We rely on advertising to keep the lights on.

Please consider adding us to your whitelist.



Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Ds 20 devastated by break up. Don't know what to do...

(26 Posts)
Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 18:41:04

She dumped him about 5 weeks ago. Since then he's been constantly crying and feels crap. I talk and listen to him, but he just doesn't seem to get any better. Is this right?

MillyDots Sun 17-Aug-14 18:53:58

Its fine. Just be there for him when he wants to talk and cry. That's what Mums are for. My son comes to me for a cuddle when he is upset but it is a very rare thing. My heart breaks when I see him crying and I cant do anything to really make it better. It hurts. He will get over it.
Does he go out with mates and have a bit of a session to drown his sorrows?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 17-Aug-14 18:59:08

Five weeks of constant crying sounds excessive to me. Getting dumped is pretty traumatic at first but I'd be concerned that he was sinking into depression if it's still this bad over a month on. Does he have friends rallying round, a job to do, things to keep him occupied or is he isolating himself?

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 19:00:20

I've cuddled him, petted him, dried his eyes, spent hours talking it through with him. But he still doesn't feel any better. How long does it take for them to recover? She was his first gf and they'd been together 3 1/2 years. But he's gutted. I'm wondering whether to take him to the doctors...

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 19:01:44

He has lots of lovely supportive friends. He's about to go into his 3 rd year at uni. He's been trying really really hard to find a job, but not having much success

MillyDots Sun 17-Aug-14 19:08:14

Time will help and going back to Uni. Think back to when you were younger. It can be very hard when its your first love and you think it will be forever. Bless him.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Sun 17-Aug-14 19:09:43

You may well find that within no time of being back at Uni things will turn around for him. Holidays and no job means he's got time to dwell.

You sound a lovely, caring mum OP, a nice listening ear.
Tell him my DD's tale of heartbreak if it helps. Five years living together and a life plan in mid-late 20s when there was a breakup. Several months of heartbreak/going off the rails a bit.
All of a sudden love of their life turns up out of the blue and now it's clear what love really is.

It's the same for lots of things, you never know what life has in store.
It seems bleak now, but tell him that he needs to allow his heart to heal little by little and it will.

MillyDots Sun 17-Aug-14 19:09:46

My son is very sensitive but he does seem to keep his feelings to himself which makes me worry more sometimes.

roundtoit Sun 17-Aug-14 19:10:07

can you have a quiet word with is best pal to see how he is when he is out and about. Maybe it may be time to get a bit tougher and tel him to move on thats if his pal says he is ok when he with them.

MillyDots Sun 17-Aug-14 19:13:49

Nice story Enriq. My daughter split up with her fiancé this year a couple of months before their wedding day. She said she just fell out of love with him and couldn't find it again although she tried and tried for months. They had been together for 7 years since they were 16. It is very sad really. She has now got her own house and is very happy but her ex just cant understand what happened. He is still gutted months later and has good days and very bad days.

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 19:15:21

He's ok, some of the time with his pals, but just ok. He says he finds no pleasure or joy in anything anymoresad

I dealt with break ups very badly when I was young, and I'm concerned he's inherited this. I know how painful they are....

MillyDots Sun 17-Aug-14 19:16:53

I dealt with them badly too. I felt like my world had fallen apart. My son doesn't have girlfriends very often. He doesn't fall quickly or easily so takes a long time to get over them.

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 19:23:05

My son is similar Milly. This is what makes it so hard, although he is open about his feelings.

I just want to take the pain away for hm. I know he's 20 and a man, but he's still my little boy to mesad

MillyDots Sun 17-Aug-14 19:26:19

I know just how you feel orange. My son is 22 and he is still my little boy too. You just want to make everything better for them like you did when they were little don't you. But you cant. sad
Does he play online games? That can be a good distraction especially if his mates play online too.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 17-Aug-14 19:28:29

You might have reached the point where you have to stop petting and eye-drying so much. Sympathy is natural but sometimes excessive sympathy just prolongues the misery and keeps it all top of mind. Maybe start treating him more normally? Finding that job seems to be a priority for example.

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 20:01:46

I think he would just feel more upset with no one to talk to if I did that. It's very tempting, but that line never ever worked for me.

parisinspring Sun 17-Aug-14 20:23:36

I had a break up when I was 20 that was the worst of my life.

I'm late thirties now and my partner (who I loved enormously) walked out on me and my kids a year ago without a word or any sort of warning and never came back.

Still, the break up when I was 20 was worse.

It was worse because I completely believed he was "the one", the only person I could ever love that way (we were together 4 years) and I felt like life would just always be a bit worse.

I cried a lot longer than 5 weeks. I was still crying about it until perhaps 5 or 6 years later and I still felt pangs for even longer than that. For the first year I barely did anything.

People expected me to get over it a lot quicker than I did, and they withdrew sympathy and support so I stopped talking about it. I just kept it inside but it was still there and I acted out with the wrong crowd, drinking too much, experimenting with drugs.

To be fair though, I wasn't wrong.

It took me 15 years to meet someone I loved as much, so the love I felt for him was very deep and very real despite my young age at the time.

Funnily enough, I had lunch with his sister yesterday and she says he still regrets letting me go and feels much the same way I do....that it was the best relationship of his life.

What I am saying is that it can come at any age and just because he is 20 doesn't mean he feels the pain less...perhaps he feels it more.

Bear with him, he will feel better. Le him cry as long as he needs to. Don't make him feel like he "should" be over it. The key is mostly distraction and finding successes in other areas. Don't try and convince him there will be other girls, or patronise him by telling him he is young and only starting life.

I wish I could give him a hug. You sound like lovely Mum, he will be thankful for that x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 17-Aug-14 20:26:11

I'm not saying don't talk to him. That would be cruel. smile However I am advocating you limit the time you enable him to dwell on the sadness. Dwelling is depressing. I remember when my marriage broke up there was one particular person who would greet me with an overly sad .... 'Oh you poor thing, how are you?'.... months after the event. Even if I was having a good day, they'd bring me right down.

Has he seen his GP about the constant sobbing?

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 20:29:33

No, I'm debating whether to take him or not, although he says he doesn't want to take drugs...

frames Sun 17-Aug-14 20:30:21

I am going to get flamed here but how about a bit of rebound on line dating?

parisinspring Sun 17-Aug-14 20:30:34

I would take the stance of telling him that lots of people get back together, but his best chance of that if it's what he wants is building a great life as an individual - to encourage him to throw himself into work / friends / study and to leave the door open.

Taking away that sense of finality would be helpful for him to feel like all hope is not lost.

Then the chances are, if they don't get back together he will meet someone else and naturally move on.

wyrdyBird Sun 17-Aug-14 21:11:27

I would really encourage him to see the GP.
I might be wrong, but he seems deeply unhappy even for a first love breakup. When he goes back to college you won't be there to listen and there will be a lot of work to concentrate on. He really needs to take care of his health now, before he has to face the next set of challenges.

Orangeanddemons Sun 17-Aug-14 21:54:38

I don't think he is emotionally strong enough to jump straight back into dating yet.

He is deeply unhappy, but he is adamant that he's not depressed. But feeling deeply unhappy every day is a dark place to be.

toyoungtodie Sun 17-Aug-14 22:32:15

Well you know what orange I think it is a lot worse for you than your son. My grown up DC have put me through a lot of this stuff and I was with them through every agonising moment.
Now when I say to them , remember how you cried and were practically suicidal over Bethan, Anthony, Francis, etc , they can't even remember them and poo poo my memory of their distress.
All you can do is listen to your son and be sympathetic , but you are not him.
Long after he has recovered, because recover he will, you will still be worrying on his behalf. You need to try and be philosophical and not get too over involved, otherwise you will be a nervous wreck.
I wouldn't encourage him to take drugs. Just be reassured that he will recover. It is awful watching your DC Suffer... Nothing worse, but he is learning something through this experience. He is learning that you don't die of love... You die from having your legs chopped off. It will make him more cautious next time and it is a good lesson to learn. Xxx you are a good mum but perhaps a bit over anxious.

FolkGirl Mon 18-Aug-14 06:25:55

Ooh, I must be a harsh old mum, my son's 15 but I can't imagine being this sympathetic for this long.

If he's just fallen in a to habit of wallowing and despairing, then it's time to break the habit.

However, if it's more than that, then really, the doctor is the only place to go. At that age, there might be other stuff going on for him too. It might have got itself tied up with fear about university, getting a job, the future in general, which can all be quite powerful.

But I'd pull back on nursing his broken heart for him. Obviously be kind and listen to him! But perhaps hold back on the enabling and facilitating. It's too easy to prolong it that way.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now