September 15, 2009,
K.H. asks from Waukesha, WI on September 12, 2009
I feel as if I am having a mid-life crisis. I am 35 yrs. old, I am a stay at home mom of 3 boys ages 6,4, and 2. One son in 1st grade, and the other is in 4k. I am having strong feelings about leaving my marriage. I have felt unconnected and very distant from my husband for the last 18 mos. We have been through marriage counseling twice without any changes. I have been to a new therapist recently alone who believes I am having a mid-life crisis. Since I have told my husband I don't know if our marriage is "fixable" he has done EVERYTHING to cater to my every need. He cooks, he cleans, he does laundry, he spends time with the kids, all things we fought about in the past just to win me back. I feel as if it's too late, and I've already checked out of this relationship unfortunately. I have such strong feelings up and down on a rollercoaster about what to do. I truly believe I married the wrong man for the wrong reasons. He's a great guy, I just don't think I'm in love anymore. Am I selfish? Is it wrong of me to feel like this? I have even wondered if my IUC (mirena implant) is causing these crazy feelings but I have it for over a year and it's been a very positive hormonal change (as opposed to the birth control pill previously on) Any feed back of similar situations you have been through would be greatly appreciated, I feel very confused and continue to see a therapist.
A.S. answers from Davenport on September 13, 2009
I had Mirena and it made me feel crazy. I think you should have it removed and see if that helps. If not, you can always get another one put in.
A.C. answers from Madison on September 13, 2009
It sounds as if you've been having these feelings for about as long as you've been on the IUD. Get the IUD removed. NOW!!
I was also on the IUD and it screwed with my hormones/body royally. It happened faster for me--about 6-9 months--but I literally thought I was losing my mind. Like you, I had all these unbelivable crazy ideas, was indifferent to my husband, and suffered horrendous pains all over my body, but mostly in my sides and back.
Some women just cannot take the concentration of either hormones (if yours has hormones in it) or the copper (for those IUDs that use copper as the contraceptive).
I was on the copper one, and six years AFTER I had the IUD removed, I discovered that I have three mutations on a gene in the P450 Chromosome that makes me a Poor Metabolizer, meaning my body is unable to detoxify toxins. I took a heavy metal toxicity test and discovered that I was very high in copper, almost severe. Clearly, for me the IUD was what had caused my symptoms all those years ago and was still making me sick. I was told I had Seasonal Affective Disorder and put on two very powerful antidepressants. Nope. That WAS NOT what was wrong with me.
Fast forward six years: I've detoxed my body three times and have been supplementing my body; Vitamin D3 was added. I no longer suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and I am off ALL antidepressants. I was never "depressed" in the first place; my body was on toxic overload.
I would seriously look into this with your OB/GYN. FIRST, though, make sure you get the IUD removed. Before you do anything else, you want to make sure that you have the IUD out of your body. The genetic test I had taken was for the CYP2C9 test, usually taken for Warfarin to measure liver toxicity and dosage. HOWEVER, any genetic mutation that falls within the P450 Chromosome is going to place you at a greater risk for toxicity, because all of the genes that are in the P450 Chromosome family have something to do with helping the liver detoxify the body. Conventional doctors will state this is not true; however, researchers who research the P450 Chromosome and all natural and Integrative doctors will agree that this gene predicts your susceptibility to toxicity. My conventional doctor did the gene test for me, but I had to see an Integration Doctor for the heavy metal toxicity test and others.
This is not information that most OB/GYNs are aware of. However, almost immediately after I had the IUD removed, I felt better. Like, within days.
Please, before you make or follow through with any rash decisions, remove the IUD and see how you feel. You might even want to have a heavy metal toxicity test taken, to either rule out toxicity or to make sure you're not toxic. You'll need to do both a heavy metal toxcity AND a nutrient panel (it's a urine test; my doctor used Geneova Diagnostic Lab), because the Copper component shows up in the nutrient panel.
God bless, and good luck.
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J.W. answers from Minneapolis on September 13, 2009
I just want to respond to your "a little about me" statement: "Ready to return to the workforce and begin a new life."
Are you starting a job? Looking for one? Thinking about looking for one? I know that the hardest part for me of the choice to be a stay-at-home parent was releasing my professional ambitions for awhile. (We made the choice for me to stay at home because my income - in the arts - would never be enough to cover child care, my husband makes much much more than I ever will - even though in some ways his personality is probably much better suited to staying at home!) It can really feel like your world shrinks when you choose to stay at home - and that can really skew your perceptions of yourself, your children, your marriage, your home . . . I often find myself wondering "is this what I really wanted?"
The cure for me: work. Freelancing. If your career doesn't accommodate that, find volunteer projects (preferably ones that do not involve children.) Building a life for myself *outside* of my life as a parent and a spouse changed everything for me. I am a better parent and a better spouse when I periodically have some outside work. It keeps me grounded.
Stay at home parenting can be a grueling choice - some parents find it easy, I know, and I'm glad that it's an easy choice for them. But there's no shame in understanding the kind of life that you need in order to be your best self, and that life may include work outside the home.
Only you can know whether your relationship with your husband is so toxic that it is not worth rebuilding. It does sound like you are safe (physically and emotionally) with him, so I would suggest finding other ways to change your life before you give up on your marriage. I know that when I've felt most trapped in the house and far away from the working-self that I used to know, I've also felt a lot of resentment towards my husband. But, for me, it was not so much about my husband as it was about me personally making choices (like working) that were the right choices for me. Not that there may not be some rebuilding to do in your marriage - but people change, marriages change, many many many times over the course of a lifetime. Get yourself to a place where you feel confident and satisfied with yourself and then tackle how that new self changes your marriage. (It will change, but that doesn't mean it has to end.)
Best of luck to you. This is a really, really, hard place to be in, and many of us are in it with you.
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R.N. answers from St. Cloud on September 13, 2009
Love is a verb, not a feeling. Your husband loves you- keep him. If you need to feel love for him start doing things for him. Start making is favorite dinner, and doing other things that you know he will appreciate. Then you will start to feel real love for him.
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E.B. answers from Duluth on September 13, 2009
I have heard, from the "natural granola types" that the time period post-birth is often a low, low, low, sexually speaking. They have claimed that the post partum hormones kick in, and your priority becomes baby, not making another one. After two kids, I'd say that rings fairly true for me (our youngest is now 23 months, and just recently has my interest in sex revived). I would also say, because it is tough for me to have switched from a full time working mom (and loving it, feeling little guilt about leaving my kids), to full time at home mom, it's VERY hard to feel on equal footing to my husband. It has NOT done good things for our marriage. I am not depressed (been there, done that--this is NOT depression) but I AM very frustrated. My husband and I have talked it through, though, and he knows that this is the price of having moved closer to family (a mutual decision) and the lack of openings in my field (teaching) this year and last year. We know we'll stick it out, because we know it will change. There are definitely times I wonder if we're more like roommates--I married a nice guy, he does some things around the house--than my true love. People suggest time together, but sometimes that time is so short lived (an hour here or there) that all I do is get resentful--like I'm supposed to suddenly fall madly in love again, because I have an hour with him. What I forget, though, is that that hour DOES matter. When you combine that hour with another one next week, and another the next week, all of a sudden, I remember that we used to enjoy each other a lot more, and am confident we will again--and I'll stop picking on his every misstep. Anyway--I KNOW mine is somewhat hormonal, but even more, it's a product of our busy lives and my dissatisfaction with MY level of fulfillment, not in our marriage, but in MY life. Anyway--you don't SOUND like you want a divorce. You SOUND wistful, wishing you could figure out where things went wrong. If you have those feelings, I'd try to figure out what it is that's truly making you unhappy--feeling unfulfilled can make it very difficult to love and forgive another person. Anyway--this is just my experience; I see you have a lot of responses and I hope one of them rings a bell with you and helps out!
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S.M. answers from Eau Claire on September 13, 2009
I have been divorced and it is no fun! I can't tell you not to as you need to do what is right for you and your family, but really, if your husband is trying so hard to help it might help if you return the favor, even if your heart isn't in it. I think your heart may get into it over time. I WISH my ex would have tried as hard as your husband is. I begged him to make a few small changes, told him I was at my wits end and didn't want to divorce but couldn't continue the way were going and he refused to try, even though he said he loved me and didn't want a divorce either.
Love is a choice. You remake that choice every day. And marriage is work, all the time. But like any good work it has its rewards if you put your all into it. I'm very grateful that I have found a much better man. Life is not always perfect but I make a point to appreciate all the things I love about him and all he does for me and it makes the tough moments easier.
I do agree with the other moms who have stated that you should go back to work if that is what you want to do, or voluteer or start a new hobby. I've done the stay at home mom thing too and it does get tiring. You begin to feel in a rut. But I found a great part-time weekend job that I LOVE and it makes me feel like a real person again not just Mom.
If there is some other issue between you and your husband that goes deeper, then that is different. I guess that depends on what those "wrong reasons" for marriage were. But if you are really just feeling its a mid-life crisis and your husband is helping so much and being so patient, I would stick it out. But not passively, do things back for him whether you feel like it or not, it will feel better in time. And get out of the house! Do some fun things, both alone and with your hubby! You kind of sound like you need to find yourself again, but you don't have to leave your marriage and put that stress on your children to find yourself!
I greatly wish I hadn't had to get divorced. I hated to put my baby boy through that. But unfortunately, my ex had major anger issues (amongst other issues) and I was very fearful for my son's and my physical safety. I gave my ex chance after chance to get help, but he wouldn't follow through. You have it so much better than many other women, you should try to appreciate it even if it is hard right now.
I'm sorry if I sound preachy, I hope you understand it is your decision. I just know how much divorce sucks and I know many older couples who have been through "dead" spots in their relationships, but stuck it out, who have some of the happiest most beautiful relationships I've ever seen.
You must do what feels right to you. Good luck!
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C.O. answers from Minneapolis on September 13, 2009
Seven year itch - Eleven year Ditch.
I have been married for 14 years now - but believe me marriage is not always bliss. I heard the phrase above years ago - and I so believe its true - I think there becomes a point in a marriage / heck even in a person's life where their interested and priorities change, even become a bit restless. I too was a stay at home mom - I really felt as though I lost my own identity. Go out and do something for you - hobby, club, work. I would suggest to continue counciling and don't make any rash decisions regarding your marriage. I know many - now single - friends who struggle financially, divorse was very hard on kids, and even one if you were to ask her now wishes she was still married to her husband (not an option for her anymore).
I personally started with a party plan/direct sales business. I found that I made great friends, made some extra cash to help with the house (and just my personal extra's I wanted) and even was able to travel. I have been involved now for over 10 years. I would be happy to give you suggestions if you would like to "check" this out - you can email me at ____@____.com - Again, I am still married. Still have days where I wish I wasn't, and have those days where I really am glad that I am. Sounds like your husband still loves you - Have you tried to "date" again or go away on a second honeymoon?
Regardless you need to do what's best for you and your children. Look at all of your options and even forcast what consequences there are for each action.
Best of Luck
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C.D. answers from Omaha on September 13, 2009
Oh, If I could tell you the number of times I felt this way when my kids were growing up I would've been on rotation at the court house. This is a perfectly normal feeling especially when you are at home taking care of the kids and house and you are generally unhappy at everything and everyone. You want your old individual carefree days back. Sorry to say you can't go back. But it does sound like you need an outside interest to get you back in the groove of things. I don't think it is your husband that you are having an issue with but your stay at home mom syndrome. This happens alot with women who had an active employment and thought staying at home with kids is what they wanted. Why don't you try getting a part-time job and other outside interests. Your children will survive and you might even find out that it wasn't your husband that was the issue but your own identity that you needed to recreate. Remember the grass isn't greener on the otherside. Having been a single parent, working and not having a spouse isn't exactly the way I would want to spend my life. Think it over very hard.
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A.K. answers from Milwaukee on September 13, 2009
I'm so sorry you're going through such a hard time. I can relate in a few ways to your situation. I'm 35 as well and my daughter (who will be the only child) is 2. I've been feeling like I'm going through a mid-life crisis as well. I don't know the answers. I guess I'm just trying to hang in there and contribute my feelings to needing more for myself and my daughter being more independent and not needing me as much. I can't tell you what to do. Just follow your heart and try to not be hard on yourself.
Take care of yourself.