I love him, but I had to let him go.

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    I’m heartbroken.

    I love him, truly, utterly love him. He loved me t too.

    But he has demons . Depression, addiction issues. He’s gone downhill rapidly with the world events and he “just doesn’t want to be with anyone”. He finally admitted this tonight when I told him how unhappy I have been.

    I know that this is the right decision, I know that this is for the best.

    But I wish it was different. I wish it weren’t this way. I wish we had lasted.

    For the first time in my life I saw a future with a man I loved. I’ve had many relationships, but none I felt could be forever. Until him.

    I’ll miss him horribly. He was my best friend. It’s a rocky road ahead.

    Any advice on how to get through this would be much appreciated.






    Dear Jaia:

    “I’ve had many relationships, but none I felt could be forever. Until him”- you felt so good with him, at least at times, that you wanted it to last forever.

    You asked for “Any advice on how to get through this”- there is plenty of advice that you can find on the home page of this website and by googling otherwise. But for advice specific to you, share more about.. you and this relationship, if you want to.



    Thanks Anita.

    I did feel good with him, for a long time. He was my closest person and we shared an incredible bond.

    He coped with his issues. Good days and bad, obviously. But he had coping mechanisms (support groups, the gym etc).

    We’d been trying for a baby and all was going well. Until lockdown. His coping mechanisms disappeared overnight and he went downhill fast.

    He has pushed me away and embraced his addictions more and more. He doesn’t want to get better right now. Probably won’t for some time.

    I’m nearly 40 and he’s desperate for a child of his own (I have one from a previous relationship). I can’t have a baby with an active addict, I am not well enough to raise the baby alone.

    So that factors in to the decision too. If he wants a baby, it’s now or never with me. But he’s not ready. So it will have to be with someone else.

    And, of course, he just doesn’t want to make time for anyone or anything other than addiction. I find that incredibly painful.

    I’m grieving, because it was a beautiful relationship in many ways. Loving, supportive, affectionate, honest.

    But now we’re here. I’m hurting and missing him.

    This was the best decision for my sanity, and probably for his.

    It just hurts.



    Dear Jaia:

    You are welcome. Many times I read people’s accounts of how wonderful their relationships were before breakups only to learn later that it wasn’t so. But reading your account, I believe that indeed your relationship with him was as high quality as you expressed: “I love him, truly, utterly love him. He loved me too…I felt could be forever… He was my closest person and we shared an incredible bond”.

    High quality and time limited. It makes me think of butterflies, some of them are so beautiful, yet they don’t last long. They live for only a week or so.

    You already know that you did the right thing, especially considering having a baby with an addict would be the wrong thing to do, for the baby and for yourself, and for the child you have from a previous relationship. What you need is to feel better at this time, to no longer miss him so terribly.

    My advice: keep this thread going, communicate with me for some time. Maybe other members will reply to you as well and that will be helpful to you (it’s been very slow here, though). But I am here and we can figure out together what you can do to feel better. The cookie cutter advice for anyone who is distressed is to commit to a daily exercise routine, such as having a 30-60 minute fast walk per day (aerobic exercise is almost magical at times, releasing endorphines, making us feel better), guided meditations (I saw a blog on the home page on the matter), and more. Are you engaged in daily exercise?




    Thank you Anita.

    Your butterfly analogy is very beautiful, thank you for that.

    It genuinely was a very good relationship. We had such strong communication and love.

    But a global pandemic has thrown him way, way off course in his recovery, which makes me want to throw a tantrum and scream that it’s not fair. I know that’s childish, but today is day one so I’m allowing myself to have that today.

    I’m physically disabled, with a condition that doesn’t react well to stress. Today I’ve been in bed. I’ll start gently with exercise again tomorrow and build it back up.

    I want so badly to talk to him. We’d talk about everything and always had a goodnight call before bed.

    I know I’ll be ok in the end, I’d very much like to skip on to that part. I’m sure I’ll learn and grow from this, I’d just rather not have to.

    I also feel guilty for not being able to stand by him through this. I love him enough to. But it was starting to feel as though I was drowning.

    I feel as though he’s the love of my life. But if that were true we’d be together now, wouldn’t we?


    Dear Jaia:

    You are welcome.

    “a global pandemic has thrown him way, way off course in his recovery, which makes me want to throw a tantrum and scream that it’s not fair”- I wonder if that’s what he did, if his anger tantrum was him going back on drugs. Maybe his thinking was something like this: I did all this recovery, and what do I get in return? A pandemic! not fair!!!

    Maybe what motivated him to go back to drugs is anger.

    “I feel guilty for not being able to stand by him through this.. But it was starting to feel as though I was drowning”- you feel guilty, but you are not guilty. He was taking you under with him. He is guilty of doing that, not you.

    “I feel as though he’s the love of my life. But if that were true we’d be together now, wouldn’t we?”- I am inclined to think at this point, based on the very little information I have, that he chose anger over love, that he sacrificed the love you had for his anger, a reignited anger.

    I feel badly for you suffering from stress as you do. You probably know of all the relaxation techniques that are congruent with your particular stress related physical disability.

    I will be away from the computer for a couple of hours or  so. Do post again anytime you want to post, and I’ll be glad to reply to you every time.



    Thank you Anita,

    You’re right about his anger. He’s tried really hard to get help. As soon as he started to struggle, he started trying to get professional help. It was like watching him bang his head against a brick wall. He fought and fought and fought but in the end he became frustrated. I think that frustration has turned to anger.

    I’m trying to pick myself up, but I have a migraine today.

    This entire thing is just awful.


    Dear Jaia:

    When we feel too intensely about something, we get overly stressed and overwhelmed, so we have to do something to lessen that intensity- it is called emotional regulation. If what we do is healthy for us (ex. taking a walk, end an abusive relationship) then we’re in good shape, but if what we do is unhealthy for us (ex. inject heroine, end a good relationship) then we’re bad shape. We have to first lessen the intensity of our emotions enough to be able to choose a healthy behavior, pay attention from time to time to how we feel, and when we feel tension in our bodies, lower it (focus on breathing, play relaxing music, get up from our chair and perform some physical task, etc.) This way the tension doesn’t build and build unchecked until we lose our senses and act any which way, ending up in some trouble.

    Emotional regulation is  a key concept in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I wish he had access to such therapy. I wish he had that kind of therapy. Are you familiar with the concept?

    I wonder if you often suffer from migraines and if it is related to your physical disability.



    Hi Anita,

    I am familiar with the concept as I’ve attended several programs based on CBT and ACT, to learn how to cope with chronic pain.

    I’ve found the tools I’ve learnt very helpful with pain and emotional issues.

    I wish he could access similar help too. He h has repeatedly asked his GP to refer him to mental health services. Eventually they did, but it will still take several months for sessions to actually start due to the pandemic.

    Yes, the migrains are part of my health conditions, and they can be very debilitating at times. I did manage to do some gentle Pilates and dance exercises last night, which helped.

    He called me yesterday evening to ask if we could spend the night together cuddling and talking. I gave it some thought, then decided to come to see him.

    We’ve talked a lot, both cried a lot too. He keeps telling me how much he loves me and wants to be with me, but that he’s just not in the right place to be in a relationship. I understand, and I can see that.

    He says that he doesn’t want anyone else other than me and that he just needs to be alone to get himself back in to recovery.

    He also says that he hopes to get himself sorted then, if I’m still single, we’ll try again. I’ve told him that I hope it happens but I can’t wait around for him.

    He says that this is the best relationship he’s ever been in, and he’s being quite brutal on himself for falling off the wagon and ruining it.

    It’s the best relationship I’ve ever had too.

    We’ve talked and talked and talked and talked. I’m exhausted but I’m glad we took the time to talk through everything.

    I can see how much he loves me, and it hurts that we’ve been thrown a curveball that we can’t work around.

    But that’s life I guess, and it’s not always fair.


    Dear Jaia:

    Because you are familiar with emotional regulation, having attended programs based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and because he has no access to mental health services due to the pandemic, you can teach him what you know. Before I attended my first CBT session, while not being in therapy, I read and worked the workbook part of “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies”. It was helpful to me and led me to look for a CBT therapist. Maybe this or another book & workbook, plus your input can help him, if he is willing to learn and apply what he learns.

    Of course it would be better that a professional therapist will teach him and guide him, but in lack of one, he can still seek and get help, be creative about it, have .. peer support sessions with you. (You can look at Wikipedia’s entry on “Peer support” and adjust the concept to him and you, working together).

    “He keeps telling me how much he loves me and wants to be with me, but that he’s just not in the right place to be in a relationship.. he just needs to be alone to get himself back in to recovery”- but he is in the right place to be in a.. peer-support-relationship with you, seems to me, and being alone, truly alone, is not a good idea for a person who is not well.

    “He says that this is the best relationship he’s ever been in, and he’s being quite brutal on himself for falling off the wagon and ruining it”- brutal enough to.. get back on the wagon?

    I know it’s not easy, far from it, at a certain point when a person has fallen off the wagon it feels too difficult to get back on, but people have gotten back on even though they felt earlier that it was impossible. One of the distorted thinking groups taught in CBT is “emotional reasoning”- a person believing something to be true just because it feels true. In his case, he may feel like it is impossible for him to get back on the wagon prior to therapy. But he may be surprised.







    Hi Anita,

    He says that he’s ready to get back on the wagon. Indeed, he’s said that he intends to get back on it today. I don’t know if he’ll manage it right now , but it seems as though he finally wants recovery again. Which is the first, and hardest, step. It gives me some hope.

    While he says he can’t be in a relationship with me, he still very much is in a relationship with me. I think the couple of days break woke him up a bit to the reality of losing this relationship. I thought he was so far down the rabbit hole that he wouldn’t care to be honest.

    I’ll try some CBT and ACT with him but he very much sees himself as a burden (in general) and doesn’t want to drag me down with him. So he’s very reluctant to accept my help and support, in case I think he’s pathetic (his words).

    I’m feeling somewhat better today though, as he’s seeking to take things in the right direction for the first time in a few months. So, while there isn’t a quick fix to this situation, it does feel as though there could be a positive outcome eventually.

    I hope so at least.



    Dear Jaia:

    I too hope that he will “take things in the right direction” and good to read that you are feeling better. You wrote that he is reluctant to accept your help because he doesn’t want to be a burden and he doesn’t want to drag you down with him. (I am guessing that you already told him that helping him with what you learned in therapy picks you up, and not helping him in this way drags you down).

    You mentioned that he has “addiction issues”. I have the time this morning so I looked up addiction because I want to learn something new about it. I read that an important distinction between drug addiction and drug dependence is that drug addiction is the compulsive use of a substance that is independent of withdrawal. A drug addict seeks the substance not only when withdrawing.

    Wikipedia defines addiction as a biopsychosocial disorder characterized by compulsively seeking to achieve a desired effect despite harm and adverse consequences to self and others. Physical dependence involves somatic withdrawal symptoms like fatigue and delirium tremens (confusion, hallucinations, shaking, shivering, irregular heart rate, sweating, etc.)

    Psychological dependence involves emotional-motivational withdrawal symptoms, eg. dysphoria (a profound state of unease and dissatisfaction) and anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure, so the drug addict is not motivated to participate in activities that will replace drug use, such as.. let’s say going on a hike or playing chess, or spending quality time with a partner).

    Under the treatment section it reads that clinical evidence indicates that consistent aerobic exercise is an effective adjunct treatment for drug addiction, “Aerobic exercise decreases drug self-administration, reduces the likelihood of relapse”.

    Is any of this news to you, or something to look into further???




    It sounds like a very tough situation you find yourself in.

    How long ago was this break up?


    Hi there jaia,

    English is not my native language so please understand any mistakes i will make. I’m happy that your decision is for yourself and of course it’s also for him. Being someone who chooses right over what your heart really want is the bravest thing you ever do. Yes, you might feel a bit lonely, sad, and you feel like your world was about to break because of your decision, please know that it’s fine. You choose that decision and please stick with it. If a man wants you in his life then, he’ll throw everything just to be with you. Give him time to think and if he never come back to you, then dear please hear me out. Please be strong and just trust the process because i believe that you can. It hurts but soon you’ll get better. Imagine giving him the thing he want but he cant throw the thing you don’t want to is unfair please stick with your decision because our heart can do a mistake once you listen to it. Yes. you lose him but, it’s better than losing yourself so please stand up and pick your crown up because that whats queen do. And you are a queen so please keep your head up because your crown is falling

    – Honey


    Your decision to end the relationship sounds as difficult to make as my ex partner’s decision to end ours. I don’t have addition problems, but my mental behaviours have become more toxic over time. We were together for 20 years. There were issues on both sides of the relationship that could not be resolved. I have recently been looking into Childhood Emotional Neglect, following the death of both parents last year. I was starting to make some progress, but too late.  You did the right thing for you. It may well be the right thing for him too. The shock of the ending is hard to get past and you have a head start on him with that. He will try to cling on to what is familiar, to what is safe. I did the same. In some aspects I still am. Stay with your decision, give yourself the time and space to look after yourself and to heal. It will be hard for both of you but you have to stay strong for yourself. I have learned to focus on me and not ‘us’ anymore. He will get there as well. Much love to you.

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