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DP's illness and the pressure it's put on our relationship

(11 Posts)
changedmynameihave Tue 19-Jul-11 14:58:55

DP and I have been together for 11 years, two children, one a toddler who can be a poor sleeper.

He has a history of being a bit inconsiderate, taking me for granted, being a little bit selfish and lazy at times. Not to any great degree but enough for me to resent him occasionally. I have always pulled him up when it got too much, he would improve for a while and then gradually it would go back to me always getting up at the weekend, him leaving rubbish on the floor, him not putting his clothes in the wash himself and so forth.

Recently he's been seriously ill and has spent a long time in hospital. We have no family nearby so it was very hard for all of us. His illness has left him with CFS/ME. Currently he works two days a week.

While he was ill I coped well and rushed around sorting out children, speakingto people, keeping the house vaguely hygenic, visiting him. Once he was improved and able to do more for himself my own health suffered. I have a history of depression and that has reared it's head again, I am permanently exhausted, wake up feeling knackered every morning, not finding much fun in life, everything is a chore.

I have been signed off wor kby my GP because of the above. I am also waiting to start a course of CBT type counselling to help me deal with stuff better.

After him saying that his illness made him realise what was important and that he was a changed man, he has gone back to the same old same old.

Yes he has CFS and I know that it's genuine and I am doing my best to be sympathetic. However every morning I am picking up his dirty clothes, rubbish and dirty crockery from the living room floor before I can let the toddler in there. He has also been known to leave his medication lying around where the toddler can get to it.

A small thing I know but it's driving me potty.

SO this morning, the dc's are all at school/nursery, dh is at work. The first day in a long time that I'm getting a whole day to myself. I've done all the essentials in the house, shopping is done etc so I can spend the day having a much needed rest (dp did too much last week and spent the majority of the last three days on the sofa while I see to dc's do housework cook meals etc etc pretty much on my own.

The toddler was sick in the car so couldn't go to nursery. I said to dp "oh I could cry, I was looking forward to a rest today and now I have to clean the car and spend the day with a poorly toddler." I was expecting smoe sort of sympathyt I suppose but all I got was stroppines and a fairly impressive tantrum about "why is everything all my (ie dp's) fault" - all because I said to him (again) that I am tired, at the end of my tether and need help. He has said a couple of times that he'd ring his parents to ask them to stay for a few days tohelp us out but hasn't done so. I think he lost his temper a bit because he'd been caught out being a bit crap.

So this mornig I have rung the IL's myself (in floods of tears, how embarasing) and they will come over at the weekend for a few days.

I understand he has been and still is ill, but I resent that I am being left to do EVERYTHING. Stuff like cleaning and childcare that he struggles with, I have no issue with really, but he can make a phone call, he can throw his own rubbish away.

A very long post for a bit of a non issue, sorry, but I need to get this out there.

Thanks for reading.

ImperialBlether Tue 19-Jul-11 15:19:43

I'm so sorry you're feeling like this. I don't blame you, anyone would feel awful living in that situation.

Is there any way he could go to stay with his parents? If they stay surely there'll be more pressure on you? If he went to stay with them for a while then at least you wouldn't be clearing up after him all the time.

No matter how ill he feels, he should pick up medication, for god's sake! Unless he's on his death bed he shouldn't be leaving rubbish or clothes about, either. Think of all the women who have chemo who still have to look after their families. He's being very unreasonable not doing more.

changedmynameihave Tue 19-Jul-11 15:30:35

I wish ImperialBlether. They live too far away, a two hour drive each way. He is at work and aside from that he finds sitting in a car very painful due to his illness. I am having to drive everywhere as he's had to (temporarily) surrender his licence. It will put me under pressure to have them here but they are fantastic with the children and I am finding weekends hard, if they could take them for a good day out and leave me at home or get up with them at breakfast so I can sleep in a bit, that would be brilliant. Worth the extra hassle, for a short time at least.

To be fair the medication thing has only happened a couple of times, he's more careful about that now. But the rubbish/clothes is every day.

GabrieleJ Tue 19-Jul-11 15:38:14

I can understand how frustrated you must feel. I'm really sorry it's not much help but all you can do I think is to sit down with him and explain how you feel and be as calm as possible. I understand that he's not well but it sounds that he doesn't even try to help you. It shouldn't be all up to you to get everything sorted. Looking after two children is hard enough as it is and you shouldn't have to pick up after someone else as well. If he can't really help you physically at least he should be supportive and understand that sometimes you feel drained and exhausted and all you need is a pat on the back and a white lie...

I'm really sorry it's so hard for you at the moment hopefully few days of in-laws help will give you some time to yourself and some long deserved rest.

changedmynameihave Tue 19-Jul-11 15:45:40

I have spoken to him calmly, he knows exactly how I've been feeling, I've been telling him in easy sentences with short words. No ambiguity but no blame and no shouting, not until today anyway. About ten days ago I said (and I beleive this is pretty much word for word) "I am knackered, I am at the end of my tether, I need help and because you arenn't well enough to help me we need to get help from someone else before I completely lose the plot". That was when he said he'd ring his parents, which he then didn't do.

I spoke to him earlier and he kept going on about how it's hard for all of us. I wanted to scream at him "YES BUT YOU CAN SIT ON THE SOFA ALL DAY FINDING IT HARD WHILST I RUN AROUND DOING FUCKING EVERYTHING", in fact I may even have said that <Red mist> but all I seem to be getting from him at the moment is how hard his illness has been for HIM and HE needs to rest.

changedmynameihave Tue 19-Jul-11 15:46:36

Sorry I am ranting

Thanks for replying smile

changedmynameihave Tue 19-Jul-11 15:51:42

He is rubbish at pacing himself so he doesn't get the big crashes. He works two days a week, so after one of his days in last wek he went out for a meal straight after work with his friends. Got home about 10ish. Helped me sort out the flea problem in the house (arrrghhh) on fri morning but since then did pretty much fuck all until this morning when he went back off to work.

He is in pain but would rather sit on the sofa feeling sorry for himself than go to the doctor. I had to nag him to go last week, he has a new drug regime which is helping, this is after he spent another weekend curled up on the sofa complaining.

I am constantly nagging him and reminding him he has responsibilities as a parent/partner/adult and that he needs to be sensible to give him the best chance of feeling well and being able to take part in family life.

I am so very tired of it all.

GabrieleJ Wed 20-Jul-11 13:34:45

Before he got ill was he helping around the house properly?
He needs to get of his arse for the sake of both of you and your family, it never helps to sit and pity yourself, if you're ill or not... I understand that he's in pain and not 100% but that is not en excuse to do fuck all... I don't know what can you do... Could you stay at your friend's or with family for few days so you both have sometime apart might sound horrible but if talking and nagging and anything else don't work maybe some time apart would. You could cool down and won't have to pick after him for a while, and hopefully he'll understand how much you actually do then... Or does he need someone to care for him daily?

paddypoopants Wed 20-Jul-11 13:46:16

I'm sorry that he is ill but if he can manage to go out for a meal with his friends after work, he can manage to give you a bit of a hand and tidy up his own stuff. It sounds horrible for you. I hope you get some help soon.

CinnabarRed Wed 20-Jul-11 13:47:20

Apart from anything else, it takes much less effort to clear up as you go along than to leave it all to the end of the day. Terry Pratchett once said that truly lazy people are more organised than others, because the best way to minimse effort is to stay on top of things.

Assuming he's well enough to take himself to the loo or to make a cuppa for himself, then there's no reason why he shouldn't be taking his dirty clothes and crockery through with him. If he can't make it upstairs to the laundry bin, then he can put his dirty clothes straight in the washing machine.

No need at all for him to live like a slob.

Regarding your poor-sleeping toddler, might this coming weekend be the time to start taking action? I was wondering whether, with your in-laws to support you, it might be a good chance to nip whatever the problem is in the bud? Everyone feels much better for a proper night's sleep.

CinnabarRed Wed 20-Jul-11 13:48:03

And I'm really sorry your toddler is poorly. Hope s/he is better soon.

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