Posted 8/13/2007 10:46 PM (GMT -6)

WOW. You make some very keen observations. Your story sounds VERY much like how she is with me. She moves close and then has to ruin things with her words to move away, only to move closer again after things settle down. That's the roller coaster that I've been riding the past few months.

Funny enough, I told her today, "I just can't ride this roller coaster anymore." Her response? "WHAT roller coaster?" OY.

I wish that there was something I could say that would get through to her, but as you said, I'm the one she's moving toward and away from, so she won't listen to me. I truly hope that she can make a breakthrough before it's too late for us. We really have a great family. Our five kids absolutely love each other and I love how we've raised them. I'd hate to see the kids get split up.

Your insight is spot on. I have absolutely said to her in a very calm, caring voice exactly what you suggested - funny enough, as recently as last night. She doesn't respond. She either doesn't know or she's buried it so deep that her brain won't let her access that information. She refuses to see another doctor or therapist, so I'm not sure what I can do for her.

This is so very difficult.

Thanks again for your insight. I really appreciate it.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Posted 8/14/2007 12:10 AM (GMT -6)
Hi Rick,

I like to believe that somewhere inside she heard your question - really 'heard' it, and the love in it too. I'm sorry that so far she's not been able to respond. I can only imagine how painfully difficult it is for you. I don't have any more suggestions at this point, but I will say a prayer for you all. I still have hope for your wife and you both - it just sounds like you are farther along in the journey of understanding etc. than she is. God knows what she needs in order to be drawn out of her shell - and sometimes life brings things along to shake us and help us look at what we need to see - that's what happened to me. Anyway, I wish you guys all the best, and I'm really glad you found such a supportive community as this one to come and share. You need that - an outlet and support. I find this a very kind place to hang around too.

And there is one thing you can still do, if you're open to it: Pray. Or perhaps, "keep praying." :0)

Take care, manyembers

PS - Okay, one more suggestion ... and encouragment ...keep watching and waiting for those times when you can ask that question again - maybe using different words - but keep asking. Over time, maybe it will click inside that you really DO want to know, really DO care or whatever it is she needs to start trusting... And also, concerning something you wrote above, there ARE times you need to set boundaries and simply lay down the law a bit. That is actually quite healthy.

One thing though about how she responds to that: i.e. how she seems to like being told what to do or needs it - again sounds like as a kid she was really controlled? If there's any way you can help her to realize taht she has a choice now and help her to learn to think for herself - I mean, just in how you word things - the former beau I mentioned above would actually say to me: "Don't just do something because I want you to. I want to know what do YOU WANT?" I was like 21 at the time and it was revolutionary to realize this person actually wanted me to use my choice even if it wasn't the choice of what he wanted. Seriously, having it spelt out to me like that was revolutionary. I wouldn't say to take this exact approach with your wife, but I'm just getting at the principle of realizing she may not even know from the inside 'how' to actively make the choices she wants if she has been shut down a lot growing up. I'm sure you'll find your way with all this in your own way. You guys have had 5 kids together, so you obviously have done some good work together over the years to make it this far...just keep trusting your instincts as it sounds you've got very good insight with your precious wife.

sincerly, mb

Post Edited (manyembers) : 8/13/2007 11:27:59 PM (GMT-6)

Posted 8/14/2007 1:16 AM (GMT -6)

Out of curiosity, what was it that finally woke you up and gave you the right perspective?

I agree with you that this is a very supportive place. It helps me tremendously.

Thank you for your insight on this. I do feel that she is confused as to how to make decisions for herself. Unfortunately, the path she has chosen has thrown me under the bus, so to speak. When I say things differently (hoping to get something to click), she says that I'm being manipulative. I tell her that if by manipulative, she means that I'm trying to elicit a positive response, then yes, I suppose I am. But it's not in a negative way. I'm simply trying to get through to her and hopefully save her from ruining our family and her own future.

I tried to talk with her tonight about what you said and she sat there and listened. When I asked her what she thought, she asked if I was done and left to sleep on the couch. She's in her own world. She's disconnected from me. She doesn't care anymore. I told her that I'm not going to live like this where I'm doing everything I can for her and she's simply treating me like dirt while expecting me to do everything that I do financially and emotionally (just tonight, she got home from her new job and wanted to talk to me about how here evening went) for her anyway.

I'm done with this person. This isn't my wife. This isn't the person I fell in love with and had children with. She's clearly zeroed in on me as her problem in life and she's just going to have to leave and deal with the consequences if she is (as I believe) wrong.

This entire thing is sad. I'm angry and sad at the same time.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Post Edited (Singer69) : 8/14/2007 2:01:21 AM (GMT-6)

Posted 8/14/2007 10:53 AM (GMT -6)

I believe that you are correct. She is depressed and will not admit it. According to her, she's depressed because of this living environment. You'll all have to trust me that this is a loving home with five GREAT kids who are sweet, get along great, and have been putting up with a lot these past few months. I have been tip toeing around my wife and her "issues" for a long time and she's not responding the way I hoped she would. She's angry and bitter and depressed and she's pointing her anger at me.

I really do want a loving, equal relationship with her, but I am convinced at this point that she is incapable in the state she's in. I am withdrawing my stance as a temporary door mat and forcing her hand. I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do or not, but - as you said - I can only take so much before I start to feel as if I'm entering a depression myself and that CANNOT happen - for me or my kids.

The tough part is going to be the custody of the kids. She doesn't have a place to go and she expects to take the kids with her. I've explained that I can't let them go with her if she doesn't have a place for them and she tells me that she wants them more than 50% of the time. That's simply not going to happen. I want them 100% of the time (with her), so 50% is the absolute MINIMUM that I'll allow her.

Thanks again for the kind words of support. I'm sorry that I missed your latest posting earlier. Not sure how that happened, but I do apologize.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Posted 8/14/2007 11:09 AM (GMT -6)
If you want to talk or vent Rick...I'm here. IM anytime today okay.
After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, "No hablo ingles."

Posted 8/14/2007 10:51 PM (GMT -6)
Hi Rick,

So sorry. You've done so much hard work, but as you know, she has to want to change. Some people are eager to receive help and others, for whatever reason, don't want it or aren't able to take it. I have to admit, that for me, I was always wanting to grow and change and know the truth about things - even if would be hurtful or hard. I wanted to do the work. I was hoping that deep inside your wife woudl want that too...only she knows I guess.

So what woke me up...years and years of watching myself, lightbulb moments along the way and then being in a bad relationship which shook me so hard, that some childhood trauma that had been repressed began to surface. I just wanted the truth, wanted to do right in life, and kept pressing in on my journey to emerge, and bit by bit answers came. But again, if your wife has decided to shut down, then I guess you need to look at what is going to be best for you, because it takes two people to make a marriage work.

I wish you all the best, and I am still praying that your wife will find her way out - however things go. And I pray you and your kids will also come through this time into a happier season - however things go.

take care, manyembers
Posted 8/14/2007 11:05 PM (GMT -6)

I'm the same way you are. Even if I have to rip myself down to nothing, I'm always wanting to make things better for myself and those around me. My wife is NOT the same as we are. She's decided that our marriage and our family and our home is the reason for her depression (when she admits that she's depressed) and that if she gets out of this house, she'll be just fine. I don't believe that for a single moment, but what can i do?

I truly wish that my wife would have the same lightbulb moment as you. I am at the point where I have to think of me and my kids. It's tragic, really. We have five great kids. They love each other and the older kids just dote on our 2 1/2 year old. It's a really great family. I wish my wife could see that before it's too late.

Thanks again for your words. You are a very insightful person and I found many incredible insights in your posts. Thank you for sharing your very personal experiences.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Posted 8/14/2007 11:47 PM (GMT -6)
I have been following all of your posts.  I don't think anyone would have had the patience you have shown for your wife.  It is obvious that you love her very much.  But, what you are doing is clearly not working.
I can't imagine how any mother, even though depressed, could ignore a 2 1/2 year old child.  I'm not fussing at you, but by allowing this behavior to continue to go on in your household, it is sending a message to all of your children that what Mommy is doing is o.k.; that it is a normal way to live.  You don't want them to grow up and carry this kind of behavior over into relationships in their lives.  You don't want them to marry someone and treat that person the way your wife treats you.  You want them to grow up and have happy lives and get married and have children of their own.  And I know that as good of a father as you are, you are going to be an outstanding grandfather one day.  You will spoil them like crazy.  Believe me, grandkids are great. 
In my opinion, I think you need to tell your wife that she either needs to get help, serious help, or she needs to move out and you need to talk about divorce.  Maybe this might be enough to get her to seek help.  If not, you need to follow through.  If you can't do it for yourself, then do it for those kids.  Remember, this is just my opinion.
How old are your other children?  Is the 2 1/2 year old a little girl or a little boy?
You know we are all here to support you.
Take care!

Epilepsy, severe adult onset asthma, allergies, GERD, depression, hypothyroidism

Posted 8/15/2007 1:02 AM (GMT -6)
Hi Carla,

Thanks for your comments. I do love her very much. It's feeling like a curse right about now. ;-)

I will say that she's not ignoring the baby when the baby is around her or asks for attention. She is just in her own world and doesn't seek the baby out for interaction. She doesn't go above and beyond the things that she has to do for her. That is classic depression. She is a good mom normally, but she's not herself. I'm not trying to defend her as much as I'm trying to view it with the right perspective.

The 2 1/2 year old is a girl. She's the greatest little kid in the world. I just love her to death. She's smart, beautiful, and very outgoing. She loves her older siblings and they love her.

That's part of my dilemma - I don't want my kids to think that this is the way you handle problems, meaning how my wife is just running without getting help or working on our marriage. Thinking about grandkids makes me sad right now. My wife and I have always talked about having giant family gatherings (with five kids, the potential for grandkids is pretty amazing) for Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house and having all of our grandkids running around us. It's something I've always wanted. With her.

I do plan on talking with a new therapist (one that was recommended to me by a friend). If I can get an appointment with her (she's supposed to be a very straight forward lady who doesn't pull punches), I'm going to tell my wife that I have an appointment for us and that she's going - period. I think that she'll go.

Besides the 2 1/2 year old girl, we have a 9 year old boy, an 11 year old boy, a 13 year old girl, and a 15 year old girl. They are all on honor roll, get straight A's, socially they are doing well, too.

Thanks for the support - I really appreciate it. I really do.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Posted 8/15/2007 6:22 AM (GMT -6)

I think that is the best decision that you could make for your family. I am worried about the kids, depression affects them too,and they often walk around wondering what they did wrong to cause the parent to go into depression.

If it is at all possible,see if you can get some family counseling that would involve your kids.

Stay strong and keep us posted.

Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia
Meds I have taken throughout the years:Wellbutrin,Tranxene,Paxil,Prozac,Valium,
Off of all meds at this time...woohoo!!

"I am woman,hear me roar one day and cry the next!!!"

Posted 8/15/2007 10:21 AM (GMT -6)
Thanks Shy. I am looking into that. I do check in with the kids a lot and I have simply explained that there's a lot of stuff going on right now and I watch how they are. They have been troopers. They have been handling things by keeping themselves busy and playing with the baby. I have been taking them out of the house as often as possible. I took all five kids to the grocery store last week - it was hilarious. The baby was walking around trying to shop while the two boys corralled her and the two older girls (13 and 15) did price comparisons to get the best deals. They had a blast. Cheap entertainment at the grocery store.

I did sit my wife down last night and told her that she had two choices: 1) If she's leaving, she needs to leave or set a date to leave or 2) If she's staying, she needs to start going to counseling and stop threatening to leave. She's mulling it over (I'm pretty sure she's going to elect to stay all things considered). We'll see.

Stay tuned.

When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Posted 8/15/2007 11:02 AM (GMT -6)
When I'm depressed my sweet hubby says lets go to see Dr Larry,you need him right now.So we go.
I trust hubby with my life.

Posted 8/15/2007 11:39 AM (GMT -6)

Good Morning Rick

A new day has dawned and I hope it is a good day for you.

I am glad you had a meaningful conversation with your wife and have put the two choices out there for her to make up her mind. I am wondering if you set a realistic time limit for her to make up her mind about which way to go? I would be careful not to push her to hard but pick a time and stick to it.

The children are very important as they will be confused and scared. It sounds like they are real great kids and are pitching in to help out now. However, many children of divorced families do not manifest problems until they are adults.

If you grew up as a child of divorce, you may find yourself asking: Why am I so afraid of conflict? Why do I have such a fear of commitment? Why am I always waiting for the “other shoe to drop,” even at moments of success? You may be surprised to discover how common these feelings are for children of divorce, especially as they get older.

At this point, I believe that your wife should be involved in working with the children too, as she sould be expected to  share the problems and confusion that the children are experiencing.

Sometimes children will behave in a way they think will make Mom and Dad stay together.  They will do whatever it takes to be good and make you love them and stay together.

Now, onto you, are you ready for the worse to become a reality?

An important first step will be  in recognizing the obstacles you are likely to encounter and the choices you must make, so that the pathway out of divorce need not be one of dissolution but one of healing and ultimate fulfillment.. I know you are trying not to think about divorce as a reality, but keep some thoughts on the back burner on how you will make it through if this is the final outcome.

For the time being, I believe that you are on the right track, but taking care of you is your number one job because if you fold, it looks like the family will crumble at your feet.

You have my support and gentle hugs. (((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))

Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter


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