Waiting for depressed wife to return affection
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Waiting for depressed wife to return affection

My wife and I have always been close and open with each other, With the kid off to college and a new home in the country I thought I'd get to enjoy some "empty nest syndrome", but everything's changed.
About two years ago, my wife's company of 15 years underwent some new management. She was highly stressed and first bullied into demotion, then fired unfairly. It's resulted in some major depression and self-doubt, about her career which is pretty much over (she's been black-listed) and just how she deals with stress and bullying in general.
She's been out of work for 6 months, which is about the last time she showed me any affection, by which I mean just simple hugs or touching. She says it's her, but she doesn't talk about why she's so cold and distant and she refuses to see a therapist. I've explained how I feel and all she says is, "Why does it have to be about you?"
I also have to be very careful how I talk and act around her because she's very edgy and hair-trigger. In HER defense, my personality type is INTJ, so I can be a bit over-rational and judgemental and snippy at times (though it's something I always work on). She's INFP which means she's more feeling and perceptive - usually. I can understand how she's angry at her previous managers for bullying her, but now any disagreement we have turns into this huge battle for her to "combat oppression".
I feel like a wimp because I'm afraid to voice my opinion anymore to avoid aggravating her and I feel alone because there's no communication or intimacy. Plus I'm overweight, so that doesn't help my self-confidence (though so is she).
She thinks it'll get better once the lawsuit is over and she goes back to work, but that could take months or years and she can't let go of the past. All her friends are co-workers and all they talk about are office politics. Yet she avoids other things that make her confront her situation. She still hasn't gotten her unemployment squared away after 6 months (and God forbid I should ask about it), yet she'll set lunch dates an hour's drive away or come up with excuses to avoid doing it.
I just don't see this situation getting any better or her attitude toward me improving even if her job and self-esteem issues change. She's a different person, for better or for worse, and I'm not sure I like who she's become. How do I know when to call it quits when I can't even talk to her about it?
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Waiting for depressed wife to return affection

I cant really give you any advice since youre not the problem. You are 'scared' to talk to her I can understand that. I would prepare for separation and then with this 'over her head' would start to talk to her. Something has to 'shock' her before she will do anything.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Waiting for depressed wife to return affection

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Dean* View Post
I would slowly change things up.

Go for a walk in the park. Hold hands. Drive up in the mountains.

Kind of like dating again. No talking about her past work, etc.

Let her see that there is more to life than working.

Living life, enjoying life and enjoying each other.
This is good advice. Especially "Let her see that there is more to life than working". You have a new home in the country? How fortunate she is! Many women would WANT to quit work to enjoy that. I'm not disregarding her pain in what unfairly happened to her and her job, merely saying, to take advantage of where a bad situation has left you!
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Waiting for depressed wife to return affection

It is kind of nice in a way, because she enjoys cooking meals again (I usually did the meals when she worked) and she's exercising in the morning and keeps up on the housework.
Trouble, one income SUCKS! So now there's money stress on top of everything else and she's ultra defensive about it, so I can't say anything if she's blowing lots of extra cash on groceries or gas money to see her friends.
AND we did separate for a couple weeks before she lot her job (she stayed with some friends), but now she's unemployed, there's no way to go our separate ways if she can't support herself.
She was my best friend for 20 years. My own parents had a horrible marriage - drinking, fighting, affairs and they didn't divorce until I was 15. I swore my marriage would never end like that, and it's not anywhere near like theirs was, but I'm starting to realize that nothing lasts forever and, like this website says, everything changes. How many people are on here with this type of issue?
But I do appreciate the comments. And I agree, maybe some time just walking in the park, maybe a canoe trip, heck, even Scrabble. She isn't much for movies anymore (another mystery) TV or big screen, but maybe a low-key concert. Like we're dating again. Maybe I'll hit some of the spots we used to hit when we WERE dating!
I don't want to end the relationship. My father is alone (never remarried) in his 70's and has been for almost 30 years. Life's experiences are definitely not as vivid without someone to share. But I'm alone as he is right now. And I'm not getting any younger.
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