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I feel guilty for not reaching out to my depressed ex


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My ex (29, M) left me (28, F) about a month ago. Our relationship was great - very respectful, supportive, etc. We had the connection that you see in movies. We had our lives planned together. He left me because life has been hitting him really hard lately, and he’s grown pretty anxious and depressed. He said he felt guilty everyday because he didn’t have the mental energy to give to the relationship. He said he couldn’t be what I deserved right now. He said he needed to get himself help and in a better place before he could think about being with me again

 

I’ve given him space for now because he said that’s what he needs. We’ve only spoken a couple of times to arrange for him to get the last of his stuff. I asked him how he was doing in those times - he said this is really hard on him and he misses me a lot, but he’s trying to get his life together. He promised he would see a therapist but as far as I know that hasn’t happened yet

 

I am trying to do what’s best for him. For people who have been depressed and left their partners due to not feeling adequate - what do you wish your ex would have done? I really love this man, and I feel so guilty. I feel like I abandoned him in his hour of need. I think a big part of why he left if because he felt like a burden to me. I don’t think of him as a burden at all. I want to be there for him, but I’m not sure if that would help him or hurt him.

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Life is never a movie its us who put others at such high pedestal that we start loving them regardless of the flaws in the relationship.

 

Am sure you loved him with all your heart and he as well. But its now time to put your well being first.

 

The more you dwell on what worked what didnt take blame for leaving him etc it will just keep hurting you more and more.

 

Initially when we are out of it things look blurred we start questioning the reality.

Its like a rush of all the emotions sadness feeling lonely nobody seem to understand us everything feels bad.

 

But slowly you will get that small small moments where you clearly see listen and observe things for yourself and start rebuilding.

 

You will need to leave him alone for a long long time, dont be in contact its not good for both of you. Take some serious time off from social media and work on yourself look at some goals in life start with few and put all your heart into achieving that

 

Its all about you now

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Continue keeping a healthy distance. If you have a yearning to keep being a helper, I think it's worth looking into. It's one thing to miss someone who meant a lot to you, an ex from the past, and it's another to yearn to keep helping someone when it's no longer appropriate to do so.

 

Find ways to learn to cope with the break up, seek healthier outlets and other engagements. Those same things that used to create spaces of joy and comfort have shifted. Learn to recreate those spaces with new people, hobbies, commitments.

 

All this is part of rebuilding and healing.

 

Once you've recognized these spaces inside you it's easier to manage those emotions and take a deep breath, exhale and move forwards with your life. It helps avoid repeating the same patterns.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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I really love this man, and I feel so guilty. I feel like I abandoned him in his hour of need.

 

I think that, unfortunately, you're re-writing the narrative a bit here because the truth is painful. You can't abandon someone who has opted out of the relationship. He saw himself out, not the other way around.

 

All you can do is proceed with your healing. If he isn't reaching out, there's a reason. He's either not ready to receive your support of he's got other reasons for leaving and knows he can't give you false hope by staying in touch. I would not try to be a support system for someone who isn't indicating that he wants that, in other words.

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It sounds to me like you are a caring and nurturing person but to your own detriment at times.

 

My best guess is that he was faking being the person you thought he was? And that he couldn’t sustain that long term.

He doesn’t want help. But you were always offering help , that possibly was what led him to bow out.

You were not happy being in a relationship with someone like him , so you wanted to change him.

He knows you wanted to change him for the better, he seems very self aware but he is simply not ready.

 

But this is not really about you and all about him.

 

He left the relationship because he doesn’t want to face things.

And with every contact with you , it’s like you are again nudging him to.

 

You are not abandoning him.

Instead he has simply chose to leave you because that’s easier for him.

 

He may or may not seek therapy.

If he seeks therapy he might contact you in a year.

If he doesn’t seek therapy he might contact you in 3 years.

 

How long are you willing to put your life on hold for this movie romance?

 

Given what you have told us , it was far from a Prince Charming story , but you romanticised it?

 

My suggestion would be to look into why you were interested in him from the get go? What kept you in the relationship? What did you gain from it? And why you would ever consider getting back with him?

Would there be conditions? What would they be? Would you trust him to stick to them? Etc

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Your last thread asked the exact same question and everyone told you to let him work through it on his own. What are you seeking?

 

Yeah and people also told me to keep writing if it was helpful to me. I found it cathartic and so I reached out again. I am working through the stages of grief/healing and right now I am feeling very guilty and worried about him. Maybe I need some reassurance that it’s okay to just let him be and that I don’t have to save everyone.

 

Honestly your comment came off as very passive aggressive and not helpful at all. If someone is obviously in pain, why make a comment pointing out that they’ve already asked for help? What is the purpose of that? You made me feel embarrassed. It really helps to write my feelings anonymously and get feedback from people who are objective. I’m not sure why you felt the need to point out that I’ve already done it. Are people only allowed to ask for support once?

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He's staying with his family, so he's fine. The relationship was stressing him out along with other responsibilities.

 

Take care of yourself. That's who you want to be concerned about at this time. Realize breakups are hard and shift your focus to yourself.

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No need to feel guilty. Any contact from you would just send the unintended message of, "I'm still waiting... tap...tap...tap...".

 

So give yourself credit for not doing that.

 

You've already let him know that you'd welcome hearing from him if he ever changes his mind, so credit the guy for owning the ability to reach out if he ever WANTS to.

 

Beyond that, the biggest help you can give to him is you own self sufficiency, resilience and focus on moving yourself forward. Trust that if the guy is ever ready to catch up with you, he'll have no problem doing that, and as long as HE has a problem doing that? He's not ready.

 

Head high, and take baby steps in the right direction for YOU. That's the best gift you can give him.

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Yeah and people also told me to keep writing if it was helpful to me. I found it cathartic and so I reached out again. I am working through the stages of grief/healing and right now I am feeling very guilty and worried about him. Maybe I need some reassurance that it’s okay to just let him be and that I don’t have to save everyone.

 

Honestly your comment came off as very passive aggressive and not helpful at all. If someone is obviously in pain, why make a comment pointing out that they’ve already asked for help? What is the purpose of that? You made me feel embarrassed. It really helps to write my feelings anonymously and get feedback from people who are objective. I’m not sure why you felt the need to point out that I’ve already done it. Are people only allowed to ask for support once?

 

You should keep on writing. it is different when you are asking the same question, seeking approval to reach out to him again. Big difference.

 

I thought I was being quite direct. You are getting defensive because I hit a nerve.

 

He needs to do this on his own. He also needs to seek therapy if he is serious about getting help. Follow the actions.

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Maybe I need some reassurance that it’s okay to just let him be and that I don’t have to save everyone.

 

I would ask yourself this: is it truly guilt you're feeling, or is it the sting of rejection stemming from the fact that he hasn't indicated that he wants your help?

 

That isn't a shot at you, by the way. Sometimes we try to find other reasons to justify hanging on to someone who has already excused themselves from the table. We might tell ourselves we feel guilty for abandoning them, but deep down, we feel abandoned and are searching for ways to soothe that. So, we try to "be there" for this person when what we really want is some sign that they are still there for us.

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I would ask yourself this: is it truly guilt you're feeling, or is it the sting of rejection stemming from the fact that he hasn't indicated that he wants your help?

 

That isn't a shot at you, by the way. Sometimes we try to find other reasons to justify hanging on to someone who has already excused themselves from the table. We might tell ourselves we feel guilty for abandoning them, but deep down, we feel abandoned and are searching for ways to soothe that. So, we try to "be there" for this person when what we really want is some sign that they are still there for us.

 

This is very poignant. I'd ponder this too for your situation, OP.

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