Depression is a grossly undervalued psychological disorder. Many people who suffer from depression are unwilling or unable to openly talk about it. Living with depression is an incredibly difficult task. On the other hand, living with a person who has depression can also be challenging.
A marriage is considered to be a strong partnership built on the foundation of mutually respectful love. When one person continuously hurts due to depression, it is nearly impossible for his or her partner to fully relate to those hopeless feelings and lack of energy. Marriage counseling is often thought of as being beneficial to couples who are on the brink of divorce, for people who have a large chasm blocking them from one another. For a person with depression, their disorder feels like an insurmountable chasm between themselves and their partner. By attending a marriage, you can create a safe space where a partner with depression can express his or her feelings and desires for the partnership with the help of a trained professional who can provide actionable guidance.
Addressing the Third Person in your Marriage
Many people describe their depression as a living thing that sucks their feelings and energy out of them. Many feel that they are living with a sort of parasite that won’t leave them alone. When one partner has depression, it makes the other partner feel lost and helpless as well. It is as if there is a third partner named depression who wants to separate the two of you. The problem is that it is very difficult for either person to talk to their partner about their special needs and concerns. Marriage counseling for partners working around depression can help both people share the thoughts they have while sitting in a safe space with a professional who can help clarify and paraphrase what is really being said.
Talking Openly about Feelings, Concerns, and Needs
Many people with depression avoid talking about it because for many different reasons. Some include:
- They’ve been shamed in the past
- They have been treated with disregard or disrespect when sharing their feelings
- They don’t trust that you can handle their struggles
- They don’t know how to describe their feelings
- They don’t feel anything anymore
- They are afraid they will scare you away
- They want to pretend their depression isn’t a factor in your marriage
By taking your partner to marriage counseling, you are sending a positive message that he or she is not alone in their depression. You acknowledge their depression and you are openly saying that you are there for them in any way they need. You are ensuring them that you want to be the best partner for them because people with depression need a special partner.
Learning How to Be the Best Partner you Can Be
One partner having depression means that they need special care beyond normal couple expectations. It can be difficult to open up this line of communication in your daily life. By attending marriage counseling for your partner’s depression, you’re not blaming his or her depression on the need for counseling. Instead, look at it as a learning opportunity to acquire the skills you need to provide your partner with what they need. Every person with depression needs something different. It helps to have a professional there to guide a discussion about the specific needs of both partners.
Making Depression an Open Factor in your Relationship
Just because your partner has depression that doesn’t mean that you love him or her any less. It means that you think there is nothing shameful about having depression. It will be a constant factor in your relationship, but it can be a positive experience to talk openly about it and learn how to show care and concern without offense and pushiness.
If you or your partner is suffering from depression that affects your marriage, please consider making an appointment with us today. You can contact us here and open up a healing dialogue which will strengthen both your marriage and yourselves.