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Ridiculous Argument With My Wife Has Sent Me Into a Downward Spiral - Been In Bed For Days

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Disenchanted

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Apr 3, 2015
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Ridiculous Argument With My Wife Has Sent Me Into a Downward Spiral - Been In Bed For Days

(LONG post ahead, turn back while you can!)

Hi everyone,

I've had a really rough last few days where I have mostly been bedridden. I've mostly been feeling numb and that I don't want to 'infect' anyone else with my negativity and misery. I hope you don't mind; I thought posting here would help me to get things off my chest a bit. I have literally nobody else to talk about it with; certainly nobody I'd feel comfortable talking about it with, anyway.

I'll try and keep my backstory short: I've suffered with anxiety my entire life (I honestly think I had it while I was in the womb), with some elements of OCD. I believe this has usually been the catalyst for the bouts of depression I've had. I had the worst of these bouts between my early and late twenties. During that time, I tried anti-depressants for a while and even some counselling - both individual and couples counselling with my wife. I hated the side-effects of anti-depressants so came off them after a few months, and the counselling had mixed results. Quite frankly, I felt like the individual counsellor just reassured me and didn't help me come up with any long-term coping skills. The couples counselling had a more positive long-term impact. Well....we're still together 8 years later, but things aren't perfect....more on that later.

I actually didn't fully realise the impact anxiety has had on me until it started manifesting itself in panic attacks and health anxiety a couple of years ago. It was only then that I reached the conclusion that it was actually at the root of all my mental health problems. Like I said, I think I was born with it, but certain things in my past have exacerbated it, like being mentally abused for years at school. (I'm in my mid-thirties now).

In the latter part of 2013, I thought I'd give yet another self-help book (I never really stuck with any others) a go. This one (The Happiness Trap) was different in its (ACT - Acceptance Commitment Therapy) approach and seemed to really resonate with me. I started reading it during a difficult time in my household (wife had just suffered a really bad episode, she's bipolar) and over the next few weeks I found myself gaining much more peace of mind. Unfortunately, my health anxiety (this was triggered off by a stomach inflammation problem I developed earlier in the year) still remained, but a few months later I went to my Doctor (for the first time in close to a decade) with a whole list of physical and mental issues :redface:

He prescribed me Propranolol, and even though I was concerned about taking something that 'messed with' my heart, it really helped. I'm quite quick to get frustrated, but taking that lessened this. However, it came at a price. When I got sick with a cough, it would be really bad....and eventually, a few months later, my childhood asthma came back. I could barely breathe and was shocked when my Doctor told me that Propranolol exacerbates breathing issues in the chest. He told me to immediately stop taking it, so I did.

Throughout all this, my marriage and general family life (we have a son) has mostly been strong. With both of us having mental health problems, the first 8 years or so were difficult at times, but the next few years were, on the whole, very good. In fact, we hadn't had anything I would even describe as an argument since September 2013. That was until last Saturday :low:

Our son usually goes to his grandparents and stays the night on Saturdays, so we often have date nights. Sometimes we have a glass (or bottle(s) :redface: ) of wine and spend some quality time together. Without going into details, last Saturday was the first time we'd spent a specific kind ( :p ) of quality time together in 3-4 weeks, so I'd been really looking forward to it and had no reason to think anything would go 'wrong'.

Halfway through our evening, things are going great. We're chatting, having a laugh....and my wife says something that REALLY caught me off-guard. She thought I said something (that I consider) really disturbing. I've come this far, I might as well say what it was.....we were talking about food (she said she was really hungry and hadn't eaten much for dinner) and I said 'You're going to send a delivery guy through that?!' meaning the heavy rain outside. She was like 'what?!' She then said she thought I said something about having a threesome with the delivery guy.

(Wow does this sound ridiculous typed out. Please forgive me :unsure: )

I was seriously taken aback by this. Firstly, what I said sounds nothing like that. So I asked her why on earth she would EVER think I would say something like that. She said she didn't know, and began to get really defensive. She then said she was going downstairs to get away from me. This is where I really let myself down and caused things to escalate. I went downstairs after her. We went back and forth until she said she wanted to go to a hotel. She went for the front door and I got in the way. This was purely for her own safety. She planned on walking to the bus stop at 11pm on a Saturday night. I said if she called a taxi, I'd be okay with her going to a hotel if that's what she wanted.

Then she decided she'd ask my parents if she could go there (they live very close by). So she called them, and she was really exaggerating the way I was being and the severity of the situation. She denies it, but I still think she was doing this to get under my skin. She knows this is a touch subject for me, one because I don't feel I get enough respect from my parents (particularly in relation to my brother), and two because an unpleasant family member of hers who was staying with us once went there and talked (untrue) crap about me.

For a second, I saw red and went to grab the phone from her so I could give my parents a less biased account of what happened. I'd had a few drinks though, and it didn't occur to me that I had a wineglass in my hand. The wineglass broke (I didn't know until she told me) when she wouldn't leave go of the phone and resulted in both our hands getting cut a little. Of course, this only made her get more mad and she stormed off to my parents. I stupidly continued drinking while she was there and we went back and forth in texts. Some of mine were condescending, but (as she does in these situations) hers were threatening divorce and basically saying what a loser I am and she doesn't know why she's stayed with me so long :cry:

When she came back on Sunday, we kept our distance. On the evening, I made sure to completely hold my hands up, take responsibility and apologise for my part in things. It didn't do a lot of good, though. She insisted on sleeping on the sofa. And she STILL couldn't explain where on earth her comment came from. Even now she can't.

Since then, I've spent most of my time in bed feeling depressed and like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. But also, I feel like it's the best thing, as it minimises the chances of more stress. And, quite frankly, I just want to be on my own away from the BS. She was mostly accepting of this, but today she has started to get really frustrated with me. Even saying something like 'if you're not a full part of the family, we might get used to it'.

Here's the thing - I'm so frustrated that something so innocuous could develop into an argument like that then results in me suffering a depressive episode like this. But here's perhaps the worst part. Her comment is a brand new intrusive thought. I've had a few of them over the years, but eventually dealt with them (particularly with ACT). I'm so mentally weak at the moment, though, that I can't seem to shake this one off or just accept it. I'm a very traditional kind of guy and am concerned that she wants to do something like what she said (or thought I said). The fact she can't explain where it even came from only makes me worry more. What if she has these unfulfilled desires she won't share with me?

Until last Saturday, I had absolutely no reason to think she'd be into something like that. We met online and she told me pretty much everything about her (more colourful than mine) past and her desires/fantasies back then, and nothing since then (we have had a healthy sex life where we've always talked openly) has led me to believe she'd be into something like that. But what if she is? If she is, I'd rather just know. I feel like this thought is going to haunt me for a long time to come....because there's no explanation for where it came from. By now, I'm sure we'd be okay....but there's this dark 'what if?' question in my mind. Maybe I don't know her as well as I thought?

If you've read all this, thank you.....and you have my sympathy for doing so. I'm scared to re-read it, as I can't even imagine how pathetic I sound. I just had to get it off my chest, though. Sorry :low:
 
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D

Disenchanted

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Forgot to add, she is in the next room with my son laughing, joking, singing. I feel like this is partly really insensitive, partly designed to get under my skin and part of some 'I don't care!' facade. Ugh :low:

Edit: Just asked my son to close the door and she made a snide 'don't want to disturb him' comment. So frustrated.
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time. Would it be worth re reading that book that you found so helpful? Sorry I'm not much help. Hope things improve soon.
 
T

The greene

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I often feel my partner is deliberately toying with my emotions like this. I tend to immerse myself in something really interesting or if I can face it I leave the house to get some head space. Anything to distract until I can be calm enough to deal with that sort of pressure. Hope it gets fixed soon.
 
D

Disenchanted

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Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time. Would it be worth re reading that book that you found so helpful? Sorry I'm not much help. Hope things improve soon.
I often feel my partner is deliberately toying with my emotions like this. I tend to immerse myself in something really interesting or if I can face it I leave the house to get some head space. Anything to distract until I can be calm enough to deal with that sort of pressure. Hope it gets fixed soon.
Thank you both for the kind replies, I really appreciate it :)

I think I hit rock bottom last night. But eventually, my wife and I did talk things out. It helped, but I still feel depressed. It's going to take time to lift myself out of this funk.

With the book I mentioned, I never actually finished it :redface: I put into practice some of the principles and exercises, and was feeling so much better then I stupidly thought I didn't have to stick with it day-in and day-out. Big mistake. I'm going to start it again from the beginning and practice what it teaches every single day. I simply have to if I don't want to be in this state again. I'm also going to consider asking my doctor if I can go back on Propranolol.
 
H

Haley

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That book sounds really good for you. You say you don't know where her strange thought came from. I think it came from the Alcohol and her subconscious. All manner and kind of garbage resides in our subconscious. What she thinks she heard is NOT to be blamed on her conscious mind. You were drinking. You can have hallucinations on alcohol. Your self esteem was hurt by an alcohol induced subconscious hearing 'mistake'. Then your egos carry on this nasty banter for days. None of it is real. The only way out is love and regard for the other person. Where do you think the root of your depression comes from?? Where did you get this lack of self esteem that causes you to go to bed when something strange is said by a drunk person? The fear of losing your wife may actually cause you to lose your wife.
 
D

Disenchanted

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2015
Messages
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That book sounds really good for you. You say you don't know where her strange thought came from. I think it came from the Alcohol and her subconscious. All manner and kind of garbage resides in our subconscious. What she thinks she heard is NOT to be blamed on her conscious mind. You were drinking. You can have hallucinations on alcohol. Your self esteem was hurt by an alcohol induced subconscious hearing 'mistake'. Then your egos carry on this nasty banter for days. None of it is real. The only way out is love and regard for the other person. Where do you think the root of your depression comes from?? Where did you get this lack of self esteem that causes you to go to bed when something strange is said by a drunk person? The fear of losing your wife may actually cause you to lose your wife.
I appreciate the reply :)

And yeah, these are all things I need to look at. I feel like I'm defective and need to work hard at fixing all the issues that makes me so. But I'm determined to do so.
 
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