Author Topic: need advice  (Read 27319 times)

Irene

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need advice
« on: March 01, 2011, 11:43:56 AM »
Hi,
  I have been married for almost 23 years and have 3 teenage children. My husband announced a few days ago, that he is completely bored with his life and has been for some time. He does not like the small town we live in; he feels like he has given up his friends, and more fun lifestyle, since he left the major city we lived in several years ago.
He says that we have no common interests, and although we get along fine, he is still bored. He's not decided what he wants to do, and wants to have some time to think about his issues.
  Although our marriage was not storybook, I have always felt that it was an okay marriage-not great, but do able. I have urged us to spend more time together, for some time, and occasionally we have, but he feels that my interests are completely different from his own, and he doesn't want to be like this in 10 years.
  Two sons have approached university age, and our third child is 15 years old. I am trying to cope with anxiety, stress issues-due to this announcement, and would like to see a counsellor, but my husband thinks I am worrying too much, and that I should just give him time to figure things out. He says that he hasn't ever said that he would leave.
   I still have a job to do, three teenagers to help with everyday life, and I find I am having a difficult time coping, because I have no control over my husband's feelings.
I clearly want to make the marriage work and  know how I feel about my husband.
We live in a good community, have three great kids, and I don't want to face a great upheaval for my three kids, nor do I want to live in a situation where my husband has potentially one foot out the door. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

SarahW

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Re: need advice
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 05:31:13 PM »
Hi,
  I have been married for almost 23 years and have 3 teenage children. My husband announced a few days ago, that he is completely bored with his life and has been for some time. He does not like the small town we live in; he feels like he has given up his friends, and more fun lifestyle, since he left the major city we lived in several years ago.
He says that we have no common interests, and although we get along fine, he is still bored. He's not decided what he wants to do, and wants to have some time to think about his issues.
  Although our marriage was not storybook, I have always felt that it was an okay marriage-not great, but do able. I have urged us to spend more time together, for some time, and occasionally we have, but he feels that my interests are completely different from his own, and he doesn't want to be like this in 10 years.
  Two sons have approached university age, and our third child is 15 years old. I am trying to cope with anxiety, stress issues-due to this announcement, and would like to see a counsellor, but my husband thinks I am worrying too much, and that I should just give him time to figure things out. He says that he hasn't ever said that he would leave.
   I still have a job to do, three teenagers to help with everyday life, and I find I am having a difficult time coping, because I have no control over my husband's feelings.
I clearly want to make the marriage work and  know how I feel about my husband.
We live in a good community, have three great kids, and I don't want to face a great upheaval for my three kids, nor do I want to live in a situation where my husband has potentially one foot out the door. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou.


Hi, Irene.

When you say "I find I am having a difficult time coping, because I have no control over my husband's feelings," you hit the nail on the head.

Whether it is due to death or illness or some other factor, it is that "lack of control," that causes the anxiety.  You've got good reason to believe that something terrible might happen to you and your loved ones, and you can't fix it or keep it from happening. 

It is a terrible feeling, and I am sorry you are having to deal with it. 

We have all been there, one way or another.  Figure out what you can control and work on taking that control.  What can you do, to feel less anxious and to protect yourself and your children?  If it is feasible, think about a professional counselor to help you get through this - it sounds like a pretty complex situation.

I wish for you the most positive of outcomes!  But know that whatever happens, you will always have you, and your sons will always have you.  And anyone who has raised three sons to teenage years is someone who has some valuable life experiences, resources, smarts, and adapability.

I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

Irene

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Re: need advice
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 05:49:08 PM »
Thank you Sarah W,
   I appreciate your comments and find them helpful. I am having a hard time trying to give my husband space, and I realize now that pleading with him, doesn't help. It's also hard not to contemplate thoroughly, what I could do to change things, to make him "unbored".
  Dealing with my mother's death 6 years ago was the toughest thing I have ever faced.
In thinking back now, I don't know how I made it through. I am faced with another challenge now, and it's going to take a lot of strength.
  Thank you again.

SarahW

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Re: need advice
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 06:18:34 PM »
Thank you Sarah W,
   I appreciate your comments and find them helpful. I am having a hard time trying to give my husband space, and I realize now that pleading with him, doesn't help. It's also hard not to contemplate thoroughly, what I could do to change things, to make him "unbored".

Yes - it would be hard not to start thinking "how can I change his feelings?"  But only he can make himself "unbored."

Quote
  Dealing with my mother's death 6 years ago was the toughest thing I have ever faced.
In thinking back now, I don't know how I made it through. I am faced with another challenge now, and it's going to take a lot of strength.

  Thank you again.

Sounds like you're fire-tested.  My best to you.  Post back here anytime and let us know how you are doing.
I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. -- Emily Dickinson

You were a gift

Irene

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Re: need advice
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 06:45:37 AM »
Hi,
  I feel badly about coming on here again and again, but just as when my mother died, I don't know what else to do. My husband says that he's sorry he ever had his boredom conversation with me, and he wants me to just act normally, while he sorts things out.
He says I must have seen there was a problem a long time ago. He has never been a warm, fuzzy kind of guy who expressed a lot of emotion. I always thought he loved me though. He says now, that if I was hit by a car, he would be really upset. I don't know if that is a great answer.
   I keep wondering if we moved back to the large city, or I changed something else, that it would help. I think my husband is experiencing depression, as he has major job stress.
I guess it comes back to again, how if I could make the situation better, I would.
   He also says that life here is comfortable, and we get along fine, so he maybe just has to sort out his feelings. I have told him that I don't know if I can stay in a relationship, where I don't have security, and my husband is staying out of convenience(
(I am putting it this way, because I have no answers from him). I am trying not to be clingy or plead with him, as that seems to drive him further away, and this has never been my basic makeup. He gets quite upset with me, if he sees the worry etched on my face, and says that no one has died, and the world hasn't ended. I am just trying to write my feelings down here, just to make it through the day. Thanks.

laurenE

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Re: need advice
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 04:00:55 PM »
Irene,

Wow, I'm so sorry!   I find it interesting that you are just supposed to act as if he never had this conversation.  How could it not stress you out?   You can't "un say" words,  you can't take them back so if he was just venting,  then that was pretty selfish of him.  I find the whole situation selfish..  You have 3 kids to think about.  This move would affect them in a huge way, not to mention yours.  It isn't just his life that would change if you all picked up and moved.  He needs to think of all involved,  not just himself.

On the other hand,  he does sound stressed and depressed (he would be sorry if you got hit by a car sounds like he is emotionally drained , worn out and shut down). If he hates his job he may be catastrophizing his entire life... in other words,  "I hate my job so therefore I need to change EVERYTHING about my life".  No, you just need to change your job, the one thing that is stressing him out.  Doggone that all or nothing thinking pattern! :)  Encourage him to look for something else, and once he settles into a new job then he can evaluate the rest of his life.  One change at a time.  I suspect once he gets rid of the crummy job, the rest of his world won't look so grim.

 I have been there as well,   yrs ago, over generalizing my life when I am in a job that I hate. Once I  got a new job  my attitude changed, my stress level improved, and so did my outlook,  and most importantly my HOPE.   I think he's lost the hope in his life and  situation,  being a middle aged man,  the main bread winner, stuck in a job he hates not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, working to make ends meet and having very little fun. 

It reminds me of a story our pastor told one Sunday from the pulpit.  He said a man complained to his co-worker about his lunch. " peanut butter and jelly every day, hand full of chips,  water,  and an apple"  "Ugh, the man said... I get so tired of this! So bored with this!     The co-worker turned to him and asked "well who packs your lunch?"   and the man said "I do". 

The point is,  if hubby needs some fun in his life,  then he is the only one who can change that....not you.   He needs to be able to plan a family trip,  a weekend get away, a guys night out  or a movie night out with you.  And he needs to do this on a regular basis.   Life gets out of balance when we are all work and no play.  That out of balance life increases stress levels and burn -out   faster than anything.     I think a vacation is what everyone needs.  The family just needs to laugh together with no pager, cell phone or lap tops.

The good news is,  he trusted you enough to vent to you and  He didnt say he was leaving.  If you beg him to talk when he isnt ready, it will push him away and shut him down.  Ask him what you can do to help him through this,  what does he need right now to emotionally get through this confusing time for him and for you?  And then be that supportive wife, standing by his side,   but keeping him reasonable and grounded as best you can.
 
Get support here andfrom friends as you work through this with him.  And encourage him to go see a counselor to help him sort it all out.  And you also. :)

I just had a client today who moved half way across the US 6 weeks ago, at age 65  just to be with her high school sweetheart that she barely knows.  She moved from her house,  from the state she loved, from the counselor she loved,  from the friends that she loved,  her comfort zone etc etc,  to come to unknown territory. Now she's depressed and emotionally unstable.   HMM,  I wonder why.

   Major multiple changes are never good,  even when we ask for them and bring them on ourselves.   One step at a time husband.  One change,  one problem at a time.  Slow down dude!

Hugs to you my friend.  Keep posting.  I'm here for ya!
LaurenE
 
 

Irene

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Re: need advice
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 04:35:58 PM »
Hi Lauren,
  Thanks for replying to me. As always, I appreciate your perspective. I am closely related to the situation, so I have just been automatically looking at the worst possible scenario.
I have encouraged my husband to attend counseling with me, but he isn't interested. He has attended a job interview, so there is a possibility of at least fixing the job stress situation. I unfortunately have been stressed out about the what if he leaves scenario, and of course that has been devastating to me. I would love to be able to just clarify his feelings with him, but I think at this point in time, he needs to just think through things himself. He has told me himself, that I will end up pushing him away with further talk sessions.
   I know myself that if I was to move to his hometown(where we met), I would not be happy-willing to try it for him though, but realizing too, that our kids still need to finish school, in a community where they have spent their entire lives.
   I am learning from this, that I am an immediate solver. If there is a problem, I want a fix for it immediately. I just have to learn that this is beyond me right now.
As always, thanks Lauren. I needed to hear from you.

laurenE

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Re: need advice
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 07:12:23 PM »
Irene,

I'm always here for you.   As hard as this is,  be supportive, and carry on with the household tasks.  Lets hope that he will see the light and find the hope that will uplift him through this time.  And lets hope for everyones sake, that this happens soon.
The unknowns in life are anxiety producing but Know that in the worst case scenerio you are strong and you will carry on.  I mean, afterall, you did survive the deep painful loss of your mother, and that is huge!
 But lets just take one thing at a time and hope this is only a temporary stressor for him. 

lauren

 


sevenofwands

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Re: need advice
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 01:12:27 PM »
Hello Irene:

I have been readng your posts and do sympathise the your situation and your fears.

I can only fully second what Lauren has said.

Men tend to not be so good on the "talk things through" scenario.  They need to go figuratively into their "cave" where they work it out for themselves.  So I think it is really best to leave him to it, hard and all as that is.
I think that all of us, at some point in our lives (usually the middle bit!) tend to mull over where we have been and where we are going.  Perhaps this is mid-life crisis time in your husband's case.

You can do nothing to change him or "fix" the situation.  This he must do himself.  He may well be somewhat depressed, but only he can decide to seek help, or talk to someone else outside the family sphere. 

Yoou mentioned in an earlier post about your interests being completely different.  Well, there is nothing wrong with that, but it might be helpful to find an interest in common.  What are his interests?  hat are yours?  Any room there for common ground.

I hope it works out for you, and maybe this is a time which will actually strengthen your marriage.

Good luck
Seven


Irene

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Re: need advice
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2011, 06:58:34 AM »
Hi Seven,
   Thanks for your reply. I know I have to get past the "what can I do to fix this scenario."
It's a tough one for me.  I am someone who's emotions are transparent. If there is even the slightest amount of worry on my part, it shows through on my face. To hear my husband say that he has been bored with everything for a very long time, and doesn't want to hurt anyone, is frightening for me. He says that I must have seen this, but he has always needed his own space, and with him never being a great communicator, it hasn't been completely obvious to me. I have sensed a distance for awhile, now and have made arrangements for the two of us to go to various events, and I thought that this was making things better, but my husband has said that we have no common interests. I'm sure that he is facing mid-life crisis/depression, but he doesn't want to talk about it with me( I'm learning to keep my mouth closed right now) or anyone else.
   Yes, I have to wait it out. Without this board right now(and years ago) I don't know where I would be. Thanks so much.
 

sevenofwands

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Re: need advice
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2011, 10:48:38 AM »
Hello Irene:

I also hope that you have someone supportive there with whom you can talk from time to time, or maybe access to  good counsellor.  An objectiv "outsider" can often help to put things in perspective.

Meantime, I found this:

http://www.midlife-passages.com/newpage11.htm

You might like to read it.

Wishing you well
Seven

Irene

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Re: need advice
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2011, 08:51:44 PM »
Thanks so much Seven,
   I will look up that article. I really appreciate the help that you all have given me.

Irene

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Re: need advice
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2011, 07:51:35 AM »
Hi,
  I have made an appointment with a counselor for next Monday. My husband had already said that he refuses to see a counselor. For the time being, my husband goes to work and then just hangs out in the basement by himself in the evenings. As advised, I am giving him time to think and not pushing him, but how does this make things better? Thankfully,
the anxiety I've been feeling is marginally better.

browneyedgirl

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Re: need advice
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2011, 08:41:48 AM »
(((Irene))))

I have no answers for you....but you are in my thoughts.....

Wishing you peace.
Tony Repola 07/20/66 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven

sevenofwands

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Re: need advice
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 11:22:24 AM »
This is a very hard time for you, Irene.  I am so glad you are seeing a counsellor next Monday.  Whatever it is that is going on with your husband hopefully the counsellor may be able to sned some light on the possibilities.  It is unfortunate that your husband does not wish to see a professional, and really nothing you can say will change this, I fear. 
I am also so glad that your anxiety is a little better.  It is only normal that you should feel stressed and anxious. 
Do you think your husband would (or already does) speak to a friend at least, or a family member, about his troubles?

All you can still do is let him be, given that he does not wish to communicate with you.   See what advice the counsellor can give you. 

Keep posting here, as it helps to get one's thoughts out, and one's worries. 

We may not have answers, but we would all be supportive of you.

Take care
Seven