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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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My partner is blaming me in his depression, saying that I always

Customer Question

My partner is blaming me in his depression, saying that I always contradict to whatever he says, that I never listen and never learn. Whenever we try to talk (pretty much about anything), he loses his temper very quickly. Reasons for that vary - sometimes I don't remember certain things about the subject (like the names of the caracters from the book he's reading and telling me about), often the reason is that just don't hear or understand what he means (my English is pretty good, but still - it happens, sometimes he just starts a conversation without any context and I miss a part of it just becouse I'm trying to figure out what he's talking about . Sometimes I DO dissagree with his statements but very often he thinks I dissagree when I actually haven't sayd anything against it. I am aware that often it is due to the differences in our manner of speach structuring the sentences etc. However, he says that the biggest problem is that I would not just stop and leave him alone whenever he gets frustated and announces that the conversation is over. It is true that I often end up going after him and trying to resolve the situation straight away. He, on the other hand, need stime to calm down. However, my opinion is that, if the cause of the argument, be it misunderstanding or dissagreement, is not dealt with straight away, it will be just become another issue that will be swallowed and brought back during some argument in the future.
He also feels angry for ages after the argument and I find it very unnecessary, however, whenever I hold the bitterness for him losing his temper, he says that I don't give him a chance to change anything by bringing back old blames.
Finally, that heavily reflects on our sex life - I need some affection outside the bed in order to feel emotionally comfortable to have sex, however, he is happy to have sex, but doesn't feel like being affectionate otherwise which then leads to me not wanting to be the initiator.
This is really hard as we have a 10 months old baby that often gets to witness our arguments.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

You sound like quite a brilliant and caring person. I understand exactly how you feel and what is going on between you and your partner, because you are a very articulate communicator and expressed yourself so clearly.

I have obviously not met your partner, but the behaviour that you describe indicates strongly that he may be suffering from depression, for he is very irritable, angry, and impatient, and then wants to hold on to this anger and continue to re-churn it in his mind.

Understandably, you want to resolve the hostilities, find an intellectual solution to your intellectual disagreements, and not leave the bitterness to fester, which it apparently does. For better or worse, my personal tendencies is to do the same, and not leave an angry situation without trying to resolve and heal it.

On the surface it is an intellectual argument, but beneath that he is using the alleged differences in communication styles or ideas as a way of expression his depression. He has a need to do this and you don't.

Similarly, he has physical sexual needs that can be satisfied without a commitment of affection, whereas, sex and affection go together. It is hard to desire someone who is often angry at you.

This situation is slowly destroying your relationship. It is also affecting your child, who will not understand the intellectual aspects of your disagreements, but will certain hear and see the language, tone, and body language between you.

You must, for starters, agree to keep your arguments away from your baby.

I know that you can probably avoid some arguments by letting things go, and constantly walking on eggshells, but this is no way to live. You cannot keep your feelings in check when you feel you are being assaulted, but you can try to minimize the occurrences.

This, of course, is not the solution. Your partner must get down to the root causes of his depression.

It could be an Adjustment Disorder, where outside stressors are causing him to be this way (work, family illnesses or problems, other social problems that you may not even know about, monetary worries, etc.). I assume he loves you and does not have anyone else.

It could be a mood disorder: Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder, or even one produced by a physical condition or substance use.

It could be a personality disorder, namely Borderline Personality Disorder.

He needs to be professionally assessed and treated. The best approach would be a clinical counsellor or clinical psychologist. If you go through national health, the physician will give him an SSRI antidepressant or send him to a psychiatrist who will do the same. The typical approach is pharmacological, but this is not always the best, XXXXX XXXXX side effects. It suppresses the symptoms without addressing the causes, much like getting having an allergy headache and taking paracetamol instead of putting an air filter in your room.

He may be reluctant to go, and your alternative would be to find a good licensed marriage and family therapist to help work out your communications. This, in fact, may be the best starting point, for then the therapist could address his depression and work with it or refer your partner to a colleague who could better assist him.

You need to do something, as this state of affairs cannot continue indefinitely, and it can probably be improved if not fixed, with some face-to-face professional help. Whatever the final outcome, you are stuck and must find a way to move forward.

I wish you great success.


Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Dear Ella,

Thank you so much for your high rating and acceptance of my answer.

I wish you great success as you move forward,


Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

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