utterly lost & confused

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
utterly lost & confused
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 1:48pm

I have been married 14 years.  We are both 35.  3 kids, 7, 3 and 6m.  First half of marriage was fine.  We traveled, had 'our' time before kids.  Since having kids though things keep getting worse.  He struggles with depression, never told me about it until our oldest was about 4 or 5.  Even then he didnt tell me the severity of it until about a year ago.  He said hes has suicidal thoughts multiple times a day.  He has tried medication, but doesnt continue treatment.  He either says he doesnt want medication to be 'normal' - or after hes been taking it for a few months he feels 'better' and says he doesnt need it anymore, therefore stops taking it and falls back into his anger & verbal abuse to me and the kids.  He has no patience with the kids.  I try to tell him they are little and they just need parenting - they arent bad kids.  I try to talk to him, asking him if he's upset when he's slamming things around the house or not speaking to anyone.  He gets mad that I always ask whats wrong.   He has lost 3 jobs in the last 6 years - not due to downsizing.  He has been the accountant and has been replaced.  I recently started my own home business that is taking off successfully, and he works at home doing the production part of the business.  He was the one who wanted to work at home with me and not find another job.  He also went to school to change careers - because he said he hated the field he was in.  He is always negative.  My entire family always asks "whats wrong with him?'  I have tried so hard to do what I can to let him have what he needs and to fight to keep us together- because I know he struggles with depression & anger.  But I feel like I dont get any return.  Hes always complaing that the kids have too much this or that, that he never had anything as a kid.  He always want 'his' time alone or to go golf or have time with his buddies.  We never go out as a couple.  He says that is my fault.  That I never arrange for a babysitter.  Yet he never makes an effort either.  He says that everything is and always has been about me and what I have wanted.  The other night our 3yr old was up crying (which happens often due to growing pains - which he barks at him and tells him to just go back to sleep) and he told me to go the F away.  I have told him I cannot live like this and I dont want our children growing up like this.  I dont want them afraid of what dad is going to say.  I want them to feel loved and appreciated.  I want that too but my main priority is my children.  I have left one night with them because his temper got the best of him and he scared my daughter.  It scared him and he said he would never do it again, which he hasnt.  I just dont know whatt to do - or if there is anything I can do anymore.  I dont want to divorce, but I dont want to live a lie.  I want my kids to see love, so that they choose a loving relationship when they become adults. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 5:57pm

momof3, what a horrible situation for you to be in.    I just want to clarify something about his meds:  when he's medicated, does he become reasonable and understanding?  

If this is the case, if means you have to make a decision.   

1. accept that this is how he is and decide if you can stay.   Personally, I'd be taking myself and the children away from him - but that's just me.

2. You could issue an ultimatum:   for this marriage to continue, he must stay on his meds.   If he chooses to come off them, he must accept that the outcome will be divorce.     I'd go as far as seeing a lawyer and making the agreement formal so that you don't suffer financially if he comes off meds again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-12-2012 - 10:06pm

Unfortunately someone who is clinically depressed needs to deal with the fact that it is a life long illness that he has the responsibility to manage.  Not everybody needs to be on medication all the time, but it's not an option for him to just discontinue the meds when he feels like it--first of all it's very dangerous to go off anti-depressants abruptly, they have to be weaned off graduatlly.  Plus it sounds like he really does need them because he doesn't behave well if he isn't taking the meds.  My exH has bipolar disorder so I knew a lot about that aspect of mental illness---I first thought that he only had depression.  There is a book that specifically deals with men & depression.  You might find it helpful.  I know your kids are small & it probably would be difficult for you to be a single parent but you have to think about what your bottom line is--if he continues down this path, do you want to stay with him?  Of course you can't make him get treatment, but if he threatens suicide, then you could force him into treatment against his will, which actually might be good for him.  I would take any threat of suicide literally & seriously and call his psychiatrist or if no one is available, call 911.  You might have to make it a condition of staying with him that he must be consistent w/ his treatment & take his medication--and counseling is definitely a part of treatment--he can't just take a pill and expect everything to be magically better.