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I didn't sign up for this...

For better or for worse, right? Well, how do I know when I've had enough of the "worse" part and there hasn't been any "better?"

I have a story to tell, and those who can give me some solid advice, please read through...

I'll try to make it short. Basically it went like this...

Our wedding (6/16/12) sucked. The DJ messed up our songs, our photographer didn't take any photos we wanted, my MOH said a horrible and embarrassing speech that I told her not to say, our food was horrible, and the venue staff gave me attitude all day.

Our honeymoon was worse. Well, it had some pretty crappy parts. We went to St. Lucia, it rained and was cloudy the whole time minus one day. I got food poisoning, a bug infestation in our room, and were treated poorly my resort staff.

Two days after returning from our honeymoon, my husband comes home from work early with boxes full of his stuff (7/11/12)... He lost his job, the only thing keeping a roof over our head. This is where it gets worse. He's severely bipolar, and he spiraled from here on out, he's still spiraling. 

The first two weeks after losing his job were fine, he seemed to be doing okay. We still had family in town from the wedding, we still had health insurance for 2 months, and we had 4 weeks severance and about 6 weeks vacation, so we were okay.

Then it started mudsliding, very slowly. I didn't recognize his depression at first because he was happy and talkative and wanted to go out and do things with me (casino, day drives, mini-golf)... But in his downtime at home he locked himself in his office and built a supercomputer.

Since that time in July and now (roughly 6 months) we have been through it all. I have been beside him every step of the way, doing the best I can do. I tried keeping us afloat on a salary that was 25% of what it used to be, I thought of day trips that were free and cheap, I tried getting people to come over so he wasn't alone... Not to mention all the other things I've been doing right along, laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, taking out the trash, making the bed, etc. I have talked to him about counseling and continuing seeing his shrink, even my parents offered to help with the paying of the visit and scripts, since his parents don't have any money to help us out. We have tried moving south for a new life, that didn't work (wasted the last of our wedding money and maxed out two credit cards). We came back to NY to start a new plan (we still had our apt for another month), so we decided Boston. Better salaries, better jobs. This was the end of November. He landed a job right off the bat, so we decided to try to make it work. With him working, and me not, I booked us a hotel room for during the week while he was working, and began the stressful apartment hunt.

 What seemed like forever was only two weeks. We found a place mid-December and were in before Christmas... Our presentless, joyless, Christmas. My husband didn't do anything. My parents and myself did the brunt of the unpacking and packing and moving. We were broke so we couldn't hire movers, plus during the time of packing we had a lot of uncertainties. Back at our old place, we had a huge blowout fight. It was the worst. I tried talking to him about his behavior and he just got mad and blamed everyone else. His behavior now is the same it was then. Sleeps all day, sits on the couch and watched TV when he's not sleeping. I feel like a failure as a wife, my husband would much rather sleep in bed all day than to spend one waking moment with the woman he promised to take care of six months ago. He knows it hurts, because when we fight about this, I always end up leaving for a few days and going to my parents. 

On New Year's Eve, he was to get up early with me to get the house ready for our guests that were arriving by about 4 pm. I was up at 9:30, and he said to wake him up around 10:30/11... Well, when it got to be 11:30 and I had completed most of the housework, I had enough. I told him how I felt again, that sleeping is more of a priority to him than me. Then it happened again, "Well if you don't like it, leave!" he says to me. So I did. Then the parents got involved and it became a family feud. His mother still wont talk to me.

How much longer do I have to put up with this? I am being treated poorly as a wife. 

We keep being told we need counseling, or our marriage won't work... My question is, is counseling enough to fix this or is it beyond repair? 

Re: I didn't sign up for this...

  • image TJSara:

    We keep being told we need counseling, or our marriage won't work... My question is, is counseling enough to fix this or is it beyond repair? 

    I am sorry that you are going through this.  My question for you is, do you want to try to fix it?  If the answer is no, then couple counseling is not going to help.  If you do want to try, then counseling should be a good start.  I would suggest going to your own therapist too.

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    Cathy (CathyL7910)'s book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
  • Hello newlywed and congratulations!
    The best advice I can give; it's always worse before it gets better and it will only get better if you're both willing to work at it.

    If you're ready to throw in the towel after only six short months there's a chance you shouldn't have gotten married in the first place.

    I would start with your local church or pastor for some free marriage counseling. Your husband should probably meet with a psychiatrist to discuss medication and therapy for the treatment of his bi-polar and depression. 

    Lastly, we are always hardest on ourselves and often focus on the negative. Think back to your wedding and find something about it that made you particularly happy.

    Our DJ was lousy; we had to tell him continually to bring the volume down. Our photographer was eh..., my FIL forgot the boutonniere's in the back seat of his car, my brother walked me down the aisle with a water bottle in his back pocket, I wish I had my make-up professionally done rather than allowing my SIL to play dress up ahahahahaha but our cake was delicious, the food was awesome, there is a photo of my mother welled up with tears as she's being escorted to her seat. My memories are of my husband turning on the water works when he saw me coming down the aisle, dancing with my MOH / best friend and all the compliments I received on the "little details" that made our wedding so us.

    Don't give up this early in the game, I think you may look back one day and regret your decision. Hang in there and thank you for sharing your story Big Smile

    Janice -

  • My heart goes out to you. Having dated someone with an emotional disorder in the past, I know how difficult it can start to blame yourself.  Don't.

    The people telling you that counseling is the best way to resolve this are right.  I hope your spouse decides to get on board.  My ex BF did not.  I had no choice but to end it.

    One thing that I was told when I was going through this stuck with me.  It actually came from one of the counselors I wanted to see.  She said that counseling is not about "fixing" the relationship; it's about figuring out what the best path is for both parties--even if that turns out to be ending the relationship.

    Just some food for thought.  I wish you the best, hang in there...you're doing the best you can and better than most would be in your shoes. 

  • I'm sorry the first few months of your marriage has been so hard. You have taken the brunt of the "worst" in a short time, and I can understand how it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You focus a lot on the negatives of your relationship, which is easy to do when you've had to deal with so much, but try to remember why you married your husband in the first place.

     That being said, I am about to say something you may not like. I don't mean this to be at all mean or insensitive, so please don't take it that way. I say this to make you think critically about your wedding day (all the negatives aside) and the implications it has on your future.

    You did "sign up for this". As soon as you said your vows, including "for better or for worse", you signed on to it. There are so many people who say their vows, but only make it out to be lip-service. Instead of really meaning "for better or worse", so many turn to "for better or worse, unless worse gets so bad that I would be happier if I bailed" (there can be exceptions, but in your examples, I would not say it's worth bailing). We never know when the worst will hit us, and I think all anyone can hope for is the best. Relationships are easy when things seem to be going our way. True love is tested when times become difficult.

    That being said, your husband needs help. If he's lying around the house all day, he's very likely depressed.

    To answer your last question, it is possible to fix your relationship if you're willing to make it work. Since he's going through so many issues of his own, it won't be easy. You'll probably have a long road ahead, but you both can make it work. The worst won't be around forever, so if you have it in your heart to trudge through the mud until you get to solid ground, you'll get there.

    Not sure if it will help, but maybe a little inspiration will help you when it comes to dealing with the worst of times.

    I once talked to a man whose relationship was really being tested "for worse". He and his wife once had successful careers and were raising a couple of young children. At some point in their relationship, his wife very suddenly got sick and became completely disabled. I'm not certain what she came down with, but she lost all ability to care for herself. She needed someone to carry her because she couldn't walk, she needed someone to feed her and bathe her and to take her to the bathroom. She may have even started to lose her ability to speak, but I can't be sure on this. Because she needed full time care, but he couldn't afford to hire someone to take care of her and he didn't want to put her in a home, he had to stop working. He tried to make his job work by working different shifts, but it didn't work out despite his best efforts. It wasn't long before he and his family were about to become homeless, but he was committed to finding a way out and keeping his family together.

    I don't tell you this story to make you compare your hardships to his, so don't take it that way. I will always remember this man because he could have taken the easy road by abandoning his wife in a home, taking the kids, and made a life apart from her. She would have died alone and heartbroken. But he stayed with her, and I can only believe he did this because he truly loved her. It has been many years since I spoke to him, but I still pray for him and his family and that everything turned out okay. My point being, that if you love your husband (which I believe you do seeing as you have already gone through so much for him), you can get through this.

  • The wedding and honeymoon have nothing to do with the hardships you are facing now - please let them go.  I'm sorry they sucked, but they are not problems that I'd remotely classify as "for better or worse."

    Now, you're in Boston.  He has a job.  You have an apartment that I'm assuming you can afford from his salary.  Good.  I moved to Boston with $400 in my bank account right out of college - you can make it work.  However, you need to take stock and action of the situation now.

    Your husband is bipolar.  Is he on meds?  Has he been able to afford them recently?  Find him a doctor.  Get him in to talk to someone.  Get him on the right medications.  He won't do it for himself - he just wants to sit around and be depressed.  You're his wife - it's time to help him as much as you can.

    Once you do that, then you work on your marriage.  He won't be able to help you with the marriage until he first helps himself.  Please remember that.

    Your husband may not want treatment and might resist going.  He might forever.  Only you can decide if you want to deal with that.  Surely you must have known these things about your husband going into this marriage.  Why did you get married?

    Regardless of what you want to do here, you have to find a job, preferably one with health insurance (in case your husband can't handle work and loses his job).  It will provide you with security and extra money during the tough beginning.

    Good luck.

     

  • your husband is ill.  as a person who suffers from major depressive disorder myself, i have to tell you a few things.  first, he needs to get help.  he's not going to be able to act as a full partner in this relationship until that happens.  and you can't expect him to, either.  he's sick.  he needs to get better with the help of a medical/psychiatric professional before he can participate in life more fully.  and you need to learn more about his disorder or you're just going to be a nag.  depressed people DO sleep all the time--it's an escape mechanism.  stop nagging him about it and insist he get help instead, at any cost.  if he had diabetes, would the cost be an issue? no.  you'd get the help he needs.  you signed up for "in sickness and in health."  this is in sickness.  do something to help him get better.  he needs someone to help him.  people in the middle of a deep depression can't do it on their own.  believe me.
  • We keep being told we need counseling, or our marriage won't work... My question is, is counseling enough to fix this or is it beyond repair? 
     
    Only you can answer this. The wedding and honeymoon you need to get over. I personally have little to no patience with people complaining about these events. It's a small part of a marriage and it's not the whole package.
     
    I am guessing you knew he had bipolar and mental issues before you married him. You may not have had to deal with what this truly is as everything was going fine before. He lost his job, you two got tight financially and a bunch of moving around happened.
     
    Life is full of ups and downs, people change and he may bounce back. Only you can choose to stick this out with him or walk away. I will say, it does wear a person out having to be the strong one in a relationship. I would think long and hard before having children with him, these issues can come back at any time. 
  • I completely agree with above. 1. Let go of the wedding and honeymoon weather- there is nothing you can do and the past is the past.
    2. Talk to your husband!!!! Suggest therapy or maybe there is something underlying that he really wants to do- do it with him. Try to regain your love back. Despite all of this- take him out for a good time or make his favorite meal and then talk to him... TRY to save your marriage and stop analyzing everything thats going wrong. He may feel the same. Talk.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Aside from the suggestions that have already been mentioned, I have one more thing to add. This is assuming you want to stay in the marriage...(but maybe you don't?)...

    During our premarital counseling, my H was at a very stressful time (up for promotion, wedding stuff/family management stressed him out (...even though I wasn't stressed one bit!), bought a house/assumed responsibility for real bills now, and he already manages anxiety and depression. I felt like some of his unhealthy coping mechanisms (which he'd hide from me in our early years of dating) isolated me, and was torn about talking to my parents about it for their support. I was torn because I also didn't want them to think less of my soon-to-be-H. But, I needed support, encouragement, to be heard.

    Our marriage counselor advised us that this marriage relationship is the priority. Our relationships with our parents must change in order for us to make our spouse the priority and protect that relationship. While I would NEVER tell you to take any kind of abuse from your husband because you shouldn't go to your parents, I would encourage you to not be so quick to walk out the door based on your frustration. The conversations you're having with your parents about your H...are conversations you should be having WITH your H. If that communication isn't happening, you won't have a fulfilling marriage. You need to be heard, understood, and respected by your H, not just by your parents. If you need a forum in which to have those conversations definitely see a counselor together.

    My H and I live smack in the middle of our parents...each parents' house is about 2-3 minutes in either direction. Pre-wedding, my H starting hopping in the car and disappearing to his parents' house if we had an argument. In pre-marital counseling we both realized what an unhealthy habit that is. If you need a break so you don't blow up from frustration, go to another room, go for a walk outside, go for a (safe) drive, walk the dog, whatever...but don't disappear for 4 days because your H won't get out of bed unless you are ready to really disengage from the marriage. This isn't a healthy habit to make, and you're early enough in your marriage that you can break this habit. Protect your marriage by constructively presenting your gripes to your H.

    Agreed, also, with the posts that he can't help your relationship until he's on the way to helping himself. I live with this, too. :)

    Best of luck!

  • I think you've been given some great advice in this thread. Intead of repeating what others have said I'll just add one thing that I didn't notice anyone else saying.

     Don't go running to family with your problems in the marriage. Now, don't take that the wrong way. Of course there are instances where it is appropriate but I think that's after trying to deal with the problems by yourselves. I say this because once you complain about your spouse to your family and even if you work through it the family members will typically hold on to that. Also, I read an article a couple weeks back about how people who run to their family first when there's a problem in the marriage are more likely to divorce than those who deal with the issues from within. I say this because from what you wrote it sounds like once there's trouble you immediately run to your parents for help. It sounds like it hasn't worked out well for you either as it's caused a family feud and I'm sure it's not helping your husbands depression or bi polar condition to have that going on as well.

     Good luck, hopefully you and your husband work things through.

    image
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