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    Leaving a depressed spouse
    Charlie9211 posted:
    I've been reading through these posts about living with a depressed spouse. It is so good to hear people describe "my" life in their words. I have been living with a depressed spouse for 19 years and have experienced the "eggshells" at home; trying to stay positive for family/kids/friends; missed birthdays/anniversaries/no gifts at holidays; and I have had it!
    While many of you are trying to stay with your spouses, I am seriously thinking of leaving mine. I have been the one doing everything for 19 years: main breadwinner, daily chores, caring for children, managing household, scheduling appointments, etc. I have felt like a single mother since my children were born! My husband goes through phases where he is depressed (sleeping lots, grouchy mood, quick to anger, no help, etc) and I usually pull him out of it with positive energy. My thanks for all these years is no appreciation from him. I've had it! He is in therapy (again), continues on medication (12 years now), pushed away all of his friends, spends all his free time computer gaming, reading online posts, etc.
    Does it make me a bad person that I am ready to give up on this relationship? I'm in therapy myself and trying to decide if I want to live like this for the rest of my life. When do you say, "Enough is enough?" I would like to be with someone who gives to the relationship equally.
    Those of you out there staying with your depressed spouses, I give you lots of credit. I don't think I can do this anymore. My children are affected by his negativity, he doesn't interact with the kids anymore (unless it's something he wants to do), he doesn't talk to me, we don't do anything as a family. What do you do?
    AnnN5Horses responded:
    Sounds like your husband isn't getting the proper help for his depression - and i'm not referring to you - you have obviously done more than your share but you can't "help" him out of depression. If he is depressed he needs medication or a combination of it to get out of his funk. But frankly, having dealt with untreated depression for over 10 years in myself before I went for treatment I can honestly say if he's got the energy to online game, etc. you may be dealing with something that is not depression at all. Once I got on a good antidepressant, I felt normal again and was able to be a part of the life of my friends and family. Not to mention my own life!! I went back to school at 47 and got my RN degree/license and at the age of 52 learned how to ride a horse and now own several and a covered wagon!! My greatest regret (and I don't have many) is that I didn't go on an antidepressant sooner so that I wouldn't have sacrificed my family life for over 10 years to depression. He needs to be properly diagnosed or get over being so selfish!! He's the one missing out!
    MissCaptainKirk responded:
    I understand why you feel this way. Although I am the one with depression in my marriage, I am constantly having to be the emotional support for my husband b/c he has terrible mood swings due to addictions and behaviors I will not go into in this post.
    It's very tiring. And having depression makes me want to do literally nothing at all, ever. But I live a very normal life, work full time, am still in college, cook and clean, etc. and am able (barely, but still able) to keep my emotions in check so they are not always negatively affecting everyone. I have panic/anxiety attacks and don't even have a desire to live, but it has never affected anyone including my spouse to the point where I was dragging them down all the time.
    If I can do it, your husband can do it. It sounds like he doesn't want to get any better or be part of an equal relationship. and to be honest I don't care how bad his depression is, or whether or not he has the right medication, he needs to be there for his family and make a much better effort. He has more than depression, he has downright selfishness.
    So if you are enabling him in any way (not saying you are) then you have to stop, tell him its a get-better-or-I'm-outta-here situation, and if he doesn't make a better effort, I don't blame you for leaving. There's no reason his depression should make you live like you have depression too. And your children certainly shouldn't have to live like that.
    I'm sorry if I offend anyone else out there who has depression like me, but this is just how I feel about it.
    lovmybabys13 responded:
    Oh my god, that is my exact life right there. I couldn't have said it better. I also want to leave but I cannot do that to my little girls. I have 2step kids and they are pretty messed. I just hope to god that my genes over power my husbands cuz a kid like my husband would break my heart. I will stick it out till they are 18 and then maybe I will deserve and awesome man who wants to take care of me, not sure how I would deal with that! Lol!
    sweetypie295 responded:
    My heart goes out to you sounds like were in the same boat. My husband is trying to get help again & wants to. The clencher here is we dont have kids I really want some & he is hesitant as he doesnt want to give his defectiveness to them & bring kids into this world thats just getting worse..

    Isn't it nice to know were not the only ones going through this.

    You need to make the right decison for yourself no one is you.
    I wish you all the best of luck my heart truely goes out to you. I just keep hoping he will get better get out of the rut realize he is a wonderful person.
    Charlie9211 responded:
    Since I originally posted the above, we have spent two days with limited communication. He does not even greet me when arriving home, even though I am working hard to get dinner ready for the family. He makes no effort to initiate any conversation before, during or after dinner, just responds to small talk. After dinner, he retreats to the basement to play on his gaming computer or play his guitar (he is in a band). We have had conversations in the past few months about the possibility of our marriage ending due to years of his depression cycles. You would think a man about to lose his wife and family would at least make an effort to talk to her and try to save the marriage. Instead, he continues to behave like a teenager instead of a man in his early 40's. My early teenage son is more helpful around the house; talks to me more readily; and enjoys spending time with me. My husband just seems to go along for the ride. We've been through this before and he is just waiting for me to "snap out of it" and start acting like everything is alright again. I don't think I can do that anymore. I want a mature with someone who has something in common with me; believes in open communication; and works with me to make the relationship successful. My frustration level with my husband is at the breaking point.
    Charlie9211 replied to Charlie9211's response:
    OK. This morning I got him to talk to me as he was eating his breakfast. He stated he wanted to move out so he could work on his depression because I won't give him the support he needs to feel better this time. I explained that to him two months ago. I have always been the one to pull him out of depression and this time I'm not going to do it. He needs to do it for himself. He was upset at me because I don't hug and kiss him anymore. He's right, I don't because I have a LOT of resentment built up from years of me doing everything and him being depressed. Because of his depression over the years, I've had two bouts of depression myself. The difference, I immediately received treatment and worked to pull myself out and back on track.
    I brought up the word divorce and he stated that if that happened, he would not want time with our two boys because he wouldn't want to see me anymore. Talk about pressure!! So, I'm supposed to stay with a man, who states he is finally working on his depression (after 20 years) because he doesn't want to lose me, but then is blaming me for not helping him get through his depression again. Plus, if I leave him, he will punish our children, putting more guilt and blame on me. What do I do with this?? After all we have been through, I don't think I really want to be with him anymore. I want less emotional stress in my life. I can't kiss and hug him because all I see is the depressed person who won't do anything with his life. I don't respect him anymore and don't trust that he will actually change, as I have tried to get him to change for the past 17 years.
    sweetypie295 replied to Charlie9211's response:
    Are you seeing a therapist?
    If so I think you need to call & talk with the therapist if not you need to get one so you can feel supported.
    If your children are old enough to understand whats going on they may support you in what your strongly pondering.

    This sounds very hard. You need to seek guidance & support from a therapist & family.
    You also need to be doing stuff for yourself so you can have energy to deal with all of this.
    Oh how I wish this depression didnt exsist in this world.
    Keep me post.
    sweetypie295 replied to sweetypie295's response: Also I would think this organization would have a support group you could go to.
    I havent looked into it very well but its another thought.
    MissCaptainKirk replied to Charlie9211's response:
    Gonna have to agree with sweetypie295 on this one, please see a therapist. (Although I think you said in the original post you are already in therapy?) It sounds like you have a lot of emotions you need to release. it is not good for your health to be so stressed.
    Maybe you guys should see a marriage counselor together? I mean it sounds like you are doing all you can but you are living for two people, and it is not fair to you. The fact that he is always in the basement playing video games and stuff is a sign that he does not care about anyone and to me it seems he wants to stay in the depression.

    I just hope you are able to get through this ok. We are here to support you!
    Much love! <3
    sweetypie295 replied to MissCaptainKirk's response:
    I agree with MissCaptainKirk also marriage councelor is a good idea since he is staying to him self the two of you can work some of the issues out & try to get on the same page & see if he is truely feeling the same.
    With you feeling the way you are & he the way he is it would be nice to get to some sort of commend ground.
    We are here for you.
    Charlie9211 replied to sweetypie295's response:
    Yes. I am seeing a therapist for my support. My husband is seeing a psychologist for his depression and my children have counselors to see as needed. It still makes it difficult, but I am trying to keep from going into another depression over this myself. Thank you for the means a lot!
    sweetypie295 replied to Charlie9211's response:
    I am so glad you have all of that in place.
    How are things going today?
    Keep us posted on how everything is going, I wish you all the best.
    Charlie9211 replied to sweetypie295's response:
    We just returned from a week on the road for our annual family vacation. It was not easy being with my depressed husband for that entire week. While driving, he made no attempt at communication and answered my questions/observations with casual talk. At one point, we did get to talk a little and he broke down and begged me to stay with him until he changes. I've been waiting for 19 years for him to change. The only reason he is so depressed now is because I have stated that I'm considering a divorce. He admitted that I was right and he was feeling low because I said I would leave. He also said he wanted to change. He has been following up by helping out more, but that does not make a marriage.
    Today, he offered to use the money he has been saving for a cottage up north to buy me an elliptical and take me to New York City. I declined both. Buying things will not fix this relationship. I just don't want to spend time with him anymore. He agreed that we don't have any fun together and haven't for a long time.
    The other development, he sent out an email to his closest friends, ones that he hasn't talked to in months/years, stating that he is in depression (again) and that he and I are having marriage problems. I didn't hear of this email until his oldest friend called begging me not to hurt him by leaving and to stick with him until he gets better. Apparently the email also stated that he felt I deserved better than how he has been treating me over the years. He did not tell me about this email and when I brought it up, he said he wanted his friends to know about his depression so they could help.
    Tonight he is back on the computer, online gaming again, laughing out loud and having a great time. Certainly doesn't sound depressed now.
    I wish I knew what to do. I'm not in love with him anymore and haven't been for a long time. I care about what happens to him because we have been together for so long and he is the father of my children. Will filing for divorce cause his depression to worsen? Am I being the selfish one in that I would like a better life for myself? Should I leave him, because I have noticed that I am a better mother to my children when we are not around his constant gloom?
    shalom1234 replied to Charlie9211's response:
    I'm so sorry that your years of effort have not gained you anything in your marriage. I have a depressed husband and although there have been times I wondered if I "need" to leave I have not been driven to the point you have been.

    I truly believe that a person knows when their actions are making headway or they are just running the hamster wheel. Tolerence levels vary person to person. Only you know when you have reached your max. HUGS!

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