I am desperate for help. My wife was diagnosed with PPD shortly after the birth of our 2 year old daughter. She related suicidal ideation, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness. Her OB/GYN started her on Lexapro and she went to the hospital’s PPD group for a while. About a year later, she began to direct her anger at me: I was controlling, too critical, I tried to belittle her, etc. She even went so far as to convince herself that I have obsessive-compulsive personality. We went for marriage counseling (at my suggestion) and she lost interest as soon as the counselor did not identify me as the problem. She did continue to see the counselor for a few visits alone but stopped when she said he told her she was doing well and could come back if she felt like it ( I have subsequently found that this was not what he said).
We would continue to have frequent fights which would flare out of innocent comments or questions I might ask that she would deem “insensitive.” It could be something as simple as my asking, “Hey, honey. did you feed the dogs yet?” Somehow this was twisted around into a statement on her worth as a human being.
Around Christmas (as we were preparing to move to Memphis, TN due to my job change), she experienced what she called an “epiphany”. This is a direct quote: “My epiphany is this: I have allowed myself to be subtly, insidiously put down and made to doubt the validity/reality of my feelings”. She went on to accuse me of “covert abuse”. She was refusing to move with me and saying she would keep my daughter with her in Alabama. With some emergent counseling from our marriage counselor and with my wife seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in women’s issues, her Lexapro was increased , and she was diagnosed with depression in addition to PPD. Things improved markedly and we made the move together with few hitches.
About 2 weeks ago, I began to get an uneasy feeling from her. I asked multiple times what was wrong and she became angry at my asking and insisted nothing was wrong. This past Tues, we had an argument initiated by my response to her re-decorating our family room. I said, “You’ve obviously worked very hard on this. I like most of what you’ve done but there are a couple of things I’m not crazy about.” She became angry, accused me of being insensitive, an asshole, and that comments like mine were like “knives in me.” Later that evening, it escalated. She said I was pushing her and she was “so close to moving out and getting an apartment.” She started to pack and I went to plead with her to stop this. I tried to hug her, she pushed me away and fell back into her dresser. She left without our daughter.
Two hours later, the police arrived and told me she had accused me of assault. She had no marks on her or I would have been arrested on the spot. She now has a restraining order against me and we both have attorneys. I have not spoken to her since. I cannot contact any of her family (I have a good relationship with her mother) due to the restraining order. I want to save my family. I want to help my wife. My daughter is safe. She spent 2 days with my parents who live nearby. My wife wanted to see our daughter this weekend and I complied. I have no idea where she is but her brother came to be with her. I have not done any of the things she has accused me of. I may not be perfect, but I have never intentionally tried to hurt my wife, either verbally or physically. I love her dearly. But these actions are threatening my family and my career. And since I am a man, the courts are totally in her favor. What can I do?
I found your website in desperation and saw stories from men that were eerily similar. Is there any hope that my family can be saved? What can I do to steer this away from a bogus assault charge and toward her medical issues? I am willing to undergo a full psychiatric evaluation to prove I am not unfit.
10 Months Later
So much has happened since that last email to you, none of it particularly good. We are still headed toward divorce and a bitter custody battle. My wife remains irrational with hostility and hatred aimed solely at me. My one hope is that she has finally agreed to see Dr. Ron Rosenberg, who wrote Conquering PPD. He is coming to evaluate her, if she goes through with it.
I would be honored to help in any way I can. You may use my story on the site, since it has been so helpful to me. I would also be willing to talk to anyone about my experience.