My ex fiancée and I were due to be married about six months ago. It was always a bit of a struggle with my parents and family due to it being a same sex relationship. From the get-go I knew that she had depression, and had never sought any form of treatment. About 9 months before the wedding she began a slow but steady decline. I encouraged her to go to her doctor about 4 months before the wedding and she was prescribed citalopram. About a month before the wedding we called it off. She had become convinced that she wasn’t in love with me anymore and that I was better off without her. It was incredibly devastating for both of us. I tried in vain to make her understand that I wanted to be there while she worked through it. I moved out of our home and back to my parents. I explained to them that she had been suffering from depression and that we had decided to take some space from one another while she tried to seek proper help, and I tried to build myself back up a little. I made a point of explaining that there was a chance of us getting back together. About a month after our split we found ourselves communicating daily, and on an occasion where I met up with her she broke down, apologizing for everything and explaining that she had no idea who she was or what was going on and that she loved me deeply and wanted to turn back the clock and do everything differently. I found this very difficult to deal with as I had been processing a heartbreak. However I am a very understanding and patient person and I understand that depression is very real and can have such a detestation effect. We began seeing each other again, however my whole family have blamed her for everything. I have been berated and disrespected for choosing to try again with her. Nothing I say seems to make them understand that she had basically had a breakdown which distorted her view of the world. I am devastated by the lack of support from my parents. They don’t ask about us, or her, and basically act as though it isn’t happening. They think that she isn’t depressed at all. I don’t know what to do… (From Scotland)
While your girlfriend has decided to come back, this isn’t the proper criteria for continuing the relationship. She has not committed to any therapy, and the likelihood that she might just change her mind again is very high — leaving you completely vulnerable. Unless she is willing to work on herself this situation isn’t likely to turn around. What is different? Your kindness and willingness to get back together without her making some substantial changes isn’t something to bank on.
Offer to go to couple’s therapy with her and get this situation in front of a professional who can help sort this through. Your family has had a front row seat to your pain — and they don’t want to watch you go through this again. If she is unwilling to help herself it isn’t likely the foundation of your future with her can be more than what you’ve experienced in the past.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Getting Back with Depressed Ex-Fiancée. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/10/11/getting-back-with-depressed-ex-fiancee/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 11 Oct 2015) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.