Im about 40, my wife and I have been married 4 years (together 3 more), our first marriage, no kids yet. But tonight we're apart. Again. She's in bed (maybe asleep?), and I am sad. I want your input. I want to know if Im doing this right. I love my wife. I am concerned that my love and willingness to do anything and everything for her is not helping.
My wife has a very stressful job. She is smart and manifests control, but that only makes it worse: the job eats at her. She's been doing it too long and (I think) it is a matter of weeks until she breaks, and walks away forever. Thats fine. We have savings and I have a job, so our lives wont have to immediately change, but things will change in months if it's only one salary. I dont have a problem with upheaval, but that seems to cause her even greater stress. My lack of concern does not help, so it is something that Ive learned to modulate so that it soothes, rather than exacerbates her fears.
I've poked around on the internet and found that chronic stress at work can cause depression, especially when not addressed. i know that i havent detailed any behavior that sounds like she may be suffering from depression, but it's the same as you read on these sites: sometimes quick to snap, tense, quiet, avoiding interaction, staying inside the house. She's not bed ridden. She's strong and fighting it - too much on her own. She balls it up inside her. all i know from these websites is that im suppose be to supportive. i will carry her to the end of the world. ive moved the household forward for the past couple of years, but i want to help - i dont want to enable so that she is not is helped.
Does she have any inclination to see a therapist or even her regular doctor? Continued stress can surely cause depression, but just because that stress stops doesn't necessarily mean the depression will. You might reiterate to her that you will be fine for a while if she wants to leave her job, and that you are concerned about her health.
No job or amount of money is worth losing your health. Does she agree with that?
Depression, as I understand it, is an issue of brain chemistry. You aren't the problem or the solution. The job isn't the problem or the solution. If she is honestly suffering from depression, she needs professional help. Even with the best help life is going to be difficult for you both occasionally, if not frequently.
She's seen a therapist at least twice. Ive only recognized her depression recently (last couple of months). I dont know whether i should get involved or how involved i should be. im her husband. how much should i get involved in her treatment?
I dont know how involved i should be or how involved i should i get. i want to avoid the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" because it doesnt help (and it's my nature - im sure i havent helped). for a couple of years, i treated her like i would anyone who approached me - what do you want to have happen, and how best to go about getting it. sounds simple. all i did was drive away the woman i love FOR YEARS.
We've done a lot better since i've recognized our condition. but it leads to me to my question: how much do i help? how much do i enable her condition?
I ask my wife how I can help. She likes it when I brush her hair. I make sure she eats and takes her meds. I urge her to go for walks with me, etc. Beyond that, I try to keep stressors down and pick up the slack when she's not able to do much (most of the time). Don't fall into the trap of thinking you caused it or you can fix it, though. Grow a tough skin because you'll get to be the bad guy often.
You can only be as involved in her treatment as she is willing to let you be. I would suggest you erg her to seek professional help. If you have found information on things she can do pile it up and lovingly hand it to her. Just tell her how you feel and then get your self some help too. Dealing with a ill spouse can send you into depression as well.
It sounds like you have a plan for the immediate future should she have to leave her job. You should have a crisis plan at hand too. It is wonderful that you are so willing and have been doing what you can for her but you need to make sure to take care of you too.
Hi, I'm new here but my husband also deals with anxiety/depression ----we're self employed...that's stressful enough. It sounds to me like you're a great husband. You seem very supportive and delicate to her emotions. That's probably the biggest help right there. She certainly sees that you are supportive. Unfortunately like Unbelieveable said, we "spouses" become the bad guys/gals quite often. Is she on any medication? Perhaps a job change would also be an option for her? I wish you the best!
I've been going through a similar scenario with my wife for over 10 years now. It took 6 years before she was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression. In a nutshell she strives to succeed in work, working 18 hour days until she crashes. She's very intelligent, finished second in her class of a top rated MBA program. She struggles under the skin in social settings. At the surface all looks pleasant, but you learn to see the warning signs. All kinds of problems occur at work, its always someone else's fault. Inevitably they start to point the finger at their spouse. I make breakfast, lunches and most dinners. Do most of the household chores (I even clean toilets), drive to kids to most of their activities etc. while maintaining a good job that more than covers all the expenses etc. Unfortunately I end up enabling her problem.
We are now starting a second session of marital therapy. The first three years ago ended badly because the marriage counselor had nothing bad to say about me and said my wife needed therapy. In the end, my wife lost her job and it all came crashing in. Things got better as she accepted her problems and took some anti-depressants (the first one was really bad), but that took some trial and error. Unfortunately doctors tend to prescribe and walk away. She focused on her health via exercise and doing Cognitive Therapy.
Unfortunately that all slipped by the side as once again she dreamed of being the next Donald Trump, started working long hours and voila her business crumbled as it took a toll on the family.
She blew up at me, said I controlled her life and was leaving. Now we are starting therapy again. What I have learned is that most of this is triggered from events in their past (her case a family suicide and other issues). Psychiatrists exacerbated the problem because she talked about her issues, but even though she wasn't always logical, they never corrected her thinking.
With anxiety and depression, from what I've read, the spouse is always the scapegoat. No willingness to take responsibility for their own action or inaction. They have a strong desire to be in control, but they don't know what that means as they struggle to cope with a single item such as maintaining a job.
All I can say is that if you don't have kids in the picture, don't go there until you've addressed this because you will find yourself in a position where you are damned if you leave, damned if you stay as they and their problems will always be in your life.