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kaymichele01

How to cope with a significant other who is depressed

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Hey guys. I’ve been a long time follower and poster of this site for years. I’ve struggled with my own depression and anxiety, obsessive thoughts and gone through some pretty dark times. I am on medication but I still struggle every day and now not only do I struggle, but my boyfriend of 8 years is also going through something. I finally talked him into making an appointment with my doctor for later this month, but to summarize, he’s had what I would say say I noticed as issues for years now. He used to be happy and we’d talk about marriage and we had fun together, but slowly things changed and we grew up a little more. His parents divorced, he had some money issues, his dad was in bad health, and he just all of sudden seemed to hate everything, didn’t want to get married anymore, thought it was pointless and still does, he also has ocd when it comes to certain things that he never had before all this. To make matters worse, he lost his dad a few months ago after a long illness, he barely acknowledged that he died, he never dealt with it, said he had made peace with it but to be honest, I know he never really did. Still, I let it go and let him grieve his own way. Fast forward to now, his little “quirks” have gotten worse. He never wants to do anything, complains about everything, hates his job, hates his life, etc and now he’s gotten to a point where he says he can’t stand to be touched. Like he doesn’t want me to touch him at all, not sexually, just period. Do you know how difficult it is to be in a relationship and live with someone you can’t touch or get zero affection from? I can’t remember the last time we said I love you. I’m miserable because we’re essentially roommates at this point. I want to be there for him through this process, but my own mental health is such a challenge for me, I’m not sure I can stand much more of his also. Any advice would really really be appreciated or even stories of people going through similar things! 

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Hi. I have not been through something similar, but what I can ask is: exactly how long has this gone on for? The lack of intimacy, the hatred of everything, etc? There's only so much pushing away that a person can take and for only so long. It sounds like he needs treatment and possibly medication if he is diagnosed as depressed, but in the meantime, what about YOU and YOUR needs within a relationship? Are you willing to stick it out to see if he recovers? That may take months.... he probably needs individual therapy to help him out of this negative slump, and like I said, probably meds. I personally wouldn't be able to hold on very long in that situation myself, especially if I am not married to the person, and especially if there seems to be no hope for a long-term commitment and partnership. I guess what I am asking is: how long are you willing to go through this with him? It impacts you as well, your happiness and your ability to live a fulfilling life.  

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On 3/5/2019 at 11:08 PM, kaymichele01 said:

Hey guys. I’ve been a long time follower and poster of this site for years. I’ve struggled with my own depression and anxiety, obsessive thoughts and gone through some pretty dark times. I am on medication but I still struggle every day and now not only do I struggle, but my boyfriend of 8 years is also going through something. I finally talked him into making an appointment with my doctor for later this month, but to summarize, he’s had what I would say say I noticed as issues for years now. He used to be happy and we’d talk about marriage and we had fun together, but slowly things changed and we grew up a little more. His parents divorced, he had some money issues, his dad was in bad health, and he just all of sudden seemed to hate everything, didn’t want to get married anymore, thought it was pointless and still does, he also has ocd when it comes to certain things that he never had before all this. To make matters worse, he lost his dad a few months ago after a long illness, he barely acknowledged that he died, he never dealt with it, said he had made peace with it but to be honest, I know he never really did. Still, I let it go and let him grieve his own way. Fast forward to now, his little “quirks” have gotten worse. He never wants to do anything, complains about everything, hates his job, hates his life, etc and now he’s gotten to a point where he says he can’t stand to be touched. Like he doesn’t want me to touch him at all, not sexually, just period. Do you know how difficult it is to be in a relationship and live with someone you can’t touch or get zero affection from? I can’t remember the last time we said I love you. I’m miserable because we’re essentially roommates at this point. I want to be there for him through this process, but my own mental health is such a challenge for me, I’m not sure I can stand much more of his also. Any advice would really really be appreciated or even stories of people going through similar things! 

I know how difficult it is, yes. I'm sorry that you have to live in a relationship like this. Depression does affect our behavior quite a bit, but there are other things that could be happening with your boyfriend. One thing to consider is that his problem could be medical. Another thing is that he could have experienced something without your knowledge that's causing his aversion to physical affection. Harassment, etc. Another thing is that he could have been upset by something that has happened or been said within your relationship. For example, if a man asks for something specific and his partner brushes it off or reacts negatively in any way, it can cause shame that can run wild in his head. I've seen this happen. It could be anything, regardless of your good intentions. 

I wonder... if he's depressed, then coping with life in general will compound throughout the day, typically. Maybe trying to start something in the morning would help. Your call. And you can inch toward it. Another thing you can try is to get him into a hot tub or whirlpool or something and sit together - you're not wearing much, and he's being touched by the water. Try to associate it with something positive or something that you already know he likes. I wouldn't push, but this is what I mean by inching your way toward a physical relationship again. Physical contact will help his depression. Lots of good neurotransmitters. 🙂  And it strengthens relationships (normally,) is good for stress, etc.

What I wouldn't do is to let the issue go on too long. He needs to understand how important this is to you. If, after trying whatever you're able to try, and he doesn't respond... Can he? Or is this not important enough to him? Or...

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