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My boyfriend is pushing me away

Community Member

My partner has depression & has been seeing someone for a couple of months now - he is now trying to push me away even though we have been fine up until he fell into this rut again..(a few months ago being his last, which we got through). He can still laugh and joke around with me like normal, but then quickly goes back to fighting something in his head and thinking he can't be with me..

He has no motivation to do anything, in general not just with me.. I am going to see someone this week but there is only so much I can say or do to help him, especially when his thoughts are not positive at the moment & he doesn't believe me that this happens and it comes and goes. Heeeps saying that he is not happy, but I make him happy and that he loves me and cares for me & he wants to go back to how he was a few years ago when he had motivation to do things etc.. I have been giving him as much space as I can the last couple of weeks and do believe that he needs it - I don't think that he is going to the psychologist and telling the truth about how he is feeling right now and what he is trying to do to me, as he got angry with me for accidentally telling his mum that he had depression as he said he didn't want anyone to know and wanted to do it by himself.. his mum is not very supportive of him and turns a blind eye to these things so I have tried to spawn to her about it and what is going on between us but she is not much help.. He said he also has no interest in having sex etc and not because of me he just doesn't want to.

he is not taking medication as he does not want to go onto anything..

I am pretty stuck with how to deal with this situation and I really don't want advice telling me to walk away because being together a couple of years I won't leave him to go through this alone.

6 Replies 6

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi KBGirl. You are so strong - I'm so proud of you for the effort you're putting into this. Having lived with depression for more than half my life, I feel I can connect with how your partner is feeling. I also have a mother with severe PTSD, so I know how gutwrenching it can be to be on the other side - not able to make things better. I feel that any advice I can give you, you will already know. You're stuck in an awful place - but you can't make things better for him. You can't force him to talk to the psych about what you think us wrong. All that you can do is talk to your own support (psych or otherwise) and be there for him when he is ready. Keep listening, keep trying. I really feel for you, and I hope things work out, but it could be a long time. Always here to lend an ear. -Stef

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello KBgirl, a good reply from Bluebagger, and can I say that he has been seeing another person, please correct or not, however when someone does have depression they are still capable of being able to have a laugh, depression won't stop that from happening, I used to laugh but then crawl back into my shell afterwards, and the laugh was geniune.
I do admire your inspiration and courage to keep persevering, because as much as it's hard for him to understand, sometimes it's more complex for the person trying to help him and that's you, plus it's difficult to know whether or not he is being honest with his psychologist, and if not then he is wasting their time plus your money.
I just wonder whether he maybe in denial and that's why he won't open up and take any advice you give him, so please let us know because it's important. Geoff.

Thank you Bluebagger, although I am not feeling very strong when I am alone as I tend to just break down and cry, as I try my best not to do so in front of him whenever I can.. I am just not walking away as much as people tell me how I am feeling is not healthy, I understand that and I will be okay again once he comes around sort of thing? I don't think I have fully expressed to him how I am feeling so do you think it would be a good idea to do this even though I will break down in front of him, I just feel him slipping away from me...

Community Member

Hi Geoff,

Firstly, thank you. I appreciate this. Yes he can laugh with me like normal and then almost straight away goes back to seem like he is fighting something in his head that he cant do that with me and then goes back to being really closed off from me. I honestly don't know what to do as I am a dead end and he keeps saying that he cant try anymore etc but then still says how much he loves me and cares for me so I guess that is why I am holding on as you don't walk away from someone you love even when they are trying to push you away.. funny you say, because he denied for a long time that he may have depression and wouldn't see anyone, so that is why I think that he is not telling his psych the truth and he will not take any medication to help himself at all. he keeps saying it kills him to do this to me and have to put me through this leaving me - so I believe that he truly doesn't really want to or it wouldn't really hurt him. he has never really been good at expressing how he feels and that is happening right now, I just want someone to sit down and drill it into him that pushing me away is NOT the answer to stop this... I do want to a relationship counsellor so it is not someone that I have been speaking to about this and knows nothing about us so that would make him realise, as with me there he wouldn't be able to lie about being 'okay' but he is not open to the idea, he is not even open to any idea I try to bring up.. we have a really good relationship and have never had any serious issues until now, I just want a chance...

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello KBgirl, I'd like to add my voice to the others in saying it's great that you want to support your boyfriend through a period of depression. It's a difficult time, and an illness that impacts almost as much on family members as it does on the sufferer themselves.

I'm going to take a different tack in my response than the others have, and it may potentially seem a bit confronting. Please see this as food for thought, and something you can take or leave if it's not helpful for you.

"he keeps saying that he cant try anymore etc but then still says how much he loves me and cares for me"

There are several signals in your post that your boyfriend doesn't think your relationship is working, indeed he is saying this explicitly. It is possible to love someone and care for them *and still* not want to be in a relationship any longer. This could very well be why he is depressed. You say that you have a really good relationship and there have been no serious issues until now, but you also say your boyfriend is not good at expressing how he feels. Is it possible that things have been brilliant from your perspective, but not from his?

Seeing a relationship counsellor is a good suggestion, but I'm a bit concerned by a comment that you make about this:

"I just want someone to sit down and drill it into him that pushing me away is NOT the answer to stop this... "

Relationship counselling is about about finding a way forward together, not for one person to be told how to act and how to feel. It may very well be that the answer from his perspective is for you to no longer see each other.

His reluctance to see a relationship counsellor may be a suspicion that he could be 'ganged up on' and forced into making a commitment he is unable to make at the moment.

He is motivated enough to be seeing a psychologist himself, and you don't know what is being said in those sessions. Giving him space to work through this could be the best option right now, as well as getting the support for yourself that you are already seeking.

When he's ready, having a good discussion about where you both see this relationship now and in the future (not how it was a couple of years ago) is going to be vital to moving forward.

Community Member

Thank you JessF for your response.

I have thought about this as well as I am trying to think about all possibilities before just giving up. he is still normal with me and acts like a perfect boyfriend sometimes hence the reason I would like to see a relationship counsellor to see if there is still something special there or if I am holding onto something that is not, I didn't mean it to come across for him to be told how to act towards me, I just would like to do so to see if we can try to move forward together. don't get me wrong, I have made him annoyed numerous times where he has not said anything because that is not the person that he is but for him to tell me just before this all started happening that he thought we were doing amazing and really moving forward together to me doesn't seem just from my perspective. also why I don't want anyone we both know to talk to him as I know that will make him feel ganged up on and would rather try to move forward by a third party.. I do appreciate your opinion JessF and I have taken it on board. I think that he is scared about how much he has matured in the last couple of years and the fact that he doesn't drink all the time etc. is quite frightening especially when all of your friends are either getting engaged/breaking up I guess it plays a role in your head and makes you have negative thoughts as well as this is the most depressed he has been in a few years despite having it for a while now..