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Old 24th January 2014, 11:01 AM   #1
verysadlady
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Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Hi all


I had the most amazing relationship with a wonderful man. We were not yet married but only because we were busy saving for our wedding. We called each other "husband" and "wife" and in our hearts we were.

We lived together, with my son and his son from previous relationships, a really happy family of four. I felt blessed and so so lucky that I had found my soulmate and we really cherished each other. Ours was always the house where the kids in the street would come to play. He was always the man who went out to cut the grass and help out the neighbours if they needed it. He was the world’s best father. He was the Partner and Dad who always put his family before everything. After four years we still could not keep our hands off each other. Constantly laughing together and holding hands all the time. We were both each other's reason for living and could not stand to be parted even for a day. We were engaged and were planning to get married in 2015.

For the sake of not making this a 10 page post, I will say that we came under enormous and prolonged stress in our lives, and he “snapped” and left me completely out of the blue with nothing more than a text to say he “could not do it anymore”. To say I was shocked would be a pretty big understatement.

He would not talk to me other than to text that he was "in a very bad way and needed space". Family and friends were baffled. No one knew what to think.

To add to the drama, him doing this left myself and my son with no place to live and I had no choice but to return to my family (that live a long distance away). We pretty much lost home, family and life overnight and all through it he was a cold, emotionless stranger.

When I returned a few weeks later to pack up my furniture and belongings he was a broken man. He had hives all over him, he had chest pains, IBM, vomiting, constant crying. He was saying he wished he had not done what he did but he could not cope. I was incredibly worried and suggested he see a doctor. He did, and he was diagnosed with a “breakdown” and depression and they started treatment.

I wanted to come “home” and look after him, but he did not want me to.

Two weeks ago he made the considerable effort of travelling to see me (a fair effort for him to make the flight etc. in his state) to tell me that he regretted what he did and still loved me as much as he always did. He said he felt no emotions at all for a time, and this had confused him into thinking it was over between us. He can't articulate well, but he said his breakdown caused him to act in a totally out of character way. He said he realised he had made a terrible mess, but that he hoped we could find some way to fix it. But he needs to “sort himself out” first and I have agreed to wait and offer him support and space.

He has moved into a small apartment now and lives alone with just his son every other weekend. He is getting treatment, but he’s still in a bad way, to the point where I frequently feel worried about his safety. I am doing all I can from a distance, but he does not want me there, which hurts a lot too. We are now talking almost every day but sometimes he is detached and he frequently hurts my feelings because he is distant.

Meanwhile I am staying with my parents on the other side of the country. My son is in a temporary school. I need to move back relatively close to where we lived for my work, but the place I have some family and friends around for support is almost three hours by car away from where my Fiancée is living and I feel like moving back to where he is when he does not want me around would be nuts.

I hate the idea of starting a new life as a single Mum hours away from where he is. I am so sad for the life we lost. Not just for me, but for my son who lost his "Dad" and "Brother" and the only life he really knows. We both miss home so much, miss our family and our life that was just so happy. We're just so sad!

Some days I feel full of hope. Other days I feel so angry. He ruined all our lives and I don't know how we can rebuild on it. I know he was very ill, but I struggle with understanding why he didn't just talk to me, or why his first instinct was to break up our home.

I feel very alone. Does anyone else have similar experiences? I want to support him, because I love him, but it seems like I am constantly crying and feeling so sad and low.

I miss him, and he is a cold, distant stranger most of the time. This all happened two month ago, and his treatments started three weeks ago.
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Old 24th January 2014, 12:37 PM   #2
ronnoco
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Hello VSL,

I'm very sorry to hear you story - I can only imagine how devastated you are.

My gut instinct is that everything is related to this breakdown. It would appear that something has triggered this depression/crisis. Mental illness effects 1 in 5 of us in our lifetime.

I understand that you would feel completely abandoned but perhaps he really is in an extremely dark place and the only way he can deal with it is by escaping the life he once led.

I would try not to feel bad and angry about him distancing himself from you, that could be a coping mechanism and him not wanting to get too close to you until he feels like he is on the road to recovery. For all you know, he might burst into tears every time you put the phone down. Also, the depression/crisis/mental illness could have changed his persona. It certainly looks that way based on what you have told us.

It's a tricky one but he's clearly not well. It seems totally out of character with the person you know, you obviously love him and want him, so for now, all you can really do is hang in there and support him to the best of your ability. 3 weeks into treatment is not very long.

You need to take good care of yourself as now is the time for you to be strong for yourself and your child - easier said than done, I know but just try to keep this in the back of your mind.

I wish you all the best and please do keep posting.

Last edited by ronnoco; 24th January 2014 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 24th January 2014, 12:52 PM   #3
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Thanks so much for your reply. I posted here hoping to hear people say that and give me some sort of strength to carry on with it.

I am not sure sometimes whether to say to him "I am very happy to support you if we are together, but asking me to start a whole new life without you and STILL support you feels a bit too much to ask".

I am very homesick. Our house is gone now. The place we built with our kids and everywhere I go just feels unfamiliar and lonely. Thanks for your kind support. I have good friends and family but sometimes feel like they don;t understand that my whole life went up in smoke. I feel selfish because I know he is ill, but at the same time it's hard to cope.
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Old 24th January 2014, 01:14 PM   #4
ronnoco
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Hi,

I don't think long term you could build a new life and support him but it's probably way to early doors to contemplate this.

If you were married, you strike me as someone who would be sticking to your vows of "for better or worse, in sickness in health" so I think you need to carry on as you are.

I do realise just how hard this must be for you, in limbo and feeling robbed effectively of the life you had but perhaps you need to think of it as a storm which you need to ride out. Ride out the storm, doing damage control along the way. When the storm is over, you will need to rebuild - with or without him.

Looking after no1 is so important.

Have a read of this thread : -

http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=8756

It's not the same circumstances but you will see similarities that may help you.
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Old 24th January 2014, 01:29 PM   #5
verysadlady
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Smile Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

I know, I would stick by my vows, but then the situation is a bit different when the person leaves you. I'd never have left him because he was ill. It's difficult.

Thanks for the link, I will give it a read
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Old 24th January 2014, 01:56 PM   #6
chosen
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

vsl how awful for you all. Do you have any idea what may have made him have such a major breakdown? These things usually happen for a reason, and with you being so happy its hard to understand why it happened then. Had anything bad happened in the few years before that?

Does he want to get back together when he gets well? Or is he saying that will never happen?
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Old 24th January 2014, 01:59 PM   #7
Raymond
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Good advice from Ronoco.


Sounds like burnout to me. Perhaps he tried to hard to be the perfect man and the strain became too much. I get the feeling that he hates you to see him as he is. Maybe it was too much like a dream for him and he lost his base. He will need tons of rest to refind his equilibrium and counseling too I think. Something went wrong somewhere.


Perhaps he didn't really share in a meaningful way about his past and where he was coming from? Everything a bit too good to be true?


I think you have to get on with your life as best you can. As you say you cannot do that and help him if he has cut off his commitment to you so you have to move on. If in the future he refinds himself then he well may seek you out but for the moment I would do all you can to get settled looking forward and not looking back too much.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:10 PM   #8
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

I tried to keep my first post short, but yes, it's clear what led to his breakdown and he's begun to unravel this in therapy although he did come to it all on his own a few weeks after leaving.

He bottles up negative emotions and avoids confrontation. His ex wife cheated on him with his close friend and he gave no reaction to it (over a period of YEARS he knew and did not react). His ex wife now continues to bully him by making access to his son somewhat conditional on her agenda being followed to the tee. She also bullies him financially and took pretty much everything he had when they divorced. He has a lot of anger about this that he didn't express.

He had a job where he was hired to do a project that was the culmination of his life's training and work, but after six years working on it, it was scrapped. To add to that, in the past six months his boss had him bringing home work every night and weekend and he was mentally and physically burned out from sheer exhaustion. Every year he carries over his holiday days as he has no time to take them. He never stands up for himself.

Add on to that, in the space of four months I had a cancer scare and so did his Mother. My son had a very long and protracted illness that made home life very stressful.

In the final month, he was sent away on business and was exhausted and homesick. While he was gone my son got pneumonia. Our rent and electric went up. The car gearbox went. He had two failed job interviews and it finally culminated in us finding a mould problem in our home which meant we had to move (this turned out to be the reason for my son's illness and pneumonia). Complicated by the fact that we could not find anywhere to move to so we were facing having to stay in very expensive temporary accommodation whilst waiting. We were worried we could not afford it.

I collapsed under the strain and developed panic attacks, which were very draining on him because he kept supporting and loving me through it. He hid his own stress from me because he felt I needed protecting and supporting.

It was during this time when we felt we might be left homeless that he left me.

So it was pretty stressful, understandable that he had a breakdown, I almost did myself.

Last edited by verysadlady; 24th January 2014 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:11 PM   #9
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

And yes chosen, he says he does want to get back together when he is better.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:13 PM   #10
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Raymond, it's funny as your post using a lot of the exact words he has used. He mentioned feeling like he needed to be "perfect" in order for me to love him. He also said his reason for leaving was to find "equilibrium".

He has also come out with the fact that he has been bottling anger and resentment from his past up for many years, and had carried them into our relationship.

I do think he is just naturally a very nice guy. Although he definitely needs to get help with maybe being a bit more assertive. He is getting counselling to work on this.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:30 PM   #11
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

I know when I describe the stress we were under in the six months before he left it might sound odd that we were still "happy", but I mean happy as a couple. We were still all fireworks in the bedroom, still talking for a long time every day and laughing together about how **** it all was, still wanting to be together all the time. He didn't withdraw. We still went to bed together at the same time no matter what. He still could not wait to be home when he went away on business. He was calling me every spare minute to say he loved and missed me. What I am saying is nothing seemed off between US.

When bad things started to happen around us, he kept telling me he was okay and things would be fine. This is his way. Looking back, he was not sleeping very well, and he started to have a lot of gastric issues. He just didn't seem stressed or down. He says now he was hiding even from himself quite how worried and tired he was but he said he was often so low he thought about wrapping his car around a tree towards the past month.

He says in retrospect, because he tried so hard to hide his feelings of stress and sadness from me, that somehow being around me became a burden rather than a comfort. Now, he feels I am a comfort, so he has finally started sharing all these negative thoughts with me. this is all a good thing.

The problem I suppose is that with kids involved you don;t just keep moving from place to place. He moved away, now I need to do the same. We can't ferry back and forth when the poor kids have already been so hurt.

He doesn't want me to move on. He wants me to let him recover in his own place, and for us to see each other once or twice a month (a boyfriend and girlfriend) and to talk pretty much daily in the meantime. The downside of it all is that he doesn't give me a lot on these calls, and I come away feeling very rejected. I hope that doesn't sound selfish, but I am also going through the worst time of my life and have to pretend to be okay all the time.

I also wonder what happens when he is better. How you rebuild from this. He did such horrible stuff to me and the kids.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:35 PM   #12
ronnoco
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

I think Raymond has got it spot on - it does sound like burn out. He sounds like such a good person and that is why it seems so out of character. What you are seeing isn't the real him. He's a broken person who needs fixing with time, therapy and support.

Hang on in there VSL, there is hope for you. Much better to look back and say you did everything in your power to try to make it work than have regrets....but, you must focus on yourself and your own life (hence the link I sent - read about how BM is doing now)

If you can get through it, you will be stronger than ever.

Life is so tough sometimes but tough times don't last - tough people do.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:38 PM   #13
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

That was such a hopeful message. Thanks. I am halfway through that thread..it's long!
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:44 PM   #14
chosen
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

Quote:
Originally Posted by verysadlady View Post
Raymond, it's funny as your post using a lot of the exact words he has used. He mentioned feeling like he needed to be "perfect" in order for me to love him. He also said his reason for leaving was to find "equilibrium".

He has also come out with the fact that he has been bottling anger and resentment from his past up for many years, and had carried them into our relationship.

I do think he is just naturally a very nice guy. Although he definitely needs to get help with maybe being a bit more assertive. He is getting counselling to work on this.
Yes emotions such as anger and resentment that are bottled up will lead to depression and sometimes breakdown. Never having a break form work is madness, and he probably should have applied for another job. He may need to also make the decision to forgive those people who have hurt him in the past because unforgiveness and bitterness are terribly destructive physically and emotionally. He will need to let that all go.

I had a break down some 16 years ago largely due to a close family members suicide and unexpressed grief and hurt over that. I somehow managed to carry on looking after my three small children(don't know how except with Gods help) but it was very hard, and I actually had very strong antidepressants and also 10 sessions of ECT treatment which eventually did begin to lift me out of it. It was a long slow process, and I guess it took 2 years before I felt in anyway normal again.

IT seems that this ideal happy life that you two thought you had, masked some deep unhappiness and many unresolved issues from the past, and eventually something had to snap.
IT will take a lot of time, and because of that, I think you have two choices. Stay where you are and make a life there for your self and your son where you have family and friends. (If he gets better then maybe he can move to where you are).
Second choice move to be near to where he is living and in time hopefully rebuild the relationship.
Now if you were married I would recommend the second choice, but as you aren't then probably the first. That because marriage does join you spiritually in a covenant that sort of seals you together in a way that living together doesn't. You may not quite get this, or agree with this, but its true, and a covenant shouldn't be broken without very good reason. In the end its his decision as to what comes next, and it all depends on his treatment and how long it all takes, and how fast he recovers, but your real priority now is your son and its not fair on him to keep moving from one school and one area to another. Not sure how old he is, but the older he gets the harder it will be for him.
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Old 24th January 2014, 02:50 PM   #15
verysadlady
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Re: Please help. My life has been turned upside down

I agree with everything you said Chosen.

As I had a business locally based, I have to move back relatively close to where he is. I cannot afford not to. I would have to refund all my clients and don't have the money to do that! However, he does not want me very close, and therefore I will go to a city that is about 3 hours away because my best friend lives there and it is still close enough for me to continue with my business.
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