I often hear from wives who feel very strongly that their husband’s depression is the reason for at least some of the serious problems in their marriage. Often these wives tell me that their husbands have projected their depression onto the marriage and have told or implied to the wives that they no longer love them and are considering breaking up, separating, or divorcing. This is extremely frustrating for wives who find it very obvious that her depression is clouding many of his perceptions of all areas of her life, including her marriage and how he feels about them.
Unfortunately, often when wives try to talk to their husbands about this, the husband is not entirely receptive to what she has to say. They often respond with things like, “It’s you and the marriage that gets me down. My state of mind isn’t the reason our marriage is in trouble, but the state of our marriage certainly gets me more down.”
This can be a very unfortunate situation. Wives often know they are right about this, but the more they insist, the more the husband withdraws and walks away. Unfortunately, being right doesn’t do much good if he’s not going to see things your way. And, pushing your own perceptions about him when you don’t agree will likely only make the situation worse. Eventually he may come to see you as something very undesirable that he wants to run away from as a matter of self-preservation. So, in the following article, I will discuss what I have found to be the most effective way to deal with a depressed husband whose mental state is contributing to him telling you that he doesn’t love you anymore.
Depressed people may think they don’t love anyone or anything (and this includes themselves 🙂 Many wives intuitively know this, but I feel the need to mention it because validation can be very reassuring. Depression can greatly cloud your entire view of the world and can contribute to seeing reality in a very distorted and one-sided way.
Everything seems bleak. Each one seems to be detrimental so that you are left alone to your misery. And there are times when you feel nothing, much less love. These things do not mean that your husband no longer loves you. It simply means that his depression prevents him from feeling much of anything and this clouds his view of the world and perceptions of him.
Depressed people may resist seeing reality if it causes them to change too abruptly. Always answer with this in mind: You and I both know that your husband’s state of mind could very well be clouding his judgments and perceptions. And it’s so tempting to remind him of this repeatedly. What you need to understand, however, is that he is unlikely to agree with what you say. People who are depressed build walls around themselves that can be hard to break down, especially if you are asking them to let go or take a deep look at their beliefs.
It may be more effective to move forward as if your beliefs are your reality. This can be frustrating, but it prevents you from wasting time and further alienating him by arguing with him even when he’s not going to change his mind. As difficult as it may be, it is usually more effective to accept that this is what you believe in right now and go from there.
Approaching your state of mind from a place of love rather than judgment: People suffering from depression can be very defensive. There’s a sense of shame about this, so you’ll usually get better results if you approach him as someone who hurts because he hurts (rather than someone who hurts because he doesn’t love you). Tell him it’s obvious he’s having trouble. and that you want to be his safe place to fall instead of someone who is making things worse.
Don’t stop at his claims that he doesn’t love you. This may well change as his state of mind improves. Instead, focus on trying to help him get to a better place. Sometimes this can mean professional help. Other times, time, support, and loving patience can bring some improvements. Often when her husband sees that she is not going to argue with him, but wants to help him, the atmosphere around this issue will begin to change and allow him to start gaining some ground.
Deciding when to address martial issues when you know depression is the predominant issue: People often ask me if they should address marital and emotional issues at the same time they address depression. This really depends on how dire both situations are and a counselor is much better equipped to respond to this than I am. But I can tell you that often one thing will affect the other. Often, if you can improve one of these problems, the other will fit much more easily. But it should not be said that one thing depends on the other. Always try to approach this from a place of love and support.
Unfortunately, you cannot force your husband to seek or receive help. But, you can control yourself and your own actions. You can make it clear to your husband that you will support him and be his safe place to fall during this process. And you can get what you need to help yourself and support yourself. If you resist counseling, there’s nothing saying you can’t go it alone or educate yourself too.
Often, if you can make a few small changes and show him that you’re working hard, he may start to accept and be a little more receptive, especially when he sees that you’re not forcing him into painful changes or concessions. itself.
Having a depressed husband who says he doesn’t love you can be devastating. But, you have to realize that what you are hearing is often her state of mind speaking rather than her true feelings. If you can reach out to him from a loving place and graciously get some help that helps both of you, then you can often see some improvement in both the depression and the way he says he feels about you.
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