Signs that proves your marriage is making you depressed
Have you caught yourself questioning, “Is my marriage making
me depressed?” There are ways to tell if you’re suffering from situational
depression that stems from relationship problems.
Depression can feel like you’re under a perpetual dark cloud
and cause you to feel blue or in a grumpy mood. You may feel
heavy, tired, and without interest in activities, you usually enjoy.
Depression also causes uncharacteristically negative
thoughts about yourself, others and your future.
- Daughter of Nigerian preacher, TB Joshua gets married three times
- 6 foods that fight wrinkles and premature aging
But can a bad marriage cause depression?
There are many causes of depression, and problems in your marriage
or relationship are just one reason you’re experiencing situational
depression. Depression can come from a disorder of power, or it
can come from a message from someone you
care about that wounds your self-regard.
In general, women are more likely to experience depression after
a divorce than men. However, men are less likely to
talk openly about their depression.
What are the signs of an unhappy marriage?
Some signs of an unhappy marriage range from no longer having
sex to minimizing each other’s feelings and concerns. In other words,
you’re no longer having fun and your confidence is gone. You feel
neglected and everything your partner does gets under your skin.
If you’re feeling powerless and/or hurt in a relationship, either in general
or because of a particular event that happened, odds are high that
depression will creep into your emotional state.
How do toxic relationships affect your mental health?
Toxic relationships stress you out, and stress shortens lifespans.
Relationships like this may cause you to feel more insecure or lower
your self-esteem, which allows hurtful thoughts to pop into your head.
They make you feel helpless, scared, anxious, and even paranoid.
These are all symptoms of depression.
And, believe it or not, a bad relationship can cause mental illness.
All of those feelings are gateways to some very severe
mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
Instead of ignoring these red flags, consider what you can do
differently to prevent them from knocking you down.
And if you feel your depression getting worse or need help
or support, reach out to friends, family members,
and/or professionals. It doesn’t have to last forever.
Is it possible my marriage is making me depressed?
Yes, it’s entirely possible that your bad relationship or problems in
your marriage are making you depressed — or at least contributing
to your depression. These are general signs of an unhealthy relationship,
so if you’re seeing these but are not depressed,
you may still have reason to be concerned.
Here are 10 signs of situational depression caused by staying
in toxic, emotionally abusive relationships or marriages:
1. You feel dominated.
Depression can emerge when you feel smaller and less powerful
than the person you’re interacting with.
Not all power differences create depression. For instance, while
a parent has most of the power in a healthy parent-child relationship,
as long as the parent uses this power to nurture, rather than to
dominate, over the child, all will be well. Similarly,
employers have more power than employees.
In love relationships between two adults, though, shared power
is healthier than a one-up, one-down power imbalance.
2. You feel criticized.
“I don’t like your hair that way.” “You shouldn’t have
bought that new sweater.” Criticisms are put-downs.
Feedback is not a problem, but criticism is.
Feedback lets you know in a gentle way that something you have
been doing is problematic and it usually starts with an “I” statement:
“I felt uncomfortable when I saw your new sweater because I’m worried
about whether we’re going to have enough money to cover our bills this month.”
Being constantly criticized by the one person you love is valid grounds
to cause a breakdown, so this is a serious issue in your relationship
that needs to be addressed immediately.
By contrast, critical words and a judgmental tone of voice make
criticism problematic. Not only that, but constant criticism from your
partner can make the voice inside your head turn on you as well,
which will make the depression even more intense.
3. Your partner tells you what to do.
Bossy attitudes are demoralizing. Even a benign order like
“Go get the paper for me, honey,” is likely to trigger either irritation
or depression in the receiver because no one likes being told what to do.
That’s the pattern when two autonomous people work together as a team.
Depression stems from feeling like you have insufficient power.
Being told what to do conveys that the other person is the boss and
you are a servant. It’s better to ask. Requests allow for yes or no as an answer.
4. Your partner tries to control you.
Controlling what you can do with your time, finances, friendship choices
and how much you can visit your family: all these behaviors
are likely to invite feelings of depression.
Getting mad at you if you didn’t load the dishwasher his way,
or left dishes on the counter-top, are signs that your partner focuses
on controlling you instead of being captain of his own ship.
Remember: depression is a disorder of power. When your partner
takes away your power to make personal decisions
(or at least to contribute jointly to decisions), depression is likely to be imminent.
5. Your partner is ‘always right.’
It’s fine for your loved one to be right, as long as he/she doesn’t require
being right all the time.
If your partner’s being right means that there’s no ability to admit mistakes,
that’s a problem. And if your partner being right means
you are consistently wrong, lookout.
6. With your partner, it’s ‘my way or the highway.’
Listening is loving in a healthy relationship because of the opinions and
concerns of both of you count. That’s true whether you’re wondering
what to eat for dinner or deciding where to live.
If your voice gets dismissed, you’ll be at risk of feeling powerless and depressed.
7. Your partner is depressed.
Depression is contagious. It’s not contagious in the same way as the flu,
but one study showed it’s a social contagion theory, explaining that
humans will naturally adopt the behavior that is around them.
When someone is depressed, he/she tends to see the world
including you, through dark glasses. If you adopt your partner’s view,
you’ll sink down emotionally, too.
Encourage your husband or wife to attend therapy sessions or even
take a walk outside. Sometimes little things like that can give them a
sense of purpose and get them out of their head for a bit.
However, a therapist would be best.
8. Your partner is irritable.
Irritability is low-intensity anger. Anger spreads toxic negative energy.
This toxicity can induce depression in the receiver of anger.
Anger is disturbing and unpleasant to witness, even for on-lookers.
For direct recipients of anger, the toxicity is even more so.
9. Your partner is abusive.
As we’ve mentioned already, abuse can be expressed emotionally in
a partner’s critical and controlling attitude, verbally with name-calling,
or physically by pushing, throwing things, or hitting. All of these forms
of abuse are incompatible with a loving relationship.
This is when you should walk away from your marriage.
The impulse to hurt someone is the opposite of the impulse to love,
nurture and be intimate. Any form of putting you down can engender
depression. Any form of appreciation adds to good feelings. It’s pretty simple.
10. Your partner doesn’t do his/her share.
A partner who takes an active role in the project of living and loving
together is a joy to partner with. Whether he scrambles eggs for the two
of you in the morning or scurries around with a quick clean-up
before visitors arrive, helping is loving.
By contrast, a partner who does not do his part is passively provocative.
The irritation or anger you will feel in response signals
that you’re not getting a full adult partner.
If you’re feeling sad in the relationship, you need to address why and find
a solution. Talk with your spouse or a marriage counselor to
help you work through your feelings.