“Married women are far more depressed than married men — in unhappy marriages, three times more; and — interestingly — in happy marriages, five times more. In truth, it is men who are thriving in marriage, now as always, and who show symptoms of psychological and physical distress outside it. Not only their emotional well-being but their very lives, some studies say, depend on being married!”
― Dalma Heyn
Something that we all must be well versed with by heart, thanks to our discussions here, is that every relationship has some bouncy patches on its route to togetherness. A lot has been spoken about the best to the worst aspects of any marriage or a long-term committedrelationship. We have even talked about Relationship Stress. This write up would deal slightly with the psychological aspect of the worst situations in any maritalrelationship.
What Causes Depression In Marriage?
Depression itself sounds like some sort of a mental ill health, something incurable. Even if we take that statement into account or acceptance, do we know what leads to a spouse or booth the partners in any marriage being in depression? Let’s find out:
- Expectations- Why is this part always the root cause of almost all the marital issues? Here’s the reasoning. If yours is a love marriage, then you are bound to feel unsatisfied with your relationship. Since courtship period in every couple’s life is full of promises, the latter partner takes those assurances probably way too seriously than what it should deserve. Not that the two people in love are liars or make up promises, it’s merely a phase when the two want to make the marriage or commitment happen in every possible way. As the phase changes post marriage, the two people in marital bliss perhaps begin taking each other for granted. It is a human psychology that post marriage the spouses know that the other person isn’t running away. In this phase shifts, the expectations take a back seat and all that is pondered upon by the two sexes in relationship is how much of their expectations respectively are fulfilled by the other depending upon the prior promises.
- Fadingromance- Love and Romance are the essentials of a good relationship apart from the duo traits of trust and faith between the two people in commitment. We usually tend to blame responsibilities to the fading attraction between a couple post marriage. But this fact isn’t entirely true.
- It may be acceptable to some extent that kids and financial requirements and fulfilments after marriage lead to “no time for love honey!” kind of situations. But if this is the reason, then why do the extra marital affairs happen? Doesn’t romance outside marriage need time and expressions of love and whatsoever? And if that time and love filled expressions can be shown to some third person outside marriage, then why not to your own spouse? This would help to mend the differences as well.
- Secondly, this is the era of internet, chatting, whatsapp, facebook, twitter and a whole bunch of other useless time consuming activities. This might seem a weird point of contemplation especially to the youth, but people, these are those kinds of involvements which soon become addictions without your realisations. In no time, your acquaintances on chat become more important and happening than your partner sitting right besides you!
- Health Issues- These are common as well as mostly disregarded issues when it comes to the reasoning of depression in marriages. A lack of healthy lifestyle, burden of excessive responsibilities on one spouse rather than sharing of duties, hormonal changes etc. In such a case all that is required is a good understanding of the health problems of one spouse by the other.
- Over-Criticism- A little and casual criticism is always welcome amongst couples but too much of nagging and critical takes on everything that he/she does can lead to disturbed mind and thus depression in her/him.
- Dissatisfaction- No one has ever been satisfied in life. The contentment remains a far fetched thought. A constant reminder of your dissatisfactions and vexations to your better half can ruin his/her peace of mind and result in him/her getting depressed.
- A disfigured lifestyle- The financial betterment seems to be the ultimate goal of people today. Whether single or committed, everyone’s lifestyle is a big wreck today. In this fast paced world, time for meditation, outings with beloved or family or friends is nowhere to be seen. This leads to lack of composure in one’s life and hence leads to a much of depressive state at a personal level.
Warning Signs That Your Relationship Is Making You Depressed
When you are in love you tend to bear all the nuisances and tantrums of your beloved. But at times the patience is lost which makes you enraged and depressed all the time. Following are some of the signs which are suggestive of the fact that yours is a relationship that’s making you depressed:
- You feel that he/she dominates you in every single thing. When every act of yours is being watched and criticised and corrected as per his/her requirement regardless of what and how you think of it as, you are in a depressive state.
- “That dress doesn’t suit you” or “What weird hairstyle is that?” etc. are the critical remarks you often come across, then you are probably in a worrisome state. You would also find that such criticism always has the “I” letter in it, how he thinks, how he feels etc.
- Even when at home you feel like being bossed around. He/she wants things done her/his way and it always comes as a command and not as a requesting gesture.
- When he or she tries to have a control over you, whether it’s about taking decisions or about overpowering in bed, you are heading towards depression.
- When your partner unhesitatingly abuses you and poses as “I am always right” kind of an attitude it makes you emotionally downtrodden and low which ultimately leads to your depressive state.
- It’s always “my way or no way” situation of imposing things on you.
- From grocery to cleaning to kids to any other daily chores you seem to be under a potential burden, you are or would soon land up being depressed.
How To Prevent Depression In Marriage Or Committed Relationship
With commitment comes minor or major disagreements and thus some tension creating situations too. Excess of depression can lead to a broken marriage too. But when these situations become a norm and happen almost on a regular basis then they are bound to make the suffering spouse depressed. This calls for the role of the partner to make sure that the depressed spouse is taken good care of. Here are some ways by which you can prevent the situations in which marriage leads to depression:
- Try to be less critical and appreciate his/her activities. More you nag, worst the situation becomes.
- Share responsibilities. There is no harm in doing the laundry job or dropping the kids to school now and then to lighten the burden of responsibilities from her shoulders. If you are the victim in this case, then learn to say no to duties if and when you feel over burdened with those.
- Don’t act a dictator in everything. If you can be solely decisive about things, so can he/she be. Instead of imposing your thoughts and decisions on him/her, start discussing the matters and consider the viewpoints of both of you before deciding onto something. This would also help to kill the emotional distances between you two.
- Your partner’s prolonged depression is likely to make him/her lose temper every now and then or he/she might remain silent with not much reaction towards you. If you wish to mend things then it is advisable to bear with such a behaviour or temperament of your spouse till things are settled.
- Avoid being judgemental about everything. Do not discourage him/her. Your emotional, physical and mental support are the only things that can help your spouse in depression due to previous situations between you two or your insolent acts towards him/her.
Intimacy is vital for a romantic relationship or a marriage. Intimacy doesn’t only stands for being physically close, but it also means to have a certain understanding which brings you both emotionally closer as well. Remember, emotions play a huge role in bringing together of two people and not just the physicalattraction. A marriage doesn’t start with depression. It is the situation that a person knowingly or unknowingly creates for his/her spouse which make the latter more like a slave or a prisoner than a better half. This role of dictatorship in troubled marriages isn’t gender specific, rather it’s men and women both in respective situations.
Even if you feel that remaining silent every time is keeping your spouse’s temper low and arguments at bay, you are not likely to last long neither would your patience. Learn to speak up and remember that there is a huge different between speaking up for yourself and arguing! A happy marriage doesn’t mean zero depression.