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#2228138 - 03/06/12 02:49 PM Stuck in a mess
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
Hello all. This is my first post. I'll apologize in advance if it gets too lengthy...

I'm really hoping for some guidance from some experienced DB'ers. I found this forum about a week or so after my H dropped the bomb and we seperated on 11/29/2011 (yep, happened on the same day). I have been lurking here ever since. I've learned so much from reading everyone's situations and find the advice here so valueable. I've read DB and am familiar with the SBT principles and have been trying to apply the techniques to the best of my ability. I am familiar and have memorized the 37 rules and for the most part, have been able to adhere to them. I've also read Gary Chapman's 5 love languages and John Gottman's 7 principles for making marriage work. All this was after he left. I wish I had read them before all this happened.

A bit of background info:

We've been married for 16 years, together for 17. We have a beautiful D12 and a SS21 from my H's first marriage. I am 36, H is 41. For the most part, we've had a stable and happy marriage. Unfortunately, the past few years have literally been crisis upon crisis and it has taken it's toll.

Initially it started with the economic downturn. My H is in senior management for an American corporation and for what was an already high stress job, became incredibly stressful. Eventually his health became compromised and he survived a life threatening pulmonary embolism in Nov/09. It rattled us both significantly. Very scary.

In Jan./2010 we learned that my stepson was drug addicted.

In March 2010 my H had made the choice to strictly limit his relationship with his son until he sobered up (a descision which I supported). SS21 continues on a path of self-destruction.

In April 2010 my H injured his leg (snapped his achilles tendon), which wouldn't have been too big of a deal except for that surgery to repair it wasn't an option due to his being on blood thinners as a result of his embolism. Two weeks later H developed compartment syndrome (a serious complication from the injury) which involved a two week hospital stay and three surgeries to save his leg from amputation, then 4 months of being immobile due to having his leg casted, followed by almost a year of physical therapy.

During this period of time, it became obvious that H was having difficulties coping with so many life adjustments in such a small time frame (how could he not?). He began having anxiety attacks, severe mood swings, and withdrawing from everybody, which I admit, I could've responded better to.

In Jan/2011 I convinced him to go to our GP and seek a referral to a psychiatrist. Our GP would not refer him to a psychiatrist, but rather gave him an Rx for antianxiety meds and sent him to a psychologist, who he saw for maybe 4-5 sessions and then stopped going.

In April/2011, I got a phonecall in the middle of the day from H's assistant, saying there was something wrong with H and he was bringing him home. When H got home, it was obvious that H was having some sort of mental breakdown, he was paranoid and delusional - if not psychotic, he was clearly well on his way. I took him to the ER and they admitted him to the psych unit for 2 weeks. He is now still under the care of a psychiatrist.

His Dx is major depressive disorder, although I am more inclined to suspect bipolar II after doing some research. I've described some of his past behaviours to our GP and my therapist, who also agree that it sounds more like bipolar than depression. I do not believe H has been entirely forthcoming to his psychiatrist. Although H is no longer in a state of psychosis (thanks to antipsychotic drugs), his moods have yet to be stabilized despite trying numerous antidepressants.

I should also mention that I myself have unipolar depression. For the most part in the past, I have been able to manage it & keep it under control with antidepressants and CBT. With the exception of my current depressive episode, my last episode was approximately 3 years ago & lasted about 5 or 6 months from onset to remission (this was before my H's PE).

Wow...after seeing all this written down...geez, what a gong show! You just can't make this stuff up!

In the months following my H's mental breakdown, I had made the assumption that his withdrawing, bad moods, angry outbursts, couch potato-ness, etc. were all attributed to his depression. I'm familiar with depression, I know what it does, I've lived it many times and assumed that once he was stabilized, life and our R would return back to normal. Despite my efforts to get him to talk to me about what was going on with him, I was met with stonewalling. Every. Single. Time. Eventually I decided to just leave him be and that in time he would work it out for himself.

During the weeks leading up to the bomb and seperation I could sense that something was going on with H and feared that he was becoming mentally unstable again. I tried talking to him about it and was met with more stonewalling. His ideas became somewhat grandiose. Four days before the bomb, he told me he wanted to quit his job and open up a salon, an industry which he knows nothing about - because he figured that owning his own business would alleviate some of his work related stress (I've given up on trying to understand the logic of that). I simply asked him not to make any life altering descisions until his mental health issues were stabilized. He agreed. Two days before the bomb, he did not come home for dinner (a first in 17 years). When he did come home at 11:00 that night, I learned that he had spent the evening getting a new tattoo, which was news to me that it was even something he was considering. The day that he dropped the bomb, he refused to even attempt MC and left within the hour to go live with his parents. There was no fight or arguement that preceded this, nothing. I did get the IDLY and never have as well as the "it's not you, it's me" speil. That day I also learned (as per H) that the psychologist H has seen for a few sessions earlier in the year had been the one to terminate therapy, telling him that she didn't know how she could help him, but gave him the business card to a L and advised him to seek a D.

I literally felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. Did not see this coming in any way, shape or form.

So needless to say, my H's mental health issues definitely complicate matters.

Predictably, my current depressive episode is making it difficult to sustain my GAL activities. I am in the middle of adjusting my meds, hopeful that my motivation and energy will improve. For anyone who's unfamiliar, it's a very slow process of trial and error, gradually increasing doseages (to avoid major side effects) then waiting to see if the drug works. If it works, great. If not, it's a matter of slowly weaning off the drug (to prevent withdrawal symptoms) and trying again with an alternative drug. Lather, rinse, repeat...

I've been doing my best to act as if & doing 180's and they seem to be working. Since our separation, H has gone from being completely hostile towards me to being friendly and respectful, even behaving in ways that shows he still cares.

^^^^I am however, cautious about this and a little uneasy about the timing of this. I'm suspicious that this may have something to do with my inlaws having gone south for the winter. During the past few years I have become my mother-in-law's chosen scapegoat and suspect that H may be drinking her koolaid. So I am cautious but optimistic.

On a very positive note, I took the risk of going against one of the 37 rules this past weekend and gave H a package of wine gums (one of his LLs is gifts and wine gums are his favourite candy). It's been a very long time since I've seen his face light up like that.

Baby steps...
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

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#2228531 - 03/07/12 11:46 AM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Cadet Offline
Member

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 5057
Dory,
Welcome to the board.

You read DB, get the DR book and read it if you haven't already.
Please have no EXPECTATIONS about anything you DO.
Believe none of what he says and 1/2 of what he does.
He is asking for SPACE, give it to him.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Your depression DID not cause HIS.

You are on moderation right now on the forum.
SO post in small frequent posts until you get off of it.

Your H is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.

USE it wisely.
_________________________
Me-60, D27,S26

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#2228534 - 03/07/12 11:51 AM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
Wow, Thank you to the admin/mods for approving my post so quickly! Much appreciated!

My 180's thus far:

~stopped talking/complaining about my inlaws. Now when H brings them up and starts complaining about them, I just smile and say, "well, that's how they are." (trying to validate without getting sucked in)

~Been much dimmer, with the exception of discussions about D12. This has been tough to balance, though. My inlaws have gone away for the winter, leaving H alone. Considering his mental state, I've been trying to keep an eye out for any indication that it could be deteriorating (for his own safety) but been trying to do so at a distance, without being terribly intrusive.

~Lost a lot of weight (almost 50 lbs in the past 4 months). Although this is a symptom of my depression and not something that I intentionally worked towards, H has noticed and has complimented me numerous times about how good I look.

~Increased the frequency of which I see my therapist which has made a huge difference in my outlook and attitude.

~Stopped drinking (not that I was a big drinker before all this happened, I just decided that drinking was probably not in my best interest right now)

~Bought myself some new clothes. Although this was mainly out of necessity because nothing I had fit, it's still something out of the ordinary that I would do (I tend to be a real tightwad especially when it comes to spending money on myself).

~Relaxed a fair bit regarding housekeeping. I'm usually quite obsessive/compulsive about it and have perfectionist tendencies.



This is all I can think of right now, I'm sure there's more but I just can't think of them off the top of my head right now.

So now for my first question:

My H's primary love language is physical affection. This does not mesh well with me (at all!), although it's something I am willing to change about myself. So I'm wondering if anybody can offer any ideas on what I might be able to try without coming off as pursuing? This is foreign territory for me, I am clueless on how to go about it.

Any ideas/input?

Thanks!
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

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#2228572 - 03/07/12 01:15 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Cadet]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
Thanks, Cadet. I appreciate the welcome.

Interesting that you say that my depression did not cause his. It's something that I know intellectually, however at times I feel the opposite to be true. It's bridging that head/heart gap which is sometimes a struggle, and that's where my therapist has proven to be a big asset.

My mother in law rattling off that I'm the cause of his mental breakdown certainly hasn't helped matters...ummm, yeah, okaaaay...Riiiight, I secretly have a science lab where I developed a serum for psychosis and used my H as a guinea pig...pfffft. Yes, I know that statement is dripping with sarcasm, I would never say that to her but I admit it's run through my head every time she's started pointing her fingers at me.
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

Top
#2228904 - 03/08/12 12:28 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
Journalling...

So H spent most of the evening with D12 & I at home and had a realtor come by to give us a market analysis & suggest a listing price for our home. I have mixed feelings about this.

One of H's current complaints is that he feels too much financial pressure having the size of mortgage which we have - although this was something that was not made clear to me until after we separated. Prior to our separation he said he wanted to sell the house and move closer to work to reduce his commute. My response to that was I felt it was better to wait it out until our mortgage was up for renewal as we will likely never again be able to borrow money at such a low interest rate. That, combined with the real estate market being in a slump meant that we'd be lucky to make any sort of profit and very well might have to accept a loss. It just didn't make much financial sense to me.

Had H made it clear to me that it was the financial pressure he was experiencing was his reason for wanting to move, I would've been all for it. I mean, it is just a building. I don't want H to be feeling financially strapped. We have opposing philosophies when it comes to money management. I am perfectly content living within a strict budget, H needs the freedom to buy what he wants when he wants it. It never even crossed my mind that it could bother him as much as it apparently did. The solution to this now seems simple enough, to separate our finances. Had I thought of and suggested this sooner, we probably could've avoided countless heated discussions. It just occured to me that perhaps H felt I was treating him like my child, limiting him and putting him on restrictions. Oy! Honestly at this point, I'd be happy living in a tent if it meant our family could stay intact.

So this was the second realtor we've had come in to give us a suggested listing price. Looks like my assumptions were correct, that we will be lucky to break even and may have to accept a loss after paying legal fees, realtor fees and mortgage penalties.

Aside from the bad news I had already expected from the realtor, the evening went pretty well. I invited H to join D12 and I for dinner and he agreed. This is huge to me, since it was only two months ago, he wouldn't even set foot in the house unless absolutely necessary. During dinner H told me he really misses my cooking. I had to silently chuckle to myself since I know H's cooking ability involves not much more beyond fish sticks & fries or kraft dinner. Well, I'd miss my cooking too, if that were the case. So I took pity upon him and offered for him to take all the leftovers, which he happily accepted. I'm not sure if this was a mistake or not, that I should be letting him lay in the bed that he's made for himself? Although on the flip side of the coin it's something I would do for a friend who couldn't cook. And I am trying to rebuild our friendship but I'm not sure if this could be coming on too strong. I'm probably over-analyzing this too much...

But dinner did go well. We joked around a lot with D12, just enjoying each other's company. It was really nice to eat together as a family again.
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

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#2228931 - 03/08/12 02:23 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
Almost forgot to mention something else that happened last night.

At one point my hackles came up. I let my anger get the best of me, not a good thing.

Once the house sells, I am planning on moving back to the city where we originally came from, so is H. H mentioned, that if by some miracle the house sells before the end of the school year that his parents have suggested that they keep D12 during the week.

That went over like a lead balloon. My response probably could've been a little more calmly and kindly worded.

"So your parents want to keep her during the week, you get her on weekends, leaving me without custody? F*** THAT!"

"They were just trying to help."

I just looked at him and didn't say anything more about it. Thankfully, he changed the topic. Hopefully he realized how absurd a suggestion it was. I admit, the mama bear claws had come out and they were sharp. But honestly, did he really think I'd be cool with it?

Geez, I wish he'd grow a backbone and tell his parents that this isn't their situation to handle and to butt out...
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

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#2229301 - 03/09/12 07:46 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
I also have a couple of questions regarding setting goals as a way to measure success. I understand that I have to be fairly specific with my goals, but how specific exactly? Ultimately I want a happy marriage and I know I have to break that down into smaller steps. After reading Gottman's Seven Principles, I know that a solid friendship is the foundation of every happy marriage so I must restore my friendship with H. I know that's way too broad a goal and I need to break that down further.

So how many smaller goals is it best to be working on at one time as a means of working toward a larger goal? What I mean is, if my larger goal is to rebuild our friendship, and my broken down fractions of that goal is to get him to go golfing with me, having longer, more meaningful conversations, going out to dinner together, or out for drinks, should I be focusing on only one of those smaller fractions at a time?

Or are these smaller goals I've set still too broad?

Actually I have already managed to get H to join me out for dinner once already. Yay me!

For how long is it best to watch and see if something is working before ditching it and trying something different?

Thanks for any input!
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

Top
#2229639 - 03/11/12 03:40 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
This being on moderation thing is the pits. I understand the reasoning behind it and it makes perfect sense. But it makes it difficult at a time when I could really use the input. I guess I can chalk it up to being another lesson in patience. smirk

So we signed the papers yesterday and the house is listed on the market. I am much more sad about it than I had anticipated. I thought I had fully prepared myself for it. I was wrong. Had a good cry about it after H and the realtor left. This was supposed to be our 'forever' house. I guess it's just another layer of the unrealized dreams grieving that all LBS's go through. Every time I notice that sign in my front yard, it puts a lump in my throat.
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

Top
#2230313 - 03/13/12 06:19 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
I really hope someone sees my thread soon. I'm feeling a bit foolish just talking to myself. crazy
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

Top
#2230314 - 03/13/12 06:21 PM Re: Stuck in a mess [Re: Dory]
Dory Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 75
Loc: West Coast Canada
Oh look at that! I'm off moderation. Yay for me!
_________________________
M:36 WAH:41
M:16 T:17
D:12 SS:21
Bomb: IDLY 10/29/11
Separated same day, about an hour after the bomb.

Top
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