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Aibu to think that if dh behaves like a lodger its not petty to treat him like one

(37 Posts)
Greatthetoastisburned Sun 04-Sep-11 09:41:43

Brief background of important things is that dh and i have been together 12 years have 4 dcs all under 7 and i am pregnant with dc5 ( dcs 1-4 planned dc 5 not).
Dh works from home on the computer and has one of the upstairs rooms as an office this started about 2 years ago now when he suddenly wouldnt get out of bed crying lost his job then finally was diagnosed with depression, terrible time etc etc but things seem improved now.

Dh is in that room 7 days a week from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to bed, he gets up when he pleased, he goes to bed when he pleases. He says he works all that time, he does work hard but her clearly doesnt work 16 hours a day 7 days a week he plays games, watches films, works on personal projects etc for alot of that time just shut away on his own. He doesnt take part in any family activity if he absolutley has to he will drag himself into life for mabe half an hour he will go to the local shop for example to get bread or whatevr but thn its run straight bakc upstairs hide away. He is the sole wage earner he does provide for us financially although we are only on a pretty low income since he quit is job during the depression, he wont look after the children so me working is pretty much impossibe even of i wasnt now pregnant he isnt controlling or abusive in any way he just avoids us all at all costs. We were very happy until 2 years ago.

Depsite various attempts at talking etc (we never argue never have time!) he simply doesnt see this as a problem.He doesnt seem depressed anymore and even if he did he refuses to get any help so thats a no go. The latest issue is that despite the fact that dc5 was a contraception failure and clearly not planned on either side he behaved as though i had planned the whole thing and told me he wanted me to have an abortion despite knowing since day 1 of our relationship that i would not consider an abortion ever, i have never hidden this or pretended otherwise so i dont think i was unreasonable to say no.

Would i be unreasonable to start treating him like the lodger he clearly wants to be. Stop cooking for him, doing his cleaning, stop trying to involve him in things ( for example today was going to take the kids to the park i normally ask him if he woukd like to come perhaps i should just go and leave him in his room, he never comes anyway so whats the point in asking, also transfer the child benefit and tax credits to my account at the moment they go to his simply because it was easier that way but now im thinking perhaps i shoudk safegaurd some of that and tbh since our income has gone down this is (thank god ) quite a significant amount of money.

So treating him like a lodger aibu?

TidyDancer Sun 04-Sep-11 09:49:03

Hmmm. I'm not sure that's the best way to go about it tbh, with the exception of transferring the money to your account. It should be done that way anyway really, since you are the primary carer of the children.

I would sit down for a very frank talk with DH and tell him this is what you feel like doing, because you are seeing no other way to get through to him. Then, and only then, would I consider actually treating him like a lodger. Behaving like a child is not usually a very good way of reforming someone who is also behaving like a child, IYGWIM.

Things clearly can't continue the way they are though, he is totally withdrawn from family life and with five children, that simply isn't doable (it's not acceptable with one child tbh, just that with the large number you have, it's even more crucial he does his share!).

Stormwater Sun 04-Sep-11 09:49:04

If you're not seeing him, not interacting, he's not spending any time with the children, and you are going to treat him like a lodger, I would have thought you'd be better off getting him to do his lodging elsewhere. I couldn't stand having someone living with me and behaving like this.

When you say there is no time to talk, do you mean that you have tried to at all? There obviously is some time to talk, you need to make time, and in your situation I'd be making it very clear that he needs to become part of the family or bugger off.

You're obviously still sleeping with him, so you do interact on some level at least. Do you think the relationship is salvageable?

Butterfly75 Sun 04-Sep-11 09:53:26


i agree you need to look at money situation as he does not seem reliable at present.

is he currently having support from mental health services? he sounds like he still needs some.

have you tried marriage guidance? me and DH did this for a few sessions just because therapist helps you get to the route of problems without anyone resorting to shouting.

it must be a very difficult situation

FabbyChic Sun 04-Sep-11 09:53:38

Whats the point of him even living under the same roof? He has his life you have yours, it is not acceptable, he should have working hours and spend the rest of the time with the family, as a family.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sun 04-Sep-11 09:56:21

I think that either he is very depressed indeed - or he has already mentally'left' you, iyswim.

If he knows how you feel and he is not prepared to give you - or his children - any of his time, not a moment of it - wtf is he still in the house for?

ledkr Sun 04-Sep-11 09:58:25

poor you what an awful situation to be in. Id absolutley sort the money yes but i would also tell him that as he wants no part in family life you will not be including him n it,and no i as he doesnt help you then why make your life any harder by doing his washing and cooking.

It does sound as if this is his way of dealing with his depression tho,shutting himself away in a cave and withdrawing from anything stressfull-God id like to do that somethimes.
The question is how long this is sustainable for. Its not much of a life for you is it?and the children arent being shown healthy relationships.

Is he still seeing a cpn or Dr? Communication is what is needed before you make any decisions.

solidgoldbrass Sun 04-Sep-11 10:00:12

I think telling him to leave is a better option than having him in the house making messes and polluting the atmosphere.

Greatthetoastisburned Sun 04-Sep-11 10:05:03

Tidydancer - when i say i have tried to talk to him i mean that i have tried to start conversations with him, but when someone refuses to come out of a room or look away from a computer (even when hes out of the room he tends to have a phone or laptop on to look at) its pretty hard to have a serious talk.
I have tried emailing him and talking to him on msn even but he tends to either not respond at all or say something like "well i have to work" which i am not disputing at any point he seems to ignore the actual point in fact i dont think he actually reads much of what i write no matter how short it is!

stormwater i have thought sometimes whats the point but then i think firstly that i would miss him if we lived apart (i do love him and he used to be so lovely i think maybe that could come back one day!)
Plus another part of me says i am not unhappy with my life, if we split up i would have to move, change the kids schools etc as we rent the house i have no idea how housing benefit works but i assume it woud make finding a house hard. I know that sounds really pathetic but since i neevr see him anyway it seems like a lot of disruption for no gain!

We clearly have had sex since dc4 was born not very often but every now and then. I do like spending time with him and i have made an effort to get him to come away from the computer etc when the house is quiet but it never translates into him actually choosing too which is the main point of it really.

ChippingIn Sun 04-Sep-11 10:06:13

I remember your other threads about him sad Well, at least I hope I do or there is another MNer in the same position.

You really can't carry on like this. He does sound mentally ill to me. I would have one last talk with him - explain that it is not 'normal', that you cannot continue like this and you need him to get help. If he refuses you have two choices - get help for him (someone to come to the house) or you tell him to leave. Really, that's about all you can do isn't it - you can't live like this.

It will destroy you as a person if you let it continue - you have the right to move on and make a life for yourself if he isn't going to engage in life with you.

minxofmancunia Sun 04-Sep-11 10:08:56

you say he's been like this for 2 years ut you're pregnant, so you're still having sex. I'm sorry I just don't get that, there's no way I'd want Dh near me if he was as selfish and unhelpful as you describe. he's clearly getting his needs met in some way hmm.

4 children under 7 in 12 years is a lot, and hugely stressful, i'd want to hide away if it were me tbh, esp with a 5th on the way. He doesn't sound depressed anymore, just avoidant. There's a difference and because of his gender and the dynamics within your household he's set things up so he can opt out rather than deal with the stresses and demands of having such a big family.

Greatthetoastisburned Sun 04-Sep-11 10:12:29

He currently doesnt have any sort of medical help happening, when he was first diagnosed (and only after weeks of refusing to go to the doctor and already quitting his job etc) he had tablets he took them for about a month then stopped that was it he has not and will not go back. Nothing i do or say will change that i have tried.

FabbyChic Sun 04-Sep-11 10:15:12

He doesn't want to be part of a family, he has shut himself off become an almost recluse, it is part of depression I done it for three years.

activate Sun 04-Sep-11 10:18:18

You need to lay down the law

I'd go for

Home office is 8 hours a day - 9am to 5pm

Mornings you get up and give kids breakfast and get them to school

Lunch and Dinner time you are with us, you clear the table and wash up or you cook

Evenings you sit with use until bedtime - we go out

If you need to do more work you can go back to the office for up to 2 hours a day

activate Sun 04-Sep-11 10:20:38

medical treatment also part of deal

Claw3 Sun 04-Sep-11 10:20:48

You say things have improved, what was he like before the depression?

He still sounds very depressed, perhaps your efforts would be better spent trying to get him to see GP, rather than treating him like a lodger.

Gincognito Sun 04-Sep-11 10:21:28

I think this thread belongs in relationships. I think you should ask MN to move it.

Minx, as op is desperate to reignite a loving connection with her dh, I think it is perfectly understandable that this includes a physical relationship (if that's what she wants).

OP you need to get him to relationship counselling. I think the first step is getting him there so that he has to engage. Then you can work out whether he needs extra mh support etc.

And definitely, definitely get cb transferred into your name.

MmmmmCake Sun 04-Sep-11 10:22:29

why allow yourself to bring more kids into it then

Peachy Sun 04-Sep-11 10:23:47

Doesn;t sound like his depression ahs cleared to me.

We're similarish- 4 kids, DH works from home at teh PC, although he also studies, bad depression a few eyars back 9although for him the self employment ahs helped enormously, depression blips occasionally but his previous night shifts were a huge factor).

Sounds like he is isolating himself and what he nededs is social contact. Self employment of that style can do that and then being depressed- even mildly- can make it really bad.

If it were my Dh i;d be shipping him off to see GP to have meds reassessed.

Dh works all hours- 7 am, 11pm- but he does stuff with us in between, is part of our family.

Gincognito Sun 04-Sep-11 10:23:50

Agree with fabby that locking yourself away in a room would be a big marker for depression for me. Especially if he took himself off his antidepressants before they had time to do anything. Could you call his GP and express your concerns? He needs help.

Peachy Sun 04-Sep-11 10:27:52

Oh and meds for 1 month probably didn;t even kick in- really common! people start to improve a little naturally so come off and never recover, tehy just look at the worst times and think well not like that any more so must be OK now- far from it.

I have a rule with DH that i will understand his illness IF when I tell him he needs to schlep his ass back to teh GP he does it. Last 12 months has been most stable he ahs ever had and he's been on low dose maintenance meds. Needed to try a few types to find something that suited but goodness it saved our marriage and probably his life.

eicosapentaenoic Sun 04-Sep-11 10:28:18

The point of him living under this roof is that he is paying for it, his family of 5DCs + full-time carer. Lost his job, managed to pull himself out of depression and earn again, respect. It would definitely be even less fun without him, supporting two dwellings. Would you consider role reversal?

I do understand. We are similar. Pressure of £ responsibilities and emotional desert destroyed the relationship. We are both 'lodgers' now, it's not so bad but we are same house, separate lives. This is how it would be for you unless you can start arranging child-free 'dates' with him to remind you both what you got married for. Mine was not interested so I gave up.

It does make my laugh when he comes out of his study and asks where the children are? (they're teenagers now living their own lives) I just say 'they grew up'.

Gincognito Sun 04-Sep-11 10:31:09

Very helpful mmmcake.

VFVF Sun 04-Sep-11 10:31:26

greatthetoastisburned It sounds like an awful situation to be in and I feel for you.

Can I offer a perspective from the depressed person's side of the couple? I had horrendous PND after my DD was born, and the behaviour youre describing of your husband is exactly what I wanted (and did) do for a good few months. i was very lucky (like your DH is) to have a supportive partner, who realised sometimes you do need to retreat. For me it was books. I would read several books a week just to escape into a fantasy land where I didn't exist, only the characters did.
Unfortunatley whilst this might make a person feel a bit better in the short term, it isn't a long term solution. Firstly I would feel guilt at sitting in a seperate room to DH and DD, knowing I should be with them and interacting. The guilt began to get bigger and bigger although I still felt unable to actually get out of my bed and put the book down.
DH was also getting frustrated at this point. In the end we had an argument because (yet again) I hadn't done a thing in the house all day and he was finding it exausting working a full day at work, then coming home and doing ALL the housework whilst solely looking after DD whilst I hid. I called my HV in tears and she came round straight away.
We explained what our daily routine was like, I said how I felt and DH got the opportunity to say how he felt. HV was very kind to both of us, and explained to me that DH was being very good, but he was allowed to be frustrated too. She made me realise I wasn't the only one dealing with PND, but DH very much was aswell IYSWIM.
She suggested we started setting goals everyday, even if it was simple like 'today I will do the dishes' or 'today I will put a load of washing in'. These things in reality which only take 5 minutes were a huge task for me at first, but the satifaction afterwards was immense. And bless DH, he would always notice and thank me for doing whatever small task.
I also started hiding for shorter and shorter times. This took place over a fairly long period of time but we went from me being in the bedroom all day, to only going for an hour occasionally when I was tired.
The great thing is you say you still love your DH, which will make it easier to help him. But I think ideally he needs to have counselling off a cpn or gp, because sometimes just listening to the partner is not enough.
Firstly you need to get his attention. I'm not suggesting having a screaming/crying match like I did with DH blush but what ever it takes to MAKE him listen to you. If he's playing a computer game then turn the electrics off at the mains. If he's in bed turn all the lights on.

Get his attention for your sake and his, because he's missing out on his children and his realtionship and hiding never solved anything longterm.

VFVF Sun 04-Sep-11 10:32:10

Oops, there was paragraphs in there before I posted blush

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