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My marriage is going down the toilet and I'm struggling to care

(41 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 13:50:46

Been married 4 years, together 9. Two v small DC (2&6mo).
Generally have had a 'normal' level of happiness, ups and downs etc. My last pregnancy was hard - I was very unwell throughout (in ITU 3x) and have been in seperate rooms from DH since I was 18 wks preg. Still not sharing a room now - not DTD since conception blush.

Recently we have just been constantly rubbing each other up the wrong way - all the time. Bickering, sniping etc. DD is still in room with me as she's not a great sleeper and I'm ebf and I can't be arsed to walk down the landing and I'm very tired, which isn't helping. DH needs to sleep for work and I'm fine with that.

I have no sex drive. Don't want to DTD with DH but not with anyone else either. Plus, flame me, but I don't like the idea of sex whilst BF. I leak at the slightest thing and it puts me off. DH stopped making advances a LONG time ago.

DH is unhappy at work. Is looking for a new job but nothing around. He is foul to live with and short tempered. I'm beginning to not look forward to the weekends as its easier when it's just me and the DC.

I'm waffling - there's so much more I could moan about say. I don't want to fail at marriage. I don't want my DC to have divorced parents but I'm struggling to care enough to make any effort anymore. Bored. Tired. Fed up. Blah blah.

I'm not suffering with PND - had that first time and I'm not low, I just can't be arsed with walking on eggshells and looking at DH and thinking "when did you get to be such a miserable git"

That was an OP without a point but I just needed to write it down.

Sleepyhoglet Mon 22-Jul-13 14:27:28

Caveat- I don't speak from experience as I don't have young children. But, you guys must have been happy once. Remember those times. You are in probably on of the most stressful times of your marriage..- small children and oh unhappy at work. Try to look forward a few years to when the children are at school and you have more time for yourself and more time for your husband. You haven't said that you are having any major problems so it does sound like stress is getting you both down.

Sleepyhoglet Mon 22-Jul-13 14:28:34

Can you encourage your DH to find a hobby ETc so he has something to distract him from work and cheer him up a bit.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 22-Jul-13 14:31:56

There's a lot going on there but I would say first off that having 2 DC under 3 is bloody hard work and puts most people under a lot of pressure. How much help do you have with childcare? How is the housework tackled? Does your DH work very long hours - sounds like it if he is often not there at weekends.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 14:51:57

He has got a hobby which he enjoys - cycling.

DS starts pre-school 2 days a week next month but that's already causing a bit more stress as obviously I'm on mat leave. I can't bear the thought of returning to work until DD a year old as that's what I did with DS, but money is tight.

The sex thing is a big issue, it's been so long without doing it now its almost like it would be so awkward almost

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 14:55:17

Housework is me really, which is fine but the house is a tip.
I mooted the subject of a cleaner and got a resounding NO! from DH

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Jul-13 15:00:12

I don't think you're failing at marriage. I think your lack of intimacy is making both of you unhappy and you're right in that the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for you to reconnect.

What times does your baby sleep?

What would happen if you sat down next to your husband on the sofa and just started being affectionate and friendly towards him? Or if you gave him a hug in passing? You both sound so unhappy and as though you could both do with some affection.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:01:19

I think 6 months is a much-underestimated difficult stage. With a newborn everyone makes allowances for life being a bit up in the air and everyone being shattered. By 6 months, however, people seem to have expected new parents to have got back to normal pretty much. For anyone whose taken a long time to physically recover from pregnancy or had a difficult sleeper etc., that's simply not the case; it's as difficult as ever but now no one cuts you any slack - including sometimes yourself.

Ordinarily I wouldn't advise making any life-changing decisions at this stage, but I think you need to define your DH's "foul" behaviour a bit more. Grumpy and snappy is one thing (still unacceptable but not a dealbreaker unless unaddressed). If he's being abusive though, that's quite another.

Assuming that he's not being abusive, I think you need to take time to reconnect a bit more. You are likely to be nicer to each other if you start trying to see yourselves as individuals who make up a couple again rather than just parents, and it will also help sex feel much more natural when you're ready rather than forced as it would be at the moment. Do you have anyone who could babysit for you to go out for an evening? Try the cinema first if you feel conversation might dry up over something as intimate as dinner.

Ashoething Mon 22-Jul-13 15:07:58

Stop bf and start having sex with your dh again.I.know I sound harsh and will get flamed but I am in a sexless marriage and its soul destroying.Your marriage sounds like its worth saving.

Ashoething Mon 22-Jul-13 15:08:36

Stop bf and start having sex with your dh again.I.know I sound harsh and will get flamed but I am in a sexless marriage and its soul destroying.Your marriage sounds like its worth saving.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 15:29:13

I didn't have a great time bf first time and stopped at 7 weeks. This time I'm so happy it's going well is feel v reluctant to stop just to have sex. I think DH should be proud of the start I am giving DD

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 15:34:36

dahlen - no, he's not abusive. Well, only verbally, but then I'm just as bad. We can be vile with words.

He's just so unapproachable, grumpy, miserable, defensive, snappy. That doesn't sound much written down but it's just got to the point now that I'm not even speaking to him. I can't be bothered to be second-guessing whether what I'm going to say is going to deemed as 'nasty' or 'disrespectful' . I just look after the children, they go to bed at 7. I tidy up, sit down in silence, mumsnet, catch up on texts from day as I don't like using my phone when DC awake. Then I just am so bored/tired I just go to bed. I've stopped even saying goodnight - like I say, it's bad, I can't be arsed. Sigh.

Ashoething Mon 22-Jul-13 15:35:18

Is bf really more important to you than your marriage though? 6 months is an amazing amount of time to have bf for but perhaps you are now using it as an excuse to avoid sex? You and your dh really need to sit down and have a good talk.I hope it works out.

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 15:35:27

If I stopped BF just so I could have sex with DH I think I would resent him and that decision big time.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Jul-13 15:35:41

It's not that you'd be stopping to have sex. You'd be stopping to have a healthy relationship with your husband.

Your marriage is in crisis. Could you at least not go back to sharing a bed?

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 15:37:23

The bleak mood I'm in right now I think I would pick BF over my marriage ridiculous I know. I'm just down about it all.

Thank you all for listening though, it's quite therapeutic!

notsochic Mon 22-Jul-13 15:40:01

Really don't think stopping breastfeeding is the answer!

deliasmithy Mon 22-Jul-13 15:40:55

If you're both unhappy then that's actually an easier starting point to a conversation with dh than a scenario where u are unhappy but he isn't. You need to sit down and have an honest conversation. Find out if you both want to really try and improve things or not.

If it's difficult to see where to start with fixing things a way forward can be to jointly list what you'd like from the relationship, and what are the barriers to achieving that.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Jul-13 15:46:59

You are having a physical relationship when you bf, so you are getting affection and love. He isn't. I think a lot of women lose sexual desire when they are breastfeeding.

You both sound very unhappy. I can feel for you but honestly, if I was living in the situation as you or as him, I'd feel awful.

You need to talk about it with him without either of you blaming the other and see what you can do to help yourselves.

I do think it's important for each of you to take on board the other person's unhappiness as well as your own.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:55:23

I hope this doesn't cause offence, but reading your latest posts I think part of the problem is that you have completely ceased to see yourself as a person because you've been subsumed by motherhood. We all do to some extent I think, but if you're not even checking your phone during the day I think you may have it worse.

I don't think the solution to that is to stop BFing BTW. I think you're right about the resentment you'd feel and given that BFing is nature's way of feeding babies, why should you give up doing something perfectly natural, healthy and good for you and your baby that is working?

However, I think it is vital for you to rediscover first your sense of self and secondly your role as part of a couple. If you don't do that soon, your marriage will die and you could find yourself a single parent. Indifference is really the final step; it's worse than hate, and before long you will be past the point of no return - if you're not already. That may not be a bad thing, but it would be awful for you to wake up in the future regretting the fact that you simply let it happen through inertia at a point when you were tired and at a low ebb. If it's going to end it should be because you've made a proactive decision to end the marriage for good reasons.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:57:50

If you can't see an obvious solution to any of these problems, I think the first thing you could do is have a discussion with your DH where you both try to treat each other with politeness, even if you can't manage kindness and warmth. Try to treat each other as you would a colleague if you can't face anything else, but you need to put a stop to the verbal abuse immediately.

MillionPramMiles Mon 22-Jul-13 15:58:12

With two such young children to look after, broken sleep and cleaning, cooking, shopping etc to do, is it any wonder you don’t feel like sex? However stressed you’re dh is about his work, you have the harder job. I’m not saying what your dh does isn’t difficult or important, it is and of course he is providing financial security (I hope?) but you are ‘working’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I’m not convinced that simply stopping breastfeeding is going to fix it. Can you be open with your dh on the areas you need help on and the areas in which he can provide that help? It’s nice he has a hobby but how about he takes the kids for a few hours each weekend so you can have a break? That would also give him time to bond with them. Are there chores he can help with (putting a load of washing on or picking a few things up from the supermarket isn’t too much to ask is it)?

As OP suggests, is there anyone who can take the kids for a few hours so the two of you get a bit of time together, just a drink at the local pub maybe so you can reconnect a bit and both of you can listen to each others problems without the kids interrupting?

Emotional and practical support underpin any relationship as much as physical intimacy, the latter should hopefully return if you both get the former.

(FWIW I found my 12 months of maternity leave to be the hardest year of life. Returning to work (to a senior role in a challenging job) feels like a walk in the park in comparison.)

IcouldstillbeJoseph Mon 22-Jul-13 16:02:17

Dahlen - no offence at all, I welcome your sound advice. I do check my phone but just don't spend too much time on it. Mainly cos DS then bugs me to play on it, then doesn't want to give it back, tantrums etc.

I don't want to make anyone vomit but I do feel completely fulfilled by being a mum. I love it more than I ever thought I would. I do have other interests but my DC are my ultimate priority. I strongly suspect DH is not so fulfilled by fatherhood. I have called him a shit father in an argument too, which I know is utterly despicable and untrue.

Ultimately I know I'm neglecting my marriage as a result. I don't want to be single but don't want to be like this either. And yes, you're right, I know indifference is a bad sign. Hence my posting today as we had another spat last night and said more vile things. I felt my eyes prick with tears momentarily and then I just thought 'fuck it' and went back to perusing the Boden sale. That's how I know it's getting bad.

We need to talk it through, I know.

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 16:13:34

Ah, you're not indifferent then - you're retreating behind a facade of it as a means of protecting yourself. That's different.

So what are you protecting yourself from?

You say you love motherhood smile but might it also be the case that you feel overwhelmed a little by it as well? Are you struggling to be a mother and manage everything else on top - wife, friend, daughter, sister, colleague? Are you coping with this by rejecting all the other roles and retreating into motherhood?

Or is the problem your DH? Are you withdrawing from him because his behaviour since your DC's arrival has made it clear to you that he's not the man/partner/father you thought he was and you want to emotionally detach now before your marriage inevitably breaks down?

It could be any number of things, which only you can get to the bottom of, but it would be well worth it.

The only 'stern' thing I'd say to you is be wary of getting 'too much' fulfilment from your children. They have a habit of growing up and being their own people, which can leave you feeling empty and bereft if they've been the sole focus of your life. Children can often grow up to feel very suffocated by being a parent's sole focus, which can result in horrible rebellion or an inability to cope without parental help even as an adult. I'm sure as a loving parent you don't want that. I'm not saying you're doing that either (you sound perfectly normal to me with children as young as yours), but it's something to keep an eye on.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Jul-13 16:29:31

One thing I would say is that you will find life much easier if you and your husband face it together. It's hard being a single parent and hard though these days are with tiny children, it's a hell of a lot harder later.

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