(Closed) How hard do you need to work in your relationship? Need advice.

posted 5 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
9126 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

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goose25:  I can relate.  My husband has clinical depression and it can be very difficult when he’s not feeling good…. he’s withdrawn and/or more snappy and it’s really hard not to take it personally.

For your situation, it would be a big red flag to me that he’s not willing to actually get any kind of help for it, or hasn’t bothered to.  This is not something that will just go away with time, and it could flare up to a much larger degree than you’ve previously seen.  Furthermore, the resentment you feel about having it interfere with your “normal” life will just build up with time.  I’m speaking from experience on both of those fronts, sadly.  

I think you guys probably need to have a serious talk about it and come to an agreement on him dealing with his depression in a proactive way.  And you should try to think really realistically about whether this will continue to wear on you as your honeymoon phase ends and you settle in for a lifetime together.

Post # 3
3806 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

Agree with PP. His lack of interest when it comes to getting the help he needs would be a roadblock for me when it comes to a lifelong commitment. There will be times when relationships become difficult or challenging but what makes it possible to get through those trying times is you both being willing to work on those things together. In this situation he doesn’t seem to be willing to join you in working through this, and it’s not a situation you can fix on your own.

I’d have serious reservations about it simply because he won’t address it. It’s not going to go away and it could potentially get worse. You need to have a talk about how the two of you can get on the same side of this issue. 

Post # 5
37 posts
  • Wedding: February 2019

Relationships take work, alot of work actually.  Its really a give and take. You do so much for your SO that its rewarding for both parties but mentally I can see it being exhausting. Clinical depression isnt something thats easily fixable but it can be maintained. My sister just got diagnosed with it after many years and she has to see a counsler once a week until the dosage is right. If youre considering spending the rest of your life with this person, ask him to seek some help, and if he sees that your worried about him and yalls future together he’ll seek help. You cant do everything for someone, your not superwomen, he has to pitch in some too. Just have a heart to heart with him, tell him that this bothers you and why.

Post # 6
6036 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State


goose25:  it seems to me the problem isn’t that he has clinical depression. many people suffer from this and are able to get help enough to live a relatively normal life including having a normal marriage\relationship. I think the biggest problem is that he depends on you to the “cure” or to be what he uses to help him get through life on a daily basis, that’s not fair to you at all. He should be able to address his own issues inedependently of you. Now, having a supportive partner is essential for someone like your SO but him refusing to get any kind of help is not going to be good for him or you. No one can be expected to keep the kind of pace you are keeping with him and his illness. He needs to work on himself and explore options to get his depression under control. There are many options out there for him but none of that will matter until he goes out and seeks the help he needs.

Bottom line: you shouldn’t marry someone who refuses to help themselves. He should be more proactive about his mental health for both your sake and of course his own. I would be hesitant to lock myself into a future with him until he addresses the issues he has with his mental health.

Post # 7
1496 posts
Bumble bee

Is it possible you just need more time to make a decision? You say you don’t want to lose him, but you’re wondering if you should break it off… 2 years of dating isn’t really that long. You don’t have to be thinking about engagement yet. You’re still young.

My advice would be to give yourself some time to really figure out what you want.

Post # 9
7640 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Your SO’s refusal to seek help would be a huge roadblock for me as well. I was married to someone who struggled with mental illness–his struggles increased as life responsibilities (work, children) increased; the more other people needed him the less able he was to be available for others. He refused to seek or accept assistance for a long time and even then only did so sporadically. (Dealing with someone who has quit a tricyclic antidepressent cold turkey while wranging three children and a job by yourself is no fun.) 

We all have flaws/issues/challenges and I would never suggest leaving someone because he/she wasn’t perfect. Not one of us is perfect. I do believe we should strive to be our best selves for our family, to do our best to take care of the people we love. Your SO has to want to pursue treatment for himself for it to matter, but I would hope would want to pursue it so that he could be his best self for you as well. Good luck, Bee. 

Post # 10
515 posts
Busy bee

Well, I don’t know of many lasting marriages that the involved parties would describe as “[gliding] through life happily without so much effort” . . .

BUT, yeah, he should be willing to do everything in his power to make it the smoothest sailing for you, just as you do for him. What does it say that he won’t make the effort to care for himself? He surely enjoys all YOUR efforts to care for him. I mean, come on.

So in short: No, I would not deem it wise for you to hitch your cart to that star. No, ma’am. 

Post # 11
2180 posts
Buzzing bee

Your SO’s way of handling his mental illness is a red flag–not a reason to pack your bags, but something to pay attention to and address. I’m mentally ill myself with a mentally ill partner, and so there’s an extra layer of patience and empathy that comes with approaching the problems that come with our diagnoses. We do what we can to help each other out and encourage each other to make healthy choices, which sometimes includes getting outside help when we need it. 

You’ve been together two years but I’m not sure if the patient-caretaker dynamic in your romantic relationsip is sustainable or healthy. You’re his partner, not a professional therapist or doctor. No amount of love from you is going to fix is brain chemistry and you both need to recognize that. Getting help is scary, but I think you should reflect if ‘do nothing’ is the best course of action for him and if you’re enabling destructive patterns of behavior. 

Post # 12
5870 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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goose25:  I feel for you Bee and I don’t have the answer! 

I wanted to chime in because I feel like the most concerning thing is that he won’t seek professional help to solve his problems.  My situaiton has a tiny bit in common, maybe it’ll help.

I’m currently pretty badly injured and it’s putting a damper on my home life with DH.  We can’t do the type of activites we enjoy together, I go to bed early every night because it’s exhausing getting through the day with pain, there are medical bills (luckily not too bad), and I am definetly doing less than 50% of the housework.  Luckily I have a desk job and I’m not unable to work!  While of course DH is supporive, it’s a burden on him and a bummer for him.

BUT…I’m doing everything I can to get better.  (Frustratingly, I can’t find anyting that works, but I’m trying.)  I’m not refusing help and am in fact actively seeking a variety of treatments with the goal of getting back to full function.  

I can see how it would be really hard to put up with an unwell partner when they don’t seem to want to take their recovery into their own hands.  I couldn’t put up with that long term.

Post # 13
3242 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My DH is my full time carer. I am physically disabled and require a lot of help during the day. I was well when we met but slowly my health ebbed away and my DH never wavered because to him, though he could live a more exciting life with a fully well person who could fulfill all our dreams of travel and mountain climbing and musical fetival going, she wouldn’t be me. And he needs me to be happy. For him the work is worth the reward.

For me, as the dependant party, there is huge vulnerability involved in finding yourself reliant upon another person in adulthood. Its a very scary prospect and one I would wish on nobody. However, DH does know that I do everything in my power within my limitations to be a great partner. I am loving, proative and ever pushing for more progressive medical assistance. I have not sat back and accepted my fate.

Your SO needs to understand the importance of protecting his own health. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your most loved one self destruct. And there is nothing more selfish than self destructing purposefully and without consideration for partner just because you are too afraid to just try. He needs to understand that he is killing you. And he can’t continue in this way and consider himself a fully equal partner in your relationship. His duty is to make sure he is pulling his weight in the caring for his illness.

I hate specialist appointments, I hate hospital visits and I hate medication.  But if I had not committed to all three DH would not feel so loving towards me. Suffering is not enough. One must push through suffering to get to figuring out how to suffer less. Its not easy but it can be done.   

Post # 14
4695 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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goose25:  I agree with most of the PPs. DH has clinical depression, and we went through a very, very rough patch about a year ago due to it – but he faced up to it and is now on meds/in therapy. There have been times in his life when he didn’t need treatment and times when he does, but be open to treatment is key. I don’t know if we could be together if he wasn’t willing to seek treatment when needed.

Now, granted, depression makes it hard to take the iniative for things, so if you want him to get treatment, you may have to help him take the first steps – find a doctor, set up an appointment, maybe even drive him to the first appointment, and so on. As much as I detest ultimatums, I think I would hold off an engagement unless he agreed to see a doctor.

Post # 15
5940 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

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goose25:  I’m a broken record, but I went through this with my (ex)husband. He was depressed and likely had a couple other things going on and would.not.get.help.for.it. Long story short, I did get tired of it. It’s EXHAUSTING. Not that you should dump him, just explaining my experience. And the husband I’m with now is the exact opposite. No depression, totally sunny disposition. Quite a refreshing, amazing (overused word, I know) difference. Shockingly so.

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