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Am I unreasonable, or just enabling him?

(31 Posts)
user1471438981 Sat 03-Sep-16 13:46:59

Hello all, long time lurker, first time poster, so please be gentle!
My partner of 6 years (we are 24) has recently told me that he feels that he has mental health issues. His family (he is NC with them) also have a variety of MH problems, including hypochondria and various undiagnosed things, so it is possible that his problem is inherited.
I'm not doubting that he has a problem - he has been to the doctor and been diagnosed with anxiety/depression and is on antidepressants, the dose of which keeps getting upped that don't seem to help. We both feel the depression is a symptom, not the problem itself, but have no idea what that could be!
Sorry to ramble...I guess my main issue is that he feels that he needs to be 'protected' from adult life now - no helping with finance, work or housework. This puts a lot of pressure on me, as I am having to do all of these things alone, and it's a lot of work! It doesn't help that my job is seasonal and I'm having to take on a second role, if I can fit it around university.
He doesn't do anything himself (apart from his own personal care of course) and won't even do things he enjoys alone - I have to initiate/join/provide all entertainment. Unfortunately we don't really enjoy the same things so I am sacrificing my hobbies to help him with his.

However, even though I have taken on all of the adult stresses he faces, I am constantly told that it is not enough, and that I need to do more. Everything needs to be alphabetised etc.
Should I do it? Do I need to 'love bomb' him through his MH issues, or will doing more just make him worse? I'm not sure if I'm helping or just making things worse at this point.

Sorry for the long post, my mind is a bit jumbled at the moment!

Penfold007 Sat 03-Sep-16 14:27:46

He feels he needs to be protected from adult life and so not do any work, housework or make any financial contribution shock You've got yourself a cocklodger, is that how you want to live your life?

Bonnibell Sat 03-Sep-16 14:30:01

I thing you should get this thread moved over to the relationship board, you get lots more traffic and helpful advice there.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Sat 03-Sep-16 14:32:26

Been there
Done that.
Divorced the bastard.
Ask yourself this-do you want a relationship of equal balance?
Or be a mother to a man - child?

EmmanuelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 03-Sep-16 18:00:06

Hi OP, we're going to move this to the Relationships topic, where you'll hopefully get some more replies flowers.

redisthenewblack Sat 03-Sep-16 18:08:13

How old was he when he went MC with his family?
The reason I ask is that he sounds like he's using you as a substitute for the mother/siblings he missed out on at a younger age. (E.g. His mum doing his washing/cleaning up after him when he lived with her yes shoot me but some mums do that or a sibling to take part in activities with).

How is the rest of your relationship? It sounds like you're his cleaner/mother/housemate at the moment. You don't mention any affection or love on either side.

Does he have any friends with the same interests/hobbies as him?

12hours Sat 03-Sep-16 18:11:15

Whatever MH issues he has do not mean that he can't do the washing up every now and then. He is taking the piss.

SparklyStarShit Sat 03-Sep-16 18:13:43

if you continue to mother him, resentment will build up and up. You will lose any respect for him, stop fancying him and hate the bastard. Please please don't have any kids with him.

I will say you need to let him go but I don't know how far down the line you are with facing that. You will get rid eventually because I predict he will just feed off you until you collapse.

he needs to grow up and get some therapy. he's not your responsibility. Please look after yourself first.

I am 16 years down the line, 2 kids, mid break up. It is FUCKING AWFUL.

DoreenLethal Sat 03-Sep-16 18:18:39

I'm reading this like shock

Why the fuck didn't I think of that!

I need to be protected from adult life immediately.

CocktailQueen Sat 03-Sep-16 18:20:59

It's not up to you to fix him.

I think it might be time for you to think about yourself and stop concentrating on him.

AnyFucker Sat 03-Sep-16 18:21:02

Good Lord, do you have "MUG" tattooed on your forehead ?

ayeokthen Sat 03-Sep-16 18:23:17

I have various mental health issues, I would LOVE to check out from adult life at times! I have an amazingly supportive partner, but I cannot just absolve myself of any responsibility and let him do everything, much as I'd love to. It's an indulgence and he's being very unfair to you.

sarahnova69 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:23:52

What would he do if he were single?

Seriously. Would he move back in with his mother? Or would he suddenly develop the ability to make his own food?

The bottom line is that the pattern you are describing is not sustainable, even in the short term. How long does he think you should agree to do this? A month? Six months? Indefinitely?

If your heart sinks at any of those time lines then I think you have your answer. This is a major, major redrawing of your relationship contract. It's one thing to provide support to a partner who is working hard on their issues and has a clear path to recovery. But if he needs to be 'totally protected from adult life', then he needs to go to an inpatient unit, because no adult with her own life to live can offer that for long.

SparklyStarShit Sat 03-Sep-16 18:25:39

Dorreen - grin

Dozer Sat 03-Sep-16 18:33:54

You're a student? Your priority should be getting a good qualification, not working two jobs and doing housework as a servant to another adult.

ApocalypseSlough Sat 03-Sep-16 18:35:22

You can walk away. flowers

thestamp Sat 03-Sep-16 18:40:00

Oh my darling. This is a fucking car crash of a relationship. You need to run, not walk away.

In terms of his mental health, the absolute worst and I mean WORST thing for that would be for you to be his carer in this way. If he's genuinely not coping then he needs hospital. Not his gf to be his nurse maid. He will lose what little skill he has in caring for himself and become more and more ill v rapidly.

But I suspect he's perfectly healthy. He just wants a mummy / maid to make his life perfectly relaxing and he's realised you might make enough of a mug of yourself that you'll agree to do it. Sorry.

Please have higher standards for yourself. You deserve a relationship not an unpaid nursing job.

EarthboundMisfit Sat 03-Sep-16 18:41:18

I can see how if he grew up with anxious hypochondriacs, adult life, which he's just now embarking on, can be very, very hard. I had the same experience.
But yes, you are enabling him. He won't overcome his issues and enjoy life until he has to. You can't enjoy it either.
It will be a long road if you stay with him, and you can't stay with him unless he is willing to seek help to challenge himself and get better. He needs counselling and easy measured targets to push himself.
If you keep enabling him, both your lives will be blighted until the day he does get forced to help himself

Blueshoessingloose Sat 03-Sep-16 18:43:26

Why are you mothering him? He's an adult, dump him so that he's forced to either grow up or return to his parents.

You're young, focus on work and education, making your own life pleasant and then you can meet a man who will be an equal partner.

ElspethFlashman Sat 03-Sep-16 18:44:11

I agree, if he needs to be insulated and isolated that much then he needs inpatient care, not a Mam!

user1471438981 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:57:20

Hey, thanks for all the replies.
I know the relationship sounds awful on paper, but this is a recent development - I just needed to hear that I won't break him by not doing as he asks at this point.
Think I'll show him these replies, and then he can book himself some therapy and make me a cup of coffee grin

Also, I am not always this doormat -ish, I've just been worried.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Sat 03-Sep-16 18:57:53

If MH issues aren't tackled they get worse.
You are enabling him and you CANNOT make him get help (nobody can), but himself.
From what you say this is deeply ingrained from his childhood and/or in his genes.
Walkaway now before it gets even harder to do so.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 03-Sep-16 19:02:38

What do you get out of this relationship, what needs of yours is he meeting here?.

Do not show him these replies.

When did he go NC with his family, what was he like before now?.
You got with this man when you were 18 and thus had no real life experience of your own. This has truly now run its course.

You are still enabling him currently and enabling only gives you a false sense of control. It certainly will not help him.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 03-Sep-16 19:11:37

You are making things worse. Definitely.

You are hurting him by letting him deflect his problems by reverting to a child-like state, while forcing you into the nice-mummy role.

He must take on more adult responsibilities so he learns how to manage himself.

Perhaps you each need to live on your own for a while. If you've been together since you were 18, I'm guessing neither of you has lived independently. That's not healthy (especially for men, imo). You've already got into an unhealthy mummy-child dynamic. You might need an actual separation for a while to break the habit.

I have to initiate/join/provide all entertainment. Unfortunately we don't really enjoy the same things so I am sacrificing my hobbies to help him with his That has to stop. He has to work out how to do this stuff himself. He has to understand that it is wrong to expect other people to put their own needs on hold to serve his needs. You have equal worth. He has to know that you see yourself as having equal worth, so stop this martyrdom.

Perhaps you need to seek out some therapy of your own, that you have been doing this at all suggests you have rescuer and fixer tendencies which will lead to increasing codependency problems if you don't sort yourself out. Your twenties is perhaps the best age to be doing that. Go for it!

user1471438981 Sat 03-Sep-16 19:11:50

He's been non contact since he was 15 - there's no chance that if left he'd go back, as he slept rough for a while, he was that desperate to leave. He grew up fast, and things were pretty balanced up until a few months ago, good housework/work split etc.
He crashed after we had some recent financial issues (my employer didn't pay me, we got a loan, this is a whole other thread in itself but I won't bore you all with it!). This is slowly resolving itself, and in September when student finance will put us back as we were. I guess I'm just hoping that once that sorts out, his MH will improve too.

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