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Discussion Starter #1
Hi.

I'm relatively new to the forum but my husband and I have been struggling for quite some time. We have been in therapy since April, both together and separately. We have two boys, age 10 & 11. We have been married for over 18 years. We have had a lot of ups and downs in terms of infertility, a sick child, demanding careers, etc. But we have always come together and have been able to attack our issues. Our kids are thriving.

The problem has been that my husband started sensing a real void in our marriage a few years ago--not just physical intimacy, but emotional as well. And he's right. I sunk into depression about 3 years ago and withdrew from him. I was in denial about it for along time. I have always been an overachiever and did not think I needed help. I was exhausted, anxious and depleted on every level and I could not and did not respond to his needs. I put the kids and the demands of my career first, thinking that my husband understood. I needed to keep my job as there were many expenses related to my son't illness. I felt my husband was demanding too much of me.

I began to get help earlier this year and went on an anti-depressant which literally changed my life. I have been working to get healthy and have been working to repair the damage I have done. He feels that is too late. He is not sure he has what to repair our marriage and in a sense, start over. Neither of us have been unfaithful. There is just tremendous sadness and heartbreak.
He would like to try a separation. My therapist thinks it's potentially very damaging, esp. to the kids. Our marriage therapist thinks it could help. My husband wants to figure out how to be happy and practice "self-care." I wish he could do that while we are living together, as I am doing now. He has not closed the door to reconciliation down the road, but says that "he's not sure he has what it takes to make me happy." If he does move out, he found a place that is month to month and we would continue to "date." He says he doesn't want anyone else, I kind of believe him--as he says, he just feels "gutted", his self-worth is at an all time low.

I love him to death. I want to grow old together. I want us to have a happy life with the kids. I am sick that I am the main reason this has happened. I've lost a tremendous amount of weight in a short time; I literally can't eat. I am doing everything in my power to show him that I love and support him.

Should I support his need to separate and try to make it as easy for him as possible? I really care about him and ultimately want him to find happiness. He is from a divorced family and he really doesn't want to do this to the kids. Is there hope for us to perhaps repair the damage and maybe rebuild a new and better relationship?

Our kids are amazing, we are still very kind and respectful to each other, of course there is tension, but the kids have no idea. We are brutally honest with each other.

I have lost faith on our marriage counselor because she has not really been much of a guide. We revisit the same things week after week. Argh. But I'm not sure what another marriage counselor would tell us at this point.

Any advice/insights/personal stories are welcome.
thank you-
nan:(
 

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First of all congratulations on beating your depression! Good for you for realizing it & seeking medical advice. So many do not.

I was very depressed for about 2 yrs. & like you worked full time while raising 2 children. It was sooo hard & of course neglected my husband....Hell, I could barely get out of bed.

Please do not feel guilty about your husband because you had an ILLNESS - it was not something you could control or "just snap out of it."

It is odd to me that now that you are better, your husband wants to separate. My husband was thrilled when I got better.

I agree with your therapist. I think couples especially with children who want to work on the marriage need to stay together.

Your husband may be afraid that you will get depressed again & he doesn't want to deal with it - no fault - just his feelings.

If I were you, I would express my feelings about a separation. I would not "support" it (as in encourage) but in the end, I would tell him that it will be his choice, obviously.

I feel bad for you & hope he changes his mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for your response. I had not even thought about your point: why does he want to leave now that I'm getting better? I will dig into that some more. My guess is that he thinks it has taken so long and his feelings have changed.

It's wonderful to hear how supportive your husband has been. Best to you-
 

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Sorry to be so blunt but are you sure that he isnt having an A?
My H and i seperated in Dec. We were apart for 3 months, we have now been back together for 6 months.
Ideally you should be living together to work at your marriage. It sounds as if your H has checked out if the marriage.
But first you need to verify that there isnt an A going on. I was convinced my Hs EA was over, and he just needed space to sort himself out. I was wrong. He was still in his A he had hidden it extremely well.
I hope i am completely wrong, if i am. maybe hes having a MLC?
 

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I've wondered about an affair and have asked. He has denied it up and down and I don't think he is having one although it would not shock my completely. What I do wonder even more though if there's the idea of someone, or something, that's better. I don't know if he has someone in mind.
He says his feelings have changed and he doesn't know if he has it in him to try and reconcile. He keeps bringing up things I said in the past and I have urged him to talk about this with his therapist--I think he has pain to work through. But he doesn't think he does.

Thanks for your post and I appreciate you being blunt. I want to consider everything.
 

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My feeling is that separation is usually the beginning of the end. Pretty hard to come back together after that. I suppose there's a remote possibility he'll miss you when he leaves and will want to come back. But after all the pain, I suspect he'll just feel free. I would fight it with everything you have.
 

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In my opinion, any issue is resolvable as long as both of you want to resolve it and are willing to do the hard yards. At this point it doesn't sound like your husband is ready or willing to do what is needed.

How old are your children? Children are amazing at picking up on things. You may think that you are hiding everything from them but chances are they will be well aware that something is not right.

Do you have another bedroom or part of the house that your husband could retreat to so he can have the space that he is needing? If so then that could be a good compromise for now to let him get his head together and still keep the family intact.
 

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Thanks for your responses. I am fighting it with everything I have and have offered another part of the house, etc. And i agree, most problems are resolvable if both parties want to resolve it. I am having a hard time facing the reality that he doesn't want to resolve. I am just going to keep trying because he hasn't completely shut the door to it...
 

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Acceptance and coming to terms with it are the hardest things. Eternally better though than banging your head against a brick wall and giving yorself endless stress and grief over something you have no control over. You never know, by backing off, living your life and continuing to be your wonderful self he may just see the person he fell in love with and want to reconcile.

Good luck with it all.
 
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