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I need to talk to someone normal about my husband.(164 Posts)
Normal people over here please! (tongue in cheek)
I am in a bad place with my husband. Basic story: married 15 years, 2 dc aged 10 and 9. I have been, at various times in our marriage, in full time work, part time work, voluntary unpaid work and as a SAHM (the last two overlap). We spent the last three years with me re-training for a new career, and I qualified this year. I'm now working f / t (flexible hours). New job meant a move of house, so moved to a new area in my home county and the county that DH knows best. DH has long term clinical depression, but says it's fine and under contro lwithmeds at the moment.
So far so good (except the depression). Except that, since we moved and I started my new job, dh has been mostly v. emotionally distant - he says he feels 'numb'. He had a big depressive episode in Sept-Oct, and it was absolutely horrible. He talked then about leaving me. He withdrew a lot over Christmas and I got quite worried about him from a MN POV, and started thinking about whether his meds were enough etc.
On New Year's Day I mentioned that, now that we are living in a nice big house with a big garden, we might think about getting a dog. His response was that he didn't want to complicate our lives with a dog. I asked if he felt that life was too complicated, and he responded by saying that for weeks, he'd been thinking about whether he still wanted to be with me. He said 'We'll always have a good relationship, even if the marriage fails', and 'I don't want you to think that I haven't thought of the kids in all of this.' His reason that he gave was that he didn't feel as though he has a role in our relationship any more, he's seen how capqable I am and he doesn't feel needed.
I was really shocked as I had no idea that he'd think this - I had thought that the October episode was an abberation. I was really upset and cuoldn't sleep that night. Next day, I went back to bed for a bit to catch up on sleep and he came in, and we talked - he ended up saying that he is committed to our relationship.
Then last night something sparked another conversation - I am struggling with my workload and have been ill over the last few weeks. He started off by responding positively, but then started saying that my workload is affecting our relationship and I' dbetter sort it out soon, before there's no mariage left to save. (I work about 45 hours a week). I said that sounded like a threat and he didn't really respond.
I have access to counselling through my work, and last night dh agreed to counselling, so I emailed the counsellor today but I haven't heard back yet.
The reality of dh's feelings (or lack) has hit me hard, and I've felt v. down today. Dh got home from work, tookone look at me, said 'You're not right'. Aftre a bit of chat I told him how hurt and upset I am with him. He ate his dinner in silence then went to bed at 7.30pm. We had talked about having sex tonight.
Sorry it's so long. I just need to talk to someone who is normal and not me, or dh. My friends are all too far away (because we moved). What do I do? Dh has said I haven't done anything wrong. I'm more or less 100% sure that there isn't anyone else involved.
I had a period of being so unwell I was almost admitted as an in patient, I was hard to live with I am sure. I still knew it was me being ill and that my DH was not making me ill, your DH trying to make you responsible is just plain nasty.
Change counsellor as well, she actually sounds dangerous.
OP: Focus on this: The kids are happy as normal, and haven't really noticed. I'm quite enjoying being the sole adult of the house, tbh .
Before I read your updates I was going to post that you (and we) have put all this effort and angst into trying to work out what's going on for him and how to help him - but can you imagine him doing the same? Imagine him posting on Dadsnet 20 posts all trying to analyse and explain your behaviour because he wants your relationship to work? No? Thought not. He has been manipulating you and being extremely cruel. He never would have married you if he'd slept with your first?! You're well out of there. Enjoy your freedom.
Hello all. I've just been sent home from work because I couldn't stop crying. I had a longish phone conversation with h this morning, who actually used the same word as AF; he said he 'baulked' at what the counsellor said last night, he felt that she was putting me under emotional pressure to have him come home, and he felt that she was very unfair and inappropriate. So he's in favour of ditching her too.
He also said that if it weren't for the dc, we'd have parted by now. He didn't say in in a nasty way, just in a factual way. He said that we're still a team, and we'll do everything to make things easier and better for the dc. He says he's in no hurry to come home, and will take time off during half term to look after them while still giving me space. So, he's saying all the right things and being very reasonable about it. He said on the phone that IHO the counsellor had played the 'you're being a bad mum if you split up' card on me, and he can see how that's going to hurt me more than just about anything you could say.
So I'm going to spend today drinking tea and listening to loud music and doing a few bits of work from home. Maybe I'll do dome serious housework and take put my frustration by scrubbing the house to within an inch of its life!
Thank you all. Spero, your advice has been so valuable; thank you!
Take care and go easy on yourself today x
Thank you! Tea helps.
Following on from what Roxy said, there is quite a bit of evidence that SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) seem to induce emotional blunting in patients who take them.
You can google SSRI and 'emotional blunting' for more information.
As Rosy said, it might be worth liaising with your GP to check whether alternative meds might suit your DH better.
Can you see whats happening - its like someone has called your DH's bluff!
So he acts like an arse for many many years, often being outright cruel.
He tells you repeatedly that he wants to split.
He manipulated you innto a position where you actually feel like you have a choice in this - he in fact has you thinking that it is up to you.
Then useless counseller tells you to think again.
DH suddenly gets a fright - Oh fuck if she starts feeling guilty about splitting and asks me to move back, I'll look like the bad guy here.
So hes all loving and supportive and on your side -
SO YOU WILL CONTINUE TO THINK THAT IT HAS BEEN YOUR CHOISE TO END THE RELATIONSHIP
But it wasn't - he gave himself permission to emotionally leave you years ago.
I know if I knew you in real life, you are going to BLOSSOM in the coming years, everyone who knows you will look back in wonder at how you put up with so much crap for so long.
You are sprouting wings!!
HeyHo I completely agree with you, I think the OP (and you sound lovely) is being played here, I'm afraid. All the threats, emotional bluster, fear of him leaving, fear of him being depressed and walking on eggshells, and the comments about sex incompatibility- I think he's really hoping you leave him, but that it looks like your decision!
Op I understand why you very sad, you are grieving for what is, and what might have been. That's very hard to accept. I think cups of tea and chocolate biscuits all round are required- have you also got some RL support? (and not of the 'why don't you give it a go, marriages are hard work' variety)
I agree with HeyHo. He's making you feel it is your choice because he doesn't want to live with the idea of himself as a Dad who has left his family.
Sounds like he is up for being a supportive co-parent. It's great that you can still talk about parenting together. It doesn't matter whether parents stay together or not, what matters is whether the children are loved and well looked after and that they are not brought up in a negative environment. The children will be fine, in fact they ARE fine! As a kid I used to wish and pray my dad would leave. Staying together can be a very destructive thing to do.
It must hurt so much for you at the moment. It's going to get better. You will feel better xx
Another one agreeing with Heyho.
Also just wanted to say I was seriously, life-threateningly ill with depression for a long time, and not only have I not been offended by anything you've written, I also think you are being too trusting and accepting of your husband, who sounds as though he's been unkind to you and your children for rather a long time.
It is a horrible illness, but depression is emphatically NOT a licence to give up responsibility for yourself and your health or to oppress others. In fact, you can't really ever get well if you do. Without you, your husband will have a stark choice: to wallow and get worse, or shape up and try to get better. It isn't (or shouldn't) be for you to shield him from that choice. He really needs to make it.
So consider this: while your husband lacks the courage/maturity to end this marriage, he does seem to want it to end and it is probably therefore in his interests as well as yours that it does. Which is what you can say if he or anyone else is ever crass enough to criticise you for any decision you make to leave him (not telling you to, btw. Only you can decide that).
Thank you. I'm feelng much better tonight! I'm kind of becoming okay within myself. Which is good. Yes, he is absolutely up for being a supportive co-parent. Which is also good!
Anyone else fancy a ?
Glad you're feeling better. One day at a time.
<trots off to make the tea>
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