Depressed Spouse and I want out

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/15/2007 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   
So, now I'm the bad guy.
Spouse has been depressed since 2003 and only in November 2006 did she agree to see a pyschiatrist and admit to being depressed.  Now, she is on medication and has good days and bad.
For many years she would 1. deny she was depressed, 2. refuse to attend therapy that I set up with a shrink for couples, 3. refuse to see that shrink by herself, stopped going after 2 or 3 visits.  I would defend her against her mother who insisted (correctly) that she was depressed.   I found the last couples therapist we went to in the fall, therapy which failed.   I have tried for 4 years.   
She won't:  1. work, 2. mind our 2.5 year old son (he's in day care now, better than being cooped up on the house), 3. walk the dog (her dog), 4. clean up after the dog, 5. shop or leave the house, except to smoke, 6. reconnect with her friends or make new ones.
She does:  1. go week or so without showering, 2. watch lots of TV, 3. blame me for wanting to leave her,  4. calls on me to do "more" for her (in addition to being the sole breadwinner, and taking the boy most weekend, all weekend--not complaining, I will take him always), 5. get upset when I want to go out and see my friends (which is 2-3x per month; I'm always home by 9-10pm). 
So, my therapist says I'm selfish to leave, since she's asked me to stay until she gets better--that was in November 2006.  Now, she is putting restrictions on when i got out, which is not often and get mad when I do go out. "Have more sympathy" she says, "be patient" she says. 
I'd like to hear from some of you and ask: is it reasonable to expect more emotional support from me?  What is a reasonable time before I can leave--dependent on her improvement, how is that measured?  What kind of pychological damage is causing me--how do I weigh that?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 3/15/2007 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW tongue
Well, it's been interesting reading your post and possibly seeing what the other half puts up with at times..but over a 4 year time span I can only imagine your frustration and really must love your wife..actually I am kinda proud of you for sticking around and helping her out!
So, now she is starting to have Good days amongst the Bad ones so that's cool and means her meds are probably kicking in!
Lots of praise for little steps are needed now. But I feel that it's almost time to stop running around after her quite so much to encourage her independence..from what you have posted she has become very dependent on you almost to the point of trying to control your every move!
Do you think your wife would like to post here at HW? There are lots of people who can really make a difference to both your lives and I am sure will relate to her plight as well as yours :-)
What was your wife diagnosed with exactly? And what meds is she taking?
What you decide to do relationship wise will be your decision and only you can know what is right for you, your wife and your little boy.
Take good care.
Forum Moderator - Depression
Forum Moderator - Anxiety-Panic Disorders
"In any moment of decision,
the best thing you can do is the right thing,
the next best thing is the wrong thing,
and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 3/15/2007 7:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Google Depression Fallout. That site will help you alot, has lots of information.

Right now your focus has to be on your child. He's so young and doesn't know what is going on. Your wife NEEDS to work on herself, but noone can force her to do that until she is ready, or she hits her rock bottom. She's familiar with where she is now, it's safe - She doesn't have to change...Change to her is scary and unfamiliar territory.

Keep yourself busy, go out with your son, make plans with friends and get her parents/family/sister involved in helping you out.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 540
   Posted 3/15/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
was just gonna recommend that site myself! Good luck!
dx: fibromyalgia, IBS-C,Myofacial Pain Syndrome, Chronic Headaches, hypothyroidism,anemia, insomnia,mild depression.
Clonazapam .25mgs, Oxy IR 2.5-3xs/day 5 mgs at bedtime, Synthroid, Zopiclone, flexeril or baclafen.
Supplements:  Licorcise extract, Seriphos, professional vit/mineral, magnesium/malic acid, B#5, probiotic, Ester C
Daughter Jerica 17, Dx: Crohn's, Imuran 200 mgs, amitriptyline 20mgs, fish oil, lactaid pills, calcium 1000 mgs/day. Forvia
Jerimiah 29:11                      

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 3/15/2007 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   

I guess I will be the outlier here and go against the tide. 

I won't tell you that you are the bad guy (not that anyone here has said that) and I won't tell you to stay.  You have the right to take care of yourself and the responsibility to take care of your child.  I know this issue from both sides as both my husband and I have dealt with depression.  Fortunately for us, neither one of us has been hit with it at the same time and the other is able to pick up the slack.  We both respond to treatment very well and have a great life together despite the challenges.

I am wondering if your mother-in-law can be of any support for you.  She sensed that something wasn't right.  That isn't a criticism of you but rather a parent being concerned for her child.  Perhaps together you can provide a support system for your child. 

Your wife has to be able to take charge of her recovery or there won't be one.  You can't make her do that.  Taking care of yourself and your child does not mean giving up on her but rather allowing the responsibility to be her's for what is going on in her life.  I believe in loyalty and committment but I also know that you are the only one that can make the decisions for you.  You have received some great advice here about support and places to find information.

Walk in harmony

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 3/15/2007 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
i'm going to agree with stronglady.  people are either supportive and stimulate your growth or they are toxic.  your wife, from what you say, falls ino the latter catagory.
i agree that she is probably too dependent on you and is controlling.  to her, nothing you do will ever "prove that you love me."  she is mistaking "doing for" and "getting" with love.  they ae very different entities.
i also agree that your child is the most important thing in the world and it is your job, as his father, to protect him.  that is always a partent's number 1 responsibility. it is a responsibility that you should not - cannot - abandon.
i've heard people say, "the child is too young to know what's going on.  it won't hurt him/her."  that's pure brown stuff that is excreted through the anus.  a child might not have the words to correspond to the emotion, but the child will still feel the emotion that is permiating his/her environment.  toxic environments pollute children.
the catholic church has a stand that once joined, a couple cannot separate for any reason other than death.  i respectfully disagree.  i would rather be in a one-parent family than be in a toxic environment,
i am not telling you to separate or divorce.  i am giving you input for you to identify and carefully weigh your alternatives.
hope this helps.  and good luck.
That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 3/16/2007 6:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree that you need to think about your son at this point.
And you need to think about YOU.
It sounds to me like you have done alot more than most people would have done. I only wish for someone to have stepped in when I was at my worse like you have done for your wife.

And Warren is right on the money about the toxic environment. I was married for 13 yrs to a man that was abusing me both emotionally and physically. I stayed for that long because I thought it was best for the kids. Wrong!

It made their lives miserable.
And even at your sons age,he is still feeling the stress and the anger of the environment.

I too am not telling you to leave,I am just encouraging you to take care of yourself and your son. And sometimes in order to survive we have to make hard choices.

Please keep us posted and stay strong,and continue being a great dad!!

Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

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

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/16/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Everyone, thanks for taking the time to post a reply. I will forward this forum to her and see if she takes to it. We're generally pleasant to each other so the situation is not always toxic, but it certainly is stressful and I think my son picks up on that. Moving out is the next step, I'm just gonna rent a room nearby and plan on spending time there, increasing the frequency until I'm there full time. Certainly, I love this woman very much and care for her well being--not just for her but for my son. But for me, there's no returning to this marriage. Glad I found this site.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 172
   Posted 3/16/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
My own experience only, but if I'm not medicated, my boyfriend putting up with my depression sometimes may allow me to get worse. Sometimes, I think that the more he takes care of me, the deeper I allow myself to fall, just because I can. Maybe it has to do with not having consequences for my actions. I don't feel like I control the reaction, but can see it in hindsight. I'm not implying that depression isn't a real psychiatric issue, just not discounting that it's effected by outside stimuli.

Sometimes a good swift kick in the rear-end can wake me up.

How long has your wife been taking meds and what is she on? Anti-depressants can take a long time to work, but it's been since November, it's been too long, IMHO.

I wish you and your family the best.


Dx: FMS/CMP/DDD - 2 ACFs with more to follow, scoliosis, unlevel hips
Rx: Cymbalta, Soma, Zanaflex, EC Naprosyn, Ambien CR, Lortab and Percocet.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 3/16/2007 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Encourage your wife to check out this site. We would all be willing to listen and help her the best we can.
She is in a deep deep rut and know one knows what will bring her out of it.

Good luck and stay strong!

Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

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

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/19/2007 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have any advice for you, cause I'm in pretty much the same situation. But just wanted to send this to let you know your not alone and that I sympathize with you. Good luck and my prayers are with you.

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