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Not coping, really need advice.(24 Posts)
This may be long (apologies)...
I have been with my partner just over 5 years, we have two daughters aged 2.4 years and 12 weeks. Things have always been pretty good, we've had ups and downs but nothing too drastic.
In the last 6 months or so my partners mental health has taken a severe downturn. He's always suffered with on/off depression and anxiety but things have just got worse and worse. We are seeking help but everything seems to be moving so slowly...
He is suffering from delusions of things in the dark trying to get him, paranoia that people at work are out to get him (he has been signed off for about 4 months now, with no sign of going back soon), he's started drastically changing his appearance and has bought and been using a piercing gun on himself.
He can't seem to handle anything, he usually manages about 10 minutes with the children before it becomes too much, 10 minutes of housework before he has to sit down (for the rest of the day...) He goes through extremes of making me feel like the most important person in the world to shit on his shoe, I don't know where I stand most of the time!
I am extremely supportive and have been doing everything in my power to help and be there for him. I've been making all the appointments and seeking help and he has an assessment next week with the local mental health team.
As hard as this all is, I think I can cope just about, knowing that help is on it's way.
There is one thing however I am seriously struggling with. According to my partner he has strong sexual urges to sleep with other women and feels he must do this. He says he needs to do this to feel wanted and appreciated, as a release and so he feel like he's someone else. He says he's felt this way for a while and wants us to try an 'open' relationship.
I just didn't know what to think or say, I tried to come to terms with it but I just can't imagine being with anyone but him. Since we spoke about it he has slept with another woman and is talking to someone else 'like him' who he also has plans to sleep with. She is in pretty much the same situation as him and reading their messages to each other they act like me and her partner are the unreasonable ones for not letting them find 'release' with other people.
I talked about leaving and received a suicidal response. I've backed down and I'm keeping quiet for now.
It's all just so soon after the new baby, I feel trapped. I don't know what to do and feel I can't tell anyone is real life about this, I feel so ashamed
I really need advice. Even though he says it's a symptom of his issues (possible borderline personality disorder) what do I do about it? Anything negative towards him brings on a severe depressive episode...
Sorry if I've ramble, or went on too much. I feel so numb right now and confused.
12 weeks after birth?? You should NOT have to be thinking about this right now. So on paper he is not helpful round the house or with childcare, can't cope with work and sleeping with others? Is that ok with you?
Aside from potential STDs is this the influence you want your children to be brought up around? His MH issues are not yours. You can't solve them or turn him into the man you want him to be. And if he is so mentally ill that he can't function as a partner, father or worker how is he managing to form relationships with other women and maintain an erection? It just doesn't stack up.
Is there somewhere you and the kids can go for a break while he works out whether he's in this relationship or not?
Do you want to leave him?
How easy would it be for you to leave him?
BabieAreLikeBuses- No, none of it is okay with me, but I feel like I can't be to hard on him because he's ill. You are right though, they're not my MH issues, if I let him continue to treat me like this then I fear I'll be heading for a breakdown. I just feel sick and stressed all the time and like I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm heading....
The children shouldn't be bought up around this There really isn't anywhere with room for the three of us. I just feel so responsible for anything him, like if he was to do anything it would be my fault.
I know I need to see past that but it's hard when for the last 4 and a half years he's been a different man.
I keep hoping he'll go back to how he was, but I'm probably just fooling myself. I feel so stupid
Not sure I can say much that can help, but wanted to offer you a hand to hold. You don't come across as stupid at all. I think you need to concentrate on keeping yourself and the kids out of harms way (emotionally) - he needs to sort his own MH issues out. You're in danger of him not improving, and you being dragged down with him. He's unlikely to understand that perspective, but you sound like you've been amazingly reasonable so far. Good luck ((un-MN hug))
You are not stupid at all and it is important to work on your view of yourself in this to get a clearer perspective. He is being abusive, regardless of mental health issues or not, none of it is ok.
Is there somewhere he could go? family or a friend to put him up for a few months? it must be so hard going through this with a young baby. I ended my relationship when our youngest was 6 months because of the way my ex treated me. It sounds like you have gone over and above what a loving caring partner would do and tbh he is taking the piss.
Maybe look at it as a break while he sorts his mental health out rather than ending anything
I'm sorry, but I'm afraid in your situation I would be asking him to leave. To my mind, claiming you have the right to seek sex with other women because it would help your mental health issues is simply not on. Particularly as you have recently given birth and could do with some help. This is a dreadful situation for you and I am truly sorry. But I do agree with Babies that this situation does not stack up. Whilst it does sound as though he has some serious issues it also sounds alarmingly like he thinks being depressed is an excuse to behave in any way he feels like, rather than actually trying to help himself.
10 mins housework, 10 mins playing with kids. Yep. These are 'boring'. Managing to develop/sustain a relationship with another woman in order to inveigle his way into her bed? Oh...he can put more effort into that, suddenly. And if you won't go for it then he's going to KILL himself - and it will be all your fault, because you are completely unreasonable to object to him doing whatever he wants??
It's not a symptom of his issues - it's a symptom of his sheer bloody spoilt self belief that he is the only person in the universe who is important.
I've dealt with family members with mental health issues and he needs to be seeing his GP to get referred to a psychiatrist, with immediate discussion about some form of anti-depressants. Then he needs to be doing all he can to eat healthily, take exercise, get at least 30 mins fresh air a day, develop a routine that he sticks to - ie get up at a reasonable hour and have small set goals to achieve.
What he doesn't need to do is wallow in self pity, cover himself in piercings and seek cheap sex with other women so he can pretend to be someone else.
Sorry to sound harsh - but you need to focus on yourself and your children and not let this man force his 'depression' onto you. If he cannot make serious attempts to cope/help himself without demanding an 'open' relationship that you don't want then I don't see how he can demand your 100% support in his destructive behaviour, frankly.
Being unfaithful and emotionally blackmailing you into agreeing with it cannot be excused by mental ill-health. He may well be confused at the moment and be deluded that sleeping with other women allows him to feel like someone else - but if I were you I'd just say that that particular option is not available to him as far as you are concerned.
I think you have to draw the line firmly about this - he either stops or moves out. You cannot be responsible for everything. You are already trying to organise his care and treatment while dealing with a 12 wk old. You should not be sacrificing your peace of mind and feelings as well. That is too much.
By him not experiencing the consequences of his unjustifiable behaviour, you are colluding in a dysfunction that will damage your spirit and therefore weaken your effectiveness as a parent.
Support him by not letting your now dysfunctional relationship blight the childhoods of his children. Support him by not letting his MH issues damage the emotional wellbeing of the mother of his children. Support him by not letting him disrespect his wife.
If he does become well again and whatever your relationship status is at that time, the man you once knew, will thank you for not letting the man he is now from damaging his wife and his children.
You can not protect him from who he is right now, your power lies in limiting you and your children's exposure to what he does.
Please don't feel stupid
i'm speaking from personal experience - i tried so hard to hold my marriage together and to support his MH issues - but in the end the final issue was one too many and i had no energy left to fight it. He left as i "wasn't fighting for us" but it just can't be down to one person. I have two dc who need me and need stability, a third one wasn't helping iyswim. Mine wasn't demanding an open relationship but was holding down an emotionally challenging stressful job very well mid depression.
twelve week olds are relentless, please try to get some space away from this to just deal with the kids and figure out what you want.
I'm sorry you have to live with this with 2 very young children.
I don't buy for one minute that it's MH issue that means he MUST have sex with other women. Does he want you to have sex with other men too? (asking because sometimes these pressures do exist. ) My x had sex issues, which I had to do with him to save the relationship. Not worth it.
He is also being incredibly selfish saying if you don't accept it and need a break he will kill himself. No, that is not on. In my experience it is an empty threat, but of course it stops any critisism and rational argument. It is very frightening. But it is not your responsibility, it is his own. You are not stupid for being worried about him and wanting to help him though. It's just a sad fact that he has to do it for himself.
I hope you can get help so he can go away for a bit and sort himself out with appropriate help.
Having MH issues and being abusive are not mutually exclusive. He is using (or invented?) his MH issues to let him sleep around. You are not allowed to say "no" because he "cant help it"
He can help it, he just doesnt want to.
Tarum, please reread what you have posted here. What you're going through is awful. You should only be concentrating on your babies not being to deal with this so early on. I would suggest a 'break' and let him go. Get him to leave and he can do whatever he likes. Then revisit where you both are periodically. You may find you have the strength to go it alone, you may find yourself being happier not having to deal with his extra marital affairs. Which from what I am hearing from you.... this is your 'no go'. You must take a firm line else you'll end up hating yourself and probably sinking into depression too. Then your kids will suffer. Please do what you can to look after yourself and your children. Your partner is INCAPABLE now.
I'd seriously recommend, if you have the room, to get a live in aupair. They are cheap and very helpful. Or have regular paid for help. You are entitled to it and please have your partner pay for it in lieu of him spending money on expensive drinks, dinners, petrol etc...with his other women.
Thank you for all your amazing advice. I think I have let myself become too isolated with what's going on that some ideas of normality have become skewed.
I tried to have a talk with him last night, telling him that I was unable to accept him seeing other women and now he has become extremely emotionally distant (sulking??) I told him that I understand that I understand how hard it is having these issues (I have had depression myself in the past) but I can't do all the work getting him better. He has to want to get better and really want things to work out.
His mum has got guests this weekend but if he continues his behaviour I and won't talk to me like an adult then he'll have to go. Some time away to figure out if he wants to be in a committed relationship or be a single man.
As much as I would love an au pair (have daydreamed...) we don't have a spare bedroom or spare cash! Money is so bad at the moment. Life works when we are both working, we're not high earners but we get by. However with his and me off and earning less things are beyond tight. I would go back to work, even wrote the letter to go back but as things progressed I realised that I just could not leave the children with him. His temper is so short with the 2 year old and if they become 'too much' he just withdraws or becomes extremely stressed and agitated. I wish he wasn't this way with them, I would quite like to go back to work, it'd be easier then all this! Also, it doesn't help that he keeps spending money we don't have on stuff for himself. Spending money gives him a 'high' but at everyone else's expense!
I know I must be a stronger person for the sake of my children and for my own mental health. I'm not going to enable his behaviour any more.
I know I don't need him (and I think he knows this too) and I can cope without him (he doesn't do much anyway!)
Again, thank you for giving an honest and normal perspective on things.
Thats awful that he spends the familys stretched budget on stuff for himself. hes taking the piss.dont have sex with him either he might be carrying something nasty.
until I read about the other women I was sympathetic, and MH issues such
Look in a wierd way this is good, as he has bacically given you a green card to LTB
depression, OK, sleeping around, NOT OK
I think you need to start making plans, ie
get a good counsellor
see a lawyer
explore working options
make some very practical plans and start to empower yourself OP
you CAN and WILL get through this, but it will take time
Don't beat yourself up Tarum, you are already being very strong. I can imagine he's good at talking, and will press home only his point of view. Add small children and the work and commitment that needs (from at least one adult!) and you have dealt with this very admirably. He hasn't.
Good luck. Perhaps ask him to go for a period anyway, for him to get a much needed wake up call, and/or for you to just ease him out the door for a better life for you and the children.
Your p is being at a minimum emotionally abusive- there are support threads on here, there's a lot of it about.
You are not responsible for him, threatening suicide is abusive and controlling and he won't do it, he just wants you to do as he demands.
This is no environment for children to live un, they will be very damaged by such an abusive selfish father. And of course the same goes for you.
My advice- plan your exit or your ejection of this waste of skin, and start living again.
I'm responding to your descriptions- honestly op, this sounds seriously bad. Good luck, keep posting
It sounds like he is using his illness as a way of having his cake and eating it to me. sorry if this sounds harsh but you are way too understanding. he should be seeking help first and foremost as clearly its unreasonable to have sex with other woman and expect you to stay by his side. He can only manage 10 minutes housework before having to sit down for the rest of the day but has energy to have sex! really?! I hope you find the energy and courage to one day leave this man and find something better for yourself. Everyone deserves the chance to be happy. please don't think I am being judgemental but I'm very affronted on your behalf that he has you trapped like this.
Unfortunately all too familiar to me, I really sympathise. You need to get out asap! I was in the exact same position whilst I was pregnant, ex became worse with us once new baby arrived. Always using his "mental health" as a reason to get away with murder- so much so I had a breakdown. I had been trying to manage alone, embarrassed to tell anyone, it wasn't until a few months after we'd had to leave I confessed all and was told it was abuse- they have a way of making you think differently about what is "normal". It takes time, but you can do it alone. Feel free to message me for a chat x
What an awful situation to be in OP. And I do mean awful for everyone, including your partner. However, I agree with fromParis - he has given you the green light to get out. Maybe in a strange way he wants you to kick him out?
I admire you for supporting your partner through his mental health problems. But what he is asking now is a whole different kettle of fish.
Do not stay with him and have this "open" relationship. It will only lead to more heartbreak for you, being put at risk of all sorts of STIs. What if one of these other women gets pregnant?
Protect your emotional and physical health. And your children. Pack his bags, send him back to his mum's. You can't be a mother to him and your children at the same time - your babies need you the most, choose them, not him.
Talk to people in rl and ask for support. Accept all the help offered. Keep posting on here. I truly wish you all the best.
Exactly. It's hard on all of us being parents. Every time he becomes abusive and uncooperative remind him he has responsibilies and as man, his family should be able to rely on him as well as each other. I would let his family know (whether they want to know or not) he is admonishing his responsibilities to his CHIlDREN. It still costs money to f*ck other women unless the ow happens to live next door. Be it a text message, or petrol or bus fare!!. That's your children's livelihood!! Sorry but I am angry for you. Be angry as you need it to get the courage and stand up to him!!
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