Have we drifted too far?
LADYLILLY - Aug 27 2014 at 06:59
I am married 12 years - together for 20 in total. We have drifted apart so much lately. My husband had depression a number of years ago when our kids were much younger (9&5 now). At the time we were both unaware of his situation but during this time I felt very unsupported emotionally financially etc. He denied he was depressed but it left me feeling that all his moods etc were taken out on me. It was difficult to get him to socialise etc no interest in going anywhere or doing anything even with the kids. At this time too he said he didn't love me and only for the kids he'd b gone. This really upset me but we struggled on. However it has left it's scars. About a year ago I decided that I would go back to some sporting activities and have reconnected with lots of female friends.This has brought about the opportunity for nights out etc - that side of my life I am so happy with. He's really not ok with these outings. The problem is that now he's out of his depression which is brilliant but I think my new found independence really bothers him. He still loves me but with all that has happened over the years I now feel somewhat indifferent - it's like he was 'gone' for a few years and now he's back all loved up and expects me to feel the same - but I don't. I haven't given him reason to mistrust me but he's very insecure and regularly accuses me of having interests elsewhere. The spark between us is gone and the gap has widened. We went to 4 counceling sessions. He felt they were of no help and I feel that they made me see that he has control issues and is deeply insecure. I just don't know how to fix this. He puts a lot of pressure on me fix it NOW but I feel that it took time to slide downhill and will take time to get the feelings back. We almost separated in the past couple of days and I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do. I would like to get back on track but don't know if it will work.
I'm unsure as to why you seem intent on insisting he had depression despite he himself denied it? Usually if you correctly label someone's problem, they're relieved and grateful. Perhaps you're just naturally desperate to feel you know what's what and/or wish to soften your own attitude by making excuses and allowances?
Well, me, I suspect that 'ol chestnut that goes...
"I plied him with a huge amount of attention until such time as the attention-heavy kids came along, whereupon he - struggling and rebelling for all he was worth against having to suddenly take a back seat and suffering insecure suspicions that he was actually losing me/the relationship - began negatively acting-out in order to gain it back, either because positive ways had failed or he wasn't used to having to work that hard. Whenever said acting-out failed or the result proved too fleeting, he would up his negative ante, including,  attempting in myriad ways to stop me from going out - where males on the cruise are to be found - and/or giving my already too-limited attention away to others, and  subconsciously trying the chipping-away-at-my-confidence route through his urge to express resentment in the form of 'I don't love you [either], mleugh!' so that I wouldn't then *feel* like going out, or, failing that, at least wouldn't make for the sort of satisfying company that gets invited out again (and certainly wouldn't attract any male advances what with my by-then 'wet weekend' face)".
Sounds like his emotionally immature/ignorant way of dealing with his fear of losing you as too quickly took hold as a habit, has started to become a negative, self-fulfilling prophesy, doesn't it.
Can you be a*sed to give him x years' worth of reassurance? Can you hand-on-heart say you take no responsibility, anyway, for his increasing insecurity over your relationship? How about, instead of backing away, doing the exact opposite now that your kids need your attention less, and smothering the bejezuz out of him until he yells "submit!" and can turn his attention to what's *outside* your little cave like you've done? After all, talking hasn't worked (men heed ACTIONS, not words), neither has backing away (that just made it worse). So that just leaves gritting your teeth and being in his face and all over him like a rash for a while, doesn't it?... or terminating the relationship and seeking someone with less of a 'cosy togetherness' appetite?
For the sake of the kids, I'd try the cleverer and less drastic smothering route. Call it reverse psychology... you give them *more* attention than they need, whereupon not only do they relax but actually try to give *you* a bit of a wider birth, LOL. You'd also be highly surprised how effective faking it can be in terms of getting back those romantic feelings that got lost in the quagmire called tiny, needy kids & other life sh*t.
That's what I'd do, anyway. In fact, likewise being apt to be an overly independent, self-contained type, I've had to do it a number of times. Trust me, it works BEAUTIFULLY. *And* speedily. Assuming you thereafter strike a happier than before medium, that is.
Hope that helps.
Wow Soulmate took this one personally. Chillax Soulmate whoever left you did you a favor.
Ladylilly if you want this marriage to work you have a lot of work ahead of you, and so does your husband. If your husband agreed to counseling sessions before, you can convince him to go to more. Let him know it takes time. If he truly loves you and wants this to work let him know he has to keep working with you.
Find activities to do together. Take a weekend to yourselves, go camping, kayaking. Maybe take a yoga class together. Whatever both of you would have fun doing together. Kids and work and marital issues dissolves the spark but it doesn't mean you can't get it back.
I understand that you feel pressured and it's unfair to you that your husband is demanding of you but even all those times that he's being unreasonable listen to what he's saying. Not do what he's saying but listen and try to understand his side of things. His accusations of you could be a cry for help.
My idea of using reverse psychology is a bit different. My boyfriend loves me, but he wasn't the kind of guy that regularly called me beautiful or wrote cheesy notes. So I started to call him beautiful and be cheesy all the time. And he reciprocated. It's a small gesture but it goes a long way.
Take small steps whichever way you're going, it'll be alright.
Thanks for your surprising concern for my welfare, complete stranger called GBKAPOK, but actually no-one left me (I'm not the type to tolerate childish nonsense from grown men for longer than 5 minutes) and whenever I offer advice on a problems forum I leave my personal feelings totally out of it, except where (ref last para) it might prove helpful.
The marital scenario I described is actually an all too common one once kids enter the scene, albeit granted, one would have to have a great deal of experience in a relationship advisory position in order to know so.
Let me offer you a friendly tip regarding taking on an advisory role on a forum: if you somehow see it as some sort of competition, the dignified way to compete is to ensure your own advice shines brightest and/or to allow the advisee to take what they need and leave the rest, not by trying to devalue others efforts by gross assumption of accusing them of projecting or not being "chillaxed" enough to take seriously. If you can't summon the self-control to do so then please don't ever address me again. Thanks.