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Any advise for someone is a desolate relationship? DH depressed...

(22 Posts)
nuttynutmeg Mon 19-Sep-11 21:41:14

I'm having a miserable time. And I'm pretty sure DH is <long-term> depressed...

Me: V stressed. Feel at breaking point. LONELY. Desperately trying to cling onto a sense of self/ self-esteem. I've started to clench my teeth at night and I wake up now with face pain <dentist is making a night guard to stop my teeth being damaged any further shock> I did a race at the weekend <a HUGE THING for me> and DH didn't offer any encouragement at all and wasn't even in when I got back- like I'd asked him to be. Losing it with DH and with the kids. No parents- both dead. We have two lovely DC who can see that their mummy is cracking up. Long term under-supported. Feel like I'm doing everything.

DH: stuck in his private world of work-stress. Hardly notices me. Misses things with the kids eg. our 3yo needed help to go to the loo for a poo- she was desperate from his account... But he didn't hear and she soiled her pants sad. Forgets to feed kids at mealtimes. Fails to organise anything for them. No social contact with friends (no friends) Brings home a whole new "disaster" every day from work. No encouragement. Fails to do simple things that I ask "please, please, please open the bathroom window to let the steam out after a shower"- I've been asking this for years!! No interest in my life. DEFENSIVE. His parents live the other side of the world. Doesn't back up my efforts to encourage healthy eating/ fitness in us or kids. Relies on me. I can't trust him to look after kids properly. Disorganised and unreliable.

What to do? I'm losing it. I feel like I'm pulling a huge concrete block around behind me with DH.

nuttynutmeg Mon 19-Sep-11 21:49:14

in a desolate relationship- not is

buzzskillington Mon 19-Sep-11 21:51:23

What's he doing about his depression?

kunahero Mon 19-Sep-11 21:52:01

Poor you. How long has DH been depressed? If it depression then there is little you can do to fix him just be there for him and encourage him to get some help. But it does sound like there may be another underlying issue which you need to talk to him about. Have you tried sitting him down, gaffer taping him to a chair and letting him know how you feel.
Good Luck.

nuttynutmeg Mon 19-Sep-11 21:57:17

I have told him how I feel- his reaction is usually defensiveness. So we get nowhere.

I have asked him for 5 years to see a therapist. He has not managed to yet. <I sound like a complete mug now>

nuttynutmeg Mon 19-Sep-11 21:57:51


buzzskillington Mon 19-Sep-11 21:59:07

If he's not willing to do anything about his depression and it's been like this for years, then it leaves you little choice.

I'd be talking separation.

nuttynutmeg Mon 19-Sep-11 22:06:15

If we had no kids I'd leave straight away. I also have absolutely no one else in the world- parents dead, no one else to turn to. But he is the father of my (our) children and his parents are the only grandparents they have.

nuttynutmeg Mon 19-Sep-11 22:07:12

Any advice on getting DH through this? (without threatening divorce?)

buzzskillington Mon 19-Sep-11 22:14:54

If you've tried talking, you've asked him to seek help, and he's done nothing for 5 years, then really you are reduced to ultimatum time, as far as I can see - after all, you can't sneak anti-ds into his soup, you can't do the therapy for him.

He has to own the problem and he is the only one who can make the moves to improve his own mental health.

As it is, you're hanging on anyway so what is his incentive? You'll stick around whether he pays you attention, whether you're happy, whether he does anything for you & the dc or not.

Your alternative is to wait it out, but after 5 years, it's not looking like it's going to change on its own, is it?

Your children would still have their gps, whatever happens between you.

Spero Mon 19-Sep-11 22:16:12

Sorry. You can't cure him. If he won't get help, he is very unlikely to get better so you have to make a hard choice between staying and going.

Your children will be learning lessons from both of you about how they will live their adult lives. So you are not necessarily doing them a disservice by leaving. It might actually be the best thing for all of you.

I left a man who had failed to treat his depression for probably all of his adult life. He was horrible to live with; I am sorry he was ill but furious that he would not even try to take responsibility. But I guess that is the illness.

It doesn't really seem that you can go on as you are. So my advice would be; tell him you would like him to come to counselling with you. If he can't or won't, give it six months for you to go alone, get some head space to decide what you have to do.

bibbitybobbityhat Mon 19-Sep-11 22:19:00

I am very sorry you are going through this. I don't know what to suggest but just wanted you to know that I sympathise. I sincerely believe that depression is a contagious illness, and it is nigh-on impossible to live with a severely depressed person without becoming depressed yourself.

Perhaps concentrate on improving your own mental health as a first step?

swallowedAfly Mon 19-Sep-11 22:20:33

i don't even feel confident that it's depression reading that. most depression passes and even if you have recurrent depression you will have good periods. you are talking years of this behaviour - what makes you think it is depression?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 19-Sep-11 22:32:02

I think you know that it isn't possible to get anyone through anything if they're not willing to make the effort.

Your only hope is make it a dealbreaker - either he goes to his GP and asks for ADs and a referral for counselling/therapy or you will be off to see a solicitor about a divorce.

However, it seems to me that it's more likely that he's a selfish and inconsiderate asshole rather than suffering from depression, in which case your dealbreaker should be joint counselling at Relate or a similar organisation or the divorce court. .

If you do separate/divorce, there's no reason why he and your ILs won't be able to see the dc on a regular basis.

Although your dps are no longer alive, your situation is no different to that of many others who are, effectively, alone in the world but who don't allow any any inner feelings of lonlieness to blight their lives.

Spero Mon 19-Sep-11 22:32:46

My ex was probably depressed for at least three years on the trot. He has recently been on Citalopram for two years. I think it is quite possible for this to be depression, but bottom line is - you can't diagnose him, you can't treat him. All you can do is make it clear that things have to change. If he can't or won't get help, sadly you do have to give serious consideration to leaving.

cestlavielife Tue 20-Sep-11 13:13:20

what they said.
my ex was depressed for eyars - it got worse and worse til he literally exploded violently - which gave impetus to leave...

he is sitll depressed outside the relationship.
whatever you do - you cannot cure him.
staying with him wont cure him.
leaving him wont cure himn - unless he wants to be cured and helped.

read depression fallout espec the chapter on impact on children of depressed parents - you can mitigate this impact by your actions....

How You Can Survive When They're Depressed : Living and Coping with Depression Fallout [Paperback]
Anne Sheffield
Anne Sheffield (Author)
Price: £8.09

Spero Tue 20-Sep-11 13:27:57

Thank you so much for that link - just found Depression Fallout by Anne Sheffield and in the first paragraph she describes almost exactly my exes behaviour.

Depression isn't just about sitting passively in a corner.

SnowyHills Tue 20-Sep-11 14:08:09

I hope you don't mind me offering my thoughts from a male perspective but having gone through several months of depression following lots of work related stress and some very difficult times in my marriage I would strongly recommend counselling if you can persuade your partner to attend.

It really offers an opportunity to open up to someone who is not judgemental and who is independent of all your troubles.

Sometimes the insight into your childhood or your relationship makes everything fall into place. It has opened my eyes to many of the reasons for my unhappiness and that of my wife too.

I have now had 6 sessions with an independent counsellor and my confidence and happiness at home and at work has started to come back. It's a slow process but it does help.

Good luck.

soggy14 Tue 20-Sep-11 14:13:59

Are you maybe enabling him to get away with this? Ie how does he hold down his job - maybe you need to talk about/try a trial separation - even just you and the kids going a way for a couple of weeks so that he sees what life would be like on his own and then he'd hopefully realise that he needs to do something?

cestlavielife Tue 20-Sep-11 14:29:01

she says she "have asked him for 5 years to see a therapist. He has not managed to yet."

so going to counselling wont happen now will it?

my exP also still refusing to see a counsellor/therapist. lady who is supervising contact with DC tells him to do so - he wont listen to her or anyone. so be it. some people will never want to move on. you dont ahve to be dragged down with them

notsorted Tue 20-Sep-11 15:57:48

Sounds like you have got a pretty good range of opinions. The problem lies with him and it is up to him to change. The trial separation might be the big kick to knock him out of his way of thinking. A bit of time without you might force him to hit rock bottom and then he can begin to rise up again. It sounds like this is the last chance saloon. Be strong and set out the various scenarios. What stands out is that staying as you are is not going to help because you are facilitating him to carry on without treatment. If you can talk to the inlaws you might get a bit of perspective on his depression and hopefully get some support from them.

SnowyHills Tue 20-Sep-11 16:13:54

Cestlavie you are right. If he can't be persuaded after 5 years he won't change now.
If the problems between you just can't be resolved then separation may be the only answer especially if they (the problems) effect the kids behaviour or the way they see relationships in the future.
I was petrified with fear at the thought of separating from my wife/ family but life goes on and although it would be an awful process to go through if both of you would be happier separately then surely it would be better for the kids to see you this way.

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