Depression, Control Issues and Manipulative behaviour

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I wondered if anyone could shed any light or help with regard to control issues and manipulative behaviour.

The husband left 9 months ago needing space and suffering Mild Depression, his condition has deteriorated and he is now having anxiety attacks too and showing symptoms of Major Depression.  He has refused any form of medication, tried two lots of counselling which he said were useless but told me one of the Psychologist's he had seen had sorted his head?  The Psychologoist told him to stop using work as a distraction and start sorting his issues.  He thinks he can sort this on his own but so far hasn't managed to.  He has moved from the home, away from his family and now his job and emailed me to say he's not mad, he's just unhappy!

When I challenged him about his need for space I asked if I met someone could I have a relationship with them at which point he said he was frightened, when asked why he said it was because I was coping, he had initially said it was a trail separation,  gone to sort his head when challenged to now a separation and Divorce as he's sees everything as being both negative and likely to remain permanent. 

His depression was brought  on by bullying at work, the bully went from the organisation last year but my husband has been left traumatised and is now unable to do relationships with anyone including he said our dead pets?  When I talked about the bully he told me that me talking about the bully had got him out of the box? He's said himself he's putting emotions behind shutters. I do sympathise as I've suffered work place bullying myself that's how my anxiety started.  He now trusts no one which is understandable, however, we his family have tried to support him, love him and offer all the help we can but we have all been pushed away as has any form of professional help, he's being totally selfish which we understand is the illness.

My husband has chosen to live this new life to control his food, shopping and cleaning and for his space, we have respected his choice and have let him get on with it.  However, what saddens us most is he is very manipulative, tells people only what he wants them to hear omits the truth and says he's better when we know he isn't.  Even the professionals have asked him to go back to see them and they have heard the contradictions for themselves.

The problem we have now is we are trying to sort finances via solicitors - this was his decision, he refuses to discuss practicalities such as the sale of the family home, he no longer contacts me and uses other people to contact me as a means of avoidance.  I've told him point blank that unless he contacts me direct I will not agree to the sale of the home as the company he is planning on using are  a quick house sale company and I fear our situation may well be taken advantage of.  The company in question needed us to be both be present at yesterday's meeting he told them we were separated and he couldn't come to the home, they suggested they talk to me inside and he wait outside in the car, he said he couldn't be on the premises at which point they became suspicious, I had to explain that he sees the hoe as a bad symbol and associates it with the bad year at work.  My daughter  and myself had to laugh at that.  We are beginning to wonder if lack of communication is a sign he is deteriorating further?  He seems to have isolated and withdrawn further.  When questioned by the Mental Health Crisis Team Manager he told her he was getting out and about then said he found social situations difficult, then said he didn't go out much?  Told the Manager he didn't want us to know where he lived, I had to explain he couldn't even tell our daughter it's a control issue but we know where he lives as he handed in a document with his address on it but does not compute this fact?  He's highly intelligent and it has come as a massive shock to us all that he doesn't understand the document has his address on it, in addition to this fresh start he wanted somewhere else has resulted in him coming back to the area we live in which is a 10 minute car drive away? 

He fails to grasp the reality that when the home is sold we that my daughter and myself will be homeless!  He has failed to respond to solicitors letters asking for release of a small pot of money which  would enable my daughter and myself to rent somewhere for our fresh start.   I feel really mean knowing he is unwell but feel I have no choice but to fight for the money, our relationship has never been about fighting or money but as  we his family see it he has made his choice and we need to move forward with our future plans for our own sanity.  His sister seems to think withholding the money is some form of control but I feel I no longer know the person I have been with the past 34 years, it would be easier to negotiate with a toddler having a tantrum!  His sister has also had depression and has OCD and his Dad had a breakdown with workplace bullying so it runs in his family too.

Despite telling me he's moved on in his head and he wants his new life he seems to be clinging on or unable to let go for what purpose we have no idea?

As sad as this sounds we've all had to cut him off, he knows we would never abandon him and knows how to contact us if he needs to but we need to cut him loose whilst he's unable to help himself.

I have read research on manipulative behaviour and it suggests challenging them so I've told him straight that despite saying he can't be with me as he doesn't want to hurt me he's hurt each and every one of us and is still doing so by not allowing us to move forward.

Basically he's driving us all mad and any experience of this behaviour would be really appreciated. 

Thanks

 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    The worst thing to do with someone who says they want a break or want to end it is to come across clingy or needy, it is far better to talk as if you are fine with it. That way they feel less guilty but they also feel they are dealing with an equal who they have to respect. Once this has been established they worry that they will lose you if they do not treat you right. But saying that you want them to stay and keep asking them questions simply makes them feel very important and gives them the signal they can treat you anyway that suits them and that you will always be there no matter what. They then have no incentive to treat you nicely or take your feelings into consideration. Once you are strong and less needy you will see the whole thing differently and wonder why you want him so much. He actually needs you far more than you need him and you both need to see this.
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    • Posted

      Hi Carmel 

      Thanks for your reply.  I agree totally, we've backed off completely.  If anything I've been a bit too harsh at times telling him the truth and exactly as it is just like the Psycholoigst he saw told him.  I think he's had a shock as my solicitor wrote saying we are moving away from the ares, this will have shook him.  Despite my previous anxiety I know I am the stronger of the both of us, I have done everything and now I can see him struggling he hasn't even maneged to change his address in 9 months,  I agree he does need me more than I need him. 

      In fact I've been very mean this morning, emailed and told him until he has his soliciotor confirm in writng to agree to release the funds  for my daughter's and my fresh start I wont be signing anything and he will have to obtain a court order to get me to sell the home, I will not see us homeless.  Thanks again Carmel.

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  • Posted

    Hello Jackie,

    Oh dear, what an unfortunate situation. I don't know that your husband is being willfully manipulative. It sounds like his mental illness has overtaken his judgement. If he will not listen to you, are there members of his family who can help? He is in desperate need of help.

    My daughter had a burnout last year due to a difficult situation at work. Her doctor ordered her off work...for 7 months while she regained her strength. Actually if one met her, they would have not known that anything was wrong except that she was quite and not very lively...which was her usual self. She took an anti-depressant and went to weekly therapy and is back to work and is happy and full of life again. One thing about getting a doctor's note and presenting it to HR is that he cannot be fired. If they were to fire him after presenting such a note, it would appear that he was being let go because he is 'sick'. So if you can, I would urge possibly family members to get him to see a doctor and book off sick for a prolonged period until he regains his health. SO MANY people are suffering from burnout these days. A friend of mine is another. She was just too overloaded and something has to give at that point.

    Please check on your rights. Here in Quebec, Canada, a wife and husband own their house equally (no matter who bought it)...so he cannot take the house from you, I don't believe. The courts would likely let YOU stay in the house because of the children who need the stability and to stay near their school etc..

    Would your husband agree to go to counselling if you go with him? Maybe not... Is there anyone whom he respects with whom you could speak and who could approach him with the offer of help (going with him to a psychiatrist for example). It doesn't look like he will take that step himself. You could always do a family intervention, everyone 'begging' him to get help because you want the old 'Joe' back. Even the children can get involved which might tear at his heart strings enough to motivate him to get the urgent help the poor man needs. It should be managed by a counsellor who is experienced in interventions.

    I HOPE that things work out for all of you.

    Best of luck, Jackie!

    Robin

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    • Posted

      Hi Robin

      Thanks for the email.  I think you are right as the person he has become is a complete stranger he is acting out of character and the things he's been saying are totally off the wall.

      I've tried, our daughter has tried and his sister has tried he won't accept help from anyone professionals included, I contacted a few of his friends in the hope that they could help but he's convinced them all is well and they think it's me.   However there are at least ten other people who know he is ill including his boss.

      We're not sure if he has been pushed or quit his job the reason being I spoke to his boss last year, she confirmed he has depression said he was his own worst enemy, an adult with capacity and to expensive to let go, he has come away from his job with less than 3 months' salary having worked for the organisation for the  past 17 years on a 24/7 basis, it would appear to myself and our family that his vulnerability and situation have quite clearly been taken advantage of.

      Over here in the UK the organisation he worked for which is the NHS and a Mental Health Trust would have given him 6 months off sick on full pay the next 6 months on half pay and pensioned him off with a lump sum, so something is not right.

       I'm really sorry to hear about your daughter it's a very worrying experience but most of the battle is admitting they have a problem and being willing to undergo treatment so far my husband hasn't.  Like you say you only have to see the forums and websites to discover there are literally millions of people going through he very same thing, it's dreadful, I've had anxiety and agoraphobia myself and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

      At some point the house will have to be sold as he now has no job and I'm looking for work, the problem we have is the housing market slump, we spent to much doing the house up so will be left with nothing and worse case scenario the home could get repossessed.

       I feel incredibly mean to insist he sort out the monies but I've never put myself first, family and the kids are always placed first and I have no choice but to protect them.

      He saw a Psychiatrist he worked with and managed to fool him, the Mental Health Crisis Manager had been concerned and sent the Psychiatrist.  The same Psychiatrist allegedly discharged another patient for his wife to discover him hanging in their garage two weeks later but the Psychiatrist can't be blamed for everything it depends what the patient tells them and a lot of very intelligent people are exceptionally good at masking their problems.

      We tried couples counselling the counsellor said my husband can't see he has a problem neither has he any motivation to get better, he even asked me how long I was prepared to put up with the crap he's putting us through, I replied to the bitter end.  Our daughter emailed Dad as per her counsellors suggestion to say how this has affected her, she got an email back spouting a load of rubbish and no acknowledgement at all of her feelings,  she was distraught.  I had recent radiotherapy for cancer and my daughter had all of her wisdom teeth removed no word from Dad to ask how we were?

      Sadly we are fast coming to the conclusion that he is beyond help, what I have done is be completely honest with my kids and told them what I'm doing luckily they both know we've done all we can.  I've even written to our GP and Crisis Team to say if anything unforeseen does happen no one can say they weren't informed.

      Once again Robin many thanks and all the best for your daughter.

       

       

       

       

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    • Posted

      Wow! That is quite a story; a tragic one really. Your husband is shooting himself in the foot and doesn't realise how much he is losing.

      You are so right to put your children first. Maybe one day he will hit rock bottom and then get help. Your children may get their father back at that point. 

      You and your children need stability and your home to live in. He can live with his parents or in an apartment.

       

      I wonder now if you will have to support him... You will be the one working after all...Maybe his family will step up and provide for him. You have enough on your plate. Could you not work since you have been dealing with cancer treatments?

      Stress is not good for cancer. But here is something that you can read that stacks the cards in your favour. I can't attach a link so I will just tell you to google 'TED Talks Dr Li'. This could be a life changer. You deserve peace and stability in your life.

      Robin

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Robin

      Sadly our son has said he isn't worth it and he's a waste of space and on Father's Day our son sent a text to say he didn't care about fathers day that hurt more than anything but I guess it's his way of coping.

      Sadly both his parents are dead but his sister has been very kind and supportive she's written to him six times and only ever had one reply, he addressed the letter to her in her maiden name and she's been married for over 40 years,

      The cancer wasn't too bad and luckily not the type that spreads in addition to this we have had two family bereavements one of them was a a young cousin of 46 waiting for a liver transplant.

      I have to keep thinking that things can only get better.

      Thank you for your kind words.  Jackie

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