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Marital Conflicts Leading to Depression

Submitted by on December 17, 2017 – 6:40 PM

mariThe relationship between wife and husband is said to be known as ‘marital relations’. (Farlex, 2003-2015). Marriage and the relationship with spouse play a very vital role in person’s physical, emotional, social and psychological health. In marital relationship the couple is able to help and support each other; they take good care of their spouse. In 2006, Umberson, Williams, A. Powers, Liu and Needham states: “Being married typically is expected to lead to greater availability of emotional, social support, meaning and purpose in life, and social control, which are considered key processes that promote physical wellness”.


If in this relation there are some problems or the couple is not satisfied with each other than it may have negative impacts on their health. Many studies have shown that disappointment in marital relationship results in depressive symptoms. (Choi and Marks, 2008).



“Marital conflict is not just a difference of opinion. Rather, it is a series of events that have been poorly handled so as to deeply damage the marriage relationship. Marriage issues have festered to the point that stubbornness, pride, anger, hurt and bitterness prevent effective marriage communication”. (Family First, LLC, 2015).


As discussed before marital conflicts may lead to some health issue in which depression is a major illness. The person may feel like a sense of loss and pain, it may seem as the death of your marriage. There may be hopelessness. The person may not be able to love someone else after the separation with their spouse. (Archen, 2015). Depression can further lead to social isolation as well. Person will not be able to do work or to perform the activities of daily living. According to Ramchandani P and Psychogiou L, in adults the psychiatric disorders is very high and is reaching throughout the world. (2009).


I was on my clinical rotation at Karachi Psychiatric Hospital. It was my first exposure to any psychiatric ward. I saw many patients there. The room was locked from inside so that no miss happening would occur. It was my objective to select and interact with a patient. I went to one of them she was a 43 years old lady I greeted her and introduced myself then I started interviewing, I came to know she is here since last 4 years. She was bought here with non-compliance of medication and sleep disturbances. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. She told me that 8 years back she got married with a guy who was already having 3 kids and within 2 months she got divorced.


The reason behind was that those kids didn’t accept her as their mother. She further verbalizes that after her divorce she got sick and according to her she was having depression and feels anger. Her relation with her family member starts worsening her family was not taking proper care of her and then after few years they left her here. As I have encountered this issue at clinical and it is one of the most common problems now days in our community and society. I chose this topic so that in future I can be able to solve this issue in my clinical settings.



The Discord Model of Depression is very authentic and suitable model for understanding the relation between marital conflicts and depression. (Hollist, Miller, Falceto and Fernandes, 2007). My patient also falls in this criterion as she was having sleep disturbance, aggression, depression, poor family relations and was non-compliant to her medications.


Divorce not only affects the couple and their relationship but, it may also have a great and negative impact on their other family members and children. “Early etiological theories of child and marital problems assumed unidirectional cause-effect relationships. That is, it was always presumed that dysfunctional marital relationships caused dysfunctional behavior patterns in children. Children with behavioral or emotional problems were viewed as innocent victims of a bad parent or of a bad relationship between the parents”. (Saposnek, Rose, JD and CFLS, 2004).


According to John Bowlby, Attachment theory is important in regards to personal growth, the capacity of an independent to forms bodily and psychological attachments with another individual. It is mandatory for the sense of safety and security. This theory showed that childhood progress depends upon the attachment and connection of child with their progenitor. (2015). Parents play an essential part in their child’s mental and physical development, but what if the parents are also having issues and conflicts with each other? They won’t be able to pay attention and indirectly their children may also suffer in their lives.


There may be so many causes for this conflicts I have discussed some causes by using different theories and models. Other causes which can lead to marital conflicts could be misapprehension and misconception between twosome, unsettled issues, lot of family participation, apathy in their marriage and poor exchanging of information with each other.


To resolve such issues, some measures or steps should be taken so that the incidence could be reducing in our society. There should be counseling sessions and meetings for those clients along with their family member; it may help to reduce the consequences. If a nurse is having a patient who is suffering from marital conflicts so nurse should motivate the patient and make them realize their importance. Nurse should also encourage patient to express their feelings. there should be awareness session at community level to make community realize that having a divorce is not a solution and it may results in further consequences as well. We should also teach them that not to criticize or stigmatize the divorced person because he is already bearing the weight of so many problems, and is experiencing negative thoughts, our one sentence could destroy their life. Teach the members of society to help and support them rather demotivate them. We should give teaching to the patient and their family as well about acceptance of others through which they can have good relations and decrease mental burdens.


In conclusion, marital conflicts have a great impact on person’s mental health and on their family as well and it may lead to further complications such as poor relations with others, aggression and depression. It will not only affect the life of divorced person but also have influence on the lives of their parents, children and other family members. We as a nurse should take some steps by using different techniques and strategies so that people having marital conflicts should live a normal life and should perform daily activities.



  1. Choi and Marks. (2008, August 12). Marital Conflict, Depressive Symptoms, and Functional Impairment. Retrieved from
  2. First Family LLC. (2015). How to Understand Conflict in Marriage. Retrieved from
  3. Hollist, Miller, Falceto and Fernandes. (2007, December). Marital satisfaction and depression: a replication of the Marital Discord Model in a Latino sample. Retrieved from
  4. John Bowlby. (2015). Attachment Theory – Developmental Psychology – Psychologist World. Retrieved from
  5. Marital relationship. (n.d.) WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. (2003-2008). Retrieved September 21 2015 from
  6. Ramchandani P and Psychogiou L. (2009). Paternal psychiatric disorders and children’s psychosocial development. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
  7. Saposnek, Rose, JD and CFLS. (2004, March). The Psychology Of Divorce. Retrieved from
  8. Tracy Achen. (2015). Depression From Divorce. Retrieved from
  9. Umberson, Williams, A. Powers, Liu and Needham. (2006, March). You Make Me Sick: Marital Quality and Health Over the Life Course. Retrieved from



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