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In not 'getting over it' or is/was this abusive behaviour?

(10 Posts)
Aribo Wed 17-May-17 09:21:43

Catching up with a good friend (after a long time) and ended up offloading about the bad situation between DH and I. I was shocked when she said she thinks it may have been emotional neglect/domestic violence - I know she's looking out for me, and she even said she might be jumping to conclusions, but it has made me think. Feeling quite mixed up.

Things have been bad between DH and I since we started TTC. Got pregnant but then went through a very stressful time with prenatal diagnosis, ending in a termination. We then miscarried multiple Times. When I eventually got pregnant again and stayed pregnant, I had a very medicalised and difficult pregnancy with lots of bleeding, scans and interventions - I felt dreadful throughout and was off work for most of the pregnancy. The birth was also a terrible experience and I had intensive care for a period before a stay on the ward and eventually home, nearly 3 weeks later. I was shattered, emotionally and physically, and DH basically left me to it - both to recuperate and to look after a new born. As a 'coper' I just got on with it - I was ' on maternity leave' anyway. Until I couldn't cope, and months later basically broke down in tears and told him he had to help me. Things improved a little bit, but quickly slipped back and I found he took less and less initiative, would always have 'reasons' not to do things, and when he did wouldn't do a complete job. What I found most annoying about it was however, that he would behave totally differently/be extra helpful when people were around - as if their opinions mattered. At times it seemed like he made my life harder to be honest. Things continued until I went back to work - we talked before and because I work shifts, I told him things would need to change. He agreed and said himself that he'd need to 'do most of it'. Only that never happened. And things came to a head this weekend. We argued and to be honest, I told him I have a very hard time getting over how he has treated me over the last year, and how it deteriorated when I was on maternity leave (i honestly think he thought I was in some kind of holiday). He eventually apologised saying he was doing everything he thought he could do, and that we should be a partnership, and that all I do these days is get angry at him (true). I find the partnership thing a bit laughable - where was it last year!? And I find it hard to get past how he treated me - minimised my feelings, left me to struggle. I want to believe he will change (things are better than they were, but not great) but there's a big distance between us (that he doesn't notice/ignores) and I'm not sure I feel the same way about him anymore. I mean, after he treated me. I just don't know how to get past it? I suppose after all we'd been through I just expected more from him and can't get over not only how he has behaved, but also not even acknowledged accepted it.

NorthumbrianGirl Wed 17-May-17 09:58:22

Honestly I found life so hard with a new born that if another adult hadn't been helping I would have rather they left.

What is he bringing to the relationship?

ThinkOfAWittyNameLater Wed 17-May-17 10:21:31

Gosh. You've been through a lot so hats off to you for surviving. And congratulations on your baby and having such a good friend looking out for you.

I'm not sure this crosses the line into abuse. Others will know that better than I.

I too had very difficult pregnancies and my husband had to pick up nearly all the household and childcare chores. It was tough on both of us - very stressful and we essentially lived two separate lives for 9 months. We never want to have another child because we accept we couldn't cope and might not survive as a couple.

Don't get me wrong, we both grumbled our way through. But not for one minute did he think I should have to handle everything on my own. It never crossed his mind that maternity leave was a holiday. He would be mortified if one of my best friends thought he'd been in any way abusive. I love him to pieces but I don't think he's exceptional in his approach to "through good times and bad, in sickness and in health".

I'm not telling you to rub it in. I'm telling you this because it's what you have a right to expect from your partner. That's the point - he's supposed to be your partner.

I'd be seriously questioning his commitment to this family and to me if I were in your shoes. I'd wonder if the stress him being there is worth it. Is it more than the stress of managing on your own? Would he maintain a relationship with your child f you split up? What does the answer say about his commitment to your family? Only you can answer that.

I'm sorry you're in this situation. Take your time to consider everything. Good luck x

ferriswheel Wed 17-May-17 10:26:15

My stbxh was like that. I'm sorry. I don't really know what to say without being all negative, and we all have to live our own lives. Truth is some men are shit dads. If you ever want to know how I got out of it please pm me.

Kokusai Wed 17-May-17 10:32:08

He has shown his true colours. How could someone who says they lover you (and like you!) make you feel so bad?

Buildmeupbuttercup89 Wed 17-May-17 17:31:23

Op. Your experience sounds pretty similar to mine (on the dh front) we have separated now and he has since admitted his severe depression at the time ds was born. He has also admitted he has no bond with our son, only sees him once a week. It's almost like he has the male version of pnd. Could this be the case with your dh?

DeanKoontz Wed 17-May-17 17:42:11

I don't think it's abuse, but I do think it's neglect.

Be very clear what you want from him now, and what you need him to do. Get it down in writing and consider couple therapy.

He needs to step up as a partner, if that's what you want, and as a parent regardless.

I think it's ok to acknowledge that he needs help and direction to support you and dc, but he needs to get with the programme asap. No more excuses for him; no more coping/just getting on with it for you.

As a slightly separate issue - have you considered traumatic birth counselling /debriefing? It sounds like you've been through the mill.

Gallavich Wed 17-May-17 17:46:15

It's really hard to love someone who treats you like crap. Really hard to forgive them too.

thethoughtfox Wed 17-May-17 18:34:18

It's not abuse but he's been a shit husband and father.

stella23 Wed 17-May-17 18:54:55

Either way it causes resentment and it's the resentment that eats away.

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