My partner is suffering a deep depression and I don't know how to support him without loosing myself.
Hello, I am in need of some guidance.... my family's and friends are concerned about my relationship. I feel so alone because if I tell them what I'm feeling and about my relationship, they will hate my partner and tell me I'm delusional and he's manipulating me. I know why he acts in certain ways and he is an impulsive person, I know he feels like he is unworthy of love and is scared of being close to me. He has been very honest about his past and problems with his relationships and wants to be better but is scared that there's no way out.
We have been together for a year. When he feels good, he supports, encourages me in my work and art, loves teaching me things, sharing hobbies and plans for our future together. But then when he spirals he becomes distant and refuses to talk to me and becomes angry, paranoid, jealous, mean and aggressive towards me. He starts to worry that we aren't really in love and that he will never get better.
I believe that I also have been developing anxiety and depression before I met him and it's getting harder. I want to believe that we can work together to get through this because we both understand this dark space. In our arguments he can lack empathy and worries I'm working against him and I don't care about him.
His family don't give him the emotional support he needs and tell him he can 'sleep it off' or take medication.
I don't want him to suffer alone through this. When I was at my worst, I isolated myself and I felt like no one could help me, want to listen to my problems or just be there for me. I'm trying to be that person for him that I needed when I was struggling. My family believe I make too many excuses for him but I truely believe he is a good person and is really suffering and needs a friend that will stand by him.
Again, I love him because he's thoughtful, kind, listens to me, adventurous, witty, makes me appreciate things I take for granted and teaches me so many things, supports my dreams and is so so funny.
Is it impossible for this to be real?and am I sacrificing too much of myself? I don't know where to draw the line and I want to know what's it's like for anyone's else who might have been through a similar situation. Please if you could give me any guidance, I just want to understand.
Thanks for your post. I'm really sorry that you're struggling with this, and if it helps know that you're in good company. Both myself and my partner have battled with depression so I can really get what it's like to be on both sides of the coin.
With that said though, it's not easy and it's not clear cut. Depression kind of invades the relationship; the way it's making your partner act so differently and creating difficulties in your relationship.
I believe that it's very very real what you're experiencing and I can see what you're going through. It's not easy, and it's so hard for people to understand what it's like. Especially if they don't understand mental health issues. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just 'sleep it off'? I still want to encourage you to talk to your family and friends about it, because there might be a chance that they don't say those things and could be supportive of you.
So - with that said, boundaries. We all need some, but your line might be different to my line. It's not okay that you put up with abuse if your partner is being mean or aggressive. Depression can be a reason but it's not an excuse. It's also okay to walk-away if there are arguments; you have the right to do that.
and finally! Do you think you could incorporate some more me-time or self-care? It truly does come back to the oxygen mask; you need to have your own oxygen and me time before you can help him with his.
I too welcome you to the community here. I am wondering if your partner has talked to a Dr about how he is feeling and behaving? Has he had a chat with a counsellor at all to find ways to better deal with the changes in mood?
The Beyond Blue website has a lot of information on depression and how we can assist a person who is suffering from it and how to help ourselves. You may find some helpful ideas and tips there.
I also agree with romantic_thi3f that it is important to look after yourself in all of this.
Both my husband and I have a combination of mental health issues. Sometimes we bounce off each other! I tell him now when I am not having a good day so he knows I am not upset with him, it is my depression being more pronounced.
Communication and is important.
Even people who have a mental health condition, relate to their condition differently from other people. It is hard for people with little comprehension of depression to understand how debilitating it can be at times.
Hope you find some answers and your partner seeks help if needed.
Cheers from Dools