What if dh can't handle the stress of a baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What if dh can't handle the stress of a baby?

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#2 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 02:20 PM
 
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The short answer is, if DH can't handle the stress of a baby, he needs to change himself so that he can. It's not something you can do for him. Once the baby is born, your first priority will be caring for your baby, not shielding your DH from the stress of his life.

Are you currently pregnant? If not, you have a lot more time to deal with the challenges you are facing. But I assume since you're posting here, that you are pregnant. I hate to tell you this, but I agree with you - having the baby will not make anything less stressful. In fact, it may be the most stressful thing you guys will ever go through as a family, at least to this point. But there is definitely hope. Your best options are to try and address all of your issues now before the baby gets here. Licensed marriage counselors and individual therapy would be a good place to start. There are usually low/no-cost options available through churches, or as a community resource if cost is an issue. Al-anon meetings might also be helpful for you both.

My husband and I had some really heavy challenges too, and the way we got through them was deciding first off that we were a team, and that whatever challenges we had, we would face them together. We decided we didn't want to spend the rest of our lives unhappy, and that each others' happiness was a priority for us. I didn't think there were many issues in our marriage, or that they were that bad, but when he told me he was so unhappy he was thinking of leaving me, I realized that if he wasn't happy, I wasn't happy either. I had no idea he was so upset about a lot of things until he told me. So I agreed to counseling. Best decision we ever made. Our commitment to work through our challenges like the counselor suggested saved our marriage. We are so much happier with each other and at peace now in our relationship. Without this basis, I think the birth of our son would have been much more stressful and difficult than it was. But because we are on the same page now on almost everything, it's easier for us both to remain calm and meet each others' needs while at the same time caring for our baby.

Not sure exactly what you're looking for as a result of your post. But I can say that raising a baby in a home with someone who drinks so much that he passes out and has anger issues is putting your and the baby's safety in danger. My husband had anger issues too, that I didn't know about until after we were married. The first year was so bad, that I drew the line in the sand, and said basically that "if you don't get it together, I'm done". Each year since has been better. He's done a lot of work so that his rage no longer controls his behavior, and he is now able to deal with it in a constructive manner. I've changed a lot too, to help him, I think.

But if we had had a child that first year, I would at a minimum have moved out. Screaming fits of rage and throwing things, punching things, etc. around our child are simply unacceptable. And if he had ever hit me, the marriage would have been over right then. You get what you tolerate. There are a lot of community resources that can help you if you don't have much support from family or friends.

You may have some difficult decisions to make depending on what your husband chooses to do and chooses not to do. But remember, these things are his own choices. You can't make his choices for him, and you can't make him choose more wisely. I know how it feels to wish so hard that you could. If he chooses to drink, that is his decision. He may be upset at you or feel anger at you, or be overwhelmed by you, but you do not cause him to do anything, including drink. He chooses to drink to try and deal with the situations in his life that he doesn't like or feels powerless about, which may or may not have much to do with you. He could just as easily choose to not drink, but to go to counseling instead. (There's the addiction issue which I'm not addressing here, but do you see what I mean about him having ultimate responsibility for how he chooses to deal with situations in his own life?) You can be as supportive as possible, and point him in the direction of good things to do and good choices to make, but ultimately it's his responsibility to change. (You may need to change too, don't forget. It usually takes two to make a marriage miserable.)

Decide what you are willing to accept from him as far as his behavior and commitment to your family. Have concrete consequences assigned if he does not meet your minimum requirements for behavior. Share these with him lovingly but firmly, and be clear and definite about it. (for instance, if you say"I will move out by such and such date if I do not see such and such changes", then do it.) Make sure you address short term as well as long term goals. Ask him if he would be willing to accept and work towards the goals you have for his behavior. Maybe you could come up with goals for his behavior together, if he recognizes how much of a problem it is. Ask him what he would like from you to help him accomplish these healthy goals, and then commit to provide that to him. Ask him what goals he would have for you as far as behavior goes, and then commit to meet them.

Do your best to support him, stress that you love him, but if he does not change his behavior, make sure you take action to protect yourself and your baby.

I wish you loads of luck, comfort, and understanding as you work through these challenges.
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#3 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Deleted this too.


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#4 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 03:23 PM
 
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OP, you are in an abusive relationship. Please stop TTC. If he is blaming you for his drinking now, eventually he will hit you or shake your baby. Don't take that chance with an innocent life.

Bring back the old MDC
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#5 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 03:49 PM
 
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Absolutely do not ttc with someone who blames you for his drinking. It's just such a massive red flag. If he can't handle the stress of having another adult live with him, no, he can't handle the stress of having a baby.
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#6 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If I believed I was in danger I would leave. I'm sure I've blamed him for stuff too.

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#7 of 22 Old 08-08-2014, 08:16 PM
 
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If I believed I was in danger I would leave. I'm sure I've blamed him for stuff too.
We can often be blind to the faults of the ones we love. I also think that most of the time, we can recognize the truth of things in our own hearts. Whatever it is for you - I hope that you can see it and address it - and soon.

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#8 of 22 Old 08-13-2014, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the advice. I do believe based on recent conversations with dh that he will make the right choice when the time comes. For some, that is all they need.

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#9 of 22 Old 08-13-2014, 01:54 PM
 
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I didn't see your original post, I'm just going on the comments. Please we aware that kids PUSH BUTTONS like crazy. They find their parents' buttons, and they push them. For many people, it is a chance to grow in new ways, for others, it brings out the worst in them. This isn't "making the right choice" one time. This is 18 years of making the right choice when you are exhausted and your kid is driving you up the wall.

Any children you have will him will have his genes, and will be impacted by the way he lives his life (even if you divorce him, and even if they have zero contact). Do you really want to evetually be the mother of a teen with the same kind of behavior you see in him? Would you be OK with your kids speaking to you exactly the same way he speaks to you? (because he will be the primary model of how you are to be treated.)

Who you make a baby with is a really big decision.

He has shown you who is he and what he is capable of. Believe what he shows you, not what he says.
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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif


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#10 of 22 Old 08-14-2014, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would say 95% of the time things are great and wonderful. There's a small 5% of the time where he gets angry about things but then again so do I. I would say in the last couple of months he has shown that he can control his anger. We both give 100% into the relationship. The children will have my genes as well. I had started out as my father's child but quickly turned me into my mom's. I'm going to be 38 next month I don't have time to wait around for the perfect man that doesn't exist. This is relationship is a pretty damn close. Yes, he drinks on the weekends but as I said before when the time comes I think he will quit and if he doesn't I will take the necessary actions. He has shown me he's a caring and loving man. He respects me, he makes me laugh, we have fun together. We love each other. He does not give up. I had a moment where I was a little bit nervous/scared of the idea of having a family but don't we all. It's a scary thing. I know it won't be easy. I know I will get a little cranky when I haven't slept but I will love our children unconditionally and be the best mom I can be. And I know he will be the best dad.

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#11 of 22 Old 08-14-2014, 07:31 AM
 
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If this is about not finding the perfect man in time, can we find you a local sperm bank? The bad stuff you described is really, really bad.
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#12 of 22 Old 08-14-2014, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He's not abusive, he hasn't cheated on me, he doesn't do drugs. I'm not throwing away my marriage. I want a complete family. We are doing yoga together which has helped a lot. Change is not going to happen over night.

And if FN2BAMOM can do it then why can't I?

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#13 of 22 Old 08-14-2014, 09:46 AM
 
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You asked a question - can this guy handle the stress of a baby? - and my answer based on what you said and then erased is, why risk it? The odds aren't good. Lots of borderline guys start being abusive during pregnancy.

I don't know how much FN2BAMOM's situation is like yours, or how much her husband is like yours. I note that she describes a multi-year process before conceiving a baby, and that she had an exit plan in case she needed one. If you have the patience to put in a few years on it, it might work. But if you were my sister who wanted babies now? I'd tell you to get a divorce. When it's over, join a church choir, bring things to potlucks, and let the nice old ladies on the soprano bench set you up with their nephews. It would be faster than what FN2BAMOM went though.

Having a baby radically increases your dependency on other people. I would not feel good about me, or my sister or friend, being dependent on this guy. Throwing away a marriage gets both more appealing and much harder when you're in a bad relationship and have a kid.

I think you have doubts, and that you, your partner, and your hypothetical future children could all benefit from you giving those doubts serious consideration. What would happen if you took a few months off from TTC and got your thoughts in order? What led you to be concerned about your husband's parenting capabilities? Are those big concerns or small ones? What happens when he's overstretched? What happens when you're overstretched? This isn't about "are you just as bad as him", it's a question of whether the two of you function well in combination.
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#14 of 22 Old 08-14-2014, 06:36 PM
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If he'd quit drinking for a pregnancy, he'd quit before one, just to show you he can do it. But he won't, right? (or can't.) If he passes out when he drinks, he's an alcoholic. You may want to consider going to some Al-Anon meetings (for people who love alcoholics.) Ask them if you should have a child with an alcoholic.

"When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." --Maya Angelou

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#15 of 22 Old 08-15-2014, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I talked to him last night and he said he will quit before a baby is born. And maybe half of the passing out has to do with being cozy on the couch while watching tv because he does do that even when he doesn't drink. He's one of those that can fall asleep anywhere where as I need a comfy bed. I'm no longer worried about it until he proves me wrong.

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#16 of 22 Old 08-15-2014, 05:35 PM
 
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Hopefully he doesn't prove you wrong by endangering you, or god forbid, your child. Sometimes waiting for the "proof" is too late.
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#17 of 22 Old 08-15-2014, 10:00 PM
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I talked to him last night and he said he will quit before a baby is born. And maybe half of the passing out has to do with being cozy on the couch while watching tv because he does do that even when he doesn't drink. He's one of those that can fall asleep anywhere where as I need a comfy bed. I'm no longer worried about it until he proves me wrong.
I don't know you or your husband. I'm just concerned about you. There is a difference between falling asleep and "passing out." We can only go off your language. (Does he ever not make it to the couch? Does he pass out elsewhere, like on the floor?) And promising to quit is a good start, but it's not the same as actually quitting. (And if I were you, I'd want to see him quitting before you got pregnant, not just before the birth. Because, once you're pregnant, you're pregnant (except for those people who miscarry or have an abortion, obviously.)
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#18 of 22 Old 08-18-2014, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He did say he would like to quit before I get pregnant. He just falls asleep when we are on the couch watching tv. I have faith in him and our relationship. As I said a few times things are improving so I'm not going to give up.

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#19 of 22 Old 08-20-2014, 06:28 PM
 
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He did say he would like to quit before I get pregnant. He just falls asleep when we are on the couch watching tv. I have faith in him and our relationship. As I said a few times things are improving so I'm not going to give up.
I'm sorry - I'm not trying to berate you here and beat a dead horse, it's just there are some red flags here that I feel obligated to point out...

"He would LIKE to quit" - that reads like, he would quit if he could, or wanted to, but isn't committing. If he were GOING to quit, he would've quit already wouldn't he? If he's waiting until the last moment before a baby is born to change something, that just screams reluctance, hesitation, inability... most people make changes and adjustments for major life changes (like having a baby) as soon as they realize that the change is imminent and important to them. Unless they can't (as is the case in addiction...). And if he has an addiction - that doesn't mean he doesn't want to be or is completely incapable of being a good partner or father - but it does mean that he needs to be well on his way to addressing that in real, tangible ways before making other big life changes, especially introducing an innocent child into the mix.

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#20 of 22 Old 08-22-2014, 07:51 AM
 
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"What if dh can't handle the stress of a baby?"


((Don't care to discuss? Well, lady, you brought this up because you, quite obviously have major concerns. Removing the post doesn't remove those doubts))


Several answers to this:


He drinks more than he does now.
He yells.
He throws things against the wall (a glass, his fist, you)
He leaves.
He leaves while drunk and hurts someone else.
He hits the wall.
He hits you.


All these things can happen while you are pregnant (a pretty stressful time, as well).


Then, after you have the baby:


He drinks more than he has before.
He yells more because things tick him off faster.
He throws things against the wall (a glass, his fist, you, baby)
He leaves.
He leaves while drunk and hurts someone else.
He hits the wall
He hits the baby.
It will get even worse.


What can you do?


TELL him he stops drinking now. Now. NOW. No waiting until you get pregnant.


IF he really cares about the situation and the planned child, he will face the facts that he is drinking too much. If he is unwilling to quit, than you need to make a life-affecting decision:


Can you (and, a baby) live with the possible consequences of his drinking?? Are you really willing to risk the life of your child?


Sorry, but you are living in a minefield.


If you won't act for yourself, than do it for any future baby.


Biologic time-clock be damned. Better to not have a child than to have one with someone that worries you to this extent.
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#21 of 22 Old 08-22-2014, 02:17 PM
 
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He did say he would like to quit before I get pregnant.
I would not allow myself to become pregnant until he did successfully quit and stay clean for at least 3 years. Making a baby with someone who "would like to" quit would be incredibly irresponsible, and something a child would likely resent you for. It's not fair to intentionally subject a child to life with an addict for a parent, and all the chaos, violence, and instability that comes with that.
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#22 of 22 Old 08-30-2014, 09:37 AM
 
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The rate of abuse increases when someone becomes pregnant. Pregnancy is a very stressful time on both partners, I think the first pregnancy may be worse than later ones.

While it's quite obvious how it's stressful on the gestational parent (GP), it can be hard to realize why it is on the non-gestational parent (NGP). The NGP has very little real control over the situation- unless they assert control over their partner. I remember seeing a woman talk about how, while she was pregnant, she had a lot of complications and her doctor told her she wasn't up to travel. She wanted to go to an event (I believe a friend's wedding) that would've required travel. Her husband was terrified for both her well-being and their baby's well-being, but there was nothing he could have done to stop her short of abuse. Fortunately, her husband was a good person and so didn't, but sadly that's not always the case. A person who also is prone to abusive behavior can also suddenly freak out at the complete lack of control and feel a need to re-exert it.

You don't know how pregnancy is going to effect you, and even a normal, healthy, low-complications pregnancy can be very hard. Your body goes through huge changes in a very short time, it can be incredibly stressful and upsetting even if you desperately want a baby. I want to get pregnant again and, although I know I can't handle it right this minute, look forward to it- but it was still damn hard even though I had a relatively easy pregnancy. You'll need a lot of support and will have a harder time avoiding any buttons of your partner's.

Having a newborn is also incredibly difficult. I don't think anyone can prepare you for it. I've seen people say that it takes 2 months just to come up for air and a few more months to get back to anything resembling normal, and that's very often true. Your first can, again, be even worse because even if you've cared for other babies, having the sole responsibility for a tiny life is hard.

95% of the time may be enough, but will it stay 95% under such stressful situations? If the 5% is this bad already, what do you think it's going to look like when you're pregnant or struggling with midnight feedings and sleep deprivation?

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