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Why Depressed Men Leave #263017
11/02/12 12:54 AM
11/02/12 12:54 AM
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PEEKSKILL NY
Rich57 Offline OP
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by John Folk-Williams
Quote:
About a year ago, I wrote a series of posts about my experience with the fantasies of a better life that often prompt depressed men to leave their families.

LINK

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: Rich57] #263020
11/02/12 01:23 AM
11/02/12 01:23 AM
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That is an interesting article, Rich.

I especially liked this part -

"If you only show the loving support, you cant deal with the destructive behavior. If you only hold him accountable and condemn what hes doing, hell feel shamed without any sense of empowerment on how to connect with his better half.

When I was in a prolonged depression and undermining my relationship, it was important to get this dual message from my partner. Its not an easy one to give or receive since it depends on a combination of love, accountability and enough shock to break through the defensive exterior of blame and withdrawal."

I knew my husband was depressed before he had his affair. I begged him to get treatment, and expressed to him that I was afraid he might make poor choices because of his depression. He refused to see a doctor. We used to talk in bed at night, and he always told me that he promised that things would get better. They didn't. He relieved his depression by having an affair.



"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: believer] #263034
11/02/12 02:23 AM
11/02/12 02:23 AM
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This was what happened with my ex. He reported being depressed for a year before he left. He refused to get help and just became more withdrawn. His fantasy online affair gave him hope for a magic fix. It wasn't him anymore. The problem became me.

I believe my current H is depressed and chooses the anger route instead.


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: Misty] #263050
11/02/12 12:15 PM
11/02/12 12:15 PM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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J has always had a tendency toward depression. His way of dealing with it, however, was to make it my job to make sure he felt better, or to make sure he didn't have to do anything while depressed. Unfortunately I enabled that way too often. Then I became depressed and depleted...along with every bit of our savings and retirement while he lost jobs, etc.

I have bipolar disorder, so I understand depression very very well. However, I have watched my MIL basically spend her life tiptoeing around and catering to her FIL's moods. Several years ago when she had the chance to visit her Italian relatives, he said it was fine for her to go. Then once she got overseas with a ticket that couldn't be changed, he went into a "depression" and sat around with his shotgun in his lap talking about how he missed her and didn't want to live if she was gone. SELFISH.

I have been depressed enough to take a huge bag of pills and end up in the hospital. And that was selfish too. I have empathy for depression. I do not think it is someone else's job, however, to dedicate their lives to making me feel okay or allowing me to vegetate on the couch while the bills don't get paid.

If a man who is depressed has the wherewithal to take the action to leave, then he has the wherewithal to get something done about his depression. That may sound uncaring, and I do not mean it that way. But prolonged depression that goes untreated while the family falls apart, begging a man to get help.....well, there comes a time when the man is accountable for that too. I enabled for so long I think J literally became incapable of self-soothing or having any sort of intrinsic motivation, and it (along with several other things) helped kill our marriage.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: herfuturesbright] #263057
11/02/12 02:12 PM
11/02/12 02:12 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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My depression often motivates me to want to run away. But I know the answer is not "out there", but rather is inside me. Or would be, if I were looking to find a cure. My depression is untreated. I know it is killing my career and my marriage and negatively affecting my children. And still I do nothing. It really stinks to be a masochistic depressed person. In a wierd way, I revel in the pain.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: holdingontoit] #263068
11/02/12 03:14 PM
11/02/12 03:14 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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i agree with herf.

at some point, it's the person's responsibility to seek help for their depression. i'm not singling you out holdingontoit, but i can understand when someone is unaware of their depression (and i believe sometimes this can happen) .. but it's another thing when you *know* you're depressed and you choose to stay stuck?! like what dr. phil says .. what is the pay off for staying in that comfortable depression?

it's just like getting through a divorce. people can only help you so much and at some point, you need to want to come out the other end.

you have always had a choice and you've chosen to stay stuck. you have the choice to get help, to get unstuck.

when depressed men choose to leave their marriage, it's no different from any WS .. they simply don't want to do the hard work to turn things around. digging yourself out of depression is hard work. just like the work in making a marriage work.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: D4MIL] #263096
11/02/12 05:55 PM
11/02/12 05:55 PM
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idontunderstand Offline
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I suffered from depression for years but was never diagnosed and simply thought it was -

Getting older
More responsibilities
NEVER enough money
Working too much
Not being appreciated at work

You get the point. The list could go on for pages. Co-dependency was a big factor, too and I had no idea what it even was.

When it started affecting my sex life, it got worse. I mean, I couldn't talk to her about it. Like she wouldn't notice anything. It was all just stress and would pass. No big deal.

Of course it is a big deal. Meds and therapy have helped. Now I am working through the feelings of guilt and feeling like its all my fault. If I would have asked for help, if I would have talked to my W...that's the last thing I wanted to do. It was admitting weakness.

Worked out well.



M 15 yrs
D 9-13



Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: idontunderstand] #263097
11/02/12 06:01 PM
11/02/12 06:01 PM
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Good for you! For some reason, many men prefer to try to tough it out and not seek help.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: believer] #263098
11/02/12 06:07 PM
11/02/12 06:07 PM
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But I did try to tough it out. It wasn't until after the bomb and my world was literally falling apart that I went for help.

I never thought of leaving. Yeah, things were boring, sex was boring, life was boring...

She was already gone.


M 15 yrs
D 9-13



Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: idontunderstand] #263099
11/02/12 06:08 PM
11/02/12 06:08 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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Quote:
I suffered from depression for years but was never diagnosed and simply thought it was -

Getting older
More responsibilities
NEVER enough money
Working too much
Not being appreciated at work

You get the point. The list could go on for pages. Co-dependency was a big factor, too and I had no idea what it even was.

When it started affecting my sex life, it got worse. I mean, I couldn't talk to her about it. Like she wouldn't notice anything. It was all just stress and would pass. No big deal.

this is what i mean by "people sometimes aren't aware that it's depression". but you can see .. he was trying to figure out what it was.

Quote:
Of course it is a big deal. Meds and therapy have helped. Now I am working through the feelings of guilt and feeling like its all my fault.

i applaud you for seeking help. an example of someone who now knows what it is and doing something about it.

Quote:
If I would have asked for help, if I would have talked to my W...that's the last thing I wanted to do. It was admitting weakness.

they call that 'shame'.
but really, asking for help is an act of courage.

i hope it's helping you, idu.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: D4MIL] #263100
11/02/12 06:27 PM
11/02/12 06:27 PM
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idontunderstand Offline
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Thanks, D4.

Much work left to be done. Still a lot of times I want to curl up in a ball & not face anything.


M 15 yrs
D 9-13



Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: idontunderstand] #263103
11/02/12 07:04 PM
11/02/12 07:04 PM
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D4MIL Offline
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Quote:
Much work left to be done. Still a lot of times I want to curl up in a ball & not face anything.

i don't doubt you on that .. it's a long process for sure. but the sooner you start, the better .. it's never too late.

even i've learned that you will fall backwards but it's important to keep moving ahead and working at it.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: D4MIL] #263107
11/02/12 07:23 PM
11/02/12 07:23 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Keep working it IDU. Be brave. Every time you refuse to curl up it is a triumph.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: holdingontoit] #263110
11/02/12 08:41 PM
11/02/12 08:41 PM
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hold, i hope you see what idu is trying to do and i hope you get there one day as well and not 'revel in the depression/pain'.


Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: D4MIL] #263112
11/02/12 08:53 PM
11/02/12 08:53 PM
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for to fade Offline
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frown sorry idu

at least have hot cocoa there by you

the evil toe tapper was wrong all the way

you can lay there sideways and look at your cocoa

it was all her not you

Last edited by Tinkerbell; 11/02/12 08:55 PM.
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: ] #263149
11/03/12 04:46 PM
11/03/12 04:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
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I
idontunderstand Offline
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Lol, Tink! You remember the toe tapping.

Hold - I'll have to think on the depressed masochistic thing. That sounds terrible but is an oddly apt way to describe those hopeless, helpless feelings. I do understand.


M 15 yrs
D 9-13



Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: idontunderstand] #263159
11/03/12 10:04 PM
11/03/12 10:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
This may sound harsh....

When a masochist realizes that his/her pain is hurting others and continues to bask in it....

He then becomes a sadist.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: herfuturesbright] #263171
11/04/12 10:19 AM
11/04/12 10:19 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,285
PEEKSKILL NY
Rich57 Offline OP
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I hope everyone found this link interesting.
Mr Williams the author of this book is following us on social media.

I would like to invite him to join in our discussion.

Comments?

Last edited by Rich57; 11/04/12 10:20 AM.
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: Rich57] #263200
11/04/12 10:58 PM
11/04/12 10:58 PM
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CityGirl Offline
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This is going to sound sexist. I don't know how else to say it so I'll just admit this *does* sound sexist.

I think clinical depression in men is very different and potentially more dangerous than clinical depression in women.

Men seem to be far more skilled at compartmentalizing things. And once you start compartmentalizing depression it becomes awfully familiar. It becomes way too easy to operate under a cloud of clinical depression. Men tend to be more "black and white" than woman therefore they quickly develop (unhealthy) coping mechanisms to keep the depression in the compartment. Eventually though it becomes impossible to function like that and something has to give.

I also believe that men are less likely to get help for depression because it's viewed as weak. What they don't realize is the depression is making them weak.

I see man after man come through our therapist office deeply depressed or so riddled with anxiety it's amazing they are still standing. And so many of them act ashamed they are there.

I'm not sure if it's because I've surrounded myself with healthy women who have a clear idea of where they are at or what but men aren't nearly as open to talking and sharing what depression is. Even in our support group (very safe, very laid back, no pressure, very nice people, relaxed environment) it's like pulling teeth.

Men tend to be fixers (more than women) so it makes sense they feel the fix for their unhappiness is a new life and not tweaks to themselves or their current life.

Man or woman depression is an enticing partner. It's a horrible way to live but it does become the familiar way to live. It's like being lost hundreds of miles at sea. You might be scared, alone, hungry, cold and at your wits end but somehow it feels manageable. Even if you can see the shore and you know life will be easier once you get out of the water it just seems too hard to make the swim.

Its a testament to how complex the human mind is though. My therapist says people, without even thinking about it, come up with masterful (and very unhealthy) ways to manage depression and anxiety. If we could be WELL and use that brainpower then we most likely would be unstoppable.


Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: CityGirl] #263211
11/04/12 11:49 PM
11/04/12 11:49 PM
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I agree, CG. I've been depressed a couple times in my life, and after putting it off, sought help. I've had lots of female friends that have done the same.

A lot of men don't do that. And I agree that men tend to be fixers, and instead of fixing themselves, they prefer to move on to what they think will be a new, better life.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: believer] #263217
11/05/12 12:21 AM
11/05/12 12:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
After reading Rich's last post, I started thinking about J. He never left the family (he needed us). But he did this when jobs got tough or careers weren't working out. He didn't really leave. He just kind of...gave up and stopped trying, which led to him being asked to resign, etc. It was like once it got to a certain point of being overwhelming, he just became powerless. I do confess that the first time it happened I so felt for him and really tried to build him up and be supportive.....by the third time and after the 8 years of school that followed, I think I had reached my own limit.

Luckily J was not afraid to ask for meds, but he did not really want to do any work....just a pill, which isn't really enough to beat the depression.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: herfuturesbright] #263226
11/05/12 01:26 AM
11/05/12 01:26 AM
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I really wonder how many people are prescribed medication for depression and believe that is all they need to do in order to feel better.

I am wholly against general dr's prescribing ANY sort of medication for depression or anxiety. I am WHOLLY in support of GP's making an initial evaluation and helping the patient find the right sort of dr that specializes in depression/anxiety. Depression/anxiety meds are passed out like candy by GP's and no further support is given. There isn't any other condition that a GP wouldn't recommend a specialist. I will never understand why depression and/or anxiety is not treated with the same urgency and specialized care. Isn't the whole point of a GP to keep your overall health in check, spot problems and refer you to a specialized dr to treat the problems that don't fall under "general"?

My friend recently got Xanax from her GP because she made ONE complaint about being overwhelmed and feeling a little anxious and down. Never mind that Xanax can be highly addictive. Never mind the dr didn't ask WHAT was going on in her life that was causing her to feel bad and never mind NO follow up was scheduled. It's just dangerous IMO.

The pill is ONE tool. It's an important tool and the tool that may get the ball rolling but it's not the cure.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: CityGirl] #263232
11/05/12 02:37 AM
11/05/12 02:37 AM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
AMEN

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: CityGirl] #263328
11/06/12 02:53 AM
11/06/12 02:53 AM
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CG, your comments reflect a lot of typical patterns of male depression. It does tend to be very different - several good books have been written on the topic. Anger and externalizing are common - "what is wrong with YOU?" rather than looking inward for answers.

Ultimately though, a committed spouse will not allow any threat to the marriage to run rampant, whether it's depression or anything else. Depression can become an excuse for CB and spouses of the depression need to ensure that they do not become enablers.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: flowmom] #263458
11/07/12 03:44 PM
11/07/12 03:44 PM
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Mentally ill people, men inculded, aren't particully known to make the most rational and well-reasoned decisions. Sometimes the depressed brain finds it difficult to make any decison at all. Women use healtcare much more often than men. Perhaps that is part of the reason why they tend to live longer. But, we are different, us men and women, and to expect men to act like women is . . . well . . .



What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. ~ John Ruskin
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: Comfortably Numb] #263468
11/07/12 04:41 PM
11/07/12 04:41 PM
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The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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I agree that men should not act like women....I think that whole "men and women should act like each other"...crud....has already done enough damage. One thing that a man typically is, however, is a fixer, a problem solver. So I have to think that once they know their depression is a problem....they'd be motivated to fix it.

Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: herfuturesbright] #264803
11/15/12 06:06 PM
11/15/12 06:06 PM
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I think developing coping skills is essential. I was reading today about children who have parents who do everything for them and thus develop learned helplessness, they underachieve and feel powerless to change...anyway in one paragraph it noted that treating depressed kids who lack coping skills by medicating them just gives you medicated kids who lack coping skills. Same goes for adults, I'd wager.


Me: 36

ex: 37

Together 18 years, married 12.5

Kids: S 9, D 5

Divorced: Feb 2010

Moving on and embracing my future!
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: Comfortably Numb] #265032
11/16/12 11:29 PM
11/16/12 11:29 PM
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I saw this today, about the book "I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression"

"I would like very much to be able to forgive myself for what I've done to my marriage. I'd love to leave all of the crap that I've allowed to define me in the dust and live my life as a happy, accepting and authentic man. I spend so much of my time thinking about exactly that.
I have not lived up to the typical male ideals of achievement. I'm not enormously successful. I have no history of scholastic or athletic excellence. I'm not a genius. What I am is an artist, specifically a musician. If I could support myself playing music, even if it meant a reduction in my quality of life, I would, and without a moment's hesitation. The problem is, I'm not that good a musician either. I'm OK. I'm a pretty good composer, a pretty good vocalist and a mediocre instrumentalist. Not good enough to do studio work, not creative enough to be a professional songwriter, just kind of middle-of-the-road.

The problem with being an artist is that society, especially male society, does not value artists that are not exceptionally talented. I have no desire to be a competitive, achievement-oriented, career-driven alpha male type, but I do have to survive in that environment. I have to make a living. Among other men, I am a target. I want to learn to not care about that. I want to be me, and to be accepted for that.

Men are taught from a young age that their output determines their value. We admire the star quarterback, the astronaut, the "manly" types. We size each other up in social situations. It's sad. "Is he richer than me? Is he more fit? Does he have a bigger dick?" We allow the bullshinola that society has taught us to define our self-worth. Mine was defined as lacking at a young age. I was fat. Not athletic at all, not an achiever. Braces, glasses, the works. When I first became interested in girls, I would quickly get shot down. Sure, the braces came off, the glasses came off, I lost some weight, but those first experiences stuck. By the age of 14 I already thought of myself as something less than other boys.

I started playing in bands in my late teens. It was a great outlet for me. It was also a lot of fun and we made a little money at it. That was the most healthy outlet I've ever had and it did wonders for my self-esteem at the time. Girls started to become interested in me because of the bands. That became the unhealthy outlet for me. One night stands were common among musicians. That was a self-esteem boost also. I'm not convinced that I broke a lot of hearts, but I'm sure I hurt some feelings along the way.

When the woman who was to become my first wife turned out to be pregnant, I stopped playing in bands and put my effort into providing for a family. I gave up playing music, my only healthy outlet, to start doing what a man does - provide. I gave up such a huge part of myself for my new family that I began to resent both my wife and my son. I'm ashamed of that. My son deserved a lot better from me than what he got.

Opportunities to perform music were few and far between, so I went toward my unhealthy coping mechanism and had an affair in my first marriage. I was self-medicating. I betrayed my family and myself for a quick fix and never sought to understand why, leaving me in the same state of mind when that marriage ended. I continued to try to be achievement oriented attained a certain amount of success in the field that I ended up in, but it's not where I've ever wanted to be, so it would certainly never be enough, leading me to repeat the pattern in my current marriage.

I've recently been reading about covert depression in men and it's really struck a chord with me. I've never felt like part of the traditional male society. My worth as a man has, in my mind, been nearly non-existent because of the subtle messages sent by my parents, the women I've been involved with, the men around me, even ads in magazines or on TV, hell, even TV shows and movies themselves, have told me that I don't have the traits that they define as masculine. I started recieving this message as early as I can remember, and I've allowed it to define wht I feel about myself. I have likely been living in a constant state of subtle depression for a large part of my life. What's worse, I've passed it on to my own son.

A common thread of covert depression is that men will withdraw and self-medicate instead of engaging in the more "feminine" coping mechanism of reaching out to loved ones and being vulnerable, which is, of course, the healthier way to deal with it. The very definition of communication and asking for help as feminine makes it an undesireable means of coping for a man who feels that his masculinity is in question. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of damaging one's own self.

I have now reached a point where I understand all of this. It makes perfet sense. I am ashamed to have let myself become this, and I'm especially ashamed of the actions that it led to and the amount of damage I've done to my wife and my marriage. I recognize that my self-worth should be defined by me, but I'm not there yet. I can't see myself as worthwhile yet. I can't forgive myself for my actions yet.

I'm struggling to accept who I am. I have to be OK with myself. I think it's possible. I can reach a point where these societal expectations of "manhood" have no bearing on how I feel about myself. I just need to remind myself not to engage in that harmful thinking whenever it happens. That I can do. What hurts my self-worth now is the things I've done, the things I can't take back. Because I couldn't love myself, I've caused pain to those I love. Because I couldn't love myself, I've made it hard for others to love me. It's so difficult to feel like I deserve love, since the love I've given seems to no longer have value.

Acceptance is more complicated than I thought. Shame and guilt are debilitating emotions. My shame and guilt are now based on something real, my actions, and not some bullshinola social expectations of "manhood." That's not much comfort, but it's something."

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=477444


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: believer] #265040
11/17/12 12:39 AM
11/17/12 12:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,334
Wonderland
20yrsdone Offline
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20yrsdone  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,334
Wonderland
The term Melty Man comes to mind as the same bullshinola.


Accept what is,
Let go of what was
and have faith in what will be.
Re: Why Depressed Men Leave [Re: 20yrsdone] #265044
11/17/12 12:57 AM
11/17/12 12:57 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 20,616
B
believer Offline
Member
believer  Offline
Member
B
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 20,616
I thought about that, 20....... And I do believe that is part of the problem. I've always admired the men here who tried to fight for their marriage, wanted to raise their children in an intact home, and didn't go all crazy over an affront to their masculinity. We've got a lot of them here.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
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