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Communication with your partner

Hot_Rocks
Community Member
Hey guys,

I've recently been diagnosed with depression/anxiety, and I think for a long time I've been holding in my feelings rather than sharing them with my partner and my family. Now that I've been diagnosed it is a bit of a relief that I can talk to a doctor, and I've broached the conversation with my family, but I want to know how you guys have gone about having that conversation with your partner. I don't want them to feel like what I am going through emotionally is a result of something I did, and I don't want to find myself asking too much of them, but I feel like I'm going to need their support as I try to work my way through a number of years of emotions that I haven't really confronted, and whatever lifestyle changes end up coming with it. The stigma of men having to just be strong and silent is absolute rubbish!

So my question is this, how do I let my partner in and let them help me emotionally so that I don't feel the way I do now? And how to I make sure I don't just become needy and rely on them for everything? I can't let them just be my emotional whipping post, all that will do is create resentment. But not sharing how I really feel will drive them away as well. How do I find that middle ground where we're in it together but we can still separate our relationship from my illness?
6 Replies 6

Doolhof
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Hot Rocks,

Welcome to Beyond Blue and to the community here. I am not a bloke, but I would just like to suggest you have a read of some of the information here at Beyond Blue.

If you are looking for help with your depression, check out "Get Support" . There is a section of information aimed at assisting "Men" and looking at "Supporting Someone" would be very beneficial.

There are tips on how people can help others with depression. If you print this out, you could show it to your partner and explain what is relevant to you and how they can help you.

You can also use the phone help line on 1300 22 4636 or send in an email to Beyond Blue asking requesting further information.

Hopefully some guys will come along soon to respond to you as well.

Depression is certainly something a lot of us here can relate to!

Cheers for now from Mrs. Dools

Neil_1
Community Member
Hi there H.R.

As Mrs Dools has done, I’d also like to welcome you to Beyond Blue.

I’m gathering your main issue that you’ve got now is how to tell your partner?

Ok, so I’ve read that you’ve got a good doc and you found that good to be able to talk at your appointment, which is awesome.

You also mentioned that you’ve broached the topic with your family? That suggests to me that you’ve in some way, you’ve already spoken with your partner about it?

I think as well as you reading further information on this site, it might be a good thing to get your partner to visit this site and point her in the direction of some reading matter relating to this awful illness.

And on your comment about men having to be strong and silent, etc … you are 100% correct; it is rubbish and that is the trouble I think for a lot of blokes. They simply hold it in and don’t let out what’s troubling them – more so way back a number of years ago, but I do believe it’s changing a bit, which is a great thing.

I’ve only really rambled here, but just wanted to send this off to you and do hope that you can post again.

Neil

Hot_Rocks
Community Member
Hey guys,

Yeah I'm just worried about how I talk to her about it, and that I don't want it to turn into me just relying on her to support me all the time, should I take it slow or just put it all out there?

Neil_1
Community Member
Hi there HR

The thing is with our partners or pretty much “anyone” who doesn’t suffer from depression and the like, is that it can be extremely hard for them to understand. Hells bells, I’ve suffered from it for most of my adult life (I’m 51yo) and I still don’t understand it !

So don’t be surprised if your partner really struggles to understand. But I’d be perhaps feeding her bits at a time; instead of giving a massive unload.

But again, with each person, things can be very different – so only you know your partner and you know how much has already been kind of filtered.

Perhaps if you felt comfortable enough, maybe she could attend a doctor’s visit with you – in order to learn a bit more and perhaps even get some professional thoughts/assistance, maybe on how to help at home for you?

Kind regards

Neil

Magpie62
Community Member

Hi HR

I feel for you mate because we are not invincible and as a male especially in Australian society there is that prevailing toughen up crap! Been there done that and it tore me apart.

Yep done that and it's OK to be vulnerable and have to rely on others for support. What you are experiencing is tough and will open your soul. I still can't believe where the suppressed stuff of a lifetime keeps surfacing from. With it there can be closure and moving on. So breathe it and feel it as it won't be a walk in the park but you'll come through it.

Communication is the Key and if your partner is willing it would be good for her to speak with a counsellor/doctor etc. as you've already broached the subject then that has eased the path for you.

My partner wouldn't as I had the problem not her and although supportive no rationale on what I was going thru. My daughter had a support teacher at her high school which helped her.

Really any information that helps your family is important to help them understand. Also the more information your have on what you are dealing with is a great help.

My lifesaver was finding a book in an airport shop called "Mindfulness for Dummies". The breathing and mindfullness got me started on the road to recovery and as an aside I noticed my family checking it out.

my thoughts are with you and hope you start moving forward to a better place

take care

P

Mr_Cool
Community Member

Hi Hot Rocks,

I have been there and I found that it really depends on your wife.

Whats your relationship like, and what does she know about depression.

The problem can be that they also don't know what to do and the whole "Just get over it" can become a very negative thing. Sounds like you are already aware of the fact that you could become a drain on them, so you could manage that.

I would suggest just start talking to them, and let the, know how you feel, it's not a quick fix