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Am I expecting too much of my husband?

(18 Posts)
Kelly1814 Sun 31-Mar-13 07:50:16

Hi everyone

I'm 12/13 weeks pregnant with my first child, usual nausea and exhaustion (thankfully nowhere near as bad as some experiences on here, but challenging nonetheless.)

I'm facing problems getting any support from my husband. If I try to talk about anything that is on my mind or worrying me ( finances, time off work, child care split etc) he tells me I am being negative and to stop stressing. My job is very long, stressful, demanding and pressured, when I raised this last night I was told bluntly that I was in a situation of my own making, I should stop caring so much and get a grip. This was delivered rudely and barked at me. it upset me a great deal.

I didn't expect to come home to sunshine and roses each night, but I really did think DH would be supportive and lovely whilst I was pregnant. (In addition to lack of emotional support i still do 80% of housework, working full time).

Am really disappointed. He actually told me last night that I had no idea how hard it was for HIM, dealing with me being pregnant. Yes I am feeling emotional from time to time but I am just looking for support at what is a very difficult time in my life.

Am I a hormonal witch who is expecting too much of him? Tell it to me straight, I can take it!

Thanks in advance x

noblegiraffe Sun 31-Mar-13 07:57:07

When he refers to 'a situation of your own making' is he talking about your pregnancy? A situation that he played a pretty big part in making?

It's hard for him dealing with you being pregnant? I expect that it will be hard for him dealing with you being in labour too. Poor him. It's all about him.

No, you are not expecting too much of him, he is being a self-centred arsehole. Has he got sister or someone who can tell him to man up?

purrpurr Sun 31-Mar-13 07:58:09

God Kelly, he sounds like a proper twat. I'm actually open-mouthed reading your post. I mean, I do get that pregnancy is hard for the couple sometimes, not just the woman, but I've never heard of the man trying to make it all about him.

Has he done ANYTHING nice?

Kelly1814 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:04:52

No he was referring to work, as in I take on a lot, find it hard to take time off, continuing to work even when I'll etc.

He has done some food shopping.

He does have an older sister who is flying in for a visit (we live overseas) this weekend. She doesn't know I'm pregnant yet. Maybe she could talk some sense into him.

purrpurr Sun 31-Mar-13 08:08:36

Does he struggle with ... Being nice, normally? Does he have form for being unsupportive and rather cruel? If so, do you have an established support network around you? If you had a 12 week scan, did he come to that?

Sorry for all the questions. Hope his sister will talk some sense into him.

ClaireDeTamble Sun 31-Mar-13 08:11:33

Why are you doing 80% of the housework when you both work full time? I'd knock that one on the head now otherwise he'll be expecting you to do everything when you are on maternity leave.

Tell him to stop being such a twat.

kittykatsforever Sun 31-Mar-13 08:14:54

Not to condone him, he could be alot more supportive but at the same time don't think it's that common for men to suddenly do more cleaning etc if they havnt done before ( I know mine doesnt nice as it'd be) I think early on without visual signs of pregnancy they just don't understand the utter exhaustion etc of it and possible ( like I do when dh is ill) presume were milking it abit?!? Why not ask him to explain how it's making him feel just so you can then explain it from your side too, I'd imagine you will get more sympathy from his sis and she will give him a nudge

Kelly1814 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:16:56

He struggles to show emotion but can be lovely. He isn't massively supportive when it comes to running the house which does concern me as I worry that when the baby comes most of the hard work will fall to me. If I try to raise this, i get accused of being negative.

I've seen a different side to him these last few days, I thought he'd be so giddy about being a father, he wanted this so much, but he's not acting like it at all. He had a very difficult childhood so am wondering if the lack of positive role models at home means he just has no idea how to behave.

That said, he's a 44 year old self aware man, I would expect him to get past this and as has been said: man the eff up!

Thank you so much for the support.

Kelly1814 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:19:30

12 week scan is this Thursday. He is planning to come. It did cross my mind that when he sees and hears his child, he might have an epiphany that this is real. And some appreciation as to what I am going through to bring our child into the world. Here's hoping.

fertilityFTW Sun 31-Mar-13 08:43:32

I went through this with my DH as well OP. He was a complete arse for the first few weeks and I couldn't understand it and feared all sorts of outcomes as the pregnancy wore on and I needed more of his physical and emotional support. We'd been TTCing a loooong time and I too thought this would be cause to celebrate but he was withdrawn and moody and quite horrible a couple of times.

We had a rough few weeks but then around the 12 week scan finally sat and talked about it (he's also the same age as yours) and he got to air out all his fears as well - and there were more of them than I realised. It's his first child as well and he felt quite pressured about what he would be like as a father (based on his strained relationship with his own), had money worries (related to a desire to provide the best for his child) etc, etc- it is a big change for a man as well which I found hard to understand seeing as I felt I was the one going through it all. So we had both been in our own internal world and had failed each other a bit.

But we made a conscious effort after that to talk and the scan also helped him actually have a visual focus and crystallised the fact of the new life that was as much his as mine - and I have to say I've been amazed and quite bowled over as to how much he's stepped up since then (am now 33wks and think I've fallen for him all over again) and though he's not the sort to bend over backwards or understand emotional needs too well, he's really thrown himself into trying. I have also been clearer as to what I need from him. It took time and some mutual effort but we've come together - I do hope you find that the same applies to you both.

Congratulations on the pregnancy!

Booyhoo Sun 31-Mar-13 08:49:34

" but I really did think DH would be supportive and lovely whilst I was pregnant. "

was he supportive and lovely before you were pregnant?

" He isn't massively supportive when it comes to running the house which does concern me as I worry that when the baby comes most of the hard work will fall to me."

can i ask, did you think he would change when a baby came along or did you just accept that you would be doing the lions share of the work?

Kelly1814 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:59:47

Fertilityftw, that's an interesting perspective, thanks for sharing. It is not easy to get him to open up but I will definitely try.

Booyhoo, he was lovely in the main before we were pregnant but has his moments, as we all do. On the running the house front, I certainly didn't expect a massive personality change ( maybe more fool me for accepting the status quo of me doing the lion's share) but I did think that when he held his much longed for child he would feel spurred to support and step up and take on more.

Maybe this view is too idealistic. I have seen it happen to friends and perhaps mistakenly thought he would be the same.

Booyhoo Sun 31-Mar-13 09:08:36

i'm afraid i think it is a bit naive/wishful thinking to think that people will suddenly change when a baby comes along. maybe for the fortnight's paternity leave he will be great (and should be!) but once he gets back to work and is tired from being woken by new baby i can bet you everything i have that his sleep and 'chill time' after work will become very important again and you will be 'unreasonable' for expecting anymore of him than going to work.

in your shoes i would tell him that you need to have a serious talk and that things will be changing. i dont know what your plans are for once your maternity leave is over so what you expect from him /what is fair will depend on whether you are at home with the baby or going back to work. but you do need to decide what you want from him and put it to him. come to an agreement on what is fair but dont be guilted or bullied into agreeing with him that he doesn't need to be doing any more.

Msbluesky32 Sun 31-Mar-13 09:35:56

I hope things get a bit better for you after the scan. Id suggest giving him some material to read a out how your body is adapting etc, perhaps he's just not getting it! My DP was oblivious until we started nct classes and then he started to get to grips with what I was going through. Also, I've not been particularly demanding during pregnancy but we met some other couples where I think he realised I wasnt asking as much or needing as much as some of the other mums to be were, iyswim.
Men tend to need things really spelt out to them - I'd be very specific about what help you want and when and dont be afraid to ask for it. I did 80% of the house work too (but mostly because if DP was in change our sheets and towels would be changed when they crawled off the bed/towel rail) but now he does a lot because I started asking for help with the odd thing and now he does it automatically (Im mostly unable to vacuuming etc and he does all of this now)

purrpurr Sun 31-Mar-13 10:07:51

Definitely voting for asking for help. I did the majority of housework before, too, then I just stopped. I had to ask, though, for my H to fill the dishwasher, clean the toilet, put the new duvet cover on the duvet before bed, carry the wet washing from the machine up the stairs to the airer, I suppose in the same way my parents asked me to do chores as a kid. (His never asked him.) Then, at some point I didn't need to be pointed in the direction of something that needed to be done, I started to see it and do it. In the same way, my H has started to develop this same sight for things that need to be done. Yesterday he did a whites laundry load and hung it out on the line whilst I emptied and filled the dishwasher.

This has taken 8 months to get to this point (well I'm 35 weeks, so 8 months ish). Just don't make it a martyr issue, or mind games, or subtle hints, or drama or anything else. Just a simple request. Can you do this, I'm just doing that. Ok.

Around the 25 week mark I started asking my H to put my socks and shoes on for me when he was around, as I either felt too big and uncomfortable getting down there or bending that way would encourage my heartburn to increase. I had to ask a couple of times, if that. Now he just does it - especially now, when I'm so big. The physical evidence of the pregnancy has really changed everything - as soon as I got a noticeable bump, he started doing things.

hwjm1945 Sun 31-Mar-13 10:13:04

We were got 8 and 7 year olds and he finally "sees" the washing up etc and does it

glossyflower Sun 31-Mar-13 10:32:05

My DH sounds similar. I do most of the housework when we both work full time. He wasnt unsympathetic but moaned a lot if I asked anything of him. Now I'm 37 weeks he's a lot more supportive (without the moaning so much!).
Our baby wasnt planned and so was a shock for us both but he found it was more difficult because he says it doesn't feel real we are having a baby. It used to bother me he didn't want to talk to the bump, be half hearted when feeling for movements but as time has gone on he's been more interested and I was really happy when he came home the other day having bought 4 packs of baby wipes that were on offer in wilkinsons lol.
I know when baby finally gets here he'll be the father uncontrollably crying!

MrsMillions Sun 31-Mar-13 10:47:03

Hi Kelly

It might be easier to tackle the short term problems first. That gets over the suggestion of over-worrying/over-thinking the future, gives you help now when you need it, then it might start to become the new normal and the changes then required when your baby arrives won't be so big. Not saying you leave the discussion on changes post-birth until then, that would be too late, just don't try to do it all at once, and making things easier for you here and now will make the difference far sooner.

With my DH the problem wasn't housework but the level of nursery decoration required. He started off not thinking any painting was required, then didn't believe me that woodwork and ceiling needed doing as well as walls...he'll be doing a first coat on woodwork and second on ceiling today, because he wasn't happy with just one. His brain also wasn't ready to think about what to do with all the stuff we removed from what was a spare room until several weeks after me, but ended up having a good sort-out of his things stored in there and also had a great idea for how to re-arrange the study to accommodate the things we needed to keep.

I agree with others about a shift after the scan. We are all too aware our bodies are changing and this is really happening, they can't see anything yet, so the scan does make it real for them. Also my DH was wary of getting excited too soon, maybe he needs the reassurance all is ok?

Good luck and congratulations.

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