Can I get some Dad's opinions on this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 11-29-2006, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. My dh will be reading your responses.

DS - 5! - adopted at birth after infertility, IUI, and IVF; DD - 4! - surprise pregnancy discovered when DS was 8 months old ; Hoping for another soon (actively TTC ~ 2 years)
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#2 of 4 Old 11-29-2006, 06:18 PM
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Ok first and foremost. The weaning thing needs to stop. What is the other option? Switch the baby to formula and bottles? #1 that will be a nightmare just trying to teach that. I have always told my wife that after 1 year of age (14 mo on our 2 months premature twins) that I don't care whether they continue doing it or not. I mean that if it's no longer mutually desired by all, then it's cool. It's not my decision, but I will stop with the "Keep it up, stopping is not an option talk" It's not my choice, but I can be a cheerleader or a sympathizer as necessary. You'll get heavy argument on the 1 year mark from a lot of people, but all I'm saying is that after 1 year we can do what we need to do for everybody to be happy.

As far as the holding thing. Our first daughter is now 2 and was held a lot and coslept with marathon nursing. She now wants nothing to do with being held. SHe just wants to run! and play! Our twins we now don't really have the option for them to nurse at will as long as they want so they don't comfort nurse as long as they would like sometimes. They are perfectly happy and healthy.

From a dad point of view, I believe that it should be a goal that your baby not have to be held to sleep. It's all fine and good for people to post on here "Your baby needs it!" We have 8 months old and they don't "NEED" to be held to sleep. They sleep just fine in their cribs. It's not the answer for everyone and all children are different. I don't mind co-sleeping or the nursing while in bed but full time family bed doesn't work for our family. They come to the bed to nurse and sometimes they stay a while but they go back to their cribs and sleep. It works for us. We don't CIO or schedule. It's on demand.

As far as sex goes. I think that sex is an important part of a male/female relationship and that it should be important to facilitate it happening. If things are working out that you want to, figure out what it takes to make you/him want to. More romance/etc Whatever. It's not the answer but sometimes as the dad we can feel that the role is completely diminished and it can be lonely.

The going away for a night is a bad idea. Helping the baby to sleep somewhere other than on top of you is not unreasonable and perhaps a compromise. I had our first daughter in a carrier a lot while she slept many evenings/middle of nights. She has just recently started sleeping better. We learned our lesson with sleeping so much in the sling. There is nothing wrong with sling sleeping unless it's the only place your child will sleep. I'm not talking about new borns but children approaching 1 y/o.

DD1 weaned at 14-15 months and I think a lot of that was that she was drinking out of cups and the twin pregnancy came also. She was never denied a request. She just stopped.

I personally don't like the "It's just going to suck for a while mentality" when it comes to children. They are part of the family but they are not the 100% focus in our family as best we can help it. We still need our time to sit down and watch a tv program together, talk without kids screaming, etc. It might suck but it's important to at least try to stick to some kind of normalcy.

As our Dr said to us when he found out we were having twins "If the mom/dad relationship isn't priority #1, you won't have a mom and a dad to take care of the other ones.

I completely agree with this. (This is not saying you should be going out on dates twice a week or weaning or leaving the baby.) I'm just saying that it's important that mom and dad focus on that relationship too.
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#3 of 4 Old 11-29-2006, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by luckymamato2 View Post
My dh has been bugging me for months about lots of different things. He honestly just wants to go away for the night or weekend to in his words, "hump all night." I get totally turned off by him saying that. I am completely satisfied with the occasional quickie. He is not.

He has suggested I wean my dd, and that it's my fault she's so "high needs." That I should be able to put her down and walk away. That she should be put in the playyard when she is screaming for me to hold her. That I should put her in a dark closet and let her scream... I know he is frustrated with her, and so am I, but I hide it better and cope better. She is rarely consolable by anyone but me.

We have been out to dinner twice since her birth (alone). Both times my mother was involved and they bullied me together. I did enjoy the time away, I will admit that. I am not interested in going away for the night or even a movie (unless it's a matinee).

Please help! He used to be really supportive of co-sleeping, and I think he is still somewhat a fan. He can get REALLY stressed out and doesn't cope well. I want to help him without making him more stressed. He places all the blame on me and suggests I am stingy with sex. I am, in a way, but him being so stressed and nasty does not make me feel sexy. Why does he think it is all my fault? How can I get him to see it another way - all he does is hear about mainstream dads or dinks that get to have sex, go on dates, go away for the weekend, etc. all the time. Do you think he has too high of a sex drive? Maybe there is something I'm doing to exacerbate dd's behavior. I can't even put her down to sleep with her brother or alone - I have to hold her while she sleeps too.

Thanks in advance for your help - I look forward to reading everyone's response.

From a Dad and Husband...

Firstly, communicate. Communication is established with a foundation of trust. By sharing things that your husband has said, which I interpret to be in the privacy of your relationship, you are opening him up to condemnation, criticism and judgement from a multitude of people who are only hearing one side of the story--yours.

Ultimately, men (and I include myself in their number) are a massive bundle of insecurities, wrapped in sexual frustration, protected by bravado and unleashed upon the world with urges to dominate, control and defend whatever meager (or mighty) territories we can claim.

I read through many of the responses and while I can understand their stances and feelings, I have to ultimately wonder if they are trying to help you through the situation or just trying to drive your husband into stubborn defiance. He will retreat into himself, put up defensive walls that bar communication and ultimately sever his heart from you if you respond to him full of your own selfish demands. (I am in no way justifying his selfish demands with this statement.)

Is he being selfish? Of course he is. He feels deprived. He feels hurt. He feels unloved. He feels marginalized. He feels relegated to 2nd fiddle. He was once #1 in your life, now he isn't. C'mon, you're much more accustomed to dealing with emotions than he is, don't you see this?

It's not right. It's not wrong. Feelings never are. That is how you feel. Usually there's no logic to it. Most of the time you can't explain it away. I've seen so many people respond with sensitivity and gentleness when people express their hurt feelings here, why the anger, negativity and downright viciousness of the responses when it's a man who feels hurt and deprived?

Your husband needs to know he can trust what he shares in confidence with you. Do you think he'd really want to lock your child in a dark closet while she screamed in agony for your comfort? No, I don't either. But I can understand him using that metaphor to express his feelings. Have you ever been cut off in traffic and said, "Oh, I could just kill that guy!"? Should I expect that in your emotional outburst to express the strength and depth of your feelings that you should be castigated for such a cruel comment? Reported to the police for your threat? Taken into custody for verbal assault?

So, trust. The foundation of communication.

Secondly, you both have needs that are not being met. A previous poster make a very good point that when needs are not met, it is human nature to find another source to meet them. It's fuel for an affair. It's salting the earth of your "love garden".

Another poster pointed out that men equate love with sex. Yes, this is quite true for many, but there's another element. Men equate sex as acceptance--and more than anything else, they want to be accepted by their partner. As I said, we are a bundle of insecurity wrapped with bravado to keep anyone from piercing the veil. It's not macho or manly to feel (the world screams at us from every possible source). If we can't feel accepted by out partner, we will need to find a source to soothe that emotional ache.

Should he use his right hand? That's quite a viable option for some. And if your issue was strictly sexual release, it might work for you--you have said that it is something else, however. I have a friend for whom that option is completely unacceptable. When he doesn't get a regular supply from his SO, he finds someone else to provide it. He makes no bones about it. She knows he does it. I think it's atrocious, but who am I to judge the choices they have made in their lives?

The bottom line, however, is that your husband has expressed more than just a desire for sexual release: He's asking to reconnect on a deeply personal, passionate and emotional level with the love of his life, the woman for whom he abandoned his previous emotional support and acceptance cheerleader (his mom) to be with. He wants you. He wants to be reassured of your love and your acceptance. He wants to pour out all that he is into you and receive your eager responses and encouragement. There is only one place for him to find that emotional, spiritual and passionate reassurance--his right hand won't help. And if you push him away, he will feel less and less like you are the source for the acceptance and love that he needs.

I can remember feeling many of the same things you've mentioned about your husband. Hearing my friends talk about their weekends away, their evenings out, ", and then she hooked her leg around me like this and...". Then comparing those details to my own life--a worn out and bedraggled wife who oozed into bed like a jellyfish, weak from weariness, aching, sore, tired, feeling like a used, discarded dishrag, meeting the endless demands of an insecure child who needed to nurse (what felt like) constantly. And then here I was, wanting to her to dress up, feel sexy, be eager and anxious for my advances like the young co-ed she was when we married.

Yes, he's going to have to realize the reality of life. You don't have the energy to be that warm and willing co-ed. You both have life and responsibilities. You aren't just sex machines anymore--you're parents.

But you can't share these things with each other if you're both coming at it from the perspective of "what have you done for me lately?"

Remember that part of your responsibilities are to be responsible to each other, "to have and to hold". If you are Christian, you also have the mandate that your bodies are not your own, but are owned by your partner. You are mandated not to deprive one another sexually.

Where to from here?

Sit down and talk to each other. Tell each other what you want, what you need, what you feel is missing. Avoid accusations. If you have to use a thinking pattern, talk about things you used to do that you miss or things you always wanted to do but haven't. Discuss what is keeping you from doing them. Look for solutions, not excuses or justifications.

Him: "Honey, I want to have sex 5 times a week."
Her: "Okay, to do that, I need to have an hour for a hot bath --alone--and 8 hours of sleep the night before. Are you willing to hold our baby while I take the bath and willing to let me rest so I'm ready for you?"

Her: "I need you to give me more romance, pay more attention to me, wash the dishes so that I don't have that hanging over my head."
Him: "If I do that, will you give me [insert desire here]?"

Communicate (TRUST!) Compromise. Work together. Find solutions.

A lot of people say that marriage is 50%/50%. Those marriages fail because each party is only giving 50%.

Successful marriages are 100%/100%.

I hope what I've said has helped you.
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#4 of 4 Old 11-30-2006, 11:38 AM
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I don't know what guys are thinking when they suddenly get it into their head that a tantrum is going to get them sex.. I mean seriously when would that happen?

We have 2 nurslings (17m and 3m) and I have worked VERY hard to be able to put DD to sleep so that I can set her down for a sec and we can do what rabbits do. But both kids are "high needs" sometimes because they are attached to us and they know that we will always be there for them. I mean that is just how it is. DD needs to be held constantly, and why not, she is a defenseless 3m old who needs to know that her mom and dad will protect and care for her 24x7 without fail.

It is important to objectivly look at what we are trying to do here with attachment parenting. We are trying to establish early in life a bond with our child that we can all be secure in even if we have to leave each other for a few hours. Imagine how hard it will be in the future if the kids can never develop security and trust that mom and dad will really come back. A 6 year old can be WAY more difficult to get privacy from if he does not want to be left alone.

I like Dr. Sears thoughts in this instance
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