I have never used a message board before but here goes.
My partner is depressed. We have been together 8 years and have three wonderful children. He is so negative, gives us all bad looks and the silent treatment, is constantly disapproving and when I try to talk to him he either says everything is fine and its my imagination or blames everything on me, I haven't said good morning in the right way, I haven't been nice enough or responsive enough etc etc.
I am responsible for doing everything, shopping, cooking, finances, housework, DIY, gardening, children, homework, and I work. The only thing he does do is work, which is good as that helps support the family. He doesnt like anyone, doesn't want anyone to come over to our house, he doesn't like my family, or his, who are wonderful and worried about him. I try to arrange things he enjoys, like going to the football or out with friends, but he always states after he has had a bad time or complains. I never get to go out as he is never willing to look after the children, I have not had a day to go shopping or see friends since our daughter was born 6 years ago. If we go anywhere he acts really irritated, I spend all my time treading on eggshells and nervous. In fact that is how I feel all the time I am with him, and it makes me snappy with the children which I hate.
When he is out I have a great time with the kids, but when he comes back I am nervous and tense. I used to be a very sociable person, always busy, enjoyed new challenges and experiences, but now I do nothing. I stopped seeing my friends a long time ago because he didnt like them, and dont go out to the gym or have time for myself because he always subtly sabotages it by being late from work, or making a big fuss just before I am meant to go out.
2 weeks ago I persuaded him to see our GP and he was diagnosed with severe depression and started on certalopram. He didnt want to take it but to his credit he has done so. It has not made any difference so far. The GP wants him to increase his dose but he doesnt want to and hasnt picked up his new prescription.
I understand about depression, I know he is having a horrible time. I must be non-demanding, non-confrontational, kind, understanding, empathic etc. I feel terrible because I want to be kind but I cant stand being around him. He has let me down so much and so often, he wont make an effort for me or the children, he constantly blames me for everything, his bad mood is always because I am not nice enough, not good enough, and he has been this way for years. I do everything for him and our children and he cant see it. W are so lucky to have wonderful children, good jobs, a lovely house, great friends, but he dislikes everything. I would love to come home after work just once to a meal, or for the washing or homework to be done. Even on my 40th birthday I got no card or gift after always making his birthdays so special. I just feel that I want more for myself, I dont want fireworks but just need someone to be kind to me, and this is causing me to try to avoid him as much as possible which I am sure is making things worse for him.
I am starting to give up hope, but am so scared of what would happen to him if I asked him to leave, and how it would affect our children. I want him to get better, but am scared of what his depression is currently doing to our kids. I dont want my daughters to grow up thinking that our relationship is normal, that all men act like this, or my son to internalise a depressed male role model.
Its horrible - what can I do?