It’s difficult enough dealing with depression, but things get even more complicated when you throw a relationship in the mix. My boyfriend is super supportive and I’m so lucky to have him, but I can’t help but wonder if my poor mental health is hurting him too.
I often don’t feel like having sex.
In the midst of a depressive episode, sex is the furthest thing from my mind. When I’m feeling well, we have a great sex life, so I know it comes as a bit of a shock to him when I go for several weeks without so much as even wanting to make out. My depression is the perfect storm of having absolutely no motivation to do anything and simply just not being in the mood. Deep down he knows it’s not because I’ve suddenly stopped being attracted to him, but I still feel bad every time.
I can’t wake up.
It seems like a trivial point, but when you spend 16 hours sleeping, it really puts a dent in the quality time you can spend together. Then there’s the fact that even when I am actually awake, I still feel sleepy and exhausted, which just makes me cranky. It isn’t exactly conducive to a happy relationship.
I’ve lost interest in the things we do together.
There’s only so many nights in a row you can spend in bed or on the couch. It’s really hard on him when I have absolutely no interest in our regularly scheduled activities like going out to dinner, to the gym, or to the movies. It sounds bad and I’d know he’d never admit to it, but it’s probably really boring for him.
I can’t pay attention to anything.
The worst part is at work when my productivity plummets and I just sit and stare at my computer for hours, but relationships take work and require attention too. I sometimes find myself not fully listening to what he’s saying or unable to hold up my end of the conversation. I really am trying, but I can’t pull myself away from the endless negative thoughts constantly cycling through my head.
He worries about me way too much.
Although I may appear fully functional, I know he’s worrying. I get a ton of messages from him throughout the day asking if I’m doing alright or feeling better. It’s really sweet and I’m so happy to have someone looking out for me, but I don’t want him to have to worry about me and I know he does.
He thinks it’s his fault.
While my depression can be caused by things going on in my life, usually there’s no specific reason. It’s a common misconception that there must be some terrible life-shattering event that causes depression, but that’s not the case for me. It is a disease after all. Unfortunately, my devoted boyfriend can’t help but question if he’s doing something wrong or if I’m not happy being with him. I’m constantly assuring him that’s not true and this is just something that happens to me.
I’m only focused on myself.
When the days feel dark, it can sometimes be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, let alone see what’s going on around you. I feel bad about it, but when I’m depressed, all my energy is focused on getting myself through. It takes a huge amount of effort just to complete my daily routine and pass for normal. I’m not able to respond and tend to him the way I know I should.
I’m not myself when I’m depressed.
This is what bothers me most. For a few (or more) weeks out of the year, I’m not the person he fell in love with. My normally adventurous, fun, and witty persona is temporarily replaced with a tired, cranky, and sad lump on the couch. It’s not what he signed up for, but it’s something we’ve learned to accept and deal with.
I need a lot of alone time.
In a one bedroom apartment, I have to go out of my way to find some quality alone time. I need the time to sort through my thoughts and maybe even cry a little. From his perspective, it feels like I’m pushing him away.
It may make me feel like a bad partner, but it doesn’t actually make me a bad partner.
At the end of the day, my boyfriend has the wisdom to know that I have a disease. Even though I do sometimes feel bad, I need to come to terms with this fact as well. Mental illness aside, I’m not perfect and I’m doing the best I can. Dealing with my depression together has made our relationship stronger.
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