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Relationship Health Message Board

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I recently (last week) split with my boyfriend - well I guess we have it's hard to tell, but yes, I think so. He has mental health problems (depression, anxiety). In February he shut me out of his life completely for a couple of months when his mum died. He wouldn't answer the phone, emails etc. and at that point I didn't know where he lived as we'd not been dating very long.

He contacted me again in May and I agreed to go out with him. I tend to be forgiving, especially if I can see valid reasons for things and this was definitely such a case. Everything was fine until last Monday. He'd told me a few weeks back that he'd fallen in love with me and I had fallen for him. We had talked a bit about the future and started to make some plans (might have seemed too early, but I usually rate on my parents' scale of getting engaged after 8 weeks, so... (possibly not the best idea)).

Anyhow, several things happened all at once last week that have sent him back into a deep depression and worsened his anxiety. He phoned to say he couldn't do 'us' anymore. It was devastating for me. I've posted on the depression forum, but I really want help for me now because this has torn me to pieces...

He hasn't contacted me since last Wednesday and going by past behaviour, he won't be again (at least not until he sorts himself out again). It's so worrying and I know that I really want to be in a stable relationship with someone; not worrying every day that they're going to suddenly run off or withdraw in on themselves. He doesn't seem to understand that his behaviour is hurtful to me or that I would be concerned. It's all about him and his pain, never about mine.

I think this is tough for me because in the past boyfriends have dumped me or I them and there have been personality issues or whatever, but with this guy it's his mental illness that causes his behaviour. He means everything he says, but his depression and anxiety escalate to such an extent that he shuts everyone out... including me. I know he loves me and I love him more than anyone I have ever met. But I know I can't go back to him ever because finally I see that it's detrimental to my family, but most of all to me.

I don't think I can cope with him doing this to me for a third (4th, 5th...) time. How do I even begin to move on from this? It's tearing me up inside. I really wanted to be the one to help him through, but I'm not sure I can be the one to take away his pain...

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