We've hit the brick wall

by Donna

I am the wife of a retiree. We are both fairly young. I am 57 and he is 61 almost 62. He retired last year in March (worked same job for 40 years) and hit the brick wall in June.

He had a lot of things happen in the prior year, death of his spouse of 40 years. We got married a year after his wife died. Get along great but he is now glued to the couch.

We have motorcycles and boats and barely did anything after June. He barely wants to leave the house.

I am very frustrated. Love this man dearly, but don't know what to do. We've talked about this issue but he says he just doesn't know what is wrong with him. He used to go to the gym 6 days a week, no gym. Have not gone to church in months.

HELP. I don't know what to do

Comments for We've hit the brick wall

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Response to "We've hit the brick wall"
by: Barb/Florida

Dear Donna, I am the same age as you with the same issue. My husband does nothing, and if I ask for help, he verbally berates me. In my despair, I am now looking for a job.

How to overcome cabin fever
by: Bernard Kelly - Geelong

hello Donna

have you tried having vibrant friends visit - or perhaps bring in grandchildren?

I know it's not easy, but there must be some family relationship counselling available in your town.

Of course, if there's no response to all you're doing for him, then it would be time to create an independent life for yourself.

all the best


Same problem on the other side
by: gary

I was forced to retire because of health conditions 2 years ago. I spent 38 years driving truck all around the country. I got home 1 week a month.

While home I built things, gardened, hunted, fished and small farmed my 80 acres. NOW I am home I spend most of my days looking out the window, thinking of all the things I should do.

I did join the choir at church. I dread every time I have to get up and leave my chair. I have a lot of problems walking and all my joints because of diabetes and joint problems I watch Lawrence Welk now and wishing I didn't have to go to choir practice today.

I'm 62 and don't know how to change my mind set and get moving either.

Just an opinion
by: cindy wortman

He sounds like he's in a dark depression. Id pray and seek Godly professional help to get out of this tunnel. I would also try to find a good support group suited to your needs. God Bless

Re Chris in Seattle
by: Janice/Orillia/Canada

Hi Chris,

I read your reply to this man who is very likely suffering from depression, as you pointed out, but I disagree with your final comments.

You said "it shouldn't take long" with a therapist and some medication helping out. How long it takes is different for each person, and while I do agree with almost everything you suggested, I would hesitate to to give a time frame for the length of time it would take.

My personal experience is that it's been about 21 months since my retirement and while I take medication and have counseling I'm not out of the woods yet.

So dear suffering depressed husband-please do reach out for help and it will help-but it may take some time. It's a process.

on the other hand
by: Anonymous

Maybe let him be and relax and do your own thing. Is he supposed to entertain you?

Help for Depression
by: AMV/MO


I am not a therapist, but I believe I have some good recommendations for you. I am 75, retired for over a year, living with my wife of 49 years, and moderately depressed. Moderately, because I have been able to self analyze, with the help of several books, without which I would have been severely depressed.

The best book I have ever come across in my life on this subject is "Hope and Help For Your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weekes. Have you heard of her? Poor soul is no more. Born in Australia in 1903 and dies in 1990. But this one of the several books she has written stands out as the best, the world over.

In this book she describes in detail, the various stages in which deep sorrows, long standing problems, and constant worries and anxiety affect your mind leading up to depression. She also states that any level of depression can be cured. There is also advise for the family of the depressed.

I suggest, that you read the book in its entirety, understand the prognosis of the "nervous illness" as she calls it. If you can follow the principles, you should be able to help him, since he may not be inclined to read the book.

I believe you need to unearth what exactly are his old sorrows, problems and anxieties. I knew mine, and so I could apply some self help. Why not give it a shot and try to help him yourself? May be he can be encouraged to read the book also, probably later!

Good Luck and Blessings

by: Anonymous

Maybe he is still grieving the loss of his first wife. 40 years is a long time to get over quickly. I'd say definitely he has depression.

Bright lights might help
by: Anonymous

See if lighting up the room he is in lifts his mood, SAD is real, look it up.

by: Anonymous

My opinion is that your spouse is probably experiencing a delayed grief reaction coupled with the often seen depression following retirement.

We don't all grieve 'on schedule' - sometimes it's delayed due to denial and other times it's over a period of years. It's a highly individual process.

The fact he remarried so quickly (and that is relatively quick) suggests he may not have worked though his grief following the death of his first wife before establishing a new relationship. While not uncommon, it is frequently the source of new difficulties since issues related to the first relationship/loss have not been resolved.

Add to this the loss of identity achieved through work and it has the makings of a major life stressor or crisis.

His immobility/lack of interest & initiative would also support grief and depression.

I'm basing this on my own experience and as a former hospice nurse/educator. There are many resources available for those dealing with grief and depression and I urge you to consider them. Good luck.

Hoping he can ask for help
by: Sandy

Donna - I am so sorry to hear about your husband and would definitely agree with the other posts. As someone who had depression, I can say with some level of confidence that it sounds like he may be suffering from it.

Acknowledging the problem is the hardest part. Once he talks with his doctor and gets helps, he will get better and get to enjoy the things he once loved. You are both young and have so much to look forward to. Hopefully, he will listen to your advice because you love him....and he will seek help. It does get better.

Also, I wondered if he is still grieving for his late wife, which might be hard to say to you as he doesn't want you to feel hurt. Perhaps that will come out if he talks with his doctor or therapist.

I hope this works out for him.

by: Loyce!

Can you nudge your husband to seek outside help: Clergy, counselor? We can only change ourselves so you must seek relief and empowerment during this difficult time.

re: hitting the brick wall
by: Chris - Seattle

While I'm not a therapist, I have had depression in the past, especially after losing my job - and I went to a therapist for help.

What you describe is what I went thru, and if he can't get off the couch and doesn't like doing any of the activities that used to bring him pleasure, I'm betting he is suffering from depression.

He should go see his primary care doctor and get a physical to rule out anything physically wrong and then get some referrals to see a therapist. The psychologist can work with your primary care doctor if antidepressants are needed. It shouldn't take much work with a therapist to get him back on his feet, but things won't get better if he doesn't address it.

Good luck!

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