Work, toddlers and stress, oh my!
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|Sun, 08-05-2012 - 10:04pm|
My husband and I have been married for 8 years. We both work full time (60-80 hours/week for the last three years and continuing for one more year--I'll be done with my residency and switch to working 40-50 hours/week). And we have almost 3 y/o twin boys. So, crazy busy household. My husband and I are typically like peas in a pod: rarely disagree, never fight, love to spend time together. But the last year or so, he's been having a rough time. He hates his job, but can't quit because he's in the military and he's about 6 years from retirement. He's super depressed, always talking about how he hates his life, and we shouldn't have had kids, etc, etc. I know he doesn't mean these things and he's saying them because he's depressed, but I feel like I'm banging my head against a well trying to get through to him, to make things better. I always listen when he's ranting, I sympathize, I propose solutions which he quickly discards. He refuses to get counseling or do medication because it will impact his career/security clearance (he's right on that one, unfortunately).
I'm just not sure how to help him. I committed to this marriage and have no intentions of ever leaving him. He used to be this happy, creative guy who was always doing things to show me how much he loved me, surprising me. I still see that side of him sometimes when he's playing with the boys, but the rest of the time he's miserable. I've started to wonder if me being sympathetic is actually making things worse. Maybe I should acknowlege his feelings and then change the subject? I don't want to drive a rift between us, but it's starting to wear on me. I work just as many hours as he does, if not more. And when I get home, I have two toddlers who are all over me, wanting a story, wanting hugs, wanting me to play with them. And once I get them in bed, I get to deal with him lamenting about how his life sucks and our children drive him nuts. I know part of my frustration is that I'm not taking care of myself very well. I've never been good at that and he used to push me to do self care, send me to the spa, etc. I'm afraid it'll make things worse if I start doing my own thing in the little time we have together in the evenings (I actually proposed this a few months ago and he got really upset and asked me if I was going to leave him--Ugh!).
Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel like we have a great relationship, but he's so miserable, and I want to help him both for him and for our family. Neither of us can quit our jobs. We already have a nanny and someone to come in and clean the house so we don't spend our very little free time doing those things. I just don't know what else to do...