He Says "I Have Nothing To Offer." What Do I Do?
Originally asked by Community Member vi.p.angel007
He Says “I Have Nothing To Offer.” What Do I Do?
I have been with my boyfriend for 8 months now and it hasn’t been the easiest 8 months to say the least. I had just got out of a 2 year long distance relationship and he a 5 year long term live-in relationship. I wasn’t really serious when I got on the dating site but I mustered the courage to go out with someone and he happened to be the one. We talked a lot the first month or so and saw each other often (helped we lived a couple blocks from each other). I was so happy to meet someone I really liked who wasn’t thousand of miles away but slowly I uncovered things about him that truly were new things for me to deal with in a relationship.When I first came to his place I noticed it wasn’t the tidiest but then again I understood it was a bachelor pad. His room seemed a little on the bleak side and I noticed he had no bed. He had been sleeping on the floor with a blanket and a pillow from the couch in the living room. He told me that his ex had taken their previously shared bed and he hadn’t bothered to really get anything to replace it.Next thing I found out is that he had been unemployed for about 6 months and just started working at his current job (about 4 months in) which he hated. The pay was low and the working environment was awful filled with negative co-workers and equally negative management. He took this job in desperation since it was the only thing he could find. This “job” would be the epicenter of all his emotions/feelings/reasons for the things to follow.I started getting late night calls and would come to see him only to find out he was drunk most of these times. He uses alcohol as a means to forget “everything” especially that concerning of his job and of his financial status. Even though he really has no debts I could tell he felt appalled and embarrassed on how much he made as he made more in his previous job (which he was laid off from). It didn’t help he felt no integrity with his job or the company.I tried to help him little by little. I would stay over on weekends and suggest we clean, rearrange his room, go to Ikea to help him think about getting a bed again in his room. He eventually did get a futon after we had cleaned up his place and slowly put things back in order. Honestly, I feel he’s grown in spades since the first time we meet but it definitely feels like a slow moving process.Lately I’ve been feeling more of a disconnect with him and it gets worst when we fight and I try to bring up my feelings with honesty. He refuses to deal with emotions and keeps telling me he has too much to deal with right now. I feel like the more he pushes me away the more frantic I feel the need to spend time with him and then he cycles back by saying he needs more space. It definitely has put me on an emotional roller coaster. He thinks I need more confidence and to “live my own life” but I feel like I’m more than confident enough and I live my life enough to have room for the both of us.These are the true and honest things I know about him:-He’s depressed. These are words that have come out of his mouth and he has explained most of it centers from his job.-He has social anxiety. It is like pulling teeth to get him to meet any of my friends though he did come with me to a wedding which speaks volumes to me. I have met his friends, however, and they are few in number. I also went with him on a family function for Christmas so I know he is trying in this department.-He has told me he had been prescribed ED meds before due to depression/anxiety causing him to have trouble in the sex department.-He has been on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants thought currently is not taking any. He on occasion will take anti-anxiety meds before something important like a job interview (he has tried to go on few since we’ve been dating).-We have established that we are exclusively dating. He has no plans to meet anyone else or look for anyone else and neither do I.I guess I’m just trying to make sense of all this. I can analyze and re-analyze the situation but I guess I want to know if what I’m doing is positive for the both of us. I really do care about him, love him in fact and I want to stick by him and not desert him just because he’s going through hard times. I’ve gone through hard times myself but had the support of family and friends and I feel he is missing this kind of support in his life. I’d appreciate any feedback on this matter…
Is this guy getting any therapy at all? You can’t “fix” him - he has to do that for himself and if he’s not taking steps to address his sources of depression, you can’t just wave a magic wand and wish it away. He probably truly does feel like he has nothing to offer and as long as he’s depressed, you’re not going to convince him otherwise. There’s a book I’d recommend you and he both read that is about depression in men, called “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” by Terence Real. It’s an excellent book on the subject, I have read it myself and it does help understand this a bit better. In addition, you could perhaps talk to a therapist yourself for help in dealing with this - or maybe the two of you could see someone together. I certainly wish you all the best and hope things turn out the way you’re hoping they will. Let us know if we can be of further help.
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Answered By: Judy