I love this quote. This reflects what my husband has done for me and I feel nothing but overwhelming gratitude when I think about it. Spouses hold an amazing power to love you through your mistakes and weaknesses. They may be the only people close enough, and willing to understand those mistakes and weaknesses. It’s such a vulnerable thing, and for them to still stand by your side and come out loving you MORE is just amazing. It’s a kind of relationship that is unique to marriages, I believe. Because of all the vulnerability and emotions that come with this power, I believe spouses can be a total game-changer for those who have deep wounds that trigger depression. I have seen it in my own life.
The major “but” to remember
BUT just because your spouse has the power to strengthen your spirit, it doesn’t mean they have solved your depression. It doesn’t mean you won’t be triggered to remember a traumatic thing from your past. It doesn’t mean you will never feel deep sadness again. I believe it’s more like spouses can give you the confidence to better handle feelings of insecurity, shame, pain, or loss that are associated with depression.
With that being said, you cannot depend on your spouse to be your entire happiness. Their love and encouragement can help you manage your depression better, but it won’t fix it. Having that burden on your spouse’s shoulders also sets your marriage up for stress. Your spouse might feel they have to do everything right all the time and that they can’t address marital issues or else you will go into a depression. That’s not fair.
I’m always grateful that Trevor and I have each other in general, but I’m also grateful we have each other to get through our episodes of anxiety and depression. We know each other’s history in that it’s a mental struggle we’ve been passed down through our families. For the most part, we understand how the other feels it and why. This helps us empathize better, but I still have to remind myself that we each have our own fears and anxieties that the other doesn’t have, and we need to respect those anxieties.
Because this series is focused on giving more understanding to both perspectives of the spouse who suffers from depression and the spouse trying to help their spouse through depression, I have more advice on this topic:
- If your spouse suffers from depression and you’re not sure how to navigate it, read the blog post on suggestions of what you should and should not do. Also, you can learn how to better empathize with your spouse through this blog post that includes a video.
- If you are wanting to know the impact depression can have on your spouse and how you can get help, read this post.