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Topic: I'm not sure what to do

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Unsure123
    Unsure123 avatar
    2 posts
    5 April 2021

    It's obvious to me and people around us that my husband is struggling emotionally. He seems to have checked out from our family (with me and two young children) and is critical all the time. He doesn't have any friends and doesn't even try. When we go out as a family to events, it's always just our children and I and I have to make excuses for him constantly. He is critical at home and most days even the slightest thing sets him off. Basically, if something happens that he cannot handle, he gets angry then disappears outside or on the computer. This happens most days. I'm most concerned about the effect on our children because they don't want to go near him and come to me 100% of the time. They also won't stay with him to allow me to go out for even a 5 minute run to the shops and they always ask why daddy doesn't want to play/doesn't come with us/yells at us/is always cranky, etc. I've explained that sometimes Daddy doesn't feel good or gets cranky and that's why he gives himself a time-out (goes outside or on the computer). Needless to say, I am constantly criticised and have the responsibility to do everything.

    I won't be in a position to leave for at least 18 months when I can get a full-time job when my youngest is old enough. However, something needs to be done now. I can't force him to seek help and he isn't physically violent. I also have a firm boundary that if there is ever any physical violence then I will walk out the door immediately and I'm not afraid to do that. What can I do to prompt intervention now? I have tried talking to him but am told I'm stupid. I regularly see a psychologist myself because this situation has gone on for years and it was causing me anxiety. I'm now at a point where I can be in control of the family, household, finances etc but my husband separates himself from the family. What do I do next?

  2. white knight
    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.
    white knight avatar
    9207 posts
    5 April 2021 in reply to Unsure123

    Hi, welcome

    I'm a community Champion meaning I have mental health issues and sort treatment many years ago without being pressurized.

    From what I've read am I correct in presuming you have asked him to seek help and he's refused? I'll assume so. If thats the case I'd be angry/disappointed also because we all have a personal responsibility to take care of our own mental health. But as you know you can make all the suggestions but many people wont get such help.

    That means an ultimatum because you are on the point of making plans to leave him. It seems fair enough in your situation to bring it all to a head. I would ask him to have a meeting with you alone (kids asleep or minded) and begin by asking him if he is aware of his behaviour effecting the family unit. Try to calmly get an admission that there is indeed a problem. If you need to then suggest that he gets such help starting with his GP and any ongoing psychiatric treatment or you have no choice but to separate.

    Now, some people might see that as emotional blackmail, something I've been the victim of most of my life and now free of it. Well is is an act that is a desperate one based on his lack of action.

    I hope that helps. Please stay in touch. I'm here daily.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Unsure123
    Unsure123 avatar
    2 posts
    6 April 2021 in reply to white knight
    Thank you, your post is very helpful. I feel like I've been asking him to get help for over 2 years. I give him space whenever he needs, but it means he just does his own thing every day. For example, he refuses to get the children a snack because it's my responsibility. I'm regularly told I'm stupid or an idiot and so yes I don't see him as the man I married. I don't want to leave but I don't see any other choice because his behaviour negatively affects me and our children. He doesn't listen and either tunes out or walks away. He also goes out of his way to annoys me and the children unless he wants something (like to eat dinner).
  4. white knight
    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.
    white knight avatar
    9207 posts
    6 April 2021 in reply to Unsure123
    You are in a bind.

    In a family court some evidence would not be considered significant enough to make an impact on visitation rights. The court could order shared 50% custody especially if there is no violence etc.

    I mention this because every household and every individual has certain chemistry and attitudes so the court focussed on the parents ability to provide, care for and protect...

    I do think family counseling will help. Odd misogynist behaviour will come to light by any therapist and alarm bells will ring. You say "he isn't the man you married"...perhaps it's worth a new approach. If he won't attend counseling then go alone but if he asks what went on keep that to yourself. I'd suggest you simply say "in learning to cope with your behaviour". He can attend if he has a desire to save the family unit.

    Also google-

    Beyondblue topic relationship strife-the peace pipe

    1 person found this helpful
  5. 815
    815 avatar
    207 posts
    7 April 2021 in reply to Unsure123

    Hi Unsure123,

    I thought to reply to you, from the point of view of a wife, supporting a husband through depression. I must say that my struggle has not been as long as yours. It has however, impacted on me and the kids. And there were times when I thought about leaving. Although my husband also threatened to leave.

    I asked many times as well, for my husband to get help. He refused. Until I guess he got to a point where he didn't know what else to do. I wish I could provide some advice, but I'm sure what I will tell you are things you already know.

    I think the difference with my situation is that my husband's anger towards me was based on his expectation that I should have been the one to get him help, rather than me just telling him to go and get help. He expected in a way that I would know what to do - maybe book an appointment with his GP, do more research on his condition, maybe stop my life in a way to care for him. It wasn't enough for me to tell him to go and get help for himself.

    This, I only found out because I eventually asked him to come to relationship counselling with me, and he agreed. Is this something your husband would consider?

    I have a firm boundary too. If it ever got physical or violent, I would take the kids and leave. But I trusted that he still cared enough about us not to do that, and not to leave. But other than that, my choice was to stick it out for as long as my husband would let me. If he chose to leave, then so be it.

    In the end, he went to see his GP, was put on medication, has been seeing a psychologist on his own, and we have been seeing a relationship counsellor together.

    Everyone told me that I would need support if I wanted to stick around. So I have the support of some trusted family members, and close friends. And I am also seeing a psychologist to deal with my own anxiety through all of this.

    I am fortunate to be able to say that we are now, slowly, making progress and working our way through things together. It isn't always smooth, not always easy. I still have a lot to learn about being the right support for my husband and our children. But I guess the important thing is that, we both have the support we need. And we both have an acceptance that we can't fix depression on our own.

    Could you maybe make an appointment for you and your husband to go and speak to your GP together as a starting point?

    2 people found this helpful

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