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Help! Our beautiful baby arrived but our marriage has crumbled????

(41 Posts)
Zigzag22 Sun 18-Sep-16 05:24:39

First time poster. Not sure if this is the right place to post but was a bit desperate to 'talk' to someone. Don't really want to let my family or friends know how strange things are so thought maybe some random strangers online could offer advice!hmm

The background:
Beautiful child arrived prematurely and birth was traumatic (aren't they all?!) husband is on his busiest time of work. He didn't really get chance to get everything sorted due to taking emergency paternity leave so he's stressed. He had 3 weeks off but you know what it's like with a newborn. It was just about surviving with a baby. We didn't really get out much and both struggled with lack of sleep.

Since he's gone back to work I've slowly started to get to grips with being a mummy. Ten weeks on and I'm loving the dream! The weather is nice and I'm able to get out and about with my baby - enjoying every second of my precious maternity leave - with the mindset that I need to make the most of this as I'll never get this time again. I have wonderful days then - BANG - I have to come home to stressy rubbish.

My husband is so highly strung st the moment. Every tiny thing I say ends up in an argument. If I ask him to do anything I get a huff or a hesitation or a comment.

I put this down to stress so I can understand how hard it must be for him. Men don't really get father support do they. I've had midwives and health visitors checking up on me but he's had nobody. He doesn't really confide in his family.

I've also wonders if it's jealousy or anxiety. Who knows...

Anyway, when he finally gets time from work he choses to play golf rather than have family time which makes me really sad. This is a frequent pattern. I feel like we're living separate lives.

We're in separate rooms, hardly talk and at the 4am feed I thought I'd catch up on some tv to keep me awake and turned on the TV to find some sex channel on! I saw his work phone on the table and thought if he's watching those sorts of channels who is he texting so I went through his phone. In doing so I have just accidentally called someone in his phone book so I'll get rumbled. Now I feel an idiot or a teenager for doing that as it just makes me look stupid if I get caught.

We're going away on a couple of weeks with his family. Im hoping we will be able to do things together but he's already started saying 'there are some nice little golf courses round there so I will take my clubs'. I feel like shouting 'what about spending time with your child?' He just doesn't seem to get that life has changed. The sad thing is that I hoped he'd want to spend time with me and the baby but he chooses himself instead. I can see why - he says it relaxes him (which is good as I don't want him to be stressed) but st the same time it's selfish.

Loads of other things have happened but I won't go into it. Just felt stupid and guilty for hint through his phone and it set alarm bells off for me thinking I'm rather paranoid or coming to the end of a relationship.

Id say we had a happy marriage before but now u feel the same as I have done when I've broken up with boyfriends in the past. I feel it's going to be a real struggle to keep things going.

Any advice??
I know this is complete waffle but it is past 5am!

Thank you xxxx

wayway13 Sun 18-Sep-16 06:03:51

A lot of men really struggle at this time - mine did! Both of your lives have changed and, as you said, no one really checks on the dad. He has a stressful job, as does mine. His wife has suddenly turned into a mummy. His wife is still there but at the moment you will be very much focused on the baby (as you should be!) so the dynamic has changed. He will feel a very sudden sense of responsibility to you both - he's a family man now. I threw myself into motherhood too, went to lots of classes, enjoyed mat leave fully. DH had 2 weeks off. The first week was spent in hospital and the second we were zombies. He then went back to piles of work on his desk.

I wouldn't worry about the sex channels. Men have a physiological need to ejaculate and, if he doesn't do it himself, it'll happen in his sleep. It'll help relieve stress too. I certainly wasn't offering my services at 10 weeks so DH's browsing history was probably pretty colourful.

Snooping isn't the best idea but hormones make us do silly things. Apologise.

The next few months will be difficult for you both. The first year is bloody hard on a marriage IME. The golf would really bug me too but it must be what he needs to unwind from work. My DH would go running or piss about on his phone.

Try not to worry as it really is early days flowers

iloveberries Sun 18-Sep-16 06:07:38

Have you sat down with him and told you how you feel, what you need and asked him how he feels and what he needs?
A bit of open communication might get the ball rolling?

He might feel like a bit of a "spare part" at the moment - especially if you're breastfeeding and taking motherhood in your stride. Does he know how much you need and want him.

GoldFishFingerz Sun 18-Sep-16 06:11:34

A lot of men struggle and male postnatal depression isn't really recognised.

GoldFishFingerz Sun 18-Sep-16 06:12:27

Has he bonded with baby.

erinaceus Sun 18-Sep-16 06:15:14

Crikey. Sounds v stressful. I agree with PP that I think that "society" casts a new fathers in the role of "provider" and this sort of compounds any work-related pressure he is already under. So he comes home from work stressed and then you have changed and he has a new person to contend with in the house as well. If he unwinds by playing golf, do you also get the chance to unwind too? Being alone with baby is not the same as unwinding. If you don't want that at the moment, maybe suggest to him instead of him going to play golf you could eg go for a walk together with baby, at least, some of the time?

When he talks about golf courses for the upcoming holiday, have you tried asking him "but what about your new child?" You wrote that you feel like shouting it; you could shout it but I think if you are able to say it calmly it might help him to come to a compromise. I think it's fair enough to need a break from pressure but he is also responsible as a parent now so maybe some compromising could be done?

flowers it sounds hard. Do you get on with your in-laws? They will have been through having a first baby and might be more understanding than you think even if their ideas are a generation behind yours, IYSWIM.

Lessthanaballpark Sun 18-Sep-16 06:18:27

"Men have a physiological need to ejaculate"

Jesus! What this man has is a need to wake up and realise that he's a parent FGS!

Looking after a newborn and a home at the same time is incredibly hard work and he needs to grow up and start supporting you OP and pulling his weight with your child. You say you had a traumatic birth OP, did he support you through that? I'm guessing not much.

Can you leave him with the baby or a few hours so he is forced to bond with him/her?

wayway13 Sun 18-Sep-16 06:30:56

Lessthanaballpark they do though. It is going to happen whether he does it himself or not. The point I was trying to clumsily make is to try not to take it personally.

ShirleyKnotReboot Sun 18-Sep-16 06:31:56

I appear to have accidently clicked on Mumsnet 1952. Are blue balls a real thing now as well?

WTF? Fuck that shit.

OP - have you spoken to him about how you're feeling and told him that the golf clubs are not coming on holiday? Have you told him that he needs to engage?

KARMAisaBtch Sun 18-Sep-16 06:35:16

Have you talked to him about this?

Maybe he is not mentally prepared about the birth hence he is avoiding bonding with you and your baby.

If you have spoken to him and no improvement then I say you need to talk to his family about this.

Sometimes, people do listen if the 'telling off' came from another person( family).


TheCrowFromBelow Sun 18-Sep-16 07:55:13

wayway it absolutely isn't true but I don't want to derail OPs thread.

OP you do need to talk to him, even if he spends one day a weekend on golf and one as a family at weekends it would be better but it reads as if he hasn't really taken a parental role at all.

imjessie Sun 18-Sep-16 08:11:25

I have to say my dh wasn't like this so I don't think it's normal . You need to talk to him Ans find out what is wrong . Its a big change but you should be dealing with it together . He can obviously still play golf but not as a way of escaping the baby . Please try and talk to him before it gets worse and that becomes the norm .

Zigzag22 Sun 18-Sep-16 09:11:28

Wow thanks for all the replies!
Golf was a bit of an issue before baby. I'd started to feel a bit lonely and although I shouldn't have, I started to feel a bit like he's choose golf over spending time with me. I thought to myself that I can't beg my husband to spend time with is wife but whenever I told him he just said it was his time to unwind and the only time when he didn't think about work. He said at least he wasn't going out all the time or in the pub. He said the exercise made him feel better. I could see his point so I got my own hobby. I got a season ticket for football last year. My mum was quite concerned that we didn't do much together as a couple and so was I but I had really hoped that once a baby came things would change. (We had planned this baby so he did want children.)

I tried organising a few couple things before the baby came. We've joined the National Trust (very middle aged!!) and we went out for meals together.

When I was in hospital he was amazing. I suppose it was because he was concentrating on me. My hospital bag wasn't ready so he had to run round and get things for the few days. He was with me in the hospital every day but went home to sleep. He was very supportive and I thought 'great'.

I got out of hospital on a Thursday. On the Saturday after (when our newborn was one week old) he played golf - all day in a different county on a golf day. He begged me as it was arranged before the baby and as I was premature and we were a few weeks out I agreed (stupidly) thinking it would be good for him as he's been so amazing.

Weekends 2, 3 and 4 he played golf either all day Saturday or all day Sunday. By week 5, he'd had enough of me nagging and said it affected his personable and he wasn't in the right frame of mind so he gave it a miss for two weeks. We had a big chat and he agreed that he'd only play one day at the weekend. I said fine but he'd miss out on lots of firsts as I wasn't going to sit in the house on my own. My plan was to do really lovely things each time so he'd perhaps feel he was missing out but he hasn't seemed bothered.

When it came to the August bank holiday he slacked off his agreement and played twice - Saturday and Monday - both full days. This hurt me as he'd been so busy in work this was his first real chance to spend time with our baby but in my opinion he chose the selfish option. His mum is on my side. We had to push the pram to meet him and his golf palls at a pub on the bank holiday Monday. I was thinking this was a development in bonding but when we got there he basically ignored us. I was fuming and trying my best to keep a straight face. Eventually he did the proud dad thing and picked the baby up and people took photos. This made me happy (while it lasted) as I felt he was recognising he was a dad. Then at 7pm each Monday they all apparently have to log on to a website and book the next competition or something like that. So he booked his next round with all his mates. His mum clocked that he didn't even turn round and ask 'are we doing anything it ok if I play?' His mum kept saying 'what about <my babe>?' But he chose not to. Honestly he hadn't even thought of asking me!

A couple of days later my husband and I went on a walk together with the baby. I told him that now we have a baby it would be polite to ask about golf and not just to assume. I explained how I felt. He just had a go at me and said the same 'it's how I relax' thing.

So as time has gone on I've kept mentioning this to him but it had carried on so each weekend I have planned lovely trips out with my child as if I am a single mum & have sort of got used to the fact that if he chooses us then that's a bonus.

I have organised swimming lessons on a Sunday purposefully so we have something special to do as a family. The last two Sunday's he's been. Today he says he has to work so I suppose that can't be helped but you would think he might try to leAve abut earlier to make the lesson. (We take it in turns each week to go in the pool for the lesson.)

When he gets in from work every night, I have been handing him our child. I've encouraged 'daddy time' so he'll bath our baby and play with him. He also likes to cuddle the baby so I think he has bonded. But he'll just get so bad tempered so if he is with the baby I'll just do housework to keep out of his way.

Each night I've tried to prepare tea and make the house inviting for when he gets home - lighting candles etc and tidying away baby things.

I just feel really odd about my marriage and the underlying question I have is did he really want children?

So sorry I am ranting!

Zigzag22 Sun 18-Sep-16 09:13:59

Sorry I hope you can understand the above with the predictive text mistakes!

TartyTart Sun 18-Sep-16 09:32:04

Your last post resonates with me hugely. My husband also carried on with a major golf habit after the kids were born. I hadn't minded until that point as i got on with my life - friends, shopping, sport - but once the kids were born, I expected golf to wane and it didn't. (I didn't have the pub thing though - he is not a drinker).

In the end I suggested he went back to golf; the kids are much older, we have a network of friends to help with lifts etc. He loves it again and there are no issues.

Looking back, I think men struggle to adapt to a new life after the baby arrives. They bond with the baby but the real joy or kick happens latter when the baby can interact. I'd say this ramps up quickly at the 6-12 months stage and keeps ramping up. My husband is brill with the kids and they are parented very equally - a great result.

Babies are stressful.. Your MIL sounds great, ask her to babysit while you get out for an evening and try not only talk about the baby!!

BlurtonOnKites4eva Sun 18-Sep-16 09:32:10

Honestly, he just sounds like a bit of a dick to me. And you sound far too lovely for your own good. Sorry I haven't got any better advice flowers

TartyTart Sun 18-Sep-16 09:34:28

A whole bit of that post got chopped out but basically when the older one was about 3, he gave up temporarily due to illness and didn't go back for many years. I think he saw that we were both needed for little activities, parties etc. and that became his focus.

GreenRut Sun 18-Sep-16 09:43:48

I think you're being way too accommodating, OP. Candles, baby things tidied away? Why are you doing this stuff? He certainly doesn't sound like he deserves it but neither should you be trying to portray that everything is the same as it was before you had a baby. My dh was lucky to get a ready meal and if the place was tidy when he got home it was because it was convenient for me to tidy it. As for pp saying he has his needs (paraphrasing), how about he also has the common decency to turn the channel back to something a bit more pedestrian before turning the telly off? All this on top of the golf? He sounds like dick and i think you're doing yourself a disservice by being so accommodating.

TheCrowFromBelow Sun 18-Sep-16 09:46:57

He needs to step up. What happens when your ML finishes? When will you get time to de-stress and unwind? It's the fact that he is assuming he is free to join in all
the time that stands out for me; he is being incredibly selfish. Don't award him points for getting your bag ready you both have this baby it isn't solely your responsibility.
Next Monday at 6pm, before his 7pm booking deadline, tell him you have something booked on the Saturday and he will be looking after his child.

rainbowstardrops Sun 18-Sep-16 09:55:28

I think he's being incredibly selfish. I can't stand all this 'men find it hard to adapt' spiel. Women can find it hard too - especially when their emotional needs are being neglected!

Talk to your husband and say how hurt you feel. I don't blame him for needing a way to chill out but he needs to strike a balance too.

Zigzag22 Sun 18-Sep-16 10:01:07

Thank you!
I feel he's being a bit of a dick too!!! I've pointed out some of his friends do family things as they post pictures on Facebook. (I share all baby pics on the icloud for family as don't want to post a million pics on FB!)
I asked him two weeks ago to come back into the marital bed as i feed downstairs and it's more established now. He did one night. That was it.
He asked at about 4 weeks when we could start having sex again. I admit I gave him both barrels and said something along the lines of 'that's unreasonable. I've just given birth. We could have sex but I'm still bleeding! Would you want to now?' To which he got the message!!!! I mean do men not get the fact that having a baby does actually wreck your body & your body confidence!

And now I'm healed etc I am not in the mood for that as I just felt tense when he's around me.

I've tried running baths for him, cooking nice meals and so much to de stress him.the other day he told me to 'F. Off!' I said I wouldn't be treated like that in my own home and that I did not want the baby to hear that sort of language. His response was 'can I be dismissed now, teacher.' angry

I'm frustrated & sad. I talked to my health visitor about this. She did say it's common as men need to get more back from babies and they become more involved as time goes on.

I was hoping a week away would make him realise that parenting is full on but so rewarding. I was thinking he wouldn't have work to stress about but then he thinks he's packing his golf clubs! I'm going to sabotage this idea anyway by packing everything but the kitchen sink - the baby bath, the bouncer chair, a suitcase etc! wink

PacificDogwod Sun 18-Sep-16 10:04:31

Men do NOT "need" to ejaculate - that is simply physiologically incorrect.

If they wish to ejaculate, there's always masturbation.

ZigZag, you and your DH need to find a way to talk and listen to each other - if it gets too fraught to quickly when it's just the two of you at home consider doing it with a counsellor in the room - it keeps things civil and gives both of your the space to say what needs saying.

From what you are writing he sounds like a selfish, immature person who thinks that his life will continue as it was after the arrival of his child - he needs to be put right.
Both of your lives have changed, for ever. It will never be exactly the same as it was before - you are now a family, no longer a couple. Things are more complex and more focussed on the new arrival.
Things will improve, your attention won't forever be so much on a tiny baby, they do grow up and become less dependent.

It took me 15 years of marriage to understand that apparently part of my role as a wife was to be my DH's 'fluffed', booster of his self-esteem and general cheerleader to His Wonderfulness.
Well, as PP have said, fuck that.

You two need to speak and listen to each other.
Set out your stall, let him voice his expectations. And then see if the two of you can live with each others expectations.

Good luck. And big congratulations! thanks

PacificDogwod Sun 18-Sep-16 10:07:00

And yes, this 'men need to adapt' to having a new baby - yes, sure they do, but so do women! While they are having the physical recovery from birth to deal with. AND they usually are doing the majority of baby care.

What is HE doing to make things nice for you? Running you baths? Taking you for nice meals? Being specially nice to you?


Thought not.

HandbagCrab Sun 18-Sep-16 10:08:19

Would you book a day doing something at the weekend now you have a dc without checking with him first if it was convenient?

If you're having a bad day do you expect him to scurry around after you cleaning, cooking, lighting candles etc etc? Did he do this for you before dc?

When you go back to work when will you have any downtime if the golf weekends are entrenched during mat leave?

Do you think it's desirable to have to engineer situations like swimming lessons at the weekend just to get your dh to spend some of his downtime with his child?

You are being far too kind on your dh and imho much too accommodating. Men are perfectly capable of not watching porn when they have a ten week old. Men are perfectly capable of working in stressful jobs and not taking that stress out on their families at home. Men are perfectly capable of spending time with their dc doing family things at weekends and genuinely wanting to be there. Some men might not be but these men should not be held up as the norm and something that women need to manage or work around in order to have dc or a relationship.

If you really do think he has pnd then you could insist for the sake of everyone's mental health he sees the GP asap to get some advice or support. I can't see it myself, I see a selfish man who likes the idea of a family but doesn't want to put any of the work or effort in that makes a family. Lots of men aren't like this and even where they are it does not mean their partners have to put up with it or their dc have to put up with it.

Have a think about what you want and how you want your relationship to be. Best of luck.

Fairylea Sun 18-Sep-16 10:09:02

What a lot of sexist drivel re men not coping with babies and needing time to adjust etc (re your health visitor)! It's 2016. Not 1950. Your post reads like he's some poor little man who's world has been turned upside down and he just wants to relax so you're bending over backwards with candles and whatever else to make him happy .... Stop.

You've had to cope and adjust to being a parent and so should he. It's not a man / woman thing. It's a twat / not being a twat thing. He is being a selfish arse expecting to carry on with golf in the way he did before the baby. He just can't. He needs to scale it back and start behaving like more of a dad.

He sounds very much like my first husband who I left when dd was 6 months old. Not all men are like this, my now dh (13 years on from first dh) is nothing like this. He wouldn't dream of swanning off to play sport every weekend leaving me holding the baby.

I have no time for twatty men who seem to think they "babysit" their own children. If they can't be an equal parent they don't deserve to have people falling over themselves to pander to them.

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