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I never thought I'd be writing this. I need some help. :((18 Posts)
Before I start I just want to clarify that I am not leaving DP, so posters telling me to LTB will be roundly ignored.
I need some suggestions for how I can help DP to manage his stress and (dare I say it) depression.
He is a fantastic partner and father. He has stuck with me through 4 years of PND, miscarriages, babies and health issues with never a word of complaint, no matter how unreasonable I got....
....until Wednesday night when he flipped out during a silly row (about his mum interfering, how cliche) and punched a door so hard he split his hand open. It terrified the crap out of me and DS (3) as he never even raises his voice, yet alone gets violent.
We talked and talked after the kids were in bed and he admitted he feels totally overwhelmed with everything, his work is very hectic, he's behind on a distance learning degree and he feels he has to look after me and take the majority of the housework on, not to mention money worries as we have recently been notified of a Â£2.5k overpayment of tax credits (my stupid fault, gave them the wrong projected earnings for mat leave last year).
He spoke to his boss yesterday and they have agreed ways to reduce his work load, I am going to seriously step up and take back a lot of the domestic stuff (we both work so I wasn't just sat at home doing nothing) and I want him to go to the doctor for referral to mental health services for stress.
Sorry, this is turning into a ramble, it's cathartic to write it down.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can help him further? He is very much a busy type person, hates just sitting down so rarely relaxes.
If you have gotten this far, thanks!
Sounds like you have it sorted and are planning on doing everything you can.
I'd be pretty worried about smashing his hand on a door, that's just not normal I'm afraid, he needs to go see a doctor, what will he smash up next???
Oh flump, no I wouldn't tell you to LTB.
Definitely take on the jobs and get a repayment plan in order for the overpayment. My get an appointment for him to reschedule University work.
He isn't well at the moment. Needs to see his gp, get some exercise in daily as this will calm him and help with his stress. Poor man, very tough on you too, I hope someone has better advice.
Jan45 - that is my only worry, believe me I am ready to go if I semse even a whiff of danger to me or the kids.
Yes OP, bad enough doing it full stop but in front of a 3 year old must have been terrifying, he's got one strike, depressed or not, tired or not, he can't act like that.
MrsGrumble- I think he is going to dust his bike off this weekend as well. He will definitely be going to the GP.
There's a world of difference between punching a door in frustration and turning that aggression on other people. It sounds like your DP reached his limit, snapped, and the shock of hurting himself has made the two of you take stock and start turning things around.
A chat with his GP is definitely in order, and maybe a bit of time off work as a result. Keep talking to each other and accept that this will take time to fix. Baby steps and good luck
You need to take on more of the practical stuff in the home, such as admin and housework.
Also find another outlet for your negative emotions (maybe a friend or relative) just so you aren't so draining iyswim
It's like he's been 'carrying' you iykwim. It's time to start stepping away from your reliance on him and start giving yourself more of a role within the relationship.
He was beyond mortified that it had happened as well I will add. there was no sweeping it away or not accepting blame.
Thank you all for being lovely. Quitelikely I think you are right. He took a lot of responsibility for stuff when I was really bad with PND and I suppose I've just let him carry on, without realising it, if that makes sense? I feel very guilty, I love him very much and I know he loves me and the children very much as well.
By the way, I have to go out at 1ish so if I don't reply I haven't vanished.
Does he like the gym? Cycling? Yoga? My DH has some temper issues and without the gym, yoga and cycling he'd never be as happy as he is. He also avoids alcohol and processed foods.
My DH went through a bad spell...it had been under the surface for a while and I had no idea til he did something utterly out of character. That sounds like your DH and hitting the door. Good that it came to a head and you're able to talk about it. I bet knowing you're aware of how he's feeling will be helping already. So he now knows he doesn't have to be strong all the time. Talking is the best thing. My DH had a GP appt and then was referred v quickly (matter of a week) for counselling on managing his situation and stress and understanding what happened and why. He found this v useful and is miles better now.
So well done on talking and addressing it and things will improve, I'm sure x
How awful for all of you that his anguish and frustration reached breaking point in such a frightening way but let it be a turning point for you.
Sounds like you are making great progess already. But be realistic about how much housework you can step up to do. There is no point in you taking on too much on top of everything else. Can you both accept a little bit more mess than usual if need be in the short term if necessary?
He needs to put himself first sometimes. Putting everyone else before him and ignoring his feelings has got you here, things need to change.
You say that he hates just sitting down so are there any other ways in which he can relax? You mentioned him dusting off his bike, this sounds like a great idea. I think it is important for him to have some time, even if it's just an hour or two a week where he does something just for him and just because he enjoys it. Even if he feels guilty taking that time he needs to do it for everyone's sake.
Can he speak to the university for an extension on his course and maybe take a few months out from it then pick it up again later? Otherwise can you set aside designated times where he can study without having to think of other things.
Get agreement in place for repaying overpayment.
Spreadsheet finances for next 12 months so you have clarity.
Budget for a cleaner if you can.
One or both look for different jobs / hours.
See GP to deal with any medical / mental health issues.
Speak regularly with boss re work issues.
Speak to tutor regularly re course; request extensions / sabbatical etc.
Individual leisure time for hobbies.
Exercise / time outside either alone or as family (sunlight good for helping with low mood sometimes)
Meditation or mindfullness training.
Learning relaxation techniques / tips / tricks for stressful situations.
Discuss the MIL situation and come to an agreement re managing her.
I know what you mean. You just get used to the help and the niceness of it all. Then you sort of be one helpless because you've had so much help for so long. I have been in a similar situation. But I had to regain the control as the pressure was pulling my dh under not in the beginning but by the end.
A good tip is when dh gets in from work tell him he is doing absolutely nothing, make him sit down (and go on iphone or whatever he enjoys) while you cook tea, put dc to bed. So basically he gets time off.
Also if he isn't prioritising his studies because he feels torn then you should say 'right on Saturday me and dc are going out for 5 hours while you get some study done' etc or encourage him to go to his mums/somewhere quiet.
He might need you to say these things as its possible he feels guilt for taking his time away from you.
...and no more alcohol AT ALL until he feels that ADs/counselling/CBT is working.
Trust me, a single glass would put my bastard head back on the following day.
Sounds like you two have got some great ideas already to get things sorted and reduce his stress levels.
I agree with the other posters that the gym / exercise will be useful.
Lists to help him and you feel you are on top of things, including his distance learning course.
All the very best to you and your family.
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