• Susan Susan
    October 05, 2011
    Is my boyfriend depressed, or does he just not want a relationship?
    Susan Susan
    October 05, 2011

    was with my boyfriend for 10 months, I am 34 and he is 39, we met through friends. Our relationship has been very good, after about 8 months he brought up the fact that he wanted a future with me, and wanted to start planning for that, moving in, kids, marriage. After this discussion he never brought this up again, he was also withdrawing from me, little to no affection, no cute texts when out with friends, and a month ago stopped wanting sex. He was complaining that he was always tired, and was sleeping in later than usual. He also told me that he was not happy with his life, hated his job, he also neglected to pay his taxes for 4 years while he was self-employed, and knows that he will have a lot to pay at some point with nothing saved for this. He made a reference to suicide being a soluion, but quickly said he wouldn't do this. He also mentioned that his friends were annoying him and he wasn't enjoying things anymore. One night when we were together he started talking about how unhappy he was, and stated that he didn't know what he wanted, but didn't want to break up. I didn't like this and said that if he didn't know what he wanted I couldn't live in limbo, we broke up. He texted me 2 days later saying he didn't want the breakup and we got back together. Things didn't improve. He kept saying he was miserable, saying that maybe he needed a hobby, something to make him happpy. A week and a half ago he was unhappy again, saying that he felt that he needed to spend so much time with me to get time away, this is strange because he always had at least 3 nights to himself every week, he had told me from the beginning that he likes a lot of space. He said he hates the way he is treating me. He knows he is cold and distant, but can't help it, he feels too guilty for treating me this way, he also said that he had waited a long time for a girl like me and felt he was ruining it(ha hasn't had a relationship over 6 months in the past 10 years) He also said he felt like he was killing his future kids by breaking up with me(he wanted to have kids with me), and that if he can't make it work with me he can't make it work with anyone. I asked him if he thinks he is depressed, he said maybe. I urged him to go to his doctor and he said he didn't want to. Background-he was engaged when he was 30 to a girl that he had dated for 6 years, this relationship ended with her finding another man. My ex was devastated. He had also mentioned to me that when he was in this relationship he was depressed and on medication for it. He had withdrew from her, she even asked him if he was seeing someone else due to the way he was acting. his brother also died suddenly 3 years ago and this has been very hard for him. I haven't spoken to him since the break-up 10 days ago, I am a bit worried about him, dos he sound depressed, or was he just unhappy in our relationship? Should I contact him to see how he is doing?

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FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Judy
    Health Guide
    October 06, 2011
    Judy
    Health Guide
    October 06, 2011

    Hi, Susan.  I'm sorry you're having to go through this break-up with your boyfriend.  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, as it sounds like he may have a lot of unhealed grief to deal with.  I think it's okay to contact him to see how he is and if you suggest that he sees someone, you could offer to go with him if he thinks that would help.  A lot of guys are reluctant to ever admit they need help, so he's not the only one to act this way about it.

     

    It's sad, but you also need to live YOUR life and if he isn't willing to take the steps to make your relationship work, you shouldn't waste it by waiting around for some magical "cure" that's going to make it all better.  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.

     

    I wish you the best and hope things turn out the way you want them to.  Thank you for coming to our site and let us know if you need anything else.

    • Susan
      October 25, 2011
      Susan
      October 25, 2011

      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.

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    • Judy
      October 25, 2011
      Judy
      Health Guide
      October 25, 2011
      I think you may be right when you ask if depressed men might try to make themselves feel better by dating other women.  Remember, these would be women he doesn't know well, so there are none of the expectations that he would encounter in a committed relationship.  I'm guessing he doesn't really know what he feels right now.  I wonder how many different medications he's tried - one might have bad side effects, but another type may not.  Perhaps you should suggest going to a therapy session with him, although if he's feeling panicky this may not be the time.  However, it's going to take some doing for you to trust him again.  Maybe keeping your own distance for a bit might be good - for yourself.  I think he's probably not ready to really get back into the relationship yet, which he more-or-less told you but it seems that maybe things got a little more involved than he had possibly planned on.   Again, I wish you the best and hope you'll take good care of yourself.  Keep us posted - there are a lot of other people in your situation. READ MORE
    • Donna
      December 05, 2014
      Donna
      December 05, 2014
      I am in a similar situation, I have been with my bf for 4 years, however his ex-wife died in the summer and he now has full responsibility for his two young children. The other day he told me he could no longer be my lover because it was too difficult however he wants to retain our friendship, I am gutted and lost. I don't know what to do, we had a fantastic relationship, how can someone do this. Has his feelings for his wife come back, it feels like he is in love with a ghost and has shut me out. Complete despair. Any advice would be appreciated. READ MORE
    • Judy
      December 05, 2014
      Judy
      Health Guide
      December 05, 2014
      Donna, the death of your bf's ex-wife might have brought up a lot of grief from the past and he doesn't know how to deal with it - the first thought is to shut people out. I would give him a bit of time and then try approaching him again to see if he would be willing to talk about it. He's got the added stress of raising two young children and all of this may just be more than he can handle. It sounds like he could use a therapist or some kind of support to get through this. I don't think it doesn't mean he doesn't love you, but he just can't put enough into the relationship at this moment. In the meantime, don't put your life on hold. If this is meant to work out, it will but if it isn't meant to be, you won't have wasted time and energy trying to revive something that can't be. I'm sorry this has happened - believe me, you're not alone. This Questions section is filled with people in similar situations. It hurts, I know. I wish you all the best. READ MORE

FROM OUR COMMUNITY

  • Morina May 03, 2012
    Morina
    May 03, 2012

          

             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

     

       can you

     

     #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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    • sophin
      November 28, 2012
      sophin
      November 28, 2012


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  • janet February 01, 2012
    janet
    February 01, 2012

    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.

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    • Jane C
      October 29, 2012
      Jane C
      October 29, 2012

      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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    • Jane C
      October 29, 2012
      Jane C
      October 29, 2012

      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.

      READ MORE
  • leend December 13, 2012
    leend
    December 13, 2012

    I have many problems in my life and have been to so many spell casters with no results and as a result of this, I ended up in a huge debt.One day I used internet and felt some kind of strange but kind and gentle force as if someone was guiding me to search for spell casters. I can’t remember the words I typed in the search engine but I was directed to templeoflove1@gmail.com. And that was it! I felt so lucky to have found spell caster. It all happened so naturally and easily and I am glad it did. No words can express the feeling I had.Despite all the bad experiences I had with FAKE spell casters on the internet in the past, nothing could stop me from reaching my dreams, so I ordered a spell from templeoflove1@gmail.com. I had sleepless nights and was was very worried because I promised myself I won’t approach a spell caster for help but did as it was time for me to help myself, stop crying and stop feeling sorry for myself.I also knew there was someone out there who is capable of helping me.

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  • tia
    tia
    November 14, 2011
    tia
    tia
    November 14, 2011

    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 !!!

     

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    • Susan
      November 14, 2011
      Susan
      November 14, 2011

      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.

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