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I'm the one with depression but need advise to support my husband

Community Member
This isn't easy. I have had depression for about 10 years now and have managed it ok on and off over the years. My husband of 6 years has been amazing at supporting me and trying to keep me happy. He has been amazingly generous with his time and his ability to do things to treat me and surprise me what has kept me going. However over the past 4 months or so he has started to get really angry when he is not able to help me. We had a huge arguement recently over the fact that he didn't think I was grateful for what he was trying to do. I don't want to go into detail about the actual events but I think he snapped. He is so angry now that he hasn't spoken to me for 2 days and I am so scared that he has reached his limit in being with me. His anger is palpable at the moment and he just doesn't want to talk. My question to this forum is how do I go about supporting him now? I am so scared that I may have left it too late. It is only through this recent argument that I have been able to see how the self-centredness that dominates my depression may come across as being ungrateful. But this is so far from the truth as I am so thankful for everything that he has done. He is an amazing man, but the one thing I think would help us both is if he was able to talk about 'his stuff'. This is not something he has never had to do and my attempts at trying to get him to see my point of view have made things worse. My anxiety around thinking that he is going to leave is pushing me to keep on at him to try and talk, when the logical part of my brain is saying just give him time. I want to do this, but I'm not sure how to get from here to there and give him the time that he so obviously needs to calm down. 
12 Replies 12

Community Member


Hi I'm so sorry you are in this situation I can't offer any advice as I posted a similar question myself on how to support my husband while he trying to support me. I just wanted to say after reading your post give it time and your not alone! 

Oh  some advice even though said I had none have you tried counselling together?

Community Member
Thanks ci, I believe counselling may be an option, but I've no idea how to broach the subject with him. Did you get any advice regarding supporting your husband? How are things going for you now? 

Community Member

Things like taking time to spend relax time together not about the problem just being together. My problem is ocd anxiety depression so I need my husband to help reassure me when things bad someone suggested to try not to do that. 

Make time that's about him to show him his appreciated. 

That's what I got from my post. If that helps?

The biggest thing I found on my own within my relationship was that the frustration was that he didn't understand about what was happening to me. So it helped him to learn about it.

I would strongly suggest counselling together. Don't approach him when things are tense suggest it as something for you not for him or both of you people can get on the defence when they think you want them to see someone like that. 

Not sure if you have kids might be hard if you do to get out and go to dinner or a wall on beach whatever it is you like to do but try if you can. It helps me to focus what little energy I have into improving my relationship. I try and surprise my husband with yummy snacks and a movie when the kids have gone to bed almost a date close as you can get when no one to look after your kids😕

Are you seeing someone for your depression?

Community Member
I suffered severe depression for 5 yrs and saw a wonderful doctor who I found through this site. With medication and counselling I eventually got my life back on track. Without this doctor I don't know if i'd be here today. I'd recommend you both see a doctor who specialises in mental health and is happy to see you both together. Only you know exactly what you're going through. It sounds like your husband is frustrated and men general like to 'fix' things and unfortunately this is something he cannot fix. 

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
dear Goofy, hello and thanks for posting your comment and what you have said is a very familiar situation but this doesn't
make it any easier.
What can happen when someone has depression for an extended period of time is that it can rub off onto the your partner/spouse
not that you would want this to happen, but unfortunately it can, but it's something which you had never intended to happen.
Living with someone who has depression takes it's toll on those who are surrounded to them, because as much as they try and
help you, nothing seems to improve, because remember depression is such a powerful illness and is not easy to overcome.
Just as when someone is depressed they hate being asked question after question, because there never seems to any answer, so
it then begins to annoy them, so they tend to close up even more, and can go deeper into depression.
So the same applies with your husband, he has closed up and doesn't want to talk.
Probably at the moment he won't want to talk aout 'this other stuff', because it's just the same as somebody asking a depressed
person what is making them depressed, he will begin to open up as time progress's and when he decides to, so you could start a
conversation about his football team or what's happened at the cricket, but don't over do it.
He should also go and see his doctor, however that maybe a big ask, but just time it when you think is the appropriate time.
I remember once when I was depressed that I took off in a car and my wife (ex) rang the police and found me parked at a park,
and the officer was very sympathic and just talked with me about everything except depression, which made me snap out of this
episode that could have lead to anything.
I hope that you can stay with us about how you are going. Geoff. x

Community Member
Thank you so much for your comments. I started the day with an extremely high level of anxiety and not knowing how I was going to get through. But I did something that I've never done before and reached out to several of my long term friends. Incredibly they have thanked me for calling them and were the voice of reason I was needing.  Although it was a huge thing for me to do, to admit to them that I was struggling, I have realised that I may just survive this, and it is possible that my marriage may too. Sadly my husband is still extremely distant, however with the advice of my friends and those on this website I know that the best thing for us both is for me to give him the space he needs. I don't yet know how I will manage this, but I have read and re-read the above comments, and will continue to do so until he is ready to talk. Thank you so much.

I had problems with my husband because when I was very stressed,depressed or anxious sometimes I would react badly and then he would get angry thinking I was angry with him and things would quickly escalate. Attempts to discuss issues would fail as we would misunderstand or get frustrated because the other wasn't opening up or understanding or whatever. It made it worse that my husband is physically unwell so we were both trying to protect each other. 

I spoke to my psychologist and arranged for a joint session. The session beforehand we discussed in detail what the issues were from my point of view and what I needed from my husband In the joint session my psychologist spoke to my husband by himself so he could talk freely about me and how he was feeling. It was made clear that this session was about me and my issues not about 'fixing him'. Afterwards I came back in and the psychologist went through things together so we could come to an agreement. For example when very stressed I needed to vent but my husband would assume I was angry with him and react badly. With the psychologist we agreed that I would start my venting by stating that I am angry with the situation not him and need to vent. My husband learnt that his role was just to keep quiet and not take it personally. This made a difference. Recently we were in a situation which caused me extreme anxiety. In the past my husband would have tried to reassure me and tell me everything is fine and there is no need to worry which just makes me feel worse as I then feel stupid for feeling so scared. This time my husband stayed very quiet throughout the situation and later when the situation eased suggested I stop and rest when I felt safe enough to do so. I was really grateful that the psychologist had been able to help him understand my needs and reduced the negative reactions that so often lead to arguments &/or bad feelings. It may not work for you but it is worth considering. Of course it will only work if your partner is willing to go. I introduced the idea to my husband by stating that I have a problem and I am needing someone else to help because I can't explain what I need properly. 

Hi Goofy

I feel for what you are going through from a sufferer of depression.....its awful..Geoff nailed it on the head before

* you mentioned you are giving your husband space ...very caring of you '41 but you are the one needs the space

* Well Done (Seriously) on calling your long term friends (support network) Nice1...very important

* Your hubby is a good person..no problem there. He needs to acknowledge your depression as a real illness

* Depression is the same as broken bones...diabetes...any physiological problem...There is no difference...

* Its a big ask but even try to get your husband to go with you to your choice of GP....(or specialist)

* Your husbands' anger only shows he doesn't really understand what your illness really is

You are incredibly strong '41 and (if you wish of course) please let me know how you are going

Be Gentle to Yourself and hopefully speak soon


Community Member
Wow, I am overwhelmed with the responses I am getting.  Blondguy, you say I'm the one who needs the space. I cried when I read that, but I don't understand why? Can you please help me to understand? I'm not doing so good today, my husband has gone for a drive - obviously what he needs, and it's something that he does when he needs time to think.  I, on the other hand, am left feeling lost inside my head.