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Old May 7th, 2017, 07:47 AM   1
marmoset
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I underestimated how hard parenting would be on my marriage


Can anyone relate?

I knew the actual baby care would be hard work, and I'd be tired and probably overwhelmed a lot of the time. We ended up with a relatively easy baby (except for sleep) and I feel like I'm coping really well on that end.

But I didn't know how much my marriage would suffer. I guess I sort of envisioned this joint quest where the two of us were brought together by the shared responsibility of caring for our child. We would marvel at our new identity as a family of three.

But it's not really like that. There are glimpses, sometimes, but other times it's just so hard. We have no time for each other, we're stressed and on edge, when baby stuff is frustrating it's not like we can take it out on him so that just leaves each other. We're testy. We're tired.

It's just way harder than I thought to keep both a baby AND a marriage healthy and thriving.

Anybody else in this boat? Anybody make it out the other side?



 
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Old May 7th, 2017, 11:16 AM   2
Teri7489
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My husband and I sleep in different rooms now, that's how much parenting changed our marriage. We have had one 'date' since our daughter was born 3 and a half years ago. But we are still planning our third for the end of this year. It's hard work, we fall out at times but hes still my best friend. All this days of tiny shoes, plastic cups and mini socks everywhere will be gone soon enough and I'll have him back to myself again. I meant my marriage vows and I hope he did too, just have to stick it out through the tough times (and jings these baby days are really rough) until it's just me and him again. x



 
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Old May 7th, 2017, 14:25 PM   3
loeylo
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In the early days, yes, I do think our relationship suffered a bit. We were just both more tired and stressed than what we were pre baby. We weren't able to be spontaneous and go on dates or nights out. It was definitely an adjustment and we did argue a lot more than pre baby.

I can understand how many couples split up in the first year. Had our relationship not been strong when our daughter was born, I honestly think we would have split up in the first year.

Now she is a bit older it is definitely easier on our relationship. She's down earlier at night so we can have some alone time in the evening. She can do more so during the day we can do things as a family which we couldn't do when she was younger. We are in a routine and are more confident parents so things aren't as stressful. As a couple we are back to how we were pre baby, and I'm so glad we stuck together!



 
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Old May 7th, 2017, 14:29 PM   4
sarah34
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Having a baby does put a strain on your relationship, no matter how strong you thought it was.

You will have difference of opinions on how you raise your child as well as just plainly not having the time to give each other that you used to have.

I think it's par for the course but I do have to remind myself sometimes why I chose this man to spend my life with and start a family with. As previous poster said, the baby/child times will be over before you know it and you will have each other back xx



 
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Old May 8th, 2017, 00:11 AM   5
adrie
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I can relate.

We just had our second and there is 3.5 years between the two kids, and I think we both forgot how hard the infant stage is!

I firmly believe that there are some couples who are brought closer together when a child arrives, and others who are drawn apart. I find we kind of reside somewhere in the middle, maybe leaning a bit more into the "drawn apart" side during the tougher times (like now).

Thankfully, babies and kids go through so many stages and things do get better. I will get to sleep 8 hours all at once, have the baby in his own room, sleep together again, etc. My spouse has to sleep in a guest room because baby's wakings wake him and he has sleep issues and has to get up at 5am. I'm really hoping to sleep train the baby soon; he will be 3 months on the 21.

It's tough, and I hear ya. No easy answers. Sometimes it's about survival. I've done plenty of survival mode living in my life, even before kids, so I'm used to it; but kids and a spouse are new territory.



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Old May 8th, 2017, 04:49 AM   6
MindUtopia
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Yes, it's really tough, but assuming your marriage was solid to start with and you both sort of understand that this is just a tough bit and you just have to hang in there until it gets easier, it will pass. I found the time around about 8-12 months to be the hardest in that sense. It was a really intense time in terms of the drain on me, with sleep and separation anxiety, and then the big upheaval of starting nursery and starting back at work, etc. but it was also sort of around the time, maybe from about 7 months when my husband started having a bit more of a 'normal' life again.

The first months are intense and you put a lot to the side, but then around that age, at least for him, life started to be a bit more like it was before we had our daughter, he was going out for drinks with friends on occasion, we had a few weddings that he went to (on his own, they were adults only so we couldn't all go) or had a few other trips away for work. It was nothing over the top or all that frequent, but it just meant that once a month or so, he had a night off....and I was still doing what I'd always been doing. It caused a lot of resentment that I didn't realise I felt because he didn't quite get what it felt like to never have a night off (and I honestly didn't even know that's what I was upset about). For him, life was just a little more normal and like it was before we had our daughter and I think the pressure was on for our married life to kinda be normal again too, but it's impossible. It's a new normal and it takes time to figure it out. In the meantime, it was stressful and upsetting and I worried if we would ever feel like we used to or have time for each other again, etc.

We did and things are great now and our relationship is much stronger for having weathered the storm and come out the other side (our daughter is 4 now). A lot of people do split up with their babies hit around 1-2 and I think it's because this time is so intense and there is so much pressure and you just freak out that you are doing something wrong to not have this perfect life and perfect marriage after a baby. But it's normal. The important bit for us I think was just accepting it was going to be tough for awhile and committing to getting through it together somehow. It does get easier and your marriage, assuming it was solid to start, will be better for it after. It's just hard when you're in it. I did find that having some time alone - being able to go out for dinner together, however infrequent - helped a lot. Though we don't really have family nearby, so until our daughter was older (around 2) we didn't really have anyone who could watch her if we wanted a date night out. If you do have family or someone who could stay with her for the evening while you have a meal out, even if it's just a quick couple hours, that was lovely and really helped us feel a bit like our old selves again.



 
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Old May 8th, 2017, 04:56 AM   7
oliv
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Yep I'm with you. We have a 3 year old and near two year old. We also got married last year and bought a house, moved 3 times so we have had a lot of stress and throw in a child that is an awful sleeper.

We are now finally starting to come through the other side now we are getting settled in our new home and CJ is starting to sleep better.



 
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Old May 8th, 2017, 13:10 PM   8
xdxxtx
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Babies are trying on a marriage - or any relationship. Here's what my OH and I do. Reserve one night per week when you put baby down at bedtime and devote the rest of that night to your marriage. (We will let our baby cry on this night if they wake up while we're spending our time together. Sorry, but I'd rather have a baby who cried a bit than a baby with divorced parents.) We do Friday nights because that's when my OH is FINALLY home at night, but any night will work.

Every other Friday, I will cook something awesome, new and different, or maybe OH's favorite food. Regardless, it's always something my OH loves to eat. On the other Fridays, OH (who cannot cook lol) will bring home something to eat - one of my favorites. This is SUPER awesome for me because I don't have to cook!!!! We will have some quiet time together to talk about adult stuff, then watch some TV or a movie, then go to bed and make sure we spend time (TMI) being intimate on this day every single week so that even if we were too tired or busy the rest of the week, we didn't miss an entire week of "intimacy". Also, my OH will massage my back for up to an hour on this night. It is seriously the BEST.

This honestly saved our marriage. If we had any other needs that weren't being met any other night, we'd take care of it on "our night" and maybe spend less time on other things, but this is all we need. Your/your OH's needs might be different... maybe instead of an hour-long back massage, you would just snuggle or laugh together or reminisce. Whatever you need. Make sure both of your needs are getting met on a weekly basis. This drastically decreases the amount of resentment and arguing my OH and I had issues with before. Maybe consider trying this and discussing it with your OH and seeing what a "date night" EVEN without leaving the house could do for your marriage.



 
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Old May 8th, 2017, 14:02 PM   9
sarah34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xdxxtx View Post
Babies are trying on a marriage - or any relationship. Here's what my OH and I do. Reserve one night per week when you put baby down at bedtime and devote the rest of that night to your marriage. (We will let our baby cry on this night if they wake up while we're spending our time together. Sorry, but I'd rather have a baby who cried a bit than a baby with divorced parents.) We do Friday nights because that's when my OH is FINALLY home at night, but any night will work.

Every other Friday, I will cook something awesome, new and different, or maybe OH's favorite food. Regardless, it's always something my OH loves to eat. On the other Fridays, OH (who cannot cook lol) will bring home something to eat - one of my favorites. This is SUPER awesome for me because I don't have to cook!!!! We will have some quiet time together to talk about adult stuff, then watch some TV or a movie, then go to bed and make sure we spend time (TMI) being intimate on this day every single week so that even if we were too tired or busy the rest of the week, we didn't miss an entire week of "intimacy". Also, my OH will massage my back for up to an hour on this night. It is seriously the BEST.

This honestly saved our marriage. If we had any other needs that weren't being met any other night, we'd take care of it on "our night" and maybe spend less time on other things, but this is all we need. Your/your OH's needs might be different... maybe instead of an hour-long back massage, you would just snuggle or laugh together or reminisce. Whatever you need. Make sure both of your needs are getting met on a weekly basis. This drastically decreases the amount of resentment and arguing my OH and I had issues with before. Maybe consider trying this and discussing it with your OH and seeing what a "date night" EVEN without leaving the house could do for your marriage.
I think this is brilliant advice, something I think my and oh's relationship could do with too so we are going to implement at home date night! thank you x



 
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Old May 8th, 2017, 14:13 PM   10
LoveCakes
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I totally underestimated this too, we had been through a lot together with ltttc and fertility treatment and are definitely solid but it took its toll.

It didn't help with my first for the first six months I felt like it was me and her, then him a bit separately. Since we spent all day every day together then he was there evenings and weekends it was harder to feel like we were doing it together. Plus she was a crap sleeper and he's a very deep sleeper so i used to lie awake and resent him. This time I've made more of an effort to include him and force him to get more involved. My second has a 'bedtime' months earlier than my first so we're actually getting time together in the evenings.

The big turning point for me was going back to work it was like waking up again. He had to take on more responsibility and I had something else to focus on. Everything evened out. I'm not sure that you've chosen to do but it did help me.

Essentially although it feels like forever now if you can even make small steps to being a couple again it is just a temporary phase.



 
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