Q: I have been married for 4 years. I do not feel like I have a life partner, it is like we co-exist with each other. He goes his way in the house and I go mine. I know he has depression and takes medication but he stays in his room from the time he gets in from work and I stay in the den with the kids so we have no life together. He gets aggravated at times and we then argue about it.
I just don’t understand what’s going on. I don’t blame him for everything that is going on but I have no help. When I try and talk about it with him he said he sees no problems. I feel like I am 36 years old and I don’t want to waste anymore time in a no-good relationship. What should I do for him and about him?
A: It sounds like your marriage is in severe trouble. Dealing with a partner with depression can be very difficult, especially when it takes this form — withdrawal. It is a difficult line to walk in terms of understanding and working through this with him and realizing that you really don’t have an active partner or co-parent.
I would suggest the book “I Don’t Want To Talk about It” to help understand male depression but I also strongly recommend couples therapy. If he refuses to go then that also gives you more evidence that he is not invested in saving things.
Do what you can to save the relationship but if you keep hitting brick walls then you have to do what you have to in the best interest of you and your kids, which may just mean divorce. I wish you lots of luck.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jul 2007
Counts, H. (2007). Un-Happy Marriage. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/07/29/un-happy-marriage/