Should I be helping my ex get over the breakup

Chat at 1 p.m.

Hi Meredith,

I was in a long college relationship. We were head-over-heels for each other in the beginning, but then we faced a lot of problems. First, there was a lot of distrust and jealousy. She was very jealous of my ex and other female friends. It wasn't that she thought I would leave her for them, but she didn't like that they would be getting attention I could have been giving to her.

We were both working on ourselves when we got together, but she definitely had a lot of underlying issues that I was unaware of before we started dating. She struggled with self-confidence issues, and although she was never treated for depression, I noticed some of the symptoms. Throughout the relationship she would make threats of self harm, thankfully never following through with it.

I think that over time I felt that I could not focus on my own mental and emotional well being while also tying to be there for her and supporting her. It would just lead to numerous arguments and fights. I think we are both going to recover, but as of now I am sure she feels that I am moving on much faster than she is. So I guess my question is, am I still responsible for her health and safety even after the breakup? Or is it better to cut off communication cold turkey and focus on getting over it ourselves?

– Cold Turkey?


How has she been processing the breakup? That's the first thing to assess.

Based on what you told us in your letter, she doesn't seem to be asking for your help as she gets over this. If she's turning to others, there is no need for you to step in with help.

If you have real worries about her health, you can reach out to someone close to her. It's better for her to lean on people in her life who have every intention of sticking around.

You say you were both working on yourselves when you met, so that should be your focus. If you're not already seeing a therapist, consider going to one. You can spend some time talking about the expectations of this relationship and what you've learned. You can also talk about how to best communicate with this woman now that she's an ex.

I wish there was an easy way to figure out how your ex is doing on a daily basis, but breaking up means not knowing a lot. It's painful and confusing, but removing yourself is part of the process.

– Meredith

Readers? Should the LW be helping?