Not only does depression impact your life personally, but it can also have a tremendous impact on your relationships. Those who you are closest to usually are the ones who receive the biggest blow. It is common to ask ourselves, “Why do I hurt the ones I love the most?” Well, the answer is that our closest relationships are where we can and do feel the most vulnerable. When our fears, sadness and vulnerabilities get triggered, we can “act out” to deter attention to these factors, shifting the focus onto our anger. It is much easier to get angry at our partners than to reflect back at ourselves and see the areas in which we might be struggling, and then admit to our partner that we feel afraid, depressed or vulnerable.
This can especially be true with men. Men struggle with feeling depressed, vulnerable and out of control of their emotions. Rather than being sad or afraid, they have been trained by parents, society and peers to get angry. It is much more acceptable to be mad than to be sad. Unfortunately, this anger can push those we love most, our partners, away from us. What we really need, however, is for them to come toward us, to reassure us and to provide us comfort and empathy.
In an article written by Heather Gray, she provides a number of suggestions that can be helpful for both men and women on the impact of depression on relationships and marriages. I hope it is helpful for you.