My Depressed Boyfriend Broke Up With Me And Feels He Needs To Be Alone...how Do I Show Him That We Can Be Together?

Question

Asked by linsp

My Depressed Boyfriend Broke Up With Me And Feels He Needs To Be Alone...how Do I Show Him That We Can Be Together?

My boyfriend broke up with me a couple weeks ago...he suffers from depression and anxiety. Thing's just recently started going downhill, causing him to quit his job and to be admitted to the hospital. He didn't stay overnight or anything drastic...but it was a breaking point for him and he was prescribed new medication and sees a psychiatrist.

Just a week prior to this, he would tell me all the time how much he loved me...how glad he was to have me because he knew he was going through a difficult time, and that it made it easier knowing i was there... But after he went to the hospital that day, he stopped telling me loved me, stopped being affectionate and loving all together. It was like he was pulling away from me. I would try to make plans and he would always say "maybe" and then eventually would agree, although sounding like he had no interest.

When he broke up with me, he told me he couldn't be in a relationship right now and that he needed to be alone to figure his head out. And that he can't be happy with someone when he's not happy with himself and that he feels like he's changed. He said he still loves me, but that it's not fair to me when he needs to be alone all the time. He said he doesn't know what he wants...so i said "so you love me, but don't know what you want?" And he said "yes..i know it's confusing". He couldn't explain much to me...it was like, he didn't even know why he was feeling like this. Also, that he still wants me in his life, but can't be romantic with me.

I am so torn right now...although we have only been together for a short time (four months), what we had was real. And to think that this man was so in love with me just a month ago..i just feel like i don't know what to do or where we stand. I told him a week ago that i accept that he needs to be alone to figure himself out and that all I can say is that "i love you and want to be with you." We haven't talked since then...and its killing me. I am so stuck on thinking who he was just a short time ago and how he felt so lucky to have me to just withdrawing and wanting to be alone, completely. He told me he was getting better when I asked him if his new meds were working...why doesn't he think we can work as a team and get through this, if I have made it clear that I'm more than willing?

I don't know what to do/think...

Answer

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and, unfortunately, you aren't alone (or maybe that will make you feel better). This is pretty typical behavior for depressed men who aren't getting adequately treated and by that I mean, aren't in therapy as well as taking medication. You can't wait around forever, but what you can do is try to live your life well and if things turn around, great - if not, you've still got your life. You might think about seeing a therapist yourself to work through this.

There's a book about male depression that's quite good - "I Don't Want to Talk About It" by Terence Real. I think it might give you some good insight into what's going on with your boyfriend. There's also a good blog, called Storied Mind, that has a lot of postings from people in the same spot you're in. It's run by a man, John Folk-Williams, who has lived through this himself.

You have a lot to think about but there are resources and I wish you all the best as you try to figure this out. Thanks for your question.