To feel like I have failed him(24 Posts)
Dh lost his father to cancer a couple of months ago. We knew it was coming and it has been a long journey to this point. Since it happened it's been a whirlwind of funeral organising, hosting relatives and sorting out wills, bills and everything else. His mum is understandably very reliant on him so dh has been sorting everyting out and she's been staying over a lot with us and sil. We haven't had a second together.
I thought when it finally happened I would be his rock. But I feel I've messed it up and I haven't been. I have mild depression that I've had on and off since dd was born 5 years ago that I've never got help for and I'm really struggling with all the disruption on top of the usual pressures of my job, my daughter's behaviour issues and the long list of assignments I've got to do.
We snap at each other on a daily basis usually from trying to get everything done, mutual tiredness and dd playing up all the time. I often feel fed up having to cancel things because his mum needs something sorting and then I beat myself for feeling like that when her needs are so much more significant than mine. Why can't I just not feel the way I do?
Dh is such a saint doing so much for his mum when he's grieving himself. I just want to be like him and to be the support he needs but every day I fail and I go to bed feeling horrible and not worthy of him. It would help if we had time together so I could listen to him talk but that never happens. We seem to be stuck in the whirlwind of daily life. He's out with his friends tomorrow and he says he's looking forward to having someone to talk to. I'm so glad he's finally getting a night to relax but I wish I had been able to listen more.
Are there any other partners of bereaved people out there who can advise? Please be kind, I'm in tears typing this x
You haven't failed him. It sounds like you're being a really supportive wife, and being very understanding despite your own current struggles.
Have you talked to someone about the depression? It sounds like it could be a good idea.
No real advice, but I didn't want to read and run. There will be some wonderful advice on its way very soon.
The ladies of mumsnet can have such wonderful advice from different perspectives.
I'm sorry that your family are going through this.
Stop putting your DH on a pedestal and yourself in the gutter. It is a tough time for both of you especially if more of the burden of the house and childcare is falling to you. Accept that you are also finding it hard and look for support for yourself (from someone other than your DH) so you have a bit more capacity to support him in the way you want.
(In the last 10 years or so DH and have lost our last surviving parent each, my stepmother and 2 of his siblings, I know how tough it is)
DesignedforlifeI have told dh that I want to go on anti depressants but he's very against it and he gets upset when I talk that way so I don't talk about it to him anymore and just try to get on with it.
Would he stop you taking painkillers if you had a headache? Why does he get to choose if you get help for a medical condition?
There seems to be a lot of this stress about. You are both stressed and have some level of unhappiness but I presume the 'issues' are not directly at each other but in the situation. Try talking to a doctor about any ways to help yourself short of anti depressants, maybe a bit of counselling or guided self help although I presume you really need the help now before small niggles become big problems.
Things are tricky but you haven't failed, you do need a boost though to help you which in turn will help your DH.
Don't be so hard on yourself. I bet your DH doesn't feel that you have failed him. My DH lost his mother to cancer when DS was a baby, I always felt that I had let him down because I was so wrapped up with DS, but when we've talked about this time since, DH has always said how supportive I was, so we don't always have the same perception of events and can put ourselves down. Particularly if you have depression, please see your GP, get some help as this will benefit all,of your family.
Not bereaved no. But can really understand your situation at the moment. I have twin babies and another at infants plus a couple of relatives very infirm who may not be around much longer. I've had PND too and had a tough few months. I can totally relate to what your saying just because I recognise the stress and the snapping and both being so overwhelmed with responsibilities and stress and having no time for each other. It's hard because you want to ask for help but really you have so much on your plate there is no wiggle room for either of you to help the other as you're both so busy.
What I would say is that remember that the worst times do pass and you can reconnect when you come out the other end. Don't feel like you have to be a hero because just surviving and getting through the day is enough at these tough times.
Are you getting support with the depression at the moment or taking mess?
Write down what you wrote and give it to him? You clearly think v highly of him...
its not his decision if you want to medicate. Stop allowing him to persuade you not to take medication.
You're being terribly hard on yourself, OP.
Honestly, I think it's more the other way round, and actually your DH is the one failing you. Of course his mum is struggling, but so are you from the sounds of things, and whereas he's busy being a model son to her, I think he's actually being quite cruel to discourage you from getting help with your depression. He's 'very against' antidepressants and 'gets upset' when you talk 'that way'? You 'just try to get on with it'? It's nice that he's looking forward to a night out with friends so he can 'have someone to talk to' - when do you get someone to listen to you?
I feel your depression is doing a lot of the talking in your post. Your DH needs to shape up and start supporting you a bit more imo, and yet you see yourself as being the one who is failing here. I appreciate that he's lost his dad, and that his mum is leaning on him, but your needs are important too. And if he can't be supportive, I think you need to be brave and go to a GP appointment by yourself, so you can get an informed opinion on whether antidepressants are a good idea or not.
If you can get to a point where you feel a bit better yourself, it would put you in a position where you are more able to assess whether he is really a saint, whether you really are a failure, and what is the best way forward with your DD's issues.
for you, OP.
I would definitely speak to your gp about medication for depression. Being inside your own head whilst suffering from depression is a very confusing and lonely place. Ime you'll see things much more clearly and cope a lot better if you treat your issue.
Sorry for your loss and good luck, op /
Thank you all for your support. It's not that he's telling me what to do, I just don't want to upset him more. He is one of these perfect people who always see the best in everything and genuinely can't understand why I can't be happy to be alive and appreciate all the things I have. He would rather I address the causes of it rather than just take pills. I suppose I am looking for a quick fix. Dd's behaviour and the pressures of work really bring me down whereas he can put it all in perspective. He has such a great outlook despite suffering such a huge unbearable loss. I've lost no-one and I'm the one struggling to get out of bed in the morning. You can see why it feels like I'm letting him down.
"He would rather I address the causes of it rather than just take pills"
None of his business. Go and talk to your doctor, see what they think.
Even lovely, positive people don't always "get" depression - in fact often they are the least likely too.
Tackling the root cause of depression is always a good idea - if there is one. Sometimes though, a lot of little things build up and tip us off balance and even when these things pass the depression remains. Then we need medical help. And anyway, getting to feeling better is also a good first step before tackling the big stuff.
I think if you want to help your husband cope, the best thing you can do is get yourself sorted. Please go and speak to your GP. If she offers medication please try it (No disrespect to your dh but he's not a doctor I assume). I was on medication for depression for 4 months many years ago - it went and has never come back - so it doesn't have to be forever. And coming out from under that cloud felt sooo good.
You can see why it feels like I'm letting him down.
I can see why it feels like that to you at the moment, but that doesn't make it so. It is all very well for someone who has never experienced depression to talk in terms of root causes, but tackling root causes takes time, whereas the daily grind doesn't abate while you undertake that process, especially when you share your life with someone who can't or won't devote time to supporting and listening to you. More importantly, though, if what you are suffering is untreated PND then the root cause is a neurochemical imbalance, the most effective treatment for which is antidepressants. Believe me, I am no apologist for carelessly prescribed antidepressants for patients who need a longer-term approach, but until you talk to a GP you can't know what is best for you, and neither can he.
Honestly, OP, he doesn't sound remotely perfect, sorry. I think it is a great deal easier to do all the right, supportive-looking things after a parent's death, when what is needed is pretty clear, than it is to undertake the messy business of providing long-term open-ended support to a partner who is struggling on a daily basis. It sounds more to me like he needs you to be the strong one at all times, and can't cope ('gets upset') the moment that appears to be under threat. To that extent, rest assured you are his rock, if that is what is important to you, but in a healthy relationship he ought to be prepared to be yours too, imo. I know it's hard to ask for what you need, but important, I think.
And if you've been struggling on and off for 5 years, I don't think anyone could reasonably accuse you of looking for a quick fix, OP.
Please go to the GP. The cause of depression is not choosing to be depressed, but a chemical one. (Would he want you to avoid getting a cast for a broken leg as it's a quick fix and rather instead focus on not doing what caused the break?) You both may find it useful if he can read some scientific research behind depression or even a leaflet. My other advice is to try and be polite to each other (sometimes we act in a way to our DP that we wouldn't to others) and when you feel the tension, try to go for a walk as a family. Somehow walking and talking made it easier for my DH to talk when he was struggling.
It's not up to DH whether you take anti-depressants. It sounds like you've got a LOT on. I dont think you've let him down at all.
Do you get time for yourself or to meet friends? You need a bit of time to yourself or with friends especially as it's very intense at home right now.
With the best will in the world, he isn't 'perfect people' he is wilfully ignorant on the subject of mental health. Would he suggest you 'deal with the cause' if you needed antibiotics for an infection or insulin for diabetes?
See your doctor, make sure you have enough time to talk through the issues and please don't minimise the situation when you see them - its easy to do that especially when you are being made to feel a failure simply by being depressed.
I might be guessing wrong but if you have dc and are picking up much more responsibility for them and more responsibilities around running the house as well as work to allow him to be this model son to his dm, youre actually doing a bloody wonderful thing. Could he do all that he does for his dm without you picking up the slack for him? And its not his call what he would rather with regard to your health problems. Between you and your gp. Id be irritated with your dh in your shoes. Because him supporting his dm is allowing him to opt out of supporting you while dictating what medication you can and cannot have.
You haven't failed anyone. It sounds like you've been struggling with PND as it started after your dd was born. If it is then the best treatment is antidepressants as PND is a neuro chemical imbalance which needs sorting, the imbalance is the root cause and the treatment is medication for however long you need.
I lost my mum to cancer a few years ago and it was hell as I also had a young baby. The main thing I can remember is my dh being there, just physically being there when I needed a hug or someone to rant at about how unfair it was. Yes we snapped at each other through stress and sleep deprivation but we got through it.
You sound like the Saint in your op. You've been there when you can, looked after your dd, worked, and likely run the house all while dealing with depression by yourself. This has allowed your dh to drop everything to help his mum, deal with the funeral and paperwork etc.
Honestly it sounds like your dh has failed you. You've done as much as you can, it's not your fault that you've had to work and take care of your dd.
Get yourself to the gp and get some treatment for your depression. Sod what he thinks and whether he likes you taking antidepressants or not. You can't be there for him when you're not okay yourself. Don't completely run yourself into the ground trying to cope without help. There's nothing wrong with a quick fix but struggling for 5 years isn't exactly a quick fix to get medication. If you were in pain from a broken leg you'd take painkillers, depression is no different, you need treatment to get better.
The only reason I can give for his attitude is grief and that's me being generous. When you're lost in the fight of grief you can become very self-centered, it's not an excuse for implying you aren't there for him to talk to but it could be the reason he feels that way. That is me being generous though as he is coming across as an arse.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.