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Desperately unhappy - is it MH or relationship?

(27 Posts)
SearchingForTheWay Thu 27-Oct-16 09:03:11

Long time lurker on the relationships board but I need advice and help please.

As I write this I'm sat on my bathroom floor in tears. I'm so lost and confused and I can't find a way out of this.

I've had a rough few years during which I've suffered my first experience of MH issues so I feel my judgement is so clouded and I can't trust myself.

In a long term relationship, due to be married but have postponed any planning given my current state of despair.

How do I know if I'm depressed or if it's my relationship that is making me unhappy? I am so lost I don't know what to do - I swing wildly from thinking I'm being silly and that this is a good relationship Vs me thinking how wrong my partner is for me and me wanting to leave and start over. No DCs.

I spend a lot of my time questioning my feelings and it's so painful for me and no doubt my partner.

I feel like a such a useless person that I can't get my head straight and get out of this cycle of thinking. It's affecting my whole life and it's not fair on my partner.

I almost feel the last 6 months have taken such a toll on us that I can't fix the relationship now.

Does anyone else suffer from anxiety about making big commitments or have experience of this type of turmoil in a relationship?

I don't even know what I'm asking or how to find my way in life, I'm fucking everything up and don't know how to fix it

Myusernameismyusername Thu 27-Oct-16 09:22:24

I think you need treatment for your MH issues before you make any big changes to your life over the relationship. See your GP urgently.
You can't see clearly as you are unwell, get help and things will become clearer as you get better.

Humblebee1 Thu 27-Oct-16 09:23:54

Oh this is awful that your feeling so bad. I think you probably need to talk it over with you GP or at least someone you trust. You could do with some reassurance that you will find your way.
I think you are being sensible to confront your fears and writing on here is a first step
I'm sure there are others who'll have better advice for you. Big

GreenRut Thu 27-Oct-16 09:31:17

Yes, me. The only thing that helped was CBT. If you can afford it, go private. I can't say exactly why you're feeling like this obviously but for me it was strongly linked to childhood and an inability to view things from an adult perspective. Of course I thought I was but actually I was reacting to situations / boyfriends / husband as though I were a 7 year old and reacting to my situation at home then. All sounds really weird written down but it massively helped me. It's not 'cured' me because I still have those instant feelings and reactions but there's now a split second where I reframe it all and ask myself if what I'm about to do / say or what I'm feeling is really about NOW. Sorry if I'm way off tack here, just thought I'd reply in case it helps at all.

SearchingForTheWay Thu 27-Oct-16 09:44:30

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

Yes I have thought I should see my GP but I had a period on ADs before and although they helped, I was hoping to be able to figure this all out as I'm afraid that they will make mask any real issues. But I know it's not normal to feel this conflicted and lost and so perhaps ADs will give me the stability to find my way out of this hole.

I feel ashamed of myself for being so pathetic - I just want to feel happy and content - and I used to feel that way but now everything seems to overwhelm me and I've become afraid of the choices I'm making for fear they are the wrong ones.

My OH is a good man, works hard, is honest and supports me when I need it. We have a comfortable life and should have no major stresses so why am I feeling like this?

I've started to overanalyse our relationship and just see the bad points and it makes me frustrated and sad.

I feel like everything is such a mess and tainted so that I can't make it good again so I just want to run away.

I don't even make sense in these posts, I'm just a bumbling wreck

Yoksha Thu 27-Oct-16 10:27:01

Hi OP,

Watching with interest. I'm afraid on possible MH issues to give advise because I'm truly "off kilter". I can ID with childhood trauma affecting being able to make adult decisions. I suffer from this. I swing from one side of the issue massively to the other side. I'm not trying to highjack the thread, but please can I add I spent 32yrs in a cult, so this has a bearing too on my ability to act like an adult.

Getting to what I really want to add to this thread is the following:-

I'm not one for suggesting books, but, a while ago someone on anotber thread I was hovering around suggested a book entitled,

Following Your Own North Star by Martha Beck. I purchased it. Slowly but surely I'm getting to know myself. or rather ID what I've ignored for so long. It's very grounding for me. I now question long held thought processes. Yesterday whilst out for a walk because I was about to blow a gasket at home with my Dh of 42yrs. I began to realise that it's nobody elses job to make me feel better. Except if I'm suffering a chemical imbalance, then it's off to the Gp. For me it's unfair to expect friends & loved ones to make me feel better.

Hope you find your north star soon OP.

Tarttlet Thu 27-Oct-16 12:35:13

Oh OP, I think you need to get help. CBT really should help you sort through your feelings. I suspect from what you've said that it's MH rather than DP related, but obviously I can't know for sure from what you've posted.

Look at it this way - if your MH isn't great and you struggle with making other kinds of decisions/feeling positive about other facets of your life, why on earth would you feel good about your relationship? As long as your partner isn't abusive, there's really no harm in staying and delaying any major decisions until you're feeling better.

Tarttlet Thu 27-Oct-16 12:36:48

I should add that I question my relationship a lot when my MH is poor. Sadly, it's my go-to worry and I've felt very despairing and sad and as if my relationship is "wrong" for me. But that doesn't mean it is - just that my thinking is anxious and that I'm looking at him (and everything!) through a negative lens.

SearchingForTheWay Thu 27-Oct-16 13:17:03

Thanks so much tarttlet, what you have written makes a lot of sense to how I'm feeling. I'm feeling very lost and putting a lot of pressure on myself to know which path to take and I focus a lot on making the 'right' choices or else I feel I'll love a life of regret and always feel unhappy and unsatisfied.

It's truly painful to wake up feeling this way.

My OH is very supportive and kind to me so I can definitely take some time to assess how i feel.

Can I ask how you deal with the feeling that your relationship is wrong for you? I feel very much like that and I focus on all his 'bad' traits which is so unfair

Tarttlet Thu 27-Oct-16 14:40:11

Searching, yes! That's exactly how I feel - very fearful of making the wrong choice and faced with a lot of them in all walks of life.

The first thing I do is remind myself that I'm feeling dissatisfied and anxious generally. That often helps to put things in perspective, especially when I'm responding to something he's done or said - I often feel that I overreact and am oversensitive, so reminding myself that this is something I do when I'm anxious helps, because then it becomes about the anxiety rather than the trigger, if you see what I mean? I also remind myself that everyone has flaws and things they do that are annoying and that's he's probably not unique in them! And finally I try and find things I appreciate and love about him - very often I find things like "he's kind and patient", "he makes me laugh", "we share the same political views" fade into the background and I take them for granted, rather than recognising how good he is. So it's not about denying the things that are upsetting you, but rather balancing them out with good things. I often find that if I do this, the things that I think are massive flaws/points of incompatibility actually stop feeling so important after a while.

SearchingForTheWay Thu 27-Oct-16 20:47:59

Yes the fear of making the wrong choice weights heavily on me.

I struggle the most because although I can see we have a good life and every chance of a happy future, there's always that doubt, the belief that I'm missing out on something better. OH really is a great guy, I've lately just felt we are more different than alike - but maybe I have inrealistic expectations

SearchingForTheWay Thu 27-Oct-16 20:48:12


ICancelledTheCheque Thu 27-Oct-16 21:53:48

OP I think counselling would really help in your situation.

I was in a very similar position to you but counselling got to the root of the issues and I'm much happier now!

minisausage Thu 27-Oct-16 22:22:21

Have you heard of a type of OCD over relationships? I think ROCD? Have a google.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 27-Oct-16 23:12:00

How long have you been in this relationship and how many relationships with other men have you had to compare it to?

In what way do you feel you are "more different than alike" to your dp and in what way do you believe your life could be different if you were to leave him?

You say you're worried about 'missing out' if you marry/stay with him. Are you also worrried about missing out on marriage/dcs etc if you were to leave him and find that your expectations of what you could achieve without him are unfulfilled or unattainable?

SearchingForTheWay Thu 27-Oct-16 23:24:24

I'll look at ROCD - thanks.

Goddess - we got together when I was early 20s so have only had one other relationship before then so not much to compare.

I feel we are different mainly in our communication styles, conversational abilities and intellect - namely I like to talkthings out, OH is quiet and lacks emotional depth and while he is very practical and capable, I'm more bookish and like interesting conversation but sometimes he just doesn't know or have any interest in what I'm talking about. Didn't notice it as much before when I was out and about with friends more often but as we settle into early 30s, it's becoming more apparent.

Yes in addition to being worried about staying, I'm also worried about leaving and finding my expectations were unrealistic and that I might miss out on having a family.

There's really nothing for me to complain about - we have a good life and he would be a good life partner - I'm probably just being an idiot but I really struggle to know what's right and I just can't escape this gnawing in my gut that's telling me this isn't right anymore

nicenewdusters Fri 28-Oct-16 00:25:10

I was thinking along the same lines as goddess's questions.

Have you talked to your OH about your doubts about the relationship? Does he acknowledge any of your concerns, or does he feel all is well? In what ways has he supported you, is he prepared to talk about the possibility that the relationship may be the root cause of your distress?

If he told you tomorrow that he had met someone else, or that he was just unhappy and wanted to go, how would you feel? Relieved, desperate, heartbroken, ambivalent?

Also, how different are you now compared to say 5 years ago, and how much of that is - do you think - due to the relationship? Are you compromising? Have you stopped doing things you'd really rather still be doing? Do you have the same goals? Is he your OH or your best friend/confidante ?

Sorry for so many questions, but I've been in a similar position and it was other people's questions that started to give me answers.

SearchingForTheWay Fri 28-Oct-16 08:13:41

Thanks nice.

Yes he knows I'm feeling very unsatisfied and unhappy ATM. He's very pragmatic and tells me I need to do what makes me happy. He recognises I'm in an isolated career that's pays well but that leaves me unmotivated and thinks this has a large part to play in my feelings of despair. He also knows how much I long to travel more and have always hankered after living overseas but that for various reasons, he can't do that.

If he told me he was leaving or had met someone else TBH I'm not sure how I'd feel. I'm so overwhelmed and numb that I don't know how I would feel and can only imagine feeling more of the same heightened mixed emotions mixed with periods of numbness and tears.

See how I just go round in circles? How can a person with no real worries find themselves so lost in life? How does anyone find their way? I don't want to be this way forever, I just want peace and content without this anxiety about what's right and making poor choices

Bettyboo102 Fri 28-Oct-16 08:22:35

You need a clear head before making big decisions so I would get to the docs, tell them your concerns and get some medication. CBT is useful too to help you deal with anxiety in particular and I think you can self refer.

Take the focus off your relationship for now and get better.

You will then have a clearer head to make these type of decisions.

It may be that you do need to split up at some point though but be kind to him whilst you are getting treated because I'm sure he is currently having to be very patient and might be struggling deep down himself

Offred Fri 28-Oct-16 08:37:04

Hmm it sounds to me like you have outgrown your partner and you are in an unstimulating job and I would caution against CBT TBH.

CBT is designed to reduce your anxieties but with some things your anxiety is telling you that the situation you are in is not right.

I had CBT a few years ago for my 'irrational anxieties' and it turned out all the anxieties were perfectly rational, the CBT just deeply harmed me by telling me to ignore reality - which was why I was anxious in the first place.

Offred Fri 28-Oct-16 08:37:59

Person centred counselling was much better for me.

Fuckingitup Fri 28-Oct-16 09:23:01

Hi OP, I posted a long time ago now wondering if my problem was my relationship or mental health.

Whilst our relationship situations are very different, I really believe antidepressants did not give me a clear head but rather kept me in an unhappy situation longer. I ended up in a much worse place - despite changing ADs, and dosage.

Eventually I saw an amazing mental health nurse for a while who told me to leave.

Counselling has been very helpful. Its costing me a small fortune but I wish I'd found her much earlier. I believe the approach is called psychodynamic psychotherapy (?) which I think is a type of person-centered counselling.

I think counselling might really help you too.

Do speak to your GP if you think that might be helpful. I appreciate there is a place for ADs. But do consider that you need to listen to how you feel.

SearchingForTheWay Fri 28-Oct-16 11:43:29

Yes I fear I have outgrown him but I'm so scared that I leave and then realise that things weren't so bad after all. At 32 I don't know how to move on after so many years together.

I do think ADs could help me feel better but as PP mentions, I am afraid of them masking my true feelings and making me feel ok about the situation when deep down these doubts may be justified.

I wish I was one of the people who say they just knew OH was right for them and didn't have the torture these doubts hanging over me.

It is more difficult that my relationship and my work environment are both struggling ATM - would be easier to just have one major life decision to make

Offred Fri 28-Oct-16 15:04:51

I don't think he is right for you, you are just scared of making the change.

hermione2016 Fri 28-Oct-16 16:22:38

32 is young.I agreed with Offred, he doesn't seem right for you.
The areas of difference that you mention are significant and important.

I am coming out of marriage where communication styles are different.Its massively significant as you spend energy bridging the gap and it's so draining.Dont underestimate that plus the other factors you mention.

Do you laugh together?

I think you are considering settling and it's making you feel low..not unreasonably.

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