Relationships and depression do not always go together, but when they do it can be difficult to cope. The first step is admitting to yourself and then to each other that you are unhappy. This can involve the loss of a dream or an idea of what you thought you had.
In order to see if things can get better, you have to admit there is a problem and talk about what went wrong. Rationalizing that things are ok when they are not only distances your partner more. It will also make you more depressed.
Relationships and Depression
When relationships and depression are linked, there might be many reasons for this. Are you walking on eggshells, fearful of your partners reactions? Do you feel unappreciated, and taken for granted? Do you feel that your partner doesn’t listen to you? Maybe you don’t feel safe and loved.
You would like to feel supported so you can be yourself and open up. If you can’t talk to your partner, you might feel you have to turn toward someone else. Sometimes this can be a trusted friend or a therapist. Other times, this is how affairs can start.Some partners are critical, so you don’t feel safe with them. You also might feel controlled by your partner. This can cause you to stop talking to friends and family. Being isolated and not feeling safe can cause depression.
Addiction and Relationships and Depression
Perhaps there are substance abuse problems. Addiction can cause people to feel helpless and hopeless, which are the main symptoms of depression. If your partner has a serious addiction, they will often put that over their relationships and depression can set in. Their partners start to feel depressed, since they don’t feel they are a priority.
Addiction can vary from drugs and alcohol to sex, gambling, internet and pornography, to name a few. The need to escape the stress of daily life, or of your past, can take over. The often unintentional fall out of this causes your partner to feel neglected and unloved. Depression can set in.
Sometimes it’s difficult to transition from being in your family with your Mom and Dad, your family of origin, to being in a new family with your partner. You will often have to prioritize being in your new family with your partner over your family of origin, but figuring out how and when to do that can be tricky.
If you don’t see your family of origin enough, that won’t feel good, either. Finding that balance might be one of your challenges.
Anger And Relationships And Depression
Depression can be a sign that you are feeling angry. Relationships and depression and anger can all be linked. Instead of expressing your anger and taking steps to deal with it, you might turn that anger in on yourself. That means you start criticizing yourself, feeling guilty and ashamed, and invalidating your reality.
Ask yourself who you are angry with and what you are angry about. Maybe you have many resentments in your relationship. Do some writing about this. I can help you sort through all this and decide what to do about it. However, before action comes really thinking about it and discussing it with a therapist you feel safe with. Discuss your resentments and figure out what to do about them.
Talking to someone who is not a part of your day to day life has many advantages. You can say whatever you need to say without fear of any repercussions. It will also help you to consider all angles of the problem, including things you may not have thought of.
Often depression comes from inaction, so you may be tempted to lash out. But taking the positive action of calling to make an appointment and talking in therapy can be a very healing first step.
How To Cope With Relationships And Depression
Listening is an important skill to learn if you want to have a good relationship. If you are only listening until you get to talk, your partner can sense that and will not feel fully heard and validated. You can learn how to actively listen to each other, without interjecting your own opinion, and with the goal of making sure your partner feels understood.
Being in therapy will help you discuss difficult topics. You can resolve some of your issues. After discussing some topics, you may just be able to come to a place of acceptance. You may have to learn to focus on what is positive and let go of issues that you don’t agree on.
Focus on each others strengths by complimenting each other. Appreciate your partner by saying thank you or surprising them with something you know they will like. Some people like an actual gift, while others like time together at home or for you to show your appreciation by noticing things they’ve done for you.
Staying in touch once or twice during the day is a good way to feel connected. This can be as simple as a brief text sending your love.
Make sure you hug and cuddle each other. Physical touch is very important to feel close and connected. Don’t take each other for granted. Love and nurture and make time for each other.
Pursue your own interests and find some interests you can do together. Find a balance between your friends, family and your partner. Sometimes it’s great to come home and tell your partner about your day when you’ve been apart. It adds spice to your life!
A Word About Therapy
Therapy works best when you commit to a minimum of one 50 minute session a week. It’s important to be as consistent as possible. Of course, this depends on your lifestyle. Be careful that therapy doesn’t become chaotic. Keep in mind that changing many years of doing things a certain way takes time, and we only have one hour a week! So stay patient and keep coming!
You have to work at it. Sometimes it’s a struggle, and you think nothing is changing. It can be hard to be vulnerable and honest. It’s also emotionally exhausting to confront your fears, anger, and relationship issues. Hang in there, and after a while, you will really start to notice changes.
The tools I use, like EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Neurofeedback, can help a lot. However, getting to the root of things through talking about them is vital. Change can be difficult, and also very rewarding!
If you would like to discuss any of these topics, or any other concerns or struggles that you have, feel free to reach out to me by leaving a confidential voice mail 310-314-6933 or email email@example.com.