- Wedding: August 2013 - backyard in the woods
My DH suffers from severe depression. The best advice I can give is this : Do not put your feelings on him. It hurts to see someone you love suffer. It’s frustrating. It makes you sad. You want to help make him happy, but you cannot and you feel inadequte. These feelings are your responsibility, not his. Do not put them on him, he has enough on his plate. That being said, everyone with depression deals with it in different ways.
My DH likes to be pretty much left alone when he’s down. I do this, but I make sure to let him know he’s loved. When I sense he’s having a really bad day I ask him, ‘Are you feeling down today?’ He’ll respond, ‘Yes’. I then say ‘Okay’, give him a huge hug, tell him I love him and if he needs anything to let me know, and I let him be. I hang out in the same room with him and I treat him like normal except that I don’t try to engage him. This works for us. Ask your SO what he needs on bad days and do that.
Do not try to discuss changing things on bad days. He will not have the energy to even consider it. On good days you can discuss seeing a therapist or doctor, which I do recommend. I am lucky in the sense that my DH had taken iniative with this before we met. That being said, we have had to make some med changes due to things like sex drive etc. at times in out relationship (coming up on 7 years). Sometimes it takes awhile to get the right medicine or medicines and doses. These times are hard and will be frustrating and stressful for both of you. Stick with it, it’s worth it in the end. Remember that depresssion is a chemical imbalance of the brain. It’s a disease. If you get upset, remember it’s the disease, not the person. Treat it like a physical illness in your mind, because it is one.
Loving somone with depression is in no way easy, but it’s worth it with the right person. DH and I also had problems early on, similar to what oscillatewildly:
described. There were times at the beginning when I seriously contemplated whether it was worth it. I didn’t understand it when he didn’t want to come out with me, to spend time with my friends or family etc. I finally realized that he just couldn’t
when he was down, not that he didn’t want to, and that yes, this was something that I could deal with, it was not a dealbreaker to me. Best decision of my life.
Once I understood and accepted him for who he was things smoothed out and we’ve been happy since. Yes I sometimes still need to make excuses to family and friends about why he’s not always there, but I don’t mind. He joins when he can. What we have works for us and no one else’s opinons on that matter to me.