Unreasonably behaviour from a depressed spouse? ?

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Apologies in advance for a long story. My relationship has been really good for many years and although we had problems, like in any relationships, these never severely impacted us and we were able to resolve them. My now husband of a few months has developed depressions, quite severe, although he is able to go to work etc but I think it's slowly burning him out. We have relationship difficulties as well (prior to depression) which didn't help. Additionally, I have low self esteem and I am quite insecure on top of some anxiety.

As a 'coping mechanism' my husband keeps going away (over a week at a time) over the last 2 months to visit some friends. However there is limited communication while he is away and this is meant to be 'helping him sort his toughts'. He was always an amazing partner prior to all of this and it currently seems like he wants a life he cannot have (almost a single life).

My problems are:

- a severe change in his personality but to a point when I message something really important and he doesn't even acknowledge it.

- inability to do anything with me and being very withdrawn but going away and going to all sorts of various events, bars, day trips etc with his mates

- when we are together he is constantly on his phone, mostly chatting to other people.

- he recognises he is depressed but won't seek help, he thinks he can get better by himself

So my dilemmas are:

- is this behaviour unreasonable for someone with depression and is he just using it as an excuse to go away and have fun with his mates... like I said he is very different with me than he is when he goes away (from his stories).

- whenever I question him about it or get annoyed about this behaviour he just keeps saying I don't understand he is depressed and I am not supporting him but make all of his problems about me.

- I feel like I have no support in him whatsoever and I am left to do all the chores, bills, diy and even sometimes dealing with his family all by myself.

Please could someone with depression or who has been in a similar situation before shine some light on this as I am constantly battling the love for my husband and wanting to support him with my own insecurities and questioning if he's just playing me as he can do things and communicate with other people but me?! I know the symptoms of depression but it's the big difference in behaviour between him being with me and him being alone that keeps me questioning. And then he says he will try harder and that he loves me and wants to be together but then he doesn't change his behaviour. I just don't know what to think anynore!!!

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm not trying to sound mean but he most definitely is not depressed. A depressed person doesn't go out and have fun. He's just using it as a excuse you need to give him a ultimatum either he is there for you too or you will find someone else to be there for you. Act confident when saying this  to him. Don't be needy of him. It seems as though he doesn't care.😑He's manipulating you. You say you pay the bills?? You do everything?? That's not right. He works too he should provide too. I've been depressed and am right now too I wouldn't even go out I just stay all day in my bed. Sometimes I won't even shower or eat. If he can go out with his friends and leave for a week. He's doing something. Yeah right he's clearing his mind. Don't let him manipulate you or fool you. Please don't let him he's using you. Why else would he go out all the time and drink?Nooo you need to talk to him. Is he on the mid life crisis thing??? Depends on his age though. He's not depressed. No depressed person acts like this. If he's all day out? What is he doing? Is he f around with women.. I don't want my words to hurt you but this guy is clearly doing something. Don't trust him at all. Some men like to twist things around but don't let him do it. That's not depression. He is playing you.. He can only talk with others?Not with you.. Why are you still with him? This is a common thing amongst insecure people you let others manipulate you and you think you only have them. NO, you do deserve someone better. You are not what you think. You are worth it and valuable. You deserve happiness and a good man. Please don't let him use your problems against you. Your insecurity. Once you let someone see your weaknesses or problems they will use it against you when mad or trying to get back at you. This guy probably tells you he will get better when you tell him you will leave him or he is not paying attention to you. He feels threatened you will leave him so he says what you want to hear which is, "he will change." The thing is he won't change he's just saying it to keep the relationship going. He's lying. You shouldn't be putting up with him. If he shows he doesn't care why should you then?? You're a woman. When insecure we can be easily manipulated by someone. If he makes all his problems about you? Why are you still with him? You don't need him. You need to care more about yourself don't let him take away your dignity he doesn't seem to care about you. He clearly is not showing it. He prefers to be with his friends well, he can stay with them. He wants to be wild and not be committed in a relationship well let him go. You want commitment and certainly he doesn't. He talks with other people but he can't with you??He's either cheating or hiding something? Same thing.😑Leave him he doesn't deserve you. Acting like it's his depression. Depression doesn't make me act like that. I care about my family. I get mad with them but I try not to do it..When I'm sad I just want to be alone..I wouldn't be going out and partying or hanging out with my friends. Noo😑Yeah he wants a single life it su*** when the people we love don't love us the same as we do them. They have other priorities, want to live the single life well I'm sure there's someone out there looking for a committed relationship too. Marriage. Good Luck 💖👍🙏🙌

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    • Posted

      Well the story is not as easy as that. We are in out late 20's but it does seem like he's having a 1/4 life crisis...

      The difficulty is he has been such a great partner for that last 6 years! It's not like he was an okay partner before, he really was great, loving, supportive etc. It's since just before the wedding a few months ago things started going downhill. I just don't understand, if he is playing me, why would he be such an amazing person for such a long time before and then suddenly change! I honestly don't think he is cheating.

      Also because at the beginning I just kept blaming him for our relationship difficulties, I think perhaps he is resentful of that and why things between us not great. I over think about things as well so whenever we do talk it tends to be about the problems, not about fun things or just general chit chat.

      We split the bills and that didn't change but what I mean is that like a few things are coming up for renewal like insurance and energy bills and I am having to sort it out.

      I am really torn as to what to believe! And I keep holding on to little things. I don't want to give up on our relationship but equally I need to see some effort from him toward the relationship. Leaving isn't as easy as we have a mortgage, my parents leave far away and I really don't want to go back living with them, I now have friends here etc. I haven't got the money to rent somewhere. Plus I am definitely not ready to give up yet.

      Thanks for your honest opinion tho!

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  • Posted

    I think this screams depression!!! I recommend you check out this online forum for non depressed partners being treated like this by their depressed partners!! It helped me make sense of the madness I went through. It's called

    I was treated very badly by my ex and he didn't even realise what he was doing! His personality changed and only I could notice this. They put on masks for other people and friends to make it look like they're conpletely fine but it's the person closest to them that have to deal with their anger and lack of empathy and love (this is a symptom called anhedonia). He eventually broke up with me and a month later, replaced me with someone else. They turn to drinking, drugs, porn, new relationships/affairs, new jobs, as distractios to make them feel something as depression takes away their ability to feel anything. Make sure you check that forum out people on there will be able to support you as we're all going through the same thing! Take care xx

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  • Posted

    I agree with some of what 9999 writes - what your husband has does not seem like depression to me.  He's got itchy feet, perhaps having second thoughts about his marriage.  Marriage is a commitment.  Husbands are told to love their wives in the Bible, it is a command.  I suggest he would sort himself out much more quickly if he faced his responsibility towards you and I think you need to tell him this.  Then you can help him sort himself out.  There is a big prize at the end of the road for both of you if you can manage to do this.  It may take a long time, but you are right about not wanting to give up yet.  No, no, no.  Your marriage was a public commitment to each other.  Neither of you should walk away from your joint commitment.  You should seek to first work on the foundations: commitment, responsibility, respect, then build together.  No, I didn't mention love, because most people look upon love a feeling.  Good feelings follow right behaviour.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for a reply Graham28516!

      I think he may have some depression as when I look into his eyes I can see the pain he is trying to hide. But then weather he is just 'depressed' with me because lime you said he is now stuck in a life he doesn't want?! We talk about our problems quite a bit but we never really get anywhere. We both are in a bad place and both need what the other is not capable of giving right now - space for him and attention for me. The trouble is you can only fix a relationship if both parties are willing. I discussed this time after time saying I'm hurt and not happy but he just blames the depression and not having it in him right now.

      I am very stern when we talk but then he starts talking about the depression and how I am not supporting him etc and I give in and always give him another chance. I am so fed up of it but I am not ready to give up yet. But it feels like I tried almost everything.

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  • Posted

    Yes, I understand.  I'm so glad you're not prepared to give up, and I pray that you will both succeed in building a secure relationship.  But I'm not too keen on the depression card.  From what you say, he plays it whenever he feels he's had enough.  It is easy for people to blame depression when their problem is not a mental illness but an unwillingness to take responsibility for their lives.

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    • Posted

      I am not prepared to give up because I vowed for better for worse, in sickness in health! So things are worse and there is an illness (or at least ill behaviour). I am gonna try everything I can to save our marriage and even if it doesn't work then I know I've done everything I could have.

      FYI he was diagnosed with anxiety and he was having panic attacks over the last 2 years and even going to therapy. It's really since starting the therapy things started changing. I am worried that the man I once knew and I said yes to being engaged to is now gone ; (

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  • Posted

    Go for it, CocoPop!  May God bless you for your courage.
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  • Posted

    If you get help to cope with him,  like my husband did with me it's easier to manage. 

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    • Posted

      I am getting help. I have the best friends and they really have been great. I was reluctant to open up to them at first thinking we will be able to move past this like we did with other problems but this time it just seems to be getting worse over time. I am also seeking professional help and I am working on my insecurity and low self esteem.

      What help did your husband get?

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  • Posted

    Hi CocoPop, it's a horrible situation you find yourself in. I agree with 9999 that it does seem more of an excuse rather than depression. Or at least, if he is depressed then it isn't as severe as he is making out. When I am badly depressed I am unable to bring myself to see anyone, leave the house, get washed/dressed etc. Yes maybe it is mild depression, but even so, it seems strange that he is able to switch it on and off. 

    Also, when you say you had a brilliant relationship but also had troubles, then that seems a bit contradictory. Yes people have ups and downs, but you made it sound more than that? I don't know Cocopop, it's obviously hard for me to guess, but I do wonder if your own self-esteem issues have clouded your opinion of the relationship. What I mean is, was he actually that great before? I used to say my narcissistic ex-husband wasn't a bad person, and that we could talk about things and were best friends, blah blah blah! But looking back he was awful! But my self-esteem was very poor. 

    Why would he suddenly change from being fantastic to, well quite honestly, acting like a selfish, self-centred, uncaring arse! Because that the opinion I have of his behaviour from what you have said! Sorry!

    There are two people in a marriage. It is meant to be a partnership. An equal partnership. You are not getting a good deal right now. If he isn't turning to you for his support you need to sit him down and ask him why and not let him brush you off. And if he doesn't answer then you need to give him some sort of an ultimatum. It is not fair on you to continue like this, and it appears he would be quite happy just now to let it go on as it is. 

    Sorry, I'm being quite forceful today! 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Mari34228 and I am sorry to hear about your own troubles!

      I am really not sure what he is truly like when he is out with other people as I am obviously not there but he says he has done this that and the other. Rather than feeling happy for him all I can think is whenever I want to do something he never feels like doing anything. On the other hand I think maybe it's because when he's away he's not working and it might be work making him so depressed and drained physically and emotionally. He has applied for a few new jobs but not many.

      To clarify the situation with our problems, we have been having relationship difficulties ever since the change in his personality a few months ago but otherwise been together 6 years so prior to that we have always supported each other through various problems and actually come closer together during a hardship to try and get past it supporting each other. I understand what you are trying to say about potentially over glorifying the partner but I honestly know this isn't my insecurities thinking he was great. That's why it's even more difficult to accept the sudden change. Prior to the last few months, he was very supportive, encouraging, loving, thoughtful, always giving little token gifts just to say he's thinking of me, sending loving messages, and a ton of other qualities every one wishes in a partner. Don't get me wrong, we weren't perfect but I felt like we really did make a good match.

      Your question is exactly what is going on through my head and why I am so confused. We have had such a wonderful 6 years and only the last few months not so good. So why and how can someone just change so suddenly. Like I said in one of the comments before. The personality change is all since he has gone to therapy. It's like he entered the therapy as this wonderful, loving partner and came out of it absolutely selfish and self centred!

      I have tried various things now. Being more supportive but that seemed to get on his nerves more than to be useful. I suggested going to seek help but he doesn't want to. I am now starring to get out more myself like going to exercise classes and meeting up with my friends so that I am not at home so much so that he: 1. Can have more time and space to himself 2.realise I don't need him like I used to and that I can be more independent 3. Show him I might not always be around.

      I also stopped doing little things like his washing or ironing.

      It's only been a few weeks of gradual change but so far no change plus he is away a lot. So I feel like I am literally doing everything I can right now. I did get really angry and said I am not sure I can go on much longer if things don't change and all I am asking for is some effort from him. Like I said earlier he says I turn all of his problems into my problems but then he did agreed to put more effort in so will see if he keeps to his promise.

      In terms of my advice to you Mari, I would strongly advise you to start being more independent. Although very difficult to begin with as I neglected my own hobbies, friends and the sense of individuality over the years, I found doing thing by myself and for myself the most empowering in this whole situation. Like before I was absolutely petrified of the idea of not being together but more from 'how would I cope without him' point of view. Whereas now I feel like if we broke up I would be heart broken but I know I would be able to cope without him! So I would really urge you to trying doing things for YOU. Whatever it is... if you always wanted to try Yoga but was too afraid - now is the time. Always enjoyed cooking/baking/crafts or whatever it is that makes you happy but neglected it over the years - nows the time to pick it up again... or to try and find a new hobby all together. I read a quote a while back: 'you cannot change people but you can change the way you react to them' and that really inspired me to start focusing on myself more and starting to look after myself.

      I hope you manage to make your situation better. But I also think that if you know you have tried absolutely everything and you know you gave it all you can and things still aren't getting better, then it is not healthy to stay in a relationship that makes you unhappy. I know it's easier said than done and I think if it wasn't for the supposed 'depression' of my husband I would have left by now but I feel like if it truly is mental health related (even if only to some extent) I just cannot give up on him and leave him during the hardest time of his life, despite of him acting like an a*****e!

      Good luck and please look after yourself Mari!

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    • Posted

      Ok, third time lucky....my laptop switched off before i could hit post earlier today so i gave up for a bit!

      Ok, I see. Well, I wonder whether you would be able to go to his therapist with him one time, as it doesn't appear to be helping him. Or at least, I agree that it is strange that he would suddenly go from being very close to you, to pulling away like that. Depression can really mess up your thought processes, but if as you say it is a complete change in personality then yes, that is worrying. Especially as it appears to be over such a short time period.

      Oh I am as independent as possible! It's 3 years since the narc left smile. And yes, have times where I am down and hating on life and myself, but I do overall take my own advice and do things I want to do. The only things holding me back from living life properly are my fibromyalgia and worries over money (specifically benefits). (well that and worries about my kids, but that's a loooong story!). And I've had a terrible time on anti-depressants, but coming off all the 'drugs' now, and feeling more positive than I have in a long time (didn't leave house in July, but that was the stupid medication that was meant to help!!). Actually slightly concerned I might be getting a bit hypomanic this week (not diagnosed or anything) but there is another story! rolleyes Thank you for your kind words though!

      I really hope things work out for you both. If it was good before then hopefully you can get back to that. And yeah, depression doesn't give him an excuse to act like an a*****e! I wish I could help.

      Keep taking care of you! 

      Mari xxx


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