Babies: 0 - 3 Months

How do you handle a frustrated husband??

I must first say, my husband is wonderful. I love him, we have a great relationship and I know he loves our son, but......

Are any of you dealing with a frustrated husband?  He seems frustrated when the baby cries.  Ummm... babies cry, what did you expect?  He says he understands he cries when he's hungry or wet, etc... but hates it when he cries for no reason.  I can hear him grumble under his breath when he's holding him while he's fussing.  I know he would never ever harm him, that's not my concern.   I just want him to realize that he's a baby and he's going to cry.  Try holding him closer or talking to him sweetly, don't roll your eyes!  There are times I come home and he is walking around with him in the baby carrier, all smiles and happy.  Then I'll come home and he'll be red in the face, rolling his eyes because he can't quiet him.

I'm sure this beginning stage is difficult for every couple, but he just seems so unhappy.  As if it's annoying to him that he can't do the hobbies he once filled his time with because he's got a crying baby.  He is an elementary school teacher, so he is TOTALLY comfortable with children and loves them dearly.  He's the guy at the kids birthday party that is hanging and playing with the kids while the adults conversate in the corner.  I just don't get why he seems so surprised by OUR child. I also feel like because of this, he's taking away from the happiness I should be getting to have for this wonderful time in our lives.  We'll never get this time back- it's our first baby!

Are any of you dealing with a similar situation? I'd love to hear about your relationship issues and if this is normal?

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Re: How do you handle a frustrated husband??

  • Honestly, it seems normal. The 1st year of a baby's life is very trying on a marriage. This is why I cringe when people have a baby to try and "save the marriage". It never works.

    A baby who continues to cry for no known reason can be very frustruating. As long as he's tried feeding him, changed the diaper, tried fresh clothes, fresh blankets, change of scenery, rocking, shushing, taking him for a walk, burping, bath, singing... there's not a whole lot else that he can do. Sometimes babies just cry.

    Have you asked him about it? He may not be annoyed with the baby (other than the high-pitched banshee shriek... no one likes that). He might be frustruated with himself because he's unable to fix the broken baby. Make sure he has a list of stuff to try. If he gets all flustered he might forget something obvious.

    We've found that music instantly calms DS. The kid loves music (not too surprising considering that H is a musician and I used to be). He calms instantly with any music, but Mumford & Sons and Bruno Mars both put him in a trance. Hey, whatever works.

  • This was my DH exactly.  I just kept reminding him that DD only has one form of communication...crying.  We should feel sorry for her that we can't figure out what is wrong (which could be anything from hungry to the lights being too bright to uncomfortable clothes.  DH has now changed his tune...and over time we have gotten better at figuring out DD.
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  • I'm going through the same thing with my husband and it's horrible so I know how you feel.  It's gotten so bad that I've convinced him to see a therapist and he made an appointment for this Friday.  I don't know if your husband is anything like mine but mine seemed to take some sort of comfort in the fact that his emotions are normal.  I found some websites and articles on men and post partum depression (they actually get it too) and sent him the links to read.  I talked to our pedi today about his problems and she said to assure him that it's totally normal and that her hubby went through the same thing.  I think my husband feels like a failure because he can't get our baby to stop crying and his anxiety and frusteration over it gets worse and worse and I'm sure that she can sense it so her crying gets louder and louder and it just becomes a vicious cycle.  Since my husband is in a bad spot right now and just can't handle the baby's crying, I have been doing EVERYTHING and I'm exhausted and have no energy left for him.  It's been rough for us!  Hang in there girl, I hear it gets better.  Just know that you and your husband are not alone.
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  • Just wanted to add that the more frustrated he becomes the more unmanageable the baby will probably be.  I'm pretty sure your LO can sense his frustration or annoyance and that just exacerbates it.
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  • image aliska:
    This was my DH exactly.  I just kept reminding him that DD only has one form of communication...crying.  We should feel sorry for her that we can't figure out what is wrong (which could be anything from hungry to the lights being too bright to uncomfortable clothes.  DH has now changed his tune...and over time we have gotten better at figuring out DD.

     Yup. This exactly.   

  • This sounds exactly like my husband!  He gets so frustrated sometimes, and I've been doing pretty much everything by myself since DS was born.  I haven't said anything about H going hunting all weekend long, go shoot in archery tournaments, or anything else he wants to do.  I think I've been pretty darn good to that guy, yet he says he is so stressed out.  Just this past weekend was the 2nd time I left H home with DS for more than 10 min, he did just fine with him.  But within the hour and a half I was gone (I nursed him right before I left), he had to give him another bottle to stop a crying fit.  I told him that worst case scenario, if he's got a clean diaper and all his other needs are met but he's still crying, just feed him and that'll stop the fit.

    Good luck with your husband, hopefully this phase passes soon!

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  • Honestly, in the beginning, we were kind of the opposite. DH was AMAZING with our son...a lot more patient than I expected, since he has sort of a short temper with other things. I would get overly emotional when our son cried and we couldn't figure out what he wanted and would often end up handing him off to DH, who would calm him down. This was all during the first week we were home, when DH was also off work. Now that DH is back to work and I am home with our son all day, I've noticed that DH gets a little more frustrated when he cries. I think it's because I am the one who is more likely to know what he wants/needs now and DH feels left out and hates that he is at work all day. But he has been really good about asking me what I think he needs rather than getting too frustrated with it.

    I think it's totally normal though.

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  • I think it is totally normal for men to not know as well as women do how to comfort a baby that's crying.  And normal to be frustrated with crying for what appears to be no reason.  When we got pregnant with this one, my DH told me he wasn't looking forward to going through the first six months again, and I think this is a big reason why.  That and the lack of sleep ;).
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  • We have to remember too that men naturally have the need to "fix" things... like when you have had a bad day at work (or something else) and just want to complain about it, he wants to know how he can fix the problem... I have had to explain numerous times, I just want you to listen! That's why it is so useful to have close female friends who gets that :)

    But if he can't "fix" the crying due to changing diaper, feeding etc. he is likely to feel helpless. My DH understands the whole crying for no reason thing, but sometimes thinks my soothing techniques are "spoiling" the baby (2 months old....) and sometimes to try to stop the crying he will look at LO and go "WAH!" ... that will help, DS is a little young to understand irony, don't you think? Be patient with him, it is a really trying time on a marriage! Try to think of the love that got you that little bundle in the first place.

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  • He is probably more frustrated because he cant calm baby and not so much at baby.
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  • My H was the exact same way for the first week or so until he started spending more time with DS. I know how frustrated I was the first few nights we brought him home and he cried, I had no clue what he wanted or needed and just wanted the crying to stop. I got used to it pretty quickly though because I started to figure out that his crying only meant that he needed something and would stop when his needs were fulfilled. DH takes the night shift with DS on the weekends so I can catch up on sleep and since we started that he is so much more calm and patient with his cries. Is he spending enough one on one time with the baby? As soon as he figures out how to comfort/fill his needs he should feel more comfortable with the crying. 
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  • does your husband have something that he really likes? (Football, video games, a certain author, whatever) Something that he can talk about endlessly? Tell him that when the baby starts to cry and he starts to get frustrated then talk about his favorite thing to do. Before he knows it he will start to clam b/c he is talking about something he loves and baby will start to calm because he is calm. My husband does this with SEC football. He tells our DD all about how LSU should rule the world and _____ doesn't have a chance that weekend b/c of _____. DH will literally talk for hours about it and DD just gets fascinated watching him talk.

    BTW: DH found this out all on his own when DD was having a screaming fit and I couldn't come home from work to calm her. He said he just held her and walked around while watching a game and narrated the game to her.

  • image lolinshag:

    does your husband have something that he really likes? (Football, video games, a certain author, whatever) Something that he can talk about endlessly? Tell him that when the baby starts to cry and he starts to get frustrated then talk about his favorite thing to do. Before he knows it he will start to clam b/c he is talking about something he loves and baby will start to calm because he is calm. My husband does this with SEC football. He tells our DD all about how LSU should rule the world and _____ doesn't have a chance that weekend b/c of _____. DH will literally talk for hours about it and DD just gets fascinated watching him talk.

    BTW: DH found this out all on his own when DD was having a screaming fit and I couldn't come home from work to calm her. He said he just held her and walked around while watching a game and narrated the game to her.

    Great tip!  I'm actually going to email this to my husband.

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