Partner With Depression/Anxiety Won’t Commit
I have been with my partner for about 2 years now. I lived in the US for the first year of our relationship finishing up Uni. When we first started dating, and when I first got to AU, he was really keen on getting married and taking our relationship to the next step. I wasn’t ready to get married, as I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to stay or go back to the US. Plus I only knew him over webchats and a couple of month long holidays. I have now decided to permanently stay and am going for a partner visa. I have grown to love him very much, the good and the bad. When I first got out to AU, he was hospitalized for undiagnosed depression/anxiety. We have been through so much together since then with his healing process and such. I thought I proved my love and commitment to him over this past year, but it seems like things have changed after all of this happened.
Recently, I have been bringing up the idea of marriage again. He has completely shut down and just keeps saying there is so much that isn’t working between us and is alluding to wanting to break up. I am understanding if he isn’t ready for marriage but he won’t even say that he wants to wait or is scared. He just isn’t giving me a reason why he won’t take the next step.
I have anxiety and a bit of depression and the shift in energy in the house has definitely caused me to have episodes and a spike in anxiety. I am really struggling on how to cope with this as every time I bring up what’s wrong it ends in a huge fight. I am to the point of wanting to go back to the US. I don’t want to feel like I am wasting my time, but I don’t want to make a mistake in the end. I really do love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him, but I am so lost with what to do.
Has anyone been through anything similar or can offer any advice on how to approach this situation? Thank you for taking the time to help!
Hi and welcome to beyond blue.
It it nice to read that you want to be there and support your partner. Although you see him backing away at these attempts to support him. I would hope the reason for your partner not being ready is the inner critic nattering away in his mind, feeding him negative thoughts. And though this time, as you have proved my love and commitment to him.
So what to do?
A little about me first... I have severe anxiety and depression. I also used to keep it all inside me, for various reasons, but none of this really matters. Issues from my work place interfering with family life. And I would be or am impatient, snappy, short etc. I have also had to have a few honest conversations with my wife. Others on the forum who "know" me (broadly speaking) are aware that I bang on about the importance of communication in relationships. When my wife and I have these conversations, we are generally at a cafe. This is so we do not have the put up with distractions at home, like kids and phones etc. It also means we cannot get on the defensive or be argumentative?
Back to you... Do you think that you could have a open and honest conversation with him about the situation? Not about marriage or anything that might stress him. Rather, a honest conversation that lets him know of the impact this is having on you? In some respect, the ball is in his court then also. Encourage him to speak about what troubles him. And together you might be able to the work out the solution together?
I know these conversations can be difficult. This is from experience. For me, these conversations lift a weight off my shoulders; I also get the see what is in the mind of my wife on the same matters. They can can bring us closer to each other. I hope this would apply to you also.