Tips on How to Love and Care for Your Depressed Husband


Woman taking care of her husband

Like many diseases and ailments that are on the increase that was beyond the shores of our communities, sadly, depression is finding its way into many homes.

You don’t need to look far to see the awful signs all around. It is no respecter of persons; its victims cut across religious, ethnic and demographic lines. Gone are the days when folks who were depressed were the elderly, retired few, isn’t it shocking to note that the person who sat next to you on that long-haul flight is struggling with it. Over the years, the trend has shown that lots of women suffer depression but the men are not left out.

When you have a constant and continuous feeling of sadness, a sense of failure, nothing to look forward to than the regular humdrum of life day in and out, then it’s time to get help. Don’t wait till you have suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, an inability to perform or deliver on the job, it might then be acute and severe. If isolation and withdrawal from people and the outside world give you solace, you need to talk to someone right now.

When guys are depressed, they could hide under work, lots of drinking and extramarital affairs. So, what do you when it’s your husband? Life is tough. When you decide it’s time to quit the battle in your mind or throw in the towel, your whole perspective on life changes, then depression sets in for most people.

For most guys, ‘work’ provides the affirmation, self-esteem, and identity that keep them going. When your husband no longer enjoys his work, hasn’t been promoted for a while, feels irrelevant or redundant, then he begins to feel ‘what’s the point’. For many guys who are well paid, money no longer is a driver but knowing you’re adding value to the company and with that comes recognition and more responsibility.

If his business isn’t growing or has even failed, he looks at his investments with no way out, this could be depressing. If he has lost lots of cash while investing or gambling, that could also contribute to him being depressed. Our society puts a lot of pressure on getting married and having kids as a sign of being successful and being on the ‘right track’ but if you don’t have kids, it should be a burden shared but on some occasions, this pressure is somewhat felt more by the man. Loving your husband is an easy task but loving your depressed husband requires more effort from you, see useful tips on how to love and care for your depressed husband:

Be his cheerleader 

As a wife, you need to be your husband’s cheerleader. His family, friends or co-workers are unfortunately not equipped for this role. Unlike women, men rarely exhibit their feelings or seek help until they break down, only then will you begin to hear the full story. Whatever the reason for the depression, it’s not a time to nag or rehash why what you suggested didn’t get implemented.

It’s just a phase ‘reminders’

Remind him that it’s just a phase; after all, he’s got other great achievements to show for it. With your respect and support, he can spring back again. Guys need more ‘respect’ than ‘love’ at a crucial time like this. They want to see by your words and actions that you still value them and hold them in high esteem. It’s tough to submit to a man’s leadership you don’t respect but you have to remember he’s your husband and you’re in this together.

Team mate

Many women have the power of intuition and could tell if a potential business partner or business plan won’t make it. If he listens to you or not, you’ve done your part. You’re a team, so if one fails, then you both take ownership and responsibility for it.

Consult your doctor

Most men would withdraw when they are depressed. They stay away from church, parties or even going out with friends. It’s a time to seek help from a professional therapist or counselor. Most times we delay in getting help because we want an explanation for all that’s wrong with him and become very suspicious or superstitious. We are also very good at only praying and claiming an ailment like this staring us in the face isn’t our ‘portion’.

Get help: 

Don’t stay at home, nursing this new wound. Go out and meet other couples, see a movie, eat out or attend a conference with motivational speakers. Men need other men. You can plan a surprise lunch with his friends or have a few come home for tea to watch a game. Don’t put life on hold waiting for the ideal time to begin again. You might be surprised to know that you’re not the only one whose husband is going through this, you need to reach and get support from a network of friends but be careful who you reach out to as many who claim to pray may as well do nothing but spread the gist.

Healing takes time

Lower your expectation and don’t give up easily! Different people heal and recover at different times. Never forget to seek a second opinion for medical advice especially when he has to take any medication. Depending on his love language, he will need a constant dose of words of affirmation with reassuring hugs and kisses.

Vacation

If you can afford to go away for a few weeks to a new location and leave the kids or business behind, do so. You’ll both be glad you did as this will be a time to rest, relax and just slow down to smell the roses. Sometimes, we say we want to think outside the box but we still remain in the box. Leaving everything behind for a while might put life in a new perspective and give you back the spring in your step.
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