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Re: antigua, why is it so difficult antigua

Posted by helenag on January 9, 2004, at 15:51:13

In reply to Why is it so difficult helenlag, posted by antigua on January 9, 2004, at 8:22:45

> I can relate about your husband. I find that it's much easier to keep things from my husband because he worries so much and I feel badly about what I've put him and to some extent our children through. I do feel us growing apart and that makes me very sad. He has been my best friend since we were teenagers. He has issues of his own that my own problems bring up so I get a double whammy when I feel myself slipping away and I feel guilty and ashamed.

> I have found, however, that I can open up to him after I've worked something out. If I go to him w/just "I'm feeling bad" he always wants to fix it and of course he can't so he gets frustrated. If I've already worked it out it gives him some satisfaction in knowing that I'm o.k. for today. One of my counselors told me that I should be opening up and sharing things w/him but I swear, when I try he just doesn't seem to understand and we end up in a fight. Mostly over me being quiet and not wanting to talk, or pulling away from him because I need some space. Sometimes I really feel like I can't win. Right now I just figure I have to put myself first so that in the long run I will be better for him.
> Hang in there, I know how you feel.
> antigua

Thank you for the post. I went for an extra session with my therapist today and it was very helpful. It got me thinking alot. Four years ago, I went to treatment for alcoholism and that is when the troubles with my husband began. You see, he is a mental health professional and was just mortified that I was a patient where he worked. Whenever he came to see me, I would get so upset that I literally vomited. He was cold, distant, and very angry. Why couldn't I have been in outpatient treatment, he demanded to know. His worst nightmare came true: his wife was now an inpatient where he worked. (I had been hospitalized some years before for depression but that was when he was in school.)

He has since then, I guess, resigned himself to accepting the support that comes from coworkers. He must have had to. I was in the mental health unit six times from April to December. Some of the things my husband said to me were very frightening: that the future is uncertain (meaning our future???) that I seem hopeless and will I keep ending up in the hospital, and then between times when I am doing okay, he starts in on how I am underemployed, how our social status is under what his coworkers is, he wants a bigger house, wants this, wants that, we don't seem to want the same things....

Hence, it's pretty simple to see why I don't communicate emotionally with him much anymore. Losing him this way has taken a toll on me and I wonder if it is behind a lot of the depression and anxiety that I have felt over the past several months. I have made connections with other folks and try to meet my needs there, but my saddness lingers over my husband. Does he even recognize what is going on, I wonder??

My therapist suggests that time bears out a lot of things and to wait this out a little while.

Meanwhile, I feel as though I am living with someone I used to be very close to, still deeply love, moving away from.

I guess mental illness is harder on our families aand spouses than we ever imagined.




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