Marriage troubles after baby is born - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 03-14-2012, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Research shows that most families experience a drop in marital satisfaction when first baby is born.  For moms, this drop happens immediately after the birth, and for dads/partners the drop happens after about 3 months.  This drop in marital satisfaction is often times due to sleepless nights, lack of adult conversation and communication, money issues, expectations for sex and social lives, divvying up all the extra chores and work situations.  

 

I can attest to this drop in marital satisfaction when my son was born.  It was a rough road for a while.  Adjusting the the changes of parenthood were overwhelming and really took a toll on my marriage.  Sometimes it felt to me that while my life had completely changed, once my husband when back to work, his life was the same as it was before!  

 

Anyone have any insight or experience to share?!?!  I think this is an important topic that should be talked about more.

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#2 of 14 Old 03-14-2012, 11:35 AM
 
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Having a baby, moving, changng jobs, and many other things are stressors that will affect a marriage and everyone in the family.

With my first, she had colic and the lack of sleep was the hardest thing. It wasn't as difficult with the younger one.

I think the biggest mistake we made with the first was to go into the whole parenting thing with unrealistic expectations. All I knew about babies was what I'd seen in TV, like in diaper commercials where they put a baby in a crib and the baby falls asleep peacefully, and then the next morning they go into the baby's room and the baby is standing in the crib, smiling and happy, peacefully waiting for a parent. That's not reality. I think preparing parents for what parenting really looks like so they aren't blindsided by a baby's needs would help.
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#3 of 14 Old 03-14-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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I'm in this place right now, so my only real insight is: it kind of sucks.  My partner and I pretty much argue every day.  We have an almost 10 month old.  The work is never ending and I feel under appreciated as I stay at home with our son, yet when DH comes home from work he doesn't really want to help out, feeling that he is "off" work.  It is really, really tough.  We are young, and lots of times I feel like it would be easier if we were older, or if we were older he would want to help out more.  I think it is tough no matter the age though.  THere is just such limited "free time" left at the end of the day, and the little bit that there is we end up spending apart to work on personal things.  Phew.  I wish, hope and pray it gets easier.

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#4 of 14 Old 03-15-2012, 06:07 AM
 
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Yep, we're at the 5 1/2 months mark and I can see that the blissful honeymoon period of "Oh, there's my wife and our daughter isn't that a wonderful landscape!" has worn off for my husband.  Me, I'm at the point where I look at him and think to myself "Nope, you're not getting checked off my to-do list today.  Hope you're in a good mood about it!".  We do try to keep up with each other, but right now I think we're trusting that our marriage will make it through this time period, and we'll do any needed repair work when we come out the other side.  I try not to think about how long it will be before that "other side" arrives.

What has helped, I think, is focusing on our new and developing roles.  I remind myself to look at him and see a competent provider and adoring father.  He tells me he is amazed by my natural inclination to mother our little girl.  If I'm not the slightly-too-free-and-easy wife that used to thump around the house in loud, high shoes, and he's not the amusingly serious but enabling-of-tomfoolery husband of previous years, that's OK right now.  Those people escaped to some exotic locale before the she-tyrant landed.  Good for them.

 


lovestory.gif   And on 09/23/2011, we were three;  husband, daughter, and me!

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#5 of 14 Old 03-15-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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My LO is almost 3 months and I feel like me and my DH are just too exhausted to be like we were pre-baby. He's been back to work since 3 days after LO's birth. I think each of us feels a little jealous of the other's role. He walks around exhausted and grumpy, even though I'm the one getting up every night with LO, since he's working and I'm not. I long for more than 2 hours of sleep at once, and a break from having to carry LO around all the time. It's hard. We both feel like we're doing all of the work, and for the first time I've wondered if I made the right choice in choosing him. But we try. And when it comes down to it, there's no one else I'd rather try with. I have to remind myself of that often...

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#6 of 14 Old 03-15-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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I think this is a definite issue that isn't raised enough, one that will usually work itself out over time if allowed to, but on a daily basis is hard to see past.  

We've been finding that with a 2nd LO, it's especially true.  With our first DD, I was working part time from home, and Hubs was in a job he hated, so when he came home from work he frequently let off his steam with me, who was just longing for some adult conversation.  He left the job that he hated and calmed down enough to enjoy our time together.  But with our newest DD, I'm now working full time, with 6mo DD, while Hubs is playing chauffeur/caretaker for 4yo DD and trying to build a business that we're hoping will support us entirely soon.  We both feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I can't ask him to help with baby DD during the day or his business will never be successful enough for me to quit.  He can't ask me to work less and do more house stuff, because at this point I'm the only income and already doing it with a baby.  6mo DD won't let me put her down at night and leave, so I end up going to bed with her at 8pm, so Hubs and I have literally *no* time together at all.  Not intimately, and not even just socially.  I feel like we're two adults who happen to have kids together and just cross paths every now and then, which usually ends up in us bickering about something stupid and trivial.  We're both stressed from work and childcare, and each feel like we're "doing it all."  I have wondered more than once recently, if we would make it through this babyhood.  I know it gets easier, and we keep telling each other that, but on a daily basis it is really hard.

The only thing I can say as insight to get past it, is to communicate.  Tell your partner what is bothering you and how you think it could be fixed, but hear them out too, and listen to their problems.  It will get easier as the baby grows more independent, and you'll quickly forget how hard this time was.

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#7 of 14 Old 03-16-2012, 03:50 PM
 
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I had NO idea that our marriage would change so much after having a baby. We had such a great relationship before and never fought or had any major problems, so it was so devastating to me when our son was born and our relationship changed so much. I was (still am) so sleep-deprived and resentful of my husband. He can just sleep as much as he wants, all night, and go out and do the things he wants like play hockey and see his friends and I never get to sleep and I am always stuck at home, so I became insanely resentful and angry towards him. Also, my life changed so much and my priorities shifted so much towards my son that I felt like we were completely different people than when we got married. Our son is a year now and things are finally starting to get better. I have less resentment towards him, but I still really wish he would help out more and prioritize our family more.


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#8 of 14 Old 03-17-2012, 05:51 PM
 
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We just had baby #5...it's been over 5 years since our last baby was born. What a difference it has made in our marriage! We are definitely not getting along. Things are tense. I'm jealous that my DH's life went on as usual after day 6. I'm jealous that he gets to exercise, pee alone, play hockey, go to hockey games at night, go to the movies alone at night, eat alone, go on errands without a screaming baby in the back seat and so on. In many ways, he's very selfish..not anymore than normal but I notice it a lot more. For instance, he'll take the baby and sling him to sleep and then go take a nap with him for 2+ hours. I'm stuck taking care of the other kids and organizing the house. He wakes up, hands me the baby and then goes online or reads the paper and eats alone. hammer.gif

In many ways, he's awesome but I tend to notice the selfishness right now because I have to be SO selfLESS! I expressed my concerns that we no longer kiss or touch each other, we haven't had sex in 10 weeks and that I don't really feel attracted to him emotionally and he reassured me and said "Don't worry, it will get better. We'll feel all those things for each other once we have more time to ourselves. He won't be this little forever". heartbeat.gif Very sweet but around 2 o'clock today, I swear I could have divorced him I was so mad! He got mad that DS's cloth diapers were smelly (even though I just washed them) and he was frustrated that I interrupted his plans so he could put DS back to sleep! 


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#9 of 14 Old 03-17-2012, 05:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyName View Post

I have less resentment towards him, but I still really wish he would help out more and prioritize our family more.



Yes, that's it! DH doesn't put his family first...he generally puts himself first. I never realized he was living like this because I just did what I did every day as a mother and housewife---ie EVERYTHING for our family! Now that I can't even fulfill those roles the way I was doing before DS (10w) was born, I'm very resentful that DH hasn't taken over where I left off until I'm back on my feet again (which could be awhile with a high needs baby!)


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#10 of 14 Old 03-17-2012, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lismcc View Post

I'm in this place right now, so my only real insight is: it kind of sucks.  My partner and I pretty much argue every day.  We have an almost 10 month old.  The work is never ending and I feel under appreciated as I stay at home with our son, yet when DH comes home from work he doesn't really want to help out, feeling that he is "off" work.  It is really, really tough.  We are young, and lots of times I feel like it would be easier if we were older, or if we were older he would want to help out more.  I think it is tough no matter the age though.  THere is just such limited "free time" left at the end of the day, and the little bit that there is we end up spending apart to work on personal things.  Phew.  I wish, hope and pray it gets easier.



Nope, age has nothing to do with it! You're not alone...we're in our early 30s! 


Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#11 of 14 Old 03-17-2012, 10:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindermama View Post

We just had baby #5...it's been over 5 years since our last baby was born. What a difference it has made in our marriage! We are definitely not getting along. Things are tense. I'm jealous that my DH's life went on as usual after day 6. I'm jealous that he gets to exercise, pee alone, play hockey, go to hockey games at night, go to the movies alone at night, eat alone, go on errands without a screaming baby in the back seat and so on. In many ways, he's very selfish..not anymore than normal but I notice it a lot more. For instance, he'll take the baby and sling him to sleep and then go take a nap with him for 2+ hours. I'm stuck taking care of the other kids and organizing the house. He wakes up, hands me the baby and then goes online or reads the paper and eats alone. hammer.gif

In many ways, he's awesome but I tend to notice the selfishness right now because I have to be SO selfLESS! I expressed my concerns that we no longer kiss or touch each other, we haven't had sex in 10 weeks and that I don't really feel attracted to him emotionally and he reassured me and said "Don't worry, it will get better. We'll feel all those things for each other once we have more time to ourselves. He won't be this little forever". heartbeat.gif Very sweet but around 2 o'clock today, I swear I could have divorced him I was so mad! He got mad that DS's cloth diapers were smelly (even though I just washed them) and he was frustrated that I interrupted his plans so he could put DS back to sleep! 




Awwwwwww hug2.gif  I know exactly how you feel. I just wanted to send you some support and let you know you're not alone.


Breastfeeding, Cloth-Diapering, Co-Sleeping, Babywearing Mama to a Sweet Little Boy slingboy.gif

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#12 of 14 Old 03-27-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtjunker View Post

My LO is almost 3 months and I feel like me and my DH are just too exhausted to be like we were pre-baby. He's been back to work since 3 days after LO's birth. I think each of us feels a little jealous of the other's role. He walks around exhausted and grumpy, even though I'm the one getting up every night with LO, since he's working and I'm not. I long for more than 2 hours of sleep at once, and a break from having to carry LO around all the time. It's hard. We both feel like we're doing all of the work, and for the first time I've wondered if I made the right choice in choosing him. But we try. And when it comes down to it, there's no one else I'd rather try with. I have to remind myself of that often...



in EXACTLY the same place rtjunker. Can't wait for my LO to start sleeping a liiittle more at night. I definitely notice a difference how I feel toward DH directly corresponds with how much sleep I've got the night before, even just a little extra makes it easier!

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#13 of 14 Old 03-27-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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In the 11 years we've been together we have always bickered constantly. When our now 3 year old was a newborn, he was great about helping out, but now it seems I am constantly having to tell him to help out at home, I am 30 weeks and find it really difficult to do all of the things he is used to me doing and he gets irritated that I am asking him to do stuff even though he says he doesn't mind helping out. I find it frustrating because I see it as a reflection of his immaturity and I am going to need his help even more with the new baby coming. One good thing is that our level of commitment has definitely increased since having a baby together, its actually the reason we chose to get married, not the most romantic reason but its the truth:)
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#14 of 14 Old 03-27-2012, 07:24 PM
 
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