Extremely depressed over my relationship (we just made 10 years)

by Anonymous

Hi there,

I will try my best to keep things brief, since I really want to get as much constructive assistance as possible. My spouse and I just made 10 years exactly a week ago, and although we love each other so much, life has been very tumultuous and he is 100% ready to give up. I cannot say that I blame him. Due to a very traumatic and tumultuous past (including sexual, physical and verbal abuse), I did not properly learn how to socialize, understand social norms, I am not socially aware and I am severely lacking in EQ. I believe this is why almost all my relationships have gone downhill. My spouse is the only person that really understands me and loves me, but I am having a hard time maintaining our relationship because I am trying to focus on school (2nd Bachelors) and work and really do not know how to maintain connections in any relationship.

In the past, he has tried watching TV shows with me, doing different hobbies, he has tried so much to try and connect with me. Throughout the years, I did not realize that my rejecting those things would cause him not to want to pursue those things ever again. I have severe social anxiety and depression that has plagued me so much that I didn't have the understanding how important those things were to our relationship. As we are self-quarantining, he just watches videos on YT mainly while I am studying for my 2nd Bachelors degree. We very rarely talk even though we both really, really love each other (we just do not know how to come together to re-connect when we have so much baggage).

He is a very open-minded person overall, but I can understand why he is very hurt by my actions, despite them being caused by legitimate mental health issues.

1) How do I learn to connect with him? I understand small actions, random acts of kindness go a long way, but since I burned the bridges on a lot of things in the past, he does not want to pursue them any longer. He does talk to me about articles online and I do the same for him as well, but what else can I do to foster real, meaningful connections?

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