How can we prepare our marriage?


My husband and I have only been married for 5 months. I am deeply in love with him and felt an instant connection when we first met. This is my first marriage (I'm 38). To me marriage is forever. I want the longevity and commitment that isn't commonplace these days and divorce isn't an option for me.
We've gone through a lot ever since we were first together. I have PTSD and when I was first diagnosed it was a nightmare of medications and therapy and I tried to self medicate by drinking every day. A lot. I abused benzos. This was the only coping mechanism I had at the time. I tried to take my own life several times. I have since made major improvements in my life. I rarely ever have a drink, and I don't abuse my prescription meds. I see my Dr frequently and saw a psychologist for over a year who is an expert in sexual trauma. I am never going to be "cured". I just hope to keep on surviving in a healthy way. On top of things, my 7 year old son was taken from me temporarily because I tried to take my life. I am working on getting better for him and myself and I'm making very good progress. I will never forgive myself for what I did to my child. (He is my son from a previous relationship). My husband treats my son so well. He has taken on a huge role as his father without me asking. In April, my husband's mother was diagnosed as terminally ill. We immediately took her to my place to live her last days at home and that's when my husband officially moved in although he'd been practically living with me for a year by that point. His mother passed away at the end of September. We took care of her at home as per her wish as long as possible. The cancer spread to her brain and we just couldn't do the 24/7 care by ourselves anymore. We reluctantly admitted her to a hospice and 5 days later she passed away. I was at home resting and my husband has never forgiven me for not being there when she died. He called, I got in the car in my bathrobe and drove 5 minutes to the hospice. She was already gone. We had stayed with her the entire time day and night except the last two nights when I went home to rest. In addition to everything else happening I have a bowel disease and have been suffering for the last two years with incredible pain and I am unable to return to work until after I have surgery.
The point is, I feel like I have failed as a wife and as a mother. Some days I am in so much physical pain I can't get up. My disease is ruining my life. PTSD will never just "go away". I don't cook and clean like I used to and I feel so guilty about everything.
How do I work on my relationship with my husband? I am failing him. I am trying so hard but last night I had a setback. I had one glass of wine. He flipped and threw off his wedding band and then took mine off.
Obviously I know I need to continue with therapy for PTSD and my doctors for my bowel disease but how do I make sure our relationship can get back to what it was? I am so lost.

And yes, I know I was a horrible mother. No one can be harder on me than myself. I am really putting myself out there for genuine help and I am afraid to post this because of the negative comments I am sure to get. I'm not perfect.
Nov 20, 2015 @ 01:00 pm

9 Replies



The heading was supposed to say repair not prepare.
Nov 20, 2015 @ 01:16 pm


With the drink, it sounds like your husband was trying to 'shock' you into realising what you did so that you wouldn't go back to drinking.

I'm in a similar situation as I have four different diagnosed mental illnesses and some physical ones too. All I can say is, you have to try to be easier on yourself. Feeling like a failure and hating yourself is driving you back towards the abusive behaviours like addiction that you worked so hard to overcome in the first place. You are not a 'terrible' mother. You are ill.

You tried to take your own life because your brain is literally broken. It was a bad thing to do, but it was only partially your decision, as when you are sick, your brain tells you people will be better off without you, try and remember that this isn't true.

Your husband knew these things when he married you, marriage is sickness and health and chances are you think he hates you, but that's your disordered brain and isn't true! When I tell my husband these feelings, he tells me that he loves me so much that he is never mad at me for being sick and he just wishes for my sake that I wasn't in so much pain.

So number one I would say communicate. Tell him how you are feeling, listen to him and just always check in. Admit your diseases. Learn about them and be better armed to understand when it's the disease and not you. Talk to your husband actively about your illnesses so he can help cope too. Also talk to your therapist more about your current feelings and problems.

Marriage is two people coming together to survive, sometimes that means someone is doing more of the legwork (housework etc) and I know it feels like it'll always be that way, but nobody can predict the future. I was so ill I didn't think I'd live to 30. I turn 30 in two months. Plus we can't predict what's going in inside someone's head, I often feel terrible that my husband does all the cooking and cleaning, but he told me he actually likes it :)

One more thing. Hang in there. You are WORTH something. I often feel that if you peel away all the layers of mental illness there is nothing left, where do I end and it begins? I feel that way on the very worst days. But on better days I can see how silly that thought is. Just keep going, one day at a time and you are going to get somewhere brand new.

All my love <3
Nov 20, 2015 @ 02:29 pm


I couldn't put it any better than said above. I don't have any additional advice, but wanted to agree that you ARE WORTH IT! and to let you know that we are always here to lend an ear if you need to vent, or to lend a shoulder if you need to cry.
Nov 20, 2015 @ 03:23 pm


Thank you both for the advice and kind words. He's aware of my illnesses and we talk about them but like a lot of men he wants to "fix" things. Also we agreed on the lifestyle we have - I take on a traditional '50's style female role and he a traditional male role. I willingly take on "pink" jobs and he does the "blue" jobs. That's just the way we like things. I can't fulfill my duties most of the time now and it bothers both of us, but mostly me. I feel guilty. I just want our relationship back to what it was. I'm so tired of being sick. And everything combined is so stressful I feel very overwhelmed. I just feel so stuck. Thanks for reading.
Nov 20, 2015 @ 06:38 pm


I think the first step for both you and your husband is to forgive yourselves and each other. Let go of resentment for things you can no longer change or have no control over. Life is a test and we don't have a manual for how to go about living it. We try our best and in doing so together, we'll be stronger in the end.

I can imagine how tough it has been, and continues to be living with PTSD. Have you and your husband considered couples' therapy to try and come up with strategies that you can incorporate into your daily lives? Your therapist or psychologist/psychiatrist can help you both recognize certain trigger points so that you can deal with them before they balloon into something bigger. I highly recommend doing this and I feel that prevention and full awareness of the special need is what can save a person. Once you come up with a plan you'll both be better prepared and will have a better understanding not just about the illness, but about each other as a couple.

I would also suggest keeping track of your emotions in a journal. Write down how you felt during the day and why. Do this for about a month and then go back and look for any patterns. Is there anything in particular that always seems to trigger certain emotions? It's a good way of pinpointing what needs to be worked on. A gratitude journal is also a good idea. Write down or draw a list of things you are grateful for that have happened on that particular day. You can also write the things you know you've done that were appreciated by others. It's a good way to help you remain positive and to remind you that you are indeed very important in the lives of others.

In regards to your son, have you considered working with his teacher or school psychologist to try and figure out the best way you can help him? You'd be surprised how much this can help. Don't be ashamed or shy about approaching them for any help. We teachers have seen it all and are always ready to lend a hand when it comes to bettering our students' lives.

I hope this advice helps you in some way. If you need anything else, feel free to ask. I have a special needs background and can hopefully offer you other tips along the way, to the best of my ability.

Nov 21, 2015 @ 03:17 pm


Thanks for the good advice. I really appreciate the feedback.
Nov 23, 2015 @ 02:28 pm


You seem like a very strong person to admit your mistakes and taking control of your life to try and fix them to become a better person,there is alot of people out there who will not accept responsibility for their actions but you do and that makes you a really good Person, I wish you lots of good luck and happiness
Nov 24, 2015 @ 07:33 am


Thank you. I fully expected to be bashed for having my son taken away from me. It's something I am so ashamed of. I cannot forgive myself. He's close to coming back home. It's been a nightmare.
Nov 24, 2015 @ 01:28 pm


It takes a strong person to admit to their mistakes. Now you next to take care of yourself physically and mentally to keep on the right track. Other posters mentioned seeing a therapist - I can speak from experience and tell you that seeing a therapist regularly at first really, really does help. They not only listen but they give you amazing tools to help you deal with things in a healthy and constructive manner.
Forgive yourself and your husband. Make time for each other. Tell each other your fears and expectations. See a counsellor separately and together.
Just be present when you're with your son. Let him know how much you love him. Have fun with him.
Ask for help when you need it. Learn from the past. The best is yet to come.
Best of luck.
Nov 24, 2015 @ 11:31 pm

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