Hi guys, this is pretty long, so congratulations to anyone who bothers to read the whole thing! I thought it was maybe important to give you some back story. Iím just writing this up and posting it out because Iím really not sure what to do. I canít waste any more time thinking about this Ė Iím halfway through my PhD and Iím almost at the point of giving up because I'm so stressed about this relationship.
Iíve been seeing a guy for nearly two years now. When we got together I knew he had some problems Ė he drank a lot and smoked and warned me now and then that he was nervous about me really finding out what sort of person he was. But he was also really good to me.
And then one day about three months into our relationship he suddenly fell into this terrible mood. He started literally beating himself in the car and then wouldnít talk to me at all, just swore and yelled and hit himself and told me that he was feeling messed up about his feelings for his ex-girlfriend. He started criticising our relationship saying that he was more attracted to intense angry relationships Ė which he and his ex had been in. Over the next few weeks and months he pretty much fell apart. When he asked me to tell him how I was feeling I mentioned that I wrote in a journal when I wanted to vent my anger about our relationship so he asked if he could see what Iíd written. I was pretty nervous about this but I let him. Bad idea. He said that what Iíd written was immature and whiney. He even started criticising the way I dressed.
A doctor diagnosed him with depression (he didnít want to go and see a counsellor because he didnít think theyíd Ďget himí) and gave him a script for Effexor. One night when he had first started taking it he stayed over at my place Ė he thrashed around in bed until about 4am and then got up, went into the kitchen and came back carrying a steak knife. He started mumbling something about how we should play a game with it. I was exhausted and terrified, and all I could think to do was snatch the knife from him and lay on top of it. He tried to push me over to get the knife but I pressed myself down into the bed. Finally he gave up and fell asleep. I stayed awake, crying until the sun came up.
We've tried to go on vacations before - road trips, but each time I've come to pick him up he's been in bed, Ďhung overí from the anti-depressant overdose heíd taken the night before (he still has some Endep from a few years back that he takes now and then to sleep). 5 hour car trips have never been more insufferable than with your depressed boyfriend zonked out on the passenger seat next to you.
In the time weíve been together, heís flatly asked me not to come to events weíve both been invited to because heís wanted to sort things out with his ex who was also there, heís broken and smashed lots of thing Ė one night he got really drunk and stormed off, he smashed a carís windshield, and told me that heís kicked over a cross/memorial that was on the side of the road.
Iíve tried to break it off with him before. But each time I say itís over He looks at me like he has no idea why Iím even thinking about us splitting up.
He seems to get angry at himself and then relays the anger onto me. He got angry on our anniversary and on my birthday and on Valentine ís Day because he couldnít afford to get me anything even though Iíd told him not to worry. He seems surprised that his bad moods bring me down. He actually asks out loud why Iím Ďacting sad.í I do try to act as happy as I can, especially if I know heís in a bad mood, but itís so exhausting.
Heís also a bit of an academic snob Ė he gets his kicks from being superior and when I feel that Iím speaking my mind about things he tells me that Iím wrong, or that Iím not thinking about things hard enough.
He plays with my confidence sometimes too Ė some days he says that he can see us being together for the long haul, getting married, having kid etc, he even quite seriously thought of moving in with me at one point. But then the next day heíll say that we have no future, that he might break up with me really soon if he doesnít get better because he canít stand hurting me.
Iíve told him that I fear losing him to his depression or to someone else Ė I told him that I was scared of him meeting someone he liked more than me. He said my fears were pretty unfounded and that he would never meet anyone who was as willing to put up with his BS as I was (that made me feel pretty terrible). And then he went on to mentioned that there was a girl in his class that he had flirted with only a few days before. He said that it was nothing serious, just a bit of fun. He told me that after flirting with her he had gone to the bathroom and cried.
A couple of days ago we went on another vacation, this time with his family. Iíd been really looking forward to it and so had he. But the whole time we were there he was angry. The first day he wouldnít let me touch him Ė not even to tap his shoulder. The next day he wanted to go for a bike ride Ė the only problem was that I was too short to be able to ride any of the bikes his family had hired (Iím not tiny, but Iím pretty small). He got really mad at this and said that I wasnít trying . When I finally managed to sit him down and ask what was going on he rolled into my arms and started crying, and saying that he was sorry, and that he didnít know.
And then in the evening he mentioned that he was going to a concert on the weekend Ė making a point that I wasnít invited because he was going with that girl heíd flirted with a few days before. I went numb. I asked him if he liked her Ė he said that he did, but again reassured me that everything was ok. But he joked that he had this fantasy about starting a new relationship because then he could be with someone who didnít know how terrible he was. I was devastated that the first time he had sounded really, truly excited about something in a long time was when this cute girl had invited him out (yes, yes, I looked her up on facebook. Sheís gorgeous). I canít tell if Iím being weird about this. If my jealousy is unjustified...
So after all of this, I just have no idea what to do. I have absolutely zero confidence at the moment. I just want things to get better. I want him to get better. For the last year and a half Iíve asked him to consider getting counselling. So far he hasnít even looked into it.
Basically my questions are: for those of you who have been in relationships with depressed people, how much is too much? Whatís the point at which you should throw the towel in (I know thereís no real answer to this, but I donít know if Iím wasting my time with him)? If youíve been in a relationship this bad, or worse, how have you salvaged it? And also, I know I canít Ďfixí him, I know I canít make him not depressed, but what are some tips for handling those you care about when theyíre depressed? How can I not let it tear me up so much?
Wow. Remember you are battling a disease, not your boyfriend. My first thought is about the knife incident. You are not safe, you realize that, right?. He is not thinking about the consequences of his actions, like hurting you, which he has been doing in numerous different ways. He is not thinking about how you feel, or how his actions are hurtful. He is not thinking the way you are.
Is he still under a MD care? If not, insist that he go back. Suggest couples therapy to him as a condition of staying in the relationship.
This is an awful lot for one person to handle without professional help. Stay strong.
Thanks for all your responses, this really means a lot to me.
Pluto2: No, he's not still in MD care as far as I know. He doesn't really tell me about his life anymore, and when I ask he snaps back saying it's not an interesting topic of conversation. I have suggested therapy before, but he's never shown any interest in it. I booked a few therapy sessions for myself to see if there was any way I could sort out what was going on but the therapist admitted that she could only really recommend that I suggest therapy to him...it's a bit of a sick cycle carousel.
I think I might need to make an exit on this one, now it's just a matter of striking up the confidence and preparing for the inevitable heartbreak...
Again, thanks so much for all the support and comments!
You lost me at "he was nervous about me really finding out what sort of person he was". Between that and the episode at the three month mark I have to wonder why you didn't have second thoughts about entering into a relationship with such an obviously unhealthy individual. You state that he suffers from depression. Is it bipolar disorder? At any rate, this relationship sounds very unhealthy for YOU. How is your self-esteem? Maybe listing the pros and cons of staying in this relationship would be a good place to begin. He does sound like a danger to you.
I honestly did not know Elavil/Endep (Amitriptyline) was still prescribed for depression. It has some pretty well know bizarre and dangerous side effects in overdose. It has equally serious interactions with SSRI/SNRI's. If your partner experiences weird behavior immediately upon taking Effexor (which takes 3-4 weeks to build up in the brain) it means that he's still taking Endep and it's interacting in a dangerous way with Effexor. Symptons include serotonin syndrome & heart arrhythmia. This list of drugs and OTC drugs which are contraindicated is enormous with Endep.
oh my God. Just drop him and never look back. Actually dont even break it off with him. Just disappear and never talk to him again. I married one and my life has been a nightmare since. Now he is leaving me but cant go fast enough. You ll end up in a broken marriage and you dont want that. Posted via Mobile Device