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Should I continue marriage with depressed dh?!

(12 Posts)
abando Sun 09-Aug-15 12:17:34

Hi all,

Just looking for a little advice. My dh had a breakdown nearly 2 years ago. At this point he quit his job and the course he was also studying. Since then he has stabilised with the use of meds and is no longer horrendously depressed. However where he is now is also no good. Or at least I don't think so. He has no motivation, no worries, no plans. He is great with the dc, and does all the cooking etc so he does do things but he doesn't really go out much. It feels like he doesn't interact with the world, stays in the house alot, no friends, no plans for the future.

I am really struggling with this. Since the breakdown we have been on illness benefit and housing benefits (not in uk but I think that is what you call them there). I was a sahm and he was working before all this. We struggle financially. I am doing what I can, working hard on my post grad and applying for jobs. I want our situation to improve. He doesn't care at all. This past month our housing benefit stopped coming in. He didn't notice. When I spoke to him about it he said 'we get housing benefit?' He really did! It turns out that 8 weeks ago he got a letter requesting a few documents, he hadn't opened the letter. He didn't understand why I was upset about this. As I am very careful financially we could still cover our rent. But he didn't understand how awful it would have been if I had to make a phone call to the landlord asking for time, or how awful it would be if we had to leave the house we have lived in for years because of messing around with the rent.

Anyway, I told him a few months ago that he needed to sort himself out and have applied for some kind of part time course by September to show he is preparing to reenter the world or I am done with our relationship. He said ok and decided on a course. Two days ago I said why haven't you applied, don't you care about what is on the line. So he then applied. I am so upset I had to speak to him to get him to apply. We talked last night, he said he doesn't want to do the course, or anything at all, he is only doing it so we don't break up. If this is his only motivation I worry he won't stick to it. I feel there is no hope for him in the future and that being with him will hold me in this situation too. When I spoke to him about a separation he said he will just book himself into hospital if that goes ahead as he knows he wouldn't be able to cope.

I do love him but feel the relationship is very unhealthy for me now and is unlikely to change. What should I do?

abando Sun 09-Aug-15 13:05:11


pocketsaviour Sun 09-Aug-15 17:47:46

he said he will just book himself into hospital if that goes ahead as he knows he wouldn't be able to cope.

For a man with depression, he's remarkably optimistic about the state of mental health care available on the public health system.

Do you know what kicked off his breakdown? Had he been perhaps depressed at a low-level for as long as you've known him, or has he become completely different?

Is there a treatment plans apart from just giving him medication - which might be taking the edge off a bit but is clearly not giving him any real quality of life?

abando Mon 10-Aug-15 10:06:02

Thank you so much for your reply.

He has a counsellor from September. He is on a very very long waiting list for cbt.

He used to suffer from depression but 8 years ago it lifted and he was fine for 6 years. That is what really worries me, he could get well only for it to happen again in the future and blow every thing out of the water again. What prompted his break down, we were under pressure with our mortgage and he was struggling to get work done on his PhD. But I think people live with this type of stress at points in their lives and carry on so it again makes me question any possible future, we cannot create a life free of stress and I can't have him breaking down when life is hard.

geckosgirl Mon 10-Aug-15 10:24:51

This sounds so hard for you. is your dh under a psychiatrist or gp for his meds? Have you been able to be involved in any discussions with them about his recovery and whether the meds are still working? It sounds like the meds have maybe worked to an extent but a lot of the depressed symptoms remain. It does seem like he requires therapy to have a chance at proper recovery especially if he has a history of depression. Is he aware of his behaviour and how it impacts you? You can recover in the longer term and learn to cope better with stress and potential triggers so there is hope that things will get better for you both but it will take a lot of work on his part.

abando Mon 10-Aug-15 10:37:06

He has a psychiatrist. I initially met with her along with him, for maybe a year. I kept telling them he was kind of zombified, they alter his meds when I tell them they are not working, they are very good there. I haven't been with him for a while though, I find it all too upsetting.

MatildaTheCat Mon 10-Aug-15 11:13:30

Could you ask to go along to the next psychiatrist appointment and explain how unmotivated and flat your DH is? It could be a combination of meds and illness.mpossibly the meds could be changed. Your DH doesn't regard his lack of enthusiasm for the outside world as a problem. You have unwittingly enabled him to live in a cosy cocoon but now want your DH back.

I think you are being very reasonable but also that DH may need more extennal support before he gets back to himself. Whether you decide to stay with him is almost a separate issue and only you can decide that.

pocketsaviour Mon 10-Aug-15 11:43:03

Is it the psychiatrist who has suggested the CBT, or is that via his GP?

I'm wondering if you could find a local CBT specialist who offers sliding-scale fees for people on benefits/unwaged. It might be worth a try?

Equally, there's nothing to stop your DP helping himself with books, etc, at home. Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel By Changing the Way You Think was of great help to my sister in conquering her anxiety and depression (and it sounds like she was at a similar level of need to your H.) Managing Depression with CBT For Dummies also has great reviews and the language and approach is very structured, which can be a good sell if your H is a bit anti-woo-woo.

Ultimately, as far as you're concerned, you do not have to stay with him. Nobody has to stay in a relationship for any reason. (although you'll get a bit of judging from people saying "in sickness and in health".) If I was with a partner like this and I thought they simply weren't making any effort to improve their health, to the point where it was affecting my DCs and my life negatively, I'd think seriously about bailing out. But I wouldn't do that until I felt I'd exhausted every avenue to find him help first.

abando Mon 10-Aug-15 15:29:33

Yes, I was wondering if I am enabling him. I have to make sure all forms are filled etc because it severly impacts upon me and dc if everything is not done. I think I would like a trial separation, for a few months. I guess I would like to see him stand on his own two feet, without nagging, help and facing all consequences himself. Though I fear that he will not do well.

I will go with him to his next psyc appointment. It is the psychiatrist that suggested cbt. I can try to find one that is affordable, but we live in the middle of nowhere and I don't think it's likely there is one around.

I feel he does not try to help himself. I feel he is entirely passive. I have suggested self help books and exercise to him, he won't do them. Or in the case of exercising he says he will, runs maybe twice, and then stops. I have also suggested he joins things he always had an interest in, walking clubs, birdwatching clubs, he says little and doesn't join. I feel he is not really trying at all. It makes me feel he really is not that bothered about the impact it is having on me, not bothered enough to try to change things.

Again, thank you guys for the replies, really unsure what to do here! What do people think about a trial separation, for say three months? Good idea or not?

Jan45 Mon 10-Aug-15 15:41:01

He's happy as he is OP, and yes you are stuck there right with him. Depressed or not he has absolved all responsibility for his life on to you. I think you have been a saint so far and yes I'd have a trial separation, for as long as it takes for him to act like an adult, don't hold out much hope though.

What an absolute shocking burden for you to bear OP.

abando Mon 10-Aug-15 21:13:50

Maybe you're right Jan. Maybe he is happy like this.

ALaughAMinute Mon 10-Aug-15 21:33:43

When I spoke to him about a separation he said he will just book himself into hospital if that goes ahead as he knows he wouldn't be able to cope.

This sounds like a threat to me. As much as I feel sorry for your dh, I feel more sorry for you. If he won't do anything to help himself, what can you do? I think you should think about separating. Life is too short.

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