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#1 of 3 Old 05-16-2011, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Jessica,

 

I am a 31 y.o. Mom to a 20 month old girl and a 4 month old boy.  Our baby boy was a "surprise".  My husband and I also have 2 older boys, 9 and 10, from previous relationships.  Needless to say, we are busy.  I am home on maternity leave until January.  My husband works very long hours at his own construction business.

 

I have had my share of challenges with these 2 little ones in the last 4 months.  My daughter has been difficult.  As much as she is a delight, she can be very demanding and I have had many sleepless nights with her through her teething (which seemed to last from 3 months until just recently).  My daughter has been sleeping much better lately.  My son is much easier to manage compared to my other children, but he is not the best sleeper through the night.  He tosses and turns, grunts, and seems to have a lot of gas.  I have tried putting him to sleep on his own, but I find that the only way for me to get any rest is to just have him in bed with my husband and I.  Sometimes all he needs is some gentle pats on the back.  I am sleep deprived as it is, and this seems to work for me.  We finally got my daughter to sleep on her own just before my son was born, after letting her cry it out for only a couple of nights.  Now she loves her little bed.  Since her room is on the other side of the house, for now she is sleeping in her playpen in our bedroom.  I nursed my daughter for about 10 months, so that is how she got into the habit of being in bed with us.  Again, sleep deprivation was the culprit.  I would often doze off while she was nursing so I could still find a way to get some sleep.  So you can say we definitely have a "family bed".

 

Now getting to the issue.  Since my son was born, my husband and I are really feeling a strain on our marriage.  There are many factors contributing to this that I can't seem to find solutions for.  The most prominent is that we have next to no time together, which is causing us to feel distant.  My daughter goes to sleep at 8 pm, our older boys at 9 pm, and lately my son has been fussing until 10 or 11 pm.  I seem to be the only one that can settle him down lately.  To make matters worse, when we do have a moment together (usually late at night when I'm exhausted), I just want to get sex over with.  It feels like yet another chore in my day.  I feel so agitated at this point in the day.  I am so tired of having the little ones clinging to me all day, constantly needing something.  I have taken care of everyone else in the house at this point, made supper, cleaned up, gave the little ones baths and put them to bed, done laundry, made lunches.  All this time, my husband has been sitting on the couch resting because he is exhausted from work.  From his perspective, he feels he works much harder than I do.  I have zero time to decompress and rest up to be ready for him!  So after a long evening of looking after everyone else's needs, now I have the biggest baby of them all (my husband), sitting there waiting for me.  The last thing I want to do is have him touch me!  It never used to be this way.  It only got like this after my son was born.  I feel maxed out, like I have nothing left.  Mornings are out of the question to be intimate, my husband leaves at 5 am and does not get home until 6 - 8 pm, sometimes later.  We do have sex anywhere from 2-4 times per week, but the quality isn't there.  My husband is craving "passion" and I am just going through the motions so I can have my body to myself again!!!

 

Last night, my husband got very angry because I was not responding to him like he wanted me to.  I felt more agitated than usual.  He feels rejected and he takes it personal when I do not want to be intimate.  He feels that I am not attracted to him anymore, despite me telling him this is not true.  I have communicated to him what is going on, but he can't get past these feelings of rejection.  He craves our old life when we would stare into each others eyes, cuddle, kiss passionately, and have sex often.  I keep telling him to give it time, that it will be like that again as soon as the babies are not so demanding on me.  Last night, he said he was tired of this and said he wanted to divorce.  I don't know what to do anymore.  We have no family help either, and finding a babysitter is hard because the two little ones are so close in age.  I have a hard enough time managing them, nevermind a teenager!  Is there any way to make this better quickly?  It seems my husband will not have the patience to wait it out.  I feel that I have nothing left to give him anymore.  I almost feel it would be easier if he just had a mistress to satisfy him so he would leave me alone!

 

I hope you can help somehow.  I don't want to tear our family apart over this!

 

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#2 of 3 Old 05-17-2011, 01:08 AM
 
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Dear Friend,

 

Thank you for writing in. I am sorry you and your husband are struggling in this way.

 

One of the biggest challenges that families with young children face is how to attend to all of the constant needs. The first step is to get you back on the same team.

 

I think it is essential that you reconnect with your husband on an emotional level. I would suggest you sit on the couch together the next time all of the children are asleep and each of you answer these questions:

 

1) why you were first attracted to each other

2) why you chose each other 

2) your favorite qualities in each other

 

3) the moment you each knew you could marry this person and be with them forever

4) what marriage means to each of you. 

5) the core reason for your union

 

This conversation should serve to reconnect you. Once you feel connected again, I think it is fair that you ask that he take threatening divorce off the table. That big of a consequence if his needs aren't satisfied makes any road to compromise tenuous. 

 

Assuming you can find that place of emotional connection, and further assuming, he can back down from his place of utter frustration with the situation making him willing to break up a second set of children and your life union, then you are prepared to walk into solution.

 

What comes to me is a technique often used with the children, L.O.V.E. Parenting's WEL-C: Witness, Empathy, Limit, Choice.

 

These are my ideas for you, but of course, you would make this speech your own: "(Witness) Babe, I hear that you are frustrated. Historically, we have a great physical relationship and lately you can't feel me. (Empathy) I totally understand why you are frustrated. I would feel really bad if I was kissing you and I felt like you'd rather be sleeping or were just going through the motions. (Limit) It paralyzes me when you threaten divorce. I want to make our marriage work and I want us both satisfied but it is hard to find a road to compromise if I am afraid that compromise could mean losing you and breaking up our family. Furthermore, I want to be with you; I am attracted to you, you are my heart's desire, that is why I married you, but I can only do what I am physically capable of. RIght now I am maxed because I've never had 4 children, one of whom is an infant. I will find my way, and I will get this new routine down and be able to balance it all as I always have, but right now I am still finding my way. (Choice) I see a couple of solutions: you could help me when you get home from work in spite of your own exhaustion from work and then maybe I'd have more energy by the time everybody is asleep? We could be intimate in other ways that involve less active participation on my part? Or, we could be intimate with a little less frequency than we are accustomed until I get my physical stamina back."

 

A long lasting marriage requires the long view. Sometimes marriages have to wait on physical intimacy for reasons beyond your control like ailment, travel, work, etc, and having a new baby also often requires flexibility and delayed gratification. If you can keep the spark up between you en route to the bedroom it will help to eradicate his feelings of rejection; this involves your look, tone, and attention from the time he gets home from work. You are involved in the sacred balancing act of marriage and that unique formula will be your own, and is a compromise between your two hearts.

 

Lastly, the skillset that your spouse needs is the same that we try to teach our young children: how do I walk through discontentment? how do I get to the other side of the "no" in response to what I want? For the toddler...ice cream. For your husband...more of you.

 

Yours,

Jessica

The Ultimate Parenting Course is a must-have for every parent. This online course features over four hours of video and audio interviews plus a 100 page handbook with action exercises and additional contributions from PhDs, MDs, Naturopathic doctors, psychotherapists, educators, and best-selling authors, in eight essential parenting themes: Identity, Co-Parenting, Sleep, Feeding, Attachment, Individuation, Conflict and Community. BUY NOW!!

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#3 of 3 Old 05-17-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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p.s. one more thought for you: I think it would be helpful for you to integrate one element of self-care into your day when your husband is at work and the older children are at school. Choose one activity that restores you that can be done at home. Then prioritize this action and do it once a day, the same way you would the dishes or the laundry or cooking a meal. For example, yoga, meditation, journaling, a visual artistic expression, dance, music, or a meditative bath. Set your 4-month up on a blanket near you, or do this during 20 minutes of his nap. Taking this pro-active step to nurture you each day, will bolster you as you tend to the rest of the members of your family through out the week.

Best, 

Jessica

 

The Ultimate Parenting Course is a must-have for every parent. This online course features over four hours of video and audio interviews plus a 100 page handbook with action exercises and additional contributions from PhDs, MDs, Naturopathic doctors, psychotherapists, educators, and best-selling authors, in eight essential parenting themes: Identity, Co-Parenting, Sleep, Feeding, Attachment, Individuation, Conflict and Community. BUY NOW!!

The L.O.V.E. Parenting Birthkit has helped women have a transformational and empowering birth. Written exercises, audio & private coaching. Amazing for first or second pregnancy.

Birthing A New Mother home study program NOW AVAILABLE for pre-conception, pregnancy & the first year of motherhood. I am a featured contributor in this course brought to you by Conscious Motherhood.

Sign Up for my E-Zine! Email: LoveParentingLA@gmail.com

Like me on Facebook L.O.V.E. Parenting and Follow on Twitter @LoveParenting

Private Coaching Session! Phone or Los Angeles office. www.LoveParentingLA.com

• “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss.

• “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet.

         •  “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach!”—Andrea BendewaldLPLOGO.jpg

 
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