Living with a depressed husband can be hard. You feel alone and lost, often unsure how to help him or yourself. Your marriage is struggling and you wonder if you (or he) will survive. I want you to know you’re not alone. Continue reading for tips on going from surviving to thriving as you travel through this trial.
You are not alone.
I know you feel alone, and you spend your time worrying about everything.
Your best friend is gone and you would give anything to have him back.
Instead of spending your mornings working on your home business, planning your day’s adventures with the kids, or doing anything you’d like to get done, you instead spend your morning trying to talk your husband off his figurative cliff.
There are those days when you ask your husband if you can get him anything and his answer might be “a gun.” You’re left with a pit in your stomach and feel helpless as to how to help him.
This is not the marriage you wanted or dreamed about as a little girl. You spend so much of your time helping and worrying over your husband that you feel like you’re being neglected.
And then you feel selfish for wanting to take care of yourself when you see your best friend struggling with so much.
No matter what situation you play out in your mind, you are the one who loses.
To The Sweet Wife Living With A Depressed Husband
I want you to again remember, you’re not alone. I know what it’s like living with a depressed husband. You would do anything to have your best friend back.
Please know that your sweet husband, the man you fell in love with, isn’t gone forever.
Although I don’t have the answers to everything (only God does), I have written this article in hopes of helping you with wherever you’re at in your marriage.
Just The Two Of You
Life feels alone when you’re living with a depressed husband, and more so when it’s just the two of you.
Somedays you feel helpless watching him struggle and swim through his emotions. You’re spending countless hours sitting by his side, holding his hand, and being there for him.
You worry about how you’re going to pay the bills, if your marriage is going to survive, and if your husband is trying to hide his depression, who you can turn to for help.
I want you to know that you’re husband’s depression is not you’re fault. Whatever choices he makes, you cannot stop them or prevent them.
He still has his agency and his choices are not a reflection of what you’re doing or feel like you’re not doing.
Depression is a horrible disease that robs everyone of the joy and happiness that should be felt in their lives.
Instead, depression tests us to our maximum limits, takes control of so many lives, and strives to win. Every day is a battle, but I promise, although hard, it’s a battle worth fighting for those you love.
If You Have Kids Running Around
Your husband might try to hide his depression from your kids, or they might be fully aware of his emotions.
When you have children in the home, especially little ones, it’s best to explain to them in terms they understand.
You can say things like, “Daddy feels sad today.” Or, “Daddy needs to step away for a minute to think. He is feeling sad.”
I wish life were this simple to explain depression, but it’s not.
As children grow older and begin to understand more, take the time to explain to them some of the symptoms and signs of depression. Encourage them to watch for these signs in themselves as they get older.
Some of the best things you can do for yourself is strengthening your relationship with God and find a strong support system for yourself. Your support system needs to be someone who will listen without interrupting, someone who won’t judge and who will offer love and encouragement.
You already have a lot of stress in your life with your current situation. The last thing you need is to be with a group of people who will sit and complain about life. Complaining solves nothing but creates more discord and frustration.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking with anyone yet, the next best thing is to keep a journal. Write down your experiences, the date and time, any outside influences that might be occurring. This serves a two-fold purpose.
The first purpose is for therapy and to serve as a reminder that you can do hard things.
The second purpose is to help you uncover any underlining patterns. Is there a certain time when your husband is more prone to depression? Is he eating and taking care of himself? Does he have stress in his life because of school or work?
No matter how you decide to take care of yourself, I want you to again remember that you’re not alone in your journey. God is with you, although He might feel far away.
Heaven is cheering for you.
There are always those in your life who want to help but might not be sure how. It’s okay to ask for help. You don’t have to ask for your husband, but you can ask for yourself. Perhaps your friend is willing to watch your kids so you can take a much-needed nap.
There will be days when you feel like you’re drowning in your own emotions (and your husbands). And then there will come a ray of sunshine and for a brief moment, and you’ll have your best friend back.
Savor and enjoy those good days. Hold onto them for dear life and remind yourself of them often.
Your best friend isn’t gone forever. For whatever reason, this is their Gethsemane – their trial in this life.
I don’t know why some of the best people on this Earth have to suffer the greatest pain, but hold onto the knowledge that God knows why, and one day we will receive the answers we are seeking for.
Hold onto your sweetheart, as you would want them to hold onto you. Don’t give up on him just yet. Make sure you’re including God in all of your choices and your daily struggles.
And as you travel through this trial and while you feel your best friend is gone; don’t give up. Make all things a matter of prayer, and always remember: you’re not alone.
For more information on depression: There is help available for when you’re ready for more information about how to help treat depression, or how to support someone with depression. There are hotlines you can call (such as this one). They have people who are specifically trained to help you and your loved one.
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected]
2 thoughts on “To The Sweet Wife Living With A Depressed Husband”
Thank you. I’m grappling with my husband being “down the rabbit hole” right now. And it does make me feel so lonely. My friends are so tired of hearing me complain about all the bad days, I just can’t bring it to them any more.
I’m praying, desperately.
Thank you for this article.
I’ll pray for you, Karen. It’s so important for you to have the help you need as well through this difficult time. You can find a list of free or affordable therapy services right here. This is for you, so you can take care of your mental health and continue to help you husband in the way he needs (without emotionally burning yourself out). Keep in touch, friend.