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Sadness Over a Long Time Breakup

Asked by on with 1 answer:

i have been dating John for 22 years
We never lived together. We both have grown children and are divorced from others.
Up until 3 years ago I lived alone and enjoyed frequent visits from my children and grandchildren. My youngest son age 38 suffered from a severe case of depression and anxiety. He had to move in with me and has slowly been getting better mentally. he is working but lost lots of money jobs and is going through a divorce.
My grandchild age 12 and 7 stay with us every other week.
Over the past year, John has shown increasing in ability to deal with or understand depression. I have been unable to confide in him or even show tears when discussing my son and his issues. John was not really a good communicator. About 2 months ago he decided to “stay away”. I have given him that option but he just quit talking or communicating with. He just disappeared out of our lives. I finally asked him what was going on and that was his reply.

He is a good person, but kind of a “my way or no way” guy. (not an open mind) I have told him my children will always come first as should his. Why am I so sad.? I am a young 70 yr old and healthy except aches and normal memory loss. He is 10 years younger and still working as a union carpenter.
Thank you for your time. (From the USA)

Sadness Over a Long Time Breakup

Answered by on -


I am sorry you are going through so much. But it also seems clear that John has neither the bandwidth nor desire to be in this relationship with you. Of course, your children and grandchildren will always come first. If John can’t understand this or doesn’t have the skills do it, it is time to grieve the relationship so it will free you up to move on.

John has told you in his own way that he isn’t able to make this journey with you. Accepting that this is the way it is will allow you to unhook from him and devote your energy to something — or someone more worthwhile.

I’d highly recommend some brief individual therapy to help you grieve and move on. The Find Help tab at the top of the page will help you find someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Sadness Over a Long Time Breakup

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

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: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). Sadness Over a Long Time Breakup. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 16 Jun 2020 (Originally: 19 Jun 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 16 Jun 2020
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