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Switch to Forum Live View please Help - My Husband and I have Drifted Apart - Depression, Unemployment, Issue of Children
4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 9:21AM #1
annabunny1977
Posts: 6

Please, please could someone help me.


I have been in a relationship with my husband for 11 years and married for 5.


He has always had difficulties - he doesn't like watching me eat or drink, he doesn't want to sleep in the same room as me because of my breathing (not snoring!), he doesn't like my smell - hair or sweat against synthetic clothing, to name but a few.  All these things make him really stressed and I have always tried to comply with his needs because I love him and I didn't want to see him suffer.  It does actually hurt me to think that he can't bear these things about me but I've just dealt with it.  He also suffers from very bad depression, which has been very difficult to live with but I've tried my best to support him.  If I do something that he doesn't like, he can get very angry and abusive.  When he's in this state, he belittles me, ridicules me and puts me down, pointing out and exaggerating all my bad points and telling me that I'll never succeed.  He is always sorry afterwards but the hurt remains with me even though I do forgive him.


Three years ago, he gave up his job in anger.  It was well paid but extremely stressful.  After the initial shock, I told him to try and recover and that I would work to support us both until he managed to get on his feet again.  I worked incredibly hard (he did pay for half of the household bills with his savings) so I only paid for my half of the bills, the food and things for the house and clothes etc.  He spent two years trying to build up a hobby with the hope of turning professional but in March this year, it all collapsed and it is now not possible.  In hindsight, it was not a good idea to put all his eggs in one basket and now he's 55 and finding it very difficult to get a job - it doesn't help that he dissmisses most jobs for one reason or another and certainly doesn't want to work for the minimum wage.  I believe beggars shouldn't be choosers and he should do something just to give himself some self-respect and get out of the house and bring some money in - his saving are almost gone now.


Last year, I felt it was the right time (biologically) to have a child.  He seemed fairly happy in himself at the time I suggested trying for a baby.  He has known I have wanted a child and he seemed to go along with me although I knew he had problems with the idea.  He would always say, 'not while I'm working in this job' (his old job), or, 'I need to find a job first', which he hasn't made any significant effort to do (apart from pursue his hobby - unrealistic in my opinion).  He suggested we get couples counselling so that he could address his worries about becoming a father.  We went to 2 sessions but he didn't turn up to the 3rd because he says he's fed up of counselling (he had 10 years of psychtherapy when he was in work).  I felt gutted because the counselling was supposed to be for us, not just for him.


At this point, I just want to say that I've never asked anything of him in this relationship.  It really has all been about him and his difficulties.  I felt that it was my time to have a child, which is something that is so very close to my heart - a calling in life.


It became clear at the beginning of the year that he was not going to give me a child and I fell into a deep depression.  I couldn't get out of bed when I had days off work, I cried at work, I couldn't talk to him or look at him.  I was devastated.  I felt that the relationship was unequal - that I had really worked over the years to cope with him and his depression, his anger and his bizarre difficulties with noise and smells.  I went to visit my parents for three weeks to get some space and then I was away for work too.


During this time (the past 2 years), he had been on antidepressants but he came off them suddenly, which sent him into a very strange place emotionally and physically.


On returning home from my parents house and he suddenly burst into a rage because of the smell of my clothes (my parents had washed them in a different wahing liquid to his).  I offered to change my clothes but he continues to shout at me and told me that I didn't understand depression.  By this time, I'd had enough and I shouted back at him for the first time, telling him I couldn't cope anymore.  His reaction was to lunge at me and he pushed me over.


I left for a month because I was frightened and then I went back to try and sort things out.  I said that I loved him and would help him but that I need to live apart - close to each other but apart so I could live in peace and not worry about my smell (I don't smell bad by the way - just of soap, shampoo or deodorant), making a noise etc.  But, he can't afford to support himself so I told him he really needed to get a job - pull out all the stops as it were.


He still dismissed almost every job that came up and I got depressed.  I then found out that he'd taken £1200 from my savings and spent it.  I became depressed again.


We did manage to get some fun back for a couple of days this July but then I found sexual, loving and caring texts on his phone to another girl - he'd disguised her number under a male name.  I rang the number and discovered that it was a young woman (21 but she looks about 15) who I had flagged up as a problem almost two years ago when she started trying to tell him her very personal and explicit problems.  I had said at the time that I thought he should suggest she see a therapist and not to get involved - we had issues that we needed to deal with in our marriage - I didn't want his energy going to someone else - it just didn't feel right.  It did turn out to be her and he's been secretly communicating with her for at least six months and ended up asking her to sleep with him only a couple of weeks before I found the messages.  He said that she turned him down but until then had been very suggestive.


I was gutted.  He hasn't wanted sex with me for years saying that he has problems in that department.


It took a while to get any truth out of him and so I looked at his address book - he password protects his computer and was carrying his phones around with him like a dog with a bone so his address book was a last resort.


I discovered that he had lots of email addresses that I did not know about and that he has been signing up to dating sites although he's only posted a profile - he hasn't responded to messages (at least on the sites I know about).  I also discovered that between 2007 and mid-2010 he has spent £5000 talking to sex webcam girls.  I am devastated.  He doesn't want to work, he doesn't get up until the afternoon, he sits at his computer all day long, he's started drinking (he's an ex alcoholic), he has spent his energy with this young woman, he has watched me slave away and do all the house work and cooking.  What do I do?  I also found out that he's either bought her a phone or he tops up her phone with credit - I don't know the truth but there's something dodgey there.


Since confronting him about this girl, he has applied for more jobs and has started making an effort with the housework and does seem remorseful but I feel hurt, angry and I just don't know whether I have it in me anymore to continue with the relationship.  I tried to leave yesterday but I felt guilty, there is still some love there but I'm not in love with him.  Also, he can't afford to run a home on his own because he has no job.  Also, how much of this is depression - should you leave someone who is ill?


I'm at my wits end.  He also keeps saying that he believes he has no future and one day he will kill himself.  I believe him.


I just don't know what to do.


Any thoughts would be so very welcome.


Thank you for reading.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 10:09AM #2
Cesmom
Posts: 4,842

Aug 13, 2010 -- 9:21AM, annabunny1977 wrote:


Since confronting him about this girl, he has applied for more jobs and has started making an effort with the housework and does seem remorseful but I feel hurt, angry and I just don't know whether I have it in me anymore to continue with the relationship.  I tried to leave yesterday but I felt guilty, there is still some love there but I'm not in love with him.  Also, he can't afford to run a home on his own because he has no job.  Also, how much of this is depression - should you leave someone who is ill?


I'm at my wits end.  He also keeps saying that he believes he has no future and one day he will kill himself.  I believe him.


I just don't know what to do.


Any thoughts would be so very welcome.


Thank you for reading.





Reading your story made me very sad.  I'm sorry for what you must be going through.  Not to sound harsh, but I cannot imagine one thing, other than guilt, that would make you stay in this relationship.  My suggestion would be to see a therapist yourself to deal with any guilt or fear you might have over getting out...then get out as soon as you can.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 10:30AM #3
annabunny1977
Posts: 6

Hi cesmom,


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply to my post.  I think you are right - in fact, I've had three or four phone counselling sessions over the past couple of months.  The last one was yesterday, just before I was about to leave.  I was going to leave without telling him because I knew that if we spoke I wouldn't be able to leave.  I had written him a long letter saying exactly how I felt and that if he was able to bring some true love and respect into the relationship then I would welcome him back but for now I needed some time alone and apart.  Unfortunately, I suddenly felt so awful for him.  I woke him up and gave him the letter.  We started speaking.  He said that he'd tried recently to make things better - has applied for more jobs and has done some housework - it's true but how long will it last.  Why is he doing it now?  He says that if I go then it will definitely be over.  Perhaps I'm being naive in suggesting some time apart could help.  Consequently I'm still at home but my car is still packed.  I'll book another counselling session.


Thank you once again for your support.


annabunny1977

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 11:04AM #4
Cesmom
Posts: 4,842

Aug 13, 2010 -- 10:30AM, annabunny1977 wrote:


Hi cesmom,


Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply to my post.  I think you are right - in fact, I've had three or four phone counselling sessions over the past couple of months.  The last one was yesterday, just before I was about to leave.  I was going to leave without telling him because I knew that if we spoke I wouldn't be able to leave.  I had written him a long letter saying exactly how I felt and that if he was able to bring some true love and respect into the relationship then I would welcome him back but for now I needed some time alone and apart.  Unfortunately, I suddenly felt so awful for him.  I woke him up and gave him the letter.  We started speaking.  He said that he'd tried recently to make things better - has applied for more jobs and has done some housework - it's true but how long will it last.  Why is he doing it now?  He says that if I go then it will definitely be over.  Perhaps I'm being naive in suggesting some time apart could help.  Consequently I'm still at home but my car is still packed.  I'll book another counselling session.


Thank you once again for your support.


annabunny1977





Years ago, before I was married, I lived with my son's father.  If you look up narcissist in the dictionary, you can find his picture.  He, too, suffered from depression and co-dependency.  Whenever I would say I was leaving, he would beg me to stay, swear that I'd never make it on my own, swear he would change, swear he couldn't live without me.  I would always give in, or if I did muster up the strength to leave, I would always let him talk me into coming back.  It's amazing how much stronger I became after being away from him for awhile.  Gradually, the insanity of our relationship started to become clearer and clearer.  I realized that the way he treated me, the way he talked to me, was not normal or acceptable, and I deserved better.


You can't see clearly while you're still under his thumb.  If he's threatening to not take you back if you leave, here's a thought...call his bluff.  The worst that could happen is that you find happiness away from him.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 12:31PM #5
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

annabunny1977,

Welcome to the Divorce & Separation Forum, and sore for the pain in your marriage that prompted your posts. Although the board has been slow lately, there are caring members such as Cesmom, whom you have already met, who are happy to share their thoughts and experiences with you.

Cesmom has given you some valuable feedback. Continuing with her theme, you cannot change your husband (or anyone else for that matter), you can only change yourself. What might that look like in your situation?  If nothing changes, then nothing changes! If you want something better, then something has to change, and since you are the one who is desiring change, that must start with you. Naturally it would be ideal if he somehow were to transform into a partner who was the other half of a comfortable and fulfilling relationship. Relying on that is not an effective approach to you getting our desires and needs met.

Another member here, Hatman, likes to quote Dr. Phil in saying that you treat others how to treat you by what you allow and don't allow. You might wish to ponder what kinds of things you have "taught" your husband in how you are treated.

You say that you love your husband - perhaps you would be willing to express what love means to you and how this relationship and this person fits with that. you mention a pattern of always getting hooked into returning to the relationship and overlooking things that are not okay with you. Perhaps you would be willing to take a hard look at that pattern and understand what your role is in it - and perhaps consider what could be done differently to produce an outcome that is more comfortable to you.

Blessings,
ArnieBeeGut
Beliefnet Community Host
Divorce & Separation


 


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 1:57PM #6
annabunny1977
Posts: 6

Hi ArnieBeeGut,


Thank you for your reply.


Yes, Cesmom has given some great feedback and also shared some very difficult experiences, which have certainly got me thinking - I can see real parallels.


I know that I can only change myself but if he is trying to change and he doesn't want to lose me, is it true or is he just trying to regain control of the situation?  At the moment I'm confused and I keep thinking to myself, if he really loved me, would he have been so deceitful and horrible in the first place?


Another thing really bothers me.  I have always supported him through his depressions.  Although I know that he was depressed too re. the issue around becoming a father, I felt that he didn't try to help me by finding a way to work around our dilemma.  He just went into a depression himself.  This time, I didn't stand by him because I was so depressed myself and his answer was to start an emotional affair with the other woman and to spend more money on porn and alcohol.  When I was away working at the other end of the country, he constantly told me his life was over and that he wanted to die.  I was beside myself with anxiety and even rang his family who live close by to go and try and help him.  I rang his doctor and the Samaritans.  I didn't know what to do.


I've always given him freedom in our relationship.  If he wants to sit at his computer, I've never nagged him.  If the thought of going to visit family or friends stresses him out, I've never put pressure on him to do those things - probably because that's how I'd like to be treated - I've never been good with feeling forced into something.


I have had emotional problems in the past (I was anorexic and bulimic as a teenager) so I've always been very understanding when it comes to mental illnesses.  I guess that's why I accepted that he didn't like eating and drinking and sleeping in the same room as me even though I was hurt by this.


So I suppose I haven't really put any boundaries many place.  Saying that, early on in our relationship, however, I did leave him because he was chatting to women online and was spending money on the whole porn thing.  I felt very uncomfortable with this and although he said that he'd stop, he didn't so I left.  We got back together after a month or two and I have trusted him since then - what an idiot I am.


What does love mean to me?  To me it means cherishing, caring, giving, compromising, respecting, working for a shared future, friendship, trusting, taking an interest in the pursuits of the other person and allowing someone to blossom.


I don't think that there's much compromise from my partner - at the moment I believe that he believes that his needs are more important than mine.  He wants to feel in control, he desires success and admiration.  My love doesn't fill the voids in his life, which is why he chooses to engage in his vices - porn, alcohol, an affair with a young girl/woman who worships him, over-eating and drugs (although he hasn't touched these for 10 years).


My problem is that I do have a bond with him and I can't bear to see him suffer.  That's why I go back.  I guess I excuse his horrible behaviour as something that he doesn't really mean and I hang on to the lovely side of him, which is there too.


At the moment, I'm still confused as my feelings are overwhelming.  I just can't bear to see him hurting even at the expense of my own happiness.  It feels weird to write that previous sentence.


Thanks again to both of you for your replies - so very much appreciated.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2010 - 2:16PM #7
Cesmom
Posts: 4,842

Aug 13, 2010 -- 1:57PM, annabunny1977 wrote:


I know that I can only change myself but if he is trying to change and he doesn't want to lose me, is it true or is he just trying to regain control of the situation?  At the moment I'm confused and I keep thinking to myself, if he really loved me, would he have been so deceitful and horrible in the first place?




No one can really know your situation without being there, but it sure doesn't sound good to me.  Some people are incapable of truly loving anyone but themselves.  It sounds like he needs you more than he loves you.  He needs you there to feed his desire for control and because he fears being alone.  He's convinced you that you don't deserve any better than that.


Aug 13, 2010 -- 1:57PM, annabunny1977 wrote:


What does love mean to me?  To me it means cherishing, caring, giving, compromising, respecting, working for a shared future, friendship, trusting, taking an interest in the pursuits of the other person and allowing someone to blossom.




Based on this definition, have you ever had a mutually loving relationship with this man?


Aug 13, 2010 -- 1:57PM, annabunny1977 wrote:


My problem is that I do have a bond with him and I can't bear to see him suffer.  That's why I go back.  I guess I excuse his horrible behaviour as something that he doesn't really mean and I hang on to the lovely side of him, which is there too.





Is there really a lovely side?  Does it make the horrible side hurt any less?  Guess what, he's suffering now.  He's suffering because he is, deep down, a miserable person.  So don't take responsiblity for his suffering.  He can choose to seek help or he can choose to remain in his current state of mind.  His choice is not your responsiblity.


I guess my own past experiences may cloud my response a bit, and I don't mean to sound bitter or harsh, but the way you describe your relationship is no way to live.


If you decide to leave, you have to treat it like breaking an addiction...cold turkey.  Fortunately, you have this option because there are no children involved.  You will never gain strength and independence if you continue communicating with him after you leave and allow him to mentally beat you down and use your guilt as a weapon.  Tell yourself that you can try to be friends later, maybe, but much, much further down the line.  Right now, you need breathing room, and a lot of it.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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4 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2010 - 9:41AM #8
annabunny1977
Posts: 6

Hi Cesmom,


Thanks again for your reply.  I certainly don't take it as harsh or bitter - quite the opposite.  Your advice is clear, sound and wise.  Your point about going cold turkey is spot on - I am addicted to helping him and I have to realise that I can't take responsibility for him anymore.


I told him this evening that he can only help himself.  He said that the only thing preventing him from commiting suicide is his mother.  He said he was frightened because she is very old and frail and is very close to the end of her life - therefore, he is close to the end of his.  It's so hard - I feel like if I leave then he will have no help at all.  And, I look at him and feel so sad as I loved him so much once and I grieve for everything that has been lost between us.


My friends have said that they'll come and get me and help me to get away.  I want to take them up on their offer but it's so very very hard.


50% of me is definitely out of the door but I've got to work on and understand the 50% that keeps me in the relationship.  I'm a kind and generous person - hurting someone I love is just something I can't bear.


Thank you Cesmom - you've been a fantastic help.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2010 - 8:41PM #9
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

annabunny1977,

How are things going for you? Since you are on the fence about whether to stay in the marriage or not, I'm wondering if you might be open to a suggestion about something that might help decide which might be the best choice.

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4 years ago  ::  Aug 17, 2010 - 8:54PM #10
annabunny1977
Posts: 6
Hi ArnieBeeGut,
Thank you for your reply.  Of course, I'm definitely open to a suggestion about how to decide whether to stay in the marriage or not.  It's just hreat to get an objective point of view as I feel that so much of the time I can't see the wood for the trees.
Many thanks once again for taking the time to reply to this thread - really appreciated.
Annabunny1977
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