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'My wife is not the mother she told me she would be and I despise her for it.' UPDATED 2X

'My wife is not the mother she told me she would be and I despise her for it.' UPDATED 2X


Parenting is not for the faint of heart, and no one can predict how they'll handle it until they're in the weeds.

In a popular post on the True Off My Chest subreddit, a man asked for advice on handling his shifting feelings toward his wife after they became parents. He wrote:

"My wife is not the mother she told she would be and I despise her for it."

We have been together for 12 years, married 8 of it. We always had great dynamics. She told me she would want 2-3 children and I was always more cautious due to my troubled childhood. This was a constant topic in the past: we talked about names for our future children. We had 3 girl and boy names chosen.

When our first child born a bit more than four years ago, I somehow opened up. Being a father made my life full, everything was do natural and seemed east, and I was instantly ready for another child. I helped 50/50 even though i was working after 4 weeks leave: changing diapers, waking up at night, going for walks.

However she stopped wanting more. Even in the first 2 years of raising our baby girl, it was obviously she does not like motherhood. She could not sit down to play, she would rather pursue her hobbies.

I would have to go on sick leave to care for her, because she would kind of “burn out” after a week of being “alone” with our daughter (I am working from home all the time, I even play with her during non-video meetings).

I thought if it could be depression, but my wife is cheerful, has hobbies, goes out with girlfriends. But if she has to be with the kid for 2-3 days due to a cold, then misery comes. Important to note that my wife are I are both work in the same field. She is much smarter than me but is lazy: would do the bare minimum, whereas I love this field, do research, train myself and because of this, I earn 3x as much.

She could do much more with her brain, but does not care, which is fine, but still demands that I go on sick leave with our daughter. I would point out that her salary would not support our lifestyle and we could cook instead of ordering, but she does not want to. I feel s**t.

My only support is my daughter. Her smile and laughter. I could not put her through a divorce, since I was from a broken family. I am jealous for other mothers who love being with their child/children.

Not long after posting, OP shared an update with some clarifications.

Update #1: There is a lot of comments, i tried checking the most, let me react here the most common ones.

She wasn't always like this. Even she says sometimes she cant play with our daughter because it's hard: I think she cant find her way of playing with a small child.

She also woks from home, but when I am on sick leave she is untouchable. I feel like she is escaping from interacting with her daughter when she has chance of sinking into work.

I love (or loved? I have to look into myself…) her. We have dates, we have intimacy (not as much as before our child was born). We even have a lot of help from grandparents. She likes to / tries to “toss the kid” to her parents on every possible weekend.

The grandparents like the kid so it's fine, but sometimes I have to persuade my wife both to ask her parents so I (sometimes she too) can bring our daughters to the zoo, do something over the weekend.

I never pressured the 2nd child. I only said I am ready when someone asked personally, but I always tried to put on my game face and say “we are not sure” when others asked.

I will look into PPD, but it seems like she can handle our child in small doses and she is happy those times. For example after kindergarten she can play with her a bit, but she never proposes programs with her.

The comments were rolling in.

UptownLurker wrote:

Unfortunately, some women don't know what kind of mothers they're going to be until they have children. She may have meant what she said about kids when she said it, and then simply found the reality much more difficult.

Or, if she had a difficult pregnancy or birth, she may be carrying some resentment of her own. Have you two discussed counseling at all? Bc it seems like you're on different pages about a few things, your daughter's just brought the issues to the forefront.

nuala127 wrote:

I’m surprised no one has brought up that you said that your 4 year old daughter is your ‘only support’?! This is not a healthy way to look at your young child. You are their support. They are not yours. You are not their friend. You are their parent. This mindset is not healthy for you, your wife, or for your daughter. You’re setting her up for enmeshment.

Idkwhattocallblub wrote:

I understand you but for a woman its not "oh I'll just get pregnant and give birth" and then they are okay and like they were before. Pregnancy and hormone changes affect woman for YEARS after pregnancy.

And just because she is doing hobbies and meeting friends doesn't mean she's not struggling internationally. And yeah okay it comes naturally to you but you weren't the one pregnant, giving birth and going through postpartum. Almost every single woman is traumatized by their birth and postpartum is not just for a few months but years.

A lot of mothers experience not feeling okay or like themselves for years until they feel some sense of self again. Talk to her and damn don't call your own wife and mother of your child lazy. Just because someone could do something doesn't mean they have to.

Also, unfortunately, some people just don't like small children/ toddlers. Ask her if she needs something. Go to her and ask for an honest conversation without judgment. I repeat, NO JUDGEMENT. Stop pressuring her about a second child, she doesn't want one. Talk to her about therapy and also, idk your relationship, but it doesn't sound like you both do a lot of stuff together.

Yes you love your daughter and spend a lot of time with her but do you still love and take her of your wife? Go out with her, get someone to watch your kid, surprise her. You guys need to work on your relationship. You sound bitter and I bet she notices that too.

Afraid_Sense5363 wrote:

OP also claims he realized parenting was “easy” (typo notwithstanding) after the baby arrived, which I find laughable. I don’t think he has the capacity to see any viewpoint other than his own. He acts like pregnancy and childbirth are nbd and he can’t understand why she doesn’t want to do it several more times.

He complains that his wife doesn’t want to cook while saying she also works. He seems to want his working wife to behave like a SAHM. And then also insults her work ethic because it’s not the same as his. He simply doesn’t like or want to understand this woman.

A week later, OP shared another update.

Hey again. I brought an update to my previous post. Not the update that makes me happy, but at least i started moving forward. First of all, I received many messages and not all was answered. Thanks for the support dear internet people!

On Friday I brought our daughter to gran's (we have quite some help from our parents), then I asked to have a chat with my wife. I told her how I felt, what I see, and I asked how can I help her. I offered that she should take some time off, a couple days alone or with a friend of hers, and she said it’s a good idea.

On Saturday afternoon while I went to gran's for our child she seemingly packed 2 big duffel bags worth of clothes and went away (2 bags are missing and lots of her clothes so its easy to do the math). I called her without success, but at least she answered my messages about at least saying goodbye to her daughter to which she replied “Its not about her.”

It has been some days now. My daughter asked where mom is a couple times and I always tell something like “she cant come home now but she loves you”, but it feels like I am lying to her face :( I can't sleep, cant eat, even my in-laws have no info on what is happening with my wife. I will talk to a lawyer tomorrow, and start documenting everything as a friend of mine told me.

Just to answer a couple questions from the previous post:

I am not just playing with my daughter: I bring her to kindergarten and I bring her home too every day. I plan weekend activities, vacations, I wash more than my wife does.

I planned date nights for my wife and I, while grans came over or we brought our child to their place.

So there is that, keep safe all.

The internet was quick to respond.

20Keller12 wrote:

Whatever you do, don't let her do the in and out, back and forth bulls#$t. Don't let her vanish for weeks or months at a time, pop back up for a visit or two and then disappear again. That f#$ks kids up badly. Either she's gonna be a mom or she's not.

Andee-1 wrote:

Second this, if your wife comes and goes as she pleases, Its going to be worst for the mental wellbeing of his daugther, worst than being in a "broken home", cuz at least she will have some kind of stability in her life with the people that really want to be in her life.

SelinaKyle30 wrote:

Has she communicated any of her feelings about this with you? Is motherhood different than she expected? I've read both your posts and it seems like she's checked out from your perspective. Documenting and contacting a lawyer are just going to be the first steps. If/When she comes back your priority is going to be your child. Do not let her be alone with her at all.

Especially if she has ever said anything to the effect of "wishing you could go back to the way it used to be between you two". Even on the less horrific side she could say/do anything that could cause your child to suffer greatly.

I would recommend therapy for both of you. If your wife is a disinterested parent I'm betting your child has already picked up and internalized something from it. It could be small like not trusting women because she knows she can't rely on mom.

mira_poix wrote:

She clearly hates her child and has resentment towards you both. You got it right with the lawyer and documenting. You and your daughter are going to need therapy, this is the ultimate betrayal of trust and now you have no support. (Your daughters smile can only do so much, and with mom gone suddenly it may be harder for her to smile and that's OK).

I hate saying anything good about this, but at least she left without hurting your daughter physically. A lot of women don't feel they can abandon their kids the way men do (not all men obviously, I just mean disappear easier if they want while remaining in denial)...and k*ll them instead. And that's been on the rise.

fishfountain wrote:

Hugs and go get a big hug from your daughter top dad action throughout your comments. Proud of you. Sounds like shock and grief as your world is hurtling around. Gotta keep hydrated, eat and get some sunshine each day. Do it for and with your daughter and it'll be easier to remember to do it for yourself.

I can't tell you how long or how hard the next phase will be, but it will pass. Keep choosing yourself, keep choosing your daughter, you did nothing wrong and nothing to deserve this.

Surround yourself with your people keep showing up and the future you will look back and know you did what you needed to do. And your daughter will not remember this time but she will thank you every day for the strength you are showing in choosing her.

Hopefully, OP and his daughter are able to move forward as positively as possible.

Sources: Reddit
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