Boyfriend, Depression, Taking A Break... Please Help?

Question

Asked by LaurenKW

Boyfriend, Depression, Taking A Break... Please Help?

This is going to be pretty long but here goes...
Me and my boyfriend have been together for about 2 and a half years and for the past few months things have taken a bit of a nosedive. About 6 months ago I was diagnosed with depression and since have received therapy for it (which is doing some good but I still feel as I used to, I just find it a bit easier to cope with.) I know my boyfriend had trouble coping with this as he didn't really know what to say because I couldn't tell him exactly how I was feeling.
Since about December when he started working for a new company he's also been feeling very low. At the start he admitted it but now he tries to hide away from it and just spend time on his own. He says he doesn't know why he feels so low and I think this is because he can't see the wood for the trees, he's so down about his job but it's had a massive impact on everything (he used to be REALLY into music and in a band but recently he's been telling me he's not bothered about it and can't be bothered anymore).
Yesterday we both had a mutual conversation about how things had been recently and he said he didn't want a relationship at the moment because he felt so unhappy and didn't know why and he didn't want it to affect me. He cried a lot, so did I, and then I left. Two hours later he text me saying he felt like such an idiot and needed to speak to me that night (he'd gone to a party that we were both supposed to be going to).
He came back from the party really early and called me straight away. He cried on the phone telling me he didn't think he'd done the right thing and that he still wanted to be with me, he just didn't know exactly what he wanted, and he suggested we go on a break. I said this was fine because I knew he was making rash decisions because his head is in such a mess, and we agreed we'd go on a break for about a week while he clears his mind without the relationship interfering. Can anybody give me any advice on what to do/what they think he needs?
I know he needs his space to think, he's needed it for a while, but I'm so worried about how he feels at the moment, he's so low but he won't admit it or seek help from anybody, and I know it's clouding his view of our relationship. Can anybody give me an outsiders insight?
Lauren x

Answer

Hi, Lauren. I'm so sorry that things haven't been going well. If you read any of the other questions that have been submitted here recently, you'll see you're not alone. Men very often react to depression by withdrawing and feel a lot of shame for being what they consider as weak. I would give him his space for a while, but in the meantime, talk with your therapist about this for support and suggestions. Perhaps you could get him to come with you to one of your sessions. Is he doing anything about his own depression? That's the big thing, I think. You could be waiting a long time if he doesn't take the initiative and get some help.

Maybe your therapist can help you focus on what you want, apart from him - if things don't work out, you at least will still have a life. It's ultimately up to you, you can wait around as long as you want, but it may be in vain. I hope not. Take care of yourself and let us know if we can be of more help.