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My dsis has cancer, I am very pregnant and feel as though my dh cannot cope with me

(25 Posts)
NowtyByNature Sat 29-Nov-14 14:46:37

That basically. we're fighting all the time, dh is emotionally incredibly distant. He's uncommunicative, picks fights over food, seldom asks how I or the baby is. Doesn't always answer when I ask him questions. If I'm crying he gets angry and never just listens or calms me down. I feel so isolated as I have no friends or family nearby as we moved in May to a new town. My dsis is getting treatment on another continent for advanced cancer, she is single and we are trying to get her home. My immediate family is not coping well. He says I'm not nice to him but I try to ask him how he is, always make a brew, keep the house in order, be thoughtful etc. He is the sole breadwinner after I left my job earlier this year, then fell pregnant before finding work in our new town. how do I cope for my DD and i's sake? Can a marriage survive this? He is normally kind and very close to my Dsis. I feeling like he is making a dire situation far far worse.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 29-Nov-14 15:24:11

I'm sorry your sister is so unwell. I can understand if it causes some stress and unhappiness to you and the family more generally but I can't work out the reason behind your 'kind' DH's sudden change in behaviour. Attention-seeking? Resentment? Have you asked him what the problem is?

Nervo Sat 29-Nov-14 15:32:45

I hope your dh becomes supportive soon. My wee brother died when I was pregnant with dc2. My dh didn't have any words of wisdom but he was there, emotionally there for me.

No advice. I just wanted to say you will cope because you have children.

Quitelikely Sat 29-Nov-14 15:53:08

Strange behaviour. Signs that he has taken his attention of you for sure.

Is he annoyed at the pregnancy? Financial worries?

Has he been keeping a strong hold on his phone?

NowtyByNature Sat 29-Nov-14 16:23:30

Nervo I am so so sorry for your loss and thank you for replying. I think you are right about coping because I have children, without DH in the mix I absolutely can cope and take a lot of pleasure from DD and actually get excited about the next DC. It feels like his emotional absence is what is tipping me over the edge above everything else.

Cogito he just says it is not true or either my emotional distance, or endless listing of his faults means that he is distancing himself. It is so circular I find it hard to unpick in my anxious state. It just ends up escalating, he seems resentful, there's some truth in my being distant in the past. But in all honesty if he was going through what I am going through I think I'd find it in my heart to just give him a bloody cuddle. It's not rocket science is it?

NowtyByNature Sat 29-Nov-14 16:28:05

Quite we always agreed we wanted more than one, but he did find the first few months with DD very tough so he may be anxious. Money is tight but no more than any other family, we've had a rush of unexpected costs of late, but we have little debt other than our mortgage. And no, he leaves his phone all over the shop, he's at work or with me so I doubt there's anything like that too it. He may not be happy with me for sure. But I doubt there is anyone else involved. Thank you for replying.

NowtyByNature Sat 29-Nov-14 16:34:49

I was crying this morning as I got a voicemail from an old friend and it just made me miss her so much and there's been more fallings out with my family. DH heard my crying and came to check on me, didn't sit in the bed or comfort me, just ranted in a sweary fashion about how inconsiderate my family were to put me through this (I.e. Letting me know about the fallings out), how we're not allowed five minutes of happiness, you're sending yourself mad with this, you're on the edge of a breakdown etc etc.

I said nothing until he finished and asked him not to shout and swear at me and he stormed out of the room. He is not helping my stress levels at all.

Since when have families been any different cancer or not?! I expect better of him than I do of my very stressed family members TBH.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 29-Nov-14 16:57:10

So is he claiming he gets angry because he can't protect you? hmm Does he think that, because you are pregnant, your family should be shielding you? Is he resentful at his life being spoiled by other people's problems?

NowtyByNature Sat 29-Nov-14 17:36:22

Quite Cogito, I don't want protecting from my dsis, to be frank her problems and loneliness far far outweigh mine, we've always had rocky relationships with DF and DM, I won't stop listening to her now, especially now. He just seems so angry all the time, he's swearing more, etc. it's nonsensical.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 30-Nov-14 07:44:55

Then I think you have to put it to him that you're dealing with a lot of stress due to your DSis's illness and that his unpleasant/angry/verbally abusive behaviour is adding more stress that you don't need, especially as a pregnant woman. He either articulates exactly what it is that is making him angry and deal with it (with help if necessary), or he has to step out of the home and deal with it elsewhere. If he is not prepared to be supportive, he's poisoning your environment and that can't be allowed to continue

brokenhearted55a Sun 30-Nov-14 09:15:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rebecca2014 Sun 30-Nov-14 09:25:00

Maybe he is annoyed this situation is ruining the happiness and excitement of having your baby?

But I do find it strange you say before this he was a very kind man, was that really the case? if you honestly think back, usually when women come on here posting about their partner horrible behaviour, there is always a history.

KnockMeDown Sun 30-Nov-14 09:48:25

OP - you mentioned that your DH is very close to your DSis - could it be simply that he is very upset by her illness, too, but doesn't feel able to express it, as he feels the expectation of having to support you?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 30-Nov-14 09:51:03

The man has a tongue in his head. If he is upset by the illness, he can say 'I am upset by her illness'. It is not the OP's job to try reading his mind. Swearing and getting angry with a pregnant partner is not acceptable.

Nomama Sun 30-Nov-14 11:11:44

He sounds like a man at the end of his tether. He sounds like a man who feel helpless in the face of so much emotion and upheaval. He sounds like a man who has absolutely no idea how to deal with his wife's unhappiness.

Mine can be a bit like that when I, usually the strong one, fall apart on him. He gets all angry and shouty and forgets to cuddle. That is in itself a big indicator for me as he is a very cuddlesome man usually.

Last weekend, for instance, we had a blazing row last Saturday. On Sunday he came in and I was in pieces and he just shouted at me, sweary and not at all nice. Once he had got that out of his system he did manage to step up and explain himself, his fears, his sense of hopelessness.

Turns out he was as scared for me as I was and had tried very hard to hide it, in the belief he was helping me by not adding to my worries. Once we both went bang he felt much more able to discuss our issues and help me - which he did.

Maybe OPs DH is in the same dark place.

NowtyByNature Sun 30-Nov-14 11:21:34

Thank you all. Yes I am sure he is upset Knock he flew out to see her as soon as dsis was diagnosed, which she appreciated hugely. I wonder if he's known what to do since then. I also think he won't accept how serious her illness really is.

But maybe there is also some truth in him not being there for me in stressful situations Rebecca. Looking back I did feel unsupported last time I was pregnant. He was happy I was pregnant but wouldn't recognise how I couldn't go on as normal day to day. But once DD came along he was brilliant with both of us, so perhaps I archived that a bit.

Cogito, you are right, I haven't the space in my head to second guess him. I feel like I'm pretending to be cheerful when I can, he should be doing the same, not ranting. I'm scared I don't know him at all. I have told him repeatedly he is making this worse. It doesn't seem to register.

Brokenhearted I'm sorry to hear your sister is not there for you. People can seem to have it all, but still be resentful. Families are odd odd things. I feel that if he made me pick, I'd pick dsis. Maybe that's part of it too?

He seems to think my DM and DF have not behaved well for either for me or dsis, but they're human and in so much pain.

Thank you all for replying, the kindness of strangers makes you very hopeful.

RandomMess Sun 30-Nov-14 11:29:32

Can you start verbalising your needs?

When you need a cuddle, tell him? "Please stop ranting and come and give me a cuddle"

It sounds like it is possible that he just can't deal with his own feelings let alone yours but he can learn to improve the way he deals with both his and yours but it will take a long time.

2rebecca Sun 30-Nov-14 11:34:10

I can understand you being upset and anxious at your sister's diagnosis but crying all the time over it does sound as though there is more going on. When my mum got diagnosed with cancer I was very upset but not to the crying all the time and unable to function extent. Do you think pregnancy is making you more emotional?
Are you just listing his faults when you talk to him and not having any time together when you aren't upset and discussing your sister?
I think if your sister wants to return to the UK then you should try to help with that but there is nothing you can do otherwise about her cancer and dwelling on it all the time and crying won't make it go away.
I'd try to be strong and supportive for her but don't let her cancer destroy your life just because it is destroying hers.
Life is short, we are all going to die, dwelling on death and illnesses doesn't alter that.
If you are completely unable to be happy or have any sort of normal mood at all and this has been going on for weeks it may be worth visiting your GP, but you say you can still get excited so that probably isn't necessary. I'd try and have some time together and discuss things, and listen to him to, don't make it all about you and how upset you are. He knows you're upset, it's how you both move forward that's important. he's your husband not your therapist expecting him to always be asking how you are, calming you down and comforting you does make it sound as though you're maybe trying to change the relationship from a mutually supportive on to a parent child one and he maybe feels uncomfortable about that and feels you're expecting him to be the one doing all the support especially if this has been going on since May.
Maybe try and find friends and interests locally as you sound fairly isolated.

NowtyByNature Sun 30-Nov-14 11:46:18

Thanks Random, I will try that, I'm stubborn so to actually just to say that has never crossed my mind!

NowtyByNature Sun 30-Nov-14 11:57:04

2rebecca I am definitely more emotional due to the pregnancy, for sure. I cope very well most of the time, dh sees it that I am the strong one in our family.

I understand what you're saying about him not being my therapist, but I think comforting a crying woman is route one compassion. You'd probably do that for a stranger. I speak to friends as much as I can to diffuse some of this from him.

He has been actively avoiding spending time with just me. I really feel like I am humouring his bad moods and tempers endlessly, and under the circs that seems wrong.

I don't dwell on it all the time, I manage in the day for my DD and then occasionally it hits you like a shovel and you need to have a quiet cry. I cried yesterday because of my exasperation with DH. When I am happy and trying to be amenable he is the one who is moody and uncommunicative. I can't help but think if I can manage it, he should be able to put on a face too.

I'm sorry to hear about your mum too. It's devastating for any family at any time. My DSis is single without children and I really feel like if I am not there for her 100% she would be lost. I am trying very hard sometimes to give her reasons to want to carry on.

I appreciate your honesty 2rebecca.

RandomMess Sun 30-Nov-14 12:01:10

Neither dh or I have been brought up in families that deal with emotions, it's been tough on both of us.

One of the biggest problems if when one of us gets upset and emotional and "needs" the other one our instinct is to run for the hills!!!

Asking for a cuddle may mean it eventually becomes instinct. My dh finds it very difficult that he can't fix the problem for me and that I just need him to be there for me whilst I sob a lot. When he senses my pain then he connects with his own and vice versa - perhaps your dh is the same.

NowtyByNature Sun 30-Nov-14 13:20:04

That does make a lot of sense Random. His pain is very real, i will try that with him, and hope my efforts are reciprocated. I have to try to drop the blame game unless I'm going to bite the bullet and leave. My family suffered from endless fights and recriminations and I want a bit better for my DC. It's worth a try. Thank you flowers

NowtyByNature Sun 30-Nov-14 14:05:02

Nomama that very sounds familiar too. Looking at how he was yesterday he did seem scared actually. I hope you are both happier now. It seems a back to front way of dealing with things to me, but it's very plausible.

Nomama Sun 30-Nov-14 14:13:17

We're fine. Once the floodgates are opened and drained we can keep the topic open for as long as necessary. It is just getting past that "who is being strong for who?" that can be difficult for him.

I am now much more relaxed, have handed in my notice and am exploring my options - lots of time for doing that, as a teacher my notice period runs from Jan - April!

I worried about the loss of income, so I put up with the stress. He was worried about my stress levels and told me to sod the income. After a lot of shouting 'sod the income' became a much more measured, practical discussion about finances and the reality of my position.

I hope your DH is having a similar issue, as if he is your position is fixable, you 'just' need to talk it through, fully, tearfully even!

Good luck.

NowtyByNature Sun 30-Nov-14 14:31:28

Thanks Nomama. It sounds like you are where we were last year, eventually and thankfully we got to the 'sod the money' stage too and I handed my notice in. I hope you find something more fulfilling and enjoy the sense of liberation! I put up too as leaving a job with nothing to go to just seemed alien. Maybe my DH hoped after that things would chill out a bit after that, wrong! I don't regret it though.

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