How Depression Hurts Your Marriage
I’ve dealt with several seasons of depression during my marriage. When I realized my marriage was suffering due to my depression, I reached out for help.
I knew I was depressed when these symptoms showed up.
Look for signs like these that may indicate that you are depressed:
Having sad thoughts that persist for two weeks or longer.
Experiencing a heavy feeling in your body you can’t push away.
Feeling like a dark cloud is hanging over you.
Crying much more often than usual.
Withdrawing from activities you enjoy.
Experiencing sudden anxiety about being with your friends or family.
Sleeping, reading, watching TV, or using social media to escape sad thoughts.
Overeating or undereating.
Lacking the ability to concentrate.
Feeling unable to perform routine daily tasks without crying.
Feeling irritable or touchy all the time, not just during PMS.
Using a substance to numb your pain*.
Engaging in self-harm*.
Entertaining bizarre, harmful or suicidal thoughts*.
*These signs are red flags that indicate you need to seek counseling or medical care right away.
Depression can take a heavy toll on your marriage, but change is possible. Hope and help is always available. Don’t let guilt or shame keep you from reaching out.
I was a newlywed the first time I reached out for help for my depression. I had endured several seasons of depression before being married, and I was even suicidally depressed as a teen. When I felt depression weighing me down only two weeks after our wedding, I knew I needed to get help because depression in marriage affects both husband and wife.
How Depression Hurts Your Marriage
Depression affects every part of your life, so of course it will affect your marriage. These are the ways depression may hurt your marriage.
Most depressed people draw into themselves and resist communicating with others. You may feel frustrated or irritated most of the time, which will spill over into the tone you use with your husband when you do talk with him. He will sense that something is wrong but may not know what to do about it. When you sense that your communication problems may be affected by depression, it’s time to get help.
As your communication suffers, your husband may withdraw from you if he feels like there’s nothing he can do to help. Your connection will suffer because you are both withdrawing from one another. You may experience only fighting or silence, nothing in between. Depression is isolating and can sever the connection you have with your husband. This is another sign that depression is hurting your marriage.
Depression is proven to adversely affect your sex drive. You may not enjoy expressing yourself sexually to your husband, because you don’t have the energy or desire to engage with any part of daily life. Your husband may take this personally and begin nursing resentment toward you, even though you can’t help it. Since sexual intimacy is one of the primary areas of connection in your marriage, depression can take a heavy toll.
If you notice problems in any of these areas, plus symptoms of depression I described above, you must get help for your own sake plus the sake of your husband.
Wife Step: Stop and ask the Lord to give you the strength you need to get help. If you’re experiencing the signs or symptoms above, call your doctor today, as well as a counselor.
Sarah Geringer writes about Finding Peace in God’s Word at sarahgeringer.com and is the author of three books. Sarah lives in her beloved home state of Missouri with her husband and three children, right in the heart of prime viewing for the Great Eclipses of 2017 and 2024.