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What do I do for a boyfriend suffering from the Winter Blues?

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  • What do I do for a boyfriend suffering from the Winter Blues?

    My longtime boyfriend has seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as the winter blues. It makes him a number of things, including impatient and incapable of feeling emotion towards me. When he gets like this, he only wants to be alone, and if I am around he tells me that he doesn't want me anymore. He won't talk to me, and he distances himself from everything he usually loves. He'll do this with anyone who is around him when he's feeling this way.

    This is affecting our relationship greatly. When he is like this we don't have sex, we don't go out, he won't have a sit down dinner, and he'll either spend his time browsing the internet, sitting on his bed staring into space, sleeping, or talking walks that can be several hours long. Most often, if I am around it ends in tears because he feels things he wouldn't normally feel, like not wanting me around, or wanting to end our relationship.

    I know this isn't the real him. He is a loving, caring person who would do everything in his power to love me, but he refuses to get help for this because he thinks he has it under control. By "controlling" his disease, he just hides away until he stops feeling that way, which can mean minutes, hours, or even days of pain and torment, and wondering when I am going to get my lover back.

    He told me to talk to him if I am ever dissatisfied sexually, but I can't bring it up when he's like this, and it's the only time I feel alone. When he is better, we have such an enjoyable relationship in and out of bed that I forget I ever had a problem with it, and I can never remember to tell him until he gets upset again, and I get lonely.

    Has anyone here ever had this issue, or have any advice on this? I don't know what to do about it.

    (I decided to post this thread based on what happened tonight: I walked into the bedroom and he was getting ready to curl up with a book. I walked over and said "Today's wednesday, guess what that means!" and he just said, "jenna, stop. **sigh**" and started to read. the answer was going to be hump day, as we often mess with each other by "humping each other." I have instantly become depressed and moody myself, and do not want to go to bed with him tonight. I wish we had a couch I could sleep on.)

  • Does he do anything about it? There are treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder. They don't necessarily have to be expensive ... going to a tanning salon for a few minutes a week would be one.
    <center><i>Nature gives us shapeless shapes,<br>Clouds and waves and flame,<br>But human expectation is that love remains the same,<br>And when it doesn’t, we point our fingers and blame.</i><br><a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/register.php">Register</a>|<a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/members/little.html">Contact Admin</a>|<a href="mailto:support*womens-health.com?subject=Forum Contact">Email Admin</a></center>

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    • It's unacceptable for him to refuse treatment when he is being so mean to you during his episodes. Perhaps try talking to him when he's NOT in one of these episodes and when things are really good between you two. Maybe he will be more willing to listen when he is feeling comfortable and happy. Like Little said, 5-10 minutes in a tanning bed once or twice a week has been recommended for SAD sufferers (or something along those lines, he should check with a doctor).
      Well some people say that you shouldn't tempt fate, and for them I can not disagree. But I never learned nothing from playing it safe; I say fate should not tempt me. I take my chances.

      Comment


      • Today was one of the worst days we've had so far. He just came home from work and laid in the dark on the bed. I made dinner for us and got him to sit down to a dinner, and for a few moments we laughed together looking at lolcats, but then he went back to being distant - just made his lunch for tomorrow and went back to bed. He was reading a book for a while and when I looked around the corner to see what he was doing, he told me I didn't need to creep around. I took that as a good sign so I went to bed also, but things weren't any better. When we finished reading our books he just turned the light out and rolled over. I went to kiss him (for the first time today) and he didn't even kiss back.

        He won't take treatment. He thinks that by everyone letting him be alone when he feels this way, that it makes things better, but I spend days feeling so alone waiting for his phases to end. I've asked him about it when he's feeling okay and he just tells me he needs his time alone, but that's not what he needs.

        When I realized he wasn't going to kiss me back, I sat up in bed and turned the other way so he wouldn't see me crying. But he noticed, and asked me to tell him what he was thinking. I told him I was thinking about him, and he said, "You shouldn't let other people affect your mood so much."

        It's so easy for him because when he's upset he detaches himself from others. When I am sad, angry or upset, I just want him to pull me close and tell me everything is gonna be alright... but all he does is push away.

        When he is feeling down he wants to be alone, and he thinks I am the same way. Anytime I am sad, or anytime his moods affect me, he won't come close. He won't talk about it. It hurts me to the point that I am not going to be able to get back in bed with him tonight.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by jaybeth88 View Post
          Today was one of the worst days we've had so far. He just came home from work and laid in the dark on the bed. I made dinner for us and got him to sit down to a dinner, and for a few moments we laughed together looking at lolcats, but then he went back to being distant - just made his lunch for tomorrow and went back to bed. He was reading a book for a while and when I looked around the corner to see what he was doing, he told me I didn't need to creep around. I took that as a good sign so I went to bed also, but things weren't any better. When we finished reading our books he just turned the light out and rolled over. I went to kiss him (for the first time today) and he didn't even kiss back.

          He won't take treatment. He thinks that by everyone letting him be alone when he feels this way, that it makes things better, but I spend days feeling so alone waiting for his phases to end. I've asked him about it when he's feeling okay and he just tells me he needs his time alone, but that's not what he needs.

          When I realized he wasn't going to kiss me back, I sat up in bed and turned the other way so he wouldn't see me crying. But he noticed, and asked me to tell him what he was thinking. I told him I was thinking about him, and he said, "You shouldn't let other people affect your mood so much."

          It's so easy for him because when he's upset he detaches himself from others. When I am sad, angry or upset, I just want him to pull me close and tell me everything is gonna be alright... but all he does is push away.

          When he is feeling down he wants to be alone, and he thinks I am the same way. Anytime I am sad, or anytime his moods affect me, he won't come close. He won't talk about it. It hurts me to the point that I am not going to be able to get back in bed with him tonight.
          I suffer from a similair problem but it tends to happen once a month, like I have man-periods but without the bleeding. I don't have a GF/Wife so for me it's pretty hard because all I want is someone to hold me. She doesn't have to say anything, she doesn't have to do anything except just hold me. This is just my personal experience.

          If he tells you he wants to be alone tell him "You are alone and I want to be alone with you" and just hold him. Don't worry if he doesn't hold you back or show any sign of affection, you just need to be there for him. I don't know what else to suggest, i know this is what I would like in my deep dark moments and this is what I would do for my significant other.

          Comment


          • I have some family members with this and notice that I feel 'slow' on overcast days. Getting outside everyday for some natural light is important. There are special lights they can use that help, if he has a desk job he should be able to talk to them and bring in a desk lamp with a special bulb so he can work under it - be the isn't the life of the party at work either. The tannin salon might be good. WHy don't you do a search and see what you turn up?

            Comment


            • i think i sort of suffer from this as well. i will jsut come home from school and the only thing i feel like doing is curling up under my covers and closing my eyes. i don't want to really talk to any one. this tends to be an everyday thing, and it gets really annoying. i end up feeling horrible because i am snappy when someone talks to me. but honestly, like Mansview said, all i could really wish for at that moment is for someone to hold me. when i get like this, all down and gloomy, i tend to be really hard on myself, and really negative towards myself, which makes me feel like a waste of a person. maybe he feels like this, and doesnt feel like he deserves to be around any one when he is like this, because he doesnt want his mood to affect theirs. thats sort of how i feel. i dont know if he is like that too, but its just an idea

              Comment


              • Originally posted by MansView View Post
                If he tells you he wants to be alone tell him "You are alone and I want to be alone with you" and just hold him.
                This sounds like it could be some bad advice.

                I'm a guy, and like all guys, I have regular spells where I just want to sit around by myself for a while. Even for days at a time. The last thing that I want then is someone hanging off me. If he specifically asks to be alone, and you disregard that request and try to hold him, that can be extremely irritating for a guy, even when you're not in his bad books to start with. A woman who is secure enough to accept that and be comfortable with it is a good find.

                Originally posted by jaybeth88
                When I realized he wasn't going to kiss me back, I sat up in bed and turned the other way so he wouldn't see me crying. But he noticed, and asked me to tell him what he was thinking. I told him I was thinking about him, and he said, "You shouldn't let other people affect your mood so much."
                This is his way of saying, "It's not about you, I am not angry at you or trying to hurt you. Don't take this mopey sulky spell personally."

                Sure, he could be more sensitive about reassuring you that everything is fine. But we aren't really like that. You say that these moods last for "hours or even days," which is not the same thing as lasting for weeks or months at a time.

                It sounds like you have a very satisfying and strong relationship aside from this issue, and as a male, based on your posts my advice to you is to just try to be patient with him, allow him his space, and make sure you get the most out of him when he snaps out of it. That's when to talk to him about it as well, when he has just come out of one of these spells. Not when he is in one.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Sinistral View Post

                  It sounds like you have a very satisfying and strong relationship aside from this issue, and as a male, based on your posts my advice to you is to just try to be patient with him, allow him his space, and make sure you get the most out of him when he snaps out of it. That's when to talk to him about it as well, when he has just come out of one of these spells. Not when he is in one.

                  I agree.

                  Comment


                  • Jaybeth, reading John Grey may help you cope better with this. He talks extensively about this male pattern and what women and men can do to keep women balanced with it. After all it isn't our natural way of coping - but for a lot of men it is.

                    Comment


                    • Some great advice in here. While he is out getting the laundry I will reply.

                      He doesn't like to be close to me when he gets this way, so there's no "being alone" with him together like suggested. The best thing is to walk away or let him walk away because he always comes back when he feels better.

                      He said yesterday the days are getting longer. This will be good for us. Right now he leaves before sunup and comes home after sundown, so there is no time for him to get out into the sunlight. I am hoping that walks to and from work in the sun, when it decides to show at those hours, combined with me starting school and not seeing him as much, will help make things better for us. We did a little talking about it today and he is making more sense of me, and how I feel, and how we are together. I know with a little patience and hard work we will get through this.

                      Comment

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