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Depressed boyfriend...not sure what to do.



New member
Dec 8, 2020
So I will try to briefly explain our situation without this being too long of a post. My boyfriend and I met back in 1999. We have been together for 21 years. During these years together I noticed that he would have times that he seemed unhappy. I have noticed over the years that certain things seem to trigger this, such as a death in his family, family issues, or work stress. He had three members of his family that truly seemed to care for him and would contact him often and they were two aunts and his grandmother. Over the years he lost them all. Now nobody in his family contacts him at all unless there is a death in the family or if they need something such as money. None of his family calls him on his birthday or for any holidays, including Christmas. It's very sad. My parents have been more of a family to him than his own. I have always tried to spoil him like my parents did me. I try to make sure he has a very good Christmas with lots of presents and a fun birthday with cake, and I cook big Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for just the two of us. He went on his first vacation ever when he met me and we go on a vacation every year now.

Anyway whenever he would go through a family loss or whatever would seem to trigger his feeling unhappy, he becomes distant and always seems to redirect the feelings toward our relationship. It is as if he can't explain what is causing him to feel this way so he blames the only thing he can think of it could be. This has caused him to be unfaithful. He came clean about it back in 2016 that he had been talking to a girl at work (who was married with problems in her marriage). Apparently this was going on for about a year and I had no clue. When he came clean about it I was devastated. I have been loyal for all those years and to find out that he had cheated hurt so bad. He swore he didn't have sex with her (he he did admit they kissed) but he connected with her, I assume because she was having her own problems and they had a lot to talk about. I also found out about a couple of other girls he had talked or flirted with early on in our relationshop when he was feeling unhappy. My boyfriend (ex-fiancé after what happened) and I don't have the intimacy that we used to have when we were younger. Part of this is my fault. I have had issues with painful sex and dryness since my late 30's and the clinic I used to go to always made it seem that I was probably in early perimenopause and that I would just have to deal with it and to try lube. This has caused me to not have a sex drive and I thought it was something I would have to just live with. But I have now found a place that seems concerned about my issue and she is giving me good health recommendations so hopefully I can get this issue resolved. Another thing that he seemed down about is the fact that we never had kids. I thought I wanted kids years ago but I always wanted to be married first, but he has never really wanted to get married. He did give me a ring back in 2007 but that never led anywhere. Over the years I lost the desire to have children. One reason is I'm scared to death over actually having one because I have heard all the horror stories and I don't handle pain well. Another reason is that I never got married.

I have read that when people have been together for a long time that sometimes the passion and intimacy tends to fade and it becomes more about companionship but in his case he doesn't take aging well. He is 46 and feels he is old. He gets depressed around his birthday also. I think he has been going through a midlife crisis for years now. Well after what happened in 2016 I went through a deep depression and I didn't know what to do. We bought our house in 2010 and he is the breadwinner in the house and I can't afford a place with what my job pays right now. Plus we have a lot of pets and I didn't know what I was going to do. It wasn't until I told him that we were through that he seemed to wake up from his state and wanted me back. We slept in separate rooms for months until finally we decided to work this out. He finally went to a therapist for how he was feeling. They said he was suffering from depression. But he only went to see her twice because he said it made him feel worse by going. She had referred him to a psychiatrist also so he could get on medication. He was on medication for a couple of months but never went back to the psychiatrist to get a refill because he felt it wasn't helping him and he didn't have insurance so he felt it was a waste of money and time. Thankfully he came out of that state for the most part.

Over the last 4 years we have been doing okay. He would still have times that he seemed down but seemed to bounce back from it. During this time we still don't have much intimacy. The last time we had sex was probably near the beginning of the year. He said it feels like too much work now and he just doesn't want to do it. This makes me feel bad because I feel like I'm too much work to enjoy. I can't help that I'm older and not like I used to be. He also seems to have a decreased sex drive now. He also gets very needy for attention. I have pets in the home and he seems to get irritated sometimes when I tend to them in the evenings when he feels like I should be sitting there paying him all the attention or if I play on my phone while watching tv.

A few weeks ago he told me on the phone while I was at work that he was unhappy with his life. My heart sank because I knew he had gone back to that state of mind again. He has been pushing me away since and does not want me to hug him, kiss him, or touch him at all, especially sexually. If we talk on the phone during the day he doesn't have much to say at all. He works for a major delivery courier service so this time of the year is peak season and always stressful but he received a promotion earlier this year that has him basically 2nd in command for his boss and he is now helping organize routes, deal with all the problems of the delivery drivers, reports directly to the main office with issues, and yet is still having to run a truck load of packages every day. He literally will come home late in the evening and be bombarded with work texts and phone calls and spends time on his work laptop looking at the numbers for the day and the projected numbers for tomorrow. He has been working 6 days a week and lately 7 days a week. So yes he is extremely stressed right now, but yet he won't admit it and he doesn't feel work is stressing him out. So he directs those feelings of unhappiness towards us once again.

Now if I try to do anything to make him happy or to help him out, he will tell me to stop trying so hard and that I wasn't trying so hard before. He told me he just needs space right now and to just leave him alone. So I am trying to give him space. I still fix him dinner at night and try to talk to him, although right now we are not having much communication. I tell him how proud I am of him at how he is managing things at work with his promotion and how he is such a good boss. I don't really know what else to do at this point.

It is very confusing for me because just a few months ago he surprised me with a gift bag that contained candy and my favorite perfume and a card thanking me for all that I do. He even stated a few months ago that I could go to part time at work since he is making good money. I haven't done this because I don't want to lose my insurance but I have had my hours reduced due to the pandemic. Well recently he found out about a death in his family. Not anyone in his immediate family but someone he had fond memories with as a child. A cousin of his left him a message telling him about it. Since he found out, he seems to have spiraled into this depressed state again. I think it is a combination of the work stress that he won't admit to and the death in the family. It is all so confusing. One minute he is giving me a token expressing how much he appreciates me and now he feels like I don't pay him much attention and it makes me feel so sad, hurt, and depressed because I don't know what to do for him especially since he won't admit that he isn't fine. Sorry this has been so long. I actually tried to make it as short as possible because there is so much more I could write about. Any helpful words or encouragement is appreciated. And thank you all for allowing me to write about his here.


Well-known member
Aug 28, 2020
I just wanted to say that I read through your post. I can understand how your situation would make you upset, frustrated, and hurt. I would also be so confused! Please continue to write, and know that this is a great outlet for you - to put your feelings to paper can be so helpful. Also, to read through others posts and see that so many others are going through similar things is so helpful. You are not alone!


New member
Dec 8, 2020
Thank you! The last couple of days have been a little better. He has opened up a little about some of the madness going on at work and I even heard him singing along to a Christmas song that was playing on the radio in the kitchen. It has been difficult trying to understand what he is going through. I have often wondered if he is bipolar also because he can have such high and low mood swings. The only hobby that he has is working out. He is usually religious about getting up early and working out/lifting weights before work. When he gets down he tends to slack off on this a bit. He doesn't really have any other hobbies. I wish he would have continued seeing a therapist because I think it could have helped him over the years. But since he won't admit anything is wrong, all I can do is just be there for him and not take things too personally when he has these moments of feeling unhappy. Sometimes that is hard to do because I am one that tends to take things personal. But being here and being able to talk about it helps. I also love to run and do yoga and that helps too.
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