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How is depression impacting your relationship?


Ashley -> Health Educator
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Hi Meliebean,

Relationship stress can have huge impacts on our happiness and stress levels. Depression can directly impact the quality of our relationships. Depression can also bring out the worst in us. It sounds like there is not a lot of compassion in your relationship, instead there is a lot of blame. This is not uncommon when depression is involved, but clearly unhelpful. Also, it is very common for couples to notice a decline in their relationship satisfaction at the 7 year mark - think 7 year itch.

Are you in a place where you want to work on the relationship? If so, hopefully he is also willing to work on it aswell. Harmful communication patterns like blaming, need focused attention in order to change. Couples counselling with a good counsellor is extremely helpful. You could also check out a few sessions here. First click on "Home" in the top menu. Then click on "More help" on the menu below the top menu. Then click on either the second of third butterfly icon. The second and third sessions offer tools to help in relationships. The more tools your have the better.

Thanks for posting,

Ashley

meliebean
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22 days ago (Edited 22 days ago) 0 meliebean 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo

I think I'm at the end of my relationship! depression has most definitely played a big part in it. I need to move on or something i'm so miserable.


My boyfriend and I both suffer from depression. which makes everything that much more harder. although most of the time I feel like its only him who suffers because i'm irrelevant in his eyes he blames me for everything and I'm the horrible person, because I ridicule him for being depressed that's what he tells me anyway. My story is so long and complicated lol

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a month ago 0 5am 2 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Ashley -> Health Educator @ Sep 19, 2019 3:38:44 PM

Hi 5am,

I am glad you are posting. I am sorry to read that you and your wife are struggling with depression. Depression is extremely hard on the individuals who live with it and on those who love them. I think it is great that you are being so proactive in trying to help your wife. It is clear that you really want your wife to feel better. The thing about depression is it saps our motivation and confidence. This makes achieving goals sometimes seem impossible. Especially when we have negative core beliefs like, "I am just not good enough" or cognitive distortions like, "Nothing I try helps at all, why bother?". Depression can really hold us back.

How does your wife feel about getting treatment for depression? Has she spoken to her doctor about how she is feeling? Would she like to work on CBT, either in the workshop or here? Would she like to work on goals? All of your suggestions were excellent, however, the goals have to come from your wife. What does your wife want to work on? It does not have to be huge lifestyle changes right off the bat. Small goals are still a step in the right direction and achieving small goals can be confidence boosting. She might want to read one session of the program this week and then chose another goal next week? Maybe she wants to try doing a short 15 minute dance session three times a week? When depressed even small goals can seem daunting and are a huge achievement if even attempted. Allow your wife to decide on her own goals and remind her that you are there for support her.

I think it is great that you have decided to seek counselling for yourself. It sounds like you love your wife very much and the depression is taking a toll on you. I think it is very important that you communicate how you are feeling with your wife. Not just the positive stuff but also the negative stuff. It is totally valid to want your wife to feel proud of you and trust you. It sounds like she is already feeling insecure; so, talking about these issues may bring up a lot of defensiveness. It is typical for any human (whether depressed or not) to get defensive when their partner brings up "issues". Typically expect a bit of defensiveness when saying something that could be perceived as negative. Keep in mind though that even if your partner is appearing defensive, you still likely planted a seed. Be sure to use a lot of "I feel" statements and do not be afraid to voice your needs. How would your wife like you to support her in working on the depression? How would you like your wife to support you in also living with the depression? The issue you are both working on is the depression - if you can tackle it as a supportive team, it will be easier on both of you. You may also want to consider couples counselling to help you to work through many of the issues you mentioned.

I asked a lot of questions in this post, so please take your time in finding the answers. I am looking forward to reading more form you,

Ashley


Ashley -> Health Educator
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Hi 5am,

I am glad you are posting. I am sorry to read that you and your wife are struggling with depression. Depression is extremely hard on the individuals who live with it and on those who love them. I think it is great that you are being so proactive in trying to help your wife. It is clear that you really want your wife to feel better. The thing about depression is it saps our motivation and confidence. This makes achieving goals sometimes seem impossible. Especially when we have negative core beliefs like, "I am just not good enough" or cognitive distortions like, "Nothing I try helps at all, why bother?". Depression can really hold us back.

How does your wife feel about getting treatment for depression? Has she spoken to her doctor about how she is feeling? Would she like to work on CBT, either in the workshop or here? Would she like to work on goals? All of your suggestions were excellent, however, the goals have to come from your wife. What does your wife want to work on? It does not have to be huge lifestyle changes right off the bat. Small goals are still a step in the right direction and achieving small goals can be confidence boosting. She might want to read one session of the program this week and then chose another goal next week? Maybe she wants to try doing a short 15 minute dance session three times a week? When depressed even small goals can seem daunting and are a huge achievement if even attempted. Allow your wife to decide on her own goals and remind her that you are there for support her.

I think it is great that you have decided to seek counselling for yourself. It sounds like you love your wife very much and the depression is taking a toll on you. I think it is very important that you communicate how you are feeling with your wife. Not just the positive stuff but also the negative stuff. It is totally valid to want your wife to feel proud of you and trust you. It sounds like she is already feeling insecure; so, talking about these issues may bring up a lot of defensiveness. It is typical for any human (whether depressed or not) to get defensive when their partner brings up "issues". Typically expect a bit of defensiveness when saying something that could be perceived as negative. Keep in mind though that even if your partner is appearing defensive, you still likely planted a seed. Be sure to use a lot of "I feel" statements and do not be afraid to voice your needs. How would your wife like you to support her in working on the depression? How would you like your wife to support you in also living with the depression? The issue you are both working on is the depression - if you can tackle it as a supportive team, it will be easier on both of you. You may also want to consider couples counselling to help you to work through many of the issues you mentioned.

I asked a lot of questions in this post, so please take your time in finding the answers. I am looking forward to reading more form you,

Ashley

5am
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a month ago 0 5am 2 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo

Hello,

My wife of 11 years has struggled with depression and anxiety for her entire life. It seems to be genetic within her family, coupled with a challenging childhood. Over the years, she has had better times and worse times.

Right now seems to be not the worst she’s ever been, but she’s definitely struggling.

She’s 36 and we have two children now in full-time school. She is a stay-at-home mother and works the lunch program at our kids school.

She has put on some weight over the last few years and is feeling “old and ugly” (her words, not mine). I would never say anything like that to her. And certainly don’t share this belief and I tell her the opposite - “You’re beautiful and I love you!” Years of mental abuse as a child, prevent anything positive I say to her from penetrating her own abusive thoughts.

I believe in living a healthy lifestyle and practice it myself. I have gently encouraged her to do the same - not matter how I approach, she feels my only motivation is for her to “lose weight”. I love my wife and just want her to be happy, healthy and feel good about herself. I understand the benefits of exercise for everyone, and especially those that struggle with depression.

Her negative self-talk has always been a challenge, but it seems to be causing more problems lately. I’m a loyal husband and love my family more than anything. She is beginning to feel jealous about me simply talking to women (the mother of one of our children’s friends and my boss). On two separate occasions within the last month, she has expressed anger towards me because she feels jealous. She tells me she’s worried I’m going to leave her “because why would I stay with her when those other girls are so much more attractive, nice and fun?” No matter what I say, I can’t help her to see that I lover her and want to be with her, not any other woman.

We had a pretty difficult discussion last night as a result of her jealousy about my boss:

  • Her getting help (I found A CBT workshop for her to attend in our city as a starting point)
  • Her doing something more during the day to help her feel more fulfilled (she spends hours watching movies/tv/on facebook)
  • Her dream was always to be a writer - so I encouraged her to write. She wrote a book, so I have encouraged her to self-publish it, but she refuses to publish it (she says it’s not good enough) or even pick up writing again
  • Setting daily goals so she can start to feel a sense of accomplishment
  • Exercising regularly
  • Taking care of the home

She was extremely defensive and said I sounded like some “motivational speaker” and it was “all stupid garbage and wouldn’t work”. She doesn’t want to do anything more than what she is currently doing. I have tried many times over the years to get her to think about what she might like to do when the kids are both in school full-time (like now), and it has always ended negatively with her “not knowing” and then “not wanting to talk about it anymore”.

I’m a very driven person. I genuinely like people and enjoy self improvement and growth. I can’t help but feel my wife and I are growing apart. I feel like her lack of desire to do anything is actually having an impact on her ability to be proud of me for what I’m doing and the success I’m having. It’s beginning to weigh on me... The person that’s supposed to love me and support me the most is noticeably silent. I want her to be proud of me.

I’m really hoping she will accept help. In addition to this post, I am going to seek help for myself.

Thanks you for reading.

Ashley -> Health Educator
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Thank you for sharing EmileeM.

We all need a little tough love sometimes. What have you been doing differently since the conversation with your partner?

Hope to read more from you soon,

Ashley

EmileeM
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a month ago 0 EmileeM 1 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo

Depression impacts my relationship by hijacking my emotional state of mind, inciting sabotaging thoughts, and draining my partners empathy and compassion. I'm a dramatic person on the best of days, but when I really get bogged down in a depressive state, I feel like everything is going to fall apart, nothing is good enough in my relationship, and I become more self critical as well. Irrational thoughts are predominant such as Im not pretty or thin enough, I dont know enough about his hobbys or interests, he will just break up with me so why are we even together. Recently this has caused a significant rift and my partner spoke to me with an uncharacteristically hard love approach saying that I just need to get my stuff together, and choose to be happy because I am otherwise going to continue this cycle of depression and it's really quite hard on him to deal with. He also has depression so we often trigger it in each other. I think, for whatever reason, I work better under pressure and this "do something or I cant deal" ultimatum actually has helped light a fire under my butt to take some steps towards healing. It's strange when empathy, sweetness, understanding, and kindness only create a soft spot to land for a depressed version of me and seem to perpetuate the state. They are pparently not traits that are as helpful in my significant other as I thought I needed.

Ashley -> Health Educator
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Hi Empty,

I am glad you have thought about seeing someone. When you do decide to go, I would love to hear about it.

The "More Help" section can be tricky to find. Here is some instructions: Once you are logged in, click on the "Home" button on the top menu. Once on the program homepage you will notice "More Help" in a menu below the top menu. Once in the "More Help" section you will notice a number of butterflies. The second and third butterflies focus on relationship focused CBT. The other butterflies are also helpful. I recommend working on one session a week, so that you do not overwhelm yourself. I hope the instructions made sense. If you still have trouble let me know.

Hope to hear more from you soon!

Take care,

Ashley

Empty13
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3 months ago +1 Empty13 2 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo

Hi Ashley

Seeing a couples councillor might help and we are open to doing it.

You mentioned checking out a section about relationships under More help .. how do I find it? I’m new to this site and am having a bit of a problem navigating around.


Thx

Ashley -> Health Educator
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Hi Empty,

I'm sorry to hear you feel you are losing connection with your wife. After 17 years together, I can understand why this loss of connection would be upsetting. It sounds like you have tried to communicate your concerns, but the problems still persist. Have you two considered couple's counselling? A counsellor can help you to identify and address unhealthy or unfulfilling patterns. I highly recommend. You may also want to check out the Relationships section under "More help." In my opinion, relationships are always a work in progress. I know the lack of connection is painful now; but, this discomfort may push you two to put in the necessary work that will make your relationship stronger. Things can get better.

Ashley


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