First and foremost, I want to thank any of you in advance who read and thoughtfully respond this post; I'm going through a hard time and I could use some perspective. Advice is very much appreciated.
I am a 28 year old man who is new into Portland, OR. I met a woman who is 34 and we hit it off really well. There was magic almost immediately, and a relationship developed smoothly after about
two months of dating. Now, after a few months of being in a relationship and dealing with a lot of issues, she has decided to end things between us and restart - - she wants us to date again and rebuild up towards a relationship.
Here's the deal: she's got a serious case of depression. She's been depressed, off and on, for decades after her folks split up, physical abuse in past relationships, and her father's death (with whom she was really close to). She's seeing a therapist now. She's on no medications and would not want to take them, instead opting for a holistic approach of diet, exercise, vitamins and sleep.
While we were in a relationship, things started out pretty good because she was taking care of herself and she was not suffering from her depression. Slowly, as the depression started up again (exacerbated by her drinking alcohol and starting to smoke weed again), she started pulling away from me, both physically and emotionally as she began a depressive cycle. She needed a lot of space. Sex just completely stopped, and she even began cutting back snuggling, passionate kisses, and deep embraces for fear of me getting aroused and then frustrated when she rejected me. Furthermore, she felt very guilty that she was a cause of frustration and rejection for me, and that further made her feel pressured, which made her withdraw even more. On top of all this, she would get angry and snap at me over small things, which I attribute to her depression, but she would be wracked with guilt afterwords and want to withdraw, questioning our compatibility as a couple.
She finally decided to end things because she felt horrible that, despite her love for me, she could not fulfill my desires and that she felt that the start of our relationship was hasty - - she updated her Facebook status to "In a Relationship" with me without sitting down and conversing with me first. At the time, I wasn't really bothered by it because I wanted to be in a relationship with her, anyway. In fact, I thought it was darned romantic that she was so eager to be with me! I like feisty women. I tried telling her that, but it didn't do anything to assuage her guilt.
Through out all of this, I endeavored to be kind, patient, and loving. When she needed space, I gave it to her. When she wanted my company, I was there. I never judged, and I did everything in my power to make her feel safe, secure and loved when she was with me. I would constantly tell her that I wasn't going to leave her when she was down, and that I was here to help her get through this. My heart breaks that all of this was not enough to lift her spirits and keep her involved in the relationship, but I also understand that depression can have that effect on people.
Now she wants to start at the beginning (to "start right", as she would say) and I have to admit I don't know how to feel. On the one hand, my love for her and desire to be with her is strong enough to make me be curious about
the positive possibilities of starting over again. However, her behavior was hurtful towards the end of our relationship, and I fear that she would only break my heart again and push me away. I'm
open to trying this "restart", but I admit that I am so drained from constantly showing patience and constantly trying to keep my composure after being pushed away, that I am skeptical. Furthermore, I feel that going backward in a relationship will not work; you can only go forward and deal with the issues at hand.
For now, we are taking a week off. I've made it clear that I am
open to her contacting me, but I feel as if I should give her plenty of space (no communication unless she reaches out to me). She's told me that (and forgive me if this seems self-serving) "I am the best thing that has ever happened to her, that my love has given her so much, and she's afraid to lose out an opportunity of real love". She's also admitted that she's taking an awful risk, but she's not
open to anything else besides a clean break (which she would prefer not to do).
Am I being foolish to go along with her plan of restarting things, even with my doubts? Is she just trying to keep me around for company (like a Friendzone deal) or is she really trying to rebuild the intimacy that we lost? If she's trying to put me in the Friendzone, I will not stick around for that. How should I approach this? What things should I be looking for within her while we are dating? Should I just walk away from this?
Post Edited (bmosley45) : 6/17/2013 7:41:30 PM (GMT-6)