To be resenting my sick husband

(42 Posts)
Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 00:21:32

OK I'll try to keep it short but can't promise as dont want to drip feed. (Revision before posting - this IS LOOOOOONG) Posted about some (separate parts) of this before so NC so I don't out myself

A while back 2 years or so DH started experiencing low mood. Having been on antidepressants for most of my adult life I encouraged him to seek help and he got put on medication felt a bit better, all good

Long story short he later lost his job due to it contributing /anxiety/ level of absence etc

Initially I encouraged him to take time out for himself, to feel better so he could get back to work
He soon found another job, trained in it but on the first days work had a real panic attack and couldn't face it and so gave up the job (how I wish I'd pushed him to try to go as things might be so different now, though didn't have the heart then as he was in such a state)
He got worse and currently receives ESA support group payments so assessed as unfit for work at present (though he does hope to get back to work someday)

Since then he's often said he feels bad not contributing (much) financially but as he's been looking after 'the house' cooking/cleaning washing etc I said not to worry as that's a huge help to me working full time and we can manage financially for now but have had to cut back on things like no eating out/going out/takeaways/clothes etc luxuries I know, so we are lucky in that sense

I feel horrible saying it but I don't feel he is helping me/us out so much now and i don't expect him to be a maid, but he'll leave washing up and dinner pots on side til i do it, 'forget' to put on/hang our washing i sorted out.

He gets little money and NO SUPPORT regarding ESA (I have been told his assessment as 'support group' means he isn't on govt targets so no incentives to help him back to work eventually)

He has low moods but I have got to the point I am depressed again too and I can't help feel it's partly his moods - I feel bad that I can't 'fix him' but he's bringing me down and I KNOW it is hard to get out the darkness but I am trying to help, arrange nice things to do, get him out the house regular - suggest he walks into town even just there and back but he sits on his phone for hours on end

I've looked up cbt/counselling but he's tried it before and says it doesn't work.

He's gained weight (as have i) so I cook healthy but he isn't interested in any form of exercise (even going for a walk) saying he is too tired/out of breath but won't see his GP as 'there's nothing he can do'

Tbf he HAS been passed around pillar to post by local MH teams and was first referred 2yrs ago+ but not yet really had any 'help' except medication reviews

I feel I need to get off my chest that I am unhappy too you know
I am tired too
I am stressed being the one responsible for everything
I can't carry on worrying about money all the time (he's always 'let' me sort finances as he was in shit position financially when we met and I've always been the sensible 'saver'
He is sleeping downstairs (which I hate) because he keeps me up with his snoring (which I hate too) but he is ALWAYS asleep when I get up, no matter what time.

I've tried to encourage him to get into a better routine to help him, but he sits up watching TV late. I know he doesn't always brush his teeth and it's really off putting but how do I 'tell' a grown man he needs to wash and brush teeth daily??

I know he is unwell but I am too, I'm now signed off work with depression myself, but despite feeling like utter shite myself, sometimes feel at times I'd be better at work as I am trying to get myself in a better place (as HE needs ME to be well) but he brings me down (although I know he doesn't mean to) with his low moods and irritability and snappy moods

I don't know how to discuss any of this as I know he feels worthless and I don't want to make it worse but I can't cope if he never works again then I feel it's my fault for not making him more financially responsible

I am a horrible person aren't I?

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 00:24:20

* but I can't cope financially if he never works again

MaisieDotes Wed 13-Jul-16 00:26:38

No, you're not a horrible person. You clearly care deeply about your DH.

Do you have DC?

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 00:37:46

Nope no children

MaisieDotes Wed 13-Jul-16 00:44:12

I don't know. You sound exhausted, and from what you've written there's almost a sense that you're moving into a parent/ child relationship, rather than being equal partners.

I think you need to put yourself first for a while, even if that means having a bit of space from your DH.

SylvieB74 Wed 13-Jul-16 00:50:56

You're a better person then me because I'd seriously consider leaving him. Especially if you're quite youngish. I didn't used to think like that but there has been times when I've done the right thing with people, been utterly miserable and wasted long parts of my life, and got utter shit from them never mind thanks in return.

BengalCatMum Wed 13-Jul-16 01:09:52

This is the craziest (possible) suggestion ever;
so please don't blow me out the water

You sound like you both need to 'reset'; if you both do 'want to' not be depressed (which does sound weird - but some people aren't ready to not be depressed yet IYSWIM)/ are ready to not be depressed...

(and conventional medicines aren't working)
then maybe LSD, MDMA therapy with proper guidance advice might work

Yes did say was crazy, please don't flame me.

Renotry Wed 13-Jul-16 01:23:14

Are you me? Cus this sounds like me & my DP right down to the teeth part. Wow.

Hope it gets better for you, my DP has been like this for years now, although he slowly is getting better. Despite my own depression I try to be strong for him & push myself to keep working as I know he wouldn't be able to cope with my hardships too.

Some people however, no matter how deep into a mental health issue like this, can feel liberated at having the responsibility of being able to help someone else. For my partner it would stress him to no end but maybe yours would feel differently and supporting you too would help you both heal.

PitilessYank Wed 13-Jul-16 01:57:32

BengalCat-that's not such a crazy idea. There is growing evidence around the use of ketamine infusion (ketamine is an NMDA blocker) for depression and pain.

Italiangreyhound Wed 13-Jul-16 02:04:11

Feellikearightungreatfulcow you sound like an amazing and brilliant person who has worked so hard to keep her partner afloat, and he is now dragging you down too!

Can I ask if you would like children? Do you ever see yourself and your dh having kids?

I thin you need a concerted effort, push, to get him the help he needs and maybe you too.

Please get in touch with your GP and explain if this continues you may both end up with additional health needs. If your GP surgery has a patient representative etc, please try and talk to them.

I have had anxiety and I had CBT and I worked brilliantly. It doesn't work for all but there are a lot of therapies that can help.

Does he have 'issues' from his past or trauma, or other things that could have created these problems?

I really think, in the nicest possible way, you need to ask him to help you, to help you both as a couple. Small things like cleaning his teeth could just make life nicer for you. And if he can do that could he buy and fix a salad for you when you come home. Could he drag himself off the sofa for a walk together?

PLEASE get some advice from a charity like Mind.

www.mind.org.uk/

I don't know but this site may have some help.

www.rethink.org/carers-family-friends/what-you-need-to-know/supporting-someone-with-a-mental-illness

I do not know but I would suggest you start small. Teeth cleaning plus one thing a day, whatever that is, making dinner, shopping, preparing healthy meal, walk etc.

Can I be really nosy? Do you make love these days? No judgment here as I am pretty off sex these days! But we do have sex about once or twice a week. It does really help us to re-connect as a couple amid the child care, cooking, shopping and work! Please only do what you wish to do, of course.

You could also look into couples counselling but I am not sure how effective that will be until you can both access mental health help for depression.

I wish you all the very best.

mathanxiety Wed 13-Jul-16 03:57:17

Maybe try rephrasing in your own mind what you are working for? Can you do things 'just for you' instead of trying to get well so you can carry both of you?

Take a walk on your own just for you. Enjoy nature, breathe mindfully, or maybe listen to some book on tape while you walk. Try not to focus on the fact that he isn't walking with you.

If you have the spare money, get a good massage or get a manicure regularly or have it out there as something to look forward to 'at the end of the summer', etc. Get treated well even though it is done by someone who is paid to treat you well. Enjoy the relaxation and the pampering just for itself.

Eat healthy food 'just for you'. Look at clearing up the kitchen as 'clearing up my space because I love it looking neat'. Try not to be resentful of the fact that it is 'left to you'. Be grateful that you care and can muster up the energy to get it done, and do it for you.

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 10:35:26

Thank you all for the responses, I had started feeling like a horrible cow just for thinking these things and you've all made me feel better and less crazy

Sylvie I have considered leaving him, and that makes me feel worse, imagining if I'd been "abandoned" when depressed, but then I've never lived with a DP (always lived at home, with house mates, or workmates) so it's kinda always been 'for me' when I've dragged myself back to normality.
We are mid thirties - is that young?!

BengalCat I have heard of that before (and don't think it's crazy!) - wouldn't have a clue where to begin though

Renotry don't think I'm you! Though it's reassuring to know there is someone else managing in the same circumstances as me. He does say he worries about me, and I should talk to him, and I can talk to him about me but it's hard to talk to him about him

greyhound before we met I'd decided no kids,he always wanted them and I came round to the idea thinking I'd probably written it off as not met the right person yet, but now I've written it off as feel we'll never be financially stable enough
I will speak to gp and thanks for the link to mind I'll try that too.
I've been referred for cbt so am hopeful for that, plus mentioned to the referalls my DH and they put me in touch with a carers support number He does have issues from the past too.
It always used to be him instigating sex, last few times it was me!! But yes, infrequently. I think on his part it's mood, for me it's partly that,but also the hygiene

mathanxiety thanks for tips, I got some pampering vouchers for Christmas I could use.
And great idea doing things 'for me' I'm going to try that too

Thanks again all

Greyponcho Wed 13-Jul-16 10:48:37

Do you maybe feel like you've both fallen in to a trap of taking each other for granted and feeling undervalued? Such as, you're annoyed he isn't helping you to get on and be able to work, maybe he's annoyed that he has done things round the house and you've not noticed so why bother doing any more?
Maybe make a pact to say at least five positive things to each other every day. Yes, bringing the bins in isn't hard work, but a simple "thanks for doing that for me love, especially as it was raining" can go a long way.
I know this won't fix things for you, but might be a little step in the right direction while you sort out some proper advice and help from your GP. Best of luck to you both

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 13:17:33

maybe he's annoyed that he has done things round the house and you've not noticed so why bother doing any more?

Even though I don't think I should have to every single time i still do I do make sure I notice what he's done and I always thank him for doing what he's done

AlMinzerAndHisPyramidOfDogs Wed 13-Jul-16 13:33:42

He's banking on your not leaving him because he needs you to continue to facilitate him.
This is what they call co-dependency, i think.

i would have left long ago.
i realise he is mentally ill but until he helps himself, no one can help him.
is this what you want until you're below ground?

WindPowerRanger Wed 13-Jul-16 16:01:42

he brings me down (although I know he doesn't mean to) with his low moods and irritability and snappy moods

Start with this. No illness is a licence to treat others badly. Keep your boundaries strong. No matter how you both feel, there is a minimum of decent behaviour you should both agree to.

CBT doesn't work for everyone. I know it is typical depressed thinking to give up because one thing didn't work, but what about CAT, group therapy, mindfulness? Talk to him about where he sees himself in 5 years time, where he would like to be in 5 years time and how to get there, as well as what you want and your wellbeing as a couple. The more things drift, then often the harder it is to believe in positive change, so it is important not to put things off.

And it might sound harsh but it is very much worth saying that the status quo cannot continue indefinitely, both for financial reasons and because it will drag you down too.

Arfarfanarf Wed 13-Jul-16 16:04:25

I really do think you should consider leaving.

I think two people can get to a place where they are really really bad for each other and need to separate in order to get better.

It sounds like that might be where you are now.

It doesn't make you a bad person to say I have reached my limit, I cannot cope with this life any more, I need to step back, take care of myself, get well myself and then consider my position.

Greyponcho Wed 13-Jul-16 16:18:14

Hmm, I asked as my DH needs congratulating for every single f*cking thing to feel appreciated.
Sorry I can't be of any use to you OP, but at least some other posters have given some sound advice.

c3pu Wed 13-Jul-16 16:20:39

Perhaps being specific about what you'd like him to do while you're at work may help a little? Perhaps write him a list, or send him a text while you're at work.

CaptainMarvelDanvers Wed 13-Jul-16 16:37:24

I agree with c3pu you should write down a list of jobs which need doing each week for him to follow.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression since I was a young teen and when I have really low moods I can often miss stuff which needs to be done. A list helps massively!

It sounds like he is frustrated at himself. CBT didn't work for me either, although I recognise that it's a great help for other people and I did learn a little bit for some issues, but when it didn't work I felt really pissed off at myself and started to give up on life again.

Rethink is a really good organisation which has help not just for the person suffering mental health issues but for families too.

Ultimately though OP you need to make sure you are ok, if you need respite and space then get it. Your mental health is just as important.

Mental health sucks and the cutting of mental health services sucks more!

Oblomov16 Wed 13-Jul-16 16:47:19

Shocked at responses, saying LTB! MH area has been cut and there is no budget to help him. How is that his fault? You yourself say he has been passed from pillar to post within the MH arena.

But, he has to want to do something. To look at the end goal, you being happy, him being back at work, and make small steps to get there.

knightswim Wed 13-Jul-16 18:11:02

Is your DH claiming everything he is entitled to? I've had very severe MH problems for a few years and I get PIP on top of ESA, a total of £231 weekly for both benefits, which helps me feel I am contributing towards the household. Your earnings won't affect his entitlement, so it is worth him claiming if he hasn't already done so.

He should also ask for a referral to his CMHT, I've been getting individual psychotherapy on the NHS for the past year which has been massively helpful and far more relevant to me than just medication.

KamMum Wed 13-Jul-16 18:45:54

Thats no way to live and unless you do something about it now, you'll end up living like that forever. He's depressed and unless he's ready to address that you can't help him. You cant help someone that doesnt want to help themself. Its bringing you down also....I think I would have left him. You owe it to yourself to be happy. Maybe have a break from each other and see if that jolts him into, even accepting counselling, brushing his bloody teeth etc. You're his partner, not his carer. Good luck flowers

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 19:14:00

c3pu/captain i do make lists or ask him to do specific things but even then I feel like I have to keep following it up to make sure things are done, which leads to him feeling I'm bossing him around/me feeling like that/me feeling I may as well just do it myself as I don't want him grumping about being asked to do something more than once because he didn't do it the first 3 times I asked
Maybe I'm expecting too much but I'd like him to notice things need doing, I don't like having to always keep asking him to do the same thing, I feel like I'm his mum blush

He hasn't had cbt already, just passed between various other talking/counselling therapies of which they said he was too severe/not severe enough on each occasion.
The one place he had a second session he had a different clinician who basically told him he needed to exercise and lose weight then he'd feel better (despite him having long term issues with his knees and already asking for advise as it's painful for him to walk/run very far but he desperately wants to lose weight/hates his body)

He us frustrated at himself I know, but I ask if he's OK /ask what I can do to help/what he needs and he just says nothing/don't know/no one can help

oblomov it has already crossed my mind, and I said I felt bad but despite me trying to help him/motivate him/support him I feel he just isn't interested.
And I don't mean that in a 'dismissive of his mh issues' way, as I know all too well what it's like, but even on good days I can't motivate him to do anything

I think whilst esa helps financially and initially I was glad he wasn't under pressure to seek employment, I now feel like he us a bit better but he feels he has no reason to try to get better /back to work, and he gets NO SUPPORT from DWP despite being in the 'support' group

Feellikearightungreatfulcow Wed 13-Jul-16 19:18:23

knightswim do you mind me asking on what basis you get pip?
I mentioned what you said to OH (under a different guise) and he seemed to think he wouldn't qualify as he'd score 2 - 4 points max.

(Though I had a quick Google and the c.a.b page suggests how to answer questions/what to consider and I feel he'd meet more of those criteria especially things like about socialising/communication as his anxiety means he avoids new peole/places, and even avoids family)

I am happy for you to pm me if you don't want to discuss on here. Or do you know where I can find the assessment criteria for these mystical point scores I hear about

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