What a difficult situation for you. Married the woman you love for life, and feeling like the dream is not going to come true. You didn't sign up for this right?
Well, yeh, you kinda did. Marriage is about the bad with the good. I have a sense you know that and definitely don't need a lecture on the ethics of marriage. And this is a good thing because it shows that your heart and head are in the right place. You just need some help.
One thing I learned a while ago is that I take me wherever I go. Seems obvious to you? Well, it may not seem obvious to your wife. In my depression I kept on thinking (well, still do sometimes!) that if this changed, or that went away, that I would be so much happier and better. When I read the way you describe your wife it feels as if she is thinking in a similar way. She wasnt really happy in San Francisco, despite some good things. She isn't really happy in San Diego, despite some good things. And the common denominator is... her. She takes herself with her wherever she goes. And this is why she will never get over this until she gets the help she needs for herself.
And this is where it gets difficult for you. There is a lot you can do to help your wife. But she needs to know she needs the help. She needs to want the help. She needs to have an epiphany of sorts, a break in the clouds, so that she can gain a different perspective on her thoughts. How to do this?
I suggest prepare a discussion with her. And when I say prepare I really mean that because she is very sensitive and you need to minimise the barriers she puts up to really listening. So you need to know what you want to say before you say it. It needs to go something like this:
Take you and your wife away from home - the familiar environment helps the walls stay up. If she enjoys the movies, it may be a good idea to take her to a movie - I have found that the break from one's own head that the story in a movie provides can be a good opening. If the movie is a little sad this could be even better as you get the opportunity to hug and kiss for the sadness of the movie and may be able to swing that around to continue talking about her sadness, or the triggers the movie has given her.
Have a meal somewhere quiet. This is where you will talk. A picnic in a park is romantic as well as giving you a quieter place to talk.
Keep what you want to say to a minimum. What is the crux of the message you want to give? Is it to get her to a doctor or therapist? Is it to get her to realise she is terribly sad and she doesnt deserve to live this way? If you keep your message fairly short you avoid lecturing and open yourself to listening.
Talk about her. Not your marriage, or parents or friends or job etc. Get her to see that she, as a person and individual in her own right, does not deserve or need to continue suffering. If she wants to talk about how having a job, or living in a different town or whatever would help you need to gently remind her of the times when she had these things but they weren't enough. Let her know that no matter where she goes she is taking herself along for the ride.
Keep your attitude right. Make this conversation all about her. When she talks stop the chatter in your own head and really listen to what she is saying, what she is not saying, and what may underlie all that. There will be a lot more unspoken than spoken and if you can sense any of this due to your love and care for her, and verbalise this for her, you may find yourself slowly getting past her barriers.
Another way could be to enlist the help of friends and / or family. The message should be the same as above. A deep care for your wife as a person who must not feel this way one day longer.
Maybe there is a television show, or book, that has a message that your wife needs to hear and can see herself in.
Does she like animals? A puppy or kitten is absolutely known to be of help with people of all different needs - sickness, loneliness, depression.
Do you know of a hobby she could be doing that she would love but hasnt started? Does she sometimes mention she'd love to be painting, and may even have the paints, but hasnt started? Surprise her by booking her into an art class, thereby giving her the opportunity to work out how she feels by being creative. Has she always wanted to play the piano? Same thing.
I think that depression is in all the little things everyday. Not in the big things. Crises and tragedies can be managed simply because they give us so many things to do. And also because they can be seen by others and understood. But the little everyday things... grrrrr... they sukk. They are constant and don't go away by their very nature. The simple things are the things that can bring us down. I tell you this just so you can be aware.
Ryan, you will need to be so patient. Even if your wife begins to get help, there is no overnight cure. Living with and caring for a depressed person is tiring, and it starts to drain the soul. Imagine you have a bucket inside your head. That bucket is for your ability to give and receive. When you give to someone - not only your wife - a dipperful of water is taken from the bucket. When someone gives to you they pass a dipperful of water into your bucket. In this way the level of the bucket goes up and down... sometimes overflowing with what you have received, sometimes getting low because you have given without receiving much.
You need to be careful to look after yourself here Ryan, or you will go under. Work out what keeps your bucket full. Can you go and see a therapist so that you can talk about how you fit into this situation? Are there people that make you feel good when you're around them? Please don't let your bucket get bone dry, ok?
And there is good news. It won't be all about being tired and selfless. As your wife gets some help she will be more of the person you love, the person you married. The insights she will gain into her own soul will make her a stronger, deeper, wiser person over time and she will know that it is through your love and respect for her that she has been able to get through the sadness.
I honestly wish you both all the best. I hope your roads, both individually and as a couple, have as many 'yellow bricks' on them as well as hard stones.