Help understanding actions of a long-term love

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Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
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   Posted 5/22/2012 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Recently the person I've been with for more than 6 years has told me that we need some time apart. He loves me but doesn't feel I can be what he needs right now. This person has suffered from severe depression throughout our relationship - to the point where unemployment has been steady and finishing a college education has been painfully slow. In our relationship one of us has made more than enough money to live on and live relatively well so it hasn't been demanded that he get a job. All he's had to do really is be loving and supportive and succeed in college again. At that point, we can move on to both of us working. But he's become increasingly distant, and yet we talk about future plans and getting more involved with family things.....So when I hear "you are not what I need right now, or I've been unhappy for awhile or I'm not attracted to you anymore", I'm inclined to think it's the illness and has nothing to do with me. After having a pretty good relationship full of patience, love, and support, FOR the depressed and not necessarily from them, I wonder about this. It's not normal for 1 person to carry the load and I may have been wrong in doing that for a long time. But I can't help but wonder if this is really something that needs to be worked out individually before we can come back to a better place. Feeling blue right now and like I should have done something differently or how can someone so depressed throw away something so wonderful? sad

getting by
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   Posted 5/22/2012 4:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi FEO306,

It sounds like you have been carrying the load and financially taking care of the both of you for awhile. Is that how it is? Maybe he has gotten to the point where he feels he needs to get stronger before he continues the relationship. Maybe he doesn't feel fully as a man when you are supporting him if that is the case.

I seriously would listen, give some space if he wants you to. Let him get stronger and then go from there. I am sorry that this is happening. And until he discusses it further with you, it is hard to say what is in his head. Did he in fact say he was unhappy and that he wasn't attracted to you anymore? What is it that he feels he needs? IF it isn't you?

I would think long and hard before proceeding with this relationship. He said some very hurtful things to you and if it continues it is going to effect you in a negative way. Honestly in my opinion, which is probably bias, you deserve better. But that is just my opinion from what I have read that you wrote.

Start doing good things for yourself. If you can afford to support him, you can afford to do something nice for you. I do hope you get out of this relationship.

I hope things get better.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 5/23/2012 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for that. Yes, I have been carrying the load. But we have talked a few times and what I've now been told is that he really loves me but needs to do some serious work on his own self before he can be the man I deserve. He also said it has bothered him that I've sacrificed so much for him. He loves me dearly and for us to have a chance together we need time apart. We've been together more than 6 years and have a house and pets. I love him with all my heart and maybe giving him time to work, work on himself in therapy, and try to fix himself without what we had will make us much better. He also told me that he feels badly that I don't think I deserve better than him. But we did recently agree that time away to work ourselves individually will make us happier together when the time is right. Goodness...it sure doesn't make it any easier after such a long time, but I have to believe that such a deep relationship and investment isn't really done. But I do know t hat when you have NO self-love or self-respect you can only love someone in a very limited capacity. Hopefully these changes will make him see what he needs to do and the kind of relationship we will have then.

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
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   Posted 5/23/2012 9:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I think this is going to work out. You are both willing to sacrifice for eachother. There is no stronger love than that. I wish you the very best. Keep us posted.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
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   Posted 5/24/2012 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Again, thank you. We have continued to talk over the course of the last 48 hours and now I know where his head/heart is and it does help. He really feels like we need to be more equal as partners and we even talked about moving back in together next year as we had planned. We have agreed to step back from the seriousness of having to deal with each others' stresses while living together but because we do have pets together and do love each other we are going to continue to see each other - Not on a level of togetherness like it was but as friends who love each other and need to work some things out. I'm now feeling like this is a great idea and will only help us grow closer. Still painful but I'm handling it better now. People who have suffered from depression their whole adults lives typically blame everyone else, especially people who really love them, for their own short-comings. But I believe once we are apart, he will not only see what he needs to do but see how great things will be once he's being a better man.

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
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   Posted 5/24/2012 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Being good friends really helps a relationship. I am good friends with my husband. It makes things better. We can talk about things that many couples can't talk about. We get along good.

It sounds like the two of you have made some good plans. I really believe that this is going to work out for both of you.

I am glad that you are going to continue to see eachother and I love pets. That is cool.

Have a wonderful day...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 5/24/2012 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I think that last thing I need help with is this: When you have been together for so long and been thru and shared so much, hardship, stress, unemployment, one person doing everything, it can't be that easy to start over. His depression and moodiness has impacted a lot of parts of our relationship including somewhat depleting me. Taking some time apart could mean a lot of things but I think under our circumstances, it's critical for him to feel good about himself and feel like he's able to be the kind of person he thinks I deserve, without me carrying him. During this time, we will still be seeing each other because of our pets, but he also wants to remain friends. He has been incredibly depressed and suffered a great deal, all with me being there for him and pulling the full load in every possible way. Although we did talk about how much we love each other, he seems to think that a "Romeo & Juliet" kind of love is a lasting thing. I've said that an idea like that is incredibly diluted because that is NOT a lasting love. He's always been very open and honest and seemingly not afraid to say things even if it may hurt my feelings. Am I wrong to really believe that once we make the break it will only improve our relationship and allows us back together after some time to reclaim ourselves? We have not determined a time but we had planned on buying a bigger and better house in the spring of next year. I know how important it is for one to have a strong sense of "self" in a relationship and since we haven't had that, once we both do, the 6 1/2 years of love and time will not have diminished our love but make it stronger. I do realize that nothing is certain, but because we've always been so open and honest with each other, if this was not necessary for our success together in the long-run, he would just say it. Am I over-thinking this too much?
By the way, I am 32 and he is 42.

Post Edited (FE0306) : 5/24/2012 2:25:37 PM (GMT-6)


getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
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   Posted 5/24/2012 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think you are wrong in thinking time apart will bring you closer together, it often does. Absense makes the heart grow fonder. And working on yourselves will only improve the relationship for both of you. It will probaly be hard being apart, but I think it will do you both good.

Do keep posting. I hope this all works out for you both.

You may be over thinking a little, but I think that is kind of natural due to the circumstances. One day at a time...

I think your friendship is what is going to hold you both together.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 5/29/2012 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Over this tumultuous long weekend, I really realized that after such a long time with someone a separation is a great thing. I really want to be loved and appreciated and be in a place where we can carry each other thru stressful life situations and we've not been good at that in the last 6 months or so. I've been carrying the load.....I want to spend my life with this person but I also want him to realize that the best things in life are usually realized once we've lost. If thru this time apart, he can learn to love himself, then he can love me and we can have a strong healthy relationship that will be forever. It's not fun to wonder if your partner loves you and thinks your special but when they feel so badly about themselves it's nearly impossible to give and think loving thoughts about anyone else. The bowels of depression get the best of you....and make it impossible to give and even receive love. While I'm still feeling the blows and waves of sadness, I am starting to believe that this is only going to make us better, once the haze clears. The love is there so that's all I can go on right now and let him do his thing.

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/1/2012 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I know that if our relationship is to be saved and forever, this separation is necessary but I can't seem to find any peace or comfort in the idea that it will work out and we'll both be better people and better together. I guess I never really thought we would have to go thru these things individually. I am praying to guidance and peace....and trying to keep the sadness at bay. cry

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
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   Posted 6/1/2012 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
If the seperation is not feeling right, let him know. Maybe you could go through some couples couseling together. Instead of seperating... Something to think about. I really hope it works out for both of you. I have faith in your relationship. Let him know how you feel though...

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Thru
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Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/3/2012 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered with chronic depression my entire life, so I will speak from his side. Give him the space he's requested, don't pressure him, allow him to be himsef, be his true friend, and let him know you value him as a person and a man, and let him know you love him no matter what. And probably most important....make him laugh and have fun together. If he's really in love with you, he'll come home. And if not, believe me you're better off without him. Living with somebody you love that doesn't love you back is beyond miserable. Also, just because he has depression doesn't neccessarily mean he doesn't love himself and or is incapable of loving others. Good luck!!

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/7/2012 9:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I think you're right....Giving the space with no pressure is only going to make things better. He continually tells me he loves me even while we're at the beginning of our "break" or whatever you want to call it. We just talked about moving back into together next in the house we are planning on buying next spring. It's very hard for me to switch gears to a loving friendship instead of a loving partnership right now, but I am starting to think that once he gets his own business in order things will work out. I've never really questioned the love but being so deeply depressed has a tendency to mask things that have always been there. I definitely don't want to be with someone who doesn't return the love. Time away I think will bring everything full circle.

Gettingthru
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Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/21/2012 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   
So it's been a little more than a month and we're days away from moving out of our house....But yet the last few weeks feel like we're not really on a break....It is unbelievable how hard it's been especially since it doesn't feel like anything has changed. As of this time next week we will be no longer living together and I think that will change things yet again. But since the "taking some time apart" talk, there are still daily I love you's and other little things that make me wonder why this is necessary. I know that to some degree it is necessary because he has been very depressed and needs to figure things out on his own...I'm trying to be OK with that, but at the same time, I don't want to put any pressure on regarding our future. We have frequently talked about moving back in together next spring, when it's time to move to the house we (or I) are getting next spring, but it's so hard to be in this in between phase. I do know that I need to use this separation as a time to improve my own self but when you want to spend your life with someone and you have to take a time out, how do you survive the suffering? I believe we'll be back together but I'm really having a hard time wrapping my head around this time out. I don't want to do anything that will sabotage things and I want to do everything I possibly can to make this work, but I'm unsure how to go about that right now. Do I just try to get a grip and let him figure it out? At 42 and 32, and 6.5 years invested already, I have to believe it's going to work out for us, but convincing myself of that, is seemingly an unbearable task......

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42497
   Posted 6/21/2012 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Just think,

this time out is nothing compared to the time you will have together. You will have the rest of your lives. This too seems strange to me, but he must have his reasons. If he wants to get stronger and for you to get stronger. I really hope that this helps your relationship. Do keep us posted on how things are going between you two.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia


fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies
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