Living with a depressed spouse

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queene00
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/12/2009 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm new to this forum, and would love someone out there in the great big world of cyberspace to give me something to help with my husband.

I've been with my husband for 11 years, married for 4. We have no kids as of yet, but want to in the next few years. My problem lies in my husband's undiagnosed depression. He has always struggled with his emotions: starting back in high school he began to cut himself on the arms to deal with frustration and other negative feelings. This continued when I met him, and only in the last few years has begun to taper off. He has also always had a kind of mild obsession with suicide, always knowing how he'd want to do it but claiming he'd never have the guts.

Five years ago, I got a job teaching on the other side of the state, and we made plans to move. One thing led to another, and somehow we ended up in a situation where we were living where I worked, and he would drive 3 1/2 hours across the state to his job, then return 4 days later. This went on for three years. he was afraid to loose the income, afraid to make the change that would result from his leaving that job.

Two years ago, that company closed, and we were finally living together again. He struggled with anxiety and depression, until he found a position where he worked from home, for a similar wage as before. You'd think this would be great, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, those three years had meant we didn't make friends in this town as a couple, we had basically hoarded our time together. Now he was at home everyday, with no contact with anyone. His depression would come and go, depending on how work had been.

That job eventually became something he could no longer do, because of new management. With my blessing and support, he quit this summer. The goal we had was for me to find a new teaching job and for us to move. The economy has kept that from happening, and now we find ourselves in a place where we don't have a lot of friends, and where neither one of us wants to be. We can't afford to just up and move, and thus are kind of stuck.

My husband has taken this hard. He swings from days where he can talk about his options: school, another job, etc... and days where he gets up, exercises, and goes back to bed. He doesn't want to do the things we'd enjoyed together, he worries about money constantly, he's increasingly hard on me.

We've tried to talk about his bouts of depression in the past, but they always end up the same way: he won't go to a doctor, and he doesn't want to deal with it. I was hopeful as we approached this summer, as he made a point of choosing a short-term health insurance with mental health benefits, but now I'm struggling to keep that optimism. The more he removes from me, basically his only 'friend' here, the more I worry I'll come home from school one day and find him lying in the bathtub.

This long and frustrated post basically leads me to one question: How hard to I push for a counselor? I know he's not as depressed as many people out there, but something's not right with him, and I don't know how hard I can or should push to get him to help. Am I doing right? Or do I need to back off and let him work through things?

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40588
   Posted 8/12/2009 12:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Queen00,

Welcome to HealingWell. I am so happy that you have joined us.

First of all, your husband's problem is serious and he does need to see somebody. But unfortunately you can't make him do that. But you could voice your concerns and let him know that you need for him to go.

We are not allowed to talk about self harm on here, but I want to say that this is serious and needs to be addressed by a professional. Plus the suicidal thoughts. That is very serious. In depression resources, there is a few numbers that you can get and some websites to give you some information. I am doing the quick reply, but I will edit my post and put them in it.

If you could talk him into seeking professional help. It would be wonderful. Or to go and see his doctor, maybe he needs some medication at least until things improve. I a sorry to hear about the work situation, is he looking for a job? Or is he in limbo at this point? Does he sleep a lot? I think you mentioned that he exercises and then goes back to bed. This is typical for depression. Only he can help himself. But I would respectfully express my concern if I was you. Let him know that you love him and want him to be happy. He deserves to be.

I hope that this helped some. I am sure that there will be others on with more advice and opinions for you.

Hand in there, we are here to support you...

Hugs, Karen


National Suicide Hotline
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
This is a combined network of the Amerian Association of Suicidology, the National Hopeline Network, CONTACT USA, and many other organizations. Call are automatically routed to the nearest crisis center to the phone from which the call for help is placed.

Helpful Web Sites:
Suicide Hotlines (listed by state)
Suicidal.com (includes Suicide Crisis Center and Depression and Suicide)
SuicidalTeens.com

Post Edited By Moderator (Admin) : 9/28/2009 3:52:31 PM (GMT-6)


queene00
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/12/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Karen,

thanks for the support. He is in limbo, job-wise, because we were hopeful of moving. Now that seems to be impossible for yet another school year, and I know he's floundering with what to do. He feels such a burden to bring in income, yet hates working. We have money set aside for him to go to school, but he doesn't know what he would study. It all adds up to too many choices, and I can just see him spiraling down.

I will continue to try and prod him gently towards seeing someone. It helps to know that a big confrontation isn't the way to go... that's been part of my difficulty. How hard to push someone to do something they don't want to do... ugg.

I want my best friend back by my side. I want the man who sobbed like a baby when we put our cat to sleep, and who laughed until he made me cry over a fart joke. I want the guy who looks at me like I'm the latest supermodel, and who gets all excited over seeing a new car. Sometimes I've yeared for alone time, with him working from home and now being home all summer, but I don't want this kind of alone time.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40588
   Posted 8/12/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Queen00,

I truly understand how you feel. You want your husband back. It is so hard watching somebody who is depressed. Especially when they don't realize that they need help. Maybe you could talk him into going to his doctor for a checkup. Maybe that would get the ball rolling. The doctor might see he is depressed and suggest something. Be it medication or counseling. That might be a route to try. He really needs some help at this point. Have you thought about counseling for yourself? You could use some support about now. You are facing this all alone and I think that counseling would help you cope with this situation. You really, really need the support. So think about it. I think that it would help you. And of course we are here for you too. So keep posting and remember that we are here for you.

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


queene00
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/12/2009 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Part of my difficulty lies in the fact that both his parents are physicians, and thus he has never really 'had' to go to a doctor. So as an adult, he has gone once in the entire time we've been together. It's not an insurance thing, it's an.... I don't know what, thing. So getting him to a doctor is something that I've been fighting and loosing.

I've tried to get his parents involved, but the fact is they don't live with him. So they have a conversation when I call them, and then let it go, assuming things are just better. None of his family really wants to deal with this, and its easy for them to just make a token effort and then leave it in my lap.

I guess my continued plan is just going to be more of the same: trying to keep him interested and involved with whatever I can come up with, gently prod him toward counselling... I worry what's going to happen when I start school in a couple of weeks. He'll be home alone while I'm working... that's the kind of thing where I worry he'll start making extreme decisions. I think I'm worried more about him leaving me than anything else at that point.
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