“No winter lasts forever. No spring skips its turn.—Anonymous

seasonal affective disorder

Disclaimer: This episode is not intended as medical advice. If you are concerned about Seasonal Affective Disorder or any other mental health concern, please seek the help and advice of a medical professional. A mental health professional may diagnose SAD after a careful mental health exam and medical history review.

The winter months—with shorter days, less sunlight, and colder weather—can affect your mood and, therefore, your marriage.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs around the same time each year.

Symptoms of SAD can include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. This often occurs in climates where there is less sunlight at certain times.

Some 58% of the ONE Family shared that either they or their spouse deal with this. That’s a significant percentage.

Many of you may not have an official diagnosis of SAD, but you recognize that things feel a little off during winter.

The shift to winter can affect anyone, so it’s essential to know about seasonal affective disorder.

Because if something affects you, it will affect your marriage.

Although the specific causes of seasonal affective disorder remain unknown, there are three primary factors that may play a role.

First, a reduced level of sunlight in the fall and winter months can affect your biological clock (circadian rhythm). This disruption of your body’s internal clock can lead to feelings of depression.

Second, a reduced level of sunlight can lower your serotonin, a brain chemical that affects your mood. When your serotonin levels drop, it may trigger depression.

Third, the changing seasons can disrupt your body’s levels of melatonin, which plays a role in mood and sleep patterns.

Members of the ONE Family have experienced the effect of these physiological changes on their marriages.

SAD can affects your emotional intimacy because you feel grumpy and on edge. It can limit your recreational intimacy because you don’t feel like doing anything.

When your spouse is dealing with SAD, you may feel you have to carry the load or walk on eggshells around them. As a result, you feel disconnected.

Clearly, SAD has very real effects on marriage.

But when you can anticipate how SAD may affect you and your marriage, you can take proactive steps to keep your marriage strong.

For example, you can take more walks together to get outside and get moving. It may be helpful to attend counseling or therapy to work through your emotions. You might prioritize exercise more.

Even just recognizing when you might experience lower moods and verbalizing that to your spouse can help keep you connected throughout the season.

Or perhaps you need to plan a trip to a sunnier destination to boost your mood and strengthen your recreational intimacy.

If your sexual intimacy weakens in the winter months due to SAD, try mixing up your routine with edging, new sex positions, or sex pillows and wedges.

Use The 6 Pillars of Intimacy® as a framework to navigate this season. Assess which pillars you need to prioritize and develop ideas for how to take action. Counseling, phototherapy, and exercise are three areas you may want to consider.

Knowing the rhythms of your marriage can help you be proactive and prepare for harder months.

If you know that you or your spouse struggle with SAD, you don’t have to fall into the same patterns of conflict or depression each year.

Talk with your spouse about the actions you can take alone and together to improve your mental health and keep your marriage strong.


Light Therapy Lamp

Get Personal Help to Improve Your Marriage

Connect with Us

Join the ONE Family private Facebook group to share your story and connect with other couples who are creating extraordinary marriages. To reach us on the Hug Hotline, call or text 858-876-5663 or email hugs@oneextraordinarymarriage.com.

EPISODE SPONSOR | The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®: The Secret to an Extraordinary Marriage

Is it really possible to rekindle the spark and restore the “like-new” connection in your marriage?

In the 6 Pillars of Intimacy®, you will discover secrets that have transformed countless marriages. Its ideas are simple, practical, and powerful. You’ll be inspired to look at your marriage through a new lens and be encouraged by its commonsense approach.

Alisa and Tony DiLorenzo's proven approach to building intimacy in marriage will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your spouse – starting today. Click HERE to get your copy today!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Medical Disclaimer: The content of this article & website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.