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Relationship in need of fixing URGENTLY(82 Posts)
I have a perfect DD who was a surprise. Neither of us were what you would call ready but then who is. We were 23 and 24 when I was pregnant and 24 and 25 when she was born so of a reasonable age to settle down also having been together for about 5 years. We are now 26 and 27.
Recently, he is very depressed. He feels his life is spent looking forward to coming home from work but once he is home just waiting to go to sleep as we either just watch Dora or play with our daughter. When I suggest a trip to the park etc he just says he doesn't want to. He says he was not ready for family life and does not enjoy it.
The weekends are worse, He freely admits sleeping in for as long as possible at the weekends because the weekends are so boring and lie ins are the only thing he looks forward to in his pitiful life. Once again, any suggestions for family fun are met with 'I dont want to do that' or 'thats boring'. He simply only gets excited or motivated about going out with his friends. His friends mostly have kids now and mostly the rest have settled with partners and probably will have them soon. Practically everything to do with our 2 year old daughter is left to me. He has changed a few nappies but has no idea how to actually do them, has never once bathed her, once or twice he has put her to bed but never on his own as i was there too. I literally do everything apart from one night a week (2.5hrs max which he acts like is the biggest deal ever and never fails to bring it up if i ask for more) and very rare occasions when he cares for her. He even once text me asking how long it would be til i was home as she had done a poo.
He has stated many a time that his unhappiness is not with me as he couldnt ask for a better girlfriend but also thinks the way to solve this problem is to leave me. He states he is not sure what he wants. This weekend he dropped a clanger, stating that if he did leave, he would want her to live with him. I said NO straight away. I have always said I would be more than reasonable. He can see her whenever he wants but she lives with me, end of! My problem is, if it isn't me that he is unhappy with... Why the hell am I the only thing he wants out of his life? If she lives with him everything stays the same apart from me and he obviously has no idea how to look after her as he has never done it. We both work full time so after work it should be equal i think. We have a good life, we own our own house, have good jobs each, own cars, beautiful daughter and good health. I think he needs to understand the value of that but he simply doesnt.
BASICALLY, I AM WONDERING WHAT ACTIVITIES I CAN DO WITH A TODDLER THAT ALWAYS PLAYS UP IN PUBLIC THAT WILL INCLUDE AND EXCITE HIM AND PERSUADE HIM THAT ITS NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM???
Thanks in Advance
A very desperate mother
I think yes enforced time will help him and you. The reality of life without his family. Words mean nothing. Actions are what count and whilst children are demanding, he should be showing you how important and cherished you are.
He is wallowing, yes there prob are reasons, but he needs to grow a pair and realise how fortunate he is.
As I've said, let him go and focus on yourself. Make yourself feel good, show him you can cope quite well on your own thank you very much, do not be needy.
Again, he can stop at any time and does for these work trips but its something he does for enjoyment because there's not much else for him. I've never touched anything illegal but he is one of those insanely clever people and it calms him down mentally. I don't think it defines him as a person as he has a very impressive job on a career path he has recently started and is very driven (not your typical stoner basically) but possibly chemically adds to his depression.
Weed smoking is absolutely the worst thing a depressive needs. He nees help. He needs to show willing and commitment to that.
Stop excusing this entitled man child.
He's either in or out.
Frankly I'd have shown him the door after his first woe is me outburst but you are clearly a far more forgiving soul. That he is ripping the absolute piss out of.
I have clinical depression. Never, not once have I made my family suffer for my illness.
Stop letting him walk all over you. And as for take the child? Is he fucking nuts? He can't even cope with a shitty nappy FFS.
Oh and I had my first when I was 26, DH 27. He is old enough.
i will talk to him about depression tonight. He is definitely old enough and he realises he is being a bit of a twit as when i say talk to your mates about it he says 'whats the point? they'll just tell me to man up and get on with it!' I am far too understanding but I don't want my baby to have to be from a broken home and the problems that brings. I do see what you are all saying and I do feel it myself but I want this to work. I need to try and talk this out. We have thousands of times and we always say we will work on it and nothing changes. I probably just dont want to accept its over
As a general rule, I avoid saying "he sounds depressed" when a guy's acting like a twat. The accurate response is usually "he sounds like a twunt"!
But yours does sound depressed. The incident with his friend must have shaken him terribly. It's a good enough reason to be suffering emotional disturbance.
Very often, I feel like my days are spent waiting for them to be over, then I don't want to go to bed because that means another groundhog day will start earlier. But I am clinically depressed, I know why I feel like it. I have meds and coping strategies. Let's hope your DP gets himself to the doctor's as soon as, and begins working on feeling better. Wishing you both the very best.
He sounds depressed to me. And he doesn't sound like a selfish or entitled tosser at all. he sounds like someone who is really struggling and being open and honest about that, and who can still express their love and admiration for you despite that.
I have sympathy for him (and you too, of course!). I had PND and felt really trapped. It was a huge adjustment, to realise that fun was different with children from what it had been before children. At first I felt very self conscious and brain-dead singing wheels on the bus etc. But somehow the wake up call arrived. Just realised one day that this was it and would be what I made of it.
Can you encourage him to get help for depression and give up smoking? And can you encourage him to recognise that this is indeed it, and if he wants to really live each day to the full, then doing it with his wife and daughter is the most thrilling and satisfying life he could ever have - long term. Raising a child is a massive adventure. It's massive fun. It's just a different kind of fun.
It can take time to readjust. That doesn't make him a monster. And he's lucky to have someone as loving and wise and non-judgemental as you seem.
Meant to add, - he could do with some counselling about his friend dying - that's a massive trauma. It could be having a huge impact on how he connects to his daughter and bonds with her.
"He said he would want her but wasn't sure he could cope."
That has got to be the most monstrously selfish thing I have ever read on here.
He spends no time with his daughter, family activities are "boring," he can't even change a dirty nappy, he resents being asked to look after his own child, he takes drugs, he's waaa waaaa waaaa sooooo unhappy with his boring life, me me me me meeeeeee why isn't everyone trying to make ME happy, can't they see I am the most important one in this house?
So, he drops the devastating bombshell that he would like to split up. Does he care how you feel about this? Not a jot. Then he says he would want to take his child with him. Because he loves her sooooo much. Yep, so much that he can't even be bothered enough about her comfort to change a dirty nappy or care enough about her development to spend any family time with her.
So not content with breaking your heart by suggesting he leave, he is also proposing stamping on it by taking your daughter with him? A daughter that he is not interested in, cannot look after and will blow weed smoke over.
And he actually thinks that this is an OK thing to even think? Let alone say?
I'm afraid I have to say this:
- he doesn't love you
- he doesn't love your DD anything like as much as he should
- he is not insanely clever
- he is a selfish dickhead manchild
- ALL he thinks about is himself. You and your DD are not even on his radar
Personally I'd advise telling him to get the fuck out.
I have been told - by clinicians - that intelligence can make depression worse, because you will not accept formulaic "answers" that a less hard-thinking person could find comforting. On the plus side, a quick & enquiring mind makes you a stimulating client for therapists, so you tend to learn a lot from the process. You might want to share this with him.
Thank you minidipper and garlic baguette. you've just inspired me! it did really mess with him and being a man he doesnt talk much about it, tho he did at first more than i expected. ive suggested he sees a councillor but this wasnt greeted with much agreement. groundhog day is the exact term he uses!
EveesMummy there is a fantastic post on another thread that I think really might be helpful. I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting it and I hope middleasternpromise won't mind:
Add message | Report | Message poster middleeasternpromise Sun 08-Sep-13 12:34:58
This type of person is very hard to maintain a relationship with. They present as the tortured soul type, never happy never know why and are periodically grateful for your help. But most of the time they are exactly as you say, selfish. Selfishly pinging around to see if there's something better for them and bouncing back when they find there isn't. Even when it's good you are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Living with this type of person takes a very strong individual, you have to be so secure and grounded because they aren't, and they use what you provide to anchor themselves. There is only really hope if they are prepared to take some responsibility for their actions but in my experience you wait a long time for that. You have put a lot of time and commitment into this relationship, I don't think you need to worry if he says he wants to move out, he will be back I don't doubt. In part the not staying and fighting is the cowardly side of them. He knows or thinks he knows that you will be there for him. Sometimes until you get some space you don't really know what life would be like without their daily dramas. If this space comes your way naturally then I would say take it but use it to take care of yourself and not him.
I agree with the first bit of what you say however, we will have bee. Together 7 years in feb and he's never once left or had to decide between what/who is better until now. Also, he is a very strong person. Not weak one bit. He is selfish and always has been but this is on a different level which leads me to think of depression.
You know him best but I am worried because: the things that he is saying amount to pretty appalling behaviour, yet your response is "oh poor him, what can I do to make him happier" rather than "how bloody DARE he."
It is not your JOB to make him happy.
If he is constantly making you feel like a boring piece of shit for wanting a normal family life, and making your life unbearable with his constant moaning about his utter misery at having a job, a loving gf, a beautiful child, as many nights out with his mates as he wants . . . why are you thinking it's you who needs to sort this out?
He is an adult. According to you he is "insanely clever."
Why can't he use this acclaimed insane cleverness to sort his self out?
How do you think this is going to happen? Why are you taking this on yourself while he does fuck all to help the relationship?
He doesn't sound a very strong person to me.He sounds like a child allbeit one with a drug dependence.Not the role model that anyone wants for their child.
One thing that stood out for me was the bit about him losing a life long friend. It took me 3 years to adjust to my new normal after my mum died, longer than that to become less anxious. It knocked me in ways I never expected. The trouble with grief is people (I don't mean you btw) expect you to get over it and move on very quickly but it takes years. Factor in some guilt that he didn't get there sooner but feels if he had he'd have saved him - then I wouldn't be surprised if he's suffering some sort of depression.
I think he's very lucky to have you even if he doesn't feel it right now. Not everyone would be as patient as you are with him. Do you think he'd go for bereavement counselling?
Perhaps it's time to clarify that I don't see depression as a get-out-free card. Depression IS selfish; it reduces one's world to a horrid, grey, individual prison. People who suffer from it are aware of this fact, and take steps to protect their nearest & dearest from the selfishness. (A lot of couples cope by allowing a set period for "depression talk" in the week, playing smiley for certain other periods, and keeping out of each other's faces as far as reasonably possible the rest of the time.) Before developing coping strategies, though, the depressed person has to get a diagnosis, accept treatment and opt in to therapy. If they won't, you're just dealing with a selfish arse who sucks the joy out of everything and won't take responsibility for themselves.
I'd also better say that I've often supported people in dumping persistently depressed partners. Life's too short.
Your partner has a likely trigger - his friend's death - which is what makes me hopeful that this is an acute depressive episode. As such, there's a fair chance of full recovery IF he accepts something's wrong and is willing to do stuff about it. Everything passes; it can feel impossible to believe it, but everything does. It's up to him to choose whether to let his chance of a happy family life with you and DD "pass" ... far better to help this dark fog pass, surely, than that?
Dare I say it, that the first 2 years are probably the most boring bit. Yes you love them and my god are they gorgeous at times. But the entertainment provided is purely for their benefit and tbh, not all that exciting to us adults (cbeebies -yawn!, playgroups hmm).
But because we love, we invest and it gets so much better as time goes on. It helps when their vocabulary develops and their personality starts shining through. Then there are bike rides, water parks, outdoor pursuits, sports. I'm quite outdoorsy, so is my DS. He's like a good mate when we go out these days- just starting to come to festivals and first gig soon. Then there is the greater independence you get while they are off playing with their friends. Really, it does not get more intense than in the first 2 years, if you survive that as a couple the only way is up. Could try explaining that the really hard graft is over, soon will be potty trained and having surprisingly deep conversations about life.
Well said, clouds, imo. Grief = depression. I'm glad you understand what happened to you, and hope you're now feeling at peace with all your memories.
what does he actually like doing?
I'm not sure what it is that disturbs me so much about this thread.
The way I read it is thus:
His behaviour so far has gained him:
- getting to go out with his friends whenever he likes
- not having to do any family activities
- not having to bath his own child
- never having to look after his own child for more than 2.5 hours a week
- never having to change a nappy
- having a lie in on both days at the weekend despite both partners working full time
- able to smoke illegal drugs in the same household as a small child and is not challenged on this being unacceptable by his partner
- can go out on the lash to another town, refuse to come home like Kevin the teenager and have his partner drive to pick him up, presumably the baby had to come too
None of those things are normal or acceptable in a normal, equal, loving family But he still "isn't happy."
So he is upping the ante. Saying he wants to leave. You say it's not a threat but I think it is actually, because why say it otherwise?
The question is: what is he going to gain from this new set of threats and behaviour?
Is he going to move out and live the life of single guy, with you coming over to do his washing and put some food in the freezer for him and give him a blow job once a week? Because that's how I can see this panning out if you keep on pandering to him.
I know that's harsh but that's the sort of thing I can see happening.
You say you need to "grow a backbone," and you are right. I really do think you need to ask him to do something to sort this out. Specifically: leave to give you some space, and while he is away to do something about his depression, see the GP, get counselling, medication, something.
And if he comes out with that shit about taking your DD again, laugh in his face.
If you can't see that you deserve better than this (which you do) then what about your child? Do you think that this is a nice environment for her to grow up in - a dad that does nothing for her, a family that don't do activities together because the dad thinks spending time with her is 'boring', and two parents who don't really have the kind of loving relationship they should? Not to mention the habitual drug use in the home, which is entirely unacceptable, no matter how much you have 'normalised' it OP.
He is NEVER going to change. So decide if you want to be with someone who is fucking miserable and selfish, or get out and make a good life for you and your DD.
I have to state that he never ever smokes around our daughter and only does smoke when she is in bed.
I spoke to him a little last night about this and he admitted it was a silly idea to live with her. So thats progress \0/ but he does sound terrified by the idea of not being around her and I get that. I was out so didn't get chance to talk about the depression. I'll save that for wednesday when I get the whole night with him. He seems to be making more of an effort with her these last few days. My paranoid mind wonders whether this is practice to see if he could handle it but probably it is him making an effort to spend time with his daughter.
What does OP mean? It's got to be something painfully obvious but I just can't work it out.
I agree that he's selfish and none of this os falling on death ears so don't worry!!! though i do tend to agree it is depression and will go from that angle and then see from there.
^ he is one of those insanely clever people and it calms him down mentally^
That is, frankly, bullshit. I know a lot of insanely clever people (Oxford academics clever) and none of them feel the need for nightly weed to calm them down.
He may well be depressed but making excuses for poor behaviour won't help him.
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