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Man is horrified by wife's change in personality after the loss of their baby. 'I don't recognize her anymore.' AITA? UPDATED 5X

Man is horrified by wife's change in personality after the loss of their baby. 'I don't recognize her anymore.' AITA? UPDATED 5X


When this man is having trouble coping with his wife's change in personality, he asks the internet:

"My wife has changed a lot since we lost our baby. AITA?"

My (M26) wife (F29) and I had a baby due in April. She was going to be our first. Unfortunately, in January, my wife had a medical emergency, and we wound up losing our daughter.

My wife has changed almost 100% into a different person since then. It has affected almost everything she does as a person, and it’s like she’s not even the woman I fell in love with anymore.

A little bit of backstory on us, my wife and I have known each other for 5 years, have been a couple for 3 years, and have been married for almost a year now. I have had a really hard last couple of years...

between my mother’s passing and the premature end of my career as a professional athlete and this amazing woman has been my rock. I feel like I have loved her from the minute I met her, and I’ve tried to be good to her and to let my feelings for her show through in the way I treat her.

We were both so excited when we learned she was pregnant, and we were looking forward to adding a little girl to our family. Obviously, losing her has been incredibly hard on both of us, but it has been especially hard on my dear wife.

She has always struggled with an anxiety disorder and she has always been a little clingy, physically and emotionally. But lately her level of attachment has shot up past 11. I have to practically fight her to be able to leave for work in the mornings, and then when I’m gone, she sends me at least 20 texts.

Mostly it’s just about how much she misses me, but sometimes she just will send pictures of herself. And when I call her, I never get to talk, she just goes and vents, and is incredibly negative about everything, which is basically the opposite of what she used to be.

I can’t get any personal space at night in bed either. She’s always been adamant about cuddling through the entire night, but she’s been holding me so tight lately that it gets hard to breathe.

Even after I’m sure she’s gotta be asleep. It’s like sleeping in a clinch hold with a Muay Thai fighter every night. And she can’t seem to go an hour or two without needing to be kissed.

And our sex life has changed a lot too. We used to be fairly active, about two or three times a week, but now it’s almost up to twice or more a day, every day, even when I don’t want it.

On the times when I’m not really feeling up to it, I protest a little at first, but she doesn’t listen, and she just seems like she wants it so bad that I don’t want to hurt her feelings and turn her down.

And when we’re having sex it’s like we only do stuff that she’s into, and I don’t get any say in what we do, and it’s just all about what satisfies her. It almost feels like se% is turning into a thing I have to do for her to keep her happy, instead of a thing we do together because we love each other.

And she’ll get upset over the littlest things, so almost everything is a fight. I didn’t push in my chair all the way getting up from the table yesterday, and I got screamed at.

I have been seeing the same therapist since I was 16, and she’s like a second mother to me, and my wife has asked me to not see her anymore, because she doesn’t trust her.

She also wants me to stop taking my college courses so I can finish my degree, and when I go to hang out with my friends (whom she thinks are all idiots and reminds me every time we talk about them latey) it’s like I’m leaving to go and never come back.

I understand that her mental health is not great at this point in time, and I want to be there for her and support her in any way I can. I want to get through this together with the love of my life, and to come out on the other side and watch the sun rise after a very dark night.

She means everything to me, but too often it feels like the person she is right now is not the woman I married.

EDIT: yes, I understand she needs therapy. Background info on her, she spent a fair amount of time as a teenager in a psychiatric facility, and therapy/therapists are some of her least favorite people.

She went to two sessions after we first lost our daughter, but refuses to go back. When I bring it up, she gets super angry, hits me, (she’s not that strong, I’ll be okay) and then starts crying and needs to be held.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

concret7 writes:

Maybe a grieving mother's group? It'll help her get out of the house and connect with others who have experienced similar loss. It's not a one on one session with a therapist, which I think is what she finds so intimidating: She has nowhere to escape if the focus is entirely on her problems.

In a group setting, she can fly under the radar, but the conversations will make her feel less alone and she might find healthier coping mechanisms.

Your wife aside, this is a scary situation for you because she's made it clear that the closest she let's herself get to expressing her grief is by using you.

She needs to let herself get angry? She focuses it on you not pushing the chair in. She wants to cry? She hurts you, then cries out of guilt. She wants to feel comforted? She hugs you even in her sleep.

She wants to feel loved? She guilts you into se%, ignoring your boundaries and your desire for gratification.

This is an awful situation to be in, especially after the loss of your child. She's not letting you grieve. She's not really letting herself grieve, she's just avoiding it with compulsion after compulsion.

Find a bereavement group for parents who have lost a child and get her to go with you. Even if she doesn't go, you need a safe space to share your grief that isn't solely with your therapist. As cliché as it is, the saying is true: misery loves company. Connecting, or even just listening to others who have lost a child will help you.

upnogood6 writes:

First. Do not stop seeing your therapist and Do not stop seeing your friends.(These both go hand in hand with healing)

Second, Anxiety is horrible and losing a child is the saddest things that can happen to a woman. You don’t just lose a child, you lose a part of yourself. You get feelings of inadequacy, like you’re not good enough and the hormones are very clustered and don’t even out for at-least 6 months.

You lose the innocence and joy of being able to take home your baby and it creates a different set of emotions if you ever get pregnant again. Then your body changes and you feel ugly and clothes don’t fit anymore.

She sounds like she is letting the anxiety control her life and has deep fears of losing you. She needs to want help or this will only get darker.

Third. She is developing an abusive pattern with trying to isolate you and she’s even started to hit you when you suggest her getting help. This may get worse and it is NEVER ok!!!!

sallytarts writes:

Yes, she needs therapy....but most importantly, you need to protect yourself. She is grieving, obviously, but thats no excuse to act abusive. If you take your sexual scenario...picture it with the sexes reversed.

It's pretty gross. And even if you're not physically intimidated by her...hitting your spouse because you're upset is abuse. If you let her continue to treat you like this, it won't help either of you on the long run. I'm very sorry for your loss and subsequent stress.

crowtalk writes:

She's emotionally and physically abusive. The first thing you need to do is tell her that if she hits you again, you're not going to be staying in the home anymore until all of her focus is on fixing your marriage and managing her anger. That needs to be an ultimatum. And if she hits you again, you need to stick to it.

Do not under any circumstances stop seeing a therapist you've built a trusting and healthy relationship.

You need to tell her that you're not feeling happy and comfortable with the level of communication and trust in your relationship, and you need her to commit to couples therapy. You guys need to have a very honest space and that's best done with an impartial mediator.

Does she have any friends? It sounds like she's suffering from a lack of a robust support network. You can't be the only thing keeping her afloat. Even if your marriage wasn't struggling, no one can be healthy relying wholly on one person.

She needs to start building up her social network, either by reconnecting with friends and family she has, or engaging in other community building activities.

If she doesn't want to see a therapist for herself, she at least needs to see a medical doctor to manage her depression and anxiety. You are not a medical profession and you can't treat your wife as if you were. She needs help.

And now, OP's first update:

My therapist really has been like a second mother for me though. I started seeing her when I was a kid in the foster system, and she’s stuck with me through some of the worst years of my life, more than my actual mother did. To be honest, my number one dream as a kid was that she would adopt me.

I have no intention of divorcing my wife. I intend to stick by her thick and thin. I would love for her to go to therapy or to reach out to friends. Sorry for trying to get sometime off my chest in the “get this off my chest” place.

EDIT: We were talking today, and she agreed to start going to couples’ therapy and to see her OBGYN this week.

She asked me if I was happy and if I still loved her. I guess she overheard me talking with my therapist on the phone about our se% life last week, and she overheard some harsh truths. She wants to be well again, and she’s willing to try whatever it takes to get there.

OP's 2nd update (the next day):

I made a post here last night, and it has gotten several hundred comments urging me to do what I have been trying to get the courage to do for a long time: directly confront my wife about her behavior since losing our baby. I finally did it.

She agreed to at least go to couples’ counseling and to schedule an appointment with her OBGYN. She agreed that the way she is processing the grief of losing our daughter is really harmful and self-destructive.

She even recognized that the person she has been becoming is not someone she wants to be, and wants to seek extra help.

She’s not huge on doctors, therapists, psychologists or nurses, due to spending time in a psychiatric facility as a teenager, but she’s willing to bite the bullet there if it means getting the help she agrees she needs.

I’m so in love with her and I’m so happy she has decided to get help. I’m going to be with her every step of every mile of this journey with her.

OP's 3rd update (4 days later):

I feel obligated to write this and continue updating people here because of the many kind responses and genuine attempts at offering advice and support.

My (26M) wife (29F) and I were supposed to be attending couples therapy together yesterday evening. We were lucky enough to have been able to get an appointment so soon.

I was anticipating not being able to get in with a couples therapist for at least another two weeks, but we lucked out and were able to get one this week. My wife and I were supposed to meet each other there after I get off of work and out of class, and then go get dinner afterwards.

The appointment is at 6:30. I get out of class at 6:00, hustle across town to get there, still show up 3 minutes late, expecting her to already be there (she loves being places early) and I didn't notice her car in the parking lot.

I figure it's whatever, this is a business park with a lot of parking spaces, she's definitely here, she promised me this morning she would be here, and I go into the lobby, talk to reception, and ask about seeing this doctor. Doctor's in, but my wife definitely is not.

Okay, no big deal, she's probably just late, because traffic is awful in this horrible nightmare city, so I call her, and it rings all the way through, which is kind of weird. Wait another ten minutes, no call back, and I try again, still nothing. I wait another five minutes, and now it doesn't even ring, like she turned her phone off.

So obviously, the appointment winds up not happening, and I'm worried about the safety and well-being of my wife, because it's not like her to not return my calls, or to be late to stuff/skip appointments without notification. Her anxiety errs more on the "I have to be super punctual" type of anxiety.

So I head home, and lo and behold, my wife's car is in the parking lot of our complex. I head in the apartment, and she's in our bed, just watching inappropriate stuff on TV. You know what I mean...

Apparently that's what she's been up to all day while I've been at work and at school, trying to provide for us. And she was so nonchalant about it too, like it's the most natural thing in the world for her to be doing at that time.

Obviously I'm a little shocked. I'm not a p@rn guy, I think it's actually super unhealthy and overall does more harm to individuals psychologically than any good that empty instant se%ual gratification can do.

I don't think watching porn while in a relationship is cheating, but I don't love it. She and I will be having that conversation later, and her watching that isn't what I'm really upset about right now anyways.

It's the fact that of all the reasons to blow off our appointment with a couples therapist to help her cope with all the s~ that's been going on lately with the loss of our daughter and everything related to that, hers is because she was too busy watching some other chick get railed in a gangbang.

I get that she's not in a good place, and she hasn't been well mentally or emotionally for months now. I get that it's affected her decision making.

I get that going and seeing therapists and doctors and doing that whole thing is scary for her and not something that she has much desire to put herself through, even though she understands that it's probably exactly where she needs to be.

I get that she's bored at home after having taken a sabbatical from her job. I get that her hormones have been entirely out of wack since January and that se% just helps her not feel so terrible all the time.

I get that she was basically alone when we lost our daughter and that the way she lost our baby is a million times worse than the way I lost our baby. I understand all of that.

But I still have to go to work so we can eat and pay our bills and rent, and come home and get yelled at for putting the dishes in the dishwasher the wrong way or whatever, and then not get any sleep at night because we're up till 2 in the morning because she got horny and will cry for hours if I don't do it.

If that's the way life is till we can beat this thing together, then that's the way it is and I can tough it out for her sake. But the absolute least that she can do is show up when she's agreed to show up so that we CAN beat her depression, so that she CAN get better and be well again.

So I stayed at a friend's place last night, and I think I am crashing on his couch again tonight. My wife has called 6 times, and texted 90 times, and it went from asking if I'm ever coming back, to begging me to just come back, to rants that I haven't read about how sorry I'm going to be, back to begging me to come home.

I made the mistake of answering one of the calls, and when I tried to explain that I'll come home when I'm ready to come home, and that I still love her and still want to be with her, that I'm just really hurt and upset and need space...

she screamed at me like I have never, ever in my entire life been screamed at before, about how I'm probably cheating on her right now, and how I've abandoned her and about how dare I. "How dare you" was repeated a lot.

I don't really know what my criteria is for feeling ready to go back is either. I think at first it was when I felt like she was genuinely ready to talk, and not just to yell or have a meltdown, but then I remembered that f~, she and I have already talked about this, and that didn't do anything.

I think I'll call her when I get off of work, and give her the ultimatum of actually going to therapy, or a facility, or just anything that's a step in the right direction, or our relationship might have to be put on hold until she gets everything figured out.

EDIT: i am already in therapy. have been meeting with my excellent friend and doctor for over 10 years now. i was one of her first patients/clients when she was fresh out of school, and she was one of the only people who consistently gave a shit about me when I was a kid in the foster system.

"she never yelled at me in an angry way before we lost our daughter. when she got mad at me it was completely different. she was more of a cold mad, now she’s a fire mad if that makes sense.

my therapist thinks i should push the idea of a treatment facility. i just know that if i do that, i lose my wife. she would never forgive me for that."

OP's 4th update (9 days later):

This is kind of an update to my previous posts. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I posted on here in the first place, but I think it basically boils down to this being more or less of a journal for myself, and if people have aome good advice or are able to sympathize even a little bit, then I’ll take what I can get.

I don’t have a lot of IRL friends, and the ones I do have I’m not close enough with to really vent to about super personal stuff. I have my therapist and my last pair of foster parents, and some old friends I made at the boys home I used to live at, and that’s about it.

This being basically anonymous means I don’t have to worry too hard about being judged by coworkers or other people in my congregation I guess. I keep posting because it seems like a bunch of people might have gotten...

maybe a little invested in the well-being of my wife and myself, and I think it would be a little scary and sad to not know if the people whose story you have graciously listened to are okay or not.

It feels really exhibitionistic and weird and a bunch of people have followed this burner reddit account, and it feels like this is just juicy IRL watch someone else suffer entertainment for some people.

This post isn’t for them, it’s for the nice people who I think might be worried about me and my wife. Thanks everyone who has tried to be nice and supportive, but I think this is the final post about this.

My (M26) wife (F29) has had an extremely rough time since we lost our baby to a miscarriage in January, and has practically refused treatment or therapy of any kind. She has been incredibly difficult to be around and I have been super worried about her for months now.

I recently had to take a couple days’ break away from her after she no-showed an appointment we had agreed to attend together with someone I thought would be able to help her.

My in-laws were able to step in and help get my wife into a psychiatric care facilitiy. I had been talking with them about the whole situation after I made the decision to get some space after the missed appointment. They dropped everything and travelled like 3 hours to us, and went by to check on her.

My mother-in-law and I have kind of teamed up, which is a miracle because she really does not like that her only daughter married me of all people. My in-laws and I went by the apartment, and they went in first to talk to her, and then they brought me in.

We more or less had an intervention, and my in-laws were able to talk her into going to get treatment. I stayed home with her that night, and took the next day off of work to drive her there myself.

She was really freaking out, but I think she knew that voluntarily taking a mental health break somewhere she can actually get help was the right decision. I’m really proud of her.

My wife has already been officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-partum depression, on top of her already existing anxiety disorder. I had kind of started suspecting her having bipolar.

I thought getting a diagnosis would be a lot harder and there would be more hoops to jump through. Just getting the diagnosis is a relief, because now she can actually get medication and targeted help directly at what she’s facing.

She still has another day left there, and as her spouse I’m actually not allowed to visit, which I really hate. I way underestimated how much I would miss her. I think I get how a dog waiting for his owner to get home from work feels.

My in-laws, however, are able to visit, and their reports have been about as positive as it can get. My wife misses me too, and she’s been fairly lucid and calm since going in, and so far it’s been more positive than not.

And obviously this is probably going to be something that she’ll need support with for the rest of our lives. I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t just go away. But it really does feel like a genuine, true legitimate first step in the right direction, and with the right help we can actually beat this thing.

One of the craziest things that has happened throughout this entire process over the last few days has been the way my mother-in-law has started treating me. She actually hugged me and told me she was sorry about me losing our daughter...

which is the first hug she’s ever given me, and I never in my life expected her to ever have any sympathy for me. My father-in-law has always been much kinder, but it didn’t seem like this was something he had asked her to do. This was just her being nice to me which I never expected.

As for me, I attended a grieving fathers support group, and it was like a super pessimistic sadness circlejerk. It just made my evening sadder, and I don’t think I’ll go back, at least to that same one anyways.

I’m gonna take a week off of work after this semester of school is over, and we’re going to go visit where I’m from back in Texas, and we’ll stay with my “parents”. Getting out of this long winter will be good for both of us I think, and I haven’t seen them since my wedding back in May.

I’m a little cautious to get excited though. The last time I thought we were making progress wound up being me getting my expectations way too high and then being very disappointed. But it does feel like the sun is rising a little bit if that makes any sense.

OP's 5th update (a day later):

she’s home!! this is the start of the rest of forever! Also, here's more about MIL:

I think my MIL has always believed that I love her, but it’s always been about how I’m not Muslim for why she doesn’t like me. She’s a pretty conservative lady, and seeing her only daughter marry outside of her faith probably feels like she’s losing her daughter more than gaining a son.

yeah, most of the reason she disliked me was that unlike her family, I’m not a Muslim. Me not being a Muslim has always been a huge issue for her, and since my wife had stopped practicing Islam when she was in college...

I think she just feels like she’s completely lost her daughter. I understand why she would be upset about her daughter marrying me.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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