Need Advice from Ladies That Can See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Updated on August 30, 2010
K.S. asks from Tampa, FL
11 answers

Ladies....going through stress right now as husbands work is really bugging him and he is grouchy and downright not happy. He insists I don't understand (I do, but I think it's best to leave pressures at work at work....or at least for the most part...unload and then get on with life). So he's grumpy around home, isolates himself, is short with me and the kids. He has some health issues, but not life threatening. All in all our life could be wonderful, but he falls into a funk and stays there for what seems like weeks (sometimes is). Yes, I think he suffers from depression. We've been to marriage counseling and he even mentioned he would like to see someone on the side but has yet to do it. What I would love, is for the women out there that can share how they keep a positive attitude when situations like this arise. We are Christians, however, he doesn't attend worship much (I go regularly with the kids). He is not a drug or alcohol abuser. Thanks for listening.

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So What Happened?

The responses were all read and I thank you all. I don't give him the respect he craves as I have hurt feelings by the way he talks to me. I feel like he doesn't even love me at times because of either the way he says something to me or by what he says (or doesn't say). It seems like I have to separate my own feelings out so I can think of what he needs at this time...putting the others needs before my own....

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answers from Minneapolis on

Some background: I have a job that sucks, and at times I have gotten very beat up mentally at work. My husband's world is pretty consistent and he doesn't go up and down the way I do. I get into funks, I get down, I feel defeated and without hope for change. It effects me at home- my husband asks me to leave it behind but mentally I can't shut it of.

What I need from my husband is to give me the space and comfort to get through this. When he doesn't respect those "desires" it is easy to get frustrated with him. I have never wanted to see other people or anything of that sort but it is definately an issue where I question why he can't understand/respect my wishes. Depression/Anxiety do run in my family and he sounds like he deals with issues as I do- so getting him to try to go to a doctor for treatment would be good.

Have you been to marriage counseling for this or other issues? Do you have date nights? Does he have a hobby or something that could take his mind off of the issues? Could you go for family bike rides or walks after dinner? I would much rather have him get me engaged in some sort of other activity than to tell me to let stuf go because I know that isn't how I should be. It is just way too hard to shut some things off.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't want to scare you but I hope my story will help you get your husband help before it's too late. My husband began this spiral after his 30th birthday last year and I thought it was an early mid life crisis. He was distant and complained that he no longer found joy in life. I couldn't understand because I was able to find joy everyday in our children. I took it personal and as much as I tried to empathize I could not help him. He saw a doctor and was put on various anti-depressents that he claimed didn't work. He suffered from anxiety that made him very tense mostly around me and the kids. At work, he succeeded but at home he voiced his unhappiness and stress with his job as if it were the plague. He sought counseling. Eventually he found a coworker from out of town and after talking online for months, they consumated the affair. He says it didn't bring him joy and came from his feelings of depression and despair. When I found out about his affair and left he tried to take his life saying life was not worth living without his family. He has been under close care since then and after taking 6 weeks medical leave from work to get help, he is back at work and is trying to change his thinking patterns. Medicine doesn't help, as much as changing the way they thing. Thinking in the moment rather than becoming cosumed by the past or future is one thing that has helped him. Also, trying to focus on the positive because all he seems to see is negative. He has to find out where the pain and suffering is coming from in his mind and stop it (easier said than done).

My husband went from mild depression to a suicide attempt in a year. He became so destructive with his own life without regard to his family. The whole time he had a loving family accepting him without conditions. I have been with him for 13 years and he has never shown signs of this. He is well educated and has a successful job that affords us a great life (on the outside). If this can happen to me it can happen to anyone. Get your husband help right away and read, read, read. There are various books out there to help if you are both open to it. Try Eckert Tolle's Power of Now or New Earth and The Four Agreements by Ruiz.

I wish I could provide positive advice in regard to your husband but I can only give YOU positive advice. Stay true to who you are. Know that what he is going through has NOTHING to do with you. When you start to change who you are because of his moods you become depressed as well. Continue to pass all the happiness and joy you can on to your kids. A book that may help you is Walking on Eggshells.

Good luck,



answers from Tallahassee on

Men find their identity from the work they do just as we women do from our home and family. Try to be understanding of how difficult it is for him to separate himself but at the same time tell him how much you need him to engage with you and the kids too! Don't forget to tell him how much you respect him for going to work every day and taking his job seriously and how proud you are of his efforts to provide for you. Tell him how much this means to you also! I heard the author of "Love and Respect" (great book, by the way) suggest going into the room and saying, "honey, I was thinking of all the things I really respect about you today." and then leave the room ready for him to perk up and find you to ask what they are. Be ready to tell him some authentic things. If you keep up the respect, maybe he'll actually FEEL the love. That's how it works. I KNOW it's difficult to respect a disengaged "bump on a log" BELIEVE ME. I'm married to one who drifts off in to no man's land often too! Someone has got to start the ball rolling though and men need respect JUST as much as women need love! Good luck and God bless!



answers from Las Vegas on

I think reading the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by Dr. John Gray may help you understand why your husband is acting the way he is right now. I try not to buy into stereotypes too often but I do think that men are wired to deal with stress differently than women. Maybe this book will help you understand your husband's perspective a little bit better.

As for the light at the end of the tunnel, I don't even know where to begin . . . I think that everyone has hard times, some more so than others and I have seen my fare share of really low moments. But even during those times where I felt that life was particularly unfair or like my world was going to cave in, I just did my best to stay optimistic. You know that whole, "Where one door closes, another door opens," type of thing. And I knew that for me to be able to help other people like I do, I need to experience certain life experiences myself. Sucky times do occur and they can last quite a while but, if you go with the flow and look for the signs for what you are supposed to do next, then you can transition yourself out of your bad time into something that may even be better than before. It's just a matter of keeping the faith.

Hope this helps you to see the light at the end of your tunnel as well. Sending prayers your way.



answers from Tampa on

Good morning!
I am glad to hear you are Christians as believe it or not it will make getting through this alot easier then not. My husband and I are Christians as well and although we do not attend worship as we should will still give our lives to Christ everyday. A little over a year ago my husband worked for a company that put a horrible strain on our marriage and at first he did not even see what it was doing. I gotta tell you my faith in God was sooooo tested at that time and you know it probably would have been super easy to take that commonly followed road, but instead I stood on my faith and relied on God to work through my husband and myself and get us through that extremely hard time.
I am not sure what exactly he is having to deal with at work, but everyones walk is different. God will show him, bless him and help him. Believe that! However it is our jobs as God has chosen us for them to help lift them up not force or nag or point out things that they are doing...not saying you do that but I know I did for quite a bit of time without realizing that when you are pointing you have 3 fingers pointing back at you. I did ALOT of prayer and not only for him but for me too. Stay focused on God, love your husband and family the only way you know how and trust this too shall pass.
Hope that helped and you will be in my prayers!


answers from Austin on

You are not alone. Many men seem to go down this road at some point and they commonly shut down when they feel helpless. It is wonderful that you are reaching out for help. My husband and I received the "Power of Praying" books from Stormie O'Martian from a friend. She discusses a lot about these situations and gives you prayer ideas and scriptures for each area. I trully enjoyed "Power of a Praying Wife" and would recommend it for any marraige. The other book I would recommend is "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerich, or the seminar DVDs. Sometimes, as wives of struggling men, we must go the extra mile to help them find their way and know that they are respected and appreciated. And many times we have to go about it secretly so we don't crush their spirit further. With God there is always light at the end of the tunnel. :) I believe, wholeheartedly, that your family will be delivered from this and find tremendous blessing in the near future. Godspeed.



answers from Miami on

Sounds like my hubby! I don't have much advice, but you're not alone! As a SAHM I'm sometimes the same way to him that he is because he just doesn't understand what its like to be with 2 children 18 hours a day =) I hope things smooth over for you. I don't think you need counseling as much as you need a vacation! Just my opinion. Good luck!



answers from Miami on

Hi K.,
I was in your EXACT situation years ago! We are also Chrtistians and my husband was always grumpy and tired and stressed about work and felt depressed and isolated himself. I tried getting him on antidepressants but he wouldn't. One day my friend recommended NANO-GREENS, it changed our life! Within a few days my husbands demeaner changed- he wasn't depressed- he was nutrient deprived! Nano-greens is a concentrated formula of 10 times the daily serving of fruits and vegetables. My entire family and I are on it (including my 2 & 3 yr olds) it is amazing and saved my marriage, I would definetly get it.



answers from Washington DC on

Help him get into an exercise or de-stress routine. When hubby is stressed he either mows the lawn ALL DAY or goes ATV riding.


answers from Dallas on

He's unhappy with work and probably recents the fact that you don't seem to care. Yes I know you do as you mentioned but if you don't give him encouragment he might not see it that way. What you want is your husbands happiness and if he's not happy @ work he will not be should always make him feel that he comes before anything other than your chilren of course. Maybe you should sit and talk to him and ask if there's anything you can do to help him. Show him you care that's all it takes. Love!



answers from Boise on

I think your husband sounds like a normal guy that doesn't like his job. I think he needs you, not a counselor, to talk to him about what is bothering him at work, and then give him some sympathy. My husband likes it a lot when I make a lot of eye contact and stop what I am doing when he is talking to me. Otherwise, even if I am listening to him, he assumes I am not. He talks to me a lot more when I do this. He also likes to have some quiet time when he gets home to unwind and hide in his cave. Maybe he needs to start thinking about another line of work or a change in his job. Try and think how you would talk to a girlfriend that was stressed and hated her job. This a good way to make sure you are not being too momish or naggy when he talks to you.

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