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Topic: Being a Strong Partner for my depressed boyfriend

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Gingerbread88
    Gingerbread88 avatar
    1 posts
    3 December 2018

    Hi Everyone,

    I am on here because I am really struggling with being the rock for my bf during this tough time.

    my bf has had a seriously tough upbringing, his dad left him as a young boy, had a terrible ex gf who cheated on him after a long period of time leaving him broke at the end of it all as he had to sell up all the assets. he has such obstacles in life, and had been through alot of abandonment through his life.

    1 year into our 2 year relationship he told me about the face that he may be suffering from depression. i have tried to be there for him, i love him so much and I want and will be there for him but his condition has worsened lately

    He has started taking medication which has had some side effects. he tells me he likes “silent time” so he told me not be around all the time. iunderstand how you would like to be alone sometimes but It makes me feel so helpless, unwanted and uneeded. When I come home now we barely even speak. i just feel like im not required, unneeded and unloved. I feel like he only kisses me out of routine and not because he wants to. He stopped showing me affection about 1 year ago

    i am trying to be so strong for him, reminding myself that it is because of his condition, that I need to be strong ans supportive for him and he needs to see me happy and supportive, but now I am left in a position of feeling stuck, unloved, helpless and alone. i dont want to stress him out anymore, but I just dont know if I could carry on like this. Its always a constant battle in my own head between whether it really is the condition or he just no longer loves me

    anyone else experienced this and can give some advice?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Quercus
    Community Champion
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    Quercus avatar
    59 posts
    5 December 2018 in reply to Gingerbread88

    Hi Gingerbread88 and welcome to the forums,

    Reading your post made me think of something that happened last week. Perhaps embarrassing but I'll share it in the hope it will help you.

    Like your BF I manage depression. Sometimes not so well. A long time ago my husband and I promised to speak up if we weren't happy.

    Last week hubby spoke up. Said he had made a promise to me to tell me and he is tired of me being apathetic and not caring about or making an effort for anything around me.

    He didn't expect the reply he got.... I'm tired too. I'm tired of being told to ignore what anyone else says and just do what I need to to be safe... And yet to be expected to perform and fake happy and energetic for him.

    I told him I refuse to go back to the mental state I was in (suicidal) even for him. And that if that means he can't accept I cannot go back to how I was when we married without being unwell then perhaps he needs to pack up and find someone else.

    He sat down lost for words and asked me to explain more. It sounds such a negative story but the honesty helped more than anything.

    My point is sometimes we need to be honest. If you want this relationship to work he needs to know you're unhappy. It doesn't mean anything will change but it can help to know what specifically makes you unhappy and whether it can be changed.

    I hope you can find ways to feel more appreciated and cared for that he is able to give.


  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    379 posts
    10 December 2018 in reply to Gingerbread88

    Hi Gingerbread88,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for being here and sharing what's going on.

    I'm sorry that you're struggling with this. As someone who has been both a carer and a person with mental illness I can see both sides of the story. It can be a bit of an awful cycle.

    When my partner got depression, he completely withdrew. Forget intimacy - he didn't even think to hug me or hold my hand. I on the other hand adore being hugged and crave it like no tomorrow. So I completely see where you're coming from and how it would make you feel rejected.

    I think the only way you can ever be 'whole' and caring is to put yourself first. I agree with Nat here - communication is important. How can you be helpful for him? Can he reassure you that you are still loved and needed? This is something only he can tell you.

    Please know that the feeling of helplessness is totally normal, but chances are you're helping more than you'll ever know. Being able to sit with him, or give him silent time, or even just 'be in the relationship' is just as powerful as listening to him talk all night. Depression can be a very dark place, so knowing that someone is there really does make a world of difference (even if it doesn't feel like it).

    and finally.. know that you are strong. Relationships are not easy, and relationships where someone has depression is even harder. But we are here for you, whatever you decide to do.

    Hope this helps,