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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1767
Experience:  PHD LPC
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My relationship with my bf of 3yr was unraveling and we broke

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My relationship with my bf of 3yr was unraveling and we broke up. Two wks later he diagnosed himself with depression. He has started seeing a therapist and has a Dr appt coming up. He has apologized for all the things he did to hurt me (just apathy mainly... no cheating or anything) and said he wants us to work things out. However, he said he needs to fix himself before he works on fixing 'us'. In the mean time, he wants me to wait. He made it clear that if I went out on a date with someone else, he and I would be over (even though right now we are "just friends"). I am all for him fixing himself and us... and I'm not in a hurry to date anyone else. Now that I'm 'not allowed' to though, I'm a little mad... I am definitely worried about the possibility that I could wait 6 months, a year... who knows how long only to find out we arent compatable anyway... I am 30 and have been 'waiting' for 3 years...
Hi and welcome,

One of the signs of depression is apathy about relationships, luckily he recognizes this and is taking the appropriate steps to heal, therapy and possibly medication. After investing so much time in the relationship you are being "ordered" not to date anyone else while he invests time and energy in making himself better. Maybe it was a wrong choice of words on his part, too strong by giving you an ultimatum or threat, it's intimidating. BUT, realize that he is not himself, would he behave this way if he weren't depressed? He is depressed and probably afraid that he may lose everything he had with you but isn't in a place right now to handle everything. So, yes, it's natural for you to feel the way you do however if you love him, you can put your own time limit on the current situation, say three months, then have a chat with him and decide whether you want to give him more time or end the relationship for good. If your time with him thus far has been good, if you love him and want a more permanent relationship why would you not "wait" ?If you weren't compatible you may not have lasted this long.
Ask him what he wants you to do while you are waiting, does he want you to be a participant in his recovery or does he want to be left alone? If he sees a therapist and a psychiatrist three months could be a good amount of time to find out where your relationship is going.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I think I was afraid to put a time limit on it because I do not want to cause him extra anxiety while he is trying to work things out... He does want me to participate to a point, but he's not sure how much yet. He'd let me hang around as much as I wanted... and he's annoyed (but mostly understanding) that I said 'no sex' until we hae worked thing out (and probably not until we're married) In the mean time, I have anxiety issues that are mostly under countrol without medication.... but this has not been good for me. I do love him, and want it to work out. But there are thing I need from him if our relationship progresses... deal breakers... and he doesn't know if/when he will be able to consider any of them. (For example, going to church with me. In my mind it's as simple as getting up on Sunday and going. It would be enough of an effort on his part to make me feel like he really wants it to work. Just a little step to help me know Im not wasting my time. He says he's not ready... but won't expand on that.) I do recognize that much of this has been due to his depression, but because of previous apathy, I don't 'feel it' when he says things to me. I don't believe him when he says he missed me or that he loves me. I just wonder when he is going to get around to showing it... which feel selfish of me, but he certainly hasn't been guarding my heart... so now I guess I feel that I need to. It crazy because I have always been the clingy "I missed you" one and he has always brushed it off... now I feel like we have switched roles. Maybe that's the problem with 'waiting' for me... it's not that I don't want it to work out... I do! Based on the last few months, I just don't believe it will.
Basically you don't have "faith in him" so to speak, don't trust that he can be what you need him to be? At least he is being honest when he says he isn't sure he will be able to accept what you expect in the relationship. If you don't feel it then maybe you are growing away from this relationship. Maybe you do need a break yourself to work and think about what you have grown from a "clingy" person to a young woman who now knows what she doesn't want. Does that make sense? take this day by day instead of thinking about it in terms of three months etc. Slowly stop hanging around him, take this time as an opportunity to explore YOU and your needs. I'd listen to your feelings and do what you feel is right for you. If the love is still there after you have explored your own feelings and he does what he needs to do and is open to doing things, like going to church, then you'll be able to go back into this relationship and have it work. Don't base any decisions on the past few months. Let things progress as they are intended, but at the same time, don't discount what you are "not feeling", there is doubt there and you know that things need to change for both of you so you can either move forward or end the relationship.
I see you have experience in relationships, so you probably know what you need to do in your gut. Sometimes, no matter how much training we have it's a good idea to ask for guidance from someone else.
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