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he said he hates seeing me upset all the time!

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My boyfriend of 1 year and 5 months broke up with me recently. I loved him very much and he love me. He told me the relationship ended because of the way I treated him the past few months and he must take in consideration that I came down with some health issues as in randomly fainting, nausea all the time and very dizzy. We still speak all my belongings are still at his apartment(we lived together) he bought me a dog for our one year anniversary. Now that we are not together he goes to the bar every weekend. I take the dog every now and the and a few times after dropping the dog off he would tell me that he loves me and I'd leave. Last night I went to get some of my stuff and he told me that he still cares about me and he still loves me but he's not in love with me. And he said he hates seeing me upset all the time. And he said he is concerned about my health because I don't sleep I can't eat and I cry all the time. I'm very heart broken. Please help

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replied March 10th, 2011
Relationships and Marriage Answer A20699

I am sorry to hear about your break up. This is certainly an unwanted event when you are in a relationship and love each other. But as of today, you need to acknowledge the fact that the break up has happened.

You might not be able to change your boyfriend\'s decisions. He is an separate individual and has his own freedom of choice. His reasons for the break-up might not appear rational to you, but they may be rational for him. And so, before anything else, you need to allow him his choices.

What you might be able to change, however, is how you are taking this break-up. I agree the break up is a recent thing, and you might not be able to overcome this so soon. But eventually you may need to change the way you perceive this event in your life. Right now, what you are experiencing are the emotional consequences arising out of (but not necessarily caused by) the break-up. What I mean by that is - the event in itself does not cause the emotional disturbance. But it is how one perceives that event that causes the disturbance. And it is obvious that since you are getting too disturbed, you are probably thinking a bit differently than someone who might go through a break up without much disturbance.

I am only hypothesizing that the break up with your boyfriend has created a lot of irrational thoughts inside your mind. Some examples could be - "my physical illness cannot be a reason for a break up, that too, when he says he loves me"....."does this mean I am not worthy of love?" ....."Will I never get true love in my life?".... etc.

We call these thoughts "irrational" because they are not helping you live a normal life.

As I said, this is just a hypothesis. You are in the best position to find out your inner thoughts. The way to do that is keeping on questioning your thoughts starting from the event leading up to the core beliefs. Take up a specific situation, such as something he said that seemed to make you cry, some thought that came to your mind that led to some emotional outburst, etc. Once you have such a specific situation written down, find out if that situation/event has some meaning "about you" or about others or the world. Eventually you might be able to identify your core beliefs about relationships, love, trust, hurt and related things. Now is the time to check if those beliefs are rational or irrational. Rational beliefs would help you move on. Irrational beliefs will make you stay disturbed more and more.

For example - If you boyfriend\'s relationship goal in life is to have a relationship with someone who does not have many physical illnesses, then his decision of breaking up with you seems rational "for him". Also, his belief of "I must never have to deal with my partner\'s physical illness" makes him think the way he has thought and acted. This thinking may not appear rational to you, and I agree, it is not rational for you. But it may be perfectly rational for him, as it is helping him avoid emotional problem, move on with life and take decisions for himself.

Similarly, you need to "develop" new thinking that is rational for you. And for that to happen, you need to pause for a while and decide for yourself what kind of feelings you want to feel, what kind of emotions you want to experience, what kind of life you want to live. Once you know your goals, you need to develop thinking that helps you reach your goals.

Now, is there any guarantee that things always go according to our plans? Not at all! But does that mean we question our thinking or our self-worth? Again, no! What has happened with you is definitely unwanted. But you have to take it in your stride, revisit your values and goals, modify earlier thoughts into newer, more rational ones, and prepare to move on.

I have made an attempt of helping you understand how Psychotherapy can be beneficial for you. You can consider meeting with a Psychotherapist (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy or Cognitive Behavior Therapy). Talk with close friends or relatives who can listen to you and help you in a constructive way, and not just give you a "feel good" advice.

What has happened is bad, but it\'s definitely not the worst that can happen to a person. And that means you can overcome this.

Hope this helps.

Take care.

Abhijeet Deshmukh, MD

(This post is for the purpose of providing medical information and is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a doctor. This post is not intended to give or rule out a diagnosis, create a doctor-patient relationship or replace an existing one. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please consult with your doctor or a qualified healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment options)

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