Girlfriend Trouble: Need Advice


#1

I am in a long-distance relationship with a girl in Maryland, with me being in California. Both of our parents acknowledge our relationship and approve of it. We’ve sent presents to one another for Christmas, our birthdays, and our one-year anniversary. I am surprised that we have kept such a close relationship even though we are far from one another. She is a devout Catholic, and has convinced me to move along in my baptism and confirmation.

The problem is, my girlfriend is depressed quite often. I’m always there for her and try to cheer her up however I can. But now, I feel quite overwhelmed. Today was the day her parents were going to take her here to California for a week’s vacation. Her mother had told me personally two months ago that I had her word that they were going. But about two weeks ago, they suddenly said they weren’t going, and my girlfriend has been in a downward spiral of depression ever since. She was very happy in the time leading up to that day. She’s very depressed today since this was the day she was to be leaving. I haven’t seen her this heartbroken in my life, and I feel very overwhelmed.

Normally, just talking to her makes her feel better, but now, nothing seems to help. Her sadness really worries me, and it makes me angry that I’m close to powerless to help. I’ve spent the whole day reminding her how much I love her and that this is only a minor setback, but she hasn’t snapped out of her depression. I have no idea what to do. I love her very much, and I want nothing but for her to be happy. I just feel so helpless in all this.


#2

Not to say that I’m an expert in these matters, far from it, I’m probobly the most, ah, unqualified forum member you could have answer, but, I say,

She was going to see you, eh?

Well would it be at all possible for you to get to Maryland ASAP?

I imagine that would make her day. Perhaps a dashing, “Sorry I’m late” as she opens the door, and to her surprise see’s her…boyfriend? Surely there’s a better word…

Helpless…Yes, I like that…That’s precicely what we are, and we delude ourselves if we believe anything else. We would do nothing if the Most High God didn’t will us so!

SO! Pray! Pray to Our Lord, all the Angels and Saints, and to your Guardian Angel, and to her’s aswell. THAT’S what you can do.


#3

Changing my post because I found another post of yours. You’re 15? Hey–I wasn’t allowed to date at 15, much less have a 1-year anniversary by age 15!


#4

Hi Ivory.

I was the depressed young girlfriend once. I posted a few comments in this thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=218153 My wording was perhaps a bit strong as it was a time when a lot of people did things that only caused further harm and thought they knew better than I what was good for me.

Don’t be upset about being “powerless” - everyone is powerless around a depressed person, in a way, because it is not within anyone else’s power to fix or control it and attempts to do so will only make things worse. You can’t fix it, and feeling angry about it is only going to make you unhappy as well.

If she is genuinely depressed, she should have proper qualified help from Catholic therapists. (I had only non-Catholic help and I had to walk away from it with little benefit and thus went more-or-less untreated or “self-treated”.) Where depression is not properly treated and the underlying reasons sorted out, there’s a very good chance it will recur.

And I have just seen Sarah’s note that you are … 15? If you are both that age then it’s up to your gf and her parents to seek help, and maybe the best thing you can do is make sure a relationship isn’t complicating things for her at a time when she probably has enough emotional sorting-out to do.


#5

You are very young. It is unwise to have this type of “relationship” at your age. You should focus on cultivating friendships in your own area, growing in your faith, and focusing on school and the future.

Having a serious “girlfriend” at 14 or 15 is not wise.

I don’t know the reason that she was unable to come-- with gas prices and the economy what they are right now perhaps her parents had a financial reason, or perhaps they came to their senses regarding taking their 15 year old daughter across the country to meet her “boyfriend”.

It doesn’t matter why. What does matter is that this girl is so dependent upon your “relationship” and that her depression has manifested itself so intensely. Since you mention that she has depression often, her parents should seek counseling for her.

I have to shake my head and wonder what your parents are thinking encouraging this relationship. Talk to your parents and your priest.

You’ve never met this girl and yet you are so convinced-- at 15-- that you are “in love”. That’s not healthy.


#6

It’s quite possible that they decided at the last min this trip was either unwise or unnecessary - or the financial burden became difficult.
Was she going alone or were they traveling with her?
As a parent, there is not a chance I would send my 15 yr old daughter across country to meet someone.

With the price of food and gas, utilities increasing, trips these days are a big luxury. Maybe something happened that made the trip a financial nightmare. You are not privy to their financial position. You only know what your friend has told you - and I gotta tell ya, my 15 yr old has NOoooooooo clue as to my finances. I could be in complete dire straits financially and my 15 yr old would never know it. As long as I keep food on the table, things are seemless.

She is disappointed - of course the trip would have been fun - but at 15, your job is to honor the decision of her parents. This is her responsibility as well.


#7

I agree with everyone too…I have a 15 yr old son, and I would not allow it.

Regardless of why she is depressed, and that most likely has to do with the plans being broken,not that she is depressed per se…she is just bummed…you shouldn’t be involved with someone, far away like this, and so serious, at your young age. I know–probably not the advice you were hoping for, but I think your parents made a mistake allowing this to go on.

No offense to your parents, but that is my two cents.

Did you ‘meet’ her online? Have you never met before?


#8

I’m in the same situation, just a tad older (21) and I say stick with it. If you managed to find love at this age then kudos to you!

Depression is easily dealt with, just be there for her when you can and break out with the romantic gestures. Random cheap but thoughtful gifts, a phone call out of the blue, it adds up.

If you can managed to get to her instead of her coming to you that would be ideal, just don’t give up on it just yet.

Love is hard to come by, and while others may be right, do you want to take the chance. If nothing else you certainly care deeply for her, so do as any good christian would do and be there for her, care for her, and love her as you SHOULD ANYONE WHO NEEDS A HELPING HAND.

ahem.


#9

You are not responsible for her moods or happiness. If she suffers from depression, her parents need to seek help for her.

There is no way I’d take my daughter across the coutry to see a 15 yr old boy. I don’t care how nice and how Catholic they both are. It’s inappropriate, IMHO.

Pray for her to get help, but understand that at 15, you are not equipped or trained to properly deal w/ depression. (if, in fact, that’s her problem)


#10

Jwlynas,

True, clinical depression cannot be fixed with acts of kindness. The roots of the problem, which run deep, need to be sorted out before this young lady will be able to emotionally handle the ups and downs of a real relationship.


#11

Ivory,

You feel helpless in the situation with your girlfriend’s depression because there is nothing you can do except pray for her and encourage her to seek good counseling. She needs professional help with this problem.

God bless you.


#12

#13

I’ll join the chorus of comment on this one. If by “depression” you mean the occasional perfectly normal down-in-the-dumps or touch of the blues, you may be right (and yes, attentive behaviour in an appropriate relationship is always nice) but if that is what you mean then please find another word for it - don’t use the name of an illness.

I was depressed for my entire childhood, collapsed into a more “acute” five-year bout at 17 and into another even longer bout in my late thirties. Depression, as opposed to “feeling a bit depressed today”, is a crippling illness and dealing with it is anything but easy.


#14

Are your parents Catholic? Do they approve of the relationship knowing you are choosing a Catholic faith (as you mentioned baptism and confirmation and are under 18 years…)?


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.