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Help! Is it him or me?

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Relationship advice 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 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.

Please help!

Help! Is it him or me?

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I'm very grateful that you trust in this website and the people here to help you, but even tho we will give you a lot of hints, sometimes it is very difficult to apply them to real life.

After I read your post I feel that something is very wrong with him. You know it's kinda hard to explain this in a small text but depression works different for everyone. Some still appear like totally normal person and others act exactly like your husband. And the good thing is that it's easier to detect the differences in people like him.

So what do I mean. He needs help. Like a lot of help. And a lot of things need to happen in order to make him feel better and that will lead to a better relationship too. Because lets be real, he isn't ok and that hurts your family too. And since you have a little girl to raise this is really top priority.

Everything you described here is common in depressive states. Every task, doesn't matter how simple it is, it's painful to do.. Do the dishes, get a bath, get dressed, go to work... without treatment it's a downhill from that. He feeling low on energy it's also a symptom of depression but can be other things as well.

There are a lot of treatments for depression, but unfortunatly they don't work for everyone, but that doesn't mean that you need to stop finding a way to make you feel better. There are other options on the market that aren't antidepressives and are still a very reliable option.

He will always have ups and lows but that doesn't mean that he should go on like this. Right now there are a lots of things that you need to do. First is treating sleep apnea. Sleep apnea leads to other problems and that can make it worse to coop with depression.
Then he needs to see a specialist and try to find a treatment for it's depression. He needs to understand that he isn't alone that he has you and his baby girl.
This is very important! Don't neglect depressive symptoms.

Things like exercise, sunlight, greassy foods (mainly greassy meat and red meat), dark chocolate are a must on treating depressive disorders. Fat is extremely important for you body. Your brain is made of 60% fat, and people with depression need to eat a lot of fat. Sometimes it's even recommended those oily fish pills that we took when we where kids. Getting him EPA and DHA pills isn't a bad idea at all.

I know this is a very bad situation of you, and get that it makes you feel alone and incomplete but you made it this far because both of you fight for it together as a family.
Don't let this get between your relationship. If you need help and can afford going to a counselling just do it!

Anything at all, just reply to this post. We are here to help.

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