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Really p*ssed off with DH - and very sad(24 Posts)
I think we're just going thru his usual Feb depression - he suffers from SAD - but he won't do anything about it.
It's blown up today cos we told ds he could go swimming this weekend (he hasn't been able to go for weeks becos of an ear infection), and today dh doesn't feel like taking him, saying it's because ds was naughty yesterday (I know it's just that dh feels bl**dy idle). DS has been really good this morning, helped with laundry, even put some toys away.
So dh and I have had a blazing row, and I've had to FORCE him to take ds swimming (it's one of the things I can't do on my own, can't get in and out of the pool without help, otherwise I'd have gone instead).
During the row I mentioned the fact that he's so miserable all the time (he hates his new job, takes it out on me). I said about the holiday I'm trying to get him interested in (Not till sept.). He's told me to book for me and ds, and leave him at home.
Apparently I've only got my new job becos it proves he can't provide for us (his words), It's my fault ds is so badly behaved (too many rewards for good behaviour, not enough punishment for badness) and I've been a pain to live with for the last 3 months (not what he said when he was all over me last weekend).
Sorry, just unloading I guess. But why did he WANT to disappoint ds so much over swimming. Selfish G*t.
What should I do when they get back?
Sounds very sad for you all. I think DH should maybe see someone about his depression it could relieve you from some of the stresses.
I'm not qualified to help but my thoughts are with you. Hope things aren't too bad for you this afternoon. x
sorry to hear all that Easy, what a rotten weekend you are having
Above all I shouldn't have another pop at DH, even though you may be tempted to slap him, in front of ds. Try and pick up on ds's mood and go with that for the rest of the day. Ignore dh's attempts to drag you down and after ds is in bed, tell him to stop being so bloody selfish and mard-arsed and go and see his GP to get so me help with this depression, in fact make the appointment for him.
(I'm sorry if this offends anyone living with depression but I think Easy needs some bolstering and if DH really does have SAD then he should seek professional help and not take it out on his family)
Thanks suzy, He has had AD's before, we had a major bout of depression 3 years ago.
Xmas before last I bought him a natural light lamp, which he used to use a work for 2 hour each day. He says there's no way he can use it in his new job tho (crowded office, no spare room or sockets), and won't make the effort to try getting 1/2 an hour or so in the mornings. I sometimes think he likes being so miserable.
Dragging me down tho'.
I think I should stop dishing out off the cuff advice on depression as I don't know enough about it, but big sympathies to you and I feel very sorry for your boy having stress around a time that is meant to be pleasurable because he will internalise it.
Hope someone wiser can help out more
My dh suffers from SAD too - he is Australian and our autumns, winters, springs (and actually even the summers too!) really get him down. But about now is the worst time. I also find it impossible to get my dh to take our children swimming (I can't manage alone as they are still quite young and there are 4 of them) so I really recognise your dilemma.
I don't know if it is what you want to hear, but I would be tempted to advise that you are kind to him when he comes home. Afterall, you know why he is so miserable and he has gone swimming in the end. Doesn't he deserve a little recognition of what he has done (even if you had to force him to go?) If you carry on rowing, neither of you will feel better for it and your son will be unhappy too. Just a thought. Dismiss me as a soppy woman if you will.
very sound advice from Lonelymum
so another aussie by marriage eh? Actually come to think of it January and Februaru were always a struggle for my Australian dh when we lived in London
I probably will be kind, it's what I always end up doing, but sometimes I wonder if I'm spoiling him (as he accuses me of doing with ds ) and let him get away with treating me badly.
I encouraged him to take 2 days off work this week (cos he's overtired), made sure he had nice things to eat, try hard to give him time to himself (where's mine?)
And then he just gets miserable.
Half of me wishes I was brave enough to book that holiday without him, the other half knows that the holiday is what HE needs
Know how you feel, but sometimes you have to give and not expect back in return. Are there times when he has been supportive of you? How about when ds was a baby? Does he get over his SAD in the spring? Is he more considerate then?
Don't get me wrong: I am not very nice to my dh when he is suffering. Their depression drags you down doesn't it? But I know what I should do even if I don't do it and I am just trying to offer that idea to you.
Dh has been wonderfully supportive of me over the last 2 years. I had a hip replacement that subsequently broke, and had virtually a whole year unable to work. This came just at the end of his bout of depression - I worried so much he would slideback but he coped. I started to get my independance back at the end of this year, and now I'm working 3 days a week. I expected him to be pleased, but he doesn't actually seem to be.
Thing is he can't find a job he likes, and I'm at my wits end about it. This job has no pressure, but he feels like he doesn't make any difference, so that get's him down, and the 9 people he works with are all very insular (typical software developers) so there is no social interaction at work. I've told him to keep looking for something else, but he says he doesn't know what he wants.
I know it isn't very sympathetic, but sometimes I just want to shake him.
Sorry, I'm just using Mumsnet to moan I guess.
Just seen this Easy. Sorry you're having a tough time. No advice, but thinking of you.
Oh ok easy. So the problem isn't really your ds but your dh? He's the one behaving like a child, sorry, I know he's depressed but it's so sad to let down a 5yo who's been promised something lovely that he's been looking forward to. Kids know an excuse when they see one. I think in your position I'd be trying to get him to the GP too. Either he's depressed in which case he needs professional help that you can't give him or he's just behaving badly, in which case you need to get to the bottom of it and find a way to stop it. Sorry, all easier said than done I know. I do feel sorry for you and your ds though.
and thanx WWW. for what it's worth they did go swimming, and had a lovely time (nearly 2 hrs in the water), and dh came back in a better mood (still no apology yet tho')
I'm just fed up with always having to play Kofi Annan between the 2 of them.
Oh, spoke to my mother on the phone. She says dh told my sister he doesn't want to go on this cruise I'm planning, told her 3 weeks ago when we were there.
So why the hell doesn't he tell me? And why doesn't he want to go on a luxury cruise which includes child-care so we get a rest too.
I remember him being a bit reticent the first time I booked for us to go to the Caribbean 11 years ago. He loved it when we got there. Why can't this man learn ?
I don't know if it is any help at all, but I have just been researching about men.. depression etc etc.. and interviewed an American guy..
Have read the IMS book too, and lots of it makes sense .. may be worth a look?
Your post rang big bells with me as my DH has sporadic depression (particularly seasonally affected) and he too has a tendency to be rather curt, not to mention spiteful on occasion, to our DS if he is having an episode.
Like you say, it almost feels like he enjoys being miserable when hes going off on one. I think its tempting to try and dig out the root cause - has he had a bad day at work? Is he going through money worries? Maybe he feels he hasnt achieved enough in order to try and fix it or at least give him a chance to vent.
However my experience (after 12 years) is that trying to solve his depression is often almost irrelevant. His problem is not a bad job, a bad day or underachievement. It is that he is depressed. My DH has a good job, doing work he loves, he loves me and DS, has a strong circle of friends and some nice things yet he is still, on occasion, depressed and shitty to me and DS. Your DH has a couple of things he can pin the depression on, but basically he will remain depressed (or prone to depression) even if those things are dealt with. Medication can help, possibly counselling might, but the root cause is damned difficult to deal with.
I find it helps that its actually not something triggered by outside circumstances: it means I have no responsibility for it. I love DH to bits, but I find the only way to deal with his black dog is to try and be as objective as possible about his behaviour and to explain to him calmly exactly what he is doing, why it is not acceptable to me and what he needs to do to remedy it. After 12 years, he trusts me enough to know Im not going to walk away and I will help him to do what he needs to do to cope, but he is also a fair minded kind of guy and knows I cant do that if he is just being vile, so he normally makes an effort.
The big problem though is our DS (three) who cant be objective about daddys black moods. At the moment Im doing exactly what you describe: playing bloody Kofi Annan all the time. I know kids are resilient, and I dislike undermining DHs parenting style, but when hes depressed, he really cant temper the grumpyness with the praise for good behaviour that I think is necessary. We talk about it, DH agrees to do it, but just cant get the wiring right in his brain to remember to do it. So, short of just taking DS away for the weekend when daddy is in foul mood, does anyone have any suggestions about getting a depressed person to interact sensibly with small children?
Damn, started this post thinking I had something useful to say and its just taken me 300 words to realise I dont!
gizmo you sound v wise and lovely and your dh is lucky to have you.
your situation is sooooo like mine. I started this thread cos I needed a grumble, but it has helped to learn that I am not alone in this.
As you say, we are not going to walk away and leave them when they're in this situation, I find however that when dh is 'on the way down', he resists seeking help (or doing anything to help himself), until he gets to a certain point. Up to that point, we seem to just have to live with it, which gets harder as ds gets older.
problematic - yup, there's a lot of it about, isn't there?
I'm definitely going to see if I can get hold of that Jed Diamond book. Maybe there's a miracle cure I don't know about: eye of newt collected under a full moon by naked virgins, perhaps?
You're right, Easy, it's definitely worse when they're on the way down. It's almost like there is a delayed reaction before they step back and realise what they are saying is so unpleasant and unreasonable that they're bang out of order. Which of course, is another reason for them to hate themselves: not only are they <insert spurious reason for feeling depressed here> but also they're a useless husband and father. Which is one of the reasons I get a perverse kick out of trying to be nice to DH as he goes into a spiral; the more saintly I am, the more rotten he feels!!!!
Passive aggressive, moi?
The real irony of this is that my father had depression, so I had a really up and down childhood with it.
Can't believe I married a man who now gets depression. Hang on, is it me, do you think?
Well, now you come to mention it Easy, I am beginning to feel kinda down since I started in this thread....
Maybe you just get used to dealing with it, so it doesn't put you off certain personality types so much? Interestingly, I thought there was no history of depression in my family, but it turns out my mother has had a couple of episodes in the past (she won't talk about it so all I have is what my aunt tells me). In the past 5 years several of my friends (including my best girlfriend) have all succumbed to depression - including a spell in a psychiatric hospital for one of them - so by now I'm beginning to feel pretty accustomed to it. My brief spell of PND was a bit of an eye-opener, too.
Odd, really, 'cos I'm a quite a cheerful soul most of the time, honest!
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