Breaking up is never easy or peaceful. Breaking up when your partner is struggling with a psychiatric disorder can be absolutely painful. But there comes a time in every relationship when it may be required to estimate your options and make harder choices.
No one wants to be accused of leaving a loved one at their time of greatest need. But neither should you remain in a exhausted relationship with no possible future out of a sense of duty or guilt. Sometimes there’s nothing more you can do but say goodbye — for the well-being of your own mental health.
Before it comes to that, for your own well-being and the well-being of your partner, you should be sure you’ve done all you can to save the relationship. Otherwise you may be overwhelmed by guilt or self-doubt, wondering if you did all you could do for your partner — and your relationship.
Steps to take before calling it quits
Check your ego at the door
You are not the cause of your partner’s depression. People who are depressed may say or do abnormal things that that normally wouldn’t. Their illness may cause them to scourge out at others. As the person closest to the patient, you are an easy target. Try not to take it seriously.
Recruit outside help
Share your troubles with trusted friends and family members. Ask for suggestions and support. Take an occasional breather. Realize that your requirements are essential, too.
Don’t make any hasty decisions
Lastly, you may find that you simply cannot continue living/dealing with a depressed person. If you feel they’re trailing you down too, it may be time to consider separating yourself. This may mean anything from taking a long interval, to a permanent parting of ways.
In any event, take time to think about your options carefully before making any decisions that you will have to live with everlasting. While the decision to leave or not will undeniably be emotional, keep in mind that decisions taken in anger are rarely wise ones.
Set a deadline
If things seem intolerable, consider setting a timetable for change. For example, you might decide to give it two more months. If your loved one has not looked for or started treatment by then, or has not improved in spite of treatment, or refuses to follow treatment suggestions as instructed, only then will you allow yourself to walk away.
Consider the practical implications
Trying to endure a relationship with a depressed person can make the healthy partner feel helpless and more than a little hopeless at times. If you feel you simply can’t go on, it may be time to part away . But walking away may not be easier than it sounds, particularly if you’re in a marriage. Where will you go? What will you live on? What will your partner live on? Are children involved?
Sometime depressed people may addicted to drugs or alcohol. If this is the case, moving away may be your only choice. Your children’s emotional well-being and physical safety must be your first priority. It may be required to take a hard look at these and other practical considerations before you say goodbye and walk away.
What if my partner threatens to commit suicide during the breakup?
Sometimes, your partner may frighten to commit suicide if you leave them. This is a serious situation, one that needs immediate attention, but the appropriate kind of attention. The threat of suicide during the breakup should not force you to stay in the relationship.
You cannot be the one who makes your partner decide whether or not they want to live or die. That totally depends upon them. Attempting to “save” your partner by staying with them can only make the relationship more dysfunctional and could finally result in you grudging them.
Seek couple’s counseling
If your partner is well enough to participate, consider getting couple’s counseling so you can address your relationship issues before finishing off. A therapist may be able to provide outlook that neither of you can manage on your own.
You may find that, in spite of depression, the relationship is worth saving. Counseling can give the tools you require to heal and move forward as a couple. If counseling doesn’t works, at least you can knowing you gave it your best shot.
Ultimately, if you’ve tried everything and your relationship seems hopeless, or worse — toxic — it may really be time to move on. Try to make your partner understand that you still care. Wish them the best, but say that you need to make a clean break for your own reason.
Say goodbye and depart without regrets, or too much drama. Remind your partner to persistent with his or her treatment. If you’ve made the effort to improve your relationship, and see to your partner’s health, but things still aren’t working out, you can break up without any guilt. You deserve a chance at happiness, too.
If you think someone is at high risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
- Call 911 or your local emergency number.
- Stay with the person until help comes
- Remove any guns, knives , medications, or other things that may can be harmful or dangerous
- Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or shout.
If you think someone is attempting or thinking about suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.