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Am I Kidding Myself?


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Thanks for your help. I don't know tbh, I am prepared to find out we had let the relationship slide and need to work on it but I know in my heart that thrre weren't really any signs of him being unhappy with me but I do know he was increasingly frustrated with his career and the people involved with it. Our finances are very strained since December and I can see why he broke down when he did.

I have my eyes open, believe me, but those that know us well are convinced this is just his depression talking.

He is in counselling now and is happy to go to couples counselling if needed. I have a lot of support from friends for now and will see what happens.

X

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Things can trigger it, but there is certainly a lot of biology and genetics at play too. So I think to say "it doesn't just happen" may be oversimplistic. Yes, many people go through depressive episodes as a result of stressful times in their lives, it happens. However, there are people that are kind of just born into it.

I don't know which of those I am yet, but the more I objectively look at things, the more I feel like I may have some biological disposition to it. I am not trying to blame it on genetics, because I know ways to make myself feel better, but I am definitely more emotional than most.

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Yes it's a good point PP - and well documented that it does run genetically but you seem to have learned coping mechanisms for yours. Long may it continue (the coping that is.....obviously not the illness!).

I think to say it 'doesn't just happen' could be misunderstood as my hubby's episode of serious clinical depression definitely came on overnight but I guess what was meant was that there is always a root cause. Of course I agree with that in the case of someone like my husband but I think looking at it objectively now it seems far more likely to be career/age/financial stuff. I am not saying there isn't a little bit of 'boredom' (for want of a better term) but he admits himself he had no thoughts about being unhappy in our marriage before this full blown episode and as we don't have kids or any other reason to distract ourselves I am looking for the more likely causes now and trying to stay positive.

He has been a bit more his old self the last couple of days and although I am not reading into it it has been nice to see. He even called his parents last night and arranged for us all to meet for lunch today (that's a big thing! ).

I am prepared for the worst but definitely not dwelling on it yet - the signs are too good for now. ....

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Just as a small addition - he just told me that his counsellor and doctor have classed him as 'severely depressed' right now and I have had conversations with two close friends who have known of people in depression doing VERY similar things to their spouses and when they feel better eventually not even really having recollection of saying the things and being really upset about it.

Obviously I want to think the best, but I am keeping my mind open to every possibility. This does give me a lot of hope though - knowing he really is as bad as I think (i.e. medically classed as 'severely' depressed) and hearing these stories close-hand at least gives me something to hope for.

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My depression was caused by my marriage but at first, well for many years I ignored it as best I could as I had children to bring up, it was only when they reached a point in their life that they didn't need me all the time did I allow myself to think about just how bad I was and that is when my life spiralled out of control when I admitted to myself the realities of my situation and life.

Katersbee - I have re-read your post and would like to ask you more about this section here if you don't mind? You say you 'ignored' it as best you could - does that mean you were consciously aware of being unhappy? Did you think you might just carry on after the kids were grown up or do you think you always knew (deep down or fairly consciously?) that a time would come when you would want out of the marriage?

I hope you don't mind me asking, it just occurred to me that your terminology implies you were aware, which is important to me with the situation with my husband,

I really appreciate your input, thanks.

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Time for an update!

Hey PP - I hope all is well with you and you have had a few better days?

So, my update is that nothing has fundamentally changed - as is to be expected really! He started on the higher dose of meds almost two weeks ago and they do seem to be making some improvements, there have definitely been glimpses of him at times, he even laughed at some stuff on TV the other night and he seems more able to 'chat' about things, although I wouldn't say he is anywhere close to 'normal' (I am beginning to forget what that even means...). He is having pretty bad side-effects from the meds though, bad dizzy spells and very dry mouth. He still seems pretty vacant some of the time and feels very tired/sleepy in the afternoons a lot. Also not getting up until around 9.30/10.00am most days, although to be fair he was never an early bird before.

His feelings for me have not changed so far, of course it worries me so much that there is more to this and that actually we do have some relationship problems but I have to remind myself of how seriously ill he is right now and wait it out. We've had some bad days and some good days in the last couple of weeks, he has said some really mean things ('I feel I am stuck with you') and some really positive things ('I want us to get through this and be happy together again') so the rollercoaster continues,

No doubt he knows I am here for him and love him. His oldest friend now knows and he told him I was being incredibly supportive and that he couldn't fault me, so that was nice to hear.

Also wanted to add that he has another appt with his doctor on Weds and I am hoping they will do some blood tests for the ED probs and test for hormone probs as no doubt the ED problem is a big contributor to what is going on. He has a face-to-face counselling session on Friday as well. Also he has given up drinking completely since he has been on the meds, which is a good thing obviously but it also worries me that he feels he can't trust himself to have a couple of beers. There is no medical reason not to have a drink on his meds and I know he would enjoy a couple of beers, but also don't want to encourage him. When I asked if he was sure he wanted to go completely alcohol-free he said 'I don;t think it's a good idea to drink, do you?' as if he just didn't trust himself or what he might say/do which makes me sad. BUT having said that I was concerned about his drinking last year - not frequency so much as attitude to it and him wanting to get obliterated whenever he did go drinking - so I can't complain.

I'll keep popping in and updating as I want people to hear my tale and how it pans out - I am still hoping for a positive outcome.

Edited by FionaC
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My depression was caused by my marriage but at first, well for many years I ignored it as best I could as I had children to bring up, it was only when they reached a point in their life that they didn't need me all the time did I allow myself to think about just how bad I was and that is when my life spiralled out of control when I admitted to myself the realities of my situation and life.

Katersbee - I have re-read your post and would like to ask you more about this section here if you don't mind? You say you 'ignored' it as best you could - does that mean you were consciously aware of being unhappy? Did you think you might just carry on after the kids were grown up or do you think you always knew (deep down or fairly consciously?) that a time would come when you would want out of the marriage?

I hope you don't mind me asking, it just occurred to me that your terminology implies you were aware, which is important to me with the situation with my husband,

I really appreciate your input, thanks.

Hi, firstly sorry for the delay and of course I do not mind answering any questions.

Right oh god, it's a long story but I'll try and keep it to the bits that I think you want to know.

I was completely aware that my marriage had failed and it was causing my mental health to suffer. But as a young mother of two I just ploughed into bringing my babies up, they started to grow up and need me less and less that's when my 'turning point' happened, I woke up one morning with a rare clear mind and subjectively looked at my life and what it had become and where it was going.

The vast majority of my married life has been one distraction to the next so my head could remain in the sand and not think to much about my unhappy life, how depressed I felt. At first it was the children - for the first 10 years that helped as they needed me most of the time so I could postpone how I was thinking, but once they need you less then the realities of ones situation hits you. So I started a small business to part distract myself and unfortunately like many self medicated with alcohol so I didn't have to think. It was only when that got too much and people started noticing did I go to get help and then it was another 4-5 year struggle (one suicide attempt) to get myself to this point now where divorce is around the corner and I'm a much happier person.

I think in your case it is important to keep a realistic approach in your mind that it could go either way and just get on with your life, support your husband through his illness and see where it ends up. I know how tempting it is to look for answers in other peoples experiences but the reality is everyone's are entirely different and the only time you will know which way it is going is when your personal circumstances presents itself to you so just keep a middle of the roads approach. Until you know better do as you're doing and treat it as an illness and DO NOT forget about yourself as this sort of experience can bring you down with it (health wise) make sure you look after yourself, make sure you do things outside of the marriage, with your friends, have a night out and so on. Keep life ticking over as a conclusion will only happen when it happens and since you are being realistic about it going either way, that's all you can really do in my opinion.

Also don't be afraid to pull him up on something if he is treating you badly, having depression, even severe depression isn't a get out of jail free card, you too have feeling, emotions. Good luck xx

Edited by katersbee
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Thanks Katersbee - I appreciate your honesty and am glad you have moved into a happier place, it must have been a brave decision, even after all you had been through.

Thanks for all the advice as well, yes it is tempting to try and find answers in other people's experiences and in some way I have, in so much as it has made me realise what can be expected from depression (far more than I would ever have believed before!) and how to handle the illness and how to look after myself. I have some really amazing friends who have been brilliant in supporting me and listening to my mad rants, and talking me down from the proverbial ledge a couple of times when I had worked myself into a nonsensical frenzy.

You are right that he doesn't get a free pass to be cruel, but in conversations about depression it seems when in the deepest grips they aren't always aware of what they're saying, I really have heard some horror stories from people who have then found it incredible that they ever said such things and they know they would never have meant them at all!

I know - really know - that we have been very, very happy together for years so I don't think there has been a long depression building about our relationship but I am also not foolish enough to kid myself that his slide into depression over the last couple of years (that I had just put down to stress) hasn't had an effect on us that I hadn't noticed, so I guess once he is feeling a lot better then I can assess the collateral damage.

A couple of weeks ago it was difficult to get him to see any future for us - or anything really - he just didn't seem to have it in him to comprehend his depression, however there is light at the end of the tunnel now (even though I am not close enough to the end of the tunnel to see that light - I can now believe it is there!). He is able to chat to me now and he is showing signs of affection without any prompting. These are big improvements!

My main concern over our relationship is the idea of his 'mid-life' feelings, which I know can be very destructive, but for now he is here with me, seems to enjoy and want my company and we have found a way to carry on as normally as it's possible to under the circumstances. You are right about a middle of the road approach, seems there is no other option than to wait it out and see where we end up.

:) Keep smiling eh?!

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It seems that y'all are making progress and I'm so happy to hear that Fiona! I'm glad also that katersbee was here to help give another viewpoint. I admitedly was feeling guilty because I felt like I was giving you just one possible interpretation. I was almost feeling like I could be giving false hope, because I of course have no idea what your husband is thinking.

(see what my thoughts can do to me?)

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Hey PP, good to hear from you, hope you are ok?

I'm up in the middle of the night again, I think I have to see my doctor and get referred for some counselling. I am at the point now where I am pretty sure (as sure as you can ever be I guess...) that it is the depression causing the lack of 'love' blah blah, but the enormity of what we are going through has kind of just hit me.

Maybe this is middle-of-the-night doom thinking but I don't know that we will ever be the same again after this, it feels like it will change us fundamentally and I need time to grieve for that loss, we had a great relationship and I don't know that we will ever truly get that back. I feel resentful right now that I am being put through this and I have nowhere to direct that resentment except at him which isn't fair. I have to find a way to deal with that. I also don't know how strong I really am as it is obvious he isn't going to get better any time soon and our financial problems aren't going away yet it will be me that has to sort this out and find a way through as he is not capable right now. Another source of resentment as I feel barely able to hold on to my sanity right now never mind sort out our mess of a life on my own.

So it seems depression is taking a grip on me and I have to stop it in its tracks, read up on some of that depression fallout stuff and find a way to detach from this without losing my love for him.

Logically I know anger and resentment are natural emotions in my situation but as the depression is not a tangible thing I don't know what to do with them.

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Hey PP, good to hear from you, hope you are ok?

I'm up in the middle of the night again, I think I have to see my doctor and get referred for some counselling. I am at the point now where I am pretty sure (as sure as you can ever be I guess...) that it is the depression causing the lack of 'love' blah blah, but the enormity of what we are going through has kind of just hit me.

Maybe this is middle-of-the-night doom thinking but I don't know that we will ever be the same again after this, it feels like it will change us fundamentally and I need time to grieve for that loss, we had a great relationship and I don't know that we will ever truly get that back. I feel resentful right now that I am being put through this and I have nowhere to direct that resentment except at him which isn't fair. I have to find a way to deal with that. I also don't know how strong I really am as it is obvious he isn't going to get better any time soon and our financial problems aren't going away yet it will be me that has to sort this out and find a way through as he is not capable right now. Another source of resentment as I feel barely able to hold on to my sanity right now never mind sort out our mess of a life on my own.

So it seems depression is taking a grip on me and I have to stop it in its tracks, read up on some of that depression fallout stuff and find a way to detach from this without losing my love for him.

Logically I know anger and resentment are natural emotions in my situation but as the depression is not a tangible thing I don't know what to do with them.

I think these are perfectly understandable emotions, and maybe it's worth getting some time with a counselor of your own to even just talk with. It may be easier to have some stranger you can "unload" on who also understands psychological disorders. It'll also maybe help you to avoid your own issues.

As was said earlier, sometimes big events (like this) can trigger depression too. Maybe not as bad, maybe not as hard to fight, but it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that this is affecting you in ways you may not realize.

Feel better! :D

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Thanks PP - it isn't my intention to use you as a psychoanalyst but I always appreciate your good wishes and insights. In fact you have helped me a lot, as you hopefully know!

I guess there are stages to this and I am entering the next one. I have stopped panicking quite so much about the 'love' thing which leaves room for the reality of his depression and what it might mean in the weeks and months (jeez, maybe even years?!) ahead.

I'm lucky that he is a very good man deep down, he knows he is sick right now and is doing all he can to sort it out. My job is to stay well, stay strong enough for both of us and try and sort the basic problems that got us to where we are right now and that triggered his depression.

We had a few words last night which ended kinda badly, though not terribly, and he texted me that he really appreciated my support and thanked me. Gonna try and hold on to the small things like that.

You're a good man PP :)

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Hey PP, good to hear from you, hope you are ok?

I'm up in the middle of the night again, I think I have to see my doctor and get referred for some counselling. I am at the point now where I am pretty sure (as sure as you can ever be I guess...) that it is the depression causing the lack of 'love' blah blah, but the enormity of what we are going through has kind of just hit me.

Maybe this is middle-of-the-night doom thinking but I don't know that we will ever be the same again after this, it feels like it will change us fundamentally and I need time to grieve for that loss, we had a great relationship and I don't know that we will ever truly get that back. I feel resentful right now that I am being put through this and I have nowhere to direct that resentment except at him which isn't fair. I have to find a way to deal with that. I also don't know how strong I really am as it is obvious he isn't going to get better any time soon and our financial problems aren't going away yet it will be me that has to sort this out and find a way through as he is not capable right now. Another source of resentment as I feel barely able to hold on to my sanity right now never mind sort out our mess of a life on my own.

So it seems depression is taking a grip on me and I have to stop it in its tracks, read up on some of that depression fallout stuff and find a way to detach from this without losing my love for him.

Logically I know anger and resentment are natural emotions in my situation but as the depression is not a tangible thing I don't know what to do with them.

This was my concern that you would be pulled into having depressive thoughts/depression/anxiety yourself which is perfectly understandable for what you are being put through. What is being asked from you is extremely difficult thing to accomplish and to live by ; supporting, loving, helping a man through an illness who could at least in theory once better could walk out. We all know that is a possibility and living under that pressure is enough for anyone to start to crackup.

That is why I said that you need YOU time, time with friends, go out a night a week and kick back and yes make an appointment with your GP and tell everything and get some professional support yourself.

Edited by katersbee
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Hi Katersbee, yes I appreciate all that (and always have) and I do go out with friends, but it makes no difference to the basic problem. I am absolutely sure I would survive if we split, I am the sociable one, the one that organises everything and has all the friends.

Leaving him for a night out or to visit a friend for coffee or lunch brings very mixed emotions in me right now because of all the times to leave him to his own devices this is not it, so I am trying to do it only when absolutely necessary. It doesn't really feed my soul to be with my friends knowing he is alone at home.

I have suffered from depression before (although obviously not severe like this) and I have started exercising to ward it off and know all the things I have to do but, you know, the enormity of it is overwhelming sometimes and today is one of those times.

I had wanted to delay counselling for myself but think I can't avoid it, I need to spout to someone other than close friends. Mind you - gotta love the NHS - no doubt from calling my doctor today to getting an appt will be a few weeks!

Thanks again, I appreciate your thoughts and input very much.

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Just an update for anyone reading the thread!

He went to the doctors on Wednesday for a check up (has been on tricyclic meds for 5 weeks now, 3 weeks at 50mg per night and then 2 weeks at 150mgs per night) and despite him showing what I think were some signs of slight improvement the doctor changed him to Fluoxetine (SSRI), just 20mg per day to start which is a little annoying as my husband is well over 6' tall and weighs 330lbs!

He had a good day (his words) on Thursday and seemed very positive about things, including us, even telling me without prompting that 'we will get through this'., but then yesterday he had a s***ty counselling session in the morning and has been very, very down again yesterday and today. He was very negative again last night, saying he wasn't sure if we had a future and this couldn't have just happened out of the blue. I showed him articles online stating that depression can cause exactly what he is going through but I guess he is finding it hard to take in right now. The counsellor has stopped his IC and is referring us to couples counselling, which will take a few weeks to come through, and I found out that he had barely told them any of the other contributory factors as all they were interested in was our marriage.

He has blood tests next week which I hope bring up some info on the ED at least.....

I am hoping that the new meds are just making things worse before they get better, I have read a couple of places that can happen with SSRI's but hey, as with the rest of it just have to wait and see!

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I don't know from experience, but changing medications can certainly do things like that.

As a bit of a different question: how long has your husband been "330lbs at 6' tall?" Depression can be (but is not always) triggered by obesity and health. One of the first things that is told to people during group therapy sessions is to exercise more, eat better, and get more regular sleep. Again, there are no hard and fast rules like with anything. Many people do, however, feel considerably better with these things. Of course, it will be very hard to bring something like this up if he's already feeling down about himself. Has the therapist brought it up to him?

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Oh PP your timing is perfect as always. Truth behind all this finally came out today and he has been having an affair for 18 months...... Pretty numb right now as you can imagine but strangely relieved to finally get the truth.

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So more of an update - apologies for short nature of the last one but I was out and on my phone.

After the confession of the affair he broke down completely and we had what can only be described as the most shocking and revealing conversation we have ever had. We discussed possible problems with the relationship that had led to the affair - none of them really worthy of more than a sit down and chat - but it turns out the low level depression I had looked back and guessed he had before the meltdown was far, far more serious than I realised and stretched back definitely as far as 2009, with some roots in 2005 and then way back to teen years.

He is suffering right now with debilitating anxiety attacks and he told me they go way back to his teen years and a nightmare he used to have about having to write in really small writing on a wall in their house and it was never-ending, which he now equates with the futility and endlessness of life and how nothing ever changes and it just goes on and on. He was breaking into bad anxiety as he told me this.

Then - the most shocking thing for me - he told me he had planned to commit suicide over Xmas 2011. The only reason he didn't in the end was that he hadn't wanted me to be disappointed in him. I had NO IDEA. It feels to me like I don't know this man. He would never, ever have had an affair without the depression, I know that sounds naive but believe me the friends I have told are absolutely shocked and stunned. And as for the depression and drastic action thoughts he kept it so well hidden, especially around those dates, that I could never have guessed he was even unhappy.

Worth pointing out that the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 he was already 6 months into the affair, had just turned 40 and his career was looking good.

I don't think our marriage can survive this as his depression is so deep he cannot understand me wanting him to finish it with the OW. Oh - did I mention this woman is a friend of ours and we have seen her a lot in recent months? So the two of them have been with me and flaunting it without me having a clue. Nice, huh? When I asked him about this he just said he didn't connect the two and the person having the affair feels like someone else, like it isn't real - he feels like two people.

So after all my panicking the worst has happened. Thanks to you all for helping me understand depression a little better.

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Firstly I'm so sorry to hear the news, but given time it will not seem as much as a shock to you once you start putting bits and pieces together.

I can only speak for myself but taking what I know from my own experiences is that I think you may be being a tough naive still about depression is the cause of everything, hence why the medics have stopped his personal counselling and channelled it more into relationship counselling. I very much doubt the professionals would do that if they thought his depression was underlying. I would imagine it's more that the relationship problems were the cause of his depression maybe? at least that sounds logical to me in terms of the path the counselling is going.

Chin up Fiona, at least you now know and you can deal with the actual problem, rather than ***** footing around him, treating him with kid gloves.

Now is YOUR time, take care of YOURSELF, if you feel your own mental health is slipping, please get help so you can cope with whatever path you decide to go and above all don't make any rushed decisions. Take a few days to think about each and every thought then act upon them accordingly.

Sorry I've just re-read your post and saw the affair is still going on? If I was you I would prepare for a separation as he clearly can't stop seeing her so it's probably coming out now preparing himself (and you) for leaving, trying to make you kick him out as he hasn't got the mental health to do it, to force his hand so to speak.

Edited by katersbee
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Hi Katersbee, I don't know if I have given you the wrong end of the stick but honestly I know we had relationship problems, but honestly not enough to cause depression and I do know what the other triggers were (in 2009 and 2005). I am fuming with him that the small problems we did have could have been resolved if he had just sat down and talked with me, but as they were communication probs I guess it didn't work that way - so instead he took the temptation handed to him on a plate (I know the girl, know she had been idolising him for a long time as her XH is friends with my H and I know how she operates and also him, it would have had to have been handed to him for him to notice but it was and he obviously took it!).

I am well aware he hasn't given her up yet, although distance means he won't be seeing her soon and he has promised me he will not see her this week so he has time to think about whether we should try and go down the counselling/saving route. I have mixed feelings, yes I want to try and I do think I could forgive him but I also think maybe it is delaying the inevitable. I am fully prepared to show him the door and he knows it - he knows the choice he has to make and where the lines are drawn. I have had the usual crying/so sorry/you didn't deserve this/ blah blah. Well yeah, I didn't, but it's happened and at least I know the truth (had suspected her for a while, but not the length of time it has been going on - really quite shocked at his ability to lie, boy could win an Oscar!)

I am not being soft on him but I am aware that he is seriously depressed right now, the panic attacks he is having (and passing out after) are very real and I had to speak to his doctor today about his suicidal conversations, so I am caring for him as anyone would.

Strangely now I finally know the truth I feel quite strong. Not saying that will stay and maybe once he goes it will hit me more, but at that stage it will all be about me.

Edited by FionaC
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Well it sounds like he has got himself into a situation he doesn't have the guts to see through and is going through the motions waiting for someone else to make his decisions for him, whether that be you or the other woman, hence the panic attacks at what he has done vs what's around the corner. It would not surprise me what so ever if the other woman has given him an ultimatum recently hence why all this has come out all of a sudden.

I guess the first port of call would be to demand the other woman is history, full stop, end of story and see what he has to say and work from there.

Good luck, we're all here for you.

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I'm so so sorry to hear all of this Fiona. What makes me upset the most about this was how much you were trying to understand and reach out to him and meanwhile he's acted abhorrently. You have every right to feel the way you do, I know I'd feel the same way.

As Katersbee said, we are here for you!

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Thanks both :)

Very tough few days ahead while we sort the practicalities of this. I have been very clear he has to decide and I am very realistically expecting him to choose her. We have had a couple of very emotional and honest days - shame we couldn't have done this before! - and I know he has not really thought through what the reality of separating from me means to him, his life and his career (long story but suffice to say he is losing a LOT!).

My friend also pointed out that although they feel in love they don't really know each other that well- she is dazzled by him being a musician and the glamorous life she thinks he has (we know a few famous people) but she doesn't know the man behind it as well as she thinks, they have never spent a night together (I know because we haven't had a night apart since they started up) and despite texting and their hotel trysts which I am sure are just about the sex, they haven't had any real world stuff to face at all until now. BUT honestly so what, I am thinking of me already and looking at our financial arrangements.

He told me he has been surprised by how much I love him - a sure fire indicator that he had convinced himself of untruths to justify his behaviour - and now the reality of him walking away from me is hitting him I think he is also surprised by his deep love for me. I am not fooling myself that is romantic love at this stage, I know he is (or thinks he is?) in love with her, but it is making it more difficult for him to follow through, as you say, and that is causing the depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Feels like it's going to be a bumpy ride but I know I am strong and I have the most amazing support network around me (including this forum - thanks!) :) x

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