What to Do About Marriage
I have no idea if you can even help me. I’m not even sure where to begin. I have been with my husband for just about 23 years and married for just about 19 of those years. Ever since the birth of my youngest daughter who is now going on 16, I just have not been happy at all. I never really realized just how unhappy, until last year when I did something that I swore to myself that I would never do. That was to have an affair. This last January I finally broke down and went to see a counselor. I don’t feel he was of any benefit to me at all. I was also put on medication for depression and only stayed on it for approximately 7 weeks when I couldn’t handle the side affects of it anymore so I quit taking it. I am so lost and don’t even know where to turn. Every day when I come home from work it’s all I want to do is come home and go to sleep until the next morning when I need to get up for work.
I am so unhappy with myself, the way I look, and for letting myself get so lost in everyone else that I lost all touch with myself and what makes me happy or what would make me happy. I sit and think of all the things that have happened throughout our relationship and up thru today and I absolutely hate it and myself. Now we are living in a home that we built about three years ago and one week after we moved in my husband insisted on bringing home a black lab puppy and that he insisted that he stays in the house. Well, guess who pretty much takes care of him? (Feeding, watering, letting him outside and cleaning the house from his fur.) Oh yes, and his mom and dad are retired and they live in the south in the winter and guess where they live in the summer months? I’m just so burnt out and feel like I don’t even have an ounce of energy left in me. I feel so rotten because I used to like talk to my mom every day now I may only see or talk to her a couple minutes a week. I don’t feel like socializing with any one nor do I feel like going to see anyone. My mom and dad have always been the type to say, You made your bed now lay in it.
Believe me for all these years I have been trying to do that so I don’t disappoint them or hurt any one else. Where do I feel I am? ALL ALONE. I’ve been told I need to find something I’m interested in and do it. You know the last 16 years I was digging a huge pit and didn’t realize it, until now here I am 16 years under in dirt and can see no light at the top. Where do I go from here?
Answer: Dear Friend:
Since you have such a problem with depression, I think you should go to counseling and try a new anti-depressant as well. Yes, you have problems in your marriage, but your biggest problem is the depression which is probably due to a lack of neurochemicals such as serotonin. Read about depression. Since this has been going on for so many years, it will take time to find something which helps you and you will need to determine to fight the depression. That is why I first pointed you to God because you need spiritual strengthand hope. He will be your greatest asset and resource.
You may still be grieving the loss of the relationship you had with this other man. Read the articles on grieving and grief recovery. Give yourself time to process and work through the grief and let God heal your heart. He can give you a new love for your husband.
Read & order some good books on depression and how to change your thinking on our resources page such as Learning to Tell Myself the Truth by William Backus and The Freedom from Depression Workbook by Les Carter and Frank Minirth.
Get into a solid Bible teaching church so you can grow spiritually and getsome pastoral guidance and pray with others. See Willowcreek’s web site.
Ask your husband to attend a marriage conference with you. You can find a Prep “Fighting for Your Marriage” seminar near you by checking their web site.
You can grow despite this obstacle in your marriage.
Since you are so unhappy with yourself – begin to take better care of yourself. Maybe you can begin working out and exercising to get into better shape as well as work off some of the anger you may be feeling towards your husband. You also need to commit to exercise daily to get your endorphins going again. Walk, ride a bike or swim for at least 20-30 minutes.
You can get closer to God by growing your faith, praying and receiving encouragement and strength from Him as you deal with this disappointment in your husband’s behavior.You need a new perspective on life and God will give that to you. Read the Bible especially the book of John in the New Testament and many of the Psalms in the Old Testament. Read also the books of Romans and Colossians in the New Testament. I have many articles on faith and God on this site. Pray and journal your prayers.
If you will commit to renewing your mind and body through prayer, reading the Bible and exercise I think you will begin to feel differently after a month or two.
You are the only one with the help of God that can really change your life. And you have to really want to do it.
Also, you will need counseling to explore the issues you are dealing with and learn new coping skills. Maybe a new counselor can be more effective. Please contact AACC for a referral to a counseling professional in your area.
Become interested in some of the aspects of life that he is interested in. Learn more about his hobbies, sports, work or recreation activities. If he sees that you are supportive of his interests and want to grow in these areas, he may begin to listen to your requests and want to grow in your marriage. Consider how to make some changes which will improve your relationship. Maybe you need to become more assertive and make some requests?
Pray for him and try to forgive him.
Many times anger just begets anger. In other words, he will be angry at you and just become defensive about his behavior. And he may be angry at you for behaviors you have not changed which he feels are hurtful to him. Read articles on anger and rage.
Take the humble road and begin to change yourself and forgive him. The Bible says in Rom 12:20 “On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.””
Rom 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (NIV)
When you understand how much God has forgiven you, you will be able to forgive your husband and pray for him and serve him while still taking care of your own needs. Read the articles on forgiveness: Forgiveness is a Choice; the Power of Forgiveness; and What Makes it so Hard to Forgive?.
I hope this will help you and most of all I hope you will decide to really fight your depression.
© copyright 2007 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC