Post # 1
Ladies, I really hope you can give me some insight, because is draining me.
My boyfriend is so lost right now over so many things. He hates his robot job, and just isn’t motivated about anything. He’s very depressed, always has anxiety and is freaking out. In the meantime, he’s neglecting me.
I feel very alone, I know he needs space to get his stuff together, but I feel like I’m losing my boyfriend. I don’t want to leave him, and he doesn’t want me to go, and he feels terrible that he cannot give me much love right now.
I don’t want to be selfish, but I admit, it’s very hard and lonely not having the same guy I fell in love with, and not feeling comfortable enough to even call him because I don’t want to get in the way. It’s taking a toll on me, I’m so sad at work, I wake up so lonely and pushed away. We had something so exciting and passionate and fun, and I don’t know how to make him better. 🙁
We want to make it work, but how can I give him space to clear his head without our relationship falling apart?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@kerplunk00: It sounds like he isn’t in a place where he can be in a relationship. He needs time and space to work on himself before committing himself to another person. He is being selfish by keeping the relationship but doing nothing to maintain it. The only option for maintaining the relationship is for him to realize he has a problem and to seek help in the form of counseling, and maybe medication if his symptoms are severe enough. But he has to do it on his own for himself.
You know you need to leave him but you worry about what will happen to him if you do leave. That is not your concern or responsibility. Make your relationship escape plan and get out ASAP. Plan where you are going to live if you live with him. Take a day off from work and pack your stuff and move it out. Then meet with him somewhere public and let him know that you have moved out and you are ending the relationship. I know it’s difficult but you need to do it for your own happiness and sanity.
Post # 5
@kerplunk00: If you really love each other I would see if he’d be willing to get some professional help for his issues. Just because someone is going through a rough patch and depression is not necessarily always a reason to leave.
FI has depression and anxiety and yes, it has been trying at times for me. But, we communicate and he has been trying out different medications to see what works best.
If you two aren’t living together, which it sounds like, maybe just sit down and have a chat about how this is affecting both of you.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID
@kerplunk00: I’ve never been in a relationship where the guy is depressed. However, I have been in a relationship where I was the one depressed. It’s my current relationship with my SO. When we had been together about a year, I started getting really depressed, and I had really really bad anxiety (I still have it, but it’s not quite as bad). I don’t have much advice to give you, because every situation is different, but I will say that my SO sticking through the hard times with me means the world to me, and it’s made us stronger. I think if you’re with the right person, don’t give up because times get hard. Relationships take work sometimes, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If it had been like this from the start then I’d say maybe not, but if this is just a phase/bad time he’s going through, then the work might be worth it. That’s totally your decision.
I will also say that he should get to a counselor ASAP.
Post # 7
@kerplunk00: Make sure he gets help. He can start by seeing his doctor who can point him in the right direction.
SO had major depression a few years back, he was feeling suicidal. It was very tough. He knew he wasn’t right and took himself to the doctor, who put him on medication and saw him frequently. The doctor wanted him admitted to hospital, but SO did not want to go. I was essentially on suicide watch. SO would go through stages of wanting me around, then not wanting me around because he didn’t think it was fair to me. I told him firmly that I would decide if I wanted to leave, and that I wasn’t leaving because he’s depressed. In time, he got better and slowly I started to see bits of the old him coming back. I can’t even explain how excited I was when he felt good enough to catch up with mates! It meant that he was on his way to getting better.
Depression is so hard for the person going through it, and hard in the people around them. Of course your relationship is going to take a back seat for the time being. Having been depressed before, it’s hard to be motivated about anything, even getting out of bed in the morning seems like a huge achievement. Your SO may behave oddly, he may say things that are out of character for him – the is the depression talking. Don’t pressure him to do things – it places more strain on an already stressed person. Just be there – make sure he gets the help he needs.
Post # 8
Getting help was a requirement in a past relationship I was in where he was depressed. He could either have me with therapy or not at all. Therapy helped and antidepressants helped even more.
Post # 9
My husband and I went through this for years! It was so hard on me. His misery permeated our whole house. His anxiety stole the joy from every moment of our lives. He was unrecognizeable to me from the man I married. It was awful for me and it broke my heart to see him so miserable and filled with anxiety all the time. It took two years for him to finally get help. He is on medication now and sees a therapist twice a month and life is great! My husband is back to the man I loved and we are stronger than ever. He has to want to get better, it has to be his choice. Hang in there and take care of you in the meantime. I know it’s hard but there is hope.
Post # 10
I don’t think it’s right to leave him…this is the time he needs your love and help the most. When I had depression and terrible anxiety a few years ago, it felt like the only good thing in my life was my SO. I would cry, not go out, ate very little, lost a ton of weight….but he stuck by my side and helped me out of my slump…even just by cooking for me because I couldn’t bring myself to even feed myself.
He needs to seek a therapist’s help and possibly go on medication (though it is possible to heal yourself, I did!) because if he doesn’t, then it’s not fair to you. Don’t let him ignore it and let it go on for years….
Also, a life change may be in order… for me, I pinpointed that it was living in a basement suite alone that was causing my misery. He might just need to do some soul searching….like you mentioned his job…he may need to change… and for the anxiety, you can’t feed it, you have to face your fears (i.e. Mine was social anxiety) I forced myself to get out and eventually, slowly, over came it.
Post # 11
@kerplunk00: When my DH is depressed the last thing I give him is space but that may just be based on who we are…My DH went through a huge depression right before he graduated highschool and broke up with me for a total of like 3 or 5 hours
Since then he has gone through depression in tech. school (which was hard because we lived far apart and he constantly called me/ leaned on me) and has also gone through depression during his flight training (it delayed my move in with him)
Maybe space isn’t the answer? When was the last time you treated you man to a nice surprise? When DH is depressed it depresses me because I am happy when he is, we feed off one another. Can you pull together a wonderful meal or night out? Get his mind off the pain and see if that helps? I don’t know what is like to feel lonely during your partners depression but I do know how much it can break you down.
Feel free to inbox me if you just want to talk about it some more! My DH didn’t need medication or counseling but what he did need was a taste of Life. A reminder of why is his still breathing!
Also, are you reminding him how important he is to you or how proud you are of him? When my Dh was in tech. school he struggled ridiculously and told me that he could have never gotten through if it wasn’t for my constant reassurance and motivating. Dh couldn’t motivate himself but I sure as heck was there cheering him on!
Post # 12
@kerplunk00: My SO has dealt with bouts of depression. I always try to remind myself that a relationship is never a perfect 50/50 split. Sometimes you need 80% from them and can only give 20% in return. Sometimes you can give 60% and he can only give 40%. In most relationships, it all evens out in the end. But I understand what you’re saying- it’s very taxing to have a SO that’s depressed. It hurts them and it hurts you.
I’m type A so I try to find ways I can help a situation- whether it be finding new job postings, making a nice dinner and doing the dishes without his help, anything. I also remind him how much I value him and our relationship and say things like, “I know you’re feeling down about yourself right now, but I’ve never once doubted my love for you. I hope you know how much I value you and our relationship, and I’m here to support you in good times and in bad, the same way you’ve supported me in the past.”
Perhaps it might be appropriate for him to seek professional help if it’s too much to manage on your own. But remind him of your love and support- it goes much farther than you think.
Post # 13
IT depends on how bad it is. My partner has depression, and had to go back on antidepressants recently and is seeing a counselor. He was not seeing teh counselor with any regularity (once a month at most), and a month ago he hit a very deep depression. His doctor had no appointments for over a month (we have the same doctor – to give you an idea, my ankle is having problems, likely the hardware and my appointment was almost 2 months out). He works full time, school, plus a clinical rotation. He just finally lost it.
I try to be there for him, but I was his only support. It was becoming too much for me. He was treating me like a counselor. I eventually said no ultamatium – he needs to see a counselor, switch meds, change SOMETHING. We hd a very honest dicussion and I tried to calmly explain taht I love him, but this is beyond what I can do and is actually causing me a ton of stress.
We worked together on changing some things in his life. and I had him tell me some things I can do to help him.
Post # 14
My husband fell into a bit of a depression a few years ago, as a family member had passed away, then a family friend not two months later. It’s hard. Endless support and love is key here. He needs help. You need to be patient as well. hopefully, with a gentle nudge in the right direction, he can get some help and he’ll get back to his normal self.
Post # 15
Stick by him and encourage him to seek help. Perhaps find a support group near you for people suffering depression and those who have loved ones with depression. I have been in a relationship where one is suffering from depression, that would be my current one with FI. I was diagnosed shortly after we got engaged. He stuck by me, because that is what you do when you really love someone. You are there for them in good times and in bad. If the situation was reversed, how would you feel if he left you because he had an illness? However, if he refuses treatment and you don’t see things going long term with him, then maybe it would be best if you left.
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@kerplunk00: Yes. My husband and partner of many years goes through periods of depression, occasionally very severe. My best advice:
– make sure he gets treatment asap. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeing a doctor and taking medication. This is a chemical disorder and needs treatment. If he’s not willing to do this, I personally would see that as a deal-breaker. But you can help him, as getting started can be too exhausting for someone who’s already in the throes of depression… research clinics and doctors, even go to his appointments with him, remind him to take his medication every day.
– try not to take it personally. It can be really hard when your usually-cheerful, bubbly, loving guy is withdrawn and sullen. The best thing you can do, in my experience, is just continue to be around him while not requiring that he interact with you any more than he’s able to. Just hang out together and watch movies, read, snuggle in bed, etc. It may seem like you’re “in the way” as you said, but your presence can really make a difference. It’s tiring to be someone’s emotional support, but hopefully it’s temporary.
I agree with a PP, this kind of thing has brought us closer together over the years. I hope that your guy gets the help he needs and starts to feel better soon. Hugs, I know how hard it can be! xoox