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updates #34->A Husband Cries Out For Help!
September 18, 2007
From: Merri Ellen
For You! Ongoing depression cure research and some inspirational tidbits to help you along to recovery and joy!
A husband recently emailed me asking for help for his wife who's suffering from postpartum depression. He shared that his wife has been suffering for 6-9 months, they just had a new baby and he wanted to understand how to deal with the anxiety, fear, verbal anger and whats seems to be jealousy that he gets to go to work and do all things that go with it.
They have had major changes in their lives - the new baby which they adore, financial stress, sold their house, moved to new area. His most important thing was for his wife to be happy - everything else seems to have disintegrated! How can the husband help?
Well my heart went out to him. This is what I wrote back...
"Thanks for your email. My heart goes out to you. So does my husband's. My husband and I were in a similar boat about 4 years ago. We had our first child and I was suffering from postpartum depression. I longed to be back at work (and then was feeling awful that I wasn't enjoying my baby more). Then I longed to just die.
The new baby, new move, financial stress - wow, that's a lot on your plate.
My husband remembers feeling like nothing he did or said made anything better for me. He felt helpless too. He nearly gave up himself.
What helped me?
Well, I came to realize that all these changes were a season in my life. One day I'd be back in the corporate world, which I loved, but for now, my mission was to be the best mom I could be. It took awhile for me to realize this. [I soon learned that the skills I learned in the corporate world could be adapted. I now realize that the skills I have learned from being a mother and continue to learn- helps me immensely, now that I'm back in the corporate world. By the way, my husband is a stay at home dad presently as I write this and very much loving it!].
The best support I got were from friends who prayed for me and took me for walks and cooked meals for me and my family, and from meeting regularly with a counselor. Be sure to take your wife to see your doctor also.
Your wife needs community, exercise and a safe person to talk with. Ask her friends for their help. With moving to a new place; perhaps she doesn't have that support. If so, find a moms' group in a local church or community centre for her. Just find the info and leave it for her. She may reject it initially or be angry or indifferent but she can come around.
Listen to her pain. Be her punching bag - of verbal abuse, not physical. Recognize that your wife is ill from the stress of so much change on her body and in her surroundings. You are on a roller coaster ride so you will have to hang on in order to keep your family together. Seem impossible? It will be tempting to give up. It certainly won't be easy, but my husband and I can tell you its worth it.
Some ancient wisdom written centuries ago..."With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God". - Mark 10:27 (Now you understand why I pray. When you've tried things on your own and they don't work, you realize that there's someone who knows better).
Today, our family is so happy. The counseling, the exercise, the support of our church and their prayers - that's what brought us through. Today we took family pictures and boy did we smile!
You and your wife are in my prayers. I've enclosed a helpful little article I wrote on helping a friend going through postpartum depression. [See it on our download page].
If you are in need of someone to speak with, you are always welcome to speak with one of our counselors which you can access by going to the 'Need to TALK?' button on the left side of our website.
There is hope! Your family is worth it!
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