May 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm #207513
I’m very happy in my relationship of a year and a half and my boyfriend and I have just bought a house together and are both very excited for this new chapter. However, I feel as though he is a little lost and recognise his dilemma as something I have once experienced. He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life and I think he feels as if he lacks some purpose. He has also just been diagnosed with a non-life threatening disease which has meant a huge change in his/our lifestyle which has taken it’s toll.
I’ve tried to be as supportive and encouraging as I can be over the last few months but (feel terrible even thinking this) it’s becoming exhausting and a bit of a strain to stay so optimistic all the time. I’ve tried to broach a conversation about how I feel but I think this just makes him feel worse and that he is letting me down. I just don’t know what I can do to help him get through this stage in his life. I feel as though I’ve gone through the same stage of feeling lost a few years ago but I took a career break and travelled which really helped me work out what I wanted but I’m not sure if the same would work for him.
I’ve never written in a forum before but would appreciate an outsiders perspective. ThanksMay 15, 2018 at 9:13 pm #207541
My experience is that I cannot help those who don’t want my help. Each person has their own personal journey to take and nobody can do it for them.
You can offer what has worked for you, i.e. taking a break and travelling but it is up to him to figure it out. I believe that part of the journey is being confused, discouraged and yes being depressed as well. It is like grief, you cannot shortcut the process.
What you can do is live your life and support him by being present. It is also like helping someone grieve. You cannot fix him. You can only be a loving presence.
Sometimes out of desperation, loneliness, or even boredom will be the impetus to get someone to take the next step. It is a step-by-step process. For most, you cannot leapfrog into a life’s purpose. It is taking a tiny step then the next tiny step then the next. It is about doing what feels right or good or fun or satisfying or creative. And then see where that takes you ..
MarkMay 16, 2018 at 8:22 am #207717
You wrote: “I’ve tried to be as supportive and encouraging .. but.. it’s becoming exhausting… makes him feel worse”-
better stop doing what has not worked for you or for him. Better stop being supportive and encouraging and instead let him be as he is, leave him be in his confusion, loss, lack of purpose. It might be just what he needs: to be left alone, to be .. allowed to be and feel what he feels, for as long as he is and feels the way he does. To not be pressured to find a purpose, to not be pressured to feel differently than he does.
When a person we care about is troubled, our first inclination is to do something. Often enough, what the person needs us to do is… nothing at all. Just be there like before.
anitaMay 18, 2018 at 5:13 am #208031
It’s a shame you own a house with him, because now you are “stuck”. It’s actually easier to support a depressed person if you have your own place to regroup and recharge.
Spirituality might be the thing for him. Whether it’s church or a meditation group, it will let him at least temporarily give him relief from his own mind. Your Purpose is simply what you decide. Some people have no mission in life and are totally happy.
As for the non-life threatening disease, what finer purpose than for him to support others with the same condition? When people reach out to him for help on a blog or forum (that he possibly creates himself), he will be galvanized!