Is there a thread on here for support for wives and girlfriends of people suffering from depression/anxiety?(157 Posts)
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
@recklessruby yes counselling was the best thing I ever did. It was a mix of hypnotherapy and cbt and addressed all sorts of things from my whole life that I didn’t realise I was holding onto. I initially went because the situation with my dh was so stressful. As previous posters have said, he was sucking all of the joy from the lives of me and our two children. I was constantly having to be mindful of what I said or even how my face looked! Incase it set him off. He was only violent twice in 16 years, in the first 5 years, but it was always in the back of my mind that it was a possibility. Mostly he would go into himself and could spend days just staring at the tv. I started having massive panic attacks which scared me so much as I always thought I was a relaxed easy going person so I went to counselling, she taught me how to recognise my feelings and not feel guilty about wanting to put myself and my children first. At one point she even said to me “he hasn’t changed in 16 years and you are here, paying me so you can change for him”! That was the turning point for me. I realise I had changed almost beyond recognition, from the life loving person I was into an eggshell treading shadow. I was doing everything to keep my family together, I had given up a successful well paying career because my husband couldn’t cope with doing his fair share and I was exhausted with doing a full time job and everything else. Also, I thought about the lessons I was teaching my girls about relationships!
I supported him to move out. Gave him the deposit for a place and got on with my life. He has a better relationship with his kids as he now has to spend meaningful time with them and I don’t feel any guilt, thanks to my therapist. I know I did everything I possibly could for my dh but one person can’t shoulder everything in a family or a relationship. You only live once and you will regret it in the end if you don’t live for yourself and do the best for any children you have.
The therapy was expensive but worth every penny.
Don’t feel guilty and why is your dh more important than you? Is he doing everything he possibly could to get better or help himself?
1cantpickaname did counselling help? I m on ads myself but it was suggested and i declined as i felt disloyal to ds saying i m suffering while supporting him as he is the important one here.
I haven’t rtft but wants to say that after 16 years together, 13 years married, my dh and I separated. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like I was constantly making allowances for his depression and anxiety. I tried everything from tough love to total support and offered to pay for counselling. The final straw for me was realising that he wouldn’t do anything to help himself, even when he knew it would be the end of us and him living with his kids. It was really tough, I went to counselling myself because I couldn’t cope
Can mums join too? I m supporting my adult son who has PTSD and depression and i m cracking up inside with the pressure to appear normal and reliable and grown up.
He is 31 and signed off work just now. He lives with me since his gf kicked him put.
I love him so much but i blame myself as i suffer from depression and anxiety too.
I have finally had enough. For eighteen years I’ve battled on and struggled to keep our family together and put up with way more than I deserve with everything being put down to partners depression and anxiety. But there’s been so much more and I am fed up of every time I challenge him there’s an excuse and he uses depression often as an excuse. I’ve now been contacted by a woman he’s been involved with who it turns out is just one of many. He’s always said fishing is the one thing that helps him when he’s low but actually now realise that’s not where he’s been. That this woman had been on my fb and looking at my children sickens me. He has shown a total lack of respect for me and our children bringing his shit to our door. I have told him we are done he’s had his chances. I need a life and feel totally mugged off. He thinks I am over reacting and so what if he’s messaging other women. He cheated on me when our oldest child was a baby and I caught him. For the sake of the baby and his 6&8 yr old kids from his first marriage Who we were sharing custody of I gave him another chance. I didn’t want them not to have a relationship with their half siblings and to have to deal with another broken home. Our youngest child is three and I feel crap for not continuing to fight to keep her family together and our other kids will be devastated. But a line has been crossed and the trust destroyed.
I hear you all. It is so draining and it makes us very prone to D also. That is why it is so important to look after your own well being, find an outlet, make a bit of space in the day to do something just for yourself, even if it only having a nice drink/cake/biscuit and watching some TV your partner wouldn't approve of.
Jamie being financially trapped is dreadful I know how it feels.
Do you think we should get the thread moved to Relationships for more traffic? Would it be a more natural home for it?
Hey can I join too? Reading these posts with tears in my eyes. DH was diagnosed 3 years ago with a chronic health condition, now suffers PTSD as a result of the surgery & goes through periods of depression as he can longer work & is unable to do many physical tasks. I used to have a lovely life before this...worked part-time, picked kids up from school. Now I'm stressed to the hills back working full time, worried sick about money. DH is so self absorbed in his illness, all he talks about is how unwell he is. If I mention one of the kids is unwell he turns the conversation round to him & his issues. When he's low, he checks out of family life for weeks & basically sleeps. I'm exhausted running after the DC & working & im so worried how his negative behaviour is impacting on the kids as I feel he just drains any happiness out of us. If I mention the impact he's having on us he accuses me of being selfish & making this all about me! It's got to the stage now I hate him. I would walk out the door if I could afford it but unfortunately it's not an option. Family & friends are supportive but don't understand what it's like living with someone who's ill - I'm trying to remain positive but he's slowly wearing me into the ground. These posts have been a real comfort to me knowing I'm not alone xx
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
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 .
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
@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.
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.
@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.
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?
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