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OH having a hard time and i dont know what to say to him.

10 replies

booyhoo · 23/05/2010 22:55

he is doing exams at the minute almost daily and is constantly studying. because we live in N.I and he is in portsmouth he doesn't get home in teh evenings or weekends to relax and finds that to kill the boredom at weekends when everyone else goes home he turns to his books again. he feels as though it is all he is doing and cant get away from the books. he is stressed about how much work is ahead of him and whether or not he will pass his exams. i try and listen when he talks about it but i dont know what to say, i have never been where he is and i know nothing of the course to be able to help. it's got to the point now where i think he is holding back from talking to me about it because i dont know what to say. i am worried he is withdrawing and will become even more isolated than he already feels. he doesn't have any good friends there that he would trust enough to talk to about it. i want to help him but because we only talk on the phone, we only have a limited amount of time to talk and i know he doesn't want to spend it talking about his work. he is letting it build up inside him and it isn't helping him concentrate as he needs to. what can i do to help?

OP posts:
booyhoo · 24/05/2010 11:28


OP posts:
Rycie · 24/05/2010 11:40

I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself to give him brilliant answers, perhaps you could just try and be sympathetic and acknowledge his feelings and be encouraging - so things like "it must be so hard being alone on the weekends", "i can imagine how all-consuming these exams must be, it sounds really tough, you are doing so well".

You dont' have to been through something yourself to be able to help, he just wants to feel that you're there, you're on his team and he has your support. You don't have to solve his problems, just listen to him, acknowledge the challenges he's facing so he knows you're listening, and be loving and encouraging. And remind him that this won't last forever, there will come a day when he's got through it all.

luciemule · 24/05/2010 11:43

Hi Booy - how long will he be doing this studying/exams for? Assuming he's navy if
he's in portsmouth?
From a practical point of view, just support him and say that if he breaks everything down in bitesize chunks, it'll take the stress off a bit. Is he studying in syndicate goups? If yes, I'd suggest he defo studies with his group as it's support from others, even if he doesn't know them that well.
Can he join a local pub quiz team or sport like squash just to get out of the mess and destress a bit. It is hard when there's no one else he knows there.
Has he got a list of things he needs to do and when to follow?
Does he break everything down into bitesize chunks to make them more manageable?
There are lots of ways to make things easier and it works for any type of studying. He must make sure he's taking breask - what about going for an early morning/late night swim. You don't need other people to do that.

booyhoo · 24/05/2010 11:53

yes he is navy. he is in collingwood for the whole year and has been tehre since january so i can see how it seems so daunting to him. he is doing maths at the minute which is just not making any sense to him at all so he is constantly panicking that he will fail the next exam, even though he has passed every single one up to now!!!. one of the main problems with his studying is that they only cover the exam material the day before teh exam so he can study until teh evening before and it feels like he is cramming it all in.

he works out at the gym alot to take his mind off it and i have suggested he starts going to the bar with the others in his group but he just says he cant be bothered. so he ends up sitting in his room on his own. it is so not like him. he is such a friendly outgoing person and has lots of friends. he just cant seem to relax and socialise with anyone there.

i do tell him that he can call anytime and talk about it and i try so hard to sympathise and say the right things but it just doesn't seem to lift his mood.

i am going over this weekend to see him and we are having a wee break in a hotel so i am hoping this will give him a good rest and chance to forget about it for a while but he knows he has a big exam the week after and it will probably be on his mind.

OP posts:
luciemule · 24/05/2010 12:11

you going to see him next weekend will defo cheer him up.
I think he really needs to find someone in his group he can click with and nip off to the pub with and the fact that he stays in instead, suggests he may be a bit depressed. At least he's going to the gym which will help with his stress.
You sounds likie you're supporting him really well - empathising with him even though you've not been in that situation. It will be hard with constant studying but hopefully he'll do well and look forward to the end. Can you plan a lovely treat that he knows about to keep him going until the end?

booyhoo · 24/05/2010 12:17

that's a good idea. it will be xmas so we could probably arrange a family break.

i couldn't do what he is doing. he is working so hard. i worry he sounds a bit depressed aswell which is what i dont want to happen, especially with him being away from home and on his own. i try to break the exams down for him, in terms of " when does this topic end?" so it appears as though he only has x amount of exams left of this topic. i think that does help him a bit because he can see and end to it.

OP posts:
luciemule · 24/05/2010 12:29

I think you're being really supportive booy. I now from my DH doing loads of exams, that he gets really bogged down with concentrating too much on how long he'll be studying for and how stressful it is (oh woe is me type thing). If it were me, I'd be the opposite- counting down the days and giving myslef little treats after each part. Men aren't generally like that though. I think they often find it harder to see into the future and how much brighter it looks; rather they dwell on the doom and gloom that is now. That's a very general statement by the way.

scaryteacher · 24/05/2010 15:39

Which course is he doing Booyhoo?

booyhoo · 24/05/2010 17:07

see this is where i get confused. he is doing his killocks course but he's also doing his engineering degree aswell so i'm not sure which all this is for. he has told me several times but i forget. i am a bad OH.

OP posts:
scaryteacher · 25/05/2010 17:16

It can be stressful being away, but if he was home, it would be just as stressful having to tip toe round him whilst he studied and keeping the kids quiet, so he is probably in the best place.

If it's all getting a bit too much he needs to go and see his course officer and explain the problem and ask for some guidance; especially about how they think he is doing. He just can't see the wood from the trees. They should be happy to talk to them, and they don't bite (dh taught as a course officer when all the Engineering was at RNEC Manadon, not Collingrad).

If your dh has a bike, tell him to take a ride down to Lee on Solent for a breath of fresh air and sit on the beach for a bit. He needs to build a fresh air break into his studying; not just propping up the bar in the mess.

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