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Is there a thread on here for support for wives and girlfriends of people suffering from depression/anxiety?

(158 Posts)
Biancadelriosback Sun 13-Jan-19 17:42:51

I know this is self centred of me but it's really difficult! DH has some days where he cant handle being around us. He isn't a dick, he is really depressed. When DS is having a tantrum or just being a difficult 2yo, sometimes DH just can't do it. He's burst into tears over nothing. Some days I spend my whole day being a mum, and looking after him. I can't rest. When there is housework to be done, he can so easily lose his shit over nothing and he gets so worked up that I have to send him away and do it myself.
He hates himself for this. I know he has had suicidal thoughts. He's been to the drs for help and he keeps getting fobbed off and given a number to call for CBT, he did and is now waiting on them to schedule his first session...he's been waiting for over 2 months. It eats away at him that he can't enjoy things anymore. He gets so worked up and stressed when we try to do something that he just breaks down.

I'm at breaking point. I'm exhausted. I've got a false smile plastered on my face at all times because if I'm having a bad day, it sets DH off. I am trying to keep things normal for DS but it's crushing. Last night I told DH I was going for a bath, but really I sat on the floor of the bathroom and drank a bottle of wine.

But DH needs support and help. I love him so powerfully and I know he loves me the same. He hates what he is doing to us which sends him on a downward spiral if he knows I'm upset. He never blames me and tries to hold as much in as he can but then it explodes out.

I just want to make happy memories (I know we all hate this phrase on here), when I look back at photos I don't want to be reminded of the struggle we had just to leave the house. DH won't speak to family or friends about it, he doesn't want to look weak, he doesn't want to show how much he is struggling. He says he feels emasculated.

I'm so scared I'm going to lose him, but I'm also worried I'm going to fail and ruin DSs childhood. I feel so helpless

MoreProseccoNow Fri 17-May-19 18:31:36

Thanks for bumping the thread.

I'm not sure if the answer to that one, @GassyAss - you can't force him to engage - but you can outline what that will mean for you eg "if you won't consider seeing the Dr, I will make an appt for you" or "I cannot continue this relationship if you won't seek help".

People generally lack insight when they are not well, and it's a very selfish illness where people struggle to see beyond themselves.

If my DP had told me he had depression beforehand, I would not have moved in with him.

GassyAss Fri 17-May-19 18:54:13

To be honest it helps someone else saying that. He is selfish and he wasn’t always like that.

SapatSea Sat 18-May-19 09:22:55

Gassy I agree with MoreProsecco you can't force him to seek help but you could try prodding him .The only thing that persuaded my H to see the GP was me going ahead and booking a double GP appointment (on the advice of my GP who I saw first) so that H didn't have to face that hurdle and basically giving him an ultimatum (that I would have acted on). I also wnet with him and sat in for the first half.

Another thing that really frustrates me is that my H will often do something if a friend or acquaintance (who he respects) suggests it but absolutely won't do the thing if I suggest it. So, if he has confided in a friend or relative could they help?

SapatSea Sat 18-May-19 09:25:37

It is often called "the selfish disease" in things I've read. It does feel like they are in "the me" show. I'm a bit fed up atm. I'd like to feel a bit cherished for once.

MoreProseccoNow Sat 18-May-19 09:36:13

Agree @SapatSea - and there's a lot of media coverage this week, with it being mental health week, all focusing on awareness & trying to address the stigma of mental health.

But there's very little out there shift how god-awful it can be living with MH issues!

So often on here, there's a thread on the topic from a poster who has a depressed partner - and it inevitably becomes about how awful it is to have MH issues, how hard it must be etc etc - and the poster is shouted down for daring to say that they are struggling to live with theirs partner's depression - how dare they complain?! Because it must be SO much harder for the depressed person. As if you have to be some kind of sodding saint or martyr & just put up with it!

Ok, rant over!

GassyAss Sat 18-May-19 09:51:06

Thank you all, there’s some good for thought there. I’ve given him a Women Hour podcast to listen to about anxiety and relationships. It was interesting for me to hear the impact on the partners and how the sufferer didn’t realise the extend their anxiety hit others. I’m hoping this might give him a nudge as you suggest. I’m having to seriously nudge him to listen to it though...hmm

colouringinpro Sat 18-May-19 10:06:41

Love to all. My OH has had severe mentally illness for 15 years, finally diagnosed as bipolar 2 years ago. It killed our marriage. All the trauma around near successful suicide attempt, psychotic episodes, terrible things he said about me when ill has just killed things. I feel sorry for him but I can't live with him. I often don't like or respect him which makes me feel bad as I know a lot of it (Not all?) Is as a result of his illness.

@twinstar29 we separated after he came out of psych hosp for the second time. He's still very much involved in family life and with the children, as they're very fond of him.

Yes it was a very hard decision but it was the right one for me. I have to be OK, both for me and the kids.

SapatSea Sun 19-May-19 15:00:42

Colouring you are right, you have to do the right thing for the family, especially the children.

Has anyone attended any support groups? (are there any)

Was there help there form the NHS when you needed it?

I felt I was just totally cut adrift. The GP couldn't tell me what he discussed with H. We had a joint appointment with GP who said H was "thinking along illogical pathways". H had been accusing me of allsorts, I was quite scared. The GP suggested I have a bag packed, a stash of cash and all important documents in case I needed to flee, but ...sorry, there is no help available for you, no counselling nothing! Have others had a better experience?

I read two books by Anne Sheffield about Depression Fallout and being a carer which helped a little, as did the associated forum

Although a book by Lundy Bancroft about relationships: Should I stay or should I go? actually helped me most, as I started to set boundaries and became more selfish/caring of myself and my own MH after reading it.

Have you found any books/sites that helped?

MoreProseccoNow Sun 19-May-19 17:14:07

@SapatSea - thanks for these - I keep meaning to read the "stay or go" book.

I've found "co-dependency for dummies" the best so far.

I had counselling on my own, which I found the most helpful- that's where I discovered I had co-dependent traits - it was an eye-opener.

colouringinpro Wed 22-May-19 20:18:03

Bumping for anyone struggling tonight.

SapatSea Fri 24-May-19 08:37:15

I have often wondered if I'm codependent too. I'm certainly an absolute people pleaser. The book I read on it years ago was mainy aimed at partners of drug and alcohol addicts and it didn't quite fit. I guess I should re visit the concept.

MoreProseccoNow Fri 24-May-19 10:54:48

@SapatSea - you might be thinking about the Melody Beattie book, which has an angle about alcoholics & religion.

I've definitely found the "dummies" book better - there are exercises & self-assessment sections - I found it really helpful.

I think my partner is about to be offered a job - thank F*ck as he was let go in January & had nothing since - getting to the point of selling the house.

I've been really stressed with it all - had 3 years living with his depression; I'm now getting anxiety-type symptoms because of the strain.

This is not what I signed up for!!! He didn't tell me about his depression until after I moved away from family & friends, to be with him - 5 years in to the relationship!!! Just feeling so angry.

TheTitOfTheIceberg Fri 24-May-19 11:12:49

Posting to send you all love and strength and in recognition/solidarity. Don't have the time or mental energy to write it all down here right now but will come back to this thread which suddenly looks like a lifeline I didn't know I needed. DH with bipolar disorder. It's hard.

herecomestherainagain2 Fri 24-May-19 12:29:40

I am not quite in this situation anymore as I ended it 6 months ago but reading this makes me feel guilty to some extend that I walked away but i could not manage anymore. Exh has depression and anxiety and self medicated with alcohol and codeine. Depression and anxiety only really Baden evident when he tried to drop the drinking. I am guessing that suppressed his emotions.

But all of this rings so so true. I struggled in that I felt he didn't manage himself - he would be on a downward spiral and would would not go to the doctors until it was nearly crisis point and of course then they say no appointments for x days and he gets worked up. So we always felt in a battle. He also did not do any of the things people say you should do such as good diet, exercise use etc (I haven't suffered so maybe I am wrong to assume that they do help)

I was main bread winner he worked part time and I just felt responsible for everything. The entire mental load, all life admin. He never took the children out anywhere unless it was something I booked and even then would be minimum time.

Anything I said / did was taken the wrong way.

My youngest said yesterday daddy has texted you better reply as he gets cross if you don't do it straight away.

When I ended it (not directly because of the depression / anxiety) I felt such a weight lift off me that I hadn't realised was there. PP have said about the black cloud over the house and that's how it had felt before.

SapatSea Fri 24-May-19 13:19:12

herecomes a black cloud over the house sums it up really well. I do worry about the effect on the DC as I feel despite trying to "keep up appearances" that there is a strange tense atmosphere that there never used to be.

MoreProsecco I really hope your H gets the job. Mine hasn't had anything for over a year and sporadic before that. Usually I 'm the rescuer but have been ill and as self employed with no insurance I've had no sick pay. We are about to put out beloved home on the market as our savings which we've being using to pay the mortgage are about to run out. The stress is almost intolerable, I feel my life is such a failure, fed up of stress, fed up of always scrimping and saving and just having no fun anymore. I'm sure my illness (old long standing but controllable condition no longer under control) is a long term result of all the stress.

I have 4 DC but feel utterly heartsick about our youngest who is sixteen, it must be crap for him with all the doom and gloom. He's not the happy lad he used to be and hated the estate agents coming to value the house this week. I just want to howl!!

herecomestherainagain2 Fri 24-May-19 13:39:38


I think it had been affecting my dd more than I realised. There was a lot of tension in the house and that literally cleared overnight. They have had no visible issues since either at school or home so I think I they are much happier. And although it sounds horrible he was so I engaged in family life it was actually barely noticeable when he moved out. As an example he would go out to support meetings on a Saturday night and me and dd would watch Saturday night telly (stay up late treat as the youngest was only 5/6). He would come back about 9.15 and immediately expect them to go to bed and switch telly to what he wanted. It just felt like there was this switch in the house when he came back.

I am reading this thread and thinking should I have done more been more supportive (I am very much a just get on with it person) but I just could not deal with all of that as well as being the main earner in a demanding job - it even affected that. If for example I had a lot on I felt I had to do at home in the evening as if I said I am staying late at work there would be an immediate 'oh' and change in the tone of his voice felt like resentment of me not being home so he could do his own thing.

troubleintheheartland Fri 24-May-19 15:05:03

Also posting in solidarity, thoughts with everyone in the same position.

I read Living with the Black Dog: How to Cope When Your Partner Is Depressed by Caroline Carr the other week and found it helpful, if anyone is looking for other things to read. It's actually something my husband bought for me, in some ways I feel lucky that he's doing his absolute best to try and get on top of this illness (never had it before in his life but is being treated for prostate cancer with hormone therapy, depression is a side effect if you can believe it) and he does show me a lot of consideration when he's not engulfed in the dark clouds.

SapatSea Sun 26-May-19 17:31:39


Redfire88 Tue 28-May-19 11:10:27

We’re struggling at the moment. Two challenging 4 year olds and DH who has been depressed on and off since they were born. When he’s depressed he doesn’t engage with us that much and when he does it’s usually to shout at the DCs. We had an argument yesterday after he’d asked yet again why they won’t just behave and I said I was fed up with him always complaining about they’re behaviour and how awful they are when they’re actually very well behaved that ended with me being told to F*ck Off. Needless to say I did for the rest of the day. He was in tears saying he didn’t know why he even bothered to get up (lots of back story...he’s never really engaged with how we’re going to parent, leaves it to me then complains when they’re not perfect. He goes straight to shouting NO then when they don’t do as he says instantly he huffs and says “We’ll don’t then!” (or “For fuck’s sake” which is just lovely) so he never actually gets them to do as he says. If I ever try and address things with him I’m calling him a bad father. He won’t engage in conversations, won’t find info for himself and never reads anything I send him. I’m trying to raise our DC to have some emotional intelligence so they don’t end up like him but it’s bloody difficult). He’s still asleep and I know he’ll thank me at some point for letting him sleep in. Truth is, I haven’t “let” him, I just can’t be bothered dealing with getting him up. I try to talk about things but he doesn’t engage. I’ve suggested therapy and offered to go with him (doesn’t like counsellors, part in thanks to his mum’s views!). I’ve asked him to go to the doctor for AD. I’ve asked him to get signed off. He’s not interested in any of it. I said yesterday that we can’t go on like this and something needs to change. We’ve both had depression in the past and have talked about it and what helped but he doesn’t seem to be able/want to do anything. His upbringing wasn’t the best and he grew up with a shitty dad in a shouty environment so I know how much he has to deal with. At the moment he hates his job but can’t seem to get the energy to do anything about it so just depends into the pit even further. I know how it feels in there and it is heartbreaking o have to watch and not be able to help. I love him so much but it’s affecting our little family and something has got to change. I can’t go on indefinitely as I have no space to be me and feel like I have to be on guard to step in when he gets too shouty. Depression can f*ck off!!!

SapatSea Tue 28-May-19 12:18:41

RedFire that sounds really tough and with it ongoing now for a long time. Can yout H not see that he is emulating his own problematic childhood if shouts at the children? Are you at the thinking of asking him to leave stage?

Often an ultimatum that you would act on works (it doesn't work if you give it a few months and then just continue on as "normal"). If you are walking on eggshells then that is no way to live and shouting at you and the DC is abusive. No matter how depressed I don't believe that gives anyone the right to be abuse their loved ones. It also seems that sadly he doesn't want to help himself at present if he is rebuffing all suggestions of help.

You probably also don't need me telling you that having a depressed partner means you are also more likely to sucumb to it. The tension and resentment is so hard to bear. I do think you need to try laying it on the line to him again for the sake of your DC.

I think I mentioned it upthread but I found Lundy Bancroft's "Should I stay or should I go?" helpful in deciding exactly what changes my H needed to start making for there to be hope for our relationship. If you have a nice GP you could go and speak to them about your situation, whilst they couldn't offer me counselling etc they were able to tell me what help H could access so I could put it to him and persuade him to go along with me to a prebooked appointment.

Vent/talk about thigs as much as you like here. I hope you are having a good day.

SapatSea Thu 30-May-19 11:19:54


SapatSea Sat 01-Jun-19 15:30:00

Hope everyone is doing well atm

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Mon 03-Jun-19 19:57:32

Thanks for bumping, I am so pleased to have found this thread.

My DH has quite bad social anxiety (is a bit scared to leave the house in case he bumps into the neighbours, always moans in the run up to any social event, even ones he want to attend or has organised) and possibly depression as well.
It's fairly low level stuff, not as bad as some of the things on here, but bad enough to affect me and our DD.
He said it would be too stressful going on holiday (we've been on one international holiday since our honeymoon 5 years ago, which I booked and organised. It was to see one of my friends so it was fairly easy.) so I organised to go camping with a friend and our kids for a few days last week and DH kept saying how he'd miss me, and when I came back said how lonely he was and that we should go sometime.
But every time we do anything he's a miserable bugger and doesn't make it very enjoyable for me, a lot of the time.
I understand he can't help this but it's really difficult to cope with. He's such a pessimist. He is seeing a CBT counsellor which is helping a little but think we've still a way to go.

I have bought the book suggested earlier, living with depression, I hope that will give me some pointers.

Thanks again. Will keep watching and reading.

Cryalot2 Mon 03-Jun-19 20:09:36

Gosh how can I have missed this?
Dh has depression ( on meds) but he has other health issues.
I have stress and anxiety., I think it may well have started with menopause of which I got no help
So many other things going on that I could go on for ever.
Our wee dog has been our saving grace .

RayChi6 Mon 03-Jun-19 21:29:41

Hi! I hope you don't mind me joining? I have been pointed in the direction of this post by a kind member who read my post about struggling to cope with my depressed partner. Wow...I am not alone. I now feel his mood is negatively affecting me and this is why I am reaching out for help. X

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