Howdy men, I've hit a crossroads in my life and I don't know how to handle myself.
The story is thus - as per a recent post I made regarding health issues, I have suffered from depression for over 8 years. I met my current partner about 7 years ago now and we have been together, albeit with ups and some significant downs since then. We'd broken up once but got back together because it was just too hard not being together. We have a life, we have memories and things that tie our lives together. We have many pets, which are like children to us and require almost as much effort and maintenance to look after. I care about her deeply, she's the closest I've ever been with anyone.
Essentially I am a loner. I really don't have any friends, just associates. I find it difficult to connect with people as I have a mean misanthropic streak and have a tendency to view the worst in people. I also find it hard to open up with people, at least face to face. What this means is that the life my partner and I have is basically me. That's it. There is nothing else outside of that which I recognize as being unhealthy anyway.
We spend most of our time with her being annoyed at me and me failing to meet her expectations all the time which obviously makes us both feel terrible all the time. Again as per my health post I am struggling every day with a severe lack of energy, being exhausted constantly. My mind wants to be all the things she wants me to be but physically I just can't keep up with it.
Our intimate life doesn't exist, I can't even remember the last time we hugged each other. It is like we are two house mates with open lives and doors, and all the emotional hardship that comes with a relationship.
Now I know what you are all thinking, "why the hell are you still together?!?". Well like I said, we may as well be married. Breaking up would be like giving up everything I am, the life that I know, and I can't begin to think where or what I would be without it. Things would be difficult for her too, I can't speak for her emotionally but financially and having to take care of all the animals alone (she would keep them). But I think that for both of us it is the only way we can ever be happy, at least the only way she can be.
Has anyone else here been through a divorce or similar situation? I'm just wondering how you coped with it, how you managed to keep your head above water when your life was falling apart around you?
Mr. Page—I read your post from yesterday and I think that you received some good advice. Depression is a life warping condition and needs to be managed aggressively and constantly. I would surmise that most of your ‘ailments’ are related to that one issue. I speak from experience when I say this. I won’t go into details here, but I suffered many of the same symptoms that you have, with the same detrimental results.
The real question is, however, what are you prepared to do to heal yourself? First, there is a very good blog on this site-- http://community.artofmanliness.com/profiles/blogs/depression-accep... --which you should read.
Second, I recommend that you explore different treatment options. The prescription you have is obviously not the right one for you. The right prescription will quite literally change your life. Consult your doctor for options and give each option a while to settle in and work properly. The ‘break-in’ period for each med can de difficult, but, you will not experience the full effect unless you stick with it for some time (a few weeks anyway). Obviously, consult with your doctor.
Third, help yourself. Get up. Get exercise. Dress neatly. Work on improving your attitude. Sit up straight. Tell yourself that you will be victorious over your condition. Tell your partner that you will be victorious over your condition. Take your multi-vitamins. Stretch. Find a hobby that takes your mind off yourself (TV is not a hobby).
Hang in there. You can do this! Good luck!
You can work on the depression in ways people talked about on the other thread, you can tell her about this work, and . . . you can hug her today. And take her out on something that seems datelike. My guess is your brain will be saying, "This doesn't feel like a date; it feels like supper." But your brain is under the influence of depression, so it'll put a negative spin on anything. It doesn't have to feel right, because nothing will. But you can still do it.
What does she want?
My husband is similarly disabled and similarly disappoints me. [though he can also be absolutely wonderful; he is reading this] We also have problems with physical intimacy. But neither one of us wants out. Neither one of us out, though. Neither one of us thinks that would be best for us. And since we are married, we would both have to agree that dissolving the relationship would be best for it to be the right thing to do. [Not saying there are ever good reasons for divorce; our problems are big enough that we'd be looking at annulment.]
Instead, we're really patient and support each other in getting better. We take things one day at time while knowing that improvement will take several months, or longer. We talk to each other and read books to understand each other's medical conditions and other problems.
Been through two divorces. Neither were acrimonious. Didn't use the relationship or the marriage to define myself in a way so that the divorce was seen as a failure. As for the life falling around me part, been there many, many times. Luckily, I did enough drugs and philosophy when I was younger to realize that, "This too shall pass." Didn't stop the life falling down around me. A long history of meditation also helped, "Oh, look, there's another part that I'm really attached to dropping away. Fuccccckkkkkk. Oh, well. What's next." It may sound cold but it has worked for me.
I think it's time for a fresh dose of reality, my friend---don't take this as a slam so much as as a wake-up call. Your years are slipping by while you play at this relationship, yet by your own admission, it's really all about you. Before we can fix the relationship, we have to fix the components of the relationship---you and her.
1. Why are you living together? You're not even married. You've got the cart before the horse, and you're wondering why the cart keeps moving backwards. With no legal commitment, no covenant, and no permanent union, you're wondering why you are more like roommates? Can I ask what you expected? You're setting up housekeeping and trying to blend one another's lives when you're not even willing to take the most fundamental step to create a family, which is to pledge the rest of your lives to one another with solemn, official vows--that's like trying to bake a cake without flour and shortening.
2. It really doesn't matter how introverted you are---you can still be a good, loving partner---but it's going to have to come from you focusing outside yourself and looking at HER needs and what makes HER happy, and working on becoming the partner that SHE needs, with a self-less commitment to her emotional and physical welfare. In doing this for her, you'll come out of yourself and start to feel a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, and a relief from the moroseness of being tied up in yourself. If you're not willing to do that, then you need to let her go so she can find someone who is.
3. She's not going to respect you until you start to stand up and act like the man of the outfit--and it should start by you taking the bull by the horns and setting some parameters. It shouldn't be all about her changing you any more that it is about you changing her. The best think you can do at this point is to move out, go back to being a boyfriend/girlfriend and BECOMING READY to be each others' partner, working on the annoyances and the sources of frustration, and working on becoming whole people in your own right. Getting some good counseling from a minister, a counselor, or at least someone experienced in marriage and relationships would be a tremendous blessing to both of you. It sounds like you're both LONG overdue in that area. You both need to be learning about mutual respect, conflict management, and communication/behavioral differences between men and women.
One thing is for sure---if you keep doing the same old thing, you're going to get the same old results---so if you want it different, you're going to have to change something.
You should probably go see a psychiatrist or something for this kind of issue dude. It seems to me like you may have more problems to deal with emotionally, relationship-wise, and than an online internet forum could help you with. But, since you asked, my personal feeling is that you should dump her ass, toughen up, and move on with your life. Why waste your time in such a crappy relationship? I am guessing that you just cannot face the pain of seperation from this person, from a relationship that you are very attached to. Well, Evan, in life you just have to let go of some people. Just let the bitch go, and move on with your life. It will be better for you. It will just take some time, but you will be better off for this.