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My wife won't acknowledge there is an issue

Familyman1
Community Member
Hi there, I'm new to the group, I am mid 20s, married, 2 children and a mortgage, I'm feeling the worst I have for a long time , mentally I am begging for help but I can't push myself to go get help , I think it's because I always seem to bottle things up inside. My wife and I are arguing a lot lately as she says I don't commit enough and I never want to do anything as a family , that's not the case I do but I get extremely nervous around crowds , or a lot of the time I'm deep in thought or just mentally drained, but I can't seem to make her understand that I am listening I don't think she gets how I feel she just seems to ignore me when I open up about things and brush it off as if I haven't said a thing .. What can I do so we can be on the same page as she is very hard to talk to about this !! Thanks
7 Replies 7

PatT
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Familyman,

Sorry to hear you're in the pits lately and good job for coming forward and posting. I know you've said you have a hard time admitting you have problems or discussing but you've made a big first step by coming here and posting. The thing with mental illness is that so few people seek help when they need it....which is pretty much half of the content that's posted on these forums. People are either unwilling to look for help or unwilling to use the advice given to them, and these are the people that suffer the greatest and the longest.

You want help but you don't want to have to take the action required to move forth and get help. I guess my question is really "how long are you going to continue letting yourself be miserable for?"

You know what you have to do get better but your reluctance to move towards it means you're going to be stuck in this loop until you finally let that bottle uncork or go out and get the help you need. In the end the choice is yours and it's easier to suffer in silence than make those big decisions but in the end, if you're going to do it for anyone, do it for your wife and kids. Mental illness affects everyone and please try to make positive changes to improve everyone's life.

We're also always here with any questions you have or even just a chat,

much love, Pat.

Apollo_Black
Community Member

Hi Familyman

If you're comfortable in doing so, can you elaborate on how you are feeling? What I'm getting is that you're feeling misunderstood by your wife and life in general is getting you down.

Work commitments + financial pressure + family pressures = anxiety = vicious circle/negative feedback loop

I totally get the accusation around the "family time" stuff. I used to get that a lot. Despite being present A LOT - I was told I didn't do enough as a family. Internally, I was thinking "OMG I do sOOOOOOOOO much for the family, I bust my ass to get home early, feed my son, bathe him, play with him, feed him, spend the weekend with the family AND I get accused of not doing things as a family? What the?"

I would also get accused of not listening and not being "present". Internally I was trying to deal with my exhaustion of being a present father, dealing with looking after my wife's PND and her seeming never ending recovery, work pressure, financial pressure and most of all worrying whether or not I was a worthy husband and father. Any attempt at explaining how I felt was met with aggression and denial and depreciation of how I actually felt. In my situation I was a "nice guy" and she was some kind of BPD.

I'm not saying our situations are the same, but I so I totally get you. The question is what is the solution??? I think the first step is stop doing what isn't working. For now, stop talking to your wife about it. Without more information regarding your relationship/history with her she either can't process her man "not being strong" or she has her own personality issues and the focus is on you as the problem. The second step is talk to someone else about it, for now. That could be professional counselling or a trusted friend. The third step is (assuming you're already the dedicated family man yada yada) making sure you're spending time with male friends, debriefing and doing something fun. Pick up the thing you used to do but don't do any more (that made you, well, you) before things became crazy.

Sorry about the stuff above. I hear you man. Tell us more of your story if you're comfortable. The more you tell the more we can help and the more it helps get things into perspective in your own mind. I feel anxiety is a predominant issue with you and it's not the end of the world. I don't endorse medication. I think you need to talk about it with other people. I think you need to free yourself with time alone, with exercise and fresh air.

Hi Family man,

Welcome to the forum!

Pat and Apollo Black have already given good advice.

I'd like to add that, in my opinion, being married with kids and a home in your mid twenties is great. Whilst I acknowledge that comparing isn't ideal, I feel that in this case it is acceptable! I am nearing 24 and I am still living at home, am in my first major relationship (of 1.5 years), just finished my undergraduate uni degree yesterday, and haven't had paid work since I was 18 (except for babysitting). I've been volunteering rather than working a part-time job, for personal reasons.

Definitely see a doctor (GP) about the social anxiety. It can help to jot down things you need to discuss in a notepad, and bring this to the appointment. This way, it can prompt you during the session. You could also pass the list to your doctor so they can direct the conversation (if you're nervous when speaking about mental health). Getting diagnosed means you can read info and start to understand what you're experiencing. Also, your wife will hopefully be more receptive to what you say once you've talked to your doctor, and can put into words what you're going through. I recommend she read this Beyondblue page: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/supporting-someone/supporting-someone-with-depression-or-anxiety (even if you aren't diagnosed with anxiety specifically, this info is still useful to know)

Here are some resources I recommend (again, on the assumption that you are experiencing anxiety):

http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=46 (general anxiety)

http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/infopax.cfm?Info_ID=40 (social anxiety)

I hope you can see a GP soon.

Best wishes,

Zeal

Fairywings
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hello and welcome nice to have you with us xx I am sorry you guys r going through this If words are becoming to difficult write to her leave it on her bedside so she can digest it in her own time and as for you I want you to start writing things down in a diary that way you are not keeping your thoughts within because speaking hypothetically ur thoughts will eat you inside out xx zeal has given you a great stratergy when seeing a gp I too think it is important for you to go and see one to save your sanity like I also said if spoken words r too difficult then write it down and take it with you to your appointment If you don't feel comfotable with leading the convo then pass your notes onto your gp and let them lead xx Anxiety / Social anxiety can be debilitating maybe suggest to your wife she read up on it through our bb website this will help her understand what your feeling and experiencing I hope this helps you in some way please do keep in touch we are all here for youxx Venessa

Familyman1
Community Member

Thanks so much everyone reading those comments is a big relief I'm not the only one, we have been together for 8 going on 9 years , I have always worked very early mornings also (1-3am) which makes it that little bit more difficult and rarely do either of us go out alone we are always together in each other's face at home which probably doesn't help. Thanks for the advice everyone I think I might just try push myself to go to the g.p. ( my chest is pumping just thinking of it) but I guess it's something I have to do.. What should I say?? He is the doctor for our whole family and is very old fashioned , thanks

again guys

hello Familyman, welcome to the site and thanks for posting your comment.
All the wonderful people above have given you so much to consider, so firstly can I begin by saying that what ever is talked above between you and the doctor is not discussed with anyone else, except for a psychologist or such, so it's discrete.
What I can see is that you want help and that's a great start, because people can be in denial so the beginning of any treatment is deferred, which only magnifies their condition.
Don't be scared of going to your doctor, because most doctors have plenty of patients suffering from depression, so once the discussion begins they will pick up exactly what you are suffering from, also ask them about the 'mental health plan' which entitles you to 10 free visits to see a psychologist.
It seems as though you maybe suffering from social anxiety, although I'm not qualified to give you this diagnosis, but your doctor will, however I see a trend developing here whether your wife may also be having problems herself and should also see the doctor, which brings me to the fact if both of you are seeing the family doctor may not be advisable, because both of you will asking each other what the doctor said to you, so I don't think that this is a good idea, others may disagree, that's their choice, but this is only if your wife wants to see them.
You can't be on the same page if you're strugggling with any type of depression because your wife won't understand what is happening to you.
You could try relationship counselling, however I haven't seen a great deal of success and would prefer you to have individual counselling, but I can see that the both of you do need help. Geoff.

pipsy
Community Member
Hi Familyman 1. Quite a lack of communication going on here. Women are inclined to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Men seldom admit to having any sort of problems emotionally or otherwise. Some men completely close down because they don't how to ask for help. This could be what's happening here. Obviously, your wife is not on the same page emotionally. Perhaps a visit on your own to your Dr to see if you could get a referral to a therapist. I think perhaps you need some guidance on how to tell your wife how you are feeling. Until she realizes you are having problems communicating, things between you won't change. I say therapist as opposed to a councillor. Councillors are fantastic, but while they can give you ideas, therapists actually guide you on communicating. It's possible your wife has some issues with depression, I can't say. If you feel comfortable with your therapist, maybe then you could suggest your wife talk to a therapist as well.