When one partner has depression, it can have a big impact on the marriage. People with depression tend to isolate themselves, have less energy, and can be more irritable and all of these can put a strain on the relationship. The other partner is sometimes left feeling confused, lonely, and overwhelmed.
When one partner is depressed, it can the other partner to have to “pick up the slack.” Depression can cause people to be less involved with household chores, parenting, and socializing. This can lead to the other parent having to take over paying bills, caring for the children, and keeping the daily household operations running smoothly. This can cause feelings of resentment and frustration, which can wreak havoc on the relationship.
It is important to talk to your partner if you suspect they have depression. They may also be concerned or they may be surprised to hear your observations about just how bad things have become. Inquire about what you can do to be supportive. Encourage them to seek professional help. Depression is usually best treated with a combination of therapy and medication.
Offer to be involved in their treatment. The counselor may want to gain your insight into the changes you have seen in your partner. Dependong on your partner’s severity of depression, ther therapist may give you exercises to help your partner in reducing depression.
If your partner refuses to seek treatment, it may make sense for you to seek therapy for yourself. Learning about depression can help you understand what your partner is experiencing. It may also help you to learn what you can do to help your partner and also what you may be doing that is reinforcing the depression.
Many people struggle with depression at some point in the their lives. It takes hard work for a marriage to deal with depression but it can be done. When couples work together they can be successful in reducing the depression and on improving their marriage.