Dear AnnabelleN with a wave to Jhc
Hello and welcome to the forum. I can imagine the pain and disappointment both of you have experienced with your BF decision to part. It seems more than a little unfair as he has made the decision without any reference to you. Whether or not you have depression or any other MH issue it is hard to feel pushed out of the way to allow someone to get well alone.
Of course there are several assumptions about getting well. Without wanting to be sexist in any way I have observed that it is always the men who think this is the best way to cope. Or to put it this way, I have not come across women who decide the road to a cure is best taken alone. Of course this raises all sorts of gender differences and I wonder how this impacts on decisions to go it alone.
I believe quite firmly that boys learn it is their job to provide for their family. It's probably not as strong an issue as earlier but there is still that underlying feeling that men look after the family. That being the case how can they allow their partners to look after them. There are all sorts of jokes about men being ill with 'man flu' or refusing to admit they are unwell until they collapse. There is an instinctive understanding of these jokes which shows how much we subscribe to this idea.
OK back to the subject. It seems when a man becomes depressed (read any other mental health issues) he should not not burden his family with it. Ladies, I am certain you are reading this and saying, "What a load of rubbish. He should let us help him and care for him". And I agree. The man in question would return more quickly to better mental health with the love and support of his partner. Is this male pride?
My intention with this reply is not to start a gender war but to tell you my observations. Quite a few threads on this on beyondblue. Of course this does not apply to all men I hasten to say. You know your partners best so will be better able to decide if this applies to them.
I haven't said much about coping because I feel this is such a common event and that getting it settled in your own minds, whatever you decide, is a good first step. It's not about not loving you and in fact probably means he does love you very much but does not want to burden you. So what do you think? I would love to hear from you again and see what you think about my comments. We can have a chat then about coping.