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  • what to do? loving a depressed man

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    Old 11-15-2006, 09:45 PM   #1
    what2do?
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    what to do? loving a depressed man

    Hi I am new to message boards as well but I am like anybody else and hoping to find some insight. I have been dating this man for the last 5 or 6 months and we really hit it off well and he is such a great man. He told me pretty early on that he has depression and that he has had it since his teenage years, but has yet to bring himself to seek appropriate help. He tried a counselor, thought that didn't help much so stopped going and today decided that he really needs to do something. In that decision he also decided that it should be best for us to not be involved romantically while he tries to get himself straight. I agree to this and think that he really has so many issues he has to straighten out on top of being depressed (for example, divorce a little over a year ago, financial issues, self esteem issues to name a few ) and I believe that this is probably the first thing that he has said that has made sense to me in a few weeks. The problem I am having is where do we go from here? He asked me to still be his friend and to be supportive but got upset with me when I told him my boundaries as being a friend vs being a girlfriend. For example he asked me to go to his parents still for thanksgiving and I said no that I didn't think that was appropriate. He also thought that I was out of line when I said I should have my things back from his place and that we should give eachother back the keys to eachothers places. To me these are things a boyfriend and girlfriend do not friends and what he is asking me to be is his friend yet he is expecting me to act like his girlfriend at times he feels appropriate. To me this is an unreasonable request that he ask of me. So I am left with the dilema of how do I act like a friend and still try to be supportive and try not to let my emotions and love get in the way and is that even possible? How do I give him the space and support he needs to get well without losing my own self in the process? I was confused already with how to be supportive as a girlfriend and now I have to figure out how to be supportive and to do that as a friend not a girlfriend. I am so confused. If anyone has any advice I am listening. Thank you for reading my post. what2do?

     
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    Old 11-16-2006, 12:16 AM   #2
    msbibe
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    Re: what to do? loving a depressed man

    I think your first instincts were right, your boundaries and your thoughts about what fits a boy/girlfriend relationship and what fits friendships. Sounds like he wants to hedge his bets or have his cake and eat it too. Or, he's depressed and isn't sure what he wants. You need to do what is right for you first most. He needs to do what is right for him. Some professionals suggest not getting involved in a relationship until at least one year after a divorce is final. Having a relationship takes energy. Being a support to someone who is depressed takes even more energy. That is a lot to ask of a fairly new relationship. There was just something about his reaction to your boundaries that feels a bit ....too.... I don't know. I just feel if a person can't be okay on their own with themselves, they aren't in a good place to have a relationship. Maybe you feel the same.

     
    Old 11-16-2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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    Re: what to do? loving a depressed man

    Ms ***z, I appreciate your reply to my question and I think that boundaries do need to be set. I just feel that if I cut off all communication then I am abandoning him in a way but I don't know how to resume communication and contact. Thank you again for your advice I really appreciate it and I think you are right. what2do?

     
    Old 11-16-2006, 12:46 PM   #4
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    Re: what to do? loving a depressed man

    Let me try to give you some insight.I am married for 12 years and have had depression since my teen years.I finally got the courage to go seek professional help.I have been seeing a therapist for a little over a year and have been on zoloft for that same time period as well.Yes you do have to set boundries and you can not do all the things boyfriend and girlfriend do.I do think it is important to tell him that you still love him and that you are right here by his side.Trust me when I say the support that you can give him will go along way.My wife had a very hard time dealing with this and I finally have her support and it feels great.Just make some rules up in your mind as to what you want to be with him.It sounds like you really care for this guy.Good luck.

     
    Old 11-16-2006, 02:01 PM   #5
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    Re: what to do? loving a depressed man

    I supposed I could be categorized as a depressed man. I was married for over 20 years and my depression was certainly a factor in many of the problems between me and my ex wife. It will be a factor in any possible future relationships. I have done some dating over the last couple of years. For me, the most important thing is honesty. The most painful experience that I have had is when I thought I had found the right person. She acted like she had met the right person so things were looking very good. Then, she disappeared, refusing to return calls etc. So, depressed men, with the exception of being a bit more sensitive, are like any men. We need to hear the truth. Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue. By the way, anybody know any honest women out there?

     
    Old 11-16-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
    trg247
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    Re: what to do? loving a depressed man

    My depression is the main reason why my wife moved out. Caring for someone who is depressed is not easy and takes a lot of patience for there is no "cure" for depression and who knows how long an episode will last.

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