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How do you know if it's you or the relationship?(74 Posts)
Things have been bad here for a while. DH and I have plodded along for far too long and I can't see the wood for the trees.
To summarise, I suffer from depression and slight anxiety. I have been on AD's in the past but I am off them at the moment as I weaned off when I had my third DC a year ago. I have felt ok, I have had moments when I have felt down but I have been ok. I just feel very overwhelmed. I went back to work three days a week two months ago and I do everything around the house (except for the garden). My DH works long hours and when he is home he is extremely messy and I find myself cleaning up after him. He says I have impossibly high standards. Maybe I have.
Anyway, I seem to be ok and feel happy during the week but I crash at weekends where I feel down and feel so angry towards my DH. It is a very lonely marriage, we have not had sex since we conceived our third DC and he sleeps on the sofa as he stays up late and gets up early. His reaction when I get stressed and angry is to get defensive, then retreat and ignore me or sulk.
It's bad, I know. I went to CBT in the spring and it was useful but he will not go marriage counselling as he sees it all as me being 'crazy' and depressed.
The question is, as I said in the title, how do you know if it's you? Or being in a bad relationship? Is there any way back? Any advice would be appreciated
It can't be completely reducible to either. But you're not ok in your relationship are you? So something has to change... But I understand the dilemma - I convinced myself I had bipolar disorder and went on a bunch of AD's when actually I was unhappy in my marriage.
No I'm not but I do think is it because I am depressed and angry that the marriage is like this? It's confusing.
It can't just be you. I mean if he is refusing counselling and blaming it on you being crazy he doesn't sound very supportive or committed tbh. yeah, being anxious and depressed makes a relationship harder for sure... But you are clearly lacking affection and intimacy and feeling rather unloved, which a)doesn't make for a good relationship anyway and b)really will make the depression worse
The only way you settle this conundrum is to separate for a while. See if the way you feel improves or not. If it improves, it's likely it wasn't 'you' in isolation.
The thing is he would never just go. It was his house when we married and he has in his head it's 'his' house now So if we did split up, he would not leave easily
Are you overwhelmed by the responsibility for all the household shit or is your anger at him a deeper issue?
Can you go anywhere temporarily?
I am not sure. I feel overwhelmed by doing everything and taking all the responsibility for the children and the house, that's for sure. I think I feel angry as I feel I get nothing from him emotionally. All he does is financially pay all the bills and keeps a roof over our head. And plays with the kids.
I have nowhere to go, not enough money and why would I uproot my kids and their home?
One reason for feeling the way you do is that you don't believe you have choices. Feeling trapped is a stressful place to be. The options open to you are roughly speaking a) do nothing, b) communicate with each other and try to resolve the things that are getting between you or c) split up. a) and c) don't appear to be runners so you're left with b).... and that requires your DH's cooperation which is something you don't currently have.
Stuck really then aren't I?!
I would love to do b) and try and get this marriage back on track but me trying to talk gets me nowhere as really feels it's 'all me'
Exactly. So you feel trapped and that will add to your mental distress. I'm not saying 'LTB' but I think you sound like you need a break from each other and some time to think.
You need to make changes and to shake things up as you both sound in a terrible rut.
Well, it's soul destroying being everyone's skivvy.
The only consolation is that things should get a bit easier as DCs get older and more independent.
Can you get a cleaner - it's amazing ime how much a cleaner can achieve in an hour when everyone is out of the house?
Do you enjoy your work? Do you have to work?
Could you cut your hours and do something you enjoy- yoga? swim?
DH could no doubt do more but it would be good if you were in a happier place first before trying to negotiate who does what, then you can pin down some specific things you need him to help with.
But as I said earlier, he would never leave 'his' house, even if it was just for a break. I have nowhere to go and no means to support myself in the short term with three kids as I only work 16 hours a week and the baby is only a year old. Stuffed really!
Thanks for the words so far
You don't really know I think. I know that my depression lifted once I got out of the marriage. Not immediately, but gradually and, I believe, permanently. I'm not happy all the time, but I don't have that bedrock of misery that I used to have. Don't make any hurried decisions, but don't rule out the possibility that it's your marriage rather than your personality.
Well it sounds quite clear cut to me. Your husband is a lazy shit who has zero respect for you. It's been slowly and imperceptibly getting worse and worse .. and now you quite rightly hate the weekends as he is there in all his miserable, disrespectful, unaffectionate, selfish lazy arse-glory making your weekend a fucking disaster.
I wouldn't bother talking to him.
I think you need to gather some big balls from anywhere and everywhere, and serve him with a divorce petition. As the primary carer you get to stay in the house.
We can't afford a cleaner. Things are really tight financially and I keep on top of the housework.
I have a 'career' and worked hard in the past to get where I am but I no longer enjoy the work. I work as I have to and I work around the school run as childcare costs for three children is expensive!
That is good advice to create my own happiness and I do try and do that.
Ime it is the feeling trapped and that life is beyond your control that contributes to depression.
Unlikelyamazonian, would I definitely get to stay in the house for sure? How would I get him to leave? I have not had any legal advice yet so I am unsure about all that side of it
You are not stuck. You have options. With young children you are entitled to lots of support to enable you to keep working part time if that's what you want, or to stay at home with your little one if that works for you.
I'm not sure how things will change in the near future, but certainly as things stand I am no worse off financially since separating from my h.
I'm not saying LTB but if you are unhappy and he is unwilling to do the things you have asked of him to try and work things out, he's not helping the situation at all. You certainly need to make him take your concerns seriously and sadly the only way to make this happen is often separation. You don't know what you've got til it's gone, and all that.
Yes it will be a huge upheaval for your DCs to move if you decide to split and if your H has any compassion he will prevent that by doing the decent thing by them and moving out, at least temporarily until you can sort things out with him or find a new home for you and the DCs.
If he refuses then that tells you a lot about the sort of man he is and where his priorities lie, which for me would be a deal breaker anyway. Putting his DCs happiness beneath his own comfort and convenience is a bit shit.
Sorry that you're feeling so low. I hope that your H either steps up to support you or steps aside to allow you to get on with being a great mum without him bringing you down.
You're married, right? It's joint property. It's not 'his' house.
You need to get thee to a solicitor pronto - free half hour with as many local sols as you can muster.
Lots of red flags in your story I'm afraid:
Banish those miserable weekends and dump the arse.
Tried talking to him this morning. He's still sucking and says it's all me being 'crazy' and if I am nice to him he will be nice to me. Childish eh? He will not go, says I have to go if I want a separation.
Thanks for the replies.
He can't be happy either - and its deeply unfair of him to put all the responsibly of the relationship on you " you be nice to me etc" he is saying " its not going to change, so if you don't like it, leave"
Its an impasse isn't t? He won't change and you can't go on. Or you can, but only deeper into the misery.
Did he have the house pre marriage and you aren't on the deeds? I don't think that matters if you are married? Someone will be along more experienced soon.
What do you want to do op?
How can you possibly reason with someone who, on the one hand is saying 'if you were nicer to me I'd be nicer to you'.... and on the other calling you 'crazy' which is not nice at all? I'm not seeing a man interested in making things work, sorry,
Yes he had the house over 10 years when we married. And, stupidly, I am not on the deeds. I don't know what I want to do. I don't want to be stuck in a one bed flat, working full time never seeing my kids and counting each penny
Yes he had the house over 10 years when we married. And, stupidly, I am not on the deeds. I don't know what I want to do. I don't want to be stuck in a one bed flat, working full time never seeing my kids and counting each penny
How long have you been married? Even if you're not on the deeds, as time goes by , there is an increasing assumption of equality of ownership.
Then I think a solicitor will tell you that you have a pretty strong claim to a proportion of the value of the property plus any other assets acquired during the marriage. Sometimes, even if you're not quite at the stage of 'LTB', it's good to get professional advice so that you know where you stand. Work with facts rather than be hamstrung by fears and assumptions.
I don't know that not being on the deeds matters. You are married. This is the matrimonial home right? Basically, you own 50% and so does he. Just like he has 50% of anything you own. It's one big pot after many years of marriage.
Thank you. Will they need to see paperwork? I have never seen any bank statements and mortgage paperwork in the 12 years we've been together.
Another red flag. I know, I know
Go and see a solicitor first thing next week. Ring round a couple of local ones and see which do a free half hour.
Look at this link
It would be in best interests of the DC for you and them to stay in the house as you are the main carer. I repeat, if you are married it is not 'his' house even if he owned it beforehand and your name is not on the deeds.
Don't panic. Think carefully and remain strong.
This relationship is setting an awful example to your children.
It's not that she's not on the deeds nkf, it's that the property was pre-owned prior to the marriage. If an asset is wholly owned (no mortgage) by one spouse prior to marriage and the marriage breaks down inside a year or two then the claim is not 50/50.
You don't need paperwork OP. The property is mortgaged then? That works in your favour as you've been contributing towards that mortgage either financially or in kind over the last 7 years.
Oh, I see. That is different. If you've made contributions, don't you have some claim? Less than 50% but not nothing.
I have never paid towards the mortgage. I have 3 children and have been on maternity leave or worked part time the whole marriage. My money covers the food, my car and petrol, kids clothes, presents etc. I have never paid ant bills or mortgage.
I am not feeling that strong today. He's gone out fishing for the day
Your contribution has been to have 3 children and look after them and the home, enabling him to earn money outside the home to pay the bills and mortgage. You're also married to him and that part in the service about 'all my worldly goods I thee endow' is a binding contract, not just words.
Do book a half-hour with a solicitor. I think it'll give you some confidence.
I will. Thank you. Your support has helped [flowers[
Forgot.. You also gave up your own earnings potential when you had his children and quit working. All of this kind of stuff is relevant and, in the event of a divorce, would support your claim to 50% (or better) of the marital assets, including the marital home, plus ongoing maintenance for the children
Gone fishing? He is doing some thinking too, op. don't get caught out if you have had a talk already and divorce/ separation has come up so fast, as an option.
Use the day to have a good rummage through papers, take screen shots or photos with an iPad or phone, if you don't have a printer/ copier. Try to find bank statements, mortgage statements, deeds, anything really. Payslips?
What do you mean, 'don't get caught out'?
There literally are no papers here, all his banking is online and I have never seen any mortgage paperwork etc. He gave the impression his mum 'looked after' the important paperwork when we first met.
Feeling really down, got an awful headache, can't talk to anyone about this as he works with my Dad so I don't want to rock the boat unless I have to
I think what Lavender means with 'don't get caught out' is that some people try to hide their true financial status from partners in preparation for a split. Things like squirreling savings away, lying about their income (especially true when someone is self-employed),... even taking out joint debts that the other party doesn't know about. Not possible to say if he's doing that but it is shocking in this day and age that you've never had access to paperwork about family finances or the mortgage on your own home. If you do nothing else, recitfy that
He has hidden his financial status anyway. Tis shit, eh?
What a naïve loved up idiot I was
What he thinks and what the family law courts say is, are two completely different things.
And guess who has got the bigger willy?
'Was' being the operative word A lot of us (myself included) have let other people take advantage of our naivety and mistaken it for love or passion or some other romantic nonsense. 'Don't you worry your little head about the mortgage dear... let me deal with all that' <puke> You're only an idiot if you wake up to the reality and do nothing about it.
Does anyone have any more practical advice / experiences? I am gaining strength from these posts
He's just come in. I was civil and asked how his day was but obviously look stressed, puffy eyed and upset. He said again he's come back, so why can't I just be nice?! I was being nice but I am not going to act as if nothing has happened. He said again it's all me and if I act nice, he will show love to me. Refused to talk then walked out again. So confused. This is why I think it's me being crazy and difficult to live with.
I feel like someone has died or I am in pain
Cogito, yes I do mean that, thanks
Pinkpiggy, did he think you would be worried he wouldn't return? What does he mean by being nice? Is it something specific? Or just to let things go on as they are? Which isn't fair to you to live like that.
As for keeping all the stuff at his mums- why would he do that? Surely paperwork must be addressed to your house - does he take it all round there and do the admin there?
You have a right to know your financial situation, even if you are not splitting up. How do you manage day to day money and spending? Joint account?or does he give you cash? Is he putting money away for pensions, dc, savings? Tbh this would cause me day to day worried when food shopping, clothes shopping etc.
He sounds like he might have been crying. Is there anything else which might be bothering him? Work? Was he really fishing, do you think? Or at his mums - how do you get on with her?
You've got to talk to each other. Not by keep repeating 'you have to be nice'.... which isn't helpful .... but more in the spirit of 'how can we treat each other with kindness and respect?' A conversation that includes how treating someone with respect means being open about finances incidentally.
I'm always suspicious of crying men unfortunately. I see it as manipulative...
I have been overwhelmed lately with doing everything plus starting work again three days a week. Doing the cliche of juggling it all whilst he does not show love or affection in any way. My reaction is to get stressed and down, angry at small things. What he means by 'be nice' is 'just get on with it without moaning' and 'lets carry on without talking about issues'.
His banking is done online. I don't know his pc passwords. Bills and stuff come to the house and get paid. But i have never seen mortgage stuff. We have no joint account and the deal is he pays all the bills and i pay for food, mycar and kids clothes etc. He rarely gives me money except for half of big things such as car seats and new beds etc.
No he hasn't been crying. I am pretty sure he's been fishing. I have never been good enough for his mum but that's another story!
Oh! I get now why you thought he was crying! I meant me! Sorry
I am with UnlikelyAmazonian here. I'll be nice to you if you'll be nice to me is another way of saying my needs come first, then maybe, if you are good and meet my ever changing goalposts I might give you a reward. But if you do something to displease me or not pander to my needs sufficiently then I reserve the right to take away all the niceness and just treat you like a skivvy.
Do you see the selfishness and sense of entitlement in that? He'll only be nice to you on his conditions. Surely people in a relationship should always strive to be nice to each other? Your behaviour has not constituted unpleasant. His has.
As others have said you do have options. If you are not overtly nice to him then this treatment will continue and escalate. So I do think you need to think about taking some of the advice like speaking to a solicitor or CAB to see what you would be entitled to.
The Rights of Women website may also help.
Hmmm. The financial evasiveness is also another red flag. I do seriously think you need to get some advice.
Cogito how do you suggest the op gets this man to sit down and talk?
He has said his piece. He has said 'be nice'
The fact you have no idea what your finances are like is appalling.
When this relationship is over, which it will be, never get into such a situation again - ie, being financially blind yet also dependent on a man.
Never have a joint account.
You need to get this man out of your and your children's lives.
I would strongly suggest you open a bank account in your sole name. Next week.
I do have my own bank account, I said we have never had a joint account. I have my money and he has his money. No joint money at all.
He is still not back, I am going to get advice asap. Thank you all for your help. I am very scared though, of supporting myself financially with three children. I am scared of ending up in a tiny place with no money and being even more depressed
Ok. Sorry I got that wrong.
Great that you have a sole account.
Don't be afraid - he is the one with the most to lose not you.
What's more shit? Living in a 'tiny place' with happiness and freedom in your heart?
or a marital home with a husband that doesn't love you and fucks off fishing?
I have no idea how the OP gets this person to talk as it all seems to be a one way street of 'be nice' and if she's not nice 'you're crazy'.... Simply throwing ideas out there that aren't 'LTB' because the OP doesn't sound convinced that's the way forward either. I've also no idea how the OP gets this person to be more open about their family finances but I strongly recommend intercepting some of those bills and building up a picture.
It is impossible to get him to talk. Especially when he really thinks the problem is all me.
The reason I started this thread is that I have spent years thinking it is me, that I am not a nice person. I get stressed and angry and depressed easily. If someone started this thread and said their DH was stressed and angry, answers would be that he is abusive and LTB . So confused. But I am starting to see maybe I react to him like this because of the bad relationship and the way he is towards me
I am beginning to see that just because he does not hit me or shout at me, is very subtly abusive in other ways. Emotional neglect, sulking and ignoring me and running off at every opportunity.
I don't expect replies, it's just helpful writing this down
Withholding of affection and normal day to day interaction is abusive. Would you do that to your kids? No. Would you let anyone else? No. Because it would confuse and make them miserable, and slowly destroy their self esteem. They may even try harder to make you like them, and then, if you are that sort of person, really start to fuck with them. They won't learn normal behaviour.
So, you see, its a subtle way of controlling you.
Anyone would behave the way you are, living like that. Imagine how you would like it to be. And then compare. By refusing to discuss with you and not wanting to make it better, he is doing it again. He likes it like this.
If you don't, well, you have to think of your options. Marriage is supposed to be nice, not a psychological battleground.
OP you have had plenty of good advice so far but I wanted to chime in and say that your husband also sounds abusive to me. For you to be civil, and yet appear upset, and him to react angrily and then to leave, is emotionally cold and unkind. If this is sustained over any period, it is emotional abuse.
It sounds as though you would like to leave, the decision is made in that sense, but you are worried that you can't live without him. You can, and the law will support you. As others have said, even with your names not on the deeds, in recent rulings courts have been prepared to acknowledge (mostly women's) contributions to the life of the family as giving them a share of the property. Go and see a local solicitor for a free half hour of advice. Make brief notes before you go to get the most out of the time:
- how long you have been together / married;
- DOB of the DC;
- your earnings and unpaid domestic labour (inc hours of care for the DC);
- his earnings if you know, even roughly, his hours of work;
- any marital assets, the house, anything else major, when they were bought;
- who has paid what in terms of household outgoings;
- describe the relationship in a few words.
plus any questions that you have - how long it will take, what they think you can get, and so on.
I am ok. Feel stronger this morning.
I am going to get an appointment this week and get some advice. He knows things have hit rock bottom as he actually talked last night. It's still all me though, according to him. Maybe it is? Even so, this relationship is slowly crushing me. Will give it until after Christmas and see
OP I worry about you. You sound so low. Are you sure you'll be ok til after Christmas? that you won't feel worse then, and less able to leave?
I hope that you do go to get advice this week, and that it cheers and galvanises you.
Well done for getting an appointment. You know its not you. He is still trying to make you shoulder all the responsibility for your relationship.
Talking about it isn't just sitting listening whilst someone lists all your imagined faults, tries to crush you even more, and blames you for everything.
You do sound very low, and its not surprising with being told how crap you are all the time. You can't win, you've been trying for years. Whatever you do won't be good enough for him, he is being very unreasonable.
And will you be opening the bills and statements from now on? IME there's nothing like a bit of financial involvement to put lead in your metaphorical pencil. Glad some kind of communication has opened up but suggest you don't tolerate it if it reverts to one-way blaming...
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