Husband and his depression/issues - I'm at a loss....
I am new here and seeking a place for comfort and advice. I have been married a little over 5 months and I feel my marriage is already off the rails. My husband is 17 years my senior. I love him dearly. I don't want a divorce. I don't want to be another statistic.
What brings me here is his depression. I believe he is clinically depressed and has a psychiatrist who is treating him with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. He's also being treated for low testosterone. He's had a lot of bad things dealt to him in the last few years (things I fully understand). What I believe he needs is a good therapist that can get him on the right track, but that's just my opinion. The medication isn't working anymore. He isn't diligent about getting his blood work every month to make sure his testosterone levels are in the right place. I cannot care for him in this manner. I did not marry a man who need around the clock care. I thought I married a man who I knew had issues (as we all do), but someone who was my partner, not someone who needed a caregiver. Believe me, I am by his side through thick and thin, but I need him to give a large portion of his own part in order to get better. There is only so much I can do. I am supportive 100%, but the things that go through my head are beginning to make me ill. I often times think I've made a mistake by marrying him. All I want is for him to get better, but he can't get better if he's not willing to help himself.
I don't know what to do. Like I said before, I don't want a divorce, I don't want to end up another statistic But on the same note, I can't keep going through this. I always let him know I'm here for him. I ask him how I can help, I do most everything around the house, including holding a full-time job. He is currently unemployed and is a student ready to finish his degree. Again, all of these things I knew going into the marriage, but I didn't think they would spiral out of control.
What else can I do to support him? What can I do to support myself so I don't feel out of control? Honestly, I'm at a loss with him and am not happy in our current situation. If anyone has any advice out there, any idea as to what we are going through, your input is most appreciated.
Re: Husband and his depression/issues - I'm at a loss....
I feel I have to care for him in every way. Maybe I'm just complaining about a woman's work, e.g. cook, clean, shop, pick up his meds, on and on. He doesn't pick up his share of the work around the house. I understand his depression and anxiety, because I suffer with it as well. However, between holding a full-time job where I travel every other week and taking care of all the domestic issue as I stated above. I get no help. I have tried leaving him on his own to do things, but they never get done. All he does is complain about this, that, and the other, but never offers any solutions. He chooses not to do the things necessary to care for himself. And all I do is enable each situation because it's in my nature to care for others. But I want a little TLC in return. I know, I know. I need to stop doing for him, what he can do for himself. Even if that means leaving the fridge empty before I leave for work. Even if it means I stop doing most of what he needs and forcing his hand to do something for himself. I just can't stand an overly needy man. He was not this way before we got married, but it almost seems he's entitled to what he's been getting since we've gotten married. I'm not on here to complain about my husband (or bash him). It may seem that way, but I'm not. I'm venting because I have no one else to talk to about these issues. I'm looking for some constructive criticism and possible solutions that will help me out and hopefully get him to start doing his part. I want that little light in his head to finally go off and say "hey, I need to start taking care of myself, my wife is my wife, not my mother". In that statement, I need to stop acting like his mother, care giver, etc.... I need to stop being the enable, but I don't know how.
Yes, he's working towards his degree. However, with him being out of school so long, he's really struggling. He's depressed because he doesn't have a job and money is tight. Well heck, that's the way it is for 99% of us in this country.
Again, all I'm looking for is some constructive advice so I can stop being the enabler and get back to being his wife.
Re: Husband and his depression/issues - I'm at a loss....
Originally Posted by WickedDragon
And all I do is enable each situation because it's in my nature to care for others. But I want a little TLC in return. I know, I know. I need to stop doing for him, what he can do for himself. Even if that means leaving the fridge empty before I leave for work. Even if it means I stop doing most of what he needs and forcing his hand to do something for himself.
I think you just have to put all your effort into this. You have to stop doing things for him, as you already know.
Its not going to solve everything and might not even fix the relationship. But if you can stop yourself from enabling him then you will have matured and grown. That is extremely important because whether he heals or not, if you leave and you dont fix this part of yourself you will just find another guy that is the same.
Stop doing things for him so you can grow and mature. You've got to give a lot of tough love and stop feeling responsible for him. Then, if things still dont improve, think about leaving.
There is a wonderful boundary book/workbook called Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Cloud and Townsend. Its on the religious side so if that doesnt suite you then Dr. Phil also has a great book called Relationship Rescue. Do this for yourself so you can heal and be in a healthier relationship. After you finish the book and do the exercises in the workbook, and you still want to leave the relationship, its probably a good idea.