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Question
Posted by: SV | 2010/09/06

Depression and acknowledgement

Hi. I am a 27 year old woman. Been married for just one 1 and a half years. I have been feeling very depressed and have been seeing a psychologist (on and off) for about 8 months now. I have traced the source of my depression to a combination of issues with my abusive, alcholic father and the fact that my husband is basically, emotionally bereft and seems incapable of real feelings. I started therapy because i wanted to get the childhood issues out of the way but it precipitated depressive feelings and i have not received ahy support or understanding from my husband. When i first said to him that my psych thinks i may be depressed, he said " Oh, I''m sorry - what are you going to do about it?"  - like i had a damn cold or something. He never mentions it unless I do. I have days when i cant get out of bed or cant bring myself to speak to anyone. I feel awful. The only reason I want to continue living is because my little sister is going through a life change and has said she needs me. Thats the ONLY reason. He doesnt seem to have noticed any change in my behavior and demeanor - and I am afraid to bring it up as well because he thinks that life is supposed to be great for me now that I am removed the abusive environment i grew up in, i have a good job, enough by way of money and material comforts and in his head a " loving husband who does everything for you" . Now, I am PRETTY CONVINCED he doesnt care for me or love me (anymore) - because he seems so disinterested and uninvolved and because he is not at all irked by me being depressed. He has no idea how suicidal i get sometimes. The fact that he carries on like all is well shows me he doesnt care. Now - what I am i supposed to do? Try and make him understand what i am going through and the fact the his emotional detachment is making me worse even though I know he will either dismiss my feelings as insignificant or behave like I am unappreciative for who he is. He doesnt care, and I need to deal with that and then deal with my depression - HOW can i get over learning that he doesnt care for me? I feel horribly disappointed that he is so uninterested and i dont see why I need to go out of my way to MAKE him feel sorry for me. He says he loves me but i think that if he did he would show one little smudge of interest... without blaming me for my feelings.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

There are issues I wonder whether your psych is dealing with, but which may need to be worked on.
Maybe indeed your husband doesn't love you anymore - but it sounds rather more likely that you don't read or recognize the ways in which he naturally expresses his love for you, just as he doesn't read or recognize the ways in which you express your distress.
Also, you may be expecting more from someone like him than he is capable of giving, and the shrink should concentrate on helping you to become self-sufficient, with the support and understanding of others as an agreeable bonus rather than a necessity.
You describe in several ways your frustration at aspects of your hurt which he doesn't seem to understand or recognize - do you calmly and clearly express these to him. or are you expecting him to intuit and recognize them without needing to be told ? The latter is a rather rare skill, especially in men.
What exactly is it, that you are expecting from him ? Simpl recogniziion that you feel bad ? Specific responses or actions based on that recognition ?
You sound as though you make a whole lot of assumptions, which might not necessarily all be accurate - how do you KNOW he will "blamee you for your feelings" or that he would refuse to join you in marriage counselling ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: SV | 2010/09/06

I dont think he will agree to counselling. He might be too " embarassed"  - and yes i know what this means - that the relationship doesnt mean as much to him as his pride does.. he doesnt see himself as being part of the problem. I know this. HOW do i cope though. Divorce isnt a option.

Reply to SV
Posted by: Lin | 2010/09/06

In your case marriage counselling might be a good idea.

Men express their feelings and emotions in a different way than women do. He might just not know how to " handle"  the situation.

If you go to counselling together, the counsellor will help you and mediate each of your feelings into words the other one understands.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/06

There are issues I wonder whether your psych is dealing with, but which may need to be worked on.
Maybe indeed your husband doesn't love you anymore - but it sounds rather more likely that you don't read or recognize the ways in which he naturally expresses his love for you, just as he doesn't read or recognize the ways in which you express your distress.
Also, you may be expecting more from someone like him than he is capable of giving, and the shrink should concentrate on helping you to become self-sufficient, with the support and understanding of others as an agreeable bonus rather than a necessity.
You describe in several ways your frustration at aspects of your hurt which he doesn't seem to understand or recognize - do you calmly and clearly express these to him. or are you expecting him to intuit and recognize them without needing to be told ? The latter is a rather rare skill, especially in men.
What exactly is it, that you are expecting from him ? Simpl recogniziion that you feel bad ? Specific responses or actions based on that recognition ?
You sound as though you make a whole lot of assumptions, which might not necessarily all be accurate - how do you KNOW he will "blamee you for your feelings" or that he would refuse to join you in marriage counselling ?

Reply to cybershrink

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