Dear Aunt Becky,
I am 15 weeks pregnant and have never felt more confused, stressed out and alone. I have been married not even a year and have a six year old stepson whom I have been a full-time mommy to him for in the nearly three years I have known the both of them. The problem is, my husband has serious trust and paranoia issues, which has really taken a toll on our relationship. He is always mad at me for one thing or another, usually something that is just made up in his head. He even says he does not trust me and he has called me a selfish bitch on numerous occasions.
Because of his issues, I do not have any friends and feel hesitant to talk to anybody anymore, let alone my husband. Since he is always upset with me about something, my pregnancy has been nothing but stressful. I am afraid that his anger, which he blames on me, is going to seriously affect my body and our baby. I love him and when he is happy with me he is the most loving, awesome man in the world. He has a lot of past issues ( his ex-wife cheated on him) and he keeps blaming me for things when I haven’t done anything wrong. I think I am a good person but when he gets like this (which is all the time) I just feel like I want this baby out of my body. I get really depressed. Especially last week when he went so far as to pack up his and his son’s bags and leave me.
I really want this marriage to work out for the sake of his (our) son and our unborn child. He refuses to get help for his issues and I just want to crawl in a hole and die some days. My body cannot take much more. I am afraid the stress is going to make me miscarriage. I have no friends and have never felt more alone. I just want my husband to be happy with me again. I love him so much and would do anything for him.
Pregnant and Hurting
P.S. – Thanks for your blog. It has really helped me through this.
Dear Pregnant and Hurting,
If only I could reach through the computer and give you a big squishy hug. I’m so sorry, Prankster. Now I’m not going to presume to tell you what to do with your life, but I am going to tell you that you do not have to live like this any longer.
I’ve spent much of my life on edge, afraid convinced that someone in my household was Furious George with me, and it’s been an incredibly stressful thing to overcome. Being raised that way (no matter how unintentional), it’s taken a long time to not revert right back to that feeling of being on constant edge from “someone” being mad at me. That’s how living with someone with a serious mental illness is. These are some of the long-term effects.
I suffered terribly from antenatal depression (depression during pregnancy) in at least some part from the stress of my life. It’s a very real thing. It’s not because I’m a bad person or because I didn’t love my child or because I was a bad mother. Antenatal depression just...is. But that doesn’t mean that antenatal depression needs to be in control of you.
You need to seek some treatment for yourself and your baby. There are many kinds of antenatal depression treatments – some that don’t involve medicine – that can really help you through the worst of it. It’s not going to fix everything in your life, but knowing that you have an ally can help tremendously. This is the link to antenatal depression resources on Band Back Together. Here’s (my friend) Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress; also an amazing resource.
I’m telling you with all of my conviction that you need help of some kind. I wish I’d sought help sooner. I wish I’d told people how much I was hurting. I even knew I had antenatal depression and still thought I didn’t need anyone. If I had, maybe I wouldn’t remember pregnancy as the single worst part of my life (parenting, even on it’s worst days, is so much better). Talk to someone. Write down how you feel. We’d love to have you at Band Back Together. Reach out to people.
I know that all of these things may sound impossible, but you can do it. You’re worth it. So is your baby.
As for your marital situation, I only want what’s best for you and your baby. Your husband’s trust issues are not your fault. You cannot fix someone else. You cannot take responsibility for his emotions or his actions. I know how much it hurts and I know how isolating it is to feel so alone all of the time, believe me, Prankster, I do, but you’re not alone.
We’re none of us alone. Please get some help. You’re worth more than feeling like this all of the time.
We love you and we know you can make it. You’re going to come out the other side and know that you can kick any problem square in the nuts. It just doesn’t feel like it right now.
In the meantime, we’ll be anxious to hear how things are going.
Pranksters, please help me out here. But whatever you do, remember that “just leave him” or other guilt-inducing statements (“think of the children!!!!!!!”) may make her feel worse. It’s just never that simple.