Is it really too late?
August 9, 2013 2:47 AM   Subscribe

I am not happy to be using my sock this morning. I hoped it would wither and die unused, but instead it is filled with angst and sadness. Deets: 34yo female, never married, this is my second long term relationship, but first where we have lived together. Last night, in bed, I turned to my boyfriend and jokingly said "Do you love me?" And then I immediately asked another dumb question that had nothing to do with us (I honestly can't even remember what it was at this point). His response was not a jokey statement back, or even yes.

His response was "you always want to have a conversation when it's time to go to bed" (which sadly, I do). Not seeing where this was going, I charged ahead with "You didn't answer the question" in reference to the dumb question. And I still didn't see the ensuing conversation coming until he turned towards me, looked me in the eyes and said "I know I didn't".

Now you all know where this is going - sadly, I had no idea. We have had a rough patch, but I figured that was just it. A rough patch that we'd get through. I love this man. I envision our children. I can honestly say I have never felt this way for anyone else.

During our conversation, I asked him to speak in absolutes - as in this is over, there is nothing that can be done to salvage us. This is because I know how I am, I grasp at tiny little bits of hope, like that last few breaths of fresh air before drowning. So he did that. But there was a point near the end of the talk where he said, he wasn't in love with the me now, but he still remembered falling in love with the me from 3 years ago.

He said he felt like he has been on hold and in a depression with me the past two years, and he can't see a way out other than us being over. And I asked, if I was the same person from 3 years ago, would that change anything. I brought up the fact that I have been un-medicated for a while and he said if that might be a change, then we should try it. He has offered to pay anything that is needed for me to go to a doctor, and get medications.

Backstory - 3 years ago when we first started dating, I was working two jobs. I had great benefits, I had a brand spanking new group of friends that I saw damn near everyday, and I had picked up a new hobby that I was absolutely in love with (that hobby is actually how we met). Then I quit a job (because I was overworked with two full-times), and was laid off from the second less than a year later due to lack of funding. This meant loss of benefits - so my depression meds, gone. I have been able to get several part time jobs between then and now and make enough to pay bills, but not enough to get any kind of health insurance or see a therapist. So I have just been spiraling further and further down. I have trouble getting out of bed, and doing anything. So in order to hold down temp jobs as long as they are available, I have been giving all I had to them and then slipping into funk mode when I get home.

I know that isn't fair, but it's what happened. I chose to give the little energy and happy face-time I had to POS jobs, so my boyfriend wouldn't be responsible for supporting me. I thought that was the best thing to do. He would constantly ask what he could do to help, if I needed money, but I always said no, because I didn't want to feel any worse about myself than I already do.

During this semi-employed time, we moved closer to his job and away from all my friends, and we stopped regular hobby enjoyment as well. So I spend almost all of my "free" time at home with him - watching movies or talking about whatever.

At this point, you are probably wondering why I haven't actually asked any questions. Because there is a twist. There is always a twist. I couldn't sleep after we talked and have been up all night. I wanted to reminisce about when we first met, so I logged in to an old okcupid account that we used to message each other on. I just wanted to get our messages and try to remember what I was actively fighting for if I was going to go see a therapist. His account that he deactivated 3 years ago, is active. He logged on last night, before coming upstairs to go to bed. During our conversation, I asked him if there was anyone else, and he said no. But, his okcupid profile is active. I have no idea how long it has been active. And it has this "I am not looking to date right now. I am already with someone." in the first line. So there's that. But, it seems strange that his account was reactivated.

I am reeling right now in general. And I don't even know how to gain my footing, and I don't even know if the things that have my brain activity currently working overtime are even worth it.

I have several questions I guess.
1) Should I take his offer to go see a doctor and get back on my meds? I genuinely am a different person when on them. I know it. I look back at old interactions and I can't even see how to get back to that person on my own (and it has taken me a year to even admit that to myself - I feel ashamed that I can't be happy on my own without medication, but here I am)
2) Should we have a discussion about the OkCupid account or is that entirely irrelevant at this point?
3) Should I even be trying to salvage this relationship (if I can?)? Please don't just give me a DTMFA here. I wonder if I am the Asshole in this situation. I feel like I got punched in the gut, but I can't help but wonder if he was right to do so.

Please forgive if this is very rambly. I haven't been to sleep in almost 24 hours, and I spent hours agonizing over whether I should even post here. If more information (??) is needed I can respond in thread or through Me-mail. Thank you.
posted by it's always too late to Human Relations (36 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
No, no, no, He has made up his mind, your relationship is over. Stop trying to find ways to get them back. Stop reliving the past. Stop thinking about what you should have done or said. Stop thinking about what you WILL say or do if given the chance. It's over. Done! Even if you stay together, eventually the same reasons for the breakup will surface.

Time to focus on you, Sooner or later you will realize that it is just not worth holding on to the memory of a person who left you or did not care for you. It may seem impossible at first this is the crisis phase. Face your emotions head on, journal them, emotions are temporary! Talk to friends for advice, reconsider your feelings, see your ex as having been important to you but that you need to let go.

Avoid him, disentangle your lives. Firstly ignore them calls, texts, online, everything! Everyone handles pain/loss differently, don't be obsessive about what he is doing on OkCupid or start questioning everything you did, this is now about finding peace with yourself :)

So, create distractions, ue your breakup to motivate you to succeed in life. Do things you enjoy. Live life on day-to-day basis, focusing only on the present moment. Put your energy into nurturing other valuable relationships. Think about the negative impact and the hurt you are causing yourself every time you think of him. Think about how you are letting yourself down by succumbing to the sadness.

You can do it, it's never too late to start again :)
posted by krisb1701d at 3:11 AM on August 9, 2013 [9 favorites]

Best answer: 1) You should get back on meds if your life is improved while you're on them, whether it can save this relationship or not.
2) Unless he changed his status to 'single', no.
3) I don't think anyone can answer this for you. To be honest, what you need to do to improve your life and improve your relationshp is the same thing, so it doesn't really matter if the relationship is salvageable for how you go forward from here. You need to get on your meds, get a job, find some new friends, get a hobby that isn't dependent on your boyfriend, and so on. It might save the relationship, but even if it doesn't you'll still be in a better place.
posted by empath at 3:11 AM on August 9, 2013 [43 favorites]

I don't see anyone in this scenario that I would call an "asshole", I see two people struggling with life.

He was honest with you, and he's offered help, and you love him.... take him up on his offer and see if you can bring yourself to a better place..

And, as for the OKCupid account... you BOTH logged in. You had a good reason, perhaps he did too... If I were you, I would delete my own account and never mention it to him.
posted by HuronBob at 3:12 AM on August 9, 2013 [29 favorites]

Best answer: 1) yes
2) absolutely not. The first line in profile is "I'm not looking to date", either you trust your partner, or you don't.
3) No one can answer this question but you. I personally don't believe one should throw away good relationships without giving them a shot. If you give it a shot, and it's too late (and this happens, it has happened to me), at least you can say, "well, we gave it our best go". and you don't have to think about what ifs, etc.

I feel for you, depression is a pernicious illness and it can creep up on a person. It sounds like you a very unhappy. I don't think this relationship, on its own, will make you not feel that way. However, you should recognise that you have already taken several positive steps. You have acknowledged to yourself that there is a problem; you want to work on it; you have accepted that you need help, and that your relationship is unhappy and that it needs to rehabilitate or finish up. This is powerful, positive stuff - it can be extremely difficult acknowledging that you have a problem and even harder asking for help with it. Well done.

None of these things are a comment on whether this relationship is going to work or not, but you need to work on yourself regardless of the relationship. And, to me, it seems a little early to be writing it off just yet. Hang in there, and ask for help, accept it, embrace yourself.
posted by smoke at 3:17 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Get back on your meds. Take him up on that offer. It may not save your relationship, but it is something you need to do.

Don't bring up the profile. I think it would just be a distraction at this point.

You aren't an asshole. I don't know whether the relationship can be saved; it sounds like he is pretty far gone.
posted by Area Man at 3:19 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am really sorry you are going through this, please feel hugged by an internet woman about your age who empathizes deeply.

I think you should take the offer to go to therapy and medicate - ASAP! At this point, it doesn't really matter where the relationship is going, either way you need to get to a better place emotionally. Even if he means the relationship is over, he is offering to be there for you and help you out. That is worth a lot.

As to where the relationship is going, nobody can say at this point, really, whether it's really over. Time will tell.

But take medication, go to therapy, you need that right now. Like many people have said above, whether you stay together or part ways, you need your strong self now. This is a good offer for help, don't question its source. It's a good source, coming from someone who does obviously really care about you.
posted by ipsative at 3:23 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I don't know about your relationship, but it sounds like you're in a pretty low place emotionally/mentally. You're wearing yourself away, you've identified a number of reasons why, but you haven't been able to do anything about it. If meds helped you before, then I think you should go back on them, seek therapy, whatever helps you. He clearly loves you enough to want to help you get better— you should accept his help. Maybe your relationship can recover, or maybe it's gone; but either way the thing you need to do is get yourself out of the corner you're wedged in.
posted by hattifattener at 3:23 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

1. Yes
2. Take it at face value - it says he's in a relationship.
3. Well, give it a go. He's offered to help - you've wanted to go it alone. Nobel. But, you're in a relationship that you would like to continue to be in. Part of that is letting someone help you when you need it. Let him help you and see how it goes for you both. Maybe you won't stay together, but you could potentially be in a better place than you are now, regardless of what happens to the relationship itself.
posted by heyjude at 3:24 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I absolutely think you should try getting back on meds and seeing what kind of difference that makes. In my case my marriage has been spiraling downwards for several years--partly because of untreated depression on both sides. My husband's maintaining his treatment for his depression was an essential starting point for me to even think about it being salvagable, so I can see this from your BF's perspective.

But I can also see it from your side: it took me longer to realize how much my own untreated depression was affecting my outlook on the relationship and undoubtedly the person I was within it. Having recently addressed that part of of the equation, it's not all sunshine and roses, but there is SOME sunshine and roses, and without that there's not much hope of any improvement.

I don't think the OKCupid thing is as big of a deal as you're making it out to be. My take on it is that your BF has been contemplating the future of your relationship for a while now. It's unfortunate that he wasn't completely upfront with you about how far down he felt things had slipped (or he did try to clue you in and you didn't pick up the message). It's not uncommon for someone in that situation to start running through different "what if" scenarios. In my case it involved--at the lowest points in my feelings about my marriage--looking at housing alternatives and pricing insurance, which may sound less "cheater-ish," but I think the underlying motive is the same. He was almost (but not quite) ready to throw in the towel and was thinking about what might happen next.

In addition to the medication side of the equation, be sure to add back in some enjoyment time together that involves more than sitting at home: my prescription is 1 date night a week and 3 bouts of vigorous exercise and some hobby time for you, even if you have to lean on him financially to accomplish this.

Are you an asshole? Of course not. But it sounds like you've been worrying overmuch about being a financially equal partner in this relationship, which has jeopardized your capacity to contribute to the relationship in other ways. Don't feel bad about accepting his offers for help. Think about how you would want him to respond if the roles were reversed: you, of course, would want to help him out any way you could, and you wouldn't want him to feel guilty about accepting your help. That is part of what being PARTNERS is about: sharing in financial good times and bad. If you want to have babies with anyone at some point, you really, really need to get over that fierce-independent stance.

Good luck.
posted by drlith at 3:25 AM on August 9, 2013 [7 favorites]

What kind of human doesn't change in 3 years?

What kind of human has control over what kind of human they are at any instant and can flip between states associated with random dates?

What kind of human wants to be with a human that doesn't change in response to life's challenges and developments?

What kind of human is so skilled that they have control over life's challenges and can respond with no error to them while maintaining the optimal configuration that a mate has selected for at a given instant?

You have changed in this 3 years, so has your mate.
You will change in another 3 years and so will your mate.

Change is going to happen. When it does, it will probably present conflicts and maybe resolve some old ones. The challenge isn't the change, it's the adult realization that adaptation is what saves relationships, and that it's usually insufficient over the very long term. People diverge because the worlds they occupy diverge and so do their tastes, desires, goals, preferences.

You'd better get ready for that reality. It'll be with you a while. It has been with you, already, but escaped your observation.

So many different versions here of "We're now so different. Why can't our relationship be the same?" It's not the path, it's the tracking.

It usually spells doom. Sorry, but the marriage numbers support it soundly and the relationship numbers.... for every marriage there were 10 relationships that failed. In aggregate, they almost always fail and fail really fast.
posted by FauxScot at 3:36 AM on August 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

1) You absolutely should. Even if your relationship is unsalvageable, you need to do this.

2) I'm not sure on this one. I can see innocent reasons to be on it (reading old messages, thinking about how it was when you were happy), and not so great ones (thinking that he is unhappy) - however, it does NOT seem like he's actually done anything - yet. Given your current state, I'd probably postpone discussion for a future date, but maybe keep an eye on the account in case the profile changes.

3) Should you be trying to salvage it? I'd honestly say that yes, you should. But it might not happen.

Like, someone who is depressed, not getting treatment, and not accepting your help with treatment is not someone who is fun to be around. He wants to enjoy himself, and move his life forward - and that wasn't happening with you because you were unhappy and in a funk. I think he's perfectly justified in not wanting to spend all his time around someone who is unhappy.

>constantly ask what he could do to help, if I needed money, but I always said no
This is him trying to do something about it, but it failing. He wanted to fix it, too!

But if you can get back on your meds, and get back to spending time with friends, and get back to enjoying your hobby - which are things you should talk about your boyfriend about doing - then you're highly likely to be fun to be around. He clearly wanted to date this person - he's likely to still want to!
posted by Ashlyth at 3:48 AM on August 9, 2013

Get on meds if you need them. Get doctors to determine this. While you are getting doctors to determine this, get support for what you are going through (via counseling, group therapy, whatever).

I have been in a very bad space emotionally and had a guy I loved pull away. After I had a similar conversation as you had with your guy, I panicked and believed, sincerely, that if I lost him I would be doomed and then began the frantic gyrations to please him so he wouldn't leave. Which lead to a corresponding greater decline in my mental health, because when I should have been taking care of myself, I was trying to please this guy, who had already left the station, really.

If I had to do it over again I would assume the relationship was over and spend the time I wasn't working or acting to disentangle myself financially, emotionally, and physically to spoil myself ROTTEN (in not unhealthy ways. Two days indoors crying over sad movies don't hurt nothin if you are making good on the commitments you need to keep).

posted by angrycat at 4:08 AM on August 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

I'm really sorry to hear things are so tough for you at the moment. I really think you need to focus first on the thing which is most pressing and important here and that is your health. Everything else in your post is either caused or exacerbated by your chronic, untreated health problem so please start there.

Wrt your boyfriend I think there is every possibility that he is exhausted by everything that's been going on and by your repeated refusal to accept the help he has offered you. It sounds to this outsider as though his lack of loving feelings probably stems from that.

This situation may be reversible (plenty of people rediscover the love when their partner is back in a healthy place) or it may not (plenty more people are just burnt out and can't get back what has gone). You won't know until you get medicated and healthy and see. Please take his offer of help and be kind to yourself in the meantime. What you are struggling with is not easy.

The OKcupid is a distraction and total side issue. I know it's tempting to focus there because it feels all dramatic and contained and not your fault but please stay focused on the health issue. That is where the heart of this lies. Good luck.
posted by Dorothia at 4:29 AM on August 9, 2013 [8 favorites]

I agree with the people saying that it's hard to tell which way the relationship will go, but that it's really clear that you need to take a giant step back and start taking care of yourself. No matter which way the relationship goes, you'll be in a better place for taking him up on his offer and focusing on getting your mental health in order, and secondarily, looking for a job aggressively once you're feeling better.

I would let the OKCupid thing go - it's beside the point and doesn't reveal anything he hasn't already told you. I think you should focus laser-like on your own mental health and self-esteem and believe that by taking care of yourself, you'll have the best, healthiest outcome, regardless of what that turns out to be.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:39 AM on August 9, 2013

I'm sorry, but your life is about to change. For sure, take him up on his offer to get back on meds, but don't hold him to a promise to love you if you went back to your "old self".

Right now, you need to get healthy, and part of that is learning that sometimes we don't get what we want, no matter how much we want it.

Let your boyfriend go. The kindest thing you can say is, "I understand that you don't want to be in this relationship anymore, while I'm sad and disappointed, you have a right to what you want. I would like to take you up on your offer of helping me out on getting back on my meds. Thank you for a great three years and I wish you nothing but happiness in the future."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:00 AM on August 9, 2013 [11 favorites]

I don't think you should make any major decisions when you are this depressed. For sure, major decisions happen in relationships anyway, including by not making them. But for right now, focus on getting yourself less depressed.

Wishing you the best.
posted by BibiRose at 5:14 AM on August 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best piece of advice I got when I got married was that each of us will fall in and out of love with each other over the coming years, and the trick is not to both fall out of love at the same time, and if we do, work like hell to get through it quickly.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:22 AM on August 9, 2013 [24 favorites]

Wow, parallels -- I'm working a summer temp job after six months unemployed. Couldn't afford the $110 clinic fee to renew my prescription for anxiety meds, so I stopped taking them. Boyfriend supported us. We moved to a new city during that time, where I went on several interviews and sank into a deep depression when I didn't get any offers. Now, that time is behind us and things have stabilized. But for six months he gave me the "we're in this together" talk every time I lost my shit and went on a crying jag. For six months I watched him twist himself in knots trying to make me happy, and it just made me feel worse.

This man has been watching you unravel for three years. He's probably lonely, and angry, and sick of trying. Hence OK Cupid. Is there a guest room you can move into for a month? Call it time to adjust to your meds (YES take him up on this, are you kidding?) I would say - you can try to do things together, like make dinner at nights, or something - but talk about your relationship is off the table. For a month, or six weeks, but a defined period. While you adjust. You will probably still break up in the end - but you can leave with some dignity, and he will not have to worry that you are going to slink off and kill yourself because of him.

I look back at old interactions and I can't even see how to get back to that person on my own (and it has taken me a year to even admit that to myself - I feel ashamed that I can't be happy on my own without medication, but here I am)

This is everything, right here. A LOT of people resent taking daily medication. That is not a reason to stop.
posted by polly_dactyl at 5:58 AM on August 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

1) Yes
2) No. It says he's in a relationship. There's plenty of innocent reasons he could have logged in. You did too.
3) This is obviously the hardest one. To me, this doesn't sound like he wants to end the relationship, but more like he doesn't know what else to do and you asked him to speak in absolutes.

It sounds like you put all your energy into working, refusing his offers to help you, and have spent your time at home slipping into a funk. When is the last time you did something together as a couple? When is the last time you went out on a date?

You boyfriend has spent years watching the person he loves slip away, and become someone neither of you recognize, and while refusing his offer for help. That is a lonely, heartbreaking process. It seems very likely that he sees no other way out of this situation than ending the relationship (and you asked him to speak in absolute terms).

Even if the relationship is over, take him up on his offer and seek treatment ASAP. Focusing on your mental health right now is not selfish, it's the best thing you could do. I would table the relationship talk if you can until you are in a more stable emotional place. It also might be a good idea for him to seek some therapy of his own--he's probably got a lot going on right now and could use the support.
posted by inertia at 6:33 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

His account that he deactivated 3 years ago, is active.

Don't read too much into this. My account is still active, and I'm happily married, like, stupid, dorky happily married. I mostly use it for checking the OKCupid profiles of fellow mefites, but sometimes it's nice, flattering, to log on and see the nice things people say to you. (Even when you're advertising you're taken, what is that even?)
posted by corb at 6:36 AM on August 9, 2013

When you are in a relationship with someone who is suffering from mental problems, and all offers of help or assistance are categorically refused for unclear/petty reasons, and things continue to go down the drain while you're expected to give unconditional support....


I suggest you accept his offer of help.
posted by 99percentfake at 7:18 AM on August 9, 2013 [20 favorites]

Sounds like he was feeling unsatisfied for a while but couldn't talk to you about it. Work like hell to open those lines of communication, and to own whatever your part is in making things unsatisfying. Maybe you're emotional, or clingy, or demanding or... and he needs to be able to discuss his discomfort without you taking it as rejection, but just as his feelings. Based on the snippet of conversation you wrote here, it sounds like you have an insecure streak and sometimes he just needs a break from it. Wanting to talk in absolutes? Don't. Just stay and listen. It sounds like he does really love you, he's just tired.

tl;dr - work on communication, work on yourself and learn to give him what he needs. Good luck!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Your untreated depression has caused significant relationship problems, so if you want to be in this relationship, then you should go back on your meds.

Your untreated depression has made you someone you don't want to be, so regardless of what might happen with this relationship, you should go back on your meds.

I don't know whether your relationship can be salvaged, but I don't think now is the time to demand explanations about OkCupid. Now is the time to take care of yourself.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:21 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

1) Should I take his offer to go see a doctor and get back on my meds? I genuinely am a different person when on them. I know it. I look back at old interactions and I can't even see how to get back to that person on my own (and it has taken me a year to even admit that to myself - I feel ashamed that I can't be happy on my own without medication, but here I am)

If your life was better and progressing, yes.

2) Should we have a discussion about the OkCupid account or is that entirely irrelevant at this point?

No. It sounds like you are making it mean something because you are worried about the relationship.

3) Should I even be trying to salvage this relationship (if I can?)? Please don't just give me a DTMFA here. I wonder if I am the Asshole in this situation. I feel like I got punched in the gut, but I can't help but wonder if he was right to do so.

I hate to say this because you sound like you are in a time of distress, but you are contributing a lot to this situation. By pushing him to issue absolutes, he has now issued an absolute. He didn't volunteer one, you demanded it. That is very important to remember.

In relationships, it can be very natural to want to share everything, and find an unconditional soul mate, but that's not how it works. A relationship is a two-way street, and each person needs to contribute. If what you're contributing is keeping him up, demanding absolutes about your future together, really think if that's a good contribution? How would you feel if he did that to you?

The real issue here is that you need to be back on meds. Maybe the relationship will make it, maybe not. It sounds like you're putting the relationship ahead of your life. Like your life would be fine, if the relationship was fine. In reality, it's the other way around and you need to see that.

Yes, it sucks losing your job, and insurance, and moving, and all that. But it happened and now it's gone. You have a relationship. He hasn't left. He may leave if you keep pushing him for black and white answers on things. But he's still there now. So sort yourself and see what happens.
posted by nickrussell at 7:36 AM on August 9, 2013 [7 favorites]

The only way you have any possible chance of saving this relationship is by saving yourself.

Get on the meds. Clean up your diet. Do whatever it takes to get your head straight. Tell your boyfriend what you need from him to help, but make it clear that this is your project. You are relying on him to fill the holes in yourself. That is exhausting for anyone to handle. You must take care of yourself for you.

Remember, "Put your own oxygen mask on first, then assist others." That "other" includes your relationship. You can't save your relationship before you've put your oxygen mask on first and straightened out your life.

Pick up a copy of When Things Fall Apart. Every adult should own a copy of this book - it will help you face your fear of abandonment, loneliness, and your emotions, and to stop running toward drama as a way of ignoring your issues.
posted by Unangenehm at 8:24 AM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

At this point, if you do not take him up on his offer of help, you will pretty much be ending the relationship yourself.

Getting better does not mean the relationship will survive, or even that you will want it to. But it's definitely not going to make it, and neither one of you is going to be happy, if you don't do something.

You're not an asshole, you're sick, but depression does make people massively self-absorbed. It looks an awful lot like asshole, and you may have to practice being more mindful of other people for a while until you get your meds up to therapeutic levels.

I think you should start making phone calls today, but you also need a nap - but just a survival nap, you need to go to bed at a grownup time tonight with 1-2 hours of appropriate sleep hygiene before bedtime. No big talks, no big decisions. You're in a little bit of a manic phase, which you need to get a handle on.

Your most expedient course of action would probably be to go to an Urgent Care today, tell them what medications you were on before (if you remember or have anything that documents the dosage, that's helpful, but you don't have to have it), explain that you are in crisis and need to do something now. They'll only give you a few weeks' worth, but other doctors are so hard to get an appointment with that any appointment you make today or Monday will probably be in a couple of weeks anyway. Just getting that done today will help massively with your momentum to get yourself taken care of.

I feel ashamed that I can't be happy on my own without medication

Yeah, depression lies and tells you a bunch of bullshit so you won't get better. Every time this feeling comes up, say "Fuck you, depression, I know what you're doing." Put it on notice.

The relationship question needs to be tabled, probably 3-6 months. That's advanced stuff, and you need to go back to the basic human functioning stuff and deal with that first.

Go call Urgent Care right now. Yes, they do this. No, it's not weird. Yes, you are technically "seeking drugs", but it's not Oxycontin and nobody's going around scamming doctors for recreational Lexapro or whatever unless they have a very weird idea of recreation. You are getting back on medication you accidentally and unadvisedly stopped, that's all, and you know if you don't do something today while you are in a period of clarity that you may not try to get help again for months or years.

They'll understand, and may also be able to fast-track you into an appointment with a GP, Psychiatrist, and/or therapist who can take it from there (probably not, but maybe). The office visit will probably cost about $120, if you can get a prescription for something generic (you may have to go with something generic even if you weren't on a generic before; name-brand meds without insurance are essentially unaffordable for anyone) it should be $4 at Target or Walmart, or you may get a couple weeks' worth of samples.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:45 AM on August 9, 2013 [12 favorites]

If you've been reading askme for a while, you know that we often get questions on the other side of this issue: "My girlfriend is depressed and won't take meds. She did x and y and z and it bothers me all the time. I am really tired of it. What should I do?"

And all of the answers say "You can break up with whomever you want" and "It's nice of you to help her get on meds. If she refuses to take them YOU SHOULD BREAK UP."


You should see his perspective in that light. Maybe even read some of those questions on here.

1) get on meds immediately
2) start working on making your own life better
3) start having fun with your boyfriend again, especially doing things you loved together (the hobby?)

Your boyfriend is NOT dumping you when times are tough. He's struggling. Do your part too.
posted by 3491again at 9:42 AM on August 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

I agree with all the Mefites who suggest getting help for your depression first.

I think there is one thing you can do to improve your relationship while you are getting help, which is to encourage your boyfriend to be more open with you. (A couple of things in your post point to the fact that he isn't being open with you: your pattern of having serious conversations at bedtime, his resistance to answering your questions, the fact that he didn't tell you about his change of heart until last night, and him logging on to OKC.) It sounds like he is pretty resistant to speaking with you, so I recommend rebuilding your intimacy with him slowly.

I don't know if your relationship is doomed or not. However, as you get better, please remember to evaluate this relationship from your perspective. Ask yourself, Is this relationship good for me? not What can I do to salvage this relationship?
posted by emilynoa at 9:53 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Let's remove the guy from the equation for a sec, and focus on your statement that you can't afford treatment.

You know what worked for you in the past re: your depression. Resume those same activities: doctor's care, prescription. You say you can't afford it without health insurance, but can you afford not to treat your condition? If you need to put it on credit cards, or get a loan from family, or allow your partner to cover the cost until you are back on your feet, then so be it.

Invest in yourself. Once you are back on your feet, mental-health wise, you'll be able to make better decisions that will lead to greater income stability. You'll be able to look for better, more stable jobs, and eventually find one that provides health insurance.

For now, focus on that part of your life. Let your partner help you. Don't break up, don't move out, don't destabilize yourself.

And please don't ask him to speak in absolutes or issue ultimatums. You'll be shooting yourself in the foot, and it is unfair to him as well.
posted by nacho fries at 10:03 AM on August 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I feel ashamed that I can't be happy on my own without medication.

Stop this. Would you say that a person who has asthma should be ashamed that they sometimes can't breathe on their own without an inhaler?

As for the relationship, you should be asking yourself whether this relationship is good for you. Your boyfriend was unhappy for 2 years and didn't express any of that to you until you straight up asked him, "Do you love me?"? And then instead of addressing your concerns, he tries to avoid the subject by saying, "you always want to have a conversation when it's time to go to bed." Is that really the kind of partner you want?
posted by Asparagus at 10:06 AM on August 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

Please accept your boyfriend's offer to help. He wants to help. Don't feel guilty about it - you aren't begging him; he is offering. That is something a caring partner will do, and when you allow them to help you it is a sign of mutual trust and respect. There is no shame in it. If you take him up on his offer and finally take the steps you need to get the help you need, it will make him feel useful in a situation where he has felt helpless for a long time. It is a good thing, and it's not too late.
posted by wondermouse at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've been in the guy's situation. The best advice I can give is to accept his help and get back on the meds. Dealing with a loved one's untreated depression is extremely draining, and one can only endure for so long.

It's not too late yet. But it will be unless you do something about your depression. That absolutely needs to be your top priority.

@Asparagus, if those conversations are a regular occurrence, I don't blame him for avoiding the subject. He's probably growing more and more conflicted as this progresses. I know I was. And the last thing you want to do in that situation is add to the emotional load your loved one is under.
posted by chaosys at 2:20 PM on August 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

since you're getting good relationship advice i just wanted to comment on low-cost meds. most of the manufacturers of anti-depressants offer their meds at reduced prices for people through their websites. they realize people need meds even in financial difficulties. also, i think places like target & walmart are supposed to be super cheap, like $4 cheap or something, for meds. i hope you and your guy can turn things around.
posted by wildflower at 2:36 PM on August 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for the responses.

I talked with my boyfriend in depth about my depression after work on Friday and he was all for me getting back on my meds ASAP and getting some therapy. We're going to talk about relationship status after he feels I am more stable and he indicated that if my future therapist wanted him to come in for any sessions with me that he was more than willing to do so.

We decided to wait out the weekend and try scheduling appointments today. I hit a huge snag because I spent most of today crying and calling mental health numbers and being told no one can see me before September.

I finally took Lyn Never's advice and called an Urgent Care Center after my 20th office call and they were the first people I talked to who seemed to care about me even though I wasn't currently suicidal. I will be seeing them at 9am tomorrow, to get on my old meds as a stop gap and possibly get a quicker referral.

I hope no one minds that I haven't marked any best answers, as honestly - I have to admit that I don't know what's best anymore right now.
posted by it's always too late at 3:11 PM on August 12, 2013 [7 favorites]

Thanks for you update, OP.

I'm glad you connected with Urgent Care-- the frustration of calling a bunch of numbers and no one can see you really sucks when you're depressed. Obviously we have a lot of gaps in the mental health care system because there's a huge space between "immediate threat to oneself or others," and "can totally wait 2 months for an appointment no problem."

I think my prior comment might have come off a little "DTMFA!" I didn't necessarily mean it that way. From your update especially, this is a guy who clearly cares about you. What I was trying get at was, he may also have a role to play in the problems in your relationship -- it's not all your fault because you're depressed. That doesn't mean he's not a kind or caring guy, but he's made mistakes too (as we all do). And also, whatever happens with the two of you as a couple, (a) it has no reflection on your worth as a person; and (b) you'll be okay.
posted by Asparagus at 6:12 PM on August 12, 2013

Response by poster: Final update -

I have been on meds since August 13th. Started out with Lexapro and my anxiety skyrocketed, so I am trying Zoloft now. The anxiety has gotten better, and I am not super "I want to die all the time" depressed anymore. I suppose more work has to be done before I feel whole again, and that's ok.

It was a little too late for our relationship, but that was because we love each other but aren't in love because of a whole lot of reasons on both sides. It was nice that because I was clear headed and able to think, that I could approach him about the fact that we weren't good together in that way.

Obviously, this is not the whole story, but for the first time in quite a while I can see that this isn't the end of the story either. Today was the first day that I realized I was making plans for my future and feeling hopeful, so I thought an update would be pertinent.

Thanks for helping me realize it was ok to accept help from someone who cares about my well being.
posted by it's always too late at 9:39 PM on March 10, 2014 [7 favorites]

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