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Thread: BIG problem! DDs dad doesn't love her

  1. #1

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    Unhappy BIG problem! DDs dad doesn't love her

    So my partner doesn't love our daughter. I know that's a pretty bold statement to make, but I don't see how I could come to any other conclusion. He NEVER wants to hold her, not even for five minutes. He says that "she cries all the time" (which is a bold-faced LIE, she's actually a very happy baby), and that "She's just work with no reward or point." He whinges about her constantly, about how we don't get to spend time together because I'm always busy with her, about how she drools all the time, how she's heavy, etc. etc. I have NO IDEA what to do.



    I don't know if part of it is that he was out of state and didn't see her for a good month, or the fact that she's a girl and she wanted a boy, OR the fact that she was a surprise baby, but . . . there just doesn't seem to be any love there at all. What can I do? I am terrified for them both, she needs her Dad.

  2. #2

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    aw
    Thats awful.
    I know a lot of first time dads feel left out with feeding, scared of bathtime etc.
    DH still 'gets a headache" everytime DS cries for any period of time.
    The drooling and heavy part, I'm not sure about...
    It may take him a while to get used to the fact that his life was stopped completely and he's in a new one now, like it or not.
    Has he been to any of your CHN appts? Maybe he should go along, or could you get him to talk to someone about howw he might be feeling, if he wont talk to you?

  3. #3

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    Its unavoidable when a child comes into a family that the dynamics are going to change - you're not so much 'hot young lovers' as opposed to just 'mum and dad' and it can take a bit of getting used to and adjusting so you can be both things.

    Im sure that he does love your DD, but it's hard for men to quantify that love. It's easy for us as we are naturally more loving and nurturing people and have had 9 odd months to form a bond with our babies, but men just have to wait until baby is here to be able to fall in love with them kwim? - I bet if you asked him he would say that he does love his DD, but maybe not in love with her and that's fine - sometimes love has to be worked on and doesn't always happen instantly.

    You said that she was a surprise baby, well that may have something to do with it too. He may not have been mentally prepared to think about a baby and about how it would change things. When we found out we were pg with our first it was a huge surprise - we'd been married for only 6wks and DH had previously said that he wasn't ready for children yet when we'd discussed it. And yes, he did struggle with the changes and not having me all to himself was the biggest issue, but did he love his son? you bet he did, would die for him, but it wasn't something he could easily show because he had zero experience with babies before ours was born and just didn't know how to stop him crying or to settle him to sleep - especially when he was out working all day. He didn't have the time that I did getting to know him so in the end it just boiled down to him feeling somewhat inadequate in not knowing what to do with him really. is there something that they can do together - like the bathing, or even just sitting and playing with her - she is getting to the age now where she is starting to take more of an interest in her surroundings now, so if he sang silly songs or pulled funny faces, she would respond to that now and it would go a long way to make him feel like he is doing something with her.

    HTH.

  4. #4

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    I know that my dh kinda found that there wasn't much he felt he could do for bub? I just got so good at doing everything, and I think he kinda felt on the outer a bit.

    Things that helped were giving dh a job to do with bub and then commenting on how well he did - LOTS of encouragement and praise, and bite your tongue when he does it all wrong and different, and say 'aww she cries when I try it too, but I think she cries less for you'. Or something. Dh was just so unconfident, and I would undo it all with my impatience when I said 'here, just give him to me'.
    It will take time for him to feel comfortable with any job, and you just need to keep being positive and saying 'you're such a great dad', you're doing so well.

    Think about it - in those early days, bub wants mum, mum has boob, mum has the voice bub has heard their whole life, mum has 'the touch'. Dad just doesn't!

    I've found as bub gets older, and dh can interact with him more, things are much better, now either of us can do the job - feed, bathe, play, settle.
    Bathtime is a popular one for dads with new babies, cos it's one of the few things that mum doesn't need to be there for. Nappy changes too. Oh, Jodie has a good idea with a bottle feed of expressed milk too, if she takes a bottle. ETA: And Sherie has a good idea with playtimes.

    Also perhaps, a chat - either with you or someone else. Despite his lack of confidence, he needs to work at this.

    I don't know if confidence is the problem, but it sounds a bit like my dh was, and many new dads are like that - and I can't tell you enough how much just laying the praise and encouragement on thick and BITING my tongue helped his confidence. If you need to leave the room to keep quiet, then do so. If you stay, encourage encourage - and if you MUST give a hint, give it in a way that's not 'I know best' - try something like 'oh it took me aaaaages to figure out that I needed to hold him tighter', or whatever.

    Oh, and hugs , I remember how hard it was watching dh seemingly not care, or not be interested. It's hard. But once I figured out that much of it was a confidence thing (though some of it just does naturally get better as bub gets older and can interact more), and I knew to encourage, things got so much better.

    All the best.

  5. #5

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    My DH was much the same when DS was a baby-baby. Now he's a toddler-baby he's a LOT better. Still not perfect, it would have been hard to be worse, but he's getting there slowly. DH still won't do bathtimes and only feeds DS if he's being really fussy and he's finished eating and I haven't - and ask him. Playtime is OK sometimes, but not every day. I do have to force it a lot of the time (Take Liebling so I can make your dinner. Please take him so I can have a bath. I've been trying to put him to sleep for over an hour now, can you have a turn for ten minutes so I can rest? Would you like to read Liebing a story, we have a new That's not my... book.) but occasionally he swoops into the room and wants to play.

    If you want, check out some of the posts I started and the advice there. Even though very little of it worked for me, I just had to wait it out, there maybe something in there that will help you.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for your replies, everyone.

    I really think this is more than just normal nervousness/inexperience though. He has experience with babies, he knows how to handle them. I give her to him to hold for five minutes, when she's in a good mood, while I do whatever and he gets annoyed at me. When he holds her, she starts crying because he isn't paying her any attention at all - he tries to do other things while he holds her and gets angry when she wants his attention. I showed him how to do everything and tried to get him involved, it didn't seem to make any difference. He bathes her, but him bathing her is really just him holding her and splashing water on her occasionally. I don't know. He doesn't even want to do little things, even with me there helping. It seems hopeless.

  7. #7

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    Kodakgallery.co.ukSlideshow - photo 26, taken 7.5.7

    This was taken when I was dishing up dinner, can DH hold DS for 10s as I cooked while playing with him. I would have DS on the loo with me because DH wouldn't have him even for that. It's not hopeless, but it does take time.

  8. #8

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    I'll take a slightly different tack. Our society puts a lot of emphasis on the word "love" and it's highly emotive. We think that if someone doesn't love a baby there's something wrong with them. How could you not love a baby? There are also a lot of stories saying "oh, as soon as the baby was born my heart melted and I loved him/her immediately."

    This did not happen that way for me. I had to get to know my DD and her little personality. Don't get me wrong, I've always found her absolutely delightful and fascinating but did I love her immediately and unconditionally, then no I didn't. Thank goodness I read somewhere that this is absolutely normal or I could have felt like the worst mother in the world. And believe me, I now know that I'm a very excellent mother so I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty about not having chocolate box feelings from the word go.

    I wouldn't worry too much right now. I kind of equate it to falling in love with a partner. Sometimes it takes a while but the slow-burners are often the most long-lasting!

    But make gentle steps to encouraging him to spend more time with your daughter without accusing him of not loving her. I've posted elsewhere that I think mums often make everything seem really tricky and complicated. If you make things sound easy and/or if you make it seem like your partners can do it better than you, they'll be much more willing to help. If they come home to you saying "my God, she was hard to put to sleep today", they're not going to want to have a go themselves are they?

    Keep things light, keep things fun. Start with simple things like "oh, she never smiles at me like that" Stroke the ego and start small.

    Don't worry - it will all fall into place.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the replies. I feel like i've already tried these things and they didn't help though, and he gets upset about holding her immediately anyway. I asked my parents about this and they don't think its normal either. Sigh. I don't know what my point, but thanks for responding and i'll keep trying. It's just so hard because I am so totally heartbroken (i know what its like to be a daughter with an uninterested father) and terrified. It doesn't seem to be getting better, it seems to be getting WORSE. I thought he was just tired at first, but then he actually told me that he doesn't like having her around at all. This all started because I asked him what he thought about number two, thank goodness I'm not pregnant again.
    He doesn't show any caring whatsoever. I didn't expect him to be head-over-heals for her immediately, like fiona said, it takes time for a relationship to develop. But he doesn't even LIKE her.

  10. #10

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    oh i don't even know what to say...what do you mean he doesn't even like her? what about when he first gets home from work? i know i am 3rd place now in dp's 'hello'- ds, then dog, then me....

  11. #11

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    Well, today I was *trying* to have a conversation about his lack of contribution to, well, everything (housework, really). He said, "I hold Aurelia" and I said "Yes but your her FATHER. Besides, she isn't a chore" "Yes she is." That pretty much sums up his whole attitude. Not at any time of the day or not, not for the smallest amount of time, no matter what mood she's in, he has zero interest.

  12. #12

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    here's a :hugs: hun, you sound like you could do with one.

    I cant offer advice, but just wanted to let you know im thinking of you. Im sorry that your having to deal with all this. Hope everythings comes right and falls in to place soon.

    Your little girl is gorgeous btw

  13. #13

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    Thanks, I really do need it.

    "There's no point holding her, she doesn't do anything . . . It's like holding a pot plant."

    Oh wait, it gets better.

    "I was 19, what were you thinking?!" (Ignore the fact I DID tell him I hadn't been taking the pill and we BOTH decided to take the risk. That, and the pregnancy was UNPLANNED)

    and the ever predictable;

    "How do I even know she's mine?"

    Oh dear. I should've listened to my mother.

  14. #14

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    This sounds like a very stressful situation Baby Socks and I'm sorry you're having to deal with this right now. From what you've said, I think you need to have a proper talk with him. It sounds like he's making it pretty clear that he's very resentful about being a father and doesn't feel ready.

    At some point, he's going to need to make a decision about whether he wants to do this or not. Yes, give him space and time to adjust but he's actually got to want to give it a shot too.

    I'd be asking your parents to babysit for a night and have a proper talk about this. Try to concentrate on what you're going to do from now on rather than what's already happened. Try to do it calmly - it's hard to reach agreement if both parties are getting worked up.

    I guess you also need to figure out if you want to be with him if he doesn't want to be a father. That's your decision and yours only. But I have seen mums try to compensate for the father's lack of involvement, do everything themselves and have to spend SO much energy trying to get their partner to do the smallest thing for/with their children. I know myself that I couldn't cope with that scenario - I would rather be on my own and make my own decisions than constantly have to try to persuade a slackarse partner to lift their game. But I'm talking about when their children are toddlers - not this early.

    So it's early days BabySocks - try talking and lots of talking first. It might also be useful to go and see a counsellor together.

    I wish you and your daughter all the very best. Take it from an old fart, things normally work out for the best - not necessarily how we think they will turn out, but generally for the best.

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    Oh darl that's terrible *big hugs* maybe he should see a counsellor it sounds like he's really having trouble adjusting to dadhood

  16. #16

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    I asked him to speak to someone about it, he didn't seem too keen on the idea, or to particularly care in all honesty. I don't know what to do. If he isn't going to be a parent, then he isn't going to be my partner either. Children aren't stupid, she's going to know that he doesn't care about her as she grows up. I agree, Fiona, me and my baby would be better by ourselves than with him being slackarsed, and I think anyone in my situation would be too.

  17. #17

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    I had this problem with my XH, he woudln't even hold DD till she was over a year old.

    He would even say to her "I hate you".

    It wasn't a success story, in his case he had huge issues and he also was too young I think. She's 7 now and he shows only very faint interest, rings her once a month or often goes longer.

    19 is very young for a man to be having a baby and I guess in a way it's not hugely surprising that your DP is having issues. I don't know what to suggest, in my case there was alot of contributing factors and I ended up leaving. I'd daresay it's his age that is the biggest problem at the moment, a good lot of men are unable to just feel fatherly so young and I just hope that it improves with his age and with time.

    ((huge hugs)) I know how it feels and it is truly heartbreaking.

  18. #18

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    I can be very difficult to get blokes to go to counselling Babysocks - is there anyone else in yours or his family that can have a word to him so he's got someone a bit more impartial to get his feelings on the table with?

    I do think he needs to seriously consider whether he wants to do this or not. If he does, then you can be a bit patient and let things take their time but if he doesn't even want to give it a shot, then I think you'd be better off without him. Way too stressful to be looking after a small baby AND deal with a partner who's there in body but not in spirit.

    But you don't need to "decide" today or tomorrow. Take your time but do ask him to start thinking about what he wants to do from here because this just ain't working for you right now.

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