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DH feeling 'stressed'- AIBU?

(33 Posts)
TheMightyMing Sat 03-May-14 00:24:06

Looking for opinions really.

My husband has been suffering with work related stress for a while now and hasn't been the easiest to live with. Recently signed off for a month but now back on a phased return.

He goes out a fair bit (only local with his mates) which I am fine with- but whilst he seems fine when he is out, when he gets back he is miserable, monosyllabic etc etc.

If I am honest- I am finding it a bit hard to deal with. I work full time myself in a demanding jib, we have a teenaged DS. We have a nice house, are ok financially ( a bit more is always nice I know). No health worries and he retires in a few years when he will still be quite young.

I have to an extent told him to to get on with it, I have tried to support him but I am struggling to keep all the other balls in the air as it is!!!

He is seeing a counsellor via work and his bosses seem supportive, but he seems to be 'selectively wallowing' to suit himself. He has just gone up to bed in some sort of moody sulk now ( went out at 7 got in at 11.30).

That's all, think I just needed to vent. I am feeling very fed up- am I being a cow though?

ancientbuchanan Sat 03-May-14 00:35:57

No. You could be me. If you want to pm me, do. I've been living with this for 21 months now. It's miserable all round.

itsbetterthanabox Sat 03-May-14 00:38:15

If it's work related then either sort out the problem with work or change jobs. It depends what is stressing him.

TheMightyMing Sat 03-May-14 00:40:08

Thanks- I may do that! I am coming to the time when I have my independence to a degree and life should be getting easier but this is dragging me down. How you have survived that long is beyond me- how are you cooing in yourself? X

TheMightyMing Sat 03-May-14 00:41:02


Pennyforthegal Sat 03-May-14 00:42:05

I mean, possibly he can't help stress related behaviour but he can help how it is causing extra work for you.
I think, try to be fair about it, say you understand he is going through abhardbtime but he still needs to help out at home and provide companionship and support to you.

ancientbuchanan Sat 03-May-14 00:45:05

It's a nightmare.

MN saves me.

Work is a mixture of stress and displacement activity, Ds finds it awful.

But you just have to get on with it. From time to time I explode. And then carry on.

My DSIL, who works in employment law, says you can see some people just giving up the desire to get better and living it. I wild agree.

ancientbuchanan Sat 03-May-14 00:46:03

I have set some tasks.

But they often don't get done.

cozietoesie Sat 03-May-14 00:50:27

It sounds as if it's your relationship that's the problem. Do you actually like him?

Pennyforthegal Sat 03-May-14 00:54:02

What jobs are you both in , is it teaching ?

TequilaMockingbirdy Sat 03-May-14 00:56:03

Honestly OP work related stress is absolutely bloody awful. It doesn't matter how good your home life is, how good money is, if you're stressed your stressed. It often manifests itself into physical symptoms too sad

But I can fully understand how hard it is for you too, so no you're not a cow at all.

I can understand him wanting to go out and let his hair down so to speak, but I think he needs to take some time out with you as his partner. Could you perhaps suggest a nice weekend together? Tell him you both deserve to have a nice stress free weekend, might be a good time to tell him how you feel about it.

weatherall Sat 03-May-14 00:59:32

Mid life crisis?

Botanicbaby Sat 03-May-14 01:24:01

"He goes out a fair bit (only local with his mates) which I am fine with- but whilst he seems fine when he is out, when he gets back he is miserable, monosyllabic etc etc. "

so sorry OP I too have lived with a 'selective wallower'. you've hit the nail on the head there btw. I am not unsympathetic to work stress having experienced it first hand myself (its horrible to deal with) but if someone can be fine with their mates then grumpy at home....well, all they do is drag you down, like you say. You need to call him on his behaviour. I truly cannot see how he can be okay down the pub with his mates and shitty with his family. If you are truly stressed then you don't enjoy anything.

Dirtybadger Sat 03-May-14 01:52:09

Sorry but I really think the above is unfair. I became quite ill a few years ago due to stress at work. Suicidal almost. I walked to work wondering whether to throw myself under a car. If I broke a leg or two, I'd get the day off to go to hospital.
I was fine at work (though did have a cry in the toilet secretly most days) and fine out with friends. Partly because I had to pretend to be (and if you pretend hard enough, it sort of happens) and partly as I wasn't thinking about work. It was an escape.
As soon as I got in the door at night the dread came back. What work I had to do. How long my manager would shout at me for that morning, etc. I did anything to stay out, actually. Excessive gym time, etc.

Do you do any nice things together? You should be part of his "recovery" and the dcs (if they exists). Don't let his mates became his only source of happiness just because your time happens to be in a different context. Grab a takeaway regularly. Arrange a movie night. Something to bring you together again that'll allow him to switch off from work. If indeed that is what the problem is.

You can bounce the above off a more serious conversation explaining how he has been making you feel. "This is what's happening, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, how about we do this?". If he rejects or is ungrateful for your efforts to consider him, then maybe you need a different conversation, though.

Obviously I haven't worded that perfectly, but bottom line is it doesn't seem unlikely that its the "house" not the "family" which is bribing him down when he gets in. Small triggers for negative thought patterns. Based on my experience, anyway.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 03-May-14 01:58:27

I see where you're coming from.

My dp as my partner versus my dp as someone else's friend are often not the same at all. It infuriates me that he can be Mr Charming/Life and Soul with friends but be monosyllabic when with me.

He doesn't has a depression diagnosis (though has been signed off work with bereavement stress and had counselling some years back now) and never has, but there have certainly been periods when he should have been (in my extremely non medical opinion).

I've no advice but just wanted to reassure you that your feelings aren't unreasonable.

Botanicbaby Sat 03-May-14 02:02:30

I totally hear what you are saying dirtybadger and didn't mean for my post to come across as so unsympathetic to those who are genuinely suffering from stress at work.

As I said, I have first hand experience of work stress myself, its not nice. Yet I have also suffered at the hands of a 'selective wallower' who was fine with (seemingly) everything except for me/home life. Perhaps it was part of the OP that said he went out at 7, got in at 11.30 and went to bed in a moody sulk that got to me. Been there, its not easy to live with at all. Especially if it keeps happening. Once in a while I could maybe accept it but any more than that, I'd think they were taking the piss.

DeckSwabber Sat 03-May-14 05:10:00

Well, maybe going out with his mates feels like fun at the time but isn't helping. He comes home and nothing has changed. sad.

I'm stressed at the moment and I can get through work and social stuff but coming home I often feel down, even if I've been looking forward to it. I don't have a partner so its definitely 'me' and not 'them'! It's the pile of post, the million little things I haven't sorted, the kids who need me to be wonderful when I feel crap and empty.

I'd suggest fixing something that you can look forward to together and talking it through when you are both feeling positive.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 03-May-14 06:04:30

I don't think his behaviour is acceptable at all. Stress is a nasty thing but if he's struggling he should get the appropriate help. Not be the life and soul with his pals and then take it out on the family. If 'going out a fair bit' involves alcohol (which is a depressant), that's not helping either. Does he go out with you?

FindoGask Sat 03-May-14 07:03:06

"I was fine at work (though did have a cry in the toilet secretly most days) and fine out with friends. Partly because I had to pretend to be (and if you pretend hard enough, it sort of happens) and partly as I wasn't thinking about work. It was an escape.
As soon as I got in the door at night the dread came back. "

Sounds very similar to what my husband went through a few years ago, and a friend of mine is currently dealing with similar. I agree that, rather than being signs of "selective wallowing" it's much easier to bury worries when out with friends/out and about, but at home they seem to crowd in more.

Eventually my husband dealt with it by leaving his job, but it was a hard time for him - and for me, so I do sympathise with you OP but the way you describe your partner suggests you could maybe try a bit more sympathy yourself.

supersop60 Sat 03-May-14 08:19:52

I have heard this kind of thing before from friends whose partners are depressed. The partners seem outgoing and sociable to everyone else, but once behind closed doors/at home, they drop the act because they can - it's their home or their haven/cave. Unfortunately you live there too and have to deal with it. Is your husband taking steps to deal with the stress, or to find help? dirtybadger has some good ideas. Good luck, and don't take it personally - try to detach a bit. brew

itsbetterthanabox Sat 03-May-14 09:04:44

If things are that bad for any of you then you seriously need to speak to your work place about any issues, a union if they won't help or if the issue is just unhappiness at the job then look for a new one! It is not worth living so unhappy.

MrsNoodleHead Sat 03-May-14 09:07:55

It sounds as though your husband may be depressed (the depression no doubt brought about by his work situation). It is good that he is having counselling but would he also consider anti-depressants?

TheMightyMing Sat 03-May-14 22:29:41

Thanks for everyone's responses - very much appreciated , feel better for just sharing. Seeing how it goes.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Sun 04-May-14 08:26:53

My DH was off work with horrendous stress and PTSD BUT he was in a gloom all the time, not selectively. He would not have been able to socialise at all but I realise we are all different. You need to speak to him and tell him that you have noticed the on/off effect and give him a chance to tell you what is actually going on in his head. Your spidey sense is telling you things are not what they appear. You need to know. Good luck Mighty.

TheMightyMing Sun 04-May-14 16:09:30

Thanks Dinnae- he mentioned going off again from work and maybe getting some AD's- I am ok with that but have pointed him to the potential side effects- as I thought he needed to know.

It's flipping hard work being around though, isn't it x

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