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Can Unresolved Marital Issues Contribute to Your Depression?


Can Unresolved Marital Issues Contribute to Your



Some people are more vulnerable to depression because of their genetic predisposition. Though the exact gene involved in it is still not fully understood, there are scientific findings proving that the tendency to develop depression can be found in their genes. With the predisposition, environmental triggers can be anything stressful—grief, financial difficulties, traumatic experiences, or marital problems that cause intense emotional hurt or anger.

So, yes—unresolved marital issues can contribute to depression. You cannot, however, rule out the possibility of other causes. There are just too many factors that contribute to stress when you are in a relationship, particularly when you have children to take care of. Financial stresses, an ever-changing social culture, constrained time, and shifting expectations are just a few of these that can impact your marriage and family. To keep your marriage working and your family in harmony, it takes more than love and sincere intentions: it also takes understanding, commitment, and conscious effort.

Understand: The Connection between Marital Issues and Depression

One study that is often used to show the connection between depression and marital discord is “Moderators of the Link between Marital Hostility and Change in Spouses’ Depressive Symptoms by C. Proulx et al. (2009). Its findings confirm that depressive symptoms and marital issues can co-occur. According to Marital Healing, Uebelacker et al. (2003) and Whitton et al. (2007) have similar findings, supporting the conclusion that constant marital conflict can be linked to amplified depressive symptoms, particularly in women.

For instance, constant intense anger is often felt by couples who have troubled relationships. This is a powerful emotion that can stand in the way of resolving relationship issues and even complicate them. Excessive anger is also among the main contributors to bigger and more intense arguments in a marriage.

Commit: Overcoming Chronic Marital Stress

It is widely held that an upsetting life situation, like a troubled marriage, can contribute to a person’s depression. A study published in the Journal of Psychology involving 300 couples revealed startling connections. Those couples experiencing the highest level of marital stress correspondingly exhibited the most serious depressive symptoms.

One interesting observation is that the study established correlation, but not causation. This means that while it makes sense to think that stress or hostile conflicts make you feel depressed, it is also possible that it is your depression that is contributing to the stresses in your relationship. It can be a vicious cycle, or the proverbial “Which came first—the chicken or the egg?”

Know the Vicious Cycle: Which Came First—Marital Issues or Depression?

If you research the topic, you are bound to discover exhaustive materials about depression contributing to relationship issues. This only underscores how the two are connected. Depression is such a potent force that it can ruin a loving relationship, but hostile marital conflicts can also contribute to a wife or husband’s distress or depression (particularly in someone with the genetic tendency). 

Depression begets a depressed relationship, in the same manner that conflict can contribute to your or your spouse’s depression. Imagine the overwhelming stress that the unaffected spouse absorbs as they take on responsibility for their life/family. Thus, when a wife or husband is depressed, the other is likely to feel distressed. Depression can easily erode a happy marriage by sucking both spouses into its powerful undertow.

Consciously End the Cycle with Expert Help

The cycle is vicious, whether it is your unresolved and stressful conflicts that are contributing to your depression or your depression that is negatively impacting your marriage. With your relationship and your family at stake, don’t wait to seek help for your concerns and depressive symptoms. Call Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC.

Clearly, no marriage is absolutely free from stress. Miscommunication, gaffes, and misunderstandings happen in all relationships, even loving ones. It is important not to let them pile up until you or your spouse/partner is on the brink of depression.

Address your marital conflicts early. Call Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC, to discover how easy taking positive action can be. There are a number of ways to resolve marital distress. One of the counselors contracted with CCS in Sanford can help you sort out and resolve your concerns, with or without your spouse present.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway NC, Olivia NC, Broadway NC, Cumnock NC, Gulf NC, Goldston NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon NC, Carthage NC, Cameron NC, Lillington NC, Moncure NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546



Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare,/Tricare Prime, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330