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How can I get through this mountain of pressure? A new baby, difficult birth, my mother died unexpectedly and my husbane and my sister have betrayed me

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Health, Marriage problems, Pregnancy, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 March 2015) 9 Answers - (Newest, 2 April 2015)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Please help!

Hubby and I have been having marriage problems since the birth of my 2nd child and a difficult pregnancy and long recovery time (8 weeks) from an planned c section which ended up being an emergency as the surgeon made a medical error and almost killed me!

Oh, plus my mum died unexpectedly when I was 8 weeks pregnant with my new baby, leaving me with no family apart from 1 sister whom I have been close to, although she has been jealous of me in the past (she is single and resents the fact I am married). Since mums death, we got close again.

After my c section, I was in a ridiculous amount of pain, and husband had to take care of our well-behaved 2 year old boy as well as help me with the baby as I was in a bad way. Hubby is a great father. We have been married 6 years, together 8 years and generally a hood marriage, except he is never good to me when I am sick.

After a few days, since returning home from hospital, he turned on me in anger as I was still ill and in pain, complaining I did nothing as though I was useless, when in fact I gave up my whole life to have the kids that HE begged me to have, and was a dedicated stay at home mum who did everything. I was shocked, surprised and hurt.

I resented him for being so nasty when I had just had a baby, lost my dear mum, and was physically in a bad way after major surgery.

Things escalated to him being personal and he told me I was fat and lazy, and told my 2 year old to say 'mummy is big'.

This was 2 weeks after the birth and ironically I was back to my prebirth weight although my stomach had not yet filly gone down.

Purely because he was stressed at having to step up to be the main carer for the kids, whilst I was recovering. I am normally a bit overweight but this was never a problem before.

I now felt even more insecure that the usual mother after having a baby. Before he said this, I though I was looking great, considering I had just had a baby and major surgery.

I resented him more and argued with more, throwing back in his face the things he said and did to me.

Situation worsened when he picked up the footstool in our living room and threw it hard at me. Hard. He is 6ft tall and huge and I am 5ft 2. I froze and was deeply upset.

That was the first violence I ever encountered from him. I asked him to leave but he refused. Because I kept going on at him, he saw the doctor and is soon to start counselling.

What I can't stand is that he tells the doctor that I'm depressed (I'm not, just disappointed in the way he treats me), and he tells them I shout at him all the time. I do get angry yes.

But only in response to him doing or saying something terrible to me. I am generally a relaxed person. I am also always there for him whenever he needs me.

Anyway, despite everything, baby is now 12 weeks old and I am a lot better.

I have taken over all the housework and most of the childcare again and I decided to forgive Him as my babies are too young and I have nowhere else to go, plus I felt better he was getting help for his anger.

Things were getting better.

However my sister has just told me that he confided In her about our marriage, saying that I was shouting all the time and he didn't know what to do (of course, he is the saint).

I was upset he went to MY sister to talk badly of me, behind my back, especially as she literally is all the family I have.

When I confronted him, he let slip that he also spoke with her weeks ago about this. That would have been when I was still suffering from my csection recovery.

My sister did not tell me this and I now feel betrayed by the only 2 people I thought I could trust in this world.

I confronted my sister last night but she didn't think there was a problem and that I was the problem.

She didn't tell me because my husband spoke to her in confidence. I now think she is quietly enjoying having some sort of influence in my marriage.

I don't know what to do.

I don't know which is more hurtful - the betrayal by my husband or my sister (and only family)

Thanks for listening.

View related questions: confidence, depressed, insecure, jealous, overweight, violent

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 April 2015):


So sorry for everything that has happened to you. I have been in three abusive relationships before I realised what was happening. I have now read some excellent books and could almost hold seminars on the subject!! His behaviour since your traumatic time is classic abuse. Many tactics are used in different kinds of abuse, emotional and mental cruelty, intimidation etc. He has displayed all of the above. Please read 'Why Does He Do That?' by Professor Lundy Bancroft, a man who has worked with abusive men for over 15 years. What he is doing is definitely not normal and these situations often escalate. He may be getting counselling, but this would have to go a long way to change an inbred attitude towards women. The word abuse can be quite emotive if you have never considered this before, but please read the book I mentioned, his behaviour is written down there in black and white.

Take care

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 March 2015):

Thank you so much for those kind words. (I'm the original poster of this question).

I guess I am strong because I have to be. I was the best daughter I could have been to my darling mum, so I have no regrets and am so glad I cherished her in life as opposed to in death (unlike my siblings). She died suddenly due to gross hospital neglect just 2 days after routine shoulder surgery, and was not ill in any way. So losing her so suddenly has been ridiculously tough. She was my best friend and my great love. She taught me to be kind, loving and caring, and to live life to the full.

I will mourn her for the rest of my life, but am so grateful for my 2 beautiful children, who make me smile every day.

I think I do have to nurture myself for a while and hope to get stronger. And in time, I hope my relationship with hubby will improve

I have found strength in all your replies, so thank you for taking the time to respond.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

Through all of this your strength and care for your children are what strike me the most. These next few months are for you and your little ones. I would continue as you are for now. Be gentle with yourself. Take time to forgive your sister and concentrate on building yourself up back to recovery from your loss and from the difficult birth. You can do this. In the course of time you will work out what you need and want. Let that work itself out. Take the pressure off yourself of trying to reason with your husband's behaviour and shortcomings. I really believe your life is going to improve now you are feeling stronger bit by bit. You sound like a lovely caring mum. That's all that matters at the moment that your children and you are ok and moving forwards.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

Thanks to all your messages. I am the original poster of this question.

I guess I will have to forgive hubby but I should point out that most sisters would try to provide a balanced view etc, but mine has in the past tried to stop hubby from marrying me alongside a number of terrible things, due to jealousy. She just agreed with everything hubby said and did not try to help him see a different perspective. I feel she has enjoyed having the upper hand over me on this.

And I know everyone expects me to be depressed but I am really not. I have and still do mourn my mum and have started grief counselling. But I was very positive with a new baby and my lovely son.

I've just been upset about husbands behaviour. I am the kind of person who is there for anyone in a bad time, yet no one was here for me.

Hubby knows my sister would relish in hearing negative views about me and I think he was aware of this. So it is hard for me to get past this but i will have to try for the sake of my children.

By the way, I am

41 and hubby is 42.

Thanks for all comments.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (30 March 2015):

Ciar agony auntOP, your husband and sister have not betrayed you (your husband by confiding in your sister and your sister for having listened). It's perfectly normal to bend the ear of someone outside the immediate conflict.

Your husband chose to turn to someone who knows and loves you and can give him a balanced opinion, one more forgiving of you. He didn't go to someone who doesn't know you, has no loyalty to you and whose opinion of you would be formed almost entirely by whatever he said.

Since your sister is one of the few family members you have left, you can ill afford to alienate her. And from a completely strategic point of view, the more unreasonable you appear to be, the more believable your husband's version of events is.

I get that you're feeling under the gun lately, and perhaps rightly so, but don't let that colour your perspective of something that really is harmless and quite normal.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (30 March 2015):

Your husband was mean and behaved badly, but he took the steps to correct his problems. Now you're reverting back to issues that occurred during all the discourse. He felt like talking to somebody, realizing there was something wrong with the both of you. He got help.

You deny you may have suffered from depression. How come? Everything in your post explains every reason you should or could. He knows you, I think he'd know if his wife was depressed. He was there during the events you experienced. Everyone explains things from their side and point of view. Your post is mainly about what he did to you. How you've suffered. Well, he didn't write DC, he spoke to someone close to you. It was embarrassing for you, and certainly inappropriate. Betrayal is a strong word. Get a grip!

Your sister knows you're not perfect. You presume she would celebrate your weaknesses and imperfections. That's your pent-up hostility from the old-days. She may be genuinely concerned for you. You've been through a lot, so he needed a place to vent. Do you have suggestions on whom he could have spoken too about his feelings, that you would have approved of? You two weren't quite getting along at the time.

He is now seeking professional help for his anger, and getting better. Following that violent incident, nothing short of that would be acceptable. The mean words came out of his stress, and I'm sure you held-up your end of the argument. They do go two-ways. People say hurtful things during stressful and painful situations. Men often show anger when they can't deal with their emotions. He felt some grief for the loss of your mother as well.

I think you need some grief-counseling to deal with your mother's passing, and to avoid postpartum depression. You should feel no shame that you may have depression. It is very much human and treatable. I think you should continue to forgive your sister; considering she is all the family you have left. I think you should support your husband for taking the steps to deal with his anger-issues, and his efforts to save your family. Now get some help for yourself.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 March 2015):

You are above 40 so it's not too hard to understand you had a high risk pregnancy. You were at the most vulnerable state in life and a normal man who loves you would feel very protective of you, and not complain about the amount of work he has to do.

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A female reader, malvern United Kingdom + , writes (30 March 2015):

malvern agony auntI think that it sounds as though your husband coped quite well after the birth of your second baby. However, men never seem to be able to cope with, should we say 'domestic situations' quite as well as we women. I'm sure he was doing his best but maybe it just all got on top of him and, quite wrongly, he took it out on you. He then turned to your sister for advice and support because there was nobody else to turn to. I wouldn't blame your sister for this and from now on I would leave her out of all this. The issue is between you and your husband. Have a little talk together and see if you can both 'start again' as a family. Both of you need to calm down and start enjoying your family. Put your sister to the back of your thoughts for now, I'm sure she was only trying to help. As you say, she is your closest relative, and you don't want to start falling out with her.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (30 March 2015):

janniepeg agony auntYou only see the real person when he is under stress. He did not remember his vows, "through sickness and health." If you are financially independent, you would have left him already. You only stayed because you had no place to go. I would certainly not forget him for throwing the footstool. My ex husband grabbed my head and shook it a bit because I was learning driving and didn't know what I was doing. I was shaken and in my heart I was preparing for the end.

You are above 40 so it's not too hard to understand you had a high risk pregnancy. You were at the most vulnerable state in life and a normal man who loves you would feel very protective of you, and not complain about the amount of work he has to do.

It is a bad year for you. Your husband sounds narcissistic and even some therapists won't treat them because they are always "right." He only went to anger management just so you won't divorce him and have to look for another place to live. He is very charming and good at making people trust him. I believe if you can get a lawyer and document the abuse you would be able to get the babies and the house. Unfortunately a lawyer is the only one you can trust. You had a shock and that's very understandable. You may be in denial because the husband you thought was there was long gone. He became some kind of monster. One day you would stop making excuses for him.

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