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My DP left on Saturday. Help please!(131 Posts)
Hi. A friend recommended MN and I have been reading posts which have helped my situation.
My long term DP left on Saturday. Whilst we had problems, it has come as a shock. Does anyone have any tips for getting through the day in the early days? I have 2 children, 10 and 6. Thank you in advance.
I am also not sure you need to be explaining your feelings/behaviour about losing your beloved parents so close together to him....are you somehow taking the blame here for his wanting out? Yes, I was a shit partner because I was going through shit?
It doesn't work like that. Shit happens to good gentle people, and you come across very much as one of those You say you have basically handheld for years with this man and his depression and isolation, to the point of colluding with him to self administer highly dangerous antids, and now he leaves and you are writing to him to tell him why your behaviour may not have been what he wanted? That's all skewed.
Your ExP sounds like my husband in his behaviour, low self worth, depression, uneven personality, but my husband is undiagnosed despite his entire family knowing the signs... all of his side of the family has some personality quirk. Its fookin hard work to live with, and I can't predict when he will go apeshit next. He's never physical and is calm with our daughter, but his irrational personality really pees me off at times. He won't go to counselling either.
The thing is, we still care for our OHs don't we?
I have no advice really, as sometimes I feel like such a sap staying put, but what to do?
Please tell him to stop taking your ADs. Everyone knows you shouldn't take medication prescribed for someone else and he needs to get proper support and treatment on his own issues. If he doesn't tell the GP he has been taking your tablets then starts on others it could be a problem.
I do have a problem with posters being so definitive about a relationship about which they know so little - just a few lines of text on a screen. JBIC you obviously don't know how horrible depression is and it seems this man has had a chronic depression for many years and it is a really awful illness. It makes you feel empty and flat and not able to be interested in life in general and he has moved out so that he is not inflicting his misery on his family. I hardly think he can be blamed.
I think the OP and her partner and the children are all hurting and apportioning blame is not the way to go, well that's my opinion anyway. If you haven't experienced depression you can have no understanding of how bad it makes you feel. People say they are "depressed" when they mean just they are fed up. There is absolutely no comparison.
I think OP you should go ahead and do what you feel is right because only you know what has been going on between the 2 of you and the causes. I know you post on here (like others) for advice but I just can't bear it when people get into blaming mode as problems in a relationship are never one sided - I think the trouble is the dynamics of a relationship do tend to get "set in concrete" over the years and makes change difficult.
I really hope that you two can come to some resolution or find a middle road where you can make sure the children feel more secure. Above all your partner needs to see a GP to get help with the depression.
Good post Nina, a well-timed reminder.
I am sorry you lost both parents within 5 years, now this crisis. Grief and mourning can have a sort of ripple effect that amplify any existing or emerging problems. Sadly depression also distorts the sufferer's perspective. He may have held back from voicing any unhappiness initially; he was, you say, your 'rock'.
Now the pendulum has swung the other way. Your DP managed to articulate all your faults and shortcomings - however magnified - to show some of his dragging misery around was 'your fault'. Of course you know this is wrong and if he were in his right mind, he'd say so.
Right now he will veer between missing you all terribly but simultaneously longing for space to assemble his thoughts in an energy sapping fog.
His daily presence in the home must have been like a black cloud. He would not go to a GP so you and the children have lived with this as long as he has yet I wonder if he has ever reproached you thus,
"You don't know what it's like for me..."?
I feel so sorry for your eldest DS trying to stay brave for you and underneath it all very wobbly. Tell him you miss Daddy too but right now Daddy isn't well and is trying to sort things out. Children can cope better at his age if you admit to not having all the answers better than they can deal with evasiveness or untruths.
If DP can be persuaded to seek professional help he can start afresh, together or apart from you. You do have a say in this relationship's future, don't be left stranded.
Thank you all for your wonderful replies with very valuable and heartfelt advice. You have enable me to begin to make some sense of my situation. Let me address some of your questions....
Vivacia, regards the letter (well more information about me and how I have been feeling), I gave it to him as he left this evening.
Regards to his belongings, he took them all when he moved out. I had returned from a break away with my friend and our children, to discover he had packed up and taken them to the other house. Of course, it was mainly just clothes, computer, spare TV, sofa bed and the like. He bought second hand bunkbeds for the children from Gumtree.
justbecause, yes, I do think every time he comes round there is hope but on reflection it could be him being unable to break away as he has no one else close by or I know he loves the children dearly. His depression has a lot to do with him leaving. As someone mentioned, he is constantly in a fog. However, I do think distancing himself has allowed him some relief.
nananina, you hit the nail on the head! It is a shame depression is ruining his life when it can be treated. His mum is of the belief that their family cope and don't need medication, so his reluctance stems from this belief.
I know I am currently in blame mode. I suppose I'm trying to look at the main reasons for him leaving. I suffer from a health anxiety, of which I've revived CBT. He has offered me support throughout this (since the birth of our children). However, I keep thinking perhaps this with my stubborn nature, has led to him leaving as we'll as his depression. Suppose I'm clutching at staws right now.
tubemole, thank you for understanding and I'm sorry you are suffering too.
missstrawberry, I have said to him that perhaps now is a good opportunity to see the GP. I have also spoken to our GP and told him about the situation. It means if he does make an appt, then the GP is prepared.
donkeys, funnily enough, tonight he said that he was sorry to apportion blame, and explained that I was only a very small part of his unhappiness and that he didn't want to appear to be blaming me. He admitted his difficulties and other aspects of his life such as feeling trapped in this house next to the neighbour from hell, his jealousy of his older more successful sibling, his disappointment in his lack of achievement (financial).
Living with him was like a black cloud. I would be apprehensive on a daily basis about what mood he would be in. Good thing is he had a chat with my eldest tonight about him feeling unsafe in the house at night. My son then said he only felt safe when daddy was upstairs and when could he come home. My DPs reply was "not at the moment, son". I suppose that's my answer really.
I did manage to chat to him tonight but I think I took it too far by asking when he could see himself coming back. He said he couldn't take all these questions right now. He said it took a lot of strength to leave and he wasn't going to move back right now as he needed space. I asked if he would ever move back. Bad move on my part (desperation crept in unfortunately) and he was very reserved about answering.
So back to square one really. Wanting him home but him needing space :0(
Woke this morning to the realisation that he isnt coming back any time soon.
I think Mips you might become more reconciled to the situation over time. Your emotions are all very raw at the moment and they will be many and varied. It sounds like your DP moved out when you were away and so this must have been a big shock. Maybe that was the only way he could do it. You did say every day was like a "black cloud" and you would be apprehensive about his mood. You might find that you feel more at ease, but it is all going to take time. You have suffered a loss and this doesn't have to be a bereavement, and you will feel all sorts of emotions, denial, sadness, anger, frustration etc and the emotions dodge about, but eventually most people come to some form of acceptance. You must allow your emotions to come and cry if you are sad and talk to people about how you feel, as this can help, rather than bottle it all up. I always find writing down what I feel helps, and this could be good for you - sort of gets it out of your head onto paper.
I don't think you should keep asking if he is coming back. As he said it took a lot of strength to move out and having done that he is having the space he felt he needed. I am sympathetic to him because of his depression and maybe he thinks that if he lives alone it will ease, but I doubt this will happen, in fact it may well get worse.
You can't expect to feel anything other than sadness at him moving out, it is very early days. As time goes by you will have other emotions and they will come and go. I still think he has separated himself from you in the sense that he has moved out but I think he is still emotionally attached to you. Give him the space he wants Mips and try to take care of yourself. He should help with the care of the children and talk to them about why he has moved out (in an age appropriate way) of course because some children think it's their fault when their parents separate. Incidentally I didn't think you were in blaming mode - I was referring to another poster.
Thanks NanaNina. Your words were exactly appropriate for me this morning. I'm grateful.
I think I do need to stop and let him have the space he needs, hard as it may be. Otherwise it may appear as hounding him and push him even further away. His brother told me to give him space, and perhaps he will see what he had and miss it. But I can't force that upon him. He needs to decide.
My friend invited me into town today but I can't face crowds right now so my DC and I are going out locally. It's my youngest's birthday this week so I said he could go to pick a present and his cake.
DP has taken his birthday off so we can have a day out.
I gave him the letter last night as he left. I added info about how I think things went wrong and solutions to help mend them. Don't know if this was the right thing to do.
However, this morning he emailed me thanking me for the letter. Nothing other than a thank you.
I agree with your brother. Give him space, but also give him a very realistic picture of what it's going to be like. You're not going to be old housemates where he can pop 'round for a cuppa.
I think Vivacia was spot on earlier when she said why not show your feelings, be authentic. Your anxiety issue can't be helped while everything is unsettled.
For now do as NanaNina suggests, give him space. But it wouldn't be fair of him to assume you'd adjust or be unaffected long term. Buying beds for the DCs and popping over shows he hasn't absolved himself of all responsibilities but as he himself observed in days gone by, 'it's in our actions we show love'. I think you should set a time limit in your head and if he still hasn't arranged to see a GP, to get a formal diagnosis and treatment, I would question whether he has any intention of so doing.
Incidentally are you also affected by 'neighbour from hell'?
(OP had lost the thread so am bumping it for her)
Nudge, bump, hope OP sees it.
Thank you everyone.
Your advice has been my saviour.
I have not had a visit from DP today so kept busy. Decided to turn the room he used as a study into a den for the children so went to DIY store to get paint, cushions, etc. Kids helped pick things.
He did email me this morning and call me lunch time about my DCs birthday present. So thats contact every day now.
Did you reply to the email and answer his call? I really don't think it would do him any harm to have no non-child related contact.
I did reply. Im too weak. He wanted to order DS a birthday gift and wanted my thoughts before ordering. No contact since then. His mother text me briefly to see if things were ok with me. I told her the truth!
She is a bit of an out of sight/out of mind person. Livesa distance away.
DP coming for day out for DCs birthday. Willtry my hardest not to mention the break up. How should i be with him tomorrow?
You're not weak. Don't fall in to the trap of blaming yourself because you can't turn your commitment and loyalty on and off like a switch. You have enough to be dealing with without piling on the guilt because you can't turn off a marriage worth of habit in a matter of days.
You are doing so well. You're already taking ownership of your home for yourself and dcs. The fact that you keep getting out of bed and functioning day after day is awe inspiring and now you want to decorate too?!
Cut yourself some slack for goodness sake! You are decent and made a huge commitment to this man. It is completely normal to struggle to switch that off. If it was easy you wouldn't be decent, would you? ;)
Thank you. I felt a bit better today. Keep thinkibg about him though. Spent some time reading "how to get your ex back" websites, lol. At least he read and acknowledged my letter. My best friend is on a mission to help me get my mojo back! She keeps reminding me of the woman i used to be and can be again.
Tomorrow will be for my DS. Hopefully we can be comfortsble with one another. I wont mention getting back together as he felt i was hounding him yesterday. Desperation had set in.
Apologies for typos. Its my chubby lil fingers on my phone!
Mips, you are such an over achiever! Stop being so down on yourself about being sad. You're MEANT to be sad right now! In fact, you're meant to still be in bed, in the same pyjamas you were in a week ago sobbing over your umpteenth box of tissues and ringing for takeaways to feed the dcs! Instead you are up, thinking about decorating, planning birthdays and even finding time to criticise yourself for having completely normal emotions!
Your dh's issues are HIS issues. You can't solve them for them or make them better. All you can do is focus your energy on yourself and keep on going. And you are doing BRILLIANTLY. Your dcs are very lucky to have you.
So for goodness sake give yourself permission to feel bad and cry your eyes out. It has to be done so you might as well crack on and get it over with. But STOP feeling guilty for not being "strong enough"
Lol, thanks. I admit to having cried buckets and in front of the children. I havent been eating and lost 10 pounds in one week. However today i took the kids to F&Bs and ate loads!
I am a bit worried about the DCs. In other posts, people say the grandparents are looking after the children. I dont have parents and my DPs live a flight away. Do you think its okfor the kids to see me cry? Ive told them why.
Also im a teacher and dreading going back to work. I dont think i can cope with a class when i am just functioning day to day atm.
Ah ha! Fellow teacher here! You honestly will be fine in the classroom. In fact, you might even find it a relief to get back to normal and have something else (well, 30 something elses) to focus on instead. We teachers are the most DREADFUL perfectionists. You don't think normal people agonise over stuff like we do, do you?! Good enough is good enough and if it doesnt all get done well, that's what wet playtimes are for!
Definitely cry in front of the children. You're in a sad situation and I don't think it would be helpful to pretend otherwise. You've told them what's going on so they're not worried about why you might be sad. I'm sure you're not crying continuously and as long as there are regular routines to help to reassure them that daily life will carry on just as it always has, why wouldnt you want to explain to them about sadness? I wouldnt dwell too much on the detail though. "I feel sad because I miss your dad" is probably enough (and gives them permission to be sad in front of you too); save the minutiae for your rl friends and MN of course!
Hi Mips - I think you are getting some very good advice/support now and no one seems to be blaming your DP any more which is a good thing and you must try to stop blaming yourself. As I've said I think your DP may think that having space may improve his depression, and stop him feeling guilty about inflicting misery upon you and the children.
You mentioned that he had acknowledged the letter you wrote and I don't know how your DP will react (but I'm sure you will know) some people would immediately write back and others will take time to reply ad not be sure of what to say, and yet others may not reply at all. In any event I don't think someone with depression is going to be together enough to reply to your letter in the near future. I imagine that you poured out all of your emotions in the letter and that might be difficult for him to read and assimilate.
VyB is giving you some very important "messages" to stop being so hard on yourself and I can only endorse what she says. You are suffering a major life crisis and it would be very strange if you weren't having some major reaction, it's called being human! I also think it was good that you went out and bought things for the kid's den. What ages are your children if you don't mind my asking.
I hope you can be comfortable with each other tomorrow though of course it is going to feel a little strange and even awkward to be "playing happy families" but I'm sure the birthday girl/boy will be pleased that you are both there for his/her special day.
Glad to hear that you have some RL support and with a best friend too - invaluable at times like this.
I read upthread that you had lost the thread. Just click on "I'm on" at the top of the page and it will bring up any threads that you are on!
I know I keep mentioning this but do you know why your DP won't see a GP about his depression - and do you know what the root cause of it is. Suppose it's out of the question that he would see a therapist - no I thought not!!
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