How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Z is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My boyfriend is hung up on a relationship he had 2 years

This answer was rated:

My boyfriend is hung up on a relationship he had 2 years ago, witch wasn't even a real relationship more like dated a couple of months she did not receipicate these feelings and didn't care about him. He gets very depressed in his head and shuts down emotionally towards me. He still hurts over it and can't let go knows its not normal. Is this normal behavior?
Dr. Z :

Hello I believe I can help you with your question

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that your boyfriend is having these feelings and thoughts, I can understand how distressing this is for him and for you as well

Dr. Z :

To answer your question in a simple manner, no this is not normal at all and developed an unusual attachment to this woman that he was not able to get over for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Z :

May I ask how did that "relationship" end? Was it very sudden for him? Did this woman give any reason why she no longer wanted to continue dating him?

Dr. Z :

Most likely your boyfriend's attachment to this woman developed to a point where his happiness was tied to her and that he was not able to become independently happy with out her. It is also possible that he was not able to get over this woman because he was never given proper closure.

Dr. Z :

Closure is important for moving on because without it sometimes there are unresolved feelings and thoughts that have not been expressed and thus just fester inside his psyche causing depressive feelings.

Dr. Z :

I do recommend that he should seek therapy, specifically Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a very effective type of therapy that has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen. Also this therapy is effective as it focuses on the present and avoid focusing on the past because we cannot change the past, so we focus on what we can change which is the present.

Dr. Z :

I would also like to recommend this book for your boyfriend as well.

Dr. Z :

Overall though, you are correct that this is not normal behavior after a breakup, especially after 2 years, and he should seek therapy to help with these symptoms and possibly figure out the cause because as I said there are number of causes for this issue. And then he can move on and put his full attention on his relationship with you

Dr. Z :

I see that you are online, so I will stop typing and allow you to ask any questions that you may have

Customer: She broke up with him abruptly with no explanation shortly after they had relations, for the first and only time, which she cried after ! Then she just stopped calling. I was there for him and helped him thru then we got back together, broke up Friday says he doesn't have that passion for me , told him he won't let it because he won't let what he felt go. He won't talk to me or answer my texts. He told me I loved and treated him better than anyone in his life. Asked him to tell me he didn't love me as he said he did and he couldn't. Then started checking my profile on zoosk 3 times a day
Customer: Should I move on
Dr. Z :

The sudden abruptness in ending a relationship can definitely cause these feelings where he was never able to get over her, achieve closure, and then he compares her to all of his other future relationships, unless he learns to release those feelings and move on. I think if he is unwilling to seek out professional help to get over this past "relationship" from two years ago then he will always idealize her and then compare her to you, and to an expectation that you will never be able to live up to. So I think it would be best to move on from this relationship as you deserve better and you deserve someone that loves you and only you

Customer: Thanks not what I wanted to here , love him very much, want to help him so if he comes back and realizes he messed up I should not go back this time?
Customer: How long will it take me to get over this heart break
Dr. Z :

If he comes back and realizes that he made a mistake, you can push for couples therapy so that you are there as a support for him, and something he may be more willing to do than individual therapy, and if is willing to do that with you then I think you should continue the relationship. I understand that you love him very much and he seems like a great guy, but I feel he idealizes this other woman, another reason why he cannot get over her, and then compares her to you and that is an impossible standard for you. I think therapy will help him think more objectively and realize this and then focus on the relationship with you.

Dr. Z :

If you continue with the break-up with him, it may take some time to get over the break-up. Not everyone goes through the same timeline, as some take a long time and some take a relatively short time to get over a break-up. But what you will go through is a period of grief over the loss of the relationship, where you will be sad for a period of time that varies from person to person and then eventually you will start to accept the new reality of him not in your life. Here is a good worksheet on grief for you

Customer: I can't understand how he could feel this way when she treated him so bad, even through his lung tumor never even called to see if it was cancer. , and I nursed him back to health
Dr. Z :

There are a variety of reasons of why he feels this way about her, it could have been a co-dependent relationship where even though she treated him badly, he was focused more on her than himself. Co-dependency is a relationship where someone is controlling or manipulating the other person and is very harmful to a person's self-esteem. This is why therapy should be undertaken by him to figure out the cause and then help him heal from it.

Customer: Wow ok , thank you very much
Dr. Z :

Anytime, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer: You can take this pain in my chest away lol
Dr. Z :

I really wish I could do that right this instance, but actually that book that I recommended for you boyfriend can help you too. This hurt will pass in time though, that I can promise you.

Customer: Why won't he talk to me, why does he hate me? I've been so good to him!
Dr. Z :

I do not think he hates you at all, I think he is more confused and that causes him stress and anxiety.

Customer: Oh sounds reasonable, should I stop texting and just give him time to miss what we had we lived together the last 6 months did everything together
Dr. Z :

Yes I would stop texting, give him some space and let him come to you if he chooses. I know this is so tough for you right now, but the best thing you can do is to give him space right now.

Customer: Ok thank you , where is your location? This has really helped me I will buy this book . I could use the help I'm not doing to good cant sleep eat , go out in the world, or to work , by the way I work with him!
Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that you are having these difficult symptoms, this is definitely the grieving process over the loss of the relationship and it is usually temporary and will pass, but if it does not then you can consider therapy as well to help you get over this. I am actually located in California.

Customer: So am I where. I have insurance with motion picture! And have an appointment Monday. But if your close I'd go to you if possible
Customer: I'm in pasadena
Dr. Z :

I am in the SF Bay Area

Dr. Z :

Oh wow though I used to live in Pasadena because I went to my doctoral program down there

Customer: Oh well that won't work :( . Thank you again
Dr. Z :

I used to live off of Del Mart

Dr. Z :

Del Mar,

Dr. Z :

Anytime, I am happy that I was able to help you

Customer: I'm off of lake and mariposa , more like alta dena up by the hills. You have helped quite a bit my first heart break!
Dr. Z :

I hope that this heart break goes away soon for you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before

Dr. Z and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you