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A Wife Claims She Needs To 'Give Up Being A Mom' To Focus On Her Mental Health, But Her Husband Struggles To Be Supportive

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Sad mature woman on bed with her husband in the background

A husband has admitted that he's struggling to accept his wife's decision to step back from her parental role so she can focus on getting better after struggling with her mental health.

Posting to the subreddit "r/Marriage," he claimed that his wife has been struggling mentally but can't understand why that means he needs to step up and take on all of her parental duties while she works to get better.

His wife admitted that she wants to 'give up being a mom' to focus on her mental health.

In his Reddit post, he explained that his wife recently had a mental health emergency where the police and medical professionals were called to take her to the emergency room. She was believed to have suffered a psychotic episode and despite having been stable in regards to her depression and anxiety, which she's had for years, she ended up in a depressive episode which led to the psychotic break.

At the hospital, his wife was placed on a psych hold for 72 hours and was admitted to a unit shortly afterward for an additional 48 hours. He was able to speak with her during her transfer, and while briefly out of her psychotic episode, she told him that she would need voluntary treatment.

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Wife Claims She Needs To Give Up Being A Mom To Focus On Her Mental HealthPhoto: halfpoint / Canva Pro

During the talk with his wife, she also admitted that she couldn't be a mom at this moment and needed to focus on her mental health and getting better. The couple has 4 children together, ranging in age from 4 to 16. 

"My wife stated her plan is to go to her parents’ house so 'the kids weren’t a distraction.' I didn’t say this to her when we spoke but I almost feel like she is abandoning the kids," he wrote. He acknowledged that while he's supportive of his wife getting all of the necessary treatments she needs and healing, he feels that it's unfair to their children to have their mother just gone like that.

He explained that if his wife takes time for herself, it'll ruin future plans he's made.

He insisted that not only had he planned on taking some time off from work, but that his work schedule is pretty hectic as it is, and he usually doesn't leave for work until his children are nearly out of school and doesn't return home until the early hours of the morning.

They don't have any local family members close enough to care for the children while he's at work, and his wife's family is currently helping her while she's in the hospital.

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"I am the main income for the household, so I can’t really quit either. My work hours literally only worked because she was able to be a mother," he continued. "I just don’t know what to do honestly."

He voiced his frustrations with his wife's decision to take a step back from her parental responsibilities, especially because their younger children have constantly been asking him when their mother is coming home, and he's had to tell them that she isn't for some time and that she "doesn't want to be a parent right now."

In every partnership, there are going to be moments when one person picks up the slack for the other.

He's certainly in a sticky situation, but it's only temporary. For the foreseeable future, she needs the support of her husband, especially since she didn't anticipate having a psychotic break in the first place.

On top of that, he should be trying his hardest not to place any blame on his wife, especially in front of their children. Most of them are probably too young to understand the extent of mental health issues, and he must approach the conversation with them in the right way so they don't feel hurt or angry that their mother is absent.

Wife Claims She Needs To Give Up Being A Mom To Focus On Her Mental HealthPhoto: fizkes / Canva Pro

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In the comments section, people agreed that his wife deserves this time to get herself together and seek the necessary professional help she needs, but that while she's gone, he has a duty as both a husband and father to make sure he's doing everything he can for their children and the household.

"I don’t see this as her walking away from her parental responsibilities. If she had had a stroke and was hospitalized right now, would you say that she was walking away from her parental responsibilities if she wanted to go to rehab next to work on regaining movement on her dominant side? Probably not," one Reddit user wrote.

"Mental health is medical, though. You won’t be thanking yourself if she goes back with the kids and ends up hospitalized again or hurts them or herself because of the pressure/shame on top of what she’s already going through."

   

   

Another user added, "I am sure you will find a way through this and your employer should understand. You need to be there for her and keep on interacting with her doctors. Going to her parents is only temporary if she even goes. Talk to her doctors and know all the medications she is on. See what the time frame is."

At the end of the day, this father shouldn't feel ashamed to ask for help from outsiders, whether it's from his wife's family, or even hiring professionals, like nannies and babysitters until his wife can get back on her feet.

While it's natural for him to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, this is not his wife's fault and part of the healing journey for her is knowing that he can take care of their children in her absence and can also be supportive of her decision to seek professional help so that this won't happen again.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.