Need help in regards to my depressed husband please.
My husband and I have been having a lot of issues over the last two years. We now argue constantly. Mostly initiated by him. We had a huge fight last Tuesday and as it’s affecting the kids with all this fighting I asked him to leave within a week. He came home that night saying he had depression. I booked him the first available appointment at the GP. He has been on antidepressants now for 1 week and we have met with a marriage Counsellor. He starts his own counseling next Friday.
My problem is that I’m not sure how to handle his depression. I feel like he is using it as an excuse for everything. He says the antidepressants make him more tired so he’s been going to bed early. But he has done this for months. Two nights ago I only had 3 hours sleep as I was up 7 times with our 3 year old. He knew I was tired and still went to bed early. This morning he started having a go at me about going to bed at 11.30 I told him I was up with our 1 year old and trying to get him back to sleep. I said that he should have stayed up and let me get some sleep because he has been getting more sleep than anyone. He got so angry and said I’m not being supportive and said he should go away for a few days
Am I wrong to expect him to still do the right thing by me or am I right in thinking he is being very selfish in his actions?
I am not sure if I am supposed to let him get away with not doing anything or let him know that I’m upset. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells all the time because I never know when he’s going to blow up. I feel like I can’t tell him how I feel about anything because he just says he’s depressed and can’t help it.
With any relationship dispute there are two sides to a story as you would appreciate. Here, we only get one side and in this case that "side" is a fairly resentful side as you have displayed.
When you say arguments are "initiated by him", those sort of judgements are impossible for us to consider because he might well have justifiable reasons from his point of view. That's just one explanation why we cannot endorse just one side of a story.
Whatever the reason there is a distinct lack of trust on both sides. Medication takes up to 8 weeks to take effect so there wont be any remarkable change so early as one week. These two problems are the tip of the iceberg I'd suggest, so relationship counseling is the best remedy in your case.
There is a reason you both got together in the first place. To return to the "spark" is crucial to your future and that can only come from understanding and acceptance, each of you, as individuals.
I hope you find a family counselor soon, even if you attend alone if he refuses and well done in seeking help.
Hi Worried Mum81 (and white knight and paddyanne),
First of all, welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and well done on making your first post.
It sounds like your marriage is at a critical point and that the relationship is not sustainable the way it is at the moment. I can also hear you are really concerned about your children and you are trying to make sure they are cared for while all of this goes on. I'm sure this is a very stressful and painful time for you.
We all want to feel heard and valued in a relationship, so it's understandable if you are upset that you're having to put in a lot of extra work caring for the children and are missing out on sleep. I wonder if it would be possible to talk to your husband about this, as it is possible that you may begin to have resentment toward him if this is not addressed soon.
As white knight and paddyanne have mentioned, anti-depressants can take several weeks to take effect, so it's good that your husband has some counselling arranged in the meantime. Hopefully this will help him to start his journey of recovery soon.
One thing I did notice from your post is how well you have been able to ask for help - getting in touch with the GP, a marriage counsellor, an individual counsellor for your husband and also reaching out here on the forums. I think this is a real strength and will help you to feel supported throughout this difficult time. Can I ask if you have any other supports in your life (e.g. friends/family)? paddyanne has also listed some great ways of doing self-care in their post.
I also found this post on the forums about supporting a partner with depression: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/supporting-family-and-friends-with-a-mental-health-condition-(carers)/need-advice-to-cope-with-depressed-partner. I hope those tips can be useful.
Is it okay to ask how you are feeling now after writing everything out in your post? Has your husband decided to leave for a few days as you mentioned?
Looking forward to hearing from you if you would like to reply.
- Marie (:
Unfortunately I don’t have anyone to watch the kids for a decent length of time. My friend has back problems requiring surgery so can’t really watch them and my Mum says she will but never does. My husbands parents are interstate so I can’t ask them. I actually ended up ringing your hotline and spoke to someone who suggested it might be best to try and bite my lip (not in these words) and when we have our next appointment with the marriage Counsellor to bring it up then as a matter of urgency. I don’t want to make him feel worse but at the same time I feel like I can’t express what’s frustrating me. I guess I will just have to deal with it until his medication is working and then hopefully we can get back on track.
Yes definitely two sides to every story, however he himself has also admitted to our marriage Counsellor that he starts a lot of the arguments so he is aware of this.
We definately need to find our spark again. I just find this really hard because I feel like I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders and that my feelings don’t matter. I know I need to keep in mind about his depression I just don’t want the kids to think that he can speak to me the way he does and it’s ok. For now I’m going to just let everything slide and bring it up when we have our next marriage counseling session. Thank you.