There may be an elephant in your marriage or relationship if you have been diagnosed with a Postpartum Mood Disorder.
Maybe you do not want to talk about it.
Maybe he does not want to talk about it.
You are both scared.
You are scared you might be permanently broken.
He is worried he has lost the woman he married.
Fear is a powerful motivator. Sometimes it leads us in the wrong direction. It can leave us away from those we love and the support we need.
So we grow silent with each other. Short, rude, snide. Judgmental, even.
With each other and quite possibly even with our children.
Silence is nothing more than taking your problems and shoving them in a pressure cooker. Eventually it will explode. Explosions are messy, non-discriminatory, and only serve to create additional trauma for you and those who love you.
Humans are not telepathic. If you need help, ask for it. Accept it. Don’t judge or nag how the person helping is doing the task. Unless the manner in which they are doing the task will harm someone, sit back and enjoy the break.
Your loved ones cannot help you heal unless you share with them what is really going on. There may be reasons for you to keep it to yourself – maybe they would judge instead of help. If their response is negative then revisit the relationship after you have healed. Right now, you need to focus on you.
Don’t keep your feelings to yourself because your husband has been at work all day and deserves to come home to a happy home. You’ve been working all day too. Instead, take 10-15 minutes to check in with each other when he gets home. You get 5 minutes, he gets 5 minutes. If you can take longer, do so. But while the other person is talking, you do nothing but listen. No talking back or interrupting.
Another great suggestion from @notsuperjustmom at Twitter is to hold hands if you feel a fight suddenly coming on. You can’t fight if you’re holding hands.
Have you talked about the elephant in the room? Has it been successful? What strategies have worked for you? Is your elephant still stifling your relationship? What challenges do you face? Share with us. Someone may have a suggestion that might just work for you.
Let’s get to just talkin’!!!!
We have talked about it. But it’s been quite a while since he did. He was in the blame game and wanted to dissect the true meaning of all my behavior during the worst of it. I couldn’t go there. I think that made him feel even more like he’d lost the old me. I had to pretty much tell him that I was a different person, and that I didn’t know if I would ever go back to a lot of the things he missed since they were too stressful and unnecessary. He was hurt and resentful for a while.
We’ve been gentle in the meantime, and discussed it gradually. It’s been less painful.
Great point about being a different person. That was one of the hard truths my husband and I faced as well. In the course of healing, neither one of us gave the other person to grow and renew themselves. Instead, we continued to operate under the assumption of the old attitude and behaviors. Dangerous ground upon which to tread during recovery. Growth is always part of recovery – and sometimes is the even bigger elephant in the room once healing has really begun.