Dads Speak Out on Postpartum Depression, Part 6: Trying To Understand

postpartum depression menIt’s been an amazing week of input from the dads. I hope in the future we can continue to share stories from fathers so that dads seeking information and understanding can see they’re not alone.  Today, we wrap up with a few brief comments from dad Paul Malinauskas, who has been in the throes of PPD with his wife:

Trying to describe the combination of sadness and bewilderment that I feel is difficult.  I know, in my head and in my heart, that my wife is suffering for reasons beyond her control.  I know that she is frustrated beyond words that she sometimes doesn’t feel like she’s really our son’s mother, or that it’s never going to get better.  I have heard her say that she was disappointed by the whole birth experience, that it didn’t go the way she wanted.  I know all of this hurts her, and I’m so sorry because I can’t make any of it better.  But in my selfish moments (which I seem to have too often) I don’t understand why she can’t just forget the way the birth went.  Why can’t she move on?  The baby, and I, need her here, and now.

When I find myself thinking like that, the hardest thing is to put the brakes on it and remember that none of this is voluntary.  She really does love our little boy.  She is still who she always was, and I believe there is hope for tomorrow to be better than today.

Paul, thank you so much for your honesty. I’m sure that many fathers whose wives and partners are going through postpartum depression or related illnesses have similar thoughts. I know my husband did.

I hope you have all enjoyed our series!

About Katherine Stone

is the creator of this blog, and the founder and executive director of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the 15 most influential patient advocates to follow. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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  1. I enjoyed reading the posts from the dads. I am so happy you did this series & look forward to hearing from the dads again!

  2. As a new father of a beautiful almost 6 month old girl & a Warrior Wife every story hit home for me. I could relate to everything. I’m a bit of a procrastinator & a “fix it” guy who tends to be more of a listen to respond , instead of an actively listening husband. My wife has hit her breaking point & we are going to seek help. I guess I was a bit oblivious & constantly heard , ” It will get better “, for the last 4 months and was waiting to no avail. My wife puts our child’s needs first & she is an amazing mother. It’s time we get her the help that she needs so that we can take care of her too. It’s a big load off my chest to hear that I’m not alone. You’re forum has helped me to hopefully help my wife. I hope that I can share my story down the road & it might help someone else. Thanks.

    • Heather King says:

      Chris, you are a good man. Thank you. YES, your wife needs help, too. No one can keep going and going, care-taking and overcoming, around the clock, with no self-care. Especially while suffering PPD or other maternal mental health issues. You have such great insight, and I appreciate you taking the time to speak here. You are a grace in the life of your wife and child. All the best to you all…