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Please help,relationship breakup due to girlfriends anxiety/depression

Alove
Community Member
Hi everyone,I need your advice..or opinion. Ok I’m 32 and gay...I was with my girlfriend (my 4th relationship) for a brief 3 months..but there was so much passion and love in that time.
She was explicit with me when we first starting dating she had depression and anxiety was medicated and saw a psychologist fortnightly.
To me I couldn’t tell...she was perfect! Then an incident happened with her family...basically her half sister never wanted anything to do with her all her life and her dad is an absolute asshole who told her since she could remember she ruined his life.
She has had anxiety since 16 and is now 25. She told me her triggers and how to help which was to hold her and tell her I loved her. But I would trigger her without even knowing and when she had an attack she got quite snappy towards me. I would get mad because she took it out on me and then walk away. Because I was in 3 abusive relationships before so I thought I was there again. Caitlin never hurt me though.
I walked out one night because she had broken up with me 5 times in 3wks but I don’t know how serous she ever was. The night I left she dumped me for good. But I was doing a tonne of research on anxiety and depression and was asking for another chance and she said no she needs to work on herself and not date.
Despite me begging for a week she still is mad at me...but then will text asking me to come over and if I can’t make it straight away she loses it!
She dumped me a week ago...should I give it time? Can people change with mental health issues? I feel terrible for not being supportive enough. What should I do?
30 Replies 30

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Alove,

I am sorry to hear that you have been dumped 5 times in 3 weeks. That is sooo hard to deal with.

My current partner and I broke up about 3 times over the course of a year and that was hard enough. It's tough on both people and we both just eventually said: if this is going to work, we cannot keep doing this, so what needs to change?

That talk was about 6 months ago and we have been good ever since. In our case, I am the one who sees a psychologist twice a week (damn expensive!).

I don't know where you two are as a couple, and what you should do. I just wanted to say that I think it is really really hard on you both emotionally to keep doing that. It takes two to "fix" a relationship, and it sounds like she is umming and erring about whether she wants to try and fix it.

Perhaps it is important and easier for your mental health to remember that a lot of this isn't to do with you at all. She is trying to work on herself and it might be better for her to do so on her own if she feels like a relationship may be a distraction. Again, that is nothing on you personally - she may just not feel ready.

I would probably suggest not begging - I feel like it sends the wrong message. You are deserving of someone who is ready to give back and she may not be that person just yet. Hopefully she will change and her mental state will improve, but that can take time - months, or years or even decades.

You sound like a very caring person. I hope you can stay here and talk to us and maybe even have a read of the other posts on the forums. There are many who are in similar positions where mental health has gotten in the way of a relationship. It is a real struggle emotionally, and the best support we have is each other and our friends and family.

James

Alove
Community Member

Thank you James for your kind words.

it is emotionally difficult because I’m quite sensitive on the inside so it’s hard not to take her attacks personally.

especally when I seem to trigger them without even realising because the triggers always change.

she is being very short with me via text. Yesterday she said “ don’t wait for me ,no more chances” I feel like it’s all my fault. Had I stayed that night we may have never broken up.

i had dreams I was gonna marry this girl. We had a lot in common and she took care of me too.

should I just not contact her anymore? Give it time to breathe? Has reconciliation with Your partner been difficult? Or have they learnt how to deal with your anxiety better?

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Alove,

Yes, I can understand that. I am also quite emotionally sensitive and can often be hurt by things that perhaps aren't actually meant to be personal attacks. It is easy to treat things as our fault when they really are not.

It sounds like you're really trying to move on but you're also still caught up in a lot of those dreams. I had a 4.5 year relationship with my ex. When she broke up with me, it felt like my entire world went to pieces and I felt like I'd gone backwards 4.5 years in time. I had dreams and plans and it was sooo hard to move on when I kept bouncing around in my mind: do I contact her or not? I think the one thing we must do, regardless of whether we make contact or not, is to honestly ask: what do I need now that I am broken up?

I thought I needed my ex, but in reality, I just needed to feel loved and supported. It took a while, but the more I spoke to my friends and opened up to them, the more I learnt to accept their love and support, and I just didn't need my ex anymore.

My reconciliation was quite easy once we had the chat. She hasn't learnt to deal with my anxiety better since it's not really her job to. I've learnt to deal with it, and to speak up. She's learnt how I communicate. The majority of the individual work was really on me, but we learnt to communicate properly as all couples need to I suppose. I am not sure if that makes sense?

James

Alove
Community Member

Hey James,that totally makes sense.

i think I would just get frustrated when she would get anxious,mainly because...I felt helpless. I mean we would be laughing and having a great time and out of no where BOOM she shuts down,becomes rude (although she was telling me she was having an attack) and I just felt like...what did I do to trigger this?

I feel like...now that she has stated I won’t get another chance my whole world is over...questions of what if I had learnt all this before hand?what if I didn’t leave that Saturday night to cool off? Why didn’t I do more research on anxiety/depression?

i feel like I don’t have closure. I know it’s been a week since we broke up so naturally you pine for the other person,I feel she either hates me or is trying to stick to just being by herself. I just want to get into her head and know what she’s thinking you know?

what was the time span between your break up to your reconciliation?

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Alove

It really sucks when that happens. I used to do that to my partner and she said the same thing - she felt helpless, confused and just generally on edge since she didn't know when I would be triggered.

I'm concerned that you feel like your whole world is over. I have been there before and it is not a good place to be. As you say, we really just torture ourselves with all these questions and it is not healthy. What if I did this or that? What is she thinking? Will she change her mind?

I don't think closure ever really happens. All that happens is we change, and we move on. There's a lot of soul searching that happens and it can be really painful.

So I'm going to answer your question about the timespan in a bit of a roundabout way because that's how it felt to me.

I think the honest answer to that is that we didn't really reconcile. We never got closure or said sorry or did any of that. We never said "let's get back together". Instead, we sat down individually and said: what needs to change and is that possible? Then we sat down together and were brutally honest with each other. As it turns out, we were on the same page: we thought our relationship sucked, we thought we had completely different communication styles, and we also thought that our personalities clashed. But since we both still wanted to be together, we had to find a way to make it work.

So for your case, certainly things could turn out well. But it takes a lot of work and a lot of honesty. We both basically put our careers on hold, and a lot of other life plans and we were telling each other off or telling each other what made us anxious on an almost daily basis for the first month or two. And even then, we didn't feel comfortable until maybe 6 months in. 8 months later, we are now trying to get our lives back on track, and we are just lucky that it did work out eventually.

I'm sorry if I sound really negative about it. If I was a friend of mine, I would've told myself: don't do it, you have to keep seeing your psych until you feel confident in yourself, then step back in to a relationship. But of course, I wouldn't and didn't listen to myself 🙂

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Alove,

I suddenly realise I may have just overreacted a bit in my last reply! I am really sorry if I misrepresented anything you were trying to say - breakups are just so hard for me (even other people's) and I can get carried away on my own feelings.

Anyway,

I am not sure if I helped or not in the last reply, but I do hope you can have a look and let me know how you feel. It is very very hard when we are in breakup mode to then go to move on mode, and we sometimes want to go back to reconcile mode.

There is nothing wrong with this and sometimes making contact can help to get through breakup mode. People will have so many different suggestions but I think you just have to do what you feel like you need to do, as long as it's respectful which, from your posts here, I am confident you are.

I hope you can take something out of my previous reply to find reassurance that your world isn't over. It feels like it is over, but in reality it is just changing, just as you are as well.

James

Alove
Community Member

Hey James!

dont worry with what you wrote,just being able to talk to someone with an idea of breakups in relation to anxiety/depression really helps.

i know these are the ebs and flows of a break up and that my world for now seems it’s over ,but I miss her terribly.

it actually aches in my heart. I know they say the best thing to do during a break up is space...or no contact as this gives an opportunity for things to cool down and if your lucky start missing each other.

over and over in my head I’ve played out how I would react to an anxiety attack if I had another chance...and even playing it out I feel confident I could be more supportive. When you had an attack what could your girlfriend have done to help? Caitlin needed me to hold her and tell her I love her. Which seems so easy but when your on the end of there attack and they become angry...it’s very hard not to take that personally. Considering my past 3 relationships before her where abusive.

i May never get another chance,or ever see her again and that plays in my mind,or even wondering...is she with somone else? Breaking the promise she made to herself not to date while helping herself out...so if you where to put your break up in an amount of months between seeing each other and talking when would it be?

james1
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Alove,

Yes, I can hear that you really miss Caitlin.

I am sure whoever reads my messages here is getting annoyed of me saying so, but I love this song in the musical Wicked. Have you watched it before? There is a song called, "For Good", and it basically is about loss. It is bittersweet in that, well, loss is loss, but we can always cherish what we did have and what we learnt from the person. I think of my past relationships in the same way. I had a 3 year and a 4.5 year relationship prior to this one and my gosh I have grown so much in each.

You know, when you say you feel confident you could be more supportive, I think that is something really wonderful that you can be proud of. It is so hard to be able to support someone else, particularly during an anxiety attack, and it really sounds like you were able to do that. Of course, being on the receiving side is super difficult but it is just another thing we can learn to do - how to be on the receiving end of mental illness, and not take it personally.

It is actually one of the things I am learning myself even just here on the forums. Naturally, people can get quite emotional here and sometimes we get pushed away. It's just so important to remember that most of the time, it is more a matter of how the person deals with their own issues, rather than a reflection on us as a supporter.

My current partner and I have generally been quite prompt with our break ups. I think the longest wait was about 2 or 3 weeks. We have a rule to make sure we talk within a day and it seems to work well.

I remember the breakup with my ex was so much harder. She put an indefinite "we'll talk" and it just killed me inside. I can't do that again.

Have you and your ex put any timeframes or plans about the break up?

James

Alove
Community Member

Il check that song out ! Thanks James.

well....one day it was it’s so good to hear your voice,I love you.

2 days later she broke up with me via text. Saying her and her psychologist had agreed it’s best for her not to date. (I begged for 30mins on the phone to give me a chance and she then ended the call)

next she messaged me and said she dosent trust me and she would be stupid to be with somone who dosent love all of her just the “fun her”

the same day she was asking me to sleep over because she didn’t want to be alone,then blasted me hot and cold via text when I couldn’t make it straight away.

the next day she wanted to talk to me about dating again but again I couldn’t make it because I had booked things to keep me busy.

last I heard was Tuesday. She said “I got your letter don’t wait for me” to which I asked will I ever get another chance and she said “no”

so since then I haven’t messaged her,haven’t begged...I’ve just left it...in hopes with time she might think about getting back together

il message you when I’m feeling better.