what can I do about dh's view of me? long and ranty - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here I am again, looking for more advice and support.

We took our trip back east to see our families for the first time in three years and with our five month old dd. It was very intense but the family part was more managable than I had thought, it was teething dd, missing our flight home, getting stuck in construction etc that was most difficult. Still, there were highlights...my father playing with my daughter and her laughter, havign a bonfire on the beach with old friends and family, leading them in song, I felt more myself than I have where we are living in years and I have TRIED so hard to make friends, be my creative self etc here. I continue to try, but some places it is harder, not as many like minded ppl etc.

In any case Dh is generally very supportive, even since our very traumatic c-section and postpartum time he has been dedicated, helped so much with baby care cooking etc. He has told me (as always)I'm beautiful etc. even now, he has told me he's still attracted. We had many talks while I was pregnant about how my body would change etc. and he was cool with it. I thought I got lucky. Then, yesterday, I asked if he wanted to go swimming that day and out of the blue he began ranting a bit and saying how "concerned" he was about my health. It was very odd. I got a bit defensive and I wasn't sure why, it just seemed like it wasn't about me. He seemed pushy about me "getting in shape"...it was especially odd since I DO exercise a fair bit (walking a LOT with nearly 20lb dd on me up giant hills etc) and I swim, mom and baby yoga etc. it is hard with ehr right now but I look nearly the same as before I was pregnant except slightly bigger/saggier breasts and a tummy pooch with stretch marks. other than his very physical work he doesn't exercise at all. Anyway, I feel better than I did in a while despite how hard my high needs dd is. He kept going on. I migth also addit was my idea to go on a healthier diet with no sweets etc. when we got back from this trip as we had indulged a bit and felt gross about it....

anyway, he eventually stopped talking about it, but kept nagging me to go for a walk with him. he wanted to walk all the way to a park which would take over an hour one way and it was over 40 degrees (celcius) and ear;y afternoon. I said it was too hot for dd who had a fever anyway from teething. Finally we went but I wasn't super happy about it. We argued when we were there about me not wanting to be there and he snappily said we shoudl move to another climate so I\d exercise (I do dislike the heat, moving here was his choice which I went along with knowing I choose the next place).

Anyway, after sitting under a tree a while with me asking him several time sto respond to me while I shared my feelings, which he asked me to do, he finally said he had something to get off his chest. He feels terrible, guilty etc. I'm thinking he cheated on me. He says he's not as attracted to me physically as he used to be. This hurt. I had asked him this during the rant about my health earlier and he said no, so to hear it two hourslate was confusing. He said watching a video we had made 4-5 years earlier (our first year together) with me in it made him realize this. I was skinnier in the video, yes, butI actually don't look that much different, other than the baby stuff. I aske dhim, was it that I was skinnier or happier, he says "both". wth? he has always maintained he preferrs women with meat on their bones. I personally feel I was a bit under my ideal weight then. Also my haircut is even almost the same now...he said he still loves me, wants to be with me, then got me flowers, said he hates himself...I don't even know what to think. I feel disgusted, confused, and...disturbed and I'm havign troubvkle trusting him. wwyd? we have always been very close and other than one time when we were first together when I had feelings for someone else briefly we';ve never been through this. We are both 23 and fairly healthy and attractive...

please help.

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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btw I know for sure he did not cheat on me, just in case that factors in to your responses.

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:33 AM
 
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Well, it made me think 2 things reading this:

1. He is worried about how YOU feel about YOU (i.e. you say "i'm fat" or "i hate the way i look now" or don't want to do activities you used to do anymore because of how you feel about your body) and he wants the "old you" to shine through and thinks you getting back to more how you used to be will help, or

2. He is actually finding the slight weight gain a problem (maybe he really liked you too thin?) and is trying to tell you about it?

Because i don't know either of you i can't say which it is, or even if it's a 3rd i've not thought of (very possible). I know my DH is constantly offering me the chance to get out for a run. I know he loves me and is attracted to me, but i know he knows i don't love my post-partum body and running would help my mood and my figure. Sorry i wasn't much help.

Can you ask him for clarification?
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:54 AM
 
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He's being immature and ridiculous and needs to deal with the fact that you're both going to get older and have changes happen to your bodies as a result of parenting and getting older. I'd tell him you're still going to love him when he starts losing his hair and getting wrinkles, and to get over himself, and also, news flash, nobody looks the same when they're 23 as they did when they were 18 even if they HAVEN'T had a baby, because the early 20s is when a lot of people develop their adult body type. Tell him he doesn't look exactly like he did when he was that age, either!

That said, if his issue is really with your attitude toward yourself and not the way you look (although it doesn't sound that way to me), maybe doing some things that make you feel better about yourself would make you more attractive to yourself and to him.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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he seems to think it is the weight...but honestly it isn't that significant and he said I look the same to him as pre=pregnancy...whicjh still isn't quite the same size as 4-5 years ago but it makes me wonder how long he's felt this way...he said he only really realized when he saw the video, but we've been going through a bit of a hard stretch since being here...two years ago we often had arguments about how I always initiated sex... I just feel very confused... this doesn't "fit" at alll...he has told me he finds certain bigger than average women attractive many times and skinnier women not so much. he doesn't seem clear himself...the last fewmonths have been super rough but our relationbship seemed pretty stable. He said it's him, he needs to work on himself but it didn't sound convincing and he's not really sure what that would be.

We've been snappign at each other a lot lately and I would say I'm ntop as attracted to him on an emotional level but physically yes...he is a very sweet man but...I don';t even know how to begin to tease this apart./ it may sound strupid and trivial but the whole thing is very heavy in how it was discussed etc...I feel so lost.

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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Maybe it's not a physical thing maybe he just can't get his head round you being a mother and having to share you and this is the way he is expressing himself.

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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This honestly doesn't sound like it really has anything to do with your appearance. I'm guessing he watched the video, and remembered the more carefree, romantic days (ie. before the responsibilities of parenting) and wants them back, and projected those feelings onto your appearance back then. Some people seem to have a really hard time grasping that parenthood changes everything.

However, even if I'm right, I have no idea where you can take it from there. If he wants the old relationship back, he's out of luck. The "falling in love" stage ends eventually, and something different moves in to replace it. He needs to accept that, emotionally...and enjoy the occasional flare-ups of romantic, eye-gazing "head over heels" that will appear sometimes. The early months with a baby are tough on a relationship.

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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Wait, if I'm reading this right, you're only five months post-partum and (I presume) still recovering from major abdominal surgery, and he's upset because you don't look like you did when you were a teenager? Seriously?

I'm so sorry, mama. I would feel very hurt and betrayed and I don't know what to say about your husband without violating the user agreement so I guess I'll just say, as gently as I can, that his expectations are horribly unfair, unrealistic, and downright silly, and it was awful of him to lay this on you in such a callous and insensitive manner.

It's one thing to tell you he's worried about your mental health and attitude and state of mind, and quite another to complain that he doesn't find you attractive anymore because you just had a baby and no longer look like a teenager.

I mean, even if it were a simple issue of weight gain, has he never heard of "Nine months up, nine months down"? Pregnancy weight comes off slowly for some very practical and necessary physiological reasons. It really sounds like he needs to check out the site The Shape of a Mother to get a much-needed reality check.

So, so, so sorry.

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Old 07-27-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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I agree with apeainthepod. He's treating you very badly, btw. I'm sure he wouldn't like it one bit if the roles were reversed.

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Old 07-27-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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It sounds cliche, but maybe marriage counseling would help. I agree it doesn't sound like this is really about your weight...

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Old 07-28-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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You need to talk some more. You need to really get to the root of the problem instead of guessing. I mean, it could be just exactly what he said, that he feels uncomfortable about the weight. Or it could be something else that he doesn't even really know how to figure out himself. It could be that he's actually uncomfortable about his own weight. It could be that he's uncomfortable with your post pregnancy look in general or uncomfortable about the fact that your body has now given birth/nursing a baby etc etc. But you did say that none of this "fits" with him so it sounds like you need to just continue talking.
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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It seems like he is attempting to pin his decreased attraction for you on something that you are doing wrong. Like "It's not my fault I don't feel attracted to you, it's yours" It sounds like he has issues with himself in some way and he took his frustration out on you. Does he otherwise act attracted to you?
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Have you always initiated sex or did it begin two years ago?

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Old 08-13-2010, 02:07 PM
 
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It sounds like it is all about him and not really about you. I wouldn't twist myself into knots trying to psychoanalyze him. I'd say, "I am sorry you are having issues. If you'd like to talk about them with a counselor, I'll do that, but for now, I am happy with how I am and I love you."

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