How do I support my boyfriend when he wants time and space away from me to sort out his depression? It all feels like my fault and like he's dumped me.
Last Updated: 06/18/2018 at 8:42am
Tim Van Rheenen, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
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Top Rated Answers
People that are depressed tend to push away the people they love. The best thing to do is to give that person space and tell them you are always there with them and if they need anything you are free to help. Make them feel loved and cared for. Do not push them and ask them how they are every day, that will only stress them more. So be patient and loving.
Take a step back, it's not about you. Depression is a stressful and difficult thing to deal with, let alone understand and navigate through. See it for what it is; He's asking for your support! He is open to you and not hiding it! He could be afraid it might affect you and wants that distance to protect you from it. Don't take his actions personally. Many depressed people want to be by themselves, it's the nature of the illness. Maybe ask him, if there is anything you can do to support him, and let him know he doesn't have to do this alone. It's a relationship building opportunity,
Depression is a deep, dark hole that is extremely hard to come out of. Being in a relationship with someone who is mentally ill is so emotionally draining. Your boyfriend doesn't mean to make you feel this way. It is just such a complex thing, it's really hard to not blame yourself. I can tell you love him, I know it's hard for the both of you. Stay supportive, but if you feel as though it is taking a large toll on you, you should leave. If you think leaving would cause him to hurt himself in any way, you should defiantly let someone know immediately.
Understanding each other boundaries are very important in a relationship. You may ask your boyfriend what to do and how can you better support him to make him feel understood and not alone. You are not at fault when you want to support him :)
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