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Spousal/significant Other Support-Are You Getting It?


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It's a typical day in the life of depression. You look over at your spouse or significant other, and they appear to be happy, living life without a care in the world. You wonder, "How do they do it?" or "Why can't I feel that way?"

I'm not typically jealous of others, and I am happy for my friends, family, my husband, and very glad that they don't seem to feel the way I feel. But sometimes I get jealous that they don't have depression. I actually like who I am, but sometimes want to see what it feels like to be someone who doesn't have depression, like my husband. I've even selfishly wished he could have it for a day and take the pain away from me just so he could see what it's like. Is that wrong?

For the longest time, my husband didn't understand that I couldn't just snap out of my depression. He didn't understand that it is a disease like cancer, and it affects the brain which is a very powerful thing. He knew that my father had committed suicide and I told him when he married me, that I have a lot of baggage. I know he loves me and he is seeing what depression does to me on a daily basis and is beginning to understand the horrible things I have gone through and how I feel from it.

I know he feels bad, but sometimes I still don't think he gets it. I don't know if anyone else has encountered this with their spouse or significant other. On one hand, I don't blame him because he doesn't have it and he hasn't been exposed to anything like it until now. On the other hand, I do blame him because I don't feel he takes the time to educate himself on depression or tries to really understand what it's like.

I have been married to my husband for a total of four years, and we dated for about four years as well. Given, in the beginning of our relationship, I hadn't had the issues I have now. I did make him aware that it was possible and I do feel that it's important for him to understand depression if he really wants to be with me which he says he does.

We had moved out of state for his job after college and he traveled for a lot of our marriage in the beginning stages. Nothing was really going right for me where we were living and I was very lonely. His family lived there and I was close to his mom in particular, but she really didn't contact me much. I told him of my unhappiness, and I will say he was very selfish in the beginning stages of our marriage. I feel like I wasted almost 4 years of my life living in a place I hated which contributed to a lot of my depression. It left me feeling very resentful to this day because I felt like I got no support from him-or anyone.

We have since salvaged our relationship and we are very much in love, but it's still not perfect. What relationship is? But does anyone ever feel like they aren't getting the proper support and not really know how to make things clear to the person you're with? I am thinking of getting some counseling with him and taking him to a depression support group with me. What have other people done for support from their loved ones? Are you getting the support you need?

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  • 2 weeks later...

ANicole4,

Welcome to the Forum! I suffered w/ Dysthymia (without even knowing it for 40+ yrs)...I met my wife at 22 yrs of age, married her @ 23, and her have had a great life (unless you ask her about my depression-related damage done to her for a 30 yr span). Things really got sideways when our daughter went-off to college, and she was left to deal with my moods all by herself. fastforward 5 yrs, and she has gotten to the "I love you, but am not in love with you, and i just cannot do this anymore." NEWS to me, so I immediately went to a therapist, where I was diagnosed & began therapy & Wellbutrin XL300...w/in 48 hrs, my personality had changed 180 degs!!! She was amazed and said "Where the F**k has THIS Chuck been for the last 30 yrs?" Even though she's been attending some of my therapy sessions, she now feels that it's just too late for her to 'COME BACK TO ME EMOTIONALLY." She has heard it from the lips of my therapist, but for some reason it rings hollow to her....she has even asked: "Why didn't you ever decide that you were tired of having no joy in your life, and being generally a negative person?" So, as my therapist has obseerved, I am the well one now, and she has gone off the deep end, because she no longer had the surly partner to drive her away & it has wrecked her plans for "escape." She has gone so far as to set-up a whole seperate life (friends, church, dancing friends, and pretty-much spends as much time away from me as she can...........ugh! My love for her has never waned, but her's for me is long gone.....I asked about a marriage enhancement program, and her response was "I'm already out the door." So the Beast is gone, but she is now in favor of a seperation, possibly leading to divorce....AND I'M THE HEALTHY ONE NOW! She's drinking hard in spurts, acting mad/agitated/aloof/etc.....and I'm left holding the bag of guilt over 40+ yrs of undiagnosed Dysthymia....Ain't life grand?

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Wow, these are some sad stories so far. :( I'm not in a relationship now but I was in one for almost 4 years that ended over a year ago . . . I didn't get any support from him because I now think that he is/was pretty depressed too and was in no position to offer any. We made each other really unhappy and yet somehow that made us even more enmeshed. Finally a year or two ago I started "waking up" and deciding that I was sick of hiding from my unhappiness and one of the first things I did was get rid of him. It really helped! I don't think I could have made any progress at all without doing that, I only wish I had done it sooner.

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Do you read the Bible? There is a somewhat similar story in the Book of Hosea. She had been a temple prostitute before He(Hosea) marriedHer (Gomer). She was a good wife. Finally though, Hosea's wife(Gomer) ran away got ito a wild life and finally back into prostitution. He raise their children by Himself.

Many years later sher was being sold as a slave.Yes this was Gomer, yet the years had not been kind to Her beauty. Naked she was, on the auction block. He was told about it and ran to the auction. To see her there. He bid against others for Her. Finally using all the money he had, He was able to buy Her back.

Put His robes on Her, they where walking home when she fell at His feet and cried out I will be your slave for ever, Hosea.

His response was He did not need a slave--He needed a wife!

Hope this Helps ----Read it for yourself

God Bless

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