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Living with Jekyll and Hyde

(32 Posts)
utterson Mon 22-Aug-16 21:50:50

DP has two personalities. I'm not just talking mood swings, he is literally a completely different person from time to time. The nice side is almost perfect. He's funny, caring, attentive, always puts DS and me first - all the stuff you would want and expect from a DP. Yes there are flaws in that personality (let's call this one Jekyll), he is human, but all around we are very happy and I love him to bits. DS thinks the sun shines out of his (Jekyll's) arse and all of his friends think he has the coolest dad. (To be fair, when he's this person, so do I.)

However from time to time he turns into someone completely different (let's call him Hyde). When he's like this, he is horrible to be around. I hate him like this. He's miserable, aggressive, selfish, and can change the mood in a room the moment he walks into it. Sometimes when he's like this I just lock myself in the bathroom for ages to avoid being around him. He makes me feel like I'm treading on eggshells and it seems like he makes DS feel the same. It's not often that this Hyde personality comes out but when it does it just makes everything we've got normally seem so pointless.

There is a strong history of mental health issues in his family and I wonder if this could be the problem, or does he just turn into a horrible person when he's tired? It's so hard to speak with him about because when he's being Jekyll he just laughs it off as if I'm exaggerating and when he's Hyde he responds with things like "we can't all be perfect like you" or worse "we can all come from perfect families like you" (in fact, neither of us do and Jekyll knows that perfectly well.)

We've been together ten years and it's neither gotten better or worse over that time. I'm just so exhausted with it. I really don't want to LTB (if he actually a bastard if it is a mental health problem?) because I am so happy with our life together normally, I just don't know how much more of Hyde I can take living with. Any advice would be appreciated.

category12 Mon 22-Aug-16 22:05:46

You have to put your ds front and centre here - it's not right for a child to live in an (emotionally) unsafe environment.

I would bring it up with Jekyll in a last ditch kind of way - it's damaging to your child. If he gets help (counselling, therapy, medication, whatever) and is willing to work on it, that's one thing. But expecting you both to creep round him and doing nothing to even acknowledge what he's doing? Nope.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 22-Aug-16 22:35:54

Have you read Why Does He Do That?

utterson Mon 22-Aug-16 22:46:35

I think you're right about the ultimate category. I just hope counselling can be offered on the NHS without a diagnosed mental illness. There's no way we could afford it otherwise. Do you think he would need individual counselling or couples/family? It really is having an effect on DS. He's noticeably more jittery when DP is in Hyde mode.

No RunRabbit I haven't. I will Google it now.

Tomselleckhaskindeyes Mon 22-Aug-16 22:47:42

I'm taking a bit of a punt here but I'm thinking it could be a mental illness. I would look up bi polar disorder as a start. I have seen the changes in someone with this disorder and it sounds what you are describing.

utterson Mon 22-Aug-16 22:47:53

I mean *ultimatum. It seems DS isn't the only one who's jittery!

utterson Mon 22-Aug-16 22:50:12

As much as I don't want it to be, I think you're probably right Tom. The problem is I wouldn't know where to go from here. He is so used to having to be the "normal" one in his family and support his siblings with mental illnesses that I don't think he could ever accept that he might have one too. I don't know how I would make the suggestion to him.

LesisMiserable Mon 22-Aug-16 22:53:31

I think men have monthly cycles just as much as women (though in my experience they seem to be more two/ three weekly).

Tomselleckhaskindeyes Mon 22-Aug-16 23:13:52

What is making me think it might be is the extremes in behaviour. I would start to make a daily log. I've done these by grading the moods from 1-5 and finding a description. 1 being Mr Hyde (or a description of those behaviours) and 5 being mr Jeckyll. This will give you an understanding or see a pattern. You could also log any triggers etc. This will give you a starting point. What a shame mental illness has such a stigma. sad

keepingonrunning Tue 23-Aug-16 02:21:24

I really think you should look up the symptoms for narcissistic personality disorder. Brace yourself to realise Hyde is the real him. It's not mental illness, it's mental disorder. He can help it, it's abuse, it's deliberate and you will know for sure if you notice he doesn't show anyone else his split personality. He saves if for you so he can control and manipulate you.
See the thread narcissism - any experts out there?

keepingonrunning Tue 23-Aug-16 02:32:56

The experts don't have all the answers, such as what causes it, but research highlighted in a Horizon programme in the last few years (available on Youtube) seems to show an interplay of genetic and environmental factors, possibly explaining your question marks regarding the mental state of your DPs family members
If you think he matches the symptoms, you could be putting yourself at risk by telling him you know he's choosing his horrid behaviour. That's when the rage can go off the scale because he realises he's probably losing control of you.

utterson Tue 23-Aug-16 08:27:03

That is a really good idea Tom, I am going to start using that grading system. Perhaps once I've worked out a pattern I can flag it up with Jekyll. I've spoken to one of his brothers about it before a few years ago and he said that he was always been like that. Because he seems the most level headed of his family members I think they just don't see it as a big deal though.

Thank you keeping. I have just read that thread and there are definitely some similarities, but a lot that doesn't fit too. When he's Hyde, he's Hyde towards everyone - me, DS, family members, colleagues, even cashiers in shops. Sometimes he'll come home from work in Hyde mode and moan about his day, but I can tell from the stories he tells that he has been in Hyde mode all day. Hell talk about how a colleague who he ordinarily gets on with has pissed him off and what he said back to them, and I know Jekyll wouldn't have behaved in that way. There are also members of my family who unfortunately first met him while he was being Hyde and that's the impression they've had of him ever since, so they dislike him a lot. The only people that don't really see his Hyde side are his friends, because when he's Hyde he seems to hate everyone so won't choose to socialise. His friends do seem to notice that he goes through phases of ignoring calls etc., but AFAIK they haven't actually seen why.

Also, when I bring it up with him he doesn't try to deflect it to me as such, like posters on the other thread explain, it's more like he doesn't remember being that way. In the past I've said things like "You owe me an apology for yesterday" when he's back to being Jekyll but he won't even remember saying some of the things he's said. He'll remember being moody and apologise for that, but it's sort of a "you're so sensitive, let me make you feel better" way than a "I realise I was out of line" way. If I tell him what he said he'll apologise but say he doesn't remember saying it.

The more I'm writing about it the more obvious the problem is seeming. I've never really put all of the details together like this and it's making me realise how not normal it all is.

We're both off work today but I had to go out early while he was still asleep, so it will be interesting to see which personality has woken up this morning. Hyde was out for the first time in about a month yesterday which is what made me post in the first place, I'll keep an eye on his behaviour today and see if I notice anything else.

utterson Tue 23-Aug-16 08:27:21

That was long, sorry!

hellsbellsmelons Tue 23-Aug-16 09:00:27

Can you record him when he's in Hyde mode?
Either on your phone or get one of those hidden cameras.
Seems extreme, but if you want to save this then he needs to see what he is like.
He may well be doing it on purpose.
Keeps you all on your toes doesn't it??!!
Drastic measures now or you have to LTB for your DS sake.

utterson Tue 23-Aug-16 09:08:58

I have considered that before hellsbells but never followed through. I think I might have to though. I just need to figure out the logistics of doing it!

How long should I give him to acknowledge and deal with the problem? I've sort of given up bringing it up with him recently and tend to just ignore him as Hyde and wait it out. Something does need to be done now though.

keepingonrunning Tue 23-Aug-16 09:42:22

Then there's anti-social personality disorder . . Does he talk negatively about others a lot, slagging them off? Does he sound entitled to have others treating him better?
It's also worth considering if he can be relied on to tell the truth when he is telling you about his interactions with others. Some people don't, just for the fun of shit stirring, secretly pitting people against each other. It's weird I know, but this is the mentality of the character disturbed, if that's what it is.

Resilience16 Tue 23-Aug-16 10:12:04

Hi I was in a relationship with someone like this for four years. Nice as pie, charming, fun, most of the time, then horrendous verbally abusive behaviour out of the blue for no reason whatsoever.
First time it happened I hoped it was a one off. Then it happened again , and again and again, and so like you it became my normal. This ain't normal.
When I confronted him I was told he couldn't help it, or I was too sensitive, or he was sorry but that was the way he was...
I initially thought his behaviour was random, but if you start making a note of the incidents you may find like I did that the mood swings are always with women, or never with anyone who might challenge his behaviour. That would imply choice in who he kicked off on, that it was a conscious choice.
He wouldn't acknowledge he had a problem, and minimised the effects of his toxic behaviour.
Came to a head over Xmas , 3 tantrums in as many days. I couldn't take it anymore and finished with him. Looking back I can see it was an emotionally abusive relationship and one I should have got out of much earlier. They don't change unless they want to and the longer you put up with the shit behaviour the longer they think it's ok.Regardless of whether they have a mental health issue or not, if they don't accept they need help then you are stuck with rinse and repeat .
From my own experience I would say cut your losses and get out. Someone who loves you doesn't treat you like that whenever the mood takes them...
Keep a log of incidents, as you are probably minimising it to yourself too,seeing them all there in black and white is sobering and may be the wake up call you need.
Good luck x

Raisensaretoddlercrack Tue 23-Aug-16 10:59:48

He sounds a lot like my DH. He is so lovely, caring, romantic and supportive. He does more than his fair share of childcare and house work etc and generally we make a great team. He can be exactly as you have described though and it's so exhausting. He will say "we cant all be perfect like you" and the other things your DH does. He has been to anger management twice (willingly) and counselling once which helped him cope with his anger and taught him techniques to use to stop outbursts which he has been quite successful with. He was however still having periods where he would be extremely negative about everything (his job, our friends, the state of the house - needs a lot of cosmetic DIY, his family) and these periods would last days and sometimes more than a week. He would also complain of being tired all the time after 8 hours unbroken sleep each night. I would feel like I was treading on eggshells when he was like this with an awful atmosphere around the house. He would always apologise profusely afterwards and feel awful and I'd tell him it was unacceptable/abusive and I didn't want apologies, I wanted him to make sure it didn't happen again. He would have a week or two of loveliness and making up for how he'd been before sinking back into negativity.

I recently asked him to think about whether he was happy and told him I felt he may be depressed/bi polar. He agreed there was possibly an underlying problem to these periods of negativity and went to the Dr's. He was prescribed a low dose of antidepressants and vitamin D tablets as he was deficient and has been so much better since. It's been 3 months now and he is like him on a good day all the time. He still gets frustrated with things but keeps it in perspective and doesn't allow it all to build and build and trigger days of negativity/terrible moods anymore. Plenty of things have happened that would have before triggered an awful mood and I have found myself bracing myself and then being surprised when he has just shrugged his shoulders and got on with his day. He is so much happier and says he wished he had asked for anti depressants years ago and feels sad that he didn't realise. I also feel stupid for not having thought of it sooner (not that it's my responsibility).

I have over the years felt like I wanted to LTB due to his behaviour and I am not saying you should put up with it because it's completely unacceptable and I have probably put up with more than I should have done, but maybe you could explore whether this is something medical that can be treated? When I looked into symptoms of depression for men I found that it often causes tiredness, irritability and anger as opposed to "feeling down" and when I explained this to my DH he agreed that it sounded like him. Good luck

Grumpyoldblonde Tue 23-Aug-16 12:44:26

raisens Mine was exactly as you describe, came to a head when he showed a real sign of aggression, I packed his bags. He went to the GP and was given ad's and it has changed our lives. I only wish I hadn't put up with it for so long - it has changed my feelings for him forever and I will never get them back.

Resilience16 Tue 23-Aug-16 13:28:04

Think the crucial decider on this is whether the other person accepts they have a problem and is willing to seek help, be that medical or therapy.
If they do then your relationship may have a chance.
If they are in denial though or try and foist the blame for their behaviour on you/the world then you either have to put up and shut up, and spend the rest of your life walking on eggshells, or make the decision to get out.

Dowser Tue 23-Aug-16 13:39:35

Not as extreme as yours op, but my exh was very similar?

Mymum called him Jekyll and Hyde. I didn't even like Jekyll when he was too 'up'.

Didn't seem at all natural. When Hyde was too the fore he could be very nasty.

I think iveblotted out a lot now. It is 10 years since we shared a roof.

sharonsays Tue 23-Aug-16 16:24:17

I had an ex who was similar. He was bipolar but I also suspected some narcissistic tendencies. I spent way to long trying to figure him out. It doesn't really matter what the label is, you need to decide if you accept the way he behaves towards you and DS. If it's not acceptable then tell him and give him the chance to sort it out, the first step would be a visit to his GP. If he won't do anything to work out what's wrong, then you either accept that he's never going to change or you leave. You can't fix the mood swings, only he can.

utterson Wed 24-Aug-16 09:13:42

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I ended up being out all day and barely even saw DP! He seemed to be in Jekyll mode when I got back but I was so exhausted and more or less went straight to bed so didn't get to have a chat with him.

Raisens honestly I could have written that post myself. The thing about being negative and tired, that's him in Hyde mode!

Whatever his issue is, from all of your posts it does sound like something that there is a solution to. I am going to try and have a proper word with him this evening when DS goes to bed and see where he stands on getting help. Then I guess we'll be able to go from there!

Thank you all flowers

Raisensaretoddlercrack Thu 25-Aug-16 13:22:13

Hi OP just wondering how you are getting on?

Tomselleckhaskindeyes Thu 25-Aug-16 16:30:44

It doesn't sound like he has any insight Into his personality changers. For me it dies sound more mental illness than paresonality disorder (I have experience of both) start doing the mood diary. It might make things make sense and also a starting point to show the GP. What you are trying to achieve is an equilibrium of mood.

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