Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Husband w/ depression, insensitive parents, fighting..

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar Katrina 3 months ago.

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    I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such a hard time right now. I can relate. I know how hard it is to love someone who is mentally ill. There is the part of them that you know and love, and there is this other reality of their illness that overlays your life like a stain. I have experienced deep depressions myself, and I know how hard it is to be the ill partner, too. It’s a tough situation.

    I could tell you what I’ve done for ill partners I’ve had, but I think it may be better to tell you what a partner did for me when I was going through a long, difficult time. We were together 4 years, and for 3 of those years I was in a spiral of depression, anxiety, non-functionality and unemployment. After a few years of being supportive emotionally, mentally, financially, and in every other way, it became obvious that our relationship was not healthy for my partner. He finally told me that although he loved me very much, he loved himself, too. He had given everything that he could to me and to our relationship, and now he had to give to himself. He said he was going to give me 6 months to get myself together (during which time we stayed together and continued living together), but that he had to withdraw his time, energy and attention from me and our relationship and my needs. This was my opportunity to focus more deeply on healing, building a network of support outside our relationship, diving more deeply into counseling, taking medication (which I had resisted up to that point), getting and keeping a job and basically setting my own life in order for myself. At the end of that six months, we would mutually evaluate our relationship and see if we wanted to resume/continue.

    I had everything done in less than 4 months. We stayed together for another 6 months after that… and then, as I got healthier, we grew apart. We ended up dissolving our relationship and moving on with our lives. We are still friends today.

    My point is that, married or not, and regardless of the circumstances of your partner, your relationship, even your own life, your job is a lot simpler than it seems: Do what is right and loving for yourself, be true to yourself, and the rest will fall into place for the highest good of everyone involved. Truly. (And if, like me, you can get lost/absorbed in your relationships to the point of losing all perspective, then sometimes the first step is taking some time apart and alone, even a few days, to just be and think it over.) I hear a lot of talk about him, his needs, his feelings, his concerns… what about you? There are TWO people in any healthy relationship. Even if he were magically healed of depression and issues right this moment, your relationship still would not be healthy if you are completely absorbed by his needs to the point of not even being aware of — much less meeting — your own.

    Please take good care of yourself. Take a little retreat and give this all some time to air out. Take some time to breathe. The feeling of “I don’t know the answer” is really an illusion. The answer is there. You just have to get quiet (and make others quiet– even well meaning others, like your parents) enough to hear the answer… and be willing to let your truth really surface within you, no matter what it is.

    Best to you. Be good to yourself.

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