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Life with my H is miserable and I don't know how to fix it

(30 Posts)
confusedandemployed Tue 01-Mar-16 18:51:44

DH has mental health problems. Undiagnosed, because he won't engage with the GP on this matter, but undeniable. Previously he got depressed, but lately it's a general hatred of the world and everyone in it: if someone forgets to indicate at a turning we'll get a 10 minute rant about inconsiderate drivers. Someone looking a bit over-suntanned, we get half an hour on the fatuousness of today's obsession with looks. He can go off on one without the slightest provocation.

This evening he said I'm awful to live with. Partly because I'm attached to my phone. I'll admit that I do look at it a lot - usually whilst trying not to engage with another rant. I find them deeply uncomfortable, because he's not looking for a debate: unless I verify his totally unreasonable opinions he just gets even angrier. So I deflect by studying my phone. My fault there, admittedly.

I try to help him but time and again he refuses to seek professional help. He always knows better than doctors or counsellors. He may be right in that the mental health services are shit - but he hasn't even tried! Refuses point blank to try ADs because he tried one sort, 20 years ago, which didn't agree with him.

I will admit that my sympathy is in short supply these days, because he won't help himself.

I went part time just over a year ago because he'd gone back to work following 2 years of being a SAHD. He promptly lost his job. I've supported him one way or another for nearly 6 years. He doesn't work now, I support him to go to college to do a course he really wanted to do. He won't do anything he used to do for fun, either alo e or as a couple. He has completely withdrawn from the world.

And now for the cliche...he really is a very good dad. He hides his problems from DD (although I realise that as she gets older this will be harder to do).

I'm just so tired of living in a miserable, joyless household. I honestly do have sympathy for his problems, but I freely admit I have no concept of them because I've never suffered from such things (thank God). I'm not equipped to help him but he won't seek out someone who is.

WTF do I do?

Costacoffeeplease Tue 01-Mar-16 18:55:05

If he's not going to engage with any professionals then you as a lay person are not equipped to help him, and it is unfair to expect you to try to fix him. I would be reconsidering my future with him tbh, it's no way to live your life

ImperialBlether Tue 01-Mar-16 19:00:52

I think you need to give him an ultimatum. Unless he goes to the GP to discuss what can be done or you will leave him.

It's up to him, then.

My ex husband suffered from depression and it took this ultimatum to make him take action. It made a world of difference.

slimochuda Tue 01-Mar-16 19:22:00

This sounds really sad. I wish I could do or say something to help. He is so lucky to have you he really is. MH is such a difficult area because it blurs the boundaries of what is real and what is self indulgence. I don't think this is sustainable however amd yes maybe an ultimatum will make him change. He should consider your happiness too.

MoreGilmoreGirls Tue 01-Mar-16 19:28:20

You deserve happiness too OP. He's not even considering you. I agree with the ultimatum. He gets help or he leaves. You can't carry on like this. flowers

Chocolatteaddict1 Tue 01-Mar-16 19:29:27

You have to leave.

Depression fallout is an amazing book (you can down load it) that gives you fantastic insight to living with a parent or partner with depression.

Depression can rob some ones personality from them and make them believe it's the whole fucking world at fault.

Nothing will change untill he seeks help so it's going to be very misrable for you, in fact he will probally start to blame you for why his life is so shit.

Don't stick it out unless he wants to help himself

Grumpyoldblonde Tue 01-Mar-16 19:31:36

I had to issue the ultimatum, I wrote a long letter to him, I even got as far as packing my bags, it was then that he took me seriously, went to the gp and life has improved more than I can explain

Spandexpants007 Tue 01-Mar-16 19:33:50

Yes an ultimatum. He works with professionals to work through his issues or you separate. You are suffering as a result of him

MoominPie22 Tue 01-Mar-16 19:38:15

I second giving him an ultimatum. This is dire straits you´re in now cos it´s gonna result in you ending up with your mental health going downhill at this rate. So maybe an ultimatum, cos it´s Last Chance Saloon may just galvanize him into reassessing himself and his future.

Surely to God if he really loves you he will try anything though! It´s not like you´re telling him he needs sectioned or anything! hmm This will be totally treatable and I just hope he doesn´t choose his poor mental health over you.

I don´t blame you for being at the end of your tether. sad

Out2pasture Tue 01-Mar-16 20:14:07

confused do you mind telling us how old you are and how long you have been with dh?
my hubby tends to have some negative thoughts and will rant similar to your dh, we've been together for well over 35 years and although frustrating if I was to make a similar post to yours (easily could) I would not consider LTB (at the point i'm at).

QuiteLikely5 Tue 01-Mar-16 20:21:15

I'm a firm believer that when your issues start to affect your loved ones you need to take action.

If I was you I would tell him your relationship is on the line and tell him why.

If he seeks help then great if he doesn't then you are going to be faced with a difficult choice.

Having said that are you certain he is actually depressed and that this just isn't his true personality?

I say this because I'm finding it hard to believe that depression causes people to go on long rants about things etc

SlinkiTree Tue 01-Mar-16 20:27:01

I think you do know what to do - the bottom line is he's making you miserable and he's blaming you for it too. How would you feel if in another 5 years, nothing had changed? How will you feel if you end up on your own where you have nobody ranting at you?

Joysmum Tue 01-Mar-16 20:43:52

I didn't get to the stage of ultimatum, but I did tel DH I could tell he wasn't happy as he wasn't the man I fell in love with and his behaviour was in danger of damaging his relationship with DH (and me as I'd have protected her from him if he didn't get help but I didn't tell him that).

I suggested he got help as he wasn't doing well without it. He then asked me to go to docs with him. Such a relief, I WOULD have given an ultimatum otherwise despite the fact that's him and my DD are my life.

Whatdoidohelp Tue 01-Mar-16 20:51:39

Absolutely issue an ultimatum. If not for you - for your child. They might have not noticed yet but she soon will.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Mar-16 21:16:43

And no he is not a good dad either if he is treating you as her mother like this. He is using you and in turn your DD as his emotional punchbag and refuses to engage with any medical professional.

Your DD is learning about relationships from the two of you; what is she learning here?. Children are perceptive and she is likely picking up on all the vibes, she sees how unhappy you are.

An ultimatum can only be issued once; do not make an ultimatum if you are not fully prepared to see it through properly.

confusedandemployed Tue 01-Mar-16 21:39:58

Thank you everyone. It's been an intense evening. I will update later, but just to say - you guys are good. You've already picked up on things not in my OP.

Thank you again. I will be back to update. Am with a good friend at the moment.

confusedandemployed Tue 01-Mar-16 23:39:59

Costa, ironically I vowed, following the death of my previous partner, never to get involved with someone with mental health issues again. I am now considering my future without him.

Out2 I am (nearly) 43, DH is already. We've been together 6 years. He was previously married, she left him due to the MH issues...

slimochuda you are so right when you say it blurs the lines with self indulgence. I frequently find myself getting cross with him because whatever the problem is, HE WILL NOT SEEK HELP. And he criticises me for not helping him. He knows I can't: I'm not a depressive. I have no idea what he's going through.

chocolate addict this is exactly how he feels: that the whole world is wrong and he is the only one who can see it. Thank you for the book recommendation. I will download it.

Grumpyoldblonde, my old friend from another place! I'm so glad it worked for you and your DH. GP won't cut it with my DH but, I do believe, I may have thought of something.

Attila I know you're right, but, just now she has no idea. He is fun Daddy with her and she adores him. Actually I think her relationship with both of us is very healthy (thank God).

Anyway...thanks to every one else. Tonight we had a big talk. I will try to summarise...

He was very combative over dinner. Everything my fault. I got upset, asked him to give examples where I had (eg) belittled him, put him down, disrespected him (his words). He didn't name one.

He said he doesn't want to live any more. I asked him how he feel about leaving his 3yo DD and his recently widowed DM (I have lost a DP already; it's true to say I will be OK in time. I've done this before).

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing he spent half an hour with his head in his hands the went to bed. I went to meet my friend.

When I got in he seemed better. Still awful, but better. We will see where we are in the morning.

Thank you for all your words. I was all ready for a flaming for being unsympathetic of MH issues. blush

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 02-Mar-16 08:09:52

Hey confused you remember me! (I am still stockpiling loo roll smile)
I didn't notice the user name in your op, but just thought I could relate to your issues. I know then, that you have worked very hard indeed to support your family over the last few years.
No flaming from me over MH problems, it can be extremely hard to live with. My letter was the only thing that got through, he could read it at leisure, absorb it and decide whether to deal with his issues or not. We had had so many terrible rows, I was any name you can think of, had ruined his life blah blah blah. My end sentence basically told him he was ruining his own life, and I no longer gave a single damn how he felt, what he wanted. Harsh? sounds it, yes, but when someone you know is basically a good person, but screams at you that you are a bitch/cunt. when you cant say a thing right, when the atmosphere in the house is oppressive and your stomach churns when his car pulls up, well, let's say my own state of mind was suffering.

Jan45 Wed 02-Mar-16 12:17:01

So unfair on you OP, he knows he's got an illness but yet won't do anything about it - he just uses you as his daily punchbag and then criticises you for trying to avoid his confrontations - what a prize bastard, nothing to do with depression, he just thinks you are there to take his shit.

Long overdue for that ultimatum, let him be a joyless soul destroying individual if he wants, you don't have to be party to any of it.

pocketsaviour Wed 02-Mar-16 12:45:23

just now she has no idea. He is fun Daddy with her and she adores him. Actually I think her relationship with both of us is very healthy (thank God).

Are you saying that he never does one of his rants when she's there? Because if that's the case, he's perfectly capable of switching it off and on, which means he's choosing to use you as his emotional punchbag instead of controlling his anger like a bloody adult.

MyLifeisaboxofwormgears Wed 02-Mar-16 12:50:13

My DH gave me this ultimatum when I was depressed.

15 years since then and our lives are so much better, I feel so much better.
I'm so glad he did it but it was very hard of us both at the time - I was one of those "seeking help is a weakness" people - totally changed my mind since then.
I can firmly say getting the right help is the only way forward. It will not get better on its own.

confusedandemployed Wed 02-Mar-16 13:36:20

Ok thanks again all.

We had a very long talk this morning. He is going to the GP tomorrow. It brought up a lot of things which have been simmering away between us, not least certain things in my own life which I haven't dealt with, e.G. my DM's death.

I've known for a while that we feed off each other's negative emotions and we regularly get stuck in this vicious circle of misery, hostility and barely tolerating each other. Reading my OP back just now I note that it is very hostile towards him. It was how I was feeling last night.

I'm not an innocent party in all this, there are always 2 sides to every story. I need to address my constant emotional wall-building and he needs to address his own problems.

Now for the tricky part and to actually do it.

WombOfOnesOwn Wed 02-Mar-16 13:41:23

I'm always of the belief that if there are people someone this mentally ill can "hide" their mental illness from and "stay normal" in front of, that it's not actually a matter of uncontrollable mental illness -- it's a matter of not caring enough about most of the people around them to work on their own emotional self-control.

These men who are "great fathers" yet somehow just can't help being domineering assholes to their wives? They're not "suffering" from mental illness. They're using mental illness as an excuse for not even attempting basic emotional continence -- the kind expected of women constantly.

Jan45 Wed 02-Mar-16 13:49:41

Just remember OP, it's him with the illness, not you, you have been reacting to someone who is making you feel constantly anxious and walking on egg shells.

I really hope he goes to the GP and at least acknowledges the burden he has been loading you with - it's not your fault that he won't seek help, that's his and he should do it for his family if not himself.

I just worry that it's all talk.

Grumpyoldblonde Wed 02-Mar-16 14:06:49

These men who are "great fathers" yet somehow just can't help being domineering assholes to their wives? They're not "suffering" from mental illness. They're using mental illness as an excuse for not even attempting basic emotional continence -- the kind expected of women constantly.

You know, I look back now and see my OH was actually hateful to everybody, it's just that he spent the most time with me. He wasn't actually rude to many people, just sullen. He expected everyone to provide his fun, enjoyment, fulfilment, but not many noticed as they didn't have to live with him. He had a few warnings about his attitude at work (that wasn't his fault, they were all dickheads-obviously!) Nobody ever called him (well hey, call them) It was exhausting.
I hope you get through to him confused really, I do.

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