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leseine7 last won the day on June 25 2019

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About leseine7

  • Birthday 01/12/1985

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  1. Hi all, I've posted here before - around a year ago - about stress in my relationship with my husband since our daughter was born about a year 1/2 ago. We've had our ups and downs, but since COVID it's just been a nightmare and we have nearly split up many times. I'm not totally sure what the right thing to do is. Somewhere around Jan I started seeing a therapist after he refused to. I realized I cannot force him to see someone, even though I was deeply concerned about the amount of conflict in our relationship. Therapy was a wonderful help for me and I was able to really get a handle on so many things - not just relationship-related issues. For a time, that helped, but I felt like day after day starting around March we could not avoid fighting. Most of the time, I just feel like I cannot please my husband. He comes from a home where his mother is such a neat freak that the minute you leave the room, she's already cleaned up your place, the table, and put everything back where it originally was. She is the Belgian Marie Kondo (my husband is Belgian). I admire this quality in her, because try as I might - I cannot excel to that level of tidiness. But, I really do my best - I make charts, I clean the house top to bottom on designated days of the week while our daughter naps, I meal plan and prep with my husband, I make lunches and breakfast. I've noticed that I actually tend to do a lot more of the chores around the house, but this doesn't bother me. My husband takes care of the drop-offs of our daughter at daycare (when safe), or to doctors' appts, or he runs the errands. This all makes sense because I can't drive and he can. This all to say - I am not perfect and I sometimes forget things in the business of life (just like he does - just like everyone), and can't always make time for every single details, but I do my best. I can honestly say I am striving every day to be a better person. A better colleague at work. A better mother. A better person, a better wife. All areas seem to be going okay but my husband and I. I don't know how to explain this except to say that I feel overly criticised and when I repeatedly ask him to try to focus on what IS getting done and not to "keep score" of the number of times I've forgotten to write down when we're out of a grocery item, or forgot to fold the laundry right away, he honestly doesn't seem capable of this. The cycle is that he'll "joke" almost every day about how "Oh, Mom forgot to do that again..." or "why did you move that there? What are you thinking?" The jokes are confusing to me mixed with genuine arguments around how little I do for the home and marriage. Then I won't react positively to the "joke," and he will get angry and roll his eyes and sigh that I don't understand his humour. Then, I'll confront the jokes to try to understand what it all means, since it gives me a weird feeling, and he'll suddenly spill the beans that he feels totally alone and like he's running everything and has no help from me. Then I react by getting upset because I feel like I'm constantly on a hamster wheel of trying to get everything done so that he'll be satisfied. I recently achieved a promotion at work and I'll admit that I am busier as a result, but I block my schedule to be home right at 5:30/6pm. I take half a day off Tuesdays to be with our daughter. I make sure to take the time to take care of as many chores as possible in the hours we have - yet I still can't please him. I eventually blew up because on my side, while him having someone to take care of the house and home, feed him, etc., is a sign of love - mine is how we speak to each other and how we treat one another. I feel like just asking him to be a little bit nicer is impossible for him. I just want us to take some quality time together even if it means there's a night where we don't have all the laundry and dishes done ASAP. We never let things pile up and our house is as spotless as it can be with a toddler, but I can't meet his standards and I feel worn out. When I told him it would be nice for me if we could have a date night - even if it's from home and only once a month given COVID etc - he was super defensive and asked why I haven't planned one (I've tried many times, and he was always too tired or didn't think it was necessary.) I feel helpless. He says he loves me and wants to be in this marriage, but I feel like I'm his employee or something. I just want to feel comfortable at home and not always be worried about if I've done all the chores - especially since I feel like I'm non-stop doing them to begin with. One final note is about therapy. We had a bad fight a month or so ago and he reacted in a way that disturbed us both. (Major rage response - no physical violence but threat to harm himself) I exited the room and he sat and cried and promised to go get help ASAP. Well, he started going to therapy and didn't like the doctor he was paired with and has refused to go back. So I just feel trapped and concerned and freaked out, and our daughter has witnessed so much more conflict in her short life so far than I ever would have wanted. I need tips on how to stop the cycle - I am not looking to divorce right now, I am looking at finding a new therapist for myself, but need a lot of advice on this. TIA.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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?
  6. 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!!
  7. I really hoped I wouldn't be writing this, but I need to figure things out, so here I am. I had our daughter end of May, and for the most part the motherhood thing has been wonderful. I love her so much. So so much it hurts. I am so proud to be her mother, and I need to emphasise this because I feel so guilty about all the rest. I had a pretty rough labor and my body has struggled to recover. That's one thing. On top of that, my husband and I had planned to move to a house (from a one bedroom apartment) just a couple of months after she was born. The house is lovely and in the same village as my office, so on that front I'm also very happy. But, it's a rickety old Dutch house in an old farm village, and there is a lot to do. House is in good shape. But still. It's a house. I have not seen my family much - most of them I haven't seen since Christmas. I live here in the Netherlands, and my whole family is in NY. My parents visited, but I was so stressed and busy with the move and postpartum craziness that I barely feel like I managed to enjoy any time with them. But (sigh) I have to admit the stress factor is 100% coming from my marriage. I hate to say any of this, because my husband is an incredible person. He's the type of guy every woman I know wants to be married to - doting, thoughtful, on top of things, cooks me dinner (honestly, he handles most if not all of the food situation at home), hands-on with our baby and just, overall, a lovely, attractive, loving man. So let me get this straight now: I'm very happy with him and I intend to work this out. The baby, the move and many factors in his family have caused him to be a nagging, at times neurotic, moody, critical person lately and that mixed with my sleep deprivation, homesickness and hormones is a tricky combination. When my parents were visiting my mom noted that my husband was not himself, and she seemed very concerned that I was "walking on eggshells." He was snapping at just about everyone, including my parents, which made me livid and I couldn't keep quiet about how shocked and concerned I was. We've been in a cycle now where he tells me frequently that Im amazing and handling everything beautifully, only to randomly be quiet, sullen and withdrawn for no reason. If I ask what's wrong, he will withdraw further. 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." He's always had a tough spot when it comes to home stuff. he gets restless and hates to clean, and I actually LOVE to clean, so I am the one who usually scrubs the fridge, organises our pantries and closets, irons, and so on. It's a relaxing thing for me, and it helps me feel like my home is in good shape when life gets nuts. But it's almost like, because he doesn't see me sweat over dishes, he doesn't realize that I am doing these things. Because I don't mind and don't complain about getting up three times a night to nurse our baby girl, it's like he forgets I even did it. I'll sometimes be nursing her while he's working on something in the house, and he'll turn and say, "Enjoying a little relax moment?" I cannot stress enough how abundantly out of character all of this is of him. I've reacted by taking a step back and writing to him when calm in a rational way to just say, "look, we need to find a way to chill with each other a little bit..." and he'll agree that he was out of line, he's sorry, he knows I'm doing a lot, etc etc. But then not three days later, he'll make a "joke" about how I am not doing anything, and I will be in the same position of wondering if I need to defend myself and tell him what I'm up to or just try to let it go, even if his comments break me down. I know that he's stressed out. I am too. I just miss how we were before the baby. He's always had his moody moments, but they've never been so pointed right at me. I feel like I cannot move in this house without setting him off. I feel like when I try to take a breather here and there, I'm almost certainly getting behind on something he wants me to help with. I'm also deeply concerned about his stress level because - again - this is truly out of character for him. Ive been trying to find us a couples counsellor for awhile now. It seems to be a fruitless search here, for reasons Ill get into another time. I just know that I cannot keep up with the demands he places on me and I don't want to watch our marriage go down the drain. Any thoughts out there are deeply appreciated. It's hard to write a post like this without making my husband sound like a monster so I do want to emphasise that he does so much for us and I'm sure there is more i can do to let the tense moments pass. I just wish they wouldn't arise to begin with. Ok, vent over.
  8. What about just saying upfront that it's a deal breaker for you? You'll get an honest response from a decent guy, and most likely he'd be able to set it aside for the relationship. I am a girl who likes and watches porn occasionally - I am a decent woman, and my husband knows I do this - it does not hinder our marriage or our sex life. However, if he said to me that it was a deal breaker, I'd cut it out completely. There's a difference between enjoying some sexual exploration and having an addiction to it.
  9. I actually want to ask you why you feel like being honest with her, in what seems like a perfectly respectful manner, is "screwing up"? You are her partner, and the person closest to her. Are you not allowed to occasionally and gently give her feedback like this? While I commend you for your ability to see that perhaps you could've been more sensitive (if you were harsher than intended), my feeling is that in a marriage you should be able to discuss these types of concerns openly. It's not the same as putting her down or being unnecessarily critical. In fact, she might need to hear it from you to help her have a different perspective. While she can't control your work environment and isn't responsible for how you feel coming home at the end of the day, her constant ruminating in negativity will only make the process of figuring out the fertility issues harder (and stress will make getting pregnant very difficult). I encourage marriage counselling because if this stage is posing some difficulty between you two, certainly going through pregnancy and after with all the fluctuating hormones, life change and sleep deprivation will be even more of a challenge. Every couple - even a solid one - can benefit from that kind of guidance.
  10. I have to agree with these other posters. Granted, I know nothing of the relationship you guys are in - if the intention is that you are technically co-parenting as partners and there is an equal balance of housework and childcare between the two of you. Unfortunately, though, it doesn't sound that way. It sounds like she was trying to help you out by nannying your kids one day a week and you are taking that miserably for granted. Let me be real: I have a three month old baby at home who naps for half the day and is portable - and can't mouth off to me yet other than screaming her little head off when she's hungry or tired. Even with that, it is a freakin VICTORY if I manage to do housework during the day. If I can shower, stop to eat three meals and even run an errand or two with her in the buggy successfully, my husband - who works, divides the work between us evenly and entered into parenthood willingly with me - kisses me and hugs me when he gets home and praises me for the one tiny insignificant thing I did. This my long way of saying that if it is that difficult for me with my ten years of prior nanny experience (getting paid for it) behind me, I cannot imagine how hard it is for your girlfriend, who had no hand in raising your kids, who has to deal with their attitudes and demands all day while you work. Forgive me sir, but you should be kissing the floor she walks on rather than giving her attitude for not waiting on you and your family hand and foot. If my husband got into it with me about what I've managed to do in the day to the point where I felt the need to justify all that I did, I would be extremely concerned about our marriage. If we were just dating, I'd be out the door. Are your kids alive? Fed? Relatively happy after a day with her? That's literally all that matters.
  11. Hate to re-open this thread (I might consider opening a new one, but I don't want to open this up to a huge debate just yet). I've been on maternity leave since May, and am about to return at the end of this month right on schedule. I met with my boss Friday to discuss my return schedule. As I mentioned in my latest update to this thread, I had sat down with him before my departure in April to talk over all the nitty gritty before I left. He'd made very clear how valued I am and how happy the company is with my work. He told me that when I returned, I would continue working with my direct report, whom I'd interviewed, hired and trained the months before I left, and would likely have one additional direct report on that team by the time I came back. This would put me in a leadership position, which I had already begun taking on happily. He also stated that I would be receiving a raise because I had clearly grown "significantly in value since beginning my role." I had helped double the size of our staff in the 8 months I had worked there before leaving, along with taking on significant operational tasks and going "above and beyond." In two separate meetings, he described giving me a raise when I returned, OR giving me a flexible return schedule of my working 80% when I returned without a ding to my salary. In the Netherlands, opting to work 80% as a mother after maternity leave is completely allowed and cannot be denied by the employer, but it's of course expected that your salary would take a hit. Anyway, a few things have developed during my maternity leave, personally, one of these being that there are no daycares in our area that will take our daughter for more than four days a week (they are all under-staffed), making it crucial that my husband or I stay home with her one day a week, opting for that 80% schedule. The other thing is that my husband's father was just diagnosed with lymphoma and will be undergoing difficult treatments in the coming months, and I do not want my husband to be the one to therefore take the four day schedule in the event that he needs to travel to be with him frequently (which we are anticipating due to his family dynamics). In my meeting on Friday, I laid out the desire to return on the 80% schedule, as my boss had offered before I left. I only brought up salary to say, "I know this normally means a lower salary." To put the ball in his court to address this, since he had mentioned twice that I was up for a raise and/or could take the flex schedule (without feeling it financially). He simply nodded and said, "it will be proportional to the hours you work." He didn't mention anything about direct reports in our conversation, and made it seem like I'll be returning on pretty much the same role I was at the very beginning. We left things very positively, and I did not discuss anything further because we had run out of time. I want to keep an open mind, because my boss is not someone who just throws around casual compliments or raises without careful consideration. But I can't help but feeling like my situation there has changed while I've been gone, which is disheartening. I'm uncomfortable bringing up the raise, and I'm bracing myself to see the hit in my salary with the one day off once returning. I should mention that, salary-wise, I am already making considerably less than the market rate here for my role, but I was okay with that when I joined because the company was just starting and personnel was very thin - I was one of a team of three at the time, and the workload was small. Since then, we've grown significantly and my role has naturally taken on much more responsibility, which I've been up for. I have not approached this role from a salary perspective, rather, it is the first role of this type (Operations) and I've been eager to learn and grow within it. I know from a financial perspective that the company can afford to bump my salary up, but I haven't said anything because, well, it's only been a year (less than that, with my maternity leave), and I didn't want to give the impression that I'm always just looking for the money. I would open up the conversation again to see if the raise is still on the table as discussed, however, for my sanity going in after a few months off being a new Mom, I don't really want to rock the boat and would prefer it be a smooth transition. The way I see it, two things may have happened: 1. He forgot about our conversations. (Always possible, given his insane schedule. He has had moments where he's repeated conversations with me or forgotten conversations we've had- I think this happens to people when they're stretched thin). 2. He decided against the raise after I left because my direct report did a great job (I think this is the fear of just about every working Mom who goes out on maternity leave with a maternity cover in her place). Ok, there is a 3. He is still planning to give me the raise and just won't change my salary when I switch schedule. He tends to just adjust the payroll from our accountants, so it is possible. But that would be a 20% raise to allow me a day off without any change to salary, so I'm kind of doubting this one. Any thoughts? Anyone else been in this predicament?
  12. Had an ex who pathologically (and expertly) lied to me the entire time we dated - for two years. I found out at the very end that he had dated two other girls the whole time we were dating. I'd asked him early on when we started sleeping together if he was seeing anyone else because he didn't want to use condoms (I was on the pill), and I wanted us both to be tested for STDs before we started sleeping together. When he finally confessed about the other women in the picture, he told me "But I used condoms every time. That was very important to me." I still want to vomit when I remember that conversation. Needless to say, after that convo I told him never to speak to me again, blocked him everywhere and got tested for every single STD on the planet. On top of those offences, he regularly turned into a raging monster on me out of nowhere and seemed to have a three-week limit of time where he could act peaceful and sane before randomly sending me texts in the middle of the night that made no sense, stirring up confusion and drama and, when I had broken up with him, accusing me of hacking his social media accounts (there's a long post about that in my history from 2014 if you're eager to read about that experience). I tried to break things off a number of times after feeling like he was unstable and he would show up on my subway car, in front of my house, and even IN THE SAME EUROPEAN CITY I lived in after I had moved away. In the end, after blocking him everywhere and finally piecing it all together, I determined that he must have had some kind of personality disorder. There were tons of red flags that he did that I wasn't aware of until after the fact. But, okay, that's my answer to "Anyone have similar experiences?" Here's my advice: Stop. Focusing. On. Her. I'll echo what others have said. It doesn't matter - sometimes it can help feel better by focusing on what was wrong with the other person but all it does is perpetuate your attention on her. What I find happens then is that in your fixation, you wind up attracted to someone else who has similar characteristics, get involved, and the cycle repeats itself. By thinking so much about her you are keeping that relationship alive. Break the cycle. Get away. Remember what happened and learn the lessons, but spend this time evolving past it with a therapist, good support network and even by writing here, if it helps. But believe me, she would probably only be flattered to know you've wasted a long time writing that lengthy post just about her.
  13. What's with the extreme amount of daily chats? This seems like an unrealistic (and unhealthy IMO) amount of contact during the day. I am normally a much bigger fan of in person chats than texting being the bigger vehicle for communication, but a phone call MULTIPLE times a day? Even in the pre-texting era, when I had a long distance relationship, I had one phone call a day, and that was more than plenty. So first off, have you told her you don't like calling that often? Has she explained why she is so text-averse? Is it literally for every single text you want to send, she requires a phone conversation? Also... do you guys have work? School? The bigger issue I see here is that you feel like you have to be in touch all day long. That is not a healthy foundation for any relationship.
  14. It's good that you are looking for professional help - I do not know Toronto well enough to make a recommendation for a specific service. I will say that lack of sleep is absolutely a trigger for unstable emotions. If you recognise that as a problem, then you should start there - try to start getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and if you struggle with insomnia then be sure to talk with your doctor about that and find ways of helping get more sleep. In terms of anger - what are the causes of your anger? Are you going through a particularly difficult time or a circumstance that's causing you to feel more angry than usual? Are you directing it at others? It is important to get ahold of your anger. We all get angry, but that's not an excuse to lash out, and if you know you don't have good control over it, you need to find a way to do so. When you feel anger rising, take deep breaths, remove yourself from the situation (walk away, if you are in a fight with a loved one, tell them "I need to step away so that I can calm down instead of saying or doing something in anger.") - go find a room or a clear area and breathe deeply for ten seconds focusing only on your breath. Do not revisit the situation until you are calmer. Find some activities or exercise that will also help - running can be a good way of channeling stress or anger. Meditating is wonderful and you can download the Headspace app and meditate for 5-10 minutes as a place to start. I am not sure if we are allowed to suggest a professional service on this site but if you have found something that might work - like the center in Toronto - I recommend you go asap to get a handle on any violent outbursts, which can be dangerous to yourself and others.
  15. Look, all we have to go on is your side of the story, but here's my take after reading your posts: 1. She left you, started a relationship with another man, and has made clear she is unwilling to work on the issues or talk with you about them. 2. You have had issues in your relationship going back awhile now. You seem to know what those were on your part. This is not one-sided - she has issues too. You are willing to work on them together and she is not. 3. She pressed charges against you for actions you state you never did. What you need to do now is focus on you, resolve the matter that is being brought up against you - work with a lawyer to settle the charges however possible. Move on from this woman because as you describe her she is extremely unstable and unpredictable, and these circumstances are not healthy for you or your family. Stop wallowing in what you did wrong, accept that it is over (and that is probably for the best), and try to work on mending the mess as much as possible for yourself and your kids.
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