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New Partner with depression

Community Member
Hi all, first time posting
My partner of 3 months has gone through a couple past relationships in the last 10 years, one being a victim of shocking manipulation and physical abuse with whilst giving birth to her 2nd child. followed on by another relationship of 4ys to a male who cheated on her a couple of times before she ended it.
Soon after that breakup she was prescribed strong anti- depressants and has now been on them for 16 months. She is a beutiful and an amazing partner and mother and because of her abuse and trust in males in the past it feels like she has brought those issues into our relationship.
I struggle at times to understand the way she treats me, when all i have done in this relationship is as she describes me is kind, caring and amazing.one little hickup with us, i get pushed away and made distant from her, i try so hard to be patient and understanding but i feel lonely at times but i wont give up on her cause i know some at time ill get her trust of me and can see a future with her, thats what i hold on too.
I know i can easily cut ties and move on because it may just be too hard, i didnt say this before, we were together 24 years ago for 3 years .i was 24, she was 18. But previously being together that reasuures me to stay.. im a confident and strong as a person and i feel my being is a positive thing for her but it hurts me so much but i know its not about me. If anything thats what makes her distance herself is because a couple of times ive been negative out of frustration, she wont let me go and i dont understand why she wants me around.
Is it because she sees me as a positive thing and am i what she needs?.
its hard too read her alot of times,
Trying very hard to be strong for her, but i feel i dont get much back.
Hope it makes sense 😊
2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Bonzai,

I am so, so sorry about the late reply. Sometimes we accidentally miss posts, but please don’t think it has anything to do with you (it doesn’t). It’s purely unintentional and accidental. Again, I’m so sorry...

You sound like a very caring and loving person and partner. Also, it sounds as though you feel a real sense of warmth and connection to her, which is beautiful and precious 🙂

But I also understand that because of her past experiences and pain that she struggles a lot, and that can take its toll on you. Also I realise sometimes she may unintentionally hurt you due to her past struggles...being pushed away must really hurt. I feel your heartache...

I think sometimes, no matter how beautiful and wonderful they are, it can be tricky being with someone who is struggling with their past pains/demons. I think sometimes one partner ends up shouldering disproportionately more of the emotional weight than the other, especially when there are things like trauma involved. Hopefully, one day, she will be able to reciprocate some of that patience and strength back to you....

For now, my gentle suggestion is that you can still love and support her, but perhaps with (emotional) boundaries. For example, I know it’s not easy to do, but try to remind yourself that when she pushes you away, it’s a reflection of her unresolved pain and not you.

Then maybe try to find something to do that is self nurturing during those periods (e.g. seeing friends, calling a family member to chat, hobbies, etc). I suppose what I’m suggesting is try not to over-think some things, let her emotions/distance run its course and don’t let it stop you from living your own life too in the mean time. Then maybe when she’s ready to re-connect again, because you’ve had time away to self nurture, you’ll feel more energised to support her.

Also, I would suggest maybe talking about how some of her behaviour hurts you (during her calmer periods). I don’t mean blaming or pointing fingers, but respectfully/lovingly saying things like “I know sometimes when you’re hurting that you push me away. I know it’s unintentional and that it’s not about me, but I still feel really hurt by it...I love you and want this to work. Do you think this is something we can work on together?”

I suppose what I’m ultimately suggesting is a combination of emotional boundaries and open communication. Sorry, I’m not sure if I’m being helpful or not. But I still wanted to lend my support...

Kindness and care,


Community Member
Hi Bonzai,

Relationships can be very complicated as two people with different personalities, pasts and issues come together and find a happy medium. What I can tell from your post is that there is an incredible amount of love in your relationship, and that you both care about each other deeply. However, it seems that your partner’s past traumas are manifesting in the way that she treats you, which is heartbreaking. It would be devastating for the woman you love to be pushing you away, when you want to support her.

It sounds like being such a strong, positive person in her life is exactly what she needs after suffering so much hurt in her previous relationships. It also sounds like the way she treats you is a reflection of her unresolved pain, not because you are doing anything wrong.

Pepper has provided you with some really wonderful advice on the topic, and I’m not sure if I can add anything more helpful. However, I would like highlight what Pepper mentioned about continuing to love and support her but with emotional boundaries. Hopefully with your love and support in combination with her own hard work, your partner will begin to heal. However, in the mean time it is important to take care of your own needs – communicate how you are feeling and what you need from the relationship, take some time out for yourself to engage in some good self-care, and always remember that you deserve to be treated with respect.

Take care,