Depression sets relationship traps for both partners. Everything can change quickly between two people, and it’s crucial to be able to spot these changes as soon as possible.
Here are 11 signs of the illness that seem perfectly designed to undo the bonds of closeness.
Humor, talking and doing things together, sharing special moments – they’re all gone.
In their place are avoidance, anger, blame and isolation.
Two Sides of Depression
Usually, we think of the passive side of the illness with its loss of vitality and despair, but there’s also an aggressive side.
It flares out when depressed partners blame others for what they’re feeling. The person they’re closest to takes the brunt of their anger. The first several symptoms in this list describe these behaviors.
On the passive side, the abuse is turned inward. It’s the depressed partner who’s the center of every problem. They’re self-absorbed to the point of losing the ability to relate to others in a realistic way.
Instead of denial and blaming everyone else for their pain, they focus on their own worthlessness, even to the point of thinking constantly of suicide as the only way out.
Many of these relationship traps converge and become all the more damaging through their combined impact. The specific behaviors can emerge in dozens of different ways, and here I’ve drawn partly on what I did when depressed. The experience could feel very different in your relationship.
The Relationship Traps
Flashes of anger come frequently. Irritability is a constant attitude, leading to criticism and annoyance at trivial things. Money’s being wasted, bills aren’t paid on time, the house is a mess – and it’s your fault. For days at a time, depression can provoke this constant barrage of criticism. Any attempt to probe what’s going on only provokes angry denial.
When inner feelings are most confusing, depressed partners try to control home and family as closely as possible. They want everything to be predictable. Even the flow of spontaneous feeling in the family can be threatening. They can get furious at minor upsets that violate the sense of order they’re desperate to preserve. That order, however, is completely arbitrary and can vary from moment to moment, depending on their own feelings. The depressed partners are full of tension, and their behavior is torture for the rest of the family.
The closer to inner collapse depressed partners feel, the more they blame others for creating their problems. They accuse their partners of ruining their lives and ignoring their needs. They keep lists of their grievances and obsess about the way they’re frustrated at every turn. Their partner is selfish and never tries to help. At work, they’re driving them crazy. Someone else is always at fault. At its worst, this need to blame can turn paranoid.
Contempt and rejection become common. There is rebuke in every glance. Dismissive remarks about their partner’s appearance and attempts at conversation become the norm. With verbal attacks, they try to manipulate partners into believing they’re the ones in need of help and cause them to question their own judgment. At social gatherings, the depressed partners can make cutting remarks and ignore their partners while engaging happily with everyone else. At the worst, verbal abuse can even escalate to physical attacks.
Trying to escape the pain of depression can lead to addictive behavior. Alcohol can dull all feeling. Drugs, pornography, affairs or fantasies of escaping to a new life can all provide temporary emotional highs and arousal to replace the despair or lack of deep feeling depression can cause. Real intimacy and relationship seem remote and disappear in the need to get away from the reality of the illness. The well partners can’t get through to them and can face angry denial that there’s anything wrong with them.
Suddenly a depressed partner can feel like they’re not there. Physically, they can be present, but emotionally there are no reactions, very little response of any kind. In their own minds, they’re becoming observers rather than participants in daily life. Nothing seems to get through to them. It’s as if they’ve disappeared. A relationship becomes impossible when it’s all one way.
It’s often called ruminating, but I prefer to call it obsessive thinking. That gets at the intense anguish that’s part of a compulsive focus on every mistake they’ve ever made. In depression, they can’t stop thinking about what they did wrong today. Or if today was all right, they could summon up that embarrassing or stupid thing they did twenty years ago. Time doesn’t make any difference. The memories of failure, real or imagined, are the most highly charged for a depressed person. They’re always close to the surface and provide reminders every day of how inadequate they are. These thoughts are a constant distraction from any effort to connect with a partner. They’re lost in these memories of everything they’ve ever done wrong and can never set right.
Overwhelmed, unable to face anyone, depressed partners spend a lot of time alone. They may feel a desperate need to get away from everyone. They need space and solitude to hold onto the little energy and spark they have left. Even when not so desperate, they may want to do things alone that they used to do with their partners. They may work all the time and avoid the pressure of being with people. The well partner is deserted. There’s literally no one there to try to relate to.
Sometimes the sense of being overwhelmed or too despairing to face anyone is replaced by the inability to feel much of anything. The partner might say everything is fine, but there is no sense of real connection. Nothing stirs excitement. There’s no interest in sex. They may say they feel fine but have no interest in doing anything. They can be apparently quite sociable and at ease but can’t share anything deep or really make contact. Something is missing inside.
Inability to Talk.
Depression can be so deep that the desire to talk and communicate disappears. The partner might be content to sit and stare for hours. If asked what’s wrong or if they want anything, there’s little response. Or if they’re still active, they may just find it impossible to talk about the depression they’re experiencing. They may say they’re trying to spare their partners the turmoil they’re going through. Or they can feel there is something so monstrous in them that they dare not expose it to anyone close. Nothing inside can be exposed through words.
Shame and Worthlessness.
One of the hallmarks of depression is the overpowering sense of worthlessness. Self-esteem is replaced with self-contempt. An inner voice persuades the partner to think this way: I can’t do anything right, and I’ve never been able to. I’m just too stupid. Everyone else may think I’m fine but they just don’t know what really goes on inside me. My partner couldn’t possibly love an idiot like me. Someone else will come along, someone better, more capable, stronger than I am. It’s only a matter of time before my partner gives up on me and finds real fulfillment with someone else. Nothing will ever work out for me.
It’s hard to imagine a more complete inventory of weapons for destroying relationships. Even one or two would be like poison, but depression often brings them all together. They may not all occur within a single episode, but any of them can arrive without notice.
In future posts in this series, I’ll discuss how both partners can deal with these destructive changes and try to survive depression together.
How has depression affected your relationships? Have you watched a partner disappear in this illness, or have you been the depressed one imposing pain on your partner?
Image by pumpkinmook at Flickr
I’m overwhelmed with hope knowing that I’m not alone. I’ve thought I was the only one for so long. Mine and my husband’s relationship has been rocky for 15 years. He’s Bipolar1 and his manic cycles coupled with his Severe depression and self medicating with substance abuse have caused so much pain throughout those times. I left recently for a few weeks with the kids to give him space to wake up. He was mean, resentful, jobless and just plain hateful. He connected and spent time with us for the first couple weeks after then he went ghost. Told me he couldn’t touch me bc he needed to punish himself and needed to know that I wasn’t going to be there all the time bc then he’d get comfortable and fall back to using. He’s been clean since I left, but dropped his moodstabalizer. We came back 4 weeks ago and it was a little tense, but progressed well then one day he didn’t come home. He’s been avoidant dismissive blamful and hurtful ever since. He wont say he loves me and it angers him for me to say it. Some nights he comes home others he doesn’t. If I talk to him he freaks. He ignores me completely. Tonight he flipped bc I left the dog cablebin the yard and he came home and wrapped it up in the mower. This is what hes sick of. Says he’s sick of all the shit I don’t do. ( even our 12 yr old says ( um but what exactly don’t you do mom?) He has completely abandoned all sense of being a husband and father. Well he just recently started trying a bit more and acting somewhat himself with the kids, but me? I swear it’s as if he absolutely hates me. He said life isn’t fair and that the kids could stay but that he wants me to go. That when I left that he realized he liked it that way. That he wants HIS HOUSE a certain way. He admits to absolutely no faults at all. I’ve stood by him when everyone in his life completely abandoned him. He says he doesn’t care about that and that he’s not in debt to me. He keeps telling me to leave him alone and I have but he starts these combative conversations himself. He did say few days ago that, he’s really struggling being sober. One day he will talk to me just a little then the next he ghosts me. Tonight ended with him saying ” you think I’m stupid” but couldn’t tell me what it was he thought I was supposedly doing. He also insinuated again that I’m at fault for his drug use. Forcing it on him basically. I know this man loves me with every light he has left inside. I just don’t know if that is enough anymore. I’ve held on for so so long. Do I stay and see if he decides to go or wait it out for God knows how long this time? Or do I go? Leave behind our home and all the things we’ve built together. Start over with the busted car he’s let me have, no money(been a stay at home mom to 4 for 4 yrs now bc that’s what he wanted) shattered heart and hurt children who just wanna be home? All for my own sanity?? I’m torn. 15 years. 15 years I’ve held on and now I’m just gonna throw in the towel? How? I promised him I’d never leave him all alone. He’s a wonderful man but he’s consumed by so much pain and self hate. I’m so hurt and confused.
The relationship was closed before I live 375km away for a six month programme and things have changed then. But nonetheless an incident occur.
She was depressed and get gat drunk she text me she was high and before I knew it she was on a call.
Then I asked her about the call, she called a male friend when she was drunk and they both speak for 30:00 min plus before I called her and I speak to her.
Should I worry about this? What gat her depressed was all about money, my absence E.T.C
My wife sent this article to me because she thinks my depression has caused me to imagine her love affair. Yes I suffered from chronic depression, marked by uncontrollable anxiety and a season of suicidal ideation. But since my doctor put me on Cymbalta, not only has my mental state drastically improved but my leg pain is cut in half. I feel better than I have in over 15 years. Oh and my depression didn’t tell me my wife is in love with another dude, the guy she’s banging did.
Wow, if my wife’s bad periods (which can last a day or months on end) she ticks almost all boxes. The continuous frustration and pressure of dealing with this behaviour, and mixed feelings of “I do not do enough to support her” and “I hate her for doing this to me” exhausts me and I am often numbing my feelings with bingewatching until the middle of the night, or fleeing in fantasies to be able to sleep at night.
In between bad periods she is a wonderful wife and mother, that often gives too much of herself to make everybody happy. This makes it very confusing to deal with her. Not knowing where I am at with here is killing me.
It drains a lot of energy and affects every part of my life, at the point that I am concerned about my job, because I am not able to bring the performance that is required in my job.
When I look back this pattern was there from the start, but it got greatly amplified since some dramatic events in her family. During these events, and afterwards, I tried to support her, but she kept pushing me away with anger attacks, accusations and the silent treatment.
With our children she holds back more, but they still often get an undeserved scourning.
The article gives me some relief that this behaviour is related to her depression and not due to me, but I still feel angry, frustated, trapped, concerned about her and guilty at the same time.
Man I feel this so much. It’s a very lonely isolating feeling, just absorbing all the abuse. My wife just entered another spell, hoping this one doesn’t last months.
I so appreciate that I’ve stumbled across this site, but I’m so sorry to hear of everyone’s pain. My boyfriend of 1.5 years just broke up with me for the second time, out of the blue, saying that while he cares about me very much he doesn’t love me and “I don’t want anyone caring about me or fussing over me. I just want to be alone. I have to figure this out”, adding that “this is not about anything you did or didn’t do, its not about you at all”.
This happened the first time six months ago, in October, also out of the blue, at which time he just imploded over the course of three days and told me that “you should find someone else, because there’s something wrong with me”. He suffered a major depressive episode in November after a getting wasted drunk one night, a true episode that he couldn’t understand and kept asking me “why is this happening to me?”. He came out of that with my support, but refused to get help; he did one session with a therapist but nothing after that despite promises to follow through. I recognize that I should have been more firm about that. He then seemed to improve significantly and we had the best six months together, spending every weekend together, doing every fun thing you can imagine, going on a cruise in March, and in February he had asked me to tell him what I was looking for in an engagement ring. He always talked about our future, that we would grow old together, that he was always there for me and that I was stuck with him. I was close to his family and friends. And now this. He told me when he broke up with me this time that “things actually never got any better since the first time; I kept hoping they would”. He also never got help. I’m not sure if his current depression is affecting his perception of the past six months or if his depressive episode never fully resolved, or both, since an episode can last for six to eight months. However, I simply cannot reconcile the man who was so affectionate, loving, and wanted to be together with those comments. I’m not sure if he just acted his way through the last six months, but its hard to imagine anyone pulling that off so well for so long.
Again. I realize its his depression, and other issues that were there all along, but its still so painful. The first time he came back after two weeks, telling me that he missed me so much, wanted us to be together and could not live with the pain he caused me, expecting me to not give him another chance. My guess is that he won’t come back this time, but I’m not sure I’d take him back after this. I deserve better and if he won’t work on himself then he’ll never be able to give me that. I can only hope that he eventually realizes what he lost.
I hope everyone here, depressed folks and their loved ones, will find peace. I hope I will, too. Thanks for the opportunity to share.
So amazing how these comments are so similar to my experience with my depressed partner. It really helps me sort things out and makes me feel less alone.
Thank you for your comment. I am going through the exact same situation with my boyfriend. After reading this post, I get what is going on. I have experienced something similar myself. I am not ready to give up on him. He’s an amazing guy with a medical problem. That is not to say you should not give up. You have to do what is best for you.
My goodness please give an update!!
It is not that this information was new, but the framing made me realize what kind of person i was to have left my long-term caring partner, and now moved away from my current partner.
My only question a month after reading this the first time; how do you cope with the fact that you are the one that caused it when being in such a state?
I met my partner 7 months ago and it has been a whirlwind of a ride. I have found myself in pain, crying seeking answers from google to understand the emotional rollercoaster which was the last seven months. I had been a single mother for the past 5 years and was quite happy in my life but felt it would be nice to find love again. A mutual friend put us in contact with each other as he thought we held similar values and we went on our first date. It was one of the first instant connections I had ever felt in my life. He understood me and I him. We had similar traumas and past experiences, it felt like he was me in male form and I could just tell him anything and he would understand. His mum had terminal cancer and my mum had battled with intense life threatening cancer a few years before so I felt it my calling to be there for him even if it didn’t work out romantically that we could always stay friends and share this bond. Fast forward the next few months and we were closer than ever I had found my soulmate. He was the most caring man I had ever met. We spoke about marriage and each day we giggled and messaged each other with support and deep caring messages. I put on hold my successful career to meet his mum and family interstate and sat there and cooked and cared for his nieces, nephews and families whilst her health decreased and became a patient of palliative care. The distress and misery was one of the worst things I had ever encountered but I did it for him. I found out that I was pregnant a few days before she died and he told his family immediately as he was overwhelmed with joy. I held him throughout everything and worked tirelessly to support my son and him whilst working an intense job. I helped organise his mums funeral and helped him financially after he asked whilst he was catching up with the work he had missed from being there for his mum. I often asked him if he was ready for this baby because I had worried that he wasn’t going to be ok and that I was going to have to support everyone, as I was tired of doing this, being a single parent for 5 years. He assured me everything was fine but he would go and seek some help to be on top of everything as he had told me he had suffered from depression a long time ago. After coming back from the doctor he told me that he told him he was suffering from severe depression, my heart sank. I thought how could someone tell him that after an hour of knowing him and what that negative mindset must feel like for him. The next couple of weeks were tumultuous he was up and down, intense. Everything you explained above was happening. He snapped at me over the smallest of things and would become distant without apologising for his aggressive behaviour, which I had been through before with an abusive ex partner and he knew how that scared me so. One day I was at work with my class and he sent me a message saying he was leaving me, taken the furniture and that I knew it this was already happening and good luck with everything which included a thumbs up emoji. I panicked, called and messaged asking what is going on, why is he doing this. He ignored my calls and texts and my colleagues dropped me home. I got home to find his stuff, furniture, everything had been cleared. My friend and mum came to my arms and I cried and shook with confusion and in total shock. I had He finally responded to my message with a 15. message explaining what he hated about me. Including things like I wasn’t a supportive partner and that I had entrapped him into the relationship. I was blindsided, I had never heard these words come from his mouth. Only that he thought the world of me and was in awe of the woman I was. I re-read the messages every day. I am stuck alone pregnant with a 5 year old who also considered him a father figure in a world of pain. I can’t sleep so this article helped me to find a bit of peace after feeling that I poured my heart and soul into a relationship that just dumped me in a second. Although not hearing from him I do believe that he still loves me but is more consumed by his energy and negative thoughts all that it is this article. I read your stories and feel like I am maybe being set free from what would be years upon years of suffering. Although still very much in love I am taking steps to find peace in knowing that I can care for myself and son whole heartedly again and remain healthy minded.
I would just like to say to you well done and how strong you are . Reading your story is just like I have written this myself . I have went through a identical situation . It is souls destroying but never let anyone ever take your heart and love again as a weakness .
Im so sorry to hear. It’s just shocking that anyone could be so disrespectful to someone that once cared for, How did you recover from this?
this blog literally describes me right now and having an OCD boyfriend at the same time is really overwhelming. often I have suicidal thoughts.
Would like to talk to someone?
Hi January, here going through shit with depressed emotionally abusive partner.
Depression 101 says
me 2 buddy me 2
Wow I am the 644th comment. Excellent post, John. You are so right about this being a great armory for destroying relationships. I gave up on intimate relationships when I divorced in 1996. I include all types of intimacy. I don’t give life to any because I know they will end up dead and buried, by my own hand. In fact, I just fling them away now. Even the keepers. Back into the water where they can be caught by someone else. I actively TRY NOT TO encourage anyone to get close to me. I need to wear the same graphic t-shirt each day that says something like: RUN IF YOU CAN READ THIS. If they run then I won’t have to go to the trouble of chasing them away.
I have so many insecurities that I can’t think straight about myself or anyone else. If I am lucky enough to see even a glimmer of hope for a relationship, I wonder if I am bipolar and this is a manic episode. Just a glimmer of hope is like a supernova of promise and wonder. Then it dies out, becomes a black hole and I am sucked in and in by the gravity of another dying relationship.
I am tempted to erase all of this because it sounds so self-serving and whining and depressed. Okay, so be it. But it is true. A friend had invited me for lunch this afternoon at 2:00. A true friend — generous, warm, funny, available. I blew it. Before 10am I called and told her I was cancelling lunch. Yet before 2:00 this afternoon I dropped by to tell her why. I couldn’t let her think it was her. I said I knew I was being eccentric and silly and I couldn’t explain it — but I had to eat alone. Yes, she said, that was a dumb reason and she didn’t understand.
Fortunately, she took up the slack and said, “But this isn’t going to make any difference in our being friends, you know. Just because we have different ways of doing things and different opinions — no two people are same. You eat alone, and we can still get together and play cards and watch TV and visit later.” Thank God for true friends who cut you some slack when you need it, right. Embarrassed and wanting to bang my head against a wall after I left, I was nonetheless very grateful for her.
My husband of 36 years exhibits many of the signs listed. His reality perception of our relationship in how I’ve prevented him from having a happy or happier life is pretty steep. We have a special needs son who is very close with him and I am a homemaker.
I’ve always had a natural understanding of what you’ve shared here. So I have not been happy, necessarily in this relationship, but because with no study in psychology I’ve always been able to discern the roots of his depression and symptoms from it, coupled with my faith, and tripled with our son’s love for him,
I’m going to keep reading supportive articles and remain as hopeful as possible.
My husband has never been nor is a physically abusive man. When he begins signs of inappropriate anger that I recognize as escalating I tell him I and our son our heading out a few hours and he can choose to calm down in meantime or I’ll just do the same.
I made a decision to stick by him. My faith is my strength. This is a tough road, but each of us must do what they feel is the best.
Hi , I can’t help but say you are a wonderful partner. Much like my partner. I have depression.
May I ask. How did you find a way to communicate? She’s my rock. I know its not easy for her.
Any help that you have found would be heavily appreciated
my clinical depression which i was diagnosed with over 30 years ago has magnified since covid and the strain on my marriage of 5 years is suffering. I know im to blame because i go to bed for days as i am so so tierd and i feel safe in my bedroom as if i keep away from family and real life then nothing bad can come into my life ( mainly someone dying as i have lost so many). also i feel guilt from when my children were young i drank alot to escape my illness and domestic violence and i hate myself that i was weak and not strong and let my children down and i deserve the guilt and punishment and pain this causes me and should be suffering for this, my children are adults now and they dont blame me and love me but they should never have had to see and go through those childhood days. my anxiety is itrational and i know this but if for example the tv vilume control lands on a odd number i feel physically sick and believe something bad will happen until my husband puts the number to a evan one. at 44 i had to have a complete hysterectomy waking up to being in the menapause and my head and personality has totaly changed and increased my depression and then covid hit and i know im in a bad place and think about suicide and self harm and am sinking into that black hole and am just so tired of fighting each and everyday and my hisband takes all my hideing away for days personally and says ive broken him and we are at breaking point, i love him so very much and its breaking my heart as i push those i love away when im like this and now we hardly speak and we go days with no conversation, how do i get through to him that i dont mean the way i behave and get him to understand i love him and all i want is for him to hold me in his arms and tell me he loves me, i need help as i cant lose him x
Im going through the same thing.get away b4 it gets too late. Im a strong minded never would see myself stay where i was last with until they came back. Isolated lost myself. Now i just got out of jail because they punish me fot walking off. Lost my car n everything i own because they couldn’t give me a lil stability to not driving around living in my truck. Now im wrapped around their thumb. I eat when they say eat. Im diabetic. I sleep when i can. And all i want was to be held. I finally spoke up and said hold me when it was 3am they wete up making noises making it hard to sleep..responded ” i aint holding shit” that made me cry to sleep and hearing them get annoyed and struggling to not sniffle. Im alone again nothing but time to find courage to build myself up. Hours later they try putting me down. Buying me a outfit after wearing the same thing over 1 week having to wash and sleep nude until it dries up or sometimes have to put it on wet. They felt okay to continue to break me after seeing me thankful for a tshirt and jeans they couldnt wait 1min to put me down. I spoke up and said no im not being difficult. How are you going to continue to be okay shutting me up for being me. And yet complain and have me speak a certain way. Then i wont be me. No. This is who i am your not changing it. Sorry..
They caught a tantrum speed walked out the door.leaving me without my belongings and starving. But you know what. Its better than to be crying under the sheets or staring blankley nowhere with tears till no tears come. I finally got on the phone and Google how to help myself and i seen your post. And here i am now. Feeling better that i got it off my chest as well
I met my 2nd husband whilst separated from my ex.
My ex was both physically and mentally abusive and a womaniser.
I have 2 boys from that marriage.
My second husband and I met through a dating ad in the paper.
He was divorced.
It was a whirlwind romance and we were so close and talked for hours on end. We decided to live together and 2 years later, got married.
There were episodes where he became moody, but they were short-lived.
In 2012, he had a heart attack and had to have a stent inserted.
He was really weak and tired and refused therapy through the hospital.
2 weeks later he came off all his prescibed tablets which caused terrible rows.
There have been episodes of depression- not talking, blaming, going missing for several hours at a time.
This has made me feel very upset at times, all I want is a happy relationship, especially after what happened in my first marriage.
This last year has been awful- since the lockdown.
I have been an essential worker- he has been on furlough.
He is now retired.
He has been very withdrawn, aggressive in his speech, not interested. Everything that I say, he twists- Apparently, I am terrible person to live with.
He is also trying to turn my twin sister and her husband against me because I want to have the Covid Vaccination and he doesn’t want to and he wants them to follow suit.
I have a son who lives and works in Malta and I want to see him in June, hopefully.
I feel as though he is going against me deliberately and causing conflict.
Who is this person who once loved me and adored me?
I feel as though he is full of hate and controlling.
I keep praying that things will get better and it is just a bad phase.
He is pleasant with other members of the family, but they would be shocked to see this other side of him.
However, the other day, he was abit short with me, infront of my son.
These episodes can grind you down and make you feel worthless and when they are unpredictable, they leave you in a state of disbelief.
You come home feeling happy, then you are confronted by whatever mood he is in.
Never ever expected this to happen!
All I want is for this relationship to work out, but time will tell!
I’ve just got seriously depressed through trying to rush trauma therapy for ptsd. I was about to propose and even her folks had agreed and were over the moon and the ring was picked by me and her mother. Meanwhile I was feeling most of the above and pushed her away and was making silly demands. All to try and soothe the anxiety that I had this huge tug of war with. I was deep in a hole and couldn’t get out of it. No thought for the best and most supportive rock of a woman I’ve ever had in my life. I think this combined with the worthless feelings of deep depression which I’ve never felt before, so I’m also confused and doubting everything with absolutely no foundation or normal reasoning at all. I tried to kill myself then two nights on the trot. I refused to leave hospital the second time until I was taken off the prescribed valium as after 7 months this definitely was adding to the depression. Never in my life did I think I would attempt suicide but this massive depressive episode made me think that it was the only way to go. I’d managed to break the heart of this beautiful lady and I felt the only answer to this was to finish myself. What have I become? Why am I like this? All running through my head. I just wanted out! I was finished. So I came out of hospital 9 days later and into a homeless unit with the woman I truly loved and cared about now gone and scared of me. 5 weeks on and I still can’t believe what has happened and what I’ve managed to cause with my words. I’m disgusted with myself and now I must soldier on and better myself and make sure I never have a depressive episode like that again. Absolutely uncontrollable but you live and learn and through heavy therapy(approx 6 hours every week) I’ve found out that you can’t rush ptsd trauma therapy or it will come and destroy everything in your happy world and you run the risk of spreading that trauma onto the partner you would never wish to hurt or scare. You need to be more aware and stay sober and be open with your partner! I was also withholding alot of the trauma we were talking about as I felt it was protecting her but now I realise it’s especially important to communicate these things to your partner before they quickly get pushed away into becoming your ex and past the point of no return as much as I’d love her to trust that that will never happen again. I have to face upto the reality of what I’ve done to her. Ill or not all they see is you saying these hurtful things. Just because you’re mentally ill that isn’t what they see and their emotions are still getting crushed. You’re still exhausting them, you’re still suffocating them. You’re coming across as weak and needy because in the depths of serious depression you are all these things. You feel lost you feel out of control and when you break the heart of the person you never ever wanted to do anything other than protect then that’s when you really hit rock bottom. I doubt she will be back. As much as I wish she’d reach out and as much as I want to make things right unfortunately as this article says it’s very hard to put someone through all that stuff and expect them to still be by your side. Be mindful and don’t rush things. If my post helps one person not make the same mistakes then at least something has been achieved out of this whole horrible disaster and one day I hope with time I get the chance to at least explain myself and that herself and her family who have all been so lovely to me the past two years can forgive me and realise that how I wish things hadn’t gone that way and that they understand.
I met the love of my life at work, he was the typical night manager and I was a team member at the supermarket together. I’m 9 years younger than him but we get along like two peas in a pod, he was the best friend someone I couldn’t or can’t live without. Only last week did he hold my hand so tightly looking right into my eyes and said “I would never change this for the world, you’re the love of my life and I’ll love you forever” it all went downhill afterwards, he blamed me for ruining his career since he also became a regular team member. Thinking that morning shifts will make our relationship much better and I didn’t agree to it yet he made the rational decision to choose it upon himself, he said hes hated me so long for it deep down and that he can’t seem to let it go, so why be with me for over a year if you hate me so much because of your career mess up? He also mentioned “if his bank account isn’t happy he isn’t either” and NEVER in my life has he ever said that which made me so shocked. He’s yelled at me so much and said he wants everyone to leave him alone including me. I don’t know if it means we’re broken up because he also deleted our photo on his Facebook profile but has not deleted me off other social media’s. I don’t know where to go about this, I took time off work because I don’t think I can handle a confrontation. Would be so kind if I received replies as I’m so lost on what to do now.
Its not you, but it is you. It will cost you alot to fix that mess…
Something about your past brought you two together.
Move on and work on yourself so you dont get in this mess again.
This guy sounds like a big baby that won’t take responsibility for his actions. What he wants is someone to blame for his bad decisions. Life is too short to put up with a partner that doesn’t make you happy and only makes you miserable. If I had my time again I would have gotten out of my relationship years ago but something keeps me here. Fear of the u known?? He doesn’t push me away but rather constantly whinges about everything, blames me for anything he can, and ruminates about old stories, mostly dramatic ones, eye roll . I have given him sound advice many times, the same advice as his current therapist, but he doesn’t do his ‘homework’ to help himself. He has had anxiety and depression for a long time and I am sorry for that, but now I just don’t put up with his crap. I just look after me and indifference is now my coping mechanism most of the time. He can do more to help himself. Don’t get me wrong if it gets really bad I am there and empathetic, but the everyday bullshit is just that, bullshit.
Anyway, don’t make the mistake I made and if it isn’t right, leave, look after yourself. You should live a happy life. He can look after himself. It’s not fair to take out his problems on you and if you take it now, he will expect it all the time.
A year ago, I met and began dating the man of my dreams. He’s by far the most genuinely caring and loving man I’ve ever dated. We are such a great team and love each other so much, but he suffers from depression. He told me this early in our relationship, and there have been a couple of episodes that we’ve had to manage. They were short-lived, though usually 2-3 days of him withdrawing and needing space. However, Christmas 2020 was a new experience for me and new level of his battle with depression. He broke off our relationship stating that I’d be better off without him. He also blamed me for his recent inactivity and irritation. That has never happened! Two weeks ago he was shopping for a ring to propose to me, and we explored areas to relocate to. So, to say I was blindsided is an understatement. He has only been in touch with me via text to say he’s sorry and to reiterate that I would be better off without him. I’m devastated, but even more concerned about him. I don’t know what to do. He insists on being alone, so I don’t want to force the issue. I love him dearly, but wonder if I should take my broken heart and walk away. I’m gutted over this, and struggle to understand what to do.
Hi KJ. I understand your pain, as my partner is also severely depressed and has tried to push me away often. He says things like I deserve better, that someone else will come along and I’ll forget all about him. He’s told me he doesn’t want to be with me multiple times but I know 100% that isn’t true, and usually after each episode he tells me how sorry he is and it isn’t him – it’s his depression. I can always tell when he’s going through this state of mind and quite literally have to take what he says with a pinch of salt (although that can be incredibly difficult at times). I would give your partner a few days to come around but tell him you’re there for him if he needs you, that you will give him time to think about what he wants, but you know that what you want is him – and that won’t change, depression or not. Tell him you know he wants to push you away but that you will support him no matter what, and he doesn’t have to do this alone. If this is truly what he wants, then you have no option but to accept that, but based on my own experiences, I feel that’s not the total truth. Give him time. Hope all works out okay, it’s not been an easy experience for me and I feel very helpless watching him go through this. I’m learning something new every day with how to react and support him. It’s difficult but I hold on to the hope that things will get easier.
Thank you for taking time to read my story and to respond with sound advice. I hope you and your loved one see better times while managing the effects of depression. As for me, I keep praying and believing that God will provide the strength we both need to get through this or a way to move on without too much damage done.
I am going through the exact same, though it started back in October right after our anniversary. He was the most wonderful man. Had planned a life for us and talked marriage to all our friends and family. Then the communication started to dwindle. If I acted concerned he would snap at me that people caring about him was an annoyance. He finally called me out of the blue in November and said he “needed to do his own thing”. I could tell he was devastated and swore up and down that he knows he’s throwing away the best relationship he’s ever had. Since then it’s mostly silent except for some late night calls where he claims to be drinking and is showing glimpses of the man I knew. It’s all on his terms. There has been zero questions of how I’m doing and frankly I know he doesn’t have the bandwidth to hear about my pain. If I send a message I get snapped at for not letting him have his time to do what he needs to. He’s admitted to drinking more frequently and the hours of these calls suggest the sleep is off.
I am endlessly concerned but rendered helpless as we currently live on opposite coasts and going there would likely not go over well.
I’m just making it clear breakup or not that I still care and am here if he needs me. It’s agony, and at some point I will walk away. But for now I’m holding on to the hope that he’s still in there and hopefully will not feel so guilty about this when the storm passes that he opens back up.
I am sorry that you are going through such a difficult time with your loved one. You seem very supportive and I hope that’s recognized and appreciated. Hopefully, things will get better for you. I’m hoping the same for myself.
Thank you for sharing your story and taking time to respond to mind!
We have the exact situation!!! My ex boyfriend and I broke up last November, 2 weeks after our anniversary. He started to show signs of depression mid-October and I gave him space but still he broke up with me. Still hurts though. We also had the best relationship. I read so many articles regarding depression fallouts and it helped a little moving forward cause we didnt get the chance to have closure. I believe depressed people can’t handle that type of situation. I’m so sorry we had to experience this.
Take him on his word and run. I married someone with these issues who would not seek appropriate help. 27 years and 2 kids later, I divorced him. I was broken and literally a mess. I’m way better now. My advice – move on!