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Breakup with Depressed Partner

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From Greece: My (ex)boyfriend and I were together for 10 months. During the first months we were very happy and he said he wanted to be with me and live with me when he finds a stable job. He is 30 but lives with his parents, something that he hates.

After 2-3 months the job contract he had was over. He started withdrawing himself and he admitted he had many problems with his life. Nevertheless he said he feels happier when he sees me.

I had a conversation with him some days after and he said he felt like I was only “his best friend” and he wasn’t sure if he was in love. I felt betrayed and we broke up. I thought about it for a day and drew the conclusion that I wanted to help him even if he saw me that way, so I suggested we get together again and face the problem and he agreed.

We went for vacations and he was really happy and said that he loved me but a month after we returned he told me it would be better to break up because he wasn’t sure about his feelings anymore and felt like he couldn’t support any relationship due to the problems he was facing. He said he needed to work things out and fix his life himself and wanted to be alone and that nothing could make him feel happy and he even wanted to die. He was feeling useless and was not sure when he was going to be ok. I tried to keep him in my life but he didn’t want that.

We met again to exchange some things. He looked really tired and admitted he hadn’t slept much but he acted very happy and was talking all the time about random things and plans for his near future. I asked him what this was all about and he answered it was “the best defense mechanism”. I asked him if he was already over me and said “not really” and looked very sad when I told him I was going for vacations with some friends.

Everything is a contradiction. I have feelings for him and don’t want to give up. I can’t eat or sleep and often have very rapid heartbeat. I don’t even know if he ever loved me.

Breakup with Depressed Partner

Answered by on -

A.

I’m very sorry you have been so hurt. But I don’t think there are contradictions in his behavior. He has consistently told you by his behavior that he isn’t in a space to be in a relationship. I can’t answer whether he ever loved you. Only he can answer that but it isn’t a useful question to pursue with him. He certainly seems to like you, but you aren’t able or willing to leave it at that. Even if he thinks he loves you, he knows he isn’t fit to be in a committed relationship at this point in his life.

From what you wrote, it looks to me that this man is unstable in much of his life including his job, his living situation, and his relationships. I do think he made the right decision when he told you he is unable to have a serious relationship until he is able to live a more adult life. He is correct that, at 30, it’s time for him to focus on himself. He needs to solve his problems with work, his parents, and people like you who try to get close to him.

Meanwhile, I suggest you take a big step back. You have been hurt each time you have tried to help him or be more than a friend. Please make yourself available to someone who can love you and cherish you and offer you a stable relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Breakup with Depressed Partner

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Breakup with Depressed Partner. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/10/30/breakup-with-depressed-partner/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.