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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / My partner is experiencing depression and is pushing me away

Topic: My partner is experiencing depression and is pushing me away

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. Karen123
    Karen123 avatar
    5 posts
    24 February 2021

    Hi,I’m new to this forum but I’ve seen some great responses and would love some advice.

    I have been with my partner for more than 5 years now and we have had a fantastic relationship, very happy and supportive and we’ve been through a lot together. We are so In love and have never had issues before. We have always talked about plans for our future together and get along so well.
    The last little while he has been slowly withdrawing from me but I didn’t really notice because it was so gradual, he was lacking effort towards seeing me and spending time together, however when we were together it was fine and he always told me he loved me. Recently we caught up and completely out of the blue he broke up with me saying that it’s him and not me and that I’m great and he loves me but he can’t be with me anymore because he “feels no emotion” and wants some space. He appeared a little scattered with his thoughts but he ended up talking about how he is depressed and his mental health is really bad. He lives at home with his mum, dad and siblings and I’ve spoken to them and they are supporting him and have encouraged him to seek professional help!

    This week has been terrible for me because we have spoken every day for the past 5 years and now have gone a week without talking. He has always supported my with my issues. However, I have never been in this situation before, I love him and he tells me he loves me so how can I support him and how do I begin the support because I’m not sure how to get back into his life.

    Any advice would be great, thank you so much!

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9067 posts
    25 February 2021 in reply to Karen123

    Hello Dear Karen..

    A very warm and caring welcome to our forums..

    I am so sorry that it’s taken a long time to get a reply to your thread..sometimes when the forum is very busy some posts can get pushed back a page or two..

    Its really hard....Trying to support your partner while he is battling depression..might cause you to feel....confused and frustrated, ... depression is an mental health illness that can easily have a negative impact on relationships which can leave you feeling helpless, afraid and overwhelmed...

    Talking to his parents and helping them in any way you can to help support your partner and if possible also gentle try to encourage him to reach out for help....maybe your partner, his parents and yourself could occasionally go on small day trips together to some where peaceful like a beach or a park it could be even for a few hours so your able to stay connected to him and stay in his life...Also letting him know that you are always their for him if he needs you....Its so hard, when this happens to someone we love dearly.....hopefully with proper professional help, and guidance...as well as the love of his family and your love, care and understanding ...Things can turn around for him..

    Talk here anytime you feel up to it lovely Karen..

    We are here are for with our care and support the best way we can..,,

    My warmest thoughts with kindness and care..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Karen123
    Karen123 avatar
    5 posts
    26 February 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Hi Grandy,

    Thank you for your reply, this has been very helpful!
    He is a 22 year old boy , so spending time with his family is usually not something he is very interested in.
    Hopefully his family can encourage him and support him and hopefully I can offer some love and support too.

    Thank you, this is very confusing and frustrating but I’m slowly beginning to understand how I can help.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    1 March 2021 in reply to Karen123

    Hi Karen123,

    How are things going? Have you managed to talk to your partner about things? I do hope that there has been some small progress.

    I have been where you are. My husband of 16 years was diagnosed with depression mid last year. But it probably started long before that. But it was mid last year when he started to push me away, and it was awful. It had a huge impact on our marriage, and our children. We are still working through it all, but the fog has started to lift and there are better days.

    I thought that I could support him through this, with love and care alone. But as Ggrand says, depression is an illness, and although love and care is important, that alone cannot fix it. It is good that his family has encouraged him to seek professional help and so hopefully he pursues that.

    The advice I can give to you is, offer your support, in whatever way you can, but just don't have any expectations on what he will accept. At the time, even though all the stuff I said and offered seemed to be rejected, I realise now that part of the pushing away was a symptom of the depression. At the time I couldn't see that, and it was hurtful, and scary. And I guess from his side, when I tried to show I cared and wanted to support him, he just wasn't in the right place to want to accept it.

    Things may get harder than they are. So just make sure you also look after yourself through all of this. I know you will be wanting to support your partner through this. But make sure you have good support too so that you have the strength to support him.

    I really have found amazing support on these forums. I hope you do too. Take care.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9067 posts
    1 March 2021 in reply to Karen123

    Hi Dear Karen,,

    You’re a very loving and caring person towards your bf...

    I agree that it very confusing for anyone who hasn’t fought the battle with depression..

    There are many threads here that might help you to understand a little about caring for someone with depression...if you google or search in the search bar here top right hand corner of this page..Beyond Blue has a very informative and helpful page that may help you,,,,,,search title is.....“supporting someone with depression.”.....

    Dont forget lovely Karen...that your mental Health is also very important....Please take good care of you...and be gentle and kind to yourself..,

    Talk here when you feel up to it...We are here to offer you our support and care..

    Kind thoughts with my care..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Karen123
    Karen123 avatar
    5 posts
    2 March 2021 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    Thank you for replying . No me and my partner have not yet talked. I sent a few messages checking up on him and gently asking if we could catch up for a chat. I’ve spoken to his best friend a family a little. It appears that he is really confused about how he feels and doesn’t want to reach out to me as he doesn’t have an answer about us or anything at the moment .
    He has not yet seen a professional but he has been engaging in more activities with his friends and playing sports again which is a good sign.

    I am trying to understand that depression is an illness to try and make it hurt a little less. I know he loves me and he told me that, which is why this is so hard to stand back and watch from afar.

    Thank you both for your messages. I’m trying to look after myself and I am going to speak to a professional who can help me so that I can help him.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    12 March 2021 in reply to Karen123

    Hi Karen123,

    I remember when things were at their worst for my husband, my SIL told me that some recent news that he had found out about his past, had made him question his whole life. And I guess that included me and our relationship. Atlhough that hurt, I realise now how hard that must have been for him too. To all of a sudden have everything he ever believed in, turned upside down.

    And then here I was, asking him things like whether he still loved me...and how could I help him. When in reality, he really didn't know the answer to those questions. And not knowing, and not being able to answer those questions probably made the situation worse. Although like you, I did it out of pure love and care. It was never my intention to make things worse.

    But I guess, and I won't ever know this for sure, but depression made that very unclear and confusing for him. And maybe it was just easier for him to push me away and not have to deal with any of it.

    All I can say is, hang in there. Stay strong. Be hopeful. And keep looking after yourself.

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Karen123
    Karen123 avatar
    5 posts
    15 March 2021 in reply to 815

    Hi again,
    I saw him in person for the first time in weeks. We were very happy to see each other and he was very apologetic about leaving me in the dark about the situation. He has been to a Dr and has a referral to speak to a professional. Although he is very apprehensive and nervous about going to the appointment. He’s making the steps which is great!
    Like you mentioned above, he explained those exact feelings to me. He knows deep down he loves me he just feels very strange right now and does not know what he wants and can’t give me any answers.
    I now understand more about how he feels so it’s easier on me than it was those first few weeks. We chat every few days and he tells me how he is going. I reassure him that I’m here for support and he appreciates my support.

    Thank you for all your help. It will be a slow and long process , but he’s making steps in the right direction which is fantastic

    1 person found this helpful
  9. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4561 posts
    15 March 2021 in reply to Karen123

    Hey Karen123

    I'm so sorry you find yourself in this predicament.
    This was a long relationship to have lost at such a young age too. Almost a quarter of your life?

    It's hard.

    So as much as this forum would care about him, it's YOU who's the focus right now for us.

    US helping you.

    Last year I got the very BEST of all advice from a 1800RESPECT trauma psych re: supporting my youngest d through her darkest times.

    Don't worry, I know you'll probably react like I did and think "What???" and 'that won't work' in a whisper.... BUT IT DID.

    She said for me to practice "radical self-care"...and yeah it's a thing!
    You can actually Google search it!
    It worked. D bounced back SO WELL and continues to do so.

    For now you guys have broken up.
    This was his decision.
    He's said he's confused and I know you want to "wait" for him.

    You can wait.
    You can do whatever you want to do.
    But this "waiting" can bring you to all sorts of levels.
    This is what concerns me.

    I'm not suggesting you rush out and "date". No. I wouldn't suggest this.

    Please look at and DO some radical self-care.
    Please spend LOTS of time with your closest friends and loving family members... not just lamenting and sad conversations but plan FUN TIMES with them all!

    Perhaps fly a kite, like we did on the weekend, anything fun.

    Focus on yourSELF and your own individual dreams, career, study, whatever your goals are.
    Make your own goals (without exbf in the mix) if you didn't have any individual goals before now.

    If you manage your time and focus right now, this can be an INCREDIBLE time for your own personal growth in all sectors of your life.

    You can rise above this stuff.
    Kindly detach so that YOU are okay, getting better and then over time you will SOAR.
    This is his illness, not yours, expressed with love and compassion.

    All my bestest wishes
    Love EM

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Mrslaura311
    Mrslaura311 avatar
    10 posts
    12 April 2021 in reply to Karen123

    Hi there!

    just wanting to know how you’re going with everything? I found your post and you sound exactly like me. My husband (together 8 years) told me he doesn’t love me and can’t give me any answers. We have 3 kids together and was expecting our 4th any day after that.

    I believe he loves me and wouldn’t want to lose his family but the depression has made him push me away. Have you found anything that helped? All I want to do is help him and make sure he knows he is loved 😢

    1 person found this helpful
  11. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    13 April 2021 in reply to Mrslaura311

    Hi Mrslaura311,

    I have replied to your own thread, but saw your post here also and thought I might have some more to share from my own experience, and I do realise that each situation is unique, so take from this what you feel relevant.

    At the very worst of it all, my husband said he didn't know if he loved me, he threatened to leave, he threatened to take the kids, but there were also tears when all of this was being said. And so as much as it was hurtful for me to hear those words, I realise how much he must have been hurting to say those things to me. At this time, he had already been diagnosed with severe depression, he was on medication and was seeing a psychologist. It is around this time that I decided to see a psychologist myself, as well as seeking assistance from the school psychologist for my children (it had a terrible impact on them hearing my husband's words).

    What helped? I guess, all of this helped us. But also, time...And I know that is probably not what you want to hear right now. All I could do, was stand as strong as I could beside this man who I love, but who I couldn't recognise. In the hope that he would someday see me, and realise that I had been standing there beside him all along. There were days/nights when I didn't know how much more heartache I could bear. They were lonely sad nights.

    But somehow, and I can't even tell you how, or why, or when, it was literally like the fog had started to clear. And there I was. My friend once explained it to me like, he is trying to break down the wall of depression, and I just needed to be there on the other side when he did.

    But what did this mean in a practical sense? I spent time with the kids. I cooked, I cleaned. I kept my job and paid bills. I sought support from trusted family and friends and spent time with them when I could. I just pushed on and took care of my husband in whatever ways I could, or whatever ways he would let me. I did this for him and the kids. But I did it for me too. Because the thought of being elsewhere, seemed worse than being here.

    And so here we are, many months later, still not great all the time. But at the very least, travelling the bumpy road together. There are many posts on here of really desperate moments, but some really hopeful ones too. You are not alone in this struggle so I hope you can find comfort, hope and strength in that.

  12. Mrslaura311
    Mrslaura311 avatar
    10 posts
    13 April 2021 in reply to 815

    That made me cry 😭

    I saw a gp today and she asked me what I really want. And that is to stick by my husband not matter what. She explained it’s not going to be easy and even at the end of it, it might not be what I want.

    but your story gives me hope, I have to remember it’s the illness and not him saying these horrible things.

    If I can stick by him during these hard time and we make it out okay, it will all be worth it to me.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story

  13. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    15 April 2021 in reply to Mrslaura311

    Hi Mrslaura311,

    I am glad you have gone to speak to your GP. My GP said something similar when I went to see her initially. She said, to keep trying different things, and to never give up. That in the end the result might not be what I expected, but we can't give up on them. But more importantly, we can't give up for ourselves.

    It won't be easy. Be patient. Take it a day at a time. And be gentle and kind to yourself and your family in those really hard times. Just try to remember the little things that bring you all joy.

    And post here if you ever need to be heard. Take care.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Karen123
    Karen123 avatar
    5 posts
    14 May 2021 in reply to 815

    Hi everyone.
    It has been a while since I wrote on here with an update.

    It’s been 3 months since the breakup. We are rarely in contact and haven’t seen each other in person for 6 weeks which is a bit sad. However he has been to a psychologist and has regular appointments with the psychologist which is fantastic. He told me he is finding these helpful so it is a great start.

    I am supporting his family as much as I can and he knows I am here to support him if he ever needs. There is not much more I can do and I have accepted this and taken a step back to let him find his own path from here.

    I am looking after myself really well and have been spending lots of time doing things I love.

    Thank you everyone for all your advice. Every piece of it truely helped!!

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