I'm making my husband sad
For those with who suffer through depression and anxiety (like me), have you ever thought that subconsciously one of the big reasons you push a spouse away is because you're flat out finding your own happiness let alone being responsible for there's?....and the more they push for you to 'open up' and get in your face and tell you to 'snap out of it' followed by 'you're ruining our marriage...', just makes you push them away more?
I've lived through the sadness. I've been on medication for 2 1/2 years, I found motivation and happiness when I felt mentally stronger and found a job that I loved working 1 1/2 hrs away at a mine. A family member is also from that industry and I found my place. Things were better for me. My roster allowed me to be home every weekend and a weekday. But with a husband at home, working fulltime and taking care of the kids (our 10yr old son on the spectrum), he struggled and would constantly remind me of my time away. He phoned me EVERY night that I was away since late 2021. One night, he in tears, I decided I should come home.
The transition hasn't been easy though. I left a job that I love and to me, every other option will be mediocre, including the job I now have which is 100% in an office and not the outdoorsy job I had at the mine. I feel lost. My mental health is slipping again. I feel like I've come back for the kids and the husband and now I have nothing for me. And I've been called selfish too...which is probably right, but when you have depression and anxiety and you find a year and a bit of joy and happiness you hold on to it with an iron fist. I sleep on the couch. I'm making my husband sad but I can't lie to him or me about how I feel. I don't want sex. I just want to raise our kids under the same roof and that's it.
I picked up on the "I've been told I'm selfish" comment. So lets look at that. On one side of a page you could write the positives of that mine job- A job you love. On the other side is - husband very unhappy, husband struggling, child doesnt have mum for 4 days a week (has special needs).
So I can see the torn feelings there. Do you think you have been selfish? I'd like to know your view. I ask this because family commitment usually means others do come first. I'm not sure about the reasoning that having a mental health issue adds justification to keeping what makes you happy. I cant seem to grasp that for some reason maybe because if taken to extremes it doesnt work out eg if a married couple with kids and family in the town, one spouse gets depression and after the diagnosis he/she arrives home and says "I need more happiness and I've always wanted to live in Hawaii thats where we should move to". It doesnt allow for flexibility and "appears" self satisfying.
Your husbands situation with you working at the mine is not dissimilar to shift work. I worked in security 12 hour shifts. 4 days on a 4 off. Midnight to noon 2 days then 2 days noon to midnight. For 4 days my then 1st wife (and young kids) had to tippy toe around the house as I slept, I barely saw them for 4 days then the 1st day off I was recovering. So I kind of understand his feelings when he cried on the phone and now he is paying the price for wanting you at home in a more traditional family situation. Maybe his sacrifices were too much for him?
Re: "..., have you ever thought that subconsciously one of the big reasons you push a spouse away is because you're flat out finding your own happiness let alone being responsible for there's?"
The above I read that is where the animosity lies. As married couples we are indeed responsible to make life for our spouse (and visa versa) pleasing enough and easy as possible so as a couple you get through ok. A team mentality is essential. So this transition you admit has done harm is like pouring vinegar into a cake mix. Not unlike the damage done with an affair or one being dominant and so on.
Re: "..and the more they push for you to 'open up' and get in your face and tell you to 'snap out of it' followed by 'you're ruining our marriage...', just makes you push them away more? Do you believe you have been communicating well? Does your husband sound desperate?
For the above reasons I'd highly recommend couples counselling. You might be surprised how that can be successful regardless of your ill feelings atm.
It can be such an enormous challenge, finding what works for everyone. I think sometimes it can end up feeling like 'Finding what works for everyone except me' or 'Losing myself in the process of finding what works for everyone else'.
Working 4 days a week not too far away doesn't sound unreasonable. I suppose it's a matter of 'Is it reasonable under the circumstances?'. All depends on the circumstances. Depending on what level of challenge your son faces, this may determine the circumstances. Full time assistance, part time assistance or occasional assistance with challenges and personal development will dictate the amount of support and time off work regarding you or your husband. When I consider my son who' recently been diagnosed with high functioning autism, I've taken the year off to help him manage VCE, his nature, forms of self development and self discipline, focus, routine/structure etc. I'm also giving myself more time to manage the developing challenges of 2 aging parents with complex needs, amongst other things. Taking the year off is also allowing me the time to manage anxiety/stress and depressing factors. Last year got a little too much, going out to work on top of everything. As I say, I think it becomes a matter of finding what works for everyone.
As a stay at home parent, what would your goals be? Of course, important to take time off work like with any job (so many hours a day or days in the week, for yourself). Would you become a major researcher when it comes to researching autism (inside the square research as well as outside the square). With autism comes a number of sometimes unrecognised abilities. Would you spend time researching and helping him manage and master a number of the abilities he has? In what ways could he help you evolve? Could he help you remember how to live in certain ways? Is he someone who would lead you to wonder more, adventure more, question more, play more, see the simplicity in things and so on? As I say, depending on where he's at on the spectrum, if he's someone who rocks/self soothes, could he teach you a calming rocking meditation to help with anxiety?
Another question could come down to 'Does this mean a year off work or 2 years off, eventually returning to a job you love and thrive on?'. If so, what could you learn in that year or 2 years?
As a 52yo wife and mum, I've reached the point of figuring out it's not just about me raising my kids to a sense of joy, ease, self awareness, excitement etc or raising my husband in a number of ways, it's also about them raising me too. They all have to put some effort into finding what brings me joy, a sense of ease, self awareness, excitement etc, otherwise they're just being lazy. I sound harsh, hey 😁. I should add, being a real feeler means I can feel what my husband says to me. I've learned to trust and be honest with my feelings over the last couple of years, something that really challenges him at times. That could sound a little like 'Dude, you're depressing me, I can feel it. How 'bout you raise me instead'. 'Snap out of it' is definitely triggering. While feeling angering, the lack of compassion also feels like a sudden disconnection, one that can be felt as heartbreak. Can be hard to sleep in the same bed with someone who breaks our heart in ways we can feel.