Bit of background on myself I'm a married male mid 60s and retired. For a few months now maybe even close to a year I have times where I feel quite down, lonely and questioning what my purpose in life is now. I don't have any real close friends who I can discuss my feelings with, though I have some friends ex work who I meet occasionally for a coffee once or twice a month. I find my emotions are up and down and I am now having relationship issues with my wife. I do go into some dark places and have thought of suicide a numerous times. I guess what's stopped me is the thought of family members particular my 87 year old Mum who is in aged care and relies on me to manage her affairs. When I try to discuss how I feel, particularly the ideation, with my wife she says I'm playing emotional games. Unfortunately she doesn't understand how I feel at times. My only outlet is riding my motorbike and sometimes I just get away from everything and go for a ride and camp for a few days to clear my head. I genuinely struggle to talk about my feelings and am a bit of an introvert in socialising. Sometimes I feel I just want a hug and be loved. I'm at a loss what to firstly avoid the negative and harmful thoughts; and secondly save my marriage.
Thank you so much for joining us in the forum community!
This is a courageous post, not easy to share, and we are grateful that you were able to reach out to the community!
Culture around feelings and being allowed vulnerability and needs has been less than fantastic for a long time - if nothing else, be proud of yourself for challenging that here, in your own way.
It is said that when we don't know the path - when there are no correct answers, we receive the freedom of making it up as we go along - of making whatever answers we choose. This difficult moment in life might be asking you "what do you actually want?" And that's ok! we should be asking that question a lot more in life.
Nevertheless, we must not ignore where those thoughts and feelings are sitting for you right now, and how exhausting it can be to feel you are facing them alone. Please remember that Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 14 - we would also love to be here for you, and are also here 24/7 - give us a call on 1300 22 4636 or you can always click here to chat with us online.
But if you are struggling to feel safe right now, Life House, then this is an emergency - do not hesitate to call 000 immediately!
Stay safe, Life House, and please stay in touch with our community here!
Hello Life House, I'm in the same age group as yourself, divorced after 25 years of marriage to my heart throb, unfortunately, but talk every week and still see each other, never the less this your thread.
Sometimes having old friends can be difficult, simply because they too, may also be in the same situation as you and don't necessarily want to talk about what you want to discuss.
To save your marriage requires both you and your wife to want to make a change, because if only one of you wants this to happen, while the other doesn't, then not much will happen and after all these years of being married it isn't going to be an easy feat.
The concern is you like getting away on your motorbike and camping for a few days, so I wonder how your wife feels about this, whether she is pleased to have time to herself and do what she wants to do and how does she say goodbye to you, because this will determine if there is any love still in your marriage.
I hope so for your sake, however, I know that you're 'an introvert in socialising' but you could contact Mensline on 1300 78 99 78 https://mensline.org.au who have 24/7 help by phone, web chat or online or if you can google 'where can old men get help for marriage problems'.
Please don't be afraid to ask any question you'd like to, as I have lived by myself for a number of years.
Dear Life House~
I'd like to join Sophie and Geoff in giving you a warm welcome. I can hear you as you say how things are. You are now retired (which is a whole can of worms in itself), have thoughts of taking your life and cannot explain to your wife or others in a way that gets understanding and assistance. As I've been that way and would not wish it on anybody I do want to see you feel better
You do strike me as a caring sort of person. The reasons you give for going on, plus the fact your relationship means enough for you to try to explain makes me believe this
Sure, going out on the bike and camping may help relieve some of the pressure, at least temporarily. Until I was no longer able (I'm a tad older than you:) I found driving mine was a distraction and a source of enjoyment
I guess in one thing you have an advantage over many men - you are prepared to talk about how you feel. This is a huge step, the fact you have not found the right person, or possibly the right way of saying things, is a hassle, but one that can be overcome
Talking and advice, in other words not keeping all the burden on your shoulders alone, is very necessary. I found this out when suicidal in the past, and it was though talk - and professional treatment - that I became better to the point where I once again have a pretty reasonable life with good relationships with my partner and others
When I first started to say anything to my partner she took it as a failing in her, and acted accordingly. Could your wife have some of this?
It was only when the symptoms had been explained to her by my psychiatrist she changed and became and remained a great support - even if she did not know all that was in my head
I'd like to suggest you go get professional help, it helped me, I'm expecting it might help you. I'd admit this is not an easy thing to do, most blokes do not feel at all comfortable seeking help and doubt it could make a difference (They'd be wrong).
I was lucky and had a GP and psychiatrist who went out of their way to understand, helped me give an accurate account of how it was, and were actually able to help - amazing!
Can I suggest in the short term you use what I personally recommend: the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
You can contact them more than once, they are resourceful and NOT panic merchants. If your wife feels lost or worried about the situation she could ring too independently with no link to you
I'd like it if you came back and talked more
Dear Life House~
I'm impressed you are taking action so quickly, it is an excellent move.
Thinking back on my own experiences explaining matters to medical personnel
I found this was very hard. I have a natural inclination not to mention the
most embarrassing or frightening things, and a fear of being of being incarcerated,
which did not happen.
I have been to hospital, but voluntarily. I basically could walk out anytime.
I also found that when talking face to face things could get bogged down over one point and at the end of the consultation there was a lot I’d not gotten across.
My solution was to spend a few days beforehand composing a list - in point form - that covered my thoughts, actions and circumstances. This was welcomed by the medicos and gave them a set of things to plan about. It worked well, plus it had two additional advantages
The first was it was too late to 'chicken out' on the worst things, they were written down, and secondly I did not have to explain or get bogged down. I just answered questions
I am glad you have a good relationship with your GP, as I said before I did too and it made all the difference
Please let us know how you get on
Again thanks for your reply, I've actually start preparing a dot point list and have already completed the K10 assessment on this site. Actually feeling more positive having made the decision to talk with my GP even though I know the discussions will be hard.