Today’s news has been filled with the passing of actor Robin Williams. What is most tragic is that someone who had brought joy to millions was suffering from major depression inside, so deeply saddened that he took his own life. While those who were close to him may have known about his struggle with mental illness, based on his outside persona that he showed the world, we may not have guessed it. How many of you are married to a spouse with depression?
How many of us have family members, co-workers, or acquaintance who are suffering inside, unbeknownst to us?
More inspiration for when you’re married to a spouse with depression
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- My husband is out of work and depressed
- How to Help your spouse heal from trauma and PTSD
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
We tend to get wrapped up in ourselves. We may become fixated on our own struggles to the point we are not aware that others are having a hard time.
We may even look at others and assume they are fine and that only we are suffering. We look at other couples and think their marriage is great, or that they are better parents than we are.
Yet, the truth is that we are all struggling.
When I meet with couples, I often help them conceptualize their conflict in a way that normalizes their experience.
When we think our situation is an exception to the rule, we lose hope for improvement.
It is when we realize that what we are going through is “normal”, that provides us the encouragement that we can get through this and that our relationship is not doomed.
One of the curative factors of group therapy according to psychologist Dr Irving Yalom is universality.
The recognition that we may share our experiences with others helps remove the sense of isolation, validate our experiences, and raise our self-esteem.
Realize that you are not alone and reach out to others for support when you need it. If you can’t find the support you need among family and friends, reach out to a trusted professional.
If you or your spouse are suffering from depression, do consider seeking out marriage counseling together as there is nothing more healing than when your partner understands your story and validates it for you. That’s the beauty of what we do in our 2 Day Marriage Restoration Retreat using the gift of the Imago Dialogue.