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Someone help me sort this out - Marriage, Pregnancy, Hormones, Depression, & Trauma

Roland

MyPTSD Pro
Hey. It’s been A WHILE. Lol.

I’m married now, and pregnant (somewhere in my second trimester). I’ve been married for a little over six months and pregnant for a little over five months.

I’ve been depressed for a couple months (probably longer), but not like Major Depressive Disorder, not the extreme two weeks and it’s gone kind of thing, instead just this ongoing dull but difficult depression. I’m assuming this is from pregnancy hormones, but everyone told me I’d have energy in the second trimester.

In addition, I’ve been very clingy to my husband, I want to be cuddling basically all the time. I think I use it to mask the depression like free antidepressants lol.

But anyways, the other day, he came home from work, we ate dinner together (20 minutes) but he had somewhere else to be and was like “Dang, I wish I had more time to spend with you”. He left and came back at like 8pm, kissed me, and went upstairs to play video games for the next five hours and came to bed at 1am.

It bothered me so much. I was panic-crying for most of that time, went to bed and fell asleep. I didn’t say anything to him because I wanted to see if he would remember that I exist, or if he’d come to bed wanting sex after leaving me alone for hours.

When he came to bed, I pretended like I was asleep. He said “goodnight beautiful” and “I love you” and whatever else but I just ignored him. I had a hard time falling back asleep too.

The next day, he went to work before I was fully awake, and once I was awake I was panic-crying most of the day. Ya know, that his words don’t align with his actions, that he doesn’t want me or love me, that he just wants to use me. (Obviously all untrue things but I couldn’t calm myself down). I pretty much just stayed on the couch watching tv or sleeping all day).

We talked about it when he came home from work, and he felt bad, apologized, and said he expected me to come bother him (which I usually would do). I said I was tired of that. (I feel like I’m begging him for attention and affection and that’s really demeaning, no one should have to do that to feel loved). He and I spent the rest of the evening together.

I hated how all that went down, but I know very well that he needs direct communication, and I need to ask for what I want and need. And I could have prevented a whole day of wallowing in misery by talking to him about it sooner.

But ya know what happened two days later?

The.
Same.
Thing.

This time, it was like 8:30pm, he was playing video games, I asked if he wanted to watch a movie. He said sure. I expected him to finish up and close things down and come watch a movie not immediately but shortly. But then as time passed the same panic-crying starts up again and I’m like shit not again. I wait over an hour, and text him saying “How do you forget about me so easily 😭”. He came down promptly after seeing the text and I’m hiding under a blanket, a sobbing puddle, and he’s like “…oh”. He said he thought I was going to come back when I was ready to watch a movie. And it’s like bro??? I was ready to watch a movie WHEN I ASKED YOU. I was doing my best to ask for what I wanted and you said yes and then didn’t come?

I’m sorry this thing is really long.

But basically, I realized it’s not just pregnancy hormones and being needy from that, but it’s like a abandonment/neglect-trauma-flashback. And like f*ck that -__-

Also, my husband is adhd, he gets hyper fixated on stuff. He’s a sweetheart, and often oblivious, whenever I can, I ask for what I want/need directly because that works best communication-wise. I have a tendency to communicate more cryptically or like a puzzle.

I know I’m valid to need more attention but it’s not like I’m attention starved, we spend plenty of quality time together generally. But this whole my-world-ends-if-we-don’t really highlights that I have a constant need for reassurance, more going on than hormones when it lasts that long, and there’s a difference between just crying and flashback-panic-crying.

(For those that don’t know my background, I grew up with an abusive dad (emotional, verbal, sexual, and some physical “as punishment” and some neglect like if my mom wasn’t home). He had a lot of rage-type anger, and was mentally ill although never diagnosed, likely a narcissist and possibly some kind of mood disorder. My mom is a good person, but she didn’t give me much emotional support and actually kinda mocked me a lot for crying or saying I was being manipulative if I showed emotion. The emotion=ptsd flashbacks, anxiety attacks, etc. so that makes it really hard for me to express my emotions or ask for what I need).

After writing all this, idk what I’m even asking. I guess like I hate this shit. Need to communicate better, get my husband to understand, and try to have this not happen again.
 
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Hi Roland,

Sorry you're going through this.

I'm short on time right now (have to leave for an appointment soon) but just wanted to share this thread with you that I started about relationship issues and that you might feel helpful:


Couples can get into a dynamic of the pursuer and the pursued. Sort of like hunter and prey.

There's discrepancy of intimacy needs and the person who has the higher need "pursues" or "chases" the person with the lower intimacy needs and they feel "chased" and hence go into avoidance/ running away mood, which of course makes the other person feel an even greater need to chase/ pursue, which then makes the other person feel even more stifled and feel like they need to run/ avoid even harder....
 
forgive me if a flaunting of ignorance proves that i merely skimmed your post, roland. while making room for the tremendous cathartic value of venting, my tired old eyes turn long posts into a big ol' smudge on the monitor. i don't have much choice but to skim, but i respect that cathartic value far too much to call it a bad thing.

in addition to the hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy, i find myself wondering if you are feeling the end of honeymoon blues. by the end of the first year, most honeymooners are depressingly aware that it is far easier to marry the one you love than it is to love the one you marry. WTF happened to that sweetie who wined and dined me to the altar? surely i didn't marry that shadowy figure lost in cyberspace. . .

dunno. . . you are the one with all the inside info. steadying support while you sort that inside info.

life is a dance
you learn as you go
sometimes you lead
sometimes you follow
don't you worry 'bout what you don't know
life is a dance you learn as you go ~john michael montgomery
 
Antepartum depression/psychosis (exactly like post partum depression/psychosis but it magically ends at giving birth instead of lasting for either years or until the next pregnancy) runs in my family, so I’m zero help when people say it’s more than just hormones. Hormones for me? Meant I had to chain myself up for several hours a day during “the suicide hours” (a family phrase, but an apt one) for nearly 6mo.
 
I think it’s complicated because of the pregnancy. I was pregnant three times and I felt like my body and mind were hijacked. I was brutally sick and then my lifelong OCD and depression disappeared temporarily. I felt like a better version of myself which then deflated in postpartum.

That said, the neediness is totally understandable because you are super vulnerable and will be even more so after the baby is born. So it makes sense to me that your body-mind would start noticing behavioral interactions that used to make sense not being useful anymore. Like this…

said he expected me to come bother him (which I usually would do). I said I was tired of that. (I feel like I’m begging him for attention and affection and that’s really demeaning, no one should have to do that to feel loved).
When the baby comes your body-mind knows that you cannot be bothering anyone for help they have to be providing it and asking you what you need. And as you now realize no one (especially children) should have to beg for attention and affection (like you probably had to.).

It would be expected that his body-mind will resist you trying to change this dynamic, as it requires more work from him. This is where a counselor would probably be helpful in massaging those pointy parts.
whenever I can, I ask for what I want/need directly because that works best communication-wise. I have a tendency to communicate more cryptically or like a puzzle.

I know very well that he needs direct communication, and I need to ask for what I want and need. And I could have prevented a whole day of wallowing in misery by talking to him about it sooner
I like how your wise self recognizes that you know him well enough to know what communication style works best for him while also recognizing your own tendency to avoid what he needs. There is a lot to work with here.

Sounds like you know what you need to do (communicate better) so perhaps looking at what part’s needs (sounds like a young or pre-verbal part) isn’t getting met by *you* could be helpful in strengthening yourself to be able to communicate better with him?
 
Update:

We were driving home for an hour and I discussed it with him. I cried a lot lol. He said he feels like he won’t get enough time to himself so he kinda “hoards it”. He knows he won’t be able to game as much with the baby (I call bs, I know we’ll have similar struggles with having the baby, but at least he’s aware that he games an insane amount of time per week). But it’s also one thing at a time, cross that bridge when we get to it.

I told him I think I’m needier because I’m depressed, and hormonal, but that the overreaction is more like a flashback. That I don’t really have an issue with HIM, like I know and accept him, I know he’s spacey, easily hyperfixated, time blurs around him, and he needs direct communication. But that I would rather not have to ask every day for attention. I asked him to be more aware of time and prioritizing me more. The conversation despite being really emotional, went well, he took it well, and wants to improve it. I also said this was normal things that all couples have to figure out: together time, vs. independent time, as well as communication of needs, etc.

It’d be better if I weren’t depressed, then I wouldn’t be using cuddling and time with him to basically cope with feeling like shit. I don’t really want to do things at all or have independent time.

I’m thinking to pick up some extra work, then I won’t be sitting around at home waiting for him to come home from work and spend time with me.
 
Hi Roland,

Sorry you're going through this.

I'm short on time right now (have to leave for an appointment soon) but just wanted to share this thread with you that I started about relationship issues and that you might feel helpful:


Couples can get into a dynamic of the pursuer and the pursued. Sort of like hunter and prey.

There's discrepancy of intimacy needs and the person who has the higher need "pursues" or "chases" the person with the lower intimacy needs and they feel "chased" and hence go into avoidance/ running away mood, which of course makes the other person feel an even greater need to chase/ pursue, which then makes the other person feel even more stifled and feel like they need to run/ avoid even harder....
I definitely think this is part of it. If you read my update, he said he has this sense of “getting in time to game now that he can”. He knows if he spends time with me before gaming, he may not get to game.

But I’m kinda like **face palm** Sunday nights he games with friends online from like 9pm-1am or later. Monday and Tuesday he works from home but his job doesn’t require much of him so he games for hours in the daytime and then also in the evening. Then the rest of the evenings he games. So it’s like I really don’t think he has any shortage on time for that, nor do I think it’s unreasonable for me to want/need time with him daily.

He also says I don’t need two hours, I want more than that, but I think (not completely sure) if we spent two hours together quality time (sex doesn’t count), then we wouldn’t have this issue.

forgive me if a flaunting of ignorance proves that i merely skimmed your post, roland. while making room for the tremendous cathartic value of venting, my tired old eyes turn long posts into a big ol' smudge on the monitor. i don't have much choice but to skim, but i respect that cathartic value far too much to call it a bad thing.

in addition to the hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy, i find myself wondering if you are feeling the end of honeymoon blues. by the end of the first year, most honeymooners are depressingly aware that it is far easier to marry the one you love than it is to love the one you marry. WTF happened to that sweetie who wined and dined me to the altar? surely i didn't marry that shadowy figure lost in cyberspace. . .

dunno. . . you are the one with all the inside info. steadying support while you sort that inside info.

life is a dance
you learn as you go
sometimes you lead
sometimes you follow
don't you worry 'bout what you don't know
life is a dance you learn as you go ~john michael montgomery
I would skim through it too lol no worries

I do think this is part of it. He used to be hyperfixated on me haha and it’s games now, but I was always aware this would happen, the “newness” would wear off and he’d be slipping into his own world, I just thought I’d be able to deal with it better by having my own stuff I like to do (I’m very creative, I like to paint, make stuff, read, learn things, etc) but instead I’m pregnant and depressed so I don’t want to do any of that.

It’s a lot to deal with, being newlywed, pregnant, the normal conflicts of independent time vs. together time that all couples go through, the communication of needs and how to handle it if they don’t get met (because let’s face it, it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to always meet all your needs all the time).

Would a family counseling be an option?
I’ll consider it if it continues with a lot of friction. I wanted us to see what we can figure out on our own and see what ends up being consistent conflicts before going to counseling.

I feel the same personally, that I’ll go back to therapy once I know what to be working on again. Trauma-wise, I’m actually doing really well. Stuff that used to bother me doesn’t anymore, stuff that literally controlled me and dehabilitated me now I just blink at. When I get triggered, I recognize it and don’t blame the current situation for my reaction. I’m getting better SO FAST right now I almost feel like therapy would slow me down and I’m sure that doesn’t make sense to most people.

Antepartum depression/psychosis (exactly like post partum depression/psychosis but it magically ends at giving birth instead of lasting for either years or until the next pregnancy) runs in my family, so I’m zero help when people say it’s more than just hormones. Hormones for me? Meant I had to chain myself up for several hours a day during “the suicide hours” (a family phrase, but an apt one) for nearly 6mo.
Ikr. I was talking with my sister in law, and she was talking down about a news story where a postpartum mom had a break down and killed her children or something, and I’m like “Yeah… but if you ask for help, you lose your freedom and/or your kids. So you don’t ask for help and eventually snap…” like she doesn’t understand how that shit messes with some women so much, despite being a mom herself.

I think it’s complicated because of the pregnancy. I was pregnant three times and I felt like my body and mind were hijacked. I was brutally sick and then my lifelong OCD and depression disappeared temporarily. I felt like a better version of myself which then deflated in postpartum.

That said, the neediness is totally understandable because you are super vulnerable and will be even more so after the baby is born. So it makes sense to me that your body-mind would start noticing behavioral interactions that used to make sense not being useful anymore. Like this…


When the baby comes your body-mind knows that you cannot be bothering anyone for help they have to be providing it and asking you what you need. And as you now realize no one (especially children) should have to beg for attention and affection (like you probably had to.).

It would be expected that his body-mind will resist you trying to change this dynamic, as it requires more work from him. This is where a counselor would probably be helpful in massaging those pointy parts.



I like how your wise self recognizes that you know him well enough to know what communication style works best for him while also recognizing your own tendency to avoid what he needs. There is a lot to work with here.

Sounds like you know what you need to do (communicate better) so perhaps looking at what part’s needs (sounds like a young or pre-verbal part) isn’t getting met by *you* could be helpful in strengthening yourself to be able to communicate better with him?
Your insight on this is accurate af. In the conversation we had (see my update comment) I said it was concerning to me a little bit because when we have the baby, he can’t be gaming like that. Luckily, he’s aware of that. But I’m sure he’ll still struggle with it. But we’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

The trauma splitting that you mention here is also accurate af. Once I feel neglected/abandoned, I shut down, I can’t talk. But my “wise self” as you called it can advocate for my young selves that need to feel cared for.

Ptsd is honestly wild, how you can go from normal “oh he’ll just be a second and he’ll come watch a movie with me” to crying, hiding, trembling nonverbal child that now feels unlovable and dejected. Spicy time travel lol.
 
I just thought I’d be able to deal with it better by having my own stuff I like to do
one of the greater consistencies i've noted in life is that realities seldom match my expectations. reality always provides a counter-set of pesky details that flush my expectations right down the toilet. a motto this wandering dreamer lives by is, "let the dream motivate. let reality dictate.
It’s a lot to deal with, being newlywed, pregnant, the normal conflicts of independent time vs. together time
amen, i say unto thee, amen. 43 years after my end of honeymoon phase and more than a decade after menopause halted the hormonal factor, i still feel like the juggling act is as challenging as ever. hubs and i think we might need another 43 years to get it right. practice, practice, practice. . .

"good loving takes time to learn." ~pete seeger
 
one of the greater consistencies i've noted in life is that realities seldom match my expectations. reality always provides a counter-set of pesky details that flush my expectations right down the toilet. a motto this wandering dreamer lives by is, "let the dream motivate. let reality dictate.

amen, i say unto thee, amen. 43 years after my end of honeymoon phase and more than a decade after menopause halted the hormonal factor, i still feel like the juggling act is as challenging as ever. hubs and i think we might need another 43 years to get it right. practice, practice, practice. . .

"good loving takes time to learn." ~pete seeger
That’s true enough haha, I guess I was overly optimistic.

Yeah, I see marriage as a journey and as long as you keep working at it and your partner does too it’ll be successful. (Saving bad marriages with dv or the like). This kind of stuff is just stuff you work through, improve what you can and accept what you can’t.
 
Communicate,let him know how things Trigger you in a gentle manner.this is the same thing that happened in my last relationship which ended on New Years Day this year.20 years of struggling and I do not blame anybody for the breakup not even my non existing mom and dad that did not provide the proper parenting.i also went through sexual abuse and let me tell you that it is extremely difficult.in the one hand I have needs and in the other I have triggers so in general it has been Hell to be in a Relationship so I am going to be Alone for awhile.Thankfully I developed a relationship with Me.I worked hard to Forgive but the scars no one can take away and that is where it Sucks.they continually Haunt me so it is a very difficult task in my life.So sorry you feel this way.i go through this all the time.i got better at triggers yet I just never know when they pop up again.alot of hard work for sure.be nice to yourself.breathe deep and talk to your partner,don't let this end your relationship cause it has the potential to do so.Thank you for being so honest.Take care
 
Communicate,let him know how things Trigger you in a gentle manner.this is the same thing that happened in my last relationship which ended on New Years Day this year.20 years of struggling and I do not blame anybody for the breakup not even my non existing mom and dad that did not provide the proper parenting.i also went through sexual abuse and let me tell you that it is extremely difficult.in the one hand I have needs and in the other I have triggers so in general it has been Hell to be in a Relationship so I am going to be Alone for awhile.Thankfully I developed a relationship with Me.I worked hard to Forgive but the scars no one can take away and that is where it Sucks.they continually Haunt me so it is a very difficult task in my life.So sorry you feel this way.i go through this all the time.i got better at triggers yet I just never know when they pop up again.alot of hard work for sure.be nice to yourself.breathe deep and talk to your partner,don't let this end your relationship cause it has the potential to do so.Thank you for being so honest.Take care
I’m sorry to hear your relationship was ruined over it.

You’re so right how that shit haunts you… like you can’t really escape it.

We work through a lot of stuff. He’s always really kind and supportive, and he listens when I bring things up or say I’m being triggered. This won’t end us, but I can’t say it’s not a struggle at times.

We talked about it last night, I wrote an update comment here in this thread, we’re going to try to change things to prevent it from happening continuously.
 
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