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I am scared and lost about my wifes depression

Community Member
Hi peeps,This is a first for me but I am struggling. My wife of 22yrs has recently been diagnosed with moderate depression. I love her so much and I am struggling and hurting bad. I am doing my best to support and care for her. We walk 10km a day and I try to open up to her but she never opens up to me. She says shes "numb inside". When I hug her and tell her I love her there is nothing.. She feels nothing.. She has a good friend network and lots of support amd lots of love pouring in, but me, nothing..I pray everyday for a glimmer of love, a spark to occur but I am struggling so much. I feel alone in this. I dont want to loose my wife. I have always pictured us 80 with heaps of grandkids.. Will she ever love me again? I am so sad trying to hold it all together and be strong including seeing my own psych for help.. Unfortunately I have realised I am only human. A lost lonely one at that... What can I do? Will she ever come back to me? I know shes dealing with alot.. Meds are still in the infant stage (3 weeks) and I am prepared to wait how ever long it takes and to take it day by day.. but... Is there a light at the end of this tunnel.. Will she feel for me as she once did??
9 Replies 9

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Barty, welcome

I'd like to answer your questions in two parts. Your issues could be IMO due to either or both.

1. Her mental health. Medications usually take around 6 weeks to begin working. There will be no change in 3 weeks. Here are a few threads that will enlighten you to the tough task of understanding the crippling effect of depression. Just read the first post of each thread. Google the following.

Topic: depression, a ship on the high seas- beyondblue

Topic: newly diagnosed with depression? What to expect- beyondblue

Topic: how natural is depression?- beyondblue

Topic: depression our ultimate goal- beyondblue

Topic: be radical- beyondblue (this thread explores ways to overcome lifestyle that has little spontaneity or has stress.)

And many more on this site. Just scroll through the depression category

2. Lack of feeling "in love" with you. You sound like you'll pull out all stops to solve this feeling of a rift.

Female members might be better to answer this but I'd assume revisiting venues you both did years ago. Romance her. Flowers, chocolate and a movie. And so on.

What about you book a Saturday morning hot air balloon and she has to rise at 4am? But dont tell her your gift to her.

If you have physically drift dont forget to hold her hand again! Many dont.

Hope that helps

Tony WK

Thanks Tony.. You are correct in pulling out all the stops..but I dont want to feel like I am smothering her either.. Its finding that balance I guess.. Its just hard as she is an emotional flat line no mood swings or highs lows so its hard to gauge where I am going wrong or right.. I feel selfish about all this as I feel what shes going through but I am also a fighter and dont want this to take hold of her. Its the little things that count I guess and the "taking things day by day"

Hi Barty

We with mental illness have a hard time accepting our predicament. I think you as a loving soul is struggling yourself and worrying.

Her depression is very much part of her own self. Stephen Fry once said if he had the choice he wouldnt have taken his depression away, such was its significance as being part of him.

So it has already taken hold of her in that aspect. Worrying about if her depression will change her is unfounded as its already a part of her.

Better to focus on a/ helping her as an observer as to fine tuning hef medication and being generally supportive b/ working on your relationship and c/ helping reduce stress in the home like making sure the least financial worries, organise direct debits rather than unexpected bills, reliable car/s, informing family to not burden her too much with their own issues etc.

Thats more practical and effective.


Tony WK

Community Member

Hey Barty,

Just wanna say firstly, my heart really goes out to you. Being the loved one of a depressed person is just as hard as being the depressed person themselves. I'm sure you feel very hopeless and confused right now. I'm a depressed person myself so I'm not sure if my words can help, but I do have to ask, how long has your wife been on medication for? In my history, medication can actually make things worse before it makes them better. Medication can also cut your feelings off, it numbs the feelings of sadness but equally can numb happiness.
I hope your wife is seeing a doctor so they can monitor her meds, see if she needs a different type or if you guys need to just wait longer for them to be effective.

Also another good suggestion, you two should go on walks everyday together, the exercise will lift both of your moods and be a bonding experience!

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Barty174,

I have a different point of view as a wife with major depression which might help.

Before I started treatment I was all over the place. Mood swings. Unpredictable. And so very very guilty and scared. I felt guilty because I wasn't the woman my husband married. I felt scared because I didn't know if I could be that woman anymore. I tried to keep myself together but I was frightened all the time that one day he'd get too overwhelmed and leave me.

Doesn't help when the depression is in your ear all the time telling you you're worthless and your husband would be better off marrying someone else.

We talk bluntly and honestly now. I tell him how I feel. He tells me. It's not perfect but when depression is in your head mixing everything up it's good to have words out in the open.

What helps me? I don't need the big gestures. He gets me out of the house when I'm low even just for a walk or a picnic. Gives me time for myself when I need it. Will make us both a cuppa and sit in the dark outside and talk for hours. Reminds me things he loves about me. And of course holding hands and touch. Ultimately making an effort and making sure I know regardless of how I'm changing he wants to change with me and loves me. Funnily enough I love him all the more for the way he's been through this all.

You can get your wife and yourself to do a quiz online about love languages it might give you some input into what makes her feel loved (and yourself). Some people feel loved getting notes around the house, others feel lost without physical touch. It is a really helpful thing to look into.

I hope this helps even a little. Also don't forget to keep reaching out for help and support for yourself too. Reach out to friends and family and on here and your counsellor. Just remember your health is important too.

Thanks for your words twineleven it helps getting another perspective.. We are both only new too it all so yes its the waiting game for the moment.. Its a long hard slog ahead for us both to overcome this.. Its only been a relatively short period of time 5/6 weeks on the meds so I know "tweeking" will have to happen.. Day by day is the mantra.. I am just finding it hard to maintain the momentum to carry us both and the family across the line.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Marty, I'm sorry for how you're wife is feeling, but with depression it can just appear for no apparent reason, which is probably the most confusing part to this illness, because there are so many unanswered questions that keep reoccurring, and unfortunately she will not be able to answer any of them, which will become frustrating for you, but she doesn't know.
You have to appreciate that the word 'love' has no meaning to her, it's not that she doesn't, far from it, but the only feeling she has is 'of nothing', not even a beautiful flower blooming means nothing for her, nor a perfect dinner if she wants to eat, the only feeling is blank until the negative thoughts start coming, if they haven't already.
Please remember that everything you try to do to help is not because she doesn't love you or appreciate what you are doing it's just because there is no sense of any feeling and this is where you are going to feel that you're not doing anything to help her, but you are, and all her friends will be concentrating on getting her better, forgetting that you also have feelings that need to be attended to.
I'm pleased you are seeing your psych, but perhaps tell one of her friends how you are feeling, you also need to be noticed, and never fear if you start crying. Geoff.

Community Member

Thanks Geoff.. Your insite is extremely helpful as with everyones on this thread and I cant thank you all enough for your kind words and insites.. As a person only able to support and love its helpful to gain an insite to what she is feeling/going through.. I have read researched alot over the last few weeks and have also found that a friends wife also suffers from depression.. its amazing that you have known someone for years and only find out about these things later.. I think/feel/hope that this will only bring us closer in the end...as I have mentioned I am just struggling as its only the at beginning and with my work taking me away every other month I feel as i am abandoning her in her time of need. I am thankful for all her friends being there for her and helping her when I am away but that responsibility of love and care I feel for my wife makes it that much harder when I go..even guilty or selfish. So I guess when I am home I try to make up for the time away..

Again.. To all who have posted on this thread your words and insites help so much and I am so thankful to you all..

Community Member
I have no advice for anyone, except to say that i'm coming from the other side. My wife of 15 yrs recently left me because she can't handle my condition. She's most likely best off without me, but i'll never stop loving her, as i'm sure your wife still loves you Barty. Hang in there man, continue to be patient with her. As log as you're there for her, you're not letting her down