Hubby Has More Fun Without Me

Updated on September 03, 2007
V.T. asks from Fresno, CA
10 answers

We've been happily married for 22 years. up until about 5 years ago, we did everything together. Our best times were times when just sat togethr on the couch nd watched movies. Now he needs to "relax from a hard week at work", so he goes fishing every night after work. ( i know it's true cuz he comeshome with wet, smelly clothes for me to wash. I suppose I'm trying to recapture the past. Those days when we wanted to be together all the time. we wouldn't be seated apart at dinner parties, if he were invite4d to go somewhere with work friends, he wouldn't go if I couldn't go. I now feel so isolated from by best friend. He was great with the kids (tho saw things differently - I did more) but since i'VE been diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder I'm sure it's very difficult for my whole family. Never knowing what they were walking in to. Insteadof is help and support I think he believes there is something I CAN DO to make it go away. I take lots ofmeds (which cost us a fortune) and I know I'm not as fun as I used to be. But I do long for those close times on that couch with our popcorn and each other.

I realize I'm living in the past. I'm having a hard time letting my daughter go. I'm OK with letting the 18 year old Kate go, but I can't even stand to watch home movies or see pics of her when she was 3 and 4. It breaks my heart. I didn't want to let that go but there was nothing to doabout it. That's when my real unhappiness began, he thought I was being silly, as do most of my friends and family. Am I a mess or what?!

V. T.

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answers from Sacramento on

Hi V.,

My best friend was diagnoised with bi-polar about 8 yrs ago. I know some of what you are going thru. We are still as close as ever.

I know how it feels to want that connection with your husband. After my daughter was born all focus was shifted from each other to our daughter. When I really felt it was when wwe went on our first vacation as a family and my husband walked ahead of me pushing the stoller. Alway before our vacations we regenerating, because we relaxed and enjoyed each other. Normally we would walk along holding hands and I missed that. We spent the first part of the vacation having little arguements, until one arguement I said I miss holding your hand. And he said I do too. We agreed that we would make an effort to hold hands and be affectionate to each other. The rest of the vacation was great. So tell your husband what you miss, he may be missing it too.

I think it is okay to do things on your own, but not so much that you neglect the other person. Let him know it is Okay to go fishing alone, but once a week you as a couple need have a date night, where you are into each other.

Also it might help to get an interest or hobby outside of your family that you enjoy.

{{{hugs}}} It will get better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear V.,

Well, you asked, and you may not like my answer, but read it as if I am speaking to you very kindly, because thatis what I am going to do... be kind and truthful.

My daughter in law was bipolar and yes, it is very hard on the person who is bipolar, and the whole family. For one thing, your feelings and wishes are driven lots of time by the bipolar disorder.
It causes you to feel an exaggeratedly heightened sense of loss or loneliness, or whatever it is - missing your children. I miss my children every day and think about the wonderful times when they were living nearby, that is just the way that life is. What about the mothers who have lost their sons and daughters in Iraq.

You need to develop ....and you can....a method of telling yourself that other people have problems too, and they need to be respected and cared for just the way that you want to be respected and cared for. Say it to yourself over and over until you really have it in your heart and soul.

For one thing, when you were ready to leave your mother's home, you probably didn't know how much she missed you. Noone knows how much mothers suffer - unless they are a mother with exactly the same situation facing them. It is hard and painful and difficult to be a mother. We love our children the way that God loves us. ....and He does not lock us up and tell us what to do ...he sets us free to be ourselves and to honor him because we do respect and love Him.

You are so lucky to have had that good time with your he is older and he has problems too. He is not talking about them, he is working them out, and in a very natural and safe way - I understanding that fishing is very soothing and cleansing, even feeds you and your family and makes it possible for a person to have a cooling off time, just like he said inbetween work and home.

In my work life I never did have a job that was soothing or smooth and satisfying - there was always some sort of tension and problem going on that caused worry and fretting. So he is trying to be the best person he can be. Just have a good dinner waiting for him, without complaining, and try to understand yourself. You can go online and read about the bipolar symptoms and find a blog where people with bipolar disorder can be supportive to you. They will truly truly understand you and give you guidance toward a more comfortable life for yourself and your family.

....and for goodness sake please take your meds that is the best thing that you can do for yourself and your family at this time. They will stabilize you and give you a chance to think more clearly and give you some peace.

I have to take a lot of medicine too. It is for high blood pressure and it makes you tire more quickly and be slower and it keeps you from having a stroke and dying. So I just put up with being tired and am very grateful that there are medications like that for me. There were no blood pressure medicines when my father needed them. He died at 50 years old and here I am 76 and counting, only because of the new medicines that they have discovered since he was alive.

Life is complicated and difficult, isn't it? But thanks to God we get through it. C. N.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I think what you are going through is quite normal! Chances are, you will get over it, but in your own time. You don't just get over things that are close to your heart, at the drop of a dime.

I am a mess right a long with you! I have already sent my daughter off to college, which broke my heart, but I did get over it. You just have to get through it first, in order to begin the process of getting "over it". I thought I would never get through this, but in time I did.

But where my mess comes in, is when I lost my father first and then my grandmother. No one understood me either!

I was very very close to my grandmother. My father went first on Christmas Eve, which broke my grandmother's heart. She didn't want to celebrate Christmas after that. I was hurt for the loss of my father, but more for the pain I saw my grandmother go through. Two years later, I lost my grandmother to a tumor in the brain. She was so sweet, she never wanted to say she was in pain, so when I thought she was suffering I would ask if she was alright and she would just say it was pressure, but it didn't hurt. I spent every last day with her until she passed. I thought I would never stop crying. Christmas was the hardest for me, because she always made that day so special. For YEARS, I cried at the sound of Christmas carols and the sight of Santa and all the happy little children. I would torture myself, if I was near her house and drive by to take a look at he old house we shared so many memories. Christmas Eve was a down day, although that was my father's day, I thought very heavily of my grandmother. My heart hurt and I thought I would never be the same. I kept a lot of it inside because no one understood. My husband would try to get me up and try to make the day as normal as possible and would be angered when I couldn't get up. It made me feel worse that he didn't understand.

Looking back, I can see how difficult and draining my reactions to the holiday's must have been for everyone around me, but I couldn't help it. It has been about 15 years since my father passed and about 13 years since my grandmother passed. I don't go look at the dates and try not to focus on that because I am doing much better now. Christmas is a happy day for me again and there is usually no more sad depressing moments of the past.

So...look forward to the day you are feeling better. Try to take whatever steps you can to get through this and you will feel better. People don't understand because they are not suffering in the same way you are, but I am most certain they don't mean you any harm. Further, you will always be a needed mom. My oldest is 24 and I still make her favorite dish from time to time and sometimes send her to work with a home packed lunch. She leaves with a childhood smile and we are both happy.

Just know in your heart, you will feel better and you are not alone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

All the advice previously sent is wonderful. I really have nothing to add; just wanted to say I was diagnosed bipolar @ 16yr old and understand that most people don't understand how you feel. I can say that trying to explain things to those around you may help both parties in understanding what happens with this "set-back" (that is how I see my problem). Also let them know that it is partially caused by nureons in the brain not communicating as well as they should. Ask hubby or daughter or a friend to help out with walking the mall before it opens or at the park (do this daily it will help the seretonin to reach destination much easier) Seretonin is the feel good chemical in the brain.
Good Luck and God Bless you.
Lots of Love

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

First off I want to tell you that you are NOT alone in this world. I
know it may seem like it and your days may be confusing, but there is hope and help. Next I want to ask if are in Counseling, that is a big help and something you really need to do for yourself.

It is very hard for families to understand when something like this happens, I know first hand, I suffer from epilepsy, and depression and it's no fun. As far as people telling you to get over it and on with your life, that is really an excuse because they don't know what else to say to you. It's still hard for them to understand that any type of Depression, Mental Illness, or Brain Injury is a real Medical Problem. That's not to excuse them though, they should try to do some research on the subject.

I would suggest that you check with your Doctor's if there are any National Organization's that can give you and your loved one's more information about Bi-Polar. I did this after I was finally diagnosed with epilepsy and it really helped. They had a lot of information about how it not only affected everyone different, but how it's affects are different on men and women because of hormones. I'm sure a lot is similar with Bi-Polar, as I know a lot of the same medications are used when treating them.

I also have an 18 yr. old daughter and I can't believe how fast she has grown up. It seems just like yesterday I was changing diapers and now I'm alone a lot of the time as well. I know it's hard and no one can tell you how you should feel, please don't get
so down on yourself. You are not a mess, it's just a hard time and to make things worse you have an illness that most people don't understand.

I hope your husband will get some more information about this as well. It will help him understand your needs and then he will be able to help you better and things will start to get better.

Here's wishing you all of God's Best,
Kathy A.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi Vicki,

Have you discussed your true feelings to your husband? Maybe if you explained to him how you are feeling and that you really miss the times you had five years ago,he would understand what you need and be willing to spend more time with you. You could suggest to him at least 1 night a week that he spends with you- for quality time doing whatever you enjoy( movies, cuddling on the couch etc). Also, I don't know if you like to fish or not, but you may want to go with him one night a week also--take interest in something he enjoys...I think those things are a good way to reconnect emotionally. Also, maybe one of the reasons he says that he wants to relax from a hard weeks work-every night, is that he is still trying to understand your bi-polar diagnosis. He may be unsure of how to react to you, your needs, how he fits in etc, and thats his way of dealing with it.

I hope this helps you.... You sound like a very strong lady and if you really open up to your husband, he may be more receptive than you would think. Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

You are okay, just remember that. You will always be a mom and someday a grandma. The hardest part of our children growing up is letting go. We really don't let go. You will always be needed.

Trust in this. I am a mom of a 25 year old son who has his own place with his new love. He only lives a mile away, but I don't see him that much, he calls me everyday. But you better believe it when he needs sometimes he runs to mom, and I love that. At 18 they want so much to be grown. They try so hard to prove to you and themselves that they are grown, but in their hearts of hearts they know that you are their for them. You have done a great job raising your daughter that she needs to be independent.
just remember, she will always need you. I still need my mom and
I heading toward 50. lol... You will end up being her best friend. Go with the flow.

Now over the years of being married, I have come to realize that we all need our space. I insist on my husband taking his vacation by himself at least once a year. He always goes to the same place. It's where his dad lives. He goes fishing, hunting and all the man stuff. Things I don't like. We do go on a vacation together, we plan it together, he knows what I like and what I don't like, if there is something he wants to do and I don't want like parasailing, I will go along, will not to it, but will take pictures and encourge him. He then will do the same for me. You have to really communicate with him. Find something that you can do together, golf, tennis, bowling,bingo,ballroom dancing, only you know him. If he likes fishing, buy him some fishing gear, I believe this touches the heart and soul of a man. Remember also men do not like to hear about sickness or mental problems, they seem to run like scared rabbits. But if they get sick watch out, they will come running to you. Please really read up on bi-polar, they are so many people in this country that have (mental illness) there are ways to cope with out meds. Think about it did you grandparents have meds for stress or pills to pop everytimes something did seem right?
Look for natural cures. Be good to yourself. And remember you are a great mom and wife. Add some mystery into your marriage. Make him long for you. Surprise him.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

have you told your told your husband about your feeling of loneiess maybe try and set up date nights to go out to movie ect... and with your daughter i went though the same thing with my sister... i raised her so she was like a daughter to me... and i felt like she was leaving me behind she even move for cal to ark.. and it about broke my heart i cried a many night's but she just recenley had a baby and came back to cali.. it has been wounderful we are closer know than we have ever been becuase of what she expericed moving away and having a baby... sometimes we have to let them go to let them grow and become close over the things that you still have now that she is older maybe plan day's at the spa.. mother daughter makeovers.. stuff that a woman her age would enjoy...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Wow honey, you sound so stressed out. Is there any way you can plan a little get away with your husband? A small vacation? Plan something relaxing, lots of time to re-connect. You both sound like you need this. Also, do you ever go fishing with your guy? I just went golfing with mine and it was a blast. We are active together, playing sports and trying new activities like country western dancing! It is important to keep moving forward in life, through all the changes. You will get through this...just be open to new things and try mixing it up every once in a while.
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

First, I'm wondering whether you got a second opinion on the bi-polar. A mis-diagnosis along with being given the wrong meds could really mess with you (and everyone around you). If your meds are "good", you shouldn't be feeling the exaggerated mood swings anymore - not that you shouldn't feel sadness about letting your daughter go, and believe it or not, you will (to some degree) probably have to go through the 5 stages of grief. The up-side of this is that you will see her again and your relationship with her will evolve into something else that is wonderful as you watch her begin her own journey through adulthood.
As for your relationship with your husband, it sounds like it might be time for that to evolve too. I agree with the others that suggest you become interested in what he likes to do now. He may have decided that the best way to avoid conflict with you was to find something to do without you. It's not your fault that you've become bi-polar, but it's not his fault that he probably wishes things were the way they used to be. For the last 5 years you have been so focused on your issues and needs, and now your daughter leaving, it sounds like it might be time for you to focus on him, just like you did when you were starting out and it was just the 2 of you. It might help you get centered too - having someone other than yourself to think about.
Good luck.

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