Feeling dreadful after therapy

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I am not sure what's next. In recent months my partner hasn't wanted couples therapy, but things have reached a crisis a second time (unless I ignore it, in which case we can pretend it's not a crisis) - the first time is what prompted me to see the lady therapist in the first place.

The background is that the woman I love and I got together with 8 years ago with a huge compatibility that we want to be 'child-free'. My preference caused me to lose two previous long-term girlfriends, and I suppose at most 10% of women are willing to have that lifestyle by choice: so that is a huge force in my mind, keeping me in the relationship no matter what. But that's only as well as all the good times we've had, and there have been many. People tell me she's as good looking as a movie star, and I notice she turns heads in public - okay I have to admit that's nice, but what makes me happiest about her is her affectionate side, her jokes and hiking or biking together in nature and our interesting conversations that can carry on for hours like Before Sunrise or something. She happens to be smart, with a masters degree from a good university, and until 1 year ago had a huge salary in a corporate job - which she lost due to Covid. It had burned her out.

Over the past couple of years she has become aggressive, unpredictable and sometimes shocking. She has had bulimia for decades, which is associated with other disorders such as bipolar and NPD (especially 'vulnerable' rather than 'grandiose') but she has not been diagnosed for these latter two. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which has behavioral symptoms that are difficult for other people, such as depression, irritability, hostility and paranoia. She has been on thyroid medication, antidepressants and in CBT for about six months but I haven't noticed a huge improvement. She has been unemployed for a year (and refuses to apply for work on the grounds that the hypothyroidism causes cognitive impairment, so she can't write applications). She lives rent free in my apartment and rents out her own, which covers her mortgage.

Of course, I have wondered whether she has changed her mind about children. She has said over the last couple of years that she would rather be married, which was a new development. I am wealthier than her and she has also said she wants me to transfer her half my assets and write a will.

I get a lot of blame from her and I often feel attacked. When I express my stress and sadness about that, she doesn't like it and says I am dragging her down. And I start losing sense of whether she might actually have a point, and that despite her illnesses I really have been doing a lot wrong and I ought to adjust. Maybe my reactions to her illness could be better? I suppose I am holding out for the thyroid medication to take effect.

And I had a great solo bike ride through the woods last weekend.
 

Friday

Moderator
I realize I have taken really ages to reply to you all, and I think that's because I wanted to get away from the issue in general, and even though you lovely guys have helped me out, in my mind you were part of the issue. So I am back here to thank you now.
I take ages to reply to my own threads… of I can bring myself to at all… it’s a self regulation / personal responsibility thing in a three way marriage to it takes me a bit to process (loooove the alternate perspectives that inspire the need to, but it’s difficult for me conceptualise in real time; whether written or talking), & connection is difficult for me (until it isn’t).

<grin> Also known as? No worries! And? LOVE the update.
(unless I ignore it, in which case we can pretend it's not a crisis)
I’m with you… I’d call it a crisis. Because it’s a crossroads.

Pretending it’s not a crisis? Is one of those “no decision IS a decision” things… but with the added weight & inherent weakness (not in you, but weakening the relationship further) of it being a no-decision-decision.

FWIW, in my experience, deciding to WAIT to decide, and continue on? Removes the weakness, saves a blow to an already fragile relationship. Because observation is different than apathy, or doing nothing. Turns a crossroad into 2 roads that run parallel to each other. You can make a decision to cross at any time, until you make a decision to stay.

Which, quite frankly? Sounded like a load of bullshit to me, until I tried it.

Come to find, not ignoring the problem? Doesn’t mean I HAVE to make a decision right here and now. I can reserve judgment, and act in my own time. Even if that’s just moments from now.
 
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