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OH moving out...I'm having doubts(21 Posts)
OH and I have been together nearly 12 years, 2 DCs (8 and 5), not married. Outwardly, we have a nice life, both work in professional jobs, nice house, financially secure. On Monday he is moving out (at my instigation), and I am awash with doubts.
Our relationship has been difficult for a long time...in fact in my heart I know that DS2 was a 'bandage baby'. OH had (according to the counsellor we went to earlier this year) a 'catastrophically chaotic childhood', and in the last three years or so, he has been chronically depressed. He was mostly brought up by his grandmother, and when she died three years ago, his emotional health declined. His father left when he was 3, and he only saw him a couple more times. His step father was an alcoholic and abusive towards his mother...who still chose him over her children. I've spent a long time making excuses for why OH is like he is...but in the last year it has become too much.
I know that OH is depressed (he has been on citalopram for over a year). He has seen various counsellors, but never stuck with one for more than the six or so sessions that the NHS will fund (he could easily afford to pay privately, but is tight with money). We went to couples counselling, but she told us that until he dealt with his own issues, we wouldn't be able to solve our relationship. That was 6 months ago.
Since then I have found it increasingly difficult to live with him. He is chronically untidy, lazy and entirely lacking in motivation. Although I work longer hours than him, I do 90% of all the housework, childcare, organisation. We have an amazing au pair who just shows up how little he does. He spends hours on the internet looking at stuff he will never buy. I know a lot of this is linked to depression, but his inability to deal with it is a major issue. He provokes anger in me that I know is becoming dangerous...I have threatened him with a knife and I have punched him.
He's a good dad in that he is good at the fun stuff (although always on his terms). He is loyal and maintains he still loves me.
So he is moving out on Monday. He has signed a six month lease on a studio flat. In the interests of the whole truth, although I have been asking him to leave for about six months now, I have met someone else, and whilst it is very casual and unlikely to go anywhere, has made me push OH further away. Ironically, in the summer I didn't get involved with someone who was keen (and still is) to be with me because I still had feelings for OH - entirely unsuitable but that's another story, but the point is, back in the summer I still wanted to resolve things with OH.
I am now awash with doubts. In some ways, when I read other threads, it all seems like stuff I could put up with, and if he can sort himself out, we could deal with. I am telling myself that we are having a trial separation...the truth is we have never sat down and discussed what is actually happening. Eldest DS is devastated, youngest at best tolerates OH. I am so close to telling OH to stay, although I think we do need some time apart. Everyone I have spoken to in RL tells me I am doing the right thing. It's just soooo hard...any advice much appreciated.
I think if things are escalating to the point of violence it's best if he goes, for his safety and your own. It's not irreversible. This way you can both have some time to calm down and re-evaluate what it is you want from your relationship, and if it's possible to repair things.
You say you've never properly discussed it - is this because you get so angry? If he goes, you could meet in a neutral location to have proper discussions?
Agree with the PP. Once a relationship is bringing out the worst in everyone, then you have to take steps. Safety aside, it's an appalling atmosphere for DCs to grow up in. It doesn't matter what other people put up with, everyone has their own standards. Have the courage of your convictions.
If his current AD is not working, then he needs to go back to the GP and try something else - it can take a while to find the right one for any particular physiology. Does he know this? If it is a more severe and resistant depression, he may need a referral to a psychiatrist, and support from the Community MH Team.
Some time living apart could be good for both of you, he can then learn to manage his condition, you could support him without being a crutch IYSIM, as a friend would, perhaps?
I would say to go ahead with the separation, it will give you both a chance to figure out what you want from the relationship and will help you make a decision as to what to do in the long run.
My husband also had a ridiculously horrible childhood and that has thrown up some massive MH problems in the past few months and I know from experience that it's bloody hard to try and fix a relationship when there are so many unresolved issues. Is your OH dead set against more counselling (alone)? If you made this a condition of you trying again do you think he would stick to it?
A lot of ifs. If he changed, if he got therapy, if took on half the housework and chores, if he stopped frittering time on the internet etc
In other words if he was a completely different person this might work.
Even I'd he did agree to therapy it would take ages to get anywhere, and he may not change, or change in ways you don't like.
Have the separation, you can always get back together again, it will give you time to decide what you want and maybe make him realise what he is missing.
You punched him! Great that. You've met someone else. Brilliant for you!
This sounds like a complete disaster. Depression is hell to be in and is hell to live alongside.
He does hold all the cards to his recovery though. He might need to change his medication.
Better off letting him go and supporting him from afar if you still want to.
A trial separation sounds good. He will either sink or swim but it might give your dh the push he needs to start getting better. If things have got so bad that you have threatened him with a knife then he has to go. You both need some space to clear your heads. Good luck.
Quitelikely is spot on with her post.
...I have threatened him with a knife and I have punched him.
Jesus Christ. Continue with the separation for all your sakes. To do otherwise is dangerous.
It doesn't look as if it is going to get any better if he stays and things carry on as they are.
He is not getting therapy and it sounds like it would be hard work getting him back to his GP, therefore he is not taking responsibility for his own wellbeing. Depression is awful, but he has to take steps himself. I think it is more likely that he will do this if you are apart - at the moment his refusal to get help is like another weapon he is using against you.
And obviously you know that your anger is getting out of control. You are trying to stay in control but this must be frightening for you as well. Have you thought about therapy just for you as well? If you can afford it, it would be useful.
Keep to the separation. It doesn't have to be the end but things really do have to change in the next six months and you need to resist the urge to rescue him or make him 'better'.
As an afterthought - you are having second thoughts about separating but you are also getting involved in another relationship? Those two things are contradictory to say the least. Do you not think it would be worth sorting out how you feel about your partner before you hook up with someone else? You don't sound very clear-headed. Having a dalliance with another bloke is merely going to muddy the waters. I'm not being a prude, but I think you really need to sort out your own head first and decide what you want before taking the plunge with someone else.
I think he has to move out, for his safety. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that his depression was so obviously debilitating I'd wonder why he was moving out and not you...
You both seem 'stuck' and I think you'd both benefit from separate counselling - obviously you can't control what he does, but you can sort this out for yourself. And I think another relationship should be way down the priority list until you're able to move forward with your own wellness and have decided if the split between you and DP is permanent.
Thanks for your replies...it does confirm what I already know.
One of the things that is making me pause is how he is clearly making an effort to be nice to me. Very little things, but it does remind me that there 'were/are' good things in our relationship.
He has made (after months of me nagging) an appointment to see the GP next week, to review his meds and to find out what other support he could get.
I am well aware of my own shortcomings, and have had counselling. I have 'unrelenting standards' (counsellor's words), borderline OCD, and a vicious temper when the red mist descends. He's not at any risk from me at all...he's a black belt in martial arts and the nature of his job means he is trained to deal with violence and he could have me on the floor in seconds - I guess because I know this I am less controlled with him. I also have a high pressure, emotionally demanding job. I am reluctant to go on ADs myself, having blurred out most of my 20s on them.
I'm not having a relationship with anyone else...I mentioned it because meeting someone else and wanting to do something about it made me reassess where I was with OH. A few months ago I was still trying to repair things with OH...this bloke made me realise there was an alternative. I know that to embark on anything with anyone else is foolish...but I guess I was receptive to someone who was actually interested in me.
I am now awash with doubts. In some ways, when I read other threads, it all seems like stuff I could put up with, and if he can sort himself out, we could deal with
I can assure you that based on what you have posted, your relationship sounds as fucked up and as dysfunctional as the next.
The violence, the anger, the meeting someone else, the resentment.
Let him go and work on things from a distance.
Just because someone can defend themself doesn't mean they should ever need to. My DH is twice my size, also martial arts trained. If I threatened him with a knife he would divorce me. And quite right too.
What are you doing to address your shortcomings?
If your OH was posting here that his partner had punched him, threatened him with a knife and had emotionally checked out of the relationship (suspected OM on the horizon) he'd be told that he may find his depression magically starts to lift once he's out of the relationship.
It sounds dreadful all round. Let him go for both your sakes.
Thanks CleanLines...I know I'm not perfect...but if you read my post you would see that he was diagnosed with depression over a year ago, and it had probably been present for a good two years before that. Throughout that time I have defended him, supported him, held down a demanding full time job and effectively brought up our two children on my own. I have been to counselling on my own and with him. I have given everything I can. When he refused to engage in couples counselling, or acknowledge that there was a problem, I guess I lost the plot a little bit. To be honest, when he leaves I have very significant fears that he will harm himself.
And you're right...it is dreadful, but believe me, I have tried and tried until I am absolutely exhausted and wrung out by it and have nothing left. To express my own emotions (yes I do have anger issues, and yes, I did allow myself to see an alternative in someone else) after years of dealing solely with his and bottling my own up was I suppose, inevitable.
OP you have been frank in disclosing the effect long term frustration of trying to improve matters. I don't think some people jumping down your throat is all that helpful...
Go ahead with your plan. You've threatened him with a knife, his depression annoys you, you've met someone else, you will both be happier apart.
So you have physically hurt him and you are cheating?
..and why is he the one who has to leave?!
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