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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?

169 Answers
Last Updated: 11/21/2021 at 5:15am
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
March 9th, 2019 8:29pm
You try your absolute best to accept it for what it is. If he's really worth it and you really care and love him, he'll find his way back to you. In the mean time focus on being becoming the best version of you, if we want others to love us we have to love ourselves first. He could love you endlessly but it wouldn't feel right if you don't believe that you deserve every compliment he gives you and all his affection and love he showers you with. You don't need to find someone to be your other half you need someone to be your co-pilot, someone that loves you for who you are
May 2nd, 2019 1:41am
As horrible as it sounds, you have to accept it. Mental health is a really tough issue, and it can take a big toll on people around you as well. This is a common issue, sometimes referred to as vicarious trauma, where other people who hear about your issues start to experience their own issues as a result. This isn't your fault, but other people have to decide what is best for them as well. It isn't wrong for him to want to be happy and take care of his mental health, although he should have had more of a conversation with you before just breaking up.
May 23rd, 2019 6:40pm
As much as this may hurt you, you have to respect his wishes. Mental health can be difficult to handle not just yourself but for the individuals in your life as well. It can be difficult for other especially those who don't have mental health struggles to deal with situations relating to mental health. Although it isn't ideal you have to understand that your significant other or anyone else doesn't owe you anything even regarding your mental health state. It hurts to hear it, trust me I've been in the same situation as you are now and it was difficult but I promise the feelings that you are going through right now are not permanent even though they may feel like they are. Their feelings are just as valid as yours are. Communicate though if you don't feel you can handle being just friends let him know that and move away from the situation but if you are willing be to be just friends also let him know that to. With situations like this I understand it isn't ideal but it'll help with growth and allow other opportunities in the future. Please remember that someone who cannot handle mental health struggles is not obligated to stay in your life and they are probably not the best match for you. Mental health can be a challenging thing even outside of relationships, please remember that you deserve someone who can understand and can manage a life with someone who has mental health struggles. You deserve the very best and please never settle for less! I am sorry you are going through this but you can get past this, I believe in you! You have the support of this community and much more so please know you are not alone.
- Expert in Breakups
May 25th, 2019 2:12am
HONESTLY, he is the worst kind of person for leaving you when you needed him the most. He is not the kind of person you want around you when you need to better yourself for yourself. He is toxic, along with that selfish behavior. I can't tell you how to proceed because I don't know the full situation, but honestly, he isn't right for you. It's going to hurt for a while, that's undeniable, but I believe the best thing you can do at this point is to take all that hurt and turn into something beautiful like worrying about yourself, your wellbeing and your mental health.
May 30th, 2019 2:11am
Do not take responsibility for how your boyfriends feels. Each person is responsible for their own actions. The fact that the relationship was long-term indicates he was willing to be a part of your life. Try to look back over the relationship and see if you can pinpoint when it began to change. Look for small, subtle changes. They will give some indication of what really happened. If he was terrible affected by your mental health he would not want to be friends. Continue to work on being mentally healthy and end all association with him, except for the occasional hello.
June 21st, 2019 2:56pm
I am very sorry this is happening for you, right now. The last thing you need during this stressful time is losing someone important to you. Being supportive for other people can be tiring and stressful in itself - so I can see where he may be affected by this. However, that being said, ending a relationship in that way is not helpful at all to you. You do not deserve this. What you could do is try reaching out to other family and friends for support. Try not to get caught up in what your boyfriend needs. Focus on yourself and your own mental health. It's OK to feel hurt, you have every right to feel the way you do.
July 10th, 2019 7:08pm
That’s one big thing to unload on you! To start, take some time to process that information, it could take a while but tell him you need some time to process it so you can have a clear mind for what’s to come. After you take some time for yourself to recover, you could ask him what happened and why your mental health suddenly affected him so much. This could give you closure and a possible opportunity to clear it up with him. You could also do this before taking some time for yourself if you feel like you can. After that, all you have to do is listen to what he has to say. If it’s something you think you can fix, you can tell him you want to work on the relationship. If it’s too much for you, that’s okay. Sometimes people can’t handle certain mental health issues and if he felt like it was too much for him then he’s not good for you anyway. It’ll get better with time and you’ll be able to find someone who will love you for you. :)
August 4th, 2019 6:24am
I can understand why this would hurt you. Being in a relationship can be stressful and it can be even more so when mental health is involved. It is important for both of you to be healthy in whatever kind of relationship or friendship you choose. It can be difficult when a person wants something different than they have been giving you previously. I can tell you are anxious about this but sometimes your mental health is not something you are in complete control of. Your mental health is very important to your well-being and know that your mental health does affect other people around you and those who care about you.
November 16th, 2019 5:18pm
Hello. I am very sorry that this happened and you had to go through this hurtful experience. I had went through something similar and it was not easy either. Having a mental health issue is something serious and hard, and it is constant struggle for people who experience this. Its not easy, but if you strong. But you also have to remember that it can also affect the people around you, depending on how you handle it. Sometimes people around you can not accept or handle it, but you have to keep in mind that that is never your fault. Everyone has their own battles. It sucks that your boyfriend said that but on the bright side, he still wants to try to be supportive as a friend. This means he still wants to support you, and maybe it might be better for both of you that way. Who knows maybe he can cope with it better and you can find someone who can understand you situation better and accept it better.
December 27th, 2019 10:05am
Ultimately, there's nothing you can do. Sometimes, people just aren't equipped to handle mental health issues. t's not your fault through and you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. If you feel your mental health is affecting your relationships, try talking to the person about it. Make sure boundaries are clear. Make sure that you and the other person are aware of what that person is able to handle. Don't dump your issues onto people so much that it becomes their problem. Venting is one thing, but making your issues someone else's is another. If your boyfriend of a long time is leaving you, maybe take it as a sign to seek professional help. Get the help you may need and try again with him in the future. He probably doesn't hate you, he just isn't able to handle the stress.
February 1st, 2020 4:49pm
Mental illness can make a person very selfish. Please don't take this as a put down. I have destroyed many a relationship because of mental illness. It is not easy for someone to deal with. Keep in mind that he hates the game not the player. I don't know what types of things have happened between you and your boyfriend. You say he is long-term so he must really care for you and love you if he stayed in it this long. Focus on getting some help for yourself right now. You want to be the best you can be for yourself and secondary for others. He will see that you are being proactive about wanting to get better. Don't push him too much and keep in your life as a friend, he sounds like he is a good supporter. All successful relationships involve some give and take. You want to be able to bring something good to the table as well as receive goodness. Good luck!
February 7th, 2020 5:47pm
it's totally understandable why it would have hurt you. as a boyfriend who's been with you for so long, you would expect him to be the person who understands you most, or at the very least not use your mental health as a reason to be friends instead of partner. of course, it would have been nice if he could actually bring this up during the relationship where both of you could work something out. but at this point, it's important that you think about what you truly want. perhaps you could focus on your mental health and try to be better than before. if he has left, he's probably also hurt himself.
March 28th, 2020 12:05pm
I'm really sorry to hear about your loss of a relationship that was important to you. While it was likely painful to hear that he felt way, it is very special that he was honest with you. If you feel comfortable, I would recommend thanking him for his honestly, and only maintain a friendship if you think that would be beneficial in your life. If a friendship would be too painful, I might suggest creating space. If you believe your mental health could use some tending to, I would recommend reaching out to a professional support system such as counselors, doctors, and other types of healers.
April 4th, 2020 7:00am
This is a lot because maybe you have been overly expressing your mental health problems and It kind of pushed him away but if he is long term that means he should have kind of gotten used to it over time. On the mental health aspect I will definitely recommend seeing a licensed therapist if its deteriorating your personal relationship(s). Being friend zoned doesn't make the relationship over just the sex aspect and you can't "claim" them. So I would build on the friendship(you need that anyway), work on my mental health, have fun and show him that you're still that girl.
April 9th, 2020 8:50am
It obviously hurts that someone you really liked finds your problems overwhelming. But remember that its not your fault for having such feelings and its not his fault for finding them overwhelming. We are all different people with different capacities. It would be unreasonable to expect everybody to handle your feelings. So just try to forgive him and just realise what he did is a very human thing and it was probably not his intention to hurt you. He was just doing what he can safely handle. It may feel like he is running away but it could be a good thing for you too. For you shouldnt rely on someone who cant handle who you are.
April 10th, 2020 7:22pm
I can see how hard this is for you, I went through something similar. take a moment to seek why this hurts you and ask your self how is your mental health. It is easy to get worked up and to quickly think about breaking up and how this would cause you pain, which is a lot of emotions no one wants to go through. It is important to think about your emotions and thoughts one step at a time to understand why you are feeling the way you are. After you understand and identify why this situation makes you hurt.
April 11th, 2020 10:57pm
I think you should respect his decision of keeping some space and remaining friends until he feels better and he thinks his mental health is getting better. after this he might want to get back with you, but right now probably isn't the greatest and if he does not feel the greatest, he might not give you the attention you deserve and that can ruin your relationship. it can lead to a falling out which you would not want so i think you should respect his decision and so you guys can get closer to each other slowly without hurting your relationship or any chances of it.
April 19th, 2020 7:32am
I am sorry to hear that , I can’t give you advice , but I can listen and guide, I see that you may feel saddened by what he said and how your mental health is going , talking about your mental health always helps ,he may just be dealing with he’s own problems to , have you tried getting help for your mental health and maybe talking about this Witt him so that you guys can discuss a way that would make you both feel better for the time being and not be hurting both of you at the same time ?
April 19th, 2020 5:22pm
You should decide for yourself , what you want. If you can be his friend and totally happy then become his friend. If you think that by becoming his friend you will continuously think about your old relationship status and the moments and that will make you sad, then you should cut him off. This is not a selfish step. He took a step for his well being and now it's your turn to take care of yourself. And believe me if you are thinking you won't be over your relation and love happens only one , then please see you will be fine in few days and its not true that love happens only once. So think of your well being and be selfish in taking care of yourself.
April 27th, 2020 12:37am
I think it's time to let go. Be his friend. Good friends are hard to come by. Not everyone can handle everything about their partner, and he is telling clearly that your mental health is affecting him. I like the way he is being upfront and honest. I think he will make a good friend. Of course you will be the heartbreak of it, so find ways to cope, healthy ways. Exercise, hobbies, studies, and focus on yourself. You never know what the future may bring. It may bring you a partner that can cope better than the partner you are letting go of...Good luck!
April 30th, 2020 9:56pm
I can understand why you feel hurt. Something to keep in mind is you should come before anyone else. Take care of yourself and your mental health. With that being said still take is feelings into consideration. Maybe let him know that you respect his feelings but you are still hurt by what he has said. You should do what’s best for you and I would say leave him and focus on your mental health. You are going to be hurt for a while but once you over come what you are going through you will feel really good. I’m sorry you are going through this and i hope this helps!! Stay positive!
May 30th, 2020 7:59am
Maybe he's trying to do the best for you. he's trying to get you to focus on yourself and to make sure that your well-being comes first before your relationship. So if I were you I wouldn't let it hurt you I would think of it more as he really cares about you, And that he wants you to be all right.
June 24th, 2020 9:52am
First of all, sorry you're having to go through this. It's a horrible thing to hear that you're negatively affecting someone's life and thus they don't want to be with you anymore! I imagine that leaves you feeling abandoned and unlovable. I think it's important to think about what you want to say, get all your thoughts on paper, write him a letter or verbally say them all to him. Think about what you'd say if it was the last time you ever spoke to him. Once that's done, leave the ball in his court and respect his decision, and then focus on yourself. What can you do to help yourself? You deserve a therapist if you can afford one, you deserve to focus on your problems. Above all you deserve to be happy and healthy!
July 11th, 2020 11:16pm
You must have been hit in the feels with a statement like this and your grief is totally normal. Now you are left with two choices: the first one is to accept the situation he offers and the second is to decide to go for good. If he has been talking about the impact of your mental health on him for quite a while, chances are his reasons are valid and you might be better off to accept his friendship. If this mental health question was never mentioned before, he may be trying to sever his romantic relationship with you in order to become available again. If you feel that is the case, you are better off severing all ties with him. Either way, you will have to bite the bullet and one hopes you will find the support you need until the hurt goes away.
August 1st, 2020 8:57am
From my own personal experience, it is important to put your own needs first, and staying friends with someone despite it hurting me never worked in my favor. At these times it is important to channel your energy into improving your mental health in any way that you can. A good way to make sense of where to start is to ask how your mental state has been affecting your boyfriend. This has helped me figure out what exactly I do that influences other people negatively. At times of mental instability, it goes a long way to concentrate on making yourself better, because I have learned that I can't reciprocate love and care when I am not feeling my best.
August 2nd, 2020 4:36am
Well, as a boyfriend he should have tried to listen to you, at least tried to make you feel better. I understand he might feel scared about himself that maybe he avoids conversations on mental health issues because there is some underlying insecurities he might have related to his mental health that he thinks will come out. These things can be really minor, like maybe he is an over thinker or feels a lot of anxiety. So, maybe he runs away from mental health conversations. This can be a possibility. But again, it is just an assumption. Even then, he should have tried to help you or listen to you at least. If he did not, then i think you should leave him immediately because believe me a role of a bf is to be there for his girl, or at least try to, even if it's a bit. If he did not try at all to make you feel better, please leave him. You deserve a lot better and you shall fin better. Believe me. It will happen when you least expect it. Also, if he tried to help, and still wants to leave, then even then, let him go. Just smile and wave goodbye. Understand that he does not wanna be a part of your journey anymore and you can do it yourself. We all are capable of healing each other. There could be any reason. Maybe he himself is not sure. Maybe it is an inner feeling due to past experiences with his exes having similar issues and the relationship being bitter. It could be anything. Either way, be strong and let him go.
August 15th, 2020 9:39pm
Try to understand his mental state and be supportive to him. Instead provide him with a comfort zone to make him feel good and let him vent out his feelings. Understanding your partner is really important and providing them with proper comfort zone and right mindset . Also dont blame yourself with all this anf understand his mental health phase . If you blame yourself you will end up loosing your own mental health at last and creating a more problematic scenario with no solution. At last work on yourself and let go off . Letting go is the best therapy
August 16th, 2020 7:11pm
Though I'm not in your direct circumstances and don't want to give the wrong advice, in my personal experience I would reccommend respecting what your boyfriend wants, though he may love you and care about you he may not be able to handle your emotional needs anymore without hurting his own. Sometimes people can find it too difficult to handle another's mental health upon their own. Unfortunately I understand how you feel, it can be really hurtful for such a strong relationship to go down because a partner can no longer support you. Just respect what he says but understand your feelings with this are also valid.
August 22nd, 2020 7:43pm
I think you should take it as opportunity to analyse yourself and your emotions without any additional pressure of upholding a relationship. It is a great way to preserve your energy that was being spent on constantly trying to protect the relationship from falling apart and channelize it towards your own growth and healing. In order to be in a healthy long term relationship, self worth and patience are two most important features and both of these are built on a foundation of a healthy mind. Therefore, it is essential to cater to your mental health leaving aside the worries of withholding a relationship that is too fragile to bear the stress of you illness. And once you are all better, you'll see that the ones who meant to stay, in fact never left your side and were right there throughout while you were healing, and the ones you find are gone, well, they were never meant to stay anyway.
September 11th, 2020 10:49pm
it totally is not your fault. Everyone needs space, even the people who are closest to us. It may hurt when they tell us they need their own space, it is common and normal to be upset by something like this. When you look on the bright side, you see that you now have your own space to grow and improve your mental health. You can also reach out to other friends who feel comfortable listening to you express yourself and who want to help you. Please do not place blame on yourself for this. This can be an opportunity to grow!