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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have been married for 5 years at the end of the month, together for 10 years total. We've always had a great relationship. We fight very little and when we do we get over it quickly. We have very similar interests, have the same sense of humor and always have a great time whatever we do. We go everywhere and do everything with one another. Everyone always tells us what a perfect couple we are because we compliment each other so well.

He's always struggled with depression spells since I've known him. He goes through "depressive periods" that come on always at night and last usually a few hours. Usually triggered by something trivial, he gets very withdrawn, will have suicidal thoughts, and at times has said hurtful things to me. Usually he goes to bed early or will just give me the silent treatment for the night.

After he sleeps on it, the next day he's back to his old happy-go-lucky goofball self, we forget about it and life goes on. This on average happened about once every few months.

About 6 months ago these depressive episodes became more frequent, maybe once a week or so, and overall he was just generally depressed. Her would go to bed at 6 or 7, or just lay on the couch, withdraw from me, not help with anything around the house.

We talked to his doctor who started him on a low (25mg) dose Zoloft. It worked for a while and he was feeling better. The doctor upped the dosage a month later to 100 mg with the reasoning that very few people are managed on the lowest dose and my husband felt there was a little room for improvement.

During this time he met a new friend at work who is a girl. She's about 7 years younger than me and 5 years younger than my husband, in her early 20's - we're in our late 20's. She and her boyfriend have a 2 year old son about 9 or so months older than our 18 month old. Her boyfriend doesn't work and stays home with their little guy even though they have like no money
- he's plenty capable of having a job, but uses child care as an excuse.

They both live with her alcoholic mom who lost her own house and had to move in with them. They're not quite our kind of people and obviously have some issues, but he's a good dad and she works her butt off to try to make things work out. We have fun hanging out with them and our kids play well together.

About 2 months ago, my husband's depressive spells got to be 3-4 times a week on the higher dose of Zoloft. He would feel better during the day but not great. I called the doctor right away and told them the Zoloft isn't working and he needs something else ASAP.

Even when he was feeling ok, he would not help me with anything, would still be very withdrawn. He would still have moments where we have fun, but it was turning into such a roller coaster. I never know how he was going to be or what would trigger a "mood".

This is when he really got close to his new friend. He started by stopping at her house after work to have a smoke with her before coming home, then we would hang out with them for a night, then he would stay longer after work. Eventually it got to be where he told me "I care for her in the same way I care about you, she's my best friend".

We have always put a huge emphasis on openness and honesty in our relationship, and almost prided ourselves on the principle that we don't get jealous, it just causes so much petty drama in a relationship, and for a long time that worked great fro us.

With that being said he would always ask me or tell me when he was going to her house (apartment, sorry) to hang out. Her boyfriend is always there, like I said he doesn't work so he has no where to be, ever, so there was so funny business or sneaking around, there was no where to sneak!

Now I understand and am glad he found a new friend to talk about his issues and that makes him feel better to vent a little and get it out, but it is now to the point where he wants to spend all of his free time with her. He also tells me when he goes - he doesn't ask. When he does and I object, he just says things like, "what are you worried about? I'm not sleeping with her" or "she really needs to talk because of x,y,z (whatever the life or death crisis of the week is)"

Meanwhile I sit at home with our son taking care of all the cooking cleaning, making dinner, cleaning up dinner, taking care of the dogs, giving our son a bath, getting him to bed and everything else to maintain a house hold. I don't have close friends of my own to hang out with or talk about things with. He was my best friend, so it never bothered me. Now that I have this new found alone time, I realize how lonely it is. My mom and I are very close, but it's not the same as a girlfriend who'd got your back.

At the follow up with the doctor, they agreed that the Zoloft is not working. but kept him on it at the same dose, but referred him to a psychiatrist. The doctor is concerned that he may have some form of bipolar which is beyond his expertise and he is strictly family practice.

This was a month and a half ago. I called that day to make the appointment and was told we first need to see a therapist (we go June 19th) and then the psychiatrist appointment (scheduled for July 30th, that was the earliest available!) is contingent on that!!

When he is home, he texts his friend non-stop, but says nothing to me. I even went into his Facebook account last week just to see what the heck they talk about all night (the first time I have EVER done this, I trust that he tells me the truth) and there's nothing "incriminating" it's just a big long conversation that one would have with a friend.

At the same time he's told her how much he loves me and how grateful he is to have a wife that gives him the freedom to pursue this new friendship. I heard this from her!

They no longer work together, but he sees her 4-5 times a week and they live 40 minutes away, but works closer to where we live.

This brings us to now (sitting home alone with my son, guess where he is?) and I am really struggling with the whole situation. I am normally a person who handles stress very well (I have a very high stress job and have always balanced everything well) but this has pushed me to my breaking point. I have told him how I feel about the amount of time they spend with each other and how it makes me feel. He sees it as no big deal, doesn't respect how I feel and does what he wants anyway. I feel like he's changed so much just in a few months. I am waiting until his appointments to get input from a professional, but in the meantime, I'm lost just struggling to grasp a thread of understanding what the hell went wrong so fast??

At times I feel that I deserve better than how I'm being treated and have only recently considered leaving (and was shocked that I was actually thinking about it and burst into tears!), but on the other hand he's not his normal self right now, I can't abandon him when he needs me.

I don't know if it's the medication, the depression or what causing this need to be with her. What is he getting out of his new relationship that he's not getting from me?? The part that irks me the most is that he's giving up time with his family to go hang out with her and doesn't see it that way at all!!

If anyone has kind of input or insight to this bizarre situation I've found myself in, please help!!
 

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She and her boyfriend have a 2 year old son about 9 or so months older than our 18 month old. Her boyfriend doesn't work and stays home with their little guy even though they have like no money

- he's plenty capable of having a job, but uses child care as an excuse.

Her boyfriend is always there, like I said he doesn't work so he has no where to be, ever, so there was so funny business or sneaking around, there was no where to sneak!
How do you know any of this is true and that the boyfriend is always there when your husband is there.

Because he told you?
 

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Hi Axmom -- Sorry for what you're going through. I've been treated for depression, as has my exH. Your post touched a nerve. This sure seems to be what's called an Emotional Affair. There may be nothing physical involved, not even overt flirting or sex talk, but ... your H is spending his time with, sharing with, and developing an emotional bond with a woman who is not his wife. And is doing it by taking time and all of those things away from you. And he's fooled himself into thinking nothing is wrong because they're not sleeping together (if what he's saying is true).

I'd suggest you read the book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass, and have him read it, too.

Also, because you are a spouse of a depressed person, I'd really advise you to make sure you have support from people who understand what you're going through. I've been there. Too much to go into here, but I know that when he was at the depths, I as his caretaker had nobody to help me, and yet his doctors were counting on me to make sure he was getting well. I had a preschool age son at the time of his breakdown. I can empathize with what you're going through. You might want to take a look at the NAMI website to see if there are any support groups in your area, or anything else that can help you.

Check out this book as well, and there's a related website with a forum where you might be able to find additional help.
Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond: Anne Sheffield: 9780060009342: Amazon.com: Books
or its earlier version
Amazon.com: How You Can Survive When They're Depressed: Living and Coping with Depression Fallout (9780609804155): Anne Sheffield, Mike Wallace, Donald F. Klein: Books

Don't let him talk you out of taking this seriously. It is very serious. Be proactive, for you, for him, and your child. ((hugs)) to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info and support angelpixie. It's nice to have someone on my side for support. I really don't have anyone that I can talk to about it that can relate or not really any friends to confide in. My mom and his mom are the only ones who know any details but neither of them are a neutral party to the situation so it's hard.

I did talk to him about how I feel about the whole thing and he just cannot see where I'm coming from and just keeps assuring me there's nothing to worry about. He totally misses the point that he's not there for me when I need him. He atleast doesn't go as much as he used to. He refuses to stop going al together. So for now we comprimised on once a week. I'm not happy about it and he knows that but that's the best I'm going to get right now. We meet with the psychiatrist this week finally!! So maybe we can get some help with all this.
 

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Good luck meeting with the psychiatrist! I hope you'll get some answers or ideas on a better A/D for your husband.

It sounds like a separate issue from his depression is that he's not understanding where you're coming from regarding his relationship with his female friend. Did you get a chance to read "Not just friends"? There's a fairly long preview of it on Google Books if you can't your hands on it easily
NOT "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity - Shirley Glass - Google Books

It seems like some spouses are totally hung up on sex or no sex being the only thing that makes an extra-marital relationship appropriate or not. Obviously, that's not true, since sex is only one part of a relationship with a spouse. There's the emotional intimacy, and that's what he's not understanding. And there are men who feel the same way you do, so it's not a gender thing.

Right now, we'll keep our fingers crossed for the psychiatrist appointment, and then maybe you can try a therapist who understands the concept of emotional affairs (not all of them do, unfortunately). Good luck!!
 
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