Another husband with a depressed wife.

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jparram
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/14/2007 8:54 PM (GMT -7)   
So...how does one learn to live with a wife who suffers from depression? We both go to counselors and we have learned a great deal about her depression and her personality. I work in the IT field and tend to be logical when approaching problems in life...logic certainly escapes my wife when she is having a bout with depression. Approaching her with my problems is just asking for a fight. It's like playing russian roulette, I may get the sensible wife who says she understands the problems we are experiencing, or I may get the creature that feels backed into a corner and must fight with all her might to escape the attack.

Learning to see the signs is tough. For instance tonight. She returned from playing Bunco and I was in bed. We have not had sex in a very long time, and I just wanted to have a casual conversation with her about our sex life. These discussions never go well...and tonight was no different. Instead of having a casual conversation about why here libido has disappeared, it quickly turned into a battle about nothing ever being enough and how she hates people like me that can bring about her low feelings. She became furious, packed her bags and left. As of now she says she sees no way out of this battle and never wants to see me again. I'm sure she is on the 'high' or more likely 'low' of this episode and this will pass, but it is still hell.

My thoughts are that we need to attend counseling sessions together on a regular basis. I am just not sure how she can come to terms with the serious bouts of negativity, and I really wonder how well we can cope with this for the rest of our lives. I do not understand the wave of emptiness that fills her when she is under an episode. I would say that they are episodic, and severe...then seem to disperse.

We went for months without an episode. At her last session her counselor felt like her depression was returning. My wife thought nothing of it and brushed it aside...I guess the counselor was right about the depression returning.

She has taken several medications, she is currently using Paxil which has helped the most out of anything else she has taken...That may be due to her depression going into recession and anxiety taking its place. The anxiety may now be dispersing and the depression returning.

I want nothing more than to fill her with happiness, and it is painful that I can not give that to her. She knows she needs help, and she gets help...but why is it so hard to see that she is being irrational during and episode? Why is it so hard to see that all the bad emotions will pass?

djdaz_1985
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 11/15/2007 4:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there and Welcome to HealingWell,

Firstly, I want to welcome you to the forum and I hope that you find all the help and support you need here. We have several members who have depressed wives (Singer69 and Kiwi000 spring to mind as they are quite active on the forums although I know there are more out there) who can offer you better insight to the problem than I can.

I understand how you feel though as I have a sister who behaves in a similar fashion with her boyfriend. All I can suggest is that she continues the therapy as there may be an underlying issue there.

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.
 
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Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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MMMNAVY
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/15/2007 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I do not mean to sound harsh but there is a logic to her reaction. 
In the future perhaps it might be better to approach her about sex when it is a nonthreating time (i.e. when neither one of you are in bed...when there isn't an immediate threat of sex happening) but in a place she feels safe, therapy might be one. In the example that you cited I can see why she would not feel safe sharing her feelings with you. I think perhaps individual therapy, if you do not already do it, for both of you might help the relationship, there are obviously some issues and methods that could be helped.
I do not think it is you intent to hurt your wife, but to put it in perspective an equivlant request is to have you stick your finger or metal rod into the electrical outlet and then tell me in a casual way about how electricity feels while your digit is still in the outlet.
Please do not think that I am trying to make you feel bad, I want you to understand your wife perspective.
 
 p.s. there is no such thing as a casual conversation about sex between sexual partners
 


Forum Moderator 
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/16/2007 6:35:45 AM (GMT-7)


ShynSassy
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 11/16/2007 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Jp

I am sorry that you are going through this,and kudos for you for wanting to help your wife.
I do however agree with Navy,when we are at our lowest the last thing that we can handle is someone bringing up our major problems. I am sure she is aware of what is going on,and it is very frustrating. Her not having any interest in sex is the depression.

See,we tend to push things away that gives us pleasure because we do not think that we deserve it.
That is one of the first signs of depression "do you not do things that you used to enjoy"...

And we take our harsh feelings out on the one that we love. It causes alot of problems with relationships,and alot of relationships are lost due to that.

And again I agree with Navy,talking about sexual problems between partners is such a touchy subject.
Either person wants to bring it up because they do not want to upset the other.
Hence the reason many marriages have problems in that area.

Therapy is a great idea,and you should really think about it.

Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Lexapro,Zyban,Buspar,Clonazepam

Have been med free for 2 years now.

www.healingwell.com/donate

Post Edited (ShynSassy) : 11/17/2007 5:50:18 AM (GMT-7)


jparram
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/16/2007 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the advice Shy and Navy.

I tend to pick the worst times to bring up problems in our relationship...that is something that I have been working on with my therapist. I have a lot to learn and third party perspective seems to bring the point home faster than the unproductive confrontations that I share with my wife. My wife and I have been working on our communication and it has improved a lot, but we still have a ways to go. We have been getting better at backing off before the conversation takes a turn for the worse, though I don't always notice when she is feeling threatened...and she does not always cut me off when she begins to feel threatened.

I have a lot to learn about recognizing the signs, and how to speak without being threatening...I do understand the difference between my wife and the depressed wife and I will always stand by her.

I just wish that I was adept at speaking to her without making her feel threatened when she is down.

jparram
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/16/2007 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
A more direct question. How do we reintegrate sex into our marriage?

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 11/17/2007 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   

I have to be careful how I answer this one since we have minors using the site but I love a challenge! So if my answer sounds a bit vague, its not because I dont know what im talking about, its because I cant use the phrases I want to!

Take it slowly and build it up. Start with simple stuff like cuddling etc... As you move on make it more intimate and more adventurous. Perhaps re-explore each other. After that, consider foreplay. Once you are at a stage where you can make love, role play is a good way to get things going as you can be who you want to be. If your feeling adventurous start to discuss each others fantasy and act it out. Its great because when you dress up, you become someone else and it is easier to detach from your own inhibitions.

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
 


ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 11/17/2007 5:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Darren has said everything that I was thinking.
You have to take it slow,you have to help her understand that she is worthy of being happy and feeling good.

What about a date night? Dinner,a movie? Something you used to do when you first met?
Trying to regain that excitement that all first couples have...



Shy
Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Lexapro,Zyban,Buspar,Clonazepam

Have been med free for 2 years now.

www.healingwell.com/donate


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 11/17/2007 9:25 AM (GMT -7)   
humm... that is really a therapy question but realize she walked away from that conversation thinking that you (husband) thinks that she (wife) is a poor sexual partner (I don't know your wife but after what happened don't expect sex within the next month at the very least, and consider yourself lucky if you get it in six).... so you are going to have to court her and you are both going to have to do some therapy about this...Because this is a core safety issue and you are going to have to win her trust back
You both have alot of personal growth issues to deal with (you seem to hide behind logic...from your post example...well with logic can hide a lack of emotional depth/maturity=lack of safety/consideration for those around you) and if these issues are not dealt with now they will resurface in future times/in other relationships

But some basic stuff let her know that you are thankful for her presence in your life and show her bring her flowers (not a grand gesture, just something to let her know you are thinking about her), kiss her hands (non-threating area-most especially if she brings you something!), and most importantly expect nothing in return for this behavior ...perhaps she will wonder why and just say "I thought you might enjoy them" (make sure you say might with no emphasis here, because if you say "would" that is an order..might is an entreaty)

depression eats at the core of who you are and society reinforces this, my one recomendation is that if you are nothing else be her soft place to fall...she might need unconditional positive reguard from you right now, but then again don't we all need uncondtional positive reguard sometimes... especially from those we love...

Perhaps the story of "johnny lingo and his eight cow wife" might help...so might want to google that

I will add one more thing please don't blame this on her depression, given the situation that you cited any woman (even ones who do not stuggle with depression) would have had a negitive response to your action/approach.

I really feel uncomfortable saying anything more...this is a theraputic issue 


Forum Moderator 
We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants) 
Make sure your suffering has meaning...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 11/17/2007 4:42:02 PM (GMT-7)

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