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Merry's picture

DH landed in the emergency room a couple of days ago due to physical manifestation of anxiety. It was scary. He's home, but still not ok. We see his psychiatrist today. Mental health disorders are a real thing.

He's always struggled with anxiety, but never anything remotely like this. He's coping with age-related changes, and that's been hard for him, for us both. Then last weekend we had to have a hard discussion about the things that *I* need to cope with his changes and the things going on in my own life. I love the man, but I feel like I'm losing myself to deal with all the things he needs right now, and that's not good for either of us.

The hardest part of the discussion was visiting his kids over the holidays. I think that is the one topic I post here about the most, and we've never solved it. But I just don't have the physical or emotional capacity this year, and I know it. So I broached the topic calmly and lovingly and offered alternatives to us going to visit them. They can come here. Or we can rent an air bnb midway between us and Skidville. It can be before or after the actual holiday, I don't care--I'm just not going somewhere I'm not welcome and have to suck it up so that everybody else is happy. DH understood and said he'd talk with them about alternative plans.

And then the very next day he's in the hospital due to anxiety. I can't help but think it's related. I don't even know if he spoke with SD or SS yet -- I sort of doubt it.

The whole thing makes me so sad.


missgingersnap2021's picture

I sometimes think my DH keeps so much inside because he's so freaking scared to have any type confrontation with his ex-wife or his daughter that it's causing him mental stress. Course then he keeps so much in and then blows up at me I become his emotional punching bag. 

I mean seriously you're just trying to suggest some alternative plans.  it's not like you're saying you hate them you never wanna see them and you expect your husband not to see them either.

Crr18's picture

I am sorry to hear he was in the hospital. Anxiety is not a joke it out me the hospital too. He should confront what is bothering him. Missgnger snap my SOnis like yours. He has high anxiety but will not do anything to make the drama stop with ex and skids but he probably won't be hospitalized because like you he just takes it out on me as his release.

CLove's picture

I think its related, but not as directly. Its probably a whole host of things. Hes keeping things bottled up, and hit a wall.

Husband has a hard time dealing with emotions and its not confined to child and ex related. It anything thats "hard".

Im sorry you are going through this. I too am having a hard time thinking of holidays. And its only october.

Merry's picture

I'm sure it's a lot of things. And sometimes he's his own worst enemy--running from problems instead of fixing them.

justmakingthebest's picture

Every year, instead of the holiday's being a joyful time, it is just stress. This year might be different now since SS will be 18 and has refused to speak to DH in about a year and a half. I am hoping he doesn't even get brought up. 

I'm sorry that your husband experienced that level of an anxiety attack, it breaks your heart to watch your spouse go through some thing like that. I think you are making the right call about the skids coming to you or meeting in "neutral territory". Hopefully after this year and your DH seeing that is is less stressful, it will be better from here out. 

Merry's picture

It's  not like I don't want him to see his kids. I do. I've suggested he take a week and go see them without  me. He would never do that and now he can't travel by himself. Not sure if that's a permanent limitation or not.

SS recently drove across country to attend his best friend's wedding. He was within a couple hours of our house. He didn't even stop or ask us to meet him for a meal as they passed through. DH dismisses it but I know he's hurt. THAT's what I'm dealing with. They'll spend time with DH, but on their terms and at their convenience.

halo1998's picture

Like your DH DH is now experiencing anxiety, etc. Why...because he can no longer use things to escape.  I'm sorry this is hard for you and your DH. 

My own DH I think has yet to deal with the GWR up and leaving.  He finally admitted he should have gotten therapy way back when GWR started down the path that he is on and perhaps we would'nt be dealing with things now.  I hurt for DH everytime he thinks about how GWR just up and left DH in the dust.  

Kudos to you for recognizing that you don't have the capacity to deal with the holidays this year.   

Rags's picture

as I forecast they would.  DW is working through her version of that epiphany as well.,

For me, as a mainly surface focused person, I do not go deep in why someone may be asking for something or in what they may think or feel about my answer.

Full disclosure, that does bite me occassionally.  I tend to be a "i will look into it and let  you know what we can do" person.  I do not bombard a request with quesitons or put much thought into it other than to do what I said I would do.

My DW, is a deep dive analysis type person.  As is my #2 at work.  

DW and I have figured out how to talk through it and have a balance that works for us.

My #2 and I are still figuring that out.

His philosophy is actually proving to drive fewer questions and misalignments.

This old dog is working on some new tricks.

I hope your DH can figure out a few new tricks as well, to help with his anxieties.


ESMOD's picture

I would really advocate for even if the kids come to your area.. that the actual celebration stuff happens at a local restaurant etc.. no need for them to come and take over your home. 

In the end.. every one is an adult.. they have to know that there is not a great dynamic with you too.. and I would actually be for proactively initiating (through your DH).. an alternate date celebration with his kids.. for a nice meal.. and gift exchange etc.. let everyone have the actual day to deal with other obligations.


Hope your Husband makes out ok.. it's scary when you end up in the hospital.. and in the end.. his health and well being are the most important.  Maybe helping him make a decision by suggesting the "best" option and planning logistics behind the scenes on his behalf would be ok?

Merry's picture

Good advice. But his kids are actually pretty good houseguests, and SD parents her children well. Our house is big enough with enough ongoing projects that I can escape if I need to, and there are always those work emergencies. And DH and I both enjoy cooking for a crowd. So having them underfoot isn't really the problem. Maybe they don't enjoy it, just like I don't enjoy being at their place.

I'm lucky in that his kids aren't awful and banned from my home and my life. Things are generally civilized, and I can live with that.


Birchclimber's picture

I am so sorry to read this Merry.  How incredibly stressful for you.  I hope that he regains his mental health or at least finds good coping skills to help him through this.  I hope that you find some respite as well.  It's a tough road. 

The holidays are the worst.  They come with expectations of happiness and festivity.  All I feel as they approach, is a dark cloud looming overhead.  I used to love the holidays.  I would shop at my favourite stores, for the people that I love, who love me back!  I looked forward to putting on my Sunday Best to go visiting! 

Now the holidays has been reduced to a strange and awkward dance of which family obligation must we fulfill first.  How do we handle this...or that...?  To Gift, or not to gift?  Money or nothing?  Do I go, or do we "separate" for the day.  So many decisions to make.   It's a small wonder that anxiety becomes the norm this time of year. 

I keep asking myself, "When will we be able to enjoy the holidays without, guilt, anger, anxiety, disappointment, uncertainty?"  I've been asking myself that for 3 decades, and I still don't have the answer.  Every year the same issues arise.  But one thing that I do know; I'm not alone.

We hear you, Merry.  Big Hugs.

Merry's picture

Same. I used to love the holidays.

Before I lost my parents, some years we would make trips to see both his family and mine. Our families are states away, so it meant flying. If we couldn't swing both any given year, we went to his family. Because the GRANDCHILDREN. You can see how resentment builds.


Cover1W's picture

Merry - as our DHs are so similar I can tell you my DH had a panic / anxiety attack several years ago that led to him getting physically ill and just so out of it and stammering. After I figured out he wasn't actually having a heart attack or was about to jump out a window I sat with him. Then I called his counsellor and they spoke the next day.

Very scary and glad you can help him.

Merry's picture

Cover, our lives do have some weird similarities!

The doc we saw today doesn't agree with the diagnosis from the ER, so now we make the rounds of docs. Just great.

It makes me even more adamant that I'm going to take care of myself. We can't both be broken at the same time. Back to practicing gratitude.

Stepdrama2020's picture

Sorry for all of this.

You need to look after yourself too. 

Release any skid drama into the air. Right now your focus is you and DH. Dont even worry about the holidays. 

Hope DH's tests are ok. Stress has a way of affecting our health.