some clarity and help
First time posting... I have been sitting with some unhelpful thoughts and not coping.
My partner and I have been together for 8 years. Through this, he has suffered from depression, and I from GAD. Around 6 months ago we had a massive argument, that has now turned into him shutting off, telling me he doesn't feel anything towards me, no love, no attraction. He going to a psych and they have said it is trauma and depression.
Our arguing has gotten worse. At least twice a week. He says all he feels is anger and sadness. My head tells me it's my fault, I should leave, he is too nice to leave. I keep reading of stories similar, and they say that they look for relationships with other people to make them feel good. He is making new friends online all of which are female. I am feeling incredibly insecure and not good enough.
I don't know what to do. I just want things back to normal. Before 6 months ago. I feel like he has already slipped away and our time together is pretty much done.
Hi and welcome ang3m to our caring community;
It's brave of you to post on BB as it takes courage to put your pain and frustration out to strangers, so good on you..well done.
Your situation sounds complicated ang; past arguments, current friction, your partners turned back and online female friends, mental health disorders for you both and fear of the future. Yes...a bit of a pickle.
I know you said 8 yrs together, so I probably don't have to talk about transitioning thru different phases of a relationship, as you've been together long enough to have gone thru some already. Do you think this may be one of those times?
Sometimes hording (too many) problems before bringing them up can create overload when talking. If this is the case, a relationship counseling mediator could help to sort thru unresolved content. But this would take some interest from your partner too. Do you think there's a chance they may come around for the sake of discussion?
8 yrs together is worthy of working on yes? Are you eating/sleeping together for instance? Depending on your circumstances the level of support needed is relative; the difference between a mediator vs talking over dinner and champagne. Romance does do wonders sometimes.
I'm concerned for you as an individual too. Do you have psychological support, friends, family to confide in? How are you coping with your GAD while still trying to deal with your partner? Are you sleeping alright?
I'm glad you turned up here. Others may pop in to help, keep an eye out for our responses. We do care and want to help ok?
So I've given you some food for thought. It's only a few minutes since you posted so maybe you'll see this before you log out.
I agree that it's not from one event, just the catalyst to push him over this line.
We had a breakdown a couple of years ago, where he was going behind my back and speaking badly of me to another girl that he worked with. And among other things, flirting. Which I would consider harmless had he not spoken poorly of me. I found the conversations by going through his stuff. There is a large level of mistrust towards him, and when i fall into panic, I search through everything.
The argument was about making friends online. By experience, I had discomfort and didn't want to be okay with it. I said some awful things and by the end of it, i could tell he was defeated and shut off. What I know is, the day I stopped trusting him is the day we started moving in the wrong direction. He sees me as controlling, and likens it to how his childhood was.
Last January we were engaged, a year later we are here, and I really haven't accepted that.
I just want to rebuild and I'll do what needs to be done to do it. I know he does too, he has said it, but it is hard
to keep my head in the facts when I know he doesn't love me.
I can't sit comfortably with myself and it's getting in the way.
Thank you for your reply.
The transitioning; yes, I think it is. There is always the fear that it's a bad transition. Like what could be possibly
handle next and still be okay?
I recently thought about couple counselling after reading the copious amount of articles and threads about
relationships and mental health... I have hesitation around it because i'm not sure if it will make a difference,
as he has a psych and I have a counsellor. Both of our minds are on fixing ourselves as individuals. As i write this, I feel we are missing the mark a little.
Yes, 8 years is worthy of working on. Losing what we have built frightens me. I read that when a partner is suffering from depression, it is best to keep routine, so we still sleep in the same bed, always eat dinner together and do activities. It feels normal and okay for a time and then my head starts screaming "don't forget he doesn't feel anything towards you!"
I have a counsellor and my brother who i can confide in. I am ashamed to let friends know this is happening. I don't think i'm coping with the anxiety. It starts some of the arguments.. I create a story and feel that my questions need answers (unhelpful questions) My thinking is so unhelpful it turns into chronic nightmares... so the sleep isn't alright. I don't really want to take medication again to manage it, though it was helpful the side effects were not good.
I am hoping that writing everything down here helps me.
Thank you again, Sara...
Hello ang3m, it's a tough sounding time but from what you've posted, it sounds like you are both very self-aware and committed to fixing things. It's worth acknowledging that. Many threads on these forums about relationship problems sounds very one-sided, with one party not willing to change, or to not willing to face difficult truths.
I know what you mean about being ashamed to tell friends about difficulties. I have thought this too in the past, and when finally opening up to close friends about my relationship difficulties I not only felt unburdened but I realised that I wasn't alone, they felt more comofrtable in telling me of the ups and downs in their relationships. We all have them. You might find it takes away some of the anxiety as well to be able to vent to friends,a nd perhaps get some real time perspective shifting of the more unhelpful thoughts taht crop up.
You've bought up some interesting points. Firstly is your anxiety; without proper sleep, and you'd know this, one can't function at their best. PRN medication is really important especially when relationships are being affected by sleep deprived anxiety. It's a vicious cycle of one causing the other to deteriorate.
Your mind filling with fantazmical doom and gloom scenario's; mindfullness practice like focusing on things in the room, your breath, walking or activity around the house is essential for living in the moment. Memories or fear of the future and reliving the past is a brain strain...worthless energy use. Keep your eyes open..don't be tempted to close them to visualise ok? Learn to catch yourself doing any bad habit and nip it in the bud!
Recurrent conversations with people in your mind. Eg...if this happens I'll say "..this and that so he doesn't have a comeback" Eventually this can be so destructive, it can put your recovery back months.
2nd is recognising when things are going normally; although you might not see this as a success, it actually is. Life in general is boring! What did you do when things were boring prior to the current situation? The same as the rest of us I'd imagine. It's these times that present opportunities for improvement.
My number 1 suggestion for connecting? Warm and kind eye contact with a gentle smile, and actually feel it..don't force it or stare at him. All it takes is 2 or 3 seconds then walk away. Practice in the mirror.
Number 2 is flirting. Yeah I know, but think about how you and he felt when things were new and pulling each other 'in' was like a game. It was fun! How much fun have you had lately?? What do you have to lose? Let him hear you giggle while reading a magazine. Make groaning sounds while showering...sex sells! lol
Walk into the shower while he's there and say "Oops..sorry" That's when you use that smile hun. It doesn't have to show teeth, just a quick look (there) and a cute little smile at his eyes. Then walk off. You want him to come to you don't you? Come on! You know how to do this yeah?
This is an area that friends like to be involved in...helping you to reignite passion with hubby. Women love that stuff! Connecting with your friends in this way can be fun. They don't have to know the real deal. If it's hard, fake it till you make it!
Just writing this makes me feel good. Ha ha (having a nice laugh to myself, he he)
Sigh...don't have a man...