AIBU to be hating "the new and improved" DP...

(19 Posts)
snotbags Tue 20-Sep-16 11:22:08

So last year after a few years of intense pressure in his job (redundancy, change of jobs, bullying etc) it all came to a head, he was finally diagnosed as having depression and anxiety - This was honestly the worst year of my life with him (been together 16 yrs, have a house and 1 ds).

If he ever watches ds 9 times out of 10 he will take him to his mums (he says its so they can see him, but its actually so she can watch him whilst dp sits on his phone), and yet even though he does this ds adores the ground he walks on still. he could play throwing teddies here and ds has the best time, just because his dad is actually playing with him.

So during his time with depression he did quite a few of the self help courses available, he was also assigned a counsellor to help him focus on him for a while, I was all for it as anything was better than him sitting on the couch day after day sharing politics things on facebook (my family started to ask what was wrong with him!), so he decided he would like to go back to college to study (hes 40 soon), he had no idea what but after volunteering with some artists over the summer he decided on art.

He started college last week and although hes loving the course, i can't help feeling this isnt what i signed up for at all with him... he has found a new group of friends who are all around 18-25, heavily into art and visit art galleries, the old dp would come in and say come on i'm taking you out for a meal, now though he came in at the weekend and asked if wed like to go to an art exhibition (this is all he seems to want to do) when i asked what it was about - he said "It's about the impact HIV has had on society" err no then thanks.

This is half a joke thread as it seems so ridiculous but ds started reception last week, dp came with me on the first day to take him but would now prefer to stay in bed until 10 to 9 then get up rather than jump up early, help get ds ready and take him to school on his own way to college. Instead its left for me to get him ready, he was sad at the weekend as daddy went out with his friends and he said he misses daddy a lot. I took him out to the park and soft play and we went swimming but its still not the same as having daddy around.

Hes changed beyond all recognition, hes going to a sculpture park next week. his old friends were all through work so he hasn't bothered to stay in contact, his new friends are mostly art students. He has no clue what to do after this course, it was just there so he took it. if he was working towards something i could understand but he hasn't a clue what to do next... last week I spent the week doing the school run for both ds and dp - today ive put my foot down and said im not taking d anymore, he can get up earlier and get the bus (its 15 mins and a 10 min walk to college), he acted like it was the other side of the world. I get to then come home and work all day, cleaning, washing, cooking aswell as my own work (self employed) yet he spent his time throwing ribena and coffee at a piece f cardboard and calling it art. Im trying so hard to be supportive and remember hes still not completely better but I hate the new dp.

snotbags Tue 20-Sep-16 11:22:23

dear god that was so long!

SleepFreeZone Tue 20-Sep-16 11:26:21

So you have ended up with a teenager after thinking you were marrying a grown up? Err no thanks, I can see why you are unhappy!

Ooogetyooo Tue 20-Sep-16 11:32:47

Yanbu.
Your Dh still has responsibilities and it appears he his taking none. He has you do everything, I' d have no patience with this situation, yes he is taking steps to get over his depression, but what about you and your son, where are your needs being met? I' d be making it clear he spends more time with his family and takes/picks up DS from school . The situation needs tackling now, this isn't what I would call normal family life, sorry.

StVincent Tue 20-Sep-16 11:45:21

I think you need to talk to him, ask him why he thinks that being back at school makes him a child? Tell him his own son misses him.

snotbags Tue 20-Sep-16 11:45:26

Thanks for reading,

So yeah basically he has regressed back into a teenager and we are meant to just put up with it. I dont care about the house (I do but i do the cleaning just to get it out the way and i throw all my frustration into cleaning, it calms me down a bit.

But what's pissing me off most is the fact that ds is even feeling it. if a 4 year old knows something is wrong and keeps saying he misses daddy, thats not on for me. This weekend he had the opportunity to spend it with us as we were both off at the same time for a change, instead he helped his friend move house down to london, he left at 5am on saturday and got back midnight on sunday. then went to bed last night early again.

If hes not on facebook on his phone, he's sleeping, or going to some new art opening.

In fact reading that back to myself its clear that he doesn't want to act his age or even be around us, I feel as if we are boring compared to this new life. I had visions (and so did he as we used to talk about it) that he would beat his illness and get back to work, instead we've taken a dramatic cut to our incomings and although hes working 2 days a week its just not enough. sorry for the moaning!

skyyequake Tue 20-Sep-16 11:54:17

No need to apologise!!

I suggest telling him that if he really wants to relive his teenage/college years that he can go do a flat share in some grotty place with one of his new friends and come back when he's grown the fuck up.

I want to go and do a uni course some time soon, I'm 22, and I certainly wouldn't be acting like this. DD comes first. Always. I also suffer with anxiety and depression, but I fight so hard to push it aside for the benefit of DD and it pisses me off so much to see people usually men use it as an excuse to just slack of being a parent.

Tell him he can grow up and start being a decent father or he can shove his ribena art right up his arse.

rhiaaaaaaaannon Tue 20-Sep-16 12:01:06

Please don't take this the wrong way, but are you quite a soft person?
You're apologising here when you've no need. Do you think you could be a bit firmer and say "away dh, time to be a grown up now"?
Sorry if I've read it wrong, just seems as though he's taking advantage of your good nature and you're letting him.

Gallievans Tue 20-Sep-16 12:17:56

I can sympathise here. DH was made redundant about 7 years ago and decided to retrain as a teacher. However, until he made that decision he was permanently on his laptop playing games & ignoring our DD while I was out at work, even though he was supposed to be parenting her. Then he did a PGCE and that was complete and utter hell. We were lucky in that he did still do the school run and cook tea - but that was all. The rest of the time he was on his computer, either doing prep or playing games. It got so bad that even when he finished the course, he spent the next two years permanently on the computer "looking for work" whilst playing games, and wrecked his (previously good) relationship with DD. It's only now, 7 years on from redundancy and 6 from the course, that their relationship is back on an even keel.

I think you need to sit down with your DH and discuss things calmly. It could simply be the fact that this is all new and he hasn't realised the effect it's having, or it could mean the end of your relationship - but until you both sit down and talk it through then your resentment is going to keep building up, and your son's relationship with him will only deteriorate further.

Do you have any family close by that would support you? It sounds as if his mother at least is close by - are you close enough to her that you could talk things through and both of you speak to him?

Either way, good luck and I hope things improve for you.

BabyGanoush Tue 20-Sep-16 12:40:24

This is so tough OP!

You will need to make clear to yourself where your boundaries are, then communicate this to your DP.

Tell him (over and over until it sticks) what you need him to do yo make the new set up work.

renegotiate the relationship!

As a sign of goodwill, maybe try to go to an occasional exhibition with him.

Give and take. Though he needs to do a bit more giving!

snotbags Tue 20-Sep-16 13:07:32

Yeah I probably am too soft on him, I've suffered with depression so I know how bad it is. I feel like I'm always making excuses for him then it all builds up and I explode every now and then. This morning it was because he'd lay in bed and if I hadn't of gone in to get dressed he'd still be there now. He has no idea how to look after himself.

I don't get on with his Mil at all. She is a functioning alcoholic and has caused too much trouble regarding ds. I hate him going there but he loves it so trying to maintain their relationship for his sake.

I'm going to sit him down tonight and tell him what I expect him to do, thinking a routine chart would help him ( but like ds potty training) smile.

I don't think it helps that I work from home, I use the spare rm as my office so I get that people think I'm sat around at home watching TV when in reality I'm answering emails, and working whilst cleaning the bathroom/preparing tea/ sorting washing. Just so when ds comes home I focus my attention on him.

bringmeataco Tue 20-Sep-16 13:32:17

Yanbu

Personally I would talk to him and if he's stuck on teenager mode, I would start thinking about a future without him in it. You sound very patient and supportive but that isn't a licence for you to support him through extended periods of foolishness without question.

He's almost 40 and has a young family and it's not fair for him to treat you like his mummy.

ShouldHaveBeenJessicaFletcher Tue 20-Sep-16 13:40:13

This is exactly why I have decided to no longer get involved with anyone aged between thirty and fifty-five. No bloody mid life crisis crap!

Allegorygirl Tue 20-Sep-16 14:24:42

You are obviously a strong woman who can handle most of the situations life throws at you. You are coping with his depression, anxiety and now this new course. As long as you keep coping things will never change. I have had the same with my dp. Depression (I coped), long term illness (had to cope with toddler). When he got well he was so overwhelmed with being well he started new hobbies, made new friends, joined a gym. His day as he planned it started with gym at 6, work 9 hours, drinks with friends. Meanwhile I was coping with job, home and 2 dc.
I had to point this all out to him, it never even occurred to him.I had to ask him to point out to me what I do for fun. Then he realised that as I was landed with all of our mutual responsibility I had none.
We are ok now but it has taken several months and having to reiterate the message.
No charts, he's not a toddler! He is an adult. If he wants to stay in an adult relationship he needs to grow up.
Good luck, it can get better. Try to stop enabling this behaviourflowers

snotbags Tue 20-Sep-16 20:50:19

Thank you allerygirl god to hear from other people too that have been through it. I just feel like why did this have to happen, we were perfectly fine until all the work pressure happened and tipped him over the edge.

The routine charts were a joke though - although half wondering whether he would respond to them. I was planning on chatting with him tonight except he called up at 5pm to let me know he had finished college and was then going onto a comedy club with his new pals, so i told him it's a good job one of us is mature enough to take care of ds and realise that we cant go back to being a teenager with no responsibilities as much as we'd like to.

When he was away at the weekend he kept apologising to me and ds that he wasnt there, but in all honesty I loved it, the freedom, the space to do what I wanted with ds. Truthfully it felt less stressful than when he is here, almost like i only have 1 child to look after rather than him as well.

I blame MIL for the way he is, bil is the same, they both lived at home until around the age of 27 and 32 (bil) up until the day they moved out they had never done their own washing, cleaning, cooking, all meals were brought to them, rooms were cleaned, beds were changed for them. they never had to lift a finger at home which is probably why he runs back there.

As you can imagine i've gone completely the other way with ds and at 4 he already can tell me the ingredients of most recipes I cook and loves to help in the kitchen. Its just so hard being the one with all the responsibilities while he gets out and has the fun with not a second thought to what hes doing.

Allegorygirl Wed 21-Sep-16 08:16:18

Good luck, really hope he can realise the effect of his behaviour on you both and change

myownprivateidaho Wed 21-Sep-16 08:33:07

I think you need to separate the issues of him being into art and having new friends from the issue of him not pulling his weight in the house.

Address the latter topic calmly and clearly -- figure out what you want from him, and lay out expectations for his year in college and beyond explicitly.

Had you discussed him going back to college? It seems a bit late in the day to raise objections about his course - I would have thought he's paid for it apart from anything else.

Beyond that, I'm afraid you can't stop him being interested in art, and doing the course without a clear aim in mind isn't the end of the world (it's not going to make him less employable even if he doesn't find a job in the art world). And couldn't art galleries be a family activity? It seems like a fantastic thing for him to get the kids into even if you're not down.

myownprivateidaho Wed 21-Sep-16 08:50:09

Also it strikes me that it is possible you are underplaying the depression and anxiety thing. If he came off work for illness reasons, I don't think the fact that he relies on his mum for childcare necessarily means he's lazy - isn't this simply a reflection of his being ill? Lying on the couch on Facebook all day -- sounds like illness again rather than laziness (and there was a medical answer to your family's question about what is wrong with him). And now he's easing his way back into things with a course? This doesn't sound necessarily outrageous to me.

I completely agree that illness does not mean he gets off all his duties. And that it must be super-hard for you. But it strikes me that since he was working through extreme stress for years, he is not necessarily the sort to simply leech off you forever -- he may well be planning to return to work when well enough. Of course you are entitled to know the timeline he has in mind.

trafalgargal Wed 21-Sep-16 10:12:03

I was a mature student. If you work then he needs to be getting you kids ready. Get his timetable and add up how many hours he actually needs to be in college for lectures and tutorials as opposed to studio time/hanging out time. The first couple of weeks tend to be very social after that people tend to settle and get on with work so this honeymoon period won't continue (and frankly if he hangs out exclusively with much younger students the novelty will soon wear off both for him and them )

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