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Boyfriend's behaviour is so upsetting

Tagged as: Dating, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (5 February 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 7 February 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 22-25, *love25 writes:

My boyfriend is depressed lately, due to his abusive relationship with his father (who is visiting for a few months). My boyfriend is really really depressed lately. He said he wants to get some space.

I agreed, but have been going through hell, all alone. He hangs out with his friends and laughs and jokes with them while I only get to see his depressed side. His depression isn't because of me, but because of his abusive father. I am willing to give him the space he needs but I'm falling apart.

What do I do? We're in college together so I have to see him Tuesday-Friday. I'm dreading it because I'm not strong enough. I understand his depression but it feels unfair that he's happy with his friends and not me. It's probably just my insecurity.

I don't know what to do. I'm falling apart. Please help.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (7 February 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntIt sounds to me like he does not want to be with you any more. Maybe that is something you need to accept. You cannot just have a break and be friends, you are either together or you are not. Look at the end off the day you are going to just end up more miserable if you keep holding on to hope and being their for him. If he wants a break then tell him no contact and go your own way.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2017):

I'm sorry but it sounds to me as if he is emotionally abusing YOU! Read up on emotional abuse and see if you agree. If you do, then you really have to walk away. I would go anyway though if it was me,he is treating you very badly. If he is in love and going through a hard time as he says he is, then I would expect him to want to get some comfort from his partner. This set up does not sound right and sounds as if he is stringing you along for some reason. If he's going out happy and joking with his friends, why doesn't he do the same with you?

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (6 February 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntThis is a break up, not a break. You need to tell him that. Breaks aren't indefinite and you don't demote it to friendship - that's what happens when you break up.

You need to tell him it's a break up, so you can move on. He's either ready for a relationship or he's not - there's no middle ground.

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A female reader, jlove25 United Kingdom +, writes (6 February 2017):

jlove25 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for your quick responses!

I find it difficult to bring up the topics about us and him giving me time. I don't want to trigger a fight as I've already tried to talk to him about this but the mental torture he's going through, it makes him take his anger out on me and his words hurt. I have to see him from tomorrow and I don't know how to act around him. He says he can only handle a friendship right now, and needs a break from the relationship as he cannot handle hurting me everyday as a boyfriend. It's not a break to see other people, it's just a break to help him sort out his head. But it's messing with my head. I've limited my contact but it's really difficult to stop myself from reaching out to him. He knows I'm there for him and he says he's there for me too. But I don't know why, I feel scared. I don't know about what.

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A male reader, no nonsense Aidan United Kingdom + , writes (5 February 2017):

Sorry but he needs to be made to face up to this: I sympathise entirely with his depression. IT is a horrible thing and that needs to be remembered. But if he knows that he has good spells, he should take responsibility for making sure those times are spent both with his friends and his girlfriend. I understand that he needs space, but are you supposed to effectively disappear out of the picture until he gets his head together? No, he owes you some quality time too and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to tell him that you have needs in this relationship as well and ask him to make some time for you.

I wish you all the very best.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (5 February 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntFirst of all, his depression is not your responsibility. Don't get dragged down by him.

Secondly, has he been diagnosed as suffering from this condition, or does he just say he is depressed? Asking as many people just bandy the term around, saying they are depressed, when really they are just "down" or "fed up". True depression is an awful illness and much more serious than just feeling fed up.

Depressives CAN hide their illness in certain circumstances, so it is quite possible he is ok while with friends but when he is with you he lets his guard down and reveals his true feelings. Perhaps he feels he does not have to put on a front when he is with you.

If he is medically depressed, he needs to see his doctor as a first step.

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