OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Saturday, April 5

#6255

QUESTION: So, me and my S.O. have been together for about a year and a few months now but I've slowly started to realize that I don't have the same feelings for her anymore. We have a number of irreversible inconsistencies and she has a few issues with her mental health such as anxiety and depression. I'm going to tell her about my feelings to her once the term is over, despite the fact that she has a trip coming up in May, but I'm not really sure how to go on with it. For both of us, this was our first serious relationship, and we have shared a bit in this time span.

TL;DR - Does anyone have any breakup advice for a guy who is dating a woman with depression and anxiety?

18 comments

  1. It's a shame that your love for her can't help her overcome these issues and support her. But let her know sooner than later. As someone who has suffered from anxiety, depression and an eating disorder, nothing is going to come easy for her. But if you don't love her, let her know so she can have as much time as possible to recover. I hope she will be strong enough to find the help she needs, and meet someone who will be there for her.

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    1. It doesn't sound like OP is breaking up with her because of the depression and anxiety, but is looking for a way to break up with her without causing additional pain. Although, the depression and/or anxiety is probably having an impact on the relationship as well, it sounds more like a case of them growing apart or not working out. I don't think OP should be shamed into staying with his SO because she happens to have depression. This is coming from someone who also has severe depression issues. I think people who only stick around because you're depressed and they are scared to dump you or stop being friends with you aren't healthy relationships. Personally I'd hate to discover that the people I love don't actually love me in return but are just sticking around out of obligation to help their 'depressed friend'.

      "It's a shame your love for her can't help her overcome these issues and support her"? You sound like if OP loved her enough she'd be able to overcome these issues. You can't love someone with depression better.

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    2. Thats not what I meant, but take it as is. What I meant was very clear. In my personal experience, being in the relationship that I'm in today has allowed my boyfriend to help me solve problems and provide the support I needed to overcome my eating disorder. He was the only one that I could open up to about this. And, therefore he has helped me. If you continued on reading my post, I do give advice to what I think OP should do. Instead of targeting my post, why don't you suggest other ideas for OP ?

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    3. Also, I didn't say "It's a shame that you don't love her because of her issues…"

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    4. I copied word for word what you said and was commenting how it came across to me. I never added the "because", you just did that.

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  2. Make it clean. Don't let it drag on for weeks.

    A clean break will make it easier for both of you.

    End it now. She'll be fine through exams.

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    1. End it now she'll be fine through finals? You're really insensitive 2.

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    2. If she can't deal with a breakup during finals then she is going to have serious problems in life. Shit happens.

      It's unfair to her and you to stick with her any longer.

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    3. That's what depression is... you can't deal with things. And it sounds like it already is causing her serious problems in life. No need to pile more on by breaking up with her in an insensitive way.
      It may be unfair to stick with her a little longer when you know you want to leave, but it's also unfair and inconsiderate too to break it off with her right before a stressful period of her life when you KNOW she would have trouble handling it even at a normal time.

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    4. I've gone through 2 breakups just before/during exams and eventually you deal with it, but it occupies a lot of your thoughts when you should be studying and makes it difficult to concentrate. Especially since this is her first serious relationship, OP please ignore 2 and wait until after exams. I have resented both of my exes that ended it during finals season because of how inconsiderate and selfish it was. They both ended it when it was convenient for them (finished their exams, etc).

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  3. I have depression & anxiety as well and there's no easy way to do it. The best you can do is to be honest, straightforward and as nice as you can be about it. Before her trip sounds like a good idea because she'll still have something to look forward to and lift her spirits.
    If you still care about her wellbeing (and it sounds like you do) then definitely don't follow 2's advice.

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  4. 1. Wait until her finals are over. Otherwise you are a jerk.

    2. Be honest and straightforward about it. Saying that you've grown apart is enough - blaming her mental health issues probably won't make this easier on either of you.

    3. Ensure, at the end of the conversation, that she identifies some source of support to help her deal with the feelings (a counselor, a friend, a parent, etc)

    4. Don't cut off communication if she has (a reasonable number and type of) follow-up questions, but set healthy boundaries. No post-breakup FWB because it can be an emotional rollercoaster.

    5. Be respectful, be clear, be kind. Share your appreciation for her value as a person and the time you've shared together.

    6. Let her be the one who decides when the breakup conversation is over. Let her talk it out and get things clear with you - it may take a few extra hours, but it will save weeks of suffering.

    7. Try not to do it when you see her in a period of particularly bad anxiety or depression.

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    1. this is the best answer

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    2. This is really good sensitive advice. To expand on #4 I'd suggest that you do ask for time (physically) apart for at least a few months so that you can both heal, not reopen wounds from the relationship. Communication is okay but I've seen too many friends try to just immediately have a friendship with their very recent ex - as in, go out for coffee and have lunch together and stuff - and I don't think it is ever a good idea that soon after breaking up.

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  5. Do it before her trip in May. Let her have a good time then.

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  6. Do it after finals, before the trip. Don't expect her to not be angry or upset with you. Just because you don't "love her" anymore doesn't mean you can't support her through her depression and anxiety, which are especially brutal to deal with alone. Breakups are much worse when you're depressed, particularly when you decide the other person is simply "not your problem" anymore. I think to take that position is being both a bad friend and a bad person; if you ever cared about her, at all, you'll want to make this as easy as possible for her.

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    1. Depends on the situation man, sometimes you really have to just wash your hands of it. Not saying this is the case, but there are plenty of cases.

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