The Effect of Depression on Marriage

Depression is a mental health disorder that causes a depressed mood, loss of interest in daily activities, fatigue, and an overall lack of energy. Depression can negatively affect any relationship and especially a marriage. When one partner is battling depression, it negatively affects the other partner and everyone around them.

Can Depression Ruin a Marriage?

Depression is a complex disease that results from a chemical imbalance. It can be due to genetics, stressful life events, medical problems, medications, or a faulty mood regulation by the brain.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities. The prevalence of major depressive episodes among U.S. adults aged 18 or older in 2017. An estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 7.1% of all U.S. adults. The prevalence of major depressive episodes was higher among adult females (8.7%) compared to males (5.3%). The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (13.1%). (NIMH)

Depression affects a lot of people and when it is left untreated, it can have a negative impact and damaging effects on relationships.

How Does Depression Affect a Marriage?

Those that are depressed are usually tired, sad, negative, apathetic, and have very little energy to complete daily life tasks. Depression can cause major problems with a person’s sleep too; the affected individual may be sleeping much of their day away or not sleeping enough. They aren’t able to handle their normal responsibilities, and their partners are left to pick up the pieces. This can cause a lot of anger and resentment in the relationship.

Depression can cause anger, irritability, and the person to feel so hopeless or sad. The affected partner may withdraw from their partner and family and have no energy to do any activities or things they used to enjoy doing together. Also, intimacy, emotional connection, and sexual desire can often disappear. This further negatively affects the relationship. The other partner may start to feel self-conscious and like they are the cause of this change. They may even think their partner isn’t being faithful.

Often the person that is affected with depression doesn’t understand the disorder, so trying to explain what they are feeling and going through to their partner and getting them to understand it, is a very difficult task. This can cause a lot of frustration and lead to anger and resentment issues in the relationship.

Treatment for Depression

When a person is struggling with depression they need to seek out help immediately. If the depression is left untreated, it can trigger suicidal thoughts or cause the affected person to start self-medicated by using drugs or alcohol.

The affected individual will need to see a doctor and may need to be put on medication. They may also benefit from seeing a therapist. Once the affected partner is stable and feeling better, couples counseling or therapy may be necessary to get the marriage back to where it once was.

Treatment for Mental Illness

If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental illness, our mental health experts are available to assist you around the clock. Voices of Mental Health has a standing passion for helping others achieve peace, serenity, and fulfillment. We will help you access top treatment centers with caring and supportive assistance. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Cayla Clark, BA

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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