Depression and Marriage

A marriage is the union of two individuals and the union of two souls can be a blessing. Sometimes the outcome is not very satisfactory and the blessing can turn into a constant struggle. Every individual is different and when two people start a life together they can find some aspects of each other not very pleasant. The key to a successful marriage is to understand each other and find ways to strengthen a relationship. If the problems are not dealt with initially they can lead to disappointment, anger and depression, which are not healthy for your emotional well-being.

Depression and marriage

How Does Depression Affect Marriage?

Depression can affect any relationship and marriage is no exception. If one partner is not satisfied and is depressed, the other can feel the impact and the relationship can suffer badly. The whole family can get disturbed when one of the partners is suffering from depression. There can be many reasons for depression and sometimes it is hard to find the exact cause or any cause for it.

The depressed partner can feel helpless and day to day activities become a chore, he/she no longer enjoys the life and can have eating disorders, sleep problems and may find working really difficult. The depressed partner is vulnerable and can get more stressed when he/she feels that people around are suffering because of him/her. Managing depression and marriage is sometimes very daunting and if the person has never had this mood disorder before, he/she can find it extremely difficult to understand what is actually happening to himself/herself.

This situation is equally stressful for the other partner because they are unable to understand what has turned their fun loving spouse into someone least interested in having good time. They can feel disappointed and cheated on. Their frustration increases with time and eventually the relationship, which was full of hope and joy to begin with, starts feeling like an imprisonment.

It becomes more and more difficult for both partners to maintain a healthy relationship and the spark dwindles and minor problems seen like huge obstacles. When one partner is struggling with depression and marriage seems to be on the rocks, they start to blame themselves and things can go from bad to worst.

Signs Depression Is Affecting Your Marriage

The relationship between marriage and depression is very complex. There are many signs which indicate that depression is affecting your marriage. Some of them are:

1.      Reduced or Non-Existent Sex

Around two thirds of people who have depression also have a very low sex drive. In any relationship, the sex life faces many ups and downs but when depression affects a marriage the sex life becomes nearly non-existent. Getting intimate with each other strengthens a relationship and increases bonding and trust between the partners. When there is no physical intimacy, both can feel detached from one another and the relationship can go downhill very fast.

2.      Inability to Handle Emotions

It is hard to deal with any type of negative emotions. The task becomes harder when you are depressed. When any conflict arises, you can feel helpless to deal with it. If you are depressed you can either completely block off the conflict and withdraw or burst out in anger. These situations are not normal and can seriously damage your relationship. People with depression often over-think, and can complicate situations. They can feel that the other person is unable to understand them or is insensitive to their needs. This leads to more depressing thoughts and a simple argument can lead to an epic emotional battle.

3.      Resorting to Unhealthy Behaviors

When men are depressed, they are very likely to indulge in reckless behaviors. Since they are often unable to express their emotions they indulge in drinking, can have affairs or behave very aggressively. They often get isolated and withdraw from the loved ones. Depression can also lead to symptoms like headache, backache and constant fatigue. Balancing between depression and marriage gets harder and harder if the problem is not identified in the beginning and addressed accordingly.

4.     Constant Anxiety

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand and make life completely miserable. Both conditions aggravate each other and there can be sleep disturbance, concentration issues, irritability and a constant feeling of apprehension. Trivial things seem like huge problems and all relationships look doomed. These feelings deepen the depression and an inability to resolve these issues adds salt to the injury.

How to Save Your Marriage from Depression

Things might seem very out of control but in reality you can save your relationship. If depression is the main culprit sabotaging your marriage, you need to get it treated. Here are some simple strategies to cope when your partner has depression:

1.      Try to Understand Their Perspective

The real enemy to your relationship is depression, not the person with it. It is difficult when your spouse has depression but with little understanding and care you can learn to understand them better. It is no one's fault and depression can affect any one any time. When you stand by them they will start feeling better soon.

2.      Help Your Partner Get Proper Treatment

If your spouse has depression you might be the first person to realize it. People who have depression are likely to suffer in silence and often do not seek any treatment. If you notice the signs of depression in your wife or husband encourage them to get professional help.

3.      Show Your Concern

People with depression need a lot of emotional support and you can help them to get better by offering a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on. Encourage them to talk to you about their fears and things bothering them. And take care of their needs, be it emotional needs or physical needs. Ask them what do they want and try to be supportive. This can mend any cracks in your relationships and your bond will get stronger.

4.      Tell Your Kids About What Is Going On

Managing depression and marriage isn't just something about you and your spouse. You should keep your kids informed. Kids can get very confused if one of the parents seems distracted or unwell. They might not understand the whole situation and things become very hard for them. Try to talk to them and tell them what is happening in a simple way.

5.      Show Your Love

Love is a very strong healing force. It was love that brought you together and you can show your partner that you still love him/her. It does not have to be huge gestures but simple acts of kindness which speak volumes about your feelings for your love. It can be frustrating because they might not be able to respond accordingly but sooner or later you will be able to revive them back.

6.    Give Them Some Space

If your partner is depressed they might want to be on their own. This does not mean that they don't love you anymore. Sometimes they can say that they need to be on their own but they actually mean to be with you. Try to understand the meaning of their language and offer your support.

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