Dealing with a depressed spouse

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Mindcore, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Mindcore

    Mindcore Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    No answers if that's why you clicked the tread ;-)

    My wife suffers from depression. She is well aware that she has it, but it seems every issue she has in life is my fault.

    It's really hard not to take it personally sometimes. She says she doesn't know how this marriage is going to work, she complains about the good things I do, the bad things I do.

    We're in counseling and even then it seems like it's all about how I can do things differently.

    I love my wife and my 3 year old son is the best thing in the entire world. But it's tough sometimes. Really tough.

    Anyone been through something similar and have any words of wisdom?
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  2. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Under the Big Sky
    Have you looked into any of the prescription options? I wish you and your family the best in dealing with it, I hope you guys find a solution.
    rambleon, doctorx, JDutch and 5 others like this.
  3. vicjoy1945

    vicjoy1945 Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Very tough my friend...hang in there...continue counseling and I hope everything works out for the three of you.
    Mngwa and Outlaw like this.
  4. LDS22

    LDS22 grapes Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Denver, CO
    all I can say is support her. do whatever it takes to help pull her out, realizing logic and reason sometime take a backseat to what she is feeling. check out @FiestaRed 's sig quote, and seek out more sources to help cope with things that may not be on the surface. lastly, address any resentments and take care of your wife and child. they need you now, and you'll most certainly need them later. mojo sent
  5. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2015
    When similar things happened to me, I had her write a list of what was expected. Then we discussed the list. And then I presented her a list of what I expected.

    It pissed her off, but in the end it made a clear point. And all that I need to do is bring out the list if she starts complaining. For us it was about unreasonable and or unspoken expectations.
  6. gigs

    gigs Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Pittsburgh - aka SIX-burgh
    Do the things you have control over, with love. Keep loving her.
  7. Amplifier Owner

    Amplifier Owner Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    sorry to hear of this. I have a similar situation. It's all good if she's taking meds, but when she's not, I'd rather be anywhere else in the world. Sorry, no advice to give - other than to hang in there.
  8. mustachio

    mustachio Member

    Oct 5, 2014
    Do what's best for your son. However tough it is. As far as for your wife, knowing when and where to throw the towel in is subjective--but your gut knows. Have courage to follow your heart, take some time to make a decision and don't second guess it after you've really committed mentally. Suggestion: communicate your final decision at a counseling session. Finally, if it's that bad between you and your wife, your son may be picking up on some bad vibes. At three it's not that big of a deal, but the older he gets, his memories will be more concrete--then the bad vibes might hard wire him adversely.

    I was estranged from my son's mother for his first five years. I got married, quit (kind of, put it down for a couple of years) drinking, went to school for a career but called her every year and wrote two letters every year. She finally picked up the phone before his 6th birthday. It was terrible always thinking I was a dead beat and missing out on all his firsts. But, there's a difference between leaving and being expelled.

    Now, he's almost 9. I pay for all his school, 20% of my pay (only required to pay 17%), and see him weekly (I live 3 hours away). Hell, we took family photos two days ago for Christmas, my wife, his mother, me and him (plus our two dogs and his dog). Not conventional, but it works. But, his mom and I wouldn't have been able to take the high road if it weren't for 5 years off.

    Your son has some time, not a lot, but enough where the roughest part of a potential separation will not be remembered.

    Good luck, pal.
  9. Bogner

    Bogner Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    Everywhere you go there you are. You are you and she is who she is. Is this a new thing or something you overlooked or was unaware of in the beginning of your relationship? Obviously it will help to know the root cause of it to determine an avenue to healing. I have seen people who are in that cycle and it is simply a bad attitude and how they grew up, talk, act, see things. If it is something like that then good luck getting it turned around. If it is a chemical/health type circumstance I am sure there is a way to get help. You caving in and changing to satisfy her is not the solution. You have an identity as does she. I hate to say it but it just might not be a good fit (very sadly). Life is too short to live miserable and at odds with one another. If indeed that is the case and it isn't from a health issue, you may be in for some bumpy roads. Whatever you do, don't "stay in it for the kids sake" as that never yields a favorable return. You may have to make some tough decisions in the near future. I wish you all the very best!
    apalazzolo and Washburnmemphis like this.
  10. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    In a van down by the river
    Yes, I went through something very similar. Her depression was related to a number of chronic health problems, one of which, kept her in constant pain.

    I don't know what to tell you that the others haven't already. I simply resolved myself to loving her even though I wasn't getting much back. It seemed the right thing to do as her husband. There is only so much we can do for folks like this. I learned to do what I could and be clear about the stuff out of my control.

    I hope the two of you are able to find a place of peace.
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  11. satisphied

    satisphied Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    Sounds like she's either not depressed, or depressed and has some resentments towards you. Most depressed people don't blame their depression or certain feelings on others, they just feel sad and hopeless about everything in general.

    For the kid I wish you all would work it out, but if it gets nasty it may be best for the kid to split as well.

    Good luck
  12. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    When you are the pillar, you are the focus of a lot of energy good or bad. Good on you for being the support, don't get toppled my man.
  13. iggs

    iggs Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Has she been diagnosed with depression or is she just unhappy with her (your) current life? Asking because those are two very different situations. Being "sad" or "unhappy" does not equal having clinical depression which is a mental ailment that needs to be treated accordingly (therapy, medication ... etc.) and certainly not taken lightly.
    ckfoxtrot and hobbyplayer like this.
  14. dallasblues

    dallasblues Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Man, I feel your pain. I'm in a very similar situation. Everyday feels like a dark cloud hanging over our house. I don't wanna give up but am not sure this can continue like this either. Somewhere we gotta find faith in something I think.
    derekd likes this.
  15. Campfired

    Campfired Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Nutmeg State
    You have a sofa? Quality time with her.
  16. Bob T.

    Bob T. Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    I really don't need to add more to this.

    I will say that my wife and I are suspecting that I am experiencing depression. I have seen many/most of the symptoms for quite a few years now. Honestly, I'm not sure how I have made it this far. But when my wife shows me unconditional love that is steadfast and unchanging, even when I am at my absolute worst (2-3 days ago was a really bad episode), there is something about it that brings me a tiny amount of comfort that I can't explain when I am in those moments.
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  17. Mindcore

    Mindcore Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Thanks for the thoughts, the gloominess in some is troubling.. I certainly hope that's not the path it takes.

    She has been on meds since we met, in the last few months she wanted to get off them. That is where I've seen a big decline. She has some resentment to feeling abandoned and not doing my share when our son was first born. It may be true in a new age sense. Compared to the previous generation I was Mr. Mom. But I in all fairness needed time to adjust to being a father and husband after I turned 40.

    While I've become a model in all regards, she continues to feel resentment from that past and cannot or will not see past it.

    She comes from a large family, all of which have similar issues, so genetics play a role.

    I never give up on anything, don't plan to in this either. That said I'm still my own person. I can only take so much before I follow her down the same dark path.

    I'm also a fixer by nature, so I think I need some help to delicately set things on the right track and help her as well. My usual way of stepping in and fixing everything will not go well in this case.
    cragginshred and derekd like this.
  18. Fred Farkus

    Fred Farkus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    If she is clinically depressed, some therapy for just her might be a good start. The therapist can help determine if she would benefit from seeing a psychiatrist and getting some meds. After that, give it time and give her a lot of slack. Try not to take things personal (not easy to do) and understand that a lot of what you are hearing from her is the illness, not her. Try to keep that separated as you move forward. There is support out there for spouses of people with depression too. With treatment, things can vastly improve, as long as she is aware of what's going on with her and is committed to getting better.

    Best of luck to you.

    EDIT: Sorry, didn't see your post right above mine. There are a lot of new meds available with less side effects. Sometimes, switching can be helpful. A good doc can help with that.
  19. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2003
    Citrus Heights, CA

    Thanks LDS. I am the depressed spouse in this case. I hate myself for the pain I inflict on my family. She's complaining about the good things you do? Why would you do good things for such a piece of $hit of a human being? Can't you see how worthless she is? Why are you trying so hard for a marriage that is obviously broken. She can see it, why can't you? This may be her thought process.

    I can't tell you how to deal with this. I have a wonderful wife and daughter, and I often have to remind them that this has NOTHING to do with them even though it affects them greatly. I love them and might not be here if it wasn't for them.

    As far as counseling, if you don't think it is a 50/50 effort or observations by the counselor, say something. If it continues, find another counselor. It's hard to have a healthy relationship with a person who is not healthy.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  20. circle_o_5ths

    circle_o_5ths Member

    May 21, 2015
    Being to blame for everything gets old. It results in resentment. Usually divorce. Set a time line and goals, if she fails to meet the milestones get out sooner than later. The longer you're married, the more it will cost financially and emotionally to split.
    Mngwa, sundog964 and spakuloid like this.

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