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Advice needed for relationship

Anna_Mac
Community Member
My boyfriend of 8 years broke up with me three weeks ago due to his depression. He said at the time we would never see or talk to each other again, however last week he said he is now going to get online counselling and he won't rule out us getting back together if the counselling goes well. I've decided to leave him be to do his counselling so he can focus on getting well and not feel pressure about us. He said numerous times he doesn't even understand why he ended it but he felt he had too. Has anyone been in a situation like this and is there any advice out there for going forward? Thanks
7 Replies 7

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Anna, I know what your b/friend may have said to you to be confusing, which I'm sorry, however when someone gets depression in any form form, they tend to want to be by themselves, no matter how much they were in love, that's the effect depression has on them.
He will do this for 3 reasons, the first is that he doesn't want his depression to affect you, and the second is that he doesn't want to upset you, ( where in fact it still does) and the third, he doesn't have any answers to the questions you ask, this doesn't mean that his love for you has gone, he knows he needs help.
By all means sms him and say that you love him and will always there for him because there will be times when he wants to contact you when he hits rock bottom.
I'm so sorry for the both of you. Geoff. x

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Anna Mac~

Welcome here. Geoff has already given you a pretty good idea of what may be happening. When someone you love has depression it can be a very confusing time with little making sense.

Mind you that is the same for the person with depression too. When I've been in that state thoughts are not clear, I have a real need to withdraw, cannot talk about it , and have very little understanding even of myself. I have very much felt I was a drag on my family and they would be miles better off without me -that they could just move on. I also was unsure if I loved anyone, or was in fact capable of love. I beleived that medical help would not do much.

Later as you can imagine I found all this thinking was completely wrong, it was not my thoughts, but the depression doing my thinking for me.

There are a couple of very hopeful signs. First your boyfriend has got to the stage where he is seeking medical help. This was the start of my improvement, without it I just got worse. Second he has your support. Without the love and care of my partner things would have been much worse.

On-line counseling may be the only opportunity he has, however if he can get face-to-face that might be better, and could involve medication too, something necessary for me.

There is always a fine line as to how much to try to support. As Geoff say simply ensuring he knows you are there for him may well be all you can do at this stage.

Its a very difficult time for you, so I'll ask if oyu have any support yourself? Trying to face this sort of thing all alone is not good. If you can talk and be supported by someone else it does make life a lot easier. My partner had her mum there for her.

We would really like it if you let us know how you are going

Croix

Anna_Mac
Community Member
Thanks Croix. Yes I'm seeing a psychologist to help me get through this, she actually told me that she didn't think I really needed to see her as she thinks I'm a strong person with hope for the future and that the break up was just a big shock for me. So that's good. Yes I encouraged my ex bf to see someone face to face but he felt online would suit him, he may change his mind as time goes on. He also lives in a remote area so online is the most convenient to start with. He said he thought he would feel pressure if I contacted him to see how his counselling was going, he thought I'd only be seeing if we could get back together yet, so I told him I won't contact him and he should look after himself and feel no pressure but to not rule us out for the future. So that's where I've left it for now.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Anna Mac~

It does sound as if you are approaching matters with intelligence and a realistic outlook, and that you are doing all you can.

I would like to mention one thing, if you are in contact at any stage it may pay not to talk much about depression, counseling, getting back together or anything of that nature. I found a picture of a pet, or talk about a family matter or something practical about the household was less demanding. I could listen and little was expected from me in return.

You bf may be right about pressure. I'm not sure if this information is of any use at the moment, perhaps something to bear in mind for the future

Croix

Anna_Mac
Community Member
Thanks it's great advice. Yes I had planned that if we did get in touch for any reason that I'd keep the conversation away from the depression and counselling to show him there is no pressure from me.

Hello Anna

Welcome to the forum. There have been a number of threads on BB similar to yours. In each case where the BF/husband has depression, he is the one to leave the relationship. Women tend to stay in the home. I don't know any figures on this just my observations.

Maybe it's the "men don't cry" ethos that makes them want to be away from family and friends. Women also cut down on their interactions but don't leave the home. Do men feel a need to show they are strong and can manage their illness on their own? That may or may not be helpful. I think it is useful to realise that the BF is not so much leaving you as trying to both protect you and get well on his own. It's worth remembering I think.

After a while I think they realise how much mutual support there is in a good relationship and would like to return. Not being cynical, this is a good sign your man is accepting he is depressed and ready to accept your help and help from others. Online counselling is well established these days and will no doubt have a good impact on him. He may then be able to attend face to face counselling. When you next see your psychologist, ask her to recommend someone for your BF so when he is ready you have the information to hand.

I would have loved to have someone near me to hold my hand, so to speak. Depression is a lonely road and it takes longer to get well as there are fewer distractions. Sitting in front of the TV with a beer is great for relaxing, but not when this is all you can do. depression is as much physical as emotional in my opinion and is the reason why exercise is so beneficial. Even a short walk round the block for ten minutes can really lift your mood.

Croix tip about staying away from talking about depression is good. The only qualifier I would say is to be alert for those times when he wants to talk about how he is going, and that will happen. Be the listener and when he has talked enough move on to other things. I tried to talk to my adult children about what was happening and they really did not want to know. Not because they didn't care but because they didn't know what to say and it was uncomfortable to find mom could be unwell. So no pressure as you have identified, but do be ready when does.

Mary

Today was my 30th and I really wanted to hear from him, even just a simple Happy birthday text would have been nice. Still so shocked a mental illness took my wonderful relationship away