Husband pulling away

  • Hello all, I am new to the site but thought it might be nice for me to talk to someone who is neutral and doesnt know myself of my husband. We have been together  just shy of 10 years, and married for 6 of them. 2 years ago we were approached by a pregnant family friend about possibly adopting the baby, we talked about it and discussed that if it was what she really wanted for her child we would love to. 3 months later our amazing Daughter was born, (6 weeks early but healthy) Unfortunately since she was so early I was out of state for a medical appointment and was not able to be at the birth, My husband was there and immediately bonded with his little girl. He loves his little girl, she is definitely a Daddys girl, he dotes over her and is always quick to show her off to all his coworkers/friends etc. This past January surprise I got pregnant. I was really stressed at first, how would I manage a 2 yr old and baby, etc but through the whole pregnancy he was VERY supportive, always telling me it would be ok, stepped up his help around the house even more than he already did, cooked, cleaned more, did all the laundry for the last 4 months, was absolutely amazing. Everytime we had downtime we were super snuggly and affectionate, he loved to feel the baby kick all the time, things seemed great. I was Induced at 37 weeks because all of a sudden I was having high blood pressure. Baby and birth went great, everything was healthy, etc. We came home from the hospital and my husband all of a sudden started to pull away from me, I assumed at first it was because I had lots of "hormone dumps" where I would be holding my baby and start crying a little because all my concerns were no longer, I knew I had enough love and I could definitely handle being a parent to two kids, etc. He never really tried to soothe me, just acted like he didnt see it because I think he felt uncomfortable. I didnt really know what to do/say so we just both turned into awkward silence. I kept asking him if everything was ok did I make him mad, whats wrong, and the more I asked the more the pulled away, until just last week I was trying to talk to him, telling him I just needed to know what was going on in his head, etc and he said he needed time to think about things, packed a bag and left. He has come for visits daily to see the kids, but says he isnt ready to talk yet. We have alot of tension between us and I am beginning to resent him because I am left with total responsibility. I am just really confused, our whole marriage he has always been really great, he even took a month off when our daughter was born and did night feedings, etc. He is AMAZING, so I am not sure what is going on. Everyone keeps telling me its normal for men to kinda freak out after the birth of their kid. I have asked him if he doenst love our son or anything like that and he laughs and says absolutely not that is my boy ;) so I dont think its that, I dont know what it is :( Is this normal to an extent after having a baby? I know we didnt have anything like this after our daughter but could it be because we physically didnt go through the pregnancy/birth being that she was adopted? I just feel very confused, tired, and beginning to get upset and callous about the whole situation :( 

  • Hi. I just read your post. It sounds like whats going on in my world. My husband and I welcomed our first son on Nov. 1st. He was 6 weeks early by c-section to to a polycystic kidney. The drs said they would have to remove his kidney once he was able to breath on his own. He is now off all assisted breathing and the doctors say the other kidney works great and the cyst have not grown since his birth. The surgery is going to wait til hes stronger . My husband was my rock through my pregnancy and even more so when Adam was born. He refused to leave my side after I hit 30 weeks pregnate. After I was relaeased from the hospital, he started acting different. He still tells me he loves me and kisses me everyday, but hes so snippy. It seems like he snaps at me over everything I ask. I know our sons birth has been stressful on us both of us. Just hang in there. Im hoping he will get back to himself soon. I keep telling myself its his form of post partum. I hope everything works out for you...

  • Ladies- I want to start by sending a gentle hug to each of you across the wireless waves. I just hurt for you both, and I am so glad that you both found your way to this site and that you were able to connect with one another. I think it would be insanely hard to have a loved one pull away-and then add in new baby, and a 2 year old in dkinvilles case. I can't remember the exact percent but, interestingly, there is a large percent of men that pull away and leave when their babies are born. I'm not sure what it is-responsibility I'm sure being a big piece of it, but there is research data to support this and I've def. seen a lot of it in the NICUs. My suggestion is to face this head on. IF there is anyway that you can get your husbands to have some sort of mediated discussion (with a pastor, a therapist, ect) I think that would really help. I'm always one to encourage talking. Be strong ladies and continue to come and post. I'd love to know how things go. -Jess
  • Hi Ladies - 

    I'd like to echo what Jess_BabyRN said - there seems to be a certain percentage of husbands/boyfriends that pull away after a baby is born for whatever reason. It is incredibly stressful and upsetting for you, I'm sure! I encourage you, also, to get a therapist or pastor involved and tell your husband that you value your marriage highly and you want to make sure his concerns and needs are being addressed and heard. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to have a great relationship with their father, so see if you can't make some time to discuss things and work it out. My prayers are with you and I hope you keep us up to date so we can support you!

  • Thanks guys, we had about an hour talk this weekend without any kids around, and seem to be making progress. I am going to be seeing a therapist today, and then we will hopefully start going together in the near future. I dont know if it was all the added responsibility or what, he has said that I never let him feel like the man in the relationship because I just take care of everything and then often times use it against him that I did it...He is right :( I dont know why I do that but I just seem to be a take charge kinda woman, but once I "fix" the problem or take care of whatever it is I then always am sure to try to get my "praise" by saying look what I did, see I had to handle it, but then he just shuts down about it and we both feel like crap. I never really knew this was what I was doing until he brought it up, and now I see what I need to work on. I am fully committed to doing what needs to be done to get our marriage back on track, 10 years and 2 kids is too much to throw away because we are both a little stressed and not communicating well :) Thank you everyone for your posts and I will continue to update as theres new information! 

  • I am glad to see that you and your husband are committed to working through this. Having children can be very stressful on a marriage and it is something most women don't really talk about enough. Just keep the lines of communication open and encourage him to express himself and really listen. It sounds like you are headed in the right direction. Don't give up and good luck! Let us know how things go...I will be praying for you and your family!

  • As a husband and father of three young girls, sometimes marriage can seemingly take a back seat to all the responsibility of being a parent and a bread winner. Both my wife and I work, and lost in the day to day craziness is that by the end of the day, we sometimes don't get to spend ANY time alone with each other. When this happens, there is a tendency to bottle up your thoughts and feelings and handle stress alone and not with your partner. We have to make it a point to continue to carve out our lives as husband and wife from that of being a mom and dad. This sounds like what you are going through, and having a professional help you work through it is a great idea. Good luck!


  • Hey all,

    My fiance was the same way when our daughter was first born, he never wanted to spend time with us, or be involved in anything we did. Finally I got tired of it, and made him talk to me. He told me that he didn't realize how much things would change, and he was scared of making mistakes. Now she is his everything, daddy's little girl of course. Just don't give up girls they will come around. Best wishes for all of you.

  • You know how they say after we have baby we go in to the depreation. Well some times it could be husbans.

    Don't worry hi need some time to take it all in. sometimes when you have your own baby things effects you diffrently. try to go on the date with him. Take some time off from the baby. lett him know that things can stay the same even with the baby here.

  • Thank you so very much everyone, we are still working on things. I think we got into a very normal routine of being somewhat "ships in the night" we were both busy with jobs, our first daughter, responsibilities around the house, and altho It seemed that we spent quality time together I not look back and realize it wasnt necessarily "quality" time, it was more us watching a movie or laying in bed reading at night etc. We need to find us again, do things that interest both of us and have that fun together that we used to have years ago :) We are still going to Therapy, and altho I want it to be a quick fix I realize it is not going to just fix overnight. Its going to take alot of work. It seems every day is a little more progress, I think both of us are a little leary because it feels like we could so easily just have things go right back to the way they were, but then would we slip back into the same routine of just being parents and not necessarily continue to work on our communication. 

    I keep saying my prayers and being happy of the progress we are making even if its just a little bit more each day. I honestly think that our fight was nothing more than being stressed, tired, me super emotional (which he doesnt seem to understand since our first daughter was adopted, neither of us were ready for all the hormones and emotions I would feel after the baby) I was pretty clingy and kept asking over and over what was wrong which in turn made him pull away farther. Then upon having the fight, and both of us having time to think we both have realized that we let ourselves become swept up in life but not be together in life necessarily. I know marriage is alot of work, we havent really "worked" at it up until now. Alot of people actually commented to me through the years that it seemed like we were just so natural for eachother, we didnt have to work and struggle like so many young couples, I think it was because he held alot of his frustrations in as to not "rock the boat" and I always thought I was helping him by taking care of all the bills/problems/etc, which in turn made him actually feel that I didnt trust him, or that he wasnt "the man" in the relationship, so we need to somewhat go back to the beginning, need to find those things and hobbies we used to do together, need to schedule regular date nights and nights out with friends etc. I have faith that we will get there, its just a slow road.....But then again our relationship wasnt built in a day either, took almost 2 years of being friends before we started dating, then a year before we were engaged and 2 years before we were married...We can do this!!!! :)

    Thanks everyone for all your input it really has helped me to hear that im not completely alone in this

  • Hi mommy rn4..... my name is maritza.. im new on this site .. i noticed your really active on this page i would really appreciate it if u could give a hand please

  • Sure Maritza! What can I do to help?? I'm glad you are on this site and I hope to see  you around the boards a bunch. How can I help?

  • dkinville - so glad to hear you are hanging in there and working on things. You are so right - nothing happens overnight and it takes lots of time to build new habits and trust! I wanted to just commend you for working hard on your relationship and not just throwing your hands in the air. It takes a really mature person to do that. Good luck!

  • Hi dkinville... Im glad to see that you are doing better :) goodluck girlie :)