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Lifelong battle unrequited love, depression

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tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
I fell and love in high school with a beautiful and intelligent classmate. We dated and eventually pronounced our love for one another. Upon graduation, I was committed to attend a school on an athletic scholarship about 600 miles from home. She was accepted into state school about the same distance from me. Several times of the first 2 years, I suggested that maybe we should break it off, because it was so hard to be apart all the time. But she fought, and transferred to keep us together. It was not the best situation, because she had no friends but me, and I'll admit, I spent most of my time with teammates, practice, and neglected her somewhat. We had a big fight, and i stupidly had a 1 night stand and was overwhelmed with guilt, so admitted it to her. We both went home for the summer, and struggled to keep it together. When it was time to return to school, she announced she wasn't coming back. i told her I would give her all the money I had made to offset the tuition and board costs, but she said no. So we went back to long distance. 7 month later, i thought we were doing OK and she asked me to visit her on a long weekend. 1200 miles driving for me. Anyway, we had a decent weekend, then she handed me back my ring and said goodbye. We stayed in communication, but began seeing other people. I didn't go home for the summer and we saw each other only briefly at Christmas. Anyway, we both graduated 14 months later and she came to visit. I had broken up with a girl i had seen briefly, but sublet her apt when she went to Europe to work. She came back to surprise me, while my true love was there, and things blew up. The short of it is our lives went in separate directions, a failed marriage for each of us, now 40 years have passed. We began talking again, long distance, and my emotions all flooded back, and i told her. She denied having any emotions and claimed to only remember the bad things.
I have been crying over TV, walking down the streets at all hours, unable to sleep, and have isolated myself from everybody. i don't know what to do. i think i should tell her not to call me anymore, which she could easily do. But I'm scared to not hear her voice. I have loved her from afar since early 20's, and i'm 64 now. I don't know what to do.
 
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Silas1066

Active member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
25
Location
Chicago, IL
A difficult situation for sure. I will try to put it into perspective as the person that was on the opposite side of where you are.

I met French Canadian girl in college and fell in love with her. We dated for a year long-distance, traveling back and forth from the midwest to the east coast (I graduated before she did). At one point, she declared that she couldn't do the long-distance relationship anymore, and that another guy had asked her out--so she dumped me. Nevertheless, we kept in touch for a few months, and we ended up getting back together. She came to see me over Christmas, and things seemed to be back on track.

but I never forgot being dumped, and part of me was suspicious towards her going forward.

Fast-forward another year, and she decides she is going to go to Europe and live there for 6 months. So I am again out-of-the-picture. In England she actually starts dating a girl, and I am surprised and bothered by it. And yet somehow, 2 years later, we get back together again. There is talk of moving in together, and I even considered marriage. But it didn't work. She wasn't mature enough, couldn't get her life in order, still had issues with her sexuality (I wasn't about to start competing with both men and women for her attention), and we broke up again for the last time.

And while we loved each other, and there were some very happy memories and experiences, I don't remember any of that: I only remember the bad stuff. Her ditching me, playing games with my emotions, being flighty, and the general sense that I wasted my 20s on this girl.

Your girl probably feels this way because of your one-night-stand, the girl coming back from Europe unannounced, the fights, the difficulties of a long-distance romance. She only remembers the bad stuff, and there isn't anything you can do about it--it is an issue of perspective and circumstance. You can write her a letter, or pour your heart out to her, but would it change anything?

We all have a switch inside us that says "end relationship", and once that is activated, it is all over. I know I flicked that switch when I finally broke up with my girl. She phoned me a year later, trying to keep in touch, and I gave her one word answers and quickly ended the call. I was done, and no amount of persuasion was going to get her back into my life.

You need to come to terms with this and move on to Miss Right
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
I'm also wondering how much all this affected my marriage and another long term relationship, in which the woman wanted to marry. I was unable to commit. I don't know now if it was because I was pining for my first love, or if I'm just damaged goods. I don't know what to think. I'm having a great deal of anguish thinking that shared intimacy, for years, means nothing, less than nothing. I think I could accept it more easily, if she said she was angry, still hurt, anything. Instead, she calls to rant and vent about her situation as a caregiver for a parent. A situation I just completed as well. Or while walking her dog, she calls just to pass the time while walking. (it's a lot different with same carrier phones than it was in college when each call cost 5 to ten bucks, and nobody had any money) Talking about the most mundane things. Her or my workouts, diets, shared experiences in caregiving. It became so regular, that I am right back in the old college routine. I realized what was happening to me, and told her she is not obligated to call me, that I was happy to share my experiences, and solutions, but she didn't need to call. She announced that "Oh no, i need to. Or I will become depressed, and your so up after going through it." I didn't tell her I was up because we were talking with growing frequency.
I guess I need to stop it before I do something stupid.
 
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Silas1066

Active member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
25
Location
Chicago, IL
She makes you feel young again: you pine for those carefree days of youth, but you are also ignoring, or glossing over the bad stuff.

40 years is a long time. You are a different person now, and so is she. Nostalgia isn't what it is cracked up to be.
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
I know you are right. I still remember when her attitude changed. I called and she told me she had a new boyfriend, so not so good to keep calling. I was destroyed, deeply hurt, and working in a bar as a bouncer, drinking way to much. My alcohol fueled reasoning was deeply flawed, but concerns about other people were absent Approximately a month later, she called in a panic. Someone had stolen her dog. She loved that dog more than anything. I was still drunk from the night before. When she paused for my response, I asked her if she was still seeing the new guy. She said yes. I said that she should probably call him, I was 500 miles away, and what did she expect me to do. During her hysterics that came after, I tried to apologize and told her it would take 8 hours for me to get there. She gave me the nevermind and hung up. After a couple years, we began talking again every few months. But is was passionless. I could handle that. But the calls every week or two have upended me. I'll ask her to stop Sunday when she calls. I hope I'm doing the right thing.
 
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Silas1066

Active member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
25
Location
Chicago, IL
I would be careful with this. Her motivations and behavior sound suspect to me

She calls you for emotional support and reassurance, but won't get into a relationship with you. She seems to want some degree of friendship, but isn't returning any favors or putting anything into it. She says it isn't a good idea to contact you while she is seeing someone else, but then contacts you.

You are NOT her therapist or her errand boy.
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
Maybe some codependency? When my divorce happened. I called her for support. When she separated from her husband, i flew to California to be with her, and stayed at her parents house. A year later, i was in San Diego for a sailboat racing clinic and the Americas Cup. She came down to visit and we had dinner and walked on the strand for a couple hours. Very complicated.
 
P

Purpleplum

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location
U.S.
I fell and love in high school with a beautiful and intelligent classmate. We dated and eventually pronounced our love for one another. Upon graduation, I was committed to attend a school on an athletic scholarship about 600 miles from home. She was accepted into state school about the same distance from me. Several times of the first 2 years, I suggested that maybe we should break it off, because it was so hard to be apart all the time. But she fought, and transferred to keep us together. It was not the best situation, because she had no friends but me, and I'll admit, I spent most of my time with teammates, practice, and neglected her somewhat. We had a big fight, and i stupidly had a 1 night stand and was overwhelmed with guilt, so admitted it to her. We both went home for the summer, and struggled to keep it together. When it was time to return to school, she announced she wasn't coming back. i told her I would give her all the money I had made to offset the tuition and board costs, but she said no. So we went back to long distance. 7 month later, i thought we were doing OK and she asked me to visit her on a long weekend. 1200 miles driving for me. Anyway, we had a decent weekend, then she handed me back my ring and said goodbye. We stayed in communication, but began seeing other people. I didn't go home for the summer and we saw each other only briefly at Christmas. Anyway, we both graduated 14 months later and she came to visit. I had broken up with a girl i had seen briefly, but sublet her apt when she went to Europe to work. She came back to surprise me, while my true love was there, and things blew up. The short of it is our lives went in separate directions, a failed marriage for each of us, now 40 years have passed. We began talking again, long distance, and my emotions all flooded back, and i told her. She denied having any emotions and claimed to only remember the bad things.
I have been crying over TV, walking down the streets at all hours, unable to sleep, and have isolated myself from everybody. i don't know what to do. i think i should tell her not to call me anymore, which she could easily do. But I'm scared to not hear her voice. I have loved her from afar since early 20's, and i'm 64 now. I don't know what to do.
Think of the bad things....there had to be bad things, not necessarily the same ones she had but you would have had bad things If you think about it. No one and no relationship is perfect.
Once you know those things, play them over and over again in your mind. This will get you out of the spell you're caught in now.
Then you'll be able to let her go. Don't keep trying to hang on hoping. She's already gotten to that step in her mind where she saw it without the romantic spell on it and she's decided.
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
There weren't that many bad things on my side. The biggest problem was, I foolishly prioritized my friends of the day, over the love of my life. i thought I was a BMOC, and made a couple stupid and massive mistakes. I should have left the scholarship and walked on at her school. I asked their staff and they said no financial aid. I asked an aunt and uncle for work on their farm, or surrounding farms, and they said none available. My Dad would not let me move back home, but it didn't matter because she would've been 300 miles away at school. I couldn't find a way out so i acted indifferent, and here i am. Decades gone and unresolved issues.
I'm sorry about all this. I don't know what to do and I'm floundering. At least I'm not blubbering like before.
 
P

Purpleplum

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location
U.S.
There weren't that many bad things on my side. The biggest problem was, I foolishly prioritized my friends of the day, over the love of my life. i thought I was a BMOC, and made a couple stupid and massive mistakes. I should have left the scholarship and walked on at her school. I asked their staff and they said no financial aid. I asked an aunt and uncle for work on their farm, or surrounding farms, and they said none available. My Dad would not let me move back home, but it didn't matter because she would've been 300 miles away at school. I couldn't find a way out so i acted indifferent, and here i am. Decades gone and unresolved issues.
I'm sorry about all this. I don't know what to do and I'm floundering. At least I'm not blubbering like before.
You didn't do anything foolish. At that part of your life you needed those friends and it probably helped you grow in ways you don't realize. You wouldn't be the person you are now unless you had gone through the experiences you did.

From what you've said, it wasn't practical at that time for you to move. If things couldn't work, they couldn't work. Trying to have a relationship when someone has to leave something for it or when they're struggling to pay bills usually doesn't work.
They only turn out perfect in romance novels.

Don't second guess your decisions.
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
And here i go again. Ending contact is fine with her. In her mind it was all me, anyway. Maybe it was.
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
I guess I wasn't convincing. Got a text about talking this afternoon. I'm sure it will be more consoling for her situation as caregiver. I've got to get off this merry go round
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
More complaining about her situation, finding herself in depression, and no way out as the caregiver. Her brother passed from complications of diabetes and MS last fall, and I thought she had put that behind her, but apparently is still deeply disturbed by it. I guess I will be listening for a while longer
 
T

tarl cabot

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Salt Lake City
Got a text now relating to her dog. It has cost thousands in blood work, lab testing for fungus in it's lungs, etc. And they think it has lung cancer. She wonders how much more heartbreak she must take. Not sure what to type back, so just advised her to put her head down and keep going forward. She has jobs to finish before throwing in the towel.
 
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Silas1066

Active member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
25
Location
Chicago, IL
She is choosing to be miserable. She isn't reaching out to you in order to reconnect, or to have you make a difference in her life (aka, to love her). She wants you to share in her misery.

Are you going to go there? Because you might not be able to come back
 
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