I'm new to this board. It's been interesting reading the stories posted here. I feel like it would be a betrayal to talk about these things with family or people that we know, so it's a relief to have a place to vent!
My husband and I have been together for almost 20 years. He's had periods of depression off and on. Sometimes he would have a bad spell but then be relatively OK for months. For the last couple of years, it's been pretty much a continuous bad spell.
Another thing that makes our relationship interesting/complicated is that we have a pretty big age difference - about 28 years. He's in his early 70s; I'm almost mid 40s. I've never cared about that, but it makes it easy for him to blame difficulties on the age difference.
One thing that has made it worse is that we recently moved. We had lived in the same area for basically our whole time together. To make a long story short, my workplace became dysfunctional and I was no longer happy. With his approval, I began applying for other jobs, both in our home state and in other states. I worked very hard throughout the application process, got a lot of feedback, multiple interviews, and finally, a job offer. When I got the job offer, he seemed surprised, almost like he didn't really think about what would actually happen if I took another job. He told me to take the job. I did, and we moved, but I've felt guilty about it ever since.
I like my new job. It's been a tough transition, but I think it was an upgrade. On the other hand, he constantly talks about what a sacrifice the whole thing was. He doesn't like our new house, doesn't like the weather here, etc. To be fair, we did move to a state that is quite a bit more expensive than where we came from. We're doing all right, though. The bills are paid and we're not having to worry too much about spending money (within reason).
I am an extremely patient person. I have been very supportive over the years, suggesting supplements, offering to set up doctor appointments, buying self help books, etc. I notice now that when he mentions being depressed, I am starting to have a different reaction. I am just numb and a bit angry. I can spend hours trying to think of ways to fix things or set up an appointment, but the next day he will say things like "Never mind." or "I'll be all right." or "Pills don't work and I don't want to sit on a couch and tell someone about my childhood."
He has not gone to therapy for depression. He has only tried Wellbutrin. I went through my own depressive period about a year and a half ago due to my job situation and also the death of one of our dogs. Wellbutrin helped me and I suggested it to him. He called the VA doctor and had a prescription called in but never really talked to anyone in detail. He took it for a while but said it didn't work. He also has been experiencing ED for several years, which I know is common due to his age. He used to take medication for that, but it doesn't work anymore. He has taken that really hard. It's definitely taken a toll on intimacy because he gets so mad at himself/disappointed when it doesn't work. He doesn't exercise. He used to play golf a few times a week, but hasn't gone for quite a while due to various aches and pains. I've suggested other things, but it never happens. You can't make someone exercise.
Anyway, I feel like this post could go on and on. The current situation is that I go to work while he stays home, "baby-sits" the dogs, watches TV, and drinks. I can't be too judgy about that last one because I also like drinking and definitely drink more than the recommended amount on a daily basis. However, it doesn't stop me from working or wanting to go out and do things. I really don't care if he works. He's old enough to be retired and has earned it. I just want him to do SOMETHING. We live in a fun area - there is lots to do and he doesn't want to do anything. We go out to dinner a couple of times a week and that's about it unless I put my foot down and insist that we do something else. Example - we're going to a movie later. I wanted to try the "fancy" theater by my workplace with dining and reserved seats. It's 15 minutes away. He didn't want to go because it's "too far" and there is another theater close by. I just bought the tickets and said "We're going." I'm just so tired of having to battle to do anything. It makes me sad because we have had really good times. I have always initiated trips and having fun, and haven't minded too much because I like planning things like that, but it just gets worse and worse. It's like pulling teeth to get him to agree to anything.
This is just all coming to a head because I just worked really hard to achieve something and now I feel guilty about it. I deserve to feel good about what I've done. He told me it would be OK and it clearly wasn't.
I know this sounds really angry and maybe like I don't even love him. I do love him. This just doesn't seem like a sustainable situation. I'm a very loyal person and I won't leave him. Honestly, I don't know what he'd do if I did. I just don't want to end up resenting him, regretting the life we have had, and wishing that I had just walked away in the beginning. If I seem unhappy, he just says, "See, I told you I would get old." That's extremely frustrating for me because I see that as a cop out. This is not about being old.
I think I'm going to make an appointment with our general practitioner and just tell him when it is. I think he senses I'm losing my patience. Maybe he'll go.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading.