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Marriage over after 26 years.

Arnya
Community Member
This is the hardest thing I've had to do ever. I made an appointment to see a health professional. My husband and I have not spoken a word to each other in 2 months. We live in separate parts of the house. I'm still here because I have my grandson here as well and just cannot afford to move out. It's horrendous to say the least! It's like now I'm not living, I'm existing. I sleep a lot when I'm not working. Trying to keep it together for the sake of my grandson. Trying to find work is impossibly frustrating. It's just getting worse day by day. He is a narcissist and I cannot believe I never really noticed it. So gradual. So here I am not sure what to do.
24 Replies 24

Hi Arnya

In my personal experience, with twenty years of mental health issues on and off, the fact is most GP's are woefully under-prepared for mental health issues. I honestly don't think they're trained to deal with them as they are more the physical side of health.

Several years ago, I walked into see a GP and asked him for anti-depressants because I was pretty much suicidal. He was an older man who was known for his knowledge, and his ability to put people at ease. He is the most wonderful doctor, and he diagnosed me with Bipolar 2 within minutes, and he was absolutely spot on. He made me feel so comfortable with asking for help, and he looked me in the eye and said that I would be ok, I wept with relief. In the years since, I have seen other GP's when I couldn't get into see him (being immensely popular in a country town), and every single time it is an uncomfortable, awkward experience having to explain I have bipolar, often with GP's in their 30's who should have a much more contemporary viewpoint about mental health and how to treat people.

The point I'm making is, don't give up. We're constantly told to 'see the GP' if we need help, but they're just people; sometimes they're amazing and sometimes they make it ten times worse, which I suspect is your experience. You need to find one who 'gets it'. The same goes for counselors and psychologists; whilst they are obviously far more trained in mental health, sometimes you won't click with them as people. Don't give up, there will be someone out there perfect for you, who will be wonderful and you will be able to talk with.

And for what's its worth, it's not you. I too have always been seen as a strong person, and even with friends who know I have bipolar, I would rather suffer in silence than admit I'm having a bad time. Recently I've been having a terribly sad and lonely time in my life, and was isolating myself because I didn't want to be a burden. One friend sat me down and asked me to talk to her, and gradually it all came out, and I feel so much better for it. I'm still sad and lonely, but not dark and desperate. Sometimes we have to just swallow our pride and admit to people we're not feeling very strong and would like a hug and some help. There is nothing wrong with letting other people comfort us when we need it.

I hope your situation improves for you, and you find your happiness again.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Arnya, it is difficult for a person who has been married for a long time, to try and explain to a doctor who only seems to have 'come out of the starters box' what actually has happened throughout your 26 year marriage, not unless their parents also had trouble, but then each one is different.

The situation is reversed when an elderly GP consults a younger because they've been through it all before and understand straight away.

I started seeing a much younger GP last week who had no idea of my history but said he'd try and read through my file before I see him again.

Maybe you have thought about my previous reply and interested to know how you feel, only when it suits you.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

Arnya
Community Member

She wasn't a young Dr by any means but to be honest, I think her culture may shape her opinions. It was hard enough for me to take the first step, then to find she didn't even know why I was there! I really got the opinion that she felt I should be " a good woman and just go home".

Have you heard of "reflective" counselling? It's where you say eg..I feel so sad and depressed. The counsellor responds, " so you feel sad and depressed, why is that? They basically reflect back to you what you say. This is my experience.

I know of the options that are available to me now. I'll be looking into them. That in itself is terrifying. Housing is hard where I am. Not a lot of affordable places around. I hope centrelink can help with finding work. I'll need it to afford rent. Feeling a bit over loaded this morning.

Hi Arnya,

I am with you. It does seem so daunting when you don't have control of your own life.

But, I feel you have more control than you think. On a good note for me I have just scored a job, so that will help me pay rent. Centrelink don't help with jobs, but they do help set you up in an emergency. My problem is I am too proud, I have done everything for myself my whole life and I feel ashamed to ask Centrelink for help.

I understand your frustration with doctors, many of the psychologists are the same. There is no miracle cure and often they just agree with what you had already figured out (your reflective therapy). What you write here is the same thing, you are doing what we all do, putting your thoughts and feelings out there. GOOD FOR YOU.

I can see your strength of resolve growing, it is scary, but so was your first driving lesson.

AJBella
Community Member

I am sorry you are going through such a difficult time and would suggest you find support from your Doctor or a trained marriage counsellor. Perhaps call your local Council to see if they have relevant services.

I was married for 32 years when my husband left and found that regular counselling and good chats with close friends helpful.

Some couples do cohabit for a few years before seperating. Do what makes you feel happier. Even taking a break away with friends if you can afford it.

My best wishes to you.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! A new job will do wonders I'm sure. I totally understand what you mean by always doing things yourself. I am the same. I hate asking for help because to be honest, everyone seems to be going through something themselves. I have the added problem that if it gets back to my husband, there will be one hell of a row over it. He would see it as an affront to his manhood. He's acted like that before over trivial stuff so I really need to tread carefully. Friends have a habit of thinking they're helping by telling others or even worse, telling him they are there if he needs help. I know this will take time to get sorted out, I just hope I can cope.

Arnya
Community Member
Thank you. I hope it all worked out for you in the end.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Arnya, thanks so much for getting back to us.

Yes I know about 'reflective counselling' because there is a huge difference when you are asking the question or making a particular comment to your counsellor/psychologist, rather than them repeating the same back to you.

In other words, instead of you getting an answer from the psychologist, which you are hoping for, they then offer the idea back to you, so you have to think about for yourself.

My psychologist often used it with me, to see if I could open the door and let me try to solve it myself, whereas before there was no way possible.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

Arnya
Community Member
Hi Geoff. I understand that the counsellor/psychologist won't "tell me what to do". I know their job is to guide me to find my own way. I didn't feel I had any openings with the Dr. I'm having a really bad day today. Nothings changed, but I am feeling so low and useless. I'm seeing centrelink tomorrow to see what they can do to help. Tell you the truth? I'm scared to hell. I'm worried over so many things atm and I have no control over any of it.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Arnya, I know all of this does frighten you, especially if you haven't done it before, so can I suggest that you write down what has happened and you only need to keep it in note form because if you write everything down in an essay form, you may lose the staff members concentration.

Take any doctors etc letters you may have and don't worry if you don't have any, simply because you are 'separated' from your husband even though you under the same roof.

Good luck and please let me know what happens.

Geoff.