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Should I sacrifice my mental health for the mental heath of someone I love?

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Should I sacrifice my mental health for the mental heath of someone I love?

Postby kadders » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:05 am

My boyfriend is the most gentle and compassionate person I know.
We have known each other through work for 15+ years but first got together 11years ago after I had experience a sudden drop in my mental health and he was the most understanding and patient person in the world. He stood by me and helped me to feel more normal, perhaps because he had his own mental health issues and therefore it felt like we were helping each other.
After a few years, I had a big relapse requiring intervention and at that point I put our relationship under too much strain and we parted company, though remained friends.
After hitting literally rock bottom (I ended up moving in with my parents with my two children from my previous marriage for my own safety) I then began to slowly see some light in the world again. I had a lot of counselling and am now in the best place I’ve ever been. I’m positive and happy most of the time and when dark feelings come, I am now able to acknowledge them and let them come and then move away again like a passing cloud.
2 years ago, my boyfriend and I decided to give things another go. We were both still in love with each other and had never lost contact. For a few months things were great, but whilst my mental health has improved in leaps and bounds, his hasnt. If anything, it’s worse than ever.

I have tried to encourage him to see a Dr but he won’t.
I love him to bits, but I’ve started to dread time together because I can feel myself falling onto a darker place again.
I discussed with him my concerns and suggested we take a step back. We haven’t been intimate at all this time around as he has depression related impotence, so without the boyfriend/girlfriend ‘label’ our relationship wouldn’t look much different as a friendship instead. When I suggested this he said I’m the only reason he gets up and his only reason for living.

Now I feel as though I have to choose between my mental health and his as us being together is making me low.
I love him, but I really do think we’re just friends.

How can I possibly value my mental health above his?
I’m terrified that my children are going to lose me to depression again if I stay.

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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:18 am

Re: Should I sacrifice my mental health for the mental heath of someone I love?

Postby nycnoc » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:29 am

Hi, I understand how worrying this time must be for you. I have learned through counselling that you can only control what's in your own bubble - you have already advised that your boyfriend seek help, but it is ultimately up to him whether he decide to seek help. However, if it is him that is making your mental health deteriorate then it is understandable and wise to take a break for your sake. If you are worried about how the break will affect him (as he appears dependent upon you at this stage), could you talk about it honestly with him and let him know why you feel you need a break?

Perhaps you could offer him continued support in a way which you feel most comfortable, but just not at the same level as you previously did, if you feel up to it. Remember that it is equally important that your MH is taken care of, both for your own sake and his if he appears to be dependent upon you.

Would he be more willing to seek help if you sought it together, i.e. couples counselling? Just a thought if not already considered. Not cheap if private, but the right counsellor will make it worthwhile and perhaps be able to create some safe space to have some truthful discussions together.

All the best x

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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:32 pm

Re: Should I sacrifice my mental health for the mental heath of someone I love?

Postby minniemoo » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:24 am

Have you explained to him that if he does not see a doctor and start getting better you can’t stay with him? Perhaps you and the kids could go and stay away for a week or just a weekend initially, tell him you need a break. Perhaps that will kick him into action.
If you can get yourself some therapy now before you feel any worse that would probably be good for you. You are doing the right thing by being aware of your triggers and looking after yourself. He may be kind and caring but if he doesn’t take your advice about getting help when he knows that it’s having an impact on your health that’s not great. Doctors have heard everything, loads of people have sexual issues when they are unwell.

Whatever happens it may not be forever, as long as you and the kids are ok then you can work on things with him when he gets better. You’ve loved him before as a partner and you might do again once he’s able to be a partner to you :-)

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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:30 pm

Re: Should I sacrifice my mental health for the mental heath of someone I love?

Postby prycejosh1987 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:16 pm

I think you can do both. Work out things together and support each other.

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