Boyfriends lack of support: So my... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Boyfriends lack of support

Solidrain profile image
33 Replies

So my boyfriend and I have been dating for over 5 years now but he still doesn’t really support me when it comes to my depression. I reached out to him just over a year into our relationship and I got nothing in return. I’ve brought it up over the years and he always says that “he doesn’t really know what to do” and that “he’ll try” but it never gets better. I feel like I’m not asking for much, I just want him to check in every once in a while and ask me how I’m doing. A.k.a just acknowledge that I’m struggling and let me know he’s there. But he doesn’t, and it tears me up inside. I cry myself to sleep thinking about it. I love him so much but I don’t know if I can go on like this.

33 Replies
kenster1 profile image

hi are you living together just wondered but he could be doing more regardless tell him straight his lack of support and understanding is making you worse and if he doesn't begin to understand you may have to consider going your own way.maybe educate him with some leaflets or ways to help online.

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to kenster1

Ya we just started living together this year, so this has been weighing on me even more than usual.

And ya education might help, sometimes I wish he would take more initiative on his own though? Is that bad? Like it’s an easy google. When I found out my sister had borderline I immediately watched videos and googled things to educate myself. Maybe that’s just not how he thinks?

I don’t know it makes me feel like he doesn’t care. Perhaps I should go my separate way

Chanshan profile image

one thing I realized is to separate my depression with partner. Most of them can't fathom what we go through. Sometimes they make it more painful. So it is better to keep it ourselves and suffer.

Ardraven profile image
Ardraven in reply to Chanshan

I can't bring myself to agree with this. It's just such a sad statement. I know how you feel cause I felt the same with my ex. My wife makes the effort to at least be supportive though even if she doesn't understand why I'm struggling and can't see a way to help. Just being told she's on my side can help if I'm going through a bad patch

Ak907 profile image

I agree with what was said above, Educating him on what it's like for you may be helpful in obtaining his cooperation and help. If the things he has said like "I don't really know what to do" are true this can help solve that. If things don't improve after he knows how you fell and how you can help then he likely is not the right match for you. A relationship takes work and participation from both partners.

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to Ak907

Thank you, for some reason I always felt like I was asking too much. But you’re right, it takes work from both partners and I feel like I’m doing all the work right now.

Boomba76 profile image

Sorry to hear this. It is so hard! People that have never experienced this illness can’t comprehend the feelings we suffer from. I’m in a similar position, my wife of 6 years is thinking about a separation and when I feel an episode I have no one to turn to which makes it even harder. Hang in there... I lean on the Holy Spirit to be with me.

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to Boomba76

Thank you! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with this issue.

All_alone profile image

My husband never understood, never tried to learn about it on his own, never read the book I bought. I tried explaining how I felt, what would help me. He would try for a few days and then go back to his ways. If you have not already talked to him fully about what you need, please do so. Yes, he probably doesn't know what to do and he cant fix it but he needs to be supportive. You deserve a someone who will be there for you and is supportive in every aspect, good and bad.

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to All_alone

I’m sorry to hear this has happened to you too, it’s so hard to deal with. I’ve had previous conversations with him about this but maybe I need to be more explicit. I will definitely try again.

Can I ask what book you bought for your husband? I might be interested in reading it and suggesting it to others

All_alone profile image
All_alone in reply to Solidrain

It was a book on depression but so long ago now I don't remember. Then I bought a book on how to help your spouse deal with grief after my father passed. He read the first 5 pages and it sat on the coffee table for a few months so I threw it away. He never asked what happened to the book. He probably forgot all about it.

Try looking for books on how to help your spouse or family understand depression. I'm sure there are many available.

Have you told him your struggling and would love if he can touch base so you feel like he's acknowledging you? What I'm trying to say is be honest and tell him what you need right now in life to keep moving forward. Also tell him that you dont expect him to fix it because he cant but he can help you. If you dont tell him how you feel or need he doesn't know because none of us can read minds.

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to All_alone

Okay I’ll look into some books, it sounds like a good idea.

I’ve told him multiple times how I feel, but maybe I wasn’t being direct enough? I’ll admit I’m not the best at talking about my emotions, it’s something I need to work on.

Each time he says he’ll try but he never does unless I remind him. It feels forced that way, like he doesn’t really want to help. Again, I just wished he showed a little more initiative.

All_alone profile image
All_alone in reply to Solidrain

I do hope you find something that will help both of you. If it doesn't work, maybe it is time to move on. You deserve to have someone supportive by your side. ❤

50percentMe profile image
50percentMe in reply to All_alone

Dear All_alone and Solidrain - I stand in All_alone's shoes, and it's not a pleasant place to be. My husband is a good person, which is different from being a supportive spouse. People like us need more than a good person. My husband is passive. That's just who he is. He won't take interest enough to be proactive to help or support me. Perhaps he doesn't know how. Well, if I didn't know how to swim and someone supposedly important to me was drowning, I'm sure I wouldn't just say I don't know what to do, so I'll ignore them while they're screaming for help and sinking under water. Right? After 5 years, it's not likely your boyfriend will be the support you need, but that's just my opinion.

All_alone profile image
All_alone in reply to 50percentMe

Hi 50percent. I was in the same kind of marriage. He was co-dependant from issues with his family, passive aggressive but he was also a good person. Sadly he was a good person and friend to everyone but me. For him, being a people pleaser, everyone else came first. I agree its not a pleasant way to live. Great analogy about a person drowning!! Hugs to both of you.

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to 50percentMe

I’m sorry that your husband isn’t very supportive, that must be very hard for you. How do you cope?

Your analogy with the swimming person makes a lot of sense.

And yes I’m beginning to doubt he’ll ever change, 5 years is a long time to know and not do anything about it.

All_alone profile image
All_alone in reply to Solidrain

Yes five years is quite a while. Please don't let it be almost thirty. Happiness is very important!! Hugs ❤❤

50percentMe profile image
50percentMe in reply to Solidrain

Dear Solidrain - Thank you for corresponding. How am I coping? Well, not very well, but I'm still searching to find comfort or security. For one thing, having conversations through this site has helped. For once I feel like I've been heard. I guess that's the first step. What's kept me alive is my faith in my savior. Second are my animals and pets. I am a total believer in pet/animal therapy. Right now, I as I type, I have a purring cat on my lap and my dogs near by. By nature, I'm a problem solver, but I can't seem to solve my own problems; sad, right? Since I could remember, I had some kind of hope with the preface: "It will get better when ...

I finish this grade in school

I get into middle school

I get into high school

I lose weight

I get to college

I have a career

I get married

I have my own family

etc... Did you ever think this way? Now that I'm 62, I am out of hope that it will get better and I'm out of chances to feel happy and worth anything to anyone. I've honestly tried my best to be a good person and treat others as I would like to be treated. So far it's mostly been a one way street and if someone does reciprocate kindness, I feel guilty that they were kind to me. It comes from no self worth. I think what hurts the most is my husband's actions was an example for my daughter. Even when I bluntly ask for help, it is clear that they are burdened to assist me, and the effort is minimal. What I find perplexing is it seems natural to help someone when you can with minimal effort, as in holding the door for someone when you can see they have their arms full. It's not rocket science to make someone else's day a tiny bit easier. Somehow, I turned into a door mat for people to step on and then walk away leaving me with their dirt.

hitbyasegway profile image

I am going through the exact same thing right now with my boyfriend. He gets very frustrated when I get really bad and he talks to me more like a parent when they scold a child than a boyfriend trying to comfort his girlfriend. You saying it's a quick google search sounds just like me. It's scary haha. Tonight has been particularly worse so I have been googling myself, but I have been looking up how to be in a relationship when you have depression/anxiety. It gives a lot of good advice for us, as well. But I do think he should be putting in more work. Boys are dumb sometimes and truly don't see what they are doing wrong. I say look up some articles, find the ones that you think match up with how YOU feel the best (because everyone feels depression differently) and send them to him. If he cares he will read them. If not, then maybe ending the relationship is the best choice

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to hitbyasegway

I’m sorry to hear you’re going through the same thing as me, it’s so hard! The people that are supposed to love and care for you can do so in every other way than this.

And haha yes boys are dumb sometimes😂

Maybe more education is the way to go. I’m not ready yet to end the relationship, but I guess it’s something I need to start to consider more.

Ardraven profile image
Ardraven in reply to Solidrain

I am terribly offended by all these very sexist remarks. If I reacted to my ex's complete lack of effort, understanding and emotional intelligence by writing a post including the words "girls are dumb" even with a qualifier I would be howled down and mercilessly re-educated. Dumbness is not a gender specific issue. It's a dumbness issue lol

hitbyasegway profile image
hitbyasegway in reply to Ardraven

All boys are dumb 🙃 just like all girls are crazy. Whatever you like, You just have to pick your favorite dumb boy or crazy girl 🙃 your ex's lack of effort could have very well been because she was dumb. I dont know her. If you are a boy you are dumb (HOW dumb is up to the boy) but if you are dumb it doesn't mean you are a boy. It's a joke but it's not but it is. I do know what you mean though. I will try to refrain from saying all boys are dumb from now on. I'll just say "this boy is dumb" (not you, just whoever I will be talking about in the future) sorry to offend you buddy

Ardraven profile image
Ardraven in reply to hitbyasegway

I know I'm crazy and I think I'm not remotely dumb. You've given me a gender identity crisis now!

I guess it's possible I'm too much of a boy to realise how dumb I am lol

hitbyasegway profile image
hitbyasegway in reply to Ardraven

Don't you wish all disagreements could go like this? 😂 these days people are so quick to attack. Thanks for being cool about it. Good luck with your gender identity crisis 😉😂 have a great day!

Ardraven profile image
Ardraven in reply to hitbyasegway

I'd always rather make a point with humour than anger if I'm given the option. The world needs more laughter but has more than enough angst already.

I was raised not to make generalisations about women cause of their gender and I have always kept it up. People are so incredibly diverse that generalisations are always going to marginalise some people whether a majority or a minority. They're not helpful enough for me to miss making sexist ones.

I just can't help pointing out when I'm not afforded the same consideration. I don't know how old you are and it could be just me but I've noticed much more negative stereotyping of men by women in the past 10 years than I did before then. I point it out so that people can think about it and because as someone who doesn't do the same in reverse I can point it out without being written off as an obvious hypocrite. That doesn't mean it's really enough to offend me. Life's too short to assign that much power to the small stuff and I've lived it enough to grow a fairly thick skin.

50percentMe profile image
50percentMe in reply to Ardraven

Dear Ardraven - You are absolutely correct (not gender specific). I wouldn't even say these individuals are "dumb". "Numb", maybe. I've observed it has to do with lack of concern. I'll pass on those who are superficial in my realm of relationships, but those who are family members, long time or close friends can really hurt. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Why didn't you tell me you wanted me to help". I would think they would be part of my dynamic and at least be interested enough to say "Is there anything I can do?" My point is, to ask that question, they (1) have to care (2) not be so self absorbed (3) not feel my problem is not their problem. I get so overwhelmed with stuff to do that it's counterproductive to stop and explain every aspect to someone. You'd think I have super natural ability to see a broken fence, dishes stacked in the sink, the laundry over flowing, 3 feet of snow in the driveway, just to name a few. But yet I still get the "Well, tell me what to do". It's mind boggling and zaps my strength, thus feeling discouraged and depressed that this is how I'm viewed.

Speakeasie profile image

I have realized that partners sometimes misinterpret your Depression as a problem they have to solve. Especially the menfolk who have never experienced Depression or Anxiety themselves.

It's often embedded into men that they have to "solve the problem" and they're really bad about trying to give you "advice" or a "scolding" about what you "did wrong" when you were just looking for support. And they need to be advised that doing that never helps.

Sometimes they also make it about themselves. I had an ex once who was insulted and offended by my episodes because he saw them as me being underwhelmed with his services as a boyfriend, as if it were a review or a bad grade on him. He just wanted to make it better but couldn't understand that it was not a reflection on him or on account of him, at all. And he couldn't accept that he couldn't cure it himself.

I had to give my husband a disclaimer about myself before dating and marrying him for fear of it happening again. He understands that it isn't a reflection on him, that he can't cure it and he doesn't cause it, and that giving me "advice" doesn't help. He's become very adept at dealing with me and he's wonderful. The two members of a couple are supposed to find each other a compelling topic of study. Your boyfriend may just be overwhelmed and thinks avoiding the topic keeps the peace or he may just not wanna put forth the work (aka he may be a little lazy).

Solidrain profile image
Solidrain in reply to Speakeasie

This is all so true, a lot of people try and “fix” you when you tell them, but that’s not how it works! I guess I need to be more explicit that I’m not asking him to “fix” me but rather be there for me when I’m having a depressive episode.

My boyfriend has told me before that he avoids talking about it because he’s afraid that bringing it up will “make it worse” or cause me to have an episode. I’ve told him that’s not how it works, depression is a constant thing, it’s going to be around whether you talk about it or not. The problem is I’m really good at hiding when I’m going through an episode (due to unrelated things), so he’s even told me before that he thought I was “cured”, so there was no point in asking how I’m doing.

Ardraven profile image

It depends if support from him is a deal breaker for you or if you can live without it as long as the relationship is otherwise ok and you have enough support from others. If it is a deal breaker then you need to admit that to yourself even though it's scary and then explain it to him as clearly as you can in those terms. You can even try more than once if you really want to though if he hasn't twigged in 5 years and still doesn't even a bit after being metaphorically hit over the head with it then he probably never will. In any case set a definite time limit and walk away if you reach it without change. Because if you know it's something you need then you'll never be happy without it and you owe it to yourself to find someone capable of making you happy. He isn't likely to remain happy with someone who is constantly disappointed in him either if that helps to consider.

I hope you find what you need one way or another, without it being too painful for you in the meantime.

ncnurse57 profile image

I don't want to sound critical because I do not know you or your boyfriend, however; I am sure I am much older than you. If you have been together 5 years and he has not found a way to be supportive, then you need to rethink your relationship, and I will just stop there. Good luck and continue to do what you need to do for yourself. You are the only one you can control.

Want2BHappy3 profile image

No Surprise there, rule number 1 for me and Always tell other NEVER discuss your situation with family and friends. Reason being, they don't understand what we're going through. They get frustrated, they want it to go away. Speak to a counselor. My own kids have isolated me, they don't want to spend time with me. When we are out, when I talk they shuss me for fear I'm going to have an anxiety attack. So try Not to take it personally? Maybe if you go into therapy, take him with you so the doctor can explain to him what you're going through?

StuckinWA profile image

I can completely understand your situation. It makes you feel like they dont care enough or that you dont matter. This has been the number one issue with my wife and I for years. My opinion after years of frustration is that all you can do is educate them to the best of your ability. The hard part is to then move on and not expect anything from them. Chances are they simply dont understand and who can honestly blame them. Its easy to just "cheer up" for most folks and hard to understand those that just can not. It sucks, I know. I do hope things improve for you. It always helps me to come here and just type out the frustration so I'm glad you found the forum. take care.

jonnylongton profile image

Hi, i had a partner just the same, 7 yrs we were together an d she never gave me any support, in fact she used to leave and go back to her mums house . Well just found out why, she is a narcissist and admitted to the times i was bad to going with other men and having sex. I dont know think she knows or bothers how bad i am , and how i suffer , and why tell me that if not to make me suffer more. So i can sympathise everything you are going through and hope you begin to feel better soon. Take care and best wishes from someone who feels your pain and will pray it eases

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