Thank God I found your website and can read about other dads going through some of what I am going through. If you could lend support or an encouraging email I would be so thankful. Basically my wife suffers from major depressive disorder and has been medicated even prior to our marriage or baby. I knew that this meant it was even more likely that she would suffer from PPD, which I feel she is suffering from.
For the past year and a half it’s been a living hell living with her. She didn’t want to take her anti-depressants while pregnant for fear of harming the baby and now that she’s had the baby 6 months ago she still is not taking them because she is breastfeeding and doesn’t want to hurt the baby.
All the while our marriage has gone to hell. We got pregnant only 2 months after getting married. This is my wife’s second marriage and so for the majority of our marriage my wife has been depressed. She suffers from a more agitated depression that makes her angry, moody, irritable, and blaming.
We’ve had our share of problems since being married, some of which are my fault, but it seems that in my wife’s eyes, everything is my fault. Especially now, I can’t say or do anything without it being taken the wrong way and being told how horrible I am to her. She tells me now that she regrets our marriage every day of her life and wishes we could get divorced. She thinks that everything is my fault, no matter what it is, and that I am mean, cruel, abusive, you name it.
Things that do happen, she sees only part of the whole picture so as to find fault in me where there really isn’t any. She sees reality completely different than it really is. She keeps revisiting an issue we had where I made a mistake, but overlooks the role she played in contributing to it. She tells her therapist and all her friends how horrible I am and gets all of them to agree with her and tell her that they are all amazed that she stays with me at all. Basically I’m vilified and I just wish I could say “hey” you don’t know the whole story, she’s only telling you the parts she want’s you to hear.
I feel alone. I question my own sanity. Is she really right about me? Am I really so horrible of a husband as she says I am? She sees the things she says about me and our marriage with just enough truth to make me really wonder. Deep down I know it’s her depression, but I’m loosing strength and am question myself and if I am a horrible monster she and all her friends think I am.
I know I have made mistakes but I think I treat her really well, am very loving, etc. But all that gets overlooked. All she remembers is the conflicts, the mistakes, and she overlooks the good things about me, the good things I’ve done, the good times we’ve had.
I found a letter she wrote to her ex husband in a book she was journaling in. I know I shouldn’t have read her journal, but I just wanted to try and figure her out and find out what’s going on with her. She wrote that she “misses” him and at that point I stopped reading. It broke my heart. This is a guy she had always told me was mean and abusive to her and treated her horribly, now she’s writing him and saying she “misses” him? Is all this normal for depression? What’s going on. What do I do? She has an appointment with a psych. on Monday so hopefully she’ll get back on meds.
The worst part of all this is that she’s great at playing the role of a completely healthy person who doesn’t have any issues and that I’m the problem. She can deceive all her friends and her own therapist into believing she’s fine and I’m horrible. What am I to do? Just wanted to hear some encouragement from someone who’s gone through what I’m going through. Just want support and to hear that I’m not crazy. Thanks.
6 Months Later
Well, I wish I could say that everything is better and back to normal but the truth is that we’re going on a year after our daughter’s birth and my wife is still depressed. Though she was prescribed a med by her doctor a few months ago to treat her depression it is one that is “breastfeeding safe” and not very effective for her depression. She tells me that she will wean our daughter by her 1st birthday. That is a month or so from now. Then she says she will go on her old meds again. I can’t wait to see if it really makes a difference. I know that when she was medicated before our marriage her depression was much more controllable.
The hardest part of it all is the drastic change in mood. One day she tells me how much she loves me, how great I am, how she ‘needs’ me. And then the next morning she swings 180 degrees and says that she wishes she could divorce me. I try now not to react either way. When she praises me I take it with a grain of salt because I know that it can turn on a dime.
My advice for any men out there who have wives who already suffer from depression or mental illness is to try and convince them prior to birth NOT to breastfeed. If I had known that I would spend two years of my life, my entire marriage so far, with an unmedicated depressed wife I would have fought tooth and nail to convince her breastfeeding was not the right choice for us.
I pray daily that I will one day get my wife back.