When do you know it's time to go/give up?
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When do you know it's time to go/give up?

So when do you know it's time to go or give up in trying to repair the marriage?

When love is gone?

What if love is still there for you?

What if love is still there for the both of you?

How long do you decide to give it a go until there's nothing left?

I'm struggling with this issue because I'm tired.

I'm tired of sacrificing my needs and wants all the time. I'm tired of being the selfish one whenever I want to address my own needs. I'm tired of everything being about HIM and nothing being about ME. I'm tired of feeling undesirable and not wanted. I'm tired of hearing "I Love You," but no actions follow to reinforce that it is indeed true.

I'm tired of making excuses for his behavior to myself and to our family. I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut and stuffing my feelings.

I'm just plain tired.

But - I love my husband and can't seem to give up. I'm not a quitter and I'm not the type to walk away. So I continue to hang in there and get beat down emotionally because he either can't or won't try to provide what I need.

I know he can't provide as he used to, due to his TBI - I know this, so - since I do know this, are my expectations too high? If so, how do I put them aside for him and not feel like I got shafted? Does it indeed make me selfish because I can't just set aside what I need from him all the time? He seems to think so.

Is it possible that after 27 years we've grown apart and are just not the same people, even though we love each other? Has the TBI changed him SO much that he'll never be what I need?

How do you walk away when you don't want to and you love him? I can't even imagine my life without him in it - ever. But I'm also tired.

Any insight would be appreciated - I'm struggling with what the right thing is for him, us and me.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

You sound like my wife. I hope that he sees what hie true problem is before what happened to me and my wife happens to you two. I had a lot of issues with my Father that I have only known for a short time. When I should have been talking to my wife I kept them bottled up and then I would POP. I was not myself in any way. It took me pro. help to see that the problem was and how to fix it know Im here trying to save my marriage
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

MWIL, have you found or looked for a support group for spouses of people with similar injuries or issues? I don't envy you your situation at all... If it was simply that your spouse was unresponsive to your needs/situation with no extenuating circumstances, it would much easier to say enough is enough. But with it being due (it seems) to a brain injury, it would make it very tough to let go, because it's not his fault either.

I don't have any good advice for you... Just wanted to give you whatever support I can.

C
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

I don't know what to tell you... I personally think you've done well sticking it out this far and should feel like anything but a quitter. I think you know no-one would judge you if removed yourself from this toxic situation. How does the possibilty of a new life sound? Do you feel replenished at the idea or would you miss your current life with all its heartaches? These are just things to think about. Personally, I don't think it's worth hanging onto the 'memory' or the 'potential' of a man that wears you down every day, particularly if he is incapable of change and doesn't even want to. But you have so much invested of course, and the upheaval would be hard (not impossible, but hard). You need to accept that this is your life with him, not the ideal you have in your mind - this, then you have to ultimately decide if you want this or not. I hope that was of some help to you.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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MWIL, have you found or looked for a support group for spouses of people with similar injuries or issues? I don't envy you your situation at all... If it was simply that your spouse was unresponsive to your needs/situation with no extenuating circumstances, it would much easier to say enough is enough. But with it being due (it seems) to a brain injury, it would make it very tough to let go, because it's not his fault either.

I don't have any good advice for you... Just wanted to give you whatever support I can.

C
Yes, I go to a weekly suport group.

But it doesn't help - it just teaches me how to know what he's going through and some stress techniques.

It doesn't help me figure out when enough is enough.

I get a lot of great advice and input. But it seems its geared a lot towards my 'response' to what happens vs how I help myself deal with it. How do I stuff things down and see that it's more important to focus on him? How long do I do without everything I need? How can I be satisfied/happy and help him too?

These are the things that are never addressed in my group, in counseling, etc.

So I guess the bottom line is - while my 'head' intellectually understands everything, I can't seem to make my 'heart' go along.

Do my needs never count anymore due to his TBI? Are things over for me as they were? I'm not sure I can cope if I get to the point that all hope is lost.

That is my biggest stumbling block and has been and I can't seem to get through it.

Thanks for the support!
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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I don't know what to tell you... I personally think you've done well sticking it out this far and should feel like anything but a quitter. I think you know no-one would judge you if removed yourself from this toxic situation. How does the possibilty of a new life sound? Do you feel replenished at the idea or would you miss your current life with all its heartaches? These are just things to think about. Personally, I don't think it's worth hanging onto the 'memory' or the 'potential' of a man that wears you down every day, particularly if he is incapable of change and doesn't even want to. You need to accept that this is your life with him, not the ideal you have in your mind - this, then you have to ultimately decide if you want this or not. I hope that was of some help to you.
And that's the problem.

I don't feel replenished at the idea of a new life.

I just feel sad - and yes, I would miss this life and him.

And that's why I can't get my head wrapped around what is right.

You hit the nail on the head - the potential is what I live for. But it's getting to where it's not enough.

Perhaps it's not for him either - he frequently mentions that while he would never kill himself, he wishes he were dead everyday - because his life now is not worth getting up every day for.

So I have to live with that - that he doesn't even want to be alive and will welcome death when it comes - WTH does that leave me? Just the thought of him dying makes my heart ache.

I'm just so tired and can't figure out which way to go.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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You sound like my wife. I hope that he sees what hie true problem is before what happened to me and my wife happens to you two. I had a lot of issues with my Father that I have only known for a short time. When I should have been talking to my wife I kept them bottled up and then I would POP. I was not myself in any way. It took me pro. help to see that the problem was and how to fix it know Im here trying to save my marriage
I hope things work out for you.

I'm not sure he's even capable (emotionally) to figure out the entire issue and while he might, it might be too late.

And that's what makes me sad. It almost feels like the last 27 years of my life meant nothing.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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he doesn't even want to be alive and will welcome death when it comes - WTH does that leave me? Just the thought of him dying makes my heart ache.

I'm just so tired and can't figure out which way to go.
I am sorry to hear that. It sounds, though, as if you've wrapped your self-esteem around him. I don't know if it was always like this in the marriage, but certainly since the injury, and this is contributing to you feeling lost. I don't know if there is a form of IC you can have to work on your self esteem. You wrote you have been lying to others and yourself to justify his treatment of you. Lying to yourself erodes yourself... It's no wonder you are lost at the thought of leaving/losing him. Your spirit has been diminished so much it sounds as if you believe he is all you have. I think working on building up your self-worth in any way you can is the first step towards seeing things clearly, and really knowing whether you have the strength to make a better life for yourself.
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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I hope things work out for you.

I'm not sure he's even capable (emotionally) to figure out the entire issue and while he might, it might be too late.

And that's what makes me sad. It almost feels like the last 27 years of my life meant nothing.
I was told that I was not emotionally capable to figure out all the issues I have. And all the people that told me that were right! Thats why I got help. My wife asked me to get help sometime ago and boy I wish I would have. Im still finding issues that I didnt know were there. There is no way that he can see the goodtime in the last 27 years. Maybe there is just something eating on him. Best of luck
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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I am sorry to hear that. It sounds, though, as if you've wrapped your self-esteem around him. I don't know if it was always like this in the marriage, but certainly since the injury, and this is contributing to you feeling lost. I don't know if there is a form of IC you can have to work on your self esteem. You wrote you have been lying to others and yourself to justify his treatment of you. Lying to yourself erodes yourself... It's no wonder you are lost at the thought of leaving/losing him. Your spirit has been diminished so much it sounds as if you believe he is all you have. I think working on building up your self-worth in any way you can is the first step towards seeing things clearly, and really knowing whether you have the strength to make a better life for yourself.
Good point(s).

I am and have been in counselling. Self-esteem is an issue I'm having trouble with.

And it might be the reason I feel so lost and yes, my spirit has been diminished greatly.

I have the resources to be on my own (more than he has), but getting my heart to go along with it has been impossible thus far.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

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It almost feels like the last 27 years of my life meant nothing.
MWIL,

The past years mean a great deal no matter what happens today, tomorrow is always unknown. Your life in happier times should not be forgotten.

I truly sympathize and empathize - my stbxw's mental issues - depression, OCD, & narcissism went up more than a few notches these last few years while her libido disappeared much to my disappointment. We met in '84 and married five years later, until 2008 or so it was a very happy relationship, good sex, very few arguments and many kind words, but something happened and closeness disappeared. When I retired and friends died or became seriously ill I realized I wanted to live fully and seek love, companionship, and affection.

Until I moved out she refused to speak with a counselor, my departure was the kick she needed to work on her issues, while my life is much more enjoyable w/o her.

I think you are now struggling with the issues I dealt with - you've been together so long, done so much together, see your spouse as a key part of your life, wonder what will happen if you separate, wonder about your moral obligations and still care about your spouse.

It isn't easy to change your life in your 50s or older and requires a lot of compromises and tears no matter what choices you make, your husband's TBI complicates matters greatly.

I don't know what the best course is but have you considered taking a month or longer break from your h? Physical separation might allow you to see how you would live your life w/o him. This doesn't have to be an either/or decision, it seems to me as if you need some distance and perspective and a real break - not a week, not two weeks.

I don't know how much care your h needs, but it sure sounds as if you need some time for yourself.

If you still work or are retired and can take a long vacation, short term furnished apartments aka suites can be found in many cities around the country, Marriott's Residence Inn's are one example, while a little bit of googling will find other units just about anywhere - think about Spring in Paris or Rome or Nice or Florence or Hawaii or travel to places you've always wanted to visit.

If you want to stay in your house and work many excellent nursing home, that homes offer "vacations" in short stay units. The residents of these units are recovering from surgery, falls, &c, or have various health issues that have stressed their caregivers to the breaking point. In many homes these patients are not part of the general nursing home population so it is much nicer for all parties.

Alternatively home care aides can be found in many communities through agencies that monitor the aides - do a lot of checking, this is one area where you don't want to make quick decisions.

If it turns out you and your h prosper with him a resident of a nursing home I understand Federal laws or regulations states that since "the home has the body" they have to keep him and he bypasses the waiting list if there is one. Ugly words but true, though you should check with a nursing home admissions person.

Unfortunately for most of us the price of long term care in a good nursing home is unaffordable and the rules for Medicaid assistance mean middle class spouses will spend just about every penny before the state will provide care for ill spouses. There is a lot to be said for divorce once the kids are grown.

Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

I'm sorry MWIL! I thought things were going somewhat better. The last thing I had read was about how he was responding better to how you were acting and the things you were doing, etc. What happened?
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

it's time to go when you reach the end of the rope. when you can no longer feel your feet on the ground and you've honestly tried everything you can think of short of losing your dignity. when you get real.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

When you feel you have done all you can. When you can take a step back and ask yourself, what is my payoff for continuing to live like this.

If you are tired of living like this, and you feel you have tried all you can, and you're basically spinning your wheels, then there is no real reason to stay. Love is wonderful, but in reality, it does not solve all or concur all. People can love someone and not actually be involved with them as far as being married.

I think over the years it seems you have lost yourself so much, that even though you may have days where you feel you're getting yourself back, it shouldn't be just days you feel that way, it should be consistent, and as long as you are living a yo yo lifestyle, I don't think you'll ever really feel like you have found yourself. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: When do you know it's time to go/give up?

"When do you know its time to go/give up?"


When your same struggles from years ago are still the same struggles as they are today.

I know we all have struggles, but when you're faced with pretty much the same struggles year, after year, after year, then nothing has truly changed. Change is what allows people to be able to grow and move forward. If you're not really moving forward, then nothing has changed because you're still stuck in the same situation with the same kind of issues.
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