Love, Health And Wellness

5 Things To Remember If You're In Love With A Man Who's Depressed

how to help a partner with depression, how to deal with a partner with depression, support a partner with depression, depressed partner, boyfriend is depressed, men and depression, love someone who is depressed

What do you do when someone gives you their heart, but its already broken? You can run your fingers along the fissures and feel where it should be smooth — it's frightening loving a partner with depression.

The worry keeps you up night. You don’t want to put too much pressure on him, and feel like you are constantly making sure he's doing okay.

RELATED: 5 Things Your Depressed Partner Needs From You (But Doesn't Know How To Ask)

When a broken heart becomes yours to protect, you are on constant alert. You feel more noble, more responsible. Also, more careful, more afraid. It changes the way you start your day.

Instead of waking slowly, opening your eyes and slowly inhaling the new day, you shoot open your eyes and gasp in the morning air. You check. You always need to check, to see if he's feeling better.

But make sure you are checking on yourself, too.

Listed below are some things to keep in mind when you're in a relationship with someone who is depressed.

1. Know that you can't "fix" him.

It is very important to remind yourself every single day, it is not your fault he is depressed. Don’t sit up at night and think, "Today was a bad day, what could I have done differently? What did I do wrong?" His depression is never going to be your fault. All you can do is love him. If you love him, then love him as much as you can, every day.

RELATED: I Refuse To Let My Wife's Depression Ruin My Marriage

2. Remember his depression is not about you.

Do not make his depression about you. He doesn’t feel this way because of you. He isn’t depressed because you aren’t pretty enough, or smart enough, or fun enough. He is depressed because he suffers from depression. It is not your fault. Do not make it your fault.

3. Your happy times together may not involve going out and socializing. 

People who suffer from depression don’t like to go out. They don’t want to be around other people, and they feel anxious and tired. When he tells you that its not a good night, and that he really just needs a night in, he means it.

Sometimes he may stay in for weeks at a time. You need to learn to be okay with cuddling up on the couch and watching movies.

The tricky part is, that youre going to want to encourage him to go out with you. This is healthy. Contradictorily to what I said above, he should go out sometimes. Just remember to keep it small.

If you encourage him to go out, when he truly doesn’t want to, don’t bring him to a big party with a bunch of your friends where he has to catch up, talk about himself to people he doesn’t trust. Instead, take him on a walk in the sunshine. For a quiet dinner, or drinks just the two of you. Find a way to energize him.

RELATED: Signs Your Depression Is Getting More Serious (And It's Time To Reach Out)

4. Don't forget to check in with yourself, too.

Loving a depressed partner is hard — it takes a toll on anyone. Just remember to keep checking in with yourself. Learn that sometimes you need a break.

Maybe you want to go out with your girlfriends and let off some steam. Maybe you want to go shopping. Your life doesn't always have to be about taking care of someone else.

Also, make sure that you are being treated fairly in your relationship. Is he putting you down all of the time? Ignoring you? Is he causing problems with your family?

Don’t ignore these things because you’re afraid of his reaction. Let him know what you expect in a partner. Let him know what you deserve. If he truly loves you, he will understand. Just because he is depressed doesn’t mean that he gets a free pass to hurt you.

Sometimes when you are caring FOR someone more than you are caring ABOUT them, the love can shift. Being IN love can sometimes switch to something almost maternal. It sounds weird, but it is actually pretty common. If you feel like maybe this has happened in your relationship, just take a step back and evaluate.

5. Don't stay together with him just because he's depressed.

It is easy to stay in a relationship because you don’t know what would happen if you broke up. You know he needs you; he relies on you. You’re afraid that if he is already depressed and then you break up with him that he won’t withstand the ramifications, but this isn’t fair to either of you.

He doesn’t want to be with someone who doesn’t truly and deeply love him. Trust him. Trust his ability to deal with heartbreak.

You are not a martyr; you are not a saint — you are a person in love. It is hard to love a person with depression; just as it is hard to love anyone. Everyone has problems, and everyone suffers, so hold your loved ones close, no matter their struggle, but know when it's time to leave, too.

Love hard and fierce. A broken heart still beats. If you’re lucky enough to hold it, it is a beautiful sound.

RELATED: 7 Ways Depressed People Love Differently

Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.