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How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship When You’re Depressed

“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.”  ~Fred Rogers

“Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” ~Unknown

When you’re depressed, your perception about many things changes—so how does this affect your relationships?

I’m thinking about this today, because—drum roll please—I’m a little depressed.

Now I’m not depressed in the suicidal “I want to drive off the road” kind of way, but in the far less dramatic but still deeply unpleasant “mild to moderate” kind of way.  

For me, one of the most challenging aspects to feeling like this is that I don’t feel as connected as I normally do—with my friends, the world in general, and with my beautiful, kind, sweet, smart, sexy husband.

And this isn’t specific to me; this is what depression is, a lack of feeling.

When you’re depressed you can’t access feelings of self-love. And since the love you feel for others is a reflection of the love you feel for yourself, this is why you feel disconnected.

You have an intellectual understanding of the love you have for your girlfriend/mother/sister/boyfriend but you can’t feel it as much as you normally do.

Years ago during a time when I was depressed, crying and unhappy, a friend told me, “I can see you’re still feeling something—so you can’t be too depressed.”

And it’s true. The more depressed you are, the quieter your heart is. It’s like a continuum.

It’s not like you don’t have all the feelings in you; you just can’t feel them right now. Just in case you’re tempted to worry about not having feelings. 

And this can be a problem in a relationship. One day you’re connected to yourself, and therefore your partner too, and the next day you don’t feel connected to anything.

When you’re depressed you misread situations; you perceive others as being critical of you.

But what you’re seeing is a reflection of what you’re thinking about yourself. It’s you that’s being critical of you. Not them being critical of you.

When you don’t understand what happens when you’re depressed and you listen to everything your depressed mind says, you can cause havoc in your relationship.

And this is why, when I’m depressed, I do something I don’t normally do: I keep my feelings to myself. And actually, they’re not my feelings; they’re just some rubbish going through my head, which I misconstrue for feelings.

If I feel irritated or hurt by something I think my husband has done, I don’t tell him.

Here’s an example: my husband says, “Pass me the salt” and I think he’s saying, “You’re a terrible cook,” and get mad at him for being unkind.

But he’s not; he’s just saying, “Pass me the salt.”

The salt scenario is made up, in case you were wondering, but the level of silliness is about right.

But I’m meant to share my feelings? Every website about depression I’ve been to says to talk to someone.

Yes. Well, there’s talking and then there’s talking.

Sharing with a loved one and/or health professional that you’re feeling depressed can be hugely helpful, and something I highly recommend.

But that’s another matter entirely from picking a fight over something that wasn’t real in the first place.

Because what’s to be gained by talking about something based on a misperception?

When you have a conversation with a drunk person, you have a drunken conversation; it doesn’t make sense.

And so it is when you talk to a depressed person you have a depressed conversation. And likewise, it’s often not logical.

In fact, depression can be almost as challenging for loved ones as it is for the person who is depressed.

Rather than respond to all the rubbish your mind is telling you, it can be more useful to take a step back and just notice what you’re thinking.

If you want to say something about how you’re feeling you could say something like “Oh sweetie, I’m feeling a bit flat tonight. My mind has some strange thoughts going through it. And I miss feeling connected with you.”

And when they ask what they are, don’t tell them.

No way.

I usually say something like, “Let’s not go into it. I’m pretty sure my head’s a little twisted right now, but if there is something to talk about, let’s do it when I’m feeling better.”

And do you know what? On the odd occasion where there is something to talk about, if I wait until I’m feeling better, its no big deal: I talk, he listens, we both talk, and done. That kind of conversation is just not possible for me when I’m feeling flat.

And then we cuddle. Because I like cuddling.

Result: You and your partner have some level of connection, you’ve honored your “flatness” by accepting it, and you’ve avoided a silly discussion based on a misperception.

But what if this isn’t just me being depressed; I mean I shouldn’t tolerate being treated badly?

Your mind may try to convince you that this incident you’re so mad about must be sorted out immediately. But before you do, ask yourself, is there a chance I’m a little flat?

Because if you are, there’s a good chance you’re reading the situation incorrectly.

A while ago I went out with a couple of friends. At the end of the evening, one friend took me aside and said, “Wow, Greg is being so critical tonight.”

Which seemed strange to me, since he was the one being critical. He thought Greg was critical of him, when really it was him being critical of himself.

And this is my point.

So how do you honor yourself when you’re depressed and give yourself the love and kindness you need without blowing up an otherwise loving relationship?

1. Don’t believe everything your mind says.

Your mind’s always telling you things that aren’t true, and this applies even more so when you’re depressed. The more you can differentiate between you and your mind, the easier this gets. See if you can step back and think, “Ah, look at what I’m thinking now.”

2. Don’t make assumptions.

Watch out for assumptions your mind is making. Look at what you’re mad about. Did they actually say that, or are you drawing conclusions yourself?

Chances are you’re just seeing a reflection of your own thoughts. And anyway, if anything your mind is telling you is real, it’ll still be there when you’re not feelings so flat, by which time any conversation you do have will be infinitely easier and more productive.

3. Connect with your loved one over the bigger picture.

Try sharing the bigger picture of how you’re feeling (“Honey I think I might be depressed”), rather than voicing your criticism of them. If there really is something bothering you, it’ll still be there when your depressed feelings have passed; and I promise you, it’ll be a whole lot easier to talk about it then!

4. Know that your mind is very convincing.

Your mind may think it is absolutely imperative that you bring up the issue. And you know what? You might still decide to. It’s your call. If you do find yourself in a discussion that you later regret, don’t worry about it; it’s all okay. It might be helpful to show this article to your partner.

5. This time will pass.

And even though you can’t feel it right now, you have all the calm and peaceful loving feelings inside of you.

Kind wishes and loving relationships to you!

Photo by tamakisono

Avatar of Lisa Esile

About Lisa Esile

Lisa is the author of "7 Secrets Your Mind Doesn't Want You To Know" which you can download for free at her website. Lisa grew up in New Zealand and now lives in Venice, California with her husband.

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  • Jennifer Hourani

    I definitely agree with the approach of taking a step back and detaching yourself from your depressed thought patterns. The analogy of drunk people/drunken conversations definitely struck me, because sometimes, drunken people do admit things that were locked in a vault; not saying I condone that behavior, but do you think when we’re depressed, our mind – though it’s in a negative state – is also communicating something we are hiding from ourselves in our conscious, more peaceful states? Things we haven’t addressed, like insecurities or thought patterns that we subdue, instead of conquer? And that by working on those things in “sober” time, or happier times, we can slowly decrease the amount of times we feel depressed?

    And I also agree that sometimes it helps to just acknowledge how you’re feeling, rather than fall into the black hole of describing it or blaming it on people around you. It’s not always easy but you seem to be handling it very well. You and your husband are awesome to actively maintain such an open and understanding relationship.

    Thank you so much for sharing Lisa :)

  • Lisaesile

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for your comment and question … regarding whether our mind, when we’re depressed, is trying to communicate something – my thoughts on this are, no. I mean, our mind is always trying to tell us things, but most of the time it doesn’t know what it’s talking about! The challenge is that our mind is so convincing.

    We live in a world that’s very ‘heady’, and by that I means, a world that encourages us to analyze our thoughts; a world that teaches us that we are our thoughts. So we’ve become accustomed to listening to our mind and worrying about what it’s telling us, and wondering if we should be doing more, analyzing our thoughts and so on.

    Often the state of being depressed is a time when our inner wisdom ‘bubbles up,’ but this isn’t coming from the mind. I talk about this in another article I wrote for Tiny Buddha about depression, which you might find helpful, And I have a book you can download which talks about the true nature of the mind, which also goes into this in more detail.

    I have got better at this kind of thing, but it’s still pretty challenging and unpleasant sometimes. Once you and your partner are on the same page, it’s much easier though. Have you read Richard Carlson’s book, called ‘You Can Be Happy No Matter What? I only discovered it last week and have been telling people flat stick about it.

    Warm wishes and thanks again, Lisa.

  • Nikki A

    Wow Lisa! This was on point for me this dreary Monday morning. Much needed and very insightful. I found myself struggling with reacting emotionally to an insensitive teacher of my son and really I have to literally remind myself that sometimes the things that cause anger or hurt to well up within me may only have to do with my struggle with depression and anxiety. Thank you for making me feel not so alone. :)

  • M Sonnier

    This is so relevant right now. Great post! :-)

  • Jenni

    Thank you so much, Lisa. I’ve been struggling with this, and to read someone else’s beautiful interpretation and advice is so helpful.

    The cycle starts at work: I’ve been feeling uninspired, which leads to general discouragement and “grayness.” As you described, it’s more a lack of feeling than anything else. I’m finding it very hard to show love to my boyfriend, or even to be happy for him at times when I’d normally be his biggest cheerleader. And because I feel like a horrible girlfriend, I get more down on myself.

    Thank you for reminding me not to listen to my distorted thoughts. Acknowledge, move on, and forget.

  • Sabrina

    This summarizes my current situation perfectly. I have had similar arguments to the salt one you described above. Thanks for helping me see things from a different point of view! This is definitely just the advice I was needing.

  • Katherine

    Hi Lisa, I really enjoyed your article. It was like it was written for me! So many bells rang true, and it helps to see things from this angle. Espcially the salt example! Thanks so much for sharing your mind. Katherine, Auckland NZ

  • Lisaesile

    Hi Katherine, NZ! Nice to hear from home:)

    And thanks for your comments.. Interesting to see that you and others resonate with the salt example – such a funny thing our mind sometimes. Pleased you liked the angle. Have a nice day, hope the weather is better in Auckland this week than last!

  • Lisaesile

    Thanks Sabrina, my pleasure! Go well:)

  • Lisaesile

    Hi Jenni,

    Thanks so much for your comments. Yep – it can be tricky all right. But once you understand you still ARE his biggest cheerleader, but that you just can’t feel it right now, you will probably find the ‘flatness’ lifts more quickly. I know I do.

    I’m also tempted to feel like a bad wife too, so I just add it to the list of things my mind is telling me that I’m not going to listen to!

    If you do decide to try this way, I’d love to know how you go. Best wishes Lisa. X

  • Lisaesile

    Thank you and kind wishes to you:)

  • Lisaesile

    Hi Nikki,
    Ah cool – pleased to hear it hit the spot! Have a great afternoon:)

  • Jorge

    What a great article. I so enjoyed it cause it is truly something we rather bury than understand its nature. Gracias Lisa.

  • cath

    Thanks for your article. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’m very lucky in that my partner is being so supportive and giving me space in a way that I need. Your words about realising that your depressed thoughts can be squewed is so true. I’ve learnt with my depression and anxiety that when the thoughts come, I try to ‘review’ them and work out whether they’re rational. Doesn’t always work, but it’s helped me feel calmer.

  • Joanna Weston

    Great article! I absolutely agree about the importance of recognising that our perceptions and judgements are skewed during depression. I loved the salt example! There is one thing I would add, though. In my experience (which is, of course, mine alone and not necessarily applicable to everyone else) it can be helpful for me to tell my husband what I am thinking. So, if I were involved in your salt example, I might say “Huh. My depression must really be acting up tonight. It has me half convinced that you were saying that I’m a terrible cook!” This allows me to voice my thought without succumbing to it and gives my husband a chance to reassure me instead of defending himself. I’m sure that wouldn’t work in every relationship, but I have personally found it very helpful.

  • Terri

    This is the most applicable piece I have read in a very long time. Yes, thank you for reminding me that just because I think it, that doesn’t mean it’s true. Or that it must be addressed.

  • kammie

    Wow this article is very helpful and I can relate to it completely. The mind is very ambitious sometimes but we must always have the awareness or solving problems in a calm manner.

  • Lisaesile

    Yep, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, while this article is for ‘depression’ it applies to anyone who has a ‘low’ or ‘bad’ mood too – which is everyone. Not always easy, I agree.

    Thanks for your kind words and for contributing to the discussion:)

  • Lisaesile

    Thanks for saying. And it is my pleasure!

  • Lisaesile

    Thank you. It is nice to be reminded isn’t it. I like to be too. Our mind is so convincing sometimes!

  • lv2terp

    These are great statements that you made….”When you’re depressed you misread situations; you perceive others as being critical of you. But what you’re seeing is a reflection of what you’re thinking about yourself. It’s you that’s being critical of you. Not them being critical of you.” Really great points, and tips!!! :) Thank you for this post, fantastic!!!

  • Lisaesile

    Yep – or waiting until we feel calm! Thanks so much for your comment and kind words!

  • Rachael Tiow

    Lisa Esile: This is such an amazing post and it arrived at such a timely manner!
    I’ve been quite stress over my work and I feel the stress leaking into my relationship with my partner. It’s so conflicting and confusing…because I know I love her and want to be in her presence, but I feel as though I want to seclude myself.

    But, your article cleared the air for me and have provided very useful tips! I will be using them, as a matter of fact, I already am. :D
    I am so grateful and can’t thank you enough!
    ~ Namaste…Rachael :D

  • Nidia

    Excellent article!!!!

  • Lisaesile

    That’s great to hear, thank you for telling me. Really am pleased there was something useful in the article. Warm wishes from me to you! X Lisa

  • Lisaesile

    My pleasure! Thanks for your comment!

  • vidhyasagar

    tanku very very very much this article s awwwwwwwwwweeeesssssoooooommmmeeeee and tankx alot 4 making me understand….

  • katie

    I am living this right now. It’s a very new feeling for me. It’s been so difficult to put into words and I feel like I beat myself up a little each day. I feel horrible for my incredibly kind husband…and I am lucky that he is so beautiful and supportive. I have been blaming my circumstances and surroundings for the emotions I have been feeling, and while they play a huge part, I am responsible for how I react and treat others. Thank YOU for sharing this, very best to you. to all.

  • Claudia

    Thank you for this! It hit me you have no clue on how well!!! Marriage is the toughest thing I have ever gone thru.the battles don’t stop and keep on coming.i will try my hardes to keep all of this in mind.Thankyou!!!!!!! Claudia

  • Guest

    My girlfriend

  • Alex

    Thanks for this post Lisa! Very well written, relevant and true. I love the examples you put in and the way you put your own experiences in, which I probably may have experienced similarly in one stage or another in my life/relationship. These tips will surely help.

  • Teah

    Thank you. I think, I needed to read this. I’ve thought for a while now that i’m probably pretty depressed, and now i’m pretty sure. Thank you. I think it’s time I try to heal now.

  • Steph

    Hi Lisa! This helped me a lot! My boyfriend is feeling (what I think) exactly the same way, so understanding that he’s not the only one has put me at ease.
    He keeps pushing me away and says he needs time to himself to think if this relationship is what he wants, and we actually broke up. He said exactly, if I can’t love myself, I can’t put myself to love anyone else and that I don’t deserve this, and I should want more for myself… I shouldn’t wait for him and being on a “break” is exactly that. It’s been really difficult on me. I’m trying to say that I’m waiting for him, giving him space, and we can work through it together. It’s a working progress but I’m scared of losing him.
    Did you ever try and push your husband away? I can’t get it through his head that I want to be a part of his life while he tries to figure this out. He keeps saying that if I were there, all he would do is push me away. So glad you’ve found a way to make it work! Definitely an inspiration!
    Thanks again for your post! :)

  • Alex

    Thank you very much for writing this, it’s helped me a lot and I’ve woken up recently :D

  • K.M

    Hi there, I was just wondering if you ever have trust issues with your husband? My partner and I have a great relationship together except nearly every time I go out with friends/family he thinks I must be doing something that I am not telling him and sends me horrible texts while I am out about me cheating or something ridiculous. He can get very angry about it and it can result in big arguments. After hes cooled off he then tells me he knows Im not doing anything and does trust me but things go through his mind at the time and he just forgets. It really is a struggle and it hurts to know he is feeling this way about me and that he has those thoughts. How can I help him? I shouldn’t have to and will not limit contact with my closest friends because of this as I am not doing anything wrong but I don’t want him to feel that way when we are not together.

  • Molly-Rollick

    This article has really helped me. My boyfriend recently confessed to me that he has been secretly fighting depression for the last 10 years – it runs in his family. He has never spoken about it to anyone nor has he ever got any help. I’ve always suspected something was ‘up’ with him as he is very self deprecating, seems to constantly be distracted or worried about things and has ‘episodes’ where he becomes very detached and will isolate himself – ie: not answer his phone/go surfing for a couple of days by himself. The problem i have in dealing with him, is that his negative thinking impacts on the time we have together – we can spend a lovely weekend together full of laughter, then suddenly he will go quiet and become distracted and say that there’s tension between us, and he’s having doubts. It makes me really upset because i know that it’s just his depression making him see things negatively, and his self deprecation telling him that he’s unlovable – rather than an actual problem with our relationship – I just wish I could make him see that we have a beautiful relationship and he just needs to relax and enjoy it rather than constantly thinking about the negatives. I worry that he will just let his depression get the better of him and he will throw away what we have, he tells me i’m the most important person in his life but then 3 days later when he’s feeling down i barely get a kiss out of him. Does anyone know the best way to cope/reassure/deal with someone like this? He says he’s going to get help because he doesn’t want to live like this, but I just worry that he won’t get round to it in time and he will self sabotage our relationship.

  • kholynn82

    Hi KM,
    Maybe I can share with you about my experience. I’m the one who acted like your husband and got all crazy and ‘possessive’ when he goes out. I now understand its my own insecurities. Your husband needs to do with that issue on his own. What you could support him is once in a while invite him to your gatherings so he could see who you with and what u normally do when he wasn’t around. The mind is truly powerful in telling us things to ‘prove’ our fears are right. I’ve been cheated on before and I fear it might happen again and my mind just gone crazy on me.

  • Janelle D

    Thank you SO MUCH! I have been going through this the past couple nights (and in past relationships too, but I didn’t have this article then) and have felt so guilty for just not being able to smile and feel happy and love my boyfriend as I know that I do to my very core…he is away on base, a Marine, and I sometimes just fake smiles so that I don’t lower his morale, but even then, he loves me too and can tell something’s amiss. I’m so glad you posted this because I could finally explain to him in simple words what I couldn’t before. I hope that now it won’t be so difficult to handle since we know the problem and can address it (or rather, address it by NOT addressing the unhappy thoughts and feelings, but by waiting until I feel better then talking out any problems if they even occur).
    This really helped me. Thank’s again

  • Lilly

    Hey Lisa!

    I ‘m so happy I found your article because you’re discribing myself exactly when I feel like this and the way I see my precious partner. I keep reading it in order to get some help and it really does help but, as you say, our minds are really convincing, there are times that the depressing thoughts come and I am trapped again in the same situation. The only thing that slightly changes it is that my father always has the tendency to speak up his accusations of me which are the very thoughts my mind makes up and makes me feel worse. The reason is that someone else is stating as facts the very worst thoughts I have in my head. And all these have to do with my husband. I don’ t know how to handle that and I am trying to read something similar to your article for those situations. I would appreciate if you had something in mind… [mind, again!]

    In any case, thank you very much.


  • Dominic Rose

    This was really insightful and very helpful.
    Thank you very much =]

  • Tyler

    This literally was one of the most amazing and useful articles I’ve ever read on the internet. Virtually every section applied to me and how I relate to myself and my significant other in our relationship. Thank you so much for sharing and helping me feel that I’m not a crazy person for thinking the things my mind creates. I just have to start not listening to my mind when it creates non-existent problems and misconstrues my partner’s true feelings towards me.

  • Heartbroken

    My Ex BF is going through his own dark issues as well, it got to the point i could see something had died in him, i could see he was just going through the motions and really trying to make an effort to be with me and to feel something, but i think it just all got too much for him. I know he loved me and what we had was just amazing. But just cannot be not right now. I was there in the initial stages but when he says he feels nothing and that i deserve better, I knew he was struggling because he couldn’t be the BF i know he can be towards me. He was hurting, I was hurting. I love him to bits and hope he finds himself and what he truly wants in life. Tears have been shed on both sides. They say if you love someone to set them free, if they return you know it’s meant to be. I hope he realises the decision I made was not an easy one but necessary one for him to work through his issues and for me not to get dragged down and we end up hating and resenting each other for forcing him into a relationship he could not handle right now, He can’t talk to me about his issues it’s all too much but he getting help. I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision to step back.

  • Jess Jayne

    Hi there. I am having huge issues right now. 7 days ago I told my boyfriend that no matter what happens, he will always have a special place in my heart. Immediately he thought I was about to break up with him, and I reassured him “Of Course Not!!!” The next morning I woke, BANG! I didn’t feel any love for him. It has been 6 days. I feel no love for anyone or anything. I feel totally deflated, and it is slowly driving me insane. Many have come and said it’s clear that I still love my boyfriend, some have said I didn’t give it enough time before I got with him for my last relationship to heal, some tell me I am just using him so I won’t be lonely.. These are ALL things that my mind has also told me. I am really struggling to know what to really believe, because I feel so disconnected. Everytime I hold my boyfriend it feels like such a lie, but I get the impulse to hold him quite often. I continue to research online about what I am going through. I suffer with anxiety disorder, and up until now, I had no idea about depression. Many have said that I am suffering with classic symptoms of it. All I know is, I fell head over heels when I first met him. We clicked and connected instantly. He is EVERYTHING I have ever wanted in a man and a boyfriend. He has just a couple of flaws but they seem to be standing out, and hiding his really positive qualities, even though these are things that happened a couple of months ago. We have spoken about them while I have been feeling depressed, but before I was feeling depressed these things were not even thought of. We have been together for 7 months. I can’t imagine life without him in it. I just want to laugh again. He always made me laugh, but since I have been feeling like this, I find him irritating. I can’t find anything that he says or does funny, nor anyone else for that matter. I feel totally disconnected from everyone. Your post has helped in some way, I just want to feel better again and feel love again, and hold my boyfriend whole heartedly without feeling so wrong about it.

  • Lola

    This is so accurate. Thank you

  • Alexandra

    I don’t think I very much agree with the latter half of this article — mainly because there is too much grey area. The minute we start invalidating our arguments and feelings by saying we’re “not in the right mind,” the more other people will start to invalidate them, too. Even when we feel perfectly fine.

    At that point, I think we would not know what argument is considered “valid” and what is considered “ridiculous.” Self esteem, especially in depressed people, would eventually spiral further and all feelings would seem ridiculous.

    I know this from experience.

    I guess the argument stems from whether or not depression inflicts real feelings on us. I believe they’re genuine. Depression does not have to be a disease; yes, in some people there are lower serotonin levels, but we don’t have to treat it as such. All great geniuses, artists, writers, musicians and actors were depressed. Depression births complex thought and beauty. They are true feelings that can’t be ignored, and the more you ignore an emotion the more it will fester. You may be the type of person that can put aside things easily; many of us can’t, unfortunately, and if we do, it’s not emotionally healthy.

    I also think your article is a bit conflicting in the sense that in the beginning you referenced a quote about loving someone regardless of all things, and then you conclude by saying we need to repress our emotions when we feel down because “it’s hard for our loved ones.” I really don’t think we really need to consider tour loved ones at all, be it that we aren’t treating them poorly. We have no obligation towards anyone.

  • Moving on-finally

    I lost my boyfriend of two years to depression. I held on for nearly eight months hoping he’d return. I would contact him here and there. But since June he has said he misses me etc but he does nothing about it. I’m heartbroken but healing. I have to move on. I used to feel hopeful when he said these things but now I just feel bitter and think “well you won’t do anything about it ” I miss him bit I can no longer hold on to nothing. I am positive I lost my soulmate to this darkness. What a shame. He was a great man and we had something very special.

  • Rebecca

    The mind is a very powerful thing that can convince us about things that aren’t true. I do love my boyfriend and I want to make sure that my depression does not get in the way of our relationship. I also found that it impacted my work relationships and my friendships as well. But these coping methods that you mentioned will help me in the long run. Thank you for writing this article!

  • Amy

    I just found this and I thought that I was completely going insane before I found it. My fiancée and I were having trouble because of my constant assumptions of things that were triggering this kind of reaction out of me. it was over things that had happened in the past and I wouldn’t think twice about, but recently it just exploded inside of me. I knew it wasn’t my fiancée. I even knew he wasn’t trying to hurt me or make me second guess situations. But I could never really understand why my mind would convince me that it was such a terrible thing. I do feel like an asshole for causing so much conflict with him over the little things. But now that I can realize that it’s my depression (I was diagnosed at 6 with it but the meds never work) I can try to find ways to cope with it to save my relationship and future marriage. Tonight im going to be open with him about this and hopefully he will understand.

  • Dgoldmine

    Thank you for writing this and sharing it! You just helped me open a whole new way of understanding myself when I feel a bit down. I think I will be able to keep this stuff in mind next time I’m convinced everything is absolutely horrid without any fix in the world. <—Melodramatics make me laugh :)

    Thanks again!

  • Emily

    Thank you for posting this :)
    I feel odd and disconnected from my boyfriend when I’m depressed and then crazy thoughts go through my head like, ‘what if we just don’t have chemistry anymore?’ Or ‘what if he thinks differently of me’. When in reality his feelings haven’t changed one bit and he’s just trying I help me through it the best he can. Knowing that it’s okay to keep those dumb thoughts in my head is comforting.

  • Jordana

    Finding this article is perfect timing, I lost my job recently and am struggling with what to do next, and my boyfriend of 8 months is feeling the side effects of my disconnected/distracted presence. I couldn’t explain to him how I was feeling, and didn’t really want to, but reading this really put things into perspective for me and so I sent it to him and it helped him (and me!) feel a lot better about where we are right now. Thank you so much.

  • Andie

    Thank you for writing this wonderful post. My boyfriend and I were going through some difficult times recently. He’s had depression for years now, and I was friends with him before we got together romantically (so I was fully aware of what to anticipate by being involved with him). We’ve survived through constant medication changes (which resulted in erratic mood swings), full-blown panic attacks that turned physical, and even a family death (on his side). I feel as if he’s getting a lot better now.. but sometimes, when we argue, one of the first or lasting things he does is to try to push me away. He tells me that I should “just go find someone else that’s more perfect” for me, or that “nothing he does is enough”. These fights sometimes spark from just small fights of stupid things. But I know why he’s upset. He thinks that his depression is holding him back, and that whenever he screws up with me, that this is a reflection on himself, that he can’t do anything right. He tells me to “break up” because he’s scared that I’ll eventually get tired of his crap and leave in the future… which isn’t going to happen, but he suggests the break-up so he has control over the situation. The reason behind that is because his brother died from cancer a few years back when he was in high school, and he never got over it. He thinks that it’s his fault that he died, and that everyone who gets close to him will just either leave him or get hurt. This lack of control for him drives him insane, and he lashes out on me whenever we fight from this insecurity.

    I’ve sent him this article, and hopefully, he will read this. I’ve found that a lot of the things you’ve written ring true, and I appreciate your kind of honesty. I’ve been depressed, myself, back in high school so I can somewhat relate to what he is feeling right now. I just hope that he can just breathe and take a step back whenever we fight about something small, and just try to recognize that the voice inside of his head is lying a lot of those times and it’s trying to sabotage what we have. Thank you for writing this article, it means a lot.

  • Carolyn

    Great article! I think for those of you who were concerned about holding feelings in, it is good to remember that you aren’t at all repressing. You would be acknowledging your current mood and not necessarily giving all the minute details. By giving yourself some time or distance from the scenario you can decide later with a clearer head. I think Lisa nails this topic.

  • Kera

    This is something I’d been wondering about for the past few months as I felt occasionally depressed and anxious, and your post hits the nail on the head! I felt so inspired and understood that it pulled me right out of my “flatness” and I immediately shared it with my boyfriend. I just want to acknowledge you for the help you’ve provided, in this moment and I’m sure for many other flat moments to come. Thank you!!!


    I am having real trouble wit my boyfriend. He is such a lovely person and will do anything for you but I think there is problems, I met my boyfriend 15 months ago. He moved in after 3months and things were ok. He has has a bad relationship and so have I. I get on great with his 3 boys and he gts on with my daughter which is fab. The only problem is he doesnt come to bed at night. He said he is scared to go to sleep, he also hasnt slept with me for 5 months. He says he loves me and it isnt me. He says he cannot get an erection and it doesnt make hom a man. He is quite a big drinker too, but is so quiet without a drink. Ihave tried challenging him on several occasion as I am getting quite frustrated. I really do not know what to so as everything else in life is perfect. He says he doesnt feel good about himself and sometime doesnt bnother showering and watches tv all night. He seems to have a phobia of coming to bed and i feel so un loved. He also says sometimes he has a black heart but wants to sort it out. He loves the life we have the everything tht goes with it but is struggling with the relationship side of it. I am at the end of my tether. Both of us are so loyal too.

  • Matt

    This was such a helpful article, thank you. I have become depressed and diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder. And after a panic attack, I all of a sudden felt like I “have to divorce from my wife.” But it’s just my depressed/anxious body going into fight or flight mode, when deep down I know I love her more than anything and that this depression will pass and our happy lives will return!

  • MirandaM

    Completely relatable for me right now.
    Thank you!

  • Feeling Better

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m already feeling a little better. I’ve found that talking to your loved one and asking for some reassurance really helps depression. I guess it was just the rainy day keeping me down, but this article will surely help for future depression.

  • Suicide_season

    I don’t know if it’s the right place to post but, I’ve been with my girlfriend a little over a year, she is the first person I believe I have fell in love with however, shortly after getting into a relationship with her I became anxious and depressed due to feeling I was inadequate for her because everybody I have ever got close too has fucked me over some way, via ‘trusting’ them then they spread stuff and I got bullied. My ex who wasn’t much kinda cheated on me. I got talking to my girlfriend now and she meant the world to me but again back to the start of it I also became very numb and I continued to keep feeling numb and so on.. Me and my girlfriend have always argued but we know we had amazing times and we adored each other. However December just gone before my birthday, I felt really numb and just felt I didn’t love her at all but it didn’t feel like before, it felt like I didn’t want her anything.. Which has led to me attempting suicide, I self-harm and stuff because I do not feel anything for her and I really want to because she is so amazing and deep down I know I really love her, I have never felt like I have belonged anywhere before, but with her i really do. But recently I feel nothing again.. I almost broke up with her for not feeling anything and I keep fighting because I feel if I left her, I’d regret it. And she just seems like I want her to stay in my life, for a long time. I am never positive because I wake up hoping my feelings will come back in the morning but they just don’t and i have been like this for so long, that I’m not sure if I want to be with her or love and it’s really depressing me.. I need help so bad like I need someone to tell me the truth about ‘us’ as in how I really do feel so I can think that, because nobody has ever told me anything positive but my girlfriend so please answer. I’m 17 you may be thinking just a teenager, but I want to kill myself because she means everything to me and I feel nothing

  • shannon

    thank you so much :) i love this. i feel these exact ways i laugh and hang with him but the words love are confusing right now <3

  • Guest

    My boyfriend is very depressed. We haven’t been together for that long, and when he is at his worst he says he can’t see me anymore, and can’t drag me into it, but I know what he is like when he’s not having a bad day, and I know that person is still there. On bad days I think, what am I doing, because it stresses me out so much worrying about him. But I know that when he gets through this, we could really have something great, because we have so much in common. We connected straight away, and it’s like we’ve known each other much longer than we actually have. When he says he doesn’t know whether to be with me, I feel guilty for talking him round because I don’t want to be the reason he is worse if he really doesn’t want a relationship, but when we’re together, he seems to improve, and it seems like he really wants to be with me. I find it very confusing, but all I can do right now is be there for him, and be someone to talk to. He has to help himself now. I just hope he does because I don’t want to give up on him.

  • cynthia334

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