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DB miserable with his life, no idea how to help him

(14 Posts)
Littlef00t Thu 10-Dec-15 15:58:06

My DB has an idealistic view of how his life should be for him (mid 30s), with a doting wife and kid(s).

Despite having in my view a great life, doing well career-wise and he's had great opportunities to travel and do interesting things, he is miserable because he doesn't have 'the one'.

He avoids spending time with family. We barely speak because he doesn't answer and doesn't return my calls.

Sadly he admitted recently that he can't cope seeing us all happy with our partners and children and avoids contact to minimise the pain.

I know there's more to it, and he's emotionally damaged after our mum died when we were teens, but I'm convinced he'll never be happy until he stops being jealous of what he doesn't have, and focusing on the past as to why he doesn't have what he wants.

Any ideas how to help him. He's missing out so much and my darling dad is devastated as a lot of the blame of why DB feels life hasn't turned out 'right' is placed at my dad's door and stuff that happened nearly 20yrs ago.

ChippyOikInTinsel Thu 10-Dec-15 16:07:39

Bless him. When I was 36 and left my x I had such a strong feeling of things not being how they should be, that the life I had in my lap wasn't the right one.

Three suggestions if he'll listen

1) bit of psychotherapy
2) old fashioned but differentiating between what can be changed and what has to be accepted. The things that can be changed, work on changing them. Have a plan.

I didn't have to deal with bereavement but I had to recover from PtsD AND I had to recover financially so I had a kind of five year plan which ran alongside psychotherapy and just learning, reading, healing.

I do feel for him. Tony Robbins said something about change that helped me though. It's adjusting to the change that's hard. Basically adjusting is the hard part. Don't fear the big long future stretching out ahead because what daunts him now, he'll adjust to that.

Littlef00t Thu 10-Dec-15 16:23:58

Thanks chippy, I do feel so sorry for him.

he's had counselling a few times to go over the bereavement but it's like he's stuck in a loop and I think he sees his life as a sliding doors, if X and y hadn't happened I'd be happy.

I totally agree with him trying to accept what he can't change. I guess if I seem him over Christmas I'll go down this tack a bit more with him.

pocketsaviour Thu 10-Dec-15 20:45:26

Hmm, well "The One" doesn't exist, he'd do well to stop watching films like Sliding Doors as they really do give such an unrealistic picture of relationships.

Would he consider seeing a therapist who specialises in "personal development" or "life coaching"? (Caution: some people who advertise Life Coaching charge a fucking fortune and are total charlatans who often want to sign you up to pyramid schemes. Stick with someone who's registered with BACP.)

My thought being, if he could concentrate on the future and making the changes he wants in order to attain the life he seeks (like, signing up for online dating would be a good start if he actually wants a partner), he might stop focussing on the past, which cannot be changed.

ChippyOikInTinsel Thu 10-Dec-15 21:18:27

Yes, and I seriously entertained a life coach recently but he wasn't motivating or encouraging me, I realised he was drama baiting me. ie, trying to provoke me in to defending myself. Like saying to me, so if you're not going to job hunt for two months, then, actually you ARE happy with your life? And I had very valid reasons for postponing the job hunt. To do with child care and the need to finish a course. But he just didn't acknowledge those reasons and attempted to ''provoke'' me in to action. I'm glad I could see through it because if I'd been unable to see through it he would have unsettled me a lot.

jessicame Fri 11-Dec-15 07:41:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Littlef00t Fri 11-Dec-15 15:14:51

Thanks. It's me that loves sliding door tbf. I guess trying to help him see married life isn't idyllic like he thinks it is, and isn't gonna solve all his angst might help...

TendonQueen Fri 11-Dec-15 15:20:35

Is he actively looking for a partner? By which I mean is he OLD, going out to places or joining groups and so on? Or is he wondering why he hasn't tripped over a life partner at the chiller cabinet in the supermarket like you would in a romcom?

RiceCrispieTreats Fri 11-Dec-15 16:10:51

He's stuck in a rut of negative thinking, of shoulds and blame. Everything seems really bleak inside that rut.

I believe he'll find his own way out of it, and in truth he is the only one who can. Just be there for him, ask him leading questions (those that start with who what when where how and why) but don't direct him, and wait for him to realise by himself that he is increasing his own suffering by demanding that the world be other than what it is.

Littlef00t Fri 11-Dec-15 18:42:00

He is out looking and tends to have girlfriends for 6-12 months before they get tired of him either being down or being too keen.

Ricecrispie, you are spot on. I'll def do the leading qs.

Thanks all.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 11-Dec-15 19:07:28

I'd stat away from psychotherapy, he doesn't need a years of talking, he needs a reality check. He's blaming everyone else for things only he can change, and whilst he does that nothing will get better. If he finds the one he'll be a selfish partner with his current state of mind.

I mean really, he's an adult, not having a relationship is not his dads fault. He could try cognitive therapy, and doing things in his community to help others who may have a whole lot more problems to remind him that he can support others too.

Littlef00t Fri 11-Dec-15 19:08:26

An ex commented that she wanted to get to know him, and in the nicest way possible was tired of hearing about his dead mother.

ChippyOikInTinsel Sat 12-Dec-15 11:57:34

bananasinpyjamas that's nonsense. I had 8 sessions of psychotherapy and it wasn't just pointless talking for the sake of it. The psychotherapist asked me the questions that I had refused to ask myself, ie, the issues I hadn't confronted. eg, not why my x had been abusive, but why I had tolerated it. it's changed the way I view things, and the way I react. and the way i perceive others' behaviour. Anybody who thinks that psychotherapy locks you in to years of pointless talking really misunderstands what psychotherapy is. Years of thinking perhaps. self awareness, with enough self-awareness to realise that even self-aware, blind spots will remain. I only had an 8 session course. Best thing i ever did and I'd hate to see your post dissuade anybody from doing psychotherapy.

pocketsaviour Sat 12-Dec-15 13:25:53

I agree with Chippy. If he is still stuck in a cycle of mourning for his mum then yes it is affecting his relationships (his dad's involvement is really irrelevant.) It's not surprising his partner's are getting tired of it because I can't say I'd want to take on a man who was still so clearly stuck in crisis from his childhood.

If he's had just basic talk therapy before than psychotherapy or a psychodynamic approach could be really beneficial.

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