Does anyone have tips on how to help someone with moderate depression?


Well-known member
I have been depressed myself but I've always dealt with it myself, and been alone at the time, but now someone close to me is going through it and I need some help on how to handle it.

My husband moved here from England to be with me, and right now we are in a bit of a limbo because he can't work, can't even get a social security number yet, can't drive or anything. We are filing his green card paperwork when I get paid on the 30th (the fee is outrageous), so hopefully he should get work authorization in the next 2-3 weeks. Until then, I can tell he is depressed and I don't know what to do about it.

(this may get long and a bit TMI, so...)

It started out that I noticed he was acting sort of sad, a little bit touchy, etc... I asked if he was okay and he admitted that he was having a hard time adjusting over here, he doesn't like not having any money and it's hurting his pride to let me pay for everything. He said he feels like he hasn't found himself here yet. I asked if there was anything I was doing wrong, and he told me no, that I was being a fantastic wife and I am fine.

That was a few weeks ago... I started noticing over the past few weeks that little things are becoming more noticeable. For one, he is constantly calling himself fat, and he is 6'5, 220 lbs, and rather thin. He has a bit of a stomach but for 31 years old, he is in good shape. Two, I noticed that our sex life started slowing down. We've always been decently active, more so on visits as we had limited time, but even when we moved here it was pretty steady... every other day at least, but more commonly at least once per day.

It started going 2-3 days... then 4... and then last week we didn't do anything all week. Friday afternoon rolled around, and I decided to come home for lunch (if you get what I mean). I finished eating and said I was going upstairs, and he followed, got into the room, shut the door and looked completely clueless. I'm going... ok... I actually had to say out loud that I came home so we could hook up. We ended up finally doing things, but only for a few minutes and it just wasn't right. Something was off. He's normally very intimate and affectionate... not that time.

I got home that evening a little early, and when I came in the room(we live in a FROG in my parents house), he barely looked up and kinda murmured "hi". I ended up sitting there on the bed for an hour waiting for him to make some kind of move (after mentioning that I wanted it) but he was busy on the computer. I started reading, and looked over at the screen to see him typing (he does development work for an online game and was chatting with the other devs) "Gotta go, wife needs me ;-) "

At this point, we had 30 minutes until our best friend was coming to the house to go to dinner with us. I was doubtful that anything would get going... and omg, those 30 minutes nearly killed me. He was -insane-! I think he literally almost made himself pass out. It was just like we used to be - sweating, intense, etc. After we were both done, I had to get up and get him water, and I was scared to leave him in the room cause he was so you know... aaaaah, ugh, tired.

Since then... nothing. Not even flirting, touching or anything. It's back to the way it was before again. We got into an argument about it last night because we're also having some trouble over foreplay. He doesn't do it anymore. When we first got together, I was really uncomfortable with the idea of him doing oral on me, and he actually got a little upset. Finally, I got comfortable enough and he's done it 2 or 3 times now I think. But it's been MONTHS since he's even tried. I've said something about it in passing -- but he usually changes the subject. So I finally came out and asked if I tasted bad or something, or if he didn't like doing it. He seriously jumped back and said "no no no, I love doing that for you, I just don't think about it." When I brought it up last night again though, he relayed a story about throwing up one time when he did it to some girl years ago. He said they had drunk a lot and he doesn't know whether it was that or not. I said "ok... great, so I make you want to puke?" He yelled at me and said he didn't want to talk about it anymore "because he didn't mean it like that."

It basically started a fight, I fell asleep on my side angry and he was sitting at the edge of the bed not speaking to me. I woke up around 4AM and he was curled up, holding onto me with his face buried in my stomach. His face was red and he looked like he had been crying.

So now I feel like crap, we've kind of talked about it today but I still don't know how to deal with this. At all. I have relationship experience but obviously 0 marriage experience.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I know this was a lot to read, and it seems and feels like more of a rant. I think he is depressed and it is affecting our relationship, specifically the intimacy side of things... but how can I help? Can I even help at all?


Well-known member
Wow, that's quite alot the both of you are going through. I know it sounds easier said than done, but I would try to talk to him and tell him you know something is wrong and since you are his wife, you want to help him fix it but you can't do that if he won't confide in you. Moving that many miles to be with someone is a serious commitment and he needs to know that he CAN talk to you.

More than likely he is stressed about his immigration status and I would just assure him that things will work out, it will just take some time and patience. From what you said, there doesn't seem to be any other issues other than waiting to pay the fee to get the ball rolling and from there, I would think things will roll along more smoothly.

For whatever reason, most guys I know tend to be sensitive about money and I'm sure too that the fact that you are footing the bill for most things right now is sort of a blow to his self esteem but I would try to assure him that he should try not to worry about it b/c it's not like he's a dead beat husband who CAN work but doesn't-- he just isn't able to at the moment b/c of his situation.

As for the sex thing, my experience has been that when a guy acts like that, it could be any number of things, including stress. The day you mentioned where it was awesome and like what you're used to could've just been a day that he was feeling better about things or even needed an outlet for his frustration. That's not to say he didn't enjoy it b/c it sure sounds like he did. I do think the story he told you about throwing up on the girl he went down on sounds a little crazy but to me it sounds like you both are reaching a point where things are setting you both off. I would like to think he wasn't trying to imply that you make him sick and he was just giving an excuse for not wanting to do it. I'm not that crazy about that particular act either and more than likely since you didn't seem that enthusiastic about it the first time, that probably threw him off from wanting to continue to try it, even after you wanted to keep doing it. That sort of stuff sticks with a guy just like it does with us.

The best advice I could give is to just sit down and talk to him and assure him that you love him, that you're there for him and you want to help him get past whatever issues he's having. I would definitely tell him that you feel your sex life has changed and while all couples go through changes at some point, it's definitely something I would still discuss if I were you.

Things will work out fine. Just be there for him and good luck on filing his paperwork and getting things taken care of. Hugs to you!! Let us know how it goes and please let us know if you need to talk anymore.


Well-known member
Depression is no joke, and when a spouse becomes so introverted and uncommunicative, serious problems can arise. Been there, done that, sold the t-shirt to raise money when I moved out.

Marriage counseling, communication, and patience, that's really all I can say. Perhaps reading the book "The Five Languages of Love" would help so you can figure a way that makes him feel loved and valued, basically, what love language he speaks.

Otherwise, don't forget to take care of yourself, and don't forget that it's not your fault. Don't shoulder the blame, or burden, or responsibility for this.

And ultimately, YOU aren't responsible for pulling anyone out of the abyss of their depression...that person is.

Disclaimer -
I'm especially jaded on this subject, but that's reflective of how my situation devolved.


Well-known member
Light box
Encourage him to see a professional for psych meds
Be supportive but I agree, it isn't your job to fix him
Get some support for yourself because it takes a toll on the spouse--big time!


Well-known member
Shimmer gave some great advice.

I just wanted to note that I think you're doing a lot of things right. I specifically noticed that you tell him what you want. You've noted his behaviors and tried to discuss them with him. That's important; you're being direct and communicating well.

The next step has to be his; he should see a professional and discover what he needs in terms of therapy and possibly medication.


Well-known member
Seems like the ladies before me have given you some great advice. Just want to offer my support and reiterate that it isn't your fault and you shouldn't take it out on yourself. You seem very supportive and forward with him, those are surely signs of a successful comeback.


Specktra Bestie
If the problem still hasn't resolved itself, let me offer some suggestions.

- Get him to do something that involves getting outside the house. Chances are that he has too much time to sit and think about what he's not able to do compared to his previous life and that is adding to his depression. Get him to go to a gym, or do some kind of volunteer work- anything that occupies his mind with something other than feeling ill at ease.

- I agree with trying to talk to him, but remember that telling someone who's depressed that you know there's something wrong can sound accusatory (without you meaning it to, of course). People who are depressed tend to think that everyone is down on them anyway, because they're down on themselves. Pinning them down about their depression can make them feel like they've been doing something wrong. Maybe try talking to him about the bright future the two of you have together- what you're most looking forward to doing when you both feel grounded. That can help build a sense of optimism and it will mean that he'll have goals to keep in sight, rather than just being lost in the present.

- As difficult as it may be, don't call attention to the sexual problems. Chances are that these are simply a by-product of the stress and will go away as soon as he's feeling more like himself. When men are depressed, the equipment often functions a little sporadically, which can add to the sense of emasculation he's feeling at being unable to play the role of provider. He's definitely aware of the sexual issues and it's going to be one more source of stress. Just show him that you enjoy his company and reinforce the idea that you are both a team in this new adventure.

- If you don't start to see an improvement when he has his employment papers, then you should definitely have a serious talk and encourage him to get counseling. He's undergone a big change and it's reasonable that he would be feeling a lot of anxiety. Some type of personal therapy (or group therapy, if he can connect with others in the same situation) might really help. One little note from personal experience: If the first thing the doctor does is prescribe meds, find another doctor. He may need drugs, but given the fact that he doesn't seem to have a history of depression, he'd be better suited for counseling. The vast majority of anti-depressants have the side effects of causing weight gain and decreased libido, two things that he already seems to be depressed about.

For yourself, if it really starts to get to you, don't be shy to get your own counseling. It's a heavy burden to bear and you deserve someone to talk to as well. Good luck!


Well-known member
Thank you for your reply, I didn't notice it until today

Things seem to be getting a little better... he has been working on a complicated car issue with my dad and he seems to be happier on the days he is doing that. They are just finishing up so I think I will suggest that he continues to help him on the next car that needs work. We still haven't heard anything from immigration -- our packet got sent back once really quickly due to a mistake on our part but it's been a couple of weeks so we're assuming they are processing it. Hopefully he can work soon.

Thank you again katred
I will probably show him this thread so he can read it and see the suggestions.
I'm going to assume that he doesn't have health insurance yet? There are plenty of places to get free counseling, I'd recommend that. Otherwise, I'd recommend you guys doing some fun activities together and with groups of people too. getting out, acclimated with living in a new place, getting to know his surroundings, maybe discovering nature? Getting out of the house is one of the most important things, and when you're in a funk and you don't have any money(been there) sometimes people start to self implode and shut down. Hope things get better for both of you. Sex will come when happiness comes back