Trying to "stand by my man" - advice?

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Really Trying
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/13/2007 10:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I have googled many depression sites and read articles about depression to try to understand my husband.  We have been married almost four years.  He has been dealing with depression throughout his life, although I was not aware of it until after we were married.
 
After our first year of marriage, I realized we just were not connecting on all levels and I started feeling that our marriage was a painted picture and not truly happiness because of the lack of emotionality and intimacy from him.  After many discussions, I realized his situation... our situation.  I urged him to go to counseling because I was/am not trained to help someone with depression.  I also told him it is unfair to himself and to our marriage to not seek help.
 
So here we are, nearing our 4th anniversary.  Last year we had a daughter and I am 2-3 months away from delivering twins.  I can't help but feel that I am the only glue that is holding things together for us.  He still has not gone to counseling after I have asked him time and time again.
 
Here's the twist:  last year while I was pregnant he cheated on me.  It wasn't intercourse, but it was a Clinton situation if you catch my drift, and it was only one time.  It completely shattered my faith and trust.  I wanted to end the marriage right away.  He accepted responsibility, told me everything, and discussed his depression with me - not so much using it as an excuse for his infidelity but to try to explain to me where his head was at that time.  He said that we had been in such a bad state for months and one night he just did not think of anything at all and it just happened.  Ouch, yes, it hurt me very badly.
 
After marriage counseling and a promise to seek out his own counseling for his depression, I decided to stay in the marriage.  As hard as it is, I can forgive the one instance of infidelity.  But I am still let down by the fact that it seems like there is no effort from him to address his depression.  I am desperately trying to support him.  He says he needs me and that I am right for him and that he is committed to this marriage.  I have read that depression becomes disabling, so I am trying hard to give him the benefit of the doubt.
 
But it has been a year since yet another promise to seek out his own counseling and it still has not happened.  How long am I supposed to be "superglue"?  I can only have the strength to carry on the happiness for us and our daughter for so long, especially with two more on the way.  I have asked many times in many different ways for him to get help:  in the most concerned way, the nicest way, in a more firm way, through tears and heartache, and in an angry way... of course the latter as more and more time goes by.
 
I found this site tonight because I am at my wits end.  Any advice?

Sorry this was so long... but I do appreciate any input. 
 
Thanks, Mia

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 6/14/2007 12:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Mia and Welcome to HealingWell,
 
I am glad that you have found us. You will find that there are many people here who find that depression is the "3rd person" in a relationship. Either they are living with it or their partner is, so you are surrounded by people who understand. I really hope you find the love and support you need here. This is a link (http://www.healingwell.com/depression/) to the depression resource centre here at HW. You may find some information of use to you there.
 
In a sense, seeking councelling for depression is similar to quitting smoking or abstaining from alcohol. (Bear with me on this one!) Unless your husband can see that there is a problem (and I mean REALLY see) and unless he is ready to tackle the problem, he is unlikely to seek council since (to him) there is no point) In the same way that alcoholics and smokers need to be ready to change, so do depressives. All you can do is try to give him the support and some gentle encouragement. I know it must be difficult at the moment with the twins.
 
Warmest Wishes
 
Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 6/14/2007 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Mia
Welcome to the forum,I am very glad that you found us,and I hope you find the support you are looking for.
Darren has given you excellent advice.
I just wanted to add a couple things.
Men are very stubborn. It is like pulling teeth to get them to the doctor. I think it is because that society has taught them to be the strong ones,and they do not like to show weakness. Some will try to keep up with that even if it is tearing the ones they love apart. Now,we as depressed people will also take it out on the ones that we love. I think we do this because we do not feel as though we deserve the love.

You need to take a step back and realize that you can not fix him. You have to keep yourself healthy for your kids.
I suggest you going into counseling for yourself. You should not keep this all bottled up inside that is not fair.
The situation that he is putting you in is not fair...especially when you are going to have 3 small children to worry about.
Once you are in therapy,then you can ask him to go. If he refuses then at some point what can you do?
By showing him that his depression is having such a negative effect on you,I am hoping he will follow your lead and get some help.
Keep in mind again,it is going to be very hard for him to admit that he has a problem.

Please stay strong and keep us posted.

Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
www.healingwell.com/donate


www.myspace.com/ShynSassy315

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


harry4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 6/14/2007 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
has he tried any antidepressant meds, they can help a lot, generic prozac is cheap and probably as good as any

recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
emails are welcome but do mention healingwell to avoid risk of deletion as spam


Haapy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/14/2007 10:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Really

Mia,

 

Your words sound like my EX-wife’s before she left. She too tried and tried to help me she even felt she was holding our family together and most likely was.  She had to continually ask me to take my meds.   She took it for 10 years and could take no more.

 

I think the question you are asking is why will he not take care of this?

I can not answer for him but I can tell you why I did not take care of mine.

 

  1. I have always been ashamed of my depression.  
  2. Her constant badgering caused me to go deeper into the depression.  (Not that she was wrong)  She might say GO TO THE DOCTOR.  I heard you are a weak peace of crap.
  3. Being ashamed made counseling out of the question. Going to a counselor I would be faced with the reality, I have depression.  That wasn’t going to happen.
  4. I too dealt with depression for a long time.  That foggy, far away, isolated hell that I lived in, some how was comfortable, home, all I knew and I was scared to leave it.  Also in that place there is only room for one.       
  5. I was incapable of thinking clearly.  You tell a normal person to go the doctor.  They go. You tell a normal person to get out of bed, they do it.  They are mentally able to of do it.  I was not.

 

Do I whished I would have done more, got out of bed and went to the doctor.  YES but I was incapable.  Our lived was unfair to her.  She wanted more and deserved more.  Here is the sad part I only got that after she was gone.  To little to late.      

 

I wish you luck and I hope he is smarter than I and pulls his head out and realizes what is at stake.    


ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 6/15/2007 3:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Haapy
thank you so much for the man's point of view!!!



Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Currently taking none.
www.healingwell.com/donate


www.myspace.com/ShynSassy315

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"


Singer69
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 6/15/2007 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I am finding that people in a depressed state are very hard to reason with logically. As Haapy stated, he can look back and it makes sense now, but he was unable to see it for what it was worth while he was in it. It's like when you step on a nail or something sharp. Your brain automatically avoids the pain on that foot and compensates by adjusting to the other foot, limping, not putting pressure on the injured foot, etc. It's the same thing with mental pain - in my opinion - your brain avoids the pain and the unknown by simply avoiding the subjects that are uncomfortable or situations that just don't seem as if you are capable of dealing with. It's automatic when you are in that state.

I've tried giving my wife the point of view that I've read so many times about with women who have gone through a depression. I've tried to get her to see that if she leaves that she'll regret it someday because she's avoiding the real issues (not to mention we have five kids and she has a husband who loves her more than anything). She's slowly coming around, but there was a time that she just would not (or could not) see the forest for the trees and it was freakin' scary for me. She seemed to be a completely different person than the one I married. It's very hard to reconcile someone you've known as one way for sooooo long and then hear things coming out of their mouth that they themselves ripped other people for saying in the past as irresponsible. *sigh*

I wish you luck Mia. As someone suggested to me, maybe you could show your husband this site/forum and the feedback you are getting. If he'll look at it, that might be enough to "snap" him out of it or at the very least show him a different point of view than yours (something that I've needed myself since I'm the "face of the opposition" most of the time with my wife).

Or, does he have a close friend with whom you could confide and possibly gain as an ally? Maybe this friend could get through to your husband in a way that you can't.

Take care,

Rick...

Really Trying
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 6/16/2007 11:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for all of your feedback and advice. It has been very helpful because I really did not know what to do. Reading other posts and the perspectives of those who are suffering from depression helps me understand my husband better and to try to be more patient and also realistic at the same time. Hearing the advice from those who also have depressed spouses has been a true eye opener.

Darren -

I never really thought of depression as you described, and I think that is the perspective that I needed. After reading this forum I now realize that my husband cannot help these feeling he is having. I am such a positive, upbeat person that I do not understand why he is so hard on himself and how he can let himself have these thoughts. So as you pointed out, the first step is to admit that he has a problem. He has admitted that he thinks he is depressed again but he says it is not like before (he had one very serious bout of depression two years before we met and he was able to bring himself out of that state). I guess the next step is for him to finally get treatment for it... he never did before.

Shy -

I agree - men are very stubborn about going to the doctor! (no offense to the male audience!) I keep trying to get him to call and make an appointment, but he keeps giving excuses as to why he hasn't and it just baffles me. I have tried giving a deadline, but that hasn't worked either. And I hate asking him if he has an appointment yet. I feel like such a nag, although I only ask every every other week. I almost wonder if I went ahead and made an appointment for him if he would even go? I am not sure if I should offer to go or not? I want to support him, but I also feel like he should want to fix his situation so that we can be happy and our family can be happy. And I think this should be a very personal thing for him, I might be too biased in a session that is meant to help him. I think your suggestion is good about my own counseling - for the last month I have thought about going back to our marriage counselor to talk about the current situation.

Harry4 -

I do not think my husband has ever taken any antidepressants. When he did have a very bad bout of depression two years before we met, he told me that he finally just had to keep thinking happy thoughts and after focusing on these he finally brought himself out of that depression. I am really hoping that through getting some professional help that some medication will be prescribed to help him.

Haapy -

I am wondering how long this battle will be... 10 years for you and your ex-wife is a long time. I love my husband very much and I want to believe that we can be happy and that we can raise our children together. I think I see the same trait in my husband - I guess he is ashamed of his depression, but I always thought of it as "uncomfortable" - but only because I did not know how to label his feelings about his depression. I really try not to badger him about it too much, but then after a month I get really frustrated and then blow up - which probably does not help the situation but then I cannot help myself. It is very scary for me to to think that depression is comfortable for him. I am very sorry to hear that in the end it did not work out for you and your ex-wife. I feel that people turn to divorce too quickly, and I do admit that my mind has wandered in that direction a couple times, but I keep fighting those thought. Sometimes I can't help but second guess myself and wonder if someone else would be able to get him out of his depression, someone with a different personality since I can be pretty frank and direct about touvhy situations, which he is not. He tells me that it is our marriage and the desire to be a good father are the two things that keep him from going into a deeper depression. I keep trying to tell myself to believe this and to hang on.

Rick -

I really hope that you are nearing some resolution to your situation with you and your wife. This is what I am hoping for as well and from the sounds of all the posts and replies I see this is going to be a long battle. I, too, have to believe that once they do "come out of the forest" that a tremendous reward awaits both of us. My husband was not like this when we got married either, and it has been excrutiatingly painful to feel us becoming more distant rather than closer ovr the years because of his depression. I have really tried to get him to talk to a friend about it, but he seems to have closed himself off from his friends. I contact his friends to coordinate get-togethers more than he does. One good friend of his is very aware of his serious bout with depression. I was thinking of talking with her to ask if she thinks she should talk with him. Do you think this would be helpful?

Everyone - Thank you all for your advice and thank you to anyone who offers more insight and suggestions to my situation. I am hoping that we will soon reach a milestone of my husband actually making an appointment with a counselor. I was really hoping it was going to be last week since he is at a stage of saying that he will make an appointment, versus in the past where he would say "maybe".

Does it help for a spouse to go to be part of the healing process and attend the counse;ing sessionor is it better for him to go alone?

Mia

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 6/17/2007 12:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Mia,
 
Im glad you liked my analogy. I thought it was quite good (Although too simple) myself... *Notice the swelling head!* LOL I hope you manage to get the healing process started soon. With reference to you attending the councelling sessions... People may have opposing views on this but I believe that initially it should be him on his own (So that he is free to talk about anything without worrying about what you might feel) but towards the end, I think it is a good idea for you to come in (Say the last 2 sessions) just to help bring you closer together.
 
I hope this helps
 
Darren
Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
Moderator - Epilepsy Forum
Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
Help support the forums so we can support you:  http://www.healingwell.com/donate
 


Haapy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 6/17/2007 2:03 AM (GMT -7)   

Mia,

 

My wife and I had a good 7 years and I agree people turn to divorce too easily. In the end her badgering and frustration made her the enemy.  The women and person I loved most in the world, the mother to my son and best friend was the enemy in my mind.  

 

My statement, depression being comfortable refers to the fact that if you life in a place for so long it becomes home, it’s what you know and hence were you are most comfortable.  I am in no way saying its right nor is it a place I want to dwell.  I am simply stating it as a fact for me.    

 

I did not get the consequences of my action or lack of actions until after my wife was gone. Until after she picked up my son and walked the door.  Your husband statement “He tells me that it is our marriage and the desire to be a good father is the two things that keep him from going into a deeper depression.” There was a ton of truth in those words for me. After my wife left I ended up in a mental institution and at a level of depression I never had before and this level of depression is not comfortable. With that said I say this, today I don’t blame her for leaving.  Hell I would leave myself if I could.  She did the right thing for her and by the grace of God as put me on a road to some sort if recovery.  For instance I wrote this without crying. (YAY ME)  

 

Also here something, I only seem to deal with my depression when I have too.  When the situation is so bad, all aspects of life are in ruins and I am looking at being desolate that I rise up and triumph over my depression.

 

Ron


Singer69
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 197
   Posted 6/19/2007 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
"I really hope that you are nearing some resolution to your situation with you and your wife. This is what I am hoping for as well and from the sounds of all the posts and replies I see this is going to be a long battle. I, too, have to believe that once they do "come out of the forest" that a tremendous reward awaits both of us. My husband was not like this when we got married either, and it has been excrutiatingly painful to feel us becoming more distant rather than closer ovr the years because of his depression. I have really tried to get him to talk to a friend about it, but he seems to have closed himself off from his friends. I contact his friends to coordinate get-togethers more than he does. One good friend of his is very aware of his serious bout with depression. I was thinking of talking with her to ask if she thinks she should talk with him. Do you think this would be helpful?"

Hi Mia,

Things have been a bit better the past week with my wife (not counting my eggs just yet, but it's a little encouraging nonetheless), thanks. One thing that I've noticed is that she does go all over the place, but it's helped that I haven't wavered. At the beginning, I went all over the place right along with her and her swings, but that was disastrous for both of us. about a month ago, I started concentrating on staying my course, which is getting her the help she needs and being there for her. That's it. I stopped trying to keep her from running (it was an empty threat) and stopped talking about working on the marriage (it was putting pressure on her). Once I made that switch to a more solid stance, she did try and push even harder (others on this forum and another one on the web told me that they had done the same thing to their husband, so I didn't let her get the best of me and stayed on track) and it did get very difficult, but it just might be working based on recent events.

Who knows? This is all new to me as it is to you, so I'm just trying to share my experiences so that maybe we can all learn from each other's mistakes and triumphs. What would we do without the Internet??

As far as your husband is concerned, him distancing himself from friends is very typical I'm finding. My wife has done the same thing. It's understandable. I wouldn't want my friends thinking that I'm nuts or judging me on my crack-head decisions or attitude. I would try and have his friend talk to him if I were you - I have said many,many things to my wife that she refused to listen to but when our therapist said the same thing, she heard it...we might be too close to get through. But I will warn you about something that I went through. My wife had isolated herself so much that she really only had one friend and her mom to talk to. In desperation, I had called her mom and her friend last month simply to let them know what I was dealing with and to share with them my concerns with my wife. They were very receptive, but my wife felt that I was taking away the only people she had left to talk to in the world (according to her).

I'd recommend speaking to your husband's friend and ask that she simply check in with him (since she is already aware of the situation) and maybe suggest getting help. If his friend is okay with it, maybe she can not mention that the two of you spoke. I know that it may seem underhanded to some, but considering that you and her are both concerned with him and have the best intentions, I don't see a problem with keeping that call from your husband for the time being. Maybe she could get through to him when you can't. That is worth the risk if you ask me.

Feel free to Email me any time.

Take care,

Rick...
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