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My man is depressed and has stopped communication

missmyman
Community Member
I've been seeing the most incredible man. We have plans for him to move in with my kids & I. He had depression in the past and is on medication. He got 2 serious illnesses within 3 weeks and I suspect the heavy medication to help him stopped the antidepressants being helpful with his depression. His messages and contact started to lesson. He became silent and unresponsive for 2 weeks. He had asked me to please not stress that we are ok & he loves me. I continued to gently message him every few days, letting him know I'm here, I love him, I'm going nowhere. He's been cheated on by previous partners. After 2 weeks he sent me a message saying he missed me too, he was seeking professional help, my messages had helped him and he was sorry, that he hoped to see me the next weekend. I haven't heard from him since, it's been 2 & 1/2 weeks. I don't think he will self harm, I just think he's dealing with this the best he can (by himself and seeking professional treatment - which I'm grateful he does). My question is, I don't want to harass him, but, I don't want him to feel abandoned either. I love & miss him so much and there's been no indication he wants to break up, just I guess he needs to do this alone. I've been reaching out between every 2-4 days, I mainly text, but, did call & leave a voicemail & also sent him a song. Those who shut down and throw themselves into work, how long do you think he's likely to take to start responding to me again? He lives alone & his family and friends are interstate, we are over an hour apart from each other & I don't want to just turn up on his doorstep & freak him out. I have mild anxiety and the drop in communication is hard for me as I just want to be there for him & help. If you are someone who pushes away those you love, do you appreciate messages of love & support, should I expect he will eventually find his way back to me?
11 Replies 11

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome,

So in summary you both planned a life together plus your children but he has fallen into depression and needs space and time. This has left you in no mans land.

I think the level of contact you have maintained is reasonable and well within the boundaries of normal. I also think that his communication has been wanting regardless of his struggles. Failing to contact you when he says he will is not respectful and mental illness imo doesn't remove respect, it doesn't stop someone from returning a text. Respect for your mild anxiety is also a factor of mutual care.

This leaves a question no doubt you've thought of- how will he treat you or the relationship after he moved in? Will he go missing? Will his communication be the same (lack thereof)? Will he be compassionate to your needs and extra needs like that which anxiety delivers? So if he returns that is just the beginning. Thinking with your head will have to dominate your heart I'm afraid.

From a suspicious male viewpoint I'm concerned. I've known too many men that act like this and have other women on a string and I'm sorry that I'm mentioning it as it could upset you. You deserve answers and he has a responsibility to provide them as part of basic commitment and proving he is the incredible man you believe him to be.

I hope I'm wrong and if he returns to your life I'm hoping he sees things from your point of view and has empathy.

Finally, if he is to remain in your life he might want to consider sharing his professional help with you if you are permitted to participate. Too many relationships nowadays are not 100% committed...like entering a new life but wanting also their independence just outside the door- just in case. This is often a sign of insecurity.

At this time I'd personally no longer contact him. You have done all you can.

I hope it works out. Please repost anytime. We are here to help.

TonyWK

Thanks for your reply. I realise we now have more complications & difficulties to overcome since this has happened. I have full confidence there is no other woman, he has been cheated on by past women & has a very old fashioned value system, but, I do understand how this could be something people would wonder about and suggest to me. I have no blinkers on. In addition he is under extreme work stress which in addition to illness have contributed to the return of his depression. I've considered that when he went to see a specialist he could have been hospitalised. I have spent 8 years since my marriage broke down searching for a good reliable kind man & I strongly believe he is it. He has met all my friends & family & put in considerable time building relationships with them all & with my children. I'm not ready to throw in the towel at this point, I feel too many people just give up in this disposable world. I do appreciate your advise & concern for me to maintain some objectivity & to proceed with caution. Thanks again

Great answer and it confirms to me your belief in him.

With this information I would now wait until he is ok to communicate. Being there for him will mean a lot.

Fill your time with activities. Distraction is a great tool.

I wish you well.

TonyWK.

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi and welcome.

My dad was a workaholic and I have been as well. That is, I am working on that part. I am also a quiet person - at least when it comes to discussing my issues with my wife. Part of me cannot find the way to talk to her like I can with some other people. Perhaps it is cause I don't want to burden her with my problems as well. I guess what I am trying to say is that we can each respond differently to stress.

Except I wonder he might react to you if you asked him how he is feeling or what he is thinking about? Two questions I would ask my dad over a period of a year, during which he was able to open up and talk.

You are a kind and caring person. If you have not checked out the support section on the website, consider those questions above?

Wishing you both all the best.

Tim

Thanks Tim for your reply. He is also a quiet & placid guy and quite an introvert. I've been thinking he feels the same about not talking to me & feeling a burden. I have been attempting to gently ask him how he's feeling & if he would like to talk. I can't get a response from him, which is hard. I am patient, I love him, I believe he wants to find his way back & is doing the best he can & I suppose in his own way attempting to protect me despite knowing I want to help. Yes I have looked at the support section. I previously dated someone with depression, so, I have some idea how challenging it can be. Thank you again for your response, I really appreciate it. Sometimes I feel I am causing him more stress by messaging when he doesn't respond, but, he did last time say my messages help him, it's hard with one way communication trying to figure out the right balance to remind him I'm here I'm going nowhere it'll be ok, and when I'm annoying him and causing him to feel more overwhelmed. Time will tell it always does.

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion
I guess it would be frustrating when he doesn't respond in what might be considered a reasonable time. And with my dad was the reason why I would ask him what he was thinking.

The other consideration is whether the issues are irrational - at least for me. I know certain things should not get to me, but they do. And I would feel stupid having to explain it to my wife.

One thing I can tell you is that when my wife has sent a message to me when she knows I am down is actually helpful for me. I may get misty eyed but knowing someone important does care....

I hope it is the same for your partner.

Tim

Thanks again for the response. It's a difficult situation no doubt. Others outside the relationship are difficult to discuss it with because they see the situation as black and white. Like he's doing me wrong & I should just walk away. Depression has taken him over atm I believe that, I don't feel he is intentionally ignoring me or trying to make me worry, I think he is in fact just so down he is kind of numb & stuck & currently feeling unable to allow the help in, at least from me at this point, perhaps trying to shield me from it, or unable to let me see him so vulnerable. I'm really proud of him that he seeks professional help, and doesn't turn to alcohol, I just wish he'd let me support him more. So, I continue to message every few days to remind him he's loved & wanted & cared for & hope the cloud will lift with time & he will start to slowly return to me. His last message stated my messages help, I don't think he would bother to make an effort to say that while very depressed if it wasn't the case & he wanted me to stop & leave him alone. I managed to communicate with one of his friends from the past who has promised to attempt to contact him, so, hopefully something helps & the wonderful man I love so much finds his way home to me. Thanks again, it's a lonely path loving someone with depression when they shut you out.

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi again.

It is a tricky situation when you are trying to work out how much communication is too much vs too little. From my own situation I know that having a distraction is helpful, and while a distraction might be a 5 minute game, it could also be a going out for coffee or dinner. Or perhaps if you or he cannot go out, for whatever reason, perhaps a night in could be good. Alternatively, you can also go out with your own friends to help distract you from your thoughts about what he might be doing. There are questions you can ask yourself about these thoughts, but will leave that for another time. You are doing all right things at the moment, but also show a little kindness to yourself as well.

Tim

paddyanne
Community Member
Hi missmyman. You're doing everything right. He loves you but needs to sort himself out. I would continue to text him and send messages of support. Tell him you'd love to hear from him when he is ready. I wouldn't pressure him to respond as he may not be able to say what you want to hear. Better to remain silent than unintentionally hurt someone. It's possible he may have signed himself in to a facility for treatment if he feels he needs to. I don't think he's pushing you away, he may feel embarrassed about you seeing him as he is at this time. I'm sure he will get in touch when he's ready. Maybe tell him about your days, how you spend them, if you go anywhere for coffee etc. Keep the messages light and cheerful so he won't feel pressured. I know it's difficult when you have anxieties but keep busy and just be patient. Men can be a bit brusque when they can't solve something without assistance.