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End of relationship with SO - never loved me?

L

lilbear9

New member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
3
Location
London
This is likely to be a long post, and I am sorry, but I would really like some reassurance and impartial opinions.

My ex boyfriend and I were together for 5.5 years, and were friends for about a year before that. The beginning of our relationship was in person, but the latter half was long distance, but we saw each other frequently and talked everyday.

Since the beginning of our relationship, it was indicated he may have mental health issues, but nothing ever really happened about it. After about 2 years of dating, I found out that he had been lying to me about being friends with a girl and had hidden their friendship. We had a big discussion about this, and how he felt he had to do this as he didn't want to disappoint me, he showed me some messages and I felt (and still do) feel certain it wasn't cheating. This was our first big fight and red flag about his mental illness. We talked a lot about it, and he told me that he struggles a lot, and that he really loved me and wanted to get better.

Fast forward through our relationship, there was significantly more ups and downs (but overall the relationship was good, we communicated, were happy, and it felt right - there was a lot of love there). He still struggled to be fully honest with me, although he never lied about anything malicious (it was always silly things like that he had ordered pizza instead of making dinner or had put on a little bit of weight). This led to us having a massive conversation about us, and for the first time nearly breaking up, neither of us wanted that and he made it very clear that he wanted to be with me and loved me despite all this. He told me that he was hanging out with people that he didn't care about to drown out the voices in his head and that he felt guilty even talking to me because he was letting me down and wasn't good enough. We agreed he put me on too much of a pedestal and that this needed to be solved to go forward in our relationship. He has a lot of issues with his mother, the root of all this (had to lie a lot in his childhood to avoid more abuse), and he started to go to therapy alone and with his mom as well. We discussed a lot about this and he really opened up and seemed to get better, the therapist after some months diagnosed him with cyclothymia and he was doing well. He removed this idealised image of me, and things were going well, we had lots of chats about his childhood and he opened up to me more about things he never had, and had never told anyone else (he suffered a lot of abuse from family members). We had a lot of good chats and things felt good. He was recommended to go on medication, but never followed up, and I didn't want to push him as he seemed to be doing well.

Things then went downhill again when I started seeing some mystery payments he made on venmo to a friend, he eventually told me that they were buying him alcohol (he was 20 at the time and lives in the US). Looking back now, I realise this followed the death of his grandfather, who he was very close to and possibly triggered it. He told me he was using this to deal with everything and that he was really out of it and anxious and disassociating. He started going back to therapy and things got good again, he was finally being fully honest with me. He got a job, college was going great, he made new friends, and things were really good between us. This carried on for about a year, we saw each other a lot, talked a lot, and seemed happy. I never for a second doubted that he loved me, he was sweet, caring, thoughtful, and a great friend to me. We also had a very healthy sexual relationship throughout this whole period. We got along like a house on fire 90% of the time. I was very understanding of everything he was going through and made it clear to him I wanted to be with him and stick by him and he felt the same. He went through the loss of his dog at this time, his only saviour during the abusive years, and reason he has become a vet, but seemed to deal with it really well and I

Fast forward to December 2018, we had been talking a little less for about a week as we were both busy with work prior to the holidays, when we were going to be together. Everything seemed fine, he was making plans and we were discussing things about family presents and things. Then next thing I know he starts to freak out about the distance, I sort of dismissed it and told him we shouldn't worry, we would be able to close it soon (I think this was triggered by me getting a new job). He said he was being silly and cares about me, and he just doesn't want to disappoint me and hold me back.

The next day he started being really distant and slowly replying, I asked him what was wrong. He said he had to think, and then an hour or so later he sent me a long text saying that he loved me so much and always will, but he can't be in this relationship with his current mental health. I was shocked, literally two days before I thought things were fine, he said something just snapped and changed. I tried to call him and he didn't want to talk, eventually we spoke and he said he is confused about life and felt he needed to make all life decisions about his future now. He wasn't good enough for me, he was holding me back, and he didn't want me to wait for him to get better. I told him that I loved him and wanted to support him, that I will always care and if it is really what he wants we can break up but I will always support him. He said he didn't really want to break up, but felt we had to.

The next day we spoke again, and he told me he doesn't love me anymore, and then stopped talking to me and starting hanging out with this girl, we will call her Bryony. He is spending all this time with his friend Bryony, and she stayed over at his house he wouldn't respond to my calls, and I just told him I will give him some space. Eventually we speak again, he is nice and normal, he tells me multiple times he has no feelings for Bryony and it is just nice to talk to her because she distracts him and he doesn't have to think about anything. He says he loves me and doesn't want to break up, but feels like we have to because he isn't healthy. He again says he is unsure about everything, we decided to give it a break for a few days to give him space to think. The trip to see each other was cancelled as he didn't want to see me while he wasn't right. I left him and didn't message him until he contacted me again, we spoke and had nice conversations like we used to and then he would snap and refuse to talk to me again. Eventually it got to the point where I had to stop fighting for it, I loved him so much, but I couldn't deal with the rollercoaster. He told me he needed to be alone, and couldn't heal while he was with me as he didnt want to let me down. I agreed with everything, as much as it hurt me, and told him that I will always be here and love and support him if he wants to be friends down the line. He said he loved me and didn't want me to be permanently out of his life and we could talk when he felt he was in a more stable place and he would contact me. I told him that I cared about him and always would, and wished him all the best and thanked him for a great relationship. He responded with nice things about me, saying things like I was irreplaceable and made him happy, and he will miss me.

We hung up and that was that. I had suspicions that he had bipolar, but obviously myself cannot confirm as I am to a professional. This officially ended at the beginning of January, and since then I have messaged him 5 times. Firstly to tell him I had sent him his belongings, and he needed to collect them at the post office (to which he didn't respond). I think a month later asked if he would mind sending my stuff, he said he was getting it together. He still hadn't sent it so I asked him again about it, he also owed me money, but as it was a large amount I told him that he didn't have to pay me that back until he had enough. However, he sent me the money, but did not send my belongings (even though he said he would). I texted him twice after that, about 3 weeks apart asking him again if he would mind sending my belongings. I told him my parents would also be near by and could collect it from him. He did not respond to either of these texts.

Throughout this time he still followed me on social media, and watched all mine and my friends stories (something that he didn't frequently do before), he didn't remove me from anything and still viewed the stuff while ignoring my texts. I ended up removing him myself as it made me sad to see this when I couldn't talk to him about anything, he still to this day follows my spotify account despite unfollowing my playlists and deleting ones he made me. He then removed all pictures of me from his social media about 2 months after.

Throughout this time he moved in with Bryony I found out from a mutual friend, and they got a dog together. I couldn't believe this after he made it so clear he had no interest in her, but I tried to just let that pain pass me by. I just hoped he actually was getting healthy.

Finally, this weekend my parents contacted him which he responded to and then stopped, he was very cryptic and then my mom arranged to meet his Dad to get my stuff (which my ex said he would just leave on a porch!). Then out of the blue yesterday he decided to meet my mom himself with the stuff, and he called me. I genuinely thought I would never hear from him again.

We spoke for around 2.5 hours about a lot of different things, he began by apologising for how he treated me. He told me he is seeing professionals and that he has been diagnosed with Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, and PTSD, and was now medicated for them. He then proceeded to tell me he never loved me, which hurt so bad to hear. This is what I held on to the whole time, that even though it ended so painfully and suddenly we still loved each other in the past. I remained calm and we discussed this, and he essentially said I was just a support system that he was sexually attracted to (sidenote though maybe relevant he was only sexually attracted to me during our relationship, and is now only sexually attracted to Bryony). He told me he is happy and healthy now, he refused to tell me about Bryony at first only hinting about the fact he may have been in a relationship. I told him I knew and would appreciate honesty, he told me he had moved in with her right after to keep each other accountable for going to therapy (they both had bad childhoods he said) and that it developed from there and now they were dating, living together, and got a dog together. He told me this hadn't happened until 'well after' we were over, which made me chuckle since we haven't even been broken up for 4 months after 5.5 years together. He asked if I would ever meddle in his relationship, which I felt very offended by since I haven't contacted him. He was saying this stuff about never loving me, but told me he was thinking about me a lot, that he couldn't listen to certain songs that remind him of me, that he cared about me a lot and wanted to know how I was doing. He seemed so excited to talk and asked me to keep talking every time I went to leave. He noted how nice and comfortable this conversation was, and I agreed, it felt like talking to an old friend. He told me that he thinks about me fondly (but then at another point says he didn't pay attention to my life or social media, and then talked about things he had seen on them). He acted weirdly coy, he said it didn't bother him at all to think about me with other people, that he thinks he will marry Bryony and that this is real and forever, unlike us. Then again back about how they thinks about me and knows I am kicking ass and doing so well, and will have found someone so much better than him (emphasised that a lot).

At the end of the conversation he suggested being friends, and I said I would like to be friendly - meaning we could catch up and chat occaisonally but it would never be the same. He was on board, then flipped. He told me I have done nothing wrong but I will trigger him and that it can't happen anymore. I was disappointed after having such a nice conversation which felt like friendly - we chatted about life as we used to and were both making jokes. The call disconnected, he apologised for that via text, and I said that I would like to be friendly, but either way I respect his decision, that I was grateful for our relationship and that I wish him all the best. He didn't respond, and that I think is that.

I guess - I don't want to be back with him ever, and I knew that since we first broke up. But I am concerned about him, I am unsure if you can really be healthy and move that fast (Bryony also got out of a 1.5 year relationship when ours ended, and she has not been single for more than a week since she was 15), moving in an getting a dog seems a little rash?
Do you think it is possible that he never loved me when he treated me so well - he supported me, cared for me, was a friend, was attracted to me etc - often pointing out little things that he loved about me. His friends always noted that he was so much happier around me, and he also had a specific tone of voice he used only when talking to me and his two trusted family members, even looking at photos the way he looked at me was one of love.

I guess i am just lost, I am looking for any guidance as to this situation and where I stand, perhaps advice of how to move forward from this - its affecting my own mental health. Can we truly be friendly? I am just lost and any support would be appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.
 
somedaymaybe

somedaymaybe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
227
Location
Australia
I think best case here is that you don't contact him at all. For awhile. I think time is the key for you to heal and move forward; you cannot fully do this if you continue to talk to your ex, even if it's just a few messages every few months or whatever. No contact at all is what is needed. If in the future you feel as though you have moved on from the situation and no longer have any feelings, negative or romantic towards your ex, then you can message to see how he is doing if you're interested.

However I think your connection with this man is well and truly over, and I do not mean for this to sound harsh. I think a lot has been done and said, and it's now time to move forward. He has been diagnosed with these disorders, which is good because now he can deal with them appropriately. But based on what your last conversation with him sounded like, he's still got a lot going on in his mind and his life, and I don't think he'd be a positive to your own life in any way right now.

I don't think any of us here can say if he loved you or not; he sounded all over the place in your last conversation, I don't think he knows what he feels or has felt at the minute. But I think if he had spent all that time and effort on your relationship, feelings had to have been involved.

Take the positives and the memories, consider it just another life experience, and know that someone else out there is better suited for you when the time is right. For now, just focus on the healing process, on your own mental health, and definitely do not over-analyze too much because it will send you crazy.
 
L

lilbear9

New member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
3
Location
London
Hi somedaymaybe,

Thank you for the response, I really appreciate the honest advice.

I do agree, I am not going to contact him again, and was not planning on until he called me. I only contacted him before as he had my belongings, and that was genuinely all.

I was happy with thinking that we had a good relationship, and its in the past. The revival yesterday just got to me, as its now hard to look back on the good times that I hold dear and think they were fake, and also to know he moved on so intensely and suddenly. You are very right to not over analyse though.

Thank you for your kind words, they truly mean more than you can know. It is great to hear from people.
 
Muddleduck

Muddleduck

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
306
Location
GB
You sound like his CPN, therapist or mother, when you should be his girlfriend. You should be focusing on yourself and creating a good life for yourself, fulfilling your dreams, not worrying about all of his problems and causes for them.

Having a boyfriend is about fun, about romance, two people coming together, two people really who can look after themselves and live apart, but who choose to be together because they enjoy being together. Nobody should really be the carer or cared for, it should be equal, unless one of you has dementia for example - in sickness and in health.

Put yourself first for a while and make your life as you want it to be, don't worry about him at all for the time being. You are only here once and you don't want to get a further 5 years down the line, having missed out on you.
 
Muddleduck

Muddleduck

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
306
Location
GB
Actions speak louder than words. That is an important motto for me to keep in mind too.
 
L

lilbear9

New member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
3
Location
London
Hi Muddleduck,

I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from.

I guess part of the reason I am sad is because, although maybe it did not come across well in the post, I did feel like his girlfriend, never a carer or mother. The relationship never felt unbalanced to me, I knew he had these issues, but it was never a burden nor detracted from my own fun and life. When I was with him it did feel like fun and romance, and he helped me fulfil my dreams, both emotionally and practically, which is why it feels so sad to hear that that may not have been real.

I do agree I need to put myself first, I have decided not to contact him again, and I am happy in that. Its just a lot to think that that fun and romance, and the love I felt, may not have been real.

Actions do speak louder than words, and his actions showed he loved me, even if he now doesn't and I should take that.

Thanks for your response.
 
Muddleduck

Muddleduck

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
306
Location
GB
I'm sorry if i misunderstood at any point, i wanted to make you focus on you because it didn't seem that way. It is hard to put 5.5 years in one post ;) but my reply was out of concern for you and to help you, which i think you could see. I hope so.

I have had a boyfriend tell me that he didn't want a girlfriend when he met me, so in effect it took him two years to remember that fact? Men can be stupid and say stupid things. I am sure that he did love you, or have some strong emotion and care that he doesn't have a name for. He must have since been thinking about what love is and is not, and decided what you and he had was not 'love'. He may have gotten the term wrong again, and actually that was love, and this other think he is thinking of is lust or whatever. I am sure he doesn't really know. These words are stupid anyway. I don't think i could tell you easily what i think love is.

Maybe he is saying that he didn't know if he wanted to be with you some of the time. Whatever it was in the past, it was not working, whether love or not, it wasn't working otherwise you will still be happily together. Nobody knows what the future holds, maybe this is the end forever, or maybe you will have some time apart, maybe you will meet someone else, but it seems like you do need some me-time and time to process all of this or just put it to the back of your mind and have a bit of fun or take up yoga. I'm being silly now.

Relationships are so hard. All three of mine have been confusing, amazing and awful.
 
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