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Topic: advice to help a suffering partner? ( Long distance )

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Pizzandoggos
    Pizzandoggos avatar
    3 posts
    23 December 2019
    Hey guys! i'm new here and appreciate anyone taking the time to ready my post.

    So I'm 25 and currently in a relationship of almost 3 years with a girl i completely adore. Though recently things havnt been going all that great.
    we live in different countries so visits do not happen often ( 1-2 times a year of varying lengths depending on current situation ).

    Now my partner is a sweet, caring and beautiful girl but is really suffering as of the past 5 months. she has always struggled with depression but only recently has it been this bad and for this long to the point it is affecting the relationship.

    Our last visit, and the last for 12 months was for 2 months and she was extremely withdrawn for almost the entirety. She showed little intimacy or joy, barely any enjoyment from being in my company and ofcourse i took it to heart a bit as we don't get much time together and it is far too expensive to be able to.

    She is not interested in communicating often, we went from a hour or 2 video chats a day to once every 3-4 days and her treating it as a chore more often than not. we text constantly throughout the day, and she initiates conversations via text often just not with a call.
    we have discussed our relationship and she insists she loves me and wants to be with me and she is going through a rough patch.
    on a day she's feeling good we can talk for hours, laugh and smile at it's fantastic, on bad days we generally just argue or she will be a little nasty despite me trying to avoid it.

    is there any advice on how to deal with this current situation? it's starting to take its toll on me. I understand her situation as ive recently recovered from a ~10 years with depression.
    we've made a " no go zone " on topics that we should avoid as it upsets her though this is all she seems to want to speak on.
    I feel like i try and give too much advice? but i'm not sure what else to say. i just try to voice what helped me overcome it but this ends in a argument.
    she doesnt do what she enjoys anymore, sort of just wants to sit with her own company doing nothing.
    rarely is happy to call me unless it's a rare day she's feeling okay.

    she has multiple large stress inducers that are un avoidable as extremely bad money sit, bad environment at home, mean housemates, stress of uni, struggle with insecurity with looks etc.

    what should I avoid saying that may be upsetting her without knowing? how do i not take things personally and be insecure? how to help in general?

  2. Pizzandoggos
    Pizzandoggos avatar
    3 posts
    23 December 2019 in reply to Pizzandoggos
    I've been reading posts and thinking to myself and ive realised i have not been playing the supporting role to the best of my abilities, or to any extent really.
    I have been taking things personally, and getting frustrated when she is upset and projecting that towards her ALOT recently i think due to seeing no progress.

    i put myself in her shoes and i wouldnt want to speak to me unless i felt good due to making him ( me ) upset if i'm not feeling the best, or him taking it personally if i'm grumpy.

    I left a message to apologise, showing i'm aware of the things ive not been great on and that ill be making efforts to amend that!
    they need someone they're always comfortable coming to when they need and i don't think ive been that person for them lately.

    this isnt about me, i need to man up and not be insecure.
    I need to remember she isnt well and not get frustrated when she isnt.
    I need to spend more time listening and less time talking.
    I need to give space when it's needed.

    I shouldnt feel like ive failed, ive done so much to help and will continue to!
    for now im feeling okay about it all and a bit less lost, but ofcourse if anyone has some extra advice or tips ill be glad to hear it :) thankyou!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Soberlicious96
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    518 posts
    23 December 2019 in reply to Pizzandoggos

    Dear Pizzandoggos,

    Welcome to Beyond Blue and well done for reaching out.

    I am sorry to hear of what you are gong through right now, with you relationship with your partner. It's wonderful that you are trying to be so supportive for her. A lot of people are not so patient and kind, nor are they tolerant. But you demonstrate that you are most certainly all those things, and that is great!

    In repsonse to the questions you asked;

    What should I avoid saying that may be upsetting her without knowing? You mentioned that there are some 'no go zones' but that these things also keep coming up, yeah? One of the things that I learnt (mainly by reading the book 'Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus') is that men and women have very different needs when it comes to communication. Men tend to want to help and fix and solve things ,whereas women tend to want to validate/be validated, women want to know that they are heard and that they have 'got this' without necessarily needing someone else to provide the answer or solution, but perhaps just to really HEAR what they (we) are saying. And we want empathy too. We need to know that you understand and 'get it' more than we need to know how to fix it. Why, you ask? Because knowing that you UNDERSTAND HOW WE FEEL is the very thing that helps to fix it!

    How do i not take things personally and be insecure? Simply by remembering that she had a whole couple of decades or more of life before you came into it. Her thinking patterns were already well and truly established before you even exchanged glances at each other. Remember, she perhaps needs understanding and empathy, more than she needs answers, or 'fixes'.

    How to help in general? Long Distance relationships are okay for a short while, but in the long term - and this is only my opinion - they become harder to maintain. Perhaps you could both consider what it would or could mean for one of you to relocate? And if relocation is not the answer or not possible, then perhaps you need to start considering what is best, and more manageable for you both in the long run? I don't know. I do know that I live 100 kilometres away from my partner, and that is plenty far enough. Consider what you can do in order to 'grow together' and hopefully, therefore enjoy each other more. Otherwise, you may just be growing apart? I don't know. I don't have all the answers.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. I do hope it helps at least a little. Take care. xo

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Pizzandoggos
    Pizzandoggos avatar
    3 posts
    23 December 2019 in reply to Soberlicious96
    Thankyou for your response!

    Ill definitely take the validation and empathy thing into consideration i never really thought of it like that..
    i was more thinking " why do you come to me with problems but then get mad when i try to help " but this clears that up a bit :)

    I don't think it's a issue with growing apart, as our communication is amazing considering she's in a good place. And we only ever have problems if she is feeling down :/
    On her happy days she discusses " when i'm living there ", marriage and kids openly and with a positive mindset.
    on her bad days she wants to avoid these topics all together and " the future is added stress and i don't want to talk about it " which i assume is more of the financial difficulty ( money already being a key cause to her being down ) and the stress of moving, getting my pets there, me applying and being granted residency which isnt so easy etc... moreso than not wanting to talk about our future together in general.
    which i understand i'm really worried about it aswel and am looking at university degrees which would make getting residency there easier.

    on the topic of relocation i'm prepared to move over to her when it's a realistic time and am prepared, we've discussed this and came to the conclusion this would be the best of the 2 options.
    She is much closer with alot more of her family than i am, she also likes where she lives and i do not.
    ill only be leaving behind my mother and sister which are more than capable to travel!

    I'll be making the move if things turn around once i get some savings together ( easier said than done with the expensive visits lol ) and if my oldest dog is healthy enough for a plane trip ( the other 2 will be fine and dandy as they're young ) otherwise i plan on sticking around til she passes.

    this is under the assumption she becomes stable and reliable..
    i will not be moving for someone who loves my company one day then doesnt want to be near me the next, ill be moving for the girl i fell in love with, when she's back to being that person.
    I still see glimpses of her and that's what keeps me here, because in current circumstances i'm unhappy.. but i'm sure its temporary if she's willing to put in the effort to get better :)

    i'm more than happy to be patient and wait out the storm.
    1 person found this helpful
  5. Soberlicious96
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Soberlicious96 avatar
    518 posts
    24 December 2019 in reply to Pizzandoggos

    Dear Pizzaanddoggo's,

    Being here on Beyond Blue is almost like having a journal, and journaling, I have always found so helpful. Reading back on your own posts, (and the posts of others) gives you/me/us that clarity of seeing how things are, right there in black and white, just like it would do in a journal. And you certainly seem to have reflected on your writing quite well. Of course, having a more 'public' journal also allows for another perspective, which is also good. Sometimes we just can't see what is right in front of us, and often, without even meaning too, it's easy to fall into the trap of 'reflecting back' thoughts and behaviors of those around us, instead of choosing how we would like to respond. So well done on your reflection, and on choosing a new and different response, rather than just seeing the 'reflection' and choosing anger and frustration, as most do.

    I hope that makes sense, yeah? In short, what I'm saying is well done! It seems you are certainly on the right track for a wonderful future with this woman, and are prepared and willing to ride the waves.

    I wish you both all the very best for your life together, and hope that she feels better soon. Take care. xo

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