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Topic: Supporting a depressed husband - seeking hope

  1. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    9 September 2020

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for your support and replies Happy Chemicals and Juliana 15. I appreciate it all so much.

    I can't say that things have improved on my end. However, I am still here and just trying to get through a day (sometimes an hour) at a time.

    My husband went to speak to the GP again yesterday, as after 3 weeks on medication he is still experiencing side effects and not feeling any better. So he is starting on something different today. I guess it will take another few weeks to see whether this is more effective for him. He has his second session with the counsellor on Friday so I guess I will check in with him on how that goes.

    The advice from my GP was basically everything I know - She told me to stop asking him questions (because she believes that it is difficult for him to answer) and to also continue trying to find ways to show him I love him, as well as not giving up. I guess it is the most human advice that anyone can give me, as I think there really is no professional advice that will really make any difference as each situation is unique.

    I did try to talk to him last night, to tell him that I don't want to argue. And that I know how he feels about my actions, or lack of action. But I know it is too late for me to change that. But I also think that it's not too late for us to find a way through this, together. I told him that I know it's just the beginning, and that it won't be easy. But I will support and love him through this.

    I did ask him to look me in the eyes. He did, instinctively I guess, for a brief moment. In that moment I managed to tell him I love him, before he looked away. I guess in that moment maybe he actually saw me again, and it was too much for him to deal with right now? I can only guess, because I tried to get him to look at me again, and he sat for a long time and I could see in his eyes how much he was battling with what to do. In the end, he couldn't do it, and I told him I love him one more time, gave him a kiss on the forehead and left (he said I was annoying him).

    He said he won't look at me because he just doesn't care (he didn't explicitly say he doesn't care about me so I will try not to take that personally).

    I really don't know if any of this is making a difference. I can only hope that he hears me, even if he doesn't respond. Or that when the fog lifts, he will remembers these moments and we can find each other again...

  2. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    11 September 2020

    Not a good day today...

    My husband told me last week he had an appointment with counsellor today. So this morning I asked him about it. I asked if he had an appointment today. He said no. I asked when it was. He said he doesn't know, then asked me, "Why do you care?" Which I find ironic considering he keeps telling me that I don't care.

    So now, he is just straight out ignoring me, and I feel he is pulling even further away from me. I don't even know if/when he has another appointment with the counsellor. I guess I just have to find a way to keep hoping, keep trying and trust that he will continue to seek help even if he doesn't want to tell me about it.

  3. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    17 September 2020

    Hi...

    Just after some thoughts today.

    I am really struggling with my husband totally ignoring me, yet being his normal self to everyone else...

    Is this normal for depression? I feel since I started this thread that he is pulling even further way from me, and purposely doing things to provoke me or to hurt me. I have done a lot of reading. And I understand that sometimes depression forces people to push those they care about or love the most away, because they feel they don't deserve to be loved, cared for or helped. Is this true? Or am I just being foolish thinking that this is the depression and not really him?

    He started on new medication a couple of days ago. I know it will take some time to work. He won't tell me when his sessions with the counsellor are. But from what I can gather, he has had one (maybe two sessions at most) so far, and he is booked in for another session next week. I think he also has a follow up appointment with the GP in two weeks, I am guessing this is so that he can discuss the effects of the new medication.

    I know that I need to give him space and time to get the proper treatment. But I also want to make time for us to move forward together in our marriage because I feel that the longer I leave him alone, the harder it will be for us to find a way back together. Is it ever too early to ask him to think about us and a way forward for us? I don't want to push it either and end up in a worse situation...

    Anyways, just thought I'd put my thoughts down and if anyone had anything thoughts or experiences to share, I'd be grateful.

    Thanks.

  4. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    It sounds very traumatic for you and I feel for you not knowing what he is thinking or feeling.

    The concern for me as an outsider reading what you're saying is that he is only being distant and exclusive to you but no one else. From my experience, most people lock everyone away and don't really distinguish between some and not others. It could be that he knows if he talks to you that you will ask him how he is (even if you don't) so he could be fearful of opening up and avoiding to simply avoid that question. But is there anything you can think of that may have triggered him to be distant to you? Even a small thing that you thought insignificant?

    I know you are not to blame, and please don't read this as your fault. I'm just feeling that there could be something else underlying that is upsetting him. Or as I said, it could just be that he fears answering "the" question.

    Does he speak with you at all? About anything? What's for dinner or any usual run of the mill general conversations? Or is it just silence?

    I hope things can get better for you and that the medication will start to work and you can get some answers. x

  5. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained
    Hi emotionallydrained
    Thank you for your reply.
    I guess that is the thing that worries me the most, why is it just me? When I say he is normal to everyone else it is mostly from the phone conversations I hear him having with work colleagues since we both work from home at the moment. And he won't take things out on the kids because they just wouldn't understand. We are in Melbourne so have been in Stage 4 restrictions for many weeks so we don't really interact with others much. It will be interesting to see what happens as restrictions lift.
    I have tried to go over and over things in my head. And he has told me that I'm part of his depression because he thinks I haven't helped him and that I don't care. But he told me from the beginning he didn't want my help and to stay away. So we go around in circles because he doesn't really give me any straight answers. I can get into a real rut by trying to guess what it could be, so I have to try to let it go and move forward, unless he decides to open up to me and we can work through his issues.
    I had a long chat with his friend tonight. His friend told me he can't betray my husband's trust, but not to give up. He's just really lost right now. But there is no doubt that my husband loves me and the kids.
    And I do trust his friend. My husband went to him for help on his own free will. He chose one person to confide in, so I have to trust him.
    He doesn't speak to me at all. If I do ask him a question, he will answer depending what the question is, but it is usually an angry reply. He will send me text msgs very occasionally or reply to mine, depending on what the msg is. No real general conversation. He sees this as me ignoring his issues.
    Yes, it is a very difficult, painful and confusing situation for me right now.
    Thank you for your well wishes. I know I need to be patient and give the medication and counselling sessions some time to start working. Some days are just harder than others.
    ving in your own situation too.
    1 person found this helpful
  6. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    17 September 2020 in reply to 815
    Hi again emotionallydrained
    Somehow my post got sent too soon.
    I was typing that I do hope things are also improving in your own situation. I know how difficult things can get so I appreciate you took the time to reply. Please take care.
    1 person found this helpful
  7. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    19 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815

    That is so incredibly difficult. I think the positive is he is speaking to his friend which is great. As to the reason for all this, there just doesn't seem to be one which is in some respect harder because you don't know what to fix. I think as you said, time will be the healer here and just waiting for his medications and counselling to take effect.

    In the meantime, you just try and focus on keeping your own mental health in check so you are ready when he is ready to talk. I know that if you're mentally and emotionally drained, then it's harder to listen to them and understand what they're saying because your own brain is too depleted.

    Stay strong and I hope it improves quickly for you. I also hope those lock downs ease soon. It's getting beyond a joke that one now and too many people are being mentally and emotionally affected by it all.

    Stay strong and you take care as well. It's good to be able to come here and vent, listen to other stories and realise we're not the only ones struggling and we have support - even if it's from a distance.

  8. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    21 September 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi quirkywords,

    It is a really difficult time right now.

    However all I can do right now is remain hopeful, and trust that things will work out.

    Thanks again for your reply.

    Take care. Stay strong.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    21 September 2020 in reply to 815
    Sorry emotionallydrained, I got confused with replying in another thread. That reply was for you and not quirkywords. I hope you're doing OK.
    1 person found this helpful
  10. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    23 September 2020 in reply to 815
    Hi 815, I’m sorry to hear that things aren’t getting any better for you. You have a heart of gold sticking around when he is pushing you away. It’s really hard when you’re doing the best that you can to be told that you’re making things worse or not doing enough. It’s quite understandable to be disappointed, frustrated and hurt. I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to want him to get better. It’s not about how things seem to the outside world, but about seeing the person that you love feel good again. I wish I could provide you with more answers and perhaps that elusive magic wand that would make everything better.
  11. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14697 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to KG82

    815

    I am so sorry to to hear things are not improving.

    I think sometimes when depressed people expect so much more from their loved ones and if they dont measure up they may feel let down. I know it is so hard for you as you tried your hardest and are still trying.

    I mentioned before are you getting support and help. Depression can make us see the world so differently so even if you had sent him a website etc he may have still preferred the help offered from another person. I know that hurts and I too have been pushed away by a loved one many years ago who rejected my support but welcomed the same support from someone else. Even though I had experience of depression and could see what he was doing it was very hard.

    Sometimes whatever you offer it may not be welcomed, every one is different. I worry about the toll this is taking on you and I do hope you are getting support.

    You are not alone and many people are caring for you and thinking of you.

  12. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to KG82

    Hi KG82,

    Thank you for your reply. How are things going in your own situation?

    It is hard. And I know it will be hard for a long time still. I too wish there was a magic wand, a secret answer, something that would make it all better. However, I am here to face another day. My children are here to make me smile. And although my husband and I are very disconnected right now, he is also still here.

    So we just have to keep pushing through...

  13. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Thank you for your reply quirkywords.

    In the end it doesn't matter who he listened to. The important thing is that he listened to someone, and is seeking help. I know I just need to be patient and believe that in time the help he is getting will lead to better days for him.

    Even though it's hard to know, I think that maybe as you said, no matter what I offered him, he may have said no anyway. It would never have been enough for me to have wanted him to get help. I believe that he needed to want the help himself too.

    As I mentioned I have spoken to my Mum and my own GP. I have also confided in a couple of close friends and am speaking to my husband's friend from time to time also. I do have support and will continue to lean on them as I need to.

    Thanks again.

  14. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    24 September 2020

    I wanted to post an update. I wish I could say that things have improved. But I feel that since he started medication and counselling he has pulled further away from me.

    I sent him an email saying I know he wants to do this alone, I will give him space. I love him and when he is ready I will be here to work through this together. He replied but it was very hurtful.

    He wants to do this alone because he's seen what help I can provide (or not provide). He is insists that I have done nothing. This is difficult to hear. Although I may not have done enough in his eyes, I certainly don't feel like I did nothing. I held his hands, I wiped away tears. I tried to hold him when he has physically pushed me away. From the start, he was very clear with me that he didn't want my help. I asked him to seek professional help but he said no. I went back time and time again. He said that at least his friends sent him websites...So maybe I didn't do that, but I certainly didn't 'do nothing'. I know it's too late to change that.

    Right now, he says he is only at home for our children. He says that it sounds like I only want him to get better so that "we" can sweep it under the carpet and be normal. Yes, I do want him to get better. I want him to be better for himself, for the kids, for all of us. But is there something wrong with wanting him to be better for our family? I know things won't be the same, but surely I have to hold onto hope that some day things will be better than this?

    I haven't replied. He asked me to leave him alone. But by not replying, does it justify in his mind again that I am 'doing nothing'? I feel there is still a lot he needs to work through before we can even begin to tackle our relationship.

    And foolish as this may sound, I have to take it as a positive that he even replied and told me where his head is at.

    I also went to see my Mum. She was very sad for me. She said I need to stand by my husband, no matter how hard. He may only be home for the girls, but I am grateful. So with my Mum's advice and my GP's advice to not give up, I am still here. I am staying out of his way as much as possible though.

    My Mum said when restrictions ease and we can have a bit of space, hopefully things will get better. Only time will tell.

    I wish it was a better news. I just felt the need to write my thoughts down.

    For those reading, I hope this finds you well in your own struggles. If not, please don't lose hope. I do believe there are brighter days ahead... xo

    1 person found this helpful
  15. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I wish I could say things are better, but they’re not. My partner decided to test whether I trusted her the other day, and when I called her on it, she said that she suspected that I didn’t trust her. I asked to talk about things, but was given a firm `no’. It was the most communication we’d had in days. She told me that she’d needed space over the past week, but I couldn’t just leave her alone. I feel like she expects me to read her mind and know what to do, but she hadn’t told me that she needed space, she’d just stopped talking. Although I wouldn’t have liked not being able to talk to her, at least knowing why she wasn’t talking would’ve helped ease things. I told her this and she dismissed what I had to say. I keep telling myself that it’s the illness, but it still hurts.

  16. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to KG82

    Hi KG82,

    I'm sorry to hear that things are not so great on your end too. It is indeed a very difficult situation. I feel a bit like I am expected to be a mind reader too. However my GP told me that sometimes, they also don't have the answers so that makes it hard for everyone.

    I try to tell myself that it is the depression too and not my husband - I agree, it still hurts though and it is hard to accept. Depression is their illness, but it still affects those of us who care about them.

    I know it took me a while to really grasp the reality of how important it is to have some support for myself if I want to really be strong enough to weather the storm with my husband through this. Because I do believe that the storm will pass. I have no idea what the other side looks like. But I have to find some strength somewhere to be there on the other side. And I can't do that without support for myself.

    Do you have any support from immediate family and friends?

  17. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    I do have a good support network, though I’m worried about over-loading them with my drama. There are some who have said that I should just leave. I’m not talking to them about this any more. I do have strategies to calm my own emotions, but it’s hard work, and that seems like all I am doing at the moment. The upside is that one of those strategies is mowing the lawn, and boy did they need it!

  18. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14697 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to KG82

    KG82 and 815, Steve and everyone reading.

    It hurts to have depression and it hurts to watch a loved one change with depression.

    I am glad you have support . It is also necessary to believe in yourself., to be strong when a loved one may say hurtful things.

    I and glad people are giving each other support here and support for those reading. It is a worthwhile thing that you are sharing with others.

    i believe in holding onto Hope .
    I have had difficult year due to the fires and hope has helped me even if things turn out differently than I had planned.
    I admire your strength and patience .

  19. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Thanks for your support quirkywords. I must admit there have been more tears than anything else. With every day that goes by without hearing from her, I find myself more worried. At the moment I’m spending a lot of time just regulating my emotions, so that I can do something useful, and then chastising myself for not getting it together.
  20. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to 815

    I am so sorry to read these posts - my thoughts are with you all.

    815, I'm sorry to read things haven't really improved. I think it is a positive that he replied to your email. I know with my husband, I get the silent treatment in arguments or a depressive state and it's only when I get a text or email reply that I know he's going to be open to talking. This is usually a few days though. I hope your husband is ready to talk soon.

    I have a feeling he's just not ready to talk about the future or your relationship which is why he's pushing you away. It's less confronting for him.

    His comments that you have done nothing are hurtful and I'm sorry he feels this way. I can assure you you haven't done nothing. Just being there you're doing more than something.

    Stay strong and keep talking with your Mum. x

  21. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14697 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to KG82

    KG82

    It is so sad so there will be tears.

    You are doing well so please do't put pressure on yourself and chastise yourself.

    What other strategies do you find help besides mowing to help yourself calm your emotions?

    Does writing , listening to music, art, gardening or doing practical things help?

    Sometimes communicating with our loved ones takes enermous efforts and we may feel we have let them down so we find it easier not to talk to them incase we say the wrong thing.

    I know having no communication or having hurtful words is upsetting.

    Sometimes there are no easy fixes and things take time. I am glad there is this space for people to talk to here.

  22. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    24 September 2020 in reply to KG82

    Hi KG82,

    My own husband is a keen gardener and has a lot of pride in his lawn, so it made me smile a little when you said mowing your lawn helps calm you.

    I am glad to hear that you have a good support network. I do understand how your worry about over burdening them, I worry about that too sometimes. That's why I find posting here sometimes helps.

    It is hard when people tell you leave or say things that you don't want to hear. I know for myself I want people to tell me that holding on is the right thing to do. But in the end only you will know what the right thing to do is, whether to leave or stay. But from the sounds of it you love your partner very much, so just stay strong and keep doing what you're doing.

  23. Sweesoft
    Sweesoft avatar
    60 posts
    25 September 2020 in reply to 815
    I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through. Life gets a little hard for most of us, but at the end of the day, we all just have to keep moving forward. I just think that standing by him is the highest form of love there is. We have to sacrifice our own happiness for the people we choose. And choosing a husband and standing by him no matter what is a sign of how wonderful and wife and person you are. Stay strong.
  24. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    25 September 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi quirkywords,

    The hurt from seeing someone you love change because of depression, is heartbreaking and almost indescribable. So I can only imagine that the hurt my husband is going through is much worse.

    I have questioned myself a lot since this whole thing started. It is hard to find belief in myself. However for my family, I know I need to.

    One of my friends said something to me yesterday which gave me some perspective. I said to her, what if this is not the depression? What if this is really who he is now? What if it really him hurting me? She said, Was he like this before the depression?

    Because the depression affects us both, I sometimes lose my own sense of reality and get confused and can't separate him from his depression. Sometimes it just takes a few words to snap us back into reality and realise that it really is not them.

    Quirkywords, I'm sorry to hear how your life has been impacted by the fires, but glad to hear that you have been able to hold onto hope to get you through. As you said, things were not how you planned, but you got through. And I have no idea what life will be like for us on the other side, but I have to keep hoping and believing that it will be better.

    I'm sure there are many more bumps in the road. But the road doesn't end here. I originally started this thread to find hope for myself in my own situation. However if we can provide hope for other people reading through our words, then I will continue to update and write here as much as I can.

  25. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    25 September 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hi emotionallydrained,

    Thank you for your support as always. How are things going for you?

    I honestly think it will be a while before either of us are ready to talk about our future. I am pretty exhausted and worn down myself at the moment. So as much as I want to talk to him and not let things go on like this for longer, as you said before, I need to take some time for myself too so that I'm not too depleted when he is ready. But as I said, I think that is still quite some time away for us...I just need to be able to hold on until then.

    Take care.

    1 person found this helpful
  26. 815
    815 avatar
    212 posts
    25 September 2020 in reply to Sweesoft

    Hi Sweesoft,

    Thanks so much for your reply and support.

    You are very right, we just have to keep moving forward. For each day that I make it through, and I am still here with my kids and my husband is still here too, I am grateful.

    I hope one day my husband will again be able to see how much I truly love him. But even if he doesn't, I have to do this for myself, so that I know when I look back on this time that I did everything I possibly could. Standing by him through this might be difficult and painful. But the though of not standing by him and seeing him through to the other side is even more painful. So this is just what I have to do.

    Thanks again and take care.

  27. KG82
    KG82 avatar
    39 posts
    27 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Things are still hard (I suppose I shouldn’t have expected them to get much better over a matter of days). My partner has now told me that she doesn’t know what she wants or needs, and that she’s angry at how her test played out. I’ve asked if we can talk about things once she’s calmed down, because I really don’t see how things can get any better without clear communication. I keep telling myself that it’s not her, but the mental illness that is apportioning me all the blame... or that’s what it feels like anyway.

    I did catch up with a couple of friends over the weekend, so that was a nice distraction, along with reading a book.

  28. emotionallydrained
    emotionallydrained avatar
    89 posts
    27 September 2020 in reply to 815

    Hi 815,

    Thank you for asking how I am during your struggle. I'm doing ok. I haven't posted on my thread for a while because I'm in limbo. I have no idea what to do. It's been over month since our last fight that got physical and he's been normal. Not angry or overly stressed so things have been ok.

    The part I'm struggling with now is I'm usually so relieved when things are good and back to our version of normal. As normal as things can be living with anxiety. But I'm not relieved and not happy. I think the last fight and the actions of the past few years have finally broken me and I for some reason can't let myself be happy anymore. Maybe I'm thinking to myself if I'm happy and carry on like nothing has happened then I'll forget or I'll let it happen again? Or maybe it's me with the problem now? I am being unreasonable and should be happy things are calm.

    It's just the little things that I can't cope with now like constantly being told to wash my hands when I touch a door, or key or anything that could have been touched when we went out last. I don't need to be reminded or told to wash my hands when in my own home like a child. I know he does it because of his issues and it makes him comfortable, but 10 years of this. I know how to be germ safe. There are so many little things like this that have just worn me down mentally and emotionally.

    He doesn't seek help anymore because he thinks he's in a better place. He can work, go to shops and carry on with life and honestly unless he tells them no one knows he has an issue. But he still has to have a certain amount of control over me and my child to keep the apple cart safe and steady. In his mind it's about us respecting his issues and he's not asking that much. In my mind, I've had enough and I'm just too tired.

  29. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14697 posts
    30 September 2020 in reply to emotionallydrained

    Hello everyone reading,

    the love and patience and understanding expressed here by the people posting is so touching.

    I think I mentioned before that makeing decisions when depressed is so diffciult. I can see now how the partner who is coping with a depressed partner has much to cope and how drained exhausted and overwhelmed they feel.

    I feel that mental illness is not necessarily to blame but is an explanation of why someone maybe see life differently and unable to be rational and do things that will upset the other person.

    You can only control the things you can so if you think of one thing you can do that will make your life a little easier.

    Thanks again for supporting each other.

  30. Gypsy70
    Gypsy70 avatar
    6 posts
    6 October 2020
    Hi 815, I stumbled across your initial post and all of the subsequent messages and can I just say how helpful I found it because it was a simple reminder that I'm not alone. Some of what you have written I could have written word for word in regards to my own personal situation, my marriage and my husband's health. Some of the things you have stated that your husband has said is so so similar to my situation. It feels enormous and overwhelming and I am constantly thinking about what I can do or say to make things better. My husband is going through a really bad episode at the moment and by his own admission is really only in the marriage because of our son. I know without question that this is the 'depression' talking but the problem is the episodes are more frequent and lasting longer. I'm scared, I'm lonely, I'm exhausted and I hate this disease so much. I think it would be easier if he just left but I know in my heart that this is not what I want and I know in a way it isn't what he wants either. I am constantly walking on eggshells and holding my breath but all I can do is hope.

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