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Relationship in need of fixing URGENTLY

(82 Posts)
TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:35:06

Hi,

I have a perfect DD who was a surprise. Neither of us were what you would call ready but then who is. We were 23 and 24 when I was pregnant and 24 and 25 when she was born so of a reasonable age to settle down also having been together for about 5 years. We are now 26 and 27.

Recently, he is very depressed. He feels his life is spent looking forward to coming home from work but once he is home just waiting to go to sleep as we either just watch Dora or play with our daughter. When I suggest a trip to the park etc he just says he doesn't want to. He says he was not ready for family life and does not enjoy it.

The weekends are worse, He freely admits sleeping in for as long as possible at the weekends because the weekends are so boring and lie ins are the only thing he looks forward to in his pitiful life. Once again, any suggestions for family fun are met with 'I dont want to do that' or 'thats boring'. He simply only gets excited or motivated about going out with his friends. His friends mostly have kids now and mostly the rest have settled with partners and probably will have them soon. Practically everything to do with our 2 year old daughter is left to me. He has changed a few nappies but has no idea how to actually do them, has never once bathed her, once or twice he has put her to bed but never on his own as i was there too. I literally do everything apart from one night a week (2.5hrs max which he acts like is the biggest deal ever and never fails to bring it up if i ask for more) and very rare occasions when he cares for her. He even once text me asking how long it would be til i was home as she had done a poo.

He has stated many a time that his unhappiness is not with me as he couldnt ask for a better girlfriend but also thinks the way to solve this problem is to leave me. He states he is not sure what he wants. This weekend he dropped a clanger, stating that if he did leave, he would want her to live with him. I said NO straight away. I have always said I would be more than reasonable. He can see her whenever he wants but she lives with me, end of! My problem is, if it isn't me that he is unhappy with... Why the hell am I the only thing he wants out of his life? If she lives with him everything stays the same apart from me and he obviously has no idea how to look after her as he has never done it. We both work full time so after work it should be equal i think. We have a good life, we own our own house, have good jobs each, own cars, beautiful daughter and good health. I think he needs to understand the value of that but he simply doesnt.

BASICALLY, I AM WONDERING WHAT ACTIVITIES I CAN DO WITH A TODDLER THAT ALWAYS PLAYS UP IN PUBLIC THAT WILL INCLUDE AND EXCITE HIM AND PERSUADE HIM THAT ITS NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM???

Thanks in Advance

A very desperate mother
xx

CailinDana Mon 09-Sep-13 13:42:24

You can't force him to want to be a father. The thing about wanting your dd to live with him sounds like a threat. Is it?

Sorry but I think he needs a big wake up call.
Yes to him moving out.
But he can't take your DD and if he really wants her he will have to fight through the courts.
I would highlight to him exactly what he does with her a make it clear that he can move out and you won't object at all but he doesn't do anything with DD right now and it's all down to you so you will be her main carer.
Pack him a bag right now in fact and tell him to do one when he gets home.
I'm raging for you - he's entitled arsehole!!!!

SleepyCatOnTheMat Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:04

If he cannot see the benefits of a beautiful family that's his problem not yours, especially as the relationship between the two of you is good (doesn't he realise how lucky he is?). He sounds very immature. It's sad but there's nothing you can do. He either needs to get his act together or you need to leave (and take your daughter with you, you are right about that, he wouldn't cope with looking after her).

Upnotdown Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:08

So you're the best girlfriend ever, the problem is that he's bored with family life but wants your DD to live with him when he leaves?

I think there's more to it, OP. He's setting you up as the 'problem' in the relationship, in my view.

I wish I had some advice for you smile

SirRaymondClench Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:19

What effort is he putting into finding fun things to do with you and DD?
He is the one who seems bored by family life.
What is he doing to fix that?
If he left and had DD living with him how does he think he would look after her given that he lives with her now and has--no----interest--can't cope?

SirRaymondClench Mon 09-Sep-13 13:46:35

Urgh strike through fail!

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:51:15

Its not a threat. He basically just came out with the question on saturday and saturday night I asked him to go into more detail. He said he would want her but wasn't sure he could cope. He loves her with all his heart, he just can't handle something about it. I'm not sure if its the stress/lifestyle change/chaos. It puts me into a pure state of panic tho, the idea of not having her around. I'm guessing it does the same to him and thats why he said all this.

He does need a big wake up call and a swift punch to the face but I think as we still love each other (am well aware love isnt always enough) and are happy with each other (technically) that we should try and make it work. He has a daughter NOW, he can't put that on hold for ten years or until hes ready, He has to face it.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:54:45

There has to be more to it but he swears there isnt! once he went out for the night and refused to come home. He got a train to his home town at 6.20 after not coming home and rang me almost crying saying he didnt want to carry on with a life so rubbish. two hours later I drove up there to bring him home. I wish I had some pride and a back bone. He makes no suggestions about activities to do :-(

SleepyCatOnTheMat Mon 09-Sep-13 13:55:55

I would imagine re: the DD living with him he just wants to have his cake and eat it i.e. he loves his daughter and wants to continue seeing her regularly but hasn't thought through what this would actually involve if her mother wasn't around, that is to say, bathing her and taking her to the park and doing all the things he's not doing now. This inability to think about the consequences of his actions further suggests immaturity. This man might ultimately make a good father but I have a feeling it's not going to be for some years or, unfortunately, with you OP.

DropYourSword Mon 09-Sep-13 13:57:45

Is he receiving any treatment for depression? Might be well worth exploring.

ArgyMargy Mon 09-Sep-13 13:58:42

He sounds a bit depressed to me, OP

ArgyMargy Mon 09-Sep-13 13:58:54

Xpost!

SleepyCatOnTheMat Mon 09-Sep-13 13:59:00

X-post. The question is if he does try to put being a father on hold for ten years what are you going to do? I don't think you should stick around waiting for him to grow up.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 13:59:50

I think you are right about the cake!!! Like I think i said, i told our friends. One literally loled, one said 'did i hear that right?' the other said 'that just shows he isnt thinking straight!'

nilbyname Mon 09-Sep-13 14:00:15

Does he want it to work?

BeCool Mon 09-Sep-13 14:01:20

He sounds VERY depressed to me.

Upnotdown Mon 09-Sep-13 14:02:41

Why does he think life will be happier without you around? Is there someone else he could be getting close to or something he wants to do that he feels you would get in the way of (ie move abroad/change career). It sounds like you think that he think's you're the bee's knees BUT his actions say different x

Quiltcover Mon 09-Sep-13 14:02:50

He sounds as if he settled down too soon and can't step up to his responsibilities. You have had to being a mother and are probably more responsible and mature than him.
My dh and I had our first child young (I was 21 he was 22) and at times it was difficult. He was and is hands on but it took some work for both of us.
I think he needs a sharp shock. It all seems to be about him. You have had to make sacrifices too. But noone is picking up the slack for you.
I would ask him to take some time out, leave and think about what he really wants. The reality of life without his family may make him realise. If not you are young enough to rebuild your life and start again.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 14:02:59

I think he is depressed. he does smoke something he shouldnt in the evening and he did find his life long friend dead on a stag do while i was pregnant and he also feels that he would have been able to save him had there not been a twist of fate. I think maybe that has made him want to enjoy every day he has but he doesnt have the capability to do that.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 14:05:57

He doesnt treat me or make me feel like the bees knees but when we talk about it he openly says, i couldnt ask for a better gf, you do so much for me etc etc. he says he wants it to work but again his actions say different. he recenbtly travelled to various world wide locations for work and said he seriously missed us and it made him realise ho much he needed us. His last stay was July. fast forward two months and we are back to square one!

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 14:06:49

also, he is not the type to cheat etc. if he met someone else he would just say it

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 14:09:00

he also openly says i deserve more than our rubbish life and he thinks i probably feel like him (i dont) and that we both need to find something more fulfilling. Whats more fulfilling than a child???

Upnotdown Mon 09-Sep-13 14:11:23

Sounds like he needs some enforced time on his own then. He's acting like a child. He may be depressed but it's up to him to seek help not to push the burden of it on to you x

Viking1 Mon 09-Sep-13 14:17:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Quiltcover Mon 09-Sep-13 14:19:42

I think yes enforced time will help him and you. The reality of life without his family. Words mean nothing. Actions are what count and whilst children are demanding, he should be showing you how important and cherished you are.
He is wallowing, yes there prob are reasons, but he needs to grow a pair and realise how fortunate he is.
As I've said, let him go and focus on yourself. Make yourself feel good, show him you can cope quite well on your own thank you very much, do not be needy.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 14:23:06

Again, he can stop at any time and does for these work trips but its something he does for enjoyment because there's not much else for him. I've never touched anything illegal but he is one of those insanely clever people and it calms him down mentally. I don't think it defines him as a person as he has a very impressive job on a career path he has recently started and is very driven (not your typical stoner basically) but possibly chemically adds to his depression.

nilbyname Mon 09-Sep-13 14:49:10

Weed smoking is absolutely the worst thing a depressive needs. He nees help. He needs to show willing and commitment to that.

Stop excusing this entitled man child.
He's either in or out.
Frankly I'd have shown him the door after his first woe is me outburst but you are clearly a far more forgiving soul. That he is ripping the absolute piss out of.
I have clinical depression. Never, not once have I made my family suffer for my illness.
Stop letting him walk all over you. And as for take the child? Is he fucking nuts? He can't even cope with a shitty nappy FFS.
Oh and I had my first when I was 26, DH 27. He is old enough.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 15:57:56

i will talk to him about depression tonight. He is definitely old enough and he realises he is being a bit of a twit as when i say talk to your mates about it he says 'whats the point? they'll just tell me to man up and get on with it!' I am far too understanding but I don't want my baby to have to be from a broken home and the problems that brings. I do see what you are all saying and I do feel it myself but I want this to work. I need to try and talk this out. We have thousands of times and we always say we will work on it and nothing changes. I probably just dont want to accept its over

garlicbaguette Mon 09-Sep-13 16:10:24

As a general rule, I avoid saying "he sounds depressed" when a guy's acting like a twat. The accurate response is usually "he sounds like a twunt"!

But yours does sound depressed. The incident with his friend must have shaken him terribly. It's a good enough reason to be suffering emotional disturbance.

Very often, I feel like my days are spent waiting for them to be over, then I don't want to go to bed because that means another groundhog day will start earlier. But I am clinically depressed, I know why I feel like it. I have meds and coping strategies. Let's hope your DP gets himself to the doctor's as soon as, and begins working on feeling better. Wishing you both the very best.

minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 16:10:27

He sounds depressed to me. And he doesn't sound like a selfish or entitled tosser at all. he sounds like someone who is really struggling and being open and honest about that, and who can still express their love and admiration for you despite that.

I have sympathy for him (and you too, of course!). I had PND and felt really trapped. It was a huge adjustment, to realise that fun was different with children from what it had been before children. At first I felt very self conscious and brain-dead singing wheels on the bus etc. But somehow the wake up call arrived. Just realised one day that this was it and would be what I made of it.

Can you encourage him to get help for depression and give up smoking? And can you encourage him to recognise that this is indeed it, and if he wants to really live each day to the full, then doing it with his wife and daughter is the most thrilling and satisfying life he could ever have - long term. Raising a child is a massive adventure. It's massive fun. It's just a different kind of fun.

It can take time to readjust. That doesn't make him a monster. And he's lucky to have someone as loving and wise and non-judgemental as you seem.

minidipper Mon 09-Sep-13 16:11:59

Meant to add, - he could do with some counselling about his friend dying - that's a massive trauma. It could be having a huge impact on how he connects to his daughter and bonds with her.

BalloonSlayer Mon 09-Sep-13 16:15:38

"He said he would want her but wasn't sure he could cope."

confused

That has got to be the most monstrously selfish thing I have ever read on here.

He spends no time with his daughter, family activities are "boring," he can't even change a dirty nappy, he resents being asked to look after his own child, he takes drugs, he's waaa waaaa waaaa sooooo unhappy with his boring life, me me me me meeeeeee why isn't everyone trying to make ME happy, can't they see I am the most important one in this house?

So, he drops the devastating bombshell that he would like to split up. Does he care how you feel about this? Not a jot. Then he says he would want to take his child with him. Because he loves her sooooo much. Yep, so much that he can't even be bothered enough about her comfort to change a dirty nappy or care enough about her development to spend any family time with her.

So not content with breaking your heart by suggesting he leave, he is also proposing stamping on it by taking your daughter with him? A daughter that he is not interested in, cannot look after and will blow weed smoke over.

And he actually thinks that this is an OK thing to even think? Let alone say?

I'm afraid I have to say this:

- he doesn't love you
- he doesn't love your DD anything like as much as he should
- he is not insanely clever
- he is a selfish dickhead manchild
- ALL he thinks about is himself. You and your DD are not even on his radar

Personally I'd advise telling him to get the fuck out.

garlicbaguette Mon 09-Sep-13 16:16:19

I have been told - by clinicians - that intelligence can make depression worse, because you will not accept formulaic "answers" that a less hard-thinking person could find comforting. On the plus side, a quick & enquiring mind makes you a stimulating client for therapists, so you tend to learn a lot from the process. You might want to share this with him.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 16:17:03

Thank you minidipper and garlic baguette. you've just inspired me! it did really mess with him and being a man he doesnt talk much about it, tho he did at first more than i expected. ive suggested he sees a councillor but this wasnt greeted with much agreement. groundhog day is the exact term he uses!

What balloon said smile

BalloonSlayer Mon 09-Sep-13 18:28:16

EveesMummy there is a fantastic post on another thread that I think really might be helpful. I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting it and I hope middleasternpromise won't mind:

Add message | Report | Message poster middleeasternpromise Sun 08-Sep-13 12:34:58
This type of person is very hard to maintain a relationship with. They present as the tortured soul type, never happy never know why and are periodically grateful for your help. But most of the time they are exactly as you say, selfish. Selfishly pinging around to see if there's something better for them and bouncing back when they find there isn't. Even when it's good you are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Living with this type of person takes a very strong individual, you have to be so secure and grounded because they aren't, and they use what you provide to anchor themselves. There is only really hope if they are prepared to take some responsibility for their actions but in my experience you wait a long time for that. You have put a lot of time and commitment into this relationship, I don't think you need to worry if he says he wants to move out, he will be back I don't doubt. In part the not staying and fighting is the cowardly side of them. He knows or thinks he knows that you will be there for him. Sometimes until you get some space you don't really know what life would be like without their daily dramas. If this space comes your way naturally then I would say take it but use it to take care of yourself and not him.
--------------------

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 09-Sep-13 19:56:02

I agree with the first bit of what you say however, we will have bee. Together 7 years in feb and he's never once left or had to decide between what/who is better until now. Also, he is a very strong person. Not weak one bit. He is selfish and always has been but this is on a different level which leads me to think of depression.

BalloonSlayer Mon 09-Sep-13 22:00:06

You know him best but I am worried because: the things that he is saying amount to pretty appalling behaviour, yet your response is "oh poor him, what can I do to make him happier" rather than "how bloody DARE he."

It is not your JOB to make him happy.

If he is constantly making you feel like a boring piece of shit for wanting a normal family life, and making your life unbearable with his constant moaning about his utter misery at having a job, a loving gf, a beautiful child, as many nights out with his mates as he wants . . . why are you thinking it's you who needs to sort this out?

He is an adult. According to you he is "insanely clever."

Why can't he use this acclaimed insane cleverness to sort his self out?

How do you think this is going to happen? Why are you taking this on yourself while he does fuck all to help the relationship?

maras2 Mon 09-Sep-13 23:14:32

He doesn't sound a very strong person to me.He sounds like a child allbeit one with a drug dependence.Not the role model that anyone wants for their child.

cloudskitchen Mon 09-Sep-13 23:44:59

One thing that stood out for me was the bit about him losing a life long friend. It took me 3 years to adjust to my new normal after my mum died, longer than that to become less anxious. It knocked me in ways I never expected. The trouble with grief is people (I don't mean you btw) expect you to get over it and move on very quickly but it takes years. Factor in some guilt that he didn't get there sooner but feels if he had he'd have saved him - then I wouldn't be surprised if he's suffering some sort of depression.

I think he's very lucky to have you even if he doesn't feel it right now. Not everyone would be as patient as you are with him. Do you think he'd go for bereavement counselling?

garlicbaguette Mon 09-Sep-13 23:47:26

Perhaps it's time to clarify that I don't see depression as a get-out-free card. Depression IS selfish; it reduces one's world to a horrid, grey, individual prison. People who suffer from it are aware of this fact, and take steps to protect their nearest & dearest from the selfishness. (A lot of couples cope by allowing a set period for "depression talk" in the week, playing smiley for certain other periods, and keeping out of each other's faces as far as reasonably possible the rest of the time.) Before developing coping strategies, though, the depressed person has to get a diagnosis, accept treatment and opt in to therapy. If they won't, you're just dealing with a selfish arse who sucks the joy out of everything and won't take responsibility for themselves.

I'd also better say that I've often supported people in dumping persistently depressed partners. Life's too short.

Your partner has a likely trigger - his friend's death - which is what makes me hopeful that this is an acute depressive episode. As such, there's a fair chance of full recovery IF he accepts something's wrong and is willing to do stuff about it. Everything passes; it can feel impossible to believe it, but everything does. It's up to him to choose whether to let his chance of a happy family life with you and DD "pass" ... far better to help this dark fog pass, surely, than that?

bestsonever Mon 09-Sep-13 23:49:06

Dare I say it, that the first 2 years are probably the most boring bit. Yes you love them and my god are they gorgeous at times. But the entertainment provided is purely for their benefit and tbh, not all that exciting to us adults (cbeebies -yawn!, playgroups hmm).
But because we love, we invest and it gets so much better as time goes on. It helps when their vocabulary develops and their personality starts shining through. Then there are bike rides, water parks, outdoor pursuits, sports. I'm quite outdoorsy, so is my DS. He's like a good mate when we go out these days- just starting to come to festivals and first gig soon. Then there is the greater independence you get while they are off playing with their friends. Really, it does not get more intense than in the first 2 years, if you survive that as a couple the only way is up. Could try explaining that the really hard graft is over, soon will be potty trained and having surprisingly deep conversations about life.

garlicbaguette Mon 09-Sep-13 23:49:07

Well said, clouds, imo. Grief = depression. I'm glad you understand what happened to you, and hope you're now feeling at peace with all your memories.

what does he actually like doing?

BalloonSlayer Tue 10-Sep-13 08:02:09

I'm not sure what it is that disturbs me so much about this thread.

The way I read it is thus:

His behaviour so far has gained him:

- getting to go out with his friends whenever he likes
- not having to do any family activities
- not having to bath his own child
- never having to look after his own child for more than 2.5 hours a week
- never having to change a nappy
- having a lie in on both days at the weekend despite both partners working full time
- able to smoke illegal drugs in the same household as a small child and is not challenged on this being unacceptable by his partner
- can go out on the lash to another town, refuse to come home like Kevin the teenager and have his partner drive to pick him up, presumably the baby had to come too

None of those things are normal or acceptable in a normal, equal, loving family But he still "isn't happy."

So he is upping the ante. Saying he wants to leave. You say it's not a threat but I think it is actually, because why say it otherwise?

The question is: what is he going to gain from this new set of threats and behaviour?

Is he going to move out and live the life of single guy, with you coming over to do his washing and put some food in the freezer for him and give him a blow job once a week? Because that's how I can see this panning out if you keep on pandering to him.

I know that's harsh but that's the sort of thing I can see happening.

You say you need to "grow a backbone," and you are right. I really do think you need to ask him to do something to sort this out. Specifically: leave to give you some space, and while he is away to do something about his depression, see the GP, get counselling, medication, something.

And if he comes out with that shit about taking your DD again, laugh in his face.

cosydressinggown Tue 10-Sep-13 09:16:59

If you can't see that you deserve better than this (which you do) then what about your child? Do you think that this is a nice environment for her to grow up in - a dad that does nothing for her, a family that don't do activities together because the dad thinks spending time with her is 'boring', and two parents who don't really have the kind of loving relationship they should? Not to mention the habitual drug use in the home, which is entirely unacceptable, no matter how much you have 'normalised' it OP.

He is NEVER going to change. So decide if you want to be with someone who is fucking miserable and selfish, or get out and make a good life for you and your DD.

TwittyMcTwitterson Tue 10-Sep-13 11:43:25

I have to state that he never ever smokes around our daughter and only does smoke when she is in bed.

I spoke to him a little last night about this and he admitted it was a silly idea to live with her. So thats progress \0/ but he does sound terrified by the idea of not being around her and I get that. I was out so didn't get chance to talk about the depression. I'll save that for wednesday when I get the whole night with him. He seems to be making more of an effort with her these last few days. My paranoid mind wonders whether this is practice to see if he could handle it but probably it is him making an effort to spend time with his daughter.

What does OP mean? It's got to be something painfully obvious but I just can't work it out.

I agree that he's selfish and none of this os falling on death ears so don't worry!!! though i do tend to agree it is depression and will go from that angle and then see from there.

cuillereasoupe Tue 10-Sep-13 12:04:54

^ he is one of those insanely clever people and it calms him down mentally^

That is, frankly, bullshit. I know a lot of insanely clever people (Oxford academics clever) and none of them feel the need for nightly weed to calm them down.

He may well be depressed but making excuses for poor behaviour won't help him.

Viking1 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:14:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TwittyMcTwitterson Tue 10-Sep-13 13:50:40

I understand it all and agree with it. I'm just not yet at that point to give up yet. I do feel he can get back to himself and we will all be better off for it. If not, at least i will have tried and know I did my best for myself and my daughter. He would never leave her crying, hurt her, upset her etc. The second he did i'd be gone. When we are all sat together he is excellent with her. I simply know he can put more effort in and do things that he doesnt as yet. This will come. If it doesnt he will have had enough chance and he will only have himsel;f to blame

Only smoking illegal drugs when she is in bed, is still smoking illegal drugs in the family home when your daughter is around. What if she has a nightmare and wanders downstairs? What if something happened which meant you had to take her from bed to, let's say the hospital? Would you take her stoned father along? What about when she is older and bedtimes later? Will he wait to indulge his habit? And when she's a teen and has no bedtime will she witness it? See it as normal? Indulge herself? Habitual drug use alone is enough to ltb IMO. Though it seems that it is very much normalised in your home

Insanely clever? Doesn't come across as such here, he's emotionally immature and incredibly selfish. He asked you to leave not a a threat, then why? Because the thought crossed his mind and he's so intelligent that the thoughts fall out of his mouth without time to consider their meaning or impact on others? Or is he only clever when it suits him, easier to be a bit thick regarding home life, leaves you with no responsibility.

My mother is clinically depressed. As a child I suffered for her allowing her illness to go untreated and not taking responsibility for her self and the impact that had on us. My Dad feels very sorry for her, she can't help it tried her best, she depressed- blah blah blah. She was selfish and made clear that her family were not enough to make her happy, nor were we enough for her to seek treatment and help herself. If he is depressed he needs help, as others have said, it is an illness, one which can impact a family and which, if you love your family, you will do your best to treat

Spree Tue 10-Sep-13 14:07:31

He sounds like my STBXH ... leave, don't waste any more time

Advice I wish I had taken myself 15 years ago hmm

Lweji Tue 10-Sep-13 14:12:13

If it is depression, he should be put in the situation that he either gets help or leaves.

However, it really feels more like he's putting you in a situation where you just shut up and take it.
He wants excitement, a life without family responsibilities, but at the same time he threatens to take your DD away from you.
He states he's bored, but he doesn't suggest things

On your question:
BASICALLY, I AM WONDERING WHAT ACTIVITIES I CAN DO WITH A TODDLER THAT ALWAYS PLAYS UP IN PUBLIC THAT WILL INCLUDE AND EXCITE HIM AND PERSUADE HIM THAT ITS NOT ALL DOOM AND GLOOM??

Nothing. It's not your responsibility.
Your DD is your responsibility.

What you'd end up doing is doing all the running up. It seems something that you can fix now, but ultimately you can't.

Sorry that came across harsher than intended, it's a sore subject for me and your description of your dp- the clever, successful, woebegone depressive, is exactly how my father would have described still does describe my mother. I remember going swimming etc with just Dad, the park with Dad, I remember him taking us out ,to get us out of her hair, give her a break. She used to sleep in at the weekends and we would always be excited for her to get up thinking we'd go somewhere and do something, but it never happened. She didn't like kids stuff and would say you can take them to my father. I grew up thinking that she didn't like me, she went away or out with t 'the girls' and she would smile and run around packing, phoning them and planning. It was not a long jump for my child mind to realise that she enjoyed being with them and not me. it seems that your poor dd is in for much of the same from her Dadsad

fabergeegg Tue 10-Sep-13 14:35:38

Seems inexplicable really. I don't think this sounds like someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with. You have more options now than in twenty years...I would be seriously wavering. And anyone who wants to take my two year old daughter to live with them as primary carer will do it over my dead body. Anyone who is cruel enough to suggest this to a mother either has a screw loose or there's more to the story. Either way, this isn't love and I don't know why you think you have a good relationship...how could you??

garlicbaguette Tue 10-Sep-13 14:38:21

OP stands for Original Poster (you) and Original Post (the one you started the thread with) smile

TwittyMcTwitterson Tue 10-Sep-13 21:45:26

Pregnantpause, I am so worried about your experience happening to my baby. When we are both together he always looks after her and plays etc but its being on his own with her that is the problem. When she was teeny I know it was because he was nervous something would be wrong and he wouldn't know etc. now I'm not sure what it is. She sometimes refuses to go to him preferring me. He doesn't hide how much it hurts him from me. I have told him if he put more effort in that she wouldn't do that. I don't think he realises tho. He looks after her on a Tuesday and for tues wed n sometimes thurs she is all about him and then gets used to me doing it all again n the process repeats :-/

minidipper Tue 10-Sep-13 22:44:31

OP, I'm really not sure how helpful this thread is. I get annoyed by people who say LTB as soon as there's evidence that a man is behaving in less than saintly ways. The smoking is serious - true. He has to stop.

The rest? I think it's very possible he can pull through it and you can all have a great life together. For now, I'd be inclined to put energy into that instead of busting up a young family. But it can't just be your energy. He does need an ultimatum from you.

He has to choose between his daughter and weed, he has to take active steps to get rid of that groundhog day depression, he has to commit to finding the joy in daily family life. If he at least listens and thinks about what you say, that's a start. If he doesn't or can't, you might want to reassess, but I do think compassion is a better starting point at this stage than anger.

SinisterSal Tue 10-Sep-13 22:53:49

You have the patience of a saint, EveesMummy. I would be seething by now.
Tbh honest I think he's a self centred child, but self centred children grow up and become decent adults and I can see how this is your preferred outcome

Does he think he is depressed? Have you had a Talk with him about his friend dying?

MorrisZapp Tue 10-Sep-13 23:07:56

There's a lot of us on here who find parenting mind numbing. We had a long thread about it, called has parenting affected your mental health.

Not everybody finds it a joy, particularly when they're tiny. I was nearly in the loony bin myself. Have never felt so trapped in my life. I'm less likely to judge these crap dads now. If I had an option to piss off when I could, I know I'd have taken it when DS was tiny.

Maybe like me, he'll get more relaxed about it all as the kid grows. Oh and I took medication (still on it) and had counselling.

maras2 Tue 10-Sep-13 23:26:06

There is none so blind as those who can not see.OP,you may think that he would do your DD no harm,not leave her crying etc.He left her in a dirty nappy whilst you were out and the lazy pig actually txt you to see when you would be coming home to sort it out.What an absolute useless,waste of space loser.No one I know would ever do this.Whether or not he's depressed I'm not qualified to say but you should listen to the good advice given here by people who do know the difference between depression and just being a complete git.

melanie58 Tue 10-Sep-13 23:39:58

'Frequent cannabis use can lead to depression' - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2498493.stm
Maybe that's the cause of his lethargy and pessimism, not your lifestyle and young child?

goodasgold Wed 11-Sep-13 00:16:35

I think that he needs more responsibility to boost his esteem. That's why he secretly craves to have your dd to himself, he'd like more control. Just my opinion, and very much from my perspective.

Do you trust him enough to look after her for one whole weekend day, or overnight?

If he did he might realize how much fun it can be and how much better it is when you are all together.

Handywoman Wed 11-Sep-13 07:39:28

The story about the friend on the stag night sounds truly horrific. It is very possible your DP is depressed, OP. The idea of taking your dd is clearly ridiculous and may be an indication that he is unable to think clearly.

However, I also think you have the right to show your DP the red card over the total lack of engagement and suppprt with your dd. i would be at the end of my tether, depression ir not. I think you absolutely have the right to give him a wake up call. I would ask him to move out and get his head together. As long as you try and absorb the impact of his behaviour/depression he will be able to resist making the big changes he needs to. I really feel for you, OP.

LillyGoLightly Wed 11-Sep-13 16:03:49

EveesMummy:

Since you are not ready to throw in the towel just yet and leave then I think I can offer some suggestions:

In your original post you mentioned that you watch Dora and mostly play with her until she goes to bed. You say that he finds this boring and as such does not really look forward to this time spent with your DD. If that is how he feels there is little you can do to make him feel otherwise, however I think there are things you might try to make him feel as though its less of a burden for him.

Please do get me wrong, as I am not condoning his way but this is the only useful thing I can think to suggest. Also if this doesn't improve things then I do seriously think you need to consider your relationship very carefully and its impact on your daughter in later life.

Suggestion: if small doses of his daughter are all he can seem to handle then do all you can to make those times as fun and as best for all of you as a family. Try and find something that he likes..a hobby or whatever than you can maybe make child friendly. For instance my DH loves golf, so I went and got a little set of golf clubs for my girls and now he regularly spends time coaching them in the back garden with our driving nets. Its a lovely thing for them to do together, he loves it because its something he enjoys anyway and the girls love learning and spending the time with him and it has helped forge a closer bond between them.

Secondly I don't know how your evenings as a family are structured but maybe you want to consider doing things a little differently a couple of nights a week...so maybe on tue & wed have say only half an hour of Dora or whatever it is your child likes to watch (my youngest loves bed time hour with in the night garden) and then after sit with a book with your daughter or an activity and allow him to watch some more adult orientated tv (obv nothing inappropriate) while you play with your little one. I know you may feel like your giving your daughter less and its more demanding on you, but I would hope that perhaps once he feels the pressure is off him, he may choose to engage with your DD of his own accord, as its not something he has to do, but it something he chooses to do instead.

I don't know that these suggestions will work, but I would give them a try. Not every guy in a great Dad from the start and sometimes it takes practice, just the same as it can be for us learning to be Mothers. I of course know that as a Dad who loves his child, he should automatically want to spend time and do fun things with her...but sadly its not always the case.

Also please if you are going to try and make this relationship work, please try to get him to stop smoking that stuff. It is not good for him, will be making his depression and moods worse, and of course is not a good example/healthy for your DD.

I hope that helps.

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 16:16:42

Good post Lilly.

If he wont go to see the GP, you can. And, in your case, I would tell the GP about the weed.

www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/speaking-to-gp-about-someone-elses-health.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=158

Havea0 Wed 11-Sep-13 16:22:49

Oh, and the friend dying.

TwittyMcTwitterson Thu 12-Sep-13 08:51:21

Thank you all so much for your advice! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it! I've not had chance to talk to him much this week but we have a wedding this weekend and will have time together with no dd so will see how that goes and prob talk then or day after so as not to ruin the day. Fingers crossed he's willing to help himself. If not then there isn't much I can do but as I've said I'm not willing to give up just yet. Thank you all again. You've been great grin xx

garlicbaguette Thu 12-Sep-13 14:40:21

Good luck smile Enjoy the wedding.

Priceliss Thu 12-Sep-13 15:19:58

Sounds like he's suffering mid-life crisis depression tbh.

minidipper Thu 12-Sep-13 15:50:36

Yes, enjoy the wedding. I really wouldn't kick him out as quickly as some posters are recommending. Give him a chance to come through this a better person.

MorrisZapp's post is really useful. Imagine if it was you with pnd, feeling like you couldn't cope and wondering whether to leave or to take the baby with you, back on some sort of alcohol or drug crutch because you feel so trapped and scared of your new responsibilities. People on here would support you, suggest counselling, suggest your partner should help you and console you and stick by you. Just do for him what would be recommended on MN for a woman in his situation.

LillyGoLightly Fri 13-Sep-13 12:10:50

Thank you Havea0 smile

EveesMummy - I hope you enjoy the wedding and have a lovely weekend. Good luck for the future and I hope things work out for you. x

Matildathecat Fri 13-Sep-13 12:47:43

I agree he sounds depressed and as a result feels trapped and powerless while mourning his old life. His terrible experience with his friend's death has massively impacted on his ability to attach securely to your daughter. Tbh even without the bereavement I think a lot of new parents, dads especially , have similar feelings. He's a bit unusual in expressing his emotions so loudly.

I would explain that seeing his GP and getting treatment is a deal breaker for you. Ok he's depressed but you are having to live with it and all his crap.
He probably needs meds and counselling.

Answering your original question, have you heard of Theraplay? It's activities designed to improve attachment in young children with difficulties. However, I could see it working in reverse and helping a struggling parent, too. Swimming is great because you have to have close, skin to skin contact.

I am wondering if his interaction with dd is fear based. He may be terrified even if he doesn't realise. Can you encourage more intimate caring such as bathing whilst you are still in the background giving lots of encouragement? Try really hard not to criticise. Make it more fun by eg having special daddy bubbles.

Finally, it's completely normal for a child this age to express a preference for one parent. That doesn't mean the other doesn't do anything. You both work hard to make sure daddy has an important role. Bedtimes done together for example. Daddy's funny voice stories etc.

I really hope you all get through this together.xx

ofmiceandmen Fri 13-Sep-13 13:16:16

I realise we have all huddled around to help the OP.

However would it be also worth asking OP to take the necessary precautions to ensure she is protecting herself from an affair or passive aggressive behaviour - she's walking on egg shells and asking what more she can do - at this rate she'll be doing a triple twist hop whist balancing from a ball.

I do not want to be a dooms bringer Eveesmummy but your partner wanting to leave and strike out on his own means he has most likely found someone. he is withdrawing and is checking out of the relationship. rather be with friends, an achiever who has to come home to boredom. fertile ground really.
I hope i am dead wrong - but honestly look at it objectively.

Again not something you want to hear, but sometimes the simplest explanation is true.

my advice- do all the things people have lately suggested but do them for you and DC. make you life fun filled and the best ever. That way if he choses not to stay or join in, you at least guarantee your DC has not been drawn into his 'state of mind'.

I am sorry if i have spoken/written out of turn

ofmiceandmen Fri 13-Sep-13 13:21:44

"I'm so depressed only removing you from the equation will make me feel better" is what he was saying.

Light bulb moment.

when someone tells you who they are listen.

ThreeTomatoes Fri 13-Sep-13 17:37:25

We moved out of a flat because the guy downstairs was smoking weed nearly every evening (and sometimes even skunk) and it was drifting up into our flat. we worried about the effect on dd and kept windows open in the freezing cold winter. They had a 2 yo boy downstairs and i used to worry about him too sad. When i went downstairs to ask the guy to stop for the sake of my dd (only just managing to bite my lip about his own son) he tried to be as charming & apologetic as he could be but refused to go smoke in their garden instead! He was a selfish prick. Their flat stank all the time, too, even during the day when he wasn't smoking, if you went past their open door you'd smell the weed . (admittedly though sometimes it was really strong stuff, like skunk). I wonder if their boy's clothes smelt when he went to nursery? Even our coats and scarves took on the smell in our hallway (hung up outside our flat door upstairs). something to think about,OP.

To conclude, whether he is depressed or not, the weed smoking would be an absolute 100% dealbreaker for me. At the very least if it was me i would insist he stops the weed smoking (at home , at least) or leave.

TwittyMcTwitterson Sun 15-Sep-13 12:02:29

Hello again everyone!!! Wedding went really well :-) we spoke to other couples about it (without too mcg detail) and it was established that even they (perfect looking on the outside) have several issues and could let that get out of hand if they were weaker. He also turned into a girl for about an hour and disappeared into the toilets for a deep and meaningful conversation with one of his mates. Think that did him some good. I think we need to ask grandparents to have her more so we can have some us time as we never Have that and I think it's more important than I Evee thought.

He's let on that the time he looks after her she spends the first 10-20 mins screaming at the door for me which he finds heartbreaking and doesn't know how to handle it. Obv response is to distract her.

He only smokes one or two max a night and they are little. He also only smokes in the conservatory with the door to the house closed and door to the garden open. I've never smelt it. We are very anti smoking around kids.

Anyway, to sum up, wedding went really well and now that his friends know something isn't right, they are willing to help us out and make it work :-)

BranchingOut Sun 15-Sep-13 12:35:43

If the lines of communication are open, that is a good start.

But...I honestly think that bereavement counselling is the way to go, plus possibly medication. Maybe a visit to your GP together is the starting point.

If he starts talking again about leaving, then you need to set out for him (calmly) exactly what that would mean: the division of assets, contact on alternate weekends and one night in the week, paying maintenance, the need to have accommodation which is suitable for his DD to visit, the possibility that you each might form a new relationship and need to balance this with responsibility to your DD. Does he really prefer this picture?

TwittyMcTwitterson Sun 15-Sep-13 21:13:32

Grrrrftconfused confused confused I just wrote an essay and lost it TWICE!!!!!!!

To sum up... Matilda the cat. Yes I do believe its fear based, particularly when she was young and teeny. He wouldn't take her on my birthday so i could have a few drinks and I thought it was due to selfishness but it was purely because the car only had one car seat in which our friends kid was in and the five second journey put her in too much danger.

We have set up a date night next week and I think small steps will help. Slow and steady wins the race! Also, we've spoken about how our lives would be if separated and neither of us want it. He was very sweet last night and I think it's the start of a turn around. Every journey starts with a first step :-) grin

garlicbaguette Sun 15-Sep-13 23:15:34

Oooh, good luck!

Remember, please, this is NOT about you fixing his problems. Pointing him in the right direction(s), keeping the dialogue going: yes. You should be enjoying this relationship; feeling excited and secure about your family; getting at least as much from your marriage as you give smile

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