Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ashamed and hurting.

Over the past month or so at least three women friends told me they would've divorced my husband if they were married to him and another set have said the don't know 'how I put up with it'.

It's all about his lack of empathy and laziness.

I thought I could hide it. I thought I could weave a story around our family so people believed that he did his bit but it was in the wings, in the background, you just didn't see it.

Well it seems that's not possible.

So here I am. My marriage is seen as 'bad'.  More to the point my husband is seen as 'selfish and lazy' and I am seen as a fool for putting up with it.

My DH is trying to change. But its clear he has no sense of his role in all this. He thinks if he picks up a feeding here and there everyone will shut up. He talks about all this in terms of 'us' dealing with the challenge of babies. He's totally missing the point.

I wonder if, when we talk about this next, I just tell him the untarnished truth. This is how people see you. This is what they say and this is how I feel about it all. I'm ashamed of you. I'm grateful that you are making an effort but I need you to see the whole picture and treat the disease not the symptom.

Ugh.  Can you believe that! I'm ashamed of my husband.

This is a very, very sad place to be.


  1. Oh Eb, I'm so sorry. Wow, this is definitely a hard place to be. In this confusing place, I am wondering if you can tease out a few things? Are you truly upset with your husband's behavior (or lack thereof) or are you upset that others think that he should be doing more. If you are only mildly upset and it is there opinion that makes you more upset, then that is one thing. If, on the other hand, it is you that are upset and your friends speaking to you about it has brought it to the forefront. Then, my, that is a problem.

    I had something similar with my husband. I don't know how much to the same extent it was, but I definitely felt that I had the brunt of the workload. My husband and I were going to counseling for another reason (his Mom is living with us) and I decided to bring this up during the session. His response to me was that he realized that he was letting me carry most of the burden. He KNEW that if he sat there long enough, I would take care of it. With that statement, we began to work on some realistic things that he could do to more equally divide the load.

    That meant that I had to give up some things too. He got to make decisions about when to let the kids cry it out.

    Talking to the counselor really helped. It allowed someone other than ME to bring up the problem.

    I'm so sorry about all of this. I hope that you find answers and some solace soon.

  2. Who cares what other people think? It's YOUR marriage and it's what YOU and your husband think and feel that counts. I've had a sense since I started reading you that there were struggles...what marriage doesn't? If a couple seems perfect, that's usually a sign that they are just covering up problems. It's easy to write only about the shiny things...on my blog it's a way I pull myself up. I know you love your husband and that you go to counseling together and that you are both working on things. Being ashamed is a sad place to be, that is true....but things will get better.

    And if they don't, this country mouse will fly to her city mouse cousin's big city and open up a can of whipass on your husband.


  3. I am so sorry that you are facing such a challenging time in your marriage and with your relationship with your husband. I agree, though, that what anyone else perceives doesn't really matter unless you are looking for validation that it is not all in your head. I would not bring how others feel or what they have said into the conversation with your husband but do agree that you likely need a 'come to Jesus' conversation that does include your unvarnished truths.

    I hope he is opn to counseling and that you are able to find someone you feel can help you both work through things.

    It is all too easy and convenient to blame new parenthood and hide behind it, but, while it is challenging and can be a struggle navigating it, it is usually a mask and magnifier of underlying issues

    Good luck and we are here for you.


  4. EB, I have always had a great deal of respect for you and your marriage. There have been times when I have posted about challenges in my marriage and your comments have always been measured and equitable.

    In the close to two years that I have been following your story, these are my observations:

    - you and your DH love one another a lot :)
    - you both wanted children very badly
    - you were both a little nervous about the prospect of twins (who wouldn't be?)
    - you both love your babies to bits and they have brought you great joy:)
    - you are both working full-time
    - you have some help with childcare, but it is still a challenge to keep up with everything
    - you have both been committed to going to a counsellor to work on your marriage

    This is only my opinion (and as Paige says, who cares what other people think - what matters is what you think)...I think any marriage would be strained by the one two punch of infertility and then twins while both parents are working full-time. I get the impression that you guys are pretty solid overall, and sometimes I think we need to look at these situations in a different light.

    You are you. Your DH is your DH. Your babies are not going to be babies forever. Maybe caring for babies is not your DH's forte, but toddlers will be more his speed. What I'm saying is that this is a temporary stage and rather than trying to get your DH to behave a certain way during this stage, why not look for other solutions? For example, are you interested and is it possible for you to work less so that you can be less stretched at this time? Or is it possible to increase the childcare and/or household help?

    I have a friend who sometimes gets hung up on the right and wrong of a situation rather than the resolution (i.e. He SHOULD do this or that - it's WRONG of him not to do it. Other GOOD husbands do it so he should do it, too.). I always try to encourage her to let go of these kinds of black and white expectations. Just because your DH isn't king of diaper-changing or heating bottles does not mean he does not love you and the twins very much or that he doesn't care that you are overwhelmed. You recently posted about his efforts to help and support you, so it is clear that he is trying his best in his way.

    When the twins are a little older and more interactive and he can take them to the park, I predict you will see a whole new level of involvement from your DH. In the meantime, if you need more help or to work less, maybe that can be the focus for now. Perhaps you can approach your DH and thank him for his recent efforts to help you, but explain what you still need more help with and ask him what he thinks of XYZ (i.e. paying a mother's helper to come a few times a week, or getting a weekly maid, or you reducing your work hours).

    Again, just my two cents', which may not mean a heck of a lot. Just want you to know I'm here and reading and supporting you.