So I broke up with my boyfriend of two years Monday evening. Love him something fierce, but he's in the midst of his second deep depression spell of the relationship, not seeking help, and it just hit me that I hadn't enjoyed anything about being his girlfriend in a long time. Even at his best, he has his challenges. We've always suspected Asperger's (aversion to touch, high anxiety, freezes up when emotions run high, experiences something almost like physical pain upon both giving or receiving complements, just to name a few traits) but that has yet to be confirmed, since he avoids therapists and psychologists like the plague. That stuff was easy to navigate for awhile. It was kind of a source of joy for us both that I could read his signals of affection without regular cuddling or compliments or "I'm so glad to see you" smiles. He had his ways of showing me how much I mean to him.
But then he fell and there was no budging him. I know lasting relationships take work and there are always going to be rough patches, but there was just no joy in it for me anymore. It was a tough decision, and part of me hurts like hell and misses him so bad, but I'm just so done. So ready to shine and dance and sparkle and eventually-someday-when-I'm-ready find some boy or girl who will be like "damn girl mmmm" when I walk through the door. I feel wildly . . . relieved. Which tells me I did the right thing.
Anyone else have stories of breaking up with depressed partners? Did you feel like you were jumping ship? How did you manage that? How often did you "check in", if at all? We had three days of no-contact and then he texted me today about some song he heard at work, which turned into a brief back-and-forth. He's miserable and doesn't have any close friends in the city besides his wary now-ex girlfriend. He lives alone. He used to self-harm but that was like a decade ago, during a time in his life that he now rolls his eyes about. In what capacity is it appropriate or helpful for me to help him? Do I continue to urge him to seek professional help, once we've had a little more time apart? Or do I back off with that shit? Ugh. I just hate knowing that he feels rejected and inadequate and small, and knowing that my decision and my leaving made him feel that way. He's a good, but battered, person. He deserves to feel good. He deserves to feel loved and safe and stable and happy.
And there's nothing I can do to make him feel those things. So I'm going to slather on a mask, throw something from Lush into my tub, and say to hell with it for tonight.