I'm looking for the male perspective.
My spouse and I broke up Jan. 2009. It was messy and complicated and still is. Basically, I know he needs to seek out professional help but doesn't. Rather, he calls me up to tell me how he is realizing he is depressed and has been for awhile and then reveals his dark stuff to me. But, puts on a face to the world that he's got it together. Now, that I am feeling like I am putting the 'shattered' pieces of my life back together, he touches in once a week to tell me in his way that he's made a mistake and doesn't know how to fix it while at the same time tells me he's lost. Me, I'm moving on day by day and see the sunshine more and more and it has taken me awhile to get here. I know that he is depressed and I feel torn about being there for him. I have been telling him to speak to someone - he says they wouldn't be able to help. So....I get the calls and now think I need to 'change the channel' (for me) because I can no longer be the one to listen. There is much more to the story of course - but it started with how he was dealing with life and then tore our relationship apart and not only broke it - but smashed it to pieces. (long term relationship - that I thought was a good one)
Why, do some men not seek out professional help? This is a serious question for me.
This is hard for me to post btw.
This isn't a jest, but it's probably the same reason why males don't ask for directions, read manuals, or anything like that. Men don't really like relying on other people. You ever notice how women seem to always ask other people questions like "how does this perfume smell?" or "how does this look?", well I think men are more self-reliant by nature.. you know that "Alpha Male" thing!
He may know that he needs professional help, but doesn't do it because of those reasons.
It's just a guess though.
well...i'm the help right now and am about to stop...maybe that's what is requried? And, he's the no. one Alpha Dog...doesn't reveal himself to others though....I just don't get that anymore.
It's just the nature of being male, it's just like how most men can't understand certain aspects of women, such as being more open with their feelings, etc.
I would just stop if you have to, and tell him that he needs to find someone else to talk to. Or perhaps be available less and less, to... I guess you can say.. ween him off you?
you're right about the 'weening off part' - have been doing that. will not see him in person and don't contact him (unless it's for the business of divorce) he doesn't even want to deal with that either. so now...sometimes I answer the phone and sometimes I don't. I'm even considering moving to another city or province (in Canada) to completely remove myself once my house sells.
I have told him for quite sometime now he needs someone else to talk to - but it falls on deaf ears...so...
Hmmm, I have no clue really. Perhaps just keep telling him to find someone else to talk to, and continue weening. Sometimes emotions take time to heal, and he probably still thinks that he can count on you for certain emotional things.
yes he does think he can count on me - because he can - but i need to change it - i have me to also contend with and heal more and get back to my old/new self.......i hate it - i feel i'm dealing with (the love of my life) a very hurt lost soul but need to deal with my own soul..continue to move forward and stop looking back at 'my family' - that's the tough part.
That's what you're looking for here, for someone to tell you it's okay to cut the ties with your ex and move on, pay attention to yourself and your needs. The damage is done and it can't be fixed, time to move on. Well I'm here to tell you you can and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. For whatever reason medical, mental, or otherwise he ended the relationship now it's time for him to come to terms with it on his own, and for you to let him know he has to do so. Tell him please don't call anymore.
just wish the divorce would move a little faster. i do not even feel i can date anyone right now (or get back together with him - he keeps referring to it) until something breaks - maybe I just decide for both of us. i sound confused don't i or dealing with guilt....
why dont man ask for direction or ask for help when feel they r lost?..answers are similar to what u posted.
i feel he's asking me for help though...says he's going to do some soul searching this month...he's about to undertake an adventure that will exhaust all of his physical energies and I guess he's hoping something will happen for his emotional energies...at the same time. An adventure very few people would take on.
Hmmm.. well, perhaps just be there until he undertakes his adventure to wherever he's going?
i've been there for 1.5 years...and not sure if I can continue to be there. it's tough because I understand mental health issues and how support is needed whether it's professional or not. maybe I can stick around emotionally for another month - not sure tho.
He has a long path ahead...at his current pace. He needs to lose the pride or whatever keeps him from getting some help. You need to "let-lose" from him telling you things to drag you down. Hope that wasn't too blunt. I speak from experience though of dealing with both sides of depression...both in myself and my mate. It is a tough fought battle to go it alone...with out proper help. Spiritual help, professional help, or basic counseling/communication of deep feelings are required. Again...I only say this out of experience...Not as a "Know-it-all"!
thanks for that Steve...further confirmation for me....
I'm speaking from experience.
The problem with always answering the phone is that you become an enabler, while on the other hand, you're afraid he could hurt himself or someone else by dropping the ties.
You'll never know for sure what's going on in his head. Somewhere deep inside, through all the conflictions and confusions, you know what you need to do. Complete strangers can't help you on this one, Honey, especially when we can't see the big picture. If you speak of depression, you could be dealing with someone's life, not just hurt feelings.
My advice would be to call on his family and get their take on the situation. They may know him better than you think, or maybe he has a history of this behavior. Maybe find a counselor for yourself, it could help you clear your mind, and then at some point you can invite him in for a session. With a ref there, you could find it easier to use your words with him.
read your hub chicka-d - thanks. yea i've let his siblings know he's messed up...but he turns away from them.. and doesn't always return their calls...and if he does, he doesn't want to 'talk about it' - has 4 brothers and 2 sisters - anyway i did speak to someone but for me...and yes i have a belief in what our marriaga was/is and understand people go through rough times..the ones that have been together for many, many years have had their rough times too... me i've had one too many rough times and need to look after me right now and if he comes along for the ride - great - but i can't drag him along.. we've known each other many years and i do know his old troubles which are probably rising to the surface as new ones.
and I worry about him...can't help that...too many years together.
I was just wanting to ask men why they don't or how they seek help - getting insight and confirmation.
and of course the big picture of my life is missing.
thanks again...later...off to work now.
He needs to quite calling you if he is going to act inappropriate.
Can you ask him to quick. Did you suggest he seeks help. Or bond with his family about this. You unfortunately aren't family anymore.
Good luck with this.
I can't speak for all men, but for myself, I don't see how talking to some stranger about what's on my mind will make me feel better. Usually if I want to feel better I'll do something that I enjoy.
okay - so why does he reveal the dark stuff to me. he does things and continues with life - tells the world with his facade that he's doing okay - but he's not.
man wont tell the work that he is not okay..generally we dont..call it evolutionary psychology..we wont seek help till we r sure we have messed it up totally...generally we mess up and still dont admit..slowly admission comes in and then we seek help...but we would avoid it till we can...
okay - so the help (me) needs to change the channel on him - maybe then?
no...that wuld be more destructive for him..he needs help is what u r sure of..i understand for u too it is tough..only he is not coping with life after parting , u too are coming out of it..but let him go for adventure..most likely he wuld re cover while on adventure..
he better....because it is too hard for me to do this....stay still and be there.
That's a male thing, a lot of guys I knew throughout the years will always say that they love their life, love their jobs, but you can tell they don't. They just say that because it's the thing to say when someone wants to be "better than others". It's male nature to be competitive, and that may come out in different areas as well.
it's good to see all responses in writing....things I know already but I guess I need confirmation. being female - guess my initial reaction is that i don't get it...but do know there is a difference in us...
just trying to figure out how or how not for me to be a part of his 'craziness' as I call it. because he keeps pulling me into his turmoil over and over again....and i was the one that was 'kicked to the curb', as I like to call it. and then he wants me to be there??????
You're not a stranger. Perhaps he's finding out the single life isn't all it's cracked up to be and he's not liking the lifestyle. I can't say for sure. Perhaps he has a serious medical condition, which depression can be, and he needs medications, or maybe he's bi-polar. Who knows? Some men are just babies!
oh for sure he's not liking the single life - but don't think it's really where his head is at anyway. i hate being single and at the same time i love the freedom i'm beginning to realize i have. but, i have part of my life holding onto me not allowing me to move faster. so...LOL about the 'baby' part - I agree.
From a man's perspective.....here's why we don't seek professional help.
1. We're men
2. We're idiots
3. We'll always be idiots
4. We're men
well I could have wrote that too!
Boht men and women in equal numbers live in denial of thier failings and fears - it is often hard to seek help -
so, since i'm the help....walk away?
IMO, you MUST find a way to get him involved with professional help. Maybe make the appt. for him or go with him to the 1st appt.
My thoughts -- good luck.
tried that....i realize anything coming from me because i'm the closest to the situation falls on deaf ears...you know, that expression 'people hurt the ones they are closest 2'
I'm not sure I can answer the last question, but here's what was going through my head reading your story:
I was thinking about children these days and how so many, when they get to be 20-somethings, still live with their parents, hardly work at all, and don't seem to think much about it, regardless of the hardship they put on their parents.
Sometimes the best thing for people, even if it seems contrary to what you think "love" is, is to "kick them out," so to speak.
Sometimes, when you've done all you can, all that's left to do is cut them loose, knowing that THEY are responsible for THEMSELVES. Period.
The more you allow them to cling and depend, the more they believe they can't do it without you. Or, worse, the more they start to blame their situation on you (because aren't you the one in charge?).
It sounds like its time for him to make his own way now, and you're not responsible for whatever way he decides that to be. You will still love him, in your way, but you should come to terms - right now - with the idea that you can't be responsible for his emotional stability, you shouldn't have to be, and you have your own things waiting for you.
In time, if he makes healthy choices, he'll thank you for it.
thanks all! for your comments, insight....have to get ready for work now.
i have you all in my thoughts...you're good people!
This is a common perception, but it's not just men. This gives me an idea for a Hub (if I can have a good enough day to overcome my own "issues", which I don't seek help for, to write a Hub). The short answer is that sometimes there IS no help.
Tell him when he gets his sh*t together, call you and you will see if you are still interested. As long as you talk to him and let him think there is hope for the two of you, without his seeking a solution to his issues, you are enabling his issues not getting resolved. Tell him "tough love or no love"! See if that doesn't light a fire under him. If it doesn't you are better off without him. If it does then there maybe a future for him in your life if you feel he has absolutely resolved his issues.
Good luck, and good for you for your positive steps!
Good thread - but denial are at the core
I would say something like this and not get suckered in the role of becoming his councilor....
"I care about you and want you to feel god about yourself. You should seek the help from people who are able to help you find answers. You deserve to heal and feel good about yourself, like I do.
I’m worried that our relationship dynamic, regardless of how much it may it may not have contributed to what you are going through, not only can’t help you heal, but could be negatively impacting you.
I want you to be man enough to admit that you might be able to benefit from getting some help from someone who is trained to give it and has experience in the area. The next time I hear from you I want you to tell me that you have made that step… because it is too painful for me to listen to you suffer when you don’t have to, and that’s not being fair to me."
I think it's easy to say it's a gender thing, but at the end of the day there are some men and women who ask for help and there are others who won't. The fact is your ex when you give him a suggestion of where he might get help says - 'they can't help'. Change that to 'I'm not willing to give it a go, because you're there". Stop being there for him. You cannot change him, you can only change the way you react to him. Keep moving into the sunshine - enjoy and if he wants any chance of joining you there - he will have to do it.
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