I cured my husband’s depression, so why can’t I now forgive him?

A woman is struggling to forgive her husband for his anger after their son died. Mariella Frostrup says she must give him some credit for becoming the loving supportive man he now is

The dilemma When I met my husband almost 40 years ago, it was a godsend. I had very little self-confidence and spent my school years “looking for love in all the wrong places”. He genuinely loved me and did his best to mend my broken ego. Unfortunately, he had issues of his own and couldn’t completely give his heart to me. We lost our second child when he was 13 months old. My husband never blamed me, but he was so angry at the world, taking it out on me. A few years ago, he became depressed, which I cured him of with talk therapy (I had therapy for six years, so I was pretty good at it), love and sex. As a result, he is a different person. He is loving and supportive and treats me like a goddess. The problem is I can’t forget those early years or trust my heart to him. How do I get over this without discussing it with him? It would break his heart to know what I’m feeling.

Mariella replies Are you so sure it’s all down to you? That may seem a brutal chastisement, but I’m worried that you are so confident of the empathy and emotional understanding you’ve displayed that it’s blinkered you to alternative scenarios. I congratulate you on showing patience, kindness and a sympathetic ear to your depressed husband, but I really don’t think you can take the credit for “curing” him.

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Alex Vidal