My Wife Battles Depression.

My wife has always had a negative self-image. Not really physically (she's beautiful) - although she doesn't like to acknowledge that and rolls her eyes when I tell her how beautiful she is - but more herself as a person.

She has gotten worse over the years we've been together and it peaked a couple of months ago. She suddenly decided she wanted to leave the family (we have five kids and one is 2 1/2) with no chance of working through it. I freaked at first, but realized that her decision was an empty threat. She had no plans, no place to go, no job, etc. I believe that she is trying to run to avoid the work involved in getting herself to a better place.

She's trying to avoid the responsibilities that go along with motherhood, being a wife, etc. There are good days and there are bad ones and sometimes all in the same day. It is very stressful for me as I have to keep my composure and realize that whatever she is saying - even if it is hurtful - isn't necessarily what she means.

I am very aware that this could possibly be a very long road for me and my family, but I do love her and want to take care of her. She's worth it. But it is hard and it does weigh on me every single day.
SpringForward2k8 SpringForward2k8
41-45, M
7 Responses Jun 6, 2007

Hi justme43,<br />
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Yes, I do feel that I've done everything. I truly wish she had the same thoughts that you did about being the best mother and wife, but she has it in her head that by her leaving, she'll show the kids how NOT to turn out like her.<br />
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It's funny, putting my foot down is exactly what I need to do, but there's a big part of me that just doesn't want to take her back again. I think I'm done with this person. I do love her (really) and care about her, but her character is very flawed and she has convinced herself that she's not a good person.<br />
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Anyway, thank you for the good thoughts. I do appreciate it. I will certainly post any dramatic outcomes here in the future.

Hi Suntripper, Well, I suppose it could seem that way, but first - she only is responsible for three of the five. The other two are from my previous marriage and - because of my wife's issues - my two kids haven't lived with us for over a year now. I adopted her two children from her previous marriage, so technically I've only "seeded" her once.<br />
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Since I posted this two years ago, she has made attempts to leave (to two other men, mind you) and has always come back promising to change. I filed for divorce last June (2008) and she convinced me several times that she will be better and that I shouldn't finalize the divorce. Each time she fails because - in my opinion - she doesn't actually attempt to fix the core issue which is her depression.<br />
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She refuses to seek ANY help. She will not do research on the Internet ("it's full of mis-information"), she will not find books ("like I'm going to stand in a Barnes & Noble...right"), she will not let me read books with her ("that is so condescending, I'm not a child"), she won't seek counseling or medication ("I tried that and it didn't work") and worst of all, she won't try to change her patterns AT ALL.<br />
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She is by all accounts my sixth child and I'm done with it. I am a very outgoing, optimistic person (probably why I stuck with her as long as I have) and I need a partner who at least has goals and dreams and doesn't sit around on her *** keeping the couch from floating away. It's not healthy for her, our marriage or the children.<br />
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She is the most passive person I have ever encountered. She literally does nothing, so she can't be held responsible for what happens around her (according to her logic). I've asked her to leave many times, but she has no money, no job, no friends (a BIG clue), no place to stay, nothing. So I'm stuck with her unless I do something drastic which will be translated into something mean on my part. She's very good at turning our kids against me when it looks like it's coming to that.<br />
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UGH.

I know exactly how you feel. My wife and I have been together for 5 years now, and married for 4. We have a son that is 3 years old now and an awesome kid. I'm in the military and I have been on deployment for the last three and a half months. I have known my wife has been depressed for a long time but she takes Zoloft for it. Less then a month after I left she cheated on me with with some guy that she had met with one of her girlfriends. She didn't tell me until I found out through a gut feeling and checking her emails. Her girlfriend was cheating on her husband with this other guys friend. I confronted my wife about it and she said that she was just unhappy and didn't even know why she cheated on me. I keep asking her why she does the things she does I.E. blow money, not value herself, her family, her son, why she cheated on me, and all she can tell me is that she doesn't know why. She says that she see's herself as this horrible person who doesn't deserve to be happy. I know this isn't true and I truely love my wife, but it is hard because I'm on deployment and she won't seek the help of a therapist. We went to marriage counseling before I left and even the counselor said that she might be taking the wrong medication and that she needed to talk to someone about how whe was feeling about her self and to see if she might be bi-polar and might be taking the wrong medication. I keep pushing her to seek help but all I here is that I'm talking down to her and treating her like I'm her parent and telling her what to do. But I don't know what to do, I keep trying to get her to see someone, I keep trying to get her to tell me what's on her mind, how she feels, but nothing works. She just gets depressed and spends tons of money that we don't have on clothes and other petty things. She does say how sorry she is about cheating and says that she doesn't want it to happen again, but I'm not sure because she doesn't want to take the steps to try to better herself and her family. I guess when I get home, I'm just going to have to go to counseling on my own and maybe that will convince her to want to go herself.

I can't comprehend how difficult it must be to see someone you love go through this, and to deal with each day at a time, as well as hold your family together. I wish you every strength and the best of luck.

I do wish you and her the BEST of luck. I have an ex husband that couldn't even understand depression and i was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 28, I'm now 45 still fighting the D A M N disease. I know my ex went through H E L L mostly because he never educated himself on the disease. It is a frightening disease to live with, both for the person who has it and of course for all the people that care for that person. Sadly over time the *depressed* person often loses most of their friends, i think that also happens due to not truly understanding the disease. It becomes very isolating and the *depressed* person often ends up really hating themselves. My depression has been really bad for many years, EVEN with help, i can't imagine what it would be like without help. I once tried to take my life with all sincerity (at the time) thinking my children would be better off without me. Luckily it didn't work and when i realized that it didn't work i realized what a selfish thing i had try to do, even though at the time of the attempt i HONESTLY thought i was doing everyone a favour. Maybe if she won't get help, you might think of seeking out a professional to help you deal with her depression, hopefully in time she will see that professionals CAN help, maybe not CURE, but make life bareable, and allow moments of joy and laughter again. Like me, you are probably right with your thoughts that she dislikes herself. I have HATED myself for years, thinking that somehow i WANTED this, but i have to keep reminding myself that it is a DISEASE, that there IS a chemical imbalance, but there are MANY times that i forget that, and i just become my own worse enemy by not giving myself a break. IF you ever have any questions about all of this, because i know it is OVERWHELMING, feel free to contact me, i've lived with this disease for 17 years so i am pretty well educated on the topic, or if you just feel like venting to someone who might beable to give you some specific insight into her behaviors. I'm not saying that her depression is the same as mine, but it might be helpful for you (if u want) to help u understand some of her thoughts and behaviors, and what better person to ask than someone who has been dealing with it for 17 years. Anyway it is just an offer. I wish you ALL the best of luck and pray that in time she will not fear the stigma that comes with a professional diagnosis and a label that is scary and hard to hear!! Be well!!

Thanks for the comments. Yes, she does have guilty feelings and resentment. She doesn't trust that she'll feel better because the "little voice" in her head keeps telling her that she should run and leave me for an independent life. Of course when faced with the facts of being on her own (finances, etc.) she admits that it isn't realistic with the dreams she has. More of the same with this problem. She feels very strongly that she isn't depressed anymore, but it's a facade. The bummer is that I'm the only one who knows better and knows the real her. So I'm the face of reason and reality for her and that's not a good thing most of the time. She stopped telling me that she loves me a couple of months ago and there are times when I think she despises me - while I'm telling her how much I love her and want her to live life and get to a happier place for herself and the kids. Ugh. As I said before, she's worth it and our family is worth it. I couldn't abandon her or let her just run away (although she could if she had the means, I'm just happy that she doesn't so that I can help her). This is the first time in her life that she's having to face responsibility and step up. Wish me luck!

you are amazingly patient...i have lost a good friend and possibly a lover (two people) to the disease, and this was after, admitting and acknowledging it and trying to make amends. cheers to you and a better day tomorrow :) kf