One partner’s depression can affect both people in a marriage; succeeding can depend on good communication skills, commitment to teamwork and mutual compassion:
Share the load
If your partner is open to it, look for specific ways to share aspects of depression management. For example, offer to make medical appointments and/or provide transportation. Have a discussion about whether there’s a sensitive way for you to check in about medication compliance. Pick up the slack around the house as necessary. When appropriate, be a companion in self-care, such as taking the lead to get outside for a regular daily walk together.
It’s important to acknowledge every tiny victory, says Ryan Anderson, PhD, a marriage and family therapist whose wife, Marianne, has depression. “Really try to enter into their world and their perspective, and recognize that there’s far more effort going on than is visible from the outside.”
Be careful in how you phrase certain things in your communication to your other half. You want to ensure you offer support and not convey disappointment with how he/she is handling things, says Anderson. Try to phrase questions from a place of curiosity. “’Why didn’t you put the garbage out?’ comes across as accusing. ‘I notice the garbage wasn’t taken out. Are you having a rough day?’ shows openness to conversation.'”
Small loving gestures
Find ways throughout the day to reassure your partner that you appreciate her/him. When someone is dealing with depression and anxiety, it means a great deal to receive a text with a loving message. It’s something very easy to do and these small loving gestures will be appreciated.
Related: Depression & Coping as a Couple
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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