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Readers Respond: Coping With a Depressed Spouse

Responses: 212


Updated September 30, 2011

get a life

My husband has many battles including depression, chronic pain and anger. I am drained and lonely. The only thing that is real and keeps me grounded is going to Mass and I go to women's ACTS retreats. I went on a retreat yrs ago and now I serve on team for different ones through out the year. I also have friends that I will go away with for a few days here and there. I have had to make a life for myself outside of my marriage. My poor husband is totally self absorbed and counts all wrongs against him. He is a prisoner of his thoughts. Unfortunately this is something he has to walk thru and all I can do is pray for him. I also literally cry out to God and complain and yell when I am alone in the car. A good cry seems to help. Would be nice to have some people who are in the same boat to talk to. I don't have any answers. I just work on staying true to who I am and what I love to do and not get sucked into his vortex.

What do you do after?

My boyfriend's getting help for his depression by taking pills, seeing a pyschologist and doing CBT. He only talks to me every so often and says he needs space. I'm trying so hard to be hopefull and keep telling myself that its going to be okay but its so hard. We've been together for 8 years and he's broken up with me numerouas times. When it was really bad before he got help he made me feel like it was all my fault that I caused the arguments and I was a horrible person. He used to scream at me and talk to me like I was rubbish but when I told him how he was making me feel he acted like it did'nt matter and no matter what I said he didnt ever regreat it. He told me he didnt love me anymore which ripped me apart. Now he's apologied and told took the full blame and told me he's going to sort it but how can I ever trust him or let him close to me after everything he said? How can I forgive him for making me cry so much and feel so bad? What if he does it again? I'm so scared.

This does help. but...

My husband is depressed. Call it stress at work, lack of exercise, or a midlife crisis but the bottom line is, he has checked out and given up. My husband works and provides very well for us, but comes home exhausted and sits on the couch for HOURS on his Ipad. He has little interest in social interaction, which would help a great deal. It is very difficult to see your husband transform into a lump on the couch and not feel responsible. I've tried encouragement, tough love, setting a good example, nagging and begging. But none of it works. I try to stay positive but its overwhelming and keeping a positive frame of mind is becoming impossible. I pray for help, for everyone going through emotional and mental strife.

41 yrs old, depressed all my life.

I've been married for 15 yrs and have 2 beautiful daughters 2 and 8 yrs old. I've seen numerous psychiatrists and psychologists over the last 20 years. Tried many medications and was Baker acted once. Tried to self medicate myself as well. So far nothing seems to work. I don't know what to do at this point. It kills me to see how my depression affects my wife and especially my kids! Contrary to what some people may think not every person with depression is self centered and narcissistic, reading those comments hurt me a bit but on the other hand I can understand why I could be perceived that way. In my opinion depression is just like any other disease, it's not really a choice. I think it is important for people to remember that. At this point of my life I think suicide may be the option so my family doesn't have to go through the pain of living with me anymore. The only reason I haven't done it, yet is the fear of how it would affect my kids.
—Guest Arthur


This is suppose to be tips on dealing with a depressed spouse. I've read quite shocking things, he beat me up, he is so angry. I agree with the person who says educate yourself with depressive symptoms. I do have a partner at the moment who is displaying dewpressive symptoms, i am encouraging him each time to see the gp. I will not give up until he see's he needs help. I've read so many of you who are basically thinking how in which it effects you. Complaing about how unfair that you have a depressed partner. It's is hard to cope with, my advice is if you are feeling strong help your partner and share in this time. If you cannot cope if they are depressed help yourself get space from them but never dump them, ask there friends of family members to help. If they are violent speak to your gp or there therapist or counciler they will be able to help you and them. If they aren't getting help seek help on there behalf, talk to there loved one's, show what you have noticed and never give up.
—Guest Diane

Does it ever get better?

Everything I read on here is so negative like a depressed person can never get better...is this true. I'm feeling hopeless that the man I married will ever come back to me & I feel like it is all my fault. My kids & I are the ones who stress him out.
—Guest Not much hope??

Am i doing the right thing?

Been married for 11 years with 4 kids now. out of left field my wife says "i havent been happy for awhile and i need some time to figure out what i want in life" time without me. when i asked for reasons she said " you deserve to be loved by someone who matches your affection" she said she had no emotion towards me. Then over the next few days she acted like everything was normal while i was totally devastated by her request only days before. totally crying and heartbroken i kept trying to get her to talk about it but she gets more distant. my first thought was there is someone else but after much investigation and inquiry of her friends it appears there is no one else and she has depression or hormone inbalance which is causing this. her doctor confirmed her thyroid is not working correctly and she goes to have further tests done in 2 weeks. Im just not sure how to act around her. do i just need to be patient for more results and medication? im torn. give up? or stick through?

Life by Dr J-Dog

Ive never had depression but what I think people should do is live life. Find a job that you love doing and would do it if you didn't get paid. Look for adventure, the world is wait for you to discover. I find my inspiration from the night sky. Look up into the night and experience a billion stars with your own eyes. When I worry about anything, I sneak out at night and star gaze. My other stree relief is flying, to me it gives me a sense of freedom just like an eagle. You only have one lifetime to do everything you can. Generally I was taught that we got given a wonderful world to live in and we should take advantage of it. Don't take depression as the world has come to an end, it's just another obstacle in the world. I cant wait to finish school this year (2012) so I can go out and experience life myself. Lastly, music helps, easy listening of course. If you still need help read the bible and pray to god. PS after I explore the world space is my next destination.
—Guest Doctor J-Dog

severe depression

Husband has had it for 20 years .Every 2 mths we go on the roller coaster ride. tells me to go and says things about my kids to hurt me and my family.Nasty things about me in every way .cant do anything write. Nice infront of friends and work mates and turnes to mr heckle when every one is gone .Never has commented on any thing nice at all about me .Tries to knock me down verbally till i crack .some times i think i cant go on any more .
—Guest angela

help me

i am trying to find ways to help my wife and to be supportive of her i will never give up on her i love her
—Guest kathy curtsinger


Help! I have been with my boyfriend for almost 8 years, but about a year ago he started to do things I never seen before. He did not sleep for a week maybe napped for an hour or so every two days and always worried about everyone and everything around him. He seen a doctor and got some medication for depression, but he does not believe he is suffering from that illness. I have told him that I would leave him if he does not take his meds so he took them for a few days then stop completely. Now he blames me for the way he feels because he believe the meds are what made him feel the he do now. He feels like he is unable to do anything that he once loved to do. He believe it's to late to accomplish his goals and get to his dreams. I try motivating him but it does not work. He believe it's too late for everything and blames me for it. I do not blame him for any of this because I did some research and understand a little more about this illness. I dont know what to do anymore. Please help!
—Guest Jen

Depressed hubby

Hubby was diagnosed with depression couple of months ago. Came back from his business trip, he told me he wants to return to his home country. He wants a separation. So I left with my son. He was a loving husband who always put me before him. The sudden change caught me off guarded. He shut me out completely. He hates the sight of me. It breaks me, totally.
—Guest Devastated

Emocionally tired

I have been in a relationship for two yrs. and from the start i knew that i was in big trouble but i was in love. i didnt care. but now that we have a son and live together his depression is really wearing me down. We barely have sex he never goes out to have fun spends 2-3 hours in the bathroom(sufferer of dermatillomania) then goes to bed and acts like im never even there. i try to understand and i give him space i learned that nagging doesnt work it makes it worse he wont get help. I just dont understand where did that person i met and love so much go. ive told him i want him back but he just gets mad and tells me to go away and leave him b. im tired of rying everynight and blaming myself for all this. What do i do. i tell him to leave but he wont he says he loves me and i am still beautiful( after gaining baby weigt) but i feel that he thinks he can have better. what can i do. im emotionally tired and i want out?!
—Guest Ms.Deception

Love them don't Smother them.

I am HypoManic I offer No quick fix or any fixes at all seek professional help for your loved ones, but understand that when someone like me gets depressed we don't want help from you you've done enough by just being there we know we make life hard and we feel 98% resposible, and that compacts our depression if we dont feel like haveing sex just settle for watching tv don't go screaming about affairs or how we don't love you anymore that compounds the depression try to find a mental health worker who will make a house call leave them to talk with the counsellor by themselves and dont ask questions about the session just ask the couns. if they think that person really wants help wants help not need and for godsake if we ask for a bit of quiet time don't get offended just givbe us a bit of quiet time To sum it up let them know your there to be supportive because we are usually feeling angry with ourselves and putting you through the things we go through.
—Guest LewisShryock

My husband is depressed about everything

My husband and I been together for three yrs and married for 2yrs and half, when we first met each other everything was good and going very well until my mother tried to attack him with a hand gun for no reason at all, so that brought some issues but we worked it out some how. He has some issues of people leaving him due to his mother leaving him at such a young age so we tried to looking for her no hope thought so he can't get passed that, we've had to miscarriage so far which he blames me for he's hit me in the passed due to those miscarriages ,he's cheated two times in a five month period .blames his mother for his action even thought his never met this women in his life I forgive him trying to work it out due the fact that is my second married we have one the way and my five yr old . Need help I love him with all heart their is so much more but not enough space.

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Coping With a Depressed Spouse

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