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Boyfriend has depression and is pushing me away

Community Member

I have always been someone who has been somewhat emotionally intelligent. I have had several relationships - some great, some bad. Either way I have learnt a lot each time. I met my boyfriend 5 months ago and it felt like something just clicked. He just felt right. We happened to meet before summer holidays so spent lots of time together making plans and having fun. After holidays we both started work, his work seemed to bring him a lot of unhappiness. His beloved dog seemed to make him sad a lot too as she is old and losing her faculties. I instantly switched into support mode and have consistently been there since.

In late Jan we had our first fight and it was bad, he ended up leaving and driving back home (1 hour away) and this scared me a lot. He recovered and all was well. He continued to spiral into a depression and I continued to support him. He fell in love with me so fast and cried when he said it to me as he said 'he felt scared of love'.

Things have continued to spiral with him and me. I have given him space when he has wanted it, been there to support him when he needed it and yet he has consistently now started saying he can't commit to me. The problem is, I accept that and give him space and he then gets needy and wants to cling to me and seek reassurance.

Downside of this is I am now left completely depleted of empathy, self esteem and trust/hope for the relationship. If he doesnt sleep well I get cut out. He knows he needs help and has FINALLY started seeing a therapist but I don't actually know if I can support him through this as he seems to focus solely on the relationship when he feels anxious/depressed.

I am lost, I miss my partner but he feels gone. I can't keep putting myself in harms way either.

Any advice about this would be great.

1 Reply 1

That Other Guy
Community Member
There's a few things here.

Is this a relationship or are you a support worker? You need to work out the LONG TERM benefits of this FOR YOU, because if you're just giving support, that will wear thin. Better to break it now than waste both your time.

If you decide that you DO want to work on this, the fact he's starting therapy is a good first step. In that case, I'd suggest talking about your fears and concerns openly with him and establishing goals and a timeline. You are willing to work on it, but you anticipate within 6 months, he'll be able to show support for the relationship all the time, etc. That's how I dealt with my relationship problems. I knew I was not willing to stay a door mat but I knew I desparately wanted to stay with my wife, so I set goals and timelines to establish I wasn't willing to stay for what is happening now, but on the basis we were working towards something better for both of us.