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Feel like we're heading for divorce(9 Posts)
Long time lurker but this is my first post I have no one in the real world to talk to so hope I can get some advice.
Me and my husband have been married for 3 years together for 6, at first we had a very good relationship however over the past year it's deteriorated rapidly to the point where I'm not sure there's anything left to save.
Last year was a really difficult year we found out we couldn't conceive naturally and had to under go IVF, I found the whole process very difficult and emotionally draining at one point I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown I was crying all the time - he'd come home and find me in bed crying uncontrollably - I told him how I felt and he told me he'd seen someone go through a nervous breakdown and this wasn't what it looked like and that I was being over dramatic.
During treatment I became very ill to the point I could barely walk, one night he came home from work late and asked what was for dinner I said I thought we could order pizza as I wasn't feeling well enough to cook, he started shouting about how he expected dinner on the table when he got home and didn't stop until he'd reduced me to tears, then he acted like he didn't know why I was crying.
The beginning of this year we finally got the good news that I was pregnant however his behaviour has continued to be unsupportive, I've had very bad spd which means I can't stand for long periods and have been told by physio not to clean as I end up in pain for hours afterwards he moans about cooking, hasn't cleaned the house in months it's literally filthy, I try to do it and then will generally end up in agony after, if I ask him to rub my back he rolls his eyes and makes a half arsed effort at it for 5 minutes.
We haven't had sex for several months, when I bring it up he says he'd love to have sex but never initiates anything, I've given up trying there's no affection from him and no intimacy.
I've recently been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, when I told him I'd been referred for councilling he just changed the subject, then acted all confused when a friend asked if I was ok and had seen a councillor yet. He said he didn't realise even though I've been telling him how I feel for the last year!
I've told him so many times that I feel unsupported, that he's offered no emotional support that I'm desperately unhappy and I feel like divorce is the only option as things aren't getting better, he doesn't listen.
I'm really worried about giving birth with our relationship the way it is, several times I've had painful pelvic cramps and he's ignored me almost crying in pain when I challenge him it's always "I didn't realise" - I'm right in front of him!
I'm also concerned about having a newborn in the house with the relationship between us. I don't live near family I have no where else to go, a few weeks ago we had an argument and I almost went to stay in a hotel I couldn't really afford it though so in the end I went home.
I really don't know what to do anymore, I feel so alone and so unloved, I feel like we're broken and there's no fixing it.
Hi Miss Puddleduck,
I'm up and can't sleep. My own relationship is going through turmoil right now and I was drawn to your post. I can't promise to offer the right advice, but here are some takes on your situation.
First, congratulations on your pregnancy. It sounds like you have been through a lot to reach this endpoint and you must be very excited to meet your baby. You have some hugely exciting times ahead and your future is about to change direction - not for the worse! I found that having my first child was like seeing in colour when I had previously been monitoring the world in black and white...
Get this sorted before the baby arrives. It sounds as though, for whatever reason, you have lost intimacy with your husband. Psychological intimacy as well as the physical side.
IVF can draw even the strongest relationships to madness. I watched my best friend go through it and even watching a teeny fragment of it was upsetting, never mind being the one going through it. No wonder it was draining and difficult. You have worked hard at getting through it: it takes strength and courage to acknowledge those difficulties. However, it has also introduced a power shift.
When your husband was asking for 'dinner on the table' (sounds ghastly, doesn't it?) he was probably fearful that he was losing his figure of care and stability, but unable to ask you for confirmation that it would be ok. He was probably scared that he was losing his figure of strength and care.
Then your SPD - you were trying to ask him for support, but for whatever reason, he wasn't hearing it. Some men will claim it's not asked for 'in the right way', other times we are not very good at asking for help for ourselves. Whatever. You need to get this sorted now, because you will find that when you have the beautiful bundle in your arms, you will need him on board more than ever.
It sounds like it's at an all-time low now: moaning about cooking, not realising the division of labour, etc. You could - and probably have - ask/ed him to sort his half out. He will prob suggest a cleaner, or worse, suuggest that you are moaning/being critical. GET THIS SORTED NOW. The back rub: book a massage and get someone in to do the job properly. No point with his rolling his eyes. But talk. Talk talk talk to him, and make him realise that you are on the verge of breaking this. Don't accuse him of doing x or y, rather explain that you find these behaviours hurtful and upsetting.
The sex, I think, is a separate issue to the above niggles. In my experience sex is the first thing to go: loss of passion comes out of a loss of intimacy, and a marriage needs: intimacy, passion and commitment. Passion wanes first, followed by intimacy, so you are left with commitment and an 'empty' marriage - which is where both you and I are at now.
Work on it now, before you lose the commitment strand, too. Book yourself some sessions with Relate. It's possible that they will be too busy to see you. If this is the case, try to find out the names of counsellors who work for your nearest branch, and see if they can counsel you outside Relate. Go together for a few sessions. Use it as a forum for discussing through these problems together. He can use the sessions to learn how you have been feeling.
It's possible that he hasn't been 'hearing' either because you are using a language he doesn't understand (most men seem to turn their hearing off, it seems), or because you are not so good at expressing your own needs, maybe because you have learned somehow to be the strong and powerful one. I don't mean that in a critical way, I mean that (rightly) you have been concentrating on pregnancy issues and on your mental health, etc. and have put these other needs aside.
It's time for you both to re-engage. Try that first. DO introduce another 'voice' to help him to understand why you are asking for that support.
I could be writing your post, but many years down the line. I hear pregnant self talking in your post. My DCs are much older - teens now - but I felt just as you describe when I was pregnant. I thought it was 'one of those things', and didn't tackle it much. I tried to tell him I felt unsupported/no emotional support/drained/unhappy, and now many years on, I still feel the same. In a way, I wasn't as smart as you as I didn't have the words or the vocabulary to understand that 'unsupported' was the word I needed.
Tackle it now. Surround yourself with support from other forms of support in the meantime. Have you seen your GP about the painful pelvic cramps? Have you spoken to your midwife? You could share the info about being unsupported. You mention not having any family close by. I was/am in the same position. Have you joined the NCT? Could you attend those classes? Sometimes it helps to support yourself by people who are not your spouse.
Best of luck, OP. You will get through this, in one way or other, because you have identified that there is a problem.
Whoops! Sorry, that was a really long reply!
Or he could just be a knob and when you were 'putting dinner on the table' and generally servicing his needs, he was OK. However, he views your current physical and emotional needs as a burden and just like a newborn, are a distraction from him and his more important 'needs'.
Unfortunately, pregnancy and illness of a partner can expose an ugly entitled (abusive) side of some people, who are used to being the priority. For me having a daughter made me aware that I would not want her to put up with the same treatment I was putting up with and I also wasn't happy about parenting an adult male.
I would advise against joint counselling because he's abusive and you're fragile and the priority should be your emotional and physical recovery. Therefore, I suggest that you see a professional alone and seek out the RL support of family and friends.
I am so sorry you're going through this and you deserve better than the tantrums of a supposedly grown arse man.
Isetan I don't think the two are mutually exclusive - i.e. he could still be a knob AND be concerned about his loss of stability
I don't give a flying fig about the possible triggers of his knobishness, it doesn't justify or excuse abusing a vulnerable woman. 'Loss of stability' is a more respectable way of saying , my needs are my priority and they should be yours too'.
Big congratulations on the pregnancy. You're going through a lot of emotional and physical change so of course you need support.
From the OP, the husband seems disengaged to me, not abusive. Probably he doesn't know how to provide emotional support rather than not seeing the need.
Was the IVF the first time you had been vulnerable and in need of his support and understanding? Had you been ill before, for example, and if so was he sympathetic or dickish?
The other possibility is that he has shown his true colours in a time of crisis and he is too selfish to be any kind of decent life partner. However, given how traumatic IVF is for both partners, you could tackle this with him head on and say that, whatever the cause, his behaviour towards you is unacceptable. If he's unwilling to look at the problem and consider what his responsibilities are towards you and the baby - well, you have your answer.
For god's sake don't make your SPD worse trying to clean because he won't but moans about the state of the house. I appreciate it must be stressing you out but your health comes first.
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