Did I Say “I Do” to That?
By Emily Youngblood
I have clinical depression, which started as postpartum depression.
It’s not what my husband thought he signed up for.
The joyful and caring wife he married is often nowhere to be found. Replaced with someone who struggles to get out of bed and doesn’t want to be alive.
Many of us begin our marriages with the words “in sickness and in health.” But what about mental illness? It’s not something we think about.
Depression is a serious medical condition and medical intervention may be necessary, but this doesn’t mean we ignore our spouse while doctors care for them. Both mental and physical illnesses are exhausting.
But how do you convince someone with depression they are worthy of love? How do you show them you love them?
To invest in your marriage in the midst of depression, press in. Don’t check out.
My husband presses in by rubbing my feet when they’re the only thing I can stand touched. He presses in by leaving me alone when I don’t feel up to conversation.
Being married to someone with depression is exhausting. The healthy spouse carries the load of both themselves and the suffering spouse—while still seeking to love that person who once had so much light in their eyes.
Jesus reminds my husband and me both to rest in Him: “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Seeking Jesus allows us to set down all of the burdens that come with loving a depressed spouse—or plowing through it yourself.
Through a relationship with Him, you can find the motivation to press in instead of checking out … and find the rest you need to continue on.
The good stuff: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29)
Action points: What are some tangible ways you can “press in” to your marriage? Have you found yourself checking out? Be open with your spouse, and ask for forgiveness. Pray and ask God for wisdom on how to support your spouse as they walk through mental illness. Ask your spouse to be honest about what is helpful and what is hurtful during their hard days; be open to the fact that their response may surprise you.
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