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Desperate. No-one to talk to. Nobody wants to know

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by henryk, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. I am feeling desperately low. I have talked to the Samaritans but they offer no solutions, just um and ah and add to my phone bill. I have suffered from depression on and off for over three years. I got my ill-health retirement from teaching this autumn after a "career" of 30 years, and still replay the horrible times from the last dreadful five or six years of my time as a teacher nearly every day. Since I stopped working about a year ago, my wife expects me to do all the chores- cleaning, cooking, washing, shopping, DIY in all the "free" time I have. I have always lacked confidence with jobs involving tools and a steady hand, so I prefer not to start anything I know I'll botch and get an earful for. This is a big thing with my wife, whose father was a dab hand at everything, from carpentry to electrics.
    This is what brought things to a head this afternoon. We replaced the sealant round our leaking shower basin, but let the stuff dry too much before taking the masking tape off, with the result that the sealant was pulled off as well. I didn't know this would happen and neither did she, but she launched into a tirade against me, so hurtful that I escaped upstairs and got into bed and cried. In a similar scene a few weeks ago, she said I should hang myself on one of my many ties.In all the time I was ill with depression, through all the consultations with doctors (GPs and psychiatrist) the medication, the counselling, the cognitive behaviour therapy, she has never once asked me how I felt or was I better. Not once. As if I was putting it on and somehow managing to fool all the professionals. She doesn't care and thinks I should pull myself together, and find a solution in hard work of some kind. It just doesn't work that way. Would it could!
    I can't talk to my daughter about it, as she is in London visiting her boyfriend. Whenever I try to talk to her at home, she's busy studying , and besides, and has had enough on her plate this year with successful chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma, so my troubles are relegated to a position of little importance.
    I have friends, but they're more good-time companions. In fact my wife stopped me from telling my best mate that I was off sick with depression until I received news that I was granted ill-health retirement. What do I do? I'm desperate. I feel like an utter failure at everything.
  2. This won't come as any comfort but she sounds like a cow to me.

    I was a stay-at-home mother and as such brought up the kids, did a childminding job, some evening cleaning and some supply. I expected to do the househiold chores because, hey, Einstein, I was at home and my husband wasn't. But he didn't expect me to do the DIY just because I was at home! I'm rubbish! I can't be good at everything! If he'd expected me to do it and then threw one if it wasn't done to a professional standard, I would have been forced to drill him with the electric screwdriver and serve divorce proceedings. Bath sealant? What did that cost? A fiver? Just do the bloody thing again. You're hardly the first DIY-ers to learn by bitter experience.

    Totally unreasonable. She's kicking a man when he's down. Don't hang yourself with one of your many (?) ties. Strangle her with it instead. I can see how a partner's mental illness (not a real illness, is it, really?) might well take second place to a daughter's Hodgkin's lymphoma, and I can understand the terrible embarrassment and shame that admitting to depression (cos hey, what have you got to be depressed about?) causes some people, but this is truly out of order.

    Don't beat yourself up. So you got depressed and had to leave teaching and aren't as good as her Dad at DIY. You and plenty others. That doesn't make you a failure at everything. You don't have to agree with her, spiteful cow.

  3. Lily totally right. She sounds hideous and you don't have to take it.
  4. I know what I would do with the sealant and masking tape - ram it down her throat!
    You do need some support - is there a mental health organisation you can visit for advice, socialising and just a breather from this awful woman?
    I don't have any solutions but I seriously think you need to get some space between you and your wife.

  5. Thanks, Lily, for the common sense I couldn't see when I wrote my post. My wife works, gives her family in Poland about a grand a year, doesn't help with the bills or pay for the weekly shopping any more, and only occasionally pays for major things- like the holiday in Italy after my daughter got the all-clear , some dining room chairs and the bedroom in which my mother-in-law slept when she came over last year. Otherwise I pay for food, utilities, insurance and petrol. I paid for fitting out the new house and the six cars we've had since we were married, plus their upkeep. She says she paid for the groceries for a number of years and is trying to "save some money for her old age'. She claims I didn't pay for the house with my money either, as I used my parents' legacy (my dad died in 1986, my mum in 1996 and the house was bought in 1999). Where does she think other people got their money from? But I won't divorce her as it's against my Catholic faith.I don't want to put my daughter through it and give my wife half a house for which she didn't pay. It's tough, but there's no commitment to loyalty in sickness and in health here any more.
  6. If it's your Catholic faith that keeps you from kicking her out, I'd start praying for the strength to endure in order not to sin. Obviously the legal straitjacket of these times forbids you from giving her a good hard slap. Am I old-fashioned, or is a joint account a thing of the past? "With all my worldly goods I thee endow" (or "share" as the modern way has it)?

    At the risk of making your situation sound even crapper, she sounds more browned off that the milch cow has stopped lactating than anything else. This is not your fault. By all means feel *** off that you have depression, education has become crowd-pleasing and riot control and your wife is a money-grabbing *** who has broken at least one of the quoted terms of your contract, but please don't blame yourself for all of this. I know it's hard to assert yourself when you feel low, and it seems that you have lost the whip hand over the disposal of the household income, but she still uses the things that the bills pay for. As for the old age - keep that tie close to hand but be sure to let us know if you're planning to use it so we can back-pedal like mad :)
  7. I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a hard time.

    You and your wife do not have a normal relationship. You sound very bitter towards each other. It is normal for couple to have disagreements (but not all the time). Most couples argue about stuff that affects them here and now, like:

    "We haven't had sex this week, when am I getting it"

    "You showed yourself right up last night, I thought you said you would stick to gin and tonic"

    "Lazy ***, it's your turn to get up with the kids"

    "Why didn't you wash that earlier in the week - it's too bloody late now"

    Not this sniping, over stuff like money and separate accounts and who pays for what. Flipping heck mate, if the most intense emotions in your marriage revolve around who spends what - it's not much of a marriage, is it? As for you sniping over her giving money to "her" family. It's only a grand and they are your family, too. After 30 years of teaching, with a grown up daughter and a pension and a working wife, you simply cannot be so badly off that you need to bicker for pennies.

    It sounds to me like you and your wife have scant respect for each other. It rather seems that she is planning an old age apart from you, as she is saving up for it.

    If the only reason you intend to stay married is because you don't want to get divorced and you cannot bear the thought of giving her half the house that "she hasn't paid for", then I simply cannot see why you stay together. Why does it irk you that she will get half of your house? I presume that as an earning member of the household/stay at home mum when your daughter was little, she has a clear entitlement to it, both in law and as your spouse and companion.

    She has also been through a lot lately too - although she is not supportive towards your depression (and that is insupportable), she has had to cope with your daughter's illness at a time when perhaps you were not able to support her, or your daughter as well as you could if you were not depressed.

    I think you should see your GP to ensure that your depression is being managed the right way. I also think that you and your wife examine your relationship and feelings for each other. Maybe you could visit relate. I think you both need to spend a bit of time reflecting on each other's viewpoint and needs.

    I am so glad that your daughter pulled through her cancer.
  8. Oh Bunty, you're so nice and balanced and I'm just wrathful!!!

    You're right.
  9. I supported my daughter through her illness as best I could, pressing the hospital to speed up the treatmenr process at its beginning over the new year period, accompanying her to every diagnostic test and consultation, driving her to uni (fortunately only about 8 miles away) buying everything she desired in the way of food and presents to keep her spirits up. I cuddled her to sleep when she was depressed and my wife was on nights. I arranged for the university to offer her extra time with exams, assignments and for notes to be taken for her when she wasn't feeling well. I spent whole days in hospital when she caught an infection while on chemo.I don't think I could have done much more short of being with her during the chemo, but then I had my doddery,85-year-old non-English -speaking mother-in-law to keep an eye on while my wife and daughter were in hospital
    My depression isn't being managed at all at the moment. I've tried to do without medication of any sort for about six months now, and fear that any return to Prozac or whatever will be simply seen by my wife as further inexplicable weakness. She was similarly unsupportive to a former friend of hers, accusing her of being idle and workshy until the friend was sectioned,and diagnosed with bipolar disorder (manic depression). Mental illness is still not accepted as an ailment by many people. My mother, a concentration camp survivor, suffered from and so do I.
  10. Why on earth are you not on any medications? I cannot understand this stigma against antidepressant medication. You must go to your GP. In fact, i cannot believe that your GP has allowed you to go without ANY form of intervention, even if you are not on medication, you should have been offered counselling or CBT. Please go back to your GP, or better still find another one. Antidepressants come in many combinations and we have come a long way since first generation drugs. Depression is an imbalance of the chemicals we need to help us function normally in a way that puts us at ease with our circumstances. Antidepressants are a means to remedy that chemical imbalance.

    Well done on finding the strength to look after your daughter. This shows that you do have a reserve of strength that you can draw on when you need to.

    Sorry to tell you what to do, but I really do think you need to examine your relationship with your wife and her attitude towards you depression. There may be many reasons why she does not recognise and understand your depression. She may be frightened to acknowldge that her "man" may seem less than a rock. (I get really annoyed when my husband claims to have the flu and urge him to "man up" and get over it - but really, having written this, I think I understand that I am just worried at the prospect of having no support and having to take charge. i had not really considered this before). If she is Polish and I reckon she must be about 50+ years old, she has come from a place of hardship and communism, where life was harsh and no one could "indulge" themselves by being unwell. She may have a fear of mental illness. You won't know until you talk to her. She also needs to know more about depression, the statistics, medications etc from an unbiased source, like MIND.

    Unless you wife is willing to come to terms with your illness and accept it, it will continue to be a gulf between you. If you have been suffering for some time, this acceptance may be hard for her. In turn, you need to understand her needs and become more accepting of her family. You both need to learn to rub along a bit better on a daily basis too.

  11. Can you see that happening though? One has played the Harpy and the other the doormat for so long I can't see things changing. To avoid medication for a recognised illness just because your missis thinks it's wussy is pretty much terminal.

    Henry, as a first move, might I suggest you say to your wife that you feel as if your depression has returned to the point where medication is required, and then go to your GP and get some. A talking therapy might be helpful since you say you have no-one to talk to, but the fact that you are acquiescing in being bullied by your wife must be so obvious to you that analysis would be superfluous.

    If you think you're pleasing God by sticking it out with her, then I hope he's grateful. It gives you the latitude to be able to invite your wife along to some relationship counselling without the fear of her telling you to shove it and walking out. It has just struck me that the kind of person who thinks the cure for depression is to snap out of it, think of those less fortunate or take a brisk walk is also often the kind of person who would rather fry their own liver than attend relationship counselling (and I should know; I married one). What have you got to lose? It would be illuminating to hear her justify her definition of "husband" to a third party.
  12. PlymouthMaid

    PlymouthMaid Occasional commenter

    Ah Henry - you have had some great, if hard-hitting, advice from those way more articulate and thoughtful than myself but I just wanted to add my two-pennorth to say please don't blame yourself and feel **** over this situation. I too think you should consult your doctor. Relationship counselling is another choice but I have no religion to worry about and to be honest I think I would leave a marriage like this like a shot. You need people to talk to and to help give you some perspective.

    Anyway, best wishes to you.
  13. Fer888

    Fer888 Occasional commenter

    Some excellent advice here Henry. I don't feel I can offer any advice, like you finding it difficult to be on medication but I am sticking on it. I wish you well and hope things start to improve.
  14. celebrity_gossip_fan

    celebrity_gossip_fan New commenter

    Your wife is clearly behaving badly, but I think it's worth remembering here that it is hard living with someone who is depressed. I'm not making excuses for her, but depressed people rarely suffer alone - it impacts on the people who love them and sometimes, being only human themselves, they get angry and fed up of dealing with it.

    There's a really useful self-help book that your wife may be interested in reading. In fact, I think that you should buy it for her. It's called :

    It's a really practical guide to making relationships work when your partner (or sibling or parent etc) is depressed and it sometimes seems to you as though their depression is killing the relationship and that your own needs are completely ignored in favour of the depressed person.
    I'm not being unsympathetic at all, I just think that given that you have said that you are determined to remain together, you need to start looking at practical ways to make it work for both of you.
    I really wish you all the very best. I hope you feel a bit better soon.

  15. TC7


    I agree with celebrity-gossip-fan. Living with someone who is depressed is really hard work, and I expect she is barely coping herself, thus the front she puts on because communication has gone between you. Leaving teaching under ill health has made you loose confidence and belief in yourself and you feel trapped by the situation, you now find yourself in. She may find it difficult especially as your? her daughter has had a life threatening illness and she probably is feeling like the only one who is now working and she is now in a survival mode herself with no feelings left for anyone else. Being Catholic perhaps the church can help you, do you have a good down to earth priest to talk to. Samaritans cannot offer any advice but will talk your ideas through with you until you decide how to move forward. Depression belongs to the person suffering it and only they can decide how to move forward with help from others or with medication. Could you do some voluntary work? This would introduce you to others outside the family enabling you to feel valued elsewhere, also it might help you forget your own feelings temporarily restoring equlibrieum You must remember people close to you are too close to the situation to perhaps give you what you want and often they feel helpless. Good luck I have been in all these situations , I divorced to save my sanity and having left teaching depressed I have returned and enjoy it now.
  16. Flapwell

    Flapwell New commenter

    I already feel in mourning for my career.I haven't resigned yet,but cannot face much more. I feel lost,useless and very anxious about the future. I take anti-depressants, some are useful. Venuflaxin in particular. Could you volunteer to help your church?
  17. misseviltoyou

    misseviltoyou New commenter

    Oh Henry. This is domestic abuse, pure and simple. Please, please ring the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327, or visit their website (http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/mens_advice.php) - they may be of more help than the Samaritans, whose job is merely to listen.
    You're clearly strong in your religious belief - have you spoken to your parish priest? The confidentiality of the confessional may help you to talk out your feelings. If you feel awkward talking to your own parish priest, go to another church.
    Depending on how long you have been married and how drastic the change in your married relationship (specifically your wife's attitude to you) has been, you may have grounds for an annulment. From Wikipedia, grounds for nullity:
    • The consent was based on a condition or reservation (canon 1102)
    You have lately found that her promise to "be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. [and] love you and honor you all the days of [her] life" was conditional upon you being the breadwinner, the homebuilder, the dominant patriarch.
    Clearly your wife's Catholicism has not prevented her from demanding that you commit a sin which in the Church's eyes would sever you from your God and your faith.
    (I have not been a practising Catholic for a very long time, but a rather strict school meant the doctrines and practices stuck.)
    On a more practical note, you could enrol in classes of a practical nature, such as woodwork, to help you build confidence in your manual skills - this might also help you to get out of the house a bit more and meet new people, away from your abuser.
    I survived domestic abuse and so can you.

  18. Why has this bumped to the front page? The OP was in 2008.
  19. misseviltoyou

    misseviltoyou New commenter

    More importantly, why didn't i spot that in the first place? *feelslikeanidiot*
  20. I would concur with previous posters ... you need to start taking some meds otherwise your depression can spiral out of control.
    I would also ask this ... why is your wife sending money back to her family in Poland? I'd be pretty P***ed off if my husband was sending money to his sister or anyone else for that matter. If she is so critical of your DIY skills, perhaps she should use this money to pay a handyman to do odd jobs around the house.
    I am not a marriage counsellor so I wont begin to give you my views on your marriage issues, but it does sound to me like you need to get out of the house a bit. Do you have any interests that you could pursue or could you do some voluntary work?

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