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My husband and I just had a terrible fight and I need to talk about it all somewhere, but don't have anyone around to talk to. I hope anyone here can lend some support or ration.

Almost eight months ago my husband of one year and I found out we were expecting our first child in Dec. We were both graduate doctoral students and I had, on a whim, applied for a few unlikely jobs to test out the "job market" waters. Against all odds, I was offered an incredible, well-paying position near my family on the east coast. I applied for a position near his family in the midwest, but I didn't get it and, oddly, it was also not as good of a position. We discussed our options together and there were two: one, stay at grad school working on our dissertations while our funding ran out or two, take the amazing job near my family. We jointly decided it'd be best for our family to take the job. His mother immediately hated me more than she already did (she and my mother both have jealousy and insecurity issues and as a result, he and my mom don't get along and me and his mom don't get along but it manifests in different ways. My mom and he don't speak; his mom and I speak but she interferes and manipulates him at every turn as much as possible into staying "loyal" to her and not me), though he says he explained to her that this was a joint decision.

We move and he chooses, and with my full support, to get a part-time weekend job at an airline rather than one in our field because he still needs to study and pass his final exams. The job he has is located an hour away from us in the town where my parents live. To make it easier for him and more cost efficient, we stay with them on the weekends. Slowly, he begins to resent my mom more and even begins to associate his feelings toward her with my entire family when they come around, although he himself recognizes the irrationality and unfairness of that. As a result, I have had numerous fights with my mother about my husband--constant excuse-making and defending on my part for things that are, honestly, petty and silly that she complains about. Truth be told, they could just talk it out if she were rational, but she has a whole bag of her own issues. Needless to say, being separated from our old life and friends and his family has depressed my husband. He passed his exams the first week of Dec. and our baby was born the very last week.

His mother came when baby was born and spent three God-awful weeks with us--undermining what I'd say, allowing me to wait on her hand and foot immediately after coming home from the hospital from delivering our child...etc. I complained as little as possible because I knew he was happy she was around since he was so homesick. It was clear to me DH was becoming depressed, but it was bothering me tremendously that he wasn't sticking up for me to his mother. Half the time the three of us (four if you include our baby) were in a room together, he and his mother jabbered on like I wasn't even there. I was completely left out of conversations. They'd run errands for hours and leave me home alone with our daughter. They'd be so consumed with each other that no one would even think to say..."Hey, give me the baby so you can at least take a shower or eat something rather than taking care of her and cooking, cleaning...etc. all day." DH helped out a lot, but his mom def. didn't. Whenever she'd try to help, she'd literally break something (picture frames, our Wii...etc.) so we finally just had her not help.

When she left, we went to spend two weeks with my mother. We're entering the last few days now and DH's mom has gotten in touch to request photos of DH and our daughter and him with our daughter and her with our daughter, her other son with our daughter...etc. essentially acting as though I was a surrogate or like our daughter sprung from the foam of the sea. My DH, again, continues to allow it.

So tonight, while my mom was out, I asked him about it and wanted to discuss why. That turned into a fight that ended in him telling me his mother is better than me...is smarter and more talented than me, that I didn't deserve the job I have because I don't have as much experience or talent as he does...it was a fluke I got it at all, that I haven't done anything with my degree (in writing) nor have I published anything, although even his mother has...etc. and it went on in the same cruel way. Needless to say, I was shocked. I said some mean things in return, but not nearly on that level. I work eight or more hours a day at my job so I can support my husband and daughter while he has picked up an adjunct class that he teaches twice a week at a local college, but gets to stay home with our daughter and write all day long every other day. Nothing makes him happy. He's a good father. He loves our daughter and he's typically a great husband, but he's so unhappy all the time and so negative. His mom doesn't help matters (she puts down his job as an adjunct and he agrees with her...for example) and essentially encourages his depression by doing so. He doesn't have a job he'd like in mind, nor has he really looked. I haven't criticized at all. We're not financially dependent on him working since my job supports us and gives us benefits, but I'd do anything to stay home with my daughter and have time to write creatively. As it is, I sacrificed my dreams of staying home and writing my own work for this job and supporting my family. I have no regrets and am sure one day I will have time to write again, but I did it for him and our family. He has a nice life because of my job...the job he doesn't think I deserve and can't even believe I got.

I knew, in retrospect, that it had all been pent up. I realized lots of it is coming from frustration in his career, homesickness, missing his friends, tension with my mother...etc. I know he's depressed, but I couldn't believe the things that came out of his mouth. I couldn't believe how negative and mean and hurtful they all were. I feel bad for him and want to help him. I told him I'd look for a counselor or therapist and he agreed. I tried to tell him how what he said hurt me, and asked if he really believed those things and he said "We can talk about it in therapy" before walking out the door and going to work. Before that, he sat in the closet and cried...for feeling like no one listens to him and missing his friends and family...etc. I know he's depressed and that's where it's all coming from, but I feel like I've been beaten up and just have to take it because he has this excuse that he's depressed. Like I have to keep on trekking through and ignore the things he said until we start seeing a therapist.

I'm sad. My feelings are hurt and I feel really used. I feel like he's ungrateful and selfish and, lately, I worry he's going to ignore our daughter or just try to get her to sleep all day long when I go back to work (on maternity leave) instead of taking care of her like I expected he would because he's so wrapped up in himself. He's been retreating into his writing and himself so much more lately that it makes me worry he'll only feed, change her and then put her back to sleep so he's not distracted while I'm at work all day.

How am I supposed to move past the things he said until we start finding an effective way to make things better more permanently? How can I ensure that my daughter won't be ignored when I go back to work? I'll be home at lunch every day for an hour or so...and I only work two miles from home, but I can't be there all day long and I'm afraid she's not going to get the nurturing she deserves. What should I do?
 

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From experience: Seems like the old tug-of-war. Close proximity with parents and in-laws causes all sorts of problems. You cannot grow as a family when you are involving yourselves so much in the lives of each of your "original" families. I think the root cause of all this may very well be just that! Parents never stop viewing their offspring as "children" no matter how old they are and it is easy for us to forget we are adults and slip back into that role. Trying to please TWO sets of parents all the time is unrealistic. No one will ever do things exactly the way their parents did it and you will most certainly hear about it. You need to set up some space for just your family and set boundaries with BOTH sets of parents.
 

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I have a few suggestions and I hope I don't oversimplify your situation.>
If nothing else, get away and stay away from your families ~ they're both acidic to your relationship. Let things cool for a couple of years.
Communicate with your H. Sit him down someplace outside of the usual home trappings (someplace neutral) and tell him what you expect and want from him. Then end it on a positive note by telling him what you love about him.
Also, your H is jealous of your job. He needs to acknowledge this and deal with it.

I was relocated 1/2 way across the country along with 30 coworkers. It was a lesson in human nature to say the least. Marriages suffered, kids acted out and one person committed suicide. And this was in a situation where lots of money was thrown around by my company.
A big move is extremely hard on everyone involved.

Best of luck to you.
 
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