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This chapter will present the numerous origins of sadness and depression in married life and related a number of strategies to diminish this often-disabling emotional pain.The intervention into the pain of sadness will include uncovering its origins, the resolution of the anger associated with it, marital therapy, the use of cognitive-behavioral approaches, growth in virtues which is referred to as a positive psychology and the utilization of faith when appropriate.One study from Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that poorer relationships with siblings prior to age 20 and a family history of depression independently predicted both the occurrence of major depression and the frequency of use of mood-altering drugs by age 50. The most common marital conflicts leading to spousal depression in our clinical experience arise from having a spouse who is controlling, emotionally distant, angry and negative, selfish, faithless, overly responsible, insecure and who lacks balance in life.
Loneliness differs from solitude in which one may be physically alone but has a sense of being deeply connected to others, appreciated and loved and is a response to a hurt or disappointment and there is significant denial and anger is associated with the hurt.In addition we regularly ask the spouse to rate himself/herself and the other spouse on the checklists which evaluate difficulties in marital self-giving in the evaluate your marriage chapter of this site.A number of pathways lead to the development of depression and other emotional conflicts.In the experience of loneliness, the person does not feel closely bonded to others and usually does not feel loved.Loneliness can enter at one stage of life and become encapsulated with anger toward those who have not met one's needs.
Unfortunately, family of origin or other non-marital emotional pain can confuse spouses who may mistakenly believe/feel that their marriage is the primary cause of their depression or that their spouse should be able to make them completely happy.