3 Signs the Winter Blues May Be Ruining Your Relationship

BY: - 16 Dec '16 | Marriage

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While this is the most wonderful time of the year for some, the holiday season can be really tough for many. Some people have painful memories connected to this time of the year, like the loss of a loved one, while some are struggling with what is often referred to as the winter blues.

So what exactly are the winter blues? It depends on who you ask. Some refer to the winter blues as a subtle sadness that settles in during the colder months of the year. A therapist or counselor may evaluate your symptoms and realize what you are calling the winter blues is really Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD is a type of depression that’s associated with changes in season and many people struggle with it and have no idea what it even is. I know because I have struggled with it in the past. So far, this winter has been kind to me, but it’s only December, and I have no clue what the next few months will bring.

What I do know is that no matter how you define it, having the blues or any form of depression has a significant impact on your mood, which ultimately has a significant impact on your marriage. When you are sad, moody, irritable and tired, it’s almost impossible to maintain the happy relationship you’d love to have.

And unfortunately, we often have no idea what hit us when the blues strike. And since you have no clue, neither does your spouse. Your spouse notices the change in your mood and behavior, but he inevitably thinks it’s about him or your relationship. He has no idea what you’re going through. Shoot, you don’t even know what you’re going through.

It’s hard for everyone involved.

So if you’ve noticed a difference in how you feel in recent months and you aren’t sure what it is, you should consider the possibility that the change in seasons is really having an impact on your mood.

Here are three signs that the winter blues aren’t just messing with you, but are also wreaking havoc on your relationship.

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Your sex life is disappearing

Suffering from depression often causes people to lose interest in things that were once pleasurable. If your sex life was pretty good a few months ago and you are suddenly losing interest without a reason you can pinpoint, you may be suffering from depression. It’s more common than people realize and can become so damaging since one spouse often has no idea why the other is no longer interested in physical intimacy.

You feel a lot more irritable than usual

If you are walking around with a huge chip on your shoulder and your spouse hasn’t really done anything wrong, you have to ask yourself what’s going on. We all have bad days, but when those days turn into weeks, there is a possibility that your stank attitude and frustrated mood have nothing to do with your spouse and have everything to do with the fact that you just feel like crap all the time.

It’s okay to feel this way, but it’s not okay to let your spouse think it’s about him once you realize it’s deeper than that.

You just want to be alone

You have no interest in date night, attending a holiday party together sounds like torture and you just want to go to bed right after dinner instead of talking and catching up. Sounds familiar? If this is how you have been feeling lately, it’s the depression. Depression can cause you to isolate yourself and withdraw from the people you love most. When you do this, it not only damages your marriage, but it leaves your mate unclear about what should be done to offer you the support you truly need.

If any of this sounds familiar, you are probably wondering what you can do to turn things around. Below are a few basic tips:

  • Practice self-care
  • Take a trip (a warmer climate is a great idea)
  • Socialize (don’t avoid the holiday parties and outings)
  • Talk to the people you love
  • Go to counseling or therapy
  • Exercise        

If you’ve tried the tips listed above and they aren’t helping enough, don’t ignore the problem. If you believe you need additional support to work through the winter blues or depression, please don’t suffer in silence. You are not alone. And even if you think your spouse won’t get it, you must get help simply because you deserve it.

Here are a few resources to you can turn to for additional help.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Families for Depression Awareness

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

BMWK family, are you feeling down lately? What are you doing to get help?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 484 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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4 Petty Habits Married Couples Just Need to Leave Behind in 2016

BY: - 19 Dec '16 | Marriage

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As we prepare to bid farewell to the year 2016, there are also some behaviors we need to leave behind. You know the ones…the ones that have caused us nothing but heartache and pain. The type of behaviors that have had a negative impact on our marriages.

We can’t welcome in the new without getting rid of the old.

With a new year and a fresh start right around the corner, there are 4 petty habits married couples just need to leave behind in 2016.  And here they are:

Airing our dirty laundry all over social media.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen couples disrespect one another, call each other out and declare the end of the relationship all on social media. Let’s be grown ups in 2017 and handle our relationship challenges as adults by discussing and resolving them privately. The only people who want to see your relationship drama play out are usually those rooting against you any way. If it’s support you need, when you’re going through, lean on those you trust the most.

Acting like we’re too good for therapy, counseling, coaching, marriage ministries and other resources.

Put your pride to the side and your marriage first. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking ways to improve your marriage. This stigma in our community regarding seeking help is hurting us more than we realize. Why suffer alone when there are trained professionals and those who’ve been where you are and are where you desire to be within your reach. Do what’s best for your family. Struggling unnecessarily usually isn’t what’s best.

I’ve seen couples disrespect one another, call each other out and declare the end of the relationship all on social media.

Being selfish in our thoughts and actions.

It seemed like 2016 was the year of “me, me, me” for just about everyone. I didn’t feel as much love in this world as I would’ve liked. We absolutely could’ve done much better. I think I spent the majority of this year reminding couples to be love, make sacrifices and put their partner first. A lot of couples seemed to forget that marriage is a partnership. It will not work if you don’t consider your spouse as often as possible. The truth is love is an action word and is much better done than said.

Making excuses for why we aren’t better spouses.

Blaming one another for the challenges in the marriage simply doesn’t work. It never has been good for couples. Each individual has to take responsibility for their actions, whether they’re positive or negative. You are responsible for you and what you choose to do. Anything you don’t like, you change. Where you fall short, you step up and do better. Let’s declare 2017 the year of no excuses.

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I have already claimed that my 2017 is going to be amazing. And I meant that for my spiritual walk, my role as mom, my career, and most definitely my marriage. Couples, let’s make this new year, the best year ever for our marriages. We can try harder, love stronger, and just be better, in every way!

BMWK, What are some petty habits you feel married couples should leave in 2016?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 619 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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