My wife thinks I'm having an affair...(20 Posts)
About three weeks or so ago my wife suffered her second miscarriage. (The first occurred earlier this year.) As before, the whole thing was pretty traumatic for her but this time she has become obsessed with the idea that I'm having an affair. I'm not. Never have done and have no intention of ever doing so. (Although I appreciate that no one ever has the intention of having an affair.)
First miscarriage was a shock. We went for our 12 week scan and found out that the 'baby' was so damaged that it had died. The fallout was understandably horrible for my wife as she had to undergo a removal operation and the accompanying hormonal & physical twists. This time around we had an inkling something was wrong and her GP sent her for an early scan to put her mind at rest. Unfortunately the 'baby' was showing as smaller than it should have been and with a slower than expected heartbeat. We had to wait a week but the second told us the worst. The 'baby' had died.
Again, we went through the removal procedure but this time the emotional chaos my wife is going through has focused on my having a mythical affair. She has become hugely paranoid about my actions and has taken to checking my Facebook chats & posts, quizzing me about where I am and who I'm with (I'm mostly at work) and generally giving me a very hard time. I get phone calls at work asking me to explain things and cold shouldered at home if I mention something that sets her off.
Eventually I'll be told that she loves me and that it's just a difficult time for her but... It's REALLY getting to me. I'm walking on eggshells the entire time. I don't know if this will just stop and things will go back to how they were or is this it for now?
I think you'll have to walk on eggshells for now. Perhaps she is feeling that you'll leave her because she can't "give" you a baby.
She is probably dealing with hormonal swings as well as the grief of losing a baby. I think you just need to suck it up, be very patient and reassuring and make sure that you are transparent in everything you do so that she doesn't have any cause for concern. Then when things have settled she will know that you did your very best to support her.
FWIW I would stop calling it a 'baby' and call it a baby too - no matter how far along she was, your DW considered this to be her child. 12 weeks is not an insignificant amount of time to be carrying a child.
I felt like this after my miscarriage (and I only had one) - didn't feel like I was good enough for him and he deserved better than useless (and fat,ugly,lazy,mean) me who couldn't give him a baby.
I convinced myself and tried to convince him he would be better off with someone else.
He just kept telling me I was being silly and he would always be there and even if we couldnt have children we would face it together and he loves me for me not for my ability to have his child.
Life isn't always fair and to be honest I feel really awful looking back on it now - my hormones were crazy yes and i was grieving but I didn't always have it in my mind how bad he must have been feeling.
For us I was lucky enough to get pregnant and everything was fine and baby was healthy.
That was 10 years ago for us now and it's not the best time to look back on but ultimately it was a patch in our life which I think made us stronger.
I found that after a miscarriage i became very, very anxious after having not been at all previously. For me it was health anxiety that i developed. Perhaps it is a way of the brain distracting itself from the pain? Something to focus on? Im not sure.
Im sorry for your loses This must be very hard for you as well.
Please don't refer to the foetus as a 'baby'. To your wife, I'm sure, it was a baby. If you don't want to think of having lost a baby, call it a foetus but not an inverted commas 'baby'. That attitude (and I hope you are not conveying it to her) will not be helpful to your wife. After women have had a miscarriage, one of the worst things people can say is that 'oh well, it was only early. It wasn't like it was a proper baby.' It is to the mother who can see the whole of that baby's life from the second the pregnancy test turns blue. My apologies though, if that was not your meaning.
As for her thinking you're having an affair, you'll have to reassure her and look after her. Be where you've said you'll be, phone her often from work and at lunchtime, come straight home from work. If you could take some time off to spend with her, that would be even better. I went temporarily insane after one miscarriage, I don't like to think how I would be after two.
My friend was just like your wife, as SoupD says the root of it was that she thought her DH wanted a 'real' woman and a 'real' family.
Like you too, her DH started to get worn down and started resenting her and communication froze up, things went from bad to worse, took them a while to get through it but they did eventually.
So, in your shoes i would just swallow it tbh as part of the unpleasant fall out of losing two babies. This is the bit that's unfair on you and what you have to suck up as part of the coming-to-terms process.
Let her into your FB, and read your texts. Don't leave the room when you take a call, let her know it's just your mate Jim or whatever. I know it's a pain in the backside - I'd hate it myself - but i really think it's the best way through this. hopefully this urge of your wife's will burn itself out quickly when their is nothing at all to feed on. You may well find that she looks back on this period of your lives and always remember the way you put her feelings first even when she wasn't being entirely rational. That kind of support is what binds a couple, imo.
How are you feeling about the losses yourself?
I agree with Two. I would be unbelievably hurt in your wife's situation if my DH was calling our baby a 'baby' in inverted commas. What else were they? Medical waste? At 12 weeks they are fully formed. At that stage in all my pregnancies, I have felt very maternal and protective of my babies, and if they had then died, I would also have been devastated.
Your lack of emotional connection to the babies will be strikingly clear to your wife, and might be at the root of her irrational jealousy - it may be too hurtful to her to face the idea of you not loving your babies, so she's displacing it to a more 'acceptable' type of betrayal.
I don't mean to sound cruel. You might be bottling up your feelings. I think perhaps you're not aware of how much you are shutting off emotionally - but your wife will be painfully aware, at a time when she needs to feel that you share her devastation.
Sorry i meant to say that for me, realising and understanding that it wasn't really my health that was the problem, helped me get better. It wasn't easy or quick though.
I think you need to leave FB etc open, and reassure her by spending more time with her. Tell her you are going nowhere. She sounds insecure and traumatised, poor woman.
I think you should also visit the GP to discuss her if she won't go to the GP herself.
Emily. I don't think he meant it like that. Just that some people wouldn't refer to pregnancy at that stage as a baby.
(just as they don't on any thread on here where abortion is being discussed)
Justthis - maybe so. But he needs to see things from his wife's point of view and realise how sad she is about the losses. Minimising them will not be helpful and will not bring them closer.
Emily. I don't know where you have got all that info from that he is minimizing or doesn't realise his wife is sad, because there certainly nothing to give that impression in the op apart from his use of " which may be for many reasons. The medical profession don't see it as a baby at that stage so perhaps that's why he used them.
I do, maybe he does.
That made me laugh! I was expecting you to disagree, not be all reasonable! I am on mumsnet aren't I?
Thanks for all the replies (so quick too). They've helped me in some ways, I kind of already knew that I just had to suck it up and take it on the chin. Trouble is, I'm not particularly strong at the moment myself. I'm scared for her and our relationship. I'm concerned that she's focusing so much on having a third that she's missing the best time with our two. They're in a magical place right now (the eldest has just started school) and I don't think she's 'there' for it.
I also want to scream in her face. Tell her how hurtful it is after 10 years to be accused of these things... But I also know that it's not her. My main worry is that I know that things like this never truly spring-back to how they were.
Anyhow, guess I take it on the chin for now.
Go and make an appointment for you to speak to the GP about yourself and make one to speak about your dw if she won't attend the GP herself.
If your children have two parents grieving then it is not good for them, go and get some grief counselling if you think it may help you.
I think some counselling for you both would be good. Not necessarily together. Poor you, poor wife. I think you need to step back a bit from work if possible and be around more. If nothing else it will give stability to your two children but also send her the message that you are there and haven't got time for shennanigans. Can understand how hurt you are by the lack of trust but I think she is deflecting her pain.
It's a very traumatic time for both of you.
I'm not so sure that you should just suck it up. It's a big thing to be accused of being unfaithful and if this continues you will feel resentful towards your wife.
I definitely think that couple counselling is the way forward.
Does it help to tell yourself that it's not her making accusations, it's her pain? Try to see it as a separate entity, that will - eventually - resolve.
Are you grieving together? Or are you perhaps focused on being 'strong' for her? You can show her that you feel the losses without coming across as blaming her for them - it might be tricky and maybe this is something you could explore with a counselor.
I'm so sorry for your losses
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