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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Maybe even though he is saying he wants you to make the decisions, he wants to have more input and instead it is coming across as critcism? I know you are doing BLW, but it sounds like it makes him worried. Is it very important to you, the way breastfeeding is? Does he understand that? Do you understand how important to him feeding is? The criticsm sounds super annoying, but it is possible that he is just really bad at communicating his opinions on parenting and he wants to be part of the decision process.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:14 pm 
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kimba wrote:
Maybe even though he is saying he wants you to make the decisions, he wants to have more input and instead it is coming across as critcism?


No that is exactly what is happening. Except that I sit down with him and tell him what milestone we are facing and I explain what I think and then ask for his thoughts, and every single time he says "Oh, I trust you honey, let's do what you think is right." And then when we are in the thick of it, he decides to second guess me. Right now his friends all seem shocked that I am letting her chew on fruits and veggies, and that is what is bringing forth the "OMG SHE IS GOING TO CHOKE TO DEATH ANY MINUTE OMGOMGOMGOMG!" that is making breakfast so superfun. I feel like he processes by second guessing me.

The part that is seriously driving me batty is the alternating "I trust you!" "No I don't, I want input!" If he gave input at the beginning we could work out a compromise, but to just spring a completely different way of doing things, that we had already rejected on me and painting it as me being incompetent and putting our child's life at risk, while I am doing what we agreed, feels unfair and frustrating. For example, I didn't want to co-sleep in bed and he agreed that she would use and have her co-sleeper instead And then she just wasn't sleeping unless she was on me, so I explained why the decision made sense now, and he agreed. And then one night when I was exhausted he said "so you are guaranteeing me that she won't die if we do this." Um no, no one can guarantee that babies won't die. And then it became a huge fight about was I endangering her so she was going to die and I was going to crush her.

I want him to do some of the work and have some buy in in our decisions. For example, we need to childproof, so I asked him to do the research and said I would go with anything he wanted. He has not done anything yet, but I am looking at a few things so we can have a proper conversation.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:45 pm 
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Ugh. Sounds like he needs a little smack from the communication hammer.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:10 pm 
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My husband has been *sick* since January. Not sick enough to stay home from work, stop taking trips with his friends, not go and play poker or go to dinner or do anything else in his life besides hanging out with me and the baby. And of course, he stays up till about 2 am watching TV, and then is exhausted in the morning, which is yet another reason why he never gets better.

We agreed that every Sunday, we would spend some time as a family, and his *being sick* means he can't do that. He just stays home and then I get another day of taking care of Leela all by myself. He covers really well - he starts off going "I really want to, omg, it sounds so fantastic, just give me a few more minutes to sleep." This follows for an hour or two until he concludes that he just can't manage, because despite trying really hard, he really is far too sick. So now I've been waiting, and hoping that things will work out, and I feel like an idiot. And then I ask him if he really can't go out with us again, and he says that I am completely inconsiderate and have no idea how terrible it is to be sick. He is doing the very best he can, and he can't help it if this terrible cold keeps making him so ill.

I just want to go somewhere nice and be able to enjoy it without always having to be the main person watching Leela. I have no idea what to do here.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:38 pm 
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So, what does his doctor say? I mean, if he's been sick since January he's seen a doctor, right? He wouldn't want to give Leela some sort of illness. . .

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:44 pm 
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i'm really sorry, 'fulish. that's really really hard to deal with.

i think i said already that i'd suspect depression and/or anxiety from his other behavior. parenthood can be a very difficult transition for men and women, and it certainly sounds like he's not handling things too well right now.


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 Post subject: ``
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:51 pm 
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He has gotten and taken 2 rounds of antibiotics for bronchitis. He does have rheumatoid arthritis, and he does get legitimately ill and it lasts longer than it would someone who doesn't have RA.

The part that gets to me is that his being sick really affects no area of his life besides him spending time with us as a family. And you know, I get that he is really tired and that he works hard (being self-employed isn't a picnic) and he has a lot of anxiety around his work, which is why he goes to work even when he is sick, because we do need the money.

It would be easier to understand if he were also not going out with friends and were going to bed early and doing other things to get better etc. But no, its just me and Leela that he is sick for. And he will watch Leela if I need him to. He just won't go out with us if I want him to. And he won't have an honest conversation about it. Last weekend (Father's Day) we had a huge fight about it, because he refused to go out with us at all and he agreed that it must make me feel terrible that he spends no time with us and that I never get to enjoy doing things with him there, and he was going to make a real effort to spend fun family time. And this weekend again, he is out working. I asked him to just have breakfast with us, because that way I can have coffee and toast without having to battle the munchkin alone, but he was too ill, so I walked the dog and Leela alone and went to a birthday party alone and missed going to Cupcakefest because she was unhappy and I couldn't juggle her alone. But he is out lifting furniture.

I feel like a jerk complaining that I am not having fun because my poor husband is sick. And of course, it sounds horrible that he has to work even when he is ill. But I don't know if it is a real sickness if it only affects one area of his life. I often feel like I am being played - he keeps me dangling, hoping that we're going to go out together and then disappoints me. He also will call me up when we are out and then say he wants to join us, but then changes his mind, which is a huge mind-fuck. I don't think he is having an affair, because I think if he were covering his trail, it would be easy just to be nice and go out once a week.

I thought about depression, but again, it only affects one area. He goes out with friends for dinner, he travels to GA with friends for mini-vacations, he plays poker all night etc. And if he is depressed and doesn't think he is depressed, what can I do?

I really appreciate the advice, because I do feel very stuck. I asked him last weekend if he wanted a divorce, because he doesn't seem to enjoy time with me, but he said he loves me and wants this to work and promised to spend more time with us, but now its a week later, and he is blowing me off again.

I also really hate that after a whole week of looking after Leela pretty much alone, I get tired and somewhat resentful. I try not to let her feel it, but sometimes, when she is crying or overtired but won't nap, it is harder than it would be if I were well-rested.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Tofulish, I am sorry you are going through this. Nate was sick for a month and it drove me crazy. He was legitimately sick and he went to the doctor, but when I was sick and grey was sick I still had to do it all so I didn't feel sorry for him when he was sick. Every week he would make all these plans to go biking on the weekend and I would feel angry because he couldn't help with the baby but he could go biking, well, of course the weekend would come and he wouldn't go, so it is different than what you are going through. Have you told Brent that he needs to stop all of his other activities besides work? When I was growing up my mom always said if we didn't go to school we couldn't do anything else fun, so maybe you should tell him that if he can't help out on the weekend then no special events that week. Maybe he would also get better and be able to do it all. I kno the dads need time to unwind and they have it hard too, but you are not Leila's only parent.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:27 pm 
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I have said "if you're too sick to go out with us, you're too sick to go out with your friends." But seriously, how do I enforce that? He is a grown man, with his own money, car etc.

Plus, I didn't get married to be the nagging, enforcer wife with the rolling pin who makes her husband's life hell. I got married to spend time together, support each other in our lives and dreams and have a better time together than apart.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Take away his candy :)

My only recourse is to talk to him and if he continues the action I don't like, I turn into a bisque. Maybe not the best recourse, but it does work most of the time!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I have said "if you're too sick to go out with us, you're too sick to go out with your friends." But seriously, how do I enforce that? He is a grown man, with his own money, car etc.

Plus, I didn't get married to be the nagging, enforcer wife with the rolling pin who makes her husband's life hell. I got married to spend time together, support each other in our lives and dreams and have a better time together than apart.


Could you have someone watch Leela and go out somewhere with Brett alone? Not to talk about anything but just to have a few hours without stressing over parenting styles, work, money, division of labor, etc?

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Dessert is currently a big bowl of sanctimonious, passive aggressive vegan enduced boak. Fezza
You people are way less funny than Pandacookie. Sucks to be you.-interrobang?!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:25 pm 
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You're probably right.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:21 pm 
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That sounds like a good idea. I know I haven't spent enough time trying to nurture my relationship because I'm always thinking about baby and how to get a spare minute to myself. Sorry you are dealing with this t'lish.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:34 pm 
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In my personal life, I have ever only witnessed that degree of guilt manipulation with people who have serious addiction issues. Does he gamble or drink excessively? I have no idea other than trying to figure out what is so damned exciting about being anywhere except with your family... then acting like YOU are the one with the problem for not having compassion for his "sickness". Hugs.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:30 pm 
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Ugh, Tofulish that sounds so awful. My ex had a lot of the same behaviors and i felt like he was constantly pulling the rug out from under me. It was so horrible to deal with on top of raising a young child. We went to counseling and that was great for me to help me make sense of what was going on, but he was unreceptive and his utter lack of empathy led the therapist to encourage us to divorce. I'm hoping your case isn't as extreme, but couples counseling can be so helpful.

Maybe my opinion is unqualified since my marriage didn't work, but I'm older and WAY less naive than I was.... and I still have to interact with my son's dad. Since he so frequently "forgets" what he's said or promised in the past, we put everything in writing. All our important communications are via email. I'm sure that's not a good route for a couple that is still together, but putting a schedule of both of your "me" time, "us" time, and "all three of us" time down in writing might help him see what's going on a little better. I'm making the assumption that he's doing all this fun stuff with friends and you, not so much. Scheduling it will make it more fair and should help him see that it's been unfair. Maybe even have him do the writing so later when he tries to change it or back out, seeing it in his own writing will make it more meaningful and like something he agreed to.

The being sick thing is something to really be concerned about-- he should not be staying up late or going out with friends if he really is sick. My ex was SO good at making it seem like his behavior was my fault or that our conflicts were only caused by my "unreasonable" expectations. If I'd known better, I would not have stood for that. Try not to let him manipulate you. Hang in there!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:45 pm 
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Can you just start leaving Leela with him and going out alone? I know you want to be together but maybe he feels like he doesn't have much of a relationship with her. It sounds like you are calling all the shots. You are making all the parenting decisions, you make all the plans for the things you are supposed to do together, you are always leelas main caregiver. Maybe tell him he has to plan something for next weekend, perhaps he isn't feeling like he is a part of the family or something? I agree with Vantine that you guys should go n a date and make a rule that there is no baby talk. I think we forget sometimes that the first year is really hard on dads because the baby wants the mom and it can be hard to bond. Now that Nate and Grey ride the bike together all the time they are great buds, but a few months ago me wanting to do anything alone was hard on Nate. I am so tired, so I hope this made some kind of sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:10 pm 
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We talked about it, and today we went for brunch, had family come over and went for a short walk in our local arboretum, and then met people from his family for a really nice dinner out. It was such a nice day (apart from him complaining about the heat). I ate 2 meals without having someone trying to eat them off my plate - he was primarily responsible for L, so I got to just relax and have fun.

littlebear wrote:
. Maybe tell him he has to plan something for next weekend

The funny thing is that his mother and step-father had the exact same struggles, for 40 years until he died. He refused to do anything with them as a family, because he felt like he was tired after a week of work and deserved his rest. His mom was constantly planning stuff and either going out alone or having him moan about what she planned. She told me that once she decided she wouldn't plan anything, and told him he needed to plan stuff, and he didn't. For 6 months, they made no plans, until she eventually broke down and went back to the way things were. If I ask him to plan anything, he always says "lets go to the zoo." Which I am not comfortable going to do. But if I ask for a second option he says "well, I said what I want to do and its not my fault that you don't like zoos, so I did my part."

DS, that is a great insight.

I think its going to take a fairly big commitment to change, and I hope we can figure this out. Its pretty scary to realize that your husband is acting a lot like his hated step-father, with the exception of the fact that we don't have weeklong nasty fights. But the underlying selfishness is the same. He always talks about how terrible it was living with someone who hated doing anything and made every excursion a trial, rather than something fun to do as a family. He said that every time his mother wanted his father to do anything, it would touch off screaming fights and once their family left to go on vacation without the stepfather, because his stepfather refused to go, and ended up having to drive back after his mom called her husband to ask if he really meant it and he said he wanted to go now. This guy was his stepfather from the time he was 2, and I guess that is the behavior that was modeled for him of what husbands do.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Would it help to point out that he's doing what his stepfather did, or would that just lead to anger?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:25 pm 
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It does help. He definitely doesn't want to end up like his stepfather, but he also sometimes doesn't see it and gets defensive about it. It would be nice if we could point it out once and root it out, but the pattern is really deep, and it often takes different looking forms and sometimes I am so frustrated with him that I don't see the pattern either.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:12 am 
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I hope you can get a vacation/break/alone time soon. You sound exhausted!! And can't blame you, I watch a n infant for 8 hours and can't wait to go home and sleep.

I don't like the zoo either, but maybe call his bluff and say you'll go just the one time (unless you've already done that, and then just ignore me).


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Brett has been great and we've been doing so much fun stuff together. We're going to the beach with awesome vegan friends and their kids now! And tomorrow we have a BBQ with friends.

I have to say, I love going out and not being the sole caregiver. It makes it so much easier to talk to people, eat food, do fun stuff with someone else to share the slack.

I am sure I will have vents in the future, but so far, things are going great!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:46 pm 
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That's great news!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:56 pm 
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That is really great T. I agree so hard about just not being the sole person in charge... It makes such a difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Yay!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:09 pm 
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It was The Best. I had been to the beach a few times with Leela, but he took her for most of our time there and kept her from eating sand, and I got to go jump in the waves with our friends. I had SO MUCH FUN! It was epically awesome and I could have jumped in the waves all day long.

And then he held her and fed her so I could eat at Kaya's the vegan restaurant we went to, and I had a giant veggie burger with veg bacon, mayo, sauteed onions and mushrooms and ate onion rings and talked to our awesome vegan friends.

So nice not being 100% responsible allatime.

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