I have been married for 14 months now. I consider myself a very happy, optimistic person – but my husband isn’t. Sadly, he relies on me to fix all of his problems and I also feel responsible for attending to (and trying to fix) his mood swings.
I’ve gone from being quite a happy-go-lucky person to the opposite. I feel I’ve lost the spirit I once had. I’m trying to do things for myself, like learning new hobbies, crafts and I do exercise and work from home. But still – this issue in my marriage is making me feel like I’ve been married for a decade rather than just over a year. Can you advise? Rasha
You don’t say if this has been the status quo since you started dating, or if things changed after the wedding. If it’s the latter, maybe he’s always had a form of depression but was in a more ‘up’ phase before you married, or had milder depressive cycles, or hid it well from you. Or maybe his mood issues can be linked to extra stress at work, or financial worries you may be having. Only you know the finer details of what’s going on for you guys. I will say though, if he’s in the grip of a serious depressive disorder, that’s no picnic for either of you and there IS help out there for him, if he’s open to it.
Here’s the thing: your husband can’t meet his own emotional needs, much less yours – and it’s totally normal to feel as overwhelmed as you do. I imagine you’ve done your best, but you’re not a counsellor and you have no idea how to deal with your husband’s ongoing issues in a constructive or effective way. For your own health, you need to address this and you’ll find tips and strategies at Beyond Blue on how to approach him with your concerns.
I’m guessing a counsellor might want to do a mental health assessment on your husband (medication, if he needs it, could be a huge help). You, on the other hand, probably need to see a separate counsellor to get some strategies for dealing with the situation and your own feelings about it. If he won’t consider going to counselling, or tells you there’s nothing wrong with him, and he continues to dump his crap at your feet to ‘fix’, then you’ve got some serious thinking to do, Rasha. Starting with the question, ‘Can I bear a lifetime of this?’
Love, reality chick