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to not want to feel responsible for my ex's mental health?

(35 Posts)
workshy Mon 19-Sep-11 22:37:34

split up with ex 18 months ago, we have remained friendly for the sake of the kids although some times firendliness meant refraining from biting his head off

he suffered from severe depression on and off through our entire relationship and his refusal to get treatment is part of the reason we split -I have always felt like I have been walking on egg shells, not wanting to spark a depressive episode (and I know I probably couldn't but did get thrown at me as a justification for his behaviour)

any way, last week I asked him about increasing his child maintainance from erm, nothing to something -this has apparently thrown him into depression again and I keep getting messages from him either saying I'm asking too much (£100 a month for 2 kids) or if I take too long to reply to a message, I get messages saying I'll regret not replying as he is not in a good place

well I'm sorry but I don't want to be made to feel responsible for his depression -it's nothing to do with me! I made a perfectly reasonable request so why do I now feel like crap???

arrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

GlitterySkulls Mon 19-Sep-11 22:39:42

he's playing you. to me, it just sounds like he's trying to guilt you out of making him take responsibility. don't fall for it.

Minus273 Mon 19-Sep-11 22:39:53

You are not responsible for his mental health. TBH is sounds like he is playing on it a little because of your request. If he really is that low at the moment I would have expected him to lack the motivation to reply IYSWIM.

FabbyChic Mon 19-Sep-11 22:48:53

If he has an income why don't you go through the CSA?

aldiwhore Mon 19-Sep-11 22:49:46

Even if he means it its a symptom that you can do nothing about.

Its a horribly tricky situation for you emotionally, but YANBU. Limit contact and do not bear the burden anymore.

It may sound callous, but you've done your time, he is refusing help, he's going to make you ill too if you take it to heart.

I actually feel cold typing that, I assume you're a big hearted, caring person that wants to help people usually but you've reached your limit? There's no shame in that at all. There comes a point when your pity reserves run dry.

He's going to do this though, and you can't change that, what you need to change is your head... like a professional who develops a batfink shield (else they'd all crumble) you could do with some help to work on this yourself.... YANBU

ImperialBlether Mon 19-Sep-11 22:49:57

That's not depression, disliking the fact he has to hand over money; that's being pissed off!

Take no notice of him.

balia Mon 19-Sep-11 22:55:16

Don't be made responsible for his choices - if he is in a bad place, he has a range of options open to him. My DH has suffered terribly from depression - it has never stopped him wanting to provide for his children. I'd go CSA.

Tyr Mon 19-Sep-11 22:56:16

You are not responsible for his mental health. Going through the CSA will stop the mind games.

workshy Mon 19-Sep-11 22:57:05

CSA -not gone through them as him or his parents have the kids alternate weekends while I work, he says he won't have them and the csa would take months to sort out and I would be without a job (I'm already on family friendly hours as I work shifts and they have already accomodated me) and without any money and the kids wouldn't see their father or grandparents

so as he is on minimum wage I have decided that his good will is better than the £150 a month they would make him pay

asked him for £100 as a one off to go towards winter coats, boots etc etc

but he is a cock and I'm torn between, 'don't care' and 'what if he does something stupid?' (3 previous suicide attempts)

purplepidjinawoollytangle Mon 19-Sep-11 23:03:45

Being depressed is not the same as being a twat.

Your ex is being the latter.

He is half responsible for the children, he needs to live up to that - mental health problems or not!

Minus273 Mon 19-Sep-11 23:04:29

Please remember, if he does something stupid it is his decision and not your responsibility.

I think it mat be a good idea to look into what help you would be entitled to if he decided not to help out, just so you can feel secure in having a back up plan.

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:08:45

He has refused to get treatment, ergo he is the only one responsible for his ongoing mental health problems.

Sounds to me like he is playing on it to use as a tool for emotional blackmail too.

Go through the CSA if he wont support his own children. THEY deserve it.

Vicky2011 Mon 19-Sep-11 23:28:41

OP if he is that unstable I would worry more about him looking after your kids than whether or not he is paying maintenance. Does he share their care with his parents when they're not with you?

workshy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:31:22

he lives with his parents and quite often it seems to be his parents looking after the kids

I have been so tempted to go and pick them up sometimes when he has them but I know his mum is looking after them -if he lived by himself I probably would have gone

while the kids are happy to go I will let them go

Jux Mon 19-Sep-11 23:33:52

You are not, NOT, responsible for his mental health. He has refused to take responsibility for himself but he's a grown up, so it's his decision and not your problem.

I agree with everyone who says he's chosen his path, and is using it as a stick to beat you with. After all, he can't guilt trip you if he's getting treatment, or - heaven forfend - getting better.

If he won't support his kids, then go to CSA.

squeakytoy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:37:45

Your kids are probably enjoying being with their grandparents, and their grandparents are probably feeling exactly the same way too (been there, done that bit)..

Vicky2011 Mon 19-Sep-11 23:40:57

Sorry if that was too "direct" workshy just my DH has depression and I cannot risk the DCs with him for more than a few hours in case his mood dips too much. As your ex ILs are so involved in your DCs care I think they probably know when to intervene if he is going through a bad patch.

workshy Mon 19-Sep-11 23:52:05

even after 13 years I could never work out if he was ill or just being a manipulative bully

when he has kids I always speak to them around tea time and ask how they are, even if he has been sending me nasty messages, they always sound fine and say they are having a nice time etc etc

no worries about sounding direct -it's something I think about, ALOT

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 20-Sep-11 00:11:28

Depression, my arse! Dr izzy doesn't need to take his pulse to diagnose manipulative bullying twunt sydrome.

His conditon is inoperable as it runs through his body like the letters on a stick of rock.

Do whatever you have to do to get money out of him - including holding him upside down and shaking the small change out of his pockets grin

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 20-Sep-11 00:12:36

in a stick of rock!

squeakytoy Tue 20-Sep-11 00:17:37

He sends nasty messages while he is looking after the kids??... sad what a tosser...

I think keeping up a good relationship with his parents is paramount here.. as they seem to have a lot of involvement when he has the kids, which is a good thing from the sounds of it.

I would say, keep going with your relationship with them, and let him know that you are on good terms with them, and that he cant bullshit you.

redexpat Tue 20-Sep-11 00:23:10

He has to accept that he has responsibilities, regardless of his mental state. Could you get some mediation sorted if you don't want to do CSA? Could you get a lawyer to write to him? I would start CSA proceedings but keep trying to negotiate. I think at every step of the way you should point out that splitting up is stressful for everyone concerned, as is being the primary carer and provider for children. You are not doing this to hurt him or to make him feel better, but to provide the best for your kids, and he should too.

zipzap Tue 20-Sep-11 00:43:03

What would his parents say if you told them that he doesn't contribute to his kids at all - and that you are thinking of having to resort to CSA.

Would they stop seeing the kids if their dad didn't want them to - or would you be happy for your kids to see their gp/ your ex PIL even if he didn't help facilitate the contact?

WHilst he might have depression it also sounds like he is using it as an excuse and a way of continuing to exert control over all your lives. And the money thing sounds more of a control thing than a dppression thing!

good luck...

clappyhands Tue 20-Sep-11 06:53:49

do his parents know that he contributes nothing and that he will remove their weekend support if he has to pay?

ToothbrushThief Tue 20-Sep-11 06:57:58

You poor thing. I'd talk to the parents if you can and get their take on his threat?

I think he's being a manipulative git tbh.

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