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In some ways lots has changed for the better...(20 Posts)
Have posted before (this is my 'posting for support' name) but a brief summary of previous posts:
DH is a perfectionist who likes he house to be kept a certain way
I am a SAHM with two DC under 5
DH suffers with depression and occasionally takes ADs but has refused counselling
For 6 months I have been to-ing and fro-ing about what to do, I really hate living in a place where everything has to be just so with a man who is never happy about anything, but I do appreciate it is depression that is causing him to be like this and want to be supportive, just not to the detriment of me or the kids.
I went to counselling weekly and now go occasionally.
I threatened to leave and I meant it. I made an appointment to view houses and suggested he do the same. I talked about how we could work out finances and he realised I had been putting a lot of thought into the matter.
I went back to work 2.5 days per week, slight change of career but a job I love which is using my skills, I'm finding it really fulfilling.
DH is now going for counselling fortnightly.
So lots has changed for the better. But...
DH's counsellor tells him how hard he works, how it can't be good for him, how it must be really detrimental to his health and well being, no wonder he finds it hard to relax. Which is all true, he does work very hard but this had made me think that maybe I haven't appreciated how hard it is for him and that I have not been supportive enough. He is making a huge effort by going to counselling and I want him to know I am here to help him where possible but this seems to boil down to making sure his home environment is as peaceful, stress free and clean and tidy as possible. Which is where I was struggling before.
I love my job, really love it, it is making a difference to people and I am getting to use skills I had in previous employment (I was very lucky to get it) i work two full days and one half/full day equivalent is done in the evenings to keep childcare costs down, meaning DH has to do a bit more with the kids. Except he isn't because he is so stressed from work and his counsellor has told him it is important that he relax. So I am doing kids, making his dinner and then working after everyone is in bed and I'm tired.
DH hates his job and always comments on how lucky I am to love mine, that he would give anything to be happy at work, but I have been suggesting and printing off jobs for him for the past 6 months and he won't even consider them. He did apply for one which wanted more experience and qualifications than he has and then didn't get it and seems to now think, why bother?
So I am not sure how to move on from here, or how to accept things for the time being. I do feel that as DH has made the effort to go to counselling I should give it time to be effective, but how long? 6 months? A year? He has pointed out that he has been so stressed, it will be a long process.
Also I have tried to do less around the house but I get nervous when things are not as they should be, so that even now he has told me he is going to try hard not to be bothered by a bit of mess, I can't manage to let things go, even though I want to and I have other things to do. He is not even the problem with regards to this, I am! How do I allow myself to relax now that he has given me permission?
So many things have changed on both sides and I want to give this the best chance, I know his depression is the cause of so much of the upset and I don't want to sabotage his efforts with my own inability to relax.
Sorry, a bit muddled. Not even sure what I'm asking! Any advice/experience/words of wisdom?
Hmm. It's still all about him, isn't it?
When do your needs get taken into account? Why are yours less important than his?
You say he's made the effort to go to counselling, but do you think he'd still be there if the counsellor was telling him he needed to pull his socks up at home, change jobs to one he likes better, and consider you more?
I think he's persisting with the counselling because the counsellor is telling him what he wants to hear, that he's the poor put-upon stressed one who needs everyone else to run around smoothing his path rather than getting off his arse and sorting his own life out.
That's what DH said. He said he talks to her about why he is stressed and she can understand why because of how hard he works, that he needs to take some time for himself. Which all makes sense, I would advise any friends of mine who were stressed to try and find ways to unwind so I have no reason to doubt him.
You say that so much has changed, and you don't want to sabotage his efforts. But if you look at the list of changes that you wrote about, they seem to be mostly changes that you have made. What changes has he made? What effort is he actually putting in, other than going to counselling?
You think he is stressed and that perhaps you haven't been supportive enough. But you sound stressed. Who is supporting you? Shouldn't you be supporting each other? Why is he more deserving of support than you?
Marriage is a two way street. Your dh is getting his needs met but you are not. You are actually holding the fort.
With two young dc the house will get messy and you need to lower the standards in that respect or he does but what I would like you to do is on the day you work from home is not to do everything. You need to get a little oomph in you and think 'well if dh has genuinely changed I will leave some mess around and see what happens' then wait and see.
You can't let it go at the moment because you have been conditioned not to.
Think of the Frozen song! Let it go, let it go! And watch and wait.
And I applaud you for having the courage to seek alternative arrangements for you and the dc when the going got tough. You only get one shot at life and he is damn lucky that he decided to sort himself out.
You cannot be expected to live in a pressure cooker for the rest of your life is all I know.
I think it is his stress levels which make me stressed so if we can get him sorted it will have a positive effect on me. I have lots of wonderful friends, I don't go into detail about home life with them but because I have lots of people around I feel supported iykwim.
He doesn't have many friends and won't talk about this sort of thing with his family so really only has me.
I've always been quite a strong person, have had some really difficult traumatic things to deal with and am still standing, but because of his depression things seem to affect DH more, which is why I want to share my strength.
I do not accept that's "what the counsellor said", he's telling you a line to keep you in line. Counsellors aren't there for an ego stroke......give this some serious thought, because how much has "what the counsellor said" kept you quiet and made you hesitate?
What about trying couples counselling? Then you would know what the counsellor said and both sides of the situation would be presented.
What do you get out of this relationship now with such a difficult person?.
It seems like you've been busting many guts to please, enable (please stop with the handing him job ads. He is clearly not bothered and or interested in finding another job also because he is more than happy to moan at you constantly about it) and cajole him and what has he done here?. He also now has a counsellor to bitch at and manipulate as well into making this person feel sorry for him. Its still all about him really.
Look at his parents, how much of his behaviour now is really down to them?. Does one or even both of them act similarly?.
How much of his behaviour is really down to depression and how much of this is really due to him really being at heart a total arse. Depression is not an excuse or a free pass on his part to treat you and by turn your children so poorly. Is this really the model of a relationship you want to be showing them?. I think he knows exactly what he is doing and has you exactly where he wants you.
I think your H has really just made a token effort and is manipulating the counsellor.
I would not do couples counselling at all with such a man; he will likely also manipulate that counsellor and make it all out to be your fault.
There is a reason too why he does not have any friends; he does not want them.
What he's telling you may be his perception of what the counsellor said. The counsellor may have actually said something quite different but what he's telling you is the version he has "heard" He doesn't have to be deliberately lying, just presenting his self-serving distortion.
You do sound very invested in "fixing" him. I think he needs to put more effort into fixing himself.
DH's counsellor tells him ....
Bullshit. He's hearing what he wants to hear from his sessions, and using it to manipulate you.
I have been suggesting and printing off jobs for him for the past 6 months and he won't even consider them.
If he was serious about changing his job situation, he would do it himself. You can't spoonfeed him: any change has to come from him if it's to be effective. This is not your issue to solve, and anyway you can't.
Also I have tried to do less around the house but I get nervous when things are not as they should be
You are walking on eggshells. He has you well trained.
Maybe go back to weekly counselling, and explore the ways in which you feel unsettled in this marriage, and why that might be.
It sounds as though his job is the cause of his stress. It doesn't sound like there is anything more you could be doing or not doing to help. So he needs to change jobs, or find a way to make his current job not weigh so heavily on him. That is something HE needs to do, albeit with your moral support.
It sounds to me like perhaps this is what the counsellor is saying - that the job is a problem. But that what he's hearing is 'the job is a problem and others need to support you' rather than 'the job is a problem and you need to consider what you want to do about that'.
I agree that couples counselling might be helpful. Is this something you've tried at all?
Attilla said all I wanted to say. I agree emphatically with her post.
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