How can I help my husband help himself?
July 22, 2011 8:03 PM Subscribe
How can I support my husband as he works through some issues?
posted by your mom's a sock puppet to health & fitness (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My husband has been dealing with some issues lately, namely stress and possibly depression, and has not been the most reliable/responsible/loving spouse. After many, many talks and some family involvement, he's agreed to go get help. Which is great!
Until he gets better, though, I'm not sure what I should do. I want him to have the support to get through this and come out happier and stronger, but I can barely rely on him to help with house chores or caring for our dog, which makes me incredibly stressed and upset. I've recently started a new position at work and have been working 9-10 hour days, and the extra stress is really making life hard for me right now. I know that sounds selfish, but in the past I have notoriously sacrificed my own personal well-being for others, and I cannot do that anymore.
My biggest problem is what I have trouble trusting him, and other than seeking out help, he's given me no reason to. If I need him to take care of something, there's a constant doubt and worry that he won't do it, and most of the time it comes true. He's just so out of it, absent-minded, and at his worst, lazy. He is constantly escaping into books or games. I once asked him to take the morning dog-walking shift on a Saturday so I could help some friends move, and when I came home 6 hours later, he had still not walked her (leaving her unwalked for over 14 hours!) I can't ever expect him to cook dinner or do the dishes without a huge fight or a lot of guilt (which I hate), and forget about any other house work. Last week, we went on vacation with his ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY to the Outer Banks, and he barely left his room. When I finally convinced him to go out on the last day of our trip, most of the car ride to the restaurant consisted of him being miserable about having to drive (and me subsequently crying my eyes out that I'd spent my whole vacation alone and/or with his family without him. Thankfully his family (all 15 of them!) are great people, so spending a good amount of my time with them (without him) wasn't hell. Overall, he's just been pretty miserable and disagreeable.
So, how can I be supportive of him getting better without sacrificing my own personal well-being? I've asked him, but he doesn't seem to know or care. My original plan to just be scarce and give him some distance doesn't seem to be working out. Mostly because we work together and end up seeing each other all day, but also because I am much happier at home instead of being a social butterfly every day. It would probably be worth noting that I am also in therapy working on some self-esteem issues, anxiety, and just general mental health stuff.
Thanks in advance!