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'D'H ignoring me - WWYD?

(21 Posts)
starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 08:34:09

It was non-stop yesterday: looking after 12w/o DS, walking dogs, preparing tea etc. Whilst making dinner,  I said to DH that we need to split work n the kitchen more fairly and he walked off without a word to me.  When I went after him to ask why, he said that I was telling him he wasn't pulling his weight again and that I chose to do the majority of the work. This week I had done more than my fair share because I'm so exhausted from discussing/arguing about it and - comically - I wanted to give him a break.
He's having a shit time at work and is clinically depressed but won't take ads for his depression, despite breaking down earlier thus week saying he's thought about suicide. Now he says he feels rejected and inadequate and he creates an atmosphere every time I try to talk to him about sharing child care, dog walking and cooking evenly on evenings and weekends. 
I've just had enough. Why the fuck can't he see how much I do despite my being ill? I've got a chronic illness that renders me disabled and I'm still recovering from the section so I start to feel quite a lot of pain in the evenings. Why won't he come and help me or tell me 'sit down - I'm taking over'. It would mean so much to me but he acts as though he's got nothing more to give.
I never married him to take on this role - I'm not a nag, I'm just not prepared to live in a shithole or act like some stepford robot who does it all for him and seethes underneath.
I told him I won't stand for him emotionally blackmailing me. I'm now on strike - I didn't serve him a plate at dinner last night (he chose to go without rather than serve himself) and I slept with DS in the spare room - I refuse to share a bed with a man with such a lack of respect for me (pointless in the end as he slept on the couch).
I'm at the end of my tether here. He's just stalked into the room, picked up DS and stalked back out (of course he's waited until I fed and changed him!) Not a word from him since the falling out last night. How do I deal with this?

thanks if you got this far smile

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 08:36:56

Lurker driven overground here btw blush

3littlefrogs Sat 20-Oct-12 08:44:27

What is he doing with ds now?

He needs to get treatment for his depression. The question is, how do you make him do it? Is there anyone else he would listen to?

How did he get the diagnosis originally?

Offred Sat 20-Oct-12 08:45:12

How do you want to deal with it? I don't think you are going to get him to change after all that are you? So, do you stay and accept this life of slavery or leave?

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 08:59:38

3littlefrogs he's just having quality time with him - I can hear him crooning at DS from the other room. How do I make him do it? I always thought talking about it and working out what's fair and what's best for all of us would be the answer. I just feel stupid for believing it would work out like that. Diagnosed 3 years ago after 10+ years of symptoms.

Offred I'm considering leaving atm but I know I'd beat myself up for leaving him while he was ill and without pursuing counselling. I need to get things on a more even keel on the immediate future iyswim?

struwelpeter Sat 20-Oct-12 09:02:43

It is emotionally exhausting to have to deal with this as well as your baby, your illness and post C-section.
He may be very scared, unable to cope, Depression can leave a person feeling like an animal caught in the headlights, too petrified to move.
However, he needs to see this for himself or with the help of a professional. Sadly, anything you do may very easily be perceived as nagging by him.
Get all the help you can rustle up to help you cope with the baby and yourself so that you feel stronger and less affected by his behaviour. Don't try to be the perfect mum, housekeeper etc. Talk to the HV, get relatives/friends around if not to lend a hand at least to talk to you and make you feel better and perhaps suggest which bits of housework to cut down on domestic stuff. Do want you need to do to get by. He will either realise something has to be done to sort himself out or not. But the main thing is for you to be strong and not let him grind you down.

Leithlurker Sat 20-Oct-12 09:05:05

Hi stars, firstly I want to say that you are not expected to put up with behaviour no matter what the diagnosis is. I think however an issue of his diagnosis does exist.

By choosing not to take the medication he is imposing the results of that decision on others. This is what needs to be absolutely crystal to him. He can make whatever choice he wants, but he also has to have ownership of the effects of that decision. As to how his depression makes him feel I think that this is a very difficult issue, I do believe that he probably does feel all the things he says, this though is a result of his own mind twisting things round. Without the AD or other therapies this will not be resolved and can indeed get worse, suicide or even the attempted suicide do occur as a reult of depression. (I say that as it is still common for people to think that depression is not a very bad thing.)

It is difficult though to seperate out what behaviour is just your DH being last, and that which is down to his warped thought processes due to the depression. This is maybe where you could help, if he has always been as he is, this needs brought to his attention. Perhaps though by talking about how you find it difficult to know how to help him. If he was once better or acted much better to you and round you, you then need to tell him that he has changed and that change is not good and that he must accept responsibility for how that change is effecting you. All this might sound like it is wishy washy but it is designed to get him to realise how his choice of not taking AD is effecting you.

Is he having any therapy? If not why not?
Can you afford to have him see a private psychologist?
Has he tried using online, or book resources?
What can be done about his work, can he reduce the stress?

The end of this is what you do not say but which I think you have already thought about, and that is some level of separation. I would suggest that you do not shy away from saying that unless he takes some positve steps, you will have to consider YOUR opions

AnEerieAirOfHorror Sat 20-Oct-12 09:05:16

This is tipacal of someone with depression. He is ill. Its like walking thru mud, you just want to sleep all the time and dont want to do anything. You turn every comment into a negative. Its an illness.

If he is talking about topping him self you need to take that seriously and call the crisis team. He needs to take meds but even then it could take a while to work.

I would ask him to take the dog for a walk each day when he gets home and on weekends as it will do him good. Put the baby in the pushchair and the dog on the lead and ask him to walk them.

Its hard work with a newborn. Do what ever makes it easier for you. Hire a cleaner, rehome the dog and take every offer of help you can.

You could try going to relate to try to communicate to your husband how you feel and that things need to improve and you need him to show you he is trying to get better.

Have you tried asking him to do things like "do me a favour and put those dishs in the machine please? Can you do it now it will only take you a minute but i have my handsfull?" then thank him when its done? Expect an attatude like a 3 year old but ignore it blush

HeartOfDixie Sat 20-Oct-12 09:12:44

Virtual hug winging its way towards you. I totally agree with struwelpeter, great advice. But I wanted to add his behaviour is the depression talking, not him, but he does have to take responsibility for his own health, not sure how you get him to that point. my best friend was in a similar situation but reverse in that she had the depression and her partner was doing everything. She said it was like being in treacle and any effort was too much or seemed impossible. It was easier to do nothing and let the unhappiness of her partner wash over her. She said the only easy thing was to sit and coo at the baby because the baby didnot need anything, she just sat there. husband used to take it if she (the baby) cried, needed feeding etc etc. In the end he tricked her into going to the docs by saying it was an appointment for the baby but it was for her. He had tipped the doctor off first. She was very cross but agreed to take medication and now she is happy and coping.

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 09:47:22

struwelpeter you hit the nail on the head with how DH behaves. I think he is very scared. He's had therapy before and made real progress, now he seems to have hit another low.

I get help from a PA every weekday due to my condition - I will ask for this to be increased. As we're both ill in our different ways we always said we'd care for the other when one of us had a bad day but it's all off balance now. Every day is a joy with my beautiful new DS but also a bad day for me physically and for DH with his moods. I'll speak to SS and HV on Monday. Family not really prepared to help unfortunately.

Leithlurker Thanks for saying I shouldn’t be expected to put up with this – sometimes I wonder if IABU as we’re both going through the mill atm.

I’ve been a bystander through someone’s depression before (DM) and it was harrowing. Thankfully she took ADs and slowly improved, though still relapses from time to time. I absolutely believe that his decisions re treatment are affecting us and he needs to take ownership. DH has never wanted to take meds in the past but has pursued therapy - I supported him in this as it's absolutely his choice - which was really effective at the time. Now his mood has troughed again and he’s talked about suicide I have asked him to reconsider taking meds and re-entering therapy for all our sakes.

I would dearly wish to be able to talk through these emotions with him as you suggest but he’s shutting me out. Whenever I ask him how to help he asks me ‘listen to him’ and ‘be there’: I know he needs to lean on me but I’m so weighed down already and things are getting worse. What do I say to him to get him to realise this?

Is he having any therapy? If not why not? No therapy yet – would compromise his situation at work. He would pursue if this wasn’t the case.
Can you afford to have him see a private psychologist? No – funds very limited due to mat leave.
Has he tried using online, or book resources? No – he’s reverting to techniques learned in therapy but this involves him becoming absorbed in his hobby and leaves me stranded.
What can be done about his work, can he reduce the stress? He’s looking for something else – I can see that he’s taking steps to improve things, just within his comfort zone.

I feel like telling him that I’m considering leaving but it feels too rash at this point. I see the strike as the start of that path though. We can’t go on like this and I need him to see that this is starting to feel less and less like a partnership.

Pancakeflipper Sat 20-Oct-12 09:53:16

Lots of sensible words from the others.

Is there someone who is not as emotionally involved as you who can talk to him to get him to the Dr's? You 2 are just going to fall out about it as you are both shattered. It is very frustrating when someone with mental illness refuses medic assistance - but it seems to be part of journey. For many going for medical help is the sign of total failure. But honestly it is often the start of a recovery.

You also need support. See your Dr, HV, etc. you cannot carry all this on your shoulders. You need some release.

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 10:17:25

AnEerieAirOfHorror Again, you could be in the room with us, you describe DH’s behaviour so accurately.

The way he phrased what he said about suicide is that, while he’s thought about it, it’s been in a moment of desperation and not a real option for him i.e. he hasn’t gone into detail with these thoughts and planned anything. I’m very worried about him but not sure if crisis team is the way to go, rather than our doctor who he trusts. I’m going to ring the doctor on Monday to talk to him about this and convince him to re-enter therapy and start taking ADs. Also Relate, though I’d feel better going alone initially as I’m very resentful and I know that this isn’t fair or healthy.

Have you tried asking him to do things like "do me a favour and put those dishs in the machine please? Can you do it now it will only take you a minute but i have my handsfull?" then thank him when its done? Expect an attatude like a 3 year old but ignore it I couldn’t tell you the number of different ways I’ve tried asking him to do something – he sees right through it. I’m walking on eggshells all the time so I end up either gritting my teeth and putting up with an argument/tension or I doing it myself to avoid it and have a nice night with him. The feeling that I’m over a barrel with it all never leaves me sad

HeartOfDixie thanks, I needed that smile – I know this isn’t really him, that’s why I don’t want to chuck in the towel. I'm pleased to read your friend's recovering. I’ll see what the doctor says on Monday - I think the ambush would make him feel duped and lead to him being more hostile towards me.

Leithlurker Sat 20-Oct-12 10:20:31

Stars, thank you for filling in some of the gaps. Can I just say that you are doing a huge amount to help him, part of it though is you do it and it is not recognised. It needs recognised so that he han see that what he might think is life going on around him, is in fact life having to be adjusted and bent FOR him.

Others are right and you know yourself that he is so deep in himself that he becomes detached from others. This nereds to stop, the walking dog idea was good. He needs to reconnect with the world about him. What is his hobby, does it isolate? If so he needs to balance with other activity.

Enough about him though, you need to survive in your own right. Your love and respect for him as well as your own self esteem can be absorbed by his depresiion andf that is what you need to tell him, you married him not his diagnosis but IF he chooses to live as his diagnosis then you are not going to accept that as you also need to think of your own health. This is harsh but it is bottom line, you need to be bottom line as pussyfooting will only allow him to hide behind his own wall of depression. He needs help, not getting it is his choice, but it is his life and yours that will be effected by the choice.

Leithlurker Sat 20-Oct-12 10:23:28

I was depressed for many years before I got help, I made those around me sad, and I was even sadder. However one day I again did not want to get out of bed. I knew that I could not go on and I went to the doc. I broke down and cried, I was put on ad, I hate being on ad's, but I now function most of the time. I am better at dealing with myself and I appreciate that those around me help me so much.

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 10:30:37

Pancakeflipper I’m struggling to think of someone I could ask: family would get upset, get caught up in their own feelings and lose track of convincing him and am in too much of a state myself to bare my soul to friends – I’m crying as I’m typing this ffs and feel very much alone with it all. I’m seeing a perinatal counsellor next week for birth trauma counselling (will this never end?!?) Hopefully she’ll help to point the way forward with at least one or two of these problems.

AnEerieAirOfHorror Sat 20-Oct-12 11:37:30

As your baby is 12 weeks old have you talked to your hv about this?

The are surestart centres that have family support worker that come out to see you each week and homestart have volenteers that come out and help for 2 hours per week to help set up routines and just to give you someone to talk to or do your ironing.

You need help as its not fair you should do everything. Even if you left he would still have to cook for himself and do his washing. so i would make it his job to cook dinner and do washing up and put the clothes away.

Im taking it that this is your first child so now is the time to start a new house routine.

My dh is disabled he has MD and im on AD for depression i have a 3yo and a 11 month old and its hard. My dh has just been told he has depression as well and his health is worsening and he has had so much time off work due to illness he is on a writen warning. So now i have to look after the children find a job sort childcare as hecant physicaly look after our children and i have to look after the house and finances.

Its really hard and the only thing that stops me being resentful is that he is trying his best to help out. He wants to work but cant he looks after the 3yo so i can to stuff like cook - this involves reading a book or playing a game. He will watch the children so i can have a shower or a lie in and he cooks at least two meals per week and does the food shoping online.

He is trying to help and he will talk to me and work out the best way forward for our family.

There needs to be an effort from the other person or the relationship is doomed.

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 12:06:13

Thanks to all of you for your advice. Just feeding DS - will update shortly.

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 14:10:55

We just had a huge row which turned into a discussion.

DH told me that he’d turned and walked away from me because he was angry and wanted to diffuse the situation. Neither of us had raised our voices – I’d asked him to think about what I’d done over three of the last four evenings and he turned round and walked off hmm He said that I was out of line because what I’d really meant was that I do everything and he does nothing confused

He said that he continued to ignore me for the rest of the night because I told him that he was emotionally blackmailing me into doing the bulk of the work and because I didn’t prepare his dinner – I told him that was in response to his turning his back and walking away from me when all I wanted to do was talk about sharing jobs equally.

He said I made him feel like shit and worthless – he works all day in a job he hates then comes home where I expect him to do more and more. He asked me ‘what do you actually do all day? Whenever I ring you you’ve just had a nap together or you’re doing some activity, having fun together. You’re fine when I come home’ I explained that I have to be that way to get through the day when in fact I’m feeling terrible and I owe it to DS and him not to let it take over. I shouldn’t have to struggle when DH is home too.

It got more heated – going in circles as you do when you’re angry – but I broke down when he asked me to explain what I do all day. After telling him where to go and crying a lot I told him how day to day life has become a struggle to cope with all the time and it’s still a revelation to him that I will never feel 100% again. Ever. Much less 12 weeks after a horrific labour and section with a newborn to care for!

So he started to listen. I told him I wouldn’t be asking/telling him what to do because that would set all these problems up again – he’s old enough to know what needs to be doing to support us. I asked what he was prepared to do about his depression – we’re going see the doctor next week.

He’s asked me to write a list of things to in case he doesn’t realise it needs doing/forgets – something I’m hmm about but at least he’s willing to take more on. He also asked me to trust that he’s doing all he can to support us. I asked him to remember that I am not getting at him every time I speak to him about the house etc. and to ask me to clarify if he thinks I’m getting at him rather than asking him to do something.

So we're on speaking terms again thankfully. I still feel really fragile but I’m hoping that this understanding, along with the outside medical/counselling/home help from might start setting things on the right track.

starsarefire Sat 20-Oct-12 14:18:14

Leithlurker sorry to read that you've suffered with depression too - thank you for letting me know this can get better.

AnEerieAirOfHorror your situation sounds so difficult. I don't know how I'd cope at all without PAs helping me get through the day. Does your DH get any assistance?

Leithlurker Sat 20-Oct-12 22:44:08

star, it s sounds like a step forward., I am afraid it is pretty typical that some form of blowup leads to people actually starting to listen to each other. I am very glad in your case that the blowup was well managed by you both.

If you were to go to the doctor say to him that you will not sit quietly if he underplays, or minimises the difficulty you both are having. I am not arguing he needs to start ad's but he and you need to have a plan to try and help him rebalance his thinking.

The work aspect is crucial here, I gave up work and yes I got better, but I replaced a lot of stress for a smaller but still significant amount of stress. Many of what your DH's emotions about being a provider, and a worthwhile member of society and your family will be bound in to his depression. For that alone I would argue he should keep going to work, but he needs to explore how he can reduce the risk and the harm. Can he speak to HR? Will he ask for time off from gp, during which he talks to employer about going back part time as a way to build back up. Is their an issue of bullying? Is it the type of work?, is it the hours? Not asking for lots of details, in fact I am only saying to you to think and hopefully in time talk to dh about how he can change some of the stress at work. Yes getting a new job will help unless it is part of the job that causes him stress, then just by changing employer will not help long term.

AnEerieAirOfHorror Sun 21-Oct-12 10:01:55

No dh has no help but he is not in a wheelchair yet.

Its just me. But i love my husband and he didnt asked to be ill and i love my children so I carry on. It does get better im sure.

Talking and understanding is the key imo.

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