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.
DH throwing my mental health back in my face(63 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
Lots of backstory to this so please bare with me.
I have a bit of history with mental health issues. As a teen, I suffered from bulimia. This carried on into my early 20’s (when I met DH). He’s never been the most understanding, he struggles to understand these things as he’s not a very deep person himself and struggles to empathise. Anyway, I was always honest with him about it and 6 years ago, I completely overcame it. To the point that I never weigh myself now and I’m not in the slightest bit bothered about what I eat yet I maintain a healthy weight.
Anyway, I’m a very positive thinker and I’ve always looked on the bright side of situations but a few months after the birth of my second child, something wasn’t quite right and I realised I was suffering from anxiety. I seemed to develop health anxiety and would be convinced I was going to develop cancer or some other life threatening condition. I went to the doctors about it. If there’s one thing I learned from overcoming bulimia, it’s to not bury my head in the sand with these things. I was again, very honest with DH about how I was feeling. I was feeling very happy on the whole but these intrusive thoughts were just there in the background, iyswim. One of the things I realised was that watching the news was a particular trigger for my downward spiral of thoughts. Also, it felt like every man and there dog was having a cancer scare. It seemed like loads of people around me just kept telling me these morbid stories about people I didn’t even know and that would send my thoughts spiralling. Anyway, I asked DH if he could try to not tell me these stories about “a colleagues, second cousins Mum being hit by a bus” etc etc and I also said I was going to stop watching the news (as it’s basically a round up of the worst things that are going on in the world. Anyway, he wasn’t very supportive. On about 4 or 5 occasions, he’s had a go at me about the fact that he can’t talk to me about these things and made me feel rubbish over it. Anyway, for the last few months, I’ve been feeling great (which I’ve told DH) and my anxieties have been much improved.
Now, on to the current issue. I’ve suffered from chronic hives for over 20 years and I’ve been suffering badly at the moment. If I don’t take my medication, I just become a swollen, blotchy mess. The doctors are clueless as to why this happens to me but this spell at the moment is the worst I’ve ever had. I’ve had a lot on (moving house, 2 small children) and we are trying to look at stress as a possible cause. Tonight DH kept harping on about all the stuff we need to do (as he often does). I told him I had to get some clothes washed and dried by tomorrow morning for DD1’s dance class (we just got back from holiday today). Cue the huffing and puffing and remarks like “For fuck’s sake” from DH about how it’s too constant, how we’ve too much on etc etc. Anyway, I explained to him that him huffing and puffing like that really does add to my stress levels and I’m trying to manage that right now, could he possibly try to be a little more positive about these things at the moment as the doctors have told me I need to de-stress as much as possible to see if that makes a difference to my poor health right now. He basically went off on one, saying that it’s a joke. Saying that I’ve not been myself for over a year and that this is getting ridiculous. He sat me down for about an hour and just went on about how unfair it is on him that there’s things he can’t talk to me about. He brought up my bulimia too. What has really upset me is that I genuinely never ask anything of him and I only asked him when my anxiety was very bad if he could try not to tell me these morbid stories about people I don’t even know. Anyway, that was months ago and I’ve followed all the doctors advice and he knows I’m much better. I know I’m a strong person because I’ve been through a lot in life and I always manage to overcome these things but somehow he always makes me seem weak and he says things like “it’s just not right that you have to focus on being happy” etc. That’s not even strictly true, I’ve just had to focus on getting better a couple of times. Why is that so wrong? I didn’t ask to have this chronic hives condition and I’m just trying to get myself back to full health. My DH is often very doom & gloom about stuff and at times it can wear me down so I feel like this is an area where he could really help me to reduce my stress levels to see if that helps my hives. As I said, the GPS are clueless as to why I’m suffering so badly with this just now and I’m just trying to follow their advice. I just feel like DH is really throwing it back in my face that I had anxiety for a while. It’s almost like he’s trying to drag me back down Aibu or is DH? Please help.
Surely you don't really have to ask. Your DH is being a selfish thoughtless, lazy bastard at best.
I can’t put it any better than* Anymajordude*.
Your problem is your DH, OP.
Re the CIU I am a member of a yahoo group which has given me huge support with the condition and understanding. Hives/urticaria is awful
He sat you down for an hour to basically talk at you .
You understand that isn’t normal don’t you? And you don’t have to put up with it? Would he sit there for an hour whilst you told him about all his failings (your MH isn’t a failing btw but he’s making it out that it is)? I suspect not.
And you wonder why you’ve got hives?
But I assume that you do also check in on your DH's mental health, rather than falling into the roles where you are the sick one and he is the healthy one? He sounds as if he is rather stressed as well (though I appreciate you have mentioned several diagnoses, not just "stress" yourself), and may feel obliged to hide some of his own feelings if he thinks it might make you worse.
Op. I’m sorry you’re suffering from this, but, and I want to be gentle. there is nothing in your post about how your husband feels, his stress levels, it’s all about you, how you deal with it, what he should do and what his faults are. I’m sure he is also stressed with things like a house move, possibly other things, and this may be impacting his reactions,, and as much as I totally agree he can help you de stress by doing what you ask, I do think a little mutual empathy from both of you would go a long way.
Living with someone with MH issues, well, they are self indulgent. Life is all about them and their illness and how everyone else should facilitate them. They give very little thought to those around them..
I echo bluntness
It doesn't sound like he's hiding his feelings! Quite the opposite in fact.
I wonder if OP's DH is actually taking on his fair share of the daily stress.
Bluntness and splinterz quite the opposite. He makes it all about him. Me asking him if he could not tell me these morbid stories felt as though I had asked him to move mountains. He didn’t stop going on about it. Tonight he said “let’s be honest, you’ve not been yourself since DC2 was born”. I challenged him on that. For the most part, I’m very much myself, it’s just these thoughts in the background that I confused in him about. Later in the argument, he went on to say how good I am at disguising my mental health issues as I just seem the exact same as normal most of the time. So he’s completely contradicted himself there. He is blowing it all way bigger than it is. Basically I’ve asked him if he could start to be more positive about stuff, he didn’t like me asking him that, got defensive and then sat me down and started blaming it all on the fact I had anxiety.
For the record, I used to live with a flat mate who suffered from depression so I do understand your points as it was utterly draining at times but this is most certainly not the case here. I feel like I can’t open up to him ever again when I’m feeling vulnerable incase he uses it against me down the line.
Yes, he is being unkind and selfish from what you've said here.
But, and I don't mean to excuse all of his behaviour when I say this, I can't say that I think you are totally reasonable either.
You are a bit scathing about him and like you feel a bit superior ("he's not very deep", "he's always doom and gloom", he "huffs and puffs")- that may be just because your angry with him, I don't know.
You've also written a lot about how he can't do or say things that you find stressful- but maybe he feels unhappy and stressed by not being able to "huff and puff" and at being told to be "positive" (and if he doesn't that it is causing you stress/making you ill)- if that does not come naturally to him, IYSWM? In some ways, and for understandable reasons (i.e. trying to manage your anxiety) you are also being selfish in demanding he must act in a certain way. I don't know, it's a tough one- he is being unreasonable but I wonder if it's a bit more complicated than you think.
Obviously I don't how badly your anxiety impacts on those around you- it may not at all- but it is sometimes difficult for partners/family when someone has a mental illness. It may all be down to him being a selfish arse, but I just wonder if perhaps your anxiety has had a bigger impact on him than you've realised?
If he's not willing to have an open minded discussion - and you too - where you both express all issues one at a time and take on board - then I suggest couples counselling.
- or twatting him-
jacks11 this is a direct quote from him tonight “until the odd occasion when you tell me you’ve not been feeling your best, I’m clueless. You just come across the same all the time.”
Hopefully that answers your question on how much it’s impacting him. I understand that it’s not easy for him to be more positive about things and I asked him if he could try because I know that’s partly his nature but he does go through phases of being particularly moany (for want of a better word) and he has been recently. I would rather not ask him but I need to get my hives under control. If I didn’t have hives, I wouldn’t have even mentioned it.
I am baffled as to how women on here can counteract with how HE may be feeling when YOU are the one who is ill. He has sat you down and talked at you for an hour. NOBODY needs that, but its worse when you are unwell. Does kindness in the face of illness not mean anything anymore? I couldn't bear someone to do that to me.
OP Im sure there's an MH section on here, perhaps you can get this thread moved over there for support and advice?
As opposed to people who sound as if they either want you to apologise to him for being ill and anxious about that, or that somehow in your unwell state you should be careful to worry about what he may be going through after all, he's the man
The lack of understanding re what mental illness is and the misery of it all when it also breaks out into physical symptoms, is astonishing
You do not shout swear and lecture at someone when they are ill. You just don't. There is no excuse whatsoever, no "oh well have you considered how he might feel". It is wrong, not to be justified in any way. Wrong is wrong
I hope you feel better soon OP
Basically I’ve asked him if he could start to be more positive about stuff
Yes, but if you put it to him that way, it's not very surprising that he got defensive. Obviously that doesn't justify ranting at you for an hour. But you must see in that statement there is an implicit criticism of him (he needs to be more positive and if he doesn't he's contributing to your illness)?
You have talked a lot about how you feel, what you want, what you need, how he must change and how he must act. But maybe part of your recovery also needs to focus more on how you manage anxiety rather than changing how your husband expresses his feelings. For instance, it is fine to say "I don't want to watch the news because it makes me anxious and so does hearing about accidents/terminal illness etc of various people I don't know, so please don't pass on those stories". It's not fine to say he can't express unhappiness about there being "too much on" or trying to make him act in a falsely positive way. That would be my take and I would find it very hard if my partner told me how I had to think (must be "more positive") and act.
I know this sounds very critical of you, it's not meant to be unkind although may come across that way. Some of what he's said and done is quite not acceptable, and he does need to address that- but I do think you need to be careful at pinning all the blame on him and exonerating yourself.
All people are selfish though. It is natural for us to try and make ourselves happy. We only have 1 life.
I hate the newspeak way of talking about mental health whe we really mean mental ill health or psychiatric illness. It's just another way of trying to pretend psychiatric illnesses don't exist or shouldn't be spoken about. We couch them in euphemisms and use the word health a lot. I wouldn't choose to live with someone who had constant psychiatric problems with no end in sight. That is completely different to an episode of depression. Chronic urticaria or hives is often unconnected with stress though so you may have 2 unrelated problems
jacks11 of course I have talked a lot about how I feel in this thread. I’ve had to explain my mental health background which, in my opinion, is not even relavent to what happened tonight. It was my husband who brought it all up tonight.
As I said, I have chronic hives and have been advised by several doctors that I must reduce my stress levels. My husband going off on one because some clothes need washed and dried, is an example of a way he reacts regularly which really does impact my stress levels. How do you suggest I should have approached him about this? I explained to him that I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t for the hives. I explained that when he reacts that way, it really does increase my stress levels and I’m really focussing on getting those under control. In all honesty, I really don’t know what I should have done differently tonight.
Op. I’m sorry you’re suffering from this, but, and I want to be gentle. there is nothing in your post about how your husband feels, his stress levels, it’s all about you, how you deal with it
Of course it's about her, it's her thread, what a stupid thing to say!
OP, I'm sorry for the poor quality comments you've had here. I'd ask for this to be moved to Relationships, you will get more intelligent response there.
stop watching the news. just stop it. it's all lies anyway. relationships should be a haven away from the horrendous cruel world that exists. your initial instincts are spot on. don't even discuss it with him, just take control of the conversations and steer away form negative shit. there is no end to negativity.
Well, if your anxiety has no impact on others, then clearly that's not an issue. I have lived with someone who had anxiety- it was very hard as it was like constantly walking on egg-shells when her anxiety was bad- something innocuous could set it off and could be hard to predict what that would be. But the person with anxiety had no idea that was how it felt to those around them (not a partner, a flat mate, so a bit different admittedly)- probably because she was caught up in the anxiety and managing that.
I am not saying you are wrong in everything- it's fine not to watch the news, or to ask not to be told stories about complete strangers ill health or terrible accident. He should be able to do that for you, if you ask. You should be able to confide in your DH about your problems, and expect them not to cast up later, in a critical way. Your DH should not rant at you for an hour about it all.
But if you want to work through it, you need to understand where he is coming from too- as much as he needs to listen to what you have to say. From what you've said, it sounds like he might be a bit confused by it all. He feels criticised and defensive and is taking it out on you.
Look, you know him best- perhaps he is just a selfish, ignorant man who doesn't care if you're miserable. I don't know, I just suspect that it's not as simple as that.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.