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I love him but he's never happy

(107 Posts)
PressForPancakes Tue 26-Sep-17 11:01:35

I love my DP very much. I'm 30s, he's 40s. We've been together for nearly five years, no children.

He suffers from clinical depression on and off. His family are very negative people and he seems to have been raised to have an extremely cynical view of the world, which makes me sad. I wish I could inject some magic into him.

He is kind and has a good heart. He'd do anything for anyone. We aren't well off, but sometimes, when we have been on our way out to dinner or a pub, he has walked past a homeless person and given them £100 or whatever he had in his pockets and offered to book them into a hotel.

He currently seems to be going through another bout of depression and is taking ADs as well as seeking help through the NHS. The thing is, nothing is ever right. I try to support him emotionally, as well as with his work and interests and dreams, but he says that he feels he is just a 'suppprting role' in my life. He wasn't ready to buy a house together or get married a year or so ago (he has his own properties) so I bought my own flat. He isn't happy with this arrangement and says that he feels like a 'paying guest' and says he wants a garden, that he misses having a garden. I found us an allotment but I don't think it's the same. He says that he feels he's just 'going along with things' but I involve him in everything I can and always try to find a compromise we agree on. Except six months down the line, he'll then say that actually he wasn't happy with that and it wasn't really what he wanted to do.

It's been like this throughout our whole relationship and I find myself wondering what I could do to ever make him happy. Sometimes he talks about children and thinks they will make him happy, but he doesn't seem to realise that I don't feel secure enough with him for us to start a family. He thinks I don't want children. Actually, he seems to blame me for a lot of his unhappiness in some form or another.

I've suggested we break up several times but he says he doesn't want that, that we need to work on things. I used to think it was me and that I was the problem but as time goes on, I wonder if he is just not able to be truly happy with anyone under any circumstances.

I don't know if he really loves me, though he claims to and he is very good to me. I want him to be enthusiastic about me and about us and our lives together, not down in the mouth about it all. Sometimes we have such fun and adventures, but this seems to be increasingly far and few between.

This morning I suggested again that we break up but he just looked very sad and said he didn't want that, that we had to work on things. He asked me if I wanted him to 'go away', like he'd done something bad. sad

I love him and can't imagine a life without him, but I also can't imagine plodding on in this Eeyore fashion where everything is just 'ok' for the rest of my life.

I don't know what to do. I just want him to be happy, whether it's with or without me. sad

tellitlikeitispls Tue 26-Sep-17 11:07:08

You aren't getting a single thing out of this relationship are you? Sometimes, I'm afraid, love is not enough flowers

oldmacdonalde471 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:11:45

Sorry you're feeling like this OP flowers

Could you try and inject some spontaneity into your lives? Maybe sort out a picnic to surprise your DP, or go to a museum or a park.

However, I feel that you can only try so much to make your relationship work and you will have to be prepared to walk away if things don't improve.

ChicRock Tue 26-Sep-17 11:16:23

People can have diagnosed depression and also be a total arsehole.

A lot of what you've described is arsehole behaviour.

I can't see what you actually get from this relationship. I can see plenty of what he gets though.

If you decide to persevere, be careful he doesn't suck all the joy and life out of you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 26-Sep-17 11:18:49

What do you get out of this relationship?. From what I read its nothing. Be honest with yourself here; have you also tried to rescue and or save him from his own personal demons?.

You are not responsible for his happiness, only your own. I do not think he actually wants your help and or support; not that what you have tried here has made any difference anyway. Its not your fault he is the ways he is, you did not make him this way. He is being selfish by not letting you go and instead blames you for his unhappiness.

His behaviours are not altruistic in intent, its all done for show and aren't I a good person type mentality. Street angel, house devil may be a good description of him. What he shows to the outside world is an image that does not tally with the self that he shows you. You've seen what he is really like.

You still have a choice re him and you have the choice to walk away from him for good. He will not give you what you want and you cannot make his life better for him; only he can do that and from what I have read too, he does not want to change.

bookwormsforever Tue 26-Sep-17 11:20:03

Totally disagree with olemacdonald. Why should OP spend yet more time trying to make her dh happy? Bet he never does anything like that for her.

So, OP, he blames you for his unhappiness, he's got a totally negative view of things, he makes you unhappy

You can't fix him.
You can't make him happy.
You don't have to stay with him.
This doesn't have to be the rest of your life.

He sounds exhausting and very hard work. Sounds like he's suckng the life out of you without taking responsibility for his own feelings or actions. Manipulative and PA.

Sounds like your relationship has run its course.

StigmaStyle Tue 26-Sep-17 11:20:56

He can't help being depressive, but I think it's a big problem that he won't take responsibility for himself. He ums and aahs and is indecisive so you have to make decisions, then he's not happy. Classic way to put everything onto you and never have to step up and take a good loom at himself.

Giving a homeless person £100 is wonderful and kind in one way, but it also strikes me as another aspect of a person with little sense of responsibility or ability to plan or manage life sensibly. If you don't have much money you just can't do stuff like that once you have DC, a mortgage etc. But he's keeping himself in a kind of child-like zone where he never has to think about taking full responsibility for his own life. Then his unhappiness is your fault because you're like a parent figure who makes everything happen.

You might find this book really helpful: Depression Fallout

I know it's very hard to leave someone who is ineffectual and childlike, but "nice". I do think he won't change though, and ending it should be one of your options. Especially if you do want DC.

StigmaStyle Tue 26-Sep-17 11:21:49

loom?! look!

TheSockGoblin Tue 26-Sep-17 11:24:18

Yea I tend to agree that having a mental health issue can quite happily co-exist with having a 'asshole' issue. The worst thing is the 'asshole' issue can often be covered up by using the mental health issue as an excuse - perfect excuse to be unreasonable and then claim you can't help it.

He sounds very draining, and also like he wants your life revolving around him - point in case he wasn't happy to buy a house together but isn't happy you bought on your own.

PressForPancakes Tue 26-Sep-17 11:27:15

He can't help being depressive, but I think it's a big problem that he won't take responsibility for himself. He ums and aahs and is indecisive so you have to make decisions, then he's not happy. Classic way to put everything onto you and never have to step up and take a good loom at himself.

Thank you, Stigma - I do think there's a lot of this at play. He always asks me, 'what do you think?' about decisions he has to make. I used to give my opinion but I now tend to tell him he has to do what he thinks is best.

Atilla - I appreciate your response but I feel I have to say that street angel, home devil is absolutely not a description of him. He's a genuinely good and kind person inside the house and out.

StigmaStyle Tue 26-Sep-17 11:33:09

I think someone can seem good and kind in their actions and manner, but actually be incredibly selfish in a way that makes life very hard for you, but makes it hard to pin down what they've "done wrong" IYSWIM. And he probably can't help it. But just because he may be well-intentioned doesn't mean this is necessarily working for you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 26-Sep-17 11:42:05

"I appreciate your response but I feel I have to say that street angel, home devil is absolutely not a description of him. He's a genuinely good and kind person inside the house and out".

That's as maybe and he may be good to people on the streets But again this shows a lack of any real adult responsibility on his part or to be an adult. He is not kind to you if he uses hang dog eyes on you when you tell him yet again that you want to split up.

This comment of yours also resonated:-

He asked me if I wanted him to 'go away', like he'd done something bad.

I bet his parents said similar to him as well. He has simply transferred all that from them onto you and expects you to parent him so he does not have to make any decisions. If the decisions you make are wrong then he can and will blame you for it.

How much of his behaviours are due to him actually being abusive and how much of this is due to depressive tendencies?. You do not know.

You cannot fix him, only he can do that and he seems to be quite happy as he with the roles he has assigned to you.

SandyY2K Tue 26-Sep-17 11:44:25

Give yourself a mental timeline and see if things improve. If need to end it.

Don't waste your time and lose hope of having children.

You don't need his permission to end it.

Mental health or not...its strange that he's happy to have his own properties...but not so happy you bought a flat.

That's selfish thinking.

RubyWinterstorm Tue 26-Sep-17 11:44:33

you cannot fix him, or make him happy.

Not because you are not great, but that sort of thing has to come from within.

Giving £100 to a homeless person is something which my DH did when he was in a bad place with anxiety and depression, and it did not help him. I could not help him either, he has had to do that all by himself. Of course I was there for him, but I also made sure I had my own friends and support network and was not completely reliant on him (financially and emotionally)

Your partner sounds as if his bad habits are now so embedded in his behaviour (blaming others, being negative) it will be hard to change.

You have had the good sense to buy a flat for yourself, and get on with your own life and I think that is the way forward.

Don't put your own life on hold waiting for him to get that "injection of magic and zest for life".

With my DH, when things were bad I went out a lot with the kids, we had funny nd he'd feel sad he had missed out. That kind of made him aware of what he was missing out on. I was very determined we would not put all family life on hold just for him.

Maybe I sound unsympathetic, but I think you (one) can really get bogged down by this kind of thing.

So keep your own life, friends, flat, and fun. And if he wants to join, great, but don't put your life in the slow lane for him.

Justbreathing Tue 26-Sep-17 11:49:49

being the partner of someone who suffers like this is heartbreaking.

I stuck it out for 10 years, in the end I resented him, but god I wish he could have got better
the point is, there really isnt a "get better" part, this will be part of him for his life, and he has to deal with that one way or another.
You cannot help him, you cannot save him.
I lost myself completely in the relationship, gave up on friends/a life/ a family and that's where the resentment came from

it's a tough road living with someone with depression. and it very rarely gets better. I feel for you.

Even now I feel immense guilt that I gave up, but he was EA towards the end and that contributed to the destruction. I don't think that was the real him, but he just couldnt cope and neither could I.

He is getting better now, I also realised I enabled a lot of the behaviour

Justbreathing Tue 26-Sep-17 11:53:52

also he has to find it in himself to get better. he cannot rely on you for that.
and though this sounds like a harsh thing to say, but from experience the mental illness made him a very selfish man. I know he was scared and couldnt cope, but the actions that came from that were selfish.

JigglyTuff Tue 26-Sep-17 11:54:08

What honestly do you get out of the relationship? Why exactly do you 'love him very much'?

Does he make you feel happy? Supported? Loved? Respected? Exciting, interesting, fun?

Doesn't sound like it

PressForPancakes Tue 26-Sep-17 12:13:29

I suppose I wonder if I'm expecting too much from a relationship. I just want him to be excited about something. To tell me I look gorgeous. To tell me he's happy with something, unprompted.

He's been very supportive of me over the years. I have bipolar disorder so I'm not always easy to be with, though I've been mostly well over the past couple of years. He's done so many kind and selfless things for me. I'm very confused. I don't really know what to expect from a relationship.

Justbreathing Tue 26-Sep-17 12:22:12

it's such a tough situation to be in. no one wants to abandon someone.

I remember thinking, if he had cancer he would get better or die (simplistic I know) but what we had felt like purgatory.

You can only know what YOU want from a relationship, and if you arent getting it then you have to be honest with him and yourself.

You cannot sacrifice your own life for someone else. It just doesn't work out in the long term

Rainbowqueeen Tue 26-Sep-17 12:26:06

So when he says he doesn't want to break up he wants to work on things, does he ever say what he wants to work on or what he thinks he should do differently?

Sometimes you just can't work on things, the incompatibilities are too great. It sounds like that here. In your shoes I would either make the break now or say you want a break with no contact for 6 months. Give yourself that time away to clear your head and really think about what you want and whether this relationship is healthy and sustainable long term.

It sounds like you want children but not with him. That sounds like a deal breaker. If that's truly what you want you should move on.

StigmaStyle Tue 26-Sep-17 12:27:53

I think you're maybe expecting too little, nit too much. You're entrenched in a "parent" role where you have to look after him, make decisions and carry the can, and the love you get back from that will never make you feel loved in a romantic way. You know what you're missing but you can see he's not capable of it. That doesn't mean you just have to settle for it.

FizzyGreenWater Tue 26-Sep-17 12:37:49

If you stay with him, it's likely you'll miss out on the chance of a family.

Looksprettybad Tue 26-Sep-17 12:50:12

Like stigma said, you are in a parent or perhaps co-dependent role. Do you generally put other peoples needs first, even at the expense or your own? It's something I'm having to work on myself!

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 26-Sep-17 16:01:00

If he would do anything for anyone then what is he doing for you.

Everything that he says he wants in someway is about you doing stuff for him.
When he says he wants to work on things he actually means you must work on things while he sits back and doesn't take any responsibility

Sadlady77 Tue 26-Sep-17 16:10:59

I'm so sorry you feel like this. It's a very lonely place to be. My OH is very negative also, and was brought up by negative parents. I spent the best part of our time together (17 years) trying to make him happy. I am so drained from it all and am making plans to leave as I know he actually doesn't want to be happy.

It's good that you still love him, so maybe there is hope for you two.

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