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Thread: Post partem life/ marriage stress

  1. #11
    Gold Member leseine7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Yes, this and I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. As an aside it melted my heart to read your description about your love for your baby. Oh I can relate, I get it, welcome to mothering and this boundless love!

    To add - my husband and I had no opportunity for any couple time at this time (no family to watch him, etc and I wouldn't have left our infant with a sitter at that time.

    I think you need to tell your husband when things are ok/calm using I statements (yes again) that you are particularly vulnerable right now and his 'jokes" hurt your feelings a lot. I wouldn't do the whole list of things you do every day that go unnoticed. It's just not effective IMO despite having so much appeal/being tempting (I'm speaking for myself).

    Tell him that you need to see consistent change on this issue -not the flip flop yo yo stuff because then you're waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Also can you hire someone to clean? When my son was an infant and we lived in a one bedroom the first 3 months we had a lady come every two weeks. She was great and calm and gave me motherly advice too.

    I totally get that you don't want to paint him as monstrous. You have not, not in the least. I am sure he is sleep deprived/cramped/feeling pushed aside (through no fault of your own -it's just life!).

    My husband and I had arguments at this time - I still remember clearly many of the details and this was 10 years ago. It was a tough time for sure.

    Please vent here if it helps. I hope I was supportive. I get it. Everything is going to be all right!
    What a comfort this was to read. And wow, what a similar circumstance with the 3 months of 1 BR life with a newborn! I have considered hiring a cleaner, and probably will do so. Outsourcing can only help, I've learned :)

    I do think he and I need time to reconnect and to put - even a little - more attention towards each other. I am abundantly grateful I married someone who is at LEAST as infatuated and excited about being a parent as I am, but at the same time we probably will both sleep better at night knowing that we didn't sacrifice the years of joy and fun between us.

    Also, I do think the "laundry list" I make does nothing to help. I will approach this differently. If he questions what I do, the best way to go is probably NOT to actually make the list of "well, I did this, and this, and THIS..." you get the picture. In a perfect world, he'd already have seen all those things, but life is DEF NOT PERFECT as new neurotic parents!

  2. #12
    Gold Member leseine7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by melancholy123
    I think he's got male post partum depression. It's all new to him about how to be a dad and yet have a life. I think a bit of counseling would help both of you learn to communicate better and make the adjustment be being parents. It's not easy, for sure, but with effort it can get better.
    This is something I looked into after it was suggested to me, and I am alarmed by how many of the boxes he ticks off. I am going to set up an appointment for us with our GP for the coming week.

  3. #13
    Gold Member leseine7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    Instead of getting defensive about what you do, why not validate for him that he IS doing more in this partnership than he ever has before. It's not a knock to you that you are doing less. You've been recovering, nursing, and caring for the baby. That can be true at the same time as acknowledging that he is the one pulling a bigger load at this time. You had a move while you weren't feeling well and nursing, it makes sense he has done more of the grunt work. It's ok. Sometimes it's just life, but it's important to not get stuck in making it a blame game.

    Yeah, I haven't had a baby. So my experience is different, up to you if you take it or leave it. Closest experience I had was caring full time for my mom when she was dying, and my partner absolutely took on the brunt of our day to day work for me. I wasn't sitting around doing nothing, I was doing something important just as you are by taking time to care for the baby and recover. But that didn't, doesn't, take away from what was on his shoulders. He was a freakin hero during that time.
    I had to quote this whole thing. You're absolutely right - he IS doing so so much more. He's currently on parental leave from his job to be home with our babe for these two months. (I had maternity leave for the first three months, his company is awesome and gives dads two months after that). He was always eager to be a Dad, but it's alarming and scary and I totally get that. He's always thinking about ways to keep her healthy and to engage her while I'm at work.

    It doesn't help that we live in a foreign country where he is the native speaker(Dutch) and so he defaults as the responsible party for any new home things that are quirky and leave me scratching my head. The other day I couldn't figure out how our friggin heating system worked - and I actually speak Dutch now too. It's a lot on his plate, and I so do not want to ignore all that.

    I think a tactic I need to take is going back to meditating when I can, since a lot of the defensiveness comes from old anxiety thoughts ("he doesn't like me anymore," "I suck as a mom and wife," etc etc), and whenever I feel the need to defend, take a deep breath.

  4. #14
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    Originally Posted by leseine7
    We have not had much - if any - time alone as a couple, which I suspect is an enormous factor. We both used to be VERY conscious of couple time and would prioritise that even during busy or difficult times.

    Part of the problem IMO is my husband seems to feel extremely guilty if we do anything without our daughter. I nannied for years before having her and I guess I might have a more relaxed view on things, because I fully adore and love her, but I don't have the same feeling of anxiety if we do something alone as a couple (obviously making sure she's in good hands in our absence). He's uber anxious about her being abandoned or us being "That couple that can't ever do things WITH the baby" and wants her along for every minute. I love that about him, but I also think it would be really nice if he could relax and have dinner out with me and know that our family friend, who is a mom of two and going to be taking care of her one day a week when we are both back at work full time in November, is probably not going to neglect our child!!
    Try date "breakfast" at home -like if she is napping or "date coffee" to reconnect at home while she is napping, etc - it doesn't have to mean a sitter or going out or leaving her - I got this advice from a mom of 8 children married to a man who is really active in the community. I don't think you have to sacrifice the couple part just because you have a baby -you also can connect when baby is right there

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    What, exactly, does he want you to do that he believes you're not doing?

    If you don't know that answer to this, it means that he's speaking in abstractions--and nobody has a shot at tackling those because they mean different things to different people. So I'd ask for specifics. Not when he's edgy, but when he's in a generous mood. I'd tell him that I want a list from him of things of value to him so that I can try to negotiate at least some of those actions into my days. He can even prioritize the list.

    If he balks at this, I'd stay on it in a way that is kind spirited and peppered with appreciation for many of the things he does for our family. I'd consider it a personal favor if he'd be specific about the areas of our household where he feels least supported while giving me the information I need to address those areas a practical way.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    What, exactly, does he want you to do that he believes you're not doing?
    That's my question, too. Did you ask him?

    What stood out to me is this:

    Originally Posted by leseine7
    If he does eventually open up, it's usually in anger, and he'll tell me how he's exhausted because he's "Doing everything" and I'm not doing anything. If I react by telling him all the things I'm doing around the house/ in life in general, he says nothing and then challenges it by saying, "You make that sound like it's much of anything."
    I think it could help your situation if you react with a question instead of a defense.

    There's no doubt in my mind that you have a lot on your plate with your new baby. Both of you.

    But when you respond by defending yourself--even if your defense is justified--It usually makes the other person feel like they're not being heard. And in some ways, they actually aren't being heard.

    Maybe there's something easy that you can help him with. Maybe you can trade chores in a way that would benefit both of you. Maybe there's nothing you can do... but it still helps to ask and have a conversation about it and entertain the idea shifting things around a little.

    Having the chance to talk, vent, and brainstorm about the problem could help to ease both of your frustrations.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    That's my question, too. Did you ask him?

    What stood out to me is this:



    I think it could help your situation if you react with a question instead of a defense.

    There's no doubt in my mind that you have a lot on your plate with your new baby. Both of you.

    But when you respond by defending yourself--even if your defense is justified--It usually makes the other person feel like they're not being heard. And in some ways, they actually aren't being heard.

    Maybe there's something easy that you can help him with. Maybe you can trade chores in a way that would benefit both of you. Maybe there's nothing you can do... but it still helps to ask and have a conversation about it and entertain the idea shifting things around a little.

    Having the chance to talk, vent, and brainstorm about the problem could help to ease both of your frustrations.
    Yes, exactly where I was going in my thinking as well. It reminds you that you are on the same team, and are there for each other.
    Even in a super loving, supportive relationship sometimes edges get frayed. It's ok, it's a workable situation because you do honestly have each other's best interests in mind and each other's backs.

    We have been moving this weekend. No baby, and it's enough work with regular things to do as well!
    At one point today, in between ' ok now this, now that, you got that?' , I stopped him to give him a hug. He sort of slumped into me and told me his back was killing him, he really needed that hug. He had not let on at all! And I've found that with a lot of men, sorry to generalize here, that they will suck it up and keep it to themselves until it's at breaking point or some catalyst interrupts it.

    I was thinking of your thread after, and how little check ins like that have been like a glue for us.

    You both sound like amazing people and partners, so I'm wishing you the best with moving forward.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member Heather Dawn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leseine7
    I'm ashamed to say that I did not know (although I could imagine) that men suffer from PPD as well. After researching this a little, I am alarmed and actually do think he fits the description. The tricky thing is getting HIM to consider a doc, because after discussing my concerns with him as calmly and lovingly as I could, he still viewed everything I was saying as criticism and kept repeating, "I'm happy!!!" Which is probably TRUE, in theory, but I see a lot of concerning reactions/ behaviours (yelling and getting frustrated at the drop of a hat, etc.), that are completely unnatural for him.

    I might consider talking with the doctor alone about it to see what they say?
    Absolutely speak with your doctor for some advice.

    Men don't always recognize depression for what it is - and that's why it's tricky. And almost no one realizes that men can have PPD. Not to mention, many people deny they're dealing with it out of shame or confusion, etc.

    I have a just-turned three-year-old, so it hasn't been that long since I've lived through the new baby phase. If you want to chat, feel free to message me. :)

  10. #19
    Platinum Member Heather Dawn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Try date "breakfast" at home -like if she is napping or "date coffee" to reconnect at home while she is napping, etc - it doesn't have to mean a sitter or going out or leaving her - I got this advice from a mom of 8 children married to a man who is really active in the community. I don't think you have to sacrifice the couple part just because you have a baby -you also can connect when baby is right there
    We do this. My little guy just turned three, and we've only ever left him with my mom - and only during the day when my husband's been at work and I've needed to go out without him. So what we do, instead of date nights out, is we instituted a strict bedtime once our son turned 2.5, and that gives us a few hours each evening to just be a couple. We watch TV, play video games, have sex...whatever we want.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by Heather Dawn
    We do this. My little guy just turned three, and we've only ever left him with my mom - and only during the day when my husband's been at work and I've needed to go out without him. So what we do, instead of date nights out, is we instituted a strict bedtime once our son turned 2.5, and that gives us a few hours each evening to just be a couple. We watch TV, play video games, have sex...whatever we want.
    Same. We've had him on a routine bedtime since he was 10 weeks old (when he started sleeping through the night, which he did until he was almost 7 years old and we hit a long rough patch). But generally we get couple time every night and sometimes now that he is in school we do day dates.

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