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New partner's sudden depression - how to deal with it?

trojan

trojan

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Bavaria
Hi Guys,

I am from Bavaria so sorry for my english.
I am currently living in the separation phase after a long-term relationship (28 yrs) and have learned to love someone who also comes from a long-term relationship (23 yrs).
We have - the classic! - both of us very clinging to each other and thus whitewashed the pain of separation, that "being alone".

We both are aware this and try to reverse our mistakes, because we don't see ourselves as "consoling partners", we are already promising a future together.

In addition to the mentioned separations to be managed, we both had to face several life problems, which she - actually a power woman - always "smiled away" and worked through confidently.

In the last few weeks she has changed increasingly, everything started to turn faster somehow, she had more and more plans in less time, surrounded herself with more and more people, began to drink more alcohol than usual for her and so on.
She also behaved differently towards me, somehow not quite as loving anymore, more plus more demanding in bed.

She has been complaining for weeks that she cannot sleep through the night and that she has nightmares.

Then suddenly last week she was just a pile of misery, was just crying. She went to a psychologist and has now been taking light antidepressants since a few days, but of course they haven't worked yet.

At first I didn't understand her "coldness" towards me, because she had always literally overwhelmed me with love, now there is ZERO emotion.

We live in separate households 1 hour apart and last we met 3 days ago for 3 hours in a neutral place to walk and talk. I took her in my arms and patted her head, which she said felt very good for her. She also kissed me on the mouth.

She wants to limit personal contact at the moment, which affects me very much. She says she needs time for herself now, has to "go through it all alone" and it has nothing to do with me personally, I shouldn't doubt her love for me and if I really loved her, then I should give her peace and quietness for now and go through there with her together.

I am currently seeking treatment myself for separation anxiety, so two things come together that don't go together at all - I am seeking to be loved which she can't give at the moment.

After I googled something about depression today, I'm beginning to understand her "isolating herrself" better, at least that it really isn't necessarely because of me or our relationship.

Can her emotional coldness be conclusively explained as an acute depressive episode / adaptive disorder / reactive depression?

She said she NEVER experienced something like this before, she is a positive person, always has been.
As I said, many bad things happened this year, which was extremely stressful to her. Her narcistic husband also made her feel guilty and pained her psychologically. She says the whole year has come up in her now.

How can I behave towards her?
Can I tell her how much I love her (such words are not coming from her side at the moment) or is that too much to handle for her?

I didn't get in touch for 2 days after the meeting, also no WhatsApp, NOTHING, when she called me via video telephony out of nothing.
We talked for 1 hour and she said that she'll get in touch again next evening.
She called me (no video) as promised and said that she did not feel like talking today. I said "that's OK, let's try again tomorrow".

She is extremely cold, very strange, has empty eyes, cannot smile, speaks factually and seriously.
I'm not sure how to behave. I don't know how long this will take either, because it's already very hard for me to take.

She has promised that we can meet at the weekend for a walk again.
After staying with her 5 days a week and practically living in her house always from Friday afternoon until Monday morning in the last weeks this seems kind a unsatisfying for me.
We already had plans for me to move into the house at some point, to change my job and help finance the house (the house is newly built), how the terrace and carport should look like, etc.

Her 14-year-old son also likes me and accepts me as "family" - according to his own statement towards me!

This compulsory break is very hard for me, I am grateful for any tips regarding the possible duration of her depressive state, how I should behave and how our relationship could possibly continue.

I love her very much and want to get through it with her, but at the moment she is just so strange to me, it's so hard to handle.

Today she posted a quote on Facebook, saying "When nothing is sure, everything is possible", which I don't really understand what she wants to say.
 
M

Mistral

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
444
Patience is probably what you need. People with depression can be demanding.
 
trojan

trojan

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Bavaria
She always says "dont question our relation", but exactly this is what I do... I'm cought in a trap... I really love her, cannot understand why does she need a break from me??

I know I should avoid to stress her, but can anyone tell me if there's a chance that this will get - step by step - better again? Is it a good sign for our relationship, that she calls me on the phone and meets me at least once a week for a walk? Or is it guilty conscience??
 
I

Ian Haines

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
417
Location
Merseyside, North West England.
Switch off your relationship, and help her through this.
Your earlier relationship, before this "crash" was the most important thing between you.

Now, she's had this mini-breakdown, the relationship has no need to be at the top of your list, or of hers. The only thing that matters, now, is GET HER THROUGH THIS! Supporting HER and maintaining HER is all that matters, now - forget the relationship until she is back to normal. Your relationship must change course slightly, now, to handle her fight back to normal, or back to something that is close to normal!

Depression sufferers' lives, and surroundings, are no longer getting through to the pleasure centres in the brain, so don't look for anything familiar in terms of the relationship and give off no signs of desperation that she can see...that would make her worse.

But, remember this...people who walk out of the depression grinder are sometimes not quite the same people who walked into it!

She remembers that she was having a relationship with YOU, TOO! You're the most familiar thing from her life before this depressive breakdown, so when she meets with you, do just that...be there, to meet with. There is no reason why her doing that must be some sign of guilt. She's doing nothing to feel guilty about.

Sometimes, your love, and your staying power, must be demonstrated, without being spoken!
So...keep on demonstrating it by just BEING THERE! Push for nothing more!
 
trojan

trojan

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Bavaria
Thank you Ian, this is hard.
She called me via Facetime yesterday night, 1.5 hrs after I took my sleeping pill, so I was quite confused.
She told me that she can't have a relationship for now (like you said) and that she can't tell me how long this situation might last. She also can't tell me if and when we probably meet again. She said I have to get my own life in order.
I can't explain how this feels for me, I am so sad.
I'm not sure what to tell her right now, because I don't want to lose her completely.
She said, she is not sure if this state she's in only lasts until christmas or maybe until next year.
I texted her "Thanks for your honest words" after we talked, that's all, but I want to set some things clear, that one hand I don't want to give up on her, on the other hand I don't want to put pressure on her.
Should I tell her, that I accept the relationship being paused? Or being ended? How can I make her clear, that I want to sty in contact without being to stressful?
She didn't reply my message by the way.
 
H

Hana26

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
98
Location
World
I'm sorry to hear about what you are both going through. It's possible that she got into this new relationship with you too quickly and didn't really take the time to focus on herself and heal completely after her break up.

Both of your previous relationships were very long and significant, subsequently you seem to have needed a lot of attention and affection from each other in order to cope. Now your girlfriend might be dealing with the aftermath and she needs time to herself, give it to her, be patient and supportive. It's a good opportunity for you to focus on yourself as well in the meantime. Your well being is very important.
 
H

Hana26

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Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
98
Location
World
Let her know that you understand what she is going through and you are willing to give her time and space, to put the relationship on hold but you'd be happy to keep in touch to check up on her.
 
M

Mistral

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
444
I totally agree with Hana26, except I am not sure if you should contact her. Not for a while anyway. Are there any mutual friends that are still in contact with her? If there are, you could try to find out how she is keeping through them.
 
LadyDomino

LadyDomino

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May 7, 2019
Messages
423
Location
Dorset
Hi @trojan - Sorry to hear you and your friend are going through this.

In my opinion you have little choice but to step back from a partnership relationship (this seems to be what she wants) and be her friend. Be there to listen, give a hug (without expecting anything in return).

Send a simple text saying you'll always be her friend, and could she please just let you know she is ok every once in a while as you care for her.
 
trojan

trojan

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Bavaria
Thanks for you help, guys.

We communicated this morning by e-mail about something factual and she asked me if I could still sleep well after her call yesterday.
I wrote to her - contrary to your advice, a kind of "manifesto"- in short: I see our relationship as paused or - if she wants - ended, that she can contact me anytime if she wants to, but I won't pressure her with relationship issues because this subject is completely unimportant at the moment, the most important thing is her recovery. I don't want to stress her in any way.

The whole thing has gotten a little longer (typically for me) ;)

Her answer (translated):
Yes, that sounds good and, above all, it is stress-free for me. I'm really not capable of any feelings at the moment, just work without feeling - very strange the whole thing, but it can only get better and I hope it will very soon!

I'll get in touch with you when I'm clearer again. All I need now is time and rest. Has nothing to do with you like I said before.

And no, I absolutely do not allow myself to be influenced, I do what I have to do now, entirely for myself, and nobody advised me or advised me against anything. They all just listen to me.


What do you think: did I keep the door open?

FYI:
I've been to a psychiatrist today, she prescribed me antidepressants (Fluvoxamin) and told me I needed psychological treatment, too
 
I

Ian Haines

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
417
Location
Merseyside, North West England.
Thank you Ian, this is hard.
She called me via Facetime yesterday night, 1.5 hrs after I took my sleeping pill, so I was quite confused.
She told me that she can't have a relationship for now (like you said) and that she can't tell me how long this situation might last. She also can't tell me if and when we probably meet again. She said I have to get my own life in order.
I can't explain how this feels for me, I am so sad.
I'm not sure what to tell her right now, because I don't want to lose her completely.
She said, she is not sure if this state she's in only lasts until christmas or maybe until next year.
I texted her "Thanks for your honest words" after we talked, that's all, but I want to set some things clear, that one hand I don't want to give up on her, on the other hand I don't want to put pressure on her.
Should I tell her, that I accept the relationship being paused? Or being ended? How can I make her clear, that I want to sty in contact without being to stressful?
She didn't reply my message by the way.
You're panicking about her maybe hiding wanting to end the relationship and I can provide no magic words, about this. I've been where you are. I know the feeling that you're experiencing. Truth is...time must pass, to see where this goes. But, in total fairness, you can't be fairly expected to put your entire life on hold, if she's not even sure WHETHER you and she will meet, again, or sure WHEN you and she will meet, again.

Sometimes, you must separate two people in order to keep them together!
 
I

Ian Haines

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
417
Location
Merseyside, North West England.
This answer? "I'll get in touch with you when I'm clearer again. All I need now is time and rest. Has nothing to do with you like I said before." I'd say that it sounds very promising, to me and it would've once been able to make me feel better, and relax. From then on, on four occasions, for me, I'd've carried on with my life, but with a constant feeling of bewilderment and anxiety about what was going on. It happened to me, with 4 different partners, also.
 
trojan

trojan

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Bavaria
You are so helpful, Thank you! Interpretation is sometimes difficult.

How come THIS SITUATION happened 4 times to you?
 
H

Hana26

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Nov 26, 2020
Messages
98
Location
World
As you said, you can be there for her if she needs to talk, etc... But actually how are YOU?

If the situation becomes too heavy for you, given that she doesn't know if she will get back into the relationship, you might want to think about not hanging on to her and go your separate way for your own sake.

She is going through depression but so are you, to the point that you are on medication and see a psychiatrist. You are there for her but who is there for you? I don't doubt she really feels lost but make sure this situation where you are the one to lean on doesn't drag on for too long because it wouldn't be fair to you.
 
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