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Argument with husband(21 Posts)
I'm looking for some advice on how to communicate how I feel to my husband and also a bit of a rant!
I had an argument with my husband tonight and it escalated to a point where we both felt very hurt about what the other said.
The background: I had our first baby 3 months ago and about 6 weeks ago my MIL called to say she was worried that my husband was looking very thin. I'd been so shell shocked post complicated pregnancy and delivery that I hadn't noticed but when I looked I realised he was looking quite thin. I told him about his mother's call and said that he should ensure that he tries to put on weight so that we know it's just from the stress of having a newborn and not a health issue. We talked about it a few times and mostly he didn't seem remotely bothered and agreed to make sure he could put on weight if he made sure to eat properly. Occasionally he got a bit touchy about the fact that i criticised his need to go to the gym or run daily. A few times I told him I felt it was narcissistic and self-oriented to exercise quite so obsessively (particularly with a newborn) and I told him that I felt his body was perfect the way it was and that I find men with too big muscles unattractive - so he doesn't need to go to the gym all the time to impress me. He's also started to drink these protein shakes and eat really healthily which worried me that he's becoming a bit orthorexic.
Tonight at about 6pm (height of baby's witching hour and night time routine) after my in laws left, my husband said he wanted to go to the gym for over an hour. At the time I agreed because we'd had a deal earlier that if I could spend some time doing some work (which will help me professionally) he could go to the gym.
Subsequently, I realised that actually it was a bit unfair that he'd left me to it with an ocado delivery arriving and the baby to sort for bed/evening expressed milk feed. Particularly as I hadn't actually had a chance to properly spend time doing the work I wanted to do.
I was really stewing as the baby finished feeding and my husband walked in. I immediately was a shirty and said that actually id reaslised it was "f***ing inappropriate" that he'd gone to the gym and left me to it. This escalated into an argument about how he felt I criticised his body too much and that I was being a p***k. He also said it was my fault I hadn't done the work I needed to do earlier in the day (the fact that I didn't find time to shower or brush my teeth today is an indicator of the lack of time I had due to looking after the baby)...
It escalated to the point that I said that I felt it was inappropriate to spend so much time at the gym with a young baby and that he was self absorbed and narcissistic. He was understandably furious that i had sworn at him and that he felt I was body shaming him so he turned round and said that I shouldn't be critical of his body as I need to look at myself in the mirror as I'm so fat and make no effort at the moment. All I'm doing exercise wise at the moment is Pilates. He went on to say that I wasn't remotely seductive which is why he didn't care that we're not having any sex at the moment. At this point I totally lost my cool and frankly was a tool saying that he was a psychopath and that I would leave him if he felt like this. Not really an excuse but honestly I was soooooo hurt by what he said - particularly as I'm feeling like my body is still so different but I'm too tired to contemplate intensive exercise at the moment! Also I have been losing weight slowly but surely - I was 56kg pre pregnancy, went up to 75kg in pregnancy due to preeclampsia and water retention and am now just about 60kg. What shocked me was that he couldn't see how what he'd said was any worse than me criticising his over exercising and being too thin (which his mother brought up in the first place)!
Sorry to rant but I needed to get this off my chest. Am I being unreasonable?
You were out of order first when he came back from the gym, then you were both really very out of order.
I'd be hurt to the core of my husband said the things yours did, quite unforgivable, he'd need to profusely apologise, you need to apologise too though.
Why on earth do you have to make deals with him to do work?
Dh was a gym fanatic but stopped going after we had a child. He started exercising again when ds was a toddler, but only twice a week out of the house.
Lots and lots of red flags jumping out of your post tbh.
You were both out of order. You need to apologise to each other and then talk through what's bothering you both so you can work through the issues.
I doubt he really thinks you're being lazy (at least I hope not) and if you need more, or different, help from him with dc then you need to tell him - not swear at him, especially if you'd previously said it was ok!
Don't criticise his body shape. If you're genuinely concerned for his health tell him that and ask, for your peace of mind, that he pops to the GP for an opinion.
She has a three month old baby and he doesn't need to apologise for calling her fat?
I do think he may have body issues, but you both need to calm down and talk properly.
You were a bit off being shirty with him when he came home given that you'd agreed to it initially (you could have expressed this in a better way) BUT his behaviour was so appalling that to be honest in my opinion it blows anything you did out of the water and makes it completely insignificant.
He should have realised without needing to be told that you need him to pull his weight at home. It's not OK for one partner to have time for a leisurely gym visit whilst the other was unable to even brush their teeth.
He has an absolute cheek to talk about body shaming when he said the things he did to you! Your criticism of him has come partly from a place of concern and partly because he is focusing on his looks and having free time at the gym over and above his responsibilities as a new father. His criticism of you was just plain nasty.
Is this typical behaviour for your DH? I would not tolerate this in my marriage.
You sound awful. He sounds awful. What on Earth are you doing name calling like that over something as simple as him going to the gym after you said it was ok??? The mind boggles. How do you react when there's an actual problem?
Grow up, stop picking on his body/looks (you aren't in charge of his body? If he is eating and exercising, could you maybe actually just leave him to it?), and focus on asking for what you need (e.g. him being home more? Is it as simple as that?) in a calm measured fashion like an adult.
If he doesn't follow suit, or you still can't get the basic needs of the household met via a calm conversation, then I suggest you get some counselling so that you can both start learning how to behave like adults.
You've been commenting on his body, eating and exercise for 6 weeks and he has only exploded now. He has been very patient.
He has commented on your body once and you are shocked that he doesn't realise it is different when it is him commenting on your body.
Yes you are being unreasonable.
Also, don't swap work time for gym time. That's a crap exchange.
I think you're both to blame. Sounds like stressful times. Bite the bullet and apologise. Don't go to bed on a row x
Yes, it's not right that he buggers off to the gym so frequently and leaves you with a tiny baby. I have a 5mo, DP stopped sailing/gym when he was born, because like fuck am I going to battle a baby on my own 10 hours a day, and then an additional 2 hours for him to sculpt his muscles when he could be giving me a break. He didn't even need to be told because he's not a selfish, vain prick, and he wants to spent time with his DC. His comments about your body were a shitty, unnecessary, low blow. He should be trying to make you feel better, not worse.
But you were out of order too.
Thank you guys. Having blown off steam writing the above rant I was calm enough to talk things through and we both apologised. I'm so glad I posted this as I don't think my friends would have been as honest that I was also in the wrong! Definitely should have explained my concerns maturely in the first place but honestly with recovery from a stressful delivery, hormones and sleep deprivation my temper blew out of nowhere. No excuse I know but maybe an explanation... My husband has suggested some options to take the pressure off me. I need to be more constructive when I communicate with him as we're both new to this and not going to necessarily get it right immediately!
I particularly appreciated the balance and constructive comments - definitely gave me some perspective but also made me feel supported too. Thank you!
Well done for coming to a calm space!
New babies really do stretch us to the limit!
I do think if he's going to the gym, it really needs to be AFTER the baby's settled and you aren't tearing your hair out.
I also think that he has to make sure that you have enough time for you!
You absolutely can get the balance back, but it has to be done with calm conversation
The other thing I wanted to say is that your H is an adult. He is perfectly capable of making sure he eats enough. His mother needs to talk to him about things, not you. From your op, it looked almost like she was piling one more thing into you, and that's not on.
Thank you Hissy! I really appreciate your comment and your advice. It makes me feel less rubbish that it's not just me that feels stretched to the limit! It's given me really good perspective to receive words of wisdom from others.
Has he just started at the gym? Most people get really into it for a while, he will get bored soon :-) haha
Do not let anyone make you feel bad or pressured about your body post baby. Of course be healthy as it will help you with energy etc. but I am so Sick of all the celebrities in the media showing off. Just enjoy your baby, time flies, worry about that stuff down the track.
Going to the gym and keeping fit and healthy is the best thing any new parent can do. It improves energy, mood, sleep and keeps you more able to care for your child. It's not narcissistic, it's intelligent and common sense.
Stop abusing him about his body. There's nothing wrong with anybody, man or woman, taking good care of themselves. If you're going to constantly nag him about his health and body, then you can't complain when you push him to retaliate with comments on yours in return. He only responded after you'd been going on and in and on... And causing an argument about it.
I do wonder if you're jealous. Maybe jealous that he's looking fitter than ever and you're not so you want to drag him down to your level. It sounds that way and I bet anything that's the real reason you're so obsessed with bullying him about it.
Just read this and wanted to say well done, OP, for taking the comments on board and clearing the air with your husband.
What a horrible way to speak to each other, you both need to stop slagging each other off for starters but his comment re your baby fat was really nasty.
"A few times I told him I felt it was narcissistic and self-oriented to exercise quite so obsessively"
is a shitty thing to say. Looking nice is something people do for THEMSELVES, not others. You wouldn't like it if he nagged you to stop 'being narcissistic' for brushing your hair and putting on some makeup. How cruel.
"... I find men with too big muscles unattractive..."
When I started going to the gym and getting into bodybuilding, my husband said the same thing, you know, the whole "well I won't find you attractive if you do." What, is that a threat? I went fucking mental at him and frankly never forgave him. Funny thing is, when people improve themselves, they're not doing it for you. Let's flip this around. "You want to change your hairstyle? I won't find you attractive if you do. You want your nails done? I don't find that attractive." Subtle threats. Fucking awful thing to do.
"He's also started to drink these protein shakes and eat really healthily which worried me that he's becoming a bit orthorexic."
Another awful thing to suggest. I have a relative who accuses me of 'being anorexic' just because I don't pour lard down my throat like she does, and all I have to do is say "no, thank you" to an offer of food and off she goes. Calling people 'orthorexic' because they want to eat healthily is why there's an obesity crisis.
Even better, you told him it was OK to go to the gym then ripped into him when he got home. That is a cruel trick, and again, if a man did that to a woman it would easily be considered abusive, setting traps for her to walk into. And that's what you did - gave him a treat then punished him for it. Unforgivable.
Honestly, you sound far worse than he does. You drove him to point out your own porkiness by calling him 'self-absorbed' just for wanting to look after himself.
Manage your time better. Your baby is not stopping you brushing your teeth (ew?) Put it down and walk towards the bathroom. The baby will not care. Your baby is also not preventing you taking walks.
OP is 4kg over her pre PG weight! She's only 60kg and unless she is 4 foot nothing, she's not porky
what a truly awful thing to say!
OP, my DS never slept more than 20mins in the first few weeks.
Your MIL called YOU when you had a 6 week old newborn and complained to you about the fact that your H, her son was thinner than she thought he ought to be.
I'm still reeling at this. at 6 weeks in, I wouldn't have even have known my own name I was so sleep deprived.
Your H was selfish perhaps (or merely unthinking?) to think of going to the gym as frequently as he does, and at the times he does. If he can scale this back to when you don't need him to back you up, or when he is sure you have been able to rest/recuperate, then it should all work itself out in the end.
Yes you should not have said the things you have said, but I dare say rationality is a quality only the sleep rich have an expectation of.
Your MIL needs to rein it in, you and H need to communicate and talk about things you want to do and when etc, but it will all get so much easier in time.
Well done on everything you have achieved so far.
You were both in the wrong, you need to apologise to each other. What your husband said is very hurtful!! I would be So hurt.
That said, when DS was 3 months I was still so exhausted I was snapping at everybody and we only survived because DH is the most patient man in the world. What I mean is, new baby days is a really tough time. You need to acknowledge it and give yourselves a break
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