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Am I being immature and stupid about this and if so why do I feel so hurt? (long - so so sorry)

(83 Posts)
possiblyinthewrong Mon 03-Oct-11 16:42:14

It was my birthday a few days ago. I’ve been having a really stressful time at work and even though I could ill afford the day off I decided to sod it and take a day’s leave. This was discussed with DH beforehand. In fact we had quite a lengthy chat about not going out for dinner due to lack of babysitter and the cost of it but I said that it would be nice to go for a lunch offer somewhere inexpensive and have take the opportunity to have some time with DD (2.9) in the afternoon . I had arranged for friends to come over the next day and was feeling pretty positive about things.

Background – DH is a SAHD but this is not through mutual agreement. He had anxiety issues and was struggling with his job and was in the process of being managed out when he left over a year ago. The whole thing was pretty awful at the time – the job started to go badly wrong for him, he felt he was being bullied, I had started a new job after ML which was very stressful and highly pressured. At the time I had said that I would give it 6 months but if it wasn’t suitable and I couldn’t get the balance I wanted with DD then I would look for something else. Within days of starting this job, he fessed up that things were going wrong at work. Then there were lies about going to work when he wasn’t turning up. He got himself signed off and didn’t tell me, he instructed a law firm about unfair dismissal, discrimination, bullying without telling me and paid for it out of our joint account, he got put on half pay due to the lengthy periods of time he wasn’t working and didn’t tell me. I was going out of my mind at the time – I was humiliated on more than one occasion when I called to speak to him and he hadn’t gone in. I knew that they’d all be talking about it when I put the phone down. All the time I had this really stressful new job to try and settle into. I saw that I had no choice but to get my head down and do it as I knew his work wasn’t secure. It isn’t compatible with family life at all and I’ve missed out on lots of DD’s milestones. I would have liked to have had another baby quite soon after DD but that is not on the cards any longer. I carry a lot of hurt and anger around with me because of this.

Sorry – off topic but to try and give some background and because I started typing and it all just sort if fell out.

Anyway a year or so of struggling and then he finally left the job. I was frantic about our finances and sad that it meant that I had absolutely no choice but to keep going on the treadmill but there was a certain amount of relief that it was over. That was over a year ago and he hasn’t worked since. Initially DD stayed in nursery for a bit while I thought he would try and look for work. He says that he has tried but in all this time one job interview and offer materialised which was unworkable because of the geographical location. He has worked hard looking after DD but I hate the way things have worked out. We did discuss and agree how things would work after kids and this certainly wasn’t it. Anyway, he has made no financial contribution to our household since he left his job. I feel completely alone in managing our finances.

So – when it came round to my birthday there were some things I needed and we agreed that I’d buy some winter boots. I said that I’d have a look around, choose them and send him a link. The way it turned out, I went and bought them and paid for them myself (not even out of the joint account) and brought them home and told him to put them away until my birthday. The next day my sister was over and I asked him to dig them out to get a second opinion from her. I was fretting about the money side of things and didn’t want to make an expensive mistake. Anyway she liked them so I gave them back and said to put them away but they just got left out and junk mail etc piled on top of them.

Basically on the day of my birthday, I came down to find the boots and a card from him and a card from DD and nothing else. Not even a token gesture of flowers picked from the garden or cheapo chocolates or wine or anything. So I just stood there and thought well after all the pain of the last couple of years, after me paying for EVERYTHING for all of us, working like a loon with no chink of light at the end of the tunnel, no hope of moving on, no baby, fertility issues, ticking body clock and no hope of what he will do with himself, no plan of what he will do, will he EVER go and get a job? Will he keep a job? Will I have to be a parent to him for the rest of my life? Will he ever know what happens with our bank accounts or how and when the bills get paid? After all of this, all I’m worth is something I went and got and paid for myself with no thought from him. I felt really hurt and even more so when it became apparent that he had not planned lunch or made any arrangements at all for the rare day off that I’d managed to book. We ended up rowing. Had an absolutely awful day.

My mum texted me but didn’t bother calling. Her card arrived a day late. Silly really but that was just about the final nail in the coffin.

I hate birthdays – I think this one has hit me so hard because I kept the faith and believed that he would get himself sorted, get a plan, a job. And bang another year has gone by and nothing has happened. I stress about our finances while he doesn’t seem bothered. I stay awake stressing about work and don’t have a waking moment of peace in my day. He has been thinking about retraining as a teacher – last night after this most horrid of weekends he landed the final blow by telling me that he is almost decided about applying and if he does he will get enrolled by September 2012 and trained by 2013. I could cry – I just went and sat in the dark and sobbed for an hour. At no point is any of this couched in terms of how this will be managed or how we will pay for childcare and tuition fees. I’ve worked so hard to finally clear my student debt and get debt free save for the mortgage and I just feel depressed that this will lead us back into debt and he gives me no confidence that he will stick with it and 2 more years of me as sole breadwinner. And no baby. No baby. I’m not even happy for my friends when they’re pregnant – of course I tell them that I am but it hurts so much, it makes me want to gasp for air.

I’m so sorry this is so long and so off topic. Am I being immature and silly to feel like this is a slap in the face. I felt so low the last few days I couldn’t get my words out without my voice cracking. DD has seen me crying and it isn’t fair on her. I know it isn’t really about a present – it’s just wanting to be looked after and thought about for once. Everyone just assumes I’ll always cope and will get on with it regardless. My mum probably didn’t think for a moment I’d be hurt by her not calling me. Is it just me or do other people end up feeling absolutely wretched on their birthday too?

sloggies Mon 03-Oct-11 16:51:57

I'm sorry this is so difficult for you, and no, I don't think its you. It is important to feel appreciated. Is it possible DH is a bit depressed? Not saying it makes it any less hard for you. Have you told me you feel you are doing it/responsible for it all? Could you, in a reasonable way? Then take it from there? Belated Happy Birthday btw. x

Hullygully Mon 03-Oct-11 16:56:06

Oh pore ol you. That is horrid.

I think, once you are able to do so calmly, you need to have an absolutely honest conversation with him about what's going on so that you can look at the options and make some choices. You can't carry on hoping and being disappointed. And yes, it does sound like he's depressed.

pallymama Mon 03-Oct-11 17:04:24

Sorry to sound like an echo, but I agree you need to calmly sit down with your DH and get all this off your chest, and give him a chance to do the same if needed. Sounds like you had an awful time. I'd be feeling hurt too in your position.

waterrat Mon 03-Oct-11 17:10:18

he isn't being a partner to you - in the real sense. He is not supporting you, working with you or thinking of your needs. He isn't doing anything to get a job because he doesn't have to - he knows you will pick up the slack.
although it must hurt that you can't have a baby - surely you would be better off focusing on whether your relationship is worth saving, rather than thinking about that. If you left, you might meet someone else and you could have a new family. I'm not being glib, it just sounds as though you are the only person putting anything into family life - and he is like a child, acting with no thought at all for the consequences.

YOu need to get all this out in the open, your anger, your hurt, your astonishment that he would consider teacher training without serious dicussion - ifyou want to save the relationship then he needs to make serious changes, it sounds though as you have allowed it to carry on this way - perhaps because you have been too tired to change things?

If he doesnt change - then, he will eventually completely wear you down and destroy your sanity...

VespaJasper Mon 03-Oct-11 17:10:59

You've both been going through an awful time, by the sound of it. I second sloggies. Have you or could you tell him how you feel? If you're frazzled it's hard but you could try and see how it goes? Do you have anyone else to talk to?

buzzskillington Mon 03-Oct-11 17:15:36

You poor thing sad.

I think you need to ask him to get treatment for his depression, if he isn't already.

Longterm, him teacher training might be good for your family, but I think he could perhaps look at other routes than PGCE, as it's not the only way - there's one way where you work as a teacher as you qualify, can't remember the initials for it confused. Also it's quite tough to get into, so he needs to be doing voluntary work with children or better yet (for you) a teaching assistant job/other paid work with children.

I'm so sorry that you're so unhappy.

possiblyinthewrong Mon 03-Oct-11 17:59:55

Thanks so much for the replies to what is let's face it a self indulgent whinge.

We seem to have done nothing but talk (well row) about things for the last 2 years. We're both so very damaged by everything and carrying so much hurt that it ends up in rage or crying or both from one or other or both. It's so draining and exhausting. We go through periods of avoiding talking about things and live in relative unhappy calm. In fairness to him, he is very good with DD and I do recognise that it isn't easy with a little one. He has also done bits and bobs of work experience in the last 12 months but none of it seems to bring the decision making to a head. It's more than a year since he has started talking about teaching but he missed last year's deadline - it just drifted by without me knowing and without him doing anything about it.

I'm not sure that he is depressed - he has a very happy time with DD and they often laugh and lark around. He is relaxed and why wouldn't he be, no work stress, no deadlines, no mad dashes across the country to meetings, no responsibility for anything outside the house. He does have anxious episodes and has definitely lost his confidence in himself professionally - he has taken anti anxiety drugs for the last couple of years.

We've been to relate but it didn't work out. He has had counselling privately - but not in the last 6 months. I even saw a counsellor for a short while but couldn't make time to do it regularly and it left me drained and upset and feeling hopeless.

If I felt he was minded to help himself, to take control that woudl help me but it's always the same 'I forgot'. It's as thouh I have to keep going regardless of how hard or untenable the situation but that he has very little capacity or tolerance for difficult situations and very quickly decides to step out and say it's too hard. I find it hard to imagine what our lives will be like in the future. I look at him asleep in bed and wonder where his self respect is. I have always been fiercely independent (perhaps that's my problem) and wouldn't dream of simply expecting somebdy else to pick up the tab. Even on maternity leave I had saved up so that I kept contributing the same amount into teh joint account and mortgage as usual. I didn't feel it was fair that he shoudl shoulder that burden.

Still - I can't stop typing. Who knew it could be so cathartic.

buzzskillington Mon 03-Oct-11 18:14:56

I think you have to have that very honest conversation.

You sound like you've lost all respect for him, and you need to work out whether you can get that back or whether it's gone forever.

VespaJasper Mon 03-Oct-11 18:19:45

Feeling unhappy isn't self indulgent. What you are describing does sound draining and exhausting. It's unfortunate none of the counselling worked out but it sounds like you need some proper support from somewhere. Sometimes the right counsellor isn't found the first time - could you try and find another one? If the typing is helping that's great! Keep doing it, both on here and for yourself where no one can read it too.

sayithowitis Mon 03-Oct-11 18:50:47

I think people often assume that depression automatically means the sufferer has to be miserable all the time and that somebody cannot have depression if they have no obvious stress. I think that is wrong. Whilst I am sure that there is a trigger, it doesn't always follow that depression only happens when someone has 'something to be depressed about'. I have known several people who suffer/have suffered with depression.

The first is someone who, on the face of it, has everything she could want - a loving and strong relationship with her husband, a healthy and happy family with two high achieving and talented children, a lovely home, no money worries and a job she does because she loves it and regards it as her hobby rather than a job. She, herself, says, she has everything she ever wanted out of life. She is the life and soul of any social gathering. And yet, her depression is such that she is regularly hospitalised for weeks at a time when she has an episode.

The second, is someone who again, on the face of it, had no reason to be depressed. Thankfully, with treatment and therapy, that is now behind the person and their life is truly on the up.

The third person was another who seemingly had everything going their way - a strong and supportive marriage, a young child who really was the light of his parents lives, no money worries etc. You get the picture. But despite all the positive things in her life, she committed suicide. Leaving behind a distraught husband and a child who, ten years on, doesn't remember his mother.

You may not believe your DH is depressed, but from what you say, there are lots of triggers. He was effectively managed out of his job, he has a wife who is resentful of the way her life has turned out with him and who desperately wants another child. A child he may want just as desperately and yet, at the moment, cannot afford to have. His self esteem has taken a real bashing over tha past couple of years. so, yes, I do think it is a definite possibility that he could be depressed and the GP would be my first port of call.

It's very, very hard living with someone who is depressed. Make sure you have other people around to support you while you support your DH.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 03-Oct-11 19:17:38

Poor OP. I really do feel for you. You sound like my mum, trapped with a 'man-child' who knows that whatever happens, you'll somehow 'pull it out of the hat' and keep things ticking along... because you have no choice. I think that is the crux of what's upsetting you the 'NO CHOICE' aspect.

I don't think your DH is depressed, I think he's blocking you out. You make him feel bad (poor lamb) because he has to face up to the fact that a) he left his job without lining up another one and b) because he's left it all this time to find something else to dabble in and c) he hasn't discussed any of this with you.

I'm not surprised at all that you're upset - I would be too. It's a horrid situation to be in.

Can your DH move out for a while? Go to his parents? Friends? Do the childcare for his daughter in the day somewhere else? He isn't going to move from his position of comfort unless that comfort becomes 'uncomfortable'. That's when you'll get the measure of how much he wants to take care of his family - it's his job to do that as much as yours.

He needs to find a job - and be working at finding one. If you both decide that you want him to be a SAHD then fair enough but right now you sound resentful that time is ticking along, you'd like another baby and you can't because you have no support from your husband.

I think you're going to have to have a very serious talk with him, OP. He doesn't 'get it' and he won't because whilst he's understanding full well that there's a problem, he doesn't want there to be any changes... well that's not his call. Put it in a letter if you have to, give it to him, sit opposite, quietely, until he's read it and tell him that this stops now.... and you make a life plan together or separately or whatever you need to do.

Don't let it go, OP, you'll carry regrets into your relationship and wreck it forever if you let him carry on not doing something for his family.

possiblyinthewrong Mon 03-Oct-11 20:10:11

I see what you're saying sayithowitis and I can see that what I've said is very 'woe is me' and seems to ignore the suffering on DH's part. I acknowledge the mental health issues - he has been having treatment for anxiety though rather than depression. Believe me he wasn't away from the GPs for the last 2 years. Everyday I'm tortured that he might snap - I've been a person left to try and understand suicide previously. You cannot imagine how acutely I am aware of that. I was much younger - 21 and my boyfriend committed suicide. My biggest fear is that I somehow drive not one but two people to such an action. That would be the end of my life. my |Dh knows how paraniod I am and has assured me he is not in that sort of place and never has been.

Depression/any mental illness is a fucker. And not just for the person suffering it. I know what it is to be at the bottom of the dark hole with no way out. I also know how much my loved ones suffered the pain of my being in that state.

BUT how long do you stay in a situation that is so bleak for everybody? Where all the colour is stripped out of life? Where you are making yourself sick with work just to stand still? How long? Forever? This situation unchanged could persist for the rest of my thirties, perhaps all of my forties. How long before somebody snaps? What of my DD? Is this healthy for a little girl? Can I go on indefinitely? I'm not sure I can sustain this. What if next year we're in the same place except time has passed and it will be even more difficult for DH to face working life. Must I leave the house in a stressed rush every morning shutting the door behind me. Shall I, the sole person servicing a mortgage, be the only person never to spend time there. Shall I stand by while DH gets to read magazines, watch films, have hobbies while I have no time to do anything that is mine?

Ormirian Mon 03-Oct-11 20:18:53

"BUT how long do you stay in a situation that is so bleak for everybody?"

Well that's up to you.

But don't underestimate the sheer misery of what your partner is going through. Been there. It's hideous, dreadful and terrifying. And I had no choice but to keep working. It nearly killed me. Try to be pleased that you are able to give him a chance to get better in his own time. You sound a little like you don't beleive he is ill? Until you have been there you have no idea.

However, you have a right to your own life too. Only you can make your mind up as to when you have reached the end. You can only support him when you have the resources to do so. It sounds as if you have run out of them. It might be time to say 'sorry, but I can't do this any more'.

Ormirian Mon 03-Oct-11 20:20:33

"Must I leave the house in a stressed rush every morning shutting the door behind me. "

That's normal IMO for any working parent - unless you can afford a nanny.

Ormirian Mon 03-Oct-11 20:25:12

"He has worked hard looking after DD but I hate the way things have worked out. We did discuss and agree how things would work after kids and this certainly wasn’t it. Anyway, he has made no financial contribution to our household since he left his job. I feel completely alone in managing our finances."

How would you feel if you heard a father talking about his situation in this way?

buzzskeleton Mon 03-Oct-11 20:30:10

Yes, but it's not the life the OP wants, is it?

She wants to do more of the primary care of the dc, have another baby, but she has fertility issues and feels her body clock ticking away, and feels she can't ttc because of being the breadwinner. He basically has what she wants, I think.

Couldn't he get a part-time job to take off some of the financial pressure? Even if it was something fairly low-pressure and possibly not well-paid - would that ease the pressure on you at all, OP?

Ormirian Mon 03-Oct-11 20:31:25

I agree. Which is why I suggested she needs to consider walking away.

possiblyinthewrong Mon 03-Oct-11 20:31:57

If I heard a father or mother talking that way I would feel sorry that they had been put in a position that hadn't been agreed. If they had discussed and agreed as adults that each would try to find work with reasonable hours and share financial burdens and domestic life equally I'd genuinely feel sorry for a man that found they had to be the sole breadwinner and take every financial commitment and bill, every responsibility on if that is not what they felt able to do. Wouldn't you?

Why does it matter with I am a woman or a man. I'm in a situation with no choices - I can't just opt or change my mind. The job market is shit. I've lost so much time with my daughter. I can't risk leaving my job and not being able to keep a roof over our heads.

I'd feel sympathy - I really would.

possiblyinthewrong Mon 03-Oct-11 20:34:43

We've talked about it. I actually think shelf stacking or something might be teh way to build some connifdence back. Get in the swing of having to be in a certain place at a certain time and meeting colleagues, getting to know people, fitting in. I'm not precious. Any steps towards work, hopefully paid would help. Even voluntary work would be something although our finances won't take any more childcare fees on one salary and the mortgage to pay. We live away from either family (for our careers) which doesn't help.

ImperialBlether Mon 03-Oct-11 20:36:28

I think some people have been very, very hard on you, OP.

Ormirian, why should she be stressed first thing, if her husband is off work? He should be up and dealing with their child, leaving the OP to get ready for work, knowing everything will be dealt with.

This man doesn't sound depressed. He sounds like he's regressed into childhood and is relying on the OP to do absolutely everything. I couldn't cope with that, OP. He sounds dreadful.

The OP is lying awake worrying every night whilst he sleeps. She says she doesn't have one waking moment that's free from worry. And then people say he is depressed! The stress the OP is under is intolerable. I would be more worried about her having an accident due to stress than about him committing suicide. He sounds nowhere near that.

It's unforgivable that his plans involve waiting such a long time to start work when they need him to work now. It's unforgivable that he made up his mind on that without talking to her about it. And it's unforgivable that he left his job, hired a lawyer etc without discussing it with her. He assumed she would just take on the extra load - and she was just returning from maternity leave to do a very stressful job!

Why on earth is he thinking of a PGCE when teaching can be an incredibly stressful job? The teaching practice alone would send him over the edge if he has a prior problem with anxiety.

He treated you appallingly on your birthday, OP. You have become invisible to him. I think he gets fed up when you complain - that is completely different to being depressed.

I think the time has come for you to give him a deadline. If he hasn't got work within a set amount of time, he will have to move out and fend for himself. It's just not on that he is leaving you with this stress. And in the meantime, he should take on far more responsibility within the house.

OP I am infuriated on your behalf.

Ormirian Mon 03-Oct-11 20:38:25

I do sympathise. Honestly I do. I've been there so why wouldn't I?

But sympathy won't neccessarily fix your problem.

As it happens I sympathise with both of you. I am quite sure that part of the depression/anxiety continuum that I suffer from was caused by being forced into the position of main earner when I had small children and I really really wanted to be at home with them.

But shit happens! Plans don't work out. The future isn't as you imagined, And all you can do as an adult is deal with it. If you feel like your partner is malingering, or even if he isn't but you can't handle it anymore, perhaps it is the end of the road.

maxpower Mon 03-Oct-11 20:42:18

I've only read your first post in detail OP, but I don't think you're being silly and immature at all. It sounds like your DH is depressed and/or has had some sort of breakdown which he needs to get help for. It also sounds like you both need some counselling to help you work through a build up of trust issues.

We all need to feel looked after and special every now and again and I'd have been just as upset if I'd had the birthday you did.

CowboysGal Mon 03-Oct-11 20:50:38

Possiblyinthewrong after having read this a couple of times I have to ask...aside from the very stressful situation you are in and the difficulties you are currently experiencing as a couple-how do you actually feel about your DH?

possiblyinthewrong Mon 03-Oct-11 21:00:20

I don't know how I feel anymore. He tries to be intimate and I just can't. I feel too wound up with everything and stressed out. And as one poster puts it above, I crave what he has. Time with our DD and to look after the home a bit. He doesn't 'get' that always says I should drop my standards as I get upset if the house is a mess and I can't get time to get on top of it. I'm too angry on the inside to relax with him anymore. I feel stressed when I'm around him.

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