losing my boyfriend to depression

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Post by Prajnaparamita on Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:10 pm

I’m sorry this isn’t going to be all that coherent—I’m in a space right now where I really don’t want to talk and I’ve just shut down because even just stating what’s happening at the moment feels like reliving it, and I just can’t. But if I’ve garnered any goodwill during my time here I would really appreciate some advice or at least commiseration.

My boyfriend and I haven’t seen each other in person for over two weeks now, first a crisis on his part with his roommates plus working all weekend, then the flu, anyway, things have been strained. He calls most every day, but usually just about 5 mins and the tension in clear in his voice. But its come to a head with him saying that he sometimes dreads calling me because every interaction with me seems hard and that I’m just so negative. And he’ll hold on for now, but if things don’t change… He says he wants someone positive in his life, and I’m not that.

I feel like I’m losing him for something that is both entirely my fault, and entirely out of my control. Because even if I do everything that he wants me to do right this very second—get out, meet and interact with new people, have more friends, exercise, its not going to change the mood state that I’m in now for awhile.

I’ve been drugging myself out with Klonopine when really upset recently so I wouldn’t be tempted to lash out or do anything rash and just sleep it off, which is exactly what I did when relationships of mine in the past collapsed because the other person pushed me away due to being unable to stand my mental state.

He was saying something about how there are other people in his life with anxiety and depression like mine, like his mom, but they’re just so much easier to deal with for him than I am. As if I knew what I was doing wrong in comparison to them.

It feels like there was so much hope at the beginning of our relationship, I was getting better and I was going to return to school. And that’s all slid back. Or at least that’s what it looks like to him. For me I can just see things returning to the consistently depressed state they’ve basically stayed in for years.

I’m still the extremely depressed girl he met in the first place. That hasn’t changed.

I feel like I’ve been giving an ultimatum by him (though I bet he’d flip if I suggested it came off as an ultimatum) that I have to cheer up and be more positive or he’s leaving. But I feel like he’s provided no support in that. Basically all I’ve gotten is I shouldn’t fake positive (god knows that’s not even something I’m capable of—I wish) but he can’t deal with my negativity and there’s no point giving advice because I won’t listen.

I feel like I can’t speak to him at all, I feel scared to even go see him, because I’m afraid anything I do or say will come off negative (and I’m pretty sure it will because I’m really torn up about this right now, on top of my everyday depression) and things will get worse with us. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t—I’m afraid that if I interact with him, I’ll just continue to be negative and something he doesn’t want to be around. Isolating from him doesn’t seem like its going to make it any better either though.

This feels like a pattern I have gotten into with a lot of relationships with people around me, just gradually getting more and more toxic and distant, and I know previous relationships don’t dictate what all future relationships will be like, but it sure feels like they all turn out really similar, and the commonality is me. And I’ve not been changing, and I don’t know how.

Right now I’m feeling like I can’t possibly do enough to salvage things as they are now, and feeling like my boyfriend is insinuating that I’m not trying hard enough, by saying things like “only you can know if you’re actually pushing yourself hard enough, and not just being complacent in where you are…” and I haven’t been taking that well.

I understand where he’s coming from, there are all sorts of reasons to end relationships—someone not being positive for you is a perfectly valid one. And I respect that. If he wants to end things I’ll be really torn up, because I want to be his girlfriend, I want to continue to be with him, but I’ll respect his decision and understand.

I don’t think he has it in him to work with me to try to help me get better. He has his own mental health issues, he’s in school full time and works nearly full time himself. This is really all on me.

But I feel trapped in a vicious cycle. I’m too depressed, which puts strain on my existing relationships, which makes me less likely to be out in the world and functioning and making new relationships, which puts further strain on the relationships I have.

I’m the one who initiated this conversation with him in the first place, by saying I wasn’t talking about what was happening in my life because I didn’t know what I was allowed to ask him for in terms of emotional support. Basically nothing was the answer. I don’t know what working through we can do. All he ended with after I sobbed at him on the phone for awhile trying to keep it in as I listened to what he was saying was “there’s nothing I can do to help.”

We both try to be honest about everything. Especially him. He’s not the type to hint at things or let people down easy. If he wanted out, he’d just say it. But I don’t know what to do with “this isn’t working” when its clear he doesn't have the emotional energy to deal with anyone but himself.

And so all day long I’ve been crying, in a panic attack, drugged out or sleeping it off because I’m terrified and collapsing in on myself because it feels like there’s nothing I can do that won’t make it worse.

He said he’d call today, and I’m dreading it because I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to deescalate things, and I feel like there’s not a single thing I can do that won’t get him more frustrated at me, because if I admit how hard I’ve been taking this it will just be me continuing to be negative and drag him down.

But I want this. I want to work for our relationship, and strengthen it and keep going. I just have no idea how now.
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by reboot on Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:55 pm

First off, an internet full of hugs.

Second, you are the same woman he started dating and if he entered into the relationship thinking you would (or could) change that is on him. You have depression. I think it is safe to say that if it was possible for you to change that, you would have done it years ago. He cannot expect you to transform just because you are dating him.

Now, my guess is he got into the relationship thinking he could handle the negativity and give you emotional support but has learned he cannot. Fair enough. Many people realize that something they thought they could handle in a relationship is really something they cannot. It sounds like you have talked about how you discuss your feelings and your depression with him, but what is happening is not working for either of you. You have no emotional support and he still wants you to be more positive and not have depression (something you cannot change).

One thing that I think he is being very unfair about is comparing you to others he has in his life with depression and saying they handle it better. The nature of a mother-child or friend dynamic is different and involves mostly one way emotional support from mother to child or less intimacy/different intimacy levels in the case of friends. He really does not know how they handle their depression within sexual/romantic relationships because he is not in one with either. So yeah, they talk about depression to him in a way he likes, but that does not mean they are handling it better. In addition, he probably does not know how severe their depression is, so comparing you to them is BS.

Personally, I would recommend you ending it with him because he is being a bad partner to you, but that is just me.

In closing, more hugs.
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Post by Gman on Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:01 pm

Reboot summed it up nicely, so I'm just posting just to send some more virtual internet hugs your way.... I have never had to deal with depression on a such personal basis, so I can only imagine just how hard this must be on you. Stay strong and don't forget to go easy on yourself.
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by The Wisp on Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:26 pm

Oh, Prajna, that sounds awful Sad *internet hug*

I can relate to having one's mental illnesses ruin (in my case only platonic) relationships with others, and feeling like you cannot escape negative patterns that sabotage them. And then the catch-22 where you don't feel like you can escape these patterns unless people you are relating to provide you support,  but the patterns themselves drive people away.

For what it's worth, I think you do try very hard. You have managed to have friends and go to school and post here for advice despite your depression and anxiety. That's a real accomplishment. It means you are strong.

Can you go to any friends or a therapist for support right now?  We are here to support you, and we I'll if you need that, but real life support can be better. If you don't feel you can turnto anybody in real life at the moment, that's okay, too. We'll still be here for you!

I'm not going to say anything you don't already know here. Your boyfriend needs to make a decision that is best for him. It sounds like he is struggling to be the support you need right now. If he leaves you, that is not your fault. You did nothing wrong Prajna. It just means you guys are incompatible, and it sucks and it's sad and I wish such incompatibilities never happened, but they do. Whatever happens Prajna, you did nothing wrong.

It may be that you will have to work on yourself to have better and more lasting relationships with people in the future, but even if that is the case you did nothing wrong in this recent relationship.

If he stays with you, you might have to do that work, too. And evaluate if he's capable of giving you all that you need right now and adjusting your relationship with him accordingly. That may include ending it with him. But that's your decision.

Also, be careful with that Klonopine, as somebody who also has a prescribed benzo, they're addictive if overused. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use it, just be cognizant of not overusing it.

Like reboot, I end with internet hugs to you.


Last edited by The Wisp on Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Enail on Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:08 pm

Adding to the hugs. That's a really tough, stressful situation to be in, and it sounds like he's putting some unrealistic expectations on you about things you have been clear are not going to change. Which really sucks.

Different people handle depression differently, and different ways of handling depression are going to be compatible with different people. If you're doing everything you can to manage your depression within your relationship in a way that's okay for him and it's still not working, that doesn't automatically mean that you're "harder to deal with" or worse than other people. It just means you're different from them. And it sucks that's not working in this relationship, with this guy, but it's not a referendum on you or how you're managing your depression. From what you say here, you put a lot of effort, thought and practice into it, and I think you should be really proud of what you do, and that you should be with someone who recognizes that.

If you do want to salvage the relationship, something you could try is to ask him for some concrete things that he'd like you to do that would make it easier on him. If there's a particular topic he needs you to not talk about with him, or if it would help if you could always start a phone call with something interesting or happy, even if it's just a little thing, that gives you something to work with. You can't do "stop being negative" or "don't be depressed," and he needs to understand that's not a loving or realistic thing to ask, but if there's something specific that would make a difference, that's more likely to be something you can do.

Another thing that you might want to consider, especially since you mention a pattern in relationships, is trying to have some less close relationships, maybe with him, maybe with some other people in your life. I realize having less close relationships sounds like a weird thing to try to do, but it sounds like you tend to have very intense, emotionally open relationships, and while those can be very fulfilling, they also tend to be very volatile and stressful because there are just so many feelings going on between the two parties. There's something to be said for lower key relationships where closeness happens more gradually, out of a slower building up of trust and time spent together. It might be good practice to try getting to know some people on that level, give you a chance to see if there's something in that way of relating that you could bring into some of your deeper relationships to help them stay more stable. And maybe it'd be nice to have some people in your life that are just easy people to hang out with even though you don't have that deep level of friendship?

Many hugs and much sympathy.
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Post by Caffeinated on Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:30 pm

I'd second what everyone has been saying. I'd also note that this sounds like you're in a long-distance situation with your boyfriend right now? Which makes everything harder. Like emotional support. When you're in person with someone, you can just say "I've had a rough day, can we snuggle on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch a couple episodes of [awesome show]" and that's how they can support you. But when you're long distance, talking on the phone, they can feel like they have to have some sort of words of wisdom or come up with a solution to your problems or something, and then get frustrated when they can't fix things. It's not fair, but I think it's a common thing that can happen. Maybe, like Enail said, you could ask him for some concrete thing he could do. Like, sometimes instead of having a conversation where it's all feelings, have one where you're both watching a show at the same time and just chatting about it on the phone and/or having some companionable silence while you're watching together-but-long-distance. Or maybe play a game together, or both read the same book and talk about the book. Basically try to do long distance some of the stuff that you'd do in person, because for a relationship to be comfortable, it generally needs to have more than just physical stuff and feelings-talks.

Jedi hugs to you. This stuff is hard.
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Post by Prajnaparamita on Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:17 pm

Hey guys, thank you so much for listening and offering your comfort and advice, I appreciate it a lot and you’ve really helped.

reboot wrote:
you are the same woman he started dating and if he entered into the relationship thinking you would (or could) change that is on him. You have depression. I think it is safe to say that if it was possible for you to change that, you would have done it years ago. He cannot expect you to transform just because you are dating him.

To his credit, he’s never done any of the “I’m going to save you!” shit, he damn well knows he can’t do that and he hasn’t tried. We have a pretty clear no playing therapist rule for each other, and I don’t think he’s ever consciously expected me to change or grow for his sake or just because he’s there.  

reboot wrote:
One thing that I think he is being very unfair about is comparing you to others he has in his life with depression and saying they handle it better. The nature of a mother-child or friend dynamic is different and involves mostly one way emotional support from mother to child or less intimacy/different intimacy levels in the case of friends. He really does not know how they handle their depression within sexual/romantic relationships because he is not in one with either. So yeah, they talk about depression to him in a way he likes, but that does not mean they are handling it better. In addition, he probably does not know how severe their depression is, so comparing you to them is BS.

He lived with his mother’s depression and anxiety for many years; I think he understands how severe it is. I really didn’t understand what he meant by that comment and at the time I really didn’t feel like following up. In addition he’s also dated people in the past with severe mental illness issues and acted as a caretaker, and I can completely understand if that’s a dynamic he never wants to have again with someone, its just… I don’t know what is so different about my depression that he can’t stand it?  

reboot wrote:
Personally, I would recommend you ending it with him because he is being a bad partner to you, but that is just me.

In closing, more hugs.

That’s kind of what I’m thinking—or at least I’m coming to peace with the idea that this might be ending. It’s not what I want but it might just be what happens. I can’t deal with ultimatums if he can’t give me anything to work with, and if it looks like its just heading down that path I understand that’s what I might need to do.

Gman wrote:Reboot summed it up nicely, so I'm just posting just to send some more virtual internet hugs your way.... I have never had to deal with depression on a such personal basis, so I can only imagine just how hard this must be on you. Stay strong and don't forget to go easy on yourself.

Aww, thanks, all the hugs to you too.

The Wisp wrote:Oh, Prajna, that sounds awful Sad *internet hug*



For what it's worth, I think you do try very hard. You have managed to have friends and go to school and post here for advice despite your depression and anxiety. That's a real accomplishment. It means you are strong.

Thank you Wisp, that was a very kind thing for you to say, I can’t tell you how much this touched me. I feel like I’ve been blaming myself a lot because I don’t know where else to point the blame, and even if my jerkbrain won’t let me accept it as something I can actually believe about myself, its nice to know that others don’t think this is my fault or I’m not trying hard enough.

The Wisp wrote:
Can you go to any friends or a therapist for support right now?  We are here to support you, and we I'll if you need that, but real life support can be better. If you don't feel you can turnto anybody in real life at the moment, that's okay, too. We'll still be here for you!

I only just have been opening up to friends about this, partially because just trying to put things into words makes me feel like reliving all the nasty, horrible emotional all over again, partially because, well… All my friends knew that my boyfriend periodically fought, but when I’d talk about him I’m still get “Oh I’m so envious of you and [boyfriend] it sounds like you can talk about anything” or things like that, so its hard to admit that things are falling apart.

I’d call my therapist, but 1) it's the weekend and I likely won’t be able to reach her and 2) I actually just returned to therapy after a couple months away because I felt it wasn’t helping me at all and I’m only just reestablishing that relationship. But I am trying to reach out to people IRL. But thank you so much, I do know you guys are here, and I was afraid to reach out at first, but this has been very helpful.

The Wisp wrote:
It just means you guys are incompatible, and it sucks and it's sad and I wish such incompatibilities never happened, but they do. Whatever happens Prajna, you did nothing wrong.

Thanks so much honey, it really does make me feel a lot better hearing this.

The Wisp wrote:
Also, be careful with that Klonopine, as somebody who also has a prescribed benzo, they're addictive if overused. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use it, just be cognizant of not overusing it.

This seriously warms my heart too, thank you for your concern, though you really don’t need to worry. I’m not going to take one more of those little devil pills than I have to.

The Wisp wrote:Like reboot, I end with internet hugs to you.

And hugs back. Thank you for being such great online support.

Enail wrote:Adding to the hugs. That's a really tough, stressful situation to be in, and it sounds like he's putting some unrealistic expectations on you about things you have been clear are not going to change.  Which really sucks.

Thanks. The more I’ve been reading your responses and thinking, the more I’ve been realizing that my feelings of powerlessness and fear are coming from a place of feeling that I’ve been given ultimatums and no way to deal with them.

Enail wrote:
If you do want to salvage the relationship, something you could try is to ask him for some concrete things that he'd like you to do that would make it easier on him. If there's a particular topic he needs you to not talk about with him, or if it would help if you could always start a phone call with something interesting or happy, even if it's just a little thing, that gives you something to work with. You can't do "stop being negative" or "don't be depressed," and he needs to understand that's not a loving or realistic thing to ask, but if there's something specific that would make a difference, that's more likely to be something you can do.

You know, this is a really good idea that I’ve tried in previous relationships. For instance with one friend we would make an effort to end every call by sharing something we were grateful for that day in order to end things on a positive note after all the hard emotions. Of course it didn’t ultimately end up working and we fell apart anyway, but I could give it another try. He’s make comments like when he calls me he just wants something light and happy, but coming up with something like that, or even coming up with anything to say is incredibly difficult when I’m in my very depressed, anhedonic mood states and I have difficulty doing anything but stare at the ceiling—even holding a conversation at that point is pretty difficult, and having me provide positive entertainment is frankly impossible.

But I’ll try and see if I can get him to be more specific in what he would appreciate from me.

Enail wrote:
Another thing that you might want to consider, especially since you mention a pattern in relationships, is trying to have some less close relationships, maybe with him, maybe with some other people in your life. I realize having less close relationships sounds like a weird thing to try to do, but it sounds like you tend to have very intense, emotionally open relationships, and while those can be very fulfilling, they also tend to be very volatile and stressful because there are just so many feelings going on between the two parties. There's something to be said for lower key relationships where closeness happens more gradually, out of a slower building up of trust and time spent together. It might be good practice to try getting to know some people on that level, give you a chance to see if there's something in that way of relating that you could bring into some of your deeper relationships to help them stay more stable. And maybe it'd be nice to have some people in your life that are just easy people to hang out with even though you don't have that deep level of friendship?

Oh god Enail, you sound juuuust like my therapist, lol. Or rather, you know me waaaay to well. Laughing  I’m well aware of what you’ve been saying, I love my friends, they’re all amazing people, and we’ve been through so much together, but sometimes I really need to love them from a distance. Like, right now.  Razz This is one of the things my boyfriend and I were discussing when we’ve been having these (not) fights (more like him being cold and removed and me crying a lot) I know I need more people in my life, because even if it isn’t intentional, I’m really lonely at the moment and even if I don’t mean to having that loneliness seep out into my relationship with him as neediness. One of the things he seems to be impatient and annoyed about is that I don’t have those light, casual friends to hang out with, and I don’t seem to be making them. But as I said, its hard to do that when my anxiety is so bad and I struggle to get out and interact with others… And either way, even if I continue to push myself to even just try to show up at that meetup, even if I can’t bring myself to enter the building, its not going to make those instant connections that would take the current pressure off our relationship.

Caffeinated wrote:I'd second what everyone has been saying. I'd also note that this sounds like you're in a long-distance situation with your boyfriend right now?

Yes and no to this, which is the irony of this whole thing. We attend the same college and he lives 30 mins away in the next town (though given that neither of us have a car, that’s 40 mins on the bus, plus a 20 min walk each way, all done by me) but when I’m lucky we’ll see each other just once a week. And let’s just say we’re not often lucky… I understand he’s really busy, and I imagine he’d make more time for me if he could, but…   No

Caffeinated wrote:
Which makes everything harder. Like emotional support. When you're in person with someone, you can just say "I've had a rough day, can we snuggle on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watch a couple episodes of [awesome show]" and that's how they can support you. But when you're long distance, talking on the phone, they can feel like they have to have some sort of words of wisdom or come up with a solution to your problems or something, and then get frustrated when they can't fix things. It's not fair, but I think it's a common thing that can happen. Maybe, like Enail said, you could ask him for some concrete thing he could do. Like, sometimes instead of having a conversation where it's all feelings, have one where you're both watching a show at the same time and just chatting about it on the phone and/or having some companionable silence while you're watching together-but-long-distance. Or maybe play a game together, or both read the same book and talk about the book. Basically try to do long distance some of the stuff that you'd do in person, because for a relationship to be comfortable, it generally needs to have more than just physical stuff and feelings-talks.

I’ve come to realize just how true this is. I’ve always considered myself a very independent person, and I would never want to move in with a romantic partner, but I’m beginning to really understand now the appeal. I’m afraid that in regards to the advice of the book or tv show that he would just say he doesn’t have time to do that, and if he did have a couple hours to put aside, I could maybe attempt to see him during it. The thing is though, when its good, as it often has been in the past, when we’re on the phone we can have incredibly rich, engaging, passionate conversations about history, philosophy, politics, religion, ect, that we both find really rewarding and is one of the things that initially drew us together. So its not all necessarily heavy feels all the time. Its just really hard for me to be able to do that when I’m really depressed and my brain feels shut down and he doesn’t really have time to talk. So, I don’t know. I’ll see if I can get him to articulate more of what he’d like to see from me, and I’ll try to figure out if any of this might be applicable.

Once again, love and hugs to all of you guys, thank you so much! Grin
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Post by Enail on Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:49 pm

Prajnaparamita wrote:

I’ve come to realize just how true this is. I’ve always considered myself a very independent person, and I would never want to move in with a romantic partner, but I’m beginning to really understand now the appeal. I’m afraid that in regards to the advice of the book or tv show that he would just say he doesn’t have time to do that, and if he did have a couple hours to put aside, I could maybe attempt to see him during it. The thing is though, when its good, as it often has been in the past, when we’re on the phone we can have incredibly rich, engaging, passionate conversations about history, philosophy, politics, religion, ect, that we both find really rewarding and is one of the things that initially drew us together. So its not all necessarily heavy feels all the time. Its just really hard for me to be able to do that when I’m really depressed and my brain feels shut down and he doesn’t really have time to talk. So, I don’t know. I’ll see if I can get him to articulate more of what he’d like to see from me, and I’ll try to figure out if any of this might be applicable.

Maybe instead of watching a show or other leisure activities separately-together, you could do stuff like companionably ignore each other while studying/something else busy-making? That way, you're getting some togetherness, he's getting to do the stuff that's taking up his time, and you can either do your busy-stuff or something relaxing, and you're not putting so much energy into it as if you're trying to connect with engaging conversation when you're not up to it.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:52 pm

Hypothesis regarding the comparison-to-others thing: he doesn't know what he means either and he's just thinking out loud. Hypothesis regarding what makes you different from his mom: he doesn't want to live with or spend large amounts of time with his mom. Different flavors of love, and all that.

I dunno, makes some sense to me. But I don't know all the relevant contextual information.

Sorry things aren't going so well for you right now. Sad
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Post by Kiskadee on Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:05 am

Really sorry to hear that you are going through that. I hope you and he are able to clarify the situation a bit, but it does kind of sound like he wants you to change something he saw all along.

Everyone else had good advice, but I wanted to add that I find that sometimes mentioning things that you are thinking of trying, or have just started trying, to help yourself through emotionally tends to make other people feel a lot better. Even if you don't personally have much hope that you will feel much better afterwards after trying the thing. It seems to lighten the emotional load a little for the people hearing it, in my experience (as both a someone with bad depression and with trying to help or be there for a close relative who also has been having depression/anxiety lately). This would apply to any relationship, not just romantic.

Hoping for the best for you.
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Post by Werel on Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:00 am

Oh, Prajna, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I've been on both sides of the depressed-partner equation, and it's one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with. Everyone's advice is great, and I want to reiterate that this isn't a failing on your part. Incompatibilities just happen, but it's so much worse when the point of incompatibility is something that's already so miserable and wreaks so much havoc on your life.

You're demonstrably very strong, and you've got such a good head on your shoulders--your ability to keep a sane, empathetic perspective even in the middle of all this anxiety and pain is amazing. Such huge jedi hugs to you right now. I'm hoping the very best for you and sending good vibes your way. Sad
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:02 am

I'm not really the type to offer commiserations to people because, well, sympathy doesn't really do much for me personally, so...

For what it's worth, I hope you and your situation grows better (independent of whether your BF leaves or stays). Warm hugs to you. Please be more selfish and look after yourself.

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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:59 am

Adding some hugs from here as well. Sorry to hear about the painful things, with your boyfriend and the general experience of relationships strained by depression.

You say how at the beginning of the relationship, things were looking better in your life, and now they're sliding back... and I don't think that is unusual. Moods and emotions are like waves, both in the minute-to-minute experience and in the month-to-month developments, they move up and down, up and down...

and in my life at least, the crests are when I've been most likely to make changes in my life, like entering relationships. And then the crest subsides on its own, at the same as the new relationship energy runs out, because it always does, and the stress of adjusting to a new person adds up, because it always does, so... yeah.

I don't know if that's very encouraging... some (romantic or close platonic) relationships obviously last through that phase, but some does not... and I think it's got a lot to do with luck-or-not, a bit to do with compatibility-or-not...

I don't know if that's the dynamic you are feeling, on top of the specific pain of the relationship being so uncertain. And if it is I don't have much advice on dealing with it, I just wanted to say that... such dynamics are fairly universal. The commonality there isn't the particular person, but how emotions are wired to change over time.
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:05 pm

So my boyfriend called last night for a minute on his break at work, and the conversation basically went like this:

"Hey how are you doing?"
"Well I've been thinking about things and on reflection I'm feeling okay."
"Well okay is good."
"I want to talk to you about things."
"I have nothing more to say."
"No seriously, we can't get into this right now, I want to talk but you need to get back to work."
"Okay I'm going back to work."

He also said that he's going to be doing homework all today, but he'll be free to talk for a bit, didn't say when.

I was thinking about sending him what I wrote initially--not this thread but what I had typed up to get down my thoughts at first, because every time I've tried to talk to him about how I'm feeling in regards to this I just start crying and get incoherent, and I thought having him read it might be able to  get across what I'm feeling without worrying about whether or not I'm going to be able to say what I really want.

I was planning on prefacing it with "I understand this might not be what you're experiencing in regards to our relationship, but its how I was feeling and I want you to know that." Do you think that would be okay? Does what I wrote come off as too accusatory or defensive? I know you don't know him, so you don't know how he would react, but do you think this would be a good idea? Is there anything I should change or add before asking him to read it?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Enail on Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:00 pm

I'm a bit confused and can't figure out what the text you'd like to send him is (not this thread means we haven't seen it, right, but asking our opinion of what you wrote means we have?), so I can't give an opinion on that, but I think writing down what you want to say is an excellent idea. I'd recommend trying to keep it fairly short rather than getting into everything in depth, because it can be overwhelming to get a big long wall of text for emotional conflicts.
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:34 pm

Enail wrote:I'm a bit confused and can't figure out what the text you'd like to send him is

Oh sorry, just the original thing I posted at the start of this thread! I have that written up on my computer from when I was debating whether or not to post here or not, so I was planning on sending that.
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Enail on Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:23 pm

Oh, okay, I get it. I'd recommend trimming it a little, then, trying to keep it to basics -maybe it's just me, but having fraught emotional conversations in writing can be easier and better in a lot of ways, but they also feel very intense? Maybe note down 3-5 point-form things you really want to get across to consult while you're writing, because even in writing it can be easy to get muddled about what you want to say when it's something you're upset about.

I'd also suggest starting with a short sum-up of what you've understood he's saying to you/asking of you. In charged conversations, I usually find it helps to affirm that you're listening and check if you're interpreting correctly; it shows that what they say matters to you and that you want to try and resolve things, so puts things on a more cooperative and productive footing.

Good luck! I think you're handling this really maturely and well!
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Prajnaparamita on Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:48 am

Okay, quick update guys before I go to bed--that went way, way better than expected! He read what I wrote, and there was initially some "I didn't say that, you're twisting my words" but we were able to get it on more productive ground talking about what we could do to make things more positive, and he really liked that advice about treating this like a long-distance relationship. He told me that he'd never been in anything like a long-distance relationship, and the dynamic for us is very different from relationships in past. Because we can't do the whole rant about your shitty day, and then cuddle and hang out when most of our interactions are phone calls when we have time, so we have to find a way to consciously move beyond the "I had a shitty day" conversation. We've put in a policy of consciously putting aside time at the beginning of every conversation to say something we found funny/positive/beautiful recently, and try to think of that before we talk, so we'll see how that goes. Also being clearer with each other when we're capable of providing emotional support for the other, and realizing when that, or even the moment of positivity, isn't going to be possible.

And then we somehow segued into talking about the link between libertarianism and ideas about free will, and why Robert Nozick (a certain political philosopher) is a total dick. And finally how much we want to see each other again soon.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions, and also your support! Being reaffirmed and supported by you guys gave me the strength and courage to have this conversation and start the process of improving our relationship. Even just being told that my struggles aren't my fault helped lift my mood so I could start thinking rationally about this and moving forward. So thank you so much, I really couldn't have done this without you guys.

Grin Heart Grin Heart Grin Heart Grin Heart Grin Heart
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Werel on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:05 am

HOORAY!! I'm so glad it went well, and that y'all feel like you can start making steps forward. Grin
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by Enail on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:21 am

Yay, glad to hear it!
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by The Wisp on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:51 am

Awesome, I'm glad you guys seem to have a handle on things! Smile
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by UristMcBunny on Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:19 am

That's great news! I'm glad you were able to talk through these things.

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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

Post by reboot on Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:19 am

Yay!! Great to hear. Score one for good communication
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losing my boyfriend to depression Empty Re: losing my boyfriend to depression

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