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Recent relationship breakdown

Community Member

Hi, this will be my first post, so I’ll tell you a little about my background. I’m 24, ex army, was engaged to my partner if 5.5 years (until 2 weeks ago), dad committed suicide in 2015, have chronic back pain and have been diagnosed with depression 3 years ago.

I was getting professional help while I was serving and was using medication. I since medically discharged and my transition from military to civilian life, wasn’t very smooth. I came back to my Mums house and everything had changed (sister had a baby, last time I was living there my dad was too). To make matters worse, I wasn’t seeing a psych, all whilst taking my meds. I had the worse year of my life and I was just spiralling out of control. As a result, my partner got hurt over all the mood swings, anxiety and me isolating myself. I didn’t tell her how bad things really were and she always suggested I get help.

2 weeks ago, she broke it off with me (bearing in mind, we own a house) and I was a mess because I felt like I needed her. I told her exactly how I have been feeling, whereas before I put on a brave face like many of us do. She’s a nurse and took me straight to the hospital... I got admitted overnight which allowed me to get access to a psychiatrist the next day - as a result, new medication, which have helped.

This was 6 days ago. In that time, I’m struggling to focus on Uni. I’ve also realised that I shouldn’t need my ex partner to help me through this, apart of that was me not fully accepting and taking responsibility for my illness. This in turn burdened her with it and wore her down.

She still loves me. Last time I spoke to her was 6 days ago and we agreed to 2 weeks no contact for; 1. Her to process everything (still in shock about me telling her exactly how I was feeling) and 2. For my medication to take affect and to sort my self out.

My question, I love this girl to bits. If i genuinely make an effort for me, to sort myself out, accept and take responsibility for my illness (which is easier now I sought help), is it reasonable for me to ask her to start again and take things slow? I’m not asking her to put the ring on straight away. Or is it too late, has the last 18 months of my depression rubbing off on her taken it’s toll? I don’t ever want to let my mental health hurt her again and I’m determined to never let that happen.


1 Reply 1

Community Member

Hi there,

First off I want to say that I really feel for you.

My dad attempted suicide a few years back and I lived in fear of what happened to you every day. I can’t begin to understand the effect it must have had on you and I’m sure it’s hard even for you to grasp. I was in a long term relationship at the time and things started to break down. Exactly like you I was having mood swings and horrible anxiety. I was so confused about my own feelings and this was causing him a lot of stress and confusion as well. In the end we decided to break up.

A few days afterwards, I started to realise how I had affected him and I quickly started to panic and beg to get back together. What I didn’t realise was that I needed to fix myself first. What took me years to figure out has taken you days so I admire you for that. It takes a lot to recognise your own issues and accept that it was hard for your partner to go through as well.

This in itself will help your situation I think. My mistake was not taking ownership of my own feelings. I had been relying on him to feel better and that made him feel trapped. My advice to you is to give her space to breathe. The no contact is a good idea and something I wasn’t able to do until about 2 years after the break up. She needs to see that you can start to feel better on your own. I know it will be torture but you need to have the mentality that you are not getting back together. You need to get better for you and not for her because she will feel that pressure.

The bonus in this approach for me was that getting better for myself was both the best way to get over my ex and the best way to get him back.

In the end we didn’t get back together. If I had known that at the beginning, trust me I would have been in hospital too. But by that time I was actually much stronger mentally and got through it okay. For you though I think you’ve done everything right. You’ve had the mentality switch already and I really think that if you give her time to get to grips with things then it can be okay.

When you think about why she might have ended things it probably had to do with the fact that she decided to take control and not spend the rest of her life being depended on. But if you can take responsibility and heal alone then I personally think there is hope. The key though is not to be hung up on this possibility. You really have to accept that it might not happen.

All the best to you. It will be okay as long as you work on your mindset.