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My wife's personality change since giving birth

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
abouttopop
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:02 am

Re: My wife's personality change since giving birth

Postby abouttopop » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:11 am

I'm in the same boat. it hurts reading these posts as I know exactly what you're going through. I've pretty much decided that I'm leaving. I have been dancing on eggshells and living day to day never a nice moment (besides with the kids) for months now. Like you guys I've been staying for the kids- obviously because I want to always be there for them, hoping things will get better, and the saddest reason- for fear that were I not there she would still be as angry and take it out on the kids. I'm blamed for everything including her mood so I figure I'm not there maybe she will improve. Also I'm sitting with suicidal thoughts on a regular basis it's got that bad. I dont want to break my children. I could live in misery for their sakes but now feel that two arguing and depressed parents will make for a worse childhood than if were separated. it's so sad and I'm still torn. how to explain it to the kids

minniemoo
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:32 pm

Re: My wife's personality change since giving birth

Postby minniemoo » Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:45 pm

Have you discussed this with your wife about how unbearable it is? And that you love her but cannot continue, that you may have to leave as you feel that would be better for all? Might be the shock she needs to get help. There is such a thing as post natal depression where one partner feels hatred towards the other, it’s a reaction to the birth and not their true feelings. My friend had this and she had counselling, she has a great relationship with her husband now. You could also see a therapist for support yourself. It sounds like your wife could use some extra support but that’s something she needs to decide for herself really. Splitting a family is such a big life changing decision, sometimes it is necessary of course.

jessianne
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:36 am

Re: My wife's personality change since giving birth

Postby jessianne » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:56 am

I am also going through this experience except, I am the wife. We had our child almost 2 years ago and I feel like I've turned into a monster. My husband said he noticed changes right after we had our child, everything was easy no traumatic experience and having a child was a dream come true and I couldn't be happier. But a couple of months after, I was exhausted and felt horrible about myself, no self esteem. We moved which made things worse and I started working again which made it even worse. Never did I feel like I didn't love my husband anymore or that we needed to split but we did argue. I felt he was super critical of me and he feels the same about me. Then we moved again and things got worse, we argued over me saying something and not remembering and watching a show I didn't remember watching. Then my husband felt like I was having an affair, which I would never do, then we found evidence of an affair. Which blows my mind as much as his, I would never do that and don't remember doing that. I know it sounds crazy but I seriously don't. Things are getting worse and worse, I'm crying constantly and feel disgusting, I don't know who I did that with. I have started therapy but haven't had a diagnosis yet, I feel like I have multiple personalities or something and I'm freaking out. Therapy is very expensive here (US) and I've lost my job due to this illness. I've skipped tons of other crazy occurrences but I just wanted to give a wifes perspective. I was 30 when we had our child and couldn't have been happier or more in love with my family and now I'm losing everything and my mind. I knew about post partum and should have seen a Dr sooner, I wish I could go back. I feel stupid and horrible that this has happened and therapy can't help fast enough. Please get your wife some help, right now she doesn't think she needs help bc she thinks it will pass or whatever but I swear I wish my husband would have taken me to a Dr sooner and told the Dr about the changes. Now, I'm not saying your wife is this extreme of a case but still. If you wanted kids together, I know she loves you and right now she needs you to fight for her because she can't. She can't think straight and thinks everything fine but it's not and she will have herself if her family is broken up because she was stubborn.

squarem
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:05 pm

Re: My wife's personality change since giving birth

Postby squarem » Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:56 am

I read the original post and it felt I was reading something I must have written but had somehow forgotten as it sums up most of what I've been going through the past 5 years or so. My wife and I were happily living together for over 5 years before the birth of our son. I could easily count the times we fought or argued over this time on one hand, and even then I would only consider them mostly minor disagreements. She was loving, attentive and compared to previous partners surprisingly forgiving of my hobbies and interests. Shortly after birth, perhaps 6 months to a year later I began to notice a change. My wife became colder and much more critical of any and all of my actions / behavior. Before my son came along I would get greeted on my way out the door with a kiss and welcomed warmly after a long day at work. This all came to an abrupt stop. Where she used to include heart emojis and little "love you" messages along with almost every text conversation, most if not all correspondence became unfeeling and transactional. "What are the plans for tomorrow?" "Did you remember the wipes?" "Coming home any time soon?"
A couple years later I backtracked through all my text messages with her and could narrow it down to almost and exact day. To someone unfamiliar with my wife, if they were only given this one record to form an opinion I'm sure most would assume all the messages received before this particular day were from a completely different person. The contrast was that stark.

Since this time she has become increasingly accusatory. Every question seems to start with "Why do you always..." Outside of general small talk nearly all conversations with her begin with putting me on the defensive. I feel as if I'm being attacked right out of the gate, so of course my gut reaction is going to be to try and defend myself. She feels she has a right to criticize any and all decisions I make but I better be ready for the hellfire if I dare question her behavior or motives.
Although she can be very affectionate toward our child, when it concerns myself, there is no room for empathy, flexibility or understanding. I often feel like an enemy in her eyes, despite doing my best to hold our family together. I'm often berated, get ordered to do things rather than being asked if I could, and weeks can go by where I'm essentially ignored. She talks past me to our son as if I'm not even in the room. I will even make our young son uncomfortable although she never seems to notice. Our sex life is essentially non-existent and when if I attempt an intimate gesture of any kind, even something as simple as patting her on the head, I receive a curt "Don't touch me!"

Like some of the other posters here, I'd say that the feeling of "walking on eggshells" really sums it up. That or perhaps the feeling of sitting on a powder keg. I feel as if I'm just going through the motions until the next big blow up, until my next big perceived "mistake." No matter how trivial any misstep on my part may actually be, it seems to conjure up any and all past grievances. To make matters worse I see the same intolerance and lack of empathy directed towards our son now that he is a bit older. She will yell at him for long stetches until he's broken and sobbing for minor issues such as not having all of his homework done that day before the time she was planning to go somewhere. The other day after she layed into him again he asked me, "Dad, why is Mom so scary? Why does she always get so angry?" He asked me if he could get a new mother, or suggested we should live separately like some of his school friends in divorced families, even though at the age of 6, the word "divorce" evaded him. A six year old asking his parents to divorce because Mom is too scary and he's afraid of her? This really hit me hard. I'm an adult and can take the abuse regardless of how unhappy it makes me, but I can't let this behavior go unchecked when it's directed at my son. If anything else I want to provide a happy, healthy life for my boy but I feel my wife and her anger issues are undermining everything. I don't want to break the family up, but us maintaining this marriage is going to have a greater negative effect on my child's well-being than if we split, then perhaps that's my only real choice.

I've been seeing a therapist for some time. I never felt the need until this change occurred in my wife and her constant berating began making me second guess myself. It was shortly after this that I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. I know this in and of itself could be a significant point of frustration for my wife, but then again I've always been this person. If anything I should have been more frustrating to her prior to my diagnosis, when I had no name to put to my shortcomings and had not developed the tools I have now to cope. I hoped perhaps she would be more understanding, but instead I felt her grow resentful, as if she thought I was trying leverage the diagnosis as an excuse. The peculiar thing is, she had no problem excepting the person I was when we got married and all the years before our child was born. Even now, I try my best to make her feel good about herself, tell her I love her, and take care of more than my equal share of household responsibilities, but I can't even remember that last time I was paid a compliment by her or even given a "thank you" for going out of my way. It's as if anything and everything I do for her is just expected, and everything is all my fault if anything doesn't go according to the way it was all planned out in her head.

I've tried suggesting she see someone or get help, but she refuses to believe that there is anything wrong with her. By seeing someone, she runs the potential risk of being told by a third party that her behavior isn't reasonable, or that she does need help. I don't think she'd ever agree to allow for that possibility and she backs this up by claiming that she's essentially perfect / superior to most people.

I really don't know where my loving, attentive wife went. Like many others here, my wife has no close friends to speak of. Sure she has a number of work acquaintances and such, but no one I would consider a real friend or anyone outside our relationship she spends time with or shares her feelings with. She will put on a mask and feign kindness in social situations or when my friends and family are around. I feel I'm stuck in a house with an abusive raging tyrant, who unfortunately also happens to have co-guardianship of my child. It's a nightmare situation, and causing me all kinds of constant anxiety, depression and sleeplessness. To be honest, its been going on now for about 6 years and I'm not sure how much longer I can continue like this.

foxbud
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:52 pm

Re: My wife's personality change since giving birth

Postby foxbud » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:32 pm

Hi,

I'd like to thank those of you who started and commented on this thread.

I first read it a year ago, when I was searching the internet in desperation. I never post anything online, and it's taken me this long to compose a post.

I'm in such a similar situation to some of the other posters. My situation has been going on for 11 years. It started just before my first child was born (trust me when I say that it's almost miraculous that we have any other children!).

My wife, who before this was the most wonderful person I've ever met, and with whom I never argued, changed dramatically, really almost overnight. So many of the markers are the same - all love gone, no positive feelings, massive criticism of me, destruction of any evidence of our former (really happy) life, walking on egg-shells...In the first year after the change she told me that all my friends - who I've known for decades now - really thought I was weird. You hear these things enough and you believe them. I stopped seeing them properly for years after that. The one friend I've since properly told about this (I find it very difficult to talk about it, it feels very painful and embarrassing) now assures me that this isn't true. She said similar things about me as a father. Then I remember 5 years ago my eldest told me that no-one makes her laugh like I do. I couldn't believe it. I almost burst into tears. Like I say, you get told that you're terrible enough times and you believe it.

And I compare all of this with how things were, and it's heart-breaking. I looked at some old pictures today. I can hardly believe that there was a time when my wife would put her arms around me and smile.

I've managed to get my wife to see a couples counsellor on 2 occasions over the last 11 years (for years she wouldn't - she said there was no point - she says she doesn't love me, and never has and wants to divorce - she still says this now periodically. I think the only reason that she doesn't follow through is that we have an OK life materially). Both times she hasn't engaged with the process - she just looks at me with hatred, denies that we were ever really happy, and she's made excuses to wind it all up (after just 1 session with Relate on one of the occasions). But she just hasn't opened up, I find it hard to explain. Both times she said that the counsellor thought I was weird.

I've stuck with it all for the sake of the children, and because, pathetically, I still really miss who she was. I'm very close to the children, I've always done a huge amount of the child-care, and when they were small I was the primary care-giver. They're happy children I really think. I tell myself that sticking with this all is my sacrifice for them, and I don't think they'd be better off if they didn't see me for part of the time.
But I don't know what else to do anymore. I'm profoundly lonely. I can't bear the thought of not seeing my children, and I don't want to move on with anyone else - I still love who she was. Honestly, it's been like an extended secret bereavement, losing who she used to be. I've had some tremendously low moments over the years, and I just don't know how much more I can take.

If the original poster or anyone else who has had similar experiences could tell me if there's any way I could get my old wife back please do.

But in any case I'd like to thank you for sharing your experiences - I've thought I was going mad many times over the years, since this whole situation seems so different to anything else I've ever heard of.

I really hope that things have got better for you all, but it's helped a little to know that it's not just me who has experienced this sort of thing.

Thank you.

epitaph
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:00 pm

Re: My wife's personality change since giving birth

Postby epitaph » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:02 pm

Hi foxbud,

Welcome to the forum.
What a horrendous experience...

Must be terrible to witness a loved one having some form of MH issue and either not being aware of it or choosing to ignore the signs.

For what it's worth I still recall the feeling of relief of finally being able to accurately diagnose what was happening to me and knowing that I was not alone.

I'm sure you have tried so many things over the years to improve the situation.

I don't know if the following would help at all ?
Just a suggestion...

Dr Caroline Leaf - Podcast 268 - (Please ignore the constant pushing of the new book)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbQ0eP4pTPY

Such that you try to lead by example in ensuring that all communication to everyone (children/wife) is kind and always appropriate. Then slowly discussing with your wife why and when a conversation that has just taken place is inappropriate or could have been phrased differently or frankly was not even worth mentioning. Obviously having your wife watch and implement the lessons of the video would be the ultimate goal.

Good luck!


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