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Reddit user seeks advice: Did I make the right choice breaking up with my girlfriend over mental health issues?

Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain. Picture: Alena Darme/Pexels

Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain. Picture: Alena Darme/Pexels

Published Oct 11, 2023


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is not just the absence of illness but is rather conceptualised as a state of well-being in which the individual realises his/her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his/her community.

Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain and it’s never easy to end a relationship, especially when mental health is the underlying reason. Dealing with mental illness in a relationship can make things even more complicated.

In a recent post on the "Am I the Assh#*e" subreddit, a 16-year-old user opened up about his decision to end his relationship with his girlfriend due to his ongoing mental health struggles.

The user explained that he has been dealing with depression and dissociation for years and despite finding some happiness when he met his girlfriend, the weight of his mental health issues became too much to bear.

According to the post, the user realised about a month ago that his depression was still present and affecting both his emotional well-being and the relationship itself.

Despite his efforts to act normal and push through, he felt unable to express his true emotions, act the way he wanted or engage in activities that brought him joy.

Recognising that it wouldn't be fair to his girlfriend to be with someone who couldn't fully love themselves or life, he made the difficult decision to end the relationship.

The user admitted that he wasn't proud of the way he ended things, opting for a FaceTime conversation instead of an in-person discussion.

He explained his thought process behind this choice, citing the difficulty of finding a discreet time to meet, their busy schedules with summer school and an upcoming movie outing with friends that he didn't want to ruin.

During their hour-long conversation, the user claims to have effectively communicated his thoughts and feelings to his girlfriend. He assured her that she had done nothing wrong and actively listened to her perspective.

He also mentioned that he is giving her space to process everything and is even willing to skip the movie outing if she prefers.

The post has garnered a significant amount of attention, with many Reddit users sharing their own experiences and offering advice to the original poster.

The discussion surrounding mental health and relationships struck a chord with readers, highlighting the importance of open communication and self-care in maintaining healthy partnerships.

@arpetDisastrous1963 said: “I don’t think so. As someone who struggles with mental health, I would completely understand if my partner needed to leave. I wouldn’t burden someone with what is my problem.”

@thehumanbaconater also shared their thoughts, saying, “There are 2 parts to this. The fact that you ended it. The way that you did. If you feel like you can’t handle it, you end it. NTA

“It sounds like you were as kind as possible and didn’t blame her. NTA It’s okay to take care of yourself. Be well.”

@sanz44 also shared the same sentiments as the rest of the users saying, “There is no right way to break up with someone, but you had the decency to let her know in a manner that was honest and transparent.”