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Did My Husband Cheat Because Of My Depression?

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I've been depressed as long as I can remember. My very first memory at all, was my parents fighting and my mom being very upset. I may have been 4 years old, they divorced the next year. When my dad left my mom for another woman, she stayed in her bathrobe for days and cried. Years later, in an abuse of marriage, she was diagnosed with bipolar. She seemed depressed more than manic. I witnessed her put a gun to her head and I screammed and begged for her not to pull the trigger. My stepfather was cruel to her, and with her first failed marriage she didn't want to fail again. So she stayed depressed, as did I.

I wanted so badly to have a happy, loving marriage. When I married my husband I prayed to have just that. At the time of my marriage, my mother was dying of cancer. I was depressed about that, naturally. After she died I was depressed for years. I question if I, like my mother, have clinical depression or have I just had life events that lead me there. After four years of marriage and depression, my husband left me for another woman. I was suicidal then, but I hung in there for our son. I pleaded with him to come back. I made him feel bad for leaving his son and told him a divorce would destroy our child, just to get my husband back. He came back after eight weeks. He was not very apologetic and I was crushed by his betrayal and lack of remorse. I have been in this deep black sadness now for almost ten years. I wonder if my depression led him to his affair and if my severe emotional distress over the affair is causing my depression or is it biological? The old question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I'm hoping someone out there has some insight to share. I, like most people, want a solution to my misery. I don't know if I should leave my husband, the source of my pain, or get treatment and maybe he will be a better spouse.

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Well, I know that sometimes mental illness runs in the genetics. If your mother had bipolar disorder or clinical depression, it's possible you also have some type of chemical imbalance (i.e. biological), but it's more than likely a combination of biological factors and life circumstance.

I don't know why you'd want to stay with your husband after he left you (whether it was because of the depression or something else)... he clearly is not the type of person you need in your life. You need support. Patience. Understanding... not someone who would up and leave when you're emotionally unstable. That being said, he's also not the type of person your son needs in his life. I wish my mother had gotten divorced when I was young. Having both parents there to raise you isn't worth anything when they're abusive to you or to each other... it only further wrecks your sense of self and family.

If he was going to come back... it'd need to be his own decision. Not out of guilt or pressure from you.

If you're not already in therapy... you should really consider it... and should have probably considered it years ago. You need some kind of support in your life... and a psychiatrist will be able to give you unbiased advice as to your situation... and how to help yourself.

Best wishes.

Edited by ASLycoris
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I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you've experienced, especially early in life, and how much you've struggled with depression as a result of it. I agree that therapy can be a great help to you in at least gaining some self-understanding.

Undoubtedly your depression is a factor in your marriage, but as for your husband's actions, he's responsible for those! You didn't make him have an affair - he made choices to that end. And his lack of remorse after coming back to you is not a good sign. More importantly, your response to this affair can greatly affect the future of your marriage. There is a great book that speaks to this called Love Must Be Tough. I highly recommend it!

Edited by Mental77
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hi minooka, i have been where you've been. i am sorry you're going through all this. it is a heavy burden, but its not yours to carry.

i believe people do things for their own (selfish) reasons. its not because the person they are with is flawed, but because they are.

my dad cheated on my mom and my (now ex) husband cheated on me. both our marriages ended. i have no regrets about it. but it is very difficult when someone does something so brutally awful and has no apologies for it, i know ive blamed myself for a lot of things over the years because someone refuses to take responsibility. but its NOT my fault and NOT your fault.

ive never understood why (i guess for "entertainment"?? purposes) in the media when there's a cheating scandal, the person who actually DID the cheating is hardly EVER to blame. like the whole brad/angelina/jennifer thing. people blamed angelina, but it was brad who made the DECISION to do the cheating. (or whatever happened, i dont know). all the jerry springers where people are fighting/beating each other up. why??

i hope you feel better, one day.

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  • 1 month later...

Just know that the cycle doesn't HAVE to be self-perpetuating! I agree that it's possible you have clinical depression and definitely should take an active role in combatting it however you can, whether through therapy or medication or a combination.

Now I'm a total stranger and I'm sure there's lots I don't know about the situation, but I can't imagine battling depression without the understanding and support of my spouse. If your husband is dismissive he doesn't sound like the supportive person you need him to be. The choice is up to you, but know that remarrying will not automatically yield the same results as what happened to your mother.

And don't blame yourself for his actions. Your depression did not make him cheat, he did that all by himself. You'll be a happier person if you can work towards letting go of the guilt and worry you seem to have built up and focus on treating your own depression and making yourself happy.

Sending good vibes your way! <3

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