Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Depressed DH offload!

(32 Posts)
BillyWilliamTheThird Sat 23-Sep-17 17:53:37

Right, I'm offloading as, right now, I have no one to talk to in rl.

DH suffers from depression, has done for about a decade on and off but has got worse in the last couple of years. His depression manifests as anger a lot of the time which is obvs horrible for me and the DCs (DS8 and DD6). The DCs kind of get it, I've done the "black dog" talk with them.

Today DH woke up in a vile mood but insisted that we all spend the morning together although I offered him the option of me taking the DCs shopping and to the park to give him a bit of time alone.

It was 11.30 by the time we left the house and I realised it was too late to go to our local market where DH wanted to go which pissed him off. Then I said we couldn't have toasties for lunch as the loaf of bread I was making wouldn't be ready and I'd already got rolls out of the freezer. He went mental, shouting on about how we have to always stick to a routine.

Then a minute or two later some boy racer made him brake the car a bit so DH wound down his window and called him a prick. This lad stopped and gave a bit of verbal back, so DH got out of the car and proceeded to have a big sweary row in the street, in front of this bloke's kids and our own (and probably the whole of the village we were driving through, although I don't particularly care about that).

By this time, both our DCs were crying, and DH got back in the car. I must've said something (dunno what, probs along the lines of "WTAF are you doing?") and then he <really> went on one about how I just expect him to be a pussy and take the other guy's shit and it wasn't fair.

Then he pulled up the car and got out and walked off, so we went shopping. He came and found us and waited in the car, but didn't speak to me the whole time we drove home, then went to bed. I've spent the rest of the day dealing with my kids who are pissed off and emotional after watching their father lose his shit.

Today isn't unusual, although he has been a bit better the last couple of weeks. He's been having counselling, but it still feels like his depression is another member of the family, holding us all hostage. We tiptoe around him, but his temper goes from 0-60 in about 2 seconds flat. He's never violent, but he often calls me all the names under the sun - in front of the DCs - when he's angry (admittedly, he has been better about this recently, until today).

I understand depression, I really do. I had PND after both DCs and I suffered with it at uni too, with panic attacks and anxiety so I do know what it's like. I'm sympathetic to DH's mental health but, my god, he is hard to live with. His ADs (Sertraline) make him really tired and he has no sex drive. They fuck up his appetite and his bowels, but he's been on them for ages and last time he tried to come off them it was hell. I can't leave him as I don't have enough money and, besides, it's not his fault he is ill. I wouldn't leave him if he had cancer.

I worry about the effect DH's anger is having on the kids (DS already has a tendency to get overly aggro when asked to do something he doesn't want to do). DH is responsible for most of the childcare (I'm a FT teacher, he works PT) and I worry about what things are like when I'm not around. DS asked me what DH used to be like before the black dog this afternoon and it nearly broke my heart remembering how happy DH used to be. I wish the kids got to see him like that more (he is still like it sometimes, but not much).

So really, that's it. Although if anyone has any tips for surviving a partner with depression, I'd be glad for them. Thanks for listening.

HailLapin Sat 23-Sep-17 18:01:08

He sounds like an arsehole op. Depression doesn't equal yelling abuse at your family and making their lives miserable.

NeonFlower Sat 23-Sep-17 18:02:13

I think you need to have a sensible conversation with him about how you protect the kids from being more affected by his depression than they already are. That will include him having strategies to remove himself from you and them when he is likely to say something unpleasant or react angrily. And you having some choice in that (to go out without him or stay in without him). He could talk honestly about it to his counsellor, including your views on what behaviour is unacceptable. If he can't work with you, then you need to protect the children on your own.
My MIL was determined to shield her children from FILs depression at any cost, while caring for him deeply and excellently, and although at first I wasn't sure about this, now I think she did them a big favour.

sonlypuppyfat Sat 23-Sep-17 18:04:29

I fully sympathise I know they can't help it but it's like they are trying to make everyone as miserable as they are

ComedyofTerrors Sat 23-Sep-17 18:04:33

Could you persuade him to back to the GP for a change of medication as the Sertraline is obviously not working too well?

Sometimes they lose effectiveness over time, or his condition might have changed and a different type of AD might suit him better at this time.

I tried 3 or 4 before I found one that suited

wizzywig Sat 23-Sep-17 18:07:30

Op i feel for you. Your husband sounds like mine.

Wishingandwaiting Sat 23-Sep-17 18:08:24

Is it all depression.

Or could this actually be a feature of your DH's personality?

Either way, unacceptable behaviour.

HailLapin Sat 23-Sep-17 18:12:40

I think people might be missing something here - the op works full time in a stressful job , looks after a family and tries to protect her dc from this rage from their dad. Who is looking after her and why is it down to her to "manage" his behaviour?

I've lived with a depressed father , I've also lived with an abusive partner. Op's husband sounds abusive.

BellyBean Sat 23-Sep-17 18:17:39

Gosh, my DH has been medicated for depression for all the time I've known him on and off (mostly on) and it's enlightening how it affects people differently.

After your DH has had a chance to cool off, does he see his actions as over the top/inappropriate, or does he defend how he acts?

My vent today is that it's the third time since DD2 was born 5 weeks ago that DH has been incapable of getting his arse of the sofa to help parent for an entire day. Went to a christening with both DDs when DD2 was 2 weeks old. I'm pretty exhausted, and DH telling me "I'm just not coping" or needing a nap when we're all set to go somewhere is getting me down.

He changed his meds just before DD2 was born, which I think has helped. Hard to tell with all the upheaval.

GreyCloudsToday Sat 23-Sep-17 18:27:23

I wonder if you could both go and see his counsellor? These angry outbursts must be really hard to live with.

celticmissey Sat 23-Sep-17 18:32:15

Hi there, I know exactly how you feel. My other half has suffered with depression for 10 years and takes sertraline. It took me 3 years of telling him to go to the doctor and threatening to leave for the sake of my own mental health b4 he saw the Dr. Is he taking them? Sometimes my doesn't and I can tell within 3 days if he hasn't. He too becomes a total idiot short tempered, snappy - it's like living with Jekyll and bloody Hyde. We have a 7 year old and when he's got bad days I take her out and do some fun things and leave him to it. She does ask why he's grumpy and I say dad's tired. I have told him when he's being an arse that it's not on and I don't want our daughter remembering her childhood as having a dad who was only grumpy. I put up with it for so long but then tell him I'm not having it and it's not fair on our 7 yr old. One day he's brilliant the next he's horrible. I am not totally heartless and I really do sympathise but if he is depressed that's one thing- making people's lives a nightmare and being a total arse is not on depressed or not! I tell him it's not on when it's bad and how every one else suffers. He does think about it and then realised. Try being honest with him-a bit of the truth may wake him up.

BillyWilliamTheThird Sat 23-Sep-17 18:57:47

Thank you everyone. It's horrible to think that there are other people who are in similarly crappy situations, but also comforting iykwim.

I think DH's shitness is down to his depression tbh, and the side effects from the sertraline perhaps. How do you tell what is because of the depression and what isn't? Does it make a difference? When does the "depressed" behaviour just become part of his personality? He didn't used to be like this at all, but it's not helpful to think about what he used to be like is it? He's not like that anymore, which is really sad. Like he died or something.

I know he's been to the GP recently but I don't know why, and he says the counselling isn't helping. I worry about him starting a new AD and it being sheer hell for a month while he adjusts. Totally hear what celticmissy says about missing days of Sertraline. I can always tell if he's forgotten on a Friday to get his prescription and we have to go cold turkey over the weekend.

We've never been one of those couples who doesn't argue, but it always felt 'fair', with that sort of unspoken understanding of where the boundaries are in an argument. It doesn't anymore. I thought we had had a "sensible conversation" about not losing it in front of the kids, but I guess we need to do it again. And I need to be stronger about telling him that he is not welcome on our trips out when he's being a fucknugget.

HailLapin No one is looking after me. My friends are all friends with DH and he regularly offloads to two or three of my closest friends. It wouldn't feel fair if I told them what a grade A asshole he is at times. I usually talk to my mum, but she is away dealing with my grandad. There isn't space in the house for me to have negative emotions, PMT, stress from school etc. I do what I did to keep me sane when I had PND and go for a run.

The slightly silver lining is that DH's depression has made <me> a more understanding and patient person. I have changed and learned that I am not responsible for his shit and that I can't change him. I should probably LTB but life would be insufferable if I did and I have to hold out hope that things will get better. He won't be apologetic when he wakes up, he'll still blame me because he usually does. The DCs and I are going out tomorrow without him. It's a ballache because I've got work to do, but I'd rather spend the time with them anyway.

Fairylea Sat 23-Sep-17 19:04:22

I think you need to tell him that unless he gets some help with the right medication and really tackles this then you are going to leave. Depression or not you don't have to put up with this, it's not healthy for you or the kids. My dh has severe depression and is on 40mg of Prozac a day and without it he wouldn't be able to function, but with it he is like a different man.

mumofthemonsters808 Sat 23-Sep-17 19:14:12

OH Billy, this is such an upsetting post, you seem to be tolerating/excusing some vile behaviour under the depression banner and stuck in this horrendous experience are two very young impressionable children who should not be subjected to a raging bull Dad.His treatment needs a serious review, you can not go on like this.

HailLapin Sat 23-Sep-17 19:15:55

I agree with Fairylea , op. He must tackle this.

It's unfair that you are having to deal with a class full of kids then come home to a man that's acting like an overgrown one. You are managing your stress for now but you can't do this forever and nor should you.

Yes , he's struggling , but your life sounds almost joyless op and it's because of these outbursts you're having to suffer.

Squeegle Sat 23-Sep-17 19:20:23

I am sad because it is a very difficult situation, but you can't sacrifice 3 of you for him. My XP was like yours, but with alcohol thrown in, and after a long time I realised that I wasn't being fair on the DCs. We have been split up now for 5 years and I seriously think that things are so much better for them now (and actually also for him- as family life can be a strain).

I know you don't want to leave him, but I do think you should consider a plan. I get the idea your DCs are quite young. Just think what it will be like when they're in their teens. It is not fair on them or you to continually have to make these sacrifices.

BillyWilliamTheThird Sat 23-Sep-17 19:55:09

Thank you all for your kind replies. I'm a bit overwhelmed and knackered. I think I'm going to have an early night and think about how I start a conversation with DH in the morning. I know the situation is unsustainable, and squeegle you hit the nail on the head about about how I'll deal with life once the kids are older. I think about this a lot.

I think I need to do some thinking.

Believeitornot Sat 23-Sep-17 20:05:17

He works PT? How is he at work? Has he given himself permission to act this way in front of the dcs and you...?

CommanderDaisy Sat 23-Sep-17 21:11:21

I have one suggestion not covered yet.
I too wonder if the anger and corresponding ass-holeness is actually related to the depression and whether or not he's just behaving like a shit because he thinks he can get away with it.
My husband had a bad period of depression a couple of years ago. He didn't behave in the manner your DH does but he created a feeling akin to a bad stink in the corner of the house that affected everyone and spread through the building. It left us all on eggshells and wondering what the hell to say.
On my suggestion, he started a sport that needed a fair level of fitness and commitment. It helped enormously.He gradually built up the time he spent doing it and the change was really noticeable. All the negativity and moodiness was vented into a boxing bag 3-4 days a week and he felt better about himself physically and mentally. I cleaned up our diet as well.
Perhaps that's something that might help your partner? I do understand he's on medication and I have no input re that but the exercise will make him tired in a good way, and give him a ragey outlet.
Best of luck, and love.

SandyY2K Sat 23-Sep-17 21:21:32

Your children need protection here. Make that your priority, otherwise it will affect their whole childhood..
And adult relationships too.

MaybeDoctor Sat 23-Sep-17 21:37:48

It used to be a thing that children would write 'news' on a Monday.

What would they be writing about this weekend?

Sorry, but this cannot go on indefinitely.

MrKaplan Sun 24-Sep-17 01:21:31

I'd bet apples to handcarts he'd be able to hold his temper in front of a higher ranking male at work.
My dp has form for this. Work gets shit, he gets depressed, then I ask something incredibly irritating like 'I know you want to talk and I know your hungry, do you want me to put the dinner on and half listen or just listen' and he lost his freaking shit that I wasn't listening to him. He does the whole red mist and looming over you thing. I go cold when I get angry so I just stand there and stare in his face with my arms crossed.

Pre kids I was a lot more aggressive so i used to put him in his place when he tried this shit, now we do so I'm much lower key in front of them and he was taking advantage of that so that was strike 1. He was told in no uncertain terms to Never Ever bring work stuff home and take it out on us again. Still not allowed to discuss work at home to this day(he gets ranty and says the same thing every day and talking about it winds him up instead of down)
Strike 2 was a couple of years ago where I temporarily left and basically said I don't give a fucking shit how depressed you are, you do not speak to me like that. Turns out he'd been given a final warning at work for threatening to rip a subordinates head off and shove it up his arse. I knew nothing cos of work talk ban. He flipped at home, I could tell he was spoiling for a fight and I said 'I don't know what answer you want' when he asked some rhetorical question about laundry. He rang to apologise an hour later and I said too fucking bad pal. I basically laid out where I would be living, how the finances were going to work, how 50/50 child care was going to work. I always have a get out plan.
Something flipped in his head and he finally understood what a cock he was being. It helps that I earn twice what he does so he has a fairly major financial incentive to make it work. Anyway, i agreed to one day at a time (because dc and I thought there was a chance to relight the spark) and a followup chat a month later to decide if I was really leaving.
I didn't, he improved a lost and he hasn't lost his temper at me since.
Although spark never came back so I wish he would so I could leave and have it be his fault cos he's gonna be a cunt of an ex if I do it for any other reason.
Anyway the point of this potted history of my shit relationship is, you might not be able to control FEELING angry but you can sure as fuck control who you take it out on. If he's taking it out on you, it's because he chooses to.
Now mine knows he's effectively on permanent probation like he is at work, funnily enough he can control himself. I am pretty sure if I were in your situation he would be EXACTLY like your dp.

MrKaplan Sun 24-Sep-17 01:23:20

Sorry that was too long blush. Should have started my own thread...

InionEile Sun 24-Sep-17 04:29:31

This sounds like something beyond depression and more like someone with anger issues who has deeper problems that he is not addressing. He needs to see a new / different counselor and revisit the medication he is taking too. Some ADs can have side effects if they're taken long term.

Either way, lashing out at you and the kids is never acceptable. It sounds like he is using his issues as an excuse to let off steam and take his anger out on you all. It's very damaging for the kids to be around a parent whose moods control the house. It makes children anxious and paranoid to grow up with that. I don't mean to blame you by saying that because clearly you are doing the best you can.

It's your husband who is the problem. He needs to take responsibility for his mood swings and the damage they do and there need to be consequences for his behavior. If he lashes out at you or calls you names, there should be a consequence for that e.g. you take the DCs out to do something fun and leave him at home to sulk. Sulking / going to bed should be ignored - don't let him use that as a way to manipulate you all and get his own way. Make sure you tell the DCs as often as you can that their father's behavior is his own responsibility and not something that they need to feel responsible for or walk on eggshells around.

SweetCrustPastry Sun 24-Sep-17 05:02:21

OP I think Sandy is right. In fact I know she is. If he can't address this then I think your kids would be better off growing up in a healthier environment.

As Inion says it's really damaging for the kids to be at the mercy of his moods and for you all to be unable to relax in your own home. Take it from someone who knows you will regret it if you allow this situation to go on as it is. You and the kids will pay a heavy price in terms of your own mental health.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: