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Really struggling :((9 Posts)
I don't know if anyone will be able to suggest anything that will help, but I need to get this out of my head and I'm too embarrassed to talk to anyone in rl...
DP and I are really struggling at the moment and I am starting to worry that we won't be able to get through.
A bit of background -
We have been together 6 years, the first few were long distance. We argued a bit during this time, mostly due to distance, and the fact that I was quite immature (DP is a few years older than me and we met when I was 20.) However, as I grew up a bit and we moved closer to each other, the fighting stopped. (Obviously we still had 'normal' disagreements, but we were not arguing IYSWIM?)
Over the past couple of years our sex life has massively dwindled, and we now haven't had sex since before Christmas. DP has been diagnosed as severely depressed, and then we lost FIL recently which has added a lot to DP's depression, and has affected me also. The depression has been the main cause of our sex life dwindling, alongside a medical condition which has affected DPs confidence (but not ability to DTD)
Recently we have been arguing a lot, over stupid little things like housework, but these arguments have blown up out off all proportion and ended in shouting, tears and hurtful things being said on both sides.
I am currently the main wage earner as DP is out of work due to his mental health problems. Whilst this doesn't bother me per say (he supported me through uni and when I was looking for a job when we first moved in together) it is a strain as I can only just afford it. My job involves long hours and prep time at home, and as I am new to the job, I am finding it a struggle and very tiring. I am not doing as much around the house as I maybe should, which DP is finding hard to deal with as he feels housework is all he ever does.
Added to this, we recently moved to a new area and don't know anyone. I am trying to get out and meet people and have started a few hobbies (when I have the time and energy, which isn't all the time) but being depressed, DP doesn't feel up to it. But then he feels even worse because he doesn't have any friends here.
I don't even know why I'm posting this... Everything just feels so difficult at the moment, and I can't see it getting better. DP is on anti-depressants and is seeing a councillor for CBT but it doesn't seem to be having an impact yet. I feel constantly guilty for not being able to help him and for getting frustrated with issues such as the lack of sex.
I don't know what I/we can do to try and fix this? At the moment I feel like we are housemates who don't get on particularly well rather than partners
This is so garbled sorry.
sorry you are having such a difficult time - it sounds as if you have alot on your plate and cant see the wood for the trees. It also sounds as though you are both going through a time in your life where you need a lot of support from the other and this can be problematic, esp if one person is struggling with depression - which can make the person who is depressed very self absorbed. Are the anti d's helping your partner at all? Because if they are not and the CBT also does not seem to be helping maybe it's time to go back to his GP.
If you love your DP and still want to be with him then I am sure you will both find a way through this...if you are unsure and are really questioning your relationship and whether you want to be in it or not, then maybe it is time to have a frank discussion with your DP - whether he is depressed or not, he still needs to know how you are really feeling - calmly and without shouting at each other. If you keep on covering up how you feel you will just end up feeling bitter and resentful and if your needs are not being met.
The sex thing is also really tricky - but I think the emotional issues need to be sorted out first...one thing at a time! hth
I do love him and I desperately want to work things out between us, Thank you for your reply.
The anti-depressants are working a little, in that he has a few 'good' days. The CBT I'm not sure about yet, he has 'tasks' to do at home linked to his sessions but never seems to find time to do them, and if I suggest getting started on them he gets upset... he has just started more structured CBT with a session once a week instead of once a fortnight so maybe that will help.
We have had a number of 'frank discussions' but they don't seem to really help. All that seems to happen is we both get really upset and I feel guilty for bringing it up. then we have a few days where everything seems to improve a little, then something small will cause another WW3 moment.
I have suggested couples counselling but he refused, saying that he needs to sort out his own issues with his councillor. Which I can understand but then feel like I'm being left to cope with this on my own whilst he gets support...
Depression is something your DP is probably always going to have, so you need to be in this for the long haul if you want to be with him. Someone with severe depression is very likely to have periods of being quite well followed by periods of deep depression his whole life. I have two depressives in my family - three if you count my BIL - and it's very, very hard being the DP of a severe depressive. I think you need to find out more about this and perhaps have someone to talk to yourself to sort all this out in your head, because you might find yourself being the breadwinner FT. You might not, as well, but from your posts you sound as if this is something to be tackled and got past, rather than it being a long-term condition - which it is very likely to be.
I was in the same situation as you 17 years ago. I was 25 and married to a man 13 years older than me. He was depressed, didn't work, was uncommunicative and rarely wanted to have sex. When I tried to seduce him he would reject me. We had just moved to a new area where we knew nobody and we argued. I tried my best not to annoy him because he was depressed. I tried to make friends but he didn't try and seemed resentful of any friends I made. I kept on working and paid all the bills which was hugely stressful. He became extremely angry when I tried to discuss things with him. Despite having lots of support from his GP he stopped attending CBT and group counselling either because he didn't like the counsellor or the people in the group. He would stop taking his anti-depressants and blame the doctor for prescribing him the wrong medication. In short everthing was everybody else's fault. We had a DD which made life more stressful and I left him when she was a year old after he threw me down a flight of stairs and beat me up. When I left I noticed that he seemed to recover quite quickly and began to get back on his feet. In retrospect I think that without realising it me being there prevented him from dealing with his problems himself. When I was gone he couldn't blame me for everything.
I moved into a flat and kept working. This was a really tough time and because all the bills were in my name I was blacklisted for 6 years. Despite everything I was relieved to be away from him. I made friends and 17 years on and life has never been as hard as it was when I was with him. He was completely self absorbed then and still is even though he is nearly 60 years of age. One thing I noticed back then was even though he was horrible to me he managed to be perfectly nice to other people. I have since met people with depression who do not treat their spouses badly. I was depressed myself a few years ago because of stress with kids and finances. I went on anti-depressants for a while which helped hugely. I haven't had a reoccurence so I know that recovery is possible. If it happened again I wouldn't hesitate to go back on medication.
I really feel for you. Don't underestimate the pressure you are under with work etc whilst trying to balance things at home, it is extremely tough and you are being very brave. Even though you love him you do not need to be treated badly just because he is depressed. Tell him honestly how you feel and tell him what you need to happen to make things easier for you. I found with my EXH husband that it was only ever about what he wanted. I would recommend that you see a counsellor who can suggest strategies to help you cope. You need support through this time in your life. If you haven't already done so tell your family and friends what you are going through and make time to see them on your own.
I really hope things get better for you and that your husband gets well again.
I don't see what's wrong with him doing all the housework, and I say that as someone who has been in his position. Some days, of course, I didn't do very much at all because that's the nature of depression, but my DP was very tolerant and never made an issue of it, or felt compelled to do things himself, so we managed.
I would think hard about what whitesugar says. Obviously only you know your DP, but it is possible you are attributing to depression one or two things that actually might be down to character. I was a right miserable sad sack to be around when depressed but I didn't suddenly start taking it out on my partner. You're quite right, it's not ok for you to be under this strain alone.
Thank you everyone so much for your responses. Madbuslady and whitesugar, thank you for your concern but I can honestly say it is the depression and not at all his character. Despite being frustrated at not having any friends here or bing able to see his own friends, he is very supportive of my hobbies, and likewise my career. The guilt I feel about these things comes from myself iyswim?
After reading your responses I initiated a discussion with DP this eve... It was hard but I was very honest about my feelings and the things I don't understand about his current state of mind. This is the first time he has sought help for his depression, ad he told me today that he feels he is ready to turn a corner - he can see a light at he end of the tunnel. This is the first time he has said this to me - he told me he didn't want to tell me in case I felt the opposite. I pointed out to him that not knowing he was feeling better is what MADE me feel the opposite, and it was scary seein him so depressed with no sense of any improvement.
We have now agreed to be more open with each other about how we are feeling, even though it might be hard. I am starting to feel slightly more hopeful for us. Thank you for giving me the push to be really honest with him x
Well done for starting that conversation. If you guys can keep the lines of communication open you stand a much better chance than folks who say little and hope that things will get better magically on their own. You obviously care a lot about one another and I wish you all the best for the future. Remember to focus on your needs as well as your DH's.
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