How long do you keep supporting a depressed spouse?

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lundblad
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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/19/2009 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
My spouse became suicidal this past summer. He also became quite aggressive and had to be restrained. I am trying hard to be there for him, but I don't know if I can continue to always give and not receive support. He has been depressed most of his life, and is now on medication and goes to a support group once a week, when he can muster the strength. I just fear each day even coming home. I know when we have even the most basic conversation, he will say something negative and hurtful. I bring up the question because this past week, when we were planning a trip for our family, he decided that if the trip was not what he wanted to do, I should just go with my teenage son. It is always about what he wants, and so rarely about the rest of us. I am so tired of this behavior. He won't participate in family events. He won't support my son at sporting events. He won't even take a walk with me in the evenings. He gambles on the internet, watches sports (that he has bet on), and often drinks beer. I have asked him what is the point of taking antidepressants if he is going to drink, which is a depressant, and he says it makes him feel better. I want to have a life and be supported and loved....how long is do I stand by? When do I give up? We have been married nearly 24 years.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40592
   Posted 1/19/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lundblad,

It looks like you are ready to move on with your life. If he was just depressed, I would say stick it out as long as you can. But if he is gambling and drinking too, he is not trying to help himself at all and I can see where you would get depressed.

Go with your heart on this. You know your limits. If he is affecting you in such a manner that it is hard for you to go from day to day. You might need to move on. Even if it is a trial basis to see how you can manage. Is there a way that you can do that? Can you stay with friends or relatives for a while? Or do you have the funds to move out on your own?

Either way, I wish you the best.

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


lundblad
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/19/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your comment. We are financially in pretty good shape. I make a decent income and can change from part to full time if I need to. Your response really touched a nerve in me about moving on. I think the only thing that keeps me from doing so is my younger son, who is 17 and a junior in high school, and he still needs stability. He has been very helpful and supportive to his father, but I see that he is tired of it as well. My husband left this morning for the week to go skiing, alone, because he wanted to. All I can think of is that it will be so nice for my son because he can have his friends over this week without worrying about my husband on the internet, gambling, with the television tuned to a sporting event. I probably do need a break from it all, but don't have the courage to disrupt my son. He has plenty of his own stress from sports and advanced high school courses. We own the home my mom lives in so I could stay with her if I wanted, but my son needs to be close to his school and she lives 35 miles from here. I keep trying to tell myself to hang in there for one more year and make a life of my own in the meantime. I play soccer a couple times a week, and that helps. I also go to my son's sporting events, and that helps too, but I just hate the weekends.....tv, sports, beer, and gambling. It sucks. The worst part is that I am the only support my husband has. After he collapsed this summer, his family, who are awful in normal circumstances, all scattered. His brother, 10 miles from here, stopped calling or coming over. We have seen him twice since summer and had two phone calls since July. I feel terribly guilty that if I give up, there won't be anyone for my husband at all. Does that make sense?

enWayen
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Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 1/19/2009 1:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Heej Lundbad,

Your husband in his situation can use any help he can get. But you are just as human as he is. If he is absorbing your joy and happiness as well, than it might be time to leave. Maybe you could go to some sort of family therapy. If you suddenly decide to leave him, it might just be too much for him to handle, while therapy already shows him that you are suffering as well. So that when you decide to leave, he knows you tried and you can part in a more friendly way. If you still feel any compassion towards him, try to support him as much as you can / want, even when you are splitting up.

This is a really hard decision you have to make, and it is totally up to you to decide. But I still recommend to get a third person, preferable a professional, to sort things out.

All the best Lundbad!
Erik
Acceptance is the key

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.

Try to keep smiling! :)


lundblad
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/19/2009 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hej!

Yes, you are right I suppose......I just don't feel like getting into the arguments that are going to come about. It feels like it is probably a no win situation for a little while...if I do nothing, it sucks the life out of me. If I sign us up for therapy, I have to make it all happen. Maybe I am just afraid that this is the end of it. That doesn't feel very good to me and I don't like throwing a quarter century of supporting him away, but I also know I have many years of my own life to figure out and I don't want to live like this anymore. It is too sad and overwhelming.

enWayen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 585
   Posted 1/19/2009 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Heej Lundblad,

If you enjoyed the time you had together, you won't throw it away. What happened, happened, and we can't change it. So it is best for are mood if we don't want to. What you should focus on is now, and the future, as that can be changed. What will provide you the most happiness in the long run? If you can answer that question, that is what it should be.

Have you ever had a proper conversation with your husband on how YOU feel? When you are struggling with depression, you tend to focus on yourself. And it can even be good for him to wake him up and let him know there are other human beings with feelings out there. It is a risk however, as it can backfire, but it is worth trying I think.

All the best Lundblad!
Erik
Acceptance is the key

The World is but a reflection. Smile, and it will smile back.

Try to keep smiling! :)


lundblad
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/19/2009 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hej!

I have attempted to tell him how I feel, but the focus gets so twisted because of his perceptions. The social worker that he saw in the ER in July also explained to him that "your wife is tired and can't do this anymore." But, he continues to be so self absorbed. I worry about myself because I have so much that I need to tell him, and he will probably turn it on himself which makes my have to support him more. It is an ugly cycle. I tell myself to call and make an appointment, and then I wonder if I will have the strength to see it through or not. In my heart, I know that ignoring this is not the answer but it is such stress to go to the next step. He has no one, but me and our sons. That is an awful place to be. The sensible side of me knows that is not my responsibility, but the compassionate part of me doesn't want to make him suffer any worse than he already does. Not such a good choice is it?

Thanks for your posts...they are helping me think it through.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/19/2009 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lundblad,

Welcome to HealingWell. I understand your problem.  Have you seen a therapist for yourself to help you sort out your feelings.  I know your son is 17 but I would guess in a year he will be off to college or whatever he chooses so perhaps the two of you should sit down and talk about your feelings.

Does your husband have a back up support system if you decided to go your own way.

I know this is painful for you but you are entitled to a good life too, a life of happiness and love, caring and sharing.  Mental Health issues are always tough as living with someone with Depression is not easy.  My husband has had to live with me. redface

Please do find a friend, minister or someone to talk with that will remain neutral but let you talk about your feelings.

You have lots of support right here.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
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lundblad
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/19/2009 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, your words are very supportive....that has been missing from my life. I realize a counselor is the next step, but have a hard time with it..I am a professional counselor, so my expectations are a little high. A minister is not really an option. We are not part of the church community...I live with scientist types. :) It is painful, and that is what I am so weary of....I don't want to keep having the bandaid torn off. My husband really has no one. His family sucks and when his closest family member, his older brother, found out about this, he stopped almost all contact, despite living very close to us. It isn't an easy situation. Thanks for presenting the other side of the issue.
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