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Relationship Health Message Board

Relationship Health Board Index

Depression can make people do things that they normally wouldn't do if they were coping better. You make some observations in your posts that your boyfriend told you that he needed some distance to figure out some things for himself. If your boyfriend is truly dealing with personal struggles that are causing him to feel depressed, he may be feeling overwhelmed and a little out of control. He may know he needs to make some changes, but he may not be sure what exactly he needs to change or how to go about doing it - so he maybe starting with the conscious stressors that he is aware of, and being in a committed relationship may be one of these stressors. It doesn't necessarily mean you are a bad or tedious girlfriend, or that he is being a dog by wanting some space (for examples). He may be trying to simplify his life to get a better handle on the things that are causing him internal pressure, and the less things he keeps on his plate, the easier he may find it to deal and cope with the things he needs or has to.

Unfortunately, no matter how long you date (or know) someone, you never always know what that person is thinking or feeling. And, depending on circumstances and situations, a person's feeling about someone or something can change, even if things are going good.

If a partner is asking for space and time, it really isn't productive to try to get them to stay or see things your way so they don't leave (examples). As difficult as it is, sometimes all you can do is wish them well and let them know that they are welcome to call/visit/touch base when they are ready.

It's hard to just let someone walk out of your life and from the current way things are/were. But you have no control over another person; you only have control over yourself and how you handle yourself if your partner needs to take some space.

You state that after this long together, your boyfriend does not open up and confide to you. Maybe you can take this time apart to determine if that's the kind of life partner you want. Communication is a big factor when it comes to maintaining relationships. In later years, sometimes communication may be all two people have to work through personal/marital struggles during times of hardship. Just a thought.

In the meantime, your boyfriend has asked for a break after six years of dating. For whatever reason, he feels that he cannot resolve his struggle with you by his side. Again, he may be feeling a little out of control with whatever is going on in his life, but maybe his feelings have changed about the relationship.

Give him some time to sort things out by himself. Don't call him or make attempts to see him right now. Give him his space. Maybe around the week of Christmas, give him a call or drop him a Holiday card and see if he would be interested in meeting for lunch or dinner. If he is not openly receptive, you may want to consider not waiting around on him for a long time - he may need to move on for whatever reason, and then you may want to think about doing the same.

I also read in your posts that you are feeling like a lot of this is your fault. Don't. People's feeling can change sometimes seemingly overnight, and it's always the tendency for the person left behind to self-blame. Looking back, there are always regrets on both sides when a relationship ends. There will always be "should have's" and "could have's". In your relationships, if you're an honest and kind person, that will less room for doubts on your part.

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