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  • Friend with Depression ... when to walk away?

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    Old 01-17-2015, 07:27 PM   #1
    san9ders
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    Friend with Depression ... when to walk away?

    Hi! About 5 weeks ago, I met a man on an online dating site, and we instantly hit it off. He told me upfront that he has suffered from what they refer to as "treatment resistant" depression and anxiety for the last 14 years or so...he is now 38. A couple of weeks after we started dating, he told me that he has some other personal stuff he is currently going through and is not really ready to date, but he insisted on us staying friends. I struggled with this for a while, but I really like him, so I have worked to get to a point where I can just look at him like a friend. We talk daily and see each other almost every day. For the most part this friendship has been filled with pain...I have tried to walk away, but he will reach out to me because he is down, and I truly care about him, so I am there for him. He has tried to walk away from me as well, but whenever he does, he also tells me of something drastic he is going to do, like giving up all visitation with his 3 year old daughter, so I don't allow him to...I truly worry about him.
    Here is my problem...although we talk daily and spend more time together than we do with anyone else, he never does anything fun with me, and he does do fun things. He will go grab a drink with his other friends or meet them for dinner, but our relationship is strictly talking, hanging out at his house, and watching movies at his house. I understand he isn't ready to date and needs to fix his problems before he can do that. I am okay with just being his friend, but I don't think it's fair that I don't get all of the benefits of being his friend. I have tried to address this, but when I do he gets defensive and hurt saying stuff like, "watching movies with me isn't fun?" Watching movies with him is fun, but so is going out and doing stuff. There is a part of me that believes that if you are no longer getting what you need/want out of any type of relationship, and you have no recourse to make that happen, then you should walk away. If he wasn't suffering from depression and anxiety, that would be a no brainer in this situation, but since he is, I am not sure what the healthiest thing for me to do is. The other problem is that I can't really completely address my issues with him because he doesn't want to hurt me and he hurts all of the time, and when I tell him that the stuff that he does hurts me or that I feel like he is using me or keeping me a secret, then he feels worse, and I don't want to be responsible for that. The truth is my friend needs a friend and needs someone to care about him while he works through his problems, and I am extremely good at caring about people; however I feel like he is taking advantage of me...I try to be understanding because I know a lot of his behavior is due to his illness; however I am still a person with a heart...what do I do??

     
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    Old 01-17-2015, 10:17 PM   #2
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    Re: Friend with Depression ... when to walk away?

    You sound like a very nice and caring person, and I'm sorry you're going through this.

    I think it's already time to walk away. You met him on a dating site but he doesn't want to date you. He wants to do fun things but not with you. He's manipulated you into staying ('honoring' you with the responsibility of keeping him from doing drastic/stupid things). It sounds like a very one-sided friendship where he gets his rock and caregiver (you) and you get whatever he's got left over (which doesn't sound like much).

    If it's already this bad, I'd figure it's only going to get worse. His depression and anxiety are NOT your problem don't let him guilt you into staying if it isn't an equal relationship.

    Do you really want to be his caregiver? You've only known him 5 weeks...

     
    Old 01-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #3
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    Re: Friend with Depression ... when to walk away?

    Thank you! I know you're right...I'm just finding it difficult to do. He makes so many bad decisions that I find it hard to walk away and not feel a certain amount of guilt. It's kind of like if you know someone is going to murder someone and you don't do anything to prevent it because you don't want to get hurt...I know that's an exaggeration, but you get what I'm saying...

     
    Old 01-19-2015, 01:22 AM   #4
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    Re: Friend with Depression ... when to walk away?

    You should feel zero guilt! He's a grown man, you aren't his mother and you've only known him 5 weeks. If he's already got you feeling guilty, he must be one heck of a manipulator!

    Just try to disengage. It will get easier after a while. Also, if he's telling you he's been diagnosed with "treatment resistant" depression and anxiety for the last 14 years or so, this isn't the first time he's had to tell a woman he "isn't ready to date" and I wouldn't be surprised if he goes through this pattern a lot. I'm being totally cynical here, but he might go through care-givers like kleenex so seriously, don't get sucked back in.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 01-19-2015, 11:18 AM   #5
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    Re: Friend with Depression ... when to walk away?

    yeah something isn't adding up, and at the very least this is an unhealthy relationship. He is manipulating you.....he isn't your responsibility......
    he has other friends or people in his life obviously.....who is he going out to get a drink with?
    walk away and don't look back.....if he stops seeing his kid, not your problem, although something tells me he isn't going to.....that's just a threat and you are falling right into it.......toughen up, stop letting this guy play you and walk away

     
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