Here are several tips for coping with a boyfriend who is moody, unpredictable, and unhappy. They’re based on a comment I received from a woman who loves her boyfriend, but can’t make him happy.
How to Know If It’s Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage by Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman will help you decide if your relationship is worth saving. It’s important to remember that you aren’t the “problem” in your relationship. A moody, unpredictable boyfriend could be dealing with stress at work, unbalanced hormones in his body (which can cause mild or severe depression), or an unfulfilled life. Sometimes it’s not about you – it’s all about him. You can’t do anything to make him happy or healthy.
Should you keep moving forward and try to connect with your moody boyfriend, or let him go? It’s important to remember that at some level, it doesn’t matter what his problem is. If he isn’t letting you be part of the solution – or if he isn’t trying to figure out how to be happy and healthy – then there is nothing you can do. You have to think about your own health and happiness. You may find How to Break Up With Someone Who is Depressed helpful.
Tips for Coping With a Moody Boyfriend
These suggestions are based on a reader’s comment on Why Does Love Hurt? 6 Excuses for Abuse.
Offer your support – but don’t try to heal him
Both readers have tried and tried to cheer their boyfriends up, tried to make them happy, tried to boost their moods. Women are famous for nurturing, healing, loving, and caring for their loved ones! Women in general love to connect and take care of their partners and families. And, women often mistakenly believe they are responsible for their partner’s happiness.
Avoid trying to solve his problems
If your boyfriend doesn’t know what he wants from you or his life – or if he does, he can’t express it to you (or admit it to himself). There’s nothing you can do to help a man who is struggling with his own existential angst or life path. Or, it could be all chemical. Sometimes the hormones in our brain and body get out of wack, and our thoughts and behaviours don’t make sense. It’s a horrible feeling, to be depressed…but if your boyfriend refuses to get help, then there isn’t anything you can do. He is an adult who is responsible for his mood, career, relationships, and life. Do not mother him.
Stay connected with who you are
I think it’s not a good idea to invest EVERYTHING you have in your relationship.
I’ve been married for almost 8 years, and I know the dangers of letting my self get lost in my husband and marriage. There is a huge difference between loving a man wholeheartedly, and losing your identity in your relationship. You can’t give your partner everything you have. It’s unhealthy, and doesn’t lead to a strong happy union.
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You can’t push your boyfriend to be healthy or happy. Either you accept him for who he is right now – negative mood and all – or you give him and yourself time and space to breathe. Don’t fight who he is or how he feels. Accept and love, or let him go.
If you’re losing yourself in your partner, read How to Be Yourself in Your Relationship – Self-Identity and Love.
Give him some breathing space
If my boyfriend has been moody and unpredictable for longer than a couple of months, I’d take a break from the relationship.
Say something like, “you’re obviously unhappy, and it feels like there’s nothing we can do to increase your sense of well-being or satisfaction with his life. I feel helpless, insecure, lost, and scared – and that’s not how I want to feel. I love you, but I can’t be in this relationship the way it is right now. If you have any solutions or plans to improve our situation, I’d love to hear them – and I’ll support you in any way I can. But if we don’t have a goal or plan to work towards, I can’t stay. I need to take a few months to get my head together.”
Life is too short to spend with a boyfriend who is moody, unhappy, or depressed, and who won’t get help with it. I’m not saying women should jump ship the minute their partners are sad! But, there comes a time when enough is enough. And, only the woman in the relationship can make that decision.
I welcome your thoughts on coping with a moody boyfriend below. I can’t offer advice, but it may help just to write about what’s happening in your relationship.
May you find peace and joy in your relationship, and may your boyfriend’s moodiness lift. May you know where your boundaries are, and find your own source of peace and joy in your life.