Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One Love

Posted by Anonymous.

I knew this would happen. I feared it. Everyone would have thought I was crazy. I once told a friend (who turned out to not really be a friend) about this fear. And he did tell me I was crazy. I never confided in him again.

There just isn’t enough love.

There were many reasons I had for deciding not to have children when I was in college. One of the most important/ main reasons was that I feared not having enough love.

However, after quite a lot of time & thinking (&thinking&thinking), I did decide that my love for my husband was enough- and I wanted to show him that I love him. So I decided that I did want to have a baby. (And I did want to)

Turned out, I liked being pregnant. (Another fear was that it would be horrible!!!)

I never got sick & felt pretty good most of the time. I was a little tired in 1st trimester; and again when I was rather large. I had a relatively uncomplicated pregnancy.

Of course I feared labor (another reason). Rightfully so.

I won’t bore you with the labor story.

Well, she came. She was big. She was heavy. And she was adorable. But about a week or 2 after coming home, she became fussy. Needy. Demanding to be held. All day long.

Not great timing; my husband’s job was oh-so-stressful at this time.

He feels he has to take care of everything/everyone. So he had work stress & would come home to screaming. And the “kitty cats” needed attention. It was a very very stressful time. And nobody had any good advice. We got so sick of hearing “it’ll get better”… nobody told us what to do RIGHT NOW.

So not the best start.

He had asked me when she was, I dunno, 3 weeks old or so if I loved her.

I broke down in tears because all I could say was “I don’t know”. I knew I would probably come to love her. But again with the whole “unconditional love”… I needed to get to know her.

Now she’s 5months old and I have come to love her. It didn’t take very long, actually. But it’s still quite stressful at times.

My husband worked from home for the past 2 months. Which made it difficult when she cried. If I couldn’t quiet her quick enough, I felt the added stress from him.

Basically with all this worry about love, I never thought about not having enough love for him anymore.

Things in this house are getting pretty bad. It’s no fun to be around us at all; and I wonder if she’s picking up on this.

I guess somehow I knew there was only room for one love. I just never expected to fall out of love with my husband. He’s about to come home from a 2week business trip.

I’m sorta dreading it. Again, a 14hour travel time to come home will be stressful for him. And to be faced with needy cats & a young baby who may/may not recognize him…

God I wish he’d learn to deal with his stress. Because it is tearing me apart.

I spoke to him openly before getting pregnant (and during) about being sure to love each other above all others. I grew up never thinking my parents loved each other, and it bothers me still. I want to show our daughter a better way to grow up. Now I don’t know how.

He was the greatest husband.

Until he became a father.

29 comments:

SP said...

Your story breaks my heart. While it is certainly possible that you no longer love your husband, it is most definitely not because you only have enough love for one person. You have so much love to give, I promise.

I hope that you try to find a way to take some time and find that "greatest husband" again. Most likely the way you are feeling is just the stress of being new parents and with time and effort, it will get better.

Good Luck!

red pen mama said...

You sound as if you are suffering from Post Partum Depression. And you are definitely taking way, way too much on yourself, especially as it pertains to what you perceive as your husband's stress. You sound as if you need to protect him from that, and by trying to do that, you have fallen out of love with him.

Have you talked to him about this?

At the very least, please try to see a counselor or psychologist. You need to talk about this with someone and find some coping mechanisms. Medication may help.

Also, I think love is infinite. So I kind of disagree with your premise. But I am not living your life. You've reached out to get help. Please talk to someone. Good luck & keep us updated.

ciao,
rpm

Anonymous said...

The love is there - it's buried under irritation and stress and not having enough time to yourself and feeling like your husband is not enough of an adult to pull his own weight (at least!) let alone help you with your load. I have no advice for you other than to try and wait it out - and revel in the love of your daughter for now.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're experiencing a common phenomnon after having a baby: you don't like your husband very much at the moment. Sometimes that may make you feel like you no longer love him but it's more likely that you are just resenting him for not being as involved as you thought he would be with the new baby.

Babies bring a slew of new pressures to a marriage. Yes, they are a blessing, and I wouldn't go back and do things any differently, but each child we had strained our relationship. Temporarily. It usually does get better. Hang in there. And don't be afraid to tell your husband what you need from him.

Meg said...

I agree with Red Pen Mama. I'm no therapist, but you seem to have post partum depression. I suffered from it horribly and had many of the same feelings you are having right now. I was stressed, tired, weepy. I loved my daughter, but took everything out on my husband and we had a hard time in those early months. I looked forward to his coming home so he could help with the baby, but I hated him being home because the tension was insane.

I don't think it's a matter of you falling out of love with your husband. I think it's you being overwhelmed and lost. I know that was the case for me.

So go see a doctor. And if the first one ignores you, find another one. My first doctor ignored me, so I quit looking. Because of that I needlessly suffered for months on end. I finally worked it out, but I hate for you to have to suffer.
Now I love both my daughter and my husband, in totally different ways, but both of them unconditionally. I hope you can find that, too.

(My email is sleepynewmommyblog[at]yahoo[dot]com if you ever want to "talk". PPD is something I feel very strongly about and I try to help when I can.)

heidi daisybones said...

This hits home for me, too. I think love is probably infinite, but the ability to *give* is certainly limited. I have finite attention, finite time, and all this has really put a strain on my marriage, too. It feels like there's only room to wholly love either baby or spouse, but I suspect that's a symptom of other stressors. Are you making time for yourself?

I feel for you so much, Mama. I hope this hard time passes for us both.

Much love to you.

Anon said...

Can we STOP diagnosing people?!?!?

You sound stressed. You sound like a lot of people who whisper about the realities of being new parents but out loud say how wonderful it is. In fact, it's crappy at times. And he's working at home, which is NOT great for the baby, seeing as babies need space to cry and laugh and throw things. Having to 'shhhhhhh' every two seconds is like bringing a baby to an office. Please don't turn your house into an office. Not good.

Find support. Most of our culture tells us that we should be proud of our individuality, but we are social creatures and the only way to survive parenting is to have support. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you need a friend, sometimes you need more than just you and baby.

It's hard. Period. But it can get better and will get better. Find out what you need and whether or not your feelings are as a result of stress (and less than ideal situations) or if you're really falling out of love.

And please, I know that people here are pill-happy, where some think AD meds cure all, but they don't. Sticking a pacifier in your mouth won't solve the problem. Think deep. Get to the root of the problem and make your way up from there.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I feel this one. I remember during my son's first few weeks we got so upset with everyone telling us 'it will get better', when before he was born everyone was telling us how wonderful it would be. Kids definitely stress a marriage. The best thing we did for ours? Take breaks. Together. Get a babysitter - overnight if you can. Our son was colicky and if we didn't have weekly breaks we would've been nutty...

Good luck to you.. keep us updated.

Marcy said...

I believe we ll have infinite capability to love. HOWEVER there is only so much love we can pour out without feeling like we're getting it back it. It's like a battery-- we need to recharge every so often in order to keep putting out energy and love.

I was just like you in that it took a while to really grow into loving my son. Now I love him and my husband both-- luckily my husband has made huge efforts to always make me feel loved and appreciated, and put our family first. I fully believe that if you and your husband make changes and work towards it you can find that love all over again, and even more. Best of luck to you.

Jill said...

This is a stressful time for any family and believe me you're not the first person who has wondered if they could love their husband the same or as much as they love their kids. I struggle with it every day. Having your first baby turns your world upside down in ways you could never anticipate -- some are wonderful, but others are hard to adjust to. Give yourself and your husband some time. Maybe find a way to get a night away every once in awhile so you can focus on each other. Also, I would talk to your doctor about PPD, as another commenter suggested. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of that beautiful baby! Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

I went through this exact same thing with my husband. I can now say (my son is 7 years old) that I didn't love my husband and at times I actually hated him. I would lie in bed beside him trying to figure out what life would be like if I left him because it had to be better than this. We didn't have sex for over 9 months after my son was born. My husband shut down. He didn't help around the house, he didn't do anything other than play with the baby and go to work. I felt so overwhelmed and so angry all the time. We are still together but it took us years to rebuild our relationship. I had to learn to tell him how I felt not to expect him to just know. He had to learn to take some initiative. We both had to relearn how to be married. It was hard and I know couples who went through the same thing and didn't come out together. We are okay now, but we work at it every day to make sure we don't slide back into that hell.

Anonymous said...

It's hard. It's so very very hard to have a young baby. It's something you never fully understand until you experience it.

That said, give yourself a break. Don't take on your husband's stress; he's a big boy, he can deal with it himself. Babies cry. So do Mommies. You can only do so much. (I don't have a baby any more, and it drives me completely nuts for my husband to work from home. I can't imagine.)

In regards to your marriage; don't give up. What you are experiencing is normal. There are ways to get through it: counseling, babysitters, support, coping skills, communication skills, an evaluation for PPD.

Believe me when I say it is not hopeless, It CAN get better. I've been there. I know. To just declare yourself 'out of love' and quit would be tragic and unnecessary. You are a family of three now, and that is a valuable thing that needs to be nurtured and taken care of.

Amy said...

Ok, first of all, to hell with the cats. They come last, behind the humans. Period. Do not give them another thought. They're CATS. They're FOOD in some countries. Put them outside if they annoy you.

Second, you need to be evaluated for post-partum depression. Just in case. I know you felt this way before you had a child, but do yourself a favor and get checked out for that, just in case it's part of the problem.

Third, the entire first year after you have a baby is chaos. My husband and I ended up in counseling both times (after our first child was born, and again after our second child was born). You're redefining your boundaries and your relationship, you have all these new stressors and all this pressure to do everything perfectly, and IT'S HARD. Give yourself/ves a break.

Getting a little joint counseling, just to help you weather this storm, might not be the worst idea, either.

My husband and I had known each other since we were 11, had dated since age 21, got married at 25, and got pregnant at 29. We had a SOLID foundation to build a family on, and we still needed a little help. There's nothing wrong with getting a 3rd opinion, an objective perspective, on your relationship.

Now that our kids are 3.5 and 2, we're doing great. Things are back to normal, and have been for a while, and we're "in sync" again in a way that we weren't for that first year post-birth. We're even thinking about adding a third child to our family!

It gets better. Meanwhile, you need to get the past out of your head - you're parents now, and you'll never not be parents, and there's no sense romanticizing and wishing for what used to be. That's gone. Let it go, and start building a healthy future.

Please e-mail me at prbabies at gmail dot com if you want more specific advice on getting out of the first year with your marriage in one piece, or how to deal with the "right now." Babies get a heck of a lot more interesting around 6 - 9 months old, and I'll bet things have started looking brighter for you since you wrote this.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Oh honey. I don't have any advice for you... just know that someone's thinking of you and wishing you the best.

Creepy Mommy said...

I guess I'll join the throngs of others and say it could get better. It sounds as though you really loved your husband, and so the possiblity for that love to come back is there. MY daughter is 7 1/2 months old now. I'm pretty sure I love her father again, but there have been horrible fights and angry words all over the place in the past several months. You've added a whole new dynamic, a whole new person into the mix and I hope you'll be able to see your way through the darkness. Whatever it is that will make you feel better. I know how painful, how isolating it can feel. My thoughts are with you and if I could I'd totally send you a 'hang in there' kitty poster. One way or another, it'll get better.

Anonymous said...

There's no limit to love, so stop thinking that there's "not enough" to go around. It sounds kind of like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.

Knock it off, get some help, go to counseling, talk to your hubby, whatever you need to do. Because right now it sounds like you're building an excuse for when it doesn't work out.

red pen mama said...

@Anon @ 7:34 a.m. I am not advocating anything except talk therapy. I am just mentioning that medication may be warranted. Please don't jump down another commenter's throat. We're trying to help someone here. You're attitude is not needed.

For the record, I have never had PPD and I've never taken medication for any psychological complaint. I know it's a welcome option for many, though, and I didn't come here to judge.

Thanks.
rpm

MYSUESTORIES said...

Why not start by showing your letter here to your husband, and if he doesn't listen, to your sister/mother/friend/doctor??????
You can't change anything at home if YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING TO CHANGE IT!!!!!! Share your world with someone(Anyone!!!)--That alone will give you some of the support you despereatley need right now!!!!!

Tabatha said...

I am *exactly* where you are right now -- cats and all. Just add a needy Chihuahua on top of it all. My husband works two jobs, one during the week and one on the weekends -- and his stress level is never short of palpitable.

However, neither is mine.

I'm not going to tell you that it'll get better, because I don't know that myself. But I hope it does, because I look for the moments that remind me of why I loved my husband -- when he looks at our two month old son and smiles, or when I look at the baby and see my husband's eyes smiling back at me. I also have to remind myself that his endless working is a way he shows his love -- he's willing to give so much of himself to provide for us, his wife and son. Even the little things like doing the dishes so I don't have to is a way he communicates that he loves me, even in the smallest increment.

In our birthing classes, we were told by the instructor that she had a rule in her house for the birth of her six(!) kids. For the first two years of each baby's life, the parents weren't allowed to talk about divorce. And when things have been beyond horrible around here and I go to someone, anyone who will listen (mostly other parents) I'm told over and over again that *this* what we're living right now, you and I, is the hardest part of a marriage.

I don't know that five years from now I'll love my husband unconditionally like I once did. I may not, and I have to be okay with that. But for right now, in the least capacity I need him as my best friend to help me cope with becoming a mother. And there are days that we scream and seriously talk about me moving out ... and there are days when at 3 AM we're trying to quiet the screamer in our arms and we begin to laugh at the mess we've made.

I guess I would tell you to say something. Tell him you want to get counseling ... even the idea of being willing to work on it sometimes is enough. And don't be afraid of getting some time for yourself ... you're stressed too, I know, and it does take time to love your baby. Be open to the possiblity that you *both* are going through a post-partum depression. Be open to the fact that things will never be as they were and mourn that life lost. But most of all -- be open to each other, even when it hurts and feels too much to bear.

We'll get through this somehow, I promise. We're strong women, and it takes strong men to love us.

(and if you ever need a fellow ear to listen, i will -- just email me. sometimes we're all we've got.)

Anonymous said...

This is such a limited format, we do not know all the ins and outs of your situation and your heart. So we can only comment on what you have given us to go on. So, with that understanding...

I am so sorry that you are struggling so much in your first days as a mother. It is an incredible life change, and it can feel very lonely when it seems like your struggles are worse than other people's.

You sound like you are worrying and taking too much stress on yourself. Don't worry about the baby's cries distracting your husband - he is a grown man and he can deal with it! (Or at least he ought to deal with it.) Don't worry that she may or may not recognize your husband when he comes home - she's just a tiny baby. Your bond with her is primary at this point in her life, she has plenty of time to bond with daddy too in the months and years to come.

If the cats are an added burden, then give them away to a loving home. That may not be an option because you love them too much - and I would understand that, being a cat owner and lover myself - but I did not get that impression from your post.

Five months feels like a long time, I don't mean to diminish your suffering! But everything does not have to be solved RIGHT NOW. Becoming a first time mother is a HUGE transition, and takes adjusting, perhaps more than just five months worth of adjusting!

I wish you peace, peace, peace.

Anonymous said...

my husband turned into a giant ass when our son was born. he did morph back into human form not long after, but for the first few months i felt like i didn't even know him. in hindsight, i realize that as much as becoming a mother was an enormous change and adjustment for me to make, becoming a father was a huge deal for him too.

and he didn't know what to do - his father had left when he was 2, and he never had a stepdad or any other strong male in his life. so he was completely clueless.

he was also working from home, at a job that made him miserable - and having me dealing with depression and a newborn did not make things between us any better. oh, and we had two cats, one of which was insanely jealous of our son and i SWEAR had homicidal dreams of getting rid of the baby by tripping me on the stairs while carrying him.

i agree with the others who think you might have some PPD going on. and PLEASE stop tripping on this "only room for one love" piece... it's a complete load of crap. i'm not saying it's unreasonable to be worried about that... i know lots of people who feel that way, i felt that way when my son was first born as well. you CAN get past this and still be madly in love with your husband and your daughter. some days i look at my son and my husband and wonder how i can love each of them so much... and you can get to that point too.

have you thought about speaking with a therapist? maybe you & your husband could book an appointment together, or you could just go yourself. someone who can help you develop some good coping skills would be immensely valuable.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm the original anon poster of this one.
Thank you for your comments. I knew I'd get some PPD in there, so I do want to say, that i KNOW it is not PPD. I know the things I think/feel are from even before.

Actually, we're both pretty sure my husband was the one who suffered from PPD, and I think the stress got to be too much.

I appreciate the thoughtful advice. I have wanted to go to counseling- b/c as it turns out, this post is a little old, and we have since talked.(and argued and talked and cried and screamed some more)
After I submitted this, I felt horrible and decided that if I needed my marriage to change, I was going to have to change it. So I began to work on that.... and I found out that my husband has done a complete 180 in his personality, and had been "escaping" since she was a few months old.

I am having a hard time dealing with that. It's nothing lethal or harmful, except to our relationship. But he refuses counseling b/c to him- “things are fine. They’re getting better. It’s no big deal”.
I have been to counseling myself (pre-baby) for self-esteem issues. Basically, I made my counselor dumbfounded. He said he really didn’t know what to say.
This is why I KNOW it’s not PPD. I’ve always had a little flaw about me here.

In any case, I am not trying to leave him. I am trying to make it better. It's hard for me to get my thoughts in perspective, and writing this out sorta helped.

I appreciate the listen because we currently don't live near family/friends. And I have the kind of friends who are all sunshine & roses when it comes to being a parent. Nobody for me to rant to.

As far as the baby is concerned, she has gotten much better (actually around the time I wrote this, she grew up a little). She’s still quite needy. and get this- she’s a COMPLETE daddy’s girl. already! At least now his depression has lessened. His work stress has lightened. We’re still reeling and dealing with the problems that were created during this stress. But now- when he looks at her, he’s not sad. And that helps when we can laugh at her together.

Thanks again. I do appreciate the thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hun,

This is all normal, lots of women go through it. But, a big sign of post partum depression is irritation, especially with your partner. I went through it for almost a year and made my husband miserable before I broke down and got some drugs. Don't make that mistake. Go to your doctor and talk to them about this, get some help before you push away someone you will regret losing.

Gina said...

Please know that you are not alone. So many women go through this and it's quite common. Go talk to your doctor. My OB's nurse brushed me off saying it was too late to be PPD, but that wasn't true and I pushed and got the help I needed. Don't beat yourself up.

Nette said...

That first year after each of my children were born were the worst years of my marriage. It doesn't 'just get better', sadly, but it takes a lot of work and adjustment. Good luck. It's not easy, as you already know!

Anonymous said...

What you are experiencing, it is called "Life", you have more than enough love to go around, you just need to reach out, talk to your husband & tell him exactly how you feel. For all you know he could be deciding your fate in the marriage while you sit around & do nothing. You could be loosing him. A marriage does not just work on it's own, you need to cultivate it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my dear! This is SO normal, really it is. And luckily, it's an interminably long SEEMING, but actually SHORT season in your life that WILL end.

It will end, it will get better.

You can endure ANYTHING if you know that it will END. All in all, it took me 14 months to get my "mojo" back for my husband.

You are in "mama" mode right now, your hormonal system and your most basic internal instincts KNOW that it's not a good time for you to get pregnant again - and it's making you 'not like' your husband, in order to prevent it.

It's NOT *YOU* - it's your body.

It's NOTHING PERSONAL against him.

And sure, it sucks to be him for the next year or so. But it will END and you guys WILL get back to being a happy family. If you want to. And if you're BOTH patient enough to wait.

I really liked the advice about waiting 2 years after a baby's birth to talk about divorce. I think it's a really FAIR timeline.

Please, be patient with yourself. Ask your DH to be patient with you. Also, I think he needs some anger management or stress management because he should NOT be taking it out on YOU. Buy him a punching bag or something and tell him to go take his frustrations out there.

Also, go and read some TRUU MOM confessions - they will PROVE to you that everyone is going through the same thing.

red pen mama said...

@Anon at 12:28 p.m.

I'm glad you know what it is not, and that you and your husband have talked (and yelled and cried). It's better to have it out there than hold it in. I hope you will continue counseling, and that whatever "escape" your husband took is not an obstacle you two cannot overcome. Good luck, and thanks for the update.

ciao,
rpm

dkaz said...

Everyone always says that the first year of marriage is the hardest, but that's bull. The 1st year that you are parents is the hardest by far on a marriage. And the love part, the part about not having enough? I remember a nurse in the hospital when my 2nd son was born telling me that your capacity to love increases when you have children, and I think that is true, at least for me.
Knowing that you are going through a very stressful, emotional period in your marriage and that so many others experience this same thing might make you feel better. Counseling helps sometimes. Please give it some time. Don't make a rash decision; make a real investment in making your marriage work now. Don't store up bitterness and resentment. It sounds like you love each other - its worth saving, for you and your daughter.