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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » What do you do when your boyfriend is depressed?

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Author Topic: What do you do when your boyfriend is depressed?
Member # 18674

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December 5th marked the 6th month anniversary for my boyfriend & I. We had sex, and afterwards he told me that he thought that he wasn't ready. I think it was the 3rd or 4th time that we had had it. I had told him in the past that I felt a little guilty about it, he told me that it was okay, if I wanted to stop we'd stop, but for the most part, I shouldn't let it bother me.

So, aside from that, after he got home yesterday, he called me and just sounded horrible. He told me he was depressed. He doesn't want to talk, not just to me, but in general. He says that he just gets like this sometimes. He has no reason, whatsoever, as to why he's depressed. We always talk & we're always honest, and I just don't understand what is going on. I feel helpless, and I feel horrible that there's nothing I can do to help. It's upsetting to me that even I can't make him happy. And that makes me feel useless.

And it makes me feel even worse that he doesn't want to talk. I just want to make him feel better but he won't try. And this has been killing me. I really think this is depressing me, too. I just kind of slept all day. I don't know what to do. I feel helpless & hopeless and wish there was something I could do, but I can't, and it's depressing me.

I mean, what's my purpose if I can't make him happy? And the fact that it happened the day of our 6 month anniversary seems like it kind of undermined it.

I don't want to be selfish, but what can I do for him, and what can I do for myself? If I don't have him to talk to, I have no one to talk to, really, and I can't even deal with the fact that he feels the way he does.

Maybe it's hard for me to understand, because the more depressed I am, the more I need to talk to somebody, and in that respect, we're totally opposites, because he doesn't want to deal with anyone. Maybe this is selfish, too, but aren't I different than "anyone?" That hurts me. I just don't know what to do. There was no trigger, no anything. He just got depressed. A mood swing, or something. It's not fair. It's not fair for him & it's not fair for me, it's just not fair.

Sorry for such a lengthy post. This is really getting to me.

Thanks for any advice.

Posts: 46 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 18568

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If this depression of his is that recent (yesterday) and he hasn't displayed any behaviour like this before, I really wouldn't worry too much about it. Sometimes people get depressed. This time of year is especially stressful for people for lots of reasons: crappy weather, the forced joviality of the holidays, forced interaction with family members you don't get along with, presents to buy, bills, semester finals (a big source of depression for a lot of my friends just now), all sorts of things. The most you can do for him now is to be supportive. If he doesn't want to talk, respect that, but let him know that you're here for him if he needs you. That said....

Originally posted by FadingEndlessly:
I mean, what's my purpose if I can't make him happy?

I don't want to be selfish, but what can I do for him, and what can I do for myself? If I don't have him to talk to, I have no one to talk to, really, and I can't even deal with the fact that he feels the way he does.

This passage sent a red flag up to me. I'm concerned that you don't feel like you have a purpose except to make your boyfriend happy. Why don't you feel like you have anyone else to talk to? It sounds to me like you need to concentrate on yourself for a while here. It may seem selfish, but there is nothing wrong with looking out for your own mental health. Why don't you get involved in some activities that you can enjoy without your boyfriend? Find something to give you a purpose, or rediscover one. Make new (or old) connections so that you do have other people to talk to. It is important to maintain outside friendships and activities no matter how close you and your boyfriend grow.

It is not a good idea to pour all your energy and mental health into a relationship. I know, I did it for way too long (and then did it again!). It's too easy to loose your sense of self. You are not responsible for the way your boyfriend feels. He should not be responsible for the way you feel either. He feels bad, and you feel bad for him. That is natural. But it is not good for you to let him dictate your emotions. I'm not trying to suggest that your boyfriend is being manipulative or anything like that, but sometimes it's easy to give other people power over us that they may not even want.

It sounds like you need to take a mental health day (or days). It's a day when you don't think about what other people want, or what it might be nice to do for them. You only do things that you want to do. Since your boyfriend wants some alone time anyway, go ahead and do some nice things for yourself, you deserve them. It's not selfish. Go to a movie that you want to see, either by yourself or with a friend. If you're feeling lonely do something social that you enjoy. Just whatever you find relaxing. Personally, I'd take a really long hot bath and read a good book. Don't feel guilty. It's good to be concerned about someone else. It's not good to become so wrapped up with someone else that you cannot be happy unless they are happy. Besides, you can't do much for anyone else until you help yourself.

I hope this is clear, helpful and not too rambly. I hope you feel better (first of all) and I hope that your boyfriend feels better as well (a clear second).


Posts: 31 | From: USA | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Michelle Ravel
Member # 21100

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It's so hard when someone you love is having problems, and you feel like you can't do anything to help.

I don't really have any advice. I just read this thread because my boyfriend sometimes gets depressed, too, and it's very hard for both of us. I wanted to see what other people had to say.

My only tiny experience: You are his rock. Because of this, take care of yourself and your needs. Do not sacrifice your whole person for him, because it will not help him. What helps him is to have a strong partner by his side. Be that strong, loving, partner, and make sure to continue doing your work and living your life.

Posts: 51 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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