Partner distancing herself from me - and no one else
First time poster..
My partner has just been told she has depression. Is it normal for a partner to distance themselves from partners only?
Im noticing no efforts in organising time, events or activities together, however she still puts in a lot of effort with friends to do so. Im even noticing a lot of changes in communication between us too.
Should I be taking this personally? Is it me? Now I am starting to question and doubt myself. I try talking to her and she is very confused and now feels as though she needs a break from me? Although nothing has happened between us to onset this depression. Im feeling very confused and now very anxious that things will just end.
Any advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated. Especially final outcomes.
Thanks in advance.
Hello J H,
Welcome to the forums.
It's a very frustrating and heartbreaking experience when partners pull away after being diagnosed with a mental health condition. I wouldn't say it's normal, but some people do pull away for reasons that may not have anything to do with anything you have done wrong. Some reasons I can think of are:
- They've grown used to your presence and don't make the effort in the relationship since they assume you will still be there.
- They are worried that their condition will be difficult for you to handle emotionally.
- They feel like they may be a burden to you.
You mentioned that you talked about this to your partner and she is very confused. Assuming the confusion was because she didn't realise she was pulling away from you, I wonder if reason 1 above applies to her case.
I'd suggest reaching out to her again and reassuring you will support her through this no matter what. Tell her that her recovery is what matters more than anything else. Instead of expecting her to organize time and events for the both of you, you can take the lead on that even if you had previously taken turns to.
With regards to her taking time to organise activities with her friends, I suggest during the course of your conversations, find out what her friends mean to her during this period and how they can help her recovery. If meeting her provides her distraction that she needs, then you could encourage her to meet them.
It's the worst feeling when your partner seems to prioritize friends over you. You can feel neglected and unappreciated. However, don't lose heart now. She's trying to cope with her diagnosis in her own way, and without understanding why she's making the decisions she's making now, it's difficult to gauge the future of your relationship now.
Do her friends know about her depression? If not, she could be making the effort with her friends in an effort to keep up appearances. Emmanuel also makes some great points.
It’s difficult when you feel rejected by your partner. Have you voiced your concerns with her? Sometimes we expect our loved ones to know intuitively how we’re feeling, but without discussion no one can ever really know what the other is thinking.
I hope you make some progress with things 🙂
Hi J H
Thanks for posting- it sounds like you are going through a lot, but what is also apparent is your love for your partner. It's understandable to be anxious about these behavioural and relationship dynamic changes- they can be sudden, happen without cause and make it hard to let the other person know we care. Have you tried to tell her how you feel? Or asked how you could support each other as you address both your mental health in the context of your relationship?
Hi J H,
How are things going with you and your partner? Have you had a chance to talk and have you made any progress?
Although I know each situation is unique, I do understand a little of what you are going through. It is extremely hard not to take it all personally. My husband was diagnosed with depression mid last year. Prior to that he basically stopped communicating with me, moved out or our bedroom and said many many awful things to me, including blaming me for contributing to his depression. Although it doesn't make it easier to deal with, I have eventually learned that his actions and words were a symptom of his depression.
Is your partner seeing anyone for her depression? It is so important that she gets the right medical and professional support to help her through this. Because as much as Ioving and caring for someone and providing that sort of personal support in this situation is important, it is just not enough to fix it on its own.
But also, do you have your own support network? I ask this because without it, I don't think I would have found the strength to get through the days for my husband and my kids.
Please keep posting here if it helps.