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Alicia_MSW
Alicia_MSW, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 792
Experience:  Specializing in mental health counseling
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I have been with my boyfriend months. At the 8 month we were

Customer Question

I have been with my boyfriend for 15 months. At the 8 month mark we were in a great place, even took a trip together. We decided to move in together and the plan was to eventually to get a dog so wed see how we could handle maybe having a family one day.
My boyfriend hates his job and has been working the past 3 months toget out of where he is. He is depressed over it and feels trapped each and everyday he leaves in the morning. This is has been putting a stress on our relationship the past few months, where he is now feeling trapped here because he cant getaway even at home.
Well the dog finally came, We have it almost 2 weeks and it requires a lot of work. Work I signed up for because I know a child will be that much more (and thats what I eventually want). I truely believes he wants to want that too, and he does love me. But today we reached a breaking point.
He's tried and unhappy he said. He said he feels each and everyday is an endurance run, and the only thin
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I think part of your question was cut off. Was there more you wanted to add before I reply to what you've already written?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Your right i did cut off Here is the full question:
"I have been with my boyfriend for 15 months. At the 8 month mark we were in a great place, even took a trip together. We decided to move in together and the plan was to eventually to get a dog so wed see how we could handle maybe having a family one day.My boyfriend hates his job and has been working the past 3 months toget out of where he is. He is depressed over it and feels trapped each and everyday he leaves in the morning. This is has been putting a stress on our relationship the past few months, where he is now feeling trapped here because he cant getaway even at home.Well the dog finally came, We have it almost 2 weeks and it requires a lot of work. Work I signed up for because I know a child will be that much more (and thats what I eventually want). I truely believes he wants to want that too, and he does love me. But today we reached a breaking point.He's tried and unhappy he said. He said he feels each and everyday is an endurance run, and the only thing is looks forward too is sleep. He feels his work and home are too different prisons.Ive suggested he do alone we together take some kind of hobby class. He go on bike rides, or me take the dog to the park when he gets home so he can get a few hours to himself. All of these suggestions make him feel more trapped. I pointed out that his depression over his job is more than likely causing this, and we've only had the dog a short time. He agrees but he is so exhausted.Im trying to convince him to go to counseling, but again he is so tried. He just left work work and will be spending the night at a motel. I dont know what to do. Is it over? I love him but want him to be happy. "
Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 1 year ago.

Just give me a moment to read everything before I reply, okay?

Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 1 year ago.

I don't think it's over. I do agree that his reactions are probably being caused by the stress and unhappiness he's experiencing at work. I don't get the sense that it has very much to do with you or with the dog but rather with everything else. I can understand how he'd feel so frustrated having to spend most of his waking hours at a place he really doesn't want to be at, but at the same time, needing to be there in order to earn a living and to be able to survive. I think you have come up with some pretty good suggestions so far -- in terms of him going on bike rides (i.e. being more physically active is a good idea -- although he says he just wants to sleep, I think it is advisable to encourage him to get outside at least for a walk every day, because that can help him get a clearer perspective) and in terms of taking a class together. Expanding his interests and taking the focus off of work is important to help him feel less depressed and exhausted and more enthusiastic about life together with you in general.

Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 1 year ago.

I also think that, as hard as it is, the best thing you can do is to give him a bit of space. I know it can feel scary that he's staying at a motel, but if it's just for one night, then maybe he just needs this space and time for himself to clear his head, and that might mean without you for the time being (again, if it's just for a night, then I don't think it's much to worry about.) I would suggest that you continue to encourage him to go with you (or alone) to counseling because I think he needs a safe space to be able to talk about his feelings and to be heard by someone who's not directly involved in his life. Furthermore, I would also suggest perhaps just sending him a quick message to say that you understand that he needs space right now and that you are willing to give it to him because you understand what he's going through and that he needs time for himself. But also let him know that you need to be "in the loop" and that you want to work on these problems with him together. I think it's important to give him the sense that you aren't there to nag him or push him to do things he doesn't want to do, but to help him and to be his partner along the way.

Expert:  Alicia_MSW replied 1 year ago.

The last thing I want to add is that it's a good sign that he agrees with you when you tell him that his depression is probably about the job -- so he's not saying it has anything to do with you. The one thing I'd like to advise is to try to avoid giving him more advice, because you've already put the ideas in his head and he also more than likely probably already knows what he needs to do, he just needs to find the energy to do those things. You want to try to come across as supportive (which you've done) and not as his advisor (which he might resent because he feels that he can't go through with your suggestions right now.) Most importantly, I would advise you to ask him when he has time to attend a counseling appointment and to just make the appoinrtment yourself. Don't leave it open-ended, because then he can go on for months with saying he doesn't have time or he's too tired. Surely he must at least have a window of time available on the weekend or one evening, for example. It's important for him and it's important for the both of you to move forward and to have a happy future together.

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