How to Work Together to Save Your Relationship from Depression

Relationships can break down quickly under the impact of depression. While many depressed partners decide to leave for good, I think it’s more common for two people to stay together and try to tough it out. If that’s the situation you’re in, you need more than hope to make a go of it and eventually restore the relationship.

As my wife and I discovered, one of the first things you need to do is learn all over again how to communicate, how to be with each other. If we hadn’t done that, I doubt we could have kept going over the last 25 years.

There are methods that can help you start the process of healing the relationship, but they take a lot of practice and commitment on both sides. If you can stay with them, they’ll help you just as they helped us.

Keep in mind that they won’t solve every problem, and they won’t cure depression. But they can help keep your relationship going while the depressed partner is getting treatment for the illness.

Communicating Goes Beyond Words

A lot of the advice you hear about relating to a depressed partner is all about words. There are countless lists of the helpful things to say, and the things you should never say. The problem is that the words alone don’t express what you mean.

Communication comes from total presence of a person. When you and your partner are talking, you’re much more attuned to facial expressions, physical signs and, above all, the tone of voice than to the bare words. You’re in motion when you try to relate to each other, and you’re both responding to a dozen changes that all the senses are picking up.

In the midst of depression, all those signals you’ve gotten used to either disappear or take on different meanings that block each of you from getting through. The methods we’ve learned help us get behind those signals and better understand what we need from each other.

Everything depends on our working together. That’s the first step, but we couldn’t get started on our own.

Here’s how we got going and what we learned.

  1. Get Help Together

    You may be able to master new skills on your own, but you’ll come to a lot of rough patches. A skilled counselor or therapist can guide you through the early stages and give you exercises to practice. A good professional can also introduce you to techniques you might not otherwise hear about.

  2. Make the Commitment

    It’s important that you agree to work with each other over time. This is not something you can do in 20 minutes a day. You’re trying to learn skills so well that they become second nature. Eventually, you’ll both know when and how to use them without prompting. But that takes a major commitment and a lot of time and practice.

  3. Find Out What the Triggers Are

    One of the best starting points is to discuss what each of you feels and needs, and also to identify the triggering incidents that send you into a tailspin. Julie Fast describes a good method for doing this in Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder. Each of you lists on paper what you feel in the relationship. When you read these to each other, you’re both likely to discover a lot of misconceptions each of you has had about your partner.

    Then you can each list the types of incidents that stir the deepest feelings of anger, hurt or injury. You can’t try to evaluate what your partner is identifying. The point is to be alert to the danger spots so that you can try to keep them from setting off a confrontation.

  4. Stop the Rush to Judgment

    The psychologist Carl Rogers believed that conflict began with our habit of making judgments. We hear an opinion or witness an action, make a quick assumption, pass judgment and react. We’ve worked for a long time with a method to interrupt the process the mind goes through to make the snap judgment. It seems instantaneous, but you can interrupt this sequence.

    • First, you perceive something – hear a statement, see a facial expression, catch a glance from your partner. It’s a trigger that starts up the process.
    • Next your mind identifies what that perception is and interprets it. You assume you know what it’s meant to communicate.
    • Then comes an emotional response. If it’s a sensitive trigger in the context of depression, it’s likely to be negative. You feel angry, hurt, frustrated.
    • You form a judgment. You’re being attacked for no reason. Your partner refuses to listen, is angry and is blaming you for something you didn’t do.
    • Lastly, you fire back and you’re off to serious argument.

    This all happens in a split second, even though your mind is doing something quite complicated. What you can learn to do, after a lot of practice, is to stop the process before making that final judgment and launching an attack. It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do: You have to check out your interpretation with your partner.

    You say something like: “Here’s what I just saw, here’s how I’m interpreting it. Am I right? Is that what you meant?” You may find you’ve missed the mark completely – or you may find you were right. But even if you read the message correctly, now you have a chance to probe what’s wrong. It’s amazing how that pause and questioning can stop the escalation of feelings into a fight.

    But remember: As we did, you may need to learn the method from a therapist. He guided us in practicing it. And we agreed to work on this every time we felt we were running into trouble. We’ve used this basic tool for a long time, but we can easily forget. Even when that happens, however, we both have the model as a reference point. There’s a good chance that one of us will realize what’s happening and try to take us back to where we went wrong.

  5. Listen to the Other Side

    Once you’ve been able to interrupt the rush to judgment, both of you can listen to one another’s concerns more easily. The hard part is to listen without trying to evaluate or judge. There’s a strong urge to interrupt, criticize, dismiss – all by making those quick judgments you’re trying to be conscious of. The best thing is to listen silently and concentrate on what your partner is saying. They’re describing how they see things, and that’s what you need to understand.

    After that, it’s helpful to mirror back what you’ve heard to show that you really do hear what they’re saying. The feeling that you’re being heard and understood is a powerful one in any relationship. It’s an affirming and hopeful experience.

  6. Be Realistic:

    It’s easy to expect too much too soon from any method. You may try it for a while, but have trouble making the new techniques work. That happens with any kind of therapy and with the process of recovery as a whole. The onset of depression has changed everything, and you’re scrambling to make things better.

    You need to be patient with yourself and your partner. Give yourselves plenty of time to internalize new ways of relating to each other.

Have you and your partner been able to work on relationship issues while treatment is underway? What are the key problems you’ve tried to work on? Which methods have been most effective?

Image by munzz at Flickr

147 Responses to “How to Work Together to Save Your Relationship from Depression”

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  1. Kathleen says:

    hi there, my boyfriend broke up with me recently. i know he struggles with depression and it seemed that i would get glimpses of how bad it was 🙁 he would be flakey, cancel plans, say he didnt feel well, push people away. he said he didn’t see me long term and didnt see a future with me, but it is hard to feel like depression played a role in things, given how much we seemed compatible and loving towards one another. i havent heard from him since the breakup, and I am wondering how much to factor depression into his decision. ty!

    • Elli says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      I’m sorry, I can’t give you an adivce. I can only tell you that I had the same experience recently and am torn between being angry with him, when I think he treated me badly, and sad and feeling guilty, when I think his depression made him treat me badly.

      If you need someone to talk to, I’m here to listen.

      Best regards,


  2. Vashsti says:

    My name is Vashsti. I have been in a relationship with my high school sweet heart for 16 yrs now. When we met he was a little older than me, already finished school and had started having children. He was a single father of 3. I was young, yet mature and fell in move with him. He was 6 yrs older than me. In his defense I lied about my age for months. It was my mother who told him my real age. We were caught up by then.
    Fast forwarding to our relationship I was forced to take on the full roll as a mother at 16 due to me being with him and his children mother being absent.
    I was ok with it. I helped raise my brother and sisters. When we met he had experienced alot of hurt, let downs and pain so i found myself constantly trying to prove that I will never be one of those ppl who hurt him. He even had trust issues with his own mother.
    Through out the relationship his pride and ego controlled and ruined alot of things. Where for me I am very strong willed, stubborn and determined to have my way which caused us to clash and develop alot toxic behaviors.
    I had a child by him at 17 and another at 24. He haven’t been the best partner but he has always been a present father and helped provide for our family. As we are both hardworking.
    This is where everything took a turn on 2017 he loss his secure job with great benefits after 10 yrs. He kind of always struggled with consistency in jobs attendance etc and had motivation spurts where sometimes he was overworking and then other times he barely wanted to work at all. (Sign of depression) Back to the job loss. He loss the job, hid it from me, he took me to another country for my college graduation (previously planned) knowing he was jobless and let his card decline while we were in Mexico and told me something was wrong with the card. Smh
    Once we got back I realized he was still off work pretty frequently. I had a feeling he lost it but thought it was suspension. During this time he had depleted his savings as we been surviving off the money and I didnt know. Ok so I found out. I bitched! yes I did. More so because he lied to me which he have a history of doing. ( lying to protect his feelings and pride). Ok I got over it, got a second job for a while, reached out to a friend who works as a hr rep for the same company I work for she was able to get him in at different location of course. He was extremely happy because he made more money in this position. He hated his other job etc etc. But he loss great benefits that I was planning our future with.
    Fast forwarding to today he never seemed the same after the job loss. He developed a severe gambling problem, start not going to work at this job again. He took it upon his self to cut back hours and work when he feels like it despite the gazillion bills and large family we have. When he loss the job we fell behind on our mortgage etc. Just when we got it caught up the gambling problem took over and put us right back in the hole. During this time I was working a second hustle and my full time job to try to keep thing a float. Some months he was good and pulled through then the very next month he went right back to i have nothing to give but what was so frustrating about it all is he would make me think he did up until the very day it was time to pay the bills. I would be begging him to give me his portion and he will say things like “I have to go to the bank” etc etc.
    I recently found out After putting my self in counseling that he may have been dealing clinical depression all of these yrs and was never diagnosed. He refuse to talk to anyone about his problems even me. He keeps it all bottled up.
    I always wanted to get married not sure if he did or not. When u spoke about it we will always argue so I gave upnon thought of marriage.
    Sometime last year after dealing with this roller coaster for 3 yrs. I checked out. I had to… He had stopntalkinf to me, moved himself in our daughter room and we only text about house and kid stuff.. I was becoming extremely depressed. I would go in to the bathroom at work fall to the floor and cry out to GOD because for the life of me I couldn’t understand why this man who I have loved, sacrificed everything for dreamed of some day marrying and have proving my love and loyalty to through hardships, infidelity, lies, hurt and some abuse still just cant love, respect and give me the simple things i ask for like secure roof over our head without me killing myself or suffering to have it when he dnt feel like pulling through..
    My checking out resulted in me hooking up with someone else. My boyfriend found out and have been devastated ever since. I caught feelings in this situation not because the guy was anything special but because it just had been so long since I felt good in the opposite sex presence. My boyfriend is not affectionate, he doesn’t compliment me. He’s very stern, tough and strictly business like. The other guy was the opposite he kissed my hands, forehead, called me beautiful etc and my dumb ass fail for his game. He wanted sex of course he was doing those things..(I was not the only one) but I cant lie It felt so good for the moment.. O still crave to have that feeling again.
    Today after all of this has taken place. We both are dealing with depression. We are trying to work through things but I dnt think i feel the same anymore. I dnt see any real changes. Just this past week he was short with his portion of the bill money and had to go out borrow money so we can afford our bills. He’s constantly putting under pressure, accusing me of things and belittling me about getting played by the guy I fell for. We are still here under the same roof but I am not sure if i want the relationship anymore.
    I feel I deserve better than what I am getting. Yea i know I tried once and got played but I just feel God wants something better for me. I talk to GOD alot and I am trying to get closer to him so I can do things his way but this relationship have my entire existence, decision making and mood off. I think i am.just staying out of guilt because I stepped out. I wasn’t hiding it tho I was really done with the relationship. I didn’t begin to feel guilty until.i seen how bad he was hurt behind it and told me that he was just going through things he still loved me and wanted us.. i felt like shit for misunderstanding and assuming he was throwing us away. Our communication sucks and always have!
    I also think about the guy who played me often. I never really gotten any closure that from so I am just hurting for so many different reasons. I really dnt know what to do and like I said I feel so much pressure from him tonbe the woman that I always was to him although its not in me to be her anymore. i was that woman for 16yrs and got nothing but unnapreciatuon from him and the kids I raised, he would talk dwn on me at times, he hit me a sometimes when wanted to, he ignored me and my feelings ALOT today I just fewl so confused as I look at him I LOVE him but not the samw way I once did.
    I am confused! I dnt know what to do!

  3. Cee says:

    My ex boyfriend has been feeling depressed for the past month. We broke up and then we decided to try again and he broke up with me again. Our relationship wasnt perfect. But i love him very much. I had a toxic relationship with my dad growing up and ive developed issues because of it such as clingy, trust issues, etc. Ive been trying to work on it and be better cus i want us to work. Alot has happened before he became depressed. His grandmother passed away and she was like a mother to him. He doesnt have a great relationship with his parents, and hes worried about his grandpa with the pandemic happening. We’ve also just moved and his depression began after we moved. Its been months since his grandma passed away so he doesnt think its because of that. He loved her more than he loved anyone. When this started, he said it didnt have to do with his feelings for me, cus he loves me and that was never the question. But after trying again and talking lastnight…he thinks it is because of me. Amd that destroyed me. Because i love him more than i love anyone. I was willing to do anything to save us. I was working on my issues and trying to change myself for the better but it wasnt enough. He blames me and i blame myself. For not dealing with my issues before. I still have hope in us…but i dont know if he does. I dont know what to do. I told him that i love him, i will always support him like i always have and i will always be here for him. My love, my loyalty and support has never waivered. Of the 4 years we’ve been together, ive never questioned if we were meant to be together. Cus i always felt like we were and ive never felt this way about anyone. I have this need ti please people i love. Ive done it in past relationship as well. I go out of my way to do something sweet and thoughtful just so i can see how happy or appreciative they are and it makes me feel good that ive done a good thing cus ive constantly felt like everything i do is wrong…i have my whole life. But with him telling me that im the reason hes depressed just makes me sad and alone. And him thinking that i only care about myself. I know i can be selfish at times, but ive always put him first, even if he didnt see it or believe it. He knows that im here for him of he wants to work on our relationship, we also need to work on ourselves but im terrified that he’ll be happier without me and our relationship will be in the past. I cant help but hope that we can make it through. But im trying to accept that we might not. And im struggling with that.

  4. James says:

    My relationship did break down 6 months ago (usually stuff, couldnt put me through what she was dealing with, couldnt be the girlfriend I deserved etc etc) and after a month or so of sporadic contact she cut me off . I tried sending her messages now and again to remind her I was there for her, nothing too heavy just gentle reminders she wasnt alone. After a few months we did actually talk about us and she told me she didnt have the same feelings she had before. That my contact was “too much” and that I should leave her alone and move on. So I did, as much as it killed me to walk away. I have a suspicion at this point a male friend of hers she was spending a lot of time with became more than friends
    Now in our situation we are work colleagues so see each other a few times a week. So there is always contact. As time went on ans she seemed to be recovering she stopped ignoring me completely. Lines of communication were tentatively opened. Whatever was going on with the other guy seemed to stop.

    Now nearly 7 months after the break up we are communicating more. She seems in a much healthier place. We are laughing and joking in work, She is even instigating communication outside of work, neither of which would have happened a few months ago. The strangest thing is that we seem to have developed a ‘safe’ topic of conversation- we have both started growing vegetables (I just moved to a place with a green house and mentioned it in work, she suddenly went out and bought a load of seeds and now messages me about them!) Which is actually really nice. It’s something apart from her illness or our relationship and it’s just nice to engage with her.

    It’s hard to gauge exactly what is going on. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I don’t want to get hurt again! And I definitely do not want to push things and set her recovery back. So I’m trying not to think too much about the reconciliation of the relationship and just enjoy being friends again. My love for her is undiminished and Id like to start again but it’s hard to tell whether she is interested in that or wants to be purely friends and tbh I’m petrified of broaching the subject.

    But what I’m learning is what John said in the article. Patience and time is working, although it’s hard! We are reconnecting on a personal level and I have hopes that this may lead to more, as it did once before. A few months ago where we are now seemed impossible so in a few more months I’m hoping things are clearer. But I remond myself that her health IS the most important thing and if we emerge from this as nothing more than friends that will be something at least. Can’t stop the hope though!

    • Cooper says:

      I’m curious where things stand with you and the woman of which you wrote? My own situation is 4 months old; 5 months when comparing to when things came to a head and 7 months when I started to understand I was no longer dating the same woman.

      The more I read and research, the more her behaviors and comments indicate a pretty solid step into depression. I’ve done all the wrong things any depressed person would hate for me to pursue, but, oddly, every time I put distance between her, I’ll get a random and brief message. Silly me, I take that as a positive sign, but it’s probably foolish on my part. I’m curious how things progressed in your situation, because I always have this debate in my mind how I’ll handle things if she reaches out to try to rebuild what we had.

  5. sara says:

    Im only 17 and he’s 18. I know we are young but we fell in love. We are together for a year now and i feel like i love him more than anyone i ever loved. And he felt the same. Although we are still young we had a great communication and we always enjoyed spending time together. But recently everything changed. He changed. First he was short-tempered. I kinda wanted him to change but i gave up because maybe he cants. Than he started saying that he doesnt want to be like that but he cant control it. I didnt understand.
    Than he started being sad all the time. He is the positive person who always laughs and joke around but then all of it disappeared . He became person with low self esteem, he always calls himself idiot and etc. He didint know ehat was happening to him nor did I. He was always happy when we are together but now he doesnt even want to be with me. He push me away,he always gets angry, he said he is not sure in his feelings anyome (but he said he is sure that he loves me) . He also started smoking cigarettes and marijuana just to be “happy” for some time. I’m really trying hard ti understsnd him and i do but we are too young and he is hurting me. A lot. What should i do? Leave him although i love hik more than anything or stay and do what?

  6. Zoe says:


    Ive never done this before but am getting desperate .

    My partner and i have been togther for nearly 10yrs . Id say for at least half of that she has suffered with depression on and off .

    Im struggling so hard to cope and understand .

    I feel so unwanted and and loved .

    Whenever i try to talk about iy or say how im feeling she always says im moaning or going on or that im just making digs about what she does or doesnt do .

    She tells me she loves me etc but u just feel like shes going through the motions and saying what couples say .

    She always blames me and makes me feel like i. Wrong …

    What do i say or do ?

  7. Lena says:

    My boyfriend of 3 1/2 years and I are on a “break” and it’s been about two weeks apart (I moved back in with my parents) and I’m not doing well at all. I’ve been depressed for at least the past year and he was diagnosed bipolar as a teen. We both exhibit these problems and I’m seeing a counselor but I’m afraid he won’t because he gave up on therapy when he was younger and doesn’t believe it works on him. I want this to work but I’m scared he wants out. I still love him and it hurts.

  8. Charlotte says:

    I am getting to the point of being so depressed that I can’t even fake a smile anymore. I am a sad wife. I want to be happy with him! I do! But it’s so hard with the things that he says and the things that he does.
    I married him after 5 months of knowing him and I know I know! I get enough judgment from it every day from myself and my family. I promised I would marry him and that’s what I did. He is a beautiful man and a very smart one too. He just makes me sad all of the time. When I’m with my family I am the happiest I can be! I wasn’t ready to marry him. I told him twice I wasn’t ready before we did and his reaction was pitiful. I couldn’t stand my ground. His eyes get me every time. That being said, I am married. I want to be happy. So I’m trying to stop this depression before it really start affecting my relationship.

    • Crushed says:

      I think we are in similar circumstances. With a really good partner, but struggling in some way or another. It used to be alright. After the first year together felt like we could make things more serious. 2 yrs go by, still ok but haven’t gotten serious. 4 yrs go by we’d been through a lot of fights that I wish now we would have quit then. But 6 1/2 years later, those”issues” we’d had are over, but I’m wiped and the small things aren’t there anymore. Long, deep, noffensive conversations are long over. Long, warm, cuddling in the evening ate no more. I can’t even imagine making love it hurts so bad. I feel betrayed and I have forgiven so many times I want to protect myself and not forgive again. But we’ve been married not even 3 months… I hope it smoothes out for you soon. Seems we’ve”smoothed” things out more than I can count and it never REALLY felt right. Good luck, hang in there, be strong.

      • AnonymousExposed says:

        I couldn’t have agreed more >>”I feel betrayed and I have forgiven so many times I want to protect myself and not forgive again.”

  9. Kate says:

    I’ve suffered on and off with depression for some time. This year has been particularly horrible in terms of things going wrong (deaths of close family members, trouble with neighbours, problems trying to sell a house, illness etc. etc.). The only good thing was meeting my partner in January. The last 6 weeks have been very difficult, I have had major stresses in my life, and started to become very anxious.

    I don’t get angry when I’m becoming depressed, I just become very tearful and anxious, and I felt that my partner was finding this hard to deal with. Then yesterday, he texted me to say that he was leaving me, that he couldn’t cope with the stress any more, and that was it.

    I feel empty. I so want him back, at least once my head is sorted, but don’t even know if I should be contemplating that.

    • Jamie says:

      I am going through the exact thing you are but the other way around I’m a man aged 32 years and my girlfriend is 30 we’ve been together since she was 16 and I was 18 we have a child who is 8. Recently I’ve been in a depression mode it’s lasted probably the last year and a half all of this depression I think came from a acusation that I’ve been involved in some form of fight and I’m being extradited from the U.K. To Spain to face this trial even though I’m innocent it’s been a real amount of pressure to try and clear my name. Me dand my girl have broken up before for 6 months to get ourselves right we both did and when we got bk together we both expressed that life dont seem to be good without each other meaning we missed each other so much we got back moved area then went on a family holiday and I was arrested on arrival to Ibiza this was sept 2015 since then I’ve been feeling like I’m going to loose my family and girl everything that I’ve built up in the last 2 years could get blown out the window because of this accusation I’ve also never been to jail before especially in another country so I’ve delevoped anxiety and depression again I was diagnosed with this the last time she left and now I feel exactly the same. I handed myself in on the 18th of. November she said she will stick by me and be there for me no matter then 4 days later she went to stay with her step mum and stopped being in contact with me once she did she told me I have to pack my stuff and leave she says it’s for her own safety and daughters yet I have not kicked of with her recently anyway we was living a mad life were she would snap at me I wouldn’t no how to handle the situation and do something crazy like throw a mug on the floor smash things and at my very worse I threw a can of air freshener at her but don’t mean to hurt her as I love her so much this cut her elbow she believes were living in a cycle of domestic abuse which I believe is true I want things to change and always have I just don’t no how to control myself I’m that situations even though I’ve had professional help it all seems to have gone out the window it was 2 .5 years ago I was using the techniques I was taught in the beginning and everything was okay but since this arrest I’ve been acting my old ways which she does not like and neither do I she says she has had enough I just gotta give her space bk I’ve packed done everything she has told me to do cause I love her I want answers but no if I ask or put pressure on her things will get worse we are currently working on what we are going to tell our daughter but that’s her choice again as I have really no say her whole family does not want me around or talks to me they no she s harsh at times but this time I believe they think it’s all my fault which is okay I’ve kinda given up no 1 understands that she has depression to and for a long time I think I’ve delvelped anxiety depression either from her or this case or suminc else right now I feel lost but just need to keep it moving and better myself for the better of things I now believe that it’s all my fault how can I not be able to keep the people I love happy around me instead she run off no other men are involved I think the problem relys on me I just want to fix things but I no I can’t what shall I do

  10. Benjamin says:

    Hi all

    I was wondering if I may ask for some help.

    Essentially, I’m an aspergers syndrome man of 29 years old. I like my own space and me and my girlfriend see a lot of each other,for the most part that wasn’t an issue.

    In July my girlfriend and myself had an event happen that kicked in my fight or flight mode (nothing serious but enough to kick in some fear- involving the pill and condoms). I had intrusive thoughts of breaking up after reading a site saying signs you don’t love your girlfriend . Since then I have felt inside pain and pressure- headaches when thinking of/ texting and when near her. However I also feel I love her and want to be with her, now and in the future (admittedly some feeling seem blocked with discomfort)
    3 doctors suggested depression, I fear an unconscious issue.

    Your thoughts please?

    Thanks all

    • Adeline says:

      Did you talk about it with her? Did you explain what you’re feeling?
      Being on the other side, I know how understanding we can be and how extremely painful it is for us when you don’t share your feelings but we feel something is wrong.
      Talk to her, be open about it, don’t make her go through this, nobody deserves that.
      It’s great that you’re looking for answers and not just running away from it, I wish my bf did this before leaving.
      If you’d like to talk, let me know:)

      • Benjamin says:

        Hi Adeline

        Thanks for your response. Yeah I’ve let her know pretty much from day 1 of the symptoms. I’d imagine some men (possibly your bf) get a fear and vanish.I’m really sorry to hear that he did that though,depression, ambivalence or ocd aren’t the time to play tough man of no emotions. In my case I’ve on and off read psychology and thought something wasn’t quite right, but not so much with the relationship but a more psychological routine element.

        How you feeling now?

        • Adeline says:


          I’m happy to read that you have shared your thoughts and feelings with her. Can’t all men be open about their feelings instead of running away from it?;)
          I’m feeling pretty horrible and it’s almost been three months since the break-up. We still talk though and he finally understands something is wrong with him. He denied it for a while.

          About your fear and feeling pressure, have you read about attachment styles? Fearful and avoiding? Also schizoid personality disorder that is often mistaken for Asperger. I don’t know if it’s something that you can relate to but maybe worth reading?

  11. Love says:

    I’ve been with my girlfriend for 4 years ! It seems my feelings r broken & not really cared for. I know this isn’t the love I feel I deserve but sometimes I think maybe it could be. It feels so wrong like I’m stuck because of all the time n things I’ve gone threw being with her. I don’t know what to do anymore I’ve said n done all I can do n now feel just hopeless I wish there was an answer I could hear or know even if I hide what to do down deep. Someone help please! I need someone to inform me on things I could do or say or w.e. I feel hopeless so please!

  12. Shannon says:

    I’ve been in my relationship 3 years. We got engaged about 1 year ago. My fiancé started having doubts about us a few weeks ago. She says she doesn’t know if this is the relationship God wants for her. We went through the same thing a year ago. I gave her some space last year and she called me back and said she wanted a life with me and accepted my proposal. It’s now 1year later and the same thing is happening again. She says something is missing and she doesn’t know what it is. I told her I cannot live like this. I asked her if she would be willing to go to counceling with me. She said she knows something is wrong but she is not ready to talk to anyone. She is a Nurse case manager and she is concerned it will hurt her image. I have moved out because she refuses to get help. I don’t want to give up but I cannot make her get help. What can I do besides just leave her alone?

  13. Adeline says:

    I need to talk to someone who’s been through a relationship with a person who got depressed and claimed they didn’t love anymore (or feel anything at all). I need help. Could someone contact me, please?

    • Bob says:

      I have been through it numerous times. Feel free to email me.

      • Adeline says:

        Hey Bob, I would really love to email you but there’s no email address here (I thought it would be available when clicking on your nick name but it’s not) My email is kariatyda [dot] sm [at]

        • landi says:

          I am going through this also and don’t understand what is going on

          • jane says:

            whats your email. i really need someone to talk to

          • Jamie says:

            My email address is drinkshost [at] gmail [dot] com I also need to talk to some1 who’s going through this I’ve got a depressed ex partner and want her bk but I don’t no what to do what to say she says it over but I love her so much and just want to be able to help b happier she says she need s to do it in her own and I no this is true but she s broken up with me after 14 years we only ever split for 6 months that’s why this time I’m so worried the way she left was weird we was happy I thought the last time I saw her she told me she loved me then 2 days later said she had a breakdown and she s ill and we need to live separate lives she blaming everything on me I now believe this is all my fault I not feeling to good about myself anymore I just need some advice in what shall I do next I’m not contacting her apart from if it’s got suminc to do with our child apart from that I don’t even no what to do about this situation or about myself thankgod I’m not homeless this is now affected my finances and housing in a different way I’m surely depressed myself now and just need some1 to talk to and knowing that other people are going through this kinda assures me I’m not crazy

        • Jane says:

          Did you get help. I am going through that now. I am confused

          • Adeline says:

            Jane, landi – I’m still going through it but learning how to deal with it. I got help from people here and depression fallout forum.
            If you want to talk to someone, feel free to email me:) (email in a comment above)

        • Rebecca says:

          I know these are some older comments. But I am experiencing the same thing now. Would love to hear how you overcame this situation. My fiancé and I are currently on a “break” because he does not know how he feels and cannot feel love anymore because of depression. If anyone could reach out with advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

          • mackenzie says:

            Hey I know i’m young but I helped my mom and dad from the same thing .Take care of yourself .Ask him what is making you sad,what is wrong ? Spend more time with him. Write a song or a paragraph for him. Show him you really care .pls (comment or reply back

    • debbie says:

      Oh my goodness this is touching so many feelings for me ,I have been with my partner for 20 wonderful years but then in October he completely broke down said he was depressed didn’t love me or his kids,hasn’t any interest in anything anymore and constantly breaks down in tears for no apparent reason. I am completely broken and dont know how to help,my job involves supporting others but I feel I can’t even sort my own life out ? I have always been a happy ,strong person but this is making me exhausted,anxious and so very very sad as I cant believe that the precious life and love we had has just gone. The rejection is the worst I feel so destroyed by it all. I have begged him to go and get help but he wont and is adamant I should not tell anyone even our 4 daughters one who is actually a mental health nurse! Sorry I am rattling on but just dont know what to do with him .Thank you for taking the time to read this xx

      • Jackie says:

        I have been in this position also been with my husband 24 years 2 years ago he pushed me away for no reason. He was cruel to the pint of evil to me things just went from bad to worse I read a lot about depression I could see exactly what was wrong. I tried everything to get him to docs he went right a the beginning but would not take the antidepressant even though the doc tried to tell him in her own words that he was depressed he wouldn’t believe her and thought that he had just changed he would admit he was stressed and he knew he had changed he said he had become a man. Massive mental health issues on his mothers side of the family but no help from them. After 8 months of sheer hell he cracked and went to docs now on antidepressants been 1 1/2 years in them taken all this time to get some of his old self back don’t think he will ever be the man I married. So please get as many people as possible to try and get him some help from the doctors my problem was he was so normal to everyone that no one believed me. They all do now though. He will only get worse and eventually you will resent him for his bad behaviour. Mine pushed his own children grown up now away said nasty things about them hurt the grandkids feelings stole from his work place slept with a girl at work old enough to be his daughter and treat me complete and utter shit. Was willing to walk away and leave me £58k in debt from a failed business he had and the home we had that he lost in the process. He was a complete nasty piece of work. Although we are still together and I know this is an illness it’s very hard to forgive and forget. So please try get him to the docs as in my story things get worse before they get better

        • debbie says:

          Many thanks Jackie I appreciate your message.Did it make you feel rejected? All things we used to do together or anything I dare suggest he dismisses and refuses to do things with me it’s hurtful,is it the depression talking? He says he only likes his own company ,dont depressed people realise how much hurt they cause just with a single word or look? It’s cruel .I just keep blaming myself but am trying my very best I am exhausted!

          • Jackie says:

            I have read the book is he depressed or what by David wexler it’s a really good book which you will probably be able to resonate with many of his actions. Yes I felt rejected I felt unloved. 2 years down the line and he still won’t talk about it. He has never given me a reason why he did what he did just says he can’t remember things. I go to the docs with him each time he blames the way he feels on his job and that he now thinks he can’t do it. It’s a hard one. I think my husband is bipolar he was manic for 8 ninths then depressed but has not been diagnosed as that I also thing he has hyper sexuality a part of the bipolar our sex life was what I would call normal but that all changed also. Keep talking to others in your position as people who don’t know what t depression is like just make assumptions and don’t believe you.if you want to talk my email is jackbantree [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk

  14. Hailie says:

    Hi, I have a boyfriend that I’ve been with for over a year now and he has depression and anxiety. It all stems from the stress his parents and his job put on him. And he usually doesn’t see any point in living. He says he loves me and he makes plans to marry and have children with me someday. But he distances himself from me and he won’t talk to me at times, he just sits in silence and won’t let me help him. I really dont know what to do, I need help with how to deal with this. I love him with all I have but it doesn’t seem to be good enough anymore, I dont know what to do for him or our relationship, I need help

  15. tjh says:

    I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend whom I fell in love with and have been with for about a year in a half now says he is going to marry me and we are going to build this life together but he tells me he struggles with depression. I’m not sure if he does or doesn’t he has not per say been diagnosed. However, he has very bad self esteem issues though. He says his mind is not like most other people. That he interprets things that people say differently. For the past couple months I have noticed at times when I talk he will just all of a sudden get mad and bite my head off and tell me I need to word things differently, and I shouldn’t assume things. It has become a daily thing lately though and I have tried to stop and think about what I’m going to say and try to ask in different ways. A couple of times it has worked but most of the time he still gets mad and it leads to an big petty argument. Also he says I make him feel bad about himself when I ask if we can do something I want to do. We always stay at his house and do what he wants, but I have been telling him I want to spend time with family and when I ask him to join he gets all upset and basically makes me the bad guy out of the situation. A couple weeks ago he came over and told me I needed to fix somethings, yet doesn’t recognize he needs to work on things too. I’m not sure how to tell him without him getting mad. I love him with all my heart, but I am not sure of what to do I am going to college right now and I want to succeed so I can graduate and us have a good future. I want this relationship to work , I am looking for some advice to help with that. I feel eventually if nothing happens we will just end.

    • AnonymousExposed says:

      I can relate. I am on his end of the spectrum. I need someone to talk to. I’m at emailsue247 at Gmail dot com.

    • Cee says:

      Youre boyfriend and i are battling the same issues. We don’t feel comfortable in our own body. Mostly because we dont feel like we’re in control. It feels like theres someone else controlling our mind and how we feel and how we interpret things. We dont want to take things the wrong way, thats just how we hear it and then we feel attacked and we react

  16. Rhonda says:

    My husband and I got married Nov, 2015. He admitted to me and his doctors last year that he is Manic Depressive. He has been in and out of depression since I met him in 2014. He went into depression again January 2016. He refuses to go to his counselor or Doctor. I feel like going to file for divorce already.

  17. V says:

    Hi, I’m hoping to get some clarification on how I’m feeling recently.
    I’ve been with my boyfriend for the past 8 months. When we first met, we had an insane connection. Passionate, intellectually stimulating. I was in love. I moved into his place after two months of dating as my living situation was terrible. But what I have noticed is that my depression and anxiety has gotten much much worse since being with him, and I’m not sure if it’s me or if it’s our relationship. There are times when I think to myself that he isn’t the one I want to be with for my whole life, even though he tells me I’m his future wife. It scares me and makes me feel extremely guilty for my thoughts. In the past week I’ve tried to leave him twice but have broken down because I don’t know what to do. I love him dearly, just not sure if I’m IN love with him. He also is trying to help me but it’s taking control of our entire relationship/my life and this is not helping my mental status. I feel like nothing makes me happy anymore, nothing gets me excited. Unfortunately, he doesn’t make me happy or excited either and that is concerning to me. I wanted this relationship to work SO badly but I’m wondering if it’s the end of the road. I’ve been nothing but a pain these past 4 months… My sex drive is gone, my motivation is diminished, I’m not working as I’m truly so depressed. I’m not sure what the answer is here. I tried telling him I wanted to get back into working and he wants me to work for him on my spare time…. Not something I want to do but I’m a people pleaser so I said sure. My parents also don’t like him and I’m working on removing myself from them for my own health but I’m wondering if I have to remove myself from him too? Has anyone dealt with a guilt tripping partner and depression and how did you handle the situation. If I choose to leave again I want it to be final and to remain strong. Any help would be great.

    • N says:

      Hi V,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I can so relate to what you are feeling now. I am seeking help too. I have been in and out of depression since teenage but the first time I go to doctor to seek help was last year. And I knew my boyfriend at my workplace. After I knew him, seems like I got a little bit distracted from the stress I got from work. but after I resign three months ago.I found myself extremely lost and I don’t know is my depression or myself made our relationship to be worse. He is nice to me and he wants me to be his future wife too. My parents don’t like him and it just add another stress on top of our unstable relationship. Now, I am just not so sure, I don’t feel love anymore. I know I hurt him a lot by staying away from him, because I just want to be alone and figure this out by myself. but I just feeling lost and don’t know what to do. I want to leave him , because I think this will be the best for him , I don’t want he suffer in this relationship because of me and my depression. But I have not have the courage to break up with him yet. I know I should break up with him as soon as possible , so both of us can move on. But I just feel extremely fear and guilty to break up with him. So V, I think you are right, if you choose to leave him , you have to be firm and don’t change your mind again. Because he will be suffer if you keep changing your mind. ( i am making my boyfriend suffering now because i keep changing my mind, and can not make a firm decision )-: … I hope you could stay strong too to go through this. God bless.

    • AnonymousExposed says:

      I’m going through the same! I need someone to talk to. Emailsue247 at gmail dot com.

  18. Percy says:

    I’m a call worker at a crisis line. I’ve been through all kinds of training and know how to check for risk of self harm/suicide and validate and help move people to a next step. I recently began dating someone with bi-polar disorder, depression, and suicidal ideation. I use all of my traing when they have rough times but every time I validate it seems to hurt more than help and they typically respond along the lines of, “I know what’s wrong with my life”. I just don’t know what to do and I feel helpless knowing that they come to me when they have a rough time but no matter what I do I can’t seem to help them feel anybetter. I try to validate, change topics, ask questions, ect. and I just worry that if I can’t figure this out, it could be damaging to our relationship

    • AnonymousExposed says:

      I understand where you’re coming from. But it’s so hard. It’s unexplainable. We’re in a lot of pain and don’t know what to do with it. Email me and we can talk more.

  19. struggling says:

    Is anybody still on this? I have a problem that i don’t think i can solve and need some more guidance.

  20. Stuart says:

    I’ve been suffering from depression my whole life and I’ve been in a relationship of 5 months now which has been wonderful and the best I have felt in possibly my whole life. A week ago I started having panic attacks and crying uncontrollably which had never happened before. My unresolved issues have manifested in self doubt and fear saying that I don’t love my girlfriend and that I don’t want to be with her. I know that this is my depression clouding my thoughts and that I desperately want to be with her but it is getting so hard for me and for her. I don’t want her to leave me but I can’t get these thoughts out of my head. Have other people experienced this? Will we be able to get through it? I just can’t imagine my life without her.

    • Bswa says:

      My gf is like you, anxious depressive, and felt like you, she said she never believed in soulmate before me, i was her light, she was crazy about me… but she didn’t deal with her anxiety and 3 years later, due to higher stress at work, she felt in a deep depression and fully rejected me. Please avoid all the pain and deal with it right away, go get therapy and learn ways to cope with anxiety. Work together on it too. Yiu have to try during the time you’re conscious of it and the risks it can affect your life and the person you love. Because unthreated, it’s only a matter of time before it gets worse and you won’t be able to control yourself. Good luck please keep us informed! Your gf is lucky you are acknowledging there is a problem inside you that is messing with your feelings. Best to you both

  21. elise says:

    Like everyone here I’m essentially going through the same thing….except I can’t help but feel envious of so many of you.

    My bf of the past 5 years was also a bright, happy, amazing person who I fell for in highschool but wasn’t able to catch until several years later. The first 2.5 years were the happiest I’ve ever known. Then everything changed. He got a job he hated that overstressed him, and I only learned later that he’d taken himself off meds for depression. He relapsed, and our entire world changed. He went from doctor to doctor, med to med, diagnosis to diagnosis. Nothing worked. Nothing ever worked.

    We went through all the same. The anger, the walking on egg shells, the distance, the blame. I was never hot enough, I was never attentive enough (despite basically turning off my entire life, losing all my friends but one, even reducing my work hours JUST to tend to him), our intimacy tanked and he never touches me. Communication is a crapshoot, which I understand because much of his depression cannot be described only felt. I’ve done everything I can to try and be there for him. All my dreams, hopes, aspirations, gone. I am his caretaker, chauffeur, bank account etc. I’ve started going through personal changes as well, yet I can’t experience or expand upon any of my interests because to him they are all stupid. Even before the depression, my hobbies were always ridiculous in his eyes…

    The reason I say envious, even though so much is similar, is that my partner has expressed time and time again he does NOT want to get better. He hates his life, he doesn’t want to live like this anymore, but he is even more afraid of getting better. Because if he does then things will be expected of him. He hates society, always has, and does not want to contribute to any of it so he outright refuses to ever work again. His doctor diagnosed him as treatment resistant. Not only because none of the meds he is on or has tried are working (and there have been A LOT), but because he refuses group therapy (for a time he went to 1-on-1 therapy, but it wasn’t worth it anymore when before and after every session he would scream, punch, kick, and have a breakdown over how wrong and useless the therapists are), he refuses extra help, he refuses to even write his feelings on paper or communicate. Any and all treatments posed to him other than medication (just taking pills) is considered a waste of time and not worth the inconvenience. He refuses to the point of meltdown on even the simplest suggestions.

    In so many of these stories the depressed partner recognizes and wants the depression to go away. Going to counceling, making efforts…he doesn’t want to make the effort. One of the best way to describe how he feels is this:
    “I can’t get get better or make any efforts to stop being sick because I am sick.”
    And if not that it becomes
    “I don’t want to get better because I don’t want to deal with the life of a well person.”

    Even the smallest suggestions such as going outside and standing in the back yard for sunlight and fresh air he says are useless because they will not cure his depression. Yet at the same time, he doesn’t want to be cured! He doesn’t want people to expect things of him, he doesn’t want to contribute to what he considers to be a morally bankrupt society. He hates humanity as a whole and wants no part of it.

    I don’t feel like his gf anymore and he’s said he doesn’t feel like I am either. But how can I be when all our time together is spent me trying to force him to eat (he refuses food most times, but will take drinks), or reminding him to take his meds, or basically trying to take care of him. I’m really NOT a girlfriend, I am a caretaker. And it’s tearing me apart inside. I feel selfish saying it, but I’m a very emotionally fragile person. Every day is agony, every day is tears and crying and hoping that he is still the same man underneath yet realizing that if he doesn’t WANT to get better it doesn’t matter.

    Now I am effectively stuck and confused and hurt. I thought I would be with him forever. We moved in to his parents house together, we have a cat together. We planned for a future before all of this. Now I am staring down a dark tunnel, and I don’t see a light. He doesn’t see a light. Just more darkness. Just more tunnel. I don’t want to abandon him, but I don’t know if I can continue to be in a romantic relationship. And what hurts most is that I can’t even talk to him about these things. Any mention of problems, or feelings on my end instantly puts him on edge. He will lash out, say that all I am doing is making him feel guilty, get angry, and I don’t want this to be the thing that pushes him over the edge where he actually tries to hurt himself.

    It has been years now of treatments not working, of symptoms getting worse and worse. I feel overwhelmed, terrified, trapped, and he feels hopeless, angry, and trapped between not wanting to get better and not wanting to exist. Getting better isn’t even a viable option for him, he doesn’t want to. What can I do? What do I do? Do I continue to help him just as a friend and try to live my own life even if it could mean losing my soul mate and the future I hoped for? Or do I continued to stay in a relationship where he can never be a supportive, loving partner, and may very well continue this cycle of barely holding on to live because he doesn’t want to kill himself or get better? Or should me and his parents force treatment on him? Can we even?

    I don’t know anymore. Depression has basically killed us both.

    • Positive says:

      At this point if he refuses all the possible ways to get better, therapy included, if he says he doesn’t want to be a healthy working person, then I would suggest to back off, he’s an adult and he has responsibility towards him and towards you. If he doesn’t want to even try, so why should you? Maybe he needs to hit the rock bottom to start comi’g back up and if he feels that you’re gonna stay around no matter how he is, than its easy for him to keep going like this without trying anymore… he has to realise he can loose you.
      Good luck to you! Hope you’re well and taking care of’you and your own needs

    • AnonymousExposed says:

      I agree with Positive.

  22. Lynnie says:

    Hello my partner of 16 years has just been diagnosed with depression,it started with him losing his job of 13 years with I had was not his fault,too long to go into,then on top if that the next 12 months have been horrendous a run of awful events.
    Now I am at the place of he no longer wants to be with me, just like that he has always adored me called me his world,now I have the complete opposite he hates me so it seems , he has only just starting speaking to me after 3 weeks not conversations just yes or no,and yes we are still in the same house to say it is an awful environment is an understatement,but what do you do when you have one person who is so in love with the depressed partner they feel they have no choice but to stay ,there is lots to my story but I have done a brief account .
    Your site has been a godsend, I am at the place of what do I do next I had seen changes in my partner before he was diagnoised, ( he is now on medication ) put it down to every day life and stresses wish I had acted sooner ,then we would not be were we are today.staying with my partner,and living day to day, our lives on hold .

    • Jackie says:

      Hi I feel your pain my husband of 22 years denied to everyone he had depression for 7 months he turned from a kind caring sensitive man to the exact opposite he was my soulmate. I am struggling to come to terms with what he has done. He has stolen from his workplace and slept with a girl at work same age as his own child. He is in anti depressants now and is much calmer and has admitted he has a problem but it’s so hard for me I like yourself would like him back to his old self but it looks like it’s going to be a hard slog. I dream that one day things will return to normal and I can get out of this nightmare i hope your situation improves soon. The hardest thing is that they seem so normal to everyone else and that makes you question yourself I have had is it me doesn’t he want to be with me why has he changed so much I don’t have the answers and try to just think it’s an illness and it’s not him I call it the alien in his body. I find keeping a diary helps me as I write down all my feelings and that way I get my anger out on paper I feel better also I have had support from family and friends but no one understands really you have to experience it to understand

      • Lynnie says:

        I too feel my partner is an alien well for now anyway,and I also have a diary,from the partners who is experiencing this awful illness I keep imagining he is in a tunnel and at the end is his light me.
        I will never leave him I remember how he was and our memories and our special times through our 16 years we have together he is still in there just a waiting game now I guess.
        I think the hardest part is just not having an everyday conversation and being careful what you say my partner is at the angry stage so eggshells I walk on .
        And yes it is a nightmare but I like to remember our dream and on our slow road to recovery I hope I figure in the future as we know it is a waiting game , and no one’s knows how it will pan out .
        Thank you for the reply .

      • lynnie says:

        Depression is a cruel illnesses every day I think maybe today a little different no not at all slowly but surely it also eats away at you .
        I want to stay but I think why my partner has not spoke to me for 6 weeks now again his choice I have no where to go so my home is no longer the loving place it used to be now I just sleep here alone.
        Well I hope some people in this group are having a bit more of a positive time I am trying and it is very trying but what do you do ??? .

        • Sandra says:

          Hi Lynnie,

          I have read your post from August 22 and an earlier one in August. I suppose your situation is a bit like mine and I just want to know if you are okay and if anything has changed for you.


          • Lynnie says:

            Hello Sandra ,
            Well I stayed an am working on it it will be 12 months this year, my partner is on meds,some days he seems ok, others big black cloud it really is time plus I love him to bits, we are still not the lovely dovey couple we were very much the opposite but I made it my mission to to arm myself with knowledge regarding the depression and it has helped,it is still early days as we know it can take years but I tell myself if you love someone it’s a no brainer, plus it is not my partner he is now someone else in another persons body sometimes I see little glimpses is why I stay and as we know 17 yrs.
            Please keep in touch we can communicate some more I will have to read yr posts to get an insight.

          • Sandra says:

            Hi Lynnie,

            Thanks for the update on your relationship. I will keep in touch. It helps reading and learning about what is happening…working..not working…with others in a similar situation. I haven’t said a great deal about my situation on here. I may be working my way up to it. Not sure. I have been with my partner for 10 years. Looking back on it, I believe his was a slow decent starting about year 2 triggered by very bad choices his two daughters from a previous marriage continue to make for themselves and the subsequent horror and helplessness that he feels.

            I know we don’t have that in common but his most recent behaviour towards me and my confusion about that are what you and I have in common.

            Thanks for sharing,


  23. Woodybear says:


    I was with my boyfriend for 3 years and in a for the rest of my life relationship. My daughter moved our lives to be with him in June of last year. However I left him just after New year this year and my daughter came with me. I did this because I could not live with his moods, ignorning me for days on end, locking himself away, being mean to me and my daughter who was living with us and is early 20’s and taking out his anger on occasion with the dog and being cruel.
    He has been moody ever since I met him but I put that down to the fact that he was going through a divorce and hadnt seen his own daughter because of it, she is also in her twenties.
    I also put it down to the fact that he didnt have a job or any friends and he didnt speak to his family anymore due to a family feud and hadnt for a number of years. He lost his mum last June and his father would not allow him to the funeral and his dad has just recently died. He was never diagnosed with depression until Feb 2015, but through the years of being with him and his behaviours I thought it was and when I spoke to him about it, there was never anything wrong…he was fine and didnt need to go to the doctors. My daughter and I lived with his moods and I have lived with tearing myself apart thinking it was me and that he didnt really love me or fancy me which is why he didnt want sex and that as he was older than me, he didnt really want to be with me but he was because he was older he would stay with me as I want all that bad. I always felt that I had done something and dreaded coming home from work as I never knew what mood he was going to be in. Last August he had a big row with my daughter and didnt speak to me for 3 days. At the time, as he wouldnt speak I wrote him a letter and also talked about it and the way that he was making me feel. He was very apologetic and said it was never me, but by then I always thought it was me. I told him then that I would not go through this again so let there be no more instances as I couldnt go through it again.
    Unfortunatley it happened at New Year when we had friends and family there and he locked himself away in a room for hree days when they had left. I couldt take anymore so when he cane out of isolation I told him I was going. It was at this point that he lost it but mainly in anger, volatility, ireatic behaviour. The night we were leaving he tried to commit suicide and ended up in hospital, I went with him and he was released in 3 days. This was a very traumatic time for both myself and my daughter and very very upsetting for us and my family and friends. I am currently renting and selfishly I am glad that I no longer live with him as I need time to heal. and so does my daughter. He has asked can we still be together and work things out so that we have a future and I have said yes but I cant make any promises. Things are currently done on my terms, even though he doesnt like it, these are :- He has to get himself better and build his life so that I am not the most important thing in it and I am not the reason he gets up in a morning. We see each other 1 to 2 times a week to see how things go, we arrange some counselling sessions (this is to be arranged as yet). He has had his ups and downs and I have remained on the emotional roller coaster since January as he says he needs all of me or not at all, he needs to see me more etc. He is currently in a place where the seperation doesnt seem to be affecting him and he seems quite aloof about us. I am not saying this is wrong it just feels strange as he is normally quite controlling.
    He is currently on medication and visits his doctor every fortnight to discuss his medication and how he is feeling.
    I dont know if I can trust him, not with other women but emotionally as I have always felt unhappy for a long period of time despite being totally in love with him. I knew he loved me, that was always the odd thing, but the way he behaved and treated me I questioned constantly as how can you treat someone you love like that and then blame it on something else….surely they have to take responsibility.
    I would like to think that we had a future but I am not sure, my daughter is still getting over it emotionally and has said that if we did get back together then she would leave as wouldnt want to be near me!!??.
    I dont sleep much these days and constantly worry………….worry about my daughter, worry about him and his state of mind, sometimes I cant get hold of him and then worry that he has gone and done something silly. I feel like piggy in the middle sometimes trying to please everyome and as usual forgettng about myself.
    I am not sure if I need help, sdvice or what really, but would be grateful if you could respond.

  24. tan says:

    Hi there all

    My name is Tanja and I hope that by joining this forum it will help to share experiences and/or get some advise from people in simelar situations

    I started a relationship at the beginning of this year and knew that my boyfriend had a lot of deep negative impacts in his live ( he is 44, iam 43) so I knew that there was a lot he has been through and had to deal with and also had a deep impact on him.
    At this point I also knew that he had counseling before when his 2nd marriage broke down but I was in the understanding that he dealt with his issues and he was happy with the person he is and was aware of the issues which had triggered his brakedown/depression
    But soon it was more than clear that he has extreme issus regarding MANY things which affect our relationship to the extream
    I stand 100% behind him in any way possible
    The problem is he pushes me away over and over again
    By that I mean there is no contact what so ever…I don’t know nothing…
    It is very scary and painful
    I have read up a lot about depression in various scenarios from various perspectives… But most of the time it is mentioned how important the right support is and often is also welcome from the person with depression
    So for me being on the entire other end and completely cut off is very difficult to deal with…

    To all who are on one side or the other of depression…stay strong for and with each other…


  25. Erin says:

    Hi, my name is Erin, I am 20 years old. I have been with my boyfriend for three years, and my story is similar to many above. Depression has always been a big part of my life, as I learnt last year that my boyfriend, as well as my dad, and brother are depressed. As I am fairly young still, I did not see the signs of depression, or even notice that the problems in my boyfriend and I’s relationship could be related to depression. I really only learnt what depression is last year. This last year has been very hard on me, and I have somewhat lost myself in my boyfriends depression. I have lost a lot of friends, family members don’t want to hear about our problems anymore, and I am feeling like things will not turn around anytime soon for my boyfriend nor I. We have talked about depression, and I have told him my feelings, that I believe he is depressed, but he will not agree. He often gets very angry at me when I mention this, and turns every conversation around to place blame on me. He says that I am not there enough for him. When really, he cant see that all I ever am is there for him. I am currently in university, so the majority of my time is spent on school work, he often makes me feel bad for this, and tells me I am not a good girlfriend. Through everything, I just feel like I have become so damaged by his words because I am a very sensitive person, and I let things hurt me easily. What hurts me the most, is knowing him before he became so much more depressed, he was so funny, and could brighten anyone’s day. Without his depression, he is truly a joy and a blessing in your life. That is whats so hard for me to move on from because he is not the same person I fell in love with right now. I just don’t know what to do in regards to him ever realizing he isn’t alone in this, and accepting the fact that he is depressed. I love him so much, and would like things to work, but not at the destruction of my own happiness.

    • Mike says:

      I sympathise with you. I’ve only just got to grips with the fact that I’m depressed, and haven’t done a great deal about it yet. To give you some perspective from the other side, me and my girlfriend are struggling, she feels like I’m not the person she fell in love with, but loves me regardless, and we hang on, despite me suggesting that we break up and she goes on and does her own thing. Truth is, I don’t feel like the same person she fell in love with, I used to be very happy, positive attitude etc, but I feel like I’ve been replaced with somebody else. I feel like she’s getting a rough deal and would be better off without me now, I’d give anything to go back to the happy times. It’s frustrating, a big mess. I feel for both you and your boyfriend and wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone. Despite the fact that your boyfriend is depressed, which feels like the end of the world, it’s just as painful for you to. Kills me that my girlfriend is upset, mainly because of me, but I feel like it’s beyond me to fix it.

      • lynnie says:

        My partner is the one with depression we have been together 16 yrs and I agree it is not the man I fell in love with I keep telling myself he is still in there and I hang on for a glimpse of hope, it is so hard though has he has completely cut me out of his life even though we are in the same house he hardly speaks to me maybe yes or no.
        I am hanging in there as he has been on his medication for 4 weeks now no difference the time must come if I believed in aliens I would swear my partner would of been taken and replaced by one .
        I imagine we are in a tunnel and we see the light in the future .

      • Jennifer says:

        Hi Mike,
        Just wanted to say thank you for giving us the depressed and in a relationship person’s perspective.
        I am in a soul mate relationship and he has become increasingly depressed over the past few months. What he says is exactly what you say above. I feel that this is “temporary” (finite, anyway), and the person I used to know will be on the other side (possibly changed). I feel this because I have suffered from depression which led me to a great deal of personal growth and now I am stronger and more positive than ever. What advice can you give to the people helping a depressed love one – anything over and above this article? And hope you are proceeding well with your own path out of the darkness.

      • Father and Husband says:

        I am struggling with depression and I have a 5yr old son and my wife and I have bin together for 6 yrs I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was younger and never committed to therapy and medication lately my life has flipped upside down I can’t keep a job struggling in my realtipnship I love my wife but I have bin very distant towards her n she is allways here for me through all my mistakes she takes me back n I want to be a better man for her I have recently started thinking of going back to therapy n try to find the right medication but the process is overwhelming and with my obsessive thinking of trying to do better and provide keeps a hold on me I fear of losing her and my son or worse me going to jail for trying to make ends meet I rly don’t talk to anyone all my friends are in jail or have passed away I don’t go out and last night I go out and drank too much when I got home it was a episode I don’t kno why I’m writing on this I just needed to express my self but from the other side it’s very hard for someone with depression or w.e the case may be especially when loved ones are effected by it I need help I know I do but nothing seems to work

      • Sandra says:


        You have so exactly described one part of my partner’s struggle. I always say to him, I don’t want him to feel bad for upsetting me, I want him to feel safe with me and put any energy he can into trying different things to feel better and get better. He isn’t able to take that in just yet but I can tell you that neither my partner or you will be doing your girlfriend a favour by giving up on your relationship or yourself. Believe me. You are worthwhile and loved. Maybe you can try to trust that and focus on getting the help you need. I really hope so.

        Best of luck to you. I hope you will be able to give updates on your progress and struggles.


  26. dorky says:

    my boyfriend and I have being going out for the past one year now, recently he lose his job and since then he always say he is frustrated, he was also complaining that am at a different city so I decide to leave where I was to come to the same city where he is staying but at different apartment my problem is the new place that I am staying he had never visited me his excuse is that am there with my parents and now he is not working that is why he is not coming, but also I go to his house to visit him anytime. one year in relationship I don’t know any of his family and friends except two guys which he introduce them to me as his cousins and he also doesn’t know my parents. he know only my sister, her husband and kids. of last he doesn’t call me when I call him he doesn’t reply the only thing that is effective in the relationship is sex. two weeks ago he wanted to have sex with me and I told him that we should stop that sex issue and concentrate in building our relationship. last week he text me to tell me that we should break up this s the message he sent

    U know this relationship is not working.
    I’m really frustrated with so many issues all about my life
    So please let’s us understand.
    I don’t want to waste your time neither mine please understand.
    Let’s forget about and be a good friends

    please I love him and what us to fix things how should I go about things and what will I do to make him commit?

    secondly, how should I talk to him to make him fall in love with me. because he said my communication is boring, please teach me how to communicate with a man and how to handle my relationship as a lady.

  27. James says:

    My girlfriend of a year and a half broke up with me three weeks ago out of no where. She texted me one night and asked to meet at a Starbucks the following morning for coffee.
    She has been battling depression and anxiety for the past 4-5 years and told me she has some issues that she never addressed and that she needed to address them on her own and that she wasn’t healthy enough for a relationship right now.
    I love this girl more than anyone on this world. She’s been nothing but good to me and has helped me through my own personal issues. But now I’m here three weeks later miserable. I go a day or two without any breakdowns and then I just cave and breakdown. She seems happy in all the pics on Instagram that I’ve seen her in that her friends post and in her best friends snapchats that I get because it is her “story” on the app. I don’t know what to do. We worked through all our issues before this, together. Why can’t we now? Is this the end of our relationship? Should I ask for some closure? Doesn’t anyone think she is using this as a cop out?

  28. Angelo says:

    Going through figuring all this out currently myself. My GF of 2 years brought up being Overwhelmed & Stressed about a year into our relationship. Before that everything was great. Great Connection, Great Chemistry, Great Compatibility, even our Conflict Resolution was amazing. She ended up mentioning an episode of Clinical Depression several years earlier that totally ruined a relationship, ended with her in the hospital. This has been 1 of the most difficult, painful & rough experiences I’ve ever encountered. I feel like what in the world has happened here? How did I go from being so close, connected with her for the 1st year to the past year where our relationship has increasingly become more & more detached. She barely wants to talk with me, never really wants to see me, when she does talk with me it’s like the coldest & most detached person I’ve ever dealt with. She makes constant mention of needing space. We fight all the time now, but we all we fight about is her wall & lack of communication with me. I know that has pushed her away more, but I feel like what am I supposed to do? She is a person who was so full of energy, bubbly, warm & kind & sweet…and I don’t see any of that anymore, and it’s been pretty much non existent since at least March/April. She has been in therapy since early Summer, although I haven’t seen any improvements since late last Winter. I’ve finally decided to get myself into therapy. I’ve definitely realized as a significant other, your 1st job is take care of yourself, and make sure you don’t end up all messed up. And as for the significant other, Love from a distance. They’re not going to be warm, kind or able to connect with you, and you will constantly walk on eggshells in dealing with them. They’re in another world. But you have to have some empathy. It’s not a person’s choice to suffer with this affliction.

  29. Alex says:

    my depression triggered during engagement, though I wanted to cancel the wedding because of the anxiety but the time was too short.
    I went ahead with the wedding.
    but since after the wedding till date, I still struggle with depression. it has been the most painful challenge I have ever faced in life.
    the worst thing is that I have never enjoyed the marriage for one day and any time I remember that my depression started because of my marriage, it project all the pain to my wife.
    she has been helpful and patience, but things has not been getting any better at all.
    this is a really challenging time of my life, depression is a monster, its ruining my career, my social and spiritual life and the worst thing is that its making me regret my marriage.
    I have suggested to my wife that we will need a healing separation so that I can work on my emotion and we can have a new beginning.
    please any advise out there will help.

  30. Ellen says:

    my depressed currently xbf of two years, broke up with me labor day weekend and the last 5 weeks have been a yoyo of a roller coaster ride – you all know how it goes; from reaching out to not responding, from blaming the relationship on his unhappiness, saying “I also feel better after I have spent time with you”. Never asking about my life – not returning the most benign texts, or getting angry over loving emails. Lowe self-esteem, no worthiness and at the same time doing everything in his power to Napalm the relationship to the point where I would need to walk away in self-protection.

    I had reached my limit this past week and gave it one last go – a sit down where I present to him, verbally and on paper (simple words) two lists: What I want and What I won’t tolerate. The second list being the more important.

    He listended, and when I got to #5 on on the intolerable list, he burst into tears. It was specfic to my removing myself from the only venue in our life where we still cross paths (we are not married, both divorced and 50, so no kids together). I had wondered why he hadn’t removed himself from this arena, a social one, which I had brought him to (a tennis team)

    that breakdown (his first tears in a year of depression) shocked me. I comforted him and held him, which he allowed. Finally he asked if he could keep the list, and like a child asked me to go over every intolerable point, and said “I think I can do those things, or it least make an effort to do those things” that was Sunday, and he has steadily communicated with me by text since then, and seems to be opento staying connected while I give him space.

    It has been so relieving to me, and allowed me to let go of my acute anxiety. It was like seeing his human face again.

    I believe that we walk a fine line: we put up with too much so as not to upset the depressed party and push him away, the we are so frustrated by no recognition of our efforts an we become anxious and needy. I believe he needed to feel the weight of consequence to unacceptable behaviour. He needed it explained simply and he took it in.

    Not sure this peaceful place will last, but he thanked me for the most productive conversation we have had in months.

    We shall see. For now, I am trying to let him be the one to initate contact – I am trying to go on with my own stuff and give him the space I couldn’t when he seemed so angry.

    It’s a thought – simple communication – they are like deer – easy to scare away

    • Positive says:

      Hi ellen, how is’it going today? Your message is very inspiring, thank you

      • Ellen o says:

        Wow. What I wrote seems a lifetime ago. That experience held us for just acshortbrime. We were in and out of contact from October of 2014-March of 2015. His depression got worse. He quit therapy after 5 sessions. His behavior was erratic/or sad. Finally in the last two months his cruelty to me increased dramatically. He would draw me to him with a text like, “I’m anxious”. I would go see him in his depression. He would be tender one moment then turn cold. His final words ” I have no obligation to you”, I said, ” I will do anything to help you”. His response, ” I will never do anything for you at cost to myself. That was that. I have not seen him in a year. He lives 6 minutes from him.

        I am writing a book about the impact of fallout on those who love people with depression/bipolar. I have interest from a publisher. It is a memoir.

        This experience devastated me, my self esteem, my trust of love. I am emerging. But what anincredible road.

        Mine abandoned help. He will rise again and hurt others. His greatest betrayal: benign neglect of a manageable illness. Shame on him.

        • Bswa says:

          Sad you couldn’t work it out. But you have tried and can’t regret anything. I’m happy you decided to write about your story, I’m thinking of it too as a healing process. Have you done some therapy for yourself In order to move on ? I’m thinking of it eventually because I don’t want that story to ruin my life and love life, I’m a loveable intelligent person who has a lot of’love to’give (proof being I stayed 3 years with an anxious depressive and I loved her in every way and couldn’t be more supportive, some people out there would die for that kind of relationship ) as I’m sure you are too. You will be ready to move on and will find that happiness you deserve, like we all do. Good luck, stay in touch 🙂

          • Elken says:

            Thank you. I think now that I know if he had stayed I would have had to live in his rabbit hole too much. He couldn’t sustain a healthy relationship. The writing is cathartic and I hope will resonate for all of us who walk with people with depression and bipolar

          • Ellen says:

            I believe that I am ultimately better off without him. He would have been in his rabbit hole too often throughout our life – it would have diminished me.

            The writing is cathartic, but mostly, I hope it can serve to comfort those who walk in our shoes. It is hard for friends and family to understand. People need to hear voices that let them know they are not alone in their grief

        • Bswa says:

          I see what you mean for friends and family. I wrote to the parents to tell about my concerns and unfortunately that’s the mom who answered, saying something like sorry you’re not in a relationship anymore… you’ve been a caring friend. Slap. Coming from the mother accused by the husband and my ex to be a (unthreated) bipolar. I was hoping the email was her dad’s only. Guess they decided to ignore their daughter illness as they must have for years. Because a person who doesn’t have friends as a child and thinks her dad was her bestfriend, how can you let that happen and do nothing ? I tried to talk about that with my ex but she refused to see my point so I let go and let her calling her dad daily…
          As for my friends, when she keeps rejecting me coldly, they said “at least you know and can move on”, if only it was as simple as that, if only I could ignore that was her depression talking, if only I could forget that I loved her si’ce the day I met her…
          And finally my mom knows what living with an anxious depressive is, she has sacrificed her life to one, always has been such a positive and funny person but after 40 years with someone like that, she is exhausted and ended up with way too much weight… I’m sure she wished she had left when she wanted to at the beginning of their relationship (he threatened to kill himself). But is it fair to give up your whole life for a person that won’t give you what you deserve most of the time because they’ll be only focussing on their problems and themselves if they don’t seek therapy and learn how to cope? I know it’s harsh, but I admit I always saw a lot of potential in my ex, she is a great loving person when not taken away by anxiosity and depression. But I’m not kidding myself, she might not do anything to deal with it the right way ; we worked together on her drinking less…didn’t last, I offered her to do a therapy before her episode of depression to understand why she always thought she would die young, and she said never. So what now? Maybe she needs to hit rock bottom to face it, but maybe she’ll keep running away like she has done by leaving me for an online stupid fantasy. I’m mad she can’t realise what’s going on, I’m mad the parents won’t do anything, I’m mad at me for staying despite the alarm rings I saw early in the relationship. I decided to stay despite that because I’m a positive person but what can you do when your partner is a negative one that is always questioning everything in life, comparing her life to wonderful (in her head) others all the time? How are you suppose to take’it while yiu are in this life with her?! There is no winning situation, she’s on survival mode and because of her, so am i. But I thank God for still being able to go out and enjoy a sunny day, a bird singing or other little things in life, which saddens me knowing my swan can’t these days while she used to with me. My best to all

  31. SJ says:

    Reading all of your comments is so strange as I am kind of going through the same thing. My husband has walked out on me and our children saying that he doesn’t love me any more and isn’t interested in trying again. He insists he is completely of sound mind but he had an episode of depression a couple of years ago which he admits wasn’t sorted out correctly at the time. I have been a terrible wife in that I didn’t know how to live with somebody who was depressed and my actions certainly haven’t helped. I am currently trying to decide whether I should fight for him or whether he is being rational and has merely fallen out of love. My gut says I should fight but hearing his terrible words is more than i can bear at the moment 🙁

  32. Matt says:

    I’m finding that reading alot of these posts is helpful to me, while I am in a very difficult place, and I’m trying to figure out how best to deal with things.

    My wife of 2+ years has had a history of depression, and she has recently said that she needs space. She has left our home to go stay with family, maybe 20 minutes away. This has left me in a very confused state….sad, angry, frustrated, scared, desparate, lonely….you name it, and I’ve probably hit it in the last few days (except suicidal…I’m not at that place). It has been very very hard for me to give her the space she needs. I find myself wanting to call her, or text, FB, etc, which I can resist for a while, but ultimately ends up in me relenting and contacting her. When we talk, it is getting increasingly more agitated, and she has openly says that a) she doesn’t know how long this will take, and b) this could very well be a permanent separation, but she is not in a place right now to make any such claim. The uncertainty is killing me, and I am not willing to accept another failed marriage (I was divorced after a 3 year marriage about 7 years ago).

    To be fair, I know I’m not perfect. I do have a moody side to me, that makes it difficult to talk we me sometimes. I have spent alot of my time and energy on my career, and this has been a point of contention over the past two years. My own health has suffered over the past couple years, putting on alot of weight. I don’t invite conflict with my wife, and when we do argue, I will often end up shutting down, so I don’t do or say anything to completely make things worse (ie: violence, or extreme rage). This has made me a less than efficient communicator.

    My wife and I have been to couples counseling for the last year or so. I avoided it for a while, because I didn’t want to admit that after only a year or so, we were at “that place”. It has had its ups and downs, but repeatedly, she has acknowledged that she had one foot out the door, and was unsure what to do. She was sad that I was not the partner that she thought she married…she felt that I did not contribute enough around the house (probably true), and that I was moody and not always emotionally available (also fair statements). She has warned me that she was wary of another depressive attack, like she suffered before we me, which left her crippled, and took a while to get out of. I do feel some level of guilt for where she is now, because I feel like if she is that unhappy, I haven’t done my part as a husband, although there is a part of me that acknowledges that it has not all been bad. I feel like I had done my best to love her, support her, and be with her….never cheated on her, hit her, abused her in any ways…but she doesn’t trust that I can be the partner she needs.

    Which brings me back to where I am today…..I don’t know how to deal with things right now. She has suggested that I might have some signs of depression (which has been brought up to me before, but I never really bought into it). I am wondering: how much of our marital problems are really my fault for not being a better partner, vs. how much of the situation is due to her worries and depression? How do I know if I am depressed? Most importantly…..what do I do to fix things?

    I am logical enough to realize that this is not an easy set of questions, and the outcome may not be favorable. I am deathly scared of going through another divorce….it makes me feel like I have failed yet again, at a marriage (or long-term relationship), when at some level, I feel like I am a decent person most of the time. At 41, I am having a hard time with the idea of possibly starting over “again”….and of possibly never having a family. I know I need to concentrate on myself, but I am also so worried about the state of our marriage, and what I can do to repair it or salvage it.

    I’m certainly interested in any input….but just writing this is helping me sort my thoughts. It’s a bit comforting to realize that maybe I’m not alone, even if it doesn’t solve anything.

    • ps says:

      your story sounds just like mine except that I am the depressed wife here. And from my perspective, I found my husband completely ignoring my emotional needs. We are in way worse situation as I have no where to go and have a kid.All I need from my husband is s certain gesture of care, a desperate need and interests in listening to my ideas of love and dreams. He never really learned ways of romantic gestures and keeping a woman laughing. Now this may all sound too hard on him. But everyone does change for a relationship, and its one’s responsibility to give their spouse, what they want.
      I think you should please the inner child/ young girl of your wife. Approach her in the lightest mood and have always certain back up plans ready. This would assure her that you don’t want to repeat the mistakes, care for her and want her back in your life happily. A little drama is never too bad and can be quite appealing. Find out her ideas of emotional attachment, first date, excitements and take her to dates relating to those. Above all surprise her with a fool proof plan. Also, if she is getting too fussy, give her a little space but keep checking if she is ready to have you back. In any case, do your best to stay calm, happy and devoted.
      Its a little work and age has little to do with it. But you will not just enjoy but get the best memories out of it. Now send her dress and accessories and ask/request /beg for a date. Its all love. Rationalization is a situation dependent thing. 🙂

      • Tired says:

        It’s been the opposite for me. My wife has had episodic depression for the last 15 years. I do the romantic , the flowers as well as a lot of the housework but when she is depressed she says the loving acts are not enough And we don’t connect. We have the usual relationship issues that are normal but when she shuts down with depression it’s impossible to get through and any acts of love and care are thrown aside as meaningless. I know it’s the depression. It’s hard as I have a difficult profession as well and need some emotional support from her which I know I can’t get anymore. Then it disappears and it’s all roses until the next time. She has tried antidepressants but the decides it’s me so stops . She often takes off her wedding ring and says it’s over. I dunno. It’s just hard

        • Sandra says:

          Hi Tired,

          I hear your pain and exhaustion…it is mirrored in my life. Worry and love keeps us going and trying, but for how long? I would love to know how you are fairing now. If you still look at these posts, I hope you will give an update.


    • crazybee says:


      Let her space out on her own. I realised that when my bf was depressed pushing them made them disappear deeper into the cave

    • ken says:

      Hi matt
      i am going through exactly the same thing, i havent contacted my girlfriend for six weeks now, she did send me an email via a dating site actually having a go at me for being on there, but shes also on there i suppose she hopes that by finding someone else this will stop her pain, i am on there as i fear she may not come back to me, i love her with all my heart but this illness has taken her from me, she also drinks in the house to self medicate she wont go to the doctors and it has been 12 months since all this started, i am here for her but theres nothing i can do, the only thing possible is to let her fall by herself and hit rock bottom, and thats all you can do matt, hope things work out for you.

      • Sandra says:


        Has your girlfriend made any improvement or does her downward spiral continue? Have you gained any further wisdom thru the process of stepping back and waiting that you can share? I am tempted to do the same in my relationship but feel certain it would be a death sentence for my relationship as well as my partner. Perhaps, supporting him is a death sentence as well…just slower and more victims. I really just wish I knew… Reading everyone’s stories is helping me process it all. Having updates about ongoing challenges …what worked and didn’t would be amazing if you feel up to sharing.

        Definitely anything you can share would be most appreciated.


        • ken says:

          Hi sandra

          no she never came back, she didnt have any treatment and was also drinking to self medicate, i asked her for my mothers ring back threatening to expose her to the people at the school where she works in january and she sent it back by recorded mail and lashing out at me in a text message saying she would report me to the police for harrassment, this is a terrible illness and as far as i know she hasnt had any treatment, they become different people, she also rented her house out and i dont know where she is only that she is still able to work at the school, have you tried the depression fallout site?.
          ken x

          • Sandra says:


            I am so sorry for your loss and heartbreak. I am in shock, I think. This illness is just bigger than I can contemplate all at once. The sinking feeling is sending me some home truths I may need a while to absorb.

            How are you coping? Are you okay? What is getting you thru? I am not sure what is worse..dealing with the neglect and abuse from loved ones or worrying about them.

            Depression fallout site? No. I don’t know about it. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on but I haven’t come across that. I have been looking for support groups here in Australia but there aren’t any anywhere accept two locations in a state I don’t live in. The fallout site sounds like where to go when it is over?

            Thank you so much for sharing your story and your knowledge. I really appreciate it.


        • ken says:

          Hi sandra

          the depression fallout site is linked to a person named anne sheffield who wrote three books about depression, all of them are available from amazon, if you go to the site there is a message board where you can interact with others in the same position as yourself, dont go down the rabbithole with your partner like i did in 2013-14, i had situational depression and anxiety and it took me a few months to recover, you can email me if you want, im sure john will give you my details.

          • Sandra says:

            Hi Ken,

            I think I already have the beginnings of situational anxiety and depression. I am possibly understating that. I have put a request thru to John for your email address.

            The second I finish typing this response I will be checking out the website you mentioned.

            I have a million questions you probably don’t want to discuss in detail in such a public forum so I am holding back.

            Thanks again for ..well..everything.

          • ken says:

            Hi sandra

            i would have put my email on here but it is public! i hope to hear from you soon and dont worry! i know its hard, speak soon.

  33. Helen says:


    I’m a 27 year old working mother of 2 and I have suffered from depression on and off for years now (although only recognised it in the last 2 years). My partner is great, the most positive person I’ve ever met. From when our 6 year old was 3 months old my partner hadn’t a job until he got something small in the last year. None of it was his fault just the industry crashing due to the recession. I never held it against him but I had to hold together our family financially for a long time and it put such pressure on me it got too much and I broke down. I was off work for 6 months and came back last October. It started off well but I’ve fallen back into my depressive habits.

    I am always tired, I feel down, I feel awful for how I treat my family sometimes, I have very little patience with the children but I only ever realise these things after I’ve exploded. I’m on a bad path again and I can’t afford a councellor, I came off the medication because I couldn’t afford it either and I’m so scared…

    My partner is so great but it’s making me look at everything and think he would have such a happier life without me around. I’m constantly either on the verge of tears or just so angry, I don’t lash out I just feel angry, all of my responses to questions or comments are out of anger and I feel so lost…

    I have problems with my hip joints since my last pregnancy and I now can’t exercise, I’ve put on weight and on to of that I have a stressful job, it all feels like too much

    I’m just so tired


    • Sandra says:


      You must always put your life first. Treatment is like food. You need it to survive and your family need you to survive. I hope you are getting the help you need now.

  34. Jeff says:

    John, thanks for this post.

    I guess I was at that “rock bottom” point about two months ago when my wife of almost 9 years told me she still loves me, but isn’t “in love” with me anymore. My depression – for which I am now on Welbutrin XL and in counseling – caused her so much pain. My diagnosis is dysthymia, and I’ve probably had it since high school (I’m almost 33). She invested so much into our marriage, and I wasn’t always showing up the way I needed to. The way I lashed out at her sometimes, some choices I’ve made… they haunt me and I’ve resolved never to act in such a way again. My regimen, combined with exercise and some great, straight talk from friends and others has me feeling better about me than I have in a long time. I have so much so many men would love to come home to. I have so much I have to fight for, even my marriage, even in its current state.

    Though she has talked about separation and divorce, she agreed to go into marriage counseling with me. I’ve tried to do my best to be the man she wanted for so long, but my efforts at this point feel to her like a “slap in the face… you’re just now showing up?” Her feelings are valid and understandable. She’s put up walls because she is so tired, so hurt. I’m hoping marriage counseling, entered into with two open minds, helps us discover things we didn’t know, uncover new ways to communicate, to feel bonds and trust. I am still so crazy, crazy in love with her, and I thought for a long time I was showing her that. But I’ve got to change, and am excited to do so. I pray it isn’t too late for my marriage.

    She still hugs me, sleeps in the same bed with me, even kisses me (not that passionately, though) and will often be naked in front of me. We still laugh together, but things do feel strained with this black cloud over our heads. Neither of us really wants divorce. We have two incredible children, a 6-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, and our house is also miserably underwater. I can’t see how it wouldn’t be a completely horrid experience.

    If anyone has any words of encouragement for me, I sure could use them. Thanks.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Jeff,

      I’m in a similar situation myself, except I am more in your wife’s shoes. To give you a little background, I’ve been with my SO for almost 5 years. Two of the years, he has been facing depression as well as grief, combined with a very stressful family situation. We are a young couple, and it often feels like the odds are stacked against us. Long story short, it has put a strain on our relationship. Depression isn’t easy and everybody is affected. As a partner, watching someone deal with depression is extremely sad, and it makes us feel helpless. We know that the person we love is in there, and that is what makes us stay. After a while however, the partner can become depressed too, because of dealing with a depressed partner. This may be what has led your wife to discussion a “separation”. This could be her way of trying to protect herself. It is a good sign that she wants to go to counseling with you. It may take her some time to open up, because she has put up a wall to protect herself. If your wife has been patient with your depression, be patient with her as she comes around to the idea of counseling–this anger she is feeling seems to be normal. She may be wondering, “Why now? What caused this change? Could I have somehow turned this around sooner?” Let her work through that. I think the best thing that you can do from here on out is to show CONSISTENCY and validate her feelings. I know with depression there are a lot of highs and lows, so as you work through that, be consistent for your wife. Show her that you are committed to making things work. Often times, we use words instead of actions. So it is crucial to show her that you are committed to making a change. To me, it seems that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make this work, and that you reached your breaking point to bring you back to your own reality. Take it one day at a time, and always communicate with your wife how you are feeling. I know that with my depressed partner, he withdrawals, which leaves me wondering what to do and also leaves me feeling deserted. So if you feel like withdrawing, reach out to your wife about that so she can keep you reigned in. Once you get yourself into a healthy state of well being, that will reflect onto your wife, which will then reflect onto the relationship. The relationship is a balance between two individuals, so getting healthy separately will benefit the relationship as a whole. Hope this helps. Wishing you and your wife the best.

      • Jeff says:

        Michelle, thank you for your reply. We have had two marriage counseling sessions so far, and both have gone well, I think. I’ve left them feeling encouraged. Even though I heard things that were hard for me to hear, I took them as lessons learned, specific areas where I need to target my efforts. My own recovery continues to go well, and my wife has found someone to talk to on her own. The marriage counselor told us at the end of our first session, “Sometimes couples come in here, and they know and I know that it’s hopeless. I don’t see that with you two.” You mentioned a “breaking point,” and you couldn’t have used a better phrase. Something broke my depression… the things I was depressed about, not so much me, but external things over which I had little control, don’t bother me anymore. She can see I’m changing, but she’s still in self-preservation mode. I am taking it on faith with my follow-through, she will eventually come back, and our marriage will be stronger than ever. She’s worth the wait. Thanks again for your message, and all the best to you and yours.

        • Michelle says:


          I am so glad to hear that you and your wife are attending counseling, and that it is already starting to have positive impacts. While your wife is still in this “self preservation mode”, it is also a good time to continue focusing on yourself too, which you are doing. I think it is great that your wife is also having her own sessions with a counselor. Like I said before, it takes two healthy people to have a healthy relationship. While you have been facing depression, your wife is also now facing any issues that she has developed during that time. It is very beneficial that you are doing couples counseling and personal counseling. As your wife continues to see the changes, it may help her to rebuild that trust again. As always, relationships are not always easy, but they are always worth it. Time, patience, and a little grace can be your best friend and what gets you through each day. And thank you for your kind words.

        • Dawn says:

          Hi Jeff, are you still checking this forum?? I have a few questions about Wellbutrin XL if you are. Just curious how long before you started feeling like your “normal” self again? Also, did your feeling for your wife return after you started the medication? My husband of 21 years has just been diagnosed with depression and has started the same medication.

  35. Hybri says:

    I’m a teen. My depression was triggered by childhood sexual abuse. Right now I’m quite overwhelmed while reading articles and comments on this website. Are relationships involving depressed persons seriously prone to so many issues??! I already think that life is not worth living but wow. Most of the time I can barely handle dealing with my own trauma, let alone face the reality that I could’ve been hurting a loved one. Where does the impact of trauma end, and my responsibility for my “behaviour” begin?! Is this how abuse survivors become abusers themselves? I think that the best thing I could do, then, is to stay single for a lifetime. I know that how you act in the context of a relationship is a choice, but when you’ve got depression, your perception is screwed.

    I am afraid for the future.

    • Bianca says:

      Hello Hybri,
      I’m sorry to hear that you have suffered such traumatic experiences. To a certain extent, I understand how you feel. I’ve suffered from depression, thorugh no fault of my own, since I was 10, I’m about to turn 21. The triggers for my depression have followed me all through my teen years without me really realising it, but it seems your tirggers are considerably more obvious to you than mine are to me. Only just recently, though, I have realised the reality of hurting a loved one. My depression has hurt my boyfriend of five years. To him, I am no longer the ‘happier’ sweet sixteen year old he fell for. This was because I let my depression define me and my actions.

      Because of this, because I love him, because I want to be happy and because I do not want to have depression be my identity, I have chosen to confront it. The attached link inspired me more so. I came across it just two days ago when I felt lost and confused about my relationship. These reasons are my stick. The stick I use to fight my demons. And with every victory, that stick becomes sharper and more badass looking. That stick becomes your new identity.

      If you grab your stick and use it, you will become the person who found meaning in life, you will over come the insecurities you currently feel concerning relationships, you can distinguish the line between the impact of trauma and responsibility for your behaviour. Finally, your stick will be a silver sword forged in the fire of your passion to overcome depression. With that sword, you can face your child sexual abuse history (imagine it’s a vampire or something here :P) and pierce it right into it’s heart into a wall. It may not die… but it is pinned to the wall, unable to hurt you. It’s there, in the core of what makes you depressed, but using your stick, your desire for happiness, to find a postive means to barricade it from your daily life, it cannot hurt you.

      I hope my words here become your stick. I hope, with help from pshychologists and doctors and such, you find a way to pin your depression to a wall. (I’m imagining it has little T-rex arms and a squeaky voice right now. :P)

    • Jordyne says:

      My name is jordyne and I am 18 years old. I met my boyfriend a little while ago and we have barely been together for a year. But already we are having serious problems, I have struggled with depression since I was a kid and could say I have lived in the storm for a little more than ten years. Basically most of my life has been spent alone. My father was a drug addict and left me and my sister with my mom when I was 4, it was around this time that my depression began. I never did good in school, never cared about anything and was left with an abusive mother for most of my life. She has completely denied my mental illness and all the trauma I have been through. I’m currently going through trauma care, dealing with a lot of P.T.S.D rather then just depression. I have told my boyfriend long before he got with me what to expect and that I was an emotionally damaged human being that was willing to try to get better. Lately, all we do is fight and he’s growing tired because he does everything in his power to help me, but a lot of time I don’t have the tools to deal with my problems correctly. I am going to therapy but don’t feel a great connection with my therapist that is keeping me from finding the motivation to even fight depression. My psychiatrist is even worse, almost ignored me everytime and I feel anxiety around any appointment I have with him, which prevents me from getting correct refills on my meds that I need to get by. A lot of the time I feel I am fighting a useless battle and all I seem to do is hurt him, even in my attempts to fight this together. Today I considered to leave my loving supportive boyfriend because I felt I didn’t deserve his Love and that it is all my fault we are even having problems, but I didn’t choose this life. I didn’t choose to be abused most of my life, and now I have no parents to lean to and because if my depression I am struggling with money, and am feeling like I’m being forced to get a job when Im not at that step yet. It’s hard because I completely rely on my boyfriend and feel he is gonna give up on me. Depression has claimed my life. My job, my schooling, my ability to feel loved, my self confidence, and ultimately I feel suicidal every single day. Which is also hard on him, I don’t know what to do when I feel like I will never be able to be the girl he needs and so deserves. I feel terrible that sometimes he can’t get to me and I lash out, all I do is feel more and more guilty after. Even though, I honestly and full heartedly apologize everytime. I feel like without him I have no one. Because I don’t. But I feel like keeping him around will ruin his life. Depression already took everything I had, I can’t take it away from him. Suffering with abuse is the worst feeling to get through and it’s hard to know when your really making an impact. Remember depression isn’t your fault, just like the abuse wasn’t your fault.

  36. Laura says:

    For me, the worst feeling I have is guilt. My boyfriend has been depressed for about 2 years now. I have a history of depression, but I have been doing well for about 14 years. I’m also a counselor, so I do understand quite a bit, but of course, every one’s feelings are different. Anyway, what I need help with is the guilt I feel when I’m not perfectly handling his depression or outbursts. I feel guilty for days after I speak up/set a boundary/take time for myself. I’m not sure where that feeling is coming from or how to handle it. I went back into therapy, but it’s not helping since that doc doesn’t seem to want me to focus on my feelings about this; he keeps redirecting to the actual happenings in the relationship – that’s not my kind of therapy – I don’t believe in b#tch sessions; I want actual help reconciling the guilt for the rare times when I’m not the perfect partner of a depressed person. Any suggestions?

  37. Liz says:

    I have suffered from severe bipolar depression and PTSD for quite a while and currently I am in a relationship of nearly 3 years that I am terrified is going to fall apart… I am in such a rut that I could never blame him for leaving and well I just would sell my soul for some advice to keep from losing the greatest thing I have ever had… I just stay sooooo angry and upset anymore I don’t know what to do to save us?

  38. Beau says:

    I went out with a woman, who has a history of suffering from severe depression, for almost a year. She broke up with me a month ago, but said I am her best friend and she doesn’t want to lose me. Several months ago, however, she told me that she voluntarily stopped taking her depression prescriptions. I have noticed the changes in her since then. I’m sure I don’t need to detail, but she’s exhibited a lot of aggression against me. Almost everything I do irritates or angers her to the point of no longer talking to me for long periods of time. I’d forgotten she stopped her meds until yesterday, reading this site. I don’t know how to help her if she neglects herself of her treatment. What should I do? I love her and don’t want to abandon her, but I can’t discuss this subject with her without her becoming enraged at me.

  39. Soffy says:

    my boyfriend keeps suggesting me to leave him. i know he’s going through depression and he feels like he cant do anything right at this moment. he has a rough time right now. he wants me to stop being there for him and he isnt sure if he still loves me. that were his last words. i dont know what to do. i want to stay and be there for him, or should i leave and break up like he wants me to. thanks in advance!! soffy

    • lynnie says:

      I too am going through this my partner of 16 yrs is the one with depression, he told me he loves me but his head is fuzzy and mixed up he has been on meds for 4 weeks no change as yet, we are still in the same house seperate everythink it is soul destroying.
      I am hanging in there because I tell myself it is the depression not my partner hope this helps.

  40. Elizabeth says:

    My boyfriend and I are only in our early 20’s (I am 21, he’s 22) and we have been together for almost 5 years now. He is the love of my life and I know I am his, but he has been suffering from depression since he was 13 years old. When we first started dating the depression never really showed its face and we were happy together. When he was taken off of his depression meds things surprisingly got better and a lot more enjoyable. We would always have time for each other even though we went to different schools a 1/2 hour from each other, we always texted and talked on the phone, went on dates and just enjoyed each others company. Ove the past 4 1/2 years of being together we have fallen deeply in love. Even talked about getting married in a couple of years and then starting a new life together. Unfortunately, up until very recently his depression has gotten a lot more worse. His anxiety levels are through the roof and he never wants to do anything with me. He tells me he goes to class if he can get out of bed and then comes home and lays in bed again until he has to go to work. He tells me that he always thinks I am angry with him and that I’m going to leave him. If i sit a certain way on the couch or look at him oddly it triggers an anxiety attack in him and then we start to fight. It has gotten really bad because it is effecting our sex life/ Recently he hasnt been able to preform or even finish with me because he tells me he has all these bad thoughts run through his mind during it. This destroys me when this happens and I feel so helpless. I feel angry and upset with him as well. I am trying my best to cope with this but almost every time we see each other now we end up having some sort of argument about his depression and it makes things worse. He also tells me he is afraid to tell me anything because he thinks im going to judge him or get offended by whatever it is. To me this is crazy because I do not think of him at all like that. He always is just so scared to go anywhere. We cannot go out to eat or go grocery shopping without him having anxiety attacks or feeling extremely nervous. He even hates it when I go out with friends or when another man looks at me and I dont know how to tell him that I dont want anyone else. Unfortunately I have talked about leaving him or taking a month off from seeing each other so he can get some help, but I don’t know if that is a good idea or not. He doesnt want too but I dont know if I have any other choices right now. He is finally going to start seeing a therapist(after 2 years of me asking him to go) so I am hoping it will help out in some way. Any advice on how I can be a better support for him without getting too frustrated? And any advice on how we can get our sex life back together?

    • Daniel says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I’m currently struggling with depression and anxiety attacks, and my symptoms meet nearly all you have described about your boyfriend. my girlfriend and I are the in a very similar situation. She’s trying so hard to help me and I constantly feel like I’m letting her down. I worry about everything and I pester with questions that shouldn’t be asked. like will you not quit on me? are you mad? Questions that I know the answer to. she doesn’t deserve to go through it. All I can say is that I feel terrible about it. absolutely terrible. My advice is to keep doing what you can. Therapy has pulled me from depression more than once. I love my girlfriend and I’ll never stop trying until I’m finally ok and she’s ok. if he worries about you leaving him, I think he feels both bad and loves you. Just hang in there.

      best wishes

  41. sandy says:

    i am married from 1 year and half my husband is always depressed each month & half he would stay in bed like 3 days with barley food and not talking to anybody he had back injury than he did a surgery and fix his back and we do sex like once or twice a month i thought after surgery he will change now it have been like 5 months he did his surgery he is fine he is more depressed not even talking to me if i don t talk to him and it have been almost two month he didn t even hug me and when i touch him he is mad what should i do im so mad and he is transforming me his depression what should i do?& last time i told him if you don t change im leaving he wrote letter saying that he is going to kill himself what should i do?i love him but i don t know how much love will last or how much i can support this situation

  42. Melody says:

    I hear all of you, believe me and as the depressed person in my own relationship I have to agree with an earlier poster who basically said ‘stop!’

    There could be all sorts of reasons for the depression, especially if it comes on later in life and has not been a constant thing. The hardest, hardest hardest thing for the ‘other half’ to do is – nothing. You can’t fix another person. All you can do is take care of yourself the best you can.

    My husband ended-up moving out of our home and he’s in the midst of what I think is his mid-life crisis/transition. Thankfully he moved in w/ mom and not into an apartment with the town harlot. 🙂 But it still shook me up and has forced me to deal with a lot of things. He is obviously dealing with his own things as his upbringing has not prepared him in any way for the life he actually wants to live. (being emotionally connected and communicating effectively)

    Stephanie, your support needs to come from having a life. Find hobbies, find like-minded folks online who enjoy things you do if going out is a problem financially or otherwise. But don’t sit around waiting for the next shoe to drop. I did that myself, and it’s a horrid, soul-sucking way to live. You may be married and you may believe in your vows as I do but that does not mean you need to be a doormat.

    The less you enable your husbands fits and tantrums the more he will realize he feels miserable and no one else is going to jump in and save him. I won’t lie – it might get worse before he gets it. As has been said on this site, often the depressed person has to reach their own personal ‘rock bottom’ before they realize all their shenanigans won’t ‘fix’ their life. The key is for you to ‘get a life’ to the point where you are able to live and exists with or without him. I know it does sound like crazy-talk since marriage is a partnership and all that. But it’s a partnership of two complete, whole people! Not a one-sided blame-game.

  43. Stephanie says:

    My story would take up pages and pages of this site, So I will spare you guys the details, But I am looking for some kind of support, I am currently living and engaged to a man that suffers from Major Depressive Disorder as well as Anxiety. We have been together for 7 years and he is a retired soldier. He served in the Army for 17 years and was medically retired after several bouts of depression. Any way there are several things that we have been through, through out the years, but I am finding myself having a harder time coping with his illness, and the up and down days. It’s so hard watching someone you love go through this, and at times I wonder if I am strong enough myself, If I am suppose to be his rock and support system….Who is mine? I just feel totally helpless right now.

    • Lili says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      Im not sure if you still follow this site or not, but i would love to chat with you about our problems.
      We are similar, my partner of 4 years fell into depression and with in the period of a couple of month he went from a loving, caring man that im planing to spend the rest of my life with, to a stranger. We talked of a future together often and have never argued. Our relationship has been stable and very loving. How can this man suddenly turn on me, he’s cold emotionally and i just remember the nights coming home and he wouldnt even say 2 words to me. I lived like that for almost a year, in deep hurt and misery while he withdrew from me. The worst thing is that depression also have turned him into a very blame-y person, all the sudden i was to blame, our relationship was to blame. When i first heard of those cruel words, i could not believe my ears. It was things that made no sense, like i didnt share his interests or taste in music…(honestly really nonsense stuff.) While he’s not angry, all this was very mentally and emotionally abusive for me, while i do what every depression article suggest: “Do not take it personally”, but how can i not? at the very bottom of my heart its a thick layer of guilt and self blame, as if somehow i feel, yes, i caused this. I am a very sensitive and emotional person, i know im not strong enough, but for us i have picked up the burden and decided to be one that try to hold things together. I moved out to give him more space and visit him everyweek to do the week worth of cleaning and dishes! While he fell in and out of depression. Recently he went far as telling me that he feel too much pressure from our relationship and guilt for treating me badly that he feel its making his depression worse. Have he have any idea how hurtful that sound to me? To this point, although he said he is working towards getting help, he have yet to get help from a doctor or therapist; pitiful attempts at changing his lifestyle, but somehow it’s blames on me again. I had to talk to him 3 times to stabilize the situation and save the relationship. But how long for? i dont know.Not knowing if he ever will get help and when he will finally break completely and end the relationship. I have no one to support me emotionally and no one to pat my back while i cry myself to sleep every night..

  44. Mitzy says:

    The worst part of all of what I have been through is I tire of having compassion and understanding. It does no good and he sinks deeper into “projection” as if by downloading HIS problem on me he gets cured by pushing me down and away.
    Now I have his problems and shortcomings and responsibilities and my own to bear. I can’t even have a headache without his “competing” for NO you can’t be the needy I am. I also have shingles, unfortunately, and the stress his “checking out” of our lives for the second time, with the expectations I will just deal, not only with my bills and life, but the full responsibility of his bills and meet all his needs while he doesn’t even LIVE with us is unreal, and frequently results in my NOW being really ill, and in pain with a shingles outbreak. He doesn’t care except to tell me “you wanted this”. I guess that makes HIM feel better. I feel like a human garbage can most of the time.

    • De says:

      Sheesh, that rings a bell — that weird sense of “competing” for who’s neediest. Like, if you get hurt (minor injury) then instead of being sympathetic, the depressed person will tell you all about how he got hurt way worse than that, he can top that easy. If you feel a bit tired and want to lie down for a bit, pretty soon he’ll be complaining that his throat hurts and he thinks he’s getting a cold. It’s like — during the depressed phase — the depressed person just has to be the victim, Poor Little Me, he has to be more suffering, more needy, more injured than anyone else. Like somehow this is “winning”. A lot of it seems so childish to me, like the sulking of an upset teenager. Is depression somehow regressive, like the person is travelling back emotionally to remembered childhood abuse and terror? It’s so hard to understand. I feel like I need 2 degrees in psych just to figure out my home life.

      What really gets *me* down is the sudden chill in my heart as I realise that, oops, my partner is no longer talking like a rational person, the invisible switch has flipped, I’m no longer on firm ground, I can’t predict what he may do or say next (or conversely, I may be able to predict it all too well as he will repeat the same, ritualistic, word-for-word rants/gripes/glooms/tics). And the realisation that for the next N days I’m basically on my own, there will not be a functional person in my life for affection, support, or anything else. He becomes useless, dead weight, non-functioning, even kinda toxic until he climbs back out of it. OMG what a waste of the life time of an otherwise wonderful human being.

  45. Mitzy says:

    I wanted to add, a spouse can only do, say or support the other’s illnesses, depression, or carry the mostly full load of adult responsibility for so long. The key word here is support. It is up to the ill person to do their part in getting well. None of us are saints here, but humans with our limitations of own inability to DO, or suggest what might help others.
    A year is a long time to be expected to be “supportive” or carry the load of adult responsibility while our spouse takes NO steps to “self heal” and for the non depressed person to also bear the brunt of the load of still “there” responsibility, and the ANGER and blame of the depressed person is too much to expect as a “new lifestyle” with no limitations. When this condition lingers on for several years it is hard and unfair to expect us to understand, as we are now depressed or over burdened with all the “other stuff” in life that stops for NO one.
    Without the depressed person doing their part in getting well, resentment and the feeling of being taken advantage of has NO choice but to creep in.
    When life goes on and gets more difficult, and we have no help, emotional feed back or appreciation for being caring and supportive, there is NO choice but to eventually self protect, and get relief. Living with an angry, or severly depressed person who does NOTHING to help themselves, but project blame to the “caretaker” is not a row most people can hoe forever.
    I once read depression is just ANGER turned inward and I had a lightbulb moment. All my steps to support and help were more enabling of my husbands selfish refusal to even consult with anyone as he was in total denial of his part or RESPONSIBILITY to himself and others to seek treatment outside of using me for a whipping post, and crutch.
    At various times in my life I was left to deal with my minor boughts of depression, and received little to NO support from my husband while I struggled through ALONE, thankfully these never lasted much more than six months and were, I believe, mostly due to hormonal changes after giving birth, and MOSTLY due to his treatment of me, as a servant not a person with feelings, and or due to total exhaustion and sleep deprivation that usually goes hand in hand with babies, and all the time and work needed, and a husband that rarely was home.
    But, those were enough to teach me, NO one was going to carry my “self indulgence” to mentally obtain r and r, and that I was responsible to “heal self” to a large degree. It also taught me that anger at injustice or reality was a counter productive reaction to actually changing circumstances or my outlook. Sometimes, when a person refuses to help self, being supportitive can backfire into a total dependance and lazy approach by the person that is ill, but refusing to take responsibility for SELF.
    I do not mean to be harsh, but being so “babied” can itself delay a person being FORCED to do everything and anything to help themselves as the survival mode then can kick in. Avoidance of self responsibility can actually deepen depression in my opinion. When one is expected to be “support” indefinately, the “sick” person has NO need to deal with self healing.

  46. Rilke says:

    I have been reading through your posts in the past couple of days and picked this one to comment on. I feel a sense of relief getting validation (there is someone out there who knows what we are going through!) and despair (my husband refuses to learn to manage his own illness) sensing that this will not be how the story goes for us.

    You describe the thoughts and feelings of a depressed person very intimately and accurately and it has been very beneficial for me to read through in order to try to understand my husband better. You also state very encouragingly what kind of steps the depressed person, their partner and the couple together can do to learn to build new intimacy and connection despite the illness.

    This list is great but we fall already the first step. My husband refuses help. Period. He thinks most of our relationship problems are because of my shortcomings and mistakes. This is hard to deal with. It is getting increasingly harder to deal with. He’s not even just one of those isolating moping depressed people. He’s the kind that needs to have me there by his side, keeping him company, while he mopes. One false move, and he gets angry at me. Then he needs me to hug him again. I’m tired.

    Agreeing to sit by his side works great for him as he doesn’t have to deal with the world but won’t feel so alone either. It works terribly for me and I start to feel depressed as well. I’ve tried it for some time. As a result I pulled away for him as well as the world, because I ran out of emotional energy. Taking care of my own needs, even just some, works much better for him but causes so much headache. He feels lonely and abandoned. I feel pressured and stressed. If I try to reach out away from him too much, he rages and pulls me back in. I comply for a moment to keep the peace and then start to yearn for my own space again.

    I suspect we will divorce within one year if nothing changes in his willingness to help himself. Through me working on my way of communicating, maintaining my emotions and on the other hand not taking responsibility of his feelings — he has had to learn some new ways of containing his and simple self-soothing. But it is such a slow and an insecure process as he is not even aware of himself doing it. The weight of fixing the relationship is on me, through working on myself to become the best person I can be. I can see results but not enough benefits. I’m moving closer and closer towards making my request for him to help himself an ultimatum.

    I feel scared too, of the depression not subsiding, of my future with him. I feel angry at him too. I feel left alone and lonely. When I express these feelings they are only met with his twisted views of how it is all my fault or his sense that since I haven’t listened to his feelings enough he won’t listen to mine either. I gradually lose touch with him but I’m afraid if I some day announce my wish to divorce him it will come to him as a complete surprise. But not due to lack of my efforts to talk about it.

  47. Natalie says:

    My husband took depression after the death of his father in Feb this year but i didn’t release what was going on until he moved out in Sep. The run up to him leaving was very stressful, as he would treat me badly in front of people (run me down). He slept in a different room or the couch and was very distant. I have enough and ask him to move into his Mothers for 4 wks to see what was wrong or to see if he loved me.
    After he left it was very apparent that he was suffering from depression, as he would say things like ‘feeling empty’ in ‘limbo’ and made a few comments saying that if is wasn’t for our daughter then he would be off a bridge.
    Its now 3mths down the line and he is now on antidepressants and has been to a counsellor a few times and currently still going.

    Even though he seems slightly better, he has made no attempt to help our situation and tells me he does love me but it doesn’t feel the same or as much as it should be.

    I feel in total emotional limbo and keep swithering if ‘I’m flogging a dead horse’, so to speak. He has made absolute no physical contact with myself and even over the Xmas period not even a peck!!

    We have been together over 16yrs and have a bought house together. I have tried speaking to him about situation but he has no answers and feel that the more he stays away, then the harder it’ll be to return.

    I do love him dearly but feel that I’m beginning to suffer and have had lots of bouts of tears and just feel helpless……

  48. Carla says:

    My recently ex boyfriend has suffered from depression a few years before he got a full time job and met me. This year he started university after being away from a school environment for a long time. The stress of having no money, pressure on himself to do well and pressure to maintain a loving relationship gradually became too much for him, and he broke up with me saying he needed to be alone for a while and find himself again. I am starting to wonder now if he did this because depression has formed into his life again and he is used to dealing with it on his own. We have hung out, cuddled and kissed once since our break up, we are remaining close, I don’t know whether I should assure him that if he needs me I am here for him or if I should say to him that I know he doesn’t find anything enjoyable any more (he has said that to me) but why? or what should I do? I will continue to support his decisions through everything and give him the space he needs, but I don’t know if I should reach out and try and help or not. Can anyone help?

    • Steve says:

      I’m having same type thing going on . I have been dating a amazing lady for about year and half. About a month ago she said her work load and had to much going on. She takes meds and now if feel like she has pushed me away..We have text a little and she said she doesn’t enjoy anything just existing . I haven’t text with her in a week . I don’t know to give her space or what to do.

  49. It is understood that when a person suffers from both addiction and depression that they have concurring disorders and that both must be treated in order to achieve relief from even one disorder. A treatment center that specializes in dual diagnosis is the best option. If you are suffering from depression and it has led to an addiction help is available.

  50. Counselling says:

    Thanks for sharing an inspirational story.Any marital problem can be solve if acted together by couples.Communication is important.Having an open relationship is the best.I learned a lot here.

    • Judy says:

      I don’t think it’s true that every marital problem can be solved, just because we are human. The healing sometimes has to come through acceptance of our flaws and those of our partner and the realization that no one can be all things to anyone.

  51. James says:


    My wife and I are on the verge of breaking up after 10 years of marriage and 3 children. I think we have both suffered from depression for most of our lives. She has just started to get treatment and I until now have been in denial. I understand that my depression and the related irritability and anger have contributed to to her state and vice versa.

    As I start to read more and more about depression the more I understand the negative afffect it has had on our relationship.

    My wifes doctor started her on a mild dose of Prozac, her doctor has now left and she has seen a new one who promptly doubled the dose of the drug. This seemed to trigger a episode that could be the final straw in our marriage. Has anyone else had a similar experience withh medication?

    I am finally taking steps to try to deal with my own problems, I just hope it is all not too late.



    • Mitzy says:

      In answer to your question regarding experience with Prozac. I had a terrible and scary reaction to Prozac. I felt dizzy, disoriented and suicidal. What happened was that I was also on an antihistimine, and was in reality also severely dehydrated. Many over the counter, and prescription medicines, mostly antihistimines are also used for depression. They are given to help the person sleep but are ALSO used as antihistimines. I can only put forth that Prozac is well know to cause problems in lots of people and for these people it is NOT the right drug for them. Drugs, are, contrairy to opinion not “one size fits all” and some people have severe suicidal and or other adverse reactions. When I called the doctor to relay my scary symptoms they told me to keep taking it. This was BAD advice as I was having a classic adverse effect. Combined with the antihistimines and dehydration (duritec effect) I had inadvertantly made it worse, though they told me it was ok to combine the two.
      Without knowing how your wife behaved I couldn’t say for sure if that was caused by this medication, just know that not all antidepressant drugs work well for everyone, sometimes they just don’t “calm” or whatever but cause an esculation of problems. I would guess your wife needs a different antidepressant.

  52. Liz says:

    Hi L — I’m the “Liz” that John refers to in his response to you on July 17. I discovered Storied Mind when I first realized the severity of my partner’s depression and how it effected our relationship (circa 2008). Storied Mind was invaluable to my understanding of what my partner was going through. I tried not to be angry…even though at times I was. I went thru some fairly dark times of confusion, loss, anxiety, and deep sadness over the breakup of our relationship and trying to understand a chronic disease that I couldn’t blame him for…it was the toughest thing I have ever been through(some of my older postes on this website reflect those feelings). Today we are together and loving each other very much. I don’t have a magic answer for you on why we have been successful in moving through his depression. As a matter of fact, it never leaves us. As a chronic condition, we are reminded every day that something could trigger an episode. The difference for me is in the understanding of what he is going through and talking about it with him in an open and loving way. Maybe age has something to do with it as we are both in our late 40’s and I would like to think with age comes more patience and understanding. We don’t have the complications of children or extended family so our experience is just between the two of us. I am not as eloquent as John in writing about my experience so I will end with a few things I have learned from reading this site. Take care of yourself first. Your partner must realize not only what he is doing to himself but the effect it has on his loved ones and be committed to getting better through therapy, medication, etc. If you love him…continue loving him but not at the expense of your health and well-being.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Liz –

      Beautifully put. I’m glad things are going well.

      Thanks for writing.


  53. L says:

    My partner and i have decided to have some space from each other to see if we need to separate we have a 3 year old and have been together a long time and love each other dearly. I have found this website very useful in understanding my partners depression but I was wondering if there are any people who have survived this together and if there is hope of a fulfilling happy relationship I would love to have something positive to hold on to.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, L –

      There are positive stories here about couples who have been able to stay together, though it can be hard to track them down in the comments. If you look for comments by Liz on How Can You Communicate After Your Depressed Partner Leaves?, Why Depressed Men Leave and other posts mentioned on the Relationships in Crisis page of this blog, you’ll find her encouraging story as well as others. You can also look at my ebook, which tells how my wife and I got through my depression. I hope you and your partner can work through this together.


      • L says:


        Thanks for your reply i will look into the posts did try to find them but struggled.
        He has been gone a week now and i actually feel a lot calmer i am managing better than i thought capable i believe my anxiety levels have been high for soo long its a bit of a relief but this in itself has given me loads of doubts over carrying on fighting the depression with him or escaping. I don’t think i want to give up on such a long (mostly loving and fun) relationship or the father of my son i have learnt i don’t need him to survive this week but do i still want to be with him and love him and support him? Confusing is not the right term.

        • KCA says:

          Hey L,

          I think I came here for the same thing as you. My fiance and I have a five year old together and there are times when I take a step back and look at our relationship and wonder if it is even healthy. There are times I feel unhappy or even depresesd. But there is never a time I know what is going through his head because his communication skills suck. But anyway.. how have you been doing since having space back in July? I love really appreciate an update – perhaps it could give me courage to change something in my life for the better. Thank you


  54. Jocelyn says:

    Dear Bill, John: It is great to have a partner who is willing to participate and engage. My husband is not. He says I am the problem, the one with the problem, so whatever damage I have caused our marriaged due to my depression and other issues, I have to fix. I am the one who needs help, not him, he repeats over and over again. Thus, I pray for strength and courage and the gift to listen, to let go of the pain and the resentement and the anger, “to interrupt the sequence” as Roger recommends and don’t jump to judgments, to learn new ways of relating to him. I am accepting this reality for now. I must do all the work to get better, to get stronger, to heal. I am beginning to understand how he see things by listening, although I disagree. I don’t have to agree or disagree. His words are not the Gospel about my life or anything else. I listen and understand and then move on to write, to work out, to read or pray, to speak to my soul and spirit and keep fighting for my life, alone.

    • Melody says:

      Sounds like me right now, Jocelyn. I hope it has gotten better for you, at least on your emotional end of things!

      I am the one who checked-out in my relationship. It was complicated by the fact we worked together in a family business and I checked-out of that, too. So his anger is doubled by being upset about the state of business affairs and the fact that he hated coming home to me because I was a shell of a person who was just angry all the time.

      We separated just over a week ago after 20 years together and a child. He wants to work toward getting back together and I do think a large part of our problem is just our inability to communicate. His listening skills suck, too, and what he says is not always what he means. That has lead me to a lot of misconceptions about how he feels and what he wants.

      I am grateful for finding this website. I will probably forward him some of these articles in the future. Right now things are so raw and he is not terribly thrilled with my saying I have been suffering depression. As is usual for other people, spouses included, he hears it as an excuse and thinks in his mind this is my way of justifying being lazy. As I said, lots of raw emotion right now!

      • Me says:

        Dear Melody, since January things got worse, than better, and are now declining as I am having bouts of depression. Communicating my feelings when I am depressed is very difficult especially to a defensive husband who things I was possessed by the devil when I was severely depressed in January. He says he is still hurt at how I turned against him. He says I became a different person. But what amazes me is his inability to listen and accept what I feel and express. Today I bough t a supplement called 5 HPT and told him about it. He chastised me for trying something new all the time and never finding anything that works. When I told him, I didn’t appreciate his response and would have liked a less critical response, he said that I never give him the benefit of the doubt and misunderstand him. I guess we just misunderstand each other. He doesn’t think I am depressed or have any reason to be depressed since he provides so much stability, we don’t ave financial problems, my daughter is in college and doing well. I just have a stressful job to deal with. My husband retired a year ago. Despite whatever says, depression is creeping back in. E says I don’t fight it hard enough, that I embrace depression and permit it to take over me. I fight more than he would ever know. It takes a lot of work to stay in a relationship with someone who just doesn’t understand and has no empathy. In the meantime, if you can, follow the steps on the book The Depresssion Cure. They really helped me. I also took three months off from work at the time. Can’t time time off now…continue to get help and take care of yourself. My husband never wanted to try counseling. If yours wants to reconnect with you, I pray he considers Theraphy with you. I wish you both the best.

    • Mitzy says:

      The big key to what might be YOUR problem and your husbands is in your post. You say he retired over a year ago, well that was the real trigger that I am afraid is about to end our relationship. His job and the status he had with it was everything to him. Just about the time my “job” of raising 4 children was coming to an end and I looked forward to having time for my hobbies of painting, fixing old things into new, building and metal detecting which I love, and of course, hopefully, spending more time on outings with my husband, He developed severe depression. This has lasted six years, it got so bad he refused to do anything but sit on the floor. All attempts to “get through” that the problem was obvious and he needed help dealing with that, boomeranged into being MY problem. He wanted me to give everything up, mostly my new found friends and my hobbies. I refused, as after many years at home without time for any of that, I desperately wanted to keep my interests. He didn’t want to do ANYTHING with me, just was jealous I had anything in my life. The fights were awful and yes, until I really began to understand what was motivating his “meanness” and rage, I had been depressed with the disappointment of his approach to our “retirement”. To be blunt he was vicious in the projecting of blame to me, this was hard as I was at times struck with saddness over my mostly empty nest, and the loss of my identy also, however, I knew the best medicine was to get a new identity and interest to combat the “sads” caused by him and my own issues with my “babies” being all gone and having their own lives. It worked for me, yet he was still horrible about everything about me, and seemed to like spending his days, now combating and besting me. He clearly was bored and needed to boss or conqueor me as his “windmill” or kill us both in the process. I had to finally lock him out, due to the near physical fights that were occurring in front of my teenaged daughter. He left, signed a lease for a year, and took 10,000.000 dollars out of our pension. Sadly, all he does now is set in his bachelor pad with no furniture and go nowwhere, and still blame me for his own choice to do this, rather than do anything of any consequence that would allow us to at least stay busy until a new way began to develop. He now wants to be KING of two castles, and unfortunately to protect myself and daughter financially, I filed for divorice in order to “maintain” the old home for many reasons, and to care for our minor child. He likes to be here, but not permantly, that is clear, and I have tired of the limbo, now feel I have no choice but to move forward as I feel too young to be so “nothing” to no one. I have had interest, but after 34 yrs and old time sake, really do not want to give up. I fear it is a lost cause, as he is happier with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to consider. He still doesn’t want to see HIS part in anything. Sad.

      • Mitzy says:

        I also wanted to add, he think I am a nothing, but more of a servant, that should totally sacrifice myself to his “whimsy” which means I defer, am treated badly, must be the one to take care of everything, give up everything, just to watch him watch TV and occassionally work in the yard. He drinks too much, and is way too full of himself, and frankly I wonder if he ever even thought of me as we had nothing but all work and no play through out the marriage. I now realize that wasn’t CLEARLY due to his jobs being so demanding, but rather his choice to “go alone”. I wished I had known this years ago that this is his true personality, or at the least the one he cultivates……..of course it is me because I, in defense of my daughter and self filed. It sickens me to see our hard earned (by having no vacations or fun) money go repeatedly out the door to his “pad” which he frequently launches tirades of what I need, should, or am responsible to do, while he takes NO responsibility for the lack of his.

        • Mitzy says:

          Of course, being a stay at home, due to tax brackets and his jobs that involved traveling and shift work, I have NO training or skills, other than those I have gotten being both the man and woman on the home front. He has been “kind” and hasn’t cut us off financially but in a way this makes me feel even MORE pathetic and like a “duty” not someone he really cares about. He is just now a distant “boss” if I need to enteract with him at all. Many new fights about his “brass” in STILL treating me as if I work for him. I am not going to particapate in his dillusions of our imbalanced dealings anymore, as he refused to address, “whats really up” and “where do we go from here?” This is embarassing to stick by someone through it all and then get cast aside like yesterdays garbage, but I must “deal” as the pension is all in his name, and I fear it will be very hard on me and daughter at this point. She has one year to go, and then I may lose my beloved country home. Not my idea of “retirement” at all. I could kick myself for being so “trusting” all those years and believing we were working toward a MUTUAL goal as we sacrificed so many good years of happy fun when young. I choke down anger and depression every day…..and sometimes think I haven’t really let the reality that there appears no reconcilling in our future.

  55. Bill says:

    This information really helped me and my GF a few months ago. Thank you so much for providing it.


  1. […] How to Work Together to Save Your Relationship from Depression …Jan 9, 2012 … Have you and your partner been able to work on relationship issues while treatment is underway? What are the key problems you’ve tried to … […]

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