Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Unable to meet wife’s emotional needs because of depression

Community Member


My Anxiety and depression has been up and down over the last 7+ years. At the moment it’s very bad and I feel very negative about myself.

problem is it’s my wife’s birthday today and I haven’t been able to do much to celebrate it with her. I haven’t been able to do much about planning anything/buying a gift/even making sure there’s some food in the house for a normal day. She’s very upset and says she feels unloved. She also knows on some level it’s the depression but it was a similar situation on her birthday last year as well.

I’ve apologised that my capacity hasn’t allowed me to do more and I do understand why she feels this way. But I can’t make the depression go away because it’s her birthday.

This is an ongoing issue for us, she has to do a lot generally to support me and keep everyday life going. I guess it’s worse on a day like her birthday.

I don’t know whether to try and have more of a conversation with her, which might be more upsetting and make things about me and my problems on her birthday. Or do I just leave it for now, try and do a few nice things for her and let her feel how she feels?

4 Replies 4

Community Member

I have the same issue. And I don't plan ahead to do something, similar to you.

my wife knows I have some issues but I've never been able to explain them as she shuts down and says we will talk about it another time.

a small bunch of her favorite flowers goes a long way with my wife..

Community Member
Thanks Mark for the understanding.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni


I am really sorry to hear that how you are feeling and how things are for you has impacted your ability to show your wife that you do care and that she is loved, that is really hard to read. I think you are somewhat right in that more conversation will maybe be upsetting to her as I am sure she knows very well that how you are feeling does limit what you can do, but also that other side of the coin of "why am I not worth something special on my birthday".

Do not discount the things that you can do at home even that could make her feel so very much loved, like a hand written letter about all the things you love about her...if she is 40 you could call it "40 things I love about you"..just and idea. There is also being able to make anything really out of what you do have at home in the pantry, from a toasted sandwich for lunch with a hand picked flower and a note to say how much she means to you.

I am not sure if any of these things may help but I just wanted to say to you that you can still achieve great things with minimal gestures. Do not discount the worth of a small letter written by you.

I hope that you can turn this day around for her but also for you as I think her reaction will give you a big buck up too.



Community Member
TALK to her about it . She might not understand but maybe she will. I made the mistake of trying to hide it and live normally when I was bad before. If you have a friend that can shop for you RING them and ask for help. You are not alone in this horrible effect. Ask friends and DO talk to your partner.