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DHs guilt about mental illness causing relationship problems.(18 Posts)
DH and I have been together 10 years. He has suffered with depression and episodes of psychosis all the time I have known him. We seperated for a short while in the past during his worst crisis because he became so paranoid about me. Since his diagnosis 4 years ago with medication and support he was stable for around 3 years and we rebuilt our relationship. Last year he had another crisis which resulted him becoming aggressive and threatening. He was detained under section 136 by the police overnight then released after psychiatric assessment. I am recovering from PTSD caused by this incident. DH feels very guilty about it. We are supposed to be starting family therapy soon to help us work through this.
One day last week I got home and smelled weed in the house. DH has self medicated with weed and alcohol in the past before he had support from the MH team. At the time we niavely thought it helped as it calmed him we now know that it may well have contributed to his illness. He stopped smoking it when his CPN explained this to him and got him medication instead. Last time I found out he had smoked it I went mad at him, but the CPN said it was a symptom that he wasn't coping and that this approach wasn't helpful. So this time although me first response was to think "it's over, I can't do this any more" I took a deep breath and sat down with him to discuss whats wrong. Yes he said he is really struggling at the moment. He is stressed by work but also he has found it really tough supporting my PTSD and he struggles to be arround me because he blames himself and feels so guilty about it. He also worries when he is away from me that I will hurt myself (I'm not going to, I had bad urges to self harm at one point but thats settled now).
The issue is he really doesn't seem to want to spend time with me these days. He goes to the pub almost every evening with his mates. This is a new thing, we always used to do things together. Even when we agree to have a date night he often goes out instead often straight from work. He never comes home drunk or stoned. He says the weed I smelled this time was a one off a mate had given him. He is still loving and affectionate when he is home. Plenty of cuddles and kisses. Its just he's hardly ever here these days. Today we had planned to do the garden together, but hes gone to the pub. I asked him not to, but he still went. Prommised to be home for 6.30 to do garden with me but not home yet.
I'm getting quite worried about our relationship now, desperately waiting to get a date for this family therapy and hoping that helps.
Hi there. It sounds like there is so much going on that it's hard for both of you but he seems to be withdrawing which must be really hard for you. When I found out about my hubbys affair my mum said build up your own life and I wish I had done that as he did it again (albeit not real but online) I was and still am all over the place. I think if I'd started building my life with activities as well as work and seeing friends I may not have dropped so low. It is however wrong of your Dh to not do things you've planned and hopefully when you have the counselling you can discuss things? There may be a lot of guilt there and it's easier to ignore you than face that???
So sorry this is going on for you right now especially as you've been so supportive of him during his episodes of psychosis. I know my dp struggled to talk about it during my episodes and would go out more regularly although not every night, I don't think its fair that your DH is doing this but the family therapy should help a lot and you'll hopefully get to the bottom of what he's thinking and feeling.
Thank you both. We have had a chat tonight. We've always been best friends and I've told him I don't feel like he's treating me like a best friend at the moment and that I felt like leaving him the other day. I don't want to add to the guilt or add stress to him but I'm asking him to face up to this with me rather than hide from it. I've told him I still love him. I just feel we are really struggling at the moment.
Its understandable that your relationship will feel like a struggle at times because you both have so much to deal with. So long as you keep communicating with him you can let him know how his behaviour doesn't just affect him but you also. It must be very stressful always having to be mindful of what you say so as not to trigger any stress in him but well done for talking about it with him tonight. The family therapy sounds like a really good idea, I hope it happens soon for you.
Thank you,nthe CPN has been talking about it for months but finally we've been told it will happen, just waiting for a start date now. It feels like we have been waiting forever, but I know how lucky we are to even be refered for it on the NHS. Interestingly though the CPN said most couples they offer it to turn it down where as DH and I are both really keen to do it, so I think thats a good starting point.
Oh anxious that sounds really tough, it can be hard when you both have mental illnesses. Hopefully the therapy will help you get back on track
I'm really surprised most people turn it down. If it were offered to me I'd jump at the chance. The fact you're both really keen to do it shows that you care a lot about each other and you both want your relationship to work.
Thanks guys. We do care about each other. The CPNs have picked up in the past that if we have a communication break down its generally because we are trying to protect each other. DH hardly slept last night after our chat, so I know he's worrying about what I said. So now I'm worrying about him and wondering if I should have said it.
I think you were definitely right to have said something to him otherwise he would of continued without realising how much it was affecting you and that may cause resentment to build up in you. By the sounds of it you handled it really well and you told him despite everything you still love him and he knows that but needed to know you don't like certain things he's been doing lately.
I think you're right, I hope so. I've been saying for a while I would like him to spent more time with me but it doesn't seem to be sinking in. He's started asking permission to go out, which winds me up. If I say yes its like he's off the hook, if I say no then I feel rotten. I don't want him to spend time with me because I've told him to I want him to spent time with me because he wants to. Right now I feel more like his mother than his wife. Yesterday when he came home late with a cheeky grin on his face and said oops am I in trouble. When he realised how unhappy with him I was he cooked tea and then when I was still unhappy he said "but I cooked tea" as if that was supposed to make everything ok again.
It sounds really tough to deal with at the moment but keep looking forward to the family therapy where I'm sure you'll be able to get all this across to him. How long have they said you'll be likely to wait for it?
I agree with Hayley you were definitely right to say something to him. It is only fair that he takes some time to consider how much his behaviour upsets you when you do so much to consider his feelings and support him. Did he tell you he hardly slept last night or did he keep you awake too?! I hope you were able to get some sleep. I hope the family therapy helps. Could you talk about what is upsetting you with the CPN who supports you and see if she can do anything to speed up the appointment. Is it a general family therapist you will be seeing or someone specially trained in mental health?
I kept waking up because he was so restless. He's been at work today but I've been able to catch up on sleep. I left a message for my family support CPN who has been organising the family therapy 2 weeks ago and he's not got back to me but its been Easter Holidays so he's probably had leave or been covering leave. Hopefully I'll hear from him this week. He hasnt said how long fkr the family therapy, just that the therapist had agreed to see us offered 4 different formats of therapy we could choose from and said he would let us know when they had a date available. The family therapist is a clinical psychologist specialising in family therapy who works with DHs team.
My phone packed in today apparently DH has been trying to call me all day to check I was ok, came home when I was out shopping and still couldn't contact me. Spent an hour wondering if I'd left him. He's stayed in and watched a film with me this evening though so hopefully something is sinking in!
Could be the wake up call he needed. Enjoy your evening in together.
Anxious I have no decent advice of my own but I've always admired the help you give on the MH boards. I really hope you get sorted and I'm thinking of you and your DH
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