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This should be in Aibu but I'm not feeling strong enough for that today...:(

(45 Posts)
Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 11:46:15

This may be long, I'm sorry....
Even married to dh for 15 years. We have 2 dc.
Lots of ups and downs. He is quite an unemotional person and his family do not talk about feelings.
In the past 6 months;
My beli ed dad died suddenly and unexpectedly and despite dh and I performing CPR we lost him.
Later that same day my mum had a heart attack.
I was dads executor and did everything. Funeral, everything. My mum and siblings were in no state to do anything.
I am trying to be there for my mum but it has become impossible for me to go 3 x per day as I have been.
my aunt has had a terminal cancer dx and has perhaps 2 weeks left to live. I went to see her yesterday and she didn't know I was there.
I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery in November and am still not right, in fact going to have an MRI on Friday.
My ds2 is off school ill - again! - and I am very worried about him. Took him to the gp this morning and he has tracheitis and conjunctivitis. He ended up in hospital with tracheitis last summer.
My question is this...
Wibu to text dh this morning and tell him I am struggling to cope.
He sent me a text back "just be strong"
But, I've been string since last July and I'm done.
I can't do this anymore.
Dh went back to work the day after dad died.
He had no time off after my op and indeed went on a business trip for 2 days 3 days after the op. Ds2 was sent him from school ill and I ended up caring for a dc with d and v 36 hours after major abdominal surgery.
He has let me down very badly in the past wrt the dc and them being ill.
When ds1 was a baby he was very ill and in and out of hospital - they thought he may have cerebral palsy at one point - and he didn't even tell work that dc was in hospital sad
I dont know why.
His family are really weird about illness and mil constantly tells me "we don't do medical things" hmm
Because I love it so much, right??
I am feeling very upset, sad and angry.
He works fairly locally and has holiday he can book.
I just needed some emotional support today.
A hug, someone to lean on.
It's not going to happen is it?
I so want to tell mil that her PA comments on illness and medicine upset me but can' would be be that has a problem, not her.
Dhs answer to any problem is to "get his dad of come round"
Now, fil is a nice man, but I don't really want him when I am feeling low and vulnerable. And probably vice versa!
What can I do, other than never expect dh to be there for me or offer emotional support? (I have already asked a friend to take me for the scan and to see the dr for results so that's sorted.)
His reply would be that he has to work and can't have time off - but a few weeks a go was talking about going away for 4 days with his friend!!
Here I am again today stuck at home with a poorly dc feeling dreadful and like I am a huge burden to him.
If feel utterly bereft.

DIYapprentice Wed 05-Feb-14 11:55:27

This definitely needs to be right here, in Relationships!!!

You poor thing, you really have a lot on your plate. You should have it out with him. If he is even CONSIDERING taking time off to go away with a friend then he can damn well take time off for you.

You NEED him, you are at breaking point. Ask him what the hell he'd do if you had a break down and needed to be hospitalised.

In your position I would DEMAND that he accompany me to the scan, firstly. Either that or he would be fending for himself at home - and I mean completely and utterly. No food, no clothes washing, no chit chat. Nothing. You have no energy to do things for him, you need to conserve all of it for yourself.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 05-Feb-14 11:59:40

Oh Badvoc, I am so sorry. Of course it should not be in AIBU, you are in NO WAY unreasonable to expect him to be a bit more supportive. I don't know what to say other than of course he should be taking an active part in all of these stressful situations.

And WTF with We don't do medical????? She might as well say "We don't do empathising/caring/supporting..."

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 12:01:52

Thanks DIY.
Thing is, I don't want him to come with me sad what's the point? I would just feel like he was doing me some massive favour by having time off to take me.
I have pointed out that I can only go on like this for a finite amount of time...but his answer to that is I need to go and see the dr and get tablets!?
I do have a dr appt tomorrow actually but that's because I think I have an ear infection.
He isn't going with his friend...I pointed out that it was very unfair as he is going away with work twice prior to that (for 7 and 12 days respectively)
I resent him so much ATM.
And that's not good.

MerryMarigold Wed 05-Feb-14 12:02:51

I sympathise a bit with both of you. If you're way of letting him know you are struggling is by text, it may be hard from him to really 'get it'. He has responded to you in the same way you have reached out to him. Now, maybe he is v unemotional, but this is not going to be the way you can access any emotional support from him. You need to commit yourselves, both of you, to talking properly, at least twice a week. It should not have come to this point. In your first session you can cover with DIY has said.

You need to make sure he knows HOW important emotional support and some practical help, is to you. If he can't get his head around that, he is supremely selfish and I don't know how you have been with him so long. If you have not communicated that properly to him then it's not entirely his fault.

You've been through incredibly hard times. These could have brought you closer if you'd cried on him a bit and he'd responded. I don't know the history, so maybe you have really, really tried to let him know of your emotional needs, in which case I think it is time for some ultimatums.

The medical stuff. Perhaps there is a reason for their weirdness over it, but they need to get over it!

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 12:08:10

HC..thank you.
Dh just cannot see that mil is PA...some of the stuff she has said to me over the years would make your hair curl! Pils also disregard my instructions re the dc which makes me very angry.
It's a difficult situation as they are my only childcare (and know it so push things)
I have tried so hard just to get in with things, to keep the house running, make sure the dc are ok, but I am struggling now.
Ds being ill has not helped (obv)
I feel like I want to run away sad how pathetic is that!?
There are people with much worse problems than me.

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 12:09:57

Merry..that is a fair point, but I tried to talk to him on Monday evening about how low I was feeling and his answer is to stop seeing my mum so often.
If only that would sort it all out!
And I cannot abandon my recently bereaved mother.
I have no idea where to go from here.

Joysmum Wed 05-Feb-14 12:12:20

My first thought is to make it extremely clear how serious this is.

My husband doesn't take me seriously when I say I'm not well. When I'm not well I crack on and don't dwell on it. When I'm really unwell to the point if not being able to effectively function then I'll state I'm unwell.

The issues if communication is because he describes himself as not well when he's feeling a bit off. When use the term very differently.

MerryMarigold Wed 05-Feb-14 12:14:19

I have had to tell my dh in the past that he needs to listen and bite his tongue on fixing the problem, just listen. It's a bit of a difficult skill for a lot of men, and they need to learn it. Sometimes with years of training! You need to sit down with him and again and say, "Just listen and then give me a hug. I don't want anything else." You can say your problem is lack of emotional support from HIM (so he's not tempted to fix that with your friends) and say, if there is one problem which needs fixing it is that. How can he emotionally support you?

MerryMarigold Wed 05-Feb-14 12:17:42

And if he is tempted to come up with 'solutions' like doctors, pills whatever you say, "I don't want a solution. What I really need is someone to listen to me and a good cuddle." Over and over again. Men are problem solvers and find it really hard to get their heads around this.

Good luck! If he's a good guy, he will get it at some point. In the meantime, do keep getting support from wherever you can. Including here.

kotinka Wed 05-Feb-14 12:18:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 12:23:20

Not really kotinka, but thank you.
There really wasn't any choice. My mum was in hospital, my brother was catatonic with shock and my sister was abroad so I had to do everything.
Tbh even when mum and my sister were home and my brother had started talking again it was still pretty much just me sad
I hope I have done what dad would have wanted.
It seems silly to say you can't bear what you are required to bear, but....I dont think I can bear much more sad

ummingandahhing Wed 05-Feb-14 12:38:49

Fucking hell OP, you've had a hell of a time.

Have you said to him: I cannot cope, I need you to do x, y, z because I told my brother that I wasn't coping the last two years but he really didn't hear it until I bloody spelt it out for him recently. He had "no idea". Sometimes people can be really dense.

bragmatic Wed 05-Feb-14 12:40:49

I'm so sorry about your dad, that must be an awful memory.

You're being the strong one here, by facing up to things and doing what needs to me done. But it is grossly unfair and you deserve support. Demand it.

Custardo Wed 05-Feb-14 12:45:30

clear communication is key - and probably in list form

something like " being more emotionally supportive" is wide, varied and vague

so list specific support needs and talk to him about it

and whilst I realise you can't leave your mother for a long period of time, I think, if finances allow, you should book yourself into a cheap hotel for two days

even if its just a travel dodgy - watch tv, eat what you like recuperate

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 12:51:32

Custardo....that sounds wonderful!
I am not sure how to explain what I expect tbh...just that when I say "I don't think I can cope today" I expect more than "be strong" sad
I told him on Monday that I didn't know how much more I could cope with...turns out the answer is "not much" sad

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 12:53:28

Brag...yes, yes it is.
I will never forgive myself. At least my siblings were spared that sad

Custardo Wed 05-Feb-14 13:07:27

can you agree for him to take two days off and then book a hotel ?

ummingandahhing Wed 05-Feb-14 13:07:37

But "I don't think I can cope" has the word "think" in there which maybe says to him that you CAN cope.

And if he says "be strong", tell him you can't and you need him to do something about.

Be specific. Tell him exactly what you need.

Yes, I know he should know but sometimes people need a manual to get the picture!

wyrdyBird Wed 05-Feb-14 13:09:04

Badvoc, you're in the right place here.
I'm so sorry to hear of all you've had to deal with. It sounds devastating.

How people respond to ill health seems to give a very good clue as to what sort of person they are, IMO. Dismissive and avoidant responses, especially with regard to children, suggest callousness.

If someone isn't kind or helpful to you when you (or DC) are genuinely ill or in trouble, you've got to ask why they are in your life.

Echoing that: if the person you're in a love relationship with cannot offer kindness or emotional support, in any circumstances, you've got to ask why they are there, and what love really means to them (and you).

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 05-Feb-14 13:13:00

flowers You are not pathetic, nor a burden. You are rightly fed up of being strong minus any input from him.

What the past six months have shown you is he can't be relied upon in a crisis. He doesn't need a picture drawn for him: bereavement and serious illness and ongoing treatment for conditions is all a big deal, he's not a child.

He can't handle people being ill. He should make an exception for his DW and family! This isn't trivial stuff that will go away if he ignores it or downplays it. This isn't going to be magically sorted by you seeing the doctor. You need to know that he is there for you.

Try a conversation tonight,
“H, I don't think you understand how I feel, can we talk about it?”

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 05-Feb-14 13:16:12

As for MIL, after she has said something hurtful, ask her,
“When you say things like that, do you ever wonder what it might be like for me to hear?”
Or maybe, “Are you aware how often you say things like that?”

Badvoc Wed 05-Feb-14 13:18:01

Thank you all.
At least you aren't saying Aibu!!
How do you start a dialogue when you feel so sad/upset/angry? And when there are dc around?

Honeysweet Wed 05-Feb-14 13:20:05

Hi op.
What is your husband like in other areas of your life. And if your dc get ill?

I would just try and do the same as regards what you are doing about your pils. I dont think they are going to change, or you are going to change them anytime son sadly.

Honeysweet Wed 05-Feb-14 13:20:59

Start by asking for hugs. Tonight.

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