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When is enough enough?

(21 Posts)
passthesalt Fri 26-Feb-16 08:13:51

First time poster here, so bear with me...
Been together with OH for about 6 years, and have 2 kids - 3 and 18 months. About a year ago OH was diagnosed with depression, but things were difficult before then, and really difficult after. I feel like we've been on a bit of a rollercoaster for ages now, and I'm tired of it.

We've had issues around division of housework for ever it seems, with me trying to get him to do more, and him saying that he thinks he does enough (even his mum thinks he doesn't do enough). We've had issues around the way he speaks to the kids, especially youngest as he has been bad-tempered around them - probably as a result of the depression, but it just cuts me in two. I also get up in the nights when kids wake up (still every night sad) but don't feel like he picks up the slack to give me a break.

I've called him on all of this when it happens, he apologises, things get better for a bit, then back to normal/worse again.

I asked him to give me some space a few weeks ago - he planned to go away for about 10 days, then came back after 3 saying he wanted to sort things out. Just felt like it was all about what he wanted and not respecting my need for some space. He's now trying really hard, doing more around the house, relationship with kids is much better. But I just can't seem to move forward, or even find the energy to try. I just feel like I've had enough - and also really pissed off as if it was that easy to do, then why not do it earlier. I know I should want to get this sorted, but still feel like I need some time to get my head together. He says he won't go anywhere though.

Just wondered if anyone had any words of wisdom for someone who is a bit stuck, and not sure what to do for the best.

Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 08:58:46

You do need thinking space

He is using his 'depression' as an excuse for his behaviour. You know depression causes low mood, lethargy etc. Not bad temper with children

Is he calm otherwise? Does he work? Do you work?

passthesalt Fri 26-Feb-16 14:09:24

Thanks for the reply. Yes we both work full-time, and you're right - I know depression doesn't justify bad temper, especially with the kids.

He can be calm, though this has been really on and off - basically I haven't known what mood to expect as this can change throughout the day. He's really calm now though as he's gone into super-dad mode, thinking this is the end and wanting to salvage it. I think that annoys me more tbh, why pull it out of the bag now and not all the other times Eeve talked about this. Ranting now...

Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 14:15:49

No, that's pretty standard. He pulls it out of the bag at his discretion. He doesn't want the easy arrangement he has with you to end. Does he ever do the 'poor soul' act, making you feel sorry for him having depression? Expecting you to handle his feelings with kid gloves?

passthesalt Fri 26-Feb-16 15:39:05

God yes! He's kind of saying that he can't help the way he's acted, it's because of the depression. And there's a lot of heart-clutching at the moment as he's getting a lot of palpitations. I know that sounds really unsympathetic, but I just don't feel like I can excuse his behaviour on the basis that he's depressed. He said last night that he's said sorry for the way he's acted, and that I should be able to draw a line under it and move on for the sake of the family, and he really can't understand why I can't. Is it me?

Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 15:47:28

It's him, not you. It's a type of emotional abuse

Put 'abuser profiles' in the search box above, and when you find the thread scroll down to The Mentally Ill or Addicted Abuser. It may ring a few bells

Being depressed and being controlling are not linked. It's an excuse, not a reason

passthesalt Fri 26-Feb-16 17:28:58

Thanks for the link - just had a look and yes, bells are ringing - especially the bit about it all being about them. Now what?

Twitterqueen Fri 26-Feb-16 17:30:42

Enough is enough when you decide you have reached the point of no return. Not him, not anyone, just you - your decision.

passthesalt Fri 26-Feb-16 17:31:00

...I guess what I mean is how the hell do I get this sorted. Sorry, this is probably obvious but I just feel so tired of it all that I can't think clearly.

newname99 Fri 26-Feb-16 17:38:34

I guess he is lacking on empathy.Its not possible to get over hurt feelings especially if the damage ran deep.I liken it to a physical injury, you may take time to fully recover and you need nurturing.

I do think depression can make you feel selfish, Especially if you have low energy as everything even chores is a large effort.

Have you been happy with him in the past? You are also in the difficult parenting years with 2 young children, add in full time work, depression and I can totally see why you feel you've had enough.

Is his depression being treated? heart papalations feels like anxiety.

Marchate Fri 26-Feb-16 18:00:45

The advice is usually, if you are not in danger, teach yourself to detach. This is not easy at first but once you get into the habit you can do it. I'll give some examples

Him "Oh my chest..."
You "Hmm...", then go and make a cup of tea

Him "I only get angry because I'm depressed"
You "Hmm...", then make yourself a cup of tea

Him "Where are my clean socks?"
You "Did you wash them?"
Him "No"
You "Hmm..."

You get the picture!

Also, start thinking before you say anything at all. Don't be impolite, because that will be your strength. So if he asks what happened at work, give a brief, polite reply. Do not ask about his day! Don't give him 'permission' to complain. Do not start a conversation if you can avoid it. Why bother? It will be all about him within 30 seconds

It becomes easier with practice. When you realise you have talked too much, don't be discouraged. Think about how you could have avoided it. It's an educational exercise. You are training yourself to disengage

When he winds you up and and you want to react, don't. Play a new game - yours, not his

Do I sound too cynical? It's because I am!

passthesalt Fri 26-Feb-16 19:26:29

Newname - he does have anxiety as well (should have said that at first, sorry). He's taking anti-depressants and had some sessions with a counsellor, who then signed him off telling him that he could probably come off the ADs as he wasn't really depressed. So really helpful.

We've had some really happy times in the past, and since he's been diagnosed I've been hoping we could get back to those times. But now although I know he wants to get back to that as well, I just feel like I've got a massive wall up around myself.

Marchate - this sounds like really good advice, hard to carry out though. Will give it a go - got to be better than what's happening at the moment!

Mamaka Fri 26-Feb-16 20:50:23

I like Marchate's advice about disengaging and it will probably work for you as you do sound like you've emotionally disengaged a bit already. If I ever try this on my dh it snaps him out of his selfish, all-about-me ways and tries desperately to make me engage again, usually being much more pleasant and helpful. I find it hard to keep up but it might be easy for you!

passthesalt Sat 27-Feb-16 09:38:28

Shit. So, at 3 this morning OH woke me up in tears, wanting to talk about us. Sleep is a bit of a rare thing for me at the mo as youngest still wakes up a few times a night, and is also teething at the mo (and I am the one who deals with her). So I didn't really deal with that too well, and wasn't as sympathetic as I know he wanted me to be (probably doing the distance thing anyway cos I was half asleep). Then this morning he kept saying sorry and asking if we could try again, and asking if I loved him, and after a while I lost it a bit, just saying that all I had wanted was a bit of breathing space, and I couldn't get that, so I didn't know what to do.

He says I'm being cruel because I can't forgive him, and that I'm torturing him, that he hasn't cheated on me and that I should be able to just move on and get past this. So at that point I told him that I'd had enough, that I didn't want this any more, really don't want to hurt him anymore than is necessary, and that if he can't/won't give me the space I've asked for them I have no choice than to call it a day. He's been sobbing in front of the kids, I'm trying my best to keep them away from it.

I feel like a right shit.

Happyinthehills Sat 27-Feb-16 10:36:22

You aren't a shit though - you've asked, clearly it seems, for some space and some time to think. He won't give it to you because.....?

Waking you in the night, depriving you of much needed sleep is torture.

eddielizzard Sat 27-Feb-16 10:41:09

you can't move on because you know his current changes are most likely short-lived and not real changes. you can't rely on him and you can't trust his moods.

waking you in the middle of the night is very very bad when he knows you're exhausted. he knows.

he's not good for you or your kids. i'd ask him to go away again and not come back early, so at least you have some head space to think this through.

Marchate Sat 27-Feb-16 11:31:21

When did he go to bed? Subtract that from 3am to calculate the time it took to summon up those tears. Unless you found an onion under his pillow!! Emotional abuse

He waited until you were sound asleep because he knew you would be confused and disorientated. Sleep deprivation = abuse

He is using every trick in the abusers' book

passthesalt Sat 27-Feb-16 19:53:02

Well, he's gone. I took the kids out today and when we got back, there was a note from him saying he would be picking some stuff up tomoz, and then we won't see him til Friday (when he's booked us a counselling session). I'm partly relieved he's gone, partly furious that he doesn't have plans to see the kids for the next few days.

I've texted him to say this, and that it's not ok for him to not see them for the best part of a week. He says he's giving me space and therefore has to stay away from them as well. I've suggested he take them out tomorrow as he's coming over anyway, he says it would be too painful for him.

Should I just be glad that he's gone so I can have space, and leave it at that? Just seems really unfair on the kids. My head is so muddled at the moment I can't think clearly.
What a bloody day.

Marchate Sat 27-Feb-16 20:07:28

Take the break from him. You will enjoy the relief from tension

Don't go to relationship counselling with him. I'll save a lot of typing by referring you to a current thread about Relate

passthesalt Sat 27-Feb-16 20:49:04

Thank you Marchate - appreciate it.

Aussiemum78 Sun 28-Feb-16 02:51:55

What an arse.

Notice that giving you space, also means you doing all the childminding and him not offering any assistance because it's too painful for HIM.

Even when he's giving you the space you want, he's still being a jerk.

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