If support hit me in the face I wouldn't know what I was look at
December 13, 2012 9:55 AM Subscribe
How do normal, happy couples support each other in a non-dysfunctional, healthy relationship? Not surprisingly, longish snowflake details inside.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
My wife and I both came from households where our parents didn't support each other in meaningful or obvious ways. All of our parents were okay parents to us, but not the best spouses to each other. We're finding out that we're both acting out in ways that mirror our parents' relationships, to the detriment of our marriage.
Lately we've been getting into fights because I don't feel like I've been supported. I ask for support but in the most vague terms, and get angry when I don't get it. I've realized that I get angry probably because I have no idea what support looks like in a healthy relationship, nor do I even know what to ask for. Here a few examples:
- I've been dealing with depression for the past few years and all that my wife has done was given me a plant because she read that plants may help depressed people. When I slip into a depressive episode, she seems ambivalent and doesn't really know what to do.
- In the past, I trained for a few half-marathons. I would get up in the mornings and do my runs while she slept. I asked her to get ready for work while I ran so that we could be on time, but that was followed maybe 50% of the time. I don't feel like there were any special considerations given to my lifestyle. When I finally ran the race she wanted to run with me past the finish line but I let her know that I wanted to cross it myself since she didn't support me.
- I've taken up leadership positions in volunteer organizations, and whenever I have meetings it seems to be viewed as an annoyance, especially since we've had a child. She doesn't particularly seem proud of my achievements nor does she make space for me to continue volunteering.
We have an almost two year old and are finding out that while we're really good parents together, our marriage is slowing crumbling beneath us. We want to be good role-models and give our kid a good foundation for how to have healthy relationships. When we were childless it was easy to push aside problems but it's finally caught up to us. We both have some mental health issues that are definitely the root of these problems (me - depression, codependence; wife - abusive past, borderline/narcissistic personality) and we're seeking counseling, but we need a starting point until that stuff kicks in.
So, hive-mind, what support mean in your healthy relationship?