AIBU or is this an actual mental health issue?(26 Posts)
First time poster, long time lurker. DH and I have been together 8 years. During this time he has had very little contact with my side of the family as I was nc with dm for a while.
It is well known dh is not keen on socialising. As a child he apparently always sat on the outskirts as his dm tells me and it’s running joke in his family he is a grump.
Today we have been out with my dm, db and his children for my nephews birthday. We went to a kids play area and food place. During the time we were there my dh didn’t say hello to my dm or interact with her. I should say on other occasions he does speak and this was quite out of the blue although he is never the life and soul of a party. Should also mention he has no reason to not speak with my dm. He mentions he finds her hard to talk to and speaks to other members of my family more like my db but they have not had a falling out etc.
I thought this to be very rude as although my dm is very hard work it seemed quite obvious and I was questioned afterwards as to why he was like this which gave way to a big argument between me & dh. He then said that he sometimes gets into a ‘mood’ when he goes places which means he doesn’t want to be there, he can’t really explain it and he doesn’t want to act like it but he doesn’t feel like socialising and feels ‘odd’ and instantly in a bad mood.
My question is AIBU to be upset with him about this or could this actually be an issue that I need to consider?
And sorry the reason it says mental health in title is because his family all suffer from depression and are on tablets etc to help, on wondering if this could be some form of social anxiety or something but I don’t know much about this area. Wondered if perhaps someone had dealt with this/ experienced similar themselves?
I'm not sure it's possible for anyone to say from this much information whether this was rudeness or is symptomatic of some form of mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. If your husband often feels down or low or out of sorts, perhaps he should make an appointment to see his GP to talk it through with them?
If he has always been like that then it could well be social anxiety.
This sounds a tricky one for you. It sounds more like an attitude thing which I would find hard but wouldn’t confront, and would rather ask him if there’s any way to make his interaction with your mum easier eg different circumstances? To probe and get to the bottom of it without confrontation. I’d feel it important he realised the impression he gives her as it must indeed seem rude.
Does he show similar behaviour in other situations?
Mind you it’s probably safest to assume it might be a mental health issue as they can be hard to recognise and it would be worse to misunderstand what is going on. Could you ease the issue with your mum by explaining to her you are concerned he might have something going on like social anxiety or doesn’t cope in public situations/ something to make it feel less personal?
He's just a twat, OP.
I have social anxiety but it doesn't stop me saying a quick hello to a member of the family.
Hi all, thanks for the replies. Sorry don’t mean to drip feed.
Yes he is like this a lot, not all the time he certainly finds it easier with his family but he’s sometimes like it with them too. He also goes like it with big groups of people and rarely likes parties or things that involve a lot of people.
He hates being the centre of attention and after speaking with his dm before about him she mentioned he has always been the sam and would sit on the side and not involve himself as a child even and his family often comment on him being rude.
He does speak to my dm sometimes but I know she isn’t his favourite person and he finds it hard. He did say this morning he was really looking forward to the day and then seemed to switch and distance himself when he was there.
It seems to be more when we are with groups of people as he is better at dm house or ours when she pops over but that may also be because he has little choice not to speak! I did mention seeing a gp and discussing but he is adamant he does not have any form of anxiety and just feels odd. I have to drag him to the gp for anything though he has been twice in the time we have been together!
It sounds as though he chooses who to take his mood out on. There was no excuse not to say Hello. My Autistic DD, who has LDs had worked out, by the age of ten, that she needed to acknowledge people.
How is he with Work colleagues and Friends?
The issue with looking for reasons, is that he won't look to change.
He doesn't have to attend anything with large groups, but he should always be polite.
My DD went to a SEN school and the children worked hard to learn acceptable behaviour, he should, when it comes to family events, regardless of the reason he doesn't do it naturally.
Interesting to know thanks all.
Hard to say with work colleagues during the day as of course I don’t see him but they are well aware he is not the most social. He rarely attends Work social events.
With friends he doesn’t go out much, sees his friendship group a handful of times a yest is say usually with me also as we do couple events. Usually he is fine with these but has cancelled before or is talked into going.
He says he feels ‘odd’? Perhaps he’s autistic. I feel this way and I’m autistic. Social interaction with dh’s is extremely difficult for me and I do sometimes avoid them. They’re perfectly nice people, but I just can’t deal with the pressure if I’m not feeling up to it. I also used to avoid mil when she was alive because it was just too tense communicating with her. Nice lady, but I just couldn’t connect in any way.
Incitatus- that’s exactly how he said he feels about my dm. He said he just feels odd and doesn’t feel like socialising but he especially finds it hard with my dm for some reason and it’s not that he doesn’t want to but he physically can’t find anything or bring himself to try and interact. My dm is hard work as I mentioned as is very loud and quite overbearing which is the opposite to my dh so I wonder if this has something to do with it. I also mentioned the same thing to him he might be autistic but of course this is the first time he is really explaining this to me so I want to tread careful and let him feel supported if this could actually be something.
I’d get him to do some screening questionnaires for autism and also the rdos test.
Finding out I was autistic was a complete revelation and has transformed my life. It’s well worth investigating. Don’t think too badly of him as, whatever the reason is, he won’t be doing it on purpose. It sounds like he is struggling for whatever reason.
Hi OP, I thought the same as PP re autism - so many adults never got a chance of support or diagnosis as children.
Do follow up (gently!) as PPs have suggested. Might also be worth you and DH watching the Chris Packham docu on his Asperger’s, it is so well made and insightful. He makes the critical point that there is no such thing as a typical person with autism - everyone’s needs are different - but one or both of you might see things you relate to on there.
Thanks both! Will try all your mentioned point very helpful!
I’ll tread carefully that’s why I asked for advice because it occurred to me when he said that and I started joining the dots that this could be something and I felt bad for having a go. If there is something I really want to support him but he is a typical man and doesn’t think he would be affected with this etc and won’t agree to tests but I’ll try my best and do some reading up etc also.
I did explain to my dm who is thankfully ok. She has severe depression & anxiety so understands and hopefully things will improve.
How is it a mental health issue to not talk to someone you don't like?
Honestly why all this pressure to interact. It's not like he said shut up or anything to her.
World might be a nicer place if there was less pointless social pressure on everyone.
Your DH is not a performing monkey OP.
I know what your DH means as I react similarly in some social situations, I can be really excited and looking forward to it but once I get there I really struggle and feel almost upset and that I would rather be anywhere than in there even if I’m with my family. With mine it is down to autism and quite bad social anxiety.
It’s a really difficult situation to deal with and a lot of the time I don’t even realise I’m coming across as rude unless someone tells me which is even more upsetting as Its the last thing I want to do. I’ve spend a lot of years coming up with ways to cope with it and work with it, even now I still struggle with gatherings.
Not talking to people is not helpful though, I often find the more I try and talk to people the less stressed and upset I start to feel.
It could be his mental health, his attitude or a mixture of both
I wouldn’t say he’s being a twat doorstep. I used to get that often as well, i’d be out in a situation i didn’t particularly want to be in and I would sort of zone out and be in a bad mood and not feel right and just not b able to hold a conversation with any of my partners friends, couldn’t even pretend to smile and say hello Id just completely zone out. I couldn’t help it and I struggle with depression and anxiety I had CBT and no longer do this but he’s not being rude, if he’s trying to explain to you why he does it then listen to him
I would also say that if he struggles with these social situations then you flip-flopping on your DM wont help either. If he isn't that great socially then he will be scared of not seeing the cues that made you go nc or see the cues that made you go not nc.
I thought this to be very rude as although my dm is very hard work it seemed quite obvious
Well you are used to dealing with your DM. Surely you can grasp the concept that if she is hard work then she is the one who is rude and therefore you really should be taking your DH side as the default position?
So did he just totally ignore her when she said hello to him and tried to interact with him? Or did she not make any effort either?
If the former, yes, that's either very severe social anxiety or he's making it obvious he wants to be NC with her. If the latter, then he was being rude but so was your DM, so kind of a wash.
She didn’t say hello either to begin with as he walked past but she did try to include him in conversations during the day which he didn’t entertain.
I’m aware he isn’t a performing monkey. At the time it felt rude because I make so much effort with his family we’ve had his dm come live with us for 8 months when she needed care and been on several holidays with them and due to go again next year. However since coming home and thinking about it and how he acts in other social situations I am wondering if he does have something in which case of course I want to support him as much as I can and help him in these situations not feel he is being rude and argue with him if he actually can’t help it or is struggling. His dm and db have traits of autism but have never been diagnosed they also both suffer with depression and in social situations.
It sounds a lot like what others have described but of course it can’t be diagnosed here I just want to see if others ever felt the same.
Good point about the cues for nc I never thought about that. I can see how that could be difficult for him.
Might be a rude with attitude thing as opposed to mental health. Online diagnosis is rife on MN when it comes to men. I assume he is fine and social as he has to be on a day to day basis, at work? Either way he doesn't have to like your mum and she doesn't have to like him. They can say hello leave it as that. & you can leave them alone
Nobody has diagnosed him
I also work and have to interact with others on a daily basis. It’s a different form of interaction though. It’s professional communication and not social. There is a big difference.
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