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WH has given up

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WhatsRight posted 10/19/2013 11:33 AM

I'm not necessarily talking about the marriage---but on life.

He has always dealt amazingly with his severe disability. He is a successful businessman.

But since the infidelity he has not been the same.

Now he is sick. He won't go to the doctor. He is withdrawn from me and the kids. He is either at work or at home in the bed.

I am concerned-but since we don't communicate I don't know what to do.

I have told him recently that he acts like he has given up. He says that doctors can't find anything wrong so there is nothing he can do.

We are so disconnected that I don't know how to help

Any ideas?

Pippy posted 10/19/2013 13:31 PM

Has he been treated for depression?

Jrazz posted 10/19/2013 16:57 PM

I agree with Pippy. It sounds like he needs intervention ASAP. If you can't talk about it, maybe just set him up an appointment with a vetted psych or his doctor at least and then let him know that he has the option to go get treatment at such-and-such a time?

I'd like to see the two of you find a way to talk, but in the meantime getting a doctor involved however you can is going to be in everybody's best interest.


WhatsRight posted 10/19/2013 20:07 PM

Thank you for your replies, and I soooooo agree!

A few months ago I asked him if I could speak to our general practitioner about his depression. He said fine.

I asked the GP to recommend someone. He did. He said that he will get the referral to call him (the GP) or my husband - not me. He said it would be more approriate that way.
That was absolutely fine with me - as long as he got the help.

The referral guy and the GP ever made personal contact, so I contacted him myself. I explained the situation (minus infidelity) and let him kmow of my concern.

He said that from what I had told him, it seemed like my husband could really use the help and that he would be more than happy to see him.

Then he told me this story...

"A man had a dog who laid on the porch quietly except every once in a while, he would yelp - then lie back down. A passer by asked why the dog was yelping. The man said he was lying on a bunch of tacks. The passer by asked why he didn't just get up. The man said, "I guess it isn't bothering him enough yet."

In other words, the (potential) counselor told me that he wanted my husband to call him to make the appointment. That if HE didn't want to get help - he wouldn't be able to help him.


Any ideas for my next move?

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:08 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 10/19/2013 20:17 PM

WR, you cannot *help* someone that doesn't want to help himself. You just can't.

In your situation, I would suggest that you tell your WH that it makes you incredibly sad to see that he seems to have just given up on life and that it doesn't have to be this way. That you want him to be happy and feel joyful about being alive. That life wasn't meant to be spent lying in bed and just waiting to die. That chemical imbalances in the brain are a REAL thing and with proper treatment can be fixed. And that his regular dr. may be unable to properly *fix what ails him*, so here's the number to a person that I think could really help you. Don't you want to feel happy about life again? Please call this guy. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, wh. Do it for me. Do it for your kids. Do it for yourself.

That's how *I* would address it......

WhatsRight posted 10/19/2013 20:32 PM

If this sounds like someone who refuses to take any advice - please know that it is not true.

But, gonna, I did that speech almost word for word when I told him of my phone conversation with the counselor - and I gave him the number.

To my knowledge, he never contacted him.

I TOTALLY agree that I can't help him if he doesn't want to be helped, but it is so hard to stand by and watch him 'disappear' literally and figuratively.

I don't believe he wants to harm himself ACTIVELY. He hasn't really fought for our marriage since the infidelity, but he doesn't seem to be fighting even for himself now.

It is so sad. I can't decide if he wants me to make the calls and set things up and swoop in and 'make something happen' (which is what I usually do) - or if he truly wants me to just butt out and leave him alone.

I used to sort of be able to tell the difference in the two, but I am in the dark now.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:32 PM, October 19th (Saturday)]

MissMouseMo posted 10/19/2013 20:32 PM

I will respectfully disagree. Your husband is sick with an illness called depression. One of the symptoms of major (clinical) depression is a diminished capacity to care for oneself.

You say he is compliant if you are willing to schedule the appointment - so I would encourage you to do it, even go with him / take him if he needs you to.

If he were too weak physically to move, we would not say to leave him to suffer. If he is too weak emotionally to move, we should not leave them either.

He will be in a better position to begin helping himself after once the treatment is begun, then you can start letting him take over, start building his self-care muscles back up.

WhatsRight posted 10/19/2013 20:40 PM

This is what is in the back of my mind.

On the one hand, I want to not enable or try to help someone if they don't want the help.

But I also don't want to disregard a real need - especially if he is unable to help himself right now.

Thanks for your words.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/19/2013 20:51 PM

WhatsRight, if I'm understanding you correctly....he will go to a scheduled appointment, he has no objection to going....he just won't make the appointment himself?

WhatsRight posted 10/19/2013 21:02 PM

I don't know the answer to that.

He has gone with me (in the past) to several counselors when I made the appointment.

But in the more recent past, he has told me that they don't help and so he won't go any more.

Then he said that I vcould ask our GP doc about refering someone.

Then he didn't call him.

I'm going craaaaaazy!

But right now I am actually more concerned about his craziness than mine.

headdesk posted 10/19/2013 21:15 PM

What about trying it from a different angle? Would he be willing to go to a pain/disability group? I know I love mine but it's not everyone's cup of tea.

gonnabe2016 posted 10/19/2013 21:27 PM

I'm kinda with Mouse on this one.

I would contact the GP who gave you the referral again and recount the conversation that you had with the referral guy....since GP supposedly said that referral therapist would contact WH or GP and never did. Re-iterate to GP that you are seriously worried about WH's mental state. I'm not sure what referral was given for your WH, but perhaps you could ask for referrals to a psychiatrist and not a psychologist. Your WH seems to be *anti* talk-therapy.

Just know that it is well-documented that if a person has *given up* on life....that no outside force is going to change that. Mouse is right in that *you* may need to get the ball rolling for your WH.

Do what you need to do in order to get him that help that he seems to need.....but once you've procured that help, then you need to let him decide what he will *do* with it, kwim? (this falls under the *letting go of the outcome* umbrella)

summerain posted 10/19/2013 21:39 PM

My advice will seem counter-intuitive.

You go into that room and you raise your voice in a non bullshit way but assertiveness with a hint of anger.

You tell him he needs to act like a grown up and to get out of bed (argument begins)

You tell him that he's not a child and he will be going out to lunch with you. (then he gets shocked that you actually want to do something nice with him).

He gets in the car and you get lunch (it's all nice at this point) and you tell him that he has a right to be depressed but it's not helping him so you are taking him to a IC.

after the IC he will feel better

btw that IC you stated sounds like a wanker.

Obviously I've done this before

Depression is selfishness so you just got to not enable in a nice way just in a 'no i'm not enabling but I actually am way'

smile_it_helps posted 10/20/2013 08:20 AM

Treading lightly and nicely here...

You're not happy. You do not communicate. He's obviously not happy...maybe have a conversation about separation and divorce. Maybe you both need away from each other.

WhatsRight posted 10/20/2013 08:49 AM


Sorry to be dense - What's a "wanker"?

I so appreciate all of your responses. I don't think my husband is ready for the men in white coats - I just worry that he is so miserable physically and emotionally.

I am going to talk to him today. I am going to ask exactly what he wants from me...

Does he want me to help? Does he want me to 'get the ball rolling' on this? Does he want me butt out? Would he rather we not be together?

It will not really be a conversation. He will not make eye contact. He will say, "I'll be alright" and that will be it.

But I'm going to try.

Thanks y'all.

wontdefineme posted 10/20/2013 08:59 AM

At work all the time, withdrawn from family and sleeps all the time. This sounds like he is withdrawn intentionally, is he cheating again? The sleeping could be avoidance.

want a new life posted 10/20/2013 10:13 AM

I agree with smile on this.

It's evident neither of you are happy. You can't fix him but you can work on yourself to make you happy.

I also don't think depression is selfishness. If you have ever been depressed it's not really something you want to
deal with.


Pippy posted 10/20/2013 10:52 AM

Depression needs counselling, I agree. BUT it also needs the meds as in anti-depressants which reset the chemical unbalance in the brain.

Once they kick in, he will be in a much better frame of mind to get IC.

Can't your family Dr. prescribe them?

HardenMyHeart posted 10/20/2013 11:25 AM

(((WhatsRight))) So sorry for what you are going through.

I recommend the book:
Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond by Anne Sheffield

This book is targeted for the loved ones that are trying to deal with someone with clinical depression. My wife was suffering with clinical depression, and this book was helpful to me in understanding what I could and could not do to help.

From an infidelity perspective, depression is a contributor to a WS's decision to have an affair.

One of the tougher challenges I faced during R was dealing with my FWW's depression. After D-day, the remorse overwhelmed her and I was very concerned about suicide. I know this doesn't seem fair, but sometimes the BS has to focus on healing their WS first to help improve the marriage.

This is were I found SI to be so helpful to me during the early months of R. It gave me a safe place to work through my anger, and still support my FWW's healing.

[This message edited by HardenMyHeart at 11:51 AM, October 20th (Sunday)]

HardenMyHeart posted 10/20/2013 11:33 AM

BUT it also needs the meds as in anti-depressants which reset the chemical unbalance in the brain.

Pippy, this isn't always true. That's why it's usually best to let trained people help with these types of choices.

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