Wanting to do what’s right

I met a wonderful person a couple months ago with the prospect of dating them. The first few weeks they were seemingly very happy etc and then the death of a friend seemed to kind of back track them. They admitted to me that they struggle with depression and intimacy issues etc. They said they felt like I could find a better person more ready to commit. This person has a very ambitious plan to be a good spouse and have their own family. And they are wonderful with children, I have my own from a previous marriage and they immediately were drawn to this person.

When they first admitted their struggles etc and we discussed them, we had a very lengthy and open discussion, I felt bad because I had become upset that they withdrew a bit and I thought the problem was me. I’m fact they shared their struggle and told me it was something they were working on with therapists etc and that they would in fact tell me if they weren’t interested. After this discussion I’m they ended up blocking me for several days and not speaking. Which upset me of course. I ended up writing them a letter of encouragement to let them know I cared etc and then wasn’t able to deliver it so I wrote an email.... they did unblock me and started talking we met up a couple times since and have had some very good discussions.

They did tell me that they were going away to a family members for a couple days and may not talk because of reception. I’m not sure if that’s true or they just needed a break.

Some things I have figured out and told this person as well is that I’m here for them, I’m not going to abandon them, I’ve told them why I think they’re great and strong, I’ve told them I’m patient and not going to push or rush a romantic relationship even though it’s what I want.

I feel that some of our discussion are becoming more intimate and bringing us closer.

I’m interested in suggestions or tips on building the trust and intimacy a person would need. I was in a very abusive relationship last year and lost my home and a lot of money, the week I met this person I finally was able to buy my own house and I got a new job. So I did believe meeting them to be a good sign from God and I’m willing to give 150%
  • 8 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • @Vicbrenan I think you're doing most of the right things. Let them know you're there without being overburdening. Allow them to share as much or as little as they want. The tricky thing about relationships is that they are two-way streets and even if you keep your side clean, you can't do it for the other person.
    Do you know much about their specific issues? Most people don't just have intimacy issues. They have intimacy issues because of a, b and c. Those three things may allow you to better forecast where things are headed.
    Be super patient, take your time and what is supposed to happen will happen, good or bad. You're taking on someone who is going to be far more complex than most people you've dealt with and that can be draining. Make sure you're ready for the ride down that road because many times it will be confusing, maddening and disheartening. Heck, they've already warned you. If you're up for it, good luck and let us know what happens.
  • I actually work in health care and while I don’t work directly in mental health, I do have a realistic view on people.

    They did share some of the a, b & c things. I know they are close with their father and have an estranged relationship with their mother so I believe that there likely was some neglect and issues from that side. But they have not opened up directly about the specifics. I don’t push. I have always told them I’m here to listen or just sit, or bake treats haha whatever they need, I also let them know I’m open to hearing how they need to be supported and would take suggestions.
  • @Vicbrenan hello and welcome!! Sounds like you are a wonderful and caring person and willing to be there for this person. I know that you are trying to be there for this person which is huge! However, I just want to make sure that you do not become so available and eager to help that this person begins to lean on you for things they need to do themselves.

    I know... that sounds rude and I'm not trying to be at all. Please don't take it as that. I have the tendency to want to help and encourage and support my husband that has not been diagnosed with a mental health issue (yet) but he has struggled with addiction since his early teen years. I also did this with my ex-husband... not an addict but definitely a manipulator. Both were/are very good at what they do, and that is playing on people's emotions in order to benefit themselves. Each time either had a problem or was "sad" or had been done wrong, was struggling, etc I jumped in and did all I could to "help" them both. They both learned they could play on my emotions because I had been so eager to "help" and to be there for both of them from the very beginning and made it very well known. My husband has a legit struggle with addiction. My ex had childhood issues he never really dealt with and ended up drinking very heavily at times. I knew these issues and struggles were real and I tried all I could to be there. But I lost myself and my sanity along the way. I put myself out. It affected my kids.

    The thing that worries me about your story is how quickly this person blocked you. I had a close friend that struggles with depression. This is what she does. She is very quick to block people.... then, when they come to HER she opens up and she tells them little pieces here and there in an effort to "open up" to them. This is her cycle. She wants to feel wanted by them so she wants them to come after her. Once she sees they are doing this she has a method that she follows to pull them in. Then, it becomes a toxic relationship. She does this with potential boyfriends as well as people that could be good friends to her. It's almost like addiction, she sucks people in and takes advantage of having them in her life. It's a roller coaster ride with her. If she don't like something that happens she blocks them again until they come after her once again because they are so concerned about her and her well being. Many times I've seen her have a few boyfriends at the same time... playing them all.... she too would not have access to talk to one or the other for a week or weekend. Or she would be "out of town" during this time period. Then when it would all crash on her she would sink further into her depression.

    I'm not saying this is what is happening or will happen in your situation, I'm just trying to make you aware that @JoshuaShea is correct, you need to prepare for a long bumpy road. No matter what, mental illnesses are challenging for everyone in this person's life... not just them.

    Please reach out as often as you need to, we are all here!!! Please don't take my comments as harsh or as me being negative.... I did that when I first joined here but I soon learned that I was in need of the opinions / advice that was given. That what was said that offended me was simply the truth and said out of concern for me and my health and my life.
  • @Vicbrenan Hello and welcome. Thank you so much for reaching out. The others have given you some excellent insight and advice. One thing I'd like to point out though is that due to you being in an abusive relationship last year, I would just be on the lookout for red flags that you are attracting another person who may not be able to be there for you emotionally. Not saying this person would be abusive, but if they are already showing signs that they aren't able to reciprocate emotionally or otherwise, I would just take note of that. Pay attention just as you are...

    I think it's great that the other person is in therapy, because this shows that they are wanting to grow and do better on all levels. I think it's important in any relationship that both people are willing to first of all all in their own crap and be willing to work through it. One thing is for sure, every relationship will provide opportunities for growth individually and together. So having a partner who is willing to what I call "do the work" when conflict arises is important. And can allow for a greater intimacy to occur in the relationship.

    Thank you for reaching out here and I want you to know that we're here for you in whatever way we can be.
  • Ok thank you! I do believe they try, they say they have trouble with intimacy but I think the therapy must have them in a good place because even through they say they have to move slow, they are definately showing emotion. And also he is starting to be more open and accountable for where and what he’s doing. And slowly opening up. I don’t think he’s got a mean bone in his body.

    Thank you again for your response! I really just want to do the right thing and learn as much as I can about promoting a healthy relationship with him.
  • @Vicbrenan i think you're doing great :)
  • @Vicbrenan... Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing with us. You've received some terrific insight and advice from the others who have commented so far. I just want you to know that we are here for you, to help and support you however we can. Loving someone who struggles with depression can be hard. But I think you're doing the right stuff. Take it slow. And try be empathetic.

    We're here for you.
  • I do find it’s tough when he needs space and doesn’t talk much. But he told me about the trip he was taking to his dads cottage this time so I’m taking it as a step forward to trusting me and accountability. He also told me even though he really wants to be wanted, it scares him and he ends up pushing people away a bit when he knows how they feel. That being said Friday night we were up till 3am and he was asking me specifically validating questions about himself.... LOL the rollercoaster of emotions
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