Does my DH have mental issues?(72 Posts)
If you have seen me posting already re: splitting up, please temporarily ignore / put to the back of your mind... We are going through Relate at the mo and I have agreed to TRY to save our marriage... The purpose of this post is to try to understand what has gone wrong and why. Is it worth staying and trying to sort him out. He says he feels 'not right in the head'. It's a last ditch attempt. Your opinions on whether or not you think my DH may have actual proper mental issues would be a real help. Here goes...
Before my DH and I met his family were quite concerned about him. Apparently he was very intense, painfully shy, self-obsessed, a 'troubled soul' and had great difficulty keeping girlfriends. My SIL recently pretty much said that last sentence word for word... He was 29 and I was 21 when we first got together. His family breathed a huge sigh of relief as apparently I 'fixed' him. In retrospect I was too young and should have read the signs and run a mile... But instead I blindly fell in love.
Fast forward... I am now 43, with two DCs and have been really struggling for the past six years. Aside from being grumpy and odd he has been having an in/off affair with the same woman. They are nauseatingly obsessed with each other and behave like love sick teenagers. She massages his ego and flatters him in a way in which cannot / will not (I'm too angry and ground down). Most of their activity is on social media / emails / texts.
Anyway... I am cannot understand his behaviour. Here is a list:
He frequently uploads selfies to several FB pages. He has these pages for his music, art, frisbee throwing, old records and then his actual personal FB page. These selfies are 'posed' often either shirtless or with buttons undone, on the beach in shorts etc. NB: he does have a good physique. He makes an effort to stay in trim and does weights at home (in front of the mirror).
He used to write a journal every day, prior to meeting me. When we moved from his flat into our first home together I found a whole box of journals. He had documented his life and relationships in great detail from age 16 to 29. He willingly destroyed them all. But to be honest it's always niggled me. What I saw of them was a bit odd and definitely obsessive... As far as I know he's never kept a journal since then. But he does write songs and poems instead.
He has a reasonably well paid but ordinary job, but is convinced he 'should' have been a musician or artist (both are hobbies). He gets all bitter and twisted about this frequently. If he comes across anyone locally making a living in either capacity and he thinks they are not as good as himself he gets very ranty and angry. We cannot, for example, just go out to an average pub gig because it makes him cross. Ditto local art exhibitions.
He has great difficulty mixing socially. His worst nightmare would be going to a party or large family event. He tends to hide in a corner and just talk to the people he knows.
He has no close male friends and rarely goes out to the pub or similar with anyone other than ex colleagues occasionally.
His own brother says he finds it very difficult to communicate with him and has struggled to stay in touch with him. I have a good relationship with my BIL and SIL - they would agree with what I have said above.
Soooo - what do you think?
You are unlikely to get any sort of accurate diagnosis from a general forum. If he thinks there are mental health issues, he needs to see a doctor and ask for a ref to a mental health professional.
Having said that, as a layperson it just sounds to me that he's frankly a bit odd. He clearly ticks differently from other people.
Has his ongoing affair been discussed at relate, and has he agreed to end it?
He sounds like a sort of introverted narcissist, or narcissistic introvert, if you want my entirely unprofessional opinion.
What I'd like is a general opinion as in: does this all sound serious enough to require a referral or am I just irritated by the slightly odd man I married. I don't know if any of the behaviours listed are actual red flags.
Yes, it does sound as if he has issues, but is categorising them going to make this worth sorting out?
It sounds as though you deserve your freedom from this. He has had / is having an affair - his choice, whatever his issues.
I have experience of mental health issues in my family, and I don't think that anything you mention specifically links to a mental health issue
Is he using it as an excuse for the affair? Bipolar can lead to excessive sexual behavior in a manic phase but it's not an excuse for an ongoing affair whatsoever
Uploading topless selfies is attention seeking - I'd be livid if my DH did that, it's purely something people do if they want to attract the opposite sex
Shyness and not having tonnes of friends isn't necessarily linked to a MH issue either, it can just be a character trait, not everyone has a big group of friends and is happier with a smaller group of friends and not in big group situations
What is wrong with keeping a journal? Its not something that everyone does, but I don't think it's a particularly strange thing to do, especially for someone who's interested in writing & poetry - why did you want him to destroy them?
Yes the affair is being discussed in detail with Relate. I'm sort of trying to separate it out... Although she definitely massages his ego.
What difference would it make if he was referred and diagnosed with a mental health issue? Do you somehow feel that it would absolve him or make it easier for you to forgive his rather odd and bad behaviour?
To me he sounds like someone with an Autistic spectrum disorder.
Whatever it is about him, you cannot 'sort him out'.
No wonder you are ground down. I would find him impossible to live with, with or without a diagnosis.
If you feel you should have run a mile way back then, it's not too late to start running.
The man is a lying cheating arse, that's all you need to know. Stop trying to "sort him out" Whether he is Autistic or not is irrelevant here.
He sounds like a narcissist. But he cannot blame these things on mental illness...
Who cares ?
His behaviour is unacceptable
Dump, before he makes even more of a fool of you
I am no expert, but he sounds as though he has some narcissistic traits anyway.
That asides, what on earth are you doing going to Relate with him, when he's having an ongoing and current affair?!
You talk about the OW as though she is a pesky relative or something...just one of those annoying things you have to endure.
I think that's odd.
That's not to say he has any sort of disorder either. Just that he sounds callous and self obsessed.
I work in a mental health field. Nothing particularly springs out at requiring a referral to be honest. People get a mental health diagnosis when they are having serious problems with work, relationships or general functioning. Not for being a bit difficult to talk to. Or being bitter and twisted.
Perhaps there is just not enough information. If he wanted help with the social anxiety, then I suppose he might meet the criteria for that, if it was severe enough to affect his life. But he is holding down a job and relationships, so that's not too bad. There is also a thing called social communication disorder which in some ways is similar to ASD, but I wouldn't be able to say if he has that from what you say. Other people are mentioning NPD - suppose it is possible he could meet the criteria for NPD but it doesn't sound like a clear cut case to me, without more info.
Bless you for trying so hard. That sounds really tough.
He managed to have an affair for god sake. Not sure if he "anxiously pulled down his pants" and anxiously did the deed.
He's having an affair.
Fuck the other stuff.
All the men I know who have autistic traits are very loyal to their partners.
Would it really make a difference to you if he had my issues. Nobody would be able to give him a magic pill to make it all better. Diagnosis or not if you stay with him you will continue having to live with this. There is no shame in saying you have done your bit and put up with enough crap (and really I think you have!).
Would a diagnosis by an armchair psychologist/psychiatrist excuse the fact that he's "nauseatingly obsessed" with another woman who he is conducting an affair with?
Sorry, tablet corrected mh to my! I don't actually have mh issues.
Rereading, I'm not sure that he meets enough markers to be a narcissist.
I think he's just a cock. He's functioning well enough to woo another woman.
You are trying to save this man and you can't. He might be odd but that's the least of your problems. He is brazenly having an affair and showing off his semi-clad body to all and sundry for approval. I could put up with odd, but I couldn't put up with someone behaving like that.
You must feel very anxious yourself. I bet if you two separated you'd feel like you were on holiday.
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