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  • Jealous of the baby

    Hi, Val.
    A young mother recently said to me that her husband seems jealous of the baby. She feels he should love the baby, and doesn't understand how he could be "so childish." Do you have some thoughts on this?

  • #2
    What's it like for new dads?

    Hi Patricia

    Through thousands of years a new mother has had a whole COMMUNITY around her to support her and her child. In our society a couple can be left alone with this incredibly large responsibility and sometimes a guy is left feeling as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike (as one new dad described it).
    And it’s easy to start criticizing others and judging others when we feel vulnerable. Encourage her to consider her needs and who’s her support team.
    I’d suggest Dads don’t always FEEL love to this small, wriggling, helpless creature - often they just DO love - get up , go to work - provide food and rent. (And dads need appreciation for this). The ‘feeling’ love grows as baby smiles, coos and they CONNECT.
    Dads - we’d love to hear your experiences.

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    • #3
      jealous of baby

      Hi Patricia,
      I would like to suggest that this couple swaddle themselves as new parents and plan to spend some time nurturing their own relationship which is so important. Something as small as spending time drinking a cup of tea of coffee together and forgetting housework for a few minutes to place importance on their time together could help. the transition to parenthood is challenging, but time helps this adjustment. affirmation of their parenting skills is so important also
      Cathy

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      • #4
        Hubby and I would take walks together (with baby) and we could talk just like we needed too.

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        • #5
          DH and I do make time and we're even able to talk about non-kid stuff now, but engaing him in something deeper than logistics or schedules or gossip is challenging. I'd like to get to the bottom of some of our minor, but regular conflicts. He resists and usually dismisses my attempts to discuss anything 'serious.' How would this work in a workshop when we'd be surrounded by a virtual audience?

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          • #6
            Does 'Honey let's talk' push your buttons?

            Thank for the question, Art

            When we perceive threat (e.g. ‘Honey, we need to talk’) - the ‘survival centre‘ in our brains starts pushing icky-feeling stress hormones - preparing us for fight or flight.
            So what seems like a loving request can sound to your partner like,
            ‘Let‘ go to the dentist just for fun!’
            I suspect that when a wife says ‘Let’s talk‘ sometimes a man hears her saying,
            ‘You’re not okay as you are - let’s fix you.’
            (Any guys out there who would confirm this?)

            A key Imago phrase is ‘All conflict is a protest at the disconnection.’
            Amazingly when I’m mad at my man, and am imagining all the things he ‘should’ be doing - and then I focus instead on reconnecting with him - the problem often dissolves.

            Imago couples workshops encourage plenty of high-level fun and giving each other appreciations to get the ‘feel good’ chemicals going!

            Would love to hear more questions/ comments about this topic.

            Val P.S. Apologies to all dentists!

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            • #7
              I usually try to engage DH in a fairly non-confrontational way, but he still resists the conversation or the direction of it no matter how I approach it. So if he's not up to chat, how on earth would i ever persuade him to attend a workshop with me? Wouldn't that to over like a ton of bricks?

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              • #8
                when your partner's not interested

                Asking a partner to attend a workshop can be perceived as a ‘you’re not OK as you are’ message, hence resistance.
                It makes sense that you’d really like to for him attend.
                Some possibilities:
                * You might check with the workshop leader that it’s okay to attend with one of your close friends. Knowing you have options means you’ll be able to ask him with a non-coercive, more relaxed energy.
                ‘Would you be willing to come with me to a couples weekend. I’d really like to share this experience with you. Please think about it and it’s okay if you don’t want to, I’ll ask ... to come with me instead. I need to know by ...’
                (You could also suggest he look at the website to get a better idea).
                Some personalities respond better to less pressure and need time to mull things over before making a decision.

                * Also there are equally helpful Imago singles workshops - you are responsible for your well-being.

                * Imago Parenting workshops are launching late this year - perhaps this different focus might be more palatable.

                Anyone else have any suggestions / similar experiences?

                Val

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                • #9
                  One really great "selling point" about the workshop is that no one is asked to share anything publicly. You might begin by saying, Hey, I've found a workshop that people say is just terrific, and you don't have to say anything! It's designed to e educational, rather than therapy.

                  Still you may encounter reluctance on his part (not uncommon!), so I suggest simply listening to all of his objections. Then, just let him know what you've heard..."I hear that you really would rather watch the Master's on TV..." Then simply tell him you have a request. "I hear what you're saying... I know this is not your idea of something fun to do. Would you be willing to do it for me?"

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                  • #10
                    I am wondering also if a husband is resistant to therapy, couples workshop, or reading material that maybe he's not comfortable opening up and sharing feelings, which is typical of a guy. They've never had to do this and society doesn't support them in this avenue. Would a couple still benefit if only one of the spouse's go and really finds the tool to better their relationship, which then might be a testament to the other party that it really does make a difference?

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                    • #11
                      What I do makes a difference

                      I had a lady on a Parenting course, who's husband was antagonistic to her attending - he was adamant that he would not attend and couldn't see any reason for all this 'nonsense'.
                      About half way through the course she started to notice that he was beginning to use the same approach with the children that she was trying to implement - it had just 'rubbed off' by what she was modelling!

                      Val

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                      • #12
                        Oh, I so agree with you! I love your image of "swaddling" each other. Yes! They need to be wrapped up in a warm blanket together. You make a lot of sense... Just a few minutes honoring each other, connecting, renewing their commitments to be partners AND parents.. All of those things can help immensely!

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