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Learning To Be Your Own Person Again....?


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Hey all. This is something that has been plaguing my mind a little bit and I wanted to share it on the forums to see if anyone else has gone through this.

Long story short ever since I graduated high school and began the quest to becoming a young adult I've had self-doubts and insecurities with dating and relationships. There were many times I would shoot myself down or not even try to date, especially when going through a depressive episode, because my fear of rejection and heartache always outweighed my desire for companionship.

However through a recent string of events and happenings I have met and am beginning to fall in love with a wonderful girlfriend. She's a very creative and intelligent woman, strong and capable. Me being a mechanic and her being an art school grad with a speciality in print-making, I feel we can both connect with our passion for a craft and working with our hands.

She too suffers from depression like me and we have both been very honest and supportive with each other. However, I feel like there is a line somewhere where a significant other just shouldn't be a therapist.

Like, I enjoy that we can be supportive of each other, but I still struggle with my self-doubts and insecurities, and sometimes I feel I look to her too much for validation or happiness. I was going through an especially depressive episode the other night, so I asked her to stay the night over. It was nice having her there, but it seemed that was all we talked about, and the next morning I just felt a bit disappointed that it didn't brighten my mood. Like, I thought we'd just cuddle it out and I'd be feeling better. (Sorry if this is tmi, guys). I was really bummed out about it. Then all morning at work I was stewing it over in my mind. So after work I met up with my best friend who got back out of town and we talked about things and hung out and discussed various business to attend to, and I also had a really good job interview, which looks like I'll get a job, so all that cheered me up considerably.

I guess the bottom line is this. From this I feel like I learned I really need to work on being my own person, and bettering myself for me as well as her. I love her, and she loves me, but I've come to realize I shouldn't try to make her my primary source of happiness or support. I shouldn't expect her to be a girlfriend and a therapist. It's neither realistic nor fair to expect that from another person. So for the sake of our relationship, and really for my own sake as well, I'm going to strive to draw boundaries where I feel what I'm asking for is beyond her responsibility, and seek to better myself and be my own person through various pursuits and treatments/therapies.

Not to say that this isn't something I'll have to keep working at, lol. Anybody else been there?

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She too suffers from depression like me and we have both been very honest and supportive with each other. However, I feel like there is a line somewhere where a significant other just shouldn't be a therapist.

Like, I enjoy that we can be supportive of each other, but I still struggle with my self-doubts and insecurities, and sometimes I feel I look to her too much for validation or happiness.

I guess the bottom line is this. From this I feel like I learned I really need to work on being my own person, and bettering myself for me as well as her. I love her, and she loves me, but I've come to realize I shouldn't try to make her my primary source of happiness or support.

I think your analysis is very accurate. It takes a lot of wisdom to recognize this and a lot of courage to work on it. Good luck!

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I also think its rite that your partner is best not your therapist as well. There can be an element of this in successful Romantic relationships but they Most often offer a different kind of support -more the kind of warmth that u describe in the 'cuddles' you talk about. There have been times when I wished my partner could relate better to my depression & issues I've had as a result of a difficult childhood. I am now aware tho that I can't expect her to be a therapist to me as that really is asking for too much. I began to realise this because there are times she too, just through normal life events, needs my more in depth support, we just can't both do this for each other all of the time. Also, as some issues can arise directly from the self-same relationship with your partner, it's better to b able to offload outside that relationship with an independent party

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I struggle with that myself. My spouse has a physical disability and that can make him depressed and feel inadequate sometimes. For a long time he only turned to me and atill does now. As someone with depression it is very hard for me to be objective. I tend to sympathize too much, feel sad and get down instead of being supportive. It's very difficult over time to shoulder that weight.

It's important to have friends. I dont really have anyone I can talk to about that stuff which is why i signed up for this forum. My spouse had a close friend who he could talk to sometimes but he recently moved away. So many challenges.

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Hi N. I'm glad u signed up here. I haven't been here that long but I have felt strong links to the things other people are experiencing. It helps give me a boost to know I'm not alone. For you It must be alot to take on... One benefit of me seeing a counsellor is that takes the pressure off my partner & our relationship generally. I,think everyone benefits from a professionally trained ear at times. Maybe your spouse would benefit & it would give you both a break too and that might free up energy for you both to use on happier things perhaps.?

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