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Husband depressed - thinks I am "too strong"(13 Posts)
Hello all. Please help - I am at my wit's end. I have been married for 10 years, with my husband in total for 13 years. We have two children (ds aged 8 and dd aged 6). My husband has been depressed for probably 70% of our relationship. He becomes withdrawn, distant, angry and lethargic.
He works part time (albeit in a stressful job). He is currently on anti depressants, going to CBT (he has ocd and anxiety) and we are going to marriage counselling. For years we had huge arguments where I didn't understand what was going on. Now when he is aggressive (slamming doors, raising voice etc) and has angry rants, blaming me/his parents - I have realised that it is completely his problem and I try not to get involved.
We have had a stressful year for various reasons. He's had a few days off and I know he's been struggling so suggested we go on a walk/ bike ride/cinema etc (which we've done) I've asked him if he wants to talk, and I've been affectionate etc. Today, after I'd thought we'd had a nice day, he had a rant at me and said he's tired of always being in the wrong and said it was obvious our marriage counsellor thought he had all the issues. He's tired of me being logical, calm and rational whilst he always has the problems. He thinks I am a strong woman, too strong for him, and there is no place for him in my life.
I am so so tired and sick of his depression. I am permanently putting in 100% into the family and our relationship. If he has a problem with anything I'm doing I am willing to listen and change if I need to.
I know the children are aware of the tension when he is like this. I am so tired of the endless "issues". I really don't know what the problem is - I feel we are very lucky in so many ways, and I enjoy life but he seems to be endlessly anxious/depressed/finding fault.
I feel like he wants to push me to breaking point and a reaction. Today I (unusually) got upset and angry after his rant, and it was only then that he seems able to take charge with the children and pick up the pieces. Usually he is passive and fairly unassertive
I just don't know if he's ever going to change. I don't understand why he can't just take control of his life and stop blaming everyone/everything. I have been depressed myself and as soon as I realised I was, I pulled out all the stops to get back on track (saw my GP, diet, exercise, etc) I just can't live the rest of my life like this.
*I just can't live the rest of my life like this
This sums it up I think. You don't have to have this for the rest of your life
Yes your husband is ill and that's sad but it doesn't change the effect he has on you and your children. Ranting, rages, mood swings, resenting you for your calmness? That is impossible to live with. Your children are learning that being a strong woman is a bad thing, that daddy can't be relied on, that placating the man of the house is what is needed and a million other unhealthy things.
He is responsible for himself, ill or not. He has access to support but isn't using it properly. Get him back to gp and if nothing changes, you need to look at your options
Suggest you leave.
Depression is not an excuse for his shitty behaviour.
"He's tired of me being logical, calm and rational whilst he always has the problems. He thinks I am a strong woman"
"I don't understand why he can't just take control of his life"
In a way, you're both saying the same thing, just with a different slant. He feels powerless and therefore behaves passively. You do feel in control of your life, and boggle that he doesn't act as if he's in control of his. This is a big difference between you both.
What's not great is blaming the other person for their different mode of functioning. He has no business telling you that your strength is a character flaw, but nor can you be like "Why is my depressed husband behaving like a depressed person?" Depressed people don't feel in control of their lives. Depression is the belief that you are a hopeless lost cause.
You are perfectly entitled not to be satisfied with this relationship and to walk away from it, of course. Handling a depressed partner would wear anyone out.
I have depression, anxiety and OCD and I do not blame other people in the way your husband does.
This is a dh problem not a mental health problem IMO. Probably the reason why he is struggling to live with his conditions so much is because of his penchant for making them into other people's problem.
It sounds as though you have had a miserable life for some time, and that your husband is trying to make you carry the burden of his depression and problems.
You should focus on what you want from life for yourself and your children, and ask yourself how much he contributes to that.
Separate out the depression and the bad behaviour.
You don't have to live like this. Interesting that he pushed you until angry then he was calm - do you see how manipulative that is? He's verbally aggressive, violent to inanimate objects and sulky. Honestly, what do you get out of this relationship?
I have a huge amount of sympathy for depression- and none whatsoever for verbal abuse and sulking.
If he has a problem with anything I'm doing I am willing to listen and change if I need to
Why? He doesn't try for you though does he, he sucks the joy out of your life actually I think he's possibly happy that he does this.
He doesn't want to change why should he? Your all pandering to his crap 24hrs a day, fuck me even his counsellor so he says thinks it's all him, they are right it is.
If you changed sex it wouldn't be change enough for him, your all dancing around him like puppets, when does your life start op? Where are you in any of this, how much do you have to carry before you buckle under the strain of his weight.
He learns nothing out of any of this situation other than control, stop enabling your own slow death by a thousand cuts, LTB and allow him to find his way if he can.
My DH suffers with depression and has for the past 5 years. However he is not violent, does not blame me for his problems and works hard to be a good husband and father even when things are bad. We are all allowed to be fallible human beings, but depression is not a free pass to be a dick.
My husband is suffering from aggressive-depressive behaviour. I could not understand it untill I read "Devon Honey" by Rebecca Winterfeldt (ISBN 9783744876315 ) It helped.
What do you get out of this relationship now?. What is keeping you at all within this, what needs of yours is he still meeting here?
Re your comment:-
"I just can't live the rest of my life like this".
Precisely and why should you?.
You have a choice re this man and your children do not. Is this really what you want to model to them as a relationship, that yes this is how people do behave within same?. Would you want your children to have a relationship like this is as adults, no you would not. Stop doing your bit therefore to show them that this is still acceptable to you on some level. He also seems to blame everyone else but him for his problems. Its become all about him and he alone.
How long has he been on his current treatment? Maybe suggest he tries something else? You say he hasn't been like this 30% of the time-what was different? Maybe he needs to make some changes.
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