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Alone in a relationship

Hi there, 

I am new to these forums so please excuse if I say anything inappropriate or step out of line. I have been with my current boyfriend for three years and we moved in together last year (not due to particularly planning or wanting to, but because my parents told me to get out) which meant I had to move 140 miles South of my friends, family and college and therefore took a very big hit, sinking into a depression. At the time, when it was extremely bad, my partner was supportive and I was overjoyed that someone, finally, wanted to help me. As time went on and I saw a counsellor and took medicine etc, I improved a lot and now I’m in a reasonably good place compared to then.

However, over the past seven/eight months our relationship has seriously deteriorated. Where we used to love going out and spending time together, even if it was just a cup of tea in the kitchen we could sit for hours talking, I now have to essentially cry and beg my partner to want to sit and have a cup of tea and talk to me, and sometimes even then he will flick the TV on in the background. When I questioned him about this it was a case of ‘well I just get bored and I need to always be doing something’. I have since just left this alone, accepting that he isn’t going to change and that I’ll never have his full attention and be able to chat away to him like we used to. The problem is that now, when I’m sad, it’s the same. He used to be proactive and want to help me and want to talk to me and then plan for things that would make me feel better, even if it was just putting on my favourite movie or coming and cuddling me for a while. Now he will just say ‘OK’ or become angry that I don’t want to watch tv/go on the computer saying that it will make me feel better, even though he knows that isn’t what makes me feel better and is just what he wants to do to avoid spending time with me. 

My depressive episodes don’t happen often but are much more frequent than they could be should I be properly supported and feel that my presence is valuable to him, however I seriously constantly question my self worth and whether I am good enough for anyone. I don’t know how to get through to him. When I ask him why he’s not supportive anymore and I feel like he doesn’t care about me, it’s immediately anger and defensive: ‘I obviously care about you’ or ‘you know what, I can’t be arsed with this’ or whatever. A few weeks ago he was away with work (he’s in the army) for 3/4 weeks and I became so depressed and suicidal at being alone and made redundant etc that I took myself to hospital and had to call the welfare service to get him sent home. When he came home he still wasn’t interested and made no effort at all to cheer me up, instead he’s just wanted to sit around watching TV or playing the computer. I don’t know how to get through to him or even if I can. I’m just getting at the moment a cold, hard message that maybe he’s kinda over it, he’s not that interested anymore and this is how it’s going to be because nothing I say makes a difference. 

Can someone please offer advice if you have it on what I can do to improve my relationship? I am so alone at the moment. If not, that is fine too because venting has at least given me a little room to come to terms with everything myself.

Thank you for listening.

Comments

  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 617 Extreme Poster
    Hey @luclinke

    I'm so sorry to hear you are having these problems in your relationship and you don't feel good enough anymore. It's not a healthy relationship if you are questioning your self worth and feel that he is bored of you. It's worrying to hear he didn't seem to care after you had been in hospital. You are worth more than that <3. Are you feeling any better than you felt then? At the end of the day, your happiness is most important, you need to look after yourself, and it sounds like he has actually turned to hindering instead of helping you at the moment? 

    It's a really difficult situation because, as you say, you have been through a lot together and it sounds like he has been a good support in tough times in the past. It also sounds like you have tried to talk to him about how this is making you feel, and you are not getting through to him? Is that right?

    I truly support being honest and talking things out, that usually helps. Do you think you would be able to have a long, serious chat with him without him getting defensive or dismissive of you? 

    - Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
  • PuffinEthicsPuffinEthics Posts: 74 Moderator
    Hi @luclinke

    I'm sorry to hear you are in this position, but I'm glad sharing it with us on the mix helped you come to terms with some of it, that's really good to hear. We are all here for you. 

    I just want to echo @Lucy307 's great response, I can't say it much better really. 

    From your description it seems you aren't getting what you want from the relationship, you seem quite clear on what you do want though? 

    What I would say is that having an open discussion about this, could really help, and it seems to be what you want? 

    Being in the army can be emotionally exhausting and draining so have you guys spoke about how he's feeling at all? There may be things he wants to talk about but is finding it difficult? Obviously, I don't know how he is feeling but that could be a good way to bring up discussing how you both are feeling in general? 

    In the meantime, anything you'd like to talk about here, we're more than willing to listen, so just know that we're here if you need. 

    Let us know how your getting on. 

    Thank you for sharing, 

    Puffin Ethics 
  • Candlestick56Candlestick56 Posts: 90 Miniposter
    Hey @luclinke,

    That sounds really difficult. Three years is a long time to be with someone and it's never easy when someone you really care about starts shutting you out, especially if you don't have any support network outside of the relationship you can turn to.

    I definitely think the most important thing to do is to try talking to him about what's going on, as Puffin Ethics suggests. But I would say, it might be better to approach it from a different angle so he doesn't feel like it's the same conversation about your relationship or your feelings of loneliness. People tend to become more closed off and less supportive when they're struggling with things themselves, so I would suggest starting the conversation by asking how he's feeling and whether he's enjoying the army these days. It might lead to him opening up about something that explains why he's been acting like he has. On the other hand, if he has fallen out of love with you maybe this will give him the opportunity to say so.

    I also think it would be good for you to build up your support network outside of the relationship so you don't feel so alone when he's not around. It can be hard to meet people in a new place, especially if you're shy- I know because I moved county for my ex and felt really alone. Volunteering can be a good way to meet people (have you heard of doit.org?) or local groups like meetup.com. Socialising is really important if you suffer from depression. 

    Another thing you try is doing something different with your bf that you wouldn't normally do, like suggest hiring some bikes and going for a ride somewhere together, or trying a new activity neither of you have done. Maybe he'll be more open to change if you're not always asking for the same thing?

    I hope some of those suggestions help anyway. 

    Look after yourself x 
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