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Im Losing Patience

by Samantha
(Birmingham UK)

Hello, I believe my husband is going through a mid life crisis. He is 41 and i am 29.

We recently had major renovation work to our home and had to live with his parents. It should have been a 3 month project but ended up being 9 months, being away from our home and having to deal with his horrible family which caused me to sink into a depression of my own. All the stress of the house caused problems between us and also as individuals.
One day after a couple of weeks of him being distant he came home and said he didn't love me and didn't know if he wanted to be married. I later discover that he has practically stalked a female work colleague and believes he is in love with her, he brought her perfume, sends her texts every day, she is married and not interested but her rejection seems to have made him even more depressed. He will not kiss or be intimate with me, has a major obsession with his rock music (ipod) and has a new interest in facebook, needing friends, buying new clothes and wanting to use sunbeds. I have supported him and said that im not angry but hurt and reassured him i love him. After months of his rejection and anti social behaviour i said i wanted to leave and was going to seek legal advise, then he says he is really depressed but wants to try and so we book a weekend away. I agreed to try but asked him to stop texting this woman at work, so he changes the password on his itemized internet billing, he rejects me for sex but masturbates to porn at least 5 times a week which is really hurtful. The weekend was okay, we get on really well but he is still distant and not interested in reconnecting physically. When i try to talk about it he just gets so emotionally drained and heartbroken, i have suffered panic attacks and on medication myself now. I have pleaded with him to get help for depression but he will not see the dr even though he is not sleeping and is exhausted and feels dreadful. Can you give any advice or indication of how long this MLC may last? Also is it normal for depressed men to reject sex with their wives in favour on pornography?? Please Help? Thank You.

Noel's response

Regarding how long it might last, it could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, but it will pass.

Your husband does sound depressed. Perhaps if you show him the depression page on this website, or buy the book The Irritable Male Syndrome and/or "Mr. Mean" both by Jed Diamond, he will see his symptoms described as male depression (men's symptoms are different than women's), and decide to see his doctor.

Regarding sex, sometimes men, especially men suffering from depression, will find pornography and masturbation more satisfactory, as the woman they fantasize during masturbation has no expectations of them, plus there is no danger of impotence, and the shame some men feel if they suddenly can't perform.

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