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Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby scn » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:48 pm

Thanks Arwen, that's interesting. I had suspected it might be the case with my ex (i'm a second year trainee therapist*) but with the drug addiction and depression it's too hard to tell. Anyway, I'd never diagnose clients, merely assess them and it would be completely unethical for me to behave as if he was a client anyway.

*believe me, the irony of finding myself with this bundle of issues in this particular new career is not lost on me....

Ariane I'm concerned for you too. I'd try and encourage you to think only of the things you know for fact.

a) he's read/ not read the messages
b) he has mental health problems
c) He's on/ not on medication

beyond that the inferences we make can be so damaging, it's so tempting to look for patterns and meaning because we are thinking rationally. If someone is behaving irrationally often there simply isn't a pattern or a meaning to be found. A couple of phrases I find personally useful (to myself, not for clients) are: 'No response is a response' and 'Get up from the table from love is no longer being served.' I hope you can get a grain of comfort out of that as I sometimes do. xx

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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby lilliep » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:45 pm

Hi Ariane

I’m worried about you too. I can totally understand the need to know where you stand and any rational man would let you know but he’s not rational. He’s being cruel. I’ve concluded my guy was cruel a few week ago giving me false hope that he still loved me. I know he told his ex wife before they split that he didn’t love her anymore and I know he’s only had short term relationships before the ex. He had a bad upbringing and I think it’s affected his ability to maintain a relationship. He’s the one with a problem not me. I guess I did good lasting for 4 years but I deserve better as do you.

Take care Ariane, please vent here. We are all here for you and we understand xx

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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby james80 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:54 pm

Ive put a lot of thought into my situation lately. Its so hard to see some of you going through those horrible emotions, back at the start of the process again. I remember that pain so much and I feel for you all. Although I have good days and bad days I am generally much better than I was even a month ago. I see steady progress. I even feel good about myself some days.

The big change was when I gave up on the relationship and walked away. I stopped contacting her outside of work or the ‘safe’ group discussion we are both in on WhatsApp (even there I didn’t engage her directly). I also started to think about the type of relationship I want. I want to be with someone who wants to be with me and who has the potential to be a person I spend the rest of my life, and my daughter’s life with. Is my ex this person? Well realistically probably not. She’s a great person. She’s funny we have great chemistry. I am very attracted to her. She’s a great mum to her kids. But if that person is only around part of the year is that someone who I should be with? I’d love for her to overcome her issues. I’d love to then get back together and see what happens. But realistically that is not going to happen. Thinking about this more has really helped me. Now of course Ours was a short relationship, albeit based on a long association and friendship. Some of you have already invested such a lot of time and effort into your relationship and that is hard to give up.

I know you are hurting ariane but as Lillie says, you can't treat him as someone being rationale. He is incapable of giving you that clarity even though you deserve this. There is no answers there. You can only heal through your own actions. But you will heal. That's the advantage we have over them, if they aren't seeking treatment for themselves.

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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby PureFrustr8d » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:26 pm

James you are doing great. It's really good to see you are able to put yourself first. I know you're still healing and that it hasn't been easy but I think you're making wonderful progress and your advice is very sensible. You are setting a great example for your daughter too!

To the others still struggling, read up on trauma bonding in relationships. You've been brainwashed by chemicals in your brain triggered by someone who cannot have a healthy relationship. ... ips-2017-8

Please just go some time without contact and see what happens. It takes a good while to reverse this. You need to understand your situation in order to help yourselves. It's not a simple case of loving someone with goes beyond that! Start putting yourselves first! Read up on trauma bonding AND cognitive dissonance.

Best wishes,

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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby james80 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:03 am

Update part 2 :D I’m hoping where I am might help some people.

One of the big problems I’ve had with moving on is my head constructing these stories about my ex and how she’s feeling/What she’s doing. At various points I had myself convinced that I’d meant nothing to her. That I was just a rebound or a transition, that she was much happier now. This was my brain trying to make sense out of a situation that makes no sense. I do think now that we both jumped into the relatio ship too quickly. I don’t think that invalidates the relationship or means it meant nothing. But I do think it made it inevitable that there would be a problem at some point (As we saw) as neither of us dealt with the very real issues we were coming from. Looking back there was very little gap between the end of her toxic relationship and us getting together. Just a matter if weeks really.

I’ve thought a lot about the ‘relationship’ I was convinced she is in. I’m not so sure about that . And whatever is happening it isn’t a relationship as I understand it. She goes to the pub with him to watch the football. That is seemingly all they do. I got the impression that maybe he wants more? And maybe more has happened (but as it’s happening outside our relationship I’m not giving it too much thought) it’s all part and parcel of her self medicating behaviour I think this is indicative of where her head is right now. She’s functioning so much better but she still seems confused about what she wants and what she can handle (as muxh as I can tell). But I am trying to wean myself off thinking about them. I don’t know the truth. She isn’t telling anyone about them and all I’m doing is drawing conclusions from very little information.

These stories aren’t any help to me. They’ve made me feel miserable. They’ve made me obsess over the smallest thing (social media has been a big problem with this) the ‘breadcrumbs ‘, at least in my case, have all been constructs of my own. It’s hard to not do it and I’m still guilty of it, but by occupying yourself with other things (exercise, social life, hobbies) you can make life more bearable for yourself.

As a postscript. Strangely in the last month or so my ex has shown me so much more attention than she has in the previous 4 months. Now a lot of that could be that she’s more comfortable with me as she thinks I’ve moved on. But I actually wouldn’t be surprised if I was another thing she is confused about. I don’t expect her to reach out to Me, that’s not who she Is, but equally it wouldn’t surprise me totally if in another month or so that happens. That’s acomplete turn around from a few months ago when I was convinced she didn’t have one positive thought for me at all and rather wished I wasn’t around. Like I was a bad reminder of something. Now I’ve given myself a bit of closure and moved on for myself im able to observe her with a lot more impartiality and largely stopped making up narratives of how much happier she is without me etc. As we had a short relationship it’s entirely plausible that the process of recovery has completely reset her emotions concerning me. But I think I still represent a life to her that she wants but still feels incapable of achieving. Or possibly even someone she wishes she could have such a life with. This has probably been exacerbated by seeing me doing well in my life lately, as in the last few months I’ve lost a lot of weight, got a promotion at work, bought a house etc. We used to talk about her hopes and dreams for the future a lot and I know her current life doesn't match up with anything we talked about. This seems to me to be another indication that she isn't fully recovered. And likely what she's doing with her spare time is about all she feels she can handle right now. Hanging out in the pub takes is easy. It demands so little.

Sadly this whole process has made me realise that for me at least it wasn’t a rebound. I wasn’t just lonely and filling the gap in my life after my fiancee passed. The feelings are real. As I say I’d get back together with my ex, but not without a lot of thought and a lot of long conversations! And we’d obviously need to start again completely. And as I say above that seems unlikely still. I think we will likely just slowly drift apart and just be one of those things that isn’t meant to be. I’m starting to realise that all the things we worry about. Contact no contact etc. Is largely irrelevant. I think you can push them away yourself with too much contact and in particular negative comments such showing your hurt because that just exacerbates the negative feelings that plague them. No or limited contact does give them space but more importantly it gives us time to heal. The most important thing is time. Obviously this all depends on the specific situation. My ex’s depression seems relatively mild compared to some (although I’m sure not to her) and as she is seeking treatment I have no doubts she will emerge from this latest episode. I think th problem with time is that it can take a long long time and for those of us left waiting that can be an impossible length of time.

Sorry. A bit of a long ramble!

TL;DR: Don’t let your brain run away with itself. Take time and space for yourself. Time is the key. We will all be ok!

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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby lilliep » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:30 pm

Hi James

Thanks for sharing this. It was helpful. I am not sure where I am at the moment. Still in sort of limbo I think. I’ve not seen him for 2 weeks now and he’s not suggested meeting up himself or made much effort to communicate. Looking back he never treated me that well after he got depressed, if we arranged to meet up he was always late (because he felt me asking to meet at a certain time was dictating) and he normally drank too much and got embarrassing or just nasty. He told me when we split that it was because relationship stuff stressed him and he just needed friends and support, he had. I feelings, it wasn’t me he wasn’t interested in anyone else etc etc . But last time I saw him he told me we split because he had no feelings for me anymore and felt he would cheat on me. I don’t know what to believe but it’s knocked my self confidence more than I like.

Before he got depressed he was truly the most amazing man and made me so happy.

Anyway it’s going to be a sunny weekend and I’m determined to enjoy myself. I’m getting my nails done and I’m dressing up and going out.

I hope everyone is OK. Especially Ariane xx

Lillie xx

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Re: Depressed boyfriend has pushed me away

Postby james80 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:41 pm

Yes I hope we Al enjoy the sun! Do enjoyable things and don't think about all the hurt. I know that's not easy.

I still think about her all the time and it's not easy. But I do feel I've got myself in a much better place.

Working with her is so hard, but it does allow me, as I say, to view her and how she is and now I'm out of the deep despair phase I notice things I want picking up before. Today I was thinking...she really doesn't seem happy. Although she seems a lot better than a few months ago in her general demeanour this isn't the same person I was with. She seems tenser. More guarded generally. The things she says are different. It's made me realise that all the things I was thinking. That she just wanted to get rid of me. That she's having such a great time. It was all wrong. She's still hurting. She isn't in a good place. It's so sad because I want to help but I know I have to maintain a distance.

She obviously told me she didn't have the same feelings (Although strangely since we broke up she's been careful to not use the L word in any sense. The nearest she's said is when she admitted she loved our time together) but I get the impression she doesn't see her depression lifting. She doesn't love herself so how could she love anyone?

I think she's probably a month or two from her depression lifting. By that point even if she did somehow still.have some feelings for me I doubt she'd reach out because I think she's feel that she's hurt me enough. And I don't feel I can reach out because I'm so worried about being wrong and putting more stress on her.

That's the worst thing isn't it? Knowing they are ill gives a crumb of comfort that they didn't just fall out of love or meet someone else etc (even when they do it's a symptom of the illness not a cause of the break up) but it all just feels so unfair. It's bad enough with a young relationship. For those who are years down the heart just breaks for you.

Take care everyone x

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