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So to cut a long story short, my wife and I have been going through a bad 6 months. The catalyst for this has been problems with my job where I had a really bad time and became depressed for 3 months. During that time my wife told me the was bored of listening to me and admitted she gave up on me. I was surprised she told me that to my face to be honest. A nightmare became worse and worse. I had told her I was getting a tight chest and a tingly feelings and was really worried about the stress levels. I saw the doctor about these and the symptoms died down luckily. (I thought this morning how odd it was that ever since I told my wife I was going to doctor about tingly feelings in my chest a few months ago, she has never once asked me how that appointment went or considered my physical health under stress important.)


I wasn't taking my depression out on her or anyone else, just was getting some bad treatment in my job and needed to talk about my experiences after work. I know it's hard to live with someone who is depressed - I've done that, and yes it can be exhausting. But telling someone you've given up on them? I wonder about that. It was crushing to hear that, and something changed inside me after that.


After Christmas I had to change my approach to my marriage, and chose not to tell her anything significant about what was going on at work - only if she really asked about it. Then she wouldn't have cause to complain. I discovered how self-reliant I can be, and despite getting laid off (after all that!) I buckled down, interviewed, and got a new job (which I start in a couple of weeks) - whilst my wife during what was a serious situation for us (she had no visa, her application depended on me getting a job) was no help whatsoever and could only panic and put me under even more pressure to get a job to the point where home life was toxic. I had to stay on point and prepare for interviews.


I got laid off 3 days after my wife had got back from a holiday with her best friend which she said she needed because of all the stress of the past few months. During this time I'm still getting battered in my job.


I'm reflecting on the past 6 months and the more I think about it the more alarm bells ring.


As soon as I got my job, I decided to take a well earned holiday to see family for 2 weeks - the only opportunity I would get between jobs. I was hoping that my wife would appreciate how desperately I needed this break. After 6 days I get a series of messages from her saying how she didn't know what the point of anything was and felt really low. On the one hand I'm worried because she was not saying anything specific, but on the other I'm thinking, maybe slightly selfishly, just give me 2 weeks to unwind after that complete nightmare. She knows me so well that she would know that sending me these messages would get me thinking and worrying. And that's what happened.


When she sent those messages (it was in the middle of the night in my timezone) the last one said she was going out and not taking her phone.


She eventually came back on line 8 hours later. I've been worried and stressed in the meantime. I sent her a couple of messages saying how everything was moving in the right direction, but more bleak what is the point in anything messages came back, finished with one saying she was going to bed have a good day.


2 days later I get a message from her saying it would have been nice to talk to someone when she was so low. I'm confused because she intentionally left it so that she could let me know how low she was and then be alone for about 8 hours, and then when I get in touch she says she's going to bed. So closing down avenues for a discussion.


This is not the first time communication has gone this way. She's a mature woman in her mid 30's, and I would rather not play games at my age -I'm a few years older. After the last few months I've somehow changed inside.


I'm just feeling more and more like my wife checked out of our marriage months ago and I've been too blind to see it. Giving up on me, ignoring potentially serious health issues, leaving the country when I'm still under the hammer before getting laid off, being zero help when everything depended on me to get a job and save us. I'll be honest, I didn't think I was marrying someone who would do this. We've been together 7 years and married 2 years. Horrible to contemplate how f**ked this might be.


Some additional context - before we moved city (we were doing well at that point) we had plans to have kids. Admidst all the troubles my wife was still adamant that we should not be using protection as it might take some time to get pregnant. I figured (with the chest pains and my job not going well and generally life feeling like it was crumbling) that the conditions were pretty terrible for briniging an innocent kid into the world. So alongside all this I've been trying to take a rational approach saying we need a solid foundation (jobs!) for a family. Thinking back, at one of the really low points she said that she was not getting any younger and needed to think carefully about what she needs to do, and that was shortly before she went on holiday (3 days later I got laid off).


If this sounds like a mess it's because it is. It's only through having some time away that I'm getting a grip on what's happened and what it might mean.

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I strongly suggest you and your wife to go couples counselling to sort this out. She sounds like she's checking out but is not really communicating very clearly with you for some reason.


That said, I suffer from depression so I understand what you are going through. It is also hard for her to have to deal with your depression, it will also take a toll on her. I sense that is what is happening. I know because my husband told me my depression can drag him down. If both of you go see a therapist, you will have a neutral person to help you sort this out. There needs to be some serious communications and a good therapist is very good at getting both parties to talk and say how you truly feel. That way you will get advice by a professional on your situation and how to deal with it.

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Agree therapy is your best bet. Leaning on a spouse this much can take them down with you and just emotion-dumping doesn't actually give you problem solving tools and perspective like therapy.


It just erodes things while you feel "misunderstood". Listening helplessly while someone complains about all manner of job issues, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. is very frustrating.

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Thanks for this. Just some more context, my depression was pretty transient - 2 months until my wife said she'd given up on me and then I switched into a self-reliant mode as my wife had checked out. And instead of applying for a visa she was deliberately not working so she could entertain visits from family and friends. Looking back she was going out and getting pretty wasted at the weekends and admitted spending most of one night at a bar chatting to one of the barmen and neglecting the friend she'd gone there with. She went on to remark that she was drinking too much and didn't like who she was when she was drinking. This sort of registered with me, but I had very little time off and was working - but she was not coping very well.


Also I'm not a depressive type - apologies if it sounds like that, and more of a get things done to help the situation type of person. Not the wallowing type. However in this situation I was working 10 to 12 hour days for 5 months, and it eventually started to wear me down. I had my bad two months, but that was it. The real moment of clarity for me was being told I'd been given up on.


I've lived through a fair number of crises in my life and know I can always rely on myself. The problem is now I have no idea what my wife actually adds to my life now. When the chips are down she checks out pretty quickly and makes things worse.


During the bad times at work for about 2 months she would repeatedly tell me that things were not that bad, telling me that my depression was due to a lack of perspective. "What will we do when something serious happens" she would say, very unsympathetic at times. Well, when something serious happens my wife runs away and checks out, whilst I knuckle down and am the only one talking a good fight and coming through. That is exhausting. I'm contemplating a future where if we hit another serious problem I'm going to be the only one being strong saying we need to stay on point to weather the storm. All she has done is panic and make things more difficult. I need more from a spouse, not 2 months and that's it - sorry.


The truth is I lean on my spouse for very little, and one of the rare occasions I needed her to come through all she wanted to do was talk about running away, actually run off for a holiday, and then shout at me about getting a job telling me I'd ruined her life.


So the visa bit. Basically just before I started my project from hell, we'd agreed that her working part time and me full time would be a better configuration as we had both been working late hours. I'd said for months that she should get a dependent visa and work part time. Instead she said she wanted some time off and didn't apply for one, only bothering when it was too late. If she'd have done it earlier before I'd been laid off she'd have been able to get a job when she wanted, but after I'd been laid off she needed me to get a job, so she could then get her visa as she'd lined a job up. Unfortunately during an argument she told me that she didn't apply for the visa because I had said it was "okay", which was a lie. I was in the midst of preparing for interviews at this point so didn't argue the point. A relationship implosion during that time would have potentially ruined any chance of being on point enough to give a good interview.


Couple counselling sounds like a good bet. However to get through this new job probation I honestly don't feel I can do it with such a volatile home life where if anything starts going wrong she's going to check out. Mind you, I wouldn't bother talking to her about any work problems anymore anyway.

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I don't know any other reason to get married then to have a life partner.

Someone to share the good times and lean on during the hard times.

Things are often more enjoyable when shared and less difficult when you have support.


She is not your partner. At least not at the moment.

Marriage counseling.

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For me personally, I would be done. As difficult as it may be to leave her and the concequences of that.


Because she can't be counted on when it counts. Instead, it's about her. What's the point of that? That's fine for an acquaintance, but a partner? Even close friends and family who I will put real energy into at this point in my life ( I'm in my thirties) - no.


What if you got ill? Need support at some point, can't always be the Rock and for her? And no one is able to always be in control of health or other situations in life that mean we are in a bit of need of help. She won't be that for you - to me, this shows who she is at her core. And it's not very nice. It's not very strong.


If you are ok with worrying your whole life, sure, stay with her. But for a partner to do that... What the f/k. That's not a partner but a taker in my book.

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For me personally, I would be done. As difficult as it may be to leave her and the concequences of that.


Because she can't be counted on when it counts. Instead, it's about her. What's the point of that? That's fine for an acquaintance, but a partner? Even close friends and family who I will put real energy into at this point in my life ( I'm in my thirties) - no.


What if you got ill? Need support at some point, can't always be the Rock and for her? And no one is able to always be in control of health or other situations in life that mean we are in a bit of need of help. She won't be that for you - to me, this shows who she is at her core. And it's not very nice. It's not very strong.


If you are ok with worrying your whole life, sure, stay with her. But for a partner to do that... What the f/k. That's not a partner but a taker in my book.


You mention friends here. Interesting point because one of my complaints to her has been that sometimes she doesn't appear to behave towards me like a friend even.


For example, after we'd only been out here 6 months we were having dinner. Now before I say this, this event has lodged in my mind as one of those moments where I don't seem to be able to forgive her or be able to justify what she said to me or how she treated me.


Before we moved country, my dad took it really badly. When I announced it to him in person, a couple of days later I get a text from him and further messages saying he felt all was lost. He then said he felt like ending it all, and I thought he was going to kill himself. I rang my wife about this and she helped talk me through how to handle it, and I also had other family members help out. It was a traumatic event for me, because I honestly thought my dad might kill himself. Luckily he didn't.


So I'm having dinner after 6 months living here. Now one of the things my wife really wanted to do was visit other countries for holidays - taking advantage of being in another region of the world. I said to her that I had some holiday coming up and wanted to see my dad because I missed him - given everything that had happened before. She was very unsympathetic and said that my dad had merely guilted me into feeling that way and told me I was being selfish for not wanting to spend the holiday time with her. I was so upset and felt like crying inside (although I didn't in front of her) and told her exactly how I felt, trying to appeal to her sensibilities about how I was feeling. She continually dismissed the way I was feeling, convincing me that I was being selfish.


Now I think about it, it's very similar to the recent occasion where I was depressed for a couple of months and my wife dismissed it saying how would we cope if something serious happened and that I lacked perspective (and I know that I cope very well and she doesn't cope at all). Worrying trend perhaps. Real feelings for valid reasons - getting dismissed.


My point is, I find it hard to believe that anyone would treat a friend that way. Why shouldn't I expect to be treated as she would treat her best friend? This irks me to this day.


You're also right. Some of her behaviour is not nice, nor strong. Why do I not deserve someone in my life who can be my rock for once?


And I don't want to worry my whole life. I would like someone to reciprocate the burden I take on to progress our life together. Stress can be a real killer, and I am with someone who is highly unlikely to care about de-stressing my life. If you don't give a damn if someone is getting chest pains due to stress, what does that say about you? How on earth have I become so resented?

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So I thought I'd let you know where my head is with this. Basically I'm in a bad place, contemplating the reality. And the reality is, the only thing that feels like the right thing to do is get out of my marriage. The problem is, I've got a new job starting soon and put simply, if I don't hold that down and get through my probation then we are f***ed. Without my salary we won't be able to pay our rent, at least until later in the year when my wife starts a full time job.


How do I withstand a potential marriage break-up whilst trying to pass my probation in a demanding job? That's one hell of a double-whammy to handle. New jobs are demanding. Potentially breaking with your wife and partner of 7 years is excrutiatingly painful surely.


So I'm trying to figure out how to approach this, but know that if I don't find a way to make this job work then no matter how bad things seem right now, they will be worse if I don't make it. I need a stable mind to make the job work.


But in terms of how I feel about things, although it really pains me to think about how much I love my wife and the wonderful little ways we have together - the humour, the things only we get and nobody else will ever get - these things don't seem to be more important that finding a life partner who is right for me. I can't contemplate having children with my wife after what I've seen these past few months. I've seen flight, and hardly any fight. I'm not gambling a child's well-being.


There are moments when I think about the potentially wasted years, but I just think I'm lucky to have found out what I have now, because if we had a kid right now and I felt like this I would be in an incredibly dark place.

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I am sure this seems overwhelming right now.

In light of the fact the two of seem to operating independently of each other would be too hard to compartmentalize all this for time being

and focus on the new job?

There is no urgency to terminate the marriage, it seems.


Overwhelming is right.


My priority is nailing the job and holding it down, and it feels like everything else is secondary. If that means waiting before addressing these serious marriage issues then so be it. I would rather wait.


There is no urgency to terminate the marriage. I just don't want to continue in a marriage that I know is not or me just out of comfort and feelings of pity for either myself or my wife. I feel absolutely terrible when I think about how things would pan out if I said I did not believe in this marriage anymore. I was about to say that I'm sure my wife loves me but to be honest I'm not sure that's the case based on what I've experienced.

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So 3 days of feeling physically sick and like crying. Great fun. I've turned this around in my head too many times to mention, and every morning wake up a have to fight off the darkness before I can get up.


Actually spoke with my wife for the first time in a week and she's in a similar place. We are both feeling like we're in the middle of a break up. I had the same cryptic comments about how she was disappointed in herself, but this time I asked for more detail. It still wasn't clear. From what she said something about her not behaving up to marriage standard / level. It was really hard to know what she was talking about. I'm still left with a raft of things I'm so unhappy about that have happened, but she's not coping and I know what piling it on will do.


I just don't know how things can be so good and then all it takes is for one persons job to turn into a nightmare and then the whole marriage collapses. My wife is focusing on children now, and whilst I don't blame her at all for this (we're both in our 30s) I know that our marriage is in no condition to support kids. I don't have any optimism right now that we can get to that place either.


I try to think what is it that broke it for me. I think it's being told I'd been given up on. It's the one thing I find the hardest to forgive. Even if you think such a thing, to take it to the next level and tell them, when you know they are at their lowest ebb anyway. I just can't fathom it.


I remember talking to my wife about another couple we know, where the gf was denying (they were both young) her bf the chance of building a career. I remember saying there's no way she reallv loves him. Then I look at what happened to me and my wife and I'm supposed to think she truly loves me? Even when I write that I know my wife loves me, have I been kidding myself? My wife doesn't want to tell me what she's disappointed in herself about, and I think well that would really help me because it might be one of those things I'm cut up by. But she's feeling isolated and alone, in need of my love, but this is the person who gave up on me when I needed it the most. I can't seem to get that feeling of love back right now.


All that happened was I got battered by my job for a while and needed help. It seems a bit harsh to get seemingly abandoned in that context by your wife and for all loving feeling to dissipate. I don't believe I was horrible to live with - but a depressed man for a couple of months. I just can't understand it. I think more and more that I was deluded thinking my wife was the type of person who could stand shoulder to shoulder and fight adversity with me until we get into the calm waters. She checked out. She just checked out. I have never given up trying to figure out constructive ways to improve our lives, and always said look we need to hang on and get through this and things will turn. I never mentally quit my marriage or lost hope that we could get back to where we were before the trouble started.


But when I mention that before the trouble things were good, it seems to have zero resonance. It's not acknowledged as anything important, and I don't understand why. During all that time working in the horrendous job I've paid all our rent, all our bills, paid her money so she can socialise and live her life. And after being laid off I'm the most determined and committed fixer-upper you can imagine. I get this sneaking feeling sometimes that I deserve so much better than this.


I am starting to think that a lot of this checking out is about children. When things were terrible and I was getting a tight chest and tingly feelings - there were two weeks like that - she asked when we were going to have kids (as we had been open to it when things were good) and I said I can't think about that right now. Can I blame myself for that? If she had fell pregnant in that kind of mess - which covers both our relationship and the finance side of it (we're going to scrape through the next month) I honestly think I might have been tipped over the edge. It would have been too much pressure. But then I understand how women need to sometimes make ruthless decisions when it comes to having kids. I am just guessing, but yes, I think when she suspected I might not be able to give her kids in a decent timeframe (I think again, this job trouble, my god I tried) that's when she switched. Still seems a bit harsh to me. I don't know. This is a huge ramble.

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