Trying to cope, I don't know what to do

Not sure which forum to put this in, it could go in infidelity as well.

Long story short my wife cheated on me twice. Once was an internet affair, no actual contact. Second she did go and spend time with him, and slept with him. I knew about these things, she didn't lie to me. Said she wanted an open relationship, that she wasn't necessarily leaving me but needed more.

When the first guy dumped her she was very depressed for a while. He was a **** anyway, and she knew it, but still it affected her. The second one obviously she had a lot more connection with. He just dumped her last week. She is extremely depressed now, and is talking like she just wants to be alone. As in leaving me. Our financial situation doesn't allow either of us to be leaving right now, so she's stuck in the house. She hardly leaves the sofa, sleeps there as well. I'm afraid for her mental, and physical health.

She was on anti-depressants years ago and seemed fine after getting off of them. Now I'm trying to get her to take them again but I don't know if she'll do it. I fear that she's beyond any depression I've ever seen. She's just completely shut down emotionally. I don't think she would eat much of anything if I didn't fix food and give it to her.

In the meantime I'm hurting too. She has effectively left me, I know if she had the means and this other guy had allowed it that she would be living with him now. She pushed for that and I think that's why he broke it off, scared him or something. But I just lost my wife of 16 years who I love very much. She hasn't talked about divorce but I feel it's coming. And I'm afraid for both of us. I don't think she will survive on her own, and I'm not so sure I will either.

She's so fragile right now I'm afraid to push anything. Short of force feeding her drugs I don't know what do. I'm trying to be there for her but she won't let me, and frankly I'm pretty depressed myself. Just lost my job, we will have trouble paying the bills on unemployment alone.

I just don't know how to make things better. Maybe I can't.

This is definately a troubling situation, my heart goes out to you. Im sure you realize that you spent quite a bit of time in your post talking about her needs and her emotional fragility. This seems to be really affecting to you but you place much of your own emotional resources into helping her. RIght now both of your are in pain, and I am concened that her pain is your primary concern. There are usually many low cost therapy agencies (depending on your area) that hire interns. This could be a valuable resource right now. What does your support network look like outside of you marriage- is there anyone you can talk to and look to for support.
You are showing signs of co-dependency, where we over-focus on another person while neglecting our own needs. Codependents Anonymous usually has supports groups you can go to. By focusing on increasingly your coping skills and gaining strength right now, you may act as a model to encourage or motivate your wife to do the same. However, your primary work should focus on helping you right now, that is all you have control over and that is the path that overall will feel much better and develop your feelings of strength and self-worth.

Kellie Montgomery< LMFT

If you would like additional support, you can reach me at the following link:

You're probably right. Thank you for the advice.

I guess I see marriage as a co-dependent thing by nature. How could I not be hurt when my spouse is feeling this way? I suppose there's a line between being empathetic and co-dependent.

Of course it's a combination of things. I'm feeling bad for her, and for my own situation. Basically nothing in my life is working right now. My self-worth is basically nil. Has been most of my life.

I will look into the co-dependent group as well. Thank you again.

As for my support outside of the marriage, there is none. I can't talk to family about this. Neither of us have a lot of friends, the ones we do have are mutual and I don't want to bring them into this. Complete strangers, like people on this board, seems to be my only real option.