Originally Posted by AnnabelMore
Davis and I are struggling.
He continues to be depressed, he has trouble just getting up every day and getting motivated. He's not in a truly dark place... just in a major slump. I keep thinking to myself, maybe I should just end it, maybe this guy will never be the partner I want.
On the one hand he's sensitive, introspective, communicative, open-minded, consistent, supportive. He's utterly devoted to me. On the other hand, I worry that he's not outgoing enough to keep up with the kind of life I like to lead, he's not as dynamic and engaged in the possibilities the world had to offer and in the issues he professes to care about as I'd like to see, he doesn't put the sort of emphasis on self-care and his own well-being and stability that I think would come from a strong internal will... and as deeply as I care about him, he's not exactly moving me to any great heights of sexual revelation or ecstatic positive emotion or joyful self-discovery.
Is all that too much to ask? Is comfort and compatibility and commitment and companionship enough?
Yes, I think "comfort, compatibility, commitment, and companionship" can be enough to sustain a relationship if there is acceptance and understanding, and if you have other relationships (including friendships) that fill you with passion and joy.
Annabel, it seems to me that whenever you start doubting your relationship with Davis, it comes out of your thoughts about his not being able to fulfill certain hopes or expectations you have -- whether those expectations are about his place in your life or how you think he should be handling his depression. Of course, there is no doubt that a person's depression does affect those around him, but you have expressed here a few times that you don't think he does enough to take care of himself and that disappoints you. You've said a few times how he doesn't have as much enthusiasm, emotional strength, or zest for life that you do and you wonder if he's right for you because of that. You say "maybe this guy will never be the partner I want," which could be a little unfair or unrealistic. Maybe there isn't anyone out there who matches the dream you have of the "partner you want."
I grew up with depressed family members, so I know where all that hoping and expecting and wishing will get you -- nowhere. I had to learn after many years of disappointment, wishing they would take better care of themselves, and feeling like I had been forgotten or dismissed, to realize that the people I loved had to find their own way. It may be a huge challenge for you to accept that he is
making choices and forging his own path in life, although how he does it may not look like enough
to you. How he handles his depression and life is definitely not how you would do it, but that doesn't mean he should
be doing it any other way. He may have to
struggle for a few more years to come to some sort of equilibrium, and he can't do it for you
to come to that place, although he can use his relationship with you as a catalyst.
I think letting go of expectation and reminding yourself to see him for who he is (which can be a constant process), rather than what you hope he will become, would do a lot of good for you both. Acceptance, acceptance, acceptance. I suspect that if you had more of a sense of security about how he fits into your life, as the person he is right now
, his depression would not necessarily be a deal-breaker but rather a part of him that you allow room for and know how to navigate around for yourself. After all, all we ever really have is this moment of now. Who knows, maybe at some point you will choose not to continue the relationship, but for now I think you might want to look at how you create turmoil within yourself by worrying about how the future will go and if he will step up to doing or being what you think he should do and be.