My whole life has gone BANG

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
83 replies 10.8K views


  • Steel_2Steel_2 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    I'm so sorry to hear about what's happening. You sound so confused.

    I think your wife is burnt out, plain and simple. A lot of people think that you can only burn out at work, but really any life situation can cause a burn out.

    Your wife has plumbed the emotional depths to try and deal with everything that has happened. She is changing into a different person, as we all do when we reach a certain level of stuff happening in our lives, and she's trying to make sense of it. The easiest thing for her to grasp at that is causing this is her life with you. In reality, it's not. It's just her brain desperately trying to come up with a rational reason for why things are happening when there isn't a rational reason.

    Perhaps her life does need to change. When someone dies at such a young age it forces you to evaluate your own circumstances and ask tough questions of your own life.

    The meds will kick in soon and then she will be able to think more clearly and rationally. When they do, it would be wise for you to find out if there is anything she feels she hasn't been able to do with her life or that she wishes she could. Domesticity sometimes forces your dreams into the background and life seems suspended until a hail of dirty washing and money worries. Sometimes people make you feel guilty for wanting to pursue your dreams when you are married and have children, like you are being irresponsible or something.

    But it's important to still have dreams and make plans to realise them. Perhaps when she's been able to face what is bothering her, you might be able to build a future together that incorporates some of this new life she wants.

    But it might mean that you have to change too or face being left behind.

    You sound like a fab husband and a great bloke, so I reckon you'll be able to take this in your stride.

    BTW, there is a good book about burnout called 'The Joy of Burnout' by Dina Glouberman. I've had burnout four times in the last 15 years and went through symptoms similar to your wife's on each occasion. During the worst episode I didn't get out of bed for two weeks and stopped talking, eating, bathing and cleaning my teeth. It was almost like my brain shut my body down until it could work out what was going on and come up with a new life plan. Reading this book I now understand a bit more about what was happening.
    "carpe that diem"
  • bank_of_slatebank_of_slate Forumite
    12.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Needofhelp wrote: »
    Good old NHS, the counciler is busy so she is on a waiting list... Just found the letter today (I was at work early yesterday when it came)

    Are you in a position to obtain private counselling?

    Or is there a service via work for you so at least you have some support?

    You know what they say - We hurt the ones we love the most!
    You are the one who will bear the brunt of this so you'll need all the support you can get!
    Of course you have great support on this forum and others who are going through a similar situation who can empathise and advise you
    ...Linda xx
    It's easy to give in to that negative voice that chants "cant do it" BUT we lift each other up.
    We dont count all the runners ahead of us & feel intimidated.
    Instead we look back proudly at our journey, our personal struggle & determination & remember that there are those that never even attempt to reach the starting line.
  • We have spoke today at lunch time, and she feels if we stay together it will get worse and she will just play happy for the kids and in 3 years end up hating me or each other.

    We both agreed we did not want to be in marrige like that.

    The problem seems to be she wants to be alone with the kids, not sure were just alone, she likes the idea of a cottage by the sea, to write a book.

    Then she can do everything for them, and do things her way. Without me doing things wrong or not the way she would do it. Basicly she wants to do things when she wants to and not think about others. And with me she cant.

    We also talked about how we never talk, and just drift along, we got married and she thought i just went along with it, which i didnt i let her have the perfect wedding she wanted, and i was that i got the perfect wife.

    And we never talked about anything, esp over the last 6 months, i know i should off but it was sooo hard to. As i had to apear strong for her through all of this. when i should have sat down with her and made each other open up to it all.

    So, top update it all, come 4 weeks time when we come back from our holidays we will look into me moving out and splitting up, and all the other mess that goes with it, but the main priority is to keep it easy for the kids.
  • On a side note, I did speak to MIND today and she is going to go for some councilling with them hopefully at the end of the week
  • jay11_2jay11_2 Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Noooo that's awful, I went through a patch like that (like your OH), and felt as she describes...said similar stuff to my hubby as she's saying to you. He was adamant that he wanted to hang on for a bit, let things lie, that I owed it to him to try relate for 3 months. We never got to relate cos I calmed down once some of my choices (to go now or wait a bit) were removed, and you know passed!

    I think feeling I should make a decision--fight or flight response, was part of the problem!! I got my equilibrium back over time, and with him allowing me some emotional space (no asking how I was, teling me to get up, etc...he just let me be, I had to get up for the kids 5 days a week tho, he had to work) and we're still here and love and like each other. Celebrated 16th wedding anniversary recently.

    I'd say you need to dig your heels in, tell her if she wants to do it all for the kids to just do it--you're off to work thanks. Stop doing so much, it doesn't help. My OH used to do that when he wasn't at work, and it's disempowering, made me feel like a kid, as though he didn't trust me. Going to work, especially if you give her clear leaving/returning times might just provide the space she needs.

    Say what you need to...your kids too, you want to see how she manages. If she can't get up now, how will things be different? etc, Whatever you need to say, just make her stop and think. It's really important not to make major decisions in the first year after a bereavement, to let things settle.

    On a practical note, are you sure she can manage if she's alone with the kids over longer periods?
  • Well, all I can do is try my best. What matters at the end of the day is she sorts her head out one way or another. I do not just want to leave her and let her spinout of control.

    We are going to call relate tommorow to see what they can do for us. I would like to think we will try them first before we announce our split to the kids after the holiday to try and make it as painless for them as possible for them.

    I have nodobt she will be fine with the kids as she is amazing with them, and when the cards are down she will get on with it perfectly. As like she says she is perfectly in control. She might be in bed at 8pm wreaked but she will get on with it all
  • SuziQSuziQ Forumite
    3K Posts
    Basicly she wants to do things when she wants to and not think about others. And with me she cant.

    I think this a sure sign she is not thinking clearly! The children will limit her far more than you especially when/if she no longer had your help. It's all very well writing a book-kids need things doing when they want, not when 'I've finished this chapter'! I agree with the poster above who says she is burnt out-and you nned to ensure you don't end up the same way!
    Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it!
  • simpywimpysimpywimpy Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Try and agree a timescale whereby you wait for some form of counselling or support. Try surestart, they're usually very good.

    If she still wants to move after that then agree that will be fine, but do try something else first. I can be so hard to go back if you make the break.

    Best wishes
  • Thanks, I am going to call relate tommorow, and then work on a time scale for moving out, after some counciling
  • jay11_2jay11_2 Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    How about a timescale, say a month or three, where you let things lie for a bit, go to reate, and agree not to make any decisions (like seperating) whilst your wife is in this state. After all the time you've been together another 3 months can't hurt.

    You sound resigned, are you trying to protect your wife from more pain, or totally emotionally drained? Please don't give up, as simpy says: going back is so much harder than trying for just a bit longer.

    xx jay
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