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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » boyfriend unhappy - how can I help him?

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Author Topic: boyfriend unhappy - how can I help him?
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 22756

Icon 9 posted      Profile for kitka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been with this guy 6 months, everything has been great up until January, when he got hit by a lot of family/financial trouble.

Since then, we've seen each other three times in two months, not talked often like we usually do. But he's told me a lot about his problems, which is important to both of us.

I know he's unhappy, probably depressed, even though he hasn't said so. He tells me he isn't pulling away but I'm worried about him and have told him that.

I want to help him through this but I don't know how. I listen to him patiently whenever he needs to talk. I visited him the other day for a few minutes to give him his birthday present. Is that enough?

Last night I told him that I feel frustrated when he agrees to see me and keeps cancelling. (4x this week). We're supposed to talk about all of this tonight, face to face.

How do I help him? Should I put aside my own wants (to spend 3-4 hours a week with him so that we have time to be affectionate)? I miss him terribly. He says I'm not being unreasonable but I just don't know...

If we can find some compromise, how can I help him stick to it?

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25983

Icon 10 posted      Profile for -Lauren-     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It sounds like you are a kind, sympathetic, giving person. Your boyfriend is lucky to have a partner like you during this time.

However, as loving, caring, and emphathetic as we try to be, there are times when we have to accept that we are simply not in control of other people's feelings. I understand perfectly how you feel, my dear, to have somebody you care about deeply depressed, but you must come to terms with the fact that it is dominantly his problem. What you CAN do, is provide support.

You've been doing a fine job of giving support! Continue to be available to talk with him, and visit him if he likes. I am a little concerned with his withdrawal from you, as are you I'm sure, because this could very well signal a case of depression. What other changes to him have you noticed, along with talking and seeing you less frequently.

Lastly, hun, you are not obligated to put aside your wants or responsibilities to see him through this. If either or you have the resources, I'd recommend seeing about counseling. He seems to have troubles that you and he together can't mend.

I'm no expert and probably didn't say everything exactly right, but I hope this helps, and I'm hoping for the best for the two of you.

Posts: 4636 | From: USA/Northern Europe | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 22756

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Thank you for your advice. It definitely helps.

He called me yesterday afternoon and said he wanted take a break until he sorted out his life. He said he doesn't have the time or energy right now to give me what I deserve.

I agreed... we're not going to visit each other until things are better, but he asked if he could still talk to me about things and agreed to try to call me next week.

The only changes I noticed were his being distant. After we talked, I emailed him and told him about the counseling services at school (which I've used myself). Hopefully he'll try it.

Do you think I should call him in a week or so to see how he's doing? I want him to know that my frustration is not at him, but more at the bad situation he's in.
Thanks so much.

[This message has been edited by kitka (edited 02-26-2006).]

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 27312

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This is something that varies greatly from couple to couple, but would it be possible for you to be there for him as a friend even if you are taking a break romantically? Consider it--you sound like the sort of person we'd all be lucky to have around if things got tough.
Posts: 31 | From: Illinois | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 22756

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Thanks, lotesseflower

The way I think of it, even though we're not spending time with each other, it doesn't change the fact that he's my boyfriend and I'm his girlfriend.
And more than that, we're friends.

He wanted to make sure that he could still call me to talk about things... so I'll be there for him. I'd just like to have some time with him (as a couple) before he leaves. I think he feels the same way.
But if we don't get that, it's ok.

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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