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Been feeling depressed for years

S

SilentlyLoud

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I have been feeling like I'm in a constant depressive state for years now. Usually the symptoms are mild, but "mild" in this context means I can still function and go to work but never enjoy anything anymore and I haven't felt true happiness since forever. As a result I quit my favorite hobby which is playing guitar because I simply can't enjoy it anymore like I used to. I've always liked gaming and still do it at times but don't enjoy it much, mostly it's been feeling like I do it just to fill the time and because of routine. I work as a software developer, which is my dream job, and even my job which I used to absolutely love now brings me no joy.

For the past couple years the only thing I used to enjoy at least a little was spending time with my girlfriend. But now my relationship is falling apart and this has made the depression much worse. She is the only woman I have ever loved and the only woman who has ever reciprocated my feelings. This brings me to my next point, which may be the main source for my depression.

Prior to meeting my girlfriend at 27, I had been single all my life. I hadn't even kissed nor held a woman's hand. I had never had any sexual experience, and still don't because my girlfriend wanted to wait until marriage for religious reasons and I respected that and decided to wait with her because I love her. None of that was out of choice, I very much wanted all this but due to my social anxiety, shyness and enormous struggle with women and dating it simply never happened until I met my girlfriend. I was feeling like a complete failure and always wished I wasn't even born. Now that my relationship is at this stage, this came back to haunt me. I don't want to ever go back there again. I love my girlfriend so much and this is of course the main reason I don't want to lose the relationship, but another reason is my fear of living more years of my life single, possibly never finding anyone again. For me this also means no intimacy and sex either, as I'm an extremely shy guy with social issues and I was barely even able to get a girlfriend. The thought alone depresses me.

Even though I don't wish to lose my girlfriend, I've been disrespected and feel like I had my dignity stepped on in this relationship. Long story, but her mother has always disrespected me and for 2 years my girlfriend has been unable to do anything about it. I feel humiliated and taken advantage of by my GF's toxic mother. I stay only because I feel like I have to support my girlfriend, many times at the expense of my mental health. I have a feeling this contributed to my depression as well. Now I'm finding it difficult to move on after this and stay in the relationship, yet at the same time I have a crippling fear of never finding love ever again. My fear is also that I'll never get to experience sex with someone I love (or someone I don't love, but getting a single encounter is impossibly more difficult for me than focusing on building a relationship with someone and slowly getting there as I get more comfortable).

I feel like life passed me by. Feels like the years are flying by and I'm unable to keep up. I'm almost 30 and my 20s have been completely wasted with almost nothing to show for them. I'm about to lose my only ever relationship and given my social issues I seriously have no clue how to meet people. I have nearly no hope of ever finding anyone else. I'm not social and don't even know how to be. Seeing people my age getting married after having fulfilling romantic lives makes me feel like a failure. My younger brother is getting married in a month and I simply can't bring myself to feel happy, instead I feel horrible because meanwhile my only ever relationship is falling apart.

I feel like a complete failure. There are times I wish I wasn't alive. I want to believe that things will get better, but can't. If by 30 my life hasn't been going well, why would it improve beyond that? My romantic experience is one failing relationship, and sexual experience is limited to a few escort visits (not proud of this, but eventually I got desperate and did it, of course that's before meeting my GF). It doesn't surprise me that I feel like a failure. Maybe I am.
 
S

SilentlyLoud

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Sorry for the long post, tried to make it shorter but it didn't convey everything I wanted to say.
 
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ManDss

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Why is your depression falling apart ? Besides her mother.
 
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Alexander Ypsilantis

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I didn't get married until I was 29, so don't feel to bad. There is plenty of time yet.

It's hard to talk about socializing in the middle of an international pandemic, but you need to find some ways to get out and circulate with others your age. I understand you have social issues and it's difficult for you to be outgoing, but that's the challenge of life. I was voted 'most shy' in my HS class among the guys. I didn't get upset, I got motivated-tried to push myself to be more outgoing and willing to try new things.

Instead of looking for a new girlfriend you should be looking for activities where you can interact with women while doing what you enjoy. The relationships will come naturally if you get out and circulate. When I was your age and single I joined a bowling league, played group volleyball, played tennis with the single girls in my apartment complex, took one or two of the flying with me (I had a private pilots license at the time). I took classes on topics i was interested in simply to meet new people who share my interests. I took airline flights by myself on holiday to places like Cyprus in the Med, Cozumel, and so on-there are many folks on holiday by themselves and that's how you meet.

I recognize COVID has put a damper on a lot of those things, but when things start opening up again you need to get out and circulate. Challenge yourself, once you do it a few times it becomes easier and then you start having a good time pushing the envelope. I met and dated a lot of women before I got serious with my wife, there is nothing wrong with just a casual date to enjoy somebody's company-like inviting a neighbor to see a movie with you and enjoy some popcorn. Not every date has to be a big deal, but it's a great way to meet new people and network-then one day you find somebody for a more serious relationship.
 
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SilentlyLoud

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I didn't get married until I was 29, so don't feel to bad. There is plenty of time yet.

It's hard to talk about socializing in the middle of an international pandemic, but you need to find some ways to get out and circulate with others your age. I understand you have social issues and it's difficult for you to be outgoing, but that's the challenge of life. I was voted 'most shy' in my HS class among the guys. I didn't get upset, I got motivated-tried to push myself to be more outgoing and willing to try new things.

Instead of looking for a new girlfriend you should be looking for activities where you can interact with women while doing what you enjoy. The relationships will come naturally if you get out and circulate. When I was your age and single I joined a bowling league, played group volleyball, played tennis with the single girls in my apartment complex, took one or two of the flying with me (I had a private pilots license at the time). I took classes on topics i was interested in simply to meet new people who share my interests. I took airline flights by myself on holiday to places like Cyprus in the Med, Cozumel, and so on-there are many folks on holiday by themselves and that's how you meet.

I recognize COVID has put a damper on a lot of those things, but when things start opening up again you need to get out and circulate. Challenge yourself, once you do it a few times it becomes easier and then you start having a good time pushing the envelope. I met and dated a lot of women before I got serious with my wife, there is nothing wrong with just a casual date to enjoy somebody's company-like inviting a neighbor to see a movie with you and enjoy some popcorn. Not every date has to be a big deal, but it's a great way to meet new people and network-then one day you find somebody for a more serious relationship.
I'm already 29, and will be 30 in a few months. So I definitely don't feel like there is plenty of time for me. It really depresses me how I didn't get to live a normal romantic life and now I'm about to lose my only ever relationship. 😭

Regarding my social issues, I actually believe it's more than just that. It's definitely social anxiety, and at times I think it may even be autism that was never diagnosed. I tried socializing more when I was younger but never managed to meet new women this way. The few I did meet were either taken or showed no interest in me, and I never had the courage to ask one out face to face. Though on social media I did but it never led anywhere, except with my GF. It's actually more common to meet women on social media where I live. I also tried online dating at a couple points in my life. Never worked but on my last try I did get one date, we talked for a while but I didn't feel she was my type and it didn't seem right to continue.

My interests revolve around playing guitar, video games and programming (which is today my job). I lost interest in all of them due to feeling depressed all the time, but even if I didn't, I don't see how they could help me socialize and meet new women.

I can't believe that at almost 30 I'm getting depressed due to something others my age don't even think about. I seriously thought that was all behind me when I met my GF. I love her so much but her mother has made things unbearable for me and my GF has been unable to do anything about it. I hate myself for considering ending the relationship and then getting more depressed because of it and because of my fear of not being able to find someone else, but I feel like continuing the relationship will also destroy my mental health.
 
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Mistral

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I would guess that half the happily married men in the world have mother in laws who do not like them. You seem to be drifting. You perhaps need to take the helm.
 
S

SilentlyLoud

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Why is your depression falling apart ? Besides her mother.
You meant to say my relationship?

It's mostly her mother. There are also some incompatibilities and I don't feel completely accepted by my GF, so there's also that. To make a long story short, when I went to ask her parents for an engagement (this is how proposals work here), her father agreed but her mother refused because I don't own a house. Her mother has always been rude and disrespectful to me, and recently to my mother as well, and my GF has never been able to do anything about it. In a way I sympathize with her because she is facing difficulty with her toxic mother, but at the same time it's also affecting my mental health.

I don't like being viewed as a material project and being disrespected in my relationship. In a nutshell these reasons are why my relationship is falling apart and I'm considering ending it.
 
Bod

Bod

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Hello I am sorry you are feeling like you are, but please don't look on your self as a failure because you are not at all. You are still young and have a life to grow into, as I only started to grow in my life when I was 40 years of age and I'm now very nearly 60 and the last 29 years have been up and down but I have had far more up days and I really am happy in my life now.
 
lucasso

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Stepping out of a relationship can be scary at the best of times. I can relate to that. I used to be a software developer too and I liked the creative side but felt uncomfortable with the lack of social interaction. If feel I got into this situation as a bit of a vicious circle. I chose development because I liked it and I lacked social confidence, but I disliked the lack of social interaction and therefore development and myself.

These days I have given up my career and work in a shop where I practice interacting with customers. When I first started I couldn't say boo to a goose but I am gradually learning. I am trying to branch out and find new things to do and talk about which is the next step for me.

Your depression may be linked to more than your social anxiety but it sounds central to your experience. Break ups are very hard and take time to adjust. I broke up with someone only to remain an item with them so I'm no expert. I don't no my future and marriage isn't on the cards either. But I know it's friends I want in my life and a partner. Getting it means I am back in counselling to work on my social anxieties and confidence.
 
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Mistral

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The fear of being humiliated by the other person in the relationship ending the relationship first often will make people prematurely end a relationship themselves. If you want to marry this girl, then keep that idea going. You seem to be willing to fall after the first few hurdles.
 
S

SilentlyLoud

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The fear of being humiliated by the other person in the relationship ending the relationship first often will make people prematurely end a relationship themselves. If you want to marry this girl, then keep that idea going. You seem to be willing to fall after the first few hurdles.
They're not just a few hurdles, believe me. I have tolerated far too much disrespect from my GF's mother, and to be honest at times from my GF herself (she did apologize and we made up though, so no point in brooding over it). I don't wish to get into too much detail, but I feel like I'm being viewed as a project by my girlfriend's mother in order to secure the future she wants for her daughter at my expense. When my mother and I went to talk to her mother about having an engagement (this is how proposals work here, parents have to be involved and approve) she literally told me, "Without you owning a house, I will not agree to any engagement nor marriage. I want to secure a good future for my daughter." I felt humiliated and offended, and like she sees me as a project. Her mother even goes as far as restricting our dates, calling my GF 5 times while we are on a date, ordering my GF to go home while on a date with me, with complete disregard to me, and many many similar instances.

Her mother is a toxic, controlling person. The thought of potentially having to deal with her all my life scares me, esepcially because my girlfriend is unable to put a stop to it and is very attached to her. It's really been a dilemma for me for a long time and I always chose to remain in the relationship despite this, but I feel like lately it has been affecting my mental health too much. So I really don't know what I'm supposed to do.
 
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SilentlyLoud

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I would guess that half the happily married men in the world have mother in laws who do not like them. You seem to be drifting. You perhaps need to take the helm.
They may not like them, but do they actively disrespect them? In front of their wives and other people while their wives do nothing? Do they restrict their relationship and intervene with things that are none of their business? Because this is what I'm going through. My girlfriend's mother even went as far as threatening to end the relationship, accusing me of "speaking from above" (to use her own words) when I disagreed with her disapporval of an engagement just because I don't own a house. I'm not a house project for anyone. It's insulting that she would view me this way. My mother was there when all of this happened and she was shocked at how much the woman disrespected me and even she urged me to end the relationship.

Can you please elaborate on what you meant with me drifting and needing to take the helm?
 
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Mistral

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Can you please elaborate on what you meant with me drifting and needing to take the helm?
You are not steering a course which will enable you to become a mature independent man who is able to make decisions for yourself. You have been fortunate to find someone who will help you on that journey. That is so, so more precious than you think.
 
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SilentlyLoud

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You


You are not steering a course which will enable you to become a mature independent man who is able to make decisions for yourself. You have been fortunate to find someone who will help you on that journey. That is so, so more precious than you think.
I'm really sorry if I'm being stupid, but I'm still unable to completely follow what you're suggesting. Are you suggesting that I don't end the relationship? If so, what can I do about the fact that my girlfriend's mother disrespects me at every possible opportunity? Because of this, I got to a point of not being able to stand even looking at her. There are still many details I didn't share, but because of the way my girlfriend's mother treats me and due to other details I didn't share, I feel like I have reached a roadblock with my relationship. This is especially the case due to my girlfriend's inability to put a stop to it.

How do you think my girlfriend can help me on that journey?
 
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SilentlyLoud

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Hello I am sorry you are feeling like you are, but please don't look on your self as a failure because you are not at all. You are still young and have a life to grow into, as I only started to grow in my life when I was 40 years of age and I'm now very nearly 60 and the last 29 years have been up and down but I have had far more up days and I really am happy in my life now.
Thanks Bod. I'm having a hard time viewing things this way at the moment. I feel like I missed out on a lot of things in life and like there is no point in living them if I didn't live them at the right time. Somehow it feels like 20s was the time to do and live all that stuff and I didn't. I feel like this is going to haunt me all my life.
 
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