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Please help. PIL / family probs

(16 Posts)
MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 27-Feb-14 13:25:03

Need some help/ perspective here... Sorry for the rambling

DP is depressed. It's affecting the while family (me, dd, my mum, DS is a baby).
His main problem is very low self esteem. I believe his parents are the main cause of this, all his life they have said/ hinted that he's not good enough. An example of this is when he was at Uni his parents came to graduation with a bottle of champagne they'd been saving for such a day. Told him about it showed him then said he couldn't have it because he didn't get a first.
They are from a different culture to us and dp feels a massive loyalty to them as he's the first born son (and they remind him how it's his reaponsibility to look after them) we live about 300 miles away. They ring/ FaceTime him daily, sometimes more than once. They speak in their native language with dp on the phone and when they've been up to stay with us, which means I'm not included in any conversations between them. They are very controlling of dp and he's a completely different person when they're around, no smiles/ affection for me or dd...
Even when they're not here a phone call from them changes his mood dramatically and he can be short with dd and off with me. He rarely yells me exactly what the problem is, he sometimes turns to drink as he's so stressed with it all. When he's drunk I can talk to him, but I know that alcohol is not the answer.
Today he said he feels like packing a bag and just going away. Can't see a solution because I have made it clear how I feel about his parents and think he should grow up (he's 42) and stand up for his family ie me and the dcs and his choices in life. He's done nothing wrong, has a very goo job, a partner who loves him, DS and my dd. Plus we've just put in an offer on a house we love. He told his mum about the house, was all excited, then she developed a bad back and started going on about how she's suffered all her life and when is he coming back to London.
I can see right through them, so obviously manipulative controlling etc. but it's dp who is ALLOWING them to be!!
What can I do to save my family? To be honest I think he's heading for a breakdown, can't (won't) see gp as it will prevent him getting a job (he's a dr t

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 27-Feb-14 13:26:03

Posted too soon
He's a dr too so will go on record, he says gmc not sympathetic of MH problems...

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 27-Feb-14 15:02:51

Anyone? sad

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 27-Feb-14 15:27:52

The solution is for him learn how to detach from his parents, but that is a looooong and difficult process, and one that he can only choose to do by himself and for himself.

All you can do is decide whether this marriage is still working for you, or not.

Maybe a good starting point would be to read "Toxic In-Laws" by Susan Forward.

baytree Thu 27-Feb-14 15:29:12

I understand where you are coming from regarding the culture. I have got to know several female Indian friends. We meet once a week for coffee as our children are in a class together.

The big thing in their culture they tell me, is the expectations of the first son in taking care of his parents. It is expected that the parents move in with the son or the son stays in the family home, so it is lucky that your DP's are too far away.

If the husband's parents visit from India, they expect to be taken to all the sights, everything paid for etc..Not only that but the son is expected to pay towards other things such as siblings' weddings, plus cash and gold gifts for them and the parents. His own family comes down the order. A friend is struggling with this at the moment. Her husband has paid out a lot over the last 12 months and it is leaving them skint.

When the female friends' parents visit, the opposite happens, the parents pay for everything.

Also, if the son has a good job/lives in a prosperious country then this adds to the expectations.

There is also a lot of pressure on children to achieve academically, much more so than in our culture.

I can understand how your DP is depressed with all of these pressures, plus the manipulative behaviour of his family. Maybe you could find a forum that discuss these culture clashes or find a RL friend from the same culture whom you could chat to for ideas? Would it help to sort out your finances so that there is clear demarkation of what is for your family only?

fuzzywuzzy Thu 27-Feb-14 15:34:13

Is OP's partner Indian tho?

My sister husband told his parents they were buying a house and was all excited, his parents also did the we're old and dying and have sacrificed so much for you crap, upshot was they wanted the money they saw him putting into the new house, my sister told her husband point blank if he did that she'd be fine as she'd go to stay with our parents but where was he planning on staying?

He has a lot more perspective these days!

struggling100 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:54:14

Oh gosh, this is a difficult situation for you. The difficulty, of course, is twofold: both his emotional dependence on his parents, and the cultural difference in terms of expectations.

Unlike quite a lot of people on Mumsnet, you sound very patient and tolerant - you're not demanding that he choose between your family and his more extended families, just that he get things more in balance. This, it seems to me, is absolutely key to your approach. As he's under stress already, upping the stakes by giving any kind of ultimatum is just going to increase the conflictedness he has and pile more pressure on. Instead, you need to try to defuse the situation so that he feels that it's safe for him to discuss this and to think about it in new and more creative ways. There are lots of solutions, but I bet he's like a rabbit in the headlights at the moment, unable to see any of them.

I really, really think he could benefit from seeing a counsellor. My DP had significant issues with his parents, who are very controlling and selfish, without meaning to be so. Like your DH, he is in a profession where mental health issues are not viewed favourably. In the end he came close to having a breakdown over it at the age of 40. We paid for him to see a counsellor privately, so it didn't go on his record. It helped no end: he went from allowing them basically to walk all over both of us (he would sometimes be physically sick during a visit with the stress they put him under) to being able to establish adult boundaries that ensure a limit to their demands. It hasn't stopped them making unreasonable demands (you cannot solve this), but it does mean we have an effective but polite response when they do. A lot of the problem is simply being clear and firm in the first instance. I think I will probably always find them more annoying in their demands than he does (!) but at least it now feels like we're on the same team.

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 27-Feb-14 19:31:30

I've just ordered that book hot!
And yes fuzzy, he is Indian, but born in uk, parents came here in 70s.
Thank you all for the replies, I find it hard not to get angry because of all the shit they give him, sadangry
What's the best way of finding a good counsellor privately? I think anyone can call themselves counsellors?

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 27-Feb-14 19:55:54

Bay- that really helps, thank you. I've never known any Indian people before dp so I'm very naive about what's what, and to be fair dp never told me any of this when we first got together!
It also explains why dp footed his dad's tax bill of over a thousand pounds confusedangry
It's not like they're poor either, they own 2 houses in London ffs! I wouldn't begrudge them a penny if they needed it, it's the attitude, I guess it's going to be a massive leaning curve hmm

macthecat Thu 27-Feb-14 20:36:45

OP I'm a doctor and I wanted to reassure you that going to his gp to discuss feeling depressed will not trigger any gmc involvement. If he can't be convinced though, try the bacp website.

macthecat Thu 27-Feb-14 20:37:23

sorry, to find a counsellor/therapist

MistletoeBUTNOwine Thu 27-Feb-14 20:51:27

Mac- doesn't he need to declare any medical including MH probs when he applies for new jobs? He's finishing gp training end of this year.

Kundry Thu 27-Feb-14 21:06:09

I'm also a doctor and can reassure you that just like everyone else, doctors get depression and get treated and the GMC is not interested. He is right in that the GMC is unsupportive of those with mental health problems but 99.9999% of doctors with mental health problems do not get referred to the GMC. I suspect his concern reflects more his parents stigmatizing those with depression than any real experience he has had of colleagues with depression. In my specialty those who haven't had depression are in the minority, they'd be no work done if the GMC started investigating us all.

He may be able to access counselling at work through Occ Health, or if he is in training through his deanery. I'd highly recommend this route as many regions run schemes specifically for doctors - I've personally used 2 and the quality was extremely high. I had support that wouldn't have been available on the NHS and would have cost ££££ privately, in addition to the fact I could do it in work time. Confidentiality is also excellent - on one scheme only the doctor running it knew all the names and nothing could be traced back by employers.

Privately, I'd start with the BACP website and ideally someone who can use more than one type of therapy - listed as 'eclectic' on their search tool. Doctors are often tough nuts and can often run rings round an inexperienced counsellor so someone who can take a variety of approaches and be flexible is good.

Kundry Thu 27-Feb-14 21:09:49

You do need to declare depression on an Occ health form when getting a new job - but all that happens is you go to Occ Health, tell them you have successfully treated/self-managed and they are delighted.

They are far more concerned by the people with untreated problems or who are pretending they don't have any issues or trying to hide things from their medical record as this then shows lack of insight.

I've been doing this since my first job (no choice as unfortunately had depression at med school) and am yet to find an unsupportive Occ Health department. Even the worst was simply uninterested.

offside Thu 27-Feb-14 21:23:13

I strongly disagree with the comments about the GMC. I think it's unfortunate that that's how you see them, but I can assure you that they are extremely supportive of mentally ill doctors and for some, the GMC actually saves their careers and lives.

Just because your DP goes to his doctor for support, does not mean he will get a referral to the GMC, afterall, all doctors are supposed to adhere to patient confidentiality. The only way a referral will happen is if there is a suspicion that his illness is affecting his fitness to practise, which is a reasonable step to take.

baytree Fri 28-Feb-14 10:31:27

Glad it helped. If you have any specific questions then happy to ask them to my friends on your behalf.
Another of my friends has parents who came over to England in the 70's too. These parents still send money and gifts back to India. My friend remembers growing up and her dad sending money for a bike for her cousin and yet she had no bike!

The friend is now married to a second born son, so it's a little easier for them. Whereas her husband's older brother and his wife live with the parents.

Like you I had no idea that these cultural differences existed until I met my friends. In our culture the daughter tends to stay closer to the mother, whereas the opposite is true in the Indian culture. Our saying "A daughter is a daughter for life, a son is a son until he gets a wife" doesn't apply.

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