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Last night after the kids were in bed, I took the opportunity to my husband and ask him what he has been doing so far about seeking help for his depressed mood. He told me that he does not have the time, no one can help him with the stress at work (it will still be there if he talks to someone or takes meds), no one can help him with paying the bills, etc. He says he is just going to deal with it on his own like he has been. Meanwhile, I think it could already be hurting our marriage. So, I told him my fears. He took it as a threat if he did not seek help. I was just trying to make him see how this depression has changed things. I feel like I can't talk to him because he gets upset that I "bring things up", but then he tells me that I know when he's feeling beat down and I don't go to him. Its hard for me to do when I ask him what is wrong, hug him, kiss him, and he shuts me out, says its nothing, practically pushes me away. What doest he want? I don't know what to do.
pinklady40 pinklady40 36-40, F 12 Answers May 30, 2012

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If this is the first time your husband is having to admit to suffering from depression then you have my sympathy. Unfortunately society today still regards depression as an evil to be hidden away and men -I am one- regard it as a sign of inadequesay (excuse the spelling). Despite your best intentions I'm afraid that the first step to helping him must come from him, once you admit it to yourself, you need the support of your nearest and dearest. I sincerely hope that you you both can take the first steps very soon - your husband is part of a MASSIVE club which we all take membership of on a daily basis.

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Men do not want to be reminded that they can not / have not / will not. To them it's a sign of their weakness. And they don't want to appear weak. I don't know what the make up of family or work or just life for him is, or what he is expecting. But I do think he's feeling like he is not good enough. Something may have happened at work, or at home, and he may not want to share it with you because he feels that you will be disappointed and or that he thinks he doesn't want his wife fixing him. Some men want to fix everything themselves or give up. I'd suggest just keep loving him, stay away from the issue of pushing him to do things he's rejecting doing and try affirming who he is and what he can do for you. It may not happen over night, and it may not solve the issue, but pushing him is making it worse. If this depression continues in a way that doesn't seem resolved, talk with his doctor, or find a couples councilor.. he will resist. And hopefully eventually he will see what's happening to himself and you.. and he'll want to get help.

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It is probably hard for your husband because it sounds like definitely fills (or feels like he must fill) the role of "provider" in your marriage. Hang in there, but instead of expecting immediate resolution, tackle it by degrees. When he is seeming particularly stressed or upset, remind him that you married for better or worse...that means he should share the bad as well as the good.... on another occassion let him know you can't help him carry a burden he won't let go of... ask him if he wants to talk to you about whats going on... when he seems like he is overwhelmed, ask him if there is something you can do to help...let him know you still love him even if he is going through a rough time.... let him know you will be there when he is ready to talk... but don't push. When he seems particulary pissy with you, its okay to even let him know that its hard on everyone right now... everyone has something they are going through...everyone needs a little help sometimes. And if you seem him overcome a problem that has been bothering him... give him an attaboy! A little encouragement so that he knows he still has the power to achieve little victories.



Best of luck. This is a difficult thing to battle....

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aw. I do understand. It is part of the symptoms of depression. Be patient and I truely reccomend YOU go for therapy to help support you and cope. They will help you how best to help him and also help you not go down with the ship.

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People like to have a role in deciding when a difficult conversation takes place--especially the person who views himself or herself as on the hot seat. It's simple to ask, "Is now a good time to discuss plans about solving your depression?" If he agrees, great. If he doesn't, then invite him to name a better time.



He could have good reasons for not wanting to start the conversation late that evening: he may have expected the topic would keep him awake half the night. What was not reasonable was his expectation that you intuit when he wants your attention: you don't have ESP.



Several people suggested that you keep trying. The thing to be careful of is applying that advice indiscriminately: when a person habitually raises a valid point in an unhelpful manner I am less likely to turn to them when I actually want to talk (and probably so are you) because when I actually attempt to converse with such a person they repeat rehearsed lines. That behavior is socially tone deaf but a lot of people fall into it in family situations.



There are basically two routes to solving this situation: one is if you get him to buy into a solution, the other is if you initiate changes that help the problem. Laughter and exercise are both good for depression; watching comedy films and doing more walking could have a good effect.

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These people who answer your plea for help all sound like they KNOW depression. All of their comments are workable and you should attempt to do what they advise. In affect, your husband sounds like a great guy. He just doesn't believe it any more. Is his father alive? Mother? Brother or sister? Ask them to help talk him into getting help. They know him better in some ways that you don't.

I am one of these bull-headed males who tried to work it out on my own. The stress made me blow-out my thoracic aorta at age 57. I am now on Social Security and disabled for life. I was working as a Radiological Technologist at the time. We were in the process of buying our first house since I retired from the Navy in 1990. Not any more. I was in surgery for 15 hrs. "died" a couple of times and spent 7 months in rehab. learning how to move anything again. I will never be able to physically love my wife of 49 years again, but we are in love with each other more now than we have ever been. I pray things turn better for you!

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Just give him more BJs. That will help to turn his frown upside down. I know it sounds too simple to work, but that is the beauty of it. It is something you are very capable of doing for him. ******* can help to improve the mood naturally, better than popping a pill.

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This coming from a happily married person right? Just because you don't like the answer, it doesn't make it a bad one. So what is your solution then? Getting everyone involved may sound great to you, but at the same time is probably the last thing he wants. Best thing to do is try the simple solution first and if that fails then go to greater lengths. I have plenty of experience as well.

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I've actually tried what you suggested, I thought my initiating in the bedroom more wouldld make him feel good about himself. It did, but only for a short time. I mean I can't be doing this 24/7. And you're right, he does not want anyone else involved. Its hard enough for him to let me in.

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Agree - don't give up, just reinforces his feelings that the whole world is against him. But on another tack- discuss meds again. His work load may remain the same but he may be able to cope with it better- this only works though if there is a end point in sight.

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He wants to be alone, by the sound of it. Leave him alone for an hour or so, then bring him a cup of tea. He'll talk when he's ready. Depression is awful. Let him know you're there if he needs to talk but don't push it. I hope he is feeling better, soon. :o)

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