I am sure my husband suffers from depression! I have checked the symptoms and he ticks 19 out of 21. He is extremely negative and fault finding, low in energy, irritable, with mood swings, tired but working all the time, lack of focus, sensitive to noise, low tolerance and easily turning things to negative even when there is nothing apparently wrong and we may be having a nice day. He refuses to be happy and when I ask him about our relationship he keeps saying "I had enough", he is very short tempered with me and makes me feel guilty and helpless. It feels like he is abusing me and when I finally react by arguing back, he blames me. He sleeps in the spare room since 6 months ago, doesn't want me to touch him or show affection or try to connect with him, and is very sensitive to the slightest request or criticism. I am worried because, although all this time I thought he was upset with me, I have made a lot of changes in my behaviour, am softer with him, not pulling but giving him space, but he is still shows no interest on me as his wife. How can I go about this? This is ruining our marriage and he doesn't seem to admit that he suffers from anything, although his eyes are often starring and his eyelids are red, he looks quite ill to me a lot of the time, slow moving and sluggish most of the time. He is nice to our 5 year old but still gets snappy with her, he also has lots of mood swings which are very confusing to both our child and myself. I have worked on our relationship as much as I could, I thought that this would help him, but honestly it has made no difference, I could say he is getting worse. How can I approach his doctor? How can I talk to my husband when he doesn't want to admit there is anything wrong with him and it's all down to my lack of listening to him? He says he can't say how he feels but he always says things in such a negative way and blaming me that it is very hard to listen anymore. I am just fed up with all this negativity and I have to admit that I don't want to hear it. He needs professional help and I want to stop being his punchbag. Please help, I sometimes want to separate but I would prefer if I could save my marriage. By the way he is stuck with this Marriage councillor whom i don't want to see again because she keeps saying that the marriage is ending. I feel that she is not qualified enough as she has not given our relationship any direction apart from doom and gloom and if anyhing it has made it worse rather than helped it.
Your husband needs to admit himself that he needs help. Without his input it is very difficult.He obviously feels you both need to see a marriage counsellor.
He may be like this because the marriage is proving difficult. That, of course, could be why he is depressed.
He obviously won't discuss how he feels with you. You are right about the counsellor, she should not give her personal views on your relationship. At least your husband will talk to her. Can you persuade him to see your GP. I expect he would deny he is depressed.
I am sorry I am not a lot of help. My depression has ruined relationships. Your marriage is worth saving.
It certainly does sound as if your husband is suffering from depression based on all that you have pointed out. Unfortunately, unless he is willing to admit that he is and try to get the help he needs, you will be playing a tug of war all alone. You wanting it for him is not enough, he needs to want it for himself. Depression breaks many relationships. Nothing and no one seems enough, often times the pain and sadness is a 10, many people (if they are lucky) live life on an 8. For those who get help via talk therapy, medication or a combination of both, the level of pain is not always that high.
Depression is known to kill relationships, it causes you to push people away and often blame THEM even though its you. You stated that your marriage is worth saving and I do not wish to contest that but does your husband feel that way? Do not get me wrong, I am your side as I believe that you are a good wife for being concerned about your husband despite all the negativity but, unfortunately when its over its over. I am a depressed person and majority of things that I put persons through I am not sure if the roles were reversed I could handle it. I am happy that you are sticking by his side but I worry that his denial and unwillingness to get help will result in you and your daughter becoming quite drained and unhealthy as well.
You can only do so much and I would not want you or anyone else to be in a relationship which lacks affection and love and make YOU feel bad. Its not fair to be walking on eggshells and it is quite certainly no fun. It is not to say that you should leave your husband because he is going through a tough time, but there is no communication so you do not even know what he is feeling towards you at the moment. What if he never seeks help? Are you prepared to go through this for an extended period? Are you prepared to always be understanding when you need some comfort and love and cannot receive it?
Depression ***** the life out of people and sadly, the people around them too. Think about it.
I see you've already found the depression checklist. That's the same tool most doctors use to determine is someone is suffering from depression. If he would be agreeable to seeing his doctor, and would be honest with him, my guess is the doctor is going to diagnose him with it and recommend he treat the depression. I sincerely hope he at least is willing to have a discussion with the doctor. You could always encourage him to just go get checked out, and tell him to be honest with the doc about what's been going on.
Like others have said, unfortunately, you cannnot force him to get help, as you already know. That's where depression starts ruining relationships, because the depressed person is resistant to getting help, and the partner is left to pick up all the pieces, and be in a marriage alone. You certainly are feeling resentment, not because he is depressed, but because he won't even try to help himself. I also agree it's high time to find a new therapist. That is just ridiculous. How did you find her? Sounds like she is just trying to put her "professional" FAILED stamp on your marriage without doing a bit of work. That's not good.
I'll tell you....you also need to seek help for YOU. You need to seek out some therapy for yourself, this is so stressful for you. You also need to start being honest with yourself about how much you're willing to put up with. People feel they have to just "suffer" because of marriage vows or children...not true. People also get left with guilt because they feel like giving an ultimatum during a hard time would be cruel. It isn't, if you have busted your butt trying to work on things....and have been supportive until you're blue....with no response from your spouse. There's only so long you can keep that up without needing something to change, for your OWN mental health.
If you DO feel this is becoming more than you can take...that's where a therapist would be very helpful. He/she could walk you through handling that situation. I understand that you are at the point were you don't want to "rock the boat" per se, but I also would suggest perhaps very precisely informing your husband that this is affecting you and the marriage greatly, and possibly permanently. You could then tell him that you NEED to see that he wants to work on this...with a new therapist, and with his doctor. You tell him you're not at all placing all of the blame on HIM for your marital problems, but that you are extremely worried about him, that something is obviously wrong, and yet he refused to get help. Ask him a direct "Why?" to that. Tell him you can endure bad times, but not if nothing ts done to address the issues that are causing those bad times. Tell him it's also an unhealthy environment for your child. Those short-tempered outburts of his are only going to get worse, and he will be more and more inpatient with your daughter. Children are great at making everything their fault...your daughter undoubtedly blames herself every time he is short with her. I would guarantee it. I dont think delivering a simple ultimatum at THIS point is out of line at all. I think you've actually hung in there a lot longer than some would be able. If you DO decide to enter into that kind of coversation, it's best to illicit answers with open ended questions instead of yes/no questions. Example....Instead of asking, "Do you want to qork on our marriage?", you would ask..."what are some things about our marriage that you cherish, that would make it worth working on?"
What do his friends and family say? Have you discussed your concerns with anyone he is close to? Do other people notice a lot of changes in him? Maybe you could even get a close friend to try to talk to him. Maybe coming from someone else, he'll think about it more. Bottom line, he has to do it. If he doesn't, you have some hard decisions to make. The way things are presently (and have been for a while) is no life for you or your daughter.
Lastly...I just have to ask this, because some things you've said is sending some red flags up for me. Do you think there is ANY chance your husband could be abusing drugs? Reason I ask is...the symptoms of abuse and addicition can be identical, and with abuse, a person would be MUCH more resistant to seek help, for obvious reasons, for one, their secret may be exposed, and two, there would likely be MUCH more serious consequences. Sorry, but I just had to ask. If you're not sure...there are some things you can look for to distingusih between the two. We can discuss it and throw around some ideas. I can give you some clues to look for that would differ from depression. Just putting that out there.
Thank you so much for taking the time for me, you sound spot on in understanding the situation. I have started individual counceling which is proving very helpful. But it is very difficult to resist his "goading" negativity, which is driving me to despair. I can tolerate up to a point, but he seems to keep going until he gets a reaction from me. This is when I feel that he is abusive. When I get frustrated he blames me. He takes the attitude of the victim and then goes away for "time out", leaving me and my daughter drained. Most often I try to keep a brave face for my daughter and carry on as if nothing happened. He then returns after a while, behaving as if nothing happened and I cannot challenge him because we get back to square one. As I get more confident over time, I get very clear about what is happening and it is then easier to approach him and let him know that what he is doing is not right. Sometimes I get a cold apology from him and recently, only once so far, as if by miracle a total 180 turn from his part, coming and giving us a hug.
I don't understand why a marriage councellor can be doing more harm than good by not addressing the real problem, or even getting a bit suspicious about any underlying issues after 8 months of sessions. She says that I don't stop long enough to let him speak, which is true on occasions, but she is not supporting me in trying to get through to him with anything good I put in. Really complicated...I have actually said that I feel uncomfortable in these sessions and I will carry on with my individual therapy independently. He wants to continue with her, I guess because she seems to me slightly depressive in her approach, highlighting the "end of the marriage" and "making it safe for our child", which I -excuse me for saying- find it totally hypocritical. During one session she actually said that she is going through divorce at the moment, which makes me feel unsafe about the way she is dealing with MY FUTURE. We have also seen her separately and I have told her that I believe he is twisting the story and that he needs help and she said that he is "avoidant" in his upbringing.
I don't want to keep blubbering on about this, but I feel tempted to challenge RELATE (that's the name of the organisation) about the ways that they use and their qualifications. My husband seems to feel "soothed" by her nodding her head with "understanding' when he speaks about how good he is, how he cares about his family... how badly I treat him by not listening to his endless complaints... and how - finally- he wants to move out when I react to this constant negativity! The counsellor seems to have no clue that he is actually threatening me with no real intention to move out. He says that he has "nowhere to go", which may be true only to a point, but I suspect the he gets to be the "victim" and that's his game and she feeds him by nodding her head and telling me to stop talking. In a way he waits for me to tell him to get out but I am not doing this because then he will blame me again. This is a vicious circle and the marriage counselor has no idea!!! She says "it takes a long time for a marriage to end, and we should make sure we do it in a way that is safe for our child". I say "what a lot of ----" !!! This is totally unsafe and inefficient. She has not got a clue that my husband is abusing me under her nose and he will continue to doing so. There should be Marriage police, not counseling...
With regards to drug abuse, I have seen that he consumes a lot of painkillers from time to time, antihistamins, and some alcohol but not at the same time or anything so consistent that makes me suspicious.
I spoke to one of his friends (our best man) a few days ago who admitted seeing him in a rough state and that he will try and talk to him.
I am thinking of approaching a member of his family but am afraid to expose him or embarrass him, or even find myself embarrassed if he then says and convinces them of his twisted reality.
In the meantime, I have been faithful to him, I am so alone because I miss a companion and to be honest he has never been that great, he always had the tendency to move away from me, which makes me believe that he may have a huge psychological issue from past or childhood wounds. I know about myself, having chosen a man who is totally the opposite of me. I am also a wounded child, but I am facing my "gremlins".. I am working on myself and I am learning to make better choices for myself and now for my daughter. And that's because I really believe in happiness, love and good will in my life and I want to teach her the same, as well as to learn to say NO. However, this is her father and I am not sure what to say to her to ease off this burden he so unconsciously puts on her life.
Definitely a very rough situation, for everyone involved. He likes the therapist because she always "sides" with him, and makes you the bad guy. Therapists should NEVER do that. Even if they THINK someone is to blame for a situation, they are always to remain impartial. You're going to have a hell of a time convincing him to try another therapist, because this one suits his agenda, sadly.
I'm even more concerned that perhaps he has got some addiction problems after you saying that you have seen him consume a large quantity of pain killers. This is a sign of addiction. People who don't abuse drugs take pills as they are prescribed, not by the handful. Also, because you haven't seen anything "consistently" doesn't mean there isn't a problem. Addicts (if he is one) are VERY great at hiding things. A lot of his behavior is suspicous, in my opinion. Another way you would know is finanacially. If he doesn't have access through a legit Rx, he would be spending more money than usual on pills. It's also possible that he is in the beginning stages, too. It's just something to think about. I hate to add the burden of something else on top of your worries, but again, there were some bigtime red flags going up for me when I read your post.
I'm going to contact a community leader of one of our addiction forums, she is incredible. She will give you her honest input, and she would be able to share with you more specific things to look out for. You may have to do some detective work to rule this out as a possibility. I'm going to have her check out the thread and give you some ideas. I'm also going to enlist the help of another one of my CL friends. She is a CL on the Relationships form and gives AMAZING advice about these kinds of situations. I'm calling in the big dogs...lol. It always helps to get the insight of people who know what they're talking about!
I really wish I had better answers for you, you really are in a bad situation, and I fear, that if something doesn't change, then your daughter will start carrying around guilt for the way things are at home. You may have to make some hard decisions that involve ending the marriage. If he doesn't start getting SOME kind of help, or making an effort, it is definitely a decision you will be facing. He can still be a Dad to your daughter if you aren't married anymore. You sound pretty reasonable...therefore, I'm sure you would bend over backwards to foster the father-daughter relationship.
Hi there. First, I'm sorry for this situation as it is clearly quite stressful. You did an amazing job articulating the issues and your feelings about them which is really helpful.
I did want to touch on his use of pain killers. Addiction is a process that can start slowly or happen very fast. It is a progressive disease and someone can have issues before one would call them a full blown addict. Your husband may be growing in his usage of prescribed pain killers and alcohol without you even being aware of it and some of what you describe sounds like it could be related to that.
I was wondering if you could take a different tact with him. Instead of talking about how his issues with depression (or substance abuse) are affecting your marriage, switch it. Talk about how they are affecting HIM. When one is depressed, they feel bad. Really bad. Talk about a physical to keep him healthy. Talk about worry that he seems sad or unhappy (not with you but in general). Some will take that as more caring rather than you just trying to fix them so they will be nicer to you. (which is valid but tends to make someone defensive.) Depression is a medical issue like any other and should be treated. A primary care doctor can be the starting point for this and at a physical, he could discuss his overall health includng depression and anxiety. I've seen some success with people taking that approach with their depressed partner verses trying to talk to them about how their depression causes them to act out in the marriage.
Which of course he is. You are his release. Yes, he pushes until you blow and internally he says "ahhh." He feels so bad that it makes him feel a little better to make you feel bad too. That sure does stink. But, this is the tough thing. There are most likely various problems within the relationship as well. I would look to what those are. Finances, basic beliefs, how you raise your child, how you spend your free time, one is clean the other messy, etc. It just helps to really understand issues within a marriage. You are obviously articulate and bright so I'd make a list with some deep reflection on the relationship as a whole.
how long has he been like this? Was he always moody and it has just gotten worse? Or is this new behavior?
what are his triggers for the moods?
Now, regarding the therapist. Do not get mad at me for saying this, but your five year old is living in a hostile environment. That is very unhealthy. And she is internalizing this. You and your husband are modeling marriage to her. Sadly at this point it would be unlikely that she has a healthy view of it. Your therapist is probably recognizing this as detrimental. A situation like you describe should not go on forever. For anyone's sake including yours.
I agree with nursegirl regarding your daughter. You really need to protect her from the situation and actually promote a positive image to her dad. If he starts up fighting with you--------- picture her in 20 years with her own husband. So, you shield her. Don't do the dance and participate. Move out of the room where the attack is happening. Retreat. Just don't play along. Go to a happy place in your head and sing a song to tune him out. Whatever you have to do. And you set up things for father/daughter to do to stay close. Even if the marriage doesn't end, do this. I worry about what she is internalizing about men.
Glad you are seeking therapy. Many folks would be gone as it is human nature to be self protective. You are not. I value marriage very much myself but also know that there are certain personalities that an abusive (verbally or otherwise person) gravitate towards. They put up with far more and normalize the behavior for a long time. You are giving this your full effort but need to have an ending point in mind for when it has gone on too long for you. A therapist may be talking to you about this and healthy boundaries and self protection. Co dependent personalities are a real thing and that is how these types of relationships endure.
Please let me know if I've not made sense and am here any time you need support or to vent. It's hard. I hope you can salvage the marriage but as all say here, this can not be done alone. You can not make him accept depression or substance abuse, you can not make him value the relationship above all else to make changes, etc. And he may be so far emotionally removed from the marriage that he won't be willing to make big changes to be a decent husband.
I'm here any time you would need some help or support. peace and luck
Hi i am Sara, a recovering drug addict. From reading all of this i am not sure you are dealing with a "depressed" husband, i think you are dealing with an "addicted" husband. Every red light is flashing here. Classic signs of drug abuse. The attitude, the depression, the red eyes and slurring, staring into space, irritibility, sleeping alone, blaming and the "time out". There are many more signs he is showing but i am just touching on the basic ones. Addiction takes on the symptoms of depression. Do you share finances? That is one place you could look at right now. Drugs are very expensive and we can drain our life savings. Drug abuse is a very complex addiction, I would highly advise you to educate yourself on this. Do you know his friends? Usually we hide them from our loved ones. Confronting him about any of this will only cause a problem right now as he will get very defensive. We dont like anyone getting close to our secret and we will move heaven and earth to make sure it doesnt happen. We are masters at the game of manipulation and blame. Right now all you can do is take care of yourself and your child. You mentioned a therapist. I am glad you are seeing one. There is also Alanon. These people are either going thru this or have gone thru it and can help you a ton. Many wonderful friendships have been formed. If this is drug addiction your husband is the only one who can change his behavior. Nothing you say or do will change that. The only thing you can do is learn how to react to the situation. There is so much more i could say right now but i want to see what you think about this. My heart goes out to you as i know you as the family members get the brunt end of this. Please keep talking to us here, we are here to lean on~~sara
Thanks, specialmom, and dominosarah, for chiling in! You girls rock XOXO
Siona...some of this stuff is not going to be easy to read. Just know that our words and advice are meant with the best of intentions. We know you're going through an extremely difficult situation, it's hard to sometimes give advice or suggestions we know is going to hurt, but we have to be honest with you, and share our true opinion. Just really READ what they both had to say, a lot of wisdom in their words. Then, process it and let us know what you think. We can go from there.
Hi and thank you for all your time and effort to be in touch. In means a lot to hear from you. I am quite surprised to read dominosarah's post, I appreciate you sharing this with me here.. I am definetely going to keep a close eye on this and see if I can find out any more clues. Best regards.
Hi this is Siona, not sure if you remember me back in June we had a discussion about my relationship with my husband who I believed was depressed. Well just an update to say that I went away for a few weeks to see my family and when I came back he announced that he was prescribed anti-depressants. I was pleased initially, but also realised that this illness is not just going to go away completely, it has certainly taken the edge off his negativity, but unfortunately, I think his moody and grumpy behaviour partly its all down to who he is, I feel he has a lot of issues of unresolved childhood anger and I have enough co-dependency and traumatic loss of parent when I was just 3years old and so im devastated because he is hurting me with his persistent rejection. During this period I have continued with psychotherapy for myself and have tried to see my marriage in a hopeful attitude. However, I am still angered when he is persisting to be hurtful but I'm also just about seeing a glimpse of light in favour of my own personal growth, worth and freedom. I'm seriously thinking that the more I hope to save my marriage, the more he gets "comfortable" and takes me for granted. I have not managed to prove either an affair or an addiction. He denies any affair and I have mixed feelings about it. He still sleeps next door and refused communication and to reunite as a couple, although he still lives here, eats my lovely cooked food and plays the family guy whenever it suits him. He is also helpful with childcare and pays for the mortgage and some bills, but all financial help is reduced as he claims he has no money, and had a lot of trouble with people paying him so be is in a lot of dept. beyond this point though, on a personal level, he is refusing to see me as a woman, even as a friend is often difficult, he is playing around bring distant, formal, pouting, then bursting with a positive comment to our daughter about me. Weird and mysterious, sulking a moody, then full of beans with our daughter, dismissive if any of my jokes or requests for help and co-operation in the house, and then suddenly a victim who has nowhere to go. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! I have now asked him to ACTUALISE HIS THREATS AND HONOUR HIS DECISION TO SEPARATE. I feel very scared, but also have a newly-found self-respect which is very hard to not notice. I think that I am responsible for letting me abuse me emotionally, because if I doubt myself. My anger and shouting makes me feel very guilty and he calls ME abusive. But I know he is trying to blame me for everything including his depression. Sounds like a total loser, he is a good father but a terrible partner!! I want out more than anything now and am trying to find the right opportunity to get a bit more independent financially and leave this relationship. I'm waiting my time trying to save it. I'm sure my daughter will understand when she's a bit older. Because I'm honest to myself, although not perfect by a long shot. I WANT TO BE HAPPY AND I WANT MY DAUGHTER TO BE HAPPY. And this feeling is making me stronger everyday.
Welcome back, we haven't talked but I am trying to get caught up by reading your posts and those of others. How old are you two. Does he have a history of mental illness or depression in his family? Blood family.
Hi and thanks for your comment. I'm 46 and he is 49.. A couple of years ago his sister's 14 year old son was diagnosed with depression to the point of taking Prozac and doing regular counselling. Although this boy lost his father tragically at the age of 6, there may be a blood link, but it could be serious mid-life crisis. My husband has always been very "independent" and not keeping much contact with his family (father, sisters etc.) and he keeps saying that I pushed him to marry me and have children.
I agree that counselor has no business telling you that your marriage is ending. She is not a psychic. You are right. You do not deserve the abuse. the only reason that you are angry with him is because he has pulled it out of you. You can only take so much. Everyone experiences anger. It is a natural emotion, and if it is provoked then it is going to come out. I honestly and totally agree with Sara. don't be surprised if after you make the decision to leave, if you do, you find out that he is using something. Do you have any family that you can stay with until you get your finances together? You are not doing yourself or your daughter any favors by trying to hold this together. Think about what it would be like to not be trapped in his cage and if that seems easier than staying with him you already know what decision to make. Trust me it will be a little hard to do it, perhaps, but you will breath a sigh of peace when you finally feel safety for you and your daughter. Stay strong and keep us posted. You will find support here.
Thanks. I have definitely felt stronger recently. I used to feel awful when he went away for days on end, guilty, sad and angry, I now feel relief when he's gone. My insecurity in relating with men was a big problem, but psychotherapy is helping me see the situation more clearly. I don't have family support here and that's why I'm still tolerating his covert emotional abusive tactics. I'm doing a lot of soul-searching, reading and positive thinking and am finding ways to stop him from playing me around and am more clearly seeing him trying to push my buttons! He is also very private and secretive about things, It would be good to find out if he is having a drug addiction but his work which requires unsociable hours and night work is not helping me in finding out. On the other hand I e had it with him and am now glad when he works away.
hat is great. You are so many steps ahead that I have no doubt you are going to be able to recovery from this with your soul in tacked. I am soooo proud of you. I am almost speechless. I can't say anything more. You have got it. I will be here anytime you need to talk but I don't feel that you need anything else. I cannot give any more advise to you. Don't question anything form this point on. I don't know everything, and I never will, but you know everything I know and everything you need to know. You are an amazing person.
I will give you this story and I am pretty sure you will get it...
Once upon a time, a woman moved to a cave in the mountains to study with a guru. She wanted, she said, to learn everything there was to know. The guru supplied her with stacks of books and left her alone so she could study. Every morning , the guru returned to the cave to monitor the woman's progress. In his hand, he carried a heavy wooden cane. Each morning, he asked her the same question. "Have you learned everything there is to know yet?" Each morning, her answer was the same. "No," she said, "I haven't." The guru would then strike her on the head with his cane.
This scenario repeated itself for months. One day the guru entered the cave, asked the same question, heard the same answer, and raised his cane to hit her in the same way, but the woman grabbed the cane from the guru, stopping the assault in midair.
Relieved to end the daily batterings but fearing reprisal, the woman looked up at the guru. To her surprise, the guru smiled. "Congratulations," he said, "you have graduated. You know everything you NEED to know."
"How's that?" the woman asked.
"You have learned that you will never learn everything there is to know," he replied. "And you learned how to stop the pain."
I would love to stay in contact with you..... Everyone here think that I know all these secrets but I don't. It is why I can help so many people. You are very intelligent and you are going to be a shining light to those you come in contact with. Like I said run with this and I promise you will get another chance at life and next time you will have all the knowledge that you gained from your fears. You are AMAZING. I don't tell many people that.
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