Why Depressed Partners Push You Away (and What You Can Do)

At some point in everyone’s lifetime, someone close to us, such as a partner, experiences hardship or trying times. It can be frustrating and confusing why our partners push us away as they deal with depression. Sometimes we do the opposite of what our partner needs by smothering them in an effort to help. This response can be harmful, which is why it’s important to understand why they push you away and what to do about it.

Depressed partners push those closest to them away as a defense mechanism for various reasons, like feeling more comfortable alone or not having the energy to keep up with you. It’s situational, just like your response should be. By being empathetic and trying to understand the situation can help further educate yourself on an appropriate response. 

As a partner, we can become enablers or deepen the depression by not loving enough or too much. Sometimes our partners don’t realize they are becoming withdrawn. Everything is based on personal experience. And with a deepened understanding of why partners push away, we can figure out what to do.

Why They Push You Away

Sometimes depressed partners are unaware that they are withdrawing from those they love and what they care about. Whether they are aware or not, it boils down to several reasons that are easier to understand from their perspective than try and interpret them from a personal perspective.

Reasons Why:

–       Lack of energy

–       Loss of concentration

–       Feeling like a burden

–       Embarrassment

–       Mood Swings

–       Scared of hurting someone or being hurt

Forced energy and focus are among the top reasons why someone with depression becomes withdrawn.

This can lead to mood swings when someone who is sad forces themselves to appear happy. It can only last so long, so it can appear like a mood swing or a personality issue.

This then triggers unpleasant thoughts about themselves, such as:

  • I wouldn’t want to be around myself right now, so why should they?
  • I am embarrassing myself and most likely them.
  • I am so frustrated. Why can’t I be normal!

It automatically results in no good solution for the person who is depressed because to be authentic to themselves would be a burden and bring others down. But to fake emotion is draining and hard.

Lack of Energy/Focus

Depression can suck the life out of someone, so managing what little energy they have is important in avoiding becoming more depressed. When around other depressed people, they may feel the expectation to contribute with conversation and action but don’t have the energy to do so.

Even if they don’t participate in the conversation, the stress and fear of looking uninterested while someone is talking is overwhelming and starts to drain more energy from them. This starts the vicious cycle of the person feeling bad about themselves.

Becoming a Burden/Bringing Everyone Down

For a partner to be authentic to themselves, they wouldn’t be chiming in all cherry to every conversation or activity. Most likely, they would be hesitant and worried about what they should say or do.

Alternatively, telling people that they’re down and unmotivated might be what is happening, but the responsibility for the party that he/she is telling might not be appropriate. They might try to fix things or be too positive. Or worse, they may be unsupportive and dismissive, causing the partner with depression to feel like they’re causing trouble and that everyone would be better off without them.

It’s Easier to Be Alone

Because of all the factors listed above, it’s just easier for the person to be alone. The anxiety and fear of being hurt or hurting someone else by becoming a burden go away. There’s no need to fake anything or force energy when you are alone.

What You Can Do

It’s common to want to feel like you should never leave them alone because of their current state and condition. You might want to smother them and try to make them feel as loved as possible.

These strong reactions can result in a worse situation because of the cycle that can occur above, about not being authentic, that results in forcing yourself to act happy and later feeling like a burden. The result becomes they push people away.

Below is a table that can help guide you to better responses.

SituationTypical ResponseAppropriate Response
They don’t want to do anything besides lay around the bed or the house all day. Someone might tell them that they’re not getting anything done or that you’ll help with everything they need to do if they just get out of the house.Don’t force the situation. Try to initiate lightly things they love doing without requiring too much effort. A build-up to bigger and bigger things is better.
They don’t want to talk about what’s making them sad. Trying to force it out is common because you may start to feel alone and out of the loop. Your job is not to solve it.Try to initiate other conversations mostly about the present. Bringing up the past (even if it’s positive memories) can sometimes make depressed people realize they are not where they used to be or where they are supposed to be.
They want to tell you what’s going on. You may feel the need to downplay the situation or be overly positive as a way of comforting them.Just try to listen. Say things like “you understand” or “that must be hard.” This is because if they could be positive, they would. And saying it’s not that bad makes them think you are discrediting their feelings.

It’s tough to be a partner and not to try and fix things. But sometimes, the more we try to fix a situation, the worse we can make it. It’s almost better to ride the storm if possible. But having said that, there is one more thing to consider, and that’s yourself.

Your Own Mental Health

The toughest part about the entire situation is managing your own health while also considering your partners. It can be draining and frustrating to constantly calculate your actions and words while also being true to yourself.

Depending on the longevity of the relationship and the seriousness of it plays a major factor. If you are married and have kids, there is more to the equation to consider. If this is a new relationship, then maybe it’s better to take a break and pick up at a time where your partner is healthy and ready to contribute. It also depends on the severity of the depression and whether it’s declining or getting better.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with a loved one who suffers from depression is hard on everyone, not just the person with the illness. It can be tough to play a supportive role where the reactions must be constantly thought out.

Sometimes a workable solution for the partner who is trying to be supportive is to consider having their own therapist or someone they can talk to because talking to their partner may not be the best idea. This would bring your partner back to that burden, feeling if they think you need to vent about your situation with them.

Empathy is the most important thing to remember, both for your partner and not being hard on yourself. There is no right and wrong. There is just trying to navigate a difficult situation with as much compassion as possible.

Written by Kasia Ciszewski, LPC on

Kasia is a licensed professional counselor servicing the Charleston area. She helps individuals heal, better understand their emotions, energize & become more aware of their inner strength. She specializes in helping teens, adults and seniors and has been able to regularly achieve impressive results for her clients throughout South Carolina. Instagram - Facebook - Pinterest - Twitter - Linkedin

69 thoughts on “Why Depressed Partners Push You Away (and What You Can Do)”

  1. My girlfriend started pulling away while she was dealing with a lot like taking care of her kids and mother, all while starting a new stressful job. Also, her daughter was seeing a therapist for things in her past, which put more pressure on my girlfriend. So she had a very bad month and I noticed her pulling away. I asked her if there was anything I could help with. We live 30 miles apart so over the phone she had asked for space to think and deal with her issues alone. So I gave her two weeks and texted her every two days to offer help and let her know am here. Then she started pushing me further away because I was trying to find out if she was ok. I asked to see her and she refused. She said not to come over and to stop communicating with her. At this point, I realized she had anxiety and depression. So I pressured her to talk to me on the phone. She told me to leave her alone and that the relationship was over. And made-up lack of communication as the reason why she ended things. It doesn’t make any sense because she was the one not communicating. So I send her a text every week with a photo of good memories or a thoughtful post. This would make her mad. This isn’t the way she used to act. What should I do? I love her and want to support her but she is unwilling to even try. I don’t know what to do at this point.

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    • I’m so sorry Gary. Of course, I don’t know the full story and I’m not sure what your girlfriend is going through but I would respect her wishes as difficult as that may be for you. She knows that you love her. She needs to figure herself out. I highly suggest that you seek some individual therapy for yourself. I imagine your heart is breaking and you need the same support you’re trying to give to her. Until she’s ready, she won’t be able to accept it into her life but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on yourself and that you can’t receive that support from someone such as a therapist or from other loved ones. A support system will be extremely valuable right now.

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      • Yes, my heart is feeling heavy and helpless. I do not understand. It feels like it happened overnight. We talked every day, all day long, and now nothing which hurts deeply. I will look into therapy. Should I keep trying to reach her every two weeks or stop? I miss her from the bottom of my heart. She did tell me she was dealing with anxiety and depression.

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        • If she asked for space, I would respect her request because it appears to only make her want to pull away from you the more you reach out to her. I know that you are trying to show her that you care for her but it’s having an adverse effect. While the situation with her might feel really uncertain and out of control, the one thing you can control is yourself and your healing process.

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        • I am going through this now. The man that I have reconnected with, was my high school boyfriend. He has mentioned his battle with depression, which I had empathy for because I too had battles with depression. I have learned to monitor mines, and know when it’s creeping in, so a do the work to not let it gain present. But I notice once the winter and the holiday season kicked in he pulled back. I was giving him his space, but that also was a trigger and he felt abandonment from me. We talked all day, now it’s barely a 10 min talk if that. This is very painful, but I am being aware of my well being, and constantly doing an ego check, and reminding myself this is not me, but something he’s dealing with, it would more than likely happen even if I wasn’t present. But I am keeping the window open for a turnaround after the new year, at the same time trying to make sure I do not place my own life in a holding pattern in the meantime.

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        • I am in almost the exact same situation as you Gary. My girlfriend is depressed and has pulled away from me. I’m completely lost at this point.

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          • I am in the same boat too, John. It feels paradoxical that someone who is going through a hard time would then also want to pull away from you as you are trying to comfort them. You start to question your own self-worth and wonder if you were being fooled when things were good…especially if it’s happened before. Read the advice from Kasia again and again. Recognize that your intentions can backfire if pressing too hard. Be patient with your girlfriend and yourself. Let yourself grieve the difficulties of being and loving an irrational human.

          • Man, I am going through this for the first time as well for about a week now and have been online searching for answers. My girlfriend of 6 months lives in Colombia. Three months ago I decided to pay to move her mother and her into a nicer place that was safer and I pay the rent essentially saving money as my monthly visits wouldn’t be in a hotel. We have had a loving relationship and my last visit there was the best of them all. We keep it simple and local and got along great we cried and professed our love upon my departure. A week after I left she was going through college finance problems that at that immediate time I couldn’t help her with and was becoming very stressed and decided to move back with her dad to her small hometown have her mother move out back into a cheaper place she could pay alone. At first, when she was telling me I kept asking why what are you doing and she told me it was easier for her to get a break from the stress and demands she had there. I asked her mother and she told me Her daughter would cry as her mom went to work 15 hours and many times would find her crying returning home. And her dad is home more often and had a cousin for a support system closer. After a day of talking to my girl and trying to convince her otherwise of the decision I finally gave in and asked where I’d it our leave our relationship and she said I don’t know. It through me through the roof as two weeks prior we had finally been able to live a normal life we dreamed about walking the dog, getting ice cream, going to local grocery, etc and we’re having an epic time. I even mentioned getting her a diamond ring and she said I would t need to do that s plastic ring and my proposal would be enough. Ugh. So a day or two after her decision was made of going to her father’s town suspending college I got mad and said well since you don’t know where our relationship is going and you’re simply leaving everything you might as well not talk to me (not realizing or researching that I feel this is a case of depression) I realize that was not a good move, but she then blocked me from all social media’s and phone and has sent me one email telling me now I don’t have to send money for rent her mom moves out and she has suspended school and is white her dad and she is still battling with many negative thoughts. First days last week I was sending pictures of us in an email but then stopped after I tried having my brother call she answered and said that she would contact me next week and she was very stressed. I asked her to call me via text email today but then regretted it after google has shown me this is a real state of depression leaving me confused snd helpless as I love her very much and want her pains to go away. What should I do within the next month.

        • Hope things are better for you Gary, im going through similar, very seldom had a fight but she has been going through ups and downs for a few years. Broke up 6 months ago, after 9 years together. Still a struggle for me. I hear she isnt doing too well and im totally helpless as we’re not talking

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        • My wife of 2 years and partner of 5 total just left to her home country for the same exact reason and asked for divorce saying that it would take too long for her to get help and there’s no promise that she would get back with me anyway. Me trying to show emotion makes her even more distant. She just blocked me from all social media and keeps looking for excuses to justify ending our marriage.
          I am devastated and going to therapy but it’s all so fresh and painful.
          We talked every day and enjoyed each other’s company by choice.
          What a terrible time it is for marriages/relationships!

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      • Ma’am same situation happening with me .My boyfriend who loves me so much not he is in depression and starts pushing me away from him and saying he’s life and future is over now, he doesn’t want to cure at all suggest me to marry someone else what I do ma’am ..I love him so much as I know he’s going through depression and anxiety and nothing else he even not picked up my phone call not recieving my messages .The main problem is we live in two different states . please help me ma’am .

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    • Gary, I can completely empathise and relate with your situation. I am going through a similar situation myself and hope you are coping better now. And thank you Kasia for your knowledge and insight into this type of situation which leaves you baffled, incredibly saddened and powerless to proactively help the situation….the more you try the worse it becomes. You are a passenger that’s been kicked out of the car which makes no sense without the guidance of someone such as yourself.

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    • This is awful, and I am going through something similar right now, and have done so with the same girl at different times thru our relationship. I’m an empath and have been the most supportive and loving person she has ever met. She frequently “hooks up” with exes, claims it is emotionless and “normal” (because her circle does it as well) and has done so for a long time, even before we met, and uses drugs and drinks to numb her pain. The past few months (before this most recent time she pushed me away) things were getting much better…but that was the result of painstaking support and love given to her by me, every day, throughout the day…constant lifting up and love. And I got very little in return. But she was really acknowledging the structure I gave her helped and I saw so many improvements. Fights with her parents and getting a job (she has anxiety and that made her freak out) had a lot to do with it…but it’s so unfair and painful because one week it’s “I love you so much” and then it’s a disappearing act with no communication AT ALL. Hang in there. Take care of you. There’s only so much you can do. Reach out but don’t hold her to a schedule. You’ll go crazy. Keep busy. It sucks and is totally unfair. Yes, mental illness is not the person’s fault…but very few acknowledge the pain WE as those that love them go through. It is as bad as their pain, I would wager.

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      • Hi Eric. I’m experiencing that now. My puppy Love and I have reconnected after 50 years. Yes, it’s been a minute or two. We have discussed what on earth has kept those childhood feelings alive and have been excited to realize that it could possibly grow into something more. We have been steadily texting and phone calling back and forth since last August of 2021. The first 2 months were awesome, but then that roller-coaster ride started. Once he started asking about my past, where I have been and what I have done, things started becoming a little more complicated. He’s been married for 45 years to the same woman and I’ve been married 4 times and had 4 different relationships that never worked out because that deep love was never there. I was never satisfied because the Men I had never had that deep love for me like I was searching for. I have since forgiven myself so I could move on, but he’s not forgiving of my past that easily. He fights on some occasions with me to make me leave him, but I don’t give up on him because he has told me he loves me and has never said that to any woman in his life before. I have learned of it depression and anxiety by listening to him carefully and doing research at the same time. There are some days he’s good and we are laughing and other days he’s in that deep hole with depression. I don’t give up on him and I’ve told him I would never leave him and I mean that. When he tells me not to text him, I do because I want him to know that he can depend on me through thick and thin, and the good, bad, and the ugly. It’s been hard but I have stayed positive with him to encourage him. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I keep telling myself it’s him and not really me and that he’s using my past to push me away because he’s already told me that he feels like he is not worthy of being loved and that I should look for someone else. I don’t listen I stay. There’s a lot more I can say, but I’ll stop right here. I know how you feel and what you’re going through. I needed to tell my story because I don’t talk to anyone about this since he’s still married and I’m not. I hope things get better in your situation like I do in mine. I am persistent and will not give up even when he slams the door in my face. If he blocks me, then he blocks me. At least I know and will be satisfied with myself that I NEVER gave up on him. He can NEVER through that back in my face as he does with my past.

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    • My husband is pushing me and our children away. He is away at work and we went from talking daily to nothing. There has never been a fight for this to happen. Five months married everything was going great until he started talking about how he can’t make us happy. But he does make us happy and I always reassure him. I have tried to contact him and he just reads messages and never responds. The children are sad and so am I. Both kids were sick with covid and he never even reached out to them. I feel betrayed 😔 I love him but why is he hurting his family.

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  2. Thank you and yes am at the point where it was bringing me down and depressing me. So you are right I have to take care of myself from this point on. It’s sad because I know this is not her. Hopefully, she will get help someday. Thank you for your advice.

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      • Reading all these comments has helped so much…I’m going through the same thing as everyone else..my boyfriend has fallen into a depression and completely cut me out… I’m giving him the space he needs but can’t help but wonder – when they get out of the darkness, do they see you again and remember that they actually cared for you? or it’s more likely that by then the feelings have gone and the relationship is pretty much dead? It’s so difficult to know what to do…

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  3. I have been with my partner for about 4 months. We are both older in our 50’s. He has 3 kids and I have 2. All roughly around the same age “teenagers”. We have had an amazing first 3 months into our relationship. Connecting on many different levels and really enjoying our time together. He had taken on a temp job that he knew would be coming to an end in late May. Around this same time when his temp job came to an end, he went to visit his aging mother who lives in another state whom he hasn’t seen in over a year and a half due to the pandemic. He wasn’t looking forward to the trip for a variety of reasons including seeing his mother in a declining condition with Alzheimer’s and dementia since his last visit with her. Upon returning from visiting his mom he became much more withdrawn with our relationship with the amount of texting and phone calls that we typically previously would have exchanged. We did continue to see one another, we don’t live in the same household, but our “togetherness” was different now than it had been prior to these situational events happening in his life. I took note and we discussed this and he acknowledged things were beginning to affect him with now not working and in addition to having no luck in finding a permanent job in his profession along with his recent visit to see his mom. We continued to see one another but definitely with the weight of the stress in his life.

    During this same time, I opened up one night with my big ole fat mouth and uttered the words that I loved him. He however was not at a point he said there yet at this particular time. Immediately when I said it I realized the timing was completely inappropriate with everything else occurring in his life with the ever mounting stress. He did however chose not to leave the relationship because of my honestly with my feelings toward him. In fact, he said the opposite he wouldn’t want the fact that he’s not there yet and knowing how I feel to have the relationship come to an end. And then yet another setback for him as if he hadn’t been through enough. About 2 weeks later after my opening up what was the breaking point was when he learned of one of his best friend’s death that took place unexpectedly that really tipped things for him and our relationship. All these situational episodes have placed him in a state of mental trauma. He told me that he’s never had this much piled upon him at once as what is happening now and that in the past he’s always had to handle his mental trauma on his own and this is the way he deals with his issues by withdrawing and not involving others. Right or wrong it’s his way by shutting everyone out and processing it on his own. He affirms he’s not in a good place and wishes he could be.

    I’ve expressed to him that I don’t want the relationship to end but maybe it would be better if we were to take a step back from the relationship so he can deal with the pressing issues that he’s currently facing and coping with as a result of these events. Relationships in themselves especially new ones starting out can take a lot of time and energy. I’ve told him that I’m here for him and want to support him in any way that I can but I understand he’s not in a good place right now. I’ve asked him what my being there for his looks like him and how I can best achieve that for him at his comfort level as I don’t want to add further demands or stress to his already difficult situation. His response was that he cares for me as well and that he just needs some time alone and appreciates knowing that I’m there for him. He says he’s hopeful when he gets to a better place we can discuss things then. When I suggested the step back from the relationship I had no idea that it would mean complete no contact as it currently appears to be the case. I’m just trying to respect his wishes of needing time alone and not be that “needy girlfriend “ and not overstep his wishes as that might push him further away but it’s so hard when we use to text and talk frequently to absolutely nothing now with any form of communication or seeing one another.

    I’m really struggling with this. How can I show him just how much I care and really love him when he’s asking to be alone? Do I continue to honor his request with alone time and for how long? I’ve told him that I have not abandoned him but unfortunately, that’s exactly how I see what we have now done to each another. I’m just feeling helpless and confused. Probably many of the same feelings he’s feeling at this time. I have at this point no idea of how’s he doing and or feeling. Suggestions would be appreciated along with prayers. I find myself seeking scripture more and more these days to help calm my insecurities and doubts about things.

    I’m just concerned about him and most importantly want him to get to a better place. I don’t believe he’s suicidal as I would be calling 911 for help. I don’t believe he suffers from chronic depression I think this is more situational depression based upon the homework I’ve been doing learning about depression.

    Reply
    • Hi Karen. I read your story and am I can say you are not alone…there are many people such as myself dealing with similar situations, and sometimes knowing that can offer some comfort.

      In my situation, abbreviated somewhat, I met the lady (whom I will refer to as N) I love 7 years ago. We were both very attracted to each other both physically and emotionally, however I was not in the right “place” to commit to a relationship. However, we always remained very close friends and in fact would, at times, share intimacy…the connection was always so strong.

      After waiting for me several years, she finally lost hope I guess, and she married someone else. I met another lady and began a relationship. But still, my connection with N was so strong, and we would occasionally text each other to say hello, we would meet for a coffee, or a nice brunch….completely platonic, but the connection was undeniable.

      I was not happy in my relationship, as I had finally realised that N was the lady I wanted to be with forever. One day without even thinking I messaged her and told her I had always loved her and always will. She said how fortunate, as her very short marriage had come to an abrupt end. As quickly and as delicately as possible, I ended the relationship with the partner I was with, and very slowly began seeing N.

      We re both extremely busy, she works two very demanding jobs and I have a small but thriving business where work hours are whenever I can no longer stand on my feet. We were both very stressed in our own lives, but would see each other as frequently as possible, and it was lovely. Just what I had hoped.

      For several months, I would sleep on her couch when I visited her, as I wanted her to know this was for real…my intentions were to love her, not just make love to her. It was, for me, a way to show my respect towards her and her feelings. Eventually, we began sleeping together which was also wonderful, a very natural progression in our relationship.

      Unfortunately she began having problems with work continuity due to covid, I was under enormous stress at work, and we were both totally exhausted, but we were still loving time together, although I began to notice she was more distant, both when we were talking while making dinner and having a glass of wine, and also her text messages became more and more infrequent….sometimes a week would pass between receiving a response from her.

      One night I was cooking dinner for her and we were chatting over a glass of wine and she announced she had received her divorce papers and, I did a little “yay!” and we touched our glasses together to celebrate. Then during dinner she asked me if I had plans to marry her and I answered yes. We also discussed beginning a family together. I was very honest with my feelings and she just seemed to listen but did not tell me her thoughts.

      This was in March, and it was the last time I have seen her. I would message every few days and not receive a reply, then I’d try once a week and she would have some type of criticism about me when she would respond. Bit by bit I began messaging her once every 3 weeks or so, always telling her I loved her, want so much to have a future with her and miss her….those messages would go unanswered.

      Towards the end of July I had a terrible nightmare of “N”, and I woke with that incredible sensation I absolutely had to make contact with her…the dream was so incredibly vivid. I went to see her at work and despite wearing a face mask I was surprised she recognised me immediately (she works at an airport, and is in contact with people all day long). She was shocked, but certainly seemed very uncomfortable. I told her that I had a terrible dream and had to know she was ok. After a very brief and cold interaction, I left. Heartbroken again.

      That afternoon, I called her for the first time since March and I knew she wouldn’t answer, so I left a long voicemail saying how I had been trying for months to re-initiate communication and she had just seemingly pretended I no longer existed. Two days later she messaged me and said that we need to accept it was never meant to be, and wished me the best with the rest of my life.

      Still now, I cannot understand this as we had ways been so close, even when we both were with someone else…I simply cannot comprehend it. Often, it seems like I’m daydreaming and at any moment I will receive a text message from her, but it never comes….

      For the next few weeks I could not work at all, I would cry all day long, string at the grey walls of my business with the doors shut. I was not coping at all, and this lead me to make emotional decisions which seemed rational to me at the time.

      I bought her a diamond engagement ring, and knowing she did not want to see me, I wrote a truly heartfelt poem that was 3 pages long. I had to re-write it 3 times as my tears made the ink run. I put the ring and poem inside a little box and left it at her doorstep. A few hours later she said she could not accept the ring, did not want to see me again, and hoped that finally her rejection was all the closure I needed to leave her alone.

      I’ve known her for 7 years, and she has always been an incredibly sweet person with the kindest heart I have every known….softly spoken, would never swear, smiles at strangers in the street. I realised that something else was wrong with her…this is not who she is. This is how I landed on this website. I want to understand.

      I hope N will find the mental stability she needs, that is what matters most of course. In the meantime, I’ve been exercising like crazy to try to find a positive release, and finally have managed to do some work in my business….it is a process, some days are better and the next day may be unbearable.

      I will wait for her, as she is worth it, we as a couple are worth it. But, one has to ask, how long should I wait? I would love to marry and have a child, I’m 44 now. If I knew she would come back to me I would wait 5 years with the knowledge a wonderful future is ahead of us together, but there is no assurance.

      Expressing this has been quite cathartic for me. As a man there are not as many avenues to discuss our feelings. Mates think you are crazy! I hope you will find a little peace knowing that you are not alone and perhaps telling your story will release some of those hurtful feelings that are weighing you down.

      Reply
      • Chris—
        I’m sorry you are going through what you are as well. Unfortunately, I’m sure there are many people that can relate to our stories. It’s a sad situation for all parties involved to say the very least.

        With each day that passes by, I’m getting closer to having to make a choice for myself and what’s best for me with moving forward with my life. I know that at this point I can honestly say I’ve done all that I can do as far as offering support and caring and love for my partner.

        Having this forum to express ourselves can be very therapeutic and reminds us we aren’t alone in this fight.

        Reply
  4. As my partner is spiraling into another depressed episode, I was desperately looking for any words that could calm me and found this. When it said that there’s no “right or wrong”, I started crying, because that’s what I am honestly struggling with the most. The feeling of letting him down, the feeling of always reacting “wrong”. When he gets depressed, the alcohol starts being a problem. He has been sober for a while and was in the clinic and doing so well, but as soon as the depression starts, he wants to drink. And that scares me and when he starts feeling bad and telling me, I always feel so torn between just reassuring him and saying it’s all ok and motivating him to keep going. And then I feel like I am just making it worse and he pushes me away. Maybe the pushing away will happen anyways and it is not what I am saying or doing, but it is hard. But today I just feel so so guilty for not being strong enough to give him exactly what he needs… it surely feels like I am doing something wrong…

    Reply
    • You are not alone. My partner recently spiralled into a really bad depressive episode. I haven’t been well and I think with everything took its toll. He wanted me to move out and end the relationship. I would have if I knew he didn’t still love me and care. I’ve got him to go 2 weeks no contact to have the space he needs. Hoping I did the right thing there. It’s hard we seem to always blame ourselves when really I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to go about things. You might be saying all the right things and the person still doesn’t want to accept it because they are so closed off.

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      • gosh, I am so sorry you are having to go through this! How are you holding up? My partner managed to stay sober and get through the crisis and is now even more determined to stay clean, which is honestly such a relief and I am so proud of him. Trying to work on my own patterns and fears in therapy now, so that I can be more grounded in myself again. I am sending you lots of love.

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  5. My partner went through a lot during his childhood, his ex girlfriend was sexually assaulted by someone before they were together and she just dropped this on him. Me and his family think that she manipulated him with this situation because she wanted him to do whatever she wanted, have him wrapped around her finger. That’s just the type of girl she is. She’s brought problems to his life and just made him loose track of things.. this was really hard on him for some reason. Me and him have known each other since we were kids, and we always talked but also went through our own problems growing up. I did him wrong he did me wrong. But he’s my best friend. We always been there for each other even if we were with other people. Now we’re together and things have been rough, he asked for space, but he still texts me everyday. I just haven’t seen him in a month, he says it’s not fair for me for him to put me through this. But I just get so overwhelmed by his change right now, he tells me he loves me and that he just wants to work get himself together and he feels like he’s not okay. & I understand that but I miss him and that overwhelms me into thinking that maybe I should end it. But I know he’s trying to get better is just too much for him and he hides it really well with everyone. Only I’ve seen him break down.

    I just want to see him. I miss him.

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  6. My partner and I have been together for almost 9 years now. He knows I struggle with depression. I don’t feel this way 100% of the time but it comes and goes in “phases” I guess, and lingers around for a few months at a time. I do struggle to talk about it, to anyone. I have tried therapy a few times but I don’t know if I just havent found the right therapist yet so I have given up on that for a while. My partner wants me to tell him everytime I get into that depressive phase. He made me promise in the past that I would tell him when it happens but I’ve stopped telling him because I want to deal with it myself and not get into a really emotional talk about everytime because it’s really exhausting. I may only talk to him about it after weeks of feeling my lowest, and during those weeks he constantly asks my if I am okay and I lie and tell him I’m fine. I know he knows that I am not fine. So when I eventually tell him I’m not fine, he gets very upset with me and we have a huge argument about it. I totally get where he is coming from, he is frustrated that I hide my emotions from him and it makes him feel crazy when I respond by saying Im fine when it’s so obvious that Im not. I just find it extremely difficult to just come out and say exactly how I’m feeling, and why i feel the way i do at that time. Sometimes I want do deal with it without him and sometimes I feel like I want to his help. When I don’t reach out to him he feels that there is no point in us being together if I cannot be open with him about it. It’s becoming increasingly harder on our relationship. I sometimes think ending the relationship would be easier for both of us. I cannot get into these heated arguments anymore, and I don’t think I could tell him everytime I am feeling depressed. I wish telling him about it everytime helped me but it really doesn’t, I just feel more exhausted and more anxious about what he’s thinking. When I told him the very first time he felt like he was the problem and I didn’t love him enough because I wasnt happy and that he should be able to make me happy enough. Sometimes it feels like I really have to convince him that I love him, all while telling him how depressed I am.

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    • If I could offer a viewpoint from your partner’s side…I sympathize with him as much as you. It is SO DIFFICULT. He feels powerless, guilty, sad, and most likely very frustrated. I disagree with how he reacts by getting angry when you DO tell him, however. He shouldn’t do that. Whenever my partner told me anything I only offered love and support, and was very consistent. But it’s like a hole in the heart of the person that loves you. They don’t understand why you feel the way you do. If I could give one piece of advice, I would say COMMUNICATION is paramount. If he is compassionate, even the tiniest of messages/texts/voicemails letting him know you are struggling and that it isn’t his fault would be SO helpful. I never EVER get these but they would help SO much if I did. The WORST part for him is not knowing…it makes us feel powerless and often brings with it a lack of trust, as though you may be deliberately hiding something.
      Having a discussion up front where you both agree that A) you’ll tell him when things are rough, and B) he respects your need for space would be extremely helpful. I wish for this in my relationship. I’ve tried. If only.

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    • Firstly .. I am sorry that you are struggling in this way, Natnay. Genuinely sorry.
      Secondly, I want to thank you for sharing this and allowing people like me to see from the other side of this horrible situation. It helps so much to understand why you, as a person who is struggling with depression, might not be able to talk about what’s going on for you, and how it might make you feel worse to do so, rather than just assuming that those of us who love you are fucking it all up, despite our best and most well intentioned efforts to help. I have been trying for two years to “help”, and to give hope and encouragement and support him want to try .. to stay .. to come back, and it all just seems to make things worse. I’ve tried all of the other things I’ve seen shared here as well .. talking about fond memories, sharing photos and silly dreams we used to have together and of course a million different ways to try to show him that I love him .. no matter what .. but he just gets further and further away. I’ve read a lot of words .. but your words really helped me to think about it from an angle I hadn’t considered before. Thank you. I hope you find your joy again.

      Reply
  7. Been seeing a man that’s been separated for almost 2 years that is still involved in a nasty divorce over alimony and assets. It’s becoming very contentious and causing him great stress. The greatest stress of all is the fact he was my divorce atty (I know likely wasn’t probably best decision on either part but you can’t help who you fall in love with) and we have been seeing each other for almost 9 months secretly. He’s basically come to a point where he has to get divorce completed, take care of kids, try to care for himself bc he’s severely depressed/anxiety, and then maybe he will be better to me once he gets all of that in line. Contact has been very limited to almost nothing for 30 days. He said he’s not ghosting me but when he gets some things ironed out if I’m amenable he would like to sit and talk and another statement of this is not easy and one day we will be able to talk through this together. Days prior to this was completely normal but after his speaking to a family member that’s also an atty (that is aware of our secret relationship) and the comment was made if the soon to be ex learns of me will send her off the deep end and make his negotiations even worse since they are still legally married since she’s made comments she’s aware trips he’s taken weren’t likely solo and likely seeing someone during divorce proceedings. We knew going into this that this may be a reality one day bc she’s irrational. Layered with the fact he is an atty I know adds the stress of knowing when he’s not doing it “textbook”. I have been heartbroken to go from living our lives through talking multiple times a day to seeing each other when we don’t have all of our kids at same time to nothing. I am an over thinker severely to where it controls my life and feel I have sunk into depression. The intensity of our relationship was something I didn’t ever want to lose. Hard to be told you complete someone, soulmate, take care of you forever, I love you, etc. the comfort and safety we shared was undeniable. I am struggling. I worry he will move on emotionally without the communication open or is that a mental issue I am inflicting upon myself due to scars from my failed marriage like a compulsive issue. I am naturally insecure again bc of what I self inflicted upon myself for 20 years age 16-36 with my ex abusive behaviors. What do I do? Tell him I’m done which I don’t want to do. Or do I live my life raise my kids , throw myself into exercise and friends, and try to get my brain off the constant hamster wheel of thinking the worse (I do this in every aspect) and accept this could take months to get her settled and try to lean on what I knew we shared and had and that if it’s meant to reunite then so be it and try to learn to have hope/faith. I feel he could have handled this differently on how we got to this point but I also try to have empathy knowing he is mentally underwater and doesn’t know how to get out and he is doing his best. Thank you all for any guidance to help me find my way.

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  8. I have been with my gf for going on 6 years. We have a great relationship trust respect everything comes naturally. We come and go in the relationship letting each other do what they want and come right back to our normal routine. We are the type of couple that are always touching. Holding hands sitting next to each other when we go out to dinner. There is very little that we have as problems in the relationship. Strangely we end up at a time once a year where we have a disagreement and she ends up pushing me away. These episodes lasted a short time at first and now the one I’m in is going in 3 months. She always says it’s over, she can’t do this anymore and stops talking to me. I keep trying and it gets worse. About the time I stop and deal with my life being single again she comes back and acts like nothing is wrong. We end up becoming even closer. The last episode was 2 months and with a month back together she wanted to get engaged. I was looking into depression at the end of the last episode and got her to say she would talk to someone. But with her busy workload and taking care of her mother she never did.

    Now I am in the 3rd month of another episode, this one happened when I was trying to talk to her thinking she is depressed. Everything I said to show her reasons she turned around on me. I told her she doesn’t want to do anything. She doesn’t dress up like she uses to. She stays in pj’s or just old yoga pants and a tank top even when she goes out to the store. She smokes but always made herself smell good after and had I never could taste it when I would kiss her. Now she doesn’t care. Among other things. She turned it all around saying she didn’t make me happy and couldn’t be apart of my unhappiness. She says it’s over and stopped talking to me. I texted her for awhile and then stopped. Got nothing in response. I sent her flowers for her birthday and she said ty have a great day. I tried to text her again for a while ad got nothing. I told her I was going to come to talk to her and she went off telling me it’d over respect her decision and her privacy. I never went to see her. I then texted her every morning saying have a great day and tell her to drive safe one her way home. I got nothing. I told her I was becoming depressed and trying to deal with it which came back with a text saying I’m sorry you are having a hard time with this I’m sorry I hurt you but we are not getting back together this time.

    All the same things she has told me in past episodes. She won’t do anything to end the relationship though. Fb says she is in a relationship, won’t take me out of our streaming services. And won’t respond when I say I have her stuff and want mine back. All the same as before. I am pretty sure she suffers from atypical depression from all the reading I have done. But she has no idea she is depressed. Since the last time she said it’s over I haven’t tried to contact her. It’s been almost a week. And I really don’t know what to do anymore. My heart aches and I miss her so much. I want to get her help, but I don’t want to push her anymore hoping she will snap out of it. I really can’t find anything talking about episodes like this. I hear lots of ppl talk about them but not much on what to do. I know she loves me and doesn’t want this to end. I’m just worried she may not come out of it or has talked herself into believing I don’t care.

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  9. Scrolled through the internet and came across this article. I lost my mom, lost my job, lost my car, lost my boyfriend and I could go on and on. Today I realized I’m depressed. I’ve been pushing people away, because I dont want to hurt anymore. I just need time and prayers. When I watch babies, baby animals or animals is causes me get out of my grief and forget for a few moments. I’m taking it one day at a time.

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  10. Hi! My partner and I meet online and he was just nice and all I have ever wanted. I did talk to some other guys too as we just meet at this getting to know each other stage. But, I know I liked him. As we progress along I found out that he was married, physically separated, and just having an ongoing divorce but that didn’t stop me from hanging out with him. We clicked really well, I’m such a home buddy, and during those times when covid hit and most businesses were forced to close and I lost my job. It was quite a tough time for me since I’m only having my internship and no family around me. An international student with no job and family and all the crazy stuff going on was really scary but I had him with me. He brought so much comfort for me all this time. We mostly hung out at his place and later on, we became a couple, he’s my first boyfriend btw. It was all good and seemed perfect. Moving forward, he had to move back home and he left me behind because I had my internship to finish. We still talked like every day and he opened up that he had been diagnosed with severe depression while in the Marines. I really love him so I tried my best in adjusting and understanding him. I tried my best. I even asked for a couple of days off of work so I could visit him. It was really fun seeing him again. We enjoyed our days together and just visits parks and utilize our time together. And then before my visa expired and I had to go back home, I spent a whole month or so with him and his family – it was great. They were very nice people to hang out with. I felt so welcomed and accepted I even got to meet his very cute daughter for a day until I needed to fly back home.

    We still have communication even to this date but these past few weeks have been very difficult. He is very vocal that his depression has gotten worse and he thinks he is bipolar too. He’s been very off and distant with me. Some days, I feel like he’s a completely different person. He forgot all the important stuff that we need to do so we can be back together in time. He’s very moody all the time. It’s like I have been very careful not to upset him but end up doing so. I don’t know what to do if talking to me him, as usual, would help or make things worse. He has become so uninterested in everything. I tried being his best support but it isn’t enough. One time we ended up fighting because I felt rejected all the time despite the effort I have done. It’s like I’m opening my feelings too but end up making things worse. We broke up and no matter how hard I asked him not to, he would only say “SORRY”, he can’t. His reason was, even if we continue being in a relationship, he would still treat me the same, that nothing will change because of how hopeless he felt. I felt bad because I should have been the bigger person and understood him more but one time I became selfish and he doesn’t want me anymore.

    I honestly feel that this is it. The one thing I have been scared of all this time. Should I give him space or be there for him so he won’t feel alone and blame himself that he is not good enough. That I should be with someone who can actually treat and love me right.

    I wanna be him just like how he was when I needed someone the most.

    I’m just so confused and scared that he might end up taking his life and I didn’t do enough for him.

    I hope you’ll notice me. Badly needs advice

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  11. Been seeing this girl for 2 months. First month everything was going great but all of a sudden she started pulling away and said she was depressed. She had been and two very toxic and abusive relationships before . I really want to help but idk how and I tried but it made things worse so now we barely talk . Amy advice?

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  12. My girlfriend and I were dating for six months and everything was as good as you could imagine. As I was coming back from a friend’s wedding, she was telling me that she wasn’t happy with her life and didn’t want to talk to anyone, me and her best friends included. Very next day she sent me a text saying that she wasn’t emotionally or mentally healed from her previous relationship & trauma and that she needed to find happiness within herself because she can’t make me happy. I wasn’t mad at her; I was actually proud of her because it took a lot of maturity and self awareness to realize this early in our relationship, but nonetheless I was hurting from the breakup. I wanted to do whatever I can to help but the best thing I can do for her right now is be a friend whenever she needs me and to give her space to work out her issues. Because of us breaking up, I had this thing of overthinking/over analyzing, thinking that she’s talking to someone else, even though she’s told me that she wants to be selfish and not want to be with anyone right now. So at this moment I seek out therapy to help with my issue and how to deal with it and it’s really been helpful. Best advice I can offer to anyone in the same situation as me is to take care of yourself first and foremost. Self love is very important. I certainly hope that my gf and I get back together, but right now both of us have our own battles we have to overcome before we can do that.

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    • Thank you for this. I’m in almost the exact situation with a guy I’ve been seeing for 4 months. He ended things recently saying he had feelings but had to work on himself. I’ve been struggling thinking there was something wrong with me or he just didn’t like me anymore until he said he goes through these periods where he feels nothing and doesn’t want to put me through it. I realized he’s having a depressive episode and pushing me away. I didn’t eat in two days and couldn’t focus on anything, but coming here seeing that it’s not me and there’s nothing I can do and there are others to relate to has helped me tremendously. Self-love is important and I need to work on myself.

      Reply
  13. So my ex broke up with me almost 4 months ago due to depression. He told me he loved me and cared about me a lot, but didn’t love himself. I moved out. He calls or texts me every day, but says he is depressed and suicidal quite often. Should I cut contact to see if he misses me and wants to try again? I love him, but he isn’t trying to treat his depression.

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    • Hi Tiffany, I relate to your situation – my boyfriend (or ex?) says he loves me so so much but is not sure that a relationship is good for him right now since he’s dealing with depression. He knows he has problems with his mental health and he started talking to someone just weeks ago because I constantly reminded him that he should not have to deal with this alone. We have had a rough 1,5 months and we don’t live in the same country which makes things much more complicated. I went to see him last week (without him knowing) because all of this made me confused as he pulled away from me. We decided to end our relationship before I left. When I got home I asked him not to contact me since he ended it and let me move on, but he constantly wrote/writes to me every day saying that he realized how much I mean to him, how much he loves me, etc (he made his biggest mistake) but still, he knows he has to be alone to figure this out. My heart is broken. He thinks the best thing for him is to be alone right now to find happiness within himself, and I understand that I just wish he could do that with me on the side waiting for him to feel better. We have been together for a year and I never knew he was struggling with depression (because he hasn’t felt like this for over a year). I’m trying to be patient but it’s affecting my health so much that I no longer feel any happiness and I’m just very confused with his back and forth. Wish I had someone to talk to about this because I’ve never experienced anything like this before. How often did your ex go into this state?

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  14. I’m a flurry of emotions reading all of your stories and am grateful to have found this forum. Many others have said it, but I’ll say it again – it’s a comfort knowing we are not alone. I’ve had a wonderful, attentive, loving, and nurturing man in my life for seven months. Roughly three weeks ago, he started pulling away and his behavior has completely changed. Despite this, he keeps saying that he’s not distant and nothing’s wrong. I won’t hash out all the details as I’d like to be mindful of his privacy, but it’s clear to me that he is going through something and I need to respect his space by backing off.

    Breathe through it. Focus on me. Don’t panic. Stay calm. Check-in on occasion. Be compassionate.

    I keep repeating these things to myself when I feel overwrought. Great advice, it’s just so hard to do, isn’t it, when instincts are screaming at us to do the opposite and “hold on and don’t let go”.

    Sending love and light to everyone who finds themselves struggling and in the dark. ❤️

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    • I’m in the same situation as you Laura, and it breaks my heart – I tried to be patient as you and give him space but also makes me so sad he feels he need to figure out this on his own without me and is willing to give up on us. When all I want to give him is time, as long as I know we will be together soon.

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      • I’m in tears reading everyone’s stories. Knowing I’m not alone doesn’t make things any easier, but it does give me some comfort right now. My partner of 5 years, who I know in my heart loves me dearly, has asked for a break in our relationship to deal with depression alone. I know this has nothing to do with me, but it’s very hard not to let my ego take over and make it all about me. I feel lost, lonely, worried and just sad. So so sad. All I want is to be there for my partner, but I know that this is not going to help right now, in fact it might make things worse – I know this in my head, rationally, but my heart doesn’t understand and just isn’t ready to let go. I just can’t let go of the love of my life. All I’m left with now is hope and compassion. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face, and I’m so scared.

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        • I feel the same way as you. My best friend of 10 years and I decided to try for a relationship. I know he struggled with depression, but I was still willing to give us a shot. Things were amazing. We have always had an unbreakable emotional connection, but even though it was brief it may have been the best relationship I have been in so far. He decided to just block me one day up and left town. He did this a lot throughout our friendship but I just figured since things were soooooo great that it would be different. I am so broken and empty and just do not know what to do. Just continuing to pray for him and for his healing. I just don’t know if u should continue this cycle or if I should just give up. I am in love with this person deeply.

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          • I feel bad for you. What he did is so unfair, and it’s happened to me as well. Pray for him, yes, BUT take care of yourself even more. Keep busy. Spend time with friends. One thing that helped me A LOT was to stop thinking about (her). I did my own thing…and sometimes that was hard, but I think you’ll find that keeping busy and pursuing hobbies, fitness, friends, etc…will make things MUCH easier. Many people sit and do nothing, often “waiting” for the other person to come back to them. Trust me…if they are going to come back, they will regardless of how you spend your time. Also, it is important to change our mindsets during these times. Often, relationships like these are VERY one-sided (mine was). I put more into it than she did, especially emotionally. She was VERY emotionally unavailable at times, whereas I was there for her at any hour of the night and thru suicidal episodes. It was extremely unequal, and in many ways, not sustainable. When she would pull away hard, I’d call her out, and eventually, there were times I had to draw a red line and stop messaging/calling because her behavior became hypocritical (she claimed she was depressed and had no time to respond yet she would go party and get hammered (even hook up!) with “friends.”
            Hang in there, Keisha. It’s VERY unfair. It also may be a wake-up call to you to offer support to him in the future, as a friend, but look elsewhere for now for a “relationship.” He needs to mature. Blocking and ghosting are deliberate behaviors that are NOT cool, especially to someone you love (and if he’s done it to you as a friend, it will continue as long as he is allowed to do it). I have no doubt you aren’t the only person he has done it to. Like I said, hang in there!

  15. I’ve been feeling really low at present. Last year during covid I bumped into an old School Colleague we connected and started talking lots on social media. They helped me through the pandemic by talking to me, listening and helping me with a few issues I had. They were really supportive. They then started flirting a little with me made me smile, they would often joke online with me and even talk about their Mum who passed away a few years back and how their parents met. Etc. I often asked questions as I really liked taking and wanted to be friends. We had a few things in common. We are both with other people so nothing could happen.
    I’d often bump into them in different places and they would stare at me from a distance, then act strange around me when others were around. A few times they came to my house and they used to look at me all the time and the body language showed they were interested or nervous. The same when I visited their house they used to act odd. They wouldn’t say much or ask many questions towards me. I started to feel odd as I knew something was up. I was a concerned friend so I often texted I think far too much as one day out of the blue they blocked me on one social media site. I was gutted as I only wanted to help. I suffer from anxiety so that didn’t help, I was confused and started crying. I knew I had deeper feelings for this person when I only wanted to be friends. I cared about them. I worried too much. So I confessed I started to catch feelings for them on another platform I told them nothing could happen as I’m with someone else, they they replied stating they had no feelings for me and never have to put me straight. They told me to be happy at home and find out what I need to change (whatever that means) . So I gave them space for 4 months and bumped into them again. Told them I was sorry I just wanted to be your friend they never accepted my apology. They told me they blocked me as I texted them too much and that it was forgot about. I thought everything was great again so I sent them a Birthday card and wished them online too. No response. Then I sent a message a few months later with an event and told them If they ever need to talk I will always be there for them I promised. I asked how they were. No response. So as Christmas approaches I had a card to deliver I noticed they were in so I knocked. They were angry and told me they don’t need to answer me plus I could of pushed the card through. They told me to be happy and have a nice life. I only went round to see if they needed a friend to talk. I know they are depressed I can feel it and work it out. They shut the door in my face, They didn’t let me explain why I was there. I was trying to be a good friend, they never go out to socialise, they hate music, fuss and hate parties had been previously divorced before he met new partner etc. I had been true to them all the time. I never gave up, I even made a gift to cheer them up. I had to leave it outside and I don’t know what they did with it. Then a week later they unfollowed me on another site. I really don’t know what to do. I worry about them , I just wanted them to be happy. I honestly don’t know if they cared for me as a friend. It really has got to me I can’t talk to anyone about it as they were my confider. I really don’t feel like celebrating Christmas now. I just want to hide away and sleep. I didn’t want to fall out over something stupid they wouldn’t talk about anything. What do I do and was there more on their part towards the friendship? Do I wait to see if they eventually come back. I just don’t want to bump into them and be awkward.

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  16. It’s always been my thought that when two right people come together, they’re like a 3-legged person–one person’s left leg is tied to the other’s right leg and this is how they now proceed through life. It doesn’t work well if one person falls down & has to drag the other. Nor do you get anywhere if one person falls down and takes the other one with them. However, if one falls and the other one supports them and carries the load for a bit, they can still make progress however slowly until the fallen one regains his/her strength. You don’t go to war with your comrades and just abandon the injured in the field either!

    Being there for each other when one of you is in need is what constitutes a healthy relationship in my eyes. So if someone really truly wants/needs their significant other to go away when they are unwell, then I think something is wrong. After all, the true test of a relationship is to go through something difficult. If you survive together and come out stronger as a couple, you’re going to last. If not, give it up because something isn’t right. Maybe, someone who pushes you/your love away when they are struggling isn’t capable of having a healthy relationship with anyone.

    As a person who struggles from time to time with depression and PTSD, I know that I say and act like want to be left alone because I’m embarrassed of myself, but when someone lays down beside me and just holds me, I feel so much better. I feel accepted, loved, and supported. I’m not a professional, but your stories all sound like lame excuses someone gave you to break up with you. And maybe they truly can’t put their finger on why they don’t want to be with you anymore, but they will use this as an excuse. Don’t be a stalker. It’s their loss and you deserve better.

    Just got the lame excuse today from someone I was dating for just a few weeks. I let him know that I was here for him if he changed his mind and that I was willing to do and be whatever he needs during this time, even if he just needs someone to be silent and hold him while he sleeps. I told him he’s in my prayers and then I stopped texting. I will not text back. The ball is in his court. But I’m a natural caregiver, and if he can’t allow me to be myself and use my gifts, then he’s not right for me, assuming he’s telling me the truth in the first place.

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    • Thats kinda harsh? Lame excuses?! Yes, they are lame, because they don’t have a rational reason for pushing someone they love away. Mine goes through this and he is the one that comes back. I try not to take it personally. I know he is dealing with so much pain but it still sucks. I try so hard to encourage him to get help.

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  17. Hi, I just came across this forum and I wanted to share my story. after reading a lot of the ones on here I must say I do feel a sense of relief, this process is still hard. I’ve been dating my partner for what would have been 2 years in January, I am someone who’s struggled with mental illness all my life so it was to no total shock when my partner came to me a few weeks ago about not feeling happy with their gender/body/life and had been recently considering killing themselves. Being the type of person who takes mental health very seriously, I wanted to help them get help as soon as possible considering they have a lot of unresolved trauma and pain that needed to be tendered to for their wet;-being, and I felt I was the only one who could push them to get this help because they never really talk about their problems/emotions with anyone (friends, family, even me). Fast forward to just about a week ago my partner and I had a really difficult conversation that ended in them deciding they needed to take a break to work on themselves, that they weren’t the person I needed them to be. We live together too with another roommate, and we still care for each other a lot. but this adjustment has been difficult for both of us. I’m afraid because I don’t want them to be alone, or to feel alone. I have been giving them their space and being a friend when I can but it’s hard for me because I want to be so much more with and for them. It’s hard for me to let go and “heal” from a relationship when it feels so unfinished when I know there is still love there. But I don’t want to cross their boundaries because I know how hard it was for them to come to the conclusion that they needed to be alone, that they’ve never given themself a chance to find themselves on their own.

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  18. Hi all, great forum. Prayers and healing vibes to all. Was with my partner for 9 years and never had any major resentment towards each other. Very loving to each other, my ride or die, partner in crime, best friend. Knew she was going through something for a few years. Then broke up 6 months ago, doesnt want anything to do with me or our furbaby. Not sure if i can move on but trying really hard. Talking to a therapist – highly recommend talking to one if you havent already. Its really good. Will miss her always.

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  19. I have a boyfriend of 2 years that suffers from anxiety and depression. He is in his early forties. Once I took him to the hospital because he thought he was having a stroke but after hours in the ER he was told all his test results were fine he followed up with specialist who told him he was healthy. But this wasn’t the first time he was admitted to ER thinking he was having a heart attack but just ended up being a panic attack. He doesn’t want to believe it’s depression but he knows it is therefore he doesn’t seek treatment. He keeps telling me he wants to start therapy but never follows through he thinks with diet and exercise he can fix this. He tried for a bit t go the healthy lifestyle route with no alcohol consumption but it never lasts. He currently has a new job that he loves after being unemployed for months – but he started to become overwhelmed or discovers issues with work colleagues that triggers his lows. When this happens he just wants to be alone and is easily irritable. He constantly is checking his Linkedin to see his former colleagues statuses etc he thinks having social media apps like Instagram and Facebook are unhealthy so he doesn’t have them yet he is constantly looking on LinkedIn posts and not for job opportunities. He constantly is comparing himself and talks bad about his appearance. When he is in this obsessive state he becomes irritable snd short. That’s when he feels like he can’t give me what I need and wants me to find someone better yet when we separate he is still in communication with me even facetimes. When this bout of depression ends he is happy and has more energy and wants to be with me. This happens more during winter and major holidays like his birthday or New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day. I try to focus on myself and spend more time with friends and family but I care for him dearly and can’t seem to let go and move on. During COVID it’s especially hard for me to even think of getting out in the dating scene. In my twenties it was easier for me to get out there and meet someone new. I know I should Move on. He recently told me he wanted to be alone and deal with his issues on his own that I’d be better off with someone who will give me everything. I want to give him support and tell him I don’t want any of that I love him and want to care for him. It is comforting to read your stories and know that I am not alone. If he doesn’t want my support then I need to just cut off ties and be done for good. I just know the signs and knows he is in the low place snd being irrational. But is this the life I want the constant cycle of the unknown. The feeling of temporary and limbo with his happiness last when is he going to try and break it off again. I hope everyone finds clarity and heals from their relationships I hope I can finally meet the person that I deserve.

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  20. 6.5 yes my bf has been battling his depression of losing his twin. He has survivors guilt. He did tragically. So every year around his bday and the death anniversary he starts to slip and it effects us and he pushes me away. The last 2 years he had gotten a lot better and I was thinking it was a “time heals all wounds” that the grief was still here but he was managing it better and recognizing it. He would communicate and talk to me. I felt things had really come to a crossroad. Till this past year. Its like he has empty nest syndrome, his kids are growing and not around, his job made lots of changes, then add he recently spent 2 weeks alone quarantined because of covid. He started texting me stuff about suicide and in all the yrs he has never talked about that, I asked if we could look into at least finding him a Dr because he thinks his only option is inpatient which he has to wait till April for, he said no Then the week went on and he brought up suicide again. I had no idea what to do with this stubborn man and wanted to see how serious things were and went through his phone to see if he was researching it, talking to his brother or anyone else. Well when he found out he used that as his reason to push me away and break up. He won’t talk to me. He says mean things. He says its really done this time and that I should find someone better. Meanwhile all things he has already told me he doesn’t mean, that its the low and he will find his way back. But it still hurts. I know I should give him space but the suicide talk is so scary. The silent treatment makes me chaotic.

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  21. I’ve been in a 4 year relationship with a woman. Two years ago, her teenage son passed away after a life long battle his condition. She has a ten your old daughter that she shares custody with. I’ve been through the highs and lows and have done my best to best supportive. Recently, the last two weeks or so, she has gone silent on me and told me we are done. Wanting nothing to do with me. I’m stunned and shocked to see the least. I know she will reach out to others for “support” when all she does is look for some one to enable her drinking. So, I care deeply for her but am lost as to what to do.

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    • I feel for everybody who has commented in this chat.. but we aren’t going something like this alone. I take something from that.
      I got with my partner 6 months ago…
      He was living with his ex who was abusive. Both physically and sexually. Plus he isn’t close to his family due to his abusive mother… dad was gone
      Due to his situation with his ex… he moved in with me. We had known each other for 5 years prior so we took a shot. And it was great initially but he wasn’t as emotionally invested as I was. But he said I love you first, things were good.. he did have a couple of breakdowns.. he admitted he was keeping himself busy with work rather than deal with his issues nafter the new year… things started declining he started slipping said he felt suicidal and wanted to go back on medication. He was self-medicating with weed and alcohol..
      His work was getting more stressful, longer hours and he wasn’t getting time off and had holidays canceled. He then gave up the weed and started drinking more.
      After he finally caught up with his doctor… he then suggested wanted to take a step back. The next day he moved into a house share said he was no good to nobody and will just hurt everyone. He said he was also gonna get signed off work too and stop being there for his chaotic friends (his words not mine). He said he wanted some space so I said I’d leave the ball in his court.. and he could message me when he was ready. During this time I had to self-isolate for covid and my nan had fallen and was in the hospital and we had a scare.. but I refrained as we were still together and I didn’t wanna push. That was 11 days ago… he messaged today to say he was now on medication, had therapy booked at the end of the month and was asking how I was.. also wanted to sort out his phone contract payment.
      But the conversation ended with him thinking more time and space is needed and yeah it’s hard but he will keep me updated and look after myself…
      The last 10 days have been hell but I did learn a lot about myself… but I was holding on to the hope that we were still together and this was a step back… not a breakup…
      I’ve subtly asked if he still wants me to wait for him.. it’s gone from messaging daily, him going to be my plus 1 at my friend’s wedding in Seattle, talking about looking for a bigger place to rent.. to nothing… and then he messages and it’s more time and space… I am an empathic and emotional person I tried to be as loving and understanding as I could… but I dunno what to do. I feel in limbo still… I asked how much time and space he would need… ie can I message or call, if so how much, can I send him funny memes how I used to… I respect that he needs space to deal with everything but dies which mean no contact.. even though were still together.. I dont want to say that I’m moving on.. I wouldn’t ever want to hurt him or knock him backwards in his recovery… but at the same time I’ve been struggling… I know good things come to those who wait. And I know we skipped the dating courtship phase…
      But I have doubts that because of how our relationship started and where he was mentally and much we skipped… can we start again.. or will he find true happiness when he is ready which could be years? Or does he want to break up but with his depression and anxiety means he is too scared to? (He had to lie to get out of his exs)
      I don’t want to let him go, but I don’t want to get hurt and lose what last bit of trust i have in people or have my own mental health decline…
      But I am keeping strong and I hope the rest of you are too we are here for you x

      Reply
  22. Hi. I’m going through a breakup that doesn’t make sense either. We have been together a few months but have known each other for years. She chased me and wanted to be with me… she pretty much just took over moved in and got comfortable in my house and asked me to be her partner. She wanted this relationship so fast because she chased me for ages. A few weeks into the relationship, I noticed she started drinking most days and nights which I hardly knew she did and she hid it well. The more we got to know each other the more she kinda showed her true self. When sober she showed me she cared about me, brought me everything, showed affection in public, and just loved me. Then one night she had a few drinks and I noticed a change in her. Moody. cold shoulder, acted like she didn’t know me. I asked her if she was ok so she got mad and broke up with me. The next day she tried to make up with me and apologized for breaking up with me and said she had too many drinks. Every night I saw her after that she was drunk and did the same thing- break up with me for no reason and then acted like I didn’t matter to her. This was hurting me daily and I was walking on eggshells so I didn’t upset her. Then the last night I saw her she cooked me dinner and made plans for us to go out the next morning early. I woke up at 6 am, she had made breakfast and a coffee for me, we got dressed and went to leave the house when she stopped me at the front door, looked at me, and said she can’t do this anymore. She said relationships are too hard and she packed her stuff up and left with no explanation. I’m so lost and left in limbo here not knowing what to do. She blocked me on everything so I can’t contact her. I’m so lost and confused. I’m guessing the drinking isn’t good for her and maybe she’s depressed. She pushed me away and doesn’t want to deal with it. We never had fights or arguments and when sober she was a normal loving girl. Not sure what to do because none of it makes sense. Would you really put all that effort into being with someone; spending money on me, buying things for the household, and just being a really decent-loving girl. Then, for no reason, act like I never existed and leave? I don’t know how to feel besides lost and hurt with no explanation as to why. Any ideas if this is depression or any ideas at all. Heartbroken here and lost.

    Reply
    • My guy whom I was dating for a few months was one of my best friends. I knew that last year he struggled with some depression but he still interacted with me at least once a week. Sometimes I would reach out, but he always responded. He and I had feelings for each other and started dating last summer.

      Then after the holidays, there was a shift. He downplayed our relationship as that we had only gone out a few times. We talked to each other almost daily and saw each other when we could make the time. When he said that he wasn’t in a good place, I urged him to see how our relationship could be a source of support for each other. He seemed undecided about what to do about us, but he said he wasn’t sure if he should be in a relationship right now. I love him and I wasn’t going to let him go. So, he told me not to worry about this and gave me sweet kisses over the phone and said he loved him and was very attracted to me.

      About a week later, his texts were much shorter and I thought that he was struggling even more. He stopped responding a couple of days later. Finally, after I became worried, I asked for him to let me know that he was ok. He said he had been working a lot and needed some time alone for a little while. In a text, he says that he could reach out to me when he was feeling better.

      I didn’t know if we were broken up or on a break, but I decided to give him some time. I just said that he needed to take care of myself the same way he takes care of everyone else. I’m here if you need anything.

      After a few weeks I called and no reply. I’m losing my friend at a time when I need him too. Plus, I love him and want to help or support him through this but he is shutting me out.

      Reply
  23. So my husband committed suicide about 6 years ago…. and left me with a wonderful daughter. I was finally ready to date, I meet this great guy, and covid arrives. And I would hear from him less and less as he needed more alone time and then hardly anything. But last week on my birthday he sends me a message and says, although I am silent I think of you. If and when I contact him which is hardly ever. he just replies with an emoji. In an hour I am meeting a trauma coach as I do not know what to do. I really really like the guy, but is it worth it? How long do I wait? At this moment. I continue with my life and time will tell. I am such a positive person but this silence is seriously messing with my mind and making me so so sad.

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  24. My partner was diagnosed with depression. It started with low libido, mood swings and withdrawal. When the first symptoms appeared he went for a therapy, but he got the wrong diagnosis and thus treatment: he was treated via hypnosis as he was told he lost his child spirit. Six months down the line he broke up with me and over 24hrs he regretted it. I gave him an ultimatum that if he wants to stay with me he needs to do smth about himself. Two months later he got diagnosed with depression. As before we were already having the discussion to plan children as I am 35 now, since the diagnose of course he said: “I cannot promise that, you need to leave and find someone who can give you what you want. I do not know what I want and what will happen after the treatment”. Now he is going to spend 1.5 months in a clinic and he is completely cold and withdrawn. Ironically, two days before the diagnosis (depression coming form the family, which will probably reocurre his entire life if not treated) he said:”I love you. I am so blessed to have you, such strong partner on my side. I hope this will be for many years to come”. And here I am wondering what to do next. 🤷‍♀️😔

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  25. I’m pushing my ex away with whom I broke up with because of my mental health. I was so disrespectful to her, but only cause I can’t stand myself, and to see myself loving someone isn’t meant for me. So I had to do what I did to block her from everything. Been wanting to commit suicide since I was 17 yrs old now I’m 21. Don’t know how I’m still alive at this part.

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  26. Thank you, I’m 15 and I thought my feelings are not normal but now I know this is depression. Sometimes it’s hard to push people away because they think I hate them but it’s not because I hate them, I just want to be alone and make some deals with myself. I’m growing up and they think I am too shy but sometimes forcing me is a little bit too intense for me and sometimes I hate myself for having this problem especially when people say I have another world in my mind. Again thank you, I’m not the only one, and still hoping we overcome these struggles in our life. love yah.

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  27. Hey everyone. I’m 22 years old and my boyfriend has been depressed for a while now. It has pushed me into my very own deep depression. I can’t think anymore. I’m supposed to go to law school soon and I don’t know how I’ll cope with the stress of law school and my own depression on top of my boyfriends. He is hot and cold and I can’t focus on anything. I just wanna fix everything. I want to shed light on the fact that nobody here deserves to feel as terrible as they do because their partner is depressed. It’s an awful feeling and it feels unfair. All we want to do is help. I’m tired of people saying that we just need to do this or do that and it’s not their fault that they’re depressed. I totally agree that it’s not their fault, but it makes us partners feel terrible. That’s just not fair.

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  28. This is so amazing in non amazing way.. this is exactly where I’m at. someone I really care about and spoke to everyday just told me he has depression and completely stopped communicating. he still responds to my messages but with max 5 words and only if I contact him … I’ve tried everything from support, love and patience but it’s been two weeks and I’m starting to feel like a fool. so I stepped away. not one word. it’s hard not to start doubting and questioning and as someone mentioned in one of the earlier messages think that it’s just a way out… and this is just an excuse for this behavior…i’m not sure what’s right or wrong thing to do here but I can’t put myself through this roller coaster where I start questioning myself… I don’t think that’s right.. no one wins that way. I guess I’ll just wait and see and if he doesn’t return then may my head and heart forgive and forget.

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  29. I also have a relationship that started at his peak mood. Now he hasn’t replied to my calls for the past 4 days. We did everything together I can’t reach him and I don’t know how he is. Recently, I took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with bipolar. Now he is experiencing a low mood state and depression. He is just sleeping, can’t go to work, and I can’t do anything for him because he doesn’t reply. Searching for comfort by reading your stories. Thanks

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  30. My partner and I have been together for nearly three years now and we have known each other for nine for we were friends. He’s been battling depression and anxiety for quite some time, even worse after losing his father and brother. One week he is in love with me and nothing can seperate us, the next he’s overwhelmed and needs space. He will randomly tell me that he’s not feeling like himself, he’s feeling empty, and worries that he might hurt me with his behavior because he’s hurt so many people before and people have left him because of his condition. I do the best that I can to educate myself about depression and anxiety. I will read articles, watch any documentary or movies ( I highly recommend ‘ A little million things’ from Netflix) that teaches about depression so I can have a deeper understanding of the situation, to assure him, affirm that he is loved, cared for and that I’m not going anywhere , I’m here to support. I do that because at times he will randomly call and I will listen to him self-hating, self- loathing, and just asking me to leave him because he feels like a burden. This always comes unexpectedly because I know things have been going well between us. I honestly never expect his initiative to break up.
    Alright, I will give him space or allow us to break up as he wishes.

    I would get upset and heartbroken and wouldn’t allow myself to initiate contact. In a few days, he’s back, bombarding my phone with calls and messages to take him back, telling me how much he loves me and can’t live without me. It’s a cycle that is not ending.

    Please understand I’m not writing this to criticize him. I’m writing this because I feel like I’m not the only one who’s going through this. It’s hard.

    Like now, last month we spent a weekend, bonded, he introduced me to new friends. In a few days times, I was just calling to check up on him and he just lashed out and asked for space. He sounded irritated. I was so confused. I tried to find out what is it that had happened. He couldn’t tell me. He just said he needs some space. We scheduled a video call to talk after he disappeared for two weeks to talk about it cause he was refusing that we meet. He opened up that he feels he’s holding me back. He’s feeling empty and feels detached from everything. I asked if there was anything I can do to help and he said there wasn’t and I felt helpless. He assured me that it has nothing to do with me. He hates that he hurts and treats me the way that he does whenever he feels the way he feels and that is why he wants to go away and fix himself. He says it’s unfair and he cares about me so much to be doing that to me.
    That was so heartbreaking.

    I don’t disagree that he needs to work on himself but I just am very against us going seperates ways because I know it never works. In a few days or weeks, he’s back and asking me to take him back.
    My problem with that is that it inflicts pain, even though I know he will come. Before we reconcile and all, we both go through pain for about a week or two, and then he comes and apologizes, promising that he will seek for therapy. I feel like he becomes more emotional and heartbroken losing me or even the thought and that’s why he will quickly come back. He said more than anyone I’ve been the most consistent part of his life. I will take him back because I have grown to know that this is not him. It’s depression.
    I have been trying so many things like advising therapy but he seems to be irritated even hearing the word ‘therapy’.

    As much as I know that he always comes back, this space is killing me. It’s week two now since we spoke. He said he would get back to me in a few days to let me know how we could continue because I asked him to communicate and teach me about his triggers. It works two and I’m waiting. I love him so much and I know this is not him.

    I write him a song a couple of days ago, which talk about my love and the value he add to my life, went to the studio and recorded it. I titled in his name. I sent it to him. He thanked me for it and even said it’s a beautiful song. My last message was to tell him that I’m still here and what ever he’s going through, he doesn’t have to go through it alone. I’m not going anywhere. He did not respond.
    My anxiety is up to my neck. I believe this is the love of my life and I know he feels the same but this? May God help us. I pray for him every day.

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  31. My depressed girlfriend has been pushing me away due to her depression. She comes from a very strict culture to where woman are “supposed” to get married right after high school. She is 28, moved out of state from her family and is doing very well for herself but with the lack of support from her family and never being able to make them happy has always been something she’s struggled with. She’s a very beautiful person inside and out but when she gets deep into her depression it’s very hard for me. She is used to going through everything by herself and whenever I’m trying to be supportive she pushes back even harder. I love her more than anything and would hate to see our relationship fall apart because of this illness. Please give any advice that could help. Thank you.

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  32. Our new relationship of two months. Which have been fantastic. His life was spinning out of control and he has become depressed. I decided to walk away to lessen his stress because he was pushing me away and couldn’t find the time to be together do to the job he dislikes, the demands of his ill mother, and financial problems due to the pandemic. He was surprised at first and then agreed I should walk away and from the advice of his counsellor he should get out of any relationships he is sabotaging. He said he was sorry and maybe in the future we could be together. He said he doesn’t have it in him to try and it isn’t fair to me and I am an awesome person. He is happier having known me. He told me to move on with my life. I told him I will wait for him. That I have not given up on him or us and that he has stolen my heart. It’s been two weeks no contact and I am so dying inside. I miss him so much. I’ve been told to give him his space. Which I totally am and want to. It is very hard especially when we talked everyday.

    I continue to do the things I love, moving on with life waiting. Do I wait for him to contact or is it okay for me to reach out?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  33. Reading all these posts made me feel so comforted, thank you everyone for sharing your tough and resilient stories. I am going through this right now and it really provided a lot of hope.

    I am in my late 20s and have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for the last 4 months. It is my first serious relationship, and someone I have been in sync with pretty much from our first date.

    He was going through some tough mental health days a couple of weeks ago due to depression (he also has very low grade bipolar). During this time, he was still an amazing supportive boyfriend to me – it made me love him more that we could go through such a tough time together, I was going through my own anxiety issues. He even made my birthday night amazing.

    A week after that – a few bad things happened. I was having a very hard week but on top of that, he ended up getting COVID-19. He also got news that his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer (she has been sick for a while). He said he needed some space and so we had a phone call when he told me that he was feeling numb and overwhelmed – he also added that he just had so much to do. I told him that this is a conversation we needed to have in person when he felt better and that even if he did not feel anything, I still love him and could be there however he needs.

    Unfortunately, the meeting never ended up happening as he never replied to my attempt to set up a day/time and then I traveled. The last three weeks have been hard – I have given him his space but have sent 3-4 supportive texts.

    I truly believe in our love and know that he is going through a hard time but some days are difficult. One thing is for sure, I know in my gut I cannot call or do anything too pro-active right now as he clearly is not ready for a conversation of any kind and just needs time to focus on his family and himself. He is such an amazing, kind person so I know he is not ghosting me or being cruel or wanting to hurt me.

    Any advice/thoughts?

    Reply

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