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Upset and confused

Community Member

My partner is suffering with depression.  We’ve had all the discussions around his guilt of feeling like a burden, not coping with responsibilities and not having any happiness in any area of his life.


I’m committed to helping him through this and have discussed the support I might need from my family and friends as I understand the toll it will take on us.  

With respect please don’t tell me to pack up and leave him.  I’m just looking for some strength and to hear experiences on how to get through the roller coaster of emotions I deal with daily.

26 Replies 26

Hi Maxey, Thank you so much for sharing this here. We’re so sorry to hear about the problems your partner is having. We can hear you’re a really caring partner and your concerns come from such a loving and supportive place, but it’s also a difficult and scary time.   I’m sure we’ll hear from our amazing community soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a couple of pages with you in case they interest you:  We’re really glad you mentioned looking after your own boundaries, and your own wellbeing. If you’d like any more ideas or information on this, feel free to have a look at our pages on looking after yourself while supporting someone.   The Beyond Blue counsellors are here for you if you’d like to talk this through on 1300 22 4636, or via online chat. It is so important that you look after yourself during these times and they can help you, or just be there if you want to talk.  If you’re ever concerned about their safety, it’s important to know that you can call 000 as this is an emergency.  Thanks again for sharing here. We really appreciate your kindness and openness in sharing and offering your support here on the forums, so we hope you can be kind to yourself also through this time.  Kind regards,   Sophie M 

Community Member

Thank you for your reply Sophie I appreciate it so much, it’s the inconsistency in the days that I struggle with the most, usual days are emotionless then there are small windows when he communicates freely before shutting down again and withdrawing.   It’s hard not to take things personally and hurts a lot.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome 


In my lived experience world I've suffered enormous guilt and worry. An environment in our childhood years of "never being good enough" was certainly to blame. So unravelling the core of that problem via professional help is the way to go. However not everyone is successful in that quest or can afford it, so we rely upon our own devices as an individual and make allowances as a couple.


Eg regardless of correct meds and help my wife makes allowances for my near daily bipolar grumpiness.


The following threads can assist your partner,  just google them and read the first post of each.

Beyondblue guilt the tormentor 

Beyondblue worry worry  worry 

Beyondblue the timing of motivation 

Beyondblue changing mindsets

Beyondblue the best praise you'll ever get 


Each one has its topic and I'd be interested in your thoughts. Reply anytime


Community Member

I am committed to supporting my partner who has depression.  He has asked for time (not separation) to work through it as this is how he has dealt with it in the past.  He has said he has no enjoyment in anything in his life at the moment.

I reach out and verbalise my love and care for him without trying to be too pushy and he acknowledges my patience though I am struggling because our life is currently far removed from what it was.
He has highly emotional moments and begins to share his feelings and I feel like we are making progress, then just like that switches back off and dissociates again.  When he withdraws and internalises I am heartbroken to see him this way, but he is a stoic man who feels he is a burden while he is feeling this way so I don’t let him see how it is affecting me.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Am I doing the right thing by just letting him know he is loved?  Should I and how do I continue to reach out? 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Maxey~

I've read your other thread abut supporting your partner and am very sorry you have to face this, it is upsetting, very worrying  and there seems ot be no road map to guide you as to what's best to do

You do say you are discussing your needs with your family, which is excellent as it is easy to assume one is a bottomless well of strength and support for a person one loves, however it's not the case - you are human and need support for yourself


You asked if you are doing the right things, you can judge for yourself from the below


When my depression was really bad it filled my mind with thoughts of hopelessness and self-blame. I thought they were my thoughts, but in fact they were symptoms of the condition. Because I thought it was me I felt I was a burden on those that cared


It did a couple of other things too. Because my mind was already overflowing I had no capacity to cope with others - even if they were gentle and kind. I wanted to withdrawal, be by myself and not have to deal with more


I was inconsistent, something my partner found very hard to understand or deal with, where one time a kind word would be accepted, other times it would be met with anger and resentment


Because I felt it was me, and I was a burden, at times I'd feel guilty and try and explain, other times make a cuppa for my partner, but it did not last. I could not 'will myself' better


I do know that no matter how angry I got or how much I withdrew my partner's presence and love made a huge difference (though she did not know it at the time) and I only partly realized it then


See part 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Part 2


My improvement came when I had competent medical help including therapy and medication. I'd made the mistake of not seeking assistance for a long time, and that made things harder to treat, but now I'm a different person, back loving and enjoying being close, and capable again


I still take the meds, I was lucky and found a type and dosage that worked without side effects


Apart from what you are doing now may I suggest you encourage your partner to seek medical assistance?


The only other thing to say is it is not you, it is not personal, it is the illness


If you would like to talk more you'd be welcome



Community Member

Hey just reaching out for a quick pep talk. My partner is depressed, awaiting an appointment this week.  I asked him if he wanted me to visit tonight, he ignored my question but has maintained contact.  Any thoughts on how to handle or manage my feelings about this would be great fully appreciated.

Community Member

Hi Croix


Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me, it has come at a really low time for me.


I have identified a pattern with him, during the day he is functioning on auto pilot including sending our regular text catch ups etc.  it’s like he shuts down after everyone has eaten dinner and he’s finished all his jobs for the day.  He has a high pressured job and is a single dad (there’s a lot going on).


Sometimes I feel like he is breaking up with me three times as day ranging from telling me he loves me to emotionless responses or none at all only to pop up out of no where with love hearts and emojis and glimpses of how things usually are.

He has regular emotional breakdowns to me and then will literally turn off like it never happened.


I approached the conversation about professional help this week.  He has said he made an appointment.  The lead up to discussing it caused me so much anxiety I was physically ill.  

He is reaching it to me intermittently by text tonight, though he ignored my question when I asked if he wanted me to visit him.


He sways between accepting my support and rejecting it saying I’m too much, but always maintains he loves me.


I’m rambling I know.  I’m sad for him and I miss us.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear Maxey,


A very warm and caring welcome to our forums..


I struggle with depression and their are times when I just want to be alone, not wanting anyone see me so down…your beautiful partner is unwell and might just need a bit of space, but still able to talk to you…depression, does horrible things to our thinking…please be very gentle on you partner and let them know that you are there for them…whether it’s just to listen, be a shoulder for them to cry on or just sit quietly with them….showing you care about them and what they are going through…is one of the most loving, caring and beautiful things you can do for them….

My kindest thoughts Dear Maxey..