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DH is depressed. I am trying my best to be sympathetic and supportive but he is being a t**t and my patience is wearing thin. Help needed please [sob]

(18 Posts)
OhDearWhatCanTheMatterBe Sat 30-Aug-08 09:47:26

He says he recognises he's depressed but then won't do anything. Won't go to the doctor. Won't make any changes to his life. Won't eat healthily, won't exercise.

I suffer from depression too but I have made changes to my life and taken medication to fix it.

I feel that he resents the fact that I have sorted myself out when he seems unable to.

I recently changed from FT to PT working hours, with his agreement I might add, and since then he has been so difficult to be around. His resentment is just so obvious. He admits he resents that I work part time now.

He is under a lot of pressure at work, they are short staffed adn he is studying for professional qualifications. I am doing all the housework, all the dd-juggling, cooking healthy meals and trying to be sympathetic when he comes home and spends an hour ranting about how crap his day has been. I have been trying to be affectionate and loving even though I don't feel like it atm. I am getting up with dd every morning so he can sleep. Somehow it seems that none of this is enough.

Things came to a head yesterday - dd and I went out for the day but got back later than expected. I had rung ahead to tell him I would be late and he seemed fine then. When I got home he was pissed, refused to speak to me, made a massive fuss of dd but I might as well not have been there. After dd went to bed I asked him what the matter was. He was feeling very sorry for himself. I said that I understand that he is under pressure at work but it's not acceptable to take it out on me. He was nasty and sarcastic and generally unpleasant.

I asked him last night, and have asked him before, if he has a problem with me or anything I have done. He refuses to answer.

What am I supposed to do? He won't talk to me. I am bending over backwards to be a supportive wife when all I want to do is rip his eyes out for being such a tosser.

I can't cope much longer. I want out. My own mental health is suffering because the situation drags me down. Whenever I do something to make myself feel better (eg meet friends like yesterday) I get home to a stroppy sulky husband.

I am trying to understand him as I know what it's like to be depressed but we seem to be making each other miserable and I don't know what to do to fix it other than to leave.

OhDearWhatCanTheMatterBe Sat 30-Aug-08 10:06:11


sorry I know this is dull and long but I really need some help

I can't figure out if I have a right to be pissed off or if I'm just being a cow

cece Sat 30-Aug-08 10:08:22

Not sure what to say but one day I had enough of DH's behaviour and I marched him to the GPs. The doc was very good and said a lot of wives bring their husbands in like this.


Thomcat Sat 30-Aug-08 10:09:14

Oh my goodness, you poor thing.
i really have no advice, other thn the fact he absolutley must do something to move this forward but no idea what or how.
You are most certainly not being a cow. I feel for you, very much.

Lilliput Sat 30-Aug-08 10:17:52

I can sympathise with your situation. My dh has always had bouts of depression, it comes in a six week cycle.
I felt very dragged down by it and was beginning to find it harder and harder to jolly him a long all the time. I eventually just couldn't listen to it any more, I couldn't be his wife and his therapist.
Finally he has realised that he needs some professional help and after dabbling with some alternative stuff which was pretty useless he finally went to the Gp and is on the waiting list to see a therapist. But he anly did this after I said I would leave him and take the kids if something didn't change. He knew his mental state was affecting me and the kids and he really worries about fucking the kids up as the root of his problems come from his upbring.
You have to think of yourself and the children, be honest with him when he if having a 'good' day and get him some help.
Good luck!

OhDearWhatCanTheMatterBe Sat 30-Aug-08 10:20:31

Thanks for replies

I will get him to the gp. He has told me before that he would go but it would appear that I need to take that first step for him

Cece did you go in with him? Did you do a lot of the talking for him? I think I would have to with dh tbh

Lilliput Sat 30-Aug-08 10:24:14

I made the appointment but he went alone as I do tend to talk over him sometimes. He wanted me to make the appointment, he couldn't quite bring himself to do it.

Klio Sat 30-Aug-08 10:25:34

Depression is a very selfish illness in many respects. dh suffers from depression and when he is bad nothing is ever right, he is always getting at me, criticising and complaining even when I am making damn sure I am doing everything around the house, caring for ds, etc... so he has no further worries or pressures placed upon him.

It is so frustrating and sometimes I just want to give up as I have had enough of the ungrateful idiot and his demoralising comments.

I have also suffered from depression owing to pretty tragic and traumatic circumstances in my past, but if I try and talk rationally with dh about this then all he wants to do is points score and tell me that his depression is far worse than anything I could possibly ever have suffered.

I have now got to the stage where I just take a deep breath and walk away, the kitchen is my little safe haven and I potter about in there whilst the glowers in front of the tv. I have found that time and space is what is needed for both partners and I just to forget about the harsh words that are spoken as they are the illness speaking not him iyswim.

Try and encourage him to eat healthy meals, take a multivitamin supplement, as this can help and if he won't exercise in a conventional way then possibly get him to take dd to the park, out for a walk, run about in the garden, etc.... so at least he is getting some fresh air. If he won't change his life then you can do it gradually and subtlety without him really realising.

There is a book called "living with the black dog" (I think) which is a wife's account of living with a depressed dh and that is good for helping you to distance yourself from the situation.

If he refuses to see the doctor point balnk, rather than making it a source of tension and a potential flashpoint between you, you could go and see the doctor without him for a chat and some advice. My friend is a GP and has told me taht that is often a first step for partners of depressed people and helps put them in touch with a support network which is very important when caring for someone struggling with depression.

I hope these comments are of some use to you, they have come out in a bit of a rambling fashion smile

cece Sat 30-Aug-08 10:27:43

Yes he wanted me to go in with him and explain initially to the doc what the problem was. Then the doc talked to him and I tried to stay quiet!

MrsJohnCusack Sat 30-Aug-08 10:28:51

Is there anything you can do as an ultimatum? Does he think that you wouldn't leave? Does he really realise how close you are to doing that?

DH is not nasty to me, but sometimes he WILL NOT help himself and it takes me a while to get through to him.
you are not being a cow. It is so very hard living with someone depressed - I have found that when DH has been bad, it has adversely affected my mental health too.

edam Sat 30-Aug-08 10:29:05

I sympathise - my dh has been dealing with depression for a long time and it did turn him into a very selfish person (quite the reverse of his usual character). Of course it's very hard for a depressed person to see the point of anything that might make them feel better but it isn't half frustrating for their partners!

IIRC I took him to the doctor - went with him, let him talk but explained the context if there were parts where he wasn't giving the full picture. A mixture of medicine/therapy/exercise and changes at work have helped him to feel better and be much more like his old self.

Hope that's encouraging.

Poohbah Sat 30-Aug-08 19:24:58

In men, depression can manifest in nastiness and moodiness and is is really hard to deal with this kind of situation at home. Initially I got dh to acknowledge that he was depressed by making him take an online depression test. He tried counselling twice but without success, he was horrible to me saying that I had loads of time and sympathy for everyone else but not him, but it was very much like you describe, I just didn't have any emotional energy left for him any more. Many months later......I told my husband I couldn't continue living with him unless he sought help again. I said he had to go on antidepressants, then I made him take them. He is much better now but I just wish I'd got him to take antidepressants sooner as he was severely clinically depressed and he was too low for counselling.

woodstock3 Sat 30-Aug-08 20:28:56

you have my sympathy - a past boyfriend had serious depression and it was hell to live with, but you feel as if you are not allowed to point out that it makes you miserable because the depressed person has all the moral high ground.
agree with everyone who said you may have to propel him to the GP yourself, make the appt for him etc. one possible alternative is to say it's the GP or relationship counselling because without one or the other you are worried that this relatioship is going to fall apart - most men would, on the whole, rather see a doctor than a couples counsellor so that may get you where the counsellor would inevitably have referred you anyway!
there is a good book by dorothy rowe on living with a depressive but have forgotten what its called...someone on here will probably know
in the meantime if he wont go to the doctor try encouraging him to do some kind of exercise which often helps (and will reduce the work-related stress). some people are helped by st john's wort which you obviously dont need GP for - even if he isn't, taking it might get him into the frame of mind to go for 'proper' tablets. good luck, you seem to be coping admirably well given you have been depressed yourself!

bigboydiditandranaway Sat 30-Aug-08 21:05:00

my dh has been on the brink of seeing doc due to depression but changed things by eventually after lots of pushing going swimming before work. he has since packed it in due to going cycling [and packed that in due to bike broken} but hopefully this wk will start swimming again. we have just had a new baby and i'm very concerned that unless he does some exercise to channel his stress he will be in the same boat again, so i do understand how you feel.

could you both go to the gym/swim/run, sometimes it's eaier to exercise when you have someone to do it with.

Flufffy Sun 31-Aug-08 09:50:38

Doing professional exams on top of a job is exhausting and can wear you down. The chances are that on top of the stress at work, the course, the exams and family life, he is simply overtired.

How far through the course is he?

I went through this with my dp. He was constantly exhausted, didn't feel that he could take a break and the odd lie in at the weekend never seemed to touch his exhaustion.
The result was very similar to depression and it was very difficult for both of us. However at the end of the course he went through a personality change, he finally had some time for himself and caught up on his sleep.

The problem is that your dh probably has nothing left at the end of the day to support you emotionally and will not be able to until his life calms down.

I got through by telling myself that the course would be over soon and he would soon reap the benefits of actually getting the qualification.

Anifrangapani Mon 01-Sep-08 18:59:31

You have my sympathy xxx

Living with a depressed person is really hard and draining. I felt like beating the sod's head against a wall repeatedly. Quite often we would have the "I know that you are depresssed but that is still no reason to treat me like an arse" arguement. Many times before he got better. Exercise, no drnking, ADs, CBT and a couple hospital stays did the trick. It did take a long time, but we got there in the end.

Good luck to you x

LAUGHLOTS Fri 05-Sep-08 23:31:31

my dh is depressed but as far as he is concerned he isnt! he also is mean & moody. i am now at a stage where i am ready to leave. I will not allow him to make me feel worthless.

blondemum Sat 06-Sep-08 09:43:50

I suffered with PND. I blame my hubby for no support during or after the birth of my liitle girl. However When I did pluck up the courage to see my GP it was the best decision ever made. Put on asmall dose of pills and back to normal within weeks.
My advise is to stick with him for the time being.
Give him an ultimatum. GP or no wife up to him.
If he refuses see the GP yourself. Tell them the situation.
Let him know you understand how he is feeling and you can empathise with him. Tell him you love him and want so much for him to feel happy again and will help him get there. However, he also has to do it for the sake of his family not just for himself. It's not just him that it feeling low but the household. Tell him it is making you feel like at your wits end and that is not what you want.
Good luck chuck

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