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Please help me understand. I'm desperate.



New member
Jan 20, 2015
My boyfriend of 2+years broke up with me a couple of weeks ago. It was completely unexpected. Even he was shocked that he broke up with me. Very long post but I would really appreciate some insight into his depression and our relationship.

A little relevant background to my own mental health issues:

I had an uncle who had lived with me and my family since I was 12 years old (I'm 23 now). Our relationship was more sibling like, and I loved him and saw him as I do my brother rather then how I feel for my other aunts and uncles - he was more like a son to my mother as she had always taken him in when he had addictions and took care of him. He killed himself 4 years ago and my mother unfortunately found him. After this she suffered from PTSD and became suicidal herself. I was starting my first year of university a couple of months after this event and so being 4+ hours away from home made it more difficult to deal with. I grieved oddly for his death since it was a suicide. I didn't cry for the first 2 months of him passing. I was angry and confused at him for doing this to our family. And then I felt guilty at being angry at somebody I loved who was clearly struggling. And then I felt guilty for not realising how much he was struggling (although I was only 19 myself) when he was. I didn't know how to deal with my mum. And now years later I'm still feeling guilty that I wasn't there for her. I felt guilty because she had been through so much and yet I was still frustrated at her for being a pretty shitty mother to me when I was 13-16 years old (cheated on my dad with 5+ men, leaving the family cooking for me to do when I returned from school even though she did not work and was at home all day - sending naked pics to men over MSN all day- telling me she wishes she never had me etc etc).
Since the suicide I have been a generally more frustrated person. I suffered sever panic attacks the first 2 years of university. These have largely subsided but I do still suffer from them occasionally. I definitely generally have mental health issues from this event but I'm still not sure exactly what.

Our relationship

Me and my ex-boyfriend began dating at the beginning of my third year of university (Oct 2012). Because of my issues the relationship got off to a bad start. I would get upset quiet easily - sometimes because he had genuinely done something a bit shitty but sometimes not. When it wasn't because of something he had done I would always let him know that it's not him and it's my own issues. We have never had a 'perfect' relationship but I always believed that it was overall improving. There were far more positives and positive times to our relationship then there were bad. We trusted each-other 100%, we were independent, we shared the same values in life, the same sense of humour, amazing sex and the majority of time spent together was filled with love and did lots of interesting stuff together. We taught and learned a lot from each other. Yes there were times when we argued but that was mostly when I got a bit too drunk, and I can think of almost every single argument and bad issue that happened to us over the 2 years whereas the good times are far too plentiful to remember them all. I would say we had a disagreement on average maybe once every three to four months.

His depression:

We were in a LDR after graduating from university, and would see eachother on average once every 3 weeks (sometimes more sometimes less) He began to develop depression a few months after graduating. We used to chat on the phone for an hour or so almost every night. He would have his up and down weeks. Sometimes he would be pretty down for just 3 or so days and then o.k for 3 weeks and then he would be down for a full week and o.k for another 2 weeks etc. On the phone he would talk to me about how he was feeling. I would try my best to listen and offer support. He would talk to me about how he doesn't know what he wants for fulfillment in life and the only thing he wants to do as a career he can't and about how incapable he feels at doing anything. He would tell me that he would be bad at every job because he is slow at doing things. He would generally feel useless at everything. He felt he worked so hard to achieve nothing. I would reassure him that he was an intelligent, hard working and very capable person (he is actually probably one of the most intelligent and hard working people I know). I somehow managed to make him feel worse at times and then this would upset me. I would be upset because I felt like a failed on the person I love. I learnt a bit more of the sort of stuff that would make him feel better and at times he did say that I was getting better at it. Sometimes however I just didn't really know what to say to him, and would mostly be on the other side off the phone in silence and sometimes I would get slightly annoyed. I had said everything I could.

An example of me being overly upset in the relationship:

I also had issues with 'letting go'. The summer after graduating I was annoyed at him because he was arranging a trip to a coastal town to visit his best friend (J), and his best friends girlfriend (B) (both of which I am friends with - at university we did plenty of stuff together as couples). I found it odd that he hadn't invited me since he invites me almost everywhere he goes and me,him, J and B regularly did stuff together. Although I found it odd that he didn't invite me I didn't think much of it until it came up that on the trip it was going to be my boyfriend, his ex FWB (E), J and B. He didn't hide this fact from me and because I trusted him 100% I didn't think that he was going to sleep with her or anything but I still found it even weirder that he didn't invite me. So I outright asked him ,'Is the reason you didn't invite me to *coastal town because E is going?' He thought for a bit, and then was pretty much like,' Yes but so what?' I didn't even know that they were still in contact (which I would be o.k with anyway) so I was a bit shocked that he was going on a weekend trip with her and not inviting me solely because of her. It took me about half an hour to make him realise how inappropriate this was. His reasoning was that he didn't want to upset her with me being there and he thought this was completely justified. But anyway he cancelled the trip with her. I got upset whilst drunk about another 2 times about this issue. It didn't help that at the beginning of our relationship he mentioned stuff like ,'Emma was such a nympho and made me cum 7 times in a day.' I let him know that I don't want to know about stuff like that. Anyway skip forward to around May/June 2014 and me, him J and B are on a trip in said coastal town. We are having a few drinks and talking and my boyfriend decided to make a comment about how long him and E would last in bed together. I ended up getting upset over the comment crying etc etc. I definitely over reacted because I was drunk. I began getting upset and angry at him for not inviting me to coastal town last time because of E. I think I must have been crying for about an hour. After a while e got pissed off at me and basically told me I have issues 'letting go' of the past and need to get help through therapy. I agreed and said I would book a doctors appointment. I never brought up the incident with E in our relationship again because I knew how stupid it was for me to keep mentioning it, and I don't really understand myself why I did. I did this regularly with a few issues. I couldn't just bring them up once. I'd have to bring it up again 2 or so months later and get upset.

However I never ended up booking a doctors appointment. I had decided that I wanted to go abroad to work for 3 months, and so I thought that I would save therapy sessions until I return. Before I went away I was slightly annoyed at my boyfriend because he did not seem to be putting in the extra effort to see me a bit more before I went away for 3 months. I had felt like it was only me planning what weekends we would spend together. We didn't get to see each other as much as I had hoped for before I left because of a lack of planning. We were in an LDR so this was difficult. I didn't communicate my feelings well and instead ended up upset and frustrated at him rather then communicate with him properly.

Back to his depression and me trying (and failing?) to be there for him:

Whilst I was away me and him would try to chat on Skype every night. The country I was in was 5 hours behind my home country and so we would usually chat at around when I returned from work (about 5pm) and whilst he was getting ready for bed (his 10pm). Whilst I was away he had quiet a few dips with his depression. I tried my best to be on Skype for him when he needed me. He had one really big dip one Friday night. I stayed on Skype with him for about an hour talking and listening to him but I had plans with some friends who were cooking some local food at their flat. After we said bye to each-other he sent me a message with a sad face. I asked him if he wanted to talk for longer. He said that he doesn't want me to miss out on the food but I insisted that I would rather chat to him. We talked for about another 2 hours. He expressed his feelings to me telling me saying things like - how useless and incapable he feels at tasks - how he doesn't feel like he would be good at any career - how he doesn't even know what he wants to do as a career - how guilty he feels for feeling depressed.
I reassured him that he is capable, that he is still so young and only a recent graduate. I told him not to feel guilty about being depressed and that it's ok and not his fault. I let him know that it can get better and people do recover from bouts of depression. He appreciated what I had to say and appreciated that I stayed in to chat to him. He told me that I had eased the pain a bit. I felt so good that I had managed to make him feel just that bit better albeit very worried about him. The next few days he was still feeling down and I carried on being there for him as best as I could. One night he expressed his appreciation for it again. Some days I may have been a bit more distant then others because I had had a bit of a hectic day or just because the timings of the phone calls were a bit awkward (5pm-7pm). About 5 or 6 days after this Friday I couldn't Skype him because I was cooking a group meal for my housemates. I told him I could Skype him whilst cooking but then realised my i-pad had no battery and there was no plug in the kitchen. I apologized for not being able to Skype him but let him know that I would chat to him the day after. The day after he was very low and upset. He expressed that he didn't feel like I missed him as much as he misses me. He was upset that I hadn't thought about putting the i-pad on charge. I ended up bursting into tears and being a bit angry at him. I let him know that I do miss him very much that I just have shit to do sometimes and that just because I didn't think to charge the ipad has nothing to do with him. I carried on crying and talking to him very sternly. I ended up making myself the victim and telling him that he didn't even put enough effort in to see me before I came away etc etc. After about 30 minutes of me crying I felt pretty bad. I apologised for crying and shouting and he said that it was o.k, but Ii could tell he was feeling pretty shit. The next few weeks of Skype we got on well as we normally do. That one Skype session was the only night we argued/ got upset/ disagreed the whole three months that I was away. Every other night even when he had his sips were filled with conversation and love.

Me not understanding his distance and my situational depression

A few weeks after I returned home. The first 2 days with him were amazing. By the third day he had become and bit distant. He wasn't bad to me or anything he just was not showing any affection. He had a doctors appointment that day about his depression. I asked him if he wanted me to go with him but he said no. I asked him how it went and he said that they gave him a helpline number. That night in bed I was trying to hold him and be affectionate but he wasn't responding, I tried again the morning after with no response. I asked him how he was feeling the day before and he just said that he felt fine. I was scared that it was me. We had spent three months apart and on the third day he seemed to have already lost interest. And so I got upset at him. I went home for a night and then he came up to see me the following night. When he arrived he was distant again and rather then communicating to him I just acted moody. He asked what's wrong and so I told him and he apologized. He was a bit distant again the day after. I couldn't stop thinking it was me. However we had a great few weekends together after this.

In mid November I moved to a big expensive city with no job, paying £550 rent per month (not including bills and council tax!). The reason I rushed is because I wanted to house-share with my old university friends. My first day there I already felt really low. I called him that night and cried to him on the phone about how weird I felt. He listened to me and reassured me and made me feel better. I was scared of this city and realised that I'm probably never going to live near my family again. And I have both parents with mental health issues. I found the next month stressful. Applying for about 10 jobs per week but I could not even secure an interview, for the most basic jobs. I felt stupid at my choice to move to such an expensive place without a job. Adding to the stress was the fact that my old boss/ sisters ex owed me £3000 and getting it back was very difficult (I still haven't got it back - long story as to why I gave it to him in the first place). I found myself crying a lot and generally feeling sorry for myself. I missed my family and was worrying about money. I would talk to my boyfriend on the phone about my feelings. I would cry some nights to him but not every night. Sometimes he would listen and comfort me sometimes he would have more of a 'your situation is not that bad 'attitude. I would agree that I was over-reacting and being draining. He told me to book a doctors appointment like I said I would ages ago. I told him I would book one when I felt ready. He was annoyed at this and said there is never going to be a good time to go and that I just need to go. He was right but I was scared of facing my issues and talking about my uncles suicide with a professional. We saw each-other almost every weekend around this time because in the new city I was only 1.5 hrs away from him. The weekends were great and we were really getting on. He would regularly tell me ,' I love you so so much.' etc etc

The break-up

The 2 days before Christmas he was being distant, we didn't really text and did not talk or Skype because he was being so distant. His distance annoyed me a bit. On Christmas night we Skyped. He seemed happier but I asked him what was wrong with him the two days prior. He instantly went sad and distant again and said that he was feeling low because he felt like he had accomplished enough in 2014. I tried to reassure him that it was o.k but I myself wasn't feeling very good (Xmas is always hard because my mum cries quiet a lot because she misses my uncle). I noticed the conversation wasn't very light so I tried to be jokey with him and joked about how much he smelt or some shit he replied semi seriously ,'well you exaggerate bad stuff that happens to you.' I didn't really know what to say to this and was quiet shocked by it so I did not say anything. The next day on Skype was great we were both positive and getting on but I still had that comment on my mind. The night after this was his sisters birthday party so I travelled down to their house for it. As soon as I got there he was distant and quiet moody again. Once we got to the party I asked him what was wrong. He said that he was frustrated earlier in the day because he was so unproductive and didn't complete what he intended to. I told him that it's a Saturday and Xmas time and that it's completely normal for people to not get stuff done. He has always been so hard on himself. He is in the retained part time fire-service (on call for 80+ hours), works 3x times a week window cleaning, teaches guitar a few times a week and works on music projects.

I ended up getting drunk very easily because I had not eaten much that day. This coupled with what he had said to me about exaggerating bad things happening to me and him being distant and moody caused me to get upset at him and start crying. I expressed my sadness at what he had said. It is not the first time he has said negative stuff about me and so I said something like ,' If you think all of this about me then why are you with me?! Sometimes it seems that you don't even like me that much.' To my shock he replied ,'You know what you are right.' We ended up getting a taxi home with me crying. I can't remember what I said but at one point he responded to something I said with ,'Because I don't love you.' This took be by such shock that I completely stopped crying and just went silent. Only a few days before he was telling me how much he does love me. We got back to his and slept in separate beds.

We slept for a couple of hours but I woke up feeling like I was about to have a panic attack. So I went into the room he was in asking if I could get in with him. He let me in and after about 5 minutes he put his arms around me asking ,'What the hell has happened? I really was not expecting us to break up. I didn't think were were close to breaking up.' I said ,' No me neither but you don't love me so that's the way it is.' He said that he does love and to ignore what he said he the night before. He said that he would do anything for me and has been saving up to pay for a month of my rent. I didn't know what to think. He is not somebody to say stuff he doesn't mean. He said that he does want to be with me but that he feels like I haven't been there for him. I told him that I tried. I really did. He said that it would feel weird to break up because we hadn't drifted apart and that he doesn't feel any differently about me. He said he hadn't even considered us breaking up or anything. He said that I am too negative and for that for us to be together he needs to me to be more positive around him. I asked him so if I'm feeling low about something like my uncle I cannot talk to you about it? And he said for the serious stuff he wants me to be open but not to be negative about less important stuff. He said it was pissing him off how much I was complaining about living in the city and getting a job. I said I can be more positive for him in that case. He said that he also feels like he cannot open up to me about his feelings because I get upset so easily. I told him of course I want him to open up to me even if I get upset, and that I would work on myself. He said that he knows that I'm a strong person but he said I haven't been strong in the relationship and he needs me to be strong because he isn't. I told him that yes I can be strong. He mentioned about our relationship and all the negatives. I was disappointed that he was missing out all of the positives. He said ' yes there were 'a few' good times.' In my opinion there were 'few' bad times but the vast majority good. I really do not see it like he does.

I stayed at his that Sunday and Monday day and everything was fine and we had a nice two days. He decided to book the Tuesday and Wednesday off work to come up to mine (family home) and we drove up late on the Monday night. I hadn't planned on him coming up and I come from a very boring county and town with nothing to do there. Whilst he was up we baked together, cooked at my dads together, went to the a pub for a meal and a few little other stuff. I was being a bit antsy and slightly negative and short tempered at times. I was still worrying about the £3000 owed to me and was slightly confused at him telling me he didn't love me the other night. But again overall I thought we had a nice couple of days together.

He stayed up until New Years Day. Before he drove home we went for a walk with my dog. I could tell he wasn't good so I asked him what was wrong. He wouldn't open up for a while but I pushed him. He said that he is frustrated that he hasn't seen any of his friends this December as much as he had hoped. He said that he was frustrated that he didn't make a start to two music projects that he wanted to in December. I felt slightly guilty because me and him had spent every weekend in December together. I tried to be as pro-active and positive as possible and told him that he should plan his weekends ahead in January. Organise the music projects and start making arrangements with friends so that it happens. He didn't seem convinced. I told him that I know we have saw quiet a lot of each other since I returned and that I don't want him to feel obliged to me in January. I told him the only night he needs to keep free for me was the 24th ( I had tickets booked as an Xmas present). He said ,'But we'll far apart if we don't.' I reassured him that no we would not. (We had done a year were seeing each other on average once every 3 weeks and did fine!!) I thought maybe he was referring back to me being annoyed at him for not making enough of an effort before I went away for three months so I tried to reassure him that case was different and that it's important to me that he sees his friends and completes his music projects. He said ,' You're only saying that because you have to.' I told him I meant it but there was not much more that I could say. Then he began to tell me that he was frustrated at the last few days at mine because we had not done much and he had booked 2 days of work for it. I said that I wasn't expecting him to come up and so did not plan anything. He said no I'm not blaming you, but he carried on saying how frustrated he was that we didn't do anything saying that he even brought his car up. I apologized and he told me to stop apologizing because he wasn't blaming me. Although he kept saying this I felt like it was my fault because he was at my house. I began crying because I felt as if I had failed on trying to fix what had happened over the weekend. He said .'See this is what I mean you get upset when I open up to you about my feelings.' I got a bit pissed of at this point and shouted quiet sternly ,'What do you expect?!! Of course I'm going to get upset. Do not act like this is unjustified for me to be upset.' He said sorry and that he understood why it's upsetting and the he did not mean that. I said if you wanted to do something this weekend then we should have planned something and he responded with .'We shouldn't have to plan it should be able to be spontaneous.' I got pissed off again and said .' Well if you want a spontaneous girlfriend the go out with someone ****ing spontaneous.' He said that he doesn't mean it like that.

He drove home in a mood and I could see what was coming. I waited till he arrived home and called him. I remained as positive as possible and told him that I was glad he opened up to me earlier and although I still feel that my upset was justified that I can see what he means about me being upset. I can't remember what he replied but whatever it was I didn't get upset and he commented saying ,' Oh I'm impressed I thought you were going to get upset by that.' Long story short I pretty much said that we need to work on this. He said that it's 'too little too late'. Because I promised that I would got the doctors a while ago about my issues and I had not, and so he did not believe that I would. He said that I promised him only the weekend before that I would change my negative attitude and not get upset but in the following days did not change it all. I said that change takes time and that I was feeling a bit down because I was a bit upset over the argument. He said that 'love is not enough'. We split up there and then saying that we wish each other the best in life. Although we had had an argument a few days prior and earlier that day I was still so shocked at this relationship ending so suddenly. The next day I was devastated but got on with the day, I thought I would never hear from him again.

I was shocked later that day to receive a text from him asking if I could answer the phone if he called. I agreed. He was in tears (the first time I have heard him cry). He just kept asking me over and over .'What the hell has happened?!' 'I really didn't think we were anywhere near close to breaking up.' etc. He said that he had been crying all day and could not stop. He said that everything he looked at and did reminded him of me. We chatted in total for 3 hours. One or so hours was just of talking about stuff and just chatting and laughing and getting on like we normally do. Then the conversation turned back to us. He apologised for putting everything on me the past week. He apologised for his negative response to my positivity the night before. He said that he feels like he took me for granted. He apologised for not being there for me. I was confused and wasn't sure if he wanted to get back with me or not. He said that he does want to be with me but that he is scared of putting me through this again. I said that I really want to work at it too but if he is not 100% sure about me then I can't do it. He told me that he doesn't understand his emotions and that he doesn't know what a relationship is meant to feel like. He told me that he scared. He told me that he doesn't know what love is. It took him about 1 hour to decide if he was 100% sure or not he said he wasn't 100% and we ended the relationship. One and a half hours later I received a text from him saying,' It's definitely over. I'm sure now. Thank you for being patient with me. I wish you the best.'

I am writing this because I can't talk to him. I haven't spoke to him since that text and it would be a bad idea to contact. I just hope someone here can help me understand him. I feel so guilty about not being there enough for him and snapping at him sometimes when he had his dips. I must have made him feel so much worse. I feel so guilty for not booking a doctors appointment when I said I would (I have one now for this Thursday!). I feel annoyed at myself that he took the brunt of my own mental health issues.
I am also so confused - he told me that he doesn't feel any differently about me then he has for the past 2 years. Does that mean he hasn't loved me throughout our relationship? Even though he has been telling me for 1.5 years that he does? Added to the fact that he 'doesn't know what love is?'

I don't understand. We have so many amazing recent and distant memories together were we would be really getting on and he seemed and told me how in love with me he was. Very recent. Although this post makes our relationship look bleak these bad events were spanned over 2 years. The vast majority of our time spent together was great - or at least that's how I see it. But I don't understand how he doesn't even seem to remember most of these good times. Yet he can refer back to the bad ones so easily?

For example: The weekend before all of this happened I went to his house. We had a great weekend together he said so himself during that weekend. Yet when we had the discussion about my negativity after the drunk argument he gave that weekend as an example of where I'm negative. Just before I got the train to go home I cooked me and him a very quick jarred pasta sauce with a tin of tuna. I really do not like salty food and the jarred sauce was very salty (I am honestly not otherwise fussy with food- but since I usually only cook fresh pasta sauces, jarred sauces taste extra salty to me). I commented that it was a bit too salty for me and left most of my food for him to eat (he eats an insane amount and always really appreciates peoples leftovers) and cooked myself some 2 minute noodles. He said that my negativity there annoyed him. I asked him what he would want to me to do in that situation, lie? He said no I want you to be honest but I would have just wanted you to enjoy it and eat it. I would understand that this would be annoying and rude if someone else had cooked it but I had made it myself. It only took 5 minutes to make and he is usually really happy with extra food. Then I just went I made myself something else quick that I would actually enjoy, no complaints. All he could seem to remember from this weekend was this one event that happened right before I left, nothing else.

I am so confused at what the hell has happened to our relationship, and I cannot get answers from him. It hurts to love someone so much and them not feel the same way back. It hurts that he does not even seem to like me as a person. I wish I could be there with him and help him through it. I feel so useless and like I failed. I am worried that it might have been our relationship that caused his depression. I was a difficult girlfriend from the beginning.

I realise this post make him look like a d*** but he wasn't. The majority of the time he was a very affectionate, compromising and loving partner.
Last edited by a moderator:


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
The West Country
I don't think it makes him look like a dick, but I am left wondering (having read all of this) if anything you do will be enough for him?
It sounds like you've made sacrifices, compromises and agreed to change yourself - and yet it seems he's still unhappy. I'm not saying he's selfish, but I do think that the depression might be making him very self-absorbed in some ways.
I'm sure he did/does love you but it seems he's at a point where he needs some space and from the sounds of things, that might be a good thing so that he can sort his head out and make some decisions about what he really wants.

I'm sorry if that's not what you wanted me to say. I'm not entirely sure what you're wanting in terms of a response..
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