Hello!

17 Answers

I just try to do the best I can to be both father and mother but it makes me a bit sad at times he rarely engages him in conversation. He is slightly better with our daughter. His father was the same. Whenever I bring it up he refuses to talk about it, it is always on my mind, chewing me up inside. He also suffers from depression. Thank you for listening.

Any kind words of advice or support for this Mum?


Posted anonymously, 5th November 2014


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  • My partner was the same with our son and daughter. I tried talking to him about it, he ignored it. I even told him the kids wouldn’t wanna know him when they were older. Well, they are older and they still want to know him, but they definitely don’t have a close relationship with him


  • You did not say how old your children are? As that makes a difference in how you try to get your husband to show more interest in both of your children. Did he want to have children?. It is a sad time for you all I feel? Depression is not a happy place to be, and also for you to have to live with it too. Does he go for councelling? to deal with it. You are trying to be mum and dad to your kids and that is not easy for you. My advce is when you are together you tell your husband how much you love him and how sad it makes you feel that he does not seem to like! having children. Sorry that I am focusing on your husband but if you can get him talking about how he feels? I feel you have to try and get him to talk to you without judgement. Yuu also say his Dad was like that with him and it must have hurt him so he seems to follows that pattern. you both need to talk as a team, I really do feel for you and your family. Hope all goes well with you, be kind to yourself you really sound a good Mum. As a grandmother can see that I could have been less critical and more loving as you are.


  • Generally fathers in our culture only talk to tell kids what to do . Encourage him to talk to a professional as he maybe feeling inadequate and depressed .Hope he does as it does make it hard for the family .


  • If your husband does suffer from depression, it’s important that he seeks some help – Beyond Blue is a wonderful organisation. If it’s more of a personality trait, then apart from maybe some small changes on his part, I doubt he will change. You’re in a tough situation, but it’s important that you look after yourself for your children’s sake.


  • it is a difficult situation to approach but I think you need to address your husband’s condition prior to trying to get him to engage more with your children. I would suggest talking to your husband and seeing a GP for treatment options if this is not already done and maybe seeking professional help from a psychologist to help your husband and children engage.


  • I think you shouldnt push your kids on him, it could make this worse. As being someone who has suffered from depression, he needs someone too, other than you, depression is a very hard thing to go through. Maybe after sorting out his problem, he may want to spend more time with your kids


  • I think that maybe he hasn’t bonded with your son and needs some one on one quality time with him. also how old is your son? If your daughter is older it may just be that he doesn’t know how to talk to a young child really, and if he is deppressed as you say he probably doesn’t want to talk nonsense as most young children do. He should see the doctor about his depression if he hasn’t already and also some quality time together, I’m sure you can organise something.


  • Maybe you can try organizing some family events like picnic etc where other families are also there. Sometimes behavior improve a bit when you see hoe others do that.


  • Maybe he needs to see some one and if he doesn’t want to maybe you should go as a joint person together to work out the issues and hopefully resolve them so its stops the eating up inside thoughts.


  • You can’t fix the situation, but you can make sure that both of your children know how much that they are loved by you.

    Depression could be the cause of this, however your reference to the same relationship with his father does infer that your husband would need to learn how to do as he has no positive experiences.

    Perhaps you could try framing the conversation around how his actions make you feel or how they make your son feel. But don’t expect him to change. If he doesn’t see a problem, or the nature of your marriage is that he does not accommodate your feelings, then you have to try to recognise the limitation.

    Do you have a brother or father who could support your son in his place and take him places? That way he would still get a male role model and have someone who could participate in things with him.


  • So sad to hear this – it must be hard for you. Maybe instead of raising it in a critical way, try to find/create situations for positive interactions that might start to shift things. I also hope your husband gets some help for his depression, which would probably make a big difference in how he treats your son. All the best.


  • I hope that he is getting professional help for his depression. Only if you have suffered from it can you learn to deal with it I know personally. Think it is harder for Man to talk about feelings so please encourage him to seek help. Just talking to someone (not involved) is a form of release in itself. If he cannot afford it some place do it for free but you cannot do it for him. I feel for you personally but what ever he learned from his father has to be resolved for the sake of you and your children. I am speaking from personal experience and have worked also in Counselling area with success. He is the only one who can make the change but help not criticism are the way through. It cannot be done by you as you are involved and he may not want you to know how bad he feels.You are doing best you can but external help is the key. If he will read this, he does not know me but he is unhappy and it is OK to get help before it gets worse. my best wishes are with you and your family


  • Maybe he is just bringing up his son the way he was brought up. It sounds like he may need a lot of help to change this thought pattern.


  • It may be that your husband doesn’t dislike your son at all, just that through past experiences with your father maybe leaving the boys to do their own thing and to “toughen them up”, while he is better with your daughter because he may have the view girls need attention whilst boys don’t. He should definitely talk to someone, but men are hard to talk to sometimes, the more you push the more he moves away. Maybe instead of trying to force it play into the old school ways if that is the cause. Comment on how you wish you could take him fishing but don’t really like it because it’s so macho and say maybe he could, something like that. I hope your husband can overcome whatever it is that is preventing him from engaging with his son and have a fulfilling relationship with his little boy.


  • Men still seem to have a lot of trouble showing emotions especially to other men/boys. Maybe he is a little jealous, he is no longer the only man of the house, he may also be scared of not being a good enough male role model, you know the tough macho type. Maybe plan some time for just the boys, and give dad a little praise, maybe that will help bring him out of himself. Good luck sweety


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