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im 35 year old man married for 17 years and feel trapped

Hi, I have been married to my wife for 17 years. We have 5 children together. I just recently last year started to develop depresssion/ anxiety and other issues that i never had. I have felt trapped in the marriage for 2 years. Now i just feel so bad and so trapped amd very UNHAPPY. I just dont know what to do.
i am 35 years old so im still young i feel. i am confused on what to do. Its hard cause my wonderful children 2 boys and 3 girls. Has anyone else dealt with this and found success in dealing with this type of stuff whether leaving or staying?? Its hard just one of the multiple things im sick of is everytime a good looking girl is in front of me she just gets all mad at me giving me a hawk eye look when im not doin anything. its pathetic. insecurity to the max for nothing. Never cheated on her so dont understand but thats not even it there is alot more im just sooo tired of

5 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
She's probably noticing you seeing the pretty girl because she senses all the rest of it, and that is too big and overwhelming, so grabbing onto a small easy thing, like if you look at a pretty girl, is simpler. (And simpler for you, too. You can get cross if she gives you the hawk eye if you look at a pretty girl, and not have to get real about the much bigger problem of your depression and anxiety.) Survival issues arise if one has to talk to one's spouse about big anxieties, when if the fight is only over something not very serious, you blow off a little steam and don't have to address the scary stuff.

See a counselor if you can. You've got five young kids who need you and your wife to be a couple.
134578 tn?1614729226
The other point is, if you see a counselor, do it for depression and anxiety. You are blaming your life for making you feel trapped, but in truth, the depression and anxiety are what is making you feel that way, and if you were in a different life situation you would still have the depression and anxiety. Not saying you should not make some moves to get more out of life. But one move should be to a counselor, and right away. It's not your wife or kids' fault that you are depressed/anxious.
973741 tn?1342342773
To be honest, I'm not sure saying you feel trapped after producing 5 kids with your wife is fair.  :>)  You kind of made your bed.  I"m a fan of couples once they have a family staying together unless there is damage going on for the kids.  We make choices when we have kids.  

Depression and anxiety (as anniebrooke says) is no one's fault and is often an organic issue.  It's treatable.  That's the route you should take before thinking of breaking up your family.  

Hawk eyeing a pretty girl is bad manners. It's not cheating or that big of a deal but just impolite.  I'm married too and my husband is a man as well.  I don't expect him to never look or admire other women but really, staring at her in front of me is rude.  Just plain old bad manners.  He's smart though and if he is looking and he sees me looking at him looking, he quickly says "you would look good in that dress.".  Then I smile and we go on about our day.  But if he is just lewdly looking, ya.  It's just not polite to your significant other.  It's not bad.  It's just not a feel good moment for your partner.  So, make an effort to either soften it or make a funny comment.  

So, I kind of gave you my brutal advice here.  There is such a thing as 'mid life' crisis and maybe you are having it early since you got married early.  Don't know.  But I'd work on your depression and anxiety first before you do anything drastic.  Your kids are worth that effort.  
the thing youndont understand is i dont look amd admire other woman.
If a girl is in front of me what should i do close eyes? To me thats abnormal. She has made me put my head down in past at the beach just because of woman. God gave us eyes. Im not looking arpund at woman and could care less. I didnt even mention everthing. She is very controlling woman that stresses the hell out of me and sometimes my children by constantly yelling at them over petty things. I came on here for help good advice not to be accused of hawk eying girls cause im not that type of man. Its just she is VERY jelous or insecure but i dont unserstand why she would be insecure cause she is pretty as well. its just her attitude and others things which is hard to talk about which i go through with her

also i been seen pycologist and pyciatrist who prescribed anti depressants
oh and i  would never blame my wonderful children who im very proud to have. I work hard for them come home to criticism for nothing i cant do everyrhing
I think You had good advice from both AnnieBrooke and SpecialMom  - I don't think You were accused of "hawk eyeing" - rather it seemed to me that a suggestion was made simply to be subtle in Your 'looking' or 'seeing'.  Maybe there's a clue in Your response (?) as it didn't sound like an 'accusation' to me.  Now, speaking for myself - I wonder if Your Wife senses Your discontent in Your Life and Your Marriage ??; maybe She feels somewhat insecure 'cuz She realizes You are not happy ??  I agree with the others that  Your 5 Children have priority, and Children ALWAYS want Mommy and Daddy together.   You and Your Wife loved each other enough to create 5 Children.  Perhaps with Couple counseling You could 'renew', 'refresh' Your reasons for Marrying and Creating a Family ??  Being on anti depressants is probably a good start but perhaps Your Wife needs some of the same??  Five Children and an unhappy Husband could be stressful for Her as well - could be why She's yelling over petty things ??
hawk eyeing were your own words.  In your own post.  I didn't accuse you of anything, you said you were hawk eyeing a woman and your wife got mad.  We have gotten a lot of questions about this on both ends, the one who looks and the one who is with the looker.  I'm also a married woman myself.  So, my statements were based on what you wrote and were trying to help you.  Nothing to get defensive at.  My point was that if you ARE looking as most men and women do from time to time, be more subtle or saying something like my husband which smooths the moment right over.  

We are volunteers here that only have what you write to go on.  I don't know you or your wife.  I was not taking sides nor am I personally invested.  I was giving one perspective or opinion based on the limited things you wrote here.  Anyway, I wish you the best and hope things work out for you, whatever form that may take.  peace out
Its hard just one of the multiple things im sick of is everytime a good looking girl is in front of me she just gets all mad at me giving me a hawk eye look when im not doin anything.

thats what i said. i didnt say i give a hawk eye to woman

oh and she rejects marriage counseling

Anyway thanksfor comments you all amd to you special mom hope the best to you all
Best Regards

Yes, I see now that I misread that.  She's giving you the hawk eye look. Sorry for the misread there.  I'm also sorry to hear she rejects marriage counseling.  She may not know you are feeling trapped and pondering leaving her.  I hope she is willing to work on things with you before it is too late.  Let us know how it goes.  
134578 tn?1614729226
I am also wondering if she feels trapped. My little sister (whose kids just went to college) told me recently how "stuck" she felt when she was younger. The only way out was through, as the saying goes. She had to be there and be the mommy and make the lunches and arrange the playdates and basically sweat it with a lot of gruntwork until they were done with high school and out of the house. Now she feels, by contrast, a lot more free. Luckily she and her husband didn't wind up taking this feeling out on each other, but she is so glad that time is done, love her kids though she does.

I am thinking that if you are focused on your wife as the problem, you are not actually going to solve it by (for example) building up enough of a sense of grievance against her in your mind that you can justify leaving. I think you will be just as stuck or trapped if you go as if you stay. This is because, well, five children. They need you and believe me, if you think dealing with an angry wife is hard, try doing all he handsprings and timing and calling and coordinating required when you have shared custody.  My divorce-lawyer friend said to me recently, "NEVER get a divorce." In short, anything else is easier. (I assume you aren't being so unrealistic as to think you can just wash your hands of the whole family and walk away.)

If you and your wife can't rekindle some affection for each other, can you at least have a talk (moderated by a counselor) about being civil to each other? It sounds like she is being critical and you are being self-pitying and blamey. You could probably get to a point where you are at least both civil. But it might take some counseling help.
And I am not saying this as a Pollyana who thinks you and your wife might have a rennaisance in your love for each other, although who knows. I am saying it because you are in the best position now to do well for your kids until they are out of the house. Even role-modeling sympathetic civility to your wife and her doing the same, is much better than role-modeling you feeling sorry for yourself and sniping at her and her yelling at you. They deserve your support and your protection, and the most important way to protect them is to role model kindness and decency even if you are not getting a lot of satisfaction in your relationship.
How long until the youngest kid is out of the house, say, at age 18? If you have been married since your  late teens and are now 37, I am guessing it will be what, ten years? You will still be a young enough man to live a more satisfying life at that time. In the meantime, it really seems like those kids need you, if only to act as a counterbalance to their yelling mother.

One other thing to know. If you change your reactions, she will change hers. It is weird, you don't even have to talk it over, it just happens. So talk to your counselor about that. Right now, she yells and you feel frustrated and insulted and react in what can only be described as a surly teenager way. (At least, that is what your description lapsed into here.) But if you reacted as more of a dignified adult, even pretending in your mind that you are someone you know who is older and more calm, you might elicit a surprisingly different reaction from her. It's not great, it would be better if she were amenable to counseling herself. But you can sometimes impact a person's bad behavior a lot by having your own be better than it has been.

Good luck to you. Not an easy row to hoe. But you have five really good reasons to stick it out. After they are out of the house, your wife's future is her lookout.
thanks but iam calm i dont even react really just bite my tongue . i may show frustration as anyone man would when they come home from long day of work to support the family and have someone in your grill nagging who your supporting. I served in the Marine Core went to Iraq and then Afghanistan and damn she is worse than the drill sergeants i was under when i first insisted in the marines. I mean b4 i even step into the door i can hear her yelling at kids alot over them just being kids.  I dont know but it may be just too much for me to handle but ill pray for strength to stay
134578 tn?1614729226
A) I think you really can't leave at this point. It's not a simple matter to leave. There is the hassle of joint custody, there is the sadness of your children, and there is the money. Also, you don't sound like the kind of man to leave helpless kids in a bad situation, and it sounds like it would be bad if you were not there. When my parents divorced, I felt like my dad was saying I should not have been born. Do you want your kids to grow up thinking this because of your actions?

B) You also sound pretty traditional. I'm married to a traditional man, and I like it. But the one way it is really hard is that he doesn't see how difficult it is that he assumes all he has to do is "work to support the family" (i.e., earn money). He comes home and sits down to have a beer or watch TV with an air of someone who has no more responsibilities except to demand to know where dinner is. Tell you the truth, I've worked at a paid job and I've been a mom home with a child, and it is a ton easier to work at a paid job. It is so much more satisfying, respectful, finite, and so much simpler to just be able to come home at the end of the day and relax. With kids, there is no beginning or ending point and no milestones and no respect and no time off. Your wife has this times five, and it sounds like it is taking her down. I will not suggest what you should do about it, this is your life and hers, but I do suggest you drum up a ghost of sympathy for her, even if in your mind this marriage is not going to continue past your last child going to college. She's got a very tough job and yours is easier than hers. I don't suppose you will believe this but it's true.

Good luck to you. Stick with the counseling, I think it will help even though you pooh-poohed it above. Put your kids' needs first, remembering what will happen to them in terms of lack of stability if you dump on them. If you ever want to, some time when you and your wife are both calm, propose to her a truce, so there is less yelling in the house, and you could even say you know it's over between you but you would like to live in a civil fashion until the youngest is out of the house. It might sit her up on her hind legs a little, and get her to actually consider counseling.

Good luck to you.
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