Husband struggles to understand!

I've recently been diagnosed with pp. aparently I suffered with this with my first child and suffering again with my second. I had no idea what this was, I never heard of it before and it scares the life out of me! I try so hard to make my husband understand how I'm feeling but he just doesn't get it. He can't understand. He tries to make me 'better' by telling me what I should and shouldn't do. If only it was that easy! I just don't know what to do :(( feeling really rubbish

15 Replies

  • Hi, I'm sorry to hear that PP is affecting your relationship. This is very common. I think your husband may have been told by health professionals that you're not rational etc. so he may be over-compensating by taking control of the situation? He's probably very concerned and doesn't know what to do.

    How long ago were you diagnosed? How old is your second child? If you guys pulled it through the first time around, it'll just be a phase. Maybe it's worth referring him to APP blog, many dads come on here for advice and support.

    Hope that helps and keep us updated.

    Anne x

  • Hi, I watched my wife go through PP and I must admit it was one of the biggest learning curves I think I've ever been on. As AnneMR33 says it may be useful letting him know about the APP blog and there's also this link, which is a guide for partners.

    All the best

  • Thank you for your reply, this is the first time I've used this website, or even seen it! It seems like it can be very useful. I see what Annie is saying, maybe that's right and what he is doing. However, it's so frustrating! Wish he could understand but I see why he can't. I don't understand it myself. It came so much as a shock. How do I find out if anyone local to me is suffering too? I was diagnosed a month a go, but my second daughter is 7 months old now. So I've been struggling a while not knowing what was up! Other then the fact I thought I was going mad! my first daughter is 4 and I struggled after her but not as bad, it passed within the year but I didn't know what it was back then. I just thought it was a lot to do with being a first time mum and being over protective and worrying!

  • Does Annie see this reply too or do I need to send a reply to her too? Sorry..... First time user ! :D

  • Hi Hayley Annie will be able to read your reply too in this thread. Really glad you are finding the forum helpful. You may also find our recovery guide useful as it has loads of tips from other families on what helped them through.

    Are you being supported by any health professionals at the moment? What treatment has been recommended to you? Keep asking anything you need to know - it's what we're here for.

    Naomi x


    Link to our guides

    Naomi x

  • I also have suffered PP following my 2 children. The first time I was completely irrational and told him I hated the very sight of him for 2 years....this did not separate us, he told me he was going nowhere. 8 years later, when expecting our 2nd, we knew the signs and decided if there was any changes I would go straight to the doctor. After suffering a more severe PP, my husband told me he trusted me, I am intellegent, a loving mother and it will pass- but we must talk if my thoughts become bad. He has been very supportive, doesn't really understand what is happening in my head- who could!! Your husband just needs to be there when you're feeling scared. Speak confidently and honestly to the pro's, they do understand. I found the general public to be too freaked out by the prospect and developed my trust in the HV, mental health team. If it didn't seperate you first time, it won't this time! Xx

  • Hi Sorry for my late reply. I just wanted to say that I felt very similar with my partner, that he couldn't really understand. He particularly struggled with the depression and was sometimes just so angry with me saying "why don't you do what all the professionals have told you to do", he too felt I wasn't doing the right things to get better. when I just felt I couldn't do anything about it and was trying so hard. really he was angry with the depression and completely out of his depth.

    I think in some ways he went through some post traumatic stress, and to be honest I think we are still processing everything that happened. He eventually had counselling quite recently which helped. And I was ill 3 years ago, and have completely recovered so it was a while ago now. It is only recently that I have started to maybe admit to myself that I still feel a bit angry with him for not being more "understanding" though I know as well its not his fault at all and he was going through so much without any support, whereas I got all support (from mental health team etc). As we all know it's so complex and so much for the couple to deal with.

    Some practical advise that I can think of - as others have said maybe direct him to the partners guide? (print it off for him maybe?) and also really encourage him to be in touch with friends/family etc if he can (I know some blokes aren't the most sociable). I know my partner really needed his closest friend, and I don't think he sought as much support as perhaps he could have done though of course it was difficult to leave me etc. And remember it will get better, it will pass, as you know from your previous pregnancy.

    Take care

  • Thank you everyone for your supportive words and advise! I'm so sorry I've not been in contact. Things haven't been great I must say. :( in fact really rubbish. He just is not getting it at all! He won't talk to anyone about it. Says he has read stuff to help but I don't think he has. My mum has had a stroke and I'm trying my best to look after her and be there for her but it is a set back as I'm not concerntrating on myself or my family when I'm with my mum, I'm just looking after her but in not in the right place in my mind to do that! He is do angry with me for trying basically. I Saudi can't live with the guilt of not looking after my mum it he thinks it's me choosing my mum over my health. I am so upset, feel like we are at lock heads. He doesn't understand this Illness. He gets so angry with me when I can't do certain things. I have a contamination problem. I worry that practically everything is going to make my girls poorly. So I struggle to touch things without washing my hands after. He is upset because my hands are bleeding, very sore but if I ask him for help like put things on the bin for me to save a hand wash he will say things like 'it's not hard' under his breath at me. He says it's out of frustration but it upsets me so much. I worry we will break up!

    I see a psychiatrist at the moment along with a psychologist. She sends me tasks but he thinks the tasks are not good enough , or doesn't understand them. I'm on anti depressants along with anti psychotic drug 5mg

    I feel like I'm at a loss! I don't know what to do!

  • Hello Hayley

    Sorry to hear you have so much stress at the moment, trying to look after your mum and balance home and family life. It's very difficult for partners / family 'looking in' to understand what's happening and sometimes we can't make sense of it either.

    I also had PP twice many years ago and recovery took a while. I found it hard to function at all so I think you are doing really well to cope as well as looking after your mum. Is there another family member who could share the care of your mum with you? I can understand that your husband is worried about your health too; it's not easy for anyone.

    To have the worry of your girls being poorly is an extra burden for you. However, I hope that in time your meetings with the Psychiatrist and Psychologist will be helpful. I think all you can do at the moment is be guided by them. This illness is not easy to overcome but with medical support you will slowly but surely recover.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Hayley,

    I'm so sorry you have such an awful lot to have to deal with.

    I'm sorry about your mum. As Lilybeth says, is there anyone who could help you to look after her? It's so important to try and look after your own health too so do take any help and support that's available.

    Would it help your husband to go to your appointments with you? Would he feel any more involved perhaps, and able to question the advice you're being given so they can answer his questions? I don't know if that's an option or would be of any help...

    It's such a difficult thing to understand, both for us and those around us. What a complex thing the brain is. Things will get easier, you'll get there.

    Thinking of you and sending you very best wishes x

  • Hi Hayley,

    I just want to reassure you that however rubbish you're feeling now, it's temporary & you & hubby will get through this. You're doing really great by reaching out on here & being active in your recovery - it's a positive thing & something I couldn't do for such a long time. It's early days for you so no wonder you & your husband are struggling to get your heads around PP, it took me ages to fully understand it. Just try to be patient with each other & keep trying to open up conversations with each other, even if they don't always get anywhere, it's the tying that counts.

    If you can get him to read the Partners Guide that Naomi shared above, I think this could explain a lot to him. If you want a hard copy of this to leave around the house hopefully for him to pick up & read, just email & they'll send some free of charge. Also this Recovery one might be useful too:

    You must have a lot on your plate with 2 little ones & your mum to care for so try to be gentle with yourself & give yourself time - things will get better. I understand you need to care for your mum but I also understand your husband's worry that you could be doing too much too - it's such a difficult balance. Is there anyone else that can help out more & take the strain a bit for a while?

    We're thinking of you & we're here for you, every day is a day closer to feeling like you again.

  • Hi Hayley

    Really sorry to hear more about your situation - phew I can't believe you're also coping with looking after your mum who has had a stroke. That is huge. I also wonder if anyone else is also looking after her?- you most definitely need to look after yourself as well.

    As Andrea has said - you will most definitely get better, and the advice of just trying to keep talking to your husband is definitely the way forward, trying to keep communication going. Is it possible as well for you to have some time together (going out?) getting someone to babysit? even for a couple of hours. I know that this is sometimes really difficult - me and partner rarely get to go out even now. but maybe just being away from the home environment and the children for an hour or two (even going for a walk perhaps, or for a coffee) might help? And not to put pressure on it either, just keep it chilled. I remember when my son was about 6 months a friend took him overnight, me and my partner just went for a drink and cleaned the house(!), but it did just help us to reconnect a little.

    I wonder as well if your psychiatrist / psychologist could offer you family therapy - or a session with both of you? The team that supported me did offer us this, perhaps this would help? I would as well encourage you to be very honest with them (including the issues with your husband, and everything else you're struggling with).

    I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say - just that I really understand, and have been there - with my partner as well (as I said above) - and just want to say it does get better, slowly.

    Take care

  • If your husband is willing to read the book:

    I have been contacted by family members that told me it helped tremendously to better understand pp.

  • Hello Hayley

    Just wondering how you are? Have you been able to access any support to help with your mum?

    It's not easy but try to take time out for yourself too.

    Take good care.

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