Thank you for reading this. I would really appreciate any advice you feel you can give me.
My boyfriend is really struggling with life at the moment. He hates himself, his life, his job, has no motivation to meet up with me. He has a long history of depression. I don't fully understand the causes because he won't open up to me completely, but I know a fair amount of his issues. They are mostly around loss of a close family member and deep regret he feels for his actions in past failed relationships.
Over the course of our relationship I have been through a few ups and downs with him. About 6 months ago he had a period where he was blowing hot and cold with me for a few weeks and then he suddenly broke up with me. At the time he explained a lot about his background, depression and blamed a previous failed relationships on his unhappiness. I was very understanding and did not resist the break up as he was clearly not happy. We stayed in touch and he came back to me about a month later saying he wanted to be with me and that i made him happy and he lost sight of that for a while.
He seemed happy with me for a short while thereafter but I have slowly seen him spiral downwards over the last few months and for at least the last month he has been regularly telling me how much he hates himself, his life, his job, everything. He has started smoking a lot more weed than he used to which I have noticed dramatically affects his mood. He says he isn't good enough for me and that he is a bad person - i totally disagree, he is an amazing person, i wish he could see what i see and get out of the haze of smoke and self-hatred he is stuck in.
Recently he has started to treat me really badly - he never wants to arrange to meet up or go out with me, he hasnt come to visit me for months - if i want to see him i have to go to him, he lets me down and flakes on our plans, its as if he is forcing himself to sit at home and do nothing but smoke weed - he refuses to have fun with me. He is avoiding seeing me in person, although we speak on the phone, through text and on msn ALL THE TIME i am really missing the physical closeness. We have been having small arguments as a result of his negative behaviour towards me. He professes that he doesn't mean to hurt me and that he is genuinely sorry for hurting me, that he just hates himself so much and doesnt want to see me while he's like this, that he has a hard time opening up to people. He thinks that i would be better off without him because he's hurting me, but I just want to be there for him and see him happy again and be happy with him.
It really starting to destroy me a bit inside that i want to do nothing but help him but he resists all of my efforts to help him. He is starting to plan a move abroad because he feels a need to escape himself and thinks that it may solve his problems if he escapes to the other side of the world. I'm very worried about this because he has made some suicidal comments recently and the last thing i want is for him to leave the country and find himself alone and still depressed having pushed everyone from home away.
At the moment he has expressed that he doesn't want professional help, he wants to work this out on his own, and the only person who really knows about this depression is myself and his best friend who i told about the depression myself as it was getting too much for me to deal with alone. My question is, how do i continue to provide him with my love and support when he pushes me away? Why is he pushing me away when all i want to do is help him? How can i help him in a positive way for him? I have tried to cut him out of my life but I just can't, i care about him too much and deep down i know he cares about me and he has told me he doesnt want to be this way.
Please give me some advice or tell me about your experiences with depressed boyfriends. Thank you for reading this and understanding my problem.