Relationships and depression...Does depression change your relationship?

*I'm sorry, but this is long in order to be thorough*

So my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend) have been together 3 months. Lately like the past week, we have been having a tough time. Before last week, things were going great. We didn't have any fights, we had fun together, kept constant communication when we weren't together, but my only issue with our relationship is that I didn't get to see my boyfriend as much as I wanted. I am in grad school during the week and I work on the weekends. He works 70-80 hour weeks, so both of our free-time is limited. We had a designated day out of the week to hang out and we made plans in advance.

He had this habit of canceling on me due to having a bad day, being stressed, or being in a bad mood. This was a trend from the very beginning but it began to get a lot worse recently (he cancelled on me 3 times in one week). Each time, I was understanding and we rescheduled. I didn't tell him that it hurt my feelings and that it felt like he didn't want to see me until recently.

The 4th of July, he texts me saying he doesn't want to hang out because he needs to be by himself and when I ask him what is going on he tells me that he feels like he isn't 100% into our relationship and that he doesn't feel like he's ready for a relationship like before (he broke up with me a couple months ago because he felt he wasn't ready and we got back together the next day.) When I asked him point blank if we were breaking up, he just said he didn't want to hang out that day.

We went basically the entire weekend without talking because I was trying to give him space. He reached out to me and texted me both Saturday and Sunday and we had a conversation like nothing was wrong.

I didn't hear from him on Monday so I called and left a voice mail saying that I need to know where we stand as a couple because I wasn't clear on that. He texted me and said that he isn't ready to be in the type of relationship that I want and that he doesn't want me out of his life but he doesn't like the 'pressure' he feels from me. He also said that he feels he can't make anybody happy when he hasn't been happy himself recently. I again asked him exactly what he was saying and what he wanted, but he didn't know. So, I ended it between us... not what I wanted to do, but I feel it's for the best, at least right now.

For all your psychology majors/enthusiasts out there... external factors:

- his girlfriend of 5 years broke up with him because she fell out of love with him 3 months before he and I started dating.

- he has a new boss that is very demeaning and scheduling him 14+ hour days (in the heat because he works in a warehouse)

- he has started taking testosterone boosters

I know something is not right because we were completely fine before this past week. I am so confused! Can depression change your feelings about your relationship?

I know we still care for each other, but it's just the wrong time for him. Is it possible to salvage our relationship? If so, how?
Updates:
I should have been more specific, but I suspect he is depressed due to not being over his last relationship. He was probably triggered with the new stress at work combined with the testosterone boosters, plus not to mention, his ex tried to start drama this past week as well.


He has mentioned being irritable for no reason recently, loss of sexual desire, insomnia, and he misses his father who lives in another state. His mom has also mentioned he has been fishing alone a lot recently too.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • From your description I'd say his two major issues are the testosterone boosters & his recent break up. This guy needs to learn how to take care of himself. When he himself is in better shape emotionally & mentally then he might be worth something in a relationship. However, right now, he's not worth your effort, I'm sorry to say.

    The testosterone will do some crazy stuff to the body. It can mess you up physically & emotionally. I can only imagine he feels like he needs to be more of a "man" so that's why he's taking it. Men have some messed up ideas about what it is to be a man, and being physically buff is not it. Plus, you add his breakup to the mix. He's most likely on the rebound. In essence, you're good company for the most part, and you're easing his pain from his previous relationship. All around, this guy is a mess and you are better off steering clear of him.

    You also need to take care of yourself. This guy has some toxicity going on which he needs to deal with, it's not something you can fix in him. He is not your responsibility. Believe me, I too have been in the position where I cared & loved so much that I just wanted to do something to help a guy. But the truth is, you can only help if & when they turn to you and ask for your help (which most of them don't do due to their ego & pride). The only thing you can really do is be good to you, respect yourself. Don't put up with multiple cancellations from anyone. A good guy worth his weight won't treat you like that. He won't give you lines like, "I'm not ready for that type of relationship". When I used to hear that sort of thing, I would bend my desires so that I could get at least something of a relationship. But what I was really doing was disrespecting myself in the process. I was settling for less than what I wanted. I deserve better than that and so do you. If you hold onto this messed up guy then you're keeping away a much better guy who wouldn't put you through this sort of thing. Think about it... imagine being in a relationship with a guy who won't make you feel like asking on GAG, "How do I salvage my relationship?"

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful answer, even though it was tough to hear... I accept it. I'm glad you can relate. I guess this is just a part of life and learning another lesson!

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    • I think I may have had the same question posted twice accidentally... not sure how that happened, and I think you commented on the other question. The site had to remove it because I kept getting very negative comments from people. But thank you for your respectful and thoughtful answer.

    • That's okay.

      I saw some of the other responses below and was disappointed by the immature, disrespectful answers. That's always bad form no matter the circumstance. I always try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. Hopefully more people will adopt this attitude.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 4

  • So clearly, the last relationship is on his mind, which begs the question--how does he feel about you? Not that there's anything wrong with you--he just may not be in a relationship place right now. Secondly, why the hell is he taking testosterone boosters? What's that about? You say he's irratable and has lost sexual desire--are you not having sex? Is he masturbating or not even that?

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    • He cares about me, he said he's never had someone care about him as much as I do. He said he feels like he doesn't deserve me, and that I'm so good to him. He is taking testosterone boosters to gain muscle mass because he likes to lift weights. I noticed a personality change immediately. We have been having sex, he only briefly mentioned his loss of desire for about a week and I didn't see him that week.

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    • Thanks guys, I appreciate your answers. I'm a psychology major, so I feel like I'm driving myself crazy sometimes to understand behavior and you totally just validated everything. I texted him yesterday saying that I understand he's not ready and that I'm going to be there for him (as a friend because he's not ready for a relationship). He really appreciated that and we chatted a bit. Things are OK, and it seems he is on the road to recovery.

    • Coolness. Now you've just got to get out there and date a better guy!

  • for a girl no . for a good looking guy no , for an guy who is average or below , he can't have a relationship because women never give him a chance (which leads to depression and (my route ) suicide )

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    • Dear AU answerer, might I suggest watching this short video. (I spent a couple decades almost experiencing mild to severe depression - no amount of prescription drugs, exercise, or therapy helped - but this did.) link

    • problem is "he says the person must know he is loved " . I am not loved by anyone , my parents don't like me because my 2 brothers and 3 sisters are good looking (so I'm considered a problem child) . Nor do my few friends care about me , they just like my car (and frankly if I tell them go away , I have no friends left at all ) . nor does any girl because I am ugly

  • well be glad you are a girl, you are allowed to have low self-esteem and lack confidence, feel sorry for yourself

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    • This isn't about me. My ex is the one whom I think is depressed. I don't really agree with that social norm anyways. As a psychology major, I understand that everybody is susceptible to a mental illness like depression, especially after a traumatic experience that wasn't dealt with properly. So what do you think? How do I get my ex back knowing he is possibly depressed?

    • well whether it is a social-norm or not, I think it's probably because guys and girls have a different perspective on someone with low self-esteem, low confidence

  • Depression changes everything

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    • So, how do get him back if he is depressed?

What Girls Said 9

  • Yes depression affects every relationship in a person's life, even the non-romantic ones.

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  • pull your socks up

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    • I'm not entirely sure what that means so I googled it, if I found the right definition, I think you are mistaken. He is the one who is depressed... not me. I'm doing everything in my power to support him and be there for him, but he is the kind of guy who needs space from the world when he is stressed out which is why we broke up. I didn't want to break up and I want him back, so how do I go about doing that?

    • wait until he pulls his socks up and becomes a man.

  • I think you should move on. Don't go for everything his mom tells you. She clearly likes you and maybe even tries to influence him on your behalf, but in the end what matters is what he wants and what he feels.

    Not my place to say, but in my opinion, you're just dating for 3 months, should you be all friendly with your mother-in-law like that already? It seems like she's aware of all the ups and downs of the relationship too... I'm just not sure if that's a good thing.

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    • Yeah, you are right. She didn't like his ex at all, so she took to me really fast. She was the one who added me on Facebook and initiated conversation most of the time. And no offense, but 3 months may not seem like a long time to you, but it was a long time to me, especially considering how serious we got in a short amount of time.

    • Yeah, it doesn't sound like a long time to me, not to get that serious anyway. I always suspect guys who get that serious really fast, like they're running away from something or trying to recreate some kinda scenario. Things take time, really getting to know someone takes time.

      Anyways, you seem to believe in what you guys have and I'm not trying to poison anyone, just stating my opinion. Wish you luck.

    • You do have a point, but I think that it's inevitable when you get two somewhat serious people together who are older (I'm 24 and he's 26) we are at the age where it's the norm to settle down so naturally things progressed a little faster. I know you are just stating your opinion and I appreciate an objective view :) It's hard to describe, but I just have a feeling that he and I will be OK. Thank you for your well wishes :)

  • i don't think you can, you should leave him to make up his mind about things and get better

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    • Would you recommend me sending him little supportive texts, or just not text him at all?

  • you cant

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    • What makes you say that?

  • well you could talk to him and try to compromise on your relatioship, have an open comimunicationa dn exercise to make him stop being deppressed

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    • I have already tried talking with him about just taking a break, instead of a break up. He hasn't replied to that text. We normally text everyday and lately the past 5 days he has barely said anything. We even had our break up conversation via text. He works out daily, that is why he is taking the testosterone boosters to help him gain muscle mass.

  • yes, it does

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    • So, how do I salvage our relationship if he is depressed right now?

  • yes, obviously

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    • What should I do to salvage our relationship if he is depressed then?

  • i don't think he really cares about you

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    • That's what I thought too, but his mom and I text on a regular basis and she said that he is really torn up right now and I guess he talks about me and his feelings about me to her all the time. They are really close (he lives with her) so I trust her.

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