I need some advice and prayers. My wife seems to be stuck in a depressed state for most of the last year. She had a rough childhood, and the last year has been tough for us. Her parents went through a divorce because her father was an abusive alcoholic. She has had no contact with her father since she in high school. The primary male influence in her life was her grandfather, and he passed away this year. We had a baby early in the year and then lost a pregnancy in the fall. We also moved. So this has been an extremely stressful year. In any case, she seems sad most of the time and her emotions sometimes seem irrational. It is affecting our marriage and our kids. She cries a lot and says things like “nobody loves me or appeciates me”. I know that staying home with kids can drive anyone crazy, so when I am home, I try to do as much work and help her out to lighten her load. I also encourage her to go out to get a break from the house. Regardless of what I do, trying to make her happy is like trying to hit a moving target. No matter what I do, she says it doesn’t make her happy. I have asked her numerous times to go to counseling with me and she refuses. One counselor I spoke to said she may be afraid of seeking help for fear of bringing up bad memories of her past. The counselor also said it may take her hitting rock bottom before she realizes that she really needs help, and I shouldn’t try to soften her fall so this can happen. I really don’t know what to do because I don’t think she will get better unless she wants to get better and seeks help. I am worried of how this may affect our kids and I know this is hurting our relationship. I have chosen to love her and be with her, but it is really tough because she blames me for most of her unhappiness. I think she was expecting marriage and kids to bring her happiness, but with the happiness comes a lot of work. In any case, I need advice and prayers because I don’t know what steps to take next. Thank you.
Next time she tries blaming you, try asking her to come talk to a counselor with you so she can explain to the counselor how [whatever] is your fault. Along that line, find out when the next marriage Encounter is and make the arrangements so you can go and say you want the two of you to go to ahve some time together and build your marriage up a bit since you have gone through so much recently.
Also make sure there is enough light in the house, open curtains before you go to work, replace regular bulbs with compact flourescents so you can have more light for less $, etc. The lack of lighting in the winter can be a significant contributor to depression.
As a person who has suffered many years with depression and has been diagnosed with bipolar, I would suggest that you tell her she needs to go to Counseling or see her Dr., who may be able to recommend a therapist to her. Tell her if she doesn’t go, then you’re going to take the children and leave. You love your wife, but it’s not good for you, her or the children for her to be behaving this way. She needs to see the severity of the situation and until she does that, she’s not going to want to get help.
Then, of course, you need to be willing to follow-through with your threats. If you’re unable or unwilling to do that, then she will continue to dominate the situation and think she can get away with it-because that’s what she’s been doing.
If she feels it’s your fault that she’s unhappy, then there’s nothing you can say or do that’s going to change that. Right now you’re the person she wants to blame, but you can’t let her. She needs to know that her happiness doesn’t come from you, it comes from God. To me, it just sounds like she’s decided she’s going to be miserable and is going to blame you for it (I’ve done this before, so I can sometimes see the signs). You need to, for lack of a better phrase, stand up to her and put some boundaries up in the marriage. She’s treating you badly and that’s not right.
My prayers are with you.
My prayers are with you also and I know how scared you must feel. I also think Scout has a great suggestion…but note that she says something very important…do NOT make any threats or give any ultimatum that you are not ready to follow through with completely or it will just become an empty weapon.
Do you have a relationship with a priest that you can go to and ask for help? You may need a strong, loving third party to point out to your wife that this is in her best interest and in the best interest of her children for her to find out how to best address her depression.
Whatever you do, please do not tell your wife that you are going to leave with the kids if she doesn’t go to Counseling. (That is unless you fear your children are in danger).
Your wife has suffered a lot of loss this past year. The ONLY person, especially a man, that she can trust right now is YOU! Don’t abandon her by threating to leave.
Start on your marriage. Take her out to dinner. Even if she acts like she doesn’t want to go …make her. Then keep a plan going that sets aside time for just the two of you. This is the key! Call her during the day from work if you can. You get the picture.
See, I know how she may be feeling. Yes, you start to blame everyone around you. She has told you that she doesn’t feel appreciated or loved…well, other than helping around the house…start treating her like a woman and take her out on a date. Give her a reason to put on make-up and dress up. Show HER attention. She probably really doesn’t want to take a “break” alone…that’s boring, she’s alone with the children all day…she needs to take a break with you, her friend and support right now. She makes it through the day on your emotional support. Please remember that.
What I wouldn’t give for my husband to make efforts to take me out, want to see me dressed up and want to be alone with me other then doing you know what!!!
Please, stick by her side. God bless you for KNOWING that she is depressed. Also, get her to call or go to her OB doctor. Medication may help a little. It has me.
First, let me say that I am NOT the kind of guy that thinks most problems can be solved with a pill.
That said, your wife sounds a lot like mine was at that stage in life, but with even more burdens. Her OB prescribed Effexor (similar to Paxil and Prozac) for four months to help get her over post-partum. During that time, I did much as suggested above and SCHEDULED (it still counts as romantic as long as she doesn’t have to see the schedule) one-one time with her out of the house.
Research at the time she needed it was not thorough on effects on breast fed babies, so we made the tough decision to go to bottles instead. It was the right call. She made a dramatic improvement in only two weeks and didn’t relapse when we quit the drug. There might be more info on these drugs and breast-feeding now.
Thank you all for your suggestions and prayers.
I have tried in the past to schedule dates, but she has refused. I might take the suggestion of taking her out without her knowing it was scheduled.
I will try the gentle approach, but I will use the idea of leaving if all else fails. She is basically verbally abusing and there is no reason why anyone should have to put up with this or risk their children seeing this taking place. I understand this past year has been tough for her and that is why I have been patient, but she needs professional help and the only way may be to force her hand. She often threatens to leave me. I think she does this only to hurt me. When she does this, I tell her it was her decision to marry me and that I never forced her to marry me. It was her choice and it is her choice to leave. If she wants to break her marriage vows, she can.
I trust that somehow this is part of God’s plan, but I wish this situation would be resolved sooner rather than later and my wife would see her problems and get help.
In any case, thanks for the suggestions and more importantly, your prayers
[quote=jjsc3] She is basically verbally abusing and there is no reason why anyone should have to put up with this or risk their children seeing this taking place. I understand this past year has been tough for her and that is why I have been patient, but she needs professional help and the only way may be to force her hand. She often threatens to leave me. I think she does this only to hurt me. When she does this, I tell her it was her decision to marry me and that I never forced her to marry me. It was her choice and it is her choice to leave. If she wants to break her marriage vows, she can.
Bless your heart.
Yes, she does need to talk to someone. I don’t even know how to tell you to get help for her. Maybe someone else can make that suggestion.
Really, she is in pain and yes, taking it out on you. Be firm and tell her. nope, we are not breaking our marriage vows…
Let me ask…has she ever said what would make her happy? You mentioned that when you suggest or do things she says “that” doesn’t make her happy…does she even know what she needs…if not, she is seriously depressed. Let me explain…
When you are depressed (now this is my personal experience) you start feeling like NO ONE cares or loves you. You feel like you give and give and give and get nothing in return. Then guess what you do…you beat yourself up emotional for feeling that way to begin with. Like “why am I so sad?..why am I so unhappy? …” Then you start looking for answers when really the answer is a chemical inbalance that you really have no control over. You pray and pray…you thank God for the blessing in your life, but you can’t seem to NOT think about the bad.
Hope that helps.