My Boyfriend Has Sad And Is Depressed. Can Anyone Offer Advice?

Question

Asked by Chloe

My Boyfriend Has Sad And Is Depressed. Can Anyone Offer Advice?

We have only been together for a few months. He moved into my house and we started seeing each other after a couple of months of being friends. It has been an incredibly intense start to a relationship.Last year he was in a long-term relationship which resulted in heartbreak. His partner cheated on him. He found out and had a breakdown. He says it was a combination of things, but mainly the betrayal, the winter and stress from work. He took an overdose. He was hospitalised and started getting counselling from a psychotherapist. Apparently this was really effective and he got a lot from it but it was very expensive. When he moved in to my house he was very honest about what had happened to him and how he is managing to pick up the pieces. He also told me about his SAD. Until a few weeks ago we have had an amzing time together. We are very kind and honest with one another and all has been wonderful. However as the winter has drawn on I have witnessed his depression encroaching. He does have coping mechanisms which seem to work for him and I think he has managed quite well up until now.We went away for a break together a couple of weeks ago. It was brilliant but as soon as we got back everything changed. We both have given up smoking and apparently I became a different person who he could not handle. Apparently I am back to my old self again now. During this time he became the lowest I have seen him because now we are going into the winter proper and he has little to look forward to. He has also started pushing me away and not always been very kind to me.We had a tough week of miscommunication and disappointment, impacted by the fact we live together.Yesterday we finally managed to have a really decent conversation. He told me that he loves me but that living together has become claustrophobic. He says that he feels that I am putting expectations on him that he can't manage to live up to. Part of him wants to believe in our relationship and see a future together, and part of him doesn't want to have anything to do with relationships at all because he has been so deeply hurt by his previous girlfriend.I have asked him to go back to the psychotherapist as soon as possible, even if it is just for a few sessions so that he can prepare himself for January and February. I am also trying to spend time out of the house to give him some space. We are both fairly dramatic people and I am very emotional. I am trying to stay calm and rational but am really worried about him, and how hurt I will be if he pushes me away entirely. I want to be there for him, by his side, but is he not ready for a relationship and am I just setting myself up for a huge fall? Can anyone offer any advice?

Answer

Hello, Chloe. This seems to be a common theme on this site lately and I'm sorry you're having to live with it. There are a lot of share posts here that are about this topic, and here's a link to one by John D, a person who has recovered from depression, which addresses the partners of those who are depressed. I hope you will find it helpful.

You must take care of yourself, as well, and it sounds like you are trying to do that. Has your boyfriend tried one of those light boxes? I heard they can be quite effective for people who have SAD. Maybe you could see a therapist for yourself, or go with him to one of his sessions and talk about some of these things. There's no denying that it's difficult to live with someone going through a bad depressive episode, so I hope you can get through this okay, whether or not you stay in the relationship. Please feel free to write here any time - I wish you the best.