dealing with a depressed spouse...

Depression/anxiety may have touched your family, your friends, yourself; what helps you to deal with it? Sharing is caring!

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Obayan
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dealing with a depressed spouse...

Postby Obayan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:57 am

Here's a scenario for you....

You've just had a great day at work, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and you whisk home to share your day with your spouse, only to find them depressed, negative and basically uninterested in what you have to share with them. In fact, it may even seem as though they're trying to draw attention away from your good day and "steal your thunder" by bringing you intotheir dark world. This is only an example, but there's more here than meets the eye. Read on.

Having a spouse that suffers from depression can be difficult. This is especially true if the other person has never experienced any type of depression. They have no way to really "feel" compassion for their partner nor can they possibly understand what the person is going through.

Here are a few tips that can possibly help you both through these trying times.

#1. When you're having difficulty with your spouses depression you need to look back and remember why you married this person in the first place. What are their good qualities? What made you fall in love with them? They're not depressed all of the time, are they? Don't they
still have most of those good qualities?

Although it's not always easy to do, you need to remember that you love this person and anything less than caring and compassion isn't fair to them. Remember your wedding vows "for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, til' death do us part". So many people in
todays society "run away" when the going gets tough in a marriage. I highly recommend that you do some soul searching and looking at the good things that your spouse has to offer before you make any rash decisions.

#2. Find time for yourself. Although you do have a responsibility to your partner you also have to maintain your own sanity at the same time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking an hour or two a few times during the week and spending it by yourself or with friends. You
must have this time to retreat and regroup and get yourself together. As much as you may love your spouse, this is totally acceptable and recommended. We're all human beings and must take
breaks from time to time.

#3. Recommend that your spouse get some type of treatment. This is assuming that they haven't already done so. If this is the case, then they'll need to see the doctor again. It's highly advisable that you go with your spouse to the doctor at least one time. That way the doctor
can thoroughly explain what's happening, what you need to be aware of or watch out for, things that you can do to help, side effects of the medications, ect.

The last item "side effects of the medications" is particularly important for the spouse to understand. One of these side effects may be a lack of desire, interest or ability to have sex. As their partner, it would be very easy to take this personally, but you need to understand that it's not you, but your partner's mental state, combined with the medication that they're taking. As difficult as this may seem you need to keep in mind that this is a temporary thing and that "roses will bloom again" between you two.

#4. Be compassionate, but don't enable them. This is not meant to be cruel, but you need to be certain that they really need your help or they could become dependent on you.

This is a very fragile thing and you must be extremely careful in order not to hurt their feelings and upset them even more, but they need to begin to get back on their feet as soon as possible. Here are a few things to look for.

They were able to take care of themselves fine all day long while you were at work, but now that you're home they need everything done for them. Or, you see them perform a simple task fine, but the next time that it needs to be done they want you to do it.

Once again, this is a very fragile situation and can cause feelings to be hurt badly, but it's also important that you not let this get out of hand. This is called "enabling" and it's not helping them or you. Granted, there are going to be times when your spouse is going to depend on you for many things, but there's going to come a point when they need to try and get back on their feet. You really should not speak to them about this before consulting their doctor. This way you are not perceived as the "bad guy".

#5. Always let them know that you love them. Always give them the benefit of the doubt. They're your life partner and deserve nothing less from you.

Obayan
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Postby Obayan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:06 am

One more thing I wanted to add to this....

It is NEVER ok to make someone else feel less than what they are. A human being deserving of respect and kindness.

It doesn't matter what the reason is. Lost his/her job... went off meds... has bipolar.... I don't care. It's never ok to abuse someone else or to hurt someone else. I don't care if they are "mostly" ok or it was "once good". If you are in pain because of someone else, seek help.

I've heard "misery loves company" for years. And ya know what, it's true. When i'm in my deepest depression what helps me most is having someone here that i know loves me. That doesn't give me or anyone else any right to hurt them.

shatteredhopes
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Postby shatteredhopes » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:31 pm

(((((((Obayan))))))))) This is really good. I feel so bad for what I put my ex-husband through, constant suicide attempts, heavy drinking, in and out of the hospital....Knowing what I put him through was one of the things that helped me forgive him for what he did.

I got a taste with my ex-boyfriend, who was basically emotionally abusive and cruel at times and I justified it over and over as his illness...I wouldn't leave someone because they had cancer, why leave someone for mental illness? Fortunately, he gave me as what someone else on this site wisely called "The gift of goodbye" when he dumped me. Painful as it was and life-altering, I am better off without him.

I am fortunate to have someone in my life now who is sort of a boyfriend but more best friend because we live so far apart and can't see each other regularly. He suffers from depression and other mental health issues too, but he is generally extremely kind and the few times he has upset me he has promptly apologized. It is a world of difference from the pain of the last relationship. I am sure at times I might frustrate him with my illness, but he is very patient and supportive. So I am trying to offer him the same.

Thanks for posting this ((((((obayan))))))). I am sure it will be very helpful to many who are dealing with a depressed partner.
"Sorrow floats" John Irving

Obayan
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Postby Obayan » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:05 pm

((( shattered ))) my heart goes out to you my friend.

Toffeeboy0
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Postby Toffeeboy0 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:43 am

Hi Obayan

I wish that I had read this a couple of months ago. I recently married the girl that I am madly in love with but she has a history of depression, something that I have never had to deal with and still don't understand at all. I fear that I have messed everything up as she will no longer spend time with me.

We got married in June and she has not wanted to be with me since then. I have tried to talk to her several times but she always drags it down to listing my faults and not whatever we started talking about.

She has asked me to see a counsellor which I have arranged and I hope that this will help as I fear that I am suffering with anxiety myself but don't know. I can't stop crying at tthe moment as I know I have messed up the best thing that I had in my life and don't know if I have lost it forever.

The hardest thing is that she has asked me to stop talking to my family about us and the problems that we are having. My family has always been close and talked about everything so this was hard for me and I have ended up talking to them several times. My wife has taken this as disrespct of her and has now said that she no longer trusts me and won't spend anytime with me at all. She has lost all inclination to hug, kiss and cuddle which has been very hard on me because I am a very huggy person and need nothing more than a hug to get me through a lot of problems. All of my family is up north whilst we live in London so I have no one around. She has now even gone so far to say that she doesn't care if I have an affair to get the attention that I need as she can't offer it. This is something that I would never dream of doing and it hurt me more than anything else that she could feel this way about me.

She says that she still loves me but she has to be selfish to get over the problems that she is having. When I have spoken to my family they have all said that I am too soft on her and need to stand up to her as she is taking adavantage of me. I disagree completely with them and don't see how this can ever help as surely hurting her is never an answer. Although I have hurt her so much already.

She has now taken to spending time with friends all the time and never spending anytime with me and I don't see how things can ever improve if we don't have any time together. As I said earlier I have spoken to a counsellor and they suggested that we come in together to talk with someone neutral there who can ensure that we talk about the things we need to talk about so I can understand what I need to do to support but she has refused to see anyone with me. I am now going to go on my own and hope that it will help.

I believe that I am suffering from anxiety at the moment as I can't stop bursting into tears and have the feeling that I have lost her forever even though she says she just needs to get her head sorted. I know that we can work our way through this if I allow herthe support she needs but I don't know if I am ever going to be able to get what she has siad to me out of my head.

I am not sure what help you can offer but I just need to talk to someone and obviously I am not going to go to my family as this will only make matters worse.

I know this has been a long post and thank you if you have taken the time to read through the entire post. Any advice would be most appreciated as I have no ideas what to do and don't want to give up unless that is what is best for her. I realised the other day that I love her so much that I am preparedto walk away if it is what is best for her even though it will break my heart to do so.
I am a 32 year man origianlly from Nottingham. I moved to London in 2006 and met the love of my life in 2009. We started dating the following year and were married in June 2011.

I enjoy all sports especially football and enjoy nothing more than a quiet pint in a local pub chatting about anything and everything.

Obayan
Posts: 4517
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:51 am
Location: oklahoma
Contact:

Postby Obayan » Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:19 pm

I'm really very sorry this is happening to you. I know how painfull it can be. The #1 rule to remember is to take care of you. In the midst of all this chaos, you have to remember to take care of yourself in the process of trying to fix everything else. Also, you can't fix someone else. They have to do that. You can offer all the help and advice and support until you are blue in the face, but it won't do any good until they start accepting the help that is offered. I'm not saying to give up. But please be realistic about the situation you are in.

Toffeeboy0
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:24 am
Location: London

Postby Toffeeboy0 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:34 pm

Thanks Obayan

I am not going to give up on her until she tells me that she doesn't want me anymore. She says that she still loves me and wants a future with me but at the moment she has to talk to friends and not me.

We have been very short on money lately particularly becuase she has been spending it on her so called friends by driving them all over and calling them from her mobile. I got paid today and I know she is going to want some money to put petrol in the car and credit on her phone but I am not prepared to pay for her to ignore me even more. I hope this isn't the wrong thing to do but I am not prepared to pay for her to go out with others when I can't afford to do it myself.

Last month I paid for her to have a full body massage and pedicure even though it left me broke come the end of the month. She has always had one of my credit cards to use for fuel and food but lately she has taken to withdrawing cash from it and then accusing me of being obsessed if I ask why she felt the need to withdraw cash as I have asked her not to. This card is now maxed out so she has returned it to me.

I hope that this is not the wrong thing to do but it is what I feel must be done. I have said to her I don't mind her seeing her friends as long as she makes time for me as well. She spent the whole weekend at friends knowing that I was broke and couldn't go out anywhere because she had our car. I am prepared to put up with this but I am not prepared to pay for it as that is a bit sadomassachistic (?)
I am a 32 year man origianlly from Nottingham. I moved to London in 2006 and met the love of my life in 2009. We started dating the following year and were married in June 2011.



I enjoy all sports especially football and enjoy nothing more than a quiet pint in a local pub chatting about anything and everything.

Obayan
Posts: 4517
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:51 am
Location: oklahoma
Contact:

Postby Obayan » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:57 am

I hope this isn't the wrong thing to do but I am not prepared to pay for her to go out with others when I can't afford to do it myself.


Very smart there hon!

Toffeeboy0
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:24 am
Location: London

Postby Toffeeboy0 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:55 am

Obayan wrote:Very smart there hon!


Thank you, it has now led to first of all her saying that we are now just flat mates and I moved into the spare room before a couple of days later her saying she needed me to leave the flat for her to sort herself out. The flat is solely in her name so she can do this and I am now in the process of looking for somewhere else to live. I can kip on a friends floor for a couple of days but this isn't a permenant solution.

The trouble is a permanent solution is for me to get a place which will entail a 6 month lease agreement. This is fine and I think it will definitely help me but not my wife or our relationship. She won't be able to afford the flat on her own and I won't support her if I am not living there.

She now also says that because I tried to blackmail her by refusing to give her money because she used it to spend time with other people and not me that she doesn't trust me. I had been feeling better about us and we were talking but this lack of trust has now blown everything out of the water
I am a 32 year man origianlly from Nottingham. I moved to London in 2006 and met the love of my life in 2009. We started dating the following year and were married in June 2011.



I enjoy all sports especially football and enjoy nothing more than a quiet pint in a local pub chatting about anything and everything.

Obayan
Posts: 4517
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:51 am
Location: oklahoma
Contact:

Postby Obayan » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:41 pm

I'm really sorry that this has happened. I know it's painfull and hard. I know it is. But if you giving her money to be with other people was the only thing holding the marriage together, isn't it better to know that? I really do hope things work out for you hon. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership. Two people working together to make a better life. I do hope you find that.

Toffeeboy0
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:24 am
Location: London

Postby Toffeeboy0 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:09 pm

Thank you. We have had a long chat tonight and sorted a few things out. We have lots to talk about but it still ended in disagreement, she is listening to and being influenced by people that she hardly knows who she is friends with. These people are users, I am not saying they are using her, but they don't like me and as such she says I can't go with her to the pub on Friday to the karaoke because she is with them. She also says there are people in the pub who I have been rude to but won't tell me who they are so I can't work out what I have done. I was brought up to be polite and respectful and have never had problems before. I enjoy and thrive in a pub atmosphere an have always felt relaxed and at home in a good local pub so can't think of anyone that I would have been rude to. The fact that she won't even tell me which pub makes me think that there is no one and she is just using it as an excuse. Why else wouldn't she tell me who I have upset, this is something she has done before and it is a case of her hiding behind mystery people.

We made some headway tonight and she said I can come back to our bed but I have chosen not to as there are still these underlying problems that we need to get to the bottom of before we can move on with our relationship. Thank you once again for corresponding with me. Take care
I am a 32 year man origianlly from Nottingham. I moved to London in 2006 and met the love of my life in 2009. We started dating the following year and were married in June 2011.



I enjoy all sports especially football and enjoy nothing more than a quiet pint in a local pub chatting about anything and everything.

Scotty204
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:55 am
Location: Canada

Postby Scotty204 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:02 am

Suffering from depression myself I can honestly say that I put my wife through some tough emotional times especially when I have "dark days". My wife does not understand depression so she gets frustrated which makes things worse. I'm starting to realize that I think it's impossible to have a healthy relationship when one person has depression :(
Life is short so enjoy it!!!

Toffeeboy0
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:24 am
Location: London

Postby Toffeeboy0 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:18 am

I have to disagree with you there I am afraid Scotty, I have met a lot of couples where one of them suffers from depression. I am not going to say you can have a perfect relationship but as long as you both accept the circumstances of your relationship then there is no reason it can't work.

The biggest thing that I learnt from living with my wife is that you can't try to understand what is happening as most of the time your partner gets even more frustrated because they can't relay to you how they are feeling. It is unfortunately a waiting game until you can find a bit of clarity in your head to be able to explain to your wife. My wife couldn't talk to me about it so would spend hours at work to avoid me and the awkwardness that she felt not being able to talk to me about it but this caused the start of our problems which escalated from there.

Unfortuantely mine hasn't worked because my wife decided to seek comfort from someone else rather than myself. I don't know if there was anything physical involved but she definitely had an emotional affair before one day telling me that her friends were more important to her than I was so I left her. She has a lot more underlying problems than just depression that she has never dealt with or even told me about. It was impossible for us to have a mature adult relationship becuase she had so many issues from her childhood that she hadn't dealt with.
I am a 32 year man origianlly from Nottingham. I moved to London in 2006 and met the love of my life in 2009. We started dating the following year and were married in June 2011.



I enjoy all sports especially football and enjoy nothing more than a quiet pint in a local pub chatting about anything and everything.

Scotty204
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:55 am
Location: Canada

Postby Scotty204 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:28 am

It's really hard when your partner cannot relate and cannot handle the ups and downs of depression also. At the end of the day you'd hope that your loved one would be there for you and offer support but when they don't it hurts. I'm in a spot where my wife refuses to accept that I have depression and says things like "get over it" or "snap out of it" which of course I can't. In actuality she is giving no support which makes me feel alone and less likely to open up to her and back further away and seclude myself. I'm just glad I have no kids to take care of just a puppy.
Life is short so enjoy it!!!

Obayan
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:51 am
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Postby Obayan » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:06 am

get over it is a polite way of saying shut up i'm tired of hearing this. One thing I would do, is sit down and confront her saying "i know you don't believe in depression and have little compassion for it, but this is how I am feeling and if you truely care for me, you will try to find enough sympathy and understanding inside of you to help me because i honestly think our marriage is worth making every effort to hang onto."


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