Ask Amy: Boyfriend refuses to get mental health treatment. Can I leave?


dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. He always plays the victim – the world is out to catch him, and it’s everyone else’s fault. They are depressed, anxious, constantly negative and constantly complaining.

He was unemployed for years as he was fired from multiple jobs due to attitude and performance issues. I was patient because she’s been through so much trauma in her life. He loves me and treats me well.

I stayed this long because I believe mental illness is like physical illness and not a reason to end a relationship. However, I’ve just been emotionally drained lately. Its negativity and victim mentality is pulling me down and consuming any positivity I have in my life.

His bad attitude and refusal to take any responsibility is too much for me to handle. She does not believe in therapy and thinks that her bad experiences are unique to her. I am no longer in love. He is not open to changing his demeanor or seeking help from mental health professionals.

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If he’s always been nice to me, is it wrong for me to break up with him because I can’t stand his ongoing depression and negative attitude? When is mental illness a reason to end a relationship and end things instead of being supportive?

on the fence: You have a caring attitude towards your boyfriend whose negativity seems to be killing your soul.

Not “believing” in therapy to address trauma is like not believing in antibiotics to treat a severe infection. Therapy is not a practice of faith; is the treatment. It is wound care for a deeply hurt soul. In your case, you would be leaving this relationship not because your boyfriend is mentally ill but because he refused treatment for him.

I assume your presence in his life is positive and helpful, but you should not be destined to sacrifice and destroy your own soul in support of someone who refuses to save his own soul.

You might ask yourself this question: Does your presence help him heal? Are things getting better for him? For you? Or is your interdependent relationship holding you both in place?

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Therapy is absolutely necessary – I highly recommend it for you.

dear Amy: When I read your column, there seem to be a lot of people who are getting divorced after 40 years or more. After a long marriage, this trend of divorce scares me so much about getting married.

I’ve been in a great relationship for the past four years and when I finish school we talk about marriage. But I have a terrible worry that we’re going to get divorced in 40 years.

How can I stop this feeling? I know 40 years is a long time away, but it scares me so much. After being with someone for such a long time, I can’t imagine life alone.

My boyfriend and I have great communication, which is more important than anything else. When we are sad or happy, we never go to bed angry and listen to each other. But how can I stop this anxious feeling?

Scared: Remember that those who write to me share their concerns. This is not a statistical indicator of your expectations.

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I don’t want to scare you any further, but what awaits you over the next 40 years: sickness, loss, sadness, grief, exhaustion, confusion, anger, grief.

And also stay tuned for happiness, joy, beauty, light and cuteness.

It’s all the stuff of life. What Poe called “the fire called living”.

When you marry someone, you literally step in. You love him no matter what, and you are loved in return. Common sense may thwart you, and if so – good for you! But remember that fear is the worst reason not to take action.

Keep talking. As long as you do, you’ll be fine.

dear Amy: “I was impressed by the question.Still Sorrow,” as well as your response. This man was slowly surrounded by his clutter, a response to his grief, as you both noticed.

Retired: I have received many offers of personal assistance for “Still Grieving” and although I do not directly connect readers with one another, I hope that your generosity will be empowered and inspired.

©2022, Tribune Content Agency distributed by Amy Dickinson


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