Hello all my wonderful followers, how has everyone been the last two months? I have had a little hiatus from blogging. Okay, to be honest I was depressed and burying my head in the sand… It was necessary due to the heavy issues I’ve been dealing with. Hey, but it’s not all bad, there’s a lot good going on in my life as well. I’m trying to be optimistic.
If you have read about my marital strife than you probably know my wife has postpartum depression and anxiety. To add insult to injury I have bipolar, anxiety, and ADHD. We have a beautiful and wonderful 19 mo old daughter and have been married for 4 years. Since I blogged last in September we have started going to marriage counseling. Our therapist is very helpful and has given us many new ways of looking at things. We desperately needed this because our marriage has deteriorated greatly.
The thing that kills me is how negative and self defeating she acts. She often tells me that the depression makes her shut down and she can do nothing and I have to do EVERYTHING! It makes me mad and frustrated that she is almost incapacitated. I’m mad at the depression. It has robbed her of her self esteem, confidence, purpose, and ability to be happy. It’s excruciating to sit back and helplessly watch someone you love fall apart.
But I know now there are things I can do. I can’t change her but I can change what I do and support her much more. These are the changes I’ve made since I last wrote:
1. I have created a chore chart and am committing to it. My wife gets more stressed by a messy house than I do and it’s important for mental health.
2. I have made the commitment to take over completely when I get home from work. This gives her the rest of the day to care for herself. She needs this time in order to deal with her depression and get better.
3. I have stopped blaming her for having depression. It has been over a year and in ways I felt like I lost my wife. Marriage counseling has helped me understand that she needs my full support to get better. Getting upset and withdrawing just makes it worse.
4. I have stopped sleeping on the couch as much. Yes, I understand this is a classic sign of a marriage spiraling out of control but I did it because I was staying up late watching netflix and avoiding her depression. I understand now this just made it worse and made us both feel terribly alone.
5. I finally gave in and hired a babysitter for a couple nights a week. It’s also made a big difference and has helped her have more energy.
We are practicing being husband and wife again and loving each other the way we both are. Acceptance is the key to reconnecting. I feel hopeful. All is not lost 🙂