Post # 1
Three months ago I noticed something was wrong with my fiancé and after some prodding got him to open up. He voiced concern about our relationship and how he just was not feeling fulfilled. To summarize a long story, we are now going to couples counseling and I removed my ring (to reduce the pressure he was feeling). Things have been up and down, but we have both been trying to see things through. We have known each other for 7 years and have been dating for almost 3.5, and were engaged 1.5 years ago. We purchased a condo 6 months ago but have lived together for 3 years.
I strongly believe that the issue does not lie with our relationship, but the other areas of his life. He is a musician and is trying to make a name for himself out there. It has been really difficult, and things have not been going in the way he had hoped they would with a radio music release. I have tried to keep all of this in mind as I check in with myself and re-evaluate where we are each week.
Last night I could tell something was bothering him and got him to open up. He said that he has been feeling depressed for the last few days and that everything is bothering him. He first mentioned his job and music career and then said our relationship added to it all. He kept saying that I deserve better and at one point said he needs to make himself happy before he can make someone else happy. He didn’t say anything about breaking up or hint at it at all. I know he loves me and we have had an amazing relationship prior to these last few months. I myself have been going through a mini-depression but did not realize how much he had going on.
I’m wondering if any ladies have gone through this with a partner, and if anyone has any advice about how to best support him during this time?? He does speak to a counselor here and there, and has a history of anxiety (was on medication at one point). I just told him that he can always talk to me and I did my best to listen to everything last night, but I’m at a loss. It hurts me to see him so low, and I think at some point it is going to have to be a mental choice that he makes to be positive and move forward.
Post # 2
Depression isn’t something you can just get up, brush yourself off and move on. It isn’t “I had a bummer day, I’m SO depressed!” it is an illness. That being said, however, it can’t be a crutch and excuse… It sounds like you guys are taking the right steps, and having good communication.
I have anxiety and depression and DH is great with helping me. Some days, I can’t even get out of bed and he’s understanding. Some days, yes, I too think he deserves someone better; a wife who wouldn’t be so mopey and down. He reaffirms me every time and stays with me, doing his best.
I’m not sure what else I can say, bee, I think you guys are doing everything right so far. Keep talking, keep those lilnes open… I know I always appreciate it, maybe I don’t see it right then, but when I think back and saw DH stick around it makes me happy. I always try to go above and beyond for him in ways I can like he does for me for my episodes, cook a nice supper, treat him on a night on the town… Because, yes, with a mentally ill partner they themselves are a huge need for help, but the ‘caregiver’ needs a thank you/reassurance too. Big hugs bee!!
Post # 3
Thank you for your response. It is helpful to hear it from someone who has gone through it themselves.
Post # 4
I will say this — I think you are lying to yourself that this is mostly in regards to his job. From what you put here it sounds like the first thing that came out of his mouth was his concern about your relationship. He didn’t talk about his frustration with his career and his music, he mentioned frustrations and unfulfillment in your relationship. I mean sure he went into his job and career this latest time when you got him to open up, but the initial reason he gave you was your relationship.
I’m not saying it can’t work or it won’t work, just that he does not appear to be as happy as you are in the relationship and it may have been the case for quite some time…especially if he has been hiding his feelings.
Well as a musician myself (in a different branch of the music world, but I know how things work), in order to be successful he will have to work his butt off and support himself with other jobs. His music will need to be his hobby and side business for now…and then IF he is successful that is when he would be able to focus on it full time. There are a LOT of musicians/recording artsists out there and 99% of them are mediocre. If he is truly talented, he will need to play as many shows as possible…cafes, pubs, bars, county fairs…small venues for him to gain experience and exposure. If by that point he has success and he is starting to turn a profit and has exposure THAT is when he can start thinking about if he would be able to go into music full time. It takes WORK, and to be honest many people fail. You need thick skin to be in the music biz. I can see why he would get upset and frustrated but that is really part of the business. However if he is depressed about it, this may be the time to take a break from the music biz to focus on his own mental and physical wellbeing.
Post # 5
I don’t think he would ever take a break from music. I honestly think it is impossible for him to do that. That aside, the relationship seems to be ending- he is moving out to take some space (we own property together since we were planning a wedding). Thanks for everyone’s input. I think the whole “I’m depressed” excuse is just that – an excuse, a cop out. He hasn’t sought real help in these past three months so I can’t say I feel that he has put an effort forward for our relationship.
I think it is time for me to move forward and start the healing process. I just can’t fathom being single – it has been so long, and this was my one and only real relationship.
Post # 6
I am sorry to read this update, but not surprised. When I read your first post, this stood out to me:
“He kept saying that I deserve better and at one point said he needs to make himself happy before he can make someone else happy. He didn’t say anything about breaking up or hint at it at all.”
Unfortunately I think saying he needs to make himself happy before he can make someone else happy IS hinting that he wants to break up, which I guess is what has now happened. And in any case, if he is depressed, that’s not an excuse to mentally/emotionally check out of the relationship. He needs to be responsible and seek help.
Trust me bee, it is better to be single than with a partner who doesn’t support you and make your relationship a priority. At least when you’re single, you have the hope of meeting someone amazing. I know you are feeling a lot of pain now, but trust me, it will get better.
Post # 7
I would think removing your ring would make things worse, not better? A sign of giving up or having one foot out the door. Did you remove the ring to shake him up as in ‘if you don’t work at fixing this you’re going to lose me’ or are your own feelings ambivalent?
Post # 8
sending hugs! I agree with Tribble. If he truly is depressed he can’t just make the mental choice to be positive going forward. I have never suffered from depression myself, but from what I have heard and seen family members go through who have I wouldn’t wish it in my worst enemy. I am by no means an expert, but in reading about it a bit online it doesn’t seem all that uncommon for a depressed partner to push them partner away, especially if their first time suffering and if they aren’t aware/acknowledging of their depresseion yet. They assume they are feeling down due to other life factors. That being said, if he is depressed he should actively get consistent help to get him through it.
My ex-fiancé walked away from our relationship a few months ago and has been going to therapy for depression consistently since. It isn’t easy. Sending you positive thoughts.