No Nookie for You

Apparently, my second refusal of intimacy has caused my husband to reflect on his behavior the last few weeks during my most recent bout with depression. This morning, he approached me and I again turned him down. So he left and went to the gym giving him time to “reflect” and release his aggression. His findings are quite interesting and very disheartening, I must say.  More proof that I married a very self-centered man.

Let me go back for just a minute. During my last round in therapy, I was told to read a book called The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner. Great book, by the way. After I finished it, I suggested Luke read it as my therapist recommended and he did. The book discusses our roles in relationships (not just marriage but families, friendships, all relationships) and how some people over function while others might under function. I am a classic under functioner and Luke is a classic over functioner. When I’m stressed or depressed, I shut down and do nothing. Luke on the other hand tries to fix everything and do everything to make things right. Should work out nicely, right? Not so much.

He came home from the gym and wanted to talk about all this. He said he realized he had a few explosions lately and shouldn’t have. As he describes, he tries to help out around the house as much as possible and keep me free of the kids but I obviously become a bit negative (IMAGINE THAT) when I’m depressed and my comments upset him. I asked for some examples of comments and was told it was my expression of the kids driving me nuts, wishing the kids would go away, how I’d rather be somewhere else, etc. He says he tries to overlook my negativity but it builds up in him and he finally explodes. Luke also asked that I just talk to him about it when I’m depressed. He doesn’t understand why I can’t just discuss it with him and be over it. He has obviously never experienced a true depression.

I asked if he’d ever been depressed…really, really depressed. He thought back to a time after breaking up with his previous girlfriend and fighting with his best friend. I asked if he felt like talking to people about it while that was going on. He said no. I explained that when I get depressed, I just want to close up, cry, sleep, and run away. I don’t want to talk to anyone and I really don’t want to talk to anyone about what I’m feeling and thinking because it only makes me cry more. The thoughts in my head aren’t really that complex; there was some sort of trigger that made me sad and I then start to feel worthless and hopeless. When that happens to me, I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel; I don’t see a way out. And I can’t just turn it off or I most certainly would.

What I need most at that time is someone to hold me and tell me it’s ok. I need reassurance and comfort while I get through it. I need sensitivity to my state of mind but instead, I’m left alone, ignored, and finally exploded upon. He is not capable of empathy; he openly admits it. He’s not sensitive to others needs. I’m telling you, it’s worse than being alone. I feel I’m being punished for something I have no control over. So I return the punishment with the one thing I DO have control over…the nookie.


It’s back.

I feel the depression creeping in and even though I try, I can’t stop my mind from going to those dark and lonely places. The little pep talks I try to give myself don’t work; they are useless when this happens. Nothing can stop this from happening. Where is it coming from this time? I can usually find a reason…a historical date from my past most times.  I suddenly found myself thinking about my mother last night and started to tear up as I was doing the dinner dishes. Thankfully, I got the kids in bed and managed to fall asleep on the couch.

My last episode happened during the summer when I was at the beach. Understandable. I was in my mother’s home. And a few conversations with girlfriends later, there I was in an unstoppable crying fit. Luckily, my kids either don’t notice or completely ignore it.

Anyway, I push through and wait for it to pass.