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concerns about relationship?(8 Posts)
Some concerns about my partner and relationship. We've been together several years, ups and downs but generally very happy, most of my friends envy us. but things arent always as they seem are they? He is very low at the moment, he thinks it is depression. He's had it on and off for years but generally drags himself out of it. At it's worst (currently) he has frequent suicidal thoughts/ ideation. He is going to court later this year (he did the offence, it was bloody stupid- I won't say what it is for obvious reasons but it wasn't any kind of violence or theft, it's nothing that gives me any concern for my safety or anything) and although it is very unlikely he will get a custodial - the usual is a suspended sentence at most, he at least in part is thinking he might get sent down, and the pressure of this is weighing heavily.
He isn't keen on medication; he has been referred for counselling but this probably won't start for another couple of months. Obviously in the meantime he is struggling on.
I feel heartless but part of me doesn't want to know that he's thinking of killing himself. Actually no, that's not it - obviously I want to know he feels like that. But (as I already suffer from anxiety) I am now constantly worrying that he will do it. I have never been suicidal so I know I can't really understand how he's feeling. I also know he has no one else to talk to but me, but it feels like a heavy burden (and I have quite a lot of my own shit going on too).
But then I think I must be wrong, we're in a relationship and I should support him, I should be the one he shares his fears and worries, and dark thoughts with, no?
There's also the physical side of our relationship. Last year he admitted to a porn addiction which had been going on since long before we met. The entire time we'd been together I thought he wasn't that interested in sex - our sex life was probably once a week/ fortnight on average. When all the porn stuff came out, we decided to pause that side of our relationship, which I was completely in agreement with. When we re started, there were no issues and it seemed better than ever. However I have noticed a few times recently he's said he feels that it's too infrequent. There's a couple of reasons for this, firstly I'm perimenopausal so my periods are increasingly more frequent and last longer, apologies for tmi but the flow is heavy so I wouldn't feel happy doing anything at that time. I have spoken to several GPs at my practice, and was told this is normal and there's nothing that can be done. I'm generally well in myself, albeit slightly anaemic so I understand this. The other issue is we're both not comfortable DTD with my DC in the house (I get that kids understand their parents have sex, but this isn't their parents, this is their mum and her bloke, so not really the same), so we go to his house, which is only about 15 mins away from me. However my DC are of an age where they can be left overnight, but not all the time (they are coming up to exams etc and I feel I need to be present as much as possible, especially as I work FT in the week and occasionally at weekends). When DC were younger they used to go to their father's EOW, but that no longer happens, I think the last time both of them went was over a year ago, the younger has been for the occasional overnight but not since October. I also have to go away with work overnight about once every 4-6 weeks.
All of which means I really only can stay about 1 night at week at his, and therefore our window is that eve/the next day. Or, if I'm on my period, not even then. He says he feels pressured (no pressure from me) because he knows it's then or not for a week, frustrated but also of course has the depression mentioned above and also some concerns re his physical appearance. In terms of initiating intimacy, I'd say it's broadly 50/50, but that I've never rejected him, whereas there's been a few times, most recently at the weekend where he has essentially said he'd rather not.
I feel between a rock and a hard place, I can't easily make our sex life spontaneous because we don't live together, and I have a job, a house and children to juggle. Spending more time at his, whilst it might help that problem, means I will feel guilty about my DC. This isn't a LTB thread, I love him and see our future very much together. But I don't know how much I should be worrying about this stuff, or whether I need to do more?
So he's committed a serious crime and has had a porn addiction since before you met him, is there anything actually worthy about him, sorry OP but he sounds a complete nightmare to have as a partner, I think he's very lucky to have you stand by him and I don't think you should be worrying about what else you can do to make his life happier, what's he doing for you, not a lot by the sounds of it apart from putting unrealistic pressure to have sex on you, nah, sorry, depression or not, I'd be seriously wondering if I want to continue in this one sided relationship.
It all sounds extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional. If you really do think your future is with this man then I would argue that your relationship bar is far too low to begin with.
Is this relationship really going anywhere or have you just settled for this because you think this is all you deserve?
What do you love about this man? Are you really confusing love with co-dependency here?. You are not responsible for him and his actions.
We have very similar views on life, the world etc. Intellectually we're well matched. We have similar interests. He is funny, thoughtful, generous in all senses of the word, caring. He has always felt like a kindred spirit. He brings a great deal to my life, is always supportive and encouraging of me. We are very much equals. He always has my back, and vice versa.
The porn issue...I knew he used it, I didn't know the extent, or (perhaps naively) that people were addicted to it. I understand a little more now. He gave it up completely several months ago (had already decided this of his own volition, no input from me) so I'm happy that isn't an ongoing issue.
The criminal matter was stupid, he knows it. It happened before we met, it's really not something he is likely to do again (previously clean record), and is very unlikely (from what his lawyer said when we met him) to result in prison, worst case is a suspended sentence. That doesn't make it right, of course, far from it.
The suicidal thoughts thing resonated with me. I had a partner once who was the same, and the stress and anxiety was absolutely awful. Of course, I felt terribly sorry for him and worried about him, but it was very hard to take on the burden of it all. (I didn't tell anyone else because I didn't want them to have to take it on.) It really was a total nightmare.
It's not something I've faced before, he has not been at such a low point up to now in our time together. And yes, for various reasons I can't discuss with friends/ family so it is only me that knows how he's feeling, which is tough.
I have a huge amount of sympathy for you, op. I found it too difficult to continue a relationship with someone like that - the worry and guilt (at not being able to cope with his depression) was absolutely crushing. Eventually I walked away.
He is still with us, perfectly ok as far as I can make out.
I am hoping this episode of depression will pass, my understanding is that whilst he has felt similarly in the past, it has been a number of years since he was this low. He is in a period of change, new job as well as things I mentioned in my OP, and feeling quite isolated which I'm sure doesn't help.
One thing I would say is I don't feel responsible for his well being - I wouldn't stay simply through fear of what he might do etc, I am with him because I want to be and generally he enriches my life, not through guilt or fear and I know in most cases (thankfully) thinking about suicide is not the same as acting upon it.
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