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
Like you all here, I found someone who I thought was the one for me. He was such an amazing person to be with, funny and witty. I have anxiety and I’m working on it. Where I’m from, mental health is not something people view in a supportive manner and the men here think of it as a weakness. But he was different. He told me it was okay be anxious now and then and was with me when I told him I was going to see a therapist. This one act made me realize what a kind hearted person he was and made me fall in love with him. He had a traumatic childhood and he doesn’t have his parents anymore. He has pushed of all his friends away and I was the only person he would talk to everyday. I wasn’t looking for love when I met him but we had this insane connection that made me feel alive. Yes, I said alive because I felt lonely and damaged before I met this guy. He told me he felt the same connection and we started dating. It was a little over 2 months when he broke up with me. I was aware of his depression and he told he stopped taking his medication since it made him feel drowsy. When we met, he wasn’t on his meds but was lively and positive about life. 2 weeks ago, he rarely texted me or spoke to me. He, then, told me that he was depressed so I gave him space and checked on him everyday. He briefly told me that he was planning to quit his job and see a therapist (his job environment was very toxic). I was happy for him and told him I’d be with him through his journey.
He broke up with me 2 days ago saying my love and support made him feel guilty and sick and that he wanted time alone to get his life straight. I’m proud of him because he decided to see his therapist and wanted to start working on himself. Yesterday he sent me a text saying he needed a favor. I’m happy to help him out. During the text exchanges, he told me he quit his job and had an appointment scheduled with therapist the day after, I.e today. He also told me that he felt numb and he didn’t know what he needed anymore. I was confused as to why he would say this to an ex and so I asked him if we were still together (not with the hopes of us being a couple. It was for my own clarification). He replied saying he couldn’t do sh*t anymore. I understood that he wanted to be alone. So I told him to work on himself and if he was okay with sharing, to let me know how his therapy goes.
I’m heartbroken and I don’t think I’ll be ever okay without him in my life. My previous relationships were a mess and I thought I had found the person I wanted to spend my life with. We spoke about a future together and moving abroad together. He said he loved me, which is rare because he barely tells me how he feels. I feel lost and hopeless. My friends think that it was a short relationship and it would be better to move on. I don’t want to move on and I want him in my life. I have no clue if he’ll ever come back and I don’t know if I should keep my hopes up. The pain is excruciating and I don’t know what to do about it.
It’s really difficult I am in the same situation basically, I have intense anxiety about all of this and not knowing what the future holds for us. I did see a psych and everything she told me about how I’m feeling is normal. I will be honest I truly believe my ex will come back to me and I do want to fight for it however I know it needs to be on here terms if it is ever going to be a healthy relationship. At the end of the day it is nothing I did and it is her illness which she wants to battle herself and that’s what she believes she needs to do. I have faith she will come good and want to reconnect, if she doesn’t then by then I will probably be able to process it better and realise she wasn’t actually being genuine. I can’t get her out of my head or let go. If it will be it will be in the end but in the meantime I am being totally consumed by it.
I want to keep my hopes up as well but my anxiety keeps making me question if good things will ever happen. I think I’m pushing him away. I told I’d be always be there for him but that’s making him go further away from him. I told this twice after we broke up and it’s been like 3 days since we broke up. He posts stories like, “she knows I love her but I love her more than she knows”. I ended up thinking that he might have wanted a reassurance. It’s just things are heavy and a lot to handle.
He started his meds today and took some tests. He will be seeing his therapist soon as well. I want him to recover on his own terms and I want him to know if he wants to come back, I’ll be waiting for him. This “waiting for him” thing might have ticked him off in the wrong sense. I feel like I need to find a way to stop bothering him.
Hard times. Too hard to handle.
Yes it’s hard to not get your hopes up with the idea that when they get healthy you guys will work again. That’s just what anxiety is, trying to anticipate the future and find solutions.
I would try give him some space for a while honestly, I know it’s hard but if he is posting stuff like that then he obviously isn’t done with you. I had some very odd behavior from my ex on social media too. She posted some photos of her and my dog, her wearing my jumper, things we made together, she even posted a photo of me just you can’t see my face. However she removed me from following her even though her profile is open and knows I will see it. All her other accounts we will follow each other so it definitely gave me mixed messages but it means she is definitely missing me.
I think it was a way of her wanting to communicate deep down but that’s not the right way to go about it and it is kind of toxic as she is expecting a reaction from that is what I believe.
It’s been about 10 days no contact and all I have been doing is thinking of how I am going to let her know I’m still here for her. I decided to write a poem, it’s pretty heavy and like you I don’t want it to push her over the edge. For that reason I think it’s too soon right now and will hold off on sending it too her as long as I can.
Give it time, I know how hard it is trust me.
It must have been hard for you. I can understand how you would be feeling. 10 days without contact is something I can’t even imagine doing. Holding on to the poem must be heavy for you as well.
I haven’t had a proper meal or haven’t slept since the breakup and the pain is unbearable. Right now, he doesn’t know what he wants. So, I won’t pressure him into a relationship and be his friend. Since I have decided to be a friend throughout his journey (I’m not sure if he’d even accept this), I am planning to check on him every 3 days or 4 days. Not overdo it. I don’t want him to feel guilty for this and I am trying to draw this boundary so that it doesn’t affect my life. I need to get myself together to be able to support him. This is one thing my therapist suggested. I can only do my part and hope he won’t feel any negative emotions toward my love and support.
Maybe someday the conversations would be regular and we can find happiness again.
It is very hard for me right now. I am slowly adjusting and starting to understand more about what she is going through. I now realise it is a disease and she needs her own time to save herself, I can’t save her unfortunately. It is difficult to love from afar but in a couple weeks I will let her know I am here if she needs and my line of communication is open but it is up to her to rekindle what we have, I can’t force her into loving me.
I feel like she may approach me one day but right now she is too afraid of reaching out and she also understands we won’t work right now. She needs to heal.
I am just struggling to focus on myself as I am totally consumed by this heartbreak. What has everyone been doing to ease the pain? I am worried about my future relationships now since I will have a wall up due to being abandoned like this.
Yes, as you said, she needs to heal and work on herself at the moment. It is hard to not worry about her and it is hard to not help her out. We need to come to an understanding that this is how things work for them. It would be nice for her if you would reach out after 2 or 3 weeks. All we can do now is be patient, which is by far the hardest task for us, and let them figure things out. As you said, we can’t “fix” them. We can only provide support while they decide on what they need to do.
I haven’t figured out how to ease the pain. I have been distracting myself with work and school. It is definitely not healthy but it’s been a week since we broke up. I have been experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. Some days I cry like there is no tomorrow and some days I just feel very numb. I am not even thinking about a future relationship at this point. I need to focus on what I have at hand and that’s a difficult task for me. I am just living in the moment.
Hello to you all, I hope everyone is coping.
It’s scary yet amazing to see how many people are going through a similar situation to mine.
My girlfriend of about 9 months who I genuinely thought was the one, and told me she felt the same just left me a week ago. Im 25 she is 21. It has happened more than once but the last time she left after a few days we got back together, she told me she would never leave again and that she knows we can always talk about a solution.
Then after a couple months it went being a great night talking about kids, marriage and the future to her literally walking out saying she has to leave as she needs time and space to heal on her own. She said she genuinely loved me and wished she was the one but didn’t see it working out, constantly torn between her heart and her head and that shebkept having feelings of leaving and it isn’t fair to keep going on like that just because she loved me. She told me she wants to be here for me and still have her in her life but in the past I have always fought so she asked for space and time and wanted me to respect that.
She has a lot of trauma, insecurities and was trying to taper off of her anti depressants. She wasn’t working at the time and would’ve been constantly overthinking at home, while I am out working preparing for the future. I was always there for her and I believe she did know that. I know she is lost and now I am too I am not sure what to do as I do want to keep fighting but know she needs time. I tried pushing her down the route of therapy but I know it is something you can’t force.
It’s constantly on my mind and now feel like my world has gone. I want to reach out to her so bad. A week before we split she sent me a poem as a reply to my heartfelt letter after the last time we split up I think it was a cry for help now I look back. I have been righting my own poem as a reply, expressing my feelings, thoughts and my love for her in it. I just want her to know that I am here and I support her.
Everyone is telling me to move on but I don’t know if I can. I feel like the longer I leave it the more she will try move on from me but at the same time I don’t want her to resent me.
Any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated. I can’t stop looking at my phone waiting for her to message me and I look forward to that day. I am certainly going to send her this poem as a reminder that I am always here for her. Can anyone help who is in a similar situation?
Everyone’s story is very similar to mine. My husband of 27 years has been going through depression for years, but he does shift work and it was hard to notice at first. He was irritable and moody, but he is tired all the time. I thought at first it was a midlife crises. He pushed me away and treated me like I was nothing, like worse than nothing. I was rejected in every way possible, I felt unloved, unwanted underappreciated. He looked right though me like a window. The communication eventually stopped. And then of course after you find out its depression, you do everything in your power to get your husband back to the way he was. You go into mothering mode to get him better so he will want you as his wife again. I went with him to his Dr appointments to make sure they were doing everything in their power to help. I got him on meds, and got him off meds, and on new ones. I lined up therapy appointments. I gave my everything while getting nothing back. And then after a year almost of doing everything possible to help him and hold onto our marriage and our family, because we also have 3 children. He packed a suitcase, left his keys on the counter and left us. He has been gone for 7 weeks. He barely talks to me or the kids, and says he needs to work his shit out, but he might not ever figure it out so he might not ever come back. He told our oldest that he doesn’t know if the medication is slowing starting to work or if moving out was the best thing he did. I know I need to be strong for our children because they need to know that at least one parent has them, to give them love, security and make sure they know they belong, but I have been with this man since I was 15. We are like one person, I haven’t had to do anything on my own before. Nothing! He has always taken care of everything. This man is my everything, and I am dieing inside without him.
As I read all your replies, it’s heartbreaking because non of them say that their spouses return. I was forced into being a single mother, something I never wanted or thought would ever happen. I saw a clear picture of my future, and now the love of my entire life doesn’t want anything to do with me and all I do is hope and pray that he remembers how amazing we were together as a family, but reading all these replies does not give me hope.
On December 27 my gf left me due to her depression. It’s wonderful to hear I’m not alone but we been together for almost 2 years and I guess her depression from school was hitting her hard to the point she was hating our relationship. Of course we had our bad times but we shared many laughs when we are near each other. It’s jsut crazy how everything ended so suddenly and I wish I could be there for her. We are currently on no contact and she’s planning on going to therapy. She was the most bubbly person I know and she suddenly become cold, we spent our last day together and she doesn’t want me to wait for her cause it’s not fair for me but I honestly believe she’s the love of my life due to my experience in toxic relationship, she was the most healthiest. We still follow on social media and share each other locations but it just leaves me so confuse if she really does love me at the end of the day. I’ve been writing down my emotion so I won’t break no contact but honestly it’s been hurting me so much and eating me up alive. I lost so much in the past few weeks where I found out my niece has cancer and my second mother passed away. So everything is hitting me hard, part of me want to contact her but I know it’s for my sake and not hers
It helps to know that there are others going through the same thing with the devastation experience when your partner has depression.
Nothing I say or do helps. My husband went from being the most happy, loving man in the whole world; my best friend and soul mate, to an incredibly cold, harsh and unfeeling stranger.
Like so many others have described, everything became my fault as his partner. History was totally rewritten. It had absolutely nothing to do anymore with growing up experiencing severe trauma with two alcholic parents which he had been doing his best to recover from; instead I am to blame for why he became depressed even though I was supporting him through everything and we had, until the depression hit a relationship filled with love.
To go from being in the most amazing relationship and experiencing all that joy and love together and then for it to vanish in such a short space of time and for my best friend to be replaced by someone who is now the complete opposite is devastating.
I have been so patient and kind and understanding but nothing has worked he won’t see me, doesn’t want to hear from me and even after five years I am still heartbroken because logically outside of the depression it makes no sense.
We planned to spend the rest of our lives together. We were so close and happy. I feel sometimes there isn’t any closure. He hasn’t died but at the same time the person who he was is no longer there. I haven’t been able to move on because I am still in shock.
No matter how happy we were (and that sometimes only makes things worse) I wish with all my heart I never ever met him: anything to avoid this pain and having this wonderful man completely push me out of his life and the pain and confusion that brings.
Even more than that, I wish I had never left my first husband who was often a bully, because that experience although dreadful would have saved me from the hell I have been through with the man who loved me with all his heart but who’s life has been totally destroyed by depression.
Michelle Vesty says
I am so sorry to hear what has happened. I have been healing my pain listening to Stephanie Lyn Coaching on Youtube. She has put everything into perspective for me, maybe she can help you too even if it’s just a little.
Stay strong Michelle
My girlfriend of 2.5 years left me on Christmas Eve and took our dog with her while I was out. We have been living together for the past 2 years and were planning to have a child. She was diagnosed with depression in late September, had been put on medical leave, given medication and started going to therapy. I have had a rough fall at work with long hours but I work from home so I did all I could to help her and support her financially and emotionally. She is coming from a family that has a history of mental issues, which I knew of, but she was always loving and caring towards me so I did not dwell on it. After all, each family has its own internal issues.
At first, she was blaming her condition on her sister, who has a string of mental issues and is difficult to get along with. Through therapy, my girlfriend found a way to distance herself from her sister, in the hope that it would help.
Two weeks before Christmas she started to distance herself from me. The weekend before Christmas, we discussed how she felt and that she thought I did not do enough for her, did not show her enough love and support. Suddenly, it felt like I was the bad guy. Her parents were supposed to come over on the 26th but on the 19th she announced me that she changed her mind and could not bear to have them come over. Instead, she wanted to go away for a few days and take the dog with her. Her reasoning was that she needed to focus on herself. I tried to object to leaving me alone for the holidays, which was maybe a bit selfish. I am an immigrant; she and the dog are my only family here. I offered her alternatives, for example to go after the holiday season and take her time but she would have none of that.
The week before Christmas, I tried to do more for her than I was already doing, in the hopes that it would help but I was still getting the silent treatment, distance or very dry replies. On Christmas Eve, she was packing for her trip, happily. I told her that I could not watch her pack because it saddened me and that I needed to go to the store and get some fresh air. I asked her to consider leaving the dog with me, to comfort me a bit. When I came back, about 1 hour later, she was gone along with the dog. I tried reaching her after a couple of hours, to no avail. Next day I received a text telling me she was ok and she would talk to me later. During the evening, she called to tell me she wanted to come get her things and that she would let me know in advance when that would be. She said she did not understand herself what she was doing and she needs to sort it out on her own, that she cannot be in a relationship.
On January 1st, I tried reaching out to her, telling her that I want to help and support her, but it seems she wants to go no-contact. I still have not yet received a date for when she wants to come get her things. I am slowly giving up hope that she changes her mind and would want to come back and let me help her. Things changed so fast, I did not see it coming. The pain is excruciating, but at least I tried as I could. I am making baby steps towards getting over this, though it would take some time. Even if she does want to come back, I am not sure I want to risk going through this again.
Im so sorry this is happening to you. Im also going thru the same situation. My boyfriend recently said we should break up because he has no energy for anything and is feeling severe depression. Today is the first day in two years that we have not texted or called. It is absolutely heart breaking. Baby steps is the only thing we can do.
Thanks for the kind thoughts. I hope time will do its thing and heal the wounds to all of us in this situation. So many sad stories around here.
It’s been a month now since she left but only a week and a half since she came to get her things. That destabilised me quite a bit since it made this nightmare become reality.
It did not help that she threatened me with the police if I would not let her come with her friends to pack. I did not want her friends meddling in our things but I gave in and let her have it her way because I did not see the point in putting more oil on the fire.
She treated me like I was the scum of the Earth, barely looking at me while packing. Needless to say, she did not bring the dog with her when gathering her things. Even though it pains me, I know she needs the dog now and did not want to risk her condition worsening if I demanded to bring it over. I need to start thinking of myself and taking care of myself, but I don’t really know how to do that. It is going to be a long way to recovery.
These stories are all too real. My boyfriend and I had just had our 1 year anniversary and had started to talk about moving in together. Things felt so right with us, we were so committed, always loving and kind toward each other, and could communicate about anything and work through it. I knew that he felt sad/numb a lot, but I didn’t take it personally and our relationship seemed to be the one thing that brought him feelings of love and joy. He had moments where he would express anxiety about hurting me, or me leaving him bc of his depression, but we would talk about it and the next day or so he’d be back to his lighter self and things would seem to feel a lot better between us, and even more connected. He was already taking his depression seriously, on medicine, going to group and individual therapy, reading about symptoms and treatment, etc. But I knew it wasn’t really enough and he was always looking for alternate, different treatments that would really “work.” I felt so awful for his pain. He couldn’t see any positives in his life despite being such a smart kind creative man who had built his own business and helped others so much. About a week ago, he seemed to be in another depressive state but I just thought it would pass, as they had before. However he woke up one morning, and seemed to have a panic attack, basically ran out of my apartment telling me we needed to break up. I was in shock. A few days later, we met and talked and he said he just couldn’t give me the love I deserved and he could never trust his own feelings. That he felt so guilty and so many doubts and I didn’t deserve that. He said he felt like we are just in very different places in life and aren’t a good fit. It’s been the hardest I’ve cried in a very long time and he was crying too. I know that I will be okay, but it honestly feels like a death. He was never anything but kind and loving and caring toward me, and the most thoughtful person I have ever been with. I’m just so sad. And my heart goes out to everyone in these comments <3 It's so so hard.
This happened to me as well. Very similar story. I’m hoping that he comes back to me. Have you heard from your ex at all? I’ve tried to messaging mine and he just leaves me on read it’s been the hardest thing
Hi Dee, I’m so sorry to hear that. And yes it is truly the hardest thing. Some days these threads help and others they make me feel even more awful how common this series of events seem to be with depressed partners. I’ve had very little communication with my ex… just to coordinate gathering our things from each others apartments which was heartbreaking of course. He said he just felt so sad. And we cried and hugged but he didn’t have much else to say. I left him a letter I wrote about how much our relationship had meant to me, he said he wasn’t even sure he’d be able to read it, but I hope he did. I recently messaged him to say hi and that I had been thinking about him, and hoped he was well. He replied thank you and hoped i was okay too. That was really it. 🙁 I don’t expect anything more but will probably message him here and there just to send some warmth.
Hi Kat, I had a very similar experience and now don’t know what is appropriate contact to him. We said we’d check in on each other, but neither of us has reached out yet. I have a feeling he won’t reach out because he thinks I am better off without him, but I just want to let him know I care about him and his well being like a family member. All of my friends are saying to not make contact, but I feel like they don’t understand the circumstances or understand the real factor depression had on him. I feel like reaching out is the right thing to do, to let him know I am here for him. What do you think?
I think reaching out is okay to do you just have to go about it the right way, something nice and sweet and at a good time. Not sure how long ago you guys broke up but I will be reaching out to my ex after 3-4 weeks just to remind her I am still here to support her and am willing to wait for her while also working on myself. At the same time I don’t want my letter to push her over the edge but I have to follow my head and my heart. It will also offer me some sort of closure in my case, like many others here none of us have received proper closure so we have to do it our own way sometimes I believe.
Wow – these posts have been so helpful. I was with my partner for 9 years. I helped him through his divorce, helping emotionally and administratively. He told me awful things that his wife had done to him, could not believe it. Moved states and our love was amazing so connected, I thought at 50 I had found my forever man and he with me. At the time his work was amazing then slowly his work was draining, yes there were so dysfunctional people working there but he would come home after having crying episodes they had upset him so much. He would drink and be quiet when he got home and busy himself on the property. I got used to him looking sad all the time, that’s just him. I guess over the years I forgot what he was really like. 4 years in he had an episode, I didn’t know what it was but he didn’t understand a fight we had and he was expressing himself with movements, and gestures to get his point across. He said he loved me and he would go to counselling. The counselling worked slightly, but fast track another 4 years there is next to no intimacy, he was blaming work for that. I went away for 2 weeks came back and he was finishing a bottle of red and I said you seem weird, he said he felt weird. The next day he went away to work. He usually sends me emoji kisses etc and calls, nothing. When he got home, he said I think I have had a mental breakdown, I was bawling my eyes out and all I could think of was my dad hitting me with his black belt and you and the fight we had 4 years earlier. I was concerned contacted friends and family to which he responded with the most disgusting text imaginable, I had turned his head to mush and it’s not work that’s the problem it is YOU. Of course I couldn’t stay in our home, he was unpredictable I left him a note to say I am giving him space and to call me, he saw that as abandonment. Silly me giving him space, he would then not allow me back to get my clothing, I gathered up the strength with some friends to do this and within 7 weeks he has another girl filling my shoes, she drinks and eats junk food, so perfect and she can look after the things that he can’t do. So hurtful. He said he knows 100% that I cheated on him and that I belittled him to the point he was rolled in a ball on the ground crying and I just smiled at him (this is what his bipolar bother would do when he was getting hit). I now see that the horrible things he said his wife did he is now saying I did. I look back at texts 3 weeks prior to this and he was sending me kisses and I had no clue. The one thing I can’t get out of my mind is the way he looked at me with utter disgust, something that will never leave my head, when all I did was look after him and love him unconditionally. I am now fully put of any future relationships if it can take 9 years to see!
Hi! I have been there and feel your pain. My pain was temporary and overcome by relief at living in a house without his moods and the dictatorship of his perceptions. I’m so grateful to God that he left and said from the beginning that God did for me what I could not do for myself, that God was closing doors to open better doors. It is true! I am happy, free, blessed. No more shrinking my happy spirit or self because of him! There is a song “Not Everything’s About You” with lyrics “ not everything’s about you anymore” which I happily sing changing “anymore” to “never was”and “you just made it seem that way!” Like you I stood by him through thick and thin, lots of thin (13 year “marriage,” longer relationship)! I looked back at times, marveled over the lies and meannesses with sense of surreal. I don’t regret loving and trying to the best of my heart’s ability for so long (until he left after an overnight “revelation” —yes there was no another woman, meaning another fantasy which I no longer fulfilled) My true regret is really a lesson: that I did not follow my own instincts/ intuition but let myself be blinded by his beginning charm. I come onto this forum once in a while to hopefully offer hope to people like myself broken up with. I see so much honestly willingness to suffer and hope rather than forging ahead into Our New Lives without the depressed partner who left. (I’m not in touch with mine: he once tried to strangle me, was so unkind in things he said, and more, and the clarity and memory of that/ those realities returned to me like a clear tonic of life, new life, once he left) I send you all my love and support: it gets better, I promise, better than before when with someone who did not return the love received. I pray for my ex, when and if I think about him, but that is all. I’m mainly released and living my free true real life.
Thanks Marie – it’s an awful illness that has no rhyme or reason, inflicting terrible hurt and confusion in its wake! I am so glad that you have found the peace and hopefully mine will come sooner rather than later
Hi, Yes I will keep you in my prayers for sure. One thing I did was to grab onto each moment of hope and also to “signs.” I listened to those and to self and anything useful for my new life. I came across an article by someone in New Zealand (written on Medium I believe) called 7 Things to Know After Your Partner Leaves that was a miracle: the clear tonic of those words vs his garbled lies and accusations. (He didn’t want to take care of me for the rest of his life; he had never been happy with me blah blah —) I listened to my instincts and intuition: when a “friend” said I was acting from fear in deciding to divorce him (and that I could still get him back) I had a revelation of the entire Al Anon program (yes I tried anything to stay with this person) as one of teaching to not follow your own instincts and intuition but to put up with anything even abuse and even abandonment and adultery to stay together. When my beloved dogs chased a coyote and didn’t return and weren’t found for more than two hours (friends and neighbors also searching) I remembered his texts after he left that I could call him for help. This with the dogs was soon after he left. I did not once consider calling him for help (?! He had left me years ago and when I called him that time crying he called me an effing b etc) I remember that cold cold dark night searching for my dogs and knowing that the house without them was far worse than the house without him. I learned to listen to the right people, whose words chimed with and strengthened my own intuition and best interests: an 84 year woman who said “Don’t you take him back.” Another woman in her 80s who said she did not like how he spoke to me (and this was in public!) I deliberately surrounded myself with only true friends, people who are: were part of my new true life and I cherished even more my chosen activities that feed my soul—why God put me here, not to suffer trying what is impossible. I now look back and see how much of our lives (my life!) was impacted by his mental illnesses (after I called and got him appointment which soon led to his overnight “revelation” he had more than one diagnosis) I marveled at fights he picked so he could be at home alone to contact and make plans with his new woman. And I also have compassion for him which is more universal and impersonal than anything else. I pray for you in your New Life. It gets better each day! You were strong enough to be in a very difficult relationship and keep a loving heart: you are strong enough to step into and claim your New Life . All peace, love and blessings!
Oh yeah I heard the advice to not say no to any social invite (with the true friends, not his friends, not our friends my old and new true friends). This was great advice (I am more introverted and am working artist (work alone) and truly helped me rebuild my life and my social life. Another thing is I did not reach out to his friends/ contacts/ people who wanted to be friends with both. That sounds harsh: however there was actual physical abuse involved, and i didn’t want to hear anything about him. Too many years of my life had been given over to his moods, perceptions, lies, desires, etc!
Mental illness is a disease and depressed, anxious partners require professional help. To all of the commenters wondering how to help and what to do. My advice is to do what they have asked and leave them be. Its almost like you have to think about what you want to do and instead do the complete opposite or risk more blame, criticism and avoidance. Its not about you. Its the disease. I have been burned trying to help, showing I care, reaching out, giving space, doing everything I can think of to show love and support. They cannot respond. Its their pain, not yours.
You can’t be mad at the person, its the disease and you cannot fix it. So channel your efforts into finding a partner who is emotionally stable, because you deserve to be loved back. If your depressed partner pulls it together, and I hope they do, you will both be in a better place to begin the repair at that time. How long? No one can answer that for you, your partner has to want it and it will take time, lots of it. So focus on what you want, find someone who wants the same things, you deserve it. I deserve it. You put yourself out there and thought you finally found your match, me too. Life has a funny way of teaching you things though. Now you are more knowledgeable, you recognize the signs and can seek out a healthy partner. At least you didn’t lose the next year, five or ten years attached to someone who punishes you with the silent treatment, criticizes you, blames you, takes the most positive, loving, supporting thing you could do and twists it around to be negative. Its not you. Their shame is not yours, its a disease. You didn’t cause it, you cannot control it and you cannot cure it. Learn about it, read the books, NAMI is a great resource, but channel your effort into your future, your recovery. Don’t spend any more time waiting for things to get better. Heal yourself, starting now.
I’m going through the same thing. I had pretty bad past with abusive relationships and my ex had the same. When we met I was still broke but she didn’t gave up on me and did her best to show me how much she loves me. She did moved country for me even I said please don’t do it for me because I wasn’t in love for first. Also I had a bad habits from my childhood if something hurt me a lot I just tend to ignore it. Through the months I became the most happiest person I ever been. She is just absolutely perfect,but when she was showing too much love I felt very scared nervous. I couldn’t believe it true. She started to feel these things as a bad signal that I don’t love her the way she do and all her past memories being unloved start getting stronger in her. Of course everything behind me. She never told me I never knew she is unhappy. Also on my social media from 4years there were photos with my ex and I just didn’t cared about because I thought if I ignore it’s never happened and I can focus on my future. But my ex was watching them every day and comparing herself to her. 1months ago roughly meanwhile I was planning Christmas and after holidays and all sort of things she told me that we need to talk. She told me throughout the month silently her anxiety and depression became very strong because of small triggers like when I smiled when she hugged me or because of the photos and sometimes I worked too much and I was not supportive enough. She said she understands that the problem is in her head and maybe I didn’t think like that but she is too deep down now. It was the biggest slap in my life from the world. Everything collapse inside me. The next few weeks I tried to talk to her. Show her more emotions but it was too late. She say she loves me but she can’t show to me anymore like before, something is blocking her and eating her inside and that I’m better off with someone who can love me.
My last resort was giving her Christmas present what I was painting for two months where I painted our relationship. I knew I could never open up properly and I painted my feelings for her down. Also I had a ring ready from few months before. I took all her staff with me because I couldn’t see it anymore I was so sad. I went to her and she was so sick and skinny… She start crying and hugging me like no tomorrow. I told her we can save this I can feel we both love each other. I’m sorry that the breakup was the trigger for me to open up fully but I needed to realize that I never loved and I never been loved before like with her.
I gave her the present and I went on my knees. I told her I don’t want answer just I want her to know that I’m always by her side and once she is ready I want to get old with her together.
She hugged me she kissed me but crying so much and we had to leave each other. That was 2weeks ago. Since that I’m scared to text I don’t want to trigger her she told me she needs to fight her demons alone. She doesn’t text me also because she was feeling so sorry that she hurting me and she never wanted this to happen. She said she feels guilty and she hates herself.
For me is very difficult now to get through day by day. Not knowing how she is how she feels. And unfortunately I understand for her it must be even more harder. I never experienced depression before and now I know all the breakup and those fights just made it worst for her. But I just wanted to let her know that I love her how she is no matter what.
It’s very hard to stay away to give her space and it’s very hard not knowing if she ever wants to get back,when she feels better. And it’s very hard because I blame myself forever not to be able to fight my own demons on time when she was with me because I feel that she was the best thing in my life. Depression is hard to understand, hard to fight.
Everyone saying I have to look out for myself and not wait for her. But I rather stay alone forever then giving up on her. I don’t know how I can tell her I care about her without texting and everything is uncertain but this world is disgusting, people give up on each other very easy, people fight, they don’t appreciate each other.
I can say one thing if someone is in the same situation.
Ask yourself. Would you be able to live a full happy life if you know you haven’t followed your heart if you haven’t done everything what you could? Would you be able to forgive for yourself? Does finding a new love would fix anything.
And then do as you feel. Be different then everyone and follow your pure heart
Oliver, mine left Dec 5 and now blocked me.
I can’t move on to the next.
Oliver, I understand exactly how you are feeling. I have walked the same path, done things similar to you. Not once given up. Tried to focus on myself to be stronger and wiser and know how to deal with this situation better. In truth, a lot of time has been spent trying to be perfect, to say the right things, to communicate everything in the best way. I have painted pictures too and it did have a brief positive response but just has I have felt I have got somewhere, things overwhelm him again and I am back to square one; giving him all the space in the world; hoping he will reach out to me when he is in a better place. Sending him a small communication every once in a while to let him I hope he is okay but nothing has worked for long. It can feel difficult, I believe, because the response I always expect is that which would come from a normal person giving a reasoned response. The reply (or lack of it) always seems the complete opposite of rationality or reason. I guess it feel like breaking some sort of code which changes every day, just when you feel you’ve cracked it, the whole thing rearranges itself once more. Nothing ever seems to work twice. I agree with what you say, it’s easy for others to say to move on and find someone else but in reality this has felt impossible and I have listened to my heart on that one. I don’t want anyone else but overtime you end up wondering if I do continue to hold on without seeing any real change in all this time am I ok with this possibly being how it will be for the rest of my life? Will I regret the time I have spent hoping things will change? I have been in this situation for nearly 11 years. I hope things in your situation will be different from mine.
Thanks this has helped a lot. Hope you are doing better. I also hope your partner is able to see the care you have for them. Have you been able to move on? Have you managed to repair the relationship? I am hoping that eventually my ex will pull it back together. Wishing you all the best
Wendy S says
I go through grief, then detachment, hurt and today anger. My LDR boyfriend told me three weeks ago he needed space from everyone, not just me because he was going through a horrible depression and panic attacks. I get it completely as I have BPD 2 and I tend to isolate too but not from him. I’m also on medication and in therapy, I have no idea what he’s doing for himself now. I know he’s been to therapy before and that really helped him. We were so happy just two weeks before his taking space from everyone. I’m taking care of myself but in a lot of emotional pain from missing him and concern for him. Tonight I just feel so frustrated and angry. Yesterday, I was heartbroken. I haven’t contacted him once since we stopped talking three weeks ago. I know there’s nothing I can do really other than live my life and go on. People think it’s easy to just forget the one you love who’s depressed and tell me to give up. Well, I have given up in some sense, as I’m not contacting him but my heart hasn’t moved on. I wish I had never met him really as I wouldn’t be in so much pain from knowing what real love is and then not having it anymore. He’s an artist and I visit his website and I know that doesn’t help me emotionally. I see he’s not responding to anyone leaving a comment so I know really this is not about me but that doesn’t help my heart at all. Wishing everyone peace and strength.
Private writer says
I’m in the same boat as everyone else here. Lost, confused hurt and sad. My husband of 20 years left me blaming me for his depression. I was depressed my self and finally took charge of it a year ago. He has noticed the positive changes as well as my kids. But he still left me in Dec 2022. We reunited March 22. He apologized for leaving me, thanking me and how lucky he was that I stuck around. Then August hits and out of nowhere every weekend, specifically a Friday he would turn a conversation into a fight abd threatened to leave. In between this time he also threatened to leave saying I was the cause for his unhappiness but still stayed. Finally in September, he left again. No real contact with him and it’s hot and cold. The other week we had a 3 hour conversation and he still blames me. His anxiety is much worse. He tried to join a gum and lasted 5 minutes because of anxiety. Says he’s numb towards our kids and threatened to never speak to me if I shared that with him. He’s lying to our kids about getting help. I love him and can see he is going through something but it kills me that after 20 year and everything we’ve gone through, he leaves. I feel completely discarded but still love him deeply. How can you, on the same day approach someone and hold their hand to look them in the eyes and tell them they love you to only leave you hours later? I’m crushed more so because this time has been more time apart and he’s getting worse.
Hi my partner of 17 years has left me. She has had a different life to me as ive had a good family upbringing. She had a bad relationship with her mother and shes told me there was abuse from a step dad. From 13 in and out of foster care. We met when she was 22 i was 33. We fell in love straight away although she used to push me away alot and spoke down to me. Eventually after a couple of years our relationship grew into something real special. We have travelled together and done all sorts of amazing things together. I have watched her grow into an amazing woman. Although i think maybe a couple of years i have started taking her for granted and not been consistent enough in showing her my love. Her father passed away last year. We found him just over 10 years ago and she began a relationship with him for the first time. He was elderly and required care. He passed away and she took it really bad. Since then she distanced herself from me but still showed me love. Shes never ever really been able to share her feelings with me. Id ask her if shes ok and she would just say shes tired. I did not realise she was suffering with depression and soul exhaustion. Only now i know. I had been offish with her for a few days thinking she was being lazy and stroppy. My bad. The next day she went to stay at a friends. She text to say she wasnt coming back and was sick of being somebody she wasnt and doing things to please everybody else. She she loves me and cares for me but is not in love with me anymore and does not want to be with me anymore. We have been texting and she has started counselling. Bereavement counselling. It has been 5 weeks she has been away. I have seen her twice and we have spoke and she cries alot. I hugged her and told her i was sorry that i didnt realise what she was going through but she does not trust me anymore. I asked how she felt when she hugged me and she said nothing. Like i was just a friend she said. She is moving in permanently with a friend on sunday this week. I have told her i will help her with the move and she has agreed. She said she needs to just focus on her own happiness for once and stop pleasing others. She said i should do the same. Ive told her im there to support her in anyway. It hurts so much to think she does not love me after all these years and does not want to be with me anymore. Ive read that depression can numb your feelings of love and that maybe time away from me may help her in herself and that her feelings may return. Ive told her once she goes that ill be there for her but i wont contact her at all but if she wants to talk or anything else to ring or text me. So lost and hurt at the moment. Just dont know what to think.
I cannot believe how many of us are in the same situation but my god I have found so much comfort in reading the above. Thank you to everyone who has shared your story.
My boyfriend of 4 months has ended our relationship due to depression. Yes it was only 4 months but I genuinely believe he is the love of my life, my best friend and I wanted to spend my future with him. When he split he said he wanted to stay in contact and be friends. We text briefly every single day and are meeting for a coffee next week.
The text conversation can sometimes feel strained but I just want to know he’s ok (as he can be).
We know that he has PTSD caused by trauma for an emotional abusive marriage before our relationship started.
I am so angry of his previous partner for all the hurt she has caused him, yet gets to continue living her life.
I have 0 idea if we will regain our relationship but know that I want to continue supporting him as best I can. I have good days where I feel positive and I have bad days, like today where all I want to do is hide away and cry! I miss him so much, I miss the feel of his skin against mine, his smell, his smile, everything!
I feel so useless for not been able to do anything apart from meet for a coffee and check in daily!
Has anyone managed to rekindle their relationship after depression? Or did you find that you had to walk away?
Hi Alice i feel you. I miss everything about her too. Her smell her warmth. Her smile. I just hope that they are able to love again once the depression is dealt with. I think the best thing to do from what ive read online is to support them the best we can. I wish you all the luck and pray things work out for you.
Any update, Alice? I’m in a similar situation. The woman I’ve been in a relationship with since the end of November began to experience a severe depression in early January. About 3 weeks ago, she simply told me she needs to be alone for now. I replied that I’m going to support her no matter what and to take whatever time she needs (which she positively reacted to). We haven’t communicated since then. Like you, I’ve been in enough relationships that I had a really good feeling about this one and firmly believed (and still do) that we have a future together… and also like you, I have a good days and bad days. She also had past relationship trauma from unsupportive and psychologically abusive partners. I just want her be well. I struggle everyday with the thought of wanting to reach out, but stop myself because I figure that when she’s feeling well enough to engage, she will… but it hurts because I don’t want her to think I’m seconding guessing her/us and I just want to know how she’s doing.
I am going through the same thing as well. However, he saw me on a dating site and told me he thought I moved on. Now he is on a dating site and it kills me. I guess I just needed to feel wanted again.
Yep, we’re only human. It’s good to recognize that you just wanted to be wanted. It took me a minute. He’s probably on the site for the same reason you are. I was on a site for a while but I barely used it.
Mine did the same thing, thought I moved on since I was on a dating site. He met a lady on there and has been seeing her. I asked him to stop seeing her and he said he couldn’t, because she would expect to see him again. He told me he would love me forever but doesn’t want to be with me. That hurt so badly. I have gone no contact since then and he still likes my instagram posts.
I’m in same boat as many on here. Been with partner 2 and half years. He was in bad relationship, his had a lot of problems, cheated on, called names etc she kicked him out. After 2 years of coming out the depression and being on medication he met me. Thing’s was brilliant he was first to say he loved me, was always a bit overwhelmed with affection because he never had it, we still had good sex, cuddles etc but not overly passionate. Thing’s started to change when he started back at work after lockdown was under lots of stress, he injured knee at football his still got to have a operation, he had problems with ex bringing a criminal in to his kid’s lives which social services got involved. He changed jobs then still wasn’t happy more pressure, he got a bigger car so me my kid’s and his kid’s could go on day’s out, he rushed with car and found problems. We had been trying for a baby for over a year without success. Still living at his mom’s, stressing about money and his health because his dad and cancer he was constantly going on about headaches, pains but didn’t link to depression till now. After years of I love you so much, I will never go off you want us living together and I’m deeply in love with you to 3 ago, I asked him If he wanted a break he said yes his not coping mentally now his saying I’m not in love anymore. I’m absolutely gutted, the man I loved as been cruelly taken away from me by mental illness. His mom don’t know what to do his shutting himself off his kid’s went back early because they was fed up over the holiday. It’s a shame cause his children liked me and his mom loved me to bits she just can’t understand it. His admitted he needs Therapy. I know I have to move on but part of me wants him back I miss him, miss his touch, hearing his Voice I miss the old Andy but I also don’t want to go through this again it’s so hard
Been with my fiance for 10 years now. 2 days ago she told me, I want to break up and move out, and I already found a place to live! We both have been through a lot. A lot of losses, family and pets. She handles emotions differently. I like to speak about how wonderful my dog was or my parents that passed. She does not want to talk about anything. We lost her Mom, 3 years ago. And she never speaks about it. I know she is sad. I believe the depression has caught up to her and she does not know how to handle it. I have tried my best to talk to her and help her. Not sure what to do at this point. I had to put my dog down last month, and now she has left this month. So the pain is unbearable. 2 losses in a span of a month.
This can be so hard on us with a partner who suffers with depression, you feel confused, lost, upset but still in love with that person. It’s been nearly 3 week’s since he’s said his not in love anymore. It’s like a total flip. His caring, chatty and said he loved me so much even brought a car for him, his kid’s my kid’s to go out we was trying for a baby for over a year. It makes you so angry not with him because of mental illness itself I wish It never existed it’s took the man I love from me. I would do anything to have him back people keep saying if he did get better and he did come back I wouldn’t because it can happen again as his had it before I know it’s right but I’m finding it hard to let go because I still love him. Very hard that’s why I’m on here to talk to people in my situation because no one understands.
I mean he traded his car and payed I didn’t buy the car (correcting previous reply above)Why do that, he must of loved me to do all that so my kids and his kid’s could go out on day trips and holidays.
I can’t believe so many of us are in the same spot. Or, maybe I can. I dated the most incredible guy for 6 months. He was my dream come true. Communicator, had done so much work on himself (he’s been in AA for 11 years), and seemed to be in a really great place. Then, he changed. Complete 180. There is no reasoning with him. Every single thing I say to him turns negative. Everything is my fault. It’ as if he just wants to fight. I know he is self-loathing. I know he hates himself. I’ve been trying to continue throwing love his way despite him constantly breaking up with me for a year after those amazing six months. We have been apart for two months, I still have been trying to be the only person in his life to stick by him, but I think I need to stop. It’s only getting worse. I’m broken knowing what an incredible person he is, and that he truly hates himself so much. I would give anything to take away his pain, but everything I try just makes it worse. I’m heartbroken.
I hope you all can find a way to move forward and find peace. We can’t save people as much as we try. And, at some point, we need to save ourselves.
Ex broke up with me because of depression, i think. This is what her best friend said,
“She isn’t the type to lie just to spare feelings. Especially when it comes to her own. Whatever she told you. It’s most likely the truth. I can’t give you more information than that. She’s just not emotionally available as she thoughts she was and she didn’t think you deserved that. She is being more considerate than it feels. She can’t give you want you want and she knows that. There is no one else. She’s just not ready to handle a relationship, my guy. Sorry. You are a nice guy though. Keep your head up and don’t think bad about her. She didn’t like doing what she did but for her sake and yours it just had to be done.No problem. She is my best friend but I’m always up front even to her, even if she gets mad at me for it. She doesn’t lie to me so I know for a fact that it’s not you that’s a problem, she’s just going through a lot you know ? After what she’s been through, its crazy but she thought she was ready but clearly she was not. She doesn’t need a man. I can reassure you on that. She saw potential in you clearly.. but it’s not the right time. Stop mentally eating yourself up over this. She’s not the type to just go man hunting. She needs to figure herself out. Has nothing to do with anyone else especially another man. Don’t eat yourself up over it. Things happen for a reason. It just wasn’t the right time.”
We dated for 3 months but we clicked so well. It’s like everything fell into place. Our energies just matched so perfectly. She had told me and her all her family that i was the “best boyfriend ever” in the short amount of time we dated. One time we went shopping and i bought her shoes and she about cried because she said, “No one has treated me like this ever.” She got cheated on and tried to stay with her ex until he finally broke it off with her in 2020. They had dated for 2 years. I feel like she is still going through the trauma and depression of the relationship. Maybe some trust issues as well.
This is what her mother told me,
“Thank you for caring so much for her. Yes she told us “its not him, it’s me” I obviously need to find me a good therapist so I’ll encourage her to go. One thing that is hard for her is to be treated good by a man because she has never had that. I think it scares her and I hope she learns that it is the way she should be treated.”
I am so heartbroken because at the beginning of the week of the breakup we had made plans for the next week to go to my sister’s b-day party. She had talked about what to wear and wanting to go dance, she sounded happy. Then that weekend she breaks up with me. She says words like,
“it’s not you, it’s me. You did nothing wrong. I need to find my way and i have to do it alone because all my life I’ve always leaned on a shoulder. I need to figure myself out. You are a great, caring, loving, and amazing guy. It’s just not fair to you that i can’t give you what you deserve. You deserve better. I’m sorry, you did nothing wrong.”
Within a week of being in such a wonderful place, it flipped completely upside down. She just ended it like that. I don’t know what to do but give her space and time. It’s so hard because sometimes i just want drop off a pink drink at her work and say “hope you have a beautiful day”, just so it’ll put a smile on her face. I feel like that’s the best way to show my support to her and her battle with her depression. Is that a good idea? I love her so much and i just want her to get better. The last month we dated she said,
“I just feel numb but also stressed at the same time for no reason. This has been a thing for a while. Before, we even met. I am going to look into seeing a doctor to see if I have depression. I do not feel happy. In general, I do not feel happy. Today, I have been on the verge of crying serval times. I am emotionally upset but I couldn’t tell you why. I haven’t told anyone because it would be the same thing I am telling you. I do not really want to talk to other people about it.
I haven’t really been happy for a while. Yes, I will laugh and smile because I have those little good moments. That’s why I want to go to a doctor..”
During this last month, her uncle had gotten into a car accident and her mother tried to commit suicide. I feel like anxiety of losing her mother and uncle really took her energy to be in a relationship.
I want to support her and show her that i love her and care so much for her but I just don’t know how…
Any advice on what to do?
Same story here. I dated him for 3 months. He was wonderful, everything was perfect, he said that several times. Then he started pulling away. He said I haven’t done anything wrong, that I’m a wonderful partner, it’s him, and that he needs to figure himself out. That he doesn’t feel like being social, and that he’s not interested in anyone right now and doesn’t want to be. I insisted on text messages, since he doesn’t want to see me… and although he always answers, it made things worse. Now he misses me, but said he’s not into me anymore and I should stop wasting my time. I begged him for another chance, I told him we’d go slow and he’d want, but he doesn’t want anything with me anymore. I’ve been married before then got divorced, I’ve dated for 3 years, and no breakup was hard like this one. I love him so much, and we had this crazy connection that I never felt with anyone else. There were no problems at all. Until he started pulling away for no reason other than his mental issues. I wish I could help him and make him smile again, I wish he’d accept me back into his life because I don’t care he’s depressed, I want to be with him through good and bad times.
Also, answering your question, trying to reach out doesn’t help, it didn’t in my case at least. It made things worse and if I had hope before now I have none 🙁 sometimes I wish I had never met him. The pain is too much and I don’t know how to overcome it and how to stop loving him and getting back to my normal life. I can’t sleep, I can’t work, I can’t do anything well anymore.
My advise to you will be that you need to look after yourself too. This is so hard to do when you feel rubbish, I know.
In the past two weeks of this happening to me I’ve cried, screamed, not eaten, hidden away. It’s not healthy. Try talking to someone who is going through the same thing, it might help.
I have found googling and educating myself on depression really useful to and it’s made me understand it’s not me, it’s an illness causing this situation.
I’m happy to chat if you want to!
I’ve been living with my BF of 3 years now, we were buying a house and planning our future together then he did a burnout during covid. I tried to help and gently pushed him to seek help or therapy but he would not want to talk about it, not even with his friends or family.
After 10 months of mood swings, he said he needed space because he wasnt feeling any better than he was at the beggining of his sick leave from work, which I did. I went to live with a friend of mine for a while so that he could have a breather and think about his next move. It seemed ok for a while, then I had a promotion at work and he totally lost it. He left me the week after, saying he was not the person I deserved, that I needed someone ‘on my level’, who works and had objectives. He’s such a talented and amazing person, I tried to convince him that this was just a phase, that he would feel better eventually, that his moods did not defined him, that his objective was to get better and then he’ll have other projects… But nothing worked.
I’m heartbroken because we both love each other very much, but he says it’s too much pressure for him to be around me. So here I am, crying my heart out.
I guess I need to accept the situation as it is, but I still have hope he’ll eventually feel better and come back around. It’s hard to let it go and move on.
I, like most of you have been going through the exact situation. Met the man I thought I was going to spend my life with, was planning on moving in together, talked about our future family and our wedding … and then his dark moments started creeping in. They would rarely happen when we were together, we were always (or at least I thought) happy, playful, and so grateful to have found one another. Then he would go home and swing back into his dark places. The week before he went on vacation to see family he was more distant then ever before, would leave me on read for almost 24 hours and kept stating he wasn’t doing well(anxious, lost, intrusive thoughts.)While he was on vacation he broke up with me, stating he can’t make anyone else happy when he couldn’t make himself happy and that he needed to be alone.
I’ve been struggling with this. And more than anything I miss him, even though he broke my heart and hurt me I just want him to come back…
I guess I’m seeking advice on how to move on/if it’s worth reaching out to him at some point? How do you make this pain go away?
Just wondering if you have reached out to him? I feel as I’m in the exact same position.
This is pretty much what happened to me. Depending on how much time has gone by, you can try writing a heartfelt letter. When we broke up, I asked if we could say goodbye in person before he left for Chicago to be with his mom, and I gave him my letter. In that letter I thanked him for the love he showed me, the things I learned about myself, told him I believe in him and that I am proud of him for prioritizing his mental health. I meant every word—as hard as it was. He sent me a text with appreciation and warmth. I do think he’ll reach out one day, but I am moving on with my life regardless.
My boyfriend of almost 6 months broke up with me yesterday because of his depression. For reference, we are both 17 and going into our senior year of high school. Our relationship has been amazing, we don’t fight and we have so much fun together. I knew he was depressed, but he never actually told me. He has always been less emotional than others so I knew something was up. And at the end of the year last year he told me his mom was sending him to therapy but didn’t tell me there was a reason when I asked.
He doesn’t like therapy, or at least his current therapist. When he broke up with me yesterday, I told him if he doesn’t want to talk to me about it he should tell someone. He then explained how he doesn’t trust his therapist. He has clinical depression and it runs in the family. I’m pretty sure I’m the first person he’s told in detail other than his mom. I also had never seen him cry before yesterday. It was heartbreaking.
I explained that pushing others away is not the answer. I’m worried about him. It’s not just me, he’s been pushing his friends away for months. Additionally, his older brother, his role model and best friend, left for college yesterday too. I believe this contributed to his decision. He told me that he decided 2 days ago and didn’t tell anyone about the decision. It seemed very impulsive.
I wish he would seek real help but he refuses to do so. I love him and I want to be there for him. He said he is deleting social media but that I can still text him. I just really want to talk to him again… but I also want to give him space. It’s just so difficult because I’m worried for his well being and I don’t think there is anyone else to check up on him anymore.
I really don’t know what to do, there’s many more details but it’s too much to share right now. I’m not letting go yet but my main question is: Is there any chance of seeing each other again? I don’t even know what to ask… any advice will help. Thank you for reading.
I don’t know what to do anymore so I turn here. I have been in a relationship with a wonderful girl for over 4 years now. I bind my future to her and would like to grow old by her side. Unfortunately, she has been suffering from depression for several years. She is under the care of a therapist and uses pharmacology, but it has had varying results. I try to support her as much as I can and talk to her about problems, but she doesn’t always want to talk. Although it is not a perfect relationship there has always been a lot of love between us and very few disagreements. We spent a lot of time together and always tried to spend it in some interesting way. Unfortunately, I recently heard that we should become friends. She stated that I am still very important to her, but she loves me like family which I can’t quite understand. She said she can’t love anyone anymore. We both suspect that this is due to the difficult previous year. She lost two people very close to her then, as well as a cat she had for 15 years. I was by her side the entire difficult period and supported her as much as I could. What hurt me the most, however, was her attitude, she was adamant and sure of her decision. She rejected every attempt and offer of repair right away. I even offered her joint therapy. I found out that she had been struggling with this decision for 3 months. It was for about 3 months that I noticed she began to distance herself. We started seeing each other less and less often and I noticed less display of affection from her. Her behavior has changed significantly. I thought this was due to the upcoming college session and stress. Nevertheless, there were still days when we were like freshly in love teenagers. Once we saw each other once/twice a week we spent that time well, talked about the future and showed love to each other. We were on trips together and nothing was missing from them, even the intimacies were like before. I noticed that the “I love you” I heard every day had disappeared. I tried to talk to her about it, she said she was just having a bit of a harder time right now, but after talking I could see that she was trying to bring those feelings back and things were starting to get good again. Since I noticed the distancing I myself also started to put even more heart into the relationship to show how important it was to me. I don’t know if it didn’t overwhelm her. The last month was the worst. She wanted a break which I wasn’t convinced about, but due to the lack of time to meet due to studying, it happened anyway. After the break she came back very longing and I could see the feeling in her again. I could see that it was slowly starting to come back in her. Unfortunately, it was an illusory impression and after a few days I heard that it was over. I said that I would give her time, wait as long as necessary and that I could not imagine life without her. Her attitude was very firm and she couldn’t even look me in the eye. I had never seen her in such an emotional state. Since then, we have written to each other perfunctorily. I assure her that she has support in me, but at the same time I try not to impose or overwhelm. I want to give her time, maybe she will miss or the feeling will return, and I know she still has me in her heart. I know that a relationship with a person with depression is a challenge and can be hard. However, I find it hard to cope with such a breakup. I can’t sleep, I think about how to fix it and what I could have done better, I blame myself. Please advise what I can do in such a situation. We still have sporadic contact. We exchange several messages a day about trivial matters. How to approach such a person so as not to overwhelm him, but at the same time make him realize that he can count on me and that I am capable of doing anything for her.
My boyfriend of 2 years has been suffering from depression and he recently decided that he couldn’t be in a relationship anymore because he felt like he needed to put himself first and really take time and space to work on himself. I am heartbroken and devastated because I love him beyond measure and it’s terrifying to not know how he’s doing or be there to support him. I am trying really hard not to reach out because he asked for space but I am struggling really badly. We were so happy and in love and I never ever thought anything could come between us. I don’t know first hand how depression feels but I was doing EVERYTHING I could (I worked on it with my own therapist, I joined a support group for people who’s loved ones have depression, I did research, and most of all listened to what he needed) and as much as I don’t want to be mad at him for this because I know he’s extremely emphatetic and has a hard time putting himself first, but I am so hurt that he felt like he had to push me away. I don’t know what to do….it’s only been 2 weeks but it feels like an eternity. We never used to go even a day without talking and now I’m just lost and confused and above all scared. I have severe anxiety and it’s causing me to lose sleep and I can’t eat…..I know I need to be strong, take care of myself, and not dwell on it but it’s excurciating and I don’t know how much loner I can go without reaching out to him. Does anyone have any advice- should I wait until he’s ready to reach out? He promised we’d see each other again but he couldn’t say when…..or should I reach out to see how he’s doing? I know it’s kind of an impossible question, but how long do I wait and suffer like this? I just don’t know how much more I can take….
Just curious how it’s going for you. I am going through the exact situation and have absolutely no idea how to move forward
So sorry to hear you’re going through the same thing; I obviously know how painful and damaging it is.
I reached out to my boyfriend last week after about a month of no contact. It was only through text and it wasn’t a fully fledged conversation but it was relatively positive. Still no sign of a reconciliation but he has made progress through his therapy and focus on himself so I am happy to hear that. I wish I could be more help or give more hope but I’m still in almost the same place.
I will say, I was terrified to reach out because I didn’t want to seem like I wasn’t listening to his needs (time and space) or like I was being overbearing, but I really made it clear that I just wanted to check in on him to see how he was doing. His response was positive and he filled me in on what/how he’s doing but (and even though I tried really hard not to expect it I couldn’t help it completely) he didn’t say anything about meeting up or about our relationship. So if you’re thinking about reaching out, try not to think into it too much and try to just make it known that you’re checking in on him and that you’re there to support him in whatever way he needs.
The exact same thing is happening to me. 3 weeks ago my boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me. He had told me he was depressed and he had started seeing a therapist, but he told me it was nothing I had done and then suddenly he broke up with me.
I am absolutely devastated, the connection we had was amazing but now he is telling me things weren’t right for the last 2 years completely, he has abandonment issues and he suffers depression, but his story is so confusing. He says he doesn’t think we have that connection anymore and haven’t had it properly for 2 years, but then he says he is still attracted to me and wants to remain in each others lives. He assures me it is nothing I have done and blames himself and his issues, and then says he doesn’t feel like he can reciprocate anymore the love and that is why he needs to be alone.
I’m so lost, hurt and confused. I know he has been depressed over the last 2 years as he suffered long covid but he insists that his feelings were not dependent on that, and that connection we had was already mostly gone.
I really feel like he does still love me and it’s just his depression that he can’t see through properly, and communicating would help. But at the same time I am worried I am just getting my hopes up in chance of reconciliation.
I agree he has issues he needs to work on, but he won’t accept my help, I have even suggested joint therapy but he refuses. He still wants to remain in contact, but says he can’t see me as just a friend because he is still attracted to me.
I don’t want to keep my hopes up for reconciliation and get my heart broken again, but I don’t know how not to love him. We have sent some messages and he is never mad at me and he knows how hard it is, it feels like it has all become too much for him and he’s just pushed me away.
My boyfriend of 4 years broke up with me because of depression 4 days ago and I am heartbroken. I knew he has been depressed, he just didn’t want to admit it. So I am very proud of him for knowing now that he needs to take care of his mental health. He told me that he loves me and cares about me and that this is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, but that he needs space to figure himself out and get back on track. He told me this has nothing to do with me at all and that I’m the sweetest and most loving person he’s ever met, but there’s nothing I can do, he’s just overwhelmed with life (he hates his job, so focusing on getting a better job, saving up money, getting an apartment with his friend, etc, he’s 24 and I’ll be 24 next month, so I feel like this is such a weird time in life where you’re trying to figure everything out) and that he feels like he can’t give me the love and attention I deserve right now. He says he barely has enough energy for himself, and he feels like he’s been a bad boyfriend to me and that I don’t deserve that. He also said that it’s hard to explain but he’ll always have love for me and that it hurts him to do this and that he’s been holding off because he knew how sad I would be and he didn’t want me to feel like that, but he also doesn’t want to keep treating me the way he’s been treating me. I told him how much I love him and that he can come to me and tell me anything and that he is an amazing boyfriend, that none of this is his fault at all. I also have depression, but I handle it very differently than him, I take antidepressants and just started going to therapy. So I do understand how much it really messes with your mind, feelings, energy, everything. I told him he neeeeds to get help and go to therapy and possibly start taking antidepressants. He literally doesn’t know how to talk about his feelings at all- it makes me sad because when I was looking into how men deal with depression, it talks a lot about how they deal with it differently than women because they’re scared to talk about their feelings or what’s bothering them, so it builds up. He told me that I should focus on myself and getting back on track too, and that whenever I start feeling sad that I should use that to help motivate me. He said it’s going to be hard at first for me but that it’ll get better. We said we’d talk again soon, we didn’t really specify when though. Like in a month or a few weeks probably. We also said that it’s possible we could date again in the future, but that we shouldn’t think about that right now and should just focus on getting our lives together. I am so sad. I have never felt so much pain before. Everything reminds me of him, he introduced me to so many of my favorite things. We do so many things together, it hurts to think about not doing them with him anymore. I just want to talk to him SO bad, but I don’t want to be annoying because I know he said he needs space right now and I don’t want him to think I don’t care about he feels. Do you think it would be okay if I texted him in maybe 2-3 weeks and just asked how he’s doing or say I hope he’s doing okay? I want him to know I will always be here for him and how much I really care about him. This has been the most painful experience of my life. I can’t express how much I just want to talk to him and see him. But at the same time, I really want him to be happy and to get himself back on track. I’m just so afraid I’m going to lose him forever. I love him so much. I told him please don’t forget about me and he told me he never will. Does anyone have any advice? Do you think he misses me as much as I miss him? How long should I wait to reach out? I literally haven’t even been able to really eat or focus on anything because I just feel so sad and can’t stop thinking about him. I’m trying to use this as motivation to get back in shape and get myself back on track too, because if we do end up together again I want to make sure I’m ready too. This is just so painful because we went from talking everyday for 4 years to nothing and no way for me to know how he’s doing. I hope everyone is doing okay, I know confusing this is, how much it hurts and how it feels like there’s nothing you can do :((((
Roni Page says
Hi Mary, this is my situation to the T. 2 years of a loving, solid relationship and now he is just mentally and emotionally gone, as I type this I Just hit two weeks and while I support his need for space and healing, yes the lack of communication is horrible. People who are depressed don’t or can’t see past their problems and it sucks horribly. I’ve cried, lost sleep, lost those pesky 17lbs unfortunately the wrong way and all I can do is be patient. Silence is the emotional killer to us waiting for our loved ones to come back. Is he coming back? Does he love me or did I just lose the love of my life? I’m all there, but I decided today and have needs and love and I’m not going to feel bad or bothered that I love him so I called him. Didn’t answer of course but I left a message telling him I love him and miss him and I’m ok and if he felt up for it at anytime I was still here. He told me when this all started I was amazing and the best and our love was pure but I deserved better. I have messaged him only one other time and said while I’m grateful and appreciate his opinion only I can decide what I want, need or deserve and will continue not stand by him while he heals. My love isn’t conditional so why would I leave? I too have joined some support groups, as I’m doing now looking online for info and go to therapy myself so I can come out on the other end ok IF he doesn’t come back. It will hurt and I will mourn the loss but I will live. I’m not losing hope yet just need to be realistic to myself. Hope you are doing well and maybe have gained some insight and communication with your loved one.
Thanks for your message Roni- I hate that anyone else is going through this but it’s great to feel support from people in similar situations.
I was able to see him last week for his birthday which was great but really hard at the same time- he’s still in such a dark place with his depression so I know we won’t be getting back together any time soon but I’m still hoping for the best outcome for both of us.
I love your sentiment of love being unconditional because I feel the same way. My friends and family have been confused as to why I won’t just “move on” and why I’m waiting around for him but I don’t see it that way. I see it as being supportive in the way that he needs even though it’s painful for me. Of course, not saying that it’s okay for us to be hurt and if there was a chance for reconciliation, it would come after many discussions about how to move forward, but like you said, my love is not conditional so why would I leave? At least not now when I believe I can be helpful and that we can work together to continue our relationship in the future.
I hope you’ve gained more insight and have found peace during this time of seperation from your loved one. All the best to you <3
Just wanted to check in and see how things are going. I am in the same position as you, our ex boyfriends even have the same birthday week.
Our relationships was so loving, planned for a future, then he just switched. He still says he loves me and wants me in the future but cant promise anything because he doesn’t know himself. i offered him help but hes pushed out everyone, including friends and family. this happened about two weeks ago
i dont know how to get over the intense pain and shock i feel. and even though he hurt me i want nothing more than for him to come back. he has agreed to meet in 3 months to rediscuss everything, but his mental illness makes him change his mind a lot, hes very hot and cold. this is making it so hard for me to move on or find peace in my days as im in this wierd limbo period, not knowing how well end up.
thank you for sharing your story. its brings me peace to know there are other people who are experiencing similar situations and i dont feel so alone. so thank you truly.
how is it going for you guys? have you spoken since the birthday?
all the best.
I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through the same thing- like you said, it’s a good feeling to not be alone in this awful struggle but I still would never wish this pain and heartbreak on anyone. I’m truly sorry you’re going through this.
I haven’t talked to him since his birthday almost a month ago. I’m struggling with how and when to reach out- he said some similar things to what your boyfriend told you (he promised we’d see each other again but he’s pushed out everyone in his life and he doesn’t know how/when/if he’d be ready to move forward together) but his biggest thing has been needing time alone and communication being overwhelming for him. I have felt better since seeing him for his birthday knowing I can reach out if I want to check on him but I’ve been afraid to do it. It’s a silly fear but I want to make sure I’m being respectful of what he’s asked for (time and space). I want to reach out just to check on him but I know eventually, we need to discuss our relationship because like you said, I am finding it so hard to find any peace being in this odd limbo.
I wish I could offer more advice or hopeful thoughts but I’m almost in the same situation as when this all started. All I can say is that I hope things move forward positively for the both of you and you can begin to find some peace.
All the best <3
Hi Mary, I am currently going through the same situation. My boyfriend broke up with my because his depression is getting the best of him. We’ve been through this before, about 8 months into our relationship he needed time for himself because he felt he was going down a dark path. I was completely heartbroken but I gave him his space. I did not know what would come of it, but after 2 weeks he found his way back to me. However, now he’s going through this again. We’ve now been together for a year and a half, and the past few weeks I’ve noticed him not fully being himself anymore. Just seems colder, more shut down. I’ve done everything I can to help him see the amazing man that he is, but he just can’t see it. He broke up with me yesterday because he doesn’t want to see me cry or make me feel invisible because he is going through this. He is going to therapy and stated he will be starting medication, and all I can do is give him his space and hope that all of this will bring him back to me. It’s very difficult when you get so used to someone. I feel like I’ve lost my best friend, and I feel so alone. I know I have to find a way to distract myself so that I don’t feel the loneliness. I just am hoping and praying that he will find his way back to himself, back to me.
I feel your pain. My boyfriend of 1.5 years just did the same thing to me. Went on a nice trip and a few days later said he couldn’t do this and have it in his heart. I asked for a week to give it time and he said his heart wouldn’t change. I read books, offered the therapist route and did so much to comfort him and support him when no one else. It has been almost three weeks with any type of contact from him. I cry everyday wishing I might get a text, I don’t sleep well. I just sit all day wondering about the depression and how you can push someone away so cold, so fast. Part of me feels like he doesn’t want to be with me but an episode like this happened before and the next day they reached out.
People brought to attention- do you always want to be the healthy one in the relationship? Do you want to live in the As of everyday?
Good luck and I hope we both can find peace one day.
Same sort of boat as you lady’s replying to Mary. My bf of 2 and half years finished with me. We loved each other so much, was trying for a baby. But work, finances and stresses of every day life took it’s toll he was constantly tired falling asleep due to New job and sleep pattern he was also struggling to sleep. Not eating well, his mom said his lost load’s of weight. Wasn’t showing interest in his exercise his weights and even sex was getting a chore. Now thinking back I should of saw the signs but was wrapped up with getting pregnant. I could kick myself. This morning I saw that he opened my WhatsApp message I sent a week ago but no reply. His mom says his just staying in his room, his kid’s went back to their mom’s early because they was fed up they didn’t go out and his mom was looking after them. He says that he struggles with being romantic and affection because his never had from ex wife, she cheated and kicked him out, he said still puts a barrier up. His had loads to deal with since her bringing a criminal in to their children lives he had to get social services involved. His mom don’t know what to do she’s confused upset, he won’t talk. She’s said I am the best thing to happen to him and she loves me to bit’s even his children like me, I can’t understand why he would chuck away. Maybe with the state the UK is in financially every one struggling it’s making him depressed and he can’t see a future I really don’t know. His been in depression before after his split on antidepressants. I haven’t messaged since I’m standing back but finding hard to let go I still love him. My parents saying you can’t risk going back if he realises he needs help, which he said he might need Therapy to sort his head, but I’m struggling I truly love him I just wish I could magic this away for good and have him back in my arms. I wish mental health did not exist I’m angry with the illness not him. I’m so lost, confused, upset. I suppose I came here to see If anyone was going through same thing and obviously they are just nice to talk to others share, talk, get advice, see if anyone come out good or had to walk and move on. x