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Me "being on alert" for wife's depression, perhaps unnecessarily!

(26 Posts)
letsgomaths Fri 15-Feb-13 19:34:43

The lovely lady who is now my wife and I have been together for nearly four years, and married for 18 months. When we first got together (met through a shared interest), she was an emotional wreck with almost no self-esteem, prone to tantrums, had (and still has a few) issues with her appearance, used to cry a lot, and was constantly afraid I would leave her. She had only recently left her previous partner (with good reason), and was having problems at work.

Somehow I saw past this negative exterior, and my instinct told me that persevering with her was the right thing to do, even though she herself tried hard to talk me out of a relationship with her. I moved in with her, proposed to her, and married her.

Like many others, we have had our ups and downs over the last four years; we have had many happy times, interspersed with her occasional very bad strops and depressions (and sometimes from me too), during which she would be utterly inconsolable, and I would have to try very hard not to get angry with her. She loves Christmas and present-giving occasions, but there's often an emotional crash in January when it's over, and it's dark and cold. During low moments I do my best to support her, although I sometimes told her it was time she pulled herself together and stopped being miserable, and once I felt really ashamed for timing one such statement badly.

She was delighted when I proposed to her, and said yes straight away. (I had prepared myself for having to convince her that she was good enough for me, but I didn't need to in the end.) She loved every moment of the wedding planning, totally sucked up wedding fairs (with me by her side), and loved the day itself. I anticipated a huge fall once it was over; she did get some post-wedding blues, but not as much as I thought she would.

I am happy to say that her low moments are now quite rare; and I very much hope that this is because she is now a happier person, because that was my goal for her when I saw a future for us. However, an anxious part of me keeps wondering if this is too good to be true, and that a major strop is always just around the corner; for example, I anticipated the usual January blues, and I could scarcely believe it when this year, they barely came at all. (The year before was very bad!) I gave her lots of praise, but I kept wondering if she was bottling things up, instead of expressing her feelings. I really hope she's still being her true self, and that she's not hiding any sadness for fear of how I might react. (I've read "Families and how to survive them" a lot.)

I'm sure all this says a lot about me. I need to trust her happiness more: in our early years, I was constantly on alert for her getting upset, which could be triggered by many things, such as a sudden change of circumstances (an event not going ahead, perhaps). Although I am much more relaxed now, sometimes I am thinking "it's been a very long time since DW got depressed". And yes, I know I should be very pleased about that. Perhaps I'm struggling to shake off the memory of what she was like when we first met, and perhaps that was an especially low moment for her, and I assumed she was like that most of the time.

A possible low point coming up is that it's her 30th birthday this summer; her own birthday is a celebration she's not fond of, perhaps because she dreads getting older. At low moments, she has said once or twice that she doesn't want to be 30. (She teased me a lot about my own 30th birthday, three years ago, told me I was getting "old".) What encouraging words might I give her?

Thank you for reading this far! I am wondering if any of you have success stories helping a depressed partner... and if you think I'm worrying too much about things now going wrong. She's actually the only serious girlfriend, partner or wife I've had (and I'm not foreseeing that changing), but it means I have less experience than many people to go on.

AnyFucker Sat 16-Feb-13 16:26:37

I am shit scared of the OP

If I were his wife, I would be fleeing...as far away as possible

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