Couple’s relationship has changed after baby’s birth

Published 8:19 am Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: Ever since about my eighth month of pregnancy until now, six months postpartum, it seems like my husband is disgusted by me. He rarely initiates intimacy, doesn’t kiss or hug me and barely touches me. I am still about 30 pounds heavier than pre-pregnancy.
When I ask him about his feelings for me, he says he loves me and I’m just being crazy, but I know I’m not. It sometimes feels like I am his babysitter and housekeeper. I know he is stressed because I stopped working, but it just seems as if he’s always angry with me, and I don’t know why. – NEW MOM IN THE EAST

DEAR NEW MOM: You have described how circumstances have changed for you since the birth of your baby. What you may not be taking into account is how reality may have changed for your husband. He may be stressed because he is now the sole wage earner and is overwhelmed by his responsibilities as a new father.
Your instinct that something is different could be chalked up to that. Communication is so important between couples that it might be in your interests to suggest the two of you facilitate it with the help of a marriage and family therapist.
DEAR ABBY: I’m having a tough time with people who video chat and play videos on their cellphones. It’s always at a volume you can hear from 30 feet away, and it happens when I’m dining at a bar or sitting in a restaurant, etc. It’s distracting, intrusive and really annoying. It’s as if this behavior is now acceptable, when it’s not – at least to me.
Any suggestions on confronting this behavior, or is it really my issue to deal with? If I could toss their phones into the ice machine at the bar, I would. – GROUCH IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR GROUCH: In a restaurant, if the sound of someone’s cellphone video is intrusive, ask the host to move you to a quieter table. If it happens in a bar, it may be because the more crowded the place it, the louder it becomes – so either move to a quieter area or find a quieter venue.
While I agree that many people spend more time on their cellphones than communicating directly with the people around them, you can’t change them and neither can I. So learn to tolerate it or, if it becomes too much for you, leave.
DEAR ABBY: My husband sneezes really loud and it’s kind of embarrassing. What should I do about this? I told him he should see a doctor because it happens a lot. – MARRIED TO A NOISEMAKER

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DEAR MARRIED: People sneeze for various reasons, not all of them allergy-related. Your husband should discuss it with his doctor because the solution could be something simple. If he’s unwilling, then earplugs might be the simplest solution – for you – if you can grab them when he starts going “Aaaaa …” before the “choo” escapes.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)