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Monday, January 19, 2009 TEB, Community Member, asks

Q: Dealing with a depressed wife.



My wife was dignanosed with depression approximately one year ago. She has completely shut down on me and it's causing major problems in our marriage. She treats me like an enemy and it is very difficult to handle. At this point in her life I am the cause of everything that has gone wrong in her life and our relationship. It has also been very difficult on my teenage son.


She has medication but she refuses to take it. How do I convince or persuade her that she needs to take medication? She is completely out of character and not the loving, caring, giving person that I married 21 years ago. I love my wife with all my heart and I am commited to her but I need help dealing with her depression. If anyone can provide any tips or advise it would be appreciated. Thanks!


GOD BLESS you all who have or maybe supporting a depressed person.

Answer This
Answers (25)
Dr. Diana Walcutt, Health Guide
1/19/09 7:21pm


It sounds like the two of you are going through a very hard time. Unfortunately, when we are depressed we can often blame others for our problems, and it can be because we feel helpless to deal with the depression ourselves.

I am curious why your wife refuses to take the medications? Does she fear the side effects, or does she just prefer to be left alone in her pain?

If you attend church, have you spoken with your pastor about this? Sometimes clergy can get through to our loved ones.

I would guess that other family members have tried to reason with her as well. Perhaps she would consider speaking with a therapist who can help her sort some things out, and if she refuses this help, then consider going on your own.

A professional can give you ideas to help your wife, and give you the support you need in the meantime. You can find a therapist in your area at www.psychologytoday.com

Best of luck,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

Howie, Community Member
3/29/10 5:20pm

The full story could take 10,000 words but I'll try to cut to the chase.  I have a beautiful wife of less than 2 years in the throngs of a deep depression.  She has every risk factor, every stressor, every symptom.  We were living with her parents in a 2 family home.  After 10-months to 12 months of bliss, things started to go down hill, but not all at once.  She started giving me no credit for anything good, poured on the blame for the bad.  In one or two arguments she even accused me of things that never happened, and when I called her on it, she had to agree.  Almost hallucinatory.  For the most part we were having some problems that I thought were part of the normal give/take, plus her developing depression.  Plus I was drinking too much for her likeing (for fun, in walking distance, not abusive to her one iota), but we never sat down and really talked about it, I'd just get the evil eye or cold shoulder the next morning and all would be ok, or so I thought.  For months I have seen that she is depressed, said as much to her, but foolishly, did not do any of the right things to encourage treatment.    After a recent drinking episode (I crashed elsewhere, my unsold house to be exact), she threw me out of the house and walled herself in.  She has an overbearing father and a depressed mother (who likely taught my wife how to be depressed) living downstairs that are up her ass all the time, a child with Aspbergers, her unemployment just ran out, she's starting to get hot flashes.  There's more, believe me.  I love this beautiful girl with all my heart.  I think she's been planning this for months, just waiting for her anger grow more and to collide with a decent excuse.  Well, I gave her the excuse.  She's been talking for months with a person she believes is good for her but who is biploar and who only makes matters worse, suggesting that the notion of depression is insulting. They ruminate on everything bad.  She's also egging her on to figure things out on her own.  I'm totally shut out, only one terse phone conversation in a week that seems like it's been a year.   I have incredible odds against me.  I don't care what it takes, I'll do it and my wife knows it.  I think that by throwing me out, she believes all of her problems and bad feelings go away too.  I am most desperate for help.  I know all of the shouldas.  What to do now, how do I get through, just get to the point where she will communicate? 

ttaylor, Community Member
6/29/10 11:42am

I am not a doctor but many doctors like to treat the depression instead of finding out the cause.  Depression can be a symptom of other issues.  I am not sure how old your wife is but the depression could be a symptom of hormone issues in women and also in men.  It could be a symptom of thyroid problems.  Many OBGYN's like to prescribe Prozac instead of addressing the hormonal problems or they prescribe birth control to increase estrogen but most hormonal problems are caused by decreased progesterone and too much estrogen.  You may want to look for a doctor that specializes in hormone imbalances to see if this is an issue.  Many doctors don't even do the proper tests for hormonal imbalances.  They do a blood test and draw the wrong conclusions.  It could be depression but it is probably a hormonal issue if she is having hot flashes. 

Merely Me, Health Guide
1/20/09 8:44am



This is a terribly difficult situation to be in.  You want to help someone who doesn't seem to want your help and even pushes you away.  I applaud you for your efforts to keep making that attempt. 


Anger is definitely part of depression and who do we take it out on?  That old adage, that you always hurt the ones you love is very true.  Know that you are not to blame for your wife's depression.  But she may need to vent and get things out that she needs to. 


Does your wife listen to anyone?  Does she have a general practitioner doctor?  Perhaps he or she could urge her to seek treatment.  Sometimes too, depression is caused by or aggravated by a medical issue like thyroid problems.  Perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree but sometimes you have to rule out medical issues first.


Being a person who suffers from depression myself...what helps most from loved ones is an offer to listen...but not to pressure.  Sometimes a bit of brutal honesty helps too such as being told the effect my behavior has upon others...but it has to be done in such a way as to not be angry, blaming or guilt inducing.  Invitations for small taks or activites are sometimes appreciated such as "Let's take a walk."


Be kind to yourself as well.  There are support groups for spouses of loved ones who suffer from depression.  We have a general support group here for everyone and here is the link.  Sometimes it is very helpful to have the support of people who are dealing with the same situation.


Hang in there and please let us know how things go.

ooh no, Community Member
1/30/10 8:54pm

No good luck story here.


Not sure what to say - since I'm at my wits end.  Before I met my charming wife she was cool, fun and exciting.  Then we got married and now I find out she has been on depression AND bipolar medication.  I did not find this out until we started having fits over small - very small issues.  For example, I came home one night and she cooked a smelly dinner and i said (rather quitely) "Phew".  Well, that threw her into a rant.  We argues for 30 minutes. 


All I can say is if you are in a relationship with someone with depression and/or bipolar - run.  No matter how smart you are you cannot help.   The more you try the more you become more frustrated and it ruins your entire life.  So although I am a fan of marrriage I'm sorry to say you cannot change/help a person - but you can save yourself from guaranteed frustration.  So cut your loses and move on - and look forward to a happier life !!




LP in NC 

DepressionHurts, Community Member
7/14/10 5:30pm

This is a sad story; but it doesn't need to be. I have the same problem that you have - a depressed wife. I have heard all of the worthless advice that you've been given here: be patient, be understanding, be calm and loving, don't take anything personally, and so on. I would like to tell you that this is all nonsense. You do NOT need to be anything. You need NOT act in any particular way. Remember, your partner entered into a 50-50 relationship willingly. As such, she needs to meet her commitments to you: financial, emotional, sexual, etc. Don't be afraid to express your anger with her behaviour if it angers you. Don't be afraid to demand that she keep her commitments Don't be afraid to express yourself in the ways you need to. If you don't you will only become an enabler. You will enable her to act in ways that you cannot tolerate and which are harming your relationship. Sometimes tough love is the only love that works. Best of luck friend.

Merely Me, Health Guide
7/14/10 6:13pm

Just saw this comment come in and had to respond. 


This response borders on giving an excuse for abusive behavior.  So you think that a woman has a "sexual" and "financial" commitment because she is married?  I would like to hear the explanation for this.  What if your spouse gets sick or impaired in some way?  Depression is an illness.  Tough love has nothing to do with trying to control someone or spouting off anger because you feel like it.  Yo can't force someone to be what you want them to be.  I can guarantee you that your method would not be effective.





Seeekingasoulution, Community Member
6/13/12 12:23pm
Agree! If a depressed person could change what is going on they certainly would. It is an insult to tell them to snap out of it, just keep your commitments. Their lives are falling apart around them. Sometimes all we can do as the husband is be there for our wives who are depressed through no fault of their own. Give the the gift of your time and presence and if you can help lead them to the place where they can find healing. Reply
hellablown, Community Member
12/ 5/13 6:29am

My wife always says things that hurt my feelings.. i just dont knoe ehere sll of this is coming from...first dhe tells me that shes not in love eith me anymore...then now shes depressed...she has never in 4 months that eeve been going thru this how i am doing.... whenever i try to tell her what she is doing she gets mad and loud and tells me im making matters worsr... i just want to feel loved...  i dnt skeep in the same bed as her... i just so overwelmed

chris, Community Member
1/26/12 7:55pm

yeah, first of all to merely me, thankyou for your response to depression hurts, you sound like you have brains and a lot of class, that which thisperson does not have. you called the abusive behaviour as it was. to depression hurts-this world would be a much better place without people like you and i think you and all the other abusive skum bags out there need to be locked away from society. i severely pity any person that would ever get into a relationship with you. i hope they see this posting of yours and have the common sense to not touch you with a ten foot pole, you need serious help

True Advice, Community Member
5/ 1/12 5:21pm



You can only be supportive up to a point. Beyond that, you are the one being abused by your wife. You must let her know that if she does not seek help (professional therapy, medication, etc.), that she may lose you. 


Patience is great, but when you are being abused as a result, as I was, I recommend that you have a serious talk about how both of you are being treated and what the likely outcomes will be if the behavior persists. 


It's one thing to have depression, as this may not be her choice, but it's another thing when that same depression is toxic and harmful to the people around her, and she chooses not to seek help. This was my situation and in the end, an ultimatum was the ONLY thing that compelled her to seek professional therapy and medication and ultimately made our relationship what it was (which is great)


Granted, we both are Professionals ourselves (Doctor and Lawyer), so anyone can struggle with this stuff. My advice to fellow men out there is not to buy into the abuse and subject yourself to the advice in this forum (continue to be patient, continue to be supportive). 


I don't appreciate men being given bad advice that subjects them to pain and torment and will not change the outcome. As was said previously, this type of behavior only affirms and enables her outburts and makes you a door mat. Relationships are 50/50 and if she fails to do her part, and refuses professional help when she is doing harm to those around her, you let her know the consequences of her behavior.

Steve R, Community Member
12/24/12 3:53pm

I have always said I wouldn't wish depression on anyone, but I have to say, reading this response, I do wonder whether some deserve to be taught the hard way just what depression is. The writer clearly has no idea, is incredibly selfish and vile in his attitude. No wonder his wife is depressed, my advice to her would be to get him out of her life and spend her time with people who have some humanity. Depressed people live with anxiety, are riddled with guilt, believe everything to be their fault, feel worthless and useless. So yes, if you're evil enough you can act in the way the writer says, and she will accept it, believe she is at fault and continue to suffer one of the worst mental illnesses you can imagine. My guess is that the writer himself feels inadequate, was perhaps bullied at school, is unintelligent and by acting in the way he does, can feel a sense of power he can't get in any other way.

D.W., Community Member
11/29/10 7:47am

I don't know what to do.  My wife has depression.  But she refuses to see a counselor either together or a therapist on her own.  She always gets in the bouts for about 2 weeks at a time and they are getting worse and worse and worse.  She tells me she was never depressed until she married me and that the last 3 years being with me were the worst in her life and that she made a huge mistake.  She blames all our problems on me. Once she even bought me a plane ticket and forced me to fly back to my family in Texas, then in a week when the depression passed she apologized and I came back to CA.  She has prozac which she got from Mexico or something but won't ever take it until after a huge blow out.  Now she is trying to make me move out again telling me she needs her space and we need a trial situation.  I told her if she would get therapy from a professional who could control her dosage or even what she needs to be taking then we may be able to avoid all the arguing etc.  She thinks it is PMDD b/c she read that online or something and then ordered the prozac through a friend or something.  Sadly the onset of her depression was just a month or two before we met so she associates all the sadness etc. with me.  She is my world and I dont want to lose her yet every month she makes me feel like I don't even want to live anymore with the horrible things she says about me.  I don't want to live without my wife but feel she will not stop until she drives me completely out of her life.  I love her.  I love her daughter.  They are my family now.  How can she just rip my emotions and self worth to shreds without batting an eye and then in a week or so she is all fine again.  She actually literally changes shapes almost when she is depressed.  her facial muscles change, her eyes change, she looks through me as though I am not even a person.  But she doesn't do that to her daughter (at least not always).  HELP ME!!!  I cant get her to talk to anyone and she is going to make me leave over and over and over and over and I can't have my heart completely broken every month anymore.  What do I do?

Seeekingasoulution, Community Member
6/13/12 12:40pm
Well, very often the depressed person has sought out all kinds of remedies, medication, therapists, dietary and exercise changes...to no avail. This makes it more difficult for those of us who don't have the disease of depression to make any sense out of it. No easy solutions here. They are human beings with an illness. True! Not everyone can make the sacrifices it takes to live with and love a depressed person. Someone needs to be there for them! People who suffer from depression want to be normal like everyone else. It is easy for us to say...talk to someone or take a medication. A depressed person desperately wants to be well but they become hopeless and often do not respond to any voice of reason. In this hoplessness lies the fact that they think there is nothing that will help. This obviously is one of the worst diseases found in the world. Try not to be angry! You can only gently and lovingly guide her. Ultimately it is her choice to do those things that may keep her depression in check. Reply
Rick, Community Member
3/ 9/09 9:34pm

Hey there,

I know a lot of your pain, except my wife won't go for help or get medication. I love her but it makes everything very difficult and I feel like I have no emotions left except sadness. She feels as drained and probably can't recognise where the depression started to blind her nor that it is depression that is draining our lives. I am living proof that someone can be held responsible for everything that has ever gone wrong in her life. She progressively cuts any emotions toward me except the ones that damage, and is careful to remind me regularly how much she hates me, claiming she never was a warm hearted person anyway. (Until somone else arrives and she is to them the warm caring happy person I once knew)


I hope you find peace in your home and hope to hear good news. If you have made progress, I would like to learn from your experience.


Best wishes



Jerry, Community Member
7/30/09 12:31pm

I am confronted by something similar.  We have been married for 16 years, have two kids, and back in January 2009 my wife told me she needed space and time away from me.  Since then she has shut me out, except for the occassional couples night out.  Three months ago she began mentioning divorce out of the blue.  She is a different person.  She does not take much interest in any of our typical daily activities and currently cycles between sleeping a lot and only sleeping for 5-6 hours.  I've asked her to please get help and I would continue to support her, but she simply says she is unhappy with our marriage.  Most things are blamed on me and she can be enraged at times.  She has not done anything legally, but seems to mention it to hurt me.  She has been very mean-spirited, even toward her parents.  I think she really hates me.  Friends say I have done nothing to cause this 180 shift, but that doesn't help me.  She is down on most things and can't seem to get out of her own way.  I know no one can help her except her, but it has been 7 months.  All I can do is be supportive, wait, and hope, but I am running low on the latter.  I am definitely down and afraid.  There doesn't seem to be an end in sight.


Rick, Have you had any progress in your situation, and if so, what made the change.  I



Rick, Community Member
7/30/09 8:11pm

Jerry, Not all situations are the same. That said, here is my bit for your considreation:

Thanks for sharing your picture. Yes I have made some progress in the last few weeks, although it has been miserable for some time, I feel immediately encouraged. The secret I discovered in our lives was that me taking an interest and participating her interests is essential. Since I have been able to start demonstrating rather than saying that I care, I have had some change. The care has started to return in small ways for the first time in many years. As little a change as it is, I am hoping to continue to show the care in terms that she relates to. It may sound daft, but after many years, we have not been able to connect, and it seems she had started withdrawing herself from the inside out. The more I tried to stop her doing this the hotter the flames got. I hope this will be a sustainable change and suggest you consider ways your most valued friend will appreciate your input or participation. (go back to when you first met and think about what she liked to do (before you were there as her own individual personality))

I have a lot I could commiseart on, however moving on is likely more useful, and trying not to let the hurts affect how I treat or respond to her is the other key ingredient. (EASIER said than done).

Best of luck and let me know how you go. Rick.

Todd, Community Member
7/19/10 12:44am

Jerry, my name is Todd.  I feel your pain sir.  My wife has been fighting depression for nearly 10 years, since our first kid came along.  She has not been the same since.  It gets worse every year, and had been thinking of calling it quits for the last 2 years.  It is hell getting through each day, with that hanging over my head.  I do love her, and know she did not ask for this, nor is it her fault she is depressed.  I try to remember that she is very ill, yet it is hard to do when she blames me for most of her problems.  We talk very little, and she gives all of her energy and attention to her part time job, and our 4 great kids.  I get the scraps of her time, if there is any.


WHat I have found that I have to do is server her the best I can.  Love her, and remember she is fighting a huge battle.  She is in a very dark place, yet at some point there has to be some help offered her, or ask her to get help.  Just hang in there, and do what you know to be right.  Make yourself that happiest and healthiest person you can be, and enjoy your family.  That may help her.


Also, I strongly recommend a book you can read.  Dr. John Lund: How to Hug a Porcupine.  It is how to deal with toxic and depressed personalities, and Dr. Lund is right on.  His book helped me immensely.


Good luck, and get closer to God, he will help as well.



Esther Branson, Community Member
5/23/12 10:30am

Hi, I know this is two years later and I hope things are better for you. You could have been my son writing this. His wife of 17 years asked that they separate for a year before divircing. He said he was totally blindsided. To all intent and purposes just a week before hand they appeared an ideal family.

 He has suggested talking about it, going to a marriage counsellor etc.He said he will do anything. She will have no part of it she just said she no longer has any feelings for him. Do you think this is depression though as she has a full time job and is still active with their children's activities and seems to be able to cope with both? She is totally unlike herself around him but seems as usual with others.


She is as of today looking at EAP counselling.


I guess the real question is: Can a person function normally in other situations but be totally unlike herself around her spouse all of a sudden. My son would like to know what he has done to be the recipient of this treatment. Even if she fell out of love with him it shouldn't turn to indifference or even hate in such a sudden way. He is a supportive husband and an excellent father and is active in teh church and scouting and has a good job.

They are still in the same house together but it is as though he isn't there.


Even though my daughter-in-law and I have a good relationship , I don't know if I should play any part in this since it may aggravate the problem. I care for them both. And if this is a mental illness I would want her to get help.

Scott, Community Member
5/26/12 9:47am



My name is Scott,

I was just reading through this forum and your post hit a chord with me. My wife and I have been together for 27 years and married for 20. SHe has a masiive shift in her behaviour as a results of taking antidepressants. It manifested itself a few ways but the most obvious was her blaming me for everything wrong in her life. She has decided that I am the problem and comes up with a range of reasons for it. Most of the time they are incredibly insignificant and she is absolutely convinced they are quite serious. This space is far too small to give you all the information about my situation. Like your son I have a very good job and am well respected. The symptoms my wife exhibits appear to be a result of paranoia induced by SSRI's and SNRI's. Unfortunately in my case my wife wasn't depressed and was given antidepressants. Now she is an addict and cant get off them as she believes she is great. The rest of her life is falling apart but she cant see that. It is possible that there is a substance or condition that has created a state where she believes she is being persecuted and your unfortunate son is the cause. I hope your family finds a solution to the problem. We weren't able to and now she has done some very serious damage to our lives and the three kids.

All the best.

Esther Branson, Community Member
11/22/12 2:29pm

Hello, It has been almost six months since I posted my concerns. It turns out that she was having an affair with her boss. She was a classic textbook case. After the first encounter (affair started) she was very affectionate with her husband. Then she started to work out , lose weight and change her appearance. After that there were unexplained absences. She was void of any feelings as she had none to share as she was pouring them all out on the other man. finally she became resentful and angry with her husband. I expect that was to justify her own actions. Her life has been on a downward spiral ever since. Th eother man went back to his wife (never really left her) the affair blindsided his wife as well. Now my daughter-in- law is a texting stalker as she tries to work her way back into her lover's life with little regard for another hurting family. My son has gone through all the predictable emotions and no longer wants to be with her and is disgusted by her. He is ready to move on and seems  happier every day. They re still living in the same house but separately and the sooner she is gone the better for all, legally this is being worked on. She doesn't seem to have any remorse for what she has done. My son for sure will be very cautious before putting his heart out on the line with another woman. Sad but true. He has had a number of male friends who have had this happen to them and they say, after they have been taken for everything they have,that they will never get married again. So in the end, if any kind of mental trauma was at play here we will never know. Right now our grandkids and son are most important to us.

rpl in ks, Community Member
11/22/12 10:19am

you just described my life. However, we go to counceling, and my wife takes medications. She is also bipolar and she still has extreme lows where I can do nothing right. I have found out she is planning a divorce. Last week, all was great. I dont get it. We have tw o little kids that will be devistated by a divorce. I have been accomidating to all her wishes, with the smallest of comments, which in her mind are huge.  She now hates my mother, when they were best of friends in the past.  I am lost.

rpl in ks

King2chase, Community Member
3/23/13 4:05am

My name is Chase. I have tourettes. I can control it when I want to, but is a constant drain on my energy and attention throughout my day, but when I get home I can twitch all I want. It's exhausting. I have been married to a depressed wife going on three years now. She maintains a good job with the school district, and is amazing at her job. I have always respected and been proud of her work ethic. She is unable to accept my compliments and admiration. She has been considered for promotions numerous times in the past, but she does not have her degree. It would only take a year or two, but she sabotages herself. I mentioned the tourettes in the beginning of this post to illustrate that I believe it is the same with a depressed person. I believe my wife can and does keep her depression in check through most of her day, although I know for a fact it is noticed, but it exhausts her, and when she gets home she can finally act the way her mind compels her. Does it make it right? Hell no! Do I love her regardless? With all my heart. She hates when I say I love her regardless, haha. She hates a lot of things about me. She recently shut down on me for a week and a half, which coincidentally happened to be the same week my own situation started to become overwhelming. We had booked a condo at yosemite national park in California, and put in for the two days off work to get away. The morning we were leaving she started melting down. It seems to be the case with any exciting, major event in our lives. Our wedding day was one of the worst, but I digress. Our trip went horribly. Yosemite was beautiful. Everything covered in snow, sledding right outside our door, the perfect setting. The room was so warm, we couldn't even use blankets. She didn't look at me or touch me the entire stay. I came back home feeeling utterly useless and defeated. The next three days of work were hell. Everything piled up in those two days and I was melting down myself. For The next week I came home from work and my wife wouldn't look at me or talk to me. I felt completely alone. My nerves were shot at work, and at home it was no better. I had no refuge, I was getting it from all angles. I have always told my wife, I refuse to believe I am the reason you are so unhappy, and if I ever doubt that I will leave. All I want for her is to be happy, even if it's not with me. Well after that week, I doubted that. When I needed her the most, she could not be there for me, through no fault of her own mind you. That Friday she was on the couch when I got home and I went to the bedroom and packed a bag. I told her I was going to stay with my brother, she had been asking me to leave for a while anyway. We sobbed, and I told her that for the first time I didn't believe that I was not the reason for her unhappiness. And I left. I wasn't leaving for good, I just needed her to know that I was hurting, and I needed her to understand that she has a problem and I told her she needs help. We didn't talk much the first few days, but she seemed to understand. The third day she didn't understand anymore and all she felt was anger that I left her. She was deep in her hole. I didn't stay gone long, I came home after a week, but not before she told me what I wanted to hear. I came home less than a week ago. Nothing has changed. We don't talk. I am still having a tough time at work, but I have no support at home. It is difficult but I want to love her through this. I don't know if it's possible anymore. She refuses to get help, and will not tell her family about any of this. My family knows, but not with her permission, I just got tired of making excuses why were didn't come around very often and felt the truth would explain a lot to them. It did and they are compassionate. But I still feel I have no support. I explained to my brother how I feel with this analogy: My wife is in a deep dark well and I have thrown her a rope. I am desperately trying to pull her up but I am only one person. I get her half way up and my muscles start to quiver, I am exhausted. She slips and I panic, frantically grasping for the rope. By the time I have a grip on it again we are back at the bottom.



Ty, Community Member
3/23/09 5:17pm

The situation you describe sounds all too familiar to me, as well.  My wife has medication but just won't take it.  She's known her OB for some time (12+ years) and trusts him - he's told her on 2 different occasions she likely suffers from depression and both time perscribed some anti-depressants.  However, she just won't take them.  This last time, he told her specificially to take then every day, come hell or high water, and come back in 30 days.  He was specific to tell her the full effect of the mediction wouldn't be evident for 2 - 3 months, but he wanted to be sure she was taking the meds.  She's not - she took them for 3 or 4 days, then stopped.


I'm in the same situation - married for approaching 20 years, and increasingly the focal point of blame for nearly everything that happens at home.  She frequently sleeps for 12 hours a night but always says how tired she is, threatens divorce at nearly every argument, and is only rarely in a pleasant disposition - most of the time, she's pretty neurtral however, many times she is very on edge and fatigued.  She's very critical of nearly everything I do or say.  She's a stay at home mom, so she's not trying to balance outside work requirements as well as the home (with 3 kids, she's got plenty to do at home - my point is that she doesn't have outside stress, to boot).


I hate to say this but I believe she doesn't take her medication because it would be an admission that she owns some responsiblity in fixing what is ailing our marriage.  We spent a lot of money on counseling, with her still convinced that the root cause of all of our marital problems was still me.  The first counselor told her, over 10 years ago, she was depressed and her response was to find a different counselor.  I'm very frustrated and don't see any way out of this but divorce, which I have hesitated to pursue for years but it may be time.

J, Community Member
6/26/09 12:39am

Man...does this sound familiar..I started going to counseling myself to learn how to cope with my wife. If it wasn't for my kids I would leave her to rot....you can't help someone that doesn't want to help herself. I love her and my kids...that's why I stick around..for my babies...I CAN'T LET HER GET TO THEM

Ty, Community Member
8/20/09 2:18am

J - I completely undertand how you feel and that was my frustation, too.  I got very tired of the shallow encouragement of "well, you just have to be patient and love them" schtick.  Your comment about the helplessness you feel for someone who won't help themselves is spot on - that is incredibly frustrating.  See my other post in response to Jerry - maybe that will help, but I feel for you.  I've been there and don't yet feel confident that I'm completely out of the woods, either.

Jerry, Community Member
7/30/09 12:35pm

Can you read my reply above under Rick's initial post and respond?  I'd like to know if anything has changed in your situation, and if so, what drove the change, as I am in an identical position.



Ty, Community Member
8/20/09 2:10am

Jerry - things have actually changed and, like the other posts, I won't say that what I did will work for you but I will explain what I did in hopes that it offers something you can use in your situation.  Let me explain a bit and the approach will hopefully make more sense.  During our frequent arguments, I felt like my wife's approach was to "get me to recognize what was wrong with me."  When she couldn't do that on her own, I felt like she tried to get our marriage counselor to adopt that angle and, when she didn't, my wife abruptly decided that the counselor wasn't helping us (actually suggesting to me that the counselor was now taking on "my side").  During another argument, my wife petitioned our pastor to help mediate and, during the course of our discussion, again - in my view - tried to convince him to get me to see the error of my ways.  It became clear to me that she was not looking to solve the problem, but merely attempting to collect allies in her cause and, if they did not side with her, she no longer found use in them.  It also became clear to me that I was running out of options - she would not listen to me (she would not accept advice from me, regardless of topic but particularly not on her depression), nor would she listen to people who would normally be considered as objective participants.


In the end, I finally called her OB and explained my situation.  It was not only for my own case, but also for one of my kids who I also suspect may suffer from depression.  Because of some of his behavior (and some of his comments when he's frustrated), we had been taking him to a counselor to help see if we couldn't moderate some of his poor behavior and occasional dark moods (otherwise, a very smart kid, active, engaged, and pretty normal kid).  It occurred to me, during one of the sessions with my son's counselor, that the root of my son's problem may also be depression (as it does tend to run in families).  If my wife was in denial about her depression, then she would be in a very poor position to identify and be willing to treat my son, should that be part of the explanation for his behavior and moods.  I knew my wife's OB and he was actually pretty open to my plea - in the end, he, too, was concerned about her mental health and wellbeing (he's a very good guy).  I asked him to follow up with her about her medication and see if he could help get her to regularly take her meds but made it clear that my involvement had to remain strictly confidential between he and I.  He called the next day and got her to come back in to see him, gave her a bit of a tongue-lashing for not doing has he directed (eg, taking her medication) and instructed her to take it daily and call him to follow up. 


The result is that she is taking her medication with more regularity and it's made all the difference in the world.  Instead of her mood either being neutral or negative, it's generally positive - she smiles & laughs like she used to, the little things that happen around the house that otherwise would have really irritated her seem to roll off her back and she really rolls with stuff far more than before.  On a few occasions, she's stopped taking her meds and I can tell within probably 2 days - all the same old patterns of blame and irritation at really small things come back with a vengeance.  I think at this point, she realizes the value in taking her meds so she self-corrects to some degree - if she's off her meds and I even mention or ask if she's still taking her pills, it's like WWIII all of a sudden.  But, after taking them for a while now, and realizing she sleeps better, she gets more done, she gets along better with me and the kids, etc., I think she's realizing that this is a better way to go.


Frankly, with the depression and blame, I don't think she really wanted to confront the idea that the marital problems were not really me (trust me, I have my faults, etc. - I'm not saying I've been guilt-free in the marriage), but her depression - I think that has been very hard for her to embrace, particularly with how hard she tried to foist all the problem on me.  We still have our moments but the turning point was the call to her doctor - that was what started to turn things around.


Sorry for the long post / response but a 2 sentence explanation probably wouldn't have done much good as a more complete story.


Trust me -  I know what  you're up against.  I've never posted anything to the web as personal as my original and I was very frustrated at the time.  It's both helpful and saddening to know others know exactly how I feel.  All I can say is that I hope what I did helps you somehow.

Jerry, Community Member
8/20/09 2:47pm

Thanks for replying Ty.  I greatly appreciate your insights and experience.  I am afraid my situation may be more severe, or maybe not depression.  My wife threw the switch around January and has not moved since.  She refuses to sleep in our bed, and is at best neutral in mood, and when not neutral, irritated and sometimes angry.  She states there is nothing I can do.  She is anti-mental health, and like your wife, when the therapist brought up the word "depression" and the idea of looking within, that was our last visit, with no consideration of findining somone new to meet with.  I will have to be vigilant in looking for her next OB appointment and hope the doctor is receptive to my input about the situation at home. 


I can't jar her out of her state or mood, and she is not making any attempt to get help on her own.


I know this sounds crazy, but after 8 months of this, I am beginning to wonder if the only way to make her wake up and attempt to get some help is to file for divorce, something she has mentioned her and there when she is really angry or down.


At times I think I can just maintain this lifestyle for the kids sake, but then at times realize how lonely I am and how much I miss just a simple touch or compliment.  Everyone needs someone they can hold and feel close to.  It is tough losing your best friend and romantic partner all at once.


If you have any other ideas I would appreciate it. 


Thanks again.

Ty, Community Member
8/24/09 3:19pm

Jerry - I can't tell you how much I feel for you - the situation you describes sounds exactly like mine with each post.  My wife would find excuses not to sleep in the same bed with me, and given the tenor of many disagreements, I would find similar excuses if she wasn't in a great mood.  My wife would constantly threaten divorce if we got into an argument.  I can't tell you how many times my wife told me to leave & throw me out of the house, only to spend a night (or more) sleeping in local hotels until she reinitiated contact.


Because our circumstances sound alike, I'll offer one other piece of advice.  As I mentioned above, the one area you can maybe make progress in is discussing some of the symptoms, versus the depression.  In my case, my wife was constantly tired - in part because her mind would race all the time about what she felt like she had to do around the house, or she was worring about the kids & school, or even when we had friends over - she would constantly worry about what to make, whether the house needed to be cleaned, etc.  Because her mind would race all the time, she would exhaust herself worrying - both day and night - which made her tired (she would lay awake at night worrying, too).  In retrospect, I believe the constant worrying was part of the mental health and depression.  Without realizing the likely linkage to the depression, I encouraged her to see her OB about why she was so tired (I suspsected it was maybe an iron deficiency or something health-related), about why she worried so much, or some of the other symptoms.  In the end, she wanted to solve that problem, too, so it was common ground I could bring up with her without it being perceived that I targetting her depression.  I can't say that it solved it, but we could be open about it and it got her thinking more about solving it.


It's very frustrating - the behavior only pushes the non-depressed partner away with tremendous force, but they don't realize that that is what is going on.  Hope this helps.


Ty, Community Member
2/ 9/10 2:07am

Jerry - just wondering how you're doing.  It's been a while since we traded messages - any progress?

Jerry, Community Member
2/ 9/10 9:17am



Not good.  It's been 14 months since this all began when she said she needed "space" and was irritated with everything in her life.  Then month by month it progressed to her not liking me and now hating me.  Can't figure how this could happen after 25 years.  It literally happened over a span of 4 months.


She is currently looking at houses for herself so she can then divorce me.  The divorce has to come after the home purchase so we can qualify for the 2nd mortgage using my salary.  I refuse to initiate a divorce and I leave it all up to her.  I have also refused to leave the house.  I believe strongly that I have to remain the stable one and stay in the only home the kids have ever known.  To me, that is non-negotiable.  When she gets angry she talks about the 2nd "crappy" house she will have to live in, but I have learned not to comment when she tries to pin all her negative feelings on me.


She has actually stated that I have ruined her life.  She is very project based these days, and looking for the house is her new project.  Last night she stated she is "tired of all of us", this including the kids.


I fully realize that unless she wakes up and sees that her anger levels, despair, and all the other negative emotions are not cause by me (although maybe they are, she is pretty convincing) and gets help, there is absolutely nothing I can do.


If you have any advice or words I'd appreciate it.


Thanks, Jerry

Ty, Community Member
2/12/10 2:38am

Jerry - unfortunately, all I have is my support - I wish I had some words of wisdom to offer other than just commissurating.  My wife basically went through the same process and I reacted in a very similar way.  She accused me of the same thing - interesting that she used the same words - that I had ruined her life and destroyed her self-esteem.  We've been married close to 20 years now and my wife's progression was very similar but slower.  During the course of our arguments over the years, she seems to slip more and more into a feeling of despair and anger, more and more often taking it out on me (nearly exactly as you described). 


Have you ever asked your wife about counseling?  Again, our situations sould erily similiar - in my case, the last person my wife was taking advice from was me, but some objective participant like a counselor *may* help.  Friends & family are out because it seems that trying to get your wife to consider addressing depression risk the high risk of seeming like you're pitting a family member, or a friend of hers against her.  I though of approaching one of my wife's friends about the situation (we'll call her "M" to protect her...) - M knew we were having troubles and, having known both of us for a while - my wife longer than me - M still seemed to not hold my wife's opinions of me against me (I hope that makes sense - I'm sure my wife told M about what she thought I was doing wrong, but I never got the sense that M treated me differently because of that - not sure if M understood what was going on or that she was just trying to stay out of it.  I think it was the former, not the latter, because I think M saw herself just wasn't the same as my wife would complain to her about, but that's my own read, which could be entirely wrong).  I considered talking to M and seeing if she would consider trying to get my wife to see someone about her depression, but never did because I didn't want my wife's relationship with M to be affected if my wife thought I was trying to use M "against" her.  The same held true with family - I didn't want to put a family member in the middle of this mess and run the risk of ruining that relationship for either one of us, too.  A counselor may be an option simply because they have nothing vested in either side and can be more objective. 


I recommend that with some hesitation, however.  As I said previously, the first counselor we saw listened to my wife for 30 minutes and asked her if she ever considered that she was depressed - my wife took offense at that suggestion and we never went back to her again.  We ended up seeing a counselor that my wife heard speak in public one time and really like her - we went to her many times but she never even mentioned the possibility of depression to my wife.  Well after we stopped seeing her, and after my wife was on her meds, I asked her why she never thought depression was a factor in what was obviously a bad situation.  The counselor throught that depression was overprescribed for marrital troubles and thought that my wife should have come to that conclusion on her own - that if she wanted a better life, she needed to go through her own self-examination to determine that.  She told me that her son was bipolar and that's how he eventually sought help - he was tired of living the way he was and took action to change it.  Her answer sort of pissed me off - THAT was the whole problem - my wife simply thought that *I* was her problem.  Therefore, why look inward if you think you've already identified the problem?  I was sort of hoping, as an objective observer, the counselor would have seen that factor playing into the equation and brought it up, but never did.  Maybe I was unrealistic in my expectations but clearly we lived for years not seeing the problem - I was paying someone to help us figure out what we couldn't see, only to identify and drive a remedy to the problem on my own.


Again, I think this will only work if your wife sees value in trying to see a counselor in the first place - if she doesn't think that will help, it's hard to not make that self-fullfilling.  However, if she's open to it, it may work.  Like I said earlier, if there is any "common problem" that you can see an opening with her to try to solve together, that's how we got to a solution.  My wife's depression made her tired - I kept encouraging her to see her doctor to solve that problem, which she wanted to solve, too.  I'm not sure if your wife would considering counseling if it would help address something she mentions as problems (eg, not being happy, being irritable, etc.). 


Please don't take this the wrong way - I'm not trying to get personal and I'm no expert on the subject by any means but if you've been married for 25 years and have a few kids, is it possible that it's pre-menapause?  My wife is 40 and she feels like she's starting to get pre-menapausal sometimes - hot flashes, etc. - I suspect my wife's mood & hormone levels are going to fluctuate if this is happening.  I don't necessarily think that was my wife's problem - her symptoms seem to be evident well before, but it may be something to consider.  Again, I'm no expert so I am not in a position to suggest a coorelation but it may be something worth looking into.


Sorry for the book (again).  Hope the post is useful in some way.

Ty, Community Member
2/12/10 2:45am

Jerry - sorry, I just read the string again and you had mentioned seeing a therapist in an earlier post - my bad.  You've obviously tried that path before.

achilles, Community Member
2/ 6/11 9:13pm

i read everything u wrote it sounds like my life except her acknowleging her issues.i am goin to call the doc..Is your wife willing to maybe councel others(my wife) it would help her aswell let me know.

a, Community Member
12/21/11 11:05pm

Wow, reading this really hits home. I'be been married to my beautiful wife for 2.5 years and we've known each other for 6. Were both rather young, in our 20's, and I know she has a history of depression. It just seems like she cant roll with the punches. Every little thing that happens is the biggest problem of her life and any attempt to help her realize that the big picture still looks great is met by argument. I wish I was able to follow your example and call her OB to see if there is anything that can be done, but my wife is actually a medical assistant for the OB she also sees. As you can imagine, this poses a conflit and I cant in good concience call her boss and compain about how I feel about her depression. To futher complicate matters, we've been trying to get pregnant and we've experienced a late term miscarrige and a short-term miscarrige over the last 5 months. Needles to say, noting in her world seems to be going right anymore. She has become antisocial and disconnected from me. We havent had sex in almost a month. Suprisingly, she has performed oral on me twice (which never used to happen really) but I suspect it is actually because she cannot handle the intimacy of intercourse. Because of our desire to get pregnant, she does not take any medication. I'm becomming so frusturated hearing the same sad stories from her over and over again. We have a great life, good jobs, own a home etc. I just cant understand why things seem so bad in her mind. I font know what to do anymore. If anybody out there can offer even a shred of advise, I would be so happy to hear it.

Ghassan, Community Member
2/ 7/10 5:02pm

It's incredible how close my experience with my wife to yours. You're not alone. It seems that Bipolar Disorder is very common, especially among women. The reason I don't leave my marriage, is out of concern for our four kids. Although life is very painful for me, it could even be more unstable if I walk away. I could be having a better life with someone else but my kids would be left behind to be yelled at constantly. I always try to comfort them and point to the fact that their mom's scarey behaviour (screaming, hysteria, blaming and constant critisism) is a symptom of stress from studying for her master degree. My concern though, is what would become of my kids under a barage of negative emotions from their mom. They are terrified to disagree with her because she could explode at any moment. Just like dictators do. That is how they keep their subbordinates under control. That treatment could only work for a while... I am not sure what the future is holding for our relationship and hope that her problem is hormonal, and will pass after menopause. It has been 4 years since I noticed the change. I think I am the strongest man alive for taking this kind of abuse for so long. I keep reminding myself that this life experience will only make me stronger, and since I am at the very bottom, there is only one other way to go... 

wontansoup, Community Member
9/24/09 4:17am
I've been maried 30 years and my wife has had depression for 5 years. It was completely new experience for me but both of us never hesitated to find a professional help when my coworker who has wife with depression advised us to do so. Based on my experience and my friend's most of you in this forum are likely having something other than depression. Since my wife had depression I had come across several people with depressed spouse and read quite a few books and articles in order for me to cope with the situation. First of all it seems very odds to me that all your spouse show anger or resent toward you. Usually a person with depression is angry to oneself. If it gets serious then they commit a suicide. My wife had been admitted for suicidal watch for two weeks. I haven't heard any depressed person commit a murder or being violent toward others. Aggression toward others are totally different problem. And depression is cureable disease with modern medicine. It takes time the medicine take effect when you find right kind of prescription. All the symptoms of depression will subside once the medicine take effect and you can function as normal as anyone. There is no stigma attached to the disease these days. My wife has had job in managerial position with a company and she is the one refused to be promoted. But the problem of depression is not the depression itself but it is the side effects from the medicine and psychological and physical change which is resulted from combination of medicine and depression. My wife just had nerological transmitter implant for her back pain problem. She has been suffering this back pain for 7 years and doctors couldn't find the cause of the problem, so for the last resort she dicided have implant. But a significan portion of people with depression complains a certain chronic pain. Doctor even could not explain which one cause what. Is the pain fake or real? Sex? Forget it. I've been in celibacy for years now. The disease itself is not big deal. Together with depression sha has insomnia, back pain, and anxiety. Usually it is all package deal comes together. If you have depression you will have one or more of the other also. Just imagine the prescriptions she has to take every day. She is always tired, sleep until 2 in the afternoon on day off, never eat at home, don't want to go out at all, complain pain on driving all the time, there is no activity and life except sleeping and going work. Whenever she comes home from work, she is about to collapse to the floor. The real problem with depression is that they are completely self sufficient. They don't need any help to maintain their own life. Just feels bad, that's it. And this causes the relationship getting crack. We have had seperate room for 7 years because of her insomnia, and I can not argue for anything not to cause her sleeplessness, can not hug becuse of her back pain, I even forgot how to sex with woman. But She still have job and does not need my help to walk, bathe, or whatever. So her voice is as equal as mine. So she will exercise her decision power with full authority. I have to lose for anything. Otherwise, I am selfish, not understanding, and on and on. So finally I felt there has to be some change for me to survive without breaking this marriage. I don't care about money, future, new car, real estate bust, bad economy, stock market, 401K, whatever. I got to have a life NOW. I told her to move to one of south American country. Then I don't have to worry about whether she may kill someone or be killed on the road with auto accident, she can sleep all day, we don't have to worry about making ends meet every month, medical cost is cheap like dirt or fly back to US if we have to, and we can spend time on rain forest, volcanoe, or tropical coast. I never had expensive hobby and don't even drink. As long as she is safe and happy, I will be happy and we will be together forever. Oh but she was mad and angry when I said that. She declared she will never go to third world country to live, and keep the job until she falls. Now I am going to have depression. I have no life. Even a person living with quadraplegic spouse would not have this problem. My friend was diagnosed as Lougeric's disease and crippled but don't have this emotional conflict. When one spouse is dependent on the other, probably it may enhance the bond. But depression works opposite. If you go other forum you will realize this tendency. I love her very much, but I just want to live rest of life like this any more unless I were to be given one more life. I lost all the motivation I had. I had but she refused. Depression is worse than terminal cancer. It is slow torture to undepressed partner. I am not a doctor. But there is more than you hear from doctor or counsellor in depression. That is why I am making long story. Be prepared. If I had known this consequence, I would had turned the handle different direction earlier but it's too late. Good luck, people. Reply
Sam, Community Member
1/ 6/10 2:53pm

Dear All;


I apolgise first about my English command, it is my third language. I


I have been married for 14 years, two years ago, my wife started to behave a bit strange, shouting, blaming me, etc..  Things got worse when she knew that our coming fourth baby will be disabled!! Since then, she starts shouting on me infront of the kids, challenging me on every single word regardless who is sitting next to us, causing me embarrassment   


She stands infront of me, describing me with the worse words a whore can say,  asking God to punish me, and, and, and!!!


She says that she wasted 14 years of her life by marrying me, she regret every single moment, and she is in this house for the kids only and I ma nothing in her life and worth nothing!! 


I try to give her  paper, trying to wake her up from her illousanions, that if I am bad, then please list three things that makes you ask for dvourse and fighting with me every single day:

I do not drink, gamble, or party!! ..To be honest, I am getting sick now by writing this message..

Her mother came, and asked her, list me three things I have done that made you demanding divorce and not willing to live with me? As usual, NOTHING.. she lives in a 900 square meter house, three maids, two drivers, traveled the world, lived in hotel suites,  business and first class..  True, a few might say money is not everything, I agree, but my total life is between work (next building)/ Home or in the gym!! Almost, everyday before she changes, I used to ask her to join me for lunch or dinner wherever I am ..

When I tell her go to a doctor, you might need some pills or you might be diagnosed with depression, she just starts laughing and says that I ma th e person who need to go and check my self!!


It is a sad story, everyone was jealous about our living style and how close we are .. One day,  she started biching all day, desorbing me with all kind of shit in front of the kids, despite asking her not to do this infront of them, but she just continued screaming on my and the kids crying,  I swear ,  I was suppose to get a nice smiley good morning words, but instead, this is what I get in my new life!! , by then  I  reached a stage where I didn't have any more patience, thus, slapped her and pulled her hair to shut up..


I do not know what to do, I am 40 years, thanks God, managed to have a very successful business and lifestyle, I play with the kids all the time , but she does her best to give me a bad time.. We do not sleep in the same room since two years ago, she doesn't want to turn the TV off before 3am!! While I try to sleep my midnight to work next morning, loooong list....


Just wanted to say something, though I think what I have written so far makes no sense to anyone as going into circles,, again, its my third language.

Zaidee, Community Member
9/15/10 6:32pm

Sam: Do you have an email. I am readyto help you. Give me an email on "keanelover@hotmail.com", Stay Happy!!

Spencer, Community Member
5/ 9/10 3:29am

It's amazing how similar all of these stories are to mine, though mine seems like a much lesser degree. I've noticed some of these symptoms in my wife, even before we were married, and I'm only 24, she's 25. She's not like this all the time, but gets this way a week or so out of the month. It's insane what sets the argument off, too. We'll be having a great morning, then I'll say something that's not hurtful and whatever it was triggers her and she gets extremely emotional and irrational. She blames me for the way she is and says things like I'm completely irresponsible, which is not the case. She says many other hurtful things like that she doesn't want our daughter to grow up and marry someone like me. I always want to talk and repair our relationship after a fight but all she seems to want to do is not talk about it and forget about it. I feel that I would be depressed to but I've fortunately got a very upbeat disposition. I've never experienced depression, luckily, and am generally always happy.


I've recommended going to a counsellor but she says no way – they'll just take my side. I try and tell her it's not about sides, it's about what's finding out the problem in our marriage. If it's me, I'll accept it and change, I have no problem admitting fault. We went to a relationship counsellor before we were married and she says it scarred her for life because she claimed he took my side and told her how she was wrong. I recall him making simple suggestions for both of us, but she sees it differently. When she tells me I make her want to kill herself, I look back on what I've said or done and it seems like absolutely nothing to get emotional over. I've never hit her, I don't yell at her, I don't insult her, I've never cheated, I don't get drunk. I don't get it. Reading all these responses gives me some hope. If I can get her to see a marriage counsellor with me, or a therapist, I think it could help greatly. She's said a number of times how she doesn't want some stranger diagnosing her, so, we'll see...


Thanks everyone for being open about your relationships, I know it felt good to type this out because I have one friend who I can to about it, but it's not someone who can help her.

Shane, Community Member
12/10/10 9:24pm



It's great to know I am not losing my mind. Or at least not by myself.

My wife is a wonderful women but disagree's to get any help and I am

outta answers to get her to go. She is always upset no happy moments,

are in her life AT all. Every day i get home from working all day long to support

us the best i can. I dont even wanna come home due to the conversations and

looks and coldness i feel from her. I have one kid with my wife which I love dearly

and I feel like this is the only thing holding us together. But my thing is I dont

wanna just leave my wife with no job , no place to go but her mothers ( with a kid ). I just want it to be over the depression I am talking about I love my wife dearly or as much as my soul will let me. I am at a lost point and I need some help before I myself lose it.

Ken Clarke, Community Member
3/26/11 11:15am

I feel your pain..I was in the same situation. The first thing to do is Take a deep Breath, and Some how look at the situation as if it was small, that way your confidence will build about the situation, but remind you is not small, sometimes building yourself first to deal with the situation will get u off to a great start! Second, Most of the times We know ourselves what makes our spouse TIC. So you should know why her feelings are the way that they are. Third, with a positive attitude and a knowledge of the situation, now u can humbley go to her and tell her rather We ourselves are wrong about somthing or even if we are not, create a atmosphere of humility and make her feel that her situation is not her fault, even if it is. Because she first have to come out of that sad state, then she can look back and realize if she was in the wrong or not....Hope this tip works...God Bless !

stephanie, Community Member
6/ 2/11 7:06pm

From a wife's perspective- I have battled depression for about 13 years and here are a few things I can tell you about it. 


1. Medication only "partially" works. If you have never taken anti-depressants / anti-anxiety meds (Zoloft, Wellbuterin, Cymbalta) it is hard to understand why someone refuses to take it. I felt like it deadened my spirit, it was almost impossible to cry even when a situation warranted it - like a death in the family. It also made great contributions to making me placid, but it comes with a price. Dry mouth, weight gain, etc. 

2. Speaking of weight gain, body fat is a contributor to depression. If your partner is eating processed foods, over-eating, and doesn't exercise regularly, it is almost impossible to feel better. If you want to help your partner, encourage them to exercise. I have struggled with weight my whole life. It contributes to my depression. When I am doing cardio, lifting weights, and eating right - I am on top of the world.

3. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ was the foundation of my motivation to live and get out of bed in the morning. 

4. Take it one day at a time with your partner. Sometimes relearning how to live, how to deal with negative thought patterns, how to feel and be better takes time to develop. 


I hope that any of you dealing with a depressed loved one can find the way to joy and peace again. 



joshua45, Community Member
6/15/11 10:12am

Hi, My name is bob and I am a psychologist.  I have dealt with clinical depression professionally most of my career.  First it is important to know that there are basically two types of depression: (1) Endogenous depression and (2) Exogenous depression.  The first is also called biological depression and would require medication because of its etiology. (ie) a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by either a diseased state (like a thyroid issue) or hormonal changes that DO OCCUR to all people.  The second type is due to 'a situation' or struggle in how to handle something like a loss of a loved one, abuse, etc. etc. etc. The treatment of choice would be 'talk therapy' where the person can "work through their struggles by finding new ways of coping and resolving the depression. Hence for some (endogenous) depression requires medication which can be prescribed by a specialist or a General practice MD. and the other type (exogenous) would require professional counseling, etc.  Also know that some depressions resolve themselves over time and in reality, get resolved all by themselves. 

Learnedalesson, Community Member
7/19/11 1:26pm

Hi all,  I am answering due to my having lived with my ex-wife for 20 years of manic-depression. I like many was ignorant for 15 plus years then in denial then finally getting my head on strait and dealing with it. My ex had bouts of depression where she would not work, not eat, curl up in a fetal position and not communicate. She would excessively smoke and drink, have multiple affairs and on and on. Unfortunately I tried the "loving her back to health" trip (WRONG!!!) and she ruined us financially twice, the second time we lost our home, vehicles and everything else besides. Our children suffered greatly as she influenced them in horrible ways and confused them even more. MY PROBLEM was that I did not take charge due to fear of divorce ( THE BEST THING THAT EVER CAME FROM HER DEPRESSION !!!!) She was diagnosed by 5 doctors and still denied that "SHE" was the problem and of course "I" caused it all and even told all the children (age 3-19) that I had forced her to have all the affairs and she had to party and such because I had "hurt her" so badly. Now I am a very mellow person by nature but after she had me evicted, divorced me, left me with $40 and my vehicle and clothes with nowhere to live, guess what! I had a revelation that I had been a dumb-ass for putting up with all this for so long and that not only was I being a neglegent father but a bad husband for allowing this to go on so long. Now understand I beleive that you promise in sickness and in health BUT! when someone is like a tornado going around destroying lives YOU MUST TAKE POWERFUL ACTION! If your spouse will not get help or take their meds correctly (like none and then lots etc.) then DO SOMETHING! I wish I had much sooner. I did get custody of my children back and life is getting back to my idea of normal but she still messes with the children's minds and I truly wish I had not married her ever. The moral of my story is "If someone refuses treatment and is destroying lives then deal with it as necessary" you can not save them from themselves. As the judge said at our divorce hearing "it is not illegal for her to refuse treatment and she hasn't killed anybody".

yuma, Community Member
8/13/11 5:49am

TEB I dealt with the same situation. When my wife chose not to use the medication and after trying every other way. I ended up using Tough love. I packed her stuff and put them by the door and called a Taxi. I told her that I love her but I also was responsible for my children and could not continue dealing with her depresion if she was not willing to help. She had a choice the medication or get out. She has taken the medication ever since. But you have to be resolute to let her go otherwise she will manipulate you with guilt trips and accusation. Remembber you are doing it both for her own good and to keep your and your kids sanity. Best of luck

Catch22, Community Member
10/14/11 5:08am

I have a similar story to many above and am glad to see how typical so much of it is. Thanks to everyone for writing in.

My wife of ten years became cold between having our first and second child a year ago. She started accusing me of making her sad and feeling unloved. At first I just tried to be more affectionate thrilled that she had said she wanted to be loved. Her accusations against me only became more aggressive until we eventually went to a marriage counsellor. For a couple of months it was decided week after week that I could take on even more of the work in the house and with the kids in order to give her space to deal with a depression she would not fully admit to. I resented feeling punished for her own problem but ended up doing the work and staying as pleasant as possible for her. She eventually admitted to having a fling with a work buddy and has since been more angry with me then ever, out of guilt I think. I vent with friends and try be as loving toward her as possible without crowding her. She's near to being convinced to take meds but I'm not sure she will.

The big problem for me is that I can't imagine her loving me again and I can't leave my kids to suffer her moods without me. I'm the one on tranquilisers now and they help but from what I've read I think I need to get a lawyer and look to as amicable a divorce as possible. If anyone has experienced these things and found a safe and happy outcome please let me know. I'm looking for excuses to stay hopeful as I've found it impossible to stop loving her because I know the malicious stuff is not the real person I married. We've been together for a third of our lives.

Hironimus, Community Member
11/11/11 6:42pm

The bottom line is this: if you don't have kids, then say 'Good luck' and get the hell out of there for good. If you do have kids then move out and start taking turns to look after the kids. That's your only obligation. 9 times out of 10 the relationship is making it worse, and if there's any way you can get out of the relationship then do. This whole 'I can't leave her, she's my world' thing is pure crap. There are literally millions of other women out there, and if the one you've plumped for turns out to be nuts then it's not the end of the world.


Move out, share the kids, get sole custody if she's completely round the bend. But don't put yourself through hell. You only live once and life is short. Enjoy it and don't waste your time with someone who doesn't deserve you.

Eddie, Community Member
11/28/11 2:19am

Thank you for all of the information. I know now that I am not the only guy in the world going through this. I made a vow to support her in sickness and health and I will do this! My question is "Where do I start, who can I talk to?"


jay wright, Community Member
12/29/11 9:12am

I have read some of these posts and I truly feel like I am not alone any more, somewhat.  I am a minister, the LORD is my life and I live a honest, clean life.  After 4 years of marriage, my wife is now cruel, she is verbally and physically abusive, lies and says I do drugs and that I do not provide for our 10 month old baby.  All of this is the exact opposite.  Anyone and everyone who truly knows me and my routine in life, knows I have been through many painful, dark days/nights with fear of going home after I live my office.  I saw red flags and I always thought I could pray our way any situation.  I believe in prayer but my wife needs to take personal responsibility for herself to a degree.  I have begged, pleaded and cried over and over for her to get help but everything, everday is always said to be my fault.  I would do my 8-4:30 office job, I often found myself going home, doing the yard work, later doing the dishes, laundry and preparing the baby's diperbag for the next day.  we both work but my wife shuts down when she is home, emotionally and physically.  She went from being involved in church as a Sunday School teacher to missing church and cussing me for going.  She would say I was having affairs, smoking drugs and living a double life.  This has broken my heart and I finally told her to leave until her "got her head on straight".  She took our baby with her and would not allow me or my family to see the baby for 24 days.  It was the worst pain I have ever experienced.  In the past, we have had marriage counseling (until she told me she would never go back because the counselor and I was ganging up on her when the sessions turned to her childhood traumas of abuse and abandonment by her mother), I have taken her to a psychiatrist and she was diagnosed with dysthymia and anxiety in 2008.  Of course she always stopped her meds soon afterward and always blamed me for all the evil in this world. 


After she realized I wasn't going to ask her back in a couple days or so, she got an EPO served on me so I couldn't see the baby.  My wife was so jealous of how the baby cried after me and how I tended to the baby's needs.  Now, I am alone, only see my 10 month old baby on Saturdays for 9 hours and am having a difficult time even with support from the church, family and neighbors.  Recently she filed for divorce and we have been to court twice.  I am not allowed to speak with her or any of her family, she never even took her earrings, nail polish, clothes, shoes , make-up, etc.  These are all at home with me.  I want to give them to her but I am afraid of going to jail so I will not break the false EPO.  Three nights ago I found a receipt from 2 months ago when she has purchased stimulants on-line for weight loss.  Looking back, this even intensified her anxiety, verbal abuse and disorder.  I am so disappointed, so hurt.  Another thing is, if she called I would speak with her to see where she is menatlly these days because I only see her in court and we do not speak.  There is a part of me that second guesses me putting my foot down and telling her to leave our home.  I couldn't allow her to stay there because I was afraid she would burn the house down, destroy my recording equipment or damage my items.  I only wanted our baby to have a mom and dad at home who love her and love one another.  My dreams are broken and I feel betrayed and alone.  Could someone talk with me and advise me too any degree?  My parents (who watched the baby while we worked) are destroyed, they have been married 38 years and say they do not know how to deal with divorce, etc.  On the other hand, divorce is no big deal to her family and her mom, dad and sister is divorced.  I pity my wife but I was fearful that she could have killed me.  God bless all of you and thanks for reading this. 



Judy, Community Member
12/29/11 10:31am

Jay, I just happened to catch your comment and read all of these, back to early 2009.  I don't want to write an epistle, but want to say that I think you did nothing wrong here - I think sometimes relationships get irretrievably broken and you did what you thought was the safest for everyone.  It's sad to hear about so many being resistant to therapy or to even looking at themselves, but I believe that the younger you are, the more difficult it is because you haven't gained the perspective that comes with age and experience.  One person here said his wife didn't have the stresses of an outside job, but perhaps her being home all the time with the kids and household responsibilities made a big contribution to her depression - she may have felt like she was trapped.  I know that I would have been a terrible stay-at-home mother because it wasn't enough intellectual stimulation for me.  I have lived with depression for most of my life but have been getting help for many, many years, both therapy and medication, as well as couples therapy.  I found myself hating my husband, but we kept at it and things are much better today.


On the other hand, I have a son who is going through his second divorce, this time with a little boy in the picture.  He has had depression for most of his life, too, but only treats it sporadically.  His wife has a number of problems, including high anxiety, but when it got to the point where they needed couples therapy, they saw HER therapist and, of course, my son was going to feel like he was ganged up on.  She eventually left him more than a year ago (they share custody of my grandson) because of his depression and recently decided she wanted him back, but now he's too angry and hurt to even consider it.  So, in the meantime, they are filing for bankruptcy, he's paying a ton of child support and she's still asking for money.


I do think the welfare of the child has to be the first consideration and I don't believe you necessarily have to have endless patience, especially if the depressed person won't get help.  But it might be a good idea to get help for yourself.  The other thing is, a relationship consists of two people and while the depression may be a huge part of the problem, there are probably things going on that exacerbate it which might possibly be something the other spouse can be aware of and try to modify.


I feel for you, not being able to see your child as often as you'd like.  Is this something that the court is dictating, or is it because of your work schedule?  Your parents will have to adjust to your divorce, they don't have much choice, but the important thing is that they avoid bad-mouthing anyone, especially as your child gets older.  I try to be as non-judgmental as I can with my daughter-in-law because she IS the mother of my grandson.  I take care of him one day a week to help out with expenses, as well as some other times, and he has another set of grandparents who love him dearly, so he has a lot of positive energy flowing around him, at least.


Sorry to go on so long, but I just wanted to support you in your decision, it sounds like you did the right thing.  I hope you can move on and live a good life.  You can't save your wife, so at least save yourself.  And prayer is good, but sometimes the answers we get aren't what we expect!  Take care.

jay wright, Community Member
12/29/11 12:01pm

Thanks for responding.  You seemed very well structured and orderly.  I feel the same as you regarding prayer, although I haven't received an answer as of this minutes, I know God hears my cries and understands my tears.  He will provide and aswer me in His time.  I am not bitter, I am not actually still "in love " with my wife but I am still "in love" with the vows I have taken before God.  I honored that and have tried far beyond what I thought I could have ever attempted before.  It is just a very hard but valuable lesson learned.  I am in a new stage regarding all of this and I do not want my biased loved ones advising me just because they know what I stand for and who I truly am.  I second guess myself alot because I want what is best for my girl and family but I must move on with the help of the Good Lord.  I know He doesn't like divorce and has ordained family unity but sometimes people do not want to be a team player.  He also called and ordained me to preach and witness to a lost and dying world and I honor that far more than any thing else.  I know I am not exempt from trials and disappointments just because I love and serve God.  I just miss my baby so deeply because I held her everyday, read to her and made sure she had what she needed.  I tried the same for my wife.  My wife doesn't surround herself with positive, godly people and we could be perceiving this from much different angles.  I have much more highs and much more low times.  It depends on whether I am fleshly or in Spirit.  I suppose that's normal.  My mom and dad have shown much love to my wife, depite her behavior, and they just pray for her and troubles.  I think the love they have shown her, in which I'm sure she has felt when she is rational, has caused her issues because she is mature enough to know the differences in families and motives.  Thank you for your time and if you are a praying lady, please pray that God will take care of us in the ways we all need, whether or not it is the way I or anyone else desires.  I recall Jesus asking The Father to let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless, not my will be done, but your's Father.  He fell in love with family, friends and loved ones and did,'t want to die.  I must desire to be totally submissive to His will as well, although it is painful.  Have a blessed new year.             

MT, Community Member
1/ 1/12 11:51pm

I know I am off topic, but has anyone identified the root cause? If this extreme illness is not handled correctly, what extreme has you all taken to resolve this other than being passive?


I went above and beyond, not being sad or tore up inside (which I do, but I won't admit it). She may be the world to you but she can be someone you once loved.


Mine has PMDD turning Post Menapause. Read about these if they match, then you know what you up against.


Few quick rules that work for me: don't provoke, don't take it personally on bad days. There are good days to talk to her.


Second rule, take control, gain the upper hand, and love your children. If you don't have children, then consider separate paths in life.  Life is too damn valuable.


baby crying, i will finish this another night....

Dkeen, Community Member
3/28/12 5:46am
This is pretty old but maybe someone will find this Post useful. Im not married, nor am i a christian but i have been chronically depressed all of my adult life. Most of the stories here are focusing on their wives reactions to them and how it frustrates them. What you dont realize is that if your Wife is truly dEpressed in the biochemical sense then there are no rules, there are no obligations or morality, love isnt even in the equation. If your wife suddenly contracted alzheimers would you get mad at her for not knowing anything? What im saying is that depression is a serious debhilitating illness. You are adressing her like she is making some evil choice to be this way. In reality there are two options if you want to keep the relationship you just suckit up and put up with it and MAYBE one day things will get better. Or you leave (if this is the case why did you get married anyways? Would you leave your wife if she became a vegitable?). You have to decide what to do because she wont and no reasoning or talk will change that, untill she understands and accepts her illness, and even then there will still be some days. Reply
Dkeen, Community Member
3/28/12 6:03am
I wanted to add that alot of these dont sound like dpression. Depressed people dont yell and blame others, they shut off and are quiet. Depression doesnt usually just manifest, its a disease. Diseases dont just spontaneously appear, you really need to make sure you know the person youre marrying. Reply
john, Community Member
4/11/12 8:50am

This all sounds very familiar... my wife had a severe reaction forst to prazac and then effexor.  It changed her personality and made her depression worse to the point of a suicide attempt.  She fell out of love with me, infact hated me and said she had never loved me, accused me of being abusive and controlling and even said she was scared of me hitting her!



Long story short, after a long and difficult withdrawal we got her off the drugs and she feels like she just woke up from a nightmare.  She is ridden with guilt over the false accusations and true personality has returned. Now we are happy again.


The drugs turned her into a monster.

Ted, Community Member
6/15/12 5:08pm

I am in a similar problem here is a letter to her mother:


I am not very sensitive to Mary. (I can be rude)
I can be Lazy. (not tidying up and doing other chores)
I can be greedy. (finishing all the food in the house)
I do not have much money. (a lot of financial pressure)
I am not the ideal partner for your daughter (I would not want me for a Son in Law)


As her primary guardian (mother) I need to let you know my thoughts:

I think Mary might have medical depression.
I think you need to intervene so that at least she can be evaluated by a professional (I hope I am wrong).

I find it very difficult to make her happy.
She finds it difficult to leave her bed in the mornings.
She is easily angered.
She cries very easily.
She is physically violent.
She constantly threatens me with murder.
She always threatens me with suicide. (If I do not clean the kitchen tonight for example)

As I am inside the relationship it is difficult to assess if we are having "relationship problems" caused by me or a medical condition,
or a combination of the two.

It would be irresponsible of me to keep quiet on this issue.
I know this is a sensitive issue and I hope you understand that I would only write this because I am truly concerned.

I know I am not perfect and all this might just be my fault. I hope this is the case.

I think Mary needs to be evaluated by a specialist.
I cannot tell her this because I am part of the problem and she will not take me seriously.

I await your thoughts



I have not sent it yet. She is 25 and I am 36

It does not feel like  good idea to send it as I fear the relationship with the parents might be damaged for good. Any thoughts? This is my first attempt at anything on this issue. I would like the advice of people ahead of the curve on this one.


Any thoughts welcomed




r srinivas, Community Member
1/10/13 10:59am

do let your wife be treated by psychiatrist  -  of course depressed spouse says she has just nothing and there is no necessity to visit a doctor - but i suggest you not to hide depression of your wife with your family members ie mother father brothers and sisters [i mean to say atleast with these people we can coup up well] - some how by technical version basing on her negativeness with negativeness and positiveness with positiveness you can win over your spouse and i assure that your wife believe you atleast you are with her - in order to explain more please contact with my emial address

r srinivas, Community Member
1/10/13 10:59am

do let your wife be treated by psychiatrist  -  of course depressed spouse says she has just nothing and there is no necessity to visit a doctor - but i suggest you not to hide depression of your wife with your family members ie mother father brothers and sisters [i mean to say atleast with these people we can coup up well] - some how by technical version basing on her negativeness with negativeness and positiveness with positiveness you can win over your spouse and i assure that your wife believe you atleast you are with her - in order to explain more please contact with my emial address

Crystal, Community Member
1/11/13 11:09pm
I first want to say how sorry I am for what the men on this post have been through. I admire each and every one of you for hanging in there. I really don't know how you did/do it. The bottom line is the psychological and physical safety of your children and yourselves is a must. If your spouse chooses not to get help, you can not help her. Acceptance that there is something wrong and that help is needed for things to get better is needed. Without it, you can't do anything. There are long lasting effects on these children having to live in this type of environment that will be with them for the rest of their lives. Leave for the sake of the children and yourself. Again, if she won't get help. I have read all of these posts and I am not an expert but many, not all, of these posts sound like Bipolar or some other mental illness, not depression alone. A psychiatrist is the very best person to see when their is a suspected issue such as the ones mentioned. They are the professionals to determine if it's depression or if it is another issue. In addition, as one post stated, going to a medical doc and having a full blood workup is essential. They will check hormones, thyroid, vitamin defeciency etc. Beleive or not, these things can cause some of the symptoms your wives are having. Maybe they would be more prone to start here. If these are ruled out, then take the next step, the psy. dr. Therapy is crucial here. I hope this helps and I wish you all to have some peace. Crystal Reply
Fedup, Community Member
2/27/13 8:52am

I am depressed and I have a controlling husband. He wants to help me get better by filling me with anti depressents as a quick fix because he doesnt want to change.....So its not all one sided, its not always hormonal. Ive had bouts of depression before, we get through it when he makes promises to change...then he doesnt. Its been the pattern in my marraige for 30yr. So spouces or partners of the depressed...Do you help or hinder the depression getting better. Has she said what needs to change...did you pretend you would but couldnt really be botherd? Yes I am depressed but for my 2 kids I would have walked long ago. I need courage not prozac.


Fedup, Community Member
2/27/13 8:52am

I am depressed and I have a controlling husband. He wants to help me get better by filling me with anti depressents as a quick fix because he doesnt want to change.....So its not all one sided, its not always hormonal. Ive had bouts of depression before, we get through it when he makes promises to change...then he doesnt. Its been the pattern in my marraige for 30yr. So spouces or partners of the depressed...Do you help or hinder the depression getting better. Has she said what needs to change...did you pretend you would but couldnt really be botherd? Yes I am depressed but for my 2 kids I would have walked long ago. I need courage not prozac.


Fedup, Community Member
2/27/13 8:52am

I am depressed and I have a controlling husband. He wants to help me get better by filling me with anti depressents as a quick fix because he doesnt want to change.....So its not all one sided, its not always hormonal. Ive had bouts of depression before, we get through it when he makes promises to change...then he doesnt. Its been the pattern in my marraige for 30yr. So spouces or partners of the depressed...Do you help or hinder the depression getting better. Has she said what needs to change...did you pretend you would but couldnt really be botherd? Yes I am depressed but for my 2 kids I would have walked long ago. I need courage not prozac.


J Hut, Community Member
3/19/13 2:33pm

I have read all of these. i am not alone.  Sadly there were no answers either, other than bear with it from the young to middle aged and I wish I'd left from the older.  Here is my story.

I came out of a divorce with my ex and was on my own for about a year and a half.  Then I met a beautiful, wonderful, loving woman.  She loved me, my kids and was just amazing! 

We moved in together and started a life.  I got custody of my three kids and she has her three.  After 6-7 months of living together we get married.  Everything is great!  Then, severe mood swings start up.  I knew she had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, but she had meds.  Come to find out she forgot to fill her perscription.  Ever since that moment, she goes on and off her meds constantly. 

To echo everyone else in the forum, its my fault, she was single and happy with her life before me and never should have married me.  "My kids shouldn't be raised like this!" "You brought too many problems into my house!" 

Now don't get me wrong, six kids is a lot.  Laundry alone is mind blowing, but I do most everything in the house so she has nothing to complain about.  Hindsight...not the best move.  Any time the house gets messy is because my kids did something.  She is resenting me now, and is throwing around the divorce word a lot.  Now the icing on the cake... She's pregnant.  Thats a recent development, but she is now completely off her meds, even though the OB said her meds are fine to take while pregnant. Ever since coming completely off, its a nightmare.  I've been dealing with this for about 5-6 months.  For those of you who stayed longer, holy crap thats impressive!  I just want my wife back.

gem003, Community Member
7/ 2/13 8:47am

This post goes back sometime but has been very help ful to me. I have a 24year old son who is depressed and it is agonizing, depleting, heart breaking and annoying.

I want my own life but feel i always need to be here for him. Well one thing I've learn from these posts is it is ok for me to leave him, go out and enjoy myself. I'm not helping him by not having my own life. I will still show him care but I now know i can not help him. Like many husbands here have expressed that their wives dislike them and blame them, so he is the same with me.

I've done the encouraging for him to seek help and he has at times but then said it's a waste of t ime.

I have felt like a prisoner to him, feeling guilt if i see anyone or go out without him. He is very possesive of me. There may be other mental issues here but I believe it is depression as I've read so much.

Unlike a husband a mom can not leave her son; I just hope for his sake he leaves me some day.

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By TEB, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/13/14, First Published: 01/19/09