What can I do to be a supportive husband?

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Cowboy up
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/22/2009 5:33 AM (GMT -7)   
 Hey all. I have been dealing with my wifes depression since febuary and was just wondering what I can do to be supportive to my wife. She finally had her first counseling session and has tree more in the beginning of sept. I have learned not to take her moods personally but honestly it is hard . I know enough not to pressure her about the way she feels but honestly dont know what else I can do. I still sleep in our room every night by myself while she sleeps on the couch. We do a lot of things together as a family her myself and our three year old son.Yet I still cant hug our kiss my wife which is tough. If any wives ever put there husbands through this and then actually are still with their husbands your  input would be appreciated. I miss the loving wife I had but know in my heart that she has always had issues with anxiety and depression. I tell her I love her everyday and try to stay up beat. She is happy to go places with me as a family even if it is grocery shopping we do it as a family.Still I miss kissing her and looking into her eyes.I can recognize her body language before hand when she is in a mood . I do really beleive a day will come when she realizes how much I love her and pray we will still be together. I wonder if how many spouses bail out in these situations but it would be encouraging to hear from other wives who put their husbands through this and are still togther and somewhat happy. I know that all mariages go through ups and downs. ...For now I am still hanging in there.

KGood
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 8/22/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Cowboy,

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's depression and the effect it is having on you and your marriage.  I also suffer from depression and have been married to my husband for almost 33 years. 

It is so good of you to be concerned enough to write a post on this site.  You will get a lot of encouragement here.  Your wife would also benefit from this site!  But maybe she is not ready for that yet.  I would advise you to not consider bailing out.  I know it must be difficult the way things are going right now; you probably feel like you have to walk on eggshells and don't know what to expect from one moment to the next.  But keep in mind that your wife is finally going for counseling and has more appointments in September.  Give all of that a chance to work.  If she is not on medication, maybe she needs to be.

As far as what you are doing, it sounds like you are doing all of the right things.  My husband has never dealt with my depression well; in fact, he is notorious for doing all of the wrong things.  These are things he has done over the years:  gets angry at me for being depressed, picks a fight with me while I'm depressed, turns a cold shoulder on me (especially in bed), gets depressed himself, or just sits back in silence for days waiting for me to get over being depressed by myself.  All of these are the wrong things to do.  I am surprised that your wife wants to sleep on the couch.  Have you asked her why she feels the need to do this?  When I am depressed, I need my husband's arms around me; especially at night.  Otherwise, I cannot sleep.  That's where his cold shoulder really wreaks havoc on my already depressed condition.  I would encourage you to encourage her to discuss this with her doctor.  This is not the time for the two of you to be apart at night.  I hope she can explain to you why she feels the need to do this; and especially hope she discusses this with her doctor.  Could she be going through some kind of post partum depression?  I know your son is three, but maybe this has been brewing for awhile?

Trying to be upbeat and not take her moods personally are the right things to do.  In fact, it sounds like you are doing all of the right things right now.  But please, don't think about bailing out.  Think about the consequences of this; for your son, your wife, and for you. 

I hope you continue with this site as it will help you tremendously.  There is so much support here.
~Karen
Diagnosed with: seizure disorder in 1962; seizure-free since 1969, anorexia from 1968-1969; IBS-D in 1996, Mild depression, anxiety, & OCD in 2000, (probably had since childhood); PMDD in 2001, Dysfunctional tear syndrome in 2009; Meds: Phenobarbitol, Paxil, Allegra; Supplements: Citrucel tablets; many vitamins, minerals & herbs - too many to list here
 
 
 
 


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40578
   Posted 8/22/2009 8:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey cowboy,

I think that Kgood has some really good points, I would continue to do what you are doing. As was mentioned above, she will have more sessions in September. I am sure that she will get better.

Do you think that the reason that she is sleeping on the couch might have something to do with her not wanting to be pressured for sex? When you are depressed, that is usually the last thing on your mind becasue you don't feel good about yourself. So don't think it is you. It is just the way that she is feeling right now.

I wouldn't pressure her to talk, but let her know that you are there if she wants to. I know that this is hard for you. But please be patient, and dont' blame yourself for anything. It will all work out once she sees her therapist more.

Best wishes to you.

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


Cowboy up
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/22/2009 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I beleive the sleeping on the couch is an anxiety thing . The only one she feels like hugging is our son . At her grand mothers funeral in june she was ready to jump at of her skin when people tryed to give her a hug and even her sister who she is really close to. She was raised by her grandmother so it was like losing her mother all over again. Hey k good thanks I have actually been coming on this site since feb. , my work scheduel is really busy this time of the year so I havent been on much lately. It is really tough because up until this started in feb we were talking about trying to have another child this year . She still says she wants to and hopes that she can sort through this in therapy so we can go foward with our lives. I have told her that if she wanted me to leave for awhile I would although that is not what I want. She has told me flat out she doesnt want that either. Then out of the clear blue sky she will say we will probably have another child. It is really tough when she says she doesnt know if she can ever love me the way I want or she tells me she doesnt love herself. If I try to talk to her about it or anything about the way she feels she gets defensive so I have just backed off. The other thing I have noticed is that when her mood is better she will call me through out the day and say your son wants to talk to you or guess what your son did today. It is like even though she says she doesnt know if she can ever love anybody she projects her feelings to me through my son.

KGood
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 8/22/2009 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Cowboy,

The fact that your wife lost her grandmother this past June sheds some new light on your situation.  She is probably having a rough time dealing with the loss; especially since she was raised by her grandmother.  As far as the difficulty with physical closenss, such as hugs, that may very well be anxiety.  Anxiety can make a person feel very jumpy.  I deal with depression and anxiety; so I know how both can make you feel.

I'm encouraged to hear that she does not want you to leave; that should encourage you, too.  And talking about having another child with you shows her commitment and desire to want things to work out with you.  As far as getting defensive goes, I'm afraid that goes with the condition.  I have to admit that I often get defensive myself.  In regards to her moods seeming to flit back and forth from sleeping on the couch to wanting another child, that is also very common in depressed people.  My youngest son suffers from depression and I see this in him all the time.  I have to constantly be aware that he can say one thing one day; and then the next time I see him, he expresses something completely different.  It can play on your own emotions. 

Your wife may be doubting if she can love someone properly because she may not love or like herself.  That is something else that depressed people often deal with.  I think it's good that your wife hugs your son and talks to you about him.  Some mothers get so depressed that they cannot even show love to their children.  Right now it seems she is just having trouble with closeness with adults.  I truly believe that therapy can help her through this.  And I truly believe she loves you.  She is just having trouble sorting through her depression and feelings in general right now.  Keep up the good work of being a supportive husband.  You are doing a good job! 


~Karen
Diagnosed with: seizure disorder in 1962; seizure-free since 1969, anorexia from 1968-1969; IBS-D in 1996, Mild depression, anxiety, & OCD in 2000, (probably had since childhood); PMDD in 2001, Dysfunctional tear syndrome in 2009; Meds: Phenobarbitol, Paxil, Allegra; Supplements: Citrucel tablets; many vitamins, minerals & herbs - too many to list here
 
 
 
 


Cowboy up
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/22/2009 3:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Kgood In my earlier posts there is a lot more light shed . She had been going to school for 4 years and carried a 4.00 for this period but to do this she burned herself out. Meanwhile during this time period I worked a tremendous amount of hours to support us for this period so we could survive on one income . Because there was never any us time for this period she beleived that I was not attracted to her . This was never the case but she will drag up things that were said out of anger when I felt I was the only one doing things around the home . Some of the things were not even ment in the way she is iterpeting them . I honestly didnt know that when she was starting to be depressed what was happening , I just she was being lazy. Once I realized that she was battleing depression I learned as much as I could about it so I could help her and not add to it. Honestly in my defense a lot of the problem is self esteem issues which existed long before she knew me but I did add to it . So I tryed to explain to her that she cant hold things that I said 8 years ago that were ignorant against me for ever . The only thing I could do is try not to make the same mistakes over again. I am human and I am going to say the wrong things sometimes and I am going to get angry sometimes but I am trying to look at it like getting mad at a depressed person for not producing enough serontonin is like getting mad at a diebetic for not producing enough insulin. For Mothers Day I had our son give her a day at a beauty spa with a full massage and a bunch of other things [manicure, pedicure and facial]She did rave about it and was surprised how much thought went into my choice of a gift. Through all this I have to say to other husbands,or wives in the same situation as mine I have truly grown as a person and have really reflected on how I could be a better husband . I said in the original post in this thread that a lot of people bail on their spouses in this situation , but I have truly never thought about it . I love my wife exactly the way she is and have never once thought of leaving her. I said in a previous post months back that it is easy to love someone when things are going good or new but truely loving someone is I woman caring for her husband who has alzheimers or a man holding his terminally ill wifes hand as she lay in a hospital bed. All the rest you read about in books or in a movie are hollywood glimmer. Its funny I would not even trade the worse days of my marriage.

KGood
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 8/22/2009 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Cowboy,

I'm sorry I missed your previous posts.  I actually registered for this site several years back, apparently forgot about it, and only recently "rediscovered" it.  I am kicking myself for all of the lost time that I could have had on the Healing Well site.

It sounds like there were a lot of stressors back when your wife was going to school and you were working so much.  And to achieve a 4.0 no less.  That's truly commendable.  But it probably was very stressful for both of you.  I can relate to the self-esteem issues your wife has; I have struggled with that my whole life.  And, unfortunately, I can also relate to bringing up things that were said in the past.  I have a difficult time letting go of past hurts.  But I know I shouldn't bring them up.  Your mention of this is a good reminder to me that I need to work on not bringing things up to my husband from the past. 

What you did for your wife on Mother's Day was very thoughtful.  And it is commendable that you are trying to learn from past mistakes.  Many people never do that!  They just keep making the same mistakes over and over again, never learning.  And I'm glad to hear that you have no intention of bailing on your marriage.  You are truly doing well.

I didn't mean to "bash" my husband in an earlier post about how he handles my depression.  He is a very good man; but he just doesn't seem to know the right things to do or say where my depression and self-esteem are concerned.  But I have to remember that he did not have a good role model growing up.  But think of what a good role model you will be to your son by learning and growing the way that you have.  He will be a better person for it.  yeah


~Karen
Diagnosed with: seizure disorder in 1962; seizure-free since 1969, anorexia from 1968-1969; IBS-D in 1996, Mild depression, anxiety, & OCD in 2000, (probably had since childhood); PMDD in 2001, Dysfunctional tear syndrome in 2009; Meds: Phenobarbitol, Paxil, Allegra; Supplements: Citrucel tablets; many vitamins, minerals & herbs - too many to list here
 
 
 
 


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18753
   Posted 8/23/2009 4:46 AM (GMT -7)   
hi cowboy, sorry for the late reply, medical problems. it is wonderful that you realise that this is not her fault. me a diabetic!! this not my fault either, but it is something that i manage. tonight bad, hurting to urinate, waiting for an op. your wife's illness can be managed also. as a man, who finally will be married in the near future i applaud you for staying committed to your wife and child. good with bad, through sickness and health..........take care. i am proud of ya. jamie

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/23/2009 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Hey Cowboy,

I am the dpressed wife and in 2006 I had a major meltdown.  My hubby stuck by me and always will as I have for him through 4 major surgeries.  He gets down and depressed when he is in pain and facing yet another surgery.  One time he was so angry he was in the hosptial over Thanksgiving and Deer Hunting that he would not even talk to me.  No matter what I said he would snap at me.  Yes, I felt hurt but he has lived with my depression for 27 years so we are here for each other.

He has been frustrated and thrown up his hands and said " I don't know what to do for you"  I simply answered him by telling him to "stick by me is  a huge comfort to me"

I was so frightened at that time I truly  saw myself in a hospital but I begged him and my daughter to not take me to one and they did not.  Instead they kept on helping me and taking me to appointments at the therapist and to Pdoc appointments.

I still have bad moments but my hubby will always sit beside me and say what is wrong?  Even if all I can do is cry, he is there.  He pushed me to get help but he never pressured me.  I quit my job that I loved as I lost all confidence at that time. 

Giving your wife support and allowing her time to heal is the best thing you can do at this point.  Hearing she has 3 more sessions with a therapist in September is a good thing.

Take care and I wish you peace,

Kitt


 

Kitt,
Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18753
   Posted 8/23/2009 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   

thanks for sharing kitt. with everlasing loving compassion. jamie


Cowboy up
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 8/23/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all . I know whats best but its not always easy.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18753
   Posted 8/24/2009 3:08 AM (GMT -7)   
understand. jamie.
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