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How do I help my partner and myself?

Community Member
My partner has decided to leave me due to her battle with depression. I still cant believe that it has come to this, as we have had a plutonic relationship. She has said that she cannot put love into me if she can't do it to herself. I understand that you need to love yourself before loving another, but even though I've said ill be here for her and do whatever I have to do for her, she still believes that this is the right answer.Honestly, I feel like a part of me has been ripped out and yes, I would do anything for her so she can get the help in which she needs however at the same time i want her to be here with me. Is this selfish?One day she loves me and the next she decides this is the best decision for her so she can seek help.She has made plans to see her doctor and I'm glad she told me this. The decision wasn't made overnight, but she never mentioned anything about it to me over the past few weeks. Yes, i noticed her change and she had previously said to me thats the needed her space. I went from seeing her everyday and enjoying the things that we both love and brought us together, to seeing her once a week and now none.I honestly don't know what to do. She means the world to me and it hurts so much not only for me with how I'm feeling right now, but to see her suffer like this and for it to make her push me away.Do I seek help? My whole world changed for the good because of her, and for that I'm grateful. But now I sit at home alone and wish she was there to walk up behind me and give me that kiss and say she loves me.We had big plans for the future, as a couple and dreams like all of us have. I just feel helpless.I've never felt this way about anyone in my life, and like a flash she’s gone.Yeah I want her to get the help she needs and for her to feel like a normal person again. Yes one day i’d love to hear the doorbell ring and she’s standing at the door, i would greet her with open arms.I don’t care how long have to wait, i will be waiting for her and i hope she knows that.
58 Replies 58

Lynda, I believe thats exactly whats going on. She's right, I didn't know her like I do now before she first was diagnosed with her depression so to see the change when she got off her medication was a shock and hard for me. I'm not applying anymore pressure than I have to. Like what Paul said, the small talk I had with her yesterday, I had to refrain from asking questions which would of resulted in her being angry because I haven't respected her decision.

Today I decided to write a letter, which I won't be sending straight away, that entails my thoughts and how I feel I need some clarity. I've written in how I feel so proud that she's seeking the help she needs and is taking it head-on. The next week or so I'm going to send, yes I may not receive an answer to a number of things, but the letter does explain my FULL support for her in this battle.

Adapting to my life at the moment without her is extremely hard and I'm hoping this letter can ease some pain that I have inside.

Hey CM

Sorry about my typo above....I am glad you understood where I was coming from.

You wrote: "I may not receive an answer to a number of things, but the letter does explain my FULL support for her in this battle"

I think you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving her your heartfelt letter. I am a romantic at heart and I would do the same. Seriously. Lynda may have more wisdom than I do but considering your feelings I think there is no harm to send your letter.

As a sufferer of this mongrel illness......please scroll down the page and have a look at the Header 'Supporting Someone'....Please click on it and have look before sending your letter...thats all.

I'm alone here as you are CM...I still feel the same pain you are going through.....


Hi CattleMan. I totally appreciate where you're coming from in regards to wanting clarification. However, your gf also needs self clarification, which is why she's asked you to 'give her space'. By all means send her a letter letting her know you're there if and when she wants you. I would refrain, at this point, asking for anything in regards to anything. It's great that you acknowledge you may not get a reply, that shows great will-power. If you do manage to talk to her mum, see if you can ask her to keep that part of gf's recovery between you two. If gf discovers you're talking to mum, she may feel violated. She needs to know you're respecting her feelings on this. Paul's suggestion re: Supporting Someone is fantastic. We all need support in some way. Once we know how, when to be there, when to back off, it makes it easier on everyone. Plus we're here for both of you to help, support, guide. If you just need to 'vent', 'unload', don't hesitate.

Best wishes.


hi CM, remember when you wrote an essay back in school at exam time, and you come out saying 'oh I forgot to say that', so when you want to write to your partner it's going to continually change, you'll add things and then you'll cross out words and sentences always thinking should I say that and is it appropriate, well it's exactly how you feel, what you are frightened of, and what could be a perfect relationship, so this is where you have to consider the both of you in all aspects.
By not knowing her without any medication actually doesn't matter, so can I give you an example probably just as what Paul has said or would say, if you need to take medication for diabetes before or after you meet, does it matter, no because I would want that person to be taking the right medication for what they are suffering from.
Whether you want to give her the note is up to how you feel, so what would you tell a mate to do if he was in the same situation. Geoff.

Im not doing good today. I don't understand if she felt the way she did about me, why doesn't she see that this is affecting me. I can't stop shaking, I'm not eating right, I can hardly sleep. Im in a world of pain, I thought that I would receive some sort of word from her, asking how I'm doing. Why doesn't she see that this was sprung on me and I would have questions? Why didn't she tell me that this relationship was too much for her? She would still tell me she loved me. If she didn't want to be with me then why not say something? We never had any problems with our relationship. I don't understand and its killing me. I feel alone in a place I don't know what to do or where to go. I need help. I feel like I'm losing my mind.

I needed to write something.

Hi Cattleman

There are always so many unanswered questions aren't there? I feel your pain & frustration as I too have been in a similar situation to you.

Loving someone with a mental illness is not easy & can be very difficult to understand. Best thing to do is vent here, write your feelings down or talk to family/friends. Overwhelming your girlfriend right now with so many questions will only compound the problem. It is a delicate balance of knowing when to give space & when to offer support. Make sure that you have the support you need too, we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Learn about mental illness,understanding will help you to differentiate the behaviour from the person & try not to take it personally. It has helped me a great deal along my rocky path. I know how much it hurts right now for you, please feel that you are not alone with this, many of us here are travelling along with you. Support is here!

My kindest thoughts xx

I don't want to bombard her with my questions. I feel for me I need some sort of clarity or closure. Ive been talking to many people, at night is my hardest. Im by myself and I just wish I wasn't. I wish she knew that this could have had bad affects not only on her, but me. I feel like I'm here to pick up the pieces when I'm finding it hard to do anything. Im having worrying dreams, I feel like being sick and theres nothing I can do.

Im trying to respect her wish for time and space, but what if in that time i fall into the same circle? I see her enjoying her weekend and I'm here with no motivation, no energy to do anything.

Hi CattleMan. I hear and feel the pain you're in. Part of you probably feels like grabbing her, begging her to come home, make up. You say you want clarity, closure, unfortunately, till she is able to face and fight those inner demons she can't give you what you want. This is part of what she tried to explain to you. The commitment you want, is something she is unable to give. It's actually better that she's not lying to you anymore. The way she was, with you, meant that, to her, she was lying. She tried to tell you she didn't want to lie to you anymore. That's her clarity, the honesty. I realize you don't want to hear that. If she returns to you feeling the same as she did when she left, she will be lying to both of you. If she returns and she can commit, that means she's not only faced her demons, she's sent them packing and she's strong enough to fully commit. She may on the outside make it look as though she's enjoying life, everyone who walks away from a relationship, either 'caves' in, or tries to get on with their life. It could be she's decided rather than completely cave in, she's going to see if she wants to commit. When you say you see her enjoying her weekend, what is she doing to make you believe that?


hi CM, I wouldn't think that she is enjoying the w/end, this doesn't happen when you are depressed and unfortunately a depressed person isn't particularly concerned about the effect it has on the person they loved when in this relationship, this doesn't mean that she doesn't love you, it just makes the situation for both of you to be difficult, at for you who has been cut off.
I agree with Lightbeam, it's a good idea for you to understand what depression is all about, I know that you can definitely feel what it's like to be on the receiving end, however if you can get the booklet from BB by going to 'Get Support' and scroll down to 'information resourses', this is free but it will help you try and understand what she is going through as well as what you are struggling with.
All the things that you both enjoyed won't be happening, especially by her and now for you, but I'm worried about as well as I believe that you should go and see your doctor for a diagnosis, and I say this because it's affecting you to a great amount of anxiety, and this anxiety will only breed to a greater extent, such as not eating nor sleeping.
Can I just say that at the moment she doesn't know or unsure of where she is and won't know why this has suddenly come upon her, and remember it's not your fault why she feels like this, and not to take it personally, because sometimes depression just knocks on our door for no valid reason at all.
You are going to have days which will change so much, one day you could cope, but then the next day you will be a mess, and although you won't feel like doing anything, then try and go for a walk, it's going to be hard, but I know exactly how you feel, just as those who have replied as well. Geoff.

Lynda and Geoff, you both make valid responses. You are both right, I have to allow her to do what she believes is right and face her demons, she probably doesn't see the affect its having on me. I don't want to anticipate her depression, I want to support her. She's away at a horse show, this is an escape for her so that why I'm thinking she looks like she's having fun. But when she goes home, this may not be the case. I wish she could of confided in me to tell me that this relationship was hard for her, while she's dealing with this and not spring it on me one day saying she's leaving.

This is the hardest part, never having answers, not being there with her, not knowing if she is unsure of herself in the relationship or if I have caused any of this. Yesterday was the worst day I've had, I spent all night talking to people, help line etc. I am not coping with this at all and I can see this. Im trying my best to deal with it, but nights I break down and want everything to go away.

I doubt what isn't helping is I'm also currently taking medication for my smoking, benefit of her of course. Could this be a bad time to be taking this medication? Im not sure.

Im lost, I haven't had much sleep all week, I've had 2 days off work, I can't eat. I argue with myself, my dreams are all the same. Im just feel so lonely here.