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Can relationship difficulties resolve themselves as children get older?

(22 Posts)
Blackbeanchips Fri 12-Jun-15 10:39:43

DH and I have a lot of disagreements. Some silly, some more significant. It's been a tough few years, life has thrown some challenges, we didn't deal well.

We also have some really nice family times, DCs 1 and 5yo, we still laugh at the same things etc.

I sometimes think that it's the strain of having small children. While they are a joy, we haven't had great sleep for a while. We have had one lunch together without the kids in 2 years (no evenings out together). So I am hoping that as these aspects of family life get better (i know from first child things do get easier after a couple of years), we might also start being more agreeable in general!

Does anyone related to this? Anyone come out the other side?

Wolfiefan Fri 12-Jun-15 10:46:35

I think lack of sleep, quality time with your partner and general toughness of having kids can affect a relationship.
I think you have to think about what the disagreements are. Can you avoid any? Agree a way round others or deal with them better?

Joysmum Fri 12-Jun-15 10:49:15

I think it's not helpful to look that far ahead.

The constructive thing to do is to sit down, say you love each other but both want to improve the marriage.

Work out what needs to change to have the most affect and then how to achieve it. Things don't have to be solved, just improved.

So if you lack time together, plan 1 day/evening every 2-3 weeks where you do something. Have a regular diary date and make it as solid as a doctors or dentists appointment!

Love51 Fri 12-Jun-15 11:01:40

My in laws told us that a couple pf times a year they would book annual leave, put the kids in their usual childcare, and have a day out - matinee, cinema, gallery,whatever. We did it too, fab for if u cant get an evening sitter as you still need couple time. Go out tho, else you end up doing jobs.

Blackbeanchips Fri 12-Jun-15 11:34:14

Have no one to leave the little one with. But maybe I'll start thinking about time together. I do think never having fun just the 2 of us isn't ideal. We don't feel like a couple, just parents. So will try to set aside some time. Or at least talk to DH and see how he feels.

Absolutely some disagreements can be avoided now that I think about this mornings silly row. Have just sent an apology.

Any yes, much more constructive to talk than plough on hoping it gets better. A 4am start doesn't help my clear thinking! But it didn't used to be hard work. I hope it gets easier again.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 12-Jun-15 11:49:12

I think so. I have noticed that since the DC arrived arguments did increase. The arguments imo came about due to tiredness. Before we would have the rationale not to even go there but when you are tired your sense can disappear out of the window!

I do think that time without children together is vital.

We had a weekend away recently and whilst I was very hesitant about leaving the DC it done wonders for our relationship and highlighted the importance of time to be myself as opposed to mummy.

mummymeister Fri 12-Jun-15 12:29:51

we bit the bullet and employed a babysitter for one evening a week. I would advise anyone with young kids to do the same because it gives you time away and space. they stay little for only a short time but need you and your input for a lot longer than you think. mine are 2 teens and 1 pre teen now and I spend as much if not more time on childrens things than I did when they were all pre-schoolers. its the helping sort out school work, driving to and from clubs, to and from friends, helping with them planning outings etc all of it takes the time away. glad we have the established one night out a week or we would go crackers even this far away from pre-schoolers.

Its really easy to start viewing each other as friends and coparents rather than as a couple. its a bit of a slippery slope and you don't know you are on it until you are half way down.

oddfodd Fri 12-Jun-15 12:34:40

Pay a babysitter and get out for the evening. Lots of people have no relatives to look after their children but they get childcare.

Whatnext2015 Fri 12-Jun-15 12:44:39

We are trying to work on our marriage.
I'm taking it upon myself though to arrange a date/activity once a month for us.
Whether it be going to watch a film or go to the local?
I'm keeping an eye on wowcher and groupon for events or nights away on the cheap.
Tonight we are going for a tour around his fav football ground for £10! Then to the local pub, which I have signed up to the news letters and have got £5 off a £15 order.

We've gone through a really tough time.

We have two ds's 8 & 3, the 3 year old is very testing.
Over the last week and a half he's been on anti depressants as he felt pressured in his job coming home and being miserable,now since they've kicked in we are bonding and having a laugh like we used too.

Try and let go of the little disagreements and take the plunge and plan something to look forward too. It's amazing how positive and excited my hubby is about tonight I'm happy he's happy.

Have one night to yourself when both children go to bed to have a bubble bath, and pamper yourself etc.

Another thing I started out doing was fake it till you make it and it's working.
Have a smile on your face when he gets in from work and show genuine interest in his day and I'm sure the positive attitude will be reciprocated.

Theirs no point in fighting it will just tear you apart and push you further away from each other.

If it doesn't work possibly things about m counselling?

Good luck x

JaniceJoplin Fri 12-Jun-15 12:53:35

I read an article in the Times recently called 'how not to get divorced'.

In a nutshell it said that the way children are raised nowadays, normally by the immediate parents and with help from no-one else and in many cases solely the woman even if there is daycare involved as it is normally the woman who does the before and after, that the pressures and tiredness are so high that both parents eventually feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. Eventually, one of them, normally the man as he is at work more, find that they no longer get their emotional needs met from the marriage and look elsewhere, normally starting as an emotional affair at work which leads then to a full affair. It all stems from a lack of attention to the core man / wife relationship which stems from the amount of attention that children require in the early years. I'm sure it said that the majority of separations involve young children.

I found it quite terrifying tbh but I think it describes a slippery slope that many find themselves in.

Not that there is an excuse for an affair though.

It is quite hard to speak up about being unhappy in a relationship when the needs of the children seem to be far more obvious and immediate.

I think if you never do anything together then it's a problem, and although there are costs involved in paid for childcare you need to think how much a divorce would cost you. There is maybe small things you can do though, texts during the day, little gifts, favours etc. I think it's very hard.

Blackbeanchips Fri 12-Jun-15 13:50:51

I do feel that we are in a bit of trouble relationshipwise. One of our children needs a lot from us at the moment but I do think our approach of only the children matter is leading us in to trouble. I sometimes think our eldest would be happier if we were happier as a couple and ignored him a little!

The suggestions re paying for a babysitter are certainly alerting me to a problem or at least something I need to think about. We have willing friends but I wouldn't leave the baby with them as he is only happy with us. blush

That sounds like a great night out What next. Hope you enjoy.

JJ it is terrifying and I can see how it happens.

I might start with the small things. I found 2 cards recently shoved in a drawer. Anniversary and Valentines Day that I never got around to writing and giving. Not good.

mommyof23kids Fri 12-Jun-15 14:04:28

Yes it gets better. Now our youngest is 8 our marriage is significantly better. I followed a policy of being as kind to my dh as possible during the baby years. He was much better at it than me...but I think it helped us a lot to get through those really tough years.

TheUnwillingNarcheska Fri 12-Jun-15 16:22:26

I would take those willing friends up on their offer to babysit. Even if you can't do a night, an afternoon together would help.

Don't fall into the whole the baby is only fine with us, I have just watched my friend's marriage fall apart because they spent no time together. They were always with the children or had one ear out for the children.

I was lucky to have my Mum look after my two and after she sadly died Dh took one day off a month so that we could spend it together, whether that was pootling around the shops with no kids in tow (they were in school) a lunch, cinema or just lounging in bed for the day grin

Whatnext2015 Sat 13-Jun-15 15:12:59

Yes it was a fab night, we both agreed and really opened up where we went wrong and every month we will do something as we enjoyed it! We stayed at the pub till gone 12am we got there at 9pm saying we would have the one.
Have a look on wowcher or groupon and see what takes your fancy and organise it in advance so the childcare is sorted and you can look forward too it.

Good luck xxxx

Coincidenceschmoincidence Sat 13-Jun-15 15:48:05

Janice, chuck in the pressures of having a husband who worked away and a dc with mild sn too and that article is exactly what happened to me. We just couldn't withstand the pressure. hmm

Imi22sleeping Sat 13-Jun-15 18:41:11

I find this terrifying we have a small child . My bus ands no pretty much owns him a DNA I work 40hours a week . I feel he is constantly finding my faults and pointing them n out . Just now he's asleep on the sofa and I'm having to do bath after being up twice in night and from 6.30 I'm exhausted we haven't had sex in a very long time he doesn't seem bothered and he is smitten. With our child I feel like I've been replaced .

drinkscabinet Sat 13-Jun-15 18:59:52

It does get better as they get older. Our youngest is almost 3 now and things are much better than they were when the kids were tiny. Maternity leave was very difficult, I hated being away from the stimulation of work. For each child (we have 3) things got better almost immediately when I went back to work. We swap babysitting with friends so get out maybe once a month now which has made a difference. DH has changed his job so he has a shorter commute which has really transformed our lives, he would come home and we'd immediately have tea and be into the bedtime routine, now we have time to chat while getting tea ready and it's lovely.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Sat 13-Jun-15 19:18:22

In the first 18 months, we were so shattered we didn't have the energy to argue.

The really dangerous time was when DD realised that she could pit us against each other. That started when she was 8, and by the time she was 12 she was campaigning for us to split by telling one of us what the other was supposedly saying about them. Luckily we compared notes in time, and took action. Poor DW was in bits, thinking she'd given birth to a monster. I took the view that selfishness and cruelty is standard in teenagers. Just another problem like braces or homework.

Blackbeanchips Sat 13-Jun-15 20:06:08

No no Disgrace, we're going with the "try and go out sometime, it gets easier" message!! Seriously though, that sounds awful. God, I haven't even thought about teenage years!

I'm a little nervous that I'll plan some time together and it doesn't work for us anymore. But have got to try. Seems like unanimous advice. My mother has been telling me for a long time we won't survive like we are.

The cinema, pub evenings, lying in bed etc sounds bliss.

Coincidence sorry it worked out as it did for you. Sounds tough and I can relate.

Imi sorry things are difficult.

CheshireDing Sun 14-Jun-15 02:20:36

I totally hear what you are saying on this OP. We have 2 small children and work full time and particularly the 18 month old they don't sleep very well. I am beyond tired and cranky.

If it was just the older child with slightly broken sleep it would probably be doable and collectively i feel like I have not had any proper sleep for 4 years now, consequently the last few months I have been very annoyed very easily with DH. Stuff that he has always done (and I have always complained about) like leaving dirty washing on the floor rather than in the laundry basket, picking stuff up and putting it in the bin rather than walking past it for days.

I know most of it is because I am tired but he annoys me a lot at the minute.

I am going on holiday for 4 days next month to literally sleep and relax hopefully. I have been putting it off because I didn't want to spend the money but It has got to the point where I am loosing my mind.

I second what others have said about childcare for a few hours or a night. I have never had a night away from ours but maybe i/we should have taken a couple of days off work together just to sleep/catch up sad it's definitely a slippery road !

Blackbeanchips Sun 14-Jun-15 20:09:10

I hope the holiday helps Cheshire. Its tough isn't it? Sleep deprivation sucks.
DH and I typically annoy the hell out of each at the moment. I made a big effort today to be nicer, just little things, and do you know, it wasn't that difficult! At the risk of sounding like a miserable cow, I tried to smile a lot more.
Good luck with sorting your own situation.

Lotsofponies Sun 14-Jun-15 20:30:28

janice yep that's me and my partner. Tired, fed up, totally overwhelmed by everything.

We have been together 19 years, for the first 16 things were great, we were investing time in each other without even realizing . We didn't see the deterioration until we reached crisis point.

OP I would say yes it does get better as kids get older . I am quite unusual in that I have a grown up daughter so had been through it all before I had my next 2, I never anticipated how different having two would be, but once they sleep and become more independent parenting is not so intense, tsill has its 'moments', just different.

Its good that you have noticed that things are not great before things get too bad. My partner and I are working on more us time and it has made a huge difference, however our crisis point was my OH getting drunk and snogging another woman, it totally freaked him out that 'HE' could do such a thing and it took a while for him to work out that basically he wanted to feel wanted. We now have the whole trust/betrayal/insecurity issues to deal with too.

Don't make our mistake, talk and act NOW. Hope you and your DH get back on track.

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