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Relationship is falling apart

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My fiancée and I have been together for four years. We have had our problems in the past and have typically been able to resolve most of them. For the past two to three weeks, however, it has almost seemed as if a switch has been flipped in our relationship. This last month or so has been marked by her being extremely critical of nearly every component of our relationship. Any effort to discuss this generally is met with a prolonged, unproductive fight that spirals downward very quickly. She brings up around a dozen or so things that I have either done wrong or have been unsuccessful in fixing in our relationship. She is bitter and resentful towards me. She frequently leaves the apartment after our fights to hang out with a male coworker until after midnight. She says that she feels hopeless and that she cannot envision a future for herself -- with or without me. I feel as though she is pushing me away and I cannot seem to get her back. The only happiness she finds is in the company of other people.

She has suffered from depression and anxiety in the past but it has always been manageable. I have started going to relationship counseling. I have asked her to go but she absolutely refuses to. She also acknowledges that she is slipping into a deep depression but she refuses to seek treatment. I am at a loss. I love this girl. She says that she cannot move beyond or get over my shortcomings but she also will not break up with me. I am becoming very depressed myself being in this limbo for so long. I have not always been a great partner and I have my share of flaws that I am working on. I am at  a loss for what to do. I know that there is a lot that I need to work on in my life but I feel like we can overcome our problems. She is much more pessimistic but does not want to break off our engagement. 

It is also worth noting that we just moved to a larger city (she has agoraphobia), she just started a very stressful job, she is taking college courses and she has been getting cluster headaches every day. 

I need help. Everything I do is wrong and I am slipping further and further into a depression as each day goes by. I have never felt so hopeless. If this is how badly I feel, I can only imagine what she is suffering through. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Our relationship may be doomed but I want her to find happiness. 




Edited by VTLife
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Giving her an ultimatum is the only option if she absolutely refuses to get any kind of relationship or psychological counselling. The situation obviously isn't going to resolve on its own and in a way you're enabling her by letting her treat you poorly. Sometimes people use mental illness as an excuse to treat others like sh1t, it is NOT, we're still responsible for our actions and most of us can pull it together for work so there's no reason why we can't do it at home. Abuse is abuse, doesn't matter what the abusers themselves are going through. If I were you I'd tell her you'll do everything to help her get better but you will no longer just watch her get worse, even if that means breaking off the engagement. 

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Hmm I disagree that an 'ultimatum' will help, if all you do is argue at the minute that will turn things nasty quickly. I have been in a similar situation except me being the other person. If someone I loved had give me an ultimatum I would even to this day tell them to go **** themselves.

You need to disengage. This is going to be extremely difficult for you because it sounds like you are in a toxic rut of existing on arguments and excuses. You're battling fire with fire & it just won't work.

Keep going to relationship counselling, tell her the dates that they are on & say she is welcome to come (dont ask or demand. By the sounds of it she is flailing trying to gain control of her situation to which she doesn't have much control over) 

Perhaps pin the dates on the fridge so she can see then aswell?

The biggest thing you need to do is not engage in arguments. Easier said than done but it is the only way to break the cycle without either of you leaving (if it is your choice to stay). 

Discuss your issues in counselling so that when you get home you are chilled. Don't give in to her. If she starts going off on one saying how you are - instead of flying off because its unfair of her to be calling you out when nobody is perfect - just say calmly I am sorry for that specific thing but nobody is perfect and that you are now going to go watch tv/play a game/make a cuppa/have some food, would she like to join You?

Don't give time to discuss both of your wrongdoings until shes in a more stable place herself.

This going out with her co-worker is most likely to escape arguments. If you dont rise to her, try have fun with her to remind her of the couple you used to be, she is more likely to stop lashing out and might talk? 

You need to be water. Cool as a cucumber. Save your heat for counselling. See if this cool approach has an effect on her.

By cool I don't mean cold...still be affectionate (if you want to) be normal in every way just dont engage in the arguments. 

See how she responds to this.

If she continues pushing you, going out with co-worker and disrespecting you then there might not be anything you can do except end it and separate.

You cant force people to get help.

Good luck x


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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, a week ago, it officially fell apart. As with any breakup, I have been left very hurt, sad, confused and filled with regret. And I am having so many doubts about all of this. She entered a very dark place over the past month and I was not always the most supportive -- mostly because I was worried to death about her and because I was threatened by the male coworker she had been spending late night hours with. I worry that her depression and/or anxiety made her put up a wall that prevented me from reaching her and because she did not have anyone else to talk to about all of the problems in her life, she turned to this guy who she developed an emotional attachment to...and now she has kicked me, her fiancee, to the curb. Either that, or she was actually cheating with this guy in the classic sense and did not know how to break up with me due to her anxiety, so she simply was stringing me a long for the last month. 

Something changed, a switch was flipped and this girl who I have been with for four years became a different person. Her anxiety was so bad, that I did 100% of the grocery shopping. It went from that to her leaving the house every night at late hours by herself -- which was unheard of throughout our relationship. 

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I'm so sorry to hear that :( I'm also going through the end of a long relationship so I know how you might feel. Feel free to pm me if you'd like to vent to an open ear. Unfortunately there is no quick way to get over the pain, but it does lessen over time. 

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Could be that she's blaming you for her depression. Not saying it's the case but it's not unheard of for people who are depressed to blame everybody around them for the way they feel. Often this presents itself as "If only I had a (better) partner" or "If only I had a different job" then my life would be OK and I'd be happy again. Sometimes changing external factors will relieve depression temporarily since it provides distraction and this tends to further reinforce that belief, of course the happiness doesn't last and a few months down the road depression will rear its ugly head again. This is even more true when someone depressed falls in love, they see the new person as their ticket to happiness. There are people that make a career out of this and keep running away from problems not realizing that they themselves are the problem. 

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