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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Partner is stressed and depressed and I’m struggling to help

Topic: Partner is stressed and depressed and I’m struggling to help

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Pizzamum
    Pizzamum avatar
    1 posts
    30 November 2017

    Hello all,

    My partner of 6.5 years and father of our 2 young kids has been struggling for the last few months or more. He has depressive tendancies every now and again but recently they seem to be more often than not. Our entire relationship has had periods of him feeling low but they don’t usually last as long as they have recently.

    He is struggling to relax and see the good in his life. He (late 30’s) feels the weight of the world on his shoulders with work, diy and home maintenance, our two young kids, supporting us all, etc. and is quick to lose patience, get irritated, react badly etc; typical stress symptoms. He seeems very unhappy, and has always been rather pessimistic and negative, and can’t see all the good in his life.

    I try to help; I talk to him, take things off his list of jobs and do them myself and bring him little gifts I think will cheer him up. Nothing seems to help, and being very reluctant to open up and talk to me, I fear I’m only scratching the surface.

    I’m at a point where this is so negatively impacting our relationship that I am disengaging, and not being the supportive partner I should be. For years now, he can put me down with his words, he can be sarcastic and belittling, and very snarky or aggressive (only verbally) towards me. When I tell him that upsets me he says I overreact, and that he can’t relax because I’ll take what he says too seriously. His personality and our relationship can be quite sarcastic and jokey, but I feel like it’s all negative and belittling towards me these days, or short and snappy when I talk to him. The fun, humour and silliness has gone. I honestly feel like he resents me, like he doesn’t like me or respect me or want to be with me. We rarely spend quality time together and he seems very content with this. I feel isolated and unloved.

    So I’m trying to support him, but, and please no judgement, my care factor is pretty low. I feel like I should be better, more loving, but I struggle to even give him a hug these days. It’s eating away at our relationship and I feel like it’s close to breaking point. I’ve suggested counselling, both together or individually, I’ve suggested he take time off work to regroup, but he isn’t willing to do either and I don’t know how to help him now. How do I support him when I feel so low too? I’m questioning whether all of this is because of his depression and stress or really just a dysfunctional relationship causing his depression and stress. I’m lost. Any advice?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    13023 posts
    30 November 2017 in reply to Pizzamum

    Pizzamum,

    Welcome to the forum and well done for reaching out and telling your story.

    This is a safe, friendly, supportive and non judgmental place.

    It really is sad and confusing when one's partner becomes ill with depression.

    It not only makes the person who is ill suffer but touches everyone .
    Your health and that of your children needs to be your top priority.

    When someone appreciates when you try to help them ,that is helpful. However when someone continually verbally belittles you ,and rejects any helpful advice you have about counselling., that is very upsetting and frustrating.

    Please you have a lot on your plate so don't put pressure on yourself. It is hard to be loving when you are tired and continually put down. You need to take care of yourself. You are working so hard to understand your partner but it is a thankless task and exhausting.

    Does he have a friend or a family member who he would listen to or could talk to.

    How are your children coping with their dad's behaviour.

    You can go to counselling by yourself to help you understand and cope.

    You are being very honest and patient but you really need to look after yourself and your children.

    I t would be good to keep in touch. There are many threads here about living with a partner with depression. You may want to have a look at them. You will find many people will relate to your post.

    Thanks again for sharing your story.

    Quirky

    .

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10556 posts
    2 December 2017 in reply to Pizzamum

    Dear Pizzamum~

    Thank you for telling us what things are like. Quirky has already given you some good suggestions, the most important one that I can see is for you to look after yourself.

    When I read what you have said about your relationship it shows very clearly you seem not only to be putting your husband and his feelings first all the time, but that anything that is not right seem to be down to some sort of lack in you.

    If this was simply a case of your husband contracting depression it would be one thing but by the sound of it this is not the case.

    Putting up for years with an unappreciative person who habitually puts you down does not sound good.

    In some ways it does not matter what the reason is. He may well have the weight of the world on his shoulders but while that may excuse the occasional cross word in the heat of the moment it really does need to be followed up by further words of appreciation and love, not aggression.

    Reaching the stage where you don't feel he likes, respects or wants to be with you really is too much. I think your relationship fits into a common and unacceptable pattern.

    May I suggest there are two things the stand out. The first is you need boundaries so you are not verbally abused. This may not be at all easy after a pattern of disrespect has been established for so long but I suspect is needed or things will simply get worse.

    Secondly I'd suggest getting outside counseling or advice for yourself (your husband already having refused) so as to get a professional perspective on the whole thing. Our 24/7 Help Line (1300 22 4636) is available to steer you towards the right sort of service is you would like.

    Please know you can talk here as often as you would like, we do understand and care.

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful

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