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5 Effects of Depression in Marriage and Ways to Cope

Depression and Marriage

Depression is a complex and pervasive mental health condition. It not only impacts individuals but also has significant ramifications for their close relationships, particularly marriage. When one or both partners experience depression, it can lead to challenging times, testing the very foundation of the relationship. In this article, we will explore the dynamics of depression within the context of marriage and offer insights into how couples can cope with and overcome this ordeal together.

How Does Depression Affect a Marriage

Marriage is sanctity as stated by most people. It is where two people decide to bind themselves that may last for a lifetime. However, some situations challenge a couple throughout their marital relationship. Aside from the growing responsibility of each other because of changing status, stress from other scenarios such as work can also trigger the chance of a person to suffer from general depression symptoms.

One of the major causes of divorce among couples is this devastating psychological problem that has something to do with the mood disorder, depression. A person with depression symptoms eventually suffers from a great deal of challenges. This can also affect their partner. A depressed person may exhibit behaviors that are not appropriate for the marital relationship.

Below is the list of the manifestations of depression that can disrupt the relationship of couples and affect marriage:

Loss of sexual interest

This is very common in all forms of depression. Sexual activity is part of human instinct. A man and a woman must submit themselves to each other because it is their role to meet everybody’s physiologic needs. That is, of course, sex.

If depression strikes in a person then it may alarm the partner. The tendency for this might cause a conflict between the two. A person who is not depressed might think that their marriage is not working well because their depressed partner is not giving enough attention or motive about sex. The most crucial part here is when the partner of a depressed person is not familiar with this condition; thereby they will interpret it differently.


One of the general depression symptoms is anger. If a depressed person strikes madness towards their partner, they will tend to hurt them physically. This is common to depressed men or people who suffer from major depression.

Anger is considered one of the earliest manifestations of depression. A depressed person can get easily mad even with the slightest stimulus. If this condition persists, the partner who is not aware of the problem of their spouse eventually may decide to get a divorce. Unfortunately, the entire family will be affected especially the kids.

Loss of interest in work

Work is a crucial part of everybody’s life, especially if you have the responsible of a family on your shoulder. A depressed person loses interest in work and indulges himself in other unusual activities. This in turn will let the other partner double up their responsibilities to cover up the shortcomings of their depressed partner.

Probably, at the onset of the mental illness, the unaware spouse can understand the behavior of the depressed spouse. However, if things are getting worst and the pressure is already on the shoulder of the unaffected partner, she/he may eventually feel tired and anxious. This will be the starting point of conflict within the marital relationship.

Unhealthy vices

As one of the depression symptoms, alcoholism and/or drug abuse can obliterate the foundation of a marital relationship. A depressed spouse who starts to engage in this activity can be alarming. Once it gets worst, people within the family will be affected. This manifestation is most likely to occur among depressed men. Substance abuse is worst because it can destroy the well-being of a depressed person. Psychotic depression is a form of depressive disorder that usually manifests this symptom.


A depressed spouse prefers to be alone. They are not comfortable being with their wife or husband. They seldom want to sleep together in one bed. The unaffected spouse might feel that they are not loved by their depressed spouse. They might think of their partners and that he/she might have other affairs. Later on, the unaware spouse might look for a lawyer to discuss their divorce. This makes isolation one of the general depression symptoms.

    Read moreHow to Support a Depressed Partner: 11 Ways to Help

These were the major points How Does Depression Affect a Marriage. Open communication is the best way to resolve the conflict. Some experts will suggest they undergo couple counseling. Many cases of depression are treated well because of the support coming from their spouse. That includes treatment modalities such as therapy and antidepressant drugs. Learn more here on → How to Deal With the Depression.

Coping with Depression in Marriage

Seek Professional Help
If one or both partners are experiencing depression, seeking professional help is crucial. Individual therapy and couples counseling can provide a safe space for exploring emotions, improving communication, and learning coping strategies.

    Read more → How to Find a Depression Therapist That's Right for You

Improve Communication
Open and honest communication is the foundation of any successful marriage. Both partners should strive to express their feelings and needs clearly, while also actively listening to each other without judgment.

Support and Empathy
Support from the non-depressed partner can be instrumental in the healing process. Showing empathy, understanding, and patience can create a sense of safety and trust within the relationship.

    Read also → How to Help Someone with Depression: Do's and Don'ts

Strengthening the Bond

Couples Therapy
Engaging in couples therapy can offer a structured environment for addressing issues related to depression in the marriage. A skilled therapist can guide the couple in developing healthy coping mechanisms and enhancing their emotional connection.

Engaging in Activities Together
Participating in activities together can help strengthen the bond between partners. Engaging in hobbies or exercises that both enjoy can create positive shared experiences.

Setting Realistic Expectations
During challenging times, it is essential to set realistic expectations for both the depressed individual and the marriage as a whole. Understanding that progress takes time and effort can alleviate unnecessary pressure.

Overcoming Depression Together

Building a Support System
Apart from professional help, a support system comprising close friends and family can offer invaluable assistance during tough times. Encourage the depressed partner to lean on these trusted individuals for additional support.

Encouraging Self-Care
Self-care is vital for both partners, especially during times of depression. Encourage each other to engage in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress.

Fostering Emotional Connection
Intentionally nurturing emotional connections can help counter the emotional distance caused by depression. Engage in deep conversations, share affection, and create a safe space for vulnerability.

    Read moreHow to Support a Depressed Partner: 11 Ways to Help


Q: Can depression lead to divorce?

A: Depression can strain a marriage, but it doesn't automatically lead to divorce. With appropriate support and effort from both partners, it is possible to work through the challenges and strengthen the relationship.

Q: Should I disclose my depression to my partner before marriage?

A: Disclosing your depression to your partner before marriage can promote open communication and understanding. Being honest about your mental health can lay the groundwork for a supportive and empathetic relationship.

Q: Can a happy marriage prevent depression?

A: A happy marriage can contribute to overall well-being, but it does not guarantee immunity from depression. Mental health conditions can arise due to various factors, and seeking professional help is vital if depression is present.

Q: Is it okay to take a break from the relationship during difficult times?

A: Taking a break from the relationship should be approached with caution. While some time apart can offer space for reflection, it is essential to communicate openly and honestly about the need for a break.

Q: Should I involve our children in dealing with depression in our marriage?

A: It's essential to shield children from the burden of adult problems, but being honest about emotions in an age-appropriate manner can help them understand better.

Q: How can I encourage my spouse to seek help for depression?

A: Approach the topic with empathy and love. Encourage them to speak openly about their feelings and suggest seeking professional guidance together.


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