The first fact about depression and marriage you should know is that depression in marriage is very often confused with monotony in marriage.
This is why married couples or those in long term relationship are encouraged by therapists to fight against the monotony in their marriage.
Another fact about depression and marriage is that even thought a wife or a husband is predominantly expressing symptoms of depression they are both part of her or his depression.
This doesn’t mean that a husband is responsible for his wife’s depression or vice versa. However it does mean that they can help one another greatly as well as making one another feel even worse.
Lastly, depression and marriage can coexist a long time without obvious symptoms of depression. This means that a couple can be depressed as a couple and not as separate individuals.
Frequent Questions about Depression and Marriage
How to cope with depressed spouse?
Living with a depressed spouse can be very difficult and challenging especially if you have children. The best way of coping with a depressed spouse is to become a part of his or her treatment. Educate yourself about your loved one’s disorder. Go to psychological counseling for depression and learn how to appropriately support your spouse in time of his or her need.
Good intentions are not enough! If you want to help someone you need to know how to do it first. Many loving husbands and wives are trying their best to help their partners but with little or no success. In fact many of them are only making their loved ones feel even worse.
For example, there are husbands that try to cheer up their depressed wives and when that doesn’t work they feel stressed, which in return makes their wives even more depressed.
Depressed people are depressed; they suffer from a mental disorder. This means that they are not just being sad or in a bad mood. Which further means that they don’t need cheering up and that they cannot just snap out of their depression. In fact any attempts of cheering up would most likely make a depressed individual even more depressed and irritated.
Let’s illustrate what is said above. Imagine a loving husband on one side and a loving but depressed wife on the other. Because the husband loves his wife and wishes her to feel better he tries to cheer up his wife with a gift. Wife takes a gift a throws it on the floor and with tears in her eyes says to her husband: “you will never understand me”.
Husband picks up the gift that he knows she always wanted and feels frustrated. In that frustration he tells his wife: “You are very difficult to understand, you are never satisfied with anything” and walks out. Wife stays in the room crying and feeling even worse than she did before her husband showed up with the gift.
How to help a depressed spouse?
This is one of the most frequent questions about depression and marriage and the answer is that you cannot cure your loved one but you can be part of his or her treatment.
The best way to help a depressed spouse is to get her or him in psychotherapy and to take part in family therapy. In family therapy you will learn all you need to know about your spouse’s disorder and how to properly support him or her.
If your spouse refuses to go to psychotherapy you should not put pressure on him or her. Instead of insisting on it you should find some other way to get him or her in contact with a psychotherapist.