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Introduction: living with a spouse with depression

Community Member
I am looking for support and guidance regarding living with a spouse with depression. He has recently started counselling which is great however the 'ups and downs' and miscommunications are really difficult to make sense of. It's hard to know if this is a reflection of our relationship or the depression.
3 Replies 3

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi there

Welcome to the forums. Sorry that your post seems to have been missed as sometimes happens. It’s great that your partner is seeking counselling for his depression. From posts written here on the forums, what you’ve described seems to be a common experience in relationships where one person has depression. I’m sorry I don’t know the answer. There is some information on the site around the topic of supporting someone with mental health issues, perhaps you can have a browse. Also browsing posts by others could give you further insight. All the best on your journey. Feel free to talk more as/if you like. Katy

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello An, and welcome to the site, the question you've asked is a very confusing one when you're not usually having to cope with it.

If I can possibly answer this, as I was the one with depression in our marriage, but you need to realise that someone struggling with depression, anxiety just like I was, is that it's virtually impossible for this particular person to say that they love you, like they did when you first met, it's not that they don't, it's because this illness prevents them from saying it.

It's also very difficult after a counselling session to ask him 'how did it go today', you might not be told anything or just a blunt answer that won't satisfy your curiosity, please don't be too alarmed, whatever is talked about is between the counsellor and him, he won't let you know because you might ask questions about why was that said, which could disrupt his believe he has in this person, so he'll say nothing and this could be what you are referring to as miscommunications.

So to answer, it's most likely his depression causing this, what happens is that we tend to close ourselves off to everyone, but it is possible when you have a group of friends around, he'll most likely be happy and laugh along with any jokes made, but as soon as they go, he'll fall back into depression, this is also what happened to me.

Please ask any question you like.

Take care.


Community Member

Hi An333,

How are things going? I’m only new but I just wanted to say I can relate to your situation. My husband has cptsd snd depression- we have been married 20 years and I still find it tough to navigate communicating with him, in particular how to respond when there are distortions in his thinking. It may not be much help but I do find that I’ve trained myself to pause before responding, otherwise I’ve found I get sucked into the negativity and that helps no one. Sometimes talking about it when intensity dies down is easier too. I hope you’re doing ok.