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I need your help to help my wife(36 Posts)
I'm not sure how to start this thread, so i'll just plunge straight in.
I met my wife at work a few years ago, and every time i saw her i got a lump in my throat and my heart would start banging like a drummer on speed.
We spoke a few times and i discovered that she's from Turkey, then i finally plucked up the courage to ask her out by writing a letter and getting a friend to translate it.
We got married ten months later, and we're still very much in love, but there's a huge problem that i can't see how to fix and i really want some help because i want my wife to be happy.
She's been here for almost 6 years now, and when she came over she was studying English. She's been working since then, but most of the friends she made have gone back to their respective countries.
She has a couple of friends at work, but not many as she prefers to have a few good friends than dozens of average ones. Outside of that, she barely knows anyone.
She gets on well with my friends, both male and female (they're almost all couples now), but is convinced that she would be a bother to them if she saw them socially without me.
She also gets bored very easily, and with her working weekends in a rubbish job and me working during the week, she has little to do.
I've tried interesting her in various hobbies, i've tried to cajole her into meeting up with her few friends, but she doesn't want to, as there are more complications.
She has a hearing problem due to having mumps when she was little, and is half deaf in one ear, and a quarter deaf in the other. This means she can't hear certain sounds, so she can't make them, giving her a slight speech impediment.
Despite being degree educated and having done several courses over here in her second language that would make my eyes pop if i tried to do them, she rarely gets an interview and when she does she says people are automatically assuming her English is bad, not her hearing.
The same goes for social situations and many people do find it difficult to understand her.
On top of that, she has hypothyroidism, which makes her depressed a lot of the time, and on top of THAT she's in the middle of being diagnosed with something that looks suspiciously like Crohn's disease, which makes even going out and having a coffee a risk, and can leave her in crippling pain all day, never mind actually daring to have lunch out.
In short, the woman i love is having a really, really hard time. She wants to meet like-minded people, or to develop a hobby or interest, but she's been knocked down, knocked back or rebuffed so many times that she's close to giving up.
I've even offered to move back to Turkey with her if that's what she wants, but she thinks our kids (when we have them) will have a better education and a better chance at life if they grow up in the UK.
She doesn't want to take anti-depressants, although she recognises that she's getting depressed, and i agree that they aren't the way forward.
What i do need, however, is some helpful advice because we both want to be as happy and stress-free as possible before we start trying to get pregnant.
Thanks in advance.
Have you tried googling support groups in your local area? Maybe for partially deaf people or the area where you stay have a lot of Turkish people? Could they have a group thing going on? Try city socializer (I think that's what it's called) there will be a group near you for sure and she can meet folk that way.
One thing: she does need to be proactive in trying to meet and make friends. IME they don't just turn up out of the blue without effort so she needs to make the commitment iyswim.
I can't help at all (sorry) but you sound lovely and I really hope you and your wife get some support and useful advice on here - I'm sure you will. Good luck xx
I Ditto Fillybuster. I have no experience of this
Thanks guys. Quitelikely, i think the partially deaf group is a good idea, in particular, i'll look into it. As for the Turkish community, she tries to avoid them over here as not only are they incredibly nosey, the more she speaks Turkish the harder it is for her to improve her English! Thanks for the thoughts, and you're right, she does need to be more proactive!
Thank you Fillybuster, i live in hope! x
To be honest if you do want kids maybe you should get on with enjoying having them now! Having a little baby makes you meet so many people, at all the groups, and they are much more friendly than people would otherwise be.
Why do you think anti depressants aren't the way forward? They are very helpful, do not have to be a long term thing and many many people use them to help them cope through difficult periods in their lives.
Is it worth going to the doctors and just discuss some options?
I don't think you should try to solve these problems for her. As a Rescuer this is difficult to hear. I would let her articulate her problems and then help her find her own solutions.
The medical problems are the most serious. If she refuses to take anti-depressants, what is she willing to try?
Does she have a hearing aid? You don't mention this. If she doesn't, then I would seriously suggest she gets one immediately. They are very discreet.
To me this sounds like awful isolation through various factors. You say you've suggested various hobbies - are these for her, or are they joint activities? My impressions is that she needs a lot of support - which you are clearly giving her but could you maybe do some salsa classes or some other kind of evening activities together - amdram?
I love Turkish food - and any kind of middle eastern food. And so many people go to Turkey these days and must love the food too. She may hate cooking, but maybe she could do some charity 'come dine with me' Turkish dinners? Or even charity Turkish coffee mornings (baklava... yum) so she's acknowledging and being proud of her heritage, got an excuse to socialise, and doing good stuff too?
a bit random....
How about volunteering? Will get her out of the house, meeting people and also help others that need support so might help her feelings of self-confidence and self-worth.
Did you say she works weekends while you work weekdays?
Has she looked at meetup.com groups in your area? When I first moved to my area, I joined a Language learning social group and there I met my first real friends. Are you in a big city? What did she like doing before she met you?
I don't have much advice, but make sure she is properly medicated for her thyroid, I have the same issue, and it can take a while to juggle the thyroxine levels. Also you should know that there is a connection between auto-immune hypothroidism and coeliac disease, has she been checked for this? She may have coealic rather than Crohns. Aside from that, you sound a very kind man, and I am sorry you are both having a rough time. I also agree maybe she needs her hearing assessed as she may benefit from a new hearing aid.
Also, I seem to remember that hearing problems and thyroid problems can be linked. Worth having that checked again
Thanks guys, some great ideas there. She's in the process of getting hearing aids fitted, it's taken me years to convince her to try them again as last time she did was 15 years ago and everyone in Turkey was horrible to her about it, but she has long hair, and they are discreet nowadays, and much, much better. Yes, she works weekends and i work during the week, so we don't have a lot of time together, which sucks :/
I try to give her support and space in equal measure but it's hard.
Regarding antidepressants, she's concerned that they will interact with all the other medicine she has to take, and she doesn't want chemicals to make her happy, she wants to solve the problems causing it.
Mostly i think it's the lack of a proper job. I can't imagine what it's like to be degree educated and working as a cleaner. She submitted her CV to an agency last month and they said "you don't have enough accounting experience, and your degree doesn't count because it's from outside the EU. We've got a job cleaning an old people's home if you want it though".
That was enough to convince her that no one is going to give her a job based on her merits and training, and that in turn is just making things worse.
Twitterqueen, i mentioned the classes idea to her and we're going to try Argentinian Tango on Monday, that'll be interesting...
I didn't know about the link between hypothyroidism and coeliac disease, i'll look into that, thanks Hellymelly!
I second what Helly says but would add that the British Thyroid Foundation have a helpline and local support groups where she may get advice and/or support.
You and your wife sound lovely, and I am sorry that she is having such a hard time. I am cross on her behalf that she is not getting the interviews that she deserves and that people are assuming her hearing difficulties are language difficulties.
Reading between the lines it sounds like your wife has become a bit anxious about socialising? If she does have some social anxiety that will be causing her to have negative thoughts about socialising etc. A short course of cognitive behaviour therapy would help loads with that, if she is indeed a bit socially anxious.
Anyway, I just wanted to wish both of you all the best and I hope things improve for your wife soon.
If her accounting experience is enough to do bookkeeping, I'm sure local clubs and charities would bite her hand off.
That could be an entree into new social groups, and improve her English, CV, and list of potential work contacts.
Sorry, I didn't read that properly - you met a few years ago and she now has good English. But the contacts and CV are worth pursuing.
Might be worth her applying directly to voluntary or public sector bodies in the area. Theymay be much more accommodating with her degree.
Is the weekend working essential to your budget? Just wondering if she's more isolated because she isn't with you and cleaning seems quite a solitary job so she's not meeting colleagues.
Unfortunately the weekend working is essential at the moment. I'm trying to make a living as an author, and although it's going well, it's not going well enough for me to give up working during the week, or her at the weekend. Without both jobs and the writing we'd be scuppered :/
Thanks again for some great points guys, all really appreciated.
Surely it would be possible to get a cleaning job during the week instead of at weekends?
GP can refer your wife to a counsellor - might be worth going on the waiting list. Can do no harm and might be very useful if she's feeling a bit wobbly about working towards practical solutions.
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