My marriage feels really bad right now. I feel trapped. Nothing terrible, I just feel alone and it’s hard. I talked to my therapist last night and was able to tell him about it, and actually cried during the session. The first time I’ve cried in a long time. Then tonight this evening I was feeling alone again and sad about it. I decided that cutting would help, which is the first time I have cut in months. Part of me was fantasizing to see what it would be like cutting deep enough to need to go to the ER to get stitches, which I have never cut very deeply. I didn’t cut deeply, in fact I was so disappointed in myself for hardly cutting. Which also bothers me that I degrade myself for or cutting deeply, as if it would be good if I was ‘better’ at it. I then emailed my therapist and told him. Which maybe me cutting was a cry for help hoping he will say that he can see me before 10 more days, or that he will see, or I will see for myself that my relationship pain is serious? I feel like maybe I feel the need to convince myself that my pain is valid, and that if we am in enough pain to cut myself then I am valid? I don’t know. I just feel alone, and wish that I had other friends and support system I could talk to and not feel ostracized, or like I can’t tell them what is going on. I don’t want to be a burden.
this sounds like such a potentially breakthrough post @Soph !
Those all sounds like possible reasons for the sh .
Have you actually tried to talk to someone else in your support system about it? Often we underestimate how much others can care and want to support us. It’s not being a burden to say that you need help, or need affection or some support.
i’m grateful you’re here with us. We’re here for you. And I can say that your feelings are indeed valid, and that you are deserving of a patient listening ear, and a supportive shoulder.
Would you like to share some of what is troubling you at the moment? we’re here for you. And yes, you matter, just as you are.
You are definitely not a burden! I’m so glad you are talking through and thinking through the potential reasons behind what led to your SH. I also feel like you did the right thing by going to your therapist about it, too.
At my very unhealthiest, I felt SO alone in my marriage. I could justify all day long that my husband loved me because of xyz but when it came to actually believing it, I couldn’t find the evidence. It’s very difficult to look at things from the outside logically when we are trying to work on ourselves to get healthy. I’m sure you are doing the work with your therapist, so I won’t try to reiterate things you have maybe already heard but all I can say is hang in there!
I can also relate to the feeling of needing to harm in order to feel valid. SH can also definitely be an easy thing to fantasize about, it’s like an actual addiction. I have urges every now and then, even when nothing triggers me exactly, and I have to stop and think about where those urges are coming from. It became something of such a second nature to resort to for all kinds of emotions; anger, depression, anxiety, even boredom. Something I did “just because” especially when the fantasizing got worse.
Something else you said that also stood out was how the SH was maybe a cry for help to be seen more urgently, or to be taken more seriously. In that way SH can even be used as a way to communicate, which then becomes even more of an addiction!
I think you are in a great place right now to talk to it through with your therapist, you are doing awesome by turning this around to further explore where those deeper feelings (like needing to hurt to feel valid) are coming from. You are definitely not alone, you have a support system here! Sending lots of hugs.
@hellosusieqzz Thanks for your support. I really appreciate your kind words. I feel a lot of shame with cutting as a way of communicating, thanks for validating it is a rea reason.
Sita, thanks for your thoughtful support. And encouraging that you see this as a possible breakthrough.
I think what currently feels so difficult is that it doesn’t feel like my husband sees me. It feels like he thinks everything is fine, and that’s because it is for him. I am the one doing way more work around the house on top of a full time job, and with other things I’ve brought up that are hurtful, it doesn’t feel like he cares enough about my feelings to change. Which makes me feel like he doesn’t care or respect me. I feel like because of being raised in a conservative Christian community, and he was somewhat too, I am expected to stick around no matter what, and he is not expected to change, because even if things stay the same I have to be faithful to my commitment and stay. I feel trapped and it feels hopeless in many ways. Because he doesn’t respond well when I bring things up, he just goes in bro self-pity, which just makes me feel bad and nothing ever changes. Just overall I feel kind of controlled and I hate it. It’s not like we don’t have good moments, but overall there is just such deep hurt. And feeling the need to push down my feelings just enforces my thoughts that cutting is the way to go, at least the easiest way for me to cope.
Thanks again for your support and listening to me <3
partnership means that both feel heard and respected.
There are cultural aspects that tend to force us to stay in a relationship but I’m glad to see that you know you deserve a bit better that what you’re getting now.
is couple counseling a possibility for you two?
SH may be the easiest way, but it doesn’t feel good afterwards , does it? and it doesn’t really solve anything, just makes you feel worse about yourself!
Do you have friends and family you can talk to about what’s been going on in your marriage?
@Sita yeah, I should do that. Logistics with counseling are just challenging, and I’ve had some not great experiences with couples counseling, so I just need to get past that and do it. I am going to talk to a friend tonight about it. Family I don’t feel like I can talk to as much.
Thanks for your support and time. <3
How does it help you cope?
For me, self harming only left ugly scars and shame. I thought it was the only way for me to cope with my extreme emotions and addiction. It wasn’t, it just made things 100x worse and more complicated for me. My problems didn’t go away and after cutting I actually felt worse.
You came here after cutting because you needed support. So, what does cutting help you with? There are other safe ways to cope, that don’t involve hurting yourself.
I’m so sorry that your husband isn’t supporting you the way a husband should. I was married (for almost 18yrs) and he was unsupportive and also violent. After we divorced it was hard for a couple years, but things got 100% better when I met a man who really loves and supports me. I thought I needed my xhusband to survive and I found out that I needed to get away from him to survive instead.
@Mystrose i think cutting helps me cope in that it takes my emotional pain away so that it feels more manageable. When I cut I also feel less foggy and agitated, and it calms me down and seems to help me to think more clearly. It feels like it gets me out of my head into the more physical realm, but I could be wrong. I know it’s unhealthy, but the place I’m in it’s hard for me to believe/convince myself that it actually isn’t helpful. Thanks for your support. I’m glad that things got better for you once you left your unhealthy marriage. I think for me one thing I struggle with is that I don’t have a right to leave because I’m not being abused? I think I’m also just trying to sift through a lifetime of messages that I’ve been told and see which are legit things, and which are just messages I’ve been told to be controlled. I don’t know if that makes sense…
You might feel that way for a minute, but it’s like doing drugs. It’s an easy fix, but doesn’t solve the issues and truthfully does not help you. There are other ways to feel better in a more healthy way. Self harm is a maladaptive behavior which is a behavior that makes us feel better in the short term, but in the long-term, is very harmful.
You said that you degrade yourself after for cutting. Doesn’t seem very effective.
Did you take a look at the video of alternative coping skills I linked you?
It seems to me that you are being mentally abused. That’s equally as bad as physical and of course you have a right to leave. @Sita said above, “partnership means that both feel heard and respected.” and it’s 100% true. If you are not getting what you need emotionally and you feel alone and in so much pain that you would even consider cutting yourself to cope with that, I think you need to really think about your options. You are worthy of so much more.
@Mystrose Thanks so much for your thought provoking comments. Not easy to hear but good nonetheless. I just watched the video you linked- thank you for that. I appreciate your support, even tho I am a total stranger. I really appreciate it.