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New Mum having unsupportive husband problems - can anyone give me some advice???

(19 Posts)
LorLa Mon 01-Sep-08 14:29:18

Hi all,

I hope you don't mind my posting here but I am needing to vent. I am a new Mum with a 3month old son and am loving every second of being a mum to him. The only thing that is really getting me down at the moment is my husband! Throughout my pregnancy I made a huge effort to make sure my husband was involved in my appointments etc so that he felt a part of what was going on. Since our son was born though he suddenly has become totally unsupportive. I am feeling the weight of having a new baby whilst keeping on top of house work, washing, cleaning, ironing etc etc. My husband seems to add to my work load constantly by leaving things lying around for me to tidy up and every night he goes for a hour and a half long bath leaving when I feel he should be spending time with his son or at least giving me a break. I have tried to talk to him but it always turns around to me feeling guilty and apologising to him! To finish it all we haven't been intimate since the birth of our son and although he never pressurises me (in fact he never mentions it) it is something that is at the back of my mind but I am scared to do it for the first time after having given birth.

I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything like this with a partner and whether there was any advice you could give me.

Thank you so much.

meglet Mon 01-Sep-08 14:46:17

My DP was crap when DS was little. It caused lots of problems and we ended up at Relate trying to untangle the mess we were in. My DP did find the tiny baby stage very boring (so did I!)and kept out the way so he just never got stuck in, most of my other friends had the same problems with their DH's too. DP got better once DS was more robust and sitting, crawling etc. No excuse for him not to help sooner though. My DP was still going to the pub 3 or 4 evenings week when DS was little angry.

Is there anyway you can leave your DH with your DS for a few hours so the reality of it kicks in a bit? If all else fails Relate are really good and might help.

bythepowerofgreyskull Mon 01-Sep-08 14:51:39

My DH had some time after DS1 was born of being overwhelmed by the enormity of what we had done. The pressure to be a good dad and good husband was huge for him.

I would say that you shouldn't try too hard to talk to him but perhaps just get up and hand him the baby and say just popping up for a bath . Be assertive, he may not know what you want. not general be more helpful kind of comments but specific, can you hang the washing out before you go to work. type of stuff..

I would also suggest that he has a bath with baby baby gets clean, baby gets one to one time with Daddy and you get a break.

Being a new parent is such a life changing thing. I feel for you..

as for the sex thing.. do it when YOU are ready and perhaps say that you want to be intimate but no penetration for a while to get you back into the swing of things?

LorLa Mon 01-Sep-08 15:10:38

Thank you both so much. I think money issues are also getting on top of DH as we moved to a bigger place in Feb and not having my wages along with the credit crunch has hit us hard. DH is freelance and worries a lot.

DH has had a bath with DS once but I don't think he really enjoyed it, which really upset me. I sometimes hand DS to him and leave but when I come back he's sat holding DS but watching TV and totally ignoring him. I do think it is a little baby thing as he keeps saying he wants him to talk and walk. Maybe I want him to be enjoying it as much as I am and the thought that he doesn't upsets me.

mankymummy Mon 01-Sep-08 15:13:39

wait til DS gets older and you forget what he looks like cos he's out playing footie with his dad at all hours !!!

you can't make him excited about a little baby but you can make him help out around the house and with looking after DS if its all getting too much for you.

TBH if i'd been at home with a baby all day and the other half came in and went for an hour and a half bath i'd get a jug of iced water and chuck it all over him.

meglet Mon 01-Sep-08 15:22:18

lorla I think the newborn stage is pretty dull TBH. However I was lucky in that DP did bath DS, he is huge with big hands and DS was a wriggler, poor DS would have drowned if it was left up to me.

The TV thing sounds familiar, but if he's holding him then at least he is comfortable being close to him. I think greyskull is right in saying you have to be assertive, not always easy but it pays off in the end for all of you. Don't worry about getting the house pristine, your DH will have to learn that you have new priotities. If he doesn't like it then he can help!

Have you been swimming together yet, it might be more of a macho thing your DH will want to do as a family? These days DS is our 21 months and DP virtually orders me out of the baby pool so they can play and I get to swim in the big pool in peace. (Also gets my DP out of doing exercise hmm.)

A bit of cunning planning now should mean it gets better for you in the future.

LorLa Mon 01-Sep-08 15:32:52

Thank you all so much and to mankymummy for making me laugh. I think if I tried the iced water then a divorce would be on the cards.

It's good to hear that this is not an unheard of scenario. Will definitely give swimming a go meglet - the apartment block we live in has a pool so we should all go down there and give it a go. I think DH just wants DS o start "doing something" as he has already said to me that he's not good at all the baby talk.

Maybe I should stop being so harsh about DS but make sure he helps me around the house instead and hope that his involvement with DS will come with time.

Thank you all again.

BeachBunni Mon 01-Sep-08 15:33:41

Sounds quite familiar. My ds is 9 months and dp was totally bored by the first few months with him. He told me men need feedback - even from babies (verified by one of his daddy mates). Once the wee man started smile and giggle and get more independant, he loved it.

zoggs Mon 01-Sep-08 16:09:44

Are you breastfeeding? My DP felt excluded by that because it is such an intense relationship and rather time consuming. When DS cried he invariably wanted me and DP took it a bit personally. He also said he couldn't wait for him to talk. Maybe he feels you don't really need him as you sound like you're coping really well with all the practical things. His role has changed and he can't see the benefits just yet.

It will get better like everyone has said. DS and DP are inseparable now, more like best mates and I get left behind while they go to football, cricket etc.

Stuff the housework. Just do the bare minimum to get by. I haven't ironed anything for years and nobody ever notices. I wouldn't ask him to take on extra chores right now, just leave things and he will pick up what he has to like ironing his shirts etc. I would say a bit of flattery might work better than criticism right now. He sounds a bit down. Good luck.

LorLa Mon 01-Sep-08 16:46:14

Yeah I think I need to learn to let the housework go a bit but I'm a bit obsessive about having the ironing done and the place being clean and tidy.

Thanks for the advice zoggs - maybe I need to stop being so meticulous about everything. I am breastfeeding but I express so that DH can feed DS and we also give him formula at night. At the beginning he said how much he liked it as before he was just holding a crying baby before giving him to me but now he doesn't even feed him so much.

I get so frustrated with men not talking and saying how they feel. I am desperate for him just to be straight with me as I'm one of those people who would rather things be out in the open. I'll probably look back at this time in a couple of years and wonder what I was worried about.....

cluckyagain Mon 01-Sep-08 16:53:11

MIne did this a little too, although he did come round quickly. Agree with previous posters re: bf, feeling a little 'superfluous', nervous, bored etc, etc. If it's any consolation, things were entirely different with the 2nd and 3rd !

LorLa Mon 01-Sep-08 16:57:26

Thanks cluckyagain....there is hope! Can I ask - did you talk to him about it or do anything to help him come round?

cluckyagain Mon 01-Sep-08 17:12:18

hmmmm....(racking brain!!) I don't think I did anything really, but to be honest I was having such a hard time coping myself that I didn't dwell on it too much - it all vastly improved when I got some sleep (cc at 12 - weeks as woke every hour - zombie mother!)AT that point I suddenly gained confidence, perspective, my sense of humour and 'fruity feelings' returned!! I think that once the bf reduced during the day it all evened out a bit too - he felt that he could comfort ds without having to rely on my boobs!

LorLa Mon 01-Sep-08 17:17:32

Thanks cluckyagain. I'm also wondering if Dh has low confidence at the whole parent thing. He didn't have such a nice childhood and has said in the past that he doesn't know if he will be such a good parent. I have always had 100% confidence that he would be a wonderful Dad and have always told him so. I guess this is or could be part of what is going on and it is something I don't really know how to deal with. I wish he would just talk to me.

cluckyagain Tue 02-Sep-08 08:16:47

I think as long as you're still talking to him, making loving comments about him and about his abilities as a dad I think he'll open up eventually - and it will just get easier with time and of course as your lo gets older and less 'breakable'! Good luckxx

susie100 Tue 02-Sep-08 18:08:53

Poor you not what you need write now.
I would give him a specific list of things he can help with around the house as you are breastfeeding and let him know how mcuh you would appreciate that as this parenting lark is about team work and when you are feeding it is quite skewed towards you. The best thing he can do is allow you to have as much energy as possible now as the burden is disproporatinately with you.
Let him know that will change as baby gets older.

Do you have any friends with older chidlren you could get to talk to him in a 'isn't the first few months grim/boring it does get better' way.

Can you agree set things he does such as SATURDAY morning walk so you get to sleep?
Baby massage class for men? Baby swimming?

susie100 Tue 02-Sep-08 18:09:23

p.s. Just ignore the housework and he will HAVE to start doing of it - that's what worked for me.

susie100 Tue 02-Sep-08 18:20:34

right now even

JillJ72 Tue 02-Sep-08 18:31:36

It's hard, you've had loads of good advice here. I'd add that in a few months you could get DH to show DS how to roll back and forth, and then even how to crawl. I have very fond memories of my DH moving from lying to then crawling backwards and forwards across the living room floor, and then a week or so later DS getting the idea and following his Daddy. It was lovely, and a different way of being involved.

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