My boyfriend and I had a very good relationship for almost a year with talk of having a future together. But lately he has not been showing me any affection, including sex. He also talks about how unhappy he is with his life, his job, and his friends, though he has assured me he doesn’t want to break up. Does it sound like he is suffering from depression or is he simply unhappy with our relationship and doesn’t want to tell me?
It does sound like he's depressed, so it really could be the reason he's withdrawing from you. That being said, if he isn't willing to get help for it, I don't know that you can do much about it. He should at least visit his doctor to see if an antidepressant would help and then also see a therapist for his symptoms and his unhappiness with his life.
Most importantly, you need to live YOUR life and if he isn't willing to take the steps to make your relationship work, you shouldn't waste time waiting around for him to seek help or for time to make it better on its own. Even if he comes out of this by himself, there's a good chance it's going to happen again if he doesn't deal with the roots of it. Plus there might be a biochemistry thing going on that he would have no control over and that would be what medication would help.
Here are some articles you might find useful in the meantime:
10 Ways Depression Will Change You
Getting Your Depressed Partner to Communicate
7 Ways to Beat the Blues
Than you Judy, I have since bumped into my ex and he said that he made the biggest mistake breaking up with me. He told me he loved me for the first time and said that he wants to marry me if he can get through this. He is indeed depressed and is going to counseling. He said he doesn't want to get back together until he knows he is better and won't do this to me again. He proposed being friends, not seeing other people and seeing eachother casually, he can't deal with the pressure of a relationship right now. One thing that is bothering me is that he dated two other girls while we were broken up for only two weeks, he said that he thought that I would be dating other people, so he wanted to. He said that nothing happened. We hung out a few times, went to his parents for dinner, then back to his place for a movie, on the way home in the car he was having a panic attack which he later told me was because he thought that we may have sex and wasn't sure if it would complicate things. I went to the bathroom and noticed that the 4 condoms that he kept under the sink were gone, I asked him about this and he said that he moved them beside his bed becasue was planing on having sex while we were broken up. This bothers me because he broke up with me, and he should have tried to get me back if he loved me. This was very dramatic, I was crying and didn't believe him right away, I also wanted to see his phone as proof that he ended things with the other girls. He tried to reassure me but I was so upset. I later apologized because I overreacted, he was very upset though, he was crying. He said he needed to be alone. I called him the next night and he was still very upset, he sounded terrible. The following night I received some funny texts from him. The next night he called me and we chatted. I asked him to hang out and he seemed reluctant, we went shopping and had a quick dinner. He didn't seem himself. Since then he seems to be worse, he is not wanting to see me and is spending more time alone. He has cancelled on me a couple of times. He didn't answer the phone one night last week and didn't call me back. He never does this. I feel like he may be seeing someone eventhough he told me that he wasn't. I am wondering if it is normal for men who are depressed to try to make themselves feel better by dating other women, maybe they think that a new relationship will make them feel better? I can deal witht he depression, but can't deal with him dating others behind my back. He has also been to his doctor recently and he didn't give him any medication because he had taken it before and had side effects. I feel that he definitely needs to be on medication because he has both anxiety and depression.
I've noticed that there is the depressed person who will isolate themself and the depressed person who will try to cling to people to fill the internal loneliness. It seems like your man is the type to attach to people. I've had experience with this because my boyfriend of two years has depression.
He just recently (after our second break up) got really serious about going to a medical center for depression. He was the type to completely isolate himself away from the world and not talk to anyone.
I think that the problem is is that you dont really know how to act around someone who sufferes from depression. You have to be positive! I know it can be hard when you are not happy about the relationship and I've had to be happy as I could around my depressed boyfriend because I know that when I was negative around him he woudl just want to run away.
I too have had problems where there was another girl and we talked about it and I didnt lose my cool because I knew if I started freaking out it would only complicated things and creat more disbalance in his life and he would feel like the relationship would only worsen his condition.
The advice I have for you is to think about your place in the relationship
#1 love him unconditionally, (if so then the relationship is worth fighting for.)
#2 Be the stablizer in his life that he can lean on. ( Be able to bring balance to his life, be able to bring his walls down so you can talk about the problem and try to fix it)
#3 Do things that will benefit his mental health. (Understand what and how depression affects a person.)
These things are important to think about because being with a depressed perosn can be hard and sometimes their depression can rub off on you. You have to be that person that will always be there for them wether or not they come to you.
When my boyfriend was going through his bout of depression the first time in our relationship I was scared and I didnt know what to do but the internet is full of helpful information about what a person with depression is really feeling and how their partners have tried their best to keep their love and relationship healthy.
Good luck and all the best.
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I know what you were going through, as I'm going through the same thing now - just been trying to make myself feel better by looking up stuff on the internet about relationships and depression and your post has made me realise that I'm not alone in this feeling. I am 40 years old and I was seeing someone and he treated me so unbelievable well that I let my guard down for the first time in a long time. The all of a sudden he backed away and finished it. I was devastated. I pursued him and starting seeing him again, then he told me he had depression but I stuck by him. It hurt when I was in a relationship with him, as he always kept me at arms length and never made future plans with me but yet seemed to manage to make plans with others. I kept it light and easy, gave him no pressure, as I had read other things about supporting someone with depression but just recently he finished me again and once again I am gutted. He said it wasn't me, it was him, he feels numb - no emotions, he hates the way that he is treating me, as he knows he's not attentive and that I am lovely and all the cliches but I still feel terrible. Wondering if it may make me spiral into depression, as I realise that I do want him and want to be in a committed relationship. I am normally the one in the driving seat of a relationship so it was a complete role reversal and feel like an idiot too for bending over backwards and him still not wanting me. Rejection is so hard to take. I think this isn't normal behaviour and maybe it is the depression that is making him do it or he just isn't into me as I chased him but either way it doesn't make it hurt any less. I feel like I've just joined a line of one of his many conquests. I am wondering, if you're still reading this, have you started feeling better about the situation? Need to know if this sadness will pass.
The same thing has been happening to me for nearly 3 years now. We got back together last October, talked about his depression and he couldn't give me an answer as to why he just upped and left me 5 months earlier. So since October things were really good, he said he was committed to me (he hadn't had a relationship for 3 years) his depression he felt ruined every relationship he had. We were great together, I know he loved me, and he cared for me deeply. he said all that s**t was behind him now and he was never going off again. BUT, beginning of August I could see him sliding into depression again, all the tell tale signs. He left my house one night saying he would call the next day and he never. I called at his place, rang him, e mailed, texted but he ignored everything. In the past he has replied my e mail telling me how he was feeling and that he was no good for me etc. This time nothing. I gave him ample opportunities to end us, just tell me I said and that will be it? But he has never said he wants to end it. It is almost 3 months now. he has been in touch more but only about other things, he completely ignores what I ask him about us, apart from once when he said that he was no good for me because he is broke and cant support me or contribute. He uis struggling with work and money problems at the moment. I told him that its not about money etc and I just wanted him. He said we would talk about it but that was a week ago now and still nothing. How could we go from a loving 'normal' relationship to this??
I feel sad, sometimes angry, confused, bewildered, you name it. It is depression I know, he loses all the love in him when this happens. All I am doing is waiting.
I am still living my life and preparing myself for him not coming back but its hard. Its like he just doesnt know what he wants so he's keeping me in limbo until he does?
I've read so many stories on these forums all very similar. It helps to know I'm not alone.
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hi im 23 and my 26 yr old boyfriend of a yr and 2 months, is kinda that way. i dnt know if my boyfriend is depressed or not but it seems that way to me. he worries about thing he cant change.nothing really makes him happy.i love him but it kinda makes me sad whenever i try to figure it all out. it makes me feel like his depression or whater is rubbing off on me. im most happiest with him when i block it all out and only think about the moment were together. a big mistake that leaves me sad at the end of the day because i love him in i want to have a future with him. i dont want to have to block things out just so i can enjoy being with him.when im with him hes almost always down. sometimes i think to my self ............................"if i love him like i say i love him, i would stay by his side and help him" ..........................i do love him but i refuse to block out reality and let my life pass me by. besides,im not a therapist. i do know that i have the capability to help him because im close to him,he loves me and he confinds in me. i dnt know whether or not it if its going to be too much for me to deal with. i could end up like him.:( im just saying....... but in your case it seems to me like your boyfriend may be depressed. leave him or not? i guess it all depends on if you are willing to be by his side through it all. whatever you choose,do dont forget about YOU in the process. but most of all good luck !!!
Thank you for the responses. Unfortunately since the night that we had the argument he has pulled away again. He was no longer making plans with me, kept saying its not me, its him being him. He said he feels like he is stringing me along, we hung out once since that night, but it was not the same, he was very sad and couldn't talk about anything. I called him one night and he didn't return my call at all, he just texted me the next day saying have a good weekend because I was going away with my friends. When I got back I called him and asked him if he wanted to get together. Ihadn't seen him in a week. He said he wasn't sure if he was available the next night, that he couldn't make plans in advance because he wouldn't know how he would be feeling the next day, he said his moods change every 5 hours. He also got mad at me because after the last time that we spoke he had a panic attack. I wasn't putting any pressure on him, just saying that I was worried when he didn't return my call. He said he would text me the next day to see if he could get together. He didn't. 10 days passed and finally I got an email at my work saying sorry for the silent treatment, but he hadn't been doing well lately. He wanted to get together to talk, but at this point I didn't see any point in this. I was so stressed for those 10 days, I told him that I don't think that we should talk anymore. He said that he understood. I said that I would be here for him if he ever needed me. I feel so terrible, I wanted to be with him, but he didn't want me to help him. He was for sure going to tell me that day that he couldn't do this anymore, I just had to have enough self-respect to end this myself. I also know that he has been going out to bars, going out with friends during this time, and couldn't even text me once? He said that the thought of dealing with the issue of us was too much for him to take. I am pretty sure that he is also dating girls, bringing home girls, reverting back to the way he was before me. It seems that on top of the depression he may not want a relationship either, he hasn't had one in 10 years. If it was just the depression I could have waited, but the fact that the first thing he did when we broke up was to go out with (and most likely sleep with) other girls makes me question his motives. He should have been working on his issues to get better. I have heard from others that he has treated women badly in the past, breaking up with them for no reason, they were devastated and would text him to ask why and he would show his friends the text messages saying that these girls were crazy. I feel I can't be dragged into this anymore, but question my decision everyday.