I gave up everything for my boyfriend and now that he’s left, I’m desolate

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on December 3rd, 2008 - Last updated: July 1st, 2019
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Dear Stanton:

About a year ago I fell in love with a friend I believed was “The One.” Ever since then my whole life has been about him — I became addicted to him and as time went by, I”ve become more and more depressed.

Before this whole thing started I was a very happy and energetic person with a lot of interests who enjoyed living and loved talking to people. During the time we were together I just threw all of my life away: my friends, my work, my dreams, he became the only thing that mattered to me. This addictive love lasted even though I realized that he could not accept me after about two months of being together. Despite what I felt he kept telling me he loved me.

At some stage we decided it would be best if we stopped dating and tried to be friends, but it was not the same as the friendship we had had before this whole thing had started. Then he decided to end our friendship (or what was left of it) claiming he loved me too much to be that distant. I took it really hard because he is really important to me as a friend.

Now, even though I managed to restore most of the things I had thrown away, I am depressed all the time and I find it hard to concentrate. I can hardly sleep, I can hardly get out of bed in the morning. I feel like being alone most of the time, I feel sick most of the time, I have no energy, I hardly enjoy talking to people. I find it hard to enjoy anything at all, I am not interested in anything anymore, and often feel that I hate the world.

I do not know how to deal with this, I have always been a easily addicted to things but no addiction has ever been that strong.

How do I get him out of my head, I’ve been thinking about him every second of my life for the past year? How do I get back to life and to enjoying it?

Thank you,


Dear Rose,

I find it hard to believe (jut like I do with somebody who gives up everything for cocaine) that your life was full and satisfying before you met this guy. Were you satisfied with your job? Did you love your family? How did you spend your evenings?

It would seem that you had a pretty big hole ready to be filled. You need to work on that life. There’s no way around it. What kind of work would you like to do? How do you support yourself? How often do you various members of your family?

Do you think your boyfriend really considered you and your feelings? But, then, we could ask — did you really consider your friends and family and their feelings? They didn’t seem to count much for you, as you went with a boy who didn’t really like or accept you.

Perhaps you have to examine your values also. Just like a cocaine addict who claims the drug made him steel and do other antisocial things, you seemed pretty ready to abandon everything productive (work) you did as well as the things people you enjoyed.

Life is difficult. You get out of it what you put into it. Would you agree?


Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.


  • Rach says:

    Damn! This sounds exactly like my situation. I gave up everything for my boyfriend,my work my school, my parents kicked me out of the house because they felt I was overly dependent on him . Gave up my plans even though a part do me kept nudging me to be careful but I wasn’t.I was head over HEELS.

    Its crazy. Every damn day.but you knw what I do ? I still move.
    It’s ok to still cry.(sometimes I take 2-3hours crying) but I get still get back to work.Right now, I’m planning on even bombarding myself with a lot of things that will make me spend less time crying. Right now I’m taking ACCA courses, I’m writing and all so I’m inevitably distracted

    But should I be honest with you.What really helped with my depression was I started going for religious activities and meditating on nice scriptures in the Bible. It helped me feel better and acceptable cuz at least I knew that Jesus loves me. Trust me weird as it sounds, it was works like magic

  • Serge says:

    Dear Manasa Musham, I really think you should seek professional help from a psychologist what you describe is not love and it seems you might have deep issues. You didn’t need to stop hanging out with your friends and he doesn’t have to give up his life to be with you all the time. That is not healthy. Wish you the best.

  • Manasa Musham says:

    I had a very rough past growing up. My parents always fought, my dad left us when i was in class 10 and i never saw him since then till when i was in my inter second year. Only then, it was his dead body. Yes, after two years of not seeing him, i saw his dead body. No goodbyes as u can say. Then i joined btech. I was a changed person already. I had been in many relationships before but never took any seriously. But after this incident with my dad and after i joined btech i met this guy. We were just friends in the beginning. Later somehow we fell in love. This wasnt like before. I fell head over heels for him. I gave up all my friends, I stopped hanging out with people, even family. I made him my everything. My world, my life, my everything. But he never made me feel like i was his world. I always felt like i was a very small part of it. Like i wasnt a priority for him. I was so obsessed with him that i didnt want him spending time with anybody else except for me. I was angry at him for not loving me the same way i loved him. I cry everyday. I still do. Im starting to feel something is wrong with me. Sometimes i cry without a reason. Most of the times i look for a reason to cry. I mean, where are all these tears coming from? Is it okay to cry this much? Is something really wrong with me?

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