Boyfriend with depression, what should I do?

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I have been in a long distance relationship with my boyfriend for almost a year and he has had PTSD, anxiety disorder, dreams disorder for 10 years now. I love him a lot and at the beginning of the relationship I actually neglected many things that he did/said that hurt me, thinking it is simply personality differences and things will be more settled once we get to know each other better. But recently things have got worse. And I feel like I can't take them much longer. We have had a lot of fights and he started to blame me for every thing that happened. He failed to acknowledge his wrong doing and could not take it if being criticized. He doesn't like to argue, but at the same time he gets frustrated very easily, which makes our arguments escalate.

I have never been with someone who has depression, and though I have tried to be supportive and I also read a lot of things about supporting a depressed partner, but still, I know sometimes I am not sensitive enough in handling his mood swinging and frustration.

He refused all kinds of therapies or activities, saying they are not for him and he doesn't believe in them. I have been through many hardships recently, but he gets more depressed than I am, and takes it personally.  It always seem to be a race, of who is feeling worse. Because if I tell about my negative feeling, he would tell me how much worse he is feeling. I have always had to put my sadness aside, to cheer him up. I suggested things for him to do. But nothing works. Everything is a no-no to him. He is annoyed with everything and every one. There seems to be nothing that he is happy about. And that has been dragging me down. I have become depressed and lost my patience, too.

I do not know if the depression will go away once we move in together. He says his condition will definitely get better because he will be happy with me. But I am not so sure, if that will ever be enough. And it does seem, with his unhappiness, both of us are not happy now.

Have you had a depressed partner? If so, could you please share your experiences?

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  • Posted

    I can only say that if you really love him, why not try and live together and perhaps compete for happiness instead.  Loneliness and isolation isn't helpful for people that are depressed.

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    • Posted

      We are making the plan for him to move to my town very soon. And I am also the one to believe that love can heal. However, from what I have experienced so far, it doesn't. Sometimes he appears to be a very loving person, but other times, he is not. It is like living with someone with two personalities. And I am not sure which one is his real one, and which one is affected by depression. The more I give in, the more demanding he has become.  It is getting to the point that I am getting hurt (more frequently). That why I am getting confused.

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    • Posted

      No, no, no!  Love does not heal someone like this!  You asked for an opinion from someone who has a partner like this.  I too used to make excuses for him and stick with it but it never gets better.  They thrive off of your unhappiness and nothing you ever do will please him!  Please trust me on this!  You say the more you give, the more he wants!  This is so familiar!  It's all about him and his needs and YOU fulfilling them!  Please heed my warning! 

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  • Posted

    It is so easy for a caring person like you to think living together will be the tonic he needs, and wouldn't you love to be his saviour, to be the one who made him whole? But, please be realistic, and consider. You have no reason to believe you can be this to him. Your experience to date shows him to be utterly demanding and detrimental to your own well-being. Wiser, and kinder, would be to protect yourself by keeping a safe distance and to encourage him in taking more responsibility for himself. Until he does this he will be a danger to any partner.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much, Graham for your advice. It made me cry actually, not sure why love needs to be so difficult and hurtful. I keep asking myself if I haven't done enough or if my approach is wrong but I can't find the answer because even talking about the solution is not a thing for him. He distracts me from the topic every time I bring it up. Or he might say he just needs me. However, we have spent a lot of time together, vacations, weekends, etc.. and his depression doesn't magically disappear overnight. 

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  • Posted

    Yes, Marie, love can so so often be difficult and hurtful.  Easy love is probably not the real thing.  But agape [a Greek word] love is not a feeling, it is the love that does the right thing without looking for a return, the feelings come with what happens, happiness or pain.  I think you should be cautious.  Is his love for you agape love, or is he looking to you for the return you will give him?   He says he just needs you, you say.  Giving in is not love.  Sometimes we need to be cruel to be kind, by being honest perhaps, and challenging him to respond to you.  Oh, that's hard, it is hard, but can work wonders.

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    • Posted

      The messages have been mixed. It feels like he would become nothing without me. At first it was such a good flattering feeling, I must admit. Who wouldn’t want someone who loves them from head to toes like that? But now, it has become a… burden and my constant worries that he would commit a suicide if we parted our way. I can’t even have a normal argument that any couples may have because he would get so depressed, which I am to be blamed for later and have to put up with his anger just in order to calm him down. I do want to put a pause to our moving-in plan, but starting a conversation, stating clearly my concerns may send him straight to a frustrating mode, which is scarier than anything that I have experienced in my life. But when he is not depressed or frustrated, he seems to be a different person, with great sense of humor, very caring, reasonable and sweet. And the distance between us makes it harder to judge, because everytime we see each other it is just like a short vacation, which is not enough to understand a person or how he will behave in a non-holiday context.

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    • Posted

      All of this is so familiar!  Stop coddling him!  That's what he wants so he can blame you.  I got the suicide threats, etc. but yet he had no problem cheating on me and leaving a couple of times.  Of course, that was blamed on me too!  Please, spare yourself a lifetime of hell and get out now while you can! 

       

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  • Posted

    Hi Marie - wow. First, it's along distance relationship. There are so many dynamics that are missing when we are not face to face. Second, the script for your life together has already been written - fighting, blaming, ultra-sensitivity, failure to acknowledge, easily frustrated, escalating arguments...How much of a red flag do you need?

    Next, he refuses "all kinds of therapies or activities, saying they are not for him." How's that working out? Then the race to see who feels worse. You, having to put your unacknowledged sadness aside to serve his. Everything is a negative. "He is annoyed with everyone and everything." That includes you.

    Then, the punchline: "I do not know if the depression will go away once we move in together." What? No. It won't "go away." He refuses to get treatment. The last thing you do is uproot your life and live with someone who refuses to get better, and whose attitude to you has "got worse." He has to want treatment, and he has to get it himself. But he would rather abuse you and whine about how sad he is. The best thing you can do is cut him loose. Don't bury yourself deeper in his hell. 

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  • Posted

    Marie, I do understand.  You write 'It feels like he would become nothing without me. At first it was such a good flattering feeling, I must admit. Who wouldn’t want someone who loves them from head to toes like that?'  But don't you see your own vulnerability? Then 'But now, it has become a… burden and my constant worries that he would commit a suicide if we parted our way.'  Do you see his power to manipulate you?  Do you see how easy it is for him to play on your heart strings?  You must test out your defensive mechanism before allowing him to come any closer, and test out his integrity as a man, by setting him a challenge, by telling him a home truth he will find difficult, and see if he is prepared to consider your position and respect your opinions. 

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  • Posted

    Hi my advice is do not move in with him until he accepts he has a problem and gets some help.  Nothing will change otherwise and it would be a disaster for you.  You cannot help him until he helps himself but maybe you can convince him to see his doctor?  Think very carefully about it all.  x
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  • Posted

    I stopped reading this after a couple of paragraphs.  I think you're using the wrong word here to diagnose his problem.  Instead of depression, lets try narcissist.  Nothing good ever comes from hanging on to a narcissist.  They will continue to blame everything that goes wrong on you even when you had no hand in it.  You virtually become their whipping doll.  He could be bipolar which is a form of depression but from what I was reading, his narcissism is prominent here.  Narcissists are great at trying to shield themselves from responsibility with illness or a mental disorder.  If he is depressed and does not seek out help it's because he doesn't want any or he isn't depressed.  He wants your sympathy and he wants to mentally be able to brow beat you and hold his illness up to keep you at bay.  My advice to you is plain and simple...get out now or you'll be sorry.

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    • Posted

      Hi Yvonne - yes, you have a very valid point there. It could all be a ruse for sympathy, entangling Marie in his web and becoming a toy for him to humiliate. The assertion that his condition "will definitely get better because he will be happy" when (if) Marie moves in with him is a typical deflection and a set up to blame Marie when his 'condition' get's worse.

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    • Posted

      very good advice , narcarcissts are deadly , he will zap u of ur life , feel dead and guilty for not been there for him , ask yourself wd he be there for u? probably not if hes selfish and will get another whipping doll to treat badly. you will end up worse than him if u live with him get out now! that's my advice

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  • Posted

    Thank you, guys for the advice. I do see all the red flags but it doesn’t seem to be that easy to just drop it and leave. He is such a sweetheart when we are together. He is lovely to anyone from waitresses to beggars. But when we are not together, what I feel is only anger and annoyance, which he has blamed for the distance and that he misses me too much creates intense stress. So I have been understanding and forgiving. But when it got to be too much bear, I did try to walk away once because I didn’t see any improvements and happy future at all. At that time, he had a severe breakdown and expressed that he didn’t want to live anymore and promised to change his behaviors in order to make it work between us. However, he still could not relax. He went to see the doctor last few weeks and came back, telling me that he was told he didn’t need any therapy. Instead, he blamed his depression on me and my problems. This is absolutely not the vibe I would like to go with. However, I feel a bit stuck here, being unable to help him, but cannot put an end to it.
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