My relationship is over and I am struggling to deal with it
I have been romantically involved with someone who has mental health issues for the last several months. After spending some time with him during the last few weeks I could see that while he meant what he said when he said it (e.g., that he loved me, that I was ‘the one’, that he wanted us to spend the rest of our lives together, that we would get married someday…), he would simultaneously act in ways that kept me at a distance and would occasionally let slip that he didn’t really know if he wanted to be with me in the long-term.
Because of this incongruence, I finally faced up to reality and told him that the timing was clearly not right for us to be together as a couple and we agreed to keep our friendship intact. We then spent the next couple of days together in a kind of in-between state – not exactly a couple but certainly not platonic.
It’s now been a week since he flew back home (he lives interstate) and I’ve left two messages for him, neither of which he has returned. I am heartbroken, depressed (at times severely) and at a loss at what to do. I guess I don’t really have to do anything but keep reminding myself that it’s not my fault that things didn’t work out. And because he’s so clearly unwell, I know it’s not his fault either.
My psych warned me against getting involved with him in the first place but I put her good logic aside and let myself fall completely in love. I am so sad. I know there is nothing to do but ride it out and I don’t expect anyone in the BB community to know of a miracle cure that will make things better. I guess I just wanted to say out loud (or in type on this message board) how I felt. A form of cartharsis maybe…?
I feel like I've seen you on the forums before about this relationship. I'm sorry to hear how things panned out, but it sounds like you took the brave step of doing something that was for your long term benefit.
It does sound like the continued not-relationship after the break up has made things even more difficult than it would've been, and maybe having him fly home is not such a bad thing. It'll give you time to grieve properly on your own.
Do your friends and family know about the break up? It can be good to just spend some time with people while you're struggling on your own again.
I hope you found posting helpful!
Thanks James. I did find posting helpful and I appreciate your response. I do have supportive people close by so I'm not struggling alone. Him flying home, even though it was painful, has been absolutely essential in helping me to accept that it's definitely over. I'm not there yet but I will be. Thanks for listening.
Hello Running Girl
So pleased you felt comfortable enough to write in here. When a couple separate it is always sad, even if the parting was amicable. Like James I think you are brave to call it quits before you get too deeply involved. It's hard to stop wanting to be with someone you care about and frustrating we can do nothing about it.
I think no one has a magic cure, what a fortune we could make if we had such a remedy. Instead we do it the hard way, grieving over a lost love. Do remind yourself you took that step because you knew it was right for both of you. Have you told your psych?
She/he may smile but it will only be in recognition that we all do these things. May I suggest you stop trying to contact him. I have found it best to keep a distance as our feelings get triggered and away we go again getting upset. These things are rarely one or other person's fault. Mostly it's bad timing or other circumstances. I know that doesn't help much but so long as you do not blame yourself or start wondering what you could have done differently you will get through it.
Keep on saying it out loud here as much as you wish. You know someone will answer, though I will be on the lookout for your posts.
Sometimes when two people break up due to MI the person affected with this illness may not reply to any contact you have sent them, however what you have said to him 'to be together as a couple', simply makes you realise that it's not going to work out between the two of you.
You may still care for him but that's as far as it goes, eventually you will find yourself being involved in other situations as well as other r/ships and this will become a memory. Geoff.
Dear Mary, thank you for your kind response. I am so hurt right now and the support here really helps. I don't regret breaking it off - I think he would've if I hadn't. And, no, I won't be contacting him again. I had been worried for his welfare and would not normally check up on someone via social media but because he'd gone so silent I glanced at his FB page last night to find that he has already moved on with another woman who he must've kept waiting in the wings as an alternative option.
I am beyond hurt about this. He wasn't returning my calls because he was hurting over the break up - it was because he just doesn't care. I realise now that he never had any real feelings for me at all. I know this is on him, not me, but it still hurts. And we've known each other since childhood so all my long-held happy memories of him are tainted.
I will be telling my psych about this and may bring my appoint forward as it's not for another couple of weeks. I feel I will be ok eventually. I used to react to such things with suicidal ideology but I haven't done so this time. Somewhere along the line I must have developed alternative coping mechanisms (writing on this board is one).
I have lots of different avenues of support. But the pain is unbearable at times. I split with my husband last May, had a dreadful rebound quasi-relationship and now this. Twice I tried to fill the hole of a broken relationship by jumping into a new one. I can see now how dangerous this is and I won't be doing it again.
But what I do to fill in the gaps where he used to be? How do I stop thinking about him or someone that could replace him so I don't have to feel any pain?
I'm sorry for the long rant above - but thank you so much for listening. It helps me more than I could've hoped for. Even though its cyber space, it makes me feel less alone.
Thank you Geoff. Your words, as always, are reassuring. He will become a distant memory in time and I will meet new people, and make new memories - hopefully happier ones. At least this experience has taught me to be more discerning about who I choose to get involved with. I ignored all the warning signs because I didn't want to know. From now on I will pay heed to such signs and protect my heart by doing so. Thank you again for taking the time to listen and respond.
I'm sorry to hear you're going through a tough time with this but as other people have said, it sounds like it was the right thing for you to do at this time in your life.
There is no magical cure except for time. Time heals all wounds and you have to give yourself and him time apart, time to adjust to the shock of separation, and time to heal. Don't rush yourself and forgive yourself when the going gets rough.
I will say that I've actually been in the position of your partner, in a way, as I was really unwell and my partner left me because I was constantly back and forth between being loving and pushing away and it really affected his mental health. As hard as it was to be dumped because of this situation, it really helped me realise that I needed to step up and take care of myself and focus on my mental health. So in a way, that breakup was a real turning point for me. So I guess what I'm saying is, your ex will learn something positive from all this and so will you, but it will come with time and it will be tough to get there.
If you find yourself feeling depressed or missing him you can try doing something new, like trying a new hobby, because that really focuses your mind and it may be something that you've always wanted to try but before now you were caught up in the relationship and so didn't pursue it. This is your time, so do the best with it that you can 🙂
All the best,