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Partner depression and anxiety struggles

Hey all I'm new to the forums. My partner of 3 years, has depression and anxiety (genetic inheritance). And I love him so much. I'm needing some advice and understanding. Recently he asked for a "break" not break up because he wanted to work things out in his head ( I know for him to take that step was huge). He says he wants to be with me, loves me but says I deserve better and he wants to figure out want he wants. I know he has a lot of fear at the moment, fear of failing and fear of the unknown. It's stemed from a conversation about moving in and future together. He's always seen a future with me, says we will get married one day. Then he said recently, I don't know what I want. Which made me realise he's not going well at the moment. He's still seeing friends and family, but not talking to anyone about us, said to a close friend who reached out, I'm kind of ignoring it all at the moment. We haven't seen each other for 1 and half months. I miss him lots, I've messaged only twice and said I'm always here for him even if he doesn't want to talk. He said I know thank you, sorry I haven't said much recently I just don't know what to say, I'll let you know when I do. He's an amazing man, I know I can't be the one to help, but I'm trying to support from a distance at the moment. From our conversations and life together I believe he wants us to have a future and be together, and that he wants to give me the right answer "of I want to be with you" but wants to respond in a clearer head frame, rather than a lost "murky" one. I feel he feels frustrated at himself and worthless, which is so hard for me because he's amazing. I understand that it can go either way, we stay together or not, and regardless I have to be okay but it's just hard. He's my best friend. I feeI'm struggling to know how to be there for him and I'm doing my best to look after myself as well. I don't want to pressure him. Is giving him space and time important and helpful? I'm trying to reach out and connect with others through similar situations, because even after 3 years I still have so much more to learn, understand and support. Thank you


Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles


Hello AandC


The way you speak, the understanding and preparedness to wait for your partner to be ready to make a commitment, I think puts you in a very special place.


I think that the important issue at this stage, is to be very careful about looking after yourself. Keep contact with the people around you, with whom you feel comfortable. If you are working, maintain your equilibrium and stability.


It may be appropriate for you to establish some sort of time-frame within which you can reasonably expect a resolution of your partner's internal ambivalence, about himself, or about you as a couple. The present situation having been precipitated by:

... a conversation about moving in and future together.”


Remembering, that the issues that present now, are likely to remain issues during your life together. And if you re-establish your relationship to a more sharing situation, you will need to be prepared for these types of ups and downs to continue.


If the person to whom you are referring thinks that “I (you) deserve better”, the question to be asked may be:

Are there aspects of his personality, that he knows will not meet your standards and which he, in fear of losing your company, has not told you?”


I believe it is true that we know ourselves best.

If he does not know what he wants now, after three years, how long will it take him to know what he wants? After that, can you be sure that you are placing faith on solid grounding?


I will refer you to two threads that I would like you to read through, if you will. There are quite a few issues there that may raise red flags for you.


The first is from the 16 March this year entitled

Needing someone or somewhere to turn ..

Another (which is connected to the first) from the 19 March is

H & S's Beautifully Written Philosophical Discussions - all welcome


Reading these posts may help you to make a decision in support of your faith in the relationship that you have now, or you might have raised for you, questions that you will want to have answers for, before you proceed. There is some information and discussion that will not relate to your needs at the present time, however, I think a lot of the content may give you some ideas to consider.


All the posts and responses on this forum are open to all members, as are you one now. We are asked to comply with the Guidelines & Info that protects anonymity and maintains respect between members.


With My Very Best Wishes

For Your Future





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Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles

Hi @HenryX 


Thank u for ur reply. 
I'm very aware of looking after myself throughout. And my partner has always told me not to walk around on egg shells and to talk and not bottle it up. He's never put me in a position where I feel vulnerable. 
Doing research into depression and speaking with his mum, I know that when they are down it's like they are drowning and it's hard to hold others up, when they are struggling themselves. Furthermore, feelings of worthlessness and that the other partner is better off without them is common from readings other experiences. We spent 3 months talking before we started dating, because we both date for a purpose of a future not just for the fun of it. He recently started a new job, and I've noticed a few little things since then, which I believe stem from feeling like he doesn't have purpose in his role. He's a hard worker, and very good at his job, so changing to a less stressful job but less purpose I feel has decreased him feeling purposeful. Having purpose in what you do is very important and helpful I believe. 
In the past with medication changes, we have worked through, discussed and gotten through difficult times so I understand the ups and downs. I felt in this case I was less aware of what was happening on his side until he started to withdraw unfortunately. He's so supportive of everything I do and never says I should stop work or studies. And he's the first to help anyone out. He's never been aggressive, he's more the sensitive type, worried about what others think of him. I pray and hope during all of this he can turn to help like he has before. I guess this is just a different situation slightly and I'm trying to navigate through it on my end. 
I've been thinking of offering him a hey do u want get a drink. No serious talk but a nice catch up. I don't know what he's response will be, but I guess I won't know if I don't try. We've always had each other's backs, and it wasn't long ago that he said I should move in, and that's what's tricky as I feel he has stressed about all the things that could go wrong (he's a bit of a perfectionist) and worries he won't be a good partner. And from talking and experience he worries about money (he's great with money, bought a house at 21- very impressive) and doing things at the right time. I will soon finish uni and be working with good pay which I'm hoping will help him fear less. I work full time and study full time and live independently too, we have both done well for ourselves and are proud of each other, and only want the best for each other. That's why we r both being mature and understanding of the situation. I can see he puts on a "I'm doing okay" face at the moment but I know he's not. I feel he's been able to open up with me, and now that there is space, that he doesn't have that, but again I know he does, family, and friends. He's very caring, and in his strength he's offered support for others struggling with mental health challenges. He does know talking and getting help is not weak but strong, he's just in a down spot at the moment and is clouded by his own fears. If there's anyone with experience in knowing how long it can go for, I know everyone is different. I know every phase up and down is different to the last and I've known from the start. If it wasn't something I wanted, I would've left before and I let him know that. Knowing that it's okay not to have things perfectly sorted, it's okay if he has a panic attack in front of me and that I won't run. 
It's okay not to be okay, because I know for myself too it's okay not to be okay and he's been there for me during hard times. 

Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles



Hello AandC,


Thank you for your reply tonight. I'm feeling pretty tired and I'm about to go to bed. .


You obviously are committed to your relationship. If you and I communicate with each other on the forum, I will be aware of how you feel and will certainly acknowledge and support you in any way that I can.


In the mean-time

I Wish You a Very Good Night and a Lovely Weekend

Best Wishes


Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles

Hi @AandC 

I live with Bipolar and have been living in a healthy and stable recovery now for 12years.

I read that you both are supportive and encouraging with each other, that you give each other space and permission to be authentic with each other, that's way more than a lot of us have!

Sometimes with my depression I had to batten down the hatches and wait for it to pass. Knowing that I have reached out to my professionals and taken the necessary actions and precautions, sometimes it takes what takes to pass through.


It's ok not to know what to do or how fix the situation, it's hardest for loved ones to be powerless to help.
I know I felt powerless and lost quite a few times in depression. Maybe he is trying to find his voice and power too?

Maybe try stepping back out his recovery so he can step back gently in his own way and time into the relationship. 

Recovery is like learning to dance, stepping backwards, forwards, sideways and backwards again, we all dance to different tunes and styles, some learn with guidance or by falling and getting up again. 
From what I've learnt is, no one can dance for me sadly.


Happy dancing xx




Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles

Thank you @Alicat 


That has really helped. Exactly I know I can't do the dancing for him. I'm hoping and praying the time and space he's having will allow him to do things he needs to figure out what he wants in life and in terms of our relationship. I know he's not doing this to hurt me or anything. It's just the card he was dealt with in life. He's a smart amd strong man so I pray and hope it's what is needed. 

Thank you so much for your guidance. 

Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles

@AandC  you have wonderful insight, compassion and understanding I wonder if there is a carers group you could attend or participate on zoom. You and others might benefit from sharing your story of experience, strength and hope.  It's a powerful way to heal hurts and help others.


your a princess warrior xx

Re: Partner depression and anxiety struggles

Thank you it means a lot. I'm trying to do the best I can in the circumstances, not easy but worth it no matter what. Thank you

Through out this time, I'd like to find a group, as I feel I'd benefit from others experience. I understand and know, no ones life is perfect or easy, and connection and learning is good. 

I don't know your story but you seem like a warrior too. 

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