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,