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His mental health keeps causing us problems
So my ex boyfriend and I have a long complicated story. Basically he has quite bad depression but does a lot to self manage (healthy eater and exercises lots, mindfulness practices etc.) and takes medication.
He broke up with me 4 months into our relationship because I was going away for 2.5 months and he didn't want to do long distance. We got back together after but about 6 week later I told him I needed a break from the relationship because I didn't feel like he had been treating me very well since I returned. We got back together. Then he broke up with me 3 months later for no reason. He had responded poorly to a question I had asked and spiralled and was convinced that we should break up even though he had no prior thought of breaking up with me.
I think that all of these scenarios are linked to his mental health but I don't know what to do. He's a fantastic guy and I want to get back together with him because he is really important to me and makes me a better person but it absolutely ripped me to shreds when he broke up with me the last time. I was trying to convince him to just think on it for 3 days but he was so adamant. Of course a week later he asked me to get back together with him because he realised he had made a mistake but I couldn't do it because I was so hurt. It's been 3 months now and he has tried to convince me to get back together with him a few times but I always said no because I'm scared he is going to do it again. But I really miss him. Does anyone have any advice or has been in a similar situation?
I would get back together with him in a heartbeat if I knew he wasn't going to hurt me again or if I knew we could somehow handle the situation better
I'm sorry things have not worked out as well as they might. Relationships can be difficult at the best of times and if one person has depression things can be a fair bit more complicated.
First off it's pretty good your ex boyfriend is under treatment and take those steps to manage his condition. Having such a positive approach is great.
Looking at what you said there have been occasions each one of you has backed off from the relationship. He because you were going to be away, and more recently for reasons you may be unsure about. You have broken up because of poor treatment and now basically I guess because trust has gone.
At the moment you would like to get back together provided you are not hurt again (it would have been a terrible wrench) and by the sound of it so does he.
As someone with bouts of depression and other problems I do know that at times relationships - and just people in general - can simply be too overwhelming and I've very much wanted to be on my own. I have however when I've improved tried to explain and reassure.
It looks to me that it would be a great pity if two people that want to be together simply stay apart. Do you think you could have a talk with your ex? A long conversation that went into the problems he faces and why he broke off. And also into the feelings you had when treated poorly and the effects it had on you the last time he left?
If you can both understand each other's vulnerabilities and both wish the other a comfortable and secure place it might be different
What do you think?
Hi Croix, thank you for your response I appreciate your insights.
We have met up twice since we broke up to talk things over and I just never felt like we were getting anywhere with it. I just couldn't shake the feeling that there was something I needed him to say in order for me to forgive him (I later realised there was nothing he could say and I just needed to realise and accept that he made a mistake). The last time we met up he told me this would be it and he would not talk to me again. I don't want to put him through the trouble of having to talk to me if it ends up that I don't feel like I can be with him.
I'm just so scared of being in that situation again. It absolutely tore me to shreds when he said we should break up and I knew he was making a mistake but there was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise.
"something I needed him to say in order for me to forgive him"
It's funny you should say that. I'd not discount your instinct. He has not repaired the breach.
There have been times in my life I've felt that way and it turned out my instinct was right. As the person concerned did not say what I needed that was that.
The reverse is true, when I've had a 'difference of opinion' with a partner they have afterwards said exactly what I needed. Then I guess I have said exactly what they needed too. Been lucky, no unfinished business or lingering unhappy feelings. I suppose that is one aspect of a successful relationship, knowing what your partner needs on an almost instinctive level.
This may all seem a bit hit and miss, I'm not always logical I'm afraid.
Sometimes it's not easy for someone suffering from depression to be able to say what the other person is expecting them to say, so it leaves you with doubt and expectation, while with him his best choice is to leave the relationship so that he doesn't have to try and explain himself.
I do feel very sorry that it has come to this and the 2.5 month time away is perhaps time away for yourself, time to have a think about the situation and it was probably a good move.
By him to
To eat well is always good as well as to exercise, plus he's taking medication, but there is no mention that he is seeing any counselor, which would be a good idea.
Yes, I have always heard that instinct is good to follow, however, I had a kind of epiphany one night where I realised that he had just made a mistake and that's all it was and that feeling disappeared straight after that.
I can't stop thinking about him for the last two weeks and I really do want to be with him but I guess I'm scared that he won't be willing to change enough or that he says he will but then he doesn't. The only conditions under which I would get back together with him would be if he were to admit that his mental health has caused us problems for our relationship and that he is willing to accept that I need to play a role in his life. He would always say that he never wanted me to treat him differently because of his depression and so I tried to take that on board, but I guess its taken me until now to realise that that is just not possible.
I think my biggest concern is I'm doubting myself on whether I'm just a whiny 21yo who misses her ex-boyfriend and is desperate to find a reason why this occurred and how we can fix it, or if my change of heart is a legitimate foundation upon which the relationship can be rebuilt upon.
Thank you so much for your time in responding to my post.
Yes, he is also seeing a counsellor, however, he would stop seeing them occasionally because he felt like he would run out of things to talk about.
Thank you again for your insights,
Dear Jadams ~
No you are not a "whiny 21yo". And yes of course you miss him. After reading your posts there are a couple of things I'd like to say.
The first is if I had a gf and she said she did not love me after we had been together for a fair while I'd be most disheartened. Perhaps it is me but I'm a big believer in love. To be told I'm loved makes me feel many things including secure. When I've had bad depression it has still meant something to me, even if I could not respond at the time. (I did later)
So perhaps that was something he needed.
The other thing is face to face meetings to 'fix' problems are a lot of pressure and in some ways might be counter-productive. Have you considered a letter and invite a written response?
Sadly in the end, depression or not, it takes two people, so even if you wrote you might be left hanging (sorry to be blunt).