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How do you repair a marriage?

(16 Posts)
shattered77 Mon 11-May-15 09:42:15

We have had an extremely stressful marriage so far, five years, lots of life events that have floored us and we haven't reacted well to. We're hot-headed people and minor issues can escalate into big rows that are becoming increasingly sweary and personal. We are both balls of stress and anxiety which is why our anger can trigger quite easily. I have not been an easy person to live with, with pnd and anxiety etc. plus I have come off my ads which are giving me some horrible side effects. Dh tries to be sympathetic of this but basically can't be because of his own stress. I do speak to him badly sometimes, but only because I have to ask him to do something five times and by the fifth time, yes my volume and tone has changed . I like a nice tidy house, him not bothered etc. does things with the kids according to his needs and not the kids'. It just seems that we are constantly blowing up at each other, and now the dc are old enough to notice, which isn't on.

I have asked for a period of separation with a view to us rebuilding the marriage after identifying what the problems are, and how to fix them, but it's so hard to identify these things when you are in the middle of emotional chaos. Is having time apart the right thing to do? What tools or techniques can we use? Can't afford counselling, but what would they advise us to do?

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Mon 11-May-15 09:47:34

There's no shame in recognising that you don't function as a couple anymore. You haven't said anything about supporting each other or any other positives.

Do you really want to make this work, or do you want to be able to say "we have it everything we had" before you walk away?

I would probably be aiming to create an amicable relationship for the dcs sake, post split. It sounds like this has gone on for a long time.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Mon 11-May-15 09:51:36

We *gave it everything we had

shattered77 Mon 11-May-15 09:57:58

You see, I don't think I've given it everything at all. I have been completely caught up in my own mental health problems and with having two kids under two. I don't think I have given the marriage anything because I have been too caught up in everything else. I've barely been able to keep my head above water.

He is very hard-working, loyal, loving and generally supportive of me, but when it goes wrong, it's getting big and ugly. We can't seem to communicate and manage our stress.

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Mon 11-May-15 10:04:11

If you've got very small children, then making a decision now could be the wrong thing. I really think that counselling would be the way to go. I know relate do a "pay what you can" system.

I would give them a call and see if there is something you could afford. It'd be cheaper than splitting up when you want to make it work. It sounds like you need to create ways to communicate. Counselling is the best way to do this.

Your second post sounds a lot more hopeful than your first smile

shattered77 Mon 11-May-15 10:36:41

Thanks, I've just rang Relate. £30 for daytime session, which is a lot cheaper than I thought.

I am trying to figure out if he's a nasty bastard, or a nice, normal, neglected bloke who has reached the end of his tether. What a mess!

FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse Mon 11-May-15 10:42:33

Shattered, it sounds like you've had a lot on. It could be either. If you go to relate and they give you some strategies and he doesn't do them, then you'll know who he is. At least this way you will know you've tried your hardest. It may even help for future relationships, that you've developed better communication skills.

However it turns out you will be ok. Being alone is a thousand times better than being in an unhappy, destructive relationship. Be kind to yourself.

MerryMarigold Mon 11-May-15 10:51:34

Can I ask why you came off the AD's? (Also, if you come off very, very slowly, there should not be side effects. I gave myself around 6months to come off Citalopram and it was fine). I'd be tempted to stay on if it made life more live-able.

I recognise some of this. I have had depression and been on AD's for long periods. We are both very emotional/ hot headed. We had 3 kids under 3 at one point (I had twins second time around). Our marriage was a mess for quite a long while (and it still takes work). The rows, oh my days!

What helped? Probably the main thing was getting regular time together - Sunday and Wednesday evenings for us. This was a time to bring up things which are annoying you (when you're not angry and exhasperated), talk about how we are feeling generally, talk about the kids, connect a bit. We also worked on our sex life as we didn't have sex for 4 years. It's still a bit sporadic, but got a lot better at one one point. I think this helped, as it just made us feel closer, and more of a team. Also the ADs helped a lot, as just made me happier, which was less stress on dh and more able to cope with the kids.

I think if there is distance, and resentment, and depression, even a perfect person would be hard to live with. It helped me to look at other people's husbands and think, "Well I wouldn't have lasted 2 minutes with HIM." For all dh's faults, he is a good bloke.

shattered77 Mon 11-May-15 11:10:18

Merry, that all sounds very familiar! Honestly, the kids drive us absolutely crazy, but as they get older they are getting easier. Our stress levels are so high with them, that we are constantly barking at each other.

I've come off them over about three months, and was on a low dose anyway. I hated the numb feeling it gave me, the abdominal pains, the lack of sex drive. I also felt ready to come off them. I've been waking with headaches every morning and been waking ridiculously early too, I feel bright in my mood, but just feel so drained and snappy. I've got weight I can't shift, and just feel so tired, grumpy and unhappy with myself (but don't feel depressed IYSWIM). I really don't want to go back on them. I thought these side effects were short term and normal?

Jan45 Mon 11-May-15 12:00:22

If it's practically possible then yes having a break from each other can help enormously - it helps you think better and have a realistic perception, it's hard to work things out when you are both living together and in the cycle of arguing instead, do it, it could make all the difference!

Jan45 Mon 11-May-15 12:02:57

Also, get your thyroid checked out, you might also have a hormone imbalance.

MerryMarigold Mon 11-May-15 12:49:26

The side effects I had when I came off without slowing down (I was only on 20mg anyway) was quite a big depressive crash. So if you are not more depressed, that's fine. Though irritability is a large factor in my depression. If they were making you feel numb, that's not great. I never really noticed mine except that I felt more stable and less irritable, though agree it was tough on the sex drive.

Our kids are 6 and 9 now so yes, life is a lot easier, but we still have our moments as a lot of the damage has been done (resentments go back, and buttons get pushed, but we have been together for 11 years now) and bad habits (yelling at each other) hard to break.

I'd really recommend the time thing and sit down and plan it with him, when is going to be a good time for both of you, what you think you could use the time to do (sometimes just watching a film together can be good). We started a book (unfinished!) called non violent communication, which was great. One thing I learned was to make requests not demands. We watched that film with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, and it was painfully accurate but good too, even though we are in a different life stage. And yes, RELATE to kick things off as well. We saw a couple (older friends) to talk to them for over a year, every couple of weeks and it made a huge difference. Mostly just talking in front of someone and someone backing you up, or even backing him up, but a third party is powerful and so much less personal. It's good to have the discipline of talking to someone else as it forces you! (not shout).

shattered77 Mon 11-May-15 14:22:29

Thanks Merry, yes I can see the resentments building up and know that is dodgy ground. I'll get us started at Relate, and I've also booked a gp appointment to get my bloods checked.

None of this makes me feel any better though. It's all so sad and stressful.

I don't see how we can have time apart in reality though, as he literally has nowhere to go, so he'll have to come home, and that worries me, cos he's been so bloody horrible to me, and I'm scared we'll put more nails in the coffin.

MerryMarigold Mon 11-May-15 15:14:10

I do know that feeling so well, shattered. I literally hated him at times and felt like life would be so much happier without him. I know, in reality, it would have been extremely difficult, and I'd still have to let the kids go off to him, and not be part of that. I felt so hopeless for our marriage to ever be better and started to see purely negatives (I even had a weekend like this recently when he was being moody and unkind, and it really set me off again).

Please do take hope. It can change. It's not really easy, but I think as long as you both want it to, it can. It's great if he is willing to go to Relate as a lot of men won't admit problems, or be willing to talk in front of someone, so that is a good step. It will change, I think. Kids are getting older, things will get easier and it's time to focus on the 2 of you for a bit. It's not necessarily quick. I'd say it was a year to 18 months of slow progress for us, but I did see a big difference. We are moving house in a month or so, so things are quite stressful with that hence we've had a few bad times to remind me of the bad times which were almost continuous at one point. It was very depressing, on top of being depressed. But it can change, I promise you.

shattered77 Mon 11-May-15 22:34:43

I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. My head is messed up.

It's not what they sell us in the movies, is it??!smile

MerryMarigold Tue 12-May-15 11:04:47

Nope. The movie bit is brief! But some movies are more real. Hope Springs
That's the movie. You will watch it, laugh, cry and feel uncomfortable.

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