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Depression and how it affects someone's behavior to partner?

(16 Posts)
littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 18:32:34

I was in a long term relationship of 3.5 years with a guy that ended really badly, unexpectedly and hurtfully and just wanted some help understanding a few things ??especially with regards to the ways him developing depression might have affected his actions towards me as I??ve found it quite hard to accept his behavior after he developed the illness.

Basically, we were very in love but things went pretty wrong very fast and I was left confused and feeling betryed and let down. I know I have made mistakes and let "love" cause me to be less than sensible but I felt at the time it was the right thing to do.

Our relationship was quite a whirlwind and we fell very deeply in love and he asked me to move in with him after nine months of dating long distance. So it meant relocating and I had a very good job, which they thankfully agreed to let me continue to do from home once I moved ?? but at a cut salary. I had a child, so it was quite a big step but I felt the future was as a family together which is what he very much wanted.

We blended finances very quickly with him paying the rent on our house and me paying the bills and food. During the first two years of the relationship we earned roughly the same amount of money and a few things happened in his life which put us into debt ?? which we took on jointly and I was fine with.

Over that period, I was adjusting to living in a new place and not having friends and family around or a job outside the home, which to be honest was difficult on me but I couldn??t envisage life without him so it never occurred to me to feel negatively about any of this or feel any resentment.

In the last year, the small business I was working for went out of business very unexpectedly and I was left unemployed. Without my salary we didn??t have any money at all to live on at all and we spiralled into debt over a few months of trying to make ends meet.

I could not find other work anywhere that fit around childcare and living with him I didn??t qualify for any financial assistance and every job I could find locally would not have even really covered the cost of transport and childcare, so I decided to start up on my own going freelance.

We didn??t argue or fight over money, but I did feel that he was burying his head in the sand over it and the onus was on me to sort the problem out.

I was working crazy hours to try and bring in freelance contracts, and was also doing all the housework and childcare too and he sort of carried on like he was before.

He was in a relatively low paid job he was over-qualified for and I gently tried to get him to look at other jobs as he could have moved to a much better paid one but for whatever reason he wouldn??t.

I was making big cut backs, not going out, even stopped getting haircuts and started cutting my own hair and he was spending money on silly things like surprise weekends way for me or new sport equipment.

I was making budgets in Excel and he wasn??t sticking to them and didn??t even seem to really want to look at them or discuss it.

I was suggesting we downsize our home and his car and he didn??t want to do either.

I was a bit frustrated by feeling like he wasn??t taking it seriously, and was very stressed, but generally speaking I really loved him, we were happy with each other in every way except for this and so I figured he was obviously just not cut out for dealing with problems like this and I was fine with taking it on.

He then got depression which I think came about over a year of being in quite stressful debt and over a few months he stopped wanting to get out of bed or do anything and he stopped sleeping and started drinking heavily.

I was never really worried about our relationship because it was basically just unthinkable to me for us to be anything less than a team and I was determined to sort out the finances on my own and help him to get better.

Then his depression escapated to it being really very bad, he was suicidal and had to be signed off work, and then he left me!

And he said it was all my fault, blamed me and my job loss and supporting me and my child as the cause of his debt and depression and he went around telling everyone else this too.

I was just left really flabberghasted, because he'd asked me and DC to move in with him and I had given up a life to do that. I had supported him through his debt and his illness and accepted his inability to assist in tackling our financial problems and I would always hve been financially better off without him - yet he was somehow blaming me completely for a situation i was in because of him.

I have really found it hard to cope with the things he said and did while very depressed, in terms of the fact that he seemed quite aggressive towards me, very blaming towards me, very unreaonable, illogical, unwilling to discuss things fairly and I felt scapegoated completely. He was also really unkind, cold and told me he had stopped loving me after he got depression which hurt me a lot.

I understand the situation we were in was a ticking timebomb, that stresses like that put relationships under strain and if they are not strong enough the "crack" under the pressure and I can see mistakes I probably made in contributing to all of this but I suppose what really hurts me is how he was just so selfish and heartless and nasty to me. The depression has either really changed him, or I never knew him at all and i was wondering if anyone with experience of depression in a spouse or partner or perhaps with it themselves could tell me if this might have influenced his behvior and been a partial cause of why he was horrible to me?

The week before he left he was telling me how wonderful I was, how he wnated to get married when we had the money, how he could never cope with life without me and the next minute every bad thing in his life was all my fault and he didn't love me anymore.

NuckyS Sat 12-Sep-15 19:15:30

It's difficult, because depression can manifest itself in aggression, selfish behaviour, erratic behaviour, etc. (which is one reason it is so hard on relationships) but in excusing this it almost seems like giving a free pass to nasty behaviour.

Did he seek treatment of any kind?

My own experience was that I became very withdrawn, and turned everything inwards. I found decision making very difficult and dwelled on trivial setbacks, as well as having no energy.

I honestly would not blame anything on yourself. If he has been genuinely ill then it is a fiendishly hard thing for a partner to cope with.

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 19:43:05

Thank you for replying Nucky, I suppose really I want to know if the depression would have clouded his perspective of me and the relationship because he seemed (or at least said and acted like) he thought the world of me and him then turning around saying horrible things was confusing a he'd never said anything at all like that before.

He just seemed to only see the bad and was so angry and unreasonable. He just seemed so illogical. If there was a thousand good things about me all he could see was the one thing he didn't like. Like he only saw me as a burden instead of realising that I was worth something beyond being a mouth to feed.

I felt quite persecuted and confused because it was like he was so resentful of me and I had no idea where it came from, it was sudden.

Yes, he did get treatment, it was very bad depression that incapacitated him and he was crying all the time and not wanting to do anything or see anyone. He is having counselling and medication now and has returned to work after 8 weeks off sick. The medication helps to a degree because he was able to go back to work and has a good deal more stability but he seems emotionally to be a total zombie and just want to be on his own.

He did ask for my help when he was ill and off work and I helped look after him and sort his doctors appointments and things, and he has said sorry to me, that it was not my fault, that it was his illness talking and that he had loved me very much and I was a great partner but he also says his love for me is gone and he's confused but just doesn't feel it anymore sad

It seemed strange that this just evaporated so suddenly from one minute to the next. I feel, if I am honest, that deep down he does somehow blame me. He seems to just be totally disconnected.

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 19:46:25

I'd like to think that he got ill and his reaction to the illness was to do all these things - rather than thinking that he didn't love me as much as I thought and when he saw me as a financial burden he just decided to dump and run and blame it all on me.

I know no one can tell me which is which, or maybe it is a bit of both and I became less appealing when he thought he might have to downsize his car, but I just feel so betrayed after moving for him, loving him so much and believing for years that he felt the same. I honestly thought I had his lifelong loyalty and commitment.

OiledBegg Sat 12-Sep-15 19:50:56

Hi, I have no real advice but I am going through the same thing. My partner suddenly became depressed about two months ago and pushed me away saying I was too good for him he didn't deserve me he couldn't be the man I needed. We got back together though after a few days space. Last weekend the same thing happened again and he went back to his place in Tuesday and I haven't spoken to him since. He's been like a different person recently. He started citalopram two weeks ago which has made him even more jumbled up. He told me it was over, now I don't know whether to try to reach out to him, call him for a casual chat or just leave things completely. Such a minefield.
Anyway I am thinking of you, PM me if you want!

BertieBotts Sat 12-Sep-15 19:54:32

TBH I don't think that his behaviour does sound like depression, it sounds like the textbook relationship of a cocklodger.

Whirlwind romance, with a massively quick push to "serious" status - check.
Huge sacrifices needed from you to "invest" into the relationship early on - check.
Isolation of you.
Him expecting you to take on his debts. Doesn't matter that you were happy to - he never should have expected you to. Wasn't he embarrassed?
You working loads - WTF - despite being the one with the child AND the one whose business had gone under AND not the one who had actually had the debts happen to them. While he made NO effort to increase his own income.

"^I had supported him through his debt and his illness and accepted his inability to assist in tackling our financial problems and I would always hve been financially better off without him - yet he was somehow blaming me completely for a situation i was in because of him.^"

- Yep. Because he was a cocklodger. Nothing to do with depression. He might have been depressed as well, I mean, there's nothing that says that a cocklodging arse can't be depressed, but his depression DID NOT cause him to act that way, he had you hooked in right from the start.

I'm sorry that you have been tricked sad They are extremely good at hooking into that wonderful empathy and generosity and warmth that you so obviously have but his motivations were never genuine.

NuckyS Sat 12-Sep-15 20:02:55

I can only offer my own experience, but I found that I became a prisoner in my own head. I couldn't communicate anything to my DW about this, and everything was such a treadmill (work, commuting, DCs, finance, housework).

It is possible that he would not have treated you like this without this illness. However, it sounds like have been through a great deal with him, and have been blamed for everything, so I find it difficult to wholeheartedly excuse everything because of depression.

How do you feel yourself? It is very easy for those who have seen depression at close quarters to slip into it themselves.

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 20:05:52

Bertie, I know all that sounds a certain way but at the same time there were joint sacrifices and changes to be made to live together and be together. For him it meant paying for a bigger house and supporting me for a year after job loss, taking on parenting DC (which he did with all his time, heart and energy) and he was a hard worker who was there day in, day out, reliable, loving and kind.

I don't think he was at all a cocklodger, but more unable to cope with stress and problems other than to close his eyes and hope it would go away.

To be honest, until the point he left me I believed his problems to be mine and mine to be his and if there was debt or a problem we tackled it was always what we said anyway as the commitment was to be a team for life.

I suppose all the things I have written have left me a bit flabberghasted because I was a bit like "hang on mate, I have made you ill? I was trying to get you to sort the debts out for ages and it was you who wouldn't do anything about it".

I just felt like he was a diferrent person when he got depressed in that he turned it all outwards onto me and it felt unfair.

NuckyS Sat 12-Sep-15 20:10:07

As I said, please don't take seriously any thought that this was your fault. Even if I take the most sympathetic look possible from his side, you were both in it together and working towards the same things. It doesn't sound like you dumped too much on him or expected too much - you were just getting through life.

The reason it seems unfair is cos it is unfair.

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 20:11:54

Than you Nucky.

Some of the things you have said have been as he has described it. He says everything is a monumental effort. He can't face the dishes or his laundry or work or me or emotional conversations or anything at all. It's a bit like he just gave up and can only cope with the minimal.

I have to say that when he got the depression, it took a good few months for us to realise that was what it was. At first we called it stress, then burnout, then he needed a holiday and it was hard (because he was so inherently stable) for him to come to terms with the fact he had depression. I don't think he even believed depression was a real thing until it happenned to him.

He worked very hard to not let it affect me and he kept just saying he was okay and he loved me and tried to be the best StepDad / Partner and so it was only rally on the day he left that he unleashed into this angry / horrible person. I feel to some degree he was keeping a lid on it nd just exploded but he really never talked to me until after the fact about how bad he felt. He kept it inside as he said he didn't want to be a burden to me and he said he was worried if he told me all the thoughts and feelings he was having that I wouldn't love him anymore.

I guess I just struggle with why he can't seem to even remember how important "us" once was to him and he's slipped into a place where he just had to get away from all responsibility and he didn't care at all that he was walking out on me, or about trying to work through it.

Seemed like he just gave up on me and our life so easily.

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 20:16:17

Thanks again Nucky. I have really struggled with feeling like I am to blame for him being ill.

I know me losing my job put pressure on him, and people are telling me this kind of thing is normal and the give and take partners go through in supporting each other in a life together but I do feel completely worried that I didn't see he wasn't coping. He just didn't talk to me about how he was feeling and how worried he was.

I haven't got depression myself, I've been through a lot of stress and thanks so much for asking but I've worked very hard to keep healthy and strong for DC and have taken good care of myself.

I think I just want to feel a bit more like I can forgive myself, or not feel like he didn't love me.

I always thought for someone to stop loving you it either took a long time of feelings slowly eradicating or it took doing something wrong - I never expected it would happen overnight in the snap of his fingers and a big part of me really hopes it is the depression that made him lose the love he had for me so quickly.

NuckyS Sat 12-Sep-15 20:19:48

It honestly sounds from your last post like textbook 'man-with-depression'. Again, taking his illness at face value.

It's horrible, but I can't in all honesty say that there will be a 'good' outcome in this. It is a relationship-killer.

I think the best you can do now is make sure that you are OK and remain so, for DC and your own sake. Sorry I can't offer anything better x

NuckyS Sat 12-Sep-15 20:21:07

I don't think you have anything to forgive yourself for. It's just a horrible thing.

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 20:24:44

Thanks Nucky. I know it's not a perfect answer that will ever give me a happy ending, and leaving did actually make his depression significantly worse as he was not signed off work or treated until ater he'd done that, so i hope that this helps me to know that I wasn't making him depressed. I really love him and would never want to hurt him.

I can live with "he got ill" as a reason, sad as it is, at least it is better than "he didn't love you enough to stick by you when you needed him".

I'd really hate it to be the latter sad

NuckyS Sat 12-Sep-15 20:27:44

You didn't make him depressed - please believe me, it doesn't work like that.

Please take care of yourself. Thinking of you x

littlegreenbox Sat 12-Sep-15 20:28:26

Thank you xxx

Really brough a tear to my eye of relief.

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