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I just need a rant, or to let of steam, or some bloody thing

(25 Posts)
Nicesunnytuesday Tue 22-Mar-16 13:10:08

Name changed, you know just because. My regular username is fun and I want to keep it for non personal stuff. Anyway.

We have 4 kids. Dp doesn't work because he has bi-polar disorder that makes holding down paid employment impossible. He is on ESA. The youngest in 18mo and I decided not to return to work after mat leave because with 3 pre-schoolers we would have had less money if I'd gone back just then. So money is tight, but that was our choice so not complaining about that and it will change later this year hopefully.

Middle 2 Dc are at nursery using free 15 hrs. We pay for some extra hours so that they do 3.5 days and we will cut this down to 3 days next term. While I was on Mat leave they were full time and they didn't cope well with it, so both for their mental health and our finances it is better for them to have a couple of weekdays at home.

Dp does unpaid voluntary work, which is very good for his mental health, but sometimes, including recently, means he is out of the house a lot at unsocial hours, evenings and weekends.

Today he seems to be feeling a bit depressed, and wanting to sleep in the sitting room in front of the news. He wanted me to take the kids out and threw at me that I wanted them at home on Tuesday so I had to take responsibility for them and stop them playing in the sitting room (which is the only reception room and has no door handle).

He fed the dc cake while I was cleaning the washing machine, one threw their piece on the floor. He didn't clear it up, and complained loudly about me sweeping it up because he wanted me to take them out so he could sleep, while simultaneously complaining about the state of the house because of aforementioned cake, and because of toys on the floor the dc had been playing with. Also that I was making him depressed.

I know that it's his illness talking, but there is a general expectation that I am the default child carer which grates. I do all bedtimes alone because he needs to sleep in the early evening to manage his condition. I don't really know the point of this post. It's just really bloody hard when he gets ill, looking after him and the children. I get really scared and emotional every time he looks like heading into depression, because sometimes he can get emotionally abusive when he's in a depressive phase.

I guess the point is for me to be able to let some stuff out so that I can cope. Sigh.

Rubberbandits Tue 22-Mar-16 14:29:05

My friend's husband has mental health problems. His problems have impacted terribly on their marriage and my friend's own health and happiness. Things were pretty bad so she tried counselling for herself. Her counsellor insisted that her DH's mental health did not excuse him from treating her with consideration and courtesy. Since that relevation she has gone from walking on eggshells to pulling him up on his poor behaviour.

SirChenjin Tue 22-Mar-16 14:37:00

What Rubber said.

My dad has bi-polar (he chooses not to accept the diagnosis or the medication) and we grew up with his depression being used to excuse all sorts of things - the lack of help my mum received, his reaction to a 'messy house' (it was never messy, he was anal), too much noise, the rain, his tiredness, other people generally, our friends being round, our hairdryers on when he wanted quiet, the length of our showers and on and on and on....

You do not have to put up with this. Depression does not excuse bad temper, lack of support, and help round the house. I wish my mum could have seen this - we might have had a nicer childhood and adulthood.

intotheblue9 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:09:29

Emotional abuse is not excused by depression or bipolar. It's explained by it, but doesn't excuse it. Indeed all abusive behaviour has an explanation and cause - unless we believe that people are evil.

Your situation sounds bloody hard and scary. I'd advise some counselling for you.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 22-Mar-16 18:10:02

My dh has bipolar. At this moment he is cooking dinner while lm on mumsnet. He can't work as illness does affect his ability to concentrate but he practically does all housework and dropping older kids to stuff. He dies need to rest during the day but it's always upstairs in our room and not in our space downstairs. Put your foot down. Also you cant make him depressed. That's like an alcoholic saying you may him drink.

Nicesunnytuesday Wed 23-Mar-16 09:30:10

Thank you for your replies. I do know that his bipolar doesn't excuse him being a grumpy arse, but I have no idea how to get this through to him as it does seem to be the way it pans out every time. He's perfectly nice in between.

We had a bad patch last year when I was on the point of leaving him, but I don't actually want that. I don't know what to do so I do nothing and the situation continues.

I know I'm not responsible for his depression and I tell him so whenever he says I am. I don't know that I really tread on eggshells. Not sure where the line is drawn between that and being considerate and understanding of his condition. He is very immovable on some things though, like the sleeping in the sitting room, which does make things hard for the kids.

Am hoping he is not going into a major episode just in time for the Easter hols.

0dfod Wed 23-Mar-16 09:37:01

Tell him to go to the bedroom if he wants quiet, sounds like he is using his mental health as an excuse to be an entitled git.

Pull him up on every inconsiderate thing he does and tell him to man up or fuck off.

Don't put up with his shit.

OurBlanche Wed 23-Mar-16 10:02:59

Rename the room: the sitting room is now alays to be referred to as the living room.

If he wants to sleep he can go to the bed room and the rest of you can continue to live in the living room.

Then you do need to tackle him about his rudeness and lazyitis. BPD is no excuse.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Wed 23-Mar-16 10:05:44

I struggle to see what benefit you or the kids get from a moody, miserable, controlling man who can't work being around all the time.
I know you love him and he's their dad but it's not your job to pander to him and suck up his emotional abuse.

NoSquirrels Wed 23-Mar-16 10:11:19

What is so special about the living room that he needs to be in there in quiet to sleep? Is it the chair/sofa/the TV - what exactly? Then you can replicate that in the bedroom for him. It's not AT ALL reasonable for him to dictate that everyone else works around him when you have preschoolers whose JOB IN LIFE is to play and be noisy and have fun while they learn. He wants to sleep, he goes to the bedroom. He does not get to be immovable on something that is unreasonable on 5 out of 6 of the family.

redannie118 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:13:55

My husband has bipolar and there are many times I have had to say to him that his behaviour was unacceptable , illness or not and that I wont put up with it. He tells me he needs this kick up the arse at times as its too easy to excuse it with "oh im not well" I know its not always easy but you need to do this. Its very hard living with someone like this, lots of un mumsnetty hugs to you

Nicesunnytuesday Thu 24-Mar-16 08:30:15

Conversation yesterday went like this:
Dp: sorry for being depressed
Me: you don't need to apologise for being depressed, it's the other stuff
Dp: that is depression
Me: it's not
He walks off.

I know that it is not right for him to allow himself to take his depression out on us, but how can I help him to understand this? I thought about writing him a letter for him to read when he's better. The thing is, lots of the worst stuff he's done he genuinely doesn't remember afterwards and is shocked when I tell him.

He's gone to sleep upstairs this morning. Admittedly this was after he'd complained about the kids waking him up early in the morning (6am) while I bathed the baby, and I said (unwisely I know) that he'd slept all day yesterday (he didn't sleep all day, just the large part of it). He said he hadn't but that he would now sleep all day today because I'd said it.

Sigh. But at least the living room is free on the first day of the holidays.

I do know that he is not sleeping because I said it, but because he looks for any excuse when he's unwell, and sometimes tries to engineer arguments. He admits this when he's well.

Nicesunnytuesday Thu 24-Mar-16 08:31:18

Conversation yesterday went like this:
Dp: sorry for being depressed
Me: you don't need to apologise for being depressed, it's the other stuff
Dp: that is depression
Me: it's not
He walks off.

I know that it is not right for him to allow himself to take his depression out on us, but how can I help him to understand this? I thought about writing him a letter for him to read when he's better. The thing is, lots of the worst stuff he's done he genuinely doesn't remember afterwards and is shocked when I tell him.

He's gone to sleep upstairs this morning. Admittedly this was after he'd complained about the kids waking him up early in the morning (6am) while I bathed the baby, and I said (unwisely I know) that he'd slept all day yesterday (he didn't sleep all day, just the large part of it). He said he hadn't but that he would now sleep all day today because I'd said it.

Sigh. But at least the living room is free on the first day of the holidays.

I do know that he is not sleeping because I said it, but because he looks for any excuse when he's unwell, and sometimes tries to engineer arguments. He admits this when he's well.

Nicesunnytuesday Thu 24-Mar-16 08:35:10

He also blames his depression on lack of sex, which is unfortunate because it is often a downward spiral in that regard. I don't feel sexual when he is being a git etc.
Sometimes it's hurtful because he can complain about lack of sex when I'm on my period confused
Sometimes he also blames it on my period, and I have just come on today - there does seem to be a correlation, but I haven't had pmt this month.

Happyinthehills Thu 24-Mar-16 08:47:12

Men have hormone cycles - So do those with bipolar, so do we all

For me it comes down to its acceptable for DH to be on the low point in his cycle. It's not acceptable for him to behave unreasonably because of it.

If my DH chose to occupy the living area to the disadvantage of the rest of the household I would (and have) asked him to take himself off to bed (and he would go) because that's reasonable.

TheSparrowhawk Thu 24-Mar-16 09:31:20

He's an arse, and he's using his illness to get away with it.

You don't want to leave him, so your only other choice is to put up with it and feel resentful for the rest of your life.

Nicesunnytuesday Thu 24-Mar-16 10:01:04

Happy has your dh always been like that? Can he always see at the time when he's being unreasonable and adjust his behaviour accordingly?

NoSquirrels Thu 24-Mar-16 12:12:12

He is being unreasonable. But if that is verbatim your discussion from yesterday, you were probably a bit blunt (but then I would be too if someone was being an arse.) You'd have been better off with something a bit more along the lines of:

Dp: sorry for being depressed
Me: you don't need to apologise for being depressed, it's the other stuff
Dp: that is depression
Me: I understand you might feel that way, but I don't think that's really true - I know you can't choose whether to feel depressed or not, but you can choose how much it affects the rest of us. The kids need to play, so if you're bothered by them then you need to be the one to go upstairs out of their way, not the other way around.

The thing is, everything can get lumped together and seem unmanageable so you need to break down what it and isn't acceptable/helpful/unreasonable if he cant see it at the moment. Bloody hard, though.

Do you get any time to yourself at all - can you go to a support group for this kind of thing, or access the NHS counselling sessions for yourself, is there anything available to you? I see that money is tight but you need to prioritise yourself as well.

Happyinthehills Thu 24-Mar-16 12:49:11

Nice - not always.

He has decided to take responsibility for the effects his actions have on the family (since he got to a horrible crisis a few years ago).

Medication and therapy have helped but the most important is his determination to be a good family member.

Nicesunnytuesday Thu 24-Mar-16 13:24:41

Thanks both. That is helpful. I was blunt, because I was cooking dinner and fielding requests from the kids at the same time. Your way of approaching it is undoubtedly better.
I have had counselling and CBT before. I think I would find a support group helpful but have looked multiple times and never found anything in my area.

0dfod Thu 24-Mar-16 13:35:44

There are sponge tampon things that can be used during sexual intercourse whilst being on period. They help to reduce 'mess'. Of course you may not feel very sexual whilst menstruating, lots of women don't. However if you do but are put off due to mess then these sponges may be the answer? (Apart from your dh lack of libido).

Stick to your guns on zero tolerance on rudeness and entitled behaviour dressed up as bipolar.

Good luck Op thanks

Nicesunnytuesday Thu 24-Mar-16 13:56:52

Odfod I have another thread going about washable sanpro, thought I'd clicked on the wrong one for a minute grin
I've never heard of those, thanks for the tip.

LeaLeander Thu 24-Mar-16 14:04:06

He apparently chose to father four (!) children despite knowing his own limitations of energy, patience, ability to earn a living, etc. due to his mental illness. I find that absolutely bizarre in and of itself but having made that choice, it is his absolute total responsibility to do whatever necessary to contribute to the household and the child-rearing., He needs to be aggressively pursuing counseling, medical treatment, or whatever it takes to make him function optimally every day to take care of his family. No pass, no excuses.

We'd all like peace, quiet, a nap and daily indulgence for our own particular challenges and issues - but once we decide to take on such vast levels of responsibility, those desires go to the far back burner. He owes it to his family to do better.

Happyinthehills Thu 24-Mar-16 14:06:40

Your best bet is to talk to him when he has got through the down about how he affects the family and ask him to come up with some better ways he could behave.

Nicesunnytuesday Fri 25-Mar-16 14:10:54

Dp used to run a successful business, but he had a breakdown and hadn't been able to work since. Dc4 was not planned, and heart win over head so she arrived into less than ideal circs.

He is an arse when he's unwell. Then there's no real benefit to him being around, but when he's well then there are lots of benefits to having him part of the family.

I do love him and don't want to give up on him when he's unwell. I agree that talking to him when he's better is the best plan. Thanks for listening, it helps to be able to share.

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