I’m the nice guy, and I managed to score an amazing girlfriend. Just a few quick notes about me: I don’t watch porn, I don’t enjoy it. I’m about as monogamous as you can get, and when I’m in a relationship, thats who I focus on. To put it in perspective, I’m about as much of a chick as you can get from a guy on relationships.
Anyways, I’ve been with this girl for a year and a few months. We’re both super geeky together, and it is fantastic. About 95% of the time.
The question is, how much maintenance is too much maintenance?
Basically when it’s good, it’s amazing. We have everything in common, we share the same interests, we can do everything together, and sex is super fun.
However every other week she goes through a mood swing. It is irregular, and almost anything can trigger it. We could be watching a movie, and if an actress gets naked, there’s a good chance she will sulk about it. This is usually followed by questioning me on whether I find the actress more attractive than her.
Everything we do is like walking through a mine field. If It looks like I’m checking someone out, she is miserable about it. A girl adds me to facebook, or messages me on my wall, I hear about it.
So I ask this after a big fight where she has reached over a year back to accuse me of shit, and to complain I’m hiding stuff from her. From over a year ago. What the hell do I do? Keeping in mind she admits to having been diagnosed with and suffering from clinical depression.
I know the obvious answer, which is to break up. Is there a better answer than just “find someone less complicated”?
Funny you should send this right about the time when I posted my guide to relationship warning signs.
It’s entirely possible that the depression is the underlying cause. While the name makes it sound like an extended case of the blues, in reality, depression can be turned inward and become a sort of self-loathing. You feel as though you simply don’t matter or have any real worth. It leave you feeling as though you aren’t deserving of somebody else’s love. This can manifest in an intense desire to push other people away, or you can find yourself looking for proof that you aren’t good enough for somebody else.
It’s equally possible that on top of being clinically depressed (which is a chemical issue) that your girlfriend has serious jealousy issues and apparently is deeply insecure and she’s taking it out on you. Don’t let the fact that she’s been diagnosed with clinical depression distract you from the fact that she’s treating you badly; it’s not an excuse, nor is it justified.
If she’s been diagnosed, then I presume she’s being treated. There are a number of anti-depressants available today that can help with these issues, but because of the variable nature of the human brain it can take some time before she and her psychiatrist will find the proper combination of medicine and dosage. Even then, it takes time for the anti-depressants to build up within your body and do their work. So the odds are good that you’re in for a rough patch until things smooth over.
I would recommend that you suggest to her that she should talk to her therapist about the issues the two of you are having. She won’t recognize it as necessarily being a problem on her part but hopefully her therapist will.
Also: don’t let her depression keep you in the relationship if you feel as though you need to get out. While I can understand perfectly the worry that you would just be adding to her problems or possibly even leading to her harming herself, you need to remember that ultimately she is responsible for her own actions. If the threat of her hurting herself – whether implicit or explicit – becomes the only reason you’re sticking around… well, it’s no longer a relationship, it’s a hostage situation. And that’s not a healthy place to be for either of you.
But you know what? Let’s hear about this from the other side of the equation…
Dear Dr. NerdLove,
I have always had a problem with my self esteem and self worth. I don’t have a lot of confidence and, frankly, I don’t think I have done anything, have any talents, or am smart enough, to make me feel good about myself. Although, strangely, I don’t think this has never been a problem before. When I would have my little spats of depression I would just deal with it myself.
Things have change for me in the last year and a half though. I am in a relationship with a girl I love very much and we have a great thing going on. The trouble now is that she (understandably) gets upset with my dislike of myself. I don’t want to make her feel bad anymore. How can I gain to confidence to tolerate myself or, at least, keep from letting this problem ruin my relationship?
I know exactly how you feel. This isn’t an empty platitude; I quite literally felt the same way from junior high well into my sophomore year of college. I had no self esteem and couldn’t find anything about myself that had any value. By the time I got to college things had gotten so bad that I was starting to seriously consider suicide.
I ultimately had a breakdown and had to leave college for a brief period and finally went to see a therapist. She in turn recommended me to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with clinical depression and put me on a series of anti-depressants. The anti-depressants took the edge off enough that I was able to learn how to deal with my issues; ultimately a combination of talk therapy, meditation and medicine helped me out. It sounds to me like you’re having the same issues I did, back in the day. I would strongly recommend that you start off by talking with a psychologist and seeing whether you respond to talk therapy or whether it’s possible that you have a chemical imbalance that can be treated with medicine.
Depression can feel like a black oppressive fog that obscures everything else; once you manage to lift the fog, you’ll start to see that things really aren’t as bad as you thought they were and that life isn’t just supposed to suck. And then you’ll stand a better opportunity to make your relationship work.