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Dealing with DH stress

(12 Posts)
user7755 Thu 19-May-16 06:43:03

Sorry, this might turn into a long one but I want to try and get everything in and not drip feed.

DH has been in a job for a long time (30 odd years), due to ill health he had to leave that job and can't go back into it in his traditional role because of ongoing disability. He has not been paid for 2 years but we have survived and been able to stay in the house because my savings / earnings have covered everything but that won't last forever. He had to apply for a job which is the complete antithesis of everything he believes in and fair play to him, he has done it (is a very stubborn man and would usually refuse, but sees that he has no choice). The job is very high pressure and morally questionable, he comes home after 14 hour days stressed and upset and feeling deskilled. I try to support him but it usually ends up in an argument because I try to help / advise / reassure and he thinks I don't understand. So I leave him to it, which leaves him feeling isolated and like nobody cares. So we alternate between arguing and not really speaking (this is a long term pattern).

Now I can see that some of the barriers in this role are his anxiety (another long term issue), he is crippled by it sometimes and it interferes with his ability to see / do things clearly but I can't say this to him because it will be like a kick in the teeth.

I have said that if the worse comes to the worse we can move to a house which we can afford on one wage but he won't hear it.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

DoreenLethal Thu 19-May-16 06:59:07

Can he find a different job?

What is his solution? What are the options available to you both?

user7755 Thu 19-May-16 07:16:41

Thank you Doreen, he's very limited as to what he can do because of his disability so this is the only thing that he hasn't been turned down before interview because physically there are bits of the job he can't do. He is now experiencing a lot of pain because of the physical effort of the job (which is basically sitting and using a PC) and is now having panic symptoms.

He says that he will see how it goes, but will 'walk' if people keep being passive aggressive with him - I think that is just his anxiety talking but I'm not sure. I think that it is a huge learning curve for him, he is used to being the expert in his field and he has gone to a job where he is very much the novice and the culture way of working is very alien to him.

I work full time and get an OK wage so if we downsize we can survive on one wage (we have kids with additional needs so having someone at home all the time wouldn't be a bad thing but isn't vital because my work is flexible).

He has very fixed ideas, was brought up in a council house and doesn't want to go back to living in a council house (or ex council house) which is what we could afford, whereas I think you get loads of house for your money and it would ease the pressure.

It's helpful just to be able to 'talk' it through without arguments, so thank you.

Isetan Thu 19-May-16 07:47:42

It sounds like he's been through a lot and his pre existing anxiety issues are ecsarberating the situation. What can you do? Well, with regards to his anxieties and him coming to terms with his new world order, not very much beyond encouraging him to get professional support. Downsizing, is a practical and logical solution and as difficult as it is for him, his pride can not be at the expense of family security.

You can not help him if he won't help himself but you need to make clear that you have needs too. He needs expert help and even if you were an expert you wouldn't be the person to deliver it.

user7755 Thu 19-May-16 07:55:24

Thanks Isetan, you are correct in everything you say. He is unlikely to accept professional help - at the risk of outing us, he is in that line of work (and he is a proud / stubborn man) but you are right in saying that I can't be the person to deliver that help - believe it or not, that is a lightbulb moment for me!

I have to go to work now, so I'm not ignoring other posts if there are any, I will be back later!

Joysmum Thu 19-May-16 08:10:59

How about not trying to help, advise and reassure?

Just look into his eyes, tell him you love him and lots of bear hugs. That way you can't say the wrong thing but he'll feel you love and support which will make hill better able to open up and talk rather than you talking at him. smile

user7755 Thu 19-May-16 11:35:12

Just nipped on quickly while its quiet.

Joysmum - it sounds so simple doesn't it, I can't believe that I haven't just done that. Looking forward to seeing him tonight and I will do just that.

I'm one of life's fixers, I sort out everything at work and in my personal life - it's my default, and he is the only person who doesn't 'fit' in with this - so selfish of him wink

Thank you again

summerainbow Thu 19-May-16 11:38:25

So is he claiming pip? are claiming pip for kids? . Can he go on sick can he claim carer allowance for the kids

pocketsaviour Thu 19-May-16 11:41:10

I'm one of life's fixers

Me too! When my DS developed anxiety I found it so frustrating because I would be trying to offer solutions and he didn't want that. He just wanted to hear that I loved him.

Now I try to use reflecting language instead ("That must feel quite isolating", "I can see you're feeling panicky", etc) but also I asked him (at a time when he was not anxious) "When you feel anxious, what would you like me to do, to help you? Is it better for me to say nothing and just listen, or would you like me to talk about something completely different and distract you a bit?"

It's really hard because it goes against my natural grain of trying to make everything better. And sometimes I still forget! But it's better for both of us because I'm not feeling frustrated and stressed because he isn't doing what I think he should do, and he's feeling more supported.

Joysmum Thu 19-May-16 18:18:25

I'm glad I could offer an alternative. I only say this having been through depression myself 20 years ago. It worked for me, I hope it works for your situation too. Best of luck.

user7755 Thu 19-May-16 20:17:56

Summer - DS gets DLA (PIP I suppose now), DH was on something but got taken off and put on jobseekers - hence having to apply for and accept this job. I don't know about carers - DS is at school through the day so surely we wouldn't get it? We have only just applied for DLA as we never really think about him having a disability, he is just DS if that makes sense? His paediatrician told us to apply.

Pocket - you have hit the nail on the head there!

Just nurtured him by buying him a massive chocolate bar and some bake well tart - haven't given any advice - working on biting my tongue!

Lovely advice from you all, thank you flowers

Joysmum Thu 19-May-16 20:37:36

Bless. It's not easy is it. you can do this wink

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