my wife is suffering with what i think is depression , i want to help her but she will not allow me to , all i get is "you dont understand"

how can i be of any help if she wont let me , she talks of ending it all because she feels that she has no purpose any more now that the kids are all off doing their own thing , she wont go to a doctor because she doesn't like them and if she did they will only give her pills which she says she will take all in one hit i am worried about her but i cant do anything to help , what can i do ?

8 Replies

  • Worriedhubby this is not an easy one at all. You will need to try and persuade your wife to see a dr. If she is given pills it maybe an idea to put them where you know they are and give her the required ammount each day.

    If the reason for what you think is depression is because the kids have left home, why not talk to your wife about things you can do together to see if this takes her mind of thigs. Also see if she will talk to you and try to understand how she if feeling but dont be judgemental. Maybe after a bit your wife may open up to you, just be patient and see how things go. She may feel inside that she cant talk to anybody because they wont understand but she need to know that you are there for her.

    I hope that you will be able to talk to your wife and that things will gradulally improve over time.

  • Hi,

    I'm sorry things are feeling so bleak for your wife at the moment, it must be difficult for her and also difficult for you to feel so helpless and now know what to do.

    It sounds as though your wife's sense of meaning in her life came from being a mother and that she has little ability to imagine her life can have any meaning apart from that role. I find that sad. It is natural for many women to find mothering satisfying and to miss the role when kinds leave home, I feel that myself in some ways, but I find it sad that your wife has no other fulfilment in her life.

    I'm wondering what that feels like for you? You are obviously worried about her and want to help her but don't know how to help, and I'm wondering whether you have fully shared those feelings with her. I wonder whether you have told her how helpless her talk makes you feel, how much you want to help her, how much you care about her and love her. It sounds as though although your wife shares her feelings with you there is a gap in your relationship, a gap between you both. You haven't said whether you have a close relationship in other respects, apart from as joing parents, but I am imagining how it must feel for you to feel of so little value to your wife that she finds her life meaningless despite having you as her husband. In your position I imagine feeling angry as well as helpless to know what to do, and while I am not suggesting you direct your anger towards her I do think it will help if you tell her caringly how you do feel.

    One thought that comes to my mind is whether your wife knows how important she is to you, how much you love her, enjoy her company, etc and how devastated you would be to lose her? Woman often need reassurance about their loveability during life events such as the menopause, and children leaving home. It is not uncommon for women to feel they have served their purpose and that there is nothing left for them to do, no way they can be of further value. Does your wife know how much you value her. Showing her in all sorts of little ways may help, as will wanting her company to do things together, to show her that you need her just as much as the children did.

    Not much help probably, but I can only speak from how I feel as a mature woman still trying to find a full sense of meaning in my own life. We all need to feel wanted and needed and ultimately perhaps the only way you can really help your wife is to show her that you want and need her, and that you enjoy her for meeting your needs and desires.

    I wish you both well,


  • Worriedhubby :If she does not want to go for help then may be you can go into counseling and ask the counselor what the best thing is you can do . Try to find somebody who is more specialized in this type of problem. Goodluck, it is not easy I do think it will pass having gone thru it myself

  • hi, I'm sorry that you and your wife are having a rough time. What your wife feels is not rare.

    I hope it might help you to know that you are both not alone in this and by joining a group such as this you will be able to ask things and share how you feel. People who have come through similar feelings will offer support and you can take hoe from them. Through reading other's experiences you absorb different coping strategies and adapt them to help your wife.

    Although your wife doesn't want to see your gp, you can go and talk to him. You can also ring groups like anxietyuk, the samaritans, for help and someone to talk to.

    My Mum went through an awful time prior to being diagnosed and my Dad gained a lot from talking to the samaritans - they are not just there for people contemplating suicide.

    please keep in touch,


  • Hi. I am new to this my 1st time share to everyone. My English is poor hope u all don't mind. Hi sir, u may take her to counseling it is easy way to speak out her own depression u must sit n accompany yr wife. If she dont want to see counsel you should try online counsel or special group for who have overcome their depression i believe it can her your wife slowly. Try to understand yr wife and observer her mood swing. Don't let this affect both of your marriage life. She is not alone she have you and her children and her family always be there for her.

    This is same to me and my hubby accompany me to see counseling for my depression this month my first time. I make my move I feel worthless if I countiue my depression unsolved. Waste my other half life span to go. I suffering from my depression 28years I was 5year born as a deaf hard to accept face myself this such challenge. I did share with my hubby family and my family already about my depression where it come from! I wish you good luck. Please do not give up on your wife. I believe one day your wife improved her health and stay happy everyday.

  • Hi Panda77 and welcome,

    Thanks for the advice you gave to worriedhubby, I hope he is able to help his wife, with your, and all the other advice the kind people on this forum have tried to give him.

    Best wishes


  • Hi worriedhubby and welcome,

    I can understand why you are worried, and my best advice in the short term, is to read the replies from friends on this forum who have replied to you, as they have all gone through these problems in many ways and try and act on their suggestions, as they have got over them in the main.

    Depression has many causes but in my unqualified opinion the one that seems to have had the greatest effect on your wife, is to suddenly be alone after having children who needed her so much have grown up and flew the coop, her life must suddenly feel empty, I can appreciate this, as a "Macho man" with 1 son when he left home, I did,en't know what to do for months and was depressed alll the time.

    As the others have advised to your best to get her to see your GP who should refer her for specialist treatment, go with her for support, and listen carefully to his advice, as in present state, she may not take it all in.

    I wish you both all the very best, and hope this goes away soon


  • just wanted to add ----ask your wife what you can do for her? If she seems to prefer an alternative approach check out some local resources for her, there might be local meditation workshops nearby, Check out local self help groups.

    If she is into using minerals, there is said to be a connection between calcium / magnesium deficiency and depression,

    If your wife is afraid that she might abuse the meds, would she consider you having control of them for her?

    Not sure if the kids are with partners yet, so don't know how far in the future grandchildren are?

    Are there local causes you can both get into together to give some motivation?

    Did religion ever play a part in her life?

    What ever you do use your years of knowing her to find what suits her.

    Don't know how long the depression has been with her, the longer it does go on without some extra help, the longer it will take to recover, so Please don't go for the wait and see approach, again make it individual to what you know will suit her.