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Dad's concerns about wife barring him from holding his baby sparks discussion on postpartum anxiety

Postpartum anxiety is something a lot of mothers go through. However, not many are aware of this condition or how to deal with it.

Dad's concerns about wife barring him from holding his baby sparks discussion on postpartum anxiety
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Danik Prihodko, Reddit | u/DangerousVegetableIg

Postpartum struggles can come in a variety of unexpected and unpleasant forms. While this manifests as depression or anxiety for many who give birth, it can sometimes also seep into their relationships with their child and other loved ones. One such heartbreaking story of how postpartum anxiety affected a beautiful relationship was shared by u/DangerousVegetableIg on Reddit. The post was titled: "I (M33) will be divorcing my wife (F31) because she feels it is dangerous for me to be around our child (F-2 months)."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kristina Paukshtite
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kristina Paukshtite

The new dad begins the story by explaining that he's an inherently clumsy person. He keeps dropping things or hitting his hand on random places more times than he can remember. However, it's not like he keeps knocking on everything all day long. This is why, when his wife said during her pregnancy that she wouldn't allow him to hold their baby, he just laughed it off. He assumed that she was just joking. That said, there were times when he did take it seriously and told his wife that there was a massive difference between knocking over a TV remote and dropping a baby from one's arms. However, all his fears came true after their child's birth when he saw how much it stressed out his wife to even see him around their baby.

He wrote, "It's been a couple of months and I have not been able to hold my baby more than thrice including once when I held her at the hospital. She now sleeps in the other bedroom with the baby and doesn't even let me hold my own daughter even if I am sitting on the bed where there wouldn't even be a remote chance of her ever getting hurt even if I dropped her. She almost never leaves our daughter alone with me."

When the man offered to use a child carrier to take the baby on walks, the woman declined, saying that he'd "trip over and fall face first." When he suggested therapy, she declined that too, saying talking wouldn't fix the issues with the man's body, meaning his apparent carelessness and clumsiness. She also crossed some unsaid boundaries when she told the man that he'd be the reason their kid died if he ever held her. She added that as her father, he should prioritize the little one's safety and just comply by not holding her.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | J Carter
Representative Image Source: Pexels | J Carter

"All this has really affected me and I've become a lot more self conscious. Every time I mess up doing something, she tells me that its proof that what she's saying is right," he wrote. "I love my wife and my child more than myself, but I cannot continue this considering how I can't even hold my child, play with her, take her on walks, etc." All boundaries were crossed when one night the man snuck into the child and mother's room to simply hold the baby's hand and talk to her, which ended up waking up the mother. She woke up, caused a commotion and asked him to leave. He said, "I told her that I was not going to hold her and that I was just there to see her and hold her hand. But she didn't believe me and accused me of being ignorant and selfish."

Image Source: Reddit | u/sensitive__cow
Image Source: Reddit | u/sensitive__cow

When he asked the online community if he was at fault in this situation and for considering divorce, many urged him to give his marriage another chance. Sharing a personal story, u/AgonisingAunt said, "I used to work on inpatient mental health wards, primarily the mom and baby ward. Your wife is showing some concerning signs of postpartum anxiety. I’d give your health visitor/midwife/doctor a call and express your concerns before the anxiety manifests itself in more harmful ways. Although preventing a father from bonding and caring for his child is harmful already." u/1missmegsy agreed and said, "Kinda sounds like she has post-partum anxiety or psychosis. Can you talk to her doctor and explain what's been happening?"

Image Source: Reddit | u/recyclopath_
Image Source: Reddit | u/recyclopath_

u/PapillonWolff pacified the father and said, "Please call your wife’s doctor. This extremely controlling behavior based on faulty logic is a sign of a postpartum mental health problem. You don’t deserve this treatment, but your wife’s psychosis puts her at risk of self-harm or actions that could endanger your baby. I’m sure you’re sleep-deprived, so haven’t noticed the severity of this behavior, but your wife and child are both in danger. It is not uncommon for deaths to happen at this stage, your wife needs immediate psychiatric support."

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