The Loss of Feeling in Depressed Partners

Disreality Illusion

Living with depressed partners can mean living without the feelings of love that are at the heart of every relationship. What is it about depression that could turn intimate companions into cold and blaming strangers?

Readers ask about this over and over as their partners start blaming them for their own unhappiness and want out of the relationship. How could the person they most loved and trusted suddenly turn on them?

After years of affection and intimacy, how could they suddenly declare that they don’t feel love, even worse, that they have never loved their partners at all?

One answer I’ve often given in the posts at Storied Mind is about the fantasy of escape. Depressed partners may refuse to face the inner pain that’s wrecking their lives. Rather than seek treatment, they want to blame the existing relationship as the cause of their collapse. They may come to believe that they will feel better if they can leave and find happiness elsewhere.

That answer comes out of my experience and seems to match what happens in many relationships once depression comes into them – though certainly not in all cases. The specific effects of depression will differ in every relationship, but this is the problem I hear about most often and the one I lived with.

What exactly is the inner pain that can’t be faced and dealt with? Reciting the usual list of depression symptoms and the effects they can have on everyday life only gets you so far. General lists don’t capture the experience.

Talking about “inner pain” suggests despair or other unbearable hurt that demands an explanation and must be escaped as quickly as possible. Since depression is a condition that can vary from day to day, that active side of pain can be the driving motive. But there is another dimension of depression that can lead to the idea of escape as the answer.

It’s the one that causes depressed partners to say they’re no longer in love and have never loved their partners. It’s called anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure or interest in anything.

For me, it was a kind of deadness. Rather than an excess of painful emotion, it was the lack of pain, the lack of feeling, that was the undercurrent of all the surface turmoil. I felt no satisfaction in life.

I believed that the relationship was holding me back, that it had become hollow, empty of the intensity I longed for. I was sure that I could only find happiness and passion with someone else. It was the fantasy of the perfectly passionate mate that was a constant lure.

I recently re-read a chapter in Peter Kramer’s insightful book, Should You Leave?, that captured this exactly.

As one of the dwindling number of psychiatrists who still practice psychotherapy, Kramer often works with clients who are dissatisfied with their relationships. They want to know if leaving is the best thing to do.

When he encounters someone who is convinced that the marriage is dead, he says that he always suspects depression or another mood disorder.

He can sense that the person before him could well have an undiagnosed depression that has emptied him of all feeling. Anhedonia is the cause of the desire to leave to find a new, more intense life. The depressed partner’s relationship feels loveless because he can hardly feel at all.

The problem is that the unaware depressive has such a high threshold of feeling that it takes extreme arousal to evoke excitement and passion. He can erupt with anger and rage because these are more violent emotions that stir him as little else does.

Kramer says that these clients often believe that they’re perfectly capable of feeling. After all, they can go out and have fun with friends. They can feel passionate with others who likely have no constraining relationships or might be seeking the same kind of escape.

But they feel good precisely because these experiences offer exceptionally high levels of stimulation. They may also turn to addictive habits like recreational drugs, drinking, gambling or pornography for the same reason.

Fantasies of escaping into a life full of new intensity seem like the perfect answer to their inner emptiness.

No single explanation covers the diversity and unique facts of every relationship threatened by depression. This one fits much of my experience and also fits many of the stories people write about on the blog and in emails.

Does it make sense in terms of your own experience? Have you lived through such a crisis or been close to someone who has?

(This is an edited version of a Storied Mind NewsLetter.)

234 Responses to “The Loss of Feeling in Depressed Partners”

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  1. Pilar says:

    My partner of 4.5 years recently experienced the loss of his father, grandfather, and stepfather within 7 months of each other and I know he has been tremendously impacted but says he is ‘fine.’ I did my best to be supportive and there for him through all of this and perhaps didn’t provide the best support at times because of my own family issues I was dealing with- there were many times I wish I had acted differently, but had been so frustrated with his complete lack of emotion or desire to do anything.

    Because we were both butting heads so much we took a ‘break’ from each other. He said he was so confused and felt lost and didn’t know what to feel or do about anything. While staying at his Moms, he kept telling me this but assured me we would get through this (both committing to go to counseling separately, though he said he didn’t have time to schedule an appointment). Additionally, he withdrew from our group of friends who have been trying to reach out, almost dropping his entire life and solely focusing on work. I did my best to support him and give him his space.

    Suddenly, after telling me for weeks we were going to get through things and telling me he loved me, I found out from mutual friends he was saying he didn’t know if he loved me or not. I asked him about it and he said he still very much loves me and will always love me but doesn’t know if he’s in love. It was shocking as he had been reassuring me and telling me I was it for him and wanted to be together forever despite the issues we were going through.

    My understanding is that who’s drug use has also increased, he’s making irrational choices with business, as he has decided to surround himself with people who only take advantage of him. My friends and I are at a loss for how he could just dump all of what he’s built to put himself in a bad situation.

    I recently broke up with him and asked him to move out as he has stopped taking my calls, won’t talk to me, and will only communicate via email with me, saying he’s sorry for being who he is and for being so lost right now- but then following that with a very vague response of. ‘we are on different paths.’

    I don’t know if I did the right thing as I know he’s really struggling and told him I didn’t know what else to do. I feel like I abandoned him, but also felt the need to protect myself as the only emotional response I would get from him was rage and not the optimistic easy-going man I fell in love with. I wanted to help him and tried to be supportive wanting to work through things, but he just kept shutting me and our friends out. I am truly worried for his well being and am struggling with the feeling of I betrayed him and wasn’t understanding enough.

  2. ConfusedGirl says:

    I am experiencing something similar and I am really hoping someone can shed some light for me. My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year. We fell in love quite quickly, and became very attached to each other, spending the majority of our free time with one another. Very early on to our relationship, the pandemic began, and we were put into the 30 day stay at home order. He chose to come stay at my apartment with me during the order because he wanted to see what it was like to live with me, and we had nothing but fun and happiness during that time. We’ve spent our entire year together happy, not even one fight. He’s told me I’m his perfect match, that he sees a future of marriage and children with me, and even asked for me to move in with him next year when hopefully all the pandemic madness has blown over.

    Out of the blue last month, he started to spiral into a depressive episode. He had enrolled back into school after years being out, because the career path he had graduated for was not something he desired. He also had been continually complaining about how much he hates his job (working in retail to pay the bills), and how he feels he has nothing to show for himself at his age of 26. He also totaled his car this year and hasn’t been able to get a new one. He’s also been overwhelmed with low pay and overwhelmed by debt and the inability to progress his life forward.

    About a month into the depression, he pulled the plug on our relationship, totally out of the blue. We had literally the weekend before been discussing living together and plans for our anniversary coming up. He said he just wants to be alone, he doesn’t want to care for any other people, he feels confused and he doesn’t know what to do. He was crying and sad, and very unclear during the whole conversation. He said he just feels like he needs to be alone. He doesn’t want to be responsible for making anyone else happy. He also kept stating he felt “mentally on the edge” end kept saying “I’m such a mess”. From that point on, he dropped contact with me but would respond if I ever reached out. I asked him to speak in person about once a week, trying to seek clarity and help him work through his feelings but every time he sounded the same: confused, emotional, withdrawn. He would fall apart in person, and cry, saying how much he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me but he’s scared of how he feels so withdrawn. He constantly says how he’s afraid of how much he feels okay with being alone. He also continually apologizes for not being able to explain how he feels and for “putting me through this”. I’ve tried to end the relationship further with a clean break, trying to give his things back and free him of feeling guilty for hurting me. But whenever I try, he won’t take his things and says “we’ll just give me more time. I just need more time” and “I just need to sort myself out”.

    Obviously this has been extremely emotionally draining, heartbreaking, and so confusing for me. I’ve done everything I can to do research online, read about depression, and try my best to understand and be empathetic. I want to wait for him to start feeling better, I have hope that our love is still there and he wants to be with me somehow. I just don’t really know what to do or how to handle this with him. Has anyone experienced this kind of situation?

    • fleur says:

      hi i see nobody has replied to your comment but i want to help. you deserve better first of all and i hope you have happily moved on and treated yourself well. never blame yourself. i am just like him and im a complete mess at times who has cut things off with my bf and driven him away and it hurts so much. but people like me with depression just have to sometimes stop being selfish and realise we are not good for people. i hope he has been able to take time away to help himself and heal himself. i wish you both the best <3

  3. Shooka says:

    I have severe depression and currently on meds. I have been with this amazing man for 2.5 years now but I don’t feel anything towardhim and that makes me sad. I have low sex drive and I don’t wanna have sex with him. I feel empty when he says I Love You. I’ve been thinking about bteak up for a few months now but I’m not quite sure if I’m falling out of love or it is depression. I don’t wanna regret later 🙁

    • Viv says:

      Hi Shooka – my fiance of 5 years feels like you do. We’re currently having two weeks space to see if he can work out his feelings, whether he has fallen out of love or whether it is his depression. He often tells me he feels ‘dead inside’. He said he wants to desperately feel love for me again because we had a great relationship, but he said his head is fuzzy and confusing, and something has ‘clicked’ so he can’t feel how he used to. It is heartbreaking and I pray my old partner comes back to me.

  4. Jeffery says:

    My wife is going through this right now she is waiting to see her doctor but she told me she not in love with me any more but she also said that she feels numb inside and she listen to loud bass music just to feel something we are trying to save are marriage with counseling but waiting on her doctor to help

    • Maham says:

      A few months ago I started talking to someone and became really close to them. We were kind of dating but without a label. It was long distance so that obviously creates some barriers. I’ve grown to really love them as a person and care for them. A few months ago they went cold on me and slowly it got worse and worse. They told me at one point that maybe they may have anhedonia. Today I finally decided to talk things through and see if we could fix things. They told me they felt nothing for anyone, not even their family. They told me it’s not my fault and not to blame myself and that we were still friends. They said they plan to be alone for a long time and need to relearn their morals because of a tough childhood. I just cried because I wanted so badly to be there for them and help them and I felt like I couldn’t do anything. Are they even being honest with me or is this just a cover up to something deeper? I feel so lost and wish I could have things back the way they were.

      • Ann says:

        Hello! I almost cry when I read your post because the same exact situation happened to me recently. We were close even with distance and two months ago he told me he lost his feelings for me. I wonder the same over and over again, is he hiding something or is it real? And things aren’t the same anymore and I wish they could be as they were but I guess I can’t do anything. I think all you have to do is to wait for this person to feel better but expecting also try to move on and stay just as friends and see if things can work better in time. We are not talking about the same person but in my case, my friend is a bit unstable so I decided just to be friends, so we can avoid being hurt. Don’t worry about things, is not your fault, you couldn’t do anything, just be there and be a good friend, that’s all. I am sorry you’re going through this, I know it hurts.

      • K owen says:

        It sounds to me like the person you have been seeing is maybe married or involved in another relationship at least, sorry to be blunt. If they have anhedonia it means they are struggling to feel emotions or love and the” re learning morals “comment suggests to me they have been involved in an affair (with you maybe) in an attempt to try and bring a heightened sense of feeling into their life.
        I think you need to respect what this person is telling you. If you are in the early stages of something here, it may be worth looking for someone who can be involved in a healthy relationship with you.

  5. Georgia says:


    It gave me some light reading this. I have been with my partner for 3 and half years now, he used to be so full of life, happiness and in love within the first year of our relationship until he got himself into massive debts.

    Since then, he continues to tell me that he has no feelings or emotions, always saying don’t know to simple questions like why don’t you feel emotions or feelings, or like how do you not know how you feel about me or think about me even though he says he loves me and wants a future….

    This ‘I don’t have feelings or emotions’ has really had a toll on our relationship, I can never have a serious conversation with him about my feelings, what’s happening or how we can improve our relationship. It’s also had a big toll on our sex Life with each other.

    I did see him go through a really tough time battling the debts and having no money, but I also think I had bad depression which is to the reason of the no feelings or emotions.

    I have suggested maybe going to talk to someone, and tell them what’s going on but it goes no where and he just says he’s fine and there’s nothing wrong with him.

    I just genuinely don’t know what to do anymore as it has taken such a big toll on our relationship

  6. Nikki says:

    I am so thankful for sites like these. I am currently scouring the internet for any help or guidance I can get in dealing with my husband’s depression. I recently learned about anhedonia but last January was when our relationship really started to hurt. We’ve been married for almost 9 years and he’s been a very supportive and dedicated husband. But I got laid off from work last year and since November 2019, I’ve been with my parents to take care of my dad whose cancer got worse and my mom who underwent a major surgery in her lungs. During these difficult times, many sleepless nights staying with my dad in the hospital, my husband tells me he doesn’t feel anything for me but feels so guilty that he is doing this to me during a time I needed him the most. It’s been such a struggle trying to stay strong for my parents, for my husband but especially for myself. He said he’s been depressed and we had so many conversations on what I did wrong in the relationship or how he needs time and space. He won’t let me come home to be with him as he thinks he needs to fix this himself and that he is afraid that when I’m finally around, he would realize that he really can’t feel anything for me anymore. He said he doesn’t feel anything about everything, even the things he liked. I told him I understand that he is depressed and that I am always here to talk to and that I will not let depression ruin our marriage. He is very willing to get professional help which is great. He is having his first phone consultation tomorrow but sometimes, it would seem he has “good” days but still seems very afraid to show any love for me. I tried to tell him that maybe I should come home and be there to support him but he was very adamant about me not being there physically. We talk everyday and on Facetime often but I want to be there during his treatment but it sounds like it would hurt our relationship more if I pushed further. I got so scared that there might be someone else since in the beginning of this, he mentioned feeling a connection to a co-worker but later said nothing romantic ever happened. It was just talk. I’m dealing with feelings of inadequacy myself and paranoia that he might still be in contact with her even when he said he stopped and blocked her on his phone. I’m also trying to work on myself but this has been so hard because I’m currently unemployed and I don’t feel valuable or loved/wanted. I turn to exercise to drown out these negative thoughts and feelings but at night, when it gets quiet is the worst. I just need something to help me cope. I really want our marriage to make it through this.

  7. Davina says:

    My partner started suffering extreme depression in August. Since then he has gradually withdrawn more and more to the point he no longer wants or shows any affection. For 3 months he displayed anger and was very snappy towards me which is completely out of character. Before his depression he was simply wonderful to be with. Since December the snappiness has stopped and he is now much calmer but very sad/negative and still withdrawn. He says he feels numb and has no feelings towards me. On a few occasions he has said d he has a strong urge to break up with me. To compound all of this we are living in another country with his work and I have very few friends and feel incredibly lonely. I am trying so hard to be positive but at times I really struggle with the weight of it all. As he is depressed he is very apathetic and emotionless. Recently he has been put on strong medication and has been speaking to a counsellor. He has been trying to make more of an effort with me but the lack of love/affection really upsets me. Please could anyone offer some advice. I have never dealt with depression before so any comments would be most welcome 🙏

    • anon and alone says:

      Sorry you are going through this, I have been through the same thing exactly. We were together 15years I cant say things have got better, she left me very quickly, devopled feelings for someone else “that she used to have for me” and has moved on. We are now going through a divorce 2 years later. It has been very hard, not a day goes by when I wonder what I did, and how I never saw this coming, but depression and anxiety, changes people and I now accept I have lost my partner. I will not tell you its easy and things will be ok when he’s better, they won’t. I have read just about everything I could to try and understand but with the help of good friends I’m learning to accept my life with her is over.Finding sites like this have been invaluable in realising you are not alone. Sending thoughts your way.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much for this message, it’s a comfort to know that I’m not alone. My partner has made some improvements since this last post, but is still suffering with endless sadness and has again asked for some more space to work on himself. I have reluctantly agreed to this, but still feel very hurt and confused by everything. I keep hoping that things will get better but I am not sure if they will 🙁

  8. Cody says:

    Wife of 7 years has slipped into major depression, 1 year out from 1st child, she has lost all feelings of attraction towards me per what she says. She says she has felt numb for the last several months, thinks somebody else would be better for me. Is her depression getting in the way of her attraction to me? We have never had sexual issues or irritation in the bedroom until recently after baby was born and depression came on. Help.

  9. Michelle says:

    I have been married to my husband for nearly 7 years, together for 13. I have always loved him very much but 6 months after our baby was born i seem to have lost all my feeling towards him, this is going back 9months now. I have been diagnosed with PND as I also don’t have the feelings I should towards my baby. I hate to admit it as I never thought I would do such a thing but I have been having an affair and feel as though I am in love with the other man. I have no feeling for anything other than this man, and anything to do with him. Is this the depression I’m in that’s making me crave something else and blocking out feelings for my husband? Will it get better??

    • Isabel says:

      Hello Michelle,

      I’m very sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with PND.

      Depression has the ability to numb our feelings. It’s not unusual for people with depression to engage in risky or unusual behaviour to feel something: it’s all about pleasure seeking. You are possibly feeling in love with the other man because of the novelty of a new relationship, but I can guarantee you that if you hang around long enough with this new guy, you will also eventually fall out of love with him in the future. I’ve seen it many times. The issue is within yourself – depression is clouding your judgement, including how you feel about your newborn and husband.

      Yes, you will get better because I have seen a number of people getting better IF properly treated. Change is possible indeed. However, you will need to get professional treatment for your depression, or review the treatment you are getting, because it won’t go away on its own. If not tackled properly, the risk to you is to damage important relationships in your life. The good news is that depression is highly treatable and manageable.

      My suggestions to you are the following:

      1) Educate yourself on depression. I know it can be so hard trying to focus on a book when your mind is racing. My top two book suggestions are: ‘Undoing depression’ and ‘Depression is contagious’. ‘Mindfulness for depression’ by Kabat-Zin is great, but it can be hard to engage in mindfulness in the middle of an episode. When depression hurts your relationship is a great one.

      2) Tell your husband what you are feeling and let him know you believe this is due to depression. And that you want to get better because you don’t want to lose your relationship with him.

      3) As your husband to help you seek professional help – family physicians (GPs) may not be best placed to manage chronic or long-term depression. I would recommend you seek a psychiatrist specialising in mood disorders to check whether medication can help (medication does not make us addicted to it). A good clinical psychologist is key! They should be using CBT, or a combination of CBT with other evidence-based approaches (DBT, Midfulness-based CBT). Sometimes they use psychodynamic approaches (understanding our attachment patterns / early life relationships) or trauma-informed approaches in the mix. It will all depend on your presentation.

      There’s hope – and remember: remission is the key. Support yourself with loved ones.

      Keep us posted.

  10. Naomi says:

    Hi I have been with my husband for 25 wonderful exciting years, over the past 5 years he has slowly slipped into a deep and devastating depression, during this he had an affair, and he took on the role of the affair partners childs father, unbeknown to me until it all came out. Its devastating trying to fix it all, we have three grown sons, whom know a little but not all. My husband constantly tells me none of this is my fault, that I was more than he could of wished for, but he cant feel anymore, we never fought, had a great life, but he has this depression and his choice of stimulation is now becoming this childs father whilst trying to maintain our marriage which is not working obviously due to contact with the affair partner whom has no idea of his mental state He is so depressed can not get up some mornings, I try to help, we still have a respectful and caring partnership, but he can not demonstrate love. We were so in love its devastating and I don’t have much hope as he is only gets help for short periods then stops. He demonstrates all the extremes of feelings but not deep love like he used to. Its such a loss, do they ever come out of this depression. His doctor and Mental Health professionals diagnosed him with andhomenia ?, lack of feelings. What can I do to help. Ive been trying everything. We move forwards then plummet backwards.

    • Katy says:

      Hi Naomi, I was a Sex and Love addict recovery secretary holing a space for people such as your husband to recover. It is the same program as 12 step AA the difference is the 12 steps are suitable for people who fit the self- diagnosis of SLAA instead. Your husband is a classic case. I have heard many many stories similar and almost all men have stayed in their marriages, got a voluntary sponsor and worked the recovery steps with full support and their marriages have vastly improved as has intimacy in all areas. Normally at some point the guys will be ready to take onboard therapy as well during the steps. In this situation early therapy would be useful, look for humanistic on to one for your husband and check the therapist has over 10 years experience with intimacy and avoidance problems and preferably many years of love addiction counselling/similar, there are lots of meetings and both of you will find them useful (it would be very useful and supportive and the book about the guy who started the actual group his journey as to his love addiction and similar themes to your husband i think would be very helpful for u to look at you can get one from a group or ask which one to get) but your husband will need also to go alone to release and get his head around it all, Best wishes love addict recoverer Katy

  11. Rachal says:

    Reading these give me bit of hope but I’m looking for some insight. My boyfriend of 10 months broke up with me all of a sudden because he “lost feelings” and doesn’t love me romantically anymore. I asked if there was even a chance for us in the future and he said romantically no. However, we are best friends and we’re before this and he wants to be in my life and vice versa so we are continually going to hangout (it’s praticallg dating minus the romantic stuff which confuses me). The thing is, he just started on antidepressants and I’ve noticed he’s been distant and withdrawn from everyone except family and more tired and just dull. He’s liked me for 10 years and after a few months he suddenly looses feelings coincidentally when his depression starts? I even had asked if he was happy and wanted to break up the week before and he was genuinely stern when saying he did not and he was happy. I understand what’s happened has happened and I need to give him space but I just want to know if there’s any possibility of us in the future or if the medication has sudden made him loose interest (since he even said he lost his list for life and just is confused and isn’t committed to the relationship).

    • Elsa says:

      Hi Rachal
      I understand how you are feeling right now as I’m in a very similar situation as yours. I’m not sure if you can have him back but one thing that is quite positive is that he is treating himself by medication. Although the medicine may not totally cure his depression, at least he is doing something for his difficult situation. And that’s where you can feel hope as doing something is better than walking away from it.

      My husband said hurtful things to me 3 weeks ago (just like your situation, all of a sudden) saying that he wanted to live alone instead of living together with me. From that day onward, he changed a lot. He becomes a stranger to me and he thought I am the one who stuck his way in life. But he is not going to take any medicine as he is afraid that the side effects may affect his performance at work. And honestly, he doesn’t really want to treat himself as he thinks what he is doing now is not because of the depression but his own will.

      Rachal, you have my full support whatever your situation has become.

      • Annie says:

        I am no psychotherapist, but having read what you wrote, and also from someone who has gone through what you are going through right now, I caution you. It’s not your fault you’re feeling the way you do, but you are doing the right thing and seeking therapy(CBT) that alone may not help you though, as it all depends on the way your brain works. Some people need meds and some don’t. I on the other hand had a . mis of both, and it helped a lot. You can only do what’s best for you & your husband. Communication is the number one thing between you and your husband. Don’t lose a good thing just because you don’t FEEL like you love someone. Love is NOT a feeling, it’s an action. All the best.

  12. Ash says:

    Hi, I have been scrolling through these comments and some them completely sum up how I feel.

    I am 27 and I have been with my husband for 6 years, we got married 6 months ago. I suffer from anxiety and depression, I’m currently seeing a psychotherapist for CBT to help me with my issues.

    My anxiety and depression are now really affecting my relationship. Currently I am questioning wether or not I am still in love with him! I feel so confused….deep down I know I love him but just can’t seem to feel anything. I struggle to show affection towards him, barely have a sex drive and always just seem moody and irritable when he’s around and I don’t know why.
    On the other hand I have the odd days where I feel normal and in love again.

    He has obviously noticed I have changed and I have spoken to him about how feel to some extent but I don’t want to hurt him.

    We are newlyweds and I feel like this should be the best time in our lives…it’s just so confusing.

    Any advice on how I help things would be appreciated I am going to stick with CBT just now but should I see my doctor about maybe starting some meds to boost my mood?

    • Katy says:

      Hi ash, I have both studied psychotherapy and also been a recovering love addict and held space for recovering love and sex addicts working the SLAA programme (free and in most major citys and towns or u get the paperwork and start the group yourself) of whom all are intimacy avoidants. You are experiencing classic intimacy fear and the further commitment has clear pressed some intimacy and avoidance buttons, check out SLAA and read the self diagnosis and characteristics, if it fits u could go to some meetings and see if u wanted to do the recovery steps whilst then telling your husband u were doing them and then you would be supported by others in similar situations.

      My partner is avoidant in different ways. For example he has sabotaged our evening together tonight by being hysterical, angry , over the top and basiaclly pushed me away. He has felt lonely all day and he has made this a reality tonight when upon seeing me he became a nightmare: he is just manifesting his own fear of intimacy and yet obsessive and confused need to have it and the same time, pull-push, pull-push that those of us love addict recoverers know so very well…. Katy

  13. Lisa says:

    My spouse and I have been together for 5 and a half years and married for almost 4. My wife is a work-a-holic so it didn’t phase me when she was looking stressed and losing sleep and texting/emailing all night during a project. The holidays were difficult, as usual – due to family, but we got through it like normal (or so I thought). In January, I changed jobs and got that horrid flu so I wasn’t overly concerned that we weren’t having sex or feeling as connected. February was going to be my time to reconnect so I booked a vacation for us to get away and reconnect. I had an amazing time. It took her a bit to relax but it seemed she was finally doing that and I was happy. Valentine’s Day was that week and I went all out; flowers, candy, card. At 1:45 a.m. I was awakened by her texting someone else. It was her friend who she had been spending an awful lot of time with. It was all weird to me, didn’t feel right so I asked what was going on. She said she didn’t love me anymore. She had been wanting to leave me for a couple months. She said she honestly didn’t feel anything at all. Not happy about her new job, not happy about being 4 months from graduating college, and not loving me anymore. Since then I have been caught up in this rollercoaster of emotion. I also found out that my health was worse than I thought and I need surgery next month. She is going to individual therapy but begrudgingly and not doing her assignments. She lies a lot, she hides her phone, she isn’t having an affair (trust me, I have investigated this thoroughly) but she saves all her energy for co-workers and friends and ignores me completely. We had a major blow-out last Friday when she was drunk. I decided it was over this time. I didn’t know what to do. She said she was done with me so I said goodbye and tried to leave. She slept it off and begged me to stay…and I did. Deep down, I don’t want to leave her but I just feel like she’s already left me. We will have 2-3 solid days of sweet loving fun and she seems to be back to her old self, then 4 days of this aloof, cold, evasive, cocky person. She brags about her friends and her life and acts like I hold her back. She doesn’t want to touch me, kiss me, hold me at all. She doesn’t respond to texts hardly, never answers calls anymore…but that’s just for me. Her friends, she JUMPS to see what who texts/calls are from. Her schoolwork has dropped to almost no effort, her household responsibilities non-existent, her bills are paid late, she even has had a hard time keeping up with work; which is crazy because she is ALWAYS working. She works late but is so easily distracted that she puts important stuff off and then gets more stressed! I just do not know what to do. I need help. I love her desperately and want to work on this but I cannot do this alone. Literally I cannot fix this. I try being aloof back or making other plans…she gets needy…then ignores me at home and says she wishes she could go out w/ her friends (as if I stop her). I just feel like a crazy person because the relationship is SO all over the place. Any advice will help…please…

    • karen says:

      I am going through exactly the same thing you are going through. my husband of at 11 years is a workaholic now and said doesn’t love me any more and says he doesnt see a future with us. presents all the same characteristics ; anger cocky and cold. he went from saying part of him wanting to be together and part of him was scared to, i dont love you any more. he is now in London when we planned a future with his family, I have sold my house and renting and waiting. we were ever so happy never argued always laughing and he was the nicest kindest attentive and loving person I’ve ever met my life he never liked shouting and may i add is a psychotherapist. he is now emotionless. I have tried everything I know now I can’t fix it I’m not even sure at this point if I should walk away or not. I have not slept in months, literally a wreck! texts are one word though he is keeping in contact and this is good. I am being really patient but my days can be very bad where I just come home and fall to my knees in tears. I try to remain calm and let him know that I’ll always be there for him and how much I love him. he says that this doesnt help. I need help too! I would be grateful for any help at all….

      • Lisa says:

        Karen, I wish I had better advice for you. I have since lost contact with my wife. She was communicating well for a while, saying good morning and good night and random visits but now she has totally disappeared. I just has surgery a week ago and that went well but she was a wreck and said it was too hard to be there with my family. She came a couple times to the hospital but said it just made things too hard for her…imagine how it was for me…but no, she’s entirely self-centered at this point. She wants to pretend I don’t exist now. It is hard feel so alone and be sick and know that she is there working herself to death then retreating to her lonely apartment, wearing herself thin. I want to be there and help her but I truly cannot. I need help. I need her. I need my partner. She is gone. At the hospital when we were alone together, she would hold my hand and told me she loves me and I know she felt something. I know she misses me. The problem is, the reminder of what she’s done and how she’s reacted since her illness began has thrown her into deep guilt and regret. She is trying to block that out and hence block ME out. I have backed off and am letting her go for now. I still hold out hope but I have to get better and keep moving forward. I hope she will come back to me but I fear she would rather just move on. She still doesn’t want therapy and/or think she needs help. I cannot change her or make her want to get help. I wish I could. My best advice is to reach out to your circle, get outside, do things that take your mind off of him for a short while to give you rest. You need to rest. Keep those lines of communication open if you can and I’ll pray that he realizes that he has all the love and support he needs to get through this with you. Good luck. I’m sorry you are going through this.

        • karen says:

          Hi Lisa,
          I am so happy that your surgery went well and it is important that you take care of yourself firstly to be strong for your partner during this terrible time.
          It took me a very long time to realize the dark and unemotional time that my husband is going through, feeling worthless but still trying to save face with the outside world. I am thankful that he goes to work each day and hope that he is doing well in his job. He has told me that work & me is the only thing that keeps him focused. I don’t think that your wife is trying to block you out, I do think that she is incapable right now to think of anything except not being depressed. This is all about them right now, and they cannot think of anything besides themselves as this gets too overwhelming. I realize that this is very hard to bear but it is very true. No matter what we do or say it is just words that they hear. They know they should be attentive but simply cant. I will never stop sending nice messages via text, wishing him to have a good day, as best as, and let him know that he is the brightest part of my day. I will never stop saying “I love you” at the end of some of our conversations and he will now say, “I know you do”.
          Have you had time to research anhedonia? It sounds like she may be experiencing this symptom along with depression. I have spent weekends reading and watching videos regarding depression and anhedonia and this helps me understand his darkest hours. Also I have been reading “Journeys with the Black Dog” and though depressing to read at times it helps me better understand the help that is needed. Good mornings and good nights, though very important to me, is nonexistent in our relationship right now, but I know that the morning and night can be there darkest hours. It is all they can do to get themselves together and do what is absolutely needed to start a day that is filled with confusion.
          Do hold out hope, but gently try to mention going to see her GP. It sounds like she will need medication and I know this will help greatly. A diagnosis is very important as we don’t know what is really going on without it. If she agrees it would be beneficial for you to go with her, but you are right, you cannot make her go, she has got to want help too and understand that this is the only way to help her to start to feel better. It is a very excruciating, long recovery and without it, I think, one can only go deeper into their self. Drinking alcohol will only make things worse, so if you can help with that, it would be best. Just little steps, one at a time, and gently.
          Please keep in contact and take care of the both of you. For now, hold on to all the wonderful memories and send a few reminders to her of times past. I will pray for her to hang in there and get the help that she so desperately needs.

  14. Negar says:

    My boyfriend of five years broke up with me in late January. We were in a long-distance relationship for four years. Then I got accepted at a university in his city and we were very happy for almost a whole year. During the four years away, he would break up with me then return. And this happened several times. We thought he was just the kind of guy who can’t deal with a long-distance relationship. So I waited.
    Then I came to Tehran and we were happy as hell. Until one day he told me he no longer has any feelings for me and doesn’t know why.
    He said I’m not what he wants. After five years he realized that!
    I had previously suspected that he has seasonal affective disorder as he would always get romantic in spring and summer and I do not remember a happy winter, ever. When I told him I think he has depression, at first he accepted it. But then after two weeks he turned into this raging asshole who would snap at every word I said.
    Now I’m waiting for spring to come and if he feels better, then it means I was right about his illness and he has to follow up on it. If not, it means my mind is making up excuses to not accept that he no longer loves me.
    The terrible thing is that we live in Iran, and mental illness is made fun of here by many people. So the last time I told him you have depression you just don’t know how it works, he was like you’re the one with issues and you should see a doctor. I mean I have issues but I wasn’t the one who fell out of love and drank all the time.
    Ever since he broke up with me I feel this anxiety and I vomit from time to time. Reading your stories really helped me. I hope he starts feeling love for me again, like all the previous five years when he would start texting me in spring again.
    This time, we’ll know if it’s depression or he just doesnt love me.

  15. R says:

    My girlfriend of almost 2 years with depression broke up with me in the beginning of January. I met this sweet, beautiful girl when we were in junior college in April 2016. She was the nicest person I’ve ever met. She told me she had depression and anxiety when we started dating, and she took medication regularly. At the moment, I had little knowledge about depression and anxiety because i had never had them. We fell in love quickly, to the point that she would tell me she wanted to marry me and have kids with me. Couple month in the relationship, she told me she didn’t need to take medication anymore because I had cured her anxiety and depression. She told me no one has ever made that happen to her before. We were madly in love, and we were the happiest couple. We spent pretty much everyday together, and she would sleep over at my house 2-3 days a week. In July 2017, she cheated on me with one of her old friends. She didn’t plan for it, and she even told me she was going to his house to check up on him that night because he was sick. Couple days later I found out through their texts, and she was so guilty and ashamed of it. She said she was scared when he initiated it, and she didn’t know how to respond. She cried her eyes out, and hated herself so much because she hurt the only person that she cared about in this world. I was so angry and hurt, and I cheated on her a week after with some random girl because I was mad. I know I am a bad person, and I hate myself for it, but I was blinded by my anger at that moment. Couple days late I told her I cheated on her, but she didn’t get angry because she thinks she deserves it. She begged me to keep the relationship going. We promised each other that we would never do it again. Since then, I was a little distance from her because I was trying to focus and heal myself. But in general, our relationship was still great. We were happy most of the time (at least she seemed like it). I still love her very much. In October, she wanted to break up with me because of the guilt, but we talked it out. The anger and frustration inside me has lessen day by day, and I would show her more and more affection. Everything seems good between us. We were so intimate, and we had sex all the time. In the beginning of January, one day out of the blue she told me she doesn’t want this anymore, and she can’t handle it. She said she couldn’t feel any emotion, and all the depression and anxiety are coming back. I was so lost because I thought everything was starting getting better, and we were finally getting pass the infidelity. We agreed to take a break from each other. Now it has been a month, and things seem worse between us. She has become so cold and mean. I would text her couple times a week to let her know that I am here for her, and love her unconditionally, but all of these stuffs seem to push her away even more. She barely replied to any of my texts, but I still tried to let her know that she is not alone. She blamed me for making her depression come back, and she doesn’t know if she still loves me anymore. She told me she cares about me, but she can’t be with me. I was so lost and hurt. Since the break I had no appetite at all. I lost 10 pounds within 3 weeks. My mental is getting worse and worse, and I have no motivation to do anything, I think about her everyday. I just want her to get better, and come back to me. I asked to meet up with her to get back my stuffs at her house last week but she said she couldn’t do it right now. She kept postponing. Yesterday, I asked to meet up with her again to get back some of my stuffs but she said she couldn’t do it right now because she is not emotional stable enough to be in person with me. I was frustrated and straight up asked her if she was breaking up with me. She answered YES. Now I really regret pushing her for the answer. I guess the only thing I can do now is to give her space and let her figure out herself. She refused to take medication and go to therapy. I am not going to contact her anymore until she contacts me first. It might be a month, a year or never. I miss her dearly. I don’t know how long i can wait for her but she will always have a place in my heart. I will not abandon her because we have been through so much together and I love her with all my heart. I just want her to get better and come back to me. K, if you are reading this, I am sorry that I have to post it because I am so lost and hopeless. I will always love you.

    • Otidipote says:


      Your situation reminded a lot mine. How did you survive this ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Otidipote,

        Thank you for your response. I did not expect anyone would read it. I can’t believe it was more than a year ago. When I re-read everything I wrote, it seems like it was yesterday, but the only thing is my mental state is so much better now. I don’t get angry or even sad when I read it. One thing is certain is that Time Heals Everything. I am not gonna lie, I still think about her all the time, but I accept the truth, which is we are not going to get back together. I know she was part of my precious memory and experience, and I treasure them, but I don’t live in my fantasy. You have to move on and you will. In fact, she’ve already had two boyfriends after our break up.
        So how did I survive this?
        After our break up I was so depressed, and I actually went to see a psychologist or therapist. He helped me a lot. I was able to share my frustration and anger emotion with him. I was lucky enough to have my friends support me and talk to me during my darkest time. Having supports from your friends and family is very important. I also tried to keep myself busy with schoolwork and work, which get your mind off thinking about her a little. The one thing that helped me the most was I picked up a new hobby, rock climbing. It lets me to have something to focus on, to work for, to motivate myself to get better at it. When you have a goal in your mind to work for, other things seem to not as important anymore. Rock climbing also enabled me to meet new people, make new friends, and get myself out of the house. There is always a better woman/man out there waiting for you. In fact, i actually went on a date last week, and it was very fun.
        Hang in there, you will get better..


  16. Salem says:

    After 15 years of marriage and 4 beautiful kids my wife tells me that she doesn’t love me and that she never did….15 years!!! and if this is true she is the best actress ever because I believe her when she told me million times that she loves me… This is not the first time she said I don’t love you, the first time it was 5 years after we married, and it is the time when we find out that she was suffering from depression after she starts taking her medication our relationship got better. but now she takes her medication she talks to a therapist every week and she has gone back to the same conclusion as years ago, that she never loved me, and she only married me to get out of her parents’ house. I’m going crazy, and I do not understand how a person can lie for 15 years? I pray to God that is the depression talking and not my wife.

  17. Anna says:

    I found this post very interesting as someone who was recently broken up with. My boyfriend of 8 years has depression and broke up with me in November. He has been withdrawn due to family issues, which I had nothing to do with and our relationship was a very happy one. I was completely blind sided by the break up, he told me a couple of weeks after that he didn’t even understand why he did it. He told friends he was numb inside and although I was a great girlfriend he can’t care for anyone else at the moment. At one point he said if he gets help and feels better we can be together again. He also said he can’t really smile or laugh anymore, and he had always been a very happy person. I’m scared I’ll never get him back

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Anna,
      This happened to me one year ago. My boyfriend of many years broke up with me after taking me out to dinner one night. Talk about blind sided. He said he ‘was a mess and I deserved better.’

      I spent the rest of 2017 trying to help him and work on us. And after those frustrating, sad months, I pulled the plug on Jan 3rd.

      If, and only if, your boyfriend is willing to get the help he needs does your relationship with him have a chance. In the meantime, take care of yourself. I was beyond devastated at this time last year. I feel better now, knowing I did everything I could. Hugs.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks for your reply Dawn. So far we haven’t had any contact since November as he wants to do counselling and he thought if I contacted him he would just feel pressure about us. So I’ve left him be to do that. He said at one point that if his counselling goes well and he feels better then he will ask me out again. I don’t know if that will happen so I’m just going day by day and trying to not think about it too much.

        • Dawn says:

          Him actually getting help is good. No guarantee that it will bring the two of you back together.

          I think you’re doing the right thing (I know, what else can you do) by continuing on with your life the best you can. How I wish there were more happy endings here. I hope yours is one.

  18. Anne says:

    I have depression, but I never lost love for my husband when I went through bouts though there were times when it was pushed way down. I know it’s different for men.

    Are there any men who feel like they don’t love their wives anymore when they have depression on this site who can answer some questions for me?

    1) When the depression lifts did the feelings of love come right back or was it something you had to work at?

    2) Did you honestly believe you had lost love for your partner for other reasons and not depression or that depression was only a small part of it and this is why you have to leave?

    3) Did it honestly feel like you lost love or was the love there and you knew it was way down in there?

    • Jim says:

      I will give you my perspective, although I don’t think it fits completely in line with what you’re asking. I can relate to this blog post because I too have been in three relationships where at the beginning I was extremely happy and very attracted to the person and then after a period of months I would become absolutely repulsed by them. It would actually become a chore to meet with them. I was absolutely convinced I needed to break it off and wanted nothing more than to have some solitude. And then I would break it off and soon thereafter go into a tailspin and want my ex back again, to the point of near obsession. So for me it was turning away when I was feeling “well,” and then wanting them back when I spiraled into the hole of depression. It took three relationships like that for me to realize what I was doing to my partner, and I’m ashamed. I had read once that depression is like the myth of the Siren call—the desire to pull away sounds so sweet, but it’s really the insiduous nature of the disease that wants you alone so that it can destroy you piecemeal. Another analogy that I think is very apt is that you become so used to being alone that the possibility of you not being alone becomes a threat to your very identity.

      • Lisa says:

        Thanks for this Jim. I appreciate your perspective. This is good insight and i think my situation has suffered because my partner took this approach.

    • LK says:

      Anne did you ever get more clarity on this? e

  19. Rob says:

    Around 2 months ago my partner suddenly broke down and started questioning everything about our relationships. He felt extreme guilt for thinking about other people, having fantasies that didn’t involve me, looking at other people and finding them attractive. He felt this must mean he wasn’t happy in our relationship and questioned everything. Things got worse when his depression worsened, he started have suicidal thoughts and withdrew from me. He continued to go to work which was great as his work mates are very supportive so at least I knew he was safe when he wasn’t with me.
    We got to the GP, he was started on anti-depressants, and we paid for a counsellor and after a month he was improving lots, life felt back to normal almost again. We got 3 weeks of him feeling better when 10 days ago he slumped majorly again. Says he knows he must love me but can’t feel it. He just wants his feelings for me back. He says he doesn’t know what he wants as he can’t see a future for us nor on his own. It feels just awful and is hurtful hearing the person you love, regardless of the cause tell you they don’t know if they have feelings for you. The GP has changed his anti-depressant now and he is due to see a counsellor soon. In the meantime we are plodding on in the hope that the feelings come back and life can get back to some degree of normality. I guess from reading others stories on here there is some comfort in knowing that others are going through similar things, good luck to us all!

    • Faith says:

      My now ex boyfriend told me “I like you, I just don’t know if I will like you all the time”… best of luck to you, hugs

    • Confused UK 36 says:

      Going through the same thing for the second time, 18 months apart. We’ve actually broken up and I’m not sure how to proceed as I’m certain he won’t get help this time. I hope your boyfriend improves with the new treatment. Good luck!

      • Rob says:

        Yeah it is very difficult knowing what to do for the best for us or them! As hard as it is to believe at times, I guess everything happens for a reason, even when that reason is not clear or is difficult to get your head round at the time. All the best to you.

  20. M says:

    after not understanding and not being what she needed during her darkest days a few years ago, my wife and I are both in a dark spot and our marriage is in the crapper. The complexity i haven’t seen addressed in is when she shuts me out and turns to another man, what do I do???? This other man is exactly what she feels she needs, and can give her something that evidently I can’t. Under any normal circumstances, I would be more than happy to team up with the guy to make sure my wife gets what she needs, but there is more than that in their relationship and i am scared I would drive her into his arms.

    As a husband, I’m committed to loving her and supporting her… I’ve improved myself and trying to read a lot about depression. I cant find any advice on what to do when there is another man in the picture. I try to do one thing every day to improve our relationship, but the rest of the time, I try not to focus on saving our marriage, just supporting my wife and young children. I have put my needs aside, and will go as long and as hard as I can without expecting anything in return…

  21. R says:

    It’s so sad to see a similar thing happening to so many people. I’m one of them.

    My partner of almost five years is currently living away, after declaring he’d forgotten how to relate to me and saying he needed some space. He says he wants to love me again, because he doesn’t want to lose such an important relationship, but right now he just doesn’t feel anything. I see it as part of a bigger problem because for a long time he’s lacked direction and enthusiasm for life, and is unable to be satisfied by anything he achieves. But he’s not currently doing anything to fix the problem, rather he’s just distracting himself with friends and work and drink and seems to hope time alone will sort things out. Or not.
    I try to be positive that the fact he wants to feel for me again is precious. But I’m terrified he never will. Because we honestly have a wonderful partnership and have built a great life together and it would be tragic to lose that.
    I just want to help and support him, but he says it’s something he needs to deal with alone. I appreciate that, but I’m frustrated that he doesn’t seem to be helping himself and I can’t do anything, so I feel powerless. He’s not been diagnosed as having depression, but it seems fairly obvious to me that’s what it is. I don’t want to lose the love of my life to mental illness.

    • Chris says:

      Im very sorry to read your situation I am in the same boat my gf off 11yrs and 3 children has just walked out , no feelings at all for me and left 2 children with me , very cold with me know not interested in fixing any thing is convinced it can’t be fixed and her feeling can’t change , has ruiened my family and my life !! I wish u the best

  22. LoneWanderer says:

    My fiance left me a couple weeks ago. Everything was great the first few years. I saw moments here and there were she was depressed or had anxiety issues. I was always able to comfort her and cheer her up in the beginning. I didn’t know much about depression and what it could do to someone, and what it could do to a happy loving relationship. She hid the anxiety and depression from me as much as she could. When we started planning a wedding we found out she was pregnant. We were both excited about the baby. She had a week during pregnancy where she got really depressed and left me out of nowhere. This destroyed me. I gave her space. I thought it was hormones because this wasn’t like her. She came back around about 5 weeks later. I forgave her and moved passed it. Everything went back to normal quickly. Back to being in love and happy.

    Fast forward and our baby turned 1. She started getting badly depressed again. She would push me away for days and scream and yell at me for no reason. Then love me and cuddle with me the next few days. Then it would repeat that way for awhile. She would get mad at everything I would do and lash out at me. It would be something as simple as hanging her shirt up in the wrong part of the closet, and it was the end of the world. She would threaten to leave me when I argued back. Blame everything on me. Twenty minutes later she would tell me that I am an amazing father, the best guy she has ever known, and that she loves me. I walked on eggshells everyday not knowing how depressed she was going to wake up. If she had a tough day at work, I knew it was going to be a horrible night at home. She would burst into tears randomly, fall asleep on the couch when really depressed. She was tired every single day. She said she couldn’t “get out of her own head”. I figured it was anxiety, and getting worse.

    Most of the time in the last year she treated me and my daughter badly. I felt like I couldn’t leave her alone with my daughter because she got so worked up and stressed out if she had her by herself for an hour. I helped around the house daily, took care of my daughter, and tried to be as supportive as I could be. After a year of this not getting better and her not getting help, I felt like throwing in the towel, but I can’t give up on my family. During calm moments where she said she knows she has been horrible to me I calmly said she should she a doctor. That she can’t beat depression on her own. That I just want her to be happy and it will make us happy together. She seemed to want to but doesn’t do anything about it. She said she doesn’t have time to go talk to someone.

    She was horrible to me one morning and I yelled back at her. I never yell but I did this time. I was fed up. She left with my daughter to stay at her mom’s house. She told me she needs to “fix” herself and figure out why she is getting so angry and depressed. I honestly don’t think it’s me that caused it. She blamed it on me though. Didn’t acknowledge it was her that made us like this the last year. I am not perfect, but I don’t cheat or do drugs, or anything bad. I am a nice, loving guy. She pushed me away for months leading up to this. There was no intimacy anymore. I tried, she wasn’t willing to try to be intimate. She would say that it was the last thing on her mind.

    I have spent the last 2 weeks reading about depression and anxiety. A big part of me wants her to come back. I miss my family. But at the same time I know that if she comes back it will be like this at some point again unless she gets professional help. I can’t make her happy with this depression and anger dragging her down. I have been giving her space. I figure eventually she will see it’s not me, it’s depression. Hopefully she will get help so we can be a family.

  23. Nicole says:

    I have never written in any forum before so I’m very new to this. I have been with my boyfriend for nearly 3 years and up until 2 months ago everything was great. I felt so in love and was excited for our future. 2 months ago I woke up one day feeling really fed up (I also suffer from anxiety and get very low at times) and started to randomly question if I love him or not. I started to obsess over this, compare and avoid him, I have been put on anti depressants and signed off my work because it’s affected me that bad. I feel so guilty and horrible because I know he’s the person I want to be with but I can’t seem to feel any love or any passion for a lot of other things in my life. I feel like I have lost my self and will never feel better. I’m so desperate to feel love again rather than completely numb. I feel like I don’t recognise myself or him and I can’t remember how to love. If anyone has any similar situations or advice I would appreciate it so much.

    • Carrie says:

      I totally understand. It is put me into a major depression. I feel so numb.

    • Alia says:

      i have the same situation with my husband and it is killing me can u please share if u eventually felt your love back ir at least if u hesitated the decision you broke up with your love? I would appreciate your reply, thank u so much and hope u feel better now

    • Brian says:

      Was there anything he could have done to help? My girlfriend sounds exactly like you. Almost 3 years together, she had depression and anxiety. Our 3 years were amazing. Starting in April she began to pull away, then finally broke up with me in June. Left me completely confused.

    • Chris says:

      Nicole, I sympathize with you because I’m experiencing the same thing!! All I can suggest is don’t sit still…keep moving; continue improving yourself


  24. karmen says:

    The man I love checked out nearly 2 months ago. Now he says we are just friends after nearly a month of silence. We had the best 2 years of my life and I truly love that guy. He now is mean and short with me. After being on this website it feels completely hopeless. I so wanted to hear things could change but it seems you are just fortunate if they return and still love you. My heart has never been so hurt. I realize after reading everyones comments my only choice is to move on and heal!! It is so very sad, I just want that loving guy back and I feel like he vanished.

    • ConfusedAF says:

      I could not relate any more to you. My bf of nearly two years has been through cycles of feeling our relationship and then pulling away- it can only be attributed to his use of medication.
      It sounds crazy but the minute he starts taking the sertraline it’s like he loses any feelings he has for me.
      He was incredibly loving, very thoughtful and to be honest just my best friend. I never felt trust like I have with him, but in the last three months it’s like i’m Watching the person I love disappear in front of my eyes and it’s the most painful thing i’ve ever had to endure.
      The last time he stopped taking this medication he came back to me and it was like the dark cloud had been lifted.
      I want him to get better, more than anything and have seen my own health spiral having put him first for the last year or so. He’s got to a point now where I feel he is unrecognizable- short with me, we barely talk anymore, he doesn’t ask me how things are with me and recently said that I am draining on him, when I actually reached out to tell him how I was feeling.
      To make matters worse, I have seen that he is messaging complete strangers (girls) on social media, is this an ego boost?
      I am completely confused, why if someone can’t feel love and empathy can they turn it on for a stranger?
      Can anyone help me with this?
      I am beyond heartbroken, I refuse to believe that this person whom I fell for, does not love me. But what am I supposed to do? I’ve tried to be there as the best friend but without the relationship part and I can’t help but feel broken by it. I don’t want to just walk out on him and give up- but his recent ‘I want to be alone’ mood isn’t giving me much choice.

  25. Carol says:

    This is me to a “t”. I found this article after typing “can someone lose romantic feelings for a spouse”?
    I know I love my husband. He is a good man. Stable and steady. He is not abusive, but is set in his ways and tends to lack empathy.
    While I do not want to break up the marriage, I have no romantic feelings for him. I love him as a fact not as feeling.
    But I feel as if I am suffocating and find myself in a cycle of overspending. I shop to feel. Then we fight and the cycle continues.
    I have been diagnosed with depression and have been on meds since I was a teen. I also have used escape my whole life and realize that’s what my shopping is.

    • Viv says:

      Hi Carol – did you get your feelings back in the end? My fiance is the same as you minus the spending. He said he knows he loves me but cannot feel in love anymore.

  26. tato says:

    I think most of those stories you don’t find happy ending because most of those who writes in here are asking for help and they kind like fresh like recently broke up.. I would say keep hoping and praying to god and if he is the one god will give him back to u but don’t forget to take care of urself and don’t be extra sad. its great opportunity to try the life of being single and also recommend to give them time to heal like 7 to 9 months and at then if they come back then good but use the no contact method. read about it.

  27. Logie says:

    Hi, I’m glad I found this thread. I don’t think my story is perhaps quite as extreme as most as a lot of these go as far as marriage. My story goes as far as 4 months. The first two began where I got to know a lovely girl. At the beginning I was not really looking for much and didn’t really care much what happened between us. At this point she was the exact opposite. She had asked me where I wanted it to go, indicating she wanted a relationship and also told a mutual friend of ours that she had never liked anyone as much as me. I had also found out that she was clinically depressed and that she had had it for 3-4 years (she’s 19, I’m 18). To be honest at the beginning I never showed much affection towards her and it was just her showing it towards me, complimenting me etc.

    Eventually she grew on me and I actually started to really like her. So one morning I asked her what she had previously asked me. “Where do you want this to go?”. To my shock she said she did not know for two reasons: 1)that she felt that we were 2 different people and 2)that it may not be the best time due to her depression. So I took some time to think and I had realised that I had not actually fully opened up to her and was not very affectionate. I then told her that from here on out I was going to completely open up to her. I began to regularly compliment her and infact she was the first girl I’ve ever actually called beautiful.

    This proved to work as a couple weeks later on Valentine’s Day, she asked me to be her boyfriend. I said yes and things shot off from there. We began to have sex and see each other quite a lot. We were always making future plans together and started to begin to use the word “love” towards each other which to her, I know I was a big deal.

    Things were going great. Then she ended up getting a job which meant she worked a lot so I saw her a little less, however this was okay as she still made time for me. Then one night we had our friends round to drink and after they had all left we were pretty drunk so I asked her: “do you think you’re in love?”, to this she answered yes that she thought she was, and then asked me the same to which I said yes too. She then said to me that if I ever wanted to end it she’d be fine with it as she knew she was not like an ordinary girlfriend as I never saw her late night as she was always too exhausted or whatever. But I said no that I loved her and wouldn’t leave her. I then said to her that if she ever wanted to end it with me she could as it must not be easy having a boyfriend with depression. However she replied saying no that it was actually quite nice.

    Less than a week went by where I received a text out of the blue saying “hey we need to talk tonight”. This of course to anyone would be alarming. So we did and she drove outside my house. As soon as I got in her car I knew where it was going. She just said she felt like a dick for doing this but that she wasn’t in the right place just now for a relationship. I was pretty upset as I had never truly loved anyone like I did her, infact this crushed me. However I said okay, no arguments and sent her a text after it saying that I’m here for her if she needs someone to talk to. She said that means so much and that she would love it if we could stay friends.

    After this I found out that the 2 weeks after that, she had been in a constant low and infact one of the worst she’d had in a year. I wasn’t sure if this was to do this the breakup or not. Of course after the break up I was greatly confused as she had only told me that she was not in the right place. Then a few weeks later she told one of our friends that for 1)the majority influence was her depression and 2)a small part of it was that she felt she had to be someone else around me and it was too much for her with her depression, she told him specifically not to tell me this which confused me further. She also said that she still does like me and cares for me a lot and that if she never had depression she probably could have coped with it. However she said she didn’t thunk it would ever work. This hurt me a little as it felt that she just now saw me as any other friend after all we had been through.

    So, after reading this I think I’ve gathered that she’s using the us being too different reason as an excuse because of her depression. And that she has perhaps just stopped enjoying the relationship as much due to it. Am I correct to assume this ? Or would you or anyone else reading this interpret something else of it ? I also do believe that if she never had depression I’d still be with her and she’d never have ended it. Thanks for any help or questions anyone has!

  28. thula says:

    this is exactly me. I didn’t know I had depression. I just stopped feeling any love for my boyfriend whom I had loved dearly . h was my first boyfriend so I thought maybe it’s normal for love to just disappear. some days I loved him some days I didn’t at all. then I decided to end things half a year ago. only after was I diagnosed of major depression with psychotic features. now he’s gone and moved on and doesn’t want to see me ever again. I cry every night I have lost weight. now that I’m on meds my live for him is back full force. ????

    • Logie says:

      Hi, I’m glad I found this thread. I don’t think my story is perhaps quite as extreme as most as a lot of these go as far as marriage. My story goes as far as 4 months. The first two began where I got to know a lovely girl. At the beginning I was not really looking for much and didn’t really care much what happened between us. At this point she was the exact opposite. She had asked me where I wanted it to go, indicating she wanted a relationship and also told a mutual friend of ours that she had never liked anyone as much as me. I had also found out that she was clinically depressed and that she had had it for 3-4 years (she’s 19, I’m 18). To be honest at the beginning I never showed much affection towards her and it was just her showing it towards me, complimenting me etc.

      Eventually she grew on me and I actually started to really like her. So one morning I asked her what she had previously asked me. “Where do you want this to go?”. To my shock she said she did not know for two reasons: 1)that she felt that we were 2 different people and 2)that it may not be the best time due to her depression. So I took some time to think and I had realised that I had not actually fully opened up to her and was not very affectionate. I then told her that from here on out I was going to completely open up to her. I began to regularly compliment her and infact she was the first girl I’ve ever actually called beautiful.

      This proved to work as a couple weeks later on Valentine’s Day, she asked me to be her boyfriend. I said yes and things shot off from there. We began to have sex and see each other quite a lot. We were always making future plans together and started to begin to use the word “love” towards each other which to her, I know I was a big deal.

      Things were going great. Then she ended up getting a job which meant she worked a lot so I saw her a little less, however this was okay as she still made time for me. Then one night we had our friends round to drink and after they had all left we were pretty drunk so I asked her: “do you think you’re in love?”, to this she answered yes that she thought she was, and then asked me the same to which I said yes too. She then said to me that if I ever wanted to end it she’d be fine with it as she knew she was not like an ordinary girlfriend as I never saw her late night as she was always too exhausted or whatever. But I said no that I loved her and wouldn’t leave her. I then said to her that if she ever wanted to end it with me she could as it must not be easy having a boyfriend with depression. However she replied saying no that it was actually quite nice.

      Less than a week went by where I received a text out of the blue saying “hey we need to talk tonight”. This of course to anyone would be alarming. So we did and she drove outside my house. As soon as I got in her car I knew where it was going. She just said she felt like a dick for doing this but that she wasn’t in the right place just now for a relationship. I was pretty upset as I had never truly loved anyone like I did her, infact this crushed me. However I said okay, no arguments and sent her a text after it saying that I’m here for her if she needs someone to talk to. She said that means so much and that she would love it if we could stay friends.

      After this I found out that the 2 weeks after that, she had been in a constant low and infact one of the worst she’d had in a year. I wasn’t sure if this was to do this the breakup or not. Of course after the break up I was greatly confused as she had only told me that she was not in the right place. Then a few weeks later she told one of our friends that for 1)the majority influence was her depression and 2)a small part of it was that she felt she had to be someone else around me and it was too much for her with her depression, she told him specifically not to tell me this which confused me further. She also said that she still does like me and cares for me a lot and that if she never had depression she probably could have coped with it. However she said she didn’t thunk it would ever work. This hurt me a little as it felt that she just now saw me as any other friend after all we had been through.

      So, after reading this I think I’ve gathered that she’s using the us being too different reason as an excuse because of her depression. And that she has perhaps just stopped enjoying the relationship as much due to it. Am I correct to assume this ? Or would you or anyone else reading this interpret something else of it ? I also do believe that if she never had depression I’d still be with her and she’d never have ended it. Thanks for any help or questions anyone has!

  29. Jo says:

    Hi there I have been with my husband for 16 years and have always done things together we have 2 boys and we have been so happy then out of the blue he has told me that he has never loved me and has just put a face on but I have never once felt rejection with him always love he says he loves me as our kids mother but not in love with me he’s tried and it’s never happened but we had a perfect marriage we never argue now he’s moving out and I don’t know if he means what he’s saying or if he’s depressed but he’s so layed back and honest and not the kind of person who stays with someone for 16 year and he’s not been doin his normal hobbies he sits on the couch at night on his phone hardly if ever watches TV anymore and has been working loads and staying up until 4am. I have asked him if he is depressed but he says he’s fine?? Am confused what to think or do to help if he is depressed to get him to realize it?

  30. Kim says:

    I’m going through this right now with my husband. 21 years together. I went through a severe depression/midlife crisis about 8 years ago. I was very heavily medicated and those medications caused horrible psychological side effects. I worked my way through things and I’m now on the other side, feeling stronger than ever and more stable then ever in the marriage. And BAM! My husband hits me with “I mourned our relationship back then when you were going through your stuff.” “Maybe I never felt the way I should have about you?” “I need to find the things that make me happy and feel whole.” “Every day I’m feeling better and every day I’m feeling more certain that the right decision for me is to not be married.” – I feel like I’m losing a part of my soul every time he says these things.

    When we got married – for me it was forever. We spoke about this – as long as their was no abuse or untreated alcoholism, etc, we would fight for the marriage. I never expected to wake up one day, out of the blue and hear him suddenly declare – 20+ years later that it was all possibly optional to him.

    I feel completely and totally lost in life right now. I’m trying desperately to remain positive and remain supportive. But, it’s difficult. He’s moved into the spare bedroom. We have 6 months left on this lease. We talk, but just barely. I’m really struggling. Ugh.

  31. Sam says:

    Hi, i am not really sure where to start but i am hoping to get some insight about how i have been feeling. i’m 25, i’ve been dating this wonderful guy for a a year and a half. i have been feeling very down since about November so about 4 months. i go back and forth with feeling for my boyfriend, am i forcing myself? or can i just not feel them because i am depressed. six months ago i was head over heels and love and now i can’t feel any love or happiness. i’ve been going to a therapist for a few months now and she feels that i’m looking for something to blame my depression on so bad that i’m making him the reason i feel this way. i haven’t felt happiness in so long and it’s heart breaking. i just started taking medication a week and a half ago. i just want to talk to someone who has felt this way and can relate to me. my friends don’t get it and it’s hard to explain it to people. i’m having a really rough time. my boyfriend has been nothing but supportive and it breaks my heart that i can’t even feel happy when i’m around him. i am also a teacher and i used to love my job more than anything and i know i still do but i can’t feel it, when my students tell me i’m the best teacher ever or that they love me it doesn’t even make me feel happy. i really hope someone can relate and help me get through this.

    • Christine says:

      This is to somewhat extent what my husband is going through. He is cutting me out completely because he cannot cope with the way he feels. We are in separate beds! He is emotionally disconnected and feels no love for me, feels no sexual desire, feels nothing! He has lived with this Social Anxiety disorder for sooooo long and doesn’t know how to be any other. Everything is negative! Depression goes hand in hand with the disorder but he has gone through anger, denial and my fault. He too is on anti depressants and has been for two and a half months and also the therapy. Depression can take a long time to come out of. My thoughts are with you and possibly need to ask the doctor for a referral form for therapy. They can get you through this and help you address any underlying conditions. Your boyfriend loves you, keep trying to think of positives. Go for walks and exercise if possible. Regards, Christine.

      • Sam says:

        thank you, that means a lot. i try and stay positive but it’s so hard for me. i just get so frustrated and try so hard to feel something! it’s just crazy how everything just changed in one night. my boyfriend knows how i’m feeling and he keeps saying that i need to stay positive and you don’t just fall out of love over night. i agree with him but now that it’s been four months i question myself more. i know it’s depression and not him but everything leads me back to him cause he was the one person that made me so happy and now i can’t feel happy no matter what he does for me. it sucks. i hope your husband gets through it too and that the therapy helps him

        • Viv says:

          Hi Sam – what happened in the end? Did the feelings come back?

          • Anonymous says:

            hi- yes they did with therapy and some medication i felt a lot better. i am not off the medication and we recently got married and are happier than ever 🙂

    • Adriana says:

      Hi , im 23 and I’m going through the same thing you are . Just like you I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 1 1/2 year everything was great. me and my boyfriend were making plans to get married but starting This new year, I started feeling like you empty, alone, sad , I even had suicidal thoughts and even questioned my sexuality. I didn’t even know I had depression until I went to the doctor because I felt like I was losing my mind, he gave me antidepressants but didn’t work , I’m also going to therapy and it kind of helps. I’m not cured , I’m still battling it , but I do feel a little better than before , unfortunately I still have doubts of my love for my boyfriend and it kills me and I’m as confused as you. We all feel lonely and often misunderstood. If you ever need help or have no one to talk to you can email me: Aguileraadriana22 [at] gmail [dot] com

      • Emily says:

        My depression recently just kicked back. Short before that i met the most wonderful man on this planet. Since my depression makes me so dull, numb, constantly frustrated when around people i started to feel like falling out of love. I struggle in my head. He’s the most caring and loving person i’ve ever met and since our relationship is so stable it gives me no high emotional stimualation that i seek (as written in the article). I’d love to love him, i don’t want anybody else and the idea of loosing him kills me, but on the other hand being with someone who i am not in love with is killing me as well…. I feel guilty for not loving him as much as he loves me, but i just don’t want to loose him, i know i won’t ever find anybody like him

        • Samantha says:

          Are you taking any medications? has it made you feel any better?

        • Jennnyy says:

          M also goibg through d same condition..i lvd him so much 2 d extent i could do anythng having him by my side…nd i knw very well it wasn’t any infatuatn atrctn…..but now i hv gone numb…not only hv i fallen out in lv wid him…but also m nt abl 2 feel aanythng 4 any1 or for any aspct of my lyf…i dont want 2 lose i kmw he is prfct4 me..nd he lvs me..we r d prfct match…nd i wil nvr fynd any1 nd i dont want 2..i feel so guilty…i dont knw wat 2 do…can any1 sugest some soln plz…..????????

    • Shay says:

      I’m in your exact position!! ugh this is terrible. I don’t know what to do… is it him or my depression? I don’t want to be near him, it angers me but when he leaves I bawl?

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Sam. Your story literally sums up my current situation right now it’s scary how much I can relate to it even down to our age. I would love to know how you’re doing now and if you have made any progress.

      • Samantha says:

        Hi Nicole! I am doing okay. not 100% but definately better than i was. if you would like to email me i’d be happy to hear about your situation and try and help the best i can. my email is- samanthaj.vanderveer [at] gmail [dot] com

  32. Christine says:

    Hi, my husband has just been diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, which he has obviously had since very young. We have all, family, friends, work colleagues always thought he was just quiet, shy but towards the end of 2016, pressure of work, myself having depression through the menopause, all has come to a head. He also now has depression and once again ‘escaped’ to another woman. No sex, just the excitement of a new ‘relationship’ to escape to. This happened after 6 yrs of marriage and now 19 yrs on, once again it has happened, only this time WORSE!
    The loss of feelings for me, the emptiness, loneliness and hopelessness! BUT, I will not give up on him!!! All his life he has suffered with this torment of anxiety, never letting on, keeping it all bottled up, not wanting to be found out.
    Didn’t see it coming AGAIN! My husband has no friends as such, neither of us are social animals, quite private. I always seem to get a sense but a couple of months after he has ‘took up’ with another woman. Usually another woman who is unhappy, vulnerable themselves. I have to battle and eventually he comes out with it!
    The thing is with today’s technology, it’s a cheaters paradise.
    I am a loving and caring person and can forgive.
    We are now both having Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I hope and pray, we get through this again. They do not ask to have disorders or depression, they are ill. My marriage vows were; In Sickness and in Health, for Better or for Worse and after 25 yrs of marriage, 3 daughters, (2 from my first marriage) and 3 grandchildren, I will NOT give up, my LOVE is STRONG but you do have to be VERY STRONG MINDED! Very battered and bruised but still in there battling!

    • Pia says:

      Thank you for sharing this. How did your story end? Are you happier now when a year has passed? Did you find back to each other?

  33. Emily says:

    I just need some insight.

    I was just recently broken up with the day before my birthday….which also happens to be the day before Valentine’s Day….I know, lucky me.

    Back story: We met online about 6 months ago and “officially” dated 4 months.

    We had a plan to go out with some of my friends for my birthday, he even confirmed that morning he would be over around 8 that night. I then get a text around 630pm that he’s not going to be able to make it because he’s having bad anxiety. Mind you, this would be the third time he’s sketched out on me last minute. Then I get a text saying he doesn’t want to break up over a text. So, I do what any person would do…I call to get some answers. He refuses to pick on my calls and says he can’t talk and will talk to me the next day. Then the next day rolls around and he still won’t answer me and just saying “I’ll call you later.” Essentially he left me in a cruel limbo for 24hrs. When he finally called, the call lasted exactly one minute and he said he hasn’t felt anything for me in a while. Within 2 minutes after the phone call his relationship status was changed and all our pictures were deleted. I don’t understand…he was just over for a week staying the night but waits until the night before my birthday.

    I was completely blind sighted. He lives at home and stayed me with frequently. Before this happened he stayed over for a week and only left that Friday because I had a girls night planned that night. He was planning my birthday and Valentine’s Day, we had just booked a hotel for a weekend vacation the next month….absolutely no signs that he was feeling that way….he was even still calling me every day on his way to work and texting me good morning.

    The only red flag was he has a past of drinking issues and depression and anxiety and he had told me his drinking was getting out of control and he didn’t feel himself. I told him we could just stay in for my birthday and I would stop drinking with him, I don’t live to drink so it’s not a huge sacrifice.

    I told him I need the key to my apt back and he needs to get his stuff. He’s wanting to wait until the weekend when I’m home to get it. He has a key and gets off 3hrs before me…and my apt is close to both of our works. Why drag it out instead of leaving after work, get your shit, and leave the key under that mat. Is it just some cruel game???

    Side note,he hadn’t dated anyone in 3 years before me and broke up with the last one on Valentine’s Day.

    The next day I got a text from his best friend who hadn’t talked to either of us yet and just knew about the break up from Facebook. Without telling him what he said, he started saying things like maybe it’s just anxiety over where the relationship is going and so on.

    I trying to believe the latter, and believe that he meant what he said about not feeling anything for me for a while and I guess he just chose to string me along for a while. I think trying to think it was something other than that is unhealthy for me but I can’t stop thinking about it. I know it’s still fresh and I’m still trying to rationalize. He hasn’t dated in 3 years until me, still lives at home at 28. He has well more than enough money in savings for a down payment for a house but in the 6 months we were together, he would talk about it but every time I mentioned let’s go look, he would make an excuse. There were also red flags from the beginning, he technically bailed on our first date without a word, it took a month of speaking before ever asking me on a date, and he bailed last minute twice on dinner with my friends before….one of those times he said we were moving too fast so out of consideration I took a step back and within a day he was telling me he missed me. Am I missing something here?

    • Sallie says:

      I can’t give any answers but I can relate to you… I was with my boyfriend for 6 months and he had only just got out of a long, hard 5 year relationship… things moved really quickly and I felt like I had met my best friend and soul mate and he would say the same! We would spend every single day together, and had so many plans! His dad passed away just before Christmas, it wasn’t sudden and I was there for him through out it all! Spent Christmas Day with him and went to his dads funeral, he said to me he wouldn’t of been able to get through it if it wasn’t for me! When he found out about his dad he didn’t cry, and he hasn’t cried yet, even at the funeral! I know he has a lot of stress in his life at the moment, as he was living with his dad and step mum and since his dad has gone she has been a cow and it’s clear she wants him gone. Also his ex was in prison when he first met for stabbing him! And he found out 2 weeks ago that she isn’t going back to prison (she’s been out since the end of September and hasn’t made things easy for us at all) he did go back to her a few times but each time said it wasn’t the same as what we have and I’m the first girl that he’s ever went back to. About a week ago he has broken up with me and just has said he doesn’t know what love is, he doesn’t know how he feels, it’s not the same anymore! But he still says he cares about me and still speaks to me everyday! He says he thinks he’s depressed but he’s not the kind of man who talks about his feelings! So he opened up to me a lot… I love him and care about him so much, we had such an amazing future to look forward to and so many plans! He doesn’t even go out with his friends anymore, and blames me for losing them, which is an utter lie! He doesn’t have any sex drive, he’s barely eating or going to the gym, he can’t even watch films the whole way through anymore! I just don’t know what to do! I love him so much and I don’t want to give up but he says he doesn’t need anybody and he wants to be alone!

      Thank you for reading!

    • Kate says:

      How did things work out for you? My ex sounds so much like this. He hasn’t dated anyone in 5 years before me. I met his parents right away and everything was great. We are both in school but older. He’s 31 and I’m 27. I graduated last month, turned 28 and received a new job. He ended it right before all of this and only ever experienced a red flag when I asked him to come to my graduation. He sounded hesitant. He gave me a lot of cliche reasons for why we had to break up but the one he repeated was his “feelings changed” and the relationship “has become an obligation” I’m so heartbroken because I didn’t see this coming, he never talked to me about anything.

  34. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this article. My husband (we’ve been married for 15 years and together 22 years) announced out of the blue-3 weeks ago that he feels nothing for me. Up to this point,we had been really happy-no signs whatsoever-lots of sex/laughing,daily texts and hugs to show how much he loved me-I feel like my whole world has fallen in. He won’t discuss anything and just keeps repeating “you can’t make yourself feel it”. I have handled it badly to start and pleaded with him not to be so silly and throw everything away. Prior to this,we have had a very stressful 6 months with our teenage daughter-not coming home on time/messy room/playing up at school and things have got nasty and she has hit me on more than one occassion-my husband has refused to discipline her throughout so we have had words about this. He said it has all got too much. He keeps saying the house stresses him out-so I have told him to leave if that is what he needs-he has not gone and continues to come home from work,eat the food I’ve cooked and ignore me. He still sleeps in the same bed-it is unbearable.
    We have had sex a couple of times during this but I have now locked down and cannot take anymore. He refuse’s to go to the doctor’s, I bought him some St John’s Wort-he has taken 1. I’ve bought him books on the black dog-I am at a loss what to do.
    I have had a couple of episodes of this during our time together-he seems to go in a very black mood-he has admitted he is in a dark place and I cannot reach him. When he is coming out of it-he starts to act odd-trying to get my attention and eventually will cry and say I’m sorry I don’t know what I’m doing-and then is fine.he has carried on going to work and to the gym during this latest episode. When he was 11 years old-his favourite brother died at the age of 17 from liver cancer -it was very sudden. His mum told me years ago that he goes in himself and after his brothers death did not speak for weeks. I think it must be a coping mechanism.
    I was texting him daily to say I loved him-but have stopped now. I also stay out if his way as I feel I stress him out although I’m not doing anything. Things have improved with my daughter-I’ve limited her phone use and tried a different approach. My heart is completely broken-but I cannot take much more. I work 50+ hours per week and do all the cooking,cleaning and washing as well as all the bills. I am at breaking point. From Monday,I have started to ignore him completely and he is now trying to get my attention-if I’m sat in a room,he will keep coming in and put and audibly sighing. This is so hard, all I want to do is help him and hold him. How do you get through this when the person will not get help? Home is unbearable-he will not leave, will not talk about anything. I can’t leave as I have my daughter and I am trying to stabilise her right now.what do I do?

    • N says:

      Hi Lisa,

      I know you feel alone. I think we all do because our situations are so unique. But all of us in this comment section share the suffering behind depression. And I want you to know that you’re amazingly strong. I’m only a 20 year old that probably doesn’t have as much wisdom as you, but I can tell you that I do understand the pain. Of course, there’s a certain level where our experiences are so unique that it’s hard to not feel alone, but I can tell you that I feel your pain. Reading your story is heart-breaking and I mean it when I say that you’re an inspiration based on how you’re coping with this. Again, I have no experience with having kids or being married so I’ll give you the best advice I could possibly give. And that is: follow your heart. At the end of the day, after all the pain, deep deep inside of you, what is it that you feel? That is the key to finding the answer to the very question that you’re asking of: “what do I do?”. Anybody can tell you their opinions and sway you to do one thing or another, but I advise you to steer clear of other’s bias and listen to YOUR heart. If, by any chance, your heart is telling you to stay and fight through it, then listen. If you follow your heart, whether things turn out the way you wish or if they turn out another way, you won’t be left with as much regret compared to if you ignored your heart. If you ignored your true feelings, your future might have a lot of “what if’s”. So my one and only piece of advice is to listen to what you feel deep down within yourself. And no, your true feelings may not be going along the “softest path”, but remember that by enduring the pain, we can attain what we seek. I have someone I love that is suffering with depression, and long story-short, although my experiences have been excruciating, I’ve realized that deep down, I want to keep fighting for my loved one. I want to keep walking on needles and thorns in hopes of attaining my goal. It’s worth it for me. So at the end of the day, look within yourself for the answer, and if you’re a woman of faith by any chance, also seek the answer from the higher power. Best of wishes to you.

      • Lisa says:

        Thank you so much for your reply. You are so right and my heart is telling me to fight. Everything is still the same but if he was so desperate to go-you leave don’t you? I hope your situation improvez. Take care xxx

        • N says:

          You are very welcome! You’re not alone. No matter how unique a situation may be. And I’m glad that you’re listening to what you feel deep down! You got this! And that’s a good point. I will say that be careful with turning that positive thought into an overly powerful thought. When dealing with depressed people, it’s best to balance positive hopes with a tiny bit of a “not-so-great” outcome. That way, it won’t be too painful and unbearable if things go in the opposite direction. But that’s just my advice. Honestly, I’m glad you’re staying positive. I am too. Funny that you replied today because I just got back from seeing my loved one. I followed my heart and bought a ticket to go surprise-visit him! I was judged for taking a trip just for him but I did it anyway. I’m so glad I persevered because it was worth it! I’m not sure if things will actually improve between us any time soon but it’s slowly getting better. So don’t stop following your heart, it’s the best option! I hope you’re doing better and hope things improve for you as well!

        • debbie says:

          Hello Lisa I am in much the same situation as you I feel your pain ,my partner did the same to me in October on holiday ,it was un bearable ,still is,we once had such a wonderful relationship but he is now cold,sad ,angry , hurtful I am only just learning to cope,I think I am in shock still reading the posts helps me and I have started a daily diary for myself really as to how I feel and this helps as it gets things off my chest,my partner refuses to let me tell anyone and will not go to GP ,I feel that’s selfish off him .I an trying to live one day at a time and dare not talk or think about our future -we once had such wonderful plans!!!???? take care of yourself you not alone x Debbie x

          • Lisa says:

            Hi, Thanks for your kind words. Things are getting back to normal. My husband “broke”on 2nd Jan. I’d had enough of his meaness and nastiness all throughout christmas and told him to leave-I threw all his stuff out-and him. I had lots of tears that he though this is what he wanted but he didn’t. He is doing CBT daily and meditates which is helping him a lot. He is very certain that this will not happen again but I have said that we need to be able to recognise the signs and if he feels he is returning to his dark place -to talk to me. There is hope x

  35. Gao says:

    Thank you for this article and to all of the stories shared in the comments section. It has been so encouraging for me. I am the partner who was in denial that she is depressed. Yesterday, after feeling a complete loss of connection with my partner overnight despite there being nothing wrong in our relationship, I knew something wasn’t right. I started to tear up reading the first line of this article because I could already tell it was speaking to me. It’s a strange feeling – I can see that I’ve had depressive symptoms for a long time but now fully acknowledging it is a new thing.

    I hope to communicate this to my loving partner and move forward with our commitment. This site has given me some strength and determination.

    • chey says:

      I feel the same. Thursday I was head over heels for my boyfriend, and I have been for two months. Then recently, I woke up feeling nothing towards him or anything. It scares me so much to the point where I sob. He is such a good person, and I want to love him again. I’m scared and I need advice please.

  36. Theresa says:

    My husband left me two years ago this month. We were happily married for 20 years. He even said that 18 of those years were near perfect. Our divorce was final August 2015. He initiated everything. In 2009 he lost his job a job he thought he would work till the day he died. From the time of his job loss he became extremely depressed and withdrew from me little by little. In addition to his job loss due to medical reasons he lost his father ,a close friend also died and experienced the loss of a club he was in. I had been asking him for a while what was wrong because I could tell something was happening. His response was always nothing is wrong. He was Drew from me and would not talk to me about anything he was experiencing. I brought up seeking help and he did but I truly believe he never really dealt with what happened to him and all the losses that he experienced. He no longer felt complete in our relationship and started to communicate with another woman from his past. I believe that him seeking this relationship was in his mine away to be whole again and to feel good about himself. So he left me divorced me move in with her left me and his family. To my surprise 7 months later he communicated with me and when he came back to town he came over to visit me. We spent every day for a week seeing each other. In this timeframe he expressed to me that he wanted to come back and to start to see me again and to go to counseling. He did that after two months he came home. We went to one marriage counseling session that was something that he wanted to do. But after about a week I could tell that he was reverting back to being distant and quiet with me. I approached him and asked him what was wrong. I New that it was because his feelings did not come back like he thought. He told me that he did not feel a spark, that in his mind he thought he would come home and that his feelings for me would all come back and it would be easy for us to get back to the way it was. I told him that it had been almost 2 years since we were apart and that we needed to get to know each other again. I asked him to just please take one day at a time and to not give up. I realize now that he is running away again like he has in the past. And he is continuing to search for his peace and joy through other relationships. I was so hopeful when he came back because I never thought he would. He does not think clearly regarding relationships and is trying to seek what he needs through other people and relationships. My heart continues to break for us and what we had. I know we can never go back but I thought that him coming back to me eas what he really wanted. He has moved out of town again and has no contact with me. I hope that one day he will realize that he has to be well with himself before he can be in any kind of a a meaningful relationship and that he gets the help that he needs.

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Theresa,

      I would say “I’m sorry” but honestly I know that it isn’t enough. Im dealing with the loss of a relationship as well and it’s extremely painful. I’m still friends with my ex and I still talk to him but he’s this completely different person. He’s cold and doesn’t care about anything. I would keep going but honestly I want to focus on how I can relate to you and that you’re not alone. Although things can’t go back, they do move forward. One thing has ended but there’s new beginnings. I do not want to give you false hopes, but I will say that just because your relationship went down that way doesn’t mean you can’t rebuild in case he decides to come back one day. I only say that in case he does come back. Anyway, I hope things get better for you. Best of wishes.

    • Kristin says:

      Hi Teresa – how are things now? I am going through the same thing 🙁

  37. CLee says:

    It’s been somewhat comforting to read comments on this site to realize that I am not alone in my situation, however, that does not it any less heartbreaking or tragic.

    On April 9, my sweet, loving husband of 7 years gave me the shock of my life when he told me that he had filed for a divorce the day before because he had been unhappy for about a year. I thought that I had misunderstood him because I thought we had a good marriage. We always got along well and he had never, ever said anything about being unhappy. His reasons were very lame: he was overwhelmed because we had too much stuff, that I let my anxiety affect our vacations, and that I wasn’t “outdoorsy” enough. Everything was my fault.

    For the next five weeks, we still lived together – we still slept in the same bed and he kept saying he loved me. But he had become like a total stranger. I would approach him about once a week and have long drawn-out conversations about whether he still wanted to divorce me or not. The answers were usually “I don’t know,” or “Not right now”. He admitted he struggled with this decision and his mind changed constantly. He knew his mind was not functioning properly. On several different occasions, it would seem as though we had reconciled and he was going to cancel the divorce, but then several days later he would go back in divorce mode. It was an emotional roller coaster for me. His reasons for wanting a divorce got more extreme. He told me that he was afraid he was developing a mental illness and he thought that I would commit him. Then a couple of days later he told me that he “just can’t” stay with me because he blamed me for his kids not ever coming around, and if he didn’t divorce me, they never would. After that cruel conversation on May 12, I thought we were done for good.

    Then, miraculously, the next afternoon on Friday the 13th, he called to tell me that he had left a message for his attorney to hold off on the divorce so we could try to reconcile. I was so happy and relieved. The next six weeks were filled with happiness (but caution) for me. I did everything I could to try to fix everything that was making him unhappy. We had a lot more sex, we both got our hormones treated, we were planning some upgrades to our home, and we had even booked a trip to Las Vegas in August. Sounds like everything was cool, huh? Oh, no.

    Last Saturday, June 25, he bought some land behind my back and plans to build a new house on his own. He told me that he’s still unhappy even though I had fixed everything he said that was making him unhappy. He said he really can’t tell me why he’s divorcing me and that he still loves me. All he could say was he hates our house now (which he built), he wants to be free to go do things by himself, and he just doesn’t want to be married anymore. I told him that his unhappiness is coming from within himself, and if he doesn’t get professional help, he will continue to have failed relationships. He said he doesn’t think he can be helped, which is a total cop-out.

    So, for this past week, I have turned into a basketcase again. My despair, fear, and anger have all returned two-fold because this time there is no negotiation with him. He cannot be reasoned with. He is totally shut-off emotionally. He’s moved into another room and we barely speak to each other. He’s out spending all sorts of money on his new house and storages.

    I came across this article about anhedonia yesterday, and it describes my husband to a ‘T’. He is running away from me because he thinks I am the problem. His high level of stimulation is cross-fit—he has become obsessed with that for the past year (which coincidentally is how long he said he’s been unhappy). He works out at this ridiculously more high-intensity than most cross-fit place 4-5X a week. He’s 49 years old and he comes home totally exhausted from it. His escape into a new life is his new house. I think he hates our house now because his kids are grown and don’t come around so he wants to just build a new house altogether that don’t have memories of them.

    My husband has deep-seeded childhood trauma that he won’t address. He’s been on Citalopram for 10 years from his PCP for “sleep problems” but I think he needs another Rx from mental health professional after a psyche evaluation. His behavior patterns are disturbing. He makes drastic decisions behind my back but yet continues normal life and playing house with me for days like nothing has changed.

    He’s the type who refuses to seek help…he’s going to totally focus on building his new house. He’s going to throw away a perfectly good, formerly very happy marriage…not to mention destroy my life. 🙁 Unless something drastic affects his psyche soon, we will be unnecessarily divorced in a couple of months. I’m trying so hard to give this all to God to take care of because you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, but this man has been the most important thing in my life for almost 10 years so I don’t know what I am going to do without him.

  38. Penny says:

    Ive been with this guy for 18 years on and off we have 3 boys a 12 year old and twins 15 hes very abusive physical in the past and mainly mental hes threw stuff screaming calling me nasty names and all this was done in front of our boys which they have started to treat me like he has and still has he steals from everyplace we go he steals my dons pills and mine I want him to go but he wont leave what do I do

    • Kate says:

      You need to consult a lawyer to find out how to safely remove yourself and your children from this situation. You may need a restraining order in place before filing for separation or divorce. Your children and you should begin therapy immediately to address the trauma you have all been living with.

  39. A says:

    This hits very close to home but I’m still not sure what to do. Me and my husband got married about 2 years ago. Before the marriage we were nearly perfect. He would bring me flowers every time he’d come over. He’d send me the cutest texts saying how much he loved me and how happy he was God brought us together. Then shortly after the wedding it all went down hill. He’d tell me how he resented the marriage, if i wanted a hug i had to ask for it, he became so numb to the point that i would cry myself to sleep and he’d just turn around as if nothing was going on. His solution to this issue is to get a divorce. He always says he wants to get away but doesn’t know where he wants to go. He was such a different person when we were engaged and he just flipped 180. He is now seeing a therapist but i feel like he’s just getting worse. is there hope? Do i just need to be patient? Not being biased but he truly is an amazing person, but he’s just not himself anymore. I don’t want to give up but I’m 23 and I’ve lived with this for 2 years so far, how much longer do i have to wait?

    • Kate says:

      My husband did the same. We’re 6 years into the marriage now and things have gotten mildly better but his same destructive pattern keep coming back despite medication and therapy. In moments of clarity he understands that his thinking is distorted, but then he gives in to it again and suddenly I’m to blame for all his problems and I’m intolerable to be around. We decided to have a child during one of his good periods because I naively thought he was cured of his depression, but as soon as she was born he spiraled out of control and became emotionally abusive. The last 3 years have been so painful. I regret ever meeting him.

      If he’s insisting on a divorce, I wouldn’t fight it. If he’s just threatening divorce and not following through, consider separating. Living with a depressed spouse can drag your own mental health through the mud. Give yourself time to gain perspective and decide what you really want, what behaviors you can live with, what he needs to do in order to heal your relationship. Stand up for your needs and set healthy boundaries.

  40. Jenny says:

    I’ve been in love with a man with depression for years and it’s not going past the friends with benefits stage because I darent put any pressure on him or tell him how I really feel . I’m scared to death of scaring him off but love him deeply. It’s getting so hard to carry on with a brave face and pretend I’m always ok.
    Really not sure what to do! Can’t see myself with anyone else and don’t want to give up on him

    • Jan says:

      I just happened upon your comment and it could have been written by me 30+ years ago. My freshman year in college I met a a man who I was so smitten with. This was before the expression “friends with benefits.” He was the first man I had sex with. We dated off and on during most of my time in college. He dropped out of school after his freshman year, to the consternation of his parents who were both well regarded professors. I had no concept of depression at the time.
      I never demanded anything of him for I was afraid, or insecure enough, to think that might scare him off. So he came in and out of my life when it suited him. There was never anyone else, but I don’t think he ever said, “I love you.”
      I dated others in college and then moved to California. We still kept in contact, but it was clear to me that he was incapable of having a real relationship. I married in 1977 and last saw this man, who I considered to be my true love, a year later when I was back visiting.
      Fast forward to 2007. I googled his name which is the same as his father’s. I see his father’s obituary and then beneath that I see. He died. No details.
      I put a picture of him with a shot of whiskey on top of our Day of the Dead alter that year. But, not knowing how he died bothered me.
      Five weeks ago, I finally emailed his sister, who is a psychiatrist. I explained that I wanted to know how he’d lived and died.
      She emailed that he’d killed himself. She said that anyone who knew him well wouldn’t be surprised, but I was. When I knew him, depression was never talked about. I just thought he was distant and brooding. He was 48 years old when he shot himself and his father who he admired greatly had died 9 months earlier.
      His sister said he was cursed with the family’s mental illness genes. I didn’t have a clue, but had he called me for help, I would have been on the next plane.
      I’ve spent the last three weeks researching more about depression, as I realize he was suffering from depression when I first met him.
      His sister said at his memorial, the same themes emerged. He was so smart, he was distant, he was loving.
      As much as I mourn his death, I know that had I stayed with him, my life would have been so different.
      He never married. He had no children. I’ve been married now for 39 years and have two adult sons. I love my husband. He makes me laugh and we make a good team. So as much as I fantasize about what might have been with this man, I know, in reality, that it was never meant to be. As his sister wrote to me, “He gave what he could.” But again, the depression made it impossible for him to be fully there.
      I loved this man unconditionally, but on some level, I knew he wasn’t capable of returning this. I am now grateful that I saw this and moved on.

      • Sophia says:

        Jan, I read your comment months ago and come back again and again – it could be written by myself in 30 years and it has given me a lot of comfort, but also sadness.
        I am in my mid twenties and have been seeing this guy on and off for 3 years. He comes into my life when it suits him, and while I realize he is an “imcomplete” person due to his depression, I love and care for him unconditionally.
        I know this might be unorthodox, but I would love to get in touch with you and hear more about how you felt and your opinion in hindsight. If not, I would like to thank you for your words – they have helped me so much.
        I hope this comment reaches you.

  41. Nicole says:

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years now. He is a designer and has his own company. We live near his parents’ place. I’m really close to all of his parents, younger siblings, employees, aunts, uncles and friends. I can pretty much say the first year was fun and happy. It was a healthy relationship. Not until early this year, he had so many projects in line. So he was really busy. When I leave for work, he is still sleeping and when I come home, he is still working. Since early this year, we stopped spending quality time together. He says he is working hard for our future and I get that. Just last February, I lost our baby at 2 months. I was really lonely. He was too but I didn’t know who to talk to at that time except him. But he couldn’t be there for me. He works a lot. He wakes up early and sleeps really late. He is very hands on with his work. Just last month, he failed to present some of the projects. He got depressed. He wasn’t as happy anymore. He felt really bad. He couldn’t accept the failure. Out of 15 projects, 3 came late but all industrial design students passed. It was his first time to experience that and he put all the blame on me. He thinks it was all my fault. Just because I was demanding for his time when I was going through post-failed pregnancy stress. I left the country with family for 10 days. His messages are so sad to read because it’s always so depressing and negative. I tried to be patient so many times when he texts me long ass messages that ends up ruining my mood. When I wasn’t in the country, we haven’t been messaging each other that much. He didn’t even pick me up the airport when I got back yesterday. He said he has been visiting the psychiatrist and the Dr. said I’m the cause of his depression and that he needs to keep his distance first. I just feel that it’s so unfair. Because he is the one who keeps going out, drinking the night away etc…. I can’t feel the love right now. I feel so alone in this relationship right now. I love him and deep inside I know that if I keep my distance as well, he will miss me. I’m aware I’m not always loving, I have my ups and my downs, I’m a sarcastic person and he could be sensitive. Although we can lay down and just laugh like silly kids. I know I love him. We are off age and I only see myself with him in the future. I just don’t know what to do now. He also used meth while working on his projects. He binged use. I know he doesn’t use it anymore now. That’s how much he loves his work. He is willing to do something that bad just to get it all done because halfway, he lost 2 of his employees because they had to leave the country to work. Does it have something to do with the after effects of the drug he used? Should I blame myself? What should I do? Should I love him more now and show him that I’m here for him or should I just prioritize myself and let it go first? With the wishful thinking that he comes back to me or should I let it go completely? There’s this voice saying we are meant for each other. My family loves him as well. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I myself could be depressed too. But I’m not blaming him for anything.

  42. M says:

    I AM NOT ALONE!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀 i mean, i know this is a HORRIBLE loopwhole kind of thing and that it makes us feel terrible, but i most honestly say that, reading all of these comments just gave me some strenght to fight for this relationship. I read the comments and in every comment i find something to feel related to!!!!
    The first comment i see reads “i feel scared to be near my bf… i miss him badly too… (…) i feel like my obsession have caused me to feel this way i am scared to do anything” DAMN!! right on!!!!!

    The thing is i am not really sure of what happened to me… i was fine! we were fine! We had been dating for about 3 months, and suddenly, one weekend, it all crushed down to pieces and i somehow convinced myself that he didnt love me and i cried and cried and cried non-stop for 2 days so i called him to kind of blame him for something, he told me it seemed like i was just making excuses to break up with him, but we talked and solved everything that day; but after that, the thought of “yeah, maybe he is right and i am just making excuses” cause i had already wondered the same thing myself. That happened one month ago, and since then, i just went into a dissatisfaction kind of whole feeling annoyed by some tiny regular things he did that are actually not things to be bothered by, and i became extremely sensitive and even when he said to me things like “i love you” it would make me burst into tears. So…. i started wondering and wondering and wondering what the hell was wrong with me and why was i so sensitive about everything, so i came to the conclusion that i should maybe just break it up cause all of these thoughts were driving me crazy. So, finally, last week on Monday… i seriously broke down crying in despair and asking reassurance from other people, asking them “but i love him, don’t i???? do i really love him? i really do, don’t i???” because it hurt so horribly bad to think i didnt love him anymore, which led me to thinking maybe i didnt love him to begin with… but i eventually calmed down and, by Friday, that i was more cold headed, i decided i just neeeded some time by myself, hang out with my friends or something… so again, it made me wonder “so why do i feel like running from him? should i want to want to be with him if i am supposed to be in love with him? then why am i looking for someone else to comfort me?” so it started driviing me crazier D: but i went out with my friends and calmed down, but somehow, it also made me keep doubting “:O! maybe i dont want to be with him anymore and i want to be single again!!!” :O but i knew i didnt want to… somehow, i know it. And on Sunday, i decided to face him, but i was SOOOOOOO SCARED of seeing him and that at the moment i saw him i was going to confirm all the things i was feeling and thinking, that maybe indeed i didnt love him. But i saw him… and my heart moved <3 and we talked and i kind of explained what i was feeling, i said i didnt know what the crying was about, but that i needed to let him know i DO want to be with him. He said he felt that i was a bit obsessed with him, but that he is so in love with me, that he just wants to help me, so that i shouldnt run away from him.
    But now, everytime i get a text from him, or a call or something, i am so scared of what feelings it is going to provoque in me. I am so scared that suddenly when i see him, hear him or something, i will feel nothing. But then, when i am apart from him, all i feel is confusion cause i keep wondering why i fear this things? so i keep thinking that breaking up would be the best… so i am in a merry go roun here…

    I got a therapist last week, cause i need myself back, i need my life back, i need to be able to love him in healthy way again. I can do this, but i am also scared it is going to take time and i wont be able to hold it until i get out of this and i will ruin my relationship and hurt him before i get there. Cause like someone in another comment said, i feel i can't truly love him for bits, but i do feel that i care for him. I am so going crazy. Help, please.

    If anyone has any advice, i would very much appreciate it <3!! Thank you for reading me!

    • J says:

      Hey I’ve been going through a similar thing but for a longer period of time.
      3 months in I knew I wanted to marry him. 5 months in I thought I had fallen out of love.
      It took another 7 months to break up for the first time.
      We took about 3 weeks apart. By that I mean I went on holiday to a different country, so I wasn’t seeing him every day. In that time I was still messaging him pretty much every day though.
      Should we have not had any contact at all? I don’t think it would have made a difference.
      I was still plagued by that thought that “if I could just see him after a break it would be black and white. My heart or intuition (whatever it is for you) will tell me then and there.
      When I initially broke up with him I felt a a sick mix of relief, guilt, pain, loss and like a weight had been lifted.
      That’s why it was so confusing to know if it was the right thing. If it was the right thing, why does it hurt this bad?
      Ultimately we ended up back together when I came back. We talked, and I felt more connected to him than I had in months. Looking back on that and after having read the above article I think that it was because my feeling threshold is so high. So because sadness was piercing and we were experiencing it together, I felt united, whole again. For a short while.
      But that feeling dwindled. Then about every 6 months thereafter (for the past three years) I’ve gone through a period of about 2-4 weeks deciding whether to break up. Sometimes I do. But each time he tells me it will be the last time. That he can’t take it anymore. This ultimately scares me into saying sorry and that it’s all my fault.
      Except the last time. I tortured myself so much that I just couldn’t bare my own pain anymore. I figure his pain of me breaking up with him will not be as bad as the fear, confusion and doubt that I have experienced for seemingly the past four years.
      So I ended it. For more than a day this time. Two days to be exact.
      Again I felt the relief wash over me. But the guilt of hurting him and the sadness of losing a best friend too.
      I stayed at a girlfriend’s house for two nights.
      On the third day he asked if we could meet up. He just wanted to chat and wanted to see if I wanted the same thing.
      We spoke. He told me he got into his Masters of Education and that he’d been stressed all year about it. That’s why he was working so much which subsequently affected our intimate time together. This isn’t a sexual euphemism by the way. I mean that intimate time where you are both present, just kiss or hold each other or look into each others eyes.

      I’ve since learned that my inability to feel love to various degrees is caused by several things:
      – anhedonia caused by my diagnosed anxiety and depression
      – anhedonia caused by my abandonment issues (fear to feel anything for fear of it being taken away)
      – different kissing styles
      – his borderline workaholic work ethic
      – both our inabilities to relax and just be with each other at different times
      – his constant need to be on his phone
      – my constant need for approval
      – little things every couple who lives together experiences like leaving dishes in the sink or not putting away clothes

      So I know it’s not all my fault. And he knows and accepts this too. I’ve learned that “love” isn’t a feeling you either have or don’t. It’s like chemistry, relationships, all that stuff. There’s things that we do together that help solidify that bond. Grow that love stronger. Some couples have to work harder at it than others.
      Looking back I would have broken up with him after 5 months. Not because I don’t or didn’t love him. Not because I wish we weren’t together now. But because I could have potentially saved myself from four years of misery and confusion.
      But who I was then is not the strong person I am now. I needed him and he needed me.
      And who’s to say I wouldn’t have experienced the same thing with other people?
      Having chosen to stay, regardless of what I thought was my intuition and what other people told me I know that I have chosen to love this person. That it is my choice and my choice alone. And that’s quite empowering.
      I’m not letting my illness beat me, nor my past. I’m learning to live with them and manage the symptoms.
      It’s really hard, particularly finding out I am also prone to Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder as at least once a month I have those doubts. But what helps is remembering that warm feeling I once had when we would do the things that no longer give me joy now. I also wrote a list of all the times I could remember feeling that tingly love sensation. Like him holding me from behind while we play mario kart together, or a particular long, passionate kiss.
      I’m constantly adding to the list. Any time I have doubts I look at it and it helps me feel at least a little better.
      I think Love is two people actively working together to improve their relationship, themselves and each other. And when one person stops trying, that’s why people say to leave. And most people do, instead of talking and trying to work through their differences.

      My last piece of advice is this: You are stronger than you think. You will be able to hold out until you figure this out. I did and we’re still together four and a half years later. Whether it’s the fear of being alone or the fear of loving him but not knowing, you will make it through.
      I chose a really painful road. But I also learned a lot.
      I choose not to believe that I have fallen out of love. Somedays it works, others not so much. I’m still working out how influenced I have been by pop culture.
      As long as he wants to keep trying, you should too. And if it all becomes too much and too hard, just weigh up what you are going to lose. Is it worth losing someone you may love, to lose the pain and suffering you are going through too?
      Most people say yes. But most people don’t have my understanding of love and how to try.
      I’m still figuring it out myself. What I’m willing to give up in order to gain.

      • Nk says:

        Hi, I really like the message you give in your story. Is there any way I can talk to you more about it? Can I give you my social media? Or do you have any other form of communication? I would really appreciate it because someone I really care about is in the same position you are in. Please let me know if you’re interested in talking more. Thanks.

      • K says:

        I am going trough the same thing, I really would like to talk to you. Can I get in touch with you via social media?

    • N says:

      Hi M. I find myself on the opposite side of your situation. I’m the one dating someone who is feeling how you feel. I wanted to ask you something if that’s okay with you. But first I’m going to provide a little background info (anyone else who wants to give me advice is welcome to). I can’t say that my “used-to-be-boyfriend” is identical to you, but I still somehow find comfort in reading your comment because I get insight to how he might feel. But I just wanted to share with you how things look on your boyfriend’s side. It’s super painful. For me, since my boyfriend broke up with me because of his anhedonia, I’ve almost become a regular person to him. I’m not sure if he’s struggling what you’re struggling through about “do I love them or not” but I kind of wish he was but only because he’s the person I fell hard for. We almost reached three months like you and your boyfriend, but before we could get there he started going down. When we broke up I asked him if he still loved me deep down and I got no response. I guess that could be good or bad right? And then I at one point asked him if he wanted to love me again/be with me again. He said that he’d like to but that he wasn’t sure of the future. I don’t know. I feel so lost. It’s like one day I feel hopeful and other days he makes me think there’s no hope. I would go on because there’s a lot of important details I left out, but I didn’t want to keep anyone here that long. I would really appreciate it if I could keep talking to you about this. So my question was: do you think physically seeing my boyfriend again might trigger something like it did for you? Do you think it’d help him see how he feels about me. I’m not a stuck up person who thinks that he does. But before this depression changed him, he was so loving. I have faith he’s still in there. So do you think that physically seeing each other again would help him see things better? Thanks for your time. If you have any other better ways for contact, please let me know. Thanks.

      • C says:

        Would love to know how you’re doing now. I just experienced this after 3 months in the same position as you so I’m a bit lost.

        • N says:

          Hi C,

          I’m really sorry that you share a similar story to mine. I would never wish this on anyone. To keep things updated, I got to see my ex a few months ago and it really did make things seem better. He was obviously still depressed and hated himself, but he showed me so much love. Actions mean more than words. And he constantly embraced me and showed me he cared. That experience helped to keep my light of hope burning bright. I suffer from depression myself so I know that things aren’t easy. Exactly why I’m not quitting on him because I always wished throughout my life that someone would see beyond my depression. So C, I would say, follow your heart. That’s the simplest, truest thing. Don’t hurt yourself but also do not lie to yourself. Be true to your heart and do what you feel. But of course only act when you know it’s right. Never act when you feel frustrated or angry. It always leads to regret. I’m telling you this because recently, things have gotten real bad between me and my loved one, and he’s disconnected from me completely. I decided to go visit him in December to confront this distance between us. Any average person would think I’m crazy. But if you’re really in a similar situation like I am, maybe you’ll understand what I mean when I say that when you follow your heart, you lose your mind in the eyes of others. If you have any other questions, you’re welcome to ask 🙂 best of wishes C!

  43. Kerry says:

    In January I asked my husband of 10years to leave as he was behaving strange and disappearing off out a lot I thought he was cheating on me. I found out 2weeks later that he wasn’t but was severely depressed. I apologized profusely and since then we have been in contact going out for dinner as a couple. Kissing cuddling and had sex a few times. Last week he asked if he could stay over. It went well and we were intimate.2days later he asked if he could stay again and has stayed all week. But there is no intimacy now at all. I told him I know he doesn’t feel like sex which is fine but a kiss or cuddle would be nice.he managed this for 1day and now nothing again.
    A friend said to me that maybe he has never really wanted any intimacy throughout all of this but did so wen we were separated to let me know he still wanted me to wait for him and no he’s back he doesn’t feel he needs to force himself to be intimate with me now. What do you guys think

  44. Jules says:

    I am not depressed but my boyfriend is and we have been living with a long term relationship for a few months now. Ever since he left school and now lives at home, he has been very depressed and hopeless about life. I thought it would go away after a few weeks and he would be used to living at home again, but its only gotten worse. Within the past few weeks he has opened up to me and admitted that he doesnt care about anything, including me. We talk on the phone every night and he used to always ask me about my day and show interest in my life, and we would have normal conversation, but now he doesnt speak; usually we end up arguing about things he instigates. He tells me that he loves me but doesnt care about me or my life, and he picks fights with me and takes out all his anger on me. I want to support him and stick with him until his depression passes, but he refuses to get help and I dont know how much longer I can support someone who doesnt support me. I understand love is selfless, and I would do anything for him and I love him but I am getting no love in return and it hurts so bad. I’m pretty much just venting but I havent talked to anyone about it so I thought writing here might help. If anyone has any advice I would love it.

    • Bianca says:

      I am going through the exact same thing. My boyfriend used to express his love for me very clearly and now he can’t show ANY sign of affection or love and has told me that he simply had sex with me and touched me in activities like holding hands because he knew I wanted it. But he never wanted it. He has told me that he doesn’t want to get married to me or have a baby ever. Which are things we talked about just weeks ago. He has also said things like he should never have started dating me and so on. It is very very painful. He can’t even talk to me properly anymore and can’t stand to touch me. I still love him very much, and he’s started with antidepressants and therapy. Is there even a grain of chance that he’ll ever love me again and be able to express it? This is so difficult.

      • Gina says:

        My former partner of ten years left me suddenly on my birthday last month, and had been increasingly cold and distant. We lived apart, but were close physically right before the breakup. Now he’s been largely silent for over three weeks. I read these threads to see if anyone has ever come back from that. It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt and it’s unabating. I don’t want to trouble him with contact so I’ve just stayed silent but the silence is killing me too. I don’t understand how he could go from totally in love to totally silent in a few days.

        Looking back, he began showing signs of a major depressive episode in July. I don’t know what to do and I’m afraid I’ll never see him or hear his voice again. I wake up crying all the time.

    • Nk says:

      Hi Jules, I’m going through the EXACT same thing as you. I would really appreciate it if you could answer back so we could talk about it somehow. Thank you.

  45. april says:

    I’ve been feeling like I no longer love my boyfriend this happened 5 months ago when we where watching movies and he fell asleep and a few minutes later out of the nowhere I felt like I didn’t love him, at first I didn’t know what was wrong with me I thought I really didn’t love him I told him all about this he was as confused as I was .Few days later I wouldn’t get hungry so I wouldn’t eat nothing,as soon as I woke up I felt bored, everyone would annoy me, I was always in a bad mood,I would cry all the time. I feel really bad ,I feel like I don’t love him but I know I do because I remember how things would be a few months before this and I loved him.I’ve been to a therapist but just started going last week. And I think I feel worst, because everything anyone says I think about. I just want to be happy again and want my life back????

    • M says:

      Oh my God!! This is ME!!! It’s EXACTLY the same! I, suddenly, one day, said “oh my God, i don’t love him anymore, or maybe i never did!! ㅠㅠ” but i know i do!! Cause when i’m with him, he is just perfect! And the way i feel when i’m with him! It’s just right!! ♡ but when i’m far from him (we live 3 hours apart) my mind goes back to “what if i don’t love him?” mood D: and i’m going crazy!! It has been about a month since the doubts started, and just last week, i fell into this horrible depression + anxiety hole so i finally realized this was not sane and that i needed help, so i’m seing a therapist now, just started last week,too. And that “event” last week just left me completely exhausted and now i’m sooo afraid of hurtig him and the relationship, cause i feel like i am deceiving him. Like you said, i just want everything to go back to normal!!! I don’t want to feel this anymore!! ㅠㅠ
      But i am so afraid of telling him what is going on inside of me, i mean, he knows i’m not feeling good and something is wrong with my mind lately, but i haven’t been able to say that i frequently think i don’t want to be with him anymore whenever we are apart. 🙁
      Give me back my life 🙁

  46. Amy says:

    My ex husband was diagnosed with depression and anadonia. His therapist had told him not to make any major decisions. My ex refuses to take medication and has started drinking again. His therapist also told him if we divorced, we’d either end up great friends or back together. During this time he had asked me to remarry him, met the love of his life, and asked for a divorce. I fought to save my married, and during the course of a year, he was back and forth about staying in our 23 marriage. I love this man more than anything and we’ve been through a lot in our marriage. I would take him back with no hesitation. I’m wondering if he will come back in time, if I give him space? I know he’s dating the other woman and I’m heart broken. I believe we belong together and I’m a forgiving person. I just want him to come home.

  47. Ali says:

    I am so thankful that I found this site. I was panicking and wondering why when I feel depressed do I want my husband to go away. We have been married for 14 years and have 4 young children. I question if I love him when I am in a depression. This has happened to me probably 6 times throughout our marriage and I have to stop myself from doing anything stupid. I wonder if separating from him would solve all of my problems and make me better, when rationally I know that it would break my kids’ hearts and just make things worse. I would not want my husband with anyone else and I would miss him. It is terrifying how your mind plays such evil tricks on you. I am so glad I am not alone.

  48. B says:

    I’ve been with my girlfriend for two years now. I have dysthymia (mild but chronic depression) that will evolve into a major depressive episode one or two times a year, usually just for a couple weeks at a time. Whenever it happens, I feel like I don’t love my girlfriend anymore. Spending time with her, which is usually the part of my day that I most look forward to, suddenly feels like a chore. Tiny annoyances that I’d typically overlook or even find endearing suddenly feel like cause for ending the relationship. Even things like the way she smells makes me recoil. Three weeks ago I’d been thinking about the fact that I’m happier in our relationship than I’ve ever been, and I can’t wait to move in with her. And then the depression struck and I’m nagged constantly by this feeling that I should break up with her.

    For me, the appeal of breaking up isn’t that I expect to find something exciting outside the relationship. I’m self-aware enough to know, at least, that my depression will follow me wherever I go. Depression and anxiety are just a killer combo because they’re so good at creating a false reality. Suddenly it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been together or what I felt like as little as three weeks ago. In my head it’s like, “You’re only happy because you were ignoring your problems up until now. The depression is the window into how you truly feel. All of your effort to maintain this relationship is the result of cowardice.”

    No matter how many times I go through this (and this is the 4th time in two years), it feels real and it feels terrifying every time. If I weren’t so good at trusting my past feelings and making a quick recovery, we’d never have made it this far. She’s always been patient with me and willing to hear me out, even on one of the many occasions I’ve had to be honest and tell her, “I just don’t love you right now.”

    Good luck to anyone else dealing with this right now. I’ve tried a few different meds over the years to keep these episodes at bay, with mixed results. My biggest recommendation for anyone dealing with anhedonia is exercise (aerobic, 30 minutes a day, every day you’re feeling sad). It’s really hard to get yourself to do it, but it always quickens my recovery, and when I can achieve an endorphin rush, it’s exactly the hope that I need to keep myself trying.

    • Rocky says:

      I’m the girl with a depressive boyfriend and I always get confused about how he acts. We’ve been together on and off for 8 months and I still can’t decipher what truly is happening. I do try, but the intimacy deprivation makes me blow up at times then I feel bad. I want to help him but he rarely wants to talk. I know it’s depression, but my own needs sometimes get in the way to fully understand him. I love him a lot. I want him to confide in me and have our relationship as a safe place instead of stress source. How can I support him in a way that I can help him instead of stress him out?

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I have just fallen into a major depression and, though I love my fiancee, I am suddenly questioning everything about our relationship.

      Am I really happy with him? Is this really the person I am supposed to marry? How do I know that I haven’t just been ‘going with the flow’ so I won’t be alone forever?

      I am terrified that the feelings I have for him won’t return once I get treatment as I don’t want to lose him – I WANT to love him but right now I just…can’t. I can’t find joy in anything and it feels like I will always feel this way. I admit this is the first time it’s happened and my first experience with Anhedonia but it’s something I would never wish on my worst enemy. How do you stick it out? How do you know your feelings will return in time?

  49. Sassiniswan says:

    This sounds a lot like my ex. We were together for 4 years. He’d talked about dealing with depression in the past and contemplating suicide. He said that finding me made him want to live again. There were times he went through these episodes that seemed manic but he never sought treatment.
    Last year in January after moving twice and starting a new job he started drinking excessively. He would drink all day on the weekend without eating and barely sleeping. He would talk constantly jumping from one subject to the next. His behavior became erratic and he would say disturbing things.
    It was trying for me but I stuck by him. I love him.
    In May when he was staying overnight at my house my street flooded and his car was destroyed. A week later he decided he wanted to break up. We ended up staying together but things were different. He refused to come to my house. He would yell at me for every little thing to the point that I was always walking on eggshells, afraid to set him off. Whereas before I was this wonderful person, now I was a worthless loser that screwed everything up.
    In September, a week after our 4 year anniversary, he sent me several texts to me one night and the next morning saying it was over, he didn’t love me, he hated my guts, he liked being mean to me and so on. Later though he would say he loved me and missed me. At this point he would only talk to me when he was drinking and when I asked him why he said he was depressed when he was sober.
    Around Christmas we were seeing each other and talking about working things out. He had made new friends at the bar he hangs out at. He said he liked his job now and the place he moved to. He loved spending more time with his family and the new people he was hanging out with. It made me feel like I was the lowest thing on his list. It was very hurtful.
    While has was telling me that he loved me, didn’t want anyone else and that we were both figuring things out, I felt like he was using me to ease his transition into this new life.
    I didn’t hear from all week and it was Christmas Eve. I got drunk and sent him a bunch of angry texts. He texted me the next day that he wanted me in his life but not romantically and also a crude comment about having had sex with me for the last time.
    When I asked him to elaborate he said later.
    Later I texted apologizing for the things I said and wished him a happy holiday. He texted saying thanks, you as well.
    We have had no contact whatsoever since then. It’s been three weeks. I felt like I needed to distance myself from him for awhile for my own sanity. I have no idea what’s going on with him. I know I shouldn’t think about it but I do all the time. I don’t want to feel this way anymore. I cry all the time.
    We were really happy at one time. I miss the person he was before. I miss what we once had. It hurts to think that means nothing to him now. Will he ever regret the way he’s treated me, the decision he made to end a four year relationship with someone who really knows and loves him? A decision he made while his mind was poisoned by depression and alcohol? Or will his new bar buddies be enough to replace me and be done with me forever?

  50. paul says:

    My wife walked out for the third time this year a week before christmas. We’ve been together 3 years nearly and married for just over a year. I’m still only just learning about depression and its effects on her but for the last 3 months our relationship appeared to be going pretty well. That said, for the previous 2 years i didn’t take the time to learn or try and understand what she was going through and we fought like cat and dog often.
    However there has aways been a lot of love between us and a desire to work at the marriage. but now she has walked out again, and has cut all ties. she doesn’t reply or respond to any messages and I’m at the stage where I’m trying to give her some time and space.
    We had no fight or argument prior to her leaving, just a cross text from me saying i wanted our marriage to be more like a marriage as she spends most of the week living at her daughters.
    The thing is that a lot that I’ve been reading points to her having a crash and wanting to escape. Too much pressure from me, anxiety to my reactions, the constant having to explain how she feels etc..these are the reasons she’s cited for walking away again. It almost seems like I’ve tried to care and understand too much but my frustrations at living apart and not feeling like we have a marriage have pushed her over the edge.
    So, as it stands, she’s left, she won’t respond to me, i fear that she’s gone for good, and i’m doing everything i can to keep telling myself that all of it is the depression and that she does love me but just needs time and space.
    What confuses this compassionate slant towards what she’s going through is seeing her on Facebook out smiling, laughing, having fun at Christmas with her friends while i sit almost broken being ignored and thrown away like a bit of rubbish.
    I love my wife with every inch of my heart and would never abandon her, but i texted ‘i love you” today (boxing day) just in case she was having a low day, and almost feel like she’s sitting there laughing at me, probably at her ex husbands house with their grown up children which is where she said she was going to be on Christmas Day. Do I give up and let her go, or do i persevere and continue to try and salvage my marriage whilst learning as much as i can about depression?
    And is this behaviour even depression at all or just someone who wants out of the relationship? i will say that up until literally the day she walked out she was loving, and talking about the future, and christmas together and although i knew she was finding things difficult with the depression there was no hint that she was anything other than as in love with me as i am with her. This is why her total abandonment is so confusing. Any ideas from anyone would be really gratefully appreciated.

    • elizabeth says:

      Good Morning;

      I am walking the same pain , with the same reactions from my boyfriend or ex-boyfriend . depression is very complicated , the love of my life is lost right now and the idea of cannot help him to have his pain left away from him is killing me slowly .
      I love this man very much, I also send him texts and emails but he don’t reply , he told me to leave him alone but the more I read everybody say do not leave them alone . stay from the distant but stay close of them and show them how much they mean for us.
      its very very hard . also I have learn they go from anger to rage very easy , but anger is good if they can express it out. I told to my love if he need to put all his anger on me I will put my body there if that will help him . I want to hug him so much , I wish he knew this isn’t for him to comeback to a relationship with me , is to show him how much I love him and that we will be ok , and that he isn’t alone . I don’t think anybody else know he is depress , he put a face on him . but I know him more than he think I do. he is my soulmate and I still under all that anger ,I still see him in the center of all that nightmare claiming out , step by step , he will find a way . don’t left yet. she needs you

  51. Tryingeveryday says:

    I remarried after 21 years of being a single woman. During that time I met a divorced man who lived a few hours away. We stayed friends for many years as we did not want to have a long distance relationship, uproot young children, jobs, etc. I retired from one job and found a new job in his city. Living in this town has been terrible. No friends, intense job stress, etc. Started antidepressants, therapy. I lost my job which put me into a tailspin. We had an argument. I threw our wedding picture on the floor. He left and went to the police. He told me he was afraid. He did not return for a few days. I cannot feel for him anymore. I have tried. Medication, therapy,prayer, vacations. I relate to being dead inside and I struggle everyday with this life sentence. After years in my old ” home” I need to go back but it is gone. My heart is not in this home. I feel betrayed.

  52. heartbroken says:

    Hi, I need someones advice or at least some clarity. For a little over 2 years I have been seeing this guy with whom I fell in love with. It’s not easy for me to say because I simply don’t just fall for anyone. He told me from the beginning that he has suffered from depression and well he hasn’t been on meds this whole time (he used to in past unsure why he stopped). I think one time he briefly said he didn’t go to doctor again because of fear that they may find something more. We have been on and off and we have tried to move on from eachother but those attempts were always unsuccessful because we’d always come back and he’d even tell me how I always come to his mind, how he can’t leave me alone, and how we’re meant for eachother plus more things. He did something that really upset him and I was going to leave him alone but then he told me that he made a doctor’s appointment and that for me to wait for him to go to his doctors because when he has depression he says and does things that he doesn’t mean. I was ecstatic that he was going, especially since I kind of pushed it throughout whole time we talked. However he ended up having bad day a week after the previous discussion and I wanted to see him and he told me he didn’t feel like doing anything, I told him i loved him and he said that there’s nothing to love about him (which was a big hint for depression), then he told me to leave him alone, again I refused (stupidly), and then he told me that he doesn’t feel anything for me and for me to leave him alone and move on. That he is done, and that I act so crazy. this hurt me soo much, he never told me that he doesn’t have feelings for me in past when he would have episodes and then tells me that other stuff. I am trying my best to focus on me, not many people would be able to notice how difficult it’s been for me. I wouldn’t take him back unless he’s already in therapy and/meds because i don’t want to go through the same hurt. However idk if he really doesn’t feel anything for me or if it was his depression speaking. That’s what i’m struggling with in trying to figure out. I don’t want to force myself onto him, but I do love him enough that if he doesn’t love me back i’m willing to let him go to figure himself out and to hopefully find someone that WILL love me back and can be us against the world. I wish it was with him though…

  53. Alex says:

    This is precisely the current experience I’m having with my long-term partner. I believe depression, combined with my obsessive compulsive tendencies, really dug a hole in my heart, and took away what I was feeling. I have experienced similar things with past relationships, and the longer they lasted, the bigger the emotional impact depression would have. I had to leave a 2 year partner who I loved virtually everything about because I didn’t feel anything for her. I don’t want to fall into a pattern, here, because this girl is even more amazing. I have been taking Wellbutrin and gradually, I’m noticing an overall improvement in the way I feel about her. I have been thinking about seeking therapy but, obviously, this is such a complicated issue that I don’t want a therapist who tries to convince me I need to leave her.

    • M says:

      Hey, Alex! i was wondering how did this go? 🙂 cause you mentioned about that you “don’t want a therapist who tries to convince you of leaving her”, cause i feel the same, i fear the therapist will tell me that is the sanest thing to do, but i felt at such dispair, i looked for a therapist and just started last week, but i wanted to know how did this turn out for you? thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  54. Becky says:

    This is so, so accurate with what has happened in my life. If anyone has advice for me it would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

    Nearly three months ago, my boyfriend broke up with me due to his depression.
    We dated for eight months before the break up, and I was (and still am) very deeply in love with him.
    Our relationship was wonderful in the beginning. We both love theater and we met when we tried out for a community theater show last summer. We were cast as love interests to each other, and we had to stage kiss for the show. We got to know each other and within an hour of talking with each other we had developed feelings for one another – we clicked instantly and quickly developed deep connection.

    We began dating soon after the show ended. We spent lots of time together and just couldn’t get enough of each other. He was incredibly sweet, gentle, and loving with me. After a few months he told me that he loved me, and I knew that I loved him as well. We were very caring with one another and were always there for each other. Both of us made sacrifices in order to be able to put more time into the relationship. He was constantly telling me how much he wanted it to work out between us in the long run, and that he wanted us to stay together no matter what. Things were going great – we never fought, we made compromises and worked carefully around any potential problems, and we were both extremely committed and devoted to the relationship and to each other. We had become each other’s best friend; neither of us were closer to anyone than we were to each other.

    Then, about five months into the relationship, I began to notice subtle changes in his behavior. It wasn’t anything big or obvious, but I began to notice a gradual change. The change was so gradual that I wasn’t even sure that I was seeing change at all. January was when these changes began – he was slowly becoming sick with depression.

    January went by and things hadn’t really changed in the relationship, other than the fact that I noticed that he was more stressed than usual and seemed a bit detached at times. When I asked him if he was alright, he said, “I know I seem really messed up right now, but I wanna get better… I’m gonna try.” I had no idea he was developing depression.

    February came and went, and he still seemed slightly off to me, but it wasn’t anything extremely noticeable. Whenever I said anything, he denied his bad feelings, and our relationship continued on with him still acting in a caring, loving way towards me.

    Then March came, and he became extremely busy with a theater production in which he was cast as the lead. We weren’t able to see each other as often as we used to (we actually live in different towns, about thirty minutes apart) and he began to noticeably pull away from me. I hadn’t a clue as to why he began acting so withdrawn. In public, he physically pulled away from me when I tried to take his hand, and he paid very little attention to me. I was so terrified that I had done something wrong, and I would start crying at the thought of him. Finally, he had a break in his busy schedule and I was able to ask him what was wrong. He said that he didn’t feel right, and that he didn’t know if life was worth living anymore. That freaked me out, as it should any loving girlfriend, and I dropped all my plans the next day and went to see him as soon as physically possible. When he saw me, he hugged me so tightly and just held on to me like I was the life ring and he was drowning. He didn’t let go for several long minutes. We sat down together, bodies intertwined, still holding each other, and he tried to tell me that he was depressed, but he had a hard time talking about it. When I asked if his parents knew (we are in high school) he suddenly pulled away and contradicted himself by saying that it wasn’t a big deal, he thought it was just stress from the theater production he was in, and that he didn’t want his parents getting upset over nothing. I backed off after that, though I should have gone straight to his parents.

    I continued to support him during his busy stressful time, and a week later we were able to spend the day together again. That night was the final performance of his show, and we were both thankful that he would be done with it so that he wouldn’t be so stressed or tied up. Things seemed fine between us, and he even said he was looking forward to seeing me over Easter break (four days away at the time.) Then, on the day we had planned to see each other only four days later, he came to see me and said that he was sick, he had contemplated suicide, and that we had to break up. He said that I couldn’t help him get through this, he needed to do it on his own, I couldn’t be a crutch, etc. He said that he no longer loved me and had no feelings whatsoever- signs of anhedonia, which is what causes depressed people to lose feeling and emotion. He said that he sought a new self and wanted to be a new person. He also told me that he was getting help and that his family knew about the situation, which I found out was not true only a day later when I contacted his family just to make sure that they knew the extent of his severe depression. It turned out that they had no idea that he was sick. I was the one who told his family and enabled him to get help. Yet he still said many hurtful things to me about how he no longer cared about me, that I was only memories to him, and that he would never love me again and didn’t want me to be in his life anymore.

    I as completely devastated and went insane with grief. I cried all the time and couldn’t keep it together at school or in public. I missed him so, so much and I didn’t care that he was sick – I still loved him with every fiber of my being. I couldn’t stand being parted from him, and it drove me crazy that I was unable to be there for him when he needed someone the most. It was mental torture. I became physically ill from my grief. I lost my appetite, refused to eat, and still became nauseas although I hadn’t eaten. I would gag but was unable to throw up because of my lack of food intake. I stayed home from school and slept all day, and when I wasn’t sleeping, I was sobbing violently. I didn’t know what to do.

    He was my everything, and it didn’t matter that he was ill. I wanted to stand by him through it all, but I couldn’t because he pushed me away. He has gotten treatment now and is on the road to recovery, but I fear that our relationship has been destroyed forever. He knows that I still love him, and he said that he misses the way things used to be between us, but I don’t think he will try to get back together because he said, “if I were to make a foolish move and try to pursue you again (which most likely wouldn’t be a good idea I’m assuming seeing how much my life drop affected you) it could never be the same.” I know that things can never be the same, but I don’t want them to be the same. I want us to work through this together and stay by each other’s side no matter how rough the waters get. I want to take what I’ve learned about relationships and make a stronger, healthier one between us.

    I don’t think I can handle being just friends with him, either. It will hurt me too much because I still love and care about him very deeply. We will either end up back together, or I will be forced to cut him out of my life completely in order to protect my own health. This makes me very sad, because I am most likely going to have to cut myself off eventually from someone whom I love unconditionally. Even after all the hurtful things he’s said and done to me, I still feel the same way and I want to be there for him as long as he needs me.

    My friends all think that I should do everything I can to get over him. He did indeed treat me very badly in the aftermath of the breakup, because his actions were influenced by his depression. My friends know about all the bad things he has said and done to me, and they encourage me to cut him out of my life and start fresh without him, but I still care about him and want to have a chance at recovering our relationship. What should I do? I’m trying to get over him but I’m struggling to let go, and I can’t decide if I should move on or if I should keep holding on. Also, he is going to college next year four hours away from where I live. When it came to talking about college, he always assured me that no matter what we would make things work, he knew we would, because he wanted us to be together always.

    Help! What do I do? Move on or try to salvage something? Any advice is HUGELY appreciated!!!

    • Alex says:

      I would probably do both, not in that order. Attempt to see if he is still willing to come back to you. Try to be economical with your words as you express your understanding of how depression may have affected his emotions towards you. Tell him that it’s okay to come back. You’re not upset with him, and that even if things don’t go back to the way they were, they can be even better. That is the attitude I have with my partner after realizing this for the first time, and I’m the one who was considering leaving. The biggest issue is that he left and then got recovery, so he may attribute his mental wellness to being apart from you, and vice versa. You’ll have to convince him that that is not at all the case. It was not a coincidence he started to feel better after getting on medication.

      If he remains unconvinced despite your persistence, then you will have to move on… and it’s no one’s fault, these circumstances of life just happen sometimes.

  55. broken terry says:

    Reading through all these shows me im not alone . Me and my wife are childhood sweethearts we’ve grown up together, been in a relationship since we was both 15yrs old . 19 yrs we’ve been together and for 10 of them we’ve been happily married . We’ve never really argued in all that time we’ve literally never spent anytime apart she Is my soul partner my life . We have 2 very healthy children together one 15 the other 12 . She was diagnosed with depression and given meds about 3yrs ago but about 2/3 months ago she decided to come off them and went completely cold turkey without ever consulting our doctor . All seemed fine up until last Sunday, I knew things weren’t quite right but nothing had me prepared for the bombshell she was about to drop on me as she seemed to be coping fine . Anyways last sunday morning I asked her if she’s ok to which she replied with a no , she told me she no longer loves me and hasn’t for a while . It’s been a week since and my eldest came to me on the tuesday to ask what was wrong with there mother. I couldnt lie to them so I told them everything , from what she said to me and to her going cold turkey off her meds . My eldest then managed to get through to his mother and persuaded her to go doctors to which she did . They’ve put her on new meds (sertraline) which she started taking friday . Before my son had spoken to her , she would not listen to a word I said . I had begged and pleaded with her to go back to the doctors but she refused saying she was fine and it was just her and the way she was feeling she said the meds won’t change the way she feels towards me . I asked her if she wants me to move out ?and she said no this is your house , I asked if she wants me to sleep in another room ? Again she said no and that I should stay in our bed ….. she’s treating me like she hates me shows me no signs of care or affection . But doesn’t want me gone . Im trying my hardest but all of her contradictions are driving me insane I dont know if im coming or going if theres hope for us or if we’re all done . Im willing to wait as long as it may take because she is my world . She cant allow me to show her any sort of kindness as you can see it hurts her everytime I tell her I love her . Someone please tell me there’s hope …

    • Ebony says:

      The fact that she’s getting help could very well be a sign of hope. Try to stay positive. Maybe even see a therapist yourself occasionally just in case. Your oldest is now involved so hopefully that will make things easier. I sincerely wish you the best and hope things will get better for all of you

  56. Fiona says:

    My ex suffered from depression and psychosis, dumping me after a six month relationship. We talked about marriage, children and having a future together. He’d asked me to marry him and we’d made plans to move in together after I graduated from university. Our relationship was wonderful in the beginning, we were so happy together. A few months in, everything changed when he was diagnosed with depression and psychosis. He would withdraw from me for weeks at a time, rejecting my calls and ignoring my texts. I understood this was because of his illness. He never made any sense, one day he would break up with me and the next he would be talking about marriage again. Whenever I tried texting/calling him he would ignore my attempts to contact him, then as soon as I gave him space he would blame me for not making any effort. I could never win. None of it made any sense, I’m so confused. He would manipulate me and he regularly dumped me over the phone knowing it would upset me. He would break up with me often, but we’d always get back together. The relationship broke down bit by bit. I put up with everything he threw at me and made allowances because I knew he was unwell. I wanted to be a supportive girlfriend.
    Towards the end of the relationship, he went silent on me for about a month and I thought I’d give it once last shot by driving over to his house to sort it out and talk. His mum answered the door and spoke to me for a while because my ex refused to see and speak to me. I broke down. Finally he agreed to see me but hated seeing me there and said we were over. I asked what I had done wrong for him to break up with me, all the time he never made eye contact and couldn’t be bothered to answer my question. He spent the whole time shrugging and ignoring everything I was saying. He said he didn’t love me anymore and told me the relationship never meant anything to him. “What’s love anyway?” He said he had more important things to think about in his life, which felt like a stab to the chest after all his encouragement and talk of a future together. I sat there in shock while he stared blankly straight ahead. When I asked whether he wanted to keep in touch, he said no. He was acting like a completely different person to the man I met a few months before. I can’t understand why he hated me so much, I still don’t understand what I did wrong.

    His mum kept me updated on his therapy throughout the relationship. I know he was taking antidepressants and had counselling as well as music therapy.

    The anger I feel hurts so much and brings tears to my eyes every day. While all this was going on, my Grandad died very suddenly, my Grandma suffered several strokes, my mum was in remission from breast cancer and I was also weeks away from sitting my final exams at university. He knew about all of this and it angers me that he failed to recognise dumping me at this time would just add to the stress! He was completely thoughtless, selfish and inconsiderate. I had been there to support him through his illness but he wasn’t willing to support me through my problems. He decided to break up with me at such a crucial time when I was sitting exams, not once did he think that I had enough going on in my life.
    I’m not perfect, at times I lost my patience but I honestly believe I tried everything to make it work. I did my best to care, love and support him which is why I feel so upset that he left so suddenly. I offered to do anything I could to help, not just for him but for his family too. I never heard from him again after that final day at his house, I feel like he couldn’t care whether I lived or died. As soon as he thought I wasn’t of any benefit to him anymore, he got rid of me. I’m struggling to move on with my life and cry myself to sleep every night wondering if I could have done anything differently. I’m hurt, angry and upset. I haven’t had any closure. I don’t know what to do and how to deal with the hurt. I’m worried I will be hurting forever.

    He never thanked me for any of my support throughout his depression and he never apologised for leading me on and encouraging me. I feel abandoned. It’s left me wondering whether the entire relationship was a lie, or whether it was his depression that affected his feelings.

    Help please! We had the greatest relationship and he just left. He was always so sure of his feelings for me, telling me he loved me every day during the relationship. I don’t understand where those feelings have gone. Several months have passed without a word from him. I’m completely heartbroken. I thought he would have made some form of contact, but I’ve not heard from him at all.

    Is it possible for depression to change someone’s emotions such as love?

  57. Angela says:

    My boyfriend of about one year recently broke up with me. I had suspected about 6 months into the relationship that there was something off with him and that he wasn’t the happy person he showed to the world. We had a great relationship until that 6 month mark. We had just said “I love you to each other” (I said it first, but he said that he had been planning on saying it to me the next day anyway; we were on a romantic vacation).

    Things were blissful, until a few weeks after our vacation, when he got extremely drunk one night and was verbally abusive to me. It came out of nowhere, and I didn’t even know how to respond. He said really hurtful, insulting things. Accused me of cheating and deleting text messages/phone records; he admitted to checking my phone periodically for evidence of something (he has a history of cheating exs and a father that jumps from relationship to relationship by cheating). I, of course, was blindsided because everything was going so great for us; we had never fought before. I assured him that I would never ever cheat on him.

    He felt really guilty for saying and doing what he did. He asked me why I would want to put up it/him; he said he was “just fucked up”. And he didn’t understand why I would want to be with someone who is going to be into a career with long hours (He is in an MBA program and will be working for an investment bank after he graduates).

    I stayed by his side and told him that wasn’t going to leave him ever. He tried to madk it up to me by getting a room at a fancy hotel the next weekend, buying me dinner, gifts, and massage. He was about to start a stressful internship and wanted to treat me. That terrible night went out of my mind, and I thought maybe, just maybe, it was a fluke, a one-off.

    A few weeks later, the drunk monster came out again in him. He said mean things out of nowhere, and it escalated into a big fight. During that fight, he revealed to me that he hadn’t felt happy in 7 years; something that I just couldn’t fathom. I thought maybe he was being melodramatic. He broke up with me a couple of weeks after that. Couldn’t give me a real reason. Just said he wasn’t happy and he wasn’t sure about our relationship. He managed throw some insults at me, telling me I asked for the reasons and that he didn’t want to tell me those things. He questioned again why I would want to be with him, and he said he wasn’t ready to say “I love you” when we said it. He left me in pieces, but tearfully begged me not to cut him out of my life. I told him that we couldn’t stay in contact. I couldn’t bear it.

    We ended up getting back together a month later. He never stopped contacting me during the whole time even when I didn’t respond. He told me he missed me and that he was more unhappy without me, and I accepted him back. He still said that he wasn’t ready to say I love you; he only wants to say it when he knows he wants to marry me. Knowing this I still went ahead with our relationship. We had a great couple of months and there was seemingly nothing wrong with our relationship. Our biggest issue has always been lack of time to spend together. He is a person that has to be constantly busy.

    When he broke up with me a few days ago, I asked why he was doing this again. He said he was unhappy. He said he felt like he should know by now if he wants to marry me, but he just isn’t there and doesn’t know if he will ever get there. He doesn’t feel like us spending more time together would fix anything. I said with all the stress in your life, it’s easy to just blame our relationship (and believe me, his family and financial situation puts a huge amount of stress on him). He said he wasn’t blaming our relationship, but he said it just wasn’t making him happy enough to overcome all the bad things in his life. He expects his relationship to be his sole source of happiness and our relationship just isn’t making him happy enough right now. He couldn’t tell me WHAT in our relationship was making him unhappy, just that he was. He told me that our relationship is the only thing in his life he can control, the only thing he can change.

    He also told me there are days he just doesn’t want to talk to anyone or get out of bed. I told him that I suspected he might have issues with depression, and he just laughed at me. I told him its not normal to feel unhappy for years and to expect a romantic relationship to be your only source of happiness in life, but it didn’t get through. And once again, he told me he was doing me a favor by leaving and didn’t know why I want to be with him, a self-described moody person.

    If we had major fights related to our relationship or major personality differences, I could understand him leaving me, but we’ve always been great together. In his words, I am his “best friend friend, his only friend”.

    No one else in his life has ever seen the darker sides of him. When I would talk to my girlfriends about his issues and then they would see us out socially, they couldn’t connect him with the person I talked about privately. On the face, he is an extremely charming, happy guy. I almost felt crazy at one point because I didn’t know how/why anyone else didn’t know about this side of him. I doubt anyone else has every seen him cry. I thought maybe I somehow brought it out in him; I’ve tried my best to be gentle and understanding with him though.

    I also thought that since he didn’t have a low libido (quite the opposite, actually) and that he wasn’t doing badly in school or work, that it couldn’t be depression. Then I realized that sex and work and school was a way for him to escape and not have to be alone with his thoughts. I guess maybe if you are always busy, you don’t time to dwell on the stress and negative things?

    I worry that maybe I am blaming our break up on the depression…maybe he really doesn’t think I am the one, but he told me before that he has never felt about anyone, the way he feels about me. Given this and our strong emotional bond (after being through so much together), I do believe it is depression, at least I am almost sure, especially after reading “Why Depressed Men Leave”; there are just so many parallels. I sent him the blog and asked him to read it. He said he did, although, he probably won’t take it to heart. I am not sure if he will ever get help.

    I hate losing the love of my life. I know inside him is a wonderful person that sometime disappears when his dark side take over. I am not sure I will ever be able to get over him. He has changed me in so many ways, positive and negative. I know he is looking for that next high. He wants a relationship, but when things aren’t new and all sunshine and rainbows, he needs to escape to see if he can find it with someone else. I fear for him, but I also fear for myself as well because I don’t know how to let go of him. I will kill me to see him move on. I dread that day.

    If anyone thinks my assessment of him and his depression is off-base, please let me know. Maybe I’m wrong about him because I am grieving. It just hard to get any confirmation on what I assume when he doesn’t show his dark side to anyone but me.

    • Charlotte says:


      I hope you see this and perhaps we can be a support for each other. I will give you a little bit of background information on what I am going through. I have been dating the love of my life on and off for five years. He hits a low and we break up and I FINALLY get over it and move on try to meet other people just to take my mind off of him even for a little while. Then, he finds out, the wonderful, amazing man that I fell in love with suddenly comes back and we do AMAZING AGAIN.. Now, we got back together over a year ago and things were perfect, almost to good to be true. His dad was also very sick, he proposed to me on November 16 and his dad passes away November 18. He was not emotionally involved with his dad, and his dad sometimes said ALOT of things that I don’t think he meant. I feel that know that his father is gone, he regrets ALOT. My fiance has been diagnosed with depression for YEARS, he does take medication but he does not seek therapy. After his fathers death we started planning our wedding and were to be married on a cruise ship June 8, 2015. He was so excited calling me his wife, saying he could not WAIT, he wishes he were sooner, literally sweeping me completely off of my feet. Nothing could have torn us apart as our relationship was that strong, we were very in love with each other. Then, about a week ago, he totally went back into his dark, black hole. He totally withdrew from me and the kids and was acting like a complete stranger. The only people he wants to be around are his mom and his family which I have given to him, he also goes to the gym daily and he is still talking to his friends and making plans with them to meet up at the gym. I feel like I am the only person he is holding a grudge again when just a few weeks ago he said he could never live without me and would always love me. I am so confused and hurt so much to the point where I wake up in the middle of the night just praying for God to take away this sickness for him. At first, I was mad, I had my dress and the wedding paid for, my bridesmaid, his groomsmen, etc. I WAS LIVID, now I am to the point where that isn’t even important anymore. I want him to get better and from past experience, he has cheated on me so giving him space sometimes is a difficult task. But, I have bit the bullet and I want him to remember what it is like without me and the kids because before that also was not what he wanted although he always feels like perhaps we are the real problem. I have been staying with my mom, and as hard as it is I hav not been making contact with him. He normally has to figure out stuff on his own, he refuses to rely on other people so I give him what he wants. If I try to help he gets angry so I do what he needs to make him better. I would absolutely love having support in this tough time and would be open to anyone’s opinion and I think it is great to have someone that undesstands the exact situation. Please let me know if I can help you anyway possible.

  58. Danielle says:

    My boyfriend and I started our relationship a few months ago. We have known each other since Jr. High. We reconnected on social media. We already know we want to marry. We have several similarities we both are intensely passionate. Last night out of know where I felt nothing. I know something isn’t right. I know I love him. I’m 40 years old. I have struggled in all relationships with my partners. I have suffered depression. I didn’t feel depressed I just felt cold. Only toward him. I know he is the same. Doing research I ran across this. I feel this is the answer. I definitely like intense extreme emotion. This feels comfortable and safe and loving everything I always wanted. Seeing him crushed sparked a sadness that mad me want to connect. I’m hanging on tight until I can solve this. Any thoughts?

    • Haley says:

      I could cry. I love you for this. I hope your depression gets better soon and I am so glad you realize that your partner is healthy for you in your healing process. My ex is suffering from depression and recently broke up with me, and I wish more than anything that he stayed with me.

    • Julez63 says:

      Hi danielle, I just read your post with interest as my friend is going through the same thing and like yourself she woke one day and felt nothing but only towards the love of her life. She couldn’t get her head round what was going on so that led to major anxiety and ocd flaring up . I believe this all came about due to enormous stress in her previous job that she hated and her her wedding which is no a week away!! All this I believe started with the job and just escalated to the depression. It’s been 3 months now and she still can’t connect to him she says the feelings are there and she knows she loves him but can’t feel it still. Did you ever get back the love for your partner ?

  59. Daniel says:

    I feel like my wife fits the anhedonia description starting a couple months ago when she started being more distant now she mention a trial seperation because she feels like she has too many personal stuff to work on. How do I get her to seek help for depression/anhedonia?? I don’t want her to think I’m diagnosing her

  60. favour says:

    Please I need advice I have been dating this guy for one year now and am so much in love with him just 3months ago he start behaving stranger anything i does he got boyfriend was a nice person and he loves me so much but all of suddenly he turn to a monster

  61. darcie says:

    I am so grateful to have found this website and it is comforting to know I am not alone in the pain I go through as the partner of a chronically depressed man. Let me also say to all the people out there going through this kind of pain and suffering I am so sorry. This life is horrible. I see many comments that are all to familiar but I must be honest, I am terrified of the future. I am hopeless about his ability to get help and learn a healthy, more positive way of having relationships.
    He is very cruel, he is always angry, anxious, irritable, frustrated and he lashes out at me and my 13 year old son with the most horrible words, calling us names, degrading us, belittling us and most of all blaming us for every single issue he has. This is getting worse by the day and I love him dearly but life is too short to keep going through this day to day drama. I struggle so much to stay, I feel 4 years has been long enough to deal with this and I do not want my son to have this be his role model. But I guess the very worst part is that he does not care about anything he does, he tells me when he is feeling very low that he feels bad for how he treats us but then follows that with an excuse about his depression and the fact that we cause his his anger, anxiousness etc. The constant selfishness and always being about his needs,and his comfort, I walk on egg shells just waiting for the next outburst of what a horrible person I am. I feel empty in this relationship. It is so unfilling on every level and I can only take so much, I am to the point that I am suffering from anxiety and depression. I once was an independent, strong, fun, spontaneous, carefree, easy going women. Now I am just this beat down, exhausted, angry, and unhappy person that is alone because of this relationship.

    I could go on and on and on with all the sad details but I am embarrassed that I have let it get to this point. It is comforting and terrifying that my situation seems very similar to so many on here. I guess I just want to know if there is hope. I cling to hope everyday and feel such a sense of let down when he yells, humiliates and blames me. Then I am left to pull myself together and try to be brave, I try to give myself hope but its so false. I want real hope, real purpose to stay in this relationship and try to help him, not just stupidity or trying to cling to something not worth holding onto. Is there anyone who is on the other side and was it worth it to stay and help the person? Sad thing is, he wouldn’t stand by my side if the roles were reversed.

  62. Kim says:

    Firstly, thank you for writing so openly on this website. Secondly, apologies if i am attempting to make depression fit my situation – I am desperately trying to find answers. However i have discussed my situation with multiple people and many have suggested that they think my partner is depressed or having some sort of episode. Therefore i have been doing some research, and many things on this site have resonated as true.

    My partner of seven years proposed to me in April. We own a flat together, and have been incredibly happy. However, completely out of the blue six weeks ago (12 weeks after proposing) he walked out on me. He said that he wasnt in love any more, but to be honest his actions up until that moment do not tally with this comment. I am certain he loved me. I have analysed every moment of those last couple of months and there was nothing wrong. We had been busy, but we had a holiday in the diary which we were both looking forward to. He was not distant. He was not absent in any way. He was as physically and emotionally loving as ever. He had been talking about our future, to me and to my family. But he was incredibly unhappy at work, without any real reason – it suddenly just happened. He was also training as a counsellor and that seemed to be making him over think things in a way he hadn’t previously. I certainly seemed to be getting more and more unhappy as the course progressed, but refused to acknowledge the change in his personality. He was very stressed – but none of that seemed to be with me.

    I believe that he wanted to marry me, and I’m going to give him the credit of not having met someone else. And I’m going to believe that no one can switch off feelings in 12 weeks. Not to the extent that he has anyway. The sudden, almost overnight, change of personality – from loving to cold. The loss of interest in his job. The not going out so much with friends as much. The preference to staying in to taking me out. I just thought he hated his job, and that he wanted to stay in with me. And then he left me and quit his job, and I haven’t heard from him for 6 weeks. He has run from me, from his cat, from his home, from our life. He hasn’t communicated, he hasn’t cared. He has spent seven years building a life that I know until the day he left made him happy, and he has deserted every bit of it. Something has switched in his head.

    Do you think that sounds like a man who is depressed, or simply someone who has left me?

    • Matheus says:

      Hey Kim, I am very sorry for your whole situation.
      I find myself, as so many others in different ways here, in the same position as you.
      My gf simply stopped loving me OVER NIGHT, and well, it has been quite a path (even if it was only 2 months ago). I see her everyday on college etc.
      Well, I’ve seen closely things happening to her, as it happened to depressed people described here and other foruns. And it hurts me. I did not give up on her just yet, but it is very hard =/
      Well, anyways, cutting to the chase, I think after reading (as I think you did), and researching, and thinking, and all the things that I bet you did equally as me, I think you should trust your gut on this. If you really KNOW as I KNOW that there was something wrong with this STOP LOVING OVERNIGHT, there probably was. I will not say that it is depression, maybe something else, but certainly, something that doesn’t involve your fault (I think you feel like it). Well, there are people that know better than me here, probably, and there are foruns and posts that you can read to understand and get deeper in this subject. I suggest you to do. You will be able to see great tips on how to act, and learn to understand a little bit of what might be going on with him.
      I suggest you to look at this forum:
      Hang in there. The feeling is horrible, I simply cannot describe it. I wish I could take it off my chest and from all of you that goes through it.
      Good luck, keep in touch here. Its good to be able to talk with some people that are going through the same, it helps.
      Best Regards,

      (hope my comment helps, sorry if it’s confusing)

    • diane says:

      ONE YEAR LATER……It’s been one year since I asked my Dex to exit our home after a 4 year relationship so that he could decide if he wanted to be in our relationship once and for all. I considered it a necessary amputation. The Jekyll and Hyde behavior had me constantly wondering if he loved me and after a while I starting doubting myself and my own self-worth. I started interpreting that “I wasn’t enough”. Asking him to leave was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, He had left 3 times in 4 years and always returned stating that he was worse off without me. He stated when he was away all he did was drink and not sleep.

      Like all of you sharing these stories, we had a lovely, fun, mature, easy relationship. He was a wonderful, kind, caring gentle man. We were to be married last August. He bought a ring ,ready to propose, and then his self doubt /anxiety kicked up .At this time I suggested couples counseling. Depression and drinking was diagnosed as a the core issue( he refused this diagnosis and help.)
      I hung on as long as I could in the relationship waiting for him to seek some help and he would not, partially because of a high profile job that would not allow him to take the meds and the stigma that he could not deal with.
      He gave me many confusing messages
      him wanting me to wait…. to go away you deserve someone more stable
      That he wanted help…to the next week saying nothing was wrong with him.
      stalking my workplace(still does to this day) because he wanted to see me….to starting a new relationship a week later.
      I have never been so confused in all my life!! It has been like watching a ping pong match. Trust me, trying to track the behavior and to figure out “why” will drive you crazy because they themselves don’t understand their own behavior.
      I AM STILL coming back to this site to read these stores that are all too familiar to me and an invaluable resource. They are painfully similar and remind me that I am not alone. These stories bring me comfort and understanding of what it’s been like to journey through a relationship with a partner dealing with depression. Not many really understand the fallout. When I am in self doubt I wander back to these stories to remind myself that I am not crazy, that it wasn’t about me. It helps. Thank you John for being a lighthouse!!

      Believe me you could not have told me these things in the beginning as all I wanted to do was fix my dex. Today I can tell you IT IS VITALLY important to take care of you or you will get stuck and depressed yourself. Listen to those that have journeyed before you for they bring wisdom. Trust me when I tell you we ALL hung onto hope and just knew our story would turn out different than the ones we were reading. I wish this were true for me. I love(d) my dex, and I pray for his well-being and truthfully somewhere in my heart I suspect he will return but I am moving on. I put it all in Gods hands. It became very heavy for me and I needed to take the backpack off.

      These are the some of the tools and resources that have helped me on my journey.
      See a therapist.
      a life coach ,
      Attending a 12 step program(free), didn’t cause it, can’t control it, can’t cure it
      Regular meditation(free)
      Regular exercise(free).
      They have all been invaluable life boats in my days.

      SO ONE YEAR LATER….. I am taking care of me, I think about my dex daily. I miss him but I must continue to live. I am just starting to contemplate dating again and some days I think I need more time. Either way I am finding me again after so much intense focus on dex. I will never again betray my soul , doesn’t matter what the diagnosis.
      Bless those that are depressed and those that love them.
      Take care

      • Kim says:

        Hi both

        Thank you so much for your kind comments – they helped alot.

        He has since been to collect his belongings – my Mum was there to let him in , and she is incredibly worried about him. She said he wasnt the man that she knew and felt that he was clearly not dealing with his feelings or thoughts. Her personal opinion is that our relationship was simply calatoral damage in what ever explosion has happened in his mind. She asked him to go to a Doctor. I believe he is drinking quite heavily, and contact with hs friends and family suggest that he isnt communicating with anyone.

        I love him deeply, and want to be the one to help. However, he doesnt want that from me and I cant force it. I am worried that noone else is helping though. I’d like to march him to a Doctor, take him to a Councillor, give him the space to deal with his own mind. But as i say, I cant force that.

        It is such an incredibly heartbreaking situation but this site helps so much.

  63. Jake says:

    I constantly feel like running out on my family this just came on very suddenly. I don’t know what’s going on, I come up with things and think she is ugly etc which I know it’s complete bull but can’t stop thinking it. I feel very hollow towards her & kids.
    Does this feeling ever go??

  64. amanda says:

    Hello… I am a huge suffer from depression and anxiety i am diagnosed with it since the beginning of my teen years… I have an amazing boyfriend he is lthe best thing that has ever happened to me we are both [email protected] uea that’s young but still. I know I am maxly in love with him deep down but it’s getting hard to tell if I love him truly anymore I have been depressed and been suffering from anxiety.. since December of 2013…. it started bc we were stressed out with life and his drug addict drunk mother caused us so much stress…. I can tell for the past 8 months that I was still in love with him that everything I was going through was depression maki ng me feel like I don’t love him anymore. This monyh has been very bad for me bc I have been crying non stop about if I love him or if he is right for me… I only fell the in love feeling randomly… I feel scared all the time bc I don’t know how I am

    • amanda says:

      Gonna feel when I see him… sometimes I really believe I am not in love with him and sometimes I don’t I have gained lots of wait I dont wanna be around anyone unless it’s my bf but my fear is changing tjat I find it gross that my brain says I wanna be with someone else when I don’t to be with anyone else but him. Our 4 year anniversary is coming in 12 days.. and I feel like this………I wanna save my relationship badly…..

      • amanda says:

        Everything I read on this website hits me good bc that sounds like me I just don’t get angry… I just cry non stop…

        • amanda says:

          Depression can it really make a person change how they feel… I want to be in love with him again but I feel like I am not worthy of his love… I had this happen before and I got over it a year after but I got huge trauma fearing it would happen again and I did… it’s happening again… but ot is worse than the first time…. I obsessed over so much I believed in all the lies…. noew it feels like I know I am not in love but sometimes I get random feelings of love for him like I use to have… I get scared that they are not real so the numbness happens again… everyone says the more u dwell the more u believe it to be too… my mom knows how madly in love I am with this man.. so it’s hard to feel this way…

  65. TonyN says:

    First of all may I thank you all for your stories and indeed the opportunity to tell mine. Any advice and support you can offer would be most welcome.

    Four years ago I divorced from a woman that had a controlling behaviour for 22 years. Not long after I met someone that helped me through a difficult time but frankly, she was not the one. I think they call it the rebound… In context of the story, this shows you how incredibly upset I am at my situation.

    I met K through a dating website. We instantly hit it off. She was very similar to me in all things. Her behaviour, her approach to family and right down to the way we run our houses – kids, cleanliness etc. She was beautiful, had an amazing personality – not over the top just a brilliant temperament.

    We text daily, shared our thoughts, helped each other out. Within a month we had a committed relationship which had developed romantically. Things were incredibly amazing and life just could not be better. I had many years of a horrible time and this time I had received my reward, an amazing woman. I was completely in love and whats more, she loved me back the same way.

    Three months in an we were seeing each other almost nightly doing anything from going out to staying in and watching the soaps. Life was just amazing.

    In January, only a few months in I decided to pop the question. Ok we hadn’t been together long but we knew… this is it. I booked a room in castle took her away and surprised her. No pressure, she said yes instantly and an amazing weekend was had including the purchase of the ring and telling family and friends.

    Our coming weeks were full of excitement with wedding fayres and venues on the menu. She was so excited.

    We thought about houses and bringing families together. We started looking, found a house, sold ours and put money in to solicitors, mortgage etc. Totally committed. By this time we had been together 7 months. And things were just brilliant in every way.

    Then it happened.

    Lying in bed one night she said she wasn’t sure about the house and wasn’t sure if she could go through with it. OK. No problem. No rush but I asked whether there was a commitment issue related to it – backing out was a big step.

    After a horrible weekend of thought and discussion it became clear that she was not in the best frame of mind. She was having negative thoughts. I did not know that much about depression apart from my own issues in my first marriage. I knew she had an episode in the past but was off meds and clearly was happy with life. She began to question our relationship over a two week period starting with withdrawing from the house move. I did not apply pressure, everything moved at her pace with the original intention of a two year plan.

    The pressure of it all made her change. She had difficulties at work and her own children were providing a challenge as teenagers do.

    We went away for an Easter break with our youngest children. It was excellent. However K eventually said that she found it stressful and she could not cope. This was not what I experienced or she demonstrated.

    Over the last two weeks I have given space, only seeing her once when the transfer of belongings to place. She was completely not the person physically or mentally that she has been,

    I turned to research to find out how I could help, what I can do etc. She truly is the love I have been waiting for and regardless of the challenges I wanted to help and get her back to her former self. After a few days of no contact, silence was finally broken. She said that she did not want a relationship and that its likely she never will. She needed to be on her own and deal with everything in her life. She cannot cope and wants simple and that means discarding me. She has no feelings for me. I spoke at length about what would help but clearly she has to do this on her own.

    With total regret, I now have to leave her and hope that one day this fantastic, beautiful woman will be well and one day she may just give me a call.

    On my side, I am hurting really badly. Its not in my nature to walk away. But more importantly she must get well. I have left my details with her friends and her family and will always be there if she ever needs me regardless.

    What saddens me most if the loss of an amazing lady that entered my life that is obviously stricken with an illness that has damaged hers. I love her completely and unreservedly and its very hard to let go.

  66. Lisa B says:

    I fell in love with my bf but lost him when he came off anti depressants. I hold on to the hope that it’s withdrawal from the tablets that caused him to end a wonderful relationship and hope he comes back to me. However, 5 weeks have passed now and I’m losing hope. Anyone else had this happen. He said he was so happy now he had me in his life and that’s why he felt it was the right time to stop the tablets but then on day 6 of no meds he text to say I deserved somebody so much better than him and ended it. Wants to stay friends etc but avoids me. Do I just leave him be?? I’m gutted, he was wonderful but seems so cold and distant overnight

    • Carl says:

      Hey Lisa, Im sorry to hear your all to familiar story. Did he talk with his doctor about coming off his Anti Ds?. It sounds like hes slipped back into his D..and there you will be able to reach him. I lost my gf to a MDE over 10months ago i haven’t seen her since. In the darkness everything good is skewed and twisted depression lies to them. Its out of your control as it was out of mine..The only thing you can do is look after yourself. In this state they simply do not care about us and we have no power to effect that.

    • MM says:

      Yes. Waited a year. The whole year he said he didn’t want to lose me and was glad I loved him. Then he flipped when I said I had to have an answer or move on and I started getting bitter and being pushy. It ended with him taking away and denying everything he had said to me. He screamed in my face to let him go. He didn’t want me and I was the only one still thinking he could be the old him. This once quiet easy going man I dated for years said things to me when well he wouldn’t have said to his worst enemy. He then punched the floor until his hand broke.
      My advice is to leave him. Read these stories. Many of us had great relationships and I haven’t read one story where it ended happily.
      Save yourself. I wish I had.

    • Kiki says:

      Same thing happened to me Lisa, just over a year ago my boyfriend (now ex) decided to come off his medication because he didn’t feel like he really needed it, his doctor wasn’t his usual doctor and his family were worried about it too. I was naive and didn’t have a much of an understanding of depression at the time, I didn’t even think it would affect me. He came off cold turkey, his sex drive slowly diminished & he got distant, and he said it was due to where he was coming off his meds & nothing personal. In the space of a week he went from a loving happy boyfriend making future plans with me, to saying it was over, and to this day he still can’t really give me a reason. He just gives me different excuses but says its hard to explain. I could tell it was no coincidence and he says the breakup was nothing personal. It was hard to start with, as he was completely irrational, sad, angry, in despair about everything and the shock of him leaving blew me for six. But with time and effort, I have managed to eventually get through to him why he was so down, he doesn’t like to talk to me about any of it because it upsets him. So I’m trusting he’s getting better. I don’t think he likes me being involved in his problems. But I’ve stuck by him the whole time, only seeing him 3/4 times in the year. Sometimes he”ll want you and sometimes he won’t. My Ex says he finds me sexually attractive but doesn’t want the “relationship” it’s not you, it’s what you represent. I have said to him is not uncommon when he’s depressed to feel that way. I guess we”ll see, he’s coming out of it now slowly. It’s been a tough year, it’s nothing personal but sometimes it feels it, so confide in someone close as it’s good to express your own feelings and have support. My advice is read up as much as you can about the illness to help you both, always look after yourself, it’s very easy to get low about it, so keep doing all the things you would normally and socialise & vent when needed. It does get easier with time, I don’t see him much (although recently he’s been asking to see me so that’s got to be good!) but we keep in frequent contact by text. You have to be supportive from afar and let him have his space, but be there when he needs you. All the while looking after yourself. Honest communication is key. My ex told me just a week before we broke up how he thought I was such a great counterpart & how much he loves seeing me and wants to see me all the time. I’m sure it was coming off the meds that was the reason, he was under a lot of stress at the time too, your situation sounds very similar to me. I’d stick it out for a while and see, it could take a long time though. My ex went through a state of denial for quite a while after coming off of them. Supporting from afar is my best suggestion, use this time to work on yourself if you need to, reading books on depression or the internet is extremely comforting at times when you find yourself feeling lost and confused. You have to decide whether you think the relationship is worth waiting for or not. It comes down to how much you care about them really. But honestly my ex was exactly the same, he did avoid me for a bit but then begun to text me a month later. And has since been showing all sorts of behaviour, but there is improvement at last, I see glimmers of the man I dated in there. So I say give it some time and see what happens 🙂 And decide how much it means to you 🙂 Good luck!

      • Lisa B says:

        Thank you for your thoughts and experiences. I thought I would update you as last week a received a text asking if my ex could come over and chat (huge step as no contact for 6 weeks). Said same as what you put in your comment Kiki that he still finds me very attractive but can’t do a relationship. I can see a huge improvement in him but also that he still has a way to go and am hoping that he will be able to “do the relationship’ in time. I see it as a step in the right direction and am ok with just friends for now. Giving him plenty of space still and not texting him so we see what happens next. Keep strong fellow sufferers xx

        • Kiki says:

          That’s great Lisa, the mere fact he felt the need to come over says a lot. I’ve found not listening to his words, but his actions to be the truth. (Most of the time) For example, my ex will tell me a relationship wasn’t for him at the moment, and says that when he does feel ready he can’t guarantee it’s going to be me and I have to be prepared for that incase. Which is understandable, he has enough on his plate without stressing about his feelings/future with me and it’s good to be prepared. In a way it’s nice they let you go so to speak. But he”ll have moments where he”ll text me a lot & ask me how I am and what I’ve been doing. Or he”ll be really flirty with me or show hints of jealousy if I’m talking to another man on social media etc. And then sometimes I hear nothing for a while but he always does the same thing. Recently it’s got more and more, it’s been very slow though! Patience, patience, patience. He was really hell bent on staying friends, even though for a while I said no because I don’t want him as a friend, only a boyfriend. Although I have agreed now. So I’ve been like a distant friend really to protect myself and him, and that’s really what you have to be. Text sometimes to see how he is etc, sometimes I notice my ex would be in a grump & after a short while texting he perks up a bit. I had some progress too Lisa! The next day after I posted here he text me and asked me to come over to hang out at his house, we had a nice chat, watched tv, it was like old times. We did end up kissing, but we’ve not really discussed it yet and I don’t want to push him, I’m sure he’s not ready for a “relationship” yet but I think his feelings are returning to the surface again. But even then he was really exhausted, and nearly fell asleep when I was round. I think he’s slowly improving, he certainly seems more like his own personality, rather than a stranger. But he’s not quite there just yet. Like you Lisa, I am not expecting him to be right back to me straight away. Id send him the odd text message though to let him know you care, if I don’t hear from him in over a week or so I’ll send him a text just asking how he is or he”ll text me in that time, depends how he’s doing. Although now contact is more frequent, it wasn’t always. Not too many messages, just the odd one if you’ve not heard from him in a while. It’s really helped keep the lines of communication open, and he’s not wanted to cut them either. Also it’s very easy to assume he doesn’t care or this or that, I’ve found nearly every time I’ve assumed something I have been wrong and it set us backwards a step. So try not to analyse the situation too much and do something to take your mind off things when needed 🙂 Set aside 10minutes of your day just for you to lay down, close your eyes and focus on really relaxing, or with music if you like. I’ve found this to be a really beneficial thing as it stops my frustration building and coming out at him, and i deal with my own thoughts and feelings at the same time. You sound very sensible and strong Lisa, it sounds like we are very much in the same boat here. Hopefully with time he”ll return to you 🙂

    • Lisa B says:

      Thank you so much for your comments everyone. There has been a development, last week he text me and asked to come and see me then came round for an hour or two to chat. I can see a huge improvement in him but also that he still has some way to go. Said he still finds me very attractive but can’t do a relationship but wants me as a friend so so bad. Same as Kiki put in her message!I’m hoping this is one step closer to getting him back and will have to settle for that at the moment and hope as he gets better he can find the love he had for me again. I’m keeping my distance and not texting him, he knows where I am and how to contact me and then I know if he does it’s because he wants to and not because I’ve hounded him. It’s a small step for me but it must seem huge to him. Keep strong fellow sufferers xx

      • SusieQ says:

        I can’t believe it Kiki and Lisa. You have both described what I have been living for six months. I married the man of my dreams thirty years ago. Six months ago I find out that all of a sudden everything is bad and instantly my world was turned upside down, my heart was ripped out of my chest. I had just lost my best friend with not much explanation. I was now faced we a complete stranger. I have also managed to keep my cool by doing a lot of reading. Otherwise it would have been easy to just turn mean myself in order to protect what little bit of self esteem I may have had left. I have chosen to give space, to be a friend from a distance. It has been a very stressful balance between friendly and distant. I never know what he will be feeling next. But lately I have had a chance to glimpse the man I used to know in little spurts which seem to be occurring a little more frequently. Just reading your posts has given me renewed strength and patience. I will not give up yet. I believe our relationship is worth this, the biggest battle I have ever faced…. Alone.

        • Kiki says:

          SusieQ it’s comforting to know others are in the same situation isn’t it? Don’t give up. Just make sure you deal with the resentment that builds up in response to his behaviour, it’s very easy just to feel like responding in a similar way at times. I know I’ve had the odd moment, only human I guess. I’ve turned to exercise as a way of letting out my frustration. And making sure to relax and take time for me, and that has made such a difference to how we both communicate. It keeps me from getting frustrated at him and allows us to connect as much as you can do in this situation. Friends and family will probably not understand at all, I have 1 friend who understands and that’s because she’s been here herself. I don’t think it’s something anyone can really understand unless they’ve been through it or know someone who has. Stay strong SusieQ! 🙂

  67. NH says:

    Hi everyone. After reading all the posts on here I feel torn. Half of me is so relieved to know that I’m not alone in any of this.. and half of me feels hopeless and scared about the future.

    I’m 22 years old and my boyfriend (ex boyfriend?) is 31. I met him at my brothers wedding more than a year ago and we started dating this time last year. He lives in Dubai and I’m in London so he came to see me here once we admitted to be interested in each other. I’m from quite a conservative family where we don’t really ‘date’ but more so get to know someone and then after an appropriate amount of time, get engaged or married. It’s very normal for this to happen in mine and his culture and so we both knew there would be a certain degree of family involvement in our relationship. Everything was perfect last year- we had a wonderful time together in London and he quickly said he was falling in love with me. In August he came to meet my parents, and when we went on a date, he told me about struggling with Depression. I was surprised that he was dealing with mental health issues because he is a trained Child Psychotherapist and runs his own Play Therapy Clinic. Anyways, I said I understood and asked him what measures he’s made in getting better. He said that he was on psychotropic medication and saw his psychiatrist regularly (as well as trying to eat healthier, work out and maintain a social life).

    I started researching Depression online and reading blogs about partners of those dealing with Depression. Everything was fine. In September I went to meet his parents in Dubai and we all had a lovely time together. We had some trouble in our long distance relationship- what with the time difference and the fact that both of us are very physical people (as in we like to be around the person we are in love with- hugging, kissing and cuddling) and sometimes we would have communication breakdowns that took a couple days to recover. We saw each other n November 2013 when he came to London for my birthday. It was the best week of my life. We laughed, spent time with my family and his siblings and their kids. Anytime there was a misunderstanding of a sort we would both diffuse it within minutes by discussing it and apologising when required. We kissed, held hands and at night in bed we spoke about his depression. He told me about his struggle with bullying at a young age, and his use of drugs in University. I was so appreciative of him opening up to me and telling me how he felt like a burden and how fuzzy his mind was all the time. He slept in my arms and I felt so much love for him. He is just the kindest, most genuine man I know.

    After he left we suffered many more communication breakdowns in December 2013. He is really bad at keeping in touch over Whatsapp and text messaging, and in between he didn’t message for a couple days at a time. Given that we’re in a long distance relationship, I would try to not panic about his wellbeing and would try to keep myself from obsessing over whether he’s experiencing a major depressive episode. I understand that there is very little I can do all the way from London. Still, I tried to send him encouraging messages to let him know that I care and that I’m missing him.

    In January 2014, we wanted to meet in Dubai but we both knew that our parents wanted to get involved. As I mentioned, in South Asian culture, it’s frowned upon when two unmarried people are in contact for too long or have been ‘dating’. Thankfully, both our parents were educated in the UK and so have more of a liberal mindset. My visit to Dubai with my parents was fine. They all got along well and we decided that we wanted to move things forward. He said that his parents would call mine to sort out an engagement within the week. They didn’t. For the next two months, till the beginning of March, he kept putting it off. He would keep promising to commit to our relationship and then making an excuse of ‘having the flu’ or ‘being busy with work’. One day he admitted to not being able to provide any sort of commitment to this. We fought about it because I felt like I had been strung along.. when I initially said that I felt like I was too young to get married, both him and his mother convinced me that I was at the right age and that long engagements don’t work. I released a lot of anger and frustration on him and he would profusely apologise and say that he was ‘sorry for not being good enough’ or ‘sorry for being the source of my anguish’. Finally about 2 weeks ago, I told him I needed a break. I said that I understood that he couldn’t get married until he sorted himself out but that I needed some kind of commitment. My parent’s do not know about his illness and he asked me to never share it with anyone, which I am trying to respect. I just have no one to turn to.

    I told him that I thought it may be best for us to not contact each other. But I told him that when he is ready that he should contact me. He said that he would because deep down he hoped we would come together again one day and that I wouldn’t move on from this. He said he thinks I’ll make an amazing wife and mother and that those are two things he’d stake his life on. He just wants to ‘have some sort of internal and external control. To not be so fuzzy minded, in despair and thinking of the end.’ (Those are things he said in his last message to me). So now its been about a week since we spoke. I don’t know if I’m just being immature but I’m aching to talk to him. A part of me feels like what I’ve done is best for me, to perhaps give myself a chance to move on. What if he’s not ready for years? But a part of me feels like a selfish brat. I love him and I want to be there for him. Am I really letting go of that just because I can’t be patient? I don’t know what to do. I am constantly going back and forth in my head- yes I should give him his space and try to get on with my own life. I am only 22. – No, I should be patient and support him. He is trying to be certain that he can be a good partner and that’s why he can’t commit to me.

    What do you all think? It seems everyone has many more years of experience as partners of a depressive. It’s so hard to let go of this because he isn’t abusive in any manner. He is just quiet when he has no answers. He is sad. Never angry. He loves cuddling me. Says I make him laugh. But he also won’t commit to this.

    Thanks for taking the time to read. I’m looking forward to receiving some kind of light on the matter


    • MM says:

      You won’t want to hear this but run like the wind. I spent three years in this same situation. His words could be a mirror of my ex words to me. I was told that he didn’t want to lose me and he wanted me to hold on. He said for a year he would come talk to me. After space of a few weeks, sometimes less or more, and even a few encounters where we would run into one another and kiss and connect-he still never fully showed up. I was waiting on something that doesn’t exist. He’s too sick and his holding onto you with one finger is selfish and manipulative.
      I know…not this guy. Not us. I’ve been there
      Trust me, you’ll wait, worry, be pulled in and pushed back out and live in uncertainty about how the man you love truly feels about you. It ripped me apart and eventually I went from patient and loving to bitter and angry and feeling very foolish and unwanted.
      But he still to this day tells me he doesn’t want to lose me. At this point that statement is ludicrous. He does nothing about it-whether he’s able to or not–he for years did nada.
      Run. Run. Run. You’re young. He’s sick. Find someone who knows your value and doesn’t hold onto you until he’s well. I didn’t listen to this advice but wish I had. I loved him and we were amazing together. But depression kills everything unless he changes that. Only he can do it. And if you read all these sad stories and posts you won’t find happy endings for a reason.

      • Dawn says:

        Do you ever come back here and read? Your posts have resonated with me in ways I can’t articulate. I just ‘let go’ of my situation. 18 years together. One miserable year of all you describe above. It’s strange how I just felt differently about everything really overnight. I digress. Thank you for your wisdom. Know that people read this all this time later and benefit from it. I did.

        • Mm says:

          Yes. Because five years later, I just left him. Eight years I spent doing this. Every time I’d leave, he would make broken promises. He is in therapy now. He does acknowledge it now but I still never got my happy ever after.
          Thank you for your note. We both are wise to move on. If they REALLY get better, they know how to find us.

        • M says:

          Thank you! I’d like to say it got better but I stayed for 5 more years. I left again recently but this time is different. He’s in therapy and I’m damaged deeply.

  68. Aniko says:

    Hi ,
    My boyfriend since his childhood is hypochondriac, and he was diagnosed with anxiety, and maybe If i’m right, he takes antidepressant since 2 years.
    He only warned me about this fact, – that he takes these pills – when we were going out for 1-2 months. But he said, that he has control over himself, and he’s about tapering off! Slowly the act of the first few dates, i recognized, that he isn’t that strong guy he wants to look like. In fact.. he cried a lot, really a lot, and was extra-sensitive sometimes.
    In our relationship a special point is that we got fallen in love with each other after nearly breaking up for 3-4 times! These hard moments made us believe, we want the other one for good! In most cases i was the one who initiated the ‘we should keep on’-idea, and he was always glad to hear it from me, firstly he always acted like strong and unconvincable, but then cried of the relief, that we are keeping on. But it was always my mistake, at that time i couldn’t really trust him, and i showed him my true feelings only at the breakups. Then our relationship flourished, we were extremely happy with each other. He did everything to me every day he proved his love for me, i did it too.
    So we were going out for 15 months , and since one and a half week, we are finally over.
    Why? We two had hard times in our lives. In september, I’ve taken up a new 2-year-course while my university (i’m a student, 21 ; he’s 27, and working) ; and he’s also started one (but lasted for 2 months) while his work. Slowly we totally left our friends, and became best friends with each other. As December came by, i sometimes felt really bad about missing my friends, i often felt lonely while being at my boyfriend’s place. I nearly lived with him, he often begged me to move to him, but i did not want to because of my school. So he turned to be very sensitive and convinced, that i don’t love him anymore, and i don’t feel myself good with him. But it was only a winter-depression, a huge amount of stress i’ve had. And he thought that he’s not good enough. And as January came by, he got sick – and when he gets sick, he gets really anxious. He did not care about his antidepressants, and his other medications. And one weekend he increased his dose of antidepressant without asking his doctor ! At that time i did not know what i know now, that antidepressanst often have an influence on relationships. Whoever takes it can fall out of love in a day.
    And that’s exactly what has happened 🙁 From day 1 to day 2, at first he proved he never want to let me go, he loves me the best in this world. Then next day he drives to me, and says he never loved me, he just acted like that, he does not want this relationship. Nobody, even his mother did not get it why did he say these things. (He lives in the same panel house with his mother, but not in the same flat, so she knew things). And what was strange, that when i spoke to him, i convinced him, that it is not true what he says! I told him we should keep on, and that i will help him in his hardships. And since January for 3 months that game was happening all the time. For a week we were fine, and WHENEVER i wasn’t smiling he came again with the sentence ‘Nono we should break up, i am not i love’.
    When he was normal, he often said to me, that i should slap him in the face when he turns crazy and say illogical things. No, i did not do that. I always said nice things to convince him from the past and for the future what would happen if we keep on.
    But it was humiliating for me. That he never really fought for me. And after a time, i got tired. When i got tired in the first few times, he begged me to keep on, because he needs me, he does not want to lose me ! but as February came by, whenever he saw me being tired, he always offered the wonderful idea of breaking up .
    On the 8th of march he turned crazy again because of me saying ‘you are so silent, why?’. We were planning a holiday week, and even our summer holiday. And he again said HE’S NOT IN LOVE, what should he say? He said even when he was looking like he’s in love, he was NOT! WHY DON’T I GET IT. And the next moment he brought me home, and aked for my keys. I didn’t want to convince him anymore. I left him without a word. He said he goes home to collect my things. After only ONE HOUR he called me on phone, and cried, that he can’t collect my things, he doesn’t want to leave me, he misses me, this relationship is the most precious in his life, we should meet up now. I said it’s not a good idea, so he offered a 2-week break. He even admitted that his antidepressants might be a reason for his bad months. Only a week was over the break, he called me cheerfully and said, that he’s fine (without me), so he collected my things and will get to me in 20 mins……………..
    When i came to the door while crying so loudly i saw that his face was red too of crying.
    He even wanted to hug me, but i ignored it. He said he’s sorry for the painful things he did, he wants to keep the contact if we both have moved on………
    NOT A WORD about ‘sorry i want to cure myself before the reconciliation’..
    I didn’t beg, didn’t say a word.. And since that day i followed the no contact rule, yesterday was an exception.
    He has never been that active on facebook.. he deleted ALL the pics of us (100 photos at least), he even went to his facebook wall and deleted everything what was connected to me.. he liked photos of girls he knows i was jeleous about, he posted a lot of blog posts, wanted to show me, show everyone, that he’s fine, and he is the most released person in the world. Nobody got this. Because nobody knew about his depression, only me and his mother.. He talks to noone about his feelings. I know he’s now having a psycho therapy – it was my suggestion during February..
    I didn’t do anything on my facebook. I disappeared for him for a week. We have NEVER spent a day without getting in contact with each other! So it was extra hard for me not getting in any contact. But i knew that he might feel terrible about letting me go. I knew he made himself believe that i was the reason for his illness, and he has to experience life without me.. And then i finally got a facebook message YESTERDAY. after only a week !
    The message however was not that positive. It was about feeling sorry about NOT GETTING IN CONTACT WITH ME, and DELETING of our pics, he had to do it because he felt awful when he looked at them… (Which is hilarious due to i did not show him any sadness about it) He wrote that he is totally sorry for causing me a lot of pain, it hurts him a lot. And that we should talk soon, as he wants to be friends, but not now, because it would harm the wounds…………. Also he said he knows my friends will take care of me, and admitted (again, like we had a conversation before…) that we had wonderful times together (then why did he break???).
    He also wrote that he WANTED TO HAVE A BETTER CLOSURE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP, but circumstances made it impossible…….. (like he was thinking of the closure for months, like he was never begging to keep on when i got tired of him…)
    Also he wrote, that if i want to talk, he’s absolutely fine with it, if it HELPS ME (to forget him?), so i should contact him, if i want to talk, because it’s a minimum after me helping him a lot……
    He also complained me how a strong woman i am, and how few people are there with such an ambition i have………….
    I freaked out. At first i thought it’s a sign for a REAL closure. But when i showed it to my mom, she bursted into loud laugh. She said HE IS TOTALLY MANIPULATING ME.
    He got used to me begging for keeping things on, but now i disappeared and he can’t get it.
    But he is not that brave to write ‘i miss you’, instead, he writes awfully hurtful things to freak me out, to get the phone to my hands and call him to meet.
    After an hour, i answered him only ‘thank you, have good evening you too’. I bet he was shocked when he got that answer 🙁 It hurted, because i know he suffers, but at the same time it’s really annoying, that i can’t help, it’s HIS task to get well..
    What do you think, was my mom true? Is he really manipulating me?
    I am continuing the NC, and hope to have him saying ‘i want you back ‘, but i am not sure is it working with depressed people 🙁

  69. MM say something right link :) says:

    Sorry this one is right link

    A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera – Say Something – YouTube

  70. gg says:

    Dear MM,
    Seems we’re on the same boat. I’m really sorry for all he’s done to you. I wish I could say something to help, but I just feel I can’t think straight right now; sometimes I just get so revolted! I’m on meds now, because couldn’t cope with the disappointment… it’s difficult to believe it all happened. I’m really trying to be positive, optimistic, but sometimes it’s just deep sadness and loneliness. I really wanted to know if they somehow realise how mean they became. Or do they just don’t give a [email protected]#t anymore? You’re right, depression or not, it’s abuse!!

    Aanyway, remember that everything will pass, sooner or later; and you’ll find someone good to you, because that’s what you deserve. Try to keep busy with things that will give you some pleasure, take care of yourself… that’s what I’m trying hard to do: positive thinking, get some serenity, peace… And I’m trying not to think about him, because it just makes me angry to remember I gave him everything, my heart and soul, money and time, and just before he dumped me, he said he’s going on a trip with friends…. So I think “Is he depressed? Bipolar? Just a mean person?” But it’s so exhausting I don’t want to think about that no more.

    Let’s just try to take care of ourselves and carry on somehow. Deep in my heart I feel we (all the loving people that cared so much for their partners but suffered such a disappointment) are going to be ok, we deserve to be loved and at peace. Just a bit of hope about better days… Like Cabiria’s smile at the final scene of Nights of Cabiria….

    • gg says:

      “A whole stack of memories never equal one little hope.”
      Charles M. Schulz

    • T.J. says:

      Thank You gg!!!

      That was a beautiful post and just what I (and I’m sure others) really needed to hear!!!

      Everyone have a wonderful and blessed week and thank you for sharing. This sharing that we can do is so valuable and precious!!!

      Take care everyone!!!

    • M says:

      How are you today?


  71. MM says:

    Carl, Sarah and TJ…thank you all for being so open and sharing your stories. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.


    • T.J. says:

      Carl, Sarah and MM,

      Thank you all so very much for your responses!!! Reading them fills me with such a sense of comfort and relief.

      I’m sitting here after a long day of work with my eyes filled with tears because despite having good friends and a wonderful therapist to help me though this, nothing has compared to hearing the stories of others that are so very similar to my own.

      What Sarah said specifically about going crazy with the question of “Why?” and wanting to read and find out all there is to know about depression as a sort of way to get some closure…I am so going through this right now. Also what she said about “reality” and questioning our own judgement about people is so true for me.

      I’m somewhat afraid to date anyone else actually because I feel that in a sense I was very deceived by my ex and I fear that the next person I date will deceive me as well and turn out to be something entirely different than the person he could initially present himself to be.

      I’m sure we all consider ourselves quite intelligent and intuitive people so did we miss some “sign” that this was about to occur in our previous partners?

      I think the reason that I need the “why” so badly is because it would help with my pain. If I could blame his desertion of me on depression rather than thinking he could just turn his back on me without it then it would make me feel better somehow. If I’m truly honest with myself, despite the fact that I have no desire to be with him (as he is now) again, I would give anything to be with the person I met. So perhaps knowing that he doesn’t love me anymore is easier to take when I think he feels this only because of the depression. Otherwise it’s just too painful for me to bear.

      Again, thank you all and bless you all! I look forward to communicating more!

      • MM says:

        Carl, GG, and All,

        Carl I saw your reply. You’re handling her reaching out well. Don’t grab it. Just sit back and see. Damn hard to not be hopeful though, isnt it?

        I’ve explained to others how hard it has been to detach from my DP -it’s been nearly 11 months since he left. It’s only because I love him that it’s been hard. The depression factor made it much harder to walk away from than if it was a breakup for other reasons Ie he found someone new or we drifted apart etc. A break up w a DP is very different since often the illness not the relationship caused the break up. Or at least that’s what we hope for and we hope for a return from that person we used to know. It’s unlike a normal break up. I held on. For a long long time.

        Well I started dating someone a month ago. He is good to me. Attentive. Caring. But I’ve told him if my DP returns I may support him. I’ve explained I’m in a bad spot. I have to be honest with this innocent third party. And I’m trying to move on.

        I think about my DP still and even feel guilty after a great fun date or a nice kiss. I also still feel deeply connected to my DP.

        I called my dP on Sunday. I heard some hopeful things. I was very special he said in a half grunt but he did admit it. He missed me. He was making strides with cognitive behavior therapy. Things i have encouraged for a year. Part of me was angry I wasn’t included. He said he was holding onto me and wanted to talk soon. The conversation then led into me seeing someone. I was honest. He was silent. Said he didn’t know what to say. I said I had to hold on or get on with my life because the UNCERTAINTY I could no longer take. He saw that as pressure. A trap. But it’s not. I had told him months ago I had to move on. I hate that I’ve become a source of anxiety to him. I get why (it’s the depression) but I’m not sure what he thinks I’m holding onto after a near year. Half the time I’m not sure he even thinks of me. Weeks go by and I always contact him first. Sometimes he missed me. Sometimes I got rage. I had to move on and yet I’ve still held into hope for his return. The things he said Sunday showed some improvement but honestly I’m at a breaking point. My time has run out. In short the conversation turned to a fight of sorts sadly. I explained to him he was worth fighting for. My hero still. That he was irreplaceable but I could no longer have faith in something I don’t know exists. He responded with anger and some expression of needs and missing me etc. Messy. Confusing.

        My new guy is now asking after a month of dating and three months prior to that of pursuing me, if I will commit to him.hes funny. Nice. Fun. But he’s not my DP. And I’m torn.

        What a mess. I decided I am not doing a thing for now. I’m usually proactive but I’m going to sit back and watch it unfold. I learned from compra deepak meditation to hold onto something tightly kills the life in it.

        My DP said a song reminded him of me. I highly suggest you all listen to it seems his ten year old daughter loves it so he’s subject to it often. I had asked him if he had heard it when I heard it for the first time the other day. He said yes, a lot, it made him think of me. It’s heartbreaking.

        Say something by great big world.

        I wish you all well. Hang in there. I’m amazed at how a group of strangers has become my main support with this situation. Truly a blessing though.


        • Carl says:

          So someone i know see my Dex last week…she is heavily pregnant (which i knew) just didn’t know how far gone she was. So its likely it was weeks to a month after we split it happened. How can you kick someone so hard in the face like that? She told me she wanted to be alone that she didn’t want kids right now, she was a mess and needed to sort her head out. Granted she may have been court out..But still be honest with me oh wait she cant…letter after letter ignore she knew how i felt…yet she couldn’t give me a release. And what shes pregnant with some losers kid who will likely leave her like he did his last one…and yet shes spying on me on twitter it baffles me.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi everyone. Thanks for all your responses, it means a lot. Today was a really bad day for me…I think I am coming out of shock, and the reality is beginning to set in. I have searched everywhere, and so far I have not found anybody who left their partner because they were suffering from depression, but then miraculously realised their mistake and returned! What sort of fantasy am I living in!? I am beginning to believe this is more my problem than his. I simply cant come to terms with the end of my relationship. We were together half my life. I cant seem to separate my life from our life. I read that the second stage of grieving is anger, and I just cant find it in my heart …for everything else around me, yes, I get furious with inanimate objects(!), traffic and myself…but him, no. And maybe this is why we are stuck? I have this narrative in my mind that says he is suffering, he is not himself, and that makes it impossible to really be angry…he never behaved badly, weirdly yes, (not himself, withdrawn, even a bit loopy) but he has never stepped over that line. Who can get angry with a sick person? So then I come full circle back to where I started…is depression really an excuse, not for him, but for me. Am I just desperately clinging to this because the alternative is unthinkable. All those lovely things people say, like take care of yourself, get on with your life, seem like a distant dream, or maybe a joke! Every inch of my life as I knew it has gone. I guess we have to begin again? I sincerely hope you are all having a much better day!

      • Catherine says:

        Sarah, your post is as though you have written my thoughts. Everyone’s contributions help me immensely. And have done since I first discovered this site. It’s a year now since my depressed ex boyfriend left, vanished. I’ve not heard a thing. I feel trapped in a vicious circle of letting go, when a small part of me doesn’t want to. I’m holding onto hope. . A hope that I have no sign of. Im tired of this, it wears me out sometimes. Ive lost friends and heard my family give useless advice and unwanted comments. I agree, there are good days and worse days. I’m back seeing my counsellor which helps. But I’m starting to feel pathetic, why can’t I get over this, move on. Why am I stuck, still hoping. Desperate for the person I knew to return. For him to be the person he was and not the total plonker he became overnight. I share all your thoughts and worries.

  72. Sarah says:

    My depressed partner left just over a month ago after what I thought was 17 happy years together. I have spent endless hours researching, trying to understand, and even accept what has happened. Seeing my situation echoed in what is happening to others. For me, depression MIGHT be the underlying problem, the “reason” he left, but it can no longer be an excuse. I think maybe I have been so shattered by the suddenness of what happened, the coldness, the change in character in my partner, that depression has become a crutch for me. An explanation that makes what has happened easier to accept. Neat and tidy. But worse, I think I clung to depression, because it gave me hope. It’s such a horrible thought, to hope that it is depression that “made” him leave, because maybe then he will come back. He will return to himself, and to me. How can I hope that the man I love is suffering such an ordeal? I think, as partners of DP, we have to stop seeing our partners as victims and ourselves as rescuers. It’s so easy to slowly find yourself in the role of career. Don’t get me wrong, I love this man and would never, ever, have left him no matter how bad it got. But in the end, he left me. I have to face this, not hide behind depression, because by the act of hoping I cannot mourn the loss of my partner. I cannot move on. He has made the decision to leave. To hold onto depression is to stay in the torturous limbo of wondering if he is OK, of what I did wrong, of what went wrong between us…did he leave because he had to, or because he wanted to? In the end, he has not let me help, he has gone it alone. As somebody said to me, we cant go around this pain by hoping, we have to go through the pain to reclaim our lives. I am not sure even now if I will ever be able to accept what has happened, it will be the hardest thing I will ever do.

    • mm says:

      Wow. You are way ahead of that realization that the clinging onto hope often can leave you helpless. To move on. To forget. To make him, not just the depression, responsible. To heal.
      It’s a vicious cycle. The things you are realizing at one month took me a year to figure out and honestly I wouldn’t be here typing this if I still didn’t cling onto that painful hope that I still have left. However it fades daily.
      I was thinking just today that honestly it’s like dealing with the death of my DP. The man I knew is gone. Way gone. And this new man, so belligerent and cold and distant and filled with unjustifiable and misdirected rage, isn’t a man I would’ve ever fallen in love with or wanted as my partner. My man, the one who I never heard curse in two years, the one who laughed constantly and got along well with everyone, the man who cared about his life and mine,well despite my battle and his, that man is gone.
      When I look at it this way, that the man I knew is dead and not returning, it makes it easier to let go of the hope. I found over 10 months since he left that the hope is a painful claw clutching to me and not allowing me to accept the reality that he is gone. He deserted me and he is gone forever.
      He held onto me for months with small things. Saying he missed me. He needed me. Chance meetings where we would run into one another and he’d kiss me. Looking back he was so selfish to hold onto me and still not really hold onto me. He’d go crazy on me if I asked how he felt about us and then disappear for weeks. Shew. What crap I put up with. Why? Because I knew this wasn’t him. However I didn’t realize it is the new him. Sadly. Only he can fix it and if he won’t let me be his friend when his mind is in despair and if he doesn’t trust my intentions after our solid history together then having hope is self destructive. Three weeks ago I told him after his millionth request to have a few weeks of separation to get his head straight (he’s been saying this since July and left last April) that this cycle wasn’t going to change and I was moving on. Yep. Took me that long. I believed in him and in us. Depression has won. And I’m not sure he is even well enough to fight it and care for himself. Actually I know he isn’t or he would have done more for himself than he has. He has accepted this state of being and lives in, as he explained to me, robotic mode. Dress. Eat. Work. Sleep. That’s all he can do. And he won’t let me help him or gently encourage him to seek different treatment. I even at one point sent him deepak meditation mp3. He never even looked at them. This place is horrible. When you know they can’t help themselves and they see you as an enemy , a pressure they can’t handle rather than allowing you to support them and discreetly direct them to do something!!!! It’s maddening.
      I haven’t heard from him in three weeks. I asked him one last time to let me in or to let me really go. That this holding onto me without holding on would no longer be an option. I said I’d love him through it if he’d just allow me to.
      His silence in responding is deafening. Big surprise. He picked the latter of the two.
      If I could I’d kick depression in the ass. It ruined our very happy relationship and possible future. Not just for me but also for our children. Some days I can’t imagine not growing old with him and then I have to remind myself that he is “dead.”

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks so much for replying mm. It is great to hear from somebody who knows this feeling…if you have not actually experienced it, it is impossible to explain. I have tried, and sometimes hearing myself through the ears of somebody else, I sound mad! I can see them thinking, get over it, he just does not love you anymore, move on, you are in denial. Maybe I am? But every part of me feels like somewhere in there he loves me. It is one thing knowing in my mind that I have to let go, but knowing it in my heart is another thing entirely. Listening to you is like hearing myself. How can somebody change that much? How can your whole life, your entire future, just dissolve in front of your eyes like that, and be totally powerless. And what’s even harder is that they seem to recognise the change, but somehow they are themselves powerless in the face of it. He has given up everything in his life too, he just goes to work and back to a rented flat. It seems to be all he can do too. It is absolutely heart breaking. I miss him every moment of my day. I do feel like I am mourning his death, but then I know he is out there, just out of reach. He would say things like we should get married or break up. How can you hold those two thoughts in your mind at once? A part of me will never let him go, but the hope is impossible to live with. I cant imagine what it must be like for you to go through this with kids too. My thoughts are with you mm. This is a long journey…and a lonely one.

        • mm says:

          Oh I know that lecture. I got it from friends for 10 months. At first they were sympathetic to him, our situation, the depression. . . but eventually they saw me still being loyal, taking care of him, and not getting any return. My needs vanished and his depression took the driver’s seat. They saw me hurt, cry and worry. Eventually they stopped supporting me supporting him. And then I knew, they were right. As my best friend said, who lucky me is also a therapist for couples, that I was doing the right things at first–contacting him every week or so, sending encouraging notes, and even meeting him for quick meetings to give him things like a box I made once with a ton of slips of paper in it reminding him of who HE was–ie: you are the man who packs your daughter notes in her lunch, you are the man who reads the Bible every night, you are a man who enjoys music and the sound of drums, and so on. When I gave this to him , he cried. So I held on. I kept this up for 10 months!!!! Now ten months later , she has told me to leave him. That’s it’s the only way I wont get depressed myself. She said there is nothing I can do. She told me that I was damaged deeply–and I am. I finally am resolved with the fact that I have to move on. She said, “You are being loyal to something, someone who doesn’t exist until HE does something to change that. If you walk away, and he lets you, this time, keep walking.”
          So I did. I’ve been walking for three weeks. Today was a bad day. The worst one I have had yet. For some reason I miss him a lot today and it’s combined with a great big helping of guilt (what did I not do? what did I do wrong? how can I date again?) , pain (why doesn’t he love me? what a loss of a great relationship and future?…) and anger (how could he do this to me and us? why did he hold onto me for so long to just vanish? why am I not worth it too?)…and the combination of these three feelings is an internal emotional battle field.
          I am so sorry you are going through this. I completely empathize with the things you say he says such as “we should marry or break up”–what confusion. For ten months I got, “I don’t want to lose you. I miss you. I want you to love me but I need more time to get my head straight.” I heard this over, and over, and over. Even if I was away for three weeks, when I would resurface I never knew what I was going to face–anger and perhaps guilt he was feeling or a guy who missed me and was “glad for me.” He’s called me an angel for standing by him and a fucking bitch in the same conversation several times–within five minutes of one another. . . and all I did to provoke that change, was ask him how he felt about me. . . . There were even times when he would mock me when I would cry. Literally mock me. This same man for years never even cussed in traffic. Never lost his cool. Never said a mean word to me–ever. Who opened my door EVERY time we traveled…even to a gas station!!!He was gentle, and soft, and kind. In the end when the verbal abuse started–and would flop back to “I need you. I want you” and then back to verbal insults during fits of rage…it became to much for ANYONE to stomach. I had no choice but to leave. I wish I had left a long time ago honestly. This really put an emotional toll on me, tested my feelings of self worth and in the end taught me to regain my dignity and know when to walk. I did EVERYTHING I could..everything. I have peace in that. I just some days can’t believe that he doesn’t love me to not at the very least tell me and hold on. I would have loved him through it–I wasn’t just in this for the good…
          I feel for you in all ways. It’s lonely and a loss for all parties involved. Try to stay busy. That’s my best advice. And if I could do it all over again, I would have walked much much much sooner. It would have saved me a ton of heartbreak if I had given up a long time ago. I just loved him so much, I am not sure I could have. Just remember it isn’t you or even your relationship–his actions are depression talking. Do your best to not internalize it all. And do your best to not analyze it either–it’s not going to make sense–your partner isn’t acting in a rational state of mind or being. . . why bother analyzing it?
          Try to do something you enjoy today. : ) Take care of yourself.

        • Carl says:

          Sarah MM. You say so much so i don’t have to say anything its all there in your posts…i know how you feel. I lost her 8months ago still miss her..shes carrying on untreated i did all i could to help her see. I know what its like to wake up and wonder where did my life go? And ive had the same problems with friends they don’t get it. But ive always found this quote sad but true.

          “Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair.”

      • T.J. says:

        I just want to deeply thank all of you for sharing your experiences and thoughts here! It is such a great relief and such a great comfort to know that there are others like me out there!!!

        I was dumped for another woman by my depressed boyfriend back in April and though I have moved away and moved on there are times when it all just seems like this nightmare that I still can’t believe happened to me. I am still deeply damaged by the whole experience and the experiences I read on here so mirror my own. As Sarah so nicely put it, “This is a long journey and a lonely one.” I feel sometimes, like someone else here mentioned, that I too am suffering from some sort of PTSD.

        I go through fits of anger that are so strong I am sometimes afraid of the amount of rage that still exists in me but then I cry when I remember what a wonderful, loving, kind man I thought he was before the depression hit him and how happy we were together. I remember all the plans we had for the future and our 3 hour long phone conversations. He was the only man in my life that I was one hundred percent sure I was meant to be with. As Sarah said, “How can your whole life/future just dissolve in front of your eyes like that…?”

        Though I too know that the person I fell in love with doesn’t exist anymore it still hurts me and I too just wonder WHY? Why, Why, Why did this have to happen?

        Again, thank you so much everyone for sharing. This site is a great resource for all of us in dealing with our hurt and pain.

        • Sarah says:

          Wow, it is wonderful to find you all, I am so touched that you have taken the time to post on here. There is so much out there in the way of support and understanding for the person suffering with depression, but not much for the partners who go through a living hell too. That sadness is our reality too, and just as painful to us as depression is to them, because it has impacted, and devastated our lives too. Just because we experience it in a different way, does not mean that it is not as real, or as deeply felt, a journey. Carl, thank you, I have read Noon Day Demon too, it is a brilliant book, and I am about to read it again. I would recommend it to everyone here. TJ, it is those questions, why, why, why, that circle in my mind, until I think I am going to go crazy, and the thing is, will we ever know? In order to move on, I feel like I have to understand, to have answers, but no matter how much I read I am never satisfied. Depression is such a slippery thing, just as you seem to grasp it, it eludes you. You are sitting talking to your person, then suddenly there is a shift, and they are not there, they look like them, they act like them, but they are like an illusion. Then you wonder, is this all in my mind, or is this real? Is it me that is going mad? Was it all ever real, or did I make up this person in my own mind and live a delusion? Gradually the other half of you has become a husk, a shadow, that you cant hold onto. It is hard to be strong in the face of such an erosion of your own reality. It feels like my whole life, everything I felt certain about at the very core of my life, as become unreal…so what do you move on with? What was real? What is real now? How do we ever trust our instincts again? Thinking of you all.

          • Carl says:

            Once again you have said it all. Don’t try to understand why they act the way they do, we have no idea whats going on in there heads. You will get no answers and no closure from this..they have no answers for themselves let alone us.
            I to feel like where is the person i spent 6 years with? where did she go? How is it that she can decide the fate of our future together on the premises of “something just feels off” “i don’t have it in me to try” Weeks later she started with another man they will avoid feeling jump into things fast they need somthing to break there fall. Seemly turn against us….There is a great site depression fallout its great support Both of you are welcome even just to vent to be around people who understand.

            Part of fallout is the criticism. It can wear to the point you ask yourself if you’re missing some horrible character flaw everyone else can see.

            Don’t do this. Realize you’re dealing with someone that is dealing with an illness that makes their life miserable. Their misery is reflected in their interactions and it’s rarely good for those closest.

            So, remember it wasn’t a terrible person that sought answers by visiting this site. You did so because you wanted answers and it was a selfless effort to help another. That’s a good thing and honors those you’re trying to help. “

          • gg says:

            Sarah, MM, Carl, TJ… Thank you all again. It’s sad, obviously, but so comforting to read all those testimonials. It’s a big relief at times of terrible dispair. John, you don’t imagine how this space is blessed; it saved my life many times, thank you.

            Well, finally I got dumped by my depressed boyfriend. As I already said here, that caring, affectionate, wonderful man turned, overnight, into a cold, selfish, careless and distant stranger… you all know this story very well, it’s always the same.

            I’m hurt. As some of you said, we know ít’s the depression talking/ acting, but it cannot be a crutch, an excuse for everything. A few months ago we were making plans of moving together, he was really excited (it was his idea), even told me we should get married and that he would be looking for houses so he would be the luckiest man on earth if I became his partner. He asked me where in the world I wanted to live, said he was willing to go anywhere to be with me; we were happy. A few weeks later (2 weeks, I guess) he started getting cold and I said I missed him and asked when we would meet again (we lived in different cities), his answer was: “I cannot go to see you because I’ll probably spend all my saving on a house I’m visiting and I’ll probably buy today”. ….. After that I offered to pay for him to visit me (even if he has 100 times more money than me), no answer.

            Once, out of the blue, he told me “you’re my wife; we should name our first child after your (deceased) brother. That made me feel really emotional, but on the other day, when I brought the subject up, he just said “I don’t want to talk about children” (!).

            Once I was at his house and got really ill, couldn’t barely stand on my feet. He just left me on the bed and went playing “candy crush” for hours at the living room.

            Didn’t give me anything for my birthday (I wouldn’t want anything fancy, expensive, just something to show affection – a card, a single flower would do).

            After all of this, I asked if he wanted to break up and he said no (he was still saying that loved me and wanted to persevere), so we carried on..

            Finally, I had a miscarriage and his reaction was a send a sms saying “I’m sorry you had to go through this alone”, and nothing more. Not even a hug, nice words, nothing. He even got upset when I complaint about his behavior…

            So after all this he finally started showing that he wanted to break up, didn’t even waited for me to stop bleeding.

            Oh boy…. I’ve been relieved, angry, deeply sad, feeling betrayed, depressed… sometimes I hate myself for still loving him.

          • Mm says:

            I’m still here unfortunately. Your story is so similar to mine it hurts. Mine came back for a few weeks in December and then shut me back out. That means I’ve had him for two weeks out if ten months in my daily life. I am tired of accepting so little. The longer he’s gone, the more I disconnect. He’s now gotten rage full. I don’t recognize him he’s so mean. 🙁 He said the worst things to me in our last conversation. He talked to me like a dog. That I just can’t stomach and I don’t understand it. Depression or not. It’s abuse. 🙁 it’s left me empty and questioning everything.

          • Carl says:

            Hey, Guys i see you all are not doing so well..i have my days myself..nearly 9months into this..its so hard to forget what you once new that person you love that you just havent see. Oddly the last two weeks my Dex has been indirectly reaching out with odd behavior on twitter Favorited afew of my tweets one was “forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me ” then she will follow me unfollow me..i dont know what to make of it all..shes obviously thinking about me spying in me, yet shes scared to say something..maybe shes starting to see what shes done ? maybe shes getting some feeling back? I could go on forever i dont know what to expect. But im alot stronger than i was just wish i knew what was going on.

    • Cooper says:

      Your post and the immediate replies are many years old, but my goodness are they powerful, raw, authentic. The indescribable pain we’ve all felt is both sobering and comforting.

  73. Sarah says:

    Dear John,
    Firstly I want to thank you so much for this wonderful resource. It is a great comfort, and place to learn more from the perspective of a depressed person, which is hard to find. I wonder if you might be able to give me some insight? My partner of 17 years left around a month ago. We have been together since we were 18. He also left exactly a year ago after a long period of stress….and unhappiness. It took us both a long time to realise he was suffering from depression. (He has a family history of serious depression.) He came back a week latter is such distress, saying that he had to leave because he felt he was going to explode, that he loved me and always would, but he needed to heal. I understood entirely…he got help in the form of medication and weekly CBT. We decided to sell our house and move closer to his work to relieve some of the stress…found a lovely new house and even made an offer on it. Then three days before Christmas he drove home in the middle of the day leaving work in an extremely un characteristic dramatic way, to say it was over. He could not really give me a reason, just that it is not working anymore. I am in such shock, because I thought he was out of the worst. I noticed him withdrawing, but not in any serious way. My question is this…how do I tell if it is really over or of this is depression, again? I have not heard from him, but know that he is not seeing anybody else, but he is going to work as usual.The thing is, I feel like I cant mourn and get on with my life because he came back last time. I cant understand what happened…why did he not take me to see the therapist if he thought there was a problem in the relationship, would that not be standard? I love him deeply, and swing from feeling deeply concerned about his mental state and wanting desperately to contact him and support him…to deciding he has made a decision, and I have to face it. What is the difference between a break up based on a real decisions and one based on depressive thinking? Surely this year of medication and CBT has helped…maybe that could even be what has lead him to this conclusion about our relationship? Maybe it was our relationship that made him depressed? I thought we were very happy, and dealing with the fallout of the break in trust from the last time. He has never expressed any problems but that does not mean he did not feel any? But then why come back to me last time and say it had nothing to do with me, and even make an offer on a house together? I am stuck in this cycle of thinking and cant come to terms with what has happened. After 17 years of talking everyday, he has not contacted me for almost a month. Any thoughts would really help. I have tried going to therapy, but the person was very unsympathetic to him, and said that depression would not make you act like this. Could that be true? He is a very good person, has never cheated, never said an unkind thing, but the joy has gone out of his life. I know he is just sitting at his flat alone…could this make him feel more in control of his life? More able to heal? I know he is not happy, but that does not mean that this is not a rational decision, does it? What do I do? Thanks again, it is so important to have a resource like this. You are a great inspiration.

  74. jenna says:

    My husband of 21 years has just walkout out on monday of this week; leaving behind 2 girls (12 and 15). He has been depressed for many months following the suicide of a close friend, from then it just went down hill, his business failed and he had to change jobs. During this past year I myself have suffered serious health issues; leading up to surgery to fix a spinal cord compression; i have also been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I have always stood beside him and tried to support him. He has asked me before thanksgiving to just up and move away from anything; i told him yes i would do that if that’s what we needed to do to move forward. I had surgery right before christmas and the recovery has been difficult. He was there for it all; showering me, shaving my legs, cooking foods i liked and just being very caring. I was so happy to see this show of emotion that it truly made me believe that we could overcome all those issues in the past. Around the begining of January I started to notice a quiteness and sadness come over him; i’d ask if he’d like to talk or if i could help in some way…..he took off for a whole week; he went to work and was living in his truck but was telling friends that he was going to take his life. After friends of ours reached out and got him to come back; he told me that he just doesn’t know what to do, I asked him to go for help to which he agreed. I printed out a list of therapist and said that he had to do this for himself. 4 days later he took off again; no one could find him, i had to file a missing persons report; which they found him and asked him to return to the home residence to confirm that he was not a harm to himself. He refused any type of treatment; he came in the house and just said i can’t do this anymore…..packed his clothes and walked out…..i feel lost, i’m still trying to heal from surgery and i am home bound do to the surgery……I just don’t understand how I am to just let go…I’ve been with this man for 20+ years and yes we have had ups and downs but nothing this traumatic for me and my girls…i’m beyond hurt, scared and not sure what to do…I know me and my girls need some type of therapy but how are we to move forward with a reason of I can’t do this? He has texted me and asked if i needed anything, and that he would send the girls some money…but when I ask if he’s ok…no response……if i ask if we can talk no answer…….I’m at a loss……

  75. Michelle says:

    This describes my husband right now. He just recently told me that he’s unhappy, but doesn’t know why. He also said he has never loved me….in almost 13 years of marriage. I am determined that this is his internal struggle. These blogs have opened my eyes to what I’ve known for years. Unfortunately, he is refusing professional help. Maybe someone can get through to him, but it isn’t me.

  76. Bo says:

    This article describes exactly what happened in my relationship.
    My husband of 28 years left home two months ago. Although I feel deeply hurt by what he did and said on me I have been trying not taking it personal. I remind myself all the time that this is a mental health issue instead of a relationship issue.
    My husband started taking antidepressant six weeks ago and I can see he is less depressed now. Although he still hasn’t moved back home he never stopped coming back to do work around our house whenever he has time. I really feel like showing this article to him to let him see our relationship from another angle. Can John or any other one here tell me when the right time is to introduce the article to him?

  77. Carl says:

    Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair.

  78. gg says:

    (M, If you don’t mind, I’d like to know how long have you been in this situation)

    • M says:

      We dated for a few years. His depression started last December. By April he left me. I held on for quite some time. But now I have to put myself first.

  79. gg says:

    Dear M,

    Your story sounds just like mine, you sound exactly like me… I’m happy to know you’ve made a decision.

    My best wishes for you. Have a great new year, full of love and happiness – you deserve it.

  80. Ben says:

    Are you the one in a relationship with a depressive? I am. I have done this twice. The 2nd time, going into it with “eyes open.” Actually, the woman is bipolar with many other issues. Although she has been under care for years, she is treatment resistant. Most of the time she is depressed. I thought, optimistically, that by showing her love and attention I could help her. For the most part, no. The sad truth is that there are some people that just can’t be helped (or at least to where they can function in a healthy relationship; in GF’s case, even though depressive, she is far better off than some of her worst manic/drug abuse periods.) Sure, if you love someone, work on them getting help. Some can be helped. Some can’t. If you are the partner suffering from Depression Fallout, there comes a time to admit defeat and get out of a bad relationship. In my own case, there is nothing I can do and anything I try simply backfires on me. It is time to admit defeat, get out of a bad situation, clean up the damage as best I can, and move on.

    • M says:

      True. Sad but true. My New Years resolution is to move on. My partner left me in April. I used to be active on this board all summer. I tried everything it save us from the darkness he was enduring. I tried to be supportive. Eventually I grew depressed myself and bitter and deeply saddened by watching him change and loss himself to depression. Now nine months later, I see glimpses of him but the darkness looms. He won’t let me in. Still. Without that I can’t be empathetic to him and his dark struggle. This sounds selfish but there is no payback. It’s one sided. I need to be happy and feel loved. I too need support. I need to feel wanted rather than an annoying gnat expecting him to continue the fight. It’s become too much. Too hard. I’m ready to let go. When the hope is gone, only a miracle in him could renew our situation. And that seems as likely to happen as snow in July.
      2014 is going to be happy. He can join me or let go. Either way I’m not living this way for a man who doesn’t even seem to want me around, rejects me, is “mad” and not willing to even discuss his condition. He seems to struggle between holding onto me and letting go with defeat. Often I feel he is angry at me for not giving up on him. But I feel like when I do, it will make him believe what he’s felt all along that he is not worth loving. What a terrible position I am in. I want out. I’ve lost hope and feel guilt on top of worry on top of anger on top of sadness. There are no changes in my prediction. I can no longer put my soul into someone who fights me for being here. What a shame. He was once kind and gentle. We were once very wonderful together. Sadly I think it’s a permanent memory. Losing him and enduring this has been one of the worst and most painful experienced in my 38 years of living.

      • gg says:

        Dear M and Ben,

        I’m here to thank you. Your testimonials helped me a lot, and I’ve made a decision: to move on. Never thought I’d say that, but I feel peaceful and serene with this resolution. I’m gonna be happy. The man I once knew is not there anymore, he’s gone. I gave him my best efforts, but I’ve had enough.

        Again, thank you very much. All the best.

        • Ben says:

          April 17, 2014: a postscript. Five months into the break-up, nothing has changed. On Mar. 12 I kept the last “big” promise I’d made to my depressed ex-GF: to get her a car (she had given up her junker before moving to FL). Once the car was hers and her plate was off, I asked her for my credit card I’d allowed her to use for two years, and my house key. I told her to “take care of her self.” She was angry that I had reneged on my promise to buy her a $150 GPS. Apparently giving her a car worth 100x that (plus paying some unexpected fees for transfer) did not make an impression. That, to me, was the last straw. I know that is depression talking, but the point is … she can’t be fixed (not by me anyway!). I cried on the way home, and had a small ceremony where I threw into the trash the old license tag, a photo of her, and the friendhsip ring I’d bought to celebrate our relationship. I think it’s worth mentioning that I am a 52-year old man, and this is the only woman I’ve ever cried over, twice at least.

          I have kept my distance, but still need to deliver the occasional mail. I have left her a card saying that I am open to friendship. She received it well, at least. She can make the effort this time. Man or woman (ladies, you are the most supportive, and thus the typical martyr in a relationship) take heed: set limits, try to get him (or you!) “repaired” but set a deadline and get out when you’ve had enough. Hope is a waste of time, and you only have one life. It should be a happy one. In large part, that depends upon what you will and will not tolerate in your own life.

          • Anonymous says:

            Still around?

            2019. Five years later. And I finally left.

            8 years plus total I stuck by him. The last time was for five years. He’s still depressed. Getting treatment but the damage is done.

            Reading these I wish I had taken my own advice in 2014.


  81. Stephanie says:

    Wow! I wish that I would have had this insight with respect to my late husband 5 years ago. It would have helped me understand our relationship so much better. And perhaps, I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself during times of emotional detachment. Thank you for this.

  82. Jeanie says:

    John, do you think it is perhaps just a case that some people do not thrive on relationships and intimacy but are made to feel both consciously and subconsciously that all need it when in fact, it might be that some of us aren’t wired for it? The following article spoke of this:;

    I do think there is a societal fear and rejection of those who are loners and so they are portrayed as being dysfunctional. And yet some yogis, who are perhaps some of the most highly evolved people around, often live for years in isolation. But our society makes no room for such a person.

    For my own part, I am not sure I am even capable of genuine love because of my upbringing. I also tended to be a loner as a child and was happy with it so it may well be that is simply my fundamental wiring and actually, I may well be being untrue to myself by being in a relationship. Frankly, I just don’t know and yes, I feel numbed out with depression. But what I have known for years and what I believe is a fundamental cause of it is that I find any human interaction just plain stressful and it exhausts me. I literally cannot feel contented, happy and relaxed in company. For the most part also, I have always felt annoyance at the way being with people so often wastes time on nefariousness and is rarely productive in any way. I get nothing from the experience of companionship. So for things like eating etc, I much prefer to be alone and hate social eating. And although in a relationship, I am discovering that being loved just makes me feel trapped and constantly stressed. I dream of escape to be a recluse.

    I am sure I do not need love to thrive- just the opposite actually, which to me spells freedom. But I think it is an option that was never exercised because the message always was that everyone needs love and relationship and further, as a woman, I could not go it alone in the world.

    Maybe Donna is naturally a loner too.???

  83. Greg Weber says:

    I don’t have much experience with leaving a relationship because of my depression, but I’ve certainly BEEN left because of it, including by a woman who left me six months ago because she just “couldn’t take it anymore.” I guess the numbing pain of my depression and also anxiety disorder was too much for her. She believed I have anhedonia, and the more I think about it, the more I think she’s right. My history with addiction and the seeking of very intense stimulation tracks with your description of a depressed person unable to feel anything unless it’s very powerful.

    Anyway, depression can cause a relationship to unravel from the OTHER side too. The non-depressed partner can feel like they’re in a fight with the tar baby: everything they do seems to twist the net of despair more tightly around the relationship.

  84. Carlie says:

    How do you cope when your loved one leaves and breaks up with you, saying they cannot be in a relationship right now. One day they are fine and loving and care so much and the next they are not themselves at all. They have changed into someone you can barely recognize. My partner had been diagnosed with depression two years ago. He had gone off his medication last month without telling anyone, because he thought he was feeling better. He is now starting his medication again but does not feel he is depressed.He says he just cant be in a relationship. This is not him at all, he does not treat me this way or act this way. He acts as if we hadn’t been dating for 4 years. We are still talking regularly but I am the one to initiate conversations. Previous to this episode he suffered one more minor depressive episode 2 years ago just after starting his medication. He always shows me love and respect and we have always talked about marriage and our future, we have had a great relationship, have always been open to one and other. He always said he loved me and thanked me for sticking by him, He doesn’t even know why he broke up with me. He is going through a stressful period of medical entrance exams and school and other medical issues. I am not sure if that’s what brought this on. But I have never felt so hurt in my life because I know this is not him and he can’t even see it himself. I don’t know what to do to help him he is going to see his doctor next week, and I did suggest that he start therapy. I just want the old person back, it’s so hard to watch him go through this. I am struggling too trying not to take what he says personally when he says he no longer loves me. How do know if he is starting to feel better or if there is a chance he will want to try again.

    • Carl says:

      Carlie, I know how you feel my GF of six years dropped me out the blue couldnt and hasn’t given me any reasonable answers its horrible to have this stranger in front of you who is so apathetic towards you. Im 5months into it she was diagnosed 2 years away also wasnt treated and now shes back in it. But to her shes not depressed brakes my heart how shes treated me with no love or respect. I ll tell you its not easy its a mind fuck its not fair, but we have no control either we wait or move on.

      have a read know how it feels for them, its a reality there reality hugs x

      • Carlie says:

        Thanks for the reply, I am just holding on to hope right now. The fact that he still considers me his best friend and that we are still communicating helps. I am just trying to give him his space. It’s tough because we are so used to talking all the time. His parents are also concerned they know he is not himself and he does not treat me this way, so they have been great support. I guess all you can do is wait for the storm to blow over and see what’s left. Make sure to take care of yourself!

  85. KN says:

    I want to thank John Folk-Williams for his research and compilations of stories and theories. My marriage has just been faced with the ugly truth that both my husband and me have disorders. He is depressed and I have an anxiety disorder stemming from depression. These blogs have, in the past few days, have done so much to comfort and ease my mind and have also brought me a sense of acceptance at finally understanding what is happening. We are now both seeking treatment, and hopefully soon that treatment may go beyond the medication.
    I started noticing a difference in my husband’s actions a few years ago, but attributed it to stress (just bought our first house, approaching the 30 yr old mark for both of us) and just decided to let it go. I assume he would bounce back; he was such a carefree person who never got his feathers ruffled over anything. He would get into bad moods, and become withdrawn, sulky, and preoccupied with video games and the internet. He would eventually snap out of it, but it would take longer and longer each time, and he would never return to 100% himself. After a few years, he’s lost pretty much all of who he used to be. During this time, I would feel more and more anxious, and started blaming myself. My anxiety reached a peak when he went to stay with family for a while, and I had 3-4 panic attacks during a 3 day period. I went to the doctor then and was diagnosed with anxiety, and began my medication. After feeling better however, I didn’t see what the depression was doing to my husband. I just knew that I wasn’t feeling feeling loved and appreciated, and expressed that. He had gotten a new job right after I was diagnosed, and was I assume feeling pretty high about it, which is why I didn’t notice at the beginning.
    Now he feels like he doesn’t think we should be together anymore, but he himself won’t leave. He keeps giving me “outs” and saying that I don’t deserve what he is doing to me. He says that he’s failed me, our marriage, and life. I want him to realize that the old him is still there, just buried under all the depression. I get so confused, but your blogs are bringing me a sense of understanding, that maybe there is hope for us somehow. Thank you again!

  86. John M says:

    I struggle with repeat depression. Some 8x in past 20 years. My most recent episode is highlighted by lack of feeling as has been described here.

  87. Ann says:

    I’m so glad I’ve found this page… helping a lot.

  88. C says:

    Is there any way to show a depressed person that the anger and hatred they are taking out on their partner is actually misgided and the feelings are emtions from the past and not the present?

    • Paul says:

      I wish I knew, am going through this myself. word for work in some cases. Its got so intense now am starting to doubt my own sanity. Maybe this is really the way she feels? I have to have hope for everyones sake, We are both good nice responsible people so i find it hard to believe that we would of had a baby and bought a house together if we were not in love. I too find it hard to believe that true love ups and disappears in the blink of an eye. I wish you all good luck, all we can do is hang in there and make sure were the one around them when they do start to feel the need for love and emotion again.

  89. TB says:

    Hi John – is there a way to ask you a private question or two? I am a partner of someone who I must believe fits exactly the description of several of your posts. – TB

  90. Deb says:

    Yes, unfortunately this happened to me with my depressed husband. I was with my husband for 8 years (married for 6) and have watched his depression get progressively worse throughout our relationship. Since I’ve known him, he’s always seen a psychiatrist and been on anti-depressants, but I never felt like the meds were working as they should. Aside from my husband’s depression, we always had a great relationship and were very happy with each other. He was always loving, caring and very kind to me and I couldn’t have asked for a better husband.

    Well, this past April, he went on a business trip to Ireland for 6 days and when he returned, he came back a completely changed person. He told me that being in Ireland was the best he’s ever felt and he felt ‘alive’ there. He said that b/c he was so happy there, it made him realize how unhappy he was here in our relationship. He then went on to say that he no longer felt the same about me and had just been going through the motions for months. Before his trip, he never let on that he was unhappy with me or that his feelings had changed.

    I then watched fall into the deepest depression I’ve ever seen him in… He soon started blaming his depression on me and our relationship and then turn verbally abusive. If I was in the same room with him, I could sense his anger and resentment towards me and he acted like he hated me. I soon had to move out of our home b/c I couldn’t take his verbal abuse any longer.

    I now suspect that my husband has manic depression (aka Bipolar Disorder) and may have gone manic when he was in Ireland. It looks like he experienced an extreme high when he was in Ireland and then an extreme low when he came home. I tried talking to his doctors, parents and best friend about my suspicions, but b/c he was blaming me for his depression, no one would listen to me.

    In 4 short months, we are now in the process of getting divorced and will soon put our house on the market. Once everything is finalized, he said that he will look for work to transfer him to Ireland b/c he thinks that that’s the answer to his depression and anxiety. I also suspect that there may be ‘another woman’ he’s involved with there.

    So as you can imagine, these past 4 months have been utter hell for me, but he’s made his mind up on his ‘escape plan’ and there’s no going back at this point for me anyways. I’m a member of the ‘Depression Fallout’ support board which has been recommended on this website. I definitely recommend it for loved ones of a depressed friend or family member. It has taught me how to deal with this situation and that it’s best to now concentrate on myself and putting my needs first. Here is the website if anyone is interested:

    • ML says:

      Hi Deb (& other readers),

      So sorry to read all you have been through in such a short time frame! It just seems crazy, like some crazy nightmare that is actually reality. My own situation is very like yours, except have been married for 11yrs. I wonder how you are? Do you have children? We don’t (after trying with ivf) which I feel makes it even more tragic and dare I add lonely. I do my best to “focus on myself” and have sought counselling support to help me navigate through the shock, grief, loss and may I add, anger and frustration. I still love my husband (and he knows it) as I am guessing you do too. My husband says that I am one of the kindest, loving people he has ever known and “hopes to see me happy with someone else” What does one do with that? Anyway, Deb if it’s any consolation at all we can see that there are MANY people like us who have change thrust upon us through our partners depression. You only need to see how many people follow this wonderful website and Depression Fallout. Take care.

      • Deb says:

        Hi ML-

        Thanks so much for your response, I’d be happy to give an update!

        It’s now been 8.5 months since fallout first happened. Looking back, I can honestly say that the spring/summer was the hardest time of my life, especially June and July. My ex completely tossed me aside as if I were trash and his cruel and hateful comments sent me into a downward spiral. I stopped eatting and couldn’t sleep and I soon found myself in my own depression (situational, not clinical).

        It’s was probably around mid July that I started to get my strength back… I picked myself off the floor and really started concentrating on myself and what I needed to be healthy again.

        My ex was over the house Labor Day weekend b/c we were getting it ready to put on the market and he made a comment that was so malicious and cruel. It was such a blow and really left me in shock that he would say something so nasty. That moment was the tipping point for me and I knew more than ever that my ex was no longer the person he once was. For my own sake and sanity (!) I knew I had to distance myself from this toxic person or he’d continue to use me as a verbal punching bag. I spoke to my counseler about what he said and she recommended that I not see my ex anymore unless there was a third party present, so that’s what I did.

        Fully distancing myself from my ex and cutting all personal contact was the best thing I ever did for myself. This is when I really became stronger and was able to put this situation behind me and move on.

        Since that time, our house went on the market mid September and we got an offer in 3 days! It was kind of bittersweet for me b/c I loved my house, but it was also a relief. I moved into my new apartment mid October and closed on our house the end of October. Finally, my ex and I were in court for our divorce 3 weeks ago and it will be final in March.

        After the Labor Day incident, if I had to talk to my ex about the house or the divorce, it was business only. Neither one of us asked or talked about our personal lives and it was like we had a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell rule which really worked for me. Throughout the fall, my ex was actually civil to work with and there were no more nasty incidents.

        My ex called me in October though and wanted to rehash what happened in the spring, but I really didn’t want to. What was the point after all this time and after what had happened? We did talk about some things though and he admitted that he didn’t handle things the right way and said he was sorry for the way he had acted. I was completely floored by this and didn’t expect it! To be honest though, his apology was really falling on deaf ears because it had been 6 months at that point since everything started… Too little too late for me.

        Today I’m in a much different place with all this now and I’m so much stronger! I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time and no longer feel the overwhelming sadness I used to have. I’ve also moved on… I didn’t expect this to happen now, but I met a really nice guy in the fall. I wasn’t looking to start dating at all, but we met by chance and really hit it off. We took things slow in the beginning and he was so patient and understanding with everything I was going through. He’s very good and respectful to me and made me realize that it was possible to find happiness again.

        ML- Here are answers to some of your other questions… Nope, I don’t have children and like you had to go through IVF. I got pregnant once, but sadly lost the baby 1/2 way through my pregnancy. 🙁 Infertility was one of the things my ex through in my face when he was being cruel last spring. He actually said to me one night, ‘I’m trying to determine if my desire to be a father is stronger than my desire to be with you.’ Talk about kicking me when I’m down, that was so hard to hear. It was something he said when his MDE was first starting.

        As for loving my ex… A part of me always will love him, but after what happened, my feelings are not the same. He is no longer the person I once knew and loved and his cruel behavior did a number on my feelings and self esteem. So no, it’s not the same for me.

        I know that this post was long, but I’m hoping that it may help others going through what I did. When fallout first happens, it’s a painful, scary and confusing time. It was definitely the worst thing I ever went through and I never saw it coming. All I can tell you is to have faith that things will get better and that you’ll be happy again. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself on fallout and to truly understand that it’s not your fault. And remember to think about your needs and what’s best for yourself. If you find yourself in your own depression like I was, recognize it and seek help. Things will get better again though and once you get through to the other side, you may find yourself stronger than you’ve ever been.

        I’ve had so much change in my life these past almost 9 months, but I wouldn’t change how I feel today after going through it. I know I did everything I could for my ex, but he shut me out and when that happens, there’s very little you can do. I’m not bitter when I think of my ex… It saddens me that this happened to him because he really is a wonderful guy and has a good heart. I wish him well and really hope he finds the help he needs.

        2013 was a very turbulent year for me… Here’s to 2014 being better!

        Happy New Year!


  91. Cassie says:

    Saw the last few months how the person I love the most struggled trying to get grips with her depression. In the prosess blamed me for everything. It takes a tole on your body and soul.

    My prayrs go out to all the partners with a loved one batteling with depression.

    Be strong

  92. I know says:

    It’s very hard to realise for the first major time even secondary episodes can be denyed. The brains clever how it overreacts to a trigger the person goes over and over the same trigger and that’s WHY it started not that it’s depression. WRONG. The hardest trigger Is when a close relative partner triggers them they blame it ALL on then unquestioning any of it. Mine was actually quite in lightening because it was of a guy from work a stranger and HE triggered me. I knew it was ridiculous being bothered by a stranger and why my brain cared so much of this ridiculous trigger. That’s what taught me the importance of the trigger. It was never about him all about me and afterwards I felt awful that I felt that way it was so meaningless, anyhow it helped me realise that it was a depression while I was in it, still I couldn’t shake it until 8mths the fog naturally lifted after goin through flashbacks and the rest everything got better.

  93. Worry is a normal part of life, like paying taxes or being on time to an appointment. Anxiety disorders can be thought of as intense and/or prolonged states of worry that interfere with daily life – and can take up several hours of every day.

  94. Alan Smith says:

    It’s a great share.Depression is now very common in depressed teens.Due to depression various changes occur in one’s behavior.One such common change is loss of feeling.Therefore from your shared post help to us to know about the effects of it.

  95. Jessie says:

    This is something lots of people go through unfortunately. I went through similar experiences with depression and more so with anxiety, but fortunately I was able to come out the other side and it’s been over 7 years since then. There is hope and it can get better.

  96. I remember when I was depressed that I just wanted everything to stop. I wanted to quit school, quit any club I was in, quit any social contact with friends, families AND lovers. I just wanted to be left alone and to be able to lie in bed all day.
    When you are depressed you feel less emotions, but you desire to feel no emotion at all. Just to have to deal with nothing and to do nothing.
    Glad I am no longer that person that wants to hide under the duvet all day and shut out everyone I love.

  97. David says:

    This kind of pain is really complicated and too deep to handle alone by the couple or an individual. It is truly better to have an expert beside you when are dealing with such pain. A guide and someone who will support you. Many people give up and just let their relationship fall into pieces. Sometimes, there is still hope and you just have to find the light with the help of a professional.

  98. Sally says:

    This is a very informative blog about depression and how it affects a relationship. It’s important to learn to understand the signs of depression if you think your partner is truly depressed. By seeking marriage therapy (, you and your partner can learn how to support each other and you can learn how to cope and deal with the stress, feelings of isolation and distance you may be feeling from your depressed partner.

  99. Amy says:

    This was me. Three months ago. I was willing to throw everything away. A great husband. Two beautiful kids. I told my husband hateful things. Blameing everything on him. I was ready to walk. He took me to my doctor the very next day. She changed my meds. I started therapy. I feel better. Not good. But better. I am starting to feel. Love for my family. Sorrow for the things I have done. Guilt. But even the bad feelings are better then feeling nothing at all.

  100. Donna-1 says:

    It is so difficult to disabuse myself of the notion that escape is the answer. Yet I can see the logic in your post. But I am not looking for the perfect passionate mate. I am looking for an escape from everyone. It is easy to think emotion is superfluous, that I can do without it. Yet, if I only had emotion, I might see how false that statement is. At some time, I must have loved my family. And I doubt that true love just up and disappears. Right now, I am willing to concede I am numb. That’s when my decisions are the most dangerous — because I don’t feel the pain I am causing myself and others.

    • amanda says:

      That is how I feel I don’t care about driving people insane.. I stay in my room all the time and don’t like to be out of my room now I feel scared to be near my bf… I miss him badly too.. I have random moments of the in love feeling but right it’s hard bc I feel like my obsession have caused me to feel this way I am scared to do anything… I am going to see the doctor with my bf this tuseday to see if I can get help.. I don’t wanna lose him I really don’t I can’t see my life without him…. I feel deeply depressed I just don’t want to be friends either….

      • M says:

        Hi, Amanda! i know it has been almost 2 years since you commented here, but i was wondering how things turned out for you? I hope everything went better!! lots of love for you~~

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