The Downside of Being Depressed at the Same Time As Your Spouse

We’re definitely in double trouble land these days when it comes to CBG and I. I wrote last week about how I’m basically in self-preservation mode, focusing on me and working hard to care for myself. I whined wrote about how much work self-care really is.

One of the benefits of marriage is that when one of you is feeling down, the other person can lift you back up. They can support the weight of life a for a little while, so you can steady yourself and get back on your feet. They can take care of you a bit, since you’re not so great at caring for yourself right now. And then, eventually, you will get your opportunity to return the help and support when they need it.

The tricky bit, of course, is when you’re both depressed at the same time. When that happens, you’re both far too focused on yourselves and your own feelings to be of much use to your spouse. And even worse — you’re actively dragging one another down in the process, like two desperate, drowning victims…trying so hard to catch a breath or two that you’re holding down the other person in the process without really realizing it.

It’s actually pretty ugly.

It’s usually at this point that the resentment sets in — resentment at your spouse for not helping more, not doing more. For not taking engaging in adequate self care. For not propping you up a bit, or themselves either…but merely allowing themselves to sink deeper into the emotional muck, pulling you down with them. For not waking up and seeing what’s happening right in front of them.

And as we’re all well aware, resentment does crappy things to a marriage….rotting it from the inside out…snaking its tendrils deep into the once joyful flesh. Soon, it gets hard to recognize the person that you’re sliding into bed beside each night, and the question becomes: who is the problem? Are they the one who is unrecognizable, or is your own judgment so clouded that you can’t see them (or the situation) clearly?

A little of both, I guess. Or a lot of both.

It’s terrifying. And worrying. And guilt-inducing. And even more resentment-making. Because even though you know that your spouse doesn’t have a whole lot to offer right now, you still resent the shit out of them for not finding the energy to dig deep and do a little bit more.

Because sometimes, it’s really nice to have someone take care of you, even just for a little while.



3 Responses

  1. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

  2. […] not easy. As I’ve written already, we’ve both got our own stuff that we’re each dealing with. Depression is a sneaky, ugly, vicious beast that snakes its way into all areas of your life, your […]

  3. […] Continuing with the theme of full disclosure, I’ll also admit that it’s been tough for me, dealing with CBG’s depression. I know it makes me a bit of a selfish arsehole to say it, but those of you who have lived through a spouse’s depression know what I’m talking about. This is particularly true for those of us (like me) who struggle with their own mood. As I’ve written about before, winter is always a tough time for me, mentally and emotionally. Add to that a depressed spouse and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. […]

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