Is Your Partner’s Depression Changing You?

Over and over, I find stories online about the transformation of a loving partner, most often a man, into a depressed stranger. I know what that’s about because I have been that stranger.

I went through a period of withdrawing emotionally from my wife and blaming her and just about everything else for my problems. I filled my mind with fantasies about escaping to a different life as the answer to internal pain. Fortunately, I pulled out of it before losing everything, but many men and women don’t.

My wife took the brunt of this emotional betrayal – for that’s what it was – and was deeply hurt and exhausted by it. But she also understood that this was my problem, rather than blaming herself. She insisted I get treatment, and the risk of losing my family finally pushed me back into therapy, something I had been avoiding for several years. When I improved and “came back,” however, the old relationship wasn’t there anymore. Instead, we had to create something different because we were both different. It wasn’t about me or her then but about both of us.

Because of what I’ve been through and knowing how my wife took care of herself, I worry about many of the stories I read online. They tend to be all about the one who’s gone emotionally or perhaps who’s moved out. In most cases, it’s a man I read about, but the problem is not limited by gender. The emails and comments describe in detail how the depressed partners are behaving (often abusively), what they’re feeling, their refusal to get help, their on-again off-again closeness, their confusion and pain. The question asked is whether or not they’ll get over it and return as the loving partners they used to be. Is there any hope?

I hear so much less about the person who has to live with Depression Fallout, as Anne Sheffield calls it – the emotional damage caused by living with a depressed partner.

I often respond by asking: What about you? Except for a brief mention of your own pain, I have a hard time getting as sharp a picture of who you are and what this relationship means for your own sense of self. Are you worried you won’t be you anymore once he’s gone? Why do you think you can change him? Why do you ask only about what will happen to him? Where are you?

There is so much invested in a close relationship that it inevitably affects the sense of who we are. Each partner, hopefully, feels enough trust to open and share a usually closed emotional core. Once it’s clear the relationship is a lasting one, there’s a sense of fulfillment and sureness of commitment on both sides. I’m still me, but I’m also more.

Even when troubled, angry or hurt by each other, the emotional resonance and mingling can move two people to some sort of healing. It’s all the more shocking, then, when depression takes control of one partner and rips the relationship. It’s not only a betrayal; it takes away the part of one’s self that emerged through closeness to an intimate partner. That cuts too deeply. It may be hard to feel complete anymore.

I suppose the continuing challenge is to find the balance between a healthy sense of one’s separate self and the shared identity of a close relationship. Neither can exclude the other, and even if relationships fail, they’ve given as much as they’ve taken away. But that’s impossible to think of in the midst of a devastating loss due to depression.

Sometimes I find out how the online stories have ended – though not so often as how they began. Usually, it’s encouraging, not because the relationship has been restored (that’s rare), but because an inner resilience has led to acceptance of what’s happened. The new story begins, and it’s all about you, no longer about him.

So that’s why I ask: where are you in the story you tell? Are you worried you won’t be you anymore once he’s gone?

Image by Cocomariposa

136 Responses to “Is Your Partner’s Depression Changing You?”

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  1. Gregoria says:

    My life is based on all the stories I have read on this site. I have been married for 23 years and for the past 3 years my life has turned around from laughter to sadness!

  2. Nancy says:

    Can a person be depressed and still function to do his job , have a second part time job and be very into kids activity , sometimes even go out with friend, not get up all dressed up just going to their friemds house but not be emotionally availble and physically? My spouce reveal to me that 4 years its been since reached for medical trratment due to chronic nerve pain, something with his system that when he walks he can feels very tired and and everything pulses i. Hes. Body and has to seat . I was not aware of the pain and struggles he was fighting. He became distant , i started noticing less sex no imtimacy it was just Bout the kids and maintaining the house. I became distant too fell he lost interested in us. He did not want to talk ever about anythimgg related to our relationship. I file for divorce, i felt lonely always alone with kids in family outing but he would take them place without me before me filling . He aked me if we went to counceling would i reconsider divorce , I said yes . We never saw a therapist or counselor. The story began to repeat itself loneliness, always sepereta he slept in the kids room , i began to go out and felt single. His father received bad news he had cancer , passed away, may he rest in peace, 3 years after a strong battle. However this made him break. He confess to me he has been on antidepressents i felt horrible for thinking of all the nagging and sometimes mean things i said to his situation but i was not aware . I felt guilty but now that i knew seems like im even lossingg more and more of him. He does not want to talk to a councelor nor therapist .. he said if i want to leave he wont hold me back but he has no time for that. And now the story begings repeating, myslef alone all the time and i cry alot at night i feel he is gone he no longer it there for me. I try to be there for him but he pushes me away physically and emotionally. I dont want to make Bout me but it is pulling me into a very sad place that when i think of him i litterly just cry. At any moment i hear a song that reminds me of him and tear just fall out . I dont see him much even though we are married because we both work and i go to school to keep myself productive and kids have sports. But this is very hard and sad i dont know how to be strong for the both of us.

    • A says:

      I am so sorry to hear what you’re going through. My partner’s recurring depression pre-dates our relationship. We’ve been together ten years, and in my experience it is very possible for a person to be outwardly keeping it together – going to work, family or other social commitments – but be struggling. For us, my partner withdraws from me because he hasn’t the energy for emotional intimacy whilst he is still trying so hard to hold it together for the rest of the world. He knows this makes me feel terribly lonely, and feels bad about this (healthily on good days, and self-loathing on bad days), but there are weeks and months where he can’t do both. I still am never sure I’m doing the right thing when he’s going through a bad patch – give him space or call him on it? Try to suggest the things like exercise, trying to better-manage sleep, or therapy that, when he’s better, he knows help, but that can feel too hard when he’s unwell. I suspect all are more or less useful at different times. The main thing that has helped me is to look after myself. That means investing in things outside of our family and being clear with him about what I need and want – even when I’m afraid he won’t hear it the way it’s intended and will hate himself more because of my words. I don’t have advice for you I’m afraid, but I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t the only one who lives with something like this. And to say that it absolutely is about you as well as him, and you shouldn’t ever feel it isn’t; you can want to support your partner every way you can, whilst knowing that the relationship isn’t working for you right now. It may do again, or you may need to find a new start apart, but you are entitled to your feelings. You’re dealing with so much, it may help to speak with a professional in your own right.

      • Liz says:

        This is me to the the T! Everything about your situation mirrors my own. My husband has been fighting depression on and off for several years. It got better for a while and then he stopped seeking treatment. All I can say is that you are not alone. It took awhile for me to come to yearns with my own struggles, to except the things I could not change. I asked for a divorce at one point not fully aware of what he was going through. I got him to agree to couples therapy to see how we would proceed with our marriage and keep it civil for the kids sake. The counseling helped me understand a little more about his depression. I think he finally hit rock bottom and was contemplating suicide but didn’t do it for the love of his kids. He finally reached out to me for help and voluntarily admitted himself to a hospital and is seeking treatment. This hasn’t changed our disconnected marriage but I am stepping back and allowing him to heal before we tackle our marriage disconnect. He is not under medical treatment and couldn’t tell you if he is ever going to be the person I knew and fell in love with. The only things that help is to live your own life and keep moving forward with living without him because Depression can be contagious and my children deserve better. I for once in my 16 years of marriage am putting my self first. I find things to occupy my time and make me happy. Recently starting losing weight for myself and continue to go to individual therapy. Whatever you decide to do it will all work it’s self out. Continue being strong and find your own happiness in the mean time.

        • Chris says:

          Thanks so much for your comments. I realized by reading your post that my situation is exactly the same. My husband of ten years, also many more living with him, has had bouts of severe depression with periods of emotional withdrawal and silences for months. It has made me think that I’m crazy, and it had definitely changed me in our relationship. I have moved on emotionally outside my marriage and can see the real me who I was when we first met. It is a relief in a sense to realize that he is the problem, and and also that I have to work very hard to keep from taking on his depression. Thank you again.

  3. Zuri says:

    I met my boyfriend through a co-worker and everything was fine in the beginning. It was about 4 months in our relationship and I found out I was pregnant and he didn’t believe it was his. It was his and our daughter is growing up healthy and strong. I had her name picked out for as long I could remember and I named her Nyla. Everything was ok and he started changing he’s supportive and will do anything for us but I lost my job to save him because his friend refused to be there in his time of need when he said he would have his back. I have been having a steady job and I look forward to go into nursing or something that will benefit us but he isn’t supportive of that like I thought he would. I noticed that he goes out every weekend with his friends and heir are girls numbers in his phone when he says he didn’t do anything. He always plays games like everything I do is his fault and he’s depressed all the time. Part of it thinks it’s me because he was fine while we were dating until after our daughter was born. Doesn’t help that he makes me feel down because he makes me feel bad about myself like I’m no good for him. I try to stay positive but no matter what he control what I do and who I talk to and no social media at all. He says he just wants me to him self but I think he wants me to be out of his life. If that happens I don’t want to lose my daughter because I love her so much and she is everything to me. I just feel hurt and I feel like I have lost the love of my love because he feels different about me. I shouldn’t have to feel like depressed everyday if loved me.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Zuri,
      I rarely comment on articles but I feel I need to respond to what you have said. What you are describing is, very clearly, a relationship that is about control. I don’t like to throw these words at you, but I have worked with relationship abuse and I have trained in it extensively, and I am sorry to say that that is the kind of relationship you are describing. This is very dangerous for you- not even physically, (though if he has been physical or threatened you ever then you would need to get police/domestic violence services and get away soon) it doesn’t have to be physical, but it is dangerous to your basic rights as a human being.
      My heart goes out to you.
      The things you do share- I’m sure there is more- that make me think this is abuse:
      It started in pregnancy (statistically, it very often does, and you weren’t with your partner very long before it to have a sense of if he is safe);
      you lost your job to care for him- what did he need that involved you staying home? Unless it was physical care 24 hours then you didn’t need to stop working if you didn’t want to and my guess is that you he pressured you to- this cuts off your freedom and independence;
      he controls your access to friends and social media, either by acting jealous or by other means- so again, cutting off your independence- this is always part of relationship abuse;
      He is making you feel bad about yourself-a decent partner wants us to feel good about ourselves, if we feel bad we feel insecure and don’t feel we will be OK on our own- also very common tactic in relationship abuse;
      you are worried about losing your daughter -why? Has he implied this? Decent parents will always want the other to be in their child’s life unless they are dangerous, and you don’t sound dangerous to me. You will not lose your daughter, you are here mother;
      he blames you for his moods- abusive partners often accuse, do not take responsibility for their actions and also will try to get the other to feel sorry for them- this is a powerful tactic and very hard to break. Unless you are cheating on him, belittling him or harming him then you aren’t responsible for his depression- and in fact he is doing at least some of these things to you.
      He is not so depressed that he can’t get dressed and go out with friends, so he is well enough to be nice to you and to support your hopes and dreams for a career.
      Controlling and abusive partners will try to make us feel insecure, like we need them and can’t cope without them, like we might lose them any minute, but also like they need us so much that they can’t let us have any independence. It is dangerous because ithe is very confusing, and sooner or later you don’t know which way is up, and depend on them to tell you.
      I am so sorry to give you this news, but it never gets better when these behaviours are so clear. It might take you time but you know something is wrong, as you have wisely reached out here. If he reads this, he may punish you for it, or he may become very nice or very sorry. But it doesn’t change.
      Please get information for yourself, and start doing more of the things that make you you, and give you freedom and choice. You have a right to have friends, you have a right to have plans for a career, you have a right to your child, to your income and to be treated lovingly and with respect. All.of these things are basic human rights and sometimes we need to lose someone in order to get them. But the main thing is that you build them into your life.
      Your daughter needs a strong, free, happy woman as a role model – let it be you.
      There is enough happening here that you can connect to domestic violence services for advice -particularly on custody and finances, but also emotional support.
      Don’t take my word for it, ask others too.
      I wish you strength, and self love Zuri.

      • Zuri says:

        I am glad that you responded. I am so drained at this point in time and I feel like I have found the love of my life but I am regretting meeting him. I am thinking of different ways to get out of this situation and I don’t want to cheat or anything bad. I rather be mutual and he recently has said that he rather for us to be apart and he doesn’t want to be with me anymore and doesn’t want to get married. I see no point of us getting married since we can never agree on anything and we’re still stuck at his moms house. We have been living at his moms house( I have been living at his moms house for almost 2 years). He’s been living with his mom all his life and he’s 26 I don’t understand this. I’ve been on my own, I should’ve never listened to him and stayed at my own apartment. I seem to be happier by myself it seems because I can have my own freedom and I don’t have to worry about stress or someone controlling my every move that I do or who I talk to. It hurts because I can’t even spend time with my family and it’s not the same. I don’t know what to do, I wish I had somewhere else to go but where can I go. I have no one out there to help me. I got myself into a tough place and it’s going to be hard to breakout. I only have my daughter to fight for. I do not show him affection anymore and I rather be far away from him at this point I just feel like the chemistry and everything has gone away from me and it hurts.

        • Stephanie says:

          I know it’s hard and will be hard to do, but you need to reach out to your family and close friends. This should be your support system and they should already recognize that something is wrong if you are being limited by this guy of what you can and can’t do. If you reach out to this support system, someone will help you get out of that situation. I’m sure someone will let you stay with them until you can get back on your feet and are able to support yourself and your child. Don’t underestimate the power of asking for help because it’s out there and there is someone that WILL help you.

  4. Fee says:

    I’m currently going through the rollercoaster of not knowing what to do. We have been together for 4 years and everything was great, Then things started to change. He started not helping around the house and started going out with his football friends and drinking. He would come home early in the morning after i would be up all night worried. And he would sleep all the next day. I have known he has had depression as when we met he was suffering but it disappeared. Then one day he stopped saying i love you and that he doesnt know if he loved me anymore. From there he has been pushing me away to the point where I am now. He is getting help and his first appointment is Wednesday. I love this guy with all my heart and it’s killing me that he is like this. I know depression causes people to feel numb and doubt things that’s where he is at. He doesnt know what he wants but doesnt want me to leave. He broke up with me last week saying he needs space to get himself fixed. We are still living together and he still calls me by my pet and we Give each other an occasional hug and snuggle, i want to support him as the road ahead is going to be rough for him. He came over from america and only really has me as a main support. But I’m trying to work out whether the relationship will survive and how do I make it survive? Will he get rid of the numbness and doubt?

  5. Mits says:

    I too am living with this. My husband is a going through severe depression and I am losing myself in that depression . I was asked the other day when was the last time you felt happy. I could not answer that. I am sad and scared all the time. I love my husband but I am exhausted. My kids look at him and lower their heads because he rarely smiles. I am taking care of him, my kids working two jobs to make ends meet and he can’t even get up to go to work. I understand the illness but at the same time I am tired. He is on medication but it doesn’t seem to work. I frequently ask myself why me. I don’t know what to do. Why do I stay? I guess I stay in the hopes that I get my husband back. It just doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. I have some soul searching to do.

    • Jill says:

      Hey there, I really feel for you; my partners also depressed. It’s so lonely sometimes. I don’t know what the right thing is to do for the kids. (I also have two.)

      Hang in there.

  6. CeCee says:

    No. Married 35 yrs. Reconized signs of depression early in our marriage and looking for the right doctor took time.
    How it chaned me? Well I’m not as fun loving, teasing or happy as I was. It sent me through depression periods and caused me to internalize my feelings. It made our children question and not understand the love of their father. We felt we were a family apart living in the same house. I was ask for a divorce several times then I made him sit down with the children to tell them and answer their questions. He realized the effect a divorce would have. I focused on the positive things about him ie.what he didn’t do and the things he did. Although I made an effort to always make sure he knew he was appreciated and never took him for granted it didn’t matter. It was not reciprocal. Depression is a selfcentered disease that devours it’s victim and hurts those who love those depressed. I have stood by with painful comments and now face onsets of dementia which along with diabetes is common. I dread the day I have to go to court and take over for him. I love him, always have. I have to hang on to the smallest of glimpses I see. My sister has been married for over 40years. Similar issues except he crashed at 50 and turned their family into a financial tail spin of which they have never recovered. I was thankful my husband just retired early.

  7. Grace says:


    I am the wife of a depressed man who refuses to take meds. He says he has tried a bunch of different ones and doesn’t like the way it makes him feel (zombie like). I understand that but at the same time he is extremely unhappy all of the time, angry and upset over the smallest things. He has tried nonmedicated treatments that are controversial but even these haven’t worked. I have been through a lot with this man yet he makes me feel like I don’t support him. We have a 12 yr old son and I worry that he is showing signs of depression as well (anger emotional). It makes me feel very lonely and trapped and resentful. I know this isn’t a normal relationship because I was married before to a very unselfish man but he died. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I took an oath to stay with him and don’t want to disrupt like for my son but it’s killing me. Thanks for listening


  8. MB says:

    I am the one suffering from depression and I fear it could ruin my marriage. I have battled depression for many years, starting at the age of 12, but I think my upbringing made it a lot worse.

    My parents divorced when I was two years old. I was raised by a single mother who, although she loved me, was constantly angry and stressed out.
    She tended to put her social life above my needs most of the time. I was sexually abused by older boys/men, with one incident happening when I was 9; my aunt blamed me because I was alone on the playground when it happened.
    To this day, I feel ashamed. I have issues with relating to men and to people in general.

    I was constantly bullied in school and even by my own family. My mother met my stepfather when I was about 14 and married him when I was 16. He did SEVERE damage to my self-esteem for a number of years…I was unable to escape the situation until I met my husband, married him, and moved out.

    I have sought therapy but it didn’t help because the “therapist” was unprofessional. She refused to listen and belittled me.
    After a few unsuccessful attempts at therapy, I quit because I figure that no one cares.

    My point is that I want to heal from this so it doesn’t hurt my marriage. My husband is a wonderful guy but he doesn’t understand the complex issues surrounding my depression.
    I fear that if I can’t fix myself somehow, he will leave me for a woman who is happier and more stable.

    Sometimes when we have disagreements (esp. on issues like race or politics because I am biracial and he is white) I find myself getting angry and raising my voice, which is out of character for me.
    But I think this happens because most of the time, I feel like people try to shut me up…they don’t care how I feel or what I have to say. I also feel frustration due to not being understood.
    I’ve spent most of my life being shy and quiet due to the abuse/bullying I experienced growing up, being afraid of my own shadow.
    Nonetheless I know that yelling at my husband is wrong and I don’t want to be like my stepfather was to me. Verbal and emotional abuse is damaging, and I would never want to hurt him the way I’ve been hurt.

    I tell my husband all the time that I feel lucky to have him, because not many men would want a depressed, bipolar, unemployed woman with low self-esteem.
    I don’t want my depression to change him in a negative way. But in some ways I think it has, because we are never intimate and he doesn’t want children (something he never told me from the start).

    I didn’t really write this with the intention of seeking advice…just wanted to share.

    • whitepointer says:

      Hi, Im the depressed wife and it has affected my happy husband of 30 years to the point he is self abusing with alcohol at night then falling asleep on the lounge so he dosnt have to come to bed. He has put on weight due to hus drinking and stressing iver me. He has a very high powered stressful job that requires him to travel interstate and overseas for work so at least he gets away from me for respite from time to time. My mental health spiralled in 2015,(had been treated at the time by physchiatrst who coukd never get me right) when my Dad died after a long protracted lung disease, living on his own, refusing services, hours away from his kids, refusal of going into care,(typical of the oldies), finally too sick to be looked after even by us so was put into care four hours away, but they were wonderful to him. He lived 12 months once there. My mother died at 58, 18 yrs earlier while I was pregnant, Im 57 now. It was sudden and she had schizophrenia my whole childhood until her death. Since the birth of my third child I had undiagnosed hypothyroidism for 18 years,(strong maternal history). I put on 40 kilos, My phyisical and mental health went down hill and I spent years going to gp,s endos who said there was nothing wrong with my thyroid!!. The stress of my Dad nearly three years ago sent my thyroid into a tailspin. I coukdnt walk, talk or think properly due to its affects on the brain and body. Fine and gross motor skills were affected plus chronic pain in my feet. all this due to lack of hormone which also makes ypu deoressed. Long story short I went off grid, got a Intergrative Dr in the USA who told me it WAS my thyroid ie hypothyroidism. She prescribed NDT and sent me it from there. I cant state enough how my health turned around after I was treated. The TSH test as I found out it not accurate in determining if someone is hypo. My familys reaction to me NOT believing what the GPs and Endo says has hurt me. Now I actually have depression due to this unintentiinal Gaslighting which still continues over my treatment with natripaths and Intergrative Drs. After my Dad died, the thyroid condition, my little grand daughter was diagnosed as autistic. This has absolutally made me so very upset and I cant go into the effects it has on the family. It alters everything . My husband dosnt talk about it and avoids it but loves our gran daughter while Im the one who is doing and reacting to it. Just after this I got a very bad case of a sinus infection that went into my spenoid sinus near my brain, which no antibiituc could treat properly. I ended up in emergency while awaiting an.operation with the start if meningitis. Got over that, then my daughter split with her husband due to stress of autistic child!. Funny the Mums just have to get on wuth it!!. Theres more and everyone gets a whole heap of crap from time to time and I acknoweledge that. MY husband while a good man dosnt understand this depression thing, cant understand why I sleep all day, cant socialise and am short tempered with him and I dont want to be like this. Too much stress has caused this!. The last nail in the coffin two months ago for me is that our old friend of 30 years insulted us /me after years of me overlooking lying and manipulative behaviour which I recently found out that they probably have covert narcissism!. This person went after my daughter so I called them out on their prior behaviour and recent insult. My husband dosnt like dramas so gave me the impression that I was overeacting, ie gaslighting. My daughters see my point and called him out on it because they agree with me about this persons behaviour. So now I am questioning my sanity, am I the narc?. Who would be sane after this?.

  9. Nata says:

    My boyfriend & I are both 19. We are in a LDR. My boyfriend is severely depressed and he lashes out at me quite often.
    I feel like sometimes he purposely tries to start arguments & blames me for things just so he can yell & bicker. He constantly makes “jokes” about suicide & I’m just honestly fed-up with him doing this over & over.
    He gets terribly rude & curses at me.
    Neither of us are religious; however, I am Native American & I believe in natural healing & things of that nature. When I try to suggest natural healing to him, he dismisses & mocks my culture.
    He is an extremely sweet boy when he is fine.
    But, I’m just so exhausted trying to console him & calm him, & I’m beginning to lose my patience with him.
    I just want him to get help or to get out of my life because I’m sick of his crap, to put it simply.
    I’ve suggested therapy & even getting put onto prescribed medications.
    What should I do?
    If I leave him for good, he’ll really commit suicide & blame me. I can’t do anything, since I’m so far away.

    • Soph says:

      I was in a similar relationship a few years ago, though I’m a bit older than you. I really think and hope I did my best to help him but in the end I couldn’t cope with it anymore and made the decision to leave, for both of our sakes, I was a shadow of my former self, I would have to stand outside our door when I came home from work to breathe and mentally prepare for the deluge of negativity and anger I knew was waiting for me, every day. I was not depressed as he was but was starting to absorb his depression I think, or his expression of it at least. I was becoming tearful, anxious, watchful, nervous, anxious, when I never had been before. As for him I felt that while he had me to take out all his negative feelings on he was never truly acknowledging the depression or committing to getting proper help and support. So I ended it and I’ll be honest what followed was traumatic and painful and still affects even me now 5 years later. There was abuse, threats of harm (to me and to himself), blame… but I knew that if I stayed with him out of guilt then that would be it and I would never be able to leave him in the future, knowing what would follow.
      So I toughed it out, he was finally getting professional treatment and in the end we were fully separated. I kept low-level tabs on him through one of his very kind and understanding friends who had seen it all escalate as I was with him, for a while after and was genuinely glad to hear my ex-boyfriend was continuing to get professional help and had gone on to complete a Masters and get a great job etc.
      But to this day, though I’m sometimes sad and feeling guilty about it all, I’m so glad I made the break and took the fallout, to get out of what was a very bad situation.
      PLEASE don’t feel you have to be the one to bear the brunt of how your boyfriend is suffering and don’t stay with him because he threatens to harm himself or anyone else. You have to think of you too, there’s very little about the trauma loved ones of depressed people experience but it is real and you shouldn’t feel bad if you feel you just can’t take anymore. especially at your young age.
      I would suggest that you approach your boyfriend’s family and friends, tell them literally everything, particularly his most worrying behaviours, you shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of it all alone and they need to be there and know what he is going through if you don’t think you an handle it anymore. Again do not feel guilty if that’s the case, you cannot stay with someone out of fear whether that be of them harming you or themselves. God bless Nata xx

  10. Zara says:

    Hello, I’m 16 years old and I got a boyfriend of 17. He have anxiety, depression, bipolar, maniatic and is scared to go out. We have been dating 9 months and I really do love him and I try to help him but I just feel so sad inside, I has been always a happy girl with very good vibes. I know that he is a toxic person but he needs help and love. I try to help him, giving to him tips anti-depression, better foods for him, movies ,songs, etc. He always tell me that he going to find help but it has pass 3 months of that and I’ll remember it and he start telling at me. I don’t know what to do, yesterday I told him that he maybe could try to expend more time with his family because that help and he just started saying to me that if the only thing that I think is that he don’t do nothing, he doesn’t tell me about his day and things like that,I ask him and he just say: nothing. He start yelling at the phone at times and he start acting this way. We are at a long distance relationship, but is just I really want to help him but the thing more sad is that I have change and I’m just skypinning another things. Is so hard and tired

  11. Luis says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 yrs, and we’ve lived together for literally most of that time. When we met I was 21yrs old, he was 26. I was extremely outgoing and active and right off the bat my life changed dramatically. His demeanor and his personality was not attractive to people, so we were quickly alienated. We stopped going out, I’ve gained a lot of weight, because all we do is eat! He states that he never has energy to do anything active and if I go out he starts with his going on about his mental state. I’ve tried leaving him, but he constantly threatens to commit suicide. Eveytime something happens, it’s my fault. Also his therapist is not helping as they say that I’m enabling his depression by not babying him. I love the guy, however I’m completely exhausted. Ive never met anyone who has dealt with depression so excuse me for not knowing how to comfort someone in that state. I understand that depression is serious, however idk how to handle it and it’s getting to me. It’s to the point where I feel that the only way to get this to end is for me to commit suicide. Yes, it’s gotten that bad! Can someone please help me out, I’m literally desperate. I’m running out of options and patience.

    • Marie says:

      Hello, I’m sorry to hear about your situation, but if you are actually trying to commit suicide, please GET HELP. The suicide hotlines are there for people like you. If the therapist is telling you that, and making you even more depressed then I would try to find another one. I would like to offer you advises and give you words of wisdom, and what not, but I am also going through the same thing as you are. Because I am so busy at this moment in my life I haven’t had time to really get anything done. But I do know what you are going through. When your partner is depressed, you are expected to stay strong and give them support and be there for them, despite being stuck in a toxic environment. “Your partner is the one that’s sick, not you.” There is so little information and awareness about this so I never knew about this depression fallout. There are a lot of information online about depression if you want to make yourself more aware. Knowing and understanding the illness can help you cope with the things you are dealt with. Just know that your are not alone. Depression is contagious and no matter how strong of a person you are, it is impossible to be completely immuned to it, especially if it is your partner or spouse. I really do hope things get better for you and your partner. Good luck!

    • whitepointer says:

      Im sad for you. I hope youre okay.

  12. Jan says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m found this website today as I was searching for ways to cope with a depressed spouse.
    First of all,I can relate to just about everyone’s story here in some way or another.I completely understand and feel for each and everyone of you here.
    It’s funny when the relationship’s start out and you’re all filled with hope that things will get better.Somehow you think you are stronger than the black cloud of depression that they are living under and you can easily fix things on your own..and yes,there can be some serious improvements over time,as in the case of getting my my husband off alcohol and watching him stay sober for over 30 years or so,but deep down there’s always that demon that resurfaces time and time again,and it’s name is Depression.
    It’s the Root cause of all the misery and cannot easily be extracted.In fact I think it’s pretty much a life long battle.If you’re born with it,you’ll also die with it too.Does that sound depressing? Well..
    My husband’s depression has gotten under my skin as well…I was looking for some answers today..something,anything to help me with deal with him and prevent him from sucking the very Life force right outta me as well.
    After 34 years of living with the Beast,I’ve just about had it and would like very much to have a lil’ peace and harmony in my life at this stage of the game.Just gentle happiness,doing things like working in the garden and relaxing with drama free days and nights.
    What can I do? there’s no easy answers I know..I’m co dependent and relay on the man for practically everything since he wanted it that way and he made sure I became Stuck and dependent on him so I wouldn’t or couldn’t leave.Now due to a host of health issues and other things,I have no way of escaping his clutches.he’s sick too with physical complaints,but he won’t get the necessary medical tests to rule things out.He won’t see a shrink either and refuses to think about medication,instead he prefers to treat himself with daily marijuana,which he claims he could never live without.I’m in what you might call a “stuck” position in life..At 58 years of age it would be very hard to reinvent myself all over again.
    All I do is to go back in time to wish I never married the man in the first place.If I had known all along that the lifelong help and support which I had given him wouldn’t help him very much,I would have spared myself the misery and heartbreak of sitting here today and feeling like a hopeless martyr,looking for an avenue of escape,something to make me feel alive and dare I say,happy again.Thanks for letting me vent.Jan

    • Bobby says:

      Hi Jan,
      Your posts reads like a story of my life, only without the dependence part. I have been supporting my husband for so many years I can’t even remember what he was like when we first married. I’m stuck because of the guilt I will feel setting him free – he cannot financially take care of himself and yet refuses to see that I have provided for him for as long as I can remember! I am so mentally and physically exhausted by him, the mood swings and anxiety, anger and acting out. All I want is some peace and joy in my life for whatever time I have left. I’m almost 70 years old and still working 40-45 hours a week (by choice) so I do not have to be home with him all day. I feel for you and it helps me to know there are others out there going through similar things.

      My husband has been on anti-depressants for as long as I can remember and just recently changed to something new. He is also a smoker (hate it) a marijuana user (medicinal for pain) and uses pain medication for a physical condition. I feel so guilty but cannot live like this anymore. Thanks for letting me vent!

      • Jonny says:

        I love you all. It’s funny that people have time time to worry about sports, facebook, friends. I can’t hide the pain of my wife’s depression so I hide. Then when I come out, no one invites us out because she always rubs people the wrong way. I’m only 34 years old. I am a Gemini of all singns that has been dealing with it for 10year! This was all so knew in my life. Oh btw we have two amazing kids including a 18month old who I am around constantly to sheild them from depression. But they no and they fight her away and depend on me so much more. I am getting tired guys. My mind is so confussed. I was once a happy man.

        I love you all. Thank you for sharing as you grant me another night home.

        • Jill says:

          Awwww, johnny, hang in there! It’s so hard with kids to think of, too.

          And you two older gals, I hope you are finding live and joy in other places. I know, hard not to have it at home first, but please don’t let your depressed partner extinguish your beautiful light.

          I feel so lucky to have found this site and to read your comments. Good to know I am not alone.

    • Samantha says:

      I know how you feel, I would have never married my husband had I known that this was going to happen. We have been married 6 years and 5 years ago his mum died suddenly of lung cancer. He has become a different person as his shop has undergone financial problems now to the extent that it could go bankrupt. He was staying away from the house even though he finished work at 5pm he would not get home until nearly 9pm with no explanation, going missing for nearly an hour when he called at the local shop 5 mins away. Playing on his phone with gambling apps, paying no attention to me or us, spending all day in bed on his day off, not going into work until lunch time, taking drugs. I was off work with depression for 2 weeks and never helped me and in the end I had to ask him to leave. Which he did. He wrote 2 suicide notes for me and his dad. I made an appointment at the docs for him and went along with him. He has been put on anti depressants now but was asked why he didn’t take them last year. He went back to his docs 3 weeks ago and told her how he was feeling and about his suicide notes. He was put in touch with the crisis team who wanted to call every day but he said no every 3 days but had to compromise to every other day – which in his words ” was a pain”. He last saw the crisis team group meeting last tuesday and is not seeing anyone until a week later. He stayed the weekend and it wasn’t great I am so angry with him for allowing himself to get into this situation. He has been to see a psychiatrist the other day and told me that he has to avoid the arguments with me… he shouldn’t try to get another job as he’s not well enough…and that he should try to get up each morning instead of staying in bed – which I said I had told him that over the last couple of years… He has to tell my doctor about me cutting myself – which I have done on several occasions as I am so low. I can’t stop working as I have to pay the bills on my house and I have also decided that I need to divorce him and pay for that as well as anything else. I have taken on 2 additional jobs as well as my full time job to help me try and continue. I am depressed and keep crying. I feel like I can’t continue and once we are divorced I will be able to move away fro here. I don’t know what to do I feel tremendous guilt that I have let him down by abandoning him to his daughter and that I should be standing by and helping him through this but also part of me feels that I could commit suicide before him because of what I am going through but that wouldn’t be fair on my sister and brother to do this because of this idiot

      • Orlando says:

        I’m 41yr old and knows exactly what your going through, my wife has never been the same after our 2 daughter was born, forgetting a lot, has a bad left ear, so you have to speak loud to her so she can hear but she then plays it off like nothings wrong with her, she has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology but very ignorant, strangely, she SUFFER from depression but don’t know why because she never explained why which stress me the hell out. She refuse to seek counseling because she plays the know it all..been together for 16yrs and she have not mature to a responsible adult. I constantly have to check behind her which is wearing me down. I think I’m developing depression due to her depression behavior and personailty issues..

      • Lee says:

        I know how you feel…exactly. he is dependent on my husband…get out…start over you don’t owe him anything please make yourself priority

  13. jes says:

    My husband of 10 years, who has struggled on and off with anxiety and depression, has entered his worst depressive episode ever. It’s difficult for people to understand how much of my mental real estate of mine this takes up, even when he’s not actively upsetting me, even when he’s seeking treatment. I am much less able to function than I was, much more anxious (and underslept) and generally on edge. Even my attempts to “take care of myself” aren’t entirely successful because I am wracked with guilt for, say, leaving for a week and only texting (because I know the tone of his voice will upset me, and his problems will dominate our conversation). I’ve been told I’ve changed. I was traveling with a friend last month who let me know, gently, that I had become absurdly anxious and proactive whenever I saw anything about to go wrong (the little daily things that happen when you travel, in this case a bad traffic jam). This is because for 10 years I’ve lived with a man who might react very badly to the tiniest of inconveniences or contingencies, and I’m always seeking to avert them, or at least avert being blamed for them, or just bracing myself for the fallout. She thought I had become anxious and paranoid when we were stuck in a traffic jam, which was endless, and she hadn’t eaten (and she’s one of those people who needs to have little snacks or her blood sugar will drop). She reminded me that she wasn’t my husband, and she’d be ok and even if she was uncomfortable, she certainly wouldn’t ruin our day over it. Whenever we hit snags in our travel together, like having no idea where to spend the night, we just calmly tried to figure out a plan. This felt so foreign to me. I wasn’t left to figure something out and present it to an upset person (the norm for me). When something cost more than it was supposed to, no one got angry or made me feel bad. It was a strange experience for me and very painful to remember that the world does not live the way I live. My question is how much longer can I live this way. He is making his best efforts to get better, after years of semi-ignoring the problem, and yet I feel suspect things will remain largely the same. He does not insult me, does not abuse alcohol or drugs, does not cheat or lie, and keeps his promises to the degree he is able. In his better moments (and years) I’d describe him as a really gentle loving person, and certainly a loyal and well meaning husband. But I feel very insecure not knowing what his moods will do to us at any moment, extremely resentful at what his depression has done to us over the years. It’s made me fear a lot of things that on my own I would never have to fear. His unsootheable sad, anxious state requires hours a day of talking and consoling (he’s not the cold and withdrawn type) that leaves me drained and ultimately mad, thinking of all the hours/days/months lost that we could just be living. We probably have had the same conversations hundreds and hundreds of times. It’s like having an awful job you can’t quit, being partner to a depressed person. Holding out the faint hope that things will improve, but not at all sure they can or will. The toll this has taken on me is huge.

    • Audrey says:

      I have been married for 31 years and it has been an on and off rollercoaster ride. My husband started drinking rather badly after about 6 years of our marriage. He started getting more drunk and abusive. This became worse after the birth of our first child and eventually with me threatening to leave him he stopped drinking 23 years ago. He did have an affair and a few flings during that time but I worked through that. It was then that I first started feeling trapped – that he was so dependant on me, that should I leave him he would do something foolish. I had tried to work with this in the best way I could. Went for counselling, started going to Church, learning what God wants us to do in a relationship. Our second child was born. Then my husband started complaining that I was spending to much time with the children and he started feeling rejected & unloved. It came to the point 5 yeas ago where I made the decision that I have had enough of this continuous complaining. Like a broken record. Ive even told him that the Bible talks of a woman who must not moan too much that she sounds like a dripping tap – well I think that goes for men too. He does not stop. Every day I wonder what is he going to come up with next. He moved out about 8 months ago and his insecurity and depression has become worse. Again because I do not include him in my life and decisions. He wants to know my every move. He has my phone basically tapped, keeps questioning me regarding my messages. Ive even included him on group chats. He picks up records of all incoming/outgoing calls on the bank. He has my phone linked to a tracking thing that lets one know where you are at a specific time and he would question me as to why I was in that place. His argument is not because of suspicion but insecurity and because he loves me so much he does not know what he would do if something had to happen to me. I feel as if I have become his mother. I mentioned just a while ago that I do not see us getting back together soon & he broke down again and said well that’s me, I don’t care anymore. He says he will not commit suicide as he knows what it would do to the children (his own father shot himself – and my husband found him half alive in the room). I know he suffers from severe depression and insecurity. I have really tried to make things easier for him by allowing him to track & trace & question me but really I am mentally exhausted. Totally drained. He has been for counselling and is on medication but he wants me. Even the children have said that their dad doesn’t care for them, he only comes to visit to see me and he has admitted to it. This is very sad, especially for the children. I am at my wits end. If I take him back I am going to have to put whoever I am in a box and be the person I need to be in order to make him happy. I do love him but I cannot live with him. I am so scared to finally end it, he is so bad that he will stop working altogether and become a bum. I am the man & mother in the house. He asks me to make decisions for him regarding his life and what he should do. To me that is the easy route for him as he then does not have to take responsibility for his actions or blame. My kids say Im a tough lady but deep down Im just trying to lay under the radar & yes this has also made me feel depressed but I do not allow that emotion to take control over me.

    • Cmit says:

      Hey Jes,
      How are you 3 years later? Your story is ours.

  14. Kate says:

    My role in our marriage was that of the depressed and anxious person. I had been diagnosed after our marriage during a time when one of our children was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and was quite ill. He is noe fine and thriving. Following the medical crisis which lasted over a year with several brain surgeries our business went under, we lost our home, vehicles, everyhing. My anxiety increased at times but I was determined to stick together and turn things around for our family. Unfortunately, my husband did not share my dream or drive; we moved in with his mom who was suffering with stage 4 cancer. I cared for her each day as he worked and lids attended school. Many nights he called in traffic, late meeting, etc. Didcoveringater he had been a,few houses away at his brothers drinking and watching sports. When I confronted him, he was evasive claiming all was fine. I suggested marital counseling, marital retreats…annythibvu tp hold him, our kids …our family. One night we packed the kids up to.visit my folks overnight. He sauf he’d take his truck and be right behind me. He never cane. He tolde the next day ge wanted a divorce and no discussion. He said he hadn’t loved me in a very long time. Clearly I was devastated, begged him but avail. We did not have a home, a car, a bank account or cash flow. I had stated home after my third child so.hadnt worked in.over three years. Twice I was offered positions but he said “take time for you, besides it will affect the bankruptcy filing” So in a period of 10 weeks, I secured a job in my field of counseling psych, rented a home, bought a used inexpensive car and found daycare for the kids before school. The kids lived with me and our separAtion agreement allowed him.two nights per week. He chose Fri Sat. because he worked too early in the morming so was asleep by 7:30 in weeknights..I coached my.sons basketball team (he is shunt dependent for life and one parent must be present in case of complications. So I figured I’d coach. I coached gis team for 4 seasons. Games were in weekends, as were activities fir our two older boys. Point being, with no regrets, I was wuth the kids each weekend and during the week. After 7 yrs of this lifestyle and his passive “forgetting to file divorce papers or fill.out forms”…I began to unravel. I was overwhelmed, not sleeping or eating well. I lost wieght rapidky and my hair began to fall.out. I lost 60% of my hair, my eyelashes, eyebrows etc. My work was suffering and I had aleats been an exemplary worker and professional. I got behind in my rent, missed work frequently and felt paralysed in terns of how to undo what I’d done. I saw,a counselor and a licensed therapist throughout this and had been for years. Took anti anxiety meds, anti depressants. Helped then would need to Adjust. Had a few panuc attacks…the kind that make your chest pound so hard and strong and relentlessly that you think you may see it break through your chest. Throughout all of this, my gettung back.On myfeet, getting help, establishing a home for my.children and working full.time while running a household (he moved in with his single older sister) and then when I started to become deoressed and anxious again all he did was berate me, put me down, tell me I ruined our family bc I was too selfish to care fir anyone besides myself. He called me a drug addict, a lazy scumbag loser and said everyone knew it was true and someday rhe kids would too. He arfues each weej about support payments, deducting all.My health insurance, cell.ohones for kids and haircuts, dr co pays and travel expenses of our son had an out of state game. When things started to spiral (bills, work, etc) I decided when my lease ended I would stay with my parents who were having heakth issues arvthe time. Our family summer home was 15 min away and my ex agreed to tajectge kids while back on my feet. I still drive them to avd from school abd saw them almost daily. Although tge depression and more so the anxiety hD a Hold On Me I was always able to care for the kids, feed them, honework, care and laugh with them when I wA feeling good. The kids presence reduced…almost extinguished…My anxiety and anxiety symptoms. Moving was the hardest thing I’d ever done..away from.them. I struggled but slowly came around with rest, nutrition and a safe loving environment. Things were looking up upon my seventh month there; December. And on Dec 23 I was served with divorce papers with my estranged husband seeking physical custody, child support from me, and reqyests to exempt me from a portion of his pension and his paying my health insurance (only for a year I didn’t work…I.paid it each year working) . Basically, he waited until forvthe firstvtime in 8 yrs thstbi didnt have a house or job or my life …for avd with the kids in order to make his strategic move. Abd he did. The mediator said I had no recourse bc I quit my well.paying job. A laeuer I met with said judges rarely move kids whi are thriving…wgixh they were and were with me. SO…now my actual point…lol…I understand your perspective and I respect all of us..including caregivers, spouses, innocent bystanders who nust hapoened to with someone who has mental health issues….not fun I know. Also, I find it hard to not just disagree but to actually read that those who were not inflicted with this condition were somehow victims of betrayal ny those of us who drew the short stick and wouldnt ask.for this to be part of who we are in a million years. No question those attenpting to navigate mood swings, anger, agitstiin, sadness, lethargy, negatively and emotional roller coasters….are wuite frankly saints. But they were not betrayed. And in closing (finally end in sight for probably the one poor soul who has stuck with me through this longest post ever written experience…thanks mom!) in my situation, as I’m sure there are many similar stories…I honestly felt betrayed, discarded, unloved, ignored and resented. Was I a picnic to live with always? No. And the difference is, I take accountability for my behavior and dont use the cop out of being unable to change or manage it. I dont blame anyone and I didnt walk away when the person I.made promises to…needed me the most. Thanks for reading. and Keeping this topic, conversation and perspectives will make a difference. We need to raise awareness to help curb guilt, shame, anger, frustration and hatred based on a,lack.of kbowledge. We’re really all on the same team and dont need two playbooks.

  15. sammy83 says:

    I feel like I’m disappearing. I’m always waiting for her to kill herself. I never feel safe. I have been with my wife for 10 years, she’s been ill for a long time but was only diagnosed around 2 years ago. That was after the worst year of my life. The year that destroyed everything I recognized about myself. It started by her making friends with a younger girl. She started spending more and more time away from home, it was like she was trying to turn back time, acting like she had no responsibility. I spent a lot of time alone back then. Sometimes she wouldn’t answer her phone and I wouldn’t know where she was or who she was with. I found out she was living this complete other life with people I didn’t know. She was never much of a drinker before, one drink would knock her out, but suddenly she was drinking vodka. The police picked her up a few times because she had gone missing, wouldn’t answer her phone, they found her drunk after downing a bottle of vodka and taking an overdose of pills. She was in and out of hospital that year, no major suicide attempt, those ones were the for attention. Then came the big one, one night I was home alone again, desperately calling everyone I could think off trying to find her. The police called me. Said they were sending a car to pick me up to take me to the hospital. My girlfriend had posted on a suicide chat room and had met up with someone off of there. They made a suicide pack with each other, drank a litre bottle of vodka between them and taken over 100 pills each. I was warned by the police that she was in a really bad way, I got there and was taken to her, her mum and sister were with me too. She was on a ventilator and they didn’t know if she would make it through the night. I broke into pieces that year, I’ve never really been able to glue myself back together. she did make a full recovery and actually started to take her medication. 2 years on and she is much stronger, has not made any other suicide attempts and actively wants to get better. She still has a personality disorder and needs medication to manage that, but she is a million times better than she was that year. I’m not that lucky. I’m too broken now to fully recover. I’m always waiting for it to happen again. I don’t feel safe. I feel like she destroyed me that year.

  16. Chris says:

    I’m the depressed one and I have been since my mom died 10 years ago. I was ok for most of it. But, this last year has been horrific. I’m at the end of my rope. I have been seeing a psychiatrist but the medications haven’t helped and my relationship to my wife is getting worse.

    But, in my situation, I think it’s a little different. Here’s why:

    Beginning of last year I Caught my wife cheating with her boss. It pretty much destroyed my self confidence to the point I lost a good paying job WITH HER FAMILY. She never tried to help me in the situation.

    Since then it’s been downhill. My teeth, which I’ve always had problems with because of little enamel, have fallen apart and it is extremely depressing. My wife says go to the dentist. I ask what money. She has no response. I’ve begged her to help me. To just go to a dentist appointment and a psychiatrist appointment to help me explain things since I freeze up. She flat out makes excuses as to why she can’t.

    I think the best thing would be for her and I to separate. But we don’t have the money and it is to the point where I think sending my 15 and 17 year old girls to live with their aunt in Florida and I just disappear. I’m too much of a chicken to kill myself. I should just become homeless.

    The point being is not all cases of men being depressed is entirety their fault. Trust me, I take my share of the blame. I hate being like this. But when I need the energy and help to start to fix things, the reality sets in that I am too far gone.

    Sometimes we have to accept that not everyone gets to have a good life. That some of us have to be the losers. Without people like me, those who do well for themselves have nothing to compare to.

    In the end, I wish I could change. I wish I had the resources to get better, to fix my teeth (at this point they all just need to come out. I’ve had an infection for 5-6 months. I’ve begged for help (meaning I’ve asked her to come because Of my fear of dentists and she just won’t even respond to me). I wish I had the resources to get away from this environment. But, I don’t.

    I’m not at the end of my rope. I have none left and I’m freefalling and I’m so fucking worthless that there won’t be a soul who will help me.

    You know what? In the end it is all my fault. I expected strength from someone when I couldn’t do it and I feel abandoned. But, that’s what being worthless is. It means the disease wins. I just want the pain to end because it is killing me.

    • Kathy says:

      You’re psychiatrist should know how bad you feel so she can get you into group therapy maybe or a different mix of meds. I’m sorry you feel so bad. I survived a suicide attempt after a rape. It took me a long time to get over it. Try to talk to your wife about your relationship. With an infection in you mouth, please go to the dentist. The dentist will anesthesia you. This is an emergency. You are not worthless. You’re depression makes you feel this way. I’m bipolar. Believe me, I understand that feeling. Please take care of yourself. Your life can get better.

  17. Jane says:

    My husband was diagnosed with depression and anxiety earlier this year. His depression began to manifest right after the birth of our first child. It began with nasty remarks, progressing into accidents with my things being damaged and then one day he exploded in rage throwing furniture around and more property damage. He has raged regularly since and often for things that make no sense. I have been struggling to try and help him but my efforts aren’t really appreciated. He speaks badly about me to others and he even has some convinced I make him do it. He has been to numerous psychologists and psychiatrists and nothing seems to really help. His medication keeps being increased but then so does the behaviour. I feel like a single mother and my poor little one is exposed to his anger too. I worry about him directing it at her as well. He is unable to forgive and keeps a mental record of everything he thinks I did to offend him over all the years I have know him and uses that regularly to put me down. He is horrible with his dripping sarcasm and put downs. I’m so tired and worried about the impact on our child I ended up moving in with a relative trying to work out what to do. When I spoke to him most recently he started yelling at me ‘don’t touch me!’ I was nowhere near him and trying to get away from him and his anger. He refuses to leave or even take timeout elsewhere. Previously he has disappeared for days and would not tell me where he was and thinks there is nothing wrong with that. When I asked how he would feel if I did that he indicated he wouldn’t care about me, just where our child was.It is hard living with an infant in someone else’s home and I so want to go home but how can I possibly expose our Bub to that again? My child deserves a safe and happy home and I can see how it is affecting the Bub already. He is so determined to have control of everything and uses his rage to achieve just that.

  18. Janna says:

    I don’t think there’s a time in our relationship where my husband hasn’t been depressed. I walk on eggshells all the time. All of his unhappiness is apparently my fault. I don’t love him enough, or love him right, or I don’t have sex the right way, or I don’t understand exactly perfectly what his job consists of. I’m too fat. I don’t say the right things. I love the dog more. I love my son more. I don’t give him sex all the time, even though it’s not really fun for me, nor do I feel loving and sexual toward him when all I hear is criticism. He makes sure I never feel secure in the relationship, or loved. If I mention any of this, the conversation is right back at what I’m not doing for him.

    We’ve been separated because of work. Now I’m moving back because I got a job in the area. I’m kind of dreading it. He can’t really bring himself to be nice to me. I’m not allowed to have an opinion about anything, right now I’m the worst thing in the world because I don’t agree that we should buy a piece of land and put a big metal building on it and live in it.

    I earn about twice as much money, but somehow I’m an irresponsible loser.

    I’m so tired of it.

  19. shelly says:

    Yes his depression has left me so very tired. So without hope or joy or a feeling of security. After 16 years of trying to get him to get help. Trying to get help mysrlf i seriously am thinking of giving up. Getting a restrainjng order to stop the screaming fits if bullying rage. He is all fun and games to others. But because i want more out of life he rages agsinst me. I dare not have needs or try to communicate. It escalates within srconds to frightdnj g levels. I feel for this marriage to go on i have to squash my entire personality. I have to realize and accrpt that my life will always be caring gor a man dho wont take responsibility for his own problems. He lets me carry so much. There is not much thst bslances the scales . I feel the loser in this . I feel a complete nobody in my own miserable life. Even the counselors i have went to think i should leave . After all ghese years it is such a gsilure to leave. I feel i will never recuperste and at 54 i will find it hard finzncislly to make it alone. Even our pets have had a hard life i have bery few memories that are not marred by his abuse and drinking. They overwhem the good moments. He thinks if he isnt dtinking and he brings home a wage i shojld be a hsppy camper. Well im not . I wonder if i will ever have a positive view of life as his constant moaning has seeped into my very core.he wants me to carry on as if my life isnt too much. He wants me to be strong and keep a good appearance of normslity when actually i wish i were dead most days. It was a relief for me to take care of my very sick mother cuz it was a problem which was tangible and my mother is do willing to fighg for her life. It is a walk in the park ckmpared to desling with a drpressed alchohklic person eho wont get honest and get help im so very tired . Thank you for this forum.

  20. Arleigh says:

    born into a poor family,in 1950’s. i am now 62. never knew my real father. had lots of wanna be dads,likewise, all poor. I had four sisters,I was the eldest by four years. I believed this allowed me to experience life on my own. Yet if I was late returning home,any time, I was punished severly..Belt,boards,switches off trees not to mention slapping around and of course this all prior to restriction. As the years past,out on my own now. I tried to find a good job,yet I lacked any real talents,so that was hard. Now mind you I was a very happy(mid years) I liked doing things,fishing,camping(sometimes alone) digging up clams,archery. I also pulled through my stint in the military.After that I became very proficiante at Automotive Radiator Repair here in the USA. I also married,over five+ years. my lovely wife and i had three (of course) most beautiful daughters.Here is where I was seriously focused on running my own repair shop. as it turned out I did. However after only one + year way up north(great lakes area) my inlaws said if we came back to California we would be able to live on this 12 acer parsel for as long as we wanted. So of course I figured i could start a business there just as well. Not so! We had less money to work with,I still had all my tools. With in this time my Wife decided to persue her career as an RN. This was her best move. I could not find any Radiator jobs here anywhere. So for awhile I installed Solar Systems and Chill Chasers with my neighbor. Right about this time my inlaws were telling us we had to move out,off the property. we had been there maybe about four to five months. At that point in time I knew my dream was squashed,ripped from my mind. that started my downhill style,its all I had, as I saw it. And there it went,MY DREAM. oh yeah eventually I did my best to secure a life for us here. Found really low rentals, that I eventually became manager of. I also fixed these units four in all. AS for my Radiator shop ,actually I had found a way to start up again,it would have to be a mobile service(which put a limit upon my abilities to advance as I could have in a building setting.I did honest work for all,I had no comebacks.then things changed.children grew older,we grew older. And free trade opened up for me this hit hard.My wifes job became waymore important,my busines fizzeled out. MY relationshipwith “ALL” the woman within my family. Ibecame very lonely,the was no more love felt be me from my family. NO job,no affection,and no warmth,yes i am very depressed here.

  21. Katy says:

    My fiancé just left for the 4th or 5th time in a year. I know he’s depressed at times but what confuses me is he also has narcissistic traits. Has anyone seen this? The depression will make him dive into his video game for a week and sometimes not go to work. but, he also has a grandioso sense of self (or tries to). He’ll pull his phone out in public and boast about his numbers at work and proceed to say it’s pretty much all because of him that they’re doing so well. he’s never satisfied with what we have, always looking for a new car or bigger house (everyone dreams but….). He makes promises that we’ll do this or that but when it comes right down to it, we don’t do it, he does this with the kids also. I’ve battled with slight depression myself but his leaving this time has changed me. I miss him so much but when I actually think about him calling or walking through the door, I kind of feel disgusted. Can he be a narc and be depressed?

  22. D says:

    Dear John. I have recently lost the love of my life (20 years together). I came across your stories when searching online for advice on how to cope with separation. I have supported my partner through her depression for many years and this summer she made s brave decision to leave our relationship. I was left in shock and confusion and am still trying to deal with it all one day at a time. Your stories have hit home with me and have helped me so much in understanding what has happened. I just wanted to thank you, as reading your posts have been a turning point for me in coming to a place where I feel like I can finally make sense of my partners decision to leave.

  23. vanessa says:

    hi everyone, as I read these stories I see I am not alone, my fiancé is in this same situation, I don’t know what to do anymore, i feel as if he is getting worse, he wont get help, he lost his job, i feel as if im going into depression as well, i want my fiancé back the one i fell in love with, he is a different person now, i cry and cry, i don’t know what to do .

    • shelly says:

      It will be a long lonely road for you .if he wont get help now do not expect hjm to get help later. Once you are married you will spend tears trying to help him. If he wants a real life with you let him get hrlp before you toe the knot. But as you are newly in love you will likely believe your love eill trans dnd his moods … its not that simple. Your lonrliness will become more and more. Test his love ..if he doesnt love you enough now will you truly be happy when he resents you after? I felt alone before as he couldnt hrlp but let it show. Nothing got better at all. Let it get better before. If you were my sister i would say run a mile dear one. Run for your life. But like me you think your love will be enough. They cannot love others if they font love themselves…
      Read all these posts and imagine your life 5 ten or like me 16 years later… wait . Let him love himself first..

  24. Lauren says:

    My partner of a year and a half is a chronic depressive. About 2 months ago she tried to commit suicide by taking well over 100 paracetamol and tramadol. I was out of town at the time and she was texting me as she was doing it. Luckily, I got a friend to rush around and call an ambulance, she spent a few days in hospital and was okay. She isnt getting help. Shes been to her doctor who sent her to a psychologist and after going once she has decided she wont go to any more sessions. Ive tried to convince her to just committ to 3 sessions and if she doesn’t like it, try someone different. She signed up for yoga and has never been to a class. She wont let me touch her at all, i get snapped at and she gets irritated at me for no reason. I clean up and cook and she never lifts a finger. She’s disinterested in everything and says “dont worry, next time ill do it properly” when talking about suicide. Ive tried so many times to talk to her about it and tell her how im feeling but to no avail. Im at a loss as to what to do to try and help. I constantly feel neglected, unwanted, unattractive and disrespected and its weighing really heavy. Ive been to a family support counsellor just to try and keep my head above the water. Im at the point where I think I should just end it. I really really don’t want to but my heart is breaking. It fucking sucks.

    • Lin says:

      I’m in a shockingly similar situation, we haven’t had a suicide attempt, and for what it’s worth I’m sorry to hear of yours. But I’ve certainly feared as much, am having serious trouble convincing her to talk in any way, and the idea of therapy is just being refused outright!

      Your description “constantly feeling neglected, unwanted, unattractive and disrespected”, that line went deep. I’m afraid to end it because I don’t know if she could take it, nevermind if I could!

      How does one convince someone how much they need help if it’s their very mind that is the problem?!

      Anyway just felt the need to comment when I related so much with what you said, hang in there, I hope it works out, I plan on seeking advice from a therapist myself just so I don’t explode, I wish you a similar solution:/

  25. mch says:

    My husband has depression/anxiety, is an alcoholic, a compulsive liar, and a porn addict. He’s also addicted to “New.” I fell for him because he was the perfect everything when we met. He hid things on purpose he knew I wouldn’t like. Now that I know him, he can’t ever hide. He rufused medication, refused counseling, bounced out of rehab drinking again, and I dont know what to do. I moved out 6 months ago because I’ve battled depression and I know the signs and when to get help, and I will do whatever it takes. I also want to do what it takes to save the marriage, but it seems like he doesn’t. I know it won’t be easy and we’ll never be the people we once were. I’m worried I can never trust a man again. But I wish he would just say what he wants in words instead of guessing so I can move on

  26. Jade says:

    where am i in this story? thinking about cheating or leaving. He has been this way the majority of our relationship. i knew him before his sister died and he was so different. thats the guy i fell for. i love him. even when he is depressed. i know he will never be that guy i first knew again. never. i cant bring myself to leave him. even though hes emotionally distant and abusive.. sad thing is i dont see myself as worth it anymore. im not worth being loved or cared about.

    • Dazy says:

      I hear you. My situation is much the same. Married many years and only the first few were depression free. I don’t know if my marriage will last another year. His meds are clearly off and as usual I get the brunt of the anger and negativity. It’s always my fault and the hostility is endless. No cheating or physical abuse because he knows it’s a deal breaker, but emotional abuse abounds. Where am I? Heck, we don’t have the benefit of it EVER being about us. It’s always about the depressed person. Eventually I will have to do the tough love thing AGAIN and tell him either get the meds adjusted or I’ll have to divorce him. Nothing else works. I’ve begged and pleaded, but he won’t budge because it’s all my fault. My advice to you is to NOT let him tear down your self esteem. Not many people could do what you’ve done and you must be very strong. Go out with your friends (regardless of the consequences). Take care of yourself – God knows nobody else will. You owe it to yourself. Also, don’t cheat. If you’re that far gone, leave him. If you cheat you’ll only feel worse about yourself and get involved with someone who clearly doesn’t respect marriage so cannot begin to understand why you’ve stayed – hence they’ll never respect you – just use you. You deserve better.

      • Ana says:

        Thanks Dazy for your comment. My husband was normal for the first eight years we were together, and I loved him dearly. However, we got very sick with a systemic infection which left me with memory loss, vocabulary and some vision loss and many other issues that took me four years to get mostly over (the long-term memory loss hasn’t returned though). This same illness apparently triggered my husband’s genetic predisposition for depression. So, as I recovered, I began to see he wasn’t the same (emotionally, I mean). He has been depressed for five years and I have been aware of it for the last three. I got him a psychiatrist, psychologist, books and found online forums for him. He recovered from the major depression, but the dysthmia and depersonalization disorder have been almost too much to bear. He is not very verbally abusive, but he just becomes nonverbal, moving around the house a shadow of his former self, as if he were in prison. Parties, friends, holidays and even date night are beyond him. I worry about him and don’t think I can leave him. He improves and then regresses and I am so exhausted.

        Thank you for explaining why one shouldn’t cheat in this situation. I know I’ve been repeatedly tempted. I just long for three hours of laughing and smiling with a man maybe with a passionate moment afterward. I know men find me very attractive, so it has been hard to overlook them all and come home to a zombie. Of course, as I can’t remember the science behind my previous profession (yet, I hope) I can’t make a living at it and have had to retraining…I am financially dependent on him.

        I thought of self-harming this past week. I know it is bad when I’m cycling through methods and where in the house would be the best place to do it (so my pets don’t find me). I don’t think it is the right thing to do, but I don’t think leaving him is right, either, and it may take him a decade to recover. I’m not sure I can handle it. Looking at his family, I realize he may be like this the rest of his life.

  27. tony says:

    Ive been going through a depression myself, I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years and I love her more than anything we have a beautiful two year old daughter that means the world to me, but For the past 5 months I’ve been unhappy and complaining about my car and my job, and always end up fighting with her and blaming her for that even though she has nothing to do with it, she has been supportive and patience with me , and even now I got promoted and people would think that it was an improvement from what I’ve been complaining and still I managed to find negative stuff about it and still complaint and be unsatisfied , a couple months ago we had a fight about the same two subject and she broke down in tears and she has never been that sensitive person we talked about it and I thought we moved on but she change completely she got distant and cold, I asked a couple times but she will say that it was her period but then after thats was gone I asked her again and she said that she was unhappy and confused and she didn’t know what to do that she needed to figure things out, that broke my heart cuz I never thought that it would get to that point and well so far I think thats the reason behind it since she really doesn’t know why either. now idk if she is done and I’m afraid of losing her and idk if she still thinks that we can get through this together.. I have touched the subject again cuz Im trying to give her some pace and time. the last thing I want to do is drive her way with questions that she doesn’t have an answer for.

    • Jenn says:

      I don’t know your wife’s personality, if she is a cuddly person or not but my husband gives me space when we are at odds, and I KEEP TELLING HIM ‘just hug me’. That’s it. He never does. He’s scared I’ll reject him, but it’s what I want more than anything when I’m upset. I think most women don’t necessarily want men to fix things – just hold us when we are upset tell us how much you love us. Then get some help. She may just want you to acknowledge she’s hurting and have you show her she is still special. The more (longer) my husband leaves me alone, doesn’t hug or touch me thinking he’s giving me space – I’m stewing why he’s not attracted to me, why he doesn’t love me, or I fume about the ‘disagreement’. etc. Just try holding her – tell her you don’t want to lose her, and you ARE (make sure you do this) getting help and would like her to participate too. She will need therapy WITH you at times so you both can work on it together. Good luck.

      • tara says:

        I couldnt agree more with Jenn. My partner is the exact same – he gives me too much space for fear I’ll reject him. I never have an never would. All I want is for him to make an effort to show he cares.
        Try it with her – what have you got to lose by trying?

  28. June says:

    I’ve read these stories and I am right in the middle of a mess . I love my husband very much but he has depression he is on medication but everything that goes wrong is blamed on me . He quit his job several years ago and joined me in the business I started . We have grown this into a success but he can be rude and does not give care and attention to details . My problem is I’m a perfectionist. After years of debt borrowing to set this up,because of this the business success was important . But our clashes have caused many problems and my reputation is trashed as he makes out to everyone that I’m a nightmare . I’m not perfect and I do get worked up. But lately there have been family problems that caused this .i accept this but today I’m told I’m to blame for practically everything . All I’ve done is try and support him but I know working with him was the biggest mistake I ever made . Now the business is too big for me and I think he’s unemployable. I can’t walk away as its retail . He can’t remember costings or products .i think if he got a job when it goes wrong he will blame me again . Even when I don’t say anything he says he can see me look visually for faults . Rubbish . It’s too much . I think he needs counciling as well as pills . I just need help too . Are pills the answer for me too . ?

    • Tessa says:

      Pills are a temporary solution to a problem that will be permanent unless the underlying cause s addressed… I would suggest ending the relationship because it is no longer fun and finding a way to sell he business if possible.

      Best of luck to you… -Tessa

  29. Tyler says:

    My wife shut down on me emotionally in 2012. She finally left me and the kids last summer (2015). We have kept in contact through texting and phone calls and things have improved, slowly and not without setbacks. She took her “belongings” when she moved out, and recently explained she would be back to get the remainder, as she was thinking of getting a house. This is compared to other times in text when we have played around with the idea of moving back in together. I am glad to see this post as it plays right in to my chief worry – the behaviors engrained over the course of our marriage will reassert themselves without counseling. I have told others I am reasonably certain she will return and want to pick up the relationship where we left off. I have followed up with a realization that I am sure she will leave and end our relationship if I press the matter of counseling. Thank you for this! It is SO nice to know I am not wrong in my thinking.

  30. Veronica says:

    Reading thru this blog has really helped to shed some light on my current situation. I am grateful that I’m not alone, though I feel that way much of the time. I do believe I am suffering from depression fallout. My boyfriend of 20 months lost his mother to cancer in September. I knew he struggled with depression and substance abuse before she fell ill (he lost a child years ago) but he was in such a good place and things were going so well that I allowed myself to fall for him and develop a close relationship. We had plans for a future…it seemed so bright. Since her death, he is a different person. He went from being tearful and clingy to cold, complacent and distant. He doesn’t want to be touched. He barely talks to me sometimes. He spends the majority of his time holed up in his basement and when he does get out of the house his time is spent apart from me. I have tried to be very understanding and have done anything he has asked…including giving him space and time. I feel sad and neglected often but can’t talk to him about it bc he lashes out at me. Today, I’m struggling with deciding whether to move on or try to continue to try to make it work. I don’t want to be selfish and give up, but I hate the way this feels. It is hard to be pushed away every day and to have your efforts ignored or criticized. He actually will say I am making his depression worse…and then turn around and tell me he loves me and not to give up on him. It is so confusing. I don’t hover, I don’t ask him for anything and I do my best to be supportive without enabling him. I realize depression masks alot of things and he probably suffers from anhedonia. I can’t tell if he is using his depression as an excuse sometimes…if he is trying to manipulate me or if he is hiding something. He is on the verge of losing his job and his addiction is worsening all of the time. He is indifferent at times and has spoken of suicide. I realize it will likely continue to get worse before it gets better…he refuses to get help. I am considering counseling and I take opportunities to learn about depression often…I am thankful that I’m not alone in this but I wish I knew what to do…

    • Shoshannah says:

      I am in a similar situation as you Veronica. About 18 months ago I found somebody on a dating site after 15 years of being alone. From the very start we got on so well. I have never met a man that I have so much in common with. We communicated on Facebook for nearly a year before meeting, and had become really good friends. We talked on and off every day and supported each other always. He was divorced from an abusive partner and had had lost his only son to suicide about six months before we first started to communicate. He, understandable, has very bad depression but has said that I have have changed him. He could just stop messaging me, but it’s like we need each other. He does recognise he is ill and gets help. When we first met after 10 months there was no ‘spark’ but we continued to be good friends. Just after Christmas he stayed the weekend and we slept together (my first time in 16 years by then). We had a wonderful couple of days, and decided to set up our own photographic business together (he had even bought me a new lens for my camera). He visited again on Valentines Day, but we didn’t go to bed. He has very low libido, but he seemed to enjoy my cuddles and caresses, even though he didn’t respond this time. It didn’t bother me as I was prepared for that, and I felt satisfied with being close to him.
      But after that, he seemed to cool off. I have worked hard to get the business up and running and put a lot of money into it. He hasn’t even ‘liked’ the FB page. If I message him photos I’ve done I get ‘nice’ or a thumbs up sign. He won’t come up (he lives about 80 miles away) to see what I am doing, or to take pictures himself. I feel very abandoned. He now says he can’t handle a relationship and just wants to be friends. I, of course, have fallen hook, line and sinker for him. I try to support him as much as I can over FB, and to back off with the ‘love’ thing. All he says is that he is not well.
      I find it very difficult dealing with a situation I can’t actually see. He is everything I ever wanted in a partner, even his vulnerability shows me a kind and caring nature, that actually craves love, despite what he says. There are times when I want to turn away like you said Veronica, but I pray I don’t ever have to do that. He needs to know that not all love is stress. I am 65 and he is 56 so there will not be a lot of time for us, and I want to make what there is as happy as possible.
      You are not alone, unfortunately, my dear. I hope we get courage and strength to find a way through to help the men we so obviously love. Even the fractures in crystals can give us rainbows. I would rather have him in my life as a friend, than not at all.

  31. Bob says:

    To your last question: Are you worried you won’t be you anymore once he’s(she’s) gone?
    I am confident in who I am and I know that I will be ok. I have had plenty of struggles in my life to test my resolve; I probably know myself better than most people. I am not trying to boast – it is just the truth. I was shot and almost killed in war. I spent months in the hospital, even more in a wheel chair. I had to relearn how to walk, how to balance. When you have been through that much physical and emotional pain, you learn a lot about yourself.
    Yes, my wife is similar to many of the people described in the various comments left by others – years before, during, and after my injury.
    Here is what I am worried about: what will happen to my daughter when she’s gone?
    As a military dad, I know that my wife will receive primary custody of our 3 year old daughter. She will move back to her home state…15+ hours away. I will hardly see my daughter anymore. In time, I will get out of the military and move to be closer to her. But that will take years. And my biggest concern: without me around daily to be the source and receiver of my wife’s anger and frustration, will my daughter just take my place in the years to come? I don’t want her to have to bear that.
    This is where I am in the story that I tell. My daughter is the reason I stay. I’m sure there is a better solution…I just haven’t found it yet.
    While I would appreciate any advice or guidance, I really just needed to voice this for myself.

    • Sophie says:

      As a daughter of a depressed father, yes your daughter will grow up to be next in line for the abuse you receive. As a woman, my mum could’ve left and taken the children with her and removed us from the firing line. She didn’t, and still to this day defends his behaviour and puts me in line for his abusive shit. I really resent her for that. The best thing you can do for your daughter is to tell her daily that this is not her fault, that she didn’t do something wrong, that it’s her mum not her that has caused this. I really feel for you.

  32. Kate says:

    My husband’s depression wasn’t apparent until about a week after our wedding at which point he showed a side of himself that was utterly shocking to me. He wasn’t a con man or a psychopath, so I assumed the sudden barrage of criticisms and the cold, withdrawn moods peppered with acts of rage were due to legitimate failures on my part. He would tell me over and over, “It’s not really about you. It’s not your fault,” but all his anger was directed at me and he was unhappy with almost everything I did, so how could I not internalize what he said?

    After about 9 months things got better. Looking back, I realize they were still bad but the first 9 months had been such hell and it was second-nature to subvert my own opinions and needs to his at that point, so I was blind to the unhealthy dynamic between us. After about 6 months of what felt like stability and happiness, we decided to have a child and I became pregnant quickly.

    The closer I came to my due date, the more controlling and condescending my husband became. When our daughter was born there was about 4 or 5 days of euphoria and then he crashed. He withdrew almost entirely from us both and was increasingly controlling and mean. My postpartum period was extraordinarily difficult and he barely lifted a finger to help me (although he felt like he shouldered the burden almost entirely himself). Eventually he became overtly emotionally abusive – saying horrible things about me as a person and a mother. After many pleas for him to get help, he received psychological testing and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety (the ADHD he liked to blame all his behaviors on came back very mild with some doubt if he had it at all).

    He started on Cymbalta, which took the edge off a bit. We tried one therapist, then another. It seemed like things were getting better, until I finally worked up the nerve to address his almost complete lack of help around the house. He blew up. He was prepared to leave me (or so he said) right when we were in the midst of buying a new home and moving out of our old one.

    Something in my broke at that point. I walled off my heart from him, lowered my expectations to the point where I basically accepted I was going to be a single mother most of the time, and determined to just survive the marriage for the sake of our daughter. As long as he didn’t become emotionally abusive again, I was prepared to forsake my needs in order to provide an intact home.

    The move was over a few months ago. At first his attitude improved a bit, but now it’s going downhill again. Walling off my heart turned out to be the best thing I could do for myself because I finally woke up to how damaged I have been by this relationship. I have almost forgotten who I was. I have abandoned nurturing myself in favor of nurturing his pathology.

    He senses this new attitude of mine – the distance and a strength which he interprets as hardness – and he hates it. He has started frequently bringing up how cold and unaffectionate I am lately and blows up when I tell him it’s because I can’t trust him enough to be emotionally intimate with him again. I have asked him to get help multiple times and so far he’s refused. I’m scared. I hate anger and angry conflict, which is how he was able to walk all over me for almost 4 years, but I am starting to stand up for myself. I’m trying to find ways to be Me again, but working full time and being the primary parent and housekeeper means I have little to no time for myself. But my mindset has shifted at least and, as my daughter needs my direct supervision and interaction less and less, I will have more time to reconnect with old hobbies.

    I believe we’re reaching a breaking point in our relationship: either he will break his attachment to his depression or he will break our marriage. I am hoping for the former but can accept the latter.

    • Lavendergrits says:


      I am so sorry to read about your broken heart and situation with your husband. You have been through a really rough time.

      I’m going to be brutally honest. I think your first thoughts about your husband being a con man and psychopath were more correct than thinking that he is depressed. The guy sounds like a class A abuser to me. Not only is he physically abusive but he is also abusing you emotionally and verbally.

      Years ago after my ex husband physically abused me I went to a therapist and said “Help me understand how to stay with my husband until our son is 18.” She looked me dead in the eyes and asked me “What are you teaching your children?”

      “What are you teaching your daughter?”

      We make excuses for our partners by saying that they are depressed when in they are using it as an excuse to be an abuser. Please look into learning about the victim-persecutor-rescuer triangle.

      I wish you good luck.

  33. alex says:

    I met a girl around 8 months ago and straight away I found her refreshingly unique, different from any relationship previously. She didn’t try to please me and quite the contrary she tried to displease me often. She was disinterested in most of the things I told her. But then on the rare occasions that she did show pleasure it fed me enough to keep me interested. I guess I was spell-bound by her and by her single mindedness and her unique being.
    I was in a stage in my life where I was looking for somebody different. The relationship was tumultuous and although I get the great sense that it is on it’s final legs it continues to be tumultuous – just to a lesser extent as the gap between us widens.
    Eggshells is a word I saw higher up on this thread and that is certainly the case. It doesn’t take much to send her into a rage. It’s normally caused by my trying to understand the situation – when I try to get reassurance that we are doing the right thing. That we should be together.
    She tends to blame me for all arguments – and because she blames me and believes that they are always my fault she feels it necessary to punish me and block me out for a period afterwards. This causes an immense amount of damage and resentment – and I believe that it is because of this particular damage that we are now on our last legs. I can deal with the depression itself but the intensive periods of punishment that follow are hard to bare. When you are blocked out for 3 weeks at a time you are forced to ‘get over’ it – ‘move on’ a little. Then she is back and you feel a little less than you did before – a wedge is driven deep into the intimacy of the relationship and it saddens the bejesus out of you. The spell that was cast in those first weeks is lifted and you are left facing the bleak reality of what is in front of you.

    She has taken a lot of therapy in her earlier days and I’m not sure if it’s as a result of this but she also tries to hook emotional issues onto me – the problems are caused because of my issues. I accept that I am not perfect – I’m human like anyone. But I also believe I am rational and pragmatic faced with life issues. I’m too busy to allow emotional instability to disable me. Maybe I have some abandonment issues but this has not come up in the past in any significant way.

    I wonder whether this tale is familiar to anyone. The difference is I guess that it is over a relatively short period. It was hard to form a proper bond in the first place which would tend to keep a couple together through difficult times. Is it ever possible to pull yourself out of depression or is it something that will lurk over you forever just with longer periods of normality. I feel that if I do stay with this girl I will need to give up a great part of myself – of my real core being and become different – a carer – someone who gives but doesn’t expect to receive. This goes against the grain for me I’m afraid – I don’t think i could do this for long without combusting.

    Sorry for this weird sort of story but as you could probably tell – I needed to vent a little.

    • Dani says:

      Hi Alex,

      I’d like to respond as someone who is currently in a similar situation but on the other end. I hope it helps some.

      Depression does warp your perception at times. It really depends where she is at with her recovery as to how you might approach this. Challenge the negative thoughts with positive ones.

      It sounds like she is reacting defensively, perhaps she too feels blamed. Maybe she is scared that you don’t believe in her. Maybe she feels that you blame her for mistakes made or difficulties faced.

      It sounds like there may be some issues with the ways you are both communicating with one another and interpreting things. Can you work on this together? Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, there is a lot of help out there.

      Let her know how the periods of punishment feel for you. It’s possible that she may not even be aware that this is what she is doing to you.

      Try to educate yourself about depression as much as you can. It is something that affects many people from time to time, and without real understanding it can make relationships a challenge! It is temporary for some people, a response to life events. For others it is chronic and the person must learn to manage it themselves.

      You can’t take on the others problems and emotional turmoil as you own. You must both look after yourselves and focus on being kind and compassionate to one another. Set some boundaries. Build trust. All good relationships take work and good planning.

      Most importantly of all, do you love her? Do you want to work out how to grow together? Write down all of the qualities about her that you treasure, and tell her what these are.

      Good luck

      • Alex says:

        Thanks Dani – that’s good advice. We have actually tried that before. The listing off the good qualities and it was very useful for a while. The problems seems to be that after a time we begin to run out of fixes. There is only so many times you can tell a person that you care and that you love them and want to be with them before you start to hate the sound of your own voice.

  34. Kay says:

    I know it seems a horrible thing to say, but I feel so much better reading these posts and realising that I’m not the only one who is going through this.
    I am so angry, frustrated and resentful today – for the first time in the 10 years we have been together, I am really feeling that I am going to have to walk away from this relationship for my own sanity. That breaks my heart and I’m really not sure how I will ever get over it. I just can’t do it anymore. I think it’s realising that this cycle of his depression will just continue indefinitely. Yesterday, when I clearly hadn’t walked carefully enough on the eggshells surrounding the million landlines in our life together, he told me that I ‘didn’t have the ability to deal with his depression’. Like I was failing him somehow.
    What I realised overnight, is that it’s not that I can’t deal with it – I have been a bloody saint for the past 10 years, it’s actually that I don’t WANT to deal with it anymore. The good times in between the long, drawn out, ‘depression times’ just aren’t worth it. It’s starting to kill me. I actually don’t recognise myself anymore. I’m angry, scared, joyless and so fed up.
    Sorry to rant.

    • Shirin says:

      Hi Kay,

      I’m exactly on the same boat as you. My husband has been diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anhedonia since the last 6months. last two years we have been fighting over silly issues and I was thinking what went wrong that he always blamed me. Now when he has been diagnosed with MDD and Anhedonia, he completely turned my life upside down. I’m exactly at your stage. I can’t take it anymore. I have asked for divorce but both our families are kind of forcing me not to go for a divorce. I don’t have a job that is the main reason I can’t make any decision yet. I have dated with this guy for 5 years and then got married 5 years ago. We had a beautiful relationship that people always talked about. Hard to believe this was my fate! I wonder why my husband needed to take things in such a hard way in life that he went into depression! I donno what to do anymore! I sometime feel suicidal but I don’t have courage to do that either!

    • Sunbeam says:

      Don’t waste anymore of your life on him. You deserve better. And he should have the wake up call of trying to find someone who is “able to deal with his depression”– after 10 years he is taking for granted that he will be able to keeping feeding on you.

  35. Stephan says:

    Hi everyone.
    I met a nice lady 7 months ago and we started dating and we did a lot together, i met her family and grandkids and everything was going really fine up until september when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and she had to watch her grand daughter as well due to the grand daughters mom working.
    I knew she was stressing and depressed about all this a week before she left me and i offered to help in any way i could.
    Then she sent me a text saying she was stressed and couldnt be in a relationship at all and that her life was on hold.
    She said i was a great person but she just couldnt build on the relationship at this time because she was stressed but she wanted to stay in touch with me because i brought joy into her life.
    I have tried calling her, texting her, and even sent her flowers to see how shes doing and offer support but no response. Nothing but silence.
    Its been 2 months since her last message.
    Im at a loss as to why and wondering if depression and stress can cause this? She has never given me any reason to doubt her sincerity or explanations.
    She had to take time off from work too to help her mother so i know she has to be hurting financially.
    I am concerned about her but i just cant see how her life is on hold. She has to be living some form of exsistance of a life.
    As for me, im in counseling and getting better to understand my hurt from this and to better myself stronger and understand her stress and depression.
    Yes i still hope and pray for her to return but if and when it happens i will be a better and stronger man when she does.
    Just wondering if in my case she will come back based on what ive spoken?
    This really took a toll on me and my emotions as i didnt know what and why this happened. But at the same time i am learning about her stress and depression one day at a time.
    Your thoughts, views and insights are welcome.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Shoshannah says:

      Hello, Stephan. See my reply to Veronica. My man has withdrawn because he is having a terrible time dealing with his 16 year old son’s suicide two years ago. He says he is numb, and cannot enter into a relationship, although he must want some sort of contact as I found him on a dating site, all be it as ‘ dating, but nothing serious’.
      I too am learning about his depression. He says he will get better, but I have no way of knowing if he will turn to me when he is. I think all we can do is wait and be there. If we try our hardest to understand and support, even if they have withdrawn from us, then there should be no shame or recriminations if we have to turn away for our own self-preservation.
      I wish you luck and love, friend. Let’s pray we both get there.

    • mch says:

      This sounds like a type of depression where she’s really internalizing it and not taking it out on you. In a way this can be good, because if she’s not someone that classically deals with depression, she may be able to come to acceptance one day and heal. She probably doesn’t understand what she feels because she hasn’t felt it before. Relationships take a lot of work emotionally, and maybe she just doesn’t know how to cope with that right now. You guys aren’t married, so neither of you have a commitment to have and to hold right now. Hopefully she won’t battle ptsd and never seek help, but in the meantime, give yourself time to heal. It may never be meant to be, but that doesn’t mean that one day you won’t have a relationship with her or someone else that is.

  36. Kristin Bazan says:

    I see all these posts on how the other is the one who has the depression and the spouses do not know how to deal… WEll I am the one with the illness and I have lost the love of my life to this disease and I do not know what to do. I have been dealing with my demons for over ten years now and it doesn’t help that the past six or seven years have had PTSD in them. I have tried everything; EVERYTHING. Medications and doctors to talking to a friend and/or family member. Nothing has helped. I have been on medications for 10 years and I don’t nkow where to go from here. I had a suicidal encounter and my spouse left me after being together for a year because of it. SAid person said they couldn’t the downward spiral I was going through. It hurt to see me like that and they didn’t know what to do anymore.

    SO I am asking anyone who has any insight….WHAT DO I DO?


    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Kristin –

      I’m sorry you are going through all this. A lot of us are in the same boat – nothing helps for very long. Here’s a video from Therese Borchard’s Group Beyond Blue which tells beautifully what she has done after years of failed efforts to get better.


    • Shoshannah says:

      Kirstin, I am so sorry that it has ended like this for you. Reading your post, has made me even more determined to try to stay the course. I don’t know if that will happen, but you have made me realise how my man must feel. Thank you, and may you find strength and courage to rebuild your life. I can’t offer you any advice, as I’m still learning to cope myself, but please, never give up on love or life. Both are far to precious.

  37. Kelly says:

    I am so lost. My bf of 4 years has pulled away for the 3rd time. The first time I didn’t knkw what was happening and then a few months later, he was back to his old self again. This has happened about the same time every year. Now he has moved out and back to live his mother. He barely wants to talk to me, hardly text me and makes me feel like he’s lost all his love for me. I feel like giving up. I convinced him to see a therapist and the therapist had told him he has intimacy issues and that he had parental abandonment as a child. I understand he’s going through a lot right now and I want to support him, but it’s so hard when he wants nothing to do with me. I’m so confused on what I should do. How can he just stop loving me? We had something so great and he has said that many times. I don’t understand and all I do us cry and wonder when I will hear from him. What do I do?

  38. Emma Cannan says:

    Hi all , I’m at my wits end and just want to talk to ppl who know what I’m experiencing. I’ve been with my husband for nearly 8 years. Married for 3. We just had the best relationship before we got married and six months after until my husband lost two friends within two months of each other. He has a ridiculously stressful job on top of this and lost his mum at age of 19 although he’s 35 now. I believe these deaths were the first deaths he experienced since his mum and knocked him for six. He was a different person almost straight away, no interest in doing nething or going anywhere. Telling me he felt useless and hopeless and no point. This continued at the bad rate for a year before improving slightly but not much. I can still see the loving caring person in there but this lonely cold person on the outside. He has moved out and says he feels different about me he loves me but not as he should a wife. He misses etc but says he can’t imagine nething or c a way back or forward. Just can’t see nething. It’s tearing me apart I don’t know if he is depressed he would never go to the doctors and doesn’t admit he is. We’re in a limbo he’s going to councilling every now and then to try and figure out what he wants from life but is adamant it’s not going to fix us. I’m so confused I’m holding out hope for us as I love him and feel like we’re meant to b together and feel he loves me too through all his actions when he comes home every now and then. He seems to make excuses to hang around . I’m trying to look after myself and to get on with my life as much as I can but it’s so hard when I feel like it’s all falling down around me. Every single person I know says we’re meant to b and can’t believe this happening to us . It all seems so cruel .

    • cindy says:

      Hi Emma
      I can completely relate to your situation as I find myself in the same. My husband however has never been to see a doctor or therapist and as far as he is concerned I am the problem. It all also happened out of the blue and he left 3 months ago without a backward glance but a couple of days later he started coming back to the house. At first all I did was cry but I thankfully this seems to be calming down. I have a demanding job so it keeps me preoccupied. I miss and love him very much and use every opportunity to tell him but I never even get a response other than for him to tell me ‘I don’t know what to say”. Its breaking my heart and I don’t know what to do from here on out other than pray. So please know that you are definitely not alone and i am sure there are many more of “US” out there.

      • Sensitive_Soul says:

        I’m in the same boat. My boyfriend of 4 years is suffering with depression and this week he broke up with me. I’m still trying to come to terms with it. I said I’ll always be there to support him and help him through it. He’s grateful but says he doesn’t know how much I can actually do. We live over 200 miles from each other. Before this depression we had been planning to move in together. Things were going great and we truly loved each other. We still do. Well, he says he will always love me, but he’s like a different person now. Quite cold, blunt. Only texts me a few times, but I’m usually the one instigating it. I wrote him a letter earlier this week (before we broke up) which he got yesterday. I made him a keyring (Keychain) which had a picture of us inside it. He said when he opened it and saw it he burst into tears and said the letter was beautiful aswell. I’m hoping that we can be together as a couple again someday once he’s feeling better. I love him so much and will never give up on him. But my heart is broken because of what his depression has done. I’ve bought him a book called ‘Feeling Good’ by Dr David Burns. I’ve read a lot of good reviews about this book. It’s helped a lot of people with depression. So I’m hoping it can help him. He’s reluctant to talk to a therapist or doctor. (He was prescribed anti-depressants a couple years ago but he never took them). But during that first bout of depression, we were together and it wasn’t so bad as now. He was still loving and caring. I can’t imagine my life without him as I still believe he’s my soulmate. This is so hard. I’m just glad to have other people to talk to who are going through the same situation. X

  39. patti says:

    I have lived with a man with major depressive issues for 36 years. Over the years it has gotten worse. He retired in 2012 and we are battling foreclosure and bankruptcy which has increased his depression 10 fold. I have begged him to get a job and help me and he finally did get part time time job.

    I am exhausted. I am doing 100% of the work to fight the foreclsosure. Working a full time job and running a part time business. I do 70% of the work around the house and the yard work. He sits in his chair and plays solitaire on his laptop for hours. I am ANGRY exausted and so so sad.
    If I force him he will do things. He has severe social anxiety and wont go out and wont get medicated. This is not the man I married 36 years ago.

    I am at the end of my rope. He needs help and I have tried. He is currently on Citalopram, Trazadone for the depression and Lorazepam for his anxiety issues. He is not consistent with taking ANY of them. If I nag him constantly, count his meds and nag some more he will take them. I dont have time to be his MOTHER! He wasted 5 years in counseling with a woman who never required anything of him. She gave up requesting his help to heal himself. She has since retired. Her fees were enormous and it accomplished NOTHING!

    I spite of all this he managed to cheat on me three times with an old flame. He might stil be in contact with her. Don’t know and am beyond caring. I wish he would leave and let her deal with him and his issues truth be told.

    He also has anger issues. he drives to fast and has a very bad temper. Whil I am laying in bed in the morning I lay there and worry about what kind of mood will I have to deal with today. Will it be, I am going to commit myself? Will it be the nasty man? Will it be theman I fell in love with somany years ago? Or will it be I am going to kill myself? I can usually tell just by hi s body language, He might well be bipolar but wont get help.

    I know this cant last and I am looking for a way out. I cannot leave my animals. They are my best friends and dont deserve to be dumped in a shelter. SO we continue the depression dance. Than you for reading this. None knows what I deal with on a daily basis. This has helped. I am so very tired of him and his depression.

    This was cathartic.T HANKS YOU I so needed to talk to someone.

    • Isis says:

      I am so sorry you are dealing with that. A while ago, I ended a relationship with someone with severe depression because of how it was affecting me. Now I seem to be in the same situation again, well in this case it seems to be more anxiety, but it’s similar.

      I have been married for 5 years. I’m an expat in my husband’s country. I lost my job a few years ago and have been doing various types of freelance work since then, but making a lot less than I was. Finding a regular job in this country has proven impossible because I don’t have the right contacts. My husband’s work environment is pretty bad and getting more toxic and stressful. Unfortunately, he has applied for other jobs but nothing has come of it.

      It can be so hard living with him some days. He gets in these moods where he treats me like everything is my fault and I feel like I’m walking on eggshells. Minor inconveniences get completely blown out of proportion by him, or he assumes things will go badly even though we don’t know what will happen. For example, he bought a new car recently and we just got a notice that there is some problem with the registration. Before we even know what is going on (I am going to ask today) he is assuming that we are not going to be able to keep the car or that we are going to have to go to court over the issue. So, he was in a bad mood over that and out of the blue starts criticizing me for taking too many medications. I have severe respiratory allergies and I NEED them to be able to breathe. It was such a stupid thing to say and I know he is just taking the anxiety about the car out on me.

      Earlier this year, he was diagnosed with anxiety and given some time off work and anti-anxiety meds. He took those for a month and they really seemed to help. However, after that he stopped and never went back to the psychiatrist or to recommended therapy, so he’s back to being hard to deal with. He can be fine for a while, but then some minor thing goes wrong and he gets anxious and critical of me.

      I feel stuck. I have pets that I worry about too. Plus, my work isn’t stable and isn’t really enough to support myself at this time. My relationship with my family isn’t the greatest, so I can’t count on them either. I never imagined I’d be in a situation like this. I always worked full-time and was able to support myself.

      I have a knot in my stomach right now worrying about the whole car registration thing, and how unbearable he will get if it is a major problem.

  40. Gisela says:

    My husband and I have been together for 14 years and we have two wonderful children, 7 and 10. We felt like soul mates in the beginning and really completed each other even though we were very different (and from different continents), he made me a better person. Love kept us going. Things started becoming difficult when we had children as he is not able to keep jobs, is very sensitive and has a low self esteem, he makes it very easy for people to take advantage of him and then he is terribly disappointed when it happens (over and over again).
    All this time I have been the breadwinner and the responsible one. We went through incredibly hard times, financially and with him entering severe depressions over several years. I was always the strong one. I managed to get him to see a psychologist and psychiatrist and take medication for his mood swings. The psychologist did not think that he needed treatment for longer than two months as they had great and open discussions. After this long phase of severe depression with terrible mood swings he started feeling better, and that’s when I started getting depressed as a result from his depression. I felt upset with him because although he felt better he was still not doing more to be responsible in order for us to make it through financially or to help wherever he could.
    I started blaming him for the hard times we had to go through and for not pulling his weight with responsibilities etc.
    This is now about four years ago but since then I have changed. I unconsciously protected myself from his mood swings by withdrawing from him and focusing on my work and the kids.
    Looking back, I think I did not expect anything from him in the first 10 years and always tried to help him (mother him, in hindsight!) and came up with excuses for his shortcomings. It was the two of us against the rest of the world.
    But now, I have expectations and I cannot push them aside. I expect him to try harder in finding work and be more responsible. He sometimes tries but not that hard, it seems, but he also seems to be somehow simply incapable (he calls himself a looser). He likes to smoke weed and drink some alcohol to relax during the day, and I don’t like that at all. We talked about him taking medication again but he says the weed has the same effect on him and is not happy to take artificial drugs. He can be quite radical with his views.
    I see him in a different light and we are emotionally split, not close any more, and live like friends. He has been sleeping on the couch for years. However, we still function well as a family as we hardly ever fight and our kids are very happy and emotionally stable. But as a couple we do not function any more. He has a beautiful and kind personality and is a loving father but so many problems that pull me down so often. I feel like having 3 instead of 2 children as our relationship is so unbalanced.
    I don’t know what to do any more but I know that it is toxic to carry on like this, pretending things will change when I know that they won’t because he is who he is and people don’t change. It feels like there are too many scars and too many hard years that I cannot forget. I managed to heal myself eventually and feel emotionally balanced and in a good place in life but our relationship worries me as I have lost the respect for my husband.

  41. Ash says:

    Hi everyone – please send me good vibes as I go into this weekend. Weekends are the worst for me as it means my husband and I are alone together. Particularly after my daughter goes to sleep. The silence he exudes is torturous. Then when I finally go to bed to get away from it, he rages until morning. I haven’t slept well in years. It is 5pm and I am at work and am procrastinating going home and I really need a break. However, my weekends are quite the opposite. This cycle has been going on 4 years now – I wear it on my face. I am tired. Send me strength to deal with Mr. Hyde as I will do the same for all of you. Hugs

  42. Mark says:

    This blog is very interesting and very appreciated. I have been with my Partner for 19 plus years and we are now separating. The first 10 years were great. He did rely on me a lot to bring him out of his shell and do new things, but it worked. But over time he began to resist me desire to do new things and became less and less interested in having intimate relations. It was very hard for me. I wanted a Partner who was wanted to do things together and really work as a team, and he wanted to be more and more away from that. We were becoming more like best friends living together and then over the last three years it became more like roommate, not even best friends. We would go out to dinner and he would start texting and I’d ask who are you texting? and he would ask that same question to me as a response even though I didn’t have a phone in my hand. He really didn’t want to sahre anything (and no, I really don’t think he was having an affair). Every time I would ask for us to work on things, he’d say, no that’s just who he was. i did my best, but I was burnt out. Finally, I said, we need to go to counseling or I am leaving. He agreed, but once we hit the fifth session he couldn’t take how hard it was. He texted me he won’t go unless I could see us “making real progress in the short term.” Needless to say, he stopped going. And I found out from a mutual friend that we had broken up. I was surprised, but didn’t fight for it anymore. After all this time, he needed to step up. If he isn’t willing to address his issues, I can’t do it anymore. He is mad about all of this and angry, but I feel like I am a parent with a teenage son who only interacts with their parents when forced too and resists any interaction if possible.

    Fortunately, I am pretty confident guy. I’m in my late 40s, but I am fun, outgoing,have a good job and my looks have not deteriorated as rapidly as most, so I get a lot of requests for dates – not that I am dating. I use to sit in our home crying because I felt so alone, but I feel better now that we are ending things. I hope all the best for him and I pray for him every night, but if I stayed, I was becoming depressed myself and I knew that’s not a life I wanted.

    • louise says:

      So glad I found this blog, its made me realise that I’m not alone and its helped me to stop questioning “whats wrong with me”.

      My partner of 2 years is great. Hes extremely outgoing, kind, funny and has a huge heart but he suffers from bad depression a few times every year.

      For me the hardest thing about it is seeing him put his “happy mask” on for our friends or strangers when we are out and for him to take this mask off straight away when its just us. I feel guilty about this. I’m glad he feels like he can be himself around me and doesnt have to pretend to be happy when hes not. I know this is exhausting for him. But its so hard for me not to become self critical and think that its me that makes him feel this way. Im finding myself constanstly wishing I could make him smile and laugh the way others are. And I feel a real disconnect from him when I cant.

      Like others who have posted, Ive also experienced him withdrawing physically and sexually when he’s bad. He touches me less and makes me feel needy when I touch him. Its hurtfull. I feel lonely and can’t help but search for flaws in me to explain why he treats me like this and not others even though I know it should be more of a compliment that he can be himself around me.

      I just find it so hard. Ill make a big effort to be silly or playful and he barly smiles. Yet when were with strangers, to be his polite self he will roar laughing at the weakest jokes.

      Ive found like others said , that its rubbing off on me and bringing me down too.

  43. Shannon says:

    Depression really hit my marriage hard in May 2011 when my husband was let go from his $70K a year position. 10 months of unemployment and my meager salary put is in deep debt. he got a job, 2 months later, he was unemployed again. He’s been out of work since June 2013. I continue to work, thank god, but we are now on Food stamps, healthcare assistance for the kids, and reduced lunch for the kids. We’re having Christmas gifts bought for our kids through charity.

    I so want him to leave. I want him to go to his mom’s and just get away because his depression is killing any love I have for him. It’s affecting our children, it’s affecting me, it’s affecting everything. When I’m home, I avoid him and usually the kids because they want to be around him. He has told me he feels “dead inside” and all I can think is “stop taking us with you!”.

    We’ve been together almost 17 years, married 15 and this has been the worst year of it. I can’t imagine we’ll ever go back to how it was, now it’s full of depression, anxiety, resentment, and anger. i hate this.

    • Margie says:

      I know it’s hard but depression is a disease. You can’t see it like a broken arm but it’s an illness. I suggest you remember your vows… For rich or poor…in sickness and health. . . Try to take care of yourself and be there in the dark. A man often defines himself by his work and ability to provide. He had reasons to be depressed. He lost his ability to provide. Think about the better years. Be present but stay well yourself by staying strong and supporting him as much as you can while still staying sane yourself..perhaps set some guidelines ie: he must go see someone for help etc but don’t abandon him. That’s just my thoughts and trust me at times I could take my own advice better. I know it’s hard and exhausting to deal with a depressed partner. However you are his partner in ALL of life’s journey. Go look at your wedding album today. Remember what you vowed to. Perhaps the best years are yet to come. Take care.

    • Sunbeam says:

      Yes, depression is a disease. But it’s not like a broken arm or cancer. It’s contagious. It destroys both the afflicted person and their partners/children. You have a life to live, and you only get one. Don’t let him ruin your life, even if it means separation or divorce.
      … You have to save yourself. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled.

  44. De says:

    I continue to struggle with my partner’s depression. He is 62 and has suffered from social anxiety and depression most of his life, so this is a long-standing issue which I seriously underestimated when we first got together (when the excitement of a new relationship was propping up his moods). For the first 3 years I was just plain bewildered, not understanding how or why he could suddenly (in a flash) become a different person, suddenly be angry and accusatory and irritable when I couldn’t think of anything I had done to provoke him etc. We moved to a happier location (where he was away from some chronic stresses in his work and family life) and I expected improvement… and there has been some improvement, but the mood roller-coaster and the long, dreary periods of negativity and anhedonia remain. Sometime this year I finally discovered this web site and had the big AHA moment, finally had a *name* for what we were going through. Realised I was Not Alone 🙂

    But to answer the question: We’ve been together 5 years and yes, I am beginning to feel like I’m losing my own ability to be happy. I feel that the depression is not only getting between me and my one-time friend and lover, but it’s contagious. I’m a less happy, less confident person than I was a couple of years ago. At first our relationship really sustained me, despite occasional confusion and drama; I thought we were just going through a rough patch here and there. Now I begin to think this may be a permanent disability I’m dealing with and I’m very near despair myself.

    The first thing I think when I wake up in the morning is “Oh god, what mood is he going to be in today?” I have to make an effort of will to say good morning cheerfully, because I never know whether I’ll get an affectionate hug, or a lukewarm dutiful hug, or if he will just sit in his chair staring out the window and ignore me. I never know when I make a nice dinner for us, whether he’ll sit down with me and eat, or say he isn’t hungry and then eat a microwaved plate at 9 or 10 pm, by himself, staring at his computer screen. I can’t make social engagements with friends, invite people over for supper, because his social anxiety is acute and if it’s a bad day, he’ll be miserable and tense and spoil the evening (not by being rude or making a scene, but by being nervous and jittery, noticeably silent, and then resentful and self-pitying after the guests are gone). His inability to enjoy things, to crack a smile, to have any moment of spontaneous happiness, spoils my own enjoyment of life because I can’t share any good moments — we can’t bond with laughter and joy, only with drama and gloom. Holidays are sad — he can’t celebrate or be cheerful. The house feels like a funeral parlour — silent, grim, full of sadness and tension. His moods govern the atmosphere from moment to moment, I feel I have no control over the course of my days.

    Any conversation with him will turn to the Dark Side within minutes — some examples — I mention that a friend of ours is travelling in Japan, he starts talking about Fukushima and how everyone in Tokyo will have to be evacuated if TEPCO messes up the rod recovery. If I say how nice it is that our roof is so well built that the torrential rains don’t worry me, he will start telling stories about roofing and the people he know who have fallen off a roof and broken their backs and been crippled for life. This summer we saw a beautiful young mother on a beach playing with her toddler in the tiny waves in the sun, and my DH started going on and on about how easily children drown, how fast they go under and no one sees… I tell him a little bit about the finances and politics of a local NGO of which I’m a Director, and he tells me it’s bound to fail, it will all end in disaster; anyway you get the drift — from ordinary conversation to Death and Despair in less than 2 minutes on average. I find it wears me down, over weeks and months, until my whole future looks like this gray dreary vista of gloomy conversations, pessimism, cynicism, anger, long sullen silences, and unpredictable behaviour.

    And then there’s the irritability, the sudden flashes of self-righteous, resentful anger over tiny things; the other day he went from apparently normal to seriously angry because he didn’t like a set of coffee cups I keep for guests, and didn’t want me to “put all your junk on the shelves in the kitchen” He started scolding me for having too much kitchenware, never using it, etc; and I stood there like an idiot trying to understand why I was even *in* this crazy conversation to start with, and feeling additional hurt because one of the reasons I haven’t used my servingware is because I can’t invite company over because my partner is dysfunctional so much of the time! I try to count to 10 and not give a harsh answer, deflect the confrontation, walk away — but it feels so unjust and unfair that I often end up in tears, hiding somewhere in the house to get away from his bad vibe, wishing I could escape. I think the longest period in the last 12 months that he’s been in a “normal” or good mood (and how very lovely it was while it lasted!) was 3 weeks. That doesn’t seem right.

    So, yes, after 5 years on this dreary merrygoround of anxiety, irritability, despondency, and periods of near-comatose inability to function (what I think they call the vegetative state), after days in a row without one kind word or even a kind look, weeks without a smile or a laugh in the house, and endless fusses over picayune control issues — anything left lying around in *his* immaculately tidy home (which we both own 50/50, btw) is a major offence! — I’m feeling kind of nuts myself. His depression and anxiety seem to fill the house; I feel like I can’t breathe, like I’m tiptoe-ing around a live grenade. Not that I fear actual violence; but the bitter, resentful, self-pitying, spiteful tone of some of his anger attacks is almost as bad. His sense of humour and proportion disappears entirely. If he actually hit me it would be simple — I’d hit him back as hard as I could, and call the divorce lawyer. But the slow drip of neglect and unfriendliness, hostility and indifference, petty control attempts, jittering anxiety and relentless plonking negativity, are much harder to respond to. And it’s ghastly watching someone you love drowning in unhappiness and despair, apparently unable to save themselves, refusing any attempt at comfort, pushing you away. I feel helpless, useless, futile. Such a profound sense of personal failure when *nothing* I do can make my partner happy.

    All this leads to a rather nasty cycle of drama. After the stress of coping with the unpredictability and gloomy atmosphere builds up for a few weeks I start to get depressed and unstable myself. I get so *tired* of dealing with all his different personalities and never knowing which one will be on stage next. I lie awake nights wondering how I’m going to get through the winter. Eventually his mood cycle ratchets around to irritation again and he snarls/scolds/nags at me, and I snap and fall into misery and despair myself. Then we have a great big Relationship Talk in which I *beg* him to do something about the mood swings and the depression, and he dismisses every possible alternative before even trying it — therapists are all charlatans, drugs are dangerous, CBT is stupid kid stuff, meditation is a bunch of malarkey, and so on. Finally after I tell him repeatedly that our relationship is on the line, he backs down and says he’ll do something; but after about living through 3 grand-opera cycles like this, which take about 8 or 9 months each to play out, I no longer really believe this. I’m starting to feel like I’ve been battling a demon that has kidnapped my beloved, and I’m losing.

    I don’t see a whole lot of options here. I could go on antidepressants myself, get some therapy, and try to tough it out in the hope that the new environment may help him, eventually, to destress and learn to enjoy being alive. I could maybe persuade him to get some help, but if he does it against his inclination I doubt he’ll get any good out of it. I could resign myself to an empty, unhappy marriage as so many middle aged women have done — rely on my circle of friends and community activities for emotional sustenance and try to ignore the bad-tempered old man at home, stay busy away from the house and minimise my time there, take separate vacations, etc. But then what’s the point of being married at all? I could live apart from him during his depressed periods, but his depressed periods now take up so much of the year that we’d hardly be living together… maybe 25 pct time or less. Or we could give up on each other — I could decide that this person is too disabled for me to cope with, that we love each other but it just isn’t going to work; then we would have the sorrow and disruption of breaking up our household and abandoning any possibility of making things better and recovering the good things about our relationship. I don’t like most of those options.

    At present, after a lot of drama and upset, I’ve managed to get him to say he will try an online CBT course (I think I will take it too, so we can be doing it together instead of making him feel like he’s being sent to sit in the corner and write his lines). I’ve managed to get him to agree in principle to trying a little Kava extract for intervention in anxiety attacks — maybe if we can derail the start of the cycle, the anxiety and loss of sleep and nightmares, we could prevent the rest of the sorry procession of events. And I’ve managed to get him to *consider* going to therapy with me, as a couple. I have no confidence that any of these concessions will last any longer than the immediate crisis; as soon as I don’t seem “mad at him” any more he’ll most likely go back to the same old habitual cycle of anxiety and so on. I truly think that he identifies his depression as himself and is *afraid* to struggle against it. So I do wonder what the heck I can do to save my *own* mental health. I’m about to download and read your ebook!

    Sorry to vent on and on, but it’s been a rough week here.

    • Kathy says:

      I can so relate to the waking up and wondering what his mood will be – it can be so lonely- my husband suffers as well from depression and anxiety – I have no advice, no good solution just empathy – you are not alone

      • Uma says:

        I read this page and your post on the bad days. Thank you for helping me to feel not as alone in my situation….

      • patti says:

        It’s so ….cant think of the right word to know that I am not the only one who lays in bed wondering what he will be like today. You have given me an ounce of hope. Thank you.

        • redegg says:

          Every morning I wake I have that feeling.
          Every time I return from work, I hold my breath and have to calm myself before I enter the house, for fear of how difficult things might be.

    • Kim says:

      Not knowing what mood to expect each morning has brought me so much anxiety as well. It seems like a small thing, but it affects so much of your day-to-day life. It’s a horrible way to wake up every day – with worry and dread and anxiety.

      I’m sorry things have become so gloomy. It’s true that your husband needs to want to put in the work to change. It’s hard work and it’s overwhelming for a person in his state.

      My best advice is to try your hardest to be positive, encouraging and praise him for any tiny step. It’s hard sometimes because in our minds he SHOULD be doing these things. However he sounds a lot like my husband and my husband thrives when I praise him for doing a good job. I don’t realize how hard it is for him to sometimes do even the smallest things like going for a walk.

      I hope the online course helps both of you.

      • rg says:

        can we share emails so I can have somebody to talk to?

        • Ronda says:

          i don’t. blame my husband, but I blame myself. I feel as though I’m caught. between a rock and a hard place. I have meds here that could possibly help me and I have tried to take them. at least once, but my fear of vomiting. keeps me from continuing to take them. can someone please give me some advice. I’m at my wits end with my own self

    • Vicki says:

      You only live once. It is really sad that his life is so difficult, but five years with one person should not mean that you have to spend the rest of your life on the same dreary path he is on. If you still hope to make things work, then consider giving yourself a date for reevaluation. Until then, explore whatever options you think you might have to help this work, as long as they do not damage you emotionally. Knowing there is a “deadline” can sometimes give you renewed energy and optimism.

      Counselling sounds like a good idea. If he won’t participate, go for yourself. You are a very articulate and intelligent person, but sometimes being too close to a problem can make things fuzzy and you need an outside perspective.

      My mother was mentally ill. I understood she could not help herself, but I allowed her to drag me down with her. It was not healthy for me or my daughter. My mother has since passed, but I have a clearer perspective now. You only have one life. It is not your responsibility to give up your happiness for someone else. If the realationship is not working for both of you, then it’s not working. I hope I don’t sound callous, but a marriage is a two-way street. If you feel you are drowning and he is unable to make a recovery that allows you to have a mutually satisfying relationship and life, you need to move on out of self preservation. If I loved someone deeply, I think I would rather release them from the pain than watch them suffer with me.

    • patti says:

      You and I must be married to the same man. Sending you strength.

    • Sarah says:

      Wow! This seem like I could have written this post. We have been married for 14 years and it seems to be getting slowly but steadily worse concerning the moods. You are definitely not alone!

    • Lavendergrits says:

      Thank you for venting. By my presence here and reading your “vent” I am obviously searching for help learning how to cope with a depressed partner. We have been living together for just over a year. During the excitement of the newness of the relationship he was a totally different person than the person he is today. He managed to keep himself under control and the seriousness of his depression/mental illness hidden for many months. When he finally lost control of his thinking he became a totally different person. No longer was he the kind, gentle, creative person I fell in love with. Instead he became angry, negative, coercive, manipulative and self abusive. The distorted thinking that he expresses verbally during his venting is concerning. He is medicated although he has not had his medication checked in many years. He is also a cutter which he abstained from for many months but is now using with regularity. We live in a very rural area over 60 miles one way from mental health services which means he would have to take off work to go for therapy. Needless to say this obstacle is why he refuses counselling. If he doesn’t help himself I feel I have a responsibility to myself to take care of me. I have come to the conclusion that if I feel myself sliding into depression or feeling helpless I will leave. I love him but I am not willing to loose myself in the relationship.

    • Sunbeam says:

      Your husband sounds just like my partner. I feel like I could have written parts of this. Especially the part about how a normal conversation ends in doom and despair within a couple of minutes. I’ve known him for 10 years and we’ve been in a relation ship for 7, of those 7 years, we’ve lived together for about 5. He can be very kind and loving, but then he can turn on me and just rip me to shreds. He’s been very supportive of some things in my life, like my educational goals. But he also tries to undermine my self-confidence by constantly criticizing things about me, like my looks or my basic personality.—Things that are a part of who I am that I can’t change. Luckily, I just landed a job several states away, so I am in the process of leaving.

      Our life together is pretty miserable. We haven’t had sex in at least a couple of years. He doesn’t like to do anything I like to do, like go on trips, go on picnics or hiking, or go out to dinner or to a show. He has no close friends and very few associates. Most people can’t stand him because he can be such an insulting prick. We’re basically just roommates who begrudgingly tolerate each other’s habits and peccadilloes.

      Frankly, I stayed so long because of my own insecurities, mostly financial and emotional. This guy caught me at a low point in my life. I grew up in a cold, abusive home (so did he, btw). I ran away into the streets when I was 17. This guy provided me with a basic measure of financial/housing security. And, emotionally, he gave me the only thing I knew–abuse, cold indifference, and chaos. During our time together I worked through an undergrad and grad degree. I have to admit, I always had an eye on the door and wanted desperately to be able to fend for myself and leave. He knew this, and didn’t mind. He never wanted to get married or have kids because he didn’t want the responsibility and he wanted his freedom. But now that I am leaving, he is more sullen and gloomy than ever.

      I realize that his problem is some kind of undiagnosed depression or mental illness. Maybe it’s some kind of personality disorder. My feelings have ranged from feeling sorry for him, to wishing he’d just drop dead already, to feeling sorry for myself. I’m in my late 30s now. I’ve wasted the best years of my life with him. But I have to move forward and improve my life and myself. I want to be a better person and have a happy life, and I can’t do that with him.

      The thing I hate the most is how being around him has changed me. He gave me a basic level of security, but it cost me a part of my soul. He killed alot of my joy in life and I want it back. To be able to weather his constant criticism and emotional abuse, I’ve grown extremely cold and hard and can be mean as a defense/offense mechanism. I don’t like the person I’ve become. I just feel numb. He doesn’t anymore get the responses out of me that he wants. I think this pisses him off, because instead of crushing me and putting me under his control, I’ve been growing more independent and stronger. He sees my growing sense of strength as a threat, he’s really sullen that my life is picking up and moving forward while he’s still the turd in the mud that he’s always been, and he’s more depressed and pissy than ever. I can’t wait to be out the door, just being near him drains my energy. I also realize that I have a lot of work to do on myself before I’ll make a good partner for a healthy person.

      Bottom line, IMO, is that it doesn’t matter what these people’s problem/illness is. I’m done trying to understand what’s wrong with him. I’m done feeling sorry him. And it doesn’t matter how old we are, or how much time we’ve spent in the relationship—especially if we are in a position to fend for ourselves financially. They will not change. The only thing we can change is ourselves. Everyone has a right to be happy. Life is too short to spend it with someone who makes you miserable and crushes your joy in life.

      Anyone in this situation, please find a way to leave and cut the cancerous tumor out of your life so that YOU can heal. It’s never too late.

  45. rg says:

    my husband is depressed and blames me for everything. he says i dont show him affection and im not here for him so i try my hardest, i tell him i love him, hug him hold his hand when sitting next to him hold him at night but still its not good enough. what do i do im at a loss. now he Left….

  46. chuboo says:

    im very relieved to came across this site, knowing that i am not alone dealing with this monstrous depression. i married the guy whom i love with all my heart and soul, but before we even got to our first year anniverssay, depression met up with him.
    onour anniverssary day he didnt even greeted me, he used to be the sweetest guy ive met – seranading me, sending bouquet of flowers, chocolates and gifts, and asking me everyday how my day was.
    now im faced with a man i dont know, anything i say to him – or even bursting out a comment for a nightly news or an article has a negative meaning to him, its like im the most negative woman he has ever met!
    where did all the love he has from me gone?
    we had an argument recently, for a simple topic – buying a ticket for our nxt trip, the next thing i know – he lashes out at me told me to eat alone and doesnt want to talk to me ever. I miss the man i fell in love with – i see glimpses of him every now and then but in just a split second – its this monstrous figure i can see, it has been emotionally draining. i used to cry a lot because of his depression and the agony of not being able to talk to him and resolve all our issues is killing me – he doesnt want to talk to me and its killing me every minute. i too am a very happy person, i appreciate simple pleasures just seing a beautiful sunset, seeing smoke of my breath when its cold, and having a good breakfast made my day … but dealing with this – it sucks the life out me, my husband doesnt want to touch me or even hold my hand or even give me a peck on the cheek … its just sadness, truly being single doesnt mean youre lonely and being married doesnt mean youre happy

  47. karen says:

    Have been reading posts on this website for some weeks now. Am feeling very alone & overwhelmed by husbands worst bout of depresion ever. His depression has been ever present off & on for most of our 42 years of marriage but this time medications & psychotherapy dont seem to be helping.
    I am feeling i cant take much more – he doesnt want to go anywhere,do anything & fun is non existant & has been for years – he doesnt blame me but there is this great void between us now which i try to cross mostly to be rejected – i have been feeling theres nothing more left to give now & that makes me feel very sad.
    Having lost our house & business as result of recession & possibly bad decisions made during his depression i have become the breadwinner as he is struggling to work
    Sometimes his anger frightens me so i darent say much about my own feelings for fear of upsetting him.
    I am also from New Zealand & dont know of any depression support groups. Im sure my friends are geting tired of hearing about it
    I wil keep going & am trying to make changes to myself but its not easy as feel i have lost my true self over the years

    • Leslie says:

      Karen, There are support groups in just have to search for them. I didn’t know where you’re located exactly, so I couldn’t pinpoint a support group for you. Even if my link doesn’t help you or you attend a support group that you don’t care for very much, just try others and keep researching until you find the right fit. This is for your own mental health and well being.

  48. Sue says:

    I’ve been with my partner for 7 years and living together for 6. Last August we went on a trip and at that moment he quit smoking cold turkey. He gradually became very angry without knowing why. He constantly got angry at me for everything and at that time I did not notice it being an issue. Come December, he only got worse. He went to see his family physician and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. His doc gave him sleeping pills. He did not take them. The anger and feelings of loss of personality continued. He researched and researched online to find out more about what was happening to him. He came up with ADHD, Depersonalization, and Anxiety. He never admitted to being Depressed until February. In February he had an appointment with a psychiatrist and I went with him. The second and last time he went he was prescribed mirtazapine and Wellbutrin. He was on and off of the mirtazapine for only 2 weeks. He is fully against medication and therapy as well. He only wants help from me. During these months up until April I was studying ECE which was very stressful for me having to juggle school work/field placements, housework, pets and him. All of this took a toll on me. Ive become very anxious, angry, devastated, hopeless and sometimes I do feel like giving up. This is supposed to be the starting point of our life together. We planned on having a bright and happy future together. I’ve finally graduated and I don’t feel happy at all about it. I’ve yet to have a job and do not have any motivation to find one. I feel terrible. I too also have lost that smile. I used to smile at everyone I encountered whether I knew them or not. I’ve lost it, I’ve list being happy when I see my parents and siblings. All I do is cry when I see them. It pains me to see them see me this way. I’ve distanced myself from them. I still live with my boyfriend and his mom. His mom has schizophrenia for about 6 years now.( at least diagnosed for that many years) I live everyday in fear that something very terrible will happen to me. What do I do when the one who I love was always the root of my happiness?

  49. livingwithhope says:

    I am living the aftermath of a depressed loved man. He has runaway from our family trying to find himself. He has been depressed on and off for years. He seeks treatment, then he stops. This last depression changed him. He went from a loving and caring husband, father to a mean, indifferent individual who wanted no responsibilities, accountability just fun and happiness. He spewed venom and blamed me for everything under the sun. Things that I could not have possibly had any hand in. It has rocked our family to the core. He cycles between running away from us to slowly moving toward us to back running. Right now he is running away. The anger has been gone for at least 8 months but I see it slowly coming back.

    I did everything right and I did everything wrong trying to help this man. He is the love of my life. In the 14 months that he has been gone. I have stood by myself trying to be the lighthouse that he might need. I have offered my love and support and I have tried to keep his relationship with his children going as he did not seem to be in the space to do it himself.

    In this process, I believe that I have become stronger in some sense as I am not sure how I have managed to get through this time without him as my friend, partner and lover. But I have lost a lot too. I no longer have a quick smile for everyone. I am exhausted. My body is rebelling against me – all signs of major stress. I am could be a textbook case. I am terribly lonely and afraid for him, for my children.

    I often wish I could just detach like he did from us. Some say he left me but I know better, he left all of us in order to find himself. He is lost but he is searching for the wrong answers. He has changed his living arrangements, his car, his clothes, his job, his relationships and yet he still is still is not happy. He still is running. I understand on some level what is happening but on others I cannot comprehend it.

    Because I love him and I believe in him, in me and in us, I have trouble letting go. I can see that if he was to return tomorrow ( and I don’t believe he is because he is now wanting us to be done) it would be hard as he has to be able to deal with his “demons” so to speak and now I am no longer the same carefree woman he ran from. I am changed. I am hurt. But like all wounded animals, I know that there is a huge capacity to heal and that love is the foundation for all. I have love to give, to share – lots of love.

    I am at a loss right now as I have no clue what he is thinking. It cycles rapidly. Last week he was making plans for the family with me (while he lives in some undisclosed location) to go on a family holiday and told me he loved me to this week completely shutting me out and hinting that we are now over forever.
    This is a man who I have been in a relationship with for over 20 married years. Right now, I see glimpses of my man. It comes it bursts, might last days or just minutes but he does exist. A year ago, I never saw the man I loved. It was an alien being monster that lashed out constantly.
    I carry hope with me but my hope is dwindling. My thought are that yes, depression changes not only the person that is in the relationship with them. It changes the family. My children no longer want to deal with his drama nor do they want to deal with my sadness. They ignore and have gone into themselves to some degree to save themselves pain.
    Depression sinks its grips into everything.

    • Sharyn says:

      What can I say. This is a journey we have to travel with the ones we love. A journey that we do not want or deserve. My “beautiful” man was lost to me in Dec, but has come back to me and relatively quickly. We are lucky his medication works fast and his “meltdown” as we called it was he fell in love and the baggage he carried from his ex was all consuming. He had actively avoided any love or serious relationships with anyone until me. But although all good and he works hard on helping himself, I have changed. Where also is my quick smile for people, I tend to worry more. I watch for signs of change in him. I no longer dare to hope for that future. But this I do know I WILL never go through this again and despite my love for him I will go. He knows this I have been very upfront. So livingwithhope you will be different you will always wait and watch for any signs, you will always live in fear that he will do this again. There comes a time when we have to say enough!! You deserve the very best in life, you should be loved and adored. You need to find that inner peace where you smile freely again. You do not despite your love for him deserve this!!, and I am sorry to say they do not have the right to change us, to take away our peace, they do not deserve us!!!! Love is wonderful and this is what everyone should have but love should not be at the expense of us. Go walk your journey go find that pot of gold under that beautiful rainbow. Go smile freely again. xx

      • VG says:

        That sounds very similar to my story. Unfortunately mine is against meds, but hopefully is seeking therapy right now. I do not know:( I feel that I will forever be scarred by this if he does not return. As you said though I do not want to ever go through this again nor do I want to live in fear. I do not have a lot of hope that this is going to turn out well in terms of our ‘relationship.’ 🙁


        • livingwithhope says:

          I am sorry that you are having to go throough this. It is hard and it is lonely to be watching the person you love do things that are not in their best interest and nor in yours.
          I do agree with Sharyn that we don’t deserve this but they don’t deserve to be in pain too. It is a very hard situation to be in. I will send positive thoughts your way .

        • Sharyn says:

          VG it is so hard isn’t it. We do get very scarred by this. I live every day waiting for the signs. I hate living my life like this. Where do they go? why do they blame us? The only crime we have committed is to love them. Yet I am sure there comes a time when we walk and we walk so fast without looking back. He told me he waited his whole life for me but the damage caused by a wife who would say the cruelest things to him and the indifference she treated him with made it hard when he met someone who actually cared. So yes he is back and yes it is great today. But what will tomorrow bring? For me I will not do this a 3rd time so tomorrow if I wake and the black cloud is back and despite how much I love him I walk, I walk to heal my heart but I will walk to find the love that I deserve.

      • MM says:

        Sharyn : this sounds like my ex. He was with me for two years and we had an amazing connection that he never trusted. He didn’t want a relationship or to love again after a horrific shock when his first wife of 11 years cheated. He never said he loved me and eventually he became very depressed. I honestly thought he had learn to trust us by this time but when he dumped me as I was supporting his outrages and violent outbursts caused by his depression he was assuring me he appreciated my support and would do the same for me. Then he vanished. Said he’d never love again and threw up all the old issues about trusting in us in my face. I felt foolish and hurt. He had lied to me just weeks before and ripped my trust and security out from me. At first I thought it was the depression but then it became about him being able to love again. Exhausting. Painful. I’ll never recover. I’m so hurt I supported him and trusted him and he was still questioning my and our worth!

        • Sharyn says:

          I feel for you so much. I am now 8 months into his recovery. He is doing well. It is me. Last night we had huge fight said terrible things to each other. He asked if I will ever get over this. Can I?? how do you put our demons to bed? how do we as the partners continue with our lives knowing what they did to us? His depression changed me!!! Can anyone please help me move forward and embrace us fully again. I love him yet I am terriffied of this happening again. It is like I have to constantly wait and hold my breath yet it is now ok. HELP!!!!

          • MM says:

            Sharyn: I’m sorry you’re going through this. My ex has been gone for four months now. Even with my father sick with cancer, he never called or reached out to me. One day he was my best friend and then he took it all away in mere seconds. I am not sure how to advise you to trust again. My ex recently had said if I had left him alone he probably would’ve come back but instead I “pushed”. I pushed because I was worried about him, I missed him and I didn’t want to lose us. Not really awful things there but he saw it as pressure. When I realized he really wasn’t coming back, I fell apart. I got so depressed myself when I felt like a mere casualty of his depression I actually became suicidal. I even wrote letters to my children. I had lost so much the past two years and he was my final straw of disappointment. . I couldn’t believe he cared so little about me. I felt like the entire two years was a lie. He even told me he never wanted this relationship and for two years had wanted to be alone. It broke my heart and I felt like a failure as a partner id been so loving, trusting and patient with him and when the depression hit, I was supportive and stood by him even when he neglected me. He told me he wanted to be alone. I’m not so sure that’s true and it really no longer matters. I know I can never allow him to hurt me like this again. I felt unimportant and unloved. I hope you can recover. Perhaps couple therapy may work for you two? I certainly understand your inability to trust him. I don’t even trust my own instincts anymore. This damaged me severly and I wish daily I had never met him. He brought me pain and security issues. I also had been cheated on by my partner before him while I was pregnant. The last thing I needed was to give myself to someone only to have them use me until they no longer wanted me and then to dispose of me quickly and without looking back. Futhermore without even checking on me for months. i felt like his everything to his nothing in one night and i wanted to matter enough to hold onto. When i didnt, i crumbled. 🙁 He mattered enough to hold onto when depresssed! why wasnt i any value to him? I still four months later wake up and cry in the middle of the night. What hurts the most is he not once checked on me. im not sure he ever cared about me at all…Depression or not…it’s changed my spirit. I could’ve never hurt him this way. I sometimes can’t fathom how he did it to me. But he did. And so the story goes…I hope yours has a better ever after than mine.

  50. teresa says:

    Short answer – yes, it changes you to be in a relationship with someone who is depressed. At this point, I wonder, what came first? His “chicken” or my “egg”?

    Hard to find a way out but sites like this are certainly a safe haven for us “others”.

  51. Nicole says:

    Well this is really weird. All this time I been feeling like I was the one that is depressed and stressed and feeling like I had some kind of mental illness that’s what was making me feel the way I do. Now that I’ve read this I believe it’s not me, it’s my husband who is depressed. He doesn’t show me the love and attention that he used to. And I get mad or upset because he pays more attention to work or friends. Anytime I try to talk to him about what we should do to make our relationship better he blows up and then goes to yelling at me that he hates me and we shouldn’t be together. I keep wondering why does he hate me so much and why does he have to treat me this way. All I want to do is make things better so we can be happy. I’m never happy anymore. Anytime I get a little bit of happiness I get upset again because we are not spending time together or having fun together. And I never want to do anything with other people. I hate even talking to other people, he’s the only person I want to be around.

  52. Centaine says:

    I am so glad to have come to this site and this page with such helpful, yes even reassuring comments. I’m not alone. … Though it certainly feels like it. I feel my partner doesn’t know me anymore or he doesn’t want to. I have even said to seek a life without me if that is what will make him happy but short of cutting out my heart and handing it to him I just don’t know if i can last till he sees a psychologist. I want to shutdown. Just runaway. … There are those fears, What if it turns out it is my fault for his depression, What if I am making it worse and he leaves; oh god he leaves? Will my broken self be able to pick up the pieces? It appears the unknown is what’s scary but it is the way he is treating me that is getting to me, from arguing ‘why should i live’ to every-little-thing to the new development of weight issues, on both sides even – “i’m too fat” “you’re too fat” (he actually encouraged me to put on weight a while ago & we both loved it!) … Confusing as hell! I cop it, like we all do but what can I do to stay strong? To stay alive inside? Honestly i feel used and the worse thing is he doesn’t want that to happen. So his love is there. Either love is about patience or it’s just not meant to be. But that can’t be right because, prepare for cliche, I know he is the one. We also want to have a family together. We had been planning it. Jeez this even raises further questions. How could I put our children through that rollercoaster? Do i have a choice? Maybe leave and let him wither and die. No way jose. I can’t allow for a brilliant man with so much more potential, the man I utterly love, to do that to himself. Not when I know he wants to get better. … Patience. Is that the answer? Maintaining that patience with a bit of sanity or stability would be nice. So if anyone has suggestions on how to deal internally I would be more more more than grateful. I’m going to start looking at support groups in my area now, though i doubt they exist in a small country mining town. Also the books that John has mentioned. … Thanks everyone for allowing a complete stranger like me to have some insight in to your experiences. Truly. Thankyou for this flicker of hope.

    • Nicole says:

      This is so much like my marriage. Every time I try to tell my husband how I am feeling. I tell him I’m not happy and I need more love and affection from him. He tells me I’m not happy because I’m not happy with my self. Because I have gained weight and if I’m not happy then I need to do something about it. I’m feeling like he doesn’t care to make an effort at making me happy. I’m trying so hard to do everything that will make him happy. Idk what else to do. I thought I was the one depressed but now I’m not sure. I’m starting to think he’s depressed with his life, maybe he’s not happy with being with me. I’m not even sure he really loves me. I think the only reason he married me and says he loves me is because we had babies together.

      • livingwithhope says:

        I think he is not happy with himself. When my husband used to get into one of his moods as we would lovingly refer to it. He projected his unhappiness on to me and would tell me things like if you lost weight you would be happy. I wasn’t saying anything about my weight. I would be telling him how I would want him to seek help or to come join in with the family. He pushed me away and chance he could.

        I too would try to pretzel and change what he claimed would make me happy at times – ie/lost weight, kept a cleaner house, be a better lover. But I learned after awhile, it wasn’t me he was unhappy with, it was himself.

        It is hard loving someone who does not see the value in themselves. I have learned this the hard way. I think he really does love you but something is working inside of him against it.

        I was told once that you wouldn’t eat liver everyday for 20 some odd years if you hated it. That is the same with our marriages. They say they are unhappy with us and we are the cause of it all but would they still be there day after day if it was true that they hated us. No. I think not. I think it is a struggle within themselves. When they do run, leave, lash out – it is the pain from within that is controlling them. I can tell you that when my husband would be in the grips, he didn’t look like himself at all. I can see it in pictures too now. The eyes are different, his colour is different.

        My husband left saying I trapped him and made him depressed and miserable for all of his life. I am not sure how as I have only known him for 25 of his 47 years but he did not resemble my husband at all. His eyes would go between shark like or dead. He was pale. His jaw was tight even when he was telling me how happy he was. No smile or a fake smile that I had never seen before. My kids even commented on the smile when looking at a picture on a cel phone. It is bizarre.

        Hang in there, try to get the both of you help. This is not a fun ride for him and for you and your children. I wish you all the best and know that you are not to blame for a person’s unhappiness. Hugs

  53. Sharyn says:

    Hello Anna,
    I have been thinking about your journey and hoping things are improving for you. My man comes and goes at the moment. Pushing then wanting. How do we kep going? So many hopes and dreams wasted to this terrible thing. I hope you have had some kindness from him, or if not you are finding the strength to cope with each day.

  54. Anna says:

    Hello. My boyfriend of 2years (I can’t bring myself to say ex yet) sent me an email last night saying his cant offer more than a friendship to me any more as the antidepressants he’s on have kicked in and he’s numb. He is going through a bad divorce and isn’t seeing his kids at the moment which has meant I’ve seen him deteriorating into a shell who has lost weight, cries a lot and has now got to the stage when he can barely speak. All we used to do is talk and I’d offer him so much love and support and his depression was just about under control. He was also seeing a counsellor which occasionally helped. I saw him going very badly depressed and suggested he go to yhr doctor and they him setraline antidepressant. 6 weeks in and I don’t even know him any more. He doesn’t text or call and has lost all feeling for me. I know this is similar to so many other stories on here but it gives me some small comfort to write. I hope someone reads this.
    I know whatever I’m going through isn’t as bad as what he’s suffering but the lack of communication and silence is making me feel physically sick.
    I suspect the advice is to do nothing and despite how hard it is, that’s what I’m doing but I’m really really devastated.

    • Sharyn Moyst says:

      How I feel for you. I sit here reading this from New Zealand. My beautiful man has been lost to me for the last 19 days. He blames me for everything and has been so very cruel, shown no kindness at all. He started medication 8 days ago and yesterday noticed the impact on me. I have lost weight etc. This has taken away all our hopes and dreams. I sat at the beach Xmas eve alone and cried. We walked this journey 6 months ago and I stayed and supported this time the emotional toll on me is much greater and I no longer have the strength to fight for him. I too feel the huge sense of loss but today for the first day I woke and the feeling of utter devestation was gone and in it’s place was the resolve to get on with my life journey now. What memories have I been left with, my beautiful, caring man who was my world. To this cruel, unkind man. Harsh I know but this now has to be about my surrvival and my healing. Do I wish for him back? Yes with every beat of my heart.

      • Anna says:

        Thank you for your reply and to hear someone feeling better after all this heartache is a great sign so thank you for sharing. I know I’m better off out of the tangled mess but he sent my stuff back to me in boxes today with no note and its all so cold. The only consolation is that the man I loved is gone and what’s left isn’t someone I would ever have known so that’s the man I’m trying to get over which is much easier. Xx

        • Sharyn says:

          Yes you are better off but how do we stop loving them. My man is continuing to show signs of improvement and is sending me positive txts. I still need to look after me and I know how you feel. This is the most cruel evil thing that we as partners have to live with. When they get well we still remember all that pain. We wait for the next time knowing there will be one. We are lucky that for him the medication starts working quickly same as last time. I still feel huge pain and loss miss the us that we were. That will never be the same. Can we rebuild a new us? My family and friends say go, you do not need this. Yes they are right. One friend asked me what will you miss? Still a little part of me hopes but it is now a little part of me. Having travelled this journey before I am becoming stronger each day. Please look after YOU as you are the most important person in your life. Just know you are not alone yet it feels like you are the only person who feels this pain. Xx

          • Anna says:

            You’re lovely, thank you. I too have been hanging onto the positives albeit small ones like a text today about some practical stuff. It wasn’t warm but it was contact and that’s the most I’ve had for 2 weeks. My friends say the same, that I’m better off without him and even if he gets better, he will always go through depression in his life so we will have this again.
            It’s hard when you knew what someone was thinking/feeling most of the time to literally not knowing a thing. He posted my stuff back to me today so we didn’t have to see each other and although that sounds terrible, I am getting stronger because that would have killed me last week. When people say takes things day by day, that’s really good advice because its the only thing we have.

  55. K says:

    Thank you so much for this. I just discovered the site and it has helped me enormously to know that other people are going through the same things I am right now. It was incredibly helpful to hear thoughts from a man’s point of view. Thank you.

  56. Teresa says:

    I was reading this section again. I would like very much to contact the other Theresa. I do not know how to go about that. If someone could steer me in the right direction that would be great.

  57. teresa says:

    Hay yall. It’s me again.I’ve had another day of hell here at home. I need someone to talk to or I’ll never go to sleep. My husband has decided to quit taking his medication, Luvox. We have had mutiple disagreements over this. I felt defenceless and rather than have go cold turkey we comprimised and agreed to start cutting doses down little by little. This was not my idea but I hope this solves the cold turkey issue. my husband was rude, impatient,just a total A** to me on the phone. I had to hold the phone away from my ear he was ranting so loudly. He came home exauted showered and went to bed. I am still here. I’m not real sure why. I don’t know what I am waiting for. Some days he can be very agreeable. I want to stay and work things out. We just built a new house 3 years ago. We just put in a pond. All of our lifelong dreams are coming true and we may lose it all because of an unhappy marriage. I just don’t want to throw everything we have worked for in the past 18 years away over something that can be saved if more time and patience were given. I know no one but God and us can change things. I just needto hear I’m not alone and that someone does care because I sure fell mighty alone right now. Thank you for listening. Please respond back.

  58. Theresa says:

    John, Perhaps you can piece together my two previous posts and get a picture as to where it has left me. I did allow his depression to change me, and did something totally out of character for me. Just because he did this repeatedly, did not make it okay for me. Now, where do I find me again?

    • Teresa says:

      My intention is to get a message to Theresa. I don’t know if this is going to John or Theresa. But I want to let Theresa know she is not alone. I am living this same story out day after day. I have become lost in the rubble and want me back terribly but can’t seed to remember exzactly who that me person is. Between who it used to be which was not good enough and the person I tried desperately to become that was not good enough either I seem to have lost everything about me all together. Between the neglect, lonelyness, fear, mental and emotional abuse I am left a shell of a person. As for life with my husband I still hang on to glimmer of hope and don’t know why or how or for how long. I just do and can’t seem to stop myself . I would really like to talk to someone who can give me guidence or if you don’t have answers just let me know I’m not on this path alone it would be much appriciated.

      • John Folk-Williams says:

        Hi, Teresa –

        I hope you’ll look at my reply to Theresa and the two books I mention – as well as the idea about therapy. You could also look for support groups – they’re out there because so many women have had to live with this form of abuse. You are definitely not alone.


    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Theresa –

      I’m so sorry to hear about this hell you’ve had to live through. From what you say, you were dealing with far more than depression. You present a picture of emotional abuse by a psychologically controlling person, and healing in the aftermath is terribly hard for anyone who’s had to live with years of abuse. I”m sure there are other resources, but I found one book especially powerful: Marie-France Hirogoyen’s Stalking the Soul. She gives a vivid picture of the cumulative effect of abusive behavior in destroying a woman’s self-confidence and trust in her own judgment – as well as the depression and many other forms of suffering that follow from living this way for years. Turning relatives and friends against you is a classic step in the pattern of abuse. Lundy Bancroft also spells out the pattern and the human costs of psychological abuse in Why Does He Do That? Hirigoyen has a helpful chapter toward the end of her book about therapy for survivors of abuse. She cautions that you need to consult someone who has a lot of experience with just this problem. Otherwise, the more conventional forms of psychotherapy tend to probe your problems rather than help you first as a victim. The danger of focusing on your problems is that it tends to reinforce the belief that you helped cause the problem – exactly the belief your husband’s behavior and accusations wanted to establish.

      You’re asking the right question – how do you find yourself again. Hopefully, one step is knowing that you are not alone, that millions of others have been in exactly the same position. Stay in touch here, if that will help.


      • Theresa says:

        John, Thank you so much for your response and it’s priceless message of a warm and caring world that I have been separated from for so long. I look forward to finding and getting started on the books you mentioned. I love the idea of a support group, but haven’t, as of yet, been successful in finding one in my area. The other Teresa (different spelling ) who commented on my post was someone I would love to communicate with. Is there an option here, that connects people dealing with similar issues. I would love for her to know that I . would welcome hearing from her. That, to me, WOULD be a support group and I sometimes. feel desperate to someone who is so much like. me in their “woes”. If I have missed that option, please let me know. Otherwise, I gladly give my. permission for you to share my. information. with her…as well as others. dealing with these. misfortunes. Again, I thank. you for sharing your own story, and. developing a place for. others to be given a. voice. With my deepest thanks, Theresa

        • Teresa says:

          Theresa or John,
          I would very much like to talk to either/or both of you. It is 2012 and this is the first time we have ever had a computer in our home. So all of this is a little overwhelming to me. But I would love to stay in touch but am not real sure how. Using This site to answering back to a response is the only thing I can figure out at the moment. If there is a simpler way please let me know.

          On a different note, I am feeling alot of stress right now because I am losing my support systems slowly. My employment ended. I lost the support of my co-workers and other folks I came to know. My kids got out of school. I’ve became close to the teachers as little things they needed to be made aware of that carried over from home to school. I am soon going to be losing our in home councler. State appointed due to issues in public school. My son took a knife to school for self defence and ended up telling the principal and resource officer he needed a knife because he was afraid his dad might hurt his mom. But anyway , our in home councelor has been with us since December of 2011 and her time will be up in two weeks. So I very much need to stay in touch with someone or make a connection of some sort. If we could corraspond that would be very helpful.
          The other Teresa

  59. Theresa says:

    I realize that my post is somewhat difficult to follow, but I do not want my children to worry, so I rushed through. I did, however, want to clarify one important thing. That is that the relationship destroyed with his family, was NOT that of HIM and those important to him, ie. his family and the “nearly only” friends I had enjoyed at all throughout our marriage, all quite some distance away, and his old fraternity brothers and their wives. (seen once, every couple of years), but any hope of a relationship remaining with them, for me! After all, I had been “covering” for him for years, and had hidden the abuse from everyone, with the exception of a councelor, and a couple of confidants I had trusted for many.years. I was the only one who had caused harm here by all known accounts. While I was advocating for him, so was he. He had learned how to make himself “look good” long before WE met. I was not his first…just his weakest, I suppose. I loved him too much. Let me make it clear …I did NOT like him, but I was hopelessly in love with him, and clung to the glimpses of the handsome, charming, quite intelligent, aristocratic man I had started out with (to the best of my knowledge).

  60. Theresa says:

    This was a true eye opener for me. It made me realize just how different everything might have been in my life if my former, now deceased, husband had been able to do something to help with his depression, and if I had taken care of “me”, before our total destruction. His depression was taken out on me, in every way…emotionally, mentally, verbally, physically, even sexually…and I ……remained,… enabling him to continue. I don’t know why I thought I could ….continue handling it all, but I was not as strong as I thought. ..and my attempt proved to be a mistake that I am still paying for. It all feels like a nightmare! I was so damaged and lonely that I ended up in an affair …with my cardiologist! It was extremely short lived and I knew ….fairly quickly, that I was just starved for someone to be kind to me, and I had hoped so much that it would be “him”…my husband. But things went from bad to worse…with trickery and lies from him, in a successful attempt to get me to sign away everything. He was so thoughtless, …or really calculated in hurting me, that I could never trust him again. And somehow I took the blame. He had. Also destroyed all relationships with his” family…so my children were affected forever with their aunts, cousins, and grandparents after…..after he was killed 3 years later in a boating accident. Now…I am the depressed one.I really loved him…for a very long time. I have to be reminded, by others who saw, or I had talked with, of all that he put me through. Now…any advise for me??

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