(Closed) FI is depressed. How to be supportive…?

posted 4 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
9567 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2018

Big hugs! Honestly just be there for him, be the shoulder he needs to cry on, be there for him if he needs to talk, but don’t press him to talk if he doesn’t want to. Give him space when he needs it, but keep an eye on him. Be his rock. I got diagnosed with major depression last year, and found out this year that it is bipolar that I have, FI has been incredible. He has never pushed me to go to work (I was working part time but am not at the moment – missed a lot of work, and took time off, as I was casual this was no problem)

Please don’t try to remind him not to sulk in the negative, that will NOT help. Telling someone with depression to think positively is going to make things worse, not better. People with depression can’t focus on the positive. Encourage him to get help, and take time off if he needs it. Yes it may mean postponing the wedding but getting his health back on track is more of a priority. Because of my health I have been unable to go to university as much, and am unable to cope with a fulltime courseload, this will mean probably pushing the wedding back, originally we were going to have a 3.5 year engagement, but it could be a lot longer now. You know what FI said? “That’s ok, I am here for you through everything. I just want to help you get better.” 

Please be supportive, and be there for him when he needs you. Be his rock.

Post # 4
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

It sounds like you are already being supportive by just being there for him.  That’s the best thing you can do!

Has he considered counseling?  It might be a really helpful outlet and a good way for him to figure out how to move forward in a healthy way.

Big hugs to both you and your FI! Sending good thoughts your way.

Post # 5
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m so sorry to hear about that situation. It must be tough.

I know this doesn’t really address the situation at hand, but you mentioned that he is undiagnosed… has he ever considered seeing someone to talk about and potentially improve his skills at handling his emotions and staying positive during tough times? Or considered medication to assist with that?

Anyway. Sending love to you and your FI. Everything happens for a reason, and this door closing just means a window is opening elsewhere :).


Post # 6
2786 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Jacqui90:  +1 to all that you said. Great advice.

The only other thing I’d add is try to get him out of the house, and ideally doing some sort of exercise. Even a walk around the block. Exercise releases endorphines that give you a happy feeling, and the fresh air and sun will help too 🙂

Post # 8
3260 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve suffered from depression most of my life, and I also turned 31 this year.   One of these acute episodes is hard to get through, especially when you saw a light at the end of the tunnel, and then suddenly the tunnel stretches.  One of the things I’ve learned is that, as cliché as it sounds, is that things look better tomorrow.  In the moment, it’s hard to force yourself to look past the emotional state, at what it really means, and focus on what’s next.  But that’s where you should help him try to get, and it sounds like he already knows that.  What’s next, what’s next, what’s next.

For tonight, don’t try to fix it, or make it better.  Just be there for him, show him you love him, and distract him.  Make his favourite dinner, or take him to his favourite pub/restaurant/whatever.  Wear something special for him.  If he wants to talk about things, he will.  If he’s not ready, let it go for a bit, and just show him that, no matter what, he still has you, and that life is still good – just sometimes it’s better than other times.

If it was me, I’m a big beer nerd and foody, so if my fiancée were to go out and buy me a 500 mL bottle of a really nice craft beer I love, or one I hadn’t tried before, and brought home/prepared a good meal that paired with it, it wouldn’t fix things, but it would make me feel a whole lot better than before.  Just something a little bit special, that shows she loves me, and knows what makes me happy.

All that said, be prepared for him not to respond to whatever you try to do.  Just know that, if he does something that makes you feel rejected, it’s not him, it’s the disease talking.  And go to bed at a normal time; don’t stay up late fretting/worrying.  This is me, and may not be him, but I find that I often stay up and just dig myself into a deeper and deeper hole, and feel darker and darker when, if I just go to bed, I wake up ready to face a new day.

Maybe buy him an umbrella 😛

Post # 9
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

As someone who has battled with depression and has a history in the family, the best advice I can offer is please don’t try to fix him. Sometimes he just needs someone to talk to and uderstand that life can be the shits sometimes.

Try not to give the standard cliches like, “things will get better” or “think on the bright side.”

Instead, if he brings up the wedding, say something like, “let’s deal with that when we’re in a better head space”

Encourage him to get outside, go places that are unfamiliar or change something significant at home to shift his mind to something outside the common routine. It may sound a bit strange, but it definately works for me.

Good luck, hope he gets feeling better soon.  

Post # 10
2379 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

In general, he needs to see someone for the depression.  There are clinics with sliding scales based on income.  Major universities tend to have options there as well.  If you want to help him, do the research.  Also, you do know that alcohol + clinical depression is a bad mix, right?

He can think whatever he wants about medications, but genuine clinical depression is not treated by rainbows and sunshine.  Treatment is a combination of coping techniques and medication.  If it’s extremely mild, some people can handle just being in therapy.  If it’s severe enough to be affecting his life, it’s usually severe enough to be medically addressed.

There are SO many resources out there, and he’s at an advantage right now by being unmarried and having reduced hours, it means he’ll pay less and they can’t look at your income.  There are free and reduced fee clinics, script discounts, etc.  There is no excuse for anyone outside of the boondocks to not get help.

Post # 11
5983 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@Sapphire-Dreamer:  I guess it depends on what kind of guy your FI is….Mr. 99 fell into a depressed funk about two years ago, things were bad between us, he found out he needed another surgery and his daughter got knocked up…..and I was trying to be supportive and a good listener, he was going to therapy three times a week, I had to do everything around the house and still put in a full day at the office and I finally snapped after about 9 months of that. 

I told him that I could understand why he was sad, that this was a totally shitty situation and that not a single person could blame him for feeling the way he did…but that while he was busy feeling sorry for himself, I had to do EVERYTHING else, and when we got married he promised me a partner, not an anchor….so if he saw that guy…the guy I married, tell him he’s an asshole for bailing on me cause I could sure use some help right about now.

He got pissed, stormed out of the house and didn’t come back till after I went to bed, but the next day he was up and running before I was, started the laundry, was making a menu for the week and decided to take the dogs for a walk so I wouldn’t have to….

Later when I asked him what turned it around, and this was like….a couple of months ago that I felt like I really could ask, he told me, “It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate all the stuff you were doing for me, I just felt like you doing everything gave me permission not to do anything….so when you finally got in my face and told me to man up….I remembered that I was one and had better start acting like it before people started to think you had bigger balls than I did…”

I don’t advocate my approach for everyone, but I do encourage people to give as much as they’re able and not an ounce more, we all want to be there for the ones we love, but there’s a fine line between encouragement and enabling…so keep your needs in mind too!

Post # 12
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Sapphire-Dreamer:  Have you two considered/tried St. John’s Wort? I had a lot of success with it.

I also agree with a PP about going on walks- the exercise, sunshine and fresh air can be a huge help :).

Post # 14
3260 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Sapphire-Dreamer:  You know him best, and how he reacts, but, just for the sake of saying it out loud … don’t buy the JD if drinking too much is something he uses to avoid dealing with things.  It doesn’t sound like it’s a problem he has, or you wouldn’t be buying him whiskey 😛

But, I’d just hate to hear tomorrow that my suggestion was the cause of a terrible episode that led to more problems.

Post # 15
173 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013


This hits so close to home for me,

He is objective. He knows what he needs to do. He is just feeling down, and out. Kicked in the ass by life. and as he puts it “like a bum”. 

But he is not. He is such a good man. A man that has delt with so much adversity. he wakes up everymorning at the crack of ass to go to a job he hates, just so he can pull his weight and makes sure things run smoothly at home, financially. He is so funny and talented and he makes me greatful to have found him every day. 

MY FI is the same way sometimes. I have heard depression runs in his family from his sisters, but he has never been checked out. He doesnt want to believe anything is wrong I guess, and any attempts I have made to suggest counseling have been met with blank stares or flat-out rejection. I have accepted that for now, he does not want to make that step and all I can do is be there for him.

He has really good days when he helps clean the house and goes to the gym and is bubbly and positive, and then he has days where he naps in the middle of the afternoon and doesnt move from the couch all evening. It hurts me to see him like that but I know that eventually he always comes around. Life is an ebb and flow, and I know that when I say “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” I have already been through it and know I can promise that to him for the long haul.


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