weekend. He says we did not go wrong, that I did not do anything wrong, but that he was not happy and he thought it was best to break up so he would not have me waiting for him because that was not fair to him. He told me that he still loves me and will always have love for me as a person but he can not be in a relationship when he does not even love himself. I told him I did not want to break up but that I agreed it was best. I also told him I did not want to lose him and he told me he will always be there but he just couldn’t right now. We ended on good terms and I asked him if we could try again in the future. He was open to the idea. I also told him I would be checking up on him if it was okay with him and he said it would be okay but in the future because for now, he just wanted to be alone. I want to respect his space, and I do believe that we were good for one another, overall our relationship was healthy, and great. I do not want to move on, but I don’t know if I’m being too hopeful..
Hey, I‘m going through the exact same thing right now. Is there a possibility that I could talk about this with you? Of course only if you‘re ready to talk about it with anyone!
My girlfriend broke up with me on Tuesday…also out the blue. I am literally going through the same thing, but growth has taught me that it’s best to let them go find the answers they seek. Do not impress ourselves upon them. No contact. Let them go. If they come back, it was meant to be, if not, then you know it was not. This is not my first rodeo, and I’ve experienced this with a couple suitors in the past. Believe me: do not hold your breath. They may never return and you have to work on yourself and become ok with that. Restrain yourself from sending long, emotional messages and calling. Stop it. It will only push them away further and overload their already strained and stressed emotions. Let them sort out what they need to- again, if you know in your heart you did nothing wrong, you have to let it be and move on. You are worth happiness and stability. Give them what they are asking for. Let them go. Put your energy into your own strength and happiness.
Are they doing these same behaviors to family members or other friends ? Meaning cutting them out? That is what I don’t get–it seems like the significant other is the one getting cut out from their lives.
It happened to me also, last week. We were together for 2.5 years. He said he needs to get better and has to do it on his own. But he still goes to work and still meets friends and takes care of his children. The only change in his life is leaving me. It is so frustrating!
Yeah same here. I have been with mine for 11yrs she just left 5 months ago and we share a 3 yr old daughter. We were suppose to buy a house and do things together now I’m sitting here like wtf!!!
Im going through the something similar me and my ex girlfriend are both 19 she broke up with me because of depression and that she was emotionally drained she didnt realize she was depressed till about a few weeks ago
Her breaking point was that i lied to her about cancleing our plans to get a hotel room so i could get her something for her birthday i lied and told her i was going to the gym so i could have time to prepare the gifts i got her she said that i was acting weird and thought i was going to go meet up with another woman even though ive never cheated on her nor have i ever showed signs of being unfaithful to her she said that she just couldnt keep going through this with me and that i was emotionally draining her so the next day i walked her presents over to her house in the rain and the people she lived with let me into her house i made my way to her room and brought the presents to her she woke up to me setting them by her bed then she asked me how i got to her house and why i was wet i told her i walked in the rain she asked me why i did it i told her that i loved her and that id do anything for her and right when i was about to leave she begged me to stay and sleep in bed with her and she scooted closer to me so we could cuddle we slept for a few hours then she dropped me off i realized i left my umbrella at her her house and texted her to bring it back i saw this as the perfect oppertunity to get her back i got her a giant basket of flowers and a teddy bear and some balloons when she came to my house to drop the umbrella off me and my mom brought out the gifts to her and my mom tried to talk to her to get an understanding of our relationship to try and convince her to stay with me they talked for a while and she said she needed some time to decide on what she wanted to do and after she left my mom had told me that she said that she was madly in love with me and that she wanted to stay but she wasnt sure if she was there mentally and that she needed some time to gather herself she called me the next day and said she couldnt do it anymore and that she dosnt wanna leave me but she’s not in the best shape right now for a relationship and that she wants to come back in the future but is scared that ill be with another woman i was so heart she messaged me the next day and told me that She’ll always love me i messaged her 4 days later and asked her how she was doing and i sent her the song i made her and it made her cry she said that things were hard without me a week later i called her and tried to get her to come back but she said “i already told you im not ready for a relationship and im done fucking crying over you” she screamed that to me and she sounded like she was about to cry and she hung the phone up on me while i was talking i havntt contacted her since i figured she needed space she ended up deactivating her facebook a few days later i love her and i wanna be there for her and i eventually want us to get back together when shes ready
Should i just stop contacting her and let her come to me
Thank you for this article, and thanks for all the stories. It really helps me understand. I would love some advice though!
Me and my boyfriend have been together for about 10 months. We felt like this was our final destination, us being together.
In the beginning everything was amazing. Slowly I started seeing his autism and depression. Out of the blue, he broke up with me after a bad day. I took some distance, then showed my support as a friend.
After some weeks he asked to get back together. We did. From that moment he was open and vulnerable. Took medication and therapy. I was supportive. Always. It took my quite some energy, but I wanted to be there for him.
He always says I was the first person where he could be himself, and that I was the love of his life.
The last weeks his depression seems to be at his worst. Bad days only, negative thoughts.
Monday we had a great day together. Thursday he had a bad day. I come over, made food and listened to him. Gave advice. Went home.
Friday he broke up with me. I always give advice, instead of just being there for him. I made him feel more autistic. I wasn’t the only one he could be himself with. Our communication sucks. We grew apart. Etc etc etc.
At first I showed him my perspective. But after him saying all those harsh words, I asked what he want. He then broke up. I left without saying a word.
Torn because I love him.
Torn because it came out of the blue.
Torn because to me it makes no sense.
I now know this was his depression speaking and deciding. Everything current is bad, so let’s leave that.
My friends are saying I should not seek contact, like I did the last time. He has to take steps himself.
But I am also worried that if I dont send him something, he will think I forgot him and that I don’t care anymore.
What are your experiences with contacting your ex partner after they break up with you?
Really sorry for the long post… I’ve just been really eye-opened by most of these stories and just need a bit of advice…
I was only with my ex boyfriend for quite a short time (7/8 months) and he was v upfront about all his mental health issues when we first met. It was great when we first started hanging out, we spent a lot of time together and i fell very in love with him, which is very unlike me. I have had a series of serious relationships that have lasted a lot longer but I really fell for him unlike anything before.
I thought that he really loved me, and when we spent time together its just so nice, but he explained at the start he has been ill for over 10 years with depression and had no intention of making the effort to get better, and that all the effort and energy he was putting in might not last.
Things started to decline slowly and he kept having periods of pushing me away and i’d just leave him to it after letting him know i was there etc and it was fine. He then moved in for 3 weeks and I completely fell in love with him and he seemed to be doing much better.
He then lost his job and pushed me away massively and kept saying he couldn’t give me anything and that i was too caring and kind and he didn’t deserve me, which upset me because i feel like you should both want to be kind to one another and it shouldn’t be a criticism.
Anyway, things slowly declined again and he was barely able to leave his house etc which made me worry a lot and when I started feeling stressed I brought it up (which I regret). He refused to come meet me so I spoke to him over the phone about him being distanct and he didn’t say a word. He then sent me a text saying I care too much, and although he loves being with me, hes not ok and wants me to forget I exist.
I asked him to meet in person so we could at least leave it well, if thats what he wants still and he then bailed twice. I then sent him a few messages saying i cared and wanted him in my life still as a friend and was he sure etc which he basically ignored apart from asking for some space and time, which I have now given him.
I stopped contacting him altogether because just want him to be happy and if he’s happier without me due to needing to work on himself then thats for the best. But I also cant help worrying that I’ve done the wrong thing.
He’s got in contact twice since saying he wants to see me, but bailed the first time so I’m scared to respond to the second because I miss him and love him and don’t want to make things worse if he’s not even in the place to meet up with me
I want to support him through this, but I don’t want him to make me feel like he has recently.
Sorry for the essay, I guess I just want to know if you think I should be trying to be friends or telling him I still love him etc??
Has anyone had a similar situation? I definitetly do NOT want to pressure him to be with me, but I dont know if I just affirmed he couldnt make me happy (when I actually do just really love him) and I don’t want to be needy or push him away if he just needs a friend
We are both 24 and very young but he keeps saying he wants to be alone in the middle of nowhere and hes tired of being a burden… I just dont know if I should fight for him and make sure he knows how much i love him or if I should just give him space ? Because our ending was so unclear from both of us It’s hard to know what to do and I’m worried if i go back we will both be unhappy!
*forget he exists.
I think its important to include that everything was really fine before the phone call where I admittedly said it was a rollercoaster and was starting to make me feel unhappy – I’ve apologised since and he said its fine and that he’s not angry, just v low and stressed.
I just don’t know if I should just leave him alone completely and ignore him, try to be friends or tell him that I love him and want to be there for him. Its very confusing !! I just know whatever I’m stressed about doesn’t compare to anything he’s feeling and I don’t want to add to his problems in any way
I fully recognize myself in your story. Sorry to hear you are going through this.
I have been with my bf for about 10 months. He broke up with me after 3 months after a great time together. Turned out he was depressed. I kept in touch, carefully, which led to us getting back together. He then became more open about his depression. It was tough, but we had a good relationship where he could be himself and I would be there for him. He said I was the love of his life.
The last month he was having more and more moments of utter sadness. I was still there for him. Took him out, etc.
He said he was so happy to have me on monday. Then broke up with me on Friday. Out of the blue.
All of a sudden everything was bad about our relationship. A new life would be better. And his previous relationships weren’t that bad (even though he always told me they were). Pretty harsh words.
I KNOW this is his depression talking. Just like it was with your boyfriend. I feel the urge to send him this website I found about why you shouldn’t break up when having a depression, or at least go through 5 steps of thought.
But everyone around me is saying HE is the one that needs to step up this time. Just like this article is saying.
Difficult, because I know what we had/have is good.
Thanks so much, it’s so helpful to know you are going through the same thing!
I think I will do the same and try keep contact gently for now but also to move on with my life. I’m supposed to be seeing him this week which will no doubt be hard.
I think the main thing I’ve realised from reading stories on here is that unless they are seeking help, its likely to be a repeated pattern and I’m not sure I can deal with being pushed away so often…
I agree with what you say – its so hard to know what to do! I’m still v confused but just trying to give space
Agreed! In fact, even of they seek help, changes are they will continue to push us away at certain times.
I send him a message today.. That I am heartbroken and saw and still see a future in him and us, and that I find support in reading other stories. And that these stories helped me realize that I cannot help him.
Hope your encounter this week will be okay. Stay true to yourself and your boundaries and keep us updated!
That is so true Rosie,
you have to focus on your self instead, Lily.
I know it will be a slow hard months of progress but you’ll get there. I posted my my similar situation and I resonate so well with how they’ve gone through.
6months from our break up, I had no contact and change my focus on to myself which was hard on my early months of break up. Starting from there, it gets better and better.
Right now, your man is overwhelmed and nothing would get through his head.
He will continue to caved in and continue just pushing every one away.
The more you push a talk and your feelings for him, the more he will reject you. Remember he is overwhelmed already and probably has more than responsibility outside relationship that he wanted to manage as well so if you include your feelings and pushed it towards him. He will fall even more on a deep pit.
That’s what happen to me.
I did all the wrong things and now that I cleared my mind, I realise all I need was to understand him and leave him alone until he comes through with his own power.
It was my insecure attachment and his avoidant management leads to our break up, it was too late for us to turn the point of managing our relationship into harmonious because I panicked and felt insecure that he wouldn’t be able to spend time with me. I now knew I had to work on my self to and heal my insecurities. I got a proper job, created a life and more friends. I barely go back to the mindset of heartbreak, i let things go after 4months of dwelling from it.
Move forward and focus on yourself and get busy. Let things go and trust the universe that what is meant to be in your life will manifest as long as you focus on your well being.
It takes patience to wait for him but do not wait to the point you can’t function.
He is a grown man, he can think and care for himself. He needs to walk alone and grow for himself. Men do need time alone to think clearly. If he is able to push his barrier and realised that your existence brings light to him. He will bring himself to you. Trust the process of the universe
Hi I wanted to share my experience. I however am the depressed one who left my boyfriend. I wasn’t handling life . I left my job and I left him and moved in with my parents. It’s not easy. I am seeking help. Sometimes I know he tried his best but other times I just want to be alone and think the world is out to get me. I know I push himr away but it’s because I fele like I will be wasting his time. I love him but I can’t stand how put so much stress on him so I tell him to move on eventhough that would break me even more butni think it’s best that I’m the only sad one and not both of us. I think hopefully he can find someone who isn’t depressed to be happy with. We care but we need help. I’m seeking help now. We still talk and I want us to be together but I need to get better first. We lived together for 4 years and have a dog together. It all breaks my heart that I couldn’t pull it together.
thank you so much for all your help/advice
I had ignored his message for some weeks saying he wanted to meet and I’m finally feeling a lot better and clearer, its helped a lot hearing all your stories. I’ve just said I want to meet but I’m going to go as a friend and not talk about anything that’s happened. I think it’s best that way for both of us.
If he bails again I think I will send a note with his stuff saying I am there as a friend if he needs and I miss his company but nothing more. Then I guess just try to move on from it and forget. you are right – there’s nothing we can do except not put our problems on someone who is already struggling a lot!
It’s just hard having so many friends etc tell you that its them being horrid or making it up because I feel like its very sad to see someone you care about struggle and when you begin to understand it, its almost a bit too late… in my case anyway…
Sorry to everyone going through this – it’s hard not knowing the line between the illness and the person
This was so needed. My bf of 1 1/2 years started spiraling in November and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was blindsided. He has so much baggage from his life .then Covid . He was always the fixer and raised that men are tough and just take it. Bury the pain. And he has taken so much.
He needed time to fix himself and focus on his kids(he has custody). And I responded with the anxiety and depression. We sporadically texted but he continued to refuse my support . So we have had no contact since February.
I’m dying inside. He is the most amazing man and it’s like he died. He said he hopes to become the man I fell in love with. But he never wasn’t that man. He was perfect.
I’m broken and this page has helped me cope a bit.
I don’t know if I’m hopeless and stupid for hanging on
my wife developed over the last weeks a very heavy depression. We have been together for 13years now, it is my 2nd one.
I realised since quite a while ago that she has growing problems, but it never reflected in our partnership.
Actually two weeks ago she told me that she cannot imagine her life without me, that she loves me extremely much etc etc..
This switched now completely – I am the first “problem” to be solved. She want to move out stay alone. She confronted me with a list of all the things I have done wrong – I have to admit that most of them are right- and that she cannot stay with me any longer, also to protect me and that her feelings for me will never come back. In her words, I destroyed her.
We were a couple that did everything together and couldn’t stand the idea of being separated.
She has many unsolved issues from her childhood and previous partnerships, but at the moment everything is focused on me and our partnership and the problems we have. To be honest, there are problems in our partnership but nothing which – from my point of view – cannot be sorted out.
She want to start therapy next week, she already has an appointment, which is good. I am trying to be supportive and understanding, I know that she is in a tunnel and doesn’t see any light at the end of it.
With all the problems we have I love her extremely much and I want to fight to keep the relationship alive and to actively work on it. I know she cannot right now but I hope that she will be able to after a while.
She cannot imagine that, she is decided that she needs to go her own way now, without me and that she will only hurt me even more if she stays.
It kills me.
I will also look for help, I am not a depressive person and have no tendency for any kind of depression, so far. Nevertheless, I want to look for professional help as well.
I would be very thankful if anybody has something to say about this.
I have been with my partner for 5 years! We are saving to buy a house together, we live together and have a dot together at the moment!
We do have our ups and downs, but who doesn’t. We work together also, which does put a strain on our relationship, but we are both being made redundant soon so we are almost out of the workplace! But 5 days ago, after a small argument, he has decided to leave! And moving out within the same week.
His reasons are, he has been in back to back relationships since he was 16, he is now 28 and I am 26! So he feels he has never been on his own and know who he is. He isn’t the person I fell in love with, he has no energy as a person, he is miserable in work which takes a toll on him, and he has no energy to show me love and affection like he should. He has left and he says it’s the right decision for the both of us because he is dragging me down and not being the partner he should and I deserve, and for him to get to be a better version of himself he needs to do this and be on his own! I am absolutely heart broken! I have said to him I think he is depressed and he can see that, Iv asked him to stay and let me help him but he said no he needs to be alone for this to happen. He doesn’t want me to wait or anything like that! His 100% with his decision
Hi there – sorry to hear about this, I’m experiencing an identical situation with my partner of 3 years right now. We’ve been great and then all of a sudden he tells me that nothing in his life feels right (work, friends, family, us) and he needs to go on his own to figure it out. No timeline nothing, just needs to not be in a relationship. I’m very hurt because we also have a dog and a life out here together that I feel like he’s abandoning but I’m trying to remove my ego and think about his mental state first. How are you doing now that it’s been a few months, any tips?
My boyfriend and I had only been together for six months when he broke up with me a week ago. He said he wasn’t feeling like his happy self and has a lot going on with his family and didn’t want to talk about it because he didn’t want to make me unhappy. He said that he ‘wanted me to carry on with my life without him in it’. But then he’s decided he wants us to be friends and he still messages me which is very confusing. He has bad anxiety which he’s on medication for. I want to support him but I can’t just switch off my feelings and be friends the way he seems to be able to.
Hey Maree… this seems very similar to my situation… do you know what you have decided to do?
No, I haven’t really decided yet. I said there would have to be stipulations for us to be friends, I felt like there had to be clear boundaries since he’s decided all we can be is friends. However, he wasn’t happy with my boundaries and then presented me with a point by point argument of why breaking up is for my own good. We have been talking through text mostly and it’s very confusing for me because a lot of the time there’s nothing different in his tone from when we were together and it’s still flirty but then the next day it flips and it’s very one word replies. My friends think I should just cut him off completely but I’m not sure I can but at the same time I feel like I’m the one constantly getting hurt
The short answer is no not at all. The long answer is I tried to come up some boundaries for any potential friendship but he didn’t take well to that and outlined point by point why breaking up with me was for my own good. We’re still talking everyday via text and sometimes his side of the conversation is very much the same as it was while we were together but then other times it’s very one worded replies. My friends think I should just cut him off but I don’t think I can but also I’m the one getting hurt.
Yes so I’m very confused as well.. We broke up after a small argument as well but I did say I was thinking of ending things if he couldn’t put more effort in. I gave him an out 3 times before saying if it was too tough that was fine & I wouldn’t mind but he said no.
I said I wanted to be friends but he kept ignoring me. Now I’ve stopped trying he keeps texting and calling. I’m now leaving it but maybe I should try to be friends and create some boundaries? Do you mind if I ask you how old you are? I do feel like sometimes its better to just move on if its really hurting you!
My husband left me and said he no longer loves me after spending 9years together, We have a beautiful daughter of 6 Years. I was not able to understand just how someone can fall out of love after 9years marriage The fact that he feels the way that he does. He no longer wants to do anything with me talk to me or see me I feel that our marriage can be saved but it was miserable when my partner doesn’t want anything to do with me. few weeks ago a friend told me about priest olokun and i reach him through his email [priestolokun@gmail. com] after 7 days my husband came to me and he admitted that everything he had been doing to me was wrong and he truly apologized.
My boyfriend broke up with me two days ago over text and he told me it was because of his mental health. We’re both 18. I knew he had been struggling for a while and he’s been distant for the past month or two but I still feel blindsided by this, I really thought we would work through it together. We had a great relationship, we barely fought, we loved each other and listened to each other. I did my best to support him even though there is some distance between us, I’m in school and he’s living at home an hour and a half away. I’m crushed right now and I haven’t contacted him since the day he broke up with me. He said he would call this “a break” if he knew when he would be better, but that he doesn’t know when that will be. I know I need to give him space but I was wondering if I should send some sort of check-in text in a month or so or let him contact me?
No leave it be, dont contact him unless he contact you but do left him a final message, if you ever need me or want to talk, im here. This way he has the ball on his court when he finally reach out after a battle on himself. He need to focus onhimself without worrying about if you get mad or angry when he doesnt feel like replying.
So here is my story and what I’ve been going through over the last few weeks with my boyfriend of five years…
I will preface the story by saying this: for some years, I have been trying to get an answer as to when we will take our “next steps”. It has never been the right time… we live apart. He lives at home with his parents (he is 29 years old) and I live alone (I am 30 years old).
Now the situation with the boyfriend – he is going through a deep depression.
I’ve always known he has suffered with anxiety, has admitted he had commitment issues but after he met me, things changed. I also know he has abandonment issues because his father walked out on him when he was 16.
The reason for the depression is because he has just had to close a business which he owned with his brother – his brother decided to end it because they clash in personality. They have not spoken in 6 months (his brother has been fighting depression for a few years too). They had very respectable jobs and I think there is some ego there in terms of the status of that job. My boyfriend is also turning 30 in a few months and is feeling lost and going through the “who am I” and “what is my purpose” thing. I get it – I’ve been through it. I know how difficult it can be when you are thrust into the unknown and now, without your best friend (in his case, his brother).
A couple of weeks ago, I freaked out a little… seeing everything collapse for him scared me. I have been trying for the next steps in our relationship (just TALKING about moving out together) and seeing this all happening made me wonder why he wasn’t talking to me about where this now leaves our future. Admittedly, it was awful timing. I said I needed the time to think about our relationship because said he can’t offer any answers about it and when, however knows he wants to be with me long term but isn’t sure about marriage and children one day. I fear we aren’t on the same path. I have been trying to get an answer out of him and again, there has always been an excuse as to why he can’t answer it – too busy, work is very stressful and of course, now this.
So, we took a week break and I thought it may benefit him for some space. I have said during the space break, that he could reach out any time and we could talk. He hasn’t.
After some time apart, I realised how awful the timing of my question was and told him I was extremely sorry about asking for answers now and to put things aside so I can support him through his lull. I said I loved him dearly and we can have the conversation when he makes it out of the dark forest. He didn’t reply for a few days.
After my apology, he responded saying he is resentful and angry at me at the timing. He was absolutely furious and said that I am selfish for asking these questions given his situation (look, to some extent, I agree but I have been asking for years and I need to know) and that he needs the space to get his mind right and life in order – irrespective of what this means for our relationship. He is extremely bitter and I’ve genuinely never seen him so angry. I know he is in deep pain. He said he is going through extreme personal trauma and that I’m asking for too much… he has said that I have abandoned him during a time he needed me the most. I know he is suffering greatly in terms of his whole identity and now doesn’t believe that I genuinely don’t care for the answer now.
I have reiterated multiples times that I’m not looking for answers now, love him so much and am not abandoning him. I said that I will be right here with him and that I just will not go anywhere. He has not responded so I’m thinking to give it a break for a week before I reach out and say I am here and not abandoning him?
He is truly my soulmate and means the world to me. He has such a beautiful heart but he is just lost. This is killing me.
So I’m confused because he said he sees a future long term and even after I said I was here for him, he has still pushed me away in resentment. I know he isn’t eating much, but is still going to the gym, seeing his friends and going to therapy but is in his room a lot.
I can’t make it any clearer that I don’t need my answers now. I am genuine in saying I just want to support him through this. He said he needs time and space and won’t have answers for me for “sometime”.
I know he saw a psychologist last week… first time ever after years of trying to get him to see one. I was shocked – proud of him for taking those steps. He doesn’t know that I know he is seeing a therapist. He just won’t talk to me at all. I found out through his family.
So… what do I do here? I want to respect the space but equally, don’t want to give so much space he feels even more abandoned. I am hopeful we can figure it out but I need help with what to do.
I feel like I’m stuck in limbo but trying to hold on to the reassurance he gave me that he sees a long term future with me (albeit cannot confirm marriage/children)…. I’m confused… I know he is in a horrible way and I know only he can bring himself out of this, but I feel like my whole entire life is being put on hold…
This is one of the best articles I’ve read. I’ll try to keep my story short, but I would love advice!
My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years, and three times he has followed this pattern: everything is amazing, something triggers him (usually my family in some way…he has trauma from bad family growing up), 6 weeks go by of him spiraling and withdrawing until he finally sends me a text saying he is done. Two-three months of no contact and back he comes saying how stupid he was and how he ran away in fear and will never do it again.
I’ve always backed off and let him come to me. But one time he asked me “If I back away completely, would you come after me? Do I matter that much to you?” So I’m in a quandary….I know the best thing after a breakup is to give him the space he craves. BUT….I told him that this time I’m not letting him go. I’m coming after him. So I need advice. Do I give him space, or do I check in every once in a while? I don’t want him to think that I just gave up, but I’m tired of being his emotional punching bag!
We also attend the same church…after our second break I left to go somewhere else, but came back when we got back together. That’s emotionally exhausting to even think about being in the same place as him, but I don’t really want to leave either.
If its emotionally exhausting, it means that this is not working out for you. You maylove and care for him but you gotta do whats best for you and your well being as well. A man like him has lost confidence on himself and asked you as a reassurance if you will be the one chasing and waiting everytime he does this all over again. You yourself is having doubt if this relationship would work, its up to you if you like this dynamic where he goes hiding and you keep waiting. Thats not love at all, thatsworrying and pitying and you feel like you cant abandon someone during their weakness. He need to work on himself and stand up tall.
Warning: very long, sorry:(
Good morning, I write to as I’m actively trying to build back my life after a breakup with my now ex-fiancée about 7 months ago. We had been together for roughly 3 years prior and seemed to be inseparable. We had moved in together in an apartment for a year and were in the process of buying a property together to build a home. After our lease ended for the apartment, we had planned to move in with her parents for the time being until our wedding and then move in with my father (closer to the property) until we had a place to move into on the property. However, when we moved into her parents, things started to change. She started to become more distant from me and slowly her depression started to rear its ugly head.
It was three days before our wedding, everything seemed to be in place and ready for the big day, but she sat me down and said we needed to talk. She told me that she couldn’t go through with it, she said that she couldn’t walk down the aisle knowing that she may just burst into tears, or getting as far as having children and then committing suicide leaving me with the kids. I didn’t know what to think about it, I was lost for words. I pleaded with her to go through with it and we can work on this together but to no avail. I finally conceded and went along with canceling the wedding with the idea of getting married at a later date. I obviously stayed with her, trying to be there for her as she started to see a therapist but the distancing got worse as she barely spoke to me despite sleeping in the same bed. The property that we were supposed to buy fell through as she refused to sign the documents. Then she said we should sleep in different beds, then it was we should split as she said that she needed to find herself out of all of this. I wasn’t angry and didn’t push back as I wanted to be supportive of her decisions, so I agreed and moved back in with my father 3 hours away.
Since that day we have seen each other once. I tried to text her to check up on her and see how she was doing from time to time but she only gave me one to two word replies and then eventually just left me on read, so I stopped. She has wiped me completely from her social media, even going as far as restricting me access by hiding posts and stories from me. It seems as though she would like to forget that I even exist.
I recently got into a relationship (mostly for the wrong reasons as I was angry about being ignored and was also encouraged to find someone else by my family and hers, who I still talk to). But so did she, and I believe she started seeing that person around the same time I started seeing someone else. This might’ve hurt the worst because she told me that she needed to be alone so that she could find herself yet about 3 months later she’s with someone else. And that someone else is a former boyfriend who she told me that her parents did not like and broke up with her because she was leaving for college. Which leads me to be even more confused and hurt on top of everything else.
This has left me spiraling in a world that I don’t know how to feel. I feel lost, angry, grief, depressed myself, hurt, and abandoned. Was it my fault? Was I not supportive enough? I just have so many questions and no answers.
I’ve reached out to her, just trying to talk about what happened but she ignored me. This angered me but I also don’t want to argue with her because I know I may say something that I will regret and may hurt her. But this all makes me think that I’ve been lied to and that this was all a farce to break off the wedding.
Maybe I’m right about all of this. Maybe I’ve let my emotions cloud my judgement and has led me to unrealistic conclusions. I don’t know. It’s just so hard to know that someone you love and would do anything for, doesn’t seem to share those feelings for you. I just don’t know.