How to Save My Marriage - When I Think My Husband is Depressed
Part 2 of 3
Carrie's husband is unpredictable. She says she walks around on eggshells because of it.
To try to keep the peace she tells their 6 and 10 year old kids to "let daddy have a pleasant evening."
Despite her peace keeping efforts, she says his anger is becoming more regular. At Christmas dinner, in front of the whole family, he screamed across the room at her, "If you want to stay married to me you'll never do that again."
She cried in her hands as she recited to me in counseling the numerous ways he degrades her and hurts her with his words.
At other times Al tells her that he doesn't deserve her and says he knows that his anger will lead to the end of their marriage. She wonders . . . if he's given up . . . if he's having an affair . . . what he does on his FaceBook page.
She tried to kiss him last week and he turned away saying "don't pressure me."
"I hate my life," he told her. "I hate myself."
She said to me, "I think my husband is depressed. What do you think?"
We talked about what depression can look like in men. I told her in men it often looks just like stress. Here are some common depression symptoms in men:
- Moodiness (this can be grumpy, or an emotional roller coaster, much like the eggshells Carrie walks around on)
It wouldn't be surprising if Al is depressed, I told her. A lot of men are. In fact, most men when they get depressed still function quite well in many areas of their lives, particularly professionally. So the external symptoms can be misleading. The signs are most often evident in their interpersonal interactions, especially with loved ones.
As Carrie and I talked she kept crying. She just couldn't forget the feeling that "he doesn't love me" and kept questioning how that is connected to his mood. "How do I save my marriage?"
I suggested to her that he may still love her despite what his actions show. However, that love has been covered over and she just can't see it right now. Depression, stress, and unhappiness with himself have blanketed the his love for her and keep it hidden. With those things removed it's possible she could see him love her again.
In what ways can you relate to Carrie? Does your husband look something like hers?
* This is the second post of three examining a marriage in which a wife feels her husband doesn't love her anymore and she seeks the expertise of a marriage counselor for help in finding out what she can do. You can read the first post, How to Save My Marriage - When My Husband Doesn't Love Me Anymore here. In the final post we'll take a look at some things Carrie can do to change her husband and save her marriage. Sign-up for our blog on the right side of this page and be sure not to miss any parts of this story (you can get notified by email or RSS feed).
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