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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
Depressed Husband
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE posted:
So I find out that my husband of MANY years is so unhappy/depressed that he is ready to leave everything including me behind. I know that he is very discouraged but I think my heart is broken. This is not the first time that he has told me that he wants out but I guess this time just hit home. We have a good life, make a decent living and can get whatever toys (jeep, boat, truck etc) that he wants even if it takes every penny we make. He doesn't even think enough of me to buy me a birthday card let alone a gift. I know that he loves me he is just bored and somehow I am supposed to make his life exciting, make his job better and make our kids be married with children but I can't fix everything! He says that he loves me but that he just wants something "good" to happen.
We have good children that are independent and are trying to finish college before they get married and have kids. We have a beautiful home, it's just not where he wants it to be. Sometimes I just wish he would go have an affair maybe he would find out what is out there and make an honest decision if I am what is making him unhappy or if it is within him. I have given everything that I have short of having a threesome which I have thought about but it is not something I can live with. If I'm not good enough I wish he would stop blaming me and just go on and do what he has to do. At what point do you walk away after 30 years?
I have told him whatever he wants to do I will move with him or work extra while he changes jobs but he says he can't make a decision but somehow this is my fault. Who is crazier him or me for dealing with this stupidity?
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
Choice,

I am sorry to hear about the struggles you are going thru with your relationship. Has your husband been diagnosed with depression? Has he spoken to his Dr. about any of these issues? Having dealt with depression for most of my life and being as stubborn as a mule to get help, making that phone call to a doctor or therapist is a very hard and humbling thing to do. I dont know where you two are at in terms of communication, but if he is ready to throw his hand away and move on, you might want to try counciling. It will give you a safe space to voice your concerns and a 3rd party to make heads or tails of the situation. The difficult part is that "most" men arent willing or dont believe in counciling/talk therapy.

Unfortunately, spending money on toys is just a bandaid, I used to feel the same way, id go spend money and in my case, money i didnt have. Let's face it, you can make the case for almost every person in the country, that they dislike or are unhappy with their current job situation. But to someone who is depressed it just makes waking up a very difficult task, because we may or may not know how to deal with it.

Depression is a very difficult animal because each person "copes" with it in their own way, so what works for someone may not work for the next person. If he is serious about leaving and you are vested in him beyond the fact that you have been married for 30 yrs, Id say its time to pull out all the stops and show him that you care about him and his overall well being. Doing "what ever" he wants/needs to think he will be happy is just a temporary solution, he wont get better until he gets help.

I am truly sorry for the both of you and i hope that you two find a way to make this last, dont stop fighting! Show him that he is worth fighting for and perhaps he will begin to fight for his own happiness.

IC

IC
 
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
Thank you so much for your reply. Yes he has been diagnosed and has previously been on medications but feel that the side effects are worse and that medication just masks how he actually feels. He goes into this severe depression every fall and is aware that he does. I have gone thru counseling (he went a couple of times but wouldn't do marriage counseling) and it has helped me to cope but sometimes I just need a sounding board. He expressed regret on what he said stating that he loves me and wants us to always be together. I just I just needed to vent because we go thru this apx every 6 months and I don't want to talk to family or friends. I have tried to reassure him and it seems to be helping. Guess I will just keep reassuring him and maybe we can make it to happier times.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to YESTERDAYSCHOICE's response:
Well I am glad to hear that he sought some type of help in the past. I would agree that the side effects of some antidepressents can stink and I get the masking emotions thing too. But if this happens every year at the same time, then there may be something deeper that is upsetting him, other than the season change. Maybe he had a tragic event that happened many years ago during the fall or several, who knows. Or something happen that he has suppressed and refuses to talk about.

Im also glad to hear that you went and spoke with someone and its awesome that you invited him and he went, thats a sign that he may want to get help Its good to hear that he expressed remorse for what he said. As a supportive spouse, you should support him, but dont be a crutch. Does he rely on you for a lot of things?

IC
 
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
I agree that there may be something that happend, he had a verbally/physically abusive father and he has issues with holidays especially Christmas. Yes he depends on me for a lot of emotional support. If I am more than 5 or 10 minutes late getting home from work he freaks out. If I go shopping he is jealous of whoever I am with, specifically if it is my mother or daughter. Sometimes he even freaks out if I go to the bedroom and watch tv instead of staying in the room with him. He is very insecure, even questioning who I talk to on the phone. Therapy has helped me a lot and I try hard to be understanding but I guess I will never understand why he has these spells where he blames me for "ruining" his life. I understand that it actually has nothing to do with me that it is just him but it doesn't hurt any less. He is a good husband and I love him but sometimes I just want to be able to relax a little and not worry about him flipping out if I say or do the "wrong" thing.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to YESTERDAYSCHOICE's response:
Choice,

Therapy has different effects on everyone...and if you find the right person who can help sort all this out, seems to me to be the best option for him. Walking on eggshells for the rest of your marriage isnt fair to either one of you, especially you. Trust me I know, before my marriage ended i was afraid to do or say anything because i knew i would be ridiculed for something.

Do you guys do a date night or anything like that? Maybe a nice romantic night could help lift his spirits Given how you mentioned some of his reactions, you may or may not want to try this. Maybe during dinner or afterwords, you could say something to this effect, i know this is a tough time of year for you, but i just want you to know that i am here for you and i always will be, if you ever want to talk or vent, im all ears.

I wish you the best of luck!

IC
 
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
I agree even if he won't go back to therapy I may just so that I can be strong dealing with the situation.

Yes we usually have one night a week set aside to go out but even that has become "boring" to him so we are trying to change things up a little and get him out of the house more and do some different activies.

Thanks for listening! I know that if I can survive until warm weather that things will get better but winter is just starting
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to YESTERDAYSCHOICE's response:
You going back to therapy is a good idea but it still may not fix the problem. I agree that it will help you get stronger and be able to cope better with his seasonal depression. It's almost like calling an HVAC expert to fix a plumbing problem, he might be able to fix it temporarily, but the real underlying problem is still present.

It's great to hear that you guys have a date night once a week, it can help you reconnect with each other. But Im sure it could become boring and monotinous if you dont change it up, which it sounds like your trying too If you havent seen the movie "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, i suggest watching it, its very funny and who couldnt use a good laugh. If things are becoming boring to him, find out what is not boring to him. He is a guy, so i am assuming sports are some where near the top of his list. You also mentioned that he got jealous of you, for shopping with your mom or daughter. Like most men, im sure he doesnt enjoy shopping...PERIOD. I dont know your age or your stance on intimacy...but what about taking him shopping with you one weekend and going to a sexy lingerie store and modeling a few things for him. Pretty sure that might change his mind on shopping

I know my suggestions seem to be putting him at the forefront and I am not saying that to put you in the background. But if this is his rough time of year, some extra attention to his needs, could help him snap out of it Maybe start to replace those bad memories that he has with some really wonderful ones of the two of you together. That way you can look back and remember those times and hopefully that can put him in a better place, even if its just temporarily.

I am not sure how old your daughter is, but even doing long weekend together as a family could be just what he needs.

As always, I wish the two of you the best with this upcoming holiday season.

Best of luck!

IC
 
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
I understand what your saying, no matter how I change that doesn't change how he feels. Trips do help as long as it is just the two of us, our daughter is over 20 and has no patience for his attitude anymore so if she goes along it usually makes things worse.

I have one of those rare husbands who hates sports. His obcessions are boats, vehicles and porn . Unforunately his idea of not being boring is chatting on Ashley Madison (dating site for married people so they can have discreet affairs). I know that he hasn't actually gone thru with anything but it is hurtful that he even gets on there.

We are working on our problems and I defintely think a trip would be a good idea since he dislikes this time of year. Maybe going somewhere warmer would help both of us. Thanks again for listening, I know I have a good husband but sometimes the things he does just hurt.
 
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queston replied to YESTERDAYSCHOICE's response:
I'm going to go against the grain a little here and say that maybe separation might be a legitimate option to explore.

It honestly doesn't sound like there's a lot of love, respect, and admiration here, especially coming from him? Chatting on Ashley Madison? Seriously? (I am a man, BTW, and not all that satisfied with my romantic/sex life. But even still, I would *never* do that to my wife.)

Maybe your daughter is on to something with her lack of remaining patience for him. Maybe a chance to be away from the relationship and realize just how much he's missing out on, and a chance to work on his own issues, would spark some positive change. If not, then you might know at that point that it's time to move on.

Just a thought.
 
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE replied to queston's response:
Definitely gave me some things to think about. Surprised to hear that suggestion from a man. Usually get that from my girl friends and family, guess that's why I wanted someone totally removed from the situation. Never thought I would be in this place in life.

I am going to try to hang in there but I know my patience is wearing thin. Guess I'm to a point where I'm wondering if I want to live out the rest of my life like this.

Thanks for your honesty.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to queston's response:
Quest,

I couldnt agree more...once i read the ashley madison thing, thats f'd up. whether he is going thru with it or not, that means the potential for that to happen is there. Time apart could be a very viable option, he would have to grow up and depend on himself instead of choice.

Choice,
I know you said you want to try to hang in there, which is very admirable given the vows you took. But he took those same vows as well. If you want to try and hang in there and do something fun together...what about a car show? or outdoor expo? I know it would be agony for you, but ask questions and try to take an interest and see where that goes.

You may also want to try to have a conversation with him about where your at and how your feeling, if you havent done so. Just the shock of hearing you say you want to seperate or thinking about it could trigger a reaction. But it could backfire and since he is on ashley madison, that could be all the motivation he needs to "hook up".

I wish you the best!

IC
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to YESTERDAYSCHOICE's response:
How is he a "good" husband? (serious question)
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
 
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fcl replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
I'm afraid I'd like to ask that same question. In what way is he a good husband? Tell me what is good about your relationship.

Looking in from the outside, I see a controlling individual who cannot get their mind round the fact that the world does not revolve around them, who does not understand that you are not there to make him happy. Nobody controls his happiness other than him. It certainly isn't your responsability to ensure he's on cloud 9 all the time and it seems to me that you are killing yourself trying.

The meds in the past had bad side effects? Then you don't just stop them, you tell your doc and you try others. Doesn't he understand that the side effects of NOT taking meds are tearing you apart?

He is behaving like a spoiled child (everything must be done the way he wants) and you are enabling him. What do you really want from life? Do you want to walk on eggshells for extended periods twice a year or do you want your life back.

My personal opinion is that if my husband EVER accused me of ruining his life I'd pack his bags and tell him to go find someone who wouldn't. Besides that, there is no way I could accept 'recreational' activity on a dating website, especially one designed for married adults. Can't you see what he has done to your self esteem? Could it be much lower?

Honestly, I'm with queston. I think a separation would do both of you the power of good. You both need to see the other side of the mirror rather than wallowing in seasonal depression.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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YESTERDAYSCHOICE replied to fcl's response:
tmlmtlrl and FCL: We do have times that are good, I just never know when he is going to snap. We go on at least 10 trips a year to try to "make him happy". Yes I know that sounds stupid but was raised to believe that you didn't get a divorce. His parents did and I guess seeing how it affected him I didn't want that to happen to our kids. Again daughter is tired of dealing with that and agrees that he is just spoiled. I truely can't believe I am putting up with his "recreational" activities but I don't feel that I can walk away and stay away from him so I have never got up the nerve to seperate.
Yes I am a diagnosed codependent, went thru therapy know all the things that I am doing wrong but can't seem to stop. When he is happy there is no one better in the world to me and when he is angry there is no one angrier! Thanks for all of your comments it has truely helped me to open my eyes to what is happening. Trying to make tough decisions that will make me happy without hurting anyone else.


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