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Depression In WW

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sisoon posted 4/18/2021 10:32 AM

I don't understand pushing teisen to D at this point. If a WS cheats out of depression and then treats the depression, that WS may be a good candidate for R.

But ... teisen, do you have requirements for R? Do you know what your deal breakers are? I'm not talking about the obvious ones - I'm talking about the boundaries about new behaviors and timing. How long will you give your W? What are your expectations for her treatment? If you don;t have some idea of what you expect, and if your expectation don't have a lot of overlap with what you want, you may be selling yourself out.

Sometimes you have to cut someone loose to save yourself.

I don't know whether R or D is best for you. I urge you to work through your fear enough to put it aside in your decision-making. Make sure the 'fear' isn't really telling you something you don't want to know. And make sure it's not just normal fear of the unknown.

nekonamida posted 4/18/2021 13:00 PM

Sisoon, did you miss the part where his WW still can't maintain NC? How about the part where these slip ups come between her repeatedly asking him for a separation? Or that she is already working with mental health professionals and has been telling them that she would still be unhappy in this marriage even if Teisen changed everything she thinks is wrong with him?

He doesn't have the luxury of a decision while he's still IN infidelity. I also don't know how many more ways his WW can tell him she wants a D before he will start listening.

Buster123 posted 4/19/2021 09:09 AM

Brother your WW is an unrepentant SERIAL CHEATER who said "exploring other relationships is too important for her", she has asked you for a separation, D then changes her mind on a whim but refuses to go NC with her boyfriends.

Your children will be fine if you D, yes lives will change but they will adapt, they need at least one stable parent, that's you, your WW has been exposing you to potentially deadly STDs/STIs, she keeps playing russian roulette with your health behind your back, your children will need you to be healthy and stable, you deserve so much better than a proven serial cheater and liar, life's too short.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 9:10 AM, April 19th (Monday)]

sisoon posted 4/19/2021 10:33 AM

I didn't miss those episodes. Again, if they came from effed up brain chemistry, changing her brain chemistry is likely to stop the behavior.

In my book, almost everybody can change, and change makes R possible. If teisen's W is, in fact, committed to do the work she needs to do, she can become a good partner.

If teisen's W does the work, and if teisen wants to R, why D?

And teisen knows better than anyone here if his W is committed to change. All we know about his sitch is what he's told us, and it's impossible to get all the nuances into posts on SI.

I don't mean to talk about you, teisen. I just didn't see another alternative. You know your sitch. You know yourself, and you know a lot about your W. If she's not remorseful, D with all deliberate speed is likely to achieve the better outcome. If she IS remorseful, both D & R can result in good outcomes. And you're free to choose with head held high. You can D even if brain chemistry caused your W to betray you.

I saw my W on d-day and 'knew' her A was a result of a breakdown; I saw that as an illness; and I could not/would not leave her while she was sick. I'm sure there are SIers who went through a experience with essentially the same facts and dumped their WS.

The thing is: staying is right for some of us, and leaving is right for others.

You're in a difficult spot. The past says, 'Leave!' But the decision to stay or go is about the present and the future, not the past, and recent events give you a glimmer of hope about the future.

You're the only one who can evaluate that glimmer, though I suggest you keep posting to get feedback. Just keep in mind that any feedback, including this feedback, is based on incomplete info and therefore is questionable.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:37 AM, April 19th (Monday)]

teisen posted 4/19/2021 14:35 PM

I hear everyone. I really do. I'm sure like many of us I've felt these conflicting things at different times. I've had moments where I thought about D. It's just not ever been an option I wanted. Do I have a safe partner? No. I know that. I don't want to keep living like this forever but I'm not ready to D yet.

That said, a slight update here is that I really believe that this is a symptom of her illness. She had a breakdown last week and I spent the weekend holding her up. Found her in corners crying. She couldn't hide it from anyone. It's definitely new. She also has started seeing her family and me as working together to help her rather than us potentially being on different teams.

She said a few things that did give me a glimmer of hope this weekend. I think the most notable one was "I never believed we would make it. All this time (three years) I just didn't think we would." Then followed that with "now I realize I really WANT us to make it but I'm so depressed and sad and I don't want to feel this way in ten years. What happens if I still feel this way?"

I've been working with her family and she's now meeting with the psychiatrist that saw her dad for the same problems, her uncle and her cousin. She seems to be talking about this is a way that is completely different from what I've heard from her in the past. It really sucks that she has put me through what she has to get to this point, in fact that's just another thing that she's beating herself up about - what she's put me through, what she's asking me to do now (support her through this).

It's hard but then no one ever said life or marriage were easy.

StrongGeisha posted 4/19/2021 15:32 PM

Hi. First let me say how sorry I am for what you are going through. My WW, we are separated and getting along fine for the most part, has multiple diagnoses. Depression being one of them. Personality disorders and so on. For 2+ years I stood by while he tried many different types of treatments. There were some weeks where it seemed like we were going to make it, like he was getting somewhere. But now I no longer wish to stay on this ride. It's too hard always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not to say your WW won't get it right. Some people really do have the lightbulb moment and they get well and healthy. And I hope it happens for you. Just remember you cannot wait forever for her to fix herself and it's not your responsibility to fix her. Supporting her is great and she is beyond fortunate to have you stand by her. Don't lose yourself in this process. Don't spend too many years waiting. Sometimes there are no answers and no happy endings. Only new beginnings. Wishing you all the best!!!!

HouseOfPlane posted 4/19/2021 23:51 PM

Nothing really to add advice-wise, just wanted to mention an anecdote from another SI-er who was active for a period. Username is Rixter, his wife was the WW many many years prior. They stayed married, and he showed up here a good twenty years later, having not forgotten. In telling his story, he mentioned that his wife still felt guilt, and took anti-depressants. A lifetime of suffering.

The story just makes me sad, and I wonder if the kinder thing at the time wouldnít have been to let her go to start anew.

Reece posted 4/21/2021 07:41 AM

I just wanted to wish you positive thoughts. Im a betrayed spouse and my wife went through periods of depression after her affair. It was a painful (and scary) addition to all the crap that her infidelity brought.
I think you have received some good advice on here, especially about getting professional guidance.
Good luck and wishing you well,

fooled13years posted 4/21/2021 08:19 AM

teisen, your WW was quoted as saying:

She also wants nothing more than to be happy. To take vacations. Go to resorts. Be comfortable with money. Feel security. Relax.

Well who doesn't? But I do not know many who are willing to achieve all these THINGS by destroying the one they say they love.

My wife and I are comfortable in all the areas listed above but were talking the other day how we were just as happy when just starting out together and couldn't rub two nickels together the day before I was paid.

These THINGS are all fleeting and do not make a person happy. They may make a person comfortable but not happy IMHO.

BeyondRage posted 4/21/2021 08:25 AM

She's not gone NC in three years, not really. Those disclosures were extremely painful. Then about March 1 of this year after taking a couple week of in-house separation she said that she wanted a formal separation and that "exploring herself in other relationships" was "too important to her" and she wouldn't let it go.


Apparently, because of her mental issues you have decided to remain in a quasi open marriage. This statement to you was just a little more than a month ago, and unless I missed it she is still communicating with her OM WITH your knowledge.

If thats acceptable to you, good luck. If not, then when do you stop kicking the can down the road???

barcher144 posted 4/21/2021 08:25 AM

I don't understand pushing teisen to D at this point. If a WS cheats out of depression and then treats the depression, that WS may be a good candidate for R.

She's complained to mental health pros that if she had given me a check list of things she wanted me to change that I had changed every one but that she still wasn't happy.

This is the quote that stood out to me. I'm totally projecting my situation onto yours, but I also think that my situation is pretty damn common.

The problem here is that you are literally trying to do everything that you can to make her happy... and it is not enough for her.

To me, this means that you are co-dependent as hell. Your personal happiness primarily resides on whether or not she is happy, right?

Her fundamental problem is that her unhappiness literally has nothing to do with you (in fact, you've done everything that she's asked -- literally).

My advice:

First, get yourself a therapist so that you can learn to derive your personal happiness from within yourself rather than from other people.

Second, start the divorce process going. Even if sisoon's advice is spot-on (and he's super smart and gives great advice), it's probably 2-3 years of hard work on her part to get to the point where she doesn't blame you for her unhappiness.

The worst-case scenario... is you could get divorced and then re-kindle the relationship later. But, my advice to you is to work on yourself, get yourself to a place where you can be happy on your own...

I'm almost 5 years from D-day and I am still working on this. It's not easy.

BluerThanBlue posted 4/21/2021 08:36 AM

Sit your wife down and calmly and compassionately tell her that her happiness is the most important thing in the world to you and that you want her to feel free and indulge all of her desires... so you are willing to stay married to her and let her have as many extramarital relationships as she wants, no conditions, and no questions asked...

...and then watch how quickly her "depression" disappears.

Your wife isn't depressed... she's a selfish, self-indulgent, and self-pitying girl-child who can't live up to the commitments she made to as wife and mother but is too chicken-shit and unwilling to inconvenience herself with the divorce process to properly cut you loose so she can pursue the licentious lifestyle she craves.

Of course, she may-- during a time and situation that's most advantageous for her-- decide to follow through on her divorce threats, probably when she's found a new man who she's confident will provide a soft place for her to land.

Teisen, there's 2 quick ways to pull yourself out of this quagmire:

(1) Give her carte blanche to do whatever she wants and learn to accept that infidelity is always going to be present in your marriage.

(2) File for divorce and tell her firmly and unequivocally that you are DONE with her dallying with other men and you are DONE being retraumatized over and over again each time she breaks no contact and/or asks you for divorce.

Then, if she decides to dislodge her head from her ass and pulls out all the stops to save the marriage before the divorce is finalized, you can decide if she's a candidate for reconciliation.

If she continues to cycle through all the phases of DARVO (Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender), then proceed with the divorce so you can then focus on recovering from hell this woman has put you through.

Edit;add (summary): To use a metaphor, which alcoholic do you think is more likely to seek help and commit to sobriety?

(1) The alcoholic who keeps getting off with a warning every time she crashes her car into a tree or runs someone over... and as a result, she gets outpourings of sympathy from her husband and her family, even though she's ruined so many lives and damaged so much property?

(2) The alcoholic who loses her license to drive and is facing jail time?

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 9:09 AM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

teisen posted 4/21/2021 15:45 PM

Thanks again to everyone. There's a lot to process in what has been said.

I want to address the co-dependency situation: honestly our problem for years was the opposite and my sense of self worth really isn't bound up in the relationship any more than a normal person I would think. There were long periods when I would say I was "happy" during the last three years though my WW clearly wasn't on the same page with me. I would typically learn that through another shoe dropping. Usually that wasn't about contact though, as I noted, that did happen.

NC is physically difficult for my WW because she continues to work in the same establishment as one of her APs (though different buildings) and their jobs require some minimal interactions (think once every few months coordinating emails). He though is apparently divorced and newly remarried. He is also moving toward retirement and has been actively looking to leave the state for at least a year now.

My unhappiness really isn't about wanting to see her happy and only feeling good when she IS happy, it's about the seemingly regular shoes dropping over the last six months. It's definitely not been a "safe" place for me here, though I've chosen it. I'm definitely stressed out about it.

Speaking to the "things" comment from another post, yes, I agree, financial security, trips, etc. are all things that make you comfortable and not happy. There were a lot of things that contributed to my WW's feeling unhappy AND uncomfortable and when we started going to counseling three years ago I said I would address the comfort issues, but that it would not address the underlying problems. It's my perception that we are really just dealing with the underlying problems in HER now and it's taken just over three years. A long time to wait. She thought she was dealing with them but she didn't stick with her IC or see a good enough one IMO to diagnose what was going on. I also think she wasn't ready to look inside.

Her family and I have worked together (and continue to) to get her into a psychiatrist that is familiar with the family's history (both circumstances and mental health) having treated three of her close family members. This psychiatrist got the life story Monday and started delving into the depression and basically said, "something happened to you in 4th grade, what was it? What started the panic attacks and deep loneliness/emptiness?" She's meeting with him a second time in a week tomorrow and I think has had her "light bulb" moment and is going to attack her issues.

If I were to think on it it would be very easy to be angry and resentful. Those are emotions I'll have no matter the outcome and I'll need to work on them. I've been far more generous with her than she deserves, but that's my choice, right? I decided I would keep being generous and kind until I couldn't any more. No sign of hitting that wall yet.

BluerThanBlue posted 4/21/2021 20:12 PM

I've been far more generous with her than she deserves, but that's my choice, right? I decided I would keep being generous and kind until I couldn't any more. No sign of hitting that wall yet.

It will be your choice until it isnít. She routinely threatens you with divorce. She may go through it and it will be on her terms.

RocketRaccoon posted 4/21/2021 22:37 PM

I would typically learn that through another shoe dropping.

You seem to be addicted to her shoe dropping, as you keep staying on after each shoe falls.

I decided I would keep being generous and kind until I couldn't any more. No sign of hitting that wall yet.

The danger of this kind of thinking, is that it will be too late when you hot the wall, and you will be too broken for whatever family you have left.

You have this KISA attitude, which is destructive in your situation. You are off to slay your WSs dragons, defending her from the evil outside world, all to your detriment.

ChamomileTea posted 4/21/2021 23:00 PM

I'm in agreement with Sisoon. I think there's merit in your attempt to do a family intervention with your WW. If this does turn out to be a treatable depression, that would be great for everyone, right? Depression colors everything, and it could be that your WW's character might be more likely to recover with appropriate treatment. But make no mistake, cheating isn't caused by depression. There are tons of depressed people who don't cheat and who would never cheat. There's something inside your WW which allows her to say "yes" to lies and perfidy. This is about character and boundaries. Depression can make all that worse, but it's not going to be her "why". After the depression is resolved, there's still work to do, right?

But I think it's okay that you deal with this intervention first if that's what you want. I do agree with Sisoon though that you should also be computing some alternatives plans for if this doesn't work out. Be thinking a little about your own needs and what will make YOU the happiest down the road. There really does come a point in healing where we need to take ownership of the ground upon which we choose to stand. You're too early for that right now, but not to early to be thinking about how much time you're willing to put into this or to have a fallback plan for if R fails.

Don't be discouraged. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Trust yourself.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 11:01 PM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

BluerThanBlue posted 4/22/2021 07:41 AM

You have this KISA attitude, which is destructive in your situation. You are off to slay your WSs dragons, defending her from the evil outside world, all to your detriment

Not just to his detriment, but his kids detriment!

Can you imagine having a mother who is crying and sulking around all the time because she canít go on vacation and fuck around with other men because she has to be married to your dad and parent you? And a father who is in a constant state of anxiety because he doesnít know when sheís going to cheat, break NC, or ask for divorce again and is constantly tiptoeing around her because heís afraid she might shatter?

Yes, itís your choice to stay married to this woman... but your kids have no choice about being stuck in this toxic situation while you wait to ďhit a wallĒ that may end up crushing you.

Your decision to reconcile with no conditions expected from your wife and no consequences for her continuing deceptive and abusive behavior, is going to exact a very high cost from you and your children mentally, emotionally, physically, and likely financially.

At the very least, your wife needs to be disabused of the idea that she is the most important person in your family and therefore gets to hold you and your kids hostage while she figures out whether she even wants to be present in your lives.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 7:45 AM, April 22nd (Thursday)]

teisen posted 4/22/2021 08:54 AM

Addressing whether it's to our kids' detriment, I concede that's possible. That said the true visible stress and strain hasn't been a constant in our lives, for my WW the tears in corners lasted about five days. Professional intervention seems to be helping a great deal.

There was a couple of week period when my anxiety was very high and affecting everything. Today, I would say it's all very manageable.

I want to engage around boundaries and setting some real limits and controls for my WW and I intend to do it in a controlled setting, marriage counseling. I'm not sure, however, if I should return to MC before several weeks at least of intense work for WW with the psychiatrist.

I won't let it continue forever. The last breaking of NC seemed I took steps as if it was a dealbreaker, locked her out of the house, told her I was filing and that we were done. She groveled, as expected, and circumstances were such that I gave an inch there.

Part of what has provoked this crisis for her, and I'm not sure I've mentioned it yet though I may have, is her feeling that her APs have "moved on" but she hasn't. She feels very stuck and in limbo. She calls it feeling like she's on a hamster wheel. I have told her that's her choice that's putting her and me on that wheel. She has to choose to move on and not stay stuck in the past, stuck in her mental illness, etc. She hasn't been listening though I've been saying it since October 2020. She finally seems to have heard me this last two weeks and I see a glimmer of hope.

RocketRaccoon posted 4/22/2021 23:36 PM

Gently now:

There was a couple of week period when my anxiety was very high and affecting everything. Today, I would say it's all very manageable.

How much more anxiety will you 'need to manage' in the future? If her condition is not stabilized, what will stop her from causing more anxiety in you?

She groveled, as expected, and circumstances were such that I gave an inch there.

Without working on her own issues first, this will only be a short term behaviour.
This is not saying that she has to grovel for the rest of her life, not at all, but this seemingly remorseful behaviour is done only to appease her immediate need of shelter, food, and security.

I'm not sure, however, if I should return to MC before several weeks at least of intense work for WW with the psychiatrist.

My take on this is for your WS to do IC first, as you do not have a functional M at the moment. A M takes two people to make it functional, and as it is, you only have one (take a guess who it is) person who is truly invested in the M.

her feeling that her APs have "moved on" but she hasn't. She feels very stuck and in limbo.

So, this is evidence that she is not invested in the M at the moment. She is still thinking longingly about her APs, and not thankful for the chance of R that you are putting on the table. She does not recognize the precious gift that you are offering to her, and is possibly thinking that it is her 'right' to be in R with you. You have to 'win her back', not the other way around.You have to comfort her (which you have been doing), not her comforting you.

Unless she can break out of this sense of self-pity, and turn it around to empathy for others, you will never achieve a successful R.

BluerThanBlue posted 4/23/2021 07:46 AM

Teisen, where is your moment to grieve losing the wife you thought you had? Where is your space to lament the limbo in which youíre currently stuck?

You donít have room in your life to cope with your own pain because your wife is sitting shiva for her boyfriends, leaving you to single-handedly try to save the marriage while being the one sane parent your kids have.

Your anxiety level might be manageable now but thatís because your wife is the singular crisis in your life at the moment. Itís not going to be that way for ever; life is going to happen whether your wife gets off the fence or not... and on top of that, you will have your own unprocessed emotions to contend with as well.

Your situation is untenable. I think you need to set a deadline in your head (not one you vocalize as an ultimatum) for how long youíre willing to stick this out before you decide to extract yourself. For the sake of your sanity, there needs to be an end point.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 7:47 AM, April 23rd (Friday)]

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