Ugh! Just really needing to vent right now!
DH and I have really struggled since DD came along four months ago. He is wonderful in many ways and I love him dearly. We've been together a long time for our relatively young ages (me in my 20s, him in his 30s) and we've been through more than any other couple I know. We've always made it through and I know we will make it through this...but I'm just really frustrated right now.
When DD arrived I was suffering severe PTSD and it took me a while to get past it. He was my rock during that period. He looked after DD when I couldn't and was there for me as much as possible. Once I got better and started coping...he crashed. He became a different person. He completely shut off from everything, wouldn't speak to me, wouldn't look at DD when he came home and just spent all his time on the computer. I felt like the house was falling down around me and I had to cope with all of that as well as a new baby. He has suffered depression in the past, i actually don't think he's ever really gotten over it. And I figured it was rearing it's ugly head again. We almost separated, for a while there we were discussing how to separate property and things like that, it got that bad. Eventually we both realised we still wanted to be together and make this family work, and ever since then he's been seeing a psychologist. He has been better, and it helps that DD is older, much easier and just a little joy to be around. She adores her daddy and they have their own special time together. He's been much better with helping around the house and has even done a lot of things without me having to ask (a miracle for him!). But we're still really struggling on one thing. If I do have an off day, and I've had a few of them with DD teething, he disappears again. I make sure to NEVER take my frustrations out on him - I do not do it. I don't snap at him unnecessarily, I grew up experiencing a lot of that from my mother and I swore I'd never do it to anyone else. He cannot say I snap at him because I just don't. But if he comes home and I'm tired and sleep deprived and I sound exasperated when I speak, he takes it so personally. I'm basically just expressing what a hard time I'm having or what a bad day I've had and he actually gets crabby at me and HE snaps at ME. when I have not said anything derogatory to him in ANY way. Today I wasn't even crabby and I still copped it. He was going outside to fix a sheet of corrugated iron on the shed roof that had come loose. Because he hates any form of outdoor work whatsoever, he always takes his iPod out with him to make it more bearable. I hate that he does this, to my way of thinking it's part of life, just get out there and do it. He has major problems focusing and just can't do anything without some form of technology in his hand . Yesterday he was washing the cars, once again headphones in his ears. DD was having a bit of a meltdown and I needed his help, I was cooking something which was about to boil over and I had a crying baby, I just needed him to give me a hand. But when I yelled out he couldn't hear me because of those damn headphones. I let it go - since we've been trying to work things out I've been picking my battles. I'm trying to support him in getting past his depression because when I'm happy and supportive he is MUCH better to be around. But today, DD is once again a little cranky due to teething. He was heading outside to fix the roof and I saw him grab his headphones. I said, calmly, "Do you have to take your iPod all the time?" I went on to say that it's hard when I need his help with DD and he can't hear me, but I didn't get very far because he yanked his headphones out, yelled "FINE!" and threw them across the kitchen. He went to storm out but once again I stayed calm and tried to tell him that wasn't necessary, I'm just trying to address an issue with him, we have a child, he can't just tune out on weekends now and do whatever he wants, he has to be 'switched on'. I'm switched on 24 f-ing hours a day, I NEVER just tune out even when DD is asleep and I'm trying to steal some precious time for myself, I'm ALWAYS thinking about her and staying alert in case she wakes up. He's just not like that. At times it's like he forgets she's even around and just does whatever he wants. This morning she was in the bouncer, which she is getting a little big for. Since she's trying to sit up, she can lift her shoulders out of it and I'm thinking that soon it will be a little unsafe. I left the room to do something as DH was still in the room with her, but he didn't think to stay there and watch over her, he just wandered off doing something he wanted to do.
He's not a bad dad, most of the time he's really good and we've come a long way with our issues. But I feel like he's slipping a bit at the moment, I know he'll get there and I know he has come so far from what he used to be but I'm just not sure how to address this. I don't know if I should just wait it out and assume he's going through a bad patch or sit him down and try and talk to him about it, let him know that I've noticed he's slipping into his old ways and is there anything on his mind that he needs to talk about.
Just needed to let that out!
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04-11-2012 11:04 #1
04-11-2012 11:18 #2Senior Member
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- Apr 2012
Sounds like you're both having a rough time. I have to say though that if you sound exasperated men tend to take that as you having a go at them. I have the same problem with DH.
In regards to him listening to an IPOD or whatever while working... I don't see a problem with that. At least he's getting out and actually doing it. If he wants to listen to an IPOD or whatever while he does it then why shouldn't he? It'd take you 2 seconds to put DD down somewhere, tap him on the shoulder and ask for help instead of just yelling out at him. There are many lazy men out there who wouldn't do any of that stuff at all. I really can't believe that you're complaining about him listening to music while he actually does it. If you think you can do a better job without technology then hand the baby over to him and go for your life.
Things are rough when you have kids especially the first one and in the first year of its life. My DH and I are having our ups and downs as well. We have a 9 month old and a 2 and a half year old. It can be really hard.
Sit down with him and work out what you both need from each other. There's nothing better than strong communication in a relationship. I find when this breaks down it is the beginning of the relationship ending if it's not dealt with. Bring up your concerns with him using the technology but also listen to what he has to say. I often play games while doing the housework as that is what helps me get it done.
Sorry I think my post has come across a bit harsh.. I didn't mean to. Just letting you know it is normal to have problems in your relationship when children come along. It does sound like you guys are doing pretty well. Hang in there
04-11-2012 11:22 #3Senior Member
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- Aug 2012
Re: DH-related rant
*hugs*some your situation sounds a bit like mine when ds was a baby, he was wonderful but i had a bit of a problem when he was 7 weeks old and as a result we had alot of problems (house was always trashed), dp started flying off the handle over stupid things and breaking things, he ruined ds's first christmas morning by chucking a massive temper tantrum then going back to bed leaving me and ds alone christmas morning.
We split when ds was 8 months old after he punched a hole in the wall.
We spent 12 months apart and then we tried again, we've been back together nearly 10 months and he has started again, i've put my foot down and he has improved but if he stays like it we'll see
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04-11-2012 12:49 #4
Re: DH-related rant
By the sound if it he is suffering from depression. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't men get post natal depression too? As pp said I don't see the real problem in him using an iPod. Better that than the stereo blaring like others I know. I know its frustrating when you need a hand and he can't hear you. I also know others who DP don't do anything for themselves. At all. Eg "oi, x get me a drink", "oi,x the kids are screaming", "oi, x get me something to eat".
It honestly sounds like he has been strong when he had to and now he had crashed big time. No advice except for just be there for him and maybe have a good chat with him.
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04-11-2012 13:10 #5
Just to clarify, my issue is not with the fact he uses his iPod when doing jobs. It annoys me, but like I said, he does have depression and I pick my battles. He is getting help and that's a positive thing. But lately it's been really hard when I try and talk to him about things and instead of communicating with me he just yells at me. I gently and calmly approached him about the use of the iPod and he went off his head, throwing things and slamming doors. Had he just said to me, "Actually it just really helps get the job done. I'm sure there's times when you just need something to help get you through too", then I would have realised that yes, I'm probably being petty and should just let it go.
What I should have also mentioned is that we've had BIG problems in the past with him being completely addicted to his computer. Technology and my DH are a sensitive issue. He's undergone therapy at various times over the years to help break his addiction and his need to escape into the fantasy land of games, internet etc. So it's really hard for me to tell sometimes whether it's him slipping back into his old ways or something not so sinister. when you've had such serious problems in the past it's really hard to overlook them.
I understand I don't always get it right, but I'm trying. Like I said, I love him and I'm grateful for him and I wouldn't be with anyone else. It's just hard at the moment when he won't communicate with me about anything...oh how I would love to sit down and have a big talk and sort it out but he just takes it as a personal attack and shuts down. I don't have anyone I can talk to about this so I'm just letting it out...I don't expect answers to my problems, just venting a little while I see this one out.
04-11-2012 13:50 #6
Re: DH-related rant
I realise you're problem is not necessarily the iPod. In this particular situation I'm going to take a guess and say that he is using the iPod to block out outside noise and escape from reality. I do this as well. Not so much an iPod but I do tend to escape to the toilet a lot just to escape. DP probably thinks I have major tummy upsets. But sometimes I really just need to get away from the crying, or the neediness of bub. He is probably finding the transition into parenthood a little more difficult than in the beginning. It happens. But he shouldn't be snapping and treating you badly. You do seem to have answered your own question in your OP. I think you are going to do the right thing and you seem to be open to the idea that he is needing help. Guys just don't always know when to ask for it and sometimes they don't realise how they are behaving.
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04-11-2012 14:05 #7
Perhaps he is feeling very overwhelmed and unsupported.
You suggest that for a while after your DD was born, you broke down and did very little at all. He did all the work he could during your tough time. Now that HE is the one going through a tough time though, you're not taking on the same level of responsibility and are just expecting him to get on with it regardless... even though you didn't? There may have been details left out that make this not the case, but from what you did offer, this is how it sounds to me.
I would have to say that if I were him, I'd feel very irritated too. That I could support my partner while she had her breakdown, but if I go through something, she might pick her battles, but she still mostly wants to tell me off and make me do things I didn't consider making her do when she was having her breakdown. KWIM?
The iPod... definitely, I wouldn't bother mentioning that. It might be irritating, but walk outside, tap him on the shoulder, and ask for help if you need to. Don't be hinting that you'd rather he didn't do it... he's an adult, he can listen to music whenever he wants IMO.
You say you were finding it difficult that a pot was boiling over and your DD was whinging, but it wasn't like he was outside stuffing around. He was doing something too, washing the cars.
I dunno, I just think that perhaps he's feeling angry that you got your time off when you needed it, but he's not getting the same deal... and also might hate the "suggestions," that he's doing something wrong by using his iPod (while doing actual household tasks... not just randomly zoning out the world while sitting on the couch...), and suggesting he's a bit of a dud Dad (by whinging about the fact that he left your DD unattended for a bit). Honestly, she was secured in a seat. Worse thing that could have happened was she fell out and fell on the ground, had a tiny bump on the head, and cried.
I think perhaps you both need counselling - seperately and together. It sounds like you're still going through a tough time yourself, he is too... and hte relationship itself is struggling, so counselling all round sounds like a good idea to me.
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