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Depression in relationship(25 Posts)
NC for this.
I think my partner needs help but won't seek it. He thinks depression isn't a "thing" you just feel sad then you get over it. .
I had PND after first dd was born so found that comment v hurtful and demeaning.
Right now his depression ( or low spell/low self esteem or whatever) is driving a huge wedge between us.
It can account for many bad things happening in our relationship but when do I get to say " actually, low self esteem is shit but that behaviour isn't acceptable regardless of your mental health"
Lack of personal hygiene
Lack of intimacy. V distant all round and getting worse. Toddler doesn't even seem to like him much.
Doesn't help with domestic stuff
Can't/unwilling to plan ( holidays, days out, bill paying etc. all thinking work left to me)
Unwillingness to make an effort with family. In fact sucks the joy out of family time. Things feel "lighter" when he isn't there.
Gambles (not family money)
Doesn't sleep so sits up watching tv all night.
Doesn't really have friends or hobbies ( and doesn't try to make any.. Or so I thought...)
Now the worst thing. I found out last night he has an online alter ago. This other guy is bi/bi curious, talks about cheating, "likes" a lot of less mainstream sex related things on fb and Instagram, and...chatted to me on POF at same time I met "d"p. Seems he was using it as a fact finding mission. I remember the persona as he seemed like a v confused and scared guy trying to come to terms with his sexuality. I actually worried about him as he seemed so down. (What a mug am I?!)
Now I'm wondering if dp really is this guy. We have been together 3.5 years and have an 18mth old. He said he loved me first, talked about marriage after 6 months ( still not even engaged. See "can't plan stuff" above).
He says he is def straight. He blames all the shit things he does on low self esteem.
I've told him about a few sites about mental health awareness and asked for him to seek counselling but also asked him to go to his parents house this weekend ( we were supposed to be going as a family anyway, but I can't face it now)
If he is bi or gay and unhappy enough to leave, I'll be as sad as if he is straight and unhappy enough to leave. His sexuality doesn't bother me ( other than the deceit but that prob makes me more sad than cross!)
Not even sure what I need right now. Just getting it all out I suppose. I don't feel I can tell my friends or family. Heading out for the day with dd and mum and I haven't even slept
Also when I confronted him last night he didn't even try to comfort me or explain himself or anything! I left the room to gather my thoughts /emotions.
This morning he went to work just saying bye really softly, then leaving.
Sorry you're going through this.
I was stuck in a sexless marriage for years and that was bad enough.
I'm struggling to see why you're still with him as he doesn't seem to make you happy in any way? What's he like with DD?
I hope you enjoy your day with your mum.
I didn't tell anyone either but started by telling my gp. She was very supportive.
Thanks for getting through my essay!
I gave him leeway because I felt he was depressed. I can't just leave him because he has a mental illness :/ We muddled along.
I have an older dd who is 12 and their relationship is tense at times. (But then so is mine with her!) He tries in little bursts- taking her to cinema etc but they are not close.
With toddler he does make an effort to play with her at times but far too reliant on technology ( I wouldn't have a tv in the house if up to me!) so a clash in parenting styles there. It's like he can't muster the enthusiasm!
I hope he'll communicate with you soon.
How long has this been going on?
I can't just leave him because he has a mental illness :/ We muddled along.
But you wouldn't be leaving him because he has depression or any other mental health issue. You'd be leaving him because he doesn't care that his illness impacts on you and your DC and won't do anything about it. It is an incredibly selfish, and cowardly, position for him to take.
My guess would be that his low self-esteem and depression actually result from him feeling conflicted about his sexuality. But actually, that's irrelevant: if he won't get help then you can't fix him.
I noticed early pregnancy id say. We got pregnant within days of him moving up here, so new job, new pre-made family, new home away from family and friends and then new baby on the way. A lot to take in and I tried my best to help ease the transition for him. But theres only so much you can do to help a grown man make friends etc.
Overall I now wonder if he was depressed before, but hid it well!
pocket - what point do you say you have had enough? At what point is he so "disabled" by the illness that he can't think about others clearly?
It was a long time ago that I was depressed and I have v little recollection of doing much but cry and care for my baby, and cry some more. But in the end I didn't have a good bond with her. (I see that especially clearly now I've had dd2, and feel the intense bond)
I met dd1s basic needs but I couldn't give her 100%. I couldn't see outside of my bubble. And that's with the great support and counselling I got!
It sounds like I'm defending him. I suppose I am but im trying to keep things in perspective and work out what I want.
I certainly feel I deserve far better than I have. And so does he.
Pretty much everything you describe in your post are or can be symptoms of depression.
And it is a very selfish illness. He can't offer you comfort because he has none to spare.
It's not your job to sort him out, you can't do it.
He needs to get help, but it's not like he does all the things you mentioned just to piss you off.
So what do I do? I have been trying to support him while encouraging professional help. It clearly hasn't helped.
Do I ask him to leave? Or Give him a timeframe to get help?
My brain feels so foggy! Trying not to get upset in front of mum.
BzyB - I'm so sorry you've had a hard time of it. I think pocket is right (as usual! ). There is a difference between being depressed and not recognising it as depression, or being depressed and seeking treatment on the one hand, and being depressed and making all kinds of bad decisions and refusing to acknowledge any real problem or seek treatment on the other.
The alter ego thing would worry me a lot, partly because it sounds like he doesn't really know where the boundaries between his 'real' self and this alternative persona begin. The fact that you have been introduced to both of them suggests this. But beyond that, I find something creepy and unhealthy in the idea that he used an alternative persona to 'check up' on you when he first met you. I think I would be quite cross at that level of deceit, actually. It introduces a power dynamic that isn't really very happy.
In your shoes, I'd set some boundaries, and the first of them would be a routine. I would get him doing activity scheduling, which is where you sit down and set some goals you'd like to achieve, then you make a kind of timetable where you write out what you intend to do every hour of the day for the next week. The key thing is to pull him back to a more normal day, where he showers at a set time and goes to bed at a set time, and does some work around the house in between. A hobby and some personal exercise time should be part of it too. All those things can help tremendously with depression.
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond with your wisdom ladies!
I took it all on board and went and surprised DP after work yesterday and we went out for a drink and a chat. Was the most connected I've felt with him in ages. He really opened up and we have a plan. Feels like we are back in the same team. He's going to register at the local GP tomorrow (his day off) and will make an appointment. He's still not convinced he needs it but I suggested he lets the Dr decide.
He even came to bed at 1am and slept. Hasn't been in bed that early in probably 6 months plus.
STH Im going to suggest your activity plan after the weekend. Didn't want to pile too much on and he will be away over the next few days.
Still a bit unsure about the alter ego bit but one step at a time. He can't change it and he has apologised. A lot.
You sound like a lovely person - sane, kind and open-minded. He's lucky to have you. I'm glad he's listening to you a little and has agreed to see GP. If he resists a bit on the day, just try very gently to encourage him to go along anyway and help him see that he deserves a better life than this. Please sit in on the appointment if he'll let you. It's so easy to understate depressive signs if you're unwilling to admit to them, and GPs can send you off with platitudes about being a tired new parent. Make sure they know he has all the symptoms you've listed.
I agree with STH's plan of action, but take it really slowly at first - he may not be able to pile too much on. Just encourage a daily bath or shower and daily fresh air with baby in tow. If he takes his child out to the park once a day to play, they'll gradually bond as well as getting exercise and sunlight which will help ease the depression a little.
Well done Bzyb.
Keep just being your gentle, kind self. But be firm. Keep reminding him he's got to help himself.
I have a husband with depression too and it can be very hard sometimes.
Good nutrition, exercise & sunshine & high-quality vitamin/mineral supplements are helpful in ensuring a solid backdrop for recovery.
The alter-ego is slightly worrying tho.
Maybe you should seek counsel from a professional. Always helpful when in a close relationship with someone with MH issues.
That sounds promising, OP. Especially as he was able to sleep. He may feel relieved in a way that you've got to this point and that you're pushing him.
I remember when I was at my lowest, the thought of getting help for myself was pointless, because I didn't think I deserved to feel better. It was only being told "your behaviour is negatively impacting the life of your loved ones" that got me off my arse.
So you may need to keep pushing him, because his resolve will wax and wane. Remind him to take his tablets (which I think is likely he will be prescribed because of his difficulty sleeping). Remind him of appointments. Remind him to shower. It's hard work for you, I know.
Ask for some support for yourself too if needed. As the partner of someone with depression it would help you to be able to talk about your feelings to someone.
Hope it all
You took the first step, that's a big big thing.
You are all so lovely I just cried!
I agree it's probably a relief for him for this to have come to a head and I feel sad we weren't able to get to the turning point sooner, but I guess the time was right.
As I said before he isn't proactive at all so will def be trying to keep the balance of guiding him without sounding like I'm being bossy.
It would be good if u went to the doc appointment with him.
I speak from experience.
You sound like such a caring lady
My DH has been really ill in the last few months and I finally insisted on taking him to the GP. The meds are really helping and I've also been kindly but firmly encouraging - taking up a coffee and 8am, opening the curtains and asking his plans for the day! He's going back to work shortly and I've seen such a difference in him. Good luck OP and make sure you get support too. It's also been a very emotionally tough time for me too.
It's great to hear from partners of men with depression. He wouldn't want rest of family to know so I do feel a bit alone.
I'm not sure he would want me to go to the appointment but will see closer to the time.
Last few days have been good. We are together in his home town for the weekend. All his family are out at work so trying to get him ( and teen dd) motivated to go out but feels like I'm talking to the wall, but it's still early
He sounds like he is struggling with his sexuality. All the things you outlined could be part of that.
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