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To get fed up with my DH taking days off University due to 'Illness'

(57 Posts)
Mrspiggy456 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:00:13

My DH is a full time University student. He was made redundant 4 years ago and after being unable to get work, he decided to go back into education and become a teacher. I was so proud of him for this, as it is something that would terrify me.
Now though, he only seems to be going 1-2 times a week. Sometimes he tells me 'it's only a lecture today and not assessed so I don't need to be there' but mostly he says it's due to illness. He's had chest infections and bad colds, now he's saying he has social anxiety. Today he's been due to go in for a meeting with his tutor, but he's had to rearrange that as he woke up with a numb face and has gone to the Doctor (it has apparently worn off now though) I don't mean to sound callous, but it all seems like excuses to me. But he won't talk about it when I try to discuss it with him

Rainydayspending Tue 14-Mar-17 12:04:24

He probably needs to reconsider his career choice. Teaching is not a sympathetic environment to illness nor ideal for social anxieties.

mummymeister Tue 14-Mar-17 12:05:34

Hes a grown up and you cant make him talk to you. however, if you are financially supporting the family whilst he does this training then you do imo have a right to know that he is actually undertaking it and not pissing about.

FWIW I don't think this is what he wants to be doing and instead of having a talk with you about it he is just going through the motions or not in his case.

If he wont talk to you then he has to talk to someone else. clearly he has some big problems and they wont just go away if he ignores them.

xStefx Tue 14-Mar-17 12:08:38

He doesn't sound like he is committed to it, Tell him to stop pissing about and go and get a job.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 14-Mar-17 12:12:45

My partner was like this on a teaching course. Turns out they really were not coping with it at all but was trying not to worry me along with the fear of the consequences of quitting. I was far more cross at not being told, because as soon as it came out, we sorted it together. Wouldn't wish teacher training on anyone at the moment. I dealt with it by asking straight up questions - do you want to quit, get CVs out now, I'll help you with x,y and z, this does not make you a failure, etc.

llangennith Tue 14-Mar-17 12:12:51

Is he doing the 4year BEd course or a one year PGCE?
If the 4 year course then there's very little 'contact time' but if his tutor wants to see him maybe he's falling behind with his studies.
If it's a PGCE then he really has to be there full-time.

hellokittymania Tue 14-Mar-17 12:20:42

Could he teach online or maybe have some other career that doesn't involve contact time with students ? Could he be a Home tutor or even think of other possibilities ? I was looking for a personal assistant last year and I am doing a university course so I really needed help with reading and other things . It's out of the box but possibly more flexible and not so stressful

Mrspiggy456 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:21:46

He's doing the 4 year course. I have said to him a few times that if it's not what he wants to do, then I'll support him with whatever he wants.
He seems to be up to date with assignments, and has just started talking to a counsellor, so hopefully that helps.
Not to sound like I'm bringing out the violins, but I work full time in a coffee shop, and I'm on the waiting list to have both my hips replaced, but I still drag myself in everyday. Some days it's very difficult, but I still go, or I won't get paid.
I try to set a good work ethic for my 3 teenagers!

Jaxhog Tue 14-Mar-17 12:26:01

Sounds like you have 4 teenagers not 3!

How far into the course is he? Sounds like he needs to think seriously if this is what he really wants to do. A heart to heart is in order I think. He can't carry on while you support him and not discuss it with you.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Tue 14-Mar-17 12:31:51

If he's a teacher on probation, how it is going to work if he takes days off sick all the time? He won't get a permanent job, surely?

He does sound depressed/demotivated. The question is, does he want to continue? If so, then he needs to work hard even on his days recuperating, I work from home and there's very rarely a day I can't type or do some reading/notes or answer emails even if I am sick.

If he wants 'out' then that's different. He definitely needs to reschedule the meeting with his tutor.

Does he have health anxiety or has he just had a run of bad luck? Either way, schools are germ fests and his current rate of absence wouldn't be able to continue indefinitely if he qualified.

Backt0Black Tue 14-Mar-17 12:40:23

Sounds like my BiL.

Happy to be supported through uni at the age of 40 while not actually doing any of the WORK needed to succeed. Crowing to all and sundry about the challenges of being a mature student, how the govt are unsupportive, how its a disgrace and blaming the system instead of his laziness for failing exams. Just enrolls on another course the following year so he can tell everyone he's not doing nothing, he's a 'mature student'

Yep - all the same here...anxiety, asthma, exhaustion, stress, and many 'don't need the be there that days'

I sincerely hope you're not having to financially support your DH. For me I'd be asking him to commit to the course or end it and go back to work ASAP

Mrspiggy456 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:46:14

He's just finishing his first year at Uni, but has already completed 2 years at college to get to Uni.
I'm not sure if he's rum down and that's why he's ending up sick, or if he's not as bad as he makes out and it's all just excuses not to go in.
All I know is that every time he tells me he doesn't feel well I just think 'here we go again'
I probably sound like a total bitch! He has started, recently, saying about this social anxiety. But I've never seen any evidence of this (he's 45 and we've been together 7 years). I hate thinking it's just another reason for him to use to not go in, but that does go through my mind

NolongerAnxiousCarer Tue 14-Mar-17 12:50:48

If he does have social anxiety then it can be very disabling. Has he spoken to his GP about it as there is help available. He's seeing a councellor so that is a good start. Something like cbt may be helpful too. Tempory numbness in his face could be related to anxiety and pannic attacks or could be something like a TIA (the precursor to a stroke) so he does right to see the Dr.

Just because you can't see his anxiety doesn't mean its not causing him significant problems. I've just had anxiety for the first time last year and ended up with 3 months off work, I found going to the supermarket very difficult and yet I looked fine none of my collegues had a clue.

expatinscotland Tue 14-Mar-17 12:53:12

You've been together 7 years, he's only worked for 3 of those. He's happy to take the piss when he knows you are working in pain. You have your answer here, Mrs.

You're trying to set your 3 teens a good example, well, you're not doing that by showing them to put up with a cocklodger.

Stop chivvying him, being 'supportive', etc. He's not going to be a teacher. He's already a professional sponge.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Tue 14-Mar-17 12:58:02

Also DH didn't get it either until he witnessed a full on pannic attack. We've lived together 10 years but until last year I've never experienced anxiety as an illness. Its very different from just feeling a little bit anxious. There are medications that can help.

sadallthetime Tue 14-Mar-17 13:00:40

I'm just wondering if as part of his course he has to do presentations and this is freakiing him out . I would love to go back and do teaching but the fear of this stops me .

juneau Tue 14-Mar-17 13:06:14

From your POV whether it's laziness or social anxiety this choice of career doesn't seem to be a good one. I think, if it was me, I'd have to sit him down and ask him straight what is going on. And if it is indeed social anxiety why is he training for a profession where there is nowhere to hide? If he can't cope with turning up to uni every day how on earth is going to cope with standing up in front of a class of students all day, every day? You've only known him for seven years, four of which he's been unemployed, so how much do you really know about his work history? Has he suffered from mental health problems before?

GogoGobo Tue 14-Mar-17 13:08:29

Oh god my instinct is to tell you to run for the hills! He sounds dreadful and like someone else has said, I cannot see how he would cope with teaching if this is his response to training!

mactavish Tue 14-Mar-17 13:17:58

I do get why other posters are saying he needs to get his act together, and its hard to resist that obvious reaction to the situation but I think that might be over-simplifying what's going on.

Being out of work has massive impact on confidence and self-esteem, it certainly did for me for the short time I was looking for a job once, and I think it often affects men more badly than women.
The fact he has told you he has social anxiety I think is a massive plus because it sounds like he is reflecting and trying to communicate some of his current difficulties.
Sounds like he needs lots of loving encouragement and support from professionals. It could be he has undiagnosed Aspergers, for example.

Backt0Black Tue 14-Mar-17 13:18:51

@expatinscotland grin

Stop chivvying him, being 'supportive', etc. He's not going to be a teacher. He's already a professional sponge.


RhodaBorrocks Tue 14-Mar-17 13:22:43

For what it's worth, a number face can be caused by anxiety/panic attacks. It sounds like he needs to sort the anxiety out before deciding what he really wants to do to be a grown up.

expatinscotland Tue 14-Mar-17 13:24:43

'It could be he has undiagnosed Aspergers, for example.'

Oh, dear god! As the mother of a child with Asperger's I am sick to death of this being trotted out on nearly every thread where someone's acting like a child.

He's 40! When you're an adult and you value your relationship and love your partner, you take ownership of whatever your problems are and start being proactive about getting help. He knows his partner is working in great pain to support him, seriously, anyone who loves that partner would be doing what they can to improve the financial situation so he can support her, too, not just continue to spin out a 4-year degree into 6 years.

Sooner or later, you either learn to own your problems or you don't, and 40 is well onto adulthood.

Tell us some more, OP, because I can hazard a few guesses here even from your OP.

xStefx Tue 14-Mar-17 13:24:53

He does seem to be acting like a student (not all and no offense meant to students)
sure he isn't heading for a mid life crisis OP?

NoLotteryWinYet Tue 14-Mar-17 13:43:38

i agree with expat - he's a rat op, I see no evidence that he cares about you - you've been together 7 years and he's been sponging off you for 4 of those? What are you getting from the relationship?

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 14-Mar-17 13:44:48

It's worth bearing in mind that being a mature student on a university course can be difficult.

He won't fit in with the majority of free, single students and their social lives so is perhaps feeling completely sidelined with no friends. I know this sounds slightly pathetic, but at any age people like to feel accepted and part of social groups. That may be the cause of the anxiety/reluctance to attend.

The positive side is that he is up to date with all the assignments and coursework so he is capable and hasn't "given up" with getting his qualification. It's not compulsory to attend all lectures.

Obviously, he needs to be adult and honest! Commit or quit and don't dally!

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