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Help with husband’s MH

(6 Posts)
Cherry1910 Mon 27-Jul-20 14:21:43

Hi everyone,

I’m really struggling at the moment. For the past year I’ve seen my husbands MH decline. I believe it was initially stress induced through work but has now developed into a mild to moderate depressive state. I have tried over the year to support him as best I can but it’s become so exhausting. We have three young children and have no immediate support with this. He won’t seek professional help at all, not even peer support and won’t even entertain the idea of therapy or anything. He won’t talk to anyone about it and is convinced no one cares. Yet so many have reached out to him, but he writes it off as “they just say it, they don’t mean it.” Having experiences with MH myself I understand how it can be and the negative thought cycles, I’ve tried hard to support him through them and try to guide him to the reality of the thoughts.

He is in complete denial about the effect of his MH on us as a family. He thinks if he acts like he’s fine then it’s fine. But it’s not fine and I feel I’m constantly trying to compensate and try to buffer it all with our children.

We rarely argued but now we’re arguing regularly. I feel I’m having to walk on eggshells constantly with what I say and any emotions/feelings I show as he gets frustrated with me if I have an emotional reaction. Yesterday we were chatting and he was saying he wasn’t getting on with the type of exercise shorts he was wearing. I suggested he asked a specific person for advice as they might’ve tried a different type that they could recommend. Ended up in a blazing row and then he said that by suggesting he ask someone for advice I had basically said I thought he was stupid, an idiot and that this person was more experienced and knew more than him. I said that is not what I meant, that when I said that I was thinking that people try different brands and have different experiences. Apparently that’s not what I implied and anytime in the past I have suggested he ask someone’s advice I have basically told him every time that I have no faith in him and that I think he’s an idiot. I’m just so lonely and overwhelmed with it all. I’m not angry with him but I am tired, so tired. He’s not an angry or aggressive man, but I feel like I’m living with a stranger. He’s not the man I married, or who I’ve spent the last 14 years knowing and loving.

Does anyone have any experience of supporting their husband on their own and can give me some advice. I feel like I’m carrying it on my own. When I’ve spoken to a friend about how I’m struggling with it he gets upset and annoyed with me and asks me consistently for days afterwards what was said and what their reaction was, so I’ve stopped talking to my friend and Mum about it. I’m starting to feel overwhelmed and alone. I’m being supported with my MH which I think is the reason I’ve been managing for so long. What can I do? Any helpful advice would be hugely appreciated. Sorry for the really long post. Take care all xx

OP’s posts: |
SongBirdsKeepSinging Mon 10-Aug-20 02:45:48

Hi op. I am in the same situation as you. I came on tonight to see if anyone else was in the same boat and came across your post.

How are things since you posted? I'm trying to get dh to agree to see the gp but he's adamant he's fine as he is. I came across a website remploy, they have an access to work mental health support service. It looks like it can be done online so I'm hoping dh might be willing to speak with them.

It's hard going isn't it. I have a cpn and I'm doing alright at the moment but I'm worried that I'll end up really unwell again if we carry on as we are.

Hope you're doing well and that things have improved for you.

BGirlBouillabaisse Mon 10-Aug-20 03:23:56

He has to want to get help, OP.

When DH had a nervous breakdown, we threw everything at it: counselling, chiropractor, herbal remedies, WFH, exercise. He was willing to try anything (he avoided meds but would have tried them had everything else not worked).

My advice is actually quite stark: he needs to seek help or you'll find alternative living arrangements. It's unfair on you and the kids that his MH is adversely affecting you.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 10-Aug-20 03:29:04

He won’t seek professional help at all, not even peer support and won’t even entertain the idea of therapy or anything.

If this is the case, there is absolutely nothing you can do to help him. You simply can't carry on this way. Tell him if he doesn't get help immediately your marriage will be over. Not as an ultimatum, but as a fact. This misery is not sustainable without massive collateral damage for you and your children.

Cherry1910 Mon 10-Aug-20 11:35:21

Hi, he still refuses any professional help. It’s tied closely to his job as they wouldn’t allow him to work if his MH is poor. We’re a single income family. I would take the risk but nothing I can say will convince him it’d be ok. I have managed to persuade him to take St John’s wort and I ordered him a small self help book done similar to Hayes Manuals specifically targeting men and their MH. They seem to be helping, though I’m not sure he thinks so. I’ve explained how medication options are purely to give you the mental space to be able to work on the issues, not cure/fix the problem. He’s still not great though and is finding it hard. Some days are better than others. I had a mini breakdown the other day and it all came out about how hard I’m finding supporting him. He seems to have been working hard himself to feel better in some way, though I’m not sure how much of it is him going through the motions. I guess time will tell. I’m ok to support him but as said above, you can only support them, they have to do the work themselves. I’ve been open with him about where my line is with this whole situation. I’m hoping he’s finally turning a corner as it has been affecting our marriage, no matter how much he denies that fact, it does effect it. It affects us all. It has been well over a year that this has been building. I recognised the signs early on but he just kept saying he was fine and it’d sort itself out. I’m hoping he’s taking it seriously now. I really want and need him to x

OP’s posts: |
BGirlBouillabaisse Mon 10-Aug-20 13:37:36

Short term 'easy wins' for DH were Rescue Remedy, Lime Oil (sniff whenever feeling stressed), Vit B12 and Magnesium. This in conjunction with chiro and therapy really helped.

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