Supporting my boyfriend
I have been in a relationship with a great guy for the last 8 or so months. Very shortly after we got together, I learned of the many challenges he has been facing in his life and his previous experience of depression. For some context, he is facing a lot of challenges personally - financially, balancing work and university, living independently with all family in another country, and a lot more.
On and off for the last few months, we have had some tough times.. probably more than happy, carefree times. I have tried my best to be supportive, empathetic and patient with this.. and we have worked together on figuring out how I can best support him. I'm a very nurturing person, so I've done lots of little things to make his life easier, and always showing my love. While he is dealing with some of these issues (the biggest one is meant to have an 'end date' - it's a Visa situation). That will be resolved this week, but he realised he is still feeling anxious and overwhelmed. For the last two weeks, specifically, I am finding it very hard to hold on. While I am being as much of a supportive partner as possible, the relationship is really starting to suffer. He has little to no time for quality time together, he is usually distracted or tired when we're together. This often means he doesn't seem happy to see me, doesn’t check in with how I'm feeling/my day, and I have been feeling unappreciated and lonely. I feel am putting in so much effort and getting very little back.. but I need to feel valued and loved too. I have usually been the affectionate one, but this week, I have felt myself pulling away for fear of rejection. I feel really selfish, but I feel like we've sort of missed out on the fun, 'honeymoon' phase of the relationship.. and I don't have years of good memories to keep me going, as the relationship is still somewhat new.
My main issue now is - what is the right path? am I entitled and is it reasonable to voice some of the things that are upsetting me, or should I continue to push my own issues to the side and continue to support him in any way he needs? when we've discussed this before, it has sort of been implied that we'll be able to really 'work on' the relationship once his personal challenges are resolved, and he knows (generally) that I have had to put all my expectations of him on the back burner.
Any advice would be great... I'm feeling isolated and lost, but really selfish. Thank you.
Hi topgreenw 🙂
Welcome and thank you so much for reaching out.
Wow, sounds like you've got your hands full. I'm so sorry you find yourself in this situation. Together, we'll see if we can't get you on the right path :0)
First of all, relationships MUST be two way. If you're putting in most of the effort now at this early "honeymoon stage", then somethings's wrong. Picture yourself doing this for the next say two years. Is this something you'd be happy doing? If the answer is no, then you need to sit your fella down and have a D&M with him. Tell him how you're feeling and it can't all be about him and his problems. We all have struggles in life, however, being a descent and loving boyfriend costs nothing.
The fact that he's "always distracted, tired or possibly not happy to see you" is a concern. To me, these are warning bells. If you're relationship is struggling at this early stage, it's a sign that maybe this isn't for you. Something to think about. Usually if people experience this kind of situation in their relationship, it's often after a few years, not months.
You need to think about what YOU need and want. It doesn't sound like he's meeting any of these.
What are your thoughts?