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Dear Wendy

Depression is Real

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  • #887982 Reply

    I’m in love with an amazing man. It’s a love I’ve never experienced before. So pure, so true, so real. It’s the kind of love that makes me feel like all past relationships didn’t even come close to the way I feel about this man.

    He’s in love with me too. He said I make him the happiest he’s ever been.

    We met in middle school. We were each other’s first boyfriend/girlfriend. I broke up with him for no reason as middle schoolers do. It only lasted 3 weeks. We didn’t talk at all after that. He found someone else and I did too. But we both still had a thing for each other.

    Many years down the road we both went through big breakups with long term relationships. He messaged me through social media one day. We really hit it off. Fell in love and are insanely happy with our relationship.

    However, today he told me he doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now. He needs to work on himself. It has nothing to do with me. And he’s not saying that it’s the end of us. He just wants to be alone right now.

    It hurts, but I have to respect this. I’m just confused if I make him so happy, why he wouldn’t want to stay with me.

    He battles with depression his whole life. From childhood trauma and the breakup. They were together for over a decade. Literally giving up everything he’s worked his whole life for and just walking away.

    He says his happiness with me has just been masking his depression for a while. But it’s still there and he would like to control it before it starts to hurt me.

    Not sure what to expect out of responses but I guess I just want some positive input. 🙂

    #887985 Reply

    Well I think best thing to do is really just let him know you are there for him, if he ever needs to talk about what is really pushing him down at the moment. Also doing small things that he likes to do or see can always help. From my experience, since my mother has dealt with depression, just being there and taking care of the little things makes their life a little easier.

    I hope everything turns out okay with him and your relationship. I believe that all things will turn out okay in these situations it just takes time.

    #887994 Reply

    I don’t agree with Victiria. He broke up with you – your obligation to “be there for him” is greatly diminished, and you should not be prioritizing him the way you would a boyfriend. Doing things together, telling him he can lean on you whenever he needs, etc. is likely to prevent you from getting over him. Most people can’t just switch from romantic partners to platonic friends instantly. I think you need to take some time for yourself where you don’t talk to him and you heal from the breakup. You need to prioritize yourself. Part of the reason he broke up with you was to deal with his depression, which is his responsibility. Yours needs to be to yourself, and maybe you can eventually come back as genuine friends.

    #887996 Reply

    I remember listening to a podcast episode (Dan Savage). He said it takes half the time a couple has been together to truly get over a relationship. If this true – then that’s 5yrs for him. Maybe even longer depression.

    You can be a friend to him and a listening ear, but this is extremely hard. Even harder because you’re in love with him and he cannot be in a relationship with you (I think he still mourns his past relationship). The best you can do is move on.

    I’ve been in his shoes minus the depression. Mourned a lover while with another. It was so unfair to him and me. This even prolonged the mourning. Anyway – He’s doing the right thing by taking time to work thru it.

    Please don’t put your life on pause for this. Your pain is just as important, so again – you DO NOT have to be there for him or be his friend.

    #887997 Reply

    Exactly my point!!!

    I also forgot to say I disagree with Victoria.

    #888000 Reply

    The deeper thing you need to address is what’s going on with you, not what’s going on with him. The words you use make it sound like this guy is your whole world, that you’re putting him at the center of your life, putting him up on some kind of pedestal.

    No one can be your whole world. No one. Create a good life for yourself — one with good friends, interesting work, creativity, physical health. Things that you put together. Maybe even a cause you believe in. The world is so big and interesting.

    Over-dependency on another person is a guaranteed ticket to misery. Hey, maybe that’s not the case here, but it sure seems like it. That last frickin’ thing in the universe I would do is focus on someone else’s depression.

    #888007 Reply

    I disagree with that Dan Savage timeline and Victoria. Everyone is different. Some people get over stuff faster than others.

    He broke up with you. It’s time for you to move on and focus on yourself. You do not need to take care of someone who just pushed you away. Moreover, you shouldn’t at all.

    Have you been seeing each other in person? Just checking.

    #888024 Reply

    He just broke up with you today, so this is really raw. I completely understand the impulse to want the door to be open to getting back together, or see this as a “break” or something that is reversible once he’s got his depression under control. Basically, not “really” a breakup. But when he says he needs to be alone, he’s using soft language but the end result is the same: you’re broken up. It ultimately doesn’t matter what his reasoning was.

    This means you need to take a big step back from caring for him, and instead you need to prioritize and care for yourself. Lean on friends and family, unfollow him on social media, and go no contact. It’s tempting to want to caretake in hopes that if his depression resolves you can get back together, but you need to assume this is permanent and move forward accordingly. That means he takes care of himself from now on, and you do what you need to do to get over the breakup and move on.

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