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Dear Wendy

Am I selfish?

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  • #964827 Reply
    avatarStan
    Guest

    I spent 20 minutes explaining my feelings to my wife about how I don’t feel fulfilled by our 7 week old son. I had a bad day and fatigue is starting to build up. Several times I made one thing clear : my sole intent of having this conversation was to release my emotions and get them out in the open. I was NOT looking for a solution or to make any lifestyle changes just yet.

    My wife, trying to help, gave several suggestions on seeing a therapist or ways to change my mind set. She then got upset that I was pushing away her suggestions. I acknowledged she was trying to help, but reiterated that I know what’s best for me at the moment and I just needed to speak my mind and that I now felt like I needed to tip toe around her emotions and not truly be able to speak about how I’m feeling because it will just turn into her getting upset that I’m not taking her advice. She then proceeded to call me selfish for it.

    Am I selfish for disregarding her being upset when I was only looking to talk my way through a dark time?

    Or did she over step her boundary by not hearing me out and continuing to give advice?

    #964882 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    If fatigue is building up for you after seven weeks, then it is likely building up for your wife as well. YET, you want to process your emotions with her. The particular emotion you want to unburden onto her is “I’m not fulfilled by parenthood.” Uh, dude. That’s gonna be a leeeettle disconcerting to someone who has just signed up for parenthood with you.

    It seems to me that it is SHE who is supposed to walk on eggshells. If she doesn’t respond (to something rather frightening for HER) in just the way you have prescribed, then you push her away. That is why she suggested a therapist. She is not the appropriate person to pour your heart out to right now, not about that issue.

    Also, have some humility. You may not “know what’s best for me at the moment.” She’s out of gas too, probably, so don’t foist this on her and demand she help you in your way.

    #964889 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    Yeah, I think you are being a bit selfish. From the little detail you wrote, your wife had a child a few weeks ago, is likely battling extreme hormonal changes, sleep deprivation and you felt you had to emote to her that your newborn doesn’t make you feel fulfilled?

    Sure, she didn’t understand or stick to your boundaries- that you just wanted to talk about this, but to me, given her situation and role, that’s understandable right now. Of course she wants a solution to this.

    I would also have you consider what you wanted writing a post about this. If you’re looking to be seen as “right” and her as “wrong” you’re going about this in the completely wrong way. Marriage is not about who is winning, because you should be on the same team.

    Are you making sure she is supported? What about yourself? I actually think her suggestion of therapy is a good one. I know you want to work on this your self, but resenting a seven week old is probably not something to put on the back burner and ignore for months.

    #964892 Reply
    avatarLisforLeslie
    Guest

    Personally, I think you both made missteps here but to be honest, I think yours were bigger. I do think you should be able to lean on your partner in challenging times, but your wife is dealing with a huge transition of her own and depending on sleep schedules and hormones and everything else she may not have had the sheer emotional capacity to listen to you say that you weren’t fulfilled by this experience (and I really don’t even understand what that means at all).

    If you just wanted a sounding board you could have sat in an empty room and said all of these things aloud. If you just needed to vent you could have chosen a religious leader, an internet stranger, your siblings or parents. But no, you wanted your wife to know that you were unhappy – OK. What was your expected outcome? Really – did you want to say it so it was said? Were you trying to get your wife to be less reliant on you? Are you thinking of walking out the door? Why did you pick HER at this time to dump your feelings out and what is she supposed to do with your disappointment? Ignore it? Try to make you feel special?

    You don’t have to answer these questions – but you do need to ask yourself – why did you pick the person that is likely the most fragile, most exhausted, most overwhelmed to help you manage your emotions? Because frankly that is pretty fucking selfish. And then when she tried to help you manage those emotions – you rejected every single recommendation. You could have simply said “You’ve given me something to think about – thank you” and been on your merry way – but no you had to tell her that she was helping you wrong.

    Yeah – I’m now firmly on “Selfish”. Sorry dude.

    #964918 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    No one feels fulfilled by a newborn. It’s not exquisite happiness at that time- it’s survival. I agree with everything Leslie said, which she said very well- you’re being selfish and pretty mean at a very hard time for your wife.

    #964927 Reply
    avatarStan
    Guest

    Not looking to prove she was wrong. Came here to get more perspective so that I CAN be a better partner and not be close minded. Thanks for your input

    #964929 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    What Leslie said.

    Also, wow, that’s big of you to reassure your wife you’re not looking to make any lifestyle changes just yet, when she’s got a newborn to care for. As soon as you say something like that, you’re basically communicating, “I want out of this, and am setting the stage.” How is she supposed to take that? And I love how you even think you have the option to make a “lifestyle change.” Does she have that option? Hell no.

    And yeah, you should have vented to a therapist, clergyperson, or even a trusted friend, NOT the mother of your child who I’m sure is even more sleep deprived and overwhelmed than you, with a serious risk of depression and even suicide. Wtf?

    #964934 Reply
    avatarStan
    Guest

    Thanks for your input Kate. I don’t have anyone. I was looking to better myself by coming here, not to be herated. In fact, I’m the suicidal one. Thanks for making it worse, see you on the other side.

    #964946 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Oh please. Again, it’s all about you.

    #964949 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    And you know what, Stan, if you’re suicidal, you definitely need to get help. From a professional. Not from your postpartum wife who’s almost certainly in worse shape right now.

    #964953 Reply
    avatarStan
    Guest

    I can’t afford a therapist. I’m paycheck to paycheck. World would actually be better without me. Hope you can live with yourself after pushing someone over the edge.

    #964962 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

    The hotline is free.

    I’m fine, Stan, I think it’s highly unlikely I pushed you over the edge, and I think if you were at that point you’d have mentioned it in your post. Nevertheless, your family needs you and would miss you, and help is available. Give them a call and tell them what’s going on with you.

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