Depressed husband

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hey, I am really struggling to understand everything. My husband had an affair with a work colleague, we all work at the same place and I know and have worked with the girl. This all happened a year ago, when I found out I was upset and we argued alot, he then started having had anxiety and panic attacks. The situation was to much and he left and moved in with his new girlfriend, I got on with life with help from counselling was starting to he happy again and bring up my daughter on my own. He help me look after her when I was at work however never had her over night or give me any money towards her. His life got worse after leaving and ended up sucidal, suffering panic attacks and depression. He was seen my gp and put on medicationm He was signed of work, this was his workplace decision, and had to see doctors etc. He then told me he broke up with the girlfriend and was now homeless and was going to live in his car, at the time I was no way can you move back in but he persuaded me, and I was worried about him living in his car. I helped him alot get back on his feet, cooked and cared for him. He asked to give the marriage another go. However during all this time he was still in contact with the other woman, even after all the pain he has caused. I decided enough was enough and told him he had to let me go and he had to fight this on his own, however he blames me still for everything and when I try to speak to him about the hurt or ask why he still in contact he says they are just friends. He then starts to suffer anxiety and takes massive panic attacks. He says he only takes them when we fight, I said we only fight because it hurts me you rather be friends with her and see me hurt than save our marriage. I really have had enough, the months of counselling seems to be a waste and I'm going depeer into depression. If I try to leave or ask him to leave he panics or says again he will live in his car. He is no longer on medication his choice, he has went to no counselling and just says it my life now I have to deal with it. I really have no idea what to do.
He has to take responsibility for his own actions. He doesn't have to live in a car or your place, there are bed and breakfast places immediately available, hotel rooms for starters. We are all responsible for our own happiness. He is simply blackmailing you.
Hi, you say you have no idea what to do. Well, I've got an idea. It was inspired by you writing:

"he blames me still for everything"


My idea is this: Tell him to go xxxx!!!

I'm afraid the truth is grim - he cheated on you, and BLAMES you?????????????????????????????????????

He now has to take the consequences of his behaviour, and that consequence is that he's smashed up his marriage. Why did he have an affair, and why did it end? You might find that having a long chat with this 'girlfriend' would be revealing! I suspect SHE may have ended it.

If he wants to sleep in his car, that's his choice, as BB says. You are NOT his 'carer'. You are his betrayed wife, struggling to raise his daughter (I take it she's his?) without his financial input. That's tough enough.

Why is your husband such a psychological mess? You can't bandage his wounds - he needs counselling to sort out why he is as he is. It sounds like he only wants to get back with you to put a roof over his head.

What was your marriage like before he had an affair? What was your husband like? Do you have any idea why he is such a mess? The adultery is a 'symptom' - some people think they have a 'right' to 'extra sex' (!), some people seek an 'alternative' to a reality (ie, marriage) they no longer get a kick out of, etc etc.

It's sad, but you are probably better off without him. Even if he went for counselling and sorted himself out, he's a 'bad risk' for a husband and father, as he could 'go astray' again.

The fact that he DARES to 'blame YOU' is outrageous, and pretty clear evidence he has no intention of taking responsibility for himself, and is trying to shift the blame onto you, and squirm his way out of it - pretty despicable.

If he does have mental health problems, the sad truth about MH people is that they can be INCREDBIBLY 'selfish' - it's called 'self-focus' and they feel endlessly sorry for themselves, never for other people, they wallow in their own misery and woes and can't take responsibility for themselves, and are basically an incredibly 'bad risk' to be emotionally involved with.

Yes, he could heal, but not easily and certainly not quickly.

The first thing he has to do is accept responsibility for himself - not just the adultery, but his entire person. His depression, his panic attacks, etc etc etc. The complete mess he's making of his life.

Blaming you still is a sure sign he is nowhere near ready to take that responsibility.

Stay out of this, is my personal advice, if not for your own sake, then that of your daughter.

If he hadn't cheated on you, then maybe you could try and help him sort himself out - but that would STILL require him taking responsibility for himself, and not trying to shift the 'blame' on to you! You are NOT responsible for his mental state, or for his unhappiness, or anything at all!

Don't 'feel bad' for him, as he will ruthlessly prey on your 'pity'. He brought this on himself. His life, his choice, his responsibility, his decision.

Wishign you all th best - enjoy a nice Xmas with your daughter. This man is NOT your responsibility.....wash your hands of him with a clear conscience. You've done your best, and he has not even got to first base of accepting responsibility for himself!

Like I say, the fact he's still daring to blame YOU, is proof of just what an undeserving man he is. Feel free of him. Be free of him.
PS - it might be a good idea to start thinking ahead financially. Make it your project for the new year maybe? ie, work out what the situation is with your accommodation (rented or owned?) - if rented, does he have a joint tenancy with you, if owned, do you share the mortgage etc. If you divorced, what would your financial situation be? Would you have to sell the flat for example, and give him half.

Once you know where you'll be financially 'long term' if you do end this marriage, then you'll feel better placed to plan ahead. If you're not married, then you also need to sort out where splitting up leaves you financially.
Thank you for your replies, deep down I know what to do however when he has panic attacks it really scares me. He can go into a massive panic attack for over 1 hour.

A little about his background, he comes from a broken family and was physically abused by his father, and emotional by his mother. His father has had a number of woman and 5 kids by 4 different woman. He is the oldest child.

The relationship before was good, we both lived away from family however year and half ago we moved closer to my family, he said because of this he felt excluded from family which is a totally lie my family treated him like a son etc. He has had a number of emotional affairs before this affair and one being just after I had my daughter he said because he felt left out because I give all my time to my new born.

I have a plan to get out off all this, finance isn't an issue when he moved out the last time I got the house in my name only abs give him back the deposit he paid. I have also now the opportunity to move departments and move 1hr away to amother city, this is better paid and better opportunites. He knows this and this is why he has been having panic attacks.

He has only return to work however under watch and he knows if anymore problems is caused he will lose his job. He also is jealous of me because when all this happened I got my help, sorted everything out, doing well in my job, still a roof over my head and paid the bills, I have new friends and go out and socialize, and he is still "stuck in life" before he walked out on me he would tell me every day how I changed wasn't the girl he married, he was unhappy, and doesn't love me anymore. I accepted all this and got on with it. I also know for a fact he did break it off with the girl as she has said this to work colleagues. The reasons he give was "she wasn't the girl he fell in love with anymore"

I think when I say I have no idea what to do deep down I do but trying to understand why he panics or has anxiety. I suffer anxiety when trying to deal with his behaviour but nowhere near as bad as him.
Well done for getting on with your life. He will always be the father of your child, but make it very clear that does not mean he can have any hold over you. He must take responsibility for what he has done, and he needs to move forward with his own life. He can't use the excuse of a damaged child forever, he is the one who needs counselling for whatever issues he hasn't resolved. Of course you have changed, everyone changes. HE was the one who left the relationship, and HE must pay the price, because he blew it. For some things in life, there is NO GOING BACK!
Urge him to seek counselling and buy him a copy of a book called "Starting Again" by Sarah Litvinoff, published by Relate, or buy tow, one each. Copies are usually available on ebay. It's a very easy read. I found it really helpful when I was widowed, trying hard to find a new life. That's what you have done well, and he hasn't.
Hi Carebear,
Your husband sounds very controlling, trying to keep you away from your family and possibly using the panic attacks to worry you into staying. Panic attacks usually last 5 to 20 mins and his GP can refer him for treatment. He is probably feeling more threatened now you have developed a life for yourself and are independent as he has less to control you with.

My sister had a very controlling partner for years. He moved them to a cottage in a rural area with very poor public transport. She lost contact with friends and family. He knocked away at her self confidence and spent her meagre wages and savings. Everytime she tried to leave him he would roll his car or have a crisis. It took her many years to leave him. Best thing she did for herself. It took a lot of resolve.

So annoying, I wrote a long post last night and then my lap top battery ran out!

Just to say, for now, very quickly, that with that dreadful childhood I can see why he has problems now - but he DOES need specialist counselling, for sure.

And maybe you do too? I'm wondering whether something like the NSPCC can source counsellors specialising in childhood abuse AND for partners of those who've been abused?

The extended panic attacks sound both 'genuine' and 'controlling' ....a tricky mix. (I doubt he faces up to his being 'controlling' but an abused child can often, surely, want to 'control' his adult environment and the people in it, because he COULDN'T control what happened to him in childhood.....)(But that ALL has to be 'sorted out' by counselling).

Sorry to be brief for now - more later. Have to get to the shops before they are mobbed!!!!

Jenny what you have said is right, I have tired to get him to go to counselling, but he keeps refusing. When he was a teenager his school offered him counselling however he only went to a few sessions and says it was no good and he doesn't need to pay someone to listen to his problems.
When he left he told me twice he was going to commit suicide, and the police was involved. He was under assessment from the local crisis team however they discharged him. He has been offered services in the area but has refused to go. We have been together 9 years married for 4. He would never talk about his upbringing only would say things like I had it tough or I'm proud I have done so well because my childhood was hard, only after everything he started to speak more about it, because he also would have flash backs. He had a nice life before all this, good job, nice car, nice house and a family. Now he is about to lose his job and all he has left is the car. I think he is afraid of abandoned. This is why he keeps the other woman close incase me and him doesn't work things out. This girl also has issues and was brought up my her sister, because her mum and dad walked out on them.
So sad, he's bringing about the very thing he fears - abandonment.

If you read around on this Mental Health section you'll see that time and time again the issue of needing to set boundaries and impose 'firm love' on those with MH problems.

For example, IF you invest any more time in him, then you could say 'I will give our marriage a chance/spend time with you BUT ONLY on the condition you resume counselling and meds. I will not do it otherwise.'

He seems to think that counselling is only about someone 'paid to listen' to him - and I think the problem is that to begin with, that is what a lot of counselling is! They don't 'give' they simply 'absorb'. But presumably at SOME point they start to try and get the patient to 'understand themselves'.....even if they are not allowed to 'give advice' (that is what informal feedback from folk like me is for!)(which has its risks....who am I to spout off, etc ?!)

Does he think he already understands why he is the way he is and therefore doesn't need 'analysis'? In which case he might be right, but the thing now is to CHANGE his behaviour - not just to understand it. And to change himself he has to BELIEVE HE CAN CHANGE (and understand WHY he NEEDS to change, if he is to have any chance of happiness, let alone having a healthy emotional relationship with anyone else at all.....)