hopefornow

Separated, but need help to stay hopeful

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I honestly don’t know how to start this, I’m not even sure why I’m here. I guess I’m just looking for some hope in this situation.

So in the beginning of September, my husband asked me to call him after I got off work, and he told me he had left. We’d been married a little over a year at that point, and while it wasn’t perfect, I thought our marriage was solid and had potential to become even better with time and dedication. But unfortunately, behind everything that seemed great, my husband had been struggling terribly with depression. And he never felt like he could talk to me about it. And there’s a few contributing factors to that, my communication when he would open up to me would often leave him feeling bad for asking because I would express that I felt like I was a bad wife because I couldn’t help him more (I have some self esteem issues with that, and it’s kinda how my parents would communicate with me, so it’s a learned behavior that I've been trying to get out of for a while), or because he always felt like he needed to come to my rescue because I have depression and anxiety as well. And while it may have been really bad during the beginning of our relationship, I had felt like I had gotten more control over that part of my life since then. 

But regardless, this is about him. He admits that most of the fault there lies on him for just not communicating to me earlier how he felt, but all of those feelings eventually accumulated one day and he just broke and moved back in with his parents. It was a huge shock for me, and still is.

Here’s the problem-

We don’t want to get divorced. But we both see this situation so differently. He feels that he needs to work on himself right now and that he won’t be in a state to be in a relationship for a long time. He has said that when he prays, he gets the feeling that we’re meant to be together, but he can’t be with me right now or we aren’t meant to be together as a married couple. And he doesn’t want to do counseling, because he feels and has heard from other people that couples counseling is just us talking to each other while a therapist acts as the referee (which is probably sometimes the case, but not necessarily). On my side of things, however, after my pleadings with the Lord and visits to the temple and priesthood blessings, etc, all I can feel is that 1. Our marriage was not a mistake, 2. To not get divorced, but we do need this time to be separate and I to just be a friend and support to him, and 3. Just keep fighting.

The first two things, I get for the most part. But I’m having such a hard time fighting and remaining hopeful. We still see each other a lot, we work at the same place, go to the same Star Wars role playing game every Friday, and have recently agreed to meet up at least to get food and chat once a week. But I can feel us drifting and that scares me to my core. He says he feels good just being friends for now, that he likes having my support. And I can see it helping him. And he still loves me, he still breaks down about how terrible he feels that all of this is happening, how he wishes he felt like he could come back but just doesn’t. And he’s being more honest with me than he’s ever been, which is nice. But I don’t want us to become “just friends”. We both had powerful feelings that we were meant to marry each other before we got married, I imagined a future together and he would get revelatory dreams of what our kids would look like and how happy they’d make us. Neither of us want to become just friends, but it seems like he’s resigned himself to that being the only option because he is so depressed, and I’m left to be the only one to carry all the hope. But I’m terrified. We’ve been apart for almost 2 months now and it just feels worse and worse. I feel like I’m losing hope more and more each day. And I can’t force him to come back, I dont want to. I want him to feel ready to, I don’t want to make him feel like he needs to hide his feelings again.

I guess what I’m asking here is if anyone has gone through anything similar, and if it worked out, how it worked out. I get the feeling that if I hang on, we can work it out, but that depends on things I can’t control so much that I don’t know what to believe. So I guess if anyone has any advice or hope to give me, it would be really welcome.

Edited by hopefornow

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Sometimes the world just sucks doesn't it?  I have not gone through what you are going through, but I have a daughter that had pretty severe depression.  She isn't completely better, but she is mostly better and quite functional now.  But for several years It was very not good.  Small things would be viewed as big things.  Any negativity gets amplified ten times.

She saw doctors and therapists, but none of that really helped her.  It does help some people, but what really helps her is doing and teaching Karate.  She has been doing that now for a couple of years and she is so much happier.  I know that probably won't help you nor your husband, but sometimes patience is required.

Learning to love is not easy.  It has taken me 25 years of marriage to start to figure things out.

When you see him, throw your arms around him and just hold him.  Hold him like there is no tomorrow.  Don't say a word and just hug him.  Hug him for like a minute.  If he asks you why, just say you need him.  Be kind to him.  If he has depression, life really sucks for him right now.

Think of kind things you can do for him.  Leave him notes and treats.  

There is quite a bit of information on the web for those who have loved ones with depression.  There are also support groups that you can attend.

I wish I could say it will be all better soon.  But depression is an ugly beast that just doesn't go away easily.  It helps to have a good support group because you are going to need some serious strength.

And please know this is not your fault.  Nor is it his fault.  Keep the Lord in your life.  There are going to be some hard times.  But I think you are going to come out alright.

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On 10/24/2018 at 6:47 PM, hopefornow said:

But we both see this situation so differently. He feels that he needs to work on himself right now and that he won’t be in a state to be in a relationship for a long time. He has said that when he prays, he gets the feeling that we’re meant to be together, but he can’t be with me right now or we aren’t meant to be together as a married couple. And he doesn’t want to do counseling, because he feels and has heard from other people that couples counseling is just us talking to each other while a therapist acts as the referee (which is probably sometimes the case, but not necessarily).

Why do you say that like it's a bad thing?

Getting a couple to talk to each other and communicate is a critical part of being married, as you yourself have seen.  Part of a counsulor's job is to teach a couple to talk together honestly (cause it is a learned skill) handle things in a mature way.   

Marriage counseling sounds like it could make a world of difference in your case.

 

Also, is he seeing a counselor to work on his depression?

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I would say you need to go together to see a counselor.  Not somebody who will fix things for you, but somebody who will help the two of you lean how to talk to each other and work things like this out.  It may take some trial and error, but there is somebody out there who can help.

Edited by Latter-Day Marriage

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If you both have depression, then I think going to counseling is very wise. I have a friend who is having marriage troubles and they see a counselor--each sees him alone to work out personal issues and then they see him together to work out marriage issues. 

Even if he decides to not see a counselor, you should seriously consider seeing one yourself. You admit you have some issues that concern you and seeing a counselor will help you work on those issues as well as things you can do for your marriage. 

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I'm sorry you're going through this. What came to my mind is that you need to focus on strengthening yourself right now. You can only lift someone if you're on higher ground. Also, remember that what you focus on, grows so look for the positives and emphasize that. Take one day at a time. God bless.

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