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marriage is falling apart

(77 Posts)
totallylost Mon 16-May-11 13:22:12

No idea where to start with this. About three months ago DH had a kind of breakdown, he started having panic attacks, shaking, not able to leave the house. He went to doctor who gave him anti depressants which she said were also an anti anxiety thing. He was also signed up to have counselling. He was signed off work for 6 weeks. I supported him as best I could, gave him space if he needed it, sat with him for hours when he needed it. After six weeks he told me he couldn't live with me anymore, that arguing with me had made him ill and that he didn't love me or even like me anymore.

He rented a house but before he moved out he asked if we could still see each other, he wanted to date me again, to force him self to spend time with me and do stuff with me and see if he could fall in love with me.

Previously we had argued about him never wanting to do anything with me and when he told me he was leaving he said he resented having to do stuff with me.

I let him go and to start with we saw each other a couple of times a week and it was great, but then its like he wanted to sabotage it, to mess it up before it all went wrong.

We know swing from him not wanting to try, not loving me etc to he wants to come back and try again and then he runs away again.

He has finally started his counselling and seems more optimistic and we are currently trying again with him saying he really means he is going to try this time. But I am struggling to cope. Every day I am waiting to see which man comes home.

Don't know what I expect from this but just had to get it all out.

merrywidow Mon 16-May-11 13:27:34

What about you? Do you love him ?

Please don't let him drag you from pillar to post why he decides whether he loves you!

He is being an idiot, tell him to find himself on his own ( pretty much guaranteed to make him suddenly realise he wants you in this stupid game he is playing )

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 13:32:08

Yes I do love him. This is a second marriage for both of us and we each brought our own baggage.

He feels incredibly guilty for hurting me and says logically he can't understand why he is doing this.

He says the depression makes him think such bad thoughts that he wants to run away and hide. If it wasn't for the depression I would have told him to just go but part of me feels guilty for abandoning him when he needs me.

I veer from anger that he is playing games and telling him I deserve better to feeling sorry for him and thinking he is just completely lost.

Friends and family say he is like an empty shell.

AnyFucker Mon 16-May-11 13:35:26

stop prostrating yourself before this man, please

at the moment you have a sign on your head that says "kick me, I am your emotional punchbag"

I have no idea what is going on wih your husband, but you need to look after your own mental health and living like this is doing you no good at all

in your situation, I would be telling him you need space from him while he sorts himself cannot do it for him, and making yourself such an easy target for him to take emotional potshots at really will not help him either in the long term

tell him that that you will use that space to really think about whether you still want him

don't be surprised if when the heavy load you are currently carrying is lifted, you start to think more clearly

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 13:43:04

Have done that AF, he moved out I left him alone, I want us to work.

His counsellor told him we need to arrange marriage counselling ASAP, at first he said he wanted this too, then he waasn't sure. I have told him I want this and it is going to happen whether he comes or not. Am also currently trying to arrange some personal counselling. I know I am making it too easy for him. I also know I have been completely battered by him.

merrywidow Mon 16-May-11 13:45:30

Don't feel guilty that you have 'abandoned' him, just tell him you are going to give him the space he needs to work out his emotions; as you are clearly confusing him the poor love.

Then step away from the situation, it will go one way or another eventually

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 13:45:36

I also know I have made mistakes in the past. I have railroaded him into doing things he has not wanted to do, he now recognises he has not been assertive enough about what he wants and has just gone along with me which has led to all the feelings of resentment towards me. I believe this is what is making him doubt how he feels about me now.

We don't trust each other emotionally now but unless we try to trust each other again how can things get better?

merrywidow Mon 16-May-11 13:48:34

Thats nice - hes conveniently made YOU the fall guy for the problem

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 13:55:27

No I conveniently made me the fall guy. I know he is the one leading this, I know if I ask for anything he backs off. I need to find strategies to deal with this and protect myself. I know I am an idiot, I know this is what I do.

merrywidow Mon 16-May-11 13:55:47

Do you have DCs?

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 13:57:53

I have two of my own and he has three all from previous relationships.

merrywidow Mon 16-May-11 14:04:09

No, you are not an idiot, you are emotionally involved with a man who is behaving idiotically and need a new strategy to sort out the ensuing mess.

However you will become an idiot if you do not remember you are a person in your own right and no matter how dithery and unsure your DH is behaving he cannot drag you along with him.

Think of him as a small child whose behaviour is unacceptable then put in place your boundries, make them clear and stick to them. You will feel better, he will know where he stands with you and then the rest can follow - whichever way it goes.

He is behaving in a confusing manner, don't let it confuse you

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 14:13:22

He is a child I know. I have calmly pointed out how confusing and hurtful it is for him to dither about deciding whether or not he loves me and wants a relationship. When I have put my foot down and said this isn't working he has run off "for time to think of another alternative" which then resulted in a text saying he didn't know any alternative so maybe we ought to split.

TBH since his counselling last week he is considering my needs more, he has come back and wants to really work at it. He is being more open and communicating instead of running away. He seems to be really trying and considering me rather than sitting back and waiting for me to give him an excuse to run away. He knows I won't hang around much longer (or so he says, maybe he thinks I will do whatever he wants). The problem is now I don't trust him. Its like a role reversal now, maybe I am trying to muck it up before he gets the chance this time.

Have just heard back from counsellor and I have an appointment next Monday. Maybe I should just try to pause everything til then.

SmallStepsInTheRightDirection Mon 16-May-11 14:23:08

Hi totallylost, I am so sorry you are going through this sad Your story mirrors my own in many ways, although my relationship is now officially over as he decided to move out. I really understand your situation. I allowed myself to get treated in a way I would never have accepted from anyone else because I loved him (probably still do) and I really believed that it could work.
Since he decided to move out I haven't asked him to change his mind. He hardly communicates with me and that is particulaly difficult as I want our DCs to understand how to resolve things and communicate.
However I can honestly say that although I am heartbroken and grieving for the loss of what could be, I can look back at our relationship and realise that I lost a shocking amount of self confidence and self respect. This has been a really important eye opener for me because I also want my DCs to grow up with self respect and respect for others. So now I am doing what I can to regain that and show them the way...
Its not always easy but I realised that no matter how much effort I put in, it would only have worked if he was really willing to sort it out too. None of us are always angellic or always behave in the best possible way despite our best efforts. Don't give yourself too much of a hard time.
I would suggest you use this opportunity to work on yourself and then see what happens. If you love something you let is go, and if it is yours it will come back to you ... If not - better to know sooner rather than later!
Be gentle with yourself smile
Good luck with it all xx

merrywidow Mon 16-May-11 14:26:36

I wouldn't trust him either thats normal under the circumstances

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 14:28:52

Thanks Small, I have sort of got to the stage now where I have offered it all to him. I have admitted my mistakes and said what I am prepared to do to change and as you say now he has to be willing to really work at it.

I was previously married for 16 years to a man who totally disregarded my feelings and needs and although I finally walked away and felt stronger and more self confident I guess I wasn't as together as I thought. Hopefully counselling will give me the strength to do what I have to do.

totallylost Mon 16-May-11 14:29:43

Trust is earned and that works both ways for us I guess. Thanks for all the advice.

totallylost Wed 18-May-11 14:46:33

Hi, me again, have talked about relate counselling but he wants to go seperately, don't really know how that will help, anyone got experience?

Smum99 Thu 19-May-11 11:19:20

Hi, Can you share a little background? How long have you been together? How long were you single before meeting?
It is very sad if the relationship hasn't worked out. I would really recommend counselling for you, maybe this relationship isn't right for you, sometimes we can't see that when we're in the middle of the storm, the temptation is to put all your energies into making it work so that you're not alone. Counselling will support through the emotional upheaval you will be going through .

totallylost Tue 24-May-11 08:46:24

I don't deserve this so I am not going to put up with it. All my energies are not going to go into making it work cos whats the point when I am the only one working at it.

Saffysmum Tue 24-May-11 09:07:45

totally lost, sorry you are going through such a hard time. I can empathise a lot with you. What helped me was realising that I was not responsible for the way my STBXH felt. You need to get to the point where you understand this. Right now you are taking a lot of the responsibility for his behaviour, which I think is cruel, MH issues or not. You both need time apart before you even think about making a future with him. And I mean proper time apart. He needs to move out, and you both need individual counselling. You have to distance yourself emotionally too - so minimal contact, no checking to see how he is. He is an adult and he has his issues to work through, and so do you. But you can't see the wood for the trees right now, so space apart is crucial.

If you do this, focus on what you want, not what he wants. You can't control his moods, emotions or love for you - but you can control yours towards him. Let him go, and take time to have individual counselling. I bet you will feel relief at being on your own, and may surprise yourself by finding that you are actually better without him. Realise that his problems are his, and his alone, you are not his emotional crutch, nor his emotional punchbag.

Right now, you are at the mercy of a man who is unpredictable to say the least. You deserve better. It's horrible not knowing what sort of mood a man is going to be when they walk through the door - I've been there. So ask him to leave, and let him rely on the support agencies/mental health team/GP instead of you.

You have to do this for your own sanity. You're not his mum, you're his wife. And you deserve more than this. He won't end this, because right now you're giving him what he wants when he needs it. So be strong, and insist that he goes. Then give it a few months, and re-evaluate how YOU feel, not how HE feels.

Good luck

MariaMaria1984 Tue 24-May-11 15:12:45

I don't really have any advice for you, but I do completely empathize since I am in almost an identical situation (although hubby left me with our 6 week old baby, and he is making no attempt to reconcile things at all. As far as DH is concerned, the problem is all me and he doesn't need any help [a blatent lie]!!).

I do agree with Saffysmum though, in that the best thing to do is completely distance yourself as much as possible. I do think that's the only way to clear both of your heads. If it is meant to be, you will find a way back to each other, and you will be a much stronger couple for it. If not, you will split, and you will know that it is the right thing for both of you.

I am certainly doing that, and I plan to take the baby (now 3 months) to stay with family abroad for a bit. I hope that us being away will give him some perspective and motivation to make things right. We have only been married for 2 years (very happily married!), and he seems quite happy to throw in the towel without even trying to patch things up, not even for the baby's sake!

Good luck, and if you ever want to chat (I think its always good to speak to people in a similar situation), then PM me.


totallylost Tue 24-May-11 15:43:55

Thanks for the advice, I have just started having counselling which has made me realise much of what you have said Saffysmum and Maria. It is not my fault, I do not control how he feels.

I do feel much stronger now and to be honest just feel what will be will be. I have told him he can go if he wants or he can stay and work a little at the relationship. If he goes I will not be waiting for him. If eventually he decides he does want me he is going to have to prove it. He thinks that if he goes a way for a 'period' ( he cannot say whether that will be a week a month or a year) he will fall in love with me all over again. He may well be able to do this but then if he comes back how long will it be before he isn't happy again? I feel we should split or stay together and work through our issues.

He is a little put out presently that I seem uncorncerned over what happens next and really thinks he wants me to carry on showing how important he is by chasing after him constantly.

Saffysmum Tue 24-May-11 16:23:25

Well done totally, you sound stronger today.

He's put out because you seem unconcerned - of course he is. He is used to having all your attention, and now you're putting yourself first, which is exactly what you need. He has to grow up, and realise you're a person in your own right, and you won't be messed around any more. Keep strong and remember you can't control what he does, you can only control what you do, so make sure you do what's best for you - and leave him to look after himself.

Take care

totallylost Tue 24-May-11 19:15:37

Oh suprise suprise now I am no longer bothered suddenly he thinks it can all work.

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