Reply To: Breakup advice & support – really confused

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Hi Chris,
Thank you so much for your considered and open and honest response. I really appreciate the time and care you’ve taken. It means a lot right now.
I’m a pretty methodical person (can you tell I’m not the ADD partner?) so I will respond to the bits that stood out to me the most from your response:

Re: taking him at his word…
Right now that is really difficult for me. It seems like for the first few weeks we were dating he was super into me, and then for the rest of the time…I didn’t feel like he had much time or attention for me. And it is really hard to just believe him when he says one thing but there is no tangible action to back it up…plus not really feeling wanted or loved by him… That’s why I’m in two minds about it. I would like to believe him 100% but I am finding it very hard to trust him, and will probably find it hard in the future as well (if there is a future for us, that is, I still don’t know).

re: two evil partners
Yes, from what I have been reading shame and low self worth/esteem are very common. Before we broke up, my partner said on a few occasions that he felt depressed and wanted to go to regular therapy. He does have a psychologist who he sees, but only once a month, sometimes less. I have recently started using for therapy and have found it useful and supportive for my own depression and anxiety (therapy and medication work best for me) and I recommended it to him. He said he would look into it but yeah…that hasn’t happened. Again because of….seemingly everything that could happen under the sun…has happened and as at the breakup, he hasn’t signed up.

I know it isn’t entirely his fault and I can definitely see and understand that everything would quickly get too much to deal with (I mean, I don’t have first-hand understanding as I don’t have ADD/ADHD but I have some understanding from having anxiety). And yes, he also has very poor self esteem. And he was constantly saying that he didn’t want to upset me and berated himself for disappointing me. Even for little things that in the grand scheme of things…they don’t matter. Yes they might upset me in the moment, but breaking up with me hurt so so so SO SOOOO much more than anything else he could have forgotten, or lost or been late for. So yeah, like you said, it seems he didn’t think he was or is worth being….loved. But he is. If only he could see all his good qualities!

re: getting treatment & being supportive
Yes, I realised that no matter how many times I brought it up or reminded him….that he is going to keep putting off/forgetting going to the appointments to organise the diagnosis and treatment. And there’s nothing I could have or can do about that. I tried to be as supportive as possible but it really didn’t make any difference. I felt really powerless and helpless….and I still do.

re: he does care, being a good partner
I guess I KNOW that he does care…it just doesn’t really FEEL like it most of the time. And certainly now that we have broken up it definitely doesn’t feel like he cares.
He knows he needs medication and therapy and he has expressed a wish to get them…but it’s the doing that is not happening. And it’s so frustrating because he is literally burning himself out because he has poor impulse control (leading to going on drinking benders and horrific hangovers), forgetfulness, can’t switch off at night, doesn’t sleep enough and so is perpetually in a state of exhaustion. I feel like even if he just started with medication which might help him switch off at night, getting a bit more sleep would also do him a world of good. At the very least he would have a bit more energy to do the things he needs to do during the day (whatever that might be at the time – maybe even do all the things).

re: me
I’ll admit that one good thing about not seeing him any longer is that I have more headspace for myself. Whilst I am still very sad that he is gone, and I don’t know if he is coming back, I am trying to take better care of myself. I cared a lot for my partner (and part of me still does) but I need to care for myself just as much. And if he does want to try again later, I can’t do as much for him as I did last time.

Thanks again for your reply and for your well wishes, Chris.