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Depressed Partner Issues

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I've been in a tough spot lately and I have decided to get some help or advice from anyone who may know what I am going through.


I've been together with my partner for a year now. We started pretty intensely by me spending the night at his place 5 nights a week. Then I moved closer to him and he started staying with me every night. After 9 months, he moved in officially. I don't think I ever felt like we were just dating because we were almost always together. Let's just say I got used to it. We've had a few conflicts like everyone and by the next day it's almost always resolved. However he is a guy that really doesn't express his emotions, other than happy and angry. Even then he won't tell me if he's annoyed with me or angry with me unless I ask.


In December his mom died and he went to Michigan for 3 weeks. It was the hardest time for me because I couldn't be there with him to just hug him and let him cry on my shoulder. I have still yet to see him cry. Since he has been back, for about a month, he has been seriously depressed. He doesn't want to leave the house except for work and school, he doesn't see his friends or hang out with me when I ask him to go out, he is hypersensitive when he is around a lot of people and has to force himself to even enter the grocery store. He tells me of feeling lost all the time and just doesn't know what to think. He had a very troubling past with his mother and didn't see or talk to her for 5 years.


Here's my problem: he is very unresponsive to me and I feel like I've lost a boyfriend that I've had for a year. I love him to death, don't want to leave him, but I'm having the hardest time. I don't trust him to leave the house because I stay up worried about him, I've started yelling at him to pay attention to me, it's gotten out of hand. I don't want to fix him, just understand him. I think I'm getting lost in his issues and I don't want to. I just don't know what else to do. He is constantly on my mind and I'm worried to death.


Anyone have any pointers???



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Lipsavvy, I don't have too much experience with the kind of grief you're talking about, but let's see what I can say. Clearly, he's the one in need to counselling, not you. Have you suggested it to him? Maybe you could direct him to this site.


If I were you, I'd sit down and think hard about 1) what I'm getting out of the relationship, 2) what I'm giving up by being in the relationship, 3) what are my future prospects if I stay in the relationship, and 4) what are my future prospects if I don't. Decemeber was recent. Maybe you should wait it out until March and if things are still bad, cut it off.

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It's obvious he is grieving very hard and now isn't the time to push him. He just lost his mother a month ago, and it's obviously on his mind!


Encourage him to go to counseling, and don't expect too much from him right now. He isn't going to be the same for some time. If you don't feel that you can stick around and help him through, then leave him now and spare him the pain. To be honest, he needs you a lot right now. If this relationship means anything to you, try to be there for him.

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I have dealt with a depressed boyfriend for the best part of two years, so my posts may help.


Right now I would say to stick around and offer support. I hope he opens up and lets you understand him, but don't fall into the trap of trying to heal him. You cannot do it. I have wasted years trying to do the same, and now my role in my relationship is that of half-carer, half-girlfriend (although it's shifting towards more girlfriend now). He needs counselling. I'd be there for him, he's grieving, but don't become his nurse. There is a fine line between sympathising with somebody and becoming their lifeline, don't cross it.

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My ex-husband lost his father 6 months into our relationship. I understand exactly where you are coming from with the frustration of wanting to help and be there. I can only advise you of what not to do because I learned the hard way. Your bf needs space and understanding. If you haven't lost a parent the last thing they want to hear is that you understand, because no one does until they have lost a parent or loved one. Understanding needs to be in the form of allowing him to work through this in his own way. You may not feel like you are doing anything, but just by being there for the times he DOES want to talk I'm sure means a lot to him. Not only is he grieving the loss of his mother, I'm certain he is also depressed because of not having a relationship with her for the last five years. Wondering if things would have been different had they made amends, should he have done things different, realizing that he will never have a chance to make up with her. He may need counseling, but very few men will do so. Our society has taught men since young ages not to be weak, not to show emotions. Your patience is what he needs most. If I could do things over, I would have researched on how to be the partner of someone who lost a loved one. Instead, I was trying to be the cure-all, the nurse, the counselor. The more I pushed for him to open up, the more he pushed me away. I am not saying though that he should get away with things because of the loss of his mother or turn to self abuse or destruction. What I am saying is give him his space, allow him to talk without trying to give solutions or answers, and let him know that no matter what you are there to listen and support him.


People react to death in many different ways. Some positive and some are negative. No one knows what their reactions will be until it happens. After almost 3 years, I am now coming out of denial that my stepdad whom I was very close to is dead. Don't judge someone by their reaction or how they cope. Some people cry, others don't. Some look at death in a positive way, others don't understand it. Some become destructive and self abusive turning to drugs and/or alcohol. Obviously at that point intervention is needed, but it is not surprising should it happen. Your relationship with him may be all he has right now. Again I would strongly suggest you look into support groups or books. Not only will it bring you knowledge, it will also be theraputic for you for the days you don't know if you can do it anymore.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Going thru the same thing, I totally understand your fustration however what i am doing to deal w/this, b/c I have been only 6 months w/him and we are still dealing with these issue of depression in our realtionship what u need to do is to research as much as possible about his condition look up men and depression, look up when ur loved one is depressed and would be amazed as to how many questions can be answered and how his behavior will start making sense to you, just becareful don't get sucked into his world that can easly happen it and the advice wild child gave you is so true. I aslo have bought books regarding this matter which have helped me out alot too. Hang in there ur not alone. I don't know if ur a believer in God if so pray pray pray it helps as well.

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