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Partner with depression and anxiety

(26 Posts)
Jackeve Sun 12-Mar-17 08:26:35

My partner has depression and anxiety and it's destroying our relationship.
We've been together nearly two years but don't live together or have children together (we are both in our 40's). He has a stressful job and a young child he has access to every other weekend and once he's given all his time and energy to them he never has time for me. I feel like I'm right at the bottom of his priorities. I basically feel like I only fit into his life when his mood allows it. He is on antidepressants and sleeping meds so I never seen him in the week as he's always too exhausted (he's got the time and energy to go to the gym twice a week). At the most we get to spend two days/evenings a month together which in my eyes is not a relationship (we live 1/2 hr apart by the way) and even then I come home feeling unloved, pushed away and like he doesn't care.
When we met he made me aware of his anxiety and depression and the fact he'd had a traumatic childhood in a family who didn't show any affection but I adored him and was confident that I could break down this barriers but it just hasn't happened.
He tells me that even though he finds it hard to show affection he does love me but it's not enough for me. In the time we have been together he has only once complimented me on my appearance and never makes the first move to hug and kiss (unless he's in the mood for sex). If I kiss him he acts all uncomfortable and never makes eye contact. We are just so opposite as I'm a really affectionate person so this is destroying my self esteem and I'm fed up with feeling unwanted. I've tried so hard to support him and make allowances for his depression and anxiety but I've had enough now. I deserve so much more but how do I walk away from him when I love him so much and I know none of this is his fault 😢

fiorentina Sun 12-Mar-17 08:29:43

That doesn't sound a good relationship for you and his behaviour isn't sounding very lovable or in any way a supportive partner to be honest?

As heartbreaking as it maybe it sounds like you need to be building your life without him, you already spend the majority of the time essentially single?

Jackeve Sun 12-Mar-17 08:49:48

You are right, loveable definitely isn't a word I'd use for him! I think he struggles to let anyone get too close, almost puts up an emotional barrier. He isn't really a people person if I'm honest and shows no empathy for people and since I've met him I've wondered if there is more too it and he actually has some degree of aspergers. He blames his traumatic childhood for the way he is and the fact he had no counselling but his brother went through the same thing and is completely the opposite.
Our relationship and not seeing much of each other used to suit me as I work full time, study and have two children but just recently I wish I had someone to support me and nights do get lonely. I guess I just want a normal relationship..whatever that is ?! x

Hacpac Sun 12-Mar-17 09:05:55

Like you say, it's not really his fault but you made the mistake that lots of women make, thinking love will conquer all and you can change long standing character traits which is almost impossible.

I would take steps to bring this to an end if it is not making you happy. It's not going to change so it's either more of the same or you take control of the situation. A lot of people end relationships when they still love the person. It's hard but possible.

Chloe65 Sun 12-Mar-17 09:25:29

I have made the mistake of staying with someone similar
I was married for 22 years and in an abusive relationship unfortunately...(affairs,drinking) and so on...when it was good it was good and when it was bad...you get the picture, so when I met my currant partner a couple of years after divorcing they were so different I initially thought I couldnt have been happier....Unfortunately it was really a case of into the frying pan and out of the fire.
My partner suffers from anxiety and depression (Im not going to go into all the details as this is your story and not mine).but what I will say is that you need to walk away now whilst you can.
My partner is dependant on me and he would struggle if I left (not financially but emotionally). He has managed to make me feel anxious myself and my life has taken a different turn...Its all about him and his needs and the life choices we have made (where we live, what we do)...Im very unhappy and quite tearful writing this, Im trying to muster up the strength to leave but hate upsetting him.He isnt a bad man but Im living a life through his choices so as not to upset him...
You are already unhappy and dissatisfied...Please think hard...You are young and have the chance to find the right partner for you.

Hacpac Sun 12-Mar-17 09:52:20

Chloe, you can't live life worrying that if you leave them, they might be upset. Everyone gets upset when a relationship ends. The advice you are giving here applies to you. You must be relatively young too (I'm guessing at the 65 being the year born). Do not let what is happening to you to continue. One life and all that. You have had enough misery already by the sounds of your first marriage.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Sun 12-Mar-17 09:55:11

It really is time to put yourself first and find a man who puts your feelings before his own. .
My ex had depression and stress but used it as an excuse to be a twat when it suited him. Walking on egg shells is no way to live.

Chloe65 Sun 12-Mar-17 16:21:13

Yes...its very similar to you Jackeve but Ive hung around for almost 6 years and am now plucking up the courage to move forward.
As Hacpac said its a personality trait and yes I did think love would conquer all, but it doesnt...6 years on and his anxieties and insecurities mean that the life we discussed were just words to him...He refuses to move forward...but doesnt want to be without me....So basically my dreams and plans for the future are never going to happen....(he said wait a few more years)...he's 57 and im 52...
Move on Jackeve....be the strong independant woman you clearly are.

Chops2016 Sun 12-Mar-17 16:58:59

It sounds to me like this relationship is not working.

I've suffered from depression, im still recovering from it. I find it difficult to be affectionate when I'm on a downer but my DH is very patient and understanding and supports me through those times.

If his behaviour is upsetting you and you don't feel you can handle his depression any more then leaving him would be the kindest thing you can do. Reminding him of how his depression is making you feel will only make him feel worse.

Also, the gym is brilliant for fighting depression! What ever you do please don't make him feel guilty for going. I do zumba once/twice a week and it makes such a difference to me.

Is he tackling his depression in any other ways? Counselling? If he isn't coping well but isn't seeking help and tackling it I'd have less patience for him.

Chops2016 Sun 12-Mar-17 17:06:34

I disagree with the poster implying DH should be putting her feelings before his... Depression is hell. You can't just snap out of it and act "normal" to please people around you.. nor should they expect you to. Its an illness. You can't help it.

Chloe65 Sun 12-Mar-17 17:16:34

I agree, depression is an illness and you can love and support someone as much as you want but things may not change and you have to prepare yourself to accept that your expectations may not be met...

NotJuliaRoberts Sun 12-Mar-17 17:52:02

dump the bastard

Northernpowerhouse Sun 12-Mar-17 17:57:42

I think there is a big difference between supporting a partner who develops depression/anxiety in a long term relationship and going into a relationship with someone knowing that they are already dealing with it.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 12-Mar-17 18:09:50

It sounds like a completely miserable relationship! Honestly, just dire. I don't know why you are hesitating to end it?

Chloe65 Sun 12-Mar-17 18:16:52

To be fair its impossible to know what its like until you're in the relationship.
The problem is (as with us) my upbeat, naturally happy disposition kept us afloat. He thrived of it for a while and I ignored the later signs thinking it was just two older people who are already set in their ways, personalities a little different etc (opposites attract and all that)...It wasn't until later he admitted to anxiety/depression.

Loloseagreen Sun 12-Mar-17 18:23:24

I'm in a similar situation. Have tried to leave my partner of 8 month several times because I just don't feel I can cope with his constant negativity. He can be really lovely but I feel drained when he's around.I feel very guilty as I know it's not his fault but it's so hard to be around someone who is so unhappy.

JoJoSM2 Sun 12-Mar-17 18:29:35

A relationship is a two-way street. You need to be happy in it too. I wouldn't carry on making excuses and staying in this 'relationship'. I'm sorry about the interted commas but meeting twice a month doesn't sounds like much of a relationship tbh.

Hermonie2016 Sun 12-Mar-17 18:32:42

He could have aspergers or be emotionally avoidant but the result is the same.You are not getting enough back from the relationship.

At the start he may have been putting in more effort but it does not come naturally to him and is really unlikely to change especially if he's in his 40s.

You can not love him 'better'.It's your choice to tolerate a draining relationship.

YolandiFuckinVisser Sun 12-Mar-17 18:42:14

If I were you I would end it now. You are not happy, he is depressed. It is really really hard to be in a relationship with a person suffering from depression, if you have never experienced depression yourself it is so difficult to understand.

My xH was depressed when DS was a toddler, he drank and skived work, had a relationship going on with another woman, spent money we didn't have, drove his car while drunk and talked about suicide relentlessly. It was a dark time and I would never go back there if I had any choice available to me.

deckoff Sun 12-Mar-17 18:54:47

I opened this thinking I could possibly relate - but my (depressed and autistic) dh is very affectionate and loving, just broken down into his core in a quiet way which I'm worried will never be healed. What you're describing doesn't sound so much like depression or ASD to me as it does something else. It could well be trauma or attachment issues as those affects different children differently.

However whatever the reason, you have a right to protect yourself and importantly your kids, this is no role-model relationship for them and they can't enjoy seeing you so miserable?

Have you talked to him about all this and how it makes you feel? TBH it sounds like you don't have much of a "relationship" anyway, and ending it shouldn't be that much of a change.

peppatax Sun 12-Mar-17 19:40:22

OP I am on the other side of this and I'm the party with issues. I've already had one marriage breakdown as a result of this and now my current relationship is rocky and it's cyclical in that when I have episodes it's usually triggered by a relationship difficulty which never fully recovers as I become anxious and depressed. Then repeat.

I know everyone has MH issues manifesting differently but the key thing for me is that it is never through isolation and pushing people away. If anything, I'm the one that pushes to be with people when I'm low but it's hard for them because I can get very angry too so understandably they want space.

Only you know if you want to be in this relationship still. DP assures me he still does but I am sure at times he has wobbles and doubts it. The thought of that is too awful for me to bear.

What would your DP think if he knew you felt like this?

sonjadog Sun 12-Mar-17 19:50:19

I have depression and anxiety and tbh, there are periods where it makes being in a relationship with me hard work. But I do not expect my partner to carry me through these periods. I need help when I am in a depressive spiral and I need to go get that help and work at improving my mental health. That is my responsibility. I read a lot of people on here saying that their partner is depressed but won´t do anything. To me, that is actually a deal breaker. They can´t help being depressed, but they are choosing making their partner deeply unhappy and draining them over getting help to get better. To me that is deeply selfish behaviour and can be called as such.

crazyhead Sun 12-Mar-17 20:15:56

Sonjadog's post is spot on. Many people live with mental health and physical health problems and don't use them as an excuse for how they treat other people. if I were you I'd write a list of what you'd really want from a relationship and ask your objectively how many points this guy fills

Coffeelatteperson Mon 13-Mar-17 18:42:02

Dated someone with social anxiety, never again. I must admit I was a br cynical by the end in that it seemed quite linked to fairly passive- aggressive controlling behaviour ok his part. Just because someone is ill doesn't make them an angel or s good person.

You have one life, and I think if you finish with this man it will be like an emotional weight off your shoulders,

Coffeelatteperson Mon 13-Mar-17 18:44:24

Oh, and let me guess, do the problems mean you have to basically "stay in and have sex" on your twice monthly meets rather than a nice evening out?

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