Harry: Why are you getting so upset? This is not about you.
Sally: Yes it is. You are a human affront to all women and I am a woman.
Harry: Hey I don’t feel great about this but I don’t hear anyone complaining.
Sally: Of course not you’re out of the door too fast.
Harry: I think they have an OK time.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: What do you mean how do I know? I know.
Sally: Because they…
Harry: Yes, because they…
Sally: And how do you know that they really…
Harry: What are you saying, that they fake orgasm?
Sally: It’s possible.
Harry: Get outta here!
Sally: Why? Most women at one time or another have faked it.
Harry: Well they haven’t faked it with me.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because I know.
Sally: Oh, right, that’s right, I forgot, you’re a man.
Harry: What is that supposed to mean?
Sally: Nothing. It’s just that all men are sure it never happened to them and
that most women at one time or another have done it so you do the math.
Harry: You don’t think that I could tell the difference?
Harry: Get outta here.
Fake it till you make it, right?
SO many moms I have talked to have shared that they have not told their significant other the true depths of their suffering as they move through their Postpartum Mood Disorder.
He goes to work.
I don’t want to burden him when he gets home.
He deserves to come home to a happy home.
He won’t understand.
He thinks I am using a PMD as an excuse to make him do everything.
He deserves time with his friends so I’ll lie and throw myself under the bus.
Your husband cannot read your mind.
If your wife is smiling on the outside but it’s obvious there is something going on, sit her down and ask if she’s okay. If you’re struggling too, let her know. It will help her feel less alone in her hell. (And trust me, it IS hell!)
A good relationship is centered on trust. Trust relies on open communication. Open communication fosters a strong sense of intimacy. Intimacy suffers when open communication falters. When open communication falters, trust cracks wide open. When trust cracks, good relationships are monumentally at risk for destruction. Relationships at risk for destruction are toxic to all involved – there is a ripple effect that reaches out in every direction, including your children.
Postpartum Depression is nowhere near as exciting or pleasurable as an orgasm. (And never will be.) But recovery will only lead to a pleasurable place IF you’re honest. An honest recovery as opposed to a faked recovery is infinitely more pleasurable for all involved. We owe ourselves honesty, we owe our partners honesty, we owe our CHILDREN honesty, we owe our medical professionals honesty.
Because without honesty, we have nothing.
I am just as guilty as the next mom for lying about my Postpartum Depression. I minimized my symptoms, lied to my husband when something was wrong, lied about hating him, about resenting him, sucked it up when he came home – how could I tell him about my hard day when he had been at work for just as long as I had been at home? I threw myself under the bus. The only person I hurt in the process was myself. I let it slide until I was having good days – until he got home. All my built up resentfulness would burst through the door along with him – and suddenly I morphed into super bitch. He couldn’t do anything right: he was in the way, he was a bad dad, MY life was interrupted the instant he arrived home annoying me to the zillionth degree. But none of it was really his fault. Why? Because I didn’t share with him what was really going on with me. Once I started talking WITH him instead of yelling AT him, things began to improve. It took both of us nearly five years to begin to truly communicate with each other after the birth of our first daughter, making it almost three years after the birth of our second.
The other night I came at him the wrong way about something as we were putting the kids to bed. We moved on with what we were doing instead of arguing in front of the kids. Once the kids were down for nap, I apologized for handling it poorly. He apologized as well. We moved on with our evening and put it behind us. The old us? Would have argued in front of the kids. We would probably still be arguing about who was right or wrong. Instead, I’m throwing the remote control into his shin, nearly gimping him for life, and we’re cracking jokes about it on Twitter. I am SO madly in love with the new us.
Postpartum Depression sucks. It sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks. Did I mention it sucks?
But given the chance, it allows for such amazing and miraculous growth within yourself, within your marriage, within your relationship with your children.
Be honest with your significant other about your journey, your feelings, your emotions. Get dirty. Get into the nitty gritty. Life is messy. Emotions are messy. We cannot wrap everything up in a neat package like we do before Christmas. Not everything has a shiny sparkly bow on top. Sometimes they look like they’ve been in the gutter with Edgar Allan Poe after a bender. It’s hard to admit you are not okay. But until you do, you’re just lying to yourself and those around you. You? Deserve better. So do those around you.
Write it down. Reach out. Get the help you need. There’s no need to continue to fight in silence or in loneliness. There is hope. There is help. You are not alone. You are so not alone.