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Have I fallen out of love, or are pregnancy hormones to blame?

(26 Posts)
AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sat 14-Oct-17 10:50:42

As the title says, I'm feeling very conflicted about my thoughts and feelings towards my partner.
I'll start with a little background history of our relationship then speak about the pregnancies and how having babies has changed us - please bare with me as this will likely be long and a little all over the place but I desperately need advice/outsiders perspective and feel I should include as much as I can. 

Several years ago, I went through a break up with, what I would call, my 'first true love' and moved back to my hometown. Four months later, I got a new job where I came to meet my current partner. At that time, he was in the tattered ruins of a relationship with a controlling woman who made his life a complete misery, they was on the brink of ending things but never fully went through with it - that was of course, until I came along and somewhat sped up the process. 
They ended up splitting and my partner and I started dating almost immediately. I had doubts in my mind that we were perhaps moving too fast, but we made each other laugh and cared for one another so I decided to go with the flow and see where things took us. 

After 5 months, we moved in with each other in to a house share and things were great. We enjoyed each other's company, we had fun, our connection seemed to be getting stronger, it was obvious my partner was besotted with me. A couple of months down the line, I came to realise that my partner had a serious issue with talking about problems, feelings and just general confrontations of anything remotely serious. It's a problem that is still very prevalent today and something that upsets me greatly. He physically will not talk to me and every time I try and have a serious conversation with him, I have to actively ask him to look at me when I'm speaking otherwise he'll just stare at the floor and ignore me. Above all this, when he's done something wrong and he knows he's upset me, he won't apologise. He'd rather not talk about an issue, sweep it under the rug and pretend it never existed and move on like everything is perfectly okay. This in turn, makes me feel guilty for getting upset in the first place and I've started bottling up my feelings because it's easier than trying to talk to him.

That was the first 'red flag' I guess you could say. Just over a year later (and another move in to a different houseshare), we discovered we was pregnant with our first child. It obviously came as a massive shock as our living circumstances weren't suitable and we wasn't actively trying for a baby, but we were both, however, delighted to be becoming parents. The news of the pregnancy brought us even closer together, we started seeing each other in a newer, more serious light. 

2 months before the baby was due, we moved out of the house share in to our first little family home - the first time we had lived together alone with no one else around. 

I had our son via emergency c section (10 months ago) and the ordeal scared me and lead to me having post natal depression. I struggled for months after his birth but my partner tried to be supportive. Once I started to seem 'better', a new annoyance arose. 
My partner never took my advice with anything to do with our son - be it how to handle him during the night, how much to feed him etc - he would go out of his way to do things 'his way', despite me telling him that in him doing that, he's making things worse and he should just listen to me given that I'm the Stay at home mum who does everything. 
In the midst of this on going battle of me trying to prove to him that I did in fact know what I was doing with our son, I discovered that I was pregnant again. I would have conceived around 14 weeks after having our first DS. 

Once again a huge shock which I'm still not fully over and I only have 12 weeks left until this bub here, but we've got on with it. 
However during this pregnancy, there have been a few incidents with my partner that have completely changed how I see him. 

I discovered he had a separate, secret Instagram account that he created in the first few months of us living together and had been using it for almost 2 years, and it was only to look at other women. 
Some of them were models, granted, but a lot were just normal women, some even mothers themselves - but all of them were half naked in their photos, posing sluttily. This obviously upset me and massively broke my trust as I had no idea he'd been using a secret account behind my back, let alone actively looking at these images every night whilst I sat there feeling shit about my new, lumpy, bumpy and out of shape body. Over time I learned to forgive him, but truthfully I've never fully got over it. 

Fast forward another three months, our son was 7, almost 8 months old - an absolutely terrible sleeper both day and night, I was around 5 months pregnant at this point and beyond the realms of shattered from doing every single night wake whilst battling the general exhaustion that comes with being pregnant. One Saturday morning, as I was sat in the nursery trying to get our son down for his morning nap after a week from hell of neither me nor the baby sleeping whatsoever - my partner comes in to say goodbye before he went off to work and tells me he'd be going to the cinema with his mother after work. 
Pure tiredness caused me to be a bit miffed at the fact that after the horrible week I'd had, my partner was the one who got to go out for the evening whilst I was once again, stuck at home, pregnant and with a young baby - but I swallowed my pride and told him to enjoy himself. He told me he'd be home by 10pm, no later. 
11pm rolls around, he's still not home, not answering my messages - I had no idea where he was or when he'd be back. 12am ticks over on the clock and he's still not back, bearing in the mind the movie started at 7:30pm and was only an hour and a half showing, you can understand why at this point I'm starting to get pissed off by his lack of whereabouts. 01:30am, I finally hear his key in the door. It took him an eternity to climb the stairs because he was THAT wasted. Turned out his mother went home after the movie and he stayed out on HIS OWN and got absolutely disgustingly drunk. He threw up all over my expensive rug in our lounge and was planning on leaving it until the morning if it wasn't for the fact that I made him deal with it. He then threw up everywhere in the bathroom, proceeding to wake our son with his heavy retching and gagging. 
 The night turned from bad to worse as I had a go at him for randomly getting blind drunk when he wasn't supposed to be, spending money when we was so broke (my Maternity money had finished a few months prior and we was struggling) and ignoring my messages and calls (something he does every time he goes out). He proceeded to call me a cunt, a terrible, useless, lazy mother, said I don't do anything around the house - which in itself is hilarious as our place always looks like a show home thanks to me - and was just generally absolutely horrible. 
The following morning, I took our son and went to stay at my dads for a day or two. I needed space and he needed to realise it's not okay to act that way. When we came back home after two days, my partner didn't apologise for his actions, for upsetting me, for the nasty things he'd said. I once again had to scoop an apology out of him which just angered me even more. 

This all happened around 2 months ago and although I'm now completely over the sick on my rug, him wasting money, him essentially going MIA for almost 4 hours - I'm still not over him calling me a useless and terrible mother as I think I'm still battling with depression and he knows I struggle to feel positive about myself. 

A few other smaller issues have cropped up, but in the last 6 or so months, those are the main ones. 
I no longer feel close to him. We hardly talk, and when we do our conversations aren't interesting, they feel almost forced and like we're having them just to kill the silence. I've gone off of having sex with him which I know is normal when you're tired, pregnant and dealing with a baby, but it's more that I don't want to have sex with HIM as opposed to me not having a libido anymore. Little things he does have started really irritating me, grating on me. I don't like being cuddled or kissed, they make me feel awkward and weird. 
I just feel so distant from him and don't know whether it's because the way he's acted lately has completely turned me off or whether it's just hormones wreaking havoc. 

I've not felt properly passionate or intimate towards him since around 2 months after having our first son. I just don't care if we don't have sex or don't hold hands, or don't snuggle in bed of a night time. In fact, id much rather that we didn't. 

I'm so confused whether or not these negative feelings will pass. I've been told the first year after having a baby is the toughest on a relationship and it has certainly changed our dynamic. He's an amazing father, loves our son dearly and I have no doubts in my mind that he'll show our next child the same adoration, but my love for him just seems to have changed to the point where I'm even beginning to wonder if I ever truly loved him in the first place which is just awful. 

Please, is what I'm feeling 'normal' and pregnancy related, or does it seem that I'm just going off of my partner. I'm so scared given we're weeks away from having our second baby and everything just feels like it's getting too much for me to deal with. I'll do anything to keep this family together, but I'm growing sadder by the day at the thought of living the rest of my life with someone who I may not love.

user1480334601 Sat 14-Oct-17 22:11:50

Pregnancy is definitely not the best time for assessing relationships etc as your hormones are all over the place! I know I felt similar towards my partner during pregnancy and after birth etc as you describe. What do you want to do deep down?

supersop60 Sat 14-Oct-17 22:54:36

YY to hormones taking over. I wanted to stab my DP for swallowing too loudly when I was pregnant.
That apart - the drunkenness, the secret instagram account, and name calling are totally unacceptable. Why would anyone want sex with someone who behaved like that?
If you want your family to stay together, there will be a lot of work ahead - would he be on board for that? I think you will need some outside help.
If you can't imagine a future with him, then you know what to do. flowers

springydaffs Sun 15-Oct-17 00:18:41

he was in the tattered ruins of a relationship with a controlling woman who made his life a complete misery, they was on the brink of ending things but never fully went through with it

Erm. That was the first red flag. Controlling woman? Who says.. And he left her because you came along. Don't be thinking he was going to - that's what he told you. Does she have children with him? If so, is he paying for them?

So you're not married and you're about to have your second baby. You have absolutely no financial security at all should you split - which of course you could at any point, he could just walk out the door [probably because you're 'too controlling' - he's used that excuse before]. Who's the greater earner out of the two of you?

As for the getting pissed and puking all over your carpet and having an instragram account of half naked women and going to the cinema with his mother yeah right and not apologising. Girl, he sounds pretty much like a waste of space if I'm completely honest. That's probably why you've gone off him.

springydaffs Sun 15-Oct-17 00:20:17

he was in the tattered ruins of a relationship with a controlling woman who made his life a complete misery, they was on the brink of ending things but never fully went through with it

Erm. That was the first red flag. Controlling woman? Who says.. And he left her because you came along. Don't be thinking he was going to - that's what he told you. Does she have children with him? If so, is he paying for them?

So you're not married and you're about to have your second baby. You have absolutely no financial security at all should you split - which of course you could at any point, he could just walk out the door [probably because you're 'too controlling' - he's used that excuse before]. Who's the greater earner out of the two of you?

As for the getting pissed and puking all over your carpet and having an instagram account of half naked women and going to the cinema with his mother yeah right and not apologising. Girl, he sounds pretty much like a waste of space if I'm completely honest. That's probably why you've gone off him.

springydaffs Sun 15-Oct-17 00:20:27

he was in the tattered ruins of a relationship with a controlling woman who made his life a complete misery, they was on the brink of ending things but never fully went through with it

Erm. That was the first red flag. Controlling woman? Who says.. And he left her because you came along. Don't be thinking he was going to - that's what he told you. Does she have children with him? If so, is he paying for them?

So you're not married and you're about to have your second baby. You have absolutely no financial security at all should you split - which of course you could at any point, he could just walk out the door [probably because you're 'too controlling' - he's used that excuse before]. Who's the greater earner out of the two of you?

As for the getting pissed and puking all over your carpet and having an instagram account of half naked women and going to the cinema with his mother yeah right and not apologising. Girl, he sounds pretty much like a waste of space if I'm completely honest. That's probably why you've gone off him.

springydaffs Sun 15-Oct-17 00:21:19

oops. Perhaps it bears repeating.

DistractedByIrrelevance Sun 15-Oct-17 00:51:53

I think it really does after the first two replies were saying it is down to hormones! Nope, sorry. I felt irrationally angry and upset when pregnant, but that is not what is happening here. You have very real reasons to go off your partner. To call a woman with PND a terrible mother is unforgivable.

Hermonie2016 Sun 15-Oct-17 01:32:07

Tiredness and pregnancy can make you more emotional however you have good cause to feel emotional.

His lack of communication and failing to resolve conflicts will cause disconnection which is why you feel as if you don't live him.

His nastiness is sadly contempt..in vino vertias.

What support do you have around you? How old are you?
I have no doubt his controlling ex tried to get him to behave as a reasonable partner..he viewed it as controlling.

I also think him being besotted with you might have been a red flag.You were on a pedestal but he can't handle the reality of a grown up relationship

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 09:04:19

@springydaffs From what I can tell, his ex genuinely was a nasty piece of work. I've seen messages that she sent him after they broke up and she legitimately doesn't seem like a nice lady. His family have openly spoken to me about her when I've asked, and it does appear she was just that, controlling. Apparently there was one time he went on his best friends stag-do and she actually wrote a list of things he can and cannot do and gave it to him.

He has no children with her, no, thankfully! He earns the most out of the two of us. I quit work a few months back when I discovered we was pregnant with baby number two as both of us would rather have me raise our children as opposed to a babysitter/nursery.

As for the cinema, he did actually go with his mother as I messaged her in the early hours of the morning in the midst of the argument when Partner was drunk as I was fuming at the thought she'd got my partner so wasted knowing I was at home, pregnant and with a 10 month old. She told me they went to see the movie, had one beer afterwards then he walked her to the train station and told her he'd been walking home.

I think I've put up with finding out about the Instagram account (which is has been deleted, unsure whether another has been made), the drunken night etc because I know no relationship is perfect, no partner is perfect and we do all make mistakes so I like to give people second chances, but with each little thing that happens I do feel like I'm becoming more and more disconnected sad

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 09:08:29

@user1480334601 it's definitely a tough one to call as i did start feeling this way mostly when the Post Partum Depression reared its head, and obviously I fell pregnant during that time so my body has just been whacked with a massive amounts of hormones and I do wonder if it's clouding my judgment.

I obviously want us to work. We have a young baby and another due so soon. Breaking up now would be absolutely heartbreaking and whats more, I genuinely don't think I could cope.

My initial plan was to wait until our second child had turned 1 years old and reassess the situation and see if I STILL feel icky about the relationship then go from there. But that seems like such a long time.

prettywhiteguitar Sun 15-Oct-17 09:19:20

He doesn't sound very pleasant, it sounds to me like you have fallen out of love with him which is unsurprising given his behaviour.

However you are going to need him during the early period of having your new baby, so try to keep calm look after your children and then think about how you can perhaps gradually become independent from him. I'm not sure he's a keeper, he might be good to co parent with though.
I'm sorry you're going through this whilst you are pregnant, unfortunately my partner was completely useless during my first dc and we split up soon after I gave birth, it's not easy but it's easier without them and the constant battles.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 15-Oct-17 09:28:15

Op

I agree that pregnancy is not the greatest time to assess sex drive.

You got pregnant though without knowing this guy. Things are always good in the honeymoon period but it's after that when people start to show their true colours.

Having a child can throw the best relationships into chaos and team work is required to survive this time. Or outside support at least otherwise the resentment sets in and the arguments start - even worse when the baby is high needs

I agree that it wasn't great that he stayed out past his agreed time but the guy is an adult and should really be able to have the freedom to come home later and drunk without facing your anger. It was a one off right? The fact he felt the need to go drinking on his own suggests he was feeling stressed/down about something

Saying you were a terrible mother was obviously meant to hurt you but I wonder what you said to him prior to that? Something also hurtful?

Have you asked him why there's been no apology?

And I also agree with pp who said was his ex really abusive?

springydaffs Sun 15-Oct-17 09:45:01

I can just see someone being driven to give him lists of what he can and can't do. Can't you see how that could happen with someone like him? He's sneaking about with a sleezy instagram account ffs...

You are incredibly vulnerable financially. Today, tomorrow, he could walk out the door - or, rather, chuck you out - and you'll have NOTHING. No rights to anything at all. Yet you're talking about waiting until your youngest is one - can't your see he could easily pull the rug from under your feet before then??

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 09:57:57

@QuiteLikely5 the issue with the drunken night was that it was completely unexpected. I'd had a nightmare of a week with the baby and was absolutely exhausted and really could have used a hand with our baby that evening.
I thought he'd be home by 10pm after a quiet evening out with his mother, I did think he'd be staying out a further 4 hours, getting smashed and spending money that we didn't really have. What's more, he has a habit of not replying to messages or picking up my calls. He's been this way regarding my messages when he's out since day one, so it's something that I've spoken to him about many times, but he doesn't change. I personally don't like sitting up in to the early hours wondering if my partner is okay, where he is, what he's doing - regardless of whether or not it happens regularly.

He just never apologises, for anything. He has deep rooted issues surrounding 'serious' conversations and pretty much doesn't say a single word to me when I'm discussing things that he doesn't necessarily want to talk about, he can't even look me in the eye - again, something that's been that way from the start of our relationship but I always thought the longer we were together, the more comfortable he'd become with me - evidently not.

I likely did say some bad things to him. I was exhausted, annoyed, seriously pissed off and was fuming at the state of my lounge and bathroom. That being said, nothing that came out of my mouth warrants being called a terrible mother, or a cunt, surely? sad

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 09:59:23

@QuiteLikely5 didn't think, even *

FaFoutis Sun 15-Oct-17 10:41:02

I think you need to stop being so black and white about everything. It sounds like you are both struggling. It's normal. If my husband went out and got drunk on his own I would be worried about him.
You are a bit intense with the emotional/serious conversations (I would hate that too). Go and have some fun instead.

I also find it uncomfortable when someone in a marriage or whatever calls aspects of a shared house 'my'. (That may be my problem though, from stepmother issues.)

lovelycuppateas Sun 15-Oct-17 10:46:32

I think it's worrying that you are blaming your completely justifiable feelings towards your partner on hormones. This isn't your fault. If I were you, I'd start to think about what happens if this doesn't get better and you need to leave. This doesn't mean that you have to do so, but will give you more power in case things get worse.

At the moment I'm afraid it looks like you are dependent on a man who you don't like and haven't got much reason to trust. So think, particularly, about finances and your living situation, talk to friends and family about how you feel so they can help if necessary.

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 13:17:29

@FaFoutis I'm actually not intense with the serious conversations, I start them out with my partner in a perfectly normal and relaxed manner, I pick a moment when I know he's 'chilled' or whatever, but it doesn't matter how I approach situations or topics I'm met with the same response - he won't look at me, won't say anything, or will just walk out of the room and go to bed to avoid having to say a single word. Believe me I've tried tackling things from every angle, apparently according to his family that's just 'how they deal with things' which isn't 'dealing' with anything at all in my eyes.

I don't call things 'mine' when I'm talking to him, but the rug is an exception as I bought it for myself one year out of birthday money, so yes, that is 'my' rug. If he bought himself a guitar or new PlayStation console, it's his, not mine. Works both ways and doesn't bother me whatsoever if we have separate stuff. Not everything has to be shared in my opinion.

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 13:20:45

@lovelycuppateas I think if I wasn't pregnant again and hadn't only recently had our first child, I'd probably be more accepting of my feelings. It's just awkward at the moment as I know hormones are completely capable of messing with our heads whilst we're pregnant so I am struggling with whether I'm being unreasonable or not a lot of the time.

Hermonie2016 Sun 15-Oct-17 17:44:10

he won't look at me, won't say anything, or will just walk out of the room and go to bed to avoid having to say a single word

That's called stonewalling.Until you understand the dynamic you assume you he must have a valid reason for it.

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 18:25:40

@Hermonie2016 Apparently, according to his sister, his family have never spoken about their problems and anything that comes up, they all just sort of ignore and sweep it under the rug. I've told him so many times that I can't deal with issues and conflicts not being resolved. I'm not someone who can just go to bed when someone has upset me, and wake up the following day as if nothing happened at all.
It's very difficult to live with.

Quartz2208 Sun 15-Oct-17 18:33:26

Ok would you still be with him if it were not for the pregnancies and having children with him

And did you ever really love him because it sounds as if you have just sleptwalk into this

Coupled with your other thread what do you get out of this relationship

AutumnLeavesandCandleLights Sun 15-Oct-17 18:57:16

@Quartz2208 when we're good, we're great. We can have a lot of fun, he teaches me a lot of new things, despite how this thread comes across he does have his moments of being really sweet, kind and caring. I know deep down he does dote after me, he only ever wants cuddles and kisses, or to snuggle but right now I just can't reciprocate it and that makes me feel awful.
I love watching him with our son, he has a lot more patience and general 'oomph' for parenting than I do and it is honestly lovely to see.

At the moment, I know that I love him, I'm just unsure whether I'm still in love with him.
I do think it will become clearer once I'm no longer pregnant.
I had the occasional doubt during my first pregnancy but that did admittedly lift after our son was born.

Hermonie2016 Sun 15-Oct-17 19:26:10

If issues are not resolved it breaks the connection between couples.When there is a problem and you talk it through it builds confidence and deepening love.Knowing your partner cares enough to talk is important.

If he's been like this since childhood it's pretty difficult for him to change..someone once said a counselling session for each year he had the issue.
However my ex went to a years worth of counselling and didn't help because he didn't want to change.Dealing with issues meant he might have to compromise, acknowledge he was wrong, which represented a loss to him.

Human behaviour is driven by a payoff.What benefit does he derive from stonewalling you? He doesn't avoid conflict as you get angry so what other benefit does he get?

John Gottman says stonewalling is a high predictor of relationship failure as it's devasting for the partner on the receiving end.

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