Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Can anyone help me work DH out?(35 Posts)
This might be long - will try not to drip feed....
Been together over 10 yrs, moved in (bought house) 4 yrs. Married this yr.
Dh says he did v.well at primary school then spent much of secondary in 'isolation' slightly off the rails, school referred him to a psychologist (i think) which i think his ineffectual (but nice) mum and v.anxious dad didn't know what to do with.
Not much in the way of long term relationships before me. He was 25 when we started.
Lived with his parents all his life. Struggles to hold down a job - not because he can't do the job but because he has high expectations of others and is very critical
difficult when they are not met. This applies to his and my family and friends too.
So, lack of his work is the reason it took so long for us to buy a house. But he got a settled job, we moved. He changed jobs (was constantly unhappy) then just weeks after marriage, quit his job.(same reasons) Picked up some casual work. Which has just ended. Says quit job as wasn't happy and wants to make things better, for him, and for us. This was 6 months ago. No changes for the better that i can see - house is still a shit hole. He hoards immaculate piles of magazines and newspapers.
All sheds are packed to brimming with his 'stuff'. But in a disorganised, spread out way. Kitchen and dining room are full of tools and bites of motor bike. Nothing gets done.
He is very anxious about things. And critical. Gets himself all worked up about stuff like putting a curtain rail up, so its likely to not get done and end in us arguing.
He pits words, thougjts and feelings onto me that i haven't said thought or felt. I think he is very self critical and thinks i MUST be thinking these things.
I know this all sounds bad, its not all bad and theres much good but its this bad stuff that i don't get. This morning i asked him about work (how had it been left?) and he reacted v.badly. Don't i realise he feels bad enough? That hes trying to make things better? That its boxing day? Then when we carried on speaking - he wpuldn't talk about today, but just in general. I'm not making much sense now, sorry.
I feel that theres an issue, some sort of MH, anxiety, something. But not sure how i can help him. Or if i can keep going through this up and down.
Jesus sorry it is long. And i've missed loadsout.
Sorry i dont have any advice, but it does sound like there is something not quite right (not to be mean or personal about him). My OH suffered bad dyslexia and adhd at school and was un diagnosed until he was in middle school since he struggled so bad he played up really bad at school (i didnt know him then, so i can only imagine how bad he was), he was moved from school to school and sed to get a lot of stick from other kids which effected him badly, even now he gets himself in a big flap over things, like he hates his job but he wont look for anything new because he thinks hes been there so long (8 years) nowhere else would have him cos of his reading and writing and understanding of instrutions, he knows his job inside out now so he wont quit but comes home in fits of rage. Have similar experience with my brother too another with adhd he cant hold anything down like your OH gets so restless.
Im not saying the situations are the same just think there is reasons behind things like this. ASlso the hording (sp?) is that a symptom of aspbergers or something similar, trying to think what it is my mums cousin has and he has obnsessions with keeping certain things
Sorry i sent reply before i finished... Have you actually spoke to him about how hes feeling? What about his parents have they had concerns? Think if you could get him to gp and discuss anxiety and see if they think there is anything behind it
Thank you thank you for your reply. I wondered if anyone would. I really do think theres 'something' not quite right as you say. Hes very precious about things. Things that don't matter to most people. Scratches on a keyring. Cat running upstairs and 'plucking' the carpet. Will inspect stuff for ages. Scratches on the dinner plates!
There is no way he would go to the Dr. Its getting me down very badly. He talks about stuff for hours - troubles at work, family, where the neighbours park. Some things - are normal to chat about for a bit but it gets to the point where i think ffs i don't CARE where the neighbours park!! And it seems that he notices....but carries on. :-\
In any disagreement he says 'oh its me being unreasonable! Of course everyone blames me! Etc etc but it IS him a lot of the time. I know i can be impatient sometimes, but hand on heart it often is him over reacting. Like today. I was insensitive to bring work up on boxing day - fair enough - but i was only asking. A simple ' i'm a bit fed up and don't want to talk about it' would have sufficed. But no, lengthy unpleasant conversation resulting in him going to his parents alone for 8 hrs.
And me being grateful to be alone.
Your instinct is right, something is not right. Could u try to talk to him when he's in ok form & tell him as lovingly as possible that you're concerned for his mental health? Tricky situation
Its also getting him down. I don't know how to help him.
Aww must be hard im sorry i cant offer any practical advice, i just deffinately think there is reasons behind these things. Could it be some sort of OCD maybe?
Thanks somewhat - i think i haven't helped so far by not wanting to rock the boat when things are good. He comes across as cold and not giving a shit, but is actually very sensitive. I don't want to upset him - by that i mean he would certainly take it as a criticism. And i just want to make things better for him. Not make him feel like theres something wrong with him
Definite OCD traits i think. And anxiety. No friends, not good in social situations.
Im sorry i cant be more help. I do suffer with anxiety and not good in social stuations although having the kids has brought it out of me a lot so i know its horrible. Could you maybe get him some leaflets from the docs or something maybe to make him just have a little think and maybe think oh thats me (iyknwim)
I would tell him that if he wants to be in a relationship he has to be willing to talk about issues, including his emotional/mental state, his reasons for abandoning jobs and just expecting you to cope with the consequences of his decisions.
Also, as he is sharing a house, you should agree ground rules about how tidy it needs to be and how and where to store belongings.
At the moment he sounds controlling. If he doesn't get his way he either walks away (as at work) or becomes difficult and critical. He won't face up to any of his failings which is not a good trait.
If things don't change significantly I would leave. This relationship, as it is, is going nowhere but misery.
You are right Fairenuff, i'm just wondering if there is an underlying cause for his behaviour? And if there is, it might help both of us to know.
I think that you are going to have to talk to him about this a lot more. It is the sort of behaviour which will put an end to any respect and love. He can't keep running away from conversations he doesn't want to have just because he doesn't want to have them, not if he wants your marriage to last into old age.
does sound like OCD.
Maybe it would help to explain that there is no shame at all in having MH disordres (that's what people are scared about, officially being diagnosed and feeling like 'freaks') and than society now doesn't stigmatise, but sympathises more than ever before (David Beckam has mild OCD!). I think then you might manage to get him to see a doctor.
Underlying causes are no excuse to treat you and others like this. On the face of it he sounds like he knows what he is doing and it suits him.
You do need to speak to him a lot more. Tell him that you have something important to discuss and ask him when is a good time. Make sure you have plenty of time to talk for as long as you need.
Btw my dh was in a job that he hated and would have walked out if he didn't have others to consider. A family man has responsibilities and sometimes we all have to suck it up and get on with it until something better comes along.
Do you have children with him OP?
Fairenuff - I agree she cant go on like this its not an excuse but they do need to get to the bottom of it other wise OP or her OH cant start to control the situation
No we don't have children. But time is ticking on for that.
To be fair he doesn't usually not want to talk. He will talk and talk and talk and talk. But its really not productive because i generally 'get it' the first time and don't want or need him to carry on for literally hours and always about stuff he is complaining about.Thats prob whi i am always reluctant to start conversations even aboit important stuff as i will struggle to keep it on track and he will take it so personally.
I am miserable. I feel like i need help to deal with it.
You deff need some support, make it a new years resolution
But talking means listening too. So you could agree that you each get to talk but for no longer than, say two minutes, or whatever you think you need. Use a timer.
If you are really struggling to communicate, you could go for couple counselling and they will help you both with strategies to use.
I really don't think that this is a good time to be trying for a baby. Not just yet anyway, get this sorted first, if you can.
repeating stuff on and on is a compulsive behaviour, a part of OCD. He either thinks you are not getting it, or tries to put hios thought into the 'perfect' words so tries and tries again. Talk to your GP about it - they should sugggest how to deal with it, hopefully offer you support via your own or mutual counsellor before he agrees to go to his own sessions.
also, maybe it will help admitting to him how difficult you find that he resents you and takes everything so personally - he needs to understand that you are suffering while genuinely trying to help/understand, hopefully that also will make him see a doctor. If you are endlessly patient, and always give in, he may think he can push you even further - it's easy to become self-indulgent when a person can't stop and isn't stopped by anyone.
tell him that you are really trying to respect his sensitivities, but can he consider that you can equally get upset and sensitive when he doesn't see your side in this.
I was going to ask if he has any friends before you said 'no friends'.
Does he have excessive amounts of energy to devote to pointless things, to the point of not sleeping, but not get anything useful done?
Does he spend money on stuff he doesn't need but fail to pay bills?
Does he think he's the only one who's doing things right and everyone else is wrong?
Could it be bi-polar?
He really does sound like he could have Asperger's. Quite mild, probably, but enough to make him and others unhappy. All these things you list would be definite ticks on a list of Asperger's traits, albeit the milder ones.
The monologing (going on and on) about trivial and boring things which nevertheless fascinate and worry him, and not noticing or caring that he is boring people, repeating himself, or doesn't need to be talking at all, not having friends, obsessive about things like scratches on plates (this sounds more like noticing and being upset by tiny details that others miss, which sounds more ASD than OCD, insisting that you are thinking things about him that you aren't (this is part of the problem men with ASD often have with processing feelings about themselves and understanding how they are perceived; if they feel something about themselves, they can't always see how others don't think it too, ie they project their negative self-beliefs. They also don't often get that others don't have the same opinions and ideas as them in the way that NT people do), coming across as cold when he's really quite sensitive, even the stuff about work, not being able to handle the flaws of others and the reality of work is how I read your description of his problems with working... It's all very ASD.
Join the discussion
Please login first.