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AKSinghSingh79

Husband is depressed

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (pnd) Country: India
Timeline

My husband arrived here in March 2014 and has since fallen into a spiral of depression and homesickness. I anticipated that he may feel this way at some point but I didn't realize he'd be so angry or moody. He has said several times that he feels like going back to India for good and I keep telling him that things will get better.

He got a job almost right away and has since worked full time in his area of skill. The hours are terrible though as it is the restaurant business and we hardly see each other. I don't really know how I can improve that since my job is 9-5 and chefs will always work evenings and weekends, even holidays. We spend holidays apart due to his work schedule which is only adding to his loneliness and depression. I tell him to take off but he doesn't seem to want to sacrifice the pay.

Right now we are working on him getting his DL and a vehicle. But it is a slow process. He has already failed the written test a couple times and he has never driven a car in his life so I feel I need to invest in drivers Ed for him. Plus we are already getting snow and ice in NE OH and I feel this is a poor time for a new driver as he is not experienced driving in wintery conditions.

On his off days, I am at work all day since they are always week days. He sleeps almost all day. In fact, most of the time he spends at home is spent sleeping. I've tried to get him involved in groups, sports leagues and meetups with other Indians but nothing works with his work schedule.

I feel helpless as his wife to get him through this rough time. I think the only way to help him past this is a job change, either a new job in his field with a better schedule or a new career altogether.

He said he doesn't want to go back to school. He said he's too old for that (even though he's only 28) and has since got this sudden desire to join the National Guard. I'm not thrilled about that since it will mean time spent apart again but I'm letting him try his options.

I think the whole root of the problem is depression and loneliness and I feel that is linked to his job and his lack of transportation.

Advice?


I am the petitioner.


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My husband arrived here in March 2014 and has since fallen into a spiral of depression and homesickness. I anticipated that he may feel this way at some point but I didn't realize he'd be so angry or moody. He has said several times that he feels like going back to India for good and I keep telling him that things will get better.

He got a job almost right away and has since worked full time in his area of skill. The hours are terrible though as it is the restaurant business and we hardly see each other. I don't really know how I can improve that since my job is 9-5 and chefs will always work evenings and weekends, even holidays. We spend holidays apart due to his work schedule which is only adding to his loneliness and depression. I tell him to take off but he doesn't seem to want to sacrifice the pay.

Right now we are working on him getting his DL and a vehicle. But it is a slow process. He has already failed the written test a couple times and he has never driven a car in his life so I feel I need to invest in drivers Ed for him. Plus we are already getting snow and ice in NE OH and I feel this is a poor time for a new driver as he is not experienced driving in wintery conditions.

On his off days, I am at work all day since they are always week days. He sleeps almost all day. In fact, most of the time he spends at home is spent sleeping. I've tried to get him involved in groups, sports leagues and meetups with other Indians but nothing works with his work schedule.

I feel helpless as his wife to get him through this rough time. I think the only way to help him past this is a job change, either a new job in his field with a better schedule or a new career altogether.

He said he doesn't want to go back to school. He said he's too old for that (even though he's only 28) and has since got this sudden desire to join the National Guard. I'm not thrilled about that since it will mean time spent apart again but I'm letting him try his options.

I think the whole root of the problem is depression and loneliness and I feel that is linked to his job and his lack of transportation.

Advice?

You have to let him find his way. If it's National Guard, then so be it. Anything for him not to leave permanently back to India.


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Hi AKSinghSingh

Unfortunately my husband is still not here with me but I feel like I may be able to give you some advice. Have you looked up information on culture shock? If you haven't you should do so. Many people think, "ow U.S., everything will be fine." Not really. The U.S. can be quite an adjustment for some, especially coming from that region. Everything is fast paced, you can't put things off like normal, yes means you can actually do something instead of saying yes knowing you really can't but it is polite to say you can even though you can't. hehehehehe

Have you learned any of your husband's language? Have you tried cooking some of his favorite foods? Have you watched cricket with him? It may take some time to get him out of this mood.

Sorry about the National Guard thing. It sounds like this life is smothering him and he just wants to get away. Have you taken him to see a therapist? He may have adjustment depression. Try to work with him.

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There is really only one aspect I know something about here - learning to drive in the winter is not a problem, I did it too, in a winter when everything was covered in snow and ice from October until April. Take it slow. Trust him to be able to do it. Being independent is such a huge thing - especially in NE OH, right? ;-) Drivers Ed is probably a good idea - maybe also for someone else to go driving with him, other than you? Or is he OK with you knowing how to do something better than him? (I had a boyfriend years ago who had a huge problem with that, thats why I am asking...)

Culture shock can be a huge issue too - I had reverse culture shock and it took me over a year to adjust. During that time I was not the easiest person to be around, but work and a supporting family helped a lot.

I think it is hard to prepare for the first time really being together - having the visa and getting married is only the beginning :-)

All the best to both of you!

I hope someone who has had a similar experience can give more supporting ideas.

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (pnd) Country: India
Timeline

Hi AKSinghSingh

Unfortunately my husband is still not here with me but I feel like I may be able to give you some advice. Have you looked up information on culture shock? If you haven't you should do so. Many people think, "ow U.S., everything will be fine." Not really. The U.S. can be quite an adjustment for some, especially coming from that region. Everything is fast paced, you can't put things off like normal, yes means you can actually do something instead of saying yes knowing you really can't but it is polite to say you can even though you can't. hehehehehe

Have you learned any of your husband's language? Have you tried cooking some of his favorite foods? Have you watched cricket with him? It may take some time to get him out of this mood.

Sorry about the National Guard thing. It sounds like this life is smothering him and he just wants to get away. Have you taken him to see a therapist? He may have adjustment depression. Try to work with him.

Thank you for your reply. He has been to the US before and the UK as well (lived for a year in both countries) and didn't seem to have the issues he is having now. I think the reasons behind that are he had Indian roommates/coworkers/friends and he had a great supportive social network. My parents live in Pennsylvania and he really enjoys spending time with them as he feels like he is part of something again. But again, we can only visit on weekends which happens to be the days he works.

I truly think he needs to leave the place he works at currently. What kind of life is it if you are always working and missing out on holidays, time with family and social time?

As for language, cooking and cricket: I speak some Hindi but I know it's not the same for him as speaking to a native. I know how to cook many different Indian dishes and Indian breads. I try to have fresh Indian food ready for him when he comes home from work. We also live next to an Indian restaurant and he said their samosas are delicious and fresh.

I've talked to him about therapy but he seems adverse to the idea.


I am the petitioner.


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Thank you for your reply. He has been to the US before and the UK as well (lived for a year in both countries) and didn't seem to have the issues he is having now. I think the reasons behind that are he had Indian roommates/coworkers/friends and he had a great supportive social network. My parents live in Pennsylvania and he really enjoys spending time with them as he feels like he is part of something again. But again, we can only visit on weekends which happens to be the days he works.

I truly think he needs to leave the place he works at currently. What kind of life is it if you are always working and missing out on holidays, time with family and social time?

As for language, cooking and cricket: I speak some Hindi but I know it's not the same for him as speaking to a native. I know how to cook many different Indian dishes and Indian breads. I try to have fresh Indian food ready for him when he comes home from work. We also live next to an Indian restaurant and he said their samosas are delicious and fresh.

I've talked to him about therapy but he seems adverse to the idea.

Okay. This is good. You are really working hard, he just needs to try a little harder. If he doesn't want to talk to a therapist have you asked if he wants to talk with his mom or another older member of his family about his problems? I know sometimes this might help.

I hate to sound like, "did you tell his mom?" lol but i know how this can help in his culture.

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (pnd) Country: India
Timeline

This sounds like poor work-life balance compounded by culture shock.

Has he tried to approach the owners to see if they're hiring?

You mentioned that he stayed one year in the UK and US, but the current situation isn't quite the same, because there's no end-point and therefore no reprieve (unless he creates an end-point of his own). This is his life now and it's coming to terms with that fact that is probably making him depressed.

I've known people who joined the National Guard and it's not really a full-time occupation for most, though there may some full-time roles available. So he may find himself continuing his present position and then have National Guard commitments on top of that, making his work-life balance even worse. I also suspect that he might not find the sense of belonging and "fit" that he is probably looking for and therefore joining up will not help his depression.

I suggest that you both set a deadline of March 2015. That will be his one-year anniversary of arriving in the US. By that time, if things haven't improved, sit down to discuss and agree on your options together. For example, moving closer to your parents and looking for jobs with work schedules that are more in sync with each other. Until then, all you can do is to keep being there for him and maintaining the lines of communication.

Thank you for giving such a realistic viewpoint on the National Guard. I too fear that his expectations are set too high. He is absolutely joining for acceptance, respect and camaraderie but I doubt it will be as he imagines it. The part time involvement too will put more undue stress on his already limited free time.

I asked him about the Indian restaurant but he told me he refuses to work for other Indians. I will ask him again. The guys he works with now, in my opinion, are not the best sort of people. To put it mildly, they are a bunch of crude drunks. Now there's nothing wrong with going to the pub and having a beer or two but these guys drink until last call and have had parties that rage on all night.

I really hope he finds a new job soon. I am helping him search but not having a second vehicle makes it additionally more challenging.

Thank you for your advice about setting a deadline. I think that's a fantastic idea.


I am the petitioner.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

You're receiving excellent advice, A-Bonette. "This sounds like poor work-life balance compounded by culture shock" nails it (+1 to landr). If you think that you can hold out till March, try; I'm tempted to suggest doing something sooner.


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Filed: Lift. Cond. (pnd) Country: India
Timeline

You guys live in Omaha, NE? I know an interracial couple over there, guy is from Delhi. I can give his contact, Kirpal might enjoy his company. Hope you guys do great!

RnS

Thanks for the offer but we actually live in Northeast Ohio. (Sorry I'm so used to writing northeast as NE)


I am the petitioner.


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Filed: Other Country: Denmark
Timeline

I've been on both sides of this and the best advice I can give you is - don't give up and do encourage him to problem solve a little more. When we lived in Sweden, the Dane pushed me out of the nest, so to speak. I had to learn how to get things done. He encouraged me to figure it all out, on my own. Yeah, I got really mad at times but I felt so much better when I could do things on my own and not rely on him for everything. So...when we finally got our Visa and the Dane moved here, I forgot all about that. We had 2 solid years of adjustment to live through because I hovered, I managed, I nagged, I problem solved, I did everything I could for him and nothing helped. When I finally threw my hands up and told him to sink or swim, he swam. His motto became - if it is to be, it is up to me.


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Driver's Ed might be a good idea. For the written test, there are sample tests in the internet which he can practice on so he'd gain more confidence. I did those to prepare myself. The practice tests in the internet were actually more challenging and detailed than the actual. And there are tons of videos in YouTube that could give him tips in passing the behind-the-wheel test.

What are his other fields of interests? Widening his horizon won't hurt. I'm 44 and I took some online courses, and I'm glad at my age I was still able to learn a new thing or two. :lol:

Edited by M and C

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Mexico
Timeline

Thank you for giving such a realistic viewpoint on the National Guard. I too fear that his expectations are set too high. He is absolutely joining for acceptance, respect and camaraderie but I doubt it will be as he imagines it. The part time involvement too will put more undue stress on his already limited free time.

I asked him about the Indian restaurant but he told me he refuses to work for other Indians. I will ask him again. The guys he works with now, in my opinion, are not the best sort of people. To put it mildly, they are a bunch of crude drunks. Now there's nothing wrong with going to the pub and having a beer or two but these guys drink until last call and have had parties that rage on all night.

I really hope he finds a new job soon. I am helping him search but not having a second vehicle makes it additionally more challenging.

Thank you for your advice about setting a deadline. I think that's a fantastic idea.

Him saying he is too old to go back to school at 28 is a lame excuse. I'm not saying that he should go back, but if that is what is preventing him for doing so he needs to realize that it is never too late to go back and that many people much older than him go back to change careers. I know of someone that got his CPA license at 58 years old. In fact, at 28, it is an ideal age to completely undergo a career change if he wants to. It sounds cliche, but he can be anything he wants to be in the United States if he puts his mind to it.

Good luck.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Denmark
Timeline

Him saying he is too old to go back to school at 28 is a lame excuse. I'm not saying that he should go back, but if that is what is preventing him for doing so he needs to realize that it is never too late to go back and that many people much older than him go back to change careers. I know of someone that got his CPA license at 58 years old. In fact, at 28, it is an ideal age to completely undergo a career change if he wants to. It sounds cliche, but he can be anything he wants to be in the United States if he puts his mind to it.

Good luck.

I agree with this. My husband is undergoing a career change at 28/29 and couldn't be happier about it. He was happy from day one though because according to him, he's happy wherever I am. We are obviously very different that way, but I see that it is kind of a mindset you have to have.

Why is he failing the written tests? Is he not studying for them?


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