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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Wife Is Depressed and I Want a Divorce

Dear Stavroula,

I am 37 years old, married for eight years. My wife got pregnant a few months ago, and unfortunately she miscarried again. She took it very badly, and things got even worse when she had to deal with some problems at work. She has closed herself off, prefers to be alone, does not want to go out, or have anything to do with the outside world. As for lovemaking, it is not even a topic of discussion. She began treatment with the help of a psychiatrist, but the situation has not improved.

My problem is that all of this has affected me as well. I cannot stand being at home, and living through this situation, I want to help her, but I cannot find a way.

Unfortunately, we have had problems in our relationship for years, but I have been fighting for it for so long. Now I feel like I can't take it anymore. I no longer feel the same feelings for her, I want a divorce, but I'm afraid that if I tell her, she will get worse, and I feel remorse just thinking about it.

The only solution I see is to live my life without her knowledge, until the situation improves a bit, but that also puts pressure on me, since we live in the countryside.

I feel like I am drowning, trapped in a vicious circle. What should I do?

Christos

Dear Christos,

It is not easy to live with someone who is constantly unhappy, who shows that she does not want anyone beside her, and is giving off negative energy. However, it is a situation that could improve, even unite the couple, when the partners love each other and treat the disease as another life challenge.

In your case, however, from what you write to me, you have had problems for a long time, you feel that your feelings towards your partner have changed. This makes the situation even more complicated, because even if there was no problem in your relationship, depression alone is a very destabilizing factor. It is not easy to manage the despair you feel seeing your significant other so changed, but there are ways.

In this case, the first thing you should probably think about is whether your feelings for your wife are really over or maybe you feel this way seeing the relationship under the distorting lens of depression. What is it that has kept you in this relationship for so many years, so that, as you wrote, you fought for it? If your wife no longer suffered from depression, would you stay with her, would you find in her again everything that you once loved about her?

If you are sure that you want to leave this relationship, it would be best to talk to your wife's doctor and advise him on how to handle the situation. He will be able to tell you the possible consequences of such a discussion with your wife and what you can do to get a divorce as smoothly as possible for the both of you.

I cannot tell you if it would be a solution to live a secret life. It depends on your outlook on life, and your stamina.

You could probably talk to some of your closest friends and relatives, those you trust the most, and ask for their help and advice. When we are trapped in a difficult situation, we tend to see things in a certain light. However, there are always more perspectives on any given situation and these perspectives can often be illuminated through talking to someone else.

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