Is Your Partner’s Depression Changing You?

Over and over, I find stories online about the transformation of a loving partner, most often a man, into a depressed stranger. I know what that’s about because I have been that stranger.

I went through a period of withdrawing emotionally from my wife and blaming her and just about everything else for my problems. I filled my mind with fantasies about escaping to a different life as the answer to internal pain. Fortunately, I pulled out of it before losing everything, but many men and women don’t.

My wife took the brunt of this emotional betrayal – for that’s what it was – and was deeply hurt and exhausted by it. But she also understood that this was my problem, rather than blaming herself. She insisted I get treatment, and the risk of losing my family finally pushed me back into therapy, something I had been avoiding for several years. When I improved and “came back,” however, the old relationship wasn’t there anymore. Instead, we had to create something different because we were both different. It wasn’t about me or her then but about both of us.

Because of what I’ve been through and knowing how my wife took care of herself, I worry about many of the stories I read online. They tend to be all about the one who’s gone emotionally or perhaps who’s moved out. In most cases, it’s a man I read about, but the problem is not limited by gender. The emails and comments describe in detail how the depressed partners are behaving (often abusively), what they’re feeling, their refusal to get help, their on-again off-again closeness, their confusion and pain. The question asked is whether or not they’ll get over it and return as the loving partners they used to be. Is there any hope?

I hear so much less about the person who has to live with Depression Fallout, as Anne Sheffield calls it – the emotional damage caused by living with a depressed partner.

I often respond by asking: What about you? Except for a brief mention of your own pain, I have a hard time getting as sharp a picture of who you are and what this relationship means for your own sense of self. Are you worried you won’t be you anymore once he’s gone? Why do you think you can change him? Why do you ask only about what will happen to him? Where are you?

There is so much invested in a close relationship that it inevitably affects the sense of who we are. Each partner, hopefully, feels enough trust to open and share a usually closed emotional core. Once it’s clear the relationship is a lasting one, there’s a sense of fulfillment and sureness of commitment on both sides. I’m still me, but I’m also more.

Even when troubled, angry or hurt by each other, the emotional resonance and mingling can move two people to some sort of healing. It’s all the more shocking, then, when depression takes control of one partner and rips the relationship. It’s not only a betrayal; it takes away the part of one’s self that emerged through closeness to an intimate partner. That cuts too deeply. It may be hard to feel complete anymore.

I suppose the continuing challenge is to find the balance between a healthy sense of one’s separate self and the shared identity of a close relationship. Neither can exclude the other, and even if relationships fail, they’ve given as much as they’ve taken away. But that’s impossible to think of in the midst of a devastating loss due to depression.

Sometimes I find out how the online stories have ended – though not so often as how they began. Usually, it’s encouraging, not because the relationship has been restored (that’s rare), but because an inner resilience has led to acceptance of what’s happened. The new story begins, and it’s all about you, no longer about him.

So that’s why I ask: where are you in the story you tell? Are you worried you won’t be you anymore once he’s gone?

Image by Cocomariposa

29 Responses to “Is Your Partner’s Depression Changing You?”

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  1. karen says:

    Have been reading posts on this website for some weeks now. Am feeling very alone & overwhelmed by husbands worst bout of depresion ever. His depression has been ever present off & on for most of our 42 years of marriage but this time medications & psychotherapy dont seem to be helping.
    I am feeling i cant take much more – he doesnt want to go anywhere,do anything & fun is non existant & has been for years – he doesnt blame me but there is this great void between us now which i try to cross mostly to be rejected – i have been feeling theres nothing more left to give now & that makes me feel very sad.
    Having lost our house & business as result of recession & possibly bad decisions made during his depression i have become the breadwinner as he is struggling to work
    Sometimes his anger frightens me so i darent say much about my own feelings for fear of upsetting him.
    I am also from New Zealand & dont know of any depression support groups. Im sure my friends are geting tired of hearing about it
    I wil keep going & am trying to make changes to myself but its not easy as feel i have lost my true self over the years
    Karen

  2. Sue says:

    I’ve been with my partner for 7 years and living together for 6. Last August we went on a trip and at that moment he quit smoking cold turkey. He gradually became very angry without knowing why. He constantly got angry at me for everything and at that time I did not notice it being an issue. Come December, he only got worse. He went to see his family physician and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. His doc gave him sleeping pills. He did not take them. The anger and feelings of loss of personality continued. He researched and researched online to find out more about what was happening to him. He came up with ADHD, Depersonalization, and Anxiety. He never admitted to being Depressed until February. In February he had an appointment with a psychiatrist and I went with him. The second and last time he went he was prescribed mirtazapine and Wellbutrin. He was on and off of the mirtazapine for only 2 weeks. He is fully against medication and therapy as well. He only wants help from me. During these months up until April I was studying ECE which was very stressful for me having to juggle school work/field placements, housework, pets and him. All of this took a toll on me. Ive become very anxious, angry, devastated, hopeless and sometimes I do feel like giving up. This is supposed to be the starting point of our life together. We planned on having a bright and happy future together. I’ve finally graduated and I don’t feel happy at all about it. I’ve yet to have a job and do not have any motivation to find one. I feel terrible. I too also have lost that smile. I used to smile at everyone I encountered whether I knew them or not. I’ve lost it, I’ve list being happy when I see my parents and siblings. All I do is cry when I see them. It pains me to see them see me this way. I’ve distanced myself from them. I still live with my boyfriend and his mom. His mom has schizophrenia for about 6 years now.( at least diagnosed for that many years) I live everyday in fear that something very terrible will happen to me. What do I do when the one who I love was always the root of my happiness?

  3. livingwithhope says:

    I am living the aftermath of a depressed loved man. He has runaway from our family trying to find himself. He has been depressed on and off for years. He seeks treatment, then he stops. This last depression changed him. He went from a loving and caring husband, father to a mean, indifferent individual who wanted no responsibilities, accountability just fun and happiness. He spewed venom and blamed me for everything under the sun. Things that I could not have possibly had any hand in. It has rocked our family to the core. He cycles between running away from us to slowly moving toward us to back running. Right now he is running away. The anger has been gone for at least 8 months but I see it slowly coming back.

    I did everything right and I did everything wrong trying to help this man. He is the love of my life. In the 14 months that he has been gone. I have stood by myself trying to be the lighthouse that he might need. I have offered my love and support and I have tried to keep his relationship with his children going as he did not seem to be in the space to do it himself.

    In this process, I believe that I have become stronger in some sense as I am not sure how I have managed to get through this time without him as my friend, partner and lover. But I have lost a lot too. I no longer have a quick smile for everyone. I am exhausted. My body is rebelling against me – all signs of major stress. I am could be a textbook case. I am terribly lonely and afraid for him, for my children.

    I often wish I could just detach like he did from us. Some say he left me but I know better, he left all of us in order to find himself. He is lost but he is searching for the wrong answers. He has changed his living arrangements, his car, his clothes, his job, his relationships and yet he still is still is not happy. He still is running. I understand on some level what is happening but on others I cannot comprehend it.

    Because I love him and I believe in him, in me and in us, I have trouble letting go. I can see that if he was to return tomorrow ( and I don’t believe he is because he is now wanting us to be done) it would be hard as he has to be able to deal with his “demons” so to speak and now I am no longer the same carefree woman he ran from. I am changed. I am hurt. But like all wounded animals, I know that there is a huge capacity to heal and that love is the foundation for all. I have love to give, to share – lots of love.

    I am at a loss right now as I have no clue what he is thinking. It cycles rapidly. Last week he was making plans for the family with me (while he lives in some undisclosed location) to go on a family holiday and told me he loved me to this week completely shutting me out and hinting that we are now over forever.
    This is a man who I have been in a relationship with for over 20 married years. Right now, I see glimpses of my man. It comes it bursts, might last days or just minutes but he does exist. A year ago, I never saw the man I loved. It was an alien being monster that lashed out constantly.
    I carry hope with me but my hope is dwindling. My thought are that yes, depression changes not only the person that is in the relationship with them. It changes the family. My children no longer want to deal with his drama nor do they want to deal with my sadness. They ignore and have gone into themselves to some degree to save themselves pain.
    Depression sinks its grips into everything.

    • Sharyn says:

      What can I say. This is a journey we have to travel with the ones we love. A journey that we do not want or deserve. My “beautiful” man was lost to me in Dec, but has come back to me and relatively quickly. We are lucky his medication works fast and his “meltdown” as we called it was he fell in love and the baggage he carried from his ex was all consuming. He had actively avoided any love or serious relationships with anyone until me. But although all good and he works hard on helping himself, I have changed. Where also is my quick smile for people, I tend to worry more. I watch for signs of change in him. I no longer dare to hope for that future. But this I do know I WILL never go through this again and despite my love for him I will go. He knows this I have been very upfront. So livingwithhope you will be different you will always wait and watch for any signs, you will always live in fear that he will do this again. There comes a time when we have to say enough!! You deserve the very best in life, you should be loved and adored. You need to find that inner peace where you smile freely again. You do not despite your love for him deserve this!!, and I am sorry to say they do not have the right to change us, to take away our peace, they do not deserve us!!!! Love is wonderful and this is what everyone should have but love should not be at the expense of us. Go walk your journey go find that pot of gold under that beautiful rainbow. Go smile freely again. xx

      • VG says:

        Sharyn,
        That sounds very similar to my story. Unfortunately mine is against meds, but hopefully is seeking therapy right now. I do not know:( I feel that I will forever be scarred by this if he does not return. As you said though I do not want to ever go through this again nor do I want to live in fear. I do not have a lot of hope that this is going to turn out well in terms of our ‘relationship.’ :(

        VG

        • livingwithhope says:

          VG,
          I am sorry that you are having to go throough this. It is hard and it is lonely to be watching the person you love do things that are not in their best interest and nor in yours.
          I do agree with Sharyn that we don’t deserve this but they don’t deserve to be in pain too. It is a very hard situation to be in. I will send positive thoughts your way .

        • Sharyn says:

          VG it is so hard isn’t it. We do get very scarred by this. I live every day waiting for the signs. I hate living my life like this. Where do they go? why do they blame us? The only crime we have committed is to love them. Yet I am sure there comes a time when we walk and we walk so fast without looking back. He told me he waited his whole life for me but the damage caused by a wife who would say the cruelest things to him and the indifference she treated him with made it hard when he met someone who actually cared. So yes he is back and yes it is great today. But what will tomorrow bring? For me I will not do this a 3rd time so tomorrow if I wake and the black cloud is back and despite how much I love him I walk, I walk to heal my heart but I will walk to find the love that I deserve.

  4. teresa says:

    Short answer – yes, it changes you to be in a relationship with someone who is depressed. At this point, I wonder, what came first? His “chicken” or my “egg”?

    Hard to find a way out but sites like this are certainly a safe haven for us “others”.

  5. Nicole says:

    Well this is really weird. All this time I been feeling like I was the one that is depressed and stressed and feeling like I had some kind of mental illness that’s what was making me feel the way I do. Now that I’ve read this I believe it’s not me, it’s my husband who is depressed. He doesn’t show me the love and attention that he used to. And I get mad or upset because he pays more attention to work or friends. Anytime I try to talk to him about what we should do to make our relationship better he blows up and then goes to yelling at me that he hates me and we shouldn’t be together. I keep wondering why does he hate me so much and why does he have to treat me this way. All I want to do is make things better so we can be happy. I’m never happy anymore. Anytime I get a little bit of happiness I get upset again because we are not spending time together or having fun together. And I never want to do anything with other people. I hate even talking to other people, he’s the only person I want to be around.

  6. Centaine says:

    I am so glad to have come to this site and this page with such helpful, yes even reassuring comments. I’m not alone. … Though it certainly feels like it. I feel my partner doesn’t know me anymore or he doesn’t want to. I have even said to seek a life without me if that is what will make him happy but short of cutting out my heart and handing it to him I just don’t know if i can last till he sees a psychologist. I want to shutdown. Just runaway. … There are those fears, What if it turns out it is my fault for his depression, What if I am making it worse and he leaves; oh god he leaves? Will my broken self be able to pick up the pieces? It appears the unknown is what’s scary but it is the way he is treating me that is getting to me, from arguing ‘why should i live’ to every-little-thing to the new development of weight issues, on both sides even – “i’m too fat” “you’re too fat” (he actually encouraged me to put on weight a while ago & we both loved it!) … Confusing as hell! I cop it, like we all do but what can I do to stay strong? To stay alive inside? Honestly i feel used and the worse thing is he doesn’t want that to happen. So his love is there. Either love is about patience or it’s just not meant to be. But that can’t be right because, prepare for cliche, I know he is the one. We also want to have a family together. We had been planning it. Jeez this even raises further questions. How could I put our children through that rollercoaster? Do i have a choice? Maybe leave and let him wither and die. No way jose. I can’t allow for a brilliant man with so much more potential, the man I utterly love, to do that to himself. Not when I know he wants to get better. … Patience. Is that the answer? Maintaining that patience with a bit of sanity or stability would be nice. So if anyone has suggestions on how to deal internally I would be more more more than grateful. I’m going to start looking at support groups in my area now, though i doubt they exist in a small country mining town. Also the books that John has mentioned. … Thanks everyone for allowing a complete stranger like me to have some insight in to your experiences. Truly. Thankyou for this flicker of hope.

    • Nicole says:

      This is so much like my marriage. Every time I try to tell my husband how I am feeling. I tell him I’m not happy and I need more love and affection from him. He tells me I’m not happy because I’m not happy with my self. Because I have gained weight and if I’m not happy then I need to do something about it. I’m feeling like he doesn’t care to make an effort at making me happy. I’m trying so hard to do everything that will make him happy. Idk what else to do. I thought I was the one depressed but now I’m not sure. I’m starting to think he’s depressed with his life, maybe he’s not happy with being with me. I’m not even sure he really loves me. I think the only reason he married me and says he loves me is because we had babies together.

      • livingwithhope says:

        I think he is not happy with himself. When my husband used to get into one of his moods as we would lovingly refer to it. He projected his unhappiness on to me and would tell me things like if you lost weight you would be happy. I wasn’t saying anything about my weight. I would be telling him how I would want him to seek help or to come join in with the family. He pushed me away and chance he could.

        I too would try to pretzel and change what he claimed would make me happy at times – ie/lost weight, kept a cleaner house, be a better lover. But I learned after awhile, it wasn’t me he was unhappy with, it was himself.

        It is hard loving someone who does not see the value in themselves. I have learned this the hard way. I think he really does love you but something is working inside of him against it.

        I was told once that you wouldn’t eat liver everyday for 20 some odd years if you hated it. That is the same with our marriages. They say they are unhappy with us and we are the cause of it all but would they still be there day after day if it was true that they hated us. No. I think not. I think it is a struggle within themselves. When they do run, leave, lash out – it is the pain from within that is controlling them. I can tell you that when my husband would be in the grips, he didn’t look like himself at all. I can see it in pictures too now. The eyes are different, his colour is different.

        My husband left saying I trapped him and made him depressed and miserable for all of his life. I am not sure how as I have only known him for 25 of his 47 years but he did not resemble my husband at all. His eyes would go between shark like or dead. He was pale. His jaw was tight even when he was telling me how happy he was. No smile or a fake smile that I had never seen before. My kids even commented on the smile when looking at a picture on a cel phone. It is bizarre.

        Hang in there, try to get the both of you help. This is not a fun ride for him and for you and your children. I wish you all the best and know that you are not to blame for a person’s unhappiness. Hugs

  7. Sharyn says:

    Hello Anna,
    I have been thinking about your journey and hoping things are improving for you. My man comes and goes at the moment. Pushing then wanting. How do we kep going? So many hopes and dreams wasted to this terrible thing. I hope you have had some kindness from him, or if not you are finding the strength to cope with each day.

  8. Anna says:

    Hello. My boyfriend of 2years (I can’t bring myself to say ex yet) sent me an email last night saying his cant offer more than a friendship to me any more as the antidepressants he’s on have kicked in and he’s numb. He is going through a bad divorce and isn’t seeing his kids at the moment which has meant I’ve seen him deteriorating into a shell who has lost weight, cries a lot and has now got to the stage when he can barely speak. All we used to do is talk and I’d offer him so much love and support and his depression was just about under control. He was also seeing a counsellor which occasionally helped. I saw him going very badly depressed and suggested he go to yhr doctor and they him setraline antidepressant. 6 weeks in and I don’t even know him any more. He doesn’t text or call and has lost all feeling for me. I know this is similar to so many other stories on here but it gives me some small comfort to write. I hope someone reads this.
    I know whatever I’m going through isn’t as bad as what he’s suffering but the lack of communication and silence is making me feel physically sick.
    I suspect the advice is to do nothing and despite how hard it is, that’s what I’m doing but I’m really really devastated.

    • Sharyn Moyst says:

      How I feel for you. I sit here reading this from New Zealand. My beautiful man has been lost to me for the last 19 days. He blames me for everything and has been so very cruel, shown no kindness at all. He started medication 8 days ago and yesterday noticed the impact on me. I have lost weight etc. This has taken away all our hopes and dreams. I sat at the beach Xmas eve alone and cried. We walked this journey 6 months ago and I stayed and supported this time the emotional toll on me is much greater and I no longer have the strength to fight for him. I too feel the huge sense of loss but today for the first day I woke and the feeling of utter devestation was gone and in it’s place was the resolve to get on with my life journey now. What memories have I been left with, my beautiful, caring man who was my world. To this cruel, unkind man. Harsh I know but this now has to be about my surrvival and my healing. Do I wish for him back? Yes with every beat of my heart.

      • Anna says:

        Thank you for your reply and to hear someone feeling better after all this heartache is a great sign so thank you for sharing. I know I’m better off out of the tangled mess but he sent my stuff back to me in boxes today with no note and its all so cold. The only consolation is that the man I loved is gone and what’s left isn’t someone I would ever have known so that’s the man I’m trying to get over which is much easier. Xx

        • Sharyn says:

          Yes you are better off but how do we stop loving them. My man is continuing to show signs of improvement and is sending me positive txts. I still need to look after me and I know how you feel. This is the most cruel evil thing that we as partners have to live with. When they get well we still remember all that pain. We wait for the next time knowing there will be one. We are lucky that for him the medication starts working quickly same as last time. I still feel huge pain and loss miss the us that we were. That will never be the same. Can we rebuild a new us? My family and friends say go, you do not need this. Yes they are right. One friend asked me what will you miss? Still a little part of me hopes but it is now a little part of me. Having travelled this journey before I am becoming stronger each day. Please look after YOU as you are the most important person in your life. Just know you are not alone yet it feels like you are the only person who feels this pain. Xx

          • Anna says:

            You’re lovely, thank you. I too have been hanging onto the positives albeit small ones like a text today about some practical stuff. It wasn’t warm but it was contact and that’s the most I’ve had for 2 weeks. My friends say the same, that I’m better off without him and even if he gets better, he will always go through depression in his life so we will have this again.
            It’s hard when you knew what someone was thinking/feeling most of the time to literally not knowing a thing. He posted my stuff back to me today so we didn’t have to see each other and although that sounds terrible, I am getting stronger because that would have killed me last week. When people say takes things day by day, that’s really good advice because its the only thing we have.
            Xxx

  9. K says:

    Thank you so much for this. I just discovered the site and it has helped me enormously to know that other people are going through the same things I am right now. It was incredibly helpful to hear thoughts from a man’s point of view. Thank you.

  10. Teresa says:

    I was reading this section again. I would like very much to contact the other Theresa. I do not know how to go about that. If someone could steer me in the right direction that would be great.

  11. teresa says:

    Hay yall. It’s me again.I’ve had another day of hell here at home. I need someone to talk to or I’ll never go to sleep. My husband has decided to quit taking his medication, Luvox. We have had mutiple disagreements over this. I felt defenceless and rather than have go cold turkey we comprimised and agreed to start cutting doses down little by little. This was not my idea but I hope this solves the cold turkey issue. my husband was rude, impatient,just a total A** to me on the phone. I had to hold the phone away from my ear he was ranting so loudly. He came home exauted showered and went to bed. I am still here. I’m not real sure why. I don’t know what I am waiting for. Some days he can be very agreeable. I want to stay and work things out. We just built a new house 3 years ago. We just put in a pond. All of our lifelong dreams are coming true and we may lose it all because of an unhappy marriage. I just don’t want to throw everything we have worked for in the past 18 years away over something that can be saved if more time and patience were given. I know no one but God and us can change things. I just needto hear I’m not alone and that someone does care because I sure fell mighty alone right now. Thank you for listening. Please respond back.
    Teresa

  12. Theresa says:

    John, Perhaps you can piece together my two previous posts and get a picture as to where it has left me. I did allow his depression to change me, and did something totally out of character for me. Just because he did this repeatedly, did not make it okay for me. Now, where do I find me again?

    • Teresa says:

      My intention is to get a message to Theresa. I don’t know if this is going to John or Theresa. But I want to let Theresa know she is not alone. I am living this same story out day after day. I have become lost in the rubble and want me back terribly but can’t seed to remember exzactly who that me person is. Between who it used to be which was not good enough and the person I tried desperately to become that was not good enough either I seem to have lost everything about me all together. Between the neglect, lonelyness, fear, mental and emotional abuse I am left a shell of a person. As for life with my husband I still hang on to glimmer of hope and don’t know why or how or for how long. I just do and can’t seem to stop myself . I would really like to talk to someone who can give me guidence or if you don’t have answers just let me know I’m not on this path alone it would be much appriciated.

      • John Folk-Williams says:

        Hi, Teresa -

        I hope you’ll look at my reply to Theresa and the two books I mention – as well as the idea about therapy. You could also look for support groups – they’re out there because so many women have had to live with this form of abuse. You are definitely not alone.

        John

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Theresa -

      I’m so sorry to hear about this hell you’ve had to live through. From what you say, you were dealing with far more than depression. You present a picture of emotional abuse by a psychologically controlling person, and healing in the aftermath is terribly hard for anyone who’s had to live with years of abuse. I”m sure there are other resources, but I found one book especially powerful: Marie-France Hirogoyen’s Stalking the Soul. She gives a vivid picture of the cumulative effect of abusive behavior in destroying a woman’s self-confidence and trust in her own judgment – as well as the depression and many other forms of suffering that follow from living this way for years. Turning relatives and friends against you is a classic step in the pattern of abuse. Lundy Bancroft also spells out the pattern and the human costs of psychological abuse in Why Does He Do That? Hirigoyen has a helpful chapter toward the end of her book about therapy for survivors of abuse. She cautions that you need to consult someone who has a lot of experience with just this problem. Otherwise, the more conventional forms of psychotherapy tend to probe your problems rather than help you first as a victim. The danger of focusing on your problems is that it tends to reinforce the belief that you helped cause the problem – exactly the belief your husband’s behavior and accusations wanted to establish.

      You’re asking the right question – how do you find yourself again. Hopefully, one step is knowing that you are not alone, that millions of others have been in exactly the same position. Stay in touch here, if that will help.

      John

      • Theresa says:

        John, Thank you so much for your response and it’s priceless message of a warm and caring world that I have been separated from for so long. I look forward to finding and getting started on the books you mentioned. I love the idea of a support group, but haven’t, as of yet, been successful in finding one in my area. The other Teresa (different spelling ) who commented on my post was someone I would love to communicate with. Is there an option here, that connects people dealing with similar issues. I would love for her to know that I . would welcome hearing from her. That, to me, WOULD be a support group and I sometimes. feel desperate to someone who is so much like. me in their “woes”. If I have missed that option, please let me know. Otherwise, I gladly give my. permission for you to share my. information. with her…as well as others. dealing with these. misfortunes. Again, I thank. you for sharing your own story, and. developing a place for. others to be given a. voice. With my deepest thanks, Theresa

        • Teresa says:

          Theresa or John,
          I would very much like to talk to either/or both of you. It is 2012 and this is the first time we have ever had a computer in our home. So all of this is a little overwhelming to me. But I would love to stay in touch but am not real sure how. Using This site to answering back to a response is the only thing I can figure out at the moment. If there is a simpler way please let me know.

          On a different note, I am feeling alot of stress right now because I am losing my support systems slowly. My employment ended. I lost the support of my co-workers and other folks I came to know. My kids got out of school. I’ve became close to the teachers as little things they needed to be made aware of that carried over from home to school. I am soon going to be losing our in home councler. State appointed due to issues in public school. My son took a knife to school for self defence and ended up telling the principal and resource officer he needed a knife because he was afraid his dad might hurt his mom. But anyway , our in home councelor has been with us since December of 2011 and her time will be up in two weeks. So I very much need to stay in touch with someone or make a connection of some sort. If we could corraspond that would be very helpful.
          The other Teresa

  13. Theresa says:

    I realize that my post is somewhat difficult to follow, but I do not want my children to worry, so I rushed through. I did, however, want to clarify one important thing. That is that the relationship destroyed with his family, was NOT that of HIM and those important to him, ie. his family and the “nearly only” friends I had enjoyed at all throughout our marriage, all quite some distance away, and his old fraternity brothers and their wives. (seen once, every couple of years), but any hope of a relationship remaining with them, for me! After all, I had been “covering” for him for years, and had hidden the abuse from everyone, with the exception of a councelor, and a couple of confidants I had trusted for many.years. I was the only one who had caused harm here by all known accounts. While I was advocating for him, so was he. He had learned how to make himself “look good” long before WE met. I was not his first…just his weakest, I suppose. I loved him too much. Let me make it clear …I did NOT like him, but I was hopelessly in love with him, and clung to the glimpses of the handsome, charming, quite intelligent, aristocratic man I had started out with (to the best of my knowledge).

  14. Theresa says:

    This was a true eye opener for me. It made me realize just how different everything might have been in my life if my former, now deceased, husband had been able to do something to help with his depression, and if I had taken care of “me”, before our total destruction. His depression was taken out on me, in every way…emotionally, mentally, verbally, physically, even sexually…and I ……remained,… enabling him to continue. I don’t know why I thought I could ….continue handling it all, but I was not as strong as I thought. ..and my attempt proved to be a mistake that I am still paying for. It all feels like a nightmare! I was so damaged and lonely that I ended up in an affair …with my cardiologist! It was extremely short lived and I knew ….fairly quickly, that I was just starved for someone to be kind to me, and I had hoped so much that it would be “him”…my husband. But things went from bad to worse…with trickery and lies from him, in a successful attempt to get me to sign away everything. He was so thoughtless, …or really calculated in hurting me, that I could never trust him again. And somehow I took the blame. He had. Also destroyed all relationships with his” family…so my children were affected forever with their aunts, cousins, and grandparents after…..after he was killed 3 years later in a boating accident. Now…I am the depressed one.I really loved him…for a very long time. I have to be reminded, by others who saw, or I had talked with, of all that he put me through. Now…any advise for me??