First and foremost, the fact that you have chosen to spend the rest of your life, if not eternity, with your wife is already a blessing. Depression is never something you want to fight alone. So having you as her companion, either standing next to her or carrying her in your arms and being that support to her (sometimes literally) is a gift she may not always express vocally. But believe me when I say she is ecstatic.
She undoubtedly has "off" days when she simply does not know how to function. To be honest, she's simply too exhausted and drained to function. So you're waiting for her to get out of bed or wake up. You wait for a smile to form on her gentle, yet haggard, face at any time of day or when you finally get home from work. I say "gentle" because it's a gentler way of saying she's simply exhausted to the point where she can't show through her countenance that she still has the energy to fight another day without eventually breaking.
But you're present. Waiting patiently. You try and although you can't and might never understand what she's going through. You make multiple attempts to love and care for her. To make her feel important and that she is the most important person in your life, and that all you care about is her happiness.
And it's strange, if not frustrating, to hear from her that she feels guilty about it. She would tell you that she feels selfish for taking so much from you and not giving as much back. She feels terrible, but she secretly longs for help, though she rarely admits it.
When she's desperate enough to scream for help, she'll drop indications here and there. But she would hold back, afraid that she would enforce on you. She feels she should at least give it a shot, to fight one or two episodic battles on her own. You may be wondering why this is the case. Because, even in her most frail state, she fights against all the emotions in her heart and mind, as well as the thoughts of torment that creep in and out of her head, telling her that she should gain or regain control in some way. But when the results betray her desires, the disappointment and discouragement become all too real.
Every SINGLE SECOND of her life, she is sorry that you have to go through this. You, her husband, an inherently happy person who is now embroiled in the trials and tribulations of a mental health victim. And as a result, she believes you've become her victim in some ways.
It must be exhausting when you need her the most and she can't even be there for you because she's too preoccupied with her own problems. She does seem to make everything about herself. When will you receive the same love, care, concern, and assistance that you give her?
Honestly? She is unable to provide an answer. She still hasn't figured out how to help herself. She's still trapped in her mind's deep, deep pit. She may require you more than you will ever require her. She requires your assistance even more. Even, and especially, when it appears that she is only pushing you away. That in itself is a cry for assistance.
So you stay with her even when she tells you to go. And when she declares that she wants to be left alone, you give her the space and time she requires. But most of the time, she just wants to be alone WITH you. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes just to be next to her or in the same room with her, sinking in silence, is enough until she's ready to break the ice.
She loves you with everything she is and with every cracked piece of her heart. And even if she believes she is too broken to love and be loved, too broken to be repaired, she still hopes she is enough for you.
She desperately wants to believe. And on those beautiful days when the darkness appears to disperse for a short moment, she wants to believe and her hope grows stronger. That's because you were the first to believe in her. She needs it. She is dependent on it. For the time being, she will have to rely on your faith in her until her foundation is strong enough to stand on its own. She will rely on you in the same way that you are pulling her out of that deep, dark hole.
She will be eternally grateful for everything you do for her and everything you are for her. You are her angel and her light. Your affection is what keeps her going. It's what gets her out of bed in the morning. Every day, you make her life easier. You make her want to live every day.
So, the next time you feel like you're not doing enough to keep your wife happy or depressed, remember all of the things that make you the number one reason for her happiness, joy, and eternal sense of purpose. Remember, she knows you're in this together for the long haul. She, too, will never give up on you. You're doing an excellent job.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.