Hi Brooke, My fiancé lost his job about 2 years ago and has really struggled with this loss because it was the only career he has had since graduating college. Since the job loss he has become very depressed and anxious, constantly down and negative. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve asked “how are you?” and he responds with positivity or a simple “good.” He does not see a way out of this dark place, and cannot see himself in any new career. His constant mindset is “I’m so lost.” My heart really does ache for him, and I have worked day in and out to be loving, supportive and encouraging (although I’ve recognized I haven’t always been good at this). I’ve helped him with his resume and cover letters, found him a life coach to help him through the transition, psychiatrist etc….. have done and said everything I can think of to help. Even set my own boundaries to avoid becoming consumed in it by spending time with friends/family, not getting overly involved in his negative spiral.
The problem is I am BURNED out. Last year I was at my whits end with feeling drained even entering our home after a long day at work. I have realized he tries to make an effort to put on a happy face more or text me less depressed thoughts he is having. I just find that his negativity is so draining I actually feel better when he is out of the house or I go out of town . I love him, we used to have a lot of fun together… and sometimes we can still enjoy ourselves when we get out and do things. But when we talk and he enters the “rabbit hole” of negative thinking, nothing I can say helps or changes his thoughts and I get instantly bummed out and drained, feeling hopeless and anxious about our future. Not to mention financially he will need to work again soon… not working ever again is not an option. I am trying so hard to remain patient, and I am so sad that this is the circumstance we are facing. I feel these last two years have changed our relationship dynamic, and it’s also a big reason why we remain engaged and not married yet. When friends ask “why do you stay with him?” I always say because I know the negativity, depression and lack of motivation is from this loss he is grieving and his inability to see a way out. I guess my question is: how can I keep my head above water in this relationship, remain positive and focus on my goal of starting my business? And what if this is a permanent state and he never gets out of the rabbit hole?