A woman wonders if her husband is right in blaming their financial troubles on her postpartum anxiety.
Having a baby can be a challenging time for any new parent, but for those who experience postpartum anxiety, the challenges can be even greater. In a recent discussion, one mother, who we’ll call ‘Cheryl’ shared her experience of struggling with postpartum anxiety and the impact it had on her relationship with her partner and their finances.
Cheryl Gives Birth
Cheryl recalls the beginning of her anxiety. “My son is about to be three in the fall. He was born premature, had a 2 month long NICU stay, and two surgeries his first year of life,” Cheryl said. She notes that this happened during the pandemic, so she received very little outside support.
Struggles with Postpartum Anxiety
“I was a stay at home mom that was in a fog, sleep deprived, and overwhelmed by the constant needs of my baby and by exclusively pumping as our baby couldn’t latch.” She admits that she would have fits of rages, and said, “I would slam dishes I was washing, slam pans on the stove when cooking, and would scream about random inconveniences. I was NOT myself.”
Impact on Relationship
“I noticed my partner retreat inward, and was more to himself,” Cheryl added. “ut I was so focused on our baby that I related it to other issues.” She thought he acted that way because he had lost his job, and his father’s health had declined rapidly.
Cheryl Helps Herself
Cheryl notes that she tried to help herself to improve her mindset. She did research on how to control her anger, started meditating and went back to work part-time. “I got better but not all at once, it took me about two years from when my son was born to get out of that fog. I felt our relationship was going well throughout everything we had gone through in the last few years.”
Partner’s Mental Health Declines
Despite her efforts, her partner’s mental health continued to decline. “This last year or so, he is just constantly on his phone playing games or scrolling social media, is short tempered with our son often, goes through phases of staying out to all hours of the night drinking in bars, and has been lying about our finances.”
“His car was evicted, our house almost went into foreclosure, and he ranked up over $3000 in penalties and fees for not paying our HOA.”
Struggling to Move Forward
“He opened up and explained that he has been depressed since everything I put him through during my Postpartum anxiety,” Cheryl said. “He goes on to explain that he had to let something give (as in our finances) in order to survive, and that he can’t bounce back to normal just because I am feeling better.”
Conflicted And Hurt
“I feel that some of his feelings are valid but I am appalled that he is boiling down all of his financial issues to my postpartum anxiety that I recovered from over a year ago,” Cheryl said. “I feel so hurt. I do not feel safe being in a relationship with someone who lies about money. I just don’t know what to think honestly.”
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