What It's Like to Be the 'Depressed One' in a Marriage
I recently got married three months ago, but I have been with my husband for five years and counting now. Yes, I am the “depressed one.”
Depression is my worst enemy, yet it seems to hang around as if it’s my best friend. I feel things that aren’t true, especially with my husband. Depression tells me I am not good enough for him and I will never be good enough for him. I feel like I am such a burden to him and his life. I feel like his friends do not like him as much anymore because of me. Depression informs me his friends talk about me behind my back, judge me, and they do it to his face and he agrees. Depression tells me he does not care about me or what I go through, that he ignores it so he does not have to deal with it. Depression tells me that no one cares, not just him. No one in my life cares. Most of all, depression tells me everyone would be better off without me.
It’s hard to be the one with depression in a marriage when you worry everything you feel or do could tear the marriage apart. Not many people understand it, nor do they want to take the time to try to understand it. I know I am loved. I know this. But I cannot seem to push the positives to the front of my brain when depression has the strength to keep it back and continue to fill my head with the negative.
Being “the depressed” one in a marriage means I need more attention. It means I need more love. Not just in words. When depression comes to stay within me, words mean nothing. Actions help me more than anything.
If you are not the “depressed one,” it helps to research what this is doing to your significant other. There are so many ways you can help. Write the person a list of things you love about them. Go into detail about why you love them, what makes them beautiful to you, why you chose them, why you are still with them. Give them a list of reasons to continue to fight and survive. Show them you love them. This all may be common sense to you and you may think or even tell your significant other, “I shouldn’t have to tell you these things, you should know them.” Please don’t say that. We do know, but when depression eats at us from the inside out, we cannot always bring those thoughts to the surface; we need you to help us get there. Send them a text throughout the day if you are away, checking up on them, asking them how they are doing, telling them something special. It only takes a few seconds out of your day. We may need you to bring us back to the reality of being loved and cared about, of feeling worthy of living.
Depression is not something easily understood. People still think it’s “fake,” “a phase,” or “curable with sunshine.” People with depression may require more love and attention, especially in a relationship. It does not mean you have to treat your spouse like a child; it just means you may have to put in a different kind of effort as a spouse. You have no idea how much effort someone with depression probably puts in a relationship just to get that feeling of being loved, wanted, and needed. It doesn’t matter if you have to branch out and do things you have never done before, it would mean the world to your loved one to offer support.
If your significant other has came to you explaining what they are going through (to the best of their abilities), giving you ideas on how to help them cope with this horror, and letting you in, please do not disregard it. Your significant other needs to know you are listening and taking in what they are saying. It takes so much to let someone into our head. Please acknowledge what is being said to you. Please respond to things so we know you are paying attention and not just humoring us. It takes so much courage and strength to let you into our world, please do not take that from us.
Coming from a person who is the “depressed one,” this is a life can be scary. It throws me down a dark tunnel with no way out. Please be our rope to the surface, please help guide us back, please help us see the light in our world, please put effort in your love. Please keep your word and your promises. Most importantly, please be the spouse we need you to be.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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