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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all

I am here looking for a shoulder and some serious advice. I am feeling very low right now.

Some of you might know some stuff about me. I will do the background bit.

I am in my thirties. I am married (six months) after being together five years. We have two children together (3 and 2) and I have two older children from my previous relationship (8 and 6.) That relationship (not married) I broke up after four years because he was more interested in drinking and partying than our relationship and being a father. The older ones were 3 and a baby at the time so I was a single parent until I met my now-husband.

As for me...? I am I guess an intellectual. Emotional. I have two degrees and have always thought of myself as academic. Not social so much, I used to be awkward and incredibly shy. I have broken that down over the years but am still "quiet" if you like. I think a LOT, analyse near enough everything. I am very empathetic and feel emotional pain a lot, and that of other people. When me and my husband had counselling (more on that later), the counsellor said I was very emotionally intelligent. In tune with how I feel and why. He often says I am really sensitive. I am. Sometimes this is an observation but others, a criticism. We are very different like that, he is very blunt and forthright at times. Sometimes he is like this with me without realising, other times I can tell he is dampening down what he is saying so as to not hurt my feelings. Since his EA (more about that in a min), I have often found he is editing his thoughts in order to "protect" me. This usually takes the form of him just not telling me stuff he decides would hurt me, or editing his feelings - a mild example is him saying that he doesn't notice other girls, just me. Being serious. You get the idea.

Why I'm on here...

I initially posted about my husband before we married. I wanted to get married but he had various reasons as to why he initially didn't want to or why we should wait a while. In retrospect he says he simply wanted to give me a nice wedding which meant waiting until we had the money to do so. Another issue was that he started to withhold affection. He had initially been the more affectionate one, but this dynamic swapped over and he would reject my attempts at affection, often in a quite nasty or blunt way. In hindsight he always had a reason and never felt he WAS being blunt.

A few months after, he had an EA with a girl he met at work. I knew all about her but trusted him implicitly. At this point we were engaged and had a five-month-old baby. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing on his part and after he decided he wanted to stay and work things out, he broke NC and I threw him out. He moved back in a week later and we went to counselling.

Fast forward to now... We got married six months ago. I thought very carefully and felt we had made enough progress to do this. I won't say everything was 100% better but I felt we had made massive strides. I wasn't planning on leaving so felt it was the natural next step and he got on board.

However... I am down. SERIOUSLY down. I realised last week I am depressed. I am in a bad spot.

I am seriously co-dependent. Horrendously so. I have been aware of this for a while and taken steps to work on it but it still plagues me. Just him snapping at me when I logically know he's tired from work and not really mad at me, is all it takes for my mood to dip right down. If I'm unhappy with us, then the world is bleak. If he's doing all the right things, I am on top of the world and life is great.

When I am down I don't want to go out. I don't socialise. My hobby is suffering because I rarely go anymore. I don't see friends much. A friend invited me out on Friday evening; I liked the idea of going but knew I would do what I always do now, wait til the last minute then cancel. My husband called me on this. Says I never want to go out without him. I explained I feel unsafe going out into town at night on my own (true) and frequently I am so tired I just don't have the inclination to (also true.) What I didn't say was that I feel resentful that he never makes plans for us to go out but happily goes out himself (long-standing issue.) Also, in truth, I don't want to go out for drinks, get drunk and put myself in a vulnerable position. I know I am VERY vulnerable at the moment and in that kind of situation I worry it'll only take someone being nice and supportive to me for lines to get blurry.

I am suffering with my self-esteem in relation to him. I worry he doesn't find me attractive. This stems from his EA and the attention he gave the OW. Outwardly he generally does little to show this. He says he does feel it. I have asked certain things of him yet he feels reticent to do them. I try hard to be reasonable with what I ask. He says he forgets. Or that I just want him to think about me ALL of the time instead of other things. I do not feel prioritised. I feel very much like he sees our marriage as a kind of separate entity that just runs everyday by itself, and that if he has to put any work into it, something is seriously wrong. He doesn't really comprehend the idea of putting effort in to maintain things. I often feel like the maid and the nanny to him, and his room mate rather than the wife he is proud to have.

I am desperately unhappy. I feel like a failure - we have only been married six months and it should be blissful. It isn't. I have had some very dark thoughts recently. I love him very much but feel stuck. I know I can't change him and I can change myself, but I HAVE changed myself and that hasn't made things much better. I just don't know what I can legitimately expect or ask for from him and what I should accept and learn to live with -and if so, HOW I do that.

I am a good person. I do a lot for him. He says this a lot. He says he doesn't want me to change anything and he likes me just as I am. But I don't feel, well, functional I suppose. I need help to deal with how I feel and how things are so if anyone can offer something I'm all ears...
 

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Tobio, not sure if I can really offer you anything to help, except my sympathy for the personal struggle you are going through and to let you know that you are completely normal.

I think you are aware of the 2 interconnected issues that are causing you all the negative emotions - 1) you are dependent on his mood for your own contentment 2) his mood and part in the relationship is not currently bringing you contentment.

It must be hard to separate each of those in order to work on fixing one or both.

I was very similar in my marriage, depended on her being happy for my own happiness and she became unhappy except when she was not around me, so it was impossible for me to not take that as a personal failure. When she moved out I was very optimistic that all the problems she brought into our relationship would go away, that a lot of things would be fixed, but I find being alone and knowing I'm not causing someone else displeasure is even less fulfilling at my core than remaining in a crappy marriage.

So of course my preference would have been to fix my W and fix my marriage - and then I wouldn't have to fix my dependency issue, but of course people can only fix themselves if they want to. Yet here I am still miserable and the one who I thought was a big cause of a lot of it is long gone, I have never wanted her back at all, yet I still have a hard time accepting the responsibility for my current emotions (I do accept it, but I feel so angry at myself for finding me here)

As for advice to change yourself and start feeling contentment again, and not depression - I don't really have any, maybe the only thing is to accept yourself and consider that you are not "broken" in any way, just stuck in a place you don't like. Try loosening your grip on the things you so desperately are gripping tightly to, have faith in yourself and the universe (God?) that you will be set on the right path if you just start walking forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
are you familiar with the five languages of love? It helped us.
Hiya. Thanks. I am familiar with the 5 LL. It has helped a little, more by way of defining our needs rather than actually using the idea. It makes it easier for us to say we would like x and y and understand how and why but unfortunately in practice it doesn't always pan out.

Tobio, not sure if I can really offer you anything to help, except my sympathy for the personal struggle you are going through and to let you know that you are completely normal.

I think you are aware of the 2 interconnected issues that are causing you all the negative emotions - 1) you are dependent on his mood for your own contentment 2) his mood and part in the relationship is not currently bringing you contentment.

It must be hard to separate each of those in order to work on fixing one or both.

I was very similar in my marriage, depended on her being happy for my own happiness and she became unhappy except when she was not around me, so it was impossible for me to not take that as a personal failure. When she moved out I was very optimistic that all the problems she brought into our relationship would go away, that a lot of things would be fixed, but I find being alone and knowing I'm not causing someone else displeasure is even less fulfilling at my core than remaining in a crappy marriage.

So of course my preference would have been to fix my W and fix my marriage - and then I wouldn't have to fix my dependency issue, but of course people can only fix themselves if they want to. Yet here I am still miserable and the one who I thought was a big cause of a lot of it is long gone, I have never wanted her back at all, yet I still have a hard time accepting the responsibility for my current emotions (I do accept it, but I feel so angry at myself for finding me here)

As for advice to change yourself and start feeling contentment again, and not depression - I don't really have any, maybe the only thing is to accept yourself and consider that you are not "broken" in any way, just stuck in a place you don't like. Try loosening your grip on the things you so desperately are gripping tightly to, have faith in yourself and the universe (God?) that you will be set on the right path if you just start walking forward.
Hiya Lon. I have read a lot of your posts. I relate to what you say. I think I am a step forward from where you were as I realised after his EA and the issues we dealt with that many of those issues would still be present in me, if you like, if we broke up. That kind of helped me in deciding to stay and work through things with him as I knew if I didn't then, I would end up still needing to work through the issues even without him around anymore.

I feel angry at myself too. Obviously we are in different places but I feel angry sometimes for getting myself into this. I know that I have choices and I have made choices. I often think knowing what I know now, I would have handled things very differently after his EA and I could very well be in a different place now. I have never felt this co-dependency before ever... In fact past partners have always remarked that I was "too" independent and they were the ones trying to "tame" me if you like. So being on the other side is somewhat odd.

I wish so much sometimes that I was more relaxed. More laid back. Went with things a bit more. Stopped over-analysing everything. I know logically shutting myself away because I'm unhappy isn't helping at all but I feel safer like this.

It's weird to explain but I do like me. I think I am all right, you know? It is only ever in relation to my husband that this confidence falls down so much and I know it's from his EA. I know you are right in that I need to let my grip go because I am holding on too tight, I just don't know how to do that.
 

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No offense but your husband sounds like a self absorbed jerk and you are trying to take ownership of that fact and I don't understand why.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No offense but your husband sounds like a self absorbed jerk and you are trying to take ownership of that fact and I don't understand why.
I LOL'd and cringed at that simultaneously!

He has told me many times that I am "high maintenance." I ask for things from him yet he rarely asks me for anything. It is a stark comparison and I have always wondered if I AM asking too much I suppose. Like I know realistically fault does not lie entirely with him as I am a part of the dynamic.
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Hi Tobio,
Let's talk about how you want to feel and what you want from your relationship. I read a little bit of your post, but I saw a lot of negative about it. Let's explore some positive solutions here :)
So, if you don't want to be unhappy, how would you like to feel, then? What may be the ideal relationship for you?
 

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I am desperately unhappy. I feel like a failure - we have only been married six months and it should be blissful. It isn't. I have had some very dark thoughts recently.
Wait, what kind of dark thoughts? This worries me. Please, please see your doctor if you might be depressed! Please take care of yourself first, and when you're ready, you can decide what to do about your husband.

Big hugs to you.
 

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I say give it 6 more months and if he doesn't give you what you need, get divorced.

Don't settle for that which makes you unhappy.

Better happy and alone with the possibility of finding that which makes you a better person, than suffocation in marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Tobio,
Let's talk about how you want to feel and what you want from your relationship. I read a little bit of your post, but I saw a lot of negative about it. Let's explore some positive solutions here :)
So, if you don't want to be unhappy, how would you like to feel, then? What may be the ideal relationship for you?
Okay then.

How would I like to feel?

I'd like to feel...

listened to. Hubz doesn't have to like or agree with what I say but I'd like him to respect my feelings and maybe seek to understand.

like he thinks I'm his number one. That I'm special in a way that means I can see he thinks about me, our marriage, and that he wants to invest in our happiness. So for me this would mean things like him planning dates. Planning a holiday each year. Hearing him big me up to friends and family. Him telling me he loves me and desires me.

that he thinks about the damage caused by his EA and continues to think of a) ways to show he's "not that guy" and b) things I have said would help, and do them.

I want to feel like being "me" is okay. Not only okay, but that "me" is just great to him. Ideally I want a marriage where we are happier. I don't know how to quantify "happier" but I guess it means one where I don't feel I have to constantly bring up unresolved issues because I feel he's already taken care of stuff. Where he doesn't feel so burdened by my emotions so we can enjoy each other's company more, more laughing and joking and that feeling that we're in it TOGETHER and not against each other.

I don't know if I articulated that very well but it'll do for a start!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wait, what kind of dark thoughts? This worries me. Please, please see your doctor if you might be depressed! Please take care of yourself first, and when you're ready, you can decide what to do about your husband.

Big hugs to you.
Dark thoughts like not being here. I know I am depressed but can function where I have to, day-to-day. I have experienced this before, and I don't *think* I would do anything but I do have very melancholy times.

I say give it 6 more months and if he doesn't give you what you need, get divorced.

Don't settle for that which makes you unhappy.

Better happy and alone with the possibility of finding that which makes you a better person, than suffocation in marriage.
I am not going to rush any decision. You are right about taking time.
 

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waaooww chiiwawa :) I'm happy to hear all this!
Well now that you have a better picture in your mind of what you want from your relationship, just imagine that you are that future you all happy as you can be. Just be her for a moment and take the time to feel how it is to be her. To be in this relationship. You are smiling... :)

How did you get there? What would your future self tell you to do?
 

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Dark thoughts like not being here. I know I am depressed but can function where I have to, day-to-day. I have experienced this before, and I don't *think* I would do anything but I do have very melancholy times.
I think you deserve better than just getting through each day. Have you ever talked to your doctor about it? I know it can feel like the hardest thing in the world to do, I've been there. But you can do it. Please do!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think you deserve better than just getting through each day. Have you ever talked to your doctor about it? I know it can feel like the hardest thing in the world to do, I've been there. But you can do it. Please do!!
I am going to. Thanks. I have had depression previously but I thought the last bout was, well, my last.

I suffer reeeally badly with anxiety as well which I absolutely have to do something about. It is starting to manifest in scary physical symptoms which freak me out and come at unpredictable times. I am planning to get to the doctors this week but have to plan it so I don't have the kids with me so I can talk. I am hoping to pursue coping mechanisms and maybe counselling rather than meds.
 

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waaooww chiiwawa :) I'm happy to hear all this!
Well now that you have a better picture in your mind of what you want from your relationship, just imagine that you are that future you all happy as you can be. Just be her for a moment and take the time to feel how it is to be her. To be in this relationship. You are smiling... :)

How did you get there? What would your future self tell you to do?
Just been thinking about this.

I can't come up with anything specific and concrete. "Relax" seems to be an important thing. Also I picture me being more rounded, less enmeshed but sort of healthily entwined if that makes sense? Like more of a separate me with more of a self-identity. That would mean continuing to pursue "my" things and interests. So I feel happy outside of our marriage as well as within it.
 

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T,
My W is more "type A" than I am. It's a big part of her charm. It is also true that she can be difficult and overbearing. If I wasn't "good at conflict" we would spend a lot less time together. I am though, so when she crosses the line I point it in a way that is effective.

I am going to guess that he loves and respects you. And that he also finds you to be more of a handful than you realize.


Just been thinking about this.

I can't come up with anything specific and concrete. "Relax" seems to be an important thing. Also I picture me being more rounded, less enmeshed but sort of healthily entwined if that makes sense? Like more of a separate me with more of a self-identity. That would mean continuing to pursue "my" things and interests. So I feel happy outside of our marriage as well as within it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
T,
My W is more "type A" than I am. It's a big part of her charm. It is also true that she can be difficult and overbearing. If I wasn't "good at conflict" we would spend a lot less time together. I am though, so when she crosses the line I point it in a way that is effective.

I am going to guess that he loves and respects you. And that he also finds you to be more of a handful than you realize.

Oh no, I know VERY well how much of a handful he finds me! It always comes up when we have conflict.

The only time I ever cross the line is when I have gotten so het up about an issue, it has come up repeatedly over and over, and he has either promised and not delivered, or continued despite me expressing strongly my distaste. I very rarely get angry but it is only ever those times that I see red and am mean in a way where I don't censor or think before I speak.

I just don't know what to do. I am faced with realising it is a strong realistic possibility that he will not deliver what I need. I guess there is a frustration in there at realising I cannot control the outcome even with the work I have put into me and us.

I also feel cheated that he would not make a priority something like showing I am attractive to him. Given he is supposedly so torn up over what he did with his EA, and feels so bad over how it affected me, I just cannot fathom why he would almost deliberately self-sabotage EXCEPT that to think about it reminds him of what he did.
 

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The only time I ever cross the line is when I have gotten so het up about an issue, it has come up repeatedly over and over, and he has either promised and not delivered, or continued despite me expressing strongly my distaste. I very rarely get angry but it is only ever those times that I see red and am mean in a way where I don't censor or think before I speak.

I just don't know what to do. I am faced with realising it is a strong realistic possibility that he will not deliver what I need. I guess there is a frustration in there at realising I cannot control the outcome even with the work I have put into me and us.

I also feel cheated that he would not make a priority something like showing I am attractive to him. Given he is supposedly so torn up over what he did with his EA, and feels so bad over how it affected me, I just cannot fathom why he would almost deliberately self-sabotage EXCEPT that to think about it reminds him of what he did.
I am the same way with losing my temper with my husband. I feel awful about it, and it's a relatively new thing for me. I don't like it, and definitely need to learn how to step away when it's approaching the point that I feel like I have no control over what's going to come out of my mouth. It's just, I feel so helplessly unable to communicate with him. I can ask him to do something so simple, and he'll say sure, then he won't do it, no matter how much it means to me.

I also had some pretty serious anxiety after my first daughter was born. She had to be hospitalized with an infection at 2 weeks old, and it was beyond terrifying. After that, I'd have panic attacks every once in a while. One time I had one while driving with her on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Not good timing!

That whole anxiety/baby being hospitalized issue is a good example of what's wrong with me and DH. I needed him to be there for me and push me into getting help. He just ignored it. I got better at asking him to help me after that, and he would say he would, then do nothing. I'm now at the place where I'm not sure if my visions of a supportive husband is hollywood-fed fairy tale and I just need to accept what I have for what it is, or if we actually do have a dysfunctional dynamic. I'm so, so confused.

Maybe I'm projecting, but I feel like our issues are similar. If you figure an answer out, let me know!!
 

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Just been thinking about this.

I can't come up with anything specific and concrete. "Relax" seems to be an important thing. Also I picture me being more rounded, less enmeshed but sort of healthily entwined if that makes sense? Like more of a separate me with more of a self-identity. That would mean continuing to pursue "my" things and interests. So I feel happy outside of our marriage as well as within it.
So Relax, self-identity, feeling happy as well outside of my marriage.
Alright, why is it important for you to give more attention to yourself for you to get a better marriage?
 
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