wife with depression ... it's not you, it's me ....

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njguy
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/23/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been married to my wife for nearly 15 years, known her for 19 ... we have a lovely 8-year-old son ... and i love her dearly ... but my wife has been battling different cycles of the depression for nearly all of our time together.

I'll try not to ramble too long, but she has been to different doctors, on and off, and on different medications, over and over - most of the 15 years. Her father did have bipolar, and one of her two sisters has also been diagnosed and treated for depression. Her mother has also had some problems ...

long story short; she is very sensitive and caring (which i really love) but often holds thing in - i think from being mentally abused as a child by her parents and she watched them fight. but my wife easily cries at anything, which does make discussing tough things in life even tougher ... she's had a fear of driving a car, but i did get her to drive; but her ability is limited.

as a result, that has limited her work options. ... there always seems to be a difficulty where she just 'has to leave.' .... she returned to, but subsequently dropped out of school/college. she then decided she wanted to take online courses for another field ... things seemed to be going well for the past year, but in late jan 2008 she was injured in a car accident (no fault of her own).

we think it some sort of nerve damage which has triggered back/shoulder pain and headaches ... but she has taken a leave from school (understandable) ... but i think i feel her slipping away again ...when she's not depressed her voice and face are different and she has a smile and glow to her eyes ... she's beautiful and i love her very much ... but when she is troubled, all of that goes away ... it's like she's a different person ...

we've essentially been living on only my income for most of our marriage .. so that would explain the tension about money, which i realize all couples have ..

and couples also argue about sex ... we couldn't successfully have "relations" because she said it was painful (again, totally understandable). Flash forward to our honeymoon (day or two AFTER our wedding), when we were going to try again, but she declined and said she 'just couldn't' ... the first year of our marriage was basically living in denial of the situation ... but entering our second year, she did she a therapist and eventually we went to a marriage./sex therapist for a year. THAT was very successful and we were literally able to finally consummate our marriage two years to the day later ... '95-'99 were actually fantastic. she had a steady job, we saved up for a house, had steady sex ... (her father did pass away in this time, but she dealt well with it). she was treated for postpartum depression after our son was born, but i thought that was successfully treated. but since he has entered kindergarten, essentially, she has struggled with school and finding a steady satisfying job ...

i really don't want to appear as the evil monster husband (guess i have ... ) but ... i don't know what to do any longer ...

to anyone who has read to the end - thank you - not even sure i know what i'm asking for ... this scenario sound familiar to anyone else out there?

Post Edited (njguy) : 3/23/2008 8:19:37 PM (GMT-6)


ShynSassy
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 3/24/2008 4:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Njguy

I am sorry for what you are going through,it is very hard to help someone with depression,I think it is harder when you live with them.

You said that you have therapy and it worked,so can you both go again? It really sounds like she needs it and soon.

Here are some resources that I found awhile ago..

www.rd.com/content/how-to-cope-with-a-depressed-spouse/


www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5014_qa.html


www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artid=526
Shy


Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

Please remember,I am not a professional..I am just a person who is also fighting depression.


seadaocean
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/25/2008 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ShynSassy ...

thank you for responding, and for the helpful links ... i'm going to read them in more detail when i get a chance.

altho after gaining a bit of composure and my wife having two 'better days' recently, i'm a bit embarrassed by my original post. I still stand by all i said, but ...

in poking around at other threads, I do see more pressing and serious problems ... i confess to be absolutely stunned at the number of folks below, say, age of 20 here ... at least i'm an over-the-hill 45! (grin) ...

i'm very impressed at the concern and compassion here, and i hope you realize what a great service you are offering, especially to the 'younger' folk ...


Thanks also to Karen for the advice and cyberhugs when i first posted under another, but similar, thread.

thanks ...

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 3/26/2008 4:27 AM (GMT -7)   
You are very welcome.

This site is wonderful,it helped me when I was at my lowest.

Please continue to post and let us know how you are doing.
Shy


Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

Please remember,I am not a professional..I am just a person who is also fighting depression.


djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 3/27/2008 2:47 AM (GMT -7)   

Hiya,

Although we do have a lot of under 20's here, there are still a lot of people who are 40+ as well. Perhaps people who are 40+ dont advertise their age as readily! lol

Please dont think that your problem is any less serious than anyone else here. We look at each problem individually... we dont measure them against each other and decide that one deserves less or more attention. The only thing we do is respond to some posts quicker than others, but everyone gets a response.

Im glad that your wife has had a good couple of days. Has your wife been queried for Bi-Polar Disorder? There is a genetic component to Bi-Polar Disorder so its a possibility.

All the best

Darren

P.S Can I ask how you hav ended up with 2 screen names? lol Did something happen to the first one?


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getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40574
   Posted 3/27/2008 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   
just checking in on you, wondering how things are going.

hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Terps19
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1425
   Posted 3/27/2008 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey NJGuy-

I am not in your age group- I am 25- but I do suffer from depression and anxiety which makes having "realations" difficult. I can honestly tell you my wife feels the same way you do at times and it is not in the least bit her (or you) but the problem is with me (the one depressed). We dont have as much trouble as you guys do but please please please dont think it is you. And I tell my wife over and over again not to blame herself... it is me who is "inbalanced" as i was told last night by a fill in DR.

Maybe set aside some special time for the two of you maybe when your son sleeps over at a friends house. Make a nice dinner, rent a nice HAPPY light hearted movie- no shot em ups- then maybe a bath or something she likes, and a massage in bed then things might lead down the right path... just try and help her unwind and let her know you are there for her and you will be by her side no matter what.

If I were my wife and I was depressed (and I am being treated for it) that is what I would like... Reassurance can go a long long way.

Good luck and let us now how it goes... but you can spare the detials :)
March 2005 Dx'd with Ulcerative colitis
Took: asacol, colazal, rowasa, entocort, VSL probiotic
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njguy
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/15/2008 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Karen, Darren and all others who are so nice and caring ...

>>P.S Can I ask how you hav ended up with 2 screen names? lol Did something happen to the first one?

Well, to be honest, after i read my initial post, as part of an existing different thread, i thought i had wayyyyyyyy too much personal info on it ... and one of the mods suggested i start a separate topic ... so i thought it might be best to also create a more generic screen name ... my wife does frequent some chatboards (i don't think this one, but ...)

and the last thing i'd want is for her to find me discussing all this out in the open, essentially ....

but being tired, anxious, nervious, etc ... i started this thread with my old sign in ... but next time, i did remember to use the new one! ;-)

i can be such a twit ...

anyway, my father-in-law was bipolar ... i believe my wife was tested years ago, and she wasn't found to be ...

again, sorry for being so rambling, but i guess my real question is ... once she has been on medication, does it necessarily mean she should be on it forever?

and again, just because we've had torrential rain for days, it doesn't mean that the next shower we have after it clears will last forever ...

again, thanks folks for your concern ...

 

 

 


ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 4/16/2008 3:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Njguy

No it does not mean she has to be on meds forever,but she has to deal with what caused the depression in the first place and that usually means therapy. Is she currently seeing someone?

I hope that she starts to feel better.
Shy


Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

Please remember,I am not a professional..I am just a person who is also fighting depression.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/16/2008 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
bump

 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


iowasugar
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/16/2008 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I kind of know what you are going through with your wife as I being the wife and my fiance being the husband. He is as confused as you are about this whold depression thing and what he can do to help me with it.  He says that he feels lost and helpless.  I feel that he doesn't total understand what I am going through. Not that he ever will but it is like he isn't even trying. At least you are being understanding and patient about the sex thing and going to counseling with her and doing everthing that you can to work with her about the depression that she is going through. I wish that someone like you could talk to my fiance and explain how this works and how to have a little compassion about things. Anyway enough about me going on, I just wanted to congragulate you on doing a good job with your wife's condition.

njguy
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/17/2008 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
again, folks - thank you for your kindness and concern ...
 
my wife isn't currently seeing a therapist/doctor -- and she's not on medication (she had a bad experience w/ another therapist and medication last year; he increased the dosage, didn't properly monitor and she was hospitalized after her BP fell to dangerously low levels).
 
I apologize for drifting off here, but i'm trying to connect the dots ... there is a history of depression on both sides of her family ...
 
two things have puzzled me since we've been together (married nearly 15 yrs, together about 19 - known each other for 20).
 
1] she had a lot of intimacy problems at first; but i was fairly new at it, too - so i chalked it up to inexperience. very long story short, but i essentially found out on our honeymoon that she wasn't able to ... have 'relations' for lack of a better word. the first 12-18 months obviously were very tense ... tried a lot of self-help stuff, but finally went (together) to a marriage counselor and then a sex therapist  ... essentially traced intimacy problems back to how she was raised by mom & dad, but no apparent sexual abuse (but i've always wondered - but she flatly denies it. says it was all verbal, but mom apparently hit her).
 
on our 2nd anniversary, we were finally able to consummate the marriage (whew) --
and then had steady 'relations' for a good 4 years - even after our son was born ...
 
so, i was relieved - problem solved!!
 
..... but she had postpartum depression after that (and was treated ..)
 
Since postpartum, it's been one step forward, two steps back, essentially.
 
here is point 2] finally ...
 
there always seems to be a lingering issue .. she had problems w/ driving (afraid to ...) when i first met her, but i did work with her and finally got her to widen her circle of travel. But she's still very timid on going to unfamiliar places - with a growing son and me working nights, that is trouble coming down the road ...
 
she's had a real spotty employment history. had to leave a few places b/c of problems w/ the management, but one place she loved unfortunuately closed up and moved out of the US ....
 
tired of dead-end jobs, she returned to school -- but eventually dropped out when she was too nervous to do some academic exercises in public.
 
Decided to return to school a year or so ago, and seemed OK -- but was in a fender-bender auto accident (not her fault) earlier this year ... she suffered back/neck/shoulder injuries ... and is on leave from school.
 
I'm not faulting her w/ anything related to the car accident; obviously not her fault and hasn't helped w/ 'relations' but that is totally understandable.
 
my questions at the end of the ramble:
 
1] I'm sure there is some sort of depression, but is she supressing sexual abuse from childhood? if so, how in the world do i handle that?
 
2] Wondering if maybe it's not more physical abuse (hitting, etc) .. definitely verbal ... she was also born premature, so with all added up ... could this explain her timidness w/ 'relations' ....seems to be a path with all things in life ...
 
I'm now not so sure it's depression as opposed to effects of some sort of child abuse ...
 
any thoughts would be appreciated ... thanks!
 
 
 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40574
   Posted 4/17/2008 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Do you mean something like post traumatic stress disorder? All in all depression is depression, what ever the reason for it. Maybe you mean something conditioned as apposed to a chemical imbalance. Either way she needs medication and therapy of some sort.

I am trying to figure out what you are trying to figure out.

I know that you are concerned about having 'relations' with her, and why she can't seem to be able to. It all has to do with how women feel about themselves. If she doesn't feel good about herself, for whatever reason, she can't feel comfortable being volnerable and opening up to have sex. Women have to feel good about themselves and relaxed. If not it can be very painful and emotionally traumatic. I guess that it has to do with being able to let go and feel safe. And in safe I guess that I mean safe enough to let their guard down.

It is so complicated for women. They are the recievers not the givers. So it is so psycological and hormonal.

I know that you want to fix this, but you have to let nature take its course I think. This can't be rushed. But seriously she really needs some help with counseling and possibly medication before she is going to feel well. So that is where I would suggest you start.

IMHO I think that you need to open communication and talk about some medical help or therapy. Even if she had a bad experience before, doesn't mean it will be that way again.

Karen
  Moderator-Depression
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


njguy
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/17/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
as always, thank you karen!

>>>>>Do you mean something like post traumatic stress disorder? Maybe you mean something conditioned as apposed to a chemical imbalance.

yes, i guess i do - that is a great way of putting it ...


>>>>>I am trying to figure out what you are trying to figure out.

believe me, so am i! but i've never heard such an honest and open answer as the one you gave -- it's so complicated for women.

and you're also very correct about the initial reason she wasn't able to have sex - the whole trust thing .. i did finally gain her trust and we were/are able to have relations, but she's very limited w/ her comfort level. Basically, 'one way' and that's it ... not very receptive to oral either way ... long story short, and this is my testosterone kicking in, i always feel like i'm forcing her to do something she doesn't want to do and that she's not enjoying it ...

only once (on one of my birthdays) did we 'do it twice' and i swear she, or her body, reacted in apparently 'good' ways i've never felt/seen since!

i've always wondered that if i didn't mention or hint, we wouldn't have such relations at all ...

>>>I know that you want to fix this, but you have to let nature take its course I think. This can't be rushed.

yes, agreed ... but i have been trying to deal with this in one way or another ... for going on 20 years. apparent progressm apparent setback. lather, rinse, repeat ...

>>>IMHO I think that you need to open communication and talk about some medical help or therapy. Even if she had a bad experience before, doesn't mean it will be that way again.

i try that, but it prompts an immediate flood of tears ... it's always the same 'let's not fight about money, jobs or sex' thing ...

i really do madly love her, and aside from this one real big stigma ... she's a fantastic mother and our personalities are a great match ...

and as i keep scratching my head, i don't know if i'm dealing with a form of depression in her, or just a combination of other things ...

again, thank you!

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40574
   Posted 4/17/2008 10:55 PM (GMT -7)   
You are so very welcome, and I am so thrilled that I have helped you some. There will be others posting I am sure So maybe that will give you some looks at more options.

Keep trying, don't give up on this.

And sometimes a woman will do something that they really don't want to so they can keep you happy. Maybe that is what is making you feel like you have forced her to participate.

Anyhow, I am tired. Falling asleep at the computer but I wanted to finish this one last post.

hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/18/2008 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello njguy

I am glad to see you are back and that you are truly concerned about your wife.  Depression is one of the hardest disorders for people to understand as it shows up in so many ways. 

I know you want to help fix your wife but she has a Mental Health Disorder and the best you can do is be there for her and don't push her into talking when she herself has no idea why she is the way she is.

Get her to professional and let the therapist work through her problems with her.  Has she ever seen a Pdoc and recieved an official dx? If she is not able to have a trusting relationship with the first therapist or Pdoc, find a new one.  Don't give up on her.  That would be my biggest fear is my husband giving up on me.

I am so sorry you are going through this...coming here and talking about this as well as sharing it with others is the best thing to do. But please remember to keep your wife's confidentiality . So my best advice is talk to a doctor or even a therapist about your own issues and how to handle living with a person who has depression.

You sound like a man with a good heart.  Take care

Kitt


 


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


njguy
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/20/2008 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kitt!
 
thank you ... my wife has been to doctors, but has only been diagnosed w/ anxiety (aside from postpartum) ... she has been on medication over the years, but hasn't been on anything in about a year ... she now refuses to go back to therapy, saying she hate talking about the pain in her childhood, it only stokes bad memories. (she said she never felt comfortable/safe growing up b/c parents would scream and yell and everyone, each other, her ... etc) ...
 
while i am an incredibly 'randy' husband, and a big guy sizewise to boot, i am far from an abusive loud mouth ... in all 19 years, i've never once touched her in anger. I'll punch walls and break inanimate objects, but i never harm flesh ...
 
but after reading a lot of the other messages on this board, i see that i really hardly have room to complain .. but it is that i do notice changes every so often in her, and i know something isn't 'right' b/c of her childhood. I'm also deeply fearful of the psychiatric problems on BOTH side of her family ...
 
and full disclosure: I could easily win a few rounds of Dysfunctional Family Feud with MY family's history ... and i have my own separate childhood issues (Bobby Darin/Jack Nicholson complex of being raised thinking my mother was really my sisterl and being born out of wedlock and never knew bio dad - except that he died in prison) ...
 
all this, and a full-time job based on deadlines, has landed me on anxiey meds (as well as BP meds).
 
only true miracle is that our 3rd-grader son seems totally normal, happy and well adjusted. is growing up to be a ladies' man, which he definitely doesn't get from dad!
 
 
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/20/2008 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Good Afternoon,

I know it is very difficult to get some people into therapy but there are other therapies that don't go into your past but help you handle the here and now.  Any chance you could get some info on therapists in your area and what kind of therapy they do?

I am sorry for your problems but please stay in the moment and keep your faith in the healing process. 

Take care of you and help your wife if she will let you.

Kitt


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


quietpain
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 4/23/2008 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Some of the things you wtote really toued me. I was terriefied of driving for years. Hwen my 2nd child enter kindergater in would have to drive My husbnad plan a route that involved going slow (stop signs)and were not busy. I had him drive it a lot. Then I drove. I still get to school 40min. early because I am afraid of traffic. I also did the for getting to the hospital. Maybe that would help. Five places may be too many.

DO your kids know esactly what is wrong with mom? WHen I talked to my son, i learned that he hated most my cutting and knowing I was going to die at a young age. Instead of talking about my current feelingItalked about hime as babay and child and what I saw him in teh future. My daughter we explaned ussing science. SHe asked if maybe she could cuddle in bed with me sometimes. These are my examples, but try to bring your fmaily together - good for kids ,yes- your wife amazing.

You remind me of my husband. He has to do everything. Hew knew before and he loves me after we met 17 years ago. Let that give you strength.


quietapin.
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