Does anybody have a normal life?

Suffering with depression for over 30 years of my life has been a very turbulent and testing life going to extramities which I will not discuss at the moment. Thinking I have conquered the most trying times in my life I live a steady life with a husband and two children, 12 and 14 who are all very understanding, although my children only know the basics of my illnes. I work part time flexible hours,along with self employment and voluntary work. After Christmas I always find it difficult to get back into some kind of routine, in fact for the last 3 weeks, along with illness I seem to have regressed back into that dark place where I have spent so many years of my life. My brain is not working properly. I have a constant headache. I ask myself questions over and over again. I need my quiet room every day for up to 3 hours at a time . I am really struggling.

Then my husband came out with the bombshell....."I have had enough of this. I have put up with this for nearly 20 years and just want a normal life".

I am gutted, I try so hard to keep everything as normal as it can be. I will have to go back to my GP and let him know, again, that I need some more help instead of just managing to get through the days.

Is it the money I ask myself? He works so hard to pay for all the bills. My little extra pays for holidays and extras. I feel really bad that I haven't earned any money for the last few weeks. He says people at his work who have depression take time off sick when they are ill but still work full time and get paid.

How do we keep the relationship going when he will always want more?

2 Replies

  • sounds to me like you are trying really hard in very difficult circumstances. to me your husband sounds selfish sorry to be so blunt. it is not your fault you are ill and cant work. i would try talking to him to try and understand this disabling illness.

  • What is normal? I think everybody has some unhappiness and some people have more problems than others, particularly if they have unmet needs from early life or if they are unlucky enough to have some traumatic events such as premature losses or serious illness of their own or someone else's to contend with.

    But I think you are talking about normal ie without feeling so depressed and without going back to the dark place - yes I do think some people have less depression than most of us who write on the website. If we take our situations as the norm then we have a biased view and forget that some people never become seriously depressed although they may have times when they feel miserable and off-colour about things and most people know what it is to feel lonely. I guess the difference is the extent to which some people have better coping strategies than others and also the extent to which some people have positive self-esteem and feel loved. My experience has been that people who have felt loved throughout their childhood have a resilience which enables them to respond to situations with appropriate low feelings but to pick themselves up again in time and continue to enjoy their lives - in fact I think the ability to enjoy life is one of the main distinctions between people being depressed and people who go through bouts of feeling low.

    I think your comment about your husband's comment says a lot about why you are depressed - not that it is his fault but his saying he wants a 'normal' life and not understanding and accepting YOU as you are suggests there is something about his own experiences that makes him not able to love you as you are. Perhaps you blame yourself for that and think perhaps I do not understand how depressed you have been and what that has been like for your husband but I would suggest that it is HIM who does not understand that loving someone is accepting them as they are, wishing they could be less depressed but accepting that they are and loving them despite that.

    You say he works so hard to pay the bills and resents your being unable to work full time due to being depressed and that suggests he does not understand what depression is like and feels you COULD pull yourself together if you wanted to. People who have never been depressed often respond like that and the irony is that it may be that if he allowed himself to do so HE would feel depressed. He sounds quite angry and resentful at having to take care of things on his own and I wonder whether that is a pattern for him? It also sounds as though he thinks other people have an easier life than he does and perhaps that other women manage to cope with their lives better than you cope with yours. That attitude of comparing you to other people is quite undermining and is likely to increase your feelings of inadequacy and depression. I wonder whether he is aware that he is making things worse for you?

    Your last sentence says a lot! He will always want more - suggests that is the kind of person he is. If so one wonders why he married you, if he wanted more than he has. That's really quite an idealistic and immature view of the world, quite greedy and childlike, not the attitude of a mature man. I wonder whether he had difficulties in getting his needs met when he was growing up and directs his resentment about that towards you - perhaps quite unconsciously and not deliberately?

    You might talk to him about your being who you ARE and that being made to feel you are wrong in some way for being someone who struggled in life makes you feel he resents you and doesn't love you as you are. Certainly talking about things is the only way you are going to resolve them if they can be resolved, but only you know whether your husband is someone who has sufficient maturity to want to work at the relationship in order to understand things jointly. I think it would be helpful for you to talk things through with someone, perhaps from Relate who charge according to your ability to pay - but perhaps your husband would not go? You could certainly talk with him first about how much you want him to be happy, then about how you feel about him seeming not be satisfied with you the way you are, then you might suggest counselling through RElate and see how he feels? You might also talk about how you want a happier life with him, happier than your past and perhaps happier than his.


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