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keep driving

Community Member

Hi briefly,

As background I am a mid 30's male of Australian background. I have a chronic health condition (type 1 Diabetes) and other ongoing yet to be diagnosed medical complaints but probably related (frustrated by no formal conclusive DX).

I have been married for over 10 yrs and we have 2 kids. I am the sole bread winner in the family. My wife has developed high levels of anxiety and OCD to unhealthy levels where it is impacting the kids (sleep at 10-12 at night everynight and late to school). I help as much as possible whilst trying to live by the cleanliness rules in the house which are full on stressful and is costing me a fortune. She wore herself out so much she fell asleep standing up and almost cracked her head open. I feel guilty that I have let her and even helped her become this way. By helping so much I basically have to work 5 days within 3 and it has only been by good fortune and working nights that I have not been found out. In addition there has been no intimacy at all for the past 7 yrs+, she sleeps on the couch by her choice. There has been no infidelity or the like.

I feel unappreciated and overwhelmed. Coupled with an isolated job. I am staying only because if I didn't what would happen to the kids? I would miss out on being there for them. However the verbal fights are not good for them to observe. She is getting help but so slow. My patience is thin and I according to the wife and not supporting her mentally. I am exhausted and do snap as the frustrations bubble over although am trying not too. Plus I throw in her face all the extra things I do which just makes her feel worse but feel like I have to justify why I am allowed to be frustrated.

I have no idea how to get out of this situation. I need to see someone to help me work on strategy to cope but would find it somewhat difficult due to family history.

That was not brief was it, not sure if I even asked a question?


2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello Netsua, welcome. You sound very trapped at the moment, wanting to do the right thing by your wife and children, but running out of personal resources to do it. It sounds like things have been slowing ramping up for a number of years, with you juggling and trying to keep all the plates spinning, but things are close to breaking point now. Unappreciated and overwhelmed is a potent cocktatil for burnout.

You mention that your wife is getting help, which is good to hear. Something that often gets overlooked when mental illenss happens in a family is the impact it has on spouses and children, who also need to be getting support of their own. It doesn't sound like you have anys upport at the moment, but are open to seeking it. You've come here to post for a start, which I hope has helped you to put your thoughts in order. I'm not sure what the details of the family history are that would make it difficult for you to see someone, but all I would say in response to that is, is it any more difficult for you to ask for help compared to the difficulties you're experiencing at home at the moment? Something has to give, and it sounds like this something may be you if you don't get some more support around you. You have your own needs, both physical and emotional. Are there any friends, family you can call on to help out?

Community Member

Thank you for the response. I guess I feel like Homer in the Simpsons episode where he is strapped to a wrecking ball bouncing between a Rock and a Building called a hard place.

I have put a call though to the same therapist that my wife is seeing to make an appointment for myself. Not sure if that is sound or not but then she would have some background and also maybe what I divulge to her might also help my wife's sessions.

What she doesn't understand is that I have defended her so much to both my family and her own who see the issues and want to force her into help...I don't agree that it would be for the best but something needs to give.

Additionally I alone seem to have the patience and knowledges if what the triggers are so families best intentions to help have in the past not worked as it often would inflame the anxiety she feels either by making her feel useless and inadequate or that she just needs to clean more things because they do not do it to her standard. So reaching out to family is not really going to work. Friends are in a similar boat, post pregnancy her friends were not supportive as they where not at that stage of life yet. Some, mainly one, had tried to reach out but my wife struggles to find time to fit her in. She had communicated with me and will continue to try. I have suggested a support group for her to attend. I had previously tried to encourage out of the house activities such as a painting course but that stopped quickly.

I am pinning hopes on a therapist to help gradually improve her mental well-being and to provide me with coping strategies. I am by no means perfect and I am sure there is a lot I could improve on to help the family situation, the relationship and personally. In the mean time I have to continue to juggle and hope not to drop a ball. If not then I have about 11 more years until the kids would move out and then I can too.