Relationship advice - please help(12 Posts)
I need advice and to just vent. I'm really sorry because this will be looooong! My husband and I have now been together 13 years, married for 6 and we have a wonderful 6 month old son who we both adore. My husband suffered significant trauma in childhood and early adulthood for which he hasn't ever sought counselling and he can be very difficult. He is an only child and is essentially orphaned. There are times (prolonged spells) when he is perfectly pleasant, reasonable, funny and we get on very well; but also times when he is argumentative, verbally abusive and extremely unpleasant. He is prone to anxiety and depression. He is a hoarder but is in fairness to him he is trying to sell some of the items he has kept for years.
I relocated 300 miles away (for a job and to be closer to my parents with a view of starting a family) almost 3 years ago after prolonged discussion with him and the plan was for my husband to follow me once our house had sold. We've had some really bad luck with flooding in the house we're selling, problems with workmen both in the house we bought and the one we're selling and it has genuinely been a nightmare.
When things were better between us approximately 18 months ago we decided to try and conceive which we did quickly but I miscarried 7-8 weeks in and I was devastated. After this he had a sudden change of heart and didn't want a child at that point anymore. I was crushed as I was thrilled we were expecting and couldn't bear to not be pregnant. We used an app based upon my cycle to avoid conceiving the next month but this clearly didn't work (and 9 months later our son was born!) but he accused me of deliberately misleading him to intentionally get pregnant (I genuinely didn't although I was clearly over the moon to be pregnant again). However over the course of the pregnancy our relationship and his mental health disintegrated. At times he was suicidal. He said that he felt abandoned by me and that I'd made little effort to help him to leave the house we are trying to sell. I felt abandoned too and extremely alone (to the point of panic attacks). I was trying to get our new house in a livable state too doing much of the decorating myself and project managing what I physically could not do. Although I probably could have done more to help him I have made significant efforts to try and get us all together including disposing of as much of my own possessions as I could, and he certainly could have moved before our son was born with the suggestions and help I could physically contribute. It is very difficult to just get on and try and pack up/deal with his things myself. I'd be told I was doing it all wrong, he'd become very anxious over it, verbally abusive, etc... but he becomes overwhelmed and can't actually deal with it himself either! It's very difficult for both of us.
Once my son and I were discharged from doctors and hospital we moved back in with my husband, but myself, baby and dog make the 300+ mile drive every 3-4 weeks to visit family, friends, call into work, etc... My husband and I have gradually rebuilt some sort of friendship/relationship and often get on well. On the whole I enjoy his company. He genuinely loves our son with all his heart and despite everything has a great bond with him. He is a very good Dad. He admits he is not as hands on with our son as he could be but he is still breastfed and won't accept a bottle so I understand this is difficult. I am happy to do the lions share of the raising of our son.
Unfortunately in the time I have been away he has become obsessed with politics and regularly (most days) wants to engage me in arguments with him about it which always end in him ranting, shouting, being abusive and insulting. I'm not remotely interested in arguing with him about anything and will do almost anything to avoid conflict but I find his political views completely at odds with my own and I won't just blindly agree with anything he says. I often just say nothing or try and change the subject but that apparently is indicative of my political persuasion and he can't just agree to disagree. Although I'm nowhere near as consumed by my political position as he is, we both genuinely consider each other brainwashed by our respective "sides", maybe we're both right? Unfortunately all this makes me realise I really quite dislike him and I certainly don't want our son to think his level of disrespect, name calling and so on is a normal, loving relationship. We seem to have nothing in common as politics and conspiracy theory is now his primary interest aside from mma and motorbikes (not my thing either). He had loads of friends when we first met but they seem to have gone by the wayside. Some are actually more extreme and obsessive than him so I'm quite pleased to a certain extent that they're not an influence on his life and opinion anymore. I have reconnected with some of our female friends while I've been back but he is actually extremely isolated here.
I started getting nauseated two weeks ago and found out much to our shock last week that I was pregnant again (positive test on Wednesday which came up straightaway) despite still breastfeeding, not having had a period and there only being one possible conception date but sadly (perhaps fortunately) I seem to have had another very early miscarriage this week and now only get negative tests. I'd hoped he might have twigged that maybe we are just lucky and just fall pregnant very easily and I didnt deviously get pregnant last time but he doesn't seem to acknowledge this. He doesn't actually seem convinced that I was pregnant this time at all as he thinks maybe it was a false positive test which I know is not possible. I am clearly upset but not devastated as my son would only be 14 months when the baby was probably due, we can't really afford another baby yet but I also realised I'm not convinced I actually want another child with my husband as although I genuinely have a deep affection for him I'm not sure I love or even like him as a person anymore and I certainly don't want to be a single mother of two. He has made it clear on several occasions that he doesn't love me anymore but I think in theory if he could he would move the 300 miles and live with us although I'm not sure this is what I want anymore. I've realised I would like a rewarding, meaningful relationship and probably another child. I'm not sure if this is something that I could have with my husband anymore. He still refuses to have any sort of counselling to deal with his issues.
I could possibly make do alone financially although it would be very tough but I'm reluctant to separate my husband from his son when he is so vulnerable and isolated and my son does need his father in his life, not 300 miles away.
So help, please! Would you send my husband away somewhere and deal with all his stuff and run the risk of doing it all wrong and the fall - out from that, and then put up with our flawed marriage, constantly hoping the relationship will get better forever as I have for the last 13 years? Or would you callously leave him to it, take his son away from him and try to move on? Moving back here permanently is not an option for me as my work opportunities are very restricted here and I need to be near my family more than ever. Any advice is appreciated.
Wow, tough situation. What do you feel like you want to do? Sounds like you want out but feel guilty?
I really don't know. Maybe I'm still all over the place hormonally with breastfeeding and pregnancy but his reaction to this latest miscarriage has been very cold. I would feel extremely guilty ending our marriage and I don't particularly want to be a single parent but I don't know how you can both fall back in love with someone you don't especially like. Thanks for taking the time to read it all Aria999 x
I would leave. It sounds like you’ve outgrown each other / both changed and the relationship doesn’t work anymore. I think if you were both planning to move away to the place 300 miles away (?) then I would just continue with that idea and it’s up to your dh to go along with that as a single parent - that’s what you were all going to do anyway isn’t it?
As a side note breastfeeding is never a reliable contraceptive. You must use some other form as well - condoms or the pill etc, not natural family planning which is essentially trying for a baby!
This is a tricky one! When he has his spells of being happy and fine, do you feel happy in the relationship? It sounds like he’s got some serious mental health issues and I wonder if things would be better if you had an ‘intervention’ of sorts and told him that it was time to seek proper help? But something has to change one way or the other because, as you’ve said, you don’t want to bring your son up in an environment where he thinks it is ok to treat you like that.
Sounds like you're in a tough situation.
I'm sorry for your miscarriage, you need to take time to process it.
Personally your husband sounds troubled, and not able to take control of his life and see what good is in his life and what he faces losing if he doesn't try to gain control.
He should seek counselling for his past childhood and also regarding his abusive argumentative behaviour towards you. If that doesn't stop then it will become the norm for your son to grow up into.
I personally would move the 300 miles, be closer to your family as it's bloody hard bringing up a child and you'll need your family support network to allow you to return to work/odd time to yourself to recharge etc and it will be good for your son to bond and grow knowing that shouting is not normal for any parents.
If your husband wants to be part of your family then he needs to be told to seek help for himself and understand how his current behaviour is affecting you and your son and he needs to address his past. An addictive personality isn't healthy.
Tell him you're there to support him (even as a friend if you decide the relationship is over) try be amicable for your son.
Sorry for the essay. Good luck ❤️
I don't think you're being unreasonable.
If he's still receptive to talking things over, and you are seriously thinking about leaving, you could try telling him you're seriously thinking about ending it and why, and see if that acts as a wake up call. I know if my OH was as unhappy as you are I would want to know so I could try to change my behavior. It's possible you would like him more again if he was nicer to you!
Difficult given he has some MH issues but if he wants to make it work he will need to take some responsibility for how he's behaving (e.g. seek help, acknowledge it).
P.s. I don't think I could be with a conspiracy theorist though, it would drive me nuts.
From the descriptions you've given, there could be uepd at play here (I'm a sufferer). I suggest he needs help with his mental health.
Id also suggest that the relationship is becoming toxic and you probably need to walk away.
Finally, as gently as I can, I'd suggest that you revisit your contraceptive options (meant respectfully) because bringing another baby into this will only make life more difficult for you, and you're in a difficult enough situation as it is.
I'm sorry for your losses and it does sound an awful situation. If it were me, I'd walk away. The issues you describe won't get better on their own.
Thanks for your input everyone. I was using contraception but as our relationship seemed to be going down the toilet it seemed pointless so I stopped taking it. I'll definitely be using this as a learning experience as you're completely right, another child doesn't need adding into the mix the way we are. When things are good I very much enjoy his company and I can be lulled into thinking everything is OK. I really don't think he's a bad person but he is very damaged from his upbringing and essentially losing both parents at such a young age. I've never heard of uepd candylebonbon. I'll look into that thank you. I hope you are in good health at the moment?
Inevitably the baby and I will be 300 miles away in the new year as my maternity leave ends and my job is there. I suppose its a case of do I go crazy packing up all his stuff (because he can't cope with doing it himself) and moving it up there or do I just leave him to it here? I can't escape the fact that underneath his exterior there is a hurt little boy and I don't think I could bring myself to properly abandon him this time. How do you get someone to accept help that they don't want?
In short op, you can't. You can't fix him. And you do need to think of yourself and your baby in this.
UEPD is a complicated diagnosis. If not managed it can cause you to become toxic with those around you. You absolutely can manage it but you need to be engaged and willing to actively participate in managing your condition. If he's not prepared to see it or engage with therapy there is nothing you can do and you need to save yourself.
I'm so sorry op. It's hard and there is guilt but the only person who can save him is himself.
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