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ALN

Married Life...

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I've been married for 12 years. We were very happy for maybe 5 years. After we had kids, my wife went back to school full time and my career life changed so I was working much more. The stress of all this has really taken a toll. My kids are good kids but they take a lot of energy, which is exactly what depression steals from me. After my wife was finished with her 3 years of school, she had to work nights for a year and now she is finally on days and part time. We really drifted apart during this time. We built up a lot of resentments and bad habits. We don't really fight, it just seems like we are roommates a lot of the time. Things are starting to thaw but slowly. If I didn't have kids I'd consider splitting up, but i want to try and see if she and I can be close again. Underneath all the crap we do really like each other as people, but I wouldn't say we are very close right now. My depression has been hard on her at times, but she has been pretty understanding. We've done some therapy which has helped a bit but I do worry about our future. Depression makes this tough because it makes me doubt my feelings. Is it the depression talking or is my marriage really in trouble? I've found myself wishing at times that she would break things off. I don't think I could do it because of the fear of hurting her and my kids. we have our good days, but I often get the feeling that she disapproves of me as a person. It's all so confusing.

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I feel like me and my wife are in a very similar place. Without knowing a bit more about you, I would assume that this is not your depression talking and you're right to feel your marriage is disconnected. In fact, that's probably a part of what is perpetuating your depression right now.

However, I don't believe she disapproves of you. My guess is that's a combination of a few things. For one, she probably has no idea how to help (and hasn't for a long time). That leads to frustration and withdrawal. It reminds me of my kid (he's 4). Sometimes I just don't know how to "reach" him. I try everything I can think of but we're just not connecting/communicating. And I just don't know what to do. That's likely how your wife feels.

She is probably also frustrated that your depression doesn't go away quickly. People that don't suffer from depression just don't understand its effects. And they wonder why you just can't "get over it already".

I don't know that I have much advice. But it sounds like you both could benefit from more open communication and (especially) understanding and empathy.

I wish you all the best. And I really hope things get better for you.

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