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How can I best support my wife and aid her recovery from depression?


heart to heart
Question
My wife and I moved to the United States 2 years back from an Asian country. We have been married for 8 years and do not have kids. After we moved here, my wife was diagnosed with cancer and we went through a difficult period. The worst is over. She could not find a job here in the USA and we do not have any social circle or friends here or any family members. She used to work but after getting here could not find a job. The relationship between my mother and my wife is another source of stress.

I have tried my best to keep her in good spirits and talk her out of her depression, but with each aspect of her life having issues (health, relationships, lack of social contact, new culture and atmosphere, not finding work, and not having a kid), I am often at a loss in finding new ideas or words to comfort her or to get her to come out of her negative frame of mind. How can I/we deal with this kind of situation in a better way?

Wallace's reply
Wallace
This is the time for you to dig deep and learn to love your wife in a really sensitive way. When we love someone, we allow them to be as they are, even when this is difficult to bear. I would ask you to draw a distinction between loving your wife as she is and cajoling her into the type of person you would prefer her to be. To love your wife is enough to effect healing but this love must be free of frustration that at the present time she is depressed and you would wish it otherwise. Frustration causes pushing and pushing causes resentment.

Instead care for your wife in a beautiful and sensitive manner. As you do this look for any hints of movement and new interests that are coming from her and support them. Your task is to tune in ever so sensitively to her healing impulse and support that, in addition to doing romantic things for her that any caring husband would do regardless. For example if she shows an interest in a television program about special diets to help recovery from cancer, make sure you spend time together to watch the program and take time to discuss it with her afterwards. Then go out and buy some of the ingredients for the recipies and surprise her by cooking her one of the lovely health invigorating meals mentioned on the television program.

If you attend to your wife in this way she will in all likelihood emerge from her depression in her own time and you will feel really strong and united as a couple.

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