What do you do when one spouse takes longer to grieve or to get through a depression? It is a challenging place when your spouse is going through a hard time. You want them to feel better and you also don’t like the impact it is having on your life. Ultimately, being in a relationship is making space for an “other.” Life doesn’t always go on your timetable.

What would you want?

Ask yourself,  what would you want your partner to do if you were in their shoes? Would you want them to tell you to get over it? Or would you want their total, unwavering emotional support without any pressure? While it is extremely difficult watching your spouse in pain, being there, through thick and thin, and accepting them where they are at, is what a real relationship is all about.

Practice the Imago dialogue and allow your spouse to express his/her feelings, listening without judgment. Sometimes when they feel they have a true witness, it is easier to move on. It’s when they are in pain and don’t feel heard or understood, that they may ruminate longer. If you can believe that they will break through to the other side, you just need to be patient and supportive.

You may also want to explore within yourself why it is so difficult for you not to just be present. Why do you feel like they need to get over it already? What fear is that triggering in you? By becoming aware of that, you will have more power to choose how you mange the situation.

We’d be glad to help you get some clarity on what to do in the case of a spouse taking longer to grieve or when going through depression. You can schedule a time to speak with us using this link or fill out the form below. Someone will get back to you within 24-48 hours.

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Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact info@themarriagerestorationproject.com or