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Husband has anxiety/depression. I am not sure i love him any more.

(6 Posts)
katusha Thu 17-Oct-13 21:52:31

I am not sure I can talk about anyone about this that I know. As this all goes way more personal than I can discuss with anyone.

My husband with whom I have three children, was recently diagnosed with acute anxiety. Looking back this has been going on for a long time. He has often spent one of the weekend days in bed over the years, staring at the computer or TV and totally non-engaged with the kids. He would explode over tiny things and that would mean cold war for days until he would eventually apologise. He worries constantly about his health, in a way that annoys me. Our sex life was always occasional but is now non-existent - last time was when we conceived #3 and she will be 2 soon.

He is getting treatment, on drugs and seeing someone. He is doing a lot of mindfulness and that is helping. THere have been a lot of changes in our lives recently, moving country, he's not working at the moment, he's at home a lot with the kids and that seems to do his head in, while he loves them to bits, we're not in our own place... I am job hunting too and it looks like I'll have something before him... And that is an issue too.

He's a great Dad, a really loving Dad and while he finds 24/7 contact with the kids too much, he would lay down his life for them.

But that's only part of it. I increasingly feel I don't love him anymore. I care for him as a friend. I worry about him as a friend. I am there for him as a friend. We parent well together, But I don't fancy him. I don't want to have sex with him. I don't want to kiss him. I also think this has been going on for a long time with me too... I always felt he loved me a lot more than I ever loved him. I wonder sometimes if I have ever loved him. And yet we have had 3 kids together so that is huge.

So basically I am feeling like a right shit and hypocrite. He tells me constantly how much he loves me, how much he relies on me, how he can't live without me. The kids adore him obviously. And here I am with all these secret feelings? It would destroy him, maybe send him over the edge if he knew any of this. Not to speak of the terrible effect it would have on the kids. And I feel so awful when friends/relations tell me how great I am, what a great wife I am for supporting his so much in his hour of need. And I think - if they only knew..

Sorry for the long post but this is kind of helpful to write down as it's been in my head for a long time...

bluebell234 Fri 18-Oct-13 01:30:55

maybe he got the hints you don´t love him as much as he does, maybe that´s why he is anxious and depressed.
would you think of going to relate counsellor with him?

JohFlow Fri 18-Oct-13 12:15:44

So if he is getting settled into some treatment for his anxiety disorder; now is the time to start thinking about getting treatment for your relationship.

The anxiety and its affect on the family - and your worries about your feelings are two distinct entities.

Have you recognised fully how his anxiety makes you feel? It's quite normal to get frustrated, angry, feel helpless the face of someone else's issues.

There seems to be a dynamic here that you feel that you cannot deal with your relationship difficulties in case you push him over the edge - that creates an skewed emotional environment which can't be healthy for either of you. When you can't vent about these things it is common to turn things in on yourself and try to cut off your own feelings.

Why is he saying about how much he relies on you and can't live without you - is he reading that something is already afoot? Or trying to get reassurance? Is this emotional blackmail? No situation where either partner goes 'cold war' for days is good.

Sounds like there is work to be done if you want to save the relationship. It's not an easy decision and I agree with Blue that a safe environment to discuss your relationship may be a good idea.

working9while5 Fri 18-Oct-13 15:16:48

I would get help too if I were you. Living with this isn't easy and tbh it would be weird if you were feeling all sexy and passionate and romantic about him at present.

However on the other hand romance after kids presents
challenges to most of us.... and it sounds like there are multiple stressors right now.... do you think most people are swanning through changes like this singing Carpenter songs and trailing daisies after themselves? You have moved country, he is ill and out of work, you are living with his moods, you worry this is it forever, you have three kids one at least is just a tot with all the stresses that brings.

I think you need support. .. and also to think of your own bigger picture values. You do care about him and you parent well together. That is not nothing.

Ever try mindfulness yourself? It's okay to think your thoughts and feel your feelings you know. They don't mean anything grand about you and calling yourself a shit and a hypocrite isn't going to make you feel much better either.

AgentZigzag Sun 20-Oct-13 04:11:39

The atmosphere you're living in sounds very oppressive and pressurised for you, I'm not surprised you're feeling meh about him, especially with the cloying reminders about how much he loves and relies on you (piling that pressure on).

It is very hard to flick that switch back on once you've thought about them like that. It also takes away the motivation to want to work anything out because you know it'd involve you putting in even more effort.

Without minimising the inescapable feelings anxiety can create, could he have slipped into a role of 'the vulnerable one' forcing you into being 'the sorter'? Maybe it makes him feel safe, which doesn't encourage him to try to change anything (although he is getting help now).

He knows him opting out of a whole day has become a routine he can justify as 'his anxiety thing', and that you maybe feel he's totally abandoned himself to his self indulgent behaviour without a thought to how it affects you.

It must be awful to not want to show him affection, but at the same time feel guilty about showing him your disdain because he (theoretically) can't help it. If you saying anything about his behaviour comes down to attacking something he has no control over (his anxiety), it doesn't leave very many ways for you to express how his illness has affected you.

Are you seeing it as a bit of a (very unattractive) weakness in him? Why would you want sexual contact with someone who's so child like in his neediness? That the days of cold war are a reminder to never challenge him about it, that it'll be your fault and responsibility for making the DC unhappy by saying you've had enough of him, that all the people you know will be disappointed in you if the truth's known.

But where do you come in all that?

Squashed into an impossible corner from where I'm standing.

(and I'm only saying what comes to mind reading your OP so not claiming I'm right or anything, and definitely not trying to minimising his experience, but rather take your 'side' over his because nobody else is)

katusha Mon 28-Oct-13 15:03:53

Thank you everyone. I am reading this all now and you have all said some very thought provoking things...

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