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Readers Respond: Coping With a Depressed Spouse

Responses: 212


Updated September 30, 2011


i have the same problem with my husband very same as exhausting.. im getting so depressed and having mood swing.. just wondering if i should end this before the depression gets worse. and i cant help anyone or myself anymore.
—Guest mdh

depressed or psycho

Its me i dont know what it is thoe ive been with my husband for a year.i have 2kids frm previous relationship ive had horrible relationships my whole life always got cheatd on andi always cheatd imet my husband at church we fell in love at first sight he loves my kids n they love him but i have bad thought like hes always cheating but its weird its only when i have access to a phone n when im not at work n when he is at work.its crazy i need help its like if im not doing nething all my mind cand do is think of negative bad thoughts its horrible but if im busy at work its like everything is normal...help me i dont know if im psycho or just depressed
—Guest mamafluff


My boyfriend has been depressed since I've known him...treatment after treatment after pill after pill....originally I tried to be supportive but realised I was enabling him. He wakes up everyday, lays in bed thinking about his depression for hours, gets up, wanders around the house doing absolutely nothing....I know I sound like I don't uderstand how bad he feels. The examples are MANY, and I feel as though he is at the point where his behaviour is exacerbating his depression. He has had his own psychiatrists suggest to him that he is transitioning out of depression..which scares the crap out of him so he goes off the deep end..because it's much easier to be in a state of depression so expectations of him are very slight. He was given a great opportunity to volunteer at the treatment center as part of his therapy and he threw that away with both hands...refuses to stick one toe out into the world. Just sits home and wallows and whines about how depressed he is.

now what?

I have lived 42 years with a man I once loved very dearly; his depression has caused him to become sullen, angry, emotionally negligent. He blames me for eveything and I have to walk on eggshells around him. I can't take it anymore, He behaves like he hates me, but I'm trapped in this loveless marriage; or am I? How do get out of this and on to a normal life. Any suggestions from someone who has experienced this would be appreciated. He refuses to go for help.
—Guest Julia

Be sure the diagnosis is correct

So many of these responses sound more like other problems, rather than straight depression. Remember that depression can be comorbid (occurring at the same time) with OTHER problems. Those of you dealing with a trying situation and think your partner or loved one has depression, I urge you to at the same time educate yourself about the following problems, which may be the actual culprit (or be co-occurring with the depression): - Adult ADD and Adult ADHD (very common problems. Often associated with addictions and rocky relationships) - Borderline personality disorder, and other personality disorders - Bipolar disorder (also quite common and causes terrible low/depressed moods but in combination with other problems. There is also more than one type - Bipolar I and Bipolar II which has no real "manic" phases) Problems often get a lazy label of "depression", and then people wonder why the typically useful treatments for depression aren't working. Learn from Wikipedia and Google Books.
—Guest Know your stuff!


All these words, egg shells, distance, break up, mean, lazy, self hatred. I just read my life in all these posts. I've been with my partner for 20 years, the last 4 have been bad. I am a scientist I understand the disease but to seperate that from life is really hard. I'm so angry!!!
—Guest Rob

totally lost n heart broke

all i can say is do what your heart tells you to do. My lesbian relationship started off LOVELY. I met her on a dating site, we both lived far apart. I was however in a relationship and she was single. We ended up hitting it off, (she actually took the first step and drove from Oakland to Fresno to see me) thats a first. after a few months I endured a terrible tragedy, my mother passed away, I had no family, no one to comfort me, She was there. I ended up moving to Oakland to be with her. Yes I broke up with the girl I was with for her. when we movedin together everything was ok. The sex was there the natural affection and mutual feelings. I fuckd up and cheated on her with the girl i had jus broke up with. she found by going thru my txt msgs, i admitted to doin so. So she cheated too, with her exboyfriend andwith sum random female. now things arent the way they used to be. I havnt cheated anymore but i wish i had the heart to because shes always depressed, never in the mood for nothn
—Guest interesting1

My husband is depressed

My husband and I have been together for 12 years now, have a 6 and 3 year old. His depression was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I have been feeling like I am a parent and taking on most responsibilities including pushing to work on our relationship for years now. He won't take steps to do what is healthy for him when he is feeling well such as using his cpap machine, seeking counselling or therapy, light therapy eating healthy, getting a decent sleep etc. I love him, but feel exhausted and cant see myself living being able to do everything I do for the rest of my life. I get depressed due to being deprived of love, attention, a partner and friend and communication. I feel depressed sometimes myself. I do not want to leave, but find so much dissatisfaction at times. I feel like I have to fight for my right to be sick, tired or just down. I am soo fatigued. I want to cry. Does it ever get better?

Do we have to be the ones who sacrifice?

Married for ten years. One beautiful son. One depressed wife. She is from another country and wants to go back to her life there. It is a third world country and she feels that I can not survive there - despite me saying I will try. For the past 7 years she has been depressed. I get phone calls at work where she does nothing but sob. She sometimes is short with my son because of her mood swings. We haven't had sex in 4 years - in fact she says the thought of anyman - not just me - touching her in a sexual way makes her angry and depressed. Clothes are not ironed. Piles of them lay around the house. Unwashed dishes are stacked in the kitchen. I do my ten hours at work and then come home to a wife who cries or abuses me, and then I head to wash the dishes or other housework. I love my son and divorce is out of the question - he would be devastated. When she is in a good mood, she is wonderful. Unfortunately, those days are rare. She has seen a therapist but stopped. I am at a loss. Suck
—Guest Life unfair

Had enough

I'v been with my wife for 20yrs and I,m at my limit. My wife has had depression the whole time We have been together she says it a because she is overweight . So I paid for her to have a gastric band fitted to lose weight she did loss weight and seemed to get better the problem arose when she cheated on me and our sex life was far from great for about a year then she told me what she had done. The problem is she angry to me and the kids and it's never her fault the only reason I stay is to protect the children. It's not physical but the anger is a verbal problem. I now feel that I've wasted so many years living with a person who has depression. When I said I do I didn't realise that I had to suffer so much and I'm starting to think why should. I so all you people who say you love your partners with depression then I would rethink as its a life long drain and believe me it only gets worse. If I could turn back the clock I would find someone who loves who they are as well as there partne
—Guest Paul

It helps

At 5am every morning my alarm rings, waking me up. Before my feet hit the ground I purposely say to myself "be positive today". Now I know as a man married to a person who suffers with depression that there might not be a lot of positive things that day but my point is to remain positive (enough) through it. I get up, brush my teeth, then go to my children's room to pick their clothes for the day. I iron them and put them in their rooms on their beds. I then make their lunches and place them in there backpacks. Of course weekends are different but as consistent. It's what after doing these things that's my biggest... only real help. I sit at our kitchen table and read at least one chapter out of my Bible. I then make a cup of coffee and take a seat on my comforting couch. There I pray, pray, and pray some more. Praying I had done before but never like I have for the past few years. Married for 17 years I will always hope she will "get" better, "be" better. Consistent prayer...

the mountains and valley's

I just was recently married to a man with dysthymia. It really sucks because he is on medication and we are going to start counseling in less then a month, but even with all of the help and support he can not see the big picture. He comes off as selfish and self-centered, spoiled and lazy, but I know that under all of the uck is a beautiful person. After being married for about 3 months I am finally starting to realized I CAN NOT FIX HIM. Only the depressed person has the power to fix themselves. They are so used to living in pain and discomfort that trying something new that might actually work is scary to them. It is frustrating and painful to watch. They are self destructive as well and to our relationship. You get to see this glimmer of hope for like 3 maybe 4 days and then crash...the walls come crashing down squashing any hope or light that you see. Often their thoughts are completely irrational and make no sense. All you can do is pray that God will save them.
—Guest love God

Run from depression and abandonment

Run. Don't look back. Your husband will drag you nd your children into his self focused world. He will hate you for being well and blame you for his not being happy. Thenantidepression mess don't work. He will drain u of whatever he can and then shutnwhatbisnleft of u out. When that is done he will move on to the children and drain them. Thinking he is a mentor they will act like him in too many ways and the cycle of abandoned abuse would only continue. Better to find another man who treatsnyounwith love and respect and loves your children. Laughter heals a heart.
—Guest Tortured wife

All the help is in front of you

These tips are from a male depressive to wives and partners The first thing depressives have to learn is THAT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Also, it is not your spouse's fault either. Depression is a disease; it can be inherited; it is mostly caused through a chemical imbalance in your brain. That is why it is of the utmost importance to get the correct medication from a good doctor. That's a start. The second is to enquire whether there is a call-out team in your local mental health department. I have benefited enormously over the years from both these. Spouses and partners should not have to tolerate any depressive who will not take the first step and visit their doctor. Depressives can be very stubborn--I know! You may have to give the patient an ultimatum. After all, you are entitled to your own life.
—Guest sensei

My Depressed Husband.

My husband of 10 years has had depression really bad the last 3. He went to the doctor and got meds, but now says he doesn't like the way they make him feel, so he quit. His disease has drained me emotionally, phyically, and mentally. I work 50 hours a week (he over spends when he is depressed), do all the housework, and take care of our 2 kids. He completely ignores or children, I feel like a single parent. On top of that I have to deal with his crazy mood swings. If I ask him how his day went he will yell at me for being too nosy. He yells and me and seriously acts like he hates me know matter what I do. I try and be strong, but I end up secretly crying in the bathrom every night. This is his depressed side, which usually is going strong for 4 months or so. Why do I stay? Because the other 8 months are amazing. When the depression clears he is the best husband and father I could imagine. During the good times I can't imagine being without him. How much longer can I do this
—Guest Heartbroken

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Coping With a Depressed Spouse

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