My wife’s depression

blackdog5

I’ve had a stressful day at work. I’m mentally exhausted and physically not too sharp either. It’s the end of the working week and I should be overjoyed that I’m heading home. If my wife were there, I would be. But she isn’t. Someone else is waiting for me when I get back. She looks a lot like my wife, but her face isn’t as bright. She doesn’t have my wife’s beautiful smile – more of a dead-eyed stare. My wife often greets me with cuddles and kisses – this woman avoids physical contact with me, unless I can persuade her to rest her head on my shoulder as she weeps. My wife is self-sufficient, a bundle of energy; this woman seems helpless in my presence, effectively bed-ridden, unable to complete the most basic of tasks. My wife asks me about my day and tells me what happened during hers; this woman asks me what the point of living is.

What’s the point of me living?” That’s a tough question to answer at any time, let alone after a full day at work. I offer a response that I hope will encourage her, place her dark feelings and impulses into context, and give her a boost. There are only so many times and ways you can give an answer though, especially when your words seem to have little effect. Sometimes I feel like shrugging and admitting that I don’t know. After all, self-preservation – a yearning for life – is a natural, inexplicable instinct for most of us, isn’t it? How do you rationalise it for someone who currently lacks it?

The only thing that could possibly make her feel worse is the notion that her current state of mind is bringing me down as well, is making my life worse. It is of course; how can you watch the woman you love crying over her existence and feel anything other than desperately, pitifully unhappy? But to expose her to that would be to multiply her hardship – and she’s already suffering enough. So I smile. I reassure. I tell her that this dip in mood is transient, that it will pass. I look her in the eye with all the optimism I can muster and tell her that I’m fine, and that she will be too in a few days or so. Sometimes my prediction is accurate; sometimes I’m out by a week or so. Sometimes by a month.

The truth is, I often find myself full of anger and resentment. This disease, despite the continuous experiments with counselling and medication, robs me of my wife too often. It leaves a shell of a woman; and not a shell that I can ignore. A grey facsimile it may be, but it’s one that flips between desperately craving reassurance and pleading for respite from her ills; that speaks of ending it all, and a world better off without her in it. My wife can leave my thoughts every now and then, but this imposter demands my full attention at all times. I worry about her when I’m not there, I grieve for the life she fails to enjoy when I am. And should I remove myself from the environment completely, and enjoy a brief reprieve outside her sphere of gloom, I feel inconsolably guilty that I am able to experience simple pleasures in a way that currently escapes her.

Yet I can’t allow myself even a modicum of self-pity. I’m not the one who’s ill. However bad I may feel, my wife feels worse. How can I dare feel sorry for myself when this cruel disease is extending its tendrils through her mind, convincing her that life is worthless? You’d think it would be an advantage for me to be the one who can see the truth; that can see the wonderful woman I fell in love with just beneath the surface struggling to emerge. But it’s a cruel insight, because she doesn’t see it. Trying to convince someone who’s chronically depressed that they are a good, valuable person is like trying to convince a priest that there’s no God. It’s an infuriating, fatiguing, almost impossible task.

But while you can’t talk someone out of his or her depression, you can offer ballast. I have to remind myself that as useless as I sometimes feel, as a loved one who strives to understand her condition I offer something that few people can: a steadying rock, a light through the shade, someone who will always be there for her no matter what; someone who can soak up the darkness and try to reflect back some positivity.

I’m a good person, aren’t I? A great husband…

Not really. Because sometimes my love and dedication isn’t strong enough to win out against those other negative emotions and feelings. Sometimes I fantasize about a life without a depressed person in it. Sometimes I feel like the transient periods of levity she experiences just isn’t recompense for the soul-sapping morbidity that dominates. Sometimes I get angry with her, shout at her and slam doors behind myself. And sometimes – rarely, but sometimes – I think about leaving her, and am stopped in my mental tracks not by the realization that I would miss her dreadfully, but through the fear that she’d kill herself and that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the guilt.

I’m not always a good person. I’m not always a great husband.

I’m human. I’m trying to do the best I can, trying to support someone who has worse to deal with than I could ever dare imagine. Maybe some men would do better. Perhaps others would do worse. She carries it, she battles it, and she experiences the worst of it. But we’re both burdened by it.

Why do I put up with it? Because I love her. It’s a simple realisation that almost always lifts me out of any petulant self-pity and re-focuses my efforts to be as strong and positive as I can be. Because when her black fog passes and the mood lifts and the woman I married returns, I’m the happiest, luckiest chap in the world. When she re-emerges, it makes any hardship seem trivial.

I love my wife. I hate her depression.

Why am I sharing all of this? Well, beyond the obvious catharsis, there are several reasons. Firstly, my wife let me (thanks honey). Secondly, being in the audience last week when Stephen Fry was famously so open about his mental health issues made me realise how comforting and supportive it can be simply hearing that someone else has battled them too. I left the auditorium feeling uplifted and unburdened because someone shared an experience that before had been so personal, so specific to my wife and me. It reinforced that whether you’re a sufferer or a carer, there are people out there that know exactly what you’re going through because they go through it too. It helps me to know that; it helps even more to hear or read it first hand.

Also, it struck me that if my wife had cancer, or was in a wheelchair, then friends and close colleagues would probably know about it. But despite attempts in the media to shine a light on its prevalence, not enough people talk about depression or bipolar disorder – myself included. But treating it so privately just makes those affected by it feel even more isolated.

So if you’re reading this, and any of what I have written sounds familiar, rest assured: you’re not alone. Sufferer or carer, there’s more of us out there than you think. We don’t tend to make ourselves known. I think it’s time that we did.

If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for reading, and apologies if you were expecting a semi-humorous entry about Racist Thundercats or Weak Hand Dryers. Normal service will resume next week!

101 comments

  1. Ray

    This story fits my wife and my life exactly…
    It is so overwhelming. The worst part of everything is we have been to many doctors and therapists and have not found a competent one that has made and positive impact yet and its been going on for over 5 years!
    Helps knowing other people are your there with the same battle…. Idk… guess it makes me not feel so alone.

    Ty

  2. Claudia

    I am that wife, and feel horrible about my husbands feelings at this very dark time

  3. Richard Thompson

    Hi there, i am so glad i found this as it has helped me feel a million times less alone. Thank you

  4. Martin

    I’m stunned. This is such an eloquent description of my situation. Trying to ignore it because it’s just not her is the hardest.

    Keep up the hope to get the wife back is the only thing.

  5. adam

    Thats really made me feel a bit better knowing I’m not the only one who’s suffering like that to I feel that to your right I love my wife and I hate her depression ,thank you .

  6. Bill D

    Thank you …..I really needed to read this.

  7. Paul

    Thank you dude.

    I feel like i’m no longer in a relationship with my partner, i’m in a relationship with her depression.
    My God it sucks. Big fucking hairy balls sucks.
    We got 2 young kids. It sucks for them too.
    I’m at a loss, but it’s nice to hear others are going through this too. Misery loves company. 😉
    I hope you get your ray of sunshine back. If you do… let me know how you did it. Really.

    • Louise

      Hi Paul, just going through this feed and noticed your comment, just wondered how things are now? My partner has just been diagnosed with depression, but I think it has been going on for ages, Christmas is just around the corner, it’s a very difficult time.

  8. Rosie

    Thank you. I got married about 5 months ago and just realized my husband suffers from severe depression. He hasn’t said this to me, but I’ve been reading up on it and he fits all the descriptions. He says he’s ill, weak as a kitten, and that his mind is like that of a 70 yr. old. Because when he is awake, for the few hours we see each other every day, he doesn’t seem physically ill, I just couldn’t accept what he was saying and I have been giving him a hard time about not working and sleeping all day. I have been thinking he’s not motivated enough and that he’s the ultimate procrastinator. More often than not, I’ve reacted with frustration and anger instead of compassion. I’ve done a lot of spiritual work on myself only to realize lately that I don’t even know if I know what compassion is. At the same time as I am angry or frustrated at him, I feel like a horrible person because he’s obviously suffering in some way and all I care about is how overwhelmed and alone I feel. It’s like I have a split personality. Now I realize what I believe he is suffering from is depression and I have been so uncaring. I feel like a horrible person because I haven’t been able to “simply” accept him and his current life struggle and support him instead of make him feel worse. I guess I’m venting…but this is the first time I’ve said anything about it to anyone. Is there anywhere online that anyone. I just don’t know how to truly be compassionate. Another thing is I might be pregnant and I’m scared. I love him I hate his depression. I can’t imagine what it will be like to add a child to this situation. I’m scared and don’t know what to do.

    • Hello Rosie, thanks for reading and commenting.

      Firstly, try not to feel bad for how you dealt with the situation in the past – when you are unfamiliar with depression, it can be hard to realise that the person you’re living with is suffering as opposed to being “lazy” or “awkward”. The important thing is that you’ve taken steps to understand your husband’s condition and that will inevitably make you become a more supportive partner.

      Whichever country you’re writing from I would urge you to reach out to one of the many fantastic mental health charities there are across the globe, because they’re not just for people suffering from mental health, but for their family and partners too. I think you would really benefit from chatting with someone far more qualified than I am to express your worries and anxieties and so you can receive some useful pro-active advice to help you and your husband cope with this illness. A quick Google search will bring up lots of options – mind.org.uk and sane.org.uk in the UK are great ones.

      I wish you all the best…

  9. Chris

    Depression, a necessary stage in the evolution of a soul. Not been depressed yet, maybe your not ready to move to the next level of consciousness. The most wonderful brightest people that ever lived on earth have struggled with so called depression. Its a blessing in disguise. People don’t like being around depressed people when they don’t feel too good, then fuck off! Depressed people are better off being alone, away from ignorant people. Oh lets just band all people who arn’t fucking cheery and fake and lets call them depressed people. Actually fuck it lets all put on a brave face :)))))))

    • I can’t work out if you’re mocking people who don’t believe depression exists or are genuinely extolling the virtues of a crippling mental illness. Or perhaps you are sarcastically suggesting that depression isn’t a real thing? Hard to tell. Irony doesn’t always travel well in prose.

  10. Mike

    My wife struggles with depression. At first, we both thought it was seasonal, but it has not quit this spring. I am also guilty of all of those thoughts. I want so much to help her and struggle in the face of her resisting my encouragement is the only thing that gets her going in any tangible way. Between that and her electronics addiction of netflix binging while also on pinterest all day, it’s difficult not to become upset with her.
    I am regularly afraid for our childrenn aged 1 and 2. Besides them only receiving prepackaged food when I’m not home, I might think she’d abuse them if I thought there was any chance she would get off the couch. She is so short tempered with them when she is like this.

    I feel terrible for having these thoughts. Counseling is almost out of the question as it is almost too expensive and my wife flat refuses to arrange or keep her own appointments for anything. It’s just one more responsibility to tack on.

  11. Carrie

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. I don’t share my husbands depression with anyone and his recent desire to commit suicide just tears me apart. Fortunately he is on medication and has finally spoken with a psychiatrist. I am trying to remember it’s the depression not him that speaks of death and darkness. I try to remember that my love can’t fix this. I just pray for patience and continued understanding. Reading your article and the resulting comment has boosted my strength and it’s a day at a time.

  12. jim

    I have just started going through this with my wife and ,it has wore me down alot

  13. Cristine

    Hi there! I’m in the shoes of your wife…i’ve been suffering from depression and the worst thing is, i feel that my husband doesn’t care…now i’m usually alone and got nobody to talk to about my sickness.thank for this blog i can share to you my difficulty of having depression…i don’t know how to overcome this bec.seeing a psychiatrist needs a lot of loney but i’m not financially capable

  14. Tim

    Thanks for posting this. I have very recently realised my wife is going through this too. The past few years have been tough for us both and I had begun to believe that we were falling out of love. Reading this post and others like it has been like reading an eye witness account of our own situation. Truly an epiphany for me and as a result I have been thinking about the past few years in a completely different light now. I hope that you both continue to find your way through the darkness.

  15. Kris

    My fiancée has depression….well ex fiancée. Because of this beast I asked for the ring back and feel like a bastard because of it. We have been battling this monster for over a year since we have been engaged and she has only been going to a psychiatrist for approximately 4 months and a therapist for 2 months. I thought I knew what depression was by reading a couple of things before and what I learned in college. BOY WAS I WRONG!! What I have dealt with compared to what I learned about is nothing alike. I have experienced everything you talked about… the outbursts, the sadness, arguments, self negativity. It is so hard not to self doubt oneself. I have always been the strong one, the one to push through and lift everyone up and carry them through the muddy times. Not this time. All I feel is resentment, frustration, anger, wonder, and fear sometimes. The wonder is I wonder if I will ever see more of a glimmer of the woman I fell in love with at a time. The bad times seem to outweigh the good times a lot lately over the last 3 months, and fear as in I am so afraid of this disease consuming her AND me that she will end BACK in the hospital and I will be in one because I can’t deal with the pressures of the world around me. I am lucky she is in TN and I am in TX this week while she is visiting her sister for her niece’s 1st birthday. I don’t want to lose her because I know down deep we are good for each other. The depression took over though before we could really develop a strong bond. I screwed up, how do I get her to see I screwed up when she has put up a barrier to protect herself from me? All the stuff I have read today has opened my eyes to what I need to do to change. Thank you.

  16. Paul

    This has helped me beyond comprehension since I found it. My wife went from being my missing bit of my jigsaw to a jigsaw smasher !! We are now at the stage where she has dragged herself on from her depression but now she is struggling as my state of mind has been affected aswell through trying to be her rock. I’m trying to catch up but she doesn’t know if she can cope. She acknowledges that this is unfair as she is aware that I have been there for the last 5 years.
    Worst thing is is that I thought I had my wife / soulmate back after 5 years of desperately trying to hold everything together for us and our children,and now she doesn’t know if she can stick by me as I recover from her illness !!
    I have changed but I know that I will be ok but it might take a bit of time.
    Feels like the final kick from that depression monster after we thought it was beaten

  17. Carlos

    Thank you for this post. Although I identify myself with the situation and many of the comments to the post, I cannot get my hands around the solution to my anger and frustration. No matter how much I care and understand it is this sickness and not my wife’s fault, I find myself hating her every single day… probably more and more… And this makes me feel even worse.
    I suppose it will take time, but I do not trust I will have the patience required to stand it anymore…

  18. Trish Pead

    I am that wife and mother. Has anyone been cured??? I can’t go on destroying the lives of the ones I love the most.

  19. jack pead

    Trish is a beautiful wife , We all love her more than words can describe

  20. gg

    That was an amazing, so well written piece. It describes how I feel perfectly, just wish I could write that well. Keep strong brothers, wait for that ray of sunshine as it is so worth it when it comes!

  21. John

    I am there now. Right now. I am at the end of the line, and my level of resentment and anger at my wife for her depression is beyond extreme. She isn’t the same person that I fell in love with, that I married, and I am carrying the entire load. It’s unbearable. I need someone that listens.

  22. Mark

    Thanks for writing this. I to deal with a depressed spouse and reading these things are helpful but also make me feel weak. I can’t help but feel resentment and even hate at times. I feel as if this disease is robbing me of my life, and all I want to do lately is run away and never look back. Then I think about our children and that keeps me here, but I often wonder how healthy that is for them to be around this. I also fear that my wife will kill herself and I would be to blame.

    Her current depressive episode is going on two years, she sees a therapist and is on meds but nothing seems to work and I don’t know how much more I can take. Half the time she’s a zombie on her meds and stumbles around because she takes too much. She has a history of abusing meds and alcohol.

    Sorry for the comments I think I just needed to rant.

  23. Claire

    Thank you so much for writing this. I can’t express how much comfort it’s given me, as I’ve been feeling quite alone in my frustrations, sometimes even wondering if I’m doing the right thing by staying with my wonderful but troubled boyfriend. I love him dearly and this incredibly thoughtful and well-expressed blog has made me realise that my feelings of frustration are ok and that I love him, hate his depression. Thank you, thank you so much.

  24. KV

    Thank you so much for posting this. This is a mirror into my world. I am exhausted and frustrated all if the time, but always have hope that things will be better. I love my wife so much, but really dislike her depression so much. She is starting therapy finally (I’ve been in it for a year), and I hope it helps things out.

    Nice to know I’m not all alone in this.

  25. Hi Claire, just read your message, I am going through similar, just wondered if you would like to chat?

  26. Deanna

    This perfectly describes my wife and I. I feel like such a bad person for wanting to leave, but it gets so hard. Especially, when she blames me for literally everything. She will randomly angry text me making me feel like the worst human being in the world. I never know what to say or do to make her feel better so I end up just being afraid of saying the wrong thing. This episode has been going on since July and every other day she is planning to divorce me. Her plans no longer involve me or our son. Its starting to make me depressed. Its good to know I’m not alone.

  27. I commented on this post earlier this year because of what I was experiencing with my husband. I wanted to follow up with a resource that I have been using to help me in all areas of my life, including with my marriage. I’ve found it incredibly powerful. I hope it can be helpful to other people, as well. Here’s the link http://thework.com/en The resource is called The Work and it was developed by a woman named Byron Katie. With love, Rosalynn

  28. I’m the wife you have so accurately described. Unfortunately I believe I have had a much different experience than most of you all it seems. From what I’ve read so far majority of spouses here have been supportive, compassionate and there for their partners. My husband and I have been married for 14 years and have had our fair share of struggles. I’ve always known that talk about feelings and sensitivity were never going to be brought up unless I was the one to do so. He is wired with a tough love frame of mind who tells it like it is, no sugar coating.This of course affects our relationship a lot but I was not at all prepared for what was coming and did not find out just how brutal his inability to feel or express empathy and love towards me until now. I was diagnosed in Jan of this year but struggled for most of 2014 finally seeking help towards the end of the year. I found a therapist and got on meds. At the time I believed I was headed out of the darkness and should be back to normal by January 2016. (I know a year is a long time but i’m a realistic person when not fully drowning in despair and I knew there would be road bumps along the way). Never in a million years did I think that the person who was suppose to be my rock and only person on earth I’d trust and want to be there for me would instead be the main force holding me back from regaining my health.

    I have searched the web for any stories or articles on what to do when your going thru depression and your partner is the opposite of what it is you not just need or want but HAVE TO HAVE in order to even think about standing on your own two feet let alone doing it for real. I completely get what all the spouses, mine included are talking about. If there was ever a time I looked, sounded, acted, is and was and will be again, the most awful, whiny, immature. argumentative, disbelieving, rude and nasty bitch its been during the past year or so thanks to depression. Sometimes when I come out of it I’ll sit and think about how the most recent episode went down and I feel so ashamed of my behavior because we do come off as spoiled lazy brats who feel sorry for their selves.while throwing temper tantrums to get attention. It can’t be easy being empathetic when your being torn a new one. It’s probably the one thing that has kept me from hitting rock bottom and feeling absolutely hopeless. Knowing that my negativity eventually takes a toll on him and just like I am not myself neither is he. To be where I am now, where I wanted to be a year ago and experiencing what I have, knowing that I may never be able to get the kind of support from him that a person with depression must get from him to help build me back up, is devastating. That alone can bring on depression. Adding it on top of an already existing case is just unimaginable even though I am living it.. How does somebody learn compassion? Is there even such a thing?

  29. VJ

    Great piece of articulation , and i could see a reflection of myself with my depressed wife…Hope for things to get better…

  30. AC

    Thank you for describing exactly how I feel, which until now I could not describe myself. My situation is different as I ‘care’ for my depressed housemate at university. We’re not bound by marriage and he hasn’t asked me to care. I can’t help but I feel as though I make it worse. I wish I could tell him how frustrating it is for me that he shuts me out and I spend hours thinking about him. But I don’t want to make him feel guilty.

  31. Robert Sarah

    Crystal Anderson

  32. Jamie Smith

    So i started my search by looking to see what i could do to help my wife, as she has been suffering with it for many many years…. Life has been very busy, trying to provide for 4 kids. We both work, I work many many hours, and my wife, a Private carer (Who i might add are 3 very demanding clients) works around me and the kids. For so many years she has struggled with needing a hip operation, living the last 2 years on a very strong pain killer to get by, not only to give pain relief but to also give her a buzz to kick start the day.

    She doesn’t sleep well at night, Hates going to bed, but also hates waking up to face the day.
    The slightest thing gets her down now, and triggers the whole day, I know its not her fault but it frustrates because i just don’t know how she is feeling.

    She doesn’t show her feelings to others so nobody knows how she is feeling, she doesn’t want people to know, because she doesn’t want to be judge. I know its not her fault, but its upsetting because i can’t talk to anybody.

    She won’t seek help from doctors, or to be diagnosed, because she feels she isn’t a good person and wouldn’t be fit to continue her job she enjoys even though she finds it hard. It’s not her fault, I get angry because i want to help her…….

    She feels like she doesn’t want to live life anymore……. It’s not her fault, Why would anyone want to live if they have to live a life which drags them down everyday……..

    I feel angry and upset because every time the depression triggers anger or frustration, i never know how to take it… and end up arguing….. It’s not her Fault, it’s mine…. Sometimes i think i’m being selfish. sometimes i think it is my fault, and I should be there for her more……..
    I don’t know how…..

    What do i do?

    How do i get her help?

    IT WILL BE MY FAULT IF I LOSE HER!

    • Ike

      Pray brother. Depression is physical (encourage your wife to pace herself, identify distractions from the things that weigh her down), emotional (encourage your wife, tell her you love her, that others love her) and spiritual (Satan most fertile ground is the soul that caves to the lies of Satan that you’re wife is surely saying to herself … you’re no good, nobody likes you, etc. Spending time in prayer to God, the all-powerful, spending time reading his word (the ‘Bible’) and spending time with a Christian counselor will do more for your wife than you can imagine.

  33. Brilliantly written article. I’ve known exactly how my husband feels about my depression but have never been able to articulate it. He read this and said ” that’s spot on”…. after years of saying ” no-one ever told me what to expect and how to deal with it.” You have helped us imeasurably by sharing. Sunshine on your days.

  34. Gareth

    Thank you so much for sharing. It means a lot.

  35. Tim.

    Beautiful. Thank you. I to worry about the Kids with her, can she stay awake to watch our 2 old? Is she going to kill herself today? Will I be greeted by the sheriff and coroner after work? Will I see her at all today, or is it off to bed as soon as Im home? Come home, make dinner for 3 kiddos, do homework, brush teeth, they don’t even see mom most nights. And I mean it. Like 5 out of 7. In bed. This is Saturday night 11 pm. My wife? In bed since 7. Ooh. She got up at 4. Oh, she doesn’t work. Got fitted, not even looking, takes the little one to grammas, congress home and sleeps. Tells gramma she’s cleaning. I am so very much not trying to be bitter. I do love this woman. Well, the one I married anyway, not so much this one. Sex? Ha. I have never ever thought of cheating, but I’m battling those temptations as well. I’m lonely, wouldn’t mind enjoying “intimate” time, but I don’t even look forward to coming home. In fact, in glad she’s sleeping most times. The kids are to. I’m really struggling, and worried about the affect on the kids. my wife has been stolen from me. Didn’t mean for this to be so long, if someone read this, thank you, and you may be feeling the same way. I come with questions, not answers, but now you know it’s not just you, or me.

    • John Donahue

      My wife believes that she really doesn’t have depression and won’t get professional help. She believes that her behaviors are simply reactions to how others treat her. She climbs into a bottle of wine almost every day. She is well educated, and is a Registered Nurse. (we live in the US) She often wishes for suicide and laments that death is better than life. Sometimes she just cries and cries. Today she remains in the spare bedroom, seldom comes out and watches TV all day. She even takes her means while in there. Her darkness has really taken over and most days I don’t know what to do. I walk on eggs to avoid getting screamed at. Oddly as a professional, she should see what her illness is and the symptoms but maybe you really can’t be objective like that. She has written savage text messages to me and then some days she is filled with light. It’s tough because she wasn’t always this way. I hope more than ever that she finds help because it’s taken quite a toll on me as well.

      On Sun, Sep 11, 2016 at 3:26 AM, middle class fury wrote:

      > Tim. commented: “Beautiful. Thank you. I to worry about the Kids with her, > can she stay awake to watch our 2 old? Is she going to kill herself today? > Will I be greeted by the sheriff and coroner after work? Will I see her at > all today, or is it off to bed as soon as Im ho” >

  36. Help is Required

    Oh Wow, I’ve been looking for some type of forum from anyone else in this world that is living a similar hell. Thank you so much for writing this – this fits my situation perfectly. The person masquerading around as my wife is a shell of the person I use to know. She use to have energy, an excitement and passion for life, goals, self-esteem, hobbies, likes and enthusiasm, etc. Now, what I have is a wife who: cares little for her own well-being and health, his anger management issues, has a temper which is justified by her explanation that it is ‘someone’s fault that they got her upset. She loves the kids – that’s not an issue. She receives a lot of joy doing things for them – but she can’t find any “SELF JOY” derived from herself! She actively hates her life and blames everyone else for the reason it is so bad.

    Where is the motivated, self-driven person I married 20 years ago. She has become so needy and sooooo judgmental of everyone else. She judges peoples response, reactions to everything, and depending how it goes – can really throw her for a loop. She holds people to impossible standards – standards she can’t even try to meet.

    And the constant anxiety:where did the “I’m afraid of everything” come from? It started innocently enough – with germ phobias. But ultimately, she lacks assurance that, no-matter what the situation is – she can handle it.

    Ultimately, she lost all sense of self-help skills. Completely gone. Everything going on, any problem or issue, – I’m needed to jump in (big or small). If I don’t or can’t – then it comes across as if – “I don’t care!” It doesn’t matter if I’m driving or at work – whatever her issues or problems are – they are mine.

    This is hardly the woman I dated; this wife is hardly the person I married 20 years ago. She has indicated that she knows she has depression – but since she lacks self-help skills, she won’t seek any professional assistance whatsoever. I guess she could care less how her behavior affects others…..me!

    ANY HELP, RECOMMENDATIONS would be appreciated. Just reading what has been written by others, and letting me vent my frustration – is most definitely a positive step forward.

  37. Steve

    So relevant to my current situation.
    Thank you

  38. Claire

    First of all, I just want to say a big ‘thank you’ for posting your story. It makes me feel better knowing that I’m not alone…

    I’m the ‘wife’ who has suffered from depression the last 3 years. The onset was getting married. I got married in my early 30s and before marriage I had never experienced depression. I was fully functional, able to go to work each day, meet up with friends/family, go gym, had life goals etc. I was a normal person just getting on with life. But now looking back, I know I suffered from low self-esteem but covered it up by working long hours & only spending time with people who I felt safe/comfortable around. I never stepped out of my ‘comfort zone’, never did anything different with the fear I would look stupid or not accepted…

    Anyway after a rocky start to our relationship, my boyfriend and I got married 3 years ago. The reason our relationship was so rocky was due to my low self-esteem; I never felt good enough, always thought he could do better so kept dumping him. He stuck by me…and eventually I accepted that he did love me for who I was…

    But soon after marriage, I started to feel really horrible about myself. I felt I wasn’t good enough, felt worthless, not lovable, lacked energy. At first I blamed my husband with the way I was feeling, use to have a go at him then just cry all the time. After a year, I was so low that I couldn’t get out of bed & left my job. Couldn’t do any chores, stayed in bed weeks after weeks. If I did manage to get up, I would binge eat/drink wine to help with the pain. I put on so much weight…

    My husband helped me find therapists, eventually last year I found one who has helped me start my healing process. I still have not recovered fully or started work but I am a little more functional….

    I guess the worst thing that I’m now dealing with is that my husband now after 3 years wants a divorce. He can’t handle it anymore…I don’t blame him or hate him. Now reading this article I feel really sad knowing what he must have been going through…but he never told me as he didn’t want to hurt me knowing what pain I was going through…

    I don’t know if I will ever go back to that dark place again but now I have capacity to fight. With the support from my therapist and family, I am determined to manage my depression. However feel devastated that my low self-esteem/depression destroyed my marriage…

  39. Narida Doherty

    I am the wife suffering major agitated depression and I sit here looking at my wonderful husband suffering through this with me. He tells me he’s okay and I am the most important one, but I know he suffers just as you do. The enormous sense of guilt that comes with being so reliant on someone seemingly for your sanity, When you know it’s tearing them apart is indescribable! I love him so much more for knowing he will bear this with me. My husband. My best friend, my soulmate Sean. 💜
    Done

  40. This is what I deal with. That and her being overwhelmed with anxiety and panic attacks. Also migraines. Her latest bout has lasted 14 months. Nothing has helped her so far. I have no help or respite. We have children including a beautiful six year old baby. I don’t know that there will eve be relief for either of us, and I don’t think we will have the intellectual, emotional, or physical intimacy we used to have ever again. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting, and completely isolating.

    I hate this condition, I adore my wife, and I’m trying to accept the possibility that my best friend and partner is never coming back. I may now have to live with this other person who has taken over.

    Gene

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