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How do I handle this?(4 Posts)
DH suffers from severe depression, which has recently cost him his job. He's had it on and off over the years we've been together - two episodes so far and this current one is the longest one we've gone through. He's been on a couple of different types of AD over the past few years and we seemed to have some success with the latest one, which is an old type of AD, but it isn't working any more. The doctor has told DH the next step is to be referred to a psychiatrist, as there isn't really any more they can offer in terms of ADs and I'm encouraging him to go back to the GP to get the ball rolling.
Lately DH has really spiralled - sleeping all the time, not looking after himself at all and hardly ever leaving the house. He's still taking his meds but had told me that he's feeling angry all the time and he just doesn't want to discuss hardly anything that is important. We're waiting for him to have his assessment for ESA, which is taking place in a couple of week, and I think it's playing on his mind a lot. He tries to put on a 'face' to the outside world so that people don't think he's weak. He can be quite a joker, so a lot of people know he's actually ill as he will keep up the act until he's exhausted. He's had a look a little online about the assessment process and is really worried about it, it's playing on his mind a lot.
My in-laws know DH is ill but they have a very get on and do attitude to it, such as telling DH to go for walks etc. Recently MIL asked DH if she could borrow some money. Both MIL and FIL are retired and have always had their own money - he's always given her a set amount from the start, it's never changed. She's in debt, from the sounds quite a lot. FiL isn't stupid so I think he knows she's a bit skint but probably not to the extent she's in.
When she asked DH he did not discuss it with me and just transferred the money over. When I saw this I asked him what was going on, we had a bit of an arguement. Apparently she was going to bounce on some bills if we hadn't given her the money, but she would give this money back in a few days.
A few days came and went and then MIL asked if she could borrow more. This time DH spoke to me about it first. A good couple of years back MIL helped us financially when DH was going through the first episode of depression and money was tight. She never asked for that money back and I've always felt indebted to her and very very grateful for that help. Anyway we had a long chat and I told DH that it was ok but we definitely needed the money back - I am the only one working right now and the assessment rate for ESA isn't very much. We'd just had a payment of a bit of money for something else, which has helped keep us afloat and MIL knew about this money. She promised DH that she'd pay half of it back a week later and then try and do the rest as soon as possible after. I'm sure you can guess what's coming next - she didn't pay. Told DH she couldn't afford it and that she was sorry.
DH has taken this hard. He's barely spoken to her since. He said it wasn't so much about the money, though we really need it, but the fact she lied. This has contributed to his downward spiral but he's not wanted to talk about it. We have a family thing to go to on his side tomorrow and in laws will be there. It's been quite obvious that DH doesn't want to go and his mood has been getting worse and worse. The inlaws usually give money to DH and his sibling at Christmas. FIL will put money in the card for one of them and MIL will put card for the other. Last year she did ours and then privately asked DH for the money back because she couldn't afford it. This year she's already told DH she needs to do this again. A big fuss is made about DH and sibling opening the cards and he's already told me he doesn't want to pretend this year, so another reason he doesn't want to go. He's not bothered about her not giving him money for Christmas - if she can't afford it she can't afford it - it's the lying and everyone not knowing that he's giving the money back after.
All of this has compounded and he's not going to go tomorrow, but I'll have to because DC are looking forward to it. Questions are going to be asked why he's not there and I don't know what to say - I'm cross at MIL to put this shit on him when she knows he's not well and that we're fucked for money. I don't even know if we'll get our money back and I don't want to paste a smile on my face and play happy families.
DH and I have argued a lot over the past few weeks and he's just becoming a shell..I don't know what to do. Our marriage has been in steady decline for the past few months and it's getting to the point where I don't feel like I can continue what I'm doing as I can feel myself slipping, but that a whole other thread.
How do I handle tomorrow?
Oh God. You poor thing! You're really having a time of it arn't you!
Depression can be an absolutely horrible illness.
First thing your OH needs to do is go to the GP and get referred to a psychiatrist. Next thing he need to do is self refer to the mental health service to start accessing some form of therapy, either talking therapy or CBT for some support.
If you are struggling then get some support yourself, be it a friend, some family, a helpline or support group. Something to make sure you are ok too.
Tomorrow - If anyone asks where he is, just say hes come down with an utterly awful cold. A perfectly reasonable explanation at this time of year.
However although this will be the 'party line' to other family, you need to have a serious conversation with MIL about the real reason he is not there and a frank conversation about the state of his mental health.
In terms of presents, speak to MIL and say you appreciate she is currently in some financial difficulties but unfortunately you can no longer afford to give her money due to your own circumstance, and if she can't afford money in a card then be honest and do something cheap like make something! But neither you or he are going to lie because it is putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and him when he is ill.
Thank you Chocolate
CBT was suggested and offered to him by the GP. The waiting list can be long (I was referred a couple of years back) but he didn't want to access it. Through my job he could possibly access some sessions but again he doesn't want to access it. He's shit about opening up and talking about his depression, so he's avoided doing it. As much as I want to I don't think I can force him to go for CBT, but him getting worse is making me thoroughly miserable. I will definitely insist on the referral to a psychiatrist though - I'm really hopping that I can get him to go before I go back to work.
I will look in to options for support for me. I've not really got any friends here and the ones I do have in general are mutual ones, who I can't talk to about DH. I might give mind a ring at some point too. I generally keep how I'm feeling to myself and just have a little cry in private when things get a bit too overwhelming.
I guess I'm worried about going tomorrow because I'm still cross. I could use the cold excuse as DH has actually been poorly today as well, evidenced by DC, so it is a viable excuse. I'm not really bothered about the money given as a present - we'd just prefer she didn't put anything in, as it's just a charad we have to keep up otherwise. I'm worried about the money she owes us back as we will need it in the not too distant future - we definitely won't be lending any more money as we've nothing to lend.
The problem with having a frank conversation with mil is she can be a bit..needy. In the sense of she'll be all overly emotional about it all. I don't mean that to come across harshly, as her own mental health probably isn't too great right now, but I just can't deal with that on top of everything else.
Mind would be a great place to call and get some support for you so you can be at your mental healthiest as all of this sounds like its putting an awful lot of pressure on you.
Second is to have a really frank (but loving) convo with your OH about his depression. Putting off dealing with it is the worst thing he can do. Many people don't particularly like opening up about feelings but its essential for him to get help. I hate to suggest it but tell him how this is all affecting you as well, If he can't motivate himself to access support for himself, will he at least do it for his family.
With the family do tomorrow, take a deep breath and find positives in the family you do get on with. You don't have to stay for a really long time, as you can always use your concern about OH and his 'cold' if you need to ditch out early.
I would still have a frank conversation with MIL (probably not tomorrow), tell her your not there to argue with her, you are just being honest. She is probably really embarrassed about not being able to afford it (bit of a generational thing). Explain to her about the money you need back even if its a tenner a week. Then I would point her in the direction of Citizens Advice or Debt advice companies so she can deal with it head on too. And just say if she can't afford a present, just give a card! Its the thought that counts!
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