I am in love with someone who doesn’t love themselves. He is a sufferer of bipolar and depression, but I still love him for who he is. I know what you are probably thinking:
“Well, how can they love you back?”
I completely get this and am open to it while I try to undertsand his needs. As I radiate my love to him, I see him softening up towards himself. Little by little.
There are steps to take when loving someone who doesn’t love themselves and I am here to share them with you in case you also get into the same situation as me…!
Accept them for who they are
To begin my story, my partner has been diagnosed with bipolar and depression and myself schizophrenia and depression (what a concoction, I know!).
The thing is about loving someone who doesn’t love themselves is that you have to accept them for who they are. It makes it easier for me to accept him for who he is because of my mental health issues, but you see, it also doesn’t really matter.
I feel that a mental health issue shouldn’t squander your love for someone and if it does, then you have to ask yourself why?
My partner is one of the most loving, kind natured people I have come to meet (if only he saw this himself!), so I have come to fall in love with him and his nature and nuances.
It gets tough when I see that he doesn’t accept himself for who he is and battles with his mental health in a hard way. Don’t get me wrong — it is hard.
However, me knowing that my love for him is still going to be there during it all, gives me hope that I may be able to be a part of his healing process too.
It takes strength to love people selflessly.
When loving someone who doesn’t love themselves, the first and maybe most important step is to accept them for who they are and even the fact that they might not love you back because they don’t love themselves… yet!
Be understanding and open
When it comes to my partner, I have to be as understanding and open as I can be which in call turns for me to be aware. I have to install awareness in every situation and be mindful of how I respond too.
For example, there are days like today when his mental health is not good and he feels like utter crap. I can tell because of the difference in communication with me.
He won’t put a love heart and instead will seem “off” on messages. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention we are in a long-distance relationship too which makes it a bit harder during these difficult times.)
This in turn, makes me feel bad. But I am the one who chooses if it makes me feel bad or not, right? So I choose for it not to.
Instead, I realise that he is having a bad day (all people who don’t love themselves will have these days more often than enough) and recognise that it has nothing to do with me.
Making this difference and establishing that I have nothing to do with his bad mood then allows me to be as open and understanding as I can be about how he is feeling and the situation at hand.
It is about detaching yourself from situations when you feel like you may be the culprit, but rather recognising that you are there to be understanding and show care when you can.
I get it though. It is tough.
It is about bringing in awareness in every situation as much as you can and distinguishing what is bringing them down and if you are involved or not.
Of course though, I want to make him feel better.
That is why the next step to loving someone who doesn’t love themselves is to:
There are days when I am down and he is there to lift me up. Then there are days when he is not doing well and I find the strength to bring him up. It is all about balance.
The thing is when someone doesn’t love themselves, they are going to become more sensitive to certain situations.
For example, yesterday was a trigger. I noticed this straight away because he felt helpless.
Basically, he is in rehab. Due to corona, his mental health, and him being new at the house, there are certain regulations we cannot maybe sway… yet.
One of the hot topics is when and how I can visit.
I have been asking him to ask someone who is in charge of him because I miss him and want to visit (obviously!). But when coming to ask the person, it seems like it may be harder than expected.
Due to him honestly filling out a form about his recent alcohol consumption, she doesn’t deem him fit for a visit (yet! as I keep saying and hoping!).
I understand where she is coming from, but also believe that people need to visit for the good of your mental health, so maybe I will talk with this person at some point too.
So after this scenario, I felt quite helpless too, but not as bad as him. I was there to encourage him and make him know that everything will be OK.
Encouraging one another is a big must in any relationship as it is. You must believe in one another and let them know you believe in them too to get over these hurdles of not loving themselves.
Accept the situation for what it is
When loving someone who doesn’t love themselves, you must accept it for what it is.
There is no need to want to change it so bad and make it your priority because then the love may fade or become a fad.
Instead, come to appreciate the person for who they are and accept the circumstances for what they are.
I remember when my boyfriend told me he didn’t love himself and thus, felt incapable of loving me back, it felt like a hole had popped in my heart.
I felt awful for him as I have been there too. It is a horrid, sinking feeling not being able to love yourself wholly.
I remember when he told me, I made it my mission to ask him what he loves about himself everyday and how much he loved himself on that day.
It kind of worked and one day he told me he loved me back.
I know — I was chuffed!!
“But wait a minute!”, I said.
“I don’t want you to just say it because you feel pressure from me saying it.”
He said, “No, there is some love for you in here somewhere. I feel it.”
That was enough for me and I believed him.
You see, I am embracing him loving himself more than the fact that he has to love me… that is the priority — him, not me. All I can do now is:
Trust in the path of love
“I once had a thousand desires, but in my one desire to know you, all else metled away.” — Jalal al-Din Rumi
My desire is to be with this guy. Being with him is enough for me and I trust that he will love me back one day the way I love him.
But for now, I have to understand that he is on his path to loving himself and I am here to help him on that route of realising the love he has within.
All I can do is be patient and trust in the path of love to let go and look within.
Once you are on the journey of love and relationships, love starts to blossom no matter what.
Love is not just a feeling, but it is healing. Love is a scent, a face, a place you can call home.
Love ripens with the care and consideration you show and I feel that he is falling in love with me simultaneously, but I don’t make it my priority to make him fall in love with me.
Instead, I accept our budding relationship for what it is and allow him to prioritise himself as I feel the love and light that he showers me with is something he deserves to be showered with too.
This is the thing with mental health as well as love: You must befriend them and become patient with its process.
There are many mental health issues that may cause your partner from not loving themselves. Here is an article I wrote about how to love someone wiht depression:
When you love someone but they don’t love themselves, remember to:
- Trust in the path of love
- Accept the situation for what it is
- Be encouraging to your partner
- Be understanding and open
- Accept them for who they are
I hope this helps you in your journey — let me know below 🙂
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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