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Signs of depression?

Community Member

Hi everyone!

My partner of 9 years has recently come to me and said he is no longer happy in our relationship. This come as a total shock to myself as we never fight/ argue (sometimes bicker) and things have always been good or so I thought. We have a 3 year old son also.
He is saying he loves me and will always love me and care for me etc but just isn't happy anymore?
He has undiagnosed sleep apnea which he refuses to do anything about so is forever tired.
I feel like this has contributed to how he is feeling but I'm wondering if he could also be depressed? He has lost interest in things he enjoyed doing, everyone around him frustrates him including close friends..
He is going through a stressful situation at work (prior to the covid 19 pandemic) and am wondering if maybe everything has become to much for him and I am taking the brunt of it?
I have suspected that he may have depression for the past few years. Starting with a job that was extremely stressful. Once he resigned from this position he was a different person. Then he slowly slipped back to his old self when our car blew up. He drove a cheap car for a few months and then we got him a new car as he said this was making him down. Once we got the new car things were good again for a little while. Now he is saying that everything he thought was the reason behind his depressed feelings wasn't and that it must be our relationship.
Could he have depression? Or does it sound like maybe our relationship has taken a toll on his mental health?

Sorry I know there are so many parts to my question!!
5 Replies 5

Community Member

Hi Ghr29,

this must be a really stressful situation for you, I feel for you and think it is great that you have reached out. From what you are explaining, there may be some depressive behaviours involved but I also wonder whether your partner may have suffered from emotional exhaustion and burnout for some time. Especially since you mention stressful jobs. Sometimes, when life gets too stressful, you can become emotionally exhausted and depleted to such a degree that it can lead to burnout. That, in turn, if untreated or unmitigated, can lead to anxiety and depression. So this may all play together to cause your partner to feel so unhappy or unwell.

Would he be open to seeing a psychologist at all? Or maybe a counsellor together with you? If he was open to that, that could be really helpful for the both of you. It may bring more awareness what may be the root cause of the concern.

I hope all goes well for you, there are so many great options to explore, it would be great if your partner was open to trying some that he would feel comfortable with. In the end, I am sure he wants to feel much better, too. All the best! 🙂

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Ghr29,

Welcome to the forums!

Relationship issues are challenging to deal with and I really hope you can both work through this to a good outcome. It sounds like there are a lot of issues your partner is dealing with, some related to your relationship and others which aren't. The difficulty is that it sounds like you don't really know what these issues are. Is that right?

Depression can manifest itself in so many ways that it would be hard for any of us to definitively say yes or no, but certainly depression and even stress can cause someone to start questioning aspects of their life that would otherwise be fine, and start losing interest in things they would otherwise enjoy.

My partner has been having a challenging time recently and we recently had a really frank talk about what was working in our relationship, and what wasn't. I am glad we had that conversation because it helped us both understand what was happening in our individual lives, without needing to guess.

Perhaps this is a good opportunity to actually have a sit down and talk freely about where you are in your relationship, and where you individually in terms of your mental health. Some of it may be hard to hear, and some of it may be hard to say as well. But it sounds like a lot of your questions are to do with how your partner is going, and he will be able to give you the most accurate description of that.

To answer your question directly, you may have seen the list of possible symptoms already but here is a list of symptoms. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/signs-and-symptoms

Ultimately though, I think depression and relationship strain are tied in a chicken/egg type situation - both affect each other, and while they make each worse, working on one also makes the other a little easier. I hope that helps - it sounds like there will be some difficult conversations to be had, so please feel free to use this space to talk to us if you need any help.


Community Member
Thanks for your response james1!
Yes that is correct I dont know what the issues are. He says there is nothing he would change about me or our relationship that it has all been perfect. Just that he feels unhappy... confusing right?
He is open to couples counselling but says he is doubtful it will work.
I am planning on getting the ball rolling with this but could prove difficult in the current global crisis.

Hi LifetimeDreamer!
Thanks for replying.
Yes he is open to seeing a counsellor with me but is doubtful they will change how he is feeling.
I definitely feel like you hit the nail on the head about exhaustion and burnout. I'm nearly confident that his previous job has contributed and he agrees.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello ghr,

That must be so confusing to hear.

It is usual for people to feel doubtful about counselling. My partner was not interested at all a few years ago, but has warmed to the idea.

I hope it helps you both even just to help you get a bit more clarity about what is happening for your partner at the moment.