Good afternoon all,
I just discovered this website last week while I was sick from stress, and decided today to join. I could write a dissertation on my challenges, but I will try to sum it up succinctly. I was so relieved to find other people dealing WITH THE EXACT SAME ISSUES as me. I really believed that I was going crazy and was failing because I continue to be missing something in my marriage. However, after reading some other posts, I could have it much worse. I'm happy to fill in specific details, but here is a brief summary:
I have been married for almost 10 years to a sweet, kind guy who always impresses me with his genorosity towards others. We dated for a few years before marrying, and I was the center of his universe. He never got angry with me, and always accepted me. After being raised in an alcoholic household the acceptance was amazing. He also came from an alcoholic family, and we bonded over that. Then we got married and from my perception things changed. I become his mother.
I was crumbling under the stress of graduate school and being the sole responsible person in our marriage. He has never had a problem holding onto a job and excelling at work, so he is a dependable bread winner. But everything else is mine, and I never get a true break. We have been to marriage counseling twice and have been active in church. The message to me is always to lean on God and look for the sin in my life AND I can only change me. That is all fine, but I am at a point where I can't go on for the rest of my life feeling like this. I do readily admit that he has tried to make an effort to be dependable, but it just doesn't ever seem to work like I need it to. I can't continue supressing my emotions and denying my needs. I bend over backwards to be a cheerleader for him. He tells me he doesn't think anything is wrong in our marriage and that I blindside him when I express how unhappy I am. I don't want a divorce. I want to save my marriage.
I walk on eggshells around him, never knowing if me or something will anger him. Sometimes even watching a new TV show is touchy because he might respond in a burst of anger if he doesn't like it immediately. I have stopped sharing with him. This is not good. Because of the dysfunctional dynamics in our families of origin, I can't be authentic with them either. I don't have any friends my age either because I live in a state where people go to retire, and when I try to tell people what my life is like I'm not sure they understand what my problem is. My mother is actually jealous of my perfect life! I believe he is also suffering with an anxiety disorder, and I can see both of these conditions manifesting in his parent and sibling as well. I dread holidays because I feel like I am the only normal person there, and there is always tension.
Physical intamicy has ALWAYS been a challenge since we got married. It was fine before we wed, and afterwards my perception is that it turned off. It still happens, but infrequently and I feel so ignored. It is also so awkward, and I can't understand why after all this time.
He does not have diagnosed ADD/ADHD, but I showed him this site over the weekend because I am at a breaking point. I am losing myself to depression. He told me that he also has wondered lately if he has ADD, and agreed with many of the symptoms. He has agreed to seek out help, but we'll see if that ever happens. I will nag him about that. It's too important to let it slide.
I also called a counselor who specializes in ADD/ADHD just for me because I need help. I'm not dealing with oridnary family problems. That is clear. I feel like I want a 6 month break from marriage and extended family just to heal and FEEL HAPPY. I'm so tired of feeling tense. I like the times when he is in a good mood, does sweet things for me, and answers me with more than one word responses. When he is happy we can laugh and laugh.
EDIT: I reread my post and wanted to make sure that I expressed how much my husband and I have tried to understand our shortcomings and respond in more productive ways, especially over the past few years. I have not been perfect, and I try really do try to change myself for the positive. My husband is earnestly trying. We have done the Love Languages book, but there are these common themes and lingering problems that remain. We need a different approach.