Looking for help and advice!
I’ve never posted on anything like this before but I feel like I’m beginning to exhaust all options so I suppose that I’m hoping that someone who has maybe been in a similar situation before can help.
I have been with my partner for 15 years now. I fell pregnant at the age of 20 with our now 14 year old daughter and although it wasn’t planned and we struggled at the time, we made it work and have been together ever since.
This may sound awful but we didn’t get a lot of time to know each other and we never exactly made the decision to commit to each other the way that we have - circumstance did that for us so we are complete opposites and have spent our relationship compromising - I like to talk and be open, he is quiet and distant. I like to be neat and tidy, he prefers a bit of mess and to not use time cleaning. He likes staying home, I like going out. Healthy meals, greasy food...you name it, we differ on it (you get the picture).
For both of us, it has been a struggle to make it this far but none the less, he is a good person, he makes me laugh and I love him and I believe that he must feel something similar or he wouldn’t still be here.
My reason for the post started around 4 years ago now when he had a breakdown (completely out of the blue and unexpected). He has battled with depression ever since and tried various medications but to no avail, he also suffers from sleep apnea but found it impossible to where the mask, etc that the nhs provided so both are left untreated. The depression; he says that he would rather take the rough with the smooth and ride it out rather than keep trying to treat it (perhaps a few bad days every or month or so, so bearable) and the sleep apnea; he goes to bed at 8.30pm every week night and spends most of his downtime snoozing on the sofa.
I suppose since his breakdown, I have learned that some of these compromises can be dealt with rather than accepted but he doesn’t want to know. I have begged for us to try counselling sessions - as a couple or alone but he hates the idea. I think that we need it, I feel more like a parent having to take care of him nowadays - he mostly works or sleeps (he works hard, absolutely and I’m grateful for that).
I finish work at 2.30pm each day to collect our daughter from school and also have 1 day of each week therefore I do the cooking, washing, housework, etc but I’ve come to realise that I shouldn’t have to tidy up after him too. I’m talking picking clothes up from the floor, clearing his food from the table, towels from the bathroom floor, food or drink left on the side from the night before, etc. We’ve spoke about it so many times and for a while he said that he understood and he would start doing it for himself but nothing changed and now he says that I’m nagging. I’ve tried it all ways - asking, reminding, not saying anything and leaving it to build and now, to be fair, I also feel that I’m nagging and I hate it.
I know that it seems like such a small thing but honestly, 4 years on, it’s getting to me. I feel like a maid and sometimes worry that I’m more of a convenience than a loved partner. I want to set the right example for my daughter, I would hate to think that she will grow up thinking that she should be doing all of these things for her future partner, it’s not the 1950’s anymore.
Of course, this is just my side of the story and he would say that I have a cleaning problem and that he would do all of those things in his own time. He would say that I get on at him all the time and that I am too quick to blame his depression. To be honest, part of me thinks that could well be right, maybe I need some counselling and I have to accept this if I want to keep us together but the other part of me thinks that I deserve some effort and understanding to be put in from him. I suppose that this cycle and battle of the wills has gone on for so long that I can’t see clearly anymore.
I know that in relationships, one person is never fully to blame but I’m unsure as to whether he does need to put in a bit more effort or if I have some issues and need some counselling myself - is it him, or is it me? I feel like I’ve lost track of who I am a little and I now regularly doubt myself and my feelings. I feel taken for granted and an inconvenience if I mention it.