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Can an leopard change his spots?

(6 Posts)
doggyandteddy Mon 13-Oct-08 12:00:19

Been married for 4 years, 2 kids (2 and 3). DH suffered from depression for last 2 years (but to be honest he's not one of life's optimists at the best of times).
Had a really rough year and am really wondering whether to call it a day... Any advice welcomed.
Here are a few of the problems:
-He has insomnia and is really bad tempered due to lack of sleep but refuses to at least try to change his lifestyle to help himself a bit (ie not eating crap all day, getting some fresh air and excersise etc.)
- Everything is always my fault. If he cooks something and it burns, it is my fault because I wasn't watching it.
The list goes on.

LittleMyDancingWithTheDevil Mon 13-Oct-08 12:12:50

Someone on another thread said something very wise today:

"you cannot change another person; you can only change YOU. ( they will react in accordance).
If you have talked about it - IF- and he does nothing, then you have to change your behaviour." (credit to honestfriend for the quote)

So if you've talked about these issues and he refuses to do anything about them, then you have the choice of

- putting up with it
- trying to bring about change through different means (i.e. making him a doctors appointment to talk about his sleep problems, reacting in a different way to him when he blames you for things etc)
- calling it a day

You have to decide what is right for YOU.

honestfriend Tue 14-Oct-08 08:53:53

It must be very hard living with someone who is depressed, but the question is - why is he depressed and what steps has he taken to get better?

Has he seen his DR? Depression can either be a chemical imbalance, in which case drugs are an option, and necessary, or depression can be caused by circumstances, such as loss of job, stress etc etc- which is it with your DH?

If he saw his Dr he would be assessed and given treatment, and maybe CBT which has good results as it is based on behavioural change and positive thinking . He could have CBT privatley if he could afford .

What you seem to be saying is that he does not take any responsibility for his illness- certainly not his lifestyle.

His reaction when things go wrong- blaming you- is what a child does when they don't want to own the issue- "You made me do it" they scream, when something happen that they don't want/like.By accepting the status quo, you are acting like is mother- putting up with his behaviour regardless.

Could you set down some very clear targets for him: go to your GP, get help, within the next 2 weeks; if not then I am thinking of ending our relationship, as you are not taking any responsibility for me or your family.

You could go to your GP yourself and ask for help/advice, as being a partner of a depressive is very hard.

I think you need to take time out to talk to your DH when you are not angry, and decide on an way forward.

doggyandteddy Tue 14-Oct-08 11:18:18

Hi
Sorry for the abrupt end to my post, I got interrupted yesterday.
I suggested CBT would help both the depression and the insommnia but he point blank refuses it. Even when I have begged him to go, he still says no.
It is so hard. When I posted yesterday I was upset with tears running down my face. But today I feel more in control of myself. I spent a couple of hours last night chatting to a good friend. We discussed the fact that his behaviour is like a child... We also discussed ways to deal with his "bad behaviour". I have tried standing up to him ( which just turns into a row) and tried just ignoring it ( which just gets me down and lets him "get away with it). So am currently trying this strategy. If he is rude to me, I say "I don't like being spoken to like that" and then walk away, if necessary pop out round the block to get away. That way, I have made my point but not allowed him to wind me up and turn it into an argument. Like not paying attention to kids when they play up, you say no and leave it.
Any more honest suggestions welcomed!

honestfriend Tue 14-Oct-08 11:51:44

But have you actually sat him down ( like a child!) and explained his behaviour is marriage -breaker? does he acknowledge how upset you are?

Maybe one answer is to start to build up a life for you, without involving him too much, so that you can move on if it looks as if it not going to work out?

doggyandteddy Tue 14-Oct-08 16:55:07

Thanks honestfriend.
I think I need to face facts and realise that I can't change him if he's not willing to try and think about what I want from my life so that I know what to do if I make the decision to leave in the future.

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