Question: My husband has been making me feel like my mental health is a burden. I’m 3 months postpartum and I’ve been struggling. He seems so annoyed when I talk to him about it. He also doesn’t believe in therapy or medication. The whole thing is making me feel so lost and scared. What should I do?
Yes, you are right, he doesn’t understand. He’s not a woman. He doesn’t know what it’s like to have a baby or what post-partum feels like. He doesn’t get it.
Consider part of his annoyance is that he can’t do anything about it and feels helpless. I speak from a lot of experience in this area with different couples I work with.
I hate to say it but perhaps he just doesn’t have the capacity for this and that’s okay. That’s a lot to ask from some men esp. those that are not in touch with emotions and are a bit more of stoic men. I would suggest not expecting too much from him on this topic if it’s messing with your relationship. He’s not equipped to support you the way you expect him to so find someone who has experience with this and can hold space for you.
My other suggestion would be to talk to your husband about what you actually NEED from him, and what you expect. I teach couples how to set up their partner to win and feel confident in how to support them.
For example, “Honey, when I say ABC, you would really support me by saying/doing XYZ. Like maybe when I am sad, I just need you to listen to me, nod your head so I know you’re listening, and after, hold me and tell me you love me.”
Yup, it’s that simple. Then at least he knows what to do or say to be your hero. He’s a man so don’t expect him to understand what you’re going through, however, you can teach him how to support you and what you need.