My boyfriend has depression and he has pushed me away

Postby Francesca » Tue Jul 06, 2004 12:40 pm

Hi,
My boyfriend is currently suffering a bad depression time again; he has had depression since he was 12; now he is nearly 29. We have been together for a year and 3 months. for the past few months he has had depression moments like he explodes and he said things to me that hurt, like he didn't love me and he was so angry when this happened that he didn't want me near him. I am the closest person he's got here and in a sense he sort of took it out on me. It was like a different person. Also he also told me that if he didn't get better he would split up with me. At the end of April we went out one day with friends and suddendly on the everning he became angry and was not too nice to me, he wanted me to leave him alone and said so many horrible things. I wanted to help him and be there for him. He wanted to split up that night and the following day he said sorry but he had to get better other wise he couldn't do it. We called his parents and decided to take him home where he could be with them to gain support and seak some help. I supported him all the way. So he asked me to go to NZ with him and I said yes. I was there for him and had no intention to stop supporting him. So got the time off work and went with him. We had a nice time and ensured he got the assistance he needed. He got on medication, I think it's called Celopram. He is taking it for 6 months, up until December. 3 weeks after we got back. Things were so great and nice. We were very close to each other & I was starting to see an improvement on his situation. Suddenly one day he woke up low and different again as in keeping himself to himself. He always try to keep his emotions inside and not to talk about it. That night he told me that he wanted his space, some time alone and that I have smothered him. He said that he felt smothered. I have been there for him through this hard situation. My father passed away last year and my boyfriend felt pain too, he gets too concerned but I tried to reassure him and tell him that it is ok. He can't change the world. He cares and worries about everything. Anyway he wanted to split up, in fact he did. The following day I was in so much agony and my heart felt dead. We decided not to split up and to remain as a couple but that he wanted us to leave separatly at least until December 2004 when he wants to reassess things with his depression and us so I am worried bout this talk time. He thinks that the best way to deal with his depression or understanding it and what he needs is to do it alone. By seeking time alone and piece. Now we are living in separate flats not too far from each other. He asked me to give him this other wise there is not other option left except splitting up. He needs this time alone to figure out what he needs and how to deal with depression. He also decided that we will only see each other once or maybe twice a week when it feels ok and when it feels right. We also have 2 trips booked in August and another around xmas in cuba for 3 weeks; I know that this is hard but I think he still loves me, he told me but after saying those horrible things to me I don't know anymore. It is so hard that he has asked to accept this and get on with it. I find it even harder not to see him regularly when we used to live together. It is making me so sad and my heard hurts. I don't and he doesn't know how long this will take. We having our chat at the end of the year but I am only prepared to wait till then. This is painful and I respect what he needs but it feels like he hasn't really thought about me on this one. All I have left to do is to accept it and hope that he will get better. I am here for him and I truly love him. I thought about backing off for a while to give him the space that he needs but I would love to see if after some space time he might start come to me and realising that he misses and wants me.
Please help me seaking advice. Everyday I woke up and this is all I think about all day and all the time. I can't help him and that hurts more. Also he is pushing me so far away. I wish he will soon start coming to me and want me back in his life.

This is a lot to ask someone but I don't want to give up but at the same time he is creating a wall between us. He told me that once he is ok then we will be ok. I hope so. I wish for us to be fine again and supporting each other together, united not like now

Hope you can help
Thanks
Fran
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#1

Postby Mark Tyrrell » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:01 pm

Hello Fran and thankyou for your post

Being in a relationship with someone experiening depression can be, as yuo have discovered, extremely hard on your emotions. When people are depressed they tend to push away the very things they actually need to stay out of depression. So, for instance, they may stop working, exercising, eating (or over eat) taking care of their appearance and associating with friends and loved ones. Have a look at the http://www.uncommon-knowledge.co.uk/emo ... ealth.html

Your boyfriend is assuming that he needs to get better on his own. Yet, given time to himself if all he does is worry and ruminate then the depression may be prolonged. Can you show him the depression learning path at http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/depression.html? It may help him to understand what is happening to him and give him some pointers for recovery.

In the meantime you also need to look after yourself. Are there people around you can talk to? It's easy to assume we can transform some one through the power of love however please don't blame yourself in any way. It sounds like the way you have been there for him and supported him, even to the detriment of your own wellfare, has been incredible.

All the best

Mark.
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#2

Postby sicotomcat213 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:38 am

hey Fran

i am having a really similar situation with a few diffences, but in basics i know just how you are feel. see i have depression as well and i have had mine for awhile im used to it i am on medication that is working miricles and i live a pritty normal life, but my boyfriend who i am mad about has just been diagnosed and while i am living easly with it all infact i dont even consider my self depressed anymore not while i am on the meds anyway and i am in controle he is truly strugling and pushes me away for weeks on end and wont open up to anyone he just shuts down, he hadnt spoken to me for a month untill today and only because i lost my temper and sent a rather heated text about me worrying so much and he could have at least let me know he is ok he finaly replyed but it was the same stuff about not wanting to hurt me but not talking to me hurts me too but somtimes he says things to me that hurt me so much but i know its not really what he is thinking tho some times he says them with such passion it makes me think twice and even tho i forgive i cant i can never forget and they still hurt. things are bad and i dont know how i am ment to get threw this, its making me bad again, i guess i am just writing this because you can feel so alone in things like this like no one cant help or understand but belive me your not the only one out there hun i hear you and my heart bleeds for you i think your incredibly strong and its a hard choise but i honestly dont think that leaving him would help you and it wont help him i think hang in there maybe things will look up maybe it worth the hurt i guess you have to ask youself if you are willing to get hurt in the prosess of loving him ?

i feel for you sicotomcat213
jez
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#3

Postby justmeabc » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:48 pm

i am in a very similar situation. has been going on for months. my OH has days when I get a really nice txt from him, then I hear nothing for weeks. or then i get told he needs me and misses me so i try to ring him an he doesn't answer. it is the most confusing position i have ever been in.

i have been coping just about up to now, but with xmas and everythying and the start of a new year with nothing having moved forward i am beginning to wonder whether i can cope any more.

but i don't know what else to do,. i really love this guy, more than anyone else, but i am completley shut out of his life atm. he todl me he doesnt want to speak to me at the moment as he is feeling really bad. but not sure what that has to do with me? and finaly today i feel quite4 angry with him. it is all about him and how he feels so bad and i make it worse and i should just leave him alone.

then i get a txt saying he misses me and loves me and is sorry about all of this. it is making me depressed too i think. i spent the whole day in bed today just sleeping,. crying and staring into space. maybe it's the time of year i don't know.

i just wish there was some way to know what to do. i don't feel i am ready to leave him as i really love him, but it is ruining my life.

anyone got any words of wisdom?
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#4

Postby jurplesman » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:43 am

HI Francesca,

This is very hard for love-ones to live with a depressed person. When you are depressed you are unhappy in whatever circumstances and it is natural for a depressed person to think that the trouble lies with the most significant person in their life. It can often lead to infidelities by a husband if he is deluded into thinking that his unhappiness is due to his relationship with his wife. When we are sad for no apparent reason we naturally look for causes in our environment such as our relationships, without realizing that depression is mostly endogenous and cannot be resolved by either drugs and /or talk therapy.

We need to treat the physical causes of depression, before we can deal with the "psychological" aspects of mood disorders. It is as simple as that! If you want to help your loved-one with their depression you need to understand the biochemical underpinnings of depression by reading on it. Please familiarise yourself with the psychonutritional aspects of mood disorders;

Depression is a Nutritional Disorder
Depression is a Disease of Energy Production
Silent Diseases and Mood Disorders

The most common silent disease resulting in depression is hypoglycemia. Most people feel better if they adopt the Hypoglycemic Diet. However if problems persist I suggest you ask your doctor to be referred to a Nutritional Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist or a Nutritional Psychologist, for further tests and diagnosis and treatment.
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#5

Postby justmeabc » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:14 am

Hi,

I was hoping that with xmas and ny out of the way htings would start to get better...fresh hope and all that.
seems i am rather naiive. nothing has changed, except he has finally told me he is not able to cope with a relationship right now. rather than the mixed messages i was getting in the months before. do popele think this is a good sign (i.e. he is maybe slowly resurfacing enough to know he has to give me a clear message now) and that i shoudl be positive about things seeing this as a step forward as he tries to rebuild his life, or... is this him pushing me away more firmly in the hope i will actually finally go after the to-ing and fro-ing of last year.

would love to hear from anyone who has been the pusher away-er... or anyone in a similar situation to me.

instead of it getting easier to be without him, it gets harder everyday and i miss him more. i thought we had moved forward over xmas as he did phone once and told me he had bought me a xmas present. most unexpected.

but to txt me on ny eve (he doens't seem to be able to speak, only txt) and tell me i deserve better than he could offer and he was sorry for everything... is he saying goodbye???

:-(
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#6

Postby clocodile » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:50 pm

Hi all,

Firstly, to Jurple. What you are saying is basically incorrect as diet is not, by any means, the main cause of any disease that causes depression. I find your repsonse irrelevant and off topic totally.

To others,

Someone who has depression does not firstly look to their other half for the problem at all. They look within themselves, see the useless, worhtless person depression has made them feel they are and uses that image as a true image and thus cannot see why anybody would want them.

Additionally depression makes us feel so bad we tend to want to isolate which means pushing people away. Even though we really want them to persisit and show us they live us we still push them away.

Angry outbursts too are common as we are often very angry down deep about a number of things in our lives and will continue to be until these are either resolved or at least brought to the surface and recognised. This usually through therapy, not meds. Although you need to be at a reasonable mood level to allow therapy the best chance of working. Meds do not ever cure depression, they are bandaids. Therapy is the main success but meds are need to help us get through.

If a depressed person tells you they can't cope with a relationship they are being honest as they truly don't think they can or deserve a relationship. It doesn't mean they are right but it's almost impossible to convince them otherwise. It's a nasty illness, destroys all our confidence, our lives and those of others too.

Try not to take it personally (Yes, I know, that too is almosy impossible) as usually what is said is mostly about how they feel about themselves.
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#7

Postby jurplesman » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:19 am

clocodile wrote:Firstly, to Jurple. What you are saying is basically incorrect as diet is not, by any means, the main cause of any disease that causes depression. I find your repsonse irrelevant and off topic totally.


Here we go again with the false notion that "diet is not, by any means, the main cause of any disease that causes depression."

Nobody is claiming that "diet alone" is the cause of depression, but to support such a rash statement you first need to show with medical test that a person is not affected by any possible nutritional/biological factor that could influence the working of a person's mind. If you have not done so, you are just in a guessing game.
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#8

Postby bernie » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 am

justmeabc wrote:would love to hear from anyone who has been the pusher away-er... or anyone in a similar situation to me.



Hi :-)

I suppose I'd be the pusher awayer :oops:

My girlfriend told me over the phone she couldn't take anymore at 4am on Monday. This happened to be my Birthday which I spent alone crying and feeling sorry for myself :roll:

The thing is we exchanged words before then and she told me I'd changed over the last few months, being snappy and moody, making her nervous. The reason I felt like that is I felt she'd been spending no time with me, which I resented her for, driving her further away. She hasn't spoke to me since.

Over the last few days and especially tonight reading this thread it seems clearer that her behaviour might not be the problem here. We've both had some problems with depression, alcohol (both teetotal now) and all sorts of other stuff over our 7+ years together. I haven't been really happy for a while and it's worse lately. I probably have been pushing her away but I just couldn't see it. I often feel I'm not good enough for her, that's why we don't spend more time together. It's a vicious circle.

I've ordered some self help books today and really want to get my act together. I feel sad reading your post and the OP on this thread, thinking I've made her feel like that, and I feel sad to think I've been worrying about her not loving me when maybe that's how she's been feeling too. I love her so, so much and don't want to lose her forever, ever. But where my head is, perhaps I need to learn to like myself before I can love her the way she deserves. I don't know how long that'll take and I'm scared she might not wait for me. But it's not fair on her to carry on like we were.

Dunno if that gives you any insight :?
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#9

Postby seaswimming » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:59 pm

Hi, I'm sorry to say that I too am a pusher-away. I'm diagnosed with depression and part of the problem that I experience is that I can't seem to handle close relationships or friendships. I always feel that the other person is using me, or worse still I always fear that I will end up hurting the other person because sooner or later I tend to freak out and unfortunately it's very difficult to understand for someone who's never experienced it.

Sadly it always reflects badly upon me, and in general people tend to think that I'm just being unkind because I do end up saying things that I don't mean, and this leads people to think that my depression is "just an excuse". When I first started suffering from depression I lost the people who I considered friends in this way - but I still think about them and wonder how they are.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if someone with depression pushes you away, it doesn't mean they don't care about you. It could mean that they care about you more than they feel able to handle.
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#10

Postby justmeabc » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:30 am

Hello pusher-awayers ;-)

Well, if this string of messages has given you any hope or insight maybe thats a good thing.
The only thing I would say is, that what you've written here gives me hope and kind of backs up my gut instinct that I always have had through this. The real person is there underneath.

And if you could find a way of letting your other half or friends know that this is how you feel, even if you only copy and paste your posts on this thread and email it to them, maybe it will explain how you feel (which I am sure they are desperate to understand) a bit, and give them renewed hope too?

and perhaps give both parts of the couple the break you need.

For a very positive self-help book - try reading "Stop Thinking Start Living" by Richard Carlson. It helped me (and I'm not the one with depression) but is recommeneded for people with depression.

I have had odd chinks of light from my OH on and off, which helped me to reinforce my belief that he did love me still. And I cling on to these. Cos the alternative is not worth thinking about. And if it all goes up in smoke in the end and we have both changed too much, at least I know I was there for my OH whilst he was going through it.And if it doesn't and we come thru still together, I know I can handle anything life throws at me, and hopefully my OH will be sure I will alwyas be there for him.

Beleive in yourslef that you will come thru, believe that your OH will understand - and that if there love is really proper love, they won't be able to just walk away from someone they love.

But tell them you 'can't handle' rather than 'don't want' a relationship right now, to protect them and the relationship. And suggest to them that what they can do to help you (everyone has a need to help poeple they love) is to try and leave you alone for a bit and they shoudl live their life, so that you don't feel guilty you are draggin them down.

But if you can, give them some chinks of light however small they may seem. Hope is actually all you need.

I know me and my OH are not there yet, but bit by bit, looking back, although I still don't have a relationship, the place I am now, is not as bad as the place this time last month. Even last week.
So I have hope.

And as someone being pushed away who does not have depression - I can honestly say that despite all the times my OH got angry, or didn't respond to phone or txts or emails, I just could not switch off how I felt about him. I just remembered the good times, and thought about the future good times I hoped we would/will have. I beleive real love can weather this, but it is tough.
So there is a chance your OHs feel this too. And remember even poeple wihtout depression get angry, and say things they don't mean! IT's just human ;-)

Hang in there. Beleive in your relationship and your partner. As when (not if) you come through it, think how close you'll be.

Wishing you all the best, hope my ramble helps in some small way.
xxx
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#11

Postby Triarius » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:15 pm

Real science:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2004 ... dinalpos=8

Conclusions These results demonstrate an association between habitual diet quality and the high-prevalence mental disorders, although reverse causality and confounding cannot be ruled out as explanations. Further prospective studies are warranted.

Yes, a terrible diet seems to coincide with poor mental health. There is no evidence, however, that this is be-all and end-all solution which you claim it to be.
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#12

Postby emilienb » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:54 am

hey everyone,
although i know how hard your situations are, especially you, justmeabc it feels better to see that I'm not the only one.
I've been seeing the man I love for a little more than a year. From almost the beginning, I have known for sure that he is the man I want as my life partner. I feel unconditional love for him and I know deep down he loves me too. This is my story... I will spare some details since I dont want somebody who knows him reading this and recognizing him.
In the last year and a half, he lost both his grandmothers, made a massive carreer change (he left a well paid job to realize his childhood dream), went back the live with his parents (he's in his mid thirties) while he was back to school and finally moved in a very remote area of the country when he got his first real job in his new field. You have to know that he is pretty much ''stuck'' working there for about two years if he ever wants to make a good living out of his new career.
He pushed me away 3 times and always came back to me pretty quick. It's always the same, he says things he doesnt really think, say he can't be in a relationship, etc... Then he gets some great moments when he tells me that he found the balance in his life and is finally ready to go forward, a.k.a him and I being in a true relationship. We even talked a bit about me eventually moving with him in this remote area.
He's had a lot of ups and downs in the last year. I'm back from a week visit and I can see he is at the lowest he's ever been. Just before I went there, we were talking everyday, he was very excited to see me and he seemed to be doing well.
When I arrived, I realized it was another story. Although he was truly happy to see me, I saw right away that something was wrong. He must have gained about 15lbs (7-8 kilos) since the last time I saw him (I have to precise that everytime we spent quiet some time apart he gains weight and when we are together a lot he loses some). He over eats, sedates himself to sleep with alcool (he told me he's got sleeping problems and calls his 6-8 night beers his ''medication''), he doesnt do the thing he used to love like taking his bike. When he isnt working he just sits and watches dvds. He used to be a very sociable person and he now isolates himself. he is also really disapointed with his work, feels like it's not up to his expectations.
He's told me that he feels lonely. I have to say that he lives in a very difficult situation, sharing a house with a coworker more than 15 yrs his junior who he has nothing is common with. He asked to have a house to himself but that might be difficult (the company he is for takes care of the accomodation there).
All I could tell him is that I am 100% on his side, will always be there for him. The week went relatively well since we both love eachother and I decided to make the most out of my time there. But I felt so helpless and sad that I am not able to make him feel better. I decided to try and be cheerful, take care of him, cook, do his laundry, iron his shirts, do my workouts to keep my head clear, socialize with people around. I am the only person who knows he isnt feeling good because he wont tell his parents and I see that when he is talking to his friends (all in different cities) he always say that he is "living the dream" when they are asking him how is everything.
When he was driving me to the airport on the day of my departure, I asked him if he would be alright. He said ah I feel like things will one day fall into place. And when it was time to go, we hugged really hard and I told him I knew it will be ok.
Since then, I'm very motivated and I'm starting to work on eventually moving up there but on my own terms (in a different house) and for myself. I dont want to put too much pressure on him and I'm excited about the new adventure it could be for me. I'm having a hard time though, I cry a lot but I try not to let his depression drag me down. But god knows how hard it is to see the person you love unconditionnaly self destroy himself.
That was last sunday and we spoke on internet for the first time since my return home, briefly, last night, wednesday and he was kinda cold. I'm planning on calling him tonight but I dont know if I'm going to tell him how worried I am about his change of behavior and my plans on moving up. I want to see the mood. I'm just trying to be positive for him and make him understand that I'm here for him.
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#13

Postby rosieroo » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:47 am

I too have been pushed away by my depressed boyfriend. He says he is not good enough for me and that I am better off without him. Totally untrue and I cannot see a life without him I am totally inlove with him and will do anything for him.

He has been unemployed for quite some time and we have been together for six years and although he was depressed late last year came through it just, but this time it seems so intense so much darker. He says he wants to be just friends, intially I said I couldn't do that to which he finished with me. After being totally devastated I reconsidered and told him I would be there as a friend but find it so hard its unbearable.

Justmeabc I read your post with much interest and will hopefully buy that book myself as I just don't know how to help my boyfriend. I have asked him to see the doctor but he refuses so that is obviously not a option yet. I feel so insecure but after reading your post I too can see small chinks that he loves me even though most of his actions say otherwise. You are a very supportive partner and I hope I can be as strong and supportive as obviously you are with your O/H. Your post alone has given me some hope for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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#14

Postby justmeabc » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:11 pm

Well it's afew weeks since I last posted and my OH has shown a little bit more imporvement. Now getting more texts. Progress is so slow that no one else notices, but the txts I have got have been positive, and once he even joked and teased me! Which is more like the old him.
Have to say tho, in between (we have a couple of days of that) then he disappears off the face of the earth again for a few days. Almost like he has over exerted himself and scared himself so needs to retreat.
This is REALLY hard as I never know when it's going to come, but no am learning that he does come back each time. And seems to push a bit further each time he comes back. Last week he initiated the text conversation even.

It is hard to stay positive, VERY hard, and the only way I have found to do it, is to set myself rules.
1) Organise the weekend in advance with things you enjoy and can't back out of with poeple who know your situation
2) Don't send him emotionally wallowey texts if I want him to respond. Keep them light, jokey, and about daily life. (Remind him it goes on).
3) Keep writing the 'emotional wallowey oh my god how am I gonna cope without him one more day' texts and emails but NEVER send them. It just makes him feel bad and retreat back. There will be a time for him to read them later if need be. I'm sure he realises it's no bed of roses deep down.
4) Dont' overwhelm him with texts. Or he may stop again. Just one or two a day. And if he doesn't reply, leave it a day or two then start again. Don't punish him for not replying. Helps no one. Esp you.
5) Every now and then suprise him. Card, letter, bar of chocolate in the post, funny text, ask him out for coffee (even tho you know he wont' come). I found it gives him a jolt which makes him think a bit and maybe, just maybe one day he will eturn the favour. If not, you've lost nothing.
6) Don't count up how many weeks it is since I've seen him. Too depressing! ;-) And time is different I think when you're in depression.
7) Reminisce, read old texts, emails cards etc to remind yourself of the real relationship you had and could have again. It'll keep your love for him alive and stop it turning sour.
8) Don't engage in conversation with poeple who tell you he's treating you badly and you shoudl therefore dump him. You know he is trting you badly already. So does he. Thats why he feels guilty. Remeber it's not him, it;s the depression. If he truly wanted to end it with you cos he didn't love you, then he would say that. Men don't tend to worry about stringing you along, esp if it makes them feel guilty to do so. It's easier to cut you off.

I don't know if these help anyone. Everybody handles it differently. But now I've worked out what works for me and my OH it's a bit easier to manage.
Of course I still miss him. Every day. But it's less painful. I miss him in a loving way. But not a smothering I've got to solve it for him way.

I htink accpeting it's not gonna change overnight is helpful too. As it makes you realise you have to turn your focus back to your own life.

He will be missing you I can guarentee that. So just keep telling oyurslef that. And don't believe the poeple who say it's time to move on now. They really don't understand depression if they say that.
And anyway, you won't be able to until you are ready, if it ever comes to that. And you will know when if it ever does.

Oh, I got myself a counsellor too. To talk about how I shoudl deal with it all, and understand more about whta he may be going through. We unearthed some of my own issues about insecurity. Was great.
And when I told my OH I had sorted these he responded positively.
He generally responds whenever I tell him about somehting that I have done thats an acheivement for me. He likes to hear about this stuff as it lessens his guilt I think and of course helps him remember what he liked about me.

So go and live your life rosieroo, keep him by your side in your head and pretned he is watching. He woudln't want you to be sad. Seeing oyu happy but missing him, will help him more than seeing you sad and mad with him.

Thats all just my opinion anyway!
It may help some of you.
Keep me posted on how you go, helps me realise that it is not personal between my and my OH, it is a 'Sitiuation' that happens to poeple.

x
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