Leaving OH with mental health problems and young son? Main breadwinner.(4 Posts)
I have nc as I need some advice please as I am feeling at breaking point and don't know what to do.
Have been with OH for over a decade, always had a very 'intense' relationship, older than me and an artist, he can be very loving but also emotionally abusive at times. He was a heavy drinker and dope smoker which caused problems but gave up some years ago as I threatened to leave him if he didn't stop. He was subsequently diagnosed with mental health issues (BPD, depression and anxiety) three years ago and is on medication and had multiple bouts of counselling. Basically he had been self-medicating for years before I met him. I have been supportive of him throughout even though it has been a nightmare at times. Family and friends and work know the basics of his condition and are supportive of me. I have had counselling to help me deal with the stress of dealing with all of this. Things have been bad recently so we are both due to have more counselling via the Nhs and Relate counselling together after that.
He resigned from his low paid p/t job when he had a breakdown and hasn't worked since and I have always paid all of the bills anyway and been the 'responsible' one. I am now relatively high earning and in quite a stressful job. We rent a house and have separate finances and debts.
We now have a wonderful ten month old son and the plan was for him to care for him full time when I return to work in the NY after a year off. However, I am now doubting whether I want this to happen.
Basically, all of the anger and resentment I had before and got over because of his not working and contributing financially has resurfaced because of his mean behaviour as well as his lazy and unfair attitude around the house whilst I am on maternity leave. He refuses to share the housework equally (views doing the laundry as excusing him from doing anything else such as cooking, washing up and cleaning) and hasn't taken a huge amount of interest in the day to day aspects of raising a baby. He likes all the fun bits but has left most of it to me. His excuse has been that it's because I'm breastfeeding. I have had to really fight to get him to do his share. When he does, I feel like he is doing me a favour rather than sharing the load and he often gets tired and angry and takes to bed for the day. To be fair, when I have left him for the day for kit days at work he has just got on with it and part of me thinks that they might be ok together when I go back to work and they can find their own routine.
My main issue is that he has a short fuse and can be hypercritical and calls me horrible names, blows up for no reason, etc. He has no control over his emotions and it is like living with child and I have to walk on eggshells much of the time. I have coped with this for so long that I have numbed myself to this reality. Despite all of this I do still love him.
I am afraid that if I try to leave him he will threaten suicide (he did this once before) and he has literally nowhere to go. He has few friends and a bad relationship with his mother.
Part of me wants to just hope that things will improve as the alternative just seems too horrendous and exhausting to contemplate, but I know that this is not a healthy environment for our son to grow up in and deep down I know that he won't change. I am also afraid that if I decide to wait and then want to leave him once he has been a house husband caring for our son that he may get custody and maintenance etc.This is a real fear now.
I just don't know what to do and the thought of going back to work is making me feel really stressed.
You know sometimes when you've done all you can you have to take stock and see what needs to be done for you. Why should he get better? He has you as his permanent whipping boy and supportive crutch. Now you've got a child in the mix and that's a load of life lessons that child really really doesn't need to be learn.
The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and still expecting a different outcome. This horse is dead stop flogging it, if you were my client I'de be saying the same, put an exit strategy in to place and get the hell out of there.
He is a grown up he isnt and never was your responsibility, if he has a genuine diagnosed BPD then he will require proper treatment by professional long term,
The 3 C 's are
You didn't cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
Please don't subject that new life to this quagmire of un happiness, oh and congratulations
What Guiltypleasures said 100%, & currently there's no need for him to change because his life is how he likes it & if you know deep down that he's not capable of change then do you really want to be living like this for the next 40 odd years?!
You have a duty to your son to bring him up in a healthy supportive loving home & it sounds as though your OH is not really capable of this & I would have a real fear that he would resent your DS for taking 'his' place as the dependent of the relationship. You touched on this above but the relationship you model for your son now will be his idea of how an adult relationship works & he may apply these rules to his own life. A child should not have to see his mother walking on eggshells or being verbally abused. He cannot be the reason why you stay with this man! What child has ever been happy that they were the reason their mother stayed in a shitty relationship?!
If you decide to leave him then his mental stability, his happiness & where he lives are no longer your concern or your responsibility. Whatever he chooses to do isn't your fault. If he threatens suicide then that's his choice & you must not be controlled by him any more.
You are in a strong position to rent another house & just make a clean split from him. Get some advice about the access options, for example you don't have to allow unsupervised contact with him or night visits if they are not in your son's best interests.
The man sounds bloody toxic, get yourself out of there & your day to day life will be so much easier & happier!
I am also afraid that if I decide to wait and then want to leave him once he has been a house husband caring for our son that he may get custody and maintenance etc.
Your fear is real as it may be indeed be the case that you will become maintenance paying non-resident parent if you don't act now.
Are your joint names on the tenancy agreement and how long does it have to run? Are you financially able to rent another property for you and your dc and organise childcare before you are due to return to work?
I have to walk on eggshells much of the time There is no way you should even think of participating in couples counselling with him as it is not recommended where one party is being abused by the other.
Part of me wants to just hope that things will improve as the alternative just seems too horrendous and exhausting to contemplate As you know full well that nothing will improve, hold fast to the thought that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and keep on putting one foot in front of the other until you have freed yourself and your dc from what will inevitably be a life of misery for both of you if you don't start walking the talk.
If he threatens suicide call the police and make them aware of his mental health issues.
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