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Expecting first baby, think marriage is breaking up(18 Posts)
This is my first ever post. I have been lurking for a while.
This may be long so thank you if you make it through!
Anyway, I am 38 weeks pregnant with first child. I have been with partner for 10 years, married for 2.5yrs.
I don't think my partner loves or even likes me anymore.
We have spent the whole of the pregnancy arguing and I would say he is only happy 20% of the time.
The pregnancy was planned.
I feel like nothing I do is enough or good enough. He is constantly trying to push me (in what he thinks is a good way) to do more/be better but I just feel like I can never be good enough or do enough.
He always seems angry, whether at me or other people and says he has a lot on his mind. His work is quite stressful. I am self employed.
I can get very defensive, especially when I feel like he is trying to push me. This makes him more angry and we argue.
I always feel like I have to have a huge list of things ready to say to him to please him when he asks me what I did today. But he always says "but did you do this...?" When I think he knows I haven't. It makes me feel like I can never do the right thing/enough.
During the 20% of the time that he is happy he is like a different person and is wonderful to be around. But I am always treading on eggshells waiting for his mood to change.
The men in his family have a history of depression and we both think this might be a factor but he won't go to the GP. He has never been violent, and never would be - he is a very gentle person.
It is absolutely breaking my heart that we seem to hate each other, especially when we should be so happy at the birth of our first child.
He said during a recent argument "sometimes I really hate being in this relationship". Which really hurt but I feel the same - I just don't think I would have told him that.
Tonight, I picked him up after we had both been out and as soon as he got in the car he was in a mood. We hardly spoke all the way home, then he went straight to bed. Again he said he had a lot on his mind but nothing that he wanted to talk about. And he always says that I don't communicate with him enough. I'm not very good at talking about myself/emotions.
I'm not really sure why I'm writing this but I'm hoping someone can give me constructive advice on how to save our relationship.
Sorry to hear this op. I have no advise but the ladies and gentlemen here are pretty good at the helpful advise thing.
My dh sometimes does this and I feel I am being interrogated. He is surprised at that as he just wants to know about my day so he has changed the way he asks.
In the beginning I had to say look at what I have done, not what I haven't. And that worked well to.
I really feel for you. Not feeling supported and or loved when you are pregnant is so difficult.
I am going through a similar thing, only 16 weeks pregnant but my husband has taken to flipping out, breaking things (last night he smashed the food I had just made him on the floor), he is unable to talk and acts like a child, e.g. blames me for him throwing the food on the floor.
My dad thinks that this is a reaction to the upcoming serious responsibility that pregnancy brings. Some men can't cope. I don't know if this is the situation with your husband. Incidentally with mine, he was desperate to have a baby (so he said) but now I am not so sure!
I wish I could help you, maybe you could see a counsellor and also suggest to your husband that you see one together. I will be suggesting this to my husband.
I know in both our situations something has to change, and it takes both people to do so.
Let me know how you get on.
It's disturbing that you mention 'walking on eggshells' and that you are modifying what you say and do in order to please him... or at least not trigger an angry outburst. These are features of an emotionally bullying relationship, not a healthy one. Abusive (bullying/controlling/angry) behaviour often only manifests itself with the arrival of the first child as the woman becomes more vulnerable and dependent. And I know you are reading this and thinking 'he isn't abusive' but I promise you that the pattern of nice/nasty you describe is very common indeed. Using anger and unreasonable, nit-picking, hurtful behaviour to intimidate and control.
If you want to save this relationship you must stand up to him, refuse to tolerate it and stop tippy-toeing around. Bullies must either be challenged or rejected or they will happily ride roughshod over you, smashing your confidence and self-esteem in the process. I believe your self-esteem is already starting to struggle.... I can never do the right thing... you said. Why is he deciding what is right?
Your attitude must therefore be.... 'fix your behaviour, stop dragging me down, start treating me with more support, respect and kindness or there is no future in the relationship'. If he is depressed, he gets a diagnosis and treatment. MH problems are not an excuse for bad behaviour.
"last night he smashed the food I had just made him on the floor"
This is domestic violence. 'Stress' is not an excuse.
Seriously, speak to your MW for support and I suggest that you stop belittling yourself. You're blaming yourself a lot. Sit him down and calmly discuss at a time that you're both likely to stay calm eg in a cafe or somewhere public.
dee I would be worried - your dad is making excuses for your partner - this is not normal behaviour. What happens when baby arrives and he cannot cope then? Does your dad know about the destructive temper?
Can i recommend contacting Relate? They are really good at helping couples deal with situations like this. If both of you want things to be better then it's worth a go. They also used to offer an email service if you can't make it to a face to face meeting.
Joint counselling is not normally recommended where there is controlling or abusive behaviour in evidence. Bullies tend to use joint counselling as a platform to air alleged grievances or gather ammunition since they rarely accept they are at fault. Individual counselling might help you however.
deedee, flipping out, breaking things and blaming is not about not coping, it's abuse.
WillItEver, when people allocate percentages to good times vs bad times, there's always a problem.
You are being bullied and undermined. When his mood changes, you are expected to buffer him, and take his anger until he feels better again (and presumably turns back into 'nice partner').
This is a cycle, a horrible one. Every time you think you've cracked it, it recurs, IME. Would you consider some counselling for yourself?
thanks you for your comments and your advice. it really means a lot to me, I don't have a lot of people to speak to. we spoke yesterday and came up with a list of things that we both want to change, I have said we will review it in 2 weeks, my main concern was if he does something like that again I will be leaving and I made that clear. Everything you said about being vulnerable is extra true, we recently moved to another town for his job where I haven't been able to get work, then I got pregnant, I am vulnerable and I don't want to get into the state of mind where I feel like I can't leave. I have said my main concern is any affect this will have on our child and we both agree that's most important. what worries me is that he says that he's not sure he can change, that it's the way I always win an argument that means that he has to resort to something like last night to get me to listen to him. I am going to now walk away if an argument starts and he's going to try and do the same. how do I get him to see though that this is not my fault? He says that in previous relationships he's never reacted like this, maybe I do wind him up too much. I worry that we might be ok for the next 2 weeks of 2 months but then an argument is going to happen in the future and what will his response be if he doesn't win?
*the great hunt*- re my dad, I think he is just trying to diffuse the situation. He is worried, I don't live anywhere near him and he wants me and the baby to be safe. They don't know everything about our relationship. I was embarrassed to tell him or anyone I know, I needed to speak to someone after my husband stormed out so I called my mum. I feel ashamed by his behaviour.
Willitever- sorry I suggested couple counselling, best to listen to other advice. I hope things improve for you.
Deedee you neefd to leave. In time that will become clear to you and I hope it happens soon. He already has you in a position of fear where you don't trust that he won't flip again. He is taking no responsibility for his behaviour, saying that he doesn't know if he can change and that you are the one to blame because you won't let him "win" arguments. What he actually means is that you are to keep quiet or he will punish you with violence. Listen to what he is saying, please, before it gets worse. You do not wind him up. You do not make him throw things. He does that himself, to control you. I would really advise you to start your own thread.
Please don't feel ashamed, deedee23; it is not your fault. People like him always blame the partner, and claim no-one else has affected them the same way.
Do start your own thread if you'd like support... in the meantime I hope you find a way through.
When someone plays the 'this is who I am' or 'you're the only one that winds me up' cards, you have to be very, very worried. They are essentially shrugging their shoulders, giving themselves permission to carry on in the same way and blaming you at the same time. It's wrong on a lot of levels.
I am so sorry you are going through this when you should be looking forward together to your new baby. I think you do have to be realistic though and agree with what others have said that this is an abusive pattern and you are trying to solve it by changing what you do and who you are. Nobody should have to do that for love. That's not love. I have walked in your shoes, I know what you are feeling and made the same excuses for it all. I am sorry to tell you that it doesn't get better. In my situ it got much much worse when my baby arrived. If I had my time again I would definitely have sorted it out before the baby arrived, I had that opportunity and I didn't take it because I felt so guilty about not being able to keep things together for my baby. It is only now 12 years later that I am finally free of it. It's been a massively stressful situation. I could have saved myself all of that. He was not there for me when I had the baby anyway and so fearing being alone with the baby happened anyway but I still had to cope with his crap as well. I know that it will feel like the most drastic thing right now for you but if there is a way to get out do it. You should not have to be apologising for who you are. He is abusing you in a time when he should be cherishing you even more. Take care.
Deedee- do you have your own thread? Why not start one and you'll get lots of advice and support xx
willit i think you need to make very clear to him that either he addresses this (see a doctor if it's depression, get counselling if it's learned bad behaviour, acknowledge he's not your blumming judge and jury etc) or the relationship will have to end as you're not prepared to live like that or bring a baby into it. then you see if he does anything and take it from there.
deedee - your situation is different and i am glad you're only 16wks and have a supportive father. i'd say your first port of call is to go home for a visit, talk to your family and friends and be honest about what has been going on and how he has blamed you for it etc. get some perspective and space and support and think about what kind of life you want for you and your baby. maybe don't tell your partner you're going home. when he is at work leave a letter saying you've gone to visit your family and to get some space to think as you're really disturbed by his behaviour which was completely unacceptable. pack a bag (take all important documents etc with you) and go. have a week at home to clear your mind. how he reacts and behaves will also be clarifying for you.
thank you for all your advice.
WillIever- sorry for stealing your thread. I will start my own pronto.
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