Jump to content

Recommended Posts



I used to post here but haven't in over a year, maybe more. Now I'm desperately in need of advice.


I've been in a wonderful long-distance relationship for almost four years with a man who is my best friend. He's always been an incredibly loving, affectionate, attentive partner who makes me feel like the luckiest woman on the planet. When we're together, he treats me like a queen. We have so much fun together, not only as romantic partners but as friends.


He graduated college in June, and, after taking the summer off to spend with me, he began job-hunting in September and we agreed that I would move out there as soon as we could both afford it. It was a few weeks later that he started searching hardcore. Because he's an aspiring graphic designer in Seattle, an area saturated with graphic designers, he's been having trouble finding work and this has lead him to become increasingly depressed.


Over the last two months, my sweet, protective, loving boyfriend has become sullen, apathetic and -- worst of all -- he's begun withdrawing affection from me. I've remained as supportive as possible, in spite of the fact that it feels like he's pushing me away. I've suggested therapy (something he mentioned himself once back when I was visiting him in October), but now that he's in the throes of this depression, he's not receptive to the idea.


I love this man more than anything in the world; before the depression, he was all I could ask for in a partner. But now it's been two months, with no end in sight, and I'm being worn down. I feel like my reserves of energy have been depleted. Right now, the relationship feels very one-sided, with me doing all of the giving. I don't want to give up on this guy, but I need to know that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.


Any advice on how to handle a severely depressed partner who's inadvertantly pushing me away? Thanks.



Link to comment

I think right now what he needs more than anything is reassurance that you truly love him. It may be that he's afraid of you losing interest in the relationship because he can't find work and can't provide for you when you move out there...so he's withdrawing because he feels inadequate and also because he doesn't want to constantly burden you with his problems. Unfortunately, if that's the case, basically the only way to solve the problem is for him to find a job...Has he considered moving elsewhere where his skills are less common?

Link to comment

Well it sounds like he's absolutely wonderful, but right now he's simply just sick. Mentally sick. So a good chunk of what he's doing is the result of the sickness and not something he's in control of.


Although you two aren't married, you have been a relationship for a long time. So I'll use the "for better, for worse, in sickness and in health" speech on you because it seems appropriate. Right now he's sick, and he needs your support to help him get better. I'd go with this approach and tell him that you can see he's sick and needs some help. That you love him and you want him to get better so that he can enjoy life again.


It's really common to get depressed when you have no luck in a job search. Does he talk to others who are searching? Or does he have a career counselor to help him?


Moving to a new location isn't a bad idea either. Sometimes that can make all the difference in the world in finding a new job.

Link to comment

hey - I do remember your posts from last year. I am sorry things aren't going quite so well.


As a possibility, do you two have to stay in seattle, or maybe would it be better to relocate to an area where he would be more in demand? that might be one possibility. I agree with avman, keep supporting him. it sounds like you two have a very strong relationship, and this is just a temporary dip until he finds a job and is happy and content again.


if you guys want to wind up in seattle, that is still possible, but what about living a few years in another city, until his career becomes more established, and then you two can move back to seattle and he would have an advantage and be able to compete for the tight job market in seattle.


good luck - I hope everything turns out ok.

Link to comment

Thanks for the all the great words of support, everyone.


The idea to have him move here as opposed to me moving there is a good one -- but we made the decision for me to be the one who relocates for several reasons: it's more affordale in Washington-state; I'm ready for a change and love it out there; and even though there are so many people in his field, it's still a thriving location for those in the tech fields and, because his dad is a tech writer at Microsoft, we keep hoping that one day that connection might pay off. True, we could move elsewhere temporarily, but I'm looking to start back in school and we really need to be settled somewhere for at least a few years.


After posting here, I read up a bit on men and depression and saw posts (here and elsewhere) from numerous women who are going through almost the exact same thing. It helped a lot to read that because it made me realize that a) I'm not alone, and b) this really isn't about his feelings for me, it's a symptom of his depression. I know he loves me, and I have no plans to leave him... after all, the guy I love so much is buried deep in there, somewhere. I guess I just need some support myself.

Link to comment

hm. well, if you are already a resident of MA, maybe better to go to school there, he comes and moves out in your area for a few years, while his dad sniffs around a bit to get a job for him.


yeah, hang in there. I think his depression will ease once he has a job he likes and gets settled. graduating and not having a place to go can be nerve-wracking. I am sure your guy is in there somewhere

Link to comment

Have you looked at what schools you might go to? It might be a good idea to look for a school that has an affordable location and somewhere you can both get jobs. You live there a few years and then go back to school after you've established residency in that state so tuition will be cheaper. It might work out that you both move somewhere together for that period of time and then once you've finished school look at a new place you plan to settle.


What are you going to school for?

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...