A warm welcome to you wallabyjack
My heart goes out to you during this intensely challenging time, for I recall the challenges I put my husband through during my years in depression, especially the added challenges that came with babies. Our babies are 13 and 16 years old now. It wasn't until after I had my 2nd child that I came out of my 15 years of depression, thanks to a fantastic health centre sister who steered me in the right direction - post natal depression group therapy.
I know the following sounds irrational yet it's important to keep in mind that this was my perception whilst in depression:
I was failing to understand what it meant to be 'a good mum', failing to breast feed, failing to cope with change, failing to live up to the expectations of those around me. I was even failing to fully love my little ones the way a mother's meant to, deeply. In my depressed mind, I was failing at everything. Incredible sleep deprivation further twisted my perception. The one person I looked to, to 'save me' wasn't saving me. I looked to my husband to 'make everything right'. I wanted him to fix everything. I resented him. Yes, I know, it was an unfair expectation yet it was the expectation of a desperate deeply troubled woman. If he couldn't save me, the least he could do was hang the towels 'properly' (bit of a peg like thing) and try not to rub his own happiness in my face. How dare he think life should be this easy. Deep down, the truth is...I envied him.
wallabyjack, I was an absolute control freak during my years in depression. I understand it now; if I couldn't control my internal environment (the thoughts and chemistry that come with depression), I could at least do everything possible to control my external environment, including the people in it. Those who didn't conform to what were a lot of irrational expectations I treated like saboteurs (the enemy, in a way). By the way, life outside depression is a whole different story. I am a pretty laid back sort of gal and not a lot gets to me these days, not even the towels :)
I wonder if your wife's looking for you to save her in some way. Is there a health centre sister type figure in your life you could personally speak to, in the way of guidance for your wife? Such a person could make their own observations regarding the help she may need, next time she sees them.
I believe you are doing your best. When someone's dealing with incredible upset in their perception, they will even find fault with a saint.