The pressure of this can feel enormous. Men can feel that they shouldn't talk about their feelings because their partners/wives need them to be supportive. Juggling work demands, and being needed at home can be a source of stress, and can lead to feelings of inadequacy in both domains.
Ideal communication within a couple involves each spouse being able to express their feelings in a way that does not involve defensive or competitive responses. That each person in the couple is empathic and supportive of the other. This comes from validating the other person's experience (by really trying to understand it), without jumping to a 'fix-it' solution, without dismissing the person's feelings, and without interrupting with one's own agenda. Often, just having a space to be heard can help each person move through their feelings, and can strengthen the support and care of one another.
If you are concerned that your partner/husband is struggling with stress, anxiety or depression, help is available, and is NOT a sign of weakness. This link (from the Raising Children Network) outlines the symptoms of postnatal depression (and anxiety) in men. There is also an excellent video about the experience of new parenting among dads. A great watch for all new dads! More information is available for dads at Beyond Blue.
Posted by Dr Renée Miller