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What is the difference between being a carer and being a girlfriend?


I have been with my boyfriend for almost four years, and for three of those he has been clinically depressed (only diagnosed about eight months ago). I have cared and looked after him throughout this time, and right now he's throwing it back in my face, not doing anything to help himself, getting back into depressed ways of thought, being miserable, when all I do is try to help. If I'm unhappy about something I talk about it for a bit, then get over it. He goes on and on, I've tried so hard every time to help, and it never works.


I think I've been a carer too long and it's not working. If I sit and think, I love him so much, but I don't see what I get out of this relationship other than misery. I was just talking to him (he's meant to be staying with me for the weekend - it's a long distance thing - haven't seen him in two weeks), just chatting, and he was so unreceptive, not giving a damn. I've had enough! Why does this man not want to help himself? I can't do this any more - I am sapped of energy, I've given up so much, I don't even know if I love him - it might just be the kind of love you feel for a sick child, not a boyfriend. He slammed the phone in my face, I told him not to bother visiting me, he told me to stop being a child, and he's on his way now. I don't want him to, but he's turned his phone off. What do I do? I'm at work sobbing, I don't know what I did wrong.


I know I've done wrong by being so caring, but what should I do? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE HELP

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Hi Pixie,


Trust me, you've done nothing wrong.


I lived with and was engaged to a man for 5 years who was severely depressed (and also an alcoholic and drug addict...ugh!) and they can't give love to someone else because they don't love themselves. They get so wrapped up in their depression that it's hard for them to see beyond themselves and feel for someone else.


It sounds like you've been very patient and done all you can for this guy, and I remember feeling so drained, like you do now, because I gave and gave and got so little back (he was abusive to me as well, it was a nightmare!!).


At this point it's affecting your mental health, I think your best option is to end it with him, when he gets to your house. Is there somewhere else he can stay? How far does he live? Can he drive home afterwards?


It doesn't make sense to drag it out over the weekend, and after 4 years of this, it isn't likely to change. You deserve someone who gives back into a relationship too. I remember feeling like I was my exes' mom instead of a girlfriend at times, I took care of him too.


It's not healthy for you and I urge you to end it ASAP.

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You deserve a better life than the one you've got right now! You have done everything humanly possible for him. It's obvious that he hasn't been trying to help himself and you've been trying to 'carry him'!


Let him go and move onto pastures knew.


Good luck and take care.

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