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New to living with someone suffering with depression - Carers UK Forum

New to living with someone suffering with depression

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
This is a hesitant post as i am not sure i qualify as carer so much as someone trying to work out how to best support their partner and understand what she is going through. The post is a little bit more about "me" -apologies- and where i am at currently than it is about my partner's health i guess.
We have been in a relationship for a bit over a year now and living together 6 months of that.
I knew she had been depressed when we met specifically because she had tried to take her own life earlier that year when her marriage failed and her grown up kids had all left home. She had worked through it and was rebuilding her life and was bright and vivacious.
We had an odd start in so much as I was married at the time but we realised we cared deeply for each other and, in the fullness of time i took the step to leave my wife and start a new life with my now partner. I still try and actively balance time between my daughter and my new home life.
She had been taking Sertraline in varying doses over time to stabilise herself but wanted to be off them again long term and has recently been trying to go with out.
I hope and believe I have always made sure she has understood that i dote on her, love (and lets be honest, lust after) her and am supportive of her in everyway but recently she has been very low again despite, to the "uninitiated" - i.e. me - having life going the right way for her. In the good periods she is reciprocal in the same way and we're brilliant together.
She has huge work pressures which we try and discuss so she has a vent for it, it is a job she seems to really like and excel at.
A recent round of "low" discussions though brought a whole bunch of things to the fore that I didn't know and found very hurtful but i have tried to make sure that I react to the stuff that i can deal with and provide some options and "leave some doors open" for her on the stuff i can't control. A load of it i have just had to try and pack away and hope that it wasn't as bigger deal as it was made to sound and it was the depression speaking. I do at the moment seem to be in a permanent state of always doing something wrong and each time i believe we are doing something positive it crumbles in my fingers and, i always feel, ets thrown back in my face.
I only have limited experience of depression other than being really low for months when i initially left my marriage and struggled to find my place in her life and with some of her reactions as well as not seeing my 8 year old daughter everyday whom i love dearly. I tried my best to keep it from my partner (and probably failed)
I really dont have much support in life now having burned so many bridges with the ending of my marriage and I am beginning to feel increasingly isolated with no outlet and feel like i am really struggling to be positive, to listen, being upbeat for her and taking as much pressure off her from the daily grind as i can. I feel i have a fine balancing act every day of trying to ensure my partner is happy and stable, that my daughter sees her dad as often as he can and that i don't let my relationship with my wife, whom i am obviously separated from, deteriorate too far so we can hopefully resolve everyone's life amicably at some point.
I am an engineer by training and so i guess i tend to have the mindset of "problems have solutions" but I admit to feeling like I should be "enough" in her life to not be depressed. The more i read around depression the more i realise this is not how it works though.
In the end i just want to know that:
i am doing the right thing for her
I am being fair in needing a channel and an ear for feeling buried by the situation
Wanting to get the woman back in my life who i met a year ago and who seemed so strong and confident.
Simon, I would say that anyone who has a 'responsibility' of any kind for someone else's welfare, and when that is not reciprocated by the other person - ie, it is 'assymetrical' - then you have a carer/caree situation, and all the dynamics that go with that.

From the way you describe your situation it seems to be extremely emotionally 'convoluted'... I could write all sorts of stuff about trying to 'dissect' what is going on here .... from the observation that happily married spouses don't desert their partner and child, to women who have affairs with married men to women who 'seek a whipping boy' etc etc etc.

Have you had any counselling yourself to work out just what is going on in this very complicated situation? What made you abandon your wife and child, why were you so ready for an affair/other partner, and why, most of all, did your new partner accept 'you' as her partner/ carer???

Can you tell us a little more - for example, I could take a punt and surmise there is an age gap between you and your new partner? Why did you 'fall' for her? Why did you fall out of love with your wife, etc etc etc?? Do you think your new partner's very vulnerability was a draw for you? If so, why?

Part of me (the married woman part probably!) could say, for example, ho ho ho, the adulterous hubby got his come-uppance, didn't he? Jumped ship and landed himself with a nutter! Ha ha ha......

But psychological situations are seldom that 'black and white' - those who leave their partners are not automatically 'bad', and women who have affairs with married men are not automaticaly' bad' either, and by the same token, not everyone who has mental health issues is 'pitiable'.....

What do YOU make of her attitude towards you? Why do you think she is being like this to you?

For example, do you think she is 'testing your love' for her? People who 'fear rejection' can push away those who love them, in order (subconsciously) to 'prove' they are inheritantly unloveable, or to test just how much you love her, ie, by how much you will put up with, etc etc.

The bottom line, alas, is this - that those with substantial mental health issues are 'high risk' partners. You may find it very difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at your 'happy ending'......challenging is certainly what it is inevitably likely to be, alas. But it may not be without hope, for all that ....
Hi @jenny lucas, the PM system seems to not want to let me send a response to our conversation.

No matter what i do it gets trapped in the "Outbox" and never moves to "Sent". Tried loads of times but nothing works.
It will stay in Outbox until Jenny picks it up. Just needs a bit of patience :)