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Depressed husband

(10 Posts)
christmasstar1 Fri 03-Nov-17 19:22:46

It would be very helpful to have some impartial views on my husband's behaviour bearing in mind that he has ongoing depression and an anxiety condition. He is taking medication but the depression is still causing problems. He is quite distant at times and irritable and very focussed on him and his needs. He has always had a tendency to be a bit self centred but it's definitely got worse. Today he asked if it would be ok if he went away for the weekend for some quiet time and space. I've had a really bad cold all week and today I went to the doctors and was told I actually have a bad chest infection and need antibiotics and rest. When he asked to go away, I hadn't yet been to the doctors but he knew I was feeling rough and had booked an appointment. When he woke up this morning, he cooked breakfast for everyone, bacon and eggs, but sat down and proceeded to eat his alone without thinking to tell anyone it was ready so it was then cold when we came downstairs. He then left for work leaving mess everywhere in the kitchen. Ive just asked him to do bedtime to give me a break. He did so but didn't brush our sons teeth or ask him to go to toilet. He never brushes our sons teeth despite me constantly reminding him this needs to be done. This drives me mad. I'm increasingly of the view that this kind of behaviour is quite selfish behaviour and ive had enough of it. What I want to know though is to what extent do I need to make allowance for the depression he's dealing with? I find it really hard to know when I need to pull him up on his behaviour and challenge it versus when I need to say to myself he's down, give him some space and a break. Would be genuinely interested other's views particularly if you've lived with a spouse suffering from depression. Thank you.

Pixielemons Fri 03-Nov-17 20:25:08

I have suffered with depression, and so has a previous partner of mine.

It's a tough one. I constantly felt like I was walking through thick mud and it took me ages to get anything constructive done (I work in academia, and this took a hit). My partner at the time couldn't do anything right - i wanted to be looked after, but didnt want to be around anyone.

My partner needed time alone and this killed me. However, I gave him the time and the times we did spend together because of this were better. It's not a conscious effort to lock you out, it's like you can't function in the state you are anymore.

I would let him go. Let him clear his head. Appreciate this efforts (the breakfast thing seems nice) and don't met him with negativity.

You have my empathy, it's so hard to have a depressed partner

christmasstar1 Fri 03-Nov-17 21:10:26

Thanks for your thoughts. Maybe I'm being too hard.

LostSight Fri 03-Nov-17 21:22:26

What was he like before he was depressed? I know depression can make you self-centred and hard to live with, but my worry would be that if he is naturally self-centred and you allow him to become worse “because he’s depressed” you might find the situation never returns to normal.

I put up with a lot after our first child was born because my husband was desperately unhappy because of his job. Unfortunately, the habits created then (me doing almost all the childcare and housework, even after I’d returned to work) were such ingrained habit that it took years and some time apart to get past it.

So personally, while I wouldn’t be mean about it, I wouldn’t let things slide either.

christmasstar1 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:14:04

Thank you, that's helpful. My husbands depression and anxiety has also arisen from a stressful job. I have sometimes wondered if some time apart might help everyone. It would allow him some space and give me a break from dealing with the depression and then maybe allow us to try and start again with a new approach. I think it's a good point you make about the risk of the selfish behaviour becoming more ingrained as I take on more and more of the housework and childcare - I also work. When you had some time apart was it for a fixed period or did you play it by ear/ how long was it for?

InspMorse Sat 04-Nov-17 08:23:43

The only advice I have is that you have to look after yourself OP.

Living with a partner who is depressed is actually very depressing for the people around them.
I became anxious and stressed and had to focus on my needs and the needs of DC as a way of coping. Make sure that you use YOUR support network to help you.

Take it one day at a time OP.

christmasstar1 Sat 04-Nov-17 08:43:51

Thank you. That all makes good sense.

BellyBean Sat 04-Nov-17 08:59:11

The breakfast thing could have been selfishness, but could equally have been that he just forgot to call everyone. My DH is depressed and sometimes he has to focus hard on a task to see it through. Calling the family would have been a 'step' he forgot to complete.

My DH always does as much as he can, sometimes in tears because he just can't manage to e.g. Go out with us on a trip etc. In your situation he would stay home because you needed him, but would only be able to help for short times and disappear upstairs for hours in between. It would make him worse in the short term til he had a break.

InspMorse Sat 04-Nov-17 10:32:28

It's REALLY difficult to work out what is selfish behaviour and what is the illness.
In my experience the two get muddled up because result is the same... you end up carrying the weight of the world (responsibilities for DC, home, work etc.) on your shoulders for everyone.
All the best OP x

VanGoghsLeftEar Sat 04-Nov-17 10:56:56

My husband is the same. We have nearly split up so many times over it. It is hard to know what is the illness and what is pure fuckwittery.

From reading a bit about the subject I have gathered thus:

Agreeing to plans then cancelling them at the last minute
Difficulty getting out of bed/spending extensive amounts of time in bed or separate from loved ones
Sleeping A LOT.
Worrying over silly things.
Having impossible expectations then getting upset when they are not met.
Having anger issues (he is currently NC with his brother, who has similar issues).
Getting obsessed by tasks. I only have to mention I have lost something and he turns out home over to find it (then forces me to clear up).
General anxiety over DD's welfare, my welfare, anxiety over our whereabouts, anxiety over money, everything. Asking the same question over and over again.

My DH tried medication but all the different types made him sleep even more, and he was seeing weird stuff, not conducive to an early-riser postal worker. He was discharged from therapy when his boss refused him time to attend (he offered to do split shifts).

Can I say that when there is anger I don't stand for it. I tell him to wind his neck in, and go and calm down. He used to use physical violence, now he walks away.

I think he has had it all the time I have known him, but he was only diagnosed about three years ago.

The mess is normal. You have to force him to see it. He cannot see he's made a mess because all he can think about is his other problems. Don't clear it up, tell him he has to do it. And he has to look after the children. There is looking after him, then there is allowing the behaviour to stick around.

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