Dating someone with depression when I have my own mental health issues - please help.
I've been dating my boyfriend for a year now. At the time had just come out of a 5 year relationship, so we took things slow but were still having a great time together, going on regular dates and having a lot of fun.
Over time it became apparent there were other reasons we were taking it slow. He explained he just wasn't happy in his life, job, etc. and felt numb. More recently, he has opened up to me further. Until he was able to work on that, he explained he would struggle to treat me how I deserve and come to love me. He's scared to hurt me, because he's been hurt himself and didn't quite recover from the pain his ex went through. He said he doesn't know 'when or if' he will come to love me in his current condition, but he thinks we're perfect together otherwise and he sees himself settling down with me and having a family.
We've decided to stay together, but give him a couple of months alone with his depression so he can work on himself.
I've struggled with depression, eating disorders and insecurity in the past, so of course this has been very triggering to me and made me feel like I'm not good enough. I keep thinking to cliches, like 'if he liked me, surely we could just work through this' and 'if he can't guarantee everything's going to be okay or that he will love me one day, what am I waiting around for?'. I keep fretting that he must not feel that spark with me, and he's just avoiding the hard decision of breaking up.
I'd love your help -
- How do I get through this period, especially over Christmas, with a lack of certainty and security?
- How can I support him through his depression and meet his needs? I only truly realised it was depression recently, and realised I've been tough on him saying things in weak moments like, 'if you like me so much, why can't you just commit to me?'.
- At the same time, how can I meet his needs? I feel like the current arrangement is meeting his needs and not mine - it doesn't feel like there's a compromise.
Really just any compassionate words and advice would be appreciated.
Thank you and happy holidays. 🙂
Hi ED, welcome
I totally understand. I'm a positive person, sometimes over positive so I see positives in everything. My wife both have mental illnesses that is so good to know because we understand each other, our limitations and our tolerance we need.
We also though often cant walk in someone elses shoes. One year really isn't long enough for some to commit. The more you ask for it the more he'll treat it as a demand. It has to come natural.
You can remind him however, during general conversation that you are not his ex, that you are you, totally different than her. It might take some time for him to get over her. this is no reflection of his love for you.
Support is beneficial when you are there when he needs you. Subtle suggestions like attending the doctor and go with him. you are his monitor of how well he is travelling.
Read up on threads here, there are thousands of them. eg
Topic: the balance of your life- beyondblue