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My long-term boyfriend told me that my mental health has affected him and he just wants to be friends as though nothing more ever happened. This really hurts me. What should I do?

170 Answers
Last Updated: 01/16/2022 at 8:42pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Tara Davis, Doctorate in Counselling Psychology


I have worked successfully with a wide range of difficulties. Nothing is more important than developing a warm, compassionate relationship with someone you can trust

Top Rated Answers
July 29th, 2016 9:47am
This must be so difficult, and speaking on a personal level I can only imagine how hurtful it must have been to hear that from someone you trust and love. I hope you know that you didn't 'choose' your mental health condition - we all have to live in this crazy world and face the brunt of so many difficult situations on a daily basis. What he said might make you feel that your mental health is your fault, but I hope you know that it isn't true. What is true though, is how you choose to deal with it, and how you step onto the path of recovery. Understand though, that what we go through might sometimes be projected outwards, and it might be taxing on the people around us, especially when they spend a lot of time with us and eventually (because of concern for us) they subconsciously shoulder our burdens too. Try to respect his decision, because a relationship and being with someone is a choice - and if he chooses to back out of it then it isn't something you can control. Perhaps at this point, take this as an opportunity to spend some time with yourself, and get yourself healthier and happier first, while he does the same. It might be tough, and a lonely journey, but I can bet you there are people willing to be there for you the whole way. If your long-term boyfriend isn't one of them, then that's just a fact we have to face. It doesn't mean you can't find happiness or love. Take this time to look inward and in the future, if it's still in your realm of interests, you could revisit this relationship.
July 16th, 2016 4:06am
Though this may seem unfair to you, you need to consider his feelings as well. it can be difficult to be with someone you constantly worry about, but then again, if he couldn't stay with you through this rough patch, he probably wasn't worth it anyway.
August 10th, 2016 2:34pm
Honestly. Love has a way of showing you that you can be loved with a mental condition. I also have a mental condition and I've bumped it to many men that have brushed me off. Keep him as a friend. And find your destiny. Someone who loves you will love you unconditionally and be with you through thick and thin. Love yourself first.
June 30th, 2017 5:54am
It sounds like maybe you both need a break to try and focus on your health. While you are in a lot of pain and going through a lot as you try to grapple with the reality of your mental disease, he has had to go through it with you, from the outside. This can cause a lot of pain and changes in his own mental health. The only way the two of you can continue to be healthy and to find a balance in your lives would be to seek help separately. If you try to pressure him into staying with you, when he feels it would be best if he wasn't your boyfriend, then it would only cause more pain and stress to your relationship. And if he were to stay just to save some you both the pain right now, it would also cause more pain and stress to your relationship down the road. It can be extremely hard to deal with both your mental health and the pain of a breakup, but if you don't get the help you need now, and if he doesn't get the space he needs now, then later on, you both will be worse-off, and might not have a healthy way to even stay friends because of the possibility of the relationship turning toxic for both of you. Of course I don't know the entire situation, but speaking from my own experience, I would say that it's always best to give people their space, rather than let your fear of being without them ruin your chances of actually keeping them in your life. Then you can use that time apart to also try and help yourself and gain some of your own strength. I hope you find some peace of mind soon; you really deserve it.
November 27th, 2016 8:13pm
Hey. I am vision impaired and my ex boyfriend thought he could get away with saying something just as horrible. I hurt a lot and the pain lasted me for over two years. I haven't forgotten it. Two things that I have learned are: 1. I'm better off without such narrow minded, insensitive beings who are far from humane. 2. Those words have taught me to never let another excuse for a human get away with something like that. I'm a strong human being and I can put people through hell for saying or doing something bad to me or anyone else. Hope I helped. Take care. :)
September 9th, 2016 2:14am
Sometimes ones mental health impacts people in a negative way & they feel as if they can't handle it anymore. Maybe due to changing in their lives. If you isn't willing to stay throughout your struggles, then kick him to the curb. He isn't worth it & someday you'll find someone who is. It takes patience and yes it hurts but hurting is learning and that only makes you stronger. Push through it ❤
August 17th, 2016 11:20pm
This recently happened to me! The best advice I have to give you is take some "me time" and try to help yourself. I know it hurts a lot, but if he can't help you to work things out then he was probably a more toxic relationship. Try to find someone ready to help take care of you when you're ready for another relationship. :)
September 30th, 2016 7:24am
There is a possibility that your boyfriend was never interested in you apart from physical favours...Immediately getting out of such relation could be an option...
March 3rd, 2017 12:47pm
If it hurts you then you shouldn't be talking to him. I've been in the same boat, if you're finding that it really does hurt talking to him then just tell him that you need a break to come to term with things, and if you find that that isn't working you should honestly cut off contact. Don't spend time with someone who isn't making you feel good or loved.
July 24th, 2016 10:56pm
You should take care of your mental health. When this has been taken care of....Discuss what type of relation you'd like to have with your long-term boyfriend.
September 15th, 2016 8:56pm
I think you should talk to him and try and see what is affecting him about it. That way you guys can work it out instead of losing something that you have worked on.
July 15th, 2016 2:29am
It will good if you be honest with him and tell him that you can give him the break he wants but you cannot just pretend that nothing happened.
July 27th, 2016 1:05am
Understand that some people aren't as strong or readily resilient when it comes to helping someone with mental health problems. I'd recommend spacing away from him, in all seriousness though. It doesn't seem like being "just friends" immediately after will do anything more than hurt you. My boyfriend has to be reminded/explained that I'm trying hard with my mental health stuff because he's never experienced it and it's a fact I have to face.
September 1st, 2016 9:02pm
Try to acknowledge his feelings too, maintaining mental health can be draining on both you and your loved ones. I would try to talk without placing blame and see if there are any alternative solutions. However, it is most important to take care of YOURSELF first. If he can't handle it, then it's his loss.
September 26th, 2016 5:57am
Sometimes we have to let go of those people who doesn't wants to stick by our side through tough times
September 28th, 2016 10:43am
Perhaps it is time to work on you! You are unique, and you are not alone in mental illness. Do something that makes you feel good about you. Speak to trusted friends, and family. Keep positive people close to you, and let the negativity go. This might hurt now, but in time it will fade.
October 27th, 2016 7:46pm
Tell him that you can't control all of it, but you should choose. He may not like it, but you are being just the way you are.
January 10th, 2018 1:52pm
The best thing to do is to first have an honest, open discussion with him about it. Tell him exactly how you feel, ensuring you do so assertively e.g. "I feel hurt when..." instead of "You hurt me when you said that...". It is important that you also invite him and give him the opportunity to explain himself and tell you exactly how he feels and his reasons for wanting to be just friends. There is no one answer on what you should do, because it depends on numerous factors: - the quality of your relationship - how much patience, love, commitment, empathy, coping skills and personal resources he has. - your coping skills, what sort of mental health struggles you are managing, how motivated and committed you are to improving your mental health With these factors in mind, it is ideal if both of you could discuss and come to an agreement of what is best for both his and your health and wellbeing, but that requires both of you having an open mind to seeing each other's perspectives and acknowledging that what is best for both of you might not necessary be the least painful. It might be that he is open to giving it another go, and both of you could commit to using strategies to improve your coping skills and mental health. Alternatively, it may be best that you break up, in which case it is crucial you prioritise self-care, being extra kind to yourself and seeking social support. I wish you all the best
May 6th, 2018 12:06pm
Give him space because I have a feeling that he needs help and maybe that you should see a therapist.One time before I went through a break up. I really liked the guy but his behavior and morals were not something I understood then. I wanted to leave but had to do it privately because he was not safe as far as loosing his temper at his mothers but when I tried to do it behind his back it did not work. At his parents house I felt trapped. I was abused and I was told by his mom too see a therapist. I liked his parent but his mom told me that as well meaning since she already had a good ability to see that when you enter toxic relationships it may be two and break ups with space is not always forever. Just if you ask that it must have made you think we'll maybe ? I do know you would be wise to speak with a professional when in a relationship anytime because I would have been so much more aware if I would have had some kind of support like this place with therapists. You also should definitely take some self help by as you find out from a professional what is toxic and if the other person says this just do know that this is not all your fault . He is saying something as a need for space maybe he is needing to regroup and is hard to say since so many people have had these experiences I hate to see the other side of something happens because this person wouldn't let the need of space be allowed. It is hard not to take this personal that why it is best to be a better self aware person and then you will know what you need to and get your space since it is a good thing to know thyself and love yourself first.If someone perhaps does have a mental issue what if they would not be able to know because the mental illness was hurting them so it turned into a worse personality and then you would have to be aware since it would be a fault to know you could be harming the person you love and that's you by knowing that you did not care or know the proper thing to know in this day there is so many people who are able to get a better life because they were not worried about finding out because being human is knowing this is better than doing nothing. Mental health is very helpful to check up on so let him get the space and say I am not going to not do that for myself. This man has you looking at yourself and you were in a relationship right and this is why both sides need some good advice. It has to be the choice you make. If you were harming him it would be wise if he went to see why he felt this way because when a person is not happy with their own self they must know if they make the choice to get the help to know why he is blaming you or asking for space by saying your mental health. Just all I heard was space. Two people and not sure but it is not yet understood why and it is never to late to find out and I hope you get that this in a good way even though any relationship is going to have obstacles. The better you know your needs and who you are better then this will be an easier situation. Hope you have good luck and I wish I did this a long time ago since I saw so many things I missed by not knowing and thinking only crazy people need help. I was not aware that this is normal. It is not normal to be unwell after all you deserve it.
June 12th, 2018 7:04am
Hi dear, all you have to do is to respect his decision. He wants to stay as your friend because he need sometime to sees his self. If that guy truely loves you, he will accept as whatever you are and will support you in everything. I know it's super hard to let go someone but you have too because it would be the best for both of you.
July 15th, 2016 2:21am
You should tell him how you feel about the situation and maybe start writing your emotions down so that you can manage them better so that you're not ending up lashing out and regretting something
July 20th, 2016 7:47pm
Time heals all wounds. There is always a chance that you'll be together again and completely losing him would be a painful ordeal. I suggest trying to be friends with him after a conversation about the end of your relationship and how you're feeling. Remember to put yourself first, in this situation.
July 31st, 2016 12:39pm
Seems like your mental health issues may have gotten to a overwhelming point and he is choosing to step back and regain some sort of balance. He may feel like he doesn't have control or isn't able to help you much. If I were you I would ask him if there is anything you could do to help him regain what kept him next to you till this point. I would also express my feelings and my struggles in a peaceful way. If someone feels they cannot continue anymore it isn't just because of you but because of them so don't feel too emotional or guilty. There really is no need for that. It's up to them how much they can go on a common way with you or not. And you can't do more about that than this.
August 3rd, 2016 10:32pm
Accept his feelings and move on. Work on loving yourself so you're mental health problems go away and you can be strong.
August 4th, 2016 11:58pm
I suggest you try your hardest to move and or try and ask him where you went wrong so you can take his advice and try and improve your mental health if this doesn't work then ask your friends to help you or even a family member and if not I recommend 7 cups.
August 7th, 2016 9:18pm
If you're mental health is fragile, then you don't need negative people around you. Everyone who keeps you from making progress and keeps you from reaching happiness by making you feel guilty about anything it is not good for your health. Negativity and unsupportive people should be avoived, that's my personal opinion.
August 25th, 2016 3:38pm
If someone you were once romantically involved with no longer wants that level of relationship, it might be prudent to respect that decision and move on with your life accordingly.
August 27th, 2016 6:17am
Have you tried seeking professional help so this doesn't affect all your relationships in the future?
August 27th, 2016 5:14pm
I understand you are hurt, but it's good for both of you. He is in crisis, you should be supportive towards him. Be the best-est friend he can ever have. If you truely love him, you won't mind the status and be there for him no matter what. Love is not always about boyfriends and girlfriends. It's the bond and unconditional love without a label. And did he get help, I mean from a therapist or something? If not, then convince him. I personally experienced something familiar in my life, I'd like to listen from you. If you ever want to talk, leave me a message anytime. Thank you.
September 3rd, 2016 7:20pm
You have to understand and respect what he wants, but you need to ask yourself if this is really the person you want to date if he can accept you for who you are,