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Is my depressed boyfriend going to leave me?

C

Cooookies

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Hi. As a quick overview, I have been with my boyfriend for 5 months. We were friends for a few months before that. He has dealt with depression for a lot of his life and I knew this before going into the relationship. He has been going through a very bad depressive episode for nearly 3 months now after losing his grandad. He is on medication and is starting therapy (again) this month. He has always been quite open and honest about his depression to me and I believe I have created a safe space for him, despite not understanding a lot about the condition. This has been a learning process for me too.

i don’t want to go too much into the details, but overtime I feel he has been slipping away from me, and we have been talking less and less, but 3 days ago he messaged me that he needed some alone time. I respected this and We have had no contact in 3 days, when usually we would speak every day (even If it was just a quick message from him). I understand that he needs his space and I’m trying to be supportive by not interrupting his alone time but I am scared that he may decide to leave me.

My question is, after some “alone time” will he eventually contact me again when he is ready to, or is this leading to a break up? I’m worried he will decide that he is better off alone and maybe a new relationship is putting too much pressure on him (although he has not said this).
 
Desire less

Desire less

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Relations with persons who are depressed are very tough...usually they need all their strenght to just keep going and usually have little room for others...
I know you might not wanna hear this, but perhaps you should reconsider if your ready for this kind of relationship.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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It’s impossible to know whether he will continue to pull away or if you will come back together. Right now I would focus on my own mental health in exercising some coping skills in dealing with the uncertainty surrounding this. It might be a good time to think about what price you are willing to pay to maintain this relationship. This behavior could continue to become a pattern well into the future. Is this something you are willing to put up with? Is this something that is good for YOUR mental health? xo, j
 
LizBo

LizBo

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Hi and welcome @Cooookies :)

As a non sufferer, you're right; you wouldn't have any idea of how it feels to be affected by chronic depression. However, this doesn't mean you can't empathise with your bf's situation. Visiting reputable sites to find out more about it may help you understand better what you're up against.

Your relationship is still in its infancy so learning about each other is probably where things are at, but you're also learning about yourself too.

Worrying about the future, I can say from experience and clarity, is time and energy wasted. Dealing with the present, especially your own feelings, might be a better way to approach this situation.

Tip 1: You can't go inside someone else's head. We only know what we see, hear and feel; the rest are unknown factors. How can we make decisions or know what to do based on the unknown?

Your bf is also going through this same thing in addition to grief, but he's experiencing it through a damaged mind, so his reactions, rationale or plans may not even make sense to you.

What you need is patience and courage if you want to stick things out; day by day. Waiting is all you can achieve at present I'm afraid.

Tip 2: Spend more time listening than speaking. Being an observer of others has many benefits; you learn far more than you might think. React with a kind smile and affirming answers instead of constantly asking is he ok because he's not; he's sick.

I really feel for you. It's not easy being a part of this type of relationship. I do hear in your words though, you're wanting more. I hope this is a little bit helpful. It comes from the heart...

Kind thoughts;
Liz
 
C

Cooookies

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
UK
Hi and welcome @Cooookies :)

As a non sufferer, you're right; you wouldn't have any idea of how it feels to be affected by chronic depression. However, this doesn't mean you can't empathise with your bf's situation. Visiting reputable sites to find out more about it may help you understand better what you're up against.

Your relationship is still in its infancy so learning about each other is probably where things are at, but you're also learning about yourself too.

Worrying about the future, I can say from experience and clarity, is time and energy wasted. Dealing with the present, especially your own feelings, might be a better way to approach this situation.

Tip 1: You can't go inside someone else's head. We only know what we see, hear and feel; the rest are unknown factors. How can we make decisions or know what to do based on the unknown?

Your bf is also going through this same thing in addition to grief, but he's experiencing it through a damaged mind, so his reactions, rationale or plans may not even make sense to you.

What you need is patience and courage if you want to stick things out; day by day. Waiting is all you can achieve at present I'm afraid.

Tip 2: Spend more time listening than speaking. Being an observer of others has many benefits; you learn far more than you might think. React with a kind smile and affirming answers instead of constantly asking is he ok because he's not; he's sick.

I really feel for you. It's not easy being a part of this type of relationship. I do hear in your words though, you're wanting more. I hope this is a little bit helpful. It comes from the heart...

Kind thoughts;
Liz
Thank you for your reply. It is very difficult. Although it hasn’t been that long I care about him very much. He’s a very loving + fun person but his episode has definitely affected our connection. A couple weeks ago he told me he has lost feeling in everything: he doesn’t feel happy, sad, bored. Just empty. That’s when he pushed to see a counsellor as he has been on the waiting list for a while. I’m very glad he’s reaching out for help and I’m glad he can be open with me about things. I have done a lot of research and from what I have seen from him he has been trying very hard to keep our relationship up, despite having no energy to do much else. He tells me I am the only person who will get a reply from his messages and that I’m still the person he talks to the most. This entire time I feel I haven’t pushed him to do more, I’ve been patient and as supportive as I can. I really think we can make it work and I am hoping his therapy will help him through some stuff. I am okay with him wanting his space. Afterall I’ve told him I’m here for him and if space is what he wants/needs right now then that’s what he’ll get. I just hope he contacts me again and doesn’t let the idea of “us” go.
 
C

Cooookies

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
UK
It’s impossible to know whether he will continue to pull away or if you will come back together. Right now I would focus on my own mental health in exercising some coping skills in dealing with the uncertainty surrounding this. It might be a good time to think about what price you are willing to pay to maintain this relationship. This behavior could continue to become a pattern well into the future. Is this something you are willing to put up with? Is this something that is good for YOUR mental health? xo, j
Thank you for replying. Yup I’m trying to focus on my own feelings too. Whenever I ask if there’s anything I can do for him he always tells me to look after myself and that I’m doing what I can for him. He knows I’m here for him, I just hope he doesn’t let us go.
 
LizBo

LizBo

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Thank you for your reply. It is very difficult. Although it hasn’t been that long I care about him very much. He’s a very loving + fun person but his episode has definitely affected our connection. A couple weeks ago he told me he has lost feeling in everything: he doesn’t feel happy, sad, bored. Just empty. That’s when he pushed to see a counsellor as he has been on the waiting list for a while. I’m very glad he’s reaching out for help and I’m glad he can be open with me about things. I have done a lot of research and from what I have seen from him he has been trying very hard to keep our relationship up, despite having no energy to do much else. He tells me I am the only person who will get a reply from his messages and that I’m still the person he talks to the most. This entire time I feel I haven’t pushed him to do more, I’ve been patient and as supportive as I can. I really think we can make it work and I am hoping his therapy will help him through some stuff. I am okay with him wanting his space. Afterall I’ve told him I’m here for him and if space is what he wants/needs right now then that’s what he’ll get. I just hope he contacts me again and doesn’t let the idea of “us” go.
You definitely have a great attitude! :) Being who he needs atm is all you can do and you seem to be on top of things.

With his 'non feelings' stuff, this is caused by the brain shutting down emotions to cope with uncomfortable situations that challenge brain function - his grief. It's a normal response, however if suicidal thoughts begin, it's time for mental health intervention as it's mainly our emotions that save us from taking this step. I hope he gets a counsellor soon.

I think you're a wonderful person and hope you both succeed with your relationship.

Please don't forget about yourself. Continue with your life; friends, family and work/school. Being the best you can be helps you both.

Lovely talking with you;
Liz
 
M

Mistral

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579
I would not second guess anything. People with depression can be very demanding. There can be times when their demands seem unfair or skewed towards their needs.
 
C

Cooookies

Member
Joined
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Messages
5
Location
UK
You definitely have a great attitude! :) Being who he needs atm is all you can do and you seem to be on top of things.

With his 'non feelings' stuff, this is caused by the brain shutting down emotions to cope with uncomfortable situations that challenge brain function - his grief. It's a normal response, however if suicidal thoughts begin, it's time for mental health intervention as it's mainly our emotions that save us from taking this step. I hope he gets a counsellor soon.

I think you're a wonderful person and hope you both succeed with your relationship.

Please don't forget about yourself. Continue with your life; friends, family and work/school. Being the best you can be helps you both.

Lovely talking with you;
Liz
Thank you for your words. Today I have been coping a lot better and generally getting on with my day. Still no word from him tho. At some point shall I drop in a quick check-in message just to tell him I’m thinking of him or is it best to wait for him to make the first move? I hope he knows I’m not angry for him not messaging, and I want him to know that from my point we are still okay. But I don’t want him to feel I’m invading his space.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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I think a quick thinking of you note would probably be well received. If you don’t hear back I wouldn’t worry. I would just check back in a couple of days. xo, j
 
LizBo

LizBo

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Down-under
Thank you for your words. Today I have been coping a lot better and generally getting on with my day. Still no word from him tho. At some point shall I drop in a quick check-in message just to tell him I’m thinking of him or is it best to wait for him to make the first move? I hope he knows I’m not angry for him not messaging, and I want him to know that from my point we are still okay. But I don’t want him to feel I’m invading his space.
Hi again Cookie;

As it's been a while now, it might be time to check in. Sometimes people with depression can become too comfortable in their isolation, so he may need to be prompted to engage. Worrying about how he'll respond isn't productive ok. Afterall, you're the one who's been put on the outer.

Opening up a dialogue with 'open' questions could help. (Not asking for yes/no answers eg; what, where, how, when) There's your feelings too; 'I miss you', 'I'm concerned' and so on. Maybe close with a light-hearted comment about something you both enjoy talking about. Honesty's what he needs...

I'm glad you're coping better and using this platform to help you feel more confident. I'm sorry about the time difference too. Waiting for a reply can be frustrating.

Take care;
Liz
 
C

Cooookies

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Messages
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Location
UK
Hi again Cookie;

As it's been a while now, it might be time to check in. Sometimes people with depression can become too comfortable in their isolation, so he may need to be prompted to engage. Worrying about how he'll respond isn't productive ok. Afterall, you're the one who's been put on the outer.

Opening up a dialogue with 'open' questions could help. (Not asking for yes/no answers eg; what, where, how, when) There's your feelings too; 'I miss you', 'I'm concerned' and so on. Maybe close with a light-hearted comment about something you both enjoy talking about. Honesty's what he needs...

I'm glad you're coping better and using this platform to help you feel more confident. I'm sorry about the time difference too. Waiting for a reply can be frustrating.

Take care;
Liz
I ended up messaging him to say I was thinking of him and that I’m still here when he needs. He ended up telling me that he had heard devastating news that a family member’s cancer has returned. He says the thought of talking to anyone is terrifying and he feels very lost. My heart aches for him. He apologised for not saying anything and for “being useless” and I’ve told him I’m here for support and there’s no rush to talk. I was so lost for words I didn’t say a lot.
 
LizBo

LizBo

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I ended up messaging him to say I was thinking of him and that I’m still here when he needs. He ended up telling me that he had heard devastating news that a family member’s cancer has returned. He says the thought of talking to anyone is terrifying and he feels very lost. My heart aches for him. He apologised for not saying anything and for “being useless” and I’ve told him I’m here for support and there’s no rush to talk. I was so lost for words I didn’t say a lot.
You're a brave girl...
I'm sorry about his family news. It really sounds as if he needs help. I'm not sure what your mental health system's like there, but if there's a hotline you can call, phoning them might give you some direction.

I really feel for 'you' though. Wondering how another person feels is one thing, but when they don't know how to accept your love and caring, (especially those physical hugs) it leaves a pain in your heart. It's sad...

I hope things improve hun;
Liz
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Nashua NH
I ended up messaging him to say I was thinking of him and that I’m still here when he needs. He ended up telling me that he had heard devastating news that a family member’s cancer has returned. He says the thought of talking to anyone is terrifying and he feels very lost. My heart aches for him. He apologised for not saying anything and for “being useless” and I’ve told him I’m here for support and there’s no rush to talk. I was so lost for words I didn’t say a lot.
Your patience and support is amazing. I hope that it is not lost on him and that you will be able to be together again as a whole, happy couple once this passes. xo, j
 
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