An Effective Contraceptive

Depression results in a lack of energy to do things, which can be murder on a relationship. Libido gets buried 6ft under. Initiative and interest are smothered in their sleep. Intimacy is locked in the cupboard and frustration stalks the woods in a hockey mask. Going to set something straight here. Most people will probably assume that as a guy when I’m talking about relationship I mean sex, after all that’s all guys think about right? Partially yes but that’s only a portion of what makes a relationship work and depression gets it’s slimy little tentacles into every aspect of your life.

There are two sides to depression impacting on relationships. The first comes in the form of the person with depression. They can see that there’s a problem but can’t muster the brain power to do anything about it. The simple task of spending time around their significant other sounds like too much of a challenge. Without realizing it they start to hide from their partner, doing things that distract them from the outside world but allow a minimal amount of effort. Reading books all the time, watching or listening to music and movies, being at work or out in general, sleeping a lot. Anything that allows distance between themselves and their partner. The idea of sex and intimacy doesn’t even register and becomes sporadic or stops all together. It’s not done deliberately and they probably don’t notice it as the process is gradual until it’s almost a routine. 

The flip side is the effect on the partner. The lack of general interest can be dismissed for a while as the other being tired or worn out from their daily routines.  Over time a feeling of resentment can build as their partner would rather spend time doing other things than being with them. This leads to working late, going out every night, withdrawing into other activities away from home. Being the initiator of sex or any form of intimacy begins to take its toll as they feel ignored. The depression is no longer affecting one person but now trying to get its hooks into another.

It’s not always the case but this sort of situation can lead to people having affairs. The desire to be wanted or needed by another can over ride all logic at times. If depression hasn’t been diagnosed, it seems to others as a case of falling out of love. This can also lead to divorce as both try to lay blame on each other for something they had no control over. 

What’s the point of all this you may ask? I’m going to tell you about another aspect that plays havoc on a relationship and it’s from my own personal experiences. Both my wife and I suffer from depression and this has taken its toll over the years as we bounce back and forth between highs and lows. However recently I realised that I have another unwanted mental aspect that affects us. I’m sure others probably have the same issue but it all boils down to that little mess of stress, anxiety.

Anxiety makes you question everything you are about to do, no matter how routine. The annoying part is it can all run through your mind in a matter of seconds. So while you think “I’m going to give my partner a kiss”, anxiety has run through all the permutations and you stop as you realise a kiss is what causes the next ice age and the fall of human kind. Sounds stupid right? Well it can be. Initiating foreplay could almost be described as living through World War One as you make assumptions about your partner’s reactions to what you want, even more so if they suffer from depression as well. You find control of your relationship falling into the passenger seat as anxiety speeds down the mental highway.

Now it may seem funny that a lack of sex or any intimacy due to a corporeal entity is a bit far fetched, but I’m sure if you talked to a lot of people who suffer from depression and anxiety that a familiar trend will appear. I’m not saying that all relationships affected by depression are loveless and deserve to end. It just means it will take a little more work and understanding from both parties to find a balance that works. 

The traditional marriage vow could be considered as a way to live a relationship regardless of genders, religions, spousal status or nationalities. “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” Don’t allow a lack of intimacy in your relationship be the defining point of it. 

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