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Depression or just sad?
February 12, 2004
12:35 am
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Harrison
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I've been feeling very down for the past 6 or so months. I'm trying to decide if I'm depressed, as in clinically, or if I'm just going thru a "blue" period.

First, I'll tell you a bit about myself. I'm a 36 year old male. I have a wife who is 12 years my senior. I have 3 step children, 27, 26 and 22, and one son of my own, 10. I'm a touring performer, so I'm away from home a lot.

To put it all in a nutshell, I feel worthless, ugly, and unlovable. I felt that way for almost all of Oct. and most of Nov. of last year. Since then, I'm not "sad" all the time, I just have bouts now and again.

I don't know what else I should say. I love my wife, but she's very controlling. I often feel like she treats me like one of her children and not her husband. She has definite opinions on EVERYTHING and how it should be done. If it's not her way, it's wrong.

I'm on the road a lot, so that's a source of tension. She used to be with the same company, so she knows what the job can be like.

She is also going thru menopause, I think. She says she has no sexual desire anymore. I, on the other hand, have as much as always, or maybe more.

I tour with 4 other people, one of which is a 27 year old female. I have recenlty developed an infatuation with her. It's entirely one sided, which is frustrating as well. I started "crushing" on her back when I was in my continual "sad" mode. She was very sweet and supportive. She is also going thru a slightly messy divorce, so she has problems of her own.

That brings up another point. She used to be very free with the hugs and physical contact, but since she's had the divorce, she's really pulled away. I've asked her about it, and she says it's not me, it's her situation. She says she just doesn't want to be touched. However, and this may be my own paranoia, but it seems like that I'm the only one she doesn't want to be touched by.

Okay, this is probably way too rambly, but I'm on a roll now.

My wife, meanwhile, says that the 27yr. old is after me. She insanely jealous of her. If I mention her outside of work, my wife gets royally ticked. My co-worker does want a lot of attention, so she's often stands close when she talks, or things like that. It's rather ironic that my wife is jealous of her, and she has no interest in me, while I have the crush on the 27 yr old.

Another thing that I've been feeling is that I'm unlovable. I don't know why my wife stays with me anyway. However, I also feel that if my wife left me, I would be alone forever. Most of the women in my life have seen me as their brother. The love being around me, but the thought of romance with me kinda weirds them out. (Ironically, the 27 yr. old co-worker recently told me I was like a brother to her.)

I really have no idea if any of this makes any sense at all. Can anyone help? Or can anyone tell me of a place that can help me sort some of this out? Here's the kicker, I have no insurance, so it needs to be free or durn near close.

Thanks to any who read this.

February 12, 2004
1:56 am
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gingerleigh
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Hi Harrison. The main piece of advice I can give you right now is to steer clear of the 27 year old co-worker, and I can give you umpteen reasons for that. The main ones are (1) you work with her, (2) you're married, WITH kids, (3) even if you weren't married, someone coming out of a messy divorce is nowhere near ready for a relationship.

As for your wife being jealous... well, it sounds like she has a reason to be, even if this other woman doesn't fancy you a bit. You are crushing on this other young lady, and your wife is picking up on that. You seem to be more distraught that this young woman isn't paying attention to you than about your relationship with your wife and kids deteriorating. Wouldn't you be pissed and jealous if you were her? And here you accuse her of "going through menopause" and that's why she's got a low sex drive? Nice generalization, sir. What if she said that you were going through some sort of mid-life crisis, going after a 27 year old... oh but that's different, right?

I don't doubt that your wife is controlling and angry... I would be too if my husband were on the road all the time and I were left home with the responsibilities of the kids, bills, and a career of my own. And then to boot, when he gets home, he wants sex besides? She's probably acting out by refusing you. It's not right, but that could very well be where she's coming from. Hell, maybe she's just worn out. Maybe the two of you need to get together and try to see where the other person is coming from, refocus your priorities (both! of you), and put each other first.

Anyway, if counseling seems too expensive an option for you right now, maybe doing a little reading will lift your spirits or give you some things to think about. If you want to make things work with your wife, a good book to flip through and work through if you get motivated is Phil McGraw's Relationship Rescue. It has you take a look at yourself as a partner first and then see how you yourself can make the relationship better, thus encouraging your wife to move the relationship in a positive direction.

Best of luck to you, Harrison.

February 12, 2004
1:56 am
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Anam Cara
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Harrison

First I would like you to know that I have the same thing going for many years with my wife - we are now separated pending a divorce. Her character has been recognised in my case as narcissistic - this may be temporary of course re her menopausal time. Women here will help you about that. Your description typifies the life I have led with my wife until I burst and yes I do feel very alone - but worth all the money in China, I still struggle with bad moods most days but the pain is gradually going.

Me - yes ran the gauntlet years ago - had the hots for two women at work - because of a difficult sexual relationship with my first wife. Felt the same about me not being physically attractive to them - yet we had so much going for us in other ways. Found out years latter that these women knew my circumstances at home so would not let me near because - in my state they may have brought about sheer madness between my wife and I. This younger women may well feel the same - women can be very super sus!

I am just an old guy but can tell you that you have fell among some wonderful people here - that will help and understand how you feel.

Come and have coffee with the gang over in the Coffeehouse sometime soon.

Anam Cara

February 12, 2004
9:46 am
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artist 2
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Harrison, it's staring you in the face. Bear with me...

Listen, I know about that sadness thing. My therapist said I was not "depressed" but just sad. He can see the sadness and knows I've been sad for years. Life is sad. I started a post about the "droning line of sadness below" and that's what it feels like. A continuous base of greyness, on top of which is all the daily ups and downs. Generally if nothing else is happening I'm stuck with the sadness because it's always there.

That being said, I find momentary happiness in being noticed. It pleases me to be attractive to someone, boosts the ego a bit. But, mostly it distracts me from the sadness. I am involved in many activities because of this very reason - they are distractions. So, your life as a performer - could it be distracting you from the pain? Combine that with your lonliness and disconnect from your wife.... you are seeking connection and reassurance. The response of the 27 year old is just the ticket for you. But, remember it is just like anything else - a diversion from your true path. You will not find anything in it that will be long lasting and fulfilling.

My advice? Hack it out with your wife. Don't take chances on what you've built because you may be feeling a little desperate. Talk to her. Find a counselor who can help you communicate. Say to her, I really want to see you when I get back from this trip. Ask for the attention. Let her know how important it is for you... don't just go on letting it get worse.

You can ask for things in a nice way, hint hint hint.

February 13, 2004
8:50 am
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dramaqueen
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oh god... you sound just like my boyfriend...ugh... we met on the internet in a game, and we fell head over heels in love, even though I am eight years older than him... i have two children who he has taken under his wing and love and we have this great family life if you ask me... but hes not happy. He expresses that he is too young for all this responsibuility ( hes 21, im 29)...he has expressed that he thinks I'm a lesbian (?) because I dont always want sex when he does... but whenever I do want sex he gets mad if I dont just take no for an answer... god... the truth must be that he doesnt love me anymore, we're not married and have no children...for a long time I stayed with him for MY kids, because I let them get attached to him...but the truth is I love him, and I hate to loose him.... is there anything your wife could do or could have done that would have helped or changed things? its so interesting to hear you guys' point of view... i mean, it is things I suspect but cant confirm in my own case so its nice to hear other people say the same things.

February 13, 2004
8:54 am
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Juanita
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Just a suggestion Harrison. Being on the road alot, and when you get home and are "in the mood".... women don't like "wham bam, thank you ma'am" stuff (well, ok sure, once ina while we do)... may I suggest a show of appreciate and love by being slow and romantic and teasing and loving to build up to the moment? It gives you time to feel her out, and makes her feel like your chasing her again (making HER feel more desirable). Be warned... a woman scorned (jealous perhaps) is gonna make you work! Jealousy is pain. She's probably wondering what she's lacking. Work on your relationship. Go back to what worked when getting together in the beginning. Dad always told my spouse and I, treat one another like you are dating still ... still dress to impress & treat one another special. Hope this helps... PS - you're not ugly or unloveable. Everyone is special. Be confident in yourself & others will follow.

February 15, 2004
10:20 pm
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Harrison
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Well, I knew when I posted originally that I was very rambly and probably wouldn't get my real point across. I was on the road, it was quite late at night when I posted, and I knew I had to get up early the next morning. For some reason, my mind was mainly on the whole wife/crush on the 27 yr. old thing when I posted, so that's mostly what I posted about. To be honest, that's only a part of all that's been on my mind for the past 6 months.

Quoted from gingerleigh:
<>

I totally agree with you.

<>

I don't think so. You see, I've been working with this young woman for 2 years now, and my wife has been jealous of her ever since the beginning. I actually wonder if I would've noticed her if my wife wasn't so adamant that I stay away from her.

<>

No, not a generalization. That's what she told me. She said she thinks she's going thru menopause and that she has no sex drive. Not generalizing, quoting her.

<>

Not at all. In fact, that's sorta what I'm trying to determine. Am I depressed, sad, or going thru a mid-life crisis? I've thought that might be it. My wife has also said as much to me, although she said she thought I was a little too young for one yet.

<>

Well, she was controlling before my being on the road. She admits it herself. And what's wrong with me wanting sex when I get home? I was gone about 10 days the last time. I called her at least once a day, and she would always tell me how much she missed me. She's done the exact same job I do with the exact same company. (In fact, we met while we were both working for the company.) I'm out for long times without her, staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, and dealing with presenters and venues. She knows all of this! She's been in the EXACT same position. So, after all that stress, when I get home, I'd like to have sex with her. Now, it's not like I'm "I'm home, get naked." But I don't think it's too unreasnonable to come home to a wife who's missed me and expect some physical contact.

<>

Maybe so, but I was also the one who stayed home while she toured for a few years. I don't remember refusing her.

<>

I will check it out.

<>

Thanks!!

February 15, 2004
11:19 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Harrison,

Forgive me as I had to pull up the entire thread to read your original thread, and even then your reply above is not making much sense... sorry.

Here is my two cents - for what it's worth.

The 27 year old? Honey, let that one go - no matter what the situation that would be more trouble than it would ever be worth. For all of the replies listed above, bottom line you ARE married - whether you would have not noticed her before until you wife brought that up? I don't know, but you are still married, and you would be asking for trouble.

I understand you traveling, and coming home and wanting affection. My first husband traveled and I went with him, but there were still times when he was gone alone. My husband now and I both have been in careers where we have traveled alot, and have gone weeks without seeing each other. It can be hard on a marriage, no doubt - but, it can be worked through. Yes, when a spouse comes home after being gone, the physical connection can be tenuous. I agree with Juanita in that when my husband has been traveling a lot, when he comes home - I don't exactly want to drag him in the front door and ravage him. I first want to talk about things. What he has been doing while out of town, where did he go. What's going on with me, the house, the family, etc. I enjoy having a nice meal with him, and then enjoy our private time together. But, I do need to feel the emotional connection first.

If your wife is going through menopause, I can tell you this much - as I'm in the same boat, although at a younger age. Physically, sorry I have had the opposite effect... now more than ever I DO want to ravage my husband - but my emotions are also a little more volatile, so there are times when physically yes, I do, but emtionally - I'm up and down. Has she been to her Dr. regarding this?

Mid-life crises - yes, I do agree with her that you are a little young to be going through this, but you are also married to an older woman with older children. So, perhaps you "think" older. Can this be it?

You state that your wife is controlling, and that if it's not her way then it's wrong. Has she always been like this? Has it always bothered you?

Have you gone to counseling either both together or even alone? Also, have YOU talked to a Dr. regarding this? If you are feeling all of thiese things, and feeling ugly and unloveable as well then there is a chance that you are depressed and perhaps an anti-depressant would help.

I know my post is rambling too... so hopefully it will make sense to you.

In any case, good luck.

Zinnie

February 16, 2004
8:58 am
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Harrison
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<>

The more I think of it, the more I think you're right. And to be honest, I think one of the reasons I'm crushing on the 27 yr. old is because she's there.

<>

Okay, sounds good. Any suggestions? 🙂

February 16, 2004
9:09 am
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Harrison
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Well, crap. None of my quotes are showing up. Anyone know how to quote posts on this board?

February 16, 2004
9:37 am
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Zinnie
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HI Harrison,

It looks like you are trying to use HTML code? Perhaps just type them in, put quotes around the text, and we can figure it out?

Z.

February 17, 2004
11:42 am
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Harrison
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To Juanita,

(I'm trying to quote, so please bear with me. 🙂 )

You said, "Being on the road alot, and when you get home and are 'in the mood'... women don't like the 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am' stuff."

I understand that, really I do. And I'm not just showing up at the house saying, "Get naked." I undrestand that women need more of an... I dunno... emotional attachment for sex, even if it's from someone they've been married to for 10 years.

Juanita said, "...may I suggest a show of appreciate and love bey being slow and romantic and teasing and loving to build up to the moment?"

But I think I do that. I mean, I try to show affection. But when I come home, she doesn't really talk to me. Sure, we hug and smooch for quite awhile when I first get home, but after that, it seems like my being home is no big deal. And we've talked every night when I've been gone, so I'm not sure what we can "catch up" on.

Last night, in fact, I just sorta asked her if we would have sex again while I was home. She said she didn't know because she didn't know if I wanted her. How can she not know? I'm affectionate to her during the day, and I'm not one of those who's shy about showing affection in public. I try to hold her at night. I mean, how many husbands say "Thank you" to their wives for making meals or doing laundry? I do! I asked what I could do to make her know that I want her, and she said she didn't know. I don't know either!

Juanita said, "Go back to what worked when getting together in the beginning."

I've tried. I don't know if I've just forgotten or what. Back when we were first together, she said I was magic. That I always knew exactly what to do. Well, I must've lost it somewhere, because now I have NO CLUE! We did a little survey about our "love languages" and one of hers was gifts. Not expensive things, but just little things to let her know I was thinking of her. Well, I do that, too! I don't bring something back every trip, but I try to at least every other trip. She always talks about one woman who's huband always brought her something home every night. It might just be a lollipop, but the woman loved it. Of course, they later got divorced, so...

To top it all off, my wife will not talk to me. She has said before that it doesn't make any difference, so she will not talk to me about things. And when she's upset, I get the silent treatment. I ask what's wrong and I get a barely audible "Nothing." I've tried drawing her out, which only makes it worse, or ignoring it, which only puts my insides in knots.

And if I try to talk to her about things that bother me, it turns into her saying how bad she is, what a bad wife, bad mother, etc., etc., etc.,...

To be honest, as far as the sex thing goes, I'm almost afraid of her. If I don't get her "in the mood," and it seems like I have very little control over it, and I bring the subject up, I get a deep sigh as she rolls over. It absolutely kills me. It says to me that she doesn't want to; she's only doing it out of a "wifely" duty.

Tonight we're going to go out. We didn't go out on Valentine's because I had just gotten home and had no money yet. I'm hoping things go well. I'm sure we'll have fun, but I'm already wanting the evening to end in intimacy. And I have this deep, down feeling in the pit of my stomach that it won't. And then I'm going to be slightly angry, hurt, and dissappointed.

Juanita said, "...treat one another like you are dating still...still dress to impress & treat one another special."

I am gonna try tonight. I'm planning on wearing the shirt she likes to see me in. I haven't told her what we're doing, so when she got dressed today, she asked if it would be okay for what we're doing tonight. I told her it would be fine, and then added, "Dress like you're dating me, not like you're married to me." She said she had forgotten how to do that. That's part of it. I feel like it's all incubment upon me. Sometimes I feel like I have a series of hoops to jump thru, and if I miss any of them, then she takes it to mean that I don't love her, I don't want to be around her, etc.

There are also financial issues, career issues, and issues with other friends that bother me, but I seem to be stuck on this one subject.

Harrison

February 17, 2004
11:57 am
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Harrison
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Zinnie said, "... when [my husband] comes home - I don't exactly want to drag him in the front door and ravage him. I first want to talk about things. What he has been doing while out of town, where did he go. What's going on with me, the house, the family, etc. I enjoy having a nice meal with him, and then enjoy our private time together. But, I do have to feel the emotional connection first."

I do understand that, or at least I think I do. I addressed this a bit in my reply to Juanita, but it bears repeating. I've spoken to her every single night while I'm gone. She's told me what's going on, I've told her what's going on. I don't know what else to talk about. Not that we can't talk about other things, but she seems very happy the minute I arrive home, then she goes back to watching TV, doing laundry, getting lesson plans for our son (we homeschool.)

You mention that maybe I think older, that's why I might be going thru a mid-life crisis? Maybe so. I do have some life issues outside of my marriage I'm dealing with.

Just something I ought to mention. I'm doing all this posts when I'm on the road or at home. I do NOT want my wife to find out about this. She would FREAK if she knew I was telling others this kind of stuff. That's part of the reason, along with my financial situation, why I haven't sought counseling. She would not be happy with it. Not that she would be embarrassed, but that, in her mind, it would mean that she's a bad wife, mother, person, etc.

My wife is very controlling. She admits it. She says she's trying to get better, and she is, but she's still quite a control freak. Anything out of the norm freaks her out. She has been this way as long as I've known her, and it has always bothered me, but it seems to get worse as she gets older. I think it's part of the "controlling" aspect of her that makes her treat me like her child instead of her husband. Of course, if you ask her, I'm sure she would say she treats me like I act.

One of the problems we've had with raising our son is that I have ideas on how he should be raised. I'm my wife's third husband. She says the other two were not involved in the raising of their children. They let her handle it. When I questioned or disagreed with her on what to do with our son, it really threw her for a loop.

That brings up another problem. She's very sarcastic to our 10 yr. old son. To the point that when she tells him something, he sometimes says, "Really momma? Tell me the truth." It bothers me, but I know if I say anything about it, all she'll hear is, "You're a bad mother." She'll sull up and I'll get the silent treatment.

Harrison

February 17, 2004
12:07 pm
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Zinnie
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Hi Harrison,

When my husband or I have traveled, we talk to each other all the time to on the phone at night or via e-mail. But, still once he is home I like the face to face reconnection.

I think you have answered part of your own question - she will not go to counseling to make things better because she will view it as she is a bad person. Have you tried talking to her about that and saying "look WE need help, as a couple - but that does not mean that you are not a good wife, mother, etc - but we need help."

Again, just from you describing your symptoms, I would recomment seeing a Family Dr. regarding some anti-depressants.

Z.

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