My husband is depressed, what do I do?

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Glasshalffull2009
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/13/2009 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't really know how to organize all of the events that have transpired but I'll do my best.   My husband of 10+ years who never showed any signs of depression (or at least obvious signs) had a mid life crisis or mental breakdown over this last summer.  He started a short term emotional relationship with a colleague from work which he confessed to me after I found emails on his phone interested in sexual services with massage parlors (unrelated to the relationship).  Nothing physical happened with either scenario but in some ways I wish it was more physical than emotional.  The relationship and the emails ceased and it has been a period of rebuilding.  All of this is completely out of character for him.  He would be the one saying what an idiot someone was for behaving that way. 
 
Since September his mid life crisis has transitioned into a severe depression. I understand now that his emotional affair and interest in sexual services were outlets stemming from this crisis and depression.  I am in no way forgiving this behavior. I just understand it is part of a bigger picture.  For the last three months his depression has kept getting worse.  I do give him so much credit for making such an effort to try and help himself and our family.  He has been going to therapy, we have been going to couples therapy and he just started on some anti depressant and anti anxiety medicine.  I have days when I am still in shock that this is my life now and my husband who was the most laid back easy going guy is now this fragile emotional being that I still find myself walking on eggshells around. 
 
We have three beautiful young children and for the last three months I have become a single mom for the most part. Our kids are young enough that they haven't caught on to anything that is happening.   It is been the most difficult time in my life.  The hardest part is the depression has made him question his desire to be part of our family.  In a twisted way it actually makes me feel better that he feels that way and that it is not just about me.  If it were just about me I could deal with that and divorce might be something we would have to consider but because he has no interest in anything including his kids I know that is the depression talking.  Trying to balance being supportive for him, keeping a brave face for my children and keeping my energy up for them all while my future is so uncertain.  I am a firm believer in for better or worse, sickness and health but I just feel so alone.  I can't talk to many of my friends because I don't want the stigma of depression to be placed on my husband. 
 
I guess I am just looking for advice from people in a similar situation and how you handle it successfully.  One side of me wants to do everything I can to support and help my husband but the other part of me is so resentful because right now he doesn't know how he feels about me and the kids.  I just want to feel loved and I want my children to feel loved.  It is just a very lonely time right now.   I am trying to take care of myself but I am worried I am starting to feel depressed about everything and if you knew me you would know that is the last possible emotion to describe me. I am such a positive happy person and I hate what all of this has done to our family. 
 
If anyone can offer any advice as to how they got through a similar situation  I would appreciate any input.  Thanks. 

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40595
   Posted 11/13/2009 10:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

Welcome to the depression forum. I am so sorry about what you are going through right now. This must hurt you deeply. But it sounds like you have a level head and are handling this in the right way.

I hope that you and your husband do work things out. You are very strong to stick by him. I would recommend that you go to some counseling for support. You need that right now. This has to be really difficult for you.

Keep posting and vent if you need to. The weekends are often slow on the forum. So don't feel bad if you don't get a lot of responses.

I hope that things turn around soon for you and your family. You sound like a very strong person.

Best wishes,

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


Amherstclane
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/13/2009 10:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Glasshalffull2009

It's hard when people you love are depressed.
Whether he will want to talk about it at all, and how he will react to you bringing it up, depends entirely on him. It's probably impossible for any of us to predecit that, really.

But, while he is your husband, and that means you want to help him be happy, the fact that he is not happy, or that he is depressed IS NOT YOUR FAULT. If you try to help him, in whatever way you know is best based on your relationship, and he refuses, that IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Be sure to take care of yourself. Perhaps, depending on his personality, you could go with him to therapy. But it might help to plant the seed with words like "unhappy" and "someone" instead of "depressed" and "thearapist."
Thanks.
sporternährung

Post Edited (Amherstclane) : 11/19/2009 12:00:11 AM (GMT-7)


moto
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/17/2009 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Glasshalffull2009

I am sorry you are going through this, since I know firsthand how difficult and extremely lonely this can be. It seems that almost overnight you lost your husband, someone you could rely on to always be strong and even tempered. My husband was also that person - easy going, nothing seemed to bother him, good at his job, and happy. We were moving and this, along with a lot of other pretty high stressors, caused him to have a complete mental breakdown. It seemed like it was overnight, but in hindsight it probably was building for a month or two. He quit his job, started having delusions, and attempted suicide - all within 3 days. I couldn't grasp it and dealing with it was hard. I knew it wasn't my fault and it took a while to come to terms that this was truly a health issue with the brain chemicals.

Anyway, long story short... during this period of time he didn't want to do the job he had been doing and was questioning everything, even our marriage. In the beginning I was very hurt, but over time I realized this was more of a side effect of the depression, not his true feelings. After a few months of getting his medication right, he started getting back to his "normal" self. He had his confidence back, he wanted to do his job again, happy in our marriage. He had the ability to look back at the dark period and know that he couldn't control those feelings, but that they were not true. He didn't feel that way really.

So, you mention he just started taking medications. Maybe your husband's brain is not functioning correctly either and the meds will help balance him. The meds take time to be effective - I believe it took about 6-8 weeks for my husband to finally stabalize and it may take a while for you and your husband to find the right mix of treatments. Just be aware his thoughts and actions may be impacted by his imbalance and try to not take it personally. It is one of the most difficult things to do when it is your husband, but you have already proven yourself strong.

ALSO>>>> I cannot stress this enough - TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Talk it out with someone (not your husband) who just listens and doesn't offer advice (it gets exhausting), don't let yourself dwell on how depression happens (for some reason I think seeing it firsthand and knowing it can happen to someone we never suspected makes it seem like it could happen to us), try to find your inner peace (yoga helps!).

Sorry for the long writing...

Moto

Glasshalffull2009
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/17/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your responses, they were so helpful. Moto, I am so comforted by your story, it gives me hope that maybe in a few weeks we will see a glimmer of his former self. I think the biggest issue I am dealing with recently is anger. I am so angry at his stupid actions (emotional affair and massage parlor email) I know technically he didn't do anything physically but in my eyes it was an affair. In some ways the emotional part was more hurtful than anything physical. The combination of that coupled with the fact that he is not truly happy at home with me and the kids. It's just heartbreaking and painfully lonely. I am trying to take care of myself, that is the one piece of advice that has been constant since the start. The only problem with that is it's difficult logistically. I feel guilty leaving him at home with the three kids when I know it's a lot for him to handle right now. I hate the weekends now. During the week he is fine because he is at work most of the time but the weekends are awful because they are so overwhelming for him. again, I would think that he was unhappy with our marriage and want out but it's not just our marriage -- he is overwhelmed and unhappy with the kids. He said they just don't bring him the joy that they used to and he feels like a horrible father and failure. In a way, that helps me realize it is the depression talking and not a fault in our marriage. So I would like to do some things for myself but it's kind of a catch 22 because we are using babysitters frequently for marriage therapy and we are trying to have more "date" nights so I can't see using a babysitter for even more nights just to help me. I have a 6 year old, 4 year old and 9 month old so I don't have alot of free time and we don't have a dedicated babysitter or nanny.

I truly believe he had a breakdown like your husband and it was building for a couple of months as well. My husband has been taking the meds for almost 3 weeks and we have seen an improvement in his energy level which has been good. It's just all the stuff in his head that needs to get clear. Thank you for responding, I really did need to hear that someone else has gone through something similar and it sounds like you have come out on the other side successfully. I hope you and your husband are enjoying each other again. It sounds like if you can get through this it can make your marriage stronger. I am hoping for that.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40595
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
You really do have to make time for just you. Even if it is only 30 minutes a day. Make it a ritual. Like a soothing bath in the evening with music and candles. Just time to relax. I think it would give you more energy in the long run. You are an important part of the family. You can't keep making allowances for worrying about everybody else and not yourself. So even if it is just a little bit of time, do it for you. Like I said, you will have more energy for everybody else in the long run.

Best wishes

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


moto
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/18/2009 9:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Glasshalffull,

I am glad I could help, if only to let you know there are others that have gone through this and survived. I read something last night that gave a good description of what goes on in the depressed mind. When the mind is depressed, and remember this is a chemical imbalance, their minds race and revisit every bad memory that has ever happend.

The depressed mind can also rewrite history, which is what my husband did, in a way that makes it all negative and erases any positive. He actually 'forgot' our marriage for a few days, completely denying we were married. He also felt an overwhelming amount of guilt towards his son (age 21 at the time) and would bring up things that just never did happen. What was difficult while going through this was to realize this wasn't repressed feelings - this wasn't the way he truly felt and was finally sharing (for some reason we are quicker to believe the negative). His delusions even had him watching things on TV and adapting them to fit his history - I learned watching baseball was about the only safe thing at the time. It was very bizarre.

Keep writing and keep your mind strong. I really hope the medications start working and help clear his mind. If this happens, you may be able to have a real conversation with him as to what happened, keeping in mind that he may not have been able to control the things he did or felt at the time, including the emotional affair. I'm not trying to excuse him, but hopefully he heals and you can have a rational discussion in time.

take care,

Moto
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