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Tough love lonliness

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    Tough love lonliness

    I am new to this forum thing and asking for help. I have been struggling with depression and dysthymia my entire life and have come to a point where I dont care anymore. I have been with my partner for 13 years and we have 2 beautiful sons together. She is no stranger to mental health as she has forms of OCD and has been through therapy.

    My depression has gotten steadily worse the past few years and is taking its toll on our relationship. It is greatly affected by my lack of communication and her need to have everything done a certain way. Her way of helping me is one of tough love... read this book! you have to be the one to come to me! your depression is to blame for our troubles! I cant take you any more! I am not going to give you what you say you need! You are a burden!

    Last year we almost separated but we got to the point where we resolved some of the issues with my depression. She still refuses to come to therapy with me saying that I need to work on myself. We are back to that point again of almost separating. No communication no intimacy and house full of anger and resentment. The more it goes on I end up feeling more alone and worthless. She doesn't understand that her tough love approach doesn't help me as it only contributes to my feelings of uselessness and bitterness.

    I guess I am on this forum looking for support from someone who understands what a person with depression needs as help. I dont want to lose my family to my illness.

    Hello resilient1,

    I am glad you found us here - welcome!!

    I too suffer from depression/dysthymia and have for at least 20 years. It can be exhausting. I have gone through lows that I thought wouldn't end... and wandered through what I guess I could call 'mediums' (cause they certainly weren't highs!!) wondering "is this as good as it gets?" People around me don't even seem to notice the difference between my lows and and my mediums... guess outwardly they are not very different... (I, however, have learned to be grateful for the mediums...)

    My depression has wreaked havoc on my relationships. I have cut out pretty much everyone but my partner. It has been a very lonely 20 years. The rest of my relationships are superficial. I lie to people about how I am doing... it has become a habit that I am having trouble breaking. (I should add, I do have a few new people in my life that I am trying hard to be genuine with... it is a very new concept to me... but I am so tired of being lonely and of being stuck only with my own ideas... And of course I must add that I have genuine 'virtual' friends... the folks on this forum have literally been a life saver... I have learned so much from the wonderful, honest, supportive members of this forum.)

    I am sorry to hear that you are having such hard time with your relationship; I am sure that it is only adding to your pain. It is VERY hard for someone who has not been depressed to understand. I wonder if you could find a way to forgive your partner for not understanding and not seek her support in that area of your life? I know that sounds odd... I say this because it worked for me. My mother was also 'a believer in tough love'. I learned at an early age that if I came to her crying it had better be because I was physically hurt... not just sad... I struggled with this for the longest time thinking... "she's my Mother!! She should comfort me when I am sad!!" But as I got older (and after reading tons of books and writing loads on the forum) I came to realize she was only doing what she though was best... how could I blame her for trying what she thought was best?? I learned to seek emotional help from those who had emotional knowledge... a much better source! I noticed things that my Mom was really good at and spent time with her doing those things instead (for example, she was great with budgeting, gardening, nutritious cooking... so many other wonderful gifts to offer!) Expecting my Mom to be good at things she just wasn't good at was toxic for our relationship... acceptance was the cure!

    I look forward to reading more from you Resilient1. I would suggest, if you have time, reading through old posts on this forum... there is lots of good and helpful content in the archives.

    Take care,

    PS... While I was thinking about your post the following idea occurred to me ... the first time a was severely depressed I remember thinking "how am I going to make it through this week, this day, this hour?!?" ... And here I am 20 years later... still alive and kicking! Thank you for bringing this to my attention... I guess it's something to be proud of. As tough as it can get I am still fighting... and by the sounds of it, so are you Resilient1... that takes courage!


      Welcome to the forums resilient1. Most if not all of us, breathe and walk on this earth in spite of all the things in life that get in the way of our journey to well being. You are resilient because of who you are, and also simply because you are.

      Humans punish themselves endlessly
      for not being what they believe they should be.
      -Don Miguel Ruiz-


        Thank you to both of you for your supportive words. I do appreciate them.

        Things feel like they are spiraling out of control sometimes and I dont have anyone around to support me in the way I need it. My wife is fed up with "taking on my issues" and I am getting more and more angry and resentful. My family is not helpful as they all suffer from some form of depression as well and we have pushed each other away. I dont think I have any true friends that I can trust.

        I am so tired of feeling like I am the one who needs to be fixed and that everything I do turns out wrong. Even though I put all my effort into giving my family the best life I can and try so hard to keep from falling deeper.


          "I am so tired of feeling like I am the one who needs to be fixed..." I know the feeling resilient1... it's an unsettling state to be in. I have a feeling tho, Resilient1, that you are NOT always the one who needs to be fixed... sometimes I feel like me and the people around me are used to blaming my depression for things... even things that have nothing to do with it... kinda like a scapegoat. Sometimes it's someone else who needs to be fixed... and often no one needs to be fixed.... just accepted.


            Accepted... understood... not always blamed...

            it's been a long time since I've felt that

            The more I try to get my loved ones to understand, the worse my situation gets.


              Hello resilient1. I seem to have missed your introduction and just want to welcome you to the forum.

              ~ it's always worth it ~


                Thanks for the welcome uni, I appreciate it.


                  I understand so well. My husband is doing the tough love thing to me, walks away from me when ever I talk about my feelings. We have separated but live on the same property. I have to put up my boundaries otherwise he continues to bully me, because I have believed that is what I deserve. The biggest thing is liking myself and not letting him disrespect me.
                  Believe in yourself, and I am hoping others will follow, know that you are not alone, I feel so many of the same things. I fell less alone now just writing this to you. Thank you for sharing.


                    Totally can relate. For me its unfortunately in hindsight to see my issues clearly in my marriage. We where married for 10 years and we went to counseling and I was told it was my issues. But that I was fine with the thing is my partner always made me feel like I could do more or just snap out of it a be a more productive person but I simple couldn't. She did not accept that I had limits and just couldn't be held up to the same expectations as a healthy person. It sucked because it creates a disgusting situation. I really really feel for you and hope you can works through it. For me its knowing what I can and cannot do in a relationship


                      AugustFuryan, thank you for understanding. I feel for you that you saw your issues in hindsight.

                      I am still in the middle of a disgusting situation. Things are even worse and my resentment for being held to expectations is growing. Her way of support is not what I need and we are barely speaking now.

                      I also know what I can and cannot do in a relationship, but she doesn't want to accept that. I dont know how much longer I can take feeling like it's my issues that are such a burden to her and my kids


                        I feel for you. For me really all I could do was my best at that time. I couldn't force my spouse to understand. When I didn't even know my limitations yet. I know more now. Do you guys do counseling


                          Hello AugustFuryan and welcome. Please feel free to ask questions, answer other people's question and/or use the forum to vent. We don't do any counselling but sometimes you can get good tips on here. Take Care. paul m
                          "Alone we can do so little;
                          Together we can do so much"
                          Helen Keller