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Dear Wendy

After cheating…

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    Of course he hadn’t. He hasn’t even been evaluated. Most men with depression do NOT seek help.

    Again, the willful ignorance of depression around here is rather staggering.


    Please. It’s NOT a contest.

    Instead, I am merely suggesting that the LW needs to take all this much more seriously. That this is even a vaguely controversial stance I am taking… remember, she is worried that if she pesters him he just might somehow shoot himself “by accident” … Yeah. It baffles me.


    Mark. I’m well aware of a ton of information about depression. You are not the one person in the world who knows about it, or has suicidal ideation for that matter. Please get off your pedestal. I understand that men often don’t seek help. The point is you’re making an armchair diagnosis and none of us know what’s going on with him.

    Finally, MANY people, including myself, said clearly that she should take the risky behavior seriously and insist he get help. That said, you can’t force anyone to do anything. Even to get my brother to go to mental health appointments I have had to mislead him a bit and get him to call his insurance provider to give me authorization to talk to them. I can’t make him go to anything he doesn’t want to go to. It might be harder than you think to force someone to get help.


    To add to the above, I have family members calling up and yelling at me that my brother is killing himself, and yeah, he might as well have a gun to his head. If you knew the process that someone has to go through to get a diagnosis and help, well…

    And here’s the thing, if I put a certain type of pressure on my husband, I can get him to go to a doctor to get something checked out. But he’s not depressed, and it’s still very difficult.

    My brother I think actually is depressed (again, my opinion), but he doesn’t think he is. The OP’s husband would have to believe he has a problem in order for her to get him to get any help. He’d also have to care about his marriage. My brother has a certain motivation (long story) I can use to manipulate him and get him to someone’s office, but without that, no way in hell.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by avatarKate.

    It is so bizarre that Mark is making excuses that the husband is depressed without any evidence or even a diagnosis. He even invented PTSD for a guy who never went to war.

    If it is a woman who did that, Mark would be advising the LW that his wife is a shitty dead weight and he needs to get rid of her immediately.

    But then I think Mark’s misogyny is not a surprise to anyone on the board.

    And no Mark, the LW did not sign up for babysitting her husband. If he shoots himself (by mistake or by intention), he is responsible for that, not the LW.

    Lurker, I am very sorry for what happened to you. I understand you feel you must do all you can to salvage this marriage. And good luck to you in that effort. But I also suggest you make yourself and your kids a priority rather than the husband. Bringing up a manchild to responsible fatherhood is a lot of work.


    As of yet… has she even offered him help? Maybe she has. But she hasn’t said as much. Or maybe she just hadn’t had the chance to offer it yet.

    Not everybody is clearly as far gone or as much of a lost cause as you clearly feel your brother is.

    I’d rather be guilty of making s poor armchair diagnosis than to sit around doing nothing. But hey. That’s just me.


    I simply asked a logical question, saneinca. I never made an assumption. Question was answered. And that concept was swiftly dropped.

    I don’t see how I am being misogynistic in my advice to the wife. If she wants to try to salvage this marriage — I have offered her advice. She may take my advice and find this marriage can’t be saved. And that would certainly be no fault of hers.

    But really. Why the fuck I am even wasting my time here? Forget it. Peace out, everybody.

    Good night. And Good luck.


    Ok. Again. It’s not “making an armchair diagnosis or doing nothing.” I think most people on this thread have more experience with trying to get men to do stuff for their health than you do. It’s basically not possible unless you can dangle something they care about. But we certainly try.


    This is a fairly pointless discussion. LW has said she ‘thinks’ husband is depressed. His behavior suggests that, while it may not be depression, he is 99% likely to have a fairly serious psychological problem. LW plan to promptly have a detailed discussion with him. She wants him to seek medical attention. He will or he won’t. She’ll undoubtedly do her best to get him to seek medical advice/treatment. I am quite sure he needs. I’m 90% sure he’ll avoid it. He knows what the answer will be and he doesn’t want to face it.

    The bigger question, the one LW is actually facing, is what to do in the likelihood that her husband isn’t willing to pursue a medical diagnosis and stick with the treatment.

    LW’s heart is in the right place, but I fear she is enabling to an excessive degree and that this will harm her children. There is a big problem with a parent-child ‘care-taker’ relationship, even when one party is actually the parent and the other person is actually a barely-fledged adult. The ‘child’ in the relationship grows to extremely resent the ‘parent’. This is particularly true when the ‘child’ is male. People in general, and males in particular, are schooled by society to value autonomy, independence in almost everything, and strength. Not being able to pull your weight in a relationship, even realizing how much the ‘parent’ is doing to help you get through the day, leads to self-loathing, which easily projects to a resentment bordering on hatred of the ‘parent’. I’ve seen this twice in my extended family. In both cases the results were violent — in one case, the actual murder of the ‘parent’ and in the other case the destruction of what were viewed as the ‘parents’ most prized possessions.

    It is the nature of much mental illness to deny that one is ill. Part of this is honest belief, the other (larger) part is fear of loss of autonomy after one is diagnosed.

    There is no way, other than evidence of IMMEDIATE risk to self or others, to force an adult to seek any sort of mental health evaluation or treatment. It is a very tough position to be in. Really, it’s an utterly impossible position: the ‘parent’ offers help, which is the absolute last thing the ‘child’ wants. People choose to live in isolation and poverty in run-down homes, or sleep on the street and under bridges to avoid society’s and loved-ones’ help. It’s an awful situation, and we can all find ourselves there, because senility presents in very much the same manner. Been through that, as well.

    If it were just LW and husband, my advice to LW would be to consider being the ‘parent’ and coaxing husband to get help and do more around the house, for as long as she was more comfortable doing that then leaving him. But she has the children to consider and this is a horrible environment for them to grow up in. Why is the son difficult? The answer may be as simple as: dad. If dad is as bothered by the kids as LW reports, action is required.


    I worry that the LW is going to do all of the emotional labor associated with keeping this marriage together. You’ll make all of the appointments, set up all the plans, do everything asked of you by the therapist, and continue to do all of the childcare and household things. He’ll float along, pay lip service, and maybe do just enough for just long enough to get you off his back. I’m also deeply disturbed by the fact that he “took out” his own guilt on you by behaving horribly after he fucking cheated, and that his mood swings are so severe you have to bend your life around them. Frankly it sounds like emotional abuse. That…isnt a person who is well placed to become a functioning husband and father. It’s fine to say you want to give this a chance, but it’s really important that you step back and give him the chance to prove he’s serious by taking the lead on a lot of this. It’s going to take a lot less than a year for him to show you if he’s changed. I also strongly recommend you talk to an attorney. Get some advice for what divorce in your state looks like and what you should do to protect yourself while you see how this plays out. And get therapy for yourself.

    Miss MJMiss MJ

    Seconding the advice to talk to a lawyer. Also, start putting your finances in order so that you can be financially independent if your husband doesn’t do what he needs to do to fix your marriage. Be as hopeful as you like, give it what you feel you need to, but protect yourself and your child in the event that your husband isn’t interested in or capable of being a better man than the one he has shown you that he is.


    Oy vey. I think there are some beautiful nuggets of wisdom from this crowd albeit mixed with a lot of squabbling.

    – Your husband may be depressed. It doesn’t mean he isn’t also an asshole.
    – You’ve likely been carrying the weight of home, childcare, social and family – it’s time to stop enabling him. If he’s depressed it’s time to outline what you need him to do to improve his mental health and be a contributing member of the household.
    – Cheating could be a sign that he wants out or it could be that he’s simply selfish or it could be tied to his depression. The next step is what is he going to do now? Is he going to do everything in his power to show you he wants to be a better person? Or is he going to wallow in his own personal pity party because he screwed up and now you won’t let him sweep it under the rug?
    – Your kid may be challenging, but it sounds like that wasn’t the straw that broke your marriage’s back. You need to decide whether or not life with a depressed, moody, lethargic parent is better than “a broken home”. (As a kid whose parents divorced and whose mom remarried a great guy – I can tell you, life without arguing and emotional manipulation is so much healthier).

Viewing 12 posts - 109 through 120 (of 124 total)
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