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Aibu to ask for help to find myself?(16 Posts)
This may not sound like much of a problem but to me it's massive. Had abusive childhood so inevitably married abusive man and had a child at very young age. After 16 years finally received 2 years psychotherapy. I learned a completely different way of thinking and I divorced. Remarried and had more children. New dh brilliant but prone to doing the sometimes "helpless" act, asking lots of daft questions. I was strong, forthright and managed to knock all that on the head. We then had a child who has learning difficulties and I became disabled and ill myself. DH has been an absolute rock, became carer for myself, physically did most things in the home, caring for the kids and attending every sen meeting, fighting for ds rights. Years have passed, ds now in supported living doing very well. This is going to sound so ungrateful but i've realised just recently (with the help of a few other mnetters actually, so thanks to them if they're reading) I am unhappy. I've gradually slid back into my old self. I'm putting up with all the daft questions, running the household from my armchair and exhausted from it. I need to get my mentally strong self back, need dh to go back to his old competent self. eg: when first together dh would say things like, "shall I do your dishes for you" and I would answer "my dishes? Don't you live here any more then?" Dh soon got my drift;-) Fast forward, we now have all that again but much worse, it's every little thing.I feel so suffocated. I can stand the truth, so please be honest, aibu and a selfish ungrateful pratt and should put up/ shut up OR should I risk hurting dh feelings and try to find myself again? Sorry this is so long and thanks to anyone who reads.
Do you mean you'd want to be more assertive again to make dh be more competent?
It sounds like you've both slid back into your 'old selves'. Dh and I do this to a lesser extent when we are really stressed or tired. It feels familiar and easy.
I can see it might be harder to assert yourself when he is your carer and to an extent you find yourself thinking "I should be grateful".... Does your dh realise there is a problem and you are unhappy?
Hopelessly, thanks for the reply. No, dh doesn't see any problem and thinks i'm happy. It's hard to explain and feels like a betrayal even thinking like this but dh is so clingy I feel suffocated. I managed to persuade him to go out for a few hours the other day and I felt so relieved. He was a bit clingy in the early days but I was able to get out and about on my own and working, friends, swimming, cycling etc but now i'm stuck. I'm panicking a bit because i've only recently realised how unhealthy this is. Although there's no abuse I feel as trapped as I did in the first marriage. Dh seems to need and thrive on almost, me telling him what to do. I'm mentally exhausted with it. Even on my good days when I like to potter in the kitchen a bit dh will ask every few minutes if i'm ok. I noticed when he was out the other day I had more energy and my mind felt clear. Thanks again for replying, you say you and dh are sometimes like this to a lesser extent?
I'm quite new to MN and i'm thinking maybe I should have put this thread on "relationships". Can anyone advise me how to change over please?
The obvious thing to do is talk to him. Assuming this is accurate, something along the lines of "i really appreciate everything you do for me, but with my disability I feel like I've lost a bit of my independence and I would enjoy some time to myself on occasion without you feeling like you need to check up on me."
Me and my husband have been there temporarily. A few years back I was hit by a car and dh became my carer for a while. For me it was a temporary disability, though I still sometimes get pain I am independent now. However dh found it very difficult to let go of being my carer, checking up on me, nagging me to drink etc. In the end I wrote him an email explaining needing my space and the impact it was having on my mh having him being like this. I felt totally smothered. I made some suggestions of how he could back off and help me get back on track again. Writing it in an email was good because it gave him time to think and reflect when previous attempts to talk had ended in arguments. Following the email we then had a calm conversion about it and made some significant changes, such as in how our money worked, having time alone etc and him to stop nagging me about basic things like drinking enough. He still slips sometimes but things are much better.
Ynbu btw. It outs difficult when you feel people have gone above anf beyond for you. For a long time he helped me to the loo, helped with all my personal hygiene, clothed me (the outfit choices were interesting for a while) fed me and got me drinks. I am immensely grateful for that. But there is no point to being grateful and miserable, it will eventually get to you both.
Thankyou so much for your advice. I can start the changes right away because we've already planned a different xmas this year. Instead of dh cooking the big roast, we're having a "snacky" Christmas. This means I can manage most of it myself. Dh can have a break, i'll feel more useful and I think it will open the way for a talk Sybys and then followed in a few days by your email idea Rosae. I'm really nervous about both ideas but I have to do something. That's it exactly Rosae, totally smothered! But with the addition of endless daft questions which I just don't get? He can be so strong and dependable yet ask the most stupid petty questions!! I used to challenge this and we both used to actually laugh together about it, but i've even lost that too because i'm mentally exhausted. Glad to hear you got through it all Rosae, sorry to hear you still sometimes have pain though. Well, this isn't going to be easy but i'm determined. Thanks again for your ideas.
Can you have couples therapy? It sounds like you have a fundamentally loving relationship which is drifting .
Yes hesterton, thanks for reply. We have been to Relate years ago for a few minor problems which we worked through so I know dh would go there. The difference this time is that he has done and is doing so much for me that I'm worried about hurting his feelings or being ungrateful. Dh actually likes us to live in each others pockets whereas I hate it. I love him to bits but I can't breathe! I think this is going to be a long hard road back and yes I think we will need some couples counselling as well. See what I mean about dh though, he's such a good un he'll go to counselling even though for him he sees no problems.
Thank you Daffy. My husband too was completely unaware there was a problem. Though he always refused counselling so it was alot of hard work on my part I felt to get it going. I did have some counselling myself tho which was more helpful in some ways cos it gave me a chance to work on me without the pressure of feeling grateful. It can get better. 👍
I know that I smother my dh sometimes, I feel like I need to be constantly talking with him and ask inane questions , mostly when he isn't in a conversational mood as I really want to force a conversation. When I'm tired or upset or stressed I do it more
What helps me stop is my reading about introverts and understanding that my dh actually needs some time alone, and also dh agreeing to have some specific time for talking later on and understanding that I'm extroverted and actually need conversation with him. Also I try to talk to friends in the day before dh comes home so I'm not ravenous for his company!
I had a chronic injury a few years ago and needed help from dh (then my boyfriend) for around six months - I think it had weird effects on our relationship, it set up odd dynamics as I felt indebted to him and dependent on him, but also cross if he didn't do something for me as it was so bloody frustrating not being able to get a snack for myself if I was hungry and I don't think he understood quite how bad I felt, and I hated feeling helpless and ill. He found it difficult too, I think he found me rather demanding! It was relatively early in our relationship though. I think we would cope better now.
Is your dh still your carer? What does this involve? Does he have friends and other people he can spend time with?
Hi Hopelessly, i've been reading about introverts and extroverts too. I think i'm a bit introvert and dh is extrovert. We have no close friends any longer. We moved from one side of the country to the other years ago and became quite insular when ds behaviour was so challenging and the fight for sen education was all encompassing. We also had to ensure dd was ok in the middle of all this, having her friends round or outings on the weekends that ds was at respite. There was no time/ room for anything else, then I had a number of illnesses and gradually we lost contact with old friends and haven't made new ones in this area. Dh is still my carer which on my bad days can involve doing almost everything for me including hygiene care, toilet, etc. But on my good days, on average say 2 a week I can look after myself more, prepare snacks, sort laundry, etc or we go out for a meal or coffee, etc. I'm also guilty of wanting conversation at the wrong time, usually when football's on
Yes Hopelessly, feeling indebted and dependant, does set up odd dynamics. Dh seems to have become used to the weirdness of our situation whereas i'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with it.
I think your thread would be better on the Relationships board if you are willing to have it moved. Aibu is fast moving, so it will keep dropping off the bottom.
If you click the little symbol in the corner of one of your messages you can "report" yourself, and in your report ask mumsnet to move this.
What do you think your dh gets out of asking all these daft questions? Conversation and interaction? He likes not having to think himself? Is there any part of him that resents being a carer?
Merry Christmas all. Thankyou for your replies and advice but i'm going to leave it at that because I would need to say more which would be too outing. I originally thought this would be ok but on reflection it won't. I need to talk privately to a counsellor. It's helped a lot getting it off my chest though and I thank you for telling me about your own experiences. Wish you all well and have a lovely Christmas.
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