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So I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs within those 4 years. He has depression and it’s got a lot worse in the last couple of years, he doesn’t cope well with expectations or commitment (he doesn’t think anything lasts because other relationships like his parents, etc, haven’t lasted) which I’ll be honest I find very hard due the my trust issues and anxiety. I feel like I have tried everything to help him, I’ve been there for him whenever he needs me but I’ve also tried to give him whatever space he needs, I’ve been supportive of him, I’ve researched and researched depression and what helps and what to do to help someone with depression, I have tried to understand and do everything to help him but I feel like it is never enough. I’m making him a happy jar which has lots of his favourite song lyrics, photos and memories, but also quotes and sayings to try and help him think positive in his moments of darkness as such.
He likes having time to himself and he says it’s to work through what is going on in his head, which I understand and try to give him as much space as he needs, but I know he distracts himself with other things so he doesn’t have the opportunity to think as he doesn’t necessarily know how to process what is going on in his head (his words) which means it takes such a long time for him – And for me it is incredibly hard because I depend on him a lot, he’s like the only person I trust and he’s the one person I want/need to turn to whenever I’m having a difficult time, but whenever he has a down moment I feel I can’t because he needs space and I don’t want to burden him with my problems when he’s got what he’s got going on.
He was diagnosed with depression about 6/7 years ago after his previous relationship had a bad ending, his parents basically forced him to go to the doctors and they gave him medication and counselling though he didn’t do either for very long. He says he managed to “snap himself out of it” (again his words), but I’ve tried to explain to him that depression is a medical illness and it isn’t something he should or can cope with on his own (because this is what he wants, to deal with it on his own) and he won’t consider getting medical help or going to speak with someone, I’ve suggested becoming a part of an online forum so he doesn’t have to face people when talking about his troubles (he’s mentioned this is something that is hard for him) and that then he can see that others go through something similar and it’s okay to feel this way and that it doesn’t make him an awful, terrible person – But he wasn’t comfortable with this either.
I myself have gone to my doctors and been referred to counselling to work on my issues, I wanted to do this because I hoped that if I could control my troubles maybe I’d be able to understand his troubles more and be more accepting to when he needs his space, but I feel like he’s still making it out like we need to fix things in the relationship and I feel horrible thinking this, but I am getting help and I am making the effort to help this relationship and to make it work, whereas he hasn’t really done much to do that.
The worst part is that whenever we meet after he’s had space to try to talk his answer to everything is always I don’t know, I know he might not know but I don’t know how to understand that he doesn’t know anything. He says he loves me, he says he sees me and this relationship as something serious, he says he wants us to have a future, but then he always says he doesn’t know. He never knows how much time he needs so I just have to sit and wonder what is going on and what he is thinking, which gets me upset and panicked which doesn’t help the situation.
I don’t really know what I’m going to gain from this post or what I want to be honest, maybe a bit of guidance on how to cope and handle this, I want to help him and be there for him but I feel like I’m feeling more and more pushed away and I’m doubting if he actually wants to be with me. I never know what is his depression talking or him talking and that makes me so nervous. But yeah, any advice would be much appreciated
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