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Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Community Member

Thankyou for providing a place where people can talk, I am in my mid thirties and a stay-at-home Mum to our beautiful 4 year old son and adorable 16 month old foster daughter. I have been married to my husband for 4 years. We didn't have much time to get to know each other or form a strong understanding. It was silly, but I thought that I would never find anybody else if I let him go. Fast forward to the present, and we have always been under a lot of financial pressure due to failed investments, and until recently I bore 100% of this burden as he refused to acknowledge our position. Recently he has, and I have totally let go of the burden but still feel stressed ( I am still the one handles finances). We do argue quite a lot and I find he is totally cut off from his emotions. He does love me and shows this emotion well, but if he disagrees about something, he just can't articulate his feelings, so he shows it by getting angry. So basically he feels one thing, and shows it by saying or doing something totally different. He won't go to marriage counselling, and I have been told that this lack of emotional connection in men can be reversed through counselling, but I know he is never going to agree to that. He is really anti-social and painfully shy - his just likes to spend time in the shed or with the kids and that's it. It causes me so much hurt when he says things that he doesn't mean.Without going into too much detail - I can say that divorce is fairly likely.

Due to head injuries when I was a kid I have been left with terrible memory and slow processing. This does cause some problems in our relationship because I forget things that I have said, decisions we made etc. I'm a reasonably smart person with a uni degree, but every job I've ever had before has slowly declined because I didn't perform well. I feel I would do well in a job if my boss understood my downfalls, but the chances of finding a boss like that, especially in the current climate, are pretty slim. I feel that if I leave, I would make my life so much harder than it already is, mostly due to my nil employment prospects. Also I don't want to hurt my son, who is very attached to his father, and don't really like the idea of being alone - again.

I know there isn't any easy answers - my life to date has been full of loss and hurt and I'm angry that it has to be this way. I would love to hear your wonderful and heartfelt advice. Thankyou xx

4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Beatrice Boo and welcome to Beyondblue. I am so sorry you are struggling in your marriage. It does sound from your post that times have been and are tough.

It's never an easy process to get our blokes to go to counselling. My husband fought it for years until l said that l just couldn't go any further as the pain was too much for me to handle. This was his trigger to attend marriage counselling through Relationships Australia. I am not suggesting this is the best course of action for you, but have you spoken to your husband about your feelings and your thoughts about leaving and little hope?

I am a little like your husband. I get very emotional and when in conflict l struggle to speak my truth that allowed my husband to understand. We are sensitive souls and conflict/confrontation is difficult, so we do resort to anger as we just cannot get the words out that would make sense. Can l recommend that you both spend some couple time, getting to know each other again, reflect on why you married and start the discussion on why you want to save the marriage? Baby steps are key l think and without the pressure to obtain results instantly. With children, financial pressures, home etc couples can loose themselves and forget about nurturing the relationship as it needs as much care and attention as any relationship we have with our children, family etc

From your post, I feel a little counselling support could help you as well. Between family, work, home, etc. that's a lot to deal with including past events that have caused you pain and suffering. Your low self-esteem could do with a tune up, and some self-care is important here. It might be worthwhile speaking with your GP about your feelings and see what he/she suggests. I feel from your post that your energy tank is near empty and only you can fill it up with self-nurturing and care.

Please reach out again and let us know how you are going. We are here to help as much as possible. Hang in there Beatrice Boo.

Carmela x

Hi Carmela, I'm so sorry I've taken so long to reply, I couldn't work out how!! It turns out that logging in is always a good start - ooopps!! Duh!!! Thankyou for your help. I still don't know where to start. On any of the fronts you mentioned. Well, I am hoping to get away for a weekend by myself sometime soon, I'll just go stay with a friend for the weekend. That might be a start. Not being able to afford to get away together is a bit of a problem though. I think he is feeling stressed and it shows in his poor communication/aggression but he doesn't seem to have any idea of how stressed I am, considering I am the one who actually does everything, comes up with the ideas,has the initiative, (tries) to execute said ideas, although lately I seem quite incapable of handling anything outside of getting dressed and getting my son to school, sometimes on time. Anything extra just reduces me to tears. He goes to work each day and comes home again. He does help with the kids and the house, for which I am grateful, I just wish he would apply himself to our finances and at least willingly discuss them, instead of just getting angry at me for bringing it up. Sorry, I'm going on too much. As far as nurturing myself goes - its so painful to even think about it. I took mysrlf off to hospital at about 1am a few weeks ago because I was really losing the plot. The doctor was very caring, he listened to me and asked me questions and then said it sounded like I had a lot to deal with and basically my depression is because of my circumstances, so he couldn't do anything to help. Lol yes a bit of a benzo might have helped!! I understand that noone can help me except me but it was a bit disheartening, I may as well have just stayed home. Oh well sh$t happens and we just have to get on with it. I could be starving and cold and hurt and in the middle of a war zone in any given location around the world! ! Instead I have a warm bed, beautiful house, beautiful kids and a husband who loves me. Xx

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Beatrice Boo, thanks Carmela for a great reply.
It must have been an exciting few weeks/months for you to get married but as time progresses the marriage needs to revitalised, but this doesn't seem to be happening for you.
It's always difficult when you are struggling with finances, investments that don't go ahead and the belief that it could end all your money troubles, and when it doesn't then friction starts, so all emotion ends, as it did for me when I got depression and lost 6 months work, then pressure was put on our relationship and where my now ex became cross with me.
I also suffered head injuries some 30 years ago, but it certainly has changed my life no different to what you are experiencing, but to find an understanding boss these days is not easy, because of the number of people looking for work.
At the moment are you able to get any payments from centrelink, or perhaps you are, I say this hoping it may stabilise your relationship financially even though you may have lost a large amount of money in these investments, unfortunately it's gone, just as I lost a large amount to my ex brother-in-law who never thanked me but all that money has gone as well, so now I have to leave it all behind me.
There's a big question looming now whether you want to save your marriage or go your own way, because it seems as though one of you need to be strong to keep the marriage alive and want to stay together, I know it's not going to be easy but it might be better than being out there by yourself, but please can I also suggest that you see your doctor.
We would love for you to keep this post going. Geoff. x

Hi Beatrice Boo, thank you for replying back to us. I worry about your struggle and feel that the only through this is self-care. Getting away is a great idea to recharge and see perspective. Only you can care for you best.

Our children can be very perspective and observe our behaviour as parents. Set a good example and show them that looking after oneself is important through your actions and words. Make small changes to step this up and that could include reading a book or taking a walk. Small steps can lead to big changes in our mental, physical and emotional selves. Try not to under estimate the small stuff.

Gratitude is a power thing Beatrice Boo. You noted those things you are grateful for in your last paragraph in your reply. Revisit this daily and see light where you feel the struggle. Lighten your load by changing your focus as there are people who love you and won't give up on you.

As Geoff said - let's keep this conversation going. We would love to hear back from you.

Carmela x