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My Boyfriend Is Depressing Me

"My Boyfriend Is Depressing Me — Should I Stay?"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I met this wonderful man two months ago. He's a veteran and he has PTSD, which isn't a problem — I love him and he loves me, but because of the situation, he lives at a home for veterans. Lately he's been constantly depressed, and it's bringing me down. I have my own stressors and now I have his on top of everything. He says I'm his whole world, that he has no one else, and that he wouldn't know what to do without me. He calls me once every hour.

Also, I recently found out that he has ED and low testosterone, which means no sex drive. I really care for him and love him but this relationship has become very toxic for me. I have so many stressors in my life and this is not helping my health. I try my best to keep him upbeat, but then I get depressed with trying. In the beginning it wasn't bad, but now it's more like a chore and I really don't want to talk to him. Between divorces, the service, and getting sick, he's been through a lot of stuff in the past 10 years. I feel so bad for him but I'm running myself down by trying to keep him up.

What do I do? Do I leave him? Do I stay? I'm just so confused. I don't want to hurt him, and I'm afraid that if I leave he may do something drastic. I need positive things in my life and this relationship is not helping. Because he's on disability, he can't work and he can't get out of the home he lives in — and I can't help because I'm unemployed. What should I do?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it anonymously on Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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henna-red henna-red 4 years
My cousins's husband has pretty severe PTSD, and he also has a support group he attends. Meds alone are not enough to deal with it.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 4 years
First your boyfriend should be receiving counseling for his PTSD and possibly medication if he's clearly so depressed. There are support groups for couples going through PTSD you can attend, either both of you or just you. Whether you decide to stay or not, if you suspect he is suicidal, you need to tell someone. Staying will not keep him from doing self harm. Talk to someone in charge of the home or his doctor to let them know. If you decide to stay, its not going to be easy, there's no cure for PTSD. If you're not prepared to deal with such a life altering problem, I suggest you call it quits.
aussieglad aussieglad 4 years
again, thanks for everyones input. Its a lot easier looking in then looking out. see the thing is is been there for 6 months and is used to his freedom. He doesnt have his own TV, doesnt have home cooking, his own bathroom which he is used to. I am taking care of mylife but im trying to help him too. Of course my life takes presidence. im attending college and going for an associates degree, so i dokeep myself busy. i have a saying, i cant fix the world until i fix myself. thanks again guys, you brought some very valid points, something i was just not seeing. i guess i am enabling him as well. i really do care for him a lot. i just want what is best for both of us. cheers!
henna-red henna-red 4 years
I agree with the Bubbles and Bi. I think, aussie, that you're using this incredibly needing buys issues to mask and ignore your own. I know I can be very guilty of this in my life. It's so much easier to focus on someone else's problems, to get caught up in some overwhelming problem that belongs to someone else, when we don't want to face our own, take action on our own account. It's a trap. It's an intentional distraction.....after all, so long as you're obsessing around this felllow's life and problems, you're not dealing with your own. "I do not feel like I love him..." "I would really like for this to work" "I met this wonderful man..." "He is constantly depressed and bringing me down...." As Bubbles said, you need to get your own life together....you are so all over the place here emotionaly. Also, I'd like to point out that you have no idea whether he will be a totaly different man once he gets out of there. None. That's a huge, huge assumption on your part, or on his. The kinds of issues he's dealing with require a whole lot more than just a change of living space. And, as the ladies have said, those are his life issues that he needs to deal with, not you! And visa versa. Take care of you, he take care of he....two wounded people together do not make one whole person....just complication on top of complication......you can't work on his stuff for him, he actually has to do that work himself. And he is doing the same as you....using this pairing as a distraction, actually taking him away from the neccessary job of managing his life.....disability and all. You sound very determined to stay in this very codependent situation. I have to agree, again, with bubbles and bi, that's not a healthy choice for either you or him. It's time for you to wrench your attention back to your own life, and start focusing there. be well
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
Aussie, in the U.S. almost every county has a crisis line and affordable, usually free counseling. Not sure where you live but I really recommend talking to someone to help get your life together. Do you have some kind of church? Use whatever resources you can. It's common when you're down to hook up with someone else who can understand, but you've got a life to get together, you aren't in position to save a life and frankly he shouldn't be asking you to be what he needs to give to himself so he'd have something more to give to you. For him to put all this responsibility for his happiness on someone he barely knows is not love. It's actually the opposite. I suggest you check out the post from the woman who married her high-school boyfriend.
aussieglad aussieglad 4 years
you are absolutely right about saying I love him if I do not. I do feel like I love him but with all the stress, its just becoming overwhelming. He comes to me with everything going wrong. his case manager is a waste of time, he really gets no support there and that stresses me out as well. our vets are getting cast aside and not getting proper treatment and care.I hate that he has to live under these conditions but he has no where else to go. Many times I try to convince him to take care of things himself instead of being so dependent on me. the last thing i want to do is hurt him. he is trying desperately to get out of there and start his life over. he plays guitar, and very well and he shows no interest in it any more. i try to encourage him to play it but he much rather talk to me. I try and not take his calls as often as he does call so that he will be forced to pursue other things but he is very limited at this facility. i know once he is out of there he will be a different person. he takes his meds so his PTSD is under control. It truly is a sweet man and i would really like this to work. i am willing to overlook some things as long as we can work on them. I truly appreciate your comments and will definitely take them into consideration. I meant to say before that I''m glad for you that you have come so far as well. thank you again for all your suggestions.
BiWife BiWife 4 years
You really shouldn't be saying it if you aren't sure if you mean it - especially if he has social/relationship issues. it'll only serve to make him feel more abandoned when things end. also, i think that by hanging onto you, it's possible that he's passing up other friendship/connection opportunities because he's throwing all his eggs in your basket. you could be enabling him to not pursue multiple relationships and just find all of his support, comfort, validation, and love in you. That's not good for either of you. Unfortunately, I have to say it sounds like this is a relationship best left in the past. probably not even a good idea to try and remain friends - too much of a chance he'd still try and get everything from you, just not expect romance. if he's at a residential center, you might also want to write a letter to the nursing coordinator (or his therapist, if you know their name) explaining that you're breaking up with him, have specific concerns, and wanted to pass along the info to hopefully help his recovery.
aussieglad aussieglad 4 years
Thank you for your response. Actually he does have abandonment issues. His wife cheated on him because of his ED. I do care for him but he was telling me he loved me in a matter of days and im not quite sure if I love him.i may be saying it out of pity. I do not want to hurt him but I just cant take this any more. I wish i could be in on his sessions but we live about 45 minutes away and i cannot adjust for that. He has no one else, so its definitely an attachment isse to.
BiWife BiWife 4 years
That's a scary situation. If it's only been several weeks and he's already making you the center of his world and sole purpose in life, then he likely has some serious abandonment/attachment issues and the way he's constantly texting/calling you isn't necessarily healthy for either of you. I dated an active duty woman earlier this year and within the first couple of weeks she was talking about taking international vacations, saying "I love you", and just generally moving waaaay too fast. Meanwhile, I have clinical depression and physical disability issues that I have been working on for the last several years, and then it comes out that she has major ptsd from horrors of war as well as an incident of date rape in her recent past. She refused to admit she had anything needing therapy/counseling/etc and just wanted to cover it up with extreme happy/lovey emotions towards me. It made me feel too responsible for her, like I was supposed to be her therapist for issues that are way above my capability of dealing with. That's just not healthy. I told her that she needed to figure out her stuff because what we had wasn't healthy for either of us - fully took responsibility for my inability to handle her level of issues, which was truly an "it's not *just* you, it's *also* me". I really hope she has since gotten the help she needs, I've been able to get the help I need and make major strides in the last couple of months (yay for new counselor, psychiatrist, and medication). If we met again in the future and were in a better place, I would consider dating her and hope that she could (at that point) understand why I had to break us up when I did. You might not need to break up with this guy, but I really don't see a lot of hope for a still new relationship that has that much to overcome. I would try and set some limits, talk to him about how you can handle a certain level of help for him, but at a point it becomes something he really needs to discuss with his therapist. Perhaps see if you could sit in on a couple of sessions to talk to his therapist about how to best help him? If you're not able to set some agreed upon boundaries, this is going to continue draining you and putting yourself in a questionable place. Sometimes the most friendly and kind thing you can do is insist that a person lean more on their professional help.
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