Devastating breakup


Devastating breakup


your avatar   Dia, 34-year-old woman

I am 34 years old and my boyfriend is 29 years old. I have been in a relationship for 2 years with my boyfriend. Last summer we had some real problems with him chatting with other women online. I also found out that he cheated on me within the first year.

I have NEVER done this before, but he agreed to go to therapy and I agreed I would try and forgive him. The next year was surprisingly good. He seemed extremely devoted to me. I saw a loving, attentive side to him I never had before. He would tell me all the time how much he loved me and saw a bright future together. I struggled a lot with our issues, but I actually saw how hard he was working and started to feel good about us. We continued on and things just got better. I still struggled but loved him very much and wanted to give it a fair chance.

Last week we were talking about our future and I asked him, "Do you see us together when we're 50?". He replied, "Nothing would make me happier". Well, 3 days later he broke up with me. It was such a traumatic event. He cried and ran out the door. 2 days later, I received a letter from him, basically saying he knows that most of the relationship problems were about his issues, mistakes, and his chronic depression. He says his heart aches from this breakup, but he feels he needs to be on his own - that this decision is right for him.

I am DEVASTATED. I worked so hard to try and trust him again. He told me he was happy and things felt good to him. The minute I started to really see some progress, he bailed. The pain I feel is so bad. I have not left my house for days. I have not responded to his letter. What's the point? I guess I am just looking for some insight or advice. THANK YOU FOR READING!


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Dia,

Of course you are suffering, all the more so because your hopes were raised so high, then everything came crashing down.

I have seen this pattern before. Depression is sort of an inner monster that tells you lies. It does everything possible to kill you, as slowly and with as much misery as possible. In this instance, your guy's depression was whispering lies to him like, "She is such a wonderful woman, I don't deserve her" and "The best thing I can do for Dia is to get out of her life so she can find someone who can make her happy" and "What do I think I am doing, hanging out with a lady like Dia? She'd be better off if I was dead!"

I don't know the exact lies, but they will have been all of this type. He listened to his depression, and left you in the mistaken belief that he was doing you a favor. If you haven't done so already, then contact him. Send him your question to Queendom, and if you like, my answer. Tell him you love him, depressed or not, and want to be there for him. He won't believe that he deserves this, but tell him that doesn't matter. He does not need to earn your love -- he has it anyway. Then twist his arm to go to therapy. Find a psychologist who uses one or all of Cognitive, Interpersonal or Narrative therapies. There is every chance that within a couple of months, he will have a new view of the world, and of himself.

Good luck!


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:


Appreciate everything you have, no matter how minor it may seem.
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
William Shakespeare
Depression is a mental health issue, just like the flu is a physical ailment.