Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelp’s wife, Nicole Phelp’s, opened up about his battle with depression and her fear of losing him.
“After Vanessa (Bryant) lost Kobe, all I could do was look at Michael and be like, ‘Can we please help you? Because if I lose you, I don’t know what I’m gonna do,’” Nicole shared with “Today” Parents in a piece published Tuesday.
“Michael is the most amazing father and partner I could have ever asked for,” she added, noting that she used to think she could “fix” her husband. (RELATED: Katy Perry Dealing With ‘Waves Of Depression’ While Pregnant During The Pandemic)
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“I used to think, ‘Oh, I can fix him. I can be his therapist. I can be what he needs,'” Nicole shared. “But what I’ve learned is that you can’t take ownership for how they’re feeling, no matter how badly you want to.” (RELATED: Ayesha Curry Says Postpartum Depression Led Her To Get ‘Most Botched Boob Job’ Ever)
And it’s not just Michael’s wife who is learning this, but their three children as well, sons Boomer, 4, Beckett, 2 and Maverick, 16 months.
“The boys want to be near Michael when he’s having a rough day,” Phelps’ wife shared. “They want to try and make him happy — especially Boomer because he’s the oldest.”
“So we’ll say, ‘Hey Booms, Daddy’s having a hard time and just needs to take a moment to be alone,'” she added. “We want Boomer to understand it’s not about him, it’s about Michael.”
“It’s difficult because I want to hold space, not only for my children, but for my husband, too,” Nicole continued. “When Michael’s having a day, I want to be there for him as much as I possibly can. I want to take care of everyone.”
“Nicole loves me and wants to help,” Michael explained. “She wants me to get better. But she’s struggling herself. She needs that support as well. I know it’s hard for her.”