5 Signs Your Partner May be Spiraling Into Depression

view down a spiraling staircase

You know that feeling, the one that leaves you longing for an ordinary day? Suddenly mundane tasks like the morning coffee routine, the ritual of a late afternoon text to make happy hour plans, or the ability to crush a list of errands in one fell swoop feel pretty extraordinary.

When we find ourselves longing for the ordinary, it is often a sign that something in our lives is out of balance. Sometimes the fix is simple: be more present, exercise more, sleep eight hours. But when depression is the culprit, things are rarely so simple. Continue reading 5 Signs Your Partner May be Spiraling Into Depression

How Fertility Issues Impact Mental Health

couple standing front to back loosely holding hands

I will never forget the fertility struggles my husband and I faced as we attempted to conceive our first child. We were both young and healthy. I had regular menstrual cycles, no reproductive issues (that I knew about), and always assumed that getting pregnant would happen instantly. Each month we tried to get pregnant, I was shocked that the little plus sign on the pregnancy test never appeared – not even once.

But my shock turned to despair when – after 18 months of trying and a million, sometimes very invasive fertility tests – we were told that my husband had a low sperm count. The first doctor we saw told us that his count was so low that our only hope of conceiving would be to use IVF, which we could not afford. I remember lying in bed, looking at the ceiling, feeling a level of hopelessness in my bones that I had never experienced before. Continue reading How Fertility Issues Impact Mental Health

How to Ask for Space From a Partner

two people standing apart facing each other

Let’s face it, sometimes your partner will annoy you.

I used to think conflict with my partner meant our relationship was doomed. I was so terrified of it that I would do everything in my power to either avoid it or make it go away. As a recovering people-pleaser, I used to immediately abandon myself at the mere whisper of conflict. I would agree with, and internalize, whatever criticism my partner made about me without blinking an eye. Continue reading How to Ask for Space From a Partner

Does Your Partner Resent You?

woman sitting with her legs crossed looking towards partner

When you’re feeling disconnected and distant from your partner, there can be many reasons. Perhaps you two have grown apart, or there are trust issues undermining your prior closeness. However, one significant contributor to a couple growing about can often be overlooked if it isn’t discussed openly. Resentment — that corrosive feeling of imbalance and disgruntlement at past behavior partners carry around — can be the underlying cause of relationship issues. There are ways to figure out, however, if this is what is sabotaging your relationship. Continue reading Does Your Partner Resent You?

5 Things You Shouldn’t Have to Ask for in a Healthy Relationship

couple holding hands and standing together closely

Relationships involve give and take, compromise, and consideration. But in healthy relationships, there are certain non-negotiables that must be honored to maintain a loving partnership that lasts. Affection and unconditional love are foundational elements, but what else does it take to support a quality partnership?

Here are five things you shouldn’t have to ask for in a relationship. Continue reading 5 Things You Shouldn’t Have to Ask for in a Healthy Relationship

Defiant Desire: Grappling With My Sexuality in Widowhood

mental health and grief illustration naked women

The following is intended for readers 18+

My wife is sick. Stage Four sick. I must hurry home and relieve her parents who have been caring for her since I left for work at 9 a.m. and for our three-year old son since his pre-school day ended at 2 p.m. It is 6:30 p.m., but I am not rushing through the front door.

Instead, I am lying on a massage table in the back room of our local nail salon, trying not to audibly cry as my masseuse works on the knot under my right shoulder blade. The knot is excruciating, but that is not why my tears soak the paper cover of the table. I do not know her name, but I do know that she always works on Tuesday nights and I know this as well— she does not tie back her thick dark hair. My wife had thick dark hair before the chemo.

I cannot define this desire; this deep longing for another woman’s hair to tickle my back. Is this a form of adultery? Of exploitation? To pay a thick-haired stranger to soothe me in this way? Do I take advantage of my wife’s parents? Do I neglect my son who is scared and sad and needs me to come home? Because I will be late. I will blame my boss or the subway or the rain before I cop to this 20-minute reprieve. I am ashamed. I am defiant. But I know what I need. Continue reading Defiant Desire: Grappling With My Sexuality in Widowhood

Divorcing A Sociopath

phrenology head in profile

It’s been nearly four years since I left my ex-husband. When I think back to that time, I think about how naive I was, how foggy and confused. I had never heard of a personality disorder. I still believed that dangerous people would be easy to spot, that they came wielding chain saws and screaming, “I’m a dangerous person!”

Sigh. There was so much I did not know.

Continue reading Divorcing A Sociopath

Ask Anna: How Can I Pry My Husband Away from Social Media?

husband at table looking at smartphone ignoring wife

Talkspace is pleased to continue Ask Anna, a Question & Answer column featuring Anna Akbari, sociologist and author of “Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way To Happiness.” Send your mental health questions for Anna to [email protected].

Dear Anna,

Before I start, I’d like to share that overall I am happy with my life. I love my husband and our two beautiful children. We have a wonderful life together, which makes this all the more confusing and difficult.

I feel like my marriage is strong for the most part. We love each other very much and respect one another. But there is a small problem (or at least what I perceive to be a problem). My husband spends most of his time on his phone. He’s constantly flipping through social media. I know he’s not doing anything wrong or dishonest on it; he will often sit right next to me and show me what he’s doing and who he’s speaking with! Continue reading Ask Anna: How Can I Pry My Husband Away from Social Media?

Ask Anna: Should I Ditch My Disappearing Husband?

woman up in bed with husband sleeping

Talkspace is pleased to introduce Ask Anna, a new Question & Answer column featuring Anna Akbari, sociologist and author of “Startup Your Life: Hustle and Hack Your Way To Happiness.” Send your mental health questions for Anna to [email protected].

Hi Anna,

I’m not sure how this is going to work or if you are legit or not.

I would like to start off by saying that I have always been ambitious, always looking to conquer the world. However, I haven’t finished college yet due to some body and health issues. As of now, I’m not working because I recently gave birth to my son. But let’s get to the point.

My husband works overnight at a parking lot Tuesday through Sunday. He has his days off on Mondays and every Monday he goes out without telling me where he is and gets home the next day. He has been doing this ever since the baby was born seven months ago.

He claims that he isn’t doing anything wrong, but that’s just it. I feel strongly that not being home at night and coming home still drunk the next day is definitely not right. I don’t know what to do any more. I just want to end the marriage because of how unimportant and neglected I feel. Continue reading Ask Anna: Should I Ditch My Disappearing Husband?

Talkspace Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Divorced Men

divorced dad with son on park bench

After a 25 year marriage, to the woman who I thought was the love of my life, I am now divorced and single. I know lots of men who say that divorce is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. For me that’s not the case.

While the idea of a 50% divorce rate has embedded itself in our imagination — it’s a difficult number to pin down, but it’s actually been declining since its height in 1980 — divorce remains a life-altering change that brings tremendous stress and anxiety. You’d think there’d be more support for those of us facing such a common experience. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Statistically, divorced men face a number of scary statistics:

  • Higher incidence of depression
  • 250% higher mortality rate
  • 39% higher suicide rate
  • 10X more likely to undergo psychiatric care

Divorce is still in many ways stigmatized in our society. As newlyweds we don’t imagine a marriage’s end, but even those of us whose marriage is in the process of breaking up don’t necessarily think of how to protect our mental health. There seem to be more resources for women, groups focused on providing emotional support and community. For us men, suffering in silence is the norm. We tough it out and power through. Or so we think. Continue reading Talkspace Online Therapy is The #1 Tool for Divorced Men