To feel lonelier when my partner is around than when I am alone in the house?(22 Posts)
Just that really. We have a 20 week old & I went out this morning so he could go on the computer all morning to work on an app he has written (hobby not job). We came home at 12.30 and he didn't come down for 20 minutes although I texted to say we were home. He then did the crossword & read the paper, interacted minimally with dd. Just feel gutted as yesterday am we had a conversation about how bad our relationship is at the moment & what we could do about it.
Why are you texting him in the same house? Is it because you don't want to interrupt him or because he's told you not to?
Either way, as you realise, it's not ok.
Let him know that in future, he won't be working all morning on his app and then not even coming down to greet you...if you're generous enough to give him that time then you want equal back.
but also remember, these days are some of the most testing of any relationship. If you get through these times as a couple, when you look back...a few years from now...you will marvel at how bloody hard it was and at how you managed it.
So he took a LOT of notice of what you said yesterday, didn't he? I would find it very hard to forgive his attitude towards your daughter, never mind you. Who the hell wants a dad like that? Twenty months is a lovely age - if he isn't in love with her and dying to do things with her now, he never will.
Have things been worse since your daughter was born? Did you feel lonely before?
Thanks, it was because I didn't want to interrupt. I hadn't even realised it was a bit weird, but you're right. Also right about it being testing times.
It's not uncommon OP but I don't think it's a good habit to get into. Texting is for when you're not physically near to someone.
Are you breastfeeding? Could you get a babysitter...family...and get out with DH for a few hours for some time together. It's better to talk away from the house in my opinion. Less scope for an argument then.
Yes, I am breastfeeding so it's difficult to get any space or for partner to really spend much time with dd alone to build up a bond. She loves him & smiles & smiles at him. It just makes me so sad that he doesn't pay attention to her. He'll sit her on his knee & carry on doing the crossword, no eye contact. When he does have her on his own he often skypes family & again she just sits there until she gets upset. Last night he bathed her alone for the first time & it was screams from start to finish. We are doing it together again tonight. I just want us to enjoy spending time as a family and as a couple.
Does he spend much time with dd alone? Do you think he's being lazy or does he perhaps not realise that toddlers need/want a lot of interaction?
You might have to be more hands off with dd and force him to engage a bit - eg go in another room to make a phone call or whatever and leave Dh with a favourite jigsaw to do with her.
He sounds awful, selfish and self absorbed. Why isn't he looking after his own kid? Did he want a baby? He's acting like she's an inconvenience.
This is a 20 WEEK old baby, not a toddler to be left doing jigsaws with her daddy.
Tiny babies are a bit difficult to engage with when they're not particularly responsive, especially when you have no experience. Perhaps he doesn't understand how to engage with her? trying to be charitable
He sounds there in body but not in mind, is he always like this?
Oh no, twenty weeks! I thought she was twenty months, sorry. That's even worse - who doesn't love to be with a five month old baby? The fact he can sit there and not make eye contact with his own beaming baby makes him sound really horrible, OP - he's clearly not invested at all in his family, is he?
Being charitable some people just aren't great with small babies. DH wasnt with either of ours, fed changed bathed all fine but not great at interaction. Now they are bigger he is absolutely wonderful with them and they have the best relationship. But sounds as though there are other issues, talk to him he maybe doesn't realise how you are feeling and given that you are being really considerate of him he should be doing the same in return. You are both in this together, and it does get easier as they get older.
Bitter, not all mothers automatically know how to engage with their babies either. But no one makes excuses for them: they are just expected to get on with it.
Him having no experience is not much of an excuse: he's had 20 weeks to accumulate that experience in! Which incidentally is exactly the same amount of time as the OP has had: you cannot really have much interaction with a baby that is still in the womb.
When I had ds I was quite ill so it was days before I changed a nappy. I remember being petrified at the first sight of his tiny premmie legs and wailing at dh "why didn't you warn me?" Dh hadn't given it a thought: this was his baby who needed looking after, so he got on and did it.
I have never heard anyone smile indulgently and say of a new mother who does not care for her new baby "some people just aren't great with small babies". A mother who doesn't get on and do the job however much it freaks her out is seen as a neglectful mother. And yet even a very short time spent on MN should demonstrate that there are loads of mothers who have no experience of childcare and don't feel the slightest bit of instant connection with their babies. But they know they are on duty- so they do it.
Dh knew he was on duty- so he did it.
By an interesting coincidence, the thread just above this one is above mothers not enjoying motherhood and not bonding with their children. It is attracting a fair few posters. Are any of them saying they refuse to bathe and change and interact with them because they do not find small babies interesting?
I completely get this and my DH was very similar for the first 6 months after dd was born. He was always on his phone or iPad even when holding dd and didn't really seem to know what to do with her. It drove me mad and caused a lot of arguments. He actually sought treatment for post partum depression about 4 months in which helped him a lot. Could this be an issue? I think having a baby is a massive change but women perhaps are more prepared as we have 9 months where it affects our lives before the baby is even born. It's more of a shock for some men when the baby arrives and they struggle to adapt and change their lifestyle (I'm not trying to make excuses but just understand). I exclusively breastfed and I know my DH felt very left out in the early days and assumed that only I could settle dd so didn't really try. On the advice of a hv I gave him a specific 'job' so they had time to bond. For us this is bath time and although he was nervous at first it's now their time together. There are no distractions like iPads and so they have a chance to spend time together. Dd is almost 17 months now and they still do bath time and love it. So much splashing and laughter! My DH has got progressively better as dd interacts more and I expect your DH will be similar. She's impossible to ignore now and demands his attention! He admits he hated the first six months as babies 'don't do much' but loves things now. Our relationship was also tough during the early days but we're back to almost normal and even talking about a potential no 2! I hope my experience helps and things get better for you. Feel free to pm me if you want.
that gives me the chills ,op. -the not making eye contact or interacting with his baby. That's why i did not hire a nanny as i saw the same pattern in my neighbourhood of no contact/interaction with the cc they were 'looking' after. I realise it's not their cc , but this is the father makes it so much worse. I also had the feeling more lonely when ex used to live with us.Huge warning signals,op.
Cory I didn't say some men aren't great with babies, I said people. I know men and women who are fabulous with tiny babies, and others who can do all the basics but aren't great at trying to interact with babies at non verbal stage. Personally I love the toddler stage, babies are meh to me, but they grow up and 20 weeks in can be tough on everyone involved.
I see you did, Nyancat, but in response to an OP saying that the dh hardly interacted with the dc at all and if he did it ended in tears, it did sound a bit as if you were excusing him.
Obviously not knowing either of you it's hard to say completely if he is being a lazy arsehole or if he is perhaps scared/unsure of what to do with a 5month old. Perhaps he hasn't bonded yet, or perhaps he doesn't care too, you need to talk to him asap
Can he takeover bathtime completely? The only way you learn and get more confident is through practice.
Like a PP my DH did all bathtimes unless he was work travelling as a way of having part of the routine that was just Daddy-DD as I was BF, also it gave me a nice break for a cup of tea. (He did it his way, and I had to step back and not comment, which was good really)
Thanks everyone for helping me get some perspective. I have also been a bit U, as I have been a PITA lately. FriendlyGhost, thanks for sharing your story - I think he is struggling to come to terms & he has redundancy looming in September so a double whammy. PitterPatter you are right, he just needs more time to get his own ways of doing things & I can be a bit precious. He is coming with us to swimming lessons on the bank holidays this month & we are starting to define some times that are 'his'. We have been much nicer to each other this week & trying to share some good family time when possible. I'm sure we'll have more fall outs to come, but it has really helped to read your replies.
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