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    Old 01-24-2008, 02:18 PM   #1
    asfullax
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    Helping my wife and our marriage

    Well, I have been a troll the last few weeks trying to figure some stuff out in my head, and my marriage. So far things have been positive but I think my wife and I hit a wall last night and I hope somebody can help, or even if I can hear that I am not crazy (or that I am for that matter)

    Here's the story:
    My wife and I have been married for 8 years now. for the most part, or union has been wonderful, from both sides. When I met her, I knew she was the one, and she agrees that she felt the same. We dated for over a year before we were engaged and finally got married.

    We waited a few years to start having kiddos, and our first was born 4 1/2 years ago. My wife had some depression issues that we worked through, and she came around a few months later, pretty much back to her old self. Then came #2 and finally #3. We agreed that 3 was where we wanted to stop.

    Since the birth of our third (1 year ago), our relationship has taken a back seat because of the kids. Sadly, this is where all the problems begin.

    A few months ago, my wife stopped breast feeding and finally started going out a bit, a night a week. Then 2, then 3 and so on. My breaking point was finally when she went out almost a full week, coming home around 4-5am, only to climb in bed, wake up late and was having issues taking care of the kiddos. I had to step in and we discussed that our relationship and family were in need of repair. We sat down every night for almost a week talking about everything, the ups the downs, me, her and the kiddos. We have made really good progress, and we finally started talking to each other like human beings and not as roommates.

    Talking is one thing, and most of what she has to say about me, although hurtful at times, I have made a point of changing, mostly because the list was fairly short (talking, productive arguments, not blaming myself so much for things that happen, etc...) Her list, included items such as affection, falling asleep with me, not staying out as much, talking, etc...

    Last night, we were talking as we have been for some time, and I explained that she seems unhappy much of the time, and that it is hard for me mentally to come home to her when I get the feeling that she just wants to be alone and away from us (the family.) Her response was, "I have always been this way, but you (meaning me) bring me joy" this followed by "External forces only last so long" which I read into meaning "I don't bring her joy anymore" hurtful as this was, she said no, this was not the case. She told me that she has a hard time feeling emotion over anything nowadays, and that she feels numb. She doesn’t care about herself, and only does what she can because of her dedication and love for our family. But she assures me that she loves me.

    I can assure anybody reading this that "physical cheating" is not at play, I know my wife well enough, and we have talked about this in length.

    Thinking about depression, which runs in her family, I have to wonder if my wife really wants to be with us, and I REALLY don't know where to go from here. We do have an appt with a marriage consoler on Monday, but insurance will not cover it, so continuing sessions may not happen. My wife is not like this always, maybe 1/2 the time, and the other half, I can't believe how lucky I am to have someone like her.

    Lastly, inside I feel horrible, like I want to find a hole and just stay there, but I keep a strong face on for the kids and am holding it in as best I can. Maybe I am over reacting, but I can't stand the idea that my wife is unhappy, and that she explains that her "comfort zone" is when she is isolated and sad, and that she does not feel that she wants to change... What does this mean??? All I feel I can do right now is to reach out, but for the sake of our children, I know I have to keep a balance and I don't know if I am strong enough. at the same time, I feel like my world will literally collapse without her, and I can see in her eyes on good days that she really does care about me and the family.

    Enough venting. Not sure if there are any answers, but seeing as I feel like I do, I figured I might as well ask a bunch of strangers, or at least people who can just ignore this lol...

    Thanks for listening.

    Last edited by asfullax; 01-24-2008 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Title Issue

     
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    Old 01-24-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
    happymom28
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    Re: Helping my wife and por marriage

    So you and your wife had 3 children in a matter of 3 1/2 -4 years? The last one was a year ago, right? Am I also correct in assuming that she is a stay at home mom (only because I can't imagine what the daycare bill would be fore 3 children under 5)?

    Honestly, it sounds like depression to me. It could still be postpartum, but it may also be that it runs in her family as you stated. Either way, I think you should urge her to see her doctor for a check up and let him/her know how she is feeling mentally. I mean, the comments where she "feels numb", she "doesn't care about herself" and she "does what she can because of her dedication to the family" are big cues that something isn't right.

    She has a lot on her plate, as do you. Marriage counselling is a great step in the right direction for you two. But I really think she needs a visit with her doctor.

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    I agree with HappyMom. Maybe the therapist will pick up on it & urge her to go visit her doctor.
    Best of luck!

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 03:06 PM   #4
    asfullax
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    Thanks for the quick replies.

    During our talks, My wife has agreed that depression may be a factor, so I feel confident that something like a therypist might help. and in fact, my wife did see someone a few months ago for postpartum, but she was not interested in going and quickly stopped going because she felt that it was of no help.

    My wife is also deathly afraid of somebody perscribing medication as she has heard through friends that she will become a zombie and stop existing as a person, I don't know how it feels and I have a hard time arguing about the benifits. so I am at a loss on how to talk her into such posibilities.

    After reading you posts, I checked out the depression section and many of the posts on there sound much like what she tells me, such as dying, caring, giving up, etc... But how do I get her to agree that she might need help when she thinks she is comfortable being the way she is, even though she is not happy?

    BTW: Yes, she is a stay at home mom, and has been for exactly 1 year and I work full time. and your time frame is correct. We wanted to have the kids fairly close together on purpose, so that my wife can go back to work sooner rather the later because she used to love working and other human interaction.

    Last edited by asfullax; 01-24-2008 at 03:10 PM. Reason: addition

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 03:19 PM   #5
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    "Feeling Numb"....tell tale sign of depression and feeling very overwhelmed. I too had children bam, bam, bam...it is hard. You start to feel like your entire life revolves around other people aside from you. You forget who you were before....and part of you longs for freedom. You just wake up one day and don't know who the heck you are. You wonder what happened. This does not mean you don't love your kids and husband...it is just a very confusing, overwhelming feeling. She also needs to realize that happiness is found inside of her...relying on you to provide her happiness and joy is too much to ask of you.

    She most likely needs medication. One question? Does she seem to have periods of being really, really up and then crash back down? Not to scare you, but you mentioned she is only like this half the time...and going up and down like that can be signs of Manic Depression or Bi Polar Disorder.

    She probably needs to see a counselor by herself as well as the two of you. Reason being...just an example from my life....I was upset because there were times I didn't want to be around my kids or husband. I really just wanted to go to Mexico and forget about it. I was so guilty and felt like this horrid Mommy and Wife. At the time, I would have never discussed this in front of my husband....but without him in the room, I could open up, just to have the counselor tell me I would be abnormal if I didn't have these feelings from time to time. That being a grown up with kids is tough and most everyone feels this from time to time. He taught me how to deal with it and how to communicate it to my husband without hurting his feelings....and most improtantly, he made me realize it did not make me a bad mother-in fact, getting away for a night here and there makes you a better mother. Now, when I get that overwhelmed feeling, I just tell my husband I need to have a girls night...that my brain is going to go to mush if I wipe one more butt or have to listen to him scream at the football game anymore...and I go out.

    Best of luck, keep us updated.

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 03:20 PM   #6
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    I totally agree with the other posters. It sounds like your wife has postnatal depression. She needs some help asap. I wish you the best of luck

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 03:24 PM   #7
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    If the dosage is right...she will not be a zombie. If that were the case, half the people walking around would be zombies. Plus, mention that if it doesn't work, you can always stop taking it. Although I will admit sometimes finding the right med at the right dose takes a bit of time.

    Maybe ask on the Depression Board.....maybe they can help??

    Tell her it will make her feel alive again.....

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 03:34 PM   #8
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    I was prescribed medication for postpartum last summer, about a year after my 2nd child was born. I was so overwhelmed and I just couldn't deal anymore. I was affraid of the whole "zombie" thing too, but honestly, the medication really helped me. 7 months later I no longer take it. I found ways of dealing with my stresses and learned to take "me time".

    Depression and bipolar also run in my family. That is why I took my feelings very seriously. I think HappyFlower is very right in the fact that your wife should also speak to a therapist alone so she can open up in a guilt free environment. Believe me, it's not that your wife doesn't love you or the kids. She is just having a very hard time dealing with everything.

    Please do keep us posted.

     
    Old 01-24-2008, 09:53 PM   #9
    asfullax
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    Just reading this post helps since what you describe is identical to what she tells me at times. I know many of you here do understand, but sometimes I just feel like screaming at nothing because I can't fix the problem, and knowing I can't fix it makes me feel so useless that I wonder if I am doing any good. That of course is the irational part of my brain.

    FYI: I did confront her tonight, and while she initially closed up and didn't want to hear it, I kept going and asked her to just listen to what I had to say. I explained everything I have read, my true feelings without holding back, the fact that I feel that I am the life vest with a small leak. I also explained that she asks for my opinion, and that this time I can't back down and I really want her to try.

    I tried to have her remember happy times in our life as well as before we were together so she could recall how it felt to be happy and productive. I think this helped her to relize that I am not attacking or trying to threaten her to do something that is wrong, but to point out that life could be better.

    We left the conversation on a postive note because she was going out tonight, but she seemed upbeat, I just don't know if she will take my opinion / advice to heart. I guess only time will tell.

    As for her moods, Bipolar is an option seeing as it runs in the family, but I think she lucked out, and if I had to guess, her NORMAL depression before kiddos was due to seeing and being around prople with untreated or mis-diagnosed illnesses. Her mood swings are typically not extreme ends of the spectrum. When she has a good day, she is not all bubbly (which she has never been) but smiles, holds my hand, makes happy sounds when I give her a backrub, etc. When her mood dips, she becomes isolated, shys away from attention such as a hand on her leg and, well, (please don't hate me for this) acts much like when she is pre-cycle.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HappyFlower View Post
    "Feeling Numb"....tell tale sign of depression and feeling very overwhelmed. I too had children bam, bam, bam...it is hard. You start to feel like your entire life revolves around other people aside from you. You forget who you were before....and part of you longs for freedom. You just wake up one day and don't know who the heck you are. You wonder what happened. This does not mean you don't love your kids and husband...it is just a very confusing, overwhelming feeling. She also needs to realize that happiness is found inside of her...relying on you to provide her happiness and joy is too much to ask of you.

    She most likely needs medication. One question? Does she seem to have periods of being really, really up and then crash back down? Not to scare you, but you mentioned she is only like this half the time...and going up and down like that can be signs of Manic Depression or Bi Polar Disorder.

    She probably needs to see a counselor by herself as well as the two of you. Reason being...just an example from my life....I was upset because there were times I didn't want to be around my kids or husband. I really just wanted to go to Mexico and forget about it. I was so guilty and felt like this horrid Mommy and Wife. At the time, I would have never discussed this in front of my husband....but without him in the room, I could open up, just to have the counselor tell me I would be abnormal if I didn't have these feelings from time to time. That being a grown up with kids is tough and most everyone feels this from time to time. He taught me how to deal with it and how to communicate it to my husband without hurting his feelings....and most improtantly, he made me realize it did not make me a bad mother-in fact, getting away for a night here and there makes you a better mother. Now, when I get that overwhelmed feeling, I just tell my husband I need to have a girls night...that my brain is going to go to mush if I wipe one more butt or have to listen to him scream at the football game anymore...and I go out.

    Best of luck, keep us updated.

     
    Old 01-25-2008, 12:18 PM   #10
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    I defiantly agree that counseling could really help. I know that when I was a stay at home mom (and I only have 1 child) I felt isolated and lonely allot. I kind of numbed myself and went crazy at times too. My job was the baby and the house hold. I HAD to have everything done NOW. I washed so many loads of dishes each day that my hands would get so dry they would bleed and lotion would burn like hell.

    What I would suggest is a designated day out of the week that a babysitter can come to the house and you both can go out and enjoys yourselves. Both of you started this family but that doesn’t mean that either of your feelings no longer exist. Not to mention that with three kids back to back like that, I know her poor hormones are going crazy with emotions. She needs a break to get away, while doing something productive with you. I’m also wondering, when she goes out with her friends is there drinking involved? That defiantly would not be good for her right now.
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    Old 01-25-2008, 10:40 PM   #11
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    Re: Helping my wife and our marriage

    I agree, it does sound like post partum depression, but I also think, because you mentioned that she used to love working, I think she also just really really misses being out in the real world, moving and shaking and contributing and using her brain and interacting with people, which is why she spends so much time out at night. She probably feels a great deal of guilt for wishing she were there instead of at home with the kids, but I think a lot of women feel like that. I'm not a mom, but I know if I were, as much as I know I would love my kids, "Wheels On The Bus" and *****ree could NOT be my whole life or I'd go absolutely bonkers.

    I agree that counceling together as well as counceling on her own would help. If you can't afford it, find a way to afford at least a month's worth of sessions. It could mean your marriage, and isn't that worth it? Maybe you could also discuss with her, if you haven't already, how she feels about being away from work, and how she would feel about going back part time?

     
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