Hi folks, just having a moan and looking for a bit of support really.
Things are awful between me and my wife at the moment. We've been growing apart for years now. We just don't share the same interests any more. We can't communicate. We've had three different therapists offering us counselling without much improvement.
It feels like it's the end of the line for our marriage. Twenty five years we've been together. Two kids and a mortgage together. To feel it all slowly slipping away is excruciating. Every time there's a glimmer of hope something happens to mess it all up. It's like we can't get on the same page.
I've got my issues and both the kids are ASD too. I know it must be hard for her at times. I always feel like the one in the wrong but I know it's not all my fault. I know some of the issues I have with her are valid but I can't communicate well enough to put my viewpoint across. Whatever I say comes out wrong and just seems to make things worse. I'm awful at any kind of face to face confrontation.
Last weekend I got a bit drunk and I ended up self harming quite badly. We haven't spoke much since. I suppose things will get better but it feels hopeless at times like this. I wonder if I should move out sometimes.
Anyway, thanks for listening.
Hi - I feel for you - we've had lots of problems too.
Do you know the source of all the stress - often it's not having any down-time to decompress from the hassle of life and usually, money worries.
Do you know what you both want out of life? What is your ideal destination? What are you aiming towards?
People can get so wrapped up with doing the rat-race and trying to beat the Joneses that they can't take a step back and re-evaluate the whole plan.
Does your wife want things to work out going forward? Do you know?
also, have you thought about writing things down re how you feel if verbal communication gets you muddled?
Down time is a big issue. Its what set me off at the weekend actually. I work full time and my wife works at weekends. It feels like we've got no time for each other.
I've no idea what we both want from life to be honest. It's not the type of thing we ever talk about together. We're both in our own little bubbles I think.
Yes we both want to make it work. It just feels like we're losing the battle at the moment.
I write quite a lot, for myself as much as anything. It's good therapy and useful to look back on too. I did write a load of stuff down yesterday but it's all quite raw and emotional. Haven't shared any of it and not sure if I will. Maybe I'll re-draft it.
Modern life creates huge pressures within people and normally your only vent is at your partner. It gradually shuts down any positive communication. It builds a dread of going home because you don't want the conflict.
Do you e-mail each other for mundane daily stuff?
Why not send a short e-mail saying what you feel about her - keep it very positive - do not get into negative things - a bit like the classic love notes tucked into the purse. Surprises are nice. Do you do flowers for her?
The written stuff means you have time to construct it properly without sticking your feet into your mouth. It also gets over the anger barrier that can stifle face-to-face conversations.
Are you able to get rid of the kids for a weekend so you have some quiet evenings together? - do the simple stuff, meal out, cinema - do the teenage dating thing (most people remember their teenage years as the years before the weight of the world landed on them).
Inject some fun.
We don't email each other much. I think I will give that a go.
The spending quality time issue is one that frustrates me. I feel I get rejected because my wife works at weekends so goes to bed early. Actually she goes to bed early every night. Because she is self employed she very rarely takes time off. I have to use my leave to fit in around her.
I just don't think we share the same tastes in what is fun any more. I've bought tickets for gigs and I feel like I'm dragging her out. I like playing games but she's not interested. Ive passed her books to read but she's not got time. Guess I'll keep chipping away at it but I'd love to find something we were both passionate about.
If she's around daytimes in the week, why not treat her to something like a massage/pedicure? Something to make her feel better about herself - a little treat.
I've been lurking on this forum to learn more about how to help a friend of mine as he is on the spectrum and has very little support, but your post prompted me to register so I could reply to you. I'm not sure how useful you'll find it, but your marriage sounds like it may be heading the same way as mine went, so I figured it was worth a shot.
One problem you may have is that women in particular, used to be discouraged from doing anything that rocks the boat, and that includes hobbies. My husband of 30-odd years would have to think very, very hard if he had to tell anyone what I like doing since he always decided what we did when we first got together. I was so happy to spend any time at all with him, so even going for drives (which he loves and I loathe since I get car sick and hate him speeding) was better than not spending time with him, so if that was what he wanted to do I used to go along with it. He still thinks I like going out for drives, even though within minutes I would go very quiet, having to concentrate on not being sick. Needless to say I decline the offer these days.
If you want to surprise her with something, can you think back to when you first met and got together: what did SHE like doing then? What hobbies did she have at the time, ones you maybe didn't share? If prompted that way my husband remembers I used to ride a lot, I even trained as a Riding Instructor so I could ride clients' horses before and after work since I never had the money to have one myself. If you can find something she used to do for herself and get her something related to that, that may go down better than an unrelated surprise gift.
I agree with Ellie that writing things down can be very helpful, and if you frame it that you cannot think of all these things in face-to-face conversations, since she knows what issues arise from ASD she should be understanding.
The main problem is that both work at different times and go to bed at different times, so communication is even more important. Don't give up hope, if you both want to make it work, that is the single most important thing!
You don't say how old your kids are, but I assume they are not very young anymore. It is very easy when you are the one caring for them and they are young to get so bogged down with their constant requirements that you not only lose the connection with your partner but even with yourself, if that makes any sense. A meal out away from kids, as Plastic suggests, may be welcome, but if she goes to bed early maybe make it early enough so she gets to sleep at the normal time?
Hello and welcome! I haven't been posting on here for long myself. Seems like a nice little community though.
Thanks for the advice. She does like a massage so I've got that on the Christmas list. We try to meet for lunch once a month as well but we've let it slip a few times.
We are both committed to trying to stay together. As you say communication is important and something I really struggle with. I have quite a bit going on mental health wise too. I probably see things as worse than they are. I'm a bit more hopeful now than I was when I started this thread. Writing things down and getting feedback has worked so thanks to you and Ellie and Plastic for the kind words.
Thank you! It certainly seems a very supportive space from what I have seen so far.
Can you think of a reason why the lunches were suspended? These things can slip and before you know it you get out of the habit, and then it can be hard to make time for them again. Your work schedules certainly do make it more difficult.
If you find it easier to write things down to communicate I would absolutely do that, because you will at least have certainty that your wife knows what you are thinking. And if you see things worse than they are she can reassure you before your mind runs away with you. My husband was impossible to pin down, he hated talking and used to walk out when I tried to have a calm conversation, and eventually I had to accept that if only one partner still wants to try there is nothing you can do.
When our kids were younger we had a 'bathroom book', a cheap little notebook where everyone could put down their complaints about the day without fear of reprisals. It started when they were small but actually came in very useful when as a teen one of them self-harmed due to serious anxiety, he couldn't talk face-to-face but we had nightly written conversations (we had a separate notebook which he kept safe in his room but would lay on a bookcase outside his room for me to find).
Do you find winter harder than summer? So many people suffer from a seasonal depression which lifts with the lengthening days, and that can exacerbate everyday difficulties too.
Glad you're feeling a bit better. Best of luck to you both!