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I'm at the end of my rope. I would appreciate input from both men and women on this. If I am doing something wrong, I would like to know!

Background: My husband and I have been together for over 8 years, and married for almost 2. We are expecting a baby in 4 months.

I know that pregnancy causes emotions to run high, but this is not something new. It is just something I'm having a harder and harder time "settling" for, with a baby on the way. I have always been able to swallow it down and "put on my big girl panties" in the past, but since becoming pregnant I realize this is not an environment I want my child to grow up in.

The main issue of our marriage is that any time I am upset, show any sort of emotion, cry, etc. -- really anything other than happy -- my husband is quick to react with anger. This happens even when he is not the cause of my emotions. I'm really not sure what to do. I feel completely lost and alone. To me, a spouse is your best friend and your biggest champion. The one you can go to with anything. However, every time I approach my husband with anything that is bothering me, making me feel bad, stressing me out, or hurting my feelings, I end up walking away feeling substantially worse than I did to begin with.

The most recent situation: We will be taking Childbirth Education Classes coming up. It is 4 classes total. My husband is in a wedding and will have to miss one of the classes. I am terrified of child birth. I have no idea what to expect, and he does not either. It is important to me that we both know what is coming and I want him to be aware of how to help me through labor/delivery. I know there is nothing we can do about him missing the class, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still scare me and majorly stress me out. I came to him with this last night, looking for some sort of comfort and his reaction was anger. I almost felt like he was mad that I even brought it up since "there's nothing we can do". I have told him a million times over the years, I'm not ever looking for a solution. I'm looking for someone to give me a shoulder to lean on and someone to share the burden when something major like giving birth is worrying me.

I know he is not an emotional person, but we've been together a long time. He knows exactly what I need in these types of situations. We've discussed it probably once a month for 8 years. Every time something like this happens, he says he sees where I'm coming from and says he feels terrible and wants to be the support I need. But the next time, it is the same. I just don't know what to do. I've actually started wondering if I can handle having this baby and raising it on my own. I love him, I don't want a divorce, but I also don't want to live life feeling like I have no support system. I know I can go to girlfriends or my mom and sister with things, but I just cannot be happy knowing I am in a marriage where I can't go to my partner before anyone else.

I'm looking for other ways to handle this. So far getting upset and then trying to talk it out isn't working.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about missing the class. Childbirth education is great and useful yet the "trouble" or "fun" starts once baby's at home and ends when they get married :)
 

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Don't worry about the birth process. You'll have a great team of nurses that will walk you through everything. Those classes were worthless.

Why the large gap from dating to getting married? Did either of you settle? Sounds like my first marriage, took a long time for me to propose because I knew it wasn't right. But I didn't want to start over. It was 8 years of misery until I had enough.

Has the relationship been great, everything you dreamed of for a number of years? Frequent, great sex? Both initiating equally? Or does the relationship seem like it's on autopilot, just helping each other get through life but not being lovers? Be honest.
 

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The only useful class was the post birth nursing class, which was, ehem, in a group setting, and, ehem, hands on :).
 

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We did a class called Informed Birth and Parenting. About 10 sessions, each 2 hours long. Very good.

If your husband is not supportive, you are wise to be considering whether or not you may be better off on your own. Financially, could you do it?
 

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I know he is not an emotional person, but we've been together a long time. He knows exactly what I need in these types of situations. We've discussed it probably once a month for 8 years. Every time something like this happens, he says he sees where I'm coming from and says he feels terrible and wants to be the support I need. But the next time, it is the same. I just don't know what to do.
The crux of the problem is that he's not an emotional person. This likely means he doesn't have very much of an emotional range even within himself. Strong emotions may be foreign to him and make him feel anxious. His reacting with anger is probably an attempt to shut down the anxiety.

I don't see how this changes in a big way. Perhaps when you started dating you admired the fact that he was emotionally calm and not bothered by a lot. Maybe you saw that as a strength, but now you realize he doesn't feel emotions like you do and will have trouble relating to your emotional needs. I doubt your H will ever be the emotional support you say you need.

However, you should not make any long-term decisions at this time. I'm sure you know that pregnancy and crazy hormones go together. You should wait until at least 2 years after the baby before making drastic decisions over something like this. You may find that a calm, unemotional father is just what your child needs to grow up happy.

For now, lean on girlfriends, family, etc for emotional support. You know what your H is like. Maybe he can change, but it will only be a small amount, and it might be hard to accomplish. It's probably best not to start that fight now.
 

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My husband is similar, but way worse this far down the road in our marriage. I recently read a book called A Distant Partner and it was extremely helpful. One note in there that strikes me as familiar to your case is that unemotional men are more likely to see the woman's emotional process as they work through their emotions as a complete waste of time, and some are so uninterested in being involved in it, that they will say or do just about anything to shut it down, including telling you what you want to hear. It works in the short term, but in the long term, their coping mechanisms create huge trust issues for you, because he's saying something that he really doesn't have any intention on following through with. If you have any other questions about it, I'm happy to help. I hope you're catching this early enough that you can create new habits. It took me a long time to realize why I was so frustrated in my marriage, and now I'm way farther down the road and we are both much more fed up and resentful toward one another, so I don't know how we ever go back and heal that.
 

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I'm at the end of my rope. I would appreciate input from both men and women on this. If I am doing something wrong, I would like to know!

Background: My husband and I have been together for over 8 years, and married for almost 2. We are expecting a baby in 4 months.

I know that pregnancy causes emotions to run high, but this is not something new. It is just something I'm having a harder and harder time "settling" for, with a baby on the way. I have always been able to swallow it down and "put on my big girl panties" in the past, but since becoming pregnant I realize this is not an environment I want my child to grow up in.

The main issue of our marriage is that any time I am upset, show any sort of emotion, cry, etc. -- really anything other than happy -- my husband is quick to react with anger. This happens even when he is not the cause of my emotions. I'm really not sure what to do. I feel completely lost and alone. To me, a spouse is your best friend and your biggest champion. The one you can go to with anything. However, every time I approach my husband with anything that is bothering me, making me feel bad, stressing me out, or hurting my feelings, I end up walking away feeling substantially worse than I did to begin with.

The most recent situation: We will be taking Childbirth Education Classes coming up. It is 4 classes total. My husband is in a wedding and will have to miss one of the classes. I am terrified of child birth. I have no idea what to expect, and he does not either. It is important to me that we both know what is coming and I want him to be aware of how to help me through labor/delivery. I know there is nothing we can do about him missing the class, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still scare me and majorly stress me out. I came to him with this last night, looking for some sort of comfort and his reaction was anger. I almost felt like he was mad that I even brought it up since "there's nothing we can do". I have told him a million times over the years, I'm not ever looking for a solution. I'm looking for someone to give me a shoulder to lean on and someone to share the burden when something major like giving birth is worrying me.

I know he is not an emotional person, but we've been together a long time. He knows exactly what I need in these types of situations. We've discussed it probably once a month for 8 years. Every time something like this happens, he says he sees where I'm coming from and says he feels terrible and wants to be the support I need. But the next time, it is the same. I just don't know what to do. I've actually started wondering if I can handle having this baby and raising it on my own. I love him, I don't want a divorce, but I also don't want to live life feeling like I have no support system. I know I can go to girlfriends or my mom and sister with things, but I just cannot be happy knowing I am in a marriage where I can't go to my partner before anyone else.

I'm looking for other ways to handle this. So far getting upset and then trying to talk it out isn't working.
He sounds like my wife. She will often react in an angry way if I am upset over something.

It transpired that this is a part of her diagnosed Asperger's Syndrome.

She can't understand people's reactions and she can't read facial expressions, either.

She will often shout at me for "being angry" when I was thinking what a nice meal we had just eaten, for example.

Humour and similes are totally lost on her (she can understand neither) and looks at everything in a very literal way.

Might this be your husband's problem?
 

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Don't worry about the birth process. You'll have a great team of nurses that will walk you through everything. Those classes were worthless.

Why the large gap from dating to getting married? Did either of you settle? Sounds like my first marriage, took a long time for me to propose because I knew it wasn't right. But I didn't want to start over. It was 8 years of misery until I had enough.

Has the relationship been great, everything you dreamed of for a number of years? Frequent, great sex? Both initiating equally? Or does the relationship seem like it's on autopilot, just helping each other get through life but not being lovers? Be honest.
As a woman, these things are so frustrating to hear. Men often hear our emotions as problems to solve and they offer solutions, but in reality, when women are stressed, we just want to know that we're not alone. In that sense, the conflict that the woman has (I'm stressed, scared and feeling alone) still exists after the man offers his solution (the class is a waste of time, your nurses will help you.)

What is significantly more helpful is saying things like, "It IS scary. I get it." "I'm here for you, what can I do?" Women aren't all about tasks that you can check off a list, and I get that that can be a really difficult concept for a man to grasp when they are primarily list checkers, but that's why it's important to ask questions and truly listen to your partner instead of assuming that you get it already.
 

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He is not unemotional...he is a bottle-er. He deflects, compartmentalizes, anything, as he is conflict-avoidant. He avoids stressful situations by lashing out instinctively. Many men and [some] women are like this.

This is immature behavior. It is a combination of learned behavior and a tendency to shuck and dive to avoid unpleasantness.

OK, now what? !

If he is willing, get him to work on this mindset and behavior. As he is now....he is NOT a believer.

His Empathy Boomerang never takes flight. Does he have one?
 
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