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Partner Shutting Down - At My Wits End

Community Member

My partner suffers from depression. And I am at my wits end, I don’t know how to keep caring when his depression is also hurting me. I know it sounds incredibly selfish but I don’t know what else I can do for this man. I cook, clean, go out of my way to make his life easier and I get a deafening silence in return. Rather than seek help he self medicates with binge drinking and other things. If his friends have a few beers at home he must turn it into a bender and doesn’t get home until 5am at the earliest - and then I can not bother him while he recovers or I get told how irritating I am. I try not to push him because I hate to se him suffer but when I ask to talk he shuts me out even further, saying that if I ask him to talk it makes him do the opposite. HOW do you help someone who seems to refuse to help themselves? He is not the man I fell in love with, he has no energy for life. I have asked what it is I can do to help and he says space- so I give it and nothing changes. I feel like I am only making things worse for him. But I also feel desperately alone in this relationship, it’s so one sided. It is literally like loving a brick wall and always hoping one day it will speak. I try to very softly suggest other weekend activities rather than alcohol which always makes him worse but he shuts me down. I try to eliminate all house work and chores but he still says I nag him for help. I don’t know what else to do. I walk on egg shells because I know this isn’t him but it’s been over a year of misery and he has NO emotion about anything. The light in his eyes is off and he stares right through you.

What can I do for him? How do I help him? I am so worried that something bad will happen, I am so scared that I am ruining him. I don’t know how I can continue without snapping and screaming for something - anything - any emotion at all. I try not to push him further away and every time he shuts down even more. I don’t know what to do anymore.

2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Lotus

It is so wonderful that you are here for some support and this time when I can hear how desperate and so very frustrated that you are. I have no idea how you must be feeling and I am so very sorry that this is happening to you and to your relationship.

The things is..you have said it yourself, how do I help someone who does not want to be helped? The answer to that is ..you can't. All you can do is take care of you, to put somethings in place that take care of your wellbeing and your mental health. It really is the old saying "you can lead a horse to water..." I am sure that you have been a huge support to him and provided him with support numbers to call and have suggested a doctors appointment and to get some help at this time. However, you cannot make him as you well know.

Sometimes the thought of getting help and then having to address issues in your life to too much to bear, so you do nothing...and just continue on the road, like your husband of drinking and doing things that only make the situation worse, and worse for you.

I think you perhaps the first thing for you to do is to seek some help and support for you, and being here is a wonderful place to start. I think that a trip to your GP to get some advice would be a good place to look too.

I am so sorry that this is happening to you, I can hear how overwhelmed and so very hurt and confused and just over it you are, this is so very devastating and I am so sorry.

You have joined a wonderful community here and there will be people who jump in with support and some suggestions for you to help you get through this time also.

Huge hugs to you Lotus,you take care of you


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Lotus, and welcome to the forums.

What you are going through is sort of what happened with me, as I self medicated on alcohol except I wouldn't go out drinking to all hours.

I know what I must have put my wife (ex) and two sons through and feel very sorry not only for them but also for you.

Depression will change someone's character from being a loving person to become a distant one, somebody you haven't seen before and definitely one that you don't know what to do or how to cope with their behaviour.

Even though he might be in denial, is not for me to determine, but I know that I was, refusing to believe that I needed help and that alcohol would solve all my problems.

The harder you try to communicate, the harder he may try to avoid and refuse to participate in the conversation.

One option is for you to get the help in knowing how to handle this situation, and I say this because you are also suffering from has been happening.

We'd really like to keep talking to you if that is possible,

Take care.