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His ex has come up in a lot of arguments over the past 30 years as his sisters are all friends with her on FB also. I told him that he had completely disrespected me and had betrayed me. He stated that he didn’t do anything wrong as there were no feelings for her and it was just a friend request even though he knew that I would be mad.
I am finding it very hard to forgive as I believe that if I had not caught him, this would have continued. He even lied about there being any message. We have four grown-up boys and we have had our ups and downs like any other marriage, but I feel the trust is now completely gone and I don’t know what to do. I believe that he would not have reached out if he had no feelings for her even though he stated that he doesn’t still love her.
Any guidance from your experience would be welcomed. — Ballistic
Whatever is going on in your marriage and/or with your mental health is what needs your focus here. Your attention is completely misdirected, and your seething anger and jealousy is completely unwarranted. There’s nothing inappropriate or unseemly about two exes connecting on social media thirty years after breaking up – even if one or both are married to other people. People do this all the time, especially if there are mutual connections, as is the case with your husband and his ex.
That you’ve gone “ballistic” over this and find it hard to forgive your husband and say the “trust is now completely gone” suggests some much deeper issues here that I urge you to address. Your reaction is not normal or healthy. It’s really alarming. I hope you will take this in the spirit it’s intended: You need the help of a therapist who can work with you over the course of multiple sessions to help you unpack the source of your rage and heal so that you can move forward as the healthiest — and hopefully happiest — version of yourself possible.
My baby had colic and would cry so much I didn’tknow what I could do to help him. I felt terrible; I felt like a failure as my little one cried. It was nothing like what I thought it would be. He’s outgrown colic, but he seems like a sad baby. I try to make him laugh: I tickle him and we go for walks, but he just doesn’t seem happy when he is with me. His dad can make him belly laugh — he gets excited when he sees his dad, but I don’t get that with him.
I love my boy, but lately he has been crying when he is with me. He cries so much that he gets all sweaty and red, and it makes me feel sad, as though he doesn’t love me. I put him down, he cries, I pick him up, he cries. He is a healthy baby — nothing is wrong. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know what to do; I just sit next to him and cry with him. Then he kicks me away or takes his hands back when I touch him.
I’ve thought maybe he’d be happier with somebody else — somebody more patient, more loving, more fun. I’m not perfect — I get stressed and I’m tired, but I love my baby and I want my baby to love me, to be happy when he is with me. I feel inadequate as a mother, and I feel bad that my boy is stuck with me. — Sad New Mom
Being a new mom can be so hard, but it sounds like you’re really doing a wonderful job. I know this because you are thoughtful about your relationship with your baby and you took the time to write in for advice. That already shows how much you care and love your baby and want the best for him. That is a sign of a great parent!
But here’s the thing: Your baby is way, way too young to have the kinds of thoughts and feelings you are attributing to him. You seem to believe he doesn’t love you or doesn’t want to be with you. Did you know that at six months old, your baby doesn’t even know you two are separate people? It’s true! It’s not until between 7-12 months that a baby begins to recognize his or her mother as a separate person. So, any messages you believe are being communicated through his tears are NOT reflective of his relationship to you. He literally does not even know you are a separate person. At this point, his relationship with you is the same as his relationship with himself. And when he sees his daddy, he’s probably excited to have the company of someone besides himself/you (since, in his mind, you two are the same person).
Babies and children develop differently. I would advise you to try to find or form a social group for your son with similarly-aged babies so you can observe how he’s developing in comparison. If he seems particularly different from other babies, take mental notes about how and when he’s different and bring that to your pediatrician’s attention.
There’s a very good chance that your relationship will organically develop into a connection you feel happier with as your baby grows and begins to realize that you and he are separate people and as he learns how to better communicate his needs to you. But if this doesn’t happen, or if it takes longer than seems normal to you, please take heart that it’s not a reflection of YOU or what kind of mother you are, that there’s so much help available to you and your family should you need it (even to determine whether there’s a neurological explanation for your son’s behavior, which remember is still in the range of normal right now!), and that nearly everything in the development of a child – and, subsequently in our journey as parents – is temporary (the good and the bad). This, too, will pass. And if it doesn’t in a way or at a pace that brings you some comfort, you can get help. And the help will help. I promise.
(Also, please talk to your doctor about PPD. I talked to mine early on, when I was experiencing what you’re describing. I did not have PPD, but it was very helpful to know my doctor was aware of my feelings and keeping an eye on me. You’re not in this alone!)
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.