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Am I depressed because my marriage is shit, or is my marriage shit because I am depressed?(46 Posts)
..only it seems to me right now that if I leave, or if I go to the GP, one way or another I could be treating the symptom rather than the cause.
..and in a similar vein, am I being a moody cow because OH is being an arse, or vice versa. Is he drinking because I don't want to have sex with him, or do I not want to have sex with him because he is always pissed?
The thought that formed in my mind tonight
and almost came out of my mouth was that whilst him drinking himself to death would solve several problems in one go, I see no reason why the DC should have to see him do it. And yet us splitting would screw them up too.
There are no happy ending options here, are there?
If your dh is always drunk then you have huge problems and whether you want ot have sex or feel moody are way down the line from that problem. Living with an active alcoholic would make anyone feel out of control/depressed etc. You may also be clinically depressed of course but it sounds like you are living in a situation which would bring anyone down.
If you are actually thinking "him drinking himself to death would solve several problems in one go" then I honestly think you shouldn't be together. I can't see how splitting up would screw your children up more than living like this.
Happy endings take a while to happen but can always happen eventually.
On your original question, I read somewhere that insight is almost always rearrangement of the facts. The author said she always thought she was depressed so she drank but one day she rearranged those thoughts and realised maybe she was depressed because she drank. I think you are at one of those insight moments.
If you really think you're depressed get that treated first. If that's the cause of the other issues then things will improve if you get treatment.
If however they don't improve you'll know it's the other way round. In that case, get divorced and I bet you'll find your depression lifts once he's not around. Easier said than done I know, but this was definitely the case for me.
Does he have an alcohol problem?
You don't have to stay with him. You could separate and see how your MH is without him, it might well improve.
The drinking, how bad is it? How much and how often?
Is this the only issue or are there others?
A separation will cause less damage to your children than growing up with an alcoholic (if he is one)
By "always pissed" I mean every evening. Or, to be fair, most evenings. More evenings than not. Not, truthfully, all the time. It just feels that way. He can not ever have one drink. It's nothing, or everything he can find.
I just did the NHS online depression indicator thingummy and it said 16/27.
You are living with an alcoholic.
I suspect that would bring anybody down.
Thank you all. I do appreciate your engaging with what feels like a pity party for one.
Related question then - is it likely that if I sought treatment for depression I might be more able to summon the energy to address the situation and do something about getting out, rather than crawling back under the duvet and hiding from it which is what I desperately want to do right now (and am doing, metaphorically, whilst physically continuing to more or less put one foot in front of the other for the sake of the DC) ?
It's like what they tell you on a plane, isn't it? Get your own oxygen sorted out and then you'll be in a better position to help others. Or bail out, if you prefer!
Thank you, ImperialBlether. That's a really compelling analogy.
I think I shall focus on trying to make myself take that first and really difficult step of actually admitting to someone in RL (the GP, that is. I literally have no one else that I can tell) how bad I feel. If I see it as a means of getting to a place where I can deal with the rest of the shit, it may seem a little less daunting. I have to admit, it still feels impossible right now, but maybe that's because it's the middle of the night.
The thing is, some depression is because of a chemical problem in your brain and others are caused by living in misery. I mistook one for the other years ago and when I knew the truth about my own life I realised I didn't need the ADs.
This is your life, though, and you're only going to get one chance at it. Whether you stay with your man or not, you want to be in the best possible shape, don't you? So go to your doctor (half of them are on ADs btw!) and have a good long talk about how you feel. I would ask for an end of day session so if you cry you don't have to do the walk of shame. Or if you can't do that and you do come out crying, mutter to yourself something like "Both legs... and my head..." so the other patients think you're in a really bad way
I'm off to bed now so I'm sorry I can't carry on chatting. Try to get some sleep or read something funny. Don't dwell on anything serious at this time of night.
I was married to someone who thought our marriage was shit. I used to do the shopping, (too stressful for her), I listened to how bad it was being a SAHM ( got a cleaner, got child care). Was turned down whenever I tried to hold hands, cuddle, initiate sex, so basically gave up. Discovered boozing and did that for a bit and got fat.
Then had to deal with her affair with her married boss, and was asked to help stop it 3 times. At the 3 rd time I left, gave up, gave her the house, see the kids 2 nights a week and every weekend, and pay 2.5k a month in spousal support and for the kids.
She is still unhappy, occasionally asked me to come back but I don't want to. No boozing, have a new girlfriend ,28kgs lighter, and all is good.
All anecdotal, but sometimes the boozing thing isn't all out alcoholism, it is just unhappiness. I only posted because you asked the question and the usual response (correctly) is boozers are boozers and it's their problem. Occasionally people drink to escape the unhappy place they find themselves and once that's removed they can stop
They are being screwed up already because of their father's alcohol problem. You cannot fully protect them from the realities of their dad's alcoholism; they hear and see far more than you care to realise.
Life with an alcoholic is never anything really but chaos and you're trying to keep this leaky ship afloat. You need to get off the merry go around that is alcoholism. Its truly a family disease; it does not just affect the alcoholic all around him.
The 3cs re alcoholism:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
Talk to Al-anon if you do not already do this. Not addressing this for the sake of the DC is NOT an option. You're all being dragged down by his alcohol problem.
Your children want to see their mother happy; it is better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable as you are now. He is likely to be the root cause of your depressed state.
You are not responsible for him but many people in such relationships act out co-dependent behaviours which are themselves not healthy.
They also growing up with an alcohol dependent parent could well end up giving them a whole host of emotional problems. In the meantime they absorb all this from both of you. Their friends will not visit and your children will learn to become super responsible or even have alcoholics as a partners themselves. If you were to stay with him they will also look at you and wonder why you did not leave and thus put them before him. They will not want to see either of you very often if at all.
You have a choice re this man, your children do not.
So he definitely does have an alcohol problem. You might be able to get information (for yourself) from Al anon. But might need to get away while he deals with this (or doesn't).
When you see your GP you could explain that relationship problems and your partners alcohol intake are factors in how you are at the moment.
I have no doubt that he is unhappy too, flipflaps. Probably also depressed. He has a drink problem, whatever label you affix to it. However, I am slowly getting firmer about the fact that I cannot fix him. He has to want to fix himself and there is no way that he is ready to do that right now. I can do something about me, though, and am determined to. For various reasons (mostly that I am away next week for work) it's not going to happen for a week, but I am going to go online and book an appointment while I am feeling determined and before I start crying again.
(Incidentally, flipflaps, how does a SAHM come to have a married boss to have an affair with ?)
"However, I am slowly getting firmer about the fact that I cannot fix him. He has to want to fix himself and there is no way that he is ready to do that right now. I can do something about me, though, and am determined to"
Good. Go online and book that appointment. Seek legal advice too re separation.
Would also suggest that you read up on co-dependency within relationships as well and see how much of that fits in with you.
Just to pick up on you being depressed (I'm sorry, I havn't read the thread as I have to dash)
I have experience of this. I went to the GP with depression. Was very ill for a year or so - in the mean time started counselling and then realised that my relationship needed to end.
Who knows what comes first, the chicken or the egg. But maybe a trip to the GP first will be useful?
she took a part time job when the kids started school
flipflapsflop - I am so sorry to hear your story but I am glad that you have moved out of a dysfunctional relationship and found health and happiness again. It looks like you tried really hard to alleviate practical problems to help the marriage, so you should take strength from that. Did you stop drinking before or after you left the marriage? If you feel that the settlement is unfair is it possible to re-negotiate?
My OH has/had a drink problem. For me being pissed was only part of it - that was only for a few hours in the evenings - worse was the grumpy withdrawn hangovers which filled every minute of the rest of our life.....
I also suffered repeated depression and all I can say is that all of it is inter related - the drink - the depression - the state of the marriage for both people -- all you can ever do is instigate change in yourself and it will have a knock on with everything else - for better or for worse - ie you will have clarity and energy to either stay or go - and/or he will one day wake up.
Dont sit around trying to fix him or holding your breath for him to have a lightening bolt moment and fix himself.
Focus solely on you and your strength - then you can be the best parent for your kids - do not let this situation drain any more of your finite emotional energy - you can protect yourself emotionally and stay for now until you get clarity. Al-anon helped me.
This book helped me. www.amazon.co.uk/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025
As did this check list - www.coda-uk.org/index.php?page=patterns-characteristics-of-co-dependency
I actually got worse when I left the marriage as I had to live in a flat alone (never did that before) and just drank to kill the boredom. I kind if realised I being stupid and went to zero drinking. I now drink maybe once a week, and more like a glass or two at most. occasionally have a blow out. I don't mind the financial settlement. it was done through mediating lawyers and is fair. we get on ok really, 5 years latet. no hard feelings, just getting on with it.
flipflapflop - I am impressed that you turned the drinking around on your own. Bizarrely I chose not to separate from my drinker DH as I was convinced that he escalate the drinking and would end up a lonely alchi in a dirty flat - and I just could nt be responsible for creating that type of father for my children.....
you wouldnt have been responsible for that, Dead. not really.
I was depressed because of my relationship. I thought it was the other way round. Taking ADs got me better enough to realise this, and take action
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