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Is Your Spouse Depressed?


As a New York divorce attorney and psychologically-trained mediator I hear from a lot of spouses who want a divorce because they have realized they have been living the horrors of being married to a narcissist or sociopath.

But there are other personality and mood disorders affecting marriages today. These include depression and anxiety.

As a medical professional and divorce attorney, I see all of these mental health issues infecting the fabric of many marriages. Some of these disorders are less obvious than others, but they disrupt marriages just as profoundly.

A husband met with me on Skype recently to discuss divorcing his wife. He is a professional golfer and his wife is a book editor. They have two children, 4 & 6 years old. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the family has been living in quarantine for the last 5 weeks (like the rest of us).

He explained that for the past 2 years his wife has been sleeping a lot and not paying much attention to their children or him. She has managed to maintain her job, but had taken more sick days than usual. He was thinking she was lazy. He has been caring for the children, doing most of the nurturing. He cooks all their meals, was taking them to school before the pandemic, but is now helping with home schooling.

His wife was on edge all the time, irritable and angry. She had become withdrawn, and was now drinking a few glasses of wine every day. Her appetite was poor, and she wasn’t interested in sex. He urged her to see a therapist but she refused.

He said he still loved her but, he felt the only way to protect his children and himself was to get a divorce.

Hearing his story, I could tell from the symptoms he described that his wife was depressed. The husband was unaware she was depressed, but knew something was wrong.

It is sad when mood disorders are ignored and not treated. In addition to therapy, there are many medications that make an enormous difference to people who are anxious and/or depressed.

I have treated many depressed patients while working in medical offices, and I recognize them in my legal practice. If the symptoms were acknowledged, it might be possible to seek treatment and save the marriage.

After discussing depression with him, he wanted to approach this divorce with compassion. He wanted to see if treatment was possible but still felt a divorce might be necessary. I explained my mediation program and that this process would either help him get divorced, or help save his marriage. He was open to seeing how mediation might help. I suggested I would speak with his wife to explain he wanted a divorce and invite her to a mediation session to discuss moving forward.

The husband agreed. I then I met with him and his wife over Skype. There were lots of tears, denial and blame, but she agreed the marriage was over. She also kept insisting there was nothing wrong with her.

We have started mediation meetings weekly and are making some progress. She has opened up more in the last 3 weeks and is more responsive to seeing a therapist after my discussing depression with her. Last week she decided to see one of the psychiatrists that works on my team.

Don’t suffer in silence. If you or your spouse are dealing with unexplained behavioral issues in your marriage, there is help.

My mediation process has a unique psychological component. Unlike other divorce attorneys, because of my medical background, I can identify and address mood and personality disorders affecting the marriage, and provide usefu tools to help you move through the divorce process more effectively and with less pain.

My highly successful mediation process will help you divorce with a targeted psychological approach, if needed, combined with solid legal strategy to get you the best possible settlement.

Don’t hesitate to call me if you need help.

During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conveniently conducted virtually by telephone or TeleDivorce by Zoom or Skype to reduce risk and maintain safety for everyone!

I look forward to speaking with you.

Stay Home, Stay Healthy & Stay Safe!

Warm regards,


Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner now to book your free consultation. 212.734.1551