DEAR ABBY: My wife gave birth to our twin girls almost a year ago, and for the most part, things have been great. They are happy and healthy, but I’m not sure how happy my wife is. I’m afraid she may be suffering from postpartum depression, but she won’t see anyone about it.
She’s always putting the girls first and is stressed out because there’s never enough time in the day to do everything. From day one, I have made sure that I’m doing my part. I help cook and clean and change dirty diapers. I feel I’m very hands-on, and she agrees. I know twins can be stressful, but I’m pretty relaxed about the process and go with the flow.
I have begged her to talk to someone, but she thinks if she does she will have to take antidepressants and won’t be able to breastfeed. It’s starting to affect our marriage because she takes out her frustration on me. I get yelled at for stuff that doesn’t make sense or hasn’t really happened.
Would it be wrong to tell her we are going to lunch and take her to see someone instead – like a mental health intervention? Or should I let her figure this out on her own? – Baby Blues in Michigan
DEAR BABY BLUES: To shanghai your wife into a mental health intervention would be a mistake. Be honest with your wife. Tell her you are deeply concerned, and that her stress level is affecting your marriage. Then tell her you will be making an appointment for her with her OB-GYN and accompanying her. The doctor can tell her what the alternatives are for treatment, if she needs it. Her fears may be groundless, and medication may not be necessary, but it is important that her doctor evaluate her.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband for 10 years. Things are great, except for one major issue. Every time we get into a spat, he feels the need to air all of our dirty laundry to his family, which is now my family.
I am a private person. I don’t like having other people in the middle of our drama. He tells his relatives his side of the story, and because they don’t hear my side, they automatically assume he is some sort of victim. I then start receiving phone calls and text messages from everyone wanting to know what’s going on and trying to give me advice. When I politely turn them down, they get angry and start lecturing me about how wrong I am.
This happens often, no matter how small the argument. What do I do? How can I get him to see how much it bothers me? I don’t want the world to know what goes on in our home. Nothing I say gets through to him. – Betrayed and Alone
DEAR BETRAYED: Your husband knows how much what he’s doing bothers you. He just doesn’t care. He knows that when he runs to his family he will have automatic allies.
It will take work on both your parts with the help of an unbiased licensed marriage and family therapist for your marriage to improve. If your husband won’t go with you – and he may not – you should go without him. Because of his level of immaturity, it’s a wonder your marriage has made it this long without intervention.