How much longer should I stay?
I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, in that time he has suffered a lot with his mental health (he has a diagnosis, takes meds and does therapy)
The main issue is every few months he has such a low period that he doesn’t go to work. This has resulted in him losing jobs, having to do temporary work and once was a factor in a suicide attempt.
I love him and want to support him but I am worried that we can’t have a stable future with marriage, kids a mortgage if he potentially can’t hold down a job. Since I’ve been with him he’s had maybe 5 different jobs.
I just feel like nothing is changing with his low times, the same pattern starts every time and it takes him weeks to get out of it. It feels like therapy isn’t doing anything useful and nothing will change.
Does anyone have any advice? Anyone else in a relationship with someone who really struggles with their mental health!? Do I stay to support him or walk away to look after my own mental health?
In four years, nothing has changed.
You're right, you can't plan a marriage, mortgage and children with him. This is who he is, today. It may never change. HE may never change.
I stayed with an alcoholic for 25 years: the difference was, he was pretty much functional for the first 19 years. Then the booze took its toll. He became unable to hold a job. I could have left, but I didn't. I own that choice. It would have been easier to start over at 30 or 35 or 45. Much easier. During the worst of it, I ended up contemplating suicide myself. Our home wasn't a refuge from the world, just a place I had to deal with more sh-t
You have the option to stay if you want, but understand #1 it is a CHOICE, and #2 it may be like this forever.
One thought - Is he in the right kind of job for him is it distracting/challenging or is he bored? Or Maybe his counsellor has tried everything with your bf, given him the tools, and now he needs to challenge himself. You said you noticed a pattern where he get really low every few months, so he needs to try and break that pattern.
Recently my bf start to suffer with anxiety, and has panic attacks (although I think he suffered in silence for a while before he told me). He knows why he feels anxious, has counselling and takes meds. he says work is one of the places where he doesn’t feel anxious, (why I question your bfs job), I think that’s because he’s distracted by kids all day and he has supportive workmates. I think if his anxiety did start to affect his job he would find that really hard, because he enjoys it.
I do understand that your bf has had cope with his diagnosis for a lot longer, plus attempted suicide.
As for you, you obviously do have a choice whether you stay or leave. I get that it is really hard and sometimes really frustrating - It almost made me feel quite anxious. So yeah your mental health is definitely a factor.
Maybe talk to him and say you need to see some changes. Ask if the counselling is actually helping and if he taking on the advice. My bf go upped the dosage on his med - so that might be worth checking. Also having supportive friends around him really helps (if he doesn’t) so it’s not just you giving all the support.
It is really reassuring (everything starts feels more positive) and a lot easier to cope with when (if) you do start to see changes and know they want to help themselves and get better.
Hope this was some help.
You can't help anybody if you're broken down yourself & the way you tell it, it's a merry go round of misery. You'll end up doing your head in trying to get somewhere which basically may not happen, no matter how much you love this guy. Your heart's in the right place but yeah, you have a choice as to how you lead your life & who with.