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Forums / Depression / What direction to take

Topic: What direction to take

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. Cro77
    Cro77 avatar
    6 posts
    2 November 2021
    There is a lot rattling around in my head so i will try and get it all out there. I am on the spectrum too so not a great communicator and socialite at the best of times. Been with my wife for 18 years, married for 16 years. She has 3 daughters from a previous marriage and we don't have any together. She is now in her early 50's and I am 8 years younger. All the girls are now grown up and left home. We (or maybe more me) seem to have been getting more disconnected/distant as time goes by. There seems to be very little we want to do together now. She spends most of the time we are at home together either on Facebook or watching Netflix/Stan etc. I have said on numerous occasions this is really frustrating but I keep getting laughed off. I am an Operations Manager of a business and work has been really demanding and draining for a number of years but i have started to get very tired and am losing my normal high level of concentration to a point in the last few weeks/months where i have started to feel quite emotional at times. It never lasts long and only happens once every few days but it is a very strange feeling and leaves me fighting back tears. I don't know whether this is work related (i enjoy work), relationship related or a combination. I don't have a lot of friends and have lost interest doing things i used to enjoy such as camping, fishing etc. A couple of weeks ago i spent a night out with a few work colleagues and spent most of the night talking to another woman (never met here before) who has the same interests, is of similar age and made it a very enjoyable night just to talk for hours. This has me second guessing my life to date and where it needs to head. As all couples do, my wife and i argue occasionally and has happened on occasions before she said she is going to leave. Normally I do whatever i can to resolve the situation but after i spent some time processing this (emotions normally take some time for me to process) i am probably content to let this take its own course. In the past i think i have been very concerned about being alone but now i may feel a little differently. Am i out of line by willing to accept this and should i fight for my marriage. Torn about the reasoning for my low feelings. Is it work, relationship or a combination that is getting me down. I just dont know what to do.
  2. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    153 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Cro77

    Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing on here.

    It seems that you're bearing a lot of the responsibility for making the relationship work. You mentioned that she laughed off the times where you were frustrated that she doesn't make the effort to spend time with you.. That's a really hurtful thing to do. It sounds like you've tried to bring this subject up with her about how you're feeling.. I'm wondering if she's reacted in other ways, or what the conversation would look like?

    I can understand that you worry that you might be out of line for accepting where your marriage may go. I don't have the answers, and I don't think there's exactly a right or wrong here. But from what you've written, it seems that you feel as though your partner doesn't reciprocate the efforts your putting in to be closer, and they're dismissive of your feelings.

    Perhaps it's a combination of all of those things that is affecting your emotions. Work is very draining for you, and you're coming home to your partner who you're becoming quite disconnected from.

    How would it look to sit down with your wife and have a conversation about it, laying everything on the table?

  3. Cro77
    Cro77 avatar
    6 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    Thanks for the quick response. It was actually harder reading your response back, rather than typing my initial post. Yes, you have articulated it better than me, but i think that's how i feel. I am quite down about the whole situation although i think i am starting to accept it, as poor as it sounds. As mentioned i am below average when it comes to expressing emotions and often cant articulate what i mean verbally, which is why i chose the forum over a phone. I know that if i instigate a discussion on the subject, what i say wont be what i want to get out. I dont want to just walk away but im not sure if i have the energy to continue. Have spoken to a couple leaders at my workplace this morning, as forthright as felt able to, and feel i have the support here to adjust my work/life balance a little better to support my physical and emotional needs but i still continue to second guess the correct path forward. I dont know if i am worried about being alone, how much it will cost to separate or is it work burn out causing all the thoughts flying around in my head. Apologies for the scattered notes, i am trying to pin down the single cause for my depressed feelings and cant seem to put my finger on it with the never ending circle of thoughts running through my mind.

  4. Cro77
    Cro77 avatar
    6 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    Sorry, i forgot to mention i am defenitely not perfect and have said things in the heat of the moment were not appropriate, hurtful, even deemed abusive but this is not my intent. I just struggle expressing emotions and articulating how i feel.

  5. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    153 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Cro77

    No problem, I'm here for a chat if you need it. Don't apologise for being scattered, you're expressing yourself perfectly fine.

    You mentioned that you struggle to articulate your thoughts and emotions verbally, it really isn't an easy thing to do. I can see in your writing that you articulate yourself very well. I think when it comes to situations like these, you can never really pin point one cause or completely understand your emotions.. Especially when talking through your thoughts and self reflecting isn't something you normally do, and that's completely okay. I think it's a skill to some degree, and I think you're doing a great job.

    I can see a part of you doesn't want to accept things as they are and walk away, and that's completely understandable. How would it feel to talk through your thoughts on here, and maybe work on a letter to your wife? You don't have to necessarily give it to her if you don't want to. But perhaps if you feel like you can logically look through your thoughts and how you're feeling, maybe the possible discussion in future might be a bit easier. Journalling for yourself can be very helpful in ordering your thoughts together. I think your thoughts automatically come out when you do it, and you read it back and go "ah, I see." But I understand it isn't for everyone.

    You mentioned that you've said things in the heat of the moment and the both of your argue occasionally.. And you're right, no one is perfect in relationships, and communication can be a very difficult thing, maybe something that causes the most problems. During arguments, it's very hard to think clearly and logically during conflict.. Your mind can go blank and you can say some things you don't mean.

    I'm curious.. Do you feel like your inability to articulate yourself is mostly due to internal things for you, or could it be something to do with how your wife might react?

  6. Cro77
    Cro77 avatar
    6 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Isabella_
    Yes, the support is most welcome and helping massively. The longer this goes on the more I am beginning to be able to process my thoughts and so understanding where they come from although the gaps still far outweigh the solutions . My difficulty in expressing myself is a combination of probably not understanding exactly how i feel and why it is i feel the way i do, but it is also that my wife is an excellent communicator and can instantly respond with strong reasoning which i just cant absorb and process quickly enough, which generally causes me to not to be able to respond suitably. I am still unsure of how my relationship has impacted my work feelings, whether it is the other way around or a combination of both. Perhaps it doesn't matter and the ultimate goal is to get my thoughts out and understood. I am probably already starting to realise that a better work/life balance is absolutely necessary to getting back to the way i was and need to be in order to move forward whichever way i progress.
  7. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    153 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Cro77

    Maybe the work/life balance is a good way to understand what you're going through. The distance from your partner could be affecting your mood in ways that you don't even realise, same way with work draining you.. It could be subconscious and feeding into each other.

    Do you find that conversations with your wife tend to be argumentative, or you feel like you have to have the right things to say straight away?

    I think it's a good thing that you recognise that you need more time to process and work through her responses in your mind during conversations.. It sounds like there's a bit of pressure there to need to respond quickly, or maybe refute what she's saying. How would it feel to let her know that you do need time to process?

    I think it's completely healthy to be up front and honest.. If you aren't sure how to respond, tell her you need the time.. I think most times people resort to being defensive when emotions are too high, sometimes people feel like they need to be right and the other needs to be wrong. Maybe it's worth thinking about where that pressure may be coming from.

  8. Cro77
    Cro77 avatar
    6 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    Generally we don't have a lot to say to one another and it might be just my interpretation, but for particularly the last few months she has seemed quite abrupt in her tone, a lot of the time. We have never really talked a lot and this is probably my fault as i have quite often been in a high stress career and although she has always wanted me to talk about work, the only way i have been able to cope is to try and separate myself from work at the end of the day and weekends by not talking about. I have in the past suffered from burnout at work and this has been the only way i could manage it.

    Our conversations are generally quite short when they involve emotional topics. I try and get out what i mean but end up being shot down because i lack the skills to explain my thoughts into a reasonable sentence. I have tried to create a buffer but because i feel under pressure, i just blurt out something that either comes out the wrong way or is taken the wrong way.

  9. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    153 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Cro77

    It seems like the disconnect between you both is circumstantial. I see that you've experienced burnout from work, and that the burnout has been taken home as well even if not intended. Could it be that perhaps your wife wanting to hear from you about work came from a place of her feeling that she wanted to be closer to you?

    I can see that this situation is complex and there are some communication issues. I think in a relationship, it's not always possible to have the knowledge on how to work through certain issues. I'm wondering if you've ever been open to the idea of couples counselling, and how would you think she would react to the idea of that?

    Therapy is a great thing because you can work through things in a safe space with someone there to mediate any conflict, and more importantly help you understand and explore your own perspective while in the conversation with your wife. They can ask insightful questions and you may find that you learn a lot about each other, which seems like it isn't possible to do on your own, and that's completely okay.

    I'm interested in understanding why your partner shuts you down. That must be really hard to deal with. I can understand with your high stress job on top of everything that you feel like you don't have the energy to try and work through this.

  10. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    153 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Cro77
    You mentioned that your wife has had an abrupt tone with you for the last few months.. Could she be going through something that you may not be aware of?
  11. Cro77
    Cro77 avatar
    6 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    Yes, there is definately a chance my work pressure has been taken home and has impacted our relationship. i may be wrong but think our disconnect started well before work had started to creep up on me, although it may have started before i have noticed a difference. We went to therapy some time ago when it became apparent i was on the spectrum and although it pinpointed very quickly why i lacked social skills and was a terrible communicator, my wife was very uncomfortable and refused to go after the second session.

    Yes she may also be going through something i dont know about but i struggle getting my own feelings out and although i have tried in the past i dont seem to be able to articulate or drive the conversation in order to find out if she is having issues.

    Will try and instigate a discussion when i get home tonight and see where it goes. I really appreciate the varied points of view you have provided and will try to have some discussions to see where we are at. Your comments have certainly given me some stability in my own thoughts and helped me understand more about both sides of the coin. I am still quite confused about how i feel but can only try the best with the skills i have. Thanks a lot.

  12. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    153 posts
    2 November 2021 in reply to Cro77

    I see. And I think you're completely right, you can only try your best with the skills you have in this complex situation, and I hope you can find contentment with knowing that you're doing what you're able to right now.

    I'm glad I've helped you in some way. It's great that you're going to try to talk to her tonight. Feel free to check in and share how the conversation went.

    Exploring your feelings is never linear and I think you're doing a good job of discovering your thoughts and feelings.

    1 person found this helpful

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