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Thread: Concerned for Boyfriend

  1. #1

    Default Concerned for Boyfriend

    Hello everyone,

    I have come here to both educate myself and try to understand what my boyfriend may possibly be going through. We have been together for 6 years (he is 27 and I am 23), and up until last summer it was all online until I moved state to be with him. I knew he has a history with depression when we first started dating, though never it was diagnosed. To give a brief history, his mom and dad ended up getting divorced when he was about 9. His mother seemed to be a bit controlling of his father to the point where he had to get out and married a new woman. His mom didn't like this (didn't want a divorce to begin with) so she filled her son's head with all sorts of negative notions about his dad being a terrible father, that he left them and when punishment was needed she would send him to his dad. For a while growing up he did resent his father and would lash out at times and up until the last few years he did not accept his step mother. He lived with his mom up until we moved in together. Over the years she would tear him down, make him feel he wasn't good enough and that he has an obligation to help her (though she rarely returned the favors). At one point she kicked him out for not having a job and he spent 3 days being homeless. His dad and stepmom found out and he moved in with them for a few months then back with his mom when he got a job. Because of all the verbal and emotional abuse he is now closer with his dad and step mom. He also fully sees how his mom is and looking back on it he does not see his dad as being terrible and resents his mom for putting those ideas in his head. He has had a very difficult up-bringing and his coping mechanisms are games and isolating himself for the most part it seems. Another important aspect to this is that he had previously pushed away all ex's (all online) he seemed to care for a great deal for no reason other than not feeling good enough, isolating himself once more.

    He has always been super affectionate and sweet. He loves to cuddle/kiss me and he hugs virtually EVERYONE. he once ran up to my mom and hugged her for buying his favorite brand of fries. He is a "give his shirt off his back" kinda guy.

    Fast forward to the last few months:

    He has been crying/agitated more so than I have ever seen him. He has cried out of the blue for several reasons. One time he said he feels he ruins everything and that he sometimes thinks everything would be better if he just disappeared. Having no idea where that came from, I sat with him drying his tears telling him that is simply not the case and he has a lot of people that care for him. We went to visit my parents and he isolated himself in a room due to having an allergic reaction to their cats (no one was mad at him, everyone understood) and again he said he ruined the fun because we were hanging out and he had to leave. Again, I assured him he didn't ruin anything and everyone just wants him to feel better from the reaction. Recently, he reconnected with an old ex online who is married now. He claims to have no romantic feelings for her anymore but some of the messages seemed a little inappropriate for "just friends". Examples: calling her "babe" (he only called me that before, as far as I know), having full blown conversations about what her butt looks like, her describing outfits to him so he can compliment her, her saying she'd be jealous if he looked at other women, etc. I got really upset over this and called him out on it and he totally blew it off saying its just how he talks (he had done the same this with another ex online a year ago, but they lost touch again. I told him he can talk to women, but to keep it less flirty as it upsets me. This sparked trust issues with me to the point where I didn't want to give him space, and when he asked to be alone I'd give him attitude (not healthy, I know). At this point I was working 10 hour shifts 4-5 days a week, I was hardly home to begin with, I usually worked on his days off so he had lots of space, so I didn't understand, was tired and angry. I told him I feel like a maid since all I do is work, come home to clean/cook and you talk to people online for the better part of the evening/go to bed them. Not much room for US to spend time together. a few days after I asked if he wanted to be alone, he said "I don't care" I pressed him to give me an answer because if I chose wrong I would have to deal with his irritation. He got so mad when I asked for a straight answer he punched walls and left for an hour,he came back with bloody knuckles from punching concrete. I had never seen him this way before. Another day his boss got him mad and he told me to stay away so he doesn't hurt me. He was shaking hard and punching pillows. Again, not like him at all. During this time he and his childhood best friend also got into a huge fight and have still not talked to each other. He is working overtime right now so I am sure he is under a lot of hard stress. He has also been slowly distancing from family.

    A month ago he cried again and told me he no longer wanted to get married or have kids. He didn't even want the dog we were planning to get anymore. Both of which we talked about for years and he always expressed he wanted this. I told him it's ok, I would give that up since I love him. Then he told me he "can't hurt me anymore" and hes "not good for me" and shut down. Crying to the point where he couldn't move. Obviously, I got upset and told him he does make me happy and was crying as well. After a few hours of talking and telling him I wanted to be with him he perked up again, smiled, kissed me and took me out to eat saying he loves me. A week or so goes by and hes back to normal, hugging/kissing/I love you's, all that. The NEXT day he did it again and was sobbing to the point where he couldn't move and could hardly talk. He said he couldn't feel his body. I tried to comfort him the but ultimately he wanted to be alone so I gave him a week alone. He said everything is my fault and by saying I felt like a maid destroyed everything he's built for us and that my jealousy for how he talks to his ex's is crazy. Honestly, we have probably have had 3 fights in 6 years, that being the most recent. and he claims the fights have gotten worse, though we hardly even argue. He told me he no longer loves me, though a few days ago he said he did. I asked him if he wants to be with anyone else to which he said no, he only wants to be alone. A few days later he told me we could try to fix the relationship. He also has said it usually takes him "months to a year" to deal with his emotions.

    Right now he is isolating himself in a room and I am giving him the space. He talks to his online friends/ex's and he eventually comes to hang out with me but doesn't make effort to see anyone outside of the internet. Sometimes he seems depressed, other times hes joking/laughing, Other times he wants sex and sometimes he just seems irritated by my presence. Though he doesn't show much physical affection right now he has hugged me, kissed the top of my head and helped me into bed when I wasn't feeling well. I never know what to expect right now. For the most part he wants nothing to do with me, which hurts a lot but I am taking the time to better myself and focus on me (sometime I need and he suggested). I talked to his stepmom because I am concerned/ wanting to build both him and I a support system. She suspects he does have a mood disorder based on how he has isolated himself in the past, pushes people away, lashes out (he's normally a quiet guy) and exaggerating events she was present for. She had also talked with him in private and he seems interested in wanting to fix this. She told him if he really wants me to leave then he can chose that, he didn't pick that option. My question is could this possibly some sort of mood disorder? How can I help him? I am not saying I know whats wrong with him I am just hoping someone here can help me with some insight.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member tic chick's Avatar
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    dear adviceneeded2 !

    welcome to braintalk!

    ok. so you've been with this man for 6 years, since you were 17 and he was 21. has he ever said he thinks he has a mood disorder? has he ever seen a therapist? his family doctor? if not. these are the most important words i can say:
    YOU CANNOT CARE MORE FOR YOUR PARTNER THAN HE CARES FOR HIMSELF!
    you can't change anyone but yourself. if he doesn't think he has a problem or he doesn't want to see a professional, you do not have a romantic relationship. you are his caregiver, babysitter, mom, sex partner all rolled into one. if you put this much interest into yourself, you would realize that this is not working out for you and one day, in the future, you are going to be angry with yourself for wasting this wonderful time in your life with this person. yes, you can care about him, but you cannot care for him; meaning you have to detach yourself from his illness and let him accept the consequences of his actions or inactions and you cannot enable him by doing everything for him, as if he were a baby.

    you let go with love!

    he seems to be able to spend time on the computer with his ex's and shut you out. you set boundaries for him to not flirt and he breaks them. and you're still with him. i know it's painful to let go after 6 years. it will be harder after 10 years. this is a lot of drama and heartache. why do you want to join him in his world and lose your own soul?

    i am 62 yrs. old. i separated from my husband at age 57, having been a mom all my life. i don't regret that and it was a decision we both made. what i didn't expect was for my ex to start drinking again after 20 years of sobriety. i live on a fixed income with my working son, but he is saving to buy a house. but, i haven't had as much peace in my whole life as i have these last 5 years since my separation and my ex moving out. i am becoming me again, not the watchdog trying to find bottles of booze my ex has hidden around the house. i lost my security, but regained my soul.

    your profile says you are in canada. here are 2 links to mental health associations:

    http://www.obad.ca/canada_supports
    http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/factsheet/bipolar-disorder

    you wrote that you moved to the states. i don't know which one, but there are mental health support groups in the usa. use google and google the name of your state and add "mental health support". this might help you understand, but understanding does nothing unless your bf is willing to take responsibility for his own life. give him any info you find. tell him to get help and when he has been getting help for a year, maybe you might want to go back with him. you can still support his wellness journey without being his gf.

    i know i might sound blunt, but i have lived through a similar situation to yours. i empathize with your problems. i wish you joy in your life, i wish your bf healing in his. i do care.

    but it doesn't matter unless he cares about himself.

    thank you for sharing,
    jeannie
    Last edited by tic chick; 08-23-2017 at 11:49 AM.
    Here's to good women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
    "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
    "Don't go there unless you know the way back." TC
    "...there will be an answer. Let it be." Paul McCartney

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