Posted 12/20/2009 9:09 PM (GMT -7)
I have a struggling wife. We are young, early 20's, in school, with a 3 year old son. Our life is slowly deteriorating. My wife is depressed, so much so that it affects every portion of our lives. She has had a "interesting" life. She was adopted as an infant, grew up with her adoptive family. Her adoptive mother is a phenomenal person. She was raised mostly by her mother, never really developed a kindred relationship with her adoptive father, although he too is a good person. She was raised catholic, went to private schools, made good friendships with peers; yet, she always has struggled with something different inside of her. She has always felt different, isolated, just a little off from the rest of her peers. She met me in high school. When she turned 18, we found her birth family. It turns out, they went on to get married, have 5 more children and lead incredibly successful lives. They are loving and caring people as well. She has maintained a relationship with them, albeit a times it gets rocky and confusing. Yet, about 3 years ago... I'd say, 3 months after our son was born, everything changed. She, or we seemed to hit a wall. Since that time, it has only been a downward spiral.
Today, I work 25 hours a week, go to school full-time. She goes to school full-time as well. We are in a special financial situation that allows us to not have the heavy heavy stress of finances. Not that we have a lot of money, we simply get by without a ton of stress. Our son is amazing, he is intelligent and kind. He is in pre-school and doing very well.
I love my wife wholly and dearly. I tell her everyday, just so she knows that no matter what, I love her. Anymore though, these three words are met with hostility and me being told that I am lying. We have been through a lot together. Abortion, miscarriage, birthparents, marriage, having our son and so forth. Today, she tells me that I only cause her pain. She tells me that I have ruined her heart. I know I am not perfect, I lose my patience and fight with her, I defend myself when I feel wronged, and I am not always the most furtive conversationist. I am trying to be more open to her about my feelings, thoughts, and ideas. I let her sleep in late when she needs to, sometimes until the late afternoon. I take time away from school/work to help her out. I always stay on top of household work, as does she. I always try and push her to be productive, to work out, to go and see her friends, and so forth. I want to go on dates with her and go to dinner, plays, walks. Yet, it seems we are truly going nowhere. Our relationship is only falling apart. So often I get home, talk to her, have conversations, tell her about my day, we have family play-time, have dinner, everything feels good and right. The next day she berates me for ignoring our problems and tells me I pretend as though she's invisible. I fear for my son, he is only 3 and although he rarely sees us fight, I know he can feel the tension between us. I do not want him to become a casualty to our problems. I love my wife so much, but I am at such a loss. It just feels hopeless now, and I am tired of hurting her, especially when I do not know how I am doing so.
I know the routine for counseling, meds, and doctors. She has been on more meds than one should ever be given. Not that it has much weight.. but lithium, trazadone, xanax, valium, abilify, adderal, ritalin, klonopin, deplin are just to name about 30% of them. She has seen multiple psychiatrists all with differing opinions and differing medicinal regimens for her. She's been told she has/was bipolar, depressed, manic-depressive, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, etc etc. For the past year, she has just been taking xanax, adderal, and an anti-depressant. At times it seems these meds help. But these times are becoming more and more rare. We have seen over a half-dozen counselors together, and she has seen an innumerable amount of counselors and psychiatrists by herself. We finally found a therapist we both liked, we saw her weekly for 2 months, then my wife became more and more withdrawn from counseling. I went to our last three appointments by myself, then stopped altogether. I want to go to counseling again, but she refuses to see our old therapist, so now we must go counselor hunting again. And the cycle starts over.
I don't know how much longer I can do this. I love her so much, I cannot let our life fall apart. But everyday I am told that I hurt her and have been hurting her for the past 3 years. Are we just not meant to be. I love her so deeply, yet to have my feelings and thoughts met with such resentment, is disheartening. To be told that my love is inadequate is saddening. I have had every flaw in my character/personality pointed out by her in fighting, yet nothing hurts more than for her to tell me that "I love you" means nothing coming from my mouth.
I am lost. Have you had a spouse/friend/family like this? Where so much has been tried, but what works?