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Struggling With Mental Health


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I have been with my boyfriend for 6 years. We met when I was going through a difficult time in my life and struggling with depression and anxiety. He was a huge cheerleader for me during that time and helped me get back on my feet. We moved in together relatively quickly (6 months after meeting) and things were good for a while. His family is well off and his parents offered to help us with a down payment on our house. They also helped me get a car. I was making payments to them but eventually said I didn’t have to pay them back anymore for reasons I’ll talk about. We both finished our bachelor degrees and I immediately started working in my field. My boyfriend decided not to do anything in his field so he went to school to be a tradesman (also funded by his parents). Over the course of the relationship, my boyfriend talked about how he had a lot of negative feelings towards his mom but he felt like he had to act happy/do favors for her because of how much she and his dad have helped him financially. His mom has struggled with alcoholism and has said/done some very mean things to him over the years. She also shows a lot of narcissistic traits and can be very pushy when she wants what she wants. This includes treating my boyfriend as an employee and requiring him to do a bunch of chores for her without asking. I completely understand why he feels so conflicted about his mom. In 2019, his dad got cancer and my boyfriend felt terrified of losing him. His mom told him to “put on a happy face” and act like everything was ok. She also acted like she was the victim in the situation because now that dad had cancer, she had to sell the business that they had built together. My boyfriend’s dad was coping with cancer and she was mad at him for not supporting her while selling the business. 

Fast forward to 2020 when the pandemic hit. I started working from home and he had to leave school. My boyfriend started to feel really depressed due to the isolation and fear of Covid. When he could go back to school, my boyfriend refused because he didn’t feel like things were safe yet. While we waited for things to get better, I continued working and supporting the house. One day, we got together with his family. On the way there, we jokingly made predictions about what would happen such as, “your mom will make you work the whole time” and “everyone will ignore us” and “we will feel like we are just bodies to fill the table.” All of those things happened. My boyfriend realized how horrible his family treats him and the only reason he goes is because he feels like he has to. We also noticed that every time we see his family, he feels incredibly depressed for days, sometimes weeks, after. I suggested going low/no-contact for a while. When he had to finally establish a boundary with his mom by telling her he needed space, she freaked out. She called him and left a voicemail where she threatened to kill herself. I listened to the voicemail and called my boyfriend’s brother in law (he’s a psychologist) and he intervened. According to him, she was setting up a suicide attempt in the living room. They did not admit her to the hospital. I still wish I had called the police so she would have been forced to get help. We went no contact at this point. The next year was hard. Eventually, she was desperate for my boyfriend  to talk to her so she started cancelling his and my debt to her. She also started therapy. Since then, things have gotten better with his family but they aren’t great. They can still trigger my boyfriend to be depressed. My boyfriend has been a mess through this. After getting vaccinated, he went through two jobs and both times he quit because the boss was terrible and he was struggling with his mental health and calling in a lot. Before he got a job, he was extremely depressed and didn’t do anything. He stayed in his office and isolated himself. Eventually, his sister, brother-in-law, and I convinced him to get help. He did an outpatient dbt therapy program. He was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I love my boyfriend. I care about him and I want nothing more than for him to feel better so we can build a life together. I feel frustrated that it’s been two years of his mental health struggle and I feel like he hasn’t made progress. He still isn’t working and contributing consistently. He does chores around the house while I’m at work but I feel like his time would be better spent working so we can build a better financial foundation: this is something that’s been important to me from the beginning of the relationship and I feel frustrated by his inability to work due to his mental health. He always says that if things get too bad, we can get help from his family. I feel uncomfortable with this. I feel conflicted because I still care about him and I’m frustrated with where things are at. If I leave him, I am scared to lose the house. I can’t afford to buy him out. We have two cats and one dog and I know I would have to lose a pet if we break up. I don’t want to move out.

After talking with my therapist, I felt like I needed to communicate to him how I was feeling and what I needed to be in the relationship. I told him he had 6 months to establish a therapist that he sees consistently, a psychiatrist, and to be in the process of getting a job. I’m scared that it won’t be enough. That dealing with his borderline is going to be a lifelong struggle that I don’t want considering I have my own mental health that I’m trying to take care of. I fear that because his family is so triggering to his mental health, that he will always be struggling and won’t find long term stability. I’m also scared of being a caretaker for the rest of my life. My younger brother has autism and I know that I’ll be responsible for him when my parents can no longer care for him. This all feels like an overwhelming amount of responsibility. I feel selfish even though my therapist tells me I’m not. I don’t know what to do to be happy. I feel depressed and like I’m stuck. On one hand, I care about my boyfriend and I still want to build a life with him. On the other hand, I’m scared of the long term impact of his mental health and that I won’t achieve the goals I want because I’m supporting two people on my salary. I make enough to pay the bills but saving feels like an uphill battle. I want to travel and build a decent savings account. I don’t know what to do. Thoughts?

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3 hours ago, mentalhealthsucks22 said:

I convinced him to get help. He did an outpatient dbt therapy program. He was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I love my boyfriend. I care about him and I want nothing more than for him to feel better so we can build a life together. I feel frustrated that it’s been two years of his mental health struggle and I feel like he hasn’t made progress. He still isn’t working and contributing consistently. He does chores around the house while I’m at work but I feel like his time would be better spent working so we can build a better financial foundation: this is something that’s been important to me from the beginning of the relationship and I feel frustrated by his inability to work due to his mental health.

If you struggle with your own mental health? I'm sure you can try and understand HIS own struggles now with the constant negativity & control of a naraccistic mother, then as you , his spouse 😕 .  he needs none of this.

 

3 hours ago, mentalhealthsucks22 said:

If I leave him, I am scared to lose the house. I can’t afford to buy him out. We have two cats and one dog and I know I would have to lose a pet if we break up. I don’t want to move out.

Is there a reason you would move out or end things? All because of what?

Is it just over property?  Material items.. that his side paid for? If so, no, this is not a proper reason to stay.

And, he supported you in the beginning, right?

 

IMO, you both should consider aiming for a life totally away from the toxic of his family , if it's that bad... BUT, if it's his mental health affecting YOU, then this is maybe not salvageable.

3 hours ago, mentalhealthsucks22 said:

I told him he had 6 months to establish a therapist that he sees consistently, a psychiatrist, and to be in the process of getting a job. I’m scared that it won’t be enough.

You're right.. could very well be longer, before all of this is under some control. ie, able to work. ( some people are able to get some sort of disability if it's been proven well enough that they do have challenges & cannot work). But, that still doesn't help in ways of the influence of his family.

IF this is just too much for you, then be honest now.  That you can't see this working out.

 

 

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These people financed everything for you,put a roof over your head bought you a car, supported you to get a degree and your giving your BF ridiculous ultimatums?

You're not married after 6 years. Move out, repay them for the car, and any other financial assistance they gave you. Stay in your own lane.

Then you'll get off your high horse and stop beating your BF up about his family and his financial dependence on them.

 

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I see you when when you were stuck with mental health he helped you to get over mentaly and financialy. As soon as the house being sold now you feel depressed. I mean when you got everything now you are looking to bail. That is what we may call love and support. All of sudden you have to care of your brother now. 

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16 hours ago, mentalhealthsucks22 said:

After talking with my therapist, I felt like I needed to communicate to him how I was feeling and what I needed to be in the relationship. I told him he had 6 months to establish a therapist that he sees consistently, a psychiatrist, and to be in the process of getting a job. I’m scared that it won’t be enough.

Don't wait six months before you figure out your exit strategy. Start taking measures to leave now. Even if he does start improving, always keep it in the back of your head that things can go sideways. Yes, it will be a lifelong struggle for you. Borderline Personality Disorder is notoriously difficult to treat because many patients don't want to be treated.

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