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Struggling with what to do, I need advice


Els31
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I’m a 22 F mother of twin boys (3y), and I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression for a while long before they came along. I’ve been able to take control of it and be the mother my kids need. They’re different as well, they’re suspected to be in the autism spectrum, so they need to be tended to a lot more than normal children. I started talking to someone (31 M) about a year and a half ago. But I’ve started to notice that he’s dealing with anxiety and bi polar. When he gets ina bad mood, it brings me down as well and my mental health is starting to gradually get worse again. He’s an amazing guy, but his over sensitivity and anxiety starts making me feel so much more depressed and anxious, and we’re constantly hurting each other. I’ve tried to talk with him about it, and tried to get over myself because as much as my feelings are valid, so are his. But I feel like the more I try putting up with it, the worse my mental health is getting. And he’s a person who needs CONSTANT comfort and validation, and if he doesn’t get it when he wants it, EVEN if I’m dealing with my children, he has a way with making me feel like I’m the bad person and constantly downgrading my feelings for him when it doesn’t happen. As a mother, I don’t want this depression completely taking over me. I’ve started thinking that it’s best that we break up and go our separate ways because both of our mental health is extremely important, and it’s not good to stay in a relationship that’s going to deteriorate either of our mental healths. I just want to know. Am I a bad person for feeling this way? And not trying to fight for this relationship? It’s really taking a toll on me and my depression has taken a drastic turn, and his anxiety is just getting worse. Should I hold on longer? I don’t know what to do.

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I think you know the answer already - that you are not a bad person for putting your mental health first. 

Some things I'd explore:
What was the initial allure of this person
Why do you feel guilty letting go of individuals who aren't good for you (mentally/emotionally)
Are you open to dating locally - what do you mean talking to this guy, why just talking and not spending time in person
What kinds of patterns or thoughts trigger your anxiety and depression
Are you open to seeking professional help for the anxiety and depression and treatment (avoid self-medicating)
 

 

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Els, you have enough on your plate with two young twin boys and taking care of your own balance. Your boys need their mom relaxed and in peace with herself, so that they feel the warmth and security that only their moms can give. And for this you need to be happy and peaceful. If you are stressed and depleted from giving your energy to your boyfriend, then there is nothing left for you and your boys.

You have to prioritize. You are responsible for your happiness and your kid's wellbeing. You are neither the therapist, nor the mother of your boyfriend. He has to deal with his mental challenges, without burdening you with it. I would suggest for your well being and the one of your children, to take your distance from your boyfriend.

 

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2 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

I think you know the answer already - that you are not a bad person for putting your mental health first. 

Some things I'd explore:
What was the initial allure of this person
Why do you feel guilty letting go of individuals who aren't good for you (mentally/emotionally)
Are you open to dating locally - what do you mean talking to this guy, why just talking and not spending time in person
What kinds of patterns or thoughts trigger your anxiety and depression
Are you open to seeking professional help for the anxiety and depression and treatment (avoid self-medicating)
 

 

When we first started to talk, I thought he was such an easy to talk to guy and everything just felt natural. But the longer we were together the more I started to feel how intense his anxiety and bi polar disorder is. It’s hard because I feel so bad hurting him when I do know that he really loves me, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t prioritize his feelings over mine and let myself fall into ruin. I shouldn’t have said talking because we’re constantly together, but we’re just not living together. When he starts with his over thinking and anxiety, he tends to point at my wrongdoings and even if I’m honest an open, if it’s not what he wants he just likes to make me feel like crap. I have started to seek a therapist, but the thing is, he constantly likes to point out that “You need help. You need to go to a professional. You need to get over this.” But he thinks he’s perfectly fine and can “get over it” by himself. 

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You think he's overthinking and anxious. This undermines his concerns and thoughts. 

He thinks you need help and you need to get over something. This also undermines you. 

Regardless of where these anxieties and concerns are coming from both of you aren't seeing eye to eye. It's a very emotionally draining and even emotionally abusive situation to constantly have to be defensive about how or why you are the way you are. Both of you seem on the constant defense. It shouldn't be this way. 

If you're able to stop picking at each other or attacking each others' mental health issues do you still see a possibility of things working? Avoid undermining each other.

Do you still see it working? I'm asking as I'm curious what your thoughts are.

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1 hour ago, East4 said:

Els, you have enough on your plate with two young twin boys and taking care of your own balance. Your boys need their mom relaxed and in peace with herself, so that they feel the warmth and security that only their moms can give. And for this you need to be happy and peaceful. If you are stressed and depleted from giving your energy to your boyfriend, then there is nothing left for you and your boys.

You have to prioritize. You are responsible for your happiness and your kid's wellbeing. You are neither the therapist, nor the mother of your boyfriend. He has to deal with his mental challenges, without burdening you with it. I would suggest for your well being and the one of your children, to take your distance from your boyfriend.

This entire post is worth repeating!  Nailed it.

OP, do you have any support network?  Mother? Siblings?  I also think if your anxiety/depression is so bad you really need to see a doctor and get a referral for counselling/therapy to address this issue.  You need to be mentally healthy to be able to care for your children and therapy/medication can help you with this.

As for the boyfriend - he needs to go.  He's making everything a LOT worse and you really don't need that in your life right now.  Let him go and focus on your mental health and your children.  They need you more. 

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My therapist told me the most important person in my kids' lives was me, therefore I needed to be the most important person in my life.

Getting so stressed that it affects your mental health will affect your kids' mental health.  I know you don't want to go down that road.

This man will survive, he survived before he met you and he'll most likely take it better than you think he will.

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You have your own issues....don't date someone that has just as many if not worse. You want what's best for your kids right? Then meet a nice mentally stable guy that maybe someday be their father figure, their hero, their protector, someone that will stand strong and supportive for you and the little ones.

Clear your head, and focus on your priorities.

Edited by smackie9
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4 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

You think he's overthinking and anxious. This undermines his concerns and thoughts. 

He thinks you need help and you need to get over something. This also undermines you. 

Regardless of where these anxieties and concerns are coming from both of you aren't seeing eye to eye. It's a very emotionally draining and even emotionally abusive situation to constantly have to be defensive about how or why you are the way you are. Both of you seem on the constant defense. It shouldn't be this way. 

If you're able to stop picking at each other or attacking each others' mental health issues do you still see a possibility of things working? Avoid undermining each other.

Do you still see it working? I'm asking as I'm curious what your thoughts are.

I don’t think it’s healthy for either of us. I do believe his feelings are absolutely important, as much as mine are. But it gets a bit overwhelming and I don’t know if I can handle more of it. It’s hard juggling with him and my two potentially autistic boys. I try my hardest to be what he wants and needs but to him sometimes I guess it just isn’t enough. I don’t see it working, and I think we should go our separate ways for both of our mental healths. I don’t want to keep hurting him, but I don’t want to feel emotionally drained every day anymore, especially when I need to be strong for my boys. I want to bring it up and possibly discuss us going our separate ways but I’m scared to hurt him even more and scared to what his reaction might be. 

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9 minutes ago, Capricorn3 said:

This entire post is worth repeating!  Nailed it.

OP, do you have any support network?  Mother? Siblings?  I also think if your anxiety/depression is so bad you really need to see a doctor and get a referral for counselling/therapy to address this issue.  You need to be mentally healthy to be able to care for your children and therapy/medication can help you with this.

As for the boyfriend - he needs to go.  He's making everything a LOT worse and you really don't need that in your life right now.  Let him go and focus on your mental health and your children.  They need you more. 

I currently reside with my parents and one older sister. HONESTLY they don’t really help, more than anything my mom is sharp tongued and constantly adds fuel to the fire. On top of that they’re HIGHLY religious, which I’m not, and I’m put in a position where if I do something simple that they don’t agree with, I feel like I’m being judged, and I’m practically bound by how they want me to act. I did start seeking a therapists help recently and it’s done some help, but when I get back and start talking to my bf again, I start feeling this heaviness all over again. 

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7 minutes ago, Els31 said:

I don’t think it’s healthy for either of us. I do believe his feelings are absolutely important, as much as mine are. But it gets a bit overwhelming and I don’t know if I can handle more of it. It’s hard juggling with him and my two potentially autistic boys. I try my hardest to be what he wants and needs but to him sometimes I guess it just isn’t enough. I don’t see it working, and I think we should go our separate ways for both of our mental healths. I don’t want to keep hurting him, but I don’t want to feel emotionally drained every day anymore, especially when I need to be strong for my boys. I want to bring it up and possibly discuss us going our separate ways but I’m scared to hurt him even more and scared to what his reaction might be. 

When I signed the divorce papers I still thought about what my ex would feel and vice versa. It was very hard. I can understand that you still care for this person but it's time to put your needs and the needs of your kids first. If you feel this is best, then so be it. Take it off as you would a bandaid in a kind way and then let time do the rest. You cannot take on the world's problems. 

You seem to be determined and know what's best for you so now it's a matter of putting things into action. When you feel shaky and that you might falter think about what you have written here and the reasons for your decision. 

Let us know how it goes. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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6 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

seriously what you have at stake here...his hurt feelings should be the least of your concern.

You’re absolutely right. My mental health for my kids well being should go before ANYONE and ANYTHING else. I’ve cared for this man for quite a while which is why it’s hard, but I need to think about my kids more than anything. 

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11 minutes ago, Els31 said:

 I did start seeking a therapists help recently and it’s done some help, but when I get back and start talking to my bf again, I start feeling this heaviness all over again. 

^ Then you know now that you have to STOP talking to him.  He's like a third child you have to take care of.  You can't have someone with so many issues in your life when you have enough on your own plate to deal with.  Lose the guy and stick with therapy for as long as it takes to get you in a mentally healthier place.  You owe it to your children.   

I wish you well and keep posting if it helps you.

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To be honest I actually think that it's not good for two people with fairly serious mental illness to be in a relationship. I've thought this for a while because I work with people with disabilities and mental health and I've noticed this in people I worked with who dated other people with mental illness. If you struggle with mental health you probably need a boyfriend who doesn't have mental illness himself and who can be stable and supportive for you. It's obviously very hard to try to take care of your own depression and anxiety, of your children and also of your boyfriend. You need stability for your mental health and for your kids too. You don't need extra stress and hurt in your life. I'm sure it's not good for your kids to see you and your boyfriend fighting either. 

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Dating is not about taking on another adult as a healing project.

He's a grown man and fully capable of seeking the help that he needs.

If he's unwilling to do that, it makes no sense to keep him in your life to your own detriment and a negative impact on your kids.

Mom first, girlfriend second--and only to man who will step up to take proper care of himself.

Screen carefully.

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