Hi all, I'm a newbie on this forum and I am seriously looking for some help and advice to attempt to save my marriage.
My husband and I have been together for 12 years, married for 7. We have 4 beautiful children together, aged (nearly) 6 and under. I do not suffer from depression at all, completely the opposite in fact, all my doodles are butterflies and flowers!
My husband however, is a different kettle of fish. Let me start from the beginning. At the end of August 2009, I invited a school friend of my eldest daughter round for a play date. As I'd never met the mum before, she obviously came in for a coffee. Turns out that we got on so amazingly well, they both stayed for nearly 6 hours! We developed a very intense friendship very quickly......kind of like that 'soulmate' friend if that makes sense? The person you want to text every day, you spend most days together etc etc. Anyway, after a couple of playdates at our house, we agreed for the girls to go to her house, but I wouldn't be able to pick my daughter up, so arranged for my husband to go instead. He stayed there for a cuppa and they got chatting, girls playing etc, and they got back home at around 10pm!!! (luckily it was a friday!).
Over the next couple of days, they text each other, same as I do with her, sometimes at the same time! I quite often see her during the school run, walk in and out with her, stand in the playground etc, and obviously so does he. Then on a couple of occasions when he was there early, he'd text her and invite her for coffee, something even I hadn't done. They'd stand in the playground together, but separate from other parents, obviously tongues started wagging. We were all "can't a man and woman even be friends without gossip??!!". Then after a couple of weeks of this, through some talking etc, it turns out that she's developing feelings for him, and he thinks he is developing feelings for her too. My world crashes. Turns out that he hasn't been happy for the last couple of years.....we've 'existed' as a couple.....just moved along in the routine of family life. I find out that they've been texting "I love you" to each other....not sure who said it first, I suspect it was him as he can't remember. Me and her had been clinging onto some form of a friendship in all this, neither of us wanting to end a friendship when neither of us knew what the future holds.
We, or should I say, he, decides that we're over......12 years ruined in about 5 weeks. I decide to be the one to move out with the kids, as the house is in need of repair, I don't want him living it up in some bachelor pad. So we move out.
Despite my tears and pleas for him not to have contact with her, just for a time so I can sort my head out, he refuses. When I ask him if I should give up on our marriage he says "as hard as it is to say, its probably for the best". So thats it, ended.
But then a few other things happen with finances that suggest we may have to live together, which makes us both think "hey that may be good"........makes him question everything again.
Well that was about 8 weeks ago. Since then, we've realised that he potentially suffers from depression. He finally goes to the walk in clinic at the doctors surgery, where he sees a nurse. Based on what he tells her, she suggests he suffers from moderate to severe depression and refers him to the doctor. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather we had here a couple of weeks ago, he couldn't go. And now is not in the right state of mind to go.
As I don't understand depression, I decided to read up about it in the library, and it describes him so accurately. The way he has always pushed me away, the way he talks to people, the way that he treats those closest to him, he doesn't want to do pleasurable things such as going for a walk with the kids on the beach on a cold yet sunny day, the way he doesn't want our best friends to come over for dinner as "you know I don't f****** like them", how no matter what I do, its never enough, always my fault. It was like reading a book all about him.
Before Christmas, after realising this, he started to question whether his feelings for her are genuine (I've said from the start he's confusing friendship and someone to talk to with love), whether he is out of love with me or not......he is VERY confused. So, finally, he decided to cut her out for a bit, to give us some time. She was in his ear too, jealousy about me, the kids etc (silly cow, what does she expect??). So we start to get along better, really talking about things, he said he was starting to feel he could tell me anything. Then just before new year, he started ringing her again. It breaks my heart again. I start to feel suicidal, like I don't want to go on, that there must be something wrong with me, she isn't great, she's attractive but not pretty, but maybe its me? maybe I'm ugly, maybe I don't understand, its probably why my Dad said he didn't want anything to do with me anymore, probably why I fell out with my mum, probably why 'she' stabbed me in the back. But I realise that this just isn't me, or how I am, I'm normally so happy, so I took myself off to the dr.
Then again, they stop talking a second time. But lo and behold, when his depression got bad again, he turned to her (she has suffered from depression in the past also). My feelings don't come into this. Now he is seeing her again......he tells me he's not, but he's turning into a serial liar, how can I believe him?? He still doesn't know how he feels about either of us, yet is telling our friends that we'll probably sort it all out. He even said to me the other day "look, even if I do see her, I still love you, we'll probably work this out, I just need some time". Yet when he talks to her, she thinks he can't decide what he wants as he doesn't know if he can live without the children half a week!!! No mention of how he feels about me at all. I've told him to stop torturing himself, that if he only wants to stay together for the kids, then that just isn't an option. I simply won't do that. It wouldn't be in anyones best interests, especially the kids. He's even been looking at houses for us all to rent as a family together, sell our house, pay debts, fresh start. But he isn't telling her that!! If she knew, she'd be gone! But at the same time, he refuses to tell me what he has been saying to her. I really feel that he is stringing us both along. His depression is all that is saving him at the moment from my viewpoint as I'm clinging onto the fact that it might be to blame for all of this.
I know that to look from the outside in, its easy to say leave him, he's made his bed, but its not that simple. Not with four children, a house, a business, debts etc etc. I've tried to walk away, to tell him I'm not a choice, but I can't do it. I'm not sat here waiting for him, or pining for him. I'm trying so desperately to read up on depression and understand it (for which he had a go at me, telling me he's not a f****** project). I'm just not in a state of mind to 'move on' yet......I've only been living here for three months.
Tonight he is VERY low......all the barriers are well and truly up. I can't get through them. And childish as this might sound, I am the one that has lived with him throughout his years of depression, it simply isn't fair that I'm not the one to see him come out the other side of it.
He even said to me last night that he feels that there just isn't anything left in our marriage any more, that we don't seem to be able to survive without some big event in our life......engagement, marriage, baby 1, baby 2, baby 3, baby 4. Now. Whereas I don't agree, he isn't even giving us a chance. Now our youngest is 1, we're not having any more children, our family life can REALLY begin!!! If we sell the house and have NO debt, we can start again, start LIVING, have holidays etc etc.
So, is all this stuff with 'her', the saying I love you, leaving me etc, the ultimate self harm, the ultimate depression, or is it an excuse he's hiding behind?