« on: June 14, 2011, 10:35:09 PM »
I have been convinced for years that my wife had some form of postpartum depression compounded by PMS. The existence of this group lends credence to my suspicion that I too went through PPD.
My wife and I were unable to have children for years, and she had multiple early term miscarriages. Then one day, when she was past 45 and I was nearly 50, she told me she was pregnant. This time she did not miscarry and now, with me on the brink of retirement, we are the proud parents of a boy in middle school.
My wife and I were in a very upbeat mood during the pregnancy. One evening, my very pregnant wife was especially passionate with me in bed, including asking to be on top. Later that night, the contractions began and her waters broke. I later learned that sex triggers labour and that she knew that at the time, so that her passion with me had an ulterior motive.
Because of difficulties getting lactation going, she was allowed to spend a week in the maternity ward. On her last day in the ward, she asked me to go to a furniture store and buy a Barca-lounger type chair for her to sit in while breastfeeding. I went to two furniture stores. One was too posh for my taste, the other too plebean. When I came home, my wife was home and I told her about my attempts to shop for a chair. Very quickly she took extreme offense at what I said, and she began hitting me and using abusive language. Her older sister, who was visiting us at the time, was in the room when this began, but immediately beat a hasty retreat to her bedroom. My wife was behaving strangely. I tried to have a conversation with her about this incident, but when I did she instantly turned vicious. One day she tried to attack me about this, but I told her that I never wanted to talk about this again. I am relieved to say that the issue went away. She bought a chair, but then used it rarely.
I slept in the guest room for 2 months, at my initiative, while she co-slept with the baby. One day when the baby was two months old, I was savagely attacked by a colleague at work. The incident left me depressed. My wife invited me back into the marriage bed, but after a month she threw me out. I have slept in the guest bedroom ever since, and am now just used to it, but the idea of sharing my wife's bed frightens me. Our son slept in my place in the marriage bed until around his 8th birthday.
After I was thrown out of the marriage bed, I began a 2 year battle with depression, aggravated by the fact that my sister suddenly assaulted my wife and my 18 month old child, in my presence and that of her teenage daughter. When I came to the rescue of my family, my sister picked me up by the belt and threw me out of her house. I did not respond well to either medication or counseling. I told my GP that I believed that I had a male form of post-partum depression, but he laughed it off, saying that it didn't exist. Hence my elation at discovering this group.
My wife and I had sex all of 3-5 times during the first 5 years of our child's life. I did not fuss about this, because I had read many times that mothers do not like to feel pressured to have sex with their husbands while they are coping with young children. But the years went by and nothing happened. My wife also slighted me in innumerable ways, including overruling me when I reprimanded our child, which made me very angry. We began to disagree sharply on how to raise our child, and I began to realise that she and I had fundamental disagreements about what right and wrong meant. There were many horrible shouting matches. We did not agree on what it meant for a child to misbehave. Life with my wife was filled with nagging and posturing.
Shortly after our child turned 5, I went out for a jog. At the end, I dropped into the apartment of a woman colleague I knew. She asked me to join her for supper, which I did. We did nothing except talk, but I was very horny, even though this woman was short and plain and getting on in years. That night, after our child was asleep, my wife accused me of sliding into infidelity. I told her that by virtue of refusing sex with me for 5 years, she had lost the right to complain about my infidelity. She heatedly denied refusing sex in any way, but gave evasive answers when I asked her why she had not initiated sex with me. She finally said, OK, what do you want? At least 3 times a month, I said. And she has stuck to that. After 18 months, things got a good deal more passionate, and the only reason I can think of is that she completed menopause.
About 1 year after we resumed having sex, we hosted her older sister and her husband for a month. One summer morning out of doors, out of the blue, he dragged me to a vacant lot and assaulted and abused me. My wife and her sister turned on their heels and ran away. They showed no shock or surprise at what was being done to me. The women seemed to be in the know, and I feared that I had been set up. This violence triggered a half year depression. My wife could not give a convincing explanation of why I had been assaulted. I am quite sure what happened. My brother in law despises me, despite my having paid about half of the college tuition for his children, and despite my having paid much of the downpayment on their first houses. He has never thanked me for any of this. My wife complained to him and her sister about me. He seized on those complaints as pretexts for deeming me beyond the pale. My wife heatedly denies that she wound him up, but I do not believe her. She claims that he was outraged by the differences of opinion I had with my wife. This makes no sense, because nothing had happened the morning he assaulted me. Also, while I was assaulted he questioned me in a very menacing matter, about things that were none of his business and revealing that he had an agenda. When I answered, he called me a liar.
I know that my wife has turned people against me, because a number of people in my area who had been quite friendly for years turned cold in recent years. We don't mix with them any more. When we do mix, they ignore me or are ugly and sarcastic with me.
I reported both assaults to the Family Court, who arranged for free counseling time at public expense. All three counselors struck me as worthless, because they let my wife dominate the sessions, and seemed very afraid of angering her. Things were so bad that after each counseling session, I sent the counselor a 2000 word letter rebutting what my wife said. No counselor would engage forthrightly the violence members of my family had experienced at the hands of outsiders. Their main concern seemed to be not pissing my wife off. What I had to say received the merest of polite attention. In the country I live in, a middle aged woman raising children always gets the benefit of the doubt unless she has a criminal conviction. I wrote a plea for help to the children's charity Barnado's; they never responded in any way.
I returned to the USA for 2 months, moved my mother into a retirement community, and emptied her house. I experienced more abuse at the hands of my sister. When I returned, my wife and I began having the best sex of our lives. There was one last blow-up. My wife had maintained that her erratic behaviour was caused by fibromyalgia pain, and that my objections to her behaviour and attitudes meant that I was not sympathetic to a woman struggling with an autoimmune disorder. How do you know you have fibro? My physio says so. Physios can't diagnose fibro, only a rheumatologist can. Shall I make an appointment for you to talk to my physio? Yes. I asked to speak with the physio alone, to which the physio readily agreed. My wife was very taken aback, but had no choice. I wanted to see if she would do so unprompted; that's why I asked my wife to leave the room. During the ensuing 80 minute conversation, the physio never uttered the word fibromyalgia. I felt fully vindicated. During the 2 hours after we left the physio, my wife shouted 4 letter abuse at me nonstop, which I took as further evidence that I had caught her out.
My letters to my in laws have not been answered. My brother in law told my wife that my sister in law destroyed my first letter unread.
6 months ago, I paid my sister a visit, but after 24 hours she reported me to the police as a trespasser. I left immediately and do not expect to speak to her again.
Next month there is a big wedding in my wife's family. My wife and son will go. I have not been invited.
Why have I stuck it out? Because my marriage vows are the most solemn and binding promise I will ever make, and my wife's bad behaviour does not suffice to release me from those vows. But those vows also do not require me to approve of her behaviour. This is a subtlety which I recently explained to her, and which left her puzzled. I would not divorce my wife even if she very discretely had another man in her life. I would divorce her only if her behaviour caused a scandal that hurt me and our child.