It’s a common cause of unhappy marriages
Dave and Mary (fictitious characters) married in their early twenties and had a wonderful relationship for many years. Over the past five years however, Dave had become increasingly sad and worried. He had lost interest in his career, in going to church and in socializing. He blamed it on becoming forty and the financial pressures he lived under. In the past year he lost interest in his own children, he blamed God for the state of his life and he rarely talked to Mary. This year he told Mary that he was no longer in love with her and that they should consider separation. Mary was shocked, devastated and didn’t know what to do.
Dave was suffering from a gradual onset of depression which was steadily worsening. He didn’t recognize that he was ill since he had learned to live with it for so long. He found many sources of stress on which to blame his deteriorating mood so he thought his response was reasonable and logical. His depression was disrupting his work and marriage. If he didn’t get help his marriage was finished.
Depression and all mood disorders disrupt relationships both inside and outside the home. Marriages are severely strained by the temper, irritability, fatigue and apathy found in a depressed spouse. Twenty percent of all marriages are unhappy. In fifty percent of those unhappy couples, one or both spouses have a mood disorder. In my clinic, one of the most common causes of marriage failure is a mood disorder in a spouse. It is so important to get depressed people treated so that marriages can be saved.