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13 years with my husband having depression

Community Member
My husband of 16 years was diagnosed with depression 13 years ago. It runs in his family. We have three teenagers who are everything to us. When the kids were little I was always able to hide my partners downs, but as they are older now, it is a lot harder. They get upset when everything boils over for him and he ends in a mess of tears. I'm really struggling to hold it all together myself. I have very few friends who I can talk to, and also, they have their own things to deal with I don't want to burden them. My family don't understand (old school, just get over it) and his family are the ones who have contributed to his lack of self worth. He said there were signs there when he was young but they didn't listen to him as a child and don't really have much to do with us at the moment. Whenever he has tried to talk to them about it, there is no help or advice at all. He is on medication for this, but as of last night, he said it just makes him blah (as in not being able to feel the real highs in life, such as his kids achieving things). If he was allowed he would sleep all night and day. He's not motivated by anything and it's really dragging me down. I pretty much do everything around the house, finances, run teens around and also work myself. He also has anger issues (not towards us) that can affect his whole mood. I may ask him to do something after work, and then if someone annoys him, he comes home angry and doesn't use common sense and is just irrational. It is just too hard at times. A month ago I was crying all the time, thinking we should separate for a while, but I do really love him, and he loves me and the kids. But sometimes it's just seems like drama and too hard. I know it's not his fault but it is sooo hard on the partners too. I'm not sure what I'm asking out of this group but I thought after 13 yrs I need to try something. Also, I've tried to get him to see someone about it but he said we don't have the money to waste. We do have the money but he just can't see past it. Thanks for listening.
4 Replies 4

Community Member

Hi Beach, it sounds like you're really going through a tough time right now. Sometimes it's not actually the person with depression who suffers the most, it's the person who has to take care of everything for everyone. It's incredibly draining and emotionally exhausting, and your husband needs to acknowledge that. Having an illness like depression doesn't mean you get a free pass from the impact on your family members; just the opposite, you need to appreciate the work they do to make sure life is as secure as possible.

I was worried when you said you didn't want to burden your friends. Beach, that's what friends are for. We have friends literally so we have a support network for when things are bad, and so we can support them when they need us to. If the situation was reversed, are you telling me you wouldn't be horrified by the fact your friend is struggling and didn't want to tell you because she didn't want to be a burden? A cup of coffee, a slice of cake and an hours talking can lift an incredible load off your shoulders. Don't be afraid to ask for help, it doesn't mean they would feel burdened by it, it just means they would listen and maybe have some thoughts or suggestions, or just even be able to relate.

A while ago, I went through the worst period of depression in my life, I was at suicidal levels. The only thing that got me out of bed in the morning was my dog needed to be walked. I essentially loved him more than I hated myself. And then once I was up, I forced myself to go to work, etc. Got through the day, to do it again.

The point I'm making is, try asking him to go to see someone again, but instead of doing it for himself, do it for you and the kids. Because at the end of the day Beach, you may love him, but he needs to take steps towards managing his illness as well, and that means exploring all options that could improve his quality of life, AND yours, and that includes talking to a professional. If you're in a family unit and you have depression, then it is not all about you, it is about the family unit. Because you are all affected.

It sounds like to me you're just absolutely exhausted, drained, and wondering if life is ever going to improve. I can't give you an answer to that unfortunately; all I can say is that if this man isn't willing to try absolutely everything to keep someone like you in his life, maybe you should try separation even just to give yourself a break for a while. I hope life improves for you.

Community Member

Hi ,

thank you for sharing your thoughts. When i read this tears were running down my face, I felt like i was reading my own story.. I have been married for 19 years , but the last 3 years have been tough. The past 6 months prior to Covid have been a real rollercoaster. We also have 2 teenagers and same could also hide it but not now. His parents are not supportive and he has no one other than me to support him... I am feeling that i am now suffering more than him .. I feel blocked out with no emotions or care. We have tried psychologists went twice didnt go back. Will not try medication and i am pretty much ready to tell him to leave i cant do or say anything without being looked at or spoken to as if i am in the wrong. I have never suffered from depression in my life i am a bubbly peoples person ... I stay at work as long as i can to avoid going home to deal with confrontation.. But my kids need me aswell. I have no idea what to do!

Mum-Life you are correct...I have always been a positive person and find solutions to problems that need to be dealt with but feeling the lowest of lows isn't helping anyone. I just try and keep the peace, but then that's not enough when I boil over. As jax_in_my_heart said, he needs to understand the impact it is having on me (and the kids) and he needs to be willing to try other alternatives, as what is happening at the moment isn't working for any of us.

Thank you jax_in_my_heart. Yes, he needs to understand the impact it is having on me (and the kids) and he needs to be willing to try other alternatives, as what is happening at the moment isn't working for any of us. I will take on board what you have said and discuss this with him. Thank you again.