Question: Dear Luise: I hope you can help because I desperately need some advise from another woman. My partner and I were married 2 yrs ago and were together 3 yrs previous to that. He is 3 yrs younger than I am and has had a lot of emotional communication difficulties, as have I. I believe I have worked through my issues and am more in touch with myself than he is. He’d never had a relationship before getting together with me, so that was quite a bridge to overcome but I believe slowly and surely we surmounted the bridge and stood on mutual ground. I have just had my third child. He is now 10 months old, and, yes, I am aware that I am in postpartum depression at the moment. We moved to a new town about 2 months ago, as he had a new job. Unfortunately he was laid off a month ago and has since been working in our old town. He doesn’t drive, so he has been staying with a friend and popping home for weekends. I am finding it very difficult to cope with all of this. He is very aloof when he talks with me over the phone and we are constantly fighting because he doesn’t understand how I have gotten so depressed. He thinks I am power balling him to come home and as such, reacts by telling me he thinks I should just snap out of it and support him, be strong and get on with it. Well, in hindsight that’s easy enough to say but in practice not so much. I entrusted a friend of ours to help me with a new career and he built me up, got me thinking that I was going to be earning lots of money for my family and then just stopped getting in touch with me and started to concentrate on my husband, as he is giving him work as well. I felt like I had been dropped from a great height and that my husband is been offered a new life in the town we just left. He says he’s working away to support his family and I believe he is but on the other hand I have to wonder whether he likes the fact that when things get heated over the phone all he has to do is hang up and get on with his evening without me there nagging him. I am becoming my worst nightmare and I can’t help it. And worst of all, he sees it, too. I know I’m driving a wedge between us but I believe he too is driving a wedge between us and there is no longer any mutual ground. I love him so much and am terrified of loosing him. I can’t bare him being away. I feel like a single mum again and I don’t like it. Is it over? Z.
Answer: Dear Z. You and your husband both have good reason to feel overwhelmed. So many difficult factors have piled up that he may very well be pulling away. However, it’s going to take mutual maturity, not blame and shame, for you to get through it.
If only it was that simple, when a young mother is down for the count, to say, “Get up! Face the music! Tote that barge! Lift that bail!” Well, “hello”! Give me a break! And separation is supposed to help?
You both have to want to pull your relationship out of the mire. And you will both probably need to work at it around the clock. It’s going to take teamwork. You need to get together to see if you can figure out how to do that. It’s not going to happen when you live alone. You need to live together again and face up to this.
I have no idea if you have any family members that can step in and give you a hand or if you have any counseling available and can swing that…but you need a plan and a commitment to help each other through this until life is again manageable. Blessings, Luise