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Is it over or worth fighting for?

(19 Posts)
afrikat Wed 10-Jul-13 16:57:40

I was in a long term relationship with a depressive several years ago. In many ways he was wonderful and I could imagine our lives together but we had alot of the same problems as you - mostly due to his depression. Cognito, I have to disagree with your comment - it is definitely possible to present a front to other people. Hardly anyone had a clue how bad things were and it dragged me down to the point where I was almost a different person. I was so exhausted with trying drag him out of it and doing everything I could to make things better but there is NOTHING you can do until he helps himself.
Counselling is definitely the first step but antidepressants may well be needed. After we broke up my XP finally got help and I know he found ADs a big part of his healing process.
He might need your help making the first steps - making an appointment with the counsellor / dr but after that it is up to him to commit to getting better.

If he can't do this, I think you need to think of your future and that of your DC - living with a depressive will be very hard on both of you and you have to decide what kind of life you will both have if you stay.

Making the decision to leave my XP is still the hardest thing I have ever done - I still loved him completely (there were no DCs involved) but it is also the best decision I have ever made.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 15:22:59

Point taken. Thanks

OrmirianResurgam Wed 10-Jul-13 15:20:41

"Then it's not depression. Someone who is depressed doesn't turn it on and off like a light-switch. He's choosing to behave this way with you and I think you have to ask why."

Not entirely true. I have been a chronic depressive for many years. And I can switch on the happy 'normal' face at times - ie work or with people I don't feel safe with. Even when I was feeling suicidal I could seem normal. In fact when I don't feel I could show my real self to H it was when I didn't feel safe with him - turns out that was when his affair was getting off the ground. My feeling that I had to pretend at home contributed to the suicidal feelings - there was nowhere I was safe. Pretending is exhausting and counterproductive longterm. I don't say this to let him off the hook - he needs help and he needs to get it for himself - but I think it's wrong to say that he isn't depressed because he can put on a mask. Mask-wearing is a vital for the functioning depressive.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Jul-13 15:08:12

"mostly he only shows his depression to me"

Then it's not depression. Someone who is depressed doesn't turn it on and off like a light-switch. He's choosing to behave this way with you and I think you have to ask why.

ThingummyBob Wed 10-Jul-13 09:47:35

I think the fact that you bear the brunt of his depression is a warning sign tbh OP.

How is he with other people in general? Does he wear a smile on his face when out of the house? Or is he surly and quiet with everyone?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 10-Jul-13 09:37:04

Well it could be that once you get to to your destination the change of scene could lift his spirits. Don't forget you could do with a break in routine too. As you say he is a good father he can stay back at the hotel or where you're staying with DS and you can have some time to yopurself to think, (or not think iyswim). Of course it's only temporary but you'll perhaps look back and think, one way or another, that holiday marked the start of a new episode.

fromparistoberlin Wed 10-Jul-13 08:39:22

fromparistoberlin Wed 10-Jul-13 08:39:08

well done OP, this is a very good website with data on all the counsellors near you. Get him to add in post code, or you could look together.

when you make requests you can be very specific around times/hours. for example I do an early morning session before work.noone knows!

I think if he starts this, and starts to take responsibility this will make you feel better

ath20 Wed 10-Jul-13 08:05:22

Thanks, sorry to hear you're in the same boat Perriwinkle. It's not a good boat to be in! How are you coping? How long has it been like this for you?

We had a rare night out last night, tbh it was a bit of a let down! It was ok but he just doesn't seem to enjoy ANYTHING which just drags me down and to be honest irritates me! We were in a beautiful location in the summer sun and still be was somewhat 'low'. Anyway in answer to questions, donkeyadontridebicycles - mostly he only shows his depression to me. He has spoken to one close friend about it (male) who has tried to get him out a bit more but to be honest I definitely get the brunt of it. He doesn't have any work friends really, none he is close to due to line of work (v autonomous). He is close to a sibling but doesn't speak about 'deep' things I don't think. So yeah it's just me. So last night we did discuss counselling. He is open to it. He accepts it will probably help, we agreed we could start together but it's likely he will need it by himself. I will pursue it as I think he is finding it hard to accept but will go if his hand is held a bit. Once he's there I think he will see benefits and want to do it. He accepted when we met he was a different and much happier person. Despite this I still feel overwhelmingly fed up of it all. If it wasn't for our son I think last night i'd have left him alone he was so grumpy. I am trying so hard but how long can you put up with someone who drains the joy out of life!!

I hope I can find a counsellor quickly. We are due to go on holiday next week, I thought it would be good for us but now I'm starting to worry we will just argue if he's quiet and fed up for all of it.

Perriwinkle9991 Tue 09-Jul-13 19:30:17

Reading this post is asif I've wrote it myself! Pretty much in your boat. Don't no what to suggest but that your not alone!

arsenaltilidie Tue 09-Jul-13 17:02:39

From the sounds of things yes it's worth fighting for.

1st of all he needs to see the GP about his depression. Private (lots of charities can help) if you guys can afford it.

And also don't forget all was relatively well until 14 month DS, Long hours at work AND planning for a wedding

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 09-Jul-13 14:44:35

I do not under-estimate the lethargy and grinding effort to cope day by day when depression strikes. He has many good qualities and outwardly your life together seems rosy - yes to the world it may look perfect. I wonder, do his siblings colleagues or friends see the real him? Has he saved the defeated joyless him for you? He may think DS is immune to all this but a depressed parent and another who struggles to contain their growing unhappiness and yes, loneliness, will affect that child.

It is up to him to seek help and you can remain loving and supportive but not if he evades responsibility for his health -it is very testing. The joy will be sucked from your and DS's lives too. Appeal to the man you know is within, but warn him you are feeling the pressure too.

fromparistoberlin Tue 09-Jul-13 12:52:50

I think you both need to go to counselling, maybe seperately too

I think its worth investing time and effort, as it sound to me like you are down, and he has lost all hope that his depression can be helped

before you make any decisions, its worth checking this for both of you

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 09-Jul-13 12:40:57

"I think because I have decided to give up doing that it has made me think perhaps the relationship is over but perhaps it's just time for him to take action himself."

It's connected. If he doesn't get help for himself and doesn't make progress, the relationship almost certainly will be over. You need to tell him this 'more in sorrow than in anger', because I don't think he really appreciates how bad things have got.

'Never happy' unfortunately is a very common feature of emotionally abusive relationships. It is not confined to clinical depression and far too many will use 'depression' as an excuse for bad behaviour and manipulation. The type of person who typically is hiding behind depression as an excuse will be very reluctant to present to a GP because they will be shown to be a fake. Not saying that's happening here necessarily but cautioning you against making assumptions based on your own experience of depression.

ath20 Tue 09-Jul-13 12:30:32

Yes I am exhausted and I think it's making me feel stressed out which in turns makes me angry at him and snappy....yes I agree he is the one who needs to change / help himself and I can only support him. Will try and have this conversation again with him.

Jan45 Tue 09-Jul-13 12:00:50

I think you've answered your questions there, it is up to him, not you, you must be exhausted trying to jolly him along all the time, don't, be yourself. He needs to take responsibility for his own health and well being but also for the sake his family, he needs to realise it affects you too.

ath20 Tue 09-Jul-13 11:45:43

Thank you, he is open to help. I think he is actually at the stage where he thinks 'nothing will work' for him so he hasn't been bothered to seek it out. I spoke to him about this on the weekend and he did accept that he is possibly thinking very negatively because he is depressed...and that maybe counselling could help.

Perhaps if we start it together it will be easier for him to continue alone. He doesn't blame me for anything, I know that but I think it feeds into his self-esteem which is low and some things I probably am to blame for which I think the counselling may help with. Thanks for your reply. You are right that it is completely exhausting trying to make someone happy. I think because I have decided to give up doing that it has made me think perhaps the relationship is over but perhaps it's just time for him to take action himself.

Boosterseat Tue 09-Jul-13 11:40:41

1st of all you are not responsible for his happiness, your DP needs to seek help for his depression you seem to be taking a lot of the emotional load which will drag you down too. It’s not for you to pull him up or pull him out of it and you can’t, the change has to come from him all you can do is be supportive, loving and be there when he needs you.

I’m afraid counselling for you both will only confirm that he needs to seek help for his depression, perhaps then you can move forward as a couple.

Men are often ashamed to seek help for MH issues, help him see there is no shame only concern. You sound like a really supportive DP and I wish you the best of luck.

Hopefully other MNetters will be along with more practical sources of support.

ath20 Tue 09-Jul-13 11:28:59


I have name changed for this. OH and I have been together 4.5 years. We have lived together for 3.5yrs and have a 14month old son. We are engaged, have been for almost a year.

Background is we have had a few ups and downs, when we got together it was great, honeymoon period blah blah then got a bit tougher when we lived together but i thought it worth fighting for because he is a good person and at 30 I felt ready to settle down and commit to someone. I found that good, kind men are hard to find. But early on I became aware that OH had some depressive tendencies, low self esteem etc but is a good, kind person and when happy is a cheerful and fun friend. I have helped him through low points (I have suffered from depression years ago so understand it). He is grateful for this. He has not had any prof help since being together but had some counselling previously and said it was v good.

Our son was not planned, I often wonder if I hadn't got pregnant if we would still be together...but since his birth and during the pregnancy (except the beginning) We were very very happy together, certainly for the first year of his life. It bought us much much closer and developed our relationship hugely. I know we can be happy and in love. Since we got engaged, almost a year ago things have sort of been less good. I don't know why. We started planning a wedding but couldn't agree on anything at all, money is a bit of an issue but realistically if it was a priority we could do it. We now avoid the conversation (I do, he never seems bothered about it anyway). We get on mostly and share similar ish values. He is a fantastic father, loving, attentive, good in the house too. He is hard working and kind. I know in lots of ways I am very lucky BUT we just seem to irritate each other. We don't have 'fun' often, not much sex, always grumpy (both of us, him more so). I don't know if it's him or our life...something feels wrong. It has for months but reached a peak now. I am thinking about counselling, I know for certain we want to be together for our son but not at the cost of making both of us unhappy. His depression is a big issue I think, he says it's not me or our family but is in his head. I don't get it. He is never happy and I just don't feel like I can pull him up out of it or ignore it any more. I am generally a happy person and want to be that way for our son. I want it to work but don't know where to start to fix it. Do I make him go for therapy alone or do we go together? I feel there is no joy in his life (he actually says this which breaks my heart).

I kind of feel like I need a break, i think it would help me and I think we would really miss each other but it's so hard with our son, also we both work and I haven't told anyone about this. I am embarrassed as everyone thinks we are happy and getting married. It feels to serious to 'take a break' like we are breaking up and I can't contemplate what that means for our son.

It is not always bad, there are definite rays of hope but I just feel so bogged down by it.

I don't know what I am looking for here, maybe someone to say they have felt this way and things got back on track...or just some words of reassurance. I just needed to vent! Sorry for the long post.

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