Marriage Missions International

Depression in Marriage – Marriage Message #40

One of the “silent” killers of marital int-macy is depression. It’s so deadly that we will address it through an article from Dr. Todd Linaman. Dr. Linaman is a licensed psychologist, a certified marriage and family therapist (a friend of ours) and President of Relational Advantage, Inc.  Relationaladvantage.com. After reading what Dr. Linaman has to say, we’ll close with a few comments at the end.

Depression: The Silent Killer of Marital Intimacy
- by Dr. Todd Linaman

Everyone longs for —and needs —intimacy. Intimacy in marriage exists when a husband and wife allow each other to experience everything they have to offer physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually without fear of criticism, judgment or rejection. Without intimacy a marriage cannot thrive and will struggle to even to survive.

Some of the more common threats to marital int-macy include parenting, financial stress, unresolved anger, and unforgiveness. But the “silent killer” that often goes unaddressed is depression. Over 17-million Americans [alone] suffer from depression each year. While both men and women are susceptible, women are twice as likely to suffer from symptoms as men are. One of every four women will experience at least one depressive episode in their lifetime.

Studies reveal that depression can be both the cause and result of marital problems and dissatisfaction. It can also cause people in otherwise happy marriages to perceive themselves and their relationship in negative ways. For example, if a husband comes home late from work, a depressed woman may perceive his lateness as a sign that he no longer cares for her when, in reality, it is a simple matter of his boss detaining him to finish a project.

As a result of her assumptions, she may avoid him when he arrives home. This may cause him to feel isolated or rejected, and he may react by finding excuses not to spend time at home. Unless the silence is broken, the cycle of negative perceptions and rejection will destroy intimacy in the relationship.

It’s normal to experience feelings of disappointment and discouragement for brief periods of time. However, many people experience these symptoms as well as other, for longer periods of time without recognizing it for what it really is — depression.

Symptoms and Causes of Depression:
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, lasting from a few hours to a few years. Mild symptoms include fatigue, irritability, sadness, decreased motivation and pessimism. More serious symptoms include feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, low self-esteem, negative thinking patterns, recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression can be caused by difficult and traumatic life circumstances such as death of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job or unresolved marital problems. It can be the result of prolonged periods of stress, personality traits, heredity factors, biochemical changes and sleep deprivation. Regardless of what may trigger depression, it is ultimately the result of changes that occur in the brain’s chemistry. A deficiency of certain nerotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, is what causes a person to experience the symptoms of depression.

Although women are more likely to experience depression in general, some women are more vulnerable than others. A recent study revealed that women with exposure to childhood adversity such as family violence, parental alcoholism, death of a parent, or parental discord or divorce are more likely to become depressed following stress than women without such adversity.

And women who experience what are referred to as humiliating life events, like infidelity on the part of their husband, threats of marital separation or divorce, or physical violence are six times more likely to experience a major depressive episode.

Other Facts: Today’s women suffer from depression 10 times more often than their grandmothers did. Younger women are at a greater risk for depression than ever before. Nearly one out of three women 18-24 will experience depression. Women with other siblings or parents who have suffered from depression have a 20-25 per cent greater chance of becoming depressed themselves.

Keys to Overcoming Depression and Keeping Your Marriage Strong: As is true of any illness, prevention is the best medicine. Here are some strategies for preventing and/or defeating depression while keeping your marriage strong.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet and adequate rest will help stabilize brain chemistry. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood elevators.
  • Learning to say, “no” to activities and responsibilities that have the potential of creating overload is the first step to creating balance in your life.
  • Seek professional help as early as possible. Begin by talking to your family physician or a Christian counselor about possible treatment options.
  • Confide in your spouse or a close friend. It’s important that someone know exactly how you’re feeling.
  • Educate yourself and your spouse about depression. Having an awareness of the signs and symptoms, understanding its potential impact in your life and knowing what treatment options are available to you can greatly help to minimize negative consequences.
  • Address problems in your marriage or personal life as they arise. Avoiding or ignoring problems will not make them go away or easier to cope with.
  • Take one hour “vacations” at least three times a week. Give yourself permission to spend at least three separate hours per week doing something that you really enjoy.
  • Take your focus off yourself. When you begin to feel discouraged or sad it’s easy to dwell on the circumstances we believe are responsible for our negative feelings. Place your focus on someone [or something] who would benefit from your time and attention.
  • Pray consistently and study God’s word regularly. The ultimate key to guarding your marriage and your emotions is to strengthen your relationship with the Lord.

Maintaining companionship, affection and harmony in your relationship will not only provide you with personal fulfillment and satisfaction, but it will also strengthen, guard and preserve your marriage.

By understanding the potential impact of depression and knowing how to effectively address its symptoms, you will be better protected to combat the “silent killer” of marital intimacy.

We pray this information from Dr. Linaman is helpful. Both Cindy and I (Steve) have suffered from depression so we know first-hand how it can strain a marriage. Fortunately, we sought help and treatment. It made a huge difference in our marriage partnership and intimacy as we stood in support of each other.

It’s important to know that there is no shame in being depressed —Even King David fought depression and he was still called “a man after God’s own heart.” To help you fight this battle, we have many articles posted in the “Mental and Physical Health” section on our web site.

Cindy and I also know that the road may seem long to getting better, it IS possible! If your spouse is the one depressed you need to walk alongside him or her as much as they will allow because it is important for them to know they are not abandoned or alone in their struggle. As their marriage partner, you are God’s colleague in loving them.

And as we love “as Christ first loved us”, there is hope and healing in any struggle we may encounter in our marriages.

That’s the prayer of our hearts for your marriages,
Steve and Cindy Wright

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Comments

25 Responses to “Depression in Marriage – Marriage Message #40”
  1. Woodstock says:

    (UNITED STATES)  I have been through depression in the past – and it wasn’t pretty at all. The drugs and drug therapy for depression has so many ill effects that it’s almost NOT worth trying. The first time I gained almost 75 pounds in less than 6 months…talk about depressing! I am going through another bout with depression – ok now, it’s been 20 years since the last time. Some of the drugs are still as bad or worse than the depression itself. However with my doctor, we’ve tried different combinations at different dosages. Sometimes during the day I can’t hold my head from hitting my keyboard – but for the most part it IS helping me NOT to go home and hide in my room, isolating myself and spending all my free time sleeping. I hate feeling this way – my husband says and acts supportive but there are times when I KNOW he is resentful that he does the cooking and cleaning…I don’t have an appetite or the energy to do anything else. Even on certain days I can’t even get myself into the bathtub. But DON’T QUIT TRYING. My kids and my grandkids ALONE give me reason to keep going to work every day and my husband, well, we’ll see how long he can handle it…

  2. JLMOM says:

    (UNITED STATED)  Woodstock – I have to say that you wrote everything I was thinking and are going through with the exception I have two small children and no grandchildren. I recently went on anti-depression medication and found that so far, like you, it helps make me get out and do things but my husband deep down feels it’s all in my head and a lame excuse, saying he doesn’t act upon his bad upbringing with an abusive father. I told him I wish he could stand in my shoes for ONE day on a bad depressed day and see exactly what I feel. He will never understand. He can go about things as if nothing bothers him. He has a very strong will and I commend him for that. We will be married for 10 years in May ’09 and I really don’t think it will last past that. Depression ruins marriages!!!!

  3. Margaret says:

    (CANADA)  Yes, I agree. My husband has not taken one measure of trying to understand my chronic depression. He has bullied me, demanded that I ‘snap out of it’ and so on.

    When my younger brother died less than two years ago, I discovered the depths of his struggle with his manic depression. During that time it became evident that my mother also suffered from this. Although my psychologist has told me that I am not manic depressive, growing up in an environment with all this around you certainly does contribute to how you view life and yourself. It is a daily struggle. My husband and I have now separated because as he said ‘you cannot be a wife to me’. Of course, this alienation does not help how I feel. Any suggestions? Margaret

  4. Danai says:

    (ZIMBABWE) Recently I had a miscarriage, following that a lot of relatives from my in-laws side, came over to see me. They came more times than the others. I was later advised that they were coming as a concern over our almost four years in marriage, without a child, and that we do "something" about it.

    When I was reading the message on depression I was most inspired with the advice on addressing the problems as they arise. My husband and I had been waiting upon God and had not taken the routes proposed by various peers or relatives. But as of late, it has been him now giving me pressure. Trying to talk to him and confide in him has proven less fruitful. He was actually asking me whether it was urgent or not as he watched a soccer match. I was restless about it. More-so, thinking of how much it will cost to seek medical help versus praying and waiting on God, I was left in a restless state.

    I pray that because there is a name which is above all names, there is a power which is above all kingdoms to help me get over this depression and will make known to those that do not know him, that he is the author and finisher of our lives.

    I will start to work on addressing the pending issues with myself first. My husband and I agree on what is needed to be done. Thanks for the message.

  5. Olympia says:

    (South Africa) I am very touched by this Marriage Message #40, because a lot of woman are suffering from depression and are very afraid to come forward because other people will laugh or gossip about them.

    • Akhtar says:

      (THAILAND) I’ve got a problem with my wife. I have been staying in Thailand for 3 years with my wife controlling me too much. She is also using her country’s power to abuse, betray, and say abusive and disrespectful words often to me. She wants what she says I have to do, otherwise she will make problems for me, sometimes calling the police after a fight, sometimes making me go to the police station.

      Actually I don’t have a degree. That’s why she did this to me. Whatever I earn she takes all the money and I don’t have any money. This is my sad and depressive life. I have only one kid. I love him very much. I can’t leave him. I don’t know what’s going on and if I should ask for help from my embassy. I’m Pakistani and my wife is Thai.

  6. Candace says:

    (USA)  I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 years and we often talked of marriage. Suddenly, a few weeks ago, he had a few setbacks. But, he seemed to be so much more distraught then I have ever seen him. He just shut down. He can’t sleep. He can’t concentrate at work. He doesn’t really eat. He goes off to be alone and think. He just stopped talking to me all together. I never pushed, I just let him try to know that I was here… but, eventually, he said that he had so much going on that he thought he should be alone.

    I am at a loss. Now that I have had some distance from the situation, the Lord has revealed to me that this is something that has been going on with him for a long time. It is only now that I realize in retrospect that he would often disappear to deal with his issues and sink into “moods.” I never put it together before… and it has never been as bad or for as long as it has been now.

    I pray for him often… that the Lord will heal him from this depression (because, I am almost certain that that is what it is). I am also waiting on the Lord… so that He can tell me what I should do. But, I am afraid… I feel like I have lost my best friend… and although every day gets easier and I can feel the Lord with me, I miss him so much. I just want him back. I’m waiting… but, it is so hard.

  7. NB says:

    (RSA) If I have to think back on my life now, I realise that for a many years I have been experiencing signs of depression Even my husband has said this to me on his own. After having an emotional affair with someone, breaking it off and now trying to restore my marriage, the depression is even more that what is was before.

    During 1 counseling session my husband and I went to, after my affair came to light, we mentioned to the pastor that we think I might be suffering of depression. Now I don’t want to go too deep into this, but this pastor prayed for me and this depression in form as a demon. He did say that he felt after praying and rebuking this demon that it is not severe. He did break this bondage in the name of Jesus.

    But having reading up on depression, it comes across that depression might be a chronic thing and with the help of anti-depressants can perhaps be overcome or should I say just make things easier for me and my husband. Although I believe with God all things are possible, even for Him to remove my depression without any help or medication, I still wonder if there is not more to it. But my husband is worried that the medication will only help with the symptoms and not get to the root of the problem –> what is causing or what has caused my depression, which is probably true.

    But if medication would help me to not be constantly depressed, which will also save my marriage at this stage, then I am really considering this option.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      (USA) Dear NB, From reading your comment, it seems that you are on to something wise. I definitely believe that there can be demon possession involved with some forms of depression. But in other cases, it is a bio-chemical condition and at other times it’s a circumstantial reaction to things happening that causes us to lose touch with being in control of our emotions. THAT’S when medication may be needed for a time, and in some cases, even a life-time, depending upon the reason it is occurring.

      Just like with Diabetes medication and anti-seizure medication, and antibiotics and such, your body may need help to work in the way it’s supposed to. I believe these medications and therapies are being discovered because God is working through the medical field to give wisdom to scientists to help us. Sometimes God heals directly and sometimes He works through someone else (like a minister or a doctor, etc) to help us get to a better state of health, physically and emotionally.

      Depression can cause us to do all kinds of things we wouldn’t consider otherwise and can greatly affect us and those around us if it’s not properly dealt with. Pray, seek, and knock on the right doors to reach for good health. If it takes anti-depressants to get there, then so be it.

      I think you are wise in exploring those possibilities. I pray the Lord guides you and helps you in this mission to overcome your depression.

  8. PJ says:

    (USA)  I spent several years being depressed as the result of pelvic pain issues and having to take pain killers almost constantly — first for the pelvic pain for one week per month, and then for the migraines that started coming 2-3 times per week, triggered by rebound tension headaches from the pain killers! It was a never ending cycle of pain, and my body stopped releasing its own endorphins to deal with any physical stress, so even mild exercise would put me out of commission for several days. I was robbed of motivation for just about everything, including things I liked to do. The only thing that helped was the gospel, frankly. That my salvation and acceptance by God was not based on my performance, but on Christ’s perfect sacrifice, and that would never change.

    My husband was very understanding for most of the time. But now that surgery has corrected the pain and my doctors have realized it wasn’t all just ‘in my head’ and I am coming out of the depression, getting back on top of housework in a house that is unfinished inside … is a major frustration. On top of all that, I now feel like my husband is punishing me for having ‘neglected’ so much of what I was supposed to be doing during that time. It is very unlike him, but if I am having a disagreement with my daughter or she has a meltdown over something, and I try to correct her, he will look at me and say “well you do the same thing!”

    I find we cannot talk about ANYTHING except very shallow issues, without bickering, and I find it’s far easier just to stay out of his way. But is this typical for a spouse to do very well in caring for the other during the time of stress and then punish them afterward? I cannot figure out what is going on in his head. If I try to talk to him, he on the one hand, verbally he blames himself for not being the spiritual leader he should be, and on the other hand his attitude seems to say it’s my fault. To compound the matter, we have talked so many times about things that need doing, even ordinary everyday things, he has said he will do, and then doesn’t do. He’s apologized for so many things that never change, that I have lost confidence that his word actually means what it says. In that case, what is the point of communication if you can’t trust that your mate actually means (or at least that they care enough to follow through with) what they say? It’s not a deliberate attempt to deceive, it’s just that there’s NOT a deliberate attempt to make one’s actions match up with the words. He seems to have every intention to do what he should, but then something else always comes up, or he forgets, or…?

  9. Jehnavi says:

    (USA) When one spouse is depressed, the depression colors everything in the relationship. The depressed spouse sees the world through a darkened lens that limits his or her perspective. Any negative events are interpreted even more negatively, neutral events are also interpreted negatively, and the positive happenings are often overlooked.

  10. A says:

    (RSA)  I am so depressed I cannot face another day like this. My husband had an emotional affair and lied every bit of the way. I feel something is wrong yet he says it’s all out. I know it’s over but I cannot get peace. Something is missing and it’s driving me round the bend. I sense demonic assaults on my mind.

    Is God talking and I am not hearing Him? Is it me? Is there a reason I feel apprehensive to move forward with my husband? I want to hear God but there is too much noise in my head. I am exhausted. A year and a half of agony. Tired. Anti-depressants don’t silence the torment. I so badly want to be healed. Do I ask him to leave so I can have peace? I am so scared to step out of God’s will. Going to get a counselor next week.

    • Judy says:

      (JAMAICA) Get a journal and write like crazy… it doesn’t fix anything but it helps to get it out. Never ever forget that Jesus loves you. You won’t trust your husband for a long time, maybe never, but trust the Lord. He’s ultimately the one in charge.

      It has been 11 years since I found about the last emotional adultery my husband committed, and after much questioning and haranguing, a deliverance ministry for him I found out that he has been unfaithful for 28 of the 30 years that I have known him… how’s that!! I’m still here because he wasn’t bold enough to actually sleep with these women although I wish he did because I would be long gone… but I do remember once, in the depth of my despair and tears for my food, that the Lord whispered to me… You should count yourself blessed to share rejection, like I have for you” so love yourself and know that he is always there for you. Warm blessings.

  11. Monica says:

    (USA)  I try and talk to my husband about my depression, and he denies that I am depressed. He does not want to talk about it. He thinks that he is more depressed and more ill than I. I have no one else to talk to about this. I am not very religous and don’t have a pastor or preacher to talk to. I am told that I am okay and will get over it. I don’t know what to do or how to handle this. I have three little kids that need me to be happy and help them through life, and it is hard to do that for them when I am feeling like this.

    • Shea says:

      (CANADA)  Monica, I am a prayer counsellor from Canada. Can I ask you how I can pray for you? You have said that you are not a religious person, but you have posted on a site that leads to the love of Jesus Christ. Can I introduce you more to Him and to what He has provided for you?

      Jesus has said that if you search for truth with all your heart…you will find Him… It sounds as though the burden of trying to carry the weight of living all by yourself has just become too much to bear for you. And while you would like your husband to be able to respond, he just doesn’t have the inner resources either…

      In Jesus I have found a friend that never fails me… the One who created me, loves me with an everlasting love… He brings peace and light and life to my world… I grew up in a difficult family situation- an eldest child, with emotional and physical abuse… I know what it is to come to the Cross and lay all of my burdens down, and find life!

      To believe that Jesus is exactly who He says He is, to believe that He will be to me all that He has promised, and to put my life into His care has been the best decision that I have ever made… and after almost 30 years of walking with Him, He is my closest and dearest friend.

      I would love for you to know this very tangible and present help in the great Comforter. Standing with you, sh

  12. Seema says:

    (INDIA)  I was bought up by my parents with lot of love and affection. They did so much for me. I successfully completed my degree and began to work. My dad used to feel that I may not be able to handle married life because of my over sensitive nature. He used to often tell me it is better to be single and sad; this sorrow is much much smaller compared to the sorrow when you get into a relationship and then break up. Maybe my dad loved me too much.

    I had a younger sister who was engaged by then. My parents somehow felt that I was too timid and sensitive and I’d better stay with them. My mother at times, still felt that I should get married and experience motherhood. Yes, I did marry, I love my husband and he too loves me. My inlaws are also co-operative. The entire problem is now that I am carrying, I do not know, if it is because of the psychological changes in me or so, I am feeling depressed. I had earlier seen a relative from my husband’s side who committed suicide under a moving train. I do not want to commit suicide; i want to live. But every moment, my father’s face is coming before me. I cannot forget the times I had with my parents and sister. My father, mother, how much they loved me. I can’t help but I keep crying when I think of them.

    I am praying to Jesus everyday; God give me a healthy child, make me overcome this sorrow, or else, I will suffer and my child willl suffer. Maybe this is also because of the long distance between my in laws and parents house. I stay very far and almost takes one whole day to travel by bus. My maternal grandmother whom I was very attached to in my childhood used to often say, you should always be with your parents and even if you get married, you have to see a guy in the city itself. I think of her too and keep crying.

    God, why did my parents love me and take care of me so much? Why God? Why? Why did my sister cry so much on the day I got married and left home, while I did not cry. Why am I shedding tears for her now? I should not have married in the first place. If I am so attached to parents and married, then I am also affecting my husband and in laws. They may feel hurt when I cry. They have asked, but I cannot explain. Only God can save me. Please pray for me.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      (USA) Dear Seema, I’m so sorry for all you are experiencing with these negative and dark emotions and questions you are battling. My heart goes out to you. I understand what it is like to battle depression your whole life. I’ve been there, although, I have to say that in recent years, I’m experiencing more victory than feelings of despair. But I know what it is like to feel so defeated and so overwhelmed with life –even at times when it makes little sense.

      You question why your parents loved you and took such care of you that you long NOT to be married, but back in their home. Seema, I dare say that if your parents were the opposite to you –if they mistreated you and caused an emotional upset in your life, you would be questioning that too. It’s not the question of whether your parents treated you right or wrong or whatever. No matter what they did or didn’t do, it would still be unsettling.

      What I believe, as I’ve been praying for you –what I perceive is, that you are a very sensitive human being who appears to carry more than your share of the weight of the world upon yourself emotionally. You are an emotional, physical, and spiritual human being. It appears that you are just more sensitive emotionally. It’s probably how you were created. If everything was going wrong or if everything appeared to be going right, you would still battle with your emotions. That seems to be how some people are wired inside.

      It’s not that you can’t be victorious and be an overcomer, but you will have to put more intentionality into finding the bright side of life. Sorrow will have more of a tendency to cling to you than it does within someone else. Even so, there are things you can do that can help in this battle. Please keep in mind that everyone is a victim in life, in some way or another. It’s whether we grab onto it and live as if we ARE a victim that will shape your life. It’s going to help you if you work not to perceive yourself as a victim in life.

      Also, it’s important to recognize that it’s the natural progression of life to eventually leave your mother and father, as far as being so emotionally tied to them. Love them, yes, but to be so emotionally tied to them that you don’t feel you can stay away from living in the haven they have tried to construct around you, is not healthy. Maybe, if it is possible, it would be helpful to try to move closer to your parents and in laws, if your husband’s job situation would allow this so they are more of a PART of your support system (yet not entirely). But if not, then realize that God will minister to you where you are –whether closer physically to your parents or not. If it’s within His will, God will make a way where there seems to be no way. But you are NOT to MAKE your husband move or manipulate this by leaving your marriage and moving in with your parents. You are married now. Your husband is to be your first priority, as you are to be his.

      God knows whether moving closer to your parents and in laws would be good for you or not. He may know that if you moved closer to them you would stay as a child, taking from them more emotionally than you should. Ultimately, the goal in life is to take your hand out of your parents hand and into God’s. Your husband’s hand is part of God’s hand, after you marry.

      I hate to say this, but eventually your parents will age to the point where they will leave you through death. And your sister will go on in another direction in her life. That is the natural progression in life. To tie yourself so emotionally to them that real living for you ends when your parents are no longer around, is unhealthy. You need to stand with your husband and especially stand with God. I’ve seen it where when elderly parents eventually die, the adult child’s whole world comes crashing down and they don’t know what to do with themselves. They are emotionally crippled. Please don’t go that route. IF you can accept some support from parents and in laws, but mostly you build a life with God and your husband, you will be so much better off.

      Paul Tripp (in his book “What Did You Expect”) wrote, something that might help you. He wrote, “There are moments in our marriages when we’re crying out for grace, not recognizing that we’re getting it. We’re not getting the grace of relief or release, because that isn’t the grace we really need. No, what we’re getting is something we desperately need, the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change. With the love of a Father, your Lord is prying open your hands so you’ll let go of that which rules your heart but will never satisfy you. With the insight of a seasoned teacher, He is driving you to question your own wisdom so that you will let go of your understanding and rest in His. With the skill of the world’s best counselor, God is showing you the delusions of your control so that you will take comfort in His rule.”

      Seema, God can grow you right where you are –within your marriage. It may be helpful to recognize that you are a highly sensitive person, and that’s ok. Yet you don’t have to live in the pits of despair. I’ve learned that in my life. I look for healthy ways not to wallow in sorrow. I look for healthy ways I can invest my energies. If I need medical help for whatever time, I’ll get it. I work hard NOT to live as a victim. Please read Philippians 3:12-16. Paul talks there about not parking upon our past roads but to press on for all Christ calls us to in the future.

      There is an article I came across in my readings that seemed to speak your name, as I read it. It’s kind of a surface article, but somehow the emphasis is a good one to reach for. You can find it at, http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/relationships/is-depression-weighing-your-marriage-down.html.

      Also, on the right side of the article, you will find a place where it says, “Related Articles.” I encourage you to read those as well. The one audio article titled, “What Should Christians Consider Before Seeking Treatment for Depression” is especially good. In it, Pastor Michael Lawrence discusses the fact that we’re created as physical, emotional, and spiritual human beings. We need to make sure that we address depression issues from all three parts of who we are. Sometimes medicines are needed for bio-chemical, physical reasons, but we’re also supposed to address other parts of who we are, as well. Another article which interviews Mary Beth Chapman, and her issues of battling Clinical Depression, may be helpful to you. Plus, we have articles posted in the “Mental and Physical Health Issues” topic of our web site that could help you.

      I hope this helps. Please know that you are being prayed for. And please don’t look at what you are going through as a plague that can’t be fought. God can help you to get to better sides of this, as you put your hand into His and put intentionality into pursuing help in healthy ways and learning what you can during these dark times. It’s important to work WITH God, rather than strain to look behind and go in an opposite direction of that which is truly healthy.

      • Seema says:

        (INDIA)  Dear Cindy, Thank you immensely for that inspiring message of yours. It really helped me. I have copied and pasted the entire contents of your reply and stored it in my personal diary. It was really helpful. The references to the scripture that you quoted and all the inspiring thoughts that you shared with me were helpful. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

        I did not want to meet a psychologist or psychiatric as I did not want to complicate matters or resort to medicines. I really feel relieved; can say sort of freed of this mental ailment. I feel light and more comforted. You are an inspiring person.

        Yes, it’s true I feel emotional and attached to people in my life; sometimes I feel completely lost. I then re-read your message and then the Bible and its gives me immense relief. I had stopped going to church too as sometimes I would just burst into tears during the adoration or hymns. This would make me and also my in laws more embarrassed. Now I know God has his own plan. This marriage was his plan and so forth. I have left everything to God. He alone is the one who can judge and decide.

        Thank you also for your prayers and I too will remember you and all your close ones in my prayers. Bye Cindy. Regards, Seema

  13. PAM says:

    (USA)  I usually felt as if I were “hanging-by-a-thread” on what I thought to be, my BEST days. I knew that I would never survive when something big happened. I lived in constant fear and dread of that day. That day came on 4th of July last year. My precious mother left this place after the most agonizing death. I am a critical care nurse and the only daughter with three older brothers. Every decision was placed on me. I didn’t get to be the grieving daughter at her bedside. I had to be the doctor, nurse, patient advocate, decision-maker… but, not her daughter.

    I laid next to her, holding her sweet, soft hands for days, never leaving her. When she took her last breath and I could feel her go, I have never felt such perfect peace and love as I did in that moment. While she was meeting her Savior; at the same time, I have never felt so much pain as I did realizing I was left behind here. Alone. I felt panic.

    No one has ever understood me or knew me as well as my mother. I could never hid my depression from her. Even with a big phoney smile on my face and acting happy, no one else would know, but later, she would ask how long I had been down. She always just knew. She understood it. Now I am suffering in silence.

    My husband doesn’t even try to understand it. I was crying in my room the other night. He found me. It was her birthday. He asked if I was STILL sad about my mom. I said yes. He said, “It’s not just your Mom, seems as though you are always grieving about something!” I said EXACTLY, IT’S CALLED CLINICAL DEPRESSION, YOU MARRIED IT TWELVE YEARS AGO. I feel angry and resentful. If he had an illness that I did not understand, I would do all I could to educate myself so that I could help take better care of him, to help lessen his pain if I could in any way. Shame on him for not.

    My mom played the piano and sang, “One Day at a Time” almost daily after the death of my brother Steve, who died at 25 in a boating accident. I believe that song was part of her survival, along with her strong faith in Jesus Christ. I’m a believer too. I know He will lift me out of this darkness, along with any who call upon his name. God Bless all of you and may He heal your pain as well.

  14. Shreya says:

    (INDIA) I am so depressed. I have been married for the past 7 months and now from last 3 months, and his behavior is changed. Now he is not showing me any love and care, not even interested to talk to me, as he was doing before. We have a love come from an arranged marriage. Now I am really depressed in what to do. I don’t understand. Plz suggest. I love him so much.

  15. GERRY says:

    (US) I have depression and it has caused me to drink alcohol, which is making my depression worse. I need a lot of prayers to overcome these demons. I feel useless and my wife says I drive her away by asking too many questions. I’m confused and scared. Help.

  16. Ahmad says:

    (PAKISTAN) There are times in your life where you will be astonished and amazed that you’re even supposed to live this life. Maybe that will be because of your marriage, job, or family matters. But what we must do is tackle our own problems with our own strategies, because everybody’s problems are different. Take everything as it comes and seek your own joy in that, if it’s not there you adapt yourself and make it happen the way that you want.

    And remember for every problem there’s a solution. And always yeah always stay in contact with your God.

  17. Saba says:

    (PAKISTAN) Can a marriage last if one spouse is suffering from depression?

  18. Karen from United States says:

    I have been married for 25 years. My husband’s mood swings began early on in our marriage but I always attributed them to the stress in our lives, jobs, birth of children, money, family, etc., the normal stuff. Then his moods became angrier and directed toward me with name calling, with statements of resentment and long days or weeks of silence.

    Many many times over the years he has expressed wishing he could just disappear and stated that he feels totally alone in the world. To me this was crazy. We had a great relationship with both families and many children of our own and a lot of love in the family, although he often wouldn’t accept that love from us or participate in fun family activities. He would tell me he doesn’t know how to have fun or be happy. Over the years I began to feel responsible for his unhappiness as his bouts of depression always seemed to focus on my inadequacies as a wife, mother, homemaker, or my lower income as I was taking care of the kids and only worked part time. I’ve spent many years trying to be upbeat but that never seemed to change anything.

    We found out years ago that his biological mother has suffered her whole life from depression but it still never occurred to me that is his problem. I’ve been reading a lot on this subject and have come to the conclusion that he suffers from depression. I’ve mentioned it to him twice, once with patience and kindness and another time not so nicely. He refuses to entertain the idea this might be his problem. He is an educated man who works in the mental health profession. He minimizes his behavior as just a reaction to occasional stress. At least twice a month I wake up to find that he is not speaking to me, even tho when we fell asleep the night before everything was pleasant between us.

    We have discussed divorce although it’s not what we want for our family, for our kids. He tries to change his behavior, which usually ends up with him being extremely loving and attentive to us all for 2 or 3 days and then a sudden decline in his mood again.

    I am having a terrible time coping with the tirades that come with his mood swings as are the kids. Although at least they can retreat to their bedrooms where as I have to share a bedroom with him and continue to be subjected to it. I am at a loss as to how to get him to agree to an evaluation or treatment. Any suggestions how to get a psychologist to get mental health treatment?

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