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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3527
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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Last week I broke up with my partner of 10&1/2 months. When

Customer Question

Last week I broke up with my partner of 10&1/2 months. When we had been together only 6 months he suffered a major problem with his mental health and until he was diagnosed with psychotic depression life was very hard with him saying a lot of terrible things and constantly accusing me of cheating. Too much to write here. He was getting very abusive, right up to his first suicide attempt. After he was diagnosed and started receiving treatment I stayed with him and basically took over responsibility for making sure he ate, didn't kill himself and generally being there. He has no friends and hates his job, which he returned to after 3 months for financial reasons. I have consistently refused to let him move in with me although he was here a lot. I have been worried about our relationship as I felt it was too intense and having ended my marriage 2 years ago, I wasn't ready for the big step of settling down. I have given up most of my solo hobbies and I was constantly telling him I needed space. Just one or too evenings during the week. Last week he came over and started being moody and sulky and put on his coat to leave. Long story. But he said he felt 'insecure'. Since I don't want to be pushed into a situation I'm not ready for and the argument put me right back in the bad place I had been 4 months ago, I ended the relationship. I feel guilty, sad and confused and I miss him. But I don't want to go back. He keeps phoning me, saying he'll stop being so needy, give me space etc. If I went back it would only be for his sake. I do still love him but being apart feels much better. There is nobody else involved and I don't plan to date again for at least 3-6 months. I am 51 with 3 grown up children. The youngest is severely disabled but now lives in supported living. My ex is just turned 60. He was badly abused by his father. His wife died of cancer 11 years ago. He occasionally sees his brothers and his step daughters but hasn't told them about his illness. So he's pretty much alone. I do feel sorry for him but I don't want to go back out of pity, and end up being his only support. That makes him too needy. Please share your thoughts. X
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear of your pain and anguish around all of this and I must say you have done a terrific job taking care of many others around you, but it seems like now is the time, where you get to focus on you and how you feel and what you need. It is natural to feel sad and mourn the loss of that relationship, but I must say you sound very clear to me about what you want and desire...and to echo that back to you, I hear a woman that has love for him, but is not desirous of being in the intense relationship that it was and with you being his caretaker, sole supporter, etc. That is a lot to take on. So, again, to me, you sound very clear about what you want moving forward and I believe you can let yourself get there fully, once you allow the guilt to disappear. Sometimes love can be there, but that doesn't mean it turns out to be a long term thing. You were there with him in many crucial moments so be proud and kind to yourself around that.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. There is the selfish side of me, which is dominant at the moment telling me to look after myself. My two daughters, best friend and mother agree. However, I struggle with the idea of abandoning a sick person in need. I have contacted his Mental Health team and hope they will support him.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
I haven't heard a selfish side in you at all...I hear a loving and supportive person maybe to the detriment of the self. I am glad you have contacted his team, that is a beautiful thing and will give his professionals the opportunity to provide whatever care is needed for him.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The temptation to go back is overwhelming. He rang me again tonight. I know we still love each other. I don't want this relationship but he is being so nice. Says he will change etc etc.. What am I going to do?
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
As far as I have heard he has always been nice, but that does not mean you desire the full relationship with him.... Read what you wrote above...I don't want this relationship...follow what you want and you can still be in each others lives in some form if you desire but maybe not for a relationship.