Profound Sense Of Sadness

Howdy All- I recently posted a bit about our diagnostic oddessy for my DH in the appropriate section. I am currently experiencing a profound sense of loss and sadness despite it looking like we may have finally found a name for this thing that has affected our lives so tragically. My DSS has been diagnosed with combined type impulsive/ inattentive, so it stands to reason, based on discussions with the child psychologist, that this is what is crippling my husbands interactions, as well. I am so very lonely for my husbands love and affection. He's been a on jag of distraction lately, so my status has been essentially 'ignore'. I'm doing my best to muster compassion since it appears that these stretches of near solitary living have not been intentional. It's been about two weeks, this time, since we last had relations. I've gone through years of agonizing secret shame over this issue. All the usual suspects have been ruled out, to no avail. In times of what I now see as hyperfocus there are short bursts of intimacy, always followed by weeks of nothing at all. It feels so humiliating not to have your husband want you. At night he places a pillow between us. I have started to resent it like another woman. I'm afraid to even bring it up anymore. I'm afraid of the reaction and verbal outburst. My self esteem cannot take the hit of the continuing rejection. I long for my husband to want me.

Profound sense of sadness

Your last sentence, "I long for my husband to want me" certainly resonants with me.  I just wrote my first post and didn't mention the profound sense of loneliness that comes with rejection and/or being ignored. I have great empathy for you. My husband has no desire for me sexually.  I wonder how common this is. One of the things I fell in love with was our love making and deep sense of intimacy.... and it's been gone for two of our 4 years together (3 years as husband and wife). I feel sad most of the time, but it comes out as anger at times. I feel like I'm on trial and until I "get it right", I'll be punished with his physical and emotional withdrawal. Your situation sounds more like it might be treatable with appropriate medication. Dr. Amen has good books and a great website about the different types of ADD and how best to treat them (medication, nutrition, etc.)

It is very common for me for

It is very common for me for my hurt to manifest itself as anger. I was told in counseling once that anger is usually fueled by fear, pain, or guilt/shame...and for me it was/is both fear and pain.

I can relate to you both. The times of complete isolation from the family have been sporadic...4 times in 13 years of marriage...usually lasting about 6-8 weeks. In the meantime, intimacy is 100% under his control and can be as infrequent as once every 6 weeks or so. He will say he wants me to initiate, but then I get rejected..or feel like he would rather be plucking his fingernails out with pliars if he does 'go along'.

I didn't recognize the loneliness, ironically, until we had a period of several months where he went to bed with me, cuddled with me, and seemed to really long for me to be physically close to him. Sex was still somewhat infrequent, but the loneliness at least subsided. After this period of about 9 months where he would actually be upset if we didn't fall asleep touching each other, cuddling, etc, he started ADHD medications (Oct 2010) and everything literally came to a screeching halt. He became hostile and short fused. He stopped them in Feb 2011 and shortly thereafter he withdrew completely and started sleeping in the den. It was then that my anger started to return and I started trying to take a serious look at it because I truly thought it was gone forever when I simply stopped being angry in Nov of 09 when my Daddy passed away.

What I am starting to realize is that I feel safest in my anger. When I remain angry, I have the strength to do what I feel is best for self-preservation. (i.e. put up walls, shut HIM out, strongly contemplate divorce). When I let go of the anger, then I start to feel all of the hurt, pain, loneliness, feelings of betrayal, and the mourning for the marriage I THOUGHT we had finally created which is now gone. It truly is overwhelming. It hit me like a ton of bricks just a few days ago...that I was asking (demanding) things from him that I had stopped giving myself. I cannot predict how my marriage will play out, I am only one half of it and can only control myself, but I was helping him nail the coffin to our marriage shut with my anger and reactions. When I finally admitted this to him...just HAD to get it out of my system...then he finally opened up, took his blame for things, and we've been slowly trying to repair things since. Granted, it has only been a few days now..but I think he's out of his ADHD 'dark side' episode, and is ready to check back in and work on his ADHD.

I know I haven't been much help, but I can at least promise you that you all are not alone. It is horrible to be married and feel so alone. :( (((HUGS)))

being wanted

Blair,

   I totally understand how you feel when you say, "you would love to be desired sexually". (paraphrasing) It's been a year and a half now since we've had relations, and then only twice a year for the past several years before that. My husband will not approach me at all for sex, and it's made me feel very undesired and unloved. He won't talk about it and "shuts down" when I try to discuss the subject. I've stopped any and all discussion about it, and haven't brought up the subject for almost 2 years now. Every once in a while I can't stand the tension and lonely feelings, and just burst out into tears, and don't know what to do. But, what we are doing NOW, ISN'T WORKING.

My husband has always been "overly modest" to the point of bizarre it seems. He will even lock the door to the bathroom so that no one "walks in on him", even when WE are the only two people in the house. He hates to be seen naked and there are so many "rules" he has when it comes to sex. He doesn't like back rubs or being "touched" very much. (hard to do when you are having sex) He will only do it missionary position, and really only wants me on top. And, he is always very, very nervous during the entire thing, which only lasts about 10 seconds to a couple minutes. This I know is called PE, (which he has), but again, won't do anything about. He DID go to the doctor about it, but can't bring himself to do the "physical stuff", to help with the PE. (There are physical activities to help with the PE, that BOTH people have to do during sex)  He would rather just take a pill. I know it makes him feel bad, but doing NOTHING about it has only made it WORSE. We couldn't have children of our own because we found out my husband was infertile. An infertility specialist told us that due to him having childhood "mumps" that went to his testicles, he became sterile and has one atrophied testicle. It was a terrible way to find out things, and I felt really bad for him.  His mother KNEW about this, but never told us. She could have saved us a heck of a lot of time, tears and money, if only she would have told us the truth.

        Even from the time we were dating, he would ask me for sex, (which almost seemed like a verbal contract) but it wasn't the grab me, passionately fondle and kiss me........kind of sex. We enjoyed our times together, but he wasn't aggressive about it in any way, shape or form. He TALKED a lot about it though. When I look back on it, it almost seems like sex to him, was something that "guys joke about in the locker room". It wasn't the actual ACT OF SEX, but rather what you JOKED about later. Maybe he felt that everyone could SEE that he had PE, so he had to joke about sex as much as he could so that his friends would think he was some kind of sex stud.

   I know he wants ME to initiate it, but I'm the only one who DOES. The trouble with being the only one to initiate sex, is that it puts me in the position of always getting turned down. He rejected me so many times, I really started feeling HORRIBLE about myself. I tried to openly talk about this with him, but he just WILL NOT discuss anything sexual. What he doesn't realize is what all this has done to ME. I have done everything I could to try to help him feel better about himself sexually, physically, emotionally, etc. But, so far NOTHING has helped. But, being rejected all the time has left me feeling sad, rejected, unloved and TOTALLY UNDESIRED. I tried to tell him that, but he wouldn't say anything.

   To me, it seems like a very selfish thing for him to do........to keep all this inside himself and not let me be part of his life. (and to always keep me at arms length) LITERALLY!

The past year or so, I've had to emotionally disconnect from him as much as possible. It's been a hard thing to do, because I'm NOT THAT WAY. I LOVE TO LOVE, and BE loved, but when someone won't return what you're giving them, it's a damn hard thing to accept. He's actually been more attentive in other ways, but certainly not sexually. And to be SURE, sex is VERY IMPORTANT in a marriage. I know there are marriage where the people CAN'T have sex, and they deal with that in other ways, and have a good relationship in spite of it. But, we're not talking about that here. My husband is FULLY CAPABLE of having sex and enjoying it. But, for whatever reason, he keeps himself LOCKED away sexually. He had a 3 year affair with a 22 year old, a few years ago. He LOVED that, because it was NEW, and he was a "stud" again. But, the PE was still there, and the sex wasn't any different with the other woman. He just enjoyed the "new thing", and, of course, I was the "old thing". He LOVES anything new, and really hates maintaining anything "old". (this includes EVERYTHING) Sad to say, it included me. We have never fully dealt with the affair, again, something he WILL NOT DISCUSS. "It's in the past", he says, "It's over now", he says. And will NOT TALK ABOUT ANYTHING. I am contemplating a discussion with him very soon, because I can't continue to live like this. I have to leave if he will NOT talk about how the ADHD affects our lives, and if he continues to NOT TALK about ANYTHING AT ALL. And I believe if he doesn't talk, it will lead to ANOTHER affair. Because he's not facing WHY it happened, or how WE can change it.

Anyway, thanks for listening.

Dede

 

  

My heart goes out to you. I

My heart goes out to you. I relate to some of what you're saying, so I can feel your pain, even if on a somewhat smaller scale. I truly wish we could have an honest discussion about why our sex lives are so dysfunctional. I try talking to my husband, and although he's open to talking, I find myself not believing him when he tries to answer my questions, which completely frustrates him. For ex: He told me he wanted me to initiate more. I got up the nerve (I too have been rejected enough to make me feel VERY uncomfortable doing so) and he had a look on his face that either looked like he was in pain or like he was really struggling to enjoy himself. I've been with him for 13 years, I know what his 'normal' sex faces are...and it wasn't one. To add insult to injury,  he brings it up the next day and starts making a big deal out of 'how much he enjoyed it' and I immediately knew he was trying to convince me..he knew that I knew that he hadn't enjoyed it, for whatever reason. He denied this, but I'm not blind. I know what I saw and felt...and I trust my gut.

Our sex life goes from "Debbie does Dallas" to (more often than not) "Little House on the Prairie"...I go from feeling like I'll never be able to keep up with his need for 'spice' to feeling like a wart covered toad wondering why he couldn't seem to care less about sex. Sometimes I want to give him truth serum and find out why...if he even knows why...and other times I just give up and reconcile myself to the fact that I will have sex a lot less often than I would like for the remainder of my marriage. Sex isn't important in a marriage until you're not having it. :-(  (((HUGS)))

DF's picture

Perhaps some insight?

"....other times I just give up and reconcile myself to the fact that I will have sex a lot less often than I would like for the remainder of my marriage. ....."

I "think", key word think, my wife did this too when I stopped trying to initiate.  My heads spitting stuff out at me so I'll try to not get all over the place......

My response to you all is a question addressed to myself - "Why did I stop initiating intimacy?"

I know that I did and I'm very aware of it.  It was not because I didn't find my wife attractive.  She's always been beautiful to me - I just never let her know.  I believe an inferiority or self esteem issue is at play for me.  I'm married to a very strong woman, so that would explain why it's so tough to find my way back into her heart.  She is a dedicated mother and for years she did all of the planning, scheduling, getting everyone ready-ing, paying bills, living a month behind financially so we could do things together as a family.  All the while I watched.  I felt like i was failing, but she 'seemed' routine about it so I never really thought much of it.

My hang up over feeling incompetent in the house overlapped into matters of the heart.  From day one of our relationship I always took care of her first.  It is the only way I can cope with the thoughts of a poor performance.  I take great satisfaction in the act of love in itself with my wife.  Once it's done, my mind races over what I did wrong - if anything.  I'm very aware of my wife's body language during intimate moments and I'm very focused on it.  I don't want to do something over and over again that she doesn't like.

I try so hard to do things right for her because I love her and she means so much to me.  But I remember sex when we were dating and I only see my failure to keep up with how I used to be.  Yes I know we all get older and our bodies change - HELLO!  I have ADD(HD)/anxiety, it doesn't matter what I know!

My goal in life has always been to make my wife happy, but even I could see when I wasn't doing that and by then I had already shut down on her and it was all about me and 'think of me' time.  Anyways.....

I can't speak for your spouses, I can only speak for me.  My issues with intimacy is Performance Anxiety ( not PE ), knowing how much my wife did for me on a daily basis and that I wasn't doing anything and not really knowing why.  Having sex with my wife and then her laying on her side with her back to me gave me the impression that I did not satisfy her  and that is absolute torture for me.  We don't cuddle afterwards because it seems I have internal mechanisms in place that post-intimacy means I radiate a lot of body heat.  Not sweaty, but in the middle of summer, I radiate a bit too much heat even for me to be comfortable so I understand she doesn't lean into me.

I just don't know why I can't talk to her about these things.  I really can't.  We've had one talk where I was actually on meds and I still couldn't express myself like I can here.   This is almost unbearably frustrating.  I just want to tell her everything and par for the course I just expect her to know.

"....Sex isn't important in a marriage until you're not having it....."  Very true.  How do you get back to having it if you don't even know if you make them happy at any given time of the day?

Perhaps Some Insight

DF,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective. Loving requires vulnerability or better yet, the courage to be vulnerable. The courage to move past the fear, mistakes, past hurt and anger and just try to give love.... give of yourself. I know my anger has pushed my ADD husband away. BUT he doesn't understand or know what he's done to hurt me and create a life of loneliness and pain. How does one proceed and improve without this insight? I guess trusting your spouse enough to listen, but how do you trust someone whose so angry from time to time they try to hurt you with words?

What creates a fear so great that you'd go through 4 marriages and swear that your ADD has nothing to do with the problems in the relationships? Or can it really be that there's no insight here? I love my husband with all my heart, but I want to be married to someone who can take 50% of the responsibility for problems in the relationship? How can he do this without insight? The inability to see that rejecting your wife physically for years can hurt deeply and maybe even make her very angry? I believe that there are really only 2 emotions. Love and fear. And that fear is the absence of love. To be really honest with you.... I'm really angry at my husband for not being brave enough.

Be brave enough to love your wife physically  .......... She won't care  about the details and trust me those things can get worked out more easily than you think. Hold her hand if your too warm to cuddle. Just reach out..... I bet she'll do the same.

Blair

This is so very true...and

This is so very true...and bringing yourself to a level of being vulerable to someone who rejects you and blames you for everything is EXTREMELY tough. However, in the end...if you aren't willing to just tear down the walls, let go of all of the past hurts and just say "here I am, heart wide open...trying with everything me..." and asking them to meet you half way, then you never know that you've truly done all you could. Believe me, I've been ready to walk away out of nothing but pure anger (actually fear that things will never change mixed with years of pain) many times. I truly feel that 'change' comes from within and that things have to start somewhere. When we are true to who WE want to be as spouses then and only then will we know what we're truly dealing with in our spouses. I threw myself to the wolves, put myself out there, and although things are far from 'worked out' , the lines of communication are once again open..he's willing to admit the things he's done to hurt me (after denying them for more than 2 months and blaming me for everything)...and I'm slowly letting go of my anger and putting myself back in 100%.

Each spouse may react differently...but in the end you have to keep trying to be the person you want to be...loving, caring, compassionate, (I assume everyone wants to be these things)...and if they do not reciprocate then you can walk away knowing that you've done all you could to give them the 'opening' to let down their walls. I do not believe your husband is clueless, I do feel he is very afraid and determined not to be vulnerable. If you haven't seen the movie Fireproof, watch it. Even if you don't appreciate it for the Christian view of it, it does have a good point about being the spouse we want to be in the face of much adversity. (((HUGS)))

Sherri

DF's picture

Insight for your insight

Sounds good, but I'm not there yet.  I'm still in this area...."The inability to see that rejecting your wife physically for years can hurt deeply and maybe even make her very angry?..."

My wife doesn't hurt me with words.  So I can't reflect on your husband doing that, but I also read that a lot of us ADD-ers do that. I'm not one of them that does that.  I ignored her needs or ran from them or just forgot about them because she was in a good mood one day.  Mostly the last one.  My wife hurts me with her actions.  I have a history of being complacent.  Now I'm on the receiving end and I see that it sucks.  Bad. 

Look if I knew your husband I'd kick him for you.  It sounds to me as though he is afraid he'll lose control if he accepts his problem.  I may be far off on that, but why else would you run through the red light?  Just because there's another streetlight up ahead doesn't mean it won't turn red too.  The guy has to grow up.  I grew up without any father of any kind since I was 3.  No visitation or step father in the process.  I have two wonderful healthy kids, but I'm learning this all by trial and error and then I go and find out I have ADD.  It took me years of talking to myself and evaluating myself to really accept that there had to be an explanation.  My wife tried to tell me so much, but I only hear about 1 or 2 things. 

I tried hard to man up.  Its' been 12 years and I'm happy to finally be here, but it's tough knowing that I pushed my wife to a breaking point and now I'm stuck alone in a house with the most beautiful woman in the world and I have to sit and watch her leave after the kids go to bed, because I'm there.

"...Just reach out..... I bet she'll do the same...."  - Sorry, still not there yet.  One day maybe.  Example:  We were out with friends the other day.  A guy friend on either side of me.  My wife danced some with both of them even though they were not responsive and she skipped over me.  She never used to do that.  Later that evening she was dancing with her girlfriend and I joined in.  My wife walked away. 

I would love to be a man instead of feeling so damn needy, but how the heck do I find a backbone here?  She's damn pissed at me and I never, in all our years together called her a name or hit her or cheated on her.  I know I was more of a child than a partner, but I've been trying so damn hard for almost a year now.  It has litteraly been 10 months since I've raised my voice or said anything that even closely resembles me pushing blame on her.  I'm taking full and all responsibility.  If neglect is my crime, then it should be my punishment, but I don't even know if she approves of my efforts or if I'm making the right efforts. 

I would love to hold her hand.  I just don't know that I could trust myself to brush off the rejection and pretend it was no big deal.  My inability to do that has always had a way of making me shut down and that frustrates the wife.  So I tell her I lover her every day in txt or in passing.  I get no response or acknowledgement.  I expect none, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

I can relate

I can relate to your position better than your spouses to be honest. My husband hurts with behavior and it's intense and last a very long time. My anger comes out in a burst and it's ugly.... but then is's over. I apologize and want to move on. My husband can't forgive the anger and uses it as a reason to withdraw. It's our viscous circle. He stays angry and holds on to things. He actually keeps a list of every mean thing I say when I do burst. He reads it every day. I keep loving photographs around and reread his loving words. Why stay if you don't want to forgive? Your  wife sounds like she's walking around holding on to some truly deep seated anger. Have  you asked or her forgiveness yet? My therapist explained to me that there can be no healing without forgiveness. It different than saying you are sorry. I did it and felt vulnerable, but also excited. He said he forgave me but he didn't. You see my husband doesn't feel empathy. You sound as if you are or have become empathetic. Your patience is a form of empathy in a way. You seem to express that you know you were clueless for a long time and it hurt her, so now you are willing to learn and grow and hope with time she'll come around. I can say that I don't know how well I would handle what your wife did on the dance floor. That's very hostile and hurtful behavior. Have you tried couples counseling? My husband acts angry lot's of the time...body language, sarcasm, etc. He denies it and condemns me for my overt anger. Anger is anger. And your wife sounds like she's very, very angry.

One thing..... Being hurt by someone you love rejecting you does not make you needy. Being brave means having the courage to be vulnerable. You did that on the dance floor. You were a man. Keep up the good work! I get very angry at my husband when he acts like a child. It's a form of abandonment actually. I abandon him when I start to verbally hurt him. It sounds like you and your wife are taking turns abandoning one another. It hurts deeply and must be very difficult for someone who lost their father at a young age (huge abandonment)  Keep taking those constructive steps to reach out.  Offer choices. Go talk to a therapist to develop strategies to either work on the marriage together or work to take care of you so you can find new ways to get your needs met.

You can ask her what she needs from you and ask her if she recognizes your efforts. Compose a letter it it's too difficult to do face-to-face. And know that it is a big deal to be rejected by the person you love. It hurts and you shouldn't have to pretend it's no big deal. "I know I neglected you and didn't listen to you for a very long time. I can't change the past, but I really want to change the present and future.  Can you forgive me and work with me?"

Thank you for sharing with me. I hope I have not been too presumptuous in my response. I wish you and your wife well.

Blair

DF's picture

further detail

She will not do therapy.  I asked twice and that's the end of it.  I promised her.  I've gone a few times, but coming here has helped more than talking to a therapist about me and my issues.  I get more from reading posts from people here in these posts.  I assure you though, that I would go to couples therapy in a heart beat if my wife asked.

I have written to my wife.  As I had mentioned in a distant post somewhere in these forums, I knew I failed to say what I wanted to say and I don't wish to be pushy.  I read my posts all the time and for the life of me I can't figure out why I can't just say that stuff to my wife.  Maybe I should just copy and paste......

I really like your suggestion about forgiveness.  I think Sherri was telling me that some time ago, but didn't ask it so bluntly, so I'll give you credit for the stellar idea ( sorry Sherri! ).  I'll work on a way to ask her and a time to do it that's appropriate.  We're taking a trip to her family's house this weekend and asking for forgiveness could make for a very loooong 4 hour drive if the answer is no.

As for the very angry assumption behind my wife's actions.  As usual I made her look bad.  Crap!  To clarify, a bit in her defense, she didn't act in an abrupt outright manor.  That's just what I translate in my wacked out head.  When I went to dance with her and her friend, she's used to me not wanting to ever dance.  I'm very self consious.  So when I tried to step up and give my new self a try, I can see where she might be a bit put off.  If I never wanted to dance before, why would I be so interested now?  Seems to me like I'm being pushy again.  Her leaving before the end of a song is the product of my design because I came across as trying to hard.  I knew that was a risk I was taking, but I took it to show her I can get over myself.  It backfired, but where are we if we don't try.....

It's not enough for her to see change, she has to believe it's permanent.

But you're trying...and she's

But you're trying...and she's not embracing that. Yes, years of pain..years of hurt...I get it. I've lived it. I can honestly say you are the one person here who has helped me most to have compassion for 'the other side' of my husband. You are one of the first to truly convince me that ADHD isn't intentional causing of pain to those you love. Your constant torture of yourself (or so it feels to me...maybe not so much so to you in your 'wacked' head) KILLS me. My husband has done things in the past 13 years that I am sure you never thought of doing...cheating would be one of them. The hurtful words...where do I start?? I haven't seen consistent, kind behavior from him for 10 months (like you say you've shown recently) at any given time in our marriage. There was always the lack of intimacy, the running around with friends, the drinking, the feel of "why does he even want to be married to me...he barely notices I'm alive"...always something going on that made me feel 'less than' to him. MOST WOMEN HERE would KILL for 10 months of consistency and would be pretty close to feeling comfortable enough to let their guard down and start forgiving. But, I have forgiven none the less...  

I am worried that your wife is incapable of forgiveness. I know it is your strongest desire to never, ever paint your wife with any form of negativity. I am not going to venture any guesses about her apparently unwillingness to forgive you, try anew, try again...to make herself vulnerable and put herself out there. What I would like to suggest you give some LONG, HARD thought to is how long you're going to verbally and emotionally beat yourself up about every.single.damned.move.you.make and how long you think you can go on analyzing her every reaction to your every action AS IF YOU ARE NEEDING TO SOMEHOW, IN EVERY SITUATION, TAKE ALL OF THE BLAME.  I don't care what you did 5 minutes ago, much less 5 years ago...marriage takes TWO. Ask yourself...does yours include two?

Make the past irrelevant...focus only on what you know now, what you do with that knowledge, and what your hearts intent is..TODAY. With both of you living in the past, you're never going to move forward. DF...my friend...no one is worthy of the brutality you inflict on yourself. If you feel in your heart that you're doing the right thing, then let HER own her own reactions...stop saying 'oh well, who can blame her?' because the reality is, you don't have to carry this burden...and you deserve a much better reception to your efforts than you're getting.

If your self loathing attitude here spills over into your life, then I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it is something you need to address ASAP..in counseling..on your own. Right now, you need to ask yourself "why am I trying so hard when I am getting nothing in return? and how long is long enough before I realize that I've done all I can?" It isn't a contest. You did the best you could with what you had to work with for years. Now that you know different, you do different. She needs to meet you half way...or you'll realistically, never catch up to her.

DF's picture

What to say.....

Sherri - What you said in that first paragraph is by far the coolest damn thing any stranger has ever said to me.  Thank you for that. That was awesome and it really hit home for me.

I read you reply several times.  I'd like to reply.

"..I am worried that your wife is incapable of forgiveness..."  - She is.  She is someone that will do anything for a friend - anything.  She gave me 11 years of doing everything for me.  A person like that is a great person from the inside out and that's special.

"....unwillingness to forgive you, try anew, try again...to make herself vulnerable and put herself out there...." - She's been putting herself out there for a long time and I've been shooting her down ( unknowingly  most of the time ).  I think of it as in Frontier times and how hard pioneer life was on a farm.  My wife took care of the kids, plowed the fields by hand and managed the daily harsh lifestyle and I was always the guy saying - "I'll get to it tomorrow".  A woman doesn't forget so easily.....

".....how long you're going to verbally and emotionally beat yourself up about every.single.damned.move.you.make and how long you think you can go on analyzing her every reaction to your every action AS IF YOU ARE NEEDING TO SOMEHOW, IN EVERY SITUATION, TAKE ALL OF THE BLAME...." - Until the end of time itself.   I believe we did not meet by chance.  When the day comes that she can accept me I know it will have all been worth it.

"..marriage takes TWO. Ask yourself...does yours include two?...." - I'm sure my wife asked herself that very question and can see what answer she came up with.  I can see progress, but I can also see she isn't ready.

"....If your self loathing attitude here spills over into your life...." - Nope.  No worries here (yet).  I've lived a lifetime of minding my own business so I have plenty of practice at now letting anyone know what's going on inside - including my wife.  I know I'm a good father because I will not ever say anything to my kids or when they are around.  As far as anyone is concerned we're a happily married couple.

"....how long is long enough before I realize that I've done all I can?...." - Without her input I can never know when or if I've done all I can.

So with that said......

Before I read your reply I sent my wife an email earlier asking for forgiveness.  I do believe I was in a correct frame of mind and I kept it simple and I got out what I wanted to say.  She's out with the kids still - activities and I had something I had to tend too so I've not seen her to know if she read it.  She will if she hasn't yet.  She's not cruel to me.  I will know when she gets home if she read it because she will help get the kids ready for bed and then leave. 

I Believe my fight is just, because I know it's worth it.  I also know that her family and her good friend ( where she'll go tonight I'm certain ) all are concerned for me.  It means a lot to me that they care, but I have to juggle the worry that our issues are that obvious, with not pulling people close to my wife into the middle of a mess I'm responsible for.  I am responsible for this because she did try.  Countless of times and every time she'd feel better, we'd hug, maybe be intimate and <poof> all gone.  My journey is hard because she's been there before, granted for never more than a few days vs. 10 months.  Example...

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, all the way through the term my wife was not sure if I would be there in the end.  I gave her no reason to believe that I would, 'I just thought she knew'.  Her parents were very concerned about me.  I never touched her belly to feel my son move.  I was not interested in sex in the later months of the term.  Those are not real confidence boosters.  I do remember tearing up when I knew I was the first person my son saw when he opened his eyes for the first time.  For years I didnt' know my wife saw me.  I was never going to leave her, 'I thought she knew' I loved her.

On to the present.  I feel that sometimes your environment has to change someway if you're ever going to really "see" change.  What I mean by that is, we're struggling financially like many people here and always will.  I've recently been brought into the fold at my job after 3 years of massive amounts of stress.  Without going into that, I will say it means that I'm getting a substantial raise.  I start next Monday.  This job is what I've been wanting for us for so many years.  I have banked a lot of my dreams on being able to finally contribute more to relieving my wife of her financial stress.  I bought a $5 monthly planner and have been working on budget sheets.  I don't want to just provide for my family, I want my family to be able to count on me for once.

I bought my wife a new car, because we needed one badly and she drives further than me.  1 step towards her piece of mind.  Once I start into my new paychecks and she "see's" me taking on bills that have been hard for her.  I'm hopeing that she can see it's not just me setting her up for disappointment again, but that I can follow through with my words with actions.  After that you might ask....... well, next big thing is earning my college degree and I'm still staying strong on keeping focused on that.  Whatever it takes, I will do it.

And in conclusion.......

"....She needs to meet you half way...or you'll realistically, never catch up to her......."

You're wrong and I told you I would catch you!   I caught YYZ and I knew it was only a matter of time for you.  I mean no disrespect - just having fun.  In regards to your comment above you are incorrect.  I know where I'm at, she's the one who is at risk of not catching up with me!  ;)

Tonight I will go to bed alone, but I will feel comfort in your kind words above and my relief that I get from my reply here.  One day I will be able to bare my soul to my wife, but for starters, it feels really good to do it here.

DF, I confess that sometimes

DF, I confess that sometimes reading your post fills me with a mix of sadness, empathy, ..and yes, irritation- though perhaps not in the way you might think. You see, my own past low self esteem issues make it possible to know how low you can feel about yourself. And it MUST lessen so you can move on, if moving on is truly something you want. I must ask you to take a hard look at the low self esteem (note, I did not say hard look at yourself because that is ALL that you seem to be doing). Is it possible that part of you is finding solace in your low self esteem? It is something you know so well, like an old familiar friend that annoys you. If you hold onto that "I'm a terrible person" mentality then does that free you up from taking the scarier responsibilities of facing your other demons? I ask only because this is what I, unintentionally, did for so many years. The thing is, it did not click in a real way until last year, how truly unfair I was being. Yeah, I could self-flaggelate with the best of them (I say this with some dark humor, sorry)... But this, I realized, was being genuinely hurtful to the people I cared about including my DH. Granted his behaviors helped kick along my situational depression, but there was a component of me LETTING it go that way that I did long before knowing him ..again because feeling bad is like an old familiar blanket.. Its what I knew (ever since I was a kid, but we wont go there..). So, this is my suggestion (take it or leave it as you see fit). Try to see that if you really care about your wife (and it is clear you do)...its time to face up to your low self esteem- go see a counselor to help if possible. But understand that there are alternatives ..better ones than clinging to that terrible feeling of self hate. And when you do, more positive energy will follow you... if you are willing to accept it.
DF's picture

I'm actually waiting in anticipation

It does at times seem I'm depressed, but I assure you I'm not.  This hyperfocus thing I have I use in a myriad of ways.   The low self-esteem and depression is actually me not being able to be patient.  Like a storm of energy stewing and building until I get to something ( maybe I do have the HD part of ADD). 

What I mean by this, is what I've mentioned in some other posts.  I'm ALWAYS home.  I have no money and as my wife would argue - friends.  I work between 44-50 hours a week when I'm not being paged.  I'm in school so I do school work for a few hours each night and I do my best to manage the kids.  My time is full, but I'm always home.  The only break my wife has from me is if she leaves.  So enter here, the storm of energy....

I'm 2 weeks away from FINALLY having something to do.  I have 3 days a week of team sports starting end of May.  Don't know where I'll get the money but I don't care.  Since summer of last year I've sitting around the house and in my wife's eyes and mine, I've been mopey.  I'm crawling at the insides to get out.  Last year I only had two things going at once, but I need/want this badly.  I feel like I'm sulking around the house so I'm getting out.  Granted, on one of those days I'll have the kids with me because my wife has her own activities, but that doesn't bother me one bit. 

Trust me, I'm dancing on the insides with anticipation.  I channel all my hurt here when the bottle fills up.  Reply's to what I say doesn't just give me perspective, it gives me what I haven't had for so long - translation of what it is I'm thinking and saying.

I will admit that depending on how the wind blows i will get frustrated.  I know I'm a really good person, I really do it's just that sometimes I need to 'feel' a certain way if I'm going to get the message out that I want to share.  It sounds odd to me, but that's how I can explain it.  Perhaps it's my creative side - I don't write music, but like a musician they write about the things they are most passionate about.

I know I needed my wife to reach her point.  We were on a crash course with failure and would not have lasted once the kids were out of the house.  I'm so happy to see to the person I am today so my sadness is that I can't share it the way I want to with the person I want to share it with.  I haven't been this focused or motivated about anything for a very long time and I'm proud of myself for keeping at it this long. 

And ya know?  I really do think Sherri had told me about forgiveness some time back, but I wasn't ready to hear that until yesterday when I saw someone tell me about it here.   I have asked my wife for forgiveness ( in email...ugh ).  I have offered no apology and I did not question her about what I'm doing about me.  I did not ask for forgiveness for 'something' I may have said or done that I'm not aware of, just to forgive.  I found it extremely liberating as a poster above mentioned.   I have a sense of freedom since I've sent that email.  I do hope that it gives her food for thought and that she can address that in her own time with no pressure from me. 

Hi DF

DF, thank you for that clarification. And I hope there was no offense in my words. Please just know that it was my hope for you (and for all of us) that the insipid force of depression does not take you to the dark places of sadness on a continual basis (as your earlier and subsequent posts seem to be placed). You sound hopeful, and I am glad. The reaching out to your wife, in email or whatever form, is awesome. Talking about forgiveness, without specifics, is certainly a start... and I hope she and you pick it up further from there...it is a great feeling.  As for the anxiousness, excessive hyperfocus energy from being around 24/7 (almost)..well, wow. That would drive us crazy under any circumstances in our home, lol, even on the best of days.  The fact that you are aware of it, and that you are pushing into a huge area of self awareness is truly wonderful.  Nothing, no one is perfect, nor should anyone expect it....  but to find a new balance in your relationship when there was inbalance, and talking when there was no talking before...these are big, big steps.  Slow and easy steps are the best ones..  In the meantime, getting out of the house, giving each other space in a way that provides a healthy and positive outlet for each of you is VITAL!!!  Doesn't always need to cost money either (although the sports idea sounds like a great exercise opportunity)-  alternatives can include running, tennis (at public courts), working out (not much equipment needed there), and volunteering (coaching?)... are great too.  Kudos DF...enjoy your day (turning off this computer to go off and do other things now for me!)!!