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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Husband with depression is irritable and irrational

Topic: Husband with depression is irritable and irrational

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sam00000
    Sam00000 avatar
    3 posts
    3 April 2018

    My husband has depression and anxiety and I feel like a lot of the time he is snappy with me. There are a lot of stressors for him (and both of us) - we had our first baby 10 months ago and he was made redundant soon afterwards. He also has a disability that affects his physical strength, so he finds some things around the house hard to do, and gets tired more easily than other people do.

    His moods change daily - some days he's upbeat and completely fine, mostly he is tired and doesn't want to do much. Quite often his irritable and it seems like whatever I do is wrong. I know this is mostly because of depression and his disability.

    I find my moods/reactions swing in response. Mostly I am supportive and understanding and try to encourage him and see where he is coming from while also maintaining some standard of what he needs to do around the house/in our relationship. When he is irritable towards me though, I often snap. I don't feel i deserve to cop all the snapping, and I carry the housework, looking after the baby and the finances - so I feel unvalued and unappreciated. We both end up yelling which is no good.

    How do you find the balance though? I try to set boundaries of what language and attitude I won't put up with. There are often situations though where no matter what I do it's not good enoughand i end up being the one to apologise. Or, I feel majority of the issue is his so i refuse to apologise for my small part in it, and he then tells me how stubborn I'm being. I can't win.

    I feel bad because what he is offering around the house and to me is probably his 100% at the moment, but it's just so far below what I do and feel for him. My resentment is growing. Even saying this to him feels awful as I would be complaining about being around someone who is facing some huge hurdles at the moment - I don't want to add to the burden. But it all bubbles over in arguments too.

    Help! Any advice appreciated. Mostly I just need to vent to people who understand,as i don't feel i can talk to friends and family about it without them seeing him as a burden or a jerk.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10542 posts
    3 April 2018 in reply to Sam00000
    Dear Sam00000~
    Welcome to the Forum. I can quite understand your talking here rather than to friends of family, it might be easy for them to fall into a sort of judgment trap, and that would not be helpful. Things simply are not fair for you, and others might quickly jump in as a result.

    At the moment, as you say, you are bearing the big load. Baby, work, home. In a cheerful supportive environment that might be more doable, however sadly that is not what you have got. In fact often you have the opposite and then are torn between blaming yourself and responding smartly and blaming yourself and letting bad behaviour go. A sort of no-win situation.

    You did talk of boundaries, which is fine, but I'm not sure just about the limits of arguments is enough. You need a limit you can look forward to on the effort you put in every day. Your husband is a partner with you, and irrespective of any illnesses had equal responsibility. That is not being harsh, just practical.

    Is there anyone who can give you a practical hand, even a few hours a week?

    May I ask if your husband is undergoing treatment for his depression and anxiety? I’d agree that the stressors or on both of you with the redundancy and new baby – and in his case illness too, as a result it is even more important that his medical treatment is the best it can be.
    It's true depression does make life exceeding difficult, and relationships suffer as a result. I have unfortunately been in such situations when depressed. In your husband's case it does sound like there are good days in with the bad. Talking to him and letting him know how stretched you are and how much you need support would seem a logical thing to do. When I was able I tried hard to compensate for the worse times.

    Being physically unequal to household tasks at times does not mean other things can’t be done instead. Trying to maintain a cheerful presence and being helpful in small ways can make a big difference. So can realising that no matter how bad things seem inside taking it out on you is not on.

    Finding the balance is hard, and arguments are pretty destructive. Do you think if they look like starting you can walk away or refuse to talk? I find once the words start flying it is almost impossible to maintain a balance, so at least for me not going there is the best answer –even if difficult.

    I hope you come back and talk more

    Croix


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Flying Fish
    Flying Fish avatar
    6 posts
    3 April 2018 in reply to Sam00000

    Hi Sam,

    I find myself in a similar situation. My partner has had depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. We use to have massive fights and then would not really speak for a few days. These past 3 years I have really started to understand mental illness a lot more and this has helped me to be able to respond to the snapping and irritability a bit better (which has resulted in less fighting). I did a Mental Health First aid course last year and that's helped all the behaviours and moods, etc fall in to place and I no longer take things personally because I know it isn't about me but about the MI.

    BUT saying that, we are human. We get frustrated by the situation, it is exhausting, it can get us down and we start to feel irritable and snappy too. And some times it all just feels too much and we have a good cry. I have 2 strategies to help me when I am feeling this way: I have a room in the house that is just for me. I can play music, I can close the door and read a book, I can block out the world and the stress and strain that MI puts on a relationship, and have my own space. Exercise is also something that can help. Take baby and go for a 20 minute walk around the neighbourhood. It gets you out of the house, gives you time to clear your head a bit and the endorphins from the exercise also help boost your mood a little too.

    It sux because as the partner, we are giving absolutely everything we have and what we get in return just doesn't seem to match up. I am afraid that probably won't change. The only way to make peace with it is to learn to accept it. It has taken me a very long time to just get to the point where I am starting to recognise the fact that I have to accept that this is how it is ... because it's not going to change.

    Do you ever feel like you are trapped in a prison that is not of your own making? Trapped by love? It sound terrible just typing it.... but it is how I feel sometimes.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Sam00000
    Sam00000 avatar
    3 posts
    3 April 2018 in reply to Croix

    Thank you Croix! These words are just what I needed to hear, from someone who clearly understands. Thank you for your time and compassion. Regarding medication, he was taking quite a high dose of antidepressant until just before our baby was born, but got sick of the side effects so stopped them (gradually, with guidance from his gp). He has tried others before but is adamant that he doesn't want to be medicated.

    We have just started counselling and have had one session each and our first session together, today. Unfortunately it comes after an argument yesterday so we both went into it exhausted and not really wanting to talk to each other - not the best start. But I'm hopeful. I will keep using this forum, your comments are invaluable.

  5. Sam00000
    Sam00000 avatar
    3 posts
    3 April 2018 in reply to Flying Fish

    Thank you flying fish. Are you sure you're not in my house?! You seem to know the argument and big cry patterns we go through well!

    Excellent advice - a big thank you from me. I will look at the MI first aid courses... I thought they were about crisis point suicide prevention bit it sounds like they are much broader, and very useful. Anything to stop me from reacting in arguments will be a good thing.

    Aso great advice re having my own space for hobbies. I get stuck in my resentment even when walking with the pram as I tend to focus on me still doing the child care, even when i am needing time out. But I need to change that mentality to seeing it as doing something nice for myself and bub as I do always enjoy the walks.

    Also about learning to live with it to some extent. This is big!! You're spot on, I might bring this up in my individual counselling session.

    Thank you for your wise words!

  6. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10542 posts
    3 April 2018 in reply to Sam00000

    Dear Sam00000~

    Thank you, I'm glad it's helped. Being on your own in this sort of situation is pretty souls-destroying. Thinking about it - the argument the day before gong to the councilor - may not be that bad a thing. Going in ideal circumstances may not be realistic. At least the problems are more apparent.

    I guess we all do things due to circumstances that are not our first choice. While you husband may not like the idea of medication, unless there is some other viable alternative he can discover with his doctor then it may be a question of trying again in order to be able to support you better - what do you think?

    I do know finding the right regime for myself was a very long drawn out process with many different medications, however well worth it in the end.

    The fact you are both together seeing the councilor is hopeful. I'm glad you intend to remain here

    Croix

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