Trying to Find Hope After Your Partner Leaves – 2

I’ve made hope the centerpiece of this pair of posts because there’s such a powerful need for it after a depressed partner leaves. However unrealistic the hope may be, it’s necessary to take the place of pain and grief.

The problem of a hope born of desperation is the risk of further shocks in the future as the hope is disappointed. But hope is hard to analyze. The need to believe that the partner who’s gone must still feel something, however hidden, seems to me overwhelming. The moment of crisis is a poor time for realistic thinking.

That’s the problem with much of the advice that’s offered online or from friends, however compassionately it’s done. It comes out of rational, realistic thinking by someone who’s not in the midst of the storm.

On the one hand, that’s its value, a thoughtful perspective from someone you trust. On the other, the urgent need is for someone who will listen without telling you what you should be doing – someone who can respond to your feelings with compassion.

That balance between compassion and reason is also what you need when reaching out to a partner who’s breaking away. And it’s the balance you need to keep yourself going.

The suggestions I can make may not be very satisfactory in the immediacy of the loss. I think it helps, if at all possible, to keep them in mind from the outset.

Taking Care of yourself

After your partner leaves, you may pull out all the stops and follow your impulse to reach him – or you may be too overwhelmed to do anything. Whatever your initial reaction, that first wave of feeling is likely all about loss. The focus is on your partner: his feelings, what he must be going through and the support he needs to deal with his depression.

But the crisis is also about your needs. You’re under huge stress, and it could have been building over a long period. You’ve likely been living with depression for some time, even if neither you nor your partner recognized what was going on.

You need support, not just to figure out why he’s taken off and what you can do for him, but to help you deal with what you’re going through. If you don’t, you can go downhill fast into your own depression.

Depression is Contagious

Many therapists, like Michael Yapko, describe depression as contagious, and I think they’re right. A depressed partner can hit you with emotional withdrawal and refusal to talk, or go to the opposite extreme of blame, anger and emotional abuse.

Whatever it’s been like, you’ve taken the brunt of it. Stress sustained over a long period can cause numerous health problems. The hurt, worry, anxiety and anger in the closest relationship you have can readily lead to depression, along with its impact on sleep, appetite and motivation. It also can push you into isolation and hopelessness that can prevent you from getting the help you need.

Just as your partner needs help, so do you.

How to Get Help

The key thing is to find someone who will listen without judgment and help you work on the issues your partner’s depression and leaving have caused. This person could be a friend or religious counselor or therapist. Someone who has been trained to help people sort through such problems would probably be best.

If you can’t identify anyone through your own friends and family, you can consult online directories, like this one or Psych Central’s listing of numerous directories.

Talking to others who have had to face the same crisis is excellent support. You can find in-person and online peer support groups through the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and also try the long-time online forum called Depression Fallout. These are especially valuable because you can find a lot advice that’s already been tried by people in your position.

Is Communication Possible?

This is someone you still love and you’re not going to sit by and do nothing. To a great extent, though, what you can do depends on what your partner lets you do.

Some block out all communication: no meetings, no calls, emails, letters or text messages. Perhaps they’ve moved away so you don’t even have an address. You can only talk to his friends or family to find out how he is or to convey a message for you. But there’s no response at all. That’s a pretty powerful signal of finality, but I’ve heard from many who try to find hope even in the refusal to respond.

Others are willing to talk, but the message is: I have to be alone to deal with depression and can’t be in a close relationship now. Total isolation is the answer while he works on his problems, often without help from anyone.

Some try to maintain the tie by talking frequently and express confusion about the relationship. Some stay in touch only to remind you that they think their problems are all your fault.

There are many other messages depressed partners might offer, but the bottom line is that they’ve cut you out of any active role. Often, they look on leaving as a big part of the answer to depression and never get treatment.

Generally, the behavior you see after they’ve left mirrors closely the way they treated you before taking the drastic step of getting out.

Offering Help

In thinking about how you can help, the key thing to keep in mind is that no one but the depressed partner can take the first steps to deal with illness. And he’ll do it in his own time, if he does it all. You can’t do it for him, but you can offer help and support.

In fact, that may be the only thing you can do, if communication is limited, and you get no response or invitation to do more. But if the door is open, you can offer help by sending information about depression or ideas you’ve found online. You can mention the types of treatment that are available, how to locate therapists, films, short videos and books that might be relevant. You can identify ways of getting help if he has no medical insurance. And you can simply indicate your availability to help whenever he might choose to call on you.

All this can clarify the options he has when he’s ready to make a serious attempt at treatment. You have to trust him to make up his own mind in his own time.

What You’re Really Communicating

It’s hard, though, to be that detached when you do get in touch. Usually, the motive for communicating is not simply to help but to keep the relationship going and keep your hope alive that he’ll return. It’s easy to push too hard so he’ll get rid of the depression that’s keeping you apart.

The message you communicate may come across in a way you don’t intend. He might read it as having to do more with your needs than with his. It may not sound like a disinterested offer, and that makes it hard for him to take your advice. Doing so would seem more like a sign that he was coming back to you, and that’s too sensitive to consider.

Making lots of suggestions about what he should do implies that it’s within his power to take action. However, he may not be able to do much of anything if he’s really going through an episode of major depression. He might just castigate himself all the more for not being able to follow your advice. Even after deciding to get out of his dark room and seek help, he’ll have a long way to go before learning how to cope with the illness and get back to his vital self. Inaction may not be a refusal to help himself but rather a sign of the depth of his depression.

Letting him move at his own pace is essential, but that too is hard when you long so much to restore the relationship or at least be assured that getting back together is a goal he shares. He might not know the answer to that himself.

Your Decision about You

Whatever you try to do or communicate may never have much effect. You may never get a signal that gives you real hope. Just as your partner has to decide about treatment, you’ll have to decide what’s best for you, and you’ll do it your own pace. There are no fixed rules to follow about any of these, just a series of examples of what others have done.

That’s why I emphasize the importance of taking care of yourself by getting the help and support you need. If you can do that, hopefully, you’ll get the guidance you’re looking for.

Some Rights Reserved for the image by mralsultan at Flickr

141 Responses to “Trying to Find Hope After Your Partner Leaves – 2”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Westwood 123 says:

    Sorry was unsure how commenting worked on my last post. This is my first time writing in any forum. Anyhow here’s my story….. My husband and I have been married for the past 24 years. We met while he was drinking and using drugs but he went into treatment and has been clean and sober for nearly 20 years now. We did two years of aftercare together after treatment but he never really went to AA meeting etc. But life was great and we had three beautiful boys who are now 22, 15 and 6. His own family are pretty dysfunctional and he doesn’t have a great relationship with his siblings. His dad passed away 4 years ago … lovely man and his mother is still alive. His relationship with his mother has been fraught at times while he was growing up but he seems to have made his peace with her now. Anyway he was totally immersed in our family life…. my parents, siblings and all my extended family were his family also. He has a good job and a small circle of friends but again my friends were his friends also. There were times throughout our marriage when he was a bit paranoid and insecure about me. I always reassured him that his thoughts were totally unfounded and I loved him only. He would always say he was sorry and he didn’t know what was going on with him and he needed counselling but unfortunately he never followed through and here we are now today…… On 10th May he accused me of having an affair of some sort with someone I worked with…. the person he was accusing me of being with was a small bald headed man not at all attractive but he was convinced 110% that I was attracted to this person…. what I am trying to say is I knew something was wrong and that fir him to have thought any thing like this his own self esteem must have been on the ground…. He was like a man possessed…. he had been watching my wats app and this other person’s wats app on the times I was on and off line and comparing it to the other persons and decided that we were in contact 24/7 which was completely not the situation at all…. he had concocted stories in his head about who knew about the affair and how and where I was meeting this person… It was all really scary stuff and he had been doing all this for 6 months and I had no idea. He must have been totally tormented. There was no convincing him at all that it wasn’t true so I had to ask him to leave the house as I felt I couldn’t live with someone who was accusing me of something that wasn’t true…. any time we met up talk he was so convinced and he just could not se the wood from the trees. We were txting and he was blowing hot and cold… one minute he was all sorry and once I told the truth he’d come home.. he missed me and the boys so much and couldn’t live without us. He couldn’t eat, sleep or function and just wanted the truth. Anyway to make a long story short I suggested I would go a lie detector test!!! I knew I had to do something irrational as I was dealing with an irrational person and more so I was dealing with someone who was not well at all and was having some kind of paranoid/ depression episode. Of course the test came back all clear and then he realised he wasn’t well!! He was so sorry and realised all the damage he had done and promised he would spend the rest of his life making it up to us. He said he had so many issues to work out and he started counselling… I managed to convince him to go to the doctor who sent him straight away for a psych assessment that evening. We ended up going back to our own Gp who gave him rivitrol and antidepressants while he is waiting for a private appointment with a physchiatrist. So he’s heading into his 3rd week in the meds and things have completely changed. He has totally shut down all his emotions towards me… two weeks ago we were planning to do up the house, go on holiday and plan for the future and he was going to move back home. And literally overnight he doesn’t know if he wants to be married anymore or even if he loves me the same anymore. He says he can’t work out his feelings , and says he hasn’t felt loved by me in a few years…. This is all such a shock to me as I have never done anything to make him feel unloved. Other than trying to run a house and just get in with life like every other married couple…. I know life can get in the way sometimes but we always tried to make time for us with weekends away etc. He only rings now to talk to the children and really can’t communicate with me at all…. he’s living with his two friends in an apartment. Both their marriages are gone for a long time. One of them is a child hood friend but he has a big influence in my husbands life. He looked up to him totally and his friend loves this as it feeds his big ego. He never liked the fact that my husband was married and always wanted him as his sidekick when he would be pulling women on a night out. I just feel my husband is so vulnerable at the moment and he’s listening to all the wrong advice??? He has always adored his family and always said that I saved his life when he was using in that I got him to treatment….. He is a family man and never wanted to living in a flat only seeing his children every now and then… He rang my son this morning and I could hear he was upset on the phone while waiting to speak to my son….. I’m at a loss to explain all this but it’s like dealing with a complete stranger. I’m hoping when the meds kick in he’ll see some sense . He was looking to start with a new counsellor but he hasn’t organised anything yet…. he says he wants to try marriage counselling but I’m not so sure now…. he’s just all over the place and not the same man at all😢😢😢It’s just devastating as I don’t know who the real man is now… is it the depression talking or is it actually how he feels???
    I’m sorry if this is a bit all over the place but I’m just typing as it’s coming into my head…

  2. John says:

    I don’t know what are you but I know not what are used to be. I’m too afraid to ask for help Because I’m tired of giving all of myself for not getting anything in return. I don’t wanna lose anymore and it feels like that’s all I am doing here lately so I push everyone away and I keep to myself that’s safe.

  3. Ama says:

    Hi all

    18 months ago my boyfriend of five years broke up with me. I had a deep sense of unease about the relationship for a long time. He had experienced a terrible childhood and throughout our relationship refused to communicate with me about his feelings, even minor issues couldn’t be discussed, he would leave or sometimes literally hide his head under a pillow (and I mean minor incidents, the conversations didn’t involve shouting but he would shut down or lash out with something hurtful to make me retreat). We had bought a house the year before, redid it and I think that briefly masked the problems. The hostility was unbearable, my self esteem was completely shattered. I over compensated by avoiding talking about any feelings and trying too hard to “fix” us. Anyway he ended our relationship in a five minute conversation and was completely detached, at that point he felt I was the reason for him feeling the way he felt. I moved out, completely shattered by how little he cared. He went away a couple of weeks later to see his family and i moved my things out. While doing that, I was taking stuff from one of our cupboards and he left a bunch of stuff which made it obvious he had slept with someone else the week he ended our relationship. I was so incredibly hurt, i knew it was his way of avoiding dealing with his issues. I realised during all this that he had been experiencing a deep depression that had gone on so long I didn’t even realise it, I was just so used to his mood being low and his disinterest in us or socialising, he was incredibly isolated. This forum helped me a lot at the time but I did tell him he was depressed, ignored my feelings of hurt, anger and betrayal, I kept focusing on him and how bad things were for him. He did realise it, started anti depressants and therapy and would reach out only to push me away and lash out at me. After six months I drew a line because I couldn’t cope with being blamed anymore. That’s when he seemed to emerge from the fog. He desperately tried to get me back, I was heartbroken saying no but I knew the amount of damage that had been caused was irreparable for me, I wouldn’t be able to trust him again. It was a sick twist of fate that he only saw what we had once it was lost. He said everything I had wanted to hear for so long but i couldn’t put any faith in it. He had been diagnosed with PTSD, severe depression and severe anxiety, the therapy did help him to realise how he interacted with me stemmed from a truly awful childhood. Anyway I realised from this that I had made my own mistakes by avoiding issues, harbouring resentment, losing my own self worth and not looking after myself. I began dating someone else six months ago. I feel like I had learned a lot and even though it petrified me I would name my feelings if there was an issue, I tried to stop being hyper vigilant and looking for signs to distrust him. He is a very kind, quiet, thoughtful person who after a few months I started to feel secure with. Until he had a panic attack several months ago. He had admitted recently before that that he experiences a lot of anxiety/stress due to his job (I was shocked, he seems very easy going). Anyway I panicked, i thought here we go again, this person is going to bail on me. But he didn’t, he started counselling. I was mindful of the mistakes I had made before and instead of trying to “fix” things I just tried to be there and give him space to talk. And things between us were great. For the first time in a long time I felt like I was in a reciprocal relationship, he took as well as gave, it wasn’t all take. Months passed and I let my guard down and stopped expecting it to go wrong. Then the second panic attack happened. I saw him a few days after, we were still great but he was slipping in terms of managing his work stress. But in terms of us, no change, very happy together, good support systems to each other. He told me a lot how he felt in terms of the quality of the relationship and how happy he was. Anyway, our last date was just before last weekend, we were fine. Then Saturday out of the blue he text me and ended it. It was a completely impulsive decision which went against all his words and actions before. I’m sure it is due to an acute episode of severe anxiety clouding his rational thinking. I haven’t met up with him or spoken to him really since, I feel after my last experience it won’t help. I spoke to my counsellor who agreed that it sounds like it was an irrational decision made in the fog of anxious thinking. But I’m really hurt that I’m here again. I feel like this relationship had a great potential, I let myself feel like I could trust in his actions and words. I have been taking care of myself and I reason that telling him my thoughts on why he made this decision will fall on deaf ears and sound like bargaining. I don’t know if I would want to continue seeing him given what happened to me before, I don’t know if I can do it again, it’s brought up a lot of feelings from my last relationship. But I don’t want to close the door just yet either, I just don’t know how to approach it. I’m not sure if I wrote this just to get my feelings out or for advice, but if anyone has any id love to hear it. I am taking care of myself, at least I’ve learned that much

  4. Michelleshellyg says:

    My bp 1 husband of 12 years for the first time ever left a month ago today after a small fight that turned into a manic blow up on the eclipse and moved overnight cross country to his moms and brothers he had her bus him and his son overnight to her and spent quite a bit of money doing it as well. After 11 years of being medicated he went off them about 6 months ago after having a bad side effect and wasn’t really good about taking the new meds he was prescribe maybe got out of habit I don’t know. I didn’t realize he had stopped taking them altogether till after he left and I found almost full bottles in the cupboard. I just noticed he has been more irratable and much, more angry with lots of blowups than usual ,but we had a appointment to see the psych doctor at the end of the month so I thought we would address it then. It was at such a point the last two weeks we had been sleeping in seperate bedrooms because he was so mean and kept telling me he didn’t want me in there. Before he left it was the day before school started , he was slated to quit his 2 low paying jobs and start his new high paying job in a week, and we were supposed to look at enrolling his very troubled teenage bp son into a behavioral institute in two weeks as well. We’ve been talking finally . After several days of silence he told me he loved me he missed me and dreamt about me every night . He says I am the hardest addiction he has ever had to break and he craves being with me . That I am absolutely the best he has has ever been with. We talked for a week straight off and on good and bad. Then when he posted a meme to me about him having to break his own heart by walking away then by staying and dying a little everyday and I shot back about it suggesting he was at fault he stopped talking to me. Then he started talking a couple days later and I think he is rapid cycling manic. He says he’s sorry and he is sorry he is a crazy fuck up and he failed me and is holding me back in life. He won’t come back home says there is no saving us that we will have better happier life’s apart . It sounds like his family is putting major pressure and financial guilt to stay on him because they spend over $2000 getting him down there and they are helping him put down a deposit on a apartment when he finds one. Till then he is staying with them. Now he decided he won’t talk to me so he can get over me quicker . He is currently looking for a job and a apartment down there. It’s been four weeks so is this it? Am I never going to see my husband again? Is he just totally threw with me or is there a hope he might cycle and change his mind in my favor again ?. He says he dreams about me every night and his heart aches for me ,but he says it’s too late for us, for our marriage , and our family. He says I just hurt him too bad, he says he is never going to date again, or have sex, or be in a relationship again , and just wants a divorce but all he wants out of the house is his wedding ring so he can wear it and be faithful and our wedding photo above the bed. He says he will love me and miss me till the day he dies . He is looking for a apartment and a job down there and enrolling his son in school up there. I don’t think his family will let him come back because they spent so much money getting him down there and then when manic he made me out to be horrible and made it seem like I kicked him out instead of he left. They think we are toxic together ,but it is the bipolar when it flares up not us. They also don’t think he is bipolar that it is just me stressing him out and they don’t believe in medication. I think the new and better life thing is from them. I have thought of writing them letters but I don’t know if they will believe me or if I will further alienate him. I have tried everything I can think of to reason with him and let him know I forgive him and I am here for him and I want to work this out and have told him over and over I am not hurting him his illness is and he is projecting onto me because bipolar people often lack insight . I have told him he needs to get back on his meds and seek treatment . He says he is fine now that he is down there and away from me. I have said and tried everything I can think of and I finally just told him after he pushed for the divorce again that let’s push pause on the divorce talk and I would give him his space . Any ideas on how to get him home where he belongs? Any hope that he’ll come back?

  5. Brian says:

    These articles have been very helpful. I’m at the end of my straw now and really don’t know what to do.
    My wife of 11 years told me 2 years ago she was done. It felt out of the blue although looking back at it I had suspicions that something was wrong. I had dealt with my own depression on and off but never sought out treatment and a year prior to my wife being done a family member had an accident and the weight of caring for that person was 100% on my shoulders. This left me very depressed and I leaned heavily on my wife for support. She mentioned a few times I should seek out help but I felt okay. Fast forward a few months and she said she was done and wanted a divorce. I was destroyed, we have two young children and I felt my life was over. Over the last two years I sought out my own help and I’m feeling much better and much stronger to handle things. During the two years since my wife first said she was done we have gone through marriage counseling but a year ago my wife said again she was done. We started to work through it and I asked if she felt depressed and the marriage counselor provided her a few question test that did show she was clinically depressed. She said she didn’t want to take meds because she felt it would be better for her to work through her feelings.
    Fast forward again to a few weeks ago she again tells me she is done (third time). At this point I think I have been worn down enough that even though I don’t want our marriage to end I don’t think I have it in me to keep trying. The way she describes herself is unloving and unlovable. She said I deserve better than her in one moment but moments later she will say that I have hurt her so much that it has changed her and the woman I married is gone. To add to the complexity of this my wife in the last couple of years is coming to terms that she is bisexual. She said she believes in a monogamous relationship but since she never acted on her feels there is a part of her that is curious if that side of her is what needs to come out. I’m left confused and hurt through this. I don’t want my marriage to end but I don’t see how it can continue like this. She is so cold to me, she barely talks and has been going out a lot with friends which is good for her but I also have concerns she might be having an affair.
    In the end I’m left feeling like an idiot for staying but feel like things might change since she started taking depression meds a few weeks ago. After the last conversation about being done she stopped hugging me and starting sleeping on the couch. In the last week she started hugging me and sleeping in bed again. There hasn’t been any physical relationship with my wife in over a year and I have tried to be patient in hopes if we fulfill our emotion needs the rest will come.
    At this point I’m starting to think I’d be better off, I’ve felt my own depression returning and it is getting harder to cope with as time goes on. I don’t know what to do, is it over? Is it worth waiting but for now just refocus on my own self care. I don’t see myself waiting another 2 years for this to work out, I don’t have the drive anymore, I don’t have anymore to give but also feel it is so hard to let go. We haven’t talked to the kids about any of this and but agree we don’t want to until we are sure.
    Is there any hope to be had or should I cut my losses and move on? That is the dilemma I am struggling with now.

  6. K says:

    I found this two part article today. This has probably been the most helpful thing I’ve found. I am only 21, my partner and I split up about 6 months ago. It hit me really hard, it was out of no where that he became distant and I just didn’t understand. So then that led to some arguing. Ultimately led to his decision to leave. I knew about his depression, but towards the end I just felt like I was pushed out completely. We haven’t talked much about what had happened but he didn’t really have anything to say. The worst part for me is that we had a really good relationship we were best friends from the start. This split was a huge shock for me and I’m still lot dealing with it well. We talk now but it seems like we’re in limbo all the time and I don’t know how to handle it. If there’s any advice to be given, I’m here to listen!

  7. lostone says:

    Hello all,

    I’m new to this forum and have been reading all of your posts which has helped me get a deeper understanding of depression. I wanted to start off by saying, thank you to all that has shared their stories and I’m glad I found a common forum in hopes of helping someone else.

    Where to begin? I found this forum 2 years ago when my depressed ex fiancé left me for the first time. A little history, we together 8 years and next month would have been 9. We began dating when I was in high school and he was in the process of entering is first career, I entered my career and felt I was at a stand still. Everything was amazing of course. During that time we evolved as a couple, we bought our first home in 2012 (his life goal was to be a homeowner by the age of 25, he’s now 30) he surpassed this. But after that he seemed like there was nothing else to look forward too. He became stressed about bills, I hated my job and I was in the process of figuring out what I wanted to do next in my life.

    2 years ago he told me he was depressed, he told me as if it was his last resort of saving our relationship. He told me he’s been depressed his whole life since his dad passed away when he was 8 years old. At that time, I didn’t know what to say or do. I didn’t understand the depth of his struggle. He told me he didn’t tell me sooner because he didn’t want me to look/treat him differently. He was not on any medications or therapy. He proposed June/2015 and he suddenly broke up with me Aug/2015. His explanation was he didn’t love me anymore, he isn’t happy, he doesn’t want to string me along and it isn’t fair. That we were never right for each other. I begged him to not leave, his expression seemed annoyed. He actually even told me he felt relieved and that a weight has lifted off his shoulders. I was devastated, so lost and confused. All emotions fumed through my body. A few weeks later, he sent me a text wanted to be friends to see if we can rekindle anything (looking back now, it was too soon), I told him I would try, but it would be difficult because I still have strong feelings for him. He called a few times here and there even asked to FaceTime me. We texted pretty much all day and night, met up for dinner a few times and went out with mutual friends. It hurt.. he then texted me out of the blue and told me I deserve better.. not only did he break up with me suddenly, but he broke off our friendship suddenly as well. I then told him I needed to move on and get myself back on track before we communicate again. He continued to text me how amazing I was, how great of a person I was to him and how I deserve someone that can make me happy. I left it at that, packed my belongings from our home we once shared back to my parents and began my journey to recovery. I started no contact immediately, deactivated all social media and blocked him. 2 months later, he texted me out of the blue again wanted to meet me and reconcile. During those 2 months he started therapy and medication. We had a long conversation about what was expected of one another, and that he needed to try his best to communicate with me if he felt a depressive episode was coming and I would do my best to catch it before it spiraled. The first few months were rough, he was still in the process of finding the right balance of medication and eventually found it. We got re-engaged September/2015, he said he couldn’t live without me. I can see our relationship has gotten better, communication was picking up. Before we reconciled, I started the process of going back to school, he supported me through all of this anyway he could. With me being so focused on school I lost track of our relationship. I have so much guilt that I did not nurture our relationship as I could have. A part of me believes it was me that made him slip deeper into his depression without me even knowing it.

    Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, he came home from work with a blank look on his face, my stomach went down the gutter and right then and there I knew what was coming. Again, this was suddenly. I proceeded to ask, “is everything ok?” He went right into it and said he wasn’t happy and he’s felt this way for a couple weeks, he doesn’t want to string me along, that he’s selfish for being with me and that he forgot how to make me happy, and that it really wasn’t me this time and it was him. I looked into his eyes and saw nothing. It was as if I was speaking to a robot, I couldn’t find him. I understood at that point there was nothing I could say or do to make him change his mind. I then asked about his medications, he just looked at me with a blank stare. I then find out that all of his meds were empty and has been for 2-3 weeks. I offered my word of advice about seeking CBT and possibly getting back on his medications. My sister currently works for a behavioral health clinic and has also offered him insight of different types of treatment and he was open to it and stated he would make an appointment in a couple weeks. Which I’m extremely happy to hear. Again, he said he still wants to be friends and hang out, grab drinks or dinner. We are currently still coexisting until I finish school this coming June, this is where I’m having a tough time. I miss him and I’m always thinking about him. We see/speak to each other, but I also understand he needs to fight this battle alone, but everyday it seems like I’m looking for hope. Hope that one day, sooner rather than later, he will find himself again and we can reconcile. I also understand that it’s less probable to reconcile after the 2nd time and maybe I should just close the door? I’m afraid to hope.. and I get the feeling that all hope is lost.

    I’m currently trying to keep busy during my last stretch of school, work, taking care of our dog, and I decided to go back to the gym. I’ve been forcing myself out with my friends because being “home” is hard. Once I finish with school I plan to move back to my parents again, but I feel guilty for leaving him during this time of need although I did make sure to let him know he can still reach out to me if he needs someone to talk to (as I am the only one that truly understands him). I still plan on supporting and being here for him as much as he lets me, for now that’s the best I can do.

    Any insight helps. Im sorry if this post is all over the place and lengthy, my mind is all over the place. Thank you in advance.

    • Christine says:

      I feel for you sooooo much! Dealing with a depressed partner is soooooo emotionally exhausting! We woman love so deeply and the pain, heartache and trying to keep level headed sometimes seems nigh on impossible. My husband has come back and I ‘think’ (me guarded) to some extent come to his senses? Is that possible? He had left, thought this the right thing to do, reduced his tablets, went down hill, me still in contact with him, even though had ‘gone’ to another woman, starts to believe me, that it is the depression. I’m the only person there for him and so now dumped the other woman and is back home. The tooing and fro ing does your head in, I’ve lost over 9lbs in weight but trying to look after myself and eating, exercising. Still taking a lower dose anti depressant, just helps me cope. I have GREAT support from my daughters and work colleagues, which I wouldn’t have coped with, without them! I am learning, have had to, to be slightly detached from him and have also had myself, CBT and learnt techniques to live in the here and now, not make assumptions, can’t change the past, it’s done, so don’t worry about it and the future is just that, not happened yet! It’s HARD, why? because I LOVE him sooo much! Where will it all end/lead to? Who knows? It’s in the future, I just have to keep working at it and what will be will be. Life throws curve balls and we have to deal with it, we don’t ask for it, we certainly don’t want this but we have NO choice but to deal with it, whatever the outcome! Keep strong you ladies out there and you gentlemen, if it’s happening to you. You are not alone!

      • lostone says:


        Apologies for the late response and thank you for your reply. We women sure do love so madly and deeply.

        I wanted to ask, how are things going now with you and your husband since he game back? I also wanted to let you know that it’s ok to be “guarded” it’s also important to let him know this so that he doesn’t read it differently. When me and my ex fiancé reconciled the first time, I told him I lost a lot of trust. This might of been a mistake on my part as his meds were still kicking in and he took this as guilt for him causing me this pain. He was disappointed in himself that I lost trust in him. But what else was there for me to do? I had to speak the truth and let him know where I stood. I had to take responsibility for my own emotions and I couldn’t live a lie going into our relationship the 2nd time around.

        Currently, I’m still lost and confused. One thing is for sure, I need to focus on myself so I can detach with love and let him heal. If it was meant to be, it will be. Hardest thing I’ve had to deal with.

        • Christine says:

          I’m still trying to deal with it! He is sooo depressed, yet still goes to work, as it occupies him. (That’s what he says) He had a week off beg May and is building us a conservatory. While off work and doing this, he was more contented and doing something he enjoyed. Back to work and back to being the routine, mundane and now sleeping in the other bedroom again! I get the occasional kiss goodnight, even had sex that first week but now back to none of that sort of affection. We are both the affectionate, holding hands, kissy, feely type of people and it is soooo hard, hurtful and soul destroying trying to keep going, trying to be there for him and also not getting much back in return. I read; depression; don’t take it personally, it’s the illness, not them. How can you keep this understanding up, when again he turned to another woman and he doesn’t particularly give you an inch. The locks are still on the IPad and the phone and it’s all to do with him and him making the decisions, he feels comfortable with and able to do. I keep trying to keep up with the ‘Hot thoughts’ (therapy) but the mistrust is very hard to deal with! I find myself tooing and frooing so much and how much longer can I keep this up? He can see how much I hurt but yet, you can’t just ‘snap’ out of depression. All that has been on the TV recently about Mental Health issues and we can sit there and tick yes to that one, tick, tick, tick all the symptoms are there. I lowered the strength of my tabs but after 3 wks have had to up them again to cope. Life really SUCKS at the moment.

  8. Sylvie says:


    I’m in shock. I suspected he was depressed or bipolar but no one confirmed, his family only telling me that he was alot to himself and had no friends. Monday morning after a magnifient day Sunday, made love like there is no tomorrow, everything was fine, he was suppose to join me at my place, instead he texts me I’m not coming down, I don’t feel well??? I call him and he is distant…I reply well do your things and we’ll talk later. Around 6:00, sends me a text that everything is over, that his head and heart are not with me, that his past is not settle and needs to be alone??? Blocked me everywhere, doesn’t want to talk to me ect…except on Facebook, he deleted me as a friend but didn’t block. So I read his (one hour after sending me the text it was over) post that his heart belongs to his ex, even if they weren’t together anymore, he will hope???? I was in disbelief, I manage to reach him to have a explanation, only thing he said is so, it doesn’t concern you, why are you calling me, I was clear in my text. I hung up being so mad.
    Later on, I text his sister asking her what is going on, she says I don’t know, she goes and see the post and says to me, Sylvie my brother is bipolar, but not treated, let him be, he doesn’t deserve you. Ouch! that hurts. I really fell in love with this guy. Yes I did have signs before but not knowing what bipolar was, well… One thing for sure, all the posts and comments on this site helps me cope with what is going on and frankly I hope never to hear from him again for my own sanity…it’s not that I don’t want to stand by him but he needs to do this on his own..I don’t want to be dragged down in this. I need to move on that what my head says, the heart will eventually follow.

    P.s. Sorry if my English isn’t taht good, I’m French and just writing about it, liberates me and make me feel better 🙂

    • Lamarr says:

      Sylvie – I totally understand what you mean by getting it out writing it. I do hope you are able to understand that it isn’t a reflection on you, and take confidence in yourself. I don’t know how old you are, but I also hope you can be aware of the type of guy you might fall for in the future. Good luck!

      • Sylvie says:

        Thanks Lamarr.

        I’m 51. We’ve been together for several months, fortunetly.
        I’ve noticed certain behavior for sure but in front of people he was one person and alone another, no one in the family came upfront telling me anything cause they haven’t seen him so happy in a long time, they probably said to themselfs, we will say nothing until he blows everything up…like usual. (That’s what his sister told me).
        You’re so right that I will be aware of the signs for the futur, thanks to all the posts and replies on this site (you have no idea how it helped me understand and cope), for once in my life that I’ve opened up to someone and fell deeply in love with well… I’m a very sponteneous and positive person so… I should get through this even if I wish things would of gone differently. One thing for sure: I wouldn’t of thought a body could contain so much water.
        Have a nice day!

    • John says:

      Sylvie, I feel your pain. Living with someone who is bipolar is difficult. My wife is bipolar and also has bpd (borderline personality disorder).
      This is our second marriage. We were childhood sweethearts but broke up for stupid rains when we were young and married the wrong people and found each other again after 30 years.
      These last 2 and a bit years has been great and awful. The illness does and says the most hurtful things to the person that loves them the most. The person that is trying to help them.
      My wife was being medicated these last 8 months but also needed therapy. She just thought she was crazy these last 20 years because that’s what her ex would call her. No one ever got her help.
      I would go from being the best person in the world to the worst in a drop of a hat.
      It’s hard for them as they don’t mean it but it’s also hard for the partner listening to all that negative stuff about how bad they are when is the complete opposite when they are fine.
      I was willing to live the rest of my life helping and caring for her. Loving her without restrictions but she has decided to leave me for a second time. It doesn’t get any easier.
      I have taken into a deep depression and anxiety and am seeking help for the first time. You forget about helping yourself as you spend all your time helping your partner.
      Financially I’m ruined but I don’t care about that as you can get through that. Mentally and emotionally in completely broken and that is the hardest part.
      I told her that I would take her back even if it took 5, 10 or 20 years. I love her more than anything and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.
      There is a lot more to this story but I won’t continue it here.
      You have to help yourself. Bipolar people are nearly impossible to live with if they don’t want to get help. They will never be 100% but with help they can improve and I’m willing to go through it all with her but she has chosen to cut me out of her life again. Delete me and blocked me from everything.
      I don’t know where she is out how she is. I just want her to get better and I would like to know that she is getting help but I can’t control that.
      Good luck to you and I think you’ve made the right decision. You will continue to have your heart smashed into a million pieces of you continued on and he didn’t get help. You would then be affected mentally as well.
      All the best.

  9. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for posting something for the ones left behind. My life completely changed 8 months ago after my partner suddenly broke things off and shut me out of his life and the life we had built together. As I have slowly been piecing my own life back together I have deeply struggled to make sense of it all, and this article and the series on why depressed men leave has been the first piece of wisdom that has helped​ me to find some sense of peace and some sense of answer that he was never capable of giving me in the end. It has also been helpful to hear that it is ok, encouraged even, to let go and just take care of me, even though I want so badly to just be with him in his fight and to get back the man I deeply loved. Only he can make that decision in the end. And if he isn’t capable of that then there’s nothing left in it for me. I need to matter in this too.

    • Emee says:


      Nine months ago the love of my life left me as well. I can tell simply from your post how deeply you care for him, and I just want to wish you all the best.

      These have been the most impossible seasonsof my life. And while I take care of myself on a surface level, my heart still aches daily for the man I love. I hope you can find some peace knowing you’re not alone.

      • Heather says:

        Thank you for your kind words! It does help knowing that I’m not alone and I wish you the best as well. It’s hard isn’t it? 🙁 And part of me is also so angry that 8 months later I still miss him every day in the end he was so wrapped up in himself he could barely take the time out of his day to acknowledge I existed and probably hasn’t thought of me twice. Ive even tried starting to date again and I just feel like an asshole because in the back of my mind he’s still there. I still slip into struggling with the unanswered questions. How do you do it?

        • Lesley says:

          My wonderful, caring husband of 24 years has packed up and left this week, as he can only be happy by himself…He has been diagnosed with depression but as far as he is concerned it is the house and me that is making him unhappy! The pain is incredible…the tears constantly flow and I am hoping that someone can tell me that it will get easier…as at the moment my heart aches more than I thought was ever possible…..How do we cope being left behind

    • Christine says:

      Hi, I posted my story on the first part; loss of feeling section and now I’m here! My husband has left me after 26 yrs of being together. I am in tears writing this and in such pain. It would have been our 25th Wedding Anniversay this August. He is the love of my life too! I’m still trying to communicate, foolishly though. I said I am strong minded and I will stick with it but now I am defeated and soooo full of pain. Yes like others my heart aches, why do we women love sooo deeply? I am with all you ladies who are out there suffering and feel for every single one of you. I have my daughters and love them dearly and am so grateful for their support but it doesn’t replace my loss of my husband. How does life go on? It is so empty. The house is empty, our bed is empty and when out shopping I feel I ‘belong’ to no one, sooo lonely. I am taking anti depressants as they help with the anxiety and have been seeing a therapist but at the end of the day you are still alone having to deal with all your emotions. At the moment I can’t see my way forward. Time is a healer is such a bloody cliché.

      • Lamarr says:

        I feel you; we were only married 17 years, but I had honestly just settled in to truly feeling loved by him. It was a rough year last year as his mom and my dad both died, and his contract ended and the next one never materialized, but I thought we were going through it together. All of a sudden, he tells me I can have everything, he won’t fight me. Then he gets a hotel room, and now an apartment (with what money, still don’t know, he’s still not employed). But I have found so much support through this blog, knowing it’s a script he’s walking through. I also found and another ebook/group called Motivated to Love. Both of these have encouraged me to continue to stand for my marriage, but also to accept where I am right now. I’ve lost weight and am trying to take care of myself, knowing I am beautiful and loveable. I hope you are able to find similar support. I also copied this scripture for me today: Psalm 73:23-26 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever! No one will ever love us the way God does~

      • Lesley says:

        Hi Christine

        Reading your post is an absolute mirror image of my situation. My husband who has been recently diagnosed with depression after refusing for 18 months to see a doctor, has now decided that the only way he can be happy is to leave our family and live by himself. We would have been married 25 years in September. The pain comes in waves, one minute I try to be strong and the next, just as I write this,the tears flow. As you say the house feels so empty… as do I. I can not imagine how I am meant to cope with the next few weeks as I am a mix of emotions. I need to be strong for the children, but it is sooo hard. I understood your shopping reaction…I also wondered around whilst out shopping feeling that I had lost a part of me……All around me seemed so happy
        I am planning to see a therapist , but I doubt anything can take away this feeling of hurt and pain.

        • Christine says:

          Hi Lesley, he was having an affair, with one of his staff! She is a messed up person herself and previously had an affair with another married employee! That person has left to work in another store and then she batted her eyelids at my weak husband, who at the time was finding his Social Anxiety disorder symptoms getting worse. In the 26 years of being together, he was just shy/ quiet, never ‘shared’ but then at the end of last year, things were just so bad I ended up on anti depressants. I work in Pharmacy and looked into the tablets and found Social Anxiety disorder and it was him to the letter! She has 3 children, 2 of which were abused by her brother and herself being abused by her father! He has left all our family, yes all are grown up, 3 daughters, 2 from my first marriage, one with him. 2 grandsons, 1 granddaughter, who at times he was stressed at me having them, especially if it was his day off. He wanted his time to himself. The more I think about it, I can see things that I never ‘saw’ before. The first affair was after 6 yrs of marriage, that I forgave, everyone deserves a second chance and our daughter was only 5 at the time. 19 yrs later; Unknown depressive disorder, getting worse,(he said over the last 18mnths) not sharing, me having menopausal depression, once again, when the going gets tough, the ‘tough’ ( not) gets going! The feelings of loss, are like grief, overwhelming, then there’s anger, then loneliness and so on.
          I feel for you sooo much, especially with having young childrens! Not only are you dealing with your feelings/emotions but the children too! Therapy helps but you are still left with having to deal with it on a day to day basis. I HATE having to keep taking the tablets but they help with the anxiety, until I feel stronger. We woman are STRONG! Men are the weaker sex, they bury problems, don’t share/talk. My husband definitely has the flight trait, always to another woman, seeking the high of a new relationship, bored with life, daily routine, everything’s mundane. He couldn’t make conversation, hated social occasions, always falling asleep, sleep pattern terrible, practically every symptom but he still thinks he’s not depressed. Work was an escape; in the 30 yrs he has worked for the same Company, I can count on both hands, how many days off he had. Conversation was always about work but very rarely discussed mine.
          If ever you need to talk, I’m here, we are all here for each other. We will get through this, dig deep. Love Christine.

    • Gina says:


      This is an encouraging post. My depressed BF told me last week that he probably shouldn’t be with anyone and is tired of hurting me. We’ve been together 7 years and he’s gone through bouts of depression where he pulls away from me and our friends, We don’t live together so it would get really bad where I would only see him once a week, or maybe every two weeks. This happened after about four years and we broke up for a week but I talked him into trying to work it out (and he said he wanted to). Things were good for awhile and then he ended up moving into an apartment by himself where he is very isolated. He had previously been living in a great house with his guy friends who all started to settle down one by one. Since he moved, our relationship has been really strained. He’s always told me that he feels something is off and I try to pull him out of his funks when he withdraws but this has been worse than ever. I went to his house last Monday night to tell him I couldn’t take this anymore and what are we gong to do about this? He basically tells me he shouldn’t be with anyone but that he loves me. He then apologized to me for being broken and claims that he feels like a robot. When I was sitting there sobbing on his couch there was ZERO emotion from him. After 7 years. I am so devastated and am trying to find a way to cope. Reading what others are going through is helpful, though all I can hope is that he comes back to me. He knows I would do anything for him but his self worth is so low and depression sufferers often believe in certain failure. I wish I knew the answers. I don’t want to leave him behind and move on. He just made his first ever appointment with a therapist, something he has been saying he wanted to do for a long time. And now that hope is on the horizon for his condition he has pushed me away. I feel so miserable and alone. After 7 years of being so in love with this man through the good and bad and now I’ve lost him. I have been obsessively reading every shred about depression and ADD in relationships over the last week, trying to look for positive answers and they are just not there. This is something I wish I would have been more in tune with two years ago and I feel like I could have maybe helped instead of letting him wallow in his apartment night after night, isolated and alone. I know I said the wrong things too in reaction to him pulling away from social interactions with our friends. I would get really angry and in hindsight, he can’t help any of that. I wish I would have done more self educating back then like I am now. I feel terrible and don’t know what to do. I want him to do well with his therapy and I’m so proud of him, but I’m also feeling selfish because this is now my life that is turned upside down. I’m just trying to move through the pain any way I can. He says he loves and misses me but has had doubts about our relationship before and wasn’t sure if it was the depression talking or something else. I know that rash decisions should never be made in a depressive funk but that doesn’t matter to him. He wants no added pressure of a relationship while starting his therapy. I understand that but my intent was never to pressure him, I want to support him. Everyone needs a support system going through therapy and I want him to accept my help so badly. This has been a tough pill to swallow and I really need to learn how to take care of myself. I haven’t been eating or sleeping for a week and it’s starting to take a toll on my body. Much love to all of you out there who are hurting as badly as I am. This is the worst pain I’ve ever felt and I feel hopeless and alone.

      • Heather says:

        I totally feel you girl. This last year has been one of the most challenging years of my life. My former partner at this point doesnt even acknowledge if I try to talk to him anymore, and yet I still miss him and wonder every day how he is doing. :-/
        The whole ordeal brought up not only deep grief in me but rage for what it put me through, humiliation for my life being turned upside down and caught up in his shit, deep regret for not having known then what I know now about depression and having a depressed partner, deep fear that there was something wrong with me and that was why he left, and a constant and painful itch to reach out and try and reconnect to something and someone that is no longer there .. All swirling around inside me at the same time.
        A phrase I have learned and has slowly saved me is to “just be”. Just be present with all the shit it stirred up in me without judgement or reaction. While it hurts at least it gives me a sense of control over what I can do in relationship with all that shit swirling around inside of me. Perhaps it can help you too?
        Know that I am thinking of you and sending love your way. It is not an easy path that you have found yourself on :-/

        • Gina says:

          Thanks for responding so fast. I’ve been obsessed with reading about all of this online just to try and find stories of happy endings and successes when it comes to this kind of situation. When this happened last week he told me that he just didn’t know what he wanted and what was right or wrong. He is worried he’d go through therapy and not want to be in our relationship anymore because he’s had doubts about us. But all that I can think of is that the doubts are there because of his illness. When he withdraws I let it happen because I don’t know what to do, then more and more distance grows. When he was on his highs (which used to be way more frequent), we would always have the best time. We share a brain, we finish each other’s sentences, love the same music and we have the most insane chemistry ever. This is one thing that has never changed through the 7 years is our attraction for one another. We also have the most amazing social circle. All of the perfect things for a great base to this relationship are in place, there is just one piece missing. I’ve been worried about our relationship for years but I am so in love with him that I believe he is worth it. We are worth it. I hope that a year from now I have as positive an outlook as you do. The thought of never talking to him anymore literally brings me to the point of desperation. EVERY thing I see reminds me of him. Every song I hear makes me want to burst into tears and I can’t even imagine this pain going away. I told my BF that I wished I was like him, like a robot that could just turn off emotions. He said to never wish that for myself because it is hell. He says he feels unhuman because of his lack of emotion. At least he is in touch with this fact and perhaps it will help him with his therapy. His first appointment is tomorrow and I so much want to hear how it goes for him. Not sure if I’ll hear from him though. We agreed that we wanted to keep lines of communication open but I haven’t texted with him since Saturday and when I did, I told him I really missed him. He said he missed me too but no texts since. I wonder if he’s decided he doesn’t want to lead me on and so is going to cut off communication. My heart literally burns all day long and I feel like I’m having random panic attacks and anxiety throughout the day. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Thanks for talking. I am thinking of you too and all the other wonderful ladies on this thread that are having a difficult time.

          • Heather says:

            I totally feel you and have been there obsessing over every article on the internet hoping it will give me the answers I’m looking for. I have been there and hell some days I slip back there.
            Just remember that you matter in this too. And if he doesn’t see that or isn’t capable of honoring that in you, ask yourself what is in it for you. Because you are worth fighting with, and fighting for and you matter in this too.

      • mark says:

        i feel your pain, i was with my wife for 13years and she left suddenly, no talking just saidm im outta here in 2 weeks and went to a little flat at her sons house in christchurch, iv tried everything i can to get her back but no,im lost and as people say, move on, i hate that word & how do i do thatm shes my life, im 61 & shes 68,our twilight years, i thought we would be together forever to grow old together, i cant believe it & as you say, the pain is terrific.

  10. Samantha says:

    Finally, a group of articles that allow me to share my feelings about being left and that offers some guidance and realistic expectations as to what I may expect. Thank you for writing this.

    My partner left about three weeks ago after going relatively cold since the beginning of the year and cited that ‘things were no longer fun’, ‘we were not compatible’ and that [he] wanted [me] to be happy’. He kept saying I might meet someone, to which I responded, or you may meet someone. It was interesting he did not mention himself in this. And I told him he would always have a place in my life because he was a person I loved having in my life and that I would always be there for him. Perhaps selfishly, I was not the one to hang up first. He was the one who was leaving, so it was up to him to hang up first. He kept putting it off and changing the subject or went silent and then change the subject. So I know he was not definite in his reasoning, he just couldn’t think of anything else to do. Being told here that my efforts at communication may not be seen as I intend is good to hear. And I felt an overwhelming hope that things would work out. For someone very rational it was hard not to wonder if I was in denial or whether I should actually listen to my emotions, like I’d been told by the psych on the weekend. The urge was so overwhelming that I wondered if perhaps I should though.

    It’s good to hear the realism of having an overwhelming sense of hope and knowing that it may not happen. It is not my decision in the end. It’s there just because I know how strong his character is, despite the depression, I know he has it in him to get over it, providing he seeks the help he needs. I know he knows he needs it but due to his financial situation is not in a position to afford it, unfortunately. Or, that is his excuse. I spoke to his sister after he and I spoke for the last time and told her that he needs help and for someone to intervene on his behalf because he won’t do it himself. I would like to know whether I should message from time to time (and I mean, time to time, not even monthly but perhaps once every few months) just to say hi, not even say that I’m there for him but just to say that I’m thinking of him and hope his schooling is going well.

    But it’s also good knowing I am not the only one to be going through this, as hard as it is to do.

    • Valerie says:

      you story could be mine, I have been searching on internet for an answer and it took me a while to find this article which gave me a certain peace,
      cause no one was hearing the particular diferences this kinda break up has,
      friends and everybody thinks that it is just another love breaking and we are just beeing a drama queen, but we who were living this crazy situation know it is not natural
      and then there must be a way to deal with that, that can have any effect…
      I am starting to work on myself, cause I am devastated,
      my story was so happy and all of a sudden I was living with a piece of ice, and an online cheater seeking young and not so good women to chit chat for hours!!! (Still does)
      when he left it was almost a releief, but I still love the man I knew and made me so happy before….
      I did what u did, went to his sister and told her everything, but she didnt think he was so bad after talking to him (he disguise it to everybody else, but me…I wonder why too)
      he still talks to me, but always like an aquaintance and only if I start the conversation,
      so now I am not reaching out for him and lets see what happens…..
      I am so tired and desapointed, I hope (there we go again with the hope word) that we both can get it done the right way cause we deserve better!!!

      • Samantha says:

        Hi Valerie,

        I’m glad you could relate to my post. Sadly, it appears that there are many in our situation but at least, in that way, we know that we are not alone.

        The last month I have moved back to looking after myself after having been diagnosed with anxiety mid last year. Ironically, my partner was extremely supportive in that and I would not have recovered half as quickly if it wasn’t for him.

        I actually heard from him today, out of the blue. It was only a short message but a message all the same. He told me that he could see that it was a clash of personalities, and that if he could see it, that’s what mattered. I still don’t see why, he reckons there were heaps of tense moments, more than there should be, and yet with him it was the only time I truly felt like I’d ever been able to talk out issues with a partner. I believe we were so compatible, we got along so well. He still wished me all the best and when I asked if he could explain what personality issues he told me but said he was too sick to argue today. I wasn’t seeking an argument, only answers. I responded and told him many outside influences caused a lot of that supposed tension. I still do not see that it was an issue and that I was sorry he saw it like that. The fact that he was unable to say much kind of tells me he is still very much in a not so good state. I was going to forward him some information that I have found to be quite useful for me and that perhaps it might help him too in some small way. I still want to be a champion for him, he was so good for me. I am strong enough now and self-aware now that I am okay with looking after myself first but if I come across things I find useful and think he can benefit from it I will show him.

        I do hope your situation works out for you too, Valerie. We all deserve our happiness and we must ensure we keep it.

        • Jenna says:

          Hi Samantha & Valerie

          Thank for posting this, I think I have read this just at the right time. I was beginning to feel totally alone in this situation.

          My boyfriend left me in the New Year, stating that he couldnt cope anymore. I knew of his depression and the feelings he was having that lead up to it taking hold. Worthlessness, constant need to please, money worries, thinking he had nothing to give. Its difficult to process as a rational person that these things aren’t an issue or that they are worries that can be sorted , it doesn’t quieten their mind about these unrelenting depressive thoughts.

          He has made it very clear that he cant be in a relationship with me, or anyone and that if he is he will never get better. He is normal around his friends and they don’t seem to see that underneath his ability to cope there is a person struggling to accept themselves as a lovable worthwhile person, and thats the thing that upsets me more that anything. We have kept in touch up until now, i saw i very depressed person but who would tell me he is coping so is feeling much better. He will never seek help for the depression but just ride the wave. I think he feels somewhat safe in this state. He can hide away as he sees fit and he has no resposibilities other than to show up to work.

          We have known each other a very long time and i was someone he chased for around 8 years, when we finally got together it was as if we were both finally in the right relationship. We got on easily, naturally and in a very loving way were able to talk through a lot of the baggage we both brought to the table. He was in a relationship with someone with a mental illness that brought about his first bought of deep depression and a series of difficult life events followed. i thought that being able to talk these through with me meant that he was aware and had coping mechanisms to deal with the onset of depressive feelings again. I was wrong, and he struggled in near silence for 6 months and instead of seeking treatment slipped into a variety of coping mechanisms to blunt the feelings, drink, recreational drugs, video games and a great mask when he had the energy to put it on.

          by the time things had got too much he had no choice but to end the relationship, i was beginning to pick up on his distance from me, he was quick to anger and then would feel extreme guilt that we couldn’t work through. He went from a loving partner talking of marriage, declaring to his friends openly that I was the best thing that ever happened to him to silent withdrawn anxious and unloving over the course of about 3 weeks

          One of the most upsetting things i think to deal with is the fact that we can see these people sometimes get along with their lives as if we were never part of it, as if they have attached their depression to us and the relationship and we had to go! Now I’m out of the situation i can kind of see that that is right. The worthless feelings are only visible when they have someone close to them who they would need to prove their worth to, and as we become more upset with the betrayal of withdrawn love – cause lets face it that is heart breaking no matter the cause, they begin to take on guilt too. Thats a disastrous combination of feelings in a relationship.

          I have just been removed entirely from his life though we did try to create a friendship, i think we both knew the same feelings would remain on each side that would prevent either of us being able to reconnect. I would always love him and he would always feel guilty for not loving me. When i asked him to make the call about us he said it would be better if i didn’t contact him.

          Its a hard pill to swallow, that this beautiful, charming, loving and wholehearted person could no longer feel anything toward me, the girl who loves him with her whole heart. Im struggling to understand the situation as i get many different explanations of his feelings. From – the lack of connection came first and then the depression, then visa versa. That he never loved me, then he couldn’t fake those feelings, that he is struggling and wants more from his life and needs help, to he just needs to be alone to get better. but generally just “I dont know, I couldnt cope, I want to be alone”.

          I think i need to realise i will never lean the truth as I don’t think he even knows. i hope that one day he can reconnect with those loving feelings that he had for me so he can look back on what we had with the fondness I’m trying not to loose in his web of explanations.

          Im hoping for an injection of hope for myself as I’m suffering from a bout of extreme loneliness and sadness that is at times overwhelming, i miss my best friend and I’m feeling a detachment from my dreams and aspirations as they are tied up still in our relationship. I know they will grow and mould into something else as my life moves on but i think it will be a long journey after this.

          I can safely say this is one of the most difficult situations I have been through in a loving relationship. I have to say a huge “Thanks” to this blog for the supporting info and a fresh perspective in times of need, though i wish the person going through the depression would have found it worthwhile too.


          • Samantha says:

            I’m so sorry to hear that, Jenny. Your message rings so true for me and it could very well have been mine as well. I would like to respond better soon, hopefully tonight (I am at work atm) and really want to do your message justice.

            In the meantime, please know that you are not alone in this. All of your feelings, every single one of them, was what I felt. This beautiful and kind hearted man, the one person in my life who I felt I could fully be myself and who just kept ticking boxes on my ‘things to look for in a partner’ (including many that I did not know I had on that list), suddenly withdrew and could no longer cope with being with me.

            I highly recommend visiting a webpage called heysigmund . com as well as this one since I was able to get some answers between the two of them.

            I will respond much better later to this.

            In the meantime, take care.

            x SH.

          • Heather says:

            Your words ring so true to me. Especially the part about feeling like they just attached the depression to us and the relationship and moved on. Thank you for sharing your experience it is nice to know we are all here not alone in experiencing this. I wish you the best in your healing and now that I am wishing peace.

  11. Anon says:

    My husband left 6 weeks ago. We have 2 children age 15 & 10. He says that all he wants is to come home but he can’t. He needs to be alone to sort his head out. The children and I are devasted. It is as though he has had s complete personality change. It is our 20th wedding anniversary next week. He has been to see a psychiatrist privately but refused medication and cancelled the follow up. He won’t tell me where he is and rarely answers my calls or texts. I am at a loss as to what to do. He is still working but says it is a struggle. He won’t take time off. I don’t know what to do. I am exhausted, not sleeping, working, trying to support our children and constantly worrying about him. The only time I have ever felt this way is when my dad passed away. It is grief.

    • S says:

      My husband left 5 years ago, we have 3 children ages 14, 12, 9. I feel the same as you; seems like he had a complete personality change. Even went as far as saying he’s menally ill. He keeps saying he loves us, still wants us and wants to come home but he can’t. I dont know who he’s with or where he’s staying. Rarely answers my calls/texts as well. Your story sounds a lot like mine. Ive been grieving the lose of what I had the entire 5 years and I cant/dont know how to go. I so depressed I don’t want to picture my life without him. Good luck to you, I dont wish this pain on anyone. I hope he comes home and your situation doesn’tdoesn’t last as long as mine.

  12. Linda says:

    Thanks. I met someone last night who’s marriage stopped two years ago. It was good to speak and get some tips as you have provided.

    So today I’m out of bed and eating breakfast at a table rather than bed. I’m then out to a gym class. My son is down later today and that will be good. I’m at a mindfulness taster session Thursday night. I try meditation and it helps. I also do long walks taking the long way round to most places.

    Now the summer is coming to an end lots of classes start again so will try and do something.

    The guy last night said it took him a year. Your four months sounds better and you sound upbeat.well done. It’s very hard isn’t it? I do have counselling sessions now.

    I’ve reread some more info on the site about the 11 points re relationship destructor and whilst not all the time I have trodden that path. I’m trying to hold on to ‘my’ truth of that and this time. We have met or talked and he is still in this place but looks so dejected when with me. He has said he loves me. Told his friend that we will both be less miserable living separately.

    I do have to focus on me but it’s up and down. As i struggle with loss on many different levels_ relationship,home,family,job. Task today is to update CV.

    Take care .x

    • michelle says:

      Hi Linda

      You are taking all the right steps. The logicical side of your head will begin to take over the emotional side

      I so understand your pain and you sound as though you are getting your focus back.

      It’s small steps.

      Look in if you want to chat, it would be nice to know how you are feeling in a month or two.

      Thinking of you,


  13. Linda says:

    I’ve been living with this too. He changed almost overnight after starting a new job, his third last year. He withdrew from me. After a sad Christmas in which he was half hearted to say the least, he declared in january that he ‘wanted to live alone’ ‘do things differently’ ‘feels dragged down’and “wants something exciting”. I went into panic. We have had a wonderful effortless happy marriage for 20 years. It seemed odd to not want to work it out. It wasn’t discussed and he said he wasn’t going to leave. We decided to sell our house to relieve the increasing financial burdens as I was out of work for the first time in our relationship. We have two adult children, both financially dependent at the time.His agitation increased, odd things said and twisted facial expressions. I wasn’t allowed to raise it and I became part of the problem as he refused to discuss anything. I packed up the house when it sold. I arranged a rental for six months. We moved in. The house sold on the Friday and he left on the Sunday saying ‘I cant do tbis i dont want to buy a house’. That was four months ago.I started a job two weeks after he left and not surprisingly I have had to stop after three months. The landlady also indicated the lease to end in September but after a few weeks this is now secure until March.The stress, lack of sleep and food took its toll on me too. I stopped work three weeks ago. Ironically I then had food poisoning so low for a week. So this is my second week trying to rebuild my life. The impact on the children is tragic. Both miss ‘ us’ and the great family we had.

    I have seen him but it’s never great. He is guarded. He is adamant he does want ‘to fix this’ and at one meeting was thrilled when I noticed he had taken off his ring. This hurt and I felt it was designed to do so.

    I’ve read this site before and it’s the closest I’ve found to understanding what has happened to him/us. He has told me he loves me but not in the same way, but no real truths, understanding it as depression helps. I try to be kind and compassionate but it’s so hard. He left without a plan and headed to his home town, stopping to buy a car on route. I have a home in storage units.

    Today I’m still in bed at 10am looking at ideas for an intervention as I worry that the longer he’s away the less chance there is of being together again. I know I need to work on myself (especially being financially secure) but as everyone here recognises the loneliness and anxiety feel insurmountable and each bit of music and memory creates a new pain. Im very low in the morning.

    I’ve been very lucky with my friends and his family and that’s really helping but it’s always a temporary lift.

    I have no solutions but do prefer optimism to my grief and asvhe doesn’t seem happy I hope time away will help him get better. He now has another new job. He started it 3 weeks ago. Writing this has helped manage the anxiety but now it’s ending and I feel the panic rising as I try and get through another day alone.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Linda,

      It is very sad when you don’t get any closure or answers.

      It’s now almost 4 months since my partner left me and although I was devastated, I feel better now.

      Best advice ……Work on YOU. I have started a new job which I love and have made lots of new friends.

      The more you occupy yourself the better you will feel. It will take time and there are moments I think of him, but the pain has subsided a lot. Meditation has helped me too.

      Take care of you, love yourself and you will start to feel better each day.

      Lots of best wishes


    • Kristin says:

      Hi Linda – any update to your situation? I’m going through this now with my boyfriend. The mornings are the worse for me as well! Even if we try to understand that it’s the depression doing this, the sadness, crying, fear & anxiety don’t go away. My body finally hasn’t felt “pained” for the first time in weeks. But my mind is so drained & so sad. He texts me daily & seems like he wants to try. But also doesn’t want to see me much.

      • Linda says:

        Hi, sorry to hear you are so sad and exhausted. I’ve had a few ups and downs since posting and found the samaritans helpline really useful to cry and speak to someone without burdening my friends. I felt so low that a friend suggested anti depressants and they have really helped. I’ve never been so low before or taken meds so I was apprehensive. But I no longer wake in panic,crying or anxious and I can now focus on sorting out the practical stuff. I have to get work and somewhere to live after March (we sold the house on anticipation of buying together. We moved into a rental and he left 2 days later).
        I’m keeping up with my fitness, taken up Kayaking, completed some freelance work and generally seeing friends and feeling like my old self. I haven’t had any contact since August and am avoiding news of him from children etc it just sets me back. I le20 yearned he’d been out with a woman and I can do without knowing that. Someone that knows him says he’s a narcissist and reading up on this condition certainly sheds light on my experience. So with nothing that indicates any expectation of a ‘normal’ response from him after 20 years together I have worked on acceptance and my wellbeing. It’s a struggle but I’m getting there. I hope you can find some peace I know it’s exhausting. It’s nearly 6months for me. I wouldn’t advocate anti depressants but I was going backwards and having spent two weeks crying every and all morning I thought I needed help. I’ve been seeing a doctor from the outset and also counselling (she was on holiday when I went down hill). My CV is four lines off two pages and I’ll nail that tomorrow.
        All the tips do work. Be kind to yourself, it’s OK to be sad and tired it’s a rough road we are on. Rest too.Use all your friends and go out even if you don’t want to. I found being out in fresh air a godsend. My mornings don’t get going until 11am but I’m productive after that so I don’t give myself a hard time. Take care.x

        • Kristin says:

          Oh, so sorry things haven’t improved. I’ve decided today I must walk away (until he’s ready to work on it that is, if he sticks to that like he says). I’ll be there if he wants to talk about his issues or anything, but I know I just guard my heart. So, so heartbroken.

  14. M says:

    My Long term partner left me 6 weeks ago after 18 years together, we have no children together. I found emails between him and another woman who is an ex colleague of his, by accident, however it started to make sense of his behaviour over the past 2 years. When I asked him about the emails, we did not argue, but he simply turned to me and said, ” I love you but I’m not in love with you, I would rather be single” and denied anything was going on between them. Then he packed a bag and left. I have not made contact with him and he has only contacted me to organise collecting his post. The majority of his clothes are still hung in the wardrobe and he has made no attempt to meet to talk practicalities.

    After reading this article, I have wondered if he has been living with depression. He doesn’t talk through issues, but instead puts them in boxes. He is between jobs at the moment and although he is securing interviews he isn’t getting that all important job offer. I have not contacted him to give him space but I miss him terribly.

    Before he left he told me he loved me daily.

    I have been trying to concentrate on keeping a routine, I take care of the house and pay the bills. I am trying to follow a sensible diet, and have started meditation classes.

    However, one day can blur into another.

    Feel very sad indeed.

  15. Paul m says:

    Just FYI. Your article describes exactly what I’m suffering through. Except I a man, and we are married. Your article says He so much it’s unrelatible. Women can do horrible things to decent men as well..

  16. Shelley says:

    Thank you John for this article it has helped me to understand somethings that I had not thought of before. After 23 years of marriage 2 children and finally reaching a career goal he and I had worked towards our whole lives he left. I have seen myself turn into a person that is very depressed and consumed with trying to make sense of it all. When he left it was on the premise that he needed to work on himself and see if he still wanted all we had and that it was a time to prevent divorce he said he loved me but did not feel the fire and excitement we once had and did not know if he was in love with me. I agreed tried to explain to the kids and dealt with the pain the best I could. I suggested counseling he refused, at first I tried to assure him that I loved him and we could work through anything together, and I was there for him. I asked if it was this other woman I should say girl she is only a few years older than our son, he has denied to this day that there was or is anything going on with her but what started our small arguments prior to his leaving were the evenings spent texting back and forth with her while we were suppose to be doing things as a family and eventually the late night texts that he would send when he thought I was asleep, to this day he has many lengthy phone calls with her and money disappears a lot for dinners etc that are so obviously for 2. When he moved out and realized he could not live this lavish lifestyle he must have anticipated he was furious but with our home, our son in college and a teenager with several activities that she is committed to 3 households even on our income is really difficult. Because of his behavior and how he left the kids of course stood by me, so when they are brought up he throws it back at me that they only know one side and that is why they are mad at him, but our oldest saw what he was doing before he left has been on the other end of his anger and has made up his own mind even though when he first left I did everything to explain yes I was hurt but his dad said he loved all of us and just needs time, he did have time to explain to our younger child but she thought it was temporary and when he did not come back she withdrew and got angry and instead of trying to communicate he said she is mad won’t answer my texts, and said she just needs to be left alone. As time went by I started lashing out in anger we only communicate through text and phone calls so it has spiraled down now to most likely divorce he said he just feels it’s not there, I know now that all I can do is work on myself and focus on the children and let him be alone and maybe he will sort this out on his own. I also know that I cannot force the kids to have a relationship with him, possibly because of guilt or just not knowing how to talk to them or because he really focused so much on work over the years that he is not as close to them and I am he rarely speaks to them and has not seen either one of them in weeks. I still hold out some hope because I do love him but I need to heal. Thank you again your insight was so valuable.

    • shawn says:

      wow this sounds almost identical to my situation except my wife left me

    • Lupe says:

      It sounds exactly just like mine too. I’m glad I’m not alone in this. He calls me or text me everyday but I continue to try and stay focused. This is very painful for me and my children. First he cheated for over two and a half years, it’s been so tough. Strange I didn’t feel releaf when he left. It’s only been two months, little by little it’s getting better, but he still calls,and text. I really don’t understand why.

    • Phil says:

      This has been my experience too. Wife left 9 months ago. At first she said she needed time to figgure herself out. We were best friends for our maraige. Never saw this coming. Lots of anger and blame then silence. I haven’t seen her since March.

      We met at age 19, married for almost 19 years. Today is the final hearing for the divorce that she filed a little over 5 months ago. My teenage daughters are mostly with me although my younger girl, 16, still stays with her some.

      I have had a lot of despair and hopelessness. But I can tell that it is slowly getting to be a little less. Still can’t stop thinking of her, what we had, where I thought we were going. So many good memories. I wish I could wrap my mind around the why and how she changed so fast.

      • Dario says:

        I’m going thru the same thing she told me she needed time it’s been a month and still no hope I have a 6 month old with her and she just told me she needed space alot I want to call her and tell her I love her and miss her it’s not going to work she told me yesterday she is 100% completely done with me it hurts to know u can throw everything away so easy God made no one perfect if we were perfect we would have these problems in front of us I hope God can put something in her way to show her not to throw her marriage away I miss my child I miss her sleeping next to me I miss the way she used to kiss me when I came home but now I come home in a empty home with nothing.. at the same time it feels like life is going no where’s I don’t want to file the divorce bc once it’s filed that’s that no more fixing it.. I just don’t knw what to do I wish someone can take the pain away

        • Adrian says:

          I know how u feel. My husband was bubbly in love with me when he had nothing. He would text me all the time from work. When he had no one in his corner, I was right there to talk to him. I made time even when I was busy. So , to make this story short. He was offered a job. A job that he liked. The he became a project manager. Many opportunities ahead. He stopped communicating mornings, stopped talking to me on regular basis. When he decided to text. He told me he needed time, because he was lost. So here I am seeing that the love of money in some people ears and eye will destroy the love they say they have and had for u. He said I have to make a decision. I was like between what? I’m willing to travel and be by your side. But what I was saying didn’t touch what we once had comparing to the offer that was made

      • T says:

        My husband of 17 years left yesterday and has blocked all communication with me only after sending me a music video that broke my heart. I am just broken. I woke up during the night and vomited. He blocked my texts and calls and told me to “feel free to block him.” There is a lot of financial stress right now too. I don’t know what I should do? Perhaps I will cry forever.:,(

        • Liyana says:

          Dear T,
          I hope things will get better for you. I went through a painful divorce the first time. And I got through it and completed my Masters Degree with 3 small children and living on scholarship money. Pick yourself up. You can do it.

      • martin says:

        There will almost certainly be somebody else involved, been married 15 years, together 22, she had an affair, wrapped up as the catalyst, not the cause, although when caught out, she said she thought the affair would fizzle out, left home within 5 weeks of discovery, stopped trying to fix it within 3 weeks, from my experience, very few people leave to be alone!!

    • Kate says:

      Shelley, I feel like I am you because are stories are so identical. I also still love him but do not feel it will end well. He moved out June 1, taking very little. Leaving behind anything that reminds him of himself, me, us and our family. He has a “new” life in a new apartment with all new things. Nothing to remind him of his past.
      This is the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Loving someone so much and wanting to stay with them, yet knowing they don’t want you. And not seeing any signs of his unhappiness.
      My 3 kids, in their 20’s, are also having a difficult time also. My oldest refuses to have any contact with him. He doesn’t see how his actions have hurt everyone. He thought we could maintain and have a “normal” family life even if he leaves the marriage. This is how I know he is not well.
      Depression runs in the family.
      When I read all these posts, it helps to know there are so many dealing with this awful experience. And at the same time, there are so many dealing with pain, confusion, and loss.
      Thank you for sharing your story.

  17. Kristy says:

    We were together almost 5 years. Before he left, it was 6-9 months of mood swings, silence and anger. I was lonely and confused yet deeply in love. I felt unloved and pathetic as I got mixed messages from “I just can’t” to sweet cards and letters saying I made him a better man and he was ready to accept my love. I was the best most stable person in his life became “I don’t need anybody.” All tenderness left. He became physically rough though not overtly abusive. He would claim I was punishing him, abusing him, attacking him or “bringing him down” when I defended myself or pleaded for him to please stop lashing out at me. It was like he got some perverse high from seeing me sobbing on the floor just begging him to stop. I clung to the hope that time and love would help. I suggested counseling, whether alone or together and that was soundly rejected as “full of quacks.” He proposed one week to end it two weeks later, neither instance face to face but rather by text. I have not seen him in 6 months since he ended our relationship in a text message. While my rational mind realizes the limitations of what I could have done, most of it had nothing to do with me and life will be easier without walking on eggshells, I still haven’t recovered. I still wonder why he became so mad at me. I feel guilt that I should have done more or been better. And the sting of rejection still can hit suddenly. I was just tossed aside. How can I move beyond this? I have notes and afffirmations everywhere. My friends are great yet I need to stop bringing things up and just MOVE ON. I always considered myself a strong and resilient woman yet 6 months later some song or site will trigger a memory and suddenly all the feelings are fresh. Recently it seemed to get better for a month or so and now it is flooding back and I will start crying. I have even awoke in the middle of the night crying. I will probably never see or hear from him again. I don’t try and it is doubtful he would ever apologize. I did seek counseling thru this and the counselor is very adamant that his behavior has nothing to do with me. I didn’t cause it, I didn’t deserve his anger and I could not do anything to make it better or different. There will be no happy ending and reconciliation as he is incapable of sustaining a relationship whether with me or anyone else. However, will I ever be me again? How do I finally and totally put this behind me? How much time does it take?

    • Pramila says:

      I’m also having same problems just like you. My husband left left me five months ago when i was 7 months pregnant with 6 years old daughter without a job. I was having very difficulty time and it was very hard for me provide food for my daughters. just like you said you make your husband better man i did also same things too but he did not understand. He went to back where he come from and we haven’t have any communication each other. We have a two daughters and he doesn’t want to talk to them. since he left me i did not even sleep well and eat. I also know i needed to be strong for my my daughters but i still have hard time to me to accept the reality. He broke my heart. Just like i have been asking my counselor about my situation too, how can i be normal person like before ans she said i will be but i have no idea. my oldest daughter have been sad all the time and it is very difficult for me to see my daughter like this.

  18. Sandra says:

    Thank you for this article. Exactly how I feel of what went down. My (ex) boyfriend and I had a great relationship. We weren’t together long but it got serious quick (mostly his fault). Everything was wonderful. We had such a connection and things kept getting better and better. A couple weeks before we broke up he kept telling me how lucky he is to have met me and how our meeting was meant to be. He told me that I’m his best friend and I made him so happy. I felt that he really meant it. He was even toying with the idea to move in together, talking about future plans and how he can’t wait to share them with me. Only a couple weeks after that talk, he starts pulling away and acting distant. When I asked him about it he admitted he’s been distant and he gets like that from time to time and that it’ll go away. He admitted when he gets like that he isolates himself from his family and friends, sometimes for months and he hadn’t spoken to anyone in a while. He said his work spoke with him about his behavior lately and his attitude at work lately. He lost weight also. I didn’t think anything of it until a week later after continuing to be distant with me he said that he has to talk to me. He says he has doubts about our relationship. When I asked him why he said because he can’t be 100% certain that he sees me in the future. He said half of him does and half of him doesn’t and he needs to be certain. I told him we’ve only known each other for a short time, of course we aren’t certain we are getting to know each other. When I asked him about his doubts the reasons he gave me were very irrational, twisting something out of nothing. He said he needs to figure himself out. I told him I think he needs therapy and he agreed. However, he admitted he still has feelings for me. He said his doubts and mind is taking over and he’s not the person he used to be. Everything was FINE not too long before that and it’s like all of a sudden he’s a shell of what he used to be. (within a matter of two weeks!) I gave him his space for 3 weeks then thought I’d shoot him a quick text to wish him well, trying not to over bear him. He said he’s doing fine and sorry that he’s not ready for a long term relationship. He was very cold in his texts. I asked if he got therapy and he said how do I know that’s just how he is? He deleted me from Facebook just like that. How can a person turn so cold within a couple weeks? I am devastated. I know he’s going through something but I am in shock and don’t know how to deal with it. Some days are good and some days I’m a mess. Shock is def the key word. He did a complete 180 on me. I miss the person he used to be so much. Thank you.

    • Raeann says:

      Literally, Sandra, I had almost the exact same experience with my BP partner… if he ever attempts to contact you or drag you into becoming involved again, resist all urges to respond. He will just do it all over again. trust me i know. now I have become stronger after spending time on my own, and I refuse to let him back into my life. I was very heavily invested in our relationship. I gave him everything in the world I could possibly offer to watch him chew it all up and throw it back up in my face. He left me a few weeks ago. I thought the world was coming down on me, there were several moments where I believed it was all too much to take. I am still aching just the same but with new realizations and detoxed of my traumatic bond. One day they will ache as we do. They will experience the pain of something/someone they loved infinitely being ripped out from beneath their feet. If you think they need to suffer because of how severely they injured you, do not give in. Silence is always more powerful than words, especially when the bp partner still wants to exercise control over you by causing you to feel like you have no choice but to respond to them. Lately, the only way i’ve been able to find motivation to continue living semi-normally/not having mental breakdowns in anguish every few steps is by reminding myself that I am not to blame for his abandonment of our relationship. HE was the catalyst for all this pain, and if I can hold onto this anger long enough for it to eventually get boring/fizzle away then I will. I would have no qualms with expressing my hatred and distrust toward him if I ever gave into responding to his emotionally prodding. He used to initiate conversations via text only to ask me painful questions about our dissolved relationship, which he knew severely upset me, and then once my patience had been pressed dry I would obviously react organically. he became unreasonably vindictive and volatile, and would demand that i never speak to him again! oblivious in the heat of his rage to the fact that he is the one who began the conversation with me to begin with each time!!! He keeps going back and forth with how he feels which is fine other than the fact that he caves to his frequent impulses to communicate with me and attempts to drag me into it all over again. he is incredibly indecisive and it has gotten tiresome. He says he wants to be friends. he wants peace between us and for me to refrain from holding a grudge toward him (yes he said this after admitting that he was “””somewhat emotionally abusive””” toward me when we were dating). I refuse to respond because there is no way I am going to allow myself to get involved with such an emotional vortex ever again and go through the amount of pain I’ve already experienced all over again. he wants to be friends well to that we must all say “NO. f*ck you. I am going to take care of myself for once.” You must refuse friendship with those who want to destroy you, even if your affection toward them still exists somewhere deep down beneath your hatred. Let’s think about this logically. honestly, who wants a friend that betrays you every chance they get, and shares absolutely no compassion, as they are incapable of seeing outside of their gargantuan egos? he was a terrible, manipulative, narcissistic, vindictive child. i refuse to play a part in his victim blaming bullshit any longer. ugh. but god it hurts. i really did loved him.

      my heart goes out to all who share this morbid pain.
      keep breathing. I have hope that one day I will see his face and feel nothing.
      do not lose hope. you can make it through this and
      remember: DO NOT INITIATE/ RESPOND TO CONTACT. doing so will only restart the grieving process and prolong your suffering. take care of yourself.

    • Nicole says:

      THANK YOU BOTH! I’m seeing this well after you wrote it, but it describes what happened to me a little over a month ago to a “T”! Everything was wonderful for two and a half months and then suddenly I was “too needy” and he wasn’t getting enough space! Unfortunately, my self esteem was low enough that for awhile I believed it really was all me. Two weeks later though, when I’d been trying to give him space and work on things, suddenly his life goals had changed, as had his relationship needs, and he was shoving me out of his life. He told me he had just started medicating for depression, but his personality changed radically from one day to the next and I wonder if bipolar might also have been at play. I’m trying to stay strong and not go back to him but that temptation has been kicking the shit out of me the past few days.

  19. Dennis says:

    Reading the advice given and the experiences of others has made me feel less alone. My partner of 20 years simply left for work 6 days ago and after sending only a single text to me later in the day that he was “going away” for two or three months, he was not seen or heard from again. After 4 days of waiting with him having been declared a “Missing Person” by the police department, I was finally contacted by a detective and told that my partner purchased a bus ticket to another city on the day he left for work. As far as the police are concerned, he is no longer “Missing”, but I am still left alone. There were no signs of this that I can tell. Next month was to be our 20 year anniversary. His telephone has apparently been turned off and without having any way to contact him, I am left feeling numb. Yes, I have received the expressions of love and support from family and friends and the constant “You will make it through this” comments. Perhaps they are right and I am strong enough to make it through this, but it is the fact that I had no indication of my partner being sad, depressed, angry, unsatisfied, etc… that leaves me with the question of “Why did he leave?” To further my confusion, as I didn’t see any signs that he was leaving, I am left wondering if he will ever return. It is the fact that there are so many missing pieces to this puzzle that it might never be solved for me and that is what is hurting me the most.

    • Mandi says:

      I completely know how you feel. My husband is now 31 & I have known since he was 16. I have been with him for almost 5 years, married for 1 year. The beginning of the relationship was rocky, but after couple’s counseling he became a trustworthy, stable partner. Then he started having seizures right after we married, where he was conscious. He would have a complete personality change & throw tantrums. I begged him to go see the doctor, finally I threatened divorce and he went. After a week in the hospital he was diagnosed with epilepsy. It was a struggle after he was put on medication until he was stable on it. I postponed graduating from my masters program because of his illness & we moved to another state. Then I got a job offer close to where we were before, more money, so we moved back. Everything was great during that time. When we moved back, he wouldn’t look for work, agree to do so & never follow through, which led to arguments. He then just took off, after a week of not taking his calls, I answered. He said he was depressed and suicidal and that is why he left. He wanted to work things out, so we agreed to try to reestablish the relationship after he got a job and got help. After a month, he came back (worked and rx antidepressant). 3 days later, he took off again. The whole time he was claiming I was mentally abusive. Then he came backagain after 5 days. Come to find out he took himself off his seizure medicine. Everything was great for about 2 weeks. I was told, like I use to be told, that I mean the world to him, I am a true saint in his life, he loves me, etc. I made sure not to say or do anything upsetting. I did say if he left again I was filing for divorce, & he assured me he never would. One day he told me he was going to work, left his medication, clothes, hygiene products, etc, and just vanished again. It has now been 11 days since I’ve heard from him. I lost my job due to his second disappearance and now stuck in the middle of no where with no family. I tried to convince myself it was due to him seizing again, but in my heart I realize if he wanted to be here or call me, he would have. I am heartbroken. Yes, friends and family say ‘it will be okay’ and such. But I am hurt immensely. I realize he took off before, and was afraid the whole time he was present he would take off again. I knew there was a good chance of it, but I love him. Now I have to try to fall out of love with him. If he doesn’t want help, he won’t get it. If he doesn’t want to be with me anymore, I can’t force it. Why would I want to? But the unanswered question of why is what tortures me, besides the heartache. I feel deserve closure and fear I will never get it.

      I know my length of relationship does not even compare to yours. But we are both left wondering what went wrong and why. I just hope I can find love again. After this experience, I am afraid I never will. I definately do not want to at this point. I am still grieving, for this is the 11th day and you cannot dismisd 5 years so quickly. Though my dad believes I should. I just hope we can both recover through this experience.

      • Dennis says:


        I am so sorry to read of the troubles that you have experienced and my heart truly goes out to you. I ended up being very fortunate by locating my missing partner and getting him home after only a two week period of him being missing. His mental break has been addressed and although there is now a definite lack of trust that he won’t do it again, I am thankful each day that he is home.

        You chose the right word by writing “grieving”. Face it, his constant disappearances after refusing to take his medication can certainly be considered a “loss”. When you lose someone, you grieve for them. You will remain in my thoughts and I hope that you are able to either move on with your life and find your happiness again, or be reunited with him and move forward, each day regaining trust.

        Again, I am so sorry for what you have gone through. My agony lasted but two weeks, yours has gone on ever so much longer.


    • Linda says:

      Hi. I read your experience today. I posted my experience recently. My husband left in flight to clear his head. I didn’t stop him as it felt best to respect his need for space. I had a text a week later saying ‘ that surely I didn’t think he was clearing his head and causing this much distress just to come back’. I know where he is and have contact, it’s up and down, deals with the practical and him trying to ‘support me through this’. His story changes. He has not acknowledged depression. It’s very different to your experience. I wonder how you are now and if you have any contact and if this is better or worse.

      We both have been asking about the other through our adult children so it’s very difficult not to know of the other. I want to know and keep contact in the hope he will want to come back, and yet am hurt when I hear him out and about.

      What has happened and how are you since he disappeared? My husband went back to his boyhood town and is living a previous life with”no bills and no responsibility’. I hope you are finding some joy again

  20. Annon says:

    I can totally relate to this article and all of your comments. I have been in love with my partner for 3 years. It took me a whole year to realise he suffered with depression. He drinks almost every day and binges on the weekends. His drinking gets worse as his depression spirals out of control. He left for the first time after being together for a year. Out of the blue he arranged a new rented flat and left straight away without any warning. He isolated himself with little communication for a month. He started letting me see him after 2 months and occasionally communication. He loses interest in all his favourite things and me. I have come to realise this depression seems to kick in almost every 8-12 months where he becomes more isolated to the point where he states “it doesn’t work anymore” and ” I don’t love you anymore” and then for the second time he has now moved to his own place again. His behaviour is very selfish and irrational. He doesn’t understand what is going on in his mind and I am expecting him to regret moving out after this depression has lifted. It is a very lonely experience being in love with a depressed person and I advise you all to look after yourself 🙂 whether its by exercise, seeing friends and family. All stay strong 🙂 x

  21. helen says:

    My husband just left while I was in work he left a note saying he was depressed . He went missing for 4 days but got in contact. He is closing the business down and leaving me it’s like he is throwing his life away. He blames me . Before he left he was loving caring there had been no signs of depression. I am devastated . I text to say I love him and will support him . He won’t go and get help . So confused

    • Don says:

      I am so sorry. I am going through the same thing. My wife is leaving and I have been a good husband and she even told me that but she tells me she is not in love with me after 24 years. I am heartbroken and have been the only man that has never cheated on her. I am losing my home and we are splitting up our 4 dogs. Every day I try to cope and keep myself busy. I am so angry at her and she is in Arizona while I am in California cleaning up the house to get it ready for sale. She tells me at 59 she needs attention from other men and is on chat rooms. What does she expect to find? I walk around in a daze and ask God why? Our world has changed and people just dont seem to be honest and faithful anymore!

    • Linda says:

      Hi. Did you get any resolution? I’m waiting for my husband to realise what has happened to him and want to be in my life again. I’m also working on me. I had my best day yesterday but wake again in panic. I also ache all over after throwing myself into a gym class???? .

      What happened how are you now?


  22. mendy says:

    I have been w my boyfriend for 20years he drinks everyday.he left me a month and1\2 ago says he feel out of love w me. I’m so heartbroken,back in December he text me from work telling me how much he loved me. When he told me that I left went to my daughter for a few days .to give me and him some space. I came over to get some things and he locked the inside lock I couldn’t get in.I told my daughter to go around front and knock on that door he cane to door said he was using the bathroom and they started arguing she said he pushed her she called the police and they just keep arguing.he has always not cared for my daughter.don’t know why I am feeling this way about him.I guess cause its what I know.I love him soon much. He want take my texts I don’t even know where he is staying. Would like to hear some things others did or how they r doing it.I feel so lost!!

  23. Tori says:

    First of all, I’m so glad that you wrote these two articles. They have assured me and helped me to understand so much more. Thank you so, so much.

    My boyfriend and I have been at college together away from home, and almost two months ago, he had a breakdown and was hospitalized. It was very out of nowhere, and he ended up withdrawing for this semester and going home. He was diagnosed with depression. He left without telling anyone, I only knew because I have contact with his mother. We have been together almost two years and our relationship had always been healthy and we were/are both equally committed and I don’t doubt us at all.

    Our relationship itself has been increasingly improving, especially in communication as he is very reserved and never really talks about his emotions. That’s why the sudden breakdown and diagnosis was very hard to take in and I still struggle with it now and keep telling myself it is the depression. He broke up with me a few weeks ago, and blocked me on Facebook, despite still having my family on there. His reason was that he was unhappy and he seemed to blame our relationship. But I know 100% that we were doing very well. We have had no contact but I know that he is returning for next semester and we will be in the same area again. He seems to also be isolating himself and only talks to a handful of his friends.

    Is it the depression that caused all of this? Do you know if people in his situation tend to come back after they have the time to work on themselves and undergo treatment? I made it clear to him that I understood that he was going through a hard time, but that I’d always be here waiting for him. But it’s so hard not knowing what will happen between now and when we come back to school, and beyond that because I strongly feel that he would not be able to keep away from me forever.

    • Jane says:

      Tori that last paragraph is all that haunts my thoughts as well. My partner left 9 months ago but only cut off contact last month because now he’s found someone better, apparently. The way he is talking makes it sound like he is still deep in it, even though his actions seem to indicate something else. The problem is, if the answers aren’t the ones we’re looking for, the ones that we want, how do you find out? If it IS the depression, if they WILL come back, we won’t know until they do those things. But if it’s not the depression and they won’t ever come back, at what point does that become clear, or do we just keep hoping…

  24. BERNICE says:

    Me and my husband have been together for 5 years and been married for 2 years. he has been married twice before and I once when we got married. both his marriage have for not more then 5 years. on the 30th December I asked him if we could talk about our future and where we going as we both was not working and he started getting mad at me and did not want to talk about it. he carried on like nothing was wrong the next day and invited people over for new years eve. I was not very happy about it and I left to go visit by a friend upon my return he left with his sister and never returned until the next day just to packed and left. I have not see or spoken to him since the 1st January this year and I believe he has been staying here and there and he has even moved to another province and is staying with his first ex wife with whom he hardly spoke after their divorce. he does not speak to his 2nd ex at all I know that he loves me and I love him but I cant carry on this way. I don’t know if he is waiting for me to contact him as he has not changed his no or anything.

  25. Jen says:

    I’ve read both articles tonight and they completely link in my situation. My husband packed his bags the day of our sons 4th birthday after a huge argument about his behaviour towards us both the day before(a day out for our sons birthday). He had been completely moody and snappy with both of us over recent weeks and then he just left. He will barely speak to me comes over to see his son as minimal as possible and is treating me like a stranger. Since he left I have found out I sm pregnant and he is completely uninterested in the pregnancy even saying he doesn’t want it it’s the worse news ever. He has no time for me and I feel like he’s living in his own bubble in his brothers house pretending nothing is happening. He isn’t speaking to anyone about it just saying its over and there’s no going back. Is this depression or has he completely changed??? I’m so confused it’s like I’m the devil at the moment and no matter what I say he just gets angry and leaves he can’t bare to be near me. Where has my husband of 10years gone?

  26. Rachel says:

    Oh how these stories resonate with me. I can look back and say my husband has been depressed most of our 12 year marriage. His emotional withdrawal led me to become co-dependent. Then this past year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. This really impacted both of us. I chose to start therapy almost immediately after his surgery. He announced that we needed time apart about 2 months after the surgery and went into a deep depression. He barely communicated with myself or our children. Often he looked like he wasn’t even in his body. He would have a glazed over look. His anger was the only emotion he showed. He would stay up all hours watching tv and on the Internet. Eventually I was able to convince him to go to therapy. He then said he needed to move out again. The therapist said during the holidays would be extremely difficult on the kids. Things seemed to be improving and we had a good holiday period. We had a short trip I. January and had a wonderful time. Then a week later he says he wants to tell the kids he is moving out right before they were going to bed. I stopped him because I didn’t want them to not be able to sleep. He then tried to do it again two days later and said that they could not be affected at all by this. I managed to convince him to wait until Saturday morning. He says I make him feel pressure/claustrophobic but when I ask what is it I am doing, he has no answer and just gets mad. Then when I said once he moves out he can not come and go, this is no longer his house he looked like he was going to cry. I asked him how it is so easy for him to leave? He said it what easy and I am the one ending it, he just needs to move out. He acts like nothing is going on, he still wants to chit chat all day. I have spent the last five months not asking for anything from him, giving all the space possible, accepting his need to keep me at arms length most of the time, appreciating any little gesture he makes, but somehow I am the problem. I am positive he is suffering from PTSD and I am concerned his therapist is not making things better. He is going with me to see my therapist on Friday. In some moments he sees he is dealing with something and in others I am the problem. This is such a roller coaster.

    • Anah says:

      Rachel, while you did not mention his age, please research mid life crisis and depression in men.
      Many therapist do not believe in a mid life crisis. Many people do not either, until they have survived through one.

  27. Fiona says:

    My ex suffered from depression and psychosis, dumping me after a six month relationship. We talked about marriage, children and having a future together. He’d asked me to marry him and we’d made plans to move in together after I graduated from university. Our relationship was wonderful in the beginning, we were so happy together. A few months in, everything changed when he was diagnosed with depression and psychosis. He would withdraw from me for weeks at a time, rejecting my calls and ignoring my texts. I understood this was because of his illness. He never made any sense, one day he would break up with me and the next he would be talking about marriage again. Whenever I tried texting/calling him he would ignore my attempts to contact him, then as soon as I gave him space he would blame me for not making any effort. I could never win. None of it made any sense, I’m so confused. He would manipulate me and he regularly dumped me over the phone knowing it would upset me. He would break up with me often, but we’d always get back together. The relationship broke down bit by bit. I put up with everything he threw at me and made allowances because I knew he was unwell. I wanted to be a supportive girlfriend.
    Towards the end of the relationship, he went silent on me for about a month and I thought I’d give it once last shot by driving over to his house to sort it out and talk. His mum answered the door and spoke to me for a while because my ex refused to see and speak to me. I broke down. Finally he agreed to see me but hated seeing me there and said we were over. I asked what I had done wrong for him to break up with me, all the time he never made eye contact and couldn’t be bothered to answer my question. He spent the whole time shrugging and ignoring everything I was saying. He said he didn’t love me anymore and told me the relationship never meant anything to him. “What’s love anyway?” He said he had more important things to think about in his life, which felt like a stab to the chest after all his encouragement and talk of a future together. I sat there in shock while he stared blankly straight ahead. When I asked whether he wanted to keep in touch, he said no. He was acting like a completely different person to the man I met a few months before. I can’t understand why he hated me so much, I still don’t understand what I did wrong.

    His mum kept me updated on his therapy throughout the relationship. I know he was taking antidepressants and had counselling as well as music therapy.

    The anger I feel hurts so much and brings tears to my eyes every day. While all this was going on, my Grandad died very suddenly, my Grandma suffered several strokes, my mum was in remission from breast cancer and I was also weeks away from sitting my final exams at university. He knew about all of this and it angers me that he failed to recognise dumping me at this time would just add to the stress! He was completely thoughtless, selfish and inconsiderate. I had been there to support him through his illness but he wasn’t willing to support me through my problems. He decided to break up with me at such a crucial time when I was sitting exams, not once did he think that I had enough going on in my life.
    I’m not perfect, at times I lost my patience but I honestly believe I tried everything to make it work. I did my best to care, love and support him which is why I feel so upset that he left so suddenly. I offered to do anything I could to help, not just for him but for his family too. I never heard from him again after that final day at his house, I feel like he couldn’t care whether I lived or died. As soon as he thought I wasn’t of any benefit to him anymore, he got rid of me. I’m struggling to move on with my life and cry myself to sleep every night wondering if I could have done anything differently. I’m hurt, angry and upset. I haven’t had any closure. I don’t know what to do and how to deal with the hurt. I’m worried I will be hurting forever.

    He never thanked me for any of my support throughout his depression and he never apologised for leading me on and encouraging me. I feel abandoned. It’s left me wondering whether the entire relationship was a lie, or whether it was his depression that affected his feelings.

    Help please! We had the greatest relationship and he just left. He was always so sure of his feelings for me, telling me he loved me every day during the relationship. I don’t understand where those feelings have gone. Several months have passed without a word from him. I’m completely heartbroken. I thought he would have made some form of contact, but I’ve not heard from him at all.

    Is it possible for depression to change someone’s emotions such as love?

    • Katie says:

      I’m sorry for all you have been through. The thought going through my mind reading your story is that it’s better it happened before you got married than after 25 years of marriage and children. It’s easier to get your life back on track and meet someone else and be happy. It may not seem possible now but in time you will heal and feel normal again.

      • Jennifer says:

        I am so sorry this happened to you. The statement that kept running through my head as I read this is “it’s not your fault” and it never was. Diagnoses like depression and psychosis lead people to act in chaotic ways. Trying to pinpoint cause and effect can be a losing battle bc their actions don’t usually make sense anyway. I believe this man did love you but these illnesses prevent him from feeling that and expressing that consistently. Thehard part is you can’t fix this part of him and that makes anyone feel helpless. But you, and any healthy person, need someone who is consistent and healthy. Trying to make him that person will be an emotionally painful road for you, I think. I know it hurts so much, but maybe this is the time to focus on you and what you need. So many on this website sacrifice their health for others in the name of love forgetting to love themselves. Those who havent experienced this don’t know how hard it is but know we do know on this site and we trust that you can emerge from this yourself again. A hug to you.

    • Kristin says:

      Fiona – how are things today?

  28. Mary says:

    I have been living in a nightmare for 7 months with my husband. Tomorrow is our 9 year wedding anniversary and I can’t even say happy anniversary to him. It seemed like my husband changed over night 7 and a half months ago and I couldn’t see why. He was always home with me and our 2 daughters and when he wasn’t he would be on the phone with me or at least texting me. Things started to change a little and he started hanging outside of our apt while the kids played and he started talking to one of the neighbors that had recently divorced her husband. Our daughter was freinds with her son and in the matter of a few days my husband was sneaking around to see her. I figured it all out in the first few days and he denied it all ur by week 2 he was moving in with her. He didn’t want family or freinds to know anything and he didn’t want to change our Facebook status either. He told me he didn’t know what he wanted anymore and that he needed to figure himself out. He still called me all day long and texted me. He carried on about how I’m his best freind and how he still loved me but he felt like there is something more out there for him. He then started telling me he needed to get away from the situation and really think. He took a vacation and went to be with his family in NYC for a week and came back and said he wanted to work on us. I had just found a house and the week he came back we moved in, I thought everything would be ok but he didn’t come home rite away. He said she owed him money and he was going to stays with her untill he got it back. I wasn’t happy with that at all and voiced it many times to the point where he said I was pressuring him and that he didn’t want to be pressured and that I was making him want to change his mind. After a month he came home but with more attitude and anger towards me. He has never been like that before with me but now he seemed all too different. He has started drinking but not heavily just more frequently where as he would have had a beer on a special occasion now he has a few every other day sometimes more. Things set him off very easily be it me our children his job whatever. He stopped calling me and now barely texts me, he comes and goes as he pleases without saying anything at all to me. I found out he was still seeing her and that she didn’t even know he was here with our family again. He has stopped his hobby of collecting vintage gaming and sold most of it off to take little trips out of town and to buy himself whatever he wants like clothes shoes and another iPad. We have arguements when we do talk and then he blows up and tells me I nag him, he doesn’t want this life and that he wants to move away so that he can think again and be able to focus. If I don’t try to talk to him or text him then he will text me and start to open a little about how clogged his mind is and how much he hates the town we live in. More recently when he is home he blows up one for being on my phone and the other night he through repeatedly at a block wall till the case broke off and then slammed it so the face shattered to a million pieces. He has no remorse for anything anymore. He has been sleeping on the couch for 2 months but still wants to have sex almost daily. He has said he needed help and got the number for a therapist but then decided against it. When he rages at me he tells me that we aren’t together and have no marriage, he says he wants a better life. I know he has depression issues but he won’t admit it yet. I spoke to his aunt finally about everything and she thinks his trigger was the passing of his mother 5 months before this all started. I also think another trigger was me wanting to lose weight, a month before this all started I went to the doctor and got a prescription to lose weight and my husband told me he didn’t want me to change and he loved me how I was. I told him I was doing it for me and to be there for our girls and his response was your going to lose weight and leave me. I told him I would never leave him and that I loved him more than anything. The first month I dropped 25 pounds and he didn’t seem happy for me, 2 weeks later he was starting his affair with the divorce down the complex from us, he didn’t know her at all and she is 10 years older than he. She is everything he didn’t like in women, an alcoholic, no job, and she cheated on her husband. Truly there’s nothing special about her but in one of his blow ups on me he said the reason he stayed with her was because she needed him. That statement floored me because we needed him more. I don’t know if he will seek help or if he will just pack up and leave us soon. I hope and pray that he will get help but I’m also preparing myself for him to walk out on us. If anyone has any advice for me I will happily take it

  29. Linda says:

    I was seeing someone for a few months and it was going great. We’d really hit it off and got close fast. We were quite happy together until he was hit with a nasty depression. At first, I thought he’d met someone else or lost interest in me. But the more we talked, the more I saw that it was actually depression (which he referred to as his ‘mood’).

    I believe it’s situational (not clinical) since he recently lost his best friend and he’s taking care of his mother, a stroke victim, 7 days a week. So he’s got plenty of reasons to feel down. I do worry, though, that it could turn clinical since he’s had this sort of depression several times over the past 5 years.

    He withdrew over the course of a few weeks. At first, I was confused re: what happened. He kept saying, “Oh, it’s just my mood. Don’t worry–my feelings haven’t changed for you at all.” Back then, he was still able to feel some good feelings and be passionate. Looking back, I’d do anything to go back to that time. But then, it got worse. More withdrawal to the point where there was almost no contact. He respond to texts from me, but barely.

    At one point, I said–“I don’t even know if we’re together anymore.” He said, “I need time to get out from this mood.”

    Note: he refers to it as a “mood” and not depression because of his culture, by the way. He’s from the Middle East. There, if you admit to being depressed, it’s the equivalent of saying you’re crazy. That’s why most don’t admit to it or seek help. Knowing this, I suggested acupuncture as a treatment, figuring it didn’t carry the stigma. He considered it, then said no. He prefers his own ‘method’ (being quiet and relaxing).

    Once he withdrew to the extent I just described, he stopped saying his feelings for me hadn’t changed. He began to say, “I don’t want to bother you with my mood. You deserve happiness.” He also said all he could handle was friendship. He definitely pushed me away and I think it was to ‘protect’ me.

    So now it’s over and I’m left wondering if what we had was even real. I feel he let the depression take him, so to speak, and didn’t fight it at all. Or maybe he tried and couldn’t. At various points, he said, “I don’t want to lose you.” Yet he never fought the depression or fought for me. This makes me very sad. Having said this, I understand that he’s feeling numb and unmotivated–that everything seems like too much of an effort or too stressful. I know because I’ve had depression once or twice.

    My questions for you, John (or anyone else), are:

    1. When the person feels better, do they usually remember all that happened and how much they may have hurt you? Or do they mostly remember how much they felt for you before they got depressed?

    2. Do most people who withdraw like this want to try the relationship again once they’re happy again? Or do they sometimes feel humiliated that they put the person through so much and figure that they’d never want to try again, so they don’t even ask?

    3. Are people who have just come out of a serious depression more open to getting help (or at least having a strategy in place) than while they’re in it? It seems to me that it’s impossible to suggest any help to someone while they’re in the the bottomless pit of the dark feelings.

    I guess I’m trying to figure out what to expect later–when he’s better and in the event he wants to try again. I feel so much for him and would be willing to try again (and I told him that I’d talk to him about it–if I’m available and not dating), but I wouldn’t want to experience this kind of withdrawal again. It’s quite awful. It feels like total abandonment. 🙁

    Thank you for any/all insights and advice.

    • Mm says:

      Linda, My DP has returned after 14 months.

      My dp left me last last April. 14 months ago

      We had an incredible connection and relationship. If you look back at posts I was asking these same questions you are asking last summer.

      He just last week saw me and we discussed working things out. There is hope.

      I stayed in touch with him. Every few weeks. Sometimes he replied. Sometimes he didn’t. But I did it consistently. It hurt. I was rejected at times. Other times we was glad I still loved him.

      When I contacted him I always told him he could come home. We had been together prior to this for a few happy years. I always reminded him of who he was. In other words I was vulnerable to him and completely loved him despite his withdrawal and isolation.

      I read a lot. I also dated. And worked on myself. That helped.

      I did a few things like send him books is found. You may find some written specifically for his culture so he first admits the problem. I would say he is not likely to improve without proper help and admitting his mood is depression that needs to be treated.

      I researched doctors and made apts for him. I created a box of the things I loved about him. I wrote on slips of paper things he was. I did little things like this as a constant reminder to him that I still cared, he wasn’t alone and he wasn’t this person to fight the depression.

      It was a lonely time. I often felt foolish. And hurt. But I love him and had to help. I also wanted to save us.

      When we recently talked he said he missed me. Really cared about me. Didn’t want to lose me. Was grateful I loved him through it. Wanted to talk about working things out.

      He sent a text too. It apologized for all things he said that he never meant. He said he never meant a word of it. He was pushing me away. To answer your question he said he thought about us and the way we were fondly. But this took a long time to get here. Over a year.

      I had recently gone five weeks without talking to him or reaching out. I think it helped. I had always checked on him every few weeks. But honestly I was ready to give up. I was exhausted. I was ready to really move on. I’m lonely.

      I think that feeling of my absence after my constant presence for a year may have helped him realize I could be gone for good.

      In the dark he had moments where he said things that deeply hurt me. I’m not sure what will happen or if we can repair it but there is hope. People do return. Love does help to heal.

      I encourage you to put in the effort you think you can. Don’t forget about you either. If you think it’s worth it then stick with him. Send a text every now and then. Tell him his mood is not his fault. Let him know he has you as a friend. Remind him of who he was before the depression.

      If you can’t do this then run. Honestly it’s a hell of a hard road and even with my DP returning it may not work out. It’s a risk. Soulmate worthy but definitely not a path I would’ve taken if he hadn’t meant so much to me.

      I hope that helped. Hang in there. Take care of yourself.


      • Linda says:


        Thank you SO much for your comment. It was very helpful. I give you a lot of credit for hanging in there so long. You must be very strong.

        I’m not sure what to do next really. He totally pushed me away–as in, the relationship officially ended. We agreed to be ‘friends,’ but things just got worse. More withdrawal. His last few messages sounded fake, sort of stilted. I swear I didn’t even know who he was.

        Then, a few days ago, I figured out that after deactivating his Facebook account a few weeks ago (claiming it was stressing him out too much to respond to comments and to see depressing news), he reactivated it at some point–and blocked me. I figured this out because I have another account I rarely use and saw him there (but not on mine).

        I was so upset–it really hurt–that he would deceive me that way. I was ready to confront him and ask why he did that vs being honest.

        I then learned, from someone who knows someone who knows him, that his family situation (a major part of his stress), had gotten worse about a week ago. A parent he was taking care of just got sicker and could even be dying.

        I then thought–OMG–glad I didn’t contact him and try to confront him. That’s the last thing he needs right now. And maybe he had a sort of OK reason (in his mind) for blocking me.

        He probably wanted to isolate himself further from me–to ‘protect’ me. I have a feeling that dealing with me was too stressful for him (I’m not great at giving space and at times, had questions for him that were tough). Maybe he didn’t want to answer basic Qs re: the depression. Or he needed his guy friends. Maybe he didn’t want to see me on FB, having fun. (Recently I posted a photo of myself on the beach smiling.) Perhaps he didn’t want me to see him on FB, suffering, especially if/when the parent dies. Or maybe he just feels I’m a reminder of some kind of failure, etc.

        Considering the way depression drives a person to behave, I could almost forgive this FB incident. He always seemed honest to me (when he was happy)–definitely not a liar by nature–so maybe this wasn’t an outright deception. I know that some depressed people tell lies so they don’t have to expend energy explaining things.

        For now, we’re allegedly friends, but it doesn’t feel like it. There’s no contact at all now. I’m trying to move on…to not slip into depression myself. That’s a very real danger.

        So I’ve cried a lot with my friends…I treated myself to a massage today…and I’m going for some sort of healing session this weekend. I think that now, since his parent is worse and/or possibly dying, he’s in the darkest pit of all. I have a strong feeling that he’ll be depressed for months now, maybe longer. And so, for my own sanity, I’m letting go of him (or maybe the fantasy of him). Right now, anyway.

        I do think he wants me to move on with my life. I remember him saying at various points–‘You deserve happiness.’ That was in the context of him not wanting to burden me. So I’m going ahead with it–moving on. Even though I only want him, I’m going to open myself up to dating others.

        I did at one point, recently, send a message saying that when he gets better, there’s a good chance his feelings for me will return. And if so and if he wants to try to rekindle things, he can call me. If I’m not dating, I’d definitely chat with him. I told him how happy I was with him and thanked him for letting me see the wonderful man he is inside, etc.

        So I really like your ideas re: sending an occasional message and saying that the ‘mood’ is not his fault, that I’m his friend and reminding him of who he was before. This makes a lot of sense to me. I also like the idea of getting him a book re: depression in his own language at some point (maybe when he’s a little better and not so overwhelmed by the family stuff).

        Even though I’m moving on, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking about him and missing him so much–and hoping that someday he does come back…at least to talk to me, to help me understand what this was and maybe to try to be together again. The only thing is–he’d have to agree to get some kind of help. I don’t think I could go through this again…and it’s only been 1 month of the withdrawal/decline.

        Thank you again, MA. (And sorry if my reply is a bit disjointed or wordy; I’m so burnt out from all that’s happened.) You are so strong and I’m really happy your guy came back to you. I truly hope things work out.


        • MA says:


          You’re welcome.

          Just know it was hell. Nothing less. I nearly sank into depression myself.

          I learned quickly to not ask questions about his depression. I still today don’t know what medication he is on Etc. We’ve had one date that went well but I focused on having fun, kissing him again, reminding him of who we were before this monster depression erupted and I talked to him a bit about us and the value if our relationship. We planned a serious talk for this week.

          I wanted to ask. I’ve wanted to for a year now. I’m also hurt. I’ve learned through this experience how selfish depression is. I have been neglected for a year plus now and had to face things like being diagnosed with lupus alone. It can make you bitter. I try not to be. To remember this is not him.

          I had moments with him where he said the same things your dp said to you. He at the start told me he didn’t feel he could love. He had to be alone. That later turned into leave me alone and I don’t want you. I heard horrible things the deeper the depression got. Once he broke his hand punching the floor and told me no one else still expected him to be who he was and to leave him the f alone. This man never yelled or even said damn in the two plus years I dated him. He hated it when I cursed! And he was easy going. We never even had a fight. He was positive. Funny. Warm.

          I know how you feel. It’s not him though. He needs help. He feels alone my DP said he spent nights thinking of me in regret of pushing me away.

          I gave him space too. A month here. A few weeks there. He at times said he was glad I loved him. At other times he verbally assaulted me. Even said I was trying to trap him if I tried to meet with him. Then two weeks later he would meet with me and say the opposite.

          My best advice is to try to let anything he says roll off you. It’s not him. Also I’ve read it’s easier for the DP to be with friends than us–we are the ones closest to them and they can’t mask it with us. Partners mean pressure for the DP. It hurt me when I went from his solace to his enemy all on his own doing. I hadn’t changed a thing.

          I also read things like things not to say to a depressed person etc. It may help you. I replied to you because your story echoes my own. Down to the depression denial–my partner didn’t believe depression was real. We had discussed it when he was well. He’d always said that people just needed to pull out if things and man up. It took him a long time to admit he was depressed. So hang in there -or don’t- but keep doing things for you like you are. Date. It stinks but I met some great people. No one replacement worthy but it helped me. And continue those massages and weekends. That’s awesome that you are already doing that for yourself. 😉 Contact him every few weeks. I marked a calendar. It was the only way I stayed sane and patient. My DP saw any contact as pressure. It was a long painful road. Many days I said I’m done. Never again. But I kept checking on him. It was like knowing he was drowning and doing nothing. I had to keep going back. Hard stuff!!!!
          If you stay the road may be long. And he may never return. I knew this but it was worth the risk for me. He was worth the fight whether it works out in the end or not. But so am I.
          Time will tell. Until then get some laughter in and some peace. 😉

          • Linda says:

            Hi, MA–and thanks again! I really appreciate all that you’ve shared. It’s very helpful.

            My situation is tricky since we were only together for a few months. We were just getting started. And it was one of the best beginnings I’ve ever had. I really thought I was falling in love with him. But how well did I really know him after such a short period of time?

            Perhaps if I’d know him longer, it would have been better in some ways and worse in others.(I can’t imagine this happening with someone you’ve been close to for a few years and are totally in love with. Sounds like the ultimate hell.)

            But since it was so brief, there’s another kind of shock. I’m left scratching my head, asking–who is he really? I believe he’s the wonderful man I was getting to know, the one I hit it off with. A sweet man who enjoyed communicating, laughing together–someone who always wanted me to be happy.

            But who he is now is someone else.

            I’m glad you told me that your dp did the same stuff to you. It helps me to not take it personally (including the Facebook blocking). I get it. Also, the part re: being with a partner being more stressful than with friends. We know something’s wrong and ask questions. Like you said, contact = pressure. They can’t handle it. And I guess that’s where the lying comes in (like the FB lie).

            I think I’m going to do what you’ve suggested–be in contact every couple of weeks. I’ll say the things that one should say to depressed people (I’ve seen some good lists and I like what you said, too.)

            But….I’m only leaving myself a tiny bit open to a possible future with him. When he gets better and if he wants to chat about trying again, I’d be open to talking about a second chance (which I told him). But–and this is a huge ‘but’–if he doesn’t acknowledge the depression as a real problem AND get some kind of help (even just acupuncture, which can be quite effective), then I would immediately walk away (or just have a limited friendship). No way could I deal with him and untreated depression. It would kill me.

            For now, though, I’m letting go. The relationship did end. I’m figuring that the odds of him coming back to me are 50/50, but the odds of him getting help are slim. Also, he will be withdrawn/depressed for a very long time (now that his parent is sicker and possibly dying)–maybe 6 months or a year. So it’s best to move on, thinking it won’t happen, and to open myself up to other men (although I’m sure I’ll still want him for quite a while).

            I think it would be healthier if I really wrote him off 100% and didn’t contact him at all, but I keep remembering what we had together. It was that good. So for that reason, I’ll keep myself a tiny bit open while being realistic that it won’t happen. The reality is that the relationship was destroyed. He didn’t ask me to wait for him. I don’t believe he wants me to (of course, he’s not feeling much and his thinking is distorted). And I have gotten depressed over the past month due to what’s happened. I can’t afford more of that.

            I have a question. You said your guy is taking medication. Has he been on it the entire time you’ve known him or did he just start recently? I’m wondering if he withdrew/disappeared despite being on the medication. The thought of that worries me, too. Like, do these patterns often continue even if the person is being treated?

          • MA says:


            I knew a year ago what medication he was on. I was the one who pushed him to see his doctor. He was on Wellbutrin. He gradually got worse. I’m not sure what he is taking now or has taken. I’m sure that conversation will come in time if we do work this out. It’s slow moving but that’s probably best. After all we’ve been through and all his changes the past year slow is more stable.
            I do know he got worse and before he left me last april I asked him to see about a different medication. In the past year I’ve never been in a place with him where I felt asking about his treatment plan would go over well. He stopped sharing things with me a long time ago. Sadly . I used to be his oasis. Eventually he pushed me out too.
            My ex took chantix to quit smoking. He was never the same again. I strongly feel it did permanent damage or blocking to did receptors for pleasure etc. I’ve read case studies of this and I think the chantix was the fuel that triggered his already depressed mind.


          • Jane says:


            How are things going now? I am curious. Your situation sounds so much like mine, except my partner has gone one step further and started dating someone new. I would have given up except for one thing- while telling me that he was seeing someone, he also talked about how him and I didn’t like any of the same things, and had completely opposite senses of humor, and had no compatibility- which I KNOW is not true, which he used to know was not true when he spoke with amazement about how perfect we are for each other.

            We have not spoken since he told me about this new partner 3 weeks ago. Up until then we were still in communication every 2 days (often superficial, or painful, texting). He refused to see me in person, even breaking up with me over the phone. He says it’s too painful to see me. Idk what to trust. I doubt myself, I doubt him and his character, I have sank into depression and am seeing my own therapist and probably starting medication this week. I just don’t know what to do.

      • Patiently Hopeful says:

        Hi Mm,

        Thank you for sharing your hopeful story.
        My husband of 5 years left 2 weeks after we found out we were pregnant with our 1st child. He was upset the moment the test was positive. Then later said he was excited about the baby. It’s been a month since he moved out. He communicates via text, says it’s over but he’s not saying forever and that he wants to be a good dad but he can’t be with me.

        He suffered from depression and hides it.

        What books did you send him?
        What else did you do that you feel helped?

        What kind of doctors appointments did you set up? (Counselors, therapists?)

        Your insight really helped.

        When you finally gave him that 5 weeks of space, did you just disappear and stop responding all together or did you tell him you were going to give him space?

        Could you explain that more, I’ve heard of the “no contact” rule but it’s been hard because I keep texting him regarding the baby & feel the need express my love and care for him. I feel like if I do give him real space and time, it might help, but I want to do it in the right way.

        Thank you Mm, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

        -Patiently Hopeful

      • S says:

        I know this post is old and you may not see it. Did everything work out for you?
        Its been 5 years since my husband left me and our 3 kids after 12 years. Like everyone else says, I never saw it coming, seems like he had a complete personality change over night. What makes my situation unique is that he maintains contact, and still tells me what I need to hear to string me along. He loves us, wants us, we’re still best friends and soulmates. He asks me not to leave and give him more time to get hisself together but its been 5 years now and I feel in my heart that its over. Im in so much pain, I can’t and don’t want to let go especially because he tells me not to. We still have some spiritual connection because everytime I tell myself its over he calls me to say hang in there and we are now over a thousand miles away from each other. I have sent him the same supportive messages you describe over the last 5 years and he says he’s coming back but still hasn’t. I just don’t know if I should or how to move forward. Sometimes I wish I could just die so the pain to go away.

    • Kirstie says:


      Your story is very similar to mine. I was dating a lovely guy for 5 months – the first 2 months were just amazing connection, lovely and warm. Then I went out of the country for 3 months (planned before we met) and we both made a huge effort to keep everything going. Lovely, funny, intelligent, sexy communication. I came back and everything was great, but he had a lot of stressors and after 1.5 weeks, he suddenly shut down and cut me out. A week and a half later he finally got in touch to say that he couldn’t be in a relationship, he’d been depressed, just wanted to sit around the house and mope and listen to music. That was just over a month ago. It’s been devastating and I’ve learned a lot about depression. Some responses I’ve had have been great, mostly leaving him alone, though I’ve had a couple emotional moments here and there where I reached out, wanting questions answered…and of course I didn’t get an answer. I was trying to keep in touch, sending small things like pictures,but it was making me crazy and I’ve been fighting the resulting depression on my own part.

      I finally a couple weeks ago sent a text that said I had to stop trying because it was making me crazy. That if he wanted to be in touch, I hoped he would. I haven’t heard from him since. One of the emotional texts I sent last week. It’s hard on a down day to get your head around how could this have happened? I feel cheated of a really lovely relationship it’s hard to grasp the idea that I would never see him again. There’s part of you that realizes you could move on and find someone without the depression and probably be just as happy, but when you find something that’s incredibly special, it’s hard to let that go. Even though the likelihood is he won’t come back. Even today I sent him a picture of the dog (who he loves) and didn’t get a response, which I expected at this point. Some of his major life stressors outside of me were family issues and finishing up a degree.

      He was military for 26 years, and has been diagnosed with anxiety/major depression/PTSD/insomnia and does go to therapy and has meds. They changed his meds in April/May and I think that also might partly have contributed to the breakdown.

      It’s been hard when you feel so helpless….

  30. Sara says:

    My amazing, wonderful fiance got very depressed and left me. No warnings, no signs, he just left a 4 year relationship with kids involved without even saying goodbye to any of us. He just sent a text. He turned overnight into a complete stranger. My loving, sensitive, gorgeous man was replaced with an aggressive, blaming, cold monster.

    A few times since he has come back to me for a few days at a time. I live for those times. He comes to me and tells me he didn’t know what he was thinking. He says his “love” just went away and all he felt was anger and fear. He begs me to wait, to trust and to believe he will be back.

    Then after a few wonderful days, the horror descends again and he tells me he doesn’t love me, that we have no future, that talking about it is pointless.

    He blames me for his depression, or at least says I am a “factor” and this is killing me. He never told me anything between us was making him unhappy. I feel so lost.

    He is being treated for a major depressive episode with medication and therapy. He is better, more stable, but he feels no emotions. No joy, no love. Because the anti depressants are working to relieve his depression he takes this as confirmation that leaving his family was the right choice.

    He doesn’t even find anything strange about not loving us anymore, although he freely admits before he was depressed I was “his world”. I wish he was better and would come home.

  31. brien jones says:

    I have been married for 15 years and my wife has left me on 2/12/14. She mentioned that she loves and no longer wants to be married. She says that I did not meet her needs and wants over 15 years. It is hard to believe over 15 years of marriage. We had a lot of good times and bad times. My wife’s statement is hard take. I asked her did you she meet somebody or interested in someone else. My wife has issues with self-esteem and weight issues over the years. She will not accept my calls nor text messages and we have two children together. She did mention that we have to work on each other before any marriage restoration can be reviewed and that still put in a no win situation and nothing is guaranteed. Please advise of how to handle these things at “[email protected]

  32. daren says:

    hey am daren i had a wonderful relation with a wonderful ladie she was my gf for 4 years it was really so beautiful but due to me we broke up. i was always afraid from the future i had to many problems in my childhood and that’s what made me leave as a pessimist person for a certain number of years i decided to be alone and i think that i really changed in the past 2 years and am now optimistic i knew that i love her and i will still in love with her .i wanted to come back but i was shocked cause she is now in a new relation and it seems very serious.i cant forget her and i dont think i will i need help to continue my life as now am passing in really horrible time i am thinking all day all night i think this is taking me crazy.i want to win her back and i dont know if i can surpass this.i cant go to new relation cause i cant it is been 2 years but now 5 months to stressed knowing that she went in a relation.i know i made mistakes in the past and i know that i was thinking like a kid and now am more mature and i am sure of what i want.any help
    thank you

  33. Jonathan says:

    My darling loving wife of 22 years announced last week she was going to leave. We have two beautiful children 13 and 10. My 10 year old has Autism and that’s a whole other story as too how is is going to cope.
    My wife had a difficult childhood and when I met her she was 17. I helped her through watching her Mam die of cancer 6 months later.
    Over the years depression reared its head but we dealt with it together. Progressively it got worse until two years ago she went to pieces. We got over that hurdle but my wife’s Doctors suggested counselling. For the past year my wife has had EMDR therapy. This is pretty intense therapy which was aimed at helping my wife deal with not grieving over her Mothers death along with other childhood issues.
    Pretty soon into the therapy my wife’s personality changed completely. She is now distant uncaring thoughtless. 6 months ago she announced she didn’t love me that way. She didn’t have a plan but didn’t see a future together for us.
    She flatly denies depression saying she is dealing with issues. She now is just trying to take control and find peace.
    I cannot begin to explain the pain in my heart. I can’t breathe sometimes. My soul mate is leaving, leaving with no explanations given.
    I could say a lot more but
    Do women who leave under these circumstances come back or is it final?
    Does anyone has experience of this?

    • Carl says:

      Hey Jonathan, You story sounds alot like mine. My ex gf lost her mother suddenly, then her best friend also died suddenly. She was diagnosed 2 years ago went untreated we handled that bout. In May she breaks up with me out the blue she changed completely was cold and uncaring apathetic hasn’t asked how i am in over 5months. She also flatly denies depression tho her behavior is text book. They wont be rational or reasonable and you wont get any answers I haven’t..I experienced these worst parts of her life be her side kept her going..and now im treated like i wasn’t her best friend and soul mate.

      I know your pain i feel it everyday. Obviously two healthy people talk and work through there problems. But how they see things is distorted and how they feel right now or lack of is real to them its there reality and they wont hear any different. There feelings are there i do believe this but there just so consumed with apathy that we dont matter.

      • Jonathan says:

        Thank you.
        It’s comforting to know it’s not just me, your description well fits my wife.
        It’s like I don’t exist. Everything is about her, her feelings her thoughts.
        If you had asked my 2 years ago if this would happen to our family I would have laughed you out of town.
        Got my 2 kids to look after. Due to M illness I still feel it’s my obligation to her to the kids and to my marriage vows to keep my heart open for her.
        But who knows what the future holds.
        I hope she finds the peace she longs for

        • Carl says:

          I see you have found your way to the fallout site. Good you will get great support there. Ive never had to endure this kind of pain before, and i cant stand being treated like i dont exist…but its gonna take her time we are not getting any love or respect so we have to give that to ourselves.

          • Jonathan says:

            Well last night was her first night in her new flat.

            It’s so hard 24 years together. And nothing. Im struggling with the unjustness and unfairness of it all
            She has done this to my kids, split up a caring loving home.
            We will be sharing equally I hope the childcare.

            Do I just let her be or fight because of the kids?
            I’m quite mad actually I’ve had no say in all of this.
            I just fit into line with whatever she wishes.

            Aargh. This is hard.

      • ken says:

        hi carl, ive had this problem for 8 months now with my girlfriend, she disappeared to start with has come back three times only to disappear again i love her so much but shes not the same person i met nearly three years ago, she wont go to the doctors and is drinking at home to fight the depression, she doesnt answer texts only once a week although she gave me her number again because i had deleted it, im at my wits end and i myself am suffering from anxiety and depression.

  34. Cass says:

    I’d like to say thank you for the many articles on this site because for the longest time I couldn’t comprehend what was going on. My partner left as well and I can’t come to terms with it because I keep on thinking of the ‘him’ when he was ok. I stayed on because I knew he was going through something deep and it wasn’t who he was. But one day he just left over a text.

    The last year we were together was turmoil and I supported him financially and emotionally and just a few weeks ago, he decided to up and leave and told me he has never loved me that I’m better off moving on and better off with someone else that can love me and care for me the way i deserve. This comes after months of him saying we need space and eventually just leaving. I had to pack his things for him (we share a house). He says he needs to fix himself without me.

    I’m trying to move on with life and accept the situation but being left with a heap of bills, confused and heartbroken is proving harder to get my life back. I don’t know what to do because my job is suffering.

    • Nile says:


      I’m in the same situation as you. My girlfriend was dealing with a lot of stress in the last month or so. She’ll ask for space and I’ll leave her alone. Usually she’ll contact me after few days to hang out again. She prefers to deal with the stress by herself, at least that’s the way it seems. She hates to cry in front of people because she feels self conscious about it.

      She asked for space again 2 weeks ago. This time lasted a week before she finally send texts to say she’s sorry for put me through a lot of pain. She says she can’t deal with relationships for long and regrets put me through it all. She says she cares about me and that I deserve better.

      It was hard to read such texts because I love her and want to be there by her side when she goes through tough times. Anyhow, she decided it was best to break up. I gracefully accepted it at the time. 3 days later I made contact to ask her to reconsider. That didn’t end well. She got really upset and was very stressed out. I backed off and apologized.

      I stopped all contacts since. I sincerely wish she gets better. I wish her happiness with me or without me. It’s heartbreaking for me as I just started to learn about her conditions and would accept her fully regardless.

      Cass, I could only imagine how hard it must have been for you these days.

      • sue says:

        Ive just gone through exactly the same scenario. Together a year, bliss, love of my life about to move in then bam!!! A few arguments where not nice things were said, and a guy at my work coming onto me(which i told my ex about) led to a depressive episode. I knew he was sensitive, had past chilhood problems but all the little imperfections of our relationship coupled with thoughts of past led to him breaking it off with me . One minute he loved me and it wasnt me the next it was all me and i had f…ed him up. He wouldnt speak to me or see me for months and i hung in there everyday, offering love and support, but he continued to text every day or so. Everytime he sensed id had enough he would say its the depression i dont know what i want, we may be together again, i dont know bla bla bla…
        In my case I have two children by my ex husband and knew i could no longer live with this. So did everything i was meant to. Offer support if needed told him all the wonderful things about him, said if he gets better he knows where i am(hes in therapy) then said im leaving you to sort yourself.
        Then come the angry text messages, again i offer to meet, no, he never acknowledged one word i said one answer i gave him. Apparemtly i never loved him enough, he couldnt cope with the kids not being his(apparently i rubbed this in his face),not once did i, so i get cross now esp when a friend sees him out with a mate when he is too depressed to see me.
        I get cross and ive not had contact with him since. I bagen to feel ill and i cant go down that road My children need a strong mum. If a relationship isnt perfect, leave, it shouldnt feel like this. if its meant to be THEY will return to you.
        Yes im heartbroken, have that feeling in my stomach, cant sleep. But remind myself everyday i am unhappy because of him. He once made me so happy and to make me feel this way isnt the one for me.
        Wow that helped writing it down.
        Feel for everyone going through this right now

  35. Anna says:

    After a month of searching for answers this is the most fitting article I have found yet so thank you for it as it underpins what I am going through- a month ago my husband of only 18 months (together 12 years) walked out after a row (he has been depressed (we both have ) for a couple of years)-and has never come back. We had recently moved to a new part of the country,know nobody and he was my only friend. We have no children or family here. He dosnt answer emails texts and his phone is switched off- although I received one short email a week ago to say he was going to file for divorce and he had no love left to give me and asked me to leave him alone to get on with his life. He didnt enquire how I was. I suspect he ha gone to live in another part of the country with his mother (father deceased) and this has been a double blow as now I am now here alone unexpectedly in this new part of the country far from anyone I know with all plans for the future we had gone and feel a little desperate as what to do. I just want to comfort him and help him but he has not answered any communication.Hope is in my heart only as a way of getting through but I wonder what to do for myself now to rebuild me life and am frightened.Good luck to everyone who is going through this

    • VG says:

      I’m so sorry you have been left and frightened. Nothing could be more frightening than going through this where you partner turns on you literally overnight, but being left in an unfamiliar place is terrible. Is there anyway you can move back to where family or friends area?


  36. jessa says:

    the father of my 2 young boys walked out on us when we were homeless living in a hotel said he be back never did. he wont talk to me and dont bother with the Boys we have a 4 year old and 7 year old and i dont know what to say to them i feel so alone after we been together for6years and been through so much and he knows i dont have family he is my family after 6 weeks gone he tallks to my sister and dad who he knows he dont give a shit saying hes going to move across country needs to work on himself an if im still single in a year we will get back together i dont know what to do, this pain is unbearable,after this long avoiding everybody why bother saying anything at all just leave then.

    • James says:

      I saw this and my heart breaks for you. I prayed that the Lord blesses you and helps you through this terrible difficulty. Take care of yourself and the boys. God Bless.

  37. Abby says:

    I’ve read a few of your blog posts, and want to say thank you — your words make a lot of sense and have helped me, at least a little bit, deal with my recent break up with a very depressed man. It’s crazy how accurate you are, both from the things that he has said and done to my own reactions to it. I’m having the hardest time right now because he said that he feels like he needs to spend all his energy on fixing his life, that a romantic relationship is too deep, he can’t handle it, he has nothing to give and that’s not fair to me. When he left me he had all these ideas on how he was going to make his life better. So I let him go — I mean, I can’t force him to stay in a relationship he doesn’t want to be in, and if I really love him, how on earth could I ever say “No, don’t go do the things you think you need to do to be OK.” The problem is, he’s not making good on his word. I’ve seen him once since we split up and he looks terrible, he says he’s way worse off than he was before. He told me he felt like our connection had been waning (no surprise, since he started completely isolating himself and not talking or connecting with ANYBODY, let alone the woman who loves him so very much. I was OK wiht our breakup (or as OK as I could be) when he said he was going to go off and fix his life, but it kills me that he’s not. It kills me that he seems even more miserable, and now i can’t even do little things for him to make his life easier. It hurts so badly.

    Thanks again for your words, I’m really just trying to understand why this is happening and how to deal with it. You’ve given me a bit of insight and something to relate to. I feel like I’ve been cut with a knife and all the knots in my head are ridiculously tangled. I hope that eventually it gets better, for both of us.

  38. mary says:

    I think my husband is depressed. My son has been very sick the last 3 years. On 11/30 of this year, head a small bowel transplant. My husband was here the first 7 days and then left the hospital, our three other children and myself and our sick child in the middle of the night. He took our vehicle and everything in it and his left US at a hospital 3 hours from where we live. My son is still in the hospital and will be for the next few months. I have no idea what to do and feel like this is s bad dream!

  39. Eric says:

    Thank you for writing this article. Thank you as well, to everyone who wrote a comment or post. It takes a lot of courage to share one’s feelings, even though it may not feel that way when you’re posting. You are all good, brave souls. You give me the courage necessary to now ask for advice with my own situation…

    …Two weeks ago, on 9/24, just before 8PM, my wife of 9 years sent me the following text:

    ” I’m sorry that things had to be this way. I filed a civil order of protection against you today. This means that you can’t come within 500 ft of me or the kids. You also can’t call me, text, stalk or have someone else contact me. We are safe and will not be coming home tonight. The sheriff will serve you with the papers in the morning.”

    Naturally, I instantly felt shocked, saddened, angered, afraid, etc…pretty much every negative emotion possible, all at once.

    Before I continue, I should make it clear that I’ve never physically or sexually abused my wife or children (aside from the rare light spanking or slap of the hand). Outside of playing a sport at the collegiate & professional levels, I have no history of violence as an adult. I’ve never been arrested or detained for anything. I’ve never threatened my wife or kids with physical violence. That said, I do have a temper and am quicker to anger than most. I had been seen for depression & was taking medication for 2 years, but stopped treatment altogether 1.5 years ago, when I felt I wasn’t making progress. My wife started seeing a therapist & taking medication for her own depression about 1 year ago. She told me she was getting treatment for her depression caused by dealing with her terminally ill mother & her own past history of childhood sexual abuse by her step-father & a series of broken homes & divorces & drug use by her mother (who had her at age 16), and a biological father whom she hadn’t seen since she was 4 months old. She told me about all these issues when we were still dating. I had always encouraged her to seek treatment, as it did play a role in our relationship & would probably just help her feel better as a person. We never fought or argued while dating. We began to fight & argue once engaged. Our fights & arguements because more frequent & intense once married. Then we had our 2 children. Both were difficult pregnancies. Both kids were born premature. My wife spent 1 month of her 1st pregnancy in the hospital. Our son, spent another 1.5 months in the hospital after he was born. Our son, now 7, still has medical & behavior issues to this day. This strained our marriage. Our fights escalated & increased. I lost my job 2 years ago & haven’t worked since. Our fights took a darker turn. We began to call each other the worst of names. I’d throw clothes at her telling her to get out for the night. She’d slap & punch & scratch me & throw books & other hard things at me. I’d try to restrain her from doing these things by holding her arms from behind, or pinning her on the bed until she calmed down. I never hit her or slapped her, even though she’d bruised & cut me. I thought she was cheating on me and wanted her to leave. She denied any infidelity & refused to leave. She got in my face, I spit in hers. I asked her to leave again. She called me paranoid & insecure & refused to go. I tried to force her to leave by holding her by the ankles & as gently as I could drag her about 5 feet on her butt to the center of the bedroom where I’d thrown some of her clothes. She struggled & hit her hip on the door frame, bruising her. That was was the end of July this year. She also was bruised on the 2 previous occasions when I tried to restrain her from attacking me. The 3 bruising incidents were minor, not even close to needing a doctor or hospital. The bruises & cut I received from her attacks were also just as minor.

    Fast forward to the present. After receiving her text about the civil order of protection I learned more information. She had moved out of our house with the kids, to an apartment(she wouldn’t tell me where); opened a new bank accoutrements & asked that I switch all the utilities to my name only. The hearing for the civil protection order was set for last Tuesday, 10/2. Through a family member, I learned she was afraid of me, admittedly sad & conflicted, did not want to go to the hearing, and was reluctant to try to work it out, although she did say she would think about it & in her own words “just couldn’t bring herself to take off her wedding & engagement rings. Wanting to fix things & get back together, I after learning from my lawyer, that I’d have no shot at getting back together with my wife if the full hearing took place & wanting to shield my wife from further emotional stress that my attorney would put her through in the event of a full hearing, I agreed to voluntarily sign the civil protection order, but only with modifications allowing for visitation with my kids & the establishment of some form of communication between my wife & I. We agreed to terms on supervised visitation with my kids & texts or emails about our kids. I also agreed to undergo anger management counseling I still had to stay 500 feet away from my wife, except at functions involving the kids & any future court proceedings. I also learned she had completed & signed divorce paperwork, but had yet to file it. That was not unusual according to my attorney. A family member spoke with her, prior to the us signing the modified order of protection. When they spoke she was crying almost the entire time & said she was conflicted & that she couldn’t bring herself to take her rings off. She also agreed to hold off on actually filing the divorce papers & to at least think about giving our marriage another shot. That was a week ago, 10/1. We signed the modified protection order the next day 10/2. Since 10/2, I’ve seen her once when she dropped off some clothes she forgot for the kids at my first scheduled visitation this past Saturday night, 10/6. I sent her a text a few minutes later with some cute pictures of me & the kids and the following text:

    Thanks for tonight. But, they are really confused. Our son especially. He keeps telling me he’s sad & asks when I’m coming home with him & Mommy & sister. I don’t know what to tell him without breaking down. When you’re ready, we should talk about it, please. That’s all. Try to get some sleep.

    These are the texts that followed between us:

    Her: Just tell them the truth, that’s what I’m doing. This kind of message is inappropriate right now. Please don’t text me unless it has to do with the kids directly.

    Me: That had everything to do with the kids.

    Her: I’m serious. You can say things like what time are you dropping off the kids, etc

    Me: You are correct to a point. But it is not limited to only the logistics of picking up & dropping off kids. That said, if you’d rather I keep it to that for now, I will, if it makes you more comfortable. I was and am simply concerned about the kids well being.

    Her: I am concerned about their well being also. That is why we are where we are. I would feel more comfortable if you would keep to things strictly about more logistical things about the kids

    Me: For the time being, until you are more comfortable, yes?

    Her: Yes. I will let you know when I am ready to talk

    Me: I understand. I will respect your request. I promise. I do not want to make you feel uncomfortable in any way shape or form. If it makes you feel more comfortable, we can keep communication about kids going through my Mom as much as possible? Would that make you more comfortable?

    Her: Yes it would

    Me: I understand. I promise I will respect your wishes on that as well. I’m truly sorry this upset you. When you’re ready…I will be ready to listen. Is that OK?

    Her: Ok

    Me: Thank you. Goodnight.

    That was my only attempt at any communication thus far. Prior to that I’d made every effort to give her as much space as I could. I didn’t try to call her, see her, get a message to her, nothing at all. I even volunteered to not be present 15 before & after she dropped off the kids for visitation this past Saturday, in an effort to make it easier on her. I also volunteered to do the same again today when she drops off the kids for my second visitation with the kids.

    I’m now at a crossroads. I want my wife & family back. I’m doing all I can. I’ve schedule my anger management counseling. I’m actively job hunting. I’m exercising. I’m eating healthy. I’m back in therapy for my depression. I admitted some things to my parents that she’d normally tell me she’d be shockingly proud of me for admitting. I’m giving her all the space I can give by offering to not text her at all, and not be present when she drops off the kids, both which she said would make her feel more comfortable.

    But, I’m not 100% sure that the amount of space I’ve offered to give her is the right thing to do. I want her to get comfortable enough to feel safe enough to talk to me again. But at the same time I don’t want to give her so much space that she completely gets over me, resulting in her having no other emotions left for me, leaving her emotionally removed enough to actually end up filing the divorce papers.

    Given all this, how much space do I give & for how long? Should I try to remain as out of sight out of mind to her as I can? Or do I try to keep myself at least in her mind a bit more by at the bare minimum at least be physically present, but silent, at drop offs & pick ups of the kids?

    I’m thinking about offering her the following deal: If she will faithfully agree to talk with me & truly try to work things out to save our marriage through counseling, talking, doing whatever we need to do to save our marriage, etc… that if she agrees to all that wholeheartedly, then if we still can’t make it work after all that, I will agree to whatever terms of a divorce she requests, no questions asked. Should I hold off on offering that?

    What do I do now? Where do I go from here? Please help me. Please. Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Jamie says:

      This story could almost be my situation, except it is my husband of 11 years, who has walked out on me, leaving me to raise three daughters. He told me via e mail he was leaving, and has barely spoken to me.

  40. arielle says:

    When a guy says he will probably avoid you for the rest of his life, but you avoid him back and give him LOTS of time and then come back nicely, can you re-kindloe your friendship?

    Yes we dated and had sex and he broke up with me saying I was the girl he can see ending up with and he wasnt ready so we stayed friends but we got closer again and he kept sending me these pictures of couples and captions underneith like this will be us and telling me he would marry me one day and then on a rainyday I don’t know what happend but we started sexting and then the next we did it again and the next day he broke up with me but this time he said we wouldnt even be friends because he will always want to touch me and our relationship wont work out the way we want and he is never happy.

    Well he did avoid me, my texts, emails, calls right up until his b-day I sent him a pic of my boobs..not my finest moment but he repied with why would you send me a pic of your boobs? They are all I want and I said all I wanted was him and he told me he was not going to be in a relationship with me and I asked if he felt anything for me and he said no but then I asked if he honesly thought even now we wouldnt end up together and he said in a relationship and I said yes years from now and he said maybe so we sexted and then he told me he kept a pic of me and looked at it every night and missed me..but 2 hours later he said he will change his mind again and again but he wont do this again with me.

    A month later I ran into him and we talked and were friendly and I asked if he was going to keep avoiding me and he said he will probably keep avoiding me the rest of his life and I asked why? and he said he was an aweful person and I said I just want to be friends and he said no and then I asked if I was so horrible to be around and he said no but I knew why we couldnt be friends and I jokingly said why do you torture me and he said he was an aweful person and I tunred away and said this isnt over and he said goodbye.

    We are going to be in the same uni and I reeeally dont want it to be over…I just need to know what to do and can a guy REALLY mean it’s over and there is nothing I can do? I just feel in my heart it isnt over between us and I am not a clingy or stupid girl I know when something is over and I know when to let go.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, arielle –

      If he is depressed, then I think you should focus on the illness rather than search his shifting and confused feelings and words for what he “really” feels. My concern would be that he get some treatment for depression, if that is his condition, and hopefully work through his “damaged goods” sense of himself with a therapist. I think you’ll continue to feel tortured and he’ll keep dumping on himself and going back and forth with you until he can deal with depression.

      All my best —


  41. Susan says:

    I can’t thankyou enough for the raw grit of what you share. It helps to put some reality around what feels surreal for those of us left in the wake of a depressive partner who has left. In my case, I have a partner who has asked for no contact as he is dealing with his “issues”. Reading and researching have become my new past time. Hoever, it has also bred new fears. I am fearful that this family/friends will see this seemingly happy guy and validate that ending the relationship was just what he needed, instead of encouraging him to continue treatment; or that he’s be lax or unknowledgeable about choosing a suitable therapist and/or treatment/drugs and may give up if there is no seemingly immediate relief; or that he will feel too guilty about what he thinks he’s done to me to try and work on our relationship once he’s at a healthy place. These are just a few of the many fears. Can you share any insights about any of those issues. Can you also share your thoughts on building a knowledge base with family and friends who are aware so that he can receive support that will assist him on his journey to health? I don’t want to hurt the wonderful relationship I share with our family/friends by appearing to have my own agenda; this is first and foremost about helping him regain a sense of well-being. And yes, I want the future we planned together; any denial of that would be dishonest. But one is not possible without the other.

    Kindest regards.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Susan –

      I recognize all those fears that you mention, and the worst part of it is that you can’t get through to him with any of the insight you’ve gained. It’s a very disempowered position to be in, and it just plain hurts. If you can be in touch with family and close friends, I think it helps to share your concerns with them. If he’s not really getting any help to deal with his depression, sometimes others whom he trusts but is not close to in the same way can drive the message home that he needs to do something. He wouldn’t be the first depressed man to cut himself off from his partner and then deal with his issues only by trying to escape from them. I think it’s better to be honest about your feelings in a supportive way rather than hide them out of fear that saying anything about your needs would somehow hurt him or be more than he can handle. It’s not that you have an agenda, it’s that you love him and have been hurt by being cut off from him. You need support too – so many abandoned partners get depressed themselves and forget to look at their own needs.

      All my best to you —


  42. pat says:

    i am at sea,

    my wife of 24 years has left he family home. she has left her home husband and three children one under 18. it has been coming i realis that now for a number of years and yes my wife is laying all the blame on me. she has used violence on me and each time ( thankfully only twice in the last year) i get more fearful. my wifes relationships with her children is clearly becoming strained and very much so with her own family, sisters. A lot of her actions and reactions and are irrational not just to me but to our broad range of family and friends. Yesterday she demanded her her half of hard saved money, substantial, for the childrens university, to spend on her new life. My wife was diagnosed wiht depression and anxiety by her doctor, she says that hedone thos only so that she could get sick benifit. she has had little real physical contact wiht ehr chldren since she left, texts yes and phone but not real contact. she has only moved 4 miles away to live with her alcoholic sister. i am watching a train crash in slow motion and there is nothing i can do.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Pat –

      It’s not surprising that she would dismiss the doctor’s diagnosis only as a requirement for getting a health benefit. It sounds like she has a lot of denial as well as rage in her, a train-wreck in the making for sure. I hope that you and your children and the rest of the family can be fully supportive of each other at a time like this. You should have the help and support you need to deal with the emotional damage. What’s happening to her is not your fault and sometimes a counselor can help sort out what’s going on and how to deal with it in a way that would be most supportive for you and your family.


  43. Marie says:

    I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am to have found your website. A month ago my boyfriend of 7 years decided after a period of serious stress a couple of injuries and years of untreated depression that he wanted to be alone. Of course I fought against it because I knew he was depressed. Some of the stories I have read here are identical to what we have been experiencing. I knew that the man who was talking to me wanting to get away from me so desperately was not the man I knew. I wanted to be there for him at all costs, I wanted to do everything I can to make him realize that he was not alone that in me he had a partner who would stick by him through his recovery. Then the confusion set in and I am still struggling with it. I am confused about everything. Does he know he loves me deep down inside? Does he just not love me anymore? Should I just give up on him? etc… He has been talking to a friend about hi feelings and they all sound exactly like he has lost the ability to feel he doesn’t know where he is headed. At the moment I am just doing what ever comes into my heart. If I feel that I should send him an encouraging text I do and I don’t expect a response he has responded twice which makes me feel reassured that at least he is reading them. He has recently agreed to talk. I just want to know that he is okay. Of course I would love it if what resulted was a renewed attempt to work through it together but I wont bring it up unless he does. I just want to be there for him because I love him. I know that there are still rough times ahead for me and what ever happens I am so glad to have somewhere to go (here) for a bit of understanding. I too am in a position where friends and family just tell me to move on etc… but they don’t get it.

  44. C says:

    Dear John,

    I’m so thankful for finding your site. Its truly amazing, I felt so lost until I poured through your entire blog.

    Five days ago, my boyfriend of 8 months Jay, walked out on me quite irrationally without explanation and has cut me off completely in a very painful cold way. He suffers from Major Depression, which was initially brought on from losing his pituitary gland 4 years ago. We fell very fast for one another and I love him deeply. Jay, told me about his illnesses right away, and oddly enough, I accepted them. I knew he might get sick here and there, but I really had no idea what I was in for. He is on total hormone replacement therapy, in addition to meds to help him sleep, meds that help him stay asleep, anti-depressants, and other critical meds to keep him afloat. (On top of which he drinks alcohol)

    Recently, he fell very ill with Meningitis, I was there for him night and day caring for him; this was just a few short weeks ago. Simultaneously; Jay began to have trouble with his daughter and ex-wife which has ultimately ended up with his daughter pushing Jay away out of refusal to see him and declared hatred for him (his ex-wife has been funneling conversations she has had with J about visation to their daughter) he has been divorced for 8 years.

    Needless to say, with the stress of his job, his daughter; who makes him truly happy, and his latest bout of meningitis (its recurring for him because he is immune compromised); I’m 100% certain he is collapsing in on himself. Of course I didn’t know this until I found your blog (today), for the past 5 days I have been blaming myself and thinking it was something I did or just the way I am, that pushed him away. But everything makes perfect sense here. Not that I’m looking for an excuse, I still live in reality, I know I’m not perfect by any means, but based on what I’ve described so for, I think you might agree.

    Another thing I never realized is that intense anger is a part of depression. The way Jay displays his depression is through intense anger, blame, and irrational decisions. In April, Jay began to act irrationally quite often and would ensue verbal rages on me. One night he even called the police to try and have me removed from his apartment and through all of my things our the front door. This was after an argument of blaming me for not letting him be “himself” because I worry about him. I am always calm when interacting with Jay even when arguing, I just don’t have it in me to really fight with him plus he has enough of it for the both of us. His actions that night did not, DID NOT call for that type of anger and aggression and strange behavior, it was as if he snapped. This was in April, and it seems he’s been in a downward spiral since.

    Just as early as the very day he walked out on our relationship; he was telling me how much he loved me and wanted to marry me. Through-out our short, but greatly significant 8 months together, he said those things to me nearly every day, and met those words with actions….. Now this.

    He is a kind man, he has a lot of conviction, morals and strength. He would never normally behave this way. I am a single mother with a 3 year old, who he loves. I also love his daughter, and she has now texted me out of anger, thinking I am “done with her dad.” And I am completely heartbroken, shaken to my core, unable to function, eat, or take care of and pay proper attention to my little one. He tells me he has no desire to speak to me and that it is OVER- he put all of my things in a bag, all of the cards and love notes I ever gave him, everything, in a bag and left it with his door man for me to pick up. He refuses to speak to me and he threatened me for texting his daughter back.

    After reading your blog, I sent him a short email just saying that I loved him and I would be here for him if he needed me. I just cannot give up, I will not give up so easy. I hope he responds, I just don’t know how long I should wait. We were building a life together….

    Thank you again for your blog, in my darkest moments I will visit and read and make myself feel better as I was able to do today. I am also going into therapy to help me through this, but knowing that your blog is here, is a life savor. For the first time in 5 days, my head feels clear, the burden of blame has lifted and I can make sense of this.


  45. Anne-Marie says:

    Hi John, This site has helped me a lot while I was with my partner as well as after the breakup,I was the one who would have stuck close to him through thick and thin,but his dealing with depression was at the hands of alcoholism and this was far from what I considered to be a positive way of dealing with depression.Of course each time after he drank he would revert to grief and a disheartening feeling however he also manipulated me and I could see that there was little I could do with his confusion of I love you and I love you not.
    Soon after our brake up he decided to go try to pick up his life with his ex after four yrs of divorce,thinking this would help him.And once again after two months he contacted me ,he usually does that when he drinks saying that he doesn’t feel when he doesn’t drink but with a drink it allows him to feel and this is always when I come into the picture at least on his part!!!
    This was very disheartening to me and I was blown away questioning how would she feel.but I realize in his depression he is most certainly confused.I had to say enough was enough and exploit the whole thing to his ex,not to be malice but to unleash the destruction that was hurting him,myself and her.
    I was amazed how the deception and lies where so easy for him in his state.However John this didn’t sway my love for the great person he was when he wasn’t fighting his demons, as I see him as best described as “The man with two faces””.
    I want to say it has been the hardest for me as I had to say enough was enough…Only and only because he refused to make attempts of getting help.
    After many attempts of trying to reconcile and have him focus I realized this was my cross to bear and his fear in his depression caused a lot of pain through lies,using others, manipulating to get what he wanted and the darkness and loneliness that was around him also his aggression was becoming very voice stress and i was becoming fearful of what he could do .So I read ,write and heal day to day and hope you don’t mind if I share with those who may connect with me on what was what is and what can be.

    ” The Journey of ones Life’
    Loosing that Special Person in your life tears the heart beyond imaginable.Leaving you wondering why,hoping ,praying,filling your thoughts with memories,wishing sometimes you could shut off your mind, Paralyzing your every thought.
    Remembering the stages I endured and wondering when will it end. first the shock and denial,I stayed there a long time..trying to move on like nothing happened and so many mistakes I made ! Keep the smile on !!
    Then the Anger set in,resenting the outcome of the circumstances, gnawing away at my being.Causing utter distress.
    Then the Bargaining stage also known as what if I try this or try that.,allowing me to feel i didnt loose self control of my life.
    Then grief that tore me to shreds unable to rest ,sleep well or enjoy the little things I once loved.Everything became difficult mentally, physically emotionally and even my spiritual life was compromised.
    The only relief for a long time was feeling the need to talk about the situation and the Why me Lord factor that hunted my thoughts.
    Struggling with depression and feelings of If I could just hide my head under the blankets and make the world go away.and let me not forget the empty boxes of tissue that where stacked in the corner.the journals I compiled that in the moment relieved the sorrow the wrenched at my heart and soul.
    Then one day ,That day of Acceptance came. I slowly started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. This was a time of reflection, accepting ,The sun was shining bright again,The feeling of a warm bath was soothing and relaxing and the smile of a friendly face was welcomed,Music was again enjoyable,even the taste of food was enhanced.Realizing many and I mean many things that happen in life are beyond our control and complete understanding.So once again I smiled ,breathed in deeply,believed ,started to dream big again and walk forward with a new awareness of the Journey of Ones life.The learning from the experience, In all truth only makes us stronger.Today and each day, I live life to the fullest and I say I am thankful and blessed.To loose can be looked at as a gaining of knowledge.

    Written by Anne-Marie McGregor

    • AnneMarie says:

      As I continue to read these post on here I must say I am very happy that we can all come together in the hardest times to share. Above as I chose to share the experience of living with someone and or loving someone with depression is heart wrenching . it almost feels that his life of depression cause we to spiral into a depression of my own but again I truly believe there is a difference between the type of depression that consumes you … To a place of being the partner of the depressed person and having to stop focus and allow yourself the time to heal . Some as I did will hang on for a long time and yes to those who write if he came back tomorrow I would more then Likley embrasse the man I fell in love with but with caution and a very different outlook. Believe me if they push you away and want it that way and don’t contact you then please don’t invade there space. Do not meet up with them if they are using elligal drugs or alcohol because there once again are not in there right mind. Encourage them to get help and even offer to attend a workshop with them but only if they come to you first. Because though we all know they deal with depression ,we can not allow them to justify there actions in dragging you down. Depression just doesn’t go away like a common cold it must be treated and is a journey . I would hate to see anyone go through a hurt that could be avoided just because they are having problems to accept the rejection from the depressed person . Use caution and stay strong . Remember God sees the bigger picture.

  46. Mandy says:

    Hi, I am Mandy that posted back in dec 2011. Seems like a lifetime ago, I was distraught and desperate. It’s now 8 months since he left and I am in a much better place, having had time and counselling. As John said, living with a depressed person takes it toll and though it was something I was wanting it was not easy. When the blame came in my direction I had no idea how to handle it so I just existed. I now understand that it wasn’t my fault and that I cannot cure him with love and loyalty, though I long wished I could. All I really posted to say is that the only happiness within your control is yours. Find your way to happy, I haven’t given up on my husband, I will always be there for him just not at any cost to my well being now…. And my heart is happy and open to meeting someone that can care about me in the same way I care about them.
    I know people posting here will want to hear a different sort of happy ending, I’m not saying that can’t happen, just that it can still be happy if it doesn’t.

    • Mandy says:

      Forgot to say that I put up with all sorts of bad behaviour including another woman justifying all with his illness, what I should have done is put boundaries in place and set them firm, my life only started to improve once I’d done this. Eg. No you can’t say the things you do, get out. No I can’t be your friend whilst you are in a relationship with someone else.
      It was key in my road to happy and in improving his behaviour towards me. I t helped me take some control back so I was not another victim of his illness. Good luck to all.

      • John Folk-Williams says:

        Hi Mandy –

        I’m so glad to hear that things have been going well for you. You’re right – happy endings don’t always involve staying together. Taking care of your health and well-being has to be a top priority.


        • Mandy says:

          Thanks John x

          • spidermouse says:

            Hi Mandy, I totally agree with what you had to say and really hope that I get there eventually. My husband of 14 years asked for a divorce 2 months ago. The “bizarre symptoms” he was exhibiting, started about 5 months prior, but I had NO idea where it was headed. He has backtracked since then, from divorce to trial separation.

            A couple months prior to asking for divorce and a few weeks after , he was a TOTAL Assh*** and blaming me for everything. He started on meds 4 days prior to asking for the divorce, so has “stabilized” since then. He has also been in therapy very regularly.

            He lived with me for 6 weeks after dropping his bomb, saying he wanted to move out but couldn’t afford to (lie.). I finally had to kick him out as he had convinced himself that we could just lie together as roommates!!! yeah, after 14 years of being totally in love.

            He moved out 2 weeks ago, and it’s been difficult. He calls every other day, we hang out some (no sex though!!) and we are maintaining the closeness of the best friendship we had, as best we can under the circumstances.

            I am starting to find a balance between being there for him and giving him his space plus doing things for myself to move on each day. I am in therapy, do a support group, have a wonderful set of girlfriends and work out a lot. It’s a hard balance. I want him in my life , in some respect, I’m definitely not ready to go no contact. It’ just hard because every time he calls, he tells me he loves me and when he sees me, we hug and sometimes kiss. There’s just an intimacy that we have!!

            I think i place too much pressure on myself about how to handle this. You have to do this and can’t do that but, what I realize is, I just need to be for now. Live each day out and decide what’s best for me as I go along.

            Any suggestions or advice you have?

  47. Dee says:

    Hi John, Just wanted to say thank you for your information on this site it has helped a great deal. My partner before his 44th birthday and after 16 years of being together just said he had to let me go and that he was holding me back. He does healing and is very good, he also has a full time job with so much that has gone on for him over the last few months, I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and had another scare in July 2011. Work problems and pressure were all building up about five months prior to this happening. Five days before he left the home he was doing healing, before he went he was as right as rain, he came back and said that he had a strange sensation while healing and that it was very intense, that night he was snappy and withdrawn and the days that followed he was the same. He woke from an afternoon sleep as he starts early and then he came out with, ‘I have to let you go, I’ve been holding you back’. I told him to just stay calm and relax and that he probably awakened emotions from the chakras and we could deal with it, within two days he was gone, didn’t come back to the home to live and that was 8 weeks ago. He text me two weeks after walking out that he had met a girl and is moving in with her, I asked him why he would text me that and not come and tell me and how could he meet someone so quickly and he said he saw me as a sister and that he wanted to be honest and she felt right. He has spoken to someone after I suggested he may have depression and was told that, he was suffering from depression by the counsellor. He has been back home for visits to see the cats and me but I don’t know why, if he is with someone else, it all hurts so much and I’m trying not to be demanding as I was in the beginning before I realised it might be depression. I have offered him healing and some exercises that help with depression and said that if he could keep them up and go to counselling it might help. He is polite and is helping financially, he says he want to come home but something is holding him back. I am trying to be a friend to the man I love but know that he is sharing times with another woman and when he comes over it kills me to know that he is walking out the door after and I don’t know when or if he will be back. I am trying to detach from my emotions while I’m communicating with him but feel like I’m a stranger to him and he has no idea how hurt I am feeling because he is in this depression and I feel very much alone. I am trying so hard to get on with my life and am seeing a counsellor but I really am finding no hope in anything and just feel down most of the time. He was my best friend as we were so close. Friends and family demand answers and keep going on about what they would do and what they wouldn’t put up with and I’m trying to follow my gut feelings but they are all getting on my nerves.
    I cannot imagine what its like for other partners that have children and my heart goes out to all the people in this position and for the sufferers, this is not spoken about openly enough.
    Thank you

  48. Cecily says:

    Hi, I am new to this site and am really glad I found it. A lot of what’s just happened in my life is making sense now.

    My husband of 10 years and wonderful father to our two children suddenly informed me three weeks ago that he doesn’t love me anymore and needs to move out. I was shocked and devastated. He has been to the doctor and agreed to counseling. He has been diagnosed with mild depression. Luckily he is admitting that he has depression and is working through a book that his GP gave him. He has been emotionally distant on an off for three years and I now think it has been depression all along. He still phones me every day and we talk – but only discuss emotional stuff if he feels like it. He is house-sitting for a week now and plans to rent a house at the beginning of June. He says he needs to find himself and needs alone time. Is there any way I can convince him to stay? I am trying to be supportive but this whole situation is so shocking to me. Over the past three weeks he has said he will be willing to try to work on our relationship but first he needs time to “find himself”. When I mention hope of him coming back to us he says not to get my hopes up. I can’t just give up on us. What should I do?

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Cecily –

      I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this. I think a lot of men mistake the lack of feeling that comes with depression for a lack of love. It’s easy to feel you’ve fallen out of love or that your spouse isn’t giving you what you need when the ability to feel anything is so diminished. The threshold for feeling excitement gets higher, and some men look for it in drugs or affairs. I’ve become skeptical that there is such a thing as “mild” depression. The symptoms may not be so acute in the moment, but they are chronic. Not feeling much all the time is just as disabling, especially in a relationship or at work, as the total collapse that accompanies a severe episode. In a way, it’s worse because it usually happens that you mistake the “mild” symptoms as the reality of your life rather than conditions that can be changed with treatment. It’s great that your husband is aware of depression and trying to do something about it. It’s natural that he would tell you not to get your hopes up because he’s not going to feel hopeful so long as the depression continues. I think you can support him by learning as much as possible about the type of depression that he has. That knowledge can help you sort through his behavior to you and your children. It would be good if he were open to couples therapy, provided you could find a counselor who understands the specific impacts that depression can bring into a relationship. Having your own support is also important because partners in your position easily get drawn into depression as well.

      I hope you can both find a way to get through this together.


  49. Clare says:

    Hi – I’m new to forums and never really needed to be here before.

    I’m finding everything in my world a little hard to cope with at the moment. My partner of nearly 7 years turned around out of the blue one night, told me he needed to end our relationship and leave. As you can imagine I was completely shocked! He told me the reason was he just didn’t feel the same way about me anymore and had to go. Now, I thought things were very positive this year and I was looking forward to our future together – plans to move home, make a cosy life for each other etc, but within weeks I was hit with this bombshell. We had a very difficult year last year, not between ourselves, but with families, jobs etc. I could see he was stressed at times and tried to lift the load a bit, unfortunately looking back, this just didn’t work. We started to have niggly little fights by the end of the year, but nothing which would tear us a part. I thought our love for each others was so strong, we’d last forever! We did really make a great team and always had a brilliant time together. He did start to twist things, or should I say misunderstand things I would say to him which would end up in an argument and it would make me think… what did I just say?! Anyway, like I say, I had a lot of hope for us this year and I was convinced he was the same.
    I never thought he would be the type of person to just get up and go without a fight to save us, after all, I had no idea we were heading this way! I told him we need to work together at a relationship and you can’t just get up and leave like this. He said he would give things a chance, yet less than 24 hours (after a day at work) he packed his bags and left. Told me I was his best friend, but this is wrong in a relationship, told me he loved me, but isn’t in love with me now, said this was killing him as I’m a wonderful person and he cares so much for me and always will. None of this makes sense to me as he’s my best friend, I love him but never thought about the whole in love thing for a while as you just become comfortable with each other and happy (I am in love with him by the way), and I care for him deeply too… so where is the problem I thought?!
    I could not understand one bit, a few close family members thought this was a sign of depression, and as I looked back over the latter months I started to see the signs as well. Less than a week later, he had signed a contract on a rented flat. One moment he was telling me he needs space and the next he can’t see us having a future. Everything has been so confusing for me, very mixed emotions and signs. He’s had no real contact with me, yet I had tried to maintain some form of contact as I do want him back and also terrified he is making a massive mistake! If you mention depression or stress to him, he blows his lid. Still to this day he says he is fine and we now need to move on in our separate lives.
    Unfortunately, this has now taken it’s toll with me and I am now suffering from stress and depression due to his loss. I did see my GP and asked if I could be referred to a therpist, the only thing in my eyes which would solve my problems, would be if he gave me a chance or even told me he loves me… I know everyone in my boat feels this way, but I am suffering badly.
    I just don’t know what to do for the best, he is still my partner to me, yet we are single as he’s left the relationship. Please help! A little advice our words from folk who have been through all this would be a massive help to me. I want to help him, yet I know I need to help myself too
    Many Thanks! Clare x

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Clare –

      Over the last several years, I’ve heard so many stories like yours, yet each one is uniquely painful and hard to understand. I’m so sorry this has happened, but it is a familiar pattern for depressed men. Just get up and leave, no explanation, no apparent emotional struggle, just gone. I can’t pretend to know what your partner is going through – even he may not know. That’s one of the problems with depression. You can become disconnected from your own feelings in a way that you hardly notice. You don’t necessarily feel bad, you just don’t feel much at all. You start to think that it must be the relationship that is failing since you it doesn’t seem emotionally satisfying. But it’s not just the relationship – it’s everything, except for short-term highs or “good times” with casual friends. I’m glad to hear that you are taking care of yourself. That is the best and perhaps the only thing you can do. It’s horribly frustrating. I can only hope that he will try to get help – that is the best route for seeing if the relationship can be saved. My best to you —


  50. Mia says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading this blog a lot lately and it helped me to understand my partners condition!
    First of all I’d like to say that I broke up with him about a month ago! I didn’t realize his depression and I thought he didn’t love me anymore so I bursted and shouted at him and told him I can’t deal with his behaviour anymore. But after few days I talked to him ad he was very angry and said that he is aware of everything but can’t deal with our relationship right now and that we need to break up! I was devastated because I still didn’t understand what was going on with him so I decided not to contact him at all because I was very hurt. That night he sent me a message saying that he didn’t stop loving me and that this break up is not forever and we just need to be some time apart. He told me that he can’t deal with me right now and that he still wants to be friends.
    I didn’t hear from him since then(and it’s been a month now) and I didn’t try to contact him either.
    Now i realize what happened to him and I want to hope that one day we’ll be together again.I want to call him and say to him that I’ll support him no mather what but I’m afraid of how is he going to react! I really don’t know how to approach this and I’m afraid I don’t push him even more if that is even possible.
    We had a really great relationship and some even say we were soulmates,but at one moment everything changed and that wasn’t my boyfriend anymore.I still hope that he will accept treatment and be with me after some time.
    I would just want him to know that I’m not angry at him and that my reaction was wrong and that I’ll do anything to help him!
    Thank you very much!

    • Susan says:

      Hi Mia – Did you get any response to this? My story is similar and just wondering if you got any feedback or had any updates.


  51. biglove says:

    I’ve been scouring every line on every site for answers, there really aren’t any, however, thank you John for the insight from your personal experience, I feel much better armed to deal with my partner, myself and the depression which is traumatising both of us.
    I could write reams of our history and relationship (and I’ve done so in a personal journal – adding snippets as the cloud lifts and I recall events which seemed insignificant but were percursors that built into my partners depressed state).
    We have been together 3 years (mid-forties, both of us); both single with wonderful children (late teens & 1 preschooler); reasonable ex-partners. We lived on opposite sides of the world. Our life experiences and similarities were uncanny, we understood each other immediately, although his English was limited and my French even worse – but we worked on this and impressed ourselves with our bi-lingual abilities.
    In a gradual build up of events: a bad financial investment (a lot of $$); workaholic tendencies returned; his father suffers depression and there was a major row; his 4 year old had to come and live with us when her mother suffered a stroke; my father became terminally ill and I had to leave to tend him (he passed away 2 weeks later), this and so many bits and pieces that make up life’s trials and tribulations.
    We use to speak daily via skype and my partner always showed his love and how much he missed me. One day he mentioned that he had found my ring (a symbol of our commitment) and figured I had left him, thus for the first time hadn’t called me over a weekend. I explained the ring was left behind because the stone had come lose and I had hoped he would have it repaired. We’d had some patchy times before my departure – you can imagine my thoughts were with my dad and my son and brother dealing with him and then having a 4 year old in our midsts who was missing her mother and didn’t understand why she couldn’t go to her; my partner working 14 hour days. Anyway all said and done, he still felt I had left him, we decided to meet up (halfway) for a week break and talk things through, well I talked he listened but said he felt exactly as I did and wanted the same relationship and life together. His parting word were “I love you very much, you must know this”.
    A few weeks later, there was another weekend where he did not communicate with me, when he finally did, he said that he knew that I was returning soon and didn’t think it would be a good idea at this stage, I obviously asked why. He said there was too much for him to do right now (work wise) for him to worry about me being at home alone. I asked whether he loved me and he said “I respect you very much, right now I don’t know how I feel”, he was crying and upset as he spoke this and in the same breathe said “the best time of his life was with me”.
    My mind first stopped, then it went into over-drive.
    I’ve gone crazy on the internet looking for information – at times this has been great help, because I can see so many signs of him being depressed, but at other times I’ve questioned whether this is what I would like it to be (sad in a way, that I would prefer my partner to be depressed rather than not want me). We find ourselves in a debilitating situation because he won’t seek medical assistance and I don’t want this to be our only topic of communication. I’m starting therapy as I can see the effects this and prior events is having on my health.
    I hurt tremendously, but this site has allowed me to have perspective in an intelligent forum, again thank you.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, biglove –

      I’m glad to hear you have a therapist’s help after all those difficult situations one after another, your partner’s depression and the great distance as well. It’s unfortunate that your partner won’t seek treatment. Even though episodes come and go on their own, they can last months, even years, long enough to drive away those closest to you. If you don’t see depression as an illness, then you are likely to accept all the negativity that goes with it as the reality of your life. I hope he can find his way back and that the two of you can maintain the relationship.


  52. Mandy says:

    Hi John

    Thank you so much for your kind and honest response. I too have thought he has a bipolar disorder but feel like until the prozac is taken out of the equasion, no one will know. He is so resolute that he is right that any changes in his meds are up to the GP. She is lovely but does not seem to have a great understanding of depression. Even in moments of crisis he has only seen a psychiatrist twice – for a total of less than 20 mins. He was ‘prescribed’ CBT and this just seems to have fueled his resolve that he is right. There is a computer programme for CBT that should not be given to severe cases, but it was given to my husband.
    His parents will not help. His Father doesnt want to alienate him, so in the future when he inevitably drops he has somewhere to go, his mother just thinks he is happy now as he is quite literally happy…. was even whistling as he packed to leave me and our child. They do not spend a great deal of time with him so I dont think they see the reality of the situation, or his lies. That said they have been present when he has treated his wife and child badly.
    Thanks for pointing out the blaming and irritability are symptoms not misreads – its really hard to understand this illness and separate the reality from the chaff.

    My best to you too, Mandy

  53. Mandy says:

    Hi John

    Many thanks for taking the time to write your blog – its amazing!

    My husband of 7 years (together for 11) has severe depression and has decided I am completely to blame for it. He has spent the last two years being irritable with me and our child and I keep finding out the awful things he has done during the time (eg. telling another woman he was in love with her whilst treating me terribly), and more recently spending ours and our childs personal savings on I don’t know what. He moved out 2 months ago.
    His irritation got progressively worse with each increase of prozac…. with hindsight I can see that but at the time it was really difficult as he was sabotaging his recovery with stopping taking his meds, taking them erratically and drinking. Now he has moved out he has gone into ‘SuperDad’ mode and suddenly wants to spend time with his son but this seems to be to prove me wrong about his depression being the cause of our relationship break up.
    I want our son to have a great relationship with his Dad and have encouraged this since day 1, but worry so much about the impact of his illness on him and just dont know what to do about promoting the relationship whilst still protecting my son.
    In terms of me, I am starting to get the ‘work on yourself’ thing, I am starting to go out, do counselling and trying to acknowledge that there is nothing more I can do…. but I still have this feeling that the man I love is in there somewhere and its so hard to not be able to say anything that will put a chink in his resolve that I am a bitch that has caused his misery.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Mandy –

      I’m glad you’re at the point of “starting to get” the need to take care of yourself, see friends, get counseling and accept (the hardest one) that you can’t do any more. Blaming a partner for depression is so common and so horrifically wrong and unfair. It’s hard not to want to do more to prove that you’re not the problem. The blaming and irritability are symptoms, as you know, not mistakes based on a misreading of a situation. It really is up to him to deal with his condition, and unfortunately it sounds like he isn’t doing that. I must say that your description makes me think of a bipolar condition rather than a depressive disorder – but it’s hard even for psychiatrist’s to draw those lines and I’m no expert or therapist. I think you’re right that his condition has changed him into a different person. Hopefully that will be temporary, but these things tend to recur. If you should get back together, you might well be facing a life of on-again off-again closeness. I’m afraid that’s what happened in my marriage, and it took a big toll on my wife.

      So keep on with taking care of yourself.

      My best to you —

  54. Carla says:

    What do i do if my partner left me and has moved on so quickly, but we have agreed to still be friends and talk because of our daughter?

    • Hi, Carla –

      I’m not sure what you’d like or feel the need to do in this situation. I realize there is the shock of suddenly losing him. Is your agreeing to the friend relationship genuine on your part, or did you feel that was the best you could do to stay in touch? Maybe you could add some more to the story so it’s clearer what’s happening.

      Thanks for commenting.


By clicking the Submit button below you agree to follow the Commenting Guidelines