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I know what I should do but I can't... please be gentle

(25 Posts)
Grockle Thu 24-Jan-13 22:14:21

Background: DP has bouts of severe depression. We've been together for 3 years & he's now on his 3rd round of this. I can cope with him being depressed but he refuses to come home. He stays at his mum's (30 miles away & close to wear his DSs live).

To be fair to him, he gets the shakes & sleeps a lot when he's depressed & he tells me he can't drive, which is probably true but he also refuses all offers of a lift. He only ever gets this bad when he's at his mum's - not once has he been stuck at my house.

I don't understand what triggers these periods, I don't know why he refuses to have anything to do with me. He might text but most of the time doesn't bother. He says he loves me & wants to be with me but he won't actually be with us.

I know this is bad for me & DS. Last year, DP disappeared to his mum's for 3 months. He kept sending me suicide threats & it was an awful time for me. I don't want to go through it again. But it's started. I think I need to walk away & not look back. But I love him... when he's ok he's really lovely & is brilliant with DS.

I know DP won't change & will always do this, won't he? I know I should walk away, for DS's sake. But I want my lovely partner back.

Not really asking for advice although it is welcome. I think I just needed to get this off my chest.

Nuttybiscuits Thu 24-Jan-13 22:21:27

Grockle - I really feel for you. Not really sure what advice to give, but just wanted to offer support.

I once had a short relationship with a guy who suffers from severe depression. It didn't last long, as he knew how unwell he was and he ended it. Broke my heart, but now I'm grateful that he did, as he had already started to drag me down with him in the few months we were together.

As you say - you know what you should do, but it's not easy. Take care of yourself and your son

izzyizin Thu 24-Jan-13 23:00:46

Is your ds his ds, iyswim?

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 03:44:20

Thank you.

It's so hard because when things are good, they are really good. But then this happens with no warning & I am left devastated.

He's not DS's dad but has been DS's main father figure for the past 3 years.

It's all such a mess & I'm dealing with it badly.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 25-Jan-13 08:30:43

Mental health problems are obviously not voluntary but there are better and worse ways of handling them. Why, for example, does he stay at his mothers when these episodes strike? Why not see a GP or get a referral for psychiatric care? Why make suicide threats to scare and devastate you rather than call the Samaritans? To me, that sounds like sinister manipulation rather than solely illness.

He may well be a nice man the rest of the time but if, in three short years, he's got you in such a state then self-preservation has to kick in. I also worry what your DS thinks. A 'father figure' that disappears for great lengths of time. A mother that is upset and focusing all her attention on someone else. It is a mess, you're under no obligation to this man and there would be no shame in saying that the relationship is unhealthy and has to end.

I suffer from depression quite badly and sometimes it hard to be around people during a particularly difficult period but I try because I love my husband and kids and its not an option off and leaving them or making them suffer,
I'm sorry but he is being completely selfish, mental health problems or not , he can't just walk in and out of your life as he pleases, it's not fair on you or your son, if he really cares he must let you in and stop making you suffer too.

BinarySolo Fri 25-Jan-13 08:38:02

Totally agree with Cogito.

For the sake of your son's and your mental health and self esteem you need to move on. But you know this. You'll get through it and things will get better

starflake Fri 25-Jan-13 08:43:38

I suffer from severe depression although my episodes would normally last a few weeks with the middle part being the worst. I also keep my DP away when this happens as its for his benefit. I don't want him to see me so low & the way it effects me. I do it to protect him.
Maybe you could explain to him to get over the worst part or explain you want to help. My DP read up a lot on depression & educated himself so he understood a lot more. That really did help me to understand he wasn't going to run a mile or think it was him when he saw me so down..... He has since seen me really down once over xmas, wasn't easy for him but he understood more.

lulu2 Fri 25-Jan-13 09:01:37

I too suffer from bouts of severe depression but I simply cannot opt out, for the sake of my relationship and my family.
I try to minimise the impact of my black cloud on my dp and dd. The fact I have them helps me because I simply can't take to my bed and stay there for days at a time.
I think your dp's mum could do more to help you, she is enabling his behaviour.

I feel for you but your priority has to be you and your son.

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 18:38:31

DP stays with his mum because that's where he is when his depression gets bad. It's also where his DC are (in the next street) and his GP & MH team. He also says the same as starfish - that he doesn't want me to see him like that. Depsite my repeatedly telling him that I'd rather have him home than not.

I don't know why he made suicide threats. I think he was trying to scare me. Or maybe it was a cry for help. When things settled, he came back and the rest of 2012 was pretty good.

I do know about depression. I have several severe episodes myself and have been on lots of medication. But I go out of my way to ensure that I don't hurt anyone and try hard to hide it... often no-one has a clue I am struggling so much. I have to carry on as normal because people need me. Running away is not an option.

I know I need to move on. It's just hard. I'm going from feeling intensely angry (that he has hurt DS again, that I have lost work, that I supported him for so long & tried to be loyal and supportive) to terribly sad that he has gone again and that I know I can't have him back. I just wish I understood why he does this - why I'm so awful to be around or what I've done.

I'm really not focussing on someone else. I'm very much doing stuff with DS & am focussed on that. But I need to deal with this too. I'm just being pathetic really. But DS needs me and it's nice to have some time alone, just the 2 of us.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 25-Jan-13 18:58:14

Sometimes, no matter how much you want something, it simply isn't possible.

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 20:04:26

Yep.

And I suppose this is for me what my having to work & DS having to go to school everyday means to him. It's not what he wants but what he wants (to stay home with me everyday) is not possible.

Life is hard.

sad

izzyizin Fri 25-Jan-13 20:41:33

Life is as hard as you choose to make it. Why not choose to make yours full of fun and good friends?

You wont get your lovely partner back. This is who he is.

If you want a lovely partner, you need to let go and be open for somebody else.

OneMoreGo Fri 25-Jan-13 21:04:00

Lovely, I sympathize so, so much. I have been there and I know how hard it is. PureQuintessence is right, this is who he is and this person is not right for you even though you do love them and want very much to make things work.

I have in the past fought and ranted and railed against the unfairness or a situation like this, and in the end I gave in and walked away because it was the right thing to do for my son, and for me. And I am now with someone wonderful who is present in all ways, fully and completely, and who loves me very much. I'm really happy with her smile I also know that if I hadn't bailed when I did I would still be in the same situation now because my ex hasn't changed one jot and I would be at an even lower ebb now if I had stuck by them for that bit longer. Walking away was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but also the most worthwhile.

Don't throw your (and your son's) life away on something that is never going to be right. There is still lots of time for you to meet someone amazing who can be a good partner and meet all your needs. But you won't meet them while you are trapped in this deadlock with someone who is never going to change back into their 'old self'; because this is the reality of who they actually are, now, in the present and it is making you miserable.

Grockle Fri 25-Jan-13 21:13:02

Yes, good point izzy. And Quint.

I will stop texting and calling & begging him to talk to me. He's been quite clear he doesn't want to talk. It's just that I know he'll appear again & apologise & say he loves me & didn't want to hurt me etc. And I know that's bullshit but for some stupid reason, I take him back every time. I KNOW I shouldn't. And I know this is bad for my sanity and poor, lovely DS's wellbeing.

OneMoreGo Fri 25-Jan-13 22:00:01

It's not bullshit, he means it in his own messed-up way, no doubt. You just have to stop believing that those words are enough and judge him on his ACTIONS. Which are sadly just not up to standard.

Grockle Sat 26-Jan-13 19:34:17

Yes, he does mean it in his own way. It just doesn't look like that to me. I've always said his actions speak louder than his words... he always says the right thing but does the opposite.

He's made contact today, a couple of brief textx saying he's sorry for everything he's put me through & says he will call later.

I don't know what to do. Well, I do know but I think I'll just beg him to come back. I don't know how to get myself out of this... I know I shouldn't enable his behaviour. It's just crap when I love him & he's my carer. He wasn't like this in the beginning.

Unfortunatlyanxious Sat 26-Jan-13 19:48:50

I suffer with anxiety and depression and was suicidal in the New year. I am concerned for you though because his illness is affecting you negatively. I do make every effort to not hurt my family.There have been days I cant leave the house , wash and barely speak to anyone but I try so hard because I don't want to hurt them.

Obviously no one can snap out of a MH issue but Lulu2 up thread has written a good post straight to the point.

Grockle Sat 26-Jan-13 22:24:27

Thanks unfortunately. This does have a negative impact on me. It messes my head up & I then become ill. I can't afford to be unwell again. I don't want to struggle with serious, life-threatening depression again.

We've talked a bit now... well, I ranted at him for ages & he kept mumbling 'sorry' He said he'll be here tomorrow but I doubt that. I need to be brave and move on.

I don't know how to approach his mum. I know his parents feel exasperated with him... they don't understand why he won't get a job or why he's so unhappy. They're not very understanding about depression but I suppose they are enabling this behaviour.

DS & I have had a lovely day together & are planning some nice things tomorrow as well. It's good to have him all to myself smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 27-Jan-13 10:21:28

"I don't know how to get myself out of this..."

Could it be that you don't have anyone/anything else to take his place? If he wasn't around.... however imperfectly... would you be very lonely? Sometimes people can occupy too much our attention or we worry about them and we mistake that for love. Sometimes we look at the alternatives and think (wrongly) that this is better than nothing.

Often best way to get out of a behavioural loop is to introduce some kind of obstruction or diversion that breaks the habit or creates a new habit.

Grockle Sun 27-Jan-13 18:55:43

Right, I've been brave.

DP said he'd come over today. I heard nothing from him, despite a couple of texts I sent to ask what was going on. He eventually replied & said he wasn't coming.

So I've told him not to come back and deleted his number from my phone so I can't send stupid texts. I'm devastated that it came to this. sad

I've bagged all his stuff up in bin bags but I don't know what to do with it. I have some things that belong to his parents too.

I don't know what to do sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 27-Jan-13 20:15:36

You've made a good start. If you want him to have his stuff back, get a friend to drop the bags at his parents' place.

Then keep busy. Work hard and play hard. Fill every moment of your day with activity of some kind or other so that you can't sit wallowing, wondering and being tempted to send texts.

Good luck

I agree you should get somebody to drop his stuff off. It will make it final. Would be good for you.

Nuttybiscuits Tue 29-Jan-13 00:48:36

Keeping busy is the key - say yes to every offer and invite from friends and acquaintances. You'll be amazed at what you find yourself doing now that you don't have to say no because you're busy with him. Try and do something every single day.

Do things to distract yourself, and have fun with your DS. Every moment spent laughing and smiling is another moment not spent crying over him. It will get easier.

Don't worry about dealing with his stuff just yet - after all, he was happy to live without it until he could be bothered to come back to you. So he doesn't need anything that urgently. Deal with it another day, you'll soon feel strong enough to face it. Concentrate on you for now.

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