depressed - marriage problems

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2007
depressed - marriage problems
Sat, 04-07-2007 - 1:46pm

Hey all! I need to vent and seek advice. This is going to be long, so bear with me.

Background: My husband and I have been married for 5+ years, together for 10. We met when we were young 20's and I was going through a rebellious time - away from God. I've been struggling to regain my relationship with Jesus since then and am at my closest point right now.

When we met, my dh and I were at the same point in our faith - we both believed in God and that Jesus was the Savior, but we had both been hurt by the church and faith leaders and had been living our lives away from God.

Before my dh, I had an intimate relationship with another man. He was my first love and it hurt me deeply when I realized we didn't have a future together. I became depressed and was in deep depression when I met my dh, although I didn't realize it at the time.

My dh was a very giving person, always helping other people, so I decided to date him. Our relationship progressed quickly - him moving in with me after only a few months. During our first few months of dating I learned he was a very negative person, with low self esteem and a short temper. We had terrible fights and didn't communicate well.

(Hindsight: I think I pushed my relationship with my dh to progress, even though I knew our relationship was a struggle from the beginning, because I wanted to displace my unhappiness from my previous relationship. I didn't link my disobedience to God with the hurt in my heart.)

We continued to live together. At one point, we were fighting so often I told him that we needed to see a counselor if he wanted to continue in our relationship. He agreed, and we learned how to fight fairly and the basics of communication. This helped for a time. The counselor had me start treatment for depression then, too.

A year later, we were back to fighting all the time. I moved out but continued seeing him. We got engaged a year after that and married in another two years.

(Hindsight: When we were engaged, although I grew to love him, I felt I was making a mistake but figured being married would be better than breaking it off with my dh. I think I was in a push to be married, not really thinking of the long term consequences.)

Throughout the five years we've been married we've had our ups and downs. I've gone through cycles of feeling deep love for him and happiness to feeling grave unhappiness in my situation and just wanting out.

Through seeing counselors on my own, I've learned that my depression is not clinical but situational. I constantly compare my dh to my ex bf in the way he relates to me. (My dh does not know I do this. I’ve never mentioned my ex bf to my dh since we’ve been together). Although we’ve talked about the importance of doing so, my dh doesn’t tell me he thinks I’m attractive. He doesn’t offer emotional support or empathy when I have a bad day. And he doesn’t encourage me in my work or hobbies. When I tell him how much I love him or think he’s attractive, he dismisses it as being sappy.

I’ve done my share of damage. When I get upset with him I take it out in verbal jabs and sarcastic comments. This hurts him deeply because he feels I don’t respect him. I do have a hard time respecting him because he does things that do not reflect my moral beliefs. He drinks too much on the weekends. He swears and thinks it’s funny. He is so talented at writing and as a musician, but he chooses to write about vulgar content… it breaks my heart and I respond by pulling myself away from him.

I feel he is very unhappy about where he is at in his career and life and that he is jealous of me, having a good career and being optimistic most of the time. I try my best to encourage him to seek a better job or finish writing one of his novels but there is always an excuse.

Last year we went through a terrible stage where we didn’t talk for a month. I sought help but he refused stating that I was the one with the problem so I needed to learn how to fix it. This was when I learned that my sarcastic comments and lack of respect hurt him. We worked it out for three months. We had one good discussion about what we wanted from eachother. Things were great for a few months! Now they are declining again.

We are at a point that we hardly talk about anything, both on edge that the other will become defensive. I feel very alone, like I’m living with a roommate instead of a spouse. There is little companionship. I want more.

My feelings of desperation are greater now, because we are talking of starting a family. I do not want to raise a child not knowing if our marriage will survive. Nor do I want to raise a child in a home where one of us is a believer and not the other. I really don’t know what to do. I am at the end of my rope and feel more depressed than ever. I often feel it would be better to end our marriage and move on, but I believe divorce is wrong.

I am turning to Christ, trying to give up my life to Him. Praying that He will give me the strength and courage to work through this, and give me faith that it will be ok. I need faith that He can do miracles and that I will be with Him one day.

What more can I do? He refuses to see a marriage counselor.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2004
Sat, 04-07-2007 - 6:21pm

First of all, you are so not alone in where you are in your marriage. All of have been there at some point or another. This is where the fact that love is not a feeling, it is a choice comes into play. If we went by feelings, we would run our lives into the ditch all the time. You can pray over your marriage. I will tell you that praying for God to change him because you can't doesn't always work. Try praying for yourself. Pray to be a good wife, a godly woman, a fantastic mom and the likes. It is amazing what God can do with just that little prayer.

Second, I recommend getting The 5 Love Languages by Gary Smalley. It talks about how we all perceive love in different ways. Some people like gifts, some like words of affirmation, some physical touch, some want quality time, and there are some who like acts of service. Odds are the way your dh tries to show you love is exactly what you need to be doing to make him feel loved. Now, I know you said he doesn't want to try. This book starts out telling you that even if you are the only one trying you can do a world of good on your own.

Last, remember God hates divorce. It is irrelevant what you did up til you were married. Many of us have started in the pits of hell. I sure did. I had 3 kids with 3 daddies before I married my dh. We went through hell and back and back to hell and get the picture. Through it all, we have made it so far. I think God can honor a decision to just stay. If that is all you can give, then it is more than enough. I had no idea how true that was until I had been off in my own little dungeon. Thankfully, God has grace. He also brings agape love and restoration. Usually, all that can add up to a marriage saved.

Remember, the hell you walk through now will be used for good if you follow God. He promises it. Remember you are just going through. In going through, that means that there will be progress. Don't let your heart be bitter and you will be ok.



You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2002
Mon, 04-09-2007 - 10:19am

Wow, I can relate to your story. I understand depression and wanting to push for marriage. I understand that feeling, because I lived it too. I was so wrong about who I was... mostly because I had no idea. I hadn't met Jesus yet and I believed a husband would bring fullfillment to my life. I looked for an identity in my husband. And when he hurt me, (like human's do to each other sometimes) I felt more alone than ever. Marriage did not solve my emptyness or like you said, displace my unhappiness.

There is only one answer. Jesus Christ!! I'm not a preacher, so I hope I don't sound like one... but the only thing that brought peace and joy to my life was really knowing Jesus Christ. Getting my identity from Him. Filling that emptyness with the Holy Spirit and knowing that God loves me!!! God love me when I'm good and God loves me when I make a mistake. Once I began to know God, and once I really grew in my relationship with Christ, HE worked everything out for His Glory. On good days or bad, I am filled with joy (overflowing joy at that, too). I was once a person who felt incomplete, empty, worthless, and depressed. And now, through Jesus Christ, I am redeemed. I feel joy, peace, love, and wholeness. Humans disappoint and hurt each other... that's what forgiveness is for... But Jesus Christ is faithful... If he was ever going to disappoint or leave us, it would have been at the cross. And He didn't. He laid down His life, so that YOU can live a life full of meaning and a life of reconcilliation.

Seek first the kingdom of God and all others things will be added... (okay I'll have to cheat to get the scripture verbatim...) God bless you and welcome to the board.


Matthew 6:31-33 (New King James Version)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2007
Mon, 04-09-2007 - 4:18pm
This is definately a trying time for you. My thoughts and prayers with you.
I just finnished reading a book by Joel Olsteen, My best life now. Very good, pick up a copy if you can. Bottom line--think good thoughts, keep your husband uplifted in prayer, and treat him kindly. He will not want to know Christ if you are sarcastic or cruel to him. I know this is hard---I have been through a similar circumstance. This is a test for you. Keep the faith, remember God's timing is different then ours and we need to trust in Him.