Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
My marriage is dying(44 Posts)
And I don't know if I have the mental energy to try and save it.
Things haven't been fantastic for ages but since our 7 month old came along its getting worse and worse. After another row I'm spending yet another weekend in the bedroom with DS.
It's partly my fault. DS is a terrible sleeper and I'm constantly tired and in a bad mood. I do feel like my life at the moment is a bit of a slog. I have a lovely baby but he is demanding and won't let me out of his sight. I do resent that DH has so much more freedom than me. He sleeps in the spare room most nights but will still complain about being tired which makes me boil with rage.
I do pretty much everything at home. DH thinks he does loads but in reality all he does is bath DS and put him to bed and wash up after dinner. Even then I have to go behind him and pick up wet towels, let out bath water etc. He never puts things away so I feel like I'm constantly picking up after him. I clean the kitchen and then he comes along and makes a mess or leaves cups and glasses on the side dirty. All petty, minor stuff but it really winds me up and makes me so annoyed.
I admit that most of the time I'm snappy with DH or passive aggressive. I know it's not helping but I can't seem to stop myself. I've wondered whether I'm suffering a bit of PND but I don't want antidepressants so I've not spoken to the GP about it.
Our latest falling out is probably my fault. I felt he didn't make enough effort for my birthday. He expects me to tell him exactly what to do or get me. I don't want to do that though, I want him to make a bit of effort. To make me feel special. I make a lot of effort for his birthday, even treating him to a night away with his friends. I got a scarf and photo frame bought from the train station and the cheapest bunch of flowers grabbed on his way home. He promised to take me for lunch yesterday but never organised anything. I think he wanted me to plan something so he didn't have to think about it. Maybe I'm just being ungrateful like he says but for once I just wanted him to make me feel like I was worth him putting some effort in for. I just seem to exist to facilitate him and DS at the moment.
I'm not very good at this but will fill some time until someone more suitable comes along.
I think his underwhelming work on your birthday is neither here nor there. Personally I would hate DH to have expectations for his birthday, as I personally think they are only important in that way when you're a child. The fact is, you're not on the same page in your relationship, so that's what you should address.
How are things when you talk?
It just would have been nice to have felt appreciated and like he thought I was worth making some effort for.
We don't communicate effectively. He doesn't respond well to criticism. If I say that he doesn't do XYZ he goes off on one and says that I'm saying he does nothing at all. He also doesn't think it matters if the house is a mess so thinks I'm moaning for no reason. I can't bear dirt or too much mess so I either do it all or put up with it.
What about before ds came along ? You say things haven't been right for ages, how long have you been together?
Just on the birthday thing. I am on the other side of that dynamic an I cannot tell you how fucking shit it is to know that whatever you do/but will be criticised (even comments like "Oh you've made an effort for a change"). It is utterly soul destroying
Noscar promising lunch then just not bothering... that's a bit different isn't it. In her state of exhaustion and consequent low mood (which is completely understandable, OP could you speak to your HV?) it is bound to feel particularly unkind.
Have you considered couples counselling OP? To help communication? I would not make any big decisions about the marriage while you yourself are so low, OP. Do you get time to 'switch off' or have 'me time' at the weekends.
The communication was awry before but we got more time together. So we had more fun together and without sounding wanky we were making deposits into the relationship bank as well as withdrawals. I couldn't think of a better way to explain that. Nowadays we get very little time together.
Pleasenoscar- that must be horrible. I hope I'm not like that. I usually have to email links to DH do he knows exactly what to buy. I don't want to do that this year though because I feel like all I do is exist to do things for other people. I wanted DH to put some thought in. He just ran into the shop at the station and grabbed something. Like I said before maybe I'm being ungrateful. I don't know if its really about feeling unappreciated or just a symptom of a bigger problem.
Funnily enough I get me time when we row. We stay in separate rooms and so to see the baby DH has to come and take him off. Otherwise, when I'm around I do still end up getting dragged into being involved ie if DH does bath time he won't have got a towel or pyjamas so will end up shouting for me to bring him things.
I think there are big communication issues, but they are all mixed up with that 'invisible' and utterly, eye-wateringly exhausting (and often thankless and quite restricting) new role as a Mum. I think there's quite a bit to 'unpick' here. You sound completely exhausted OP.
OP 'me time' when you row is NOT the same! You are not recharging, but stewing, surely?
Husbands often feel side - lined when a baby comes along. They had the wife's sole attention, and now that is diverted to the baby. Also, you are feeling tired and stressed, and possibly post-natal depression. I think you need to sit down and have a big talk. Explain your feelings. Can you get a relative to have the baby for an afternoon so you can catch up on sleep, or have time for yourself, or a simple cup of coffee with dh. I think people underestimate the impact a a baby has on a couple.
Incidentally, I slept I separate beds when my dc was born so in know how you feel. I used to think I had two,lives, my day one and my night one. I got to know the night time radio 2 djs very well. We eventually did controlled crying to get my baby to sleep,through the night. It was tough going, but well worth it.
Can you get your DH to help out more with the nights? I have a non sleeper and it has been really tough. Sleep deprivation led to my PND so it's important to share the load.
We don't have anyone nearby which is another problem. Our nearest relative is an hour away. So we've no respite. DS has only recently started going to bed at a decent time in the past couple of weeks. So we've had no time together at all which has compounded matters.
DH does bedtime and I've started handing DS over at 7am so I can sleep until DH leaves for work. He is no good doing night wakings though as he doesn't hear him ( or ignores him) for too long. Last time I ended up getting up myself 2 or 3 times to every one time DH heard him. It's more frustrating than just handling it all myself.
Something we did when our DCs were small which really did help was 'one night on, one night off'. The parent who's night on it was did all that night's wakings. I know, sounds crap but of course you could then think 'tomorrow night I can sleep'
Is this something which could work for you?
I don't think that would work at the moment with DH working and me not.
Things will get better as your child grows older. Just cling onto that thought. When people are knackered, they argue. Put it down to the situation not each other.
knackered you ARE working. Bloody hard! I should think to you right now the idea of daily adult company and a commute must seem like bliss!!!
But you are working. A non sleeping baby is extraordinary hard work. Far more than a being employed. You don't get a break and the day never ends with a non sleeper.
If you feel as though you might be getting PND please get help. Sleep dep can be a big contributor.
Your DH will have to step up. It is not fair that one person slips into mental illness while the other carries in a normal life.
Well that's another thing we argue about. DH says its a lot easier for me to be tired at home than for him to be tired and having to go into work.
He tells me I will get a big shock once I go back to work and realise just how hard it is working and dealing with a baby! After he gets in from work and puts DS to bed , has dinner etc he only has an hour to himself and its tough! I would love that hour to myself because now I'm having to run around picking up after him and then I have to go to bed before the night wakings start. I do tell him that I'd love a lunch break and to be able to decide I'm popping for a drink after work. To be fair to him I could go out anytime and he would have DS. But I then come home and do the night shift so it's not worth doing often.
Just to add, I didn't take anti depressants either. CBT and more support helped me. My GP was lovely, really supportive.
I did leave it too long to get help though in hindsight. By the time DS was nine months I was in a terrible place, as was my marriage.
I think it would be best if you could shelve thinking about your relationship until you are less tired and depressed. See if you can get help/advice to help your baby sleep through the night as a matter of urgency. It sounds like your tiredness is preventing you from enjoying your baby and your relationship. I could have written your post years ago btw.
Also, if you do have depression, it is better to address this rather than try to ignore it. Whatever your reasons are for not having medication there are other things to try so it would be worth seeing GP or HV. But you might possibly find if your baby sleeps through the night and your DH helps as much as he does now your energy levels rise and you begin to feel better. Good luck anyway
Super worm how did you know it was PND and not just exhaustion? That's what I'm struggling to identify at the moment.
PND and exhaustion go hand in hand, knackered so you need to be open with your dh and tell him you are on your knees/in a bad place and seek whatever help is appropriate. Please take advice from GP and HV. I think you need to sort this issue out then see where you are at with the marriage . Please tell your H this too. Good luck x
I think it can be a fine line tbh. I have a history if depression but I began to feel very resentful of DS, as well as DH.
By the time he was ten months and still not sleeping I was really struggling with my mood. I often felt angry, tearful, could sleep in between wake ups. I scored really highly on the Edinburgh PND scale
It was a horrible time. It took for me to hit rock bottom before DH took me seriously. I'm back at work full time now with a non sleeper and I can tell you it is no where near as hard as my mat leave was.
OP, I understand about that longing for an hour. When I was on maternity leave with DD1, I used to get a bit envious of P's commute to work - all that time, sitting down 'alone' and reading or just listening to music - seemed like unobtainable bliss!
You are working too - I would suggest you have some time off from the night wakings for a start.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.