Needing Perspective

Updated on January 03, 2012
H.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
22 answers

Good evening Ladies!!

So I am sitting here in London after just returning 4 days ago from our trip back home to the States for Christmas. I feel a GIANT wedge between my husband and I and I am needing some input. I am 32 weeks pregnant with our third child, so pardon me if I am a bit over the top or hormonally charged, like I said I need perspective.

Ever since we arrived back in Connecticut for the holidays I feel like my husband has been pulling away from me. I threw him a surprise 40th bday party, never got a thank you. When I asked if he enjoyed himself he said it was great to see and catch up with everyone, still no thank you. Then I find out from my cousin, that he is complaining about the bill for the party, the money spent is not an issue. My husband has always has a problem with my family and how close, almost suffocating they can be, so it was very obvious that he only participated in activities with my family when absolutely necessary. He went out one night with his friends, all married, all great guys, and he had a great night out. Yay, good for him, he needed it. Now all he talks about is how great that night was, how he wishes he had more nights like that, how it was the best night of the trip home. My Christmas gift....a "do it yourself" greeting card program for the computer...that he wrapped 10 minutes before I opened it...THAT WAS IT!!! Not that I expect this every year, but last year I got a trip to Barcelona with two of my girlfriends all expenses paid for ALL THREE OF US!!! He is showing very little interest in this pregnancy, teases me when I complain about aches and pains or when I struggle to get off the couch. Not typical behavior for him.

So now we are back in London. He went to work Thursday and Friday and has been home Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We have all been a bit lazy and tired with the travel and time change, and the kids are missing their family and friends from home, especially my daughter. He basically hasn't really spoken to me unless necessary since our return and has not lifted a finger to help unpack, put away decorations, make meals, or occupy the kids. We were invited to a New Year's Eve party at a friends house, it was nice, I am hearing from his brother that my husband thought it was lame and boring and is what you are to expect when you are married. He said that he wishes he was out having fun not eating curry with other families he doesn't really know.

When we finally had a moment tonight without kids around, I asked him if he cared to discuss what has been going on and why he has been so distant. His first response was I don't want to get into it. When I pushed him to talk he basically went off about my family and how they overstep their boundaries, about how he doesn't want them coming out here in March to help after the baby is born because they will drive him crazy, and about how I need to realize that when the time comes to move back to the States, that if we move back to Connecticut we will definitely end in divorce because he wont live the rest of his life like that. WOW!!

Now like I said, I know they are overbearing, I know that they have a sense of entitlement and feel our priority should be to them and I have, over the years, stood up to them and chosen to do what is best for us rather than be guilt-ed into what they want me to do. (I am living in London after all) However, I also love my family and love that my kids are close to their grandparents and that this new baby due in 8 weeks will have a cousin only 10 weeks older to grow up with. I am so frustrated right now...any thoughts?? And please don't talk about a school psychologist I know all the benefits of counseling and we will head there when the time is right.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone who replied, both kind and not so kind. Add a few things... My family likes to spend time together. If it were up to them we would see them everyday when we are home, which is only 4-5 weeks a year. My husbands family is the opposite, we need to initiate contact or we would never see or speak to them. My family is 10 mins away and his is 20. My mom is over the top in love with being a mother and grandmother, his mom suffers from severe mental illness and isn't capable of really being there as a mother or grandmother. When I have suggested counselling in the past he has denied the need for it. I have gone on my own and learned quite a bit which enabled me to have a voice towards both my parents and to my husband. When improvements in relationships have been noticed, he views it as "me being fixed". Whenever I bring it up he says if you need it then go.

I came here tonight to vent, to get outside perspective and to see if others thought that maybe there was more. I mean the weird behavior started before we had any contact with either side of our families. I guess I am not thick skinned enough to handled some of the more harsh comments. It it 2:30 in the morning here in London and I am still wide awake so obviously I am not taking this lightly.

More Answers


answers from Austin on

"I am so frustrated right now...any thoughts?? And please don't talk about a school psychologist I know all the benefits of counseling and we will head there when the time is right."

Ok, here is a magic pill, take it and everything will be solved....

What do you really think we are going to suggest to you? if marriage counseling is out? If you 2 cannot sit down and work this out, then I am not sure what else you can do.

You know exactly what is going on.

Your husband is done with your family.. He does not want them in your lives. He feels like you must not understand because you insist on them still being around all of you and your children. He does not care that they are your family.

Of course you love your family and have tried to have boundaries but it is still not enough for him. Of course your family should be a part of you and your children's lives. For him to be so intolerant is a bit childish.. Unless they are completely horrible to him, I would hope he would love you enough to honor your family by putting up with them every once in a while. no matter how bad they are.

You are the "a school psychologist".. why can the 2 of you not figure this out? Come to a compromise which may be you and the kids go see them and leave him out of those visits.

Maybe invite your family over to Europe when your husband is away on business or traveling with his own family or his friends?

It sometimes takes an outside person who has no affiliation with your lives to help the 2 of you speak freely and help the 2 of you listen and understand or either compromise on this or decide if it is worth saving your marriage over. That is why Counseling is a perfect way for the 2 of you to work though this.

Sorry to be so blunt, I know you are pregnant and probably exhausted enough, but you to need to work on this now and quit putting it off and assuming somehow time is going to fix this. Your last trip home proves he is not happy with all of this.

You deserve to have your family in your life.

You deserve to have a husband who does not pout and can be mature enough to explain exactly what he wants, but also understands, you are always going to have this family.

He is married to you and your love for each other will always be stronger than any other relatives.

He needs to figure out what he can handle and you need to decide if you can live with that.

Is he worth it? Are you worth it to him? Do not be afraid to answer these question truthfully to yourself. A lifelong marriage is a very long time.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't think this is really even about your family. Sure, he could be annoyed by them. However, I think he is really projecting. He seems unhappy and in a rut. Bored, overwhelmed, worried about life. Worried about your coming arrival. Worried about money. He's making fun of your pregnancy pains, ignoring things that need to be done at home. Lamenting about not being able to hang out with the guys. Saying his life is boring and predictable, essentially...and that's what you have to expect being married with children. He seems plain depressed or unhappy. I seriously doubt your family, is actually the cause of that. (They play a part, but the probably aren't the root of his unhappiness.)

With all that side...I'm curious...when is the time "right?" You are disconnected, he is possibly depressed, at the very least quite would this NOT be the right time? How do you gauge when then time is right? Seems like a pretty urgent time for counseling. At least, if it were my relationship. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to do exactly what you asked me not to, but it seems pretty obvious.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I am or was like your husband! Bored in life, marriage, kids... my husband and kids are great, but I was feeling like I was nearly 40 and life was just blah...
I could blame all sorts of things, take things out on my husband and kids, but that only made things worse.
Sounds like a mid life crisis (like mine was) and it DOES need to be talked about and resolved in some way.
The only reason I didn't leave my whole family and run away for a life of fun and freedom was that fact that HE helped to change things up. Not that our life became a party every night fun, but we did change up life a bit. It was also good for him.
I will admit I was depressed and also having some massive hormonal swings and that also added to my break down, but it was still real. Real enough that I could hardly stand to be in my house.
I would take what he has said seriously and get it worked on now, before you are living back in the states as a single mom....

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Sounds like something else is going on and he's blaming it on your family, money, etc.

If counseling is out of the question, I don't know what to tell you other than to talk to him more and find out what is really bothering him.

BTW, my first husband tried this two months after we got married. I found out after the divorce that he was seeing girlfriend number 2 (yep, #2 already!) and he was upset because he felt our life was too boring. Not saying your guy is cheating, just telling you what happened to me.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Midlife crisis and wishes he had more freedom to play with the "boys"? Was he like this before the 3rd pregancy? Sounds like he feels confined and wished things were more exciting. One the one hand I think he needs a slap in the face and a loud "grow up!". You did not get pregnant all by yourself and he is a big boy and needs to step up to the plate and do what is needed. One the other hand, I bet there are things you wish were different, so maybe tell him that you understand he feels confined by the situation and that you (perhaps?) feel the same, but once the baby comes there will be a lot less freedom, so what shall WE do about it? Avoiding the issue will not make it go away. BUT different people process information differently - I prefer to see things in writing, big on pro&con lists. My husband processes while talking (drives me nuts - when he is going to hang a picture I hear all about needing to find the hammer and going to the store to buy nails and bringing up the ladder...and...and..when for god's sake just tell me you are going to hang the picture!!) so keep in mind that hubbie may process very differently than you do. So perhaps hand him you pro-con list or email him a bulleted list of ideas since it does not sound like he wants to have a lengthy conversation about the situation, possibly because he does not fully understand it himself. But I would not let it linger too awfully long, because the longer you do not communicate, the easier it is to lose any closeness at all, in my opinion. And in my opinion, if you are going to lose him anyway, then I would rather know now and avoid the next 6 months of agonizing over it, but that is just me. Good luck, and once you have had the baby go have a nice dark stout to forget your worries for the night, it will help with the milk production, or so my mother told me (it certainly helps with relaxation).

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I wish you hadn't said the last sentence. I bet half of us want to say that you had better get into counseling with him pretty quickly. Outside of that, if I were you, and I really mean this, I would see the handwriting on the wall. Thank God I'm not you.

He is sick of being married. There, I said it. He wants to be single and live the single life. I don't know if he got the taste of it in London, but he has had the taste and he wants more. I don't even think you realize it. He possibly has hidden it from you, but he is giving you some really hard hints.

Your family is an excuse, pure and simple.

You need to get some financial things handled, mom. You need to get some money in your name, get papers together and get a lawyer in the US. I would not have your family come in March, I'm sorry. I would hire someone to come in and help you, a quiet type who won't get in your husband's way. If you get to come home in the summer (hard with a new baby, I know) then make sure to get all your ducks in a row and open a bank account to put money in. You need your own credit card and a copy of all of your husband's corporate benefits. The lawyer should have all this in hand and if your husband announces to you that he is done, call that lawyer and start the process immediately, including making sure he doesn't drop you all from the medical insurance.

I hope you are really listening here. I feel like in the future I'll be seeing a terrible post from you that your husband has left you with 3 kids and you have nothing to fall back on.

I'm sending prayers for you - and I'm very sorry you are going through this.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I don't have anything constructive to say....since you've effectively tied our hands in regards to our responses.

Fix this, do what is needed to fix this, before he is GONE. He's bored, he's disengaged, & he feels put upon. How many more red flags do you need?

As a school psychologist, I do believe you are in a Catch22. & I will admit that I am shocked at your final comment: "we will head there when the time is right". Is that after he's moved out? Harsh words being said to a pregnant lady......apologies to you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I feel for you. Unlike some other posters, I don't think that what you wrote about your hubby means that you're headed for divorce. I think he was just overwhelmed by your family, and feels like the holiday and break were about your family and your wishes to spend time with them. Then back to London and he feels like he's doing what you want to do for new year's. He had a great time when he went out with his buddies because he got to do what he wanted to do, no in-laws, no families, no constraints, no other people's agendas. I'm not saying this is what happened or is how things are in reality, but I think this is all how he perceives it in his mind. And perception is everything, right? Since you are married, and have admitted your parents/family are overbearing, I think in the future, you need to plan to give him some space, some guy time, when you go to visit your family. And try to put limits (time, activity, etc.) on the time you do spend with your family. Marriage relationships can get so strained when in-laws are involved, believe me, I know. I would maybe have a talk with him, about this, mention some of what I said, but in a non-accusatory way. But bottom line--make sure you underscore in the convo that you and he are a TEAM, you're on his side. Then see what you can do to make upcoming visits smoother. Maybe your parents can wait a little before coming to see the baby??? Good luck to you.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The good thing is he actually told you what was bothering him. On that note, I think you need to respect what he said. I wouldn't want to have in-laws (or my own family for that matter) that were "overbearing, have a sense of entitlement and feel your priority should be to them." Judging from that, can you blame your husband?

Your marriage is more important than your birth family. I think you need to sit down with your husband, agree with him about your overbearing and annoying family, tell him he is RIGHT, and ask him exactly what kinds of boundaries he wants put in place. And then do exactly that.

I don't know your family, I'm only going from what you wrote, but after reading it I am on your husband's side.

p.s. - I respect all the ladies who responded below, but why is everyone assuming it's something other than what your husband told you? You asked him, he told you, why don't you listen to that?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I take it this was for venting purposes only? You have, in essence, told not to bother because you are a school psychologist.

You need to make a decision if you are better off with or without him.
If you are better off with - then you need to set boundaries and limits for your family.

If you are better off without - then you need to divorce him now and move back to the States with the kids and let him have his freedom.

He sounds a tad bit immature to be married and a father.
He sounds like a man that needs his space and your family is too touchy-touchy feely-feely for him. You need to respect that about him as does your family.

You pushed this conversation. You didn't like what you heard. That happens with now you need to make a decision about what you are going to do with that information.

Your husband is not committed to the marriage as he has put out that if you move back to the States near YOUR family -you will be divorced.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Binghamton on

Sounds like he is dreading the pressure of this third child and, since that is a very hard thing to feel, is displacing it on his loss of freedom through the marriage. It's so hard to imagine what you could do. After all, you can't simply sacrifice yourself to give him more freedom when, with two kids and one on the way, it sound like you have very little yourself. Can you afford a sitter and go out together for a low pressure talk?
At any rate, it sounds serious, like something that needs to be dealt with, or at least discussed, ASAP. I don't think you can just let him palm you off with "not wanting to talk" and basically threaten divorce without having a real sit down heart-to-heart about where you are going and what you both want. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I don't have any suggestions for you...except maybe he is having a mid-life crisis. Anyway...whatever it is...I know you are feeling pretty low right now. I'm sure that stinks. You are in my thoughts. Jealousy comes to mind when he talks about your family.I think he is just reviewing his life...and not to happy right now.....I hope he comes out of his slump!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i've got nothing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

i don't have much time to answer but sounds to me like he feels a little neglected. men don't get it when we slow down during pregnancies, the tiredness and aches and pains etc.
why don't you try to make some special time for just the two of you. with "fun" nights out and things that he might enjoy (even if you don't feel up for it)
he sounds like a bit of a baby at the moment and instead of admitting that he is feeling a little neglected and a little bored he pushes it all on your family.... i don't know if this makes sense?! hope it helps a little ...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

You alone know your husband. Question is, does your husband feel that you placed your family above him during the trip? What has your family done to make him so terribly annoyed with having them around?

Sounds like he is feeling suffocated himself and just needs his space. Try not to expect or involve him in anything relating to your family and see if he will come around

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I wonder if he's worried about the finances of a new baby and was reminded how tight-knit your family is. To say that moving back would be divorce makes me go hrm. You didn't say, but is "back" also back home for him? Or is he a Londoner born and bred? And who is to say you have to be right next to your folks? There's lots of places you could live in a reasonable driving distance to CT. Do you think being 40 is also bothering him?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Tell him how you feel using I statements and get a conversation going. I suggest that it may take several days but eventually the two of you can figure it out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Just from what you typed it sounds like he is worried about money. You know the whole what if something happens with the baby. Just like we nest they nest with money. Doesn't matter how much fun they had on what it was spent on it was still spent.

Oh so see this is why I should read the whole post even when it goes on and on. My family was awful, thing is I never made my ex suck it up, that is kind of what you are doing. You need to find a balance, something that respects your needs and his needs for peace.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I don't know this is all so horrible like people are saying. You have a third child coming. That means back to diapers and more constraints while he just got a bit of a taste of fun with old friends. And your family bugs him to death. It doesn't mean he's leaving or anything. I'd go slow. Has your marriage been ok until recently? If so, then in anew weeks you're headed for divorce? I know you haven't said much until now about the bday party etc. but can you get out the two of you? Just a dinner? Tell him you're sorry about your family etc. holidays are stressful in a way. Just try to talk to him some more. And see if there's a compromise for march...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm glad more recent posts were more supportive. I'm not sure why some people were harsh with you. Last thing you need... I agree with some people who have said it's likely just the overhang of your third child and your family contrasting with some fun times he had with friends. I know I'm back at work today and in a funk and cranky bc the holidays are fun yet stressful. We have a huge party that is fun but so much work and if I had to deal with my inlaws too, I'd really have lost it. You have different pressures. As far as him saying if you move back to CT, you'll end up in divorce - is that SUCH a bad thing to say? To be honest, if we moved back where my inlaws are, not sure how my husband and I would do. We admit that. There are aspects of my inlaw family that I really hate so we've given careful consideration to whether or not moving near them would be a good idea. My husband agrees with many of my issues with his family. Sounds like you agree with some of your husband's issues too. So if a move isn't imminent anyway, why not kind of agree with your husband for now that moving to CT probably isn't a good idea. Might be the boost he needs to get back on track. And I'd out right ask if he's getting nervous about #3. To be honest, while I LOVE my children more than anything and would give my life for them in a minute, if I had a 3rd coming, I would not be happy. I'd love the 3rd and I assume your husband wanted a 3rd but maybe now that it's getting closer and he remembers what it means in terms of lifestyle, he's just stressing. I know also my BIL stressed financially after their first child and they're very very well off. Just a male thing. Remember people have their ups and downs and maybe take some time to just talk to your husband. Allow him to be childish and selfish and crabby out loud vs the silent treatment and maybe it'll work itself out with time. Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'm sorry u have to be dealing with this while your expecting. It seems your husband is feeling a little claustraphobic right now with a third child on the way. Is his family involved at all? But he should be greatful that u have any help at all from family. He
might be going through a little crisis himself realizing that this third child will tie him down a lot more. But he has to practice gratitude for what he has a wonderful family and God willinga healthy child. So what if he doesn't get to go out and hang out with the guys as often a healthy family is a treasure worth your investment. But if occasdionally he wants a guys night out no harm in that as long as u can have the same and it doesn't leave him craving more. Right now it's hard to see past the pregnancy and birth but it will all work out well if there is commitment on both sides and he needs to step up to the plate some more. Good luck and God bless your new baby on the way.



answers from New York on

My husband acted very similarly mid-way through pregnancy #2. It was pretty terrible. I just went to therapy alone, got it all out and then waited for him to work out whatever he needed to work out and just held on to what's important even if it seemed far away: my pregnancy, my health, my vows and my other child.
I would highly recommend this book:
She has a marriage one too you can read after that one:
I refer to them OFTEN!!

Good luck! And take care of yourself & your little one to be!

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