At a loss - husband suffering from depression and anxiety - no support
I will try to keep this as short and simple as possible, however please forgive me if I don't manage this too well as my issues are quite consuming and difficult for me to process.
I have been with my husband for 9 years, married for 7. We have one son and a second baby due any day now. This year in January, after years of ignoring his pain, he sought help and was diagnosed with depression and GAD. I have tried my best to support him whilst managing 95% of the household responsibilities as well as working full time just as he does.
My struggle now is that it feels as though the relationship is very one-sided. I am expected to support him unconditionally and forgive/forget whenever I am in pain or when he has hurt me at the risk of overwhelming him. I am not a person who likes to internalise my emotions, but am being forced to because I feel bad for burdening him and he does not respond well when we 'talk', nor does it seem like he cares if I am feeling okay or not. He says that he cannot manage a lot of things (hasn't been for a long time) because the depression prevents him from being motivated, yet he is able to play video games, watch whatever show he wants, spend time on social media and manage organising things for himself but it's too hard to do anything for our family, me or the house in general.
Please also bear in mind that whilst he was diagnosed this year, he has been a sufferer for much longer. He now is on medication and sees a Pyschologist, but has not stuck to most of her suggestions. I feel like he is taking me for granted and abusing our relationship because he thinks I will always be around. I am now at the point where I do not see that happening and have actively been looking at separation as the only solution.
I am due to be a mother of 2 soon. I have felt like a single parent many a times and it is difficult to cope. I feel a lot of anger and resentment towards my husband now and whilst I acknowledge they are not healthy feelings, I can't help but feel them. I feel drained emotionally and physically and regularly have to fight him to get support for myself or what seems like just acknowledgement that I too am a person with feelings and emotions; someone who will also need support, particularly now as I'm a week shy of giving birth.
How do I approach this? What do I do? He is difficult to talk with and doesn't engage when I try. I feel cornered and suffocated in this relationship.
I do agree with you that even though he is suffering from depression he is taking advantage that you can still do 95% of the household and has continued being in this position, yet he can play video games, manage organising things for himself and using social media, normally depression wouldn't allow this to happen with all of these.
Normally I may not have said this, but yes the r/ship is only one-sided, especially when you're about to give birth to a new baby, this is something that he should be told, and if he won't accept that he needs to help you 50/50 then you are most likely going to get PND, although I'm qualified to say,
Perhaps you could say to him that you want to go with him to see his psychologist, if he won't allow this then you could go to a marriage counsellor, however this is the time where you could write a letter to his psych explaining on what's been happening, and I wonder whether his psych even knows about this, probably not, because his life is all about himself.
There is a lot that's going to happen sooner or later, and now you are the one who needs the help.
I hope to hear back from you. Geoff.
Welcome to the forums and thanks for reaching out.
I'm really sorry to hear about both you and your husband. Having been both a person with depression and a carer of people with depression I can really see both sides of the coin. It is incredibly difficult and I feel for you; I'm also really glad that you reached out and that you're here.
It sounds to me like you've really made a solid effort in trying to support your partner vs balancing life in general. I can really see why you'd be feeling suffocating yet I know it's difficult because in many ways depression has such a grip on your partner too.
There is one thing I'd really like to suggest but it's a bit unusual so just go with me; you see a counsellor too. Although I'm mindful of how you don't have these conditions, supporting someone with them is a big deal as well as a baby on the way! Having a psychologist of your own can be both an outlet as well as (most importantly) a really helpful way of learning to both set boundaries, care for your partner and care for yourself.
I've found in my own experiences sometimes there is a fine line with how much we can personally tolerate; trying to balance everything and feeling so alone in the process. Having that psychologist there can support you in finding that line and navigating how to put yourself first and support him with his own depression and anxiety in the process. Perhaps this might be about setting clear boundaries, getting some extra support, negotiating (i.e. I'm feeling overwhelmed and need some help. If I clean the kitchen can you vacuum?" and finding that wiggle room so you can both talk about how you're feeling.
Hope this helps,