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Nancy Schimelpfening

Living with a Depressed Spouse

By April 17, 2005

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Lovemy2labs writes on the forum: "My husband is clinically depressed and was diagnosed almost a year ago. He has tried so many different meds and none seem to help him. He also has seen several different doctors still no relief of this disease. I hate that I can't talk to anyone about his illness because of the stigma everyone seems to have with this disease and I hate that no-one believes this is real! My husband is the greatest man alive! Prior to this illness he would NEVER be sad to the point of tears & this depth of sadness has controlled & darkened his life and I don't know how to help!"

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Comments
May 7, 2006 at 8:23 pm
(1) Jim says:

What are his symptoms? Is he irritated with you? Does he threaten to leave?

July 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm
(2) beth cooke says:

he isirritable outbursts of temper isay white he says black always doom and gloom everything is negative i am turning into a depressiive peson. i uded to be very positive but i seemn to be slipping down a darkn tunnel

June 9, 2006 at 11:56 am
(3) Martha says:

I suffered a severe clinical depression also about 13 years ago and when I returned to work I felt the full force of that stigma. The number of classes I taught was cut down, the projects I had worked on and the program I had coordinated were taken away from me. It didn’t matter what I had done before (for 13 years) or that I had recovered and was the same person I had always been. People also avoided me as if the whole thing were contagious. I was open about it; I believed and still believe that the people who are our friends will love us and realize that some of who we are TO THEM includes this possibility. There was a wonderful book that helped me, Touched With Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison. She has written well on this subject in other books, also.

Good luck.

December 3, 2006 at 5:43 pm
(4) Linda says:

I understand how you feel…completely! I came onto this site to look for help. How do we help our once loving husbands when everything around them seems so sad? Do we protect them from everyday stresses and bear them alone or do we share the problems? What do we say to the kids when they ask what is wrong with dad? Do we go ahead to plan family gatherings at the holidays even tho we know he may stay in bed the whole time? Im at a loss…

December 14, 2006 at 9:04 am
(5) Mark says:

My wife was recently diagnosed with mild depression, which we’ve been dealing with several years. I am an upbeat person, and her condition is not severe, but I feel it’s taken its toll on me and I don’t want it to adversely affect our young child’d emotional health. I understand a key detail for me is taking care of myself.

December 17, 2006 at 1:10 pm
(6) David says:

My wife has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. She has been like this off and on since we have been married, but things have gotten worse. I have tried to be supportive, upbeat, etc. for many years, but it is taking its toll. It is hard for us to have a “fun” conversation anymore, because she seems to always bring it back to something bad in her life. I respond by trying to offer something cheerful or hopeful, but the game just keeps on. Today, she is at work and I am actually glad that she is gone. I know I should want to be around her, but in all honesty, I need a break from her negative thinking.

May 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(7) Adam says:

i know how you feel i am in a relationship for 4 years now very similar but were both younger i work she does not but she never wants to do anythign no matter what i suggest nothing is fun enough . yet she never has anythign she wants to do and talking to her now almost always ends up being us arguing because she can only bring up negative things that has happened to us or how her family isnt as good as mine
its hard and talking its toll on me as well i am almost feeling depressed because of it at times i got her going to counselling we both went and still do sometimes but mainly her she has been diagnosed with anxiety possible depresson but will not in any way accept any medication cause in her world shes fine
i love her more then i have for anyone or anythign we have a son and our family means so much but its a horrible thing to deal with she does threat to leave as well and so on but then her parents just support her to not work and sit at homke and smoke all night while staying up then sleep all day and she thinks its normal

January 2, 2007 at 1:59 am
(8) Sherrie says:

My husband has now had aproximately 15 different medication “cocktails”. None of them help for any length of time. He has recently been diagnosed with TRD – Treatment Resisent Depression. Has anyone heard of any luck with the new magnetic treatments? I am also looking for a support group. There is nothing locally for spouces of depressives – only bipolar.

January 12, 2007 at 1:34 pm
(9) Renee says:

I AM the depressed spouse. My husband just left me because of it. I’m as helpless as he is. Even with therapy and medication it has taken its toll on him. It’s like a venom. If you can’t stand it, go to a counselor and leave the marriage in a healthy way. Don’t blame anyone. Noone is doing it on purpose. It just IS.

January 15, 2007 at 6:52 pm
(10) Jeff says:

I’m interested if Renee thought there was anything more the two of them could have done. I am living with a depressed wife (it’s been off and on during our 20+year marriage). I no longer know what to do. At best she is angry with me quite a bit, saying that many of the things I do make her unhappy. I try to change (and have changed many things), but it makes no difference. Currently she is back in a serious depression, and I am left protecting the kids and mostly trying to stay out of her way. I really don’t want our marriage to end, but I am pretty much out of ideas and energy to make anything better.

June 1, 2011 at 2:01 am
(11) adam says:

did you find any answers im in a similar situation

February 10, 2007 at 11:10 am
(12) shelly says:

My husband was diagnosed with depression/anxity disorder & attempted suicide 5 years ago. Things have been very good for the past 5 years. He recently told me that he can’t get the anger thoughts out of his head toward me for not “being there” for him through his depressed time. (I never left, but did go into survival mode of coping raising my children and taking care of my business and house.) He feels I was mean to him during that time. I can’t get him to understand my point of view of how difficult that time was for me. He is considering leaving me.

October 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm
(13) Cutiecat says:

Shelly, this is me right now. My children are 7, 4 and 3 months. I am in total survival mode. I just don’t want my husband around anymore. He ruins everything from parties to watching tv. I just can’t take to constant blame and negativity. He has no joy at all and it is all my fault according to him.

October 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm
(14) Gayle says:

I have been in survival mode also for a long time. I can’t keep propping him up with compliments and constant understanding. Where is my understanding. I too am blamed for saying the wrong things when I try to make suggestions like get out of bed, take a walk….I do feel like I am being mean, but I have just had it with his negativity and constant aches and pains. There are no support groups that I know of so I found this site. He has been on every med and lots of ETC treatments to no avail. Now doing the selfmedicating route….Any suggestions? This has been going on now for about 20 years and I am not getting any younger!

February 16, 2007 at 10:53 pm
(15) Ray says:

i am living with a depressed wife. i am still in my late 20s and i tried and still am trying to support her as much as i can. i suffered so much, and sometimes i feel so frustrating and hopeless, so i am wondering if there are any depressed people who really recovered from this disease. i need an example to make me strong.

February 19, 2007 at 3:02 pm
(16) linda says:

My husband is diabetic and is having a major depressive episode. We now have learned that he may have chronic depression,he often was angery and irritable. Now he won’t even get out of bed except to eat afew bites. It is driving me up a wall. I have been supportive and encouraging but it is really starting to drag me down also. Even our yougest child(17) is starting to wonder if Daddy will ever get better.
How do we stay strong?

February 27, 2007 at 11:52 pm
(17) Susanne says:

My husband has been diagnoised with Major Depression/paranoa disorder. He has suffered I believe with depression for years but things have exploded this past year. He sucks the life out of everyone he touches. Sometimes I am so angry and resentful about it and other times I am full of compassion. I am so confused and concerned about the welfare of our three young children. I am starting to believe I can’t help him fight depression forever if he does’nt respond to treatment. I don’t know how I will make it.

May 30, 2007 at 11:11 am
(18) jackie says:

my husband is very depressed and strongly despises therapists / outside treatment. He says i’m not supportive enough and have not listened to what he needs, and so now he is in this state. i know that i am not responcible for his state. i want to support him through this, but am starting to think that maybe it is better this has surfaced before we would have had kids and a house. he is unable to concentrate and therefore i have to do everything myself and/or check what he does (so the bike doesn’t fall off the car bike rack, etc). i don’t know what to do. lately he says he wants a divorce one minute and 5 mins later he didn’t mean it. although i try to remember he is not talking from his real self, but from being unwell, my trust is withering and my frustration is growing. is it normal for those of you who have depressed spouses to feel like you have caused it (b/c maybe they say so) or that you are not good for them (and so maybe you are a bad person), or that you are not supportive enough (b/c no matter how much you can think you are supporting them, they will somehow percieve you as not supporting them), ????????? i am trying to not get caught up in emotions, but to try and see clearly what is going on.

July 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm
(19) Taj says:

My experience is that I married a woman whom I thought had chosen me for my inner qualities rather that just for my income (She comes from a lower income family) And I did not make that much either. My take is that the ”Unspoken agreements” between people will surface one day or the other.
When I had an operation 5 years ago I really did not feel that she was with me. She was distant ( not that I was seeking sympathy) but I could just tell that I was a nuisance for her ( Not that I was expecting all the drama and hysteria people make around health) But rather a ”being there” Have your eye wide open before marriage and squint thereafter said Ben….
Depression in my onion come from unresolved childhood issues and expectations we have of life ( granites and granted)
I suggest for a while at least cook and bake for you own even when your are a couple Yes cook separately and do not share (that will bring up strong feeling of resentment which will dig up old personal material. Meals at the table is a fantasy (childish because you had to then) and an old tall loaded with emotions why not challenge it….. Could the unspoken agreement be ‘ ”I want you as long as” or else…. ’where the love or is love a transaction like any daily business.. Or was I in love? Or just needed someone in my life… there lies all the difference…..

November 15, 2011 at 2:43 am
(20) loftyc says:

Please don’t have kids with him get out if you can. I know this sounds terrible but i have lived with his depression for years. Nursed him through the first episode and he took himself off medication after five months slowly, slowly slipping back down. As the spouse you will be walking on eggshells daily. We are in financial ruin as i was too soft to not indulge his every whim as he was always unhappy. The children i believe have never experienced their dad the way i knew him when we were first married. He is not emotionally available for them or me. You will spend a lifetime of making excuses for them as the goalposts for their happiness keep moving further away. Sadly you will give up your own pleasure and personality and one day think who the hell am i but have you will be soo exhausted and have no self esteem left to pull yourself out. Not to mention you can expect to do the lions share of everything it will all fall on your shoulders. I say all of this from someone who has stayed by my spouse and loves him unconditionally and dearly but i know from experience its a HELL of a life. Best wishes

June 21, 2007 at 9:47 pm
(21) Cammie says:

My husband and i have lasted through a two year long distance relationship and now we are together in the same house and things have gotten pretty bad. He is depressed i think because he has no job or any friends that are near him. He is new to america, he moved here to be with me, but he is so unhappy here and he even told me it was my fault. I think we both know the best thing is for him to be here but I feel ignored as a wife and I really don’t know what to do.

June 29, 2007 at 1:32 am
(22) Karen says:

Dear People with depression and/or depressed spouses,
You all sound very courageous and insightful, and my heart is with you. I am also trying to live with a depressed spouse, and it is so hard! Every minute you maintain your compassionate attitude is really a miracle.
Maybe it will help to know that people do recover from depression. I had depression myself in my teens and twenties, but now in my forties, I have been a cheerful, optimistic person for twenty years, thank God. I say this because, although depression is not within our control, there are still things we can do, in addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle (eating well, exercising, etc.) My recovery involved a gradual shift in my perception, from negativity to being open to the possibility that life might be okay. In my case, I was greatly affected by my environment–the people, books, movies, music, etc. with which I surrounded myself. Choose carefully the food for the mind. This doesn’t mean avoiding real life with the silly or “pollyanna.” There are plenty of true uplifting and inspiring stories, people, art, and music!
And then, if possible, choose carefully the thoughts themselves. Ask yourself (and/or your spouse), is this thought helpful? Is it the whole truth, or might there be another way to look at things? In whatever is your way, ask God for help to improve the quality of your thoughts.
I am sorry to read about your suffering, which I do feel along with you, but I am also greatly moved by your courage and strength. Best wishes to you that things will work out.

September 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(23) namy says:

thank you. i have been dealing with self-loathing for so long, i came here for some research, because i find comfort in knowledge, knowing how things are and maybe i can use them to help. it’s a terrible situation to be in but i am fighting the battle everyday. you have been a great help, i feel better.

July 20, 2007 at 8:07 pm
(24) Lynn O'Shea says:

I too am struggling at times living with my husband who has clinical despression.

Long story short I think at last I have accepted there is no easy fix. I live more as though he is a friend and respond with the expectation I would have of a good friendship rather than my expectation of a spouse. This seems to help me not seep into resentment.

I stay an individual within the relationship and this keeps me strong and helps me not break the boundaries of over compensating for his moods. I continue to socialise (often on my own) and get involved in interests outside of our marriage. This seems to give me a break and new energy to come back and be a good friend again and again.

i still wish there was a miracle cure at times as I long for the uplift and encouragement that I used to get from my spouse. I seek these things from friends and family instead.

Do you think it is harder for a woman living with a despressed man? I sometimes think our inbuilt desire to be cared for, protected and loved makes is harder for a woman to have to be the strong one all the time. I’m interested in others views on this.

I guess my long term fear is that another man will come along and make me feel these things again and it would be tempting to respond.

March 10, 2011 at 7:40 am
(25) Helen says:

Hi Lynn, my husband too suffers with depression. it started when i was training for my career. at first i didnt think it was depression i thought it was mid life crisis, as he spent alot of time on appearance and said he was happier at work than at home? he also became very close to a work collegue, i did suspect an affair, it was shortly after this that he left me and his family, only for a few hours, but judging by his text messages i think he had a breakdown. desctructive behavoiur contined for a few weeks until i persuaded him to see gp. now on tablets, things went from bad to worse and we broke but now back together, we moved to have a fresh start for all of us, but he seems to be slipping backwards, i try to help, but to be honest am struglling and have been for months to deal with our financial crisis, along with working full time and looking after our son. i feel like a single parent sometimes and sometimes wish i had the loving, caring husband i married. he blames me for his moods, feel like i have to be constantly happy all the time. im at my wits end, as i feel like ive been on a rollercoaster for two years.

August 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm
(26) gina says:

HI Lynn
I have been married to my husband almost 34 yrs. We married at age 18 and the first 3 yrs of marriage were hell due to his mood swings, like Dr Jeykl Mr Hyde. I never knew who was coming home. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown a counselor told me, and we divorced after marriage counseling did not resolve things. No medical staff saw that my husband had some type of depression issue. About 6 mos later we remarried and that was 31 yrs ago. During this time he has mood swings come and go and depression issues that only “I” see in how he acts at home and behaves with me and talks to me (clams up, doen’st want to discuss things, i’m on eggshells often, nothign I do or say is right, little things /petty set him off into a huff and he shuts down emotionally and pouts. His eyes look ‘dead’ like no soul is in there. I have put myself into therapy becuase I love him and he won’t seek help. He doesn’t see the problem. A year ago I was ready to leave and live elsewhere and out of the blue he turned around into the man I fell in love with and this stayed almost a year with a few ‘mood’ episodes that lasted a day max. this year i needed surgery and it was more involved leaving me needing care for many weeks instead of a few days and his ugly behavior and emotional removal happened towards me for almost 4 wks. this shocked me. he cared for me without any intimacy, love, emotion or anything. it just about killed me. i am going back to my therapist to keep my sanity. so long story short: from internet research I ‘know” he has depression and I choose my own life and learn to not allow his negative behaviors to affect me. It’s taking time, but I don’t know what else to do.

October 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm
(27) Lisa says:

Just to let you know, you are understood and keep your wits about you.Know that how you are feeling is validated by the majority and we whom have spouses for whatever reason that are going thru this light to extreme challenge in their life,we give the support,love and uderstanding that we do,taking the lesser in verbal appreciation.I to amexperiencing the demands of moodiness and depression in my husband of almost 2 years..I act silent thru the offenses and the zero credit of accomplishments.I am patient by nature my friend.My husband and i married 20 months this coming Feburary.It was beautiful and long awaited for. This is newto me and look forward to reading more on the subject. Motivational tapes and tapes on this very subject are truely enlightening.They keep you your upbeat and positive self and remind you, as i did, that while we are the efforting supporters in ours and that of our spouses,life is remarkable and wondrous and there is a means to cope.You sound like a wonderful person and i send you the best.

August 18, 2007 at 3:30 pm
(28) carol says:

It’s been over a year now for me. My husband suffered his second relapse about 3 months ago. If I could give up hope of ever being cared for, I would be alot better off. The up and down trend of his peronality and health are simply torture. This should be the best time of our lives, and I feel like it is over. I probably should leave him for both our sakes, but like everything else, I will have to arrange everything. I am a happy person by nature and I keep fooling myself into hope for a brighter future, but does anyone really think there might be one. I thought he was better, but since the relapse I wonder if that is possible.

August 23, 2007 at 10:23 am
(29) Allie says:

I am in my late 20′s living with a husband depressed for the 3rd time in a year. Is there anyone who can relate to my situation? Is there anyone who is told each time the depression hits that he no longer knows if he loves you or wants to be with you? That he believes something is wrong and it must have to do with the marriage? I try and convince myself it is not truly him talking, but it gets harder every time.

August 29, 2007 at 10:25 pm
(30) Teresa says:

I think my husband is depressed. He seems fine one minute then he gets really angry. He says horrible things to me and tells me he has nothing to be happy about. He is only 22 years old. He has had a lot of things happen to his family recently and I think that is what started it. I want to make him feel better, but there is nothing I can do or say to calm him down. He shows more anger than sadness, but I believe he truly is sad. He has talked about suicide and it really scares me. He refuses to go to a doctor or get help. I don’t know what to do. I saw mostly comments and questions on this page and very few answers. Hopefully someone out there can give me some advice. Please help!

September 6, 2007 at 10:35 pm
(31) Amy says:

Anybody else have a depressed spouse who self medicates with alcohol?

September 12, 2007 at 5:01 am
(32) Lynn says:

For Amy
My husband began to self-medicate. I was only suspicious at first and thought I might just be imagining it, until one day I caught him red-handed sneaking spirits and drinking it straight from the bottle. Turned out this was good as we could at last talk about it. Both parties need to want to work it out. We started by getting rid of all alcohol in the house and then agreed on having just six small bottles of beer for drinking over the weekend each week so that there was a measured amount only available. It meant he had to face the fact that he had a problem and then eventually went for some counselling for depression. This meant we could address the real problem. I don’t have any ideal answers, but keep talking about it with your husband. I know if I hadn’t been able to confront this symptomatic problem, the self-medication would have become the problem. Anti-depressants are safer than alcoholism.

For Teresa
I think anger is very symptomatic of depression, far more so than the steriotypical picture of sadness. My husband gets very snappy and often with little real justification. I used to think I was over reacting but now my teenage daughters notice this trait also. Tell your husband you need him to go to the doctor to stop you worrying, hopefully this will appear to make the problem yours not his, and go with him. Then you will have the opportunity to voice your concerns with someone to advise you both. Hope this is helpful. Good luck.

July 16, 2011 at 4:55 am
(33) Goldie says:

My husband has suffered from clinical depression for at least three years but probably longer. He has left the family home three times in the past two years. He is angry and irritable a lot of the time, not only with me but also with our two teenage sons. At the moment he is on a new medication so we’ll see how this works out. It is easy to forget he is suffering because at times he is rational and reasonable and I get a glimpse of how things could be. I am worried how this has affected the youngest who is only fifteen and has seen the worst of his Dad. I am at my wits end. I feel he is draining the life out of me. It helps to read these posts as I can see that this really isn’t about me or our relationship as most of the writers could be describing my life.
I have decided that all I can do is try to lead my own life and stay healthy myself. I am honest with my children about their Dad’s illness and we try to see past my husband’s behaviour to the good man he really is. I am joining a support group for relatives of sufferers and trying to stay positive.

October 3, 2007 at 5:21 am
(34) tricia says:

my husband has suffered depression for over 20 years, (we have been married 27) the past 3 years have been hell, especially the last couple of months, he has spoken about suicide, this morning he has walked out of the house, without me knowing, I have no idea if he is coming back! I have supported him throughout all of this with very little help from anyone. (no-one else knows apart from his doctor)its like treading on egg shells all the time, and what DO you say to the children? Life is put on hold, always afraid to plan anything ‘just in case’, medications have never worked, we know that healthy eating and exercise work for him, but when he’s feeling down, its the last thing he wants to do! I’ve never considered leaving because, hey I love the guy, but how do I cope?

October 3, 2007 at 8:03 pm
(35) Cathy says:

Reading these comments have helped. My husband has cancer, is in remission, and becomes very anxious and depressed prior to each 3 month checkup. He does not want to hear from me that he is depresed and will not take medication. This past week has been a nightmare because of his constant criticism and angry outbursts. Today, I went to the doctor who prescribed anti-anxiety medication for me; and I feel calmer already.

October 9, 2007 at 9:22 am
(36) Annette says:

My husband suffers from depression as well. It is effecting our relationship. With all the mediations he is on he sleeps a lot, no compassion or sexual activity at all. I try to reach out but he rejects me all the time. When I try to talk to him he thinks and I am nagging him and gets very angry with me. He now has to take another pill when he fells this anger coming on because he scares me. He has come after me to hit me but as never did it. He swears and as bad gesters at me when he gets angry. We have been married for 34 years. I don’t know if I can go another year with him. I love him very much but I dislike the person he has turned out to be. Any advise. Thanks for the reponse.

October 27, 2007 at 1:26 am
(37) Nikole Barrett says:

My husband and I are very young in our marriage-3 years to be exact. He always treated me like a princess and loved that I was independent and fun to be around, and enjoyed my conversation. Well, now he is quick to shut me up, thinks I am annoying, quick to be angry, and thinks I don’t have anything to say of importance. BUT, on other days he thinks the world of me, enjoys my company, and cannot stop talking to me. So, I deal with the depression and anxiety by being independent, not depending on my spouse for emotional comfort-because he can’t even handle his own emotions. Believe me, I cry my tears and get sad that my husband is not who I married, but I know he is hiding in there somewhere. The key to living life-just live it as if you were single, and enjoy the times your spouse wants to be a couple and can share love.

November 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm
(38) Tony says:

My wife suffers depression and it has been hard on our marriage as well as our young (7 and 9) boys. She says she wants a more compassionate husband but when I attempt to spend time with her it always ends in the kitchen sink coming my way. It is extremely difficult to be supportive when I tend to be the target of the anger part of her depression. It is almost impossible to be supportive when that anger is directed at the children. I have found that short little episodes of closeness and tenderness work to bring her out of her deepest funks. Anything longer than 15 minutes and I become the target of the problem de jour.

It is hard when nothing you do seems to be good enough.

April 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm
(39) Linda says:

Tony, I had to comment when I saw you use the word “funk”. That is how I describe my husbands moods.
He seems to get his funk on about every 3-4 months and lasts for 3-4 weeks. His family on both sides has a long history of depression and some mental illness. He blames everything on the rest of the world, especially me, and that it could all be fixed by having more sex. He was raised in a very “black and white” home, there was no inbetween, physically, mentally and emotionaly abusive home.

I know he has a deep loving side and I so long for that relationship, but I fear it will never come about and I will become the depressed, lonely and alone person.

We have 2 young children that I try to protect from as much of it as I can and I don’t have time to play silly blame games or whatever it is he is doing.

How do you get a horse to water AND make them drink a big big gulp of it!

December 18, 2007 at 1:35 pm
(40) Anna says:

I am amazed at the number of us supporting our partners through their depression. I thought I was alone. I recently found out my sister went through the same thing, and with the help of friends, medication, and counseilng, has “found” the man she married again. I have hope that there is help.
My husband meets with a doctor next week to hopefully get started on medication. I am worried.
I have spent the last 20 years running the house, accomodating his negativety, constantly walking on eggshells, and coming up with excuses to friends and family as to why I won’t bring a child into this relationship. I don’t know from minute to minute if I’m with my happy, smart, supportive spouse, or the one consumed by depression.
I wish I would have left early in the relationship. If I knew then what I do now, I would have left. If you are in a new relationship, consider leaving. The burden is too large, and it isn’t right to have to give up your future. Now I’ve invested and given up too much to walk away. I truly do love him, even when the depression says he doesn’t love me. The best source of support has come from the readers digest webpage “Coping with a depressed spouse.”

January 5, 2008 at 8:48 pm
(41) margaret says:

I am finally realizing that my husband has had a problem with depression throughout most of our 24 year marriage. I am also learning about my own codependency, and I understand that my codependency is probably the reason I did not realize/look seriously at my husband’s condition earlier. My problem is that my husband “doesn’t believe” in psychology and “hates” doctors. Therefore, he refuses to get any help. I understand this may be part of the illness, but that doesn’t help me any. I am also at the point of leaving the marriage. His depression has taken it’s tole on me and our children.

January 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm
(42) sandi says:

I am sorry this is so long but I have a lot of things I need to get out, so here goes.My husband and I have been married for 6 yrs. now, and he has been depressed more or less the entire time. We are not a couple of kids, I am 40 and he is 54. We only new each other for 5 months when we got married(he was in a big hurry and now I know why). That was by far the stupidest thing Ive ever done. If I could go back I would not walk, I would not run, I would fly like a bat out of hell to the nearest exit! Now you might think thats cold of me and to tell you the truth just typing those words makes me feel cold hearted and guilty. But make no mistake I do love him, just no longer in a romantic sense, its what you call a willful love, a committed love. When you have to take care of someone who at times is down right child-like, the romance goes right out the window. He can barely manage to go to work much less take care of anything around the house(grass cutting,home maintenance etc.) I have to take care of all of that and him, which includes making sure he keeps his doctors appointments, making sure he takes his medicine, making sure he takes a bath etc. You get my point. I am growing increasingly weary and when he is not at work all he wants to do is lay on the couch and escape into the television or sleep. No going out, nothing! We have been to doctors and tried many different medications and none of them have worked for very long. I had recently begun to think that maybe he was treatment resistant but my gut instinct says no! You see medication is only part of the treatment the patient has to want to get better, they have to try. Apparently my husband does not.Come to find out he’s been depressed his whole life and he seems to want to stay that way. He seems to like it! The depression is like a big warm fuzzy blanket that he just wraps himself up in. Depression is what he knows, its what he does, and he does it better than anything else. If you think that depression does not work that way, think again. Now, I have made a commitment to him and to leave would not be the answer, not for him and even more so not for me. The challenge I now face is to take care of me. To learn to be happy even when he is not. To try and learn not to feel guilty for taking time out for myself. And to learn to enjoy doing things by myself which isn’t easy. After all thats why people get married, to have someone in this world to share there life with. Unfortunately for me and so many others out there, this is a very lonely world.

January 25, 2008 at 12:56 am
(43) Susie says:

My boyfriend of 5 years is depressed and drinking all the time. We don’t live together, which is something he wanted to happen quickly. It was my choice to wait b/c of the children involved. I’m so weary of his rages, all nighter drinking binges, sleeping all day, staying in his cave (bedroom) with stupid tv and now, since I’ve broken up with him for the 5th time–frustrated all the time–medicine isn’t working–his new addiction to porn. I haven’t talked to his family, they believe I’m the crazy lady. And indeed, I have gone over the edge in shear pain not realizing what I was dealing with and reacting. I know I should run, but I love this man with every fiber of my being. What should I do?

January 28, 2008 at 12:12 am
(44) cindy says:

I am in the same boat. Every morning I wake up and wait to hear his “hello” so I know what kind of day it’s going to be. I can tell before he can that he’s headed down the depression path with what begin as subtle changes in his personality, even his appearance. The worst part is when he’s teetering. When he’s really, really bad, he just sleeps. But, when he’s in between, he picks at every word I say. Then I’ll let my guard down, say something that doesn’t seem like a big deal, and he’ll start the fight of fights. A cold war where we may not speak for days cause he just wants to hash and rehash and pick at everything I do. So, I choose to not engage and just go silent. I would never leave because he is awesome to the kids and awesome when he’s not “there”. And I could never picture custody issues and picking my kids up from someone else’s house. I stay hopeful. We’ve had mild success with homeopathic treatments after all the anti d’s have stopped working. It is a small relief to hear others have similar experiences. I crave the understanding of someone else. It can be very lonely. And yes, I have become a whiz at making up excuses. I live my own life much of the time…me and my kids. I’m so sad.

February 2, 2008 at 1:14 pm
(45) Paul says:

My wife has been depressed, on and off (mostly on) for 20 years. We’ve been married for 30 and I still remember the sweet and happy girl she was. That memory is part of the torture I now live through. She has sought treatment, but only the kind you can find in a bottle. Healthy eating, exercise, anything that requires doing something that she doesn’t want to do is not even considered. I’m a long way from perfect, but she assuiduously recalls my every shortcoming, even from the early days of our marriage, while the many efforts I have made to make her feel loved and wanted are completely forgotten (I mean literally). One of the tough parts for me is that I still have sexual desires, while she has absolutely none. Any attempt to even talk about this issue ends in disaster. There are treatments available, and I think the thing that kills me is not that she doesn’t want me, but that she doesn’t want to want me. Maybe it’s just a guy thing, but this is a real blow to my self respect and I think I’m starting down that same path toward depression. Anyone out there found a way to deal with this issue?

February 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm
(46) Scott says:

Paul,
I understand your point of view as I do your Wives point of view as I have been on both sides of the depression issue. Whe I was going through depression I did not want to accept that things in my life were the way that they were supposed to be. That the people that were in my life actually loved me. I tried medication through a DR. which put me in the hospital and nearly killed me. What in the end brought me out of it was a slow gradual change in my way of thinking. I had to silence the voice in my head that said there were problems that I was not in control of. My Spouse, who I Love dearly, was treated horribly during this time. Anything that I could say that would hurt her I did. I did not repond to her in a husbandly fassion. It was not that I did not want to it was more that I couldn’t. But in the end it was her sticking by my side for almost two years that helped to silence the voices and bring me back.
From your perspective, I am currently going through this same thing with my wife. the long hard road I went down took its toll on her spiralling her into the same place that I was. Fortunatly having been through all this already I know what it is that she is going through. Men and women respond to depression in different ways. One of them is sexually. When I was depressed I wanted sex all the time, and now that she is depressed she does not want it at all. Im sorry to tell you that even though you might consider it a blow to your manhood, its not meant like that. Not wanting to go through this particular stage myself I started a card game with my wife. I did this to start to change her way of thinking about things. I went and bought a set of 3×5 notecards and wrote simple little things that either on of us can do for the other. I kept them nonsexual, things such as just sitting and holding the others hand to a massage. The important thing is physical contact in a nonthreatening manner. We each draw at random 1 card a day and do the action recoded on the card we draw. This very simple thing can do so much in your personal physical relationship as well as your emotional bond and hers. Just being touched by a massage or holding hands or a hugg can have dramatic effects on her emotional state if she feels it is not for a prelude to sex. It wont be a change overnight and it may take a while to accomplish. But with God’s support and your will to not quit, it will make a difference, one way or another.

February 13, 2008 at 5:42 pm
(47) Paul says:

Scott,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. It’s nice to hear from someone who has seen it from both sides. I won’t give up.

February 18, 2008 at 6:37 pm
(48) Married-to-Depression says:

This has been a great discussion. The road to recovery for the depressed person is one that is so very difficult and isolating. Having your spouse alongside you in an unconditionally supportive manner is extremely beneficial. The problem arises when the spouse of the depressed gets worn down by being the rescuer, the caretaker, the healthy one…this is one problem to watch if you are in this position. Take care of yourself, seek individual therapy, reach out to your family and close friends, don’t keep it too much of a terrible secret, be kind to yourself and be optimistic. Commitment and perseverence – you can do it! I’ve been there, we’ve gone through the very worst of depression but go through our own challenges daily. As the spouse of a (once) severely depressed, I can only say to hold on – it can get better if you seek proper support.

MTD
http://www.married-to-depression.blogspot.com

February 19, 2008 at 2:47 pm
(49) Anna says:

It has now been over a month since my spouse has been on medication, and it has been a God send. I’m still fearful that it won’t last, but after several weeks of not walking on eggshells, I’m beginning to find joy in our relationship. Its a moment of needed rest.

To the person who commented that your partner is turning toward drinking and pornography, and continuing to be critical, emotionally abuseive, and voicing the same concern again and again – this is all part of “the depression.” These are common often unvoiced, symptoms of an illness that needs medical and psychological attention.

Please also visit: depressionfallout.com for a more interactive message board, and read Anne Sheffeild’s book “How to Survive When They’re Depressed.” There are many suggestions on how to help your partner seek medical assistance, even when they are resistent. And better yet, support for yourself!

February 23, 2008 at 11:11 am
(50) Thom says:

I noticed something as I read through the comments here. The women with depressed husbands are asking how they can help. They are looking for ways “in” to help. The “husbands” are looking to “take care of myself” as “key” and “I’m actually glad she is at work”. Looking for ways “out”. Very selfish people these “husbands”. I am a husband who has been severly depressed most of my live without treatment. (42 years old.). My wife is very supportive and always tries to help. I try very hard not to burden her with it. But, if she was the one depressed….I would never “be glad” she is away. These men will soon be divorced I am sure. You are far too selfish to be a husband. You’re not a giver…you are a taker. Maybe that is why she is depressed.

March 2, 2008 at 8:01 pm
(51) Jane says:

To Amy,
I got what you were asking and I am that person. My kids are my passion and I love the days that my husband goes to work so that I don’t have to feel his negativity and irritability. I want alcohol around 5:00 pm when I know he is coming home. I find myself becoming more depressed and alcohol helps me deal with how I feel around my depressed husband. I am so glad to hear someone else say that.

March 20, 2008 at 12:20 am
(52) Liz says:

I am sitting here crying my eyes out as I read about my life in others comments. I sought help for my depression and anxiety several years ago and have responded great to medication and counseling. During my journey, it has become strongly evident that my husband is depressed as well. He very recently went to his first counseling appt, but since he is a long haul truck driver it makes everything 10 x harder. As of now, it has been 6 days since he called or returned by calls. He went 10 days back in November I feel so sick and just don;t know what to do. I have different emotions moment to moment. Like another poster, I have considered leaving too many times to count, but at the end of the day I just can’t do it. I can’t imagine putting our daughter (7) through that, and am so worried that I would regret it. I just feel really, really lonely, and have no idea what it would feel like to be taken care of by him. I always tell him its a good thing I’m not needy. :(

March 24, 2008 at 6:57 am
(53) -T says:

I, too, am coping with my own mild depression but my husband’s depression has taken over our household. I realize he’s sick but its getting to a breaking point for me.

Two weeks ago, his rage boiled over again and he pinned me to a wall with his hands around my throat. This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve dealt with it a few times in the past. The only difference was that our brand new baby (our first) was in the bassinet and he pushed me into it. The baby was fine but the potential was there to hurt the baby.

I told him either he gets put on medication or I’m taking our son and leaving him for good. He went on the medication and now two weeks later its going right back to how it was.

I know many of you are probably screaming, “leave him!” but you don’t know the half of it. He and I were together 3+ years before we married and now together for 8 total. I didn’t know until it was too late that he was mentally abused and neglected by his family until recently. Add into that a failed attempt at the military (and someone teaching him how to be violent) and the nightmare exploded. He never laid a hand on me until they taught him how to be violent.

I’m at a breaking point. I’m miserable in our marriage. We don’t have the loving relationship we did in the beginning (or the few times I cling to since then), he isn’t strong and doesnt take care of me ever. When he’s upset, I am supportive. When I’m upset, I’m “dumping” on him.

I realize he’s depressed but I don’t have a chance to live my life either. I guess if I have to be honest, I don’t leave because I do love him but also because I’m afraid to be alone. I guess like most battered wives, we’re better off being hit than alone. I know it isn’t him though – its what he’s become and its the depression/anxiety/anger towards his family that he’s taking out on me. Luckily, since the medication, he hasn’t done that. He knows if it happens again, I’ll leave. I just hope I don’t have to. I’m so afraid of the custody battle (his parents have a ton of money and we don’t) and I can’t lose my son. That’s another reason I don’t just up and leave.

Depression hurts – in so many ways. Women: please don’t try to change him or help him. Find a guy who’s already the way you want him (or with faults you can easily accept). It just isn’t worth being tied into something you can’t easily sever. It just isn’t worth it.

April 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm
(54) KFC says:

I am dealing with my wife who is severely depressed and resisting treatment, instead insisting that her current state is “all my fault”.

I feel so helpless watching her spiral out of control, taking our marriage with it. She threatens divorce daily and seems to be moving in that direction.

I love her dearly, and can remember so vividly what kind of person she really is. I miss her.

April 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm
(55) Erika says:

I am unable to find a “live” support group for people living with spouses suffering from depression. I have been living with this for more than 20 years. My friends, and our friends, have been alienated by contact with my husband. People are judgmental and intolerant of couples who aren’t “pleasant” or “happy.” Even those who are compassionate have a difficult time with it. My energy is sapped. I need a group of people I can share with, who won’t judge me and who have a common experience. I have searched the web and not found anything. I go to counseling to deal with the situation and it helps. But I sure would like a group.

May 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm
(56) beth says:

Erika are you still out there looking for an actual support group? I too am looking for one. Maybe we could be one for each other, even if we do not live in the same state/city.

June 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm
(57) Ellie says:

I would like to join, please. I’ve lived with this for almost 30 years.

April 11, 2008 at 9:59 pm
(58) Dawn says:

I am living in a world where I can not treat my depression. I have no insurance because my husband lost his job and he says that I can’t be depressed because when there is hope there is no reason for it. I have an anger problem, a depression problem, an anxiety problem, an OCD and bipolar problem – but my spouse is so anti-meds that I couldn’t get his support if I tried. He is a good, positive husband – but I am stuck living in a virtual prison while my life passes me by. My mom has a lot of mental illness – so there is definitely a chance I do as well.

April 17, 2008 at 9:44 am
(59) Jim says:

I have been living with my favorite girl for almost a year now. We have been together for almost three years. She is only 25 and dealing with depression. She takes medication, which seems to help her feel a bit better, however her sex drive has disappeared, and she can’t get through a day without sleeping for 2 or 3 hours. I also endure a negative rant on a daily basis about how she hates people…how everyone makes their problems her problems, blah, blah, blah. Same thing everyday. It’s hard to listen to. Recently her Doctor changed her medication to try and help her sex drive, and she hasn’t left the house for three days. She phones me every hour crying. I’m getting worried about her job, as I can’t remember the last time she put in a full five day work week.

This is one of the sweetest, most beautiful girls you have ever seen…I love her so much. I try to coax her into more positive thoughts, and more physical activity (as I have read this helps). She just gets mad and says she can’t…and accuses me of not knowing what she is going through and how hard her life is. Then she goes to sleep while I make dinner or take the dog for a walk. (things we should be doing together) From my point of view, she has it pretty good (great job, beautiful house, amazing new puppy who loves her, I cook her meals every night while she naps after work, and pack her lunch every morning while she gets ready to go, her parents are doing great, and me…who loves her and hugs her all that I can, and treat her like a princess…she still can’t see the positive. “her life is sooo hard”…I don’t get it. I have never before in my life actually loved someone like this and wanted to make them happy. It’s so hard because it hust doesn’t get better. We are not married, but she has been picking out rings. I want to marry her (the sweet part of her), but it seems like a bad idea to sign up for a lifetime of this.

Looking for answers.

April 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm
(60) jewel says:

Susie…….RRRRRUUUUUNNNNNN!!!!!!

April 17, 2008 at 5:22 pm
(61) Jewel says:

Dawn, Wal mart sells a generic brand of prozac at the pharmacy. Only 4 dollars. A doctor can decribe it for you. We don’t have much money either. We really couldn’t afford a visit one time for my husband to be treated and we set our pride aside and told them we had no money for a visit. The doctor was so nice that he treated my husband for free. So if you really can’t afford even one visit just aske around and be honest with them. Having someone say no is better than trying to live in depression. good luck

April 17, 2008 at 5:54 pm
(62) Jewel says:

To Those Who Love Your Depressed Spouse:
Hope this isn’t too long. I have many mixed emotions on this topic. Susie, I’m sorry for telling you to run. Just a spur of the moment thing. I know how much love can hold you to a person, but I also know how a depressed spouse can bring you down.

I have to say, I’m so glad I checked out this website. I was beginning to think I was all alone in this world of marriage and depression.

On to my story….
My husband is the greatest man alive. I love him deeply. Same school. Same church. Same personality. We were always the life of the party. Especially him! We didn’t really date, was just good friends. We dated 6 months and he proposed…we were married 6 months after that. during our dating He was so loving and couldn’t keep his hands off me. (we abstained till marriage) Seems like a few months after we were married he changed. we’ve been married alomst three years now. We have a 1 and 1/2 old baby. I Have many mixed emotions. I have been through his anger and laziness and tears. He won’t take his medicine. He had thrown stuff at me, lied, verbally cheated and drives off all the time, but NEVER has he stayed mad at me. He always comes and apologizes. For that, I stay and love him unconditionally. I do worry about our marriage and our child.
My husband doesn’t hate me of our child….he hates himself. Hates himself for putting me through all this, for being angry, for throwing tantrums and being lazy(he’s out of the laziness now. He really HATES himself. How do you help someone forgive and love themselves? It is said if you commit suicide that you automatically go to hell. He thinks he deserves hell for all the hell that he’s put me through.
It’s very sad and I don’t know what to say anymore to help him through it. The other night I found him curled up in a fetal position in the corner of the bedroom. Not crying. Just no feelin. We don’t have many friends. No one we can talk to. We’ve always talked to each other. Now we don’t know what to do.
I would never leave him cause he would for sure kill himself…i couldn’t live with that. I think the best advice i’ve heard is what someone said on here about being their friend…not expect them to be lovey or sexy all the time…My husband hasn’t touched me in over a month. And yet, I love him. I miss the man i married and would do anything to get that man back, but sometimes i don’t want to wait 10 or 15 years for it to happen.
We’re reading a book called “the ladder out of depression” Don’t remember authors name.

I need help to cope and to show my husband how to love himselg the way i love him.
any advice is appreciated

April 20, 2008 at 3:56 pm
(63) KW says:

I’ve been with a depressed spouse for 20+ years, and it DOES NOT ever get better, especially if meds get involved. She used to be mildly depressed, and started on zoloft 15 yrs or so ago, and now is on her umpteenth different antidepressant, and has developed a Xanax habit (REAL FUN)..she’ll be fine for a week or 2 and then it all comes back to everything being my fault….everything sucks…nobody cares…blah blah blah…
I have endured this endless nightmare for my daughter’s sake, and now that she is 15, I am counting the years down, waiting for her to be in college or on her own, and when it feels right and OK, I’m leaving. To those who might say that’s selfish…YES IT IS! We only get one shot at life, my clock is ticking, and I have been in spouse induced sadness hell for years now, and am now myself getting very depressed…I want out, and I want my life back! Stay in it to support and protect your kids, but otherwise…GET OUT…it’s a chronic disease, it does not get better, and it WILL eventually wear down even the most resillient, upbeat person…which I once was! It’s nice to think you can save someone, but it’s a suicide mission. I do, and have loved my wife with all my heart, but I’m in love with the memory of who she was, or can briefly be, but despise who she’s become…I don’t want to spend my last 20 years on earth reasoning with the unreasonable, consoling the inconsolable, I’m tired of being fooled by the 1 or 2 month “normal” phase just to slide into 6 or 8 months of sheer mind numbing hell…I’m just too drained and I know when I’ve been defeated by something way bigger than I can handle anymore. For better or worse, in sickness and in health…I know I uttered those words, and I am ashamed I can’t live up to them, but as I said..I admit defeat. Good luck to you all out there.

April 28, 2008 at 10:24 am
(64) TIM says:

WHAT A BUNCH OF COMMENTS…I SEEM TO RELATE TO ALL OF THIS IN SOME SMALL WAY OR ANOTHER. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A POSSITIVE PERSON, ONE WHO IS ABLE TO FIND GOOD, OR JOY, OR SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS IN ANY SITUATION, YET MY WIFE OF FIVE YEARS SEEMS TO BE THE POLAR OPPOSITE. WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR FIVE YEARS. UNTIL ME, SHE HAS NEVER HAD A MAN IN HER LIFE THAT HAS LOVED HER. SHE HAS BEEN ABUSED IN SOME WAY BY HER FATHER, BROTHER, & HER FIRST HUSBAND. I DON’T IN ANYWAY WANT TO SAY I’M A VICTIM, BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL LIKE ONE, BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU OUT THERE THAT SUFFER FROM DEPRESSION IN OR AROUND YOUR LIFE, I THINK @ TIMES, THE HARDEST PART FOR ME IS THAT MY JOY THAT CAN BE CONTAGIOUS @ MY WORK, CHURCH OR OTHER SITUATIONS JUST SEEMS TO RUB MY WIFE THE WRONG WAY…IT SEEMS TO JUST PISS HER OFF. I TRY VERY HARD TO ENCOURAGE HER, BUILD HER UP WITH LOVING COMMENTS, IN SO MANY WORDS, “CHEER HER ON” IN HER BATTLE AGAINST DEPRESSION. I HAVE JUST STARTED TO DO EXTENSIVE RESEARCH ON THE SUBJECT OF DEPRESSION. I BELIEVE IN MY WIFE, I BELIEVE IN HER DESIRE TO GET WELL, I DON’T TAKE HER DEPRESSION PERSONALLY & MOST OF ALL I LOVE, ADORE & CARE FOR HER DEEPLY. FOR ALL OF YOU SUFFERING WITH DEPRESSED SPOUSES…KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, THOSE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE THAT TELL YOU TO RUN, HAVE PROBABLY RAN FROM EVERYTHING IN THEIR LIFE THAT HAS EVER BEEN DIFFICULT OR ARE RUNNING FROM SOMETHING AS YOU READ THIS LETTER & TO THOSE WHO ARE BATTLING WITH DEPRESSION…”THERE IS HOPE”…”YOU CAN BE HAPPY!!!” I HOPE IN SOME WAY I HAVE ENCOURAGED SOMEONE TODAY….YOUR COMMENTS HAVE GIVEN ME ALITTLE MORE HOPE MYSELF. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. TIM

May 16, 2008 at 10:51 am
(65) Tracy says:

I am happy I found this site. I am dealing with a husband who had a major depression two years ago. At the time, he insisted the depression was due to issues with our house at the time. The issues were resolved, we sold the house and immediately – he went back into a depressive state. Depression runs in his family. Now that he realizes that the house was not the issue (it was just the straw that broke the camel’s back)he has decided that it must be me and our marriage that make him miserable. He has totally withdrawn. When he was on antidepressants, he said he craved alcohol and drank everyday. He snuck around to do so because he knew I disapproved. He found a female friend and snuck around with her. We survived that, though I don’t believe she has ever been out of the picture. He has just gotten back on medication, but he has moved out of our new house, leaving me to care for our three kids. He comes back every other night or so to see the kids and totally ignores me. If I try to talk to him – it just agitates him. He says he feels nothing. He has an appointment with a psychiatrist next week, but I don’t know how much more I can take. This has been a roller coaster ride. I don’t want him to leave. I don’t want to be without him. At the same time, I so miss the person that he was. He is not the same at all and I don’t know that he ever will be. I feel more like my husband died and I am grieving. I want to help and try to be supportive, but I get nothing in return. I am so sad myself and worry that I will end up depressed and then how will I care for our three young children.

May 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm
(66) Sue says:

It is so very good to read all these comments and know that I’m not the only one dealing with a depressed spouse. It took me a long time to realize that it really was NOT me cuasing the difficulties in our marriage – for of course I was the one always blamed. Hard to believe that someone so intelligent would not realize that even though his mother had been on Prozac the last 25 years of her life, and his father drank because of depression, and his brother is on anti-anxiety drugs, that this was what was bothering my own husband. This is why he continually pushes all the household tasks onto me (even with 5 sons, my own fulltime teaching job and a farm to run), constantly tells me he is “too tired” to deal with things, can’t keep track of any detail, and is always gloom and doom. My own personality is very much the opposite, but as a strongly empathetic person, it sure is easy to get sucked down yourself! At least I’ve learned to watch out for that. Worse part is, he is in major denial and absolutely refuses to ask for help. I’ve made numerous appointments and tried to go with him, only to find out he’s cancelled them. Then he promises to try alternative therapies – like exercising (he is quite overweight), but of course fails to follow through after a while.
To help take care of myself I’ve recently returned to graduate school, become much happier, and the resentment on his part is palpable. I’ve learned that other people really do think I’m pretty wonderful and amazing, and not just a pain. I realize how learning to deal with this has forced me to grow in ways I never would have otherwise. Which is great, but I still long for happier days with my spouse, some affection and affirmation – and for my kids sake, as well as my own. Because I do love him, and I want to spend many more years with him, but it is so very, very hard. Now my classes are over for the summer, and I absolutely dread three months without much interaction with my support group (who don’t even realize this is what they are!). Definitely my most intense spiritual battle.

May 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(67) Anonymous says:

OK, here’s where I am. Have been with my husband 6 years, married for almost 3. He’s been depressed almost the entire time, with short breaks, the longest when we first met and then other short bits when I thought things would get better but for every gain we fall back again a bit. Slow improvement, but it doesn’t look to me like we’ll ever have a normal life.

I’m so so tired. His constant edginess and tension, the angry blow-ups over every little thing I do. Constant smoking. Occasional (about once per year) bouts of drunken abusiveness. The loneliness of our total lack of a social life. The horrible costs of his medication and therapy. The enormous debts he incurred during the worst of his illness. The possibility that I may never be confident enough in his health to have a child with him. Given his terribly unhealthy lifestyle and family history, the near-certainty that he’ll develop serious health problems within a decade, and that I’ll be a widow within, say, two.

I can’t imagine life without him – I really, truly do love him – but the rational part of my brain keeps pointing this out to me. How do other people handle this? Sometimes now I wish that I’d run the other way when I had met him, had not been so understanding about what seemed like quirks, had evaluated the relationship more coolly. What will I think of that decision when I’m 50? Someone please answer.

May 31, 2008 at 12:35 pm
(68) Chris says:

For those of you with kids, staying in your misery BECAUSE of them…I ask you, just how are they benefitting from the situation? I ask, because I asked myself the same for three years, argued with myself about which would be more harmful to them emotionally…divorce and who knows what kind of relationship with dad, or living with it every day. As my husband left and wanted out of our life every other week or so, I got a lot of time to compare how life could be versus how we were living it, and to ponder on how the kids would be affected (who were one and two years old at the time.) With daddy home, they got a few minutes of play time with him each day and a story at night, if he stayed home. They had to be kept out of his way, away from violent TV shows he watched. They got to hear our arguring about why he doesn’t want to take care of himself. They got to constantly beg for attention they weren’t getting because we were wrapped up in hours long debate, analysis, ridiculous arguements about who he thought I was staring at as I walked passed a cafe. They got to search through a swamp, one strapped to my front, one to my back, looking for daddy, calling for him, after finding suicide notes one afternoon. They got to watch him disappear in anger for days, and then reappear. They got to watch mommy cry in despair and they got to cry for daddy and ask when they would see him again. The got the answer “I have no idea”. They got a mommy who was alternately angry and sad, not knowing how to fix the situation, not knowing if there would be any money left in the bank account for food or a doctor visit, because daddy had a compulsive spending issue, and a drug habit. They got a great dad when he decided to take his meds and a pitiful, sad angry wreck of a person when he decided he didn’t want to be bound to any pill. I really relate to your words “walking on eggshells, “mind numbing”….lots of pain and torture.

When he was gone for a while, I got to see the beauty of my children, of our surroundings, of simple pleasures, giving undivided attention to two very young beings who needed a stable loving atmosphere, of walking freely through our home, of the silence of a tv turned OFF, of not worrying how a gesture or comment of mine might be misconstrued.

So much of what many of you say rings true for me…how the affection was there at the beginning, how it is now deviod of fun intimacy, caring, sharing, how it’s all now just a burden, and how it’s all somehow MY fault. But it’s not. We are responsible for our own grown selves. We can change ONLY how we act and react. These sick and depressed spouses will only get better if they WANT to. If we continue to care for them and they are not putting in any effort, we are enabling them to remain sick. They have a choice. And so do you.

Daddy left one day, flew 2000 miles away, said he was starting divorce proceedings in the state where we were married. That was the end for me. I got off the rollercoaster. He begged to try again, he vowed to seek counseling. He said he had changed. He said he still loved me. He said I wasn’t being fair to the kids. He promised to stick around if I would give him one more chance. He said he had had too much going on emotionally, but now he was better. He tried to manipulate me to get back on that hellish ride with him again, and expose our children to it again. One last chance, please?!!?? But I wouldn’t.

Life is SOOOOO much more peaceful now. I am in control of myself, my mental, social, emotional and physical well being. I am not so wrapped up in the well being of a hopelessly ill individual that I can’t give myself or our children what they need and DESERVE.

We are wonderful, happy, balanced. We are part of a good community of family and friends who help take care of each other, who take good care of themselves.

Daddy spends time each week with the kids. Long periods of consistent time, falling into his pattern of running away, needing space away, unable to cope with life in general. Who knows how long he will remain a part of their lives. He threatens frequently (still). to go somewhere else, “somewhere” where he can find happiness. I wish him luck finding that happiness.

June 6, 2008 at 1:13 am
(69) Deb says:

Oh my gosh! I can’t believe there are so many of us out there but no live support groups. My husband and I have been married for 12 years, 3 beautiful boys and many bouts of depression. Its hard to know if you love the person anymore or are just to scared to leave in case they decide to take their life and the incredible guilt you would feel and the possibility of your children blaming you for leaving and no longer having a dad. I just don’t know anymore. I know on good days which are few and far between all of the sad, angry, anxious ones with regular retreats to the bathroom, bedroom, for sleep or scratch attacks: where was I going with this, oh yah that’s how I feel most days, on the good days, I go yes that is the man I married, fell in love with, but boy those other days, its just so hard to carry the physical, emotional and financial burdens that living with a husband with depression brings. We have tried marriage counselling, retrouvaille, individual counselling, medication – still not one that works well enough ( and trying meds is a whole nother job; the sleeping, the mood swings, the side effects the month or so lost, the sadness that is isn’t working). Sorry for long post, its a bit cathartic just to write this down to a group that will understand. i just wish there was someone to talk with daily who understand where I am and what I am dealing with and not always having to explain. If you don’t live with it, you don’t know. I know my friends and family love me and want the best for me and after awhile of saying the same thing over and over again, they don’t know what to say anymore and I understand that. Thank you for listening.

June 6, 2008 at 10:57 am
(70) Buck says:

My wife is very depressed and I would also like it if there was a group that met monthly, so that we could all share what we are going through. We are not alone. I live in the NW Washington, Dc area and would love to start a local group for those people who just want to talk about what they are going through with their depressed spouse and to share ideas that have helped them deal with their loved one. My wife promised me that she would see a therapist and take medication to help her, but she stopped when she gained 10 pounds while on prozac. Even though she ate lots of junk food while on Prozac she felt that her medication was the sole cause of her weigh gain, so she stopped taking the Prozac cold turkey. Effexsor caused her to have nightmares, so I can understand why she stopped taking it. If anyone has tried a medication that did not cause weight gain, please let me know what it is.

June 18, 2008 at 12:54 pm
(71) Cathy says:

Unfortunately, I didn’t know the extent of my husband’s depression until AFTER the wedding. If I had known before, I would have NEVER married him. I’ve sacrified who I am, having a family, and happiness in my life with the hope that my husband’s depression would get better. I placed the blame for my husband’s problems on my controlling mother-in-law who is now dying of cancer. I can only imagine what life will be like once she’s gone–quite frankly, I don’t think my husband will be able to survive her death. After reading other comments, I can safely say that it’s time for me to make plans to get out of this miserable existence. Life’s too short and he’s just not worth it anymore. I’m tired of his woe is me attitude!

June 19, 2008 at 7:58 pm
(72) cherie says:

I have bipolar and ocd,diagnosed 11 yrs. ago.my husband was diagnosed 2months ago with depression,he moved in with his parents leaving me with the house and 4 kids.I am on disability.My question is about my husband.he says he doesn’t love me like he should,he doesn’t feel emotion for me.is this normal??? he was on zoloft,didn’t work,on cymbalta,also not working,will be calling doctor tomorrow.

June 25, 2008 at 4:18 am
(73) BRENDA L BARRETT says:

I JUST MARRIED A MAN THAT IS BI-POLAR, WE WERE A MARRIED A MONTH UNTIL HE TOLD ME TO GET OUT HE DID’NT WANT TO BE MARRIED ANYMORE AND TO TAKE MY CATS TOO. BEOFRE THIS HE WAS THE MOST LOVING GENTEL CARING SOUL THAT ANY WOMAN COULD WISH FOR, JUST ALL OF A SUDDEN HE FLIPPED. HE HAD NEVER BEEN MARRIED BEFORE NOW I CAN SEE WHY.HE’S NOT ON MED BUT SHOULD BE AND THE REASON HE QUIT TAKING MEDS WAS THE WEIGHT GAIN.I FEEL I’VE BEEN ROBBED OF THE BEST LOVE OF MY LIFE BUT I CA’T LIVE WITH SOMEONE LIKE THAT WE’RE FILING FOR DIVORCE.

July 1, 2008 at 11:25 am
(74) Barbara says:

My husband was just admitted for a suicide watch and severe depression. I am optimistic person and I feel guilty that I thought about leaving. I hate getting sucked into his vortex of depression. I love him dearly, but how do you live with it?

July 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm
(75) Diane says:

I am so sorry to read these posts and hear of so much unhappiness. However, I am very grateful I found this blog because I too am living in hell with a depressed spouse. We have been married for 27 years. There were short lived signs of this througout our marriage but it wasn’t until last year that this began ruining our marriage. It has been a long lonely, heartbreaking year. He refuses to get help. He thinks he can “fix” it or he will just snap out of it. He has pushed me so far away I am afraid that when or if he ever comes out of it, it will be too late. He is showing signs of porn addiction. Won’t touch me, he has ED. He has no remorse for hurting me the way he is. I have begged, cried, gone for counseling (alone)and have threatend to leave. I don’t know what to do anymore either. I make excuses for him to my family, shelter our grown sons from the truth about Dad right now. I have asked him to leave as well if he doesn’t get help. Problem is I will have to do all the work there too. We don’t speak to each other. He appears to not care what I am doing or going through. I get so frustrated. I try to be supportive but then I lose control and I end up saying the nastiest things to him which leaves me feeling guilty. This is not the same man I married and I really miss him. We were so good together. I wish he would come back but I honestly don’t know how long I can hang on. I know it seems wrong to leave someone and give up but I cannot hang on to someone who refuses to help himself. If he would only attempt to get some help I would be so much more commpassionate and would do everything I can to help him. Without him getting help I am fighting a losing battle right now. In the beginning of this depression cycle I refused to allow this to bring me down. But now, I am so tired and I am beginning to doubt my own self worth and feel my self esteem slipping away. Counseling doesn’t seem to help me, I just keep saying the same things over and over again like a broken record. What good is it going to do me if he won’t help himself. I need to find the strength to keep my head up and live my life

July 7, 2008 at 8:59 am
(76) LBH says:

It has been so hard to feel so alone in the role of the wife of a depressed husband. Married 13 years, sons ages 7 and 9. My husband was the life of the party, was literally the “social chairman” of his fraternity and lived up to that role for years after. He is extremely smart, funny, good looking, creative, and has achieved everything in his career he dreamed of. We live in a gorgeous house in the best neighborhood, kids are great and go to the best private school, we can travel and do almost anything we want, our extended families are the best and we love being with them, husband is in the newspaper all the time for business accomplishments… blah blah blah… none of it matters because our inner lives are hell. The contrast between the blessings and advantages we have and the reality of our despair is the hardest thing. He became depressed about three years ago. He is very old-school – from a family where men were athletes and miltary men who pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and did not show weakness. I am a therapist, of all things! As you can imagine, it took a while for him to consider addressing his issues as “depression” and seeking outside help. We finally found a great therapist with whom he is comfortable, but he was opposed to even considering medication. He is now at a rock-bottom place, and I’m hoping he will reconsider it. When his depression started, he pulled away from me, along with everyone else, and then he decided that he was depressed because he was unhappy with our marriage. He has since been able to acknowledge that the marriage was not the problem – we’re not perfect, but we were never in conflict. He actually moved out though, and he has kept an apartment for the past two years. The fun part is that no one knows this, not even our kids. He tells them he is going back to the office at night (which has often been a habit – all his energies for towards work, and that is another issue). So the energies that go towards keeping up that facade are extensive. I battle every day with the negative thoughts I have regarding my inadequacies – the feeling that I am constantly auditioning to win back the role of “wife”, when he never could tell me one thing I did wrong in the first place. I am exhausted.

July 9, 2011 at 3:02 am
(77) CM says:

Are you still married? Did anything change. My situation is similar. What did you do?

July 10, 2008 at 1:52 pm
(78) irene says:

I have been married for close to 28 years. In that time I always felt inadequate as a wife because no matter what, my husband was unhappy. I would blame myself because that was easy to do. He also always reminded me that he was unhappy because of something I lacked, or I didn’t do, or did do. We have four wonderful children. Their experience growing up in this household was mixed as he treated some differently and also all humans react differently to the abuse of a depressed person. My one daughter, now 20 and in college was brave enough to confront him with all the pain he had inflicted on her. He views it as “her” problem. I have sat and wondered if he has a controlling personality or if he’s depressed. Perhaps it’s some of both, but I know he is depressed. He will come out and say,,,,I am very depressed, but it’s always followed by, but if you did this or that or looked like this, or acted like this,,,then he’d be just fine. I work full time and provide a large majority of the family income. He works the dairy farm we own and it’s a ton of work. He will not have an open discussion on what the future holds now that all our children have moved on and there’s no more family labor to help him. In the past things have gotten so bad I said no more. I would tell him there was a problem and it wasn’t ME. I ask him to please discuss depression with his doctor at his annual physical and when that time came he’d tell his doctor he was just perfect. Too bad there’s not a blood test for depression, as his lipids and blood sugars and blood pressures are perfect. This tells him,,according to him that he’s very healthy. He will not even bring up the issue of depression with his doctor, after all the problem is with ME. So often I told myself that when the last left I would be free to go. But its never easy. With shared children there’s always an event,,,graduations, weddings, that I don’t want to disrupt because I call it quits and moved out. But I want to feel free of the constant cloud of giving everything I have to make another happy, when it has hit home that I will never really be able to do that ever. Still I try. I put on a smiley face at social events even though I had only heard complaints for hours before. My heart has hit rock bottom and I don’t know if my staying because I wanted a “good” home for my children was the right thing to do. If there was a magic formula to “make him happy” I’d sell my soul.

July 19, 2008 at 3:31 pm
(79) B says:

I am the spouse of a depressed man, and for 28 years, also. I have thought of leaving – sometimes every single day, now maybe once a month. It is unlikely I will leave. I understand he is ill and I have great sympathy and love. That does not necessarily give me what I need to get through this. One has to have the resilience of Job. There are good times…and sometimes that feels almost cruel. I would like to find an online support group that allows an exchange of thoughts, etc. among spouses of depressed people…I do NOT want to hear from those who ARE ddpressed. No offense and you have my best wishes, but I’ve heard enough. I want to hear with people who are LIVING WITH a depressed spouse.

July 21, 2008 at 10:30 am
(80) SK says:

i know every person’s experience is different but what i’m trying to figure out is if i should keep hope alive and stay with him (we’ve been together for about 7 years) or end it now so i can live what “might” be a happier life. there are no guarantees or promises kept in this situation, i think. it’s amazing to see so many people have similar stories. my husband is getting help (therapy and meds) and has been for the last 2 years or so. how much longer do i need to wait to see some progress? for him it’s just the never wanting to leave the house, sitting in front of the TV all day, not sleeping at all, not helping around the house. i wish i had more patience and optimism. it’s just hard sometimes because when we first met, he was the most attentive, fun, and charismatic person. now i only see glimmers of his former better self.

July 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm
(81) Lily says:

I too am living with a depressed husband. It has been going on for 2 years now….no intimacy (physical or emotional), we fight, he sleeps a lot…they typical symptoms one has when depressed.
Now I am having anxiety. I am seeing my doctor today. I try to be strong for so long for my children and myself and my sanity, but I have reached the end of my rope. I don’t want to divorce.
How do we “start over?” Can anyone give me some suggestions as to how to try to save my marriage? We need to take baby steps, but what does that look like? There has been so much hurt and resentment that we both feel lost. Help!

July 22, 2008 at 9:06 am
(82) SK says:

Lily, i know what you mean– i’ve been feeling at the end of my rope lately, too, but i am not ready to divorce. I started seeing a therapist but that hasn’t helped too much (maybe it’s the therapist, though– she’s nice but not very helpful for me to get at my own feelings and issues). I’ve been reading in a lot of blogs and articles that #1 is taking care of myself. i see that as hanging out with friends, going to the gym, even getting a pedicure. i don’t have kids, though, so maybe it’s easier for me to get out on my own– do you have family or a trustworthy babysitter to take the kids while you go do your own thing?

another thing that has helped me is more mental– not taking his depression personally, which is hard but important.

and finally, after a few years of cajoling and encouraging, i got him to start seeing a therapist– i got a list of people, called them up myself, and then had him go to his first appointment. it’s slow progress and he definitely isn’t “cured” at all, but it’s helping him understand the causes of his own depression. the hard part is getting out of it!

don’t know if that helps at all. it’s been helpful for me, too, to read through these blogs and see that there are others in a similar situation as me!

July 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm
(83) Marie says:

To Susie: You probably feel so invested in your boyfriend and it’s clear that you love him. I can promise you that the heartache you feel now over your situation will be 100 times as bad if you marry him. End it NOW. Once you are away from the relationship for a while you will see how bad it really was. I wish I had listened to the signs before getting married – they were there but I thought our love would conquer all. Now I’m in your shoes trying to decide my next step. Only its 8 years of marriage later with children, religous committments and divorce guilt hanging over my head. Believe me it’s not going to change. YOU deserve a functional adult as a companion. You can still love him and keep the good memories you just won’t be burdened with his issues and his inability to fully love you back. It may be the most difficult thing you’ll ever do – say goodbye!

July 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm
(84) Amber says:

My husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 2 years ago. He has “mixed episodes” where he either has mania or severe depression. The manic episodes are the worst. They happen about once every 2-3 weeks. He just “snaps” and cannot regain control of his emotions. Most of the time the thing that causes him to “snap” is something that he has imagined and not anything that is going on in the real world. He becomes violent and hostile towards me. Then after about 2 days of mania he goes into severe depression where he cries and talks about all of the bad things that have happened in our relationship and in his life. We have a 3 year old son and I have to take him to a relative’s house when he begins these episodes. He refuses medication because “it makes him feel weird” and he is also an alcoholic which does not help. I feel that I have no more options left but to leave him. I tried to suggest counseling but I ended up going to 2 sessions of marriage counseling by myself. I tried to get his family involved in an intervention of sorts but they refuse to get involved. I have tried everything from compassion to fighting back, to leaving for a week or so at a time and get blamed for “leaving him by himself” when he needed me the most. I know that he is the one who is sick but I feel like the victim here, I am the one living with the dread of going home every day. I empathize with him because I suffer from depression and recently I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder so I know how he feels when he says that he can’t control it. The part I can’t understand is not trying to do everything in your power to fix the problem. Does anyone have any suggestions other than walking away?

July 29, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(85) TLR says:

Reading all these comments makes me seriously wonder why there is no online support for the spouse living with a depressed spouse. There is a lot of help for the depressed spouse (which is a good thing) but nothing I can find for us. We all have so much in common and could be a huge support to each other in so many ways. Has anybody come across help online or have any ideas how we could start something. My story is parts of all the stories that precede mine so I won’t go into it. I think that the most important thing is to find a way for us to support each other as we try to survive each day with a depressed spouse and also support if we need to leave. I hope we can figure something out.

August 6, 2008 at 10:42 am
(86) pam says:

Thankyou to all who have written here. I am not alone, youhave helped me see things clearer, for better @ worse.I am committed to my husband of 27 yrs.this past year has been awful, but I know now the only thing I have control of are my actionsand reactions to him.

August 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm
(87) Sharon says:

I have been living with a spouse who is probably as depressed as one can get and it is HELL. I don’t know how much longer I can hang on. I can’t take the negativity, false accusations, rudeness, etc. that he has laid on me. I have tried everything and he has just gotten worse. I don’t envy anyone that has to go through this. He is retired and does absolutely nothing and I still work (thank the lord). If I didn’t work, I don’t think this relationship would have ever lasted. Although now it is NOT a relationship. We once were so very happy and into each other (been together for 35+ years)and now it’s totally the opposite. I, too, need help coping and don’t know where to turn. Just having someone to talk to would help.

August 7, 2008 at 12:26 am
(88) Susie says:

For Allie and the rest of you…. Allie, when I read your comments, I sat here in disbelief. It was so good to hear that i am not the only one this happens too. My boyfriend/partner suffers with terrible depression and delusional thinking. These delusions make him believe that I am doing unthinkable things behind his back (cheating ect.)As a result, he blames me for his depressive episodes, which are becoming more the norm than the exception. When would i cheat??? is what i ask, I am so bloody busy worrying about him and making sure he hasnt started another 3 day disappearing act drinking binge that I would never have the time or energy! I know i should leave and that i am getting as sick as he is. I used to enjoy life and now all I feel is constant fear. Is there any help out there for spouses of depressed alchoholics???

August 8, 2008 at 6:46 pm
(89) DM says:

I have also been married to a depressed man for almost 20 years. He is a wonderful father, funny and very handsome but hides his problems to all except me. He has told me he has never experienced happiness that he looks for his faults in his children daily hoping that they never turn out like him. He has been to therapy and just stops when he feels better but the smallest thing can send him into his dark hole. This is very very hard on a spouse. Some days are fine and you think oh great and then he goes back to his negative depressed self. All his “stuff” stems to way back as a child. He claims to not be able to change because it has gone on so long. I know he loves me but I am so tired of the roller coaster ride I am not sure if I should hang on or get off. Will I be doing this still 40 years from now? Has anyone else felt trapped? He many times has said I am surprised you have stayed with me this long etc…All in all he is a great guy but his depression has taken its toll on me.

August 8, 2008 at 11:03 pm
(90) Sue says:

I know what you mean DM. I am so afraid of wakeing up one morning and realizing that 20 years or more has gone by and I am still hoping that our lives and he will get better. Reading the rest of the blogs has helped me to realize that not that many of us get much relief from this illness as long as we stay. Soooo, I guess the choice is ours. Live and accept , or move on and chose a more peaceful existence despite the pain it will cause. The pain will be mostly for us, because we have been so focused on our partners and they have focused primarily on themselves as well. I am thinking that the lonliness is starting to look better that the misery. Good luck in your choices and God bless.

August 9, 2008 at 4:18 am
(91) Hope says:

I hear so much of my story in all of yours. there are no simple answers for our questions! I created a blog tonight as an effort to support myself and others better. I’ll be posting about helpful resources while trying to keep things “un-depressing”. I invite all of you to visit:

http://www.forstrengthtoday.blogspot.com

August 9, 2008 at 10:50 am
(92) Gracie says:

It breaks my heart when I read all of your comments. I only wish I had found this site a few months earlier. I lived with a man for 16 years who was depressed most of his life. He too was bi-polar. He would go through the rants and delusional accusations of me cheating of stealing his money. This was the most hurtful part of his sickness. There were so many other factors that made the situation impossible. I do understand what you have to endure.
He was on very strong pain medication for nerve damage due to a curvature of the spine. This certainly didn’t help the depression.
I spent years trying to find doctors to help with his depression, insomnia and pain. No antidepressants worked.
Any stress imagined or an exaggerated version of reality would cause him to go into the manic state where I was sometimes afraid he was going to snap and hurt me. He was not a violent man. In fact he was the most wonderful kind hearted man I have ever known.
He tried many times to get me to leave him. He told me his depression was ruining my life. He even tried to get my daughter to convince me I should leave him.
I would never have abandoned him. I loved him more than life and he knew it. I couldn’t feel anger or resentment for him, because I knew his sickness was not something he could control. He tried harder than anyone I have ever seen to get help. He ate right, exercised until he couldn’t do it anymore. Nothing worked. I watched him decline into a state that in hind sight seems like a nightmare that couldn’t possibly be real.
On May 30th, two months and 8 days ago a homicide detective came to see me where I work.
He told me B had gone to a secluded park near our home and shot himself. He died instantly.
He had a note with him that said “Suffered Enough” along with his personal information and where they could find me.
I have agonized and analyzed every detail of everything we ever did trying to figure out why he couldn’t get help.
The unfortunate thing is I know one of the reasons he wouldn’t let it go on anymore is because he knew I would never leave him and
He didn’t want me to have that life anymore.
Ladies I have to tell you, I would gladly endure the pain his depression caused me to have him back. As long as I could keep trying to get help for him I had hope that someday he would be alright. The only comfort I have is knowing he is no longer suffering and he had “Suffered Enough”. Now my real pain has begun and I’m not sure how I am going to get through it, but I know I will. I have to.

August 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm
(93) Amber says:

Susie: I have the same problem with my husband accusing me of cheating, or whatever it is that he imagines in his head. I also have the unfortunate experience with having to take care of a bipolar alcoholic. The truth of the matter is that no one can help them until they stop drinking to cope with their issues and start trying to be constructive. I was told by his phsychologist that he would never be able to help him unless he stopped drinking. We tried to get him to take the medications that were prescribed, but because he wasn’t allowed to drink while he was taking them, he stopped. I think the hardest thing for me is having to deal with the fact that he loves himself and alcohol more than he loves me and our son. If he got things his way, we would starve as long as he had a beer in his hand.
I have tried so many times to leave him but I love him so much. I feel that me leaving and taking our son would push him over the edge. I don’t want my son to have to grow up without his father. He is a very good dad, just not so good at the husband part. I just wanted to let you know that there are other people that are where you are standing and as long as you are strong you will get through it, with or without him.

August 15, 2008 at 4:00 pm
(94) Don says:

I happened on to this website and unexpectedly started crying like a baby when I began to read the different posts – I guess I have been carrying this for a long time without realizing it. I have been married to my college sweetheart for 19 years and we have 4 terrific kids. She has suffered from depression/anxiety for a long time but during the last two years it seems to have gotten worse. It seems like she changes meds every year or two and they seem to work for a while and then ultimately lose their effectiveness. They also have severe side effects (low libido, feeling like she’s a “zombie”,etc) I’ve noticed that in the last year or so her nightly glass of wine has turned into 3 or 4 glasses. I feel sorry for myself but then feel guilty for those feelings because I know that she suffers so much more. She often talks about suicide but then says how she would never do it because of the kids. She’s been to a number of counselors and she’s come to realize that this may be as “good as it gets”. It’s been helpful reading the experiences of others and makes me realize that I need to see a counselor myself. May God bless us all.

August 17, 2008 at 5:53 pm
(95) Amanda says:

I am a thirty-one year old female who has been married for a year and a half. Shortly after we moved into our new home last Aug, I noticed that my husband was acting differently and that he was not the same happy optimistic fun loving man that I had grown to love. Instead he was very pesimestic and got angry at every little thing. He pushed me away and rejected me emotionally and physically and even told me on many occassions that he didn’t love me. I knew that this was not normal behvior for my husband and gave him his space and after a week or a few days he would apoligise and tell me that he had everything figured out and that he was to be O.K, and that he really does love me. many nights we would get in bed and he would toss and turn and sigh with angisiety and eventually he would get up and watch TV. I often asked him what was wrong and he would say “nothing..just go to sleep..i am just frustrated” this kind of behavior went on for about eight months and then it changed a little. Instead of being cold, detached, and uncaring he started to show emotion, but not a healtyh type of emotion. He would break down crying and was completly unconsolable and I deemed at that point in time that was depressed and needed medical help. Every thing was too much trouble for him. Even the task of packing an overnight bag stressed him out. i sat him down and asked him if he was depressed and he said that he was not sure.I made an appointment to see a doctor and we went togeather. He has ben diagonosed with OCD and he also has an anxiety disorder. He has been going to therapy for about four months now and he is really responding well. they are going to start him on anti-anxiety medication and a pill for depression withing the next week. They don’t think it will be permanent and I am crossing my fingers. I love my husband with all of my heart and I hope he will make a full recovery.
I can identify with all of you who say that you feel the depressionis your fault because I too have felt that way. I know in my heart that it is not my fault but it is still hard to deal with. I don’t have any answers. All I know is that my husband needs me and I am the only one who truly knows what he is going through, and I need to be there for him. I cry a lot and I often asked God to keep me strong so that I can look after both of us. I hope that one day my husband will be health and happy and that he will respect and love me that much more because I stood by him when he needed me the most. My prayers are with all of you.

August 20, 2008 at 5:20 pm
(96) Brad says:

WOW, I’ve seen so many things in here that unfortunately I’m become more familiar with the past 2-3 months. I keep thinking my wife will get better but I see that this doesn’t always happen. I’ve been optimistic but, truthfully, you’ve shaken my confidence and scared me now!

August 20, 2008 at 5:29 pm
(97) Brad says:

I tried to leave a post once… I’ll try again. I was optimistic before but now I see that things MAY NOT GET BETTER and that scares me!

August 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm
(98) sue says:

Brad, what is the story with your wife?? Please dont assume that there is no hope. We are all frustrated but I personally know other people (a close cousin) who fully recovered from their depression. My spouse is just not one of those people, although I pray that one day, he will be. I think it really depends on the individual and what they are willing to do to get there. My husband wont stick with anything and stays on the merry go round. Personally, I think he is comfortable in his role.

August 28, 2008 at 12:54 am
(99) irene says:

Depression or just plain emotional abuse,,,someone please tell me? I have posted here before describing the emotions of living with my depressed husband,,,but now some thing horrible has happened. He attempted to begin an affair with a co-worker of mine. She was appalled and promptly told me and gave me the letter he wrote to her. He told me it wouldn’t have happened except that I was not as pretty as he wished and that I had turned him down for sex one night. Which was a night he had just told me how badly I look. My husband was apologetic for being so stupid,,,,,and expects 100% forgiveness effective now. Our son’s wedding is a month from now,,,,so I stay,,,to make a good appearance and to assure money for our other children’s college expenses. Do spouses of depressed partners always put their needs on hold and care for everyone else first? Maybe it’s a trait,,,,,,,,I can’t seem to change no matter how hard it gets. I don’t think it’s healthy for me,,,,,but here

September 2, 2008 at 2:52 pm
(100) Hope says:

Irene your comment rings true for me. I said those exact words “emotional abuse” to my mother last year when things were really, really bad in my marriage. My husbands tactics are more about withdrawal though than insults and personal attacks. The result is the same – I’ve felt diminished self esteem and feelings of failure to name a few. I used to always put his needs before my own, sacrificing what I wanted to do or say to spare the reaction I might get. Then I found myself boiling over with resentment and anger. Since then I’ve tried to set more boundaries.

Everyone has to decide what their boundaries will be. It was hard and complicated for me to figure out but I found a good book that really guided me through. Since setting more boundaries on things like communication and sex I’ve felt alot better about myself.

What setting limits does is take the weight of my husbands decisions and actions off my shoulders. I was carrying WAY too much of that for him. And in the end everything felt like my fault. He loves having no responsibility for his actions and I was enabling him to some extent. It is so hard to watch someone you love and care about and have so much time and effort invested in make such destructive choices.

It is all so difficult and complicated. There are many who feel your pain. I wish you the best with the challenges ahead.

The book that helped me so much with boundaries is: “Lord, I believe; Help thou mine Unbelief.” by Rod W. Jeppsen

This book is written to an LDS (Mormon) audience who have loved ones with sexual addictions or compulsive sexual behaviors – but will help ANYONE who has a depressed spouse and is well worth it just for the part about boundaries. There is also a well writen ‘divorce checklist’ in this book. I refer to it often to clear my mind of the emotions and look at the facts. So far the list has kept me on track with improving what I can in my marrige and not getting a divorce.

This book has become a life saver for me in many ways. I highly recommend it. Take what applies to you and leave what doesn’t – don’t let the title scare you off :)

September 3, 2008 at 11:16 am
(101) susie says:

Yesterday, I dropped my partner off at the Psych ward for the third time this year. It always follows some event that he finds distressing. This time it is his children enjoying spending time with him ex-wifes new boyfriend. He says he feels replaced and not important. (its always about him).I sat in the emergency room with him all day, then had to drive him to another city since there were no beds available here. This all took about 12 hours. At the end of the day, when I had to leave he said, not thank you for driving me around and sitting in the hospital with me all day- rather it was- “go, leave me, dont come visit, I am all alone like i should be”. It was all I could do to not start singing ” poor, poor, pitiful me” to him.

A big part of me wants to do just that. Call him on his crap and not do the hour long drive and visit him every other day. Of course though, I feel much more sorry for him than I do for myself and the mess he has once again left behind for me to take care of.

I am sooooo sick of this merry go round. I dont know how to get off, guilt keeps me there.

September 3, 2008 at 3:28 pm
(102) Marjorie says:

I can relate to many stories here. My spouse of 19 years is depressed. I truly believe there’s more to his mental problems than just depression, I’m certain there’s anxiety disorders, perhaps bi-polar, I don’t know for sure and unfortunately, can’t get him to seeks enough medical attention to really find out for sure.

Two 1/2 years ago, the stress at his job started the ball rolling and it’s been “rolling down hill” since. We’l tried countless meds, regular visits to Dr. and psychiatrist and they have given up because he just won’t do what he’s been told to do. He hasn’t worked in 1 1/2 year so I’m the sole income provider in the house. We have 2 young kids, with one son with OCD and ADHD. I’ve been at the end of my rope many times but still manage to find a thread to hold onto and pull myself back up and inch or two, just to keep it together. However, lately, his constant blaming and belittlement really has started to effect me. I find myself feeling as he does. I can’t afford meds for myself and frankly too scared to try them. I have been seeing a counsellor when I can fit in it. He too “self medicates” but with marijuana so we are close to bankruptcy.

I once asked the Dr. what’s the depression and what’s just his personality? When we met, he was so caring and loving now I can barely look at him without feeling resentment, anger, pity, helpless etc. He just thinks it’s all my fault and refuses to try. He says he’s done all the changes in his life for me and I need to change for him. I know that’s not true, but sometimes really hard not to believe. I’m grateful I work with some wonderful people, who constantly give me words of encouragement and praise.

This life style is preventing my kids from having a normal, balanced life. Mom’s so busy doing everything she doesn’t have time for them and NO time for her.

This blog has helped. I understand I need to stop enabling and not let it bother me when he lashes out for not “doing it his way”.

I will book mark this site and read regularly – thanks for sharing. First time I’ve actually heard of someone I can totally relate to.

September 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm
(103) Dale says:

I can relate to so many of these posts and feel everyone’s pain. I,too, have a spouse that is severely depressed. It is so difficult to live with someone who one day tells you that you are the source of all his unhappiness and then later cries in the middle of the night and apologizes and tells you to “Save yourself and the kids and leave me.” He has tried to commit suicide twice in the past six months but we have never been able to convince the police that he is a threat to himself because he talks them into believing that it is all a misunderstanding so they don’t take him. I feel so responsible for him and I know his entire family will blame me if he does hurt himself. We have three kids and I really feel guilty about even contemplating leaving him since he’s always been there for us. He hasn’t been able to work for the past six months but he refuses to change his lavish lifestyle and he seems to think the mortgage and all the bills will pay themselves. I have left with the kids three times in the past three months but each time we came back because he begged and agreed to go inpatient but then he changes his mind once we are back. He has been through two psychiatrists, and countless medications, and both have given up on him and say he needs to be admitted because he is treatment resistant. He drinks and self medicates himself and can’t seem to go a day without either a drink or his medical marijuana. It is so hard to watch someone self-destruct right before your eyes. My head tells me I need to leave the situation but I keep thinking that we should try all treatment options-even if all we seem to have right now is going inpatient at the hospital to treat the depression and addiction problems. Has anyone’s spouse been admitted to the psych unit and did it help or hurt the situation? Good luck everyone.

September 6, 2008 at 12:08 am
(104) Peter says:

One of the things that’s so frustrating about living with a depressed spouse is that they are SO manipulative. When my wife is depressed (which seems to be about half the time, these days), she manages to cleverly present everything so that it is all my fault.

Intellectually, I KNOW I did not create her unhappiness. (After all, I may not be a perfect person, but I’m a decent human being.) But emotionally, it’s easy to “push the buttons” of someone who you know very well — which is what my wife does to me.

I’ve threatened to leave on several occasions, and — to tell the truth — it’s been money that’s kept me in the relationship. I know what divorce does to a couple financially, and am afraid to face it.

Does that make me selfish? A coward? Lazy? In some small way, yes. But as some of the other people have said, you only have one life to live. How long do you let someone drag you down?

My wife isn’t a bad person. She’s intelligent, funny, can be very compassionate, and [used to be] quite sexy. But ALL of that goes out the window when she’s depressed. Then, she’s angry, negative, extremely cruel (mostly to me), and draining to be around.

The problem is, that even though we can say “that’s not them, it’s just the depression,” it doesn’t make it any easier. It doesn’t matter to me that it’s simply her brain chemistry, when she’s screaming at me how I’ve ruined her life, and throwing things at me.

My wife says, “you don’t know how I feel.” That’s true. But I know how she acts — and that’s all I have to judge by. She would NEVER stand for me saying to her some of the horrible things she’s said to me.

On of the toughest things to take is that I’M the one who supports her through everything she’s gone through, yet I’m the one she takes everything out on.

On more than one occasion, I’ve told her: “You can have me be supporting and loving, or you can take things out on my like I’m your emotional punching bag. But you CAN’T have both at the same time.” (She never understands this when she’s depressed.)

So how do we deal with this? I’ve been supportive for more than 10 years. She’s tried medication — I’ll give her that — but refuses therapy. In my opinion, you have to do both. And even then, it’s a hard road.

There is no easy answer. And I know that I CAN continue to take it. The question is: Do I want to?

Thanks for listening . . .

September 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm
(105) Karen says:

I am wondering if anyone has this issue…my spouse is depressed, always has been, but never saw a doctor about it. He had a melt down about two months ago, and I was told to take him to the ER. He got out of control and smashed the kitchen table when asked to turn the TV volume down. My sons restrained him. It turns out he was drinking quite a bit and self medicating with street drugs. Ironically, he has never been without a job and continues to be a responsible person (outside of home), but I am so tired. So tired of caring for him. He gambles obsessively on the internet, but again, he is responsible about it . He nevers used out money, just his winnings. After reading the posts, I realized I wasn’t the only one happy that sometimes he isn’t here when I get home. I have to brace myself when he is here as I don’t know if I will set him off. He has stopped drinking, taking illegal drugs, and is getting meds and therapy, but I don’t trust him. I am afraid to talk to him as I feel like I will be rebuffed and emotionally hurt over and over again. How do you trust again? I have been married for nearly 24 years, and I am not sure if I can continue, but then I ask myself if it were cancer or a physical illness, would I give up? No, I wouldn’t. In addition, his family have basically written him off, so the burden of support is on me. I don’t want the job anymore.

September 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm
(106) sue says:

Karen, just wanted to say that it appears your husband is actively making his choices. By choosing different behaviour in different circumstances (work, gambling ect.) he is showing that he is able to behave in certain manners but for some reason chooses not to maintain that standard at home. Probably, because at work they would tell him to hit the bricks if he acted that way. People behave in ways they are allowed. By staying with him all this time, you are allowing it. Sorry, i do the same thing!

September 15, 2008 at 12:45 am
(107) Mary says:

WOW! I really didn’t know that there were this many people who felt like me. My husband has been depressed forever. I was so young when we got together. Then we had a child. I have always been a caretaker and now for the last 6 years a nurse. My husband becomes distant, mean, angry, hurtful, and blames me and now is beginning to blame my children. He can’t take any stress–always yelling and blaming. He has even pushed our 14 year old son. But my son does have an attitude. I am a referee (not spelled right, sorry) in our home and am constantly worried. He has threatened to leave and has before. He used to be on medications but was diagnosed with sleep apnea and is using a cpap. Things were okay for a while, but now I believe it is worse. Walking on eggshells is how we are living our lives. This is evil of me but sometimes I wish that he would die so I don’t have to live with the stress and can be a better mom to my kids. He tells me I’m too easy on them and so he has to be harder. They listen to me and respect me; he doesn’t see how much damage he is doing to them. What kind of damage am I doing by staying with him to them?!? Would they be better without him? What about my faith? How can I teach my children to be Christians if I can’t uphold the basic commandments? But what kind of emotional and mental anguish are they going through by being exposed to this. He acts like a child–everything has to be his way. I want him to get back on medication and try to get help but he denies any problems and tells us it is us! I am so lost, so scared, so worried, just so confused. I am a very private person and I don’t think anyone knows the pain and anguish I am in! I pray daily for courage, mentally strong, and faith. How do you know it is depression or emotional support? Any suggestions or advice would help. I am just so confused and not sure how much more I can handle!

September 15, 2008 at 11:03 pm
(108) Cindy says:

I have to agree with Sue. I do the same thing (enabling). Maybe if we all stopped allowing the crappy behaviour and making excuses for it, they would realize they need to do something FOR THEMSELVES and make a change and get some help. If a person can choose different behaviours in different situations, I would say they are at least somewhat in control and CHOOSE not to behave well at home. That is because unlike their boss or friends, we tolerate it. I wonder what would happen if we didnt? I will keep you posted, because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over agian, and expecting a different result. Im not doing this dance any more.

September 16, 2008 at 11:11 am
(109) Amber says:

Mary…I have posed the same question to myself for 3 years now, Do I stay because my son needs his father? Or do I leave because his father is not a father at all, just another child that I have to take care of? I have been isolated from my friends and family since the day that he found out that I was pregnant with our son, so I understand what you mean when you say that you carry all of it inside of you. But I am sure that I am not the first person to tell you that it is not healthy. I have recently been reunited with a few GOOD friends that I have been able to confide in. Also I found that going to see a counselor for myself has helped. Just to have someone that can give you an outside view of everything that you are going through and tell you how to copeand to tell you that none of it is your fault despite all that he says. I have begun to live my own life again. I was so caught up in trying to “fix” my husband that I forgot about myself. I think that is the biggest mistake that everyone on here makes. We are always the ones picking up the pieces. ]

I told myself 3 months ago that I would not live like that anymore, and I haven’t. If I know that he is in one of his moods I won’t go home. If I want to go out with a friend I no longer ask for permission or try to include him because he makes everyone miserable. I just go. I feel better now than I have in YEARS. I let go of all of his problems and started focusing on me and our son. I feel a new zest for life, and I feel that it is time to let go and start fresh. No matter how much I love my husband I can no longer be his “punching bag”. I WON’T EVER BE THAT PERSON AGAIN. Life is too short to be unhappy. God could take me tomorrow and I am tired of missing out on life.

Maybe someday he will grow up and realize that he has hurt everyone around him with his selfishness and cruelty. I have been diagnose with anxiety disorder from having to walk on egg shells everyday for the past few years. And his mother is on 3 different types of depression/anxiety medication from the past 15 years of torment that he has put her through. I don’t want to be like his mother in 7 years, an emotional basket case that cries and the drop of a hat. I am too damn young to be overburdened by someone elses issues, no matter how much I love him.

September 16, 2008 at 11:54 pm
(110) Karen says:

I have stumbled upon this site mainly out of desperation. I am surprised at the volume of comments that are so similar to mine. I couldn’t read them all because I felt like I kept reading my story over and over again.

I followed the classic path – met him young, he had a drinking problem, he had an abusive up-bringing (mother abusive, father absent working 2 jobs!!), arrests for assault, drunk driving, crashed a car while under the influence, money problems, gambling problems (lottery), employed but always off on disability, etc.etc. The weird thing is that we both came from “good” families. I guess I thought I could change him. We were together 15 years when we had our daughter together. Then it became “for our daughter”. She is now 14. So, then I told myself I’ll stay in the relationship until she has her post-secondary education finished and is no longer dependent on us.

There was always verbal abuse and a little physical abuse (before our daughter was born and only when he had been drinking).

He quit drinking when she was about 6 years old. I thought that would be the end of our problems. He is a “dry drunk” – same behaviour but not from alcohol. So, many of the problems persisted.

I drew the line to myself and no longer tolerated many of his antics and went on my merry way doing my own thing and including him less. This was the only defense I felt I could muster to save face and continue being a family. I returned to work full-time when my daughter was 5 as urged by him until I could find a job-share partner. Well, 9 years later I am still working full-time. We could never financially go back to a reduced income. I always felt that I was duped, while he has been off on disability for more years than working years. (Presently, he is his 4th year off work.) However, this worked out OK because at least at work I have a feeling of self-worth and can show my daughter that independence can come from hard work.

Lately, my husband has become increasingly angry – at me, my daughter, the other driver, his employer, my employer, the world. It’s everyone else’s fault. It’s getting hard to live with which has prompted me to end up here.

I have never put this into words before. There is little I can say to friends because I don’t want to taint his image too much but also makes me look bad for being a bad judge of character. I have often asked myself if the grass would be greener/healthier for myself and my daughter. The other thing I KNOW is that he’d make my life hell. No doubt about it. Yes, I too, have had thoughts “if he’d just die” knowing that he is quite a bit older than me. I find I am planning my senior years without him – as a time of freedom to do things like volunteer work, etc. alone. I have not visualized any retirement time with him – sad.

Of course, the catch 22 is in motion. His anger made me withdraw, my withdrawal made him angry, his anger caused me to withdraw intimately, that caused him to stop romantic advances, that stopped me from sleeping with him, that stopped intimacy altogether. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex but it’s an emotional thing and I just can’t give when I was recently berated for being stupid or whatever. So, it’s out-of-control. He’s angry and I am fat and have fallen out of love.

Don’t get me wrong – I do have a sunny disposition on life – I make lemonade – but I also have fierce defense mechanisms and I just can’t keep forgiving. I don’t think I could put up with many more of his antics. There’s no trust, no respect etc. It’s all for our daughter. But…it all comes down to the anger. If he’d just take a moment and think about what he was going to say instead of blurting everything out, usually over nothing, I am sure the rest could be worked out.

Now, I am working up the courage to approach the subject. When is the right time and place? (that’s a rhetorical question) I’ll let you know what happens next when it does. Thanks for listening.

September 18, 2008 at 12:47 pm
(111) Cheryl says:

Has everyone forgotten the vows: “For Better Or Worse”? There is not a subclause: “except when there’s Depression.”

September 20, 2008 at 11:14 am
(112) Sue says:

At what cost? In some of these cases, it is more abuse than illness.

September 21, 2008 at 1:01 pm
(113) Tina says:

Wow! I am sure grateful to have found this site and to know how many other people are going through the same thing!
I talked very matter-of-factly to my husband a few days ago how I want him to move out. He hasn’t yet,(no close family to stay with) but I think it turned a light bulb on for him to stop and re-evaluate his life. I talked very frankly to him about how It’s easier in the house here without him . I’m calmer and more relaxed when he’s NOT around. That says it all. No more ‘egg shell walking’ for me, I used to have to rehearse what I was going to say to him to decide if he would take it the wrong way. What’s wrong with that picture??
I have the classic case, 16 years of marriage, 3 kids. The past 8, on and off meds, mostly on. The past 5 years he’s been SO negative, ranting and raving if the kids are loud, complaining 24/7, and absolutely lethargic. He’s about 75- 100 pounds overweight, so lots of physical symptoms: backaches, headaches, knee prob etc. that he wanted me to take care of. (please give me a massage) Pops advil like candy. Absolutely has EA (electronic addiction), laptop and cell phone in hand at all times. (yes, at the dinner table and in bed, he’s still texting!) His excuse is that he’s ‘working’. Never spends any time with the kids, our son will be turning 6 and I’m the one out throwing the baseball with him. I’ve seen my husband play catch with him ONCE. I have to beg for sex,and 95% of the time, he turns me down. If I wait for him to approach me, it’s over a year! No physical touching at all. I’m almost 40 and too young for that, a hot, sexy woman at that. I was sinking for a while, due to my insecurities, and he wanted me to get on meds too. That’s his solution, every one just take meds, you’ll feel better! A light bulb came on for me by many of the posters here who say that they feel like they are enabling and that sometimes the depressed spouse likes being there, on the merry go round and letting the other spouse take care of it all. I’ve had enough. He was drinking but did stop (2 years ago)at my insistance and I’m grateful. So it shows he’s willing to try. HOpe a separation will get him to analyze what it is he wants from me. (a mother figure is my guess) I feel strong and proud of myself for standing up. I’m too young to have to ‘take care’ of someone who doesn’t want to take care of himself.
I do want to stay together, but not at this cost! I’m nervous around him, the kids feel the stress and are screaming at each other. He’s lost his passion for all his hobbies and his religion. He’s a chronic complainer, so negative and it’s becoming a poison in our lives. In his eyes, the kids are a nuisance and a bother and now they all complain. I say get the poison out of the house!

September 22, 2008 at 2:22 am
(114) Sue says:

I was looking for a way to commit suicide by taking pills tonight. Your comments made me see that I am really hurting my husband so i will go through with my plans. There is no way to cure my depression and he is only getting angrier with me. All of you should help your souses commit suicide. it is the kindest thing you can do.

September 22, 2008 at 8:37 am
(115) Nancy Schimelpfening - Depression Guide at About.com says:

Sue,

This is the WORST thing you could do for your husband. The grief and the feeling of failure he is going to feel is worse than anything he is feeling right now. Trust me, he will NOT be better off without you. I know you love him dearly to even think about doing such a thing, but the best thing you can do for him is to get into treatment and hang in there until you find the treatment which helps you. There are so many treatment options out there and new ones coming all the time. To get some immediate help tonight, please check out this page: http://depression.about.com/cs/suicidecrisis/a/whomtocall.htm

September 22, 2008 at 10:58 pm
(116) Becky says:

Thats it, look for someone to blame. Nice! Make the whole world feel sorry for you. I dont. If you want help, go get it. Your the only one that can help yourself. For some reason though, you would rather feel so much self pity and this seems easier than doing the work. I really hope no one falls for this crap and feels bad.

September 22, 2008 at 11:01 pm
(117) Sue says:

Must be more than one Sue on here. The last comment on here is not mine, I am changing my handle to someone less full of self pity!

September 22, 2008 at 11:18 pm
(118) Jason says:

I really think we should reserve this site for spouses and families of people with mental illness. We really dont need more guilt from those suffering with the illness. We suffer too. Although we have been forced to stand up and be the strong ones, this site should be for us! No one is saying that your pain is not real. We are really saying that no one sees what we are going through. There is so much help for those with mental illness (if they choose to take it), but none for us that deal with the ramifications of it day in and day out. If you real love your spouses and families, get help, do everything you can to heal, and stop the guilt crusade. Personally, I am sick of it.

September 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm
(119) Gary says:

Is there any good resources out there that can help me cope with my wifes major depression. She has had it for a long time and I did not see it coming. She will not ackowlege it that she is ill. I love her very much and know that it’s the illness and not true hatered and anger she displays towards me. She is very dilusional about the past 14 years of our marrage life and I seemed to be the one she’s blaming. Example: She’s angry about me not being a family man – yet she has been wanting to abandon me and the kids? When ever I correct a delusional fault she blames me for, she finds another delusional fault. Is this normal?

September 24, 2008 at 10:15 am
(120) John says:

I have total sympathy (and empathy) for you. Very important: make sure that you take care of yourself so that you can be present for your husband. Ask his therapist or someone knowledgeable about local support groups for you. A good book about male depression is “I don’t want to talk about it” (so true). My wife bailed on me while I was in the deepest pit of depression, contemplating suicide. Needless to say, that didn’t help at all. I send you my prayers and best wishes. Hang in there – it gets better!

September 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(121) Mary says:

Sue, the one who is depressed, suicide isn’t the answer,but you already know that or you wouldn’t have been looking at sites. It is very difficult to almost impossible to live with a spouse who is chronically depressed, but by stating you are making it better for him you will make him feel worse. Call 911 and get help don’t go on this site, one of the few that spouses of a depressed person have, and try to make us feel bad. We NEED somewhere to vent and talk to people who understand. The merry go round you are on we are too, but it maybe a little worse for us because we are completely aware of it. There is a lot of emotional abuse that degrades our self esteem, our emotional well being, and it carries over to the children. If this abuse was physical everyone would tell us to leave. It isn’t; there is a sickness and our vows do mean something. When my husband is “normal” he is a good guy and will admit there is a problem, but when that evil comes back he will deny that was ever said or thought. That I think is one of the hardest things; sometimes the man I love comes back to me. I admit I am an enabler and I am like his mother. His family really doesn’t admit there is a problem, but they know. I keep praying and trying to hold strong to my faith, but I do feel like he is wearing me thin, and sometimes I don’t know how much longer I will stay. But the thoughts come back to my faith, my kids, and his well being. He frequently tells me without me he would be in jail or dead because I keep him “in line.” What would happen to him if the kids and I leave; if something happened to him how would the kids be without a dad. Even though I wouldn’t actually classify him as a dad, more like a father, but he is the only one they have.
John, as for your wife leaving you and making it worse, she may not have been able to take it any longer and it may have broken her. I am really glad you got help and are doing better know though. Just try to look at it from her perspective as it was probably similar to alot of ours. Thanks for listening. I am really glad I found somewhere to vent and have people who understand and don’t tell me to leave. The comments I have left sound negative, but I am usually positive. This is one place I can let my emotions out and not worry about hurting anyone. It is similar to journaling except others are reading it (maybe:)

September 28, 2008 at 9:04 am
(122) Lillo says:

I’m glad to see that i am not alone in all of this. I have been married to my best friend for over a year and a half and just a few months ago i noticed that something just didn’t seem right. My husband is depressed, he’s not the happy go lucky person i’ve known for 8+ years. He was always my rock, but now that is gone. I am trying my best to be there for him but nothing seems to be working. I try the tough love approach, because i too suffered from a long bout of depression and am still suffering, and found that helped me. His morning routine is very slow, he doesn’t want to leave the house or wants me to stay home with him everyday but i manage to talk him into going to work to get his mind off of things. He starts off his mornings with ‘i can’t handle this, i dont want to be alone, and i am scared to leave you when i go to work. i think this is the worst morning ever. I dont know what i am going to do i can’t take it anymore.’ He’s gone to see his dr. quite a few times, he hasn’t been diagnosed with anything yet. He told his dr. he thinks its an anxiety disorder and so his dr. prescribed him Xanax, prior to this he was going to herbal route with St. John’s wort and drinking Chammomile tea to help calm his nerves and anxiety. I’m trying my hardest to be there for him but its hard when he doesnt want to help himself. He’s been told by the dr. to excersize and he just doesnt do it. He sits around when he comes back from work and thinks about what is depressing him and trys to do a reverse of thoughts in his mind because he feels guilty of something he’s done-mostly think he was in love with another woman. Once he battles and says to himself that its not true, he feels guilty that he was feeling that way. His dr. has referred him to a therapist, but it can take months before he sees him. The Xanax is not working and i’m not sure if its making it worse. He’s waking up then going back to bed until
I am ready to leave for work and leaves with me. He just sits and stares into space and in the morning its the worst I noticed. He tries to calm himself with heavy/deep breathing, but I see that he’s only making it worse for himself. He’ll break into tears, something i’ve never seen him do, in the 8+ years I have been with him. I don’t know if the wait to see a therapist is just going to be worse with him. I want to know what this is because I would love to have him on the path to a healthy recovery, but I am afraid that the longer it takes to see one, the worse he will become.

September 29, 2008 at 9:48 am
(123) Jack says:

I am stuggling with depression, because my wife is also struggling depression. She knows and admites to having depression problems, but refuses to take medication. She is now blaming all her past and present problems on me. When I show love, rejects me. Counsoler says that she must make her own mind up about medication. Help! Please advise..

September 30, 2008 at 11:21 am
(124) Bev says:

I am living with a husband that for the past five years has only worked 12 months, does absolutely nothing (does not take care of self or anything), has not even been out of the house for probably the last three years. We have two daughters, one to be 14 the other to be 7. He has been in is underware for over half of my seven year olds life. I cannot get through to him how he is effecting all of us. I am constantly angry and say probably the most terrible things I can say once I get started because I am so frustrated/angry. I would walk through fire for this man – and he will do nothing to save us. I have come to the conclusion that you cannot help/save those who don’t want to be helped/saved. He comes from a very disfunctional family and I don’t, my family was always a big part of our life now there is nothing. We used to live a life of enjoyment, now there is nothing. My girls are active in sports, which should be a dad thing, and yet he has missed the past four years. If we are not important to him to get help – what is? We will be married 17 years in October and I do take the for better or worse as how it should be…but I can’t do the worse anymore because that is all I have. I want him to want to help himself so that we can help each other. He is, for lack of a better word, jealous of the kids – I pay more attention to them than him. In my opinion they need the attention from someone and I am tired of asking him what he needs, what I can do for him and how I can help and constantly get nothing. I am constantly told that I don’t understand, which is not true I have made so many phone calls and done so many internet searches on the topic of depression that I can honestly say that I know too much. He doesn’t want to listen to me or take any of my advice. I work all day, run/take care of our girls, do all of the household chores (including grass cuttting and trash taking out) and it is very stressful for me. When I try to talk about this to him I get that “yeah, it’s all about you”. I am tired – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually (I don’t believe I have any spirit left). All he says is it would be better if he weren’t around, so I say leave and he never does, because he has nowhere to go. It is now a marriage of convenience – his, because he does absolutely nothing. How do you help those who are not willing to help themselves. I need someone to talk to that can relate and understand what I am going through. I tried to make an appointment with a psychologist but the initial line of questioning did not go well with me – my upbringing and relationship with my parents has nothing to do with the situation I am in now, other than the fact that it supports that the relationship I am in is totally wrong.

September 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm
(125) Marjorie says:

Bev:
I found this site by accident and read it regularly. Your story sounds like I’m reading my own book. My advice, if you didn’t like the therapist you met with, find another. I did and it helps so much to just meet with her once in a while (time permitted). Just venting to a person who not judgemental and just listens – doesn’t point fingers, can’t understand why you don’t leave etc – she JUST LISTENS. It really helps. I’m still in the same situation, just like yourself, but talking to the right therapist can lift you spirits, even just a little. And I’m sure you can agree – a little is better then the nothing you are getting at home.

October 1, 2008 at 10:00 pm
(126) susie says:

I am writing tonight because I am in so much emotional pain (again). My husband was recently hospitalized and for a few weeks, seemed like he was doing amazing. It has been such a nightmare for the past 3 years with his psychotic episodes and binge drinking (disapearing for days), that when I saw so much improovement, I was so happy.
Well, on Sunday, it happened again. A fight with his ex wife over money became him turning me into the target of his wrath and latest episode. This time he accused me of not respecting him becasue a guy he is jelous of subbed on my volleyball team, and i didnt leave the game.
I am pretty messed up> He is now saying for the 20th time that he doesnt know how he feels about us anymore, and if he should stay. I know he is sick, but come on. The punishment really doesnt fit the crime. I have put up with and helped this man through everything you can imagine. Not once have i threatened to leave. He treatens it every time things dont go his way. Sooo, now he is gone again. Staying at his parents, probably feeling sooo sorry for hiself and waiting for me to come and ask for forgiveness (again). Anyone been through this? Any ideas how to break this cycle?? I really dont know what the best thing to do is. The last time I didnt go after him, he attempted suicide.

October 3, 2008 at 1:29 am
(127) Noelle says:

Susie,
I feel for you so much. {hug} I came on crying as the depressed spouse feeling unloved and looking for info and support. I cannot imagine what you may be going through. I’ve been around a lot of mentally ill family members and friends , and he sounds like he is still having psychosis/paranoia. When my mom was paranoid, I wasn’t allowed to say hello to our next door neighbors b/c she thought they were somehow leeching off our electricity. When my BF’s bipolar hubby gets psycho he thinks she’s having an affair he’s followed her…all the way to Joann Fabrics LOL.

You didn’t say his diagnosis but i hope it bipolar or something else, not simple depression, otherwise they’re probably treating it incorrectly.

I have a 9 yr old son that can be the meanest nastiest person ever when he is unstable. those periods are like hell. But when the right combo of meds is found he settles down and we see the sweet kid we know and love.

I’d say first of all, I’m sorry this is happening to you. Second, if he is willing to accept and pursue treatment, I’d hang in there with him. It sounds like he needs to be re-hospitalized. Call and explain you believe he is a threa to himself based on prior behavior and that he is in a period of psychosis. In many area they have mobile crisis units that are better equipped to deal with mental health issues. A quick search for those terms and your county or town will find the answer. Anyway, Insurance co.s hate lomg stays, but you are his best advocate and can call them up and give them the WHY of why he needs a long stay(to get him truly stabilized), get his psychiatrist call, even his treating psychiatrist in the hospital. Fight for them to call the insurance and have them go up to bat for your husband.

That’s my two cents, I really hope you find some peace in this awful situation and I’ll be praying for you right now Susie=0)

October 3, 2008 at 1:37 am
(128) Noelle says:

Oh, I forget, just in case you don’t have one, make a binder of all his records from his psychiatrist with a diagnosis (just a basic session note has a diagnosis code at the bottom), prior hospitalization forms (get copies from the hospital if you can with his admitting problem ie psychosis or suicide). Then when they come you csn break out the binder and back up what you’re saying so they take you seriously. Good luck!

October 3, 2008 at 2:43 am
(129) Margaret says:

i have been married for 37years to a man with bi-polar disorder. I met hin in london, his parents were from Egypt with a Mediterranean background. i put his excessive highs and lows down to a “cultural difference”.
We fell in love and married and for much of the time enjoyed each other in every way. bi-polar disorder leads to great leaps of imagination and creativity in the “high” times and great negativity during the “lows”. i dealt with this with the exhuberance of youth and his career took off. Move on 20 years. Things haven’t worked out so well so my husband (previously undiagnosed) takes a knife and stabs himself 14 times. Knicks his heart, damages a nerve that controls his breathing and we move into the nightmare of psychiatrists, clinics, treatment that doesn’t work most of the time and two lives lost to this disease. On the plus we have (or I have) raised two beautiful daughters and shielded them from the worst. What am I trying to say? If I had my life again and knew as much as I do now, I wouldn’t have married him, but how could i deny my two wonderful girls that I love so much? My advice to all you spouses. if you can get out, run! If you can’t, it’s a long hard road with few rewards. it doesn’t get better. i am looking at a very sad and lonely old age. I am 64 and luckily am in a job where i can work part time and keep an interest outside this dark, horrible place I call home. Use your friends and try not to walk in your partner’s shoes. Empathy is destructive. i ended up under the same black cloud as my husband and had to work very hard to get out. Good luck all you brave spouses.

October 10, 2008 at 11:13 am
(130) Kelly says:

Looking for help out there!! My husband and i have been married for nearly 20 years. About two years ago my husband was diagnosed with Epilepsy and has had two grand mall seizers. He currently takes Lamictal and Kepra and they seem to be holding the seizers at bay, howver, for a solid year, he could not drive and had to rely on me to get him to work, etc. He occastionally has partial seizers where suddenly his words don’t come out right….this trauma has taken an emotional toll on both of us. Ever since he was diagnosed (and taking the meds)my husband seems to not be able to handle the normal pace of our daily lives with two active teenagers, he’s become controlling of me, and very agitated over what seems to be simple things. All his frustrations seems to be taken out on me. He’s absolutely convinced that the REAL problem is ME and can’t seem to even recognize his own emotions. I think it has become very obvious that he is projecting on to me (his wife). I’ve tired explaining this to him so many times and he just gets mad and feels “falsy accused”. A year and a half of this has taken it’s toll on my self esteem…just his constant ridicule of me. I have tried explaining this to him so many times but he just can’t see what he is doing! ‘ve been a stay at home mom for 15 years, serving my children and husband and church faithfully. And now, I feel like I am a failure. My husband can not see what he is doing….I am now recognizing that I am in a depression and will be getting meds to help me. My concern is, the situation with my husband is still present regardless of the meds I will take to help me. How do I get him to own up to what he is doing!! Or is it me that has the problem?!! I have prayed to God, pleading that HE’ll save our marriage. I see those that provide hope in situations in this forum are reying on God and HIS power! I, too, believe healing will have to come from the Lord. But, is there anything I can do? We’ve been in counceling, but my husband just puts on his “masks” (which he’s a master of) and acts all confident like he has it all together while he tries to exploit my emotions and reactions as being “extreme” showing I’m the one with the problem, not him. I can’t make my husband look inward!! HELP!!

October 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm
(131) susie says:

Kelly, I think if you read over your comments, you will see that you have answered your own questions. You cant make anyone change or see the light. The only thing you have control of is yourself. Put his care into the hands of God. Get on with your life. I find that the more we push things, the more people resist. Hopefully one day he will figure it out. I am sorry this is happening to you. I am in the same boat and find that sometimes if we just leave people alone, they will find their way back. Susie

October 10, 2008 at 10:19 pm
(132) Kelly says:

Susie,

Thank you for your comment back to me. My question is, how do you keep your self esteem up under these conditions?

October 13, 2008 at 1:20 pm
(133) Susie says:

Hi Kelly, I cant tell you how hard that has been for me. I struggle with it so bad each time my husband has an episode. These episodes are getting more and more frequent. I think I have always had low self esteem which caused me to get into this relationship in the first place. ( I thought i could save him).
I go to alanon, spend time with friends, play sports and run ,all the things I dont feel like doing to try and regain some type of life. Recently I started seeing an abuse councelor at the womens centre. I really feel like a large part of what he does is abusive.
Pray for guidance, and rely on Christians and friends and family for support. You would be surprised how many people are going through this but dont talk about it. There is an amazing book out there called “10 days to self esteem”. I just started it and know lots of people who it has helped. It is a workbook and really gets to the route of our self esteem problems.
The problem with relying on others for our sense of self is that it will never come. These people will always disapoint us, and our self esteem will come crashing down each time they do. I am really trying now to become a whole person despite my spouse. It is hard work, but in the end, I know it will change my life. I will pray for you. I know where you are at, and its horrible. Take care, Susie

October 13, 2008 at 4:31 pm
(134) PLo says:

I have recently met a wonderful man who would seem to be the perfect husband. After our third date, he admitted to his illness Depression. We talked about it and promised we would be honest about the illness and everything else. Well, I have just been through his first episode and it is so heartbreaking. I have a daughter and don’t know if I will be able to cope with it all. I read all the comments and think WOW!! Is this something I really want to put myself and my daughter thru? He is so wonderful and so loving but what happens from here?

October 14, 2008 at 9:27 am
(135) Becky says:

PLO, how long had you been dating? What you see is what you get (generally). Can you live with it? Dont make the same mistake so many of us have and think we can “love them better”. As you can see by the comments, it doesnt work. Becky

October 27, 2008 at 4:21 pm
(136) Amber says:

I could really use some advice… My bi-polar husband has lost yet another job because of his alcoholism. The money that he was making was barely keeping up the bills, now I have to figure out what to do. He is offering no solution, only accusations that I am a B&$@! and that if I cared about him that I wouldn’t be upset that he lost his job because he hated it. That I should want him to be happy. When I left yesterday to go fill out applications for a part-time job (I already have a full-time job) I got accused of having an affair. WHY?!?!? Why do I have to put up with this paranoia? I just don’t understand, I am trying to keep us from losing the only car that we have and our home. Why am I being accused of having an affair? Why does he not see the stress that he is causing me? The only thing that I know to do is to find a second job for nights and weekends so that I can keep up with the bills and not have to go home. I just wanna cry. I was already doing so much and now this. I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders and no one to help me carry it. The one person that should be helping me is lost in a world of self pity and delusions. What am I supposed to do? I don’t even want to go home. I could really use some advice on how to end this. I cannot go on living this way. If he is not going to be active member of the household then I cannot keep trying to help him. He has made no attempt to stop drinking, go back on meds, or find anything resemling a real job. Those were the terms of me coming home after I left last september, he had a year to do all of this on top of getting his license back. He has made no progress. Instead he has gotten worse.

October 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm
(137) Kelly says:

Amber,

My heart goes out to you. Do you have a professional councelor that you can talk to? Also, do you know THE ultimate Healer Jesus?

October 31, 2008 at 10:25 pm
(138) Cheri says:

I would like to know if there are any on-line support groups for spouses of depressed individuals. I am struggling because my husband of 35 years is depressed and is thinking of ending our marriage. He says he needs to change something to find some joy. I would be the easiest thing to change. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

November 1, 2008 at 11:29 pm
(139) Susan says:

Cheri, I am so sorry you are going through this. I am going to give you the best advice that was once given to me. Let him go. If he loves you, he will come back. My husband did the same thing and I was devastated! 1 year later he came back having reaized that it wasnt me after all (imagine that!). Well, by that time I had healed and had started a new life. One that was full of fun and new friends and activites, all the things I didnt do when i was with him. Little by little, the devastation disapated and I started to realize that I was actually starting to enjoy my life without him. I had spent so many years waiting for things to get better and to start living. When he left, i realized I may as well start living without him. Things improved and I noticed that I became happier than I had been in many years.
Well, of course he came back. Hat in hand. Guess he realized that its not so rosy out there after all. I said, sorry. I could never go back to that life. Him leaving was actually the best thing that ever happened to me. At the time it didnt seem like it, but now, looking back, all I can say is Thank God! Sometimes the things that seem the hardest and most painful at the time, are the very things we need. Good luck. Pray for strength and guidance. You will figure it all out. SB

November 4, 2008 at 4:43 pm
(140) Chris says:

I so sympathize with you all, I’ve been married for 30 years, my wife has both depression and psychosis for which she has been treated, however, here in the UK we have the good old NHS, but not so good when drugs are cut down to the minimum because of the cost. This leaves the patient to suffer some of the effects of their illness, and their spouses to suffer all! This may sound harsh, but my daughter and I go through it daily, both the accusations and ridicule, Sometimes wish I had the courage to end it all but that would just leave my daughter to suffer at the hands of her mother, so for the time being there’s just no way out but just survive this Hell.

November 6, 2008 at 8:26 pm
(141) Ruth says:

I keep getting weird phone calls at late hours. They call 3 or 4 times each time, no message and no telephone number. I’m beginning to think it’s my ex-boyfriend (who’s clinically depressed) calling me. Is this typical? In the end of our relationship he became suspicious, secretive and very uncommunicative; I’d be talking to him and he’d walk off in mid-sentence. He would publically humiliate me. Is this the only way he feels he can “communicate”?

November 10, 2008 at 2:37 pm
(142) danielle says:

my husband was diagnosed about 10 years ago.he is in therapy and on meds but it doesn’t seem to be working.he used to be happy but the stress of his job makes him depressed and now he does say everyday i should just leave him or one day we will be divorced.it’s very lonely and i try to be supportive and understanding but it’s very frustrating when i am in a marriage alone taking care of our daughter who is 8 months.what do i do?

November 13, 2008 at 3:06 am
(143) vivian says:

This will sound crazy. I wanna know if I am depressed or just in an unhappy marriage. I’ve been married 8 years. I am bored with my life and feel unhappy a lot. My husband and I have drifted apart. He is a nice guy, but I am not in love with him or sexually attracted to him. His family makes me sick (mother-in-law) bull crap! He lives in the basement, rarely comes upstairs. His personality sucks, but he doesn’t treat me awful. He just has no emotions. We haven’t had sex for 2 years. I feel like I live with a roomate. He takes care of me financially, but that is it! I know I have seasonal depression, so my dream is to move to Florida. He promised we would, but now has backed out. And, I resent him for this, so I make his life a living hell, esp. in th winter. I feel bad, but I just can’t help it. I feel like he is in my way of living somewhere that I want to desperately be. I am irritable all the time, very moody, anxious, have a difficult time starting and finishing tasks, take everything for granted, hate myself sometimes and other times I love myself, difficulty making decisions, sad and angry a lot, suicidal thoughts, and have thought about having an affair so that he would find out and divorce me. I think I feel this way because I am unhappy in this marriage, but I’m not sure. I don’t want to get therapy because I am against psych drugs. Is it possible that if I do leave him and move to Florida my depression will clear up if that is what I have. It might all just be related to my seasonal affective disorder and I am hoping that by living in Florida I will recover from this living hell. The funny thing is I get more depressed when I am around my husband than my friends and family. Please give me some advice.

November 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm
(144) Wayne says:

I am a survivor of a manic depressed wife for 35 years. I came upon this site by accident, as I felt it was my own secret and nobody went through what I went through, the mental abuse, guilt for destroying her life the excuses I had to make for
her behavior, the nights spent alone crying and hurting and desperately wishing and dreaming she would hold and love me
and appreciate me. The hope she would realize I loved her and cared, that the 35 years spent caring for her was a commitment
of love and compassion, explaining to the children as they went though their growing stages to adult hood their mother suffered
major from depression due to a chemical imbalance, that is was not really her, as you held and embraced and cried with your children telling them it would be OK. The verbal abuse, threats of suicide, the giving and giving only to be expected. Knowing that this sickness went through 3 generations of her family and praying to God this would bypass your children. Not having common
friends to share life with. After retiring from a successful career as a police chief and knowing you are not welcome to be at home
Aad enjoy life like normal people, knowing the meds and addictions to sleeping pills and such have altered her personality, thus
you choose a new career to keep busy and normal. (oil industry Manager out of town back and forth). While sitting in your office one day and getting served with divorce papers totally blind sided, you realize you life and future has ended that she will not talk to you,answer the phone, E-mails, text messages that all you are left with is memories. This is what it is like married to a depressed spouse,but I do still love her, and she is the mother to my children. That you pray to God that you can endure what is left of your life, andp pray that somehow or some way God would look kindly upon you in your loneliness and help the bitterness and resentment you have felt all these years being a care giver.
Wayne

November 14, 2008 at 7:47 pm
(145) Mike says:

Wayne,

My heart goes out to you. You are a better man than I am. I was engaged to the most wonderful woman I have ever known for the past year. She was very open about her clinical depression when we first got together and I was so confident that we could get through anything together that I assured her it would be alright. She moved in with me about 8 months ago and after suicide threats, self injury (cutting) to deal with the emotional pain she was feeling and the depths of her despair, a suicide attempt (overdose of pills), and finally a physical assault on me for which she was charged. I finally had to tell her we were through. I miss her every minute of every day and I hate myself for “abandoning” her when she is at her lowest point. I know rationally that I couldn’t live this way for the next 30 or 40 years but my heart aches for her. I love the “real” her and I know this horrible disease is to blame as are the family member(s) who sexually abused her and her sisters and sentenced her to this hell that she just can’t seem to escape. She is on medication but that alone is not enough. Even with the counseling she needs she may never be “normal” by societies standards or able to be truly happy. I too experienced the verbal abuse and false accusations, was blamed for all the bad things in her life and even though I knew it wasn’t really her talking, that she was just in a low point, I found it hard not to say mean things back after hours of this. I will never forgive myself for walking away from her and even now in weaker moments I sit and think that perhaps I could live on this roller coaster with her. I just want to put my arms around her and tell her it will all be ok even though I know it won’t. I still want to marry her and grow old with her even though I know it would be more than I could handle. I feel very small for not being strong enough for her even though I know I can’t “fix” it for her or make her happy. I realize that these are things that she will have to accomplish for herself if it’s at all possible and I pray that she finds happiness in this life although I truly doubt she will. Wayne I admire your strength and commitment to your wife and I’m sorry you now find yourself alone but you should be proud that you stood by her all those years. I wish I was as strong. I will always love her and will always carry a sadness in my heart for all the dreams we had that will never be realized. I just hope this emptiness I feel will fade with time. It just seems so cruel and unfair to find someone you truly love that loves you back only to have this horrible disease rob you of the life you should be able to share. I’m sorry for rambling on like I have but I really needed to share my feelings and after reading all these posts I didn’t feel quite so alone. Thanks for sharing.
Mike

November 15, 2008 at 11:11 pm
(146) susie says:

Mike and Wayne, thank you so much for your posts. I was in deep despair tonight (again)over my partners depression and alchoholism. He has once again disappeared from my life on a week long drinking binge and now is hiding in his parents basement in a psychotic state. Before i checked the new posts on this site tonight ,I was sitting at the computer with my head in my hands crying and praying to God for help and answers. Your posts really spoke to me. I love this man with everything i have, but I just cant go on like this. I dont want in 35 years to be left like you were Wayne. In the past 4 years of our relationship, he has left me about 15 times due to his illness and psychotic thoughts. Each time I am left picking up the pieces and barely functioning, trying to go to work and keep focused(I am a manager of a prison)until he decides to come back and we repeat the cycle again. The fear and anxiety between episodes is almost crippling. I know the stress has made me sick and I now have chronic GI problems and a bleeding ulcer. I am so sorry this happened to you both. Thanks for taking the time to write your stories. Susie

November 16, 2008 at 12:02 am
(147) Mike says:

Susie,

So sorry to hear what you are going through. Walking away was and still is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have tried to rationalize everything to myself and convince myself that together we could work through the depression but I know that I have no control and that I cannot be responsible for her happiness and well being. She has to take responsibility for her life just as I do mine. I have spoken to counselors, friends, and taken a 10 week course on mental illness in an attempt to find a way to help her manage day to day so that we could have the life together that we had planned. At the end of the day the answer was always the same. There is no cure and the best that you can hope for is to be able to manage with what you have. What you see is what you get is what it came down to and I found myself sinking into despair as well. I worry every day about how she will manage, what she will do to herself, the pain and despair she must be feeling, the disapointment she must feel in me that I could leave her like that. I want to call her, I want to hold her and yes I still dream of the life we had planned together even though I know it will never be ( love doesn’t go away easily). As much as I love her I know that staying with her would only end up with both of us depressed and very likely in divorce. I want more than anything for her to find peace and happiness. She has as much right to be happy as any of us and yet I know it is unlikely that she ever will be. I would give anything to be able to make her “well” but I know that I can’t and that all I have control over is myself. Somehow that doesn’t help with the guilt I’m feeling or that I miss her so much but I know deep down it is the only choice I could make. I know it sounds harsh but I truly believe that you have to look after yourself. Susie, you have to do what is in your heart but ultimately you have to take care of yourself. I sit and cry by myself when I think of what might have been but I don’t let others see that. I know that time will heal but I will always love this woman and I pray that somehow she will find it in her heart to forgive me for not being strong enough to make that journey with her. If there is a god why does he let people suffer like that? She never did anything to deserve this. Susie, take care of yourself, the only thing you have control over is you. Should you decide to stay in this relationship or not, your mental and physical well being more important than ever. All the best and thanks for sharing.

Mike

November 16, 2008 at 12:25 am
(148) Mike says:

Susie,

I wanted to share one more thing with you. I was told by a friend that has spent may years “existing” with a depressed spouse the following. She said at my age (I’m 48) I have earned the right to be myself but that if I chose to stay in this relationship i would never be able to do that. She was so very right. I was constantly walking on eggshells, second guessing everything I was about to say because i was afraid of how she might take it. Making excuses constantly to friends as to why we couldn’t make it to a social outing and basically isolating ourselves. I am now rebuilding those bridges with friends and they have been so wonderful and supportive. I have been very open about what has gone on and they have been there for me every step of the way. I let my work suffer and now I am in overdrive in an attempt to rectify that as well. I guess what I wanted to say is, you too have earned the right to be yourself. Make whatever decision you make for you and nobody else. It may be hard but at the end of the day it’s the right thing to do. If you don’t take care of you, who will?
Mike

November 16, 2008 at 11:35 pm
(149) susie says:

Thanks for your comments Mike. I especially find it comforting that others are dealing with the same issues and that i am not alone.This site, and comments like yours have made me realize that i dont have to live like this and that there are definate patterns that our spouses follow. Tonight i took a stand. He called (because i refused to go looking for him), and was acting all pitiful saying how he is no good and that he just ruins everyones life. I went to his parents, sat down and told him exactly how i felt. I said I can no longer live like this and that this cant be my life anymore. I said he had a choice and in the end chose booze, self pity and refusing to get help over me, his kids (not mine), and his job. I said, I hope this life will make you very happy, and walked out. I hurt but really feel proud of myself for finally taking a stand and caring for myself. Thanks again for your help and comments, they really did give me strength! Susie

November 17, 2008 at 8:27 am
(150) Mike says:

Susie,

I know that what you did was hard. It has been about three weeks since I ended the relationship I was in and I still have some very rough days doubting myself and the decision I made. It’s always easy to remember the good times, I have to force myself to remember the hard times and when I do that my rational side takes over and I know I did the right thing. While I still love her and I’m sure I always will in some way, I know that I will get through this and I do feel better as the days go by and I’m sure you will as well. As they say, times heals even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. It will get better and you have a right to be happy. It takes more strength to make the choice you did than to just continue on living with all the uncertainty and pain that has been your life for so long. Remember, you can’t love somebody better. Only they can make the choices that will help them get better. Take care of yourself and I’ll look forward to hearing in your future posts how your life is getting better for you (it will).
Mike

November 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm
(151) So Confused says:

I have read every single post and find it very sad that we are all going through the same thing. My husband and I have been married for 5 years together for 7. I had no idea that it would be like this. I love him very much, but I’m tired of the negative attitude. He doesn’t want to do anything to progress in life. He doesn’t have a problem with alcohol or substances. He’s a really good guy, but he doesn’t take any responsibility for his actions. He always wants to change jobs, which makes me very nervous with the economy being what it is. He’s always taking classes and dropping them. He doesn’t want to do anything around the house and virtually everything is a “burden” to him. He told me that he has no reason to be happy. What about me and our son? I’ve tried being supportive and cheerful, I’ve tried tough love, I’ve tried threatening, but nothing seems to work. This weekend I’ll be moving out. I have no idea what he’s going to do about the bills, but he doesn’t really want to talk about it. All I can do at this point is put it in God’s hands. I love my husband and want it to work out, but this has been 5 years of ups and downs and it has gotten progressively worse. Reading some of your posts scares the hell out of me. What will my life be like in 20 years if I stay? Sad thing is I cant imagine my life without him 20 years from now.

November 18, 2008 at 6:13 pm
(152) Mike says:

So Confused,

I’m sorry you too are having to go through this. I know exactly how you feel, to love somebody and dream of your future together. To be unable to imagine not being with that person that has become so much a part of you. These are the same feelings and emotions that I went through and am still dealing with. I think it is important to realize that the future we have imagined with our spouse would never have turned out as we had hoped. As you yourself said, when you got married you never imagined it would turn out like this. I watched as the woman I love spiraled downward. It got to the point where it seemed we couldn’t go more than a couple of weeks without her sinking into that black hole again. It took longer and longer for her to climb out. I tried everything to make it better for her, going out for dinner, lunches, away for weekends, out to the movies, fresh flowers every week. These are all things I loved to do for her, to do together but it’s not real life. They are nice breaks but there is work and bills to pay. She didn’t have any motivation to go to work. She would mention it occasionaly but never seriously. Even then I didn’t mind, I could manage the day to day expenses but it left her too much time doing nothing and thinking. When she was feeling well, she was a pleasure to be around but it became less and less frequent. Many nights she would sleep in the spare room and I was left wondering what was wrong or what I had done. It got to the point that I was getting depressed and starting to feel like I was a bad person, had failed her in some way, hadn’t done enough for her. When I finally sat and thought rationally about everything I realized that I couldn’t live another 5 years this way, let alone 35 years. I knew I had to save my own sanity and if that sounds selfish so be it. I just want to be happy, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. It has been very hard at times, I miss her so much but each day gets a little easier and the more I talk to people who have been in this type of situation the more certain I am that I made the right choice. Try to stay positive, lean on your friends, keep busy, I can’t stress the busy part enough. The more you sit and think, the harder it is. And, if you are anything like me, I always think of the good times, the wonderful things we shared. I have to force myself to remember all the negative and there was plenty. Once I put things in perspective, I feel much stronger and it makes it easier to get through the day. Like I said, it gets better bit by bit but it does get better. I find it very helpful to read the posts here and know that I’m not alone in this. This is much more common than I would ever have believed. Good luck, stay strong and I’ll look for your future posts telling how life is getting better.

Mike

November 19, 2008 at 9:25 am
(153) So Confused says:

Thanks Mike. I see what you said to Susie about having to force yourself to remember the bad times. I find that very hard when he’s acting normal. Of course, since I said I was leaving, he has been acting very upbeat and happy. I know he is doing this to keep me home. When he does this I feel guilty and second guess myself wondering if I’m making too much of it and if I just relish this good time it will get me through the down time. I know that this will not work.

How are you doing with everything?

November 19, 2008 at 3:38 pm
(154) Mike says:

So Confused,

I know what you mean. When there is an upbeat moment, you start to question as you say whether perhaps it will make up for the down time. I went over and over that so many times and the down time became more frequent and darker it seemed. She would threaten suicide and tell me she wouldn’t be a burden much longer. After the recent suicide attempt and then the complete melt down where she attacked me I couldn’t deny the truth any more (even though I still tried), that this was a pattern that was destined to repeat itself over and over. I was feeling very guilty about “abandoning her” at her lowest point and when I made this statement to a friend who has been through somthing similar, she made an interesting point. She said “this isn’t her lowest point, this is her life and this is how it will always be”. That only reinforced everything I have read or been told about this disease. The other thing to keep in mind is that they can be very manipulative. Just because they are suffering with depression doesn’t mean they are stupid. They will say and do what they have to to get the reaction or result that they want. When I took the the 10 week course to try and better understand depression they spoke alot about how the depressed person will push your buttons until they get the reaction they want just so they can say see I told you so! I found this to be very true. As much as I hate to admit it, after having mean hurtful things said to me for hours and sometimes days on end I found myself retaliating in kind, saying nasty things back to hurt her as much as she was hurting me. It’s easy to say don’t take it personally, it’s the disease talking. It’s another thing entirely to be a verbal punching bag for hours without lashing out yourself. I’ve come to realize that my friend was right when she said I would never be able to be myself living with a depressed person. Not only are you walking on those eggshells all the time afraid to “set them off”, when you find yourself starting to act and behave as they are then you know you are being dragged down and it’s time to re-evaluate the situation. I am by nature a fairly upbeat person but I found myself feeling down more and more. I still miss her but every day I’m feeling a little better and I keep telling myself that the best part of my life is yet to come. Yes I have to force myself to remember the bad times still but with each day I find it a little easier to be objective. Like others on this forum have said I wish there was a support group where we could sit and talk but there doesn’t seem to be anything of the sort in my area. In any event I’m grateful for the communication with yourself and the others here, it has been very comforting to know I’m not the only one going through this. Be strong for yourself and lean on who ever you need to. Friends and family might surprise you with how supportive the can be. Take care and I’ll look forward to hearing how you are doing.
Mike

November 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm
(155) Amanda says:

I give everyone credit for their support of their spouses. I have been on both sides of depression both with my own and dealing with my spouse’s depression. I went through counseling and medication and am able to deal with everything. My spouse is now in a cycle of depression that has lasted almost a year. I will pass along some advice to those dealing with a depressed spouse that came from my therapist. It is important to recognize this is a disease and support your spouse; however, not at the expense of yourself and your children. I am not encouraging anyone to leave (I have not) but to have a plan in case it comes to that point. It helps deal with some of the fear of “what if this never gets better” Plan how you would support yourself, care for your kids, where you would go if you moved out. Not that this will happen, but it gives you a less fearful perspective on the situation. I don’t personally plan on leaving at this point, but I have given thought to how things would be managed if it became necessary.

November 24, 2008 at 10:43 am
(156) So Confused says:

Just an update on my situation. I have decided not to leave, although I am now having second thoughts. I dont want to tell my husband that I changed my mind again because I think it’s unfair to put him on the emotional rollercoaster that I have been on. Anyway, the weekend has gone by and although he said he’s going to make an effort to change, I saw no real effort. He slept for the entire weekend. We spent no real time together. I actually spent a lot of time with our son and my friends. What is scaring me the most is that I now find that I dont feel like I like him very much. I think that had I left for a while the time apart would have made me see the good in our relationship. Instead, in staying, I am focusing on the bad.

So to sum it all up, I’m still confused. Hope everyone else is doing better. Mike thanks for the advice, maybe next time I’ll be smart enough to take it.

November 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm
(157) Mike says:

So Confused,

It really has nothing to do with being smart enough to take advice. I really do feel what you are going through and I know it’s very hard. The only advice you should really take is when I said make whatever choice you make for yourself and nobody else. Obviously at this point in time you aren’t sure about leaving and that’s ok. You’ll do what is right for you when the time is right. I know all to well how hard it is to make that decision. I still have moments daily where I think about all the plans we had made for our future and I get a little sad but then I force myself to come back to reality and I know it would never have worked out as I envisioned. I know that that emotional roller coaster would have continued and I wasn’t prepared to live the rest of my life that way. My daughter was home from university for a visit and she said “dad, even though you are sad and you miss her, I can see how your stress level has gone way down and there is no more tension in this house”. That pretty much sums it up. Yes I am still sad sometimes for dreams not realized but I will get over that. The stress was so much harder to live with. At the end of the day, look after yourself and your health because no one else will. Whether you stay or leave and when will be your choice, as it should be. You’ll make the right choice for your situation and everything will work out. Just don’t be afraid to think of yourself sometimes. It’s too easy to get into that rut of trying to make everything better for our spouse and in the end we can’t do it anyway. Good luck with everything and I’ll look forward to your updates. Take care.
Mike

November 24, 2008 at 4:46 pm
(158) Diane says:

I posted my comments about my situation here a number of months ago. I now have my own sad update to give. My story rings the same as all others. In a nut shell he is not the same man I married 27 years ago. The frustration and heartache has been unbearable. I have been begging my husband to get help for almost 2 years. He took a mutually agreed significant cut in pay about 2 years ago with the deal he was going to get healthy and address his issues due to his reasoning it was all about the job. Of course he never did. We went to Mexico in May and I had some hope that we would have the beautiful romantic fun time on the trip (like we did every year we went somewhere) and I could possibly get through to him or at least have his undivided attention. I wasn’t expecting a miracle but really thought this time alone away from it all would be very helpful. What I didn’t expect was he spent nearly the entire time in the suite watching television. With the exception of feeding times and one day into town I basically spent the entire time in Cabo alone. It was very lonely and disappointing to say the least. We trudged through the next few months spiraling downward. I took care of everything, as usual and continued to beg him to see the light. Well, he lost his job 4 weeks ago. He was fired due to lack of ability to keep up the pace of goals. NOT a good time in the economy to get fired from a job, that’s for sure. I transferred all the health care policies over to my group insurance, I told him that he needed to get a physical in order to be on my insurance policy (he has serious blood sugar issues that he refuses to address and I am quite certain he is now a full blown diabetic now) but he has actually downright refused to see a Dr. even after I made the appointment for him. I told him that we only need to address the blood sugar right now, convinced that once he starts feeling better he would be able to cope better. I told him that he is heading toward a medical disaster and he will bury us financially without the insurance coverage. He didn’t care. He still refused. We worked so hard together all these years. Raised our children, now reaping the benefits of grandchildren and a beautiful, comfortable home, virtually no debts with the exception of house and cars, the ability to travel somewhere new once a year. I told him he was risking losing it all – he didn’t care. I gave him the ultimatum – his health and our life back or he needs to get out of my life. He chose to leave this past Friday.
Mike, I have been reading your posts and just can’t get over how everything you are saying you have been through and are going through is a carbon copy of my life. The guilt, the anger, the tears, mourning the loss of my future with this man that I invested so many years with. I am strong one minute and a puddle the next.
I have a pretty good job that I love and make a comfortable living on my own. I am only 48 years old with a whole lot of life left in me. I can’t let him take me down. I won’t allow it. Mike, you nailed it right on the head with your comments about looking out for yourself. I HAD to take a stand for my life. But, it hurts so badly. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring – I can only take this one day at a time.
I so wish there was a local support group for face to face support with others in this situation. I have been to counseling for myself but they really just stare at me and keep telling me I need to take care of myself. I KNOW THAT!!! Anyone on this blog live in the state of Wisconsin??
Yes, this hurts but I am certain I will somehow get through this.
thanks for listening.

November 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm
(159) Mike says:

Diane,

So sorry to hear what you are going through. Yes it hurts, more than anything I’ve ever gone through. It’s amazing how emotional pain can hurt physically so much. Even though it may not seem like it right now, things will get better for you, it’s just going to take some time. We’re the same age and at 48 we have a whole lot of living left to do. The fact that you have a job you enjoy and are able to take care of yourself is wonderful. Try to focus on all that is good in your life, children, grandchildren, your job and as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, lean on friends and family and they’ll help you through. Unfortunately I’m not in Wisconsin otherwise I’d love to sit down over a cup of coffee and chat. I’m in Ontario Canada. I know what you mean about the counseling, I think it’s more helpful to talk to someone who has or is going through the same thing. Take care and I’ll look forward to your posts.
Mike

November 24, 2008 at 7:38 pm
(160) Mike says:

Diane,

Sorry my last post was so short. I just popped onto the site while I was in the office and wanted to respond but I didn’t have much time. The thing that seems so common in all these posts and yours is no different is how the depressed person refuses to accept resposibility for themselves. Somehow in their mind everything becomes someone elses fault and in most cases that fault falls to us, the spouse that is trying so desperately to be supportive. It’s an awful responsibility to try and carry that weight along with being responsible for ourselves along with children, jobs etc. The roller coaster of emotions doesn’t end as soon as you part company with the depressed person unfortunately. Parting in itself is hard enough emotionally and then we have to go through all the stages of mourning over and over again it seems. Each time I revisit one of these emotions be it guilt, anger, sadness or whatever it does seem to sting a bit less, I just wish I could speed that process up somehow. The other thing I’m having a hard time with right now is the time of year. I was so looking forward to Christmas this year, cutting the tree, cooking together, all the things that a couple can enjoy together. I know I have so much to be thankful for and I’m looking forward to spending time with my children (21 & 17) but somehow I just can’t get excited like I had in the past. I know in time it will get better so I have to be patient. Once again I have to say how grateful I am for this site and too all of you who share your stories so that we all don’t feel so alone. I hope we all get through this painful time sooner rather than later and that we all become stronger and are able to be happy again. Onward and upward!
Mike

November 26, 2008 at 5:16 pm
(161) Diane says:

Hi Mike,
Thank you for your responses. you probably know all too well what speaking to or hearing from someone in the same boat is worth. Oh my god, the emotions are out of control. One minute I am fine, strong, independent and the next I am breaking down behind closed doors or with a close friend. I am sure the sting will get less painful. But I too wish I could speed the process up. It is just so very sad. I LOVED that man, and still do. I gave him so much of myself so freely. I had it all and now it’s gone. Oh yes, the holidays… tomorrow (thanksgiving) will be my first in 27 years without him. My sons and their families will be coming over so that will help. I am going to ask my sons if they want to call their dad (he is at his mothers house about 3 hours away)to say hello and wish him well and let him know they miss him. This is not about taking sides. Dad is not well at this time and he is not the dad that raised them. It is the illness speaking and acting right now, not the man that we knew and loved. We also have our first grandson turning 1 year old in 2 weeks. It will break my heart and my son’s heart if “Grandpa Dude” doesn’t show up. He was sent an invitation and it is not being held at my house so I can only hope that he will show up. I informed a couple neighbors yesterday of what is going on. I did that so they know that I am alone in the house. Just in case. Funny, this house that I love and treasure suddenly turned into a cold empty cavern. It hurt to tell them but I know I did the right thing. They are very supportive and I just feel better knowing that someone may be looking out for me. I travel this time of year for work rather extensively so aside from being alone when I am home the house will be empty with the exception of someone coming to take care of my dog. I am going to Maui next week and looking forward to grabbing some down time to unwind. Yes, this is work but I scheduled myself 2 days earlier than my program dates so I will have some time to chill. Too bad Ontario is so far from Whistler – I will be in Whistler at the end of January.
Well, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and you are able to spend the time with your kids. Know that there are those of us suffering the same pain at this time. In a strange way that sort of gives us (or me) comfort. We really are not alone. Enjoy your day, I will think of you and all others and toast to better days for all of us.

November 26, 2008 at 7:32 pm
(162) Mike says:

Hi Diane,

The emotions are the toughest thing to deal with. Like you I’m up and down but it is getting better. Unfortunately her things are still here in my house and because she was charged with assault she has to co-ordinate with the local police a time to come and move everything out. I know that I’m going to find that very hard (it’s so final) but I need to move on and I really can’t do that with all her things around me. I’ve pretty much packed everything up which in itself was hard, it felt like I was invading her privacy. On a happier note I’m glad to hear you will be with family on your Thanksgiving (in Canada we had ours in October so no long weekend for me) and I’m really envious of your trip to Maui, I could use that right now :) Actually, we had planned to get married on the beach in Hawaii without telling anyone, just come home from a holiday as husband and wife. Oh well, I would still love to visit there some day. I’ll be in Daytona Fl in March for bike week, motorcycling is my passion so I’m really looking forward to that break. I wish it was earlier in the year so I could be out riding more, it’s the best form of therapy I’ve found and even though I ride year round the bike stays in the garage when it’s snowing like it is this evening. Actually, like you I have a dog (Shepherd Dane X) and he is good therapy as well and an excellent listener. I’ve never been to Whistler, it’s about 2,700 miles from me (wish it was much closer) but any of my friends that have been have loved it. Are you going for business or to ski? As for the house being cold and empty, same here. I don’t really enjoy being home right now so I try and keep busy. Well I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great trip to Maui. Have a drink with a little umbrella and think of me here in the cold. And yes it may be strange but knowing others are going through this gives me comfort as well. Take care and I’ll look forward to those better days you are toasting to. I know they are on their way.

Mike

November 30, 2008 at 9:06 am
(163) So Confused says:

Hello All,

(Sorry in advance for the long post.)

I did decide to move and signed a 6 month lease. I have also began the process of moving my things out. Even my husband’s therapist said it was for the best. He has changed medication and is going to try to get better. I am so angry though. Not at him, but at his family. His mother and sister had a “talk” with him and basically made it like I was a bad person for leaving. (Remember, my leaving is an attempt to save our marriage before it gets any worse.) The thing is that they dont even know him. He talks to his mother once every two weeks at best and his sisters every month or two. The only reason why he talks to them as often as he does is because I encourage him to do so. My husband complains about the house and how it makes him depressed (he also complained about every class he has taken and job he has had) and their answer is for him to leave what it making him depressed and stick me with it!!! Apparently its unfair that he is stuck taking care of the house. But there is a catch, I am helping him pay all the bills to make his financial situation better!!! Against even his therapist’s advice!!! Oh yeah, but I’m the bad person. His mother thinks he should move in with her. Did I mention that his whole family has a problem with depression?!? His mother is a recovering alcoholic. I dont think, nor do I think his therapist would think, that going to her house is what he needs to make himself better. His mom is always crying about this or that, how her life sucks, how she gambled all of her money away, how she’s getting old. The sister is always yelling and cursing and pissed off about everything. THE WHOLE FAMILY IS LIKE THAT, but the best thing to do would be to move closer to them. I also take offense to them saying that marriage is for better or for worse and I’m somehow bailing on him. I spent the ENTIRE day with him yesterday. I told him that he can come to the new apartment and visit, the only rule is that he cant bring his black cloud into the apartment. (I do have a 10 year old child to take care of.) Oh yeah, I didn’t mention the fact that my child is not my husband’s biological son, but he has raised him for the last seven years of his life. If you read my earlier posts, you’ll see that I said that I think that my husband is a great man, it’s just the depression that poisons our family. Well the mother and sister of course bring up the fact that he took care of my kid. Well I took care of him!!! Often times mothering him. My husband knew I had a child. I make more money than he does so I feel that I have more than contributed to the household. And honestly, our son has been an outlet for my husband when he is sometimes feeling depressed. (When I’m not around, and he’s not down, he spends his time with him.) I could go on for days but I think I’ll leave it at this, for now. Thanks God for this forum!

November 30, 2008 at 10:37 am
(164) Mike says:

So Confused,

Try not to let the guilt trip from his family make your decision to take care of yourself any harder than it already is. I applaud you for making the choice to do what’s best for you and your child. It’s so easy for someone on the outside to say it’s “for better or worse” and you should stay at all costs. I might have even thought that way myself if I hadn’t lived it. No one could have prepared me for what depression is really like and the toll it can take on a relationship. I’m sure you would agree. I said in one of my earlier posts about how manipulative they can be as well. You have no way of knowing what he has told his mother and sister in their conversations. In my situation, I was always encouraging her to talk to her sisters and go out for lunch or shopping with them, I really thought that an outing with the girls might help her mood. She always told me how they had betrayed her and said nasty things to her or behind her back and that she didn’t want anything to do with them. It turned out that in reality she was telling her sisters that I didn’t want her talking to them. She also made other comments to them that were very negative. Fortunately they know me and didn’t believe her but needless to say I was stunned. After I tried so hard to be supportive, to hear these things felt like a huge betrayal and still does. So, as I said, take care of yourself and your child. Maybe his moving in with his mother would give her a chance to truly experience what his depression is like. If he gan get himself better and you are able to save your marriage that will be wonderful. Just don’t expect things to happen quickly, it seems to be a long process and in the meantime you should concentrate on your health and well being and that of your child. Whatever happens, you will be ok and with time it will become less painful. Good for you for taking the steps to help yourself and your situation and I wish you all the best. Thanks for sharing your story, as Diane said, there are a lot of us going through this, you really are not alone.

Mike

November 30, 2008 at 2:21 pm
(165) CatherineB2 says:

To all on the discussion group

I came on feeling sorry for myself due to the stresses and strains of living with a depressed partner only to realise that I am lucky: what I am coping with is nothing by comparison. I have been so moved by the courage and tenacity of you all.

I just have a couple of comments to contribute:

Firstly, I know from experience that if your partner is truely willing to try everything to get better (which includes lifestyle decisions as well as medication and therapy), their depression can lift – or disappear entirely – for years at a time. I know this isn’t always true but it’s important to remember that not every clinically depressed person has to remain in that state forever. And if they choose not to try, it’s their responsibility, not yours.

And secondly, to those of you who feel obliged by the marriage vows to stay with your partner, please remember that the marriage vows were invented by men, not by God. They are a contract between two people and, like any contract, if one person doesn’t keep to their word then the contract becomes null and void. So if your depressed partner is not loving and honoring you (and depression can be a very convenient excuse for simple selfishness and emotional cruelty) you are not morally obliged to keep your side of the contract. There’s enough guilt involved in all this without adding extra!

My thoughs are with you all.

December 1, 2008 at 12:33 pm
(166) LoveMyDepressedWife says:

I also came on feeling sorry for myself due to my depressed spouse. I was looking for a support group that I could share my situation with and to get ideas on how to get through this. I’m amazed by all the stories out there and by the strength that so many of you have shown. My wife has been in an episode for about 3 weeks now (it feels like an eternity) and there is no end in sight. After reading the experiences of those of you on the forum, I can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if the depressed person is willing to seek help.

I have to be honest though. While this forum has helped in letting me know I’m not alone in dealing with this type of situation, it has also scared me to death. It is frightening to think this may go on for months (likely) and maybe even years. I am madly in love with my wife and will do anything to help her through this. However, the strain is sometimes unbearable (and I’ve only been going through this for 3 weeks!) and I’m worried about my long-term ability to cope. We do have a 6 year old daughter and she has been a ray of light for me. I’ve really been focusing on her and keeping her happy since my wife really doesn’t want me to be around her and wants her space (she says being around me makes her sad…which of course is heartbreaking to hear). I do have a few questions if you don’t mind:

1) Is it common for the depressed spouse to push away their significant other? It seems she can still spend time with her friends (or at least put on a facade). With me, however, I seem to get the full brunt of it.

2) Any coping strategies that you might suggest?

3) I plan on seeking counseling and should have something set up this week.

4) I’m worried that she is dragging me down with her. I love her so much and would do anything for her. Other than couseling, any other suggestions?

Thank you for your time. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

December 1, 2008 at 8:10 pm
(167) Mike says:

LoveMyDepressedWife,

Sorry to hear you’ve joined our ranks. There are more of us out there suffering with our loved ones than I would ever have believed. Yes it is scary when you read the posts here. In speaking with others and counselors and in everything I’ve read it appears that some do manage to get through their depression but for most it seems that it is more a matter of learning to live with it in one way or another. Medication together with therapy and a loving supportive network of family and friends can work wonders. Unfortunately for some and I fall into this category, the disease seems to progress and their loved one continues their descent into that black hole. Like you, I loved my fiance more than anything in this world (still do) but I couldn’t help someone who wouldn’t take the steps to help themselves. There was a lot of denial, a lot of blame mostly directed at me and lies as well. She continually pushed me away when she was in a down phase only to become the most wonderful loving woman when the cloud lifted. Unfortunately that cloud seemed to get darker with time and more frequent. After she had her complete melt down and was charged with assault (on me) I still believed that we could get through it but it became more obvious every day that it wasn’t going to get any better and I just couldn’t live like that any more. I found that I was starting to become depressed myself and that scared me. When I told her I couldn’t do it anymore she begged me to reconsider and I almost buckled then but I’m thankful I didn’t. Even though I miss her like crazy I’m actually feeling stronger every day. I still have weak moments but I’m getting better at dealing with those as well. As for advice on how to cope. The best thing you can do is take care of yourself! You need to be in a good frame of mind if you are going to be able to support your wife. Do the things you enjoy even if you have to force yourself to get off the couch. Do things together with your daughter, she probably needs that as much as you do. It’s amazing how much children absorb even though we don’t realize. A lunch date with your little girl or a couple of ice cream cones will do you both the world of good. Get that counseling as well and that will help. If you can find a support group in your area to sit down with people in similar situations that would be excellent. Fresh air and exercise help as well as do a good nights sleep although I know that can be tough at times. Good luck and I hope to hear how things are getting better for you and your wife in the very near future.

Mike

December 1, 2008 at 11:54 pm
(168) LoveMyDepressedWife says:

Thanks for the response Mike. It is difficult and I can appreciate the difficult decision that you made. In my case, since we are married, I’m going to definitely stick it out. I think the toughest part to handle is her total indifference to me. She seems to be okay talking to her friends and clients at work. However, with me, there is no emotion at all in her. She says she loves me but won’t kiss me (on the cheek but not the lips) and it almost seems forced. I really feeling the lack of affection right now. It feels so empty inside but I have to keep telling myself that it will pass (I’m praying that it will). Anyways, thanks for letting me vent and thanks for the words of encouragement.

December 2, 2008 at 10:55 am
(169) So Confused says:

LoveMyDepressedWife:

I understand exactly how you feel. Three years ago my husband was going through one of his down times. He felt guilty about everything and felt the need to tell me every bad thought he had. This included every woman thought was attractive and had sexual thoughts about. The first, second, third and fourth times I told him that it’s normal to find other people attractive. I find other people attractive too, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to sleep with them or that I love him any less. Well he found the guilt extremely hard to deal with and kept telling me. Eventually, I began to feel unattractive and hurt by it all. His therapist told me; however, that it is not him that’s talking. When he is depressed it is not the same person. We worked through it and things were better for a while. He hasn’t done that since.

It didn’t end there though. We have had several down periods since then. Some lasting for a month some for longer. It’s really rough. I too take my marriage vows very seriously. I dont want to walk away. Even though we are separated now, it is with the intent to work things out. Maybe since our son and I are gone he will want to try harder. What I am very fortunate about is that he does know that he has a problem. It’s a lot like someone who is a recovering addict. People like my husband are always going to be battling those demons and they just may relapse.

You are going to have to be strong for your daughter. You are going to have to compensate for your wife’s failure to provide a happy environment. I had to do that with my son. Another thing you may want to explain later when you feel that your daughter can understand, is your wife’s illness. Eventually your daughter will blame herself. She may try her hardest to make your wife laugh or to be a good girl. You have to explain to her that it is not her fault. I did that with my son. We surfed the net together and read about depression. Now he says “dad’s depressed again” when my husband is down. He doesn’t beat up on himself.

Good luck with everything. I’ll pray for you and your family. If BOTH of you are willing to work at it, you can make it.

December 2, 2008 at 3:19 pm
(170) LoveMyDepressedWife says:

Wow, what a difference a night makes. Last night my wife initiated contact with me (hugs, affection, etc..). This was a big surprise. Now, she wasn’t overly emotional during this time but she was definitely making the effort. I’m not sure if she was doing it for me or for her but it was definitely welcome. I think what happened was that one of her friends who has gone through depression told her she needs to still show me affection, even when she doesn’t feel like it, to help me stay strong for her and to help maintain my mental well-being. If this is the reason, that’s okay because maybe it helped her too. Maybe it was a reminder of how it feels to be like that with me. If it helped in the least bit, that would be great. As far as for me, it totally recharged by batteries. I felt like a cell phone that was running on empty. The affection she showed me completely recharged me and reaffirmed that I am going to stay in this for the long haul.

I realize that things could change again today (she seems more indifferent again today) but I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So now I’ll see where this roller coaster ride takes me today and everyday hereafter. Thanks again for all the support. I truly appreciate everyones’ words of encouragement.

December 6, 2008 at 10:51 pm
(171) sk says:

i last posted in july, and it’s amazing to me how many people have shared their stories since then. i have been able to connect with some stories and wanted to shed a glimmer of hope in the midst of the sadness. my husband of 4 years has been depressed for much longer and started seeing a therapist a little over a year ago. i wasn’t sure how much it was helping, but we’re starting to see progress, i think. i also recently started seeing a therapist because i was starting to sink into a depression and was very close to leaving but not having the courage to do it.

therapy has been an important part of improving our relationship. in the recent weeks, we have become intimate again and are able to talk more about ‘us,’ something we hadn’t done in years. and it has been initiated by him! i had forgotten how it felt to have a feeling that HE cared, not just me.

i hear you, “lovemydepressedwife,” every little thing can make a difference. sweet words, a kiss, him making the effort to make dinner or do the laundry. i cling to every little thing because those have been so few in the last several years.

i guess i just want to say that things can change when both parties are able to step back and see that they both have to do something about that change. for us, therapy and time have helped. i haven’t been this happy in a long time– maybe even since we got married, actually.

December 7, 2008 at 12:38 am
(172) Mike says:

sk,

I’m really happy to see your positive post (I’m a little envious I have to admit) and I think you hit the nail on the head. The change can begin when you both want to do something about the problem. If the depressed person won’t take the steps to help themselves then any attempt by the other half almost becomes futile. I really wish my fiance had been willing to go for therapy. She would take her medication and then out of the blue would stop only to sink into the abyss again. When I mentioned counseling or therapy, she would respond that she had talked to counselors and they didn’t help. When I took a course offered by the mental health association in my area to better understand deppression she got angry and told me she didn’t want me going to those meetings, that I would only end up meeting someone “normal”. When I told her I needed to go for my own understanding and that I wanted to be as supportive as I could, she destroyed all the literature that they gave me at the course. They were very understanding and replaced all the information for me and I still believed that if I did all I could eventually she would want to take the steps to help herself as well. I really wish she had but as I’m sure you’ve read it didn’t work out in my case. It sounds to me like your husband is ready to do what he needs to do and with you supporting him I hope you can get through it together. Good luck!
Mike

December 9, 2008 at 11:33 am
(173) So Confused says:

Well, I thought I’d leave another update. I moved out two weeks into my own apartment and my husband has been staying at the house. It has been great! Not because I dont have to see him anymore, but because he has changed tremendously. We are getting along better than we have in a long time. My son and I being gone has made him WANT to work on himself. Instead of resenting him or not being attracted to him, I am very attracted to him and am enjoying him so much. I’m so happy that I made the decision to step back before things got worse!

December 9, 2008 at 1:05 pm
(174) Domino says:

Hi My husband has finaaly sought help after what feels like a lifetime of misery for his depression. It has been getting worse for the last 2 yrs and I am now at my wits end. I feel as If I have been pushed and pushed and pushed so far that I dont think I can ever get back to where we started 13yrs ago, when we were both in love and happy. I have been giving it my all for the last 5mnths and now am feeling so low that I do not know how I can carry on. I am also so scared that I am his crutch and that if I finally have the courage to leave he will do something stupid. I have been pushing my feelings to one side about how unhappy I really am and hoping that they would go away but they always end up coming back. It sounds very selfish I know but surely I deserve a chance to be happy again and life is so short that we only have one shot at it. I dont want to look back in another 10yrs and realise I should have had the courage to change things.

December 9, 2008 at 2:24 pm
(175) So Confused says:

Domino:

I’m sorry that you are going through this. I’m sure everyone here is. I know exactly what you mean about looking back and realizing that things could have been different. I’m not sure if you read but I left my husband. I also realized that I was enabling him by trying to be EVERYTHING. In my mind I was just trying to make him happy. That’s not what they need. They are not children, they are our spouses and we should treat them as such. I believe in standing by your vows but you also have to look out for you. In no way am I suggesting that you leave your husband, but I know from experience that you can lose your mind dealing with this or at the very least yourself.

Good luck with everything.

December 11, 2008 at 12:28 pm
(176) Lorilee says:

My husband was medically discharged from the airforce in 2002 for a heart condition that they can’t fix and can’t find the actual cause. He’s lost his job as cop and the job he had after graduating ITT. He can’t work because he’s a liability risk. On top of this he has about 30 other illnesses, such as osteoperosis and infertility. Most of these problems, including the depression was pre-existing (before our marriage) and things are horrible some days and okay the next and some days are great..its just a rollercoaster and Im driving 2 hrs a day to work and back and I come home in the evening and do all the chores before I can relax; its starting to take a toll and I don’t know what to do or what to think. He gets mad and yells sometimes when I want to make love and I get so upset and frustrated. I feel unwanted and unappreciated

December 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm
(177) Neil says:

As so many other before me on this page have said, it is remarkable the fires you all have walked through for your spouses.

I found this site after the last argument with my wife that resulted in another plea from me for intervention/therapy.

My wife and I have been married for three years. She suffers from intermittent depression, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and mild OCD. She lives in a state of worry and panic over things she cannot control. She is perpetually late because her routines of checking and re-checking make her unable to leave the house on time. She is hyper-concerned about cleanliness and watches my every move to see if I might track something into the house or if I might drop a crumb while eating. If you remember the scene in “American Beauty” where Kevin Spacey tries to get his wife to be intimate on the couch and she worries that he might spill a drop of wine on it – well, that IS my life.

I have come to realize that we have no intimacy. Anytime I ty to do something with her, the moments that are supposed to be “shared” are usurped by her obsession with wiping the crumbs off the restaurant chair before sitting or inspecting the silverware – and forget it, if she gets a booth, the night is truly ruined because she won’t be able to concentrate on anything else but what might lurk in the cushions.

We have non-intimate sex 1-2 times a month. We are young and healthy. She is beautiful and has nothing to worry about with her body. She goes to the gym religiously, trying to improve an imagined flaw in her appearance, but she spends no time trying to be intimate. She has been unable to get pregnant and we don’t know if it is the lack of trying or something else.

Everything is fine for her if I fake my happiness. She does her routines and the days melt away. I have worried that I have become complicit in her ills, as so many on this board have said. If I address my unhappiness, she makes my life a living hell and she projects out to her family that I have been mean to her. The control is unreal.

Everything that I have ever wanted to do for myself (which I am coming to understand is vital for my survival), she “filters” – if it doesn’t disturb her life, then it is okay. If it does disturb her life, then I face a fury of resistance that is unparalleled. I am worried that I have started to sink into my own depression.

She has tried various medications. They did nothing but turn her into a zombie. She has been in therapy, but it seems that the issues (depression/OCD, BDD) still overcome her.

I know that my spouse’s issues aren’t as severe as many on this board, but I’m terrified of living the rest of my life like this.

December 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm
(178) Bev says:

I posted back on September 30 about my husband and his depression. I have an update…I made an appointment with a local psychologist (only one in area on our insurance), I had to wait two weeks before they were accepting new patients and then it took another four weeks to get in for an appointment. I told my husband of this appointment and simply stated that if he did not keep the appointment that either he was to leave our house or that me and our two girls were leaving the house and that I would then file for a divorce. Long story short my husband kept the appointment and since November 18 my life – our lives – has done a total turn around. I think that it hit the spot having him have someone other than me tell him how his behavior is affecting me and our children and that he does not deserve the life he was living. There have been two visits to this doctor and it is nothing like a psychiatrist is portraied on TV or in movies. My husband was prescribed two drugs and he tells him in six months that he will be totally off of them or on a minimal dose to maintain. For all of you out there I say don’t give up and that tough love (ultimatums) are sometimes what is needed to push them through. I know there is still work to do for both of us but he also knows that he doesn’t want to go back where he was. I wish everyone who posts on this site the best of luck and love because these issues are not easy on the people who love the ones who are affected.

December 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm
(179) Exhausted says:

My wife’s first bout with depression was 17 years ago — post partum. Very bad. I could not leave her alone with the baby and had to take a month off of work kind of bad. I took her to a psychiatrist who prescribed an anti-depressant, and like flipping a light switch she was cured.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and about 6-7 years ago she slowly started to relapse. Not leaving the house, one by one ceasing communications with friends and relatives. Heavy drinking. She tried therapy, however, she told me after two years of weekly visits that she was not truthful with the therapist. She was very good at putting on her ‘outside’ face. I stopped paying for the therapy. The next two years were a steady downward spiral. Sleeping and watching TV. Then she started skipped our son’s school events. This past October, I realized that the only reason I’ve stayed this long was so that our son would have a “normal” two-parent home. I told my wife that she had to put forth an effort or I would leave her when our son goes to college next year. As a result, she attempted suicide by ingesting two bottles of prescription pain meds, followed by two weeks in a psychiatric hospital. Did my being honest trigger this? I think yes. Do I feel guilty about it? No, not at all. She is now in therapy (when she chooses to go) and on medication, but is still lying in bed all day, taking zero initiative to change. She does not comprehend the impact of her actions or conditions on those around her. So, for now, I will be supportive and encouraging. I will continue to shepherd her to her various appointments and apprise the doctors of her condition. I know that our son cannot wait to get out of the house next fall. Until then, I will lie low and suffer in silence. Then, if nothing has changed, I’ll most likely leave. I do not think it’s selfish. I’ve given her 20 of the best years of my life. It is not fair for me to have to spend the rest of my life in a loveless, sexless, financially draining relationship. I deserve to have a life.

December 17, 2008 at 10:54 pm
(180) Mike says:

Exhausted,

Reading your post just helps to reinforce my decision not to continue in the relationship with my fiance. As hard as it has been and still is at times for me to end that relationship, I’m fairly certain your situation would have been my future as well. Like your wife, my fiance was not truthful with the doctors. When she was in the psychiatric ward and was going to be meeting with the doctor to discuss wether or not she should come home, she actually asked me “what should I tell the doctor?” “Do I tell him what he wants to hear?” I told her to tell him the truth about everything including her suicidal thoughts. When the doctor asked me if I wanted her home, I said of course but I wanted her well also. His reply was that he didn’t really think she was a danger to herself or anyone else. The fact that within 5 months she would attempt suicide and two months later have a melt down and attack me shows just how convincing they can be. As you said you deserve a life as well. If she makes a concerted effort to get well it can get better but you have no control over her choices. As I’ve said before in previous posts, take care of yourself. Whichever way it goes, you need to stay as strong and positive as you possibly can. I can also appreciate how your son is feeling. My son is almost 18 and as much as he loved her as well, he is so much more relaxed. My daughter is 21 and away at university and she also loved my fiance dearly but right away when she came home to visit she said she could feel how the tension level had gone down. Life can be so short and has enough stress in it already without having to try and prop someone else up day after day. We are all entitled to happiness and I hope you find yours. To you and everyone else on this message board, I hope the Christmas season is a happy one for you!

Mike

December 18, 2008 at 10:15 am
(181) So Confused says:

To Exhausted, Mike and Everyone Else:

I hope this message finds you all well. Exhausted, I truly feel for you. I have been with my husband for over 7 years (no where near your 20 but long enough) and it has been quite trying. I find it very discouraging that after 17 years, you are still battling her depression. I guess I can be greatful that he has never been suicidal or tried to hurt anyone. He has also tried to get help. Right now we are separated and I think that getting me back into the house is a motivator for him. He has been going to the gym, going to his appts and taking his meds. I’m just worried about the financial side of it all. The therapist said that it is not my concern and he will have to take care of himself, but I find it very hard to just let go. He moves very slowly so he hasn’t found a roommate or a job (he needs at least one of those to float the bills alone). I dont want to have to skip a mortgage payment or have to pay my rent at the apartment and mortgage payment. I have already taken over $700 per month in bills to ease everything up on him. He says to have faith in him but he has done nothing in the past to make me do so. I have always been the mover in the relationship and he has sat by and ridden my coattails. Things have been better between us and while I do miss him, I have enjoyed the peace in my new apartment.

Thanks for listening.

December 19, 2008 at 9:39 pm
(182) Mike says:

So Confused,

Letting go is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. All I can tell you is that it does get better with time and you will feel stronger as each day goes by. The therapist is so right, he does have to take care of himself. We all seem to do the same thing for our loved ones by trying to make their lives easier and less stressful. We take on their problems and their share of the responsibilities around the home and financially as well. As someone said we are all enablers and it is exactly the wrong thing to do. Only they can make the choices and take the steps to help themselves. The best we can do is love and support them but if they won’t accept responsibility for themselves then that is not nearly enough. Like your husband my ex fiance would say all the right things and I would get hopeful over and over but in the end she never took any steps to help herself. If I mentioned therapy she would get angry, tell me she had seen enough therapists and doctors and they didn’t help. She would say I should go to therapy so I could be more understanding and supportive yet when I attended a course on depression to better understand she didn’t want me to go in case I met someone else. Quite frankly it was a relief to attend the class each week and speak with people in the same type of situation that I was in, the last thing I wanted was to meet anyone else. You mention that he moves very slowly, I know how that feels as well. At this point she is still staying at her parents and not working as far as I know. Her furniture and most of her personal things are still here in my house and she hasn’t made any attempt to arrange to get them yet. As for the peace in your new apartment, I’m glad for you. I know after walking on eggshells and all the turmoil I’m enjoying the peace as well. Take care of yourself and I hope things work out the way you want them to.

Mike

December 22, 2008 at 1:19 pm
(183) Jim says:

I’ve just spent the last hour reading all of these posts and have seen myself over and over again. I have been married over 30 years and my wife has been suffering with depression for at least the last 10. As with most of you, it seems I am to blame for all of her problems. In fact, “blame” and “fault” have become her favorite words. For the past few years, she has threatened to leave me several times. After receiving some therapy myself, I decided to tell her “ok, leave me.” Of course, she did not. It would be far too difficult for her to find another willing punching bag.

If I sound hurt and frustrated, it is because I am, beyond words. I dread going home each evening from work, not knowing if she will be in a good or bad mood. I am not even immune at work. She often will call, vent, then hang up and refuse to answer when I try to call back. I’m not sure how much more I can take.

I think the worst is yet to come. She just lost her job and she now believes that no one cares about her and that she has no value. While she admits that she is depressed, she will not see her therapist or seek out help.

As I was typing this, she called me again. After trying to comfort her, she said I was treating her like she was stupid and once again hung up on me. I there any hope?

December 22, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(184) Needed to Vent says:

I found this site while I was searching for help for people married to depression, and I must say, it has been comforting (in an odd way)to know I’m not alone.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 24 years. The first twelve years of our marriage were wonderful. Not because we did’nt face challenges! We faced our share including the divorce of both sets of our parents, and a long, painful struggle with infertility and miscarriages.

But we faced it all together, growing closer together with each challenge life brought our way. And through it all, my wife never had a depressed day in her life.

In the worst of ironies, that all changed when she got the thing she most longed for. After the aforementioned struggle with infertility/miscarriages, we were blessed with a healthy baby. That’s when I lost my wife.

She became very depressed after the baby came. She was the first to acknowledge that her life was perfect. Beautiful baby. Able to quit work and be a stay-at-home mom. Wonderful husband. Great friends. A perfect life. And despite all this, she didn’t want to live; had terrible thoughts like the baby and I would be better off without her, etc.

I am pretty tuned in to my wife (I’ve been in love with her since I was 16 years old) and I figured out pretty quick that something was wrong. This more more than the “baby blues.” This was a severe postpartum (sp?) depression that had come, we would find out, to stay.

She saw doctors who counseled with her and concurred that this was not “situational” depression… she had nothing to be sad about. It was caused, they said, by chemical imbalance and they prescribed a sleep aid and an antidepressant.

It’s twelve years later, and I wish I could tell you the magic pills fixed everything. The truth is, she’s never been the same. She has tried different medications, different doses, etc. with varying results. Sometimes the medicine makes her an emotional zombie… someone easy to live with, but oh how lonely! Other times she is impossible to live with, hurling accusations, blaming me for her unhappiness, threatening to divorce me, etc.

December 22, 2008 at 8:06 pm
(185) Needed to Vent says:

I found this site while I was searching for help for people married to depression, and I must say, it has been comforting (in an odd way)to know I’m not alone.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 24 years. The first twelve years of our marriage were wonderful. Not because life was without challenges! We faced our share including the divorce of both sets of our parents, and a long, painful struggle with infertility and miscarriages.

But we faced it all together, growing closer together with each challenge life brought our way. And through it all, my wife never had a depressed day in her life. We were best friends, passionate lovers, and there was no one that either of us would rather spend time with.

In the worst of ironies, that all changed when she got the thing she most longed for. After the aforementioned struggle with infertility/miscarriages, we were blessed with a healthy baby. That’s when I lost my wife.

She became very depressed after the baby came. She was the first to acknowledge that her life was perfect. Beautiful baby. Able to quit work and be a stay-at-home mom. Wonderful husband. Great friends. A perfect life. And despite all this, she didn’t want to live; had terrible thoughts like the baby and I would be better off without her, etc.

I am pretty tuned in to my wife (I’ve been in love with her since I was 16 years old) and I figured out pretty quick that something was wrong. This more more than the “baby blues.” This was a severe postpartum (sp?) depression that had come, we would find out, to stay.

She saw doctors who counseled with her and concurred that this was not “situational” depression… she had nothing to be sad about. It was caused, they said, by chemical imbalance and they prescribed a sleep aid and an antidepressant.

It’s twelve years later, and I wish I could tell you the magic pills fixed everything. The truth is, she’s never been the same. She has tried different medications, different doses, etc. with varying results. Sometimes the medicine makes her an emotional zombie… someone easy to live with, but oh how lonely that leaves me! Other times she is impossible to live with, hurling accusations, blaming me for her unhappiness, threatening to divorce me, etc. Then in a moment of clarity (or self pity?) she will apologize and say she didn’t ask for this, hates the depression,knows she isn’t easy to live with, etc.

I can honestly say with God’s help I’ve done my best. I haven’t been perfect. There have been times that the loneliness drove me to stike up friendships with the members of the opposite sex. I know that wasn’t wise for a hundred reasons, but I never have been unfaithful to her. All I wanted was companionship… someone to talk to. Of course, I’ll never convince her of that. But that’s my cross to bear and I accept my share of the blame for that.

Anyway, I love my wife and I don’t believe I could ever leave her… but I miss the woman I married and I continue to hope and pray that someday she will be returned to me.

In the meantime I pray for strength to be strong… strength to be faithful… strength to be understanding… and strength to be what our beautiful daughter needs.

Thank you for listening. I apologize for the long post.

December 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm
(186) Needed to Vent says:

Didn’t mean to end the post so abruptly… hit the wrong button. LOL

But what else is there to say? The rest you all know well.

It’s a lonely existance, living with a roommate instead of a wife. A good day is when everyone is civil to each other and nothing upsets her. A bad day.. well you know.

Thanks for letting me vent and thanks for tolerating the long post.

December 22, 2008 at 11:13 pm
(187) Spouse of Needed to Vent says:

To: Needed to vent…

I’m your wife…I was doing a little research for a Christmas recipe and lost the website. When I looked at the history, I saw you had visited this site and thought I’d read a little to see what people had to say. I never believed you would leave a comment but I am glad you did.

I know the past 12 years have been miserable for you. It’s not self-pity that causes me to tell you how sorry I am for what I have put you through. I wish I could explain what’s going on in my brain but I just can’t. I want it to end…but it doesn’t. I try to make myself believe that things are okay…but they’re not. I have prayed several times that God would just take me so you could find someone that deserves to have a husband like you but for some reason, He has left me here on earth (or hell some days). You have been extremely patient and kind and I know I just suck the everloving daylights out of you. I’m really sorry – really, really sorry.

Thank you for standing by me…I don’t think anybody else would have.

December 23, 2008 at 9:24 am
(188) So Confused says:

To NeededToVent and SpouseofNeededToVent:

All I can say is wow. I’m sorry that the both of you are going through this. I know that it is very difficult for both of you to endure. NeededToVent, I understand how you felt about wanting female companionship because in going through this you feel so alone. You nolonger feel that you have a partner but instead another child to take care of. I’m sure when your wife was at her best, there is no one else who could hold a candle to her. I feel the same way about my husband. He is truly caring man. When I think of all the other men out there, it reconfirms how great he is. Unfortunately, I see him at his worst much more often than I see him at his best.

To SpouseOfNeededToVent:

We really understand. We (spouses and significant others) dont want to see you down. That’s why it’s so draining. If we didn’t care it would be easy to laugh it off and go on with our lives, but because we want to help and we want you to be happy it takes such an emotional, physical and mental toll on us that it makes us as down as you are.

I dont have a solution for either of you. I’m going through my own turmoil right now (husband and I are separated). All I can say is that you only have one shot at life, ONE. The both of you need to find a way to be happy. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

December 23, 2008 at 9:32 am
(189) So Confused says:

Mike,

Living in the apartment is sooooo wonderful. I feel a calm there. I feel bad because I dont want to return to my house at all (it seems so dark and depressing). Maybe if I paint or decorate a little differently, it will be different. That’s me thinking ahead though. I really need to focus on the here and now but I find that so difficult to do. Especially since my hubby moves so slowly. He still hasn’t found a roommate or a second job. If he doesn’t get it together, he wont be able to afford to have the lights on in a few months let alone cable. I know that most people would say, a few months is long enough to get it together, but not for him. Like I said, he takes his time with everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if, two months from now, I’m writing the same thing. Man this is hard. I dont like not knowing what’s going on.

The other day he asked me what my hopes and dreams were. I told him that I didn’t want to talk about it because I’ll never be able to have them. I always thought we’d have children (my reason for buying a 4 bedroom house) and that we’d have some sort of family business together. Bear in mind that I told him I wanted this before we got married and he said that he was on board. Now I know that I will never have this. Why did he ask me that? I’m trying to convince myself that I dont need those things. It just made my day terrible because I got to think about everything I WILL NOT have with him. He says lets do it all but I know that if I had a child he would throw it up in my face one day and say that he gave me what I wanted and he never gets what he wants.

Still,

So Confused

December 24, 2008 at 9:22 am
(190) Mike says:

So Confused,

It never ceases to amaze me how as I read the posts here the feelings and emotions are the same for all of us. This mourning process we all seem to go through for the things that could have been (children with your husband), and the plans we made that will never come to fruition. I too found that extremely hard to get through. I was so excited about the future my fiance and I would share, I was looking forward to growing old and grey together (or greyer in my case :) and I had an overwhelming sense of sadness for the opportunities we had lost. I can tell you with absolute certainty that it does get better as the days go by. Suddenly you wake up one day and not that all those emotions have disappeared but somehow they don’t bite quite as hard. Your perspective seems to change a little bit and you start to feel better about yourself and you realize that you are important too. I think we all lose ourselves a little as we try to help our loved ones and our needs become secondary. It’s not that you sometimes don’t have to put the other person first, we do that regularly for the one we love and that’s as it should be. Sometimes though we need to come first as well, we need to be important. In a healthy relationship that’s the way it works, we support each other and feel equal. I would like to tell you that from the tone of your recent post it sounds to me as though you are getting stronger already and I’m happy for you. This is a tough time of year to be going through all this but we will all get through it and the sun will come up each morning. Take care of youself, don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first occasionaly. To you and everyone on this message board…A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! Lets look forward to 2009…it will be a better year!

Mike

December 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm
(191) Bev says:

I posted a couple days ago that things are getting better in my house and I still come back here to read all of the posts. This forum is a place where we can all come and see that we are not the only one’s with the issues we have with our relationships with spouses or signifcant others. Reading the posts here have become my therapy and I hope others can also find some relief in posting or reading knowing that you are not alone in going through what we do go through. I love my husband, my parents are still married after 54 years and I want MY family to stay together. I’m not living in a fantasy world because I know the depression can come back (we have had three bouts in 15 years, the last being the worst). I guess I am lucky in that my husband has never been violent or sucidial. What I believe helped with us was that I was able to get him to a Dr who said some of the things that I said (how hard it was on me and our girls, how he is worth it and doesn’t deserve the hell he put himself in) but it wasn’t coming from me and I did not in anyway “coach” this Dr to say these things. Recently, my husband has thanked me for finally making him go and address his depression and I truely belive that he appreciates me and our girls…do I know how long this will last – no, but I do know that I do not want it any other way. This is not the way I would have chosen my life to go, but I know I am a stronger person because of it. I have had all of the thoughts of being on my own with my children and knowing that I could do it because I had done it for three years but something deep down just will not let me quit. To everyone on the forum, you have to look at the person you are and what you want out of life and use that for your decision…I knew I wanted to be with my husband and I am not stupid in thinking that I can cure him but now both of us know that we do not want to go back where it was just over one month ago. The Dr we go to told us there are no “happy pills” that you have to look at it as there is a closed door in front of you and when you take what is prescribed to you it just helps you open that door – what you do once you open the door is up to you. I wish everyone and those they love all the best.

December 25, 2008 at 5:46 pm
(192) Water Inc says:

My girlfriend is mildly depressed. We still love each other, but she pushes me away, while finding time to do stuff with her friends. We know each other better than anyone else, the good, the bad and the ugly. Does depression make her push me away to avoid dealing with “real” stuff? She has told me on more than one occasion that she does not want to address ‘us’. Any advice will be most appreciated.

December 26, 2008 at 9:46 am
(193) So Confused says:

Bev, I’m glad that things are working out for you right now! It’s so easy for other people to say you should just leave or you should just stay. It is a decision that you have to make on your own. No one can tell you. Like yours, my husband is not violent or suicidal. He is just very, very miserable. Now I’m dealing with whether or not I want to return to our home after the separation is over. Not that I dont want to be with him, but the house is just so gloomy. I dont see it as a happy place to be. My husband is a little better but I also dont know if I want to live together again or not. Actually, I would LOVE nothing more than to live together but am afraid that he will settle in and revert back to his old ways thus bringing the “gloom” with him to our next abode. Ah, decisions decisions. In the end I think that I will make the right one.

Water Inc:

I cant tell you what your girlfriend is experiencing. I dont know what you mean by “mild depression”. If this is only once in a while, she may be in a funk. I also think that we often try to diagnose people when sometimes their actions are just personality traits. I know that some of the things my husband does can be attributed to his depression, but other things are just who he is. End of story. It could be that the reason your girlfriend avoids addressing your relationship is deeper than simply being depressed. If I were you, I would tell her that we really have to talk or that she needs to talk to someone. Otherwise, how would you know where the two of you are going? Good luck with everything.

Happy holidays to all!

December 28, 2008 at 6:26 pm
(194) Nikki99 says:

I can’t determine whether I am being abused, or just living with a depressed man going through a bankruptcy, looking for work, and feeling down about life. How can I tell the difference? I’m at the end of my rope after a 2-1/2 yr relationship (we are engaged). I have never been in such emotional turmoil until this past year when the money began to run out. I don’t know whether he is depressed, cruel, intentionally sadistic, or what. Help, please.

December 28, 2008 at 11:14 pm
(195) Mike says:

Nikki99,

Your comment about your fiance being intentionally sadistic worries me. If you are being physically abused in any way or threatened with anything of that nature you need to run not walk to the nearest exit. If that is not the case then please excuse me for over reacting. Having been on the receiving end of an assault from my fiance it is a touchy subject for me. I am a fairly big guy and she was a little thing and the rage she let loose shocked me. I refuse to raise my hand to a woman so that didn’t help either. All I’m saying is you need to feel safe and secure first and formost. As for whether your fiance is depressed or not I can’t say but it is very common for stressful situations such as those you describe (bankruptcy, looking for work etc.) to be the catalyst for the onset of depression. The emotional turmoil you speak of is something I’m very familiar with. I spent the last eight months of my relationship in terrible upheaval and it was emotionally draining. In the end after the assault I realized that I couldn’t carry on that way and chose to end the relationship. It was very hard for me, still is at times but I am so positive now that I made the right decision. I’m not saying that you should do the same but I will tell you that whatever you believe is right for you is right for you. Don’t forget that you are important too, that your physical and emotional well being have just as much value as his. Depressed individuals can be very cruel (I know from my own experience) so if this is something new in your relationship there is a very good chance that he is depressed. If he is willing to seek help from the medical profession there is hope. If he isn’t willing, it will be a very tough road. If you feel comfortable suggesting he go to the doctor with you there for support start there. Most importantly take care of yourself or you’ll get dragged down as well and you won’t be in any position to offer support. Good luck and I hope your future posts bring good news!

Mike

December 29, 2008 at 9:42 am
(196) Nikki99 says:

Thank you. I can’t suggest a doctor. He will not go. I did suggest counseling for us. He agreed, only because he wants to be vindicated and have me hear from the horse’s mouth that “you are the problem; not him.” I think that’s the wrong reason to go. He is a salesman by nature, and a good one. I think he will bamboozle a counselor. The more I try to talk to him, the more he shuts down on me. We are at the point of either living in silence, or arguing with him begging me to “let him go”. I tell him fine, go, and he puts his hand out to shake on it. When I do, he doesn’t leave. We share this house, both names on it. All he does is sit on the couch anymore, staring aimlessly out the window. He drinks… yesterday he had about 5 strong drinks of black velvet which resulted in him demanding sex and telling me that he really doesn’t care about me… that i should know what we are all about by now, and that if I want him to stay, I need to do all the changing. Even when I agree with his demands, nothing improves. He has no friends. He complains I don’t “let” him go out. But when I counter that by suggesting he go have a beer somewhere, he says, “nah…” and sits on the couch alone. I don’t know what to do anymore. IT is clear he is not happy with me and will not work with me. He mocks me and ignores me…. Is this depression or something more?

December 29, 2008 at 11:00 am
(197) Mike says:

Nikki99,

Wow, I don’t know if there is depression involved here although I suspect so given what you have explained about what is going on. I do however know this, you are in a very abusive situation and one that I wouldn’t want my daughter, my sister or any of my female friends in. You really need to find a support net for yourself (family, friends, counselor etc.) and step back to evaluate what you are involved with. If you truly believe that he can change and if he is willing to try and get better (it doesn’t sound good from where I sit I’m sorry to say) and if you are willing to put in the effort I wish you all the best. If he makes no effort and continues to treat you this way, you really need to think about what’s best for you. No one should have to live with conditions like that. I really hope that things work out as you want them to but as I said in my earlier post, remember you are important too! You need to look at where you are and ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life like that. I had to ask myself that same question and then I had to do what I belived was the best thing for me. You need to do the same for yourself. Life is too short to live in misery or fear or walk on eggshells all the time. I know it’s a cliche but when they say a partner should compliment your life not complicate it, it’s so true. Everybody goes through hard times and gets down sometimes. Those are the times you look to your significant other for support, you shouldn’t become abusive to the one you supposedly love. Good luck and I hope things get better for you!

Mike

December 29, 2008 at 11:34 am
(198) Nikki99 says:

thanks, Mike. Yes, I think it’s abuse. It’s like he is undermining us ever recovering from past hardships. Like he doesn’t want to make it better. Yet, he isn’t leaving. It feels like he “likes” things at odds. I know he has to be in control. Right now, he has no control over his finances (i.e. bankruptcy) or work situation (i.e. no job) and it is killing him. I do understand that. What I don’t get is why he doesn’t look to me for support. I CAN understand. I am capable of being a shoulder to lean on. You know, his father died when he was only 2. The mother wasn’t around. As a result, he raised himself pretty much with never a birthday party, nurturing, no “i love you’s”. It’s sad. I was raised with a lot of love and support, a strong system under my belt…. and we are so different. He is private and controlling. I am empathetic and want to help. He told me yesterday he has so much rage and anger he is ready to snap and would love to beat the shit out of someone… anyone who would look at him the wrong way. And to me, that is a red flag that this man isn’t just depressed; he’s scary. But yesterday he also cried. Yes, my “alpha male” was in tears yelling at me that he had nothing to give me and when my mother or dad died he would suggest we go out and party because that is how selfish and insensitive I was being. I’m not suggesting it’s party time. I merely want to communicate and team up together to improve the situation.
He just shows me his back.

December 29, 2008 at 11:59 am
(199) Boris says:

Mike, can I just say thanks for all your contributions to this site. It sounds like I’m in a similar position to the position you were in with your partner. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but it helps to know that I’m not the only one who’s been through it.

December 29, 2008 at 12:28 pm
(200) Mike says:

Boris,

You are very welcome. Actually I find it very theraputic to chat with others who understand what I have been through and am still dealing with. I just wish we could all sit down in the same room and chat in person but I guess this will have to do. This site has been a life saver for me. We all feel so isolated as we go through our daily lives with our depressed partners, it really is comforting knowing that we aren’t alone in our struggles. If your situation is similar to mine be careful. When she attacked me and was charged and removed it was because I had very visible wounds to my face and back where she had clawed me with her nails. As I said, I will not raise my hand to a woman but if she had scratched her own face I would have been charged and removed and she would be living in my house while everything winds it’s way through the courts. I hope it never gets to that point for you and as always I will look forward to your future posts. As I keep saying, we all deserve to be happy! Good luck!

Mike

December 29, 2008 at 1:21 pm
(201) sherry says:

My husband during the first years of our marriage was an alcoholic, after a 13 year split, we had gotten back together after he had quit drinking for 10 years. The next problem we had were those pesky blue footballs, XANAX! Somehow I’m convinced there is a chemical in the pill that reacts much like alcohol to my husband. After 5 years of nightmarish hell, cuz he thought he was calm (lol), he was acting just like the crazy drunk that he had been but without the violence. The Doctor, (thank GOD) changed his medicine over to ativan and there is sooooooo much improvement, it’s wonderful. I Hate Xanax!!!!, They should be obliterated!

December 29, 2008 at 8:35 pm
(202) Susie says:

I have a question for those of you with depressed/alchoholic spouses. How do we ever get up the courage to walk away for good? I would give anything to be free of this hell. My health is failing due to the stress, and I am only 39. I have tried so many times to leave but always end up going back because I am so worried about him and feel so guilty. It doesnt seem to ever matter what he has done or how badly he has hurt me this time, I always break down and go get him from his parents basement or the bar. He always cries and says he loves me and that “this time” it will be different and he will deal with it better. Well, it never changes, and with 4 years invested, I should know that by now. He has attempted suicide and has been hospitalized 3 times. It has gotten to the point where he totally isolates himself from everyone. Christmas was a nightmare. He wouldnt even talk to his kids from a former marriage. Mostly he just stayed in his bedroom. I feel like I am stuck in a prison and the door is open, but I cant leave. Any suggestions out there? Susie

December 30, 2008 at 1:40 am
(203) Mike says:

Susie,

There is no one answer for your question. I think we each need to get to the point where we realize that our partners are responsible for themselves and that we can’t fix them. We can love and support them but that is only helpful if they are taking the steps to get better. In my case when I finally made the decision to end the relationship I stopped all contact. That was the only way that I could get past the guilt I was feeling. Over time I came to understand that I shouldn’t feel guilty, as you shouldn’t. You can’t be responsible for what he does with his life, you have no control. I suffered through her suicide attempts and hospitalizations, and ultimately the assault on myself. Only then was I able to admit to myself that it wasn’t getting any better but worse. That no matter how much I loved her, it didn’t make one bit of difference if she couldn’t or wouldn’t accept responsibility for herself. She would say things to be hurtful, accuse me of wanting to be with other women (my ex wife, my friends wives, whoever popped into her head). I got tired of trying to prove I loved her which I did very much. I got tired of being tired, both physically and emotionally. Finally I got a bit selfish, just as you will have to do. I decided I deserved a chance to be happy and that I wanted to enjoy life again. I had neglected my work, my friends and my own needs and I decided I wanted myself back. It has been almost 3 months and I feel better every day. While I would wish that everyone on this message board could be able to get through this hell and have the relationships that they deserve, unfortunately for some of us that just isn’t in the cards. For us, it comes down to accepting that things aren’t going to improve and that we need to take care of ourselves. In doing this we also force our partners to make their choice, either take whatever steps they can to get well or continue to wallow and blame everyone else for everything that is wrong in their lives. What thing or combination of things gets us to this point may be a little different for all of us. You will surprise yourself with how strong you can be when you need to be. I’ve said before as well, don’t be afraid to lean on family and friends a little for emotional support. If your health is suffering at 39 due to the stress of dealing with everything, it’s time to take care of yourself for a change. Good luck!

Mike

December 30, 2008 at 6:03 am
(204) Boris says:

Susie,

It’s hard. I walked out once and stayed with a friend. I managed to keep it up for 2 days, and then was persuaded to go back by her family. They were unable to be there themselves for a number of complex reasons, and, because I’m basically a caring person, I didn’t feel I had any choice since I’m the only person she’s got. I was worried that she might try and kill herself. Since I’ve been with her, she’s cut herself on a couple of occasions and she’s had a suicide attempt, involving hospital, in her past.

So, I was guilted into going back by family and self, and I wonder how it would have been different if I hadn’t. In some ways I’ve made it worse because it could have been a clean break (for me at least), but ended up in being a very messy situation and further undermined my partner’s confidence in the relationship as a whole. If it happened once, it could happen again, etc.

As others have previously said, it’s made so much harder by the fact that my partner can be lovely sometimes and I just can’t get those times out of my head. Having said that, it’s the whole “walking on eggshells” thing of not knowing when the lovely times will suddenly end again and we’ll be back to the bad times again.

Apologies for the ramble.

Boris

December 30, 2008 at 9:47 am
(205) So Confused says:

Boris,

There is no need to say sorry for the ramble. I love this board. I ramble often and it makes me feel so much better because you all are people that can relate to my situation. I left my husband a month ago but we see each other every day. I feel bad cutting all ties with him because like your wife he can be and is a great guy. I also feel bad because I’m pretty much all he’s got. Of course, his family is upset about it, but they aren’t the ones that deal with him.

Mike,

I agree with what you said to Susie, you have to take care of yourself.

Susie,

If your health is failing at 39, that’s a problem. What good are you to him or yourself if you’re not here. I always said to my husband “you’re going to give me a heart attack and you’ll still be standing here”. It’s true. You cant let them drag you down. If you’re dealing with abuse you should get out now. If you’re not and you feel like you can hang in there I say do it, but not at your own expense. If you can help him without hurting yourself that’s fine. It’s simply not worth it to kill yourself over this.

I hope all of you have a great day. I also want to thank you all (Mike especially) for not only listening but replying. I look forward to checking this board every day. It truly is a godsend.

December 30, 2008 at 10:48 am
(206) Mike says:

So Confused,

Thank you for the kind words! Like you I look forward to checking this board at least once a day and I feel for everyone here. The comfort I have recieved from the comments of support and understanding on this board is immeasurable in its value to my personal wellbeing. One of the hardest things for me personally was that after being blamed for all that was wrong with her life, even though I tried so hard to make her life happy I started to actually believe her in some ways. I started to feel that somehow I was causing her depression even though I knew her history of abuse,depression, self injury and suicide attempts. It wasn’t until I found this site and all the kindrid spirits here that I actually began to heal myself. That in itself is a complicated journey as we struggle to deal with all the emotions on that roller coast ride with our partners. I’ve said before that love doesn’t go away overnite and while I still care very deeply for her I have been able to accept that we could not have the life together that we had planned. I’ve only been able to do that with the support I’ve recieved here. We all want our loved ones to be happy and have a good life and we sacrifice ourselves to try and make their world what they want. At some point we have to accept that their life is what it is and it may never change. If you are able to accept that and live with the way things are, all the more power to you, I applaud you for your strength and no one can understand what you are living with unless they have been in that situation. For those of you that have to leave the relationship as I did, I applaud you for your strength also. It is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Sometimes we have to make choices we don’t like and they can be very painful but through all this I can tell you that after losing myself as her needs overwhelmed me it has been wonderful to find myself again. Once again that is in large part thanks to all of you here who so bravely share your pain and let us know that we are not alone.
My sincerest thanks to all of you and I look forward to “chatting” again soon.

Mike

December 30, 2008 at 11:57 am
(207) Susie says:

Thanks Mike and Boris for your comments. Its so interesting that we all experience the same things; sometimes they are great and loving but it always short lived, and inevitably the cycle repeats itself no matter what we do.
Mike , you said that your gilfriend always accused you of wanting other women. My partner does that as well. Its like he blames me for his bad thoughts and beieves them and makes me suffer for it.
I am in a position right now where I can make the break. He is at his parents house, hiding in the basement blaming me and everyone else for his state of mind ” kids dont care about him, I want other men, ect. ect). My plan (again) is to tell him when he calls that I cant do this anymore. The thought of carrying it through though, is terrifying. I will for some strange reason miss him so much and will be consumed with worry and anxiety about what he might do. Wish me luck. I pray I find the strength. Susie

December 30, 2008 at 12:02 pm
(208) Susie says:

Thanks as well for your comments “so confused”. Your right that losing my health is not worth it. My mother said to me the other day, you are going to have a stroke and end up drooling in a wheelchair. Do you think he would stick around and care for you like you do him? I would guess, proabably not.

December 30, 2008 at 1:48 pm
(209) Mike says:

Susie,

While I would never suggest to anyone that they give up on a relationship unless they are 100% certain, I will say to you that should you decide to make the break you will be alright. It’s not easy, it’s painful, in fact the pain isn’t just emotional as I mentioned in an earlier post, it actually hurts physically. However that pain diminishes day by day, I guess that old saying about time heals all wounds is true. If you choose to leave the relationship you will get through. At times it’s hard to believe that life can get better since we become so conditioned to living as we are but in time you will look back and realize that the worst has passed and even though you may still have the odd pang they are less frequent and less painful. I had a phone call on Christmas eve that hung up and I suspected it was my ex fiance. Then she sent me a text on Christmas day asking if we could talk. As hard as it was I chose not to respond which was the best thing I think. I’ve had no more contact since then although I’m still waiting for her to arrange to remove all her furniture and personal effects from my house so I’ll still have that to deal with in the new year I guess. All in all every day it gets a little easier and I can tell you honesty that I feel so much better health wise. Susie, I can’t stress enough that whatever decision you make, you need to put your health and well being at the forefront. Get a bit selfish and put yourself first for a change! Good luck and I’ll look forward to hearing how you are doing!

Mike

January 1, 2009 at 11:07 am
(210) Susie says:

I cant tell you all how glad I am that the holidays are over. This has been a really hard one for me. I broke it off whith him over Christmas after he once again said he didnt want me or his kids in his life (his kids form a previous marriage) and that it is all our fault. He said he wants to just be left alone and not to have anything to do with anyone. I said ok. Well since then he wont stop phoning and texting flipping between “please help me”, to “I have some information you need”, to “I guess you hate me, goodbye”. I am trying so hard not to respond and get sucked back into his game. I guess what he is doing is a manipulation becasue he was always saying he didnt want me anymore and as soon as I leave he wont stop phoning. I am really afraid of what he might do now.Part of me is releaved when he calls becasue I know he is alive. Its so hard to stay strong and stay away and not run to the rescue.
Happy New Year
Hope its a better one for all of us.
Susie

January 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm
(211) Mike says:

Susie,

Remember that you are not responsible for his choices or his actions. The fact that he is at his parents is a good thing since he has a support net. As for the flipping back and forth between I’m sorry and I love you to I don’t want anything to do with you, this seems to be a common thing when dealing with a depressed loved one. I know it certainly was in my situation. It almost seems as if they want to see how far and how hard thet can push before we get to our limit. I used to get phone calls and texts constantly at work telling me that she was leaving, threatening suicide, accusing me of wanting other women (I was madly in love with her and not the least bit interested in anyone else), saying I wasn’t supportive enough, didn’t understand what she was going through etc. Initially I would leave work and run home to console her thinking she just needed positive support. Eventually it began to wear on me and I started to ignore these episodes and then she would appologize and tell me she really didn’t mean it. I began to feel like a yo-yo on a string. This pattern continued right to the end. We would have a few weeks if we were lucky where things would be stable and those times were wonderful but they never lasted. Then it would start all over again and as time went on it became more common and she would say nastier and nastier things. Ultimately after hours or days of verbal abuse I would fire back. I’m not proud of that but a person can only take so much. Last night I was at a New Years party and had a great time with good friends and I realized that if I had stayed in the relationship I wouldn’t have been there. She would have come up with some reason that we shouldn’t go and I would have made our excuses to our friends. That too became a pattern as we gradually stopped socializing and withdrew into her world. I guess it was just easier to go allong with her than argue. I am by nature a very social person and getting back into circulation has been great, friends have been so supportive. I still think about her and worry for her. I still have moments where I grieve for what might have been and fleeting fantasies that maybe we could still get through it all when I know rationally that it could never be. I just force myself to refocus on the good things in my life now and how much more peace there is. If you really want to move forward you can do it! Remember that you can’t really “rescue” him. All you can do is enable him which is the last thing we should be doing. Be strong for yourself, do things for yourself. Like I said, be a little bit selfish because like everyone else going through what you are going through, you have neglected your own needs. It’s just something we do as we struggle to support our loved ones. It’s a good time to start taking care of you! Good luck Susie and here’s to a better year in 2009!

Mike

January 3, 2009 at 5:34 pm
(212) Nikki99 (Paula) says:

I don’t think it’s merely depression anymore. I am thinking more along the lines of abuse lately. I had a car accident last night with his car. I was literally shaking at the thought of telling him. When I did, he said, you are “f*cking kidding. You stupid, spoiled little b*tch.” No ‘are you ok, was anyone hurt’. None of that. He looked at the car. Told me it was totaled. Then he said that’s it, I am OUT. He declared he was moving and no longer wanted me. Last night he called to tell me he was stopping at the liquor store to bring home a bottle for us… citing it was “Friday night” and all. I said please don’t. I knew if he did, we would both have a drink, then two, then three, and of course, this happened and the defenses came down and I began to tell him what I really thought of his treatment of me. He lay on the bed with TV remote in hand, and casually said to me, “Do you remember when we were broken up in July?” I said yes. He said, “You sowed your oats; I know you fucked a thousand men…. and I never had the opportunity to meet women. I regret that I did not do what you did.”
I said to him, “You know something, you are LYING. I fucked NOBODY. You are the one who left without warning and ended up wtihin a week living with your EX WIFE and fucking her in her bed drunk! How I am the bad one here I fail to see it. I went for one lunch with someone who turned out to be a disappointment to me and all we talked about was YOU, Joe.” He said, “Really? You didn’t give him a blow job in the parking lot?” I mean, how do you respond to this. He turned on the closet light and said “I think i’ll go out for awhile. Maybe I will bring someone home for us.”
I said to him, “Do you want another woman? Do you want other women?” He said YES, but ONLY WITH YOU.
Oh Please…..
Then I said well that is not an option. It’s me and nobody else, or everyone else and NOT ME. He said well darling of course then I would take you. And I said Joe, do you want to leave me? Please, just shoot straight from the hip and tell me. He said, “If I thought you would let me go without hiding my keys, YES.” I started crying and he began “mock” crying along with me, calling me a 12 year old. THen I said again, really, you want to go? And he said, oh NO. I want to grow old with you. I love you. I said why did you say you wanted to leave? He said, “Ah, I was just kiddin around with ya… just fucking with you.”
Then, he said to me, come here and let me fuck you. He pulled me down, fucked me, pushed me off, and said, “NOW do you see that sex will not be any good until we are getting along with each other?” I said YES of course I see that. he said, let’s work on that then.
I agreed.
I know this makes no sense to anyone on the board. It doesn’t even make sense to me. My feelings were reeling. I got angry at him as he kept fucking with my head saying he wanted to leave, he didn’t want to leave. He wanted other women; he didn’t want other women.
I have checked his cell phone and have no evidence of cheating, but knowing he even looks and WANTS it kills me and chills me to the bone.
It makes me sick to think I am not enough for him.
I told him I was going out to pick up my son from his friend’s house. He said maybe I should go with you; you are upset. I didn’t answer. Well, he let me go alone. I stopped at Walgreens and picked up my Xanax prescription. I was hysterical sitting in an empty dark parking lot and downed 3 pills. I had no idea they would take effect so fast, but I hadn’t eaten, so…. they did.
Next thing I know, I have rear-ended a man with JOE’S car. The hood came flying up, clips broken. The headlight shattered. The tire went flat. OH MY GOD HE WOULD KILL ME.
I came home. Told him I was in an accident. He said you’re fucking kidding. I said no, I’m sorry. I will pay for everything (It is his car he lets me use, and he is flat broke himself… he has no insurance to cover damages on his own vehicle; only other people’s….) – He says to me “you stupid immature spoiled BITCH” when he sees it, and comes in and tells me, I AM DONE. I WANT OUT. I AM MOVING OUT.
I am crying, tired, hysterical, offer to give him $3000 for a $1500 car (it’s an older 98 Grand Prix with 70K on it) and he still wants out. He will not let me make amends. He just keeps saying this is the last straw, as though I intentionally did it on purpose.
And not one time; not once, did he ever say to me, “Was anyone hurt” or “Are you ok.”
I said to him, “What if this hadn’t happened with the car, would you have stayed and worked through things?” He said, no… it isn’t going to work. I am done. I don’t want you.
So, now the climb starts for my self esteem again.
my regaining of sanity, I guess.
He still “lives” here until he starts his new job. He said wherever that job is, he will move close to it so he doesn’t want to find an apt until he knows where that will be. Meantime he will be here for a day, a week, who knows. And I will be as silent as ever, walking around him, pretending for a change that he is the object; the piece of furniture, as he has done to me for so long. To speak to him any longer is unbearably painful knowing that for 3 years it was for nothing. My love, my support, my undying effort to stand aside him while he failed in a business, lost money… now he will be working and will give someone else the happy Joe everyone knew, and he will remember me as a burden and a problem in his life.

January 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm
(213) Nikki99 (Paula) says:

Excuse the expletives…
Last night he called to tell me he was stopping at the liquor store to bring home a bottle for us… citing it was “Friday night” and all. I said please don’t. I knew if he did, we would both have a drink, then two, then three, and of course, this happened and the defenses came down and I began to tell him what I really thought of his treatment of me. He lay on the bed with TV remote in hand, and casually said to me, “Do you remember when we were broken up in July?” I said yes. He said, “You sowed your oats; I know you fucked a thousand men…. and I never had the opportunity to meet women. I regret that I did not do what you did.”
I said to him, “You know something, you are LYING. I fucked NOBODY. You are the one who left without warning and ended up wtihin a week living with your EX WIFE and fucking her in her bed drunk! How I am the bad one here I fail to see it. I went for one lunch with someone who turned out to be a disappointment to me and all we talked about was YOU, Joe.” He said, “Really? You didn’t give him a blow job in the parking lot?” I mean, how do you respond to this. He turned on the closet light and said “I think i’ll go out for awhile. Maybe I will bring someone home for us.”
I said to him, “Do you want another woman? Do you want other women?” He said YES, but ONLY WITH YOU.
Oh Please…..
Then I said well that is not an option. It’s me and nobody else, or everyone else and NOT ME. He said well darling of course then I would take you. And I said Joe, do you want to leave me? Please, just shoot straight from the hip and tell me. He said, “If I thought you would let me go without hiding my keys, YES.” I started crying and he began “mock” crying along with me, calling me a 12 year old. THen I said again, really, you want to go? And he said, oh NO. I want to grow old with you. I love you. I said why did you say you wanted to leave? He said, “Ah, I was just kiddin around with ya… just fucking with you.”
Then, he said to me, come here and let me fuck you. He pulled me down, fucked me, pushed me off, and said, “NOW do you see that sex will not be any good until we are getting along with each other?” I said YES of course I see that. he said, let’s work on that then.
I agreed.
I know this makes no sense to anyone on the board. It doesn’t even make sense to me. My feelings were reeling. I got angry at him as he kept fucking with my head saying he wanted to leave, he didn’t want to leave. He wanted other women; he didn’t want other women.
I have checked his cell phone and have no evidence of cheating, but knowing he even looks and WANTS it kills me and chills me to the bone.
It makes me sick to think I am not enough for him.
I told him I was going out to pick up my son from his friend’s house. He said maybe I should go with you; you are upset. I didn’t answer. Well, he let me go alone. I stopped at Walgreens and picked up my Xanax prescription. I was hysterical sitting in an empty dark parking lot and downed 3 pills. I had no idea they would take effect so fast, but I hadn’t eaten, so…. they did.
Next thing I know, I have rear-ended a man with JOE’S car. The hood came flying up, clips broken. The headlight shattered. The tire went flat. OH MY GOD HE WOULD KILL ME.
I came home. Told him I was in an accident. He said you’re fucking kidding. I said no, I’m sorry. I will pay for everything (It is his car he lets me use, and he is flat broke himself… he has no insurance to cover damages on his own vehicle; only other people’s….) – He says to me “you stupid immature spoiled BITCH” when he sees it, and comes in and tells me, I AM DONE. I WANT OUT. I AM MOVING OUT.
I am crying, tired, hysterical, offer to give him $3000 for a $1500 car (it’s an older 98 Grand Prix with 70K on it) and he still wants out. He will not let me make amends. He just keeps saying this is the last straw, as though I intentionally did it on purpose.
And not one time; not once, did he ever say to me, “Was anyone hurt” or “Are you ok.”
I said to him, “What if this hadn’t happened with the car, would you have stayed and worked through things?” He said, no… it isn’t going to work. I am done. I don’t want you.
So, now the climb starts for my self esteem again.
my regaining of sanity, I guess.
He still “lives” here until he starts his new job. He said wherever that job is, he will move close to it so he doesn’t want to find an apt until he knows where that will be. Meantime he will be here for a day, a week, who knows. And I will be as silent as ever, walking around him, pretending for a change that he is the object; the piece of furniture, as he has done to me for so long. To speak to him any longer is unbearably painful knowing that for 3 years it was for nothing. My love, my support, my undying effort to stand aside him while he failed in a business, lost money… now he will be working and will give someone else the happy Joe everyone knew, and he will remember me as a burden and a problem in his life.

January 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm
(214) Mike says:

Nikki99,

You are right, there is definitely abuse there which may or may not be originating in depression. The fact is from where I sit it doesn’t sound like a healthy situation for either of you but since we can only be responsible for ourselves I would urge you to take whatever steps you can to get yourself into a more stable environment. No one should have to live like that. I said in an earlier post that you should find a support net, family, friends, a counselor whatever it takes. You mentioned trying to regain your self esteem, that should be a priority and you need positive support to do that. When we are involved in relationships where we are abused verbally or emotionally it is so easy for our self esteem to plummet. Every relationship has bumps, we have disagreements, arguments, debates, whatever you want to call them but that doesn’t excuse vicious unfounded accusations at any time. The old saying about misery loves company is very true. How many times can you think of someone that is down saying mean hurtful or negative things to yourself or someone you know. Since they can’t or don’t know how to make themselves feel better they attempt to bring others down to where they are. I don’t even know if it’s concious or sub-concious but I do know from experience that it wears you down after awhile. For your own well being you need to start taking positive steps for yourself. Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying one way or the other whether you should give up on the relationship, no one can make that choice but you. What I am saying is that from your posts it is very evident that the relationship is in a bad way and needs serious help. If you want to fix it you will need the commitment of your boyfriend as well and if he is not prepared to do that then you really really really need to take care of your self! Good luck and I hope things get better!

Mike

January 4, 2009 at 11:09 pm
(215) Susie says:

Wow Nickie99. I read your post and was disgusted with your boyfriends behaviour. It kind of made a light go on for me. I was so offended by what your boyfriend has done to you but I take it all in my own. I believe so much of what these individuals do is abuse. It also sounded like he may have sexually assualted you. (dont know, thats just how i read it). Have you considered going to a womens centre and speaking to an abuse councelor? Thats what i did. These women are very well versed on the dynamics of all types of abuse be it, physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional. It is really helpful to get a professional opinion.
I think you should turn the tables on him and be strong. Say fine, get out if you want. I dont want anyone who cares more about their car than they do me. Value yourself and he will be shocked! Im glad you were not hurt in the car accident. But it sounds like if you were, he would not have been there for you. Good luck! Susie

January 5, 2009 at 12:55 am
(216) Mike says:

Susie,

I was glad to read your post since I also read sexual abuse into that but I thought maybe it was just my take and I was hesitant to go there. As a man who values and respects women (grew up with 4 sisters and a very strong mother who was an equal in her marriage to my father) I can never understand how a man can treat a woman in this way. The whole dynamic of a relationship is supposed to be one of mutual respect, love and support. It’s a great feeling to have a true partner in life and to know that that person is there for you no matter what. Nikki99, Susie makes a great point, talking to an abuse counselor who is properly trained is probably the best place for you to start. You have a right to feel safe in your own home and a right to be happy and the resources are there to help you, please take advantage of them. Good luck!

Mike

January 5, 2009 at 12:20 pm
(217) Nikki99 (paula) says:

Hi guys. Well, I think that car accident jolted my brain. I am seeing what I have written here… seeing it from an objective standpoint. And realizing, I don’t need this in my life anymore. For the record, I did tell him it would be fine by me if he left (and, for the first time, I felt strong enough to MEAN IT when I said it!) I have grown so tired and worn down from the insults, the hidden accusations, the blatant disrespect, and being ignored inbetween, that something inside my head snapped. When I looked at the damage to the car, realizing it was because I was in such a sorry state of mine that it even happened in the first place, it made me realize that it was time to take stock of my life and the lives of my two children, age 12 and 8 who are with me over half the time and unfortunately have borne witness to the yelling, holes he punched in the wall, my crying jags. No child should have to deal with that, and in a strange way, the guilt I have carried by allowing them to be exposed to seeing mom like this has actually made me feel weaker against Joe’s regime; that if I could only just shut up and do it his way, everything his way, then all would be smooth, peaceful, and fine. But it’s a facade. Nothing will ever be okay between me and Joe. After the car accident incident, I stepped right up and called Morgan Stanley to sell my IRA. His car is in the shop today and will be fixed better than new. It is going to cost me about a grand. I asked Joe if he would sell me the car once it was fixed, for book value. Book on it is about $2500. He said he could get more on the open market, sorry, and that he wanted over $3000. I thought to myself, you bastard. You know I have NO car to my name (he sold my camry a year ago, citing I didn’t need a car in my name since he had two), and he knows i’m at his mercy. You know, I will say this much for Joe. I am a fair person, and I have to tell you guys, when I met him, he made over $70K annual working as a finance mgr in a car dealership. 70-80 hrs a week. Well, after a year with me, he quit to open his own car business, a used car lot. Not surprisingly, it failed. He used his $20K out of his 401K right down to the last penny to make that lot work. When it didn’t, he lost his 401K, and of course when he left the big dealership he lost his health insurance. So here sits a 47 year old man who has basically lost his purpose in life and stares out the window wondering what he will do for the rest of his life. He could go back into a dealership with his 20+ years of experience under his belt, but he hates the work. Hates the hours. So he has tried pest control, selling hurricane windows, working in a steel mill… all the while with me and him sending out literally hundreds of cover letters and resumes to rarely get a call back. I know it had to have been what depressed him initially, but that is NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE, and HE IS ABUSIVE. I guess I’m the nearest thing he has to kick around, figuratively speaking, but I suffered 1 black eye (during sex, we weren’t even fighting! because he thought rough sex was “fun”)… and I had to wear sunglasses for 2 weeks before it healed. How humiliating. Since then, then since this car accident, so much has changed in my feelings. I can’t just kick Joe out because he has nowhere to go but mostly because we share this house, and both cars are in his name. Since he won’t sell me his (he wants me to just keep driving it and for us to “get along now”), I’m really in a spot.
suggestions?
So right now I’m just keeping my distance. But it’s terribly depressing to see a man with literally $1500 cash in his pocket and that is all, at 47 years old and years toiled, that he has to show for his life. I think he also resents the fact that I am an only child with two parents who have always given me unconditional love and support, where as he has raised himself… father died when he was 2 years old; mother moved them into the section 8 housing projects of boston and worked two jobs. A sob story, I know, but the truth.
We come from different worlds, and I just don’t know how to relate to him anymore. I need more from a relationship than he has to give, and I feel too much has happened to repair it but I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t work, but I am willing. Thing is, nobody here in FL can even find work right now.

January 5, 2009 at 1:24 pm
(218) So Confused says:

Nikki,

I hear everything you are saying; however, I am concerned about you not him. I dont care about his sob story and not being able to find a job, his dad died, etc.. That gives him NO RIGHT to abuse you. He sexually, physically and emotionally abusive. You deserve better and to allow your children to witness this dysfunction is borderline abusive. Please do not think that I am beating up on you, that is not my intent. I just hate to hear you going through this. What he is doing cannot be blamed on depression. Please get out of this situation for your sake. Like Mike, I do not believe in telling people what they need to do in their relationships, but this is an exception. Please, if you do not do this for yourself, do it for your children.

So Confused

January 5, 2009 at 1:29 pm
(219) So Confused says:

Just wanted to let everyone know how everything is going. My hubby and I currently have our house listed for rent so that we can live comfortably in two separate households (He cannot afford the house on his own.) I know that everyone was telling me that I shouldn’t be concerned about what he does about the bills but I simply cannot do that. He is going to look for a roommate or rent a room for a while. That way we can work on things. I love him but I’m not quite ready to let him into my space (especially because I’m deathly afraid of him making it as gloomy as he did our house/home). I’m a little sad about renting our house out to someone else. I know our son is, but right now I think it’s the best thing to do. An earlier poster once said that she copes by having separate lives and when her husband wants to act like a normal person he is allowed to rejoin her in her daily activities. I’m going to try and see if this works. Separate everything, except the family. Maybe if I do this I wont resent his impulse buys, worry about his employment status, etc. I’m grasping at straws at this point.

Here is to a wonderful 2009. I hope you all find peace this year.

So Confused

January 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(220) Nikki99 (Paula) says:

I came on this board because I thought I was living with a depressed spouse. I believe that I am. But more than that, I am convinced now that it is abuse, not simple mere depression. And I forgive, and I love. And I tolerate. But, I have had enough.
I am the kind of woman who, when someone I love is going through a bad time, is a “saver”, a “shoulder”, the best friend anyone could ever want. You know, the kind of gal you can call at 3:20 AM and cry about a flat tire and needing a ride, or a break-up, or whatever. I don’t have many friends these days, but the couple I have held onto know that I’m a true friend. So you can only imagine that with Joe, being in love with him and intimate, being “soul mates” (who ever thought of that crazy analogy), that I gave him my ALL and I write that with all caps. And he took. And took, and somehow turned his bad fortune around to where he resented my good fortune of having adequate child support, a nice home, a good family. Jealousy! I think he’s resentful and sad and jealous. And what children learn is what they see. Thankfully, Joe has only lived here since August of 2007. And, the kids have only seen this behavior for about 6 months. But 1 day is too long for a child to see mom crying, or mom screaming and losing control of herself. It teaches them all the wrong things. My son is 12 and is going through enough with his own identity at this tough age without having to worry himself sick inside about mom. He stays on his computer and shuts his door, listening to his heavy metal. He loves me but he is wary of Joe. Does not like him one bit. Once Joe said to him, “Why don’t you like me?” Dom replied, “Because she is my mother and I have to side in with my mom. She’s my mom, period.” (What a great kid.)
Joe and Dom never got into it, yet, but I have made it clear as crystal that if they ever did, I would have my son’s back, because not only is blood thicker than water, but that’s my baby and you don’t dare even begin to treat him the way you have treated me.
I will not stand for that. It’s funny; the things we will accept from others who do wrong to us,…. but touch our families? Hurt our kids? Insult our parents?
Watch out.

He will go, and hopefully soon. But logistically speaking I need to get my ducks in a row here, and there is the dead end…. I’m not sure where to start. Joe just phoned me telling me he would be “home” (whatever) in another hour or so, that the new job seemed to go well for him, and he told me we “must stop fighting in front of the children. We must stop fighting in private. We need to get along now. Let’s make this work.” How ironic. All the months I begged for him to say that. Somehow do these men inherently know when we’ve mentally and emotionally bailed out? I think so. Cuz now, I could really give two shits anymore and here he is, a day late and dollar short, wanting to make it work.
I could take it or leave it today, but the more I think about it, I think I would rather leave it. Too much water under the bridge. Too much neglect; not enough caring. Too much poor me sob-story joe, not enough empathy for my position.
i don’t need someone in my life that drags me down.
I think he always resented me from day one because he knew I came from good stock, that I had child support coming in that was adequate to allow me to stay home and raise the kids… i.e. I didn’t “need” to work. My son has ADD/ODD. It’s not fun. The ADD alone is bad enough, but when you have a gifted child that is also contrary to the sky being blue (that’s the ODD Oppositional Defiant Disorder) part, and the kid also happens to have a 140 IQ (and yours is 141, lol), well, that in itself is a challenge. I know Joe had a tough life. And I’m sorry for that.
But for all that’s happened in the past almost 3 years with this man, I’m just worn down and very tired. Gave it all I had. He gave it all too, from the wallet, which wasn’t much to start with, but now that he’s broke he really hasn’t ever given me any SUPPORT, emotional or otherwise, other than paying utilities and buying food.
So really, I am quickly losing interest in this plastic knight in shining armor. Joe has issues. I cannot help him with them. I once asked him, “Can’t you just, for once, put yourself in my shoes?” His flat response was “nope.” and back to the TV.
And so, that is the nutshell of what the past 3 years has been, and I’m over it.
Now… how to get him to leave without taking half the equity of the house….. I bought this house 10 years ago. Kids and I lived here until I needed to refinance it and that’s when Mr. Wonderful offered with his “then” perfect credit. (August of 2007)… when it’s been my home since 1999. He promised me he would never take a red cent from me if “it didn’t work out between us”. Now, the story changes, and stupid idiot me, I never got it in writing and now I can’t seem to jar Joe’s memory of his promise… “I don’t recall saying that” is my answer.
What a scumbag.
So now what..
I can’t get the house refinanced, we share it together, both cars are in his name. I would get a part-time job but if Joe left it wouldn’t be enough to substantiate the bills. I would need to go full-time and with my son’s lack of progress in school right now I’m very involved in getting him on track.
Joe is now laying low, having started a new job today. I would love to attribute his abusive tendencies to “a bad time” in his life, but my gut tells me there is just simply NO EXCUSE.
I can proudly tell you all that I no longer fear him leaving. I savor it. When the time comes, I will be free. Until then, I will have to play along, I guess and try to make the situation tolerable.
thank you guys; for all the words. He was a dream once. Just the answer to your prayers. The reality of the car accident, the black eye, but mostly THE WORDS and THE NEGLECT are what will pull me through this solo, because as they say, what doesn’t kill us, will make us stronger. And I am finally beginning to feel that strength slowly come back. Joe has NEVER been abusive in front of, or to, the children.
He saves those moments of rage for when we are alone.
He is a “private man”, his words, and I’m learning when someone is overly private about their life, it’s usually because there is something wrong with them that they do not want other people to see.
The kids are not abused here. I just wanted to say that, for the record. Every child heard arguments between adults from time to time, even yelling. But Joe saves the real rage, anger, insults, screaming, and wall punching for only when they are not here at all. So please know I am protecting them to that extent. When the kids are in the house and not with dad, Joe says, “hey kids how’s it going?” and gives my 8 year old airplane piggybacks around the house, plays chess once in awhile with my son. Really, the children are not exposed to the core of it.
But I am tired of being exposed to it. I think that being alone would be A-OK right now.

January 5, 2009 at 3:21 pm
(221) Nikki99 says:

I’m going to start worrying about me for a change. Me and the kids, period.
Looking back, I always put a man first.
ALWAYS.
I’m not putting anyone first who doesn’t give it back, ever again.

January 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm
(222) Susie says:

Way to go Nickie99! I pray you have the strength to stick with it. I didnt and now really regret it. If I would have left a long time ago, I would have saved myself so much misery. Good luck! Susie

January 6, 2009 at 1:20 am
(223) sad and blue says:

My husband is a beautiful person, but I don’t know how to treat someone that is good to me, I suffer from depression now for 15 years I have been on all kinds of medications and nothing helps I have had counceling that doesn’t help either I have hurt him physcial causing me to be thrown in jail I say mean cruel things to him and he just keeps forgiving me, I feel that because everyone that has ever come in my life as hurt me, I feel that pain is the only thing I understand anything else makes me uncomfortable I know I’m going to lose him oneday and it will be all my fault. I feel so evil sometimes I wish I was never born. I was a loving person I would help so many people I never let anyone down. and I was walked on like a doormat and now the same thing that was done to me I’m doing it to my wonderful husband and I don’t know how to stop, I have such a deep hurt and I don’t know how to let it go, I don’t know what to do, i’m losing my husband.

January 6, 2009 at 7:47 am
(224) Nikki99 says:

Sad and Blue, the fact that you recognize what you are doing to your H, I think, speaks volumes on both your road to recovery, and your taking responsibility for it; rather than doing what so many abusers do: DENY. You can change, but you need some help to get down that road. I think the fact that your husband keeps forgiving you says a lot for his tolerance, but do you think perhaps you are using that against him? Do you view his forgiveness as weakness or submissiveness to you? You shouldn’t really. It’s unconditional love. Still, if a dog gets kicked one too many times, the dog will no longer come around. Bad analogy, but you know what I mean. I hope you can begin by even doing one nice small little thing this morning for him; whether it is a simple hug, i love you, or a note in his lunch. Little things mean a lot and are good bandaids, but the underlying problem has to be addresseda and I commend you for recognizing it for what it is; depression.
There is help. Let us know how you are doing… but take my advice and just do one nice little thing each day for him. a tiny 1 minute gesture. I bet it helps; it certainly can’t hurt, and just try to breathe in and out a few times before reacting.

January 6, 2009 at 7:56 am
(225) So Confused says:

Sad and Blue,

I’m sorry you feel that way. All I can say is that you will eventually lose your husband if you dont do something. You are blessed that he has stuck with you this long, but a person can only take so much, as you know. Have you ever tried couples counseling, individual therapy, church, etc? It seems as though your husband loves you, or else he wouldn’t still be with you. I’m sure that if you make a serious effort (and I mean giving it 150%) that you can make things better. I dont think things will ever be perfect, but I’m sure better sounds pretty good at this point.

I’m speaking from the point of view of a spouse of a depressed person. I have also spoken to my husband’s therapist and she told me that he cannot control his depression, but he can control how he acts toward others even if it means faking it. Just because you are feeling down, that is no reason to bring your husband down with you. If you are feeling down, you need to get away for a little while, not sit there and make him miserable too. I’m sorry if what I’m saying hurts, but it’s true. If you really truly love him, you will do whatever it takes. Otherwise, you are going to let this depression destroy your life and in the end you will have chosen depression over your marriage.

Good luck with everything, I will keep you in my prayers.

January 6, 2009 at 10:22 am
(226) Nikki99 says:

I wanted to drop a line to all and say thank you all, esp Mike, for your input on my situation with Joe. He is working now, and i see him very aware of his low carb diet, on the go, concerned with himself as usual…. and still neglecting me,… so i don’t think any longer it is depression; at least not chronic depression. His spirits seem to have lifted but he still treats me fair to midlin, and that is on a good day. So I found a board that deals with abuse, and I am posting my situation there day to day, sort of like a journal shared with other women in my shoes. I would like to say that depression doesn’t come without anger; at least not in my experience with Joe.
God bless all of you…. i will check in from time to time to say hello
xoxo
paula (Nikki99)

January 6, 2009 at 11:24 am
(227) Mike says:

Paula,

I’m so glad to hear you are doing better and taking charge of your life! Don’t be too hard on yourself for thinking of others first as you often do or have in the past. I think most of us on this board share that trait in our personalities. It’s not easy for some of us to put ourselves first, it’s almost a behaviour we have to learn. I just want to say again that you can do this! There are hard days no question but over time it gets better and you deserve to live a happy life without the abuse! This is so important for your children as well. They deserve to feel safe and see their mother happy too. Good luck with everything and as always I’ll be looking forward to more good news in your future posts! Take good care of yourself!

Mike

January 6, 2009 at 1:37 pm
(228) Paula says:

one last thought:
In my case, depression comes with its counterpart of internal rage that has to come out in one form or another; whether it’s self-abuse or lashing out. I read a couple of posts here where either the spouse is depressed and is bringing/dragging down the partner, or the one writing here is depressed and is inadvertently hurting their own partner. I just want to say that I think we do hurt the ones closest to us when we are in a depressed state. Misery loves company, perhaps?
Thanks again for the support here. I will be around and will say hi every once in awhile to let you know how I am. I am not out of this yet; I’m not sure I want to be. I’m confused. But I know I will get it straight in my own head and things will iron themselves out in good time. It’s about me and the kids. It is our life and will be what I make it.
For the depressed out there, talk to a professional. Talk to your spouse if you can. But don’t lash out. It’s not your partner’s fault and we are all trying to sustain.

January 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm
(229) Mary says:

Hello,
I haven’t posted for a while, but not much has changed in my life. I just wanted to say a big “thank you” to everyone who posts. I check back frequently to read the posts because there isn’t many places I can find others going through the same emotions and conflicting feelings that I experience. I am pretty private and like to pretend all is good in my life, but it isn’t. I just keep living day by day and praying many times a day. To those of you that have left–good luck. You should be proud of yourselves. To those of you who are staying–it is what you think is best. Keep your heads up and pray. You will find the inner strength.
I have to believe this since this is what I am doing too. Anyways, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this sight and the stories that are shared.
Mary

January 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm
(230) Mike says:

Mary,

I’m glad you find this site comforting, as I do and I think everyone else does as well. Like you I would look in and read the posts for the longest time before I actually decided to post. I found early on that it was very theraputic to share with everyone here and it has helped me immensely. I noticed in your post that you like to pretend that all is good in your life. I’m not sure if you are doing this to portray an image to everyone else or if you are doing it to insulate yourself but I would urge you to find someone that you can confide in. Carrying all that emotion bottled up inside is very hard. It is such a huge relief to be able to tell another person how you are actually feeling and what you are really going through. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, seek out a counselor or group in your area and get a load off your chest. The strain of dealing with a depressed loved one can be debilitating. Sharing that strain will be good not only for you but ultimately help you be stronger for your partner as well. I’ve said many times in previous posts and I’ll say it to you as well, you need to take care of yourself first. If you don’t, who will! Take care, good luck and if you aren’t comfortable with talking to others about your situation yet, come back and post your thoughts and feelings here. We all found our way here for the same reasons so you have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.

Mike

January 7, 2009 at 5:06 am
(231) Boris says:

Mary,

I know what you mean about pretending all is good in your life, both to yourself and others. I get very down when I get asked about the holiday period – “Did you have a good Christmas and new year?”, to which my answer is usually “Yes, it was great thanks”, when in fact the answer should really be “No, it was dreadful and I couldn’t wait for it to be over”. Thinking what a lovely time other people must be having is hard.

I’ve found it helps to confide fully in just one or two people and that gives me the strength to continue the pretense with everyone else. Should I have to pretend? No, but it’s just easier that way.

Love and strength to you all.

Boris

January 9, 2009 at 10:54 am
(232) Susie says:

Its been a hard week. We had a chat on Sunday and he told me how he is getting help for his drinking and is sorry for the way he has been treating me. He said he knows that his depression/psychosis is causing him to not trust me and accuse me. I had a glimmer of hope.
Tuesday night he stopped by to borrow something and was in pretty good spirits. It was short lived. At about 3am I heard my dog growling at my bedroom door. I kept telling her to go back to sleep but she wouldnt. Then I heard a loud bang. I got up, got dressed and went to see what was going on. I looked out the window and saw nothing. I then saw my phone flashing and saw that he had called me about 10 times between 2 and 3am. The messages were horrible. He said things like ” who are you f-ing you f-ing pig, and I am going to come and kick your ass” . Of course I was home alone but he believed as usual that I wasnt. I never went back to sleep and had a huge presentation the next day that was so hard. He called me the next day and I asked him why he did this. He said becasue he had been at my house and there was beer in the fridge and that got him thinking that I must be entertaining men!! He went to his cousins house and proceded to drink and slander me telling them what a slut I am all night and that i cant be trusted. I realized then that this is likely what he always does as he uses it as an excuse to get drunk.
I cant tell you how much that hurts me. I have never once even considered cheating on this man and the way he talks about and treats me is awful. I have to wonder what would have happened if I had opened the door tuesday night. He came there becasue he believed I was cheating on him (again)and was very angry from his thoughts. I havent heard from him since Weds eve. when he tried to call and ask if I was mad at him. I lost it on him. Not sure what will happen now but I am trying really hard to break away for good.
Susie

January 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm
(233) Mike says:

Hi Susie,

Sorry to hear that things aren’t going quite as you had hoped. This pattern of verbal abuse alternating with appologies and promises of it’ll never happen again is something I’m all too familiar with. All it does is get your hopes up only to have them knocked down again next time the accusations fly. I used to hope that it would get better but unfortunately in my situation it only got worse and more frequent. I think that people suffering from depression quite often have a real insecurity problem due to their low self esteem. If you are concerned that things might get out of hand physically, especially if he is drinking, please take steps to ensure your safety! The fact that he threatened to “kick your ass” should have alarm bells going off all over the place. Don’t wait until it turns violent, that happens way too often. I know you had said earlier that you had been to see an abuse counselor, it might not be a bad idea to go back and ask their opinion on what steps you could take to protect yourself. At the very least make sure you have friends and/or family that you could contact quickly in an emergency situation and make those people aware of what has been going on. No one should live in fear for their personal safety! While I always try to refrain from suggesting people give up on a relationship, if you and I were sitting chatting over a cup of coffee and you told me what you have been subjected to, I would be telling you to run as fast as you could! I hope that you are able to stick to your convictions and look out for yourself this time. I know you tried before and gave in (a lot of us have done the same, sometimes more than once) but it is never too late to start taking care of you and moving in the direction you want your life to go! I wish you all the best and I’ll be looking forward to hearing how you are doing!

Mike

January 9, 2009 at 3:33 pm
(234) Susie says:

Thanks Mike. I actually did go to see a councelor today. She told me that unless he gets major help, there is nothing I can do and it will only get worse. I feel like I have been brain washed into believing that I am some horrible person or cheating slut like he says. I am like an abused woman. I am even nervous about my email, my phone messages and what I put in my fridge. He thinks everything is a sign that I am cheating on him. Anything can set him off, even me playing volleyball because he says he sees me looking at other men. I walk on eggshells constantly and my self esteem is absolutely shot. The worst part for me is how he trashes me to people when he is in these states and tells them that I am cheating on him. I know that he actually believes it. I wish I could go away for a month and heal. It is so bloody cold here in Canada right now, if i could afford it, I would take off.

January 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm
(235) Mike says:

Susie,

Try not to get too down on yourself. It’s really easy to start believing all the nasty negative things they say after hearing them over and over again. Like you I started believing that I was a horrible person, the root of all her problems. It was only after I had been away from her for awhile that I started to gain some perspective and realize that I had been a victim so to speak. It seems that everyone on this board has learned to walk on eggshells, what a terrible way to go through life! I have to say I don’t miss that at all! As for him trashing you to other people, don’t worry about it. Those who are truly your friends won’t believe him and I think anyone who knows him will be sceptical at best. As for the cold, I’m in southwestern Ontario so I know how that goes. I’m looking forward to March when a few of us are going to Daytona for bike week. This constant cold and the short days wear on you after awhile. Stay strong Susie, work on your self esteem, do things you enjoy, play some extra volley ball if you get a chance. The exercise and social interaction is worth it’s weight in gold! Keep smiling…it gets better! :)

Mike

January 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm
(236) Susie says:

Thanks Mike. Its strange but for the first time in these 4 years I feel more numb than anxious. Its actually kind of a relief. I hope it lasts and that a lot of the grieving is behind me. It seems I have been in a high anxiety and grieving state for most of the last 4 years. When I think about going back, I feel like something bigger than me, wont allow it. Thanks again for all you helpful advice, I really do cherish it and this site. It has helped more than anything. Susie

January 11, 2009 at 1:39 am
(237) Susie says:

Susie,

I’m glad that my comments have been helpful, that’s definately a two way street though. I’m so grateful for the input from you and everyone else on this board. When you’re feeling at your lowest it’s nice to read the words of encouragement here and know that you are not alone. I don’t think it’s anything bigger than you that won’t allow you to go back, I think that’s just you getting stronger and more determined. Living in that anxious state as you put it is emotionally draining and now that you’ve taken yourself out of that environment you’re beginning to heal. It’s not a quick process and you will have weak moments where you doubt yourself but you’ll get through them. Those moments become less frequent very quickly but it really helps if you keep busy doing things you enjoy. I found that too much sitting around left me over analysing everything. I leaned on my friends more than anything and actually forced myself to get out and socialize. My friends along with yourself and all the others on this board got me through the tough times. I still have the odd moment but they are few and far between. You’ll be ok too and you’ll feel stronger everyday! Good luck and remember you deserve to be happy!

Mike

Mike

January 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm
(238) Marina Martinez says:

I have been married to my depressed spouse for 24 years. Frankly, I think I am tapped out to give support. I am finding it extremely difficult. I love him and I know its through better or worse. I believe I’m at my worst now. I am trying to muster up strength to like him. However, that is difficult when everyday he acts like he hates me and his kids.

January 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm
(239) Maria says:

Like many of you out there, I am married to a man who is very much depressed. We’ve been together since high school, got married at 21, and have been married for a little over 3 and 1/2 years (together almost 8 years now). Things were great for a large portion of the time. My husband was happy, full of life, and had ambitions that blew me away. We took vacations together, enjoyed each other’s company much, and truly felt that we were meant to grow to old together. But a couple years ago, things began to change. I grew up, developed my goals and saw them through, finished college and began my career. Meanwhile, he began to sink into depression. He was unable to finish college, has had one mediocre job after another (which make him miserable because he knows these jobs are beneath him), and routinely thought (and still thinks) of suicide. He’s sad all the time, focuses on negative thoughts, and for some reason is always in physical pain (his back and feet). He finds it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, and sometimes sleeps 12 hours a day. He has gone to several doctor’s for his pain, but they are unable to diagnose him with anything. The pain killers they prescribe don’t work and exercise does nothing to alleviate his pain. Living with him like this has taken a deep tole on our marriage, to say the least. I feel like I’m the one doing everything- cooking, cleaning, working a full-time job, running all the errands. On top of that, as his wife, I’m constantly trying to build his self esteem and make him feel worth-while. I try really hard not to argue and when I have to confront him about something I try to be very delicate about it. We don’t go out much and I sacrifice a lot to stay by his side at home since he hates going out. All this while he struggles to go to work only to come home afterward to eat and sleep. I’m exhausted, and cold as it may sound, I feel like this is getting really old. We’re too young for this!

A few months ago, we finally decided that we should try living apart. It was his decision as he wanted time to be alone to sort things out within himself. The hope was that this would give us time to think, to grow-up on our own, and help us decide whether we want to continue this marriage or not. For me, I was hoping he’d see how good we had it when we did live together and make an effort to get some help. Today, he tells me counseling may be the answer, but he won’t pick up the phone and make an appointment with a doctor. I don’t know if he ever will. At times I tell myself that I should move on, get a divorce, and start anew. Other times I tell myself that I am going to commit to making this work and I remember my vows- through sickness and health, right?

We’ve been living apart for about 8 months. I feel some relief because I don’t have to take care of anyone but me. I come home, do my thing, and I can rest easily at night because I don’t have to worry about what he needs. I can finally take care of myself. We see each other most weekends and talk a little each day. And yet, even with his new found freedom and space, he is still depressed. He says he’s depressed because we don’t live together and thinks that if we move back in together things will get better for him. I don’t feel like that’s the answer. If he moves back in, he’ll just focus on the next negative aspect of his life. He’ll be no better off and I’ll go back to living like his caretaker. I told him that I refuse to move back in with him unless we get counseling. If he wants us to be together again, he needs to try and get well.

In the mean time, I find myself desiring other men. Men who have their acts together, who are upbeat, and who make good conversation. One man in particular has recently gotten my attention and, although nothing has happened between us, I find myself thinking about him all the time. He listens to me, makes me feel good about myself, and really makes me laugh. I started to distance myself away from him because I’m married and I feel guilty for having feelings him. But the feelings are still there, whether I see him or not. I’m just emotionally vulnerable right now and I know that this is just result of feeling so lonely for the past couple of years. But it’s treacherous ground.

My question is this- can people heal from depression? I know the husband I married is in there somewhere. How can I get him back?

January 11, 2009 at 11:57 pm
(240) Mike says:

Maria,

I’m sorry to hear what you are going through but I’m glad you found your way to this message board. I think you’ll find it very helpful sharing with everyone here. I know it was a breath of fresh air for me when I found my way here. As for your question. In my case things got progressively worse until I had to end the relationship. That being said, people do recover. More often than not it seems to be a case of managing the depression through proper medication and therapy or counseling. The one constant though is that the individual suffering from depression must want to get well and must take the appropriate steps. It’s all about being responsible for ourselves. You cannot love your husband well, all you can do is love and support him to the best of your ability. As you read through the posts here you will find it said many times that you have to take care of yourself first. If you let yourself get worn down emotionally you’ll find yourself getting depressed and you’ll be in no position to help your husband at all. As for desiring other men and the guilt that comes along with that, try not to be too hard on yourself. The fact that you recognize those feelings for what they are and have chosen not to act on them is what’s important. I think it’s quite common for those of us living with a depressed partner to feel very much alone and neglected. Because our spouses aren’t able to give us the emotional support, physical affection or intellectual stimulation that we need we instinctively seek that out elsewhere. Like you I felt alone alot of the time and found myself really enjoying the time I was able to share a good conversation with other women. I also recognized this for what it was and kept everything strictly to a friendship level but even then the guilt was hard to deal with. Getting involved with anyone else would only make things worse. All I can suggest is that you continue to try and get your husband to counseling, a doctor with a background in mental health would also be good. If you don’t feel comfortable with the counselor you go to, try another one. Like everything in life all counselors are not created equal and you may need to search a bit until you find the one that’s right for your husband. The same can often be said of anti depressant medication. It’s almost a trial and error situation to find the right medication. Good luck and I’ll look forward to hearing how you’re doing. Take care of yourself!

Mike

January 12, 2009 at 9:20 am
(241) So Confused says:

Hello Maria,

I feel so drawn to you because your story is a lot like mine. I am young, 29 years old, and have been with my husband for almost 8 years. We are currently separated because of his depression. Our house felt like a tomb and I was never happy to come home. As time progressed, I started to dislike him very much. That being said, since I have moved out things have gotten much better. I think he tries much harder because he wants me and our son to live with him again. He is taking his medication and seeing his psychologist and psychiatrist regularly. He is also trying to eat healthy and exercize. My husband like yours jumps from one job to the next, one major (in college) to the next and is always finding something wrong with life. It can be very draining. Unfortunately, unless it’s seasonal or circumstantial, depression never goes away. If you decide to stay with him you must understand that this illness is a lot like alcoholism. One can recover but is never fully cured. He will have to work his entire life to fight this depression. It’s sad to say. I am afraid to live with my husband for this very reason. I am so afraid that it will come back with a vengance and I will once again be miserable. As far as other men are concerned, I see nothing wrong with having friends, but I would advise against starting any relationships with anyone as it will only complicate your already complicated situation.

If you ever want to talk (type), I am always here. Like Mike, I find this board to be therapeutic and dont know what I would do without it. I look forward to reading everyone’s posts everyday and posting as well. Good luck with everything.

So Confused

January 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm
(242) Paula says:

Gosh! after reading all of your comments I realize that I have been doing the same things you all have and it is not working either. I have tried to be positive, I make up excuses to my kids about Dad, I am glad when he works late… Now I think I have reached my max. I have decided that I will let him go through his episodes on his own. He takes his medicine, he says he does not want to talk when he is depressed and wants to be left alone. I keep in touch with his therapist and psychiatrist and report the behaviors that I see so as to be able to keep him safe. I now realize I can not make him feel happy and I feel I am wasting my life away trying to please him. I have miss out of activities with my kids or out of having fun because I am always making sure he is ok. I am done. I need my mental health and emotions to be mine again.
Any ideas?

January 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm
(243) Mike says:

Paula,

It begins with you. First you need to start focusing on yourself a little more. We tend to forget ourselves when we are so focused on the needs of our spouses. Take the time for things that are important and enjoyable to you. Hobbies, recreation, movies, social gatherings, whatever it is that you enjoy that perhaps you have not indulged in recently. It’s all about YOUR mental health and well being and this is important for you whether you decide to stay in the relationship or not. It sounds like it might do you and your kids a world of good to get out together as well, they feel the stress too but quite often don’t verbalize it. It comes back to all the basics, eat right, exercise, sleep, all things that are so simple but easily neglected. If you have friends or family that you can speak comfortably with that helps as well. I tend to look at things in their simplest forms sometimes and I feel that good frank conversation with a trusted friend is the best form of therapy. In a nutshell Paula, you need to realize you are important and put yourself first occasionaly. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be supportive for your husband, in fact it will probably make it easier for you to do so. Good luck and take care of yourself!

Mike

January 13, 2009 at 8:56 am
(244) So Confused says:

Hello Paula,

I agree with Mike, you need to focus on you. I have tried to start living my own life again and not be so wrapped up in my husband’s depression. If he complains about the kids being left home with him, I suggest trying to find a reliable sitter, family member or friend who can watch them once a week. You need to get away and have some fun. Whether it is going out at night, taking up a hobby, working out or just relaxing at the park. I believe that this is how I have regained my sanity. You may also find that life can be a lot of fun outside of your husband. What I do with my husband now is I go out and I tell him that if he is going to be in a good mood he is welcome to join me otherwise I’ll talk to him later. Good luck with everything. Mike is right too, you need to find a friend or someone to talk to. I’m always here.

So Confused.

January 13, 2009 at 9:04 am
(245) Paula says:

Thanks Mike. It is so nice to hear that I am not being mean or abandoning him when he needs me. Unfortunately, even though my husband is a great man, he is emotionally draining. I don’t have family in the country, they are all in Europe. I do talk to them on the phone. I have friends that I talk to but I am sure they are sick of hearing it. My husband’s family is not a resource either. Almost two years ago my husband and I and our six kids were in need of help (emotional support) and most of his family looked the other way. His family has not talk to him for a year and a half and they hate me. During his episodes my husband blames me for his family’s actions. He has a hard time realizing that his family is not what he thought them to be. And trust me I did nothing wrong… and I am not just saying that.
Mike thanks again for taking the time to respond.

January 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm
(246) Mike says:

Paula,

Don’t be too quick to think your friends are sick of hearing about things. A true friend will listen for as long as you need to talk. In my situation I do have family fairly close by but I’m not overly close with them. It was and still is my friends that support me. I in turn make sure that I can be counted on when they need my help. As for feeling like you are abandoning your husband, nothing could be further from the truth. What you are doing is taking the measures to make sure you are emotionally strong. That can only benefit you both along with your relationship! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate with six children as well so it is even more important for you to take a little time for yourself. As for my responding, I thank you for sharing so freely as we all do on this board. Just sharing our experiences helps us all. Take good care of yourself and don’t feel guilty at all! So Confused makes some great points as well. Offering her husband the opportunity to be included when he is in a decent frame of mind but also having the strength to tell him he’s not welcome when he’s in a funk is brilliant. As long as that is handled tactfully and with compassion, it will force her husband to make a concerted effort toward his own recovery if he wants to be part of the picture. Good luck and I’ll be looking forward to your future posts!

Mike

January 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(247) Paula says:

Hello all. Today I am having a bad day. My husband got mad at me last night because I called his psychiatrist and told him what is going on. Then he starting minimizing the situation and acting all chipper and saying he is not depressed (this is what he always does). I am so tired of this cycle. I told him I will continue to call any time I feel it is necessary if it will help him and us. Then he said “us?” I told him that I feel emotionally drained and that I am starting to not enjoy the time I spend with him. He totally minimize my feelings and told me to get over it. I got really mad and told him that I am not willing to live under this misserable circumtances any more. I told him I don’t want my whole life to be about trying to make him happy and to be there to pick up the pieces every time he cries because of his family. I told him that maybe we can use a brake from each other.
He then told me to not bring up divorce lightly. I told him I don’t. I am already divorced from a prior marriage and I know what a hellish thing it is to go through it. I told him I recent the fact that he is always obsessing about the fact that his family is not talking to him and not worrying about our relationship and our kids. We can have fun as a family because he is either depressed or obsession over his terrible family. I am tired!. He agreed to go to couples therapy. I woke up angry. Today I e-mailed that therapist and asked for an appointment. She promptly got back to us and then he said he could not do it until next week.
Then to make it worst I got a phone call from a job that I really want. They offered me the position but it comes with a large pay cut. Given my situation I don’t think it would be wise for me to take a pay cut right now since I am not sure if I will end up alone with 6 kids or not. If I was to stay married we could afford the pay cut but… that is so in the unknown right now. Thanks for reading.

January 15, 2009 at 12:28 am
(248) Mike says:

Paula,

Try not to despair, there are going to be down days but you’ll get through them. It’s very common for the depressed partner to minimize the feelings or opinions of their spouse. When they are in their dark places everything is about them and no matter what you say or do, it will be the wrong thing. I know that counselors will say remember it’s not them talking, it’s the disease. Well, I know this is true but it doesn’t make it any easier for you to be supportive and understanding, in fact all it does is breed resentment. When it gets to be overwhelming try to remove yourself from the situation for a little while. Go for a walk, a drive, go to a coffee shop, anywhere where you can relax for just half an hour or an hour. That little mental break will help you keep your sanity. I said to someone in an earlier post that they needed to learn to be a little bit selfish and I’ll say the same to you. When it gets to be too much, make it all about you for just a short while to recharge your batteries. Whatever you decide to do, make the choice because it’s what you want to do. If you choose to stay and work on the relationship, great! If you decide you can’t do it anymore and need to start over, then good for you on that count as well. Either way there will be ups and downs but you’ll ok. The best thing is take it one day at a time and try to focus on the good things in your life (I can think of six right off the bat :) ). Good luck and I hope tomorrow is a better day for you!

Mike

January 16, 2009 at 10:03 am
(249) Paula says:

Thanks Mike for your great comments and support. I also wanted to thank “so confused” for her supportive comments before. I am too tired to type and even think about this mess. I will get back to you all when I get my motivation back. I will do what you said Mike “I will try to be a little more selfish”

January 18, 2009 at 7:57 pm
(250) Maybe There is Hope says:

I just discovered this website tonight, and it is a relief to read your comments that express the same numerous concerns that I feel. My husband has slowly become depressed over the past few years, and he just recently agreed to seek treatment. It is still very rocky. I read “walking on eggshells” many times, and that is just how I feel. He is distant, critical, and self-centered — a very different man than I married. I miss my husband and the love we shared for a very long time. A part of me works day and night to love and care for him, and another part of me feels that it would be better for our family if I asked for a divorce.

I am blessed with great children and loving friends, yet I cannot help but feel deep regret for the marriage and life we may never have again.

January 19, 2009 at 11:03 pm
(251) Maria says:

Hi there Paula, Mike, Maybe there’s hope:

I feel so relieved to know that there are other people out there who understand what this is like. It’s so difficult explaining what living with a depressed spouse is like. People say things like “No one ever said marriage would be easy” and “everyone gets down sometimes.” But they don’t understand what it’s like to live like this day in and day out.You start to look at your spouse like a dependent rather than a partner. It’s rough.

So I mentioned previously that my husband and I are living apart, seeing each other on weekends, and talking on the phone almost every day. I thought this would give us an opportunity to get our feelings in order, work through some therapy, and rebuild his self esteem along with our marriage. Well, this hasn’t worked. We’ve been living apart about 7 months, and he still won’t make an appointment to see a therapist. So last week, I told him that we should not see or speak to each other for say, 3 months and within that time frame, I want him to see a doctor and really work on getting better. If he doesn’t, then I’m leaving him for good. I don’t like telling him what to do but I have to put my foot down. I love him deeply, but I love myself too and I deserve to to live a happy life. I just hope this will spark something inside him to realize that he deserves a happy life too.

As for me (and my advice to you, as others have said on this message board) I’m going to start taking better care of myself. I’ve started going back to the gym, enrolled in dance lessons with some friends, and am trying to have more of a social life in general. Getting out for a little while and interacting with other people is so refreshing and is so necessary to keep from falling into depression yourself!

Wishing you all the best. Hang in there.
-M

Oh, I meant to ask- Do any of you know if physical pain can be caused by depression? My husband always has a lot of back pain and no doctor as been able to tell him what it is. He’s had X-rays, scans, gone to a chiropractor, taken all sorts of pain killers. But the pain will not go away.

January 20, 2009 at 12:43 am
(252) Mary says:

Maria,
I am a nurse and yes physical pain can be due to depression especially chronic pain. Wishing you luck in your endeavor and hopefully this will be a wake up call for your spouse. My prayers are with you.

January 20, 2009 at 10:01 am
(253) So Confused says:

Hello All,

It has now been almost two months since I moved out of the house that my husband and I share with our son. I have felt so free in my new apartment. I have food! (He usually eats it all up.) The house doesn’t seem so gloomy all the time. We see each other almost daily and talk on the phone every day. He is going to his psychologist and psychiatrist regularly. He’s trying, but not as hard as he can. As I previously stated, he jumps from major to major, job to job when things aren’t going well. Well he told me the other day that he now wants to be a doctor. He feels that he’s spent 8 years in community college and now wants to go to a well ranks private college. As if that is going to be easier than community?! I have nothing to say. It’s ridiculous, but I have nothing to say. If he wants to waste his money paying for classes that aren’t completed then he can do so. I’m not paying for it anymore. He also promised me that if I stick with him for 10 years, I will never have to work again. This is reminiscent of our dating years when I was promised the moon and the stars. He’s in an upswing right now though. It could be much worse. (Although he’s not making much sense now.) It has been much worse. I still dont think that it is a good idea for us to live together again in the near future. There is too much uncertainty and he changes with the tide. Right now I’m just going to enjoy our living situation and play it all by ear.

So Confused

P.S. Yes, depression can bring on physical pain. If you’ve ever noticed, a lot of people that suffer from depression see physicians a lot and take a lot of medication. I think it’s partially because they are always finding things wrong with themselves and also because this depression brings on ailments that are not causally related to any real illness (except for depression). It’s totally in their mind.

Hang in there everyone!

January 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm
(254) Michaela says:

I’m so sick of my life and my childrens life not being happy or fun because of my husband. His presence will suck anything good out of the room. He has so much to be happy about. He also uses his depression as an excuse to screw up morally. I’m to the point were I know he will never break his pornography addiction because he blames his depression. I now have 3 kids and starting a new life seems harder than dealing with him and his baggage. he’s been on zoloft for 4 years and has stopped because he says it makes him feel like a robot. he tried wellbutrin and it didn’t work. He won’t try anything else and I can’t force him too, but what do I do. I feel like life is suppose to be so happy and with him in my life, how is that possible?

January 20, 2009 at 1:40 pm
(255) Mike says:

Paula, Maria, So Confused, Maybe There’s Hope,

Boy it all sounds so familiar doesn’t it? The constant promises of things will be better, just hang in there, the constant visits to doctors and medication for ailments real or imagined. It’s such a vicious circle but it always seems to follow the same path, our stories are all very similar. I know that as I read everything I could get my hands on to try and understand what she was going through it occured to me that it was as if someone had followed her around and detailed her life. It wasn’t until I found this site that I began to understand the pattern and that each of us could say the same thing. Unfortunately there is no quick fix, I really don’t know if there’s a fix at all. I truly believe that it’s more a case of accepting it is what it is and deciding to live with the situation. In cases where the person with depression acknowledges the illness and takes all possible steps to help themselves there is hope. If the person acknowledges but refuses to take those steps then the situation never improves. At that point we make our decisions. It’s so easy for people who have never experienced anything like what we are dealing with to say “for better or worse” or “no one ever said marriage would be easy” or “everyone gets down sometimes”. They should walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has lost themselves in the quest to help their loved one find themselves. Someone who has lived with constant verbal abuse, unfounded accusations, physical assaults, constant tears and loneliness. Yes we all take our commitments and vows very seriously but I will not apolagize for choosing to save my sanity and have a life, I tried everything I could to help and support her but it was never enough, never could be enough. So to those of you in the terrible position of having to make that choice, I feel for you, but whatever that choice may be don’t ever feel guilty! To those that would suggest we should all go through life suffering with our partners no matter what, I would say perhaps that is the easier choice. It’s very hard to leave someone that you love, but when they refuse to help themselves or be helped, it might just be the right decision and it takes strength! No one has the right to judge you! I’m really sorry for the rant but I get very irate when I read some of the comments that are made by people who have no comprehension of what it’s like. It somehow belittles everything I went through with a woman that I loved dearly but could no longer live with. Letting her go was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do but it was the right thing and I had to be damn strong to get through it. Thanks in large part to the support on this site and that is why I keep coming back here to try and offer my support to others. Good luck to all of you and don’t let anyone make you feel small!!
Mike

January 21, 2009 at 1:54 pm
(256) Paula says:

Mike: I did what you suggested “be a little more selfish”. This past weekend I went ahead and planned activities with the kids without my husband. I did tell him where we were going and what time… but I told him he was not welcomed unless he was willing to have a good time.
On Saturday I planned to go to McDonalds (the ones that have the indoor playground) for lunch and have the kids play in the indoor playground because it is too cold outside. It is a cheap and fun activity to do with six kids.
My husband tried to change my mind about going. He kept saying it was the stupidest thing I had ever come up with and that it was too far from where we live. Well I told him that I did not care what he thought of my idea and that I was going to go anyway.
When the time to go came. I started loading the kids in the minivan one by one. My husband realized then that I meant business and decided to come along. The entire way there he kept saying “where is this place?” so I kept telling the kids to tell Daddy to stop asking if we where there yet.
The kids all started telling Daddy to stop asking… and to wait until we got there. When we got there, I ordered lunch and had the kids go to the play area. The kids had such a great time and so did I. I spent most of the time talking to other mothers and making comments about their kids. After a while my husband joined in and actually seemed to enjoy himself. We were there for two hours.
On the way back, the kids could not stop talking about how much fun they had. It was great the greatest two hours in a long time. The rest of saturday was uneventful. My husband was busy doing house stuff and I was busy with the kids.
On Sunday I again planned an activity with the kids. We spent most of the day baking cookies and doing fun stuff around the kitchen. My husband joined the activity on and off but did not ruin our day.
On Monday and Tuesday my husband had to work so it was great. The kids and I did fun things and had a good day.
For the very first time EVER my husband made me coffee on Monday and Tuesday before he went to work. It was the first time in a long, long time that he thought of someone else other than himself.
I know the battle is not over, but I refuse to let him suck the life out of me. I do have six children, and even though I want to separate I have to try this one last thing because I will be affecting six lives not just mine if I were to separate.
Mike: Thank you for this little great piece of advise. I will continue to be selfish and hopefully my husband will learn how to be more thoughfull and enjoy life. He still takes his medicine, we go to couple’s therapy but I think he is learning a great lesson by watching me moving on with or without him even if we are still married. THANKS

January 22, 2009 at 8:26 am
(257) So Confused says:

Mike,

You are far from small! The fact that you log in almost, if not, every day to check in with everyone shows how compasionate you are. People do tend to think that we dont take our vows seriously because we refuse to live a life of torture.

The comment you made about the promises is hilarious. Here my husband is one minute telling me that I will never have to work again (if I just hang in there for 10 years) because he’s going to be a doctor, and the next minute he’s telling me that he’s looking for $12.00 an hour job (a big cut from what he makes now)! He is currently in danger of losing his job. His first thought was “I am not going to have enough money for my meds”. Not “I am not going to have enough money to help you pay for the two homes we have”. Bear in mind that he takes about 8 different medications for various different ailments that he has (he just turned 30). That comment alone seemed very selfish. It’s always about how they feel. How they will be affected. He commented on how the only jobs he saw were 30-60 minutes away. Forget that I commute an hour by train each way to work every day!! Not only that but I work a ton of overtime when he only works the minimum.

Okay, end of my rant. Lol. I forgot where I was going with this post. Haha.

So Confused

January 22, 2009 at 10:13 am
(258) Mike says:

Paula, So Confused,

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to “hear” the tone in your last posts! I don’t know if it really is possible to hear a smile but I think I did with both of your posts. You both sound so much stronger than you did just a little while ago. Paula, I’m glad that my advice is helpful in any small amount but it really comes from yourself in the end. I think we all know what we need to do for ourselves to stay happy and healthy but we forget as we go through the daily struggles with our partners. It just takes someone to remind us occasionally that we are important too! So Confused, it was great to “hear” you laughing at the end of your rant…lol…sometimes it just feels good to get things off our chest and when you’re on this site it helps to know that others are listening and understanding what you are going through. I had to laugh at your last comment, I’m glad to see it’s not just me that forget’s where the heck I’m going with my posts sometimes! I do want to say again, thank you for all your positive comments and kind words, they mean a lot! I hope everyone has a great day! Keep smiling, everyone will wonder what you did!!! :)

Mike

January 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm
(259) Paula says:

This post is the best thing that has ever happened to me. First, it is cheaper than therapy and second, it is all about me and not my husband (our therapy sessions revolve around how to help him).
I too agree with Mike, “so confused” you made me laugh with your comments!
I am feeling so much better inside!… and it is all just because I decided to be a little selfish and put myself first. I should have done that a long time ago. I feel like smiling at work again! and I am not as quick at getting down with other situations not directly involved with my private life. Today, three women at work were mean to me in a passive aggressive way. I did notice what they were doing but I kept smiling and it did not affect my day at all! Later, a guy that works with me came to speak to me in private and told me that he too noticed how mean those three women had been to me. He complimented me on the way that I did not let it affect me and actually asked me “how do you do that?”
I smiled real big and I thought about this post! I told him that I had gotten some real good advice ” you have to be a little selfish sometimes”. I told him that those women were trying to ruin my day but since I am only going to focus on how my day is and I don’t have to prove anything to them, it did not matter to me.
He sat in my office for a minute and thought about what I said. He then said… you know what you are right! I think I am going to try that too.
Thanks to everyone on this post I was able to gain a new skill and even help someone else.
I am trying to stay realistic though… and I am affraid that things will hit the fan again with my husband at some point. That has been the pattern: things get good and then bad again. This time I need to be strong enough to not let it get bad again and brake the cycle.

January 23, 2009 at 11:40 am
(260) So Confused says:

Paula,

I am glad to hear that you are doing better. It is an up and down thing, unfortunately.
Your strength has nothing to do with whether things get bad again. Your husbands emotions are not something that you can control. The only thing you can control is how you react. In turn he may react differently. I’m proud of you for how you took control despite your husbands initial attempts to derail your McDonalds outing. Because you did he actually got involved and your kids benefited. Keep up the good work! I’ll be praying for you!

Mike:

I am doing better. I have always been comedic but with everything going on lately I have allowed it all to affect me and how I act (no longer my cheerful self). Even someone at work commented on how I seem brighter and that I looked really down before. My husband is down about work. I’m here for him, but I’m still enjoying life! Our son misses dad and wants him to live with us again but I think he’s enjoying life more too! No more walking on eggshells or missing out on time with me because I’m busy trying to cheer dad up. Money is very, very tight right now and I dont know what to do about my houses, but what are you going to do. I just take it day by day.

January 24, 2009 at 12:18 pm
(261) Patrick says:

I have lived with a depressed wife for too long (20 years). The only reason I stay married is for the children. I see other happy couples and I am so jealous. I am so unhappy.
should I stay married for the children or is that wrong??

January 26, 2009 at 8:34 am
(262) So Confused says:

Patrick:

Only you can decide what is right for you and your children. I see you have been married for 20 years. How old are the children? Do they understand what is going on? Do you think that you are harming more than helping by staying with your wife? Does she make an effort to change? Unfortunately there is no right or wrong answer. If there was, the decision I need to make would be that much easier.

January 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm
(263) Susie says:

Patrick, if i can steal a quote from Dr. Phil. He always says ” its better to be from a broken home than to live in one”. I dont know what your situation is, but if after 20 years it hasnt changed or gotten better, I would say, you have earned your right to some peace. If you had shared custody, at least your kids would have a good life half the time without the drama, roller coaster ride and walking on eggshells. This might give them an opportunitty to see that there is another way of living. Good luck with your choice, I know how hard it is! Susie

January 27, 2009 at 10:35 am
(264) Mike says:

Hi All,
Just wanted to say don’t despair! It’s a tough road we’re on but there are better days ahead. Patrick I have to agree with Susie, after all those years you are entitled to some peace and harmony in your life. I never advocate for someone to give up on a relationship but I am a big proponent of taking care of yourself. We all make our choices for different reasons and at different points in the relationship but at the end of the day life is too short to live in constant sadness and misery. Wether you stay in the relationship or not, don’t neglect your own health and well being which is something we tend to do. If you read back through the previous posts you’ll see a lot of talk about being a little selfish for ourselves. That doesn’t make you a bad person, in fact the happier you are the better able you’ll be to support your wife should you decide to stay in the marriage. Good luck!

Paula, So Confused, Susie,

I want you all to know that I look forward to your posts and I’m so happy for you when you have a positive change or moment in your lives. When you have those off days remember we all do and they always pass. Keep looking after yourselves and know that we are all pulling for you! We never know our true strength until we are pushed to our limits, only then do we see how resilient we really are! We are all tougher than we realize!

Have a great day!!!
Mike

January 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm
(265) Kristen says:

Hi – I read some of the posts today. I am actually the depressed person in the family. I just have a few suggestions for anyone who’d like to listen. Real quick background about my situation: I had an eating disorder at a young age and recovered in college. I found through therapy that anxiety/depression were always lurking right beneath the disorder. Long story short, I’ve come a LONG way and can definitely offer help from my side. First of all, my relationship with my husband changed dramatically when I realized he was not there to make me better. He was not there to take the depression away. He always seemed to help – just by being who he was – but I realized I was not his responsibility. Depression is my baggage and it is my responsibilty to reach out when I need it. I have to sit in it…and beleive me, it sucks, but I have to help myself first. I can lean on my husband, lean on family and friends, but I can’t smother them or be mean to them. It just doesn’t work and any help they try to offer because worthless.

I suggest you let the person that is depressed read some of these posts. They will hear the other side. They will hear what you are going through in someone else’s voice. They all have similar themes to them.

I also suggest talking to your loved one when they are in a good place. Have a conversation that in order to make this marriage work, you need to get some help together. They need to take ownership of their disorder and find some solutions.

Sometimes it is very difficult because depression can be all consuming. Believe me, I know this. But if you can help them on their feet, at that point all you can do is help them walk. Hopefully some day they will want to run all by themself. Sorry if that sounded cheesy, but it was the best way I could think to describe it! Best to all of you :)

January 28, 2009 at 11:49 am
(266) So Confused says:

Kristen:

Thank you so much for posting your perspective. What do you do when you’ve been supportive and are met with a nasty attitude? What do you do when you have talked until you are blue in the face and still aren’t being heard? What do you do when you fear that you are going to lose everything because the depressed spouse is consumed with his/her own feelings and are not meeting you half way (or even 1 third of the way)? I am not trying to be mean. These are questions that I try to answer for myself everyday. I have had no luck and just give up trying to answer them, but these are questions that need to be answered. I have read past posters who have said that they basically just ignore their spouse and live their own lives. Do you recommend this? I’ve tried it (while living together) and it didn’t make the situation any easier. Maybe in the beginning but not after he got used to it. I’m literally at the end of my rope. I’m hanging on, but I’m not sure how much longer I can.

Once again, thanks.

So Confused

January 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(267) Kristen says:

So Confused:

I’m sorry that you are going through this. I know it is debilitating to a relationship. Sounds like so far he/she doesn’t hear your words and honestly, living your life and ignoring her/him is ignorning the problem. I don’t feel that it is possible living long-term by ignorning it because it builds resentment on both ends.

I think you have to ask yourself a few things. Is this a quality of life that you can live with forever? If not, then take action. It is time to tell your spouse that things need to change or else you simply cannot be in a relationship like this. This quality of life is not working for you. Let your spouse know that you are willing to be supportive, but you must move forward. Are they willing to go to couple counseling? Individual conseling? If not, are they willing to do workshops or workbooks with you?

Set a date in your mind (for YOU to know only). From now until then, do as much as you can to push the relationship/depression forward. When that date comes (whatever feels comfortable for you)if absolutely NOTHING is different, it’s time for a separation. By setting a date, it gives you a goal. From now until then, you don’t need to think about whether you need to leave and constantly questioning yourself. Live each day from now until that date as a brand new day, knowing you will have the opportunity to re-assess soon. If you see some progress, set another date, move forward and so on.

Sometimes the scare tactic does work. If my husband said he would leave me if I didn’t get help for myself and/or our marriage, that would definitely give me a little energy to do something about it (even on my darkest days).

If your spouse doesn’t want to be helped and is comfortable with the way things are, I promise you your situation will remain the same. You have to ask yourself, do you want to stay in this relationship as is? Aren’t you worth more than that?

If they do want to be helped and don’t want to lose you, let the healing begin.

Hope I helped even a little. I’m open for any questions.

Most Sincerely,
Kristen

January 30, 2009 at 11:26 am
(268) Jess says:

Hi All. Some how I came across these posts and I was so relieved that there are other spouses out there that feel as I feel. My husband is the depressed one, but I feel horrible that I can’t relate to him. We have only been married for a year and a half (he has a daughter but we have no children at the moment). However, we’ve been friends for 14 years. He started to get depressed around October and it’s been so hard on our marriage. Before we even started dating I had mentioned to him that I had pulled away from our friendship because he was always so depressed and I’m completely the opposite. So now I feel as if I was tricked into falling in love with this person that never really existed. And also ever since we have been together it has always been one problem after another and it’s just draining the life out of me. I was always so cheerful no matter how bad or stressed I was but now I can’t help at times to be affected by his moods. I feel worse that I’m reading about some of you who have been going through this for years and I’ve only been dealing with this for four months but I’m just don’t know how…

At times he even asks me why would I want to continue in this relationship or even have children with someone this depressive but I’m so hopeful that he will find that light that he once found and could be the person I married. He just started seeing a psychiatrist and/or psychologist and is also on medication so it shows me that he is trying to get better but I can’t continue this way. I have just recently started to go out with friends and family to enjoy some time apart and for me to feel relieved from all that negativity.

P.S. my mother is also very depressed at the moment so I’m just feeling overwhelmed by depression all on its own.

Drained

January 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(269) Paula says:

Well you were all correct. There are ups and downs. I am on the downs right now. We had such a great week and a half just because my husband decided to change his attitute.
Yesterday I found out that he lied to me. He has been telling me for months now that he has not talked to his sister for a few months and that it was my fault. Yesterday he got a card in the mail from her thanking him for giving her kids gift cards and that it was nice to have seen him at his work the other day. When I told him there was a card in the mail for him he got very nervous and did not want to open it. I insisted that he open it since he has been looking forward to reconnecting with his family. He opened it in hiding and then tried to hide it. I asked him if I could see it. When I read it I was very angry because it showed that he has been telling me lies. I did not discuss the issue before going to bed because I wanted to get a good night’s sleep. this morning I left him a note in his car letting him know that I am happy for him that his sister has showed him kindness and that I hoped it worked out for him. I also asked him why he lied? What is the need? How can he sleep at night of live with himself knowing he is lieing to his wife when his wife is always there for him? I also told him I did not bring it up last night because I knew he would just give me more lies and excuses like he always does.
When he got the letter he texted me and made all sort of excuses and then he said that he did not tell me because he knew about mad at his sister. I stopped texting him after that today. This is not the first time he lies to me or that he claims he does it to protect me. Why? I have told him many times I don’t need protecting and that I would like to have open communication. Does anyone know what to do?

January 30, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(270) Mike says:

Paula,

I don’t even know where I would begin…the lies she told me are to numerous to list. Whenever I caught her in a lie, she would just tell me another one to explain why she had lied in the first place. Sometimes she would get really angry with me, as if it was my fault because I had found out she had lied. Early on I would tell myself that I must have been mistaken or misunderstood somehow. I suppose I did this because I was in love and as they say love is blind. We always want to believe the best of our partners. As time went on the lies became harder to accept for me and it became harder for me to trust her. I wish I could offer some advice but from talking with others in the same situation it appears that the lying is quite common with depressed individuals. I don’t know if they are lying more to us or to themselves because they don’t want to face the truth. I’m sorry to hear you’re having to deal with this on top of everything else. Good luck and I hope things improve for you soon! Please keep in mind as always that it’s not all about him though. You get equal billing in the relationship so take care of yourself!

All the best!
Mike

January 30, 2009 at 9:49 pm
(271) Susie says:

Hi Jess, and welcome to the site. Its funny how we all stumble across it in our search for answers and help (mostly out of desperation). I really think that the lady that wrote in a few posts ago has great advice “she is the depressed one”. I really appreciate her perspective. She didnt come on here wanting our sympathy and to guilt us as some do. She offered some really good, constructive advice. Read her post again, she mentions what it would take to make a change in her. I have finally done that and have backed away from the relationship about a month ago saying this is his to deal with. They are the only ones who can change this and we are left banging our heads against the wall. I truely believe that the more we try and force things, the more they resist our efforts. I have come to a place where I said, I cant live like this anymore, it is making me sick. I said, I really hope you will get the help you need and that I am not shutting the door on us. I really did try everything to help him get better. I was the most co-dependent person I ever knew. I completely lost myself and focused only on him and his problems.. If he was having a good day, so was I, if he was having a bad day, week, month- so did i, and I suffered as much or more than he did. My work suffered, my health failed, and I lost great friendships. Please take care of yourself and keep getting out of the house and having fun. It may feel forced but there will be some fun moments. I pray your situation gets better, but if it doesnt, remember there are lots of great people out there who would be happy to spent time with you. Take care, Susie

January 31, 2009 at 2:44 am
(272) Kristen says:

Hello again. I just wanted to share something that happened to me today. I was having a difficult day yesterday and today. Not debilitating, but difficult. I went about my day as usual, taking care of my child, taking care of the house etc etc. The ‘cloud’ was definitely hovering above my head.

My husband brought home a gift from a client -a speaker system that amplifies his ipod. We played it in the kitchen tonight while we were doing things as a family. I had forgotten how much I liked music and what an incredible tool it is for me. Speaking from my perspective (depressed side) I can’t tell you what music does for my soul/mood/outlook. I noticed it actually made a difference in everyone’s mood, not just mine. So often we forget about music and spend hours on the computer or watching t.v. My son and I (he’s 3) danced around the kitchen to the music. The cloud lifted and I I saw clear again. My husband and I switched back and forth between album selections. I can’t believe I forgot how uplifting music is for depression. Just thought I’d share. Might help some of you to bring the music into the living area more often.

The other thing I thought of while reading some of the posts. My therapist taught me this a long time ago. I think it applies to many of us. There are three components to a relationship, not two: individual, individual and the relationship. Two small circles (individuals) surrounded by one large circle (the relationship). Each one must be there in order to maintain balance. Basically…don’t feel guilty when you take care of yourself. It’s absolutely necessary in order to sustain the relationship!

Thanks again for listening. This site has helped me too.

Kristen

February 1, 2009 at 3:50 pm
(273) Dave says:

Hi All. I’m about to marry a woman who has had depression all her life. She has had a real bad day today. We met via the internet on a penpal web site and although it’s sometimes hard I have never regretted one single day I have known her. It was a full 20 months before we met in person. You see she lived far away from me in a very different part of the world. We met on two occasions for a period of five months. When I asked her to marry me I cried my eyes out. In fact we both cried out eyes out. Since that day I have been walking on air. We had to wait almost 3 months before her visa arrived at her house so she could come to England so we could get married. It was on my third visit to her country and it was a Tuesday night just before bed when my girlfriend just happed to look at her E-Mails and there it was. The marriage visa was on is way via the post. I must of read the E-Mail a hundred times while all my girlfriend could do was sit on the floor crying. Because of her depression she had already decided that she was going to be refused a visa to come to England so we could get married. I don’t mind admitting it was hell waiting for those 3 months. We cried and laugh many times on the phone. Every morning I would come down to my computer to see if I had an E-Mail from her. You see for the first 3 months I was in England and for the last month I was in her country while we waited for the visa. Anyway enough of that. I remember once hearing somebody say that people who have depression don’t suffer from depression but have depression and it was the loved one’s (boyfriends, husbands, aunt’s, friends etc) that suffer from the depression. At this present time I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Yesterday we were to meet two of my work mates for lunch. The two people are in general positive people and so I was hoping that this possessiveness would rub off on my girlfriend. We drove all the way to the restaurant and once I parked outside I called one of them to see how long they would be but unfortunately that morning they were told to work in another part of London so were unable to come for lunch. Up to then things were going well? My girlfriend was nervous and made idle chat as we drove to the restaurant but once there and once we knew my work mates were not coming my girlfriend changed. I have come to know when she is going to be a little down as I have come to call a depressed episode. I had night duty last night and at 22.30 hours my mobile phone went off with a text from my girlfriend. Unlike the texts the pervious night that were positive I just know that this time the text was going to be so very negative. Today as I lay in bed trying to get some sleep from my night work I knew that once I woke up I would be getting more negative texts. You see my girlfriend won’t talk to me but waits for me to take the dog for a walk or go buy some milk before sending me a text. The bit I’m finding the hardest is the changes from one day to the next. Two nights ago when I went off the work my girlfriend stood by the front door and waved me off. Last night there was no reaction as I left. How could someone be so loving one night and the next night so unloving? I know is the depression that makes her this way and not her but it still hurts. What is not helping is we are in the middle of a cold snap with snow on the floor. This time last year I was walking around in shirt sleeves but today as I walked the dog I had to wear pyjamas under my clothes to try and keep warm. I can take the weather as it comes but my girlfriend hates the cold. I wish instead of hating everything and everyone and seeing everything in a negative manor she could look at the snow in a positive way. Snowball fights and snowman building instead of “I’ve never been so cold in my life and going to bed”. Is only 20.30 at night and she has been in bed for almost 3 hours. What also hurt is that my girlfriend thinks that I have changed. I have told her that is hard not knowing from one day or should that be from one minute to the next what frame of mind she will be in. We could walk to a shop hand in hand and because they haven’t got an item in stock she will walk back to the car in a huff. I’ve been looking on the internet for suppose sites for my girlfriend and found this one. I have no idea if any of the above has made any sense to anyone let alone me but it was good just to talk to someone who maybe knows what I’m going through. My girlfriend is upstairs in bed and when I go to bed I will kiss her on the head and say “good night Hun” and hope that the woman I love will wake up next to me in the morning. The trouble is the weather report says snow, snow and more snow with grey skies so I guess not. I Love her so much so am going to keep going. The good times far outweigh these times. I Love you Hun, Always and Forever.

February 2, 2009 at 8:26 am
(274) So Confused says:

Paula:

The lying sounds like a copout to me. I am not trying to be negative but who knows why they do what they do. Sometimes it’s all very bizarre. Yes, they do go through ups and downs and as quickly as he went up (i.e. going to mcdonalds with you and the kids), he will come crashing down just as fast if not faster. In my opinion, you need to let him know that you will not tolerate being lied to. If he continues to do it, it will just get worse and worse.

I wish I could tell you the secret to fixing your mess. I cant because I dont know the secret to fixing mine. I wish I could say that it will get better, but I dont know that. Maybe they will, maybe they wont. I would strongly recommend NOT trying to understand him or fixing his problems. He has to fix them and, unfortunately, you will likely never understand.

I cannot stress this enough. TRY to have a life outside of him. You have to make yourself happy. Your children and you deserve that much and so much more.

I will continue to pray for you.

-So Confused

February 2, 2009 at 8:43 am
(275) So Confused says:

Jess:

I’m very sorry that you are going through what many of us have endured for years. I’m very sure that your husband loves you and didn’t try to trick you into falling in love and marrying him. We all tend to put our best foot forward when trying to win the object of our affection. If he honestly showed you what you are seeing now, would you not have headed for the hills?! I know I would have if I knew that my husband would have put me through the hell he has. I used to think the same was as him. I felt tricked. He made all of these promises and has not fulfilled most of them (the only one he has is that he has always loved and treated my son as his own – but that’s a biggie :-) ). I understand when you say that he will ask why you want to be with him. I think this is all a part of them feeling sorry for themselves. My husband has said this countless times and when I have said “fine I wont be with you” he made it about me not caring about him. It gets really old after a while.

If you were once a cheerful person, you need to find that and bring it out again. You cant fix your husband. All you can do is live your life and try to be a friend to him. I’m sorry that this probably sounds pretty negative. I have been dealing with this for a while and I have read posts from people who have dealt with him 5 times longer. I’m not saying that there is no hope, but most importantly you need to take care of yourself.

I used to want to have a child with my husband so much. He would continuously tell me lets wait until I’m finished school (he’s been going for 9 years and still doesn’t have an associates because he keeps changing and dropping classes). Now I think that God was looking out for me because the load would be that much heavier if I had another child to take care of in addition to dealing with him and his problems.

By no means am I telling you you should leave your husband. You just need to know what lies ahead. It wont be easy. It can get better for years, but the depression may (noticed I said may) come back. If you stay, it’s up to you how you deal with it. I strongly recommend living your life.

God bless.

-So Confused

February 2, 2009 at 9:05 am
(276) So Confused says:

Just an update on my current situation-

As everyone who I talk to (mainly Mike, haha!) knows, I am separated from my husband. I have made it pretty easy for him to access me though. I only live 5 blocks away from our house. I have been living my life and hoping that he will get his together. Constantly I say the same things over and over again and each time he acts as though it is his first time hearing me. For example, I suggested that he look for another job every single day. He said “thanks babe, that sounds like a good idea”. I must have told him that a hundred times. I dont really see where much progress has been made. He’ll look constantly for a week and then drop off. He’s supposed to be concentrating on getting himself to where he needs to be but he’s always trying to come over to my apartment. The fact that we have a son makes the situation especially hard because he wants to see dad whenever he can.

I have been living my life. Going to Atlantic City for the night. Making dinner plans with friends. Going to Vegas in March with my cousin. I’m having a great time. I wish he could be there with me, and when he has it together he can. Right now he doesn’t have any money to do anything which is why I suggested him getting a second job. I refuse to pay his way. I’ve done it in the past and whenever I try to do something to help him he just gets used to it and it is one less thing that he feels he needs to be responsible for. I truly love my husband. I dont think that there is another man out there that would love me and my child the way he does. He tells me all the time how I am the best person in this world. I think he means it, but the depression causes him to act another way a lot of the time. As much as I love him, I am prepared to love him from a distance. This is not what I want and I change my mind two to three times a day. haha. But, I cant allow myself to get lost in his depression again. I have suffered financially, physically and mentally. I pray that we have our happily ever after, but realize that that’s not always a reality.

February 2, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(277) Mike says:

So Confused,

I’m sure it’s not just my imagination…in your recent posts you just sound so much stronger, so much more confident! I know it’s not easy living as you are when all you want (like we all do) is to be with the one you love. The fact is you’ve made some tough choices to help your relationship and I think that shows a lot of strength and determination! As for your comments to Jess sounding negative…not in the least, just truthful. The reality of the situation is sometimes hard for us to face but it is what it is and you were just putting things in perspective. By the way, it’s very obvious that you truly love your husband and I’m sure he loves you too! On that note, please don’t tell yourself that there isn’t anyone else who would love you and your son the way he does, you shouldn’t sell yourself short! While I hope you are able to get through this and keep your marriage together and have a long happy life together, the fact is that if you do end up parting company, that just means it wasn’t meant to be but there will be someone to love you and your son just as much! Remember that you and your son are important and that your husband is lucky to have the two of you in his life. Any relationship has to be a two way street to be successful! Anyway, I apologize if it sounds as if I’m preaching, that’s not my intent. I just wanted to remind you that you and your son are just as important to the relationship as your husband! Just a quick update at my end. It seems after more than four months that my ex fiance is finally going to be moving her furniture and personal things out this week. While I’m looking forward to taking that next step and moving on, I’d be lying if I didn’t say there is a definite sadness about the whole process. Hopes and dreams never die peacefully do they? Oh well, as they say, if it doesn’t kill us it makes us stronger! Thanks to all who come here to share!

Have a nice evening!
Mike

February 2, 2009 at 6:52 pm
(278) Melancholy says:

I, too, am married to a spouse with clinical depression (drug resistant). We’ve been married for seven and a half years and have a beautiful 3 year old son. I would love to say that our relationship has experienced highs and lows over the years, but for the past five and a half years, since the depression took over, this really hasn’t been the case. There are awful times (like right now) interspersed with tolerable times. What was once a close relationship has dissolved into a loose association much devoid of mutual interests, respect and love. God Bless her and I for what she has lived through over the past 6 years, but no doubt the depression has taken its toll on Us.
Yes, I have very similar experiences to others that have blogged here. The guilt, the negativity, the sexual isolation, the walking on egg shells… As you all know, it is so difficult to maintain a positive aura when surrounded by so much negativity. But I didn’t come here to write about that.
I just came here to share what I am feeling (which is really difficult for me to do). I am lonely. I have not really spoken to anyone about my wife’s illness. My mother and her mother know about it, but for different reasons, it is very hard for me to talk about it with them. I don’t feel comfortable talking about it with friends because of the stigma associated with depression. All of this has left me feeling isolated in my struggle to cope with it. I have always thought of myself as an outgoing, social person. But more and more, I too, feel like I am retreating into myself. I find it difficult maintaining (or even starting) the close relationships that I once had with family members and friends. Is this an offshoot of my marital relationship breaking down? Sometimes I feel like if I can’t even preserve a relationship with the person I married, the one who I am supposed to love more than any other person in the world, my best friend, then maybe I am problem.
Except for my son, whom I cherish more than life itself, I feel alone.

February 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm
(279) Marjorie says:

I write for advice. I’ve posted before and read regularly but now I’m at a loss with the medical system. Everyone here knows how hard it is to get the spouse to a Dr. or any medical care, but what if the medical system fails you. Our family Dr. has “washed his hand” since we have tried all the drugs and nothing works for more that a few months and we went to see a psychatrist and she was so judgemental and moved her office without letting us know – 4 months later we found her and she didn’t wait him as a patient any more. What do you do? Now we wait for 6 months to see a new Dr. I’m tired of the hurry up and wait for help. We’ve tried the local mental health unit but they don’t work together with Dr. I’m so fustrated with the situations – hubby hasn’t worked in 2 years – no income from him for that time – no disability benefit – they get turned down because the Dr. doesn’t file the right stuff on time or completely ignores the requests.

Thanks for listening – if you have any advise, please share.

February 4, 2009 at 12:21 pm
(280) So Confused says:

Yesterday was bad. It was the first time I cried in a while. I was told by someone that I really need to make a concrete decision. That I need to decide whether to have a real separation (hubby and I talk everyday) or just go back home. They made this suggestion because my husband doesn’t really think that I would truly leave him. He believes that I will always be there. I on the other hand have started to talk to another man. Not romantically. Just a little flirtatious conversation. I am not interested in a relationship with him or anything else. What I enjoy is the light conversation, the laughter, the positive attitude. I guess you can call that emotional cheating. At least that’s what my friend called it. The reason I cried was not because I want to be with the other man but because I want to be with my husband and know that the laughter, the light conversation and the positive attitude is something that I will never have with him. I can be hopeful but I chose to be realistic. After reading hundreds of posts on this site and others as well as talking to people who have been married to their depressed spouse for over twenty years, I have accepted that this is the way life is going to be should I choose to stay. I have to make a decision. Leave or stay and accept it. After a lot thought, I’ve decided to stay. I know that I will never have a lot of the things I envisioned, but I dont want to leave him. I cant imagine my life without him. Besides, who will he talk to? He has no real friends besides me. I’m sad. So very sad. I have chosen a life that I do not want because of my family (child and husband), but what’s the alternative? So many people make suggestions who have never been in my shoes. My one friend said “that’s the problem when there is no communication”. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO COMMUNICATE FOR YEARS AND IT DOESN’T MATTER. HE DOESN’T HEAR ME. I’M TIRED OF TALKING.

Sorry for sounding so down. I try to be upbeat. That’s my nature, but it’s not how I feel today.

February 4, 2009 at 1:05 pm
(281) Boris says:

Dave,

I know exactly how you feel. I have the same thing, not knowing from one day (or instant) to the next when her mood will change for no apparent reason, seeing the negative downside in everyone and everything, this last one placing a particular strain on my relationship with friends and family.

I guess the most helpful thing I can say is that you are not alone, and that reading the stories of other people on this forum, as I’m sure you’ve already done, can really help combat the feeling that you’re the only person in the world who is having to deal with these issues.

Boris

February 4, 2009 at 11:25 pm
(282) Maria says:

Dear So Confused:

I read your posts and I feel like you are telling my story. I separated from my husband back in May but we continued to talk on the phone every day and we saw each other on the weekends. The hope being that the space would compel him to want to change and fight his depression. Eventually we’d move back in and we can go back to being a happy family. After 8 months of living apart, he still lives in a constant state of melancholy and has not even called a therapist to make an appointment. I, however, have been seeing a therapist to help me cope with this. She told me I also had to decide. Truly separate or get back together. I chose the former. In fact, it was my new year’s resolution- change. So in the beginning of January I told him I told him I was done, moving on, and would even see other people if the right guy came along. We haven’t spoken in weeks and I haven’t seen him in a month. Lately, I’ve been hanging out with friends, getting some exercise, taking care of myself and doing what I enjoy. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m badly heart-broken. I miss him terribly and just writing this brings me to tears. I go out dancing or go out for drinks and I so wish he was there with me. Like old times.

Determined to move on, I’ve taken his pictures down and have resolved to see other people. Recently, I engaged in flirtatious conversation with a guy. I enjoy his company, his humor, his optimism. He makes me feel alive, and my heart race. Nothing romantic has happened, but it has become an affair of the heart. I feel terribly guilty because I never thought I’d be in this situation. But here I am. I know I’m vulnerable and not ready to start a new relationship. So I’m being careful. But my emotions have become really difficult to juggle. I’m determined one minute, falling apart the next. I want to be with my husband (the one I married, not this impostor) but I can’t snap my fingers and make everything better. For my own sake, I need to move on.

To all of you out there suffering through this- here’s a toast to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The operative word being pursuit. It’s not something that falls on your lap, it’s something you have to go out and get. My husband may not be ready or willing to pursue his happiness, but I am.

February 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm
(283) Mike says:

So Confused,

I’m so sorry to hear the sadness in your post. I know how hard it is to be torn, I thought I’d never get through it at times. While you may be in a low spot right now you will get through as well, you are much stronger than you realize! You weren’t meant to live a life of sadness so you will sort it out in your own time, one way or another. Please don’t give up hope! If you have chosen to stay then make a point of continuing to do things for yourself, and don’t feel guilty! It’s healthy in any relationship to have time apart and your own interests. Get involved in classes or clubs or organizations that make you feel good about you! Don’t lose your identity trying to save your husband, he has to do that himself! Take care of yourself! And please don’t ever apologize for being down, you have a lot on your plate, you are entitled to your emotions like everyone else.
Mike

February 6, 2009 at 9:26 am
(284) So Confused says:

Thank you Maria and Mike for responding to me. I really needed that. Maria, I told my husband yesterday that I want a very real separation. I do feel sad, but at the same time I think that I need this in order to think straight. I have been unable to make any real decisions because we have continued to essentially live as husband and wife, just under separate roofs. Every decision I have made has been with him in mind but I’m going to be a little bit selfish and think of me. I would be lying if I said that I’m not worried about how this will affect his relationship with our son (his stepson). I truly hope that things will improve and life will get better between us. We shall see.

Thank you both so much for the words of encouragement.

So Confused

February 8, 2009 at 12:44 pm
(285) Jeepers says:

It’s exhilarating, terrifying, and hysterically sad to read my story in all of your posts.

I’ve been with M. for 15 months. One month into our relationship, M., in (another) drunken episode, tried feebly to take his life. The following day, I laid it on the line in black & white: should he choose to continue his life from the bottom of a bottle, he was free to do so – but would do it without my presence. However, should he be ready for help, I would stand by his side through thick & thin, that it would suck and we would probably be really pissed at each other once in a while, but that I would never back down.

Now I’m regretting my decision to stand by him. M. is so intelligent, humorous, caring… and shy, and depressed. I have never felt so alone in a relationship in my life. I miss the man I knew just after he stopped drinking, when he was going to group help and AA and he had a plan for his life.

I want to get married, I want children, I want a real family and a real life with someone I can have real fun with.

I just lost my job due to this terrible economy and M. has been pretty supportive. I also own my own business, and he has been very supportive of that venture, as well.

But there is little to no intimacy in our relationship. M. loves to fish and loves me to go with him, but I cannot bring myself to go in the winter, and I’ve told him that numerous times. Conversely, he will never attend parties or events to which I invite him, probably due to his fear of being tempted by alcohol, but he also refuses my invitations to my family’s or friend’s gatherings, preferring to sit home in front of the TV alone.

Due to his long history with alcohol, M. no longer possesses a drivers’ license, and I am 90% of his transportation. I often feel that I am little more to him than a chauffeur, housekeeper,

It is all I can do to get him to put his arm around me or hold my hand, though my heart soars when he does. I don’t know if he understands that I’m not looking for the physical gratification from getting it on, but I really miss the emotional connection we share when we become intimate with each other.

I think I might just sit him down when he comes home from fishing

February 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(286) Jeepers says:

…when he comes home from fishing and ask him to read some of these posts. I don’t think he realizes that his depression hurts me, much as I’ve asked him to talk to his doctor about how he feels, or changing his meds, or the fact that we’re in our 20s and we have the sexual relationship of the stereotypically “old” couple.

but at the same time… this is NOTHING I’ve not said before… and since I have to keep saying it, is it really worth it?

I’m lost.

February 9, 2009 at 9:27 am
(287) Mike says:

Jeepers,

Sorry to hear what you are going through but I’m glad you found your way to this post. For so many of us it has been a beacon of light on some very dismal days.

Like you I made a promise to stand by my ex fiance no matter what. In the end, after suicide threats, a suicide attempt and finally her attacking me and being charged and removed by the police, I broke that promise. Even at that point I felt guilty for not being able to live up to the commitment I had made to a woman I was madly in love with. I felt I was walking away from her at her lowest point, and then a friend pointed out that it wasn’t her lowest point, it was just her life and that was how it was going to be. After thinking about that for some time I realized my friend was right, the pattern was just repeating itself, as it had since I had known her and for many years before we met from what she had told me. Eventually I came to realize that I had made the only decision that I possibly could. I am by nature a very social individual. I have a good circle of friends and enjoy their company. Over time I had started to neglect my friends, my job suffered and I found myself getting depressed as I struggled to keep both of us up emotionally. As in your situation, our physical affection was a series of mountains and valleys, from passion to neglect. And like yourself I found myself missing the emotional connection that comes along with that physical interaction.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you in a nutshell is this. If you are able to stand by the commitment that you made and life improves for the two of you, then good for you and I hope you have a wonderful life together. The other side of the coin is this. If over time you find that things don’t change or improve and you decide to end the relationship, DON’T FEEL GUILTY!!! Yes it’s hard, terribly hard, but you are young and you have your whole life to live yet. I still have moments where I think of her and the life we had planned but I know that it was never going to happen. Life is too short to spend every day being an emotional lampost for your other half to lean on. A relationship has to be give and take, you can only give for so long before you become emotionally drained and end up just going through the motions as I did in the end. You need to take care of yourself. I’m not suggesting that you should leave the relationship, only telling you that if it comes to that, you will be ok! Good luck and I hope things get better for you soon! I’ll look forward to hearing how you are doing.

Have a wonderful day!
Mike

February 9, 2009 at 12:47 pm
(288) So Confused says:

Hello All,

I hope that all of you had or tried to have a good weekend!

Jeepers: I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. We have all lived or are living it and you will make it through. Just remember that you are important too. I think that we all seem to lose sight of that. We all seem to have a nurturing nature so we feel compelled to take care of our significant others, but we must take care of ourselves too.

I hope talking to him helps and showing him the posts. I think that was a really good idea.

Let us know how you are doing. You can always feel free to vent here. (I sure do!)

So Confused

February 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(289) Susue says:

Jeepers,
Did your partner quit going to AA and councelling to deal with his drinking? If so, what you probably have is a “dry drunk”. Someone who behaves as a drunk just without the alchohol. Places like AA help those with addictions issues deal with that part, without it, you have the same problems, minus the alchohol. I would say, that you are sticking by him, but he really has not lived up to his end of the promise. Just not drinking does not deal with the problem or his deeper issues. I dealt with the same issue in my relationship. If I was you ” and the stong, confident woman I would like to be” (someday), I would tell him that living with the disease of alchoholism is a lifelong challenge. It doesnt go away because he went to a few meetings. Unless he is prepared to deal with the whole issue (drinking is only a small part), and is willing to do whatever it takes to fight the dragon inside, that this cant be your life. Please let him read these posts. Maybe the perspective of someone else will turn the lights on. Good luck, and God bless. Susie

February 13, 2009 at 5:55 pm
(290) So Confused says:

Hello All:

Okay, it’s been a few days since anyone has posted so I thought I’d just add something. We are going into V-Day weekend and I hope that all of you stay strong. Know this weekend that the best love you can receive is the love you give yourself. Anything else is secondary (aside from children of course :-) ). After a lot of thought, I have agreed to spend valentines day with the hubby. I cant think of anyone else I’d rather spend it with even though we are separated. It has been rough lately because he has been so nice and acting like the man that I fell in love with. A few months ago I wasn’t sure why I married him in the first place. I know that this will likely pass. He promises that he will remain constant, but only time will tell. In a perfect world, he will maintain this attitude for the rest of our lives. Alas, this is not a perfect world. I remain optimistic however that my life will be a happy one with or without him. It has to be.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Love, So Confused.

February 14, 2009 at 10:44 am
(291) Nannerl says:

I have just discovered this website this morning. It is a relief to know, after years of living with my depressed husband, that there really are other people out there going through exactly the same thing as me. This is some consolation.
I hate the mental health system. It does not acknowledge spouses. We have nothing to do with the depressed person, apparently, even though we are left to pick up the pieces.
Have to go. Husband back home.
Will write again soon.
Thanks for being out there.

February 14, 2009 at 11:10 am
(292) Nannerl says:

My husband has disappeared again so I’ve got a few minutes.

Today has been very difficult, being Valentine’s Day because my husband’s mood has been very dark grey since Tuesday. Not quite black but a very, very dark grey.
Do any of you get this? Where your other half exudes a blackness, like an octopus exuding ink. It’s a very powerful force and so distructive. So toxic.
Made him a Valentine’s Day card with some Lottery scratch cards in as a pressie. Put it where he has all his papers. He completley ignored it. It’s like a knife in the heart.
Walked to the shops with the children. Poor them. They usually get it in the neck from me when Hubby is ill. I just can’t deal with the anger his precense arouses when he is down. I usually lose my rag with the children at some point during a bad patch and THEY JUST DON’T DESERVE IT.
Local flower shop open longer hours today. Not for me though! I won’t get anything. Actually, I don’t expect it so I’m not disappointed. But it still hurts.
It’s very difficult to seperate the person from the illness and sometimes I wish he’d go out and never come back. And I hate myself for these feelings and wish I could find some formula to deal with them. Anyone got any good ways of dealing with these black feelings?
Why is there no support for carers? Why do we have to be silent? Our only relief a website?
I know this phase will pass and things will be good for a while and then I won’t even want to think about the next time the depression might raise it’s angry head. But it’ll be back again, sure as eggs is eggs. I makes me feel so low.

February 14, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(293) Living My Life says:

Today is my first time to post after a year of reading. To everyone that is not yet married to the depressed person, get ready for a life of living with the depression. It will never go away. If I had to do it over I would not have married my husband. We are blessed with a beautiful daughter. She is now 8, and she has seen her father on his roller coaster her whole life. Just this week I started seeing a family counselor. My daughter will start seeing her next week. My husband does not want to get back on his meds.(he say’s it makes him numb) and will not go see anyone. So I will learn to live with a depressed person. (I have been married for 13yrs) He has been saying he wants a divorce, but of course I hear this a couple times of year.
I have the last 2 years been doing my own things if he is “down in the valley”. I can not sit around waiting for him to come back up. Life is too short. I go out with my daughter and do whatever we would be doing if Daddy was feeling better. All of our family and friends know that he is ill every now and then. I was tired of making up lies to everyone. It is easier on me. That way I can talk to more people when his depression starts to wear on me. I also contacted his family (they live up east, I live down south) to inform them he is not taking his meds. I don’t think it is fair that my family has to always be involved, but yet his family thinks he is an angel. (depression runs in his family)
I could go on and on about how the last 15 years have been this roller coaster of highs and lows. I guess I would want to tell everyone that is not yet committed to the depressed person by marriage…. Think twice. If I knew then what I know now I would not have married my husband.
When he is “happy” he is the best husband anyone could ever ask for … fun,works very hard long hours (works nights … bad for depression) and very giving. This is why I’m willing to go get help on dealing with him. My daughter does know that we may have to move out some day if Mommy can not take living with Daddy anymore. Mommy deserves to be happy.
Any way … thanks for reading my post. I wish everyone a WONDERFUL V.day.
(by the way … I bought myself a ring for V. day and thanked my husband when he woke up for it)

February 16, 2009 at 5:32 pm
(294) Darla says:

I am so glad I found this site. I thought I was the only one going through the problems living with a depressed person. My husband has been depressed since we have been together about 14 years. I thought in the beginning that I could really help him. He used to be fun loving and helped me in anyway he could. We used to travel alot and have lots of friends. But in the last couple of years I haven’t gotten where I can barely stand him. I still love him though. If that makes any sense. He is angry all the time and it is always my fault. He will not get out of his recliner to do anything for himself. He will not even fix him something to drink. He is a total slob when he used to be the opposite. He just got outta the mental hospital four days ago. I thought that it would help him but when he got home it was just the same. I can’t say anything to him without him thinking I am starting a fight. He just told me that he wanted me to move out cause he can’t live with me anymore. I don’t know how many times I have heard that one.I just got laid off from my job about a month ago and he knows I can’t move yet but he throws it in my face everyday. A few hours later he will then tell me he loves me and we can work it out. I don’t know what to do. I just want my old husband back.

February 17, 2009 at 9:50 am
(295) Jeepers says:

Hi guys. Thanks for your support.
I did talk to M. about it last weekend.
I told him I found a discussion board about having a relationship with a depressed person, and that I was shocked at how many times I read my own story.
I explained to him that I feel terrible, lonely, and depressed myself, being out of work, in debt, and involved with someone who becomes horribly selfish in his depressed episodes.
I said that my purpose in our relationship was not to stand behind him and push him back up when he’s down all the time, but that I could only stand beside him and offer a shoulder for support. I said that I need some TLC too, and that I feel like we’re losing our connection sometimes.
I explained that intimacy is not just about the WOO HOO! factor for me, and I don’t think he realized that before.
I would call it a successful conversation.
And I had him pegged (mostly) wrong on V-Day- I was expecting a hug and “Happy Valentine’s Day I love you,” and for him to ask me to bring him to the lake to fish. Instead I got, “keep an ear out for the door,” and roses! He still bailed on dinner with my folks, but it was a disaster at the restaurant and I’m glad he didn’t go.
I’ve been excruciatingly weepy myself the last few weeks. The job market is terrible, and I’m terrified that we’ll lose everything. Last night, I laid in bed in the dark in our room for two hours watching Dead Like Me. He thought I was mad at him, until I texted him from across the house to explain why I was hiding.
We texted back and forth a few times about what to have for dinner because I had no appetite (I’m a big girl and food has become an integral part of my life- I’m currently on Weight Watchers and doing great but I still have my moments), and then he came in and laid beside me and told me, “don’t hide in the dark, try to cheer up a little. You know all that stuff that you tell me when I feel like this? Now I’m telling you.” I appreciated his effort, I know it was genuine.
M. hates real-world discussions- budgets, relocating, sacrifices, obligations- so last night I gave him the bag and let him hold it for a while: “Wednesday night we need to talk about a budget and how to get you to and from work if I get a job where I can’t do that, so think about what you have to say and how you feel about it for a couple of days, and we’ll have a better idea of how to battle this together.” I told him how scared I am, and how frustrated I am with looking for work, and that I was applying anywhere and everywhere that I felt qualified for- across the state, the region, and the country.
I hope that giving him time to think about this- what he wants to say, how it will affect him- before I rattle off a bunch of important things that he probably wouldn’t hear- will make this a more successful conversation, too.
I better prepare for my side of this conversation. Thanks for listening.

February 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm
(296) Bernie says:

My wife suffers from depression. She has a very negative attitude towards counsellers. This disease has affected our relationship. She seems to blame me for everything that goes wrong. I no longer look foward to being at home. We have a young daughter and I am afraid to leave her alone with my wife. Her mood swings scare me. She has no interest in me as a husband, our sex life is non existent. What works for me is fasting and praying for strength to cope with this situation every day. It is hard to see someone who was so active, loved life, loved to entertain persons but now does not want to socalise with any one. We own a business together but I am left to run the home, the business and everything else. It is sometimes overburdening. For me I wake up at three in the morning, pray and let my emotions out through crying and that helps. It is OK men to cry sometimes( do it in private) It will help to release some of the stress. Keep youself focused, I do fun things with my daughter it helps me forget for a brief moment. Be Encouraged.

February 17, 2009 at 2:15 pm
(297) Jeepers says:

Bernie, you’re right – surround yourself with positive influences. I hope that some day the light comes back to your wife. In the meantime, we are here…

February 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm
(298) Anne says:

I can’t believe how many times I am reading my own story on this board. My husband has been dealing with depression with it’s ups and downs for about 11 years now. This go round is really taking it’s toll on me. I can usually stay pretty strong and positive. But this episode came on with literally no warning. I mean on Thursday he seemed totally fine and then by Friday when I got home from work this dark cloud was hovering above. He hasn’t said more than 2 word sentences to me for days. He won’t hardly look at me and when he does it’s this horrible angry glare. It is so hard to take. I just really want my husband back. It’s making me feel very lonely and depressed myself. I really worry about my children. Our son who’s now 14 really knows what’s going on, while our daughter who is 7 is still pretty oblivious to it all. I know how much it upsets my son. I try to talk openly about it to him and I know it really upsets him when Dad is like this. I try not to cry on his shoulder, but sometimes I do. I am trying to remain the adult and protect him from the pain, but who is going to protect me? Who is taking care of me?? I need someone too. I just really feel like I am totally falling apart this time. I think it’s just because there was no warning, usually when an episode is coming I can see him starting to drift down, but this time, it was like someone flipped a switch and my loving husband was gone. So now, here I sit, trying to pull myself together to face another day. Put on a smile and hope for a better tomorrow. That’s what we have to do right? Thanks to one and all for sharing your stories and thoughts. It is nice to know that we are not all alone in our pain as well.

February 21, 2009 at 3:19 am
(299) don says:

My wife of just over a year has been clinically diagnosed with PSTD. She currently receives SRS disability payments for her mental condition. She was involved in a head-on automobile crash five years ago and received back and brain injuries. She has tried all kinds of doctors and prescription drugs. For the past two years that I’ve known her, she has consistently blamed me for her problems and kicks me out of the house regularly. Do psychiatrists and counselors go along with her continually blaming me for her depression, or is that just what she tells me? I am not allowed to speak with any of her doctors, at her insistance. So, in the meantime, I’m the bad guy for “creating roadblocks” in her attempt to get better. While I have lost my patience and temper with her outbursts and verbal abuse, I believe I’ve gone above and beyond what most people would have done for her. I love her and only wish the best for her, but I can’t continue with this path of destruction.

February 21, 2009 at 9:01 pm
(300) Chris says:

Wow. I am amazed at all of the similar situations as mine. My wife and I have been married for a little over 20 years. We married very young. I was 20 and she was 19. My wife seemed to get sad pretty often when we were newlyweds and I always thought it was because we were 700 miles from our families. It took a long time to finally figure out she was suffering from depression. Her mother does and her sister and aunt. My wife hates the word “depression” and has been diagnosed by three different professionals that she suffers from depression. She is such a wonderful person and I truly love her. I spent many years trying to make her happy and finally realized I couldn’t. We moved a few times with my job and my wife blames me now for making her leave sunny Florida with our last move. She had a traumatic experience in the hospital while there and almost died. Most people make changes and are thrilled to have another chance but she was the opposite. She resented the fact that she almost died and figured what is the use in trying if you’re just going to die anyway. Very negative. Everybody she deals with other than me think she is absolutely perfect. She really is apart from her demons. We are basically just friends. We have no intimacy and haven’t; for a long time. I am 40 and she is 39. I am committed to her and can’t bear the thoughts of abandoning her but I feel like my life is wasting away. We have no children which is really sad but at the same time a huge blessing. My wife feels like she has nobody. Even as hard as I try I get frustrated sometimes and make things worse. It is a vicious cycle. Week in and week out. She is so cheerful for a few days and then the bottom falls out. She is obsessed with her weight and thinks that is why she is depressed. I could go on and on. It has helped to share. God bless you all.

Chris

February 22, 2009 at 3:07 am
(301) Darla says:

Chris, I understand about your wife and everybody thinks she’s perfect. Same way with my husband. But when are alone it’s a differnt story. He is always angry. Then he tells me that I am the one starting all the arguments. Some days I just want to walk out and never look back but I know my loving husband is still in there somewheres. So I keep hanging on.

February 24, 2009 at 1:24 am
(302) Yaounin says:

8 yrs of marriage, 2 kids…………I am so hurt and jaded by the harshness and lack of love and compassion. Living w/ him is robbing me of my vivaciousness and laughter. I did not sign up to be in a sexless and angry relationship.

He tells me I dont help his depression by asking too many questions and not giving him space? oh really?

Thank god I have education and some savings. My probable transition with the kids wont be as difficult.

I am an abused wife. I deserve love.

May the rest of you who decide to “stick it out, dont forget to love yourslves.

February 26, 2009 at 1:30 am
(303) Craig says:

Chris,

Sorry to hear what you are going through. Unfortunately, I too am in the same boat as you. My wife is just like yours. She acts sweet and caring around everyone, but behind closed doors, in front of me and my two kids, she’s a devil. Not even her BEST friends knows her true colors. Her “cup half empty” outlook on everything has really taken a toll on our 12 year marriage. We have two beautiful children that mean the world to us so we say together for them. Love for children is unconditional but love for your spouse is conditional. You don’t have any kids. Take advantage of that and consider leaving her. You have an opportunity to live the rest of yor life happy as you deserve.

Yaounin, I feel your pain.

February 26, 2009 at 3:51 am
(304) Chris says:

I am considering leaving my girlfriend of 4 years. To be honest she has been in and out of depression the whole time. I have tried it all- we have been to counseling as well but she refused to continue. She is living with untreated depression- stopped meds on her own without any supervision and will not seek professional help. We live together with her son- whom I love dearly and I know the toxic atmosphere is also affecting him. I spend most of the time on eggshells and the situation has become intolerable since her mother passed away recently. Although I have been a major support- financially and emotionally, her abuse has increased to the point where she hit me last week and constantly critisizes me for not being there for her.I am exhausted and have had enough and have suggested a trial separation for me to gather my strength and get some perspective. I feel completely deflated but the thought of leaving her is less scary than living in the white hot atmosphere at home.

February 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(305) Craig says:

I feel like I wrote your last entry, especially the eggshell part. Moving out to gather your thoughts sounds like an excellent idea. Being away will give you the time to see the whole picture clearer and get a better perspective of where you are and where you’d like to be. It may be tough at first, feeling guilty, etc. but time heals all wounds. I used to feel like “lead with your head, not with your heart” but now I stay in it for the kids. Sad but true. You have agreat opportunity to get out of this hurtful relationship before it’s too late. Since you’re not married it’ll be a lot easier: no 50-50 split, no alimony, no attorney’s fees, etc. Life is too short to be mistreated.

February 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm
(306) living my life says:

My feelings as well. Leave now. What about the little boy, will he be with her? Can she care for him?

February 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm
(307) Susie says:

Welcome to all the new people on here! I just wanted to make 1 comment. I think the worst part of this whole thing, is the “hope stage”. The stage where things appear to have turned around and you believe that it is really getting better and that the disease is gone. You see the person that you love and long for, and miss them so much. You are so grateful to have them back.

Then, poof—– it is over. Back to the depths of dispair and hell. It is crippling for me. I refuse to have hope anymore. It is far better to accept the loss than to continue to stay on this roller coaster.

Susie

February 27, 2009 at 3:10 am
(308) Chris says:

Thanks for the comment Craig. I am seeing it the same. However, there are some practical considerations- we own a house together- she has struggled to meet her payments most of the time and at the moment we would lose big time if we sold the place…she is without steady employment so it is complicated. I feel a responsibility towards her boy and at this stage she would not be able to care for him financially. I have considered renting a place for myself but that would mean I would be paying rent as well as covering mortgage repayments which is not an option. It’s complicated. We spoke today but she is not willing to discuss any issues at all so it is somewhat of a stalemate at present. I’m taking it a day at a time for now. Thanks for the support

February 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm
(309) Craig says:

I must agree with Susie. False hope is a killer. For those of us who have have been to marriage counceling know what that’s about. Initially the therapist listens to both sides thens asks if it is their wish to try and work things out. After getting to know the couple better, the therapist may know that this relationship cannot be fixed and that it will never work but he/she cannot say that. They have to suggest ways for both parties to change so that they can live in harmony. At first things may get a little better. Before long one spouse feels like things are better and no further therapy is needed and decides not to go. Soon after things go back to the way they were. Why? Because we are indviduals and we cannot change who we are for someone else. Sometimes we might really like to change, however, it just doesn’t happen. To many times couples end up together for the wrongs reasons: lust or the result of lust (pregnancy). Not by true compatibilty.

Chris, sorry your financial situation with her is so complicated. Would have been nice if our housing economy was better so you could sell your house for more than what you paid. Here’s something to consider (I did this myself long ago), if selling the house would mean you’d both lose out and since she cannot afford to buy you out, you may consider “assuming the mortgage” and have her move out. What that means is that you would pay the whole mortgage payment and her name would be removed from the deed, making the house solely yours.
There are probably social programs to help single mothers financially and with housing. As for her son, it’s very nice that you love him and am concerned, however, it is not your responsibilty to bail her out of her past decisions. You’re in a tough situation. I wish the best for you.

February 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm
(310) Mary says:

Hello all,
Well he did it. We got into an argument today and he left. He is at his brother’s home and I am conflicted. I have been unhappy for so long and holding on tight to this sham of a marriage. I strongly believe in my vows and the pledge I made to God, but two people need to make a marriage. I am sad but there is a bigger part of me that is relieved. I can breathe, I can be calm, and I don’t have to watch every word, step, or breath I take.
I am worried about the finances though. I work two jobs and he is laid off. He gets unemployment which helps a little but my money pays most of the bills. He took what little savings out of the bank that we were going to take a vacation to see my grandmother who is living in a nursing home. He says, “He needs the money.” He called me today about filing his unemployment but isn’t going to contribute to the expenses which means there will be some bounced checks sometime this week. Should I cancel the joint bank accounts we have and change them to just in my name?
I am also scared about our kids. Can he just come and take them away and not let me have them back? He would do this just to hurt me and to avoid paying child support. He doesn’t love them the way I do.
I know I should see a lawyer and I will call one on Monday but I don’t know if I have the money. I know that I make to much to qualify for anything.
It bothers me that I am thinking of these things but not considering him coming back home. Am I that over him? It has been 15 years and the majority have been unhappy.
Please pray for me in this situation and that I make the right decision for myself, our kids, and God.

March 1, 2009 at 9:53 am
(311) So Confused says:

Mary,

I’m sorry and happy for you at the same time. This is not going to be easy, but you can do it. My opinion, YES you should close out or remove your husband’s name from your joint account. He has already taken the money that you had saved for the vacation and will likely take whatever other money you accumulate. I dont know what state you are in, but he can take the children at any time and you dont have much say about it without some kind of court order. If you truly believe that this is the beginning of the end, I would strongly suggest that you seek legal help.

As for your being over him, I think that we just simply grow tired.

Good luck with everything. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

March 1, 2009 at 3:53 pm
(312) Mentally exhausted says:

Whatever you do, do not let him talk his way back into the house. Marriage vows are made very sincerely at that time, however, things change and GOD will forgive you. He would rather see you happy than stay true to a vow you made many years ago.
Financially it may be hard at first but you’ll get through it being that you already pay most of the bills. As for the bank accounts, I’m not sure if the bank will let you close the account because it is jointly owned. You can still withdraw the money (be fair and take what you feel is your share) and probably remove your name from the account. Open your own account at another bank. If you think he’ll do the same, better beat him to it first thing tomorrow. As for the kids, it might be considered kidnapping if he takes them against their will and against yours. I don’t know. Try looking up Women’s shelters or other help services in your area. They might be able to offer you good free advice.

March 3, 2009 at 3:05 am
(313) Kiwi says:

Well,
The common themes? Love,hope,sad,alone. I don’t know if this makes me feel better or worse knowing what we have all been through. Yes, I have experienced depression and P.T.S.D. (due to a childhood with a schitzophrenic father). I never thought of my past experiences as being an excuse for giving up though. It just made me fight a lot harder. The brain, as I have discovered for myself, is a complex and beautiful thing. Don’t ever under estimate it. If it doesn’t feel right…then take note. It is also very resilent and fragile.
I had good friends and family who believed that I was a good person, even when I felt that it would be better if I wasn’t here.
Not quite sure what I am saying other than that the person who I met one and a half years ago opened my heart quite unexpectedly. I feel better than I have for many years,just knowing that there was one person who loved me for being me. And I am a long way from perfect. I am 46 years old and love it that I am getting older. So many more choices and experiences. LBH. If you are reading this now, you struck a cord with me. Why do smart, intelligent, experienced people (as we all are) keep trying with these people who are so gorgeous, and yet self destructive? What is it about a person in such distress that we feel we can save, on our own? Thank you to every one who has said something on this site. Please keep talking, all of you.
It’s a hard call. We would need other people if we were feeling like that, or being able to be there for others if they were feeling like that. It’s a big question as a recession hits and redundancies flow and there was a prediction for a pandemic on depression by the year 2020. As a ‘caregiver’ my question is how would I want to be treated if it was me? And I think that is my down fall. God knows how…but the thought of doing nothing all day terrified me. If I did something, anything, I was fighting against “The Black Dog”. And have to say, I have a black dog who is the best. A pound dog who is well versed in dependency and seperation anxiety. She is a very good teacher in many aspects. Smarter than most humans.
So, back to my human. Why is it that animals are so much smarter?? She has had her experiences…he has his…and she will cuddle up to him all day when he can not get out of bed. She has experienced bad people but will stay with this man, because he is good and safe.. She is no fool. So…what does she feel that I can’t right now? She (and me) has a trust that this person is at heart a good person. Always living in hope that the person we met will be the person we seen again. And if not, that we just love them any way.
We should have a minute at some time, where ever we are, just to stop and think of each other.
Toni

March 3, 2009 at 9:18 am
(314) So Confused says:

Just an update on my situation. I have decided to give hubby another chance after being separated for over three months. We will still be living in separate places while we seek counseling. There is a long road ahead, I am sure of it, but I will try this again. My biggest fear is that things will return to how they were before we separated with the constant gray cloud hovering over our home, walking on eggshells and the nothing is ever good enough mentality.

All I can do is try.

Thank you all for being here.

So Confused

March 3, 2009 at 9:23 pm
(315) Mentally ehausted says:

So confused,

Your fears are genuine and they will come true. History WILL repeat itself. I really hope the next time around you won’t be “So confused” and that it will seem clearer so you do not subject yourself to this mental torture. There are other men who could be more compatible with you.

March 4, 2009 at 8:30 am
(316) So Confused says:

Mentally Exhausted,

I understand what you are saying totally, and I am afraid. What do you suggest I do though? He has good qualities. Only one bad one, depression. I am still confused. I still dont know if the decision I’m making is the right one or not. I know that this is a roller coaster and we are up now but are sure to drop. I love my husband and am committed to my family, but I must say that I have enjoyed the freedom of living on my own. Not because I want to go out and mess around with other men but because I dont have to walk on eggshells in my own home. I’m sure there are other men out there, but are they really for me? My husband loves me unconditionally, should I do the same for him?

Still So Confused

March 5, 2009 at 12:40 am
(317) Toni says:

Everyone, who is not experiencing this, has the best advice for all of us. Leave him/her. Do others find themselves pulling away from the people who say that? Even though we know it is the sensible choice?
How to seperate the person from the disease. If they suffered from cancer the response would be quite different. And depression is a disease. It makes me feel both better and worse to know that there are other people struggling with how to keep loving the person, whilst still trying to fight a battle against a quite cruel disease.
So, are we also allowed to laugh? Please say yes. Some one give me a bit of black humour and tell me a joke…one that we can all chuckle to. Laughter is the best defence against depression I think, and my lovely one and I have at times been able to laugh, alot, about what we are going through. Sounds strange I know, but what a lovely release for both of us. Tears are a necessary release but laughter is healing.
So tell me a joke….

March 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm
(318) Susie says:

So Confused, I really understand where you are right now. I have left and gone back about 30 times now. Can I give you one piece of advice? Dont stop doing the things that you found yourself enjoying when you were apart from your spouse. Continue to live your life and dont make him the centre of it, with your world revoving around his. If you do, in the end (if it happens again), you will be so lost, and devestated again. If this man really loves you, he will help himself and will not make you feel guilty about having a life outside of him.

I recently read a book that I wanted to share on this site. It has helped me so much to figure out why I am attracted to the “wounded bird”. It is called How To Break Your Addiction To A Person by Howard M. Halpern. When I read it i was shocked by the similarities to myself. In one of the chapters he makes reference to these relationships being like being in a prison. The prison door is open and we can leave anytime. However, we choose to stay and maybe hang a pretty curtain to decorate it. In the end, we die in the corner of the prison, never taking the opportunitty to step outside and take a look at life outside of it. If we do step outside, we quickly retreat back to the pain and anguish and familiarity of our prison cell. Many of you wouldnt consider your relationship to be a prison cell, but mine was. I am outside of it now and trying not to retreat back to it.

Mary, there is a lot of information on the computer regarding child custody laws ect. Good luck to you, and remember- you deserve to be happy, and you are not the one who walked away from your marriage (although I am sure you would have been justified in doing so).

Susie

March 8, 2009 at 12:19 am
(319) Mentally Exhausted says:

So Confused,

Depression and anxiety will bring out the worst in people which as you well know leads to so many other problems, so it’s not “just depression” that is his only problem. I also stay with my wife because I don’t want to lose the kids. If I were to get full custody, no problem, we’d be gone. My wife’s anxiety leads to chronic bitching at me and the kids. Te constant yelling and criticism is overbearing. I know what I should do, but don’t have the heart to do it. So many of us live in a codependent relationship (HELL). My wish is that she would leave us although I know she would never leave the kids either. If she did, I would never take her back. Love for your children is unconditional. In my book, love for my spouse is conditional….she is not blood. Good luck on trying again. It’s OK. When things go bad again at least you won’t be surprised.

March 9, 2009 at 7:40 am
(320) So Confused says:

Well, I told hubby that I would work things out last Sunday. Friday, five days later, basically told me that I just want to run his life and tell him where he should work and what he should do. All I basically told him was that he needs to try to find a job making somewhere near what he makes now because we cant really afford to take a cut in our salaries. I knew this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time. Anyway, just a half hour later (after he walked out of the restaurant we were in and refused to get in the car with me) he told me that I am the best and that he wants to be with me for the rest of his life.

Ugh

March 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm
(321) Pete says:

We’ve been together twelve years, high school sweethearts, have two beautiful girls. Depression has been a subject touched on here and there throughout our relationship, and in the past year has been so hard. Somedays are ok, others feel so painfully lonely. She is on medications for depression and anxiety, actually has been switched around several times. Things feel so distant and cold, rarely any compassion of the feeling of being loved. Trying my best to learn about depression, to understand, but sometimes it seems so hard. I feel like our relationship is ending, I love her so much, I remember how we used to be when things were better. I have not been the best person in my life or to her in our past, but I haven’t been the worse. I have been seeing a counsuler for about a month and half now trying to help make sense of all this and to keep me from stepping in front of a bus. I worry about her all the time, I cry for her, I wish I could take all her pain and depression away. So hard not falling down the codependancy path. I worry our girls will be effected by depression, and/or if things don’t work out with us, they will have to go through custody BS. I won’t leave her, I love her, I love my family too much, she is not worth walking away from. I just don’t know how to keep from breaking down myself. How can I be strong for her and our family if I’m on the verge of metal collapse. I know I can’t expect to be able to fix her, to take all of her depression away, to let her see the happiness and beauty in the world, hard to accept that. It does help to read that others have been able to get through it :) I will try my hardest for her, she is my soul-mate. Just hope she can see that again.

Pete

March 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm
(322) Kat says:

Wow, I can feel the pain of every comment I am reading. I have been married to my husband for 21 years, and now looking back I can see ha has had some depression before last year was bad. We had to have him committed and after he was released and took his Zoloft he seemed better. He stopped taking them and was fine for a while. Well here we are again. He says things like maybe he just does not want to be married anymore, but still loves me and wants to be with me. I found out last week he went out on a date with some bar tramp, I flew off the handle on that one and told him he does that ever again we are done. I too feel totally ignored most of the time because he will talk to everyone else but me. When I get a hug or kiss I have to ask for it. He is in counseling and taking meds, now he says the Prozac is not doing anything after taking it for 2 1/2 weeks so I called the doctor and now he gave him Lexipro I don’t know what more I can do? I am going crazy! He did apologize for what he did both to me and our daughter and said he want to make our lives work, but I find myself second guessing everything he says. I know most of this behavior is his depression and I that is the only reason I have hope. I want my Husband back :(

March 11, 2009 at 9:35 pm
(323) Susie says:

Hi there, just wondering if Mike is still around. We havent heard from you for a while and I am just wondering how you are doing and if everything is ok. Susie

March 14, 2009 at 10:54 am
(324) Mike says:

Hi Susie,

That’s so funny that I pop in and see your message! Thanks for thinking of me! I’m still plugging along and I do drop in now and then to read the posts. I have just come back from Daytona where I went with some friends for bike week. We had a great time & now I’m back here in southern Ontario riding in the cold…yuck! :)

I think of all of you on this site often and all the heartache that you are all enduring. It has been a few months since I parted with my fiance. She still texts me or calls me occasionally and asks for another chance or to meet for coffee. I still care very deeply for her and I suppose part of me will always love her but I refuse to live my life that way anymore. I am dating a new lady and so far things are great. We have the same circle of friends and she is very social like I am so that’s been really good as well. Having said all that I still think of the ex regularly and I still think of all that we had planned together. It has become less painful with time as I have been able to rationalize everything. All in all I am enjoying life a lot more! I no longer walk on the proverbial eggshells we all know so well. As those of you that have been here awhile know, I was a mess when I ended the relationship and it was hard, very hard but I am so happy I made that choice. I am actually living again and if nothing else she is now being forced to be accountable for herself, something she would not do in the past. She is taking courses and working, both things she needs for herself. For those of you still struggling with what to do, please remember what I always say! Staying in the relationship or not is the choice that only you can make. Whatever choice you make, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty! You have the right to be happy and life is short. Whichever choice you make, take care of yourself, do things for yourself that you enjoy! Like I’ve said so many times, you have to be a little bit selfish sometimes. Being in a relationship with a depressed loved one is draining at times, both emotionally and physically so take care of your health!

Sorry if I haven’t been posting lately but I do think of you all and I haven’t forgotten how you all supported me in my darkest days and I will be forever grateful!

Susie, thanks again so much for thinking of me and I hope you have a wonderful day!

To everyone on this board, I hope that you all find the peace and happiness that you deserve!

I’ll check back soon :)

Mike

March 14, 2009 at 10:44 pm
(325) Alice says:

It has been helpful reading all of your posts and hearing what other people are going through.
In my younger days I was married to a man who had an inherited gene of schizophrenia. He complicated his problem with drugs and alcohol. I gave him a choice- me or the drinking. He chose alcohol so I left never to turn back. I took our son with me and remarried a five years later. Things were fine
at first but as my son reached his teen years he began having serious problems and refused to have anything to do with us. He would shut himself in his room and could not be forced to cooperate. This was very difficult to deal with and the problem is still not resolved. I am hoping to get him help through community services because he needs it badly. There is much more to this story and my problems of late with my current husband has actually started a breakthrough in communication with my son. The problems with my current husband is that he has begun seeking counseling for depression. He has filed for divorce and says he needs his space.
At the same time he also says that we can always remarry later when he gets it together. He says he is very angry at everyone and is afraid he will hurt someone. He says he is also suicidal and has given his guns to his friends to lock up for safekeeping. He is an ex alcoholic and is afraid to take any drugs because he has to be strong because if he ever takes another drink he is a dead man. He says he doesn’t care about anything anymore and has barely touched me or shown any feeling for quite a long time.
I don’t know why I didn’t see this sooner and realize what was happening. When he filed for divorce I was hit with a terrible shock and hurt. I have been experiencing a lot of anger and feel like I’m being forced to do things I don’t want. I thought we’d be together for the rest of our lives. I am 57 and not ready to start all over again. It really hurts thinking the person that loved you for 19 years doesn’t care. He is seeking counseling for depression but has never wanted to go for marriage counseling. He had always had lots of friends and time for his activities but was never willing to put in the time it takes to make a marriage work.
I’m just venting and trying to work out my situation. I know I have to leave him alone and quit begging him to call off the divorce. I am only driving him further away with my crazy reactions. I am trying to accept this and move on but it is really hard. One moment I am thinking positive about this and the next moment I am in tears and shaking with anger for how unfair it seems. I am religious and breaking my vows is not what I want. I know if we break up he has made the choice and not me but it still seems very wrong.
I also hate being alone. I seem to have this need to have him here so when he’s content to just leave me without a second thought is seems really cruel of him to be so uncaring. He just does not see my needs and thinks only to take care of himself. He is a good man in many many ways so that is why I can’t understand all this. I also am a good person and I don’t understand how all this can be happening to me. I have gotten some books from the library to read to try to make some sense of this. Thanks for your support. I know I may need counseling but I have to see how my finance’s will hold out. I have a few odd jobs but I’m afraid I may only be able to barely get by. Hopefully my health will hold up for another ten years otherwise I’m in big trouble.

March 15, 2009 at 8:23 am
(326) Alice says:

Thank you for all your comments. It is helpful to hear your stories. I am going through living with my husbands depression and am trying to make sense of what is happening.

March 18, 2009 at 3:26 am
(327) Joseph says:

I have lived with a depressed wife for almost five years now, and it is killing me. On some days, she is the best friend I have ever had, and on others I can’t stand to be home anymore. I do almost all of the housework, and she loves to sleep, alot, and watch TV. She has trouble dealing with making decisions or dealing with problems, and is almost always sad.
I ask her all the time what I can do to help her, and she always tells me there is nothing I can do, and that I will never be able to fix what is wrong.
She takes her frustrations out on me and her son, and it pushes us away.
I feel like she is “faking” it to try and hide things from me. The honesty and trust in our marriage is dying slowly, and I don’t know how to rebuild it. She has told me she doesn’t want to be alive anymore, even though she hasn’t attempted to hurt herself since we have been together.
I can’t talk about problems in our marriage or things I disagree with or that hurt me. She can always find a way to re-direct the problems back to me and make them my fault, or me the cause of the problem. Even if I didn’t do anything to cause them.
I love her so much, and I don’t want a divorce, but if she is right and I will really never be able to make her happy, then what am I doing trying to work this out?
The hardest part for me is I am a career police officer, and I have spent years fixing everyone else’s problems, but I can’t fix my wife’s.
Love is important, and so is marriage, but there are so many days I just want someone who will be happy to be with me, and happy about thier own life. This has begun to affect me over the last couple years, and I am no longer the person I used to be, which I hate. My friendships have dwindled, and some have disappeared. My relationships with my family members have been affected in a very negative way.
My wife will avoid social functions like the plague on most days, which in turn gives a negative impression or offends my friends and family.
Is this worth it? Or do I just move on an start over again.

March 18, 2009 at 7:05 am
(328) So Confused says:

Joseph,

I know exactly how you feel. I have been married to my depressed husband for almost six years. It is very difficult and can often make you depressed. No one can tell you what decision to make about your marriage. That is something you must do. Is your wife on meds? Does she have a therapist? Maybe if you tell her that you need her to make a serious effort to change she will. It’s tough. You must remember that you have to take care of yourself and try to reclaim those friendships that have “dwindled”. In my opinion, the best thing to do is surround yourself with positive people. Otherwise, the depression will consume you.

March 18, 2009 at 6:46 pm
(329) sharon says:

My husband developed what I call post natal depression when I was pregnant with our second child.That was over 9 years ago and although there has been progress he still has depression.He has put on about 30kilos in weight and until recently spent most of his time watching TV on the couch or in bed when not at work.I can’t count the times when I have come close to moving out as the mood swings lead to mounting anger which leads to shouting (at me mainly) swearing and I find that I am in fear of him hitting me.I constantly think that I should move out for my two sons aged 8 and 10 but he can also be an exceptionally good father at times. It took years for my husband to seek help and by then he had had an affair for 3 years and was always angry. Everything is always my fault!He seems to have had adverse reactions to every different antidepressent he has been prescribed however he seems to have found a good psychiatrist and an antidepressant that he can live with. He has also started going to the gym regularly and that makes a huge difference to his mood.I am writing this today as my husband drank about half a bottle of wine and a bottle of beer last night and had a bad nights sleep so did not do the excersize that he planned to do and shouted at me and the boys all morning over breakfast.We all couldn’t wait till he left foe work.My youngest son tells my husband he hates him all the time and who can blame him.I am convinced that my husband also has bipolar as he goes on spending sprees and becomes obsessive about things such as watches,pens,coffee machines and cars. I understand that this is not unusual with bipolar as it makes them feel better.I also can’t wait until my children have left home so I can leave this marriage as I cannot afford to leave it now. We are just treading water most of the time and I dread to think what long term effect it is having on my children. As the depression rears its ugly head irregularly I am in two minds as to whether the trauma of leaving my husband and taking the kids is worse than putting up with the effects of his depression. I have spoken to counsellors who really are of little help!
It is very sad to have to live your life like this and I just hope something can be done like a cure as it clearly affects so many lives.Sharon

March 20, 2009 at 6:52 pm
(330) Mentally exhausted says:

Mike,

You are absolutely correct in what you have written. I left my ex-fiance long ago. Felt bad about it but it was definately the right thing to do.

March 21, 2009 at 11:15 am
(331) Winnie says:

Dear friends–I feel like I can call you that already–I’m so thankful for your posts. It took a long time to find a site that was for people living with a depressed person, and I have to say I was becoming a bit discouraged thinking that I was alone in my frustration. My boyfriend has been diagnosed with depression and I have known that since we started dating. He was on medication and doing well when we met, so I had never seen him in his depressed state. We have been together for 2 years and are not currently living together, but we have discussed moving in together and getting married. I put off both because I did not feel we were ready. He stopped taking his medication over 6 months ago because he was “feeling good again”. With the economy, stress at work and a recent injury that causes him discomfort, he has now become constantly unhappy and blaming me for everything. He is most always in a bad mood and withdrawn. We started going to counseling at my request, to a neutral person, but after about five sessions he accused the counselor of always taking my side and chalking up all of the problems to his poor communication skills. I’m going to skip all of the anecdotes because they only echo so many of your comments, but last week he finally unhurled a slew of accusations on me and then went out of town for a week saying that we needed to be away from each other. I was devastated and questioning my own sanity, sorting through the accusations to see if I really was responsible for all of these horrible things. After a few days of hurt feelings and crying, I realized how relieved I felt that he was gone. No more tiptoeing around to avoid setting him off. No more mean comments. No more feeling like I am pulling teeth to get him to open up and connect with me about what’s wrong. He is aware that he has depression but refuses to go back on medication saying they have too many side effects. He says that he feels better now, compared to a few years ago when he was considering suicide, but I’m convinced that just because he’s on a downward spiral towards self-destruction again–just because he’s not currently contemplating killing himself doesn’t mean he’s not experiencing depression at some level. Intellectually, I know that all his woes are not due to our relationship or me, and seeing your comments here have given me strength. I recognize that I already have a tendency to be a “helper” (or a “martyr”, he says) and to want to support my friends and help them through their problems. So this plays into my personality traits as well because I want to take on everything and work it out by being loving and supporting. I am seeing that it is not enough and that I can’t possibly do it alone. The thought of bringing children into this relationship is scary–but I have always wanted children. I feel I will have to give up so many of my life goals and just plain positive attitude, sanity and self confidence if I stay in this relationship and get married. Is there a way to stay close to him and support him getting treatment for depression AS A FRIEND without totally abandoning him, as so many have done because he pushes everyone away? I’m not ready to sign on to be his wife as things currently stand, but I do want to be supportive IF he decides to get help. Can anyone provide advice on what I can do as a not-yet-married-but-considering-it woman who loves a downspiraling, depressed man? I’m not sure I could live with myself if I leave him and something happens.

March 22, 2009 at 10:57 am
(332) Susie says:

Winnie,

If you are not living with your boyfriend at this point, please dont. Things rarely get better. The problem with these people is that any little thing can set them off and into their depressive episodes. These episodes can last a really long time and never go away for good. During these times we become the target of their “wrath” because in their minds it must be somethig we are doing to cause it. It always amazed me how my partner could twist things around and make me the cause of it. It became really abusive and I ended up as sick as he was.
You dont want to keep living your life walking on eggshells, and looking back in 10 or 20 years wishing you had taken an earlier opportunitty to walk away, (because now there are kids, mortgages ect keeping you there).
There are soooo many people on here that are doing just that, it seems. Life is to short to live in somebody elses prison. Dont let guilt and worry rule your life. Try and think about yourself and if this is really the life you want to live. Good luck, I know how hard it is. Susie

March 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm
(333) Winnie says:

Susie,

Thanks for your message, I think I needed to hear that from someone who knows how difficult it is to walk away. My friends, of course, are supportive of me and very protective, but I’m not sure they know the depth of the emotional manipulation. What is it that helped you leave once and for all? And, I’m wondering if you or anyone else has advice about whether/how to be supportive of the depressed person at a distance if they decide to get help for themselves. Is it possible to be there for them, not as a partner, but to let them know they are doing the right thing? Or best to cut all ties?

Thanks to all of you that are willing to share your struggles on this board, you have no idea how helpful this is to me.

Winnie

March 23, 2009 at 4:58 am
(334) Ranter says:

Hi All.

I want to thank all of you for you contributions on this site. Like many of you I thought I was all alone. I have read each reply here and it has been a real eye opener. I have been married for 8 years. My wife has been depressed for about 11 years, we have known each other for about 17 years. What I have read in these replies has really done a lot to open my eyes. For years I really did believe I was the bad one in the relationship. Explains why I worked so hard to make it work and changed so much to please my wife. The replies here have finally made me see the big picture, it feels like a weight of the World has been lift from my back. I am still in two minds about staying with my wife she recently had an affair. I think I will most likely be leaving and I will try make a good life for myself, I am tired of the way she is towards me. Once again thank you all for support and contributions, there are a lot of people that read these replies and never reply themselves.

March 24, 2009 at 1:55 am
(335) Susie says:

Winnie,

I hate the place where you are right now. I left it and returned to it sooo many times! To be honest, I tried to do what you are trying to do, by staying supportive at a distance. Personally, it never worked. For me, any contact would draw me back in. He reminded me of a wounded little bird or a lost child, and I would always end up right back in it.(read some of my logs over the last 2 years. It was absolute hell) If you really want to make a break, you may have to make a total break. Anything more, may just give him false hope that you can work it out.

I know how worried you are about him, I was totally obsessed about him for years. It was funny though, we both spent most of our days thinking about HIM. I worried constantly that he wouldnt make it without me. It had to get to a point where I realized that if i stayed with him, I wouldnt make it. Dont sacrifce your life. If you want to give him another chance, tell him you need to take a break and let him deal with his issues. A few months later, see what he has done. If it is nothing, you have your answer. If he really wants to change and get better, he will pull out all the stops. Its weird how some people are comfortable in these depressive states and dont want to leave them. It is part of their lives and who they are.

One thing I would like you to think about though…… How long do you want to prolong the inevitable? How many chances do you give? Set some limits and try to stick to them. Good luck, this is probably one of the hardest things you will do in your life.
Susie

March 24, 2009 at 8:29 am
(336) So Confused says:

I agree Susie. This is one of the hardest things you will do in your life. I was with a man who physically abused me and THAT was easier than dealing with my depressed husband.

You are all in my prayers.

March 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm
(337) Mike says:

Winnie,

Please listen to Susie and So Confused! They know what they are talking about. You asked what was it that helped them leave once and for all? In my case it was a violent physical assault. I will not raise my hand to a woman and kept trying to walk away. I’m 6’1″ and 200 lbs., she was 5’3″ and 108 lbs. I was left clawed and bleeding before the police responded and she was charged and removed. Even after that it was another 2 weeks before I could bring myself to face the fact that it was never going to change. Please don’t let it get to that point for yourself! Susie and So Confused are so right when they say it may be the hardest thing you’ve done in your life. I felt as though I was abandoning her at her lowest point until a friend who had been through something similar pointed out that it wasn’t her lowest point, it was just her life and would continue to be that way regardless of what I did. Look after yourself and your health first and foremost. Turn to your friends and family for support and don’t be afraid to confide…it is very important that you don’t keep things bottled up. Come back to this site and vent regularly, it was this site and all the wonderful people here that helped me get through. Although I’ve never met anyone here face to face I consider a lot of these people friends. We have shared pain and emotion that I think might be hard to share with anyone else. Remember the old saying about time healing all wounds, it really does. It has been almost six months since I ended my relationship and although I still have moments where I miss her or something about our relationship, I only have to think back to how I had to live. Afraid to say anything for fear of sending her off the edge, having to think each word through to make sure it couldn’t be misconstrued. Always careful to avoid looking in the direction of another woman so she couldn’t accuse me of wanting to be with someone else. Did she have good points? Absolutely, many wonderful points but would I ever want to go back and live like that again? Not in a hundred years!

Good Luck Winnie and be strong! I’ll be thinking of you and Susie and So Confused and everyone else here on this site!

Thanks to all of you and I`ll talk to you soon!

Mike

March 24, 2009 at 7:46 pm
(338) Winnie says:

Dear Susie, Mike and So Confused,

Thanks so much for your insight and support. I really need it today because my boyfriend is back in town now and we will have to have the conversation about what happens next. I think he feels bad about lashing out at me and will want to try again, but this time away from each other has been a godsend in some ways. I’ve had the chance to step back and assess what is really going on, and to read your posts and discover that this is a destructive path. Part of what is so hard for me is the judgment of others. I’m very sensitive to that, even tho I shouldn’t be, and I am a bit scared that his family and close friends will think I am abandoning him in his time of need. I will become the “unforgiving bitch” who didn’t give him a second chance. For his family, who may be in denial about his condition, it is simply easier to blame me or say I walked away (when the truth is, he pushed me away so many times! and then dumped me!) My hope is that people will see this for what it is–an opportunity for him to take responsibility and get help. I can’t do it for him and I cannot stay around, as Susie said, and lose my sanity and self-confidence in the process. I’m going into this conversation prepared with my limits and I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

Winnie

March 25, 2009 at 8:02 am
(339) So Confused says:

Winnie,

I know what you mean about worrying if people will feel you abandoned him. His family just may feel that way about you, but that should not be your concern. Even if they weren’t in denial about his condition, they have no idea what it is like to be romantically involved with him. My husband’s family is the same way. They say that he should return to them “family who loves him”. I have been in this relationship for 8 years (over a quarter of my life). They have no idea who he is. They may know the teenaged him, or the child, but they do not know the adult, the father or the husband. I try not to tell people to leave unless they are being physically abused, but I will say this, if it is hard now, imagine what it will be like 10 years from now when children and property are thrown into the mix. Just something to think about, although I’m sure you have.

March 26, 2009 at 11:26 pm
(340) Anna says:

I posted a year ago, medicine, moves, 110% understanding, committed love… I’ve given up everything. I am done. When is my turn to have someone hug me when I cry. I can no longer be the one to blame – can I? I have no more giving left. I feel like a shriveled up sponge. I am done.

March 26, 2009 at 11:48 pm
(341) Mike says:

Anna,
I just happened to drop in and saw your post. My heart goes out to you! I know what it feels like when you reach that point, when you have given all you can and you feel empty somehow, almost numb. What I want to tell you is, do what you have to do for your health, your well being and your sanity. If that means you need to leave the relationship to save yourself so be it. I don’t advocate leaving a relationship for the sake of leaving but having been through what you have been and are currently going through, I certainly advocate for taking care of yourself! You have every right to be happy, to be in a healthy loving relationship and if you honestly believe that it isn’t going to happen in your current situation, make the choice that’s right for you. Don’t let guilt overwhelm your common sense! Take care of yourself! You can’t “fix” anyone, they have to help themselves. You can be supportive but you shouldn’t be expected to do so at the expense of your health and happiness. I say over and over again, be a little selfish. Put yourself first for a change, it’s ok. Lean on friends and family for support, the ones that really care won’t let you down! Good luck and take care!
Mike

March 31, 2009 at 12:03 am
(342) Winnie says:

Dear Anna,

I’m so sorry for your situation. I wish I could reach out and give you a hug (I’m giving you a virtual one). I understand what you mean about wanting to be the one who is consoled, for once, wanting to be the one who is supported and encouraged. Everybody needs that and it is not fair to you to have to negate that need every day you stay in this relationship. I hope that you can at least take a break and let yourself be surrounded by supportive, loving people who will restore you to your previous self (before the sponge dried up!). My thoughts are with you, and please know that stories like yours have helped so many. Now is your time to get the help YOU need.

Winnie

p.s. an update on my situation: saw depressed BF last week (after 10 days in which he left town and broke off contact). i told him i could not stay on the rollercoaster ride anymore. i think he wanted to patch it up and try again, if only i would apologize for everything i have done to him. i said i can’t live my life like this, i have to move on and be happy. so far i’ve stuck to it (only 4 days!). trying to maintain my resolve!

March 31, 2009 at 12:12 am
(343) Anna says:

I’m OK.

Thank you Mike, your words and understanding are so helpful. I feel like you and others really do understand.

After crying my eyes out all night Thursday night, we finally talked and I told him how frustrated and exhausted I was. I said I was scared that we weren’t going to make it and that every once in a while I needed a hug and for him to provide an ounce of support for me. Not only did he not get it, he came back noting how proud he was that he made an agreement with his therapist to spend more time doing things that made him happy. I nearly lost it. Here I was trying to reach out and ask for help and he was announcing he had to focus more on himself. I was so numb and dumbfounded I started laughing.

It clearly made me see how much I had given up, having kids, going to church, dancing, quitting school, and leaving friends so that I could always be physically and emotionally available. I thought giving up on the things that were important to me would be less painful than the complaints I would hear if I wasn’t there.

I see now, I will get the ridicule and complaints whether I am available or not- so I might as well try and find a supportive outlet elsewhere.

When times are good, and over the weekend they were, he is fun to be with, and a good match for who I am. When he is depressed it is a living hell.

I’ve made a promise to myself though. Instead of trying to leave him and ultimately support him financially (he is still looking for work), I will stop living my life solely for him. And yes, that sounds selfish, but maybe I’d be more willing to give, if I found support in my life too. Obviously, I’m not going to get it at home. If I fail or am pulled back into being crushed as the caregiver I’ll need to leave.

I’ll keep coming back and will keep you posted….

March 31, 2009 at 1:06 am
(344) Anna says:

Hi Winnie
We must have been typing at the same time. Thank you for your post and making me laugh at the dried up sponge image. Tomorrow night I’m meeting a friend for dinner – its a start….

Also, I am proud of you for holding your own. I know it is hard. You are so strong, and it makes a difference in all of our lives!

PS I went back and re-read the posts. I was surprised to learn I wasn’t the only one who decided against starting a family. Perhaps it is a blessing, but I also miss not being a mother.

March 31, 2009 at 9:40 am
(345) Eleanor says:

My husband suffer from chronic depression due to constantly feeling sick. I do love him with all my heart and just miss him telling me he loves me. He would say things like I don’t feel anything for no one and for nothing and that is the depression talking he would say things like I need space I need alone time , and then about 3 months ago I find a message from another woman on his phone I did confront him about it he said to me don’t worry it is nothing and he ended it I hope and think but he don’t want to say much about it, and softy me just left it their. He is in such a mood some days he will be the great person that you just want to be around the next day it will be totally different. The kids know to stay out of his way if he is like that. When he is having a moment all he can do is tell me how I do things wrong and how I don’t trust him I don’t look good must do this must do that. I am wrong to feel bad when he sits for hours in front of his computer and look at other woman. On a good day he would tell me we have a great marriage and you don’t find that often. But lately it seems there is more bad days than good. He is on medication and we have spoken a lot lately and he have agreed to see someone, I have printed a lot of information for him on depression and he reads everything in them and he is starting to feel more positive in getting to a solution and that make me feel better. But what a journey I have changed so much I am a hard person I used to be so gentle but had to learn to be hard so that everything don’t hurt the feeling of being uncertain never knowing what is going to happen. Reading everyone’s comments have made me relies that I am not alone and there is life after depression. I will stick it out because I love him. One day he will take me and hug me and tell me thanks for being their and just love me the way he should. This is my hope for the future.

April 1, 2009 at 8:51 am
(346) So Confused says:

Hello All,

So, my husband has been at my apartment for the last two weeks. He has been behaving but I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’s in a good mood and will be starting classes soon at his 5th!!! college. At this point I’m just numb.

So Confused

April 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm
(347) Anna says:

Eleanor
Thank you for your post – you are a strong woman, and have touched on all the points of living with a depressed person. Its difficult to know from one moment to the next if we can be ourselves with our loved on or must walk on eggshells with the one who is depressed. Be strong, and take care of yourself and family.

So Confused,
Two weeks of good mood is nice, but I understand completely how it can be numbing. Always afraid that at any moment things will fall apart.

I also am wondering if the school and work thing is another symptom. I’m reading that a lot of us financially supporting our partners. That too is draining. Additionally, my husband has been in and out of school and various programs for the last 15 years or more – always looking for the perfect program of study or the perfect career. So now we have financial aid debt on top of everything else.

Such is our life. Anyway, I told my spouse I was going to start taking dance classes every Monday night and he could join me if he wanted. He was open to it, but declined as he has homework. I’ll still go as that is part of my promise to myself.

April 3, 2009 at 3:01 am
(348) poyzindrink says:

My husband of 17 years committed suicide two days ago. He was 44, and the love of my life. I watched his depression transform him into everything he hated until there was nothing left of him to love. After eleven truly perfect years of marriage to my best friend, he started changing. He was diagnosed with depression, and later bi-polar. His family and I did absolutely everything in our power to bring him back. He was on effexor most of thee time, but we tried many other drugs. Nothing helped him, he was scared at first about what was happening to him, but as he worsened, he seemed to enjoy it.

I couldn’t bear to leave him the way he was, I knew if I had been sick he would never have abandoned me. Tonight I am a 51 year old widow. I loved him with all my heart. The journals he left behind, (because he wouldn’t talk to me) told me what I already knew. He was in constant physical pain and mental torture. He was absolutely convinced that I would be better off if he were dead. He hated himself and couldn’t bear to watch me suffer.

I know did all the right things. I supported him and encouraged him without enabling him. I researched different treatments, mixed hundreds of different vitamin concoctions, forgave him for all the increasingly horrible things he did.I cried every day of the four years I tried to take care of him. No one who had known him before would have believed me if I had tried to tell them, as we had moved to another state. My once strong, funny, handsome, smart hardworking and completely devoted husband of 11 years was slowly turning into a monster, as the qualities I adored about him were slowly destroyed until there was nothing left.
Two days ago, I went out to lunch with our 21 year old son, and he smiled at me! He said “You’re so pretty.. I love you” and what was once an ordinary goodbye did make me a little uneasy. I told Max, “He was smiling at me…” We came home and his car was in the driveway but I felt I something bad and I couldn’t find him. My son and I had been through hell with hm for 4 years, and I told him to go home, it was okay. But I knew. Our son left, (he lives 2 hours away) and I tried to be calm. Max said he probably was chasing Tater, his dog who always ran away. I sat at my desk and looked into the backyard. I heard a voice say “he’s in the shed.” I stood up like a robot and walked to his dresser drawer, lifted his clothes and saw what I knew I would. His wedding ring, billfold, chapstick and keys. I couldn’t breathe.
Two hours later, I was standing in my front yard with 4 policemen, when one approached me and said, “I’m so sorry, Julie, you were right.” My best friend had suffocated himself in the shed, which was padlocked on the outside so we wouldn’t find him. He had crawled through the dog door. No amount of love or money will save someone who is this sick. I don’t blame myself at all, and feel a sense of relief that it’s over for both of us. I know that tortured man who ended his life was not the man I married. He had really been gone for a long time. I will never be the same and miss him every day.

April 3, 2009 at 9:13 am
(349) So Confused says:

Poyzindrink,

I’m so sorry for your loss and even more sorry that you have had to watch your husband go through this for all of these years. I cannot imagine what you have gone through. My prayers are with you.

April 4, 2009 at 9:56 am
(350) chrissy606 says:

Dear Pozindrink,
My deepest sympathies go out to you & your family at these most horrifc time. I will pray that you continue to have the strength & courage to cope with the ravages that depression creates in all the lives that it touches.

April 4, 2009 at 10:14 am
(351) chrissy606 says:

I am in desperate need of some insight from individuals who have either suffered with depression, or have loved someone who suffers with this HORRIBLE disease.
My husband of 9 years is currently experiencing an acute depressive episode. To complicate matters, his dr. knows that his condidtion is stemming from the trauma & abuse he suffered growing up in an alcoholic household (BOTH PARENTS WERE ALCOHOLICS). Like many ACOA’s (adult children of alcoholics), my husband has denied his feelings, and supressed all emotions. He realizes that he is depressed (broken is his word), but has become so despondent that he believes no type of medical intervention will ever be able to help him. He told me last night that he is leaving me & my 5 year old son, and wants to live “in solitude, without any complications from home bringing him further down”. I am so afraid that his decision with end up with grave consequences. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I feel that I am useless to help my husband, and that I am watching him commit himself to a death sentence. How do I tell my child about what is going on. Like all children, he can feel the tension in the house. I Have to protect him, but I also want to protect my husband. It is killing me that he can’t stand the sight of his family any longer, and that he has to run away from us. I am at a complete loss at how to survive this crisis my family is facing. Any thought or insights from people who have lived in similar situations would be greatly appreciated.

April 5, 2009 at 12:17 am
(352) Susie says:

Chrissy,

What you are going through sucks. I know, I did it for soooo many years. Still am to a point. I just wanted you to know that the only person we are in control of is ourselves. Whatever he decides is his decision. My partner used to do the same thing for drama or to hurt me for some imagined reason. It hurt so much. The pain I felt was crippling, I belive I was in more actual pain that he was, but am stronger and lived through it, managing to still go through the motions of life. I used to cry all the time and at night scream to God for help. I couldnt stop the pain.
It is scary how some of these people seem to be comfortable in their depressive roles and for some reason dont want to give them up or go for help.
Please protect you child first. This is no way to live. Tell your husband you are there for him and will help him anyway you can, but you can never force it. It seems the more we do, the more they resist. Until they “get it” or come to it on their own and get so sick of living this life, they will continue this path of destruction.
I dont know if you are a spititual person, but what i finally had to do was say : God, i am putting him in your hands. He knows way better than I do what to do. It is freeing as well.
Take care of yourself and try and enjoy life with your child. He shouldnt have his life put on hold until his dad comes out of his depression. It may never happen. Lean on friends and family and us. What is happening to you right now with your husband leaving is mind numbing and you need some help with it. If possible , see a councelor. I am really sorry you and all of us are having to go through this.
Susie

April 5, 2009 at 8:21 am
(353) chrissy606 says:

Dear Susie,
Thank you SO much for your insight. It’s strange how life works, because last night I finally changed my prayer from asking God to “make him and our marriage better”, to giving me the strength to cope with whatever may happen or occur, and to do what is best for my son. Your words echoed my prayer..it’s like God sent you as his messenger to validate what I’ve begun to pray for. Thank You again. It makes me extremely sad that so many of us are living this nightmare, but it’s also comforting to know that people such as yourself are willing to share your pain in order to help another person.

(he came by last night to get a few items, when he saw that I had obviously been crying I was asked “What’s YOUR problem….what do you have to be upset about??!!” No concept at all!)

April 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm
(354) Susie says:

Hi Chrissy,

Your welcome. I am glad i could help in some small way. Its funny, but I felt like I had to respond to you last night. I even said a prayer for you when I went to bed. I really am sorry for what you are going through. It is so hard. Sometimes though, if we leave the work to a higher power and accept what comes, there will be peace. I know I resisted what was happening for so long. It took me years to figure out that I had no control over him or his illness. A lot of what he did was abusive as well. A big part of me staying was believing that I could “save him” or “fix him”. I couldnt. It was pretty humbling to accept my powerlessness. After all these years, the Serenity Prayer makes so much sense! Good luck to you. I hope he figures it out and realizes what he had with you and your child, and wants a better life. In the meantime, dont ever stop living. There are no do overs and we dont get the years back that we spend in our panic ridden, eggshell walking states living with these people. I hope you and your son start living a good and peaceful life.
Take care, Susie

April 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm
(355) chrissy606 says:

How can you get off this emotional roller-coaster??!! My husband is shutting me off completely. I can just feel his hate & contempt towards me. I’ve tried to stand my ground, and begin to make decisions for my son’s & my own emotional survival, and then I become villian. I know my husband is ill. I know that I can’t “Fix” him, but I’m finding it very hard to give him love & support when he’s blaming me for his depression, and has begun to blame my parents (who have been our financial & emotional rocks throughout our marriage). I took my marriage vows “for better, for worse” very seriously. I feel like a complete guilt-ridden failure that at this particualr moment, I want out.

April 8, 2009 at 12:00 am
(356) Mike says:

Chrissy,

I’m sorry to hear what you are going through but you need to look in the mirror and tell yourself you have nothing to feel guilty about. The sad truth is it’s very hard to stay in a relationship and be supportive when the depressed individual won’t accept responsibility for themselves. A lot of depressed individuals are very good at useing guilt to control their partners. I, like most of the people on this site have experienced this first hand and like yourself have felt the guilt you are currently feeling. You have to be so careful that you don’t get dragged into a state of depression yourself which also seems to be common for people trying to help a loved one through a depressed state. Feeling you can’t take anymore, like you want out, doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human, with feelings and emotions that are just as important as those of your husbands. Please remember that you are of equal importance in the relationship, that it can’t always be about him. I am repeating myself here but as I have said so in so many posts before and will do again…you need to be a little selfish and put yourself first for a change! Do things for you that make you happy! Take your little guy out on a mother son date…go for lunch and a movie together. Get a babysitter for your son and have an evening out with friends…dinner, drinks, coffee whatever. Don’t be afraid to open up to your friends and family, you can’t keep it all inside. Come here and vent as often as you need, I can tell you it is a lifesaver. And ultimately, take care of you and make your choices for you because no one else will. I’m not saying to ignore the needs of others but just to put your needs into the equation and give them equal consideration. Some people in your situation choose to stay in the relationship, others like myself choose not to. Did I find it hard to leave the relationship or feel guilty? Yes on both counts initially but with time I came to understand that not only could I not “fix” her, I couldn’t even help her by supporting her because she wouldn’t take the steps to help herself. All I know is I couldn’t live another 30 or 40 years like that and today I have no regrets about my decision. I still think of her a lot and miss her at times but I am much happier and life is too short to live in constant misery. Whether you believe me or not, you are stronger than you realize. None of us really know how strong we are until we have to stand up for ourselves. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be ok, it may be hard at times but you will get through! Stay strong, believe in yourself and remember that there are a lot of people here that understand what you are going through…you aren’t alone!

Mike

April 8, 2009 at 9:15 am
(357) So Confused says:

Chrissy,

I know what you are going through. It’s tough. It’s funny that I keep reading “emotional rollercoaster” time and time again. That’s because we are on one. One minute they act fine and the next they are blaming you or acting like complete, excuse the language, assholes. One thing is for sure, regardless of whether you stay with him or not, you have to look out for you and your boy!!! I am in the same exact position. My husband of six years is suffering from clinical depression and mild bipolar. We have a son. I had to move out of the house to save the both of us. I am going to be moving back home in a week, but I have already resolved that I will not sit in the house and cater to him. My son and I are going to go out and have lives of our own, husband bedamned.

Mike was right when he said that you have to becareful not to become depressed too. This depression is contagious and if you let it affect you too much, you will go crazy. I’ve been there too. (Actually been through pretty much all of the cycles of a spouse of a depressed person, except divorce…not there yet.) I cannot stress this enough, YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR OWN LIFE. Unfortunately you have to also learn to take what he says with a grain of salt. In otherwords, as hard as it is, dont pay him any attention. I dont and it has made it much easier for me. He changes with the tide anyway and I cant keep up with his moods or ideas. In my opinion, it’s not wrong to do this. It’s a matter of survival.

I cant tell you what to do about your relationship. Only you can make that decision. I know the guilt that comes along with the thought of breaking your marriage vows. I know what it’s like to want to run away as fast and far as you can. It’s not an easy decision, and not one that you have to make right now. The decision that you do have to make is to try not to let your husband’s depression effect you so much. Your son deserves at least one happy undepressed parent. You may have to give up some of your dreams. I did. It’s very sad, but it was my decision. For now anyway.

Vent here as much as you can. Eventually you wont post here as much because you’ll find that things just might improve a bit (whether you are with him or not). We are all here though, and like Mike said, you are not alone.

(P.S. – Trust me, I know all of this is easier said than done. My handle is “So Confused” for a reason. lol)

April 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm
(358) Susie says:

Hi Krissy,

Mike is right, think about yourself for a change. We all get so programed to put our depressed spouse first that we forget what our needs are and who we even are. We lose ourselves in the constant struggle of trying to make sure that they are ok, happy, not going to freak out or drink or isolote, or whatever!……
The guilt is very normal for all of us. These people are sooooo good at shifting the blame off of themselves. Until they take control of their lives and accept some responsibility, it will never work anyway.
You could stay and live like this indefinately, or you can take a stand and say enough, my son and I need a break. At least give yourself some space and time to decide what you want.
Dont take on the blame. I remember spending hours talking to my partner trying to get him to see my way. It never worked (until I left). Guilt is a powerful emotion. Try and spend your time focusing on other things. You will go through a natural healing process of grief, doubt ,sadness, numbness ect. That is natural. It hurts but it is also necessary. All the best, Susie

April 9, 2009 at 9:29 am
(359) chrissy606 says:

Hi Mike & Susie,
Thank you for your words of encouragement. This site has been my lifeline these past few months of living hell. I really gather alot of strength from the thoughts & experiences the people here selflessly share.
It is SO difficult to try to even think clearly while in the midst of this trauma. I just need to keep referring back to your words, and putting my son first while making my decisions. Thank you both so much.

April 12, 2009 at 7:45 am
(360) chrissy606 says:

Just wondering…has anyone experienced this. My depressed husband, who “can’t stand the sight of me”, can still manage to go out 3-4 times a week with his low-life drinking buddies. Boy, does this destroy your self-image, when your spouse would rather be with a group of semi-strangers than his family. He thinks he’s being a “great father” because he sometimes manages to remember to call his son to say good-night from the bar. (My son can go days without ever laying eyes on his father). This is SOOO exhausting!!!

April 12, 2009 at 4:56 pm
(361) Susie says:

Hi Krissy,

the good thing(for him) about his drinking buddies is that they have no expectations of him and no investment in him. All they are to each other is someone to drink with. Perfect scenario for someone who wants to escape from reality and their committments.

Unfortunatley, this is how many of them cope. Sad isnt it that they are so immature and irresponsible? Hopefully he gets sick of living this way and wants more for his life. You cant save him from it though, he has to come to it on his own. Happy easter! Susie

April 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm
(362) Susan says:

What an interesting evening I have spent reading your posts. It is so refreshing to see people trying to help others through their difficulties. My husband of 30 years and I separated last summer, a mutual decision, but his mental health issues, beginning with depression and developing into bi-polar, narcissim, etc. became too much for me. What finally brought about the decision to break up, though, was the effect our horrible marriage was having on our one child left at home. Who was I fooling saying I needed to wait it out until she had left for college? She had become such a mess by 17 that she might not have survived to even go to college and was so estranged from her father that she was the one wanting to move out. Our oldest child does not even want to have anything to do with him and has told him as much.

Do I feel guilty that I was probably part of the reason for the depression? Of course, and I probably was. But as so many of you have said here, once someone has a diagnosis, which he did 20 years ago, they need to take responsibility to do something about it. He did begin medication, and has continued that to this day, but has never acknowledged that his problems have impacted anyone else, for example his family, nor tried to be proactive in making himself better other than popping pills. He sees a psychiatrist only when he needs new prescriptions written and receives no counseling. There is no ownership at all. I know he believes I am responsible for the alienation he now has with his children.

I do feel very sorry for him, as he has essentially lost his family, and I really don’t think he understands why. But I also know that I feel like I have just crawled out from under the rock I was hiding under for the last several years, that walking on eggshells thing others have mentioned, and I can finally say how wonderful I feel. I no longer have to be the mediator, which was my role for 30 years in this house, and can just let life happen! My youngest is now doing very well, still mostly alienated from her father which is unfortunate, but will be heading off to school in the fall. She and her oldest sister still have significant issues in regards to male relationships, and I hope that can resolve with time.

For those of you who took vows and believe divorce is wrong, I still am struggling with reconciling my beliefs with my reality. That is the reason I stayed in this relationship for 30 years, that and thinking children need to be in stable (who was I kidding?) families. My wakeup call came when my daughter said she was moving out at 17 to get away from her father.

April 14, 2009 at 8:43 am
(363) So Confused says:

Hello Everyone,

So, I am moving home after being separated for four and a half months. Hubby is being a sweetheart. I know this too shall pass. I thought it was a good idea to move back home because of finances and my son missed being home. Well, yesterday my son came home after spending a week with grandmom. I could tell something was wrong and after an hour of coaxing he told me what it was. He doesn’t like his dad. After spending a happy week with my side of the family, he realized that dad is always miserable and not fun to be around. His dad picked him up from Grandmom’s and apparently didn’t talk to him in the car and had a sad look on his face. What do you say to that? I told him that I know how he feels but he doesn’t believe that. He said that I always act happy. (Well we all know that I do that for my son. It is not easy to put up that facade.) It seems that he blames me for “picking that kind of dad”. I didn’t go into the fact that I didn’t know he would be like this. I didn’t get into the fact that his biological father was much worse (a drug addict). He’s just a kid. Kid’s dont get the complexity of these situations. I tried to tell him that dad has a disease. He says he doesn’t believe that and that he can control how he is. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT???

My son said he missed his dad and wanted to go home. That’s part of why I decided to return to the house. Now while he wants to go home he doesn’t want to see his dad. I know he loves him. He’s the only father he knows. My husband is a good man. A good father (all but the being a happy dad part).

I first started writing here in September. Here I am over six months later and I am still asking the same questions. I remain ‘So Confused’. lol. Does anyone here who has been dealing with this for a long time have any advice? Someone with children? It would be greatly appreciated. Not neccesarily taken, but appreciated nonetheless.

Part of me wishes I could leave, but I can’t. Not because I rely on him financially. I can survive on my own. At this time, I just can’t abandon him. I love him. Not that romantic love. The familial kind. The kind that wouldn’t allow me to write of my mother or son.

April 14, 2009 at 10:38 am
(364) Susan says:

Dear So Confused,
Please read my comment above in regards to how this impacts children. I do not know the age of your son. The fact that he admits he doesn’t like his dad yet misses him shows how much he is conflicted by this. He knows he is supposed to love his dad, so I bet the negative feelings he is having are distressing him greatly. I would strongly suggest that if he has admitted his feelings to you, he can verbalize and identify them, and he needs to get to a counselor to have a professional help him understand and deal with the situation. Things will not get better with time, and even if you moved out again, your son will have those feelings and they need to be dealt with now before they morph into something else.

April 15, 2009 at 2:08 am
(365) Sam says:

Your comments on here have helped me alot, i have been living with a depressed spouse for almost 10 years now, she is on a cocktail of anti-depressants and i have had to deal with the same sad story most of you have, the verbal outbreaks and sometimes physical ones, i have been at my wits end many times over and am just plain tired. She NEVER comes on to me, though 90 percent of the time she doesnt reject me, i get the feeling that she cant stand to be with me and never hearing any words of encouragement have sent my ego and self esteem right out the window. It has seriously effected my work, attitude and feel no longer like a “man” rather more like a loser for lack of a better word. I know she has a sex drive being that she flirts with men and is always quick to comment about them, how handsome, tall etc. She would rather please herself then sleep with me. I have pointed out to her that its not something a married person does and immediately i am the bad guy and acting “jealous” she loves to party and of course the drugs that go with it, while i just cant stand it! the truth is i just cant stand her anymore, she says she has not cheated on me though all the signs say otherwise, its amazing how close the signs of “cheating and depression” are. I feel nothing for her anymore and if it wasnt for the kids i would have left a long time ago, i have always been nothing but supportive, affectionate and loving to her. After years and years of nothing in return it has utterly drained me. I have been with another partner and of course i am aware that this is wrong i just dont know how to deal with it anymore, as easy as it is to say “make yourself happy first” its not. Unfortunately in my case her depression has driven me into the arms of another and for a short period of time i know what it is like to feel “normal” i know i will have to answer for this one day and honestly just dont care, i just dont have any strength in me any more and am looking forward to when the sad misery i call a life… In any which case thank you all again.

April 18, 2009 at 8:41 pm
(366) chrissy606 says:

Hi Sam,

Just read your comment, and it sounds EXACTLY as if you were writing about my own life. I know how it feels to have a husband who tells me that he’s “sick of my face”, but manages to flirt & compliment every other female on the face of the planet. At this very moment he’s just left the house (after being away for the past 3 days), so that he can be around his drinking buddies, and presumably his current “flavour of the week”.
I can completely relate to you saying that you had an affair just to feel “normal”. Though I haven’t been with anyone else, I can feel that I am becoming quite capable of throwing myself at anyone who simply gives me a kind word. Living with a depressed spouse DESTROYS any kind of positive self-image that you may have once posessed. You crave kindness or attention from anyone willing to give you the time of day.
I’m slowly realizing that we have to take care of ourselves & our children first. Our spouses are toxic…I’m truly beginning to believe that allowing my son to grow up witnessing his father’s current behaviours will have a far more devestating effect on him then me staying in a sham of a marriage.

I hope you, me and all the others who have left comments on this blog will find the strength to forge lives (with or without our spouses) where we can experience happiness…not just a constant existence of worry, dread & numbness.

April 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(367) Bonnie says:

I really need some advice. Does anyone here experience their depressed spouse leaving them for days on end? During these times they dont call and they self destruct (drining, fighting, then isolating). It always is over some stressful event and he says- I dont want to feel anything for anyone anymore and he is gone. I would always go after him after a few days becasue the worry and anxiety was so bad, but this time I wont. I feel I have lost so much self respect over the last few years chasing this guy around. This time he had a fight with his ex wife and once again , I am paying for it. He never considers the effect that it has on me, despite telling him sooo many times.

My question is what to do now? I feel so afraid, alone and hurt. Has anyone else on here experienced this? What do you do when it is happening, to maintain your sanity and self respect? I told myself that the next time he left me,i would just let him go. I am trying to stick with it, but it is so hard.

April 24, 2009 at 8:44 pm
(368) chrissy606 says:

Hi Bonnie,
Oh yes…your situation is all too familiar! I’ve nicknamed my husband the runner because anytime there’s somthing he doesn’t want to face, off he goes. I’ve had him leave over the slightest argument..,sometimes he’s gone for a few hours, sometimes for days. I can only suspect what he’s up to (Lord knows I’m at the point where NOTHING would surprise me!!) It’s exhausting, immature and selfish behaviour. Like you, I’ve also tried chasing him down when he goes on one of his “runs”. Now,I’m absolutely numb. It’s horrible to say, but I almost relish the times when he leaves, hoping that it might be for good.
I just want to echo what other people have told me on this blog…his behaviour is NOT your responsibility. You must take care of yourself first..get counselling, lean on family & friends, pursue your own interests. Nothing will change until our depressed spouses Want to change. We need to decide for ourselves how much we can stand living in our current state of affairs. We need to be our own best self-advocates. I don’t mean to sound cold, but it is so easy for people living with a depressed mate to become depressed themselves. It’s damn hard, but PLEASE take care of yourself. Contrary to what our spouses will try to have us believe, we are worthwhile individuals who deserve better than living in a constant state of worry and dread.

April 25, 2009 at 11:43 am
(369) Bonnie says:

Thanks So much for your comments Chrissy606. I guess in time this too will pass but it is so hard right now. I always take on responsibility for him and try and figure out what I did to cause this latest episode. I apologize for the strangest things. I have gotten really good at self blame. It hurts so much to realize that the man I love does not give a crap about what he is doing to me or his kids.(they are not mine but he is punishing them too) At times he is the most wonderful, loving, funny person, but then the dark side comes and he becomes consumed with self pity. It is like a bizarre cycle.
It has been 5 days now since he left me this time. I really do pray that he is ok, but i will not go after him this time. Im so tired of the pain. Your right, I think I have myself started to become depressed and am always anxious. Its like I have been living in a land mine area. Please pray for strength for me.

April 25, 2009 at 7:46 pm
(370) chrissy606 says:

Hi Bonnie,
Without a doubt you & your spouse are both in my prayers. I just need to stress to you that you have not caused any of this to happen. It’s a horrible reality, but it seems that we who are closest to the depreesed individual get bombarded with the the most negative fallout of the disease. It always amazes me how my husband can maintain a professional air at work, be civil & social with his drinking buddies, BUT can unleash all his fury, anxiety & negativity on me. This disease doesn’t make sense. Please trust me that if you try to understand what is happening to your spouse and start assuming the blame for his behaviours, you will only make yourself physically, emotionally & spiritually ill. I know its impossible not to worry, but PLEASE don’t feel any guilt. You have done nothing wrong. Please stay strong. This blog has REALLY helped me alot…I know that you will find comfort in the words of the caring people here that have selflessly shared their painful journies living with depression.

April 27, 2009 at 12:17 am
(371) Bonnie says:

Thanks again Chrissy606. Its really helpful to hear that i am not responsible. Its been a week (tomorrow) since he has spoken to me. Fot the life of me, I cant figure out what i did wrong this time so all I can figure is that I mean absolutely nothing to this man. Or that his self pity has consumed him. It hurts, but its reality. The emotional toll this has taken on me the last few years is horrible. I dont even recongnize myself anymore. How do you get yourself back and start to build your life again? Does the pain ever stop?

April 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(372) chrissy606 says:

Hi Bonnie,
Just wanted to touch base to see how you are doing. What you are going through is AWFUL (Unfortunately I have first-hand experience in the same types of lousy situations!). I hope that you are being kind to yourself, and not assuming the blame for your spouse’s actions. What I find that helps my emotional well-being the most is surrounding myself with friends and family members. At first, I wanted to keep my husband’s behaviours a secret from them. Once I opened up to them, I found my loved ones to be a HUGE resevoir of support. Going out for a coffee, or a drink with a friend offers you a much needed “break” from the dramas of home. As unbelievable as it sounds, I have slowly learned (with the help of a counsellor) to eliminate my husband, and all the drama associated with him, from my mind during the times I share with my friends.
Every moment I share with my 5 year old son also provides me with much joy. It kills me that his father is “missing in action” in his life, but I know that he & I are spending some fantastic times together. Simply put, my son & I have have to continue to live life despite my husband and his illness. Please let me know how your fairing. You are in my prayers.
Chrissy

April 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm
(373) Bonnie says:

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks for checking in with me! I was doing ok until last night when a mutual friend told me something that floored me. I found out not only does my spouse accuse me of cheating on him, but he has been telling others as well. Apparently for the last 3 years he has told some of our friends that he has caught me cheating numerous times! He said he followed me one night and even caught me in the act!! That is something I never did and would never do. My friend said that for the last couple years they were disgusted with my behaviour and couldnt understand why my he was staying with me!!! Wow, after standing by this guy through all the crap, abuse and psychotic episodes, he portrays hiself as my victim! This really hurts, and I didnt sleep at all last night. In the middle of the night his oldest son phoned and was worried about his dad because he is in a psychotic state (at least I know he is alive now).

Has this ever happed to you or anyone else out there? Where the spouse tries to make them look like the bad guy?

How are things going for you? Sure hope your feeling better and are getting off your rollercoaster. I sure wish I could. I feel like absolute hell.

April 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm
(374) Bonnie says:

Chrissy606- sorry, i meant that last reponse to you, not to myself ha ha!

May 3, 2009 at 11:17 am
(375) chrissy606 says:

Hi Bonnie,
I’m saddened, but not surprised by the latest report on your husband’s behaviour. Yeah, they lie like rugs in order to make themselves “look good” and elicit sympathy. What’s REALLY frightening is how our spouses truly believe in the fantasy worlds that the fabricate. It’s amazing how they can find our “weak spots” and purposely attack them. Obviously, the lies he is spreading about you cheating on him can hurt you to the core…especially when he has other people believing them. Another exmple of the destructive & manipulative behaviour that we have to live with every day. My husband is a little different in his approach. He knows that my “weak spot”is my child. He constantly belittles my parenting (yeah..like he can even offer an opinion, he’s around both of us SOOOO much!!!) He constantly threatens to leave and take my son with him because, in his damaged mind, “he’s the superior parent”. My husband also verbally attacks my appearance & intelligence. He tells me I’m fat (not that it matters, but I’m 5’8 & 125 lbs), I’m ugly , and what other man would want me when there are so many hot young things around. He puts my job down “you’re only a teacher…couldn’t find a real career huh?!”. I also hear gems like “Your lucky to have me, ’cause what other guy would even look at you twice.” Bottom line, whaT my husband says about me, & what your husband is accusing you of is the abusive fallout of two ill minds. Again, I stress, PLEASE don’t take ownership of this crap. All the dysfuction & abusive words are their baggage…they are trying to hurt us, so as to, in some warped way, make themselves feel better about their shortcomings. I don’t mean to sound cliche, but ANYONE who believes yur spouse’s NONSENSE can’t be a true friend. You’d be surprised at how many people, once the garbage hits the fan, will offer you their love & support. Those are the individuals YOU must lean on to keep your own sanity. It sounds like you have that support from your spouse’s son. Lean on each other, and quite honestly, to hell with anyone who may buy into your husband’s accusations. Their opinion really doesn’t matter, and your focus HAS to be keeping your body, soul & mind together. Stay strong, and know that there are MANY of us here on this blog who understand all the anxiety, worry & fear that you have to endure on a daily basis. God bless you Bonnie. Chrissy

May 4, 2009 at 7:39 am
(376) IM says:

He says (occassionally) “I love you”. I can’t say it anymore. After 20 years of living through his ups and mostly downs of depression, I am here. I am trying to support him. I want to hold the family together. But, I am tired. Tired of protecting our children from his anger. Tired of walking on eggshells. Tired of not saying what I feel. Tired of saying what I feel and finding it angers him or wasn’t said the “right way” and he closes off. Tired of wondering when and if it will get better.
He says he is working on things. But I have trouble understanding why he just doesn’t change the things that don’t work.

May 14, 2009 at 9:52 am
(377) So Confused says:

Hello Everyone,

Just want to give you a status of my situation. As some of you know, my husband suffers from depression and mild bipolar disorder. I moved out of the house back in November and subsequently moved back home. (In an effort to try to work things out.) Well, we’re getting divorced. I’m not upset though. I’ve been through all of the stages of a spouse of a depressed person (depression, trying to be the savior, numbness, anger, resentment). At this point, I am just happy. I would like to remain friends with my husband. I do care for him. My love for him hasn’t diminished. I’m just not in love with him anymore and after six years of marriage can no longer live in a gray world.

Good luck to all of you. I hope you find peace with out without your spouses.

May 14, 2009 at 3:02 pm
(378) Honest Opinion says:

I have read through all the posts here and have learned a lot from everyones experiences and it is good to know that I am not alone in what I am feeling. Without going into a long story about my situation I really have a one question to ask, to the people who married someone with depression if you could go back and do it over, would you still marry that person knowing what you do now? Why or why not? I am in that position right now that I need to decide whether this is something I can handle or not and I really am torn… Thank you

May 15, 2009 at 1:28 pm
(379) chrissy606 says:

Hi Honest Opinion,

I’ll answer your question bluntly: No. I would NOT do it all over again knowing what I know now about my husband, his dysfucntional childhood & the depression he suffers with. I say no because I am now witnessing the negative impact of this disease on my five year old child. I am riddled with guilt over what I’m essentially allowing my son to endure. My child & I are both in counselling, and I know that all signs are pointing to the fact that I MUST terminate my marriage. I’m sorry if I sound harsh or negative, but I have nothing left emotionally to give my husband. I have to do what’s right for my child.

May 15, 2009 at 4:07 pm
(380) LizL says:

Just found this site and saw myself in so many of the stories I read. Long story short, I have been married to a person with depresseion for 20 years. Here’s what I have learned so far -

- It’s a disease. It seems like a simple thing, but realizing this has helped in so many ways. When I am grappling with how to respond to some of his erratic behavior, I think, “Okay, what if this was Multiple Sclerosis instead of depression. What would I do?” (MS is a lifelong disease characterized by ups and downs – walking one day, in a wheelchair the next.) For instance, realizing it’s a disease makes me realize it’s not my fault. I didn’t make him this way (despite what he says). I didn’t give him depression any more than I could give him MS. That gives me comfort.

Also, I can’t fix it. I think depressed people tend to marry “fixers”. We listen to their sad stories, want to help, and end up marrying them. But I can no more “fix” his depression than I could if he had MS. He must be the one to fix it. I can help by taking him to appointments, helping with meds, etc. but it is his disease to treat or not treat. His body may recover, it may not, but nothing I do will fix it.

It’s highly contagious to the family. By this I mean that depression can affect everyone who lives with the depressed person. My task is to keep myself and our son healthy. Maintaining a positive attitude keeps me from being “infected”. Taking time for myself rather than being sucked into his vortex of pain keeps me healthy and helps my son see what a normal life is like.

I have also been learning recently to set boundaries. He has self-medicated for years with porn, alcohol, electronic gizmos and I have tolerated it. He crossed the line last year when he attempted to self-medicate by starting a romantic relationship with someone on the Internet. I said he had to cut it off or I was gone. I finally said, “No more” and the relationship ended. However, if he does it again, I will leave. I know my limits and having that affair crosses the line.

I am also learning to let him own his own consequences. When things are good, he starts new projects then gets depressed and doesn’t finish them and I have taken them on so others won’t be disappointed. But it is too much work for me when I also work full-time. This year he decided that having a horse would make him happy. So I helped him get a horse. It is stabled at his son’s house. From the beginning I said that I would help make it happen, but it was his horse and I would not take on the responsibility for caring for it. Well, guess what, he can’t bring himself to get out there and feed it, ride it, exercise it. But I am NOT stepping in to do that. My stepson is having to pick up the slack and he will probably end up having a confrontation with his dad, but I will not make it my issue.

I find that as we get older (he is 60, I am 48), his depression is in some ways worse because he has other physical ailments he also has to deal with, so I am somewhat downhearted (which is why I went searching for this group). On the other hand, I am an immensely stronger woman now than I was 20 years ago, I am hugely proud of raising a good normal son who knows his father’s frailties, and I have more sympathy to give to others than I would have.

In answer to your question, Honest Opinion, would I do it all over again? This is where I go back to, “What if he had MS?” If I had asked myself that question back then, I would have probably said “No” because I would not have willingly taken on the lifelong burden of caring for another person who is ill. On the other hand, I would not have our son, and I cannot say what my life would have been like. I focus on what I have received through this relationship, broken as it is, which is a great deal more patience than I had 20 years ago, a kinder heart which understands better the pain of others in my situation, and the ability to stand up for myself and not be beat down by others words. Paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can hurt my feelings without my permission.” I have learning how to not give permission.

May 21, 2009 at 8:25 am
(381) So Confused says:

So, a few days ago, the hubby (we’re separated but still living under the same roof) emailed me at work saying that he was going to kill himself. Long story short, after being very upset, crying, worried about what I was going to do to help him/help myself, I received an email stating “so how’s work going?” When I asked him if he was still thinking about killing hisself, he said the feeling had passed. This only reaffirmed that I made the right decision by ending this. I will be filing for divorce very soon. I do not have the energy nor the hope to stay in this marriage. I do love him very much and we can always be friends, but spouses no more.

May 22, 2009 at 1:04 am
(382) Mike says:

Dear So Confused,

I just popped in to see how everyone was doing as I still do every now and then and I saw your most recent post. I can’t begin to count the number of times that I went through this same situation with my ex. I would rush home frantic, neglecting my job as always only to find her calmly preparing dinner or reading a book with a glass of wine as if nothing had happened. When I would question her she would just give me a sheepish little smile and make some comment as if to say, you really do take these things too seriously. Once again it is all about control. The fact that I would jump and give her the reaction that she was looking for was all she needed. Like you, I finally got to the point that I couldn’t live with these games any more. I will always love her to some degree, I still think of her often (she has emailed me recently several times) and miss what we had when things were going well but I couldn’t live on that roller coaster any longer. I am a happier person today but it hasn’t been easy. There have been some sad sad days but they pass and are becoming less frequent. I wish you all the best…be strong and make yourself the priority! We spend too much time trying to make others happy when that is not our responsibility. They have do that for themselves. Thank you to everyone here that has listened to me over the last 8 or 9 months, this site has been a life saver and I think of you all often! You all deserve to be happy…keep that in mind!!
Mike

May 23, 2009 at 10:11 am
(383) stormy56 says:

I also have a husband with severe depression/panic anxiety disorder…He has been on medical leave off and on since December. Cannot make decisions for himself and can’t seem to get out of this.I try and keep him busy but it doenst always work…I actually took one of his valiums last nite to relax before going to bed and I don’t want to fall into that habit….our adult son lives with us and it is starting to affect him also. there are no support groups around and I so need to hear another spouse who is living with this.

May 25, 2009 at 8:05 pm
(384) sunflowergirlie says:

I also was dealing with a depressed partner. he was the sweetest man ever for me, but slowly started to change. One day, he told me he loved me the most in the whole world, nothing makes sense without me and he wants a family and marriage.
Next few days, he became depressed, said he is scared to commit to me and be a father, he is down all the time and would mess up, just like his last marriage.
That I am better off without.
We broke up, the next few days begging me to take him back and help him with depression, he cant live without me. Then doing the same exact thing, all the I dont love you anymore etc. again. He broke my heart 6 times in 7 months. bought me a ring, gave it to me, took his proposal bacj 2 times…
I tried to understand, bought books on depression, mixed him vitamines, tried to make him start working out with me, made happy scrap books of our past great vacations and days spent together for him to see how beautiful life was, found him a therapist.
Made him openly talk about all his fears, even though it hurt like hell, trying not to get mad and offended. he is 15 years older and saying i will leave him for somebody young and good looking etc.
finally he did something I could not get over. Everything seemed fine,l he is on new medication Wellbutrin. begging me to make a baby, get married. As soon as we finish making love trying to concieve, he gets up and tells me he cant be a father nor husband, and lets go get a morning after pill.
Finally I gave up. I had no more energy to put into this rollercoaster ride.
First time after all this emotional abuse, I broke up with him. It hurts like hell, has been only 3 days. but i feel like I have to do this for myself. I cant deal anymore. i used to be a happy girl, last one year I live in pain and fear.I am only 29, and feel to youn to deal with this.
I need a man, not a sick child on my hands.
He already emailed me with apologies, but I will try and stay away from him forever. I miss him terribly, before all this started we were soulmates.
I hate this disease. I really do. It took my best friend from me, but I cant let it take my future from me too.

May 26, 2009 at 9:39 am
(385) Weary wife says:

I have spent the last two hours in tears reading through this blog after looking in desperation on the internet for some indication that i wasn’t going mad. Now I know I’m not, but I’m not sure it helps to know it! I have been with my partner for 18 years and feel I have completely lost track of who he really is. He is increasingly angry, negative and bitter with life (though we have a life many would envy), and is becoming more and more reclusive. He becomes obsessive about certain tasks or subjects and then spends hours surfing the internet. We have no children and so he has no-one to worry about except himself: he doesn’t take responsibility for anything so I deal with everything from taking care of money matters to cleaning the toilets, and even making sure he turns up for appointments etc at the right time. And I still get blamed if the slightest thing goes wrong. All he seems to want to do is sleep all the time. He has been taking anti-depressants on and off for about 10 years but is very bad about taking them regularly and i’ve just discovered (after a week of hellish behaviour) that he has suddenly stopped taking them. He has no self control over his alcohol consumption.
In lucid moments he agrees to a plan of action but then the next day it’s like nothing was ever agreed and I feel despairing that he knows he can continue to behave exactly as he wishes because there’s no-one else to witness or judge what’s going on. I have never discussed this with any of our friends, or his family, so I find myself making excuses for his absence or his behaviour as he constantly lets me down with appointments. There are still times when I glimpse the man who cares for me and makes me laugh and is creative and resourceful but those times are getting rarer. I just don’t know how to help him – now I mostly just get angry and frustrated with him and say things I don’t mean, and he tells me if I’m not happy I should leave. I am an outgoing, positive person and in some ways I think this makes things worse for him because he resents how easy I find it to socialise and make friends. For him it is so difficult as he has no self-esteem and indeed hates himself. He is dragging me down with him and a lot of the time I feel weepy and unable to concentrate on anything. For years I have been swinging between the desire to leave and get on with my life and the need to stay and help him get better because I know the man I love is still in there somewhere. I still can’t decide!

May 26, 2009 at 2:11 pm
(386) Honest Opinion says:

Thanks Chrissy606 and LizL, I appreaciate your candor and honesty, no matter how blunt it is. Like most other people on here, I feel trapped by feelings of not wanting to leave someone I truly care about, but also not giving up who I am as a person. I know there is no easy answer but at least having opinions from people have suffered through it longer than I have, helps me understand better what I am getting into and what I might expect my life to be like. Thank you again and good luck to everyone on here.

May 27, 2009 at 10:00 pm
(387) Susie says:

Hello to all the new people on here. The last few posts were so sad and pain filled it really broke my heart because I know exactly where you are and how you are feeling. It is absolute hell dealing with this. I did it for 4 years and that is enough.

The empty promises are so devastaing because we believe them because we really want it to be real. Unfortunately, I have come to realize that it is just words. Words these depressed/abusive partners say to make us believe them and suck us back into the turmoil. We are left feeling like we are the crazy ones.

I just wanted to say that real change on thier part, doesnt come without lots of hard work and taking advantage of all the many treatments and programs out there for them. The help is out there if they want it. If they chose not to get it, chances are, they will very shortly revert back to their destructive behaviours and patterns. I have learned that words mean nothing. It is only through their consistent actions that change will be possible. Otherwise, it is most likely just promises of change for their gain at the time. Many of these people have learned at an early age how to manipulate. Unfortunately, it is people like us on this site that suffer for it becasue we are compasionate, empathetic people which for them, is just what they need. In the end, I believe we partners suffer as much or more than they do. I know I did.

Susie

May 28, 2009 at 12:06 am
(388) Mike says:

Hey Susie,
Your last post sounds a little sad…I know how you feel. It’s been several months now since I ended my relationship and I still have the odd down day. The funny thing is I don’t have any anger towards her, it’s really just a lot of sadness…for her and for what we had planned together. I know it’s not her fault, the abuse that she endured as a child have scarred her beyond any pain I could imagine. Unfortunately, until she decides to take control of her life there won’t be a happy ending, if that’s even possible for her at this point. I think she like so many of our loved ones suffering from depression have as you pointed out learned to manipulate those that care for them and the system that is supposed to be their support. As for suffering…well, I honestly believe that I was teetering on the edge of depression myself from trying to prop her up. It was you and everyone else on this site that made me realize I had a choice, that I shouldn’t have to live my life walking on eggshells afraid to have an opinion. Afraid to laugh and be happy and social. Thank you for all your support and that of everyone else here. I check in regularly to see how everyone’s doing and I’m so grateful for you all. Life is so short, lets all do our best to be happy!
Take care and I’ll be thinking of you.
Mike

May 28, 2009 at 8:30 am
(389) So Confused says:

Hello Mike and Susie:

I too feel the need to weigh in. haha. My husband is trying to suck me back in, but I simply cant do it anymore. I have filed for divorce and must move on with my life. I think that he tries to guilt trip me and make me feel pitty for him. He has been acting pretty good for the last few days, but I know that, unfortunately, it is only temporary. If I thought for one moment that it would last, I would consider staying, but I dont. So, I’m moving on. Is it wrong to want to remain friends? Like one of you said, we are typically compassionate individuals. I hate to see him hurt and still want to help him. The thing is that I know that is not good. He needs to help his self. How do you cut off someone who you have spent 8 years with?

Thank you all for being here. I dont know what I would have done without this site. All of you have helped me in some way. Whether it be by sharing your stories (letting me know I’m not alone), giving advice or just letting me know you’re thinking about me. I wish you all the best.

So Confused (but not as much!)

May 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm
(390) Mike says:

Hi So Confused,

I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you in the end but I’m really happy for you in as much as you can start to focus on yourself and enjoying life again. I don’t mean to sound heartless but I’m speaking from my own experience when I say that you can’t help your husband any more than you already have. You should be commended for being as strong as you have been but ultimately he has to help himself. The empty promises and brief periods of normalcy also caused me to second guess myself but in the end, like you, I just couldn’t do it anymore. The whole situation just wore me down both mentally and physically. Leaving that relationship was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I suppose because I still loved her so much but in the end I’m so glad I was able to break free. As for remaining friends, well in my case it was a little tougher (due to her assault on me and the subsequent charges against her) but I do hear from her periodically and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like that. All that said though, I wish her the best but would never consider going back. I hope you can stay strong for yourself and that life will shine for you soon!
Thanks for all your support and I will continue to check in.
Good Luck & take care of yourself!
Mike

June 1, 2009 at 6:17 pm
(391) Aurora says:

I am in tears after a horrible weekend. My husband is depressed and rageful. Yesterday after a good morning when he was really happy after finishing a big project, we stepped out to pay the rent. We live in a small apartment, and he had told me earlier that he was going to take a shower when we got home. I mentioned that I wanted to grab my book out of the bedroom before he took the shower, and the day turned into hell. He was planning to call his mom (who is sick with cancer) and wanted a couple of minutes in the bedroom to himself. He didn’t tell me that, of course, but because I couldn’t read his mind he freaked out on me. I knew he was upset but tried to stay calm, just stayed out of his way reading. But then he came out later and picked a fight with me, and called me names. I left — just grabbed my stuff and went for a walk. Then he called me on my cell and I answered against my better judgement. Another fight, this time with me out in public and feeling vulnerable, and him saying he might kill himself. He won’t go for help. I literally begged him yesterday to come to some kind of couples counseling with me, but he won’t. He probably needs medication. I am nearing the end of my rope. I love him, but how can I help him if we doesn’t want to be helped? At least reading some of your comments here has let me know I’m not alone.

June 2, 2009 at 8:14 am
(392) So Confused says:

Aurora,

I am so very sorry that you have to go through this. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there is nothing you can do to help him. He must want to help hisself. I have spent many years trying to help someone just to have whatever suggestions I made, activities I planned thrown up in my face. If you intend on staying, my advice to you would be to try to make your own life outside of him. Dont put everything you have into him. Love him, but put yourself first. Its the only way for you not to be dragged down with him.

June 2, 2009 at 8:33 am
(393) So Confused says:

Okay everyone, I need help with something here. As some of you know, I am getting divorced from my husband. We live in the same house. My husband has been talking to women and has even gone as far as to describe the sex he has had with one. I have been talking to my best friend (male) of 18 years. My husband knew I was talking to a man on the phone at night and would often joke about it. (He even told his best friend that it was okay to hit on me.) Well when he found out the person I was talking to was my best friend, he was pissed. (I believe he has every right to be upset even though I never cheated on him.) One minute he was cursing me out saying that I had to get out of the house, he was putting my things out on the street, he wasn’t taking care of our son anymore, I am a whore and an unfit mother, etc. Two days later, knowing that I was with my friend, he was asking me if I was having a good time and how was my weekend going. Yesterday, he was making jokes with me, offering to make dinner, asking me if I am going to our house in the poconos during the upcoming weekend, saying he wants to go with, and then, to top it all off, he went out and bought me a knew cell phone, two cards and went to take flowers to my grandmother.

I’m confused. Can someone help me here? I must say that I’m a little scared because the behavior is so erratic. Part of the reason why I said enough is because I never knew what was going on from minute to minute. Even after I have made it clear that this is over, he is still playing the emotional/mind games with me.

Help.

June 2, 2009 at 9:53 am
(394) sunflowergirlie says:

So confused,

thats what I truly hate about this emotianl games the most. One day they are so loving and giving and give you false hope and then they wake up and take it all away. Sometimes it doesnt even have to be the whole day.
We made up one noght, I was given a ring and proposed to, we made love, went to sllep. 4 hours later i woke up, because he was fully dressed, kneeling next to my bed, crying. Saying he is scared, he cannot do this, he has to go. left me. Begging me to take him back in a week!
Last time he did what i have already mentioned. Begging me to have a baby, right after trying for one saying he can’t be a dad and a husband, and we need the morning after pill. What am I? A piece of trash or a living, feeling, breathing woman?
I know it feels so great for you, when it seems the man you fell for is back and being all sweet, but i wouldnt trust him. from my experience it never lasts, and when the toxic monster comes back, it always hurt a bit more and leaves me thinking why did i fell for it yet again?
I know how you feel. i didnt see him last 10 days and I am in so much pain missing him.

June 2, 2009 at 10:46 am
(395) Susie says:

Hi So Confused,

I just wanted to say that the most impossible thing you can do is try to figure him out. You never will. I also did that for years and tried to analyze him and what he was doing and saying. I became obsessed with it. I finally realized that their thoughts and behaviours dont make any sense and dont have any reasons. Even they cant figure themselves out, so how can you?

Pesonality and behaviour for these people has probably always been eratic and senseless. They lack maturity, insight and have no coping mechanisms or self control. They have self-destructive personalities .

Trying to figure out what they are doing and why will keep you on that merry-go-round. If you can, just accept that their behaviours will not make sense, and get off the ride as you intended. Otherwise, you will continue to live this way. Good luck!

Susie

June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm
(396) sunflowergirlie says:

I need help answering some questions. I had a long talk with my ex. He said he knows he has a problem, he had only 2 serious relationships in his life and destroyed them both. He is on wellbutrin last 2 weeks and is seeing psychiatrist. He said he needs to be alone and cares for me enough to leave me alone, because he doesnt trust himself, he wouldnt hurt me again. He said he cant promise anything right now, and even if he gets better, maybe us is not what he will want anymore.( it hurts so much ).He said he cant keep hurting me like this, he has to slay that toxic monster inside him,
Also he said sometimes he feels like the nasty things he says, its not even him, like he has got two personalities.
My question is: How long for wellbutrin to start working and he will feel better?
Also is it even possible for him to get better, when he shut everybody out, lives alone with a dog and a cat, has no close friends, his family lives on a different continent and he works from home? IMO he needs people around to feel better, no?

June 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm
(397) Aurora says:

Thanks, So Confused. I’m trying to feel my way through this and it’s so hard, but knowing that it’s not just me and I’m not nuts really helps. I’m hoping that I can talk to him when he’s a little more up, and maybe then he’ll be willing to try the counseling. I’ve usually been reluctant to bring it up during better times because I don’t want things to take a turn for the worse, but I think I need to at least try. Then at least I’ll know for sure; and then I can make a decision about the rest of my life. I’m 40 now and we’ve been married almost 4 years. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life like this — so I need to know if he’s willing to get help.

June 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm
(398) Aurora says:

For anybody who’s interested, I set up a Yahoo group for people living with a depressed spouse. This thread has already helped me and I do not want or intend to hijack it, but I really find myself needing a place to talk about this in a way that makes interaction a bit easier. Here is the URL for anybody who is interested, and I will continue to check in and talk here too:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingwithadepressedspouse

June 6, 2009 at 12:09 am
(399) Ken says:

I have been married to a depressed spouse for over 15 years. The numerous medications keep her from sleeping all the time but getting her up in the morning is a huge chore. The meds have turned her into a non-feeling zombie who blames it all on me.

What I miss the most is a nice smile, and I honestly find myself taking my time in department stores in order to just have someone smile and say “hi” to me.

It is a long hard road being married to someone chronically depressed. My heart is out to all of you.

June 12, 2009 at 1:20 am
(400) Mentally exhausted says:

Ken,

The real question you should be asking yourself is “Do I want to spend the next 15 years in this agony?” No one deserves to have a sad life because their depressed spouse is weighing them down. Unfortunately, kids make it difficult to leave.

June 18, 2009 at 11:47 am
(401) Pat says:

Wow what a long history for this thread I think it’s great.
I have been with my wife for over 13 years I loved her then and love her now. When we married I knew that she had a mild case of depression an that she was on some meds I also knew that she drank occassionally.
Well over the past ten years she has gotten progressively worse in her Depression, physical ailments and her drinking. I don’t know if each of theses continually feed the other and make each other worse. I have tried repeatedly to explain to her that the drinking effects how her Meds are going to react but she absolutely denies it ahs may drink 7 or 8 glasses of wine a night but take her meds later so she doesn’t connect the two. She can’t function in the afternoon without drinking wine and the she say “seehow much I can acomplish because I am drinking my wine”. Every 5 or 6 months we have a blow up and she constatly pulls me back in by saying that we should love each other UNCONDITIONALLY and not try to change each others habits. I truly wish that she would just take the time to dry out and let the meds take effect at least to see if they would work.
I know she will not be able to function on her own should we seperate or divorce so I am wondering if my love is keeping me in the marriage or just guilt.
Thanks for letting me rant.
Dazed and confused.

June 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm
(402) Jose says:

Depression is a prison. Not just for the person that suffers from it but the rest of the family are prisoners. I have been dealing with my wife of 10 years which for the most part is VERY negative and blames everyone else for here condition. She tried anti-depresants, therapy, even some excercise but these methods work for a time. Our 2 young kids percieve something not right with mom and I at times need to control my wife so she doesn’t take it out on the kids. I love her but I love my kids ALOT more. I want them to have a mother but she doesn’t seem to try enough to battle depression, instead she battles her family. She is a stay at home mom beccause she can’t handle pressures from work environments. I help here at home with choirs, I take care of the kids when I get home, I pay the bills, I listen to her worries, which aren’t many since most loads are on my shoulders. I gave her flowers last week and this week a little Tinkerbell figurine. NOTHING works. I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life miserable, mainly because of my kids. Children deserve a happy home where you go to disney in good mood, to the park or beach with a positive attitude. At family gatherings with joy, but thats not the case. GOD HELP US ALL !!!

June 18, 2009 at 7:22 pm
(403) Tootsie says:

I came to this site looking for some positive vibes to go from and found no hope for my current situation. My husband is not currently diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, or adult adhd (even though we both suspect something is going on with him). We have only been married for 2 years. My husband has something wrong with him and we are currently waiting to relocate, get some affordable health insurance, and attack his mental disorder head on. After self-medicating with alcohol for his whole life, that problem came to a head a few months ago…and alike many of you…I gave the ultimatum, me or the drink. He chose me. Since then him and I have engaged in an open discussion about his inability to connect in our relationship, unsatisfaction with work and life in general, and the desire of us both to actively seek treatment for whatever is preventing him from enjoying life. There is something wrong, but until we have the means to get the proper help I am trying to tell him to hold on and keep it together as much as possible. After our HUGE

June 18, 2009 at 7:45 pm
(404) Tootsie says:

I have been married to my husband for 2 years now and just finding out how much work marriage really is. My husband is currently undiagnosed; but we both know that there is something not right with his mind. We are waiting to relocate, get affordable health insurance, and attack his mental disorder head on. I do walk on egg shells, listen to his sleepless nights, and above all…wonder if this is really worth it all. Most of his outrages were related to an overwhelming feeling he had, frequently included alcohol, and were directed at me but rarely (and I mean rarely) became personalized (where he would call me names, say he didn’t love me, or break up with me). Listening to most of the posts here I hear courage, sacrifice and hopelessness. My husband chose to self-medicate with alcohol…and when given the ultimatum he chose our relationship. Since then we have been able to have an open dialogue about his disconnection in our relationship, the need to seek professional help, and that if we can hold on till we can have access to the real help we will be fine…..I don’t feel fine now. I feel that my relationship has no hope and what is the point. My husband has never denied his love for me, he does not blame me for his behavior, he has openly admitted that he has a problem and wants to fix it so our relationship can thrive. I need to hear a story of triumph. I am not 10-20 years into a relationship, I am just recognizing this as a problem and I want to know that we have a shot. I am ready to stand beside him through counseling and different drug treatments, but I need to hear some success stories to keep me in the game. Right now I feel cornered and in a waiting game, to see if we can really make it…I love my husband so much. In fact he was like this since I met him, to tell you the truth I don’t know what forces brought us together. No, life doesn’t need to be like this for those of us who love with a depressed spouse, but what about the depressed? My husband is a wonderful person and he doesn’t deserve to go through life hating it every step of the way.

June 19, 2009 at 8:31 am
(405) So Confused says:

Pat, Jose and Tootsie,

Welcome to the board. Hopefully you’ll find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. We all love our spouses very much and want the best for them, but at the same time struggle with whether or not we want this life for ourselves. There are success stories out there and some stories that are not so successful. I will say that standing by your spouse is VERY hard work and really a thankless job. By no means am I suggesting that you end your relationships, that is a call that you must make on your own. Speaking from experience, I had to leave just to save my child and my sanity. My husband suffers from depression and bipolar disorder. It seems to be hereditary (his father and other family members suffer as well). My mother-in-law did stick with my father-in-law. They were married for 30 years. He was happy for the last 8. I dont say this to scare you at all, but it is a reality. I would love to tell you that if you are really nice to them things will change, if you take away all their responsibility and shoulder it yourself things will change, if you work out with them things will change, if you monitor their meds things will change, if you go to the drs appts with them, things will change, if you give into their every desire things will change. I’ve done this and nothing changed. I wish things would have. I really do. He now says that he sees the light, now that our marriage is officially ending. Funny thing is he said the same thing when we had a trial separation over six months ago. Trust me, staying is hard, leaving is hard. There is no easy road ahead, no matter which one you take.

Good luck. You are all in my prayers.

June 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm
(406) Jeff says:

Hey what’s up all.

Let me tell you what a roller coaster of a life the last six months of my life has been.

First and foremost, I’m a fairly stand up guy, and I’ve made do with my life, best I can. I’ve had my own share of problems, but I’ve been able to somehow manage.

Anyhow…

I married my ‘high school sweetheart’, so to speak. It’s a gal I met when she was 16, and we became really good friends, and over the years, we’ve always been cool to one another, never *super* close, but always there for one another, never judgemental, no pressure, heck we didn’t even start dating until our 30′s!!!

So fast forward to our 30′s. We start dating, and we take it slow, making sure to still work things out, play it cool, ask the right questions, etc. We get along great. Really great. I’ve never had such open communication, I’ve never had such a romantic connection on a level like this. Great communication, great sex, taking really good care of one another, being very supportive, and far from perfect – the typical arguments, a few fights here and there, nothing to get crazy about though.

We became nearly instantly enamoured with one another, and we became really serious within a year. We sort of danced around the idea of getting married, having kids, etc. It all seemed to fit pretty well. And it did.

Fast forward 4 years – we already have 2 kids, a house, 2 cars, the white picket fence, you name it. We both worked really hard, and supported one another through it all. We kept our finances in the green, we became very responsible, if not frazzled parents and homeowners almost overnight.

However…

After the birth of our second child, I noticed something… different. Something, out of place. No longer did we give each other time out when dishing out the arguments, no longer did we walk away to let off steam. My wife literally looked and acted like a wild animal in the hospital bed while in recovery. Something was just plain wrong. I could just tell.

Fast forward yet another 5-6 months, baby is getting huge, we’re sort of at odds, things are strange – nothing like from the get go. I suspect post-partum, and my wife won’t take the bait.

Finally, after finding some suspicious emails on the wife’s computer, some emails passed back and forth between social networking site accounts and what not, I finally let her have it. Like, REALLY have it. I was so angry, from what I read, for sure, she was cheating on me, or about to. Emails and posts from past lovers, boyfriends, at least 3 of them, saying things like ‘Hey, let’s get together, I’ve been looking for you for a long time now. I don’t want to harass you, and..’ so on, so on. Some of it, simple flirty chat, and some of it, a little more hard core. In any case, like I said, I REALLY laid into her this time, for about a whole weekend, asking questions, freaking out, trying to remain calm while I tried to figure out what exactly the Hell was going on.

Wife finally agrees to see a doc/shrink, and within the first 5 minutes of her first appointment, the doc literally picks her jaw up off the floor and says to the wife ‘How, how did you make it to your 30′s being as depressed as you are?’

I’m thinking, ‘Oh Good Lord.. what have we here?’

After another two checkups, the doctors instruct her to begin therapy right away. Like, RIGHT away. It was WAY beyond anything I could imagine.

Come around about another month, I ask the wife, plain and simple, ‘Look, you don’t have to get into the gory details, but what the F*CK is going on here? What’s got into you? Seriously?’ I was trying my best to be curious, but not pry – supportive, without trying to be her therapist.

What came out of this woman’s mouth, is the likes of crap you only see in movies or read in books. A childhood burdened with horrendous parents, a psychotic/alcoholic grandmother, bouts of childhood emotional and possibly physical abuse, sexual abuse from more than at least 3 people, the list goes on and on. I sat for say 2+ hours, while my wife basically unloaded on me. After she was done, I literally had to stop and really screw my head back on. The stories I heard would make your hair stand on end, and even made me physically ill. I couldn’t believe it – and soon enough, as in right now as I’m typing, I began to immediately sink into my own depression.

I sat and listened to her tell me stories about how her guy ‘friends’ would basically use her for sex, and she thinks there’s nothing wrong with that. She actively seeks these men to this day, after 10-20 years of them not being in her life. They toyed with her emotions, they used her, who knows what else. She thinks there’s nothing wrong with hunting them down over the various social networking websites, she thinks there’s nothing wrong with me being friends with them, inviting them to her work, meeting them for coffee, you name it. I said ‘Well Hell, why don’t we just invite freakin Dracula to come babysit the kids while we’re at it? MMM?’

We talked about her childhood, how she was always bullied, picked on, molested, again – you name it, it happened.

We talked about her parents, or lack thereof, watching her brother suffer beatings at the hands of her Father, getting screamed at by her parents for really anything ridiculous like leaving marks on the new countertops or whatever…

The list, just goes on and on and on.

Sorry to make it sound so dramatic and all, but seriously – HOLY S***…

Now, our relationship is very dull and gray, I’m barely able to see through it all. I’m constantly worried about who she’s seeing, if anyone, behind my back, what emotional relationships she’s trying to re-kindle on social networking sites, I wonder if she’s ever going to hurt our kids out of anger or rage when it hits her one day, I wonder if she’s going to leave me, I’m feeling all of it. EXTREMELY overwhelming.

Why do I stay? My kids, and the fact that I’m currently laid off, and somewhat broke. Should I stay? Is this worth it? I dont’ know – do married people stick it out after they find out about covert operations behind their backs, with people you hooked up with or had whatever with anywhere between 10-20 years ago? Do you stick around when you sense that your S.O. is trying to rekindle the days of yore? Do you fear for your life, or the safety of your children knowing that you’ve been decieved all along by someone who could, at any moment, really flip the Hell out and possibly take it out on those closest, or on herself?

This sucks. SUCKS. This gal is a lifelong friend, and I really put a lot of time and energy into this relationship, trying to play my cards right, trying to keep it real, legit, be cool to her, etc.

At this very moment, I seriously feel like I’ve lost about 2-3 pints of blood, and more than half my sanity.

Anyone else going through this kind of whacky torment?

What to do…

:-\

June 21, 2009 at 6:05 pm
(407) chrissy606 says:

Hi Jeff,

I’ve posted a few times on this blog, and unfortunately ALOT of thehistory & dynamics you’ve experience with your spouse greatly parallels my situation with my husband. (abuse, alcoholic parents, neglect etc….)

Basically I’ll state what I noted oh so many times before…you have children. As much as you love your spouse & want to help her you MUST take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your children. PLEASE get some counselling if at all possible. Too many times the spouse of the depressed individual neglects their own pains and hurts…you’ll only end up depressed yourself. I can only state that my counselling sessions give me time where my family situation is viewed without bias or malice. It’s so important to hear some insights from a professional who is not emotionally embedded in the “rollercoaster”that are our lives.
I will place you & your family in my thoughts & prayers. Please come to this blog often. I find that it has really helped me gain strength in dealing with my husband’s depression, and with all the dysfunctional & destructive behaviour that goes hand-in-hand with the disease.

June 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm
(408) Jeff says:

chrissy606, thanks a lot.

Yes, I am depressed – EXTEREMELY depressed. But, I am starting some lightweight meds to trim down the anxiety, help take the edge off, and help me to sleep.

I’m in the thick of it right now. Totally roller coasting my wife, and I know she doesn’t deserve it at all, but my God she’s disrespected me, humiliated me, you name it. I know she doesn’t know any better, and I really really do want to get to the bottom of it all, and I do separate my kids from these issues, but all I can say is … WOW.

I just never ever in a million years expected to hear what was about to come out of my wife’s mouth, from her head. All the years of agony and torment.

To top it off, hearing about how ‘huge’ her first lover was, you know, the one she tried finding on a certain social networking site – wow – that just really caved my head in. I just didn’t know what to say, this, after all the times we’ve had great sex together, made a family together, really broke so much ground in what I thought was a really mature and adult relationship. Holy crap did that all come crashing down – 4 years almost magically wiped away with 2 hours of conversation.

Ugh..

I’ll keep on here, because I know writing the stuff down definitely does help.

Like I said, I am seeking counseling, and the meds somewhat help, but the rage and anger issues from *my* past, like we’re talking 20+ years ago, have really reared their ugly head yet again, and I really wish I had the time to tell you some of the finer details that are really driving me insane, but I’ll save that for another time.

I just feel so hurt, so betrayed. My God, give me strength if you can hear me, and let me know that this is a test you have thrown at me because of what a shit I was growing up. THANKS GOD!

Heh..

Sorry..

Thanks for letting me vent. I really want to get over the insanity. :-(

June 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm
(409) Karen says:

My husband of l0 years (dated 3) has had a major depressive episode. Before we met he had several and in one, he hung himself. I was not aware of his depression when we met and he only gets them when he is under massive stress every decade or so.

He refused to take anti-depressants or get therapy. He has epilepsy and his medication and the condition contributes to his depression. I finally got tired of it and went directly to his doc who contacted neurologist. They told me his meds and his condition put him at a very high risk for depression. They called him. He told me that had and didn’t know why but because he was sick of this “sh..t” he was going to get medication. They will be trying to get him to take CBT in about a month after he is somewhat more responsive.

He has locked himself away from me and everthing and everyone one that he loved. He is in shutdown mode and isn’t even shaving or taking care of himself. A while ago when he crashed 4 months ago, he moved to a boarding house (a small room) so he did not have to deal with anything emotional. He works, sleeps and eats. I see him about once a week and I don’t even recognize him physically. His doctor keeps telling me to convince him to get treatment but he just refuses. He says he isn’t worth it and is scared to set his seizures (which are under control) off again.

I am having a hard time watching him destroy himself and our marriage. He said he loathes himself so much now he can’t express anything (feelings) and in fact is afraid too. He said we are still married and he is just working things out in his head. He was supposed to be gone for a few days, but it has turned into weeks. He won’t even speak to his siblings or mother. I don’t call or e-mail him – he does it. He panics if I don’t answer and sends me l0 e-mails or calls until I do. I was no contact with him for almost two months as I told him I needed him to get help before I could be back in his life even just to talk. Now that he has, I took his doctor’s advice and am in touch with him once a day. He came over Friday and hooked up my AC and stayed for a few hours. He was slightly better. He actually said we might go to a movie on Sat, but in the end he didn’t feel up to it. It’s only the first week on meds.

I’m getting mixed messages I think. I’ve never had a clinical depression, so I don’t understand how you can go from ( a week prior to the breakdown) loving someone to the fullest (he) to shutting down all feelings and refused to get help for 4 months. He keeps saying he is broken inside..it’s like please don’t leave me..wait. Why leave everything…everyone..he doesn’t even have his possessions – just a few items of clothes.

Depression is such a shame and I know it’s SO is a really hard task indeed.

June 22, 2009 at 8:29 am
(410) Steve K says:

I have been married for 13 years and have suffered constant physical and verbal abuse from my wife since very early in our marriage.

My wife has a daughter from a previous marriage and we have a son as well – I have considered leaving the marital home on a number of occasions, but both children have begged me to stay and support them – for their sake and wellbeing, I am therefore caught in a very difficult situation.

My wife has frequently hit me and verbally abused members of my family as well as myself. I have been shouted at over the phone whilst at work which has been overheard by colleagues. We have lost many friends because of my wife’s behaviour, but she tries to put the blame on everyone else – friends, family but most of all me and the children.

Its important to point out that the children have never ever been in any danger whatsoever, my wife’s violence and abuse is always aimed at me – as one of my friends told me once “you are the easiest target”. My wife clearly has mental health issues which I am confident go back to events in her childhood, but she refuses to acknowledge any problem, preferring to blame her behaviour on anyone and everyone else.

Any advice, etc. gratefully received.

June 25, 2009 at 12:27 am
(411) Jeff says:

Hey all.

The web is such a big freaking weird mess of a place to be posting crap like this, but anyway.

Listen. GET YOURSELF SOME HELP, MOST OF ALL. Take care of your own brain, and make sure to get OUT and DO THINGS.

The worst thing you can do is sit in a dark room and dwell, much like your girl/boyfriend or spouse is doing.

Wish them well, and support them, but for REAL, get out of your own head, and your own way. Keep living life, and don’t fill your mind with garbage. Empty it. Now.

The wife and I, we’re – getting there. Much more counseling and therapy will be needed, because my heart was just plain ripped out of my chest with no anaesthetic – but I know I will overcome. I’ve faced all sorts of messes in my life, and been able to still come out on top.

Just don’t give up. Keep fighting for what you want, and if you truly Love the person you’re with, then DO something about it. Take action. Help them get help.

Thank you again, various and random anonymous people who post here.

Even writing things down will help you filter it all out.

Take care of yourself today, and be good to yourself dammit.

June 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm
(412) So Confused says:

Hello All,

So, it isn’t getting any easier. I am supposed to be moving to Florida in one week. Everyone who knows me here knows that I have been having problems with my husband for some time. I separated from him in an effort to scare him into wanting to change. I also did it to get away and maintain what sanity I have left. Well, I am moving very far away in part to start anew and also to try to avoid being sucked back in. After us crying together all morning long, I went to work. He has emailed me asking me to work it out and reminding me that we married for better or worse…till death do us part. This has been the hardest part. I feel that way too. I feel like I’m to stay till death do us part, but this is killing me. My son is affected, my work is affected, my health is affected. How do I know that things will be different this time? He said they would be different before and what happened? He reverted right back to his old ways. I’m still so confused. I dont know what to do. My heart and my mind tell me to run, but the part of me that has always wanted to be there for him makes me want to stay. My sense of loyalty makes me want to work it out. I’m afraid of staying, I’m afraid of leaving. I feel like I have to go. I need to move on with my life before I get sucked in even further. I cant wait to leave and go to Florida. I dont know how much more of this I can take.

June 29, 2009 at 7:53 pm
(413) Jeff says:

Confused:

Listen. Don’t take the bait. That’s a miserable thing for your husband to do.

Right now, I’m doing something similar to my wife, and she definitely doesn’t deserve it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she left me.

I have asked her to sit with me and have more heart to heart conversations, rather than getting off to a bad start with harsh conversations that resolve nothing, and strangely and sadly enough, my wife is still convinced 100% that she loves me, which I should be nothing more than grateful for.

If both of you are prepared for some mental fatigue, and you actually think you can work things out, then by all means, do so. But don’t stick around just because he’s making you feel guilty. That’s a rotten card to play, and no one should have to be subjected to that.

You can let your husband know that you love him dearly, and that if he loves you, then he needs to get better in touch with himself, and start taking action to make himself the man that you were once attracted to.

Separation isn’t always the death knell either – you can definitely be apart, continue to seek counseling, and make it work. It’s not impossible.

Good luck, and continue to post and let us know what’s up.

July 1, 2009 at 8:39 pm
(414) Winnie says:

hi all,

i posted on this site a few months ago and am checking in for the first time since then. i’m glad to see that people are still getting help for dealing with their depressed loved ones–thanks especially to the regulars who come back and provide guidance/perspective. it’s been three and a half months since my depressed BF and i broke up, and we have not had any contact since that day. i still think about him everyday and obsess about what i did, what i could have done better, and how things could have been wonderful if he had agreed to get help. i’ve been seeing my therapist in the meanwhile and have been working out my own issues so i can have closure on this. i do see that the relationship would not have been tenable in the long run, and many of your posts confirm that it would have been a hard road. i was not willing to sacrifice my entire life to focus on him and his problems when he was not willing to do the work himself–nor provide any emotional support to me! i truly think i would have set myself up for a life of misery and frustration. my self esteem suffered so much while i was with him because he blamed me for everything–i am just now starting to turn the corner on that and feel better about myself. last week i went on my first date since i have been single and it felt great to have someone acknowledge my positive qualities and say that i deserve to be appreciated and loved. i know i would not have had the strength to make a clean break with my ex BF had it not been for the support and encouragement from of all of you. thanks again and my best wishes for strength, clarity and happiness to everyone else who is going through the nightmare right now.

Winnie

July 5, 2009 at 9:26 pm
(415) Chredon says:

My wife and I have been married for 17 years. We have three kids, and she has suffered from depression for that entire time. Some days are better than others.

I knew that she suffered from depression when we were dating, but it only got really bad once or twice – and always briefly. Then she would get better and things would be OK for several months. That continued through the first years of our marriage.

But after we had kids, the depressed episodes started getting longer and longer. Now they are pretty constant. It’s not a question of WHETHER she’s depressed, it’s just a question of how deep it is that particular day. Many days, she is at least functional, able to take care of a minimum of things around the house. Some days, she just wants to lie in bed all day.

She is seeing a therapist and has tried pretty much every medication there is. Most of them would help for a little while, but nothing ever lasted for more than a month or two.

I am concerned about our kids. She is so negative about everything, I’m afraid she is making our kids feel useless and perpetuating the depression. As for me, I have a lot of sympathy for her, I know it’s not something that she can just snap out of, and I try to help as much as I can. But I often feel totally taken for granted. She crawls into bed and leaves everything for me to do. She sees nothing wrong with this, or at least, she cannot see past her own problems to see how it is affecting the rest of us. (Or maybe she just doesn’t care.)

How do you endure it? What are the risks to your kids? And, selfishly, what about me? What about my happiness? What about the partner I thought I would have in my life, the one who is often absent, and always only half-participating?

July 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm
(416) Pat says:

Hi all, I posted last month about my situation and it only seems to get worse.

I would like to ask a question from all who post to this board since we all are trying to share and talk through our experiences.

Since we are all talking from our heart’s (otherwise we would not be on this forum) I would like you to answer from your heart. Please leave out the obvious religious and quote moral implications to the question and just answer from your heart.

Would you have an affair if even for only a short time you have some relief from either physical or emotional stresses?

I am not trying to cause any arguements here but many of us are constantly suffering mental or physical and sometimes both abuses and yet for some reason, we each have our own, we stay with our partner.

So please answer respectfully and in a mature fashion.

Thanks because I believe that this subject is on quite a few of our minds.

July 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm
(417) MM says:

WOW… It’s taken a long time to get through all the posts on here, and what makes me most sad is that no experienced counsellors have picked up on it and tried to help us, surely worth it for the business they’d get in return. Yes, it’s comforting in some ways to see others are suffering the same, but my God, some of us are suffering pain way beyond anything I’ve yet experienced – and I don’t think spouses of a depressed person are necessarily the best qualified to help those in a similar position. I reckon that’s why the advice is often ‘leave them’ – because we’re constantly telling ourselves that’s what WE should do, but deep down we know we’re not going to, because we love them too much, and/or we have kids etc etc.
Me? Same story – together five years, lovely little boy of four. My wife has bouts of depression (I was going to say ‘severe’, but guess it’s nothing compared to some I’ve read) but does not accept she has it – she knows I think that’s what it is but she totally refuses to accept it. She is not violent, she doesn’t drink, but she says the most horrible things and is constantly accusing me of saying and thinking dreadful things that have never crossed my mind.
She blames me for everything – she came to England from South America to be with me and sees that as the biggest sacrifice and commitment anyone could make, and nothing I have done compares. All the time she threatens to go back there, most of the time planning to take our little boy with her. Today she was so bad at lunchtime, screaming down the phone at her mother (who has a history, as does her grandmother, but none admit to it or have ever had treatment), so I grabbed a picnic and took him out for the afternoon. He really appreciated it. I didn’t raise the ‘mummy’ issue at all – I wanted him to have something else to think about – but at one point he said to me “I like you and you like me, but mummy doesn’t like me”. I told him she loves him but she’s very upset at the moment (what had made her so angry was that he rejects her and wants to be with me – but that’s because when she’s down she criticises him all the time, won’t tolerate him splashing in shallow puddles or walking alone two paces ahead, or lying on the floor in the house, or climbing on furniture, or making a mess with toys etc etc). When we got home she didn’t talk to us for ages, but eventually she made dinner so we sat in silence; I persuaded him to stay at the table with her while I went to do some work, and when I went back she laid into me for “filling his head with rubbish” and accused me of telling him she didn’t love him – it seemed he’d said something to her along the lines of what he said to me.
A few weeks ago she said she was going to send him to her family to be brought up by them because “we can’t be all three together”, the next idea was “I’m going to leave you two together I can’t stand you any more” then now it’s (the one she knows scares me most) “I’m going and taking him with me and you’ll never see either of us again”.
Yet in the midst of all this we had three days last week when she was sweet as ever again.
“walking on eggs” – absolutely. Constantly analysing before I say anything, then feel like a rug’s been pulled out from under my feet and I’ve fallen down a well when something completely innocent sparks another bout. Lately it’s been our little boy who’s innocently caused it to kick off and it’s really beginning to affect him – he’s visibly stressed (she actually said to me the other day “can’t you see how depressed he is”, yet she can’t see it in herself…) and has started to be naughty and uncontrollable at times (because he sees her behaving in a similar way, perhaps?)
I’m flipping between determination not to let it get me down and just to distance myself (and him) from it, and desperation that she will take him away.
She is an incredibly strong character, she rules our lives in all the ways she can, some things ring so true on this site, like the person who moved house because her spouse said it would solve all the problems; we did that… I also lost almost all contact with my oldest son (then 14, now 16) who previously lived with us half of each week, because she insisted he was creating a stressful environment that was destroying us and bad for our little one; now she wants rid of my middle son (12) who still comes here half the week. He is absolutely blameless (she is convinced he’s a spy for my ex who she believes is determined to destroy us – frankly I don’t think my ex cares less) but she wants him out. Sometimes I think it would be best for him not to have to see this but I know that if he stopped coming she would make sure I never see him at all. And if I then lose her and my little one, I’d have nothing (oops, that’s self-pity, not allowed, sorry..).
Anyway, the bottom line is, I love her so much. My first marriage failed because we didn’t have a strong bond of love, and just drifted apart. This is so different, and when she’s OK, it’s clear to all that she loves me so much.
One thing I’ve noticed other people say though is that their partner apologises when they’re OK, for what they said when they weren’t – is that normal, cos it sure doesn’t happen here! I guess it comes if/when they admit to themselves that they have depression. This one’s never apologised for anything…
Damn, it’s 2am and I have to get up in six hours to take little one to school, and I still have a day’s work to do… I work from home, which helps her but makes it so much worse for me cos I can’t get away from it – also it allows her to be totally dependent on me, which of course I enable – that word again – because I love her and want to help her… She’s already left me and taken our boy with her twice before (though when she comes back she gets livid at the suggestion that she ‘left’ – apparently she never did and it shows I don’t trust her if I dare suggest such a thing), I now see that this is going to go on for the rest of our lives, so come on, how do I get her to accept she has depression and see a counsellor???????

July 7, 2009 at 9:44 pm
(418) Jeff says:

PRAY.

July 7, 2009 at 10:17 pm
(419) MM says:

Thanks Jeff, I do, every night, and I get the occasional day or two’s respite from the misery as a result, but not the positive step forward that would result from her accepting that she has depression and seeking help…

July 7, 2009 at 10:29 pm
(420) Sinner..? says:

Pat

No-one else has been brave enough to comment so I guess I’ll have to pluck up the courage. It’s true that sexual frustration can be one of the most difficult aspects of dealing with a depressed spouse, not least because you feel guilty about it and can’t talk to anyone about it.
When my spouse left me ‘for a break’ and I happened across someone on the net who was very attracted to me, I explained my situation and she invited me over. We had an amazing 24 hours, then went back to our own lives. We both initially agreed to keep in touch but almost immediately stopped.
Fortunately, there were no repercussions and no follow-ups – it was clean and simple. Of course my spouse knows nothing – if she ever found out she would leave me, immediately and for ever.
For me, it was hugely cathartic – not the relief of sexual frustration, which soon built up again, but two things –
(1) It did wonders for my self-esteem to know someone out there could want me – a lot
(2) It confirmed what I’ve always thought – that sex with my spouse is the best, sex without love just doesn’t come close.

Having said all this, I would strongly counsel you against trying it. I was incredibly lucky that the lady I found was (as far as I could tell) looking for the same as I was, didn’t want commitment, didn’t share any nasty diseases, etc etc. And my spouse didn’t (yet) find out. But the chances against it working out this way are stacked very very high. And I still feel guilt for what I did. If you value your marriage (and I guess you do, or you wouldn’t have stuck with it through all this), don’t try it. Better to break off everything first, so you won’t have more guilt to cope with.

Courage!

July 10, 2009 at 10:15 am
(421) determined says:

as i read all these blogs i can see my self i have been in this marriage 6 years he is so nice to people outside of the family but toward me and his kids its hell if u meet him on the street u would think he is the nicest person in the world why is it only toward us?

July 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm
(422) chrissy606 says:

Hi determined,

I don’t know what to tell you except that I experience the same nonsense from my husband. He can maintain a cordial & professional air with everyone EXCEPT me & my son. When I tell him that I’m confused by his ability to “turn on his niceness” with others, I essentially get my head taken off with the response “THEY don’t demand anything from me like the way you 2 do!!!” Just another example of how a depressed spouse cannot see the world beyond themselves…..they are just as needy & egocentric as a toddler! All I can suggest is that you let your spouse’s words go in one ear & then out the other, no matter how hurtful they might be. Otherwise, you’ll make yourself sick too. Hang on & stay tough, and please come to this blog whenever you feel frustrated, angry & full of despair. I’ve really found comfort in the words of all the people who have selflessly posted here.

oh, and to answer Pat’s question…I think about having an affair ALOT. To quote one of the previous posts, you do tend to fantasize about just “feeling normal”in a relationship. Have I had an affair? – No, because with all the drama that I’ve experienced with my spouse this last year, I simply don’t have the energy to seek out the attention of the opposite sex – just trying to survive hour by hour!. However, I can ABSOLUTELY understand why someone would seek comfort with another. The crap we live with because of depression destroys our self-esteem, self-worth & confidence on a daily basis. Sometimes the kind words & attention of others is what we need to offer a little relief from our impossible home-lives. I thinks it’s simply self-preservation.
God bless you all!
Chrissy

July 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm
(423) determined says:

thanks Chrissy im not to good on the computer so excuss my grammer i know nobody can tell you what to do but all ive read on this site is so negative i come to this site looking for side effects of zoloft the last med the dr gave him which he want take i can feel myself in a downward spiral you do all you can to keep peace in the house while its slowley draining yourself of your self esteem your happiness! do your spouses try to keep you from your family? is there always something wrong when there feet hit the floor in the morning?do they make you feel like your crazy? i have got to get out of this mess!

July 12, 2009 at 12:51 am
(424) GC says:

I’ve been dealing with what I’ve thought as a very negative spouse who is just unhappy with his job and our foggy coastal town. Reading these comments, I now think that my husband must be depressed and I just havn’t been able to realize it. We have been together for 7 years, married for 5 years and have a 2 year old son. My husband is usually great with my son and puts on a happy attitude, but with me, it is always blame and negativity. His drinking has increased in the past year from occasional beer, to mixed drinks almost daily and purchasing liquer. He exercises rarely, has no sex drive, does not socialize and gives nothing to me emotionally. He is angry and blames me frequently for insignificant issues and gets defensive if I try to talk to him about things that are bothering me. He recently has told me that I am “evil” because I reacted to his anger and he can’t live with MY attitude and disrespect. I am beginning to feel like I can’t live with him, maybe it IS me, that maybe he would be happier without me but I am worried about how it would affect our son and what his life would be like going between parents, or how I would even support us.

July 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm
(425) Sandy says:

Desperation has drove me to find answers and advice in this page. It is like I do not want to let go. The situation with my husband has gone from bad to worst and it seems it just continue to worst and worst. I am a 47 year old woman. Married to the same husband for 18+ years. We have two kids ages 17(female) 15 (male).
My husband has been always a hard working person with a VERY strong character. Very hiperactive.He had always seemed to have two personalities: one that I adored, madly in love with (loving, generous, positive, funny) and a second one that scared me (very ungry, verbally abusive, impulsive, negative, violent towards things when getting ungry). I learned to live with both and slowly I became kind of submissive with the second one. I would argue but the intense of his verbal attacks and rage, and blaming me for everything finally debilitated me. I never talked to anybody but my sister and for many years I said I was sorry I had made him mad, forgave him when he realized he had gone a little to far in his rage and insults. Like 6 years ago, his mother (not the nicest person) died and I felt like she had possesed him. Sounds ridiculous but his temper since then started getting worst and worst. Before it was like half and half, then it became 70/30 and know is 99/1! His personality change also happened as my daughter was becoming a teen. He will get very mad at her for her teen attituted and he will be also very mad at me for not being more harsh on her as he was. He started saying that I did not supported him and I allowed the kids to disrepected him. But, I argue with him that his words were very harsh (you little piece of shit, you maggot, etc) and that I believed more in talking with them. In this aspect thing began to get worst and worst as my daughter and now my son react when he starts insulting them.
I know this is a long story but the worst has not been explained yet. Like 3 months he was laid off. I know how difficult this is. It has been this way, laid off, three times during this 6-8 years. I always supported him and gave him all my love and positivism. For the last 8 years, he worked most of the time overseas comming every certain time (8-9 weeks/3weeks home). In the phone everything was perfect, a lot of love. But when he came, the first two days fine and then this anger started popping. It began to feel like a relieve when he was gone, how sad… Well, in this last laid off, his temper was very variable and mostly aggressive and deffensive and even bizarre. One day that the car broke down he wanted me to call my daughter that had the other car for her to bring it (leave her plan with friends) so we could take my son to eat a pasta he wanted. She did not answer her cell phone immediately and he started screaming and got very, very upset. To make the story short, he started pushing me, my son trying to defend me started insulting him, my husband wanted us to hit him, then he went towards my son that is as tall as him (6.1) but much thinner (teenager thin), they lached hands and my husband push his fingers backwards and dislocated his index finger. it look like and L. I was so scared that I called the police. They arrested him, took him to jail and because he asked the police to kill him, that he did not want to live anymore, they put him in suicidal watch. My husband had never had any problems with the law, not even a ticket and we are pretty transparent and clean with our finances. It was a terrible experience for him, and truly for both of us. I was able to pay the bond and following the advice of the Psychiatrist that had been seeing us individually, a letter was given to the judge so they will transport him directly to a Psychiatric Hospital for evaluation. He was diagnosed with a moderate depression. For the released they told him they needed to talked to me. He presented everything like being just a small problem but I told the social worker that we were afraid of him because of his awkward behavior and his drinking of coors lite (average 18-25 every). He got really mad at me for “lying”. He end up being release and went home to pick up his things and go to a hotel. Next day he returned and because I said better for him to stay in a hotel he got really mad again by walking fast, trowing doors, etc. Next day he came back and stood. The kids and I began to have a very low profile behaviour. My husband every once in a while will approach me to said I was a Judas, a traitor, his enemy, etc. Monday i got so scared with his threats of killing himself and what I have done to him that I pack my kids and went to a hotel for 5 nights. By the way, to get him out of the trouble of the charges of “family violence” I got him the best lawyer in town. The lawyer is considered one of the best 6 criminal lawyers in the USA. And I got him so the charges can be completely dropped so my husband can get a job.
Well, one week later we returned home. We are beginning to run out of money and the expense of the hotel was too much even though it was a cheap one.
For this 2-3 weeks we bearly talked. My kids and I try to keep it calm. He sits every day in front of the TV and drinks his coors lites (at least 18 because I have kept track of his cans/purchases). We avoid arguing and when things began to get hot, we just run to our rooms.
Yesterday night he was warming a lasagna and wanted my daughter and myself to slice the cheese to put on top. My daughter was resilient to help as she has been subject of a lot of the insults. Suddenly everything started to get hot, he started to argue, my daughter, myself, and next thing, he is saying he does not want to live anymore and stabbs his leg. Blood starts wetting his kaki pants and dripping in the floor. He theaten me that if I call the police or ambulance he will behead himself in fron to us. I was so scared!!! My daughter was in shock as she saw all too. I said to my kids to get in the car and we left. Several minutes later we returned as we do not have any place to go. My husband had left his very bloody pants openly exposed at the entrance of the kitchen (necessary pass from the garage). He was already on bed. Again repeated the threat if we called someone. I started cleaning all the blood in the halls he walked.
Today I am here asking for your advice. I do not want to call the police because the consequences will be worst. The psychiatrist seems to be of little help. Maybe some of you who read this message can enlighten me.
Thanks for your time reading my story. If you can give me some ideas I will truly thank you.

July 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm
(426) sunflowergorlie says:

I am finally out. I finally broke it off. No more babysitting an angry, mean, evil , lashing out selfish 45 year old child. No more mind games, no more I love you, lets have a child, marry me and I dont love you, you are not for me, I dont wanna have your child the next day.
I am out, and it feels…..like a huge RELIEF.
I can be myself again, enjoy myself, speak my mind, be happy about little things in my life like a hike, a campfire or seing firefly without being mocked…being called silly…etc etc
I am single, and happy.
He didnt want to be help and I stopped pushing to help him.
I will take of myself now, ME. After all the torture, its ME ME ME time.

July 15, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(427) determined says:

sunflowergole how did u do it? im married to a guy 46 like u say u babysit! i so want out of this mess!we dont have any kids together. im so tried of walking on eggshells he is so mean to me and the HIS kids its his way or noway! did he try to keep u from your family?

July 15, 2009 at 2:27 pm
(428) sunfloergirlie says:

My family except my sister is in Europe,so it wasnt big deal, but he put me through hell. We literally broke up every month and got back together. He took his meds two days and didntnext three etc. he went to his therapist few times, felt better, stopped going. Thank god we never got married. He asked me to marry him, gave me a beautiful ring, we made love, went to sleep, i wake up three hours later, he is on his knees next to my bed crying, he cant do this, he is scared and left. came back begging to help him, he is sick and if I love him I will.
Next time we are on vacation, making love, he says lets make a baby, we have been talking about one for ao long. As soon as we are finished making love he stands up and says…I cant be a father, lets go to the pharmacy get after pill…What a torture! And these are just highlits, he did thousands of things like this to me. His mom was in a psych ward , so I bet its hereditary, so thank god no baby with him for me.
I finally got mad. It takes me a long time, because I am a martyr kind, i give give and try to help, i dont look at myself and my needs. But enough is enough. Last time I have seen him, we had an aniversary weekend in the mountain chalet, which he totaly ignored, not even a card and said to me: I am trying to push you away, thats why. WHAT???Enough.
i told him, i thank him for making me realize, how much i am able to give and forgive when i am truly in love, and i wished him a nice life, and told him no one can help him, because he enjoys being miserable, and walked out.
I felt relieved, not sad! For the first time!
I started going back to gym ( which I didnt have time for with him, for all the babysitting and being a maid etc.), I am going out with my friends, enjoying the beach with my dogs, i went to the spa and i am a brand new woman. Scarred heart and soul, but will heal.
It is easier when you are not married i suppose, but you can still do it. If you feel, that a quality of your life would go up without him, that he is suffocating you, stealing your days and months from you, go and be yourself,stop feeling sorry for him, start feeling something for yourself. we all deserve to find somebody who wants to live the life, enjoy little things, be happy with us and for us. Go for it.

July 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm
(429) sunflowergirlie says:

I just basically stopped falling for a gue who is never there to catch me…

July 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm
(430) sunflowergirlie says:

I just basically stopped falling for a guy who is never there to catch me…

July 18, 2009 at 9:48 am
(431) Debbie says:

My husband has been depressed for 5 yrs, he has only just gone to the doctors, he thought it much better to blame me for it and get himself through it. We have 3 children and it is so hard keeping a family together when I have had 5yrs of your worthless, useless and no good for anyone in one breathe then being told your the main stay of there life in the next. I’m not sure I can cope much more, but I know I will because I feel compelled to.

July 19, 2009 at 10:37 am
(432) chrissy606 says:

Hi Debbie,

Yeah it’s a horrible cycle. I don’t know if you feel the same way, by having children really makes the decision of staying or leaving the depressed spouse impossible. It’s a no win situation. As a parent you will be guilt-ridden no matter what you decide to do. That’s the situation I’m currently facing…what choice would have less of a negative impact on my child.

Keep strong,
Chrissy

July 19, 2009 at 12:08 pm
(433) Jeff says:

Hey all.

Hang in there, and remember, don’t stay in a bad relationship *because* of your kids, get out *for* your kids. Don’t let them get caught up in it.

Just my two cents for the day.

This, coming from a now very very depressed husband, who’s trying his utmost to keep it together day by day.

Take care.

:-\

July 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm
(434) Ron B says:

how do you even begin to suggest to your spouse that they might be depressed? My wife is on the verge of calling it quits for the second time after being seperated for 6 month 6 months ago. Here we are, same time of year and she is right back where she was. My career has taken off, I am happy with who I am and it seems like no matter what, she is unhappy with her life. I love this woman more than anything and I want her to be happy but my attitude is that we only get one chance at this life and I want mine to be awesome….I want her to seek help other than counseling…but fear that suggesting it will result in her taking offense and ending things. Any advice is welcome…im in my late 20′s and this is my on again off again high school sweet heart, married 3 yrs.

July 24, 2009 at 10:52 am
(435) Jeff says:

Ron B:

Man listen.

Some people just aren’t 100% acquainted with reality yet. I happen to be one of them. It’s part childhood, chemical imbalance, poor image of one’s self, it can be any number or combination of these things.

If you love your wife, like I love mine, as a PERSON, an individual, you will tell her straight up, that you’re feeling that something in her has changed, and that you want her to seek help to find out what that something is.

SO many people in the U.S. are depressed man, and for a lot of us, it’s because our whole lives we’ve been led to believe one thing, when actually, the opposite is true. Help DOES help. INSIST that your wife gets help. Come on. You’re a good guy. Stop beating yourself up, and get on with that life of yours that you love so much and look how much you want to grow.

Make it happen. In the end, there may be some resentment or whatever, but you’re just putting off the inevitable, and so is she.

Get to it. I know I’ve finally taken my own steps to helping my inner brain and child, and it’s going to be a long journey, but I’m glad I’m doing it.

Good luck, and DO NOT feel guilty, and DON’T let her drag you down. If you love her, you’ll make it happen.

All this, coming from a very depressed husband, who’s just now coming to terms with SO MANY things from my past that I buried, just coming to terms with them now, here at 40 years old. Don’t let stuff like this happen.

God Bless.

July 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm
(436) MM says:

Here we go again. A few days after I wrote my last, long, account of the last 4.5 years, she suddenly improved. Things had come to a head – I’d had to stop working and take our 4-yr old son out, because he couldn’t stand her and that was driving her mad, she was threatening to leave us both. She spent all the afternoon on the phone to her mother in South America – and her mother managed to persuade her that the problem is my ex-wife practising voodoo on us, which is making us fight and hate each other – so she should stop giving in to that pressure. Bizarre, but it worked. Trouble is, she and her mother truly believe it.
And the one who suffers most is my 12-year old, who is stuck in the middle. She is now completely open with me – “I hate him, I hate him, I hate him, I can’t bear to have him in the house”. She is convinced he only comes here to spy on us and report back to his mother.
Why is it that depressives are so convinced the rest of the world is watching them, spying on them, desperate to know what they are up to? The rest of the world doesn’t give a shit! My ex is not the easiest person in the world – I know, I lived with her for near 20 years before I finally realised the best thing for the kids was to split up (and no, she wasn’t depressed – she was a workaholic, completely irresponsible and incapable of showing affection, but not depressed!). Sure, she was bitter when we split up, more so when I soon found someone else, and I imagine she’d not be sad to see me split up again, but I really don’t think she gives a damn what we’re doing day to day.
Today all was fine, until my 12yr old came – she and I were in the kitchen, and she heard him playing upstairs with our 4yr old. She HATES that. She sent me upstairs “to see what they’re doing” – they were playing fine, so I let them continue – later I learned I’d made a huge mistake. I should have split them immediately, and kicked 12yr old out of our bedroom. Now we’re back in the deepest of pits, she can’t understand why I don’t cut him out of my life completely, she made a choice to leave her family when she came here, why can’t I do the same – sorry, she left her MUM – she expects me to leave my CHILDREN – there IS a difference!!
I imagine there may be some truth by now in her argument that my 12yr old hates me – how he can stand the miserable atmosphere here when he comes, week after week, amazes me – he never complains. His older brother rebelled two years ago and moved in permanently with his mother – now she won’t let me see him. Oh, no, I’m not allowed to say that, it’s OK for me to see him if he asks me, not the other way around. At least, that was the case until he DID ask me. Then it became any bloody excuse to refuse to let me see him. Why? Because she doesn’t trust me not to give away our life secrets (as if he cared). I HATE this!! I want out, but I can’t work and look after our 4yr old, who depends so much on me emotionally. If I leave him to her, he’ll go the same way – that’s clear.
I desperately need a woman to cuddle, to be affectionate with, to hold tight, to kiss and make love with… I have that woman, right here in the next room, but she hates me. Even over the last month, when she’s been relatively OK with me, she can’t or won’t make love – she says she wants to but her body doesn’t. I don’t think it works that way, but if I bring the subject up, it makes it worse. This is a life sentence. What a nightmare – oh, if only that was all this is…

July 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm
(437) sunflowergirlie says:

MM,

I feel so horrible for you and I cant feel so much pain just reading what you are going through. I know it will be hard, but you need to get out. This is not a life sentence, you make your life and your future, ONLY YOU, nobody else. I know its scary to be a single dad with a child of such a fragile age, but lets be honest here. In her states of mind, is she really helping that tremendously as mother ? I think for the most part she is just making it worse. There are day cares, babysitters, relatives that would help. I would rather be a single mom with a very tight budget and no spare time, but a happy child , then have a poisonous person in my life that is destrying my childs childhood anyway and is trying to destroy what I have with my other sons.

July 30, 2009 at 9:06 pm
(438) mlm says:

This is my very first time to write on this blog. I have searched long and hard to find somewhere that I could connect with people who are going through what I am going through!
I have been married for 20 years and my husband was diagnosed with major depression and bi-polar 8 years ago when he had a major depressive episode. It took 2 years of living in hell until he finally started getting better. Those 2 years consisted of 6 hospital stays, 5 jobs, 2 suicide attempts, numerous psychiatrists visits, every kind of medicine you can imagine (not to mention the side effects!) and 16 electric shock treatments to the brain. At that time our children were 10, 7, and 5. I was a stay-at-home mom and was forced into working a part time job. I no longer was a spouse, but a caregiver….even to the point of bathing my husband! We had to file for disability, which was a completely humiliating experience in itself. I come from a long line of hard workers! However, am grateful for it(disability), as we would have lost everything without it!
We have now been going through another major depressive episode, which started back in October 2008. My husband had a great job, great income and ended up losing his job, which of course ignited his depression ( he never completely got over his depression, but got good enough to lead a somewhat normal life…instead of worrying about him taking his life everyday we just put up with his irritability and impatience with all of us).
This time around he spent a total of 10 weeks in the psychiatric unit of our hospital (without insurance!) He would spend a couple weeks in the unit, come home for a week and end right back in the unit…we did this 5 times. He was very suicidal, but no attempts. Once again I had to become caregiver. I can’t even begin to describe all the emotions I am going through right now. I have turned into someone that I don’t like anymore because I am so angry…angry of having to carry the load and always be the strong one, angry that our finances are in such disarray, angry that I don’t feel the joy anymore, angry that I’ve had to give up dreams, angry at an illness that I can’t control, angry that my kids are growing up in a dysfunctional family, angry that I don’t have a husband that can be there for me emotionally, angry for feeling abandoned by my husband, angry that my idea of what marriage should look like has become an untouchable fantasy!
We are all incredibly weary…my children are now 17, 15 and 13. He is home now and is SLOWLY getting better, however, something inside me has changed! I don’t want to spend the next twenty years as I’ve spent the last 8! I don’t believe in divorce, but desperately want to know what it would be like to be married to someone who is happy, someone who views the glass as half full rather than half empty! Our home has become a tomb! My kids don’t enjoy being here and really have no connection with their dad. However, I do have to say that our kids are incredible…their strong, good, compassionate kids that know how to love well. But I know that they have been incredibly affected by my husband’s depression. Our son, who is 17 now suffers from anxiety and mild depression. I believe alot because of what he went through the first time my husband had his depressive episode (however, I know that depression can be hereditary).
I do know that I have a love for my husband, but it is not what it used to be! I am so confused about what to do. Some days I just want to walk out. The times he was in the hospital we were all free to be ourselves, we were happy! But then I still keep thinking that leaving isn’t going to teach my children the character quality I instill in them. Not to give up when times are tough. However, we have been doing this since 2001…..I am truly tired and exhausted!
To those of you not married but with someone that has depression….please consider your reality. I wouldn’t trade my children for any other in the world…I love them with everything in me. However, if I would have known what my life would have been like I would have run the other way! My husband suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse as a child. KNOW what you are getting yourself into. It has been drilled through my children’s heads to marry someone that has been loved, nutured and cherished as children.
Thanks for allowing me to unload so much! I know this will be good therapy for me! God bless you all!

July 31, 2009 at 1:06 pm
(439) Jeff says:

mlm:

Sounds like you’re going through all the same garbage so many of us are going through.

My wife’s insanity triggered MY issues to come to the front, and OH BOY did I find out the hard way all the things that I’ve been keeping inside all these years. It’s amazing.

Your husband is getting HELP, which in my mind, means: HE’S AT LEAST TRYING.

I know so so so many people who won’t even try that far, so definitely give credit where credit is due.

Regardless if you believe in divorce or not, maybe a decent way to settle is to separate for a while, while the both of you seek marriage counseling to try and pick up the pieces.

I suffer to this day from ‘Nice Guy’ syndrome, which I had no IDEA even existed. It’s basically a broken kid wrapped in a ‘man’s’ body – I had it all – emotionally, physcically unavailable parents, no life skills, the whole nine yards. I can only say I might SLIGHTLY identify with your husband, because all my ‘isms’ made me bury everything WAY way deep inside, that is, until I lost my job as well. Having a job sometimes allows you to focus your brain on something else, allowing you to keep your thoughts and emotions on track. Once you lose that space, you’re in trouble.

Just my two cents. Make SURE you keep your kids healthy, because Lord knows they’re going to need it.

Good luck, and I hope you work something out that will benefit both of you.

Try to have a good day today.

-Jeff

July 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm
(440) MM says:

sunflowergirlie, thanks so much for reading and sympathising, it helps so much to know someone cares… It’s so difficult to talk about this to anyone, I guess we all feel that. Here in UK there doesn’t seem to be much support or understanding of the pressures a spouse feels, particularly when trying to protect the kids…
It’s just so frustrating, when you know how good it CAN be. The first six months with my girl were the best days of my life – she had no depression at all. I now know that it was our relationship that lifted her out of it – but pregnancy and childbirth brought it back, and she’s never properly got rid of it since, except for the odd day or two a year. But she’s nothing like as bad as mlm’s man – how anyone can endure all that is beyond me, you have my eternal admiration.
mlm – you need a break and you absolutely deserve it. Whether a separation from him will help you, though, is another question. As an alternative, could you get someone else to look after the kids and go away WITH him, just the two of you, for a few days? I know, I know, it’s often impossible when you’re the only breadwinner and you’ve got to work every hour you can – but a few days together in a positive environment could really recharge your batteries, if he’s able to enjoy it with you. Only you will know if that will work for you, though. Long term, of course, if you separate that’ll be it – and even though you absolutely shouldn’t, you will feel guilty for abandoning him – that’s inevitable. Might well be worth a bit of guilt, though, for a peaceful life for you and the children…
The effect of depression on children is a big issue. I’ve heard about it being inherited too but from what I’ve read, what’s inherited is a susceptibility to it, not the depression itself. Being more susceptible to it than others doesn’t mean you will get it. I believe the argument that it’s learned behaviour, NOT inherited. Children of a depressed person see how their parent behaves and unconsciously tend to follow. I absolutely believe that’s how my wife has it – she comes from a family of strong women who’ve not managed to keep their husbands more than a few years – the guys have walked. Sensible them, silly me, you might say… Her grandmother has definitely suffered from depression, I’m told she’s always had ‘black spells’ when she withdraws, cries a lot and is inconsolable, won’t talk etc.
Her mother is often in tears about one thing or another (more often nothing), and seems to have been quite vindictively strict with her when she was a child.
Her mother worked away a lot when she was young, her father was rarely there because her grandmother forbade it and when he was there, she hated him taking her mother’s attention and eventually she “persuaded her mother to get rid of him”. She believes she is incredibly strong because she had to be from an early age – true, but it has harmed her, it has made her paranoid and hurtful to others who mean her no harm. mlm, you’re right – marry someone who had a normal, loving childhood…

determined, you’re right, they do try to keep you from your family. In my case, it seems to be part of the paranoia and compulsion to try to control everything around them. They can’t control your relatives and they believe your relatives are plotting against them, trying to steal your mind away from them. I’d arranged for us to go to see my parents this weekend – she’s just announced she’s not going. She “has a feeling that they’ll say something nasty to her”. They wouldn’t, but she is so convinced of her feelings and dreams that there’s no point arguing.

Everyone – if you’re at the early stages, you think your spouse has depression but you’re not sure, or they have it quite mild, try reading this –
http://www.clinical-depression.co.uk/learning_path.htm
I found it hugely helpful, it confirmed my diagnosis and offers hope. It’s also psycho stuff and relies totally on the person with depression
(a) accepting that they have it, and
(b) wanting to get better.
Unfortunately, only some will agree that they have it and even fewer will be prepared – or able – to work really hard to fight it. If you’ve got a partner who can manage (a) and (b), stick with them and enjoy the benefits when they win through.
If you don’t (like me – mine fails on both), it’s a tough call.

July 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm
(441) determined says:

thanks mm for your imput things are really bad for me right now i feel like im living with a black shadow over me i know i will be so much better once i get out of this mess its hard starting over at 51! with no job and in my small town their is no jobs

July 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm
(442) MM says:

determined, I hear you… He’s using you as he probably used his first wife. You don’t have kids of your own and for your own sake, you need to get out. It may even be better for the kids in the long run – if he’s not able to look after them, can they go to their mother, or is she not around any more? It’s so unfair that you get landed with protecting his kids from himself…
As for starting again at 51, sure you can do it, and in no time at all you’ll be happy.
First, get yourself a break, if you possibly can. Do you have any relatives or friends that you could go stay with for a week, or at least a few days? As far away as possible… Get away, get a break and some time to yourself to relax, recharge your batteries and think about what to do next. He will HAVE to cope with his kids and hopefully it’ll teach him to be better with them, because there’s no-one else in the middle.
Only you will know what’s best for you – hope this helps. Good luck!

August 1, 2009 at 9:45 am
(443) lynne1017 says:

I am new at this and was just seeing if this will post. Last time I tried I wrote my heart out and it never posted! If it post I will gladly share my heart!

August 1, 2009 at 9:55 am
(444) mlm says:

Jeff,
thanks for allowing me see that my husband is trying. by reading these blogs I know that many do not seek help or self medicate with alcohol. I’m just not sure if it’s too late for our marriage. I decided to see a therapist and have considered seperating for awhile so that I can deal with my issues…not sure if that’s taking the easy way out or not! I just wish I could wake up from this nightmare! Thanks for writing…I hope there’s reason for you to smile today!

August 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm
(445) Jeff says:

Don’t take my advice. Do what you think is right, for you, your kids, your husband. Sometimes, the best answer is to give it up and move on, which is painful at best, but you HAVE to work on your stuff, which will allow you to live the life you want. Don’t let anyone EVER tell you what to do or how to live your life. If you accept what you have, then DO IT 100%, as I’m learning to do. I want to be ‘all in’ to my marriage, which means, it’s going to take a lot of work, and it STILL might not work out, but I’m at very least going to give it a shot, because of my Faith, my willpower, my want to have a better life for myself, my kids, my wife.

It’s going to be a long road, but I’m 100% sure I’ll get better.

Good luck to you today, and my kids ALWAYS make me smile, so I have it lucky. :-)

Take it easy.

God Bless.

August 7, 2009 at 9:34 pm
(446) Theodora Black says:

I’m so glad I found this site. It’s scary because at first I thought my problems were unique and now I see that they are not. So much sounds so familiar…..the house like a tomb, a husband who can’t really connect, we’ve been living like this for about 15 years. I agree with the post above, that if I had known this going in, I would NOT have!

I’m so sick of meds. My husband was off of his for about two weeks because he was changing doctors. Even with him crying and us being nervous of what he might do, it still seems better than the ghost he is when he’s on meds. It’s Wellbutrin and Lexapro now, but was the same with the other stuff too. It’s even worse when he takes the anti-anxiety, it’s like he’s under water. I feel so selfish and mean saying this……..it’s not that I don’t want him to get better, it’s just I don’t know if this lack of emotion is better. I know he doesn’t understand. He thinks I just am against medicine but it’s not that. I feel fortunate also, though, because at least he is going to see a doctor and taking medication. It sounds like some spouses won’t do that.

It definately is important that your spouse gets treatment, but I really hoped that treatment would bring him back to what he used to be like and now I don’t think that will ever happen……..it’s like raising our daughter by myself, sometimes.

Has anyone’s spouse actually really gotten better, completely better?

August 8, 2009 at 4:01 am
(447) Renu Nanwani says:

Look out for an SGI Soka Gakai International -It has 199 centers over the world center and meet someonethere about it , belive in the phyylosophy that it has to offer ,and you or your family will be on the road to hapinness i garantee you It has worked for me and many that I have known and are very happy now.

Cost you nothing

Cheers

You can do it. Be happy

August 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm
(448) Jeff says:

Theodora:

Part of my depression is living a lie – a total, 100%, BS lie. Not REALLY doing in my life what I wanted to do, and therefore, I suffered internally for YEARS and years. As humans, we’re all designed for specific purposes and we all have gifts. The problem is, we all get caught up in the lame semantics of every day life, that we don’t take it upon our own to really learn how to live and enjoy life and connect with those things and passions that we were meant to do.

This is called ‘deprivation thinking’ and living. People live their entire lives thinking ‘I can’t possibly try to have this or that’ and so they cut themselves off, because they’re sad, ashamed, afraid.

Combine the above with a serious clinical diagnosis, such as chemical imbalance, etc, and you have yourself one lethal individual.

KEEP GETTING HELP, at all costs. This means, for YOU, AND, for your spouse. SUPPORT EACH OTHER, even if it seems IMPOSSIBLE, because remember, even as miserable and disgusted as you might be, that person that you married, thought you loved, they are suffering just as much, if not more, and they need someone to guide them, at least into the first stages of it all.

DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN IT ALL THOUGH. Don’t for a moment think that ‘everything’ is wrong with them. Get specific, help your partner objectify and really write down specific events or things the person says or does. Recognize patterns of behavior, write it all down, because this is going to help you get that much closer to a treatment.

Most of all, DON’T BE AFRAID TO LET GO and get on with life! Remember, there are 6+ billion people in the world. They have all lived quite nicely without the torment and agony of your spouse or loved one, so why can’t you? :-) This is not to say just up and abandon your entire life, your romance, your marriage, whatever, but DO NOT PUT YOUR OWN LIFE ON HOLD, for ANY REASON. Get yourself some help too, and stay strong.

Take a deep breath, get some help, get some sleep, eat right, all of it.

YOU CAN DO IT.

I’m doing it. It sucks getting kicked in the face harder and harder by reality every day, but I’m learning to deal with it, and it actually feels kind of good to be honest.

God Bless.

August 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm
(449) Theodora Black says:

Jeff, thanks so much. I think you are so right! That sounds just like my husband. He has so much potential and after some risky (real estate) ventures, just curled up and died, more or less. It’s like taking that risk was so much for him and he saw it as failure and has never recovered. I don’t think he can be happy with his life…….if he was, then why is he depressed? He says it’s not us, not his life, but that just doesn’t even make sense?! I’ve told him I’m willing to let him go, to help him go, if he thinks he can be happy. I know the family thing is not for everyone, that’s fine………he is in therapy now, but says he’s not getting much out of it.

It sounds like you are saying to keep on him, stay interested in his doctor visits, ask why he doesn’t like therapy and what we can do about it.

I understand what you’re saying about keep living life but it’s not really that easy. How do you know when to draw the line with compromise, etc. There are a lot of things with us that do work, and I’ve been able to travel, exercise, go back to school, volunteer, so it’s not as if I’ve just given up.

But it’s all with the hope that someday he will wake up and join me. He was in the psych ward for five days in May and it just hit me, that this might be it………no changes, ever. You are so right with letting go, though……

August 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm
(450) Jeff says:

Theodora Black:

Sounds like you’re right on.

First off, don’t put your husband down, or shame him, or make him feel more treacherous than he already does. Basically, pick his ass up, slap him around a bit, give him some words of encouragement, because you know he can do it. You have to give him at very least, the idea that you two can work this out. NOT THE PROBLEMS, mind you – those are his, and his alone. Support him though, and in doing so, you’ll give him at least the courage to keep getting help, and to let him know that it’s 100% fine to feel the way he feels, just as long as he’s not TAKING IT OUT on you. Don’t become his shrink, but rather, become his BEST FRIEND.

Get ready for a lot of push and pull, and the two of you, work together, sleep together, pray together, cry together, laugh together – even if you think it’s time to fold. Don’t make him feel bad about it, if that’s what it comes down to. You guys definitely gave it your best shot, and there’s SO MUCH MORE TO LIFE, and if you truly want to be happy, truly want to FULFILL your lives, then you’ll move on with grace and dignity and not fear from what’s coming around the corner.

Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, don’t complain, don’t make excuses. Get 100% into your marriage and be present, and love and accept one another, or change your destiny and cut your losses while you can, and get yourself the best support possible, including friends, family, therapy.

Definitely don’t be hard on yourselves, and of course, make sure your kids don’t keep getting the brunt of it all. Don’t keep them in the dark either. Let them know full well that you’re having issues, and that you’re working to come to a solution that will benefit everyone. Don’t stay in a relationship or marriage EVER because of kids. They’ll suffer more than you could ever imagine.

Again, don’t take my advice. It’s only what I see, hear, and feel.

Everyone else, keep at it. Set the tone for your relationships, and stop taking crap from your spouse, and from yourself.

Take a deep breath, one day at a time.

Good luck as always. Coming here helps me settle my brain a lot.

August 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm
(451) Theodora Black says:

Jeff, thanks again. I think if people feel shame, then they can choose to feel that with any thing anyone says to them. I bet a lot of that shame feeling comes from the depressed person themselves, and not necessarily that someone else is trying to make them feel that way.

August 11, 2009 at 6:49 am
(452) Jeff says:

Shame comes from a lifetime of perceived failure, or feeling like a failure.

It hits you in so many ways, so many times a day, and it’s hard to keep covering it up after a while.

The old saying, ‘If someone calls you “stupid” enough times, you actually begin to believe it’.

Sometimes it takes a lot to deprogram the way of thinking, and plug back into the world.

I’m working on it myself as we speak.

Recovery takes a long time, and it isn’t always easy, but with the right tools, and lots of support, you can start to pull your head out the sand and get on with life.

August 11, 2009 at 4:30 pm
(453) Chris says:

Thank you all for being here! I am glad to find some people who understand how difficult depression is on spouses. My husband’s depression is generally under control but he does “flare up” occasionally, this is one of those times! I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the thought of what is ahead; weeks or months of being a single parent. I do understand the grip of the disease but I also want to shake it out of him sometimes!!!

August 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm
(454) MM says:

Still here, still getting worse. Still have no clue how to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, how to persuade someone who doesn’t accept depression and will grasp at any other possible explanation for everything, twist everything around so it is my fault not hers.
Today it got a stage worse than before, when she attacked me. Not bad, just a bit of pushing. I didn’t respond and she stopped once she’d pushed me against a wall and couldn’t push me any further?
Why did she do it? Because she’d decided to leave (again) and wanted her passport and our son’s passport. I gave her her passport and refused to give her his. She said she would call the police so I gave her the phone – she threw it away. Then she threw her passport at me – it went down behind a bookcase. Then she pushed me into the corner beside the bookcase and pulled the bookcase down, blocking me in and spilling books everywhere, and breaking the antique clock that was on the bookcase. She ordered me to give her the passport – yes, the one I’d just given her, and she’d thrown at me.
What can I do with this woman? Yes, I’d like to help her – God knows I’d like to help her. I’ve tried sweet talking, I’ve tried cajoling, I’ve tried begging, I’ve tried shouting – I can’t get her to even look at a website about depression to see if she might have it. As far as she’s concerned, it’s all my fault. If I would accept that my ex wife is practising voodoo to split us up, break off all contact with my two sons from my first marriage, leave everything I have and know and move to the other side of the world with no prospect of work (for her or me), then everything would be fine.
No it bloody well wouldn’t. She was depressed when she was there (though now with the rose-tinted specs on she has forgotten that) and she will be again.
She wants to tear out my heart, take my little boy away from me to the other side of the world (literally) where I’ll never see him and she expects me to just lay down and let it happen “for his sake”.
Anyone got any suggestions?

August 14, 2009 at 8:13 am
(455) Jeff says:

MM:

Let go, and get out.

August 14, 2009 at 10:59 am
(456) Boxer says:

How can someone possibly handle it when there wife tells them that they are the cause of there depression. I have been with my wife for 13 years and married for 8. We have two boys 5 and 2 who are great. Last Nov my wife was saying how great our life was and how she has everything she ever wanted in her life. About 5 to 6 months ago she became very distant from me and cold. Then two months ago she drops this bomb on me that she was abused terribly as a child and teenager. I had no idea.
She went to a councler who quickly diagnosed her with depression and put her on meds but she insists that it is me that is causing her depression and our
marriage. She has asked me to leave our bedroom which I did as she is asking for more and more space. I don’t get it , I know I am not perfect but I am trying and nothing seems to work. I will do anything to help us get better. I am just worried that she is giving up.

August 15, 2009 at 2:56 am
(457) MM says:

Jeff
It’s out of my hands now – she’s decided she’s going. When I wouldn’t give her our boy’s passport, she attacked me (not bad, but the emotional pain was worse because she never did that before and she’s always said that a relationship is dead when one partner reaches the point of physically attacking the other). Now we’ve talked, she still doesn’t recognise the depression, it is the voodoo thing and she wants to kill my ex and my two sons from my first marriage and then move to a desert island to start again.
As you say, I have to let her go – in Argentina she has the support of her mum, sister and grandparents who can help to keep her balanced whereas here there’s only me and she blames me for not believing her. So if our little boy is going to grow up with some peace and happiness, it will have to be there, without me. This is an incredibly hard thing to do, but I have no choice, I have to allow this to give him some hope.

Boxer
I feel for you, I know exactly what you are suffering. It is good that she has seen a cousellor and is on meds, but it’s clearly not working – can you talk to the counsellor privately and tell them that it’s not working? Ask them what you should do. Reading this site is depressing and makes you feel they will never recover, but lots do in fact – it’s just people don’t come back to say so, so the ones you see are the ones that don’t – or won’t – get better.
Don’t give up yet – talk to the counsellor and, if it helps, set a deadline – next spring, whatever – tell yourself you’ll give it until then and make a decision. It’ll help you keep it together.
Most importantly though, know this – IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!
Good luck.

August 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm
(458) Tara says:

I stumbled upon this website and was very suprised to see some of the stories are so much like my own. I have been married to my husband for 11 yrs and have know him for 13 yrs. He is the most wonderful man I know. He cares so much about people. But we have always battled the binge drinking. He can go months without doing it, and then something triggers and episode. His 20 yr old son had a bad car accident in Oct due to alcohol, and then got a DUI in May. In the last 4 months, he has completely separated himself from me. He feels so guilty that he was never the father he was supposed to be so his son has turned into him. In his mind, he needs to give up me so he can devote himself to his son. I have tried to be supportive and show him this isn’t the answer. He has agreed to see a therapist to see if it is a form of depression and see if medication will help. This man is the love of my life, and I don’t want to be without him. I have begged God to help and bring back the man I love. What can I do to be as supportive as possible without dragging myself down with him?

August 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm
(459) Jeff says:

Welcome to the rest of your lives, eh?

The more I read, I get sad too. But, there is also hope.

Lord, be with you all, in your darkest of hours, because I can’t imagine what you’re all going through, except that I can only relate.

We all want that ‘perfect’ state of being, the house, the kids, all of it. It’s very very very difficult to maintain that balance, *especially* when you have your own baggage to deal with.

Say this: LET GO.

Stop trying to control your loved ones, your spouse, kids, everything. GUIDE them, LOVE them, but you CANNOT CONTROL what they do next! It’s painful, it’s unexpected, and it *will* cause grief, sadness, feelings of loss, and despair.

BUT…

The magic of it all, is, you WILL get better, and sometimes, IT ALL WORKS OUT, because people DO change, and they want to fight for what they have.

BLESSED BE, for those things you DO HAVE, for the things you DID together, because PLEASE remember, that at a moment’s notice, any one of us, could be hit by a car tomorrow, could suffer a loss of a family member, could lose our jobs, could be out in the street with nowhere to go.

PROP EACH OTHER UP IN TIME OF NEED. If you are of the Faith, PRAY. HARDER THAN EVER. As I was told today, don’t just READ the Bible – BELIEVE IT. HAVE FAITH. I’m working on this very aspect of my love for God myself. I want to come clean, and learn to LET GO, because the more I let go, the more my life happens.

Remember, you CAN, and WILL get better. Seek help, fight for what you want, LOVE EVERY DAY, remember those who ARE 1,000 times less fortunate than we are. We’ve got it MADE that we have a common place to share our story, to lend each other a virtual ear and shoulder to cry on right now.

THINGS COULD SUCK, MUCH MUCH MUCH WORSE. Say to yourself, right now:

I AM THANKFUL FOR ALL THE THINGS I ALREADY HAVE.

We all too often forget this important part.

Take care, and I’ll be around checking in now and then.

http://www.allaboutcounseling.com/crisis_hotlines.htm

http://www.suicide.org/

http://www.christianforums.com/

Search your phone book, don’t hesitate. MAKE your partner, this person you love, GET HELP, NO MATTER WHAT. Their behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE. YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO LIVE LIFE UNDER THE EMOTIONAL TORMENT.

I got help. My wife is getting help. I tell her every day, to please bear with me, that I love her, that I hope we can fight for our marriage.

It might not work. But guess what: I have to learn to accept that, and move on. It hurts, I can’t bear to think of it, but my children, at very least, don’t deserve to be stuck in the middle of the mayhem.

God Bless.

August 22, 2009 at 7:31 pm
(460) Theodora Black says:

Hi, Tara

That’s exactly what I thought when I first saw this website. I thought our situation was unique and then I saw that there are so many spouses out there whose partners are depressed and we suffer too.

That doesn’t even make sense for your husband to have to give you less of himself in order to give his son more. Alcoholism and depression run in families so it may not have anything to do with what he did as a father.

It’s really good that he has agreed to see a doctor. My husband (of 17 years) used to drink and they call that self-medicating and it’s pretty common with people with depression. Chances are, that medication will help him stabilize somewhat….

Best of luck to you both. Remember to stand up for yourself. You can’t put your life on hold because of his guilt. As a wife, you also deserve a good life, wouldn’t you want that if it was the other way around?

August 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm
(461) Theodora Black says:

MM, I can’t even imagine being in your situation and being asked to let my children go. I could never do that and can’t imagine your suffering.

This may sound weird though, but I wish my husband would say to me that he blames me for his depression and feels that he would be happier out of our marriage. Then, at least, I could move on and would know it is his problem, not mine. The way it is now, he has been depressed for most our life together and says it has nothing to do with me or our marriage or children. He says is it just an illness but that doesn’t even make sense. A lot of times, it really is a change of circumstance that makes a difference or as Jeff said above, if you are living a lie, that can depress you.

The only thing is that your wife blames your marriage but that is not your fault. Maybe she didn’t really understand what it means to be a mother and how everything changes after that. If she thinks that moving to be with her family will change things, is it because it will be easier for her, that they will help her raise your son? That’s not really fair to you……..

I may be totally misinterpreting this…….it’s hard to look at things from other peoples’point of view.

August 28, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(462) Sandy says:

It always feels better to know that you are not alone, no matter what your suffering is caused by. My husband and I have been married for 32 years. He drank more and more over the years. It wasn’t until he got sober and relapsed after several years that I even realized he suffered from depression. For several years he has dealt with relapse after relapse. He has one year of sobriety now and is trying everything to help himself. He is on medication, has a therapist and participates in 12-step programs for his drinking, and childhood issues. Despite all of this the depression still overwhelms him so much that I know eventually he will drink again. I am also in a few recovery programs because of my codependecy and childhood issues, but sometimes it is just too much. I know that I need to take care of myself and my own needs, but I can’t seem to make a decision, so I stick it out. I hope and pray that there is really hope for all of us. I’m sure that no one really wants to be mentally ill and cause all of this suffering to themselves and others.

Thank you for caring.

September 2, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(463) barbara grace says:

Well I couldnt stop thinking about some of these posts last night, after reading them for hours. My husband has had chronic depression & anxiety, and I married him (foolishly), thinking I could help. Weve only been together two years, married 8 months. I had severe depression myself in the past (lost a marriage over it), but have been well for many years, due to medication, adjusting my lifestyle (moved to a sunnier climate), exercise, etc.

But I don’t seem to be able to not let his moods affect me. He lives the life of an invalid, and wants me around him. I feel curtailed from enjoying my own life, and there is an absence of joy or hope.

He was motivated to get help and get better, saw a psychiatrist and stopped drinking (that helped, meds helped), but now I realize that his whole lifestyle and approach to life is that of a depressed person, and at 60, I think its too late to change. By that I mean, going to work and going straight home to the couch to watch tv, ruminating over every slight, living in the past, avoiding friends and social situations, having a default setting of “no” to everything, and I could go on and on.

We live in a beautiful place a few blocks to the ocean, a paradise of outdoor activities, are financially comfortable, but none of it matters. You could have a bed and a tv anywhere.

September 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm
(464) barbara grace says:

I was up all night just thinking about the things Ive read here. I ‘know’ the right thing is probably to leave my husband (of less than a year – together two), because his chronic depression and depressed, isolated lifestyle is affecting me too much.

I fought my own battle with the disease, and I also lost a marriage due to it, years ago. I grew up in a home with a mentally ill (bipolar) father, so I know there’s a familiarity, and I saw my mother care for my dad and tolerate everything, and horrifying I am now playing the same role.

I am living as a depressed person too and afraid I am suffering from ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. We are older and have no kids (he is 60, I am 54), he resents my friends and family (my family is across the country but he hates having anyone visit us and also hates my going anywhere).

I love him and wanted to help him, but I think his commitment is to status quo. He’s on meds, and has gone off alchohol, doesnt rage like he used to, but what is acceptable to him is like an invalids life in a nursing home. Virtually bed bound and staring at the tv in every free hour.

How do I let go. I see no hope for anything beside living a joyless isolated life. Ive tried to leave him a few times before but couldnt stay away. Of course he has endearing lovable traits..but..

I think its a kind of co dependency that has set in here….I am getting as sick as he is in a way..

September 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm
(465) Jeff says:

barbara:

You have to distance yourself and recognize your OWN problems, for starters. Getting help isn’t always easy, because you too often get overly concerned with what the other person is going through, and then their problems become your problems – which is bad bad bad, no matter which way you look at it.

What you CAN do, as always, is express gratitude, support, caring, anything positive, but you simply CANNOT make the responsibility of two people’s problems. You’ll die trying. Trust me.

Distance yourself, but offer support. Don’t do or say anything destructive, as often as you possibly can. The other person is already living in their own hell, so don’t add fuel to the fire.

Stand up for YOURSELF, get yourself some good counseling, get yourself into a group, work with people and groups on the cognitive stuff, start feeling better about YOURSELF. Quite often, a spouse or mate becomes that much more attractive, and more attractive means you’ll take less blows and crap from people in general because you’ll feel better about yourself, but it may also help spark the lightbulb to go off in your loved one’s head that says ‘I am at least slightly impressed and/or inspired to get off my own lazy ass and stop feeling sorry for myself and maybe I should do something, or else this wonderful person who takes such good care of themselves is going to walk out that door’. Doesn’t always happen. The person has to WANT to get help – period. Support them, but don’t carry the weight. Tell them you love them, and that you wished they would get help.

Right now, I’m going through my own baptism of fire, and my wife and I both have a laundry list of issues that didn’t emerge until the tender 4th year of our marriage, but WOW – what a train wreck. BUT, even through all the fighting, nagging, yelling, I always tell her that I love her as the person that she is, and that I want her to continue to get counseling, to speak with peers who know what she’s going through, to work through her own nightmarish issues that have cut SO deep, it would almost seem that there’s no hope, but I know, that there IS. She supports me, in return, even through all her ranting, and crying, and raving, and all of it. We know it’s not going to be easy, but it has to be DONE. I want her to be the best person she can possibly be, even without me, because that’s how you actually give love. You let it all go – you can weigh the cost, and brace yourself, but don’t EVER be afraid to let go. You will thank yourself in the end, and you can both get your collective acts together, say your peace, and get on with your life. YOU ONLY GET ONE SHOT. MAKE THE BEST OF IT. EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT OF EVERY DAY, or else, you’re not really living.

Just my two cents for today. I’m going through some really really really horrible stuff right now, but I’m working on it. Depression, anxiety, all of it – left over artifacts passed down from generations to generations. Don’t be so hard on yourselves though. KEEP AT IT. Learn family history, learn to get yourself into healthy spaces like church groups, places where you feel accepted and not judged, places where you can express things and feel things and not be overridden with guilt or shame.

DO IT!!!

September 9, 2009 at 10:00 am
(466) H says:

Wow, this is really powerful stuff. I am currently separated from my wife after months if not years of torment. We have 3 little children. We both know she is depressed and that she needs help. But every time we agree on what’s needed in terms of seeing someone she pulls out at the last minute.

What I think we both need to work out about the way she feels is . . .

Is it my fault – is she depressed because of me?

Is she depressed because of her difficult background and external pressures – and I’m not doing enough to help?

Is she depressed regardless of what I do to try and help?

I have tried SO hard but everything I do gets twisted and thrown back in my face. Staying with my parents at the moment which doesn’t really help either. I need my own space.

September 10, 2009 at 9:29 am
(467) jenna says:

I have been in and out of relationship with my depressed fiance for 15 months. His outbursts and disgusting behaviour pushed me into another relationship. The pain of losing me finally kicked him “in the face ” so hard he started doing something about his disease. He is now taking pills which seem to work ( zoloft), he started eating healthy and lost weight , he goes to the gym with me 3 times a week, he also takes vitamines and goes for a therapy every week. He was never a big drinker, but now when we go out, he never gets any alcohol at all.
He overall seems so happy last one month and he asked me to marry him yesterday in front of my whole family in my native language ( i am not American ). I love him, and I said yes. My question is. Will he relapse and get back to being cold and emotionally unavailable or will those steps he is religiously taking help him on the way to fully recovery?

September 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm
(468) Rochelle says:

I have been living with a depressed man for over 20 years. For a long time I just thought he was moody. Ten years ago it worsened and I knew it was depression. The last 3 years have been pure hell and I have come to realize that he is probably bi-polar. I have lived through days of him being so down that he can’t even get out of bed, grumpyness, desparations, hitting himself in the face, pounding his fists into walls and pillows and ranting at me in hateful outbursts. He has had a couple of angry and close to violent outbursts with others. He has lost jobs, quit jobs and has made us broke. He has threatened to leave and has left a few times without telling me – I would come home and he’d be gone and he would call to say he will be back in a couple weeks. He gets mad at me if I try to bring up these problems and is hateful and mean. Later he apologises. He refuses to get help now – he has taken medications in the past and does not like them. Prozac was a big mistake, it caused him to be very agitated and mean. He dislikes all therapists. He is rude to people, despises his family. He is also loving and generous when he isn’t down or mean. He has also had periods of spending too much money. I don’t know what to do any more. When he is happy all is well. I’m pretty tired of it, I think I love him still – but sometimes it is really hard. We have a beautiful grown daughter who is now married and expecting her first baby. We have had a great life together – beyond the depression and mean moods – so it is hard to just leave him. And I worry about him being suicidal at times, so I’m afraid to leave. What a life.

September 18, 2009 at 12:45 am
(469) Erin says:

My husband is very depressed; we have been married for just about a year. It started when he lost a very well paying job almost a year ago. He sulked around the house and took several naps. If I tried to talk him, I would get a barely audible grunt or no acknowledgment at all. After about a month of unemployment, I mentioned to him that my workplace was hiring, so, he gave me his resume. He was hired, and we both worked there until they announced that they were laying us off at some point in the future to cut back on costs. He stuck with the job until he was given his final notice, and I had moved on to other employment prior.

He worked his last day over a month and a half ago. Initially, he started looking for work, but quickly became discouraged as he couldn’t seem to find something that he was either qualified in or paid well enough. Since then, he has become very irritable and snappy. I try to talk to him; I tell him I understand, but mention my concerns about him moping around the house. The usual response as of late is him having a violent outburst of hitting random objects or sulking in the bedroom. He has become extremely passive aggressive, speaks in a monotone, sleeps through most of the day, and has even lost the desire to immerse himself in his computer games (which is normally his escape).

I’m at my wits end, as I am trying to support us financially, my Mother is ill, and I recently lost a loved one. I’m watching my sweet husband fall apart before my very eyes. I feel helpless, and, it’s breaking my heart.

September 18, 2009 at 7:09 am
(470) Angie says:

Hi,

I know that I am not supposed to post here as I am the depressed spouse. I am not here looking for pity. I simply wanted to say thank you. This forum helped my husband find people he could relate to with regards to what he was going through and it has given me insight into how i was affecting his life and his happiness. Seeing this has spurred me on to get better and consider his feelings when I am feeling low.
PLease stay strong and remember that you are not to blame for their unhappiness.

September 24, 2009 at 8:07 am
(471) My Ex Knows All Of My Screennames says:

Oh, God. This rings so true to me. For the last seven years of our marriage, I believed that I was the depressed spouse, but now I think that he was the depressed one and he pulled me down with him. The anger, the blaming, the *sleeping*, dear God, the sleeping!

Like so many of you, I never saw it in the early days of our relationship. And now I realize what it was. The endorphins of the new relationship acted like an anti-depressant, and as they wore off, the depression set in.

I’m pulling myself out of my own reactive depression (?) and hope to stay out of it long-term. Only time will tell, though . . .

September 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm
(472) My Ex Knows All Of My Screennames says:

I guess I neglected to explain that, blaming me for not taking care of his emotional needs, he walked out without any warning last November. For the previous year or two, I’d been trying to get him to open up to me about his unhappiness, but he insisted it was work stress.

September 25, 2009 at 9:01 am
(473) michael says:

I am about to turn 40 and have been married for 17. My wife has battled depression all her life. But for the last few years she has been very unhappy with our relationship. Recently I made her go to the doctor and get back on medication. This has not helped significantly and lately we just can’t talk about anything without fighting. I just started therapy myself to deal with my own feelings about the relationship. I am only now beginning to realize that there are limits to what I can do. I asked her to start therapy but she thinks I am blaming her for our failed relationship. This forum has helped me tremendously. Knowing others are out there struggling with the same problem has made feel less isolated and better able to put her and my feelings in perspective. Thank you all.

September 28, 2009 at 12:15 pm
(474) Annie says:

I happened upon this side by accident, and I am so glad I did. All these stories make me feel better about the fact that I am not leaving. Here is where I need help.

First, am I dealing with a depressed spouse? besides looking grey, old and tired, he spends most of his day in bed. And I am talking most of his day. Upstairs on the third floor. He gets up to pick up the kids from school, go to the bank, and do grocery shopping. Period. He talks like a zombie and walks like a Parkinson patient. But we went to see a neurologist, and he was all preppy and energetic, talked and walked at a normal rhythm, and told the doctor he sometimes had the blues, nothing bad. When the doctor asked if this was affecting the rest of the family, he said ‘no’. I said, ‘yes absolutely!’. Handed up looking like a shrew and perhaps we needed family therapy. We have tried, I watched him lie his way through three months of therapy, and then realized this was not the way.

Here is the issue. We have four kids. The oldest is away in a dorm twenty minutes away because ‘he could not stand being in the same house as dad’. Two of the other three want their dad out of the house, and consider him to be a bad parent, and nobody they want to be around. The other one is identifying with him and showing signs of depression.

I am trying to cope as best as I can. I still love him and do not want to leave. Lately, I have talked to the children (not the one identifying with him) that we had to leave as if we were alone, and if dad was there, icing on the cake, and if he was withdrawn in his room, so be it, it should not stop us from living. That went over very well, and we all feel better trying to put this into motion.

But it still leaves the main issue. I have asked his family to talk to him, and they have been incredibly unsupportive. Which gave me a huge insight on his depression being from a fundamental bad parenting issue. But he refuses to acknowledge he is depressed (is he, even?) and tells me that everything is perfect, just the way he likes it. Completely oblivious to the meltdown taking place around him, in his own family.

Any insights?

September 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm
(475) frazzled says:

I have been engaged for 6 mths to a wonderful man, whom I have known for over 2 years. He had a breakdown about 10 years ago and has suffered depression ever since, and is on a high dosage of anti-depressants. He gave up his flat (apartment) due to financial pressures of being unable to keep it, lives with his parents at the age of 40, needs to rest most days, works in a family business as he cant manage a regular job with regular office hours, changes his plans due to ill health – a variety of ailments I believe are caused by his meds, and when I need him, he is too wrapped up in his own cloud often to be there for me. About a month ago he broke our engagement off. Why? I have 2 great kids from a previous marriage who adore him. I have a house, a full time job, and do everything so as not to be a burden on him. I dont even want to ask him to help paint the hall in case it’s too much or too tiring. I ask him for nothing and have emptied myself for him cos I absolutely adore him. He doesnt sleep, he eats all the wrong stuff, and the reason he left me? Cos he wants a baby. I am 40 yrs old and not getting any younger. There are risks in pregnancy at my age, and even more so in 2 years when we were married and trying for a child, and my kids are almost teenagers already. However, it’s not so much that we struggle on the kids thing – it’s that he sees his future as better without me. He sees his future as living in a big house, earning enough for him and his wife and baby, and being in better health in order to provide it all. What frustrates me is that he doesnt seem to live in reality. His health hasn’t really improved in the years I have known him and even tho I said i am willing to have a child IF all things are well (health, finances etc) in the next few years, he said that’s not enough, that he won’t live without his own baby and left me in order to hold a child in his own arms one day. He threw away what we had for what MIGHT be, in his own world. How he gets from here to there is beyond me. I sound bitter, I know, and I can honestly say I am not. Just hurt, and wondering how on earth he will manage it cos I live with the reality of his illness every day. I see things very differently. I would have lived with things as they were. I would have worked all the days of my life to support us, and I have never asked him to earn more to let me stay at home. I just want a partner in crime, a person to meet me half way rather than let me down. Reading this site has given me an insight I didnt have before. I wont stop loving him for a long time, but I have for the first time tonight, seen that perhaps, JUST PERHAPS my life might be a blessing to be free of the burden of wondering what will come next and why I am not good enough. I know he doesnt mean to hurt me cos he is the loveliest person. At this stage if he asked me back I dont know if I’d be strong enough to say no. I guess that stems from wanting to be wanted. But I am learning I can’t fix him. That seems to be in my nature. To nurture. But like someone else said – if I was the one who was ill – who would be there for ME? My marriage failed and I did all I could to make this work. I wanted my happy ever after, with HIM, no one else came close, but I cant deny it’s been a difficult and tearful road. Even now, it still is. I wish him every happiness, altho I know he’s broken up about it all, about losing me, and wondering if he’s done the right thing, but i’ve been here before, swinging back and forth in the wind while he decides if I am worth fighting for, and I don’t think I can take it any more. We both have a strong faith. Sometimes it takes more than that to keep a partnership together. However I DO know that My God will get me thru this. He’s my rock.

September 30, 2009 at 8:10 am
(476) aloneforever says:

Hello,

I have been reading these posts for the last few days. I am so glad I found this site.

I wondered how “so confused” was doing? My situation and her’s are similar.

Thank you.

October 2, 2009 at 8:05 am
(477) thereishope says:

Hi all! I just wanted to tell you a short story to encourage you all. There is hope. There is a chance your loved ones will fight and win this battle with this disease. It is a ong road and they will need all the help you can give,but it can work out!
I was on the emotional roller coaster with my fiance for 3 years. All he did was feelin sorry for himself, hurting all the people in his life. After losing me and seeing I was moving on without him, it finally opened up his eyes.
He started taking his pills, plus many natural vitamines, he joined the gym and so far lost almost 15 pounds and is in good shape now ( I am in a great shape and am his personal trainer now), he quit smoking, he quit drinking(never had a drinking problem, but now doesnt even drink ocassionally), he sees his therapist once a week and is doing cognitive behavioral therapy, sees his psychiatrist once a month, we are meditating together, and eating healthy organic food. we also do yoga.
It is so refreshing to see him son happy, so full of life again,l with plans for future and enjoying little things in life like sunset, pumpkin shopping, vacation planning.
I wish all your spouses to find themselves again and all of you to see them as they once were, maybe even better, improved …IT IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 5, 2009 at 7:48 pm
(478) Kim says:

I am sooooo tired. My husband is diabetic and severly depressed. I just don’t know how much more I can take. He is the love of my life. I can’t imagine one day without him. Two years ago he was diagnosed with diabetes. Since then, the treatment for his diabetes has caused him to start losing his sight. We now are down to one car because he won’t be able to drive much longer. I do love this man so much, but I don’t know if I have the strength to keep putting up with his mean comments and destructive behavior, especially the alcohol consumption. If he were in his right mind, like when we were first married, he would never act this way. I just want him to feel again, even if he only feels pain because he is numb. I just want him to love again because it has been over 2 years since he has been able to make love. He is humilated and he has given up. How do I find the strength to stay with the man I used to love and the man I am willing to love again if he can find himself.

October 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm
(479) Aloneforever says:

Kim,

Your situation and mine is almost exactly the same.

I know what you are going through!!

All the dreams of the future that I had hoped for, I have almost given up on. I am alone now….and although I feel a sense of “peace” because the relationship has been so draining and tiring…with hope, then hurt, then anger, then love, then thinking am crazy and mean….over and over and over…Each episode took a ding at our love and “like” for each other. My resentment was boiling over and the littlest thing would make me snap.

This site showed me that it is possible that things will not get better, but worse. That was a sobering, sad but eye-opening bit of advice.

I don’t have the answers….but it may come down to you having to decide if you want to try to salvage some life for yourself…some happiness and cut ties with him….??? Again, I too am very confused and lost, but am at a place where I think I can go on with life….even though it will not be the life I had hoped for with my best friend, soul mate.

October 7, 2009 at 10:18 am
(480) Sheila says:

I have been living with a depressed husband now for approximately 5 years, it is difficult. At first I thought that I could help him, comfort him and get him through this. He stopped taking medication about a year ago and I can see him going down but whatever I say is wrong. I cannot be upbeat all the time as I find it soo difficult as he is not the man I married.\

I too have decided that I need to make a life for myself and have started doing things on my own as he won’t go sightseeing or even for a walk. I feel that he likes the place he is in as it has become comfortable for him and excuses his black moods and negativity.

It is difficult for women as it is for men living with someone with depression as you soo want them to be well again and yes he has become like a friend and not a spouse.

October 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm
(481) CaliforniaGuy says:

I have been through much of this in my relationship. I was getting very close to calling it quits. We both left that environment which in fact was causing her to act like this. She is a totaly different person now, with so much love to give again. I am soooooooooo happy that I didn’t just “give up” as my parents and all of my friends had told me to do. She’s my life…everthing I EVER wanted in life. It’s been 10 years now and going strong. I wish all of you the very best. SJ

October 9, 2009 at 9:11 pm
(482) sharlieneBeard says:

my husband has been dignosed with seasonal depression and i don’t know how to help him. I have gone through depression myself, but i suffered through it alone. i don’t know how to help him but i want to help him. everytime i think i am helping him i mess it up. someone please help me, i don’t want our marriage to end over this. i just want to help him and support him through this.

October 12, 2009 at 2:13 am
(483) Jeff says:

thereishope:

That is SO GREAT that your fiance found the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m still kicking around depression with my wife, and unfortunately, my kids as well. UGH. I can’t begin to put into words all the negative stuff we’ve been going through, with the job market, layoffs, it’s been nothing short of treacherous. BUT, like I said, that’s REALLY great that you’re standing up, getting you and your fiance in a better place! It’s so great to read a message of hope once in a while! Increasing social isolation is on the rise, job market stinks, so on. It’s a shame that we, as a country, seem to be fast forwarding into who knows what, and that it just plain seems difficult to connect with people now.

Keep at it though. Trying to do the same over here, and it’s been really rough.

Myself, I’m working on getting better meds, a better group therapy, getting back out and connecting with people, church, etc.

Don’t just sit back and do nothing. DO SOMETHING!

October 22, 2009 at 11:15 am
(484) thereishope says:

Hi all! We had a first TRY of a relapse, last three days, but he didnt allow it to come! We sat down and talked about his feelings, how last three days he feels more down, probably because of so much stress at his job and we talked and talked. Then we shared a nice session at the gym and a great healthy meal and made the emergency appt. with his psychotherapist tonite. He told me this disease wont win EVER again, we both know it will try from time to time, but what he has to live for is way too precious for him, us, to let it overcome him. I feel so good about being there for him and be one of the strong stable things he can count on while recovering.

October 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(485) frustrated spouse says:

Wow, I found reading through some of these posts to be a little overwhelming and somewhat depressing. So many stories have similarities to my own.
I have been married to my depressed spouse for 28 years.
Over the years I have seen glimmers of hope. I would think things were improving, but the depression always seems to win.
Currently he spends most of his time at home in bed.
I cope with it by keeping myself busy at work and church. I don’t know what else to do.
I think he can feel myself distancing myself from him, because now he wants to go for marriage counseling.
I have pretty much lost hope on him ever getting better.

October 25, 2009 at 4:05 pm
(486) William says:

I guess I was (still am) the depressed husband.

My wife and I met when we were in our late teens, and were together ever since (now late 30s). We BOTH struggled on and off with depression down the years. However we both did well at school and university, both had well-repspected, well-salaried jobs (even if it took a little longer and involved a little harder work to get there). We eventually married and our lovely son was born a couple of years later.

I moved jobs around the same time to something more stressful. My wife went part-time so that our son had a good amount of contact with family. We were lucky in that financially we could make it work. I don’t smoke, drink, never done drugs, don’t gamble, don’t waste money, not abusive, have never lifted my hand to anyone. But I struggled with depression, mainly in the way it sapped my energy from me, which meant I worked hard all week and then was wiped out at the weekend. Then my remaining parent died out of the blue, which hit me for six a bit. Two months later, my wife said she’d had enough. We had went through rough patches before, and had gone for counselling after our son was born. Bu to me this was out of the blue. I lost everything – I didn’t fight her, in my eyes anything I “took” from her I was also taking from my son. But I lost my home,my wife, my son. I still see him at weekends, but anyone who tries to tell you its the same is lying. And the people who have occasionally tried to say I should be grateful that I still see him – I’m sorry, that’s beneath contempt.

My ONE wish for anyone in here who is struggling with a spouse who is suffering (and it IS suffering) from depression is that they REALLY try to get through to them. Mine didn’t, and has damaged three lives in doing so. There is a big difference between saying to someone “I wish you would see a doctor, or I wish you would do X, Y or Z” and “if you don’t do this things then I will leave you”.

I now hate my “wife” (we’re not divorced quite yet). She was the one constant in my life, the one person I thought I could rely on. She has torn me apart in a way that depression could never do. I don’t honestly think I’ll ever end up with someone else, I can’t leave myself open to this type of hurt again (it really would kill me). I’m sitting here sobbing two years to the day since my mother died, on a Sunday after once again returning my son “home”. As someone else put it so concisely earlier “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health….. except for depression”

Give your spouse, your relationship, your life… a chance.

October 27, 2009 at 11:13 pm
(487) Max says:

I am really glad I found this website and discovered so many spouses in the same predicament as me or a worse one. I have been married to my wife for many years and is going through her fourth serious episode of depression and each one seems to get worse. Medications help sometimes for short whiles but never seem to last. I’m apprehensive about revealing to much this first time but just seeing the postings has helped somewhat. It is too bad they don’t have something like al-anon for families of depressed spouses.

October 31, 2009 at 10:42 am
(488) thereishope says:

Hi everyone. hi Jeff.
I underestimated the disease. It always wins! It will never go away. Now i see there is NOT hope. My husband had a major relapse and left me just three weeks after the wedding, saying he is not good enough for me and he is moving back to Europe to be with his family ( his sisters and mom ). Who am I? Am I not his family? This man was promising me just one month ago, that I dont have to be scared, that the disease is forever under his control and he can not breathe, function, live without me.
I am married, but I feel the loneliest in my whole life,
so, thats it for me, I dont believe in gettign better no more.

November 1, 2009 at 11:13 pm
(489) thereishope says:

I forgot to mention he quit his job the same morning he abandoned me and our wedding vows.This is supposed to be the happiest time of our lives, we are newlyweds.
He moved back into his old house, and filled his fridge with crappy food and started smoking. This is a never ending vicious circle.

November 3, 2009 at 9:57 am
(490) ml says:

I believe my spouse is suffering depression. Any comments on dealing with this would be helpful. We were living in another town and he was teaching. Didn’t like the job, found another, then another, then wanted to move closer to his parents, so he found another job. Now he wants to live in the same town as his parents. He can be happy one minute, and sad and yelling the next. When he is having these ‘episodes’ he will disappear. Or he will sit in a chair and just stair out the window (his mom told me she used to do the same thing when her children were young) He has a very negative attitude always looking at what he doesn’t have instead of what he does have. We have 3 boys and I think it is having an effect on them. They refer to their dad now as ‘grumpy grumperson’ Any comments on this would be appreciated. I am at my wits end. We have been married 27 years, and this is about the worst it has ever been.

November 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm
(491) nohope says:

anyone has got a partner with Borderline personality disorder? I think thats what I have been dealing with my husband having it

November 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm
(492) sarah says:

My husband suffers with anxiety disorder & depression. He’s had it since 1996, he’s visited many psychiatrists & doctors to no avail and he takes anti-depressants (venlafaxine). It is now really taking its toll on our marriage & i see no way out. There is no-one i can talk to about it, my family are non-supportive of the situation and his family have basically shunned him because of his illness. I want to help him but evrything i say he belittles me and shouts at me. He has started to verbally abuse me calling me terrible names and he throws things around the home and bangs doors. I find this rather threatening. It is dreadful to live in this awful vicious cycle. I always try to put a front on as i am a strong person but i can only see this getting much worse. He refuses all help from doctors saying he can get better by himself. Just the slightest thing can irritate him and make him panic and shout. He can’t answer phones, go to banks either. He has a very stressful job which doesn’t help matters but he won’t contemplate moving jobs. He has started saying that i don’t give him anything back. I have no job at present and that annoys him, i am trying hard to get one. He brings it up at every given opportunity. He doesn’t like my family because i am very close to them. He is getting a bit possessive too & i feel he is using me a sounding block. Would love to hear from other people going through the same thing as me. Any advice much appreciated.

November 10, 2009 at 12:42 pm
(493) determined says:

Sarah I know how u feel i go through it daily my husband is the same way. Ive been it for the 6 longest years of my live .I came from a very loving family to someone who is very cold and hard. I didnt see the real him until i married him, which is kids tried to warn me. everyday he gets up its a bad day. im trying to break away i live in a small town im 51 its just so hard to start over but its not getting any better here there are no jobs.hes coming in so i have to go if he knew i posted on one of these sites he would raise ####, hope to her from u you are not alone!

November 14, 2009 at 8:39 am
(494) Lisa says:

Sarah,
There are very successful treatments for depression. A pill and a glass of water are worth a try. You may have to tell him that you won’t divorce him, but will have to live somewhere else until he gets treatment. 6 weeks after treatment he will not be the same man. Isn’t it worth fighting for him to get treatment rather than you going down into the darkness with him? I had to be very firm with my spouse after years of up and down crap. I finally took a stand and told him that he had to get treatment or I would not emotionally trust him anymore. I told him that it is one thing to deal with the mess of anger and verbal abuse if someone is at least trying to get well and quite another to just sit there and live in what I think is insanity. Live somewhere else until he gets treated. Treatment is the only hope for your marriage. My spouse has suffered from depression for 28 years. He has a pattern of going on medication, being the man I stood at the alter and pledged my life to, to going off of medication because he feels better only to return to being mean, verbally abusive, irrational. He blamed his depression on situations: job, me, kids, house, community. The sad thing is that I believed him all of those times and we actually took steps to make HIS life better only to have it not be quite the right thing to make him happy. Depression was the problem all along. Mentally healthy people don’t behave like depressed people. PERIOD. Get yourself and the kids away from him. If you have no one to stay with or can’t afford it then sleep somewhere else in the house. Depression can be infectious and enter into loved ones living with the depressed person. You and the kids can go do things together and leave him to sit in his disease. I have no tolerance for people who are resistant to treatment. I don’t feel sorry for them at all. I find it irresponsible. I know that part of the disease is not seeing it for what it is, but verbal abuse and temper tantrums are
not acceptable. Don’t make the mistakes I did. Realize what you are dealing with and live in peace….even if that means that your spouse has to live without you for a while.

November 14, 2009 at 8:57 am
(495) uncertain says:

I was starting to feel that my husband of 24 years just suddenly fell out of love with me overnight but reading these comments, I realize that he is also in deep depression. Almost over night he changed into this person who appeared to hate everything around him — he barely speaks to me, has lost a lot of weight, treats our daughter like crap but is good to our son, and has nothing good to say about anyone else. This has only gone on for two months but it feels like eternity. I love him dearly and just want to reach out and give him a hug but I can only imagine what he would do!! I try to avoid him as much as I can. He went away with the guys for a weekend and he said he had a terrible time and I was hoping it would have changed his attitude but it actually seems to be worse. Reading these comments makes me realize that he, and I, am not alone. I thought it was midlife but it definitely is depression and I have to realize that it is not me. I have no plans on moving out as I love my home. We are sleeping in separate rooms and eat our meals at different times. He has refused to get help but I have decided to get some counselling for myself as I have to continue living. Neither of the kids live at home which helps but they still sense that something is wrong. I sometimes wonder if I am doing the right thing by avoiding him but for my own sanity, I think it is best as he cannot say or do anything that will upset me.

November 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm
(496) bryon says:

hey uncertain, it sounds like you have a nice family.please don’t give up on them.Don’t walk away from that person you once vowed to love forever.I know how bad it hurts.I will not lie and tell you it will get better soon.It will not fix itself.Be there for the one you love.support him.If nothing else,do that for your children.

November 16, 2009 at 11:53 am
(497) Tonya says:

What do i do if my husband refuses to seek help? He will not go to the doctor because he dont open up to people about his problems and dont want to take medications. I feel like it is depression because of some of the issues many have stated here. We have only been married for almost 6 months now. We were together for 2 years prior to getting married. Everything was perfect, then it seemed over night 2 weeks ago, he started ignoring me, withdrawing from our kids, sleeps alot, sits on the couch constitly, barely talks to me, kisses me, or even touch me. He says he feels like something is missing, that he is unhappy, he dont think its our marriage, but he dont know what it is, he wants me to be patient with him but how can i when i feel our marriage is falling apart? He has went from always being there for me, always giving me kisses, telling me he loved me everytime we talk or txt, always wanting to hold me to him sitting on the other side of the living room not saying anything to me never kisses me nothing how do i react he has got me crying over it for the last week straight and i dont know how to deal.

November 19, 2009 at 6:01 am
(498) lisa says:

Tonya,
He has to get help. Just gently tell him that his lifestyle is not what health looks like. I used to listen to my husband talk and think to myself that he was not well. One day I finally said it to him. He was mad and insulted, but I told him that healthy people don’t sleep all of the time and grumble at their family and do nothing to help run the house. I told him that many people don’t like their jobs and don’t like where they live, but still try to make the best of it. I told him that he had to get treatment because I would not normalize what was happening to him: he was depressed. My children (we have 5) would come to me privately and ask what was wrong with dad. I told them that he was depressed. They began texting him and telling him that they were sorry he felt so bad. That finally got him to seek treatment. Depression is tricky because it can suck everyone in. After my husband got treated I made him sign a contract that he would never go off of medication again or I would live somewhere else until he was responsible for his health. I love my husband, but I hate what depression does to him. I have taken a stand, a healthy stand. I spent 28 years on a roller coaster ride where up was stable and down was doom. I am almost 5o years old with 3 adult children and 2 teenagers and I just am worn out. For my entire married life I took care of the bills, buying cars, refinancing the home when the interests rates were low, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, walking the dog, caring for the children while my husband worked and slept and grumbled. No more. He is treated now and is able to help me. Treatment is the only cure for your problems. I believe that the well take care of the sick, but if someone refuses to get help, well, your hands are tied. Don’t let this awful disease wear you out like it did me. I feel like I am 100 years old. If your husband will not get treatment, your life with him will become a dead weight with no happiness and that will take a toll on your health. Be honest and loving, but firm. He has to seek treatment.

November 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm
(499) Mike says:

WOW I have really been enlightened this evening.
I have had a wonderful relationship for 3 years now.
She is the most amazing woman and we have had a blast together.Unfortunatly this has slowly been grinding to a halt the last 3 months.
She has become very angry to the point we can longer be together.We lived together for the second year of our relationship and have recently seperated with me moving into my own place.We are a split family makeup so we both have kids coming and going. Our solution has been to do this seperatly in our own home that way we can enjoy our together time more.This has been great for us mostly.Unfortunatly her anger and sadness have grown to incredible levels.She has thretened to kill herself because she didnt like her wardrobe.She is very angry and has become obbsessive about cleaning and filing and laundry.Even during the few times we are together thats all she can do and the conversation is carried around the house as she OCD’s out.She constantly lashes out at me and then has an incredible ability to make me suffer for not changing lanes correctly or for other insignificant reasons. she has said that she doesnt know why she feels this way and has assured me many times it is not me its her.But now we have broken up for the 3rd time in three months all of them called by her.She has her blowup feels better in a few days calls me then I come back over to be abused more. I am very supportive to her and have been told that I am putting to much into it.But I see that she is hurting greatly.Its hard because her anger is so misdirected and random and most of the time it is focused directly at me.I swear I have loved this girl greatly never lies cheated stole or even stood up to her the way I should.Just because the level of anger she gets to so quickly scares me.
Her ex husband creates alot of drama for her but she has been divorced for over 4 years now and I feel that slowly she is projecting her feelings for him onto me.Its really hard today but I know that in a couple days there will be a truce and we will enter into the same unmerry-go-round we are in now.
Everything I have read is exactly inline with depression and I want to help her.She has backed herself into a corner and everytime I reach in and try to help.I get clawed in the face verbally.

Sorry sounds like a guy who’ a pushover maybe.But I am confident and strong I just want her get better.

November 24, 2009 at 12:40 am
(500) BiggMike says:

Just realised there was another Mike here.
The prevoius post is from myself
Changed name to bigmike as to avoid confusion with Mike’s friends :)

November 25, 2009 at 12:19 am
(501) SadWife says:

I am 27 years old and have been married for only 2 years. My husband has become depressed and like so many others I have read about, he stays in the bedroom, never touches me, and is ALWAYS in a bad mood. We have two young children and it is really hard on them. I do EVERYTHING to keep our family going and I am so tired. I support us financially, clean the house, take care of the kids, pay the bills, etc. etc. Our marriage just started and if it stays like this much longer I don’t know what to do. It dawned on me ealier today that he brings nothing to my life any more and that myself and my kids would be happier without him. I feel so guilty for feeling like that, but it’s true. I love my husband and want to support him during this time, but I am so exhausted and I want to feel happy again because I deserve it. I don’t know how much longer I can subject myself and my kids to a dad who is never happy and always taking it out on us. I talked him into seeing a psychiatrist but I don’t know if it is working…he started on Zoloft and it seems like he is even worse. I feel so sad, like there is no hope. I haven’t let these feeling out and I must say that there is something therapeutic about posting this comment. Thanks.

November 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm
(502) Wondering what to do says:

I’ve lived with a severly depressed spouse for amny years now. It wasn’t always bad there have been several good years. Recently though the depression is worse. I have been the focus of such anger and accusation of how I make her life so miserable. The next day is like nothing ever was said all is good.
I come home the following day with ” why do you bother coming home I want to sell the house and separate from you”. I find myself avoiding her as she doesn’t want to to be bothered while she watches TV. Friends are no longer existant as they dont want to be near some of the attitude. Family limit themselves to a need to basis. Our children also no longer like to visit and limit themselves an hour or two at best. She doesn’t want to do anything together, if I decide to do something with people from work I just don’t want to be with her.
I find myself becoming reclusive and wondering if I’m becoming depressed also. When does personal happiness come into play. She does go to a Psychiatrist but comes home to tell me how lied to them and tells them everything is good. I’ve supported her for so long and feel like it’s for nothing like walking uphill in a huricane blowing at you. People tell me I’m a good person but I’m treated like garbage at home. Do I not owe myself something? Can I not feel happy too? If I leave is it just giving up ?

December 1, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(503) Kera says:

I have been on both sides. The only true fix is counseling for both involved. Usually separate counseling and marriage counseling together. Having been both depressed and with a depressed spouse, it is not fair. There is no easy fix. Find a doctor you can trust and if you are depressed…you have to want to get help. The most important person in your life is you. If “you” are not taking care of yourself, there is no way you can take care of someone else.

December 2, 2009 at 7:08 am
(504) Wondering what to do says:

Thanks Kera, most of the things i’ve read so far say the same thing you’ve suggested. I am trying to do the things I like to do regardless of the fact it bothers her that i’m on my own agenda and not hers. I’ve never been able to dictate what she does so why should she with me. It unfortunately doesn’t stop the verbal abuse when I get home late from work or don’t answer my cell phone when I know she wants to to know where I am, why I’m late, who I’m with.I need the space and Me time that I’ve been denying myself. Sounds selfish but already it’s starting to make me feel a little more human. I’m not feeling the guilt like I used to I wonder if I’m just shuting that part off. Finding someone to talk to about this crap isn’t easy. Did the counseling help your relationship?

December 4, 2009 at 1:02 pm
(505) Warren says:

Hi I’m new to this. My wife and I have been married for 35 years. She has been depressed for years but has gotten bad in the last 2 years. We never realised how bad it can get. She has been hospitalized 3 times in the last 1 1/2 years and out paictant 2 times on 5 -6 different medications tried to commit suicide 2 times put a gun to her head in front of my daughter and her illness has runned our family and home. She has gone to all kinds of doctors and nothing seems to help. She has on engery to do anything and seems to get worst every month. I an going to a doctor myself to help me cope with this. I can’t leave her because she would never make iy alone. My children want to leave home because of it. I have tried everything I can think of to help her but nothing works. I have been the only one working for 20 years and I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up. I have had 2 heart attaches and open heart surgery. If some thing happens to me I’m affaird something bad whappen to her. Doctor said it would help if I could find some one to talk to in the same position.Would like to hear from some one. I have read some of the comments and seems to help

December 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm
(506) Wondering what to do says:

Warren, all I can say is have courage. I’ve been trying to help my wife for a long time and as you may have read in my previous comment that I also am at my wits end. Today my wife seems like one of the good old days and I guess we have to cherish and nurture that moment. My wife has often spoken of suicide but as yet has never attempted. But an attempt is a cry for help. Love works but it’s the depth of the bad emotions that makes it difficult to bring them to the surface. I never thought that speaking out like this could help but knowing I’m not alone, as alone as our depressed spouses both must feel, is refreshing and encouraging that it can make us feel even a little better and even a little stronger in our fight. Taking care of ourselves and not leting ourselves be dragged down is a key thing that I and yourself will need to work on. If we dont have the energy to continue our wives will never find it either. Take care.

December 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm
(507) Bonnie says:

My husband of 8 years is severely depressed. I knew that when I married him and that he had been seeing a psychiatrist as well as a psychologist for a few years before we married. His issues revolved around childhood abuse. After 11 years of therapy, he is no better than he was when he started. Now he has decided that I have borderline personality disorder (BPD) as well as being passive-aggressive. I’m not sure where this came from but was dumbfounded by his allegations. His psychiatrist recommended he read a book about living with someone with BPD. I am at a loss to understand what is going on or what to do in this situation. My “crazy” world just got a whole lot crazier. His family have no idea about his problems. They live some distance away and he never wants them to know. Only a few close friends know about his problems so there is no support system in place for me. He sees his psychiatrist every two weeks and his psychologist every three weeks. He has also decided he has an eating disorder b/c he cannot control his impulse to eat sweet things and he is ADHD. As I said, things have spiralled way off track and I am lost. Anyone else have this kind of experience and what did you do?

December 8, 2009 at 8:34 pm
(508) Mary says:

My husband and I have been married for 24 years. He has had mild bouts of depression during this time but always snaps out of it. In September, however, he just snapped one day and has never come out of it. I am really beginning to wonder if I am the one who is causing the depression as he has so much anger towards me. He never tells me anything anymore and we barely speak or see each other. WE are sleeping in separate rooms and both shut our doors at night. I often wonder if he is having an affair but he is miserable and people tell me that if he was having an affair he would be happy. He is so negative towards everything, and keeps telling me that it is my fault he is not happy yet he cannot tell me what I did to make him feel that way. He won’t go to the doctor or see any counselling. Has anyone else had similar problems? Is this depression? At the first I really felt that I had to keep going for me and was doing lots of things away from the home, but I am getting into a rut and just want to go to another room and be by myself. I really need a support group!!!

December 14, 2009 at 12:13 pm
(509) Mentally exhausted says:

SadWife, I read your post and feel for you and your children. You are so young yet. Don’t feel guilty about your thoughts, you own your own feelings and that is perfectly fine to do so. What you don’t want to become is like so many other people who explain how this type of behavior has been going on for 15-20 years. By then it is very difficult to leave and you will be much older. Your children will have also have had to deal with living in an unhealthy environment, possibly predisposing them to the same type of behavior as adults. Hindsight is 20-20. Good luck and be strong.

December 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm
(510) Ruth says:

Bonnie, I’d go with him to his therapists and calmly ask questions if possible – especially if he’s claiming you have a psychosis. The major challenge is to keep yourself healthy in an unhealthy environment. And coming to this place is a good start…let us know how you’re doing.

December 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(511) sanpat says:

I have spent much of this week reading every post on this thread. Am seeing so much of my relationship with BF here – trying to decide if I want to stay with him or not. It is hell so much of the time, if this thread is still alive, I will look forward to more of your posts. You all have NO idea of how much you have given me to think about and also how much it has already started to help my self esteem and strength to think that JUST MAYBE his issues are not my fault. Thank you all and happy holidays.

December 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm
(512) Laura says:

Sanpat,

Your BFs issues are not your fault. Dont think that for a second. Not sure of you whole story but he is the one that needs to understand that he needs the help. I have been married to a bipolar husband for 19 years and we have a 18 year old son. He was diagnosed a few years ago but has had it probably since he was a teenager. Didnt know that when I married him. Things were ok for the 1st maybe 12 years. He had different jobs, wasnt working for some of that time. I always was though. Just a few years ago he was told he had bipolar and has tried MANY different meds. He was in his 1st manic state about 1 1/2 years ago when he blamed me and our son for everything. Everything was OUR fault. It was a living hell for about 8 months. Then he was laid off from his job went on unemployment and has been depressed for the last 9 months. He has been to the hospital a few times but never stayed. He doesnt want to do anything during the day when I am at work. His sleep is all messed up and stays up at night then sleeps during the day. His meds arent right and the phyciarist doesnt seem to know what to do. It is very frustrating. So Sanpat know that it isnt your fault and try and talk to him about getting some help. Going to a dr and starting therapy. Good luck to you.

December 22, 2009 at 10:45 am
(513) Sissy M. says:

Finally a support! I cannot financially leave. 25 years of marriage to a man who has an addiction to mj, alcohol, porn and depression without treatment has left me broken and numb. I have found prozac to be a little help, but my decision to be a stay @ home mom all those years ago has left me with little confidence and job experience. We have mutually agreed to be emotionally divorced about 7 years ago, but my spouse has become angrier with each passing year. I too, feel much guilt. Our kids have suffered along with us..I feel so alone because of the stigma. I want to live, but fear has a grip on me.

December 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm
(514) Mike says:

My wife has depression and of course, not admit to it. I can usually tell when it is comming on. She complains her food tastes bad, she gets frequest indigestion, she continously sighs heavely. She sleeps for 10 to 12 hours straight. I have been trying so hard to help but she says she is not a depressive. I thought many times of divorce but this weekend decided that I would not leave her if she were paralized so I should do the same for this illness. If you love someone, you don’t quit. Wish me luck.

December 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm
(515) don says:

My wife has been dealing with depression for nearly our entire marriage of 25 years. I can relate to the many stories of everyone of you. The sense of constant uneasiness that always seems to follow my wife. Her anger, her fear, her continual lack of energy, and her unspoken or spoken words that i do not have a right to have any feeling about it at all. I have gone though many stages of growth and change in dealing with her depression and the change i am feeling now is that I have every right to any feeling I may have in what is going on in ours lives. She has been in some of the worst moments recently and this is while she has been treated and on medicine. Continual sleeping,,etc. Sometimes it seems as others have said they seem to be most at home when they are miserable. I have friends i talk to about this and sometimes i feel like i want to tell her what it is like for me…I told her we have a sad life with each other..really no mutual joy outside of our kids that we share with each other..she is obese and no energy to move and we do not interact pysically any way at all..to leave or not to leave ..I do not know now. I love her but hate our lives together to be brutally honest,,but i am finding many ways to enjoy life and make friends and keep and open mind about what to do the next day..a day at a time is all i can cope with this disease thanks for listening..later

December 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm
(516) cct says:

My husband and I have been married for over 27 years. Like a lot of people here – in the beginning we meshed so well life was so awesome. During that time things would come up that were considered problems. I would do what I thought I should to “fix” the problem. Once I did that then something else would always come up. Then things got really hostile. We argued all of the time over stupid things. I would have something to do for work – meeting or such and it didn’t end the second I said it was going to and he would blow a gasket saying that he would see me whenever I decided to come home. This went on for several years – me feeling I was doing something wrong always trying to make things as good for him as possible. In our arguements I would say what I believed – then he would tell me I was wrong and proceed to tell me why I was wrong – I soon felt that yeah, I am wrong so I would state it how he said it but that was wrong too. It was damned if you do – damned if you don’t. We moved from a very stressful place to “our little piece of heaven”. Things didn’t change -everything continued as they had been before. There was no joy in life – I used to could find pleasure in the smallest things. . . I realized that this wasn’t the way for me. I started looking out for myself and became friends with someone who helped me see joys in life – I felt good for the first time in a long time. True it went further than it should have – we lived in different locations so we never saw each other. About this time I told my husband that I couldn’t do this anymore – he begged me to stay and for all that we used to be I agreed. Sometimes an emotional affair is more devestating than a physical one. My husband found out about this by snooping through my stuff. Life was so horrible with nothing ever being good nothing ever being right I wanted just one thing that I could escape to. I know that isn’t an excuse but – I’m not sure what to say. One of the main differences between my situation and a lot of others on here is my husband is afraid of losing me so he hangs on. He is my life – he is my world. Nothing ever enters it. If it does then it causes problems. I do not feel the same as I used to emotionally and this causes problems. The question is – why don’t I feel the same way he does? I have a hard time explaining. The more he hangs on the further it pushes me away. I feel I am in some way wrong to feel this way and have attempted to turn it around but it always feels forced and not healthy and good. Doctors and medication are out of the question because he doesn’t need someone else telling him what he has done wrong – he already knows it. I don’t know what to do. I do care for my husband very much and love very deeply the person he used to be. I have no one to talk to anymore. He says that I should talk to him but everytime I hint at things I am feeling it causes a disaster. I’ve stopped doing that. He says that he is trying as hard as he can and I do see improvements in somethings but the core of things are the same (responses are different). He does not get angry anymore. If I start showing emotion (frustration and such) it affects him in a negative way. I am lost I am tired. Sometimes I feel there is no hope for anything. I should just crawl in my hole :) life would be better.

January 4, 2010 at 4:26 pm
(517) cct says:

I am not sure if this board is still active or not but I am getting a lot of good information from it. I do not have much time to read the postings but am going through all of them. Mike, So Confused, and Paula have given me insight as to how to start on the path to becoming me again. Nobody puts all of their pain down on these pages but there are some really strong and powerful emotions here. For those who may stumble onto this page, my postings are Dec 09 and Jan 10. I will make it through.

January 5, 2010 at 1:23 am
(518) Mentally exhausted says:

Yes, this board is still active. Everyone probably taking a holiday break. That doesn’t mean we’re all having a great holiday.

You sound like you’ve made up your mind to stay in your miserable relationship. Don’t feel bad though, so have I and most people on this board. Most of us are on this board to vent our frustrations. We know what we should do to be happy, but we dont’. For myself, I stay in my miserable marriage because I have two young children and am the bread winner of this family. Advice to all men who ever consider getting married again….make sure she makes more money than you. It’ll make leaving a lot easier.

Sad thing for me is that I was fooled big time. I thought I was married a very sweet girl. Turns out, she’s one of the most bitchy women I know of. Complete opposite of what I thought she was. On my death bed, I’ll be glad just to be finally free from her verbal and mental abuse.

January 5, 2010 at 8:18 am
(519) cct says:

Believe it or not – I haven’t made up my mind to stay. :) Maybe I am fooling myself about that. With attempted suicides in the past and “I can’t live without you” hanging over my head I’m not sure any more. I used to stay because I genuinely liked the person my husband was. I am finding that less and less true. I can’t stand clingy. I feel that is required of me.

Mentally Exhausted – I haven’t read your story yet but want to. I have noticed that you have given some good advice to others. You sound defeated right now which I do understand – I was told by a doctor that I am enabling my husband to be the way he is – Sometimes I feel like I am using him as an excuse not to step up in life. I know it can be awesome (not perfect). It might help you to focus on what you want out of life. Kids have been a factor in a lot of these situations. The voices of others say that isn’t the best reason to stay – look at what they are learning. (I look at what mine learned. . . )My husband is the main bread winner in my marriage but I know that if/when I am on my on – I can and will support myself 100%. I am eager for the challenge. What I am attempting to say is that your wife can also. Do not let that be the reason you remain in a situation where you are this unhappy.

January 5, 2010 at 10:17 am
(520) Wondering what to do says:

cct….

It could have been me in your comment about how an emotional affair being more devastating than a physical one. My relationship with my wife is nonexistant other than the few rants or cruel words she throws my way. I did experience briefly having someone that I could feel almost loved with again a conection that I havent felt in years. Only to have them leave without a reason or goodbye. With life at home being difficult even at the best of times and then feeling emotionaly devastated just when you’re feeling almost human again is hard to take. The seesaw life of living with a depressed spouse.
One of the previous comments was “if they were paralyzed i wouldn’t leave”, If my wife were afflicted like that she would want me to have some quality of life, the way she is right now is to want to lower me to her level. Although she may may not realize that she doing so due to the depression she is with every cruel and demeaning word. I love my wife but she’s the person i married anymore. So I try to distract myself with work and the very few friends I have left. I can’t,you can’t, we who live with those afflicted with this terrible illness let ourselves be dragged down we need to remain stable and sane. We need to be healthy so we can still be suportive eventhough it feels like its for nothing.

January 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm
(521) Mentally exhausted says:

cct,
I am a doctor and have spoken with colleagues, a phyc to be specific, for many years. He feels my wife is clinically depressed. She could really use help. The problem is, she has too much pride and doesn’t feel she has a problem. How do you help someone who doesn’t acknowledge that what they are doing to their family is bad. Yes, it is bad for my children to experience all her yelling at me and at them both. I don’t want them to grow up thinking this is “normal”. My daughter tells me every night in bed, “Mom yells so loud it hurts my ears.” She says it jokingly because she’s only 5 but my son who’s older is starting to know better.

Wondering what to do,
That was a very good post. Sounds like you’re in a similar situation as me. Maybe our wives were born under that same unlucky star.

January 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(522) cct says:

Wondering what to do – Having friends is a thing of the past. I have always just had jobs. The one time that I had the opportunity at a “career” it was viewed as a threat. No matter what I did everything was considered more important than my husband. That is what triggered the majority of our arguments. Mine did not leave. I decided to stop communication because I couldn’t handle two roller coasters at the same time. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like if that had of happened. A lot of spouses on here just want the depressed one to make a physical connection with them. My experience on that is if there are bad feelings or anything else along those lines it messes up what was once so wonderful. It is just a physical act there is no emotional satisfaction in it. (I hope that makes sense.)

Mentally Exhausted – We have two grown sons. One is somewhat successful but the other is not on the right track making mistake after mistake. Would things have been different for him if his environment growing up had of been different? What got my attention was that my husband told our son that one day he would find someone and have a marriage as good as ours. Our son looked confused. Needless to say he wound up married to someone and is kind of in the same situation. I wanted to hit him over the head with a bat and say “Look what you are doing! Stop before it is too late!” I did say some of those things and tried to get him to see and understand what his life was going to be like. Did I fail him by not getting him into a better situation early in his life?

January 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(523) Confused says:

I am glad to see I am not alone. I am living with a spouse that I beleive is depressed. He has not been diagnosed yet but seems to have all of the symptoms. He pulled something similar 3 years ago and said he wasn’t in love with me anymore and wanted to move back to his hometown many miles away. We ended up separating for awhile and went to counciling and worked everything out. I ended up moving with him, uprooting my children from the home they grew up in and far away from my family only to find here we are again. I thought moving was the cure but he is back unhappy again. He has been through alot of stress this year with losing his mother and going through a major surgery but I wonder if this is going to continue to be a pattern… if he even comes out of it this time. He seems like a total stranger and has pulled away from me showing no affection physically or emotionally. He does recognize he is not right and is going to try counciling so I am hoping he will recover. After reading some of these stories I am scared of this getting worse and worse as the years go on…I ask myself will he ever be happy? It is very difficult to live with and I agree there should be some sort of on-line support for people who are living with this. I have decided to see how his therapy goes and to support him as I do love him and have 13 years invested in this relationship. I keep telling myself it is not me and it is him.My friends and family tell me I am a beautiful person inside and out. I have decided to try and take care of myself and just see what happens. Although I have this attitude today it seems as though my emotions are up and down. My hat goes off to all of you living with this and to those who have it even worse than I do!

January 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm
(524) h. courtland says:

I wanted to read stories of folks like me.
I have been dealing with this throughout a 28 year marriage.
Countless therapists alone and together, devastating effects on now grown children. I feel I hung in too long. Now in the same home, but living apart, I mourn for person who was and I know they will never return. In this case the disease is chronic. It has eaten up a lot. I am happier waking up alone and not interacting much. However, it isn’t much different because thru the years there was ‘low to no’ interest in children or me. Also has personality disorder- narcissism, according to dr. The financial situation that so many of us face today is holding us back from making a move. I pray that I can find a better track for myself and children and wish the best for spouse. I wish all those who wrote relief and support. We are all so similar.

January 6, 2010 at 8:20 am
(525) cct says:

Do you ever have the feeling that things are going too well and everything is going to come back and smack you in the face? I have that feeling now. Coming here has opened my eyes in so many ways. Not all of them positive about myself. In seeing what others have been through and comparing to myself I see that I can improve how I do things with my husband. We had one of our discussions last night and I felt that it could potentially go to the dark side. I didn’t let it. My husband started getting defensive on a few things but I didn’t go along with it and it actually wound up being a nice conversation. Also giving him credit – he met with a therapist back at the beginning of December and didn’t say anything else about except how hard and stupid it was. He does have another appointment that I wasn’t aware of this week. That was part of our discussion last night. He is 1000% against going but he says that he knows that if he doesn’t go he isn’t doing everything he can to make things right. I feel that my stronger outlook (because of this board) is pushing him into action. I hope things turn out good for both of us. He doesn’t trust me and I know I am partly to blame for that. He feels that I expect him to forgive and forget the hurt that I caused him and he says that although he has forgiven me he can’t forget. He then said that he has hurt me a lot worse than I hurt him and he is expecting the same from me – that isn’t fair. I choose not to go around in a circle anymore though. Either he accepts me and I accept him or we figure out the paths to go our separate ways.

January 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm
(526) cct says:

I finished reading all posts on this site. It was sad and hopeful at the same time. To quote a Clint Eastwood movie “…adapt and overcome…” A lot of people have shown that they are able to do that. No two ways are exactly the same.

I used to use the eggshell analogy but after reading all of these postings have come up with a different one: Sometimes life is like walking barefoot on glass shards. One wrong step and . . . we all know the rest.

Mentally exhausted,

I looked for your complete story but never found it. I did get a glimpse of it through a few of your postings. I hope you find the peace and relief that you so desperately need. My thoughts are with you.

Posting 400, 404, and 406:

I too will step up and answer. Although I have not had a physical affair I did have an emotional one. Do I recommend it? No. No matter what pain you are going through, you are still married. Would I do it again? Again, no. As contrary as this sounds, I am a very faithful and loyal person by nature. This totally messed with my head. I am still with my husband and I did this. Now for the million dollar question: Do I feel guilty about it? The faithful side of me said yes without hesitation. The ??? side of me says no. I had no hope – no one to talk to. It was never planned it just happened. It was the one “good” place that I could go to and be myself without hesitation. No fears – no worries. I also feel that this is the only reason that my husband still has a wife who looks out for him and after him. For those who consider this route please think long and hard before you do. It is something you cannot take back. All of us aren’t as lucky as 404 who hasn’t had to account for his actions to his wife. It is not a happy time.

January 6, 2010 at 8:07 pm
(527) Ron says:

I love my wife with all of my heart and it kills me to see her anger, frustration, and resentment towards me and my children. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and PTSD several years ago. Although I sometimes think its a cop out I belive it eventually facilitated my divorce from my ex. Flash forward several years and I met a young beautiful woman who gave me what I needed most, a relationship with God, happiness in myself, and a sense of joy I had not felt in numerous years. At first she enjoyed participating and engaging with me and my children however after numerous beatings by my ex wife my current wife has grown in anger, depression, and anxiety. We have been going to counseling for several months. Although the counseling helps me I dont know what direction she takes from it. Mind you my wife has several problems such as OCD and a mild case of ADD it exhausts me when ever my kids come around. She claims that my kids are doomed since they have no direction from my ex. She wants me to give my kids back to my ex or to limit the amount of time i see them from three days a week to two or one day. She does not want to have kids with me anymore since she feels my children with have a negative impact on our potential children. My kids are wonderfull children who try to be their best. They are striving for attention since they dont receive any from their biological mother. They look at thier stepmom with love and adoration and the only thing my wife can see is anger and resentment since they are not her children and they were born of a person she despises. Is there any one out there that can help? Ever since I remarried I have taken myself off the anti depressants and have looked towards my faith as a means of medication. I sincerely feel the anger she feels towards my ex is extremely unhealthy and I feel she will eventually leave me. HELP!

January 8, 2010 at 1:51 am
(528) Mentally exhausted says:

cct,
You did NOT fail your son. We, and I mean everyone, are all responsible for our own actions. Your son chose his own path. We all made our own mistakes. No one is to blame.

Ron,
I feel your pain. At first it sounded like you were leading on that your second marriage is how your first SHOULD have been. OCD and ADD are huge red flags to stay away from, especially after what you have already been through. I think the LAST thing you should do is have children with your current wife. If she’s already showing her anger, it’s best in the long run you move on. It’ll be hard at the beginning but time will heal. And of course, with the next one, don’t get married! Have a relationship but don’t live together.

January 11, 2010 at 8:13 am
(529) cct says:

The weekend passed – my husband decided that he did not want/need to go see the counselor. He said that it was only stressing him out more and he didn’t feel right going. As soon as he made that decision it seemed like the world lifted from his shoulders. As sad as it is to say – he had to do what was right for him. If he was that set against going all he would have gotten from it was that he was doing all of these things wrong. He would not have gained from it. How do you wake them up? How do you get them to see that THIS isn’t a normal life? All he sees and understands as the only right way is that he is the center as well as my whole world and I am the center as well as his whole world? That is not healthy. That is suffocating!

January 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm
(530) Confused says:

Hi Mary,

your situation sounds very similar to mine. My husband just slowly pushed me away physically & emotionally and had been really iritated and angry when I tried to ask him what was wrong or any question for that matter. We had a good marriage but now this Saturday I threatend to leave if he didn’t start treating me better and he told me it was the relationship and he wants out and has no feelings left. I do know one can lose thier feelings however the events & timing surrounding this are overwhelming. He lost his mother in July and along with this found out he had diabetes & that he would need major surgery which he had in December. He is also very good at bottling up his feelings and carries alot of guilt. I am no Therapist but I can’t help but see the signs of depression. The pulling away started to slowly happen right around the time his Mom passed away. He is going to counceling today and he seems to be banking everything on this appointment. He keeps saying he’ll see how today goes. I think he is depressed and thinks it is the marriage b/c he has no feelings as a result of bottling them up. I ask myself do I want to stay with someone that is like this because he did something similar 3 years ago. (see my story above-Jan 5)My only advice is to try and take care of yourself and do the things you love. As hard as it is don’t let it consume you. I want to make it work but I am really having some doubts. Keep strong everyone!

January 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm
(531) cct says:

I have had an eye opening experience. I got caught in the bog of depression and started going there myself. I started talking to others who are going through the depression side of it and really listened to what they were saying. It has given me some ideas on how I should approach my husband and try and help both of us keep our little bit of sanity and hopefully get back the majority of it. What happens will happen but tonight will be a sole baring experience. So many times things have come back and bitten me very hard. I am going into this with a positive attitude wanting everything to work for the best for both of us. I thank the people who are talking to me and giving me ideas/inspiration. . .

January 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm
(532) cct says:

I do realize that just because I picture in my mind how things are going to go doesn’t mean that it will go that way but I am optimistic! I want my husband and I to conquer this together!

January 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm
(533) Ernest says:

Wow….. Well I’ve been dealing with my girlfriend who is going through an episode now. I didn’t know she had major depression until one day she sent me an email and told me she had it with a link attached to it. I feel I’ve been so selfish because I was questioning our relationship the whole time and didnt put it back together when she sent me the email. And I’ve been really hurt by her but I want this woman in my life. Listening to her about other relationships she has had, i see the whole unlaying problem was her depression. I am not going to walk away from this and I’m seeking help for me to coup and somehow trying to figure out how to approach her without freaking her out. i do see a future with this woman, and I have experienced the good. She is 28 years old and this episode started in nov. 2009 and now it’s jan.14th 2010. We just made it back from holiday in France for 2 weeks. She did good the last week, but the first week we were with friends and she totally ignored me and looked frustrated with everything I did….. I know I was being selfish and that’s why I’m here to figure out what I need to do better our relationship and move forward…. I want to tell her I’m here for her. I have been doing stuff with friends & etc. Depression is in her family. I dont talk to her about what I’m feeling anymore, her mother hears it from me and I’m so greatful for that outlet. I love this woman and I want to find some kind of balance.

January 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm
(534) Ernest says:

sometimes she gets really excited about things and not me, and she might visit her friends for a little bit and not want to see me. She likes to be alone at home a lot too…. Well tonight if she doesnt plan anything with me, I will get out of the house and spend with some friends who have been concerned about me. I want to be happy and I want to be happy with her. hehehe … I know I’m just writing random stuff, but this is all inside of me. i think my biggest hurtle is that I’m free everyday and she is at work, and I want to see her after work but she goes home and cleans and rearranges stuff and stuff….. Question? How long do episodes last? i will be going to a doctor next week for me first and then talking with the doctor on how to get her treatment….. I am trying to relax…… I hate waiting for her to get off work and wondering if she is going to call me or not. We dont live together, but we talked about it in March when she was better, and I havent brought up anything about relationship and moving in at all during this episode. I will be on here a lot. Ive read all the comments and hungry for me information….. she did threaten to leave me one morning, then texted me later to come over for dinner…. although I havent been over for dinner yet, I think its all the depression and I have to not take this to heart. somebody reply….. ;)

January 15, 2010 at 7:50 am
(535) cct says:

Ernest,

You need to get an interest besides her. The waiting and anxiety of whether she is going to call is not good for you plus it puts pressure on her. As you said everything is a balance – actually it is a very delicate balance. She needs to get help – the sooner the better. You said that you are going in also. I think that is wise. Right now I would take life one day at a time until things start being resolved and then start planning ahead.

January 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm
(536) Debbie says:

I can understand both sides of this problem. I know I felt abandoned when my husband left. I know he had his reasons but doesn’t in sickness or health really mean anything. I am still trying to understand why this happened to me and could I have done anything to prevent it. I now have someone in my life who cares about me and admits he doesn’t understand it but tries to do his best to help me through the rough parts. So the best advice I can give is if you really care about someone who has depression is to work together not just tell the other one to deal with it, get better, or “fix it” because it doesn’t work that way.

January 21, 2010 at 9:43 am
(537) cct says:

It isn’t the depression itself that is the cause of some people leaving. It is a matter of never knowing from one day to the next what life is going to be like. It is not being able to smile and enjoy life like it should. We do not see all of the dark things that are going on inside the depressed persons head. We see and feel the results of something that we try to understand – try to see. It is the hurtful words that are continuously thrown. In some cases it is a matter of either blocking off your feelings towards that person or spiraling down with them fast. Yes, the depression causes a lot of it but when it seems never ending it is very hard to separate the two no matter how hard you work at it. As I used to tell my kids when they said it was an accident – the results are the same whether it was meant or not. It is a hard road on both sides. In some cases (not all) it is a matter of “abandoning” the depressed one or abandoning yourself.

January 22, 2010 at 7:30 am
(538) Wondering what to do says:

Yes cct i agree with you. There have been so many times that i felt leaving was the thing to do. The words cut deeply to deeply sometimes. Just recently I had been online I found a website not unlike this but was able to chat real time. My wife walked in to the room and ranted that I could chat with someone online and yet couldn’t sit and speak with her. After the tears and shouting at me that I was so inconciderate I calmly explained why I don’t sit and interact with her the way I used to. That I was tired of the abuse and how she was nolonger the person she was when we married unloading all the feelings i’ve been keeping in for so long. Unloading not in the explosive sense but very calmly so not to turn the situation into a screaming match. I think this made a difference making her understand that I couldn’t go on the way we have been. Since our talk a change has come over her bringing her back to what we used to be. That person I remember from so long ago. I don’t know how long this will last but I hope it will continue.
I feel hopefull and will continue to work at it.
All we have is hope.

January 22, 2010 at 8:15 am
(539) cct says:

Wondering what to do – The one piece of advice that I can give you is if you really want to make this work, do not give up hope for anything. That is my downfall. I gave up hope of ever having a normal life again and now that my husband isn’t the raving and ranting person that he used to be – I have nothing left to give. It is sad and it is tearing me up but during those many years something was destroyed and I let it go. I can’t find it anymore and I feel like such a horrible person that I can’t. So I stay because I that is the right thing to do. My husband loves me very much – he needs me.

February 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm
(540) vero says:

my spouse has depression and i have been married to him for 12 years and he has been hospitalized twice over the past 12years that i have been married i had no idea he had depression. can people fall out of love i am so confused i am 33 he is 39 we have two little girls and i am tired of seeing him depressed he tells me nothing makes him happy appears non of the medications help or the therapy i feel he doesn’t put any effort in anything i am always by myself always i don’t think i can handle this i have alot of recentment against him someone help i don’t know if i should leave or stay?

February 2, 2010 at 9:13 am
(541) cct says:

Hi Vero

Yes, people do fall out of love. On whether to leave or stay, only you can decide that. I have wanted someone to decide that for me for a long time but realize that I am the only one that can make that decision. I guess the questions that you need to ask yourself are – do you care for your husband? A lot of people here have spoke of verbal abuse even violence. If you are in a situation like that I suggest you think seriously about how that affects yourself and your daughters – is it worth it.

I wish you good luck. Just know that there are a lot of people out there in your situation. Neither side is easy.

February 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm
(542) vero says:

yes their has been verbal abuse through out the entire marriage. i do care for him and i never realized that depression is a desease just like any other, i know that he doesn’t always take his medication my concern is my little girls he has yelled at my 5 year old just because she is singing and it bothers him that is my biggest concern his my daughters i have gotten used to him i think or maybe not and him not wanting to always help him self or having any family time with us really makes me upset i acctually going to start seeing a marriage counselor today,i need to find it in myself if i am still in love with this man and if we can make it work with his clinical depression, we acctually separated 2 months ago and i returned because he said he felt threatened that i would take the girls from him they were scared especially the oldest one she didn’t want daddy to yell at mommie no more. sorry this is such a long email i have so much in my heart that i just have to let it out.

February 3, 2010 at 9:04 am
(543) cct says:

Never worry about the length or the amount of postings. There are a lot of people where this is the only outlet – sometimes things do not make sense – you write them down and they still do not make sense. If you look at most of these situations from the outside – you wonder why the person involved just can’t get up and leave. They see all of the things that are happening but stay where they are at. I don’t know whether it is hope that if they wait just a little bit longer things will be better for good. From experience there are improvements occasionally but the core pieces never really change. My husband never saw any good in anything for the majority of our marriage. We argued all the time over stupid things. Things turned around a couple of years ago. Now he will not express anger at all. If I do then it causes major problems. Neither way is healthy. It is good that you are going in to talk to someone. Hopefully you will be able to find a good solid path to take and feel good about things.

My thoughts are with you!

February 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm
(544) Shawdow wife says:

I married a year and a half ago. My husband was married for 33 years and lost his wife due to an auto accident. When i got married i throught he was ready to try and start a new begining. I love this man with all i have in me I do everything he asks . He says he wouldnt have married me if he didnt love me. for the first year of our marriage i was the one going out to put out flowers on her grave never once did i get a thank you from him or his adult children. my husband gets angry and i feel like i have done something wrong. but its always after he has gone to her grave or the place she was killed at. i never know what type of mood he is going to be in seems like he has many mood swings. i have talked to him about getting help he says no. if i try to talk to him to find out why he is so upset he takes his anger out on me, i know he misses his wife very much and i can see his pain i then get depressed because i cant seem to help him. i love this man so very much but he doesnt seem to see how he hurts me. he still tells people he doesnt even know yes i lost my wife 2 years ago. i dont understand why he keeps doing this.

February 4, 2010 at 11:07 pm
(545) curiously cautious says:

i’ve been married less than two years when my husband fell into depression. i feel like i am caring for a child and am questioning if i should leave the union, which is a painful question in itself to face up to. have any of you attend in-person support groups? how do you find them? are they helpful?

February 5, 2010 at 7:52 am
(546) cct says:

I have not attended them because of many reasons but you can find some through the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services. In a way it is abuse – mental and sometimes even physical. I called this number once and someone talked to me and helped me through the mess that I was bogged down with at the time. At that time she told me of a group (informal) that meets on x day at an undisclosed location. That may help you. It is a matter of having someone listen so you can sound out your ideas. Personal counselling was also suggested to me.

I wish you luck – stay strong and fight for what you need!

February 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm
(547) Anonymous says:

My wife and I have been married for almost 13 years. We have a beautiful 5 year old daughter who loves us both very deeply and, I believe, intuitively knows something is wrong between us, as she often vocalizes that she loves “Mommy and Daddy” and seems to constantly affirm her neutrality. I know that the relationship between my wife and I hold a toxicity that is not healthy for either of us – much less the daughter that we both treasure more than anything. There are times when my suddenness and shame at what we’ve imposed on her brings me to tears.

I knew my wife wasn’t as outgoing social as I was when we first met, but viewed her reserve and composure as a welcomed stabilizing force in my life. I expected that each of us would give something of our respective strengths to the other and that we would grow to complement one another. I no longer recall my impressions or concerns during the year or so of our pre-marital cohabitation, but later, after marriage, I began see that what I initially saw as reserve and composure was more likely insecurity and depression. I have always maintained a circle of friends and associates in which I shared stimulating conversation and social exchanges. My wife really had no friends, other than her blood relations. At functions hosted by my friends, my wife would plant herself in one spot and interact minimally. Her obvious discomfort would often prompt people to ask if she was O.K., to which she’d often respond that she was “really tired” or “not really feeling good.” Most often, she put subtle or not-so-subtle pressure on me to leave the gathering early or would appear so discomfited that I would feel embarrassed and leave early on my own. This would then become a focus of bickering. After a while of this, I would just attend such gatherings on my own. After 13 years of marriage I cannot articulate any real interests my wife has. She’ll tell you she likes books and movies, travel and museums, and plays, but she doesn’t really read, never knows what’s playing, and, to my recollection, has never initiated an outing. I defense, she’ll undoubtedly say that lack of money or having a 5 year old is the reason she doesn’t do any of these things. There are times when this might be true, but most of the time it seems that she really just wants to stay home, play with our daughter a bit, eat, and then sleep.

Even when she doesn’t articulate it, her body language reveals her fatigue and her face betrays a sadness that has resided there for at least 10 years. Rather than seize every available opportunity to be happy and grateful for the many blessings we have, she seems to embrace every distant and proximate misfortune as a concrete validation of her right to be sad and depressed. While I know few of her joys, our daughter being the main one, I know more of her fears than I care to (darkness, forests, water, beaches at night, being in the house alone at night, getting wet in the rain, etc.). I have often sarcastically quipped that she could see the down side of a sunny day. Most of the people we know and/or intermittently associate with are through my connections. She is very adept at ascribing negative foundations to people who do not pursue interactions with her, but consistently makes excuses as to why she is unable and/or unwilling to build connections with people who seem to want to be her friends. With most things, she can articulate what she doesn’t want to do and what she doesn’t like, but is decidedly vague and undecided on what she does like. Her job of 20 years is a source of unmitigated dissatisfaction, stress, and hostility. For almost 10 years I have listened to her talk about how much she hates her job. When people we met ask her about the job, she’ll go on about how she got stuck there and how unreasonable their expectations are. Yet, she refuses to update her skills or even re-write her resume. Prior to the economic down-turn, I would periodically find jobs within her skill set and send her the link. If she responded at all, it would be the day before the due date – and she would want me to update her resume and complete the application for her!

Our days are unchanging. Each weak day morning is a stressful repeat of the last. Choosing the right one of our daughter’s uniforms to wear, more than likely ironing it (and most likely her own clothes, as well) that morning, the leisurely time spent in from off the mirror, and then a stressful realization that time is getting away and a mad rush to get out on time. I often make her and our daughter’s lunch the night before, wake up and make breakfast, but it has little effect on the next morning. She picks our daughter up from school and I rush home to make dinner. Cooking has become more or less my job, both because I like to cook and because she is too tired to do more than make whatever is easiest. If the ingredients are not situated in the front row of the refrigerator or cabinet and require too much effort, then there are complaints of “there’s nothing to cook.” If I buy more food that she doesn’t feel like cooking and it goes bad or wilts, then I bought too much. So it’s easier for me to do the shopping and cooking. For similar reasons it’s easier for me to pay the bills, research schools and summer programs, deal with realtors, volunteer at our house of worship, fix things, lift things, plan for the future, etc. She will wash and dry clothes and do superficial cleaning around the house. She hates to expend effort and resents anything that makes her expend effort or deviate from her normal home-drop-off daughter-work-pick-up daughter-home routine. Our daughter’s bed-time is 7:30 pm and more often or not, my wife falls asleep in my daughter’s bed or in our bed with our daughter.

In keeping with her general disposition of putting out as little effort as possible, our sex life usual involves her laying there and receiving my efforts. I’m made to feel as if sex is something that must be given to me as a reward for not complaining about her lack of effort or like a distemper shot to a dog, something that men need to take the “edge off” so they won’t be so mean. Needless to say, we don’t have sex that often, and when we do a laundry list of conditions have to be met before she can enjoy herself (90 degrees Fahrenheit, before 10pm, a receiving position, no kissing, etc., no requirement that she “freshen up,” etc.).

I have lived so long with her being sad, depressed, stressed, and withdrawn, than I no long have any sympathy. In response to her lethargy and inability to focus and/or complete a task, I used to buy vitamins/supplements and suggest therapy. Unless you put the capsules in her hand she will not take them – if you do, then she resents being treated like a child. Despite complaints of dizziness and headaches, she doesn’t take her high blood pressure meds. Despite sadness and lethargy, she doesn’t take her depression meds. After all this time with someone who doesn’t care enough about her family to get help and/or someone who doesn’t see how she effects the marriage, I am growing less and less empathetic toward her each day – and more and more resentful. I find myself compensating more and more for her minimal involvement in our family’s needs, so much that I’m slowly dropping the activities that I enjoy (working out, writing, reading, etc.). Her minimalism is resulting in my maximalism. She has little to do other than go to work, drop and pick-up our daughter, and wash their clothes.

I used to envision our marriage as a partnership of more or less equals with each playing to their strengths and contributing to the best of their abilities. I feel more like a single dad with a loving precocious five year-old and a moody, recalcitrant, and unappreciative teen-ager in the house. I am only here because I love my daughter and know that my wife won’t really make the effort to see to her education and welfare to the degree I do – and we have a house together.

I just made the call to my company’s EAP contractor and hope something happens before I reach a point where I have no interest in working things out – even in the interest of being in my daughter’s life 24/7.

February 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm
(548) CJ says:

Annonymous …. you have depth, such ache for passion, intense love and cry for help. Find all of your happiness within your relationship with God. He is the way, the truth and the light. Most think of speaking of Jesus as being a “holy roller”! You bet. The devil is in depression. The devil is in sadness. The devil is in all things bad. Pray on it. Pray to bring your wife to Jesus. Pray to bring your entire family. You are the man of your family. As the man, it is your responsibility to lead your family. I have never written on a blog before. For some reason, I found myself here today, dealing with my own family situation. I know what my answer is, I too need to pray on it, follow through, and to conqueor the demons and uplift with the angels. Easier said than done… but man-up and be a soldier of God. You are married. You made a committment under God, right? Think on it. Lead your wife to Jesus and you, she, you both, your family will find peace. God Bless you and your family. CJ

February 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(549) Anonymous says:

CJ… you have chutzpah. Yamak sh’mo!

February 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm
(550) cct says:

And if there is no answer???

February 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm
(551) rqblr says:

Dear anonymous you have just written my life story the only difference is I have three children and have been married twentysix years.I wish I could say it got better after my children grew up but it didnt.I stayed in the marriage for my children and hopes of the woman i’m with, someday resembling the one I married.I too am beyond burned out trying to help her and support a house hold alone. Our disfunctional life style has left it’s mark on my young adult children and me. I wish I could say there is a easy out but there is none. The only thing that keeps me going is dayly prayer.One thing I can tell you is talk to your close friends and make sure you get time away from the maddness so you don’t lose yourself.

February 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm
(552) Wayne says:

So many versions of my life story are posted here. I figured I would write a little about mine to help ease the numbness I feel inside. I’ve been married to my wife for almost 25 years. She has always exhibited signs of depression and has been treated for it in the past. The only reason she decided to get treatment is because I told her I couldn’t take it anymore and if she didn’t get some help, I was going to leave her. Over the years, I’ve learned to deal with it, always knowing that eventually she’ll come around and smile or maybe even laugh…things are OK, and I’ll walk around on pins and needles always hoping I don’t say or do the wrong thing to set her off.
When she slips into one of her episodes, all hell breaks loose and she begins pounding me with all the things I’ve done wrong since the beginning of our marriage. Nothing is ever forgotten or forgiven, including things in her life before we got married. (Is this depression, psychosis, or just being a wife?) Some things are clearly her own recollection of events. She claims she raised our 3 children on her own while I was away. There were short periods of time where I had to be gone as part of my job, but in her mind, she raised them their entire lives. I was/am a good father and the kids have come to me about why their Mom is acting so “crazy” and screaming all the time.
This, in turn, has affected all 3 of my children. All of whom have mentioned the suicide word.
She has also threatened suicide and wishing she would go to sleep and never wake up again. Of course, this is all my fault.
I am a fun loving guy with a great job. I cook, clean, handle all the finances, etc. I have never cheated on my wife, although opportunities have presented themselves. I pride myself on my marriage vow of “better or worse”, but most of the time it’s worse.
My wife doesn’t have a paying job and spends most of the time at home.
My wife get’s mad when I do the dishes, because she claims that is her job and it makes her look bad. The only reason I do it is because it needs to be done and she won’t do it.
I cook because I’m hungry and she won’t do it.
Our sex lives have never been great. There is always a problem with head/stomach/back aches, tired, etc. She actually has made an effort for us to have a better sex life, and things seemed to be OK for awhile. But then I found during her last melt down that it does nothing for her and I always did everything wrong.
If my wife does the smallest thing for me like reach over and hold my hand, or bring me a cup of coffee, it means so much to me because it never happens.
The reason I’m writing now is because I fear it has really gotten the best of me. I’m feeling depressed now and have a numb feeling of pins and needles all over my body. I don’t know what to do other than go to a counselor or therapist to help me from spiraling down into the same place she lives on a daily basis.
Maybe I am the cause, and I’m so damn crazy I don’t realize I cause all of the problems? That’s where I’m at now anyway.

February 17, 2010 at 6:49 pm
(553) Ernest says:

Well as per my last post, she has decided to step out of our relationship….. Its little to no contact right now, but when I do hear(text) from her it is positive and she is trying to get right with herself so she can be happy then work on relationship from there… it is so hard for me right now…. the bad think is she wrote a letter to tell me this….. It was very very hurtful…… I know she loves me… but the depression has her totally gone at the moment…. I’m giving her her space and letting her reach for me. I do send her a message here and there letting her know that I’m here for her. I have the patience for this relationship, I think she is scare that her past relationships were abusive because they didnt understand her condition….. I love this woman and want her to be able to cope with this disease…. I have hope… A lot….. I’m reading more and more information about depression and I am finding things to do with my time alone… I am a little depressed but I am focusing on her well being and mine. I am not letting this consume me. I stopped being selfish and just being available….. I do miss her a lot and our time…. but all I can do is be here…. thanks for listening again everyone…. so glad this forum is here,.,., this is really my only outlet….. i cant really talk to her parents… they are simular to her…. bipolar and depressive as well… although the mother is better than any of them she can be a little rude as well… anyway….. day by day……

February 18, 2010 at 8:13 am
(554) cct says:

It seems like you are having a rough time right now, but you have a plan. The hardest thing that you will be doing is sticking to that plan. Figure out ahead of time what are you going to do to give yourself a boost when you feel yourself slipping.

My thoughts are with you – I hope everything turns out how you want it to.

February 18, 2010 at 8:21 am
(555) cct says:

Wayne -

You are not the cause of it all. I do know that when you are having a discussion it is hard to keep your head straight. One second you feel so strongly about what you believe and feel – you know you are right and then the next second (kind of like a light switch) you start doubting everything you’ve done – believe – etc. If you can manage to stay out of that pit, do everything you can to succeed. It is lonely in here and things really do not get any better. You feel the hurt and such through the numbness.

Thank you for sharing your story. It helps me to get a glimpse of – I wasn’t crazy after all.

BTW – that is not a “wife” trait.

February 19, 2010 at 2:38 am
(556) Heather says:

To those who are staying married for the children:
Don’t do it! I grew up in a household with 2 parents who took turns being the depressed one and fought constantly. The misery my mother created due to her depression and borderline disorder spilled all over my sisters and i and made us miserable. We blame our father for not protecting us from her by leaving. My father had depression, maybe in response to mom?, and is still the saddest person I know. Childhood was hell in that house.

To partners of depressed people:
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety at the age of 14. The sweet happy me and the angry frustrated me are one and the same. I will never not suffer from this illness. My husband is very supportive, and supported me when i went off my meds 6 months ago because of side effects. But we both acknowledge that I am a different person without the medication. I am trying vitamins, herbs, exercise and meditation. But it only works on the days I have the energy to do it. Nothing he says or does will change that. Only I can motivate myself to be better. I am not sure why he puts up with it, but I love him for it. And maybe, because I grew up watching how depression tears apart relationships, I try very hard to tell him how much i love and value him. If your depressed spouse can’t do that, they never will.

February 19, 2010 at 11:19 am
(557) cct says:

Heather – Thank you for telling a bit of your story. It helps so of us see yet another side.

February 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm
(558) mary says:

hi,
i’m new to this site but seems to be helpful in some ways. it is so hard for me to deal with my depressed boyfriend and what makes it even harder is that we’re in a long distance relationship.
it’s just very difficult to understand the other person’s way of thinking and feeling, even though you try to.
this forum seems to be what i was looking for, hopefully it will help me with being better at dealing with his depression.

February 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm
(559) Mary2 says:

It’s amazing to hear so many people with lives that are being devastated by this destructive disease, and yet with the unwavering love to stay true to their partners “in good times and in bad”. I too have lived with a depressed husband for over 30 years, and my only hope, my only strength is faith in a God who is stronger and bigger than me, my husband, or this awful disease!

February 24, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(560) Ernest says:

Well I’m hanging in there….. we are still apart but she is communicating with me here and there threw text and a rare call. I have noticed she is starting to execise more and try to get better, but she doesnt want me involved in that….. which is fine as long as she gets better. I dont know if she will come back to me and yet I am still here hoping and being supportive. I love this woman. Her parents know I’m the only guy who has ever taken an interest in her well-being in this aspect. I just know what ever I do she will never be totally happy. My friends worry about me a lot because I love my life, and lately I’ve been trying to be there for her and losing me. well I am staying busy and productive but I do have her on my mind all the time… And it hurts so so so so much….. I dont want to give up and she gets better, then shes with someone else and they go threw it too…. all of her past BF abused her and argued with her because they didnt know. I know I have the patience and the love and heart for her. I’m letting her deal with this and she reaches a little and I smile. It takes faith and love to deal with this…. this is a disease that is straight to the core of your faith in everything. I am fighting for her. And I know she has to want to fight for herself first and that’s whjat I’m doing… thank you for this forum….. ;)

February 28, 2010 at 12:06 am
(561) Donna says:

As I sit here reading I am so totally amazed at how many people have depression!
I have been married to my husband for 20 yrs and I love him and our girls more than anything on this earth, I cant imagine life without them. My husband recently up and left me a few days ago, but it came out of the blue sky. We had a fall out similar to this approximately 2 yrs ago and I thought after 2 months of major talks and outings alone we had overcome these obstacles. I was prooven wrong, he text me a few days later and told me it was my fault and Ive caused him to be depressed. He has yet to be diagnosed(he has an appointment this week) but says I need to see a therapist or our marriage will never be again. So now Ive made an appointment to do so. Some of the things I have read fit my husband to a needle point……the no sex from me, my household “chores”, what the girls are and arent doing, but not suicide. Now that I have read some of your situations I believe he has MDD (major depressive disorder) I, like a lot of you, am having a very hard time dealing even though it has only been a short period of time he has been gone. We have always been together doing outdoor things with our girls, travel, or just simply hanging out. Im missing him sooo much, I find myself crying myself to sleep(when I can sleep) and crying at anything that reminds me of him (which is everything) He has text me to when he would like to spend time with the girls and I find the fastest way to get out of the house before he gets there to pick them up….Im almost scared to see him, because I just want to hug him and tell him how much he is loved, but I know thats not something he wants as hes told me now hes not sure if he loves me anymore….that hurts me more than anything! I wish we could just sit down and talk together but he feels it will jeapordize his recovery being away from me. How do you deal? what do you do when your spouse says mean things to you? I feel Im ready for a breakdown…HELP!

March 1, 2010 at 1:06 am
(562) mentally exhausted says:

Donna,

During the immediate days following a break up it’s hard, but it will get better.

If you want your marriage to have even the slightest chance, step back and try to look at things objectively. First off, he didn’t just leave “out of the blues”. You didn’t see all the warning signs. Second, when he says he’s not sure if he loves you anymore, don’t interpret that as he is saying mean things. He’s just being honest. Third, no matter how much you may love him, that’s not a reason he should stay with you. The feeling needs to be mutual. Fourth, you may be the source of his depression. If he wants sex and you’re not giving it to him, why not? How can you expect him to continue to love him if you are not reciprocating the affection. Lastly you might be the one with undiagnosed depression which is causing some of your marital problems.
I don’t mean to offend you by my comments but it is hard to see things objectively when it’s your situation.

Counseling can help to a certain extent. Therapists will want to know if you (or him) wish to save the relationship and then work from there. What they won’t do is listen to both of you then advise it’s best to throw in the towel even if they feel the relationship has no chance.

March 1, 2010 at 11:16 am
(563) cct says:

I read all of the postings and I read back over what I have written. I am so lost that I do not know which way is up. I know I need to get my head on straight. . . Depression and all – I know I have a wonderful husband who loves me very much (obsessively at times) but he still loves me very much and would do anything in the world to make me happy except. . . How can I get past the fact that I am the center of his world – he won’t do anything else – how can I forgive myself for all of the things I have done wrong.

Sad to say – he went out of state this weekend and I was able to do what I wanted (I put up the border in the kitchen (something that hasn’t been completed in about 1 year) and I made a cheesecake) When he came back yesterday it was back to the same thing – sitting in different spots holding his hand reassuring him that everything is ok. Once he came back – nothing was done besides that.

I realize that I am part of the problem but I really don’t know how to correct it. We sit down to discuss how things are going. He voices what he feels and I voice what I feel. They don’t match so we discuss it to death until my view starts becoming his view. That leaves me feeling so empty that I’m not sure how to handle it. Because of his views, me going in to talk to someone is not an option.

Any advice hard or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

March 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(564) cct says:

I mistated something in my last post:

They don’t match so we discuss it to death until my view starts becoming his view.

Should read:

They don’t match so we discuss it to death until his view starts becoming my view.

That is the only way to keep things going in a positive direction for him.

March 2, 2010 at 12:41 am
(565) Dara says:

My boyfriend of only one year has recently started taking medication for depression and anxiety. We have shared a wonderful year getting to know each other and I have have accepted everything about him, because there is more good than bad. I dont even consider it bad, I believe its the illness and not the person that can be the issue at times. My heartache at this time is he wants to “do this on his own, fix himself alone. He cant be with someone until he is right with himself” He repeats this to me, and right now is not talking to me at all. We are about 65 miles apart so its not like I can run to him everyday. I am madly in love with him, he knows this, but the insistance he has on “going this alone” is driving me to my wits end. I need help on how to approach him, to let him know Im with him no matter what, that I can help, or I can just stand by his side while he works things out at his own pace. I cant bare to lose him. How do I help him and also let him manage it himself? I cant just walk away. I wont do it. He knows my feelings, Ive not hidden them from him. Thank you

March 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm
(566) mary says:

Dara, i feel so sorry for you. i can’t imagine what you must be going through, being with someone who is depressed is hard enough but being rejected by the one you love must be terrible. just like you i wouldn’t just walk away but tell him that you will be there for him. my boyfriend needs to talk to someone a lot and maybe your boyfriend will realize, too, that he needs you. just give him time i guess, that’s all you right now. hope that helps a little.

March 2, 2010 at 9:55 pm
(567) Dara says:

Mary, thank you for responding. “time” is the only answer it seems. He is telling me I shouldnt have to go thru the pain and doesnt want me to feel I have to wait while he sorts this out. The thing is he hasnt said directly he doesnt want to be with me, he is always just apologizing for the pain hes causing by being withdrawn. I want to wait, but do not want him to interpret that as pressure to hurry up and get better. Thats the last thing I want him to do. My main thing is do I believe him and take to heart to leave him alone? Does he really mean that..or is it just the illness talking because he cant cope with anything. Long distance sucks…Im sorry you are going thru that issue right now also. Makes the seeing each other hard. I am thinking about seeing him tho..Just showing up?or is that a bad idea. I hate the idea of a “breakup” happening over the phone or email….sigh! Anyway thank you for your kind words.

March 4, 2010 at 3:23 am
(568) mary says:

I know that feeling too well but i think most of it is the illness speaking, my b/f says the same sometimes, that i shouldn’t have to wait for him and that he shouldn’t even be with someone and so on. all you can do is tell him repeatedly that you wnat to stay with him and are willing to wait and even if things don’t get better, you’ll still be with him and figure things out. idk, that’s what i do at least. i think people who are depressed need this confirmation of love so much. it might not be a good idea to just show up, maybe talking on the phone and asking him if he’s ready for it would be better. and keep talking about everything, i mean that’s the #1 rule for long-distance anyway and it will help with you two coping with his illness. and even though you won’t necessarily be able to give any advice, just listening helps a lot, in my experience. try to find out if he is really unhappy in the relationship or if he “just” thinks that he won’t be able to be a good boyfriend, cause there’s a difference. anyway, all the best to you!

March 4, 2010 at 8:30 am
(569) cct says:

Mary & Dara – In having dealt with this a long time the best approach is nice and slow. If you are the one that brings up “meeting/seeing” all the time it will put tremendous pressure on your boyfriends and probably cause them to back off. It really needs to come from them. Be supportive when they allow it do not push it when they don’t. Just know that the depression is like the tide. When the tide is in, things are murky for them (a lot of self doubt, etc.) when it is out things are clearer and brighter. Over time you will learn the patterns and the onsets. Watch for it and you can tune your help to that.

I wish both of you the best of luck! Just remember – think of yourself in all of this also. If you get so wrapped up in the depression you will wind up like a lot of us have – lost, confused, going around in circles. . .

March 5, 2010 at 9:44 am
(570) Toni says:

Hello,

I’m new to this site. I joined a site last year in order to gain perspective and a little help but my partner found out about it…suffice to say I don’t go on there anymore.

A little background; we have been together for nearly 16 months, his depression (which he says he’s suffered from all of his life, but got worse following an accident in which his 19 year old son was killed) became apparent after the first four months.

We’d arrange to go out and, at first, he was happy with this and appeared to have fun. Over the next few months we’d arrange to go out and he’d either make excuses at the last minute, act completely uninterested the whole time we were out, or get drunk (we’re talking 3/4 bottle of whisky) and then drive home without letting me know what was happening!

His moods changed dramatically too. He used to be so caring and told me he loved me all the time. He’d send me cute pics and wrote lovely letters.
This seemed to change quite abruptly. Everything I said he started to interpret as me ‘getting at him’.

It’s been a downward slope ever since.
If I talk to him, he tells me I’m ‘crap’. If I miss a piece of fluff when hoovering, he calls me a ‘useless bitch’. If I say I’d like to go out with my friends at the weekend, he says ‘well, f**k off and don’t bother coming back’. If I ask if he’s ok, he says ‘you’re nagging, leave me alone’. If I sit in silence he tells me ‘you’re moody’.
He disappears for hours at a time, won’t even look at me, does nothing around the flat (even though I work full time and he’s in all day), says the most nasty/hurtful things.
I’ve tried talking with him about it and he turns the whole thing around to blame me and, to be honest, I do blame myself!

He threw me out (actually told me to f**k off) last July. I talked to him, we seemed to sort things out and I apologised for not being supportive of his needs. We got on great and decided to give things another go…he then threw me out again in October!
We had no contact for a month, I got a new place and then, out of the blue, I got a text asking if we could talk. We did, and decided to give it yet another go.

He was taking medication but they all made him feel ill. He goes to Cognative Behavioural Therapy sessions. He’s just taken a couple of days volunteering at a refuge for drug & alcohol abusers…

He gets on great (puts on a mask) for everyone around him but me. It hurts. His family don’t have the first clue about what his illness has done to me, yet if I need some space, I’m letting him down!

Last weekend was the worst! We were sat chatting & having what seemed to be a ‘good’ time.
I don’t know where it went wrong?? One minute all is well, the next minute he’s hurling abuse at me again. This time though, he threw a drink over me…followed by the glass (which shattered everywhere), then tried to strangle me. I tried to crawl away and got cut pretty badly.
He started throwing my stuff around and breaking picture frames on the walls…I called the police.
I was sent to hospital and had my leg stitched. He went with the police to the same hospital to ask for a psychiatric evaluation.
I had to call family to come get me from the hospital at 2am and they’ve said that I need to get out of the relationship…

…Still not wanting to give up on him, we talked the day after and he went to the police station and asked to be arrested, he was.
He also begged to be sectioned, nobody will take this seriously!
He apologised prefusely for three days after the incident, since then it’s been forgotten and he’s back to how he was.

I love him dearly and did promise to be there for him always, the thing is, I think I’m getting to the stage where I want to give up completely.
I feel sad and the guilt is tearing me apart inside.
I don’t know what to do.

I know the anger and depression are not really him, please, anyone, what do I do?? I’m hurting so much, I dread seeing him as I know he’ll be in a bad mood.

I’m going back home tonight to be alone, which he sees as me trying to get away…

Please…

Toni

March 8, 2010 at 7:59 am
(571) cct says:

Toni,

As bad as it is to hear – This is a decision that you have to make yourself. BUT, look at everything as objectively as you can. The physical abuse is getting worse and worse. What is going to happen next time? You have to look out for yourself because no one else will. Your boyfriend does deserve to be happy but so do you. If you live in this type of situation for years, you will become a shadow of yourself and YOU will not ever have a chance for what you need/want/deserve.

My thoughts are with you!

March 10, 2010 at 12:09 am
(572) mentally exhausted says:

Toni, listen to cct. Get out of this relationship now, not next time it happens, etc. etc. If you get out you have a chance to make your life better from this point. If you stay in you have zero chance. In codependant relationships, there are no winners, only losers (that’s plural).

March 10, 2010 at 11:34 pm
(573) Scott says:

I am completely worn out by my wife. She dismisses my thoughts and focuses on how worthless she is. No matter how much I care or what I do for her she stays in her pit. I can’t take it any more! What can I do for her so we can have a relationship? I love her and want to see her get better.

March 11, 2010 at 7:41 am
(574) cct says:

Scott,

No matter what you do she is going to see herself as worthless and blame herself for everything. It is a never ending cycle. Sometimes what you say sinks in for brief times but over all the thought never goes away. She might even try to hide it from you but once again – the thought never goes away.

It is very tiring but you have three options: 1) Continue as you are 2) Accept it 3) Get out while you still can.

:) This is life!

March 16, 2010 at 8:17 am
(575) Toni says:

cct & mentally exhausted,

Thank you both so much for taking the time to reply, it is very much appreciated.

Well, things got worse again and I made the decision to leave…the thing is, I don’t know how to be happy about it!
I feel like I’ve let him and everyone else down; the guilt is crippling and I can’t shake the anxiety.

I know I should be thinking about the ‘bad times’ and how there really wasn’t a chance, but the ‘good times’ (not that there were many) are dominating my thoughts!

My family are relieved, obviously and, up until today, there’s been no contact between us…I text to see how he was doing earlier, big mistake!

You’re right; I do need to think of myself, but how?

This is without a doubt the hardest, most depressing thing I’ve ever had to do…

March 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm
(576) cct says:

Toni, There are no need for thanks. That is what this board is for. Coming here and reading other people’s comments and situations has helped me to work things out (for the most part) in my head. My issue is 27+ years invested.

What you need to focus on is the “good” that you are able to do without being under that stressful situation. Do something for yourself. Get out and do . . . do not dwell. From hearing others, if it is to be successful it has to be a complete separation or else it will not work because of the guilt and such. You have nothing to feel guilty about. (:) I know easier said than done).

Here is a concept that I just thought of. If your partner has a very contagious disease – being separate is necessary in order for you to not catch what the other has. Depression is very contageous. You can not be strong for your spouse or boyfriend if you are in the same boat. With abuse added – your life just isn’t worth the risk.

Find something you like to do – do it when you start feeling doubt. Focus on what you are doing. . . etc.

It is so easy to give the advice – so hard to live by it. . .

March 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm
(577) HateThisClub! says:

This is an awful club to be in! I just read all of these posts with my mouth gaping. I have gotten to the point that when I know he is depressed I don’t even respond to his text messages. So many times the argument is coming, and I prep myself and say “don’t engage”. He has no filter and will say the most awful things and then it’s the pity party. I am sorry I am the asshole, etc. He won’t break the yelling off until I am truly crying my eyes out and hyperventalating. Only when he feels power will he save me from the bad guy. (him) if anyone else were to call me the names that he does, he would have their head. He chooses what dose of Lexapro he wants to take that day. He says he wants to get off of meds, and then will cut his dose in half and then go through a major panic attack and then take his normal dose the next day. Then a week later, he feels he does not need it… And back to the same old cycle. I exacerbated the entire problem by having an affair a year ago. I did not realize I was living with a depressed spouse, I just assumed his “negative” personality was just the way it was. I ended up talking way too much to his friend and his friend seized the opportunity to manipulate me. I ended up getting I to an affair with him and when my husband discovered the affair every single depressive thought went totally exponential. Now, I realize all that has gone on between us for 15 years, and I want so badly to help him recover from the pain that I caused him, but I feel totally helpless because he stays continually locked in his sadness even though he told me that he wants to stay with me. One minute he says he forgives me and lives me and then the next he says I am a whore and he hates me. I know that part of my story belongs in a forum about affairs, but so much of me recognizes how perpetually draining the negativity had become and I had not recognized it. Now it is a million times worse because of me! I just want him to decide what he really wants for our future and our children, because we really do have a great potential. But am I being overly optimistic with my head in the clouds that I can help make it all better??? Wow, such eye openers today. I definitely feel my own depression forming though, and I recognize it but don’t know how to absolve. Getting out on my own and doing anything for my own mental well-being only makes him more bitter. Aaaagh! So I stay at home to make him feel mor confident that he is my entire life but he never seems happy with it. OK rambling…. Sorry. Just want to keep looking on the horizon, but so drained.

March 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm
(578) cct says:

WOW! Hatethisclub! It almost sound like we are living the same lives. . . My affair was only verbal/mental but it is still there. I thought I was just living with a jerk and I had decided to leave and even told my husband that I had enough – I couldn’t do this anymore. My husband says that he loves me no matter what and has forgiven everything but if certain words are used (every day words) he gets very depressed. He will get down and ask what is wrong with me and doesn’t believe me when I say there isn’t anything wrong. He holds on to me so tightly I can’t even breathe. All we do when we are at home is sit and hold hands. . . This is not a life for anyone! My question is – after living with a jerk 15 out of 25 years and coming to not like/love that person then finding out that it is because of depression, not because he is a jerk, how do you turn things around. That is where I am lost.

I tried to talk him out of it but my son married someone kind of like my husband. When my son was going through the should I phase my husband told him no. Kind of ironic. . .

Sometimes it all feels like a manipulation. . .

I wish you luck HateThisClub!

March 23, 2010 at 7:45 am
(579) cct says:

HateThisClub,

After thinking about this last night – there is one thing that stands out that you need to do. You need to find a way to forgive yourself. That may sound strange but it is true. You sound like you have little self respect. I also had another thought. Sometimes I think my husband honestly loves me and that is the reason he wants me there but there are other times when I feel like I am there just to reinforce him being a failure. Is that what is happening with you???

Just random thoughts. . .

April 1, 2010 at 12:16 am
(580) Susie says:

Toni,

I came on this site tonight for the first time in a year. I posted on here alot back then. What you are going through in your situation is very similar to mine. I just wanted to say that I used to make lots of excuses for his shitty, abusive behaviour. I would say “its because of his depression” . One day I just realized that this is who he is and I was in an abusive relationship. Dont make to many excuses for him. Lots of bad men are bad for a variety of reasons, but we women do not have to stay and tolerate it because”they may be depressed”. Women seem to have this innate need or feeling of responsibilty to suffer for the men in our lives. We really dont have to do that. Think of yourself for a change.

I am really concerned for your situation and feel that if you go back, you may be in a lot of danger. Is there a womens centre or councellor you could see?? Sometimes these people/programs can really help to open our eyes. A really good book to read is “Women who Love to Much”. I read it and thought someone had been following me around. LOL. Anyway, just my two cents. Good luck, and God Bless. Susie

April 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm
(581) CJ says:

I learn at this website that I am not alone. But I am at a loss about what we can do except set boundaries and leave.

I’m about done with setting boundaries, it is totally exhausting. Why must I be the grown up all the time?
I have to end the conversations when he’s ranting. I have to make sure that the children are not punished for ‘breathing’. I have to earn all the money and do most of the housework. I am totally sick of it. I have been married for 22 years. For the last 3 years he’s been nutz. I am concluding that I am not helping him, I am just enabling his ultimate demise. Could it be that the most loving and giving thing I could do for him is leave? There are apparently others struggling with the same thing.

April 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm
(582) Susie says:

Hi CJ,

I noticed you asked is leaving the most loving thing you can do “for him”. Your question should be, what is the most loving thing I can do “for me”. After 22 years, you deserve to find the answers to that question. I really hope you find it. So few of us do and end up spending way to long in these situations. Susie

April 6, 2010 at 7:17 am
(583) Wondering what to do says:

Its been a while but I thought things were going well. Slowly but surely it has regressed back to the old ways. Susie seems to think it’s only the women who feel the abuse. Men can also fall victim.
My life has returned to the verbal bashing and the threats of ending it all. My wife doesnt seem to hear herself blurting things out even in public places. Yes there are some that are abusers, but to the depressed it’s almost, maybe a bad analogy,like an epileptic that they have no recolection of what they said or did. Once they’ve started their attack a blindness occurs that obscures the act. To love too much and stay or not enough and leave. It’s a difficult question would another disease or affliction make it different ? I’ve wresteled with that question I still haven’t got the answer.

April 6, 2010 at 12:14 pm
(584) cct says:

I hear the same things again and again with no true resolution. Males and females feel the effects as well as the depressed and the one falling into the trap. All seeing it from different sides. I just want to be free! I have a hard time hanging on sometimes and this is one of those.

April 6, 2010 at 11:17 pm
(585) Susie says:

Dear “Wondering what to do”

Please dont think I meant its only women that suffer. I totally agree that a lot of men suffer the same way. Its just that women tend to more often feel they need to stay and put up and suffer with abuse ” some men do as well” I think a lot of people on here have partners that are depressed, I think on some level most of us are. I know I ended up in worse shape than my husband did in the end–
However, we all need to stop making excuses for our partners crappy behaviour. Sometimes, it really is abusive and we dont want to accept or believe that of the people we love. We prefer to say instead… its because they are depressed. Its really hard to paint a different picture of them.Take a look at how they treat others. If its dramatically different (better) than how they treat you, then its fairly clear. Dont be a doormat or a punching bag. If they really are depressed and are actively trying to get some help ,great. If not, you need to make a choice. Depression doesnt cause abuse. Susie

April 6, 2010 at 11:56 pm
(586) Jen says:

I agree with Susie.. I wish I would have stopped making excuses a long time ago. My life could have been so differnt right now. Instead i am stuck in a violent hellhole because I thought i could save him from his depression and his past. Wish i could go back and start over.. my life sucks.

April 9, 2010 at 6:45 pm
(587) kb says:

I am glad to have found this site! I believe that my husband is clinically depressed. He also has ADD and OCD and personality disorder. They kind of all run together don’t they?
For years I thought he was ignoring me. Now I realize it was the ADD. Then he had trouble keeping a job – always due to faults not his own – and it has spiralled out of control. We have 2 young children. I cannot rely on him to feed them or pick them up from school when I can’t. He sometimes does not shower or change his clothes for days. The kids say ” you smell” and he says that I am poisioning them against him.
His parents will not get involved even after numerous requests.
So now I am interviewing lawyers. I too feel like I am abandoning him but I cannot take being called names or threatened. I was cutting up insulation for the attic and he said “what are u going to do w/ that knife? cut me up in little pieces?”
thanks for listening

April 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm
(588) Spouse in CO says:

My wife is depressed and has been for our entire marriage (18 years). I didn’t realize it at first and it took me 5 – 6 years to figure out what was going on with her. I am now to the point that I can’t take it any more bt am feeling guilt over my desire to divorce and hope to have some happiness in my remaining life. I have been to a therepist myself and she says I need to leave but I am afraid of what will happen to my wife if I am gone. Spousal depression is not only a trap for the depressed, but for those that love them. I knopw it sounds wierd to say I love her when I am also thinking about a divorce but I am certain that I do but I am also just as certain that there are different types of love. I just know I have needs and after these many years have given up on ever being able to satisfy them in my current marriage. Am I a terrible person?

April 15, 2010 at 11:35 am
(589) cct says:

Spouse in CO – no, you are not a terrible person. I am willing to bet that the majority of the people who have posted here feel or have felt the same thing. Yes, I agree with you. There are many types of love. That is the pain of it. My needs are an emotional balance that is never there – a feeling of being halfway normal and not at fault all of the time. I have also been told that I need to leave – that I am enabling my spouse to be this way and not seek help but I know that if I leave no help will be sought and things will spiral downhill fast for my husband.

If you can be strong and do what needs to be done for both of you that is great. Hanging onto your resolve will not be easy at all.

I wish you all of the luck in the world!

April 16, 2010 at 11:42 pm
(590) Isabelle says:

I see many people mention sadness. My husband has been depressed for two years. He does not experience much sadness but rather bitterness and negativity. He lacks energy and drive that he once had. Is clinical depression defined by sadness?

April 21, 2010 at 3:48 am
(591) mentally exhausted says:

My wife is the same way……for YEARS.

April 21, 2010 at 8:04 am
(592) cct says:

I think I am finally where you are at Mentally Exhausted. Too tired to fight – too tired to care. . .

April 22, 2010 at 11:01 pm
(593) Susie says:

My ex husband was like that as well. When he walked in the room, it was like a dark cloud of negativity walked in with him. It got to the point where I would come home and hope he wasnt there. He ranted constantly about everything. It was awful to live like that. I really feel for you. Home should be a refuge and peaceful.

April 23, 2010 at 7:51 am
(594) cct says:

Susie, are you free of it all? Or at least as free as you can be???

April 23, 2010 at 10:10 am
(595) Susie says:

I am free of him. Was actually divorced last month. Still have some guilt and worry about him. I know that I tried everything and stuck it out as long as I could. Now I have to learn to start living again. Thats the hard part. Guilt (even unfounded) is an awful thing. I dont know where I ever got the idea that I was so responsible for another person. I was the poster girl for co-dependence! LOL

April 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(596) Cassandra says:

Hello everyone and anyone who has written a comment on this blog. I am saddened and inspired by some of the writings in this blog. I am currently writing a script about the loneliness of a wife who’s husband is going through depression due to loss of a job. If any of you out there would like to take the time to speak with me via email or even phone. I want to better understand the emotional rollercoaster that is caused when a spouse is diagnosed with depression. It’s important to me that I portray my character as realistically as possible. I hope to speak with someone soon and hear the stories of your lives. I admire all of you for your strength.

April 24, 2010 at 2:32 am
(597) metoo says:

I am with all of you! My husband was diagnosed with clinical depression and restless leg syndrome. Recently, the doctor adjusted medications…and simply didn’t seem to get it right! He lost a fiance to an unexpected death before dating me, lost several jobs due to atypical circustances outside of his control…and we have two little girls. In talking about me, he says that I am his strength…that I deserved better…that he must be a disappointment to me. But the part that hurts me most is that he gets caught in his own little world that I feel invisible…that is what hurts that we can live in a home and never seem to connect, never participate in an activity or conversation unless it is family business related. I agree with previous posts that you just learn to be independent…and I am thrilled to have two daughters that I know will be great companions….but I just don’t know how I see my marriage of now 6 years. In so many ways, I am happy and I know deep down he loves me…in other ways, I think this for better or for worse stuff is tough!

April 24, 2010 at 2:41 am
(598) metoo says:

Spouse in CO- I do know exactly how you feel…I have thought to myself if I had chose differently where would I be today…could I have realized my potential more fully? That is a question that currently haunts me!

April 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm
(599) cct says:

Susie, so how did you finally do it. I read your posts from a while ago. . . If my husband was still the jerk things would be a lot easier. He isn’t though. He says he is trying to do everything he can to make things perfect for me. Funny thing is, the perfect for me means that we do everything together round the clock. If I do something seperate he comes up to me every few minutes asking is everything ok. As hard as I work at it, there are a couple of questions that get a knee jerk irritated reaction from me – What’s wrong? and Are you made at me? Also the phrase, “I’m sorry.” doesn’t sit too well with me. I do not want to be lost but am finding that in order to survive that is the only way. If I leave, I know bad things will happen with my husband. If I stay – I sink and the extreme bad things do not happen to my husband. I do not know whether to laugh or cry most of the time.

Taking medication and going to see someone is still out of the question.

April 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm
(600) cct says:

I just asked someone how I can find my way out of the darkness – their response was, since it is self-imposed just open my eyes. It may be self-imposed but life isn’t that easy.

April 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm
(601) Susie says:

Hi CCT,

Your husbands behaviour could be a couple different things. It may be extreme self pity, or a controlling move as he is afraid you have 1 foot out the door. Either way, it seems he is smothering you and the result he fears is inevitable. What would happen if you went out for an eve without him? Does he accuse you of things? You may just have to take a stand and live your life. No one can be together 24-7. That old saying ” familiarity builds contempt” is very true.
I know you said that councelling for you two is out of the question at this point, but how about just for you? It can really help you figure things out.
I read 2 really good books as I was finding my way out of this darkness. 1. Women Who Love to Much and 2. How to Break your Addiction to a Person. This book had an analogy of some relationships being like a prison cell. The door is open and we can leave anytime, but for some reason we choose to stay out of fear of venturing out of our comfort zone. Both books helped me really see what was happening and to figure out what I wanted.

April 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm
(602) cct says:

Susie, thank you for your comments. It always helps to have an objective view. I will look into the two books you suggest. Let’s see – I was on an all female bowling league for a couple of months that ended recently. He seemed to do ok with that but that was only two hours out of how many ever are in a week and it was all female. He buys me “toys” to keep me occupied at home but seems to get down or says something is different if I do them.

He doesn’t want me to go see anyone either. The two times that I did see someone (once with him and once without him) things were pretty bad. He went to someone back in December and the person asked if I would consider coming in – he said no – she asked him why and his response was, last time it was a disaster. I’ve told him that I would do anything to get things straight including going in to talk to someone. The one time that I did go by myself it gave me a different perspective and helped me have a temporary backbone. Every little abnormal thing seems to freak him out. Last night I didn’t have my hand on him every time we sat down and it bothered him to no end. He didn’t say anything because I have told him that it is a matter of have to/want to. If I feel like I have to or something bad is going to happen then I don’t want to. He doesn’t understand that concept. Maybe it is a bit childish but man – we have been married for 27.5 years and I do not feel it is necessary to hang on to him every second of the day else his world comes crashing down on him. I did it for quiet a while but now to me – it doesn’t mean a thing anymore.

Once again, thank you!

I really am afraid of what he will do if I leave. That isn’t right! I am looking for another job so that we do not work within walking distance from each other.

April 30, 2010 at 8:07 am
(603) cct says:

I am so dumb! I complain about having to touch too much to where I don’t feel anything when all the people here want is to be touched. My husband and I had a discussion last night where he told me he just wants me to want to touch him that he wants me to love him. I am such an idiot! What is wrong with me to where I can’t/don’t/won’t feel anything? Maybe I am the messed up one and not him. . .

May 15, 2010 at 2:17 am
(604) long time spouse of depression says:

Hello, I came accross this site tonight and I think it might be what Im looking for. My husband has been dealing with depression for over 20 years now. The last few months have been really bad. He was admitted to a hospital for suicidal thoughts and threats. He blamed me for him being in there. He now knows that I didn’t have a choice but to get him to a hospital. In the last 8 months our relations in the bedroom have been slim to nothing.. Latley he wont even show any affection. He’s constantly on FB or watching TV. I feel bad for our kids because they don’t have a dad that does things with them, it’s always been me. I’m going to tell him that we both need to see his counsler as I feel like we are on two different paths and I dont like it. He complains about not getting better but doesn’t try to turn things around. I’m at my wits end at this point. I want my husband back but if he doesn’t want to work on it then what choice to I have???

May 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm
(605) Stranded says:

I am very thankful for this discussion board. I thought I was alone, but now I see that I’m not.

I’ve been married to a depressed man for 16 years. Did I know he was depressed before I married him? Yes and no. He showed signs, which I didn’t take seriously enough. I’d been through a depressive episode myself–to the point I couldn’t get out of bed and wanted to inflict self-jury. But over a period of several months, I was able to pull myself out of it. And, I’m happy to report, I’ve never been that depressed again.

So I looked upon my boyfriend’s depression as a difficult but temporary state. I was naive. I simply didn’t realize that some people are depressed permanently.

A couple of times, after we were married, I threatened to leave if he didn’t seek help. He would go to a couple of counseling sessions, and then quit. He’ll never follow through because he doesn’t see himself as the problem. It’s the rest of the world.

When he’s not in this state of mind–which is a very small percentage of the time–he’s wonderful. That’s the person I live to connect with. But he’s usually not around.

He expresses a desire to make love; but my sex drive is gone. It’s impossible to be drawn to someone who frowns, I’d estimate, 90% of the time; who verbally attacks at the slightest provocation.

I find myself staring at smiling faces in magazines.

I daydream about what it must be like to live with an optimist.

But I have no intention of having an affair or of leaving him. Perhaps I’m ill myself. How else could I love someone who pushes me–and everyone else who cares–away?

May 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm
(606) cct says:

Stranded – Thank you for sharing. I thought I was the one who was way out of whack because my situation is the exact opposite of the majority on the board. I didn’t know my husband was depressed until a couple of years ago after I had told him that I couldn’t do this anymore. I fell out of love with a jerk and now I am not living with the jerk or the person whom I fell in love with. I also feel like the ill one. Being pushed away but still have that “I need you – I do not know what I would do without you – why can’t you let me in your heart. . .” I do my best to make it happen but have lost so much that it feels cold and empty inside.

It took me a long time to say “I can’t do this anymore.” (26 years) I promised to give him another chance – when do I stop?

You are not ill. You just care for someone who can’t return the same type of caring that you feel and show. I am still doing my best to follow Susie’s advice. It does help. :) I really do sympathize with you and hope your situation gets better.

June 5, 2010 at 4:35 pm
(607) martin says:

hi i have been with my wife for 9 years, been married for 3 of which. She has always been an on and off sufferer from depression ( put down to a messy break up with her parents at the age of 12 years old)
i got with her when she was a young age she was nearly 15 and i had just turned 18. we moved in together just 2 years later and had a really healthy very close relationship,
She did control most of my life since the start of the relationship. But we were always still very much in love and respected one another. However in october 2009 she was Re-diagnosed with severe depression. She had a light mental breakdown. Since then she has lost her job as she was bullied out in February. Then the Doctors uped her dose to 150mg
My wife believes she has bipola, but the doctor says they dont think it is, however the mind Charity counseling group. The phsycotherapist insists she may have bipola and needs to be Re-checked. They are insisting this due to her big mood swings, she is alway trying to be life and soul of all parties, and the depression part is only when she feels, low, down, sense of worthlessness but then she will change and then want to go out, she is very into socialising and does not do what a typical depressed person would. Well what i typically think of depressed is to.. usual switch off from the real world and not go out as much, drink at home and just be miserable.

Well this is not my wife, my wife will change from day to day and morning to afternoon, she can this lately be completely filled with rage and anger, she is extremely arguementative, She is this lately always trying to find a different bunch of friends to go out drinking to really late at night, which is out of character from all the previous years.
We in our relationshop hardly have our fall outs, and when they are its either the alcohol or a complete mis-understanding caused by my wifes recent confusions.
In the last few months my wife has now got worse. she is seeing her phsycotherapist once a month which may increase now.
the ways in which she has got worse. the last 2 weeks she is speaking really fast, always flitting from doing one thing to another, being full of rage and anger. she has said she is not herself and needs to be away from normallity in order to get better. She is staying with a friend 2 miles away, which she has been there for the last week. Am i doing the right thing in supporting her by saying yes have your space to do this and find your feet. ( which is what the pshycotherapist) told her to do 2 weeks ago.
The worries i have is that since the counseling over the last few months, She is drinking more frequent and losing all control over her life. And now losing weight again. and now i am aswell as her mother shut out and pushed away. i need to know if this is normal for me to have to take this back seat when we were so close before.?

The friend of which she is staying at has a child of 3 yrs old. and i hope will keep her all in order. the reason my wife wishes not to be around me is that she does not want to hurt me and does not want me to see her in this way. My wife has done self harming for the last 2 months and all of this is a real big worry for me.

Please if some one out there knows if i have done the right thing and let her walk away to do this self healing on her own and get normal again without me, as i feel that in giving her the respect and giving her space for this self development as it is called is not the right thing to ofdone as i feel i am her husband and should 100% be there by her side through all of this..
just wish the self development would of been after or before she was going through this episode of hers as she is currently not the girl i married.
The last 2 weeks she has all of the charcteristics of a person that i do not like, she is cold hearted at the moment, she currently has no emotions, she is not missing me at all. ( Which hurts me more than anything! ) The real lady i married would of missed me more than i missed her.

She says her mind is too busy.
It really is crushing me at the moment, our relationship has seen only 4 nights apart in the last 7 years, so we are a very close couple.
This last 7 nights apart is really hard for me , but not for her as she doesnt have the ability to miss me, which is worrying as the 4 nights we did have apart before she always suffered from light panic attacks which was kind of nice for me as it made me feel special and missed, and above all loved.

June 7, 2010 at 12:01 am
(608) mentally exhausted says:

Martin,
To be frank and honest, it’s time for you to leave. Things in life change and now is the time to move on. Why be miserable the rest of your life. You’re not the cause and therefore should not be the one to suffer. Don’t feel bad, move on, you’re worth it.

June 7, 2010 at 8:07 am
(609) cct says:

Martin, I agree with mentally exhausted. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want your help no matter how you look at it and no matter how much you care. If you do stay fully attached you will get nowhere in your life and wind up in the same boat – miserable for the rest of your life. At some point you may even begin to hate her as hard as that may seem right now.

June 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm
(610) sadinky says:

I am in a living hell after my husband became depressed 9 months ago. He is exhibiting the classic male depressive model – agitated, angry, and working as many hours as possible. After a weekend of intensity I came to the conclusion that I have to take care of myself so I went to the doctor and got on medication to help stabilize ME. He consistently refuses to ask our doctor for something (medication) but did see a work counselor for a while. I just found out he has not seen her in 5 months because he was not willing to make the changes she suggested to help him get well. Just this weekend he encouraged me to seek a job in another town 3 hours away and told me I needed to decide if I wanted to live on my own in our current location or closer to my parents. He says he loves me and doesn’t want me to give up on him. I feel so useless – I KNOW I can’t help him get well – will this thing eventually pass or is this my “new” husband? I wish I knew and I wish there was some way to get him back into therapy even if he won’t take meds.

June 15, 2010 at 7:46 am
(611) cct says:

Sadinky, yes, your husband can change. Will he change back to the person you married? Probably not. You are on the right track to being able to live your life. Follow that path and see where it takes you.

Once it is determined that counseling will not help – it doesn’t. They just get offended at everything that is said and feel like the therapist is attacking them.

I wish the best of luck!

June 19, 2010 at 8:54 am
(612) Kelly says:

While I’m impressed with the love, compassion, and tenacity of some posts on this board, with other posts I find words like “enabler” “co-dependent” and “doormat” popping up in my head.
“Feeling guilty” about leaving isn’t always a good reason to stay. People naturally feel guilty dumping someone even when they’re just dating–it’s natural. Unfortunately, when vows were made, we tend to justify those guilty feelings even in cases where we shouldn’t.
If I stay with my depressed husband or if I leave, I hope I do it because I feel it’s the best thing to do and not because someone has guilted me into staying, including myself

June 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm
(613) Becky says:

My husband has been recently diagnosed with clinical depression. He is a truck driver and only home on weekends. To most ppl who “know us” think everything is fine. Only a few know it’s not. Not long after we were married that he started pulling away from me sexually, that I noticed something was wrong. He told me it was”me”, then he would say, it was”him”. Talk about confussing. After a few years of being married, I wanted to start a family, but because we were not sexually active, it was not happening. I remember sitting up against the kitchen wall and crying and begging him to help me have a baby. I eventually got pregnant and he stopped touching me once I got a belly. He wouldn’t touch me again until months later. Not even a year and a half later, I got pregnant with our second child. We were only together 2 times that month and I got pregnant! We had a lil girl, that was born with serious birth defects that required a lot of time in the hospital and time away from each other. He would come home from work and leave me to take care of her and our 2 yr old son. I was not only emotionally drained but physically as well. He would leave all of it up to me to take care of. Cleaning, bills,raising our son, doctors,therapists, cooking, bathing kids, you name it! I had it all sitting on me. He didn’t touch me for 11 months! I’m in my prime and I would love for him to hold me, and make me feel like a lady. I’ve been going thru this for years with him. It was only recently that he was diagnosed. He’s afraid if he starts taking meds that he’ll have to take them for the rest of his life. I really do love him and I want this to work. Our daughter is doing wonderful now and will hopefully be done with all her surgeries soon. I need him so badly. I thought for so many years that it was my fault, that he was this way. He would come home mad, and always find things to put me down about. He hardly ever picks up or cleans, and he told me that was the reason he couldn’t spend time with our kids, is, because our house wasn’t clean enough! I cannot tell you how many times, we have had verbal fights, about the house. Our home is not immaculate but comfortable and picked up. I’ve been in many homes to know, that ours, is not that bad! Since we have started seeing a therapist, he has gotten off my back, about the house and is more affectionate to me. I pray that he’ll do his best, to try to make this work. We are working on our communication and we are talking more. I had so many years of built up frustration at him, and not to mention anger. I fealt betrayed by him. I saved myself for him, until we were married and he has pushed me away more times then I can count. The therapist is really making me see, that I am not the problem. His depression is. It feels so good to get this finally off my chest. I know now, that I’m not alone. Thanks everyone for allowing me to share my story with you.

June 21, 2010 at 8:14 am
(614) cct says:

Kelly, you are right in your assessment. There are times when it is so crystal clear but most times it is very murky. It is what it is. . .

June 29, 2010 at 9:40 am
(615) Joe says:

I’ve been with my partner  for 20 years and am now in late thirties.  My wife has always been quiet and withdrawn – she had a difficult time growing up (her mom died when she was young and she ended up taking over her role to an extent) I think her dad had a breakdown around this  time  and  was  verbally abusive and belittled her.  She also suffered from post natal depression following our two childrens birth (more  so after the  2nd one) she received some counselling and  is taking medication for mild depression  and anxiety (which has been increased  over the last year or so.)    She’s also tried therapy but gave up after  a couple  of sessions saying that it was  too difficult and emotional.

Our situation, despite worsening with the birth of our two children,  has always been  similar – I tend to be outgoing, she is quiet – I’m positive – she’s negative (always finds a reason  why things won’t  work).  She finds it impossible  to make decisions/choices on even simple  things (which can lead to arguments – and result in her being a tearful wreck)  When she is mad at me she will not speak to me for hours on end.  Indeed some days she  can be “quiet” with me for no apparent reason when i  ask  why she says she is  stessed or anxious.  She finds it difficult to control the children  and then gets mad at me when I try to talk to her about it.  She will often try and get 1000  things  done at once instead if focusing on one thing that she  could finish  - she then says she has to do it because no one else will.(I cook, do what i can around  the house, manage the money, work full time, and try and manage the kids  best I can).  We have zero social life, and only go out when i instigate it.   Our family live  five  hours away and again  we don’t visit unless  I instigate it (even though she loves her brother  dearly).   

Like some of the other posters above – I know what sort of day I’ll have from the moment she speaks in the morning or the look on  her face when I get  home from work.  Some days are  great and the  mood  lifts and she’s funny and great  to be  with and then  with  no warning the mood  will  shift  and she will  be  anxious, tearful or quiet  and  unwilling to discuss the problem – a typical day is  more likely to  be the latter,  Leaving me  wondering what  an  earth is happening and  what  to do.

We will often argue about  trivial things the rows typically become explosive with both of us saying things we regret. No matter who starts the argument  I’m always the  one to lead the make up afterwards.  I think if I ever didn’t do that we’d never talk again!  I think  that’s certainly a cycle  and Im as much to blame for that as her.  I  think She treats  me making up with her  as a sign of affection.

She has  said many times she  just wants someone that loves her/she feels lonely  -  I have treated this as an endless crusade of making  her feel special, cooking  her  dinner, sending her love  texts, flowers, little gifts – of course none of it works and eventually we always get  back to square one  - shell often tell  me to leave whilst at the same time saying its not what she really wants (she’s saying it so I  can be happy) – it took me a long time (two decades) for me to realize that i neither  could  control these events or personally fix the route cause.

A year ago I made the decision to get my social  life back –  go out  with  friends,follow up on  hobbies  and try and get  out  more so now  I’m out  1 or two  nights a week – I think she resents  me for this  and makes suggestions/comments that  make me feel  bad about  it but I turn  a blind eye when  she complains because if I didn’t  do  it I think the situation would be  a lot worse.  For those in  a similar  situation  and as others  have said – get out there and have some sort  of life  as it  does  help to  recharge the batteries.

I would love to know  how you beat the  thing –  shes  now been on meeds  for 4 years and  the doctors haven’t talked about how/when/if she will come off  these – the worst part of it I guess is seeing that  person you love come  out every  now and again – I know it’s not my wifes  fault – but to go from  that to the pits of despair within 24 hrs can be really tough on you – and make you feel  selfish  for saying it or wanting things different.  

More importantly for those with small children – do you have any tips???  I want my kids  to have a great childhood and don’t  want their memories to  be that mommy was  always unhappy/crying/angry….please any tips on how best to manage??????  

July 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm
(616) darnell says:

i’ve been married for 10 years now and my wife is bipolar and has anxiety disorder,diabities,ptsd and so on.she doesn’t work and all the bulk is on me.our marrige has gone down the tubes,i feel that shes mad at me all the time,and 95%of the time our conversations are negitve.it’s like this dark cloud i can’t escape except when i’m at work,but then she complains about me working.i have no choice ,shes says she’s always here alone.i get blamed for quite abit but my situation gets worse because my wife is bisexual.it’s all to much.can anybody give me some good advice and not words.

July 11, 2010 at 12:27 pm
(617) Renee says:

I am sick of all things associated with depression:
TV
coffee
unmade bed
dark room
Vicodin
Ativan
Zyprexa
Shock treatments
Vagal nerve stimulators
Depakote tremors
Missed work
Patronizing psychiatrists
Cereal
Disability lawyers
No friends
NO sex
No vacations
Chronic pain
No help around the house
Total responsibility for finances
Anxiety
Unshaved face and dirty pajamas
Unmowed yards
Absolute loneliness
Feelings of hatred and despair.

Yet I can’t seem to leave after 15 years even though in the long run I would be fine. I am just so worn down I can’t imagine having to clean up the mess (repair house, sell, move…). I just to get even more tired thinking about having increased responsibility because I am almost broken. I am only 40 and when I look to the rest of my life what I put up above is what I see. it does not matter that this is my best friend and the nice human I have ever met. this disease has destroyed him and not is taking me down as well. When you listen to your spouse say he would be better off dead and silently agree it may be time to move on. That happened this morning. That you for listening to my rant and please forgive me for being so angry.

July 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm
(618) cct says:

You have every right to be angry and to be able to express it.

It is sad hearing that voice inside your head.

Thank you for sharing.

July 14, 2010 at 7:37 pm
(619) Rudy says:

I need help. My spouse whom I love dearly has depression and I can’t seem to be able to help. We have 2 children together and I’m left in the dark. Everyday is a day where I don’t know what to do. I just want to be able to touch her and hold her in my arms again.

July 15, 2010 at 8:29 am
(620) cct says:

Rudy, is your spouse seeking help? Be supportive but make sure you take time for yourself so you do not get lost.

July 17, 2010 at 3:56 am
(621) WYsteel says:

I knew my wife had clinical depression when we married. I thought love and prayer/faith could heal it. Now after seventeen years of the super drama roller coaster, I’ve finally had it. I’m so tired, defeated even. Tired of being told she doesn’t love me and wants a divorce. Tired of being blamed for her irrational fears and persistent negativity.

The wonderful, sweet and caring lady I fell in love with and married has nearly disappeared. Year by year as I hung in there, tried to to be supportive and also improve myself she has just gotten worse. She seems to almost enjoy her depression, as she clings to it like a blanket which she uses to smother all things hopeful. She has been on so many meds over the seventeen years and nothing works for longer than a few months.

My life is endless walking on egg shells and learning to be indifferent to her bad times when she says the most hurtful things she can imagine to me with no restraint. Knowing she is ill helps some. The hardest part is being so alone emotionally. Her emotional needs always come first and when I dare seek comfort and compassion she lashes out at me for being selfish. Her feelings are SO MUCH harder than mine how dare I share that I struggle at times.

Then the is the amazing resentment memory of hers, that recalls and gushes forth with unreal detail and venom all her real and perceived grievances. All it takes is one sentence from me, taken the wrong way and here it comes.

Then there is all the sleeping, 12 hours a day when she can get away with it. Complaints about being over burdened while I do 80% of all the household chores inside and out. Care care too. Also compulsive shopping spending resulting it her hiding junk from me. She refuses to do a budget and live by it, acting our wages.

So now she wants a divorce (again) since I found out today that she has gotten us into owing more money a month than we earn. I always let her handle the bills, that was her one frickin’ job. Pretty stupid of me huh?
I did not get upset. Just said we gotta cut all non necessities for awhileq and stop bleeding red ink.

Nope she demands, we sell the house and use what ever equity on bills. Then with the divorce and equity cash she will be happy. She I am the reason she has been depressed, even the decade of depression before she met me! Guess I have magic powers, but then again that’s no surprise. When she is in her black hole I’m a full fledged demon you know.

And you know what is really sad? There is a wonderful woman hiding in there who I fell in love with and still love. But that sweet person rarely comes out to play anymore. I think soon she will be all gone.

I am ready now to do the divorce, I gotta save myself from the mental/emotional/financial sickness. If you are with some one with clinical depression, run as fast as you can the other way. It is usually incurable and over time gets progressively worse. This is just horrible to live through. My wife is gone and I don’t know who this negative, angry bitter woman is that looks like her is.
I’ve tried so hard so long. Now I’m just exhausted.

PS; I am a former Christian pastor, hospital chaplain and mental/behavioral health caseworker. It’s taken such a toll on me I’m working as a factory mechanic to relieve some of the stress.

July 18, 2010 at 11:08 am
(622) kat says:

WYsteel, I am amazed at the similarities between your experiences with your wife’s depression and mine with my husband’s. Everything from the “resentment memory” and lashing out, the desire to complusively spend money, and the seeming to hold his depression around him like a blanket to smother out anything good.
We have been married for over 30 years and though I suspected it might be depression here and there, it was not until the last few years that I was pretty sure. He has only been on medication for a little less than 2 years and though it seemed to help at first and has been adjusted many times for dosage and type, now I feel like he is on a roller coaster. I never know what his mood might be and it is likely to change – as you mentioned – after only a few words that I might say! He is unwilling to try talk therapy, which makes the situation feel pretty hopeless.
I would love to hear from anyone who has sucessfully dealt with this. I have tried to locate a support group for the spouses of people with depression, but no luck yet. I am feeling lost.

July 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm
(623) So Confused says:

Hello All,

Some of you may know me from reading my 2008-2009 posts. I was talking to my husband (I’ll get into that in a few) about how I used to post on this blog and decided to read through all of my posts and others too. I noticed that a few of you wondered how I was doing. Well….

A year ago, I moved to Florida from Pennsylvania and basically started over from scratch. In doing so, I left behind two houses (one of which was foreclosed on), a good job, my family (not including my precious son of course), my friends, my husband and the life that I had lived for thirty years. All that being said, I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!! Yes, I am struggling because I live on one income virtually as a single parent now, but my son is no longer depressed and neither am I. My apartment is a happy place. I thank God for every day because I was truly miserable when I was with my ex. It took me a year to get over the guilt of abandoning him. It’s been a tough year. We’re friends and still talk. (Actually we were on the phone for two hours yesterday.) I don’t think that we will ever get back together, but I do still view him as my family. I love him very much and will do anything to help him, except for sacrifice the happiness of myself and my child.

In no way am I suggesting that any of you take the road I have. You just have to do what’s right for you. I saw a situation that was never going to improve. I saw my child being affected. My health was affected. It was definitely what was best for me.

I just want to thank Mike (he probably hasn’t been back on the board in forever) for all of his help. I realized some things about myself along the way. I think that we are all co-dependent, have become co-dependent or will become co-dependent in some way, shape or form. If you are in it long enough, you try to become your spouse’s everything, mother, friend, caretaker, everything. That is not healthy! I learned that that is not the type of relationship I want for myself and I don’t want to raise my child to think that it is the right way.

I truly hope you call can find happiness whether it’s with or without your spouses.

God bless you all,

No Longer Confused (formerly known as So Confused)

July 22, 2010 at 7:36 am
(624) cct says:

Formerly So Confused – when I found this board I read your story along with Mike’s and several others. It gave me hope that there would eventually be peace in my life. My one question is – how did you force yourself to take that step? I know that is what would be best for me. I have a hard time thinking of myself in this. Susie gave me some good advice also. It is like I have this giant rubber band around me – I keep trying to run away but it keeps pulling me back. Some people say – just jump.

July 22, 2010 at 10:17 pm
(625) So Confused says:

CCT-

I’m sorry you are going through this. I really know how it feels. Honestly, the only way I escaped it was to leave the state. If I stayed in Pennsylvania there is no doubt that I would have gotten sucked right back in. Partially because of the guilt trip, partially because I felt as though I could make a difference. Like I said before, it has not been easy. I had to start from scratch. But, when he would call me with his problems and being depressed, it was very hard to go and console him over 1000 miles away. That was my saving grace, distance. I tried moving a few blocks away before, that did not work at all. People say just jump. I’m not going to say that you will not pay a heavy price, but in my opinion, it is one of the smartest things I ever could have done. For once I was totally selfish and did what I wanted for me instead of putting his feelings ahead of my own. There are times when he is down and I am right there to listen. He tells me off the wall things that dont make any logical sense at all. Instead of getting upset, I just listen and laugh because I’m not being directly affected. I try to help him, but when we hang up, it’s over. A giant weight has been lifted. The pressure I used to feel on my chest is gone. The weight on my shoulders is gone. I don’t feel anxious anymore.

Formerly So Confused

July 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(626) So Confused says:

CCT-

I just read your story. It sounds just like mine did. My husband loves me very much. I was his world. That is a heavy burden to bear.

July 23, 2010 at 7:40 am
(627) cct says:

Is it silly to cry over a few simple words???

July 23, 2010 at 8:01 am
(628) So Confused says:

You or him, CCT?

July 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm
(629) chrisssy606 says:

Wow!!!! It’s been a year since I’ve posted a comment here and I’m pleased to hear that some of you have made some AMAZING changes in your lives. I’m also really saddened that I now see SOOOO many more people grappling with the hardships of living with a depressed spouse. It’s AWFUL that there are so many of us living such unhappy existences!

I’d love to ask a question for those of you who did “get out” of their relationships. As difficult as it was, do you regret your decision in any way? (eg. guilt, loss of income, relocation…) I’m so close to finally “pulling the plug”, but I ‘m currently being racked with doubt.

My husband (who just informed me he stopped his meds about 5 months ago) is now pulling the same kind of stunts that CCT’s husband and So confused’s husband did (guilt trip, can’t live without you etc…..)

I truly don’t feel love for him anymore, but I still have pity for him. I feel that I’ll be yet another person in his life that’s let him down. I just don’t know what to do!!!

July 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm
(630) Cindy says:

My husband and I have been married for 11 months…prior to that we dated for 6 years. I knew he suffered from depression early on in our relationship but he takes medication to help. For the last year his depression has been worse. He sleeps when he gets home from work, criticizes my cleaning, cooking, and physical appearance. He will go days without speaking to me or if he does he grunts. He complains that WE are boring and that I’m not the same girl as when we first started dated. He complains I’m not fun anymore and I don’t know how to let loose anymore. He drinks several beers a day. I tried to get him to notice this by letting the returnable bottles pile up in front of his car….didn’t faze him a bit. He started smoking a year ago and he is mad at me because I won’t let him smoke in the house. He said it’s HIS house and he should be able to smoke in HIS house. (I sold mine when we got married and moved in with him). He takes long naps when he gets home from work and on the weekends. He complains he doesn’t have any friends but then turns down any invitation from co-workers. I ask him to go for walks/jogs with me, shopping, movies, play cards. He always says no. He gives me a hard time when I go out with my friends….says it must be nice to have fun while he’s stuck at home. I try to talk to him about it but he tells me I don’t want to know what he’s thinking about. He also says that talking to me just makes it worse. He goes to a therapist once a month…..I don’t think that’s enough…and he cancels appointments if he’s really depressed. I cry by myself all the time about this….When I drive down our street after work everyday I pray that he is in a good mood…..those days are getting few and far between. We need help….we both feel lonely and sad and angry….

July 26, 2010 at 8:09 am
(631) cct says:

Formerly so confused – me.

July 27, 2010 at 6:28 am
(632) julie says:

Its so good to see a website up that i can relate to, i started to read everyones storys tonight and there are so many of them id like to share mine also and i wonder if there is light at the end of the tunnel for us all really, not just a light that comes on for a few months and then fades to dark when depression and blame comes back, i find with my partner after a depressive eppisode hes the nicest kindest person and wants all the hugs and kisses he can get, but i cant turn off from what was said or what he did during his depressed angry state. I cant become loving at the drop of a hat again after being accused of things i would never do. He goes along as if nothing was said and everything is ok again how do you turn on and off like that.
How can someone who you love just treat you bad one minute and expect love the next, i know its the disease but sometimes i think maybe its just too hard for him to say sorry so all the issues are left in the air and if i approach them i am accused of nagging or im not listened to.
I dont know what to do anymore.

July 27, 2010 at 8:03 am
(633) cct says:

Julie and everyone else – I hear bits and pieces that sound so familiar to me. I would like to know if anyone else has this problem. . . We used to have bad arguments but my husband refuses to get angry now and if I show any signs of frustration or irritation his demeanor starts crumbling and he starts begging me to not get/be mad at him. So I do my best to keep an even keel as much as possible. When we go into our “discussions” I have set in my mind what I know to be right – what I feel – what I need. He just doesn’t get it so I keep doing my best to explain everything. He then starts putting his spin on everything and I start gettting confused – that isn’t what I said. . . Then he starts asking things like – “what is wrong with me loving you and wanting to be with you and doing things for you” etc. Asked like that – there is nothing wrong with it. . . I can’t seem to get him to understand all of the pieces. I walk away feeling like such a jerk – I can’t keep doing this. I feel myself slowly giving up. There is no way to win in this.

July 28, 2010 at 4:23 am
(634) julie says:

cct & others

I agree with what you are saying how they somehow put what you are saying back onto you and you dont get an answer from what you are trying to discuss with them, its like they arent hearing a word you are saying. Then you come out of the argument like the one that has the problem.
When this happens to me i try not to take it that way, its hard but if i did i would go down the path” that it could be my fault” and i know it isnt.
When things are bad i just feel like up and leaving. Then like everyone else you remember the good times and how much you have put in to make it to where you are and you dont want to throw it all away, id feel guilt if i left.
But the times when he is mad with something ive done and doesnt say anything just bangs and crashes around the house, slams doors, swears – none of this directly at me, until later then he will lash out with what it is i supposingly have done wrong this could be two to three hours later and most of the time after he comes home from drinking which also changes his personality. I REALLY DO WANT TO WALK OUT and not come back. I still love him alot but every time something happens, i love him a little less and really have to push my self to be nice to him or he will get angry yet again. Its just a rollercoaster.

August 3, 2010 at 6:02 am
(635) julie says:

A rollercoaster thats still going, only a month ago he was happy then i went away for a weekend and he accused me of being with someone else because i didnt answer a text message from him within a cupple of hours.
Then he tells me he put money into my bank for the present i got him for his birthday. My present to him, he literally threw back at me after all the time i spent thinking about what to get him not to mention the cost. But i didnt care because i thought he was getting better so i got him something good. Now this weekend coming he is going on the fishing trip i got him. We also rented a unit at the beach for 2 days with another cupple which is still going ahead….hes acting as if nothing has happened.
Its my birthday also and he asked what i would like, i said i didnt want anything (i didnt say because you gave back my present to you why should you get me anything.)
My birthday was written in his diary. I saw his diary he has scribbled it out. Anything he has put down about me he scribbled it out – this was at the time of me being away for the two days, he thought irrationally.
He wants me to live with him once i finish up my job an hour and a half from him at the end of the month but now i feel i cant do it. Even last weekend was hell, he worked on his boat for 3 days and didnt do any paying jobs. The boat didnt start in the end so the anger and dissapointment and drinking set in at 1pm by 5pm the sarcasms started and i was told i dont say much, he is sick of talking why dont i talk.
Truth is i dont have anything to say, im numb. I even drove him around for an hour on his motorbike because he had been drinking, he still drank while i was riding. Getting more and more sarcastic as the night went on, finally i calmed the situation down and we went home, he sat in his chair and turned the tv on. I went and got dinner ready as he would have had a blow up if he didnt eat anything. By the end of this exhausing day he was holding my hand but ended up falling asleep. I was glad when it happened. I was equally glad when i could leave the next day and go back to where i live for now.
I know i need to tell him when he is having a good moment that i cant live with his anger, depression and drinking and if he cant do something about it i cant stay.
Hes gone to counciling a few times but never seems to get anything out if it. He just listens and thats about it.
I dont see him changing
Can anyone give me some advice other than what i think i have just given myself – i know the answer i just dont think i want to believe it.
Sorry for venting so much but it really helps.
Are many people still looking at this website? it seems to have gone quiet latley.
Thanks

August 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm
(636) cct says:

Julie – I’m still here. As far as advice. . . I kind of laugh when I say that because I can’t even tell which way is up with mine. I do have an insight that I just had dropped on me this weekend that might help you understand because besides the drinking things that are happening to you mirrors what I have went through and on some level still going through.

Around a year ago my husband actually went to see someone. He told me that he was diagnosed with General Anxiety and Depression. This past Saturday he told me that there was one other diagnosis – Borderline Personality Disorder. I am kind of numb. I am not sure what to feel. If he had of told me back then maybe I could have understood a little more. I feel he used it to keep the hook in me.

Go and read about this illness – it might tell you something that may help you.

I would not suggest moving in with him. Living in separate locations you feel the pull – can you imagine what it is going to be if you do move in together? You will not get any peace from it. That is not good.

August 4, 2010 at 4:05 am
(637) julie says:

thanks cct
Ive had a look at some websites and yes all the symptoms are there, short bouts of agression, drinking etc. Its helping alot to know more about whats going on but its also added to the list of his problems…how many can one person have? No wonder there is no rational thinking anymore and when it is its very brief.
I often think latley if i can just tell him why i cant live with him until he changes and can be a better person to be around, controlling his anger and drinking, id be all the support he wants, but i cant be that support if he cant help himself. This would be in his head reversed and just seen as me not wanting to be with him anymore and not caring….he would quickly show me the door. He is an all or nothing person, im either with him 100 per cent or not at all end of story.

Chrissie606 i have the same thoughts as you, if i leave it will be like i am just another person abandoning him as he has said everyone else does. Everyone else was probably with the same thoughts i have also but they left as there was nothing to be done because he wont help himself. I also feel guilt too if i go. But this is our lives also, do we want to live like this forever? Looking after a 50 year old child is not what i call a relationship once i thought id found a soul mate….now its far from it and its so disheartening.

August 4, 2010 at 9:24 am
(638) cct says:

Julie – I am at the point you are. I have told myself and felt all of the things that you have expressed. I am tired of it. My husband will not show me the door though he stands in front of it begging me not to go. That is what is making it very hard.

If yours does get help after he has shown you the door, maybe he will see where he went wrong and be willing to work with you then.

How to take that step out the door is my focus right now. Any help and any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

August 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm
(639) julie says:

cct.

I once was in that position you are in with someone a while ago, i couldnt leave as he was always telling me not to and everytime i tried to talk about it he wouldnt listen and swing the situation back on me.
what i did could seem a cowards way out but in the end it was a better way. I left one day when he wasnt there, but i did ring him and tell him what i had done. This way i wasnt directly infront of him and he couldnt start up another conversation which ended up in me staying. He tried over the phone but i just apologised and hung up. It was a hard thing to do but it did give me that first step i needed to clear my head and realise what i wanted to do. You feel smothered in the situation you are in right now and the only way is to break away.

August 5, 2010 at 7:49 am
(640) cct says:

Julie – Gee we seem to be more and more alike. I have tried to just leave a couple of times. One time I even quit my job. I was going to move to where my sister lives. He seems to have this sixth sense and he showed up before I could even leave the house.

Last night we had one of our long conversations and I felt I kept my backbone for the most part. He WILL NOT let me go. He told me last night that he is fighting for his life.

Now he is talking about counselling but he puts such negative things with it that even though I will go – I know life is going to be pretty sucky (HA HA – I still have a sense of humor) during that time. I do know that is the only way I will ever be able to break away. I guess I could have the police or someone else there as I am leaving to make sure it happens. Trust me, all sorts of things have crossed my mind.

August 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm
(641) TIRED says:

I did not plan on commenting but I have to just say thanks to all who commented as a spouse. I don’t have to go into details because I relate to each and everyone of you. I will say that I have been going through this off and on for ten years and no offense to those of you who are strong enough to stay but I refuse to see myself in this same position ten years from now. I just cant take it I am drained both mentally and physically. Like a lot of you there are good times but it feels worst when its in spurts or when they feel like it. I see my kids living a walking on egg-shell life and its not fair to them. He has tried to turn my family and his against me and has run all my friends off. I do everything for him and the kids nothing for myself and its still not enough. I have found myself going to counseling just to clear my mental space. Guys I cant take it anymore I want out. Sad part– he goes to dialysis and his mom blames it on the meds I dont believe it NO MORE EXCUSE FOR THE ABUSE. I feel sorry for him. But I love me and my kids. He gives my oldest pure-d-hell. my kids make A’s and B’s, volunteer, and the oldest 16 has a good job. I dont understand but I know I want out. The sad part is I cant afford to move to a stable place for us right now. Im praying that God will show me a way.
Thanks again and stay strong.

August 6, 2010 at 5:13 am
(642) julie says:

Yes its hard to make that break but if you are 100 percent sure about doing it dont look back make sure you have someone to back you up, someone to fall upon if he tries to get you back. Cct, you probably should have someone there if you decide to go, a friend maybe not the police bacause that may just make the situation worse. I had a friend to back me up and this guy i was with backed off because he didnt want anyone else to see what he was really like if you are scared of what he may do i would recommend having someone with you all the time. He may be playing on your vunerabillity but you cant be sure. This may be the first step for him to take control of his life if you go no matter how hard its going to be. My ex is still alive, didnt kill himself as he said he would and still the same aparently from what i hear ,only he is someone elses problem now, not mine and thats a relief for me.
Its the weekend here now and i will be seeing my partner tomorrow, i spoke with him on the phone and he seemed cranky but by the end of the conversation he had a happy tone in his voice. I only heard from him once this week and when i text him on Thursday to ask how he was i got a one word reply. So here he is carrying on about me not texting or calling him all the time when i was away for two days – and i dont hear much from him for a week? He runs his own business and i dont bother him too much with useless calls everyday as he is busy most of the time. Bad thing is when times are quiet and he has no work thats also when he gets angry and takes it out on inadimate objects (they go flying ive never seen a flying chainsaw before but ive seen one go past the window)or the drinking and the sarcasm towards me whatever it is every day is different. This weekend im hoping things will be ok as we are with another cupple, im sure they will be because he doesnt want anyone to know about his problems….just me, and behind closed doors. Ill be back in a cupple of days, i cant see me here while he is around. Take care cct and others i will be back

August 6, 2010 at 7:58 am
(643) cct says:

Good Luck Julie! You deserve to be happy – Make it happen for yourself.

August 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm
(644) TIRED says:

Thanks Julie,
Its going to take time but im patiently waiting on the precise moment. Enjoy your weekend. Im just keeping my distance and protecting the kids mental state until then. Love this site.

August 9, 2010 at 4:17 am
(645) julie says:

how is everyones weekend going? Mine was half half as i expected. He behaived himself but sometimes i could tell it was hard for him to, the agitaton in him i could just see if other people hadnt been around he would ve had a blow up for sure. How can they handle themselfs around people but when it comes to the closest to them they cant calm down?
Hows this for just like what you are going through cct – all 4 of us went and got takeaway and ours was a long time coming to the point everyone else had just about finished. Aparently the order wasnt put in, but we got it in the end – but oooohhhh no by now my idiot of a partner decided he wasnt going to eat it, so we took it home i ate mine and he kept drinking and didnt have dinner. Now if i was alone with him all the swear words under the sun and sarcasms would have come out but as i said he had to behaive. He did get sarcastic at one stage behind bedroom closed doors and fell asleep in the end. I went and slept on the lounge. 3 hours later he came looking for me and i went and lay back beside him, HOLDING HANDS and having to console him because he needed a HUG. so i was like that for the rest of the sleepless night id move hed move closer again. He has to be touching my hand or leg whatever even when we are sitting down to a meal out anywhere. I once thought it was special now its just annoying like a very bad insecurity. Hes decided he has to look after himself again and one day at a time – only because he has made himself sick and has a very bad cough and breathing problems. Here we go up the rollercoaster again. There was a point where i couldve walked yesterday but he pulled the hug thing. Oh yeh and the reason i hadnt herd from him was i never replied to his email within 24 hours so he thought bugger you you are in your own little world when you go home and back to work im not talking. I told him not to jump to so many conclusions and explained my internet was down for a day. He listened but i dont think he cared was still thinking about himself. And how things are bad for him.
I know like all of you im just waiting for the right time to go, and it will happen, one day i just wont care anymore and walk if things dont improve. Hang in there Tired and CCT your time will come as did mine with my last partner. And looks like its going to come to the same thing with this one.

August 9, 2010 at 7:56 am
(646) cct says:

You are right Julie, that sounds so familiar. They make you feel guilty because you do not want to touch all of the time which pushes you away even more.

This weekend was interesting for me. We did go out with family and I did have fun. Our morning routine is once he gets up and showers take place we sit on the couch asking what each other wants to do. I do my best to let him decide since I am more flexible than he is. Yesterday I didn’t do that – I just said this is what I need to do and did it. He felt I was trying to pull away from him by doing it. I didn’t back down like I normally do so we are in a weird situation now. Something is happening but I am not sure what it is. He told me every once in a while he wakes up and sees things for what they really are but doesn’t like what he sees so pushes it back down. He is supposedly awake now and he is acting different. We shall see where this heads.

Julie, did you move in together or do you still have that safe haven? If you do – I strongly recommend that you keep it.

:) Yes, the time will come and it is closer.

August 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm
(647) julie says:

I think once we stand up for ourselfs even if its just a little bit we get a bit of control back and feel better, we have to keep doing that weather they like it or not because as it stands they really are controlling us and thats not what a relationship is about sure meet half way with things but not all the way. All the time.

I still have the safe haven which i was told is my own little world once i get to it – he is the one living in his own little world not looking outside it. What concerns me now is when he doesnt hear from me asap he thinks i dont care so he wont contact me – sulks. When i dont hear from him i give and contact him because my thinking is something may have happened to him (accident etc) so if i had an accident and didnt contact him…..that means he wouldnt try to find out whats wrong? and leave it at that? If i died would he ever try to find out what happened to me or just think i took off on him? Thats what ill bring up this weekend.

August 11, 2010 at 7:45 am
(648) cct says:

This is bad to say but if that is the case then so be it. You want someone who is there for you all of the time without strings. You have to do things to occupy your time every time you feel the urge to call. It will be very hard at first but it will get easier. He know he has you on that string. You will eventually come around and he doesn’t have to put any effort into it.

We have had a rough 4 days. We are going to see a marriage counselor today. My husband wants to just deal with the marriage issues but they aren’t going to even want to touch that until the other issues are resolved. I hope I am wrong because I could really use the help but I do not see this going anywhere for us. That could be my way of saying that I have already written us off and that I have given up. I do believe I have. I am looking at the counselling as something that will help me with what is to come.

August 11, 2010 at 3:40 pm
(649) julie says:

Thanks you are right cct and i didnt call yesterday and i feel a little better. I hope today works something out for you in some way. I know what you mean about you have already decided what you want to do anyway. Im like that too, i ve just got to put it into action and thats the hard part.
I thought today people with depression etc are so good at hiding it away from others is there a chance a psyc can get the truth out of them or see what they are really like in just a few sessions – they can tell the psycs what they think they want to hear. not the truth that we know.

August 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm
(650) Lost says:

Dear friends,

This is the first time I’ve been on this website and I can relate to so many of your stories. I have been married to a man with severe depression for nearly 4 years. He has changed career plans several times and has never worked full time. He is sweet and kind but always tells me what a loser he is. It hurts me. I always feel as if I am the counselor. I never get to share my pain or frustration. If I do, he turns it back on him and how he’s made my life horrible. We have no children. Last week he finally started telling his parents what was going on. I have frequently talked with them and tried to get help. They stepped in and flew here and took him home to get help. I know it’s the best thing, but I am so sad, angry, and feeling like I need help. I think he will stay in another state for several months and for some reason I am angry because his life is now easier. He doesn’t have to work and his parents will take care of him. Meanwhile, I am left alone and wondering/hoping he will get better.

I have to say, after reading most of these blogs, I do not feel my situation will get better. My husband has had this disease since he was 15. How can it get better? I don’t want to live a life where I am the sole provider, caretaker, and emotionally stable person. And I know I will not stay emotionally stable. How long do I wait for a recovery? How do I know his promises are not just lies? I want to have children but I know that’s not a good decision at this point in time. Many of you would probably say to get out now? But I am in it – emotionally attached, forever in love. He is the only one I’ve ever been with. I wanted a fairy tail ending.

August 12, 2010 at 6:44 am
(651) julie says:

Hello
Lost, i understand how you are feeling, and everyone else will as well, we all want/wanted the fairytale ending and some of us may get it but it will take alot of work and alot of him wanting it to work between you and get help for himself, as you see on alot of peoples answers the depressed one has to help themselfs we can only support them in their road to recovery if THEY want to recover or make their lives better.
Mine unfortunatley seems not to want to. He has said many times he will not change as in lifestyle, work, personallity he has been the same for 30 years + . He called me tonight to say how his day went asked how mine was but the whole conversation ended up all about him. i am 15 years younger than what he is and he is the child….he mentioned he went shopping for food today and couldnt get a few things he wanted to cook for dinner so his attitude was “stuff it ill just have beer instead” upon hearing this i was so glad im not there tonight because i know the big deal it would become not having what he wanted to eat. Now to me that is what a child would do not a 50 year old man. And this weekend we will be doing what he wants to do because i dont want to cause a problem….but there will be one for sure. He will find one.
Im just sick of it.
cct hope you got something out of your visit to the doc.

August 12, 2010 at 8:18 am
(652) cct says:

Good Morning Lost, Julie is right, the majority of us want and believed we would have a fairy tale ending or as close to it as possible. Use your time while your husband is away to improve your life, find out who you are, and what you want. Do not feel anger and sadness (easier said than done) look at the potentials. You have to continue to be a whole person in order for anything to work. When/if your husband comes back – these will be things that help you to be able to cope.

Good Job Julie! Yea, a child describes a lot of how things feel. The making him decide what to do will start causing a problem. Sometimes it is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t. :) take your pick on which one you want to take.

Went to see counselor last night. Before we went in I feel my husband was ready to run. It did wind up with the majority of the conversation being about him which he wasn’t happy with. He did show his sarcastic side when either I would say something that he didn’t agree with or something the counselor would. The hour went by very fast. He told a brief version of how we got to where we are leaving out the before 2008. His memory of how things took place are kind of off too. I did speak up a couple of times about things mentioning my ?stupidity? since he wasn’t going to. He told about the diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and even the bpd. We were both given “assignments”. She asked us what we would like the other to do to improve our situation. I honestly couldn’t think of anything that I wanted from him so I said something that I was going to do. Do my best to make my touching not feel as forced and mechanical and wrong. When she asked my husband what he was going to do. He said that he would try to not be so depressed all the time but that was going to be very hard. She said that was too broad so she narrowed it down to where if he feels insecure he will ask for confirmation that I will be here tomorrow or next week. I see this as a win win for him. He has no problem asking that – I’ve had to promise it so many times just to keep things from going out into never never land. I am giving it a shot and doing what I said I would. We had a blow-up on the front porch this morning. He is refusing (funny as that sounds) to recognize my efforts and rushes away from the situation before I can do anything. I called him on it this morning. He got defensive and said he was just doing what I wanted. Oh well. We go back on the 25th.

August 12, 2010 at 8:35 am
(653) Lost says:

Julie,

I feel so similar. I oftentimes feel like his mom rather than his wife. Have any of you read co-dependent no more? Have any of you found anti-depressants make a difference? I am hopeful, but after reading many of these blogs I feel like this will be a never ending battle.

August 12, 2010 at 3:42 pm
(654) julie says:

hello
Lost. Yes it mostly is sorry to say a never ending battle but if you read over more storys that are here you will see some people do win….not all though it just has to be if your husband WANTS to change. Sometimes they see it easier to stay in their little world of depression not look at whats going on around them.
cct one day at a time i guess, im going to do that this weekend which im not looking forward to but ive made the decision if there is a blow up or he starts drinking im saying something, its going to be hard but i cant stand by and watch and listen anymore to sarcasms and anger. I could try to make the touching we have not so forced on my part but after a day with an angry bitter person how can i feel love and want to hug someone like that later on.
ill try and get back here over the weekend to see how things are going with everyone.
Try to stay happy…im going to this time, because i dont want the pull anymore

August 13, 2010 at 7:40 am
(655) cct says:

I guess what I am doing is working wonders for my husband. He seems to think everything is wonderful. To me they feel the same but I guess that doesn’t really matter right now. I know it isn’t a permanent thing. We are supposed to go on vacation next week so I will catch up on the 23rd.

Hang in there Julie and Lost and everyone else who stops by.

August 13, 2010 at 7:41 am
(656) cct says:

Julie, thank you for talking to me. You are helping me keep my head semi-straight. :)

August 14, 2010 at 8:26 pm
(657) julie says:

Enjoy your vacation cct
This weekend has been ok, no childish behaviour, but i know its not going to last so im still resentful of touching etc its still very difficult to do it and actually show im enjoying being here. Too many things have happened to make it better again. So for now im going day by day and when the time comes to address the fact i cant live like this anymore – which will be when he is acting like a child – and it will happen again always does ill leave and hope he changes himself while im not there. He is seeing the psyc Monday again it will be interesting as i wrote to the psyc and told him the truth about whats going on. Wonder what the outcome of that will be? I had to do it.
Venting on here is also good and talking to people like yourself cct. stay strong everyone.

August 15, 2010 at 6:33 am
(658) julie says:

Yesterday was strange, it was like he knew what i may be thinking by saying to me. I have to treat you right or you will leave me. I agreed but left it at that.
I did also say i like him better when he isnt angry with everything right down to small things. He listened but never said anything. I hope i could be getting through but i feel im walking on eggshells waiting for a blowup. But at least im starting to tell him how i feel without being afraid of what may happen if i stand up for myself once in a while.

A question. Do you think drinking 8 plus beers a day is a problem. Im not the one drinking them,he is. I dont drink at all now while i am with him and he has stopped asking me if i want a drink, hasnt asked why i dont (of course) then he will drive which is crazy as if he looses his licence his work will suffer but he doesnt seem to care as he has never been picked up for it i sometimes wish it would happen and he gets caught. As i said before and will say again. He needs to grow up and take responsibility for himself – if only i had the strength to say that to him.

August 21, 2010 at 7:15 pm
(659) Loving Husband says:

Reading these storiesis quite harrowing but inspirational also.I am at my wits end and would welcome some some good advice.

I love my wife dearly and whatever happens in the future we are family.But……

She is suffering with deep depression and refuses to acknowledge it. Several members of her immediate family have died and before her mum died she left me for a work colleague. They broke up and she wanted me back and then they got back together again leaving me on my own again. After several months he got bored and I took her back (we have a young daughter).

Anyway her mum passed away and for the last three years I have been in a verbally abusive relationship. There is no intamacy whatsoever. She will not talk about it. I’m all she has left but to be totally honest she is dragging me down with her and I dont know what to do.

I dont know if the relationship can be saved and I want the best for my wife and daughter.I have exceptionally high morals and would not look for comfort with another.

I love this woman with all my heart but whatever I do is wrong, its not good enough and I am not good enough (from her perspective). Then in the next breath I am her soul mate.

I just dont know how to help someone who will not accept there is a problem let alone repair a marriage. We have no money worries and a good material lifestyle.

Any adivce will be helpful.
Good luck to all of you with issues at moment.

August 22, 2010 at 6:23 am
(660) julie says:

Its hard when you are being pulled, you want to stay and make it work but on the other hand the situation can sometimes get too big for you and you loose sight of what is right to do, your head can get into such a mess.

Loving husband – stay strong for your daughter, does she see much of what is happening between you and your wife? Sometimes its better to seperate if the children are seeing some sort of stress between the parents. It can effect them later on, if you read back over some of the storys here you will see some people stay because of the kids but others dont and the children are much happier as long as they are with the right parent that is. take a step back and weigh up the positives and negatives. Can you work these things out
Have you tried to work it out and nothing has changed?
I suggest counciling if not for your wife, for yourself. It may give you a bit more of a clearer look on things coming from someone outside seeing the situation.
Or can you talk to a close friend or family?
Talking helps and coming to this website helps too.
We are all hoping to find a way through all of this.
Good luck.

August 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm
(661) cct says:

Loving Husband, I would guess that most of us have exceptionally high morals. I know I do – Although I have not been intimate with anyone else there was a period of time when life was just one big scarey rollercoaster and I was barely hanging on. Someone helped me see what normal was which helped me to maintain my grip. I hadn’t found this board yet and life at times didn’t look worth going on with. If things are not really getting better, there is a point where you will say, enough is enough. Keep all things in perspective.

Julie, in my book, drinking 8 beers a day is not normal. :) It does seem nice when you are finally able to feel more confident and be able to say what you are actually feeling instead of what will make life simpler at the time.

Vacation wasn’t too horrible. We did have our first argument in a long time. We actually blew off steam which was very helpful to me. It still came down to I was the one causing us not to be “right” anymore. We cut our trip north short because we really didn’t have a lot to talk about except our problems. That doesn’t make for a relaxing time. We go back to the couselor on Wednesday. I have help up my end of what I was supposed to do and my husband hasn’t hesitated to ask me for reassurance that I’m not leaving. . .

Overall though – life isn’t too bad right now.

August 24, 2010 at 5:42 am
(662) julie says:

So far this week and last weekend everything is going better than usual how long it will last i dont know but im giving this one more of many chances i guess, but this time maybe there is some light coming through.
Because when he went to see his counciler he got a surprise…id written a letter to the counciler to tell him the truth about how i felt and what was going on, all very brief and to the point everything which i cant tell my partner because he doesnt listen. Well he had to listen this time as it surprised him as i never told him what i had done. He may have been mad at the time (i wasnt there) when he found out but he had no time to make excuses for it – eventhough he did say to me why didnt i tell him that i had sent a letter. I just said because you arent listening to me.
He is asking what i would like to do, not always him.
I do have a feeling that is the counciler talking but anyway.
So we have had a bit of a talk, i told him also that its hard for me to touch and be loving when he is so angry and bitter at everything. It pushes me away. So he is going to try not to be and im going to try to be more “loving” i suppose you could say. Its a step in some direction but not sure where its going. He has also cut back on drinking but ive seen that before. All i can do is stay strong and give him support, but now im also going to do things for myself also and if he takes it in a good way or a defensive way time will tell.
Good luck wednesday cct. :)

August 24, 2010 at 9:34 am
(663) cct says:

Julie, I hear you on the hesitation to trust that this is actually the time that things will turn around. As long as there is a little spark there is hope.

My husband is doing things that he never has in the past. Good things. I have found out that there is a little spark still left in me. I really hope that it isn’t for nothing.

We smile and we go on. . .

August 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm
(664) Rick says:

My girlfriend and I have been dating for 4 yrs. I have just figured out that she is depressed. We have mostly happy in our relationship. Just here lately, I guess for the last 3 to 4 months she has been very distant. I knew she had a very diffucult childhood but she hid her depression very well. We first dated for a year and all of the sudden she decided to leave me. I was devastated. I love this woman with all my heart. It took me about a year to get to the point I could make it through the day without thinking of her so much it consumed my thoughts. We were apart about 2 1/2 yrs and she called me one day and wanted to talk. I was so happy on one hand and scared of getting hurt again on the other. I am 50 yrs old and been with a few women but never really loved any of them until I met her. We got along good but there was always a feeling of us not really getting as close as I wanted to be. I guess it was from her being depressed. She has agreed to see a counselor but she has just shut down on me and I dont know if we will get this worked out. Words cannot explain how much I love this woman. I waited all my life to finally meet someone I felt this way about and I may loose her about the time I finally figure out what the problem was.

August 26, 2010 at 2:20 am
(665) julie says:

Im still smiling and trying to go on, its hard when it seems you are the one doing all the trying and they think as long as they do a good thing everything will be ok again. Somehow they dont remember what you have been through…or maybe they do. Depression is a very selfish disease a person only sees what they want to see and whatever anyone else says to try and help it is wrong.

Rick maybe counciling would help you both, if she called you maybe she was reaching out to you and wants to begin again, but that can only happen with talking to eachother calmly and picking the right moments and right moments are very hard to come by.

How are things going your end cct? I got flowers at work today. It was nice but i wasnt as happy as i would have been to get them if all the past experiences hadnt happened. Its more like a Please forgive me jesture than and out of the blue i love you jesture…but i guess its something to smile at which i havent done alot of latley, im hoping ill find myself again and all of that will come back and we will be happy. Time will tell if its not too late.

August 26, 2010 at 9:24 am
(666) cct says:

Rick, her willing to and going to see a counselor is a step in the right direction. It wouldn’t hurt for you to go also. I feel both in the same room with the counselor is very important.

Julie, flowers are so cool. You are right though. During the “dark, dark period” my husband would send me flowers and other things constantly and wonder why I didn’t have the madly in love response . . . he told me that was his way of showing me he loved me. He was doing everything he could to reconnect. It was all wrong. But it is important to remember that it is a step on their part.

:) we went to see the counselor again last night. We touched on some things that were sensitive that seem to be our main barriers. My husband had told me last time that it should be about us and got upset that it was mostly focused on him. I did more of the talking this time to help the situation and I felt that it went pretty good. My little spark got a little bigger. . . When we left I could tell he was upset so I asked a couple of times why he was. He didn’t respond so I stopped asking. Then out of the blue he asked me why I was upset. I wasn’t so responded that way. I told him that I felt that he was upset and asked what happened to cause it. What it came down to was he felt his opinions were blown off. I said one thing about how the bad interferes with wanting to be intimate and the counselor agreed that it would affect the situation. He was upset that he was told that everything he believed was wrong. I told him that I didn’t hear any such thing. . . little spark not so big anymore. He just hears what he wants to hear and it is always negative against him. How do I prevent that from happening?

Julie, enjoy your flowers! You deserve them!

August 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(667) Jen says:

I have been married for 3 years. My husband has been severely depressed on and off for at least 2.5 years. We have a a 2 year old son and a baby on the way…He can’t hold down a job or even get out of bed most days. I’ve been to the counseling sessions, and have tried to be supportive. But, I pay all the bills, take care of the baby, work full time, pay for child care, clean the house, cook the meals, grocery shop, do the laundry, etc…Is this a marriage? The doctors change the medicines, put him in in or outpatient programs…nothing helps. I’m reading these posts and some are so optimistic-I wish I could be. I am TIRED of dealing with this. I can’t stand to watch my son ask his father to play and he rolls over and goes back to sleep, watch tv, or listen to black metal. Do your spouses eat everything is the fridge at 2 am? Yell at you for not being compassionate bc you can stay home and nuture them? I worry about my kids and what they see. Will they think this behavior is normal? Will they copy it? What have other people done in this situation?

August 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm
(668) julie says:

Hi all
Jen first up after reading your post again you seem to be holding it together for now, but what you are doing cant be kept up, just take a look at all the older posts. I cant begin to imagine how hard it is for you a young child and a baby on the way – as i dont have children – my adult child consumes me enough (meaning the depressed partner) Has your husband gone to counciling with you?
Do you have friends or family near you that you can talk to or who could help you out with a few things at home? That would be a start.
Dont feel bad about talking about what is happening with you to someone.
Have you spoken to him about his attitude – you will probably say yes and he gets defensive – yep they do that.
Eating at 2am im sure is part of his depression, just like drinking at 2am or sitting up watching tv at 2am. Its all different but follows the same lines. They arent on the same level or thoughts as us. This may sound hard but maybe tell him you need a break…take your son and get away if you can for a few days.Clear your head. If you take a stand it may wake him up a bit -show that this behaviour isnt acceptable and you wont stand for it. Do it now while you are still strong enough because unfortunatley they do wear you down and you get depressed also it is contagious. I have a depressed father and as much as i try to keep myself away from depression which i have i cant seem to stop myself from attracting them into my life, funny that. But you do need to do something for the kids also….there is a post here saying dont always stick with it because of the kids…it can do more halm than good to stay if things dont improve. I say stick with it see if you get an improvement but if there isnt one then decide. You also need a good life jen. Good luck
CCT – we went out last night to my work social and had a really good time, he enjoyed himself – getting away and out seems to work but im still on edge most of the time. Plus now he is very clingy and if i dont hold his hand or kiss him hello straight away later he will ask why i didnt and it becomes an issue yet again and i pull away, its like im being forced to do it. But im sticking to what i say and am going to do more for me and if he wants to come good if not thats his problem not mine, i need a life also i cant be his alll the time. Funny isnt it everyone mostly here is wanting their partners to be loving….we are getting too much cct – you kind of think whats going on here. Actually got to laugh at that one!!!!

August 30, 2010 at 7:50 am
(669) cct says:

Jen, Julie gives some very good advice. I didn’t recognize depression as depression until after the kids were gone – my husband doesn’t have the normal sleep all day type depression – he was explosive. I honestly wish I had of got my kids out of it sooner. Both are awesome men but one married someone like his dad regardless of all of the warnings I gave him. I is hard watching your child go through those things because you know and understand. It is not a way of life for anyone. Stay tough and think about your kids in the long run.

Julie – yes, I laughed at that. I just want to be left alone. Everything is so scheduled – mechanical that there is no warmth or loving feelings in the touching and such. I do my best to explain it – It does no good. I am with you – I am doing things that I want to. We still do 95% of everything together but there are opportunities for me to “get away” for a couple of hours a week that I am jumping on. Everyone needs a break – even the depressed even though they do not see it that way.

August 31, 2010 at 6:26 am
(670) julie says:

Jen – another thing i thought of today, ill tell you about my best friend who had a depressed partner and she too had at the time a 5 year old son. He didnt do anything to help around the house, play with their son, just went into his own world and stayed up all night listning to loud music till all hours of the morning. I know as i stayed over a few times – but not much. Anyway she did all the work, cook clean work etc. In the end he did move out.
She isnt with him now but he now sees his son who is now 10 and wants more to do with him now that they are seperate, to when they were together. At least now my friend and her boy live a normal life and not a stressed one. Lucky her ex still wants to see his son which is the main thing. Although its on his terms when he rings and says its ok for him to stay over, at least he is taking part in his life and giving her a break one day a week She is working from home and still owns her home. It wasnt good when the trouble was happening as i supported her and was someone to talk to but she made the decision for her it was the right one. its up to you to decide although you wish someone could do the hard stuff for you. Its up to us to make the next move while we are still thinking straight enough to do it. Hope that helps in some way.

September 2, 2010 at 8:57 am
(671) cct says:

Every time I feel like things are improving and getting halfway normal, everything goes downhill. It is a never ending cycle. The only thing that I feel that will make things better for my husband is if I sincerely stop wanting to have anything to do with the outside world. Just stay in our little corner and do not let anything or anyone else in. Even things that are my husband’s choice that do not deal with us being involved in each other 1000% are starting to become my fault – saying that I do not want to spend time with him/us. . . I can’t win.

September 3, 2010 at 1:15 am
(672) julie says:

Im hearing what you are saying its basically imaging what im going through to a point. Where as once my partner was getting out there and having his own life, he is now 100% with me and has to have contact with me all the time if im not there. If i dont ring he says he wishes id ring more, eventhough i ring at least every second day, email every day and text every day. If he replys to my email and doesnt get a reply back within a certain time – its my fault yet again i should ring him more, so the cycle goes. At least when i am with him i dont have to think about any of that. This weekend we will spend together yet again, im never really looking forward to it as something happens and whatever it is its my fault that im not more loving. It all comes down to that. Whatever i say its a dig at him, he sees it as a negative not a positive, ive stuck by him when he was going through a rough time and i bore the brunt of his anger as ive said before but im still here i didnt leave like others have – but he still doesnt see that as a positive, when he says i dont care, he doesnt think about the times i have stayed instead of leaving him. i think he chooses to forget. Im going to have to remind him about a few things seeing as at the time he was drunk and i was always the sober one. He hasnt been drinking for a few weeks now but im waiting for it. Keep holding on cct i am and coming here helps.

September 3, 2010 at 7:59 am
(673) cct says:

I agree – coming here does help. I went out last night – I am on a weekly all female bowling league – and had a blast. When I got home my husband was very down but I did good – I didn’t let his mood affect mine as much as I normally do. He asked me what was wrong like he always does. I still don’t get that one. . . I was very determined not to feel guilty about going and having fun without him. I am also determined to prove to him that just because we do other things our personal time together will not suffer – it will actually get better. That is going to be a hard one to prove because I have a hard time sitting close to him and putting his arm around me or mine around him when I am greeted with a down/depressed/unfriendly face. But if I don’t I know what the consequences will be. We are supposed to go do something with family tomorrow. I know that if I do it the way he wants to I will not have fun.

One day at a time is all that there is sometimes. :) We can do it!

September 5, 2010 at 11:54 am
(674) Just so tired says:

I’ve been following this site for a few months and as others say it’s so helpful seeing I’m not alone in all of this.
My husband was diagnosed almost 1 year ago although looking back I now see he has been depressed for a long time. A few years back we thought it was a midlife crisis but I think it’s just another name for depression. We’ll be married 24 years next month although with all that’s been going on the past 4-5 years it was like living with a roommate and not a husband.
Anyway we’ve been separated for a year (this was same time he finally admitted a problem and started seeing a doctor). We separated because his drinking was totally out of control and I couldn’t take it anymore. I told him he’d either wind up dead or in jail. My kids are older but I couldn’t let them think his behavior was acceptable.
Even with all of this I still love him and want to work on our marriage. We are going to start marriage counseling (he says he wants to do it) but whenever we have plans to get together he finds a reason not to. Either he has to work or he’s having a bad day and doesn’t want to be around anyone.
Does anyone else experience anything similar to this? I don’t know what to think anymore.
And I all read is to go on with your life and have a good time with friends but financial problems is what I think is the major factor in his depression and I work 2 jobs and that leaves very little free time. And over the years I’ve lost contact with the few friends I had. It’s hard and embarrasing to talk to people about all of this.
Sorry for rambling but I finally have someplace to vent. Thank you all for that and any comments will be greatly appreciated.

September 6, 2010 at 2:48 am
(675) julie says:

I undersatand about the hard to talk to people about this what we are going through and the loosing friends over this disease too. Its so hard to keep an outside friendship going with people when you are made to feel guilty when you do go and socialise away from the depressed one.
I too am also made to feel guilty about doing it but i am trying not to let it get to me because i need my time also. Sometimes i dont contact friends or see them for a while because the repercussions of it are just to hard to deal with, but a day at a time works quite well.

My weekend was pretty good no blow ups because there wasnt any drinking involved he stopped at 2 and i only had 2 also, two more than usual actually. But all weekend i was made to feel guilty about not Touching enough, not holding hands enough, not instigating the touching of hands or a leg…whatever, i get complaints that he is the one that has to do it all the time, and why does he have to be the one to do it all the time why cant i do it first. Its driving me absolutly nuts. He has to have his hand on my leg when we are driving or holding my hand ALL THE TIME. When i didnt do this for about half an hour when he was asleep (i was driving by the way its ok) when he woke up first thing that is said to me…..you didnt put your hand on my hand or touch my leg that whole time. In the end i said just because i dont touch you all the time doesnt mean i think any less of you. and i was cranky. So he chose to ignore me for the next half hour. I could do better talking to a tree sometimes than have any sort of decient converstation with him.

September 7, 2010 at 10:10 am
(676) cct says:

Just so tired – it is still possible to love your husband and do things that help you. There are also things to do to “escape” for a little while that does not cost any to little money. The library is an awesome place – taking a walk outside. I’ve learned that friends do not fit into the equation. It is better to just have acquaintances.

Julie – one step at a time. Any step forward (no blow-ups) is a step in the right direction.

I predicted this weekend wouldn’t be so hot and sad to say, I was correct. We went to a festival with a group of people and my husband lagged behind the group. I felt bad for walking up with everyone else so I would stay back with him but try to walk fast enough so we wouldn’t lose the people we were with. I am thinking of asking the person who invited me not to do that again. A rotten apple in the group has a tendency to spoils the others. It is right and fair to the other people.

September 7, 2010 at 10:11 am
(677) cct says:

Our never ending discussion continued. Spending time together – My husband feels that we do not spend enough time together and now that other things are starting to happen we will never have time together. The only things we do separate are: go to the bathroom, go to work, and I just started bowling for a couple of hours one night a week. I honestly feel we could exist inside of each other and there still be complaints about not spending enough time together. The other two things that we are doing outside of our normal routine were either started or approved by my husband. We are doing both together so am not sure what more to do. I enjoy doing crafts and such but do not do them because on the one hand my husband is encouraging me to do them and then will turn right around and say that we aren’t spending enough quality time together. I am still trying to get a grasp on what he considers quality time. If you do not have other interests outside of each other you eventually run out of things to talk about. If I talk about something at work or something that happend that he did not see first hand and there is any life in my voice – he feels that is more important than him. He can’t/won’t understand that being able to share something with him adds the life to my voice. I am supposed to have excitement in my voice when I talk about us. I have a hard time doing that when the majority of what we discuss is negative and comes down to why I don’t feel the same way he does about us. When we go to a store – he will say nasty comments about the people around us to where they can hear them. It is very embarrassing and causes me to not want to go anywhere with him.

September 7, 2010 at 10:12 am
(678) cct says:

I keep asking myself why am I staying? What hold does he have on me that I can’t just get up and walk out and start living a life that isn’t so negative – where there is sunshine among the clouds. . . I feel stupid. I just want to wake up in the morning and know that today is going to be a good day and feel ok about everything and it be ok that I feel ok. Will that ever happen?

I apologize for the three sections – we are limited by word count and I had to split it.

September 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm
(679) julie says:

Its true if you cant do things seperatley together you run out of things to talk about, we do latley and there is silence so it becomes uncomfortable and i think about what i should say to break it. I hate thinking all the time to make situations better why cant things be as they are and not need an explanation why. I never bring things up because im quite happy as i am and with things but he has to bring anything up that can cause a debate and it usually starts with WHY.
My partner is ok around people but must always be touching me 90 per cent of the time or as i say its back to why didnt i touch him. He would rather be at home just with me. When we are out i try to stay out with him as long as i can and not give in.
He has gone totally the opposite way to what he was a month ago to an un acceptable degree. I dont know if its because he doesnt want to loose me but pushing the affection issue pushes me away, i try to explain but it doesnt work. Continual rollercoaster.

September 8, 2010 at 6:24 am
(680) julie says:

Cct, do you see your kids much? Maybe going to see them would be a break for you if he doesnt want to go, you go they are your children you are alowed to go see them. Just a thought, but maybe you have tried that.
Mine at least goes to see his kids but if there is something they do that he doesnt like he takes it as a negative and they are in their own world and dont care about him. (sounds familiar) not that he says anything to them but i get to hear it. Also the sarcastic comments to other people around him happen like with you cct, i know what thats like to. Very embarassing and yes you dont want to go with them anywhere and if you do you have to make sure there wont be any bad situations to come of it.

September 8, 2010 at 8:03 am
(681) cct says:

Ah the joys of thinking about everything you are going to say from every different angle before you actually say it to prevent something bad from happening. . . I know it all too well. I agree, why can’t something be said just for the sake of saying it? Same with the doing something. I have become so used to over-analyzing everything that it really affects how I communicate with others. I get some of the strangest looks.

We are going through a negative self-pity time right now. I am doing my best to not let it get to me. My husband keeps asking what is bothering me and I reply nothing because in truth nothing is bothering me except him being so down and if I say that it will make things worse. My view on it now is if he wants to be down let him. I refuse to be. Last night with school I felt we were very successful. My husband’s view on how horrible things would be didn’t appear – instead of being happy that it didn’t have a negative impact he is even more down because (I think) it is proving him wrong.

One of my kids lives in the same area so that wouldn’t be an escape and my other is traveling with his job right now but will be coming to visit us soon. I just started a new job so vacation isn’t happening yet. We shall see with the first opportunity I get.

September 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm
(682) julie says:

I went out to dinner with two other cupples last night my partner wasnt with me but i had a good time, i watched how these other cupples work together and they dont touch all the time actually neither of them held hands over dinner (which mine needs to) or touch on the leg. But everyone was happy and not insecure. So definatley you dont have to touch all the time to like/love someone, so we arent crazy cct
Its just made me wish things were like that with me, comfortable and not have to think before i do anything to upset situations.

September 9, 2010 at 7:39 am
(683) cct says:

That is good to know Julie. I wonder about that sometimes. Still going through bad times.

September 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm
(684) julie says:

Im seeing him this weekend (today) one day at a time see how it goes this time. Have a good weekend i will try to!

September 10, 2010 at 5:00 am
(685) Jeanette says:

I cant possibly imagine what its like for my boyfriend.. Hes so amazing and perfect.
I had been diagnosed with clinical depression almost 2 years ago, and I just feel so pathetic and horrid to my boyfriend and it makes me feel even worse..

hes so patient and understanding but hes also fragile.. I just get scared that he’ll run away.. even though he assures me he wont.

I just wanted to show it from my side.. every time I hurt him because of this horrid illness, I just cant live with myself.

September 10, 2010 at 8:03 am
(686) cct says:

Jeanette, You have to believe in your boyfriend. If he says he isn’t going to leave there is a good chance he won’t unless he is pushed to it. What you can do is to seek help and treat it as it is – an illness that you need medical and professional help with. Do not believe that you can just pull yourself out of it by sheer willpower. That may be the case but even the strongest will gets lost. Do your boyfriend and you a favor and help both of you.

Julie, Good luck this weekend. I got out by myself for my weekly couple of hours so it was nice. Something is changing – I’m just not sure what. It is very weird!

September 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm
(687) julie says:

The weekend was ok, im trying to go at it one day at a time which is the best thing to do. Still had the push pull situation going on that i dont hold hands enough or hug enough etc….getting draining as i know what to expect now, but i also know to stand up for myself a bit more and not let what he says affect me too much.
I think its because of what has happened in the past its getting to me still, after all the nasty words and things that have been done by him to me, to have him do a complete turn around and be so emotionally desperate and clingy i cant handle it. People want their depressed to change….well mine has and i dont feel the same as he does towards me anymore, i dont think he remembers what he put me through and wants to start off from when he started to be attentative towards me. I cant let go of the past and what ive been through. Thats stopping me from loving him to, also the fact he gets sad when i do want to do things on my own he sees it as im pulling away.
He pulled away for years, in a bad way
I go out for a cupple of hours and its the end of his world.
Today i feel like im the one with the problem and i know im not.

September 12, 2010 at 8:48 pm
(688) JK says:

I can relate so well to so many of these posts.

My Husband was dignosed with depression 3 years ago. He has tried so many different meds over 2years. None worked well or not at all. At the 2yr mark He ended up Hospitilized for a week when one of the meds led to suicidal thougts. After the visit at the Hospital they dignosed it as : “Treatment Reisistant Depression” and started him on more meds that did not work. He began to have psycotic episodes and yet again we changed the med and added another med to treat the psycotic episodes. This continued until eventually one of the psycotic episodes landed me in jail.

This changed his outlook completley, still on meds I urged, pleaded with him to STOP taking them. He finally went off all medication 1 month later. He still suffersf from depression but is doing better now that he can think clearly and is not out of it due to the “wrong” meds.

Of course it is such an uphill battle. His moods are still dictating our time together. He takes anything negative as a personal attack, can not handle a discussion about anything without thinking I am upset with him leading him to guilty feelings and pulling away.

After 8 months since he has been completly off meds I am happy to say it is still much better than it was when he was on but unhappy no solution seems to be reliable as his down moods do affect me and the kids.

He is still living on the perimeter of his life scared to experience any emotion. I am praying he will start to take more care of himself and balance his life better so he does not get overwhelmed as easy.

September 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm
(689) beckaroo says:

WOW I thought I was the only one. I need to ask my husband of 25years to get help but how do you do that he hates doctors we have no ins if we did I still dont think he would go I dont know what to do

September 14, 2010 at 8:10 am
(690) cct says:

Beckaroo, There isn’t much you can do if your husband is resistant to going to see someone. You can encourage, you can take a firm stand and say if you do not do this then I will not be here. I could never go that route so I stood by my husband until he realized that maybe he did need help. He still hates them and do not believe that they know what they are talking about. They just tell him how f****d up he is and want to shove pills down his throat. Not an actual quote but pretty close to it. My opinion is if you force them then they get doubly defensive and it definitely will not work. How receptive is he to reading things online? Figure out what his symptoms reseamble and if you can, tell him this is what you see. . . That would not have worked for me but maybe it will for you. You could also say that these behaviors are unacceptable to you and ask him what he is going to do about it.

We are going to see a marriage couselor now and all he hears are negative things about himself. He doesn’t seem to listen to the whole conversation. It is really bizarre. We always have an arguement after we go see her.

Figure out how much you are willing to put up with and then go from there.

How are you doing Julie?

September 15, 2010 at 2:41 am
(691) julie says:

Things are going along pretty much the same the old push pull situation, he pushes touching all the time i pull away or feel forced to do it back because he tells me i should reach out for his hand more or hug him more why does he always have to be the one. Ive seen websites on how somebody can suffocate relationships if the other isnt needy and it says they should back off. It will encourage the other to come to you. Its true, if we dont touch or hold hands for about an hour i feel better and am more receptive when we do.
But its the constant feeling that i should be doing it all the time that gets to me.

Next time he goes to the counciler and if he asks me to to i will go and bring it up there. It seems the only time i can do it is if someone else could be listening then my partner cant run away from what i am saying.
I just want him to understand just because i dont constantly touch him or want to be with him doesnt mean i am pulling away or love him any less. But as usual its taken as a negative and he goes quiet and has a drink….but not lots just one or two now but he goes quiet and i know what he is thinking without anything said he is sulking in his own way. Its also hard to forget the past and what i have been through with him. He seems not to worry about that and wont even discuss it or say he is sorry for it. Unfortunatly i cant let go that easily.

Hope you are hanging in there cct.

September 15, 2010 at 7:24 am
(692) JW says:

Wow, reading some of these posts has made me feel like I don’t have it so bad, but my husband’s depression is pulling me down I’m worried I won’t be able to get back up.

Husband has been diagnosed as clinically depressed and has meds, which he takes sometimes. He’s afraid the meds will make him zombie-like. It’s just the mood swings that get me. And the plans we make that never come through or that he expects me to just take care of on my own because he will just be a problem. Example: we are supposed to meet our daughter’s boyfriend’s parents this weekend. All set to go until yesterday when he decides it would be better for him not to go. He had a bad day at work, he had a dental checkup and they found a cracked tooth, the dog is digging up our rose bushes. It’s like he thinks the whole world is out to get him.

What hurts so much is that our daughter is going to be so disappointed and hurt. I don’t understand how a father, and he’s been a good father, could do that to his child. I just want to scream at him and I want to leave, I just not sure how seriously I feel about leaving. This has been going on for the majority of our married life — 30 years. I’m tired. Plus I’ve had the added bonus the last four years of having two sick parents, one dying and caring for one who has Alheimer’s.

I’m not sure how much more I can take. I’ve always coped by talking things out with my mother. But now I’ve lost her to Alzheimer’s. I rely heavily on my faith and prayer, but I just needed to get things off my chest so I can go on one more day. Thanks for listening.

September 17, 2010 at 7:48 am
(693) cct says:

JW, you are your own drive to get back up. We all stumble and seek “help” but what it boils down to is your will to see things get better. I’m sure you know about the roller coaster. Sometimes it is more extreme than others. My husband refuses to take meds because he felt like he was in a tunnel. The meds were causing him to not react to anything – he didn’t like that. I guess I do understand that but if I knew my actions were causing the one I love to hurt in any way you can believe I would be working with a doctor to find something that would help me not do that.

Let us know if you do get your husband to go to the dinner. We are pulling for you.

How are you doing Julie?

September 17, 2010 at 7:12 pm
(694) JK says:

My husband would do the same thing. He would make commitments then break them due to mood and expect me to hold it all together. This happened for about a 1.5 years and is still occasionally. I was so overwhelmed. I have three kids under 11. Lots of drama and commitments.

The kids were very dissappointed alot! It was heartbreaking. My husband also a very good dad up until the past 3yrs. In the beginning I told them “Daddy is sick”, then “Daddy is not feeling well”, then “Daddy can’t handle being sad” to “daddy won’t be confrontational because he is sick”.

I was wiped out! I started to loose my sense of confidence. I was also being dissapointed so much I started loosing sight of myself. Starting believing it was me as he kept saying it was.

It took alot of prayer. I am still working on regaining myself.
I still get wrapped up in his guilting games and lack of commitment keeping (when he is down).

September 19, 2010 at 5:08 am
(695) julie says:

Taking one day at a time is the only way i can right now, my weekend was ok, he wasnt too persistant in wanting to hold hands every second but as i say when we dont i wonder if i should be just to make him happy.

how are you going cct

im trying not to let him put me down and makinng me feel guilty.

Everyone keep your spirits up this week.

September 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm
(696) Shanikwa Leggett says:

i was reading the comments on this page, and im dealing with depressed husband in my marriage. it is very tough and i married him with the depression and i love him with all my heart. Someone comment about get blamed for evrything and the depressed spouse wanting to leave. please take in touch i need the support

September 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm
(697) JK says:

My husband blamed me for everything under the sun when his depression started and still is holding some of those same ideals now 3yrs later.

We had moved to another state, 3 months after he was crying all the time telling me it was ALL MY FAULT. Then, we started counseling as I could see he needed help and our marriage was at stake. In counseling he drug up everything I ever did or even did not do that he did not like. Next he told me he did not want to be with me any more. Couldnot take my “poor attitude and criticisms”. I was floored!

After 2yrs of counseling, prayer, marriage seminars, books, magizines, websites etc I can Look back and realize it was transference. His blaming games are usually about something HE feels guilt for. It took me years to understand this.

It is hard as he still does this from time to time and it rips my heart out. He still can’t say it is him/depression without prompting.

September 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm
(698) EAR says:

in sickness and in health.
My husband was diagnosed 3 years ago with severe anxiety & depression.
It sucks. We have 3 kids, ages 4,3,2. I work full time. We haven’t been intimate in over a year. He calls me at least once a week crying. 3 years therapy, 3 years drugs…
Do I deserve more? yes. Would I love to be told I’m beautiful? yes. Would I love to be with someone that woke up on a Saturday ready to show our kids the beauty of the world? yes – you get the picture.
My yellow sticky montra:
I’m not responsible for his happiness, take care of myself, spend time with friends. etc

HE IS SICK. Depression is no differnt than any other disease. If he was in a wheelchair & I had to wipe his bum, or he was blind or any other long term ailgment. I would be there for him. Maybe it’s because we got married and had kids after the age of 40 that I realize, it’s not about ME anymore.
Sure this sucks. But that’s why I call my sister everyday, try to laugh and make sure I continuelly talk to someone.
Some days are better than others. I have no answers but I know that I am committed to this. Not to be noble but because this is what being a human being is all about.
this is a great site to find support. But I’ll be one of the ones that says “stay” vs leave. Fully aware that someday he might be the one that ends it. But that’s marriage.

September 22, 2010 at 8:06 am
(699) cct says:

EAR – you give a different perspective. I am here – I am not planning on going anywhere. There are no friends because if I do then it causes my husband to feel less important than everything else so life turns upside down over and over again. 95% of our time spent away from work is doing everything together and that still isn’t enough time together. I do get told I am beautiful but there is always something behind it – there are no good feelings associated with the holding hands, being intimate, etc. It is very draining. I do my best (unsuccessfully at times) to keep my tone even because if I don’t then it is perceived that I am getting upset and angry. This past couple of weeks have been a major slide down. I am tired. I just want to be able to smile and laugh at something. I hear people laughing in the distance and I feel sad. I stated that to my husband once and it caused all sorts of problems. Everytime we go see a marriage couselor we wind up in a big argument because he sees everything that is said as negative about him. He will not take medicine and he will not treat the true problem. Yes, he is sick. There is no other kind of illness that I know of that smothers the spouse – keeps them hostage so to speak. Yes, at times I do think about leaving so I can hold on to at least some part of who I am – whoever that may be by now. We have been married almost 29 years. I would guess that the last 10 years have been one kind of hell or another.

September 22, 2010 at 9:31 am
(700) JK says:

EAR: I feel exactly the same! I am in it! I have had 3 therapists and 1 doctor tell me I had better make other plans with my life. They all thought I was nuts for staying. To me: Marraige is a commitment and “sickness and in health” is part of the vows for a reason.

I love my husband dearly and hate that he is “sick”. This type of sickness does rip our relationship apart but is it any different than if he had cancer or some other type of awful disease? Would I leave then? NO!

I agree, I may do all this and HE may decide to leave but I am in it! I am not saying I have not been tempted to leave. I have thought about it alot. It takes every ounce of my energy and Gods HELP to get through some days.

Happy we can speak honestly on this site!

September 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm
(701) EAR says:

CCT & JK: So here we are. We’re staying.
We need to support eachother. Some days are hard, some weeks are hell. How do we continue to separate ourselves from the dark clouds? Channel our anger? Make sure our needs are met? (I asked him to buy me a vibrator but that hasn’t happend).
Like you CCT, I get mad sometimes, my tone is yucky and he wigs out. I’ve taken zoloft on & off for the last couple years and recommend it. I don’t like taking anything but I have not made time for exercise with the kids & working. It works for me, for now, at this point in my life.
JK:- I haven’t tried gods help yet. Maybe I should, so far it’s been zoloft & wine.

September 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm
(702) JW says:

This is a good place to be. Everyone’s comments are helpful, giving a little perspective and maybe some hope.

My husband did go to dinner with our daughter, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s parents. We had a wonderful time and he enjoyed it. But I had to guilt him into it. I asked him not to tell our daughter he wasn’t going until the last minute. I thought that way he might change his mind, or at least, I could make up some excuse that would sound more pausible at the last minute. He said to me “I thought I could go, but I just can’t. I know you are upset with me.” I answered, “I’m upset because our daughter will be upset. I know you are going through a hard time and I try to be supportive and upbeat, but sometimes it’s hard for me.” That made him start thinking and he decided he would go to dinner. And as I said before we had a great time.

Then we had a couple of good days. But the work week began again and you can just see him sink down. Work is so stressful for him. And our finances are not as good as they should be. I know that contributes to his down moods and I have to hide my fears because me getting upset only makes him worse.

I do rely heavily on God. I pray all the time and I know He will take care of us. And although I know He not give us more than we can bear, sometimes I feel like I’m just barely making it myself.

Good luck and God’s blessings to all of you and to us too.

September 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm
(703) cct says:

JW – I am glad your husband did decide to go to the dinner and :) I am glad it was a success. A little ray of sunshine. . .

September 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm
(704) EAR says:

nicely done JW. I like the way you positioned it with him. Little cheers from us on that one! Have to be thankful for the little things.

September 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm
(705) JK says:

JW: Good Job! I still find it so hard to be firm but fair with my husband. Alot of times my own emotions get so high because I am soo dissapointed in his behavior. (Like I have to do all the changing and he does not have to do anything)

EAR: Have not tried Zoloft yet (thought about it last year as I started feeling depressed about his depression) but certainly Drink at least a glass of wine every single evening since I realized he was depressed. Sadly it is the only 1 thing I feel I can do for me every day for sure. God is my rock and my salvation though and I have to remind myself alot these days.

September 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm
(706) 28andTakingCareofMEnow says:

I have struggled with depression and depressed people my whole life. I am only 28 and I thought I’d met the man I would marry – we’ve been together 1.5 years and he has been severly depressed for 1 year…so more than 1/2 the time we’ve been together so far. I have done everything I can and sacrificed my own life to help him, but it doesn’t work.
You all know how I feel and what it’s like. I love him, He is wonderful but he has a disease. He needs help and I am only enabling him.

I was helped greatly by the book “Codependent No More” by Melodie Beattie.
Codependency is usually thought of as being for spouses or people close to alcoholics, but it TOTALLY applies to people who have to cope with a loved one who has a severe mental illness or other condition.
We become the caretakers and we forget to live our own lives.
This book, and therapy, helped me to see that I need to take care of myself and that other people are not my responsibility.
I reccommend this book heartily, it really helps. I’m glad I figured out how to set myself free before I wasted any more of my life drowning in someone else’s depression. I still haven’t left but I am developing the courage to do what I need to do to be happy my SELF. :)

September 23, 2010 at 8:54 am
(707) cct says:

Thank you for your input 28andTakingCareofMEnow I will check out the book you suggested.

September 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm
(708) cct says:

I’ve attempted this before but have not been successful except for a very short time. I want to go home and be with the person I love. I want to do all the little things that makes them feel special. I have such a strong urge and need for that simple thing. I can do it with my husband but I know that it won’t last beyond tonight. I suppose I should be thankful for the brief times that I am successful. Live isn’t fair. I know the saying that no one said life was fair but I don’t want a lot – just to be able to give my love freely to someone who won’t be picking it over finding reasons why it isn’t enough.

Said through tears. . .

September 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm
(709) JK says:

cct: Sorry to hear you are in pain. I understand. During my husbands worst days which are always Friday or Saturdays. I would get the kids to bed hoping to spend time with him. Hoping to as you said “do the little things that make them feel special” of course knowing under normal circumstance they would do the same back. Instead I got blame, disrespect and picking at me of every word out of my mouth.
Those evenings were spent alone in my tub sipping wine crying my eyes out, praying a day would come when he would stop. Very lonely evenings, so lonely after the bath I would spend them on my knees then on my computer dreaming of a “better” life. Trying to read everything I could get my eyes on about depression and trying to gain support.
The most important thing is support! I did not have that for a long long time. I would tell my family and his and they did not realize how bad it was. How incredibly lonely I was!

Keep posting and don’t let go of who you are no matter what is said! You have stood by him, you are loyal. You are doing your best! You are brave. Praying for you :)

September 26, 2010 at 6:26 am
(710) julie says:

Hello ,thought id take a week to see if anything changed in my relationship so i can say things are getting better. Well they are no worse but no better either.
I still like cct get the constant critisizing that what love i am giving isnt enough. The continual of holding my hand when we sit together and if i dont do it the questioning starts. Im fine just to sit quietly sometimes head on hand or hands in lap without a thought or without question as to why i wont hold hands at every given moment. People may think this is petty but when it comes down to if we are eating sometimes infront of the tv, i will eat till im done, he must hold my hand every time he puts his fork down, for even a few seconds he must reach out and touch my arm or try to grab my hand even if i have a hold of my fork still.
Id just love some time not to have to push myself to do all the things that should come naturally. To have someone who rarely did this. now so over the top is so suffocating i cant move.
Said through a few tears but what good is it when they dont understand just because you dont constantly touch doesnt mean you love any less.

September 27, 2010 at 8:13 am
(711) cct says:

We had a couple of arguments this weekend. What it boils down to is – even though we do almost everything together and I am almost always holding his hand (very rarely will he make the first move there – but if I don’t then there are problems) we are not spending enough time together – the right kind. . . We went out in back on Saturday and was cutting dead limbs out of a tree and then burning what was cut out. We talked we worked together to complete it and occasionally we would sit down in front of the fire and just talk or not talk. I felt that was good quality time together – important time. But my husband views it differently. There was something else we were concentrating on instead of us. What he considers time together is really confusing to me. That wasn’t time together but supposedly sitting down and playing cards is. . . I pointed out that we are concentrating on something else – what is the difference between the two. His response was – that he can reach over and put his hand on my leg or hold my hand when we are playing cards he can’t with what we were doing on Saturday. So what I did for the rest of the weekend was sit on top of him. He seemed happy and for him everything seemed right. I disagree with everything in me. There is nothing wrong with sitting and watching a movie with his arm around me – but if that is the way it needs to be all the time – I can’t do that. I really do need my breatheing space.

Julie – I still understand oh so well. Too well. . .

September 27, 2010 at 8:41 pm
(712) JK says:

We had some argument this weekend as well:
Im my case it was regarding his parents. We have had alot of trouble since he became depressed with his parents.
Basically, they told me at the beginning when I sought there help the most “he is just fine”, “this is just who he is”, “we don’t see any difference”. All this until he was hospitalized after many different drugs and even then it became my fault.

After 1 full year and the advisement of my therapist I REACHED out and invited his parents to one of my kids bday. It took me almost 2 full months to “do my homework”. I finally sent the email and they accepted the invite.

I tried to talk with my husband for weeks now to ensure we had limits in place . He fought me the whole time regarding the limits. Finally, I thought we were on same page and the night before I reitorate what we (meaning me) have discussed. He ups and throws a cog in the wheel. I got a bit emotional instead of being firm. However, later after he kept guilting me turned into Firm!

I messed up but in the end put my foot down. The party was a success, the limits were followed. No crashing.

Does anybody go through this constant “fire drill” situation ? After weeks of planning , the seeds of change don’t sit well and the hubs tries to throw off the change?

September 28, 2010 at 6:49 am
(713) julie says:

I understand about things changing at the last minuteafter alot of planning a spanner can get thrown into the works just like that.
Im going away this weekend, in the same conversation my partner said it was a good idea as i havent seen my friends for a good 6 months due to work commitments, in the same conversation he says its a pitty i am going away for a cupple of days and got all depressed. But i didnt give in and he has to deal with it. I only hope i dont get a repeat of what happened last itme i went away and he accused me of doing all sorts of things behind his back. But i cant back down because of what happened before as he has won yet again and im not letting that happen. Its hard not to feel guilty. But what for, what have i done? Nothing, so why do i feel so horrible all the time. Horrible for not touching, horrible for enjoying myself in times away from eachother. When im away though i want to be loving to him i have all these ideas of what to do but they just fail when we are confronted as he thinks im not loving enough.
cct i undersatand totally.

September 28, 2010 at 12:57 pm
(714) JK says:

Julie- Thanks for the understanding. I was soo on cloud nine until last night. He got me! Apparently he had been lying in wait. What I thought was success was clearly WRONG.
Last night I asked him (ever so gently) if there was any reason he had been staying up till 3am for the past week as he was about to do it again. He immediatly gets defensive and instead of just answering starts with the “you always”, “why can’t you”, “its none of your business”, “you are treating me like a child”, “your assuming things”. I did well and just stated the obvious which was nope, no, not at all. But, he leaves comes back and starts hurling accusations about how I think I am God.
What is the deal with this???? Apparently I missed the newsflash where it says I am not allowed to ask questions due to concern…

September 29, 2010 at 7:48 am
(715) cct says:

JK – I have learned that asking questions makes it seem like you are questioning him and at times it makes him question himself which never has a good outcome. You are only supposed to agree with what he says and accept what he does without question.

He felt he would be miserable at the dinner but he actually had fun which proves him wrong – which turns into him always being wrong – which turns into him being the sorriest SOB that ever walked the face of the earth. I’ve seen the regression many times before.

The majority of the world says to hang on – it is an illness, would you leave if your husband had cancer and such. . . I can’t answer that question. I would hope that I would not, that I would be as flexible and giving as I have been over the last 10+ years. But what if you have to start talking yourself into doing things that used to be natural – that you used to take pleasure in? Is it doing more harm than good to stick around? It is bad enough having to change yourself to fit the mood of the moment and to put up with the years of accusations, etc. I do feel that unless you totally have your head stuck in the sand – it will affect how you feel on every level. Maybe I am wrong in that thought – :) I am wrong about the majority of everything else – - -

September 29, 2010 at 1:06 pm
(716) cct says:

Sorry JK – I got confused between the JK and the JW. My response still applies though.

September 30, 2010 at 11:38 am
(717) JK says:

No problem cct Thanks for the response.

Regression: I guess that is the correct term. I often forget about that. I am a rather Progressive person. I forget that he goes backwards alot and we both end up very sad.

I do agree it affects my thinking and perspective. In the last year alone I have felt a huge drop in confidence. Something I have never felt before. Now, I have to catch myself before I fall. Otherwise, I get down as well.

How do you feel about therapy? My husband has been attending for almost 2yrs and I don’t see any difference in his thinking. I do not feel he is really interested in making any changes. Does anyone out there see a difference?

September 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm
(718) cct says:

We are going to a Marriage Counselor and have huge argument afterwards. Our marriage problem is not the core problem so nothing is being resolved. It is helping me realize that what I am thinking and feeling is not all that wrong. My husband did see a therapist for a while and it did help him with some thoughts but he did not like the person – he did try another one but she was saying the same things as the first which he did not want to hear so he stopped going feeling he could “fix” everything by himself. He feels he is making good progress also. Things really aren’t that different. He does not handle stress at all and he is very needy(???). I am taking what I can out of the marriage counselor realizing that until the real reason is treated things are going to be the way they are.

If the person does not believe it will work then it won’t. The key is, how much effort are they putting into it?

September 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm
(719) julie says:

Jk – You say you havent seen a change in 2 years while your husband is in therapy. Does he tell you what they talk about? Mine did and i realised they spoke little of what was really going on with him just touched on some issues i realised my partner wasnt telling the whole story. I dont reccommend this but i wrote a short but truthful letter to the counciler, as i felt if my partner is going to get something out of this for the money that is being spent to help him they need to know the truth.
Long story short it basically told him about his attitude and mood and if it didnt change i wouldnt be there anymore. Something i could never talk to my partner about because arguments would happen or he wouldnt listen.
He has now done a complete turn around like CCTs hubby and become insecure and needy around me and wont leave me alone without having to touch my hand or hold me all the time except when he is working if there is something occupying his mind besides me he is fine and its a relief to me.
Now i feel im stuck because it would have been so easy to walk when he was nasty to me, now im being smothered which i cant handle either, i just wanted a normal medium which hasnt happened.
cct- i have got away for a few days on my own and he hasnt acted like last time he is being ok about it. so far.

October 1, 2010 at 7:47 am
(720) cct says:

Julie, I am glad you were able to get away for a little while. I know that is a big relief. My husband had to work late a couple of nights this week. It was such a joy to go home and not have to worry about anything – do what I want just because. There needs to be more of that.

I woke up at 2:20 last night and couldn’t really go back to sleep – all I kept thinking about was this situation. I have come to realize that it is as good as it is going to get. Either I accept that or I walk out the door and since I have a serious problem hurting him – I guess I am stuck unless I can change how I feel. All of the little things that he felt would cure our marital problem have not. Even though he says we need to continue to talk – everytime I bring it up he refuses. He tells me if there is anything I want to talk about please feel free.

He feels we do not spend enough time together so I made a spreadsheet that spells out our weeks. It is a shame that I can do that without thinking because we don’t really do anything but sit and hold hands. . .

I’m with you Julie, I wish I had of left when he was the jerk. It sure would have been a lot easier.

October 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm
(721) julie says:

cct, i understand about what you have said. They need to change but its us that have to because they refuse to or wont, either way it comes down to love it or leave. People will get hurt no matter which way we go.
I know my partner is trying.
He has held his temper, a few times when in any other situation he would have gone into a raving idiot, he didnt but i could see it was hard for him to stop himself – he only did because i was standing near him. In the end, that day i think he was getting cranky that he couldnt get mad because i was around…but any way he needs to learn getting mad doesnt make anything better.
And he has realised any more of the anger that is un called for comes to a head i will leave. I really do think thats why he is going overboard with the “holding on” situation. So there is no way i can change that either, because whatever i say will be a negative to him, where as to me or any other person that hasnt got these problems would see it as trying to help the relationship and would understand.

How did the spreadsheet go cct – did he take it as a negative or positive or just thought you were being silly and you made it up?

October 4, 2010 at 8:20 am
(722) cct says:

Julie, I have not given it to him yet. It isn’t complete yet. I still need to account for ~20 hours a week. I know it is just the running around part of life but I want to make it as exact as possible. I know that he is going to take it bad. You hit the nail on the head when you said, “So there is no way i can change that either, because whatever i say will be a negative to him, where as to me or any other person that hasnt got these problems would see it as trying to help the relationship and would understand.” That is it in a nutshell. We go see the marriage counselor tonight. In my mind now, that means another night of arguments because he doesn’t see it as attempting to help – he sees it as slamming him – he doesn’t hear when she tells me that I need to stop some of the things I am doing. . .

Life can be good for a brief moment and then something is said that lets me know that deep down, things really aren’t any different.

October 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm
(723) julie says:

I enjoyed my few days away, as usual i come back to a totally different person, but it was just for that day. I got the silent treatment, or close to anyway – all because i did go away same old same old, he agreeing to it saying its a good idea then when i come back i get punished (aparently) but i didnt fall for it i just kept on with what i usually do and didnt change so the next day he was ok again. I do actually think he may have been drinking before i got back home because he was acting a bit like he used to when he gets a few beers into him – like i am the enemy.
He hasnt tried to touch me as much, it has been a relief but im just waiting for him to argue the point again of why dont i or why cant i.

He hasnt gone to the counciler this month due to work commitments im hoping it wont happen again and he goes but time will tell on that one, just as time will tell with everything else that we put up with.

October 5, 2010 at 8:53 am
(724) cct says:

I usually find that the pulling away is because my husband feels that is what I want. Sometimes I feel like I am as mixed up as he is – even more at other times. I just can’t keep things straight in my head anymore.

October 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm
(725) Shannon says:

I don’t know where to start….. the depression with my husband is almost unbearable. Last month he decided he wanted a divorce out of the blue. He says he hasn’t been happy for months. We talked things out and then it finally clicked that possibly he has depression. After reading about the symptoms, I am 100% certain that he does. I have been trying to get him to see that as well. He is VERY resistant to getting help. He is snappy, moody, short with our two year old daughter, has no patience with her. He is fine one day and then the next so cranky and “empty” as he says. Since I have realized that he has depression I have been trying to keep myself calm and realize that it’s the depression. He is pushing himself further and further away from us. I’n not sure how much more of this I can take. Is there hope? He is going to the doctor tomorrow, how long until I get the man I love back?

October 7, 2010 at 7:43 am
(726) cct says:

Shannon, that depends – how willing is he to realize that he needs help and seek all options in getting it.

October 8, 2010 at 7:20 am
(727) JK says:

Julie what is your take on “punishment” as you put it? I have felt strongly since my husband crashed 3 years ago he has been “punishing” me. I have brought this up in counselling but really not gotten a firm answer on why this happens. My version changes but currently is anger. He is angry with himself and is taking out on me. Then he is angry at himself and he has to hurt someone so I get punished.

cct: I agree it depends on how much help he is willing to get. Shannon-my husband did the same thing 3 yrs ago. Came home and told me he wanted nothing more to do with me. I did the same 360 and spent 3 yrs fighting for my marriage.

Now, I hate to say this but I sometimes feel like what the above posts said about how they wish they would have left when it was bad. I love my husband and want back the man I married as well but It is a looonnnggg road. I am exhausted and tired of fighting for something he keeps wiffle waffling on.

October 8, 2010 at 7:50 am
(728) cct says:

JK – we all want our loved ones back. At some point you have to realize that they are not the same person anymore just like you aren’t. It is hard and it takes a long time to realize that but it is the truth. Whether they push you away or hold on so tight you just want to run – it comes down to the same things – what is the disease and what has became a permanent piece of their personality? Having been through all you have, can you honestly say you will ever look at them the same way again? Over the last ~10 years, my spouse has went from an angry / hateful person to a clingy / needy person. I do not believe the person I fell in love with 28 years ago still exists.

October 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm
(729) JK says:

cct- I agree. I don’t look at our relationship the same at all. My coping at this point is to “get through it” with minimum damage. I know I have changed alot over the course of the years but I still hold true to the same values, wants, desires for the most part.
At this point the disease has taken that from the man I fell in love with. He is not the same at all, sometimes he can not remember who he really is. Does anyone feel it is like living with someone who has Dementia/Alzheimers? Or like 50 first dates… ?
You try to be patient but really don’t understand at all!!!

October 9, 2010 at 4:51 am
(730) julie says:

Jk – punishment for me is because i went and had a nice time with friends who i hadnt seen in 10 months. Im told its a good idea to do something – if its on my own, alowd to go but when i get back i get the silent treatment, he doesnt ask how was the weekend he acts like i went off for some wild affair. Id like to talk about things i have done on my own but he wont listen because its not about him.

Last night i think i may have pulled my hand away from him to scratch my nose, he took that as a negitive and refused any touching for the rest of the night. It makes me feel bad because i know what his head is thinking. Its not the normal way of thinking.

Cct, your husband is like my partner as i have said before, he went from angry and resentful (as i mentioned when i first came here) to clingy and needy. Hes not the same person he doesnt like me doing things on my own where as once there was no issues. I could go somewhere and not worry about what i would come back to when i came home.
I could discuss what i did and life was interesting.
I cannot look at my partner the same way as i used to when i first met him, all that has gone, ive tried to feel it again but all i feel is dispair that its gone the feeling of wanting to be with him now has turned into i dont want to be near him but he is so sensitive i cant be myself anymore because it upsets him.
I laugh at the idea of this being like the movie 50 first dates beause they seem to forget what they have done and said the previous day or in my case the previous hour.
I get so confused. Holding it together is so hard.

October 11, 2010 at 7:59 am
(731) cct says:

50 First Dates is a great analogy.

Most of my core values are the same – The difference with me is before I never said “I Love You” unless I really meant it. Now it is just three words I spew out to keep things from going bad. With the back and forth emails – they have to be formatted in a particular way – to me it is like a conversation. I do not say I love you at the end of each statement I make but do in the emails –

My husband has never really been ok with me going somewhere without him – he encourages it now but there are repercusions for doing it. I get the silent treatment but my husband doesn’t want me to stop holding hands – he wants it even more. I do my best to talk to him and make things like and ok and I eventually give up because he will not contribute anything – at that point he asks what’s wrong and it goes downhill from there.

He went bowling with me last Thursday – when I wasn’t bowling he was hanging on me. It got embarrassing and annoying.

You bring up an interesting point Julie, I feel having interests outside of each other is a very good thing – it keeps new thoughts and ideas coming into the marriage. My husband does not understand that concept and feels that I am all he needs.

I also get so confused feeling that maybe it is me that is messed up because he is able to explain his concept easier than I am mine. I know in reality that all of this is wrong but sometimes when I don’t hear anything else it makes me wonder. . .

October 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm
(732) JK says:

I guess my husband is still in the Anger stage. This needy attachment phase has not come upon us yet. He is still primarily pushing me away, accusations, etc…

I hate it when they ask “whats wrong” ? I find that question incredibly hard to answer. As of course something is wrong (and they know it) but if you tell them it gets ugly, if you don’t it gets ugly (quiet or silent or punishment). I have been trying to do the change of subject when that question is posed or “pretend” I missed it altogether.

I do feel lonely though when that happens. Support for myself being the key. I don’t tell him about the support as I feel I get punished sometimes for reaching out.

As far as other interests go. That has been very hard. I have tried to come up with things but lack much energy. Recently (getting the support now) I feel a resurge in myself confidence. I am trying very hard (without letting him know) to have many outside interests that keep my mind busy and happy.

October 12, 2010 at 5:51 am
(733) julie says:

I find this could be more like possesiveness, in my case now as i cant do anything without a drama.
Like thismorning early i turned my alarm off as i was awake and i didnt need it, it sounds like i am texting someone so he asked me what i was doing texting that early in the morning. He wasnt angry he said it jokingly but i saw no funny part in it all.
I told a friend of mine at work this and she said . .. he still doesnt trust me does he.
If he had a reason for not trusting me it would make sense but i have done no wrong throughout this relationship and he doesnt see that. As soon as i try to get a bit of me time its like im off on some wild affair.
I try to do things without him knowing but its difficult out of work.
At christmas im going away for about two weeks without him, god knows whats going to happen there.
I have to think along the lines what will be will be but easier said than done.
cct i know what you mean about him hanging off you after you had your bowl im never left alone either if im near him.
I cant explain these situations either as they are taken as a negitive like im pushing him away and so i get the silent treatment which makes me feel alone

October 12, 2010 at 11:47 am
(734) cct says:

:) Because I do not like the question “what’s wrong?” my husband feels like he isn’t allowed to ask me any questions. He seems to be an all or nothing kind of person. He attaches that to me also and I guess in a way I have become that way for the sake of survival. I do not like the extremes because there are so many variables to life.

I don’t really feel anything towards my husband anymore. It used to annoy the crap out of me to have to hold onto him all of the time. Now I just accept it as this is how things go as long as we are together. I am getting to the point where there is never a time where it feels right – it just is. That is very sad. Why am I still here? That is the million dollar question. . . Out of obligation? Out of guilt? I just don’t know.

October 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm
(735) julie says:

I think i stay through guilt some of it anyway. I stood by him through his bad period where it would have been so easy for me to leave – but i didnt. Now that i have this dependant person hanging off me because he doesnt want me to go anywhere without him. At least if he was in his negitave state i still had a bit of a life as he wasnt focused on me so much.
He says he used to have thoughts of ending it at times a while ago but not any more, i guess i think he may go downhill again if i leave but we have to realise, its not our problem anymore they have to work it out. I know he wouldnt do anything really he would just go back drinking again which would probably kill him in the end in a few years but…as i said not my problem if im not there, removed from the situation which we need to be.
It sounds harsh but i feel what i and all of us are going through is hard, we have to deal with life….so they should also.

October 13, 2010 at 8:06 am
(736) cct says:

I agree with you. Except I didn’t really have a life when he was in his negative state. I had less of a life. He says he is trying and as I said before, I really believe he believes that he is trying. But “trying” isn’t getting us anywhere. His successes with trying is me conforming once more to his neediness. He was very anxious about something this morning. I’m not sure what it is. We are coming up on our 28th anniversary. I know that probably has a part in it. We won’t be alone on that day and that is really throwing him off. I suggested that we just celebrate on another day.

I do not get emotionally involved anymore when he goes into his more than usual sulky phase. I think that is bothering him. I feel detached from our relationship.

I also have concerns about what my husband will do if I leave. He has somewhat attempted three times. Part of me says he wouldn’t have gone through with it even if I hadn’t of been there but that is not a guarantee. I’m not sure if that is ruling my decision to no