According to PsychCentral, new research finds that some people are better off not having a spouse than being in a poor relationship. Furthermore, people in bad relationships had more than double the risk of depression than those with the best relationships.
The interesting thing is that most of the psychological community would believe that you are depressed because your husband isn’t doing the things you want him to do or he is doing things you don’t want him to do. This means that he is completely responsible for your depression and the challenges in your relationship.
I’m going to say it a different way. Please bear with me until the end of this article because in the beginning, it might sound like I’m trying blaming you for your depression but that’s not what I’m doing. By the end of this article, you should understand your depression better and have a more empowered sense of what to do about it. [See Secrets of Happy Couples]
Depression is not something that comes from outside circumstances. Depression is a behavior you generate in your best attempt to get something you want. When you are unhappy in your relationship, you use depression to help your husband see just how unhappy he is “making” you. Of course, he is not “making” you feel anything. You don’t like what he is doing so you use depression as your best attempt to control him to do what you prefer.
Do I actually think you are doing this with malice and forethought? Of course not! Women do not sit around and plot and plan to use depression to control people. This almost always occurs on a subconscious level.
InsideOut Empowerment, based on the legendary work of psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser, tells us that behavior is never reactive; it is always proactive created to help us get more of what we want. You are in a relationship. You aren’t happy because your relationship isn’t the way you’d hoped it would be. You have identified your husband’s behavior as the cause of this unhappiness. Your depression is a behavior your subconscious creates to help you get your husband to change.
All behavior has four components – actions, thinking, emotion and your body’s physiology. With depression, your actions are moping around, crying, withdrawing into yourself. Your thinking probably centers around how you wish your husband would just love you enough to give you what you want. Of course, your emotional component is sadness. And if you have been depressed for a long time, your body’s physiology may include a reduction in serotonin, the chemical involved in “feeling good.”
Most psychiatrists believe that the body’s physiology gets out of whack first, creating this mental illness we call depression but what if it’s the other way around? What if . . . your actions and thinking over a prolonged period of time actually change your body’s chemistry? When you think you are in danger, your body creates adrenalin and cortisol. Why would you think it couldn’t also eat up your serotonin?
So how do you get out of this downward spiral? First, understand that you have created this depressive behavior for a reason. This is not because I want you to blame yourself for the situation you are in. Of course not! You didn’t know you were doing this. How is it your fault? Don’t blame yourself. But now that you know, take full responsibility for your happiness. [To stay in touch with Kim, sign up for her free newsletter.]
If you are unhappy, you owe it to yourself to first ask for what you want. If that works, then you won’t have a need for the depression anymore. If your husband doesn’t make the change you request, and he may not because doing it the way he’s been doing has obviously worked for him in some way, then you might want to look at what you can do to create your own happiness.
If you don’t get what you want, then accept, without anger or resentment, that your husband is doing what he needs to do to get his own needs met. His job after all is to meet his needs. Guess whose job it is to meet yours? That’s right! It’s your job. So now there are three and a half options left to you.
You can change or adjust what you want.
You can change your perception. So if you are telling yourself a story that your husband doesn’t love you enough, change your story.
You can do something different.
(or 3.5) As the Rolling Stones told us years ago, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” [For a more descriptive understanding of your needs, check out Kim’s free report on InsideOut Thinking]