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Hi all,

How can I move forward from this? Has anyone gone through something similar - do depressed people come back to you if they get their head straight?

 

My boyfriend left me recently. He has been through a lot of trauma in life, and I always knew that his self esteem was extremely low and that he had that type of personality where he didn’t feel like he deserved help or support from anyone. He tried his hardest to open up to me, and he did open up a lot, but I could also tell he was holding back a lot and putting on a brave face. He was always used to facing life alone. Lately life has been beating him up, and he started to get really depressed. He said it wasn’t fair to me anymore because he can’t give me 100% in the relationship. He said he can’t even think straight lately and he needs to heal himself and work on getting himself on stable ground. Of course I asked him to stay, that I would be there for him through anything and that I loved him dearly. I told him we could face this together and I would be by his side. But he told me he can’t focus on both the relationship and working on himself.

 

To say I’m devastated is an understatement. This man is the love of my life. Despite feeling down on himself most of the time, he has never shown me anything except unconditional love, unconditional support, and unconditional understanding. He knew me better than I know myself. He always knew exactly what I needed. We have such a deep love and respect for each other. The connection we have is something people talk about in the movies. No one could make me laugh like him. We both said that all of the crap life has thrown at us in the past was worth it to find the other.

 

He just left the home we shared together after picking up the last of his stuff. We both cried and he stood in the doorway for nearly an hour because neither one of us wanted to say goodbye.

 

He said he hopes once he gets his head straight that we can rekindle, but right now he said he can’t even imagine what tomorrow looks like and he can’t promise me anything. He said it’s too hard to talk to me, and asked that I not reach out to him for now. He did promise however that he would see a therapist. Right now he is staying with his mother until he can find his own place and he has promised me that he is not suicidal or anything.

 

My heart is so shattered and I don’t really know what to do. I feel as though I will always be waiting for him, but he doesn’t know if that will ever happen. I’m worried that he won’t actually see a therapist because he has a habit of avoiding things that will actually help him - he doesn’t believe he is worthy of it as depression really messes with a person’s self-worth. And now I have no way of knowing if he actually makes the appointment or not.

 

Why does life have to suck so much?

 

Thank you for listening.

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This isn't about you. He is right that he needs to focus on his health. I'm sure you want him to do whatever it takes to get himself healthy because you love him, right?

 

Respect his wishes. I understand this is hard for you. It's unfortunate, of course.

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This isn't about you. He is right that he needs to focus on his health. I'm sure you want him to do whatever it takes to get himself healthy because you love him, right?

 

Respect his wishes. I understand this is hard for you. It's unfortunate, of course.

 

I agree. Has he ever been in therapy and/or on meds? I'm so sorry you are in this situation. My father had a lifelong battle with depression -diagnosed as a teenager. The only way he was able to function -and he more than functioned -was by being consistent with therapy and meds.

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I understand this. I told him that I understood, and that the most important thing was for him to get the help he needs. I told him I love him enough to let him go do what he needs to.

 

Yes -understand that he has said he needs to be apart from you and he cannot tell you if/when he will get back together. Although he is unwell and this is driving his decision I would if I were you make the decision to take on the role of providing resources - like the name of a therapist, or asking around if the therapist he has found has a good reputation, etc. I would not remain committed to him romantically or in any other way. He has told you he is no longer committed to you.

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Sorry to hear this. How long have you been dating? How long have you lived together? Is it your apt/house or did you co-own/co-rent?

 

How old is he? Were there differences in goals such as marriage, family etc.? Has there been recent job loss or financial problems?

 

Unfortunately he is saying "it's me not you". However he also does not want you reaching out and he "doesn't want to make promises". Don't try to fix him or check up on him, he will sort it out. No one want to feel defective as if they need to be fixed or treated like they are so sick or unstable that people are "worried".

 

It's important to realize that depressed or not, he seems to want to end things.

 

My boyfriend left me recently. He said it wasn’t fair to me anymore because he can’t give me 100% in the relationship. he said he can’t even imagine what tomorrow looks like and he can’t promise me anything. He said it’s too hard to talk to me, and asked that I not reach out to him for now.

 

He just left the home we shared together after picking up the last of his stuff. Right now he is staying with his mother until he can find his own place.

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The most you can do is continue to look after yourself.

 

The caretaking part is finished. You shouldn't be thinking about whether he makes appointments for himself. It'll take awhile for you to adjust. You have to adjust to being on your own and focusing on the break up. I don't think it's healthy to wait on him. You won't see that right now because the break up is too fresh.

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How long were you and your boyfriend together? I understand it hurts but I think unfortunately all you can do right now is just accept that your boyfriend needs space and time to get better. Just say to him that if he needs to talk or hang out, you're there for him. Depression really is a very consuming mental health condition and I think it's true that your boyfriend is probably not well enough at the moment to be in a relationship. He definitely needs to get therapy and go on the right kind of medication. I think just give him time, at least a few weeks. Then maybe catch up in person and talk about whether it's possible to get back together.

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I am so sorry you're going through this. It does sound like a lot of heartbreak and it is so sad for not only you, but for him as well.

 

I do think it's very healthy of him though to admit that he isn't in the right headspace for a relationship at the moment and that he needs to be alone to heal.

He knows what will work best for him right now and it definitely doesn't sound like he is meaning to hurt you whatsoever.

It still doesn't take away your pain though, and I do feel for you.

 

Try your best to take care of yourself right now. Don't listen to sad music or watch any kind of love stories, it will only make you feel worse.

Distract yourself by reading a good book, or watching a good movie, either comedy or thriller or anything neutral that isn't a love story.

Listen to music that makes you feel better and not more sad.

Keep talking if you need to. Whatever your thoughts are, or whatever your pain is, keep expressing it here. It will help a lot.

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I’m worried that he won’t actually see a therapist because he has a habit of avoiding things that will actually help him -

 

As a person whose first marriage crumbled due to his depression, I don't recommend being in a relationship with someone who avoids help. Sounds like he is appeasing you with promises of seeing a therapist, whereas he's talking the talk, but hasn't as yet walked the walk. He also likely spoke of the possibility of rekindling when he's learned to handle his depression to stave off less emotional drama from you.

 

He knows you would've been patient with him IF he'd actively sought therapy and meds while still remaining as a couple. To me, he didn't care enough to stay and actively work on himself while asking for temporary changes in your relationship so you two could still be a couple. Couples have to sometimes deal with big stressors in life. It doesn't mean you bail every time something major hits you.

 

IMO, nobody is worth putting yourself on ice for. Think of yourself as single and that you won't be getting back together with him. Years from now, if he happens to get himself together and has shown he is committed to being on meds and therapy for a lifetime, you can consider if he's worth the risk, if in fact you're still single.

 

I had a life of walking on eggshells with my ex, since he was often angry, defensive, or isolating himself. He did have good traits as well, just as your ex does, yet the bad outweighs the good and it's not a life I wish on anyone. Love doesn't conquer all. Many women have nurturing spirits, but sometimes to their own detriment.

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I’m worried that he won’t actually see a therapist because he has a habit of avoiding things that will actually help him -

 

As a person whose first marriage crumbled due to his depression, I don't recommend being in a relationship with someone who avoids help. Sounds like he is appeasing you with promises of seeing a therapist, whereas he's talking the talk, but hasn't as yet walked the walk. He also likely spoke of the possibility of rekindling when he's learned to handle his depression to stave off less emotional drama from you.

 

He knows you would've been patient with him IF he'd actively sought therapy and meds while still remaining as a couple. To me, he didn't care enough to stay and actively work on himself while asking for temporary changes in your relationship so you two could still be a couple. Couples have to sometimes deal with big stressors in life. It doesn't mean you bail every time something major hits you.

 

IMO, nobody is worth putting yourself on ice for. Think of yourself as single and that you won't be getting back together with him. Years from now, if he happens to get himself together and has shown he is committed to being on meds and therapy for a lifetime, you can consider if he's worth the risk, if in fact you're still single.

 

I had a life of walking on eggshells with my ex, since he was often angry, defensive, or isolating himself. He did have good traits as well, just as your ex does, yet the bad outweighs the good and it's not a life I wish on anyone. Love doesn't conquer all. Many women have nurturing spirits, but sometimes to their own detriment.

 

I don't think it's nurturing to help someone who can, but refuses, to help himself - that's more enabling and often it's more about the person who is doing the helping -they benefit from feeling like a hero, from feeling like they're committed and "working" to help the person but it's actually not helpful to that person. Certainly if someone cannot take care of himself and is in a committed relationship/marriage, the other person might take on the role of caregiver which is incredibly selfless, hard, nurturing. But this person can get help just refuses to.

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I’m worried that he won’t actually see a therapist because he has a habit of avoiding things that will actually help him -

 

... I don't recommend being in a relationship with someone who avoids help. Sounds like he is appeasing you with promises of seeing a therapist, ...

 

He knows you would've been patient with him IF he'd actively sought therapy and meds while still remaining as a couple. ...

 

IMO, nobody is worth putting yourself on ice for. Think of yourself as single and that you won't be getting back together with him. ...

 

... Love doesn't conquer all. Many women have nurturing spirits, but sometimes to their own detriment.

 

Really good points. OP, it makes no sense to worry about him seeing a therapist, because the whole crux of his breakup is that he does not want to be accountable to you.

 

How many healthy people do you know say, "I'm going to join a gym ..." and then never do so, or join but don't use it?

 

So it only follows that a depressed person might say, "I'm going to seek therapy ..." only to not do so, or to do it in their own time?

 

This isn't about knocking you for your invested hope, but rather, it's about reconciling for yourself that while most people don't wish to be held accountable for any private 'shoulds' they might impose on themselves, a depressed person is even more likely to isolate so as to cut off inquiries and ENSURE that no expectations can be imposed on him.

 

Anyone who has ever felt like a failure can understand the inherent difficulty of that, much less the added difficulty of feeling that way in front of an invested audience.

 

Nobody here can speak to whether his assurances of his intentions are valid or whether he spoke those to make your parting easier, but either way, sometimes we need to accept that some people are best loved from far away.

 

Head high, and write more if it helps.

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  • 3 months later...

The very exact thing just happened to me. I have never felt so broken hearted. Today is one week since he told me these things. I recommend you talk with a counselor. I also recommend you find the Depression Fallout blog and the Storied Mind blog.   Apparently this very thing appears to be extremely common and I myself have read at least one hundred similar stories over these past few weeks.  I went no contact to give him his space and do not expect to hear from him again; but of course, naturally, that is all  want. But I realize it’s a fantasy and the best thing I can do is move on.  Not sure if you still get replies to your original post or not. I am wondering how you are now, how long did it take for you to feel better? I have been through breakups and even a divorce but never anything like this. I feel like the person I loved died. It is incomprehensible to be in a loving relationship one day and then lose the person to depression. Mine also cut off others and is barely keeping his job.  I look back now and he did have serious self worth issues. Right before the spiral began, he asked me how I could care for him this much? I was like “what?” Three weeks before he spiraled, he told me he wanted a future with me. I met his children. We were friends for two years first. 
 

It is tragic. I wish I could make sense of it and all I can seem to find is that this seems to happen to many people, primarily men, due to depression. My one male friend who has lifelong depression told me he has done this because he feels unworthy and then begins to feel guilty of not being good enough, while also needing to isolate and deal with the negative thoughts alone. 
 

I hope you are in a better place. 

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On 10/25/2020 at 12:52 PM, Starstuff said:

Hi all,

How can I move forward from this? Has anyone gone through something similar - do depressed people come back to you if they get their head straight?

 

My boyfriend left me recently. He has been through a lot of trauma in life, and I always knew that his self esteem was extremely low and that he had that type of personality where he didn’t feel like he deserved help or support from anyone. He tried his hardest to open up to me, and he did open up a lot, but I could also tell he was holding back a lot and putting on a brave face. He was always used to facing life alone. Lately life has been beating him up, and he started to get really depressed. He said it wasn’t fair to me anymore because he can’t give me 100% in the relationship. He said he can’t even think straight lately and he needs to heal himself and work on getting himself on stable ground. Of course I asked him to stay, that I would be there for him through anything and that I loved him dearly. I told him we could face this together and I would be by his side. But he told me he can’t focus on both the relationship and working on himself.

 

To say I’m devastated is an understatement. This man is the love of my life. Despite feeling down on himself most of the time, he has never shown me anything except unconditional love, unconditional support, and unconditional understanding. He knew me better than I know myself. He always knew exactly what I needed. We have such a deep love and respect for each other. The connection we have is something people talk about in the movies. No one could make me laugh like him. We both said that all of the crap life has thrown at us in the past was worth it to find the other.

 

He just left the home we shared together after picking up the last of his stuff. We both cried and he stood in the doorway for nearly an hour because neither one of us wanted to say goodbye.

 

He said he hopes once he gets his head straight that we can rekindle, but right now he said he can’t even imagine what tomorrow looks like and he can’t promise me anything. He said it’s too hard to talk to me, and asked that I not reach out to him for now. He did promise however that he would see a therapist. Right now he is staying with his mother until he can find his own place and he has promised me that he is not suicidal or anything.

 

My heart is so shattered and I don’t really know what to do. I feel as though I will always be waiting for him, but he doesn’t know if that will ever happen. I’m worried that he won’t actually see a therapist because he has a habit of avoiding things that will actually help him - he doesn’t believe he is worthy of it as depression really messes with a person’s self-worth. And now I have no way of knowing if he actually makes the appointment or not.

 

Why does life have to suck so much?

 

Thank you for listening.

Hi Starstuff,

I'm sorry to hear about your problem and your boyfriend's depression.
He sounds like he is in a really bad place. Given that he wanted to cut ties from you would be the clue that you probably should. You did all that you can, you offered help, but you should understand you are not his therapist or psychiatrist or psychologist. Hell, even if you were one, you shouldn't be one in a relationship.

Your relationship is about two people growing to be together, not one helping the other one grow. 
I can understand how sympathetic you feel for him, and he will always be grateful for that, but don't let it affect you, PLEASE. 

YOU'RE not depressed, YOU haven't been through what he has been through, you are YOU, and he is HE. 

Give him some time to relax and let himself think about himself. He is right that he can't think about the relationship and about himself at the same time. 

But you should know, if he left once, he can leave again in the future, and again, and again and again. 

You don't deserve that.

Perhaps this is your chance to fly.

Or perhaps, he might get over what he is going through and come back as a ready man, you never know. That is your decision to either let him back or not.

I remember I had a man in my past who broke up with me because he was depressed. He wasn't actually depressed, he used it as a reason to break up with me-- the reason I know that is because he outwardly told me that a few years later. 

It's your decision to stay loyal or committed to him while he gets the help he needs, but why is being in a relationship with you in the way of him getting better?
Also the fact that he is saying 'no promises' is just the sign to back off of him and put the ball in his court and decide what he wants to do.

Enjoy yourself for now, i know it's hard, but try your best. after all, he did break up with you. it's not like he asked for a break, or just moved out, he broke up with your relationship. he didn't want to be committed. 

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