You sound like such a beautiful compassionate amazing soul. Your wife is so very lucky to have you in her corner.
My ultimate message: Keep in mind the truth as to who you are throughout this process. I know this may sound strange but when someone's experiencing depression there can be a battle between identities for them (one that's stuck and one that longs to evolve). It's important that one person in your relationship maintains a firm sense of self. For your wife, if she's more so identifying with the following, I imagine this is how she sees herself:
- I am someone who cannot be happy/I fail at being happy
- I am someone who cannot socialise/I fail at socialising
- I am someone who cannot conceive a child naturally/I fail at naturally becoming a mother
- I am someone who cannot be intimate with my husband/I fail at intimacy
You get the gist. When 'I fail' becomes repeated enough times in our head, 'I am a failure' can become the mantra of someone in depression.
There's a possibility she's associating all the little things with an already established negative sense of identity. For example: If you ask her why she hasn't done the washing, she may be thinking 'Yep, there you go, that's another thing I've failed at. I'll just add it to the list'. So, she's not necessarily focusing on the little thing that's upset her, she may be focusing on the list in her mind.
Of course, mental processing and chemistry play a huge part in how we function. Has your wife considered trying different meds to tweak the chemistry? With the most effective ones having the ability to alter perception, perhaps it's worth considering this angle. Wondering if she's seeing an effective mental health professional. If not, you could perhaps discuss this idea with her. You could say 'This could be one way to prepare in handling the depression and anxiety if you have to come off the meds when IVF starts'.
Johnt88, during my years in depression, I came to resent my husband to some degree. He was a capable, happy, social, energetic, loving human being. He was all the things I wished I could be. He reminded me, solely through his nature, of how 'defective' I was, what a 'failure' I was (by the way, these are simply words and not truth). I know this is incredibly unfair; it's almost like I was penalising him for not having depression. The truth is I could not have made it through without him and his nature. He was a gem and still is.
Take care of yourself