Should I Stay Or Leave My Depressive Husband?

Question

Asked by Amy

Should I Stay Or Leave My Depressive Husband?

My husband has had depression for the duration of our relationship and I can honestly say that he has made huge efforts to cope with it and live life the best he can. The problem is that when he is depressed, he is more angry and unreasonable and even manipulative than anything else. I have learned to try to read him and give him space when he needs it among other things, but I am often caught in the crossfire. I truly hate living with what feels like two different people. My husband is amazing and makes me feel so special but the intruder (his depressed side) is nasty and really doesn't care about me at all, in fact to him everything is my fault. It doesn't help that I have a self esteem issue myself and tend to adopt the blame for everything, but I have honestly lost any sense of whether I am right or wrong - if that matters. We are in the middle of a bad couple of months and I'm not sure how much of this I can take. When is it right to feel that you should move on and accept that you will never be happy with a depressed partner? I love him to absolute bits, really I do and it would shatter me to leave. He was very very close to leaving me torwards the end of last year because he was just so depressed - similarly to a suicidal person, he felt he would be doing me a favour. What can I do? Could I be holding him back or preventing him from feeling happy as he sometimes tells me? I would really appreciate any help.

Answer

Hi Amy

This is one of the most difficult questions we get here on My Depression Connection. And I am afraid that there is no one right answer. It really is something only you can decide and I realize that this is a monumental decision.

Here are some questions which might help you in the process:

How long have you been married? How long has he been depressed? Are there children involved? What steps have been taken on his part to deal with his depression? Do you love him? Does he love you? Are there problems in the relationship which contribute to his depression? Would a separation help to know how you both feel?

Read this question and close your eyes. Imagine five years from now, ten years, or even twenty...can you see yourself with this person? What is the first answer that comes to mind without analyzing?

I just wrote a post about this very topic you may wish to read called, "Is your Partner Depressed or Just not that into You. " I am going to be writing more on this topic in the weeks to come because many of our members write in with similar questions.

Let us know more about your situation and I am sure our members can give you their opinion. But please know that this is a life changing decision and one that only you can make.

Good luck and let us know how things go.

Answered by Merely Me