Feeling like DH and I live in different worlds - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-03-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hopefully this is the right place to post about these feelings...I have no one to talk to about them, because I can't seem to talk to DH about it (he doesn't seem to know what I'm talking about), and I don't want friends or family members to permanently have negative feelings about him because of this.
Anyways, DH and I had the most amazing relationship before DD was born (not that I'm blaming DD AT ALL, it's not like that). We were together since high school, and I always felt so lucky to be married to my best friend. We've now been married for almost three years, and together for many more than that.
When I was pregnant, I really felt like he was always there for me. Helping me get in and out of the bath, tying my shoes when I got too big to do it myself, etc. He went to all my prenatal classes with me, and was even the only dad in our BFing class I appreciated that so much, and I really felt like he appreciated me.
Then, DD was born. BFing her was SO hard (lots of problems, but they've all worked out, thank goodness). I had so much pain--and he really didn't seem to have much emphathy for me. He suggested formula, which I really didn't want to do, and just didn't seem to understand the emotional and physical pain I was going through.
Then, he was always mad at me about sex: once I was cleared to have sex again, it was just so painful that I couldn't stand it. I knew something was wrong--but he just seemed to be mad at me for not working through it. I went to the doctor and found out I had a postpartum condition (scar tissue granulation covering the stitches I had for a tear), and suffered through a VERY painful operation to have it removed in my OB's office. It was awful. He seemed to feel bad about it for a while--but then he went back to wanting sex all the time. He never thinks he's getting enough--but I basically have NO drive, so any time we do it, I feel like I'm giving more than I have, and he's just taking it--ykwim?
Finally, he is a different father than I thought he'd be. I know he loves DD a lot--but he's not very hands-on with her at all. Instead, I feel like he's trying to not spoil her all the time--but she's just a baby! We're co-sleeping now, but he's always talking about when we can move her to her own bed. He's not sure that BFing beyond a year is a good idea. He thinks I hold her too much, and that I'm spoiling her. He likes how I wear her in a sling, because she likes it--but he thinks she should be a little more independent. Like I said, I know he loves her, and loves me. It's just--I feel so distanced from and different from him right now. I NEVER felt like this before.
What should I do? I'm aching over this right now.

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#2 of 15 Old 05-03-2008, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No responses? I'd really, really love to hear from somebody who's btdt.

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#3 of 15 Old 05-03-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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I have no advice I'm so sorry! Just

ETA- wait, I do have advice. I lied. I will PM you

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#4 of 15 Old 05-03-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Unfortunately, I don't have any advice to offer. I have been thinking of writing a very similar post myself... I don't have exactly the same situation, but wanted to let you know that you aren't alone in struggling with DH issues after a baby. I too am finding my husband to be much more hands off than I expected (hoped). I know that he loves our baby too and he is getting better but it is hard. I think it has a lot to do with his own wounded childhood and just not knowing how to do things differently. I feel so sad for my DD, though, since I want her to have all of the love and safety that we didn't get. Breastfeeding was really tough for me too and it stressed him out a lot. And it came on top of a very difficult and scary birth. Instead of reaching out to support me, he withdrew into him self because of his stress. Not very helpful. Sex is the opposite issue for us. He still has no interest and I wish that he did. It is the opposite of you all, but the bottom line of it is still feeling disconnected from each other.

It can feel really lonely, especially when you feel like you can't talk to him and you don't want to talk to your friends and family about what is going on.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-03-2008, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the PM Maggie! And thanks for replying, MamaRuga. I do feel like our situations are really similar, actually. It's weird about DH being more hands off than I thought he would be. He has to be out of town for most of the week--every week--for work right now, and when he comes home, he's content to just hold her for a few minutes and then sit her down in her chair or pass her off to someone else. He's excited to see her--but soon, he's ready to get back to his computer. It hurts me, and I'm afraid it will hurt DD, you know? But when I tried to talk to him about it gently, it just ended up making things worse--he had no idea what I was talking about. He really thinks that I'm holding her too much and spoiling her, and I just don't know how to change his mind about that. And he really thinks he's very hands-on, actually--and, like with your DH, I think that it stems from his childhood. He and his brother pretty much raised themselves in a lot of respects, and definitely were NOT held a lot, or cuddled at night, or comforted when they were scared. So, he sees himself as being further along in those respects than his parents were--but definitely not where I thought he'd be, you know? It's hard too...I usually talk to my mom--who's my best friend--about stuff like this, but I don't want her to have permanent negative feelings towards him or anything.
One other thing...Sorry, feel like I'm ranting, but it's such a relief to get it off my chest! DH has always said that he loved my body, even postpartum, and that he wanted me to nurse and didn't care if it made my boobs look different, etc. Now, though, he seems very worried that they'll start sagging. ?!?! That's seriously the least of my worries right now, and I don't know why he'd lay that on me, you know? I love him--but sheesh.

Wife to DH 6/05 partners.gif and mommy to DD1, born 10/07 dust.gif and DD2, born June 2010 energy.gif, and one cat.gif! We bftoddler.gif, familybed2.gif, and homeschool.gif

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#6 of 15 Old 05-04-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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He is probably jealous. He went so long with having all of your attention and now your are not able to give it like you could because you have a little one depending on you. I still get the guilt trips about sex because I don't want it at all (too exhausted!). He thinks it is him but it really isn't. I have a three year old and a 10 month old who is still nursing and they are on me all day long and then he comes home and wants more of me than I have to give. I need personal space. I am not a touchy feely person but having two "babies" I have to get past that because they need me. I love holding them and cuddling them but at night when they are in bed I NEED my space to relax. I don't want someone touching me. I love him with all of my heart but I also can't get past this problem. I will tell you thought that after my 3 year old was born for a while it was the same way but as she got older and a little more independent things got better. I would suggest asking him to give you a little time to adjust to being a mom. It is a really hard thing to get used to and can be overwhelming sometimes. If that doesn't work you can always tell him that some moms don't want to do it at all.
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#7 of 15 Old 05-04-2008, 06:20 AM
 
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When I first read your post I thought jealousy as well. The thought of a baby is wonderful but the reality can hit hard. I think that jealousy is very common in a lot of men. My DH said it quite a lot. "I want my wife back in my own bed with no kids". At one point he even admitted he was jealous. I think different men deal with the feelings differently. I wish I had advice on how to handle it.
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#8 of 15 Old 05-04-2008, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, I'd never even considered jealousy before, but I think you all may be right about that. It definitely feels like he's telling me, ok, enough with the baby in our bed, I want you all to myself again! Very interesting.

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#9 of 15 Old 05-07-2008, 01:10 AM
 
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Also, too. I think even the dads who take the classes and all, are still really scared about being a dad. Having to do all the right parenting things, losing their fun free years, I think some guys are super scared about being fathers but its too hard for them to show it b/c they have to be "men". So maybe he is feeling a little insecure with being a father and being responsible for another life. And yeah, he does want you all to himself again. But remind him, little ones arent little forever. As they grow you will have much more time alone for nookie nights again. I wish you the best with what you are going through.

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#10 of 15 Old 05-07-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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I think he's jealous, too, but not in a "oh he's being so unreasonable/immature" kind of way. Lots of husbands go through this.

He's used to being close to you, and right now your entire focus in on the baby. He probably is trying to reclaim some closeness through sex...guys often see that as the pathway to feeling loved/close/secure/wanted again.

I'm not saying this is the case in your marriage, but is it possible you've gone a little too far into being "mom" at the cost of who you are as "partner"? I think a lot of first time moms go through this...it's difficult to balance, especially when your first is a newborn.

You have this incredible, rewarding, close relationship (with your DD), and that's great, but what about your dh? Are you putting yourself, your attention, your care, into that relationship? Who does he have to be close to? He probably misses you.

With me and my dh, I went way too far into being a mom. I had total tunnel vision, and for a while my whole existence was about being a mother to my twin sons. Not only did I forget about my role as a partner and wife, I forgot about my relationship with myself--the person I am outside of mothering, outside of this stage of life.

If any of this hits home, can you work a little harder at achieving a balance? AP is great, and my dh was for it, but the demands of attachment parenting are hard on a marriage, hard on intimacy, and hard on non-child relationships. If you choose AP, I believe you have to choose to put extra energy and attention into your other relationships--because, honestly, being AP can make other areas of your life suffer and fall out of balance.

[Another thing, too...it's just my observation, but three years of marriage is often a rough spot. Our marriage therapist (awesome experience, btw ) talks about most marriages needing a check-up at that stage.]

If it helps, it's not nearly so hard to maintain a balance with subsequent kids.

Good luck.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#11 of 15 Old 05-09-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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I think a lot of men are just not "baby" people. Kwim? My husband didn't start getting really excited about our girls until they were like 1-2yo; walking, talking, active, etc. I think it is partially just biological, women are meant to do the young baby care. I know how frustrating and scary it can be to feel like he is not involved with your dc, but maybe just give it some time.
Also, would your dh do some reading about cosleeping, attachment, etc? That way he can see that their is "proof" that what you are doing is not only not harming dd, but good for her?
Hope things work out for you.
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#12 of 15 Old 05-09-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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One other thing, are you in law school right now? Because if you are, he is probably feeling even more so that you don't give him enough time, energy, attention, etc. I can see that being really hard for most husbands to have there wives attention taken up with a new baby and really intensive school.
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#13 of 15 Old 05-09-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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I haven't been there, so I have no experience to relate.

What I can talk about is that my husband has very hesitantly and with a lot of coaxing been willing to talk about the fact that he does need for us to have sex in order to feel like we are still bonded. We talked a lot in advance of pregnancy about how I may lose sex drive and how that will impact our relationship. We talked about the fact that even if I have to take one for the team sometimes it is probably a good idea for us to not drop to having sex less than once a week. (We uhm... used to have sex a lot. Like 10+ times a week.) Of course this agreement was barring physical restrictions placed by the midwife.

It might be worth talking to him about what you can do to help him feel like he is still important. And I would be lying if I didn't say that in my opinion it's a good idea to have sex sometimes even if you aren't really that into it. I think as long as you don't feel actually resentful it increases bonding. Of course this is just my opinion.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#14 of 15 Old 05-09-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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when i read your post, i kind of thought he doesn't know where he fits in now.
he knows how to be supportive in the immediate aftermath of the operation pregnancy etc, but he's feeling left out of the day to day stuff of your life together.
perhaps he doesn't "feel needed' and doesn't know how to fit into his new family.
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#15 of 15 Old 05-11-2008, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies--I definitely appreciate all the advice. Will write more later...But for now, yes, I am still a law student--about to graduate in one week!--and so I know the pressures on DH have certainly been nothing to sneeze at. I will definitely be sure to put more time and understanding in our relationship, and make sure to make him feel more included.

Wife to DH 6/05 partners.gif and mommy to DD1, born 10/07 dust.gif and DD2, born June 2010 energy.gif, and one cat.gif! We bftoddler.gif, familybed2.gif, and homeschool.gif

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