how to deal with a depressed wife
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how to deal with a depressed wife

I have been reading many threads here from men saying that their wives are deeply unhappy, possibly depressed, with low sex drives, poor self esteem, are isolating at home, and pushing people- especially their husbands away.

I've read that the husbands are "supporting" their wives to feel better, to lose weight, to get out of the house, to make friends, etcetera. This advice is all correct and valid, however, from personal experience it does not work.

Telling a depressed person to stop being depressed does not work. Telling them to get help doesn't work- because depressed people are mentally ill. They are in a fog, they can't think clearly. They are generally not thinking about sex, and they are not- while they are depressed- fully aware of the impact they are having on people around them.

I've also seen a lot of advice to pull away from your wives, to make yourself less available, therefore more attractive. I don't understand this?
If your wives are feeling depressed and suffering from low self esteem, how is pulling away or becoming detached going to help them? Is this supposed to scare them into having sex with you?
Wouldn't detaching just make her feel worse, more worthless and more unattractive?
I can understand if you wife was pulling away or going out without you or she starts making herself more attractive, then you'd want to step up and make yourself more attractive to her. However, if she is sad why isolate her further?

If my husband was appearing depressed and withdrawn, I think the last thing I'd do is detach from him.

I do support moving on with your own life and making sure you are healthy while your spouse is going through depression, as depression can be contagious. However, do it for yourself and to be a strong, supportive spouse.

On another note- IMO, if your spouse has moved away from you because they have cheated or dishonored the marriage, then I can really see the need to detach and develop your own life. But do it for you, not to court your cheating spouse.
If you love something, set it free- if you have to manipulate to get them back... I'm not so sure that's the safest bet.

Last edited by peacefully; 11-26-2009 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacefully View Post
I've read that the husbands are "supporting" their wives to feel better, to lose weight, to get out of the house, to make friends, etcetera. This advice is all correct and valid, however, from personal experience it does not work.

I've also seen a lot of advice to pull away from your wives, to make yourself less available, therefore more attractive. I don't understand this?
The advice I give isn't to "pull away", it's to "become active". At times that activity is going to look like you're pulling away from your wife, simply because you're up and doing something and she might not be following your lead. A lot of that activity is intended to be playful instigation with your wife. You're not "supporting her" (asking her to do something), but "leading her" ("hey I'm going to XYZ want to come?")

I think for many women, depression is based in boredom and loneliness stemming from the interaction they have with their man or lack thereof.

There is a real link between men being active and appearing attractive to women.
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

Quote:
There is a real link between men being active and appearing attractive to women.
I totally agree with this.
Active men are attractive, to healthy women.

My question is: if a person's spouse is depressed, why try to motivate them to have sex? Sure, sex is a great endorphin booster, but I wonder if this is more for the non-depressed spouse?

If attractiveness was a cure for depression, then just rent your wife a bunch of Brad Pitt movies.

Is this about helping the depressed spouse, or getting the non depressed spouse some action?
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

I believe there are two types of depression: Those caused by the marriage and those that are independent and separate from the marriage.

What is it you recommended for each type?




Quote:
Originally Posted by peacefully View Post
I have been reading many threads here from men saying that their wives are deeply unhappy, possibly depressed, with low sex drives, poor self esteem, are isolating at home, and pushing people- especially their husbands away.

I've read that the husbands are "supporting" their wives to feel better, to lose weight, to get out of the house, to make friends, etcetera. This advice is all correct and valid, however, from personal experience it does not work.

Telling a depressed person to stop being depressed does not work. Telling them to get help doesn't work- because depressed people are mentally ill. They are in a fog, they can't think clearly. They are generally not thinking about sex, and they are not- while they are depressed- fully aware of the impact they are having on people around them.

I've also seen a lot of advice to pull away from your wives, to make yourself less available, therefore more attractive. I don't understand this?
If your wives are feeling depressed and suffering from low self esteem, how is pulling away or becoming detached going to help them? Is this supposed to scare them into having sex with you?
Wouldn't detaching just make her feel worse, more worthless and more unattractive?
I can understand if you wife was pulling away or going out without you or she starts making herself more attractive, then you'd want to step up and make yourself more attractive to her. However, if she is sad why isolate her further?

If my husband was appearing depressed and withdrawn, I think the last thing I'd do is detach from him.

I do support moving on with your own life and making sure you are healthy while your spouse is going through depression, as depression can be contagious. However, do it for yourself and to be a strong, supportive spouse.

On another note- IMO, if your spouse has moved away from you because they have cheated or dishonored the marriage, then I can really see the need to detach and develop your own life. But do it for you, not to court your cheating spouse.
If you love something, set it free- if you have to manipulate to get them back... I'm not so sure that's the safest bet.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

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I believe there are two types of depression: Those caused by the marriage and those that are independent and separate from the marriage.

What is it you recommended for each type?
True clinical depression does not need a reason to start. It can come on if there is no external reason. OK, so a reason in marriage might trigger it but its never the cause.

Unhappiness in a marriage is quite possible etc but is not depression. Depression is a medical problem that needs sorting out.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

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Originally Posted by MEM11363 View Post
I believe there are two types of depression: Those caused by the marriage and those that are independent and separate from the marriage.

What is it you recommended for each type?
I can only speak from my personal experience, therefore I can't recommend anything, as I'm not a professional.
I can however suggest that in both cases you consult with a professional. Either a Doctor or a Licensed Therapist.
Depression can be very serious and it can require serious help, regardless of the cause or circumstances.

I understand from what I see on these forums that some spouses would like to believe that through their actions they can change their wives mental and emotional state. Or that they can coerce them to change through motivating factors, however that concerns me.
Sometimes we have to put our ego's aside and realize that we might not be the ones that are able to save someone, and that there are, at times genuine need for outside professional help. This help should be for the depressed spouse and/or the non depressed spouse separately, to help them as individuals, before the work on the marriage can be done.

My question in this was why do some spouses want to make themselves more "attractive" to a depressed spouse?
Is that more about getting their needs met? That is an understandable, but selfish priority. It could be the last thing the depressed spouse can deal with.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

You have completely missed the point. These folks want to feel loved by their spouse. That is what they want. The act of making themselves more attractive is a means to that end.

And depression has a wide spectrum of severity. Some folks when they lose desire for their spouse use depression as the reason. But it isn't true clinical depression. It is just sadness from being with someone you just aren't that into anymore.

As for getting someone help. If your spouse really does seem or claim to be depressed I totally agree they should see a professional. If they refuse, and this seems to be part of a long term problem then the healthy spouse has a decision to make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peacefully View Post
I can only speak from my personal experience, therefore I can't recommend anything, as I'm not a professional.
I can however suggest that in both cases you consult with a professional. Either a Doctor or a Licensed Therapist.
Depression can be very serious and it can require serious help, regardless of the cause or circumstances.

I understand from what I see on these forums that some spouses would like to believe that through their actions they can change their wives mental and emotional state. Or that they can coerce them to change through motivating factors, however that concerns me.
Sometimes we have to put our ego's aside and realize that we might not be the ones that are able to save someone, and that there are, at times genuine need for outside professional help. This help should be for the depressed spouse and/or the non depressed spouse separately, to help them as individuals, before the work on the marriage can be done.

My question in this was why do some spouses want to make themselves more "attractive" to a depressed spouse?
Is that more about getting their needs met? That is an understandable, but selfish priority. It could be the last thing the depressed spouse can deal with.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

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Originally Posted by peacefully View Post
My question in this was why do some spouses want to make themselves more "attractive" to a depressed spouse?
Is that more about getting their needs met? That is an understandable, but selfish priority. It could be the last thing the depressed spouse can deal with.
It's pretty simple...

Husband does a bunch of things that doesn't excite or interest wife in him. Wife loses attraction for husband. Wife starts wondering why the heck she is doing everything she does for this man she isn't really into anymore. Divorce is a horrible option, but staying isn't good either. Wife gets depressed.

Husband wakes up to himself and realizes he's been destorying his wifes attraction to him. Changes his behavior and acts in ways to interest and excite wife. Wife is disbelieving at first, but then slowly regains interest in her husband. Wife just forgets thoughts about divorce. Wife is happy.


And yes there are many reasons people can become depressed, but if *this* is the reason she is depressed, no amount of therapy and medication will work for her.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

Atholk,
In the chain of causality I will start one domino before you. Wife has a goal - civilize husband and achieve emotional dominance in a relationship where her mate is physically larger and stronger. This is survival 101 - it is hardwired behavior. Go back even 250 generations and unless you attained emotional dominance, when food got scarce the males didn't share equally and you starved to death. Emotional superiority wasn't a luxury it was life or death.

If wife is TOO successful, husband is fully domesticated, docile, boring and on some very deeply hardwired level he is now beta.

In a healthy marriage this doesn't happen.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Atholk View Post
It's pretty simple...

Husband does a bunch of things that doesn't excite or interest wife in him. Wife loses attraction for husband. Wife starts wondering why the heck she is doing everything she does for this man she isn't really into anymore. Divorce is a horrible option, but staying isn't good either. Wife gets depressed.

Husband wakes up to himself and realizes he's been destorying his wifes attraction to him. Changes his behavior and acts in ways to interest and excite wife. Wife is disbelieving at first, but then slowly regains interest in her husband. Wife just forgets thoughts about divorce. Wife is happy.


And yes there are many reasons people can become depressed, but if *this* is the reason she is depressed, no amount of therapy and medication will work for her.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to deal with a depressed wife

Quite possibly MEM
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