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Question
Posted by: SoLost | 2010/10/14

Am I wrong and selfish?

Hi CS,

Today I feel very under the weather. I have been ill this year and in the past 6 mths had 6 hospitalizations. I certainly haven''t been paying 100% attention to my 7yr old daughter. I have left it to my hubby to take care of her. Not that I haven''t tried. When I could, I used to make her lunch and get her things ready for her. For the past months I have been told by my doctor to take it easy and not strain or stress myself. I still go to work everyday and by the end of the day, I am in pain and so tired. But we can''t do with one salary.

this morning, my husband once again told me that as a mother I should be fully responsible for my daughter. He takes care of her and not me. He drives me to work, because I shouldn''t be driving. I would prefer taking the risk and driving myself, rather than being an inconvenience. But he insists on doing it and then gets agitated because of the traffic.

Anyway, he went on telling me that I don''t do motherly things. I felt so totally usually as a mother and parent. I sat in my office and cried as I am currently pregnant - very high risk - he wanted more kids. I e-mailed him and told him how I was feeling, sad and so useless. I felt as if I shouldn''t be having another child, because I can''t seem to do anything right. It is bad enough that I have made things difficult by being in hospital so often or being put on so much bed rest. But I am not functioning at a 100% anymore and I still have to work.

He e-mailed me back to say i have no respoect for him. No one, even his family, since the day he was born has never cared of respected him. He is always misunderstood and he sees he has no right to say anything to me. He was just trying to make conversation with me in the morning.

Dr. was I wrong to tell him how insecure I suddenly felt? Was I wrong to share my feelings? He always turns things around and makes it seems as if I am criticizing or attacking him.

I am so consuded and so dreading him picking me up now. He will totally ignore me and be rude to me. I tried explaining that I am so tense right now. If anything happens to this baby, it is my fault and there has been far too many complications so far. For me every second of the day goes by wondering if all is ok. I can''t even carry to full term and the baby will be delivered early due to risks - 34 weeks.

Am I just selfish and inconsiderate. My husband never reassures me when he says something that hurts me. If I tell him he has made me feel bad, he will say if that''s the way i think then it is my problem. But he will never apologize or reassure me.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

It sounds as though your husband really doesn't understand your illness and its progress - shouldn't he arrange to meet your psychiatrist for a thorough explanation of the situation, of what you and he can best do to manage it for the best possible outcome ?
Its not fair, maybe not even sensible, that you should now be carrying a high-risk pregnancy ( and at significant risk, too, to your mood problems ) just because he wants more children.
If your illness has created a situaion in which you needed to be admitted to hospital several times, that wasn't your fault. You have NOT "made things difficult" - you have both been faced with a difficult situation.
He complains that you don't respect him ? Does he really respect you ? Do YOU respect you ? You certainly deserve respect.
It sounds as though, quite separate from your own problems, he has problems of his own ( as shown by his reference to having never been appreciated by his own family ), and he needs and deserves to see his own shrink, or at least a counsellor, to work on solving his own problems, as well as eventually working with you on your joint problems.
It sounds as though there is an urgent need for a broader expert assessment of the whole situation, involving you, your husband, your existing child and the child-to-be. DIscuss this urgently with your own psychiatrist, who, if he/she is to help you effectively, cannot focus only on your personal issues without dealing with their whole context.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/16

It sounds as though your husband really doesn't understand your illness and its progress - shouldn't he arrange to meet your psychiatrist for a thorough explanation of the situation, of what you and he can best do to manage it for the best possible outcome ?
Its not fair, maybe not even sensible, that you should now be carrying a high-risk pregnancy ( and at significant risk, too, to your mood problems ) just because he wants more children.
If your illness has created a situaion in which you needed to be admitted to hospital several times, that wasn't your fault. You have NOT "made things difficult" - you have both been faced with a difficult situation.
He complains that you don't respect him ? Does he really respect you ? Do YOU respect you ? You certainly deserve respect.
It sounds as though, quite separate from your own problems, he has problems of his own ( as shown by his reference to having never been appreciated by his own family ), and he needs and deserves to see his own shrink, or at least a counsellor, to work on solving his own problems, as well as eventually working with you on your joint problems.
It sounds as though there is an urgent need for a broader expert assessment of the whole situation, involving you, your husband, your existing child and the child-to-be. DIscuss this urgently with your own psychiatrist, who, if he/she is to help you effectively, cannot focus only on your personal issues without dealing with their whole context.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: PUrple | 2010/10/15

Shame man. I feel for you. Please don''t think I thought you''d done anything do cause hospitalisation - there isn''t much you can do to cause this - during pregnancy there are many complications that can occur but thankfully don''t for most of us. I really hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well.

Can you maybe print some articles for your husband on how it harms children and makes them feel that we don''t trust them and don''t believe in their abilities if we continue to do everything for them. Maybe print some off parent24, or get hold of some copies of Child Magazine and Living and Loving which discuss things like that in articles in quite a bit of detail sometimes.

I had the opposite with my husband. He told me I fussed too much when my son was a toddler. He then had to take my son to a birthday party that I couldn''t attend (the first one he''d ever attended) and he realised there that I was actually a fairly relaxed (though vigilant) mother.

Your gesture to make him feel appreciated doesn''t need to be romantic. Buy him a six pack of beers and write " Thanks for all you do to take care of me and Jane (or whatever your daughters name is)"  on it with black marker if that won''t make him feel shy.

You are right, we all have things going on in our lives that we choose to put up with that others might not, and sometimes we need to have a bit of a moan and get it off of our chests.

Do speak to your doctor about your feelings though, as although I" m no expert and haven''t read up all that much, based on my personal experience, I think post natal depression can and often does start during pregnancy. You are saying so much that I was saying during my first pregnancy (I''m on anti depressants now during my second one and it is such a different experience not feeling so emotional the whle time - though obviously pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster and I do still get weepy for no reason and feel hurt when none was intended and so on - but that''s what pregnancy does to you - or me at least).

Reply to PUrple
Posted by: Maria | 2010/10/15

Explain to your husband that he is holding back your daughter''s development. At her age she should have been dressing herself for a long time, she should bath on her own, and she should be doing chores like setting the table, folding laundry and making her bed. These things build her self esteem, teaches her life skills and makes her feel that she is a valued member of your family. Especially now that you are ill you can absolutely ask your daughter to help mommy out.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: SoLost | 2010/10/15

Thanks Purple. No I have not done anything to cause the hospitalizations. I have just had pregnancy complications.
He really helps a lot, but I just feel I can''t give what he needs of me.He is also exceptionally particular about our daughter. Everything has to be done a certain way. He won''t allow her to bathe on her own or dress on her own. It must be done for her. I keep telling him that you can still love her and allow her to grow up. So in his eyes, when I ask her to do things on her own, I am a bad mother. He says other women work and they still do everyhting for their children, so I have no excuse. But then he tells me that I mustn''t do anything at home and I must take my docs orders and rest as much as I can. I have already started getting mild contractions and I had the cervical sutures put in at 12 weeks. I will not be able to go full term and will go as far as 34 weeks- if my body allows. So on the one hand he says do nothing and then he turns around and says I do nothing.

He is not the romantic type and doesn''t like all this romantic stuff. We don''t even celebrate valentines day.

Purple, thank you. I guess we all make choices that we have to live with. And I have to do just that.

Reply to SoLost
Posted by: Purple | 2010/10/15

Children are the responsibility of both parents. He''s just feeling the strain that most mothers go through all the time and that is why he''s complaining.

When you are feeling dreadful and when you are pregnant (which personally I find an awful experience) you aren''t able to care for others as well as you usually would because its quite normal to feel wrapped up in your own pain and feeling dreadful.

Perhaps he just needs to feel a bit more appreciated. I sometimes feel like that when I''m doing everything at home and wish my husband would just give me a night off and a box of chocolates. Perhaps aim for one night of the week where you take care of your daughter to give him a break, even though you are feeling dreadful. She is old enough now to run her own bath and get her own uniform ready for the next day and so on, so try to oversee her doing these things.
Book your husband a massage or get some take aways in for the two of you for after your daughter is in bed and eat them by cande light. Run a bath for him if he likes that sort of thing or book him and a friend tickets for a sports match or something like that.
I''m also pregnant and feel horrendous at the moment as I''m in the first trimester and my husband is doing most of the parenting as I bury myself in bed as soon as I get home. My son brings board games which we play together on the bed and I read to him and when he watches TV in the evening he lies on the bed with me. My husband is doing all the cooking, but I" m doing lunch boxes and bathing and the extra mural taxi service. I''m going to take my son on an outing on Sunday to give my husband a day on his own which I think he''ll appreciate.

Men don''t always understand how insecure and emotional we feel while we are pregnant. You aren''t wrong to share these things with him and I don''t think you are being selfish. Once he''s re-read your e-mail a few times he might see what you mean. It''s a good idea that you mention to your doctor that you are feeling unsupported emotionally as feeling like that during pregnancy can be one of the warning signs for post natal depression. I suffered from PND and I felt just like you describe through my pregnancy.

Hang in there.

If your husband is constantly misunderstood by everyone - does the problem not lie with him then? It''s normal not to be understood some times, but when nobody understands you - is it not the way you are communicating. I don''t suppose there is much you can do about that, but at least you know it''s not your fault when he tries to blame you.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Maria | 2010/10/14

Your husband sounds like a selfish pig to be honest. Presumably you didn''t do anything that caused your hospitalisation and high risk pregnancy. I suggest you go for marriage counselling.

Reply to Maria

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