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Am I falling out of love with my husband?(17 Posts)
Hi! Looooooooooong time lurker, first time poster. Mainly been lurking in AIBU for ages as it's always moving fast and makes me feel like the world is still turning out there!
I'm hoping for some help/advice/to be told to pull myself together, or, this is mumsnet, flaming criticism! ;)
Background: Been in a relationship for 5 years, married for 1. We have 1 DS, 5 months old, wonderful child who at the moment is nocturnal. DH has severe depression (he's medicated for it) and social anxiety disorder, and has parents who are intensely controlling and hate me, because I don't toe their line. DH is very needy, requires a LOT of reassurance, several times a day on the weekend and regularly when he's home from work, I get "Have I done anything to upset you? Are we ok? Are you sure I haven't done anything? Can I have a hug? Are you sure you are not cross with me?" which is starting to become exhausting - I'm reassuring a baby all day and then reassuring him! He's being a bit apathetic with DS, he will attempt something like putting him to bed, or go up when he cries and then come down after five minutes and say "can I tag you in? I can't do it, I'm getting frustrated with him" (which he's just done half an hour ago - he microwaved my cup of tea as I came down after shushing DS, DS started yelling and he said that to me!) and I struggle to leave DS to cry - he is grumbling at the moment and DH is determinedly on his PC playing games which suggests he'll wait until the poor kid is screaming or I go up. He seems to just want him when he's happy, or just want him to be quiet so he can sit on his PC and play games. (He waited until the kid was screaming and I gritted my teeth and kept typing)
I loathe living where we are, I want to move, I'm nearly 300 miles away from my family and I have no friends with babies down here, I've lost nearly all my old ones since having DS so I feel lonely; I got DH to drive me to a sling meet today and he hated it and refused to interact with anyone, saying he was too anxious. Which meant I felt I had to stay with him, and it's not that easy to get to mum and baby stuff here (and yes, a bit daunting when you know nobody!) so I felt a bit sad, like it was a wasted opportunity.
DH is my first ever relationship. I've never been in one before. I'm 28. And I guess I'm wondering whether this is the start of the end? When I say I love him, I feel like I'm saying it by rote. We haven't been intimate since DS was conceived (and I know sex isn't everything, and I know his medication gives him a low sex drive, and I know we still have DS in our room. But over a year and no intimacy other than kisses - I feel like I'm living with a friend that I occasionally kiss!), and he's getting on my nerves so much more.
It is me? Am I depressed? Is this hormones? Should I go to the doctor? It's his birthday next month, usually I'd be trying to find him the perfect present, putting a lot of effort into something quirky that he'd love. But I don't really care anymore. I just want him to help me around the house. I'd been looking forward to watching Orange is the New Black with him -before DS we watched the series together. He's not bothered about watching it with me, he's told me he's not in the mood and he's playing on the PC.
I found myself googling divorce. I'm terrified. I don't know how to fix this. If it's me, if I'm depressed, then that can be fixed. Does it sound like it's me? DH had terrible PND, or the dad equivalent, told me DS was a mistake and walked out on me. He came back, but I wonder if there was a grain of truth -not that DS is a mistake, I adore him, he's my wonderful son, I don't regret him in the slightest. But maybe with hindsight, for my DH it was a mistake? Does that make sense?
I feel like I'm rambling. I'm sorry. If anyone has waded through this and has anything to offer - thank you! If nobody has even read it, well. Maybe it being out there will make me feel a little lighter?
Sorry if it was me I would go home for a while And have some love and help. Is that doable? I couldn't manage living with someone like that. Is he getting some help?
Be kind to yourself. Have a break and take stock.
I think the bottom line here is, what is your DH doing to improve his outlook? Yes he is on ADs but is he attending counselling/therapy?
What you appear to be in here is a relationship with a needy child, and now you've added a baby to the mix. Yes, I do think this was a mistake in the sense that this man won't be ready for fatherhood for a long time.
And you didn't have sex on your wedding night?? Girl that is sad.
I agree with Wannabe - you need some space from this relationship and your DH needs to see what he'll be losing.
You are obviously way more tolerant than me, because I would find this situation completely untenable. I am sending you a (((hug))) because it sounds like you need it.
I understand you love(d) this man, and I don't ... but the way you describe him makes my skin crawl a bit.
You don't have to live like this. It's one thing if he is actually trying to improve his situation (and I don't mean simply taking ADs, by a long, long stretch), but if he's just hibernating and leaving it all to you, that's unacceptable.
You do have options, you know. I'd start looking into them.
Wow, thank you for reading!!!
Wannabe I'd love to go home. But I think it may make things worse as his mother will jump at the chance to come to see him and look after him, and I will be the villain.
pocketsaviour He is attending counselling sessions. He spent the entire pregnancy assuring me that he'd step up, that he couldn't wait to be a father. And about three months prior to getting pregnant, hence why we were trying - I believed him. And no, we didn't have sex on our wedding night! (blushing here, whoops!) Our wedding day was both wonderful and a nightmare, his mum didn't speak to me all day as she couldn't bear the shame of knowing I was walking down the aisle pregnant (yes, she did say this to me! I was 8 weeks when we got married) and both of his parents sulked all day, as they had initially wanted to pay for our whole wedding, provided we got married on their 45th wedding anniversary and we had a joint celebration. We politely declined, and it didn't go down well! It does make me a bit sad looking back- you know, lovely dress, feeling a million dollars, husband says he's too strung out due to the stresses of the day and just wants to sleep!
caravanista13 Thank you. I'm scared he'll freak out completely and it'll never be fixable.
FeijoaSundae Thank you for the hug. It's nice even if it's virtual! As I said, he's attending counselling. Unfortunately I know that's not a magical fix. He makes baby steps, and I can see the man I fell in love with. Then something small happens (lack of sleep, DS settling better with me, his parents disapproving of a decision he makes, etc) and wham. Right back to the start again. I feel like my tolerance is waning. But then I feel like such a terrible person - my DH is ill, he's depressed. Also, I don't really know what my options are. I'm a bit scared to look, but I know my DS has to come first. The thing that really scares me is that if we split, his parents are very, very wealthy. They'll have the best lawyers, and they will fight tooth and nail for him to get custody, or to not allow me to leave the area.
You're first time parents with a baby so it's inevitable this is going to be a tough time. So don't divorce him yet.
But you absolutely should be talking to each other about your struggles and insist it being calm rational discussions. If he refuses, go spend some time with your family.
When you accepted his promise to 'step up' did you really believe that he could or would be different, especially given his many issues? Understandably your expectations of him and your relationship have evolved since becoming a mother but those expectations may be too far removed from the long established relationship dynamic, of you being the 'supportive' one to change overnight. Did you really need to 'babysit' a grown man during the sling meet? Everyone plays their part in a dynamic and therefore change will require an attitude adjustment on both sides.
You may have simply outgrown the man and the relationship but you really can't know that until you've tried to negotiate a new dynamic, that better suits both your needs.
From your last post, even if divorce is only a possibility you need to keep a diary of everything DH does and especially doesn't do to ensure you have a record if a custody battle is likely.
Sending and unmumsnetty hugs in the meantime.
Honestly before the baby you probably pandered a lot to his needs but now the baby is here you're realizing that you need support.
If you can move home and be around supportive people like your parents and friends i'd push for that. It might give you the distance from his parents and allow him to have a less dependent relationship with them. Set boundaries for his parents and don't worry what they think. It's your family unit that's the most important.
You may find that as your baby gets older that you don't have the time, 100% focus and attention to give him and you may re-assess the relationship While you love the man as the father of your child he may not be able to give you what you need to sustain the relationship. Your're a young woman, don't settle for a second rate marriage where you make all the emotional investments
The first few months of having a baby are tough on any relationship - the mix of sleep deprivation, worry and facing the unknown causes issues for lots of couples.
Having said that, it does sound like there are an awful lot of demands being placed on you by your husband. It's exhausting looking after a small child and having to constantly reassure your husband on top of that is unsustainable. You must be shattered. Allow yourself to accept that perhaps you need a rest. Lots of first time mums go to their own families for support while their babies are small and it really sounds like you could do with someone looking after you, even if only for a weekend.
I do think that you should think carefully about making any big decisions, especially in the first 6 months of parenthood, as emotions tend to be all over the place for all new parents.
Talk to your husband. He needs to recognise the impact that he is having on you - and I realise that he is unwell at the moment so you want to avoid putting any pressure on him - but he should be clear about the steps he will take to improve things for himself.
Hopefully this will be a rough patch that you will both learn and recover from.
Yy to previous posters - having a baby can hugely overturn a previous dynamic which, while not perfect, allowed you to function together. Now, rightly, parenting your child is first priority rather than parenting your partner. It may be that he really doesn't realise that he's trying to keep that old pattern or maybe he does because, selfishly, that's what's most comfortable for him. Either way, it doesn't sound like he's considering your needs, which leaves you v vulnerable as you will be so strung out caring for new baby with round the clock demands!
Joint counselling might be an idea so that there's a safe space for reflecting some of this to him. At least then you'd see if he really didn't know or knew but was trying to ignore?
Also pro some space for you but think you would need to have a conversation with him in advance to outline what you hope he might do with his space ie not run to parents, think about what kind of relationship he really wants with DS etc. I feel your pain re MIL as that's been a massive feature of my own, sometimes struggling, relationship - bluntly, he has to want to change that dynamic. ATM he sounds like he's a bit emotionally lazy (anything for an easy life) which might fit with his acceptance of her interference. A jolt from you might be just what he needs to evaluate his priorities (hopefully you and DS) and be galvanised into fighting for them.
Be prepared that such a jolt might not work in your favour! You have to be clear to yourself what you're willing to accept and what you're prepared to do if he can't / won't meet those expectations.
Also would say trust your instincts. You're right to question this relationship and want more from it.
Good luck! I know it's not easy -I'd post a bunch of flowers emoticon if I knew how...
I can only echo the other posters. I just want to give you a massive hug. Xxx
I just wanted to add that please don't feel that his parents being wealthy can work in a way which means they can "buy" residency of your child just because they can afford decent lawyers....lawyers still have to work within the law, whatever their price tag. Don't let this be a restricting factor for you x
I would urge you to discuss how you feel with your DP. Really lay it on the line and make him understand how serious this is.
I'm going through some marital stuff that I won't bore you with, and wish with all my heart that DH had given me that opportunity.
I suppose, blinded by my own situation, I find myself feeling sorry for your DH. He does sound like hard work, but is taking medication and having counselling to address it. He is seeking reassurance from you because he knows in his heart that you're not happy with him. Of course you don't have to stay if you're unhappy, but honesty, however brutal, is your best chance at sorting it out.
I agree with other posters te spelling it out to your dh. And possibly going home for a bit with your ds to give you some space.
The next bit I will say gently. If you do decide to end the marriage, I think you could go down the annulment route as the marriage hasn't been consummated. This may be a much cheaper, easier and quicker route to take if you so wish.
That's a very good point about having the marriage annulled.
If it went to court (worst case scenario) then the Judge would have to decide who your son lived with and it has to be in your son's best interests not in yours, your husband's and certainly not his parents'. There's no way he would be judged to be the better person for the baby to live with. No way.
It sounds to me as though if you gave your husband the choice between his PC and his son he'd choose his PC. That says everything, doesn't it?
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