How Depression Dominated My Marriage
This is an article from one of our readers, and she has given me permission to publish it….Gillian
I’ve struggled with depression on and off since I was a teenager. Now that I am in my late 30’s, I’ve come to accept that I will struggle with it for the rest of my life. Along with the depression came the joys of an anxiety disorder and extreme PMS. I have quit jobs, ended relationships, and run away from home multiple times in my life, only to realize a week later that the problem that seemed to be so insurmountable was, in fact, simply a warning that it was about to be “that time of the month”. This has happened over and over; yet every time it comes as a surprise. My period starts, I think back to the week before, and inevitably I realize I have something to apologize to somebody for. This illness, this lack in me, was one of the causes of the breakup of my marriage.
When my husband and I married in 2004, he knew about my diagnoses. He knew I was on medication and that I would probably need to be for the rest of my life. He knew, but did not understand. He would encourage me to stop taking the pills, worried about the side effects, and told me I was weak and stupid because I couldn’t just make myself better. Why couldn’t I just snap out of it? Why couldn’t I just “be” better; a better wife, mother, student, woman, friend, sister, daughter…why couldn’t I just figure out how to “be normal”?
Now, years later, I can’t help but wonder how my marriage would have turned out if, like Gillian suggests in her book, “Love2Share”, we had developed a plan for managing my illness before we got married. What if we had created an emotional pre-nuptual agreement that included getting me professional help as needed? What if I had been allowed to take my medication properly and see a therapist every month? What if instead of trying to change me or save me, he had simply tried to understand me? The man who would have done those things, that man I would have loved forever. That man would still be my husband.
Patience, Arizona USA