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MNrs with depressed partners - how do you know it's them not you

(99 Posts)
MarriedToMrGrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 13:22:30

For a long time we have had problems. And for a long time I've thought it was my fault, because dh told me so. If only I would have more sex, if only I wouldn't do housework at the weekends, if only I didn't work so much.... lots and lots of reasons that sounded valid, and I beat myself up for it.

Recently he started on dc. If only they weren't so naughty. If only they went to bed easily. And so on and so on.

This Summer Hols we have been so happy without him. The three of us (me and the dc) get on so well. They get one well with each other, and other children. They're not perfect, and neither am I, but we are human, so that's to be expected. I've received some beautiful compliments about how lovely they are, and me being a calm and attentive mum.

Overall I'm really happy. And I've realized that dh is sucking the life out of me. He says he is happy when he is at work, it's just at home he is miserable. Those are the only two things he does - be at work, or be at home. He says he can't go out because I won't let him (not true), can't read a book, watch a film, play video games, do DIY, mow lawn, anything because dc won't let him. Besides watching sport, or going to the cinema alone, I can't think of anything he enjoys. He has no pride in himself. He got an important certificate recently, and just shoved it back in the envelope, didn't want to talk about it or mention it to anyone.

He says he's not depressed, but that he struggles to find the joy in day to day life. He constantly is negative, and if dc do misbehave, over generalizes 'well he's always doing that because he's a nasty boy' etc.

He puts me down a lot, and tbh has done for a long time. Now he's started on dc I'm at my wit's end.

So MNrs with depressed partners. How do you know that your partner has a problem they need help and treatment for vs that you just don't like each other anymore and it's time to move on.

Lovemynailstoday Sun 01-Sep-13 13:27:14

Has he always been like this or is this behaviour new?

cece Sun 01-Sep-13 13:28:05

He just sounds mean and abusive to me, especially if he is only like it at home.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 01-Sep-13 13:36:40

Well, if it's only family life that drags him down, how about you LTB and give him a chance to be happy on his own?

MarriedToMrGrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 13:44:34

He had an episode of diagnosed depression before we met which he went to counselling for, and he has severe depression in his family. He says he felt like this before he met me, that I made him happy, and now I don't anymore, because I've changed, which is why I accepted I need to be nicer, more sex, more care free, not ask him to help so much. I have changed because I am no longer a giddy teenager with no responsibilities. I like how I've changed - he doesn't.

I know I am clucthing at straws. I really want us to stay together, but think that can olnly happen if either I magically guess how me and dc need to change to make him happy, or he gets help.

I've had mental health problems before - I pretty much had to get on with life and help myself, but I do know what it takes to recover, and what help I would've really appreciated. So if he thinks he has a problem, I can help. But he's adament it's not him, its us.

I know that trying to dance around him doing what I can to make him happy without getting him to take responsibility for his own life is not really helping anyone. It just breaks my heart to stop.

TheSilverySoothsayer Sun 01-Sep-13 13:47:22

Finding no joy in life sounds like depression. Not realising you are depressed can be a symptom too - because depression warps reality, and the depressed person thinks they are just seeing 'the truth.'

I suggest him visiting the GP, where there are questionnaires that can be done, which, if he answers honestly, can guide the GP in diagnosis (as well as the usual talking, obviously). ADs can be v effective.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 13:47:43

I say bollocks. My Dh was seriously depressed (suicidal) last year. This manifested itself at work as well as at home, and at no point did he blame me, or dd for his feelings.

With treatment, he is mostly now back to normal.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 13:50:17

"which is why I accepted I need to be nicer, more sex, more care free, not ask him to help so much"

A big fat hmm. He is doing a number on you.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 01-Sep-13 13:50:56

How do you know... it's time to move on

Recently he started on the dc

It's time to move on.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 13:51:03

Do YOU get any positives from this relationship?

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 01-Sep-13 13:54:43

It's not you.

I can't see anything in your attitude or actions either stated or implied in your OP that says you're doing anything wrong, yet a lot implied in what you have said about him. Do you really think that depression can explain away him saying your DS is "a nasty boy"? That's not on.

IKnewHouseworkWasDangerous Sun 01-Sep-13 14:03:15

Whether it is depression or something else you cant make him change. Only he can do that. If he doesnt want to or wont acknowledge that then that is his choice.

Choos123 Sun 01-Sep-13 15:19:58

Dh has been depressed but he's never blamed his family, and the unwarranted criticism of you and the dc doesn't sound right. I agree op, he should get help, he sounds stressful to be around.

WhiteandGreen Sun 01-Sep-13 15:36:57

"So MNrs with depressed partners. How do you know that your partner has a problem they need help and treatment for vs that you just don't like each other anymore and it's time to move on."

Both can be true.

Surely if he were depressed then that would manifest itself at work too?

MarriedToMrGrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 15:40:07

Thanks all. Yes there is a lot of tension in the house when he is home, which ironicly does make the dc behave badly. I think he would be happier if he didn't have any responsibility for looking after dc. That is the main issue between us - division of responsibilities - besides paperwork, everything else seems to be down to me, and if I ask for help with any of it he is like a bear with a sore head.

WhiteandGreen Sun 01-Sep-13 15:43:01

When I read the title of your thread my first thought was "when you're happy and fine after you've left' grin

Lovingfreedom Sun 01-Sep-13 15:52:26

I had one of these. Must say home life has been much more pleasant for since I showed him the door and I find the housework much more manageable too. Lol. You just don't miss having this kind of energy sapping idiot under your feet.

MarriedToMrGrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 15:56:46

WhiteandGreen - that's what worries me, that it's his homelife is so awful for him it's making him feel this way. But then I live this life everyday and I'm really enjoying it. Maybe he's just not very well suited to it, and forcing him to be a hands on dad is not really working. When it's just the two of us we are mostly happy. I think he only throws the insults at me when he is already wound up by the kids. Maybe it's best if he takes a step back and I pick up all the time with dc, and he just gets involved when he feels like it, and slowly he builds up to more time with us?

MarriedToMrGrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 15:58:37

Lovingfreedom - how does it work with your dc though if you don't mind me asking? I don't want to share them like that - the thought of being away from them for Christmas or birthdays breaks my heart. And I would worry how we was caring for them (or not) when I'm not there.

WhiteandGreen Sun 01-Sep-13 15:58:45

Eh? Do you really think that?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 01-Sep-13 15:58:55

Basically, then, the reward for behaving like a bear with a sore head is that he doesn't have to take any responsibility, do any housework or help to raise his own children; instead everyone tiptoes round him, pandering to his moods, and he gets more sex. That's not really a massive incentive to improve his behaviour.

Lovingfreedom Sun 01-Sep-13 15:59:31

Sometimes these selfish entitled guys don't like having to share their mummies partners with the kids

Lovingfreedom Sun 01-Sep-13 16:06:18

Kids are 50% with me and 50% with their dad. But that's our arrangement. You might be looking at a totally different set up esp if you've been sahp. I was the only wage earner and always worked ft.

yellowballoons Sun 01-Sep-13 16:07:46

Sounds like he has lost sight of being able to be happy.
Sounds like he cannot cope with the usual stresses and strains of normal life.

Does he ever go on holiday by himself?

FloraFoxley Sun 01-Sep-13 16:10:50

Why so you want to stay with abusive sulking man child ? Get rid

Lovingfreedom Sun 01-Sep-13 16:16:47

If you can't bear to kick him out buy a shed and stick him in it. Think that's what our mothers' generation did with miserable bastards like these. Don't pander to him. It's not your responsibility to make him happy. I really do feel for you OP. I've been there and it really is thankless.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 01-Sep-13 16:18:58

I really don't think a man who has such an aversion to interaction with his own children is going to insist on 50-50 shared residence. You'd probably have to get a court order to make him take them.

Was wondering what you get out of this relationship now.

You are not responsible for him at the end of the day.

I was wondering how much of this behaviour of his is actually down to depression and how much is actually due to him being emotionally abusive. He's been telling you for a long time that a lot of problems are down to you; that's actually him projecting his own issues onto you. Doing that to you absolves him of his own responsibilities here. Blaming everyone else but him for his problems is also commonly seen in such at heart abusive men. He has also been putting you down for some years now so you've become almost conditioned to receiving this.

Your children are seeing all this as well and are being affected by it; surely this is not the relationship role model you yourself want to impart to your children. What relationship lessons to them are being imparted here. Both of you are teaching them damaging lessons. On some level as well you are showing them this is currently acceptable treatment of you as both a wife and their mother.

RollerCola Sun 01-Sep-13 16:29:50

I've just read your post & I could have written it word for word. Honestly I could hmm I completely feel your pain.

Nothing is right for my h, I've spent years and years hoping that one day he'll go back to being the happy person I married, but I've finally accepted that he won't. I've often thought he's depressed but he won't have it.

I won't go into it all now but your situation sounds very very similar to mine. I've become depressed because of trying to deal with him.

I really don't have any advice about trying to make it work because sadly we haven't been able to. We've agreed to separate & I've felt the most enormous relief since we made the decision. He says he has also, but IMO he's still acting like he's very depressed. He's not lifted a finger to sort the separation & still won't move out.

I'm doing everything but I'm determined to sort it all because I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel. I know I'll be better off without him because he's draining the life out of me.

If I can help in any way please let me know. Take care.

OxfordBags Sun 01-Sep-13 16:32:01

He is totally making you rsponsible for his feelings and bad behaviour, when not one percent is your responsibility. He is being abusive, controlling and basically just behaving like a shitty little man-brat, and blaming it all on youand the DC. Yu should not have accepted his built-tripping and manipulative bullshit that he was unhappy because you had changed. It certainly did not mean that you should given him more sex, asked for less support, etc. Everyone changes, you're meant to change. Except him, whining about having to be an adult and step up to the mark and be decent to his wife and kids, boo fucking hoo.

And it is not ironic that the Dc behave worse when he is indulging himself (because that's what it is) in one of his grumps, it is perfectly normal for children to behave that way when a parent is being a shithead. His negativity causes them distress, which children exhibit through acting up, and they are also reflecting his negativity back to him. Also, if he has decided that he would be happy IF they did or didn't do or say X, Y, and Z, then he's creating a very mindfucking, abusive, damned if they do, damned if they don't atmosphere for them; he's kind of pre-bollocking them for potential future naughtiness - where's their motivation to act well coming from that?!

triathlonmum Sun 01-Sep-13 21:26:28

I am in exactly the same position and on the verge of a separation (at least he has said he wants to go but hasn't made any move yet, given he does nothing else at home it doesn't surprise me). I feel like it might be a huge relief to end the constant misery and grumpiness at home. He also gets really grumpy with my two DCs, shouts at the drop of a hat. But I'm scared of being lonely and financial issues.

I also wonder if my DH has depression, he has been like this for a long time and nothing makes him happy or smile. Everything is my fault. Apparently I am always 'fussing' (clearing up) and this stresses him out. He lays on the sofa playing on his iPad, for 90 percent of his time at home. I care for the children, house, garden, paperwork, oh and also work.

He seems to cope fine at work therefore I wonder whether depression really could be a possibility, how would he be fine there just not at home? But wonder whether trying to get him to go to GP should be last port of call before admitting we have to separate? So very interested in views on this thread.

How many guy like this are out there? Don't like growing up, changing, responsibilities? I quite like the suggestion of locking them in the shed!

MarriedToMrGrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 22:02:54

Thanks for all your views, especially RollerCola and triathlonmum - it's good to know I'm not the only one (not that I want others to be miserable). I'm sure there are plenty more like him.

I love the shed idea. I really would be happy if he found himself a hobby, some friends, a man cave, anything really that meant he took some ownership for his own well being.

RollerCola Sun 01-Sep-13 22:37:12

It's so hard isn't it. Despite all my h has done (or not done) I still find myself worrying about how he'll cope on his own. As much as I desperately want him to leave so that I can move on, my instincts mean I still worry about him - I can't help it.

But as many people have pointed out, only he can make himself happy. I've spent years & years trying to do it but it's no use. I've got to stop worrying about him & focus on myself. He's a grown man & he thinks he'll be happier on his own. Personally I think he'll discover that he's still not happy even when he's gone and that it wasn't actually me & the kids that made him unhappy at all.

But only he can discover that. Because there's absolutely no talking to him. He's right, everyone else is wrong.

I wish you all the luck in the world OP, if you can get through to him you might have a chance. Would he be upset to lose you all? Mine doesn't seem bothered which is how I know it's the right decision. It makes me very angry but at the same time I refuse to spend any more of our lives with someone who so blatantly doesn't care about us, only for himself. I owe it to myself AND the children to give us a better and happier life.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 22:46:45

There is a big difference between being depressed and being an arse. As I said already on this thread if he is all happy and fine at work, chances are he is not depressed. His depression seems to involve sitting on his arse and blaming you for everything. He gets a get out of jail card for any domestic responsibilities and gets you tip toeing round him whilst he watches footie or does his own thing.

This is not at all how my DH's depression manifested itself. Which involved crying in the office, extreme short temper, odd behaviour - literally he was a changed person. It sounds more like abuse than depression.

triathlonmum Sun 01-Sep-13 23:04:01

I feel pretty lonely in the house with him. But then I have lots of great friends and plenty to do myself so I suppose I just bury my head in the sand re this marriage and live outside of it. Those close to me say I would thrive without him but I find the idea of binning 10 years of marriage and upsetting the DCs very difficult. Although I am finding as they get older some of their respect for him is diminishing - they call him grumpy and lazy and he often has a sense of humour failure ......

joanofarchitrave Sun 01-Sep-13 23:14:15

If he's happy at work and unhappy at home, it sounds like separating would be an unselfish act on your part!

I have to say though, I would pull the children up if they call him grumpy and lazy. It's not OK for them to talk about their father that way IMO.

triathlonmum Sun 01-Sep-13 23:26:32

Thanks Joan, I do tell the children off as I won't have them talk to any adult in that way. It just makes me sad that they pick up on it all. So perhaps separation is the right route. So very frustrating though, it feels like all is needed is for him to change his mindset. I think I can safely say that wont happen though. I also agree that my DH is likely to find it wasn't us making him miserable after all either.

Handywoman Sun 01-Sep-13 23:39:20

I had one of these. Must say home life has been much more pleasant for since I showed him the door and I find the housework much more manageable too. Lol. You just don't miss having this kind of energy sapping idiot under your feet.

This goes for me, too. Please get rid, OP. He sounds like an utter drain. Without him you'll be just fine. I did it two months ago. Life now is immeasurably better, not just for me, but for the kids, too, who are now free to just be themselves even if being themselves means being a pain in the proverbial

FrancescaBell Sun 01-Sep-13 23:43:25

I have known depression (especially the undiagnosed and untreated kind) used as a cover-up (by individuals and/or their partners) for all sorts of other things: abuse, affairs, addiction, personality disorders and especially- just being an absolute shit.

In my experience, people with genuine depression (who aren't abusive, personality disordered or having an affair) get help and treatment and wouldn't dream of putting the blame for their feelings on their partners and/or children.

So my advice to anyone living with someone like this is to give serious consideration to the possibility that it's not depression at all. Eliminate other factors.

TheSilverySoothsayer Sun 01-Sep-13 23:51:31

Further to my post upthread, if he won't go to the GP, then I am agreeing with the other posters that this is abuse, not fall out from mental ill health.

Portofino Sun 01-Sep-13 23:52:43

Quite, Francesca. My Dh was practically suicidal one year ago. Therapy and ADs have made the world of difference. I think many people forget that depression is a genuine illness, one that can treated by medicine. Vs unhappiness and complete arseness, which you can only cure by taking action.

RhondaJean Sun 01-Sep-13 23:55:34

He may have depression but putting you and the kids down isn't depression.

It's twattish.

My dh has depression on and off and I have had as well in the past and while it can make you very self obsessed it doesn't make you stupid.

cestlavielife Sun 01-Sep-13 23:59:38

So S he has not been clinically diagnosed with anything ?
If you holding on to the hope he is depressed medically then give him ultimatum to go to gp and get help For his illness.

If he really is depressed and makes some effort to get treated then you can consider staying...but he needs to be helping himself. Not having hobbies etc is his choice but if he making you and dc miserable it s time to review. If he keeps telling you you and dc make him like this then surely logically he should leave?

or if he won't go and get diagnosed and treated , then yes separate.

It isn't always clear can have clinical depression and also be abusive .... My exP has had severe episodes of real mental health depression with anxiety with aggressive outbursts ..but also when not in throes of actual real depressive episode manifests abusive behaviours. Read "why does he do that" and consider. knowledge is power.

Upsetting the dc ? Living in a positive happy household without a black cloud or tiptoeing is far better than staying together because he might have an illness..Rather than just be a twat... . While he has the illness, while he behaves in this damaging way it is ok to live apart. You and dc cannot treat him or cure him ...heck he even tells you you and dc are making him Ill/behave this way. So take him at his word and send him away to get better.... If he gets treated and better great ! You can resume where you left off.

If he does not then you will gain not lose.

You have been so happy without him. Surely that says it all ?

I never thought I'd read about people whose situation is so similar to mine - difference is I've been married 25 years. Our DC are 10 and 12 - we held off having children as H had a breakdown (which was my fault apparently) and I wanted to be sure he was ok before we started trying - well of course once our first child was about 6 months old he started again about how I'd ruined his life, the rest is history - well, the same story as Married's. I suppose some differences are that we both have long term health problems, no family (either of us) and owe £000,000s - now in our 50s. We literally could not walk away from each other because of the debts; neither of us could afford a place to live on our individual salaries and I think we'd both struggle to cope alone because of the health issues.

Lately I've begun to think how damaging our situation is for DCs; he's been to GP once and got medication changed (for his illness nothing to do with depression) as GP thought that might help his temper, but it hasn't and his outrages are getting longer, louder and more intimidating. But the bottom line is this is a man who doesn't get what he deserves - I MAKE him like he is, he only behaves like this because I treat him so poorly. He is entitled to x y and z (z is normally sitting on the sofa), but its my fault he doesn't get it all. I could go on but I think you get the gist.

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 07:36:01

This is a very helpful thread for me because I also thought it was just me who'd been landed with someone like this.

Whether or not my h is depressed, he just seems to have no interest in anything. He never seems to 'do' anything. He doesn't have any hobbies, no real circle of friends. He's self employed with one business partner (who he also socialises with) so day after day he goes to work & just sees the same friend with no other social interaction.

When he comes home he's not interested in doing anything with the kids. He never suggests going to the park or taking then to do anything. His only interest is watching football on TV. The rest of the time he falls asleep on the sofa so we're all tiptoeing around. He hasn't wanted to do anything just with me for years.

He's moody, grumpy, miserable & self-absorbed. Now we've finally decided to separate he tells me he's been unhappy in our marriage for years. While I've been killing myself trying to hold everything together & make things better he's just been acting more & more unreasonably (probably in the hope that I'll do something about it so he didn't have to make the decision)

Now we've agreed to separate he's not lifted a finger to do anything. He's not looked at houses, he's not been to the bank, he's not thought about the logistics of it. He's just waiting for me to do it all for him. Once he's gone I suspect his mum will step in and start looking after him. I just want him out now, it's so unbelievably draining.

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 07:40:02

It is just so frustrating. I feel like I need to help him see what we could have together if only he was less miserable/resentful/grumpy. But he has shut himself off emotionally and want to blame me for pretty much everything. I'm torn between wanting to give it a last chance for a step change ( eg GP, counselling, whatever...) and giving up. I think he wants me to chuck him out so he can blame me for that too - he did say when he said he intended to leave that I should agree with him otherwise I'm just trying to make him look like the bad guy.

My natural instinct is to try/ work harder at things if they aren't working out. But perhaps there are some things that can't be changed?

It is all pretty exhausting and I'm running out of patience cooking/cleaning etc for him while he just lies there.

NotOneThing, you children are just a couple of years older than mine and I think the impact on them is what has started to be front of mind for me. Up to now I felt like I've endured it for their sakes. I've tried everything to improve things, weekends away, nights out, doing sport together ...but the effort is never reciprocated so never gets us anywhere.

I'm finding this all very difficult and glad I've found this thread.

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 07:43:02

RollerCola I could have written exactly what you just did.

I also fear that in splitting up I will have to do everything. So for now I am waiting for him to initiate but my friends think I should have a deadline else he will just malinger out of laziness.

He told me he has been unhappy for years and was waiting for our youngest to finish infant school!!! Which she just has....

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 08:29:46

So sorry triathlonmum, you have my sympathy because I know just what you're going through.

I've spent many years hoping he'll change & making excuses for why he's like this (family death/illnesses/depression etc) but I've realised and now accepted that he won't change because he doesn't WANT to.

He wallows in self pity & blames everyone else but himself for his unhappiness. Nothing I can do will make him happy. Even my friends & family are now saying he'll never change & they're surprised I've stayed with him this long (we've been together for 23 yrs, kids are 11&6)

Once I started really talking to other people about him & hearing their opinions it was like my eyes finally opened.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 02-Sep-13 08:35:47

Roller there is an organisation who can help you with such huge debts, I can't remember the name but there is a whole section on the website which would be able to help you either separately after a split or together before one. I know that they warn about companies who look to make money out of this too but there is an official one which does not charge.

As for a place to live as you have DC you would be eligible for a top up via housing benefit. I know it's not ideal but it wouldn't have to be forever.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 02-Sep-13 08:56:51

Let me add from my own experience (25 years at the coalface, 4 children) that there is no pleasing someone who does not wish to be pleased, no comforting someone who enjoys wallowing in misery. Some people wrap their gloom around themselves like a comfort blanket. And as I said upthread, if everyone tries to jolly them out of it/avoid annoying them, they are actually rewarded for doing so. After 40 or 50 years on this planet the behaviour is too well ingrained to expect any kind of change - certainly in the absence of any major consequences such as losing their favourite emotional punchbag and picker-up of their laundry.

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 10:06:41

Wise words Annie - thank you.

Roller I know exactly what you mean about speaking to others opens your eyes. The situation and his declaration he intends to leave means I have confided in close family and friends over the last week or so. Their experience of him and positive views on what I could achieve without him were certainly enlightening. My DC's are 7 and 9 - one aspect I find particularly unpleasant is that I will have to be without them for some of the time while they are with him. That feels like a punishment in a situation where I have tried absolutely everything to make it work and hold it together.

Hope you all have a good day today at least. I am back at work and it's nice to have that normality!

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 10:29:42

Yes I find work is a release too. It's somewhere that things are 'normal'. People behave with respect, they're friendly, funny, caring and well just normal grinThen I go home & the cloud descends hmm

I just want to get him out now. Me & the kids had a few days away recently & it was wonderful. No stress, no moaning, everything was done spontaneously. Everyone was happy. I loved every minute of it & it made me realise without a doubt I'll be ok on my own with them.

I do worry about being without them when they stay with him but I think we'll arrange it so that they are only ever away from one of us for a day or two at a time. It'll mean a lot of moving back & forth for them but they seem to be quite looking forward to it!

I'm going to use the time to do things for me. Go shopping, meet friends, evenings out etc. All the things I have no time for now because I'm so busy doing everything here. I will miss them when they aren't here but I'll keep busy & I'm sure it'll soon become the new routine.

It's not how I thought life would be. But neither is my current life, so it'll be a million times better than that.

BettyBotter Mon 02-Sep-13 11:03:14

Been there too. It's not you.

You see, the difficult thing is that depression can make the depressed person look to external causes for their feelings and draw logical but wrong conclusions that that's why they feel shit. They might not even realise they feel 'sad' but instead feel incredibly stressed or irritable because they think that their partner doesn't love them enough or breathes funny / their dcs are badly behaved/ they haven't got enough money/ their boss is a bastard or whatever they see first when they look around (usually poor partner).

Dh was vvv similar to yours down to the irritability with dcs, blaming me for not enough sex, too much nagging (where 'nagging' meant a single friendly request for something) etc etc. I finally made an ultimatum and booked him a GP appointment. I would have ended it if he hadn't gone. He was diagnosed with quite severe depression to his great surprise and started ADs. They made a MASSIVE difference. He is now once again a pleasant person to be around and a patient and kind father

We still annoy each other, his boss is still a bastard but he can now deal with all life's trials without losing his temper or passing the blame on to me.

If you don't want to LTB until he's had a chance to sort it then I'd get him to the GP with a big fat shove up his arse.

metoo22 Mon 02-Sep-13 11:12:02

Hi everyone, sorry to hear your tales but I can certainly empathise with lots of what you say. My h is quiet and withdrawn, he is quite friendly when e.g. my friends or family come here, but he never really engages, conversation is superficial and he keeps it on that level. he has no friends and his family is abroad. The friends/family I have confided in say they find him pleasant enough but quite difficult to be around partly because of this lack of interest.
I have made excuses for him for the whole of our relationship, I am beginning to realise (often on the basis that he is not in his home country - but he has been here 25 years!). Our life together is not terrible but our children are big and starting to leave home of get towards that stage and I just cannot see any benefit to me of staying with him. I thought he might be depressed, but some of what has been said above rings true - he says that if I was nicer to him and had sex with him he would be happy...

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 11:45:23

Betty thanks for that - I might give it one shot to get him to GP, even if just to rule it out. I can't see him doing it though, he is so convinced it is all me.

metoo sorry to hear you've also got one.....

unlucky83 Mon 02-Sep-13 11:59:57

Give him the ultimatum to go to GP...but otherwise I can't help you - don't really know what to do myself! I don't think my DP is depressed he is just an arse! (Also feeling trapped ...long story not debt but a dream house we I am refurbishing that is mainly in his name - current house is mainly in mine - but I've spent my money on new house he wouldn't have...and I want to live there! )
There is one line that is jumping out at me from this post - the 'you've changed' line...
My DP has said that to me - 'I haven't changed, you have' ...yes I have - we are almost 20 yrs older (I've grown up a bit!), with 2 DCs and I'm a SAHM /drudge -who knows they have screwed up their career...
makes my blood boil ...
When we have been arguing (often - but not in front of DCs) there is an atmosphere and DCs definitely play up more...

I was ready to call it a day a couple of years ago - we went to Relate and the counsellor (male) persuaded me although I thought splitting up would make my life easier it wouldn't really - all that sorting out access visits etc...(hmm and not tidying up after DP as well as DCs while he sits and plays on his netbook)
We really needed to get our sex life back on track - spend sensual time together every week... no actually I don't like DP very much - I really resent him - I don't WANT to spend sensual time with him - I just need him to pull his weight a bit more around the house and not behave like my 3rd child - then maybe our sex life will get back on track...angryangry angry
What sums it up is talking to DP the other day about me trying to get a job in my field again (DCs both now at school) ...which, if I can get one at all, would have to be FT. DP works early shifts - finishes at 1pm at the latest - so I suggested I can get DCs to school and work 9.30 -5.30pm and he can pick them up at 3 ....his reaction - that wasn't fair - that would mean all he did was work and look after DCs - they could go to after school club and I could pick them up at 6pm! (so my life would consist of.... work and looking after DCs (and house) ....)
Talking to my mum about this and her reaction - 'that's men for you' and a list of what her friends (in their 70s!) are still putting up with....
Really don't know what to do - this wasn't how my life was supposed to be either...

Wellwobbly Mon 02-Sep-13 12:11:13

You can lovingly give boundaries.

Being depressed does not mean you have licence to behave abusively.

You can still let a depressed person know they are out of order.

So warn him that you will no longer put up with being blamed for his feelings of dissatisfaction, and unless HE TAKES STEPS to address his 'world view', you will make other arrangements.

Detachment does not mean uncaring or unloving. You can lovingly detach and you can lovingly require he lives his consequences.

The man who does the Purple Ronnie cartoons gives a really good account of depression here

I think it's unlikely that a lot of the husbands/partners mentioned here are undergoing true depression.

As others have said it's so much easier being a lone parent than trying to keep the kids quiet while he's having a 'nap' because he's so 'exhausted' all the bloody time.

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Mon 02-Sep-13 12:50:47

Hi OP. I'm am currently going through exactly the same scenario. My DP is depressed, and has been diagnosed in the past. Our GP suspects he is bipolar. At home I felt like I was walking on eggshells, worrying about what sort of mood he would be in. He would have highs and lows. During his lows he would shut himself away. Yet he refused to seek medical help. I think it was a fear of admission to the medical profession and having it on his records tbh. Anyhow, life at home was intolerable for me and our dc. I had also become completely co-dependant on him, also due to my own anxieties. A vicious circle which I could see no way out.
About 6 weeks ago he made the decision to leave. I was devastated as I had this fear of being alone, all part of the codependency. I was struggling and my family and close friends rallied round. I have to say that having the space away from him has been the best thing to happen. My house is calmer, the dc have said that life at home is better. They still see their dad but his morose moods are now contained in his new house. Although he has been good with the children. This week for the first time ever we have been able to talk openly about what went wrong. He no longer blames me and he is taking medication. I think he was also having a mid life crisis and now realises that the grass isn't always greener living on your own away from your family. He misses our family life. I am now confident enough to say that his depression/crisis was the cause of our difficulties and he admits that too. I am by no means perfect but being an optimist, I always try to focus on the positive. Being apart has improved DPs ability to be more positive. I'm not saying we will reconcile, but I do know that we are now being open and honest and there is no misery, blame or bickering. Who knows what will happen in the future.
I wanted to tell my story to help you see how things could improve. I've discovered that no amount of telling him to seek help worked. He needed to see that for himself.
Good luck OP I really hope you find a solution as its not easy what you are going through.

Leavenheath Mon 02-Sep-13 13:13:26

I always feel a bit uncomfortable when I see posts like yours Flora.

Mainly because over the years on MN, I've seen so many threads about depressed blokes who start blaming their wives and move out to get a bit of space- and it turns out they were seeing someone else. I'm not saying they weren't depressed to begin with - who knows? - but depressed people still have affairs, especially (as I understand it) those with bi polar.

Then, when the affair has fizzled out, they want to come back.

I agree with posters who say this behaviour doesn't have to have one sole cause. I guess it's easier to think a partner is ill and not deliberately causing this much misery.

But sometimes men like this aren't ill at all and even if they are, it doesn't mean they aren't capable of awful behaviour as well.

probablyhadenough Mon 02-Sep-13 13:24:18

So many people in similar circumstances sad. This is my life too OP, startlingly similar. It is All My Fault (or our eldest child's) when actually I think DH is depressed. Yes he is also being an arse but it isn't true that the depressed are always able to see that fact - loss of insight into their behaviour is a symptom in itself.

I suspect that his life would not improve if I removed myself from the equation and our Relate counsellor seems to have a very good handle on what is going on. But is hard to for him (the counsellor) to get DH to take responsibility for his mental and physical health and to reflect on what is actually going on.

I think our problems stem from DH having pretty self absorbed parents (particularly mother). I suspect I was picked to do some decent mothering and now we have children of our own he doesn't get that - cue depression and blame.

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 13:26:04

I've wondered about an affair. Have even asked (at least it would explain some of the unpleasant behaviour), he denies (but guess that would be the case). However, evidence with regard to energy levels and general motivation would suggest that an affair is unlikely. Who knows? Suspect if it is the case it would only come out later.

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 13:27:26

I think perhaps we try to excuse their behaviour by saying 'they must be depressed' because the alternative - (they're behaving like this because they're a selfish bastard) - is too hard to accept.

I hate to think that people behave badly just because that's the way they are. It just seems so sad. You'd do anything to change them because them being like that makes YOU unhappy.

But you eventually have to accept that that is just the way they are. They won't change just because you're unhappy. They will only change if they want to.

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Mon 02-Sep-13 13:39:59

Leaven, I wrote from the heart, so wasn't meant to be uncomfortable. I'm suffering terribly too and just wanted to give my story. In my circumstances there is no affair. My DP was and is depressed but is i suspect having a midlife crisis also, as he said he was disatisfied with life. I agree that sometimes we can be too quick to blame the illness rather than accept that the behaviour was just unacceptable. My post is my story and I hoped by giving my experience it may help the OP.

Leavenheath Mon 02-Sep-13 14:00:55

Yes love, I know you wrote from the heart.

One of the reasons I posted though was because I hate to see decent, good women manipulated. Time and time again I've seen women run themselves into the ground with sympathy for their depressed partners- and welcomed them back when they've worked through their 'midlife'- only to find that these blokes were messing around all along. I see you have certainty that's not the case with your DP, but keep an open mind eh? I don't see how it's possible to know for sure tbh. Good luck, love.

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Mon 02-Sep-13 14:24:07

I agree that men can be very manipulative. I've escaped a relationship with a man like this in the past. And many posts on MN indicate affairs. But not all do, as in my case. My story is too personal to write here.
I hope OP you took what you could from my post. I'm not inviting my DP back any time soon, hard as it is to say no. I believe you need confidence to be in a place where you truly love yourself enough to say yes or no based on how you feel and not based on what he wants. Good luck.

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 14:27:58

So he just picked my up from work (I walked in this morning so he could have car to take DCs out). He didn't even say hello when I got it, DC's happy and smiling and telling me about your day. Him sighing and wont even look at me. Me trying to be all cheerful and happy.

Then it comes out that arrangements for tomorrow - for me to go out in the evening - clash with when he 'intended' to play golf. I only asked him yesterday if it was ok if I went out and he said yes. He lost it in car, started shouting (in front of DCs) said that my arrangements always come first. This is despite the fact I'd made special arrangements with friends for tomorrow morning to have DCs so he could play golf while I was at work. It is his last day off work and I can understand he is frustrated but why take it out on me when he has messed up. Result - nervous children, tense atmosphere.... so so frequent nowadays. I can choose to back down (which he will take as his right and not be remotely grateful) or carry on with my plans as it was him that messed up after all.

What a way to live.

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 14:47:45

How often do you normally go out like this triathlon? And how often does he do things for himself?

Is it at all evenly spread? Who normally arranges childcare when one of you needs to do something? Does he ever take responsibility or does he just leave it to you?

FloraSpreadableMacDonald Mon 02-Sep-13 14:52:20

OP, have reread your post. It does sound like he dissatisfied with life and grumpy rather than depressed. You say you feel better without him there and the dc are happier. I found the same. I agree with the poster above who said, tell him you will no longer put up with his behaviour or you will make other arrangements. It's hard to do and I wish I had done it.


This is no way to live at all is it?.

My guess is that when he is at work he is fine. You and the children cop all his barbs now. I would call him emotionally abusive and such men do not change.

Was wondering what you get out of this relationship now.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships, surely it is better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable.

You are not responsible for him at the end of the day.

Your children are seeing all this as well and are being affected by it; surely this is not the relationship role model you yourself want to impart to your children. What relationship lessons to them are being imparted here. Both of you are teaching them damaging lessons. On some level as well you are showing them this is currently acceptable treatment of you as both a wife and their mother.

Treen44444 Mon 02-Sep-13 15:50:17

He sounds very clinically depressed. Depression will make you want to hide away. There are no reasons for the depression so he will not know what will make him happy. From my experience is that if people want to talk about it or constantly ask 'how you are?'. You feel trapped and become short with people.he needs medical help and treatment. It depends if you want to stick with him through his illness or treatment. Or you should have a break till he is better and more stable.
He may find work an escape as no one will be aware of his depression

RhondaJean Mon 02-Sep-13 17:03:03

He doesn't want to hide away though treen - he musts wants everything his own way (see the last post about the golf).

Treen44444 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:13:41

Rhonda - emotionally hide away or move away from feeling trapped or responsibilities. It's classic symptoms. Either get treatment, put up with it or leave.
I would seek treatment and if no effort to try and get better then leave. It can be difficult to live with people with this illness. The brain is the worst part of the body to get any illness, unfortunately

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 17:18:22

So do you think that, if treated with anti-depressants or whatever, these men would change into happy, caring people who then appreciate all the goodness that is around them - wife, kids etc and everyone can be happy again?

Sorry, don't mean to be flippant, but ime it's all just gone too far to go back now. To convince my h that he's ill and get him to a dr would in itself be a huge job for me - one which no doubt he wouldn't thank me for like everything else. I just don't have the strength to do it all myself.

Dackyduddles Mon 02-Sep-13 17:22:19

I think sadly its very much a vote for


Deeply sorry. But this isn't living. Don't do this to the kids.

probablyhadenough Mon 02-Sep-13 17:29:13

I know what you mean Rolla - I felt exactly the same. But you might be able to get him to go to joint relationship counselling (to sort out all the issues that you are to blame for hmm). And then if you get a good counsellor they will be able to shed some light on his behaviour - he might start to see that he needs to find better ways of dealing with his stress and his moods. That's what is happening here at least.

It is a very slow process but maybe worth it if you don't want to split. I thought I ought to try it at least - and I'm not saying that we will stay together and I am agree that this is self indulgent behaviour on his part (and the OP's h too) but.....

probablyhadenough Mon 02-Sep-13 17:29:41

Roller even.....

RollerCola Mon 02-Sep-13 17:31:38

Well we did go to Relate about 4 years ago, but tbh they didn't help much. I just feel like I've tried & done everything I could possibly do now.

Treen44444 Mon 02-Sep-13 17:32:07

It may not be that conclusive. It maybe more stable. With treatment you learn to manage it and read signals that can be acted on to avoid deep depression and suicidal thoughts. It can be managed but takes time, starting from diagnosis.

probablyhadenough Mon 02-Sep-13 17:46:40

Fair enough Roller - you probably have then. I often wonder when it is time to give up sad.

unlucky83 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:02:36

Roller - I said I've done Relate and it helped a little - it did sort out money issues (ie as a SAHM -with pre school DC I shouldn't be paying half the bills with my savings! and definitely should not have to repeatedly ask for his half!)
Sometimes think that we just didn't have the right counsellor...
Ours was much more interested in the physical side of things ...didn't listen to me saying us spending more 'couple time' wouldn't help because of the level of resentment I felt...he did seem to think regular sex would solve everything ...(maybe I'm wrong and he was right - I should have gone along with it and my resentment would magically have disappeared - and I would have enjoyed being an unappreciated drudge more???)
I do half think maybe we should try Relate again (for some reason I think a female counsellor would understand better????)
Maybe you could try again too...

Treen44444 Mon 02-Sep-13 18:12:08

If its clinical depression. You need a gp, testing, diagnosis and specialists. You can't treat what is not diagnosed. If there is an illness you are currently not seeing a healthy DP or the 'normal' DP. If there is no illness then it gives you a stronger position to analyse your relationship and future.

TheSilverySoothsayer Mon 02-Sep-13 18:22:07

Here's link to the Emotional Abuse support thread There are links on the top post which may help some of you work out if your P is abusive or not.

Mine was. I divorced him.

JaceyBee Mon 02-Sep-13 19:30:35

I know a lot about depression because of my profession and I don't think these guys sound particularly depressed. They may well be low, fed up, bitter, entitled and bored but not depressed.

Although there are no hard and fast rules, it's very common for depressed people to have a tendency to interpret anything negative as permanent, internal and general and anything positive as specific, external and temporary. This means basically, that anything bad is likely to be seen as because of them, all their fault, will always be bad etc and anything good is down to other people, just 'lucky', a fluke etc. Its connected to locus of control theory.

So, blaming others for your uninspiring, flat life is not conducive with depression but with being a miserable, self indulgent tool.

But all that is by the by really. You're right, this is no way for you and your dcs to live. Set yourselves free.

probablyhadenough Mon 02-Sep-13 19:40:29

Unlucky - it probably was just the wrong counsellor for you. Ours in male and in a way I think it works better for us - otherwise dh would see it as another bloody woman telling him what to do. Our counsellor won't let him get away with the blame game and picks him up on the utter negativity. Plus he has never once suggested that I should be having sex with dh at the moment - it is clear why I am not and he (the counsellor) seems to take that as a given.

It does sound as if yours was stupidly blinkered about the physical side.

I know what you mean JaceyBee but I also have some professional experience of depression and the blame can also turn on others - doesn't mean they aren't depressed. Impossible to live with yes, self indulgent and entitled possibly, depressed maybe.

unlucky83 Mon 02-Sep-13 20:59:17

Probably I agree and that's an interest point of view re the female counsellor...and the not expecting you to have sex with your dH.
Ours did say that he was also a sex therapist...maybe that was the problem ... tbh with that side of things actually did more harm than good...
DP then 'expected' we should be intimate on a certain day of the week...then he would then do something to piss me off and the last thing on earth I felt like was giving him (or getting) a sensual massage! (unless I could inflict great pain on him at the same time wink )
Then I had broken my side of the deal etc etc etc ....a mini tantrum which is the exact opposite of a turn on ...sad
If I tried to explain it was an excuse or I was lying hmm What?

probablyhadenough Mon 02-Sep-13 21:07:17

Yes, that does sound a bit sex centred Unlucky! I can't imagine wanting to give/receive a sensual massage when we still haven't started to address the long list of resentments that are preventing me from even liking him at the moment. Maybe have one more go at counselling - the guy we are seeing is a supervising counsellor and he is loads more effective than the woman we saw for a couple of sessions a few years ago. He seems really to have 'got' our particular set of issues.

triathlonmum Mon 02-Sep-13 21:30:37

Hi all. Some more interesting views.

I've been living with sulky/grumpy atmosphere since the blow up this afternoon. Absolutely rubbish. As usual I've tried to make the peace by changing my arrangements and organising more help. But surely we should be able to parent our children between us. He goes out often in the week, usually with colleagues. At the weekend he spends 6-7 hrs on the golf course on Saturdays. I don't ever ask him not to, what causes issues is me trying to juggle family life around this (eg needing car to take one of DC to a party). This causes him to explode and rant about how he always comes last.

It's all making me very tired. I ventured this afternoon he had a very negative outlook and perhaps he was depressed to which he replied 'its not surprising if I am!' (Add in some expletives....). Not sure that conversation was going to end with him making an appt with GP.

We also had counselling 3 yrs ago. He felt the counsellor was on my side (!) perhaps because his unreasonable behaviour was under the spotlight. So that didn't help a great deal and he never acted on any of the things we agreed.

I do wonder if counselling might be worth one last shot or maybe I should just LTB........

Thanks all

TheSilverySoothsayer Mon 02-Sep-13 21:45:50

If a partner is abusive, then couples counselling is not usually recommended. Individual counselling can help.

He does sound rather entitled triathlon sad

Treen44444 Mon 02-Sep-13 22:17:16

Thesilverysoothsayer - I read your link for 'emotional abuse support'. It is a big eye opener and needs more awareness. However, did find it very broad. I think that under those definitions of abuse I have been abused in every relationship at some point and been an abuser. Also, it goes the same for all my friends relationships.
I'm glad you are out of your abusive relationship. I was wondering how frequently it had to happen? And whether under the definitions given in your link, whether you were abusive in your last relationship?

TheSilverySoothsayer Mon 02-Sep-13 23:59:44

Early on, yes, I think I was. I was depressed and taking it out on my DP, ironically, given this thread. We met very early, then had an on-off relationship before finally settling down, marrying and having the DC.

It is a long and complicated story, but for the last 18 years of our marriage, he was happy to work very little, live off our capital (which came from my DF) and do v little housework. The little work he did was all at weekends or during school hols, leaving me to look after the kids while he was away. He spent years playing a computer game for hours each day. During the last 3 years he mostly refused to answer me or acknowledge things I'd said, refused to talk about money, met every request for help with a simple refusal. We never went out unless I arranged it, although I did go and see friends on my own. I was v v depressed much of the time, and thought that was the problem - but it was a reaction to my situation. Occasionally I'd go off on a miserable mad rant, of course that meant everything I said was dismissed. The kids followed his lead, at one point I was living with 3 other adults, who barely lifted a finger. I kept thinking things would improve when I got a job, which I did do twice, but apart from him taking over the cooking, nothing much changed. (And he often cooked stir-fries, which I hate!)

Many on the EA thread wonder if they too are abusive - but they are usually upset at the way they have behaved, and it is usually in reaction to abuse. I worked v hard at improving myself, and think I succeeded to some extent - Ex saw no reason to change.

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 02:36:55

Good for you. From that link, I was aware of the serious ones, but that list pretty much sums up any aspect of all interaction.
Stuff like (off memory) 'does your partner give you the silent treatment or avoid telling you how they feel'
'Do you avoid telling your partner how you feel to avoid confrontation'.
These could describe two people in the same relationship. Sometimes both could be done as a way to defuse an argument. So that it can be worked out later.
I saw a post saying that EA was equal to DV. I agree that EA is bad. But for me DV is a onetime thing and I'm off. Looking at the some of the definitions of EA it would have to be sustained. I just think that to be labelled an abuser for one of those examples would be harsh. Maybe I associate abuser with instant end of relationship.

dimsum123 Tue 03-Sep-13 07:48:12

I was depressed for years without realising. I was fine outside the home with friends etc. But at home I was rude, snappy and always angry with DH and the DC's. I blamed my misery on them. Eventually I had a complete suicidal breakdown. Only then was I diagnosed with depression and got the medication and other help and support I needed.

To me your DH's behaviour sounds exactly like mine when I was depressed. I was very angry with DD in particular. I hated her at times.

I am sooo much better now. Much happier and content at home. I'm on anti d's and had 5 years of counselling.

I can see now that I had the problem. Not DH or the DC's. I simply could not see that before. Like someone upthread said depression warps one's reality and you think your reality is the true reality. You simply cannot see the truth that others keep trying to tell you.

probablyhadenough Tue 03-Sep-13 13:59:04

Good for you dimsum - it must have taken some courage to admit that to yourself rather than focusing on everyone else's role in your unhappiness. I live in hope I suppose that dh will reach a similar conclusion - it is clear to me that he has been depressed (appetite, sleep, moods etc all affected plus a very short fuse) so I feel I should stand by him but it is hard when everything is apparently all my fault! Maybe women are better at admitting a vulnerability or is that a massive generalisation?!

triathlonmum Tue 03-Sep-13 14:02:55

Absolutely good for you dimsum, great to hear that you've turned things around. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday whose husband went through a similar path (low point where he left her for another woman). They are happy now. It can turn around but sounds like it is a rocky path.

Probably, I would also venture that women might be better at admitting vulnerability.....

MarriedToMrGrumpy Tue 03-Sep-13 19:14:44

That was a lot of reading to catch up on. It does help to know I am not alone. I knew I couldn't be the only one who married a fully grown child.

triathlonmum Tue 03-Sep-13 22:38:18

What do you think you will do, marriedtomrgrumpy?

Treen44444 Tue 03-Sep-13 23:50:08

I would like to differentiate between depression and clinical depression. From what I have read, none of the examples involve someone that has been diagnosed with clinical depression. It doesn't mean they don't have it but they are not moving forward with it.
And, we can't diagnose each other. I wish disease was as clear cut as cancer or HIV. But it's not, it engulfs your mind. Give me a terminal illness any day, over a degenerative disease.

dimsum123 Wed 04-Sep-13 09:40:00

Yes I do agree that women are more likely to be willing to admit to being depressed and seeking help. Men just will not admit they have a problem. My dad was the same. In hindsight I can see he was severely depresed for most of my childhood. His depression manifested as volcanic anger, unpredictable mood swings and general day to day grumpiness. He also always said the problem was with us ie his DC's and my mother, and not him. He could NEVER see it was he that had the problem not us. We were just normal kids, well behaved, did well at school, never got in trouble etc.

There are some very good books aimed at the partners of people with mental health issues which my DH found
very helpful.

But ultimately your DH needs to see he has an illness and seek help for it. I think getting some books that explain depression might help him see and recognise himself and his symptoms.

Good Luck. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you.

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