Husband pushing me away

Hi- long one sorry
My husband’s father passed away end of August 23, 4 years after cancer diagnosis.
We have been together since 2012 (age 16/17), got engaged Jan 22, pregnant June 22 and married sept 22- so a lot of change all at once I know.
We were so happy and then after the honeymoon we had the news that my FIL’s cancer was at the point where no more treatment would really help and 6 months was likely timeframe with hope to get to March to meet baby once born. From that convo (I feel- he doesn’t attribute it directly to this) something changed and he started pulling away just not being as excited as before/expected and less supportive for me. Worse again once baby born and now like a stranger since FIL passed.
I knew something was different and raised this multiple times whilst being incredibly anxious in pregnancy and postpartum but always said he was fine other than the obvious- I knew there was an issue with us long before he realised it himself. I needed the support postpartum and just felt abandoned in my hardest time but difficult to blame and be angry knowing he’s struggling too and not intentional.
We had almost 6 months with FIL and baby able to make some memories but ultimately just watching him get worse and not being able to enjoy it fully- everything was/is so bittersweet.
I can’t even think how my husband must be feeling with the complexity of becoming a dad and losing his is such quick succession and knowing how much I’m grieving for my FIL (and the relationship with my baby they both would have loved) pales in comparison to what he’s feeling.
Husband is throwing himself into work which I completely understand and says needs space which again I understand but this was and is not possible with a baby and living together. I’m trying my best to be as patient and understanding as poss but feel this isn’t reciprocated (mainly in the first 6 months postpartum before FIL passed).
He’s eventually come to the realisation he doesn’t want to be together- he says he wishes he ‘could pause us for now’ and feels so much pressure. His mind is all over the place- common sense lacking and memory really bad right now. I get that he probably just doesn’t have the emotional/mental capacity for anything more than work and our child right now but the way he’s speaking is so permanent. I believe it’s temporary and he can work on things eventually and be a family as we always wanted.
I just feel I can’t give him the space he needs (baby) and if I try to try it’ll push him further away.
He barely talks to me, no affection which was defo his love language before. He doesn’t seem to find joy in most of what he did before and isn’t as present a father as expected (his own expectation too and feeling disappointed in himself). I keep saying if you’ve only got 40% and you’re giving it all you’re giving 100% and you cant do more than that.
He’s been doing counselling (had a 3 month break after FIL passed) and we’re going to go together too.
Just stuck on what to do- I want to help/support but clear he doesn’t want that right now. Struggling to understand and don’t know if feeling this kind of resentment towards him is fair or not. (Lack of better words) is grief a good enough excuse to treat me this way?
Not that anytime is good but just unfortunate that we were/are both going through our most difficult times at the same time needing opposite things to cope with it.


Hi @cl23
Welcome to this forum. Ok, firstly, you don’t need to apologise for writing a long message, we’ve all felt the need to unload at sometime or other, & it’s good that you’re talking about it.
Secondly, I understand your concern, both for your husband, & feeling the need for support as a parent. You are entitled to your feelings, & it’s understandable that, with your baby, this should of been a time of joy, but at the same time, looking after baby is a lot of work, which under normal circumstances both parents would share, I get that your husband is grieving, & it sounds like he needs time to get his head around the changes of both loosing his dad, & becoming one himself, but I can also hear that this puts more pressure on you. There’s no way to get people to open up before they’re ready, & sadly grief takes its time, & no-one can be sure what another person is thinking. Maybe he is struggling with the memories that his dad now won’t be a part of, maybe it’s that his dad isn’t there to give advice or support in how to be a dad, maybe all this change scares him, who knows, 6 months is quite early in his grief journey, but maybe part of how your feeling comes from wanting some acknowledgement of how your feeling, both in how much pressure you feel under, & if you knew your FIL well your grieving too. I think there’s a fine line between compassionately giving him space to grieve, & the way he’s treating you, in some ways it’s good that he works, keeping busy has it’s place, but I feel it’s important to understand the limit, you work to live, not live to work. It sounds like in his current state he’s not in the right state of mind to support you in the way you need, do you have other friends or family that can help you? Sending hugs of support.

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He’s moved out since this post and thinks he definitely doesn’t want to be with me rather than just a pause and can’t right now. But he has also said he finds me attractive, funny clever, likes me as a person. He will not even touch our cat who he once doted on- won’t talk or spend time with his mum, doesn’t watch f1/other programmes he used to like. He has realised he’s depressed too after a year of me knowing this and raising my concern to him. He was looking if life insurance policies would pay out even. I have said for months that it felt like things were starting to change/him pull away from me when his dad told us no more treatment could be done which he denied was the case. In the last week, he has told me that he started to feel differently about us in that very month….but it’s got nothing to do with that- completely unrelated apparently despite being blissfully happy and wanting to spend his life with me and our impeding child not 2 months earlier.
I’m in a limbo. I married him and made that commitment to stand by him through everything. This meant something to me but doesn’t seem to have mean much to him to throw our life away. I’m losing hope. He won’t entertain the idea that the grief/depression might be clouding his feelings and judgement. How can I move on when this question mark is always going to linger- do I give it more time and take the pressure off just waiting and hoping secretly or just move on with my life