I have been meaning to post - haven't been on the boards for about 5 years or more. I am 38, married (12 years) 2 kids 8 and 4. I have just this year started having feelings of depression. I'm trying to think back when it really started feeling like depression, and I can't pinpoint it, but now it's full blown.
There are a lot of external factors all coming from my husband's side of the family (addiction, death...). I have been feeling such a lonliness and apathy for life. I'm totally ashamed to say that I have had a "fantasy" affair with someone that I don't even really know. I mean "fantasy", all in my head. We have kids in the same class and we just talk briefly.....but I feel like I'm cheating on my hubby when I do this because I am so attracted to the mystery, not even necessarily the man. I am not happy with my husband right now, and I'm pretty sure this guy is just a symbol for my lonliness. the grass is always greener on the other side, right? I know I need to talk to a therapist of some sort, but I do NOT have the support of my husband. He and I are so different in that respect. He thinks I should just turn the switch and be happy and satisfied. I will NEVER tell him of my fantasy about this other guy. My husband thinks therapists are just out to start feeding antidepressants to their patients. Also, our insurance doesn't cover this.
I am a recovered alcoholic (7 years) and so meds is not an option for me. I am such an addictive personality that this crush I have on this man is turning to an obsession.
In every other aspect, my life is so normal, and even wonderful. It's just that I feel completely disconnected from my husband and the world. Sometimes I think our upbringings are the main problem. He came from a seriously alcoholic family (both mother and father). His boundaries are strange.....privacy....well, I didn't come here to bash my husband. He's a good person, but I'm feeling completely lost with him. We have so much at stake with the two kids.....I am in tears now thinking of all this. I start wondering why I am with someone who will not emotionally connect with me? He grew up in an alcoholic family....that's why. He learned how to hide his feelings during his crucial growing years, and he never really learned how to emotionally connect. I need this spiritual connection sooooo badly... I feel invisible and incomplete. I get very angry with myself for letting my life get this far with him....two small children....a house.....a life together. I've known all along he came from this upbringing, but it's just now starting to kill my spirit. I don't feel like I can bring this stuff up with him because too many times, he turns the tables and says I'm nagging. It is emotionally draining to be with someone like this for this many years. I've been married for 12, but we've been together 19!! I love him on a deep friendship level. I always will because we've shared so many experiences together, but I need that emotional connection. My husband is a good person...but there's some elements of his being that are disturbing. I'm not perfect either, but I truly believe that I understand critical things, like how to laugh at myself (he can't...or rarely), how to dream. I also know when to ask for help, and take it seriously. He seems to think he's weak if he needs help I guess. I am at a critical point in my life and I feel utterly alone and ashamed. I feel like it is a hopeless situation. I know we need marital counseling, but he's probably not willing to go. The wierd thing is....he thinks everything is ok even when I've told him I need to call a therapist. He just doesn't get it. He doesn't take me seriously....doesn't put me first. Doesn't he need me the way I need him? If he told me he needed to go talk to someone because he thought he might be depressed, I would absolutley support him 100%.
Well, I could go on and on, but I just really needed to vent. I don't know how to describe my emotions other than apathy for life, sad, hopeless, and weary and disconnected. I wish I knew if it was partly chemical, partly external. I've lost all interest in my artwork....which is my job, so I guess I do need to go talk to someone. It hurts so bad.....I don't want to fail. I don't want to let my family down. We've worked so hard at building this life and this family. We've tried to do things right. We've stopped growing together....we've stopped being lovers. I am overrun by guilt because of all this...why can't I be happy like most everyone else? I know no one has the answers out there....but maybe this is familiar to someone else? Maybe someone can shed some light? THANKS
Wonder, it sounds like you know exactly what is going on here and what you need, just need to decide what to do. You are correct, you need that connection with your husband. Have you REALLY tried to discuss this with him or just skirted around the subject? Approach the subject by just telling him what you need so that he doesn't get defensive. Keep posting here and maybe you will feel reconnected, at least here, for a start.
Lost, I am having some of the same issues as you right now. In fact, I was just on the phone with my mom discussing the problems in my marriage when I pulled up your post. I usually post on the OCD boards because that is my major problem in the past six weeks, but I am also depressed because of my OCD so that's why I also post here once in a while.
Anyway, I have been married to my husband for 10 years, together for 13. We don't have children (and I am very thankful because with all of our problems it would have been a bad thing to bring kids into it). I also had an imaginary affair this year with my former professor, however, I took mine a little further and began e-mailing him (he lives four hours away from me), but he (my professor) does not know of my feelings, he thinks we are just friends. I did confess to my husband (my OCD makes me feel the need to confess everything), and he forgave me. I started seeing a therapist a few weeks ago and she told me that I really don't have feelings for another man, I'm just trying to fill the void in my marriage. A little background on my marriage-my husband has a drinking problem and has had his share of problems with substance abuse in the past. He is not physically abusive when drunk, but just about the most obnoxious and embarrassing individual ever.
Anyway, he also feels that I should just be able to "snap out of it" with regards to my OCD, anxiety, and depression. He is the most unsympathetic person, he doesn't communicate (unless he's drinking and then he's just plain annoying), and like you, if I bring anything up, I'm being dramatic. Right now I'm just trying to focus on my own problems and getting past my OCD. I just started on Luvox, but I'm worried that staying in this marriage is hindering my progress. When I tried to leave last month, I went to stay with my mother and that's when my OCD got really bad and I broke down and went back to him. We have talked about counseling, but I know that he won't quit drinking, so what good will it do? Plus, I don't think he's serious about it. I am at the point where I feel like life has no meaning and I can't even think about the future without having a huge anxiety attack. I thought it was OCD, but now I think it might be my marriage. I would definitely recommend counseling if you feel your marriage is worth saving. I love my husband and he has also had a troubled family life, so I've made allowances because I always feel guilty. But I'm beginning to feel like it's time to start putting myself and my own mental well being first. Life is just too short.
Thanks for your words everyone. I wish I could stop obsessing about this and it's making me crazy. I have too much at stake and I'm intelligent enough to know that there's so much good and fun in life. I just can't stop thinking, and overthinking. I do know I need to talk to someone, but finding the right person....omg I am scared. My husband is NOT supportive - he's got too much baggage of his own and I think he expects me to be strong all the time. I just talked to my mom, who's really the only person who I feel close to right now (other than my son and daughter). The hardest thing about this is that I know in my heart that there has been something wrong with my relationship with my husband from the very beginning. But I was so stubborn and ignorant and young to see the warnings. Love is blind. Now I'm into it so deep and far and I fear separation and divorce. I was also an alcoholic for all those first years - he was too. He didn't really support me when I got sober either - not in the way I needed. NOt fully. How could I expect him to? His world revolved around alchohol since he was a baby.
I think part of this lonliness is that I know that HE needs therapy, but he thinks you can just hide everything and get on with life. I think to myself, what if my daughter has issues later in life that need attention - is he going to put her through this too? I've finally realized, sooooo late, that we don't have the same beliefs about things like this. I feel that honesty about feelings is crucial to intimacy in a relationship - his idea of intimacy is sex. I feel so hopeless, and all these thoughts cycle around in my head until I feel like just sinking into the earth. I have been so reluctant to say anything to him because I don't want him to belittle me again. I dont' want to fight. Last week I was looking for my list of therapists and he said "well when they get you on antidipressants, get some for me too ". He didn't say it jokingly. He didn't say in in a kind, loving way. I actually start to shake when I feel so upset which something that has just started this year. My mom says that I don't need to ask his permission to go to a therapist, which I know. I have not told her about my attraction to this other man....that part will be told to only my therapist for now, when I find one. The hard part is going to be coming home from a session, back into this hellish reality.
I overthink everything. I have completely invasive, intrusive thoughts. I can't enjoy one moment because of this and yet he's able to go through life not really feeling. Maybe that's the bottom line....I've been thinking to myself, if he's learned how to not feel since early childhood, then how does he even know if he loves me? These thoughts are endless. Some are rational, some are not. My kids need a mother who is emotionally there. I need a husband who's emotionally there. I'm scared that for the rest of my life, if I stay with him, I will be emotionally unfulfilled. I'd like to be able to know that when my kids go off to college, when my parents leave the earth, I will have someone to hold who will hold me. I like to laugh, I like to love. This is too much....I am going crazy.
Well, hopefully someone who has had a similar deal will be able to share your story. I really need to hear from people who have dealt with unsupportive spouses and therapy. Thanks to you all for your support. I know my story might sound a bit like me me me, it's all about me. A bit overdramatic. But if I could put in all the details, you would see how hard this is.
Lost, you are not being selfish here. You are being smart. You know what is missing and you know what you need. Now go for it and improve your life. Sounds like you are hoping that someone will come along and tell you exactly what you need to do. Go to counseling and start working on what you need to do. The changes that you will need to make will be unique to you.