DH driving me insane

Jennifer - posted on 12/06/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Not really baby related, per se, but I don't know who else to talk to. All my friends IRL know DH also, so can't talk to them.

DH and I are going through a really rough time. We've had communication issues our whole marriage, but never went to counseling. In hindsight, we should've done that before having a baby. Now, we are in therapy, but I'm not sure it's working.

I feel like DH ignores what I tell him I need, and instead guesses about what I need based on my complaints. He has said he does things that he thinks I need (guesses), based on what I complain about. I complain about being tied to LO all the time (I'm a SAHM). I do this because I want him to tell me how much he appreciates me sacrificing my career for our family. Plus, I breastfeed, again because I think it's best for LO. This means she's that much more tied to me. Again, he doesn't tell me or show me he appreciates this.

I have told him all this, including telling him why I complain, and what I need from him when I complain. (I need him to listen, to tell/show his appreciation, and other times to just sympathize and tell me it sucks.)

He doesn't remember the real reason why I complain; instead, he does things like try to put DD down for a nap by himself (which she's not used to.) He's unsuccessful at it, and ends up upsetting her, making her overtired, and delaying her nap by 30-60 minutes. Which makes my job harder in the long run.

I can't get him to understand this. I feel alone, and like I said, I have no female friends who aren't married to DH's friends. I'm scared we won't make it through this rough patch. I'm tired and frustrated with his lack of listening. I want him to listen and respond to the needs I tell him I have, instead of dreaming up ways to fix the needs HE thinks I have.

Please tell me I'm not alone. Please help me.

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Mylene - posted on 12/06/2009

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Men need specifics. No complaints, just basic sentences stating what you need from him. They are not mind readers. Neither are you. The fact that he is having a hard time putting baby to sleep is hurting him too. Men pride themselves on being selfsufficient, but babies change the whole dynamic since they spend most of their time with mum. Baby and Dad need to get to know each other and that does not happen in a day.

When my husband is home, I ask him to change her, and sometimes feed her when I have pumped or to just spend time with her so that I can take a shower or eat. I have to tell him exactly what I need from him, even if it is just come sit an talk to me. I can see it in his eyes that he gets hurt when baby starts crying for Mommy, but just like we have to get to know our baby those first days or weeks, they have to get to know baby too and sometimes do things their own way (even if it creates problems for mom).

If we constantly swoop in to save the day, dad will shut down and be unresponsive to our needs. Unfortunately, it's a male thing.

Like it or not, most fathers think taking care of a baby is just changing a diaper, feeding and putting baby down to sleep. It kinda freeks them out finding out it's a lot more than that. Don't put up with any bs about doing nothing all day. My husband found out the hard way (I went out for four hours and he was at his wits end). I don't recommend this. But you also need to spend quality time with your husband (if possible just the two of you) to be able to reconnect.

Many men also feel left out when baby comes, because we spend so much time with the baby. Don't forget that it was only the two of you for a long time. Men don't have the capacity to adjust as fast as we do, and we often tend to ignore their needs for our own.

Have you stopped to ask your husband if he has anything he needs from you? If he feels lonely since baby has come?

We get so wrapped up in our own needs, because baby takes so much of our time, that we forget that boyfriends and husbands are people too.

Communication is key. No blaming, no names, no hints or belittleling. Just sit down, preferably when baby is napping, and have a calm conversation. I did. I started by appologizing for expecting so much of him. I told him how I appreciated the time he spends with baby and the good things he does for both of us. I also told him what I needed, specifically, and how I felt when he does certain things. I told him I needed him to understand that it is hard to be a mom, but that I also understood that it is hard to be a dad. We made a deal to have a date (just us, grandma babysits) once a month minimum, to reconnect. And if I need help, I ask, I don't expect him to guess.

It was rough, but good communication is a step in the right direction and counselling can certainly help you acheive a better relationship with your DH.

Hope this helps.

Iysha - posted on 12/06/2009

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I felt the same way for a long time after I had my baby. My fiance just didn't get it. I was a student and worked for an oral surgeon before i had my baby. He had just started schooling to be an auto technician about 3 months before i had my baby. We always had our issues, but the worst part was when I was in the hospital for preterm labor. He wasn't there for me in my 9 day stay at the hospital...he spent the night twice, my mother was there the rest of the nights with me. When He came to visit, he was there an hour max. When my daughter was born, he was there and did an amazing job, he exceeded my expectations. However, that night, he left to hang out with his buddy and didn't return until the morning. I felt like he didn't care about me, didn't love me and just didn't get the fact that I needed him there with me. After that, it all went down hill.



He had the nerve to tell me that I did nothing all day. I was on maternity leave and visiting with our daughter all day in the NICU. When she came home 17 days later, i was taking care of her...and he told me I did nothing all day. He would say, "it's not like you are going to school or working or anything," Ok, I was on maternity leave, before then, I was a student and working...while he was at home doing nothing, really doing nothing. I felt horrible for about 3 months. It just didn't seem fair that he could treat me so badly, not be there for me and not help me.



I finally told him what I needed him to do for me. I told him that I felt like he didn't care, I told him specifically what it was I wasn't happy with. i told him I felt abandoned by him at the hospital, I felt like he didn't appreciate all I have done for him, that I felt overwhelmed being home all day with nobody to talk to except the baby. I even told him how i wanted to leave him, that I felt like nothing was ever going to get better and that I just didn't know what else I could do to make him understand me and be a better boyfriend.



It took a while, but I found out what was wrong with him, and me. I just blamed him for not knowing how I felt, when I never really told him what I wanted, what I needed, what I felt he was doing wrong or most importantly, what I needed him to do for me. I just wanted him to be home every night...not leave me to sleep in my bed alone, to spend time with me and to help me with the baby. That's it. I wanted him to just know what I wanted/needed, but he wasn't like that...I don't mind telling him, i just don't like that I have to. But, i guess telling him what I want and getting it is better than wanting him to just get it and him not even being close. lol.



He doesn't put Kylie to bed right either...I used to get so annoyed because she would get cranky and it would be hard to get her down after that...so I decided that it would be better if that stayed my job...So instead, he will feed her her last bottle for the night when i ask him to...sometimes he'll tell me to just give her to him so he can feed her. He enjoys it. He understands that I work hard ( I am working again) and that at the end of the day, I still want to take care of Kylie....but he offers help if I look real tired. We decided that if I don't really need help, I should try and do it on my own, If I need help, I should ask for it and he will do what I ask. Most of the time it's just to clean the bottles, to change her, to hold her and keep her entertained while I get ready. I kind of had him as a "baby sitter"for a while... like I bring everything she will need to the room he will be in and let him know what time she eats again and measure out her formula for him in those travle cases so he doesn't have to deal with measuring and have enough diapers and have the wipes in plain sight and let him know that if she gets dirty, the clothes that fit her are in the first and second drawer in her dresser. lol. I know he can feed her, so I can leave the feeding to him as well as the diaper changing if I am not there. If she is awake too long in the day, it isn't an issue for me anymore...I get home before 6pm so if she's cranky from not sleeping since 2, I just put her down for a nap and relax with him.



I had thought of counseling too but I just didn't feel comfortable with it. i had taken intrapersonal communication classes in college and just tried to apply some of it to my relationship. i picked my battles in reguard to help. I knew that I sometimes just thought I deserved help rather than actually needing help....i just wanted it because I thought I did a whole lot and i should just automatically be entitled to it...I neglected to see it from my Partner's point of view...he didn't work, but he went to school at 6 am and got home at 12pm. He had homework, he likes his time to himself...and I'm not saying that it was ok for him to put me down and put himself on a pedistool for going to school while I was on maternity leave, but It was also unfair of me to assume that I was going to have everything done for me only because I wanted it done. We both underestemated eachothers "jobs." being a SAHM is hard work, so is School, so is being a Surgical Assistant...We just needed to know that it wasn't ok for us to belittle eachother and think of ouselves as better than the other. We also needed to talk to eachother the right way, in an effective way to come to compromises and the reality of our situations. I almost always would blow things out of proportion and he would just call me names....not a good effective way to get what we both wanted. Now, we talk and I am sure that is what the counseling you and your partner will help teach you two to do also. I had to be the one to start the process... I was the one who had the problem...I thought he was in the wrong all the time and he was just clueless about what he was doing wrong or not doing at all.



I can now say that I am much happier, our relationship is growing (not perfect but we are working towards as close to perfection as possible), and I feel like there is hope for us...for me, the thought that it was never going to get better was the worst part. He is a good daddy, and he realizes now that what he was doing was not the best thing he could have been doing at the time and he has shown me how much he regrets his past actions. All it took was me to be the one to think, "what can I do to make things better?" and stop thinking, "he is doing everything wrong."



Relationships are hard and they take real dedication. Things will get better for you and your partner. Counceling is a great step and shows that you two are both willing to work on your relationship and love eachother and that you both want the same thing... to have a wonderful, happy, healthy relationship with eachother.



I don't know if this has helped you at all, but here is what was going on with me and my relationship...do what you want with it...apply it to your situation, think it's retarded, or just take comfort in knowing you are not alone at all.

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