Am i the toxic one in the relationship?
Hi this is the first time I’m posting on this forum. I’ve been married for 14 years and today I told my husband that I think we should separate. We have 3 kids and I’ve been struggling with depression for the past 6 months. I have episodes which last a couple of days where I can’t eat I want to stay in bed all day with a book and I can’t even get myself to smile at my children. It’s been really hard and I’ve been trying to fight these episodes by eating healthier, doing exercise and I’ve even joined martial arts classes. But Sometimes I feel I wouldn’t have these down moments if I wasn’t with my husband. We can never agree on anything and everything is a battle to decide on. I have problems with his family as I feel my husband always puts them first. They live overseas. He sends money to them every month, talks to them on the phone 4-5 times a week, they come and stay at our house for 3 Months at a time and my husband goes there every year for 3 weeks by himself. I first started having my episodes after his father came to stay with us for 3 months in which time my husband and I had a lot of problems as I felt neglected. I feel complete trapped where I can’t be free to do what I want and wear what I want. I feel like I have to do the right thing so my husband doesn’t get upset and then he’ll ignore me even more. Whenever I talk to him about my problems he tells me it’s always him that is doing something wrong. When I ask him to tell me something about me that upsets him he says he’s very happy with me and the only thing he can say is that he wants me to be Happy whenever he goes to see his family. He says I should be thankful for everything I have and I shouldn’t be moping around. He is very helpful at home and does a lot of housework and he loves our kids. He has a good heart and he is honest. I feel like maybe I’m the one causing the toxicity in our relationship. I love him and it’s so hard to work past these feelings that I have. I hate feeling unhappy all the time that’s the reason I suggested the separation. I want to be able to be happy with my kids and for them to have a normal Mum who isn’t always trying to escape reality. My husband told me I have to stop thinking about me and think about the kids will they be happier with only me or with both parents. I feel like I’m going crazy I don’t know what to do or how to fix myself... I just want to be alone and for this feeling to go away.
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you are really struggling at the moment with depression and your relationship.
I don't think its helpful or important to assign blame when a relationship isn't working. It doesnt really matter if it is him, or you, or even a bit of both. In the end if you want to be by yourself - that is what's important.
As a child of divorced parents, I can honestly tell you that I am happy they did not stay together for us kids. I grew up between two happy homes instead of one sad/angry one. Kids are very resilient and they do get used to changes in the family over time. That's not to say it won't be difficult, but living in a home where your parents are constantly fighting is difficult too.
That being said, please don't think that being on your own will cure your depression. You may still feel depressed for a while, you may grieve your relationship, it might be easier - but still not perfect.
You say you are trying to keep the depression at bay by focusing on eating well and exercising. That is excellent! It's so hard to get out and about when depressed, but it really helps.
Have you spoken to your GP about your depression? You are eligible to get some subsidised psychologist visits through Medicare once you and your GP complete a mental health plan. A psychologist might be able to help you talk through your depression and your relationship issues. You might even find a couples session could really help.
I hope you find some answers soon, please feel free to keep posting - these forums are a great way to connect to others going through similar issues.
Hello Fiki, I'm sorry for how you feel and how the marriage is going.
For me once I was divorced, sold our home and I had to move into a rented house, one son was really upset and cross that all of this had to happen after 25 years, and yes at first I was no better, but then eventually I improved living by myself, I recovered, although I'm not blaming my ex at all.
To me it was the best option, I still loved my ex but we couldn't, after all, this time live with each other any longer.
We still talk and occasionally see each other, no problems arise when we talk, so to us, it was the best thing that happened.
I would give it a go, 2 happy houses
I just had to respond because your situation sounds so close to mine. 2 yrs ago I was where you are, very depressed having trouble finding the good in anything & feeling disconnected in my marriage. It's good you are trying to keep the depression at bay with diet & exercise, it might not feel like it is helping but I bet it is. I've taken up yoga, which is also great for me bec I have a bad back. But it is very calming and might help you too. You can find videos on youtube, you don't even have to pay to go to a session.
Jess334 suggested a visit to your GP to discuss a mental health plan. I second that suggestion. It is what I did, and it enabled me to get subsidised counselling, which has helped me enormously. I also told my hub we needed marriage counselling. I also felt he always put his family first even while his relationship with them was fraught, so I was constantly picking up the pieces after he'd had some kind of row with them. It was very stressful and something I did without thinking bec in a marriage you support your partner...but ultimately I came to the realisation he was not reciprocating enough support for me. He is a great father and will do things if I ask, physical things like shopping or mowing, but as for emotional support there was none.
I'm not saying the counselling has fixed everything. I've been on the brink of separating several times, but in individual counselling I've learned to be more assertive & to speak the truth instead of bottling it up. It hasn't been easy to change the habit of pushing my feelings down so everyone else is happy, but I'm trying. That has done a lot to lift my depressive symptoms. I no longer feel the need to lie on the couch all day eating marshmallows. I'm stronger.
Once you work on yourself and get stronger you too might find you have the strength to deal with your marital issues & to embrace your children again.
PS it is ok for you to have sadness despite you 'having everything'. It is common to have a spouse brush this off the way your hub has done I think. Mine did too. It makes you feel guilty. But there is no guilt or shame for you to feel here. Remember that and please take care of yourself
Oh and I forgot to answer your actual question -- No i don't think you are toxic! It takes 2 to make a marriage work, your husband has responsibility here too, not just to be helpful around the house but to be an emotional support to you. I'm not surprised you had a depressive episode right after your father in law came to stay for 3 MONTHS. Believe me that would put a strain on anyone, and it probably had you walking on eggshells--which does not foster an environment when you feel you can be honest. It was my inability to be honest that put me into a depression, and that was part my fault and part my husbands because he reacted angrily to any truth from me that he didn't like. So I shoved things down and didn't say them because I didn't feel supported. This might be what's happened with you, it sounds like it to me, that is all I'm saying. Counselling can be very useful in pinpointing what the real cause of depression is.
Good luck Fiki, I hope you let us know how it goes