Ask a Guy: Should I Move Out or Stick it Out? post image

Ask a Guy: Should I Move Out or Stick it Out?


I’ve been with my boyfriend for the past two and half years and we’ve been living together for the past year and a half. His mom passed away pretty unexpectedly 5 months ago. At first it brought us much closer together. But in the past month or so, he has become extremely depressed and very distant.

I mentioned that he should talk to someone and he reacted extremely negatively and accused me of thinking he is a crazy person. He then told me that he is a mess and even though I am the best thing that has ever happened to him, he needs time to deal with this on his own. He told me he doesn’t want me to move out and he is thankful that I am being understanding about all this.

However,  he is still so distant, moody and irritable and even though he is unhappy with life in general, I can’t help but feel like he is unhappy with me. I’ve heard  depression can do that but I can’t help but feel sad and take this personally.

MY QUESTION IS THIS: Will I doom our relationship by moving out? Or should I stick it out and just hope that time will heal everything? He is definitely “the one” so I don’t want to walk away I just feel like the issues he is dealing with are so huge that he may need his own personal space to work them out.It sounds to me like he’s going through a pretty rough time. Completely understandable too. Losing someone that we’re close to is probably the hardest thing we can face in life.

I think that guys need to do whatever they need to do to work their issues out. I’m not against counseling or seeing a shrink, but this is the type of thing that he needs to seek himself.

I think the reason he reacted so poorly when you suggested it is because he interpreted it as a judgment on him and as an expression of your love and wanting to help. Guys tend to react poorly in any circumstance where they feel a woman is saying:

  • he’s weak
  • he’s not dependable
  • he’s incapable of winning or achieving
  • he can’t do something (or can’t do something without help)

I understand that wasn’t what you were saying, but interpretation is everything and I would bet anything that he interpreted it in one, or a few, of those ways.

I am not going to say whether or not I think you should move out. There is no way that I could make that judgment based on one e-mail.

But I can say that I think that moving out could be a risky move for the future of your relationship. It’s very likely that he’ll interpret your leaving as a sign that you no longer care about him or are ashamed of him. I’m not saying that it’s not the right move (it very well might be), but the fact remains that he may react very badly to your leaving and cut ties.

If you decide to stay, I would recommend the following:

  • Don’t make suggestions unless he specifically asks you.
  • Don’t pity him. Love him, but do everything you can to see him as strong and capable of taking care of himself.
  • Give him space to figure his stuff out. I know that your first impulse might be to try and help (it’s my first impulse when I see someone I love having trouble), but try to hang back and let him come to you if he wants to. Otherwise, leave him to figure his own stuff out for now.
  • Do your best to be totally open and non-judgmental of him. If he brings anything up, just let him talk. Ask questions, but try your best to just listen and let him get everything off his chest without giving any suggestions.

These are just my suggestions and opinions. This type of thing is not easy, but if you think he’s the one and you really love him I think that this approach will help. At the very least, it can’t hurt.

Good luck and I hope it helps,

eric charles

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kai

Eric your advice is very timely and as always on point. My boyfriend lost both parents within a month of each other. I have known him for many years but only as a platonic friend who I dated casually off and on. Its been eight months that we have been in a relationship but this is also during the time he lost his parents eight months ago. I have been extremely supportive. He has been depressed most of this time. He was seeing a grief counselor but has stopped. He’s still depressed and having a hard time moving forward. I am deeply affected by whats happening with him. My parents are deceased also. I am reading Eric Charles Inner world of a man pt 5. which hit what is going on with us now. I feel like the parent and he is the child that I’m trying to help. Our *** life is practically non existent and affection struggling. He is so listless.I know he is feeling lost. He’s also grappling with his life purpose. I care deeply and feel that I love him. I told him this a couple months ago he said he wasn’t there yet but that he really cares about me. He tries by date night once a wk and sometimes I cook so I see him twice a week. We talk usually twice a week. I try to give him space.so I let him do most of the reaching out. But I do try to reach out more during holiday time. But the lack of intimacy is beginning to bother me. He seems to have very little desire for *** its like we are just friends. I know the grief process takes time and is different for every one. I don’t want to abandon him. I just don’t know how to help him and our relationship is not fulfilling. This site has helped me so much and Mr. Charles and Ms. Alexis you are both God sent. I have your e-book which i***cellent but the interesting thing is that the emails help me so much as well and there’s no fee involved. You guys take giving back to a whole new level. I know you are being blessed a hundred fold because you have been a blessing to others and specifically to me, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. About a month ago we were arguing more frequently due to the lack of affection. After an arguement one night I didn’t hear from him for a wk. I wrote him a letter expressing my feelings. He called and said maybe we should date each other and others too due to the tension between us. I was hurt by this and I told him I felt the solution was to work through our problems not opening up to others. I told him I wasn’t comfortable just being friends. When he thought he would lose me all together he agreed to try to work on any issues which he has been putting forth more effort but things are beginning to regress. We rarely have argued so that time was confusing for me. We are in a better place not arguing but the romance and affection needs help. I’m trying not to expect much in that way due to what he is going through but its hard. I have considered dating others casually (without ***) to help me cope but I feel guilty about that. What do I do, my needs are not being met. I know I never should have got involved when he was so vulnerable. I am in it now,what to do?

Reply June 23, 2014, 2:20 pm

Marie

To Pillar, I actually posted this question and I can see how you would think I am coming across as self-centered but I’m not. I deeply care about my boyfriend and just want for him to be happy. We have been through a lot together; in fact, during our first year I lost my mom and he was there for me. I sought counseling and it helped me a great deal. My bf doesn’t talk to anyone about his feelings. He also comes from a very dysfunctional family. I let him know that I would support him if he did decide to talk to someone. I was trying to be caring and he misinterpreted it as me thinking he is crazy, or as Eric put it “weak”. His response to me was that maybe he needed space to get through this alone. So now maybe you could understand why I would consider moving out and giving him the space he initially asked for. It’s a really hard place to be in. After a good talk he told me he doesn’t want me to move out. I’m trying to give him space but it’s not easy. I feel like nothing I can do makes him happy, which is understandable since he is depressed. But for example, I go out with my friends and I feel like he thinks I’m up to no good. I stay at home and he’s irritable and I’m not giving him space. Anyway, I just felt i needed to respond bc I feel you have mis-interpreted the situation I am currently in.

Reply June 11, 2010, 12:46 pm

Anna

I don’t think leaving would do him much good. He probably feels like his mum was just ripped away from him, he doesn’t need to feel abandoned by his girlfriend too. Grieving is a huge process. Maybe you could see a grief counsellor yourself to find out how to handle the situation and get some advice.

Reply June 11, 2010, 8:26 am

aaron

I realize the problem. I think as soon as he will recover his depression. Time is a best solution for this problem.

Reply June 10, 2010, 3:54 am

Pilar

I completely agree with your advice here! I think it was in poor taste to suggest counseling to the poor guy after just a few weeks of feeling depressed/mopey. His mother may have died five months ago, but it could be that he is just now at the point where he can fully process that fact and feel the gravity of his loss. I don’t want to make anybody feel bad, but this chick seems a bit self-centered–more worried about the sudden dip in attentiveness from her boyfriend than his feelings. Nobody is going to be fun to be around all the time, much less someone who has recently lost a family member.

Reply June 8, 2010, 7:41 pm

lulu

I really have strong feelings for this guy actually i never felt so inlove as i do about him.I dated him for a month before he travelled to visit his family. When he came back from his trip he called me and asked me out. But on the same day that we was about to meet my best friend saw him at the mall with another girl in a lingerie store:( When i confronted him about it he denied and just said that they were just friends, my reaction was really harsh towards him and now i really wish i could take back all that i said to him he now just gives me the cold shoulder. It has been six month already, the last day when i saw him was the day he was going to visit his family. I truely miss him alot and my feelings for him are just getting stronger and stronger everday. Now we only text eachother and he always says i would like to see you but not really specific about when and where we should meet. Am really frustrated i really like this guy alot and now am desperate i dont know how to get him back. what do u think should i ask him out? I think i scared him off…Help!

Reply June 8, 2010, 3:57 pm

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