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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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
I’m on here today because I feel out of control. I feel so lost in my marriage, I’m having a very hard time trying to be the supportive and fun loving wife that I used to be to my wife. I’ve become insecure and somewhat controlling because our connection is gone and when I communicate that to her I feel she just doesn’t understand where I’m coming from. She just says things to make me happy but then that causes issues because she doesn’t follow through on what she says.
My head keeps asking, after 17 years how did we end up this way? I’ve talked to her so much about this that I feel I’m loosing my mind. I feel so sad and empty.
I"m new here as of today, not really sure if i"m depressed or just partially. I"m here to find out if I can find out if my relationship is salvageable? My girlfriend (or ex) , is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. I just want things to be where we started. The best part is we still talk everyday.I know that is what got me here. Just looking for the help I need. Thanks
Depression can make a big impact on all our relationships. We can be more irritable, appear more lethargic and disinterested. We also may want to isolate from other people. Depression itself can effect our sex drives but also, many antidepressants effect our sex drives too! It can be really hard to manage healthy relationships with depression - but it is not impossible.
To get the conversation started, how is depression impacting your relationship(s).