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What do you do if your dh gets so absorbed in thinking about things it takes over everything?

(8 Posts)
woulditbebetterinpink Fri 30-Oct-15 11:38:05

This is so hard to explain. DH is a very genuine, lovely person but I feel like large periods of our lives are overtaken by his complete inability to switch off from things. When he has something to do, that is literally the ONLY thing he can think about until it is done. If it is something at home he will sometimes get up in the night to do it, not interact with the family whilst doing it, not be 'present' but completely lost in though about whatever it is. I even avoid telling him if things need to be fixed at home for fear of staring this. If it is work related then even if he is physically present, there is no point him being there because he is just thinking about work and how to solve whatever. This is becoming more and more of an issue as he becomes more successful in his career. I have told him he need to find ways to switch off. I make him go and do his hobby (exercise) after work, but even this doesn't seem to help any more. I really need advice with this as I fear it will destroy our relationship.

miaowroar Fri 30-Oct-15 12:07:45

I know you have told him to find ways to switch off, but have you actually told him you fear it will destroy your relationship? If you haven't, he might just think of it as no big deal, and think your concern is all for his well-being.

TBH it annoys me when people feel that they can be this focused on anything - it is a luxury you can only have when you have no other commitments or responsibilities.

I always try the what if ...? test. What if you both did this - would the family function, would the children be looked after, would it work? If the answer is no, then it isn't fair to behave in this way except as a one-off which is pre-agreed with the partner.

He might be a genuine, lovely person, but this is selfish behaviour.

FlumptyDumpty Fri 30-Oct-15 12:13:22

This is called 'rumination' and can cause mental health problems if indulged in to the extent you describe. He sounds rather obsessive. Can you have a talk with him about it and what purpose he thinks it serves? There could be anxiety underlying it.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Fri 30-Oct-15 12:30:11

Or it could just be thinking that whatever he is doing is more important than anything you might be doing. And/or a way of getting out of things he doesn't want to do.
My ex is like that—our DD is 17 and I still have to remind him what time she needs to be picked up from school because he is So Busy. And I'm not, apparently. Or if I am, not with anything important.
If this is something new, then yes, it might be indicative of an MH issue. Otherwise it's just selfishness/entitlement/feeling that the little woman ought to be seeing about anything domestic and not bothering him with such triiva.

woulditbebetterinpink Fri 30-Oct-15 12:57:55

Thanks for the replies. It appears that he genuinely cannot stop himself doing this. I don't think it is to get out of anything. But it is selfish behaviour as well because our family/relationship would not function if we were both like this and if I behaved like this he would not be impressed.

There may be something in the anxiety aspect. My MIL is the most horrendously anxious person ever to the point where it has/does ruin her life and she is incapable of enjoying anything. She is also completely self obsessed. DH has never bonded with her and was brought up in a very unloving, fraught household.

pocketsaviour Fri 30-Oct-15 14:44:20

Has he always been like this? Or has he got worse? If so has that coincided with anything like changes at work, bereavement, children being born/starting school/whatever?

FlumptyDumpty Fri 30-Oct-15 17:32:42

Anxiety can definitely be passed on in families.

People often ruminate as a response to anxiety, as they are trying to get the 'right' answer to what to do to stave off potential 'disaster', eg he may be ruminating about work because he's worried he'll get sacked if he makes a mistake. If he can't stop doing it on his own, he may need therapy. If you are able to afford private therapy a Metacognitive therapist would be ideal, as Metacognitive Therapy is specifically designed to deal with this.

springydaffs Fri 30-Oct-15 18:59:47

Yes, he needs some professional intervention on this. It isn't just a tick, a bad habit.

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