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dh says he's unhappy but doesn't know why

(112 Posts)
mapmyface Fri 13-Nov-15 21:56:49

About two months ago dh started to become distant, I noticed it straight away as were usually very loving and have a great relationship.
He's become withdrawn, snappy with me and the kids and sex has gone from twice a week to nothing. He hardly speaks to me, other than something to do with the kids or childcare.

I've asked him outright what's wrong, he denies anything is wrong just says he's sad.
I've asked him to go to the doctors, he refuses.
I've asked him if he wants to leave and have abit of space so he can figure out what makes him happy. He says he doesn't want to do this.

I'm at my wits end, it's making me so unhappy and sad and the atmosphere in the house is awful.
We've been together 13 years (married for 8) and were in our early thirties. We have three young children and both work hard to make ends meet, but we don't go without a thing.

Wise mumsnetters, what shall I do? I feel like i can't carry on like this but I have no idea what the solution is

whirlybird42 Fri 13-Nov-15 22:04:17

I feel for you. That sounds hard and miserable.

I would either conclude that he's depressed and needs medical support, or, I'm afraid to say, has formed an attachment to someone else and is doing the distancing dance from you.

I'd do a bit of digging if I were you, whether he's ever seemed the type or not. I'm sorry.

mintoil Fri 13-Nov-15 22:11:26

I agree with whirly

However, if you are unhappy and he is refusing to do anything, this isn't acceptable. If he is suffering from depression then that isn't his fault, but if he cannot be persuaded to get help then where does that leave you?

And yes, equally he could be having a physical or emotional affair.

You need to tell him what you have told us - that you can't carry on as things are. Either he agrees to go to counselling, or explains what is wrong and you try to work through it together. That is what marriage is about isn't it?

If he just expects you to suck it up I would have to LTB.

mapmyface Fri 13-Nov-15 22:21:31

I must admit the emotional or physical affair crossed my mind but he swears this isn't the case and tbh I don't know when he'd have the time.

I've just left to go to work for the night and he's text me saying 'I'm sorry I'll try and be happier'

kerbs Fri 13-Nov-15 22:29:57

I think he knows why he's unhappy, he's just not telling you.

NanaNina Fri 13-Nov-15 22:34:19

Is there any reason why he could be depressed. Has he had mental health problems in the past? Is he eating/sleeping ok - what's his concentration like, is he talking of ending his life - these are some of the symptoms of depression. I think you should insist he sees the GP. There has to be a reason for this change - sometimes it isn't obvious that it's depression, especially if he hasn't suffered before.

I think this is the most likely cause.

gamerchick Fri 13-Nov-15 22:42:16

My first thought there is someone else on the scene that's stoked his interest whether he's done anything or not. Sometimes just realising there's an attraction you want to act on can shake a relationship.

Personally in your shoes if he refused to face up to whatever it is I would tell him to stay out of my way until he opened up and take things from there. I couldn't ignore any of what you're saying sad

NewLife4Me Fri 13-Nov-15 22:46:29

I agree with the above as well, sorry thanks

He may be depressed but you normally know even if you don't know what is making you unhappy.

Chiconbelge Fri 13-Nov-15 22:53:51

It might help you to read up a bit more about depression. This could help you talk to him about it. It is good that he has managed to say that he feels sad. I know from experience that someone with depression can be very unlikeable/unloveable - it's unfortunate but true If this is what it is, take comfort that it isn't about you, or your DC or your relationship - and accept that he can't just snap out of it. At the very least try to get him to exercise whether he feels like it or not - there is loads of evidence of the benefits and it certainly helps my DH. If he won't talk to doctor, could you, especially as it is affecting you too? So sorry you are having a rough time. It really sounds to me as if he might be depressed.

woodlands01 Fri 13-Nov-15 23:58:59

There are times when I feel overwhelmingly sad and miserable. I work full-time, have two teenage children and a great husband. I just find the treadmill of day-to-day things very depressing. Getting children organised & to school on time, getting me to work on time, dealing with a stressful job, then coming home to getting to tea on the table, loading the washing machine, getting children to one of numerous activities and trying to get the dog out. My husband always laughs at me saying 'I need a glass of wine because I've survived the day'. My DH is great but he is the eternal optimist and if he asks what is wrong he really just doesn't get it - we talk a different language. I try to remember this one of the things I loved about him - his laid back attitude to life, unfortunately I haven't been able to replicate it. I am a control/organisation freak - he will just do what it necessary when he has to. He's correct in that I shouldn't worry about things I can't control, but I do and I overthink everything.
I only tell you this very boring tale to try and show why some-one can be sad - I'm not depressed, I love my family and want us all to continue to be together but at times I am sad due to the tedium of everyday life. Could your DH feel the same?

woodlands01 Fri 13-Nov-15 23:59:52

No way I am having any sort of emotional or physical relationship with anyone ......... there is no time smile

Seeyounearertime Sat 14-Nov-15 00:17:32

It sounds like depression to me tbh.
I'd also ask of he stays up late? Gets up early? Says he's watching something then will be up? Has he tried a new hobby and given it up? Has he given up any hobbies recently? Is there something he once enjoyed bit now "can't be arsed" with it? Or does he start projects, DIY or otherwise, with energy, gets half way and then gives up?

^this is me, or some of me ;)
I'm not having an affair.

If it sounds even remotely similar then he needs to speak to his GP (even though he's a man and hates talking to his GP)

AmyC86 Sat 14-Nov-15 01:09:19

Sounds like he has depression. Depression is extremely difficult to explain how you are feeling; emotionally and physically. He needs to seek help and support from either his G.P or mental health providers.

It might help for him to watch 'i had a black dog called depression' on you tube xx it explains depression effectively.

P.s I'm a mental health nurse so I know what I'm talking about x

chrome100 Sat 14-Nov-15 06:32:16

I agree it sounds like depression and I would certainly not jump to the conclusions that he's seeing someone else. Not very helpful.

My ex suffered from depression or "the black dog" as he called it. He was very hard to live with but I knew it wasnt his fault. He couldn't put into words why he was sad, he just was. And when it was really bad he'd cry which broke my heart to pieces.

Depressed people can be very selfish. They don't care or can't help the way their behaviour impacts on those around him. He needs to see that if he can't sort this out on his own he has to get medical help.

category12 Sat 14-Nov-15 06:51:38

Sounds like there's someone else to me. There's always time, people find ways and means. Generally quite tacky ones.

Helmetbymidnight Sat 14-Nov-15 07:08:19

It doesn't sound like depression to me.

Sympathies op. It's horrible how he's suddenly decided to cut you off.

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 14-Nov-15 07:20:38

You've known him a relatively long time. Does he have a history of depression? I'm guessing not, or you'd have mentioned it.

That it's come on very suddenly, seemingly apropos of nothing, is odd. Remarkable, even.

Helmetbymidnight Sat 14-Nov-15 07:31:32

That his main symptom is distancing himself from his wife is...odd.

peggyundercrackers Sat 14-Nov-15 08:02:04

does he suffer from SAD?(Seasonal affective disorder) I think it sounds like he is depressed but doesn't know why.

26milesofcbeebies Sat 14-Nov-15 08:05:25

It does sound like it could be depression. It is a horrible illness and can lead you feeling worthless so distancing yourself is not strange- you feel like you have nothing to offer. Can you let him know that you see depression as a legitimate illness and that is ok- desirable, even,- to seek help and medical support for it.

It doesn't need to have an obvious trigger so there won't necessarily be something that you or he can put your finger on as having caused it. Because of this counselling isn't always a help as there's nothing to talk about. Other therapies to develop coping strategies can help when he's feeling better.

Whoever suggested you should LTB- what happened to 'in sickness and in health'?

Joysmum Sat 14-Nov-15 08:12:45

I remember when I had to have the talk with my DH.

It went along the lines of:

I love you so much but I can tell you're not happy. All I want is for you to be happy again because I miss you and as much as you don't think you are, this is affecting our family and we need to change that. It's been going on long enough so it's time to see the doctor because we aren't coping anymore and this will help.

We then went to the doctors. Tbh it was getting to the stage where I'd have had to choose between supporting him and putting my daughter first because she was finding him very difficult. Thank goodness it didn't come to that.

Kr1stina Sat 14-Nov-15 08:29:06

You've talked about how his " problem " is affecting your relationship . I'm wondering how it's affecting other areas of his life , like work and his social life , how he looks after himself .

Has he made any changes there ? Does he still go out with his friends , have the same hobbies, has he changed anything there ? Has his appearance changed at all- lost of gained weight, taking more or less care of himself , buying more clothes or not really caring about his appearance ?

What about work- is he doing more or less hours ? Caring more or less about what happens at work ? Has he changed how he talks about it , who he talks about ?

Does he keep his phone by his side at all times ? Or does he get messages from friends etc that he can't be bothered to answer? Does he miss social events that he used to go to or is he going out more ?

If it's depression , it will be affecting everything . His friends , collegues and family will see a change too .

If it's only his relatiohip with you that's affected - it's not depression, it's the distancing dance .

Seeyounearertime Sat 14-Nov-15 08:35:11

If it's depression , it will be affecting everything . His friends , collegues and family will see a change too

Not necessarily, not necessarily at all.
Depression is easily masked to the outside world, more difficult at home.

OP, Have a read of this, see if anything else about DH rings true.

mapmyface Sat 14-Nov-15 08:41:46

Thank you everyone, he doesn't eat as much and says he doesn't feel hungry anymore. He's been going to the gym a lot though.

He's so miserable, everything I suggest he doesn't want to do. Go out for a meal, do something with the kids, play squash or tennis together. He just says no. I've started to take the kids out on my own for family days out because his presence spoils it.

We went Christmas shopping last week for the kids and he questioned why they needed everything. Ffs it's Christmas.

Strangely though if he's at work he seems fine (I often see him while he's at work) and he's gone out with colleagues a few times.

We were invited out for a meal with my family a few weeks ago and he was on top form, laughing joking seemed really on top of it. As soon as we got home and walked through the door it was like a switch had gone and the dark cloud came and he pushed past me in the hall with a look of disdain.

I agree we need some space but what do I do if he won't go?

mapmyface Sat 14-Nov-15 08:42:49

Oh and he doesn't have his phone with him all of the time, he is anti social networking and is not on any social networking sites.

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