Depression Within a Relationship
I am from Marlow, Oklahoma. Ever heard of it? No. No one has. It is a small town just half an hour from the Texas border. I moved to Joplin, Missouri right out of high school, looking for that fresh start very 18 year old is looking for. I spent a year feeling all alone. Joplin is 6 hours from my house and I have no family around here. I did not know if I was ever going to make it. Then, I met the love of my life. I met the woman I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with. We hit it out of the park with our relationship. There was so much happiness between us. Everyone loved to be around us. We said "I love you" to each other with in the first couple weeks of dating. We got engaged after 6 months of dating. It was perfect. We were young, in love, everything was perfect.
We had one fight. One big fight just about 9 months into our relationship. That's all it took. Maybe our relationship wasn't so perfect after all. She left at the beginning of the summer, and I was all alone once again. I spent the next few months drinking away my problems. I tried to figure out what I could have done differently. I feared I would never get the chance to prove how much I truly loved her.
Summer had ended which means classes were starting. This also means I would run into her around campus. Long story short: she still had feelings for me and I obviously still had feelings for her.
So what's the problem?
She was now in a relationship, she didn't want to be in. Her father had convinced her to start dating this boy who he really liked. This didn't stop us though. We still hung out at her place, watched movies, cooked dinner... Was it wrong? Maybe. But we were in love.
She finally broke up with this boy she was dating. However, her dad threatened her. He told her that she better not think about dating me or he will do ungodly things. So, we kept our relationship a secret. We could only keep it a secret for so long. Her dad finds out and threatens her and I about dating each other. A lot of secrets come out about her childhood that I never knew about. Her dad did not treat her the best he should have when she was a kid. He did not shy away from the abuse in which she suffered from.
I had never seen her so vulnerable. She was trying for so long to keep that part of her life hidden from me.
Our Life Today:
It has been close to 8 months now since her dad has figured out about our relationship. He has lightened up a little bit since the incident, however he will have nothing to do with me. I am not allowed at his house. He occasionally asks my girlfriend, "Have you found a new man, yet?" or "Do I need to set you up with somebody?" This is never something you should say to anybody in a happy relationship, especially your own flesh and blood.
When he says stuff to her and threatens her for being with me, she does not feel good enough. She has these days of depression where she will not speak to me. She barely wants to get out and do anything. It has gotten so bad these last couple months because her dad does not let it go. Just because he does not approve of me, he says things to upset and bring down my girlfriend's self-esteem.
What I Have Learned From Dating a Person With Depression:
Because of her father's treatment towards her, I have learned how to deal with dating a person with depression. Maybe this all stems from the abuse she had to suffer as a child. All it took for me was her love to get out of my dark place, but she needs a lot more than that. When dealing with a person with depression, you have to learn that you will not always make them happy. This was a hard one for me to learn. I feel, as her boyfriend, I should always make her happy and smile and love life. However, she is not always happy. She says she is fine but I can tell that something is bothering her. I had to learn to shut up right there. Because if you continue to ask "what's wrong", it will only make matters worse. She does not know why she is upset, she just is.
She won't always say "I love you", but that does not mean she doesn't love you. She does. She just doesn't always say it. You have to learn to just be there. Be that person that is there for her when she needs it. She may not love on you or cuddle up beside you, but being that person who is there for her is more than enough. Don't take her depression personally. She is just working through some stuff mentally.
She does not need someone who will try to make her happy. It does not matter how much you tell her how beautiful she is or how great she is, she never believes it, herself. That may work on other women, but not her. Just be that person. Be that person that sticks with her through her dark days. That person that will listen more than talk. Learn to keep your mouth shut. Learn to be there. Learn that she will have more bad days than good.
For those who are suffering with the depression: lean on those who are there for you. We may not fully understand but we want to help. Nobody should feel as if they are alone in this world. Seek help, get treatment, and always remember to love yourself.