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Readers Respond: Coping With a Depressed Spouse

Responses: 174


Updated September 30, 2011

dont know what to do

my husband of 4 yrs suffers from depressioin (or so i believe). Mood swings, irritable, agressive, snappy, bites my head off for no reason, doesnt sleep, doesnt help with the kids (6mnths & 3yrs), drinks alcohol everynight to relax him, gambles our money away leaving us skint and unable to pay bills (blames the gambling on his mood at that time). Argues that i make him more ill by questioning him about the money he has gambled. Im starting to feel depressed myself, he wont try to do anything about it (on tablets but they dont work). Its taking its toll, i love him dearly but dont like the person he is anymore & i just want to be the best mum i can to my kids but he's bringing me down and stopping me. If i run then im abandoning him & not carrying out my wedding vows (in sickness & in health etc) but if we carry on as we are im jus miserable every day treading on egg shells. When he's not having a 'bad' day, he reminds me what a lovely man & dad he is but thats probably once a week.
—Guest flora30

are these people depressed or sociopaths

How do you the difference whether someone is just manipulating you with their threats on suicide or if they really are depressed. My husband acts very similar to the above cases and I feel like a horrible person wondering if he's extremely narcissistic a sociopath or depressed. How do you know the difference, should I leave him. We have a 9 month old daughter and I don't know what's the lesser of two evils. Leaving him or growing up around him.
—Guest confused


Depression = They need your help! My partner has had deppression for 2 years now. Iv never once doubted that we can work things out. Were getting married next year and I still have no hesitations about having a life together. I love him more than words can explain and his disease is my disease too. I know alot of people suffer very badly but leaving your partner will make things worse. Be strong. Be the person you would want if you were in their situation. If you love your spouse you will help them get through it.
—Guest Leesy

trying to help

You asked for help well exercise, eat well, cognitive behaviour book, journalling, go to Mind and Restore, carers support, Rethink, creativity, prayer, holidays, get out of bad relationships
—Guest hopeful


My partner and I have been togeter for 18 months now, I knew he suffered from depression when we got together.... So i tried to keep him active, which has helped for the most part. However in the past week, I have found out he was texting a member of staff we work with, offering her sex etc.... he says its his cry for help.... i love him dearly and cant imagine my life without him, but my family doesnt believe it's to do with it nd dont want me to be with him anymore and they think he will do it again.... He promises he wont, as he knows he is lucky to have me around still, as we had agreed that if either party even partilly cheated that would be it.... game over.... i just want him to be the man he was when we first fell in love....!!! I'm trying everything I can, but he is just not willing..... what can I do, to try and get him doing things that I know will help him?
—Guest oddball

one month

We live 98 miles apart. We have met up 3 times when were not together we pine for each other so badly we both feel the. Same when were together were amazing and can't leave each other alone but as soon as as we have to go home he texts me everytime and says its not going to work coS its too. Costly or we are going too fast because we have spoken about kids and lattice and he wants me to move in with him ect he is always yes no yes no he admitted he were terrified last time. So this time i tried to remind him we .both are but then he contra dicts what he has just said so i tell him that and he says am doing his head in and is now ignoring me he said this time he has realised its lust not love but i don't know whether to keep trying to help him or if there is any truth in what he has just told me as its torn my heart to pieces. He is my solemate i know ill try my best if i knew how i have mild depressing but a lot of anxiety so this doesn't help i just want to.know is it depression ?
—Guest jen

end of the road

I have been with my partner for a year and 3 months, he is depressed and has said he needs to see a doctor but is yet to see one, the whole relationship I have supported him I have sat outside his house for hours on end. Done everything for him, washing cleaning cooking running showers , I drive him everywhere n every day after work he wants to go to his friends and wants me to take him n pick him up, he is always promising me a better life but never delivering, if I'm to tired to tend to his demands he throws a stroped n calles me lazy n quite often just goes to bed, he has no consideration to what I want or any concept of what is important to me n why, I have a child from a previous relationship and he goes in a mood when she isn't nice to him but he wants her to love him with out putting in the work he only ever gives 10% with us , I left my daughters dad cause I deserved better then he gave me bow I feel I have fallen into the same trap
—Guest tired

wow iam not alone!!!!!

i have to say i just called the cops onmy bofirend i had no choice he wouldnt leave!!!we been tog for almost 9ears now and i have developed an heart arrthmia problem from all his stress my doctor told me its from the stress and all the arguing everyda!!for absolutley no reason !!its hard being with someone that has depression espcially major depression i read these people on here and i said omg wow iam not the only one going through this!!!!i knew he kept blamimg me for everthing!!! all the time i thought he hated me biut i c now its the depression they blame everone for everthing and its never there fault!!! but after hearing its u u u u u u all ur fault for soooo many years i started getting depressed to!!i use to always laugh and smile and was always happy when i met him i thought he was the sweet thing alive!! i knew he obviousl had some mental issues but oh m god i had no idea what i was in for!! but i do feel bad cause i serve him breakfast in bed i still the bad guy help!!
—Guest patty5068

depressed spouse

my husbands depression is extremely draining on me and my children. I try to create structure and a routine for my family that we can follow that doesnt require much effort or input from my husband. It gives my kids and myself a sense of being a family unit. I also have little or no expectation that my husband can meet my needs, it helps me not get resentful of him. He is taking medicine and hopefully things will improve for him. However, until things do improve I will continue to stay focused on what I can do, verses what is missing in my life.
—Guest i think i can


Dear Friends... I have done this for 27 years and please know that nothing you do or so or try or suggest will help a person struggling with depression. My husband rides the depression rollercoaster everyday and it has limited our world beyond description. The frightening thing is that I love him like a mother loves a child. I don't want to hurt him or abandon him. but, emotionally, he has unknowingly constructed a prision for both of us. He says that I just don't understand his struggles. Perhaps I do not, but I more than understand the limitations it has created in my world. We have five beautiful children who all love and feel sorry for their father. I love and feel sorry for him and all of us, but at what point do I get to retire from being his fulltime caregiver? I feel like he spent the first 25 years limiting and sabatoging our physical and emotional relationship. Now that I'm desperate to leave, he suddenly wants to try. Of course, that's a pipe dream...be cautious:
—Guest waiting4relief


my boyfrnd suffers from depression and the best part is he is well informed and well conscious of it and infact from the starting of our relationship he has tried to prepare me for it. but truthfully even after 1 year nd 4 months i m not able to help him in those tough moments. he has lately been giving me an offer of breaking up with him. i love him and frankly i knw of his depression from the very start but it never stopped me from loving him more with every moment that has passed between us. our relationship is going through a very tough time but i knw i love him and i will become the most awesome person ever and wont let his mind wander anywhere on his own and no depression will come. if i leave him i will survive but i will never feel happy and perfect ever widout him. he is the most amazing person possible. i had made my choice the first time i said i love you to him i will do anything fr wat i think is rite. a slight chemical imbalance in his awesome brain cnt make me go
—Guest maria


My husband & me are both going through difficult time since we got married.He is an alcholic, presently trying to give up.He is egoistic & not considerate.I single handedly have oped with all responsibility.We have not been able to get along well.Now our kids are becoming irretated & roudh.We want things to go well. We are both depressed & dont feel like talking or doing anything.Please help us.
—Guest Monica

He just so depressed

My boyfriend has been depressed for a year. It started when his ex decided she no longer wanted him to see the children he had raised as his own for 6 years ( children age 7 and 9). The youngest believes him to be her father. He has no legal rights to these two children..for almost a year after the divorce his ex allowed him visitation, then after we purchased school supplies and new shoes for the kids for school...she ended the visitations..the reason..we refused to feed her food that was leftovers from "her house" from the day before. So now my guy has been depressed...and its taking its toll on us! I have no idea how to help him, so in a last ditch effort to allow him to heal we decided I would move out to allow him some personal space to grieve!
—Guest kels


Thanks for people being so honest, yes my husband drives me crazy, my husband has been undiagnosed for fifteen years. He struggles socially, is a past alcholic, has stopped drinking for the past ten years. But, doesn't want me sleeping with him, can be very hurtful, and does not eat, it's painful for him to leave the house. I knew this guy when I first met him and knew that I couldn't do it if he stayed this man. I prayed a lot, he has been a total different man the past twelve years. Now since we had a three year old boy, he has gone backwards to that man I met and knew at times Sixteen years ago. I feel their is some past cargo that he needs to deal with in his life, yet he needs to deal with the life he has now and it's not what he planned. He wants money all the time, and to go places. I feel he was abused as a child emotionally. His father has a lot of the same charecteristics his father has. Anyone please help as to my husband making the right decision for him being himself.
—Guest elephant


Alone has been a common feeling lately. I've been with my husband for almost 14 years, married for 4-1/2; we've been together since our late teen years. I've always known he & his whole family suffer from depression. Like so many, I thought I could fix it.. $25,000 worth of debt later, let me tell you, no concession you make will help this. You can do everything for someone with depression & be loved / appreciated no more or less than if you'd done nothing. My husband checked himself into a mental health unit yesterday; I went to see him after trying to find him for 16 hours, fearing he'd killed himself, and he wouldn't look at me and told me to leave.. I can't even allow myself to be hopeful that he'll follow the suggested treatments, or that if he does, he won't just leave me..since in his mind, his misery is my fault. Don't let your self esteem be based off of a depressed person's perception of you.
—Guest Sadly237

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