Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

Next Steps? I think my husband is severely depressed

Posted In: Mental conditions 30 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • December 12, 2006
  • 03:42 PM

Hi! Need some advise. My husband is displaying some classic major depression symptoms - making bad choices, irratic and agressive behavior, lack of interest in things that previously brought pleasure, loss of appitite, difficulty sleeping, hopelessness, back pain, thoughts of suicide, lack of self-worth.... and I could go on. I have been trying to encourage him for years to get help but recently his symptoms have significantly increased. It has come to a head now because he says he wants to leave me and get his own place so he can be alone. He says he can't remember the last time that he was happy but thinks that was when he was completely alone.

I got him to take some self-assessment test which said basically seek help now. However, he is convinced that his depression is just caused because everything in his life has let him down and that is that. There is no help for it and nothing would change that - it is just reality. He says that just because people don't like the behavior or can't accept reality, they want to call it a disease and give a pill to fix it but there is no fix because his life sucks.

He has had negative experiences with treatment in the past for depression and ADD. He felt "druged up" and that his mother just wanted to turn him into a zombie so she didn't have to deal with him. He stopped medicating because he didn't like they way he felt and she never had him go back for treatment until he actually tried to kill himself and then she hospitalized him where he found the thearapy not helpful and she never followed through with treatment. He treated twice in the last 10 years for less than 6 months each with SSRI's but never followed up and never called it depression.

How can I encourage treatment?

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30 Replies:

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. Mine also has severe depression. This past week we had to hospitlize him. He also doesn't like the feeling of being drugged up. He has so far been on three differnent meds, hopefully this new one will be better. I know it is really ******n you to have to go through this. I don't know if this is the best way to help your husband, but I let mine know daily that I love him, always will even though, he too planned on leaving. I also had help from his parents though, so maybe you could talk to his, if they are still alive. If you have to get him to a hospital by force, maybe you should try that. Would he be willing to see a counselor? They maybe would be able to speak with him about the way to go. You could tell him that they are able to understand more then you, because they aren't emotionally involved, as you are, and they went to school to understand and help people like him. Also, they would encouage some medications for him, and he could let them know how he feels when taking meds, they could suggest the proper meds. Or maybe you could call one up and see what they say is the best way to go. I say counselor because they aren't a "shrink" and they really can't prescribe any meds and maybe if they were a "shrink", it would put your husband off more. This way, he doesn't feel they will put him on meds, they just want to talk to him about some things. My husband has a counselor and went of his last meds a few months ago. He did not like those past ones and started going back to how he was before them. Mine was willing to go to the hospital. He knew it was a way for him to get the proper medication, without the bad side effects. A couselor could hopefully get him to that point. I know it is very hard to see him in this "pain". But I want to say this again, if he is scaring you, and you are worried about him being hurtful to either himself or others, you need to call someone for intervention. Even though it may have to be forced, something needs to be done. Not only for him but also for you. I am sure it is physical and mentally draining you and he probably doesn't realize how much it is. I wish you all the best, and hope your husband will too want help soon.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 06:52 PM
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  • My husband went through the same thing earlier this year, he did and still does take anti depressants but he has had 6 sessions of councellling. This has helped him. I know its hard because it almost seems as if you are not allowed to feel down yourself. It took a routine check up at our doctors surgery and the nurse there to suggest he do something about this, especially has he suffers with Hypertension. Maybe it takes another person to get him to talk about thingsI do hope this helpH
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 06:53 PM
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  • I have tried a lot of those techniques actually. I got him to a counselor session with me for "relationship" issues. However, he reported feeling worse while going there and the counselor never addressed anything dealing with his repeated statements of wanting to be completely alone - he never even mentioned depression as a potential option or asked to talk to him in private about that.I've asked him again this week to examine the issue himself and if he continues to have this difference in opinion from me.... and continues to feel bad for another 2 weeks, he owes it to himself to talk with someone more clinically trained than I am and who can better explain the difference between bad life experience affecting LONG TERM outlook negatively and depression - which for me is the same thing.He basically says that counselors are useless and he won't go. He won't go to our primary doctor because he says that the doctor will just agree with my assessment. His mother is not the best to involve because she actually does have the mentality that a pill will solve any problem - and he still believe she drugged him up to make her life easier. Might not be a stretch knowing her.I have said that it is not a person's life experiences that define them. But how a person copes with those experiences and sets goals to make their life better the next time. He does not see that as the case.Thank you for the encouraging words..... I know I am asking a lot but hopeful that something will work here. While I don't want to get a divorce, even if I end up there, I just want him to be healthy ..... before he makes that decision.M
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 07:50 PM
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  • If he craves alone-ness that may not be a 'problem' per se but a personality preference. If he's an extreme introvert, he will need that time to recharge himself. In this case it may be better to give him his space - as much as he needs. Let him feel comfortable being 'alone' in the house and don't take it personally if he's happy spending even a majority of his free time in isolation. Cynicism goes hand in hand with introversion. What you and the medical profession see as depression could just be a certain personality type. You may think what he needs is more attention, affection, and companionship when he really just needs/wants less. (Introversion is theorized to be related to a hypersensitive nerve system. It can be tested with a Myers Brigs personality type test - there are good versions online. It isn't a condition or a disorder, it's just a way of being. I know for me to be happiest, I need at least 2-4 hours a day completely undisturbed by people, regardless of who they are. If there's an hour or two to spend socializing afterward, that's fine, but even that much used to drive me insane. My girlfriend understands this so she keeps busy with her hobbies in the next room over) It is very depressing when all you need is personal time and space but people keep butting in because they think you're depressed. No offense to you or any of my own friends/family that did this to me, but constantly being told I had a problem helped create aggrevations of the situation - making me more urgently seek isolation - creating a pattern of hiding and outside intervention that intensified with every cycle.
    Azaral 152 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 08:28 PM
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  • Azaral, I appreciate your input. And I agree, if that (wanting to be isolated) was the only symptom present. However, it is worrysome when it is present with all the other symptoms listed. The presence or absence of a particular thing is not troublesome on its own when it does not affect daily living activities - but becomes troublesome when it is a dynamic change, affects daily living activities or combined with other issues (such as self-degradation, loss of self-worth, thoughts of suicide, agression, etc.)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 09:02 PM
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  • That is true and the other symptoms make the issue urgent; no doubt. I just know from my personal experience, everything originated from a desire to be alone, and the more extreme complications were from constantly being told how messed up that was by people who were important to me. Do not doubt the negative power of telling someone they are broken and need to be fixed. He's heard it from his mother, his wife, probably all his friends, so of course he is going to internalize that and start to believe in his low self-worth. Obviously he rejects the concept of medication, so even if it induces artificial happiness, it isn't going to make him feel accepted as who he truly is, which may be all he needs. I agree with his distrust of psychoactive medication, but real chemical balances can exist. I just don't think they have the proper methodology to recognize and treat individual cerebral imbalance yet and I loathe the idea of psychiatric normalcy, or "ideal sanity."
    Azaral 152 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 09:04 PM
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  • That is true and the other symptoms make the issue urgent; no doubt. I just know from my personal experience, everything originated from a desire to be alone, and the more extreme complications were from constantly being told how messed up that was.I can understand that also. His was in the reverse. He believes that being completely alone will solve all of the other problems. So the aloneness was actually the solution he came up with to the other symptoms.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 09:08 PM
    • 0
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  • Well, first, there are non-drug treatments that still exist. He can get treated without being drugged. Second, "getting time alone" used to be called a spiritual retreat and was not always seen as horribly negative. There are retreat centers, Zen Monasteries, etc around the country where people can stay and meditate or relax all day in a non-hectic serene setting. Also, I agree that nothing but good can come from him learning more about his personality type and separating what is a preference from what is an affliction.
    Non Servium 85 Replies
    • December 13, 2006
    • 05:12 AM
    • 0
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  • My heart is breaking reading this. My husband is acting exactly the same way.Your description may as well be my own. He says that all he wants is to "be left alone". I want to respect it, but I can't help feeling that he only want's be alone because he is so afraid that if he seeks treatment, he will only "let me down" when he doesn't get better. Two weeks ago, it felt like things were getting better, but last week he got rejected from graduate school and now he is convinced that he is a failure. I hate feeling like he thinks that he needs to somehow protect me from himself. It seems that he feels compelled to leave because he thinks that if he doesn't, he will be hurting me. Everything that all of you have said has struck a note with me. All I can say is that I want the man I fell in love with back. Even more so, I want him to know that I love him for who he is, not what he does. I married him without the thought of strings attached, but he seems to think that as a "failure" he will do me a favor by leaving. At this point I feel that he needs intensive therapy. I hate saying it, but I don't trust his perception of things anymore, not because he's depressed, but because he has begun to accuse me of monitoring his success/actions in ways that I never intended to, nor believe I do. For example, when I ask him how his day was, he takes it as me asking him if he accomplished anything. It sucks. That's all I can say. My last love turned out schizophrenic, and now my husband, the one I thought I could love for the rest of my life, is turning me away because he thinks it's some sort of favor, that it's the honorable thing to do. He does see a therapist, but only about once every other week. He does take medications, but is constantly switching them because of the sexual side effects, and often without consulting his psychiatrist. I have no advice to give, I can only say that my heart is with you, and that I hope that things work out. I sounds like you are doing everything that you can. I also think, as others have said, and I think you understand, that when someone wants to be alone, maybe that is what they need, even if it isn't what you would need if you were in their place. Of course, easier said than done. I am terrified that my husband wants to be alone, not because it is what will make him less depressed, but because it is what will make him feel less responsible for the happiness of his loved ones. I just hope that marriage isn't always this difficult. In ways, I wish I loved less easily. I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 28, 2009
    • 07:33 AM
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  • To Blaze, I know you are well intentioned, and you may not be wrong, but you seem to have jumped to a strong conclusion with very little information. Not only that, but the reasons for this man's problems could be multiple. My husband suffers the same symptoms, and they haven't changed depending on where we live. Also, the information you give is clearly biased toward one diagnoses. Finally, he has suffered from these symptoms in the past, well before anyone was using cell phones in my country. I'd like to see more information from a source that is not trying so hard to prove that electro-magnetic fields are to blame. I'm not saying it's not a possibility, but their a million possible diagnoses and you seem overly certain for my comfort. As for depression AND a.d.d., perhaps it is because I am in the U.S., but here, many, many people suffer from symptoms of both. In fact, often the symptoms of Depression can lead to symptoms of A.D.D., and vice versa. Thanks for the feedback. I'll look into it.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • One poster said:I have said that it is not a person's life experiences that define them. But how a person copes with those experiences and sets goals to make their life better the next time. He does not see that as the case.I firmly agree that it's not what happens to us, it's how we react. I'm sorry you are going through this with your H. If he is messing around with his meds, he could be doing more harm than good. They can make a person's emotions swing wildly when not taken as perscribed.I suffered with severe anxiety and depression for decades. I am now clear of both. Part of what it took for me was learning good boundaries; learning that I am not responsible for anyone's happiness but my own. You are not responsible for "making" you husband happy and he is not responsible for any of your emotions either. Sometimes the best thing that we can do when a loved one is facing depression is to not make our lives completely about them--go on with your life and show him by your actions that you are happy despite his emotional state. Cognitive behavioral therapy is what helped me. CBT encourages changing the way we depressives look at the world. I strongly recommend you find him a therapist that specializes in this. He won't have to recall his past or anything like that--it's focus are on his actions right here and now that effect his state of mind. It allows a depressed person to take responsibility for their emotional state and offers ways of doing something about it right away....I saved myself from Major Depressive Disorder and an attempted suicide (my heart stopped and I went into a coma) without the use of any meds at all. It can be done. Thoughts produce emotion-- change the thoughts and you can change the emotional state. Best wishes to you and your husband!
    Harmonium 322 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Hi blip3 & Harmonium, I totally agree with what you have said but would like to add a wee bit more to it. I also battled with long term depression & PTSD, until I understood PTSD I was then able to start moving forward & beat it & the depression. A couple of things that I feel could have helped me sooner would have been an actual survivor of depression, someone who beat the odds & come out the other end with their sanity intact. Yes I did have the medical profession there to guide & support me but truely I never really believed what they told me, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.....I didn't see it. Again the trouble with depression you can be thrown into the midddle of other depressives & one can drag the other down, for me this I could not handle. It helps to have an upbeat person that can help keep things in perspective someone that can listen when needed but not give all tea & sympathy, sympathy can keep someone stuck & not move forward. Having come through it myself & survived, I have been able to work with some & give them the help that I could have done with, I would allow a certain length of time to talk/listen and reason, work a plan of action even if its just the simplist of tasks that takes only 30mins to do, just to enable one step forward....and so on....... then go & do something totally different to change or lift the mind set, using humour is always great as before someone knows it they have spent some time laughing and when the day is over they can think to themselves "ya know I enjoyed today" ! Of course there are days that it doesn't work or they refuse to budge, I just let them have that day, tomorrow is always another day. The more normal & upbeat you are the better, go about your normal day & try to remain positive & for every negitive they throw in, you throw in a positive. It is draining but hopefully each day will get easier. A person with depression needs to start helping themselves to get better, there's only so much one can do without it dragging you down, sometimes someone has to hit rock bottom before they get up, so be realistic & dont let it destroy you, sometimes you can be too close to something, it is maybe better for an outsider to help, you need help & support too. Best wishes, I hope you both get through this......:)
    Tootsie 628 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi. I totally understand how you are feeling and what you are going through. I am so sad. My husband is experiencing the exact same thing and does not want to talk to me. He is so nervous and angry. He has a very demanding job and has been under so much stress lately because of it. His parents separated 2 years ago and that has been very ******n him. We have gone through our own marital issues because of lack of communication and other things and I feel the start to all this behaviour was because of money. He invested in real estate that did not do well and has always wanted the bigger and better things in life right now!! we are only 30 years old! last year he moved out and we are now in our new house together. he sleeps on the couch a lot and says it's bc of his snoring and not to wake me. The passion and excitement he always had for me has disappeared. Everyone was always telling me how lucky I am to have a man like him. He did everything for me out of love. He would always hug me and kiss me and most of all make me laugh. He made me feel so good about myself and he told me I would never have to worry about one thing bc he would take care of me and us. I feel like the beautiful man I married only 6 years ago has vanished into thin air. How could this happen? How do I make him realize that if he gets help this suffering could all go away. We do not have any chilren and more and more I wish we had tried for a baby soon after marriage so that our priorities would have been set unlike now that his priorities are all over the place. He too says he's going to leave again and he doesn't want us anymore and he gives up. How can you give up on a marriage bc you can't deal with your own stuff?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 2, 2010
    • 04:38 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi. I totally understand how you are feeling and what you are going through. I am so sad. My husband is experiencing the exact same thing and does not want to talk to me. He is so nervous and angry. He has a very demanding job and has been under so much stress lately because of it. His parents separated 2 years ago and that has been very ******n him. We have gone through our own marital issues because of lack of communication and other things and I feel the start to all this behaviour was because of money. He invested in real estate that did not do well and has always wanted the bigger and better things in life right now!! we are only 30 years old! last year he moved out and we are now in our new house together. he sleeps on the couch a lot and says it's bc of his snoring and not to wake me. The passion and excitement he always had for me has disappeared. Everyone was always telling me how lucky I am to have a man like him. He did everything for me out of love. He would always hug me and kiss me and most of all make me laugh. He made me feel so good about myself and he told me I would never have to worry about one thing bc he would take care of me and us. I feel like the beautiful man I married only 6 years ago has vanished into thin air. How could this happen? How do I make him realize that if he gets help this suffering could all go away. We do not have any chilren and more and more I wish we had tried for a baby soon after marriage so that our priorities would have been set unlike now that his priorities are all over the place. He too says he's going to leave again and he doesn't want us anymore and he gives up. How can you give up on a marriage bc you can't deal with your own stuff?hi I feel like I could have written what you wrote - only I didn't realize my husb was so depressed until our child turned one. we were married 5yrs before I got pregnant. He said he always wanted a child but we were so wrapped up in work and other things that it kept getting pushed back. Now the child has lots of medical issues. During my pregnancy I felt him pull away but thought it would get better after the baby came he'd fall in love w/both of us and see how much he loved me ... that didn't happen. He pulled away more after the baby turned one I came out of a fog to realize he was having an affair. He has told me he doesn't love me & did move out -in with her he finally told me. He's back but tells me he is a broken man, very depressed - I believe he's been depressed for many years just masking it with sports involvement and work & then the affair trying to find something to make him feel good about himself. Now he's home and on meds, although he doesn't like the side effects and changed once already. He's a very different person than the man I married, treats me differently, he used to do everything and anything for me out of love. Now he's not as caring toward me or the child. He has no energy and is easily angered. I don't know how to help him, we've tried counseling, I think he has a lot to work on but he doesn't like to go on his own... we have a lot of money issues too -that he's kept from me, so costly therapy is adding up... I think he wants me to give up on us so he doesn't have to feel that it's his fault. He says he's not asking me to go through this, I told him yes he is even if he doesn't see it that way ... I hope your situation has improved and hope ours does too.. good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 9, 2010
    • 03:56 PM
    • 0
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  • I think my boyfriend is depressed...we are suppose to get married in our later future but i think we are not gonna last that long. Its been 2 years since we've got together n we have a son together. When we got together n still to this day he has done so many things to me that no woman should ever allow to happen, from naked pics of girls n sex passes to sex videos of his past n etc. I have stuck by his side through everything n i will always but not to long ago me and him got into a heated argument n i told him that i slept with a man he hates when i was younger, way before i meet him and at the time the man was my boyfriend. Ever since then he has not stopped talking or thinking about the man. He threatens the mans life n says he will jeopardize his in the process. He has talked about committing suicide, he doesn't eat, he does not speak to me and he zones out alot, he doesn't sleep, he lashes out at me n i never seen him like this its starting to scare me. I don't know what to do i love him but i don't know how much i can take. I don't want to see him hurt or no one else.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Then you should go to the psychatarist as soon as possible.Don't delay it anymore!!
    josephajain 7 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, all of your stories could literally be copy pasted into here for my own. My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years. We have coped with the death of both his parents and the recent suicide of his only younger brother, who we cared for for some years. While mourning the most recent loss, my husband packed up one day while I was at work and 'left'. He moved his stuff to storage, but decided to come back and stay on the couch the next day (with just his suitcase)... he has been ever since but quit his job and made plans to move in with his grandmother starting next week. He has been doing erratic things recently, which have escalated. He seems to often not be sure what he's doing, will walk around with a glazed look in his eyes or will just stay sleeping all day if I dont make him get up for something, doesnt feed himself or clean around the house (used to love cooking and cleaning), has lost his libido, wants to be alone because he thinks he'll be happier and that I deserve a better life than what he can give me (not the way I see it, he makes me very happy when he's himself), etc. We went to marriage counseling where the therapist basically diagnosed him and said he has major depression and needs to get help asap. the problem is that we are moving ( ill be staying with my parents) and without his job, have no health insurance... so are waiting till after the move and looking for affordable places. I am looking at this as a taking time apart to heal ourselves (I am still grieving, am emotionally strained from taking care of my husband now all the time with little to no response or appreciation), but he is looking at it as that he's leaving me... I am trying to get him to keep from thinking its decided until after he starts getting help, like telling him that we'll deal with the future of our relationship only after he starts being more healed.I guess right now I want to ask those who are further along than I am... what should I expect with the start of treatment? What kinds of things helped to get him not to leave?The therapist said not to let him be alone because doing so will lead to him attempting suicide. She said he's pushing me away and trying to set me up so he would be able to go through with suicide. Ugh, I hate this situation so much, I hate the depression and the pain and the awkwardness and confusion. We had a great relationship and made each other so happy, now I really feel like I took that for granted and wish I could go back in time when everything was normal again.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow, all of your stories could literally be copy pasted into here for my own. My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years. We have coped with the death of both his parents and the recent suicide of his only younger brother, who we cared for for some years. While mourning the most recent loss, my husband packed up one day while I was at work and 'left'. He moved his stuff to storage, but decided to come back and stay on the couch the next day (with just his suitcase)... he has been ever since but quit his job and made plans to move in with his grandmother starting next week. He has been doing erratic things recently, which have escalated. He seems to often not be sure what he's doing, will walk around with a glazed look in his eyes or will just stay sleeping all day if I dont make him get up for something, doesnt feed himself or clean around the house (used to love cooking and cleaning), has lost his libido, wants to be alone because he thinks he'll be happier and that I deserve a better life than what he can give me (not the way I see it, he makes me very happy when he's himself), etc. We went to marriage counseling where the therapist basically diagnosed him and said he has major depression and needs to get help asap. the problem is that we are moving ( ill be staying with my parents) and without his job, have no health insurance... so are waiting till after the move and looking for affordable places. I am looking at this as a taking time apart to heal ourselves (I am still grieving, am emotionally strained from taking care of my husband now all the time with little to no response or appreciation), but he is looking at it as that he's leaving me... I am trying to get him to keep from thinking its decided until after he starts getting help, like telling him that we'll deal with the future of our relationship only after he starts being more healed.I guess right now I want to ask those who are further along than I am... what should I expect with the start of treatment? What kinds of things helped to get him not to leave?The therapist said not to let him be alone because doing so will lead to him attempting suicide. She said he's pushing me away and trying to set me up so he would be able to go through with suicide. Ugh, I hate this situation so much, I hate the depression and the pain and the awkwardness and confusion. We had a great relationship and made each other so happy, now I really feel like I took that for granted and wish I could go back in time when everything was normal again.Your story sounds so similar to mine. Two weeks ago we did move house and my husband who is suffering from depression and anxiety (not been treated but he has had it for about 5 years) moved all his stuff out the new place when i was at work. since then he won't speak to me but will reply to text messages if i send them. says that he wants to be alone - given up everything to live in squalor and doesn't want to come back. he doesnt think he is depressed or anxious for any other reason than he has a bad marriage. i can't convince him otherwise and although we have been so happy in the 15 years we have been together he can't see any happy times and can only see everything as black. he has spent some time trying to convince me that i am mad but this latest thing (moving out) is destroying me - his family and friends don't see anything wrong other than he is married to someone who is difficult?!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 14, 2010
    • 05:21 PM
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  • That you were able to help her husband, determine what type of depression it exists, it will help you in the treatment of depression. If you are not able to identify, contact the person.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 5, 2010
    • 00:36 AM
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  • Life is too short, get out now! How awful to be brought down with someone like that!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 1, 2011
    • 05:33 PM
    • 0
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