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Help me script my ultimatum please

(35 Posts)
mikado1 Sat 02-Apr-16 14:08:05

I have posted a number of times before and though things tend to improve, and are certainly better than they were, my oh's low moods and anger are still a problem that I am not prepared to put up with me, for me or our DC.

I believe he has MH problems-depression, anxiety, maybe OCD-and want him for once and for all to get proper help and not stop getting help until things have changed for the better.

I don't want to barrage him with a long list of criticism but I do plan to sit down tonight and point out my side and let him know he has a week to see his GP and if not I want to separate. I am hoping he will do the right thing and it won't come to that because I believe he is a good man but I cannot put up with the cloud over the house a lot of the time. There is sighing, swearing under his breath, door slamming, things being thrown/banged around when tidying instead of just put away. He is very highly strung. There is shouting at times. He seems properly miserable in himself and it feels like he finds it physically impossible to open his mouth and say how he feels, even 're the smallest thing, so he tends to be PA which drives me bananas. He has no interest in going out though he does take the dc to playgrounds etc. I have been civil but am fed up of being the one to start the conversation every time so this is my last ditch effort to make him see it can't go on.

Irisrose35 Sat 02-Apr-16 14:35:49

Hello, see you haven't had a reply yet. Although is isn't my forte, I thought I would draft something that I would send in such a situation. It may not be your style so might not be appropriate


Dear DH

I wanted to write to you about your behaviour, our relationship and what I think needs to happen in order to keep our relationship going.

I've chosen to write to you instead of speaking with you as I feel I will just get too emotional if we chat and I also might get distracted from my main points if we start to argue.

Ther are certain things that you do that I find unacceptable. i would ask please that you get counselling for these issues and work very hard to improve in order to eliminate this behaviour. Please make an appointment to see your GP to arrange to get counselling within this week.

If you do not make any progress, whether by arranging to see your GP this week and attending counselling and or working hard to make improvements, then I would like to separate.

The list of behaviour I find unacceptable is as follows:
- sighing
- swearing underestimate your breath
- door slamming
- when tidying up throwing or banging things
- being highly strung
- shouting
- generally miserable and negative disposition
- no interest in going out or doing anything fun




goddessofsmallthings Sat 02-Apr-16 14:54:02

He's a fully grown man and neither he or you should be using his mental health to excuse his self-entitled behaviour.

The only "ultimatum" he needs is 'shape up, or ship out' and you should make it crystal clear that he's got one week to make his choice.

It's 'a foregone conclusion that he's got no intention of changing his ways - and why should he when you've tolerated the toxic pall he casts over your home for so long? If you make this your last and final dealbreaker the cloud will lift as soon as he's left.

mikado1 Sat 02-Apr-16 14:57:02

Thanks irisrose flowers. I really appreciate that. Do you think I sound harsh with this long list of things? Do you think I Abu? One morning last week he was swearing at something ds1 did (minor) with ds2 in his arms sad When I ask him what happened he said 'nothing'-the usual response. Any bump in the road e.g. bin bag splitting, he finds hard to deal with..

mikado1 Sat 02-Apr-16 14:59:26

Thanks goddess I know what you're saying is true. I do want him to get an idea what it's like Tho. I think he grew up like this and thinks it's normal.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 02-Apr-16 15:08:10

if someone wrote me that letter id tell them to go ahead and leave.

and good luck with the counselling within a week! unless it is urgent (by this i mean suicidal thoughts and even then there's still a wait) it will be months rather than weeks on the list.

Your approach should be more

"i am wortied about you. i don't want you to be unhappy as this in itself makes me unhappy. also when you are down your moods are affecting me and the dc. i have to protect my own mental health and because of this i don't feel i can stay in this relationship unless you seek professional help and try and be more positive. "

remember that if he does have mh issues and isn't just a miserable fucker it is not his choice to feel this way. you could have been describing me when i was unwell. Thankfully my dp did stick by me and we are happy again. i did seek professional help and am on ad's but really thwt choice has to come from him. present him with an ultimatum and you may just force him away.

RealityCheque Sat 02-Apr-16 15:15:27

LEM's approach is a good start.

Sorry but the attempt by irisrose really is awful. It is threatening, confrontational, unrealistic and borderline abusive in itself.

nomorechocolate2016 Sat 02-Apr-16 15:23:20

Sorry but I don't see how a gp's appointment next week is going to change things for you on a day-to-day basis, even if he actually made an appointment and went. I think you need to be realistic about what is possible when you say he grew up like this.

mikado1 Sat 02-Apr-16 15:58:34

Thanks for that approach LEM, he has definitely felt 'confronted' and 'lectured' before so that would probably suit better. I don't expect counselling to begin within a week but I need him to make the first move towards improving things and go from there. He will get a GO appt within a week here.

ethelb Sat 02-Apr-16 16:39:15

I dont know if a GP appointment is the best idea. I would be trying to contact counsellors directly and with immediate effect.
I do sympathise though, the comment about the bin bag splitting almost made me jump it is so similar to how DH is, and living with it can be absolutely misery inducing, particularly as I hv mental health issues myself.

mikado1 Sat 02-Apr-16 17:14:59

Thanks ethel, and for your understanding. He wouldn't have a clue where to start 're contacting counsellors directly and wouldn't know which approach best for himm i thibj cbt might be suitable but am not an expert..

WhoaCadburys Sat 02-Apr-16 17:21:37

What LEM said. This is what your vows were about OP - remember the 'better or worse' bit? Don't be cruel to him, just help him get help.

WhoaCadburys Sat 02-Apr-16 17:24:04

Also, if you separate he will still be influencing the children, so help him sort it. You sound harsh and a bit cruel.

HandyWoman Sat 02-Apr-16 17:24:57

I was you mikado

In my case I issued an identical ultimatum for identical reasons in 2010.

He went to counselling. Which was a temporary sticking plaster until 2011.

But by 2013 we were back at square one and I left him in. What I learned:

I should have left in 2010.

I remember so well clinging on tightly to the notion of 'he's depressed' but guess what...... It's now 2016 and he's still on antidepressants - and he's still an entitled twunt. He's just someone elses's entitled twunt.

Please be careful not to waste precious years on a problem you cannot fix.

TheoriginalLEM Sat 02-Apr-16 17:31:35

To be fair, it is incredibly hard to live with someone with MH problems and i know i put my DP through hell. I consider myself very lucky that he did stand by me because I am not sure i would have. Also, we don';t know that it is depression or such like tht is causing this behaviour.

I am still on ADs though, i don't believe that makes me an entitled twunt, just someone with an illness that i am now able to control medially.

If it is just general bad mood and twuntishness, leopards very rarely change their spots.

Duckdeamon Sat 02-Apr-16 17:35:23

He sounds abusive: if his MH is a factor in this he's already had plenty of time to seek help, and has not. The situation is bad for you and the DC: a better thing to do would be LTB and consider whether to have him back on the basis of your views on the relationship after time apart, and his behaviour once living separately.

HandyWoman Sat 02-Apr-16 17:43:35

What I'm saying LEM is sometimes what looks like a man with depression is in fact a man who is inept and angry and too damaged to change without ball-breaking my hard psychological work and deep motivation. My ex had no desire to engage on that level so he continues taking antidepressants to dull his anger and moods. And carries on being essentially the same person. Leaving him was the best thing I could do.

Of course if he wanted to dig deep and change he could. But he doesn't.

All I'm saying is be very careful you aren't flogging a dead horse, mikado because even depressed people have a responsibilities towards their loved ones and to themselves. You cannot fix people. And 'making them go to counselling' really won't work unless he recognises the problem and wants very much to sort it out. in which case you probably wouldn't need to complete him to go, 'ultimatum style'.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 02-Apr-16 17:45:33

The longer the list of what he may perceive to be criticisms or personal attacks, the more likely it is that he'll turn a deaf ear to what you're saying.

As I see it, there are two ways to deal with this:

1) you wait until he has exhibited one or more of the behaviours you've listed and, after allowing, say, 15 mins or so for his ire/bad mood to pass, you say words to the effect that 'when you did x it made me feel y and as it seems that you're as unhappy as I am in our relationship, we should discuss whether we should continue it and what it will take to bring about positive change.

2) you proceed as above and after the allotted time has passed, you tell him that when he did x you realised that you can no longer tolerate his unacceptable behaviour and that unless he takes steps to address his issues he will have to live elsewhere.

Is your home in your sole name or are your joint names shown on the deeds/mortgage/tenancy agreement? How realistic is it for him to move out in a week's time? Does he have friends/family members he could stay with until he finds a place of his own? Is he working and does he have a long commute?

HandyWoman Sat 02-Apr-16 17:45:49

I also think if you've posted several times before about the same problem - then the writing is on the wall:

He won't change.

It's bad enough to leave, mikado it really is.

DPotter Sat 02-Apr-16 17:51:34

There comes a time when, to protect your own MH, you have to ask the other person to seek help for themselves, or at least recognise there is a problem. Has you DH acknowledged there is even a problem ? Please don't list out all the criticisms and try not to talk in terms of ultimatums.
I think it's fine to say I think your depressed, I'm out of my depth in being the only person offering you support. Therefore I think you need to seek help from someone who is qualified to do so. If you don't think there's a problem or you don't want to seek help, I will have to ask you to leave so that I can raise our family in a more healthy environment.

In my situation with my DP I realised it was important not to tell him to do anything as that would have been a red rag to a bull. So I pitched it in terms of what I was going to do, if you see what I mean.
I wish you and your family the best - depression can be so draining to everyone connected to the person suffering with it.

ethelb Sat 02-Apr-16 18:47:18

Some psychoanalytic therapy may help get to the root of what sounds like obsessive, anxiety based feelings of being unable to cope. CBT can be v helpful, but at the same time doesn't tackle the root of the problem necessarily. It does depend on the practitioner i suppose.

Why he feels unable to cope, why he is scared of not being able to cope and how this is probably due to being heavily criticised or relied upon in the past perhaps? I don't know though, I'm not an expert.

They will point out the grumpy exterior is not ok though, and nor is emotional dumping on other people ok, and he will be encouraged to tackle these negative feelings differently.

Could you start with some relationships counselling, and discuss there how big the impact is on you and how much you need him to get individual counselling?

I do think that letter outlined above is a little nasty and wouldn't dream of giving it to my DH as awful as his behaviour is sometimes. I do think you need to support him to deal with this a bit more constructively than that, or just decide to leave

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 02-Apr-16 19:12:12

I was like the OP's husband once, and if I don't keep a grip on my lifestyle I could be again. Basically it was fucked sleep, alcohol and bad emotional habits.

It works like this: "you go to the GP, you get the standard SSRI course, you take the first week in front of me. Then, when you can think straight, we discuss turning you back into the man I married. Or I can have you removed by the police".

Your mileage may vary.

mikado1 Sat 02-Apr-16 20:00:36

What is SSRI?

It went awfully. Not very long story short- he will look into it this week.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 02-Apr-16 20:10:25

You have to leave.

If you stay he will be doing it for you and it will not sustain. He will resent you forcing him into something he didn't want to do and had no intention of doing himself (or he would have done it).

By leaving you are saying while you are in my company you behave in a way that makes me want to be in your company. How he achieves that is up to him.

Support doesn't mean putting up with.

Toffeelatteplease Sat 02-Apr-16 20:27:01

What i am trying to say is you can't fix a person or force them to fix themselves.

You can say "I am worried about you I think you may benefit from seeing the gp, I am happy to go with you if you want me too. However I cannot be around you right now because you behaviour is harmful to me. I am happy to see you but only if and when you have shown me you have control of your behaviour and your behaviour is positive".

Then you leave and wait. Wait for them to work out what they want to do. And stick to it.

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