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DH seems to be a bit 'flat', not happy :(

(17 Posts)
maybenow Mon 29-Oct-12 11:22:47

My DH seems to be a bit down lately... not down enough to suggest depression or the GP but he just seems to have lost his spark. We're supposed to be TTC (he's wanted to for a while, I've just recently decided i'm ready) but haven't had sex for two months. But I don't think that's the real problem, he's not said anything positive about his work for months and months but if i suggest he thinks about looking round at other options he just says that 'it'd be the same shit in a different company' and that he 'doesn't like change much'. Which is sort of true i suppose.

He's sort of keeping up his hobby but more in a going through the motions way - never comes home and babbles on and on about it enthusiastically like he used to. Mostly he comes home from work pretty drained and plays on the computer for hours saying that he's too tired to do anything else.

This weekend's been particularly bad and he dropped out of a planned social event on saturday due to 'a cold coming on' so i went alone. I think he's probably realised this is a new low as last night he made a point of promising we'd go out to dinner and bond next weekend.

We went on holiday about three weeks ago and he really relaxed and we had a great time, but literally in two days of being back into normal life he was withdrawn and grumpy again, staring at shit on tv for hours which he admits he's not even watching, or playing on the xbox.

What can I do? I so want him to be happy... I want to know if something's bothering him, I want to laugh and live (and i'd quite like some sex too). In some ways I think maybe TTC is a good idea - he'd be a fantastic dad and if he's feeling a bit 'so what' about his career being a father could offer another perspective on life. But on the other hand, what if he's got other issues? what if we do conceive and he stays withdrawn and i stay lonely sad

chipsandmushypeas Mon 29-Oct-12 11:26:03

Sorry you're going through this, I'm in a very similar position so cannot offer advice, just that I understand

maybenow Mon 29-Oct-12 11:30:16

sorry to hear you're in a similar position chips sad

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 29-Oct-12 11:48:45

It sounds like maybe he doesn't like his job, maybe is finding that he doesn't like work at all, and the fact that you are TTC means that he is thinking about having another child to support and so getting even more tied into the career thing. Maybe he needs to feel that life could change if he wanted it to - what does he do? Could he consider a career change? Not necessarily to go and do immediately but maybe think about working towards retraining or something so that when he starts to feel bad about work he has a second option to consider as possible in the future IYSWIM

MyDonkeysAZombie Mon 29-Oct-12 11:58:46

Maybe you changing your mind and feeling ready to TTC just made him think, whoa, hang on, am I really ready?

Has someone he knows recently become a father, did it make him wonder what the future holds once it's 3 of you?

Perhaps it's job security and money worries festering away. It's easy to forget our cares on holiday but it just shelves them temporarily.

Sorry it must be frustrating and worrying.

maybenow Mon 29-Oct-12 11:59:35

I think you might be right about him not liking his job but he also doesn't like change confused
He's in a 'profession' - trained for it at Uni and has worked his way up to quite senior (he's now 41). I would be happy for him to throw it in but can't imagine him doing that.. hence why he says all companies would be the same old shit.

I recently went freelance and worry that i'm maybe expecting more social interaction from him as i'm on my own many days of the week, but this weekend he went out for his hobby first thing saturday, something went wrong and they had to abandon it and he was back at lunchtime feeling like he was getting a cold then just played xbox through till sunday bedtime really.

My freelance business has gone very well and I have enough savings to take mat leave so he doens't have to worry about 'supporting' us.... i'd be happy for him to follow his dreams (if he had any he wanted to follow).

maybenow Mon 29-Oct-12 12:02:29

Everybody we know already has at least one child including his best friend - he's 42 and i'm 36, we met late... he seems to be really good with his friends kids and doesn't express any worries about being like them...

He probably is worried about job security and money - though there's no need to sad. He has a tendency to always work out how long he'd have in redundancy payment if they made him redundant, even though there are no hints at all that they're thinking that way - he was even promoted relatively recently.

maybenow Mon 29-Oct-12 12:03:27

Sorry, just realised i've written he's 41 and 42 blush - he is actually 41... but will be 42 in a couple of months.

MyDonkeysAZombie Mon 29-Oct-12 12:04:08

It might not be depression but it wouldn't do any harm for him to get checked by his GP. It could be something out of kilter physically that's having an effect on him.

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 29-Oct-12 12:19:02

He wouldn't need to change anything though - just allow himself the option of being able to change if he wanted to at some point.

janelikesjam Mon 29-Oct-12 12:30:51

Might be worth having things checked out at GPs just in case its depression or something medical as others have said.

I think what I find a bit strange is that the "low" appears to have come out of nowhere? E.g. work may not be great, but presumably nothing traumatic has happened there recently, or has it?

There doesn't seem to be an exact or specific cause? Perhaps he doesn't know what it is, or perhaps he knows but is keeping his cards close to his chest. You sound like a caring partner, it feels a shame that he cannot confide any more in you?

Heleninahandcart Mon 29-Oct-12 13:17:50

Sorry you are both going through this. He was fine on holiday and it does seem to be related to work and/or home. Is it possible he could be being bullied or something similar at work? There may be this or something else he doesn't even recognise himself.

MouMouCow Mon 29-Oct-12 13:43:31

You mentioned he has been promoted recently, usually with promotion comes more stress or perhaps new tasks he doens't particularly like (office politics etc..). My DP is very stressed of late as the market in his industry is bad and it is only a question of time before firms start laying off people. With the amount of people already looking for work it is not a great time to looking. Maybe your free lance role doens't have much long term security?
It is not the best climate to be planning kids.
I tend ot get depresse dwhen season schnage espeically when the amoutn fo light reduces,. it's chemical, there's nothing I can do. Perhaps your DH has something similar? A round of vitamins, especially magnesium and iron helps a little.

maybenow Mon 29-Oct-12 15:27:08

I'd class the way his boss behaves as 'bullying' but he's always been like that and DH really honestly doesn't seem to believe that any other firm in his line of work is any different (and I'm a softie public/charity sector worker so i'm used to a really PC environment so maybe i'm overreacting). He always seemed so adverse to change that he'd rather 'the devil he knows' - but maybe he's reached tipping point?

I don't think my work insecurity can be stressing him as i was on short-term contracts and now i'm freelance it's actually no more insecure than before (and right now i'm earning more)... but maybe my job going so well makes him more depressed about his?

I wonder if it is a touch of SAD? along with shit-work situation.. I've suggested a couple of things this weekend which should get us out the house and busy... I might also suggest he gets a health-mot, it's something he mentioned recently as a friend of ours has testicular cancer (DHs worries pre-date that though).

Heleninahandcart Mon 29-Oct-12 18:52:47

OP I don't think you are overreacting to his work situation. Maybe he is too immersed to see how it is. 8 hours a day spent in a negative environment does have an impact and it is possible that his recent promotion has exposed him to more toxicity. He may well be thinking it's some deficiency in himself that rather than the general environment. With promotion also comes that requirement to 'prove' oneself, not ideal if he is already feeling down.

tb Tue 30-Oct-12 18:29:02

Despite what others have said, I would hesitate to advise considering a career change at 41. Normally, your 30s and early 40s are the years when you have the most chance of increasing your earnings, being promoted etc. This in turn has an impact on how you are able to save for your retirement.

If a change of career involves going back to the beginning ie new grad status, it is very difficult to make up the gap with the previous level of income.

I speak from personal experience - I went from £21,000+car in 1987 to a £8500pa in 1990, and never made up the gap - the max I earned was £24,000. With inflation, that's a hell of a loss of income, and in retrospect, although I've learned a lot of things my working conditions have, without exception, been a lot worse in addition to the salary I've done without.

ClareMarriott Wed 31-Oct-12 07:25:28

By the time a man is in his forties, how many jobs will he have had - 2 possibly 3? Maybenow, if your DH is going to be 42 shortly and his reason for being down IS because of his work situation, then I would suggest he does look at what he would REALLY like to do . With the age of retirement ever changing, that's another 23 years at least . Ample time to have another job/career and one that he is happy in.

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