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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Relationship Advice


I had PP after the birth of my daughter in 2012. My relationship with her father completely deteriorated and I ended up leaving him. 18 months later we reconciled and I have since had a son. Unfortunately PP struck again and although I had much better support this time, I still feel that my relationship has again deteriorated to the point that we have had numerous conversations about separating again. I think that deep down neither of us want this but it is so difficult to know whether the bad aspects of our relationship are due to the impact of the tough ride we have had or whether we are just incompatible. He refuses to go to counselling and basically believes it all stems from my being over emotional, over sensitive and paranoid etc etc.

Can anyone here offer any insight into relations issues after PP and any help they received to work through them?

Thanks in advance x

10 Replies

I think you should wait until you are better to make these choices. Just ask him for the time to let you heal and then see what happens. It's hard on a marriage.


Thank you for the reply. However, I should have added that I consider myself well now. Have been discharged from perinatal services back to gp and been off medication for about 4 months.


Well still. It's such a stress. How old is the baby?


He's 16 months now


Hello Rose

I've just reminded myself of your post a year ago with the lovely picture of you and your son. Our children are a blessing but inevitably our relationships change with so much responsibility. Then to have PP thrown at us is a lot to come back from isn't it?

I have two sons, six years apart, with PP twice so you should be very proud to have overcome PP twice with a shorter gap in between. I think it's very difficult for our other halves having to cope and be our carer when PP strikes. For me, I was very ill and on another planet while my husband was coping with so much, unknown to me.

We also had relationship issues when I was recovering, more so after my second PP than the first as I was treated mainly at home then. My problem was that my illnesses were never discussed in the family, so in a way my husband bottled up everything he had been through. He was not keen on going to counselling either. Sadly he had a breakdown and the tables were turned as I visited him in hospital.

I don't know how we did it. I think we both realised how much we had to lose .... we eventually came together and were much stronger. I didn't know until recently when I had sight of my notes how much my husband coped with during my illnesses. For instance, apart from delusions after my second PP I also had depression which lasted for a year or more, so I must have been a strain on the family. Also I was very argumentative, which is unlike the real 'me' so it must have been like living with another woman!

Have you been able to have a night out together ...... have you cried together? There is so much emotion to be released As long as you keep talking calmly I think you will be able to find your way. We went on to have many happy family times together and it was such a relief that we weathered the storms of PP and our relationship issues.

It's not easy but don't do anything hasty. Is there any chance you can have a family break away from routine ..... or just go for a long walk together? As you say, deep down neither of you want to split, so hold on to that and go back to the start. Even watching a DVD with your partner and children snuggled together under a duvet might be a change from routine. You have both been through so much so just take a while to unwind together.

Thinking of you ..... take care.

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Hey rose! Yes I think relationship problems are pretty much a give in after pp. You can read my posts if you like. My issues were more around my partner getting upset with our son when he cried at night - not a lot of patience. Got too much for me and I think I was extra sensitive and protective of our son after being away from him for a whole month in hospital during pp - only seeing him for short visits in hospital but I didn't see him for 2 weeks after initial admission. Anyway I took him away for a few months to stay with my famiky until my partner could sort himself out and control his temper. He was a complete mess while we were gone - depressed, suicidal, had panic attacks. But it's what needed to happen for me to regain strength and for him to realize how badly his behaviour was effecting us. It's still a little rocky now but definitely a huge improvement. Now that I'm completely off meds I can see that I was extra sensitive to my partner getting upset. He never yelled at our son - just getting frustrated and yelling out which I guess us mums can deal with better. He is so poo much calmer now. Doesn't raise his voice at all so my anxiety is next to nothing now as a result. Do you feel you are fully recovered now? Did depression hit you hard? What are your main issues? Just him struggling with how you were after pp? Hope some of this helps!

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Hi Rose

It's nice to hear from you again on here, and to hear how you are. It's good to hear that you are recovered. I'm sorry though that you are having problems with your partner. I probably don't have much to add to what everyone has said above, just that it was really tough on my relationship too. At times I did feel very despairing and wondered if it would ever get better. It felt like we were complete crossed wires, not connected and not able to communicate it seemed. It did continue after I felt better too. My partner really struggled too, a bit like Lilybeth said, and ended up having counselling after being off work with stress which was really built up stress and post traumatic stress from when I was ill.

What helped? We didn't get formal couples counselling or anything...time passing.... and I have to say I think one turning point was organising for child care and actually going away for a night. We didn't do it till my son was 4, we hadn't even had a night out together till then! I would really try and prioritise babysitters and try to get out occasionally. We don't do it enough (its been a few months now), so I know how hard it is to organise, or motivate yourself to do it, or you don't think you need it but I do think it's important, especially if you are struggling. Are you able to get away for one night?

Things are good with us now.

I hope some of this advice has helped.

Take care XX

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Hello Rose89

I hope you found the replies here helpful and that you are keeping well.

Take care ... we are always here to listen.

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Professional therapy helped save my marriage and family. Peer support helps as well. Men normally express their feelings differently. It is hard sometimes to understand what the mom is going through. I have been told that my book, A Mother's Climb Out of Darkness: A Story about Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis, is very helpful for family members and loved ones to read in order to have better understanding of experience.

I encourage you and your husband to not give up. You can get through the situation just be understanding that the healing process is different for each of you. Marriage is hard work under the best circumstances. It is worth the effort. My marriage almost didn't survive but I am happy to say that we celebrated our 28th anniversary this summer. Hang in there. Blessings to you!


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Thank you for the replies everyone. We are in a much better place now thankfully. The only difficulty is him keep hinting at baby No. 3 "in about a year"! I really don't think I could go through it all again and don't think it would be fair to the rest of my family. I'm hoping he backs off on this issue.


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