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Thread: Struggling marriage after starting a family - is it normal?

  1. #1
    Anonykm
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    Struggling marriage after starting a family - is it normal?

    My husband and I met when we were 16. We've been together for 12 years (married for 5) we have a 20 month old daughter.

    Lately I am feeling very down about our relationship.
    Having a child is what we both wanted and what we (thought) we were ready for. But in saying that, I have found it quite difficult adjusting to motherhood. I didn't suffer with pnd but I certainly have anxiety about things.
    I know that since starting a family things have taken a toll on our relationship. I pour 100% of my love into our daughter & have nothing left to give at the end of the day for my husband. I know this is unfair but I'm finding it really tough to juggle.
    My husband told me recently he had been seeing a councillor because he felt lonely in our marriage. Things have changed for eg
    - I don't feel like I am as nice anymore, usually tired and somewhat grumpy
    - I suffer with anxiety and lack of confidence
    - I struggle to accept the changes in my body after having a baby
    - I feel lost within myself, not sure who I am anymore or what I enjoy anymore
    - We sleep in seperate beds as our daughter sleeps with me
    - We are stuck in a boring routine and don't do anything exciting together ever
    - We have sex maybe once a month
    - Rarely show signs of affection to each other
    - We bite each other's heads off/fight a lot more than we used to
    - Lately I'm finding myself rolling my eyes at literally everything my husband says or does
    - He says I'm negative about everything

    I love my husband very much and I appreciate that he works hard to support our family. I worry though because since having a baby, the love I have for him is a different love. It's not the same as it used to be and I don't know how to get it back. It's almost as if we are just friends- housemates.
    He says that not having sex often is really badly affecting him. I do understand this but on the other hand I shouldn't have to force myself to want it, and he doesn't want me to do that either.
    He will sometimes make comments about what I haven't done around the house or we disagree on discipline with our daughter. It's comments like these that push me further away. I feel that he has a lack of understanding how my life has changed and that it's not easy for me. Sometimes he makes me feel like we are the only couple in the world that have these problems. He makes me feel as if he would be having so much sex with someone else and that it's me that's not normal. It takes 2 to tango right?

    What is worrying me the most is that I am struggling to seek help, why don't I want to fix it? He has tried to suggest marriage counselling but I just feel like the issues will always be here.
    Why do I have no desire to have sex? I feel the sex is boring & that we are sexually incompatible. I wonder sometimes if I would be different with someone else. I don't know if I just have a low libido, as I have never been with anyone else.
    I know that I have self esteem issues, if i can help myself I know that it would have to help our relationship.
    We have discussed these issues and agreed on date nights & putting more effort into having a proper conversation & connecting at night rather then scrolling through the tv then going to bed. Nothing has changed, no effort has been made.

    Please help! Is his normal first time parent behaviour? Or is this red flags? I really don't know what to do anymore and I'm just finding myself always down in the dumps

  2. #2
    Wiseman2
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    You claim you don't have postpartum depression but have you been to a doctor or therapist about all the symptoms you are having? Do that asap. Also join some mom support groups.

    You need to join your husband in therapy. This is headed for divorce or an affair. He is firing warning shots.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anonykm [Register to see the link]
    My husband told me recently he had been seeing a councillor because he felt lonely in our marriage.
    We sleep in seperate beds as our daughter sleeps with me
    We have sex maybe once a month
    Rarely show signs of affection to each other
    We bite each other's heads off/fight a lot more than we used to
    Last edited by Wiseman2; 05-12-2017 at 08:59 PM.

  3. #3
    IAmFCA
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    Yes this is normal. Also, divorce during these years is normal. Normal is not your benchmark if you want success.

    You are losing each other. Fix it.

    Your daughter took his place in bed. Fix it.

    Your daughter took his place giving you human touch. Fix it.

    Do you even need him anymore? How would he know? Fix it.

    Do not let anyone come between you. Not even this child whom you share.

  4. #4
    shebrew
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    my dear you are suffering from depression. has this been a thing since you had your child or was it normal then became this? i can understand how the changes to your body affect your psychologically which in turn affect your self esteem and desire for sex. you should seek professional help for sure. be glad that he wants to try to fix the marriage instead of giving it up or acting like everything is fine and cheat.

    you should however try to your best to work through the issues that you can, on your own. for example, sleep in the same bed even if at first your daughter sleeps with you 2. after doing that for a while when she falls asleep put her in another bed. do not reject his attempts at romance (that is very damaging) youre right you shouldnt be forced to have sex so just tell him him you want to work your way into it slowly. show him that you are trying to do your part at rebuilding the marriage and you will see how different he becomes and how you will slowly (with professional help) go back to your loving ways....and maybe even bring baby number 2!

  5. #5
    IAmFCA
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    There is a cosleeper for new babies that is three sided and attaches to the side of your bed. It may be worth finding one. Otherwise, get up and put her back down in her crib in the middle of the night.

    There are safety concerns for the baby, actually, because of babys inability to move blankets etc.

    And... sharing the bed with your H will help you feel better about yourself. You need him, and he needs to know how important his companionship is to you.

  6. #6
    glitterfingers
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    It is normal for a child to affect the marriage - so normal that it's unusual for a marriage to be better after kids come along, which I think is what most people believe will happen before having kids (it'll make the bond stronger - yeah, no). But there are a few things to consider here, and they are all to do with how YOU are feeling because how YOU are feeling seems to be central to your marriage's success/failure at the moment.

    - I think your husband probably needs to help out more with the parenting and housework by the sounds of it. You need to feel that you can respect him, need to feel supported and appreciated for all that you do, have some of the pressure taken off you so you can regain your sense of independence and self-worth
    - You should ideally find a mothers fitness group or an exercise that you can do with your daughter (brisk walk in a stroller every day, a few body weight exercises or yoga while she watches TV). It might take some time to get the right balance, but simply the act of getting enough exercise will improve your body image and libido, and mood
    - Think long and hard about whether being a stay at home mother is really the right thing for you. It doesn't sound like it's the best thing if you want balance in your life. Perhaps if your husband agrees to be more supportive and take on more responsibility, this will free you up to find part-time work and put your daughter into daycare? The financial benefit from this might not be huge, BUT the social and emotional benefits (having a positive flow on effect to your marriage and bond with your partner and daughter) may be worth the trade off
    - As with other posters here, you should probably get her out of the habit of cosleeping ASAP. I know some families that coslept until the child was 5-8 years old and the sex life is practically non existent. Granted, some kids do need that in order to function properly throughout the day (one family comes to mind whose son was on the autism spectrum) BUT if you can get away with simply laying in bed with her for 30 mins to help her drift off, that might be a better solution

    I'm sure you can think of more ways that you could regain your independence and respect for your husband. In order to be a good mother and good wife, you have to make sure you prioritise yourself.

  7. #7
    Snny
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    Why isn't the baby in the crib where she belongs? I don't get it.

  8. #8
    faraday
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    I've never heard of a relationship getting better after having kids. Ever.

    You haven't had a decent nights sleep since before the baby...so weird that you're grumpy and don't want sex, hey?

    Its just kind of how it is with small kids. It does get easier, but you do you have to put in effort. Your husband is saying "let's go to marriage counselling" and that's your waving flag to go. Try to remember all the things that you loved about him before your daughter came along- why you wanted to have a child with him. Focus on those things. Ask him to set up date nights for the two of you and get a grandparent or babysitter to watch your daughter for the evening so that you and your husband can reconnect.

    Having a baby is so hard. It's not uncommon to lose yourself...lose your identity outside of motherhood. It might also be good for you to see if you can swap babysitting with another stay at home mom that you know- trade a few hours here or there during the week and go do some of the things you used to do before you had your daughter...start taking care of yourself and your needs again. I know how consuming babies are...it's hard to get out of that rut...but you can do this.

  9. #9
    melancholy123
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    Your child belongs in her own bed and preferably in her own room. Your husband belongs in bed beside you. Together.

    You do sound depressed. It's tough adjusting to being a mom, we all go thru it in one way or another but you sound so very down. See your doctor about your depression. You need to find time for your husband so you two can be husband and wife, not just people who live in a house with a little kid. Marriage counselling could do both of you a world of good. Dont let this go on any longer, you need some outside help so please get it.

  10. #10
    Anonykm
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    Thanks for your honesty. I wish it was as easy as just "fix it"



    Quote Originally Posted by IThinkICan [Register to see the link]
    Yes this is normal. Also, divorce during these years is normal. Normal is not your benchmark if you want success.

    You are losing each other. Fix it.

    Your daughter took his place in bed. Fix it.

    Your daughter took his place giving you human touch. Fix it.

    Do you even need him anymore? How would he know? Fix it.

    Do not let anyone come between you. Not even this child whom you share.

  11.  

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