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Depressed Husband
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joanatmunson posted:
Ugh. A lot has been happening recently and I'm hoping to get some support.
I've been with my husband for five years and we just got married in July. I always knew he got depressed sometimes. He'd usually snap out of it and I was able to express my feelings when he got mean due to his depression. I tried to be supportive, he was usually really receptive to whatever was given and we would move through it together.
Recently, he got depressed again and was starting to act mean. I always make him lunch for work and this time I added pears (his favorite fruit) as a special treat. When he saw it, he asked why I wanted him to have a soggy sandwich and if I'd washed the pear. When I told him I'd forgotten, he got pretty snobby and just said "goodbye" and left for work. He called me later to explain his feelings and told me he felt like I hadn't washed the pear on purpose, that I did that to bother him and I just make his lunches to make him feel better. I started to cry and hung up.
When he got home we sat down and tried to work it out. I told him I didn't care about his thoughts and didn't want to hear it-why tell me what you were thinking if I didn't know it in the first place and you're just going to have to apologize later?- he said things like that contributed to his depression. He's also said that I'm the reason he gets so depressed because when I was unmedicated (I have bipolar) I would say mean things on purpose. He always brings up my bipolar at the first chance-he helped me through it, I did so many bad things when I was sick, etc etc.
In addition, my husband smokes pot. I know what you're thinking. It isn't that bad. You don't have kids so what's the problem?
He used to do it a lot more (we broke up briefly and he got his act together) and was really committed to making sober friends, until he started hanging out with a co-worker and his girlfriend, both avid smokers. When we were having our big "pear" conversation, I told him that I had been keeping a lot of opinions to myself because I knew they would hurt his feelings. I told him that I thought he was backtracking on quitting pot and that he wasn't really committed to getting back to being the healthy guy with a bunch of hobbies and friends I knew. He made a point to say that, although he had been smoking a lot more early in our relationship, he knew it seemed the same to me. It felt really nice to hear that.
The following Wednesday when he got home from hanging with his friends, he was acting really unusual so I asked him if he had smoked. He said yes. I told him I was upset, that I thought expressing my feelings would change his attitude and it didn't. He said it was a private thing he did, that it didn't hurt anyone (except me!) and I seemed to be only interested in saying unsupportive things.
After that, we talked again and it seemed like he really understood where I was coming from and I felt like I understood him too. He said he was going to get me some stuff from his work (he's a drug/alcohol counselor) to help me understand what to say.
The literature was basically bull. It talked about how a substance abuser needs to figure things out on their own and you're supposed to let them. If you need help, it said, go to a therapist.
I told him what I thought of it and how frustrating it was to feel like I couldn't get support (he doesn't like it when I talk to friends and family about our personal issues). He told me that "throughout the process" I've been hearing what he says and needs and saying "I don't give a f***". He then said that I didn't go through my bipolar on my own and it seemed like the idea of having to help someone through their struggles was upsetting to me. He said that since he writes in a journal, goes to the gym, and teaches substance abuse classes he is on the right track. He's cancelled therapy twice and won't seek outside help.
All I want is to feel like he's constructively moving towards being healthy and like my feelings matter just as much as his.
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