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Ex gf ruining my mental health but I can’t let her go

November 5, 2021

There’s a lot to this but I’ll try to be brief. The only girl I’ve ever dated was with me for six months, and we broke up in March. I slipped into what I know now was a bad depression for a month or two. I tried to get back together with her relentlessly, and came close in July. We spent some quality time together again but she ultimately couldn’t agree to be with me again. This time I was able to move on and stop talking to her… or at least I thought. I keep going back to her. I can only pretend to have interest in other girls. We constantly stop and start talking again. I’m in love with her and I don’t think I can stop, and I don’t think we’ll ever be together and that devastates me. I’m jealous all the time, thinking about who she might be with. The worst part is she’s so toxic - she’s self destructive and isolating, drinks a lot, goes out and does drugs a lot, has plenty of psychological issues that she won’t address… and it’s always about her. But that just draws me in more because I just love her and want to help. I wish I never met her, but I did and I can’t stop. It’s ruining my life and I think I’m slipping into a depression again. I don’t know what I’m looking to hear… I deserve better and I need to cut her out. But I just can’t. Sorry I don’t even know what this post is for. To vent I guess. I’m sick to my stomach as I type this, I hate how much my mental health has deteriorated. Men need more support.

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Post Information
Title Ex gf ruining my mental health but I can’t let her go
Author twentydogs
Upvotes 21
Comments 22
Date November 5, 2021 6:31 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
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[–]Yargbiscuit 8 points9 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Hey man, venting is a-ok. I made a post here a few days ago just to speak my feelings out in to existence. I don't have any award winning advice to give you. You seem to already know what the smart thing to do is, putting some distance between the two of you. Things will never change the way they're going now, and you need to worry about you first and foremost. I may be assuming here, but you seem on the young side, and a lesson you'll have to learn is to let go. Sometimes you can't fix things. Sometimes it's too far gone. It hurts, but it will get better as time goes on. My suggestion is to go no contact with her and focus on you, but that's just my two cents.

[–]twentydogs[S] 6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I appreciate that man, and yeah I’m 24, I guess most would consider that young. I just… don’t know if I’ll ever feel this way again. Like despite all her faults she’s just the one. Or maybe not. How can I possibly know? All I know is that I can’t imagine being with anyone else still. I’m torn between, she’s the one and sometimes you gotta fight, and she just isn’t the one and I’ve gotta let go. I tried distancing myself and it kind of works but it never lasts. Is that a sign that she really is the one? I wish I could see 10 years into the future. I’m so sick of feeling this way.

[–]Yargbiscuit 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm closing in on 40, so relatively speaking, you are on the younger side, but you're not a child, and you see the situation for what it is. If we could see into the future that would take all the fun out of life. Life is a journey, it's about what you do with it, not where you end up. I wish I had a "follow these steps and everything will be fine" solution for you. I guess I will say, don't waste your youth on ANYONE who does not respect you or treat you well. I hope the words of an old man help at least a little bit, and don't hold the negative emotions in, they'll eat you up.

[–]SemiSkinned 5 points6 points  (8 children) | Copy Link

It's hard to watch you get given a chance to not be with this person who is clearly terrible for you. And you wanting to be with her. Gotta suck this one up and take it day by day. But if you do get back with her. You'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But soon. For the rest of your life

[–]twentydogs[S] 2 points3 points  (7 children) | Copy Link

It’s so hard bro. It’s hard to watch myself. A lot of self loathing. I hate myself for wanting her, I really do. I am so blessed in other areas of my life and so proud of who I am and I know it’s wasted on her, and I’m wasting it being miserable.

[–]SemiSkinned 2 points3 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

You'll get through it mate. Just stay strong. And if she comes sniffing around. Just know that you can just ignore that bitch

[–]twentydogs[S] 3 points4 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

I haven’t been good at that thus far

[–]SemiSkinned 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Gotta remember she's poison. A lot of them are. So keep a sharp eye. No matter how good looking that bottle of poison is....its still poison. Ya dig?

[–]twentydogs[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Oh it’s clear as day to me. But I understand now why junkies relapse, or just don’t want to quit in the first place. That poison, when she tells me she stills loves me, is quite the fucking dopamine rush. With a brutal comedown

[–]SemiSkinned 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Tell me about it. But you know she's lying? She's toying with you. Picking you up and putting you down whenever she wants. You gotta have more respect for yourself mate. Otherwise she'll just use you. Until she uses you up

[–]OrdinaryYoghurt 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Hey man, self respect is a muscle that just needs to be practiced. Like going to the gym, the motivation doesnt just come one day, you make yourself go, and then one morning you wake up, and you dont want to go, but your a person who goes to the gym, so you go.

Im 24 like yourself, and have had a few toxic girlfriends in my short time. Luckily I've never been on again off again, although those girlfriends certainly tried to get me to come back. I remember the guilt and anxiety at that time, because a part of me loved them, i couldnt move or think for weeks or months afterwards. The thought of those people could throw me into a week long slump afterwards. but i try to remind myself that love is easy, but a relationship is work. I refuse to play on again off again, and try to enforce that as a rule. If a girlfriend respects me, shes not just gonna look for an easy out when things get tough. And if i gets to a point where i break it off, its because she doesnt want to work on things when things get tough. She wants drama.

Here's a youtuber who i felt really helped me through this tough time, and a recent video that i think is relevant to your situation: i hope you pull through ❤️

[–]twentydogs[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Wow, thanks for this. I need to respect myself emotionally the same way I do physically. And that guy has some incredible videos, a few others helped me as well. It’s a journey to get through this but I’ll pull through ❤️

[–]eyecebrakr 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Personally, I would rephrase and reshape what you're saying. Your ex isn't ruining your mental health. You are allowing her to ruin your mental health, and the fact that you're attracted to someone so unhealthy and you have the need to "save" her, should be a huge red flag for you that there are likely some things you need to work on in regards to self sufficiency.

[–]twentydogs[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is absolutely true. I used to be super stoic, unemotional, independent, what society wants a man to be. Started therapy just over a year ago, met this girl and did a 180 and became extremely codependent. I have some things I still need to work out and am still in therapy.

[–]Skirt_Douglas 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

I think you might want to stop thinking of yourself as being in love with her and start thinking of her like an addiction that you need to shake.

I really think you need to brute force yourself to move on, yeah I get that your mind keeps going back to her but that doesn’t it’s meant to be, it means you haven’t experienced any other kind of love so your are grasping on to the familiar dynamic. Sometimes it feels really good to be the steady tent pole in the life of some hot mess girl, but it’s clearly toxic for you, and it sounds like she doesn’t love you back. Always remember, this is your life you are living, not some ex-girlfriend’s, your purpose is not to be a benefit to her, it is yours to make it whatever you want.

You need to get out and experience more and healthier romance but first you have to allow yourself to get out and do that.

Next time you hear about her being with a new guy, don’t envy his position, be reassured, she is his problem now.

[–]twentydogs[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I appreciate that and you’re absolutely right. But theres one thing I come back to, and that’s the fact that I struggle with differentiating between if I love someone and if they’re an addiction I need to shake. How do I know now and how do I know in the future? What if I fall in love with someone in the future and times get tough - how do I differentiate between “relationships take work” and “I need to get out”? This is absolutely not a rhetorical question.

[–]Skirt_Douglas 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

That is a very profound question, and one that doesn’t have a cut and dry answer. What I can tell you is this: love is often not enough. It’s not that you either love a person or you are addicted to them, both are true more often than not.

This differentiation must be made by you, None of us can give you the answer, it has to be you that determines the answer because you know what you want and what she is like better than any of us.

So when you ask “how do I know in the future?” The truth is, none of us “know”, we simply make a decision based on the information available. We don’t “know” that it is the correct decision, but we make it because we understand it is what must be done. Just like how you know this girl is toxic for you, you have that information, and so you are making a decision based on what you need right now in your life.

It is not an easy knowing when to quit on a person and knowing when to trust in your partner’s progress. I am deeply in love with my partner, but truth be told there were times where I thought it was the end. We hit a rockbottom point and faced the possibility of actually breaking up, and the relationship turned around, she went back into therapy and we have been really good ever since. So I get it, it is not an easy line to walk but it comes down to this: how much faith do you have in your partner, and are you willing to wait for her? If you believe, based on evidence I hope, that you can work out your problems, then let that be your confidence. The next question is are you willing to be patient if it takes years to work out your issues? If the answer to that is no, then you need to reassess your relationship based on your short term needs. If years go by and nothing changes, then you’ll have to reassess your faith in your partner.

Relationships are hard mode, and even the good ones come with conflict, but when you guys get good at conflicting with minimal damage, that’s when you know you’re getting the hang of it.

Sometimes relationships are off and on too, maybe you will be with this girl again in ten years (for the sake of your mental health don’t count on it,) maybe the two of you need to separate so you can learn and grow on your own. That probably won’t be the case, so again, don’t count on it, just know that it is okay to take care of your needs in the short term, if you need to be away from this girl then that is the truth of the moment, but we do live for a long time, it may not always be true.

[–]twentydogs[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I appreciate this response a lot. I don't have too much meaningful to respond, just know that I took it all deeply to heart and appreciate it, means a lot. You're a good person, I'm very happy for you and your partner.

[–]UnHope20 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Hey dude hope things get better for you.

Your story sounds like a friend of mine. He was in the same boat. I'm happy to tell you his story if you want?

[–]twentydogs[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Of course man, would love to hear it. I’m in a deep internal battle every day, input from others is super helpful and meaningful.

[–]UnHope20 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Back in the day, a buddy of mine really liked this girl in highschool.

He really wanted to be with her. It didn't help that they had kissed and made out a couple of times.

But there was one (Two imo) problem, she was in a relationship and living with her bf. My bud had just turned 18, she was 16 and her bf was 32.

He was convinced that she was only with the bf because the guy supplied alcohol and coke (Not the beverage) as well as cash and housing. He also believed it needed to help her.

Like your ex, she loved to party and had many self-destructive tendencies (Drug habits notwithstanding). She led him on a couple of times and would find herself in multiple situations where she would need his help. He would drop everything to help her. He genuinely could only see the good in her.

There were so many red flags and deep down I think that he knew that she was a bad bet. Nonetheless, he couldn't get her out of his head despite the many protestations of his friends.

He would slip into deep depression for days. The thought of her being with her bf made him physically sick and he was constantly anxious that something bad was going to happen to her.

It was robbing him of his sanity. He would lose the ability to function at times couldn't work, didn't want to hang with us or do anything for days on end. He would fly into fits of rage and destroy everything when he was alone.

All of this was insane to me because he was the most mellow and happy guy before he had become fixated on her. It extended beyond his romantic interest for her. He was afraid for her because her substance abuse and party lifestyle was spiraling out of control.

FOR THE RECORD, the guy let her do whatever she wanted, supplied her drug habit and financed her lifestyle. So I can't blame a teenager for taking advantage of that opportunity. So please don't take it that way.

I frankly couldn't judge as I had made my own mistakes in life. But it was frustrating to have her tell him that there might be a chance at a relationship or get physical with him then reverse tune.

Eventually, he gave up and moved on. I lost contact with him for about a year due to some craziness in my own life. After some time we reconnected via Facebook.

Guy was doing good for himself. He joined the military and was studying in university. Also, got into pretty good physical shape, so his looks were matching his heart of gold. Finally, he stopped abusing soft drug

Side note: nothing wrong with (legally) using these things in moderation for fun or religious reasons. He wasn't using for those reasons. He was self-medicating which resulted in him endangering his health in order to dull his emotions so he didn't have to address his depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

We kept in-touch and talked about life and God and everything else 19 something men talk about.

Year later he told me that he had been in contact with the girl again. Apparently, her life had gotten even worse. She was no longer with the old guy, drug habits gotten worse, dropped out of highschool and was pregnant.

Then he said the unthinkable... "I think I'm in love with her."

At which point, I became very triggered. 😣

Per tradition, I reiterated that she was bad for him. But this time he expressed that he felt like he was meant to help her.

Granted, he was one of the only people that she listened to and her decision making really turned poopy after he stepped out of her sphere. But did that make it his job to give her advice or help her?

Besides, she never actually took his advice where it counts. Even when he dumped the prospect of a relationship and tried to get her to stop using and leave the molester, she wasn't exactly receptive.

He told me that in the two weeks that they had been talking he had been able to get her to quit using.

I wasn't really sold but didn't discourage him from talking to her and being a good influence. Boy was that a f*ck up on my part.

We were going to hang out when he came back to visit. But it never happened.

He died...

Unbeknownst to any of his friends, he hang out with her as soon as he returned to our State. The details of what happened remain murky since she said that she doesn't remember.

But we know one thing for sure, that he overdosed on a lethal cocktail of alcohol and dextromethorphan.

She managed to survive, but her baby didn't.

If he had never hung out with her, he would still be alive. He must've overestimated his tolerance level and took too much. It's apparently a common feature of overdoses.

To my knowledge, none of our mutual friends know that I had spoke to him about her. None of them knew that he was talking to her again. I'm not sure that I will ever be able to tell them or his family.

I keep replaying in my mind what I could have said or done differently that would have saved his life. He thought that he could save her from herself and it got him killed. In a million years, I didn't see any if this coming. So, I failed.

As friend I should have put pressure on him to avoid her. I should have reached out to his family and our friend group. I should have done something. Should have seen it coming. Now my friend has been dead for a decade. He would have been 30 today. He might have been a father, husband an officer in the military.

His parents could be talking with their son right now. Instead, their boy is gone. I've wanted to reach out to them. But what good would it do?

So I'm going to tell you here and now:

Please STOP talking to her! She needs to me gone from your life. You can't save her and trying might cost you. No man is the exception.

EDIT: To all of you guys, stop trying to save the very people who you know may get you killed. My friend is dead because he and I both were more concerned about her welfare than his welfare. I heard how bad her life was and felt sorry for her so I didn't discourage my buddy from trying to help her. # STOPCaping

[–]DelRMi05 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Checking in after a month /u/twentydogs. How are you holding up?

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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