Is There Anyone Else Going Through This in Their Relationship?

Updated on January 21, 2010
C.G. asks from Seymour, CT
24 answers

I am having a very similar situation go on in my life right now. My husband has gone thogouhg a lot medically in his life and it had been a pretty tough at times. He seems to get stuck in his mysery and justs stays in our room for most of the day, I work full time, my mom comes to the house to watch my 2 year old gorgeous, wonderful children who are the light of my life. This has been on and off issuse should I stay or should I go? Ican't figure out if staying or leaving is the worst evil. I cannot even fatham relinquishing my control in terms of raising them to him for a couple days of week. I am so blessed, my boys are so happy and very well behaved. A true pleaseure to be around. (They do ofcourse have their moments!!!) but I ask my self what I ever did to deserve them. I just want to give them the best life possible. Any time I try and talk to husband he turns it around on me and that I think I am so perfect and I don't do anything. He had surgery in early Dec and I continue to work full time. HE spends about 85% of his day in our room by himself. He doesn't get up and do anything unless he feels like it. When he is a good mood is is daddy and husdand of the year so I feel torn. I'm thinking about journaling to really take a look at what happens after the fact and assess whether there are more times of happiness or not and maybe the answer is that easy. I love him, know that I can't change him, but never thought he we provide such a small role in the life of our child/family. Sometimes he makes promises or says he'll do something and then backs out on it. When I get upset about it he turns it around and finds something to get pissed at me about. He the kind where its one set of rules for him and another for everyone else. Any words of advise...when it comes to my kids i have a no excuse/tollerance for bullcrap and difunctionalism rule!!!

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P.K.

answers from New York on

I guess, what I am thinking is, the vows say in sickness
and in health. IMO that means you need to hang on and do
what you can for him. Stand by you man. I had been
critically ill for quite some time. My husband stood by
me thru it all. Now we have a friend who is ill staying
with us and he is equally as caring for her. I think you
need to stand by him and get him thru this time. He may
need some therapy. Good luck.

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J.G.

answers from New York on

I feel terrible for you. Have you discussed this with his doctor (privately)? I went thru this w/ someone in my family. They were severely depressed and their medication made the depression worse. I told the doctor, and the doctor spoke with them and treated them for depression and changed the meds. They're not 100% but much better. I hope this helps. Men don't want to talk about this stuff....it is tough. I hope this was somewhat helpful.

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K.S.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I'm seconding this. Your husband sounds depressed. In men, it rarely shows in the forms of tears, more in moodiness and snapping and anger, but the spending all his time alone in the bedroom is definitely a red flag for it. Is he being treated for it? Does he see someone to help with this?

You don't say what his physical issues are, but depression is not uncommon in people who are suffering major health issues. And it needs to be addressed, because depressed people don't recover from illness or surgery as well as happy people - it's been shown in scientific studies.

If he won't do anything or talk to anybody, maybe you can call his Dr and let him or her know your concerns. S/he may have no idea, your husband may be hiding it.

Good luck!
K.

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K.P.

answers from New York on

I know that this isn't going to sound nice, but here goes...

Is this a pattern that you would like to see your children repeat? Children learn how to treat people from their parents. If you would be comfortable having your children model their future relationships after yours, then stick it out, get into therapy (marital or individual) and try to make it work.

If you feel like this situation has not/will not get better and you do not want your children to accept the situation as "normal" or resent you keeping them in the house, then get things in place and ask him to leave. Open an account in your own name, make sure you have credit in your name, make sure your cell is in your name... look for rentals for him. Your children need the stability of being in their home with their things so your husband is the one who should leave for a while.

My neighbor went through something very similar last year and this was the advice that I gave her (I'm a psychologist, so she took it pretty seriously). She asked him to leave b/c she didn't want her daughter to think that their marriage was "normal". She was very torn-up and they tried several times to go to counseling, but eventually she decided that his unwillingness to put effort into their family was not okay and she filed for divorce.

This is an absolutely life-changing decision for you and you would be best advised to seek-out some counseling for yourself while you figure things out. Keep him in the loop and invite him to join you, but don't be surprised if things get worse before they get better. Stay strong and remember that you are the first and most important teacher for your children.

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D.S.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

I would make an appointment with a counselor ASAP. If your husband refuses to go then go for you. Living under this type of stress is not good for you either. It does sound like your husband is suffering from depression and needs help, but you need help also. If you are dealing with all of the responsibility yourself then without support it is going to take it's toll on you. If you get sick then who will be there for your children. It is time to take action and the first step is a counselor. If your husband is willing to get help then that is even better, but if not then do it for you and your boys. I wish Good luck to you. Dealing with mental illness is very tough, and if the person who is suffering is not willing to help themselves then that is not your cross to bear. As far as if you get a divorce and him have partial custody, if he is mentally ill then I would think he would not be able to have unsupervised visits. I am not sure so I would also get advise from an attorney before you make any moves. If you go to a counselor and he is found to be mentally ill then I would think that may help you in your divorce custody agreement should you choose to do so. But get advise from professionals before you make any decisions. Good luck to you and your family.

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L.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,
I feel you. I'm sorry about what is going on in your life.
I would ask myself and then asnwer truthfully this question:
Is love still there?
Do you two still love each other or have the ups and downs erase all the feelings for each other?
What about respect?
Listen to your inner self. Do a serious soul search to see if your marriage is worth saving: for you and your hubby or maybe for the twins.
What I understood from your situation is that your hubby is in so much pain and he doesn't know how to communicate that with you so it ends up like he is not interested in his family anymore. Also I think he wants someone to feel the pain he is feeling(since he is so bad at communicating it) hence he lashes out at you whenever you try to discuss any issue.
It would be nice to raise those adorable twins of yours together with their dad.
I'll say a prayer for your family.
L..
Helping Moms Work From Home.

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L.G.

answers from New York on

Your husband sounds depressed. Is he getting any medical help concerning it?

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C.H.

answers from New York on

From what u described, he seems depressed - not just unmotivated. Depression is also an illness that can sometimes be triggered by (or accompanying) ongoing medical issues. And it can creep up slowly. Explore this w/ him and his doc before throwing your marriage away. With adjustments to or the addition of meds and perhaps counseling for both of you, you could keep your family intact and find happiness again. Best wishes.

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A.H.

answers from New York on

he sounds like he has depressions. alot of people after major illness have this. Talk to his dr. tell him about him staying in his room, about his moods. tell the dr. to talk to your husband.. maybe you both cango to counseling.. call his dr. first. see if meds will help him regain what he used to be. good luck.. try the dr. first before you move..

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R.Y.

answers from New York on

It really sounds like your husband is depressed. You didn't say what his medical issues are but it wouldn't be a surprise if it was related to that. Medical problems put a lot of stress on the whole family especially the healthy spouse who has to do way more than half the work (at least in the short term). See if you can find a way to get him to counseling or assessed for depression (sometimes a nurse of doctor will recommend it if he is being seem for medical issues). Depression is one of the most common and most treatable mental health issues.

Couples counseling is an option as well. Make sure he is aware how serious you are about needing things to change (a big reason for couples counseling to fail is if one partner has already given up on the relationship so it is better to go sooner than later). If he flat out refused counseling or working with you to improve the situation then it is time to decide about the pros and cons of leaving vs. staying. You can always go to a counselor yourself. I personally like journaling as a way to figure out the specifics of a problem or situation as well as to clarify your own feelings.

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A.D.

answers from New York on

I agree with everyone else that your husband is definitely depressed, whether his medical condition and/or medications brought it on or just made it worse, he's depressed!

The first thing you need to do is to get him to address this and depending on his medical problems, it may be more difficult. Depression hurts the whole family, especially your children.

He also needs to be the full-time care provider for your children, unless he is physically unable to do so because of his surgery. If you are uncomfortable with having him do this, you will need to look at the reasons why. Is it because you can't get him to get out of his room and function as an adult? If so, and for many similar reasons, treating the depression should improve this. If treating the depression doesn't resolve the issues, then you may want to run. Also, if he is not caring for the kids, he needs to be working (assuming he is physically able to do so), no matter what his background is, he can seek work through a temp agency if there are no full-time jobs currently available.

Finally, I think it would be good to see a marriage counselor. I think he needs to take steps probably through counseling AND medication to treat his depression and rejoin the world, but if that doesn't improve the day to day interaction between the 2 of you, you maybe should consider seeing a therapist together. They can help teach you new ways to communicate without him turning everything around and making it about you.

It is very hard as a mother being the primary (or sole) breadwinner, and being the lioness fiercely defending her cubs (although that one comes naturally), and to feel guilty about not being the one caring for them, and not trusting anyone to do as good a job as you could if you didn't have to work full time, and to have the financial pressures of being the one working full time, and to make every single decision in your family's life, and on and on. Men, at most, have half of these pressures (unless they are a single parent). Although, they may replace the pressure with feelings of inadequacy if they are in the role of caregiver instead of breadwinner. You have a lot on your plate, especially with twins, you need the support of your husband. I hope you are able to convince him to seek help for his depression. As one of the other mamas said, maybe you could speak to his dr and have the dr adress it at his next appointment (assuming he has frequent checkups).

Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from New York on

Hi - I think your journal is a great idea. You may want to consider counseling for yourself to talk through how you are feeling or try marriage counseling. It is sad how sometimes people change after having children or whatever. I spent years trying to decide whether to move on and I am so glad I did. Good luck!

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W.T.

answers from New York on

Wow, you have a lot on your plate with work, kids, and helping your husband, too. I have two suggestions that go together. First, you see a counselor. Technically, he's the one that needs it, but you're the one who sees the problem and you need to be cared for. Second, though he needs to see a doctor, it sounds like he'll pin any problems back on you (totally unfair, but the reality you're working with) -- so I wonder if there would be a way to go to couple's therapy (can you sell that idea to him? if you see a counselor, they may have strategies for getting him to come and talk, too). You need care and he needs help. Both of those are essential.

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L.L.

answers from New York on

Okay, I'm with the others on him being depressed which is nothing to be toyed with for sure, but there's a small part of me that can't help thinking- get over it! (your husband- not you.) I don't know the specifics on what sort of medical problems he has, but life isn't fair and sometimes you just have to suck it up. It sounds like he's blessed with a very, very forgiving, hard-working, generous wife and 2 beautiful, healthy children. Plenty of people have much less.

Sorry to sound harsh. I just have a low tolerance for people that mope around, wanting what they don't have and like I said- no clue what's going on medically but if he's healthy enough to verbally make promises that he can't keep, than he's healthy enough to look around and realize how fortunate he really is.

Good luck to you.
Lynsey

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D.M.

answers from New York on

Hi C.
This is EXACTLY my situation. My husband has a medical issue and it has made him do exactly what your husband is doing. I feel the same way. I just started seeing a psychologist who is helping me work through how to react to him and help me make a decision about the future.
Not that I have any words of wisdom yet, just wanted to let you know I'm in the same situation.
D.

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A.B.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

Yes your hubby sounds depressed. If his illness has anything to do with a heart issue i.e an M.I, or congestive heart failure, the likely hood of depression is so much greater. Also if it was life threatening, when people are faced with their mortality it's an eye opener and they become depressed because of what they have NOT accomplished. Can you speak to his MD and find out if is medical condition could lead to depresion? He might be able to counsel you on how to deal with your husband. This aside you need to take care of you and the boys. Seek counseling with your husband and if he is unwilling then start with yourself. I wish you good luck and hope it can all work out.

M.V.

answers from New York on

hey C.....i'm so sorry to hear you're goin thru this hard time right now. my sister went thru a similar situation and therapy was suggested but he refused to go and eventually they separated. i would say sit him down or go out to dinner and hold his hands look him in the eyes and tell him that you want to work things out and that you'll take it one day at a time and that couples therapy has shown to work. you can go online to your health carrier's web address and look them up, so it won't be too costly. your husband sounds like he's depressed so i would suggest you guys try that. if he refuses, maybe you could go by yourself, atleast you can clear it up for yourself and thru therapy believe me you're eyes become wide open and you become more confident about yourself! good luck with everything, M. - formerly in therapy =)

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T.L.

answers from Syracuse on

I don't know what kind of surgery he had or what kind of mental health help he is getting but it sounds like he is very depressed. My partner had a major surgery almost three years ago and has been depressed since. She was recently diagnosed with Celiac and has had to cut gluten out of her diet. Amazingly this has helped her mood incredibly. Celiac can cause all kinds of other medical problems that seem to have no cause. It can be brought on by a major surgery or trauma in one's life. I Am starting to get my sweet partner back after several years of what you described in your request. I suggest you have him tested for a gluten sensitivity. It could make a huge difference for him, and you.

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K.P.

answers from New York on

C.,
I want to be an encouragement to you and your marriage. Yes your husband may be depressed but you can definitely help be the greatest motivator for change in your house. Just as negativity is infectious, positivity can be too. Start every day with a list of the things you are grateful for each day add some new things for about one week. Gently share these things with your husband after your one week of keeping it to yourself. Refer back to these thoughts of gratitude through out your day. Open a dialog with your husband about the things he is grateful for. His ability or inabilty to answer and the answers given will give you some insight into if he is suffering from depression or not.

Depression can't be toyed with it is very serious and the depressed person can't get out of the depression without help. He may not even recognize he is depressed. Depression becomes a problem of unbalanced brain chemistry and may require medication if exercise can't be done to help rebalance the chemistry of the brain. Get him some help, does he have friends who can come in and interact and motivate him towards positive change?

He needs to be responsible for more than just himself. It may be an excellent idea for you to let him spend more time caring for the children. You didn't have these babies by yourself and he was there for that party, so he should have a problem being there for the other part (raising them). You may want to have a conversation with his doctor or doctors to see if there are any health related limitations which they can give you some insight into his physical ability to help with the children.

Perhaps you and/or the kids can take a one to two week sabaticle to your moms. This may help everyone to see the bigger picture. Tell him how you are feeling, then show him how you are feeling. When he does something you enjoy play it up, celebrate it. When he does something you don't like, go right back to making a bigger deal out of the things he is doing right. If you focus on the good stuff you will get more good stuff.

Sorry for throwing everything at you like this but you have so many options. Exercise them all. I would also add you get some counseling for yourself. Journaling is great but being able to get some additional insight from others is wise too. Journaling helps to take you out of the moment while giving you the opportunity to perhaps gain some better vantage point on how to resolve this. The greatest thing for you to know is you get to choose how you are going to react, feel and respond to events in your marriage. You may have to fight for the best marriage ever because it is worth fighting for. You tell your husband you are fighting for a better husband, a better father and a better marriage because anything less just won't do. Ask him to help you in this fight. I just want to see you on the other side of this with a happier resolve and a better life.

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M.A.

answers from New York on

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Is your husband Bipolar? He sounds a lot like my own father, whom my mother left when i was young.

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L.M.

answers from New York on

Hi C.,

It sounds like he is clinically depressed. I would try to get him to see a doctor. I know how difficult that is because I go through that with my husband as well. He cannot be told he needs help, he needs to realize it himself. Check out depression on webmd.com and see if they have any suggestions on bringing this up to him.

Good luck, and hang in there!! And whatever you do, believe in yourself. It is hard to stay strong and positive when living with someone if they are depressed. Just remember, if he IS depressed, his words and actions are the depression talking, not really him.

Good luck,
L.

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V.P.

answers from New York on

C.,
I got the chills when I read this...... I am in the exact same situation. It goes from bad to good..... but it's been mostly bad. We have a 3 year old girl. My boyfriend has suffered from severe depression, he has been hospitalized for it. He is in bed all the time... only does what he wants.. it has been so hard to deal with. I go back and forth all the time on whether to get out of this. I make the money work full time, hire nanny's to care for baby. There have been times when I was going to kick him out because I could not afford him. I have no advice for you, just empathy. I have/am been there as well.
Recently something interesting happened.... I fell apart... I got depressed, I still took care of our daughter but he knew I was not in good shape...I was cracking under the pressure, and he sort of got himself together, so he is actually good right now. It's so hard, he has been in therapy, taken medication, but honestly it's no cure. If you ever need to speak with someone who gets it and will not judge I am here for you, because that has been the worst tourment for me on top of the actual situation. Everyone has a judgement or opinion on my situation... I still love my boyfriend also, and for now I am choosing to stay with him.I'll tell you Through this experience I can not believe what I am capable of.. and you with twins!!! you must be even that much more amazing!!! Anyway, I could write all day on this!!! I wish you strength and peace of mind! V.... i'll give you all my contacts just in case cell:###-###-#### txt or call and my email is [email protected]____.com

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J.F.

answers from Rochester on

I am with the others. Your husband is sounding depressed. I would start there. Have you tried to have a heart to heart with him about this?! If you find it hard to talk to him about it, write him a letter -- I find I can say a lot more in writing. I know it sounds silly, but maybe he would understand and "listen" to you if you did this.

Now, My husband is not sick and has had no medical issues yet he doesnt help me very much with the kids. He works from home and he is in his office and on his computer 24/7 because to him its all about the money. *sigh* and that just made him out to a much worse person than I meant to. I love him dearly. However, I hit my frustration levels too and I wonder what life would be like if I made a choice to leave, the truth for me is I never could.

Take some time to think about things and maybe try some marriage counseling before calling it quits. If he wont agree then he doesnt want to try and the call is yours.

Good luck and I hope you are ok.

J.

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G.S.

answers from New York on

My husband was diagnosed w/cancer in Sept of 2008. It was like he took on a total transformation - like he wanted to stop or put on hold everything we as a family have done & felt. Almost to protect him and us from getting any closer..........just incase. You mention that your husband has been thru a lot medically, could it be a condition that could worsen & maybe in his own way preparing for you and the children for life w/out him. I don't mean to sound morbid, I'm just looking for some more info to maybe help you figure this out. My husband went thru a huge depression between that and being laid off from a job he'd worked in the industry for over 20 yrs. Again, I'm not trying to pry, just wanted to see if I could offer a little insight. Good luck!

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