Depressed boyfriend (31) left me (27)

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cornibusbestia
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/20/2017 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
(Forgive me for the wall of text. I tried condensing it)
The breakup happened two weeks ago. Exactly a week after his friend texted me on a Tuesday night that he was in the emergency for a mental health assessment. I don't know what led up to that. The following morning he texts me that he is at home and alright and getting new antidepressants. This happened after he was already changing antidepressants. So two changes in one short period of time.

When I couldn't reach him later that day I went to his home, and he asked that I leave soon, because he feels he is not a good boyfriend when he is depressed. Something I have never thought true or important. He still reassured me our holiday plans were paramount. I eventually left when his friends had arrived. He apologised to me via text as soon as I'd left. I forgave him, but explained that I was upset over getting very limited information and only from his friend, and that he was able to be with his friends but not me. I also reassured him we didn't have to talk about this until he was better.

I voiced similar concerns two days after, and on the Saturday we planned to meet but he was to sleepy from finally going back to work, then we talked about cinema plans on Sunday. Monday night he asked to see me Tuesday afternoon. When he came over he broke up with me immediately. No warning. No discussion. No compromise or negotiation. Nothing implied our relationship was going bad. It is so unlike him to just make such an abrupt decision for both of us. I completely fell apart in front of him.

This happened two weeks after we had an amazing day together. His face lit up when he saw me, and he even told me so. It felt like the worst of his depression was over for a while, and that we were falling in love even more. He said he loved me, something he only says when he feels it. It was an exceptionally good day. Our relationship was in no way about to end.

Looking back, It was only 3-4 dates into our relationship before he was stuck in bed, too sad to do anything. I knew already then what I was getting myself into, and decided I was taking the good with the bad. Because there is so much good. While he seem to struggle with it, I have never had problems separating him from the depression. I once told him I was worried his depression would just make him break up with me out of the blue. He told me that wasn't something he would ever do. Like that just wasn't his personality. And it totally isn't.

His reasons for breaking up with me was that his feelings had changed. That he used to be excited about seeing me but now felt like avoiding me and pushed me away. That it was not fair on me that he was with his friends when sad, but not me. Basically he feels good when we are together but 'has negative feelings about us when he is sad', as he words it.

My theory: His severe depression makes it hard for him to feel he's in love. It attacks how he feels about me when I am not present. We've been through this before and his feelings for me returned and even improved. Moreover, he feels very guilty about being depressed and that he is not a good boyfriend then. So he pushes me away. And my feelings, worries and concern, in addition to the "obligations" of a relationship, became just too much for him when he had this breakdown that led him to the hospital. I think he figured he was too depressed to be in a relationship, but I worry that even if he gets better he will find it too hard to come back to me. Even though I am clearly here for him.

I wish I could just tell him there are ways to work things out. This is so unnecessary and so easy to resolve. Yes, I did voice concerns about being kept away when he's depressed. But had I fully understood it was that important to him, I'd be happy to just receive texts about his condition from friends. I'd know he was in good hands and that's soothing enough for me. I just think we needed clear boundaries regarding his depression and me. That I don't come over uninvited, that it is okay that he is with friends when it's too hard to be with me.

Now I won't get the chance because he's not said a word to me in two weeks. No reply to the email I sent the day after the breakup, and no reply from the text I sent over a week after that. I've been very careful about not pushing him away with attempts to contact him. He's not even paid me for the flight tickets I bought him. He's still working and socialising though. It's crapty behaviour, but not with intent. He is an unusually kind person, so I'm confident it's because he avoids things that bring him discomfort. This is so unlike him though. No warning and no follow-up.

Lastly, I miss having sex with him so bad. The meds he changed to around new year's killed his sex drive and we've not had sex since. I thought it was just around the corner, so I waited it out. Now I am finding myself mourning something I lost a long time ago. And I think the lack of sex made it easier for his depression to make him doubt our relationship.

Question is: What do I do? What can I do? Why didn't he talk to me sooner about this?
I feel like he ended it because of what I said, when I didn't feel that strongly about it even. I had no idea ending what we had was even on the table. I am still in shock and disbelief. We were so close, and suddenly this came out of nowhere. Even when depressed he is an absolutely wonderful boyfriend.

F27
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 842
   Posted 6/20/2017 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Heheh, "wall of text", love it.

I've been depressed most of my adult life. Not just meloncholy, but drive-your-car-into-a-concrete-abutment-spend-a-week-in-the-loony-bin messed up. I've started, stopped, and changed antidepressants more times than I can remember. I'm managing my depression for the most part, but every now and then I lose control and spiral down. Sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. It sucks. It's awful. I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy.

But, I never, ever stop loving my wife. She's the reason I'm only half as messed up as I should be. She's the kind of non-judgemental friend and companion that everyone deserves. I do my best to live up to her standards of compassion, but I always fall short. She's the reason I get up in the morning. She's the reason I work hard. She's the reason I am always trying to be the best person I can be.

Your dude ran away from you because HIS life got complicated.

Can you imagine how reliable he would be if YOU needed him?

Generally I've found that being depressed does NOT make you act like a jerk, unless you're already a jerk. Your BF didn't cut and run cuz he's a depressed pillar of the community, he cut and ran because he's a jerk.

Many people have great success having relationships where one or both of the partners are mentally ill. Very few people have successful relationships with when one partner demands unreasonable accommodations.

You sound like a wonderful, caring person. Go find yourself someone worthy of you. smile

cornibusbestia
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/20/2017 9:47 AM (GMT -6)   
F27 said...
Heheh, "wall of text", love it.

I've been depressed most of my adult life. Not just meloncholy, but drive-your-car-into-a-concrete-abutment-spend-a-week-in-the-loony-bin messed up. I've started, stopped, and changed antidepressants more times than I can remember. I'm managing my depression for the most part, but every now and then I lose control and spiral down. Sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. It sucks. It's awful. I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy.

But, I never, ever stop loving my wife. She's the reason I'm only half as messed up as I should be. She's the kind of non-judgemental friend and companion that everyone deserves. I do my best to live up to her standards of compassion, but I always fall short. She's the reason I get up in the morning. She's the reason I work hard. She's the reason I am always trying to be the best person I can be.

Your dude ran away from you because HIS life got complicated.

Can you imagine how reliable he would be if YOU needed him?

Generally I've found that being depressed does NOT make you act like a jerk, unless you're already a jerk. Your BF didn't cut and run cuz he's a depressed pillar of the community, he cut and ran because he's a jerk.

Many people have great success having relationships where one or both of the partners are mentally ill. Very few people have successful relationships with when one partner demands unreasonable accommodations.

You sound like a wonderful, caring person. Go find yourself someone worthy of you. smile


Hi
Thank you for your reply, and I a sorry to hear depression has been so cruel to you. But it's good to hear your depression did not attack how you feel about your wife. I wish that were true of my boyf...ex. Still getting used to that.

If all I knew about him was that he left me without warning and never checked on me again, I'd think he was a jerk too. But I know him, and I know he is a kind and caring person. No, he's not always been reliable when I've needed him, but he's tried (he showed up to a special event of mine even though he was full of anxiety recently), and when he fails he beats himself up over being a bad boyfriend.

It is hard to reconcile who he is with what he did, because this is so out of character.

He never demanded unreasonable accommodations, but he definitely needed them a few times. And I fear one of those times was when I did not respond accordingly.

F27
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 842
   Posted 6/20/2017 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for that. Depression is cruel, but it's become part of who I am, and although I try not to be complacent, I'm at peace with the state of my life.

Truthfully I try and avoid discussions where depression is being explored as the specter that kills a relationship. In my experience depression isn't a good excuse for treating someone like poo, and it breaks my heart that nice people like you are left wondering what happened. Your ex is also doing the entire community of mentally ill people a disservice by intimating that his depression is responsible for his awful behavior.

However, as much as I didn't want to respond, I was struck by your user name. I love clever, and I like clever people.

Is there anything you would like to know about depression that might help you get over your heartbreak?

cornibusbestia
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/22/2017 2:08 AM (GMT -6)   
So I finally managed to get a conversation with him. An hour where he heard me out, where I said the things I'd want if he would feel ready for a relationship with me in the future. He seemed really positive to it and things really seemed like they were loosening up. But he still maintained he didn't have feelings for me anymore (even though he definitely did just weeks ago) and is determined he is better off without a relationship, because it seemed to add to his depression in the end.

I understand that, and I can accept that his life and death is actually more important than us, but it still hurts so much. That his depression or drugs subdued his feelings so much and that it turned our relationship from something that helped him to something that just caused him stress. "Another thing to be responsible for"

So I don't know if I want anything more from here now. I guess case is closed. But I hope this will be comforting to read for others in a similar situation in the future.

Not going to lie. I hope that when he is ready for a relationship again, he will come back to me.

F27
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 842
   Posted 6/22/2017 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Corny,

I truly hope that he comes to his senses and understands what a wonderful partner he's missing out on.

In re-reading my last post to you I realize it came across as dismissive, I'm sorry. What I had hoped to convey was that I would be happy to talk about what it's like to be depressed and give you an opportunity to ask questions about the disease itself.

I'd like to ask you some questions if I may. What attributes did your ex have that attracted you to him? Did you have any sense of his depression before you fell in love? Why are you be willing to restart your relationship, given his recent behaviour?

I'm truly curious about this stuff.

cornibusbestia
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/22/2017 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you. All I can say is that I hope so too. It's oddly comforting to know he's unlikely to find someone as understanding and patient as I've been. Which isn't usually how I am, but I guess he brought out that selflessness in me.

I feel like I've always had a good understanding of his depression, and I think he agrees. So I don't know what specific questions I have. I guess I am just wondering how it can make love go away. If it's anhedonia making things feel dull once the initial infatuation is gone. And if it can be recovered should he recover from depression? But I suppose you may not have that experience since you say you have never stopped loving your wife? We've been through a few cycles of him being unsure about his feelings when he is sad, but then the feelings rebounded and were stronger even.

As for your questions:
I first of all love our compatibility. And he is so intelligent (graduated from a world known university in some pretty hardcore stuff), and is very kind and understanding. Even when I still have to explain myself to friends I've had since childhood, he would still understand me based on just one sentence. And he is also very accepting and non-judgemental. He does not have any anger in him, and he speaks truthfully. Then there is just enjoying each other's company even if we are engaged in separate hobbies, and how we share fundamental values (politics, religion, science, philosophy...). And I loved our sex life when we still had it. I find him attractive. And he made me feel like I had some of those qualities too. Even though I have had issues with intimacy it was so easy with him. We also fit into each others' lives well.

He mentioned his depression in past tense on our first date actually. Then 3-4 dates into our relationship he had a very depressed episode. And so I knew already then what I was getting myself into in terms of his condition and the struggle it might bring.

I would restart our behaviour, but with some changes. We'd need clear boundaries and guidelines regarding his depression. I kept feeling like I needed to be there while he often felt that I shouldn't, which caused us some stress. So this would have had to be clearer. I would also need him to promise to talk to me when he was considering the status of our relationship. He's obviously free to break up, but I'd need to know if it was on the table.

F27
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2016
Total Posts : 842
   Posted 6/22/2017 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
*sigh*

This breaks my heart. He sounds like a wonderful person, warts and all. What bothers me the most though, is how he didn't reach out to you when he went to the hospital. That makes no sense to me. Frankly, depressed or not, his behaviour doesn't pass the smell test. I posit that his mental illness may go beyond just depression.

Don't let yourself be taken advantage of. Everything you describe is just so bloody one-sided. His emotional processing may indeed be impeded by drugs, depression, or some other factor, but there's feeling insular and protective of one's self, and then there's just plain old garden variety narcissistic selfishness.

You could be a little selfish too, if you wanted to. You certainly deserve no less respect than he.

cornibusbestia
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/23/2017 11:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, he's a wonderful person when depression is out of the equation. It doesn't make him do anything bad, but it can make him avoid things that could make things better. He does have ADD in addition to depression, but I don't know that it explains it. He just felt like he was a bad boyfriend when he was depressed, and the guilt would feel worse if I was there.

It'd be interesting to ask him what he thinks he is doing to *me* when leaving me like this. But it's not like I'd want him to stay for my sake if the mere concept of a relationship intensifies the guilt he feels from his depression.

(oh and I meant to say 'I would restart our relationship', not 'behaviour')
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