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Why does he depress me?

(32 Posts)
rufussmum Mon 29-Oct-12 20:20:42

Is it possible to be 'made' depressed by someone else? My DH works away Monday-Friday so we only have weekends together. Even though I manage my life quite well when I am on my own, I am finding weekends increasingly dogged by a feeling that I recognise as depression.
It is almost as if there is a tangible atmosphere that descends on the house when he is there IFSWIM.
He has very little to say to me and can spend several hours in front of the TV or on a car journey without saying a word. He just says he isn't a talker.
I feel we have no communication at all and that he doesn't really hear me. He usually 'forgets' things I have told him.
I have tried to find things we can do together but he always has a reason to prevaricate and so we do very little with our weekends - apart from watch TV. Mealtimes are very stressful - silence apart from the sounds of eating.
Anyway, not sure I am being very clear here but I am aware of the difference between weekdays when I feel OK and weekends when I seem to lose all interest in life. I know DH is not a bad person and I feel so guilty about being so negative. Thanks for listening.

Jennylee Mon 29-Oct-12 20:25:44

Have things always been this way between you , has sonething changed have you lost interest in each other

rufussmum Mon 29-Oct-12 20:31:03

I think I used to be more hopeful that things would get better. I believed all the problems were my fault and I could 'fix' things by being nicer/sexier/whatever. Now I feel I am getting older and can't see a way to improve anything.

startlife Mon 29-Oct-12 20:41:58

Yes I think being with a person can make you depressed - if he is introverted and you have a need for stimulation (extroverted) then it can impact your energy and mood levels.

It could be that your dh has lots of stimulation during the week and therefore can have the down time at home to recharge but that will impact you.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 08:48:04

Definitely yes!!! Some people are what I call 'Dementors'... they suck out your soul.... and spending time in their dour, miserable, boring, silent presence just brings you down and down. 'I'm not a talker' is a pathetic thing to day. Means 'I'm antisocial', 'you're not worth talking to', 'you don't matter to me'. Isolation & silence is one method of torturing prisoners psychologically.

My benchmark for whether behaviour is acceptable is to imagine if a stranger was acting the same way. If a stranger arrived in your home this weekend, watched TV wall to wall, ate dinner in silence etc., would you say that was normal??? Or would you think they were some kind of boring weirdo and usher them out at the first opportunity?

Don't feel guilty.... he needs a kick up the arse.

MadBusLadyHauntsTheMetro Tue 30-Oct-12 08:54:47

Some people are just quiet. There is nothing wrong with that. Being an introvert does not, in fact, make you a "boring weirdo". hmm

BUT. In this case, he's forgetting things you tell him, not showing any interest in you and blowing off anything fun or different you try to organise. If it is the case that he has lots of stimulation in the week and needs the downtime at the weekend, he should have grace to tell you that and ask what he can do to make up for the effects on you, rather than sitting around like a lump of dough.

His problem isn't that he's an introvert; his problem is that he's rude and inconsiderate and uninterested. Has he always been like this?

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 30-Oct-12 08:57:41

He's not treating you like a person, is he? By ignoring you so completely, it's as if he's negating your worth. And if you're hanging on expect him to validate your worth and lovability, of course that will make you depressed.

So as not to be depressed by his behaviour towards you and how it makes you feel, you can stop expecting anything from him; make sure you get your validation elsewhere (but in which case, why stay with him at all?).

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 30-Oct-12 09:11:18

yes they can..

This is not a marriage in the classic sense., he is just lodging there of a weekend, he isnt even a friend yet alone a husband..Seriously? Ide dump his arse and go and get a life, this would be torture to me, being introverted is one thing, that nornally goes hand in hand with shyness, but he has nothing to say to you neither does he listen.

leave the bastard seriously, do you have any children? if not get out now and start having some sort of a life.

x

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 09:19:20

"Being an introvert does not, in fact, make you a "boring weirdo""

I did not mention the word 'introvert'. I said that a stranger who let themselves in at the weekend, refused to socialise and kept up a determined silence would be regarded as weirdo. What's the point of having this man in the family if he'd rather be pottering in a metaphorical shed?

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 30-Oct-12 09:29:47

Your weekends sound very sad, OP.

What would happen if you went off by yourself at the weekend, to visit friends or family? Try that as the first step to making a new life for yourself.

rufussmum Tue 30-Oct-12 16:32:36

Thanks so much to everyone who replied - I thought other people would be unsympathetic. I have been married before, so has he, and our respective kids have left home. My previous relationships have been difficult - I see now physical and emotional abuse. I think I ought to be relieved that DH is so different. Trouble is he is almost personality-free. No interests apart from work, no hobbies, procrastinates over every decision, doesn't read much and doesn't enjoy conversation/debate/ideas.
He thinks I have too many ideas and am more interested in talk than sex - which is true. Can't get enthusiastic about someone who isn't really 'there' most of the time.
His previous wife became so depressed after their second child was born she was hospitalised. She has told me she feels living with him made her so ill. She too gave up on sex with him and tortured herself with guilt.
I think he is punishing me with silence because I can't feel sexual. Yet he presents as a kind, caring, responsible, loving man and a good father.
Someone here mentioned torture and when we go without speaking for hours on end that's how it feels for me.
Sorry, don't want to sound self-pitying.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 30-Oct-12 16:40:54

You don't need to apologise.
You are entitled to feel awful, and to say so.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 16:47:41

You realise that a deliberate silence (sulking, detachment, etc) is a form of emotional abuse?

Anniegetyourgun Tue 30-Oct-12 17:11:14

The absence of shouting and/or hitting does not in itself make a person a good partner. There are subtler ways of making a person feel like shit, as you're finding out. However, some people may not be bad people but are just not cut out to be partner material. Maybe (at a stretch) he genuinely doesn't realise that talking, emotional interaction and having fun together as a couple would actually help put you in the mood for sex, although he'd have to be a total empathy-free zone. Given that he was exactly the same with his previous wife, though, I suspect if he hasn't learned better by now he won't ever change and probably can't.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 17:21:43

Living with him made the exW ill. Living with him is making the OP depressed. There's a common denominator here..... he's a miserable bastard.

ThePathanKhansWitch Tue 30-Oct-12 17:32:04

Run for the hills. Life is too short. You deserve to have a partner who's present.

Lovingfreedom Tue 30-Oct-12 17:53:56

Yes, I agree with Cogito's diagnosis of 'miserable bastard'...best course of action...exit plan.

Walking on eggshells, silent treatment, pressure for sex, lack of kindness, refusal to communicate, 'forgetting' etc all forms of EA, as well as symptoms of him being a MB.There's no point trying to be nicer/sexier/whatever if he's not willing to make a go of it. I suspect that your state of mind/mental health would improve if you got shot of him... every day could be like the days he's away! Good luck OP.

rufussmum Tue 30-Oct-12 18:25:17

I can't tell you how much it means to have so much support from you all. I think I have a history of being very good at putting up with things I don't like. I was so relieved to find someone who was 'kind' and tolerant I didn't pay attention to the warning signs which were there all along.
Trouble is I am not so young any more (not sure I should even be posting on here as my son has a baby of his own (they were teenagers). Part of me is too scared to cut loose. I could surbive financially but would have no other family and few friends. Bit gutless really w;hich is why I have stayed this long.
Also I feel I owe him a lot, financially and am aware I have short-changed him in the sex dept especially as Wife One did the same. Pathetic really I suppose.

Lovingfreedom Tue 30-Oct-12 18:32:58

Rufussmum.... Any assets accrued during the marriage are joint matrimonial assets of which you have a right to a share. As for short-changing him in the sex department.....no no no....he's been seriously short-changing you in the happiness/civility/being nice department and that needs to come before sex!!

I recognise what you say about putting up with things and I think you come across as a very optimistic person who tries to make things work. If you can sort it out, I'd recommend short course of counselling/therapy to work out what you want....well I'm saying that as 5 sessions helped me go from 'don't know what to do' to being pretty damned determined about how I could change things for the better for myself.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 18:34:20

If a relationship is wrong, the sex will suffer. If the sex is wrong, a relationship will suffer. You don't have to apportion blame in order to recognise you're in a bad relationship that has no future. Yes... requires guts. But how many more guts do you need to spend the next 20 or 30 years with the status quo?

rufussmum Tue 30-Oct-12 18:45:28

Been unhappy for so long it's become the norm and I have never thought of myself as 'optimistic' LovingFreedom but you are right, I always think I can try a bit harder to make things work.The therapy route sounds a good idea - part of me feels it's a bit self-indulgent tbh. Will give it a try.

MiniTheMinx Tue 30-Oct-12 18:47:01

I don't think I would want to be intimate with someone who basically couldn't be bothered to speak to me, ignored me and made no effort. I don't think you should be feeling guilty OP, withdrawing physically from someone who is cold and disinterested in you, is natural and normal. A totally rational response.

What do you do during the week?

rufussmum Tue 30-Oct-12 19:03:10

Hi Mini - part-time work, walk the dog, decorating house, reading - nothing special really, just being peaceful. Start to feel worried around Thursday lunchtime, sort of dreading another stressful weekend. I think I switched off initially when he kept saying that if I didn't want to have sex with him he 'would find someone who did'. He said it most weekends and now denies it, but I haven't forgotten. Don't know if he ever did cheat but as he works away I wouldn't know.
He cheated on Wife One and virtually lived with another woman (more than one) during the week when he was working away. She found out and divorced him.

Arseface Tue 30-Oct-12 19:06:58

Why don't you start with smaller steps?

Is there any reason you have to spend your weekends completely in his company? What are you doing during the week which keeps you happy and fulfilled? Can't you do the things you want to at the weekendsand leave him the option of getting involved or not.

You may find that he begins to change his ways when he sees you going off and doing things without him.
He may not change at all but you might not mind nearly so much if you're busier.

If his lack of sociability still bothers you, you'll have a much fuller life to kick him out of!

It's hard to judge whether his behaviour is rude and sulky or if he is just a bit of a natural shed dweller. What I do know is that you can very rarely change anyone else but, if you're unhappy, the first step is to change your own behaviour.
I understand you wanting to spend weekends with him but it's not making you happy. You need to start pleasing yourself, not to spite him, not to force him to change, but to stop dumping the full responsibility for your happiness on his shoulders.
If you are still unhappy with your relationship after you've made these changes then you can take steps to end things from a more positive position.

Arseface Tue 30-Oct-12 19:13:01

Sorry, missed more recent posts. He does sound an arse but it may be frustration leading him to lash out.
OP, fill your weekends with things that make you happy. It may have a knock on effect on him but, if not, you'll feel much stronger about leaving him.

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