Disreality Illusion

The Loss of Feeling in Depressed Partners

Living with depressed partners can mean living without the feelings of love that are at the heart of every relationship. What is it about depression that could turn intimate companions into cold and blaming strangers? Readers ask about this over and over as their partners start blaming them for their own unhappiness and want out of the relationship. How could the person they most loved and trusted suddenly turn on [...] Read the rest»

Living with Depressed Partner

Living with a Depressed Partner

Several readers have asked about the best ways to respond to warning signs and symptoms of depression in their partners. The illness tends to separate two people in many ways, so the question always arises: What can I, the well partner, do when the symptoms start to push us apart? I think the first thing is to have realistic expectations about anything you do or say. You can’t prevent depression [...] Read the rest»

Hedy Schleifer TedTalk 350

Couples Therapy and Relationships: Hedy Schleifer

In the world of couples therapy, there seem to be a few people who are known world-wide as masters of the trade. Hedy Schleifer is one of them. You may not have heard of her before, since she hasn’t written any books about her approach. I was introduced to her work through a video interview in which she explains her approach at length. She believes that we seek out “incompatible” [...] Read the rest»

dawn sky

Waking Up a Depressed Partner

I remember years ago talking with a friend about his recent divorce and remarriage and mentioning the stressful time my wife and I had been having at that time. He bluntly suggested: Well, why don’t you leave? I told him I wouldn’t do that since I thought the problems were as much on my side as hers. He looked at me quizzically and said: “Really?” – as if that were [...] Read the rest»

Frowning Man in Dark Glasses

Depressed Men Behaving Badly Can Stop

There’s a story on this site that never, unfortunately, gets old. It’s about depressed men breaking up their relationships as a misguided way to get well and find fulfillment. The psychotherapist, David Wexler, has good ideas about how men can change the experience of their closest relationships without leaving. He looks at the problems of men in crisis from a broader perspective than that of depression, but his thoughts are [...] Read the rest»

Ebook cover image

The Surviving Depression Together Ebook Is Now Available

I’m pleased to announce that the first Storied Mind ebook is now available. Surviving Depression Together contains new versions of more than 20 posts on relationships published here over the past five years as well as completely new content and material previously published only in the newsletter. It has all been edited and organized into a smoothly flowing reading experience. Here is an excerpt from the introduction: “I’ve been married [...] Read the rest»

Importance of trust in relationships

John Gottman on Trust in Relationships

John Gottman’s recent work on trust (presented in The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples) is a helpful resource for couples trying to deal with depression. These two brief videos are excerpts from a talk Gottman gave at the Greater Good Science Center. They provide an insightful introduction to some of the major themes of his work. After decades of close observation of married couples, Gottman and his colleagues [...] Read the rest»

burning sunset in dark clouds

Does the Partner or Depression Cause the Breakup?

I’ve often described the way depression can break up close relationships, but does the illness explain everything? How responsible are depressed partners for the human cost that others pay because of what they do when they’re ill? One reader told me I’d confused her about this. First, I talked about depression taking over someone, as it had done to her husband. The angry stranger he became was the opposite of [...] Read the rest»