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Can any one please help me make some sense somewhere in this please?(18 Posts)
Met DP 5 years ago through an online game. We both had 1 DC from previous relationships. Found out he had been agoraphobic for 7 years and hadn't been out, was living with his parents. We talked just as friends on and off and gradually got closer, i convinced him to meet up with me for a drink, it was a massive huge step for him and his sister and her bf had to come with him.
Anyway, we hit it off and a year later he moved in with me (3 years ago) Watching him with his DD after he moved in was amazing, they went all kinds of places with my DD and me. DP was so confident, I was incredibly proud of him.
Fast forward to now... he hates going out, unless it's somewhere he knows well and is comfortable there (this includes 3 places only) I learnt to drive because i thought it would help... it hasn't. He doesn't go anywhere with me and my DD. he makes excuses up and it ends up in a row or me walking out, then it taints all the day trips i go on with DD.
When his mum, DD or any of his family come to visit he will have sunbeds prior to them coming then go anywhere they want to go.
To get out of going to family events he uses me as a scape goat and for that reason i now think his family are beginning to not like me, none of them got my DD a present or card for her bday this year. They have no idea how bad DP has gotten again.
I just don't know what to do. I'm starting to feel like taking DD and running away
Do you think he could be suffering from anxiety at all OP? I have friends who suffer with it and they find it very difficult to go places that they are not familiar with.
You say he will go anywhere with his family yet he won't go to family events.Do you mean his family event or your own? It's not quite clear from your post.
It sounds a horribly draining situation to be either way. Not fair on you or your DD. No matter what his reasoning or motivation are.
Sound like he could have OCD.has he seen the GP? Can you talk to him and recommend that he goes?
Definitely some cognitive behavioural therapy would help him.
Ask him to get help and tell him that is beginning to be a deal-breaker.
No longer take the blame for him missing out on things - tell his family his agoraphobia is back with a vengeance.
Hi Milk I don't think he seems depressed, we have such a laugh every day I do think Anxiety is playing a part though. His family live up north and we're down south, so when his family come down here he goes out with them, but he wont go up there unless it is to collect his daughter.
I asked him why he will go out when his family come down but not just when it's us and he says its because he feels he has to. The thing that makes it all so hard is he is such a soft kind gentle person. he hates conflict. I truly adore him
He did see a GP when he first had it, they tried diff things, tablets - which he hated. and counselling - which he found useless. To be honest, sounds like they fobbed him off a bit.
dequoisagitil I've been thinking about telling his family, but i think he would see it as a betrayal and also, I can't see how much help they will be, they didn't really help the first time he had it.
I need to do something to make a stand and let him know how drastic I think the situation is. I've told him tonight that I just feel like i want to escape him and his family, like I feel like it's all got too much. His family is huge, and all i have is an alcoholic mum and an abusive dad that now lives abroad.
He's not worried about your feelings in the same way as you worry about his, is he? He's quite happy for you to take the rap with his family for missing their special occasions, happy for you to be the scapegoat and the bad guy - he's quite happy to betray you.
How long did he try the counselling for? How long did he give the tablets? It's all very well hating the medication, but when his condition is affecting the whole family so badly that it threatens his relationships, won't he hate that more?
I hope he listened to you last night and that he is willing to own his problems and tackle them.
You've got to work out your bottom line OP.
If this carries on, will you be around to enable it? Would you be prepared to make his seeking proper professional treatment a condition of you staying?
The only person who can sort this really is him. Unless you can see him making real efforts to genuinely get better I don't think there is any moral obligation on you to go along with it in front of his family.
Dequoisagitil writes real sense imo.
This may sound harsh but it all sounds a bit rescue-y. You cannot love someone enough to cure a mental illness, any more than you could love them out of a broken leg.
His illness is separate to your relationship- he needs to start being open with his family, and go back and INSIST he gets some proper treatment.
Have I understood correctly? He won't go anywhere with you or your dd (except three places) but will go anywhere with his family? Is this really agoraphobia?
I am agoraphobic and its bloody hard to get real help. I was fobbed off with a 'counselor' she wasn't as it turned out I actually don't know what her real role was. She gave me loads of tips....to help my migranes! She talked about cognative therapy and how we'd go to the bus stop and work on travelling etc but nothing. She said she'd get me real counselling that was about 10 yrs ago and I'm still waiting. She decided to get me a dietitian who couldn't help as I'm apparently doing it all right.
My point...no one helps not on the nhs. They are all concerned with my weight prob but f all else.
As for able to go out with his family after getting a tan, its his saftey blanket for me its make up and clothes. It allows you to be different from everyday. I find it hard to go out and can't do so alone but my mil is a hard woman who makes me feel like crap for being like this so with her I quadruple my efforts to go places and pretend I'm fine which is what it seems like he's doing with his family.
The pressure to not panic around some actually increases the panic when with those who understand because you become frightened of dissapointing them when the panic starts.
Some people say so try that hard the rest of the time but its just not that easy. Its tiring and drains every ounce.
It actually means that sometimes I can't go out as I've used all I have.
I'm like I am because of a number of horrid things that have happened in my life and counselling would help but agoraphobia never goes away.
I know that today I might go somewhere and be fine but tommorow I will freak out. My family have learned ways to help and get me out but they also know that bad times happen and they do everything to stop my guilt at not doing the things normal mums etc do.
Guilt trips and ultimatums don't work they don't help and they don't make it go away. Tablets I haven't tried but I know they only work for some people not all and they are only a short term solution and don't solve the prob.
It is in many ways a selfish condition but not because the sufferer is selfish. In fact I gave so mush of myself to others that its part of why I became this way. This condition doesn't make sense but please try to at least understand it and read about it as it may help you to help you OH
I use a number of things to help when I do go out. I have teddies on my handbag which I can squeeze and mess with, I have a key ring with a you can do it slogan given by my dc's, I listen to music on headphones or a stereo in cars etc and I use square breathing(in counting 4,hold for4 out4 keep out4) which all help. Oh and I think myself and my family know the location of every public loo or cafe poss as it makes me feel sick etc sometimesand I need to know where they are and they must be clean.
I have a set list that suits me and your dh needs to find what works for him and yes it is easier to not go whith the people closest as you know they will love you anyway but it also means those people help more.
My dc's and dp know what to do and you need to learn with him
Hope that helps
Singingmum, thanks so much for sharing, so nice to hear it from that point of view. I have read alot, I do understand why he does certain things like the tan, he also insists he needs glasses on and a hat, he wont even open our front door without glasses and his hat on. I know it's kind of like his "mask" and his way of hiding. It's so complex, isn't it? so very hard to try and help him. I gave him the confidence after 7 years to leave his house and be open, but now because he wont do those things, I almost feel like he's rejecting me, like I'm no longer worth the effort. It makes me so sad.
On a plus note, he has gone above and beyond today, he has taken my DD to london to get something special that they have planned for my birthday tomorrow. I'm very happy he's out and he's making an effort, but for some reason I have spent 2 hours crying about the whole situation.
I'm just completely lost about what to do, I'm half thinking i should cut my loses and leave and half thinking it would be absolute madness to give up on him, I know he loves me and DD very much and we love him, and you don't give up on someone you love.
Sorry I know I'm rambling alot, it's helping to get it out though
I know its bloody hard on the others involved. My dp is somehow still here and I have been like this for about 15yrs. It means that sometimes he feels angry,hurt etc.
You have to talk to each other in a non-confrontational way. Easier said than done I know but small steps and lots of compromises.
You have to make the most of good times. I can on good days take a train to the town 20 miles away I can go on hols although sometimes have panic attacks while there but I push to do it. In fact it sound like he's hitting a good patch as I know I couldn't do these things without another adult there at the moment.
As for rejecting you, I sometimes withdraw into myself quite badly,and am I know a nightmare when this happens. I do it because evenm though I know its not I persuade myself that its protecting them from my craziness. At first my dp felt like you and it almost lost me the best person in my life. My dp and my dc's mean everything but I'm so scared of screwing up their lives that I do these stupid things.
Talk to him about how it makes you feel, it may be what he wants/needs to hear and it may help him to work with you on this. His family need to know what's going on as otherwise it will cause more issues and he needs to stop using you as a scape goat as that is unacceptable though I do understand as I made all sorts of excuses(house needs cleaning,not well etc) why I couldn't go out for about a year which strangely meant that no one actually realised what was happening to me.
If he doesn't stop using you as a scapegoat then you need to think about how you feel living that way and make your decision accordingly. A relationship needs trust and communication otherwise no matter the other issues its not worth it
Btw ramble away, sometimes the only way to make any sense of things. As you can see I do it a lot
Have you told his family how bad he is again?
Sorry OP but if you knew what he was like when you met him its really unfair to expect him to be ok with going out now. It sounds to me like he puts on a front - he did it for you when you first met and he does it for his parents now when they visit. I doubt he was ever really 'cured' and the effort is probably crippling.
I guess you need to ask yourself if its a dealbreaker? And explain to him how much this is affecting you - and your mariage. I think you need to accept he might never be 'cured' and he needs to try and find something that gets it under some degree of control for the sake of his family.
It's not easy for either of you I'm sure, so I hope you can find some solution.
If the going out is the only issue and he's great otherwise, then just accept it.
People will understand if you tell them about his agoraphobia (or whatever other issues).
I had to accept ex's social anxiety and it got a lot better. I just carried on with my life and the arguments about it stopped.
He's an ex because of other (possibly related) issues, but not because he would go out/meet other people or not.
Consider how you would like him to behave if the roles were reversed.
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