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am I missing something here?

(42 Posts)
Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 00:05:51

OH & I have been a bit rocky recently, lots of it brought on (in my opinion) by his quite severe depression (for which he takes mood stabilisers & sees psychotherapist weekly.) His depression had been caused by his unloving parents / unpleasant childhood.

I am suffering from mild depression too, I'm on ADs. Mine is mostly the stress if having a depressed, bad tempered partner, feeling isolated, unloved, shut out, rejected etc.

Anyway, last night, I was really down, OH was running on his treadmill (in the house).

I was 'told off' a couple of weeks ago because when I went in a few timed (separate runs) to check when he'd be finished so I knew what time to prepare tea for, he said I was rushing him & making him feel like he had to stop early. I wasn't!

So last night, he was probably 20 mins from the end of his run, had been running since he came in from work, I got in with DS, thought the dog could do with a quick 10 min ball chase. So I told DS (who is a sensible 9 yr old) that I was taking dog out, and that if he needed anything urgent (illness etc.) his dad was downstairs, but not to disturb him otherwise. He was happy with this, playing on his Xbox.

Tonight, OH says "i was shocked what happened with DS last night" - I had no idea what he was talking about. He said that he didn't know he was the responsible adult (& basically implied I was a bad / irresponsible mother)

was I in the wrong?

it seems I usually am at the moment...

wordyBird Thu 23-May-13 00:20:38

To leave your son in the house with his dad? No, and I don't know how anyone could make that out to be wrong, or shocking.

I would have told my partner I was popping out for 10 mins. But it seems he's trained you to leave him alone there, and been stroppy if interrupted. That's what's wrong in this scenario. Even more wrong is his unreasonable response to you.

You said you felt isolated, shut out, unloved, Elocampane. That sounds like the real problem here.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 00:27:52

thank you. I'm beginning to believe his bad spin I think...sad

StupidFlanders Thu 23-May-13 01:14:29

I often leave my dcs at home with my dh, I'd be confused if he responded like that.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 01:18:38

SF exactly, I didn't have a clue what he meant. He had to spell it out.

if I'd gone in & told him (as apparently I should have done) he'd have resented that I was interrupting his run. But not telling him also gets me into trouble. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.

StupidFlanders Thu 23-May-13 01:33:35

Sounds like you're walking on eggshells.

You must be very patient, I'd bring it up again and ask to explain how he felt you were being irresponsible and how you should have handled it word for word. Then I'd explain how difficult he's making your life and how you would expect him to have handled that situation.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 06:32:49

What you're saying is that your DH is unreasonable, bad-tempered, critical, irrational, can handily excuse it away with the depression diagnosis, and even though he's making you physically ill and very unhappy, you don't seem to feel that you're entitled to do anything about it.

I think he sounds like a straightforward bully.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 06:35:14

BTW... if he had horrible parents and an unpleasant childhood, does he realise that by attacking/criticising/damaging his DS's mother and accusing her of being an unfit parent etc he is probably making DS's childhood horrible and unpleasant? Having a bad childhood is no excuse for making other people's lives miserable.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 12:09:44

Cogito, your words are almost exactly what his sister said a month ago, to which he took exception & stopped speaking to her.

I want him back the way he was, this depression has stolen him from me sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 12:18:19

I think, by and large, you have to take people as you find them rather than hoping they're going to change or be miraculously cured. I know depression screws up people's abilities to function normally within a long-term relationship but I also think that you deserve a better life than to sacrifice yourself and your DS on the altar of someone else's mental health problems. You're only human

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 12:18:32

although he hasn't actually said directly that I'm a bad parent, just comments in a critical tone & leaves it hanging...

The more I think about it, the more I think he's tarring me with the same brush as his mother (who I know I am absolutely nothing like whatsoever!)

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 12:22:16

You're not his psychotherapist. The more you look for reasons and excuses for his behaviour, the less likely you are to put your own needs first. You're unwell, on medication, diagnosed with depression .... what does he do to make your life better? How does he look after your need?

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 12:33:59

occasionally, if I'm really down he'll be sympathetic, but his depression is so all-consuming that most of the time I am only in his peripheral vision, except when I 'do' something which makes him feel I've rejected him (like forgetting to get his cereal out). Then I get the silent black cloud treatment, refusing to talk for days on end until he finally tells me.

If I was reading this as an outsider, I'd obviously be saying 'LTB, look after yourself', but most people posting in here know that's not quite so easy when it's you...

I really appreciate the feedback, makes me feel less like I'm a bad person

thank you

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 12:39:47

You're anything but a bad person. I'm not 100% convinced that he isn't. I've seen too many bad-tempered and frankly nasty bullies claim that they are 'depressed' as a way to get off the hook ... and whilst yours actually has a diagnosis and is getting treatment, he's still behaving very very badly towards everyone around him (you, DS and his sister) and there's no valid excuse for any of that. If his illness is making him completely anti-social he should take himself away or ask to be admitted to hospital. Don't be frightened to stand up to him

expatinscotland Thu 23-May-13 12:42:49

What Cognito said. All of it.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 12:51:42

flowers to all, and also to my very dear SIL, who provides me with endless support & advice (and I sent her a link to this thread to get her take on it.)

OH says he's sick of being the one who's told he's at fault, why should he always be to blame, he's going to start responding in kind.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 23-May-13 12:58:54

Ignore. H is picking on you. You know DS was safe indoors with his dad. He knows it too. Another time, do as you did before. Had you disturbed The Great Athlete he would have blasted you. Moving the goalposts is his way of trying to put you on the back foot. Don't rise to the bait. If he attempts to discredit you in front of DS you could wait until you are alone with him then tell him not to use DS as an audience.

If life with you is so awful he knows where the door is. I'm not saying LTB but maybe build up your rl support, take stock.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 13:02:56

"OH says he's sick of being the one who's told he's at fault, why should he always be to blame, he's going to start responding in kind."

Don't give him the satisfaction and don't argue the point. If you can leave, leave. If you can't, see a solicitor. Does he ever apologise for the way his depression makes him behave? Does he ever suggest removing himself from the family? Does he ever thank you for putting up with him or try to make amends? Does he, in short, take responsibility or make any effort to reduce the impact his illness has on you and DS... or does he take the view that he's OK and everyone else should just lump it?

Hopasholic Thu 23-May-13 13:19:09

I can only imagine how hard it must be to walk on that carpet of eggshells.

cogito and Donkeys always give such good, sound advice. It really is time to tell him that the way he chooses to behave is NOT and never will be acceptable.

Clearly the help he is receiving does not seem to be addressing his problem. His problem is that he's behaving like an arsehole, setting a poor example to your DS and is a selfish DH to boot. He needs a wake up call, not a psychotherapist.

flowers

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 13:19:31

Donkeys: thankfully, I have excellent RL support - my parents & sister, his sister (although she lives quite a distance away) plus a couple of good friends who know how awful things have been.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 13:43:44

he thinks he's taking responsibility by taking meds & seeing therapist. He thinks people around him need to step up & be more considerate towards his feelings.

He won't talk about things very often

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 23-May-13 13:49:35

He is taking responsibility by taking meds and seeing a therapist. Not downplaying that at all but being considerate about someone's feelings does not mean parking your own feelings in a box marked 'not relevant' and letting that person trample all over you. That's not being considerate, that's being a mug.

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 13:58:34

Depression is not a trump card that always wins if someone calls your behaviour into question. Depression sufferers deserve a bit of leeway because the illness does make dealing with ordinary life hard. They don't get the whole bloody rule book torn up though. He needs to recognise his responsibilities to you and DS and start observing boundaries (negotiated with you).

And I say this as someone who has suffered horrific depression. I've said this before on here-having a family who did not let me get away with stuff I would not have got away with before I was ill was an important part of my recovery.

muppetmommeh Thu 23-May-13 14:44:33

Hallo. I'm OH's sister. Thank you all for offering your support to my long suffering SIL.

I agree that he may have decided that his wife is as bad as his mother; I think he has decided that his sister is too.

Eldritchcleavage - I completely agree that having a family who will point out when you've pushed it too far is what we should all be grateful for. I know he had a horrible childhood (we are twins so we both went through it) but he is currently letting it define him and using it as licence to be completely obnoxious. I can say this because I went through the same process twenty years ago; but I am lucky - I have a DH and a teen DS who are always happy to bring me back into line. I know how lucky I am to have them still, even after all the tough years; and we don't need to let our pasts define us - especially once we are parents ourselves and ought to setting an example.

My heart breaks for him because I think he won't realise what he's got until he's lost it, but letting him continue to treat those who love him in this way will only contribute to him becoming a real tyrant. There's a chance that he might come to his senses. I hope so because I miss the old version. He used to be lovely.

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 14:49:26

It sounds heart-breaking, muppet. I really hope he comes to his senses.

muppetmommeh Thu 23-May-13 14:52:18

Do you think that a person in as bad a state as he is can realise how awful he's being? Or does that only dawn on you later?

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 14:53:13

so do we Eldritch. I'm worried it's increasingly unlikely...

then, what to do next? I mean.... I can't comprehend what it might mean....sad

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 14:55:20

I think he's completely convinced he's not as bad as we make out.

I've lived with this for 5 years, and it's getting worse, not better, despite meds & therapy.

muppetmommeh Thu 23-May-13 15:02:44

He wouldn't go to Relate would he? I feel you need arbitration (and preferably someone 'official' to give him a long, hard shake)

Does anybody have any other suggestions to try before seeing a solicitor?

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 15:05:44

no, I have a feeling (refer to my text earlier) that he thinks it's 'not going to happen' re Relate.

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-May-13 15:06:33

Well, I'm only an exert on my own depression no one else's, but even at the point of suicide I wasn't nasty to people. Preoccupied, paranoid, defensive, self-absorbed, tearful, mentally absent, certainly. But I was in hospital with people who were horrible. I suppose it manifests differently in different people, which brings us back to underlying personality.

But my therapist was very very tough on the notion that I was helpless in the face of the illness. 'Can't help it' etc got short shrift from her. She would never talk about a 'relapse'-it was always a 'lapse'. And that rubbed off on me. Your DH is not powerless to stop himself being unkind to you.

Hate to say it OP, but this sounds like depression used as a weapon. And possibly bad therapy, if after 5 years things are deteriorating rather than improving.

Know your limits. Take care of yourself and DS. Never internalise what he says to you (because he's either ill or a shit or both, so his attacks aren't valid). Don't take on more than 50% of responsibility for the relationship, and none for his wellbeing: that's his burden to carry. Your DS needs you well. If your DH is an obstacle to that, you may have to get him to leave.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 23-May-13 15:08:57

My mum had depression, I realise when you are depressed, it takes a huge amount of effort to feel emotionally connected to those around you, because every waking hour is a struggle to cope and function.

As an adult she had the power to voice all of her anger and frustration, none of that stiff-upper-lip-suffer-in-silence malarkey. If she was in a mood we all knew about it.

If your H doesn't realise he is risking driving you away, he won't curb the impulse to lash out. If he does realise, he may not be able to help himself either, but I'd hope he'd go back to his GP.

muppetmommeh Thu 23-May-13 15:36:52

Eldritch talks a lot of sense. I hadn't thought about it that way before. I wasn't nasty either (I was busy enough being all the other things!)
We know who was (still is) nasty though.

I have wondered before if his therapist is actually not very good - or maybe just not very good for HIM...

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 16:12:21

difficult though - surely the therapist would remind us this is a 2 year long process, he's only been having psychotherapy for less than a year. At what point would she or someone say to him 'actually, this isn't working'. I can't even find out how he could get a 'progress report'

DaemonPantalaemon Thu 23-May-13 16:46:20

Would it be possible for you to live apart while he deals with his depression? It might make you healthier to live out of the shadow of his misery for a while. Can you afford to live on your own with your son? I am not saying leave the bastard, just that this sounds like an unbearable situation, and you could use a break from it. And how lovely that you have such a supportive Sister in Law in muppetsmile

To be honest trying out something like couple's counselling in this situation would be ill-advised. It is likely that through the process, your DH will get access to information and will manipulate the situation to justify his position .... that he is the victim, that you are at fault.

I'm afraid the best tactic is to detach yourselves from him. And as Eldritch rightly points out take only 50% of the responsibility for the relationships and none for his wellbeing. You need your energy for your own well being. And that of your DS. And for the relationships for the people who care about you.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 18:18:15

I very much appreciate you all taking the time to comment, it's been extremely helpful, I've got a lot if thinking to do.

thanks and flowers to you all x

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 22:42:15

well, we've had a 'discussion' tonight, it ended up on a less than amicable note, and I suggested he sleeps in the spare bed until we decide what to do.

shit.

Well It can't carry on like it is, so maybe him in the spare room will give you the space you need to decide what you are going to do. Do you really want your child growing up with this on a daily basis, it will damage him/her as it has done to your Dh. You can't fix him, and it isn't your job to do so, your job is you and your child.

Elocampane Thu 23-May-13 23:58:09

I just want to be married to & live to old age with the man I married. I fear he no longer exists

Well sadly we can't always have what we want. He has made sure that the man you wanted is no longer there. Maybe a good man is out there waiting in the wings, maybe one day you will meet and marry the one, until them your child and your sanity is more important.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 24-May-13 12:12:22

Maybe he doesn't exist anymore Elo sad

The past and a hoped-for future are so powerful - but you can only act in the now, and go on how he is treating you right now.

You have every right to happiness and to be respected, supported.

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