Resentments - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-18-2005, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently posted that our dd is now sleeping with dh while I sleep in the guest room. This is working out great for all of us. I don't know how long it will go on, but I am certainly enjoying a few nights of uninterupted sleep.

The thing is I have all this resentment toward dh coming up. He has been really tired since he's been sleeping with her. He says he's too tired to help out much during the day.

My dark side says..."How dare he complain, how dare he be tired!!"..."He's been doing this for 4 days...and I did it for a whole year"...."He doesn't know what tired is!"...and so on. When I was sleeping with her, we would alternate getting up with her in the morning, because she is an early bird. Now that he's sleeping with her, I would never dream of asking to sleep in. I get up with her every morning.

I guess want I really want is for him to acknowledge how hard it has been for me. And I am sure what he needs is for me to acknowledge how hard it is for him. Here we are again. I need something and he needs something...who's turn is it to go first?
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#2 of 6 Old 08-18-2005, 05:36 PM
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I think this is normal.
I am sorry you feel resentful, but if you are waiting for him to truly understand before letting go, you will probably be waiting a LONG time.
I also have very little patience when my DH tells me he is tired. Big Deal!
And I used to get downright volitile when he would take long recreational showers, sometimes twice a day. WHen I would have to ask permission to get my couple of minute quickie shower in a couple of times a week.
Some men really do get it. Some don't.
I dont know if there is any way to help them.
IT is easier to let it go.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-18-2005, 10:23 PM
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I know that for me, I had to finally just let the resentment go.

I handle all the parenting in our household, though not necessarily by choice. My DD is exclusively breastfed (that was by choice) and my DH seems to think that means he doesn't need to do anything. He doesn't change diapers, doesn't bathe her, doesnt' dress her, doesn't feed her solids, etc., etc.

Unless I point blank ask him to do something with her - he won't do it.

She still wakes up about every 2 hours at night and, of course, I'm the one attending to her needs. It's not at all unusual for me to be pretty much awake from around 3am until she wakes up at 7am. There are days when I operate on about five hours of sleep - and those are interrupted hours!

What used to get my goat was Saturdays and Sundays when he CAN get up with her at 7am and let me get an hour or two of sleep he'll instead sleep in. We went around and around on the subject and I threw a fit once or twice and demanded he care for her so I could get some much needed rest.

I finally just let it go. He can't or won't do things differently and I need to either accept that flaw or end the relationship. There are enough positives in our relationship that I decided it was a flaw I wanted to learn to accept.

My daughter and I have been able to work into a routine where I get enough sleep and she has her needs met. Since my DS is older I can nap with DD when I need to get some additional rest. I exercise to keep myself alert and active and have found I can get by on much less sleep than I thought I needed. My body seems to be able to fall asleep faster and goes into a deeper sleep than before. And by co-sleeping and going to bed when she does I can get the maximum amount of sleep possible.

I'm not saying my solution is right for everyone, but it worked for us.

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#4 of 6 Old 08-19-2005, 11:55 AM
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Tough question, tough issue. I'd suggest being honest with your DH about what you need. In other words, go first, and tell him that you appreciate his new involvement at night, are thrilled because you are getting some unbroken blocks of sleep, and realize how tired he is. If he doesn't reciprocate, find a pleasant and nonconfrontational way to say something like "it would help me to know that you recognize how exhausted I must have been for the past year and appreciate what I've done for DD at night, too." I don't know your DH, so maybe that would go over like a lead balloon.

I think I'd be willing to cut him some slack on the daytime help for a while, even though it isn't precisely "fair" in the sense that he probably expected more from you. Two wrongs don't make a right. (Sorry if that sounds preachy!) Doesn't it make sense that the person pulling the night duty gets a break during the day? If things switch around again, and you're doing more night duty, you have a strong position from which to ask him to step up during the day then.

It's a difficult thing to do, balancing everyone's needs.
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#5 of 6 Old 08-19-2005, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Great feedback. I was able to deal with my resentment through doing some internal work and talking with other people. Once I was really heard by another special person in my life...I didn't really need this from DH (althought it would be nice).

I have this real big thing about things being "fair". I realise that with parenting and especially being a mother, this is not realistic. I am trying to stop focusing on what I didn't get from him and trying to support him the way I would want to be supported...without any expectation of it being reciprocated.

Thanks for all your help.
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#6 of 6 Old 08-19-2005, 01:21 PM
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i think that now, especially now that you feel less resentment, you should tell him. you should tell him that at first it was really bugging you but that you're realizing now that things don't have to be perfect and always fair. tell him that sometimes your feelings get the best of you and you find yourself feeling resentful and it would help you immensely if he would just say thanks once in a while, or instead of ONLY saying how tired he is if he'd just say "i can't imagine how you felt, because this is killing me! it must have been so hard for you!"

honestly, i think that guys want the help. at least my guy does. he wants to do the right thing. he wants to make me happy, he just often doesn't have a CLUE how to do it.

i read some stuff on the "five love languages" -actually, a student of mine did a few semesters ago...and the stuff is great. i realized that my love language is "words of affirmation"...(the other 4 are receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch). dave's is a combo of words of affirmation and acts of service. he feels more respected when he comes home and the house isn't a sty. but i don't feel respect unless he TELLS me that he appreciates it. i'm much more likely to do more if he'd acknowledge that i've done it.

anyway, i think you should tell him that sometimes you need to hear things like that. explain that maybe it sounds silly to him and maybe he needs to be shown love in another way, but that's your way, kwim?

resentment will creep up again somewhere sometime unless you can be honest and open with him about it.
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