Posting in hopes of finding other people who have been here or who are here now. Placing in Personal Growth because I can't change another person so it's a challenge that I'm trying to work through on my end.
I married my husband thinking he was going to be this great family guy. He was on board with the idea of having multiple children and was the one to suggest trying for our daughter, who's now 15 months old. But since she's been here, I've had a lot of illusions of what our family life would be like shattered.
It turns out that, sure, he is a great family guy- but for his family of origin, most of whom are on another continent. That loyalty and enthusiasm has not transferred to our little family unit, which hurts to experience. (Especially around the holidays, when he's more focused on not being with them and celebrating exactly the way he grew up doing than he is on celebrating with us and creating new traditions for our new family.) He is not completely uninvolved, but aside from giving brief snuggles when he feels like it (never mind if she does), it's mostly going through the motions. By his own admission, he's not enjoying this part of his life, and now he says he doesn't want to have any more children.
Basically, this just sucks to see and live through. We've separately come to see that he got married and became a parent well before he was really ready. I'd traveled and lived internationally and was really ready to settle down and start a family; he had not done those things but still has a strong desire to, which means that he is always dissatisfied with where we are. He's 30, but a young 30, and I also think some of it is maturity. Yes, there is less spontaneity in our lives, but the daily grind of going to work and still having responsibilities at home? Adulthood. He's extremely committed as an employee, as he was as a student, but it just doesn't transfer to other areas of his life. He doesn't take initiative to maintain friendships or activities, and then is sad about not having these things- and these feelings, too, I think he incorrectly associates with having a kid. I've strongly suggested therapy, including to explore the possibility of depression, but he refuses to go. No couples therapy, either. If I try to get him to go out with our daughter he mostly sees it as a chore, and he gets bored of reading to or playing with her within five minutes, tops. And honestly- that stuff can be really tedious, but why can't he suck it up for her benefit and for the benefit of their relationship?
The helplessness and lack of initiative transfers to our relationship, of course, and makes it very difficult for me to try to improve what we have together. We have become incredibly disconnected and I can't see this ending well. I especially can't see giving up on having more children. It's his right to not want or have more, but I don't think I can accept that. I do hope and expect that fatherhood will be more attractive to him as our daughter starts talking and wanting him more, and I'm not walking away just yet, but in the meantime this has been such a huge letdown.
That's my vent. Sound familiar to anyone?