How to deal with someone who is always miserable?
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

Hello everyone,

I have a situation with my fiancee that has been going on for years now. I know there is an underlying problem, which is probably linked to depression but as of right now, we aren't able to get medical help. Basically she is almost constantly upset and it is obviously really effecting me, us, and others.

Some days she wakes up in a great mood but any little thing seems to unleash doom upon the entire day. It seems like she can't handle anything anymore. It could be something as small as a few clothes on the ground (which results in "this house is disgusting and I don't want to live here anymore!"). She just seems very unreasonable all the time.

I'm generally a happy person who tries to be positive as much as possible. She is starting to seem like the exact opposite. I do not want a marriage like that.

I feel like I have to fix her problems for her all the time... and it has become a full time job!! I will be at work when i get text messages from her about an issue. Today it was the fact that she couldn't find a job... and she hasn't been looking very long. I tell her that something will pop up and sooner or later she will find something. I have to coach her, while i am at work, and if i fail to keep up a constant conversation she lashes out at me. It doesn't matter that I cannot really talk to her while I am at work- she expects me to stop everything I am doing (i can't) and take pity while giving her advice...

... the biggest problem is that any advice i do give her, she acts as if it is useless and takes it out on me!! I try the best i can to cheer her up and tell her everything will be ok but she just shoots it down.

I'm at the end of my rope some days and I find myself lashing back out at her when it gets too much.

I just feel as if i can't live my life AND her's all the time- making sure nothing EVER goes wrong for her... or its my head!

I don't know what to do!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

Maybe she doesn't want you to offer advice. Maybe she just wants you to be her friend and listen to her while she laments about her problems. Maybe she wants to feel as if you care and you are with her in her pain, not standing on the outside looking at her be miserable.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

You can't make her happy. You can try and comfort her and cheer her up, but you won't make her be a happy person. It sounds like you need to get her help, but you say you can't do that right now. I think it's the only way, and you have to make it happen. It sounds like depression to me too, and medication and therapy are the only things that will help. I understand your frustration, but if it is depression, then she can't really help the way she acts, and she's probably as miserable as you. Will she see a doctor?
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

My only suggestion would be therapy. She has an underlying issue that makes her angry all the time.

It's not you, keep that in mind.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

You say she's your fiancee. If that's the case, i would strongly suggest putting the wedding on hold, until her issue(s) with depression and/or whatever is resolved. I'm not trying to be callous here...just speaking from first hand experience.

I'm curious, what was her childhood like? It may/may not have something to do with her behaviour. If so, sometimes it can be resolved through a lot of personal counseling and/or meds (if depression), sometimes it can't. However, if it's NOT resolved, it will drain you emotionally/physically...and create problems in the marriage.

I feel for you and wish you (and her), the best moving forward.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

I think all of you are right. I can't help but automatically think it's my job to "fix it" or my fault when it's not "fixed". It's hard to ignore those feelings though and thats whats causing at least the problems on my end.

All i really want is for HER to be happy though. She tried being on medication before and didn't like the way it made her feel. She seemed 'out of it' a lot of times. I think shes weary of giving it another shot.

Her childhood was actually pretty good-- if there is anything she is sad about relating to her childhood is that its probably over.

It's her ability to handle stress and changes (and there are always a lot of those going on) that is keeping her down. She just got out of college, cant find a reasonable job, and is in debt with her loans that keeps her up at night.

I definitely understand where and why she is upset.

I feel like its my fault that i can't deal with her stress and moods though! It feels like im failing when I can't make it better and its overwhelming the amount of it. I never feel at ease even when shes in a good mood.

I want to try therapy with her since she probably will shy away from any medication. It's hard to get her to follow through on things like this though.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

Don't take it personally when she complains. She just wants someone to listen. Don't offer advice or tell her not to worry. Just be there.

If you can't be there, tell her why and you know she really needs you but you have to work etc. Give her a specific time when she can unload and just listen as she does, looking into her eyes and giving her your undivided attention.

Maybe she's depressed, but I don't think she's any more depressed than any one else who just got out of college and has debts and no job. She just wants to know you understand and that you care about her situation. You don't have to fix it or take responsibility for it at all. Just be there with her while she's going through this.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

You stated this 'has been going on for years'.

So, has this behavior been the status quo for your entire relationship?

What do you get out of the relationship besides someone to fix?
What does she provide for you that you decided this is the woman you want to spend a lifetime with?
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deejo View Post
You stated this 'has been going on for years'.

So, has this behavior been the status quo for your entire relationship?

What do you get out of the relationship besides someone to fix?
What does she provide for you that you decided this is the woman you want to spend a lifetime with?
Well i should say this has been going "on and off" for years. In fact the past few months since about September were some of the best times we had. But this seems to happen on and off. It's like she sinks into a black hole for months at a time.

She knows of her problem. I know it sounds like a normal persons depression sometimes but maybe i am sugar coating it a bit. Her family knows of the problem and her mom has tried getting her help in the past.

I care deeply about her, not because I am wanting to "fix her" (though of course, if possible, that would be wonderful) but because there are at least equal uptimes to the downtimes. This isn't her and it wasn't her the first few years of the relationship. But it seems to be her now.

Today since this first post it's been pretty bad. She's just been sitting on the couch all day telling me how she can't take it anymore. I've done all i can to listen and support her.

I feel like a bad person though sometimes when, in my head, I get so frustrated and want to ask her "why can't you just be happy?!?!".

It wears me out to the point where I feel like I can't do it anymore. She makes me feel like everything is doomed. She is so persistent in her pessimism that its making us both depressed.

I used to think its all temporary... and in a way it is. It gets better for months at a time, but then when a new stress enters her life- she just wants to end it all.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

I really understand where you are coming from...I have had this problem with my husband since the beginning of our relationship. When we first met he was really happy all the time, and then he would have occasional moments of depression, where everything just seemed too hard and the world was unfair. Then he would get back on top of things and feel good and then it would happen again....slowly as the years have gone by is is have less of the "happy" times and more of the unhappy times.
Sometimes I think that he looks at me and resents me for being so happy all the time, and having my life figured out..when he doesnt and that makes him even more unhappy.
Over the years I have done exactly what you have been doing - I try to fix every problem/difficulty he has. To the point now where he doesnt feel that he can do anything for himself....
Dont get into that cycle with your fiance. I am trying to get myself out of that and empower my husband to get his life on track for himself by himself just with my support. Do the same for your fiance...listen to her, make suggestions as a friend, and then listen to what she has to say. But dont do things for her, because even if she gets a job she will feel like she was only able to do it because of you! Trust me on that one....
My husband has finally agreed to get counselling - but at the moment he isnt doing anything to go out and find himself one or make the appointment. So much of me wants to do what I always do and call counsellors and make appointments for him but I know I cant...I know its tough but you need to let her start taking some responsibility for herself - it will only make her feel better and you
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

Be aware of what you are signing up for. Loving someone that struggles with severe bouts of depression is a parasitic relationship.

They count on your support and enthusiasm all the while you get sucked into the despair. They can't meet their own needs and blame you for not meeting their needs. As for what you need emotionally? Your needs are almost never a priority. You start looking forward to the oasis of normalcy and hope you can get enough positive attention to carry you through the next storm.

Ask yourself this question; if this is as good as it ever gets, in terms of the depth and satisfaction of your relationship and her ability to function, do you still want to sign up for life? Introduce children?
Your life matters too. Treat it with the same consideration you are giving hers.

If she refuses to take steps to care for herself, you cannot possibly make the situation better.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

I have this personal policy against not marrying crazy people. I did pass on a very lovely young woman because of this, and found a wonderfully lovable young woman - and married her. Best thing I ever did my whole life.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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hi James0990

I think what you gf is experiancing is like something I went through in the last few years. With the help of my wonderful bf and a counsellor, I have got over it (mostly).
My symptoms and history are similar to hers, except I was never on prescription meds (they got prescribed to me, but my Mum and bf said it would be a bad idea, and I trusted them more than the doc).

Perhaps you'd like to hear what helped me?

1) exercise! I wasn't getting much, being in the final year of my uni degree, but last year in june I joined a gym, started going to classes (weights/cardio - 'bodypump') 3-5 times a week. That made a huge difference to my self confidence - I felt better about the way I looked, better about myself, more in control (lifting heavier and heavier weights was great for that!). Other exercise would probably work too, like team sports/cycling or whatever. But moderate to vigorous, and often! (tell her she's awesome for doing it, that you admire/respect her for it). Your gf may not want to do it - despite my bf telling me for a year or more that he thought I was happier when I exercised, and my counsellor saying it could be as effective as antidepressent meds, it wasn't until I thought of joining the gym 'myself' that I actually did it, and committed. Paying the fees helped me go so often - I wanted to make sure I got value for money!

2) space and a chance to cope by herself, or to help you cope. If she's as down as you say (and I was) she may not notice if you need help/support, so ask. 'Darling I'm really really tired today, would you look after me?' My bf does that still, and even when I'm feeling down myself, it motivates me to look after him (bring him a drink/snack, make dinner and wash up the dishes, tell him he's lovely, etc). I feel better, feel more confident and competent when I do that, especially when he thanks me for it - and he gets an evening of being pampered, for a change!
Alternately, rather than you asking for help, she may benefit from starting a project that's HERS. I started gardening, and growing from seed (that's cheapest), and for monthes that was a surefire way for me to cheer myself up, put myself back in a happy mood... then bf got pretty involved in the garden, and started 'dictating'/'giving advice' on how things should be done... and my garden wasn't my project anymore, and it couldn't transport me to a happy place. So If she starts a project, admire it from afar (Do admire it, but don't let it become 'our' project)

3) You, as her bf, need to look after your own needs too! Go out, and spend time with happy people. Invite her too, but go even if she doesn't want to come. My bf was in an unhappy job, he had stress at work and at home with me. When he changed his job, he got happier, and I got happier because he was, I think.

4)) I got assertive. I recognised that when I said 'yes'/'ok'/'I don't mind' when that wasn't true, I resented it, and I held a grudge about it. So over the last few months I have been trying really hard to just say what I mean, ask for what I want, and stop expecting my bf to guess it magically.

5) A quick fix for cheeryness for me was if my bf cuddled me, and looked me in the eye, and told me in detail how he loved, admired and respected me, and how I should believe in myself because I could do anything. Of course, in the darkest times, he had trouble doing that i think, because he was so emotionally exhausted by my depression. Which goes right back to point (3).

Finally, a note on labelling. I went through phases with it - I didn't like people intimating that my problems weren't real - they sure as hell felt real to me. But I also didn't like being labelled as having depression. I interpreted that as 'something wrong with me, my fault, that I was a failure because I needed to see a counsellor, and I wasn't getting better', and I resented it, because I felt my bf contributed to my issues by always knowing the 'best way' to do something, and always telling me what that was. He felt much as you do, I believe - like he had to help me, fix my problems for me. And I interpreted it as him judging me, wanting to 'fix' me, because he only actually liked me when I was happy, rather that loving the whole of me. Your gf may be getting some of the same messages.

Oh, um, talk with her about it, as rationally as the pair of you can manage. Consider seeing a counsellor together - even the 'waiting list' effect can be powerful (having decided to see a counsellor, you've acknoleged a problem, and you can benefit before you even see someone).

Anyway, I very much hope you can find something in this long and rambling post that helps you and your gf. I and my bf are on much much better terms, and thought we're (/I'm) not out of the woods yet, I feel like I I've now got a map and a compass! (...hmm, actually, do relationships ever get out of the woods? or is a GPS the best you can hope for?)
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

The good news. You realize you are in a downward spiral. The bad news, you don't seem to know how to break out of it.

STOP responding to nonsense. When she wants to engage you and you are at work you simply don't respond until lunch and even then you ask her nicely "lets discuss this when I get home". If she tries to amplify the drama "I am really upset - just tell her you need to run and end it".

If she is really angry/ugly when you get home or shortly thereafter you can simply say "we need to be apart until you get control of your emotions".

IF YOU DON'T DO THIS YOU ARE SCREWED. If you keep trying to be nice when she is being mean/angry/irrational she is just going to get worse. I remember telling my new wife "You do not treat me as well as I treat you and that is unacceptable". And then I firmly explained why and I stopped being so nice/helpful emotionally connected until it changed. NOT FUN. Kind of scary even. Highly effective. You do not want to marry someone like this.




QUOTE=james0990;121405]Hello everyone,

I have a situation with my fiancee that has been going on for years now. I know there is an underlying problem, which is probably linked to depression but as of right now, we aren't able to get medical help. Basically she is almost constantly upset and it is obviously really effecting me, us, and others.

Some days she wakes up in a great mood but any little thing seems to unleash doom upon the entire day. It seems like she can't handle anything anymore. It could be something as small as a few clothes on the ground (which results in "this house is disgusting and I don't want to live here anymore!"). She just seems very unreasonable all the time.

I'm generally a happy person who tries to be positive as much as possible. She is starting to seem like the exact opposite. I do not want a marriage like that.

I feel like I have to fix her problems for her all the time... and it has become a full time job!! I will be at work when i get text messages from her about an issue. Today it was the fact that she couldn't find a job... and she hasn't been looking very long. I tell her that something will pop up and sooner or later she will find something. I have to coach her, while i am at work, and if i fail to keep up a constant conversation she lashes out at me. It doesn't matter that I cannot really talk to her while I am at work- she expects me to stop everything I am doing (i can't) and take pity while giving her advice...

... the biggest problem is that any advice i do give her, she acts as if it is useless and takes it out on me!! I try the best i can to cheer her up and tell her everything will be ok but she just shoots it down.

I'm at the end of my rope some days and I find myself lashing back out at her when it gets too much.

I just feel as if i can't live my life AND her's all the time- making sure nothing EVER goes wrong for her... or its my head!

I don't know what to do![/QUOTE]
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to deal with someone who is always miserable?

this may or may not come as a surprise, but have you ever thought that perhaps she just isn't happy...with you? it's possible that her frustration is coming from a feeling of dissatisfaction within her personal life. is she having family problems? take a close look at her interpersonal relationships and see if you notice any conflicts. some people who suffer from low self esteem have a nasty habit of latching onto a relationship that came easily even though the person doesn't fully interest them at heart. it's better to have someone to lean on than to be alone with their own sadness or anger in their eyes. it may be that she is using the relationship like a drug to take away from feelings that are too painful to confront. has your sex life taken a downturn? also be cautious because sometimes cheaters behave in this "nothing is ever enough" manner, which validates their behaviors. don't become a doormat. let her know you're feeling more like a therapist than a fiance. and poke around a little...read some texts and emails. don't be someone's fool. best of luck to you.
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