My Depressed Boyfriend Broke Up With Me And I Don't Know How To Feel About The Situation.
Originally asked by Community Member Nicole
My Depressed Boyfriend Broke Up With Me And I Don’t Know How To Feel About The Situation.
I’m sorry this is so long. I feel like the full back story is needed to get a good grasp of my situation.
I went out with a boy who has MDD for a little short of a year.
When I first met him and we started going out, neither of us knew he had depression. He was very enthusiastic about us and did everything he could for me, telling me that he was falling hard for me.
And so, it was a shock when he suddenly changed. He became very withdrawn and we stopped seeing each other as much. We would be in the same house and not be together because he would be sleeping (until the late evening) and, even though he knew I was there, wouldn’t get out of bed. After a few months of this excessive sleeping, withdrawal, flaking on plans and just not seeing him in general, I asked what was wrong. He explained how he wasn’t happy, thought about his own death, couldn’t enjoy things anymore, ect. He said that he’s felt this way for years. As a psych student, it sounded to me like textbook depression. I told him this and suggested seeing someone, so he did. He was instantly put on Lexapro and began therapy.
In the 6 months that he surrendered to his depression, he had caused his house mates and friends to grow to resent him. They all told me to leave him, but I felt so strongly for him and wanted to be there for support, especially since no one really cared for him anymore.
When he told me he loved me (he was the first to say it), I knew how I felt for him and felt secure in my decision to stand by him through his illness. It was hard. I spent many weekends alone because I would make plans with him and blow off others, only to have him never meet me or pick up when I called. Then, sometimes he would randomly get the urge to go out and wouldn’t even bother to ask me to come or wait for me to meet him, even though he knew how much I wanted us to spend time together.
When we did spend time together, we didn’t do much. We’d watch a movie or just lay in bed. He would always initiate the physical stuff as soon as we were alone and would stop being as affectionate once he was sexually satisfied, which made me feel used. But he would say things about our love that were so passionate and beautiful, that I believed he truly cared for me. Sometimes, when he would go out drinking, he would randomly call me and tell how much he loved me and how much I meant to him with extreme fervor.
By the end of the school year, he seemed to be improving. He had to take a medical withdrawal that semester (his sleeping and apathy caused him to fail many classes), but he seemed to be determined to do better the next time. He spent a week at my house right after the year ended and it was wonderful. He seemed to enjoy life and enjoy us. He went back to his home a few hours away from mine, but kept in touch really well. Better than he did when we were together at school. He called all the time, assured me he loved me. I went to visit him for a week and we seemed perfect. He was still facing sleeping problems, but that seemed like the only issue. I had no idea that would be the last time we’d be happy together.
I left for Ireland for 3 weeks, and the first week I was there we spoke briefly over Facebook. He told me he loved and missed me. I returned 2 weeks later, and in the parking lot of the airport he called me and told me he couldn’t be with me anymore.
He told me that he didn’t love me. He said he he didn’t feel anything for me anymore and hadn’t for a while. It was there at first, but then he said he only thought he had feelings for me. He was really cold when he told me about this and rather harsh.
A few days later, he texted me apologizing for how he was on the phone. He said he had forgotten to fill his prescription for Lexapro, and therefore was off it for a day. The withdrawal caused a deep depression. He said that he didn’t feel_nothing,_ just not enough. He couldn’t see a future with me. He said i was an amazing person and wished he could be the person I wanted. He told me that he still wanted to text and talk as much as we did, that I was his best friend.
The second day of this semester, I ran into to him. We spoke in person for the first time in weeks. We spoke for hours and he surprised me by asking me if I wanted to go out with him again and see where it went. I said yes, and before we parted he pulled me in for a passionate kiss.
The next day, we saw each other and he decided he want us back in a relationship. Everything went back to normal.
Over the next two weeks, we spent only a little time with each other. I had to go home on the weekend for work. He wrote me an email one Friday night explaining how he couldn’t think clearly before, but now he could see that he loved me and that I was the only thing he could see in his life. Mutual “friends” said that he told them the same thing about us, that the meds had him confused but now he could think clearly. He explained later that he was really drunk when he wrote that, but he still meant it. We saw each other a few times. I was unhappily shocked to learn that he had started smoking weed, something he never did before. But I ignored it.
I told him I wanted to have sex with him (I have a difficult history with intimacy and am still a virgin due to it, and he knew this) and I really felt sure with that decision. I still wish I could have given him my virginity. But it never happened.
The next day, he came over to my dorm and immediately initiated the physical. He essentially put us in the position for sex and pulled out a condom, but I told him it just didn’t feel right that particular day. He tried hard to convince me otherwise, but said he understood.
The next day he called and said he couldn’t be with me anymore. He said that he was wrong about me and didn’t have feelings for me. He didn’t love me at all. He kept assuring me that it was not my fault. He kept saying that he should love me, that I was perfect, but something was wrong with him. He kept saying that he was broken. I still don’t get it.
We saw each other to get my things back. He seemed sort of flat when we spoke. I cried and told him how much I loved him and how much this hurts me. He just kept saying sorry. He repeated that I was his best friend and he didn’t want me out of his life. I told him that it would be hard to see him for a while. I gave him a hug and he barely touched me. I had to ask him for a real hug to get him to hold me. He told me he hoped we could hang out again in the future.
A week later, word got to him that I told people how emotionless and uncaring he seemed when he broke up with me the second time. He called me and essentially berated for saying as such and that he was a good boyfriend and this was a healthy break up. It is far from it. It hurt me that he didn’t realize how much I sacrificed for him during our time together. He told me he did feel guilty about what he did and did care about me. He was crying while he shouted at me. He made me feel super guilty for questioning if his behavior was due to the Lexapro or depression. I haven’t done anything wrong, so why did I let him guilt me?
He apologized later that night for lashing out at me, saying it wasn’t my fault. An hour later, I recieved an email from one of his old housemates and an ex-best friend explaining to me why I should just move one. He told me about a side of my ex that I never knew. How he used to ignore my calls, tell people he didn’t care about his girlfriends, and basically used me to make himself feel better. He also told me that my ex began smoking pot regularly during the end of last semester, something I was unaware of. This is radically different from the quiet, sensitive, geeky boy that I thought I knew. This friend also agreed that he noticed a change after my ex began taking Lexapro.
Other house mates and mutual friends have said that he’s a scumbag, and to move on. None of them respect him anymore. They’ve told me how he seems to blow off his disastrous way of ending things with me as “a dick move” and doesn’t really seem to think of it as that bad or important. So, why did he call me crying about the guilt I made him feel? it seems to me as if he’s trying to avoid feeling the guilt.
My main problem now is that I’m just extremely confused. I don’t want to believe the boy I fell in love with was a lie and that the monster that everyone else sees is who he truly is.
He has assured me that our breaking up has nothing to do with me, that he’s broken. Yet, he has also said that it has nothing to do with his depression or Lexapro, that it is just the way he feels. But that seems wrong. How can someone go from believing they love someone, to not having any romantic feelings at all, then regain those feelings ‘‘for sure’’ a month later and THEN decide that don’t have those feelings again in two weeks time? That just seems irrational and not normal. It also hurts that he was ready to have sex with me, knowing important it is to me, and then break up the next day.
Part of me is really angry and hurt. I do feel used and, as bad as this sounds, I find myself wishing that he would feel guilty for using me. But he doesn’t seem guilty at all. In fact, he questioned why I seem hurt and resentful. I told him how I felt like he used me physically during the two weeks we got back together (all we really did was intimate activities) and he didn’t see it that way at all. His friends keep telling me that I should feel this way, that he’s a terrible person. But then the depression factor makes me feel guilty. What can I hold him accountable for? Is his depression a valid excuse for how he’s treated me in the past? Am I allowed to be mad at him?
I also miss him terribly. At least, I miss the person I thought I knew. I don’t know what to believe in anymore. Could it be that I knew the real him under his illness? Was it that only I cared to look past his depression to see the sweet, caring boy on the inside? Or is everyone else right, and he was just playing smooth with me?
I guess I’d like to hear from anyone who has depression and can give me insight on why he has acted like this. And don’t worry about giving me false hope. I have already accepted that we are not meant to be together. I’m am not trying to mend the relationship and I’ve already told myself that I can’t go back to him if he ever asks for me again. I’m not strong enough to be in such a one-sided relationship. I’m only 19, I deserve to live life for a while. He is also not the same person anymore, at all. He told me his weed use is getting out of control and he’s using it as self medication. He also said he’s drinking a lot more now. He’s been missing classes and sleeping until the evening, like before, and still seems unmotivated. I don’t want this “new” him.
I don’t actively talk to him, only sometimes responding when he texts me. Yet, I find myself worrying about him most of the time. His friends here at school have pretty much lost respect for him, to the point of actively making sure he doesn’t come to our parties. Some even hate him. His house mates only put up with him because he’s paying rent. The lease is up next month and those house mates are leaving, so I don’t know where he’s going to live. He said he doesn’t know either. If he stays here, he will essentially be alone. Should I feel guilty if I’m not there for him? Why do I still get anxiety over the thought of him hurting himself or suffering? He’s used me enough and doesn’t appreciate and I just want to stop caring.
I just want to answer these questions for myself. I wish I knew how to feel (angry, mournful, worried, ect). I would be grateful for any insight at all. Does this seem like something depression, anti-depressants, or both could cause? Or could he really be that awful of a person?
I am planning to see a counselor at my university, so don’t worry, I am seeking a professional opinion on all of this. I just want to hear from others who have maybe gone through the same thing or have been in his shoes.
Hi, Nicole -
I guess I’m one of those who’s been in his shoes and treated my wife and kids badly for a long time. It’s great to hear that you’re getting help for yourself. I know from my wife’s experience and that of many people who’ve written to me at Storied Mind over the last few years that living with a depressed partner leads you into a depression of your own - and also the damage of an emotionally abusive relationship.
It’s so understandable that you retain strong feelings for him and think about what he’s going through. Separating is never easy to deal with - there’s always a lot of back and forth in your feelings, doubt about whether you could have done more, anger at his behavior - everything comes up. I would say, though, that the most important thing is for you to be as honest with yourself about the relationship as you can be and put your own wellbeing first. And the more direct and open you can be about your anger and hurt with him, as well as the good feelings, the better that is for him as well. He’s blinding himself to the impact of his behavior on you, and there’s no excuse for that, with or without depression.
My best to you.
You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition.
Answered by: John Folk-Williams