Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've mentioned some of my relationship problems before. Since about March, I've been starting to worry that things were bad enough that we had to divorce.

I don't want things to be bad enough for that. I still love my partner very much and believe my partner still loves me. But we're both two very broken people and we just can't seem to get along. I've been thinking we'd be happier apart for a long time now.

I reached a breaking point (probably not THE one) today. We got into a fight over pasta, my partner stormed off.

And my toddler kept apologizing to me. He tried to comfort me.

This isn't fair to him. This isn't want I want him to grow up thinking is normal. But I just don't know what to do. We can't afford rent as it is, we can't afford daycare. I just lost a job and my dad can't help us financially anymore. We got really close to being able to move out (or, at least, to one of us being able to move out and then separating) and it fell apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Do you have room to move into separate bedrooms until it is possible to move out? Agree to disagree and attempt to call something of a truce until one of you can go somewhere else? For the sake of the child?
Also, toddlers seem to be hard on relationships. Not their fault at all- its just a stressful time. Just my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If we could get along well enough to stay in separate rooms, then we'd get along well enough to work things out. We can't be in the same house without fighting. I'd honestly be afraid to even suggest that, I've tried suggesting something similar and my partner got really nasty about it. We've tried so many different things that I'm almost ready to give up. I'm almost scared to find out what my breaking point is. If I knew someone in this situation, I would've been suggesting they leave for a long time.

He's a special needs toddler and my partner can't handle him. I know it's stressful and hard. But at some point, stress is just an excuse. There's always going to be stress. We've never had a good relationship because there's always been stress. At some point you're just blaming stress to cover up a bad relationship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We talked and my partner explained that they snapped in part because of the stress of the situation- but also because my depression's getting awful again. And it's having a lot more of an impact on kiddo than I want to accept. We still have relationship issues, it's not good that neither of us can raise serious issues and address them without first having a blow-out.

It has been getting bad, it's worse than it's been in a long time. I can barely get out of bed or go to work. I'm feeling particularly hopeless and worthless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
You've given so much great advice to so many people around here it seems unfair that I've got nothing good to suggest to you.

The part that makes me think divorce is a good idea is that he can't handle your toddler. If there was a way to make that go away, I'd instead suggest that whatever living arrangements you two would make in case of divorce might be done now to let you separate and get time apart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,405 Posts
please find a way to get some help in treating your depression. It makes everything worse, even under easy circumstances. leaving a relationship in the middle of a bout of depression will not fix anything, and could make things much worse for a long time. I understand the worry about affording therapy, but there are low income programs out there and having treatment for even just your underlying personal depression will do wonders for your marriage and your parenting.

you are a brilliant and caring person and I hate knowing that you're suffering. big hugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
sillysapling, it is hard to see through all the love and the possibilities that the weight of this is too much for you right now, and I suggest you try to find a friend or someone for you and your son to stay with for a while.

I say this because in my situation (and if I remember correctly, you helped me also) in order to move on with my other stresses, I had to tell my husband that I could no longer work on my marriage as well. That was no longer a priority, and I had no idea when it would be. The relief I felt on turning my back on that felt amazing. Then, scared to take the next step of "I'm done working on this at all. There is no "probably" I am done" I felt that burden lift even more, and then afterwards I could see very, very clearly what a difficult relationship I had, and I am not in a volatile relationship. Mine was coldness and distance and devaluation. He also could not understand what it was like to live in a state of constant irritation until one night, and he described the feeling to me and I said "that is my life" and he finally understood. We have an otherwise good relationship, so at this point we are in the same house for the duration.

Your situation sounds intense, and you need clarity, and you will need physical distance to get it I think. A separate space while you are looking for a temporary situation, if you can. You need to set relationship aside to focus on your depression by itself. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the depression lifts as you feel less trapped. Get therapy, stat, if you aren't already.

This is all said without knowing all of your specifics, so I apologize if some of this advice won't work for you. But you desperately need clarity, not from others but from yourself. You need clarity to make the right step in the right direction. You need clarity to see that you already know what you should be doing, you are just dismissing that because of all the complications involved.

You already know what you need to you. You already know. You just need the strength to not doubt it. Once you make the step, your troubles are not at an end, but you will have a knowledge of truth so strong that it will keep leading you in the right direction. But you do need someone who will help pull your attention back in that direction, and that is your therapist.

Strength, mama, for yourself and for your son.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sillysapling

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oof, we're such a mess. DP had a dentist appointment (finally). One of his molars, which has had a chip for years, has a severe infection. The dentist had no idea how DP had managed to be remotely functional with how bad as it was. It had started getting this bad around Thanksgiving. Now DP has pain meds and anti-biotics and an appointment to get it pulled in about 2 weeks (it was a baby tooth, I think they need to kill the infection before they pull it?). The pills are already helping a lot, DP didn't realize how painful it is until the pain stopped.

So that's not helping.

I don't know for sure if my partner can handle kiddo or not, everything's a flipping mess and my brain isn't good at objectivity. It feels like he can't- but he insists he can and that things aren't nearly as bad as when I'm home.

And kiddo is super clingy to me and tries really hard to get my attention, and I give as much as I can.... it's just not enough. I'm sure it's upsetting to have a parent who's miserable all the time. I feel like it'd be better if I could find somewhere else to stay, but I don't know. He's struggling to understand why some adults come and go (like grandparents and our friends). So me disappearing probably wouldn't help. And me taking him away from his home wouldn't, either.

I hate how hard it is to tell. My feelings feel so rational and reasonable, but I don't think they are.


@rubelin- Thank you. I would like to find a way, but depression has been a problem for pretty much my whole life. I've been to multiple therapists, tried various medications. None helped, some actually made it worse.

I have st john's wort I can try again, and I may try citalopram again. I found out recently that mom's on it and it's made a massive difference for her. I don't remember it helping me... Actually, in hindsight, I got so much freaking worse after I went off it oh my gosh. *facepalm*

I think my GP may be able to prescribe it, I'm diagnosed with depression and that's how I was prescribed it the first time, but it's a low cost clinic so I'll see when the next appointment I can get is. I'll call them tomorrow.

I'll see about finding a low cost/sliding-scale therapist as well. In another thread someone suggested getting in touch with a university because students will often do it quite cheap.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mummoth

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Do you have health insurance? If so, you might look into functional MDs in your area to see if any accept insurance. I mention it because we're currently taking that step with my mother, who has severe untreatable depression. We suspect there might be something systemic going on and the functional MD will test much more thoroughly than the regular doctor. It's a thought, anyway.

I wish I had advice beyond that to offer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I don't, but thank you for the suggestion. I've never heard of that before.

Mine is definitely at least in part situational. It lessens when things are going better. It gets worse when things are bad. But my "good" isn't as good as most peoples' and my "bad" is nearly catatonic.

For two weeks in late december-early January, things were better than they'd ever been and I was pretty happy.
Then a lot of things converged at once. I'm not surprised I'm so bad. But I can't get out of a bad situation by giving up.

I know I have good things in my life that other's don't. I know things could be a lot worse than they are. I still have this underlying sense that things will be okay and I'm on the right path and I just need to hang on. But they're damn bad...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
I know I have good things in my life that other's don't. I know things could be a lot worse than they are. I still have this underlying sense that things will be okay and I'm on the right path and I just need to hang on. But they're damn bad...
You count your blessings when you are stressed simply to gain perspective, but you don't use your status relative to other people to make choices that affect your happiness and your health. This is not the situation to compare your life to others in order to make decisions. You base it on how *you* feel. It might even seem irrational to you. Rationality can go both ways-- it can keep you patient and prevent you from doing anything rash, and it can also keep you stuck in a rut because gosh darn it, it makes so much sense to stay there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Sitting in my own head: life is hopeless despair and I should just curl into a fetal position and give up. It's a struggle to get to work or do anything.

Trying to get perspective helps remind me that this is not a reasonable plan and that I don't actually deserve to be miserable. I have things worth being happy about, the situation is bad but it's not hopeless and if I keep moving forward I'll make it better.

I don't agree with the idea that because someone else has it worse, you have no right to be upset or feel bad. But my brain wants me to believe that there's no hope and I should just give up. That's not a reasonable level of sadness no matter how much I feel like it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
Sitting in my own head: life is hopeless despair and I should just curl into a fetal position and give up. It's a struggle to get to work or do anything.

Trying to get perspective helps remind me that this is not a reasonable plan and that I don't actually deserve to be miserable. I have things worth being happy about, the situation is bad but it's not hopeless and if I keep moving forward I'll make it better.

I don't agree with the idea that because someone else has it worse, you have no right to be upset or feel bad. But my brain wants me to believe that there's no hope and I should just give up. That's not a reasonable level of sadness no matter how much I feel like it is.
:Hug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
:Hug

I've started taking St Johns Wort and it's helping. I'm getting a list of low cost/sliding scale clinics in the area. We got some things to help get our house organized (which, yes, is a big deal- right now I can't walk in the door without being confronted with a dozen things that need to be done). I'm going to try to cut sugar back out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
I don't know how much anxiety you have to contend with, but I also cut out coffee to good effect. The last thing I need is something that causes more thoughts to swirling around my brain, and it makes me feel thick in the morning which I also don't need to encourage. I am naturally sluggish first thing anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the suggestion. I don't drink coffee. I actually started a few months ago, and it let me completely disregard my body's signals and I messed myself up by pushing way too hard. Quitting really sucked. I'm jealous of everyone that can use coffee without such ill effects, but it definitely isn't for me.

I do still have caffeine (sodas/high caffeine teas/etc), I've gotten into a habit of going on it for a few days/weeks when I have way too much going on then quitting it for a few months. Not the best habit, I know. :/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,952 Posts
I've been thinking a lot about this thread. I love how much love you're getting, and I agree with a lot of the advice.

I feel like there are two contradictory pieces when a marriage is in crisis. The first is, the person who is asking the question "what should I do?" only has control over her own behavior, not the behavior of the other adult partner or any of the children. The second is, the problems in the relationship may be coming from the other person in the relationship. I mean, not exclusively, but they are responsible for at least some (and maybe a lot) of what's wrong.

As things have gotten increasingly better and easier for me since my husband left four years ago, I've wondered, "Why didn't I just do these things while we were together?" Why didn't I undertake to purge the house of stuff then? Why didn't I start riding my bike everywhere then? (One of the things that has made me happiest. I didn't ride at all for many years.) Why didn't I throw my energy into freelance work then, instead of trying fruitlessly to find full time work? Why couldn't I get on top of our finances? Why were my sleep and my diet so out of control?

The answer is complicated. I did try to do some of these things while we were together. Others I thought he didn't want me to do, so I didn't do them. It's really easy, if you've always been a good student, to try to do the right thing and get approval from all parties. If he was dismissive of my ideas about how to improve things, sometimes I just didn't try them.

I think the key is to start acting as you would if you were on your own. Not sleeping with other people, of course, because that's messy. I mean rather trying out the things that he thinks won't work or aren't important or whatever. You have a different set of conflicts than I had with my spouse, from the sound of things--I did trust him to take care of our child when I wasn't there, though I found him kind of a drag when we were all together. But if there are things you aren't doing for yourself and your house because he's not supporting them, just start doing them. It's not like you are reducing conflict by not doing them. Take anti-depressants. Seek therapy. Take walks. (Get up and take walks in the middle of arguments--you can always resume later.) Make huge donations to charity of your unnecessary stuff. Apply for jobs. Investigate childcare options. Do the things you have been waiting to do until he effectively gives you permission by acting supportive. He probably thinks he's being supportive now, so why should you wait?

Pretend he's a nice roommate and not someone whose approval you have to seek to get things done.

You won't stop being anxious or depressed like a switch. You aren't going to get a personality transplant. Just imagine you were free to make all choices for yourself, and then do that. It might save your marriage. It might just save only you, but that's good enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My depression well predates the relationship. I have a journal from when I was 10 talking about wanting to die. I fully expected to by the time I was 16, couldn't tell you why, but that birthday came and I was still breathing and that left me reeling and hollow.

I'd like to be idealistic and say I'd do all these awesome things, but I know myself. Left to my own devices, I'd waste away and be hard pressed to take care of myself. I know because that's how I used to be and where I was going before I met my partner. I'd figure things out if I had to, but honestly just because of my kid's sake. Not my own.

I don't have a good, objective grasp of reality. I spent my childhood being gaslighted. I have memory problems. I can't tell what's lucidity and what's wishful thinking and what's depression.

I don't trust myself alone with my toddler, either. I don't know if I'm right to not trust my partner or warping things. Kiddo isn't verbal enough to make it clear and kids aren't the most objective, either. What they're raised in is their normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,952 Posts
My depression well predates the relationship. I have a journal from when I was 10 talking about wanting to die. I fully expected to by the time I was 16, couldn't tell you why, but that birthday came and I was still breathing and that left me reeling and hollow.

I'd like to be idealistic and say I'd do all these awesome things, but I know myself. Left to my own devices, I'd waste away and be hard pressed to take care of myself. I know because that's how I used to be and where I was going before I met my partner. I'd figure things out if I had to, but honestly just because of my kid's sake. Not my own.

I don't have a good, objective grasp of reality. I spent my childhood being gaslighted. I have memory problems. I can't tell what's lucidity and what's wishful thinking and what's depression.

I don't trust myself alone with my toddler, either. I don't know if I'm right to not trust my partner or warping things. Kiddo isn't verbal enough to make it clear and kids aren't the most objective, either. What they're raised in is their normal.
When you found your partner, as you are writing it here, it helped you a lot. That was in great measure because of you, though. It was because you found someone and you loved someone. When you act to choose and to love, it always defeats depression. Depression is about not making choices and being numb. It was hard to go outside that, and you did. I'm sure he was worthy of that love and that level of strength then, and still is now, no matter what happens to your relationship. Still, you did that thing, that big thing, of loving someone even though you came from a family that didn't make it so easy.

You have a history of depression, but you also have a history of acting in spite of depression. You have a history of people gaslighting you, and you also have a history of seeing through it.

I know almost nothing about your partner. I know about you that you are a thoughtful reader who does a lot of research about everything important to you. I know you have a good value system. I know you have a good head on your shoulders. I've never met you in person, but I know those things. That's why I think you can make good choices now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top