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Mental health in relationships

Okay, so I’m not really sure how to condense everything down but I’ve struggled with mental health and self harm my whole life, I found heart support at warped tour when I was 15. I’ve been dating this guy for the last 2 1/2 years, he’s a few years younger than me and he’s never lived away from his parents or anything. He and I have been friends for 5 years. When we started dating he had another girlfriend that he apparently continued to date for only like 3 days after we started dating. After that his step father passed away, when his step father passed away he pushed me away again and started talking to this girl from another country on Skype. I found out, he told me he ended it and that nothing happened between them besides talking. From what I know he hasn’t cheated on me since, and I have been working really hard to figure out the problems and fix things between us. He tells me he loves me, he tells me he wants to be with me, but he keeps secrets from me and lies to me. We are supposed to be moving in together but he is lying to his family telling them we are not moving in together. I found that out today and he got mad at me for being upset that he kept it a secret from me. He told me he doesn’t see why anyone should care about him, that he doesn’t want help, doesn’t want to be happy, and just wants to die. I love him so much, he’s my best friend. And I know that this person he is being isn’t who he really is, he’s just depressed and hurting and not doing anything about it. I’m not sure what to do anymore, I don’t want to leave him. I’m worried he’ll hurt himself, I’m worried he’ll never get better, I’m worried I’ll never see him again. I just want him to be happy and I want him to get through this part of life. I’ve been in his position and I try to help him but he just tells me that that’s “my” experience and that I don’t understand, but he won’t talk about how he feels and try to help me understand. He just gets angry and mean and hateful, he hates talking. I just really love him and don’t want to have to end the relationship, but I’m lost on what to do now.

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Welcome and thank you for sharing this, I think it’s such an important conversation that people may be scared to being up or may be don’t know that they need to have.
I know there’s a varying array of ideas and their alternate endings that could and perhaps should be thought about when addressing these concerns. My hope is you will be able to asses the situation and find the best outcome for your safety and benefit.

So let me start by asking you if you are indeed safe? Have you had concerns about your partner harming you in anyway or have they indicated or attempted to do so?
There’s no judgement here, but I do want you to be safe and that will be the first priority in my eyes.

First thing you mentioned is that he had been dating someone while starting a relationship with you. I can understand the fear and pressure there might come with having to tell someone you’ve been in a relationship with that you feel the relationship has come to an end, and even more so if you’re telling them that you have met someone else you’d like to be in a relationship with.
During this time did he talk to you about the process and how it was affecting him?

Then the trauma of losing his father. I am so sorry for his loss. It’s heartbreaking losing someone close and I can imagine that you also felt some pain being close to your partner and for your partner. Seeking console from friends in itself is not a bad thing. Sharing grief can sometimes solidify a bond between people which is where I empathise with your concern with him sharing that with someone else and feeling a distance grow between you.
Did he share with you what they spoke about at all?

Truth holds a lot of power and in turn so do secrets. Hiding such a big step from his family could cause stress to both your relationship and the one he has with his family. Has he shared with you why he is resistant to tell them?

Sorry for all the questions, I’m trying to gauge where the communication for him stops.
The statement that he feels that no one should care about him can take a toll on how he perceives and reacts to relationships. It’s not a burden for you to hold alone. The longer he sits with these feelings the harder it can be to take steps to heal from them and ultimately you don’t want to feel locked into a relationship based on fear of someone hurting themselves. That’s not to say that things can’t improve and repair, but he does need to at some stage acknowledge those feelings and address them for his safety and for yours.

While each experience is the individuals unique own, we do share and can empathise to those feelings. We create understanding through communication and through those experiences.

Being there for someone to ensure their welfare is such a big and extremely loving act, but there does need to be some boundaries and actions for you both to ensure that this doesn’t go down a road that leads to him building up the emotions and lashing out and you staying in that situation out of fear or guilt.

It’s not easy to hear and it’s not easy to try to communicate, but how has this affected your mental health?

So at this moment what seems like a reasonable first step? By the sounds he wouldn’t be willing to just jump straight on board with seeking professional help, how do you feel about it? Perhaps addressing these concerns with someone who is trained in this field will help create more insight for you.
Someone to help you set boundaries and goals not just for yourself but for your relationship.

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From: Rohini_868

Welcome Cherrybomb!

So glad you’re here with us and shared this post! Thank you for your trust in us withyour thoughts and emotions!

It sounds like you really care about this person, and have deep feelings for him. However, it’s really important to remember that we can’t be our partner’s therapist, especially when we are also struggling with our own mental health issues. It’s quite a task to try to carry someone else’s burden and it’s not the healthiest thing to do. A partner is there to support and help be part of a safe and stable environment. A professional should be sought to safely explore mh issues, especially in cases where big emotions and thoughts are expressed like those your bf said.

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Hello there,

I want to be one of the first people to welcome you to the HeartSupport community. I am glad you found your way here & felt led to post on The Wall so we can come alongside you to support & encourage you.

You have a lot of things on your shoulders & anyone would feel the burden of that. One of my first thoughts after reading your post is: do his parents know that he is moving in with you & do they know that you two are dating? Because that could lead to stressful moments if they find out & he has to explain what is going on with you in the midst of that situation.

One thing to also keep in mind is that people communicate their needs differently than the next person. Some people need to have a conversation right away, some people need some time to process things & a handful of other ways, which are all valid in their own ways.

I hope that you have some clarity & understanding of everything going on in your life. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being a part of our world. You are amazing. You are valid. You are worthy. You matter.

-StarFox :yellow_heart:

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From: Lisalovesfeathers

Hey Friend and welcome to Heartsupport, Thank you for your post. You have quite a quandry there don’t you? I am sorry that you are having this issue this far in to your relationship and just before you are about to make that leap to move in together, this is meant to be one of the happiest times of your life. It concerns me that you have this much worry about your partner and yet he doesnt seem concerned enough to warrent getting any form of help. with everything that he has been through, everything you have both been through as a couple it would be advisable for him to go and speak to a therapist and even possibly you both to go to couples therapy before you even consider setting up home. It would be so sad to go through the motions and emotions of moving in together to find that it has been a huge mistake. I honestly think that you deserve to have clarity in your relationship, your partner owes you that and you owe it to your self and if that means throwing out an ulitmatum of “get help or we are over” then maybe thats a thing? this is all conjecture of course on my part and it is indeed your life but we are here if you need any support with any decision you make. I wish you luck. Much Love Lisalovesfeathers. x

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From: twixremix

hi cherry!

want to start by welcoming you into the heartsupport community amd for coming across the organization at warped tour! thank you for joining the forum and for feeling comfortable to share what you’re going through. the situation you and your partner are going through is incredibly difficult and i hope you’re taking care of your heart and body through the stress.

from what you’ve shared, you are an incredible support system and provide only the most genuine care and understanding to him. thank you for being there for him as he goes through this journey of self-love and acceptance. from my perspective, it seems like his fears of commitment or something similar holds him back from taking these huge steps forward with you such as moving in together. in my experience, giving the other person space to find themselves but still providing reminders that you’re there and ready to listen is always a solid option. since he pushes you away instead of talking things out, i wouldn’t expect the listening part to come any time soon but those little reminders or random “hey i was thinking about you - love you” texts goes farther than one can imagine. a lot of this growth rests on his shoulders and my biggest wish is for you to not get weighed down severely by it too. you are your own priority or else how can you help others when you are also struggling to stay standing?

sending you and your partner all my love as y’all figure things out. your heartsupport community has your back through anything so i hope we can hear from you soon on how you’re holding up! i believe in the both of you!

love,
twix

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From: your pal, Rick

Hey @Cherrybomb, I hear you and I’m so sorry about the situation that you’re in. Thank you for sharing this.

It can be so terribly difficult to watch someone we care about so deeply being in pain. It’s so natural to want to do all we can to help them through these times, and so it can be even more heartbreaking when it seems like they aren’t willing to take the steps needed to help themselves recover. I see how worried you are about him, how these things are hurting him, how he doesn’t seem to be getting better. I want to offer you some quick reassurances - he’s by no means stuck in this position, things can certainly get better. It may take time for him to see that too, but he isn’t at a dead end. The really hard part is encouraging people in a situation like this that they truly can get better, that their efforts to improve will ultimately worth it, that the help they need is deserved.

With that said, this post isn’t really about him and I think it’s important to make that distinction. You’ve suffered with a history with mental health troubles too, and you deserve the help and space you need to keep yourself safe. The last thing I want is to see your health decline as you try to do this work for your partner too. When you set boundaries, important lines in the sand around how you need things to be in your relationship, it’s very important that they’re respected. It’s never okay for a partner to imply that you having them is somehow hurting them. Wanting honesty is completely fair.

I can’t change how you feel, I wouldn’t try to. How you proceed is your choice and yours alone. I would like very much for you to know that your needs are so important, so valid. I hope you know that it’s okay to take care of yourself too, and that this really deserves to come first. You can still be kind and giving, of course. You deserve that kindness for yourself too.

We’ll be here if you want to share more. Sending love friend <3

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Hey Cherrybomb,

I am sorry to hear that your are struggling with this, especially at a point in the relationship when you are looking to make a major decision, both in your life, and in your relationship. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this.

From my perspective, the points and concerns you bring up are all extremely valid. It seems like there is a pattern of behavior from your partner that was there from the start, and has continued to persist over the last two and a half years. Though I am sure there are up and high points in the relationship, you can’t ignore the downs, too. I am glad you are keeping his actions in mind as you plan your next steps. With what you have described, I myself would pause the moving in plans until the trust has been re-built between you two, and BOTH of you are in a place where moving in together is was is right for you. If you aren’t sure about any of that, maybe it’s not time yet?

Knowing that he is struggling with his own mental health, and wanting to help him while also helping yourself speaks volumes to who you are, and how big your heart is. But on the same note, remember that you are not his therapist, doctor, parent, etc. It’s not your responsibility to fix him. You have your own mental health journey to take, and you ARE responsible for that. As the flight attendants say… place your oxygen mask on first, before assisting others. You can’t pour out of an empty cup… but you can work on refilling it so later on you can.

If you do have the energy to spare, you can help with encouragement for him to seek help and support, and to start/continue his journey to better mental health. To him understanding why he is compelled to lie and hide things from those he says he loves. And to him showing you with actions that he has made changes for the better. But those are choices and actions he needs to make for himself.

I wish you the best of luck with all of this. Please don’t hesitate to reach out again. :hrtlovefist:

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