A Little Advice, Please
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16-12-2010, 10:32 PM
 
A Little Advice, Please
This is a weird post, and way too personal. I'm just feeling really alone tonight, and since I've come to regard many of you as friends ...

My husband of 12 years is going through a really rough patch. He's been clinically depressed for more than 2 years nearly continually and just can't seem to kick it. Anyone who has lived with a chronically depressed (even suicidal) partner knows how tough this can be. You basically go through life alone since the other person is absolutely incapable of engaging. You solo parent, you work hard, you worry and try to stay busy and lead your own life so you don't get dragged down too. He's been seeing doctors and therapists the whole time, but things don't really seem to be getting better.

I guess the question I don't really feel like I can ask anyone is: When is enough enough? I'm not a quitter and I see marriage as a lifelong commitment. I am getting to the point where I feel quite withdrawn about it all. Sometimes I feel like my own sanity is at stake.

I know marriage is never easy. Have any of you been through something like this? Advice, please.
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17-12-2010, 12:04 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
I have been through rough times in earlier relationships. That was in part due to my own depression. Some depression can be buffered by anti-depressants such as Prozac. Both my girlfriend and I have perscriptions for mild anti-depressants. We both take very small amounts. It makes life much easier and much nicer.

Not a weird post. A lot of people are too afraid to ask for help. Your husband needs help and if he accepts it, that could make your relationship a lot better.

I hope things work out well for you.
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17-12-2010, 12:42 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
I had a bad patch because of my grandparents. They were very manipulative of my family.
You care about people , want to help them but you end up paying in the end.
I don't want to give such a negative opinion but to some small extent your fears may be justified.

If you can help then do , try different therapy , try medicine but don't let yourself fall.
A small analogy would be a lifeguard technique I heard : If you rescue someone from drowning pull them by the head/hair otherwise they drag you down and you both drown.

Again , I am sorry to give such a negative opinion but I have lived it and it hurts.
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17-12-2010, 02:04 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
Athnostic,

I am in a VERY similar situation. If you allow private messages, I'll gladly share more. Just a little too private for open forum for me.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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17-12-2010, 04:21 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
Mental Health professionals have to take breaks, for your own health you need to too.

I've suffered myself. Fortunately I got over it. I certainly appreciate that it's a fine line tho'. With me it was a selfish position, I think that's true for most; triggered by some very unfortunate situations, but which are overcome by everyone in the course of normal life. It's pot luck getting good medical treatment.. I had to work it out for myself, despite volunteering to be an outpatient.

Maybe you do already, but are there any local support groups you can get help and advice from?
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17-12-2010, 08:56 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
Athnostic

Few thoughts here:

First, I think that having a place like this to vent is one of the pluses of the internet. The anonymity of it and the ability to say or write things you would not normally say and return of (usually) honest opinions can be very helpful. So, no need to feel weird. I think it's just feeling human.

Second, regarding your issue: I don't think any personal experience of mine or anyone else is really relevant as you've got to live your life your way and you alone will bear the consequences of any decisions you make or don't make. The only help I think any of us can possibly offer you is our own perspective, and you must take them as you see fit.

My perspective is thus: marriage is a partnership and both sides have to make equal efforts to contribute. That is not in any way the same as contributing equally. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and expecting someone to live up to our own expectations is a sure path to discontentment. My own view is that as long as my partner, in my case my wife, is equally committed to the partnership, I really can't ask much more from her. I know who my wife was when I married her and what her strengths and weaknesses were, and she knew mine. After 13 years of marriage, sometimes she drives me absolutely crazy, but she can still drive me really crazy if you know what I mean. I've no regrets at all about our life together (except she stubbornly won't let me date).

I agree with you that marriage is a lifelong commitment but it's a mutual commitment, not a singleton one. You are not supposed to be in it alone. If you are at a point where you feel that your husband is not equally committed to the relationship, then perhaps you need to rethink your marriage. Again, that does not mean he is equally contributing, but we all have obligations to ourselves and to others and I think taking care of you mental health is part of that obligation.

No one can tell you what to do and I would never advocate anyone leaving their spouse, especially someone with young children, but you've a right to your own life and your own happiness. Depression is a real issue and it's not something that people fall into for selfish reasons, but they need to want to be well. It sounds like your husband is at least going through the motions and maybe he's really trying, I've no idea, but I don't think you have an automatic obligation to go over the cliff with him. I'm not saying you should leave, but I am saying it does not make you a bad person if you do.

This probably wasn't all that helpful but I suspect some of what you're looking for is validation that you have options here, and I think you do.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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17-12-2010, 09:21 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
I did. Well, not with my partner for life (since I don't have one), but I did. My mom is schizophrenic for over 18 years (since my birth you can say), and I saw my dad, who I adore with all of my heart, getting tired year after year until it got to a point I said to him "get a divorce dad, really". But he can't, because then she'll take her life away and he will never forgive himself. Now she lives in institution for mentaly ill, and I guess it is the best solution. She comes for the weakend once a month and for family events, she calls my dad every day twice and to me she calls every Sunday. Once you're there, you don't get out.
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17-12-2010, 10:09 AM
 
RE: A Little Advice, Please
(17-12-2010 12:04 AM)No J. Wrote:  I have been through rough times in earlier relationships. That was in part due to my own depression. Some depression can be buffered by anti-depressants such as Prozac. Both my girlfriend and I have perscriptions for mild anti-depressants. We both take very small amounts. It makes life much easier and much nicer.

I'm with you there! Thanks for the response. Smile
(17-12-2010 12:42 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Again , I am sorry to give such a negative opinion but I have lived it and it hurts.

Thanks, G. I'm doing my best not to rescue since it isn't my issue, and I appreciate your honesty.
(17-12-2010 02:04 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Athnostic,

I am in a VERY similar situation. If you allow private messages, I'll gladly share more. Just a little too private for open forum for me.

I understand. Smile Sending love and hugs your way!
(17-12-2010 04:21 AM)fr0d0 Wrote:  Maybe you do already, but are there any local support groups you can get help and advice from?

I don't, but that's a good thought. I'm going to check that out. Thanks.
(17-12-2010 08:56 AM)BnW Wrote:  First, I think that having a place like this to vent is one of the pluses of the internet. The anonymity of it and the ability to say or write things you would not normally say and return of (usually) honest opinions can be very helpful. So, no need to feel weird. I think it's just feeling human.

Thanks. I'm usually more of a stuffer. Wink

I truly think my hubby is trying, at least in the ways he knows how. He goes to counseling regularly, he's tried 4 or 5 medications by this time, but I guess it feels like nothing will ever change. Deep down I feel like he's holding onto his coping skills because he thinks they're not broken, and this frustrates me. I actually think he's more invested in our relationship (in a very dependent and unhealthy way.) I think he sees me as his only real reason to go on living, which is a lot of pressure if that makes sense. It's hard to respect a person who has lost all self-respect.

Quote:No one can tell you what to do and I would never advocate anyone leaving their spouse, especially someone with young children, but you've a right to your own life and your own happiness.

I think this is the kicker. As someone with kids yourself, you know you would do absolutely anything for them, even if it affects your own happiness. On the other hand, living in an unhappy marriage for another 15 years just for the kids doesn't seem appealing either (or that healthy).

Quote:I'm not saying you should leave, but I am saying it does not make you a bad person if you do.

Thanks. That's something I've never heard before, honestly. Like I've mentioned a few times, divorce in my circle of friends is something you do only if you find out your husband is sleeping around. My husband isn't sleeping at all, so that counts me out. Wink

Quote:This probably wasn't all that helpful but I suspect some of what you're looking for is validation that you have options here, and I think you do.

Exactly. Thanks for reminding me. I appreciate your thoughtful and caring post.
(17-12-2010 09:21 AM)shiranl Wrote:  I did. Well, not with my partner for life (since I don't have one), but I did. My mom is schizophrenic for over 18 years (since my birth you can say), and I saw my dad, who I adore with all of my heart, getting tired year after year until it got to a point I said to him "get a divorce dad, really". But he can't, because then she'll take her life away and he will never forgive himself. Now she lives in institution for mentaly ill, and I guess it is the best solution. She comes for the weakend once a month and for family events, she calls my dad every day twice and to me she calls every Sunday. Once you're there, you don't get out.

I'm so sorry, shiranl. That must be so tough. ((HUGS))
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17-12-2010, 11:29 AM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
I don't know if I can be of much help to you on this. I have been fortunate enough not to gain much experience with these things myself. But I do have one small thing. A friend of mines parents went through much the same as what you describe some years ago. She decided she couldn't deal with it anymore, so she left and took the kids with her. Six months later he attempted suicide and was sent to a mental institution where he stayed for a year. He's out living a normal life now and has regular contact with his kids, so at least the story has a happy ending.
If you do decide that your situation with your husband gets to much to handle, perhaps it would be wise to talk to a psychologist before you do? He/she might be able to tell you how it can be done while still leaving him with the will needed to pull through?

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17-12-2010, 01:29 PM
RE: A Little Advice, Please
I suffered depression in my early 20's. I excluded myself because I didn't want to make other people suffer. It was painful seeing friends I went out with pick it up from me.

I'd just like reiterate what BnW said about you having the right to chose either way.
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