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Relationship Struggles since the birth.... - Page 2

post #21 of 32

Greetings, all. Thank you OP for starting this thread. I am so relieved to hear that I'm not the only one struggling with relationship issues, especially in the sex/intimacy department.

 

We've been together since 1993 and our relationship has never been perfect, but we have very strong devotion to each other and have seen each other through a lot (notably the death of my mother & the death of her father). Even though we had weathered a lot of storms together, starting TTC was a huge stressor on our relationship. It was just such an emotional roller coaster for me (the one trying to get pregnant) and all the money & legal issues were just very, very stressful. We started seeing a therapist about 6 months after we started TTC, and that was very helpful.

 

I finally conceived and our DD was born in October 2008. The labor and delivery was traumatic for me, and I have felt like something broke in our relationship through the long labor, the traumatic birth (via c-section), and the really hard recovery that followed. And for me, sleep deprivation made me completely crazy. I was really miserable most of the time for the first year of DD's life, and my partner retreated from me as her own protective mechanism. Therapy actually made things worse....we'd go to the sessions and all this junk would come to the surface, and our therapist was not very skilled in helping us move through it. It felt more like wallowing. At any rate, I left every session feeling like I wanted a divorce, and I eventually ended the therapy because it was harming our relationship.

 

Fast forward, now DD is over 2 years old, we've made tons of progress in the sleep department, my body has healed quite a bit, and I am no longer convinced that divorce is inevitable. My partner and I are working very hard to create time & space that is just for us as a couple. It seems impossible that we'll ever have sex again, but I keep reminding myself that we've come this far....

 

Anyway, thanks to everyone for sharing your story. This is hard stuff to talk about.

 

post #22 of 32
CI Mama, thanks for sharing your story, as well.

i agree that this thread is a good one. while my relationship is fairly strong right now, i'm having a lot of worries about the postpartum period. i have been following this thread religiously and it has already helped calm some of my fears while simultaneously keeping me well aware of what could lie ahead.

thank you all for being brave in publicly discussing this difficult topic.
post #23 of 32
You know this is an ongoing hard issue that we have had to deal with during the last 4 years. I have been the gestational parent for DS, the two M/C and the current one in progress. Between morning sickness, recooperation, and nursing our sex life has not been stellar in the least and therefore our realtionship has really suffered. I agree with the other posters that have stated that it is not really the "sex" that is important but taking time to be with each other as partners not as mommies. As you can imagine we have had some rough times over the last 4 years (not including DP's grandparents' deaths (her support system when she was growing up). We have come along way over the last 2 months which I credit the "mommy time" as the biggest change. I think that we have such a hard time getting pregnant, with such a dedication to parenting our children that we let them take over... It won't kill them to stay with a sitter for a night, watch a movie that you normally wouldn't put on, or sleep by themselves while you sneak away to have some fun. Now I just need to remember that lol.gif
post #24 of 32

I'm glad this thread is here. DW and I have been together for 4 years and DD is now 3 mo old. It's been so much harder since her birth than I anticipated. I'm not worried about the sex department (that's been better since having the baby- weird!) but it seems like we bicker more often now. She doesn't like to be told what to do (that's a huge understatement) and I want things done a certain way with DD. We can't even blame sleep deprivation since DD has been STTN for over a month now. I think some of our issues are stemming from her being the SAHM. She was so excited to quit her job but she seems like she's in a bad mood all the time now. I feel like I do more "work" than her. Yesterday I worked a half day. I took care of DD all morning, worked half a day then took care of her til bed time. And yet DW was in a grouchy mood because the half day she took care of DD, apparently DD was cranky. :( So our night sucked because of it. Not cool!

 

I also feel like she doesn't take care of DD as well as I do. That's horrible to say, but she takes care of her needs just fine, but I feel like the playing, interacting, snuggles, kisses, etc are lacking. It's REALLY hard to talk to her about it without making her feel like crap. I'm just not sure what to do. We're just at the beginning of this journey and I don't know if it just seems bad or hard and it'll work itself out? Or if we need to "do something" about it and change something. :(

 

post #25 of 32

Monarchgrrl, your DW sounds much like I did when I was the SAHM when we adopted our two children.  While I wanted to take a leave from my job and take care of the kids for that 8 month period, I wasn't prepared for how difficult that adjustment truly was.  I lost my career, my identity, and found that taking care of the kids was really, really challenging. I felt alone, not very supported and was flailing. There was never a break from being that primary caregiver, which left me exhausted much of the time.  In retrospect, I was suffering from post-adoption depression.  What I was experiencing was nothing that I had expected!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarchgrrl View Post
I also feel like she doesn't take care of DD as well as I do. That's horrible to say, but she takes care of her needs just fine, but I feel like the playing, interacting, snuggles, kisses, etc are lacking. It's REALLY hard to talk to her about it without making her feel like crap. I'm just not sure what to do. We're just at the beginning of this journey and I don't know if it just seems bad or hard and it'll work itself out? Or if we need to "do something" about it and change something. :(

 

 

This comment really resonates with me as I feel this kind of judgment from my DW when it comes to parenting styles.  I take the kids to all their appointments, deal with much of their school issues and homework, get them to their activities, chaperone play dates, make sure they have what they need, do things with them that are usually errand based, and she doesn't think that I spend quality time with them.  I take care of their needs - both physical and emotional.  She helps out or supports this stuff, but is also more likely to play with them. 

 

Our kids are teenagers, so I feel we do more talking, I don't feel the need and nor do they express it, to play all of the time.  I think kids need different things at different times and parenting will change at different ages.  I wish at times like these when she brings it up that "we don't do enough with our kids" that we'd both be better at recognizing that we're a complementary unit and bring our respective strengths and assets to our children.  Just because I don't do things like she does, doesn't make me a less good or valuable parent.  While my kids will unanimously state that she's the Mommy that plays with them, they'll also unanimously state that I'm the Mommy that's there and doesn't work all the time (note: we both work full-time).  Even though she is way more the nurturing parent, and I'm a total hard ass, they oddly equate her with having more of the "Daddy" characteristics and me with the "Mommy" characteristics (which is a whole other discussion on how our kids like to analyze gender binaries).

post #26 of 32

  I'd give it some time. 

 


Edited by osker - 1/28/11 at 4:00pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumshoegirl007 View Post

Monarchgrrl, your DW sounds much like I did when I was the SAHM when we adopted our two children.  While I wanted to take a leave from my job and take care of the kids for that 8 month period, I wasn't prepared for how difficult that adjustment truly was.  I lost my career, my identity, and found that taking care of the kids was really, really challenging. I felt alone, not very supported and was flailing. There was never a break from being that primary caregiver, which left me exhausted much of the time.  In retrospect, I was suffering from post-adoption depression.  What I was experiencing was nothing that I had expected!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarchgrrl View Post
I also feel like she doesn't take care of DD as well as I do. That's horrible to say, but she takes care of her needs just fine, but I feel like the playing, interacting, snuggles, kisses, etc are lacking. It's REALLY hard to talk to her about it without making her feel like crap. I'm just not sure what to do. We're just at the beginning of this journey and I don't know if it just seems bad or hard and it'll work itself out? Or if we need to "do something" about it and change something. :(

 

 

This comment really resonates with me as I feel this kind of judgment from my DW when it comes to parenting styles.  I take the kids to all their appointments, deal with much of their school issues and homework, get them to their activities, chaperone play dates, make sure they have what they need, do things with them that are usually errand based, and she doesn't think that I spend quality time with them.  I take care of their needs - both physical and emotional.  She helps out or supports this stuff, but is also more likely to play with them. 

 

Our kids are teenagers, so I feel we do more talking, I don't feel the need and nor do they express it, to play all of the time.  I think kids need different things at different times and parenting will change at different ages.  I wish at times like these when she brings it up that "we don't do enough with our kids" that we'd both be better at recognizing that we're a complementary unit and bring our respective strengths and assets to our children.  Just because I don't do things like she does, doesn't make me a less good or valuable parent.  While my kids will unanimously state that she's the Mommy that plays with them, they'll also unanimously state that I'm the Mommy that's there and doesn't work all the time (note: we both work full-time).  Even though she is way more the nurturing parent, and I'm a total hard ass, they oddly equate her with having more of the "Daddy" characteristics and me with the "Mommy" characteristics (which is a whole other discussion on how our kids like to analyze gender binaries).



Thank you so much for showing me the other perspective. DW wouldn't think to say it like that so it's GREAT for me to hear the other side of this. I'm sorry that what I said resonates so much with you. :( I really didn't mean to sounds judgy. I HATE that I feel this way. I think it's horrible, but I can't help it. I think the issue for us is also that since she's the SAHM that is what DD is getting almost 100% of the time. So I have this fear that she will grow up with only getting affection and play at night or on the weekends from me. Silly, I know. DW is just a much less affectionate person than I am and I don't want DD to grow up without that from her. She wants to work on it and agrees with me on that point but it doesn't seem like she's working on it...yet, I should say. I know that kids need more than play and cuddles, but DD is still an infant. If she's fussing because she's hungry, then I don't feel like she should be feeling frustration coming from DW. I dunno. I also feel like DW isn't getting out of the house and she's getting somewhat depressed. I know it's a HUGE adjustment. I'm a little resentful because I tried to prepare her and tell her how much it's not going to be roses and rainbows and how HARD it's going to be. She always just brushed me off and didn't think it was going to be hard and was just so excited to be quitting her job. I think she's in a major adjustment and shock period right now. I'm a little frustrated that she didn't listen to me about it before and try to prepare. I also really want her to join some LGBT parent groups or mommy/baby groups or take DD (a little later) to baby sign language or music classes or something. She just doesn't seem interested, but I don't want our DD cooped up all day long and not get the stimulation she needs (not talking right now, but later). *sigh* We just planned so long and I prepared so much (yes, me. Not really her!) about how I want to parent, and I feel a bit resentful that DD will only get that in the evenings and weekends. I thought she was on the same page as me. :(

 

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent here. I have a lot to get out. I can't really say all this to her.

post #28 of 32

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Edited by Monarchgrrl - 1/28/11 at 4:00pm
post #29 of 32

These stories & commentaries are giving me a lot to think about. Thanks to all for sharing.

 

I just want to say to all of you who are still in the first year of parenting, please just know that it's really, really hard at first, and it does get better. It's a big transition for both parents. Sleep deprivation, breast feeding issues, PPD, etc. can wreak havoc on a relationship. Just try to stick it out and not take anything too seriously for the first year. Ha! That is good advice that I personally could not follow! But looking back, I realize that I needed to just put my head down and plow through each day. Things got better just through the passage of time.

 

It's funny, on the surface my partner & I have a "dream" relationship. We are egalitarian in our approach to work/home to an almost literal degree. We both earn about the same amount of money, we both clock in about the same number of hands-on parenting hours, and we both contribute to housework/chores equally (though our respective tasks are sometimes different). I think our problem is that we spend so much time/energy with parenting and running a household, it can start to feel like that's all our relationship is about. On the rare occasion when we are together without DD, it's either late at night & we're exhausted, or we spend all our time talking about the state of the joint checking, and our latest strategies for getting DD to sleep. We have to deliberately remember to talk about something else, or to stop talking about DD/home, or that is literally all we will do.

 

Women are socialized to "lose" themselves in their mothering, and so there are 2 of us doing that (not intentionally, of course, but it happens) and so it's no wonder that I feel like we've kind of "disappeared" as a couple. I'm not really sure how to get "us" back.

 

post #30 of 32

I don't mean to hijack this thread with my crap, but I just wanted to report that DW and I talked a lot last night and I think things are going to be better for awhile. I told her what you all said about the huge adjustment period and how she must be shell-shocked right now. She finally admitted to me why she's been short with me lately- I spend too much time online when I'm at home. It's true. I work a lot and spend time on facebook and here when DD is sleeping, instead of spending quality time with DW. So we agreed that my iPad and email would only be in use while I'm pumping (my private time to enjoy as best as I can). I think that's a good compromise. We're going to spend time together once DD goes to sleep at night, instead of reading and playing online in the same room. I think that will help. We also made a pact to stop comparing our jobs and one-upping each other with our stresses. It doesn't matter who got more sleep, who had a harder day, etc. We are trying hard to remember we're on the same team and it's ok to vent our frustrations to each other and also share in each other's successes. I also told her that I'm worried about her becoming depressed, cooped up in the dark house all day. She promised to take a walk with DD each day. We also signed up for some LGBT parenting groups and already have plans to attend two events in the next few weeks. I think that will help a lot.

 

DW was in a better mood yesterday and today. I just reminded her to take it easy on herself. I don't expect her to cook and clean at all. Just take care of DD and keep her happy (and go outside sometimes). She puts all this pressure on herself to do too much around the house and I was feeling like DD is suffering (too harsh a word) for it. I'd rather the house be messy and DD cuddled and played with and read to and that DW is happy. That's all I care about. So anyway, thanks for the advice and for helping me see things from her perspective a bit.

 

post #31 of 32

So glad to hear it!  

post #32 of 32

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