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Topic: Husband won't get help

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. BDF62
    BDF62 avatar
    2 posts
    28 November 2013
    I'm not even sure what my aim is in posting this. I guess I just need to get it out there in front of others who can empathise. And apologies in advance for the long and probably rambling post.

    My husband has recently admitted to me that he has been suffering depression for about 30 years, since his late teens. We've been married for nearly 20 of those years. He admitted it after a big confrontation about his drinking when I told him to either sort himself out or we (son & I) leave.

    Looking back at our early marriage, I can see some of the signs of depression but it wasn't something I was aware of at the time. Depression wasn't something anyone talked about. He didn't have much of a problem with drink in those days either. We were both busy with uni, travel, friends etc.

    I can't pinpoint when the drinking started, but I think it was around 2000. I remember a couple of episodes around then where alcohol was a factor. Since then the drinking has gotten worse and worse to the point that I would say he is a functioning alcoholic. He said recently he drinks to deaden the pain. Depending on how much he drinks he can go from jolly, to argumentative, arrogant, taunting. While drunk he has said some quite nasty and hurtful things to me. He has never been physically abusive though - I would walk without a second thought if he was.

    He says he still loves me, wants to fix things, has apologised for hurting me etc. He has been slightly better since our big blow up earlier this year but still has depressive episodes.

    He refuses to see anyone to talk about his issues. He says it won't help - he has a few friends who have gone on medication and are no better. Not being a huge fan of medication myself, I can understand his reluctance to not go on anti-depressants but he won't even help himself by doing natural things like getting outside and going for a walk, meditation, eating healthily etc. From the minute he gets up, to the time he goes to bed (when he doesn't sleep on the lounge), he has the TV going - I think it's so he doesn't have to listen to his thoughts. He has worked from home for the last few years which in some ways is good - he was in a very toxic environment where he was and his drinking escalated there. But in some ways it's worse - he only showers if he's going out (which can be days), doesn't leave the house, works all hours of the day and night etc. If I am not home to prepare his meals, he goes and buys takeaway.

    In 2002 we had a child and things went down hill rapidly from there. It was as if he couldn't cope with the demands of growing up. Our son was a dreadful sleeper and I was left with full responsibility. Husband rarely, if ever, got up to him through the night or took much responsibility. I found it hard to cope and was close to PND but I pulled myself out in time. Starting doing yoga, taking walks, getting out of the house etc.

    He has never really bonded with his son. If I leave them together, he either ignores him, yells at him over something minor or sends him to his room to clean up. I can count on one hand the number of times he has taken him out to do something or even played with him - and when he does, it usually ends up in tears. He used to smack him, but I don't think he has done that for a while.

    When son was little, we would sit at home and not go out because I had the vision that we should do things as a family. That's how it was for me growing up. But husband would never want to go out or do anything, so we'd stay at home. I still remember when I finally thought "stuff this" and took son out on my own to the park. He was about 3 or 4 and I sat there by myself, miserable, because everyone else seemed to be in a family unit.

    I was losing my identity more and more until about 5 or 6 years ago when I started to wake up and examine what *I* needed to be happy. A lot of reflection, self-help books, talks with friends etc and I have now found myself - well, its still a work in progress but I'm pretty happy with myself :) I lost weight, took up exercise - have tried various things until I found what works for me, I have outside interests and friends who don't see me as "mum" but as a real person. About that time I also realised how broken our marriage really was but after so long of being the one to reach out and mend things, I've had enough.

    Son and I are quite close because we do a lot of things together. In some ways that possibly exacerbates my husband's depression as he feels "left out" - but he doesn't want to get involved in anything.

    He has few friends - and won't put himself out there to join in anything. He has a golf membership that he bought 6 months ago that has never been used because he doesn't have anyone to play with. Just going along and joining in with people he doesn't know is too scary to him.

    Over the years he has come up with "plans" to fix things which I now recognise as part of the depression - he would come up with grandiose plans of moving to the country, going travelling for 12 months, buying an investment property, moving overseas, starting another business etc. I guess a way of him trying to run away from reality. And each time, the "mania" would subside, he'd lose interest and in many cases, then blame me because "I didn't support him enough."

    I'm no longer committed to saving my marriage. I've been hurt too many times, made too many attempts. We haven't been intimate in over 12 months - I just can't bring myself to make love with someone that I don't really care for anymore. Now my aim is to protect myself and my son from his toxic fallout for the next few years. Financially I'm not in a great position to leave - if push came to shove, I could and would have family support, but I'm trying to stick it out for a couple of years to be in a better position. And part of me still hopes things will get better. I don't hate him - although I do hate his behaviour. I feel sorry for him and helpless because he has to want to help himself.

    Sorry for War and Peace. As I said, I just had to get it out there to know that I'm not alone.

  2. Pixie15
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Pixie15 avatar
    721 posts
    28 November 2013 in reply to BDF62

    Hi. You have a very long post. I hope it has helped you to express yourself which you have done very well. There is a lot in this that resonates with my own experience. But I managed to stay in denial for a lot longer and am still juggling with the decision of whether to leave or not. There is always the next thing that is going to improve life isn't there, being self-employed, owning a home, moving to the country. But it does not happen. If someone suffers with depression it is a bit tempting I think to blame all the personality problems on the depression. The depression may lift but the personality may not change. I hope the books you read included something on the different types of abuse there are such as emotional abuse. You are not alone. 

  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    16241 posts
    29 November 2013 in reply to BDF62

    hi BDF62, we your situation is pretty well the same as mine.

    I was drinking to numb the pain and isolation from depression, and it got to the stage where my ex couldn't help from this illness, plus she also hated me drinking, and so she moved out and then she divorced me.

    I certainly don't blame her one bit, and never will, it was my fault and I take responsibility.

    What ever she tried to do and get me involved in going out, seeing people I didn't accept, so she then moved into another room and there was sexual activity for a few years, as she wasn't interested in me and with my depression I didn't care at all.

    Working from home would mean that he could start drinking whenever he wanted to, and if he was alone that means as soon as everybody had left the house, so the rot would begin early.

    The trouble with a lot of depressed people is they plan ahead but as the time approaches they change their mind, or they procrastinate.

    Speaking from my experience you would be much better to take your son and leave, or vice-versa, because you can't live like this, it's not an environment that's suitable for you and your son.

    My ex and I still talk to each other and do see each other, and I only social drink these days, and as I said I do not blame her at all for leaving me, it wasn't a life that she wanted and I certainly don't blame her at all.

    Your husband hopefully will seek treatment and realise that the marriage has ended and understand that he does need help. L Geoff. x

  4. BDF62
    BDF62 avatar
    2 posts
    29 November 2013

    Thank you both for your response. Just the act of writing the post has helped me clarify a few things in my mind and your responses have given me more to think about.

    Again, thank you.


  5. Stephen123
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Stephen123 avatar
    145 posts
    29 November 2013 in reply to BDF62

    Dear BDF. You have had to put up with a lot. From your explanation I think you should leave.

  6. Pixie15
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Pixie15 avatar
    721 posts
    1 December 2013 in reply to Stephen123

    You should at least have a plan to leave. Keep in mind that leaving is the most dangerous time for women.

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