DH midlife crisis?(61 Posts)
NC'd for this. Poor DH has been struggling with his mental health. I have only been aware of this for 4 months or so, but he says that it has been building up for years. He is very good at keeping his feelings squashed down and not talking about them, which is why I was none the wiser for so long. He had two terrible bereavements in a quick succession a couple of years ago, and apparently things have just gone downhill ever since. He is now an emotional wreck, and I can't bear to see him so unhappy.
Over a few separate conversations, he has told me:
- he is deeply dissatisfied with his life, but he doesn't know what he wants to do to change it
- he has considered leaving me in the past
- he is not sure that he would get married again if he had the time again (we have been together 12 years, married for 1.5)
- he feels like he has not met his potential in life and has let himself down (he has a very good job and has done well for himself, but is bored)
- he has considered a 6 month relationship break (as somebody who recently read 'the break' by Marian Keyes, hearing that was like a punch in the stomach)
- he still loves me and hopes that we can work through this together
The great thing is that he has started seeing a therapist, which I 100% support, even though it is making a serious dent in our monthly budget.
The worst thing is, I am due to give birth to our first DC in 10 weeks. I have found pregnancy very difficult - physically and emotionally - and this feels like the worst timing. He keeps apologising for putting me through this, and I hate to see him full of self loathing for upsetting me.
I love him unconditionally, and until a few months ago I thought our relationship was solid as a rock. We got together when I was 20, so being with him is a huge part of my identity and personality, and I am now painfully aware that I am overly dependent on him. We don't have a huge friendship group, and I rely on him for emotional support, probably too much. The idea of being a single mother terrifies me.
Finally, I am so worried about the impact of all of this stress on my baby. I know that I need to toughen up for her sake, and stop myself from falling apart, but the truth is my heart is breaking.
Any advice would be appreciated.
OP you sound under so much pressure!
I feel for your DH and his poor mental health but I think there's a difference between getting some things off your chest and pretty much shattering someone else by revealing your deepest darkest secrets.
I'm sorry OP but I think your DH has been massively unreasonable, despite his MH issues.
What age is he?
I guess you're only 32ish?
Sounds like standard mid life depression to me. He needs to see a doctor. He's not happy with anything in his life, you, his job, in other words he is depressed. He will need anti depressants if his doctor thinks he is depressed. Hang in there OP. It's not you, from what you've said. I've been where you are twice. All worked out once depression treated.
That is what I thought, but he insists that it is not depression, just dissatisfaction with his life choices. Apparently the therapist agrees with him. He seems so depressed, but has always been very anti anti-depressants. He has seen them work for me, but insists they are not for him.
Single parenthood has its challenges, OP, but it's also easier in many ways. For instance, I never had to deal with the emotional turmoil caused by the midlife 'crisis' of a selfish DH. Nor the stress of having to balance relationship with new parenthood. I was able to focus on myself and my LO purely.
I can't tell you how many women with children I've met since having my DD, who would be so much happier single. Because the main source of unhappiness and stress was their partners. Just saying.
In terms of your DH, he might be getting jitters due to the onset of parenthood and things might settle once baby arrives and he gets used to it. As for the counselling, definitely worth a try.
Hope things work out and all the best with baby.
That's the same age as me and my DH, OP. We'll be 33 and 36 in a few months and in all honesty, I'd be furious if DH did that to me. We have two children and I'd be wanting to just out him out on his arse for that kind of bombshell dropping.
As much as I have sympathy for anyone struggling with their mental health, he's put you in a terrible position where you'll be questioning the relationship for a long time to come and that's a mind fuck.
I'm not sure how you do it but you need to start to feel control of the relationship and on an even keel.
I really feel for you OP
35 sounds too early for a MLC.
I think you need to focus on yourself and the pregnancy right now.
Also try and not be too dependant on him emotionally...it can put pressure on him and isnt healthy for you either.
You need external support.
How awful OP! I can only think that maybe he wasn't ready to become a father and realised that his life is going to change and that he's not happy about it?
Stay strong, OP. Sending you all the best wishes
You're right. I have been talking to my parents about the situation, but that makes DH uncomfortable because these are his issues, and he is a private person. But he does acknowledge that I need support, and says he can't stop me from doing it.
Bit of a drip feed about the first child there! That is a huge change in his life as well as yours which had all sorts of psychological complications.
I think it is good that he is talking to you, wants to commit to you. Is doing counselling.
On the other hand if he is wobbling now what will he be like with a year of no sleep?
Maybe you can join the councilling sessions. It may help both of you.
Also I think you need to work on your independence. This is insurance for you, but may actually help your partner too, relieving some pressure etc.
Good luck though. Its a tricky time ahead.
It's good that he's seeing a therapist but surely they're not qualified to diagnose depression?
He ought to see a doctor too and for him to just arbitrarily refuse medication is very selfish.
Where is the dripfeed? The pregnancy was mentioned in the first post
What Lifeisabeach09 said plus you will meet so many people and build up an amazing support network once DD Is here particularly if you go to all the baby type groups and classes going. for the stress DH is putting you under. As a long term sufferer of severe depression I have NEVER treated someone as he has treated you. More like a 'go away I'll only drag you down ' type thing rather than bulllet pointing deeply hurtful statements aimed at you.
I'm very sorry about what you're going through. I must take issue with one thing you wrote though... You say you love him "unconditionally." I certainly hope this isn't true. Our love for our partners has many conditions, as it SHOULD. If it doesn't, that means you are willing to put up with any kind of treatment or behaviours, even at a huge cost to your own well-being. I'm happy he has started counseling, but at the same time I am dumbfounded as to why he told you such hurtful information. He thinks about leaving you, wishes he never got married, wants a BREAK?? He didn't consider the horrible pain he would put you through by sharing this? He could have saved that shit for his therapist.
Could it be possible he's having an affair? There seems to be a lot of possible guilt hidden in his "revelations."
And FGS, STOP talking to your parents about your marital problems. No good will come from that.
Having a baby is a great way to make friends. Baby groups are brilliant.
Make your own life. Get friends to rely on for emotional support.
Oh, and you should be seeing a therapist too. If you can't afford for both of you to go every week then it will have to be a once a fortnight visit. Having him dump this shit on you during pregnancy is appalling, you are the one who needs the help.
Btw, interesting that he gets all depressed and says he might leave you just at the point you have something in your life, the pregnancy, that means your attention isn't 100% on him.
She's pregnant and her husband is all but abandoning her mentally, she is going to need all the support she can get. Who better than her parents?
I agree the op needs support, but her parents are not neutral parties. Her telling her parents about the horrible things he has said will only serve to permanently poison their feelings toward their daughter's husband, which will only cause MORE strife should the op decide to continue with the marriage. She needs a professional therapist who can advise her objectively.
I agree to a point, but the therapist won't help with the baby...
He still has testicles after these revelations?!?
Sorry, but I would be evaluating whether this was a man I could rely upon to be there by my side for the next forty or fifty years. I'm instantly cynical about this type of revelation, because it's usually followed by "it was a one-off" and "she means nothing, it's YOU I love."
What will he be like when you're in no mood for sex, the baby keeps you both awake and you're shattered? I'd tell him to buck up, or shut the fuck up.
Depression and anxiety can make you question everything and everyone op. I would hold fire on assuming he wants to leave. Give it a set time and then see where he is at.
I don’t know. The refusing to see a doctor would be refusing to try to me. Where has he said he acknowledges that no matter how he feels about you or work or life there is a tiny baby about to appear and he owes that baby responsibility? How long will you be happy with whatever crumbs he has to spare you in this marriage? How much of this marriage is your responsibility not both of you? I would tell my dh I am about to give birth to our first child. I have listened and tried to support you for months. The next few months need to be about supporting our baby and me as the woman you married who will give birth to that. If you really can’t do that then you should take that break, but you don’t get a right of return.
He had two terrible bereavements in a quick succession a couple of years ago, and apparently things have just gone downhill ever since.
Grief - unresolved- has a habit of coming back to the fore when other huge life experiences crop up to make you question things e.g. worries around being a good father.
My DH went through something similar around the time of our DC2. I was actually pretty livid with him, although that was unfair - but I had to deal with my own emotions. The difference was that my DH took all the drugs, his therapist did an excellent job giving him coping strategies on catastrophic thoughts and feelings of being a “failure” and showed him how to focus on his achievements and the good things in life, via CBT and hypnosis among other things.
Your DH’s therapist doesn’t sound great, if they’re just agreeing with your DH that’s it’s non-specific dissatisfaction. Or your DH is not being truthful.
I think you need to be clear to your DH - you love him very much, you support him, but the responsibility to get well is his, and you need him too. Your focus needs to be on the baby and yourself for a little while - this is not a rejection of him. Get some counselling for yourself (your midwife may be able to help signpost this) and sign up to baby groups/NCT etc. Keep talking to your parents- don’t talk about your DH’s issues or personal feelings, as that could make it hard in the future for them and him to keep a good relationship, but focus on getting the support you need from them - talk about your feelings.
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