Depression or mid-life crisis

I have no passion for anything. There are things I should be really happy with but I am not. I built a great business. Make a lot of money, more than I ever could have dreamed. All the trappings -- nice cars, big house, and basically anything I could want. I have a girlfriend for the better part of two decades, little off and on. She has been chronically ill for about the past ten years. We haven't gone out for dinner in probably ten years, and can't remember the last time I got laid. It's been a long, long, time. She had a stroke and has been suffering from a pain syndrome for many years that seems to just get worse with each passing year. She relies on me more and more, meaning I am able to do less and less. She is at the point where I feed her, get drinks for her. I get and do everything for her. She has so much anxiety whenever I leave or even if my schedule is slightly altered. I literally can't go anywhere or do anything. I have a person that helps take care of her during the work day for a few hours, but I get frantic calls if I am a few minutes late. I try to adopt hobbies that allow me to stay home but they are unfulfilling and constantly interrupted with her various requests and needs. My doc prescribed Lexapro about a year ago, but it doesn't seem to be helping anymore. I haven't been on a proper vacation in many years. Sometimes I just feel desperate for physical touch. I met with a few business colleagues a few weeks ago and when I left the woman helped me put my jacket on. It was the first time a female had done something for me in a long, long, time. That evening, I was speaking to my mother. She was making dinner for my dad, who in his retirement had decided to take a part time job twice a week. She wanted to have dinner ready when he got home. I just thought wow, wouldn't that be great to come home to someone that had made dinner for me. When I get home sometimes after twelve or even fourteen hours, I immediately start making her food, troubleshooting issues with the dvr, iPad, or whatever she is having difficulty with. Clean up and feed the dog and cat, adjust the temperature in the house, start a fire in fireplace, turn off/on lights, put things away along with a whole host of other chores. We don't have any kids, but I do help out a few kids both financially and with my time and energy. Even this gives her anxiety. She doesn't want to be home with just the kids at the house. She doesn't want them to come over when she feels bad. She is worried to have them come over when she is feeling good because it might exasperate the pain syndrome. No winnning. This whole situation has worn off on me and left me depressed, anxious, and unmotivated. I just go through life on pure discipline, nothing else. I feel completely lost. I have no driving force, no purpose, no desire, and nothing that I enjoy. I feel trapped by her situation, and my depression. It almost makes it worse that I have spent the better part of my life trying to make money and now that I can buy whatever I want there isn't anything I want. I am sitting on the sofa and just now got a text that she needs help with the television in the bedroom. So, I guess that is the end of my diatribe. My life just sucks and is devoid of any pleasure. Is this a midlife crisis?

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4 Replies

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  • i have a cousin in a similar circumstance. His wife has an incurable disease, she is bed ridden and needs constant help. They had reached a point in their marriage where neither one wanted to continue it. But my cousin wouldn't leave her unless she would accept his help. So she kept the house, he hired a care taker, and he visits quite often. She is still part of the family. My cousin has since re married and he continues to support his first wife and in fact both wives are friendly. She joins him when he makes visits. There are no children involved. It seems to me they have .created their own solution to a problem that would destroy most relationships. Try something innovative , you may surprise yourself. Pam

  • Hi Panasonic43, I don't think it's a mid life crisis. Like you said you have achieved all you worked hard for all your life. The fun was achieving all those perks in life. You could actually see where your hard work got you. The old saying "the one with the most toys in their lives, wins" is not true if you aren't happy. Your life is mundane. Repeating the same thing day in and day out. I think you even feel trapped at the situation you are in. Not that you don't love or care for her but it is stripping you of all your physical and mental energies.

    As human beings, we all need that touch or hug to make us feel alive and that we are worthy of this feeling. You are just feeling so overwhelmed right now, which anyone would, in caring for someone with a chronic illness. We all start out with hopes and dreams in building for the future but it doesn't always work out the way we planned. I believe some therapy in coping skills for the full time caregiver might help some. It won't solve your problem completely but maybe give you some professional advice as to how you handle your needs and wants.

    You are young yet and life shouldn't be over for you. I wish you well in finding the answers that can restore some pleasure in your life. Take care.

  • I'm sorry but since when is she your responsibility ?. You are not married or have children. I would give her some money and tell her you need too live. You are becoming as disabled as her yet you're not.

    It's hard but I wouldn't carry on in this situation and she should at least understand how it is for you, if I were her I'd set you free anyway.

    You've certainly got yourself into a awful situation, one that has no easy ending.

    Good luck !

  • I have no advice but i feel for you. You sound like a kind kind man who has not had his basic needs met for a long time. Can you factor in some fun in your life independent of her? If you have the financial means maybe get a carer once a week in the evening and you go out and see a movie or go to tech school and learn something new or a cooking class - anything that get you mingling with other people. I can almost feel the life draining from you. Sounds like SHE needs some fun too and if she has anxiety then she will be nervous about change and new things but social activities are the panacea for all anxiety and depression!! Good luck - keep us posted. 🌺

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