My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 and a half years and he has had a few mental breakdowns, mainly suicidal and self harming. I've gotten better at dealing with his sadness as I'm training to become a psychologist so I'm helping him. But in the past year he has grown a lot angrier than usual, and it came to the point that he speaks condescendingly to most people or insults them a lot, generally just irritated at the whole world.
he also sometimes gets black outs of extreme anger where he has thrown things and punched walls and destroyed things (this was before we were dating though and it hasn't happened for some time though). He can't remember what has happened in these black outs.
He has never hit me before, but lately he has been so angry that he has threatened me (for example if he catches me sleeping with someone else he will kill me). Also he said the other night he was so angry that he had a machete in his hand and was standing outside our bedroom door whilst I was sleeping. He told me that he felt like killing me and our other housemates who were also asleep.
Since then he broke down and talked for ages about his insecurities and suicical thoughts, jealousy, resentment, and how angry he is at himself for even thinking of hurting me and his friends.
We also haven't had sex in ages because of his medication and his libido is pretty much gone entirely, it used to be perfectly in tune with mine. But I have talked with him about my needs and that he needs to change if we are to remain in the relationship.
I can handle his depression, but I don't know if I can handle this. We had a long talk and he's agreed to get therapy and change his medication (which we think was a big contributor).
My question is, do you think it's possible for him to change? I'm unsure whether I am able to withstand any more anger. I know that I would feel so empty without him because I love him so much and he loves me, I don't think he would survive without my love. If I leave him he may commit suicide.
I definitely feel that you need to make it a condition of your continuing in the relationship that he enters into meaningful treatment and therapy. You are fast becoming his carer rather than his partner. while you want to be supportive, it is HIS depression, and he must deal with it for himself as well as for the relationship. I would also be very concerned at his behavior and threats. He is not holding it together very well, and is not the safest person to be around. You cannot live your life stepping around his moods. Get the therapy going ASAP. Cheers, Sera
no he's not going to change.......
he's dangerous and you need to protect yourself
this isn't a healthy relationship.....you can't be his shrink....you can't save him, even if you ARE going to school for psychology......
I'm wondering why you want to settle for a relationship that you can "handle" rather than a healthy, mature, mutually respectful relationship in which you can thrive and be truly satisfied and happy. Being with a man because you're afraid he'll kill himself rather than being with a man because he's wonderful, stable, strong, loving, devoted, and loves you the way you want and need to be loved. I think why you are so eager and willing to sell yourself short is the first issue you should be dealing with.
He doesn't need you because he loves you. He loves you because he needs you, and you seem to enjoy being his caregiver rather than his partner, or at least you seem to get something out of it. You're loving him for someone you hope he'll be, not for who he is, and that's never a good idea.
To answer your question, I don't know if he can change or not. Stranger things have happened. But it sounds like he's more likely to hurt or kill you or someone else before he will become the man you're hoping he'll become.
This is a very dangerous situation for you and, if you were my friend in real life or my sister, I would drag you out of there by your hair if I had to just to get you away from this sick individual. Your life is in imminent danger if you stay with him and that is a fact. Whether or not he hurts himself is not your problem nor should you ever use it as an excuse to stay in a relationship. You already know he is a very sick person not in his right mind so what makes you think his feelings toward you are even genuine? How do you know it's not due to some mania or psychosis he is experiencing as a result of his mental problems? Since you have no way of knowing, it's not worth it to stay with him. You could have a much safer and happier life with anyone else but him.
Also, you're not qualified as a mere student to provide him any kind of assistance because it's pretty clear that he is way beyond average problems and he is way far into having to be committed territory. The best thing that could happen to him is if he was locked up in a psych ward for at least 3 months to get him on a stable dose of meds to make him not be such a crazy person.
And one more thing, you're not qualified to help him due to the above as well as the fact that you're way too close to the situation. A huge part of health care providers abilities to adequately treat their patients is by keeping an emotional distance to their patients and not getting too close to them. It's a strict requirent for them to be able to provide the most unbiased care and that results in the best treatment for the patients. In your case, you're way too biased and not able to do what's in his best interests (like breaking up with him, which is what you should do) because you're way too close to the situation.
Last edited by Kszan; 01-09-2012 at 10:04 AM.
Our relationship is 95% normal and happy, he's generally in a good mood and I have a lot of fun with him so it's hard to leave him because I love him so much. I know that love can't fix all problems but I want to believe that he can get better.
His family and friends are helping him as well so I'd feel bad for giving up on him.
I think maybe I could give him three months and if there is no improvement in his anger and tolerance of other people I will put the relationship up for 'review'.
Your boyfriend standing outside your bedroom door with a machete (who owns a machete? What's that all about?!) whilst you're sleeping and totally vulnerable to being attacked is not normal. At. All. Not by any stretch. He has threatened you and your roommates by saying he felt like killing you. No. Not normal at all. That alone pretty much cancels out anything "normal" he might do otherwise. You need to get away from him now and he needs to be committed. For real. He is a danger to you and your roommates, he needs to go.