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The third DC - the marriage wrecker??

(94 Posts)
TheCountessOlenska Sat 18-May-13 20:42:48

Someone I know was saying that she reckons that when the third child comes along is when the husband goes bonkers and runs off with his secretary. She said she knows loads of couples this has happened to (I know of two of them myself to be fair)

So, surely this isn't true of the general population??

ShadeofViolet Sat 18-May-13 22:37:40

Its taken us to the brink without doubt, although DS2's SN hasnt helped.

I agree with poster who says its a financial strain. That has been our main strain.

mummytime Sat 18-May-13 22:40:24

Nope. Our third was our easiest.
But DH's family is full of 3s, his Aunt and sister both have 3.
In my family 2 lots of couples have split after having 3, but one was 5 years later and the other about 11 years later. In both cases there were very strong reasons why those relationships were unlikely to last.

But most 3rds I know are planned, it is the 4th or 5ths that are a shock.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sat 18-May-13 22:44:32

I think the early years with three are hard. You have to get used to a level of chaos. Oh, invest in shares in Indesit. We are on 2-3 washes per day. Washing machines wear out and have to be instantly replaced or we disappear into a laundry tsunami.

Now DCs are teens it feels like we are running a feeding station. They vanish for hour ends on end but as soon as they sniff food then half-remembered faces appear in the kitchen.

Startail Sat 18-May-13 22:50:00

DH doesn't do babies, two was his tolerance level and so there we stopped.

Startail Sat 18-May-13 22:53:50

I think you both absolutely must want three and must be prepared for the fact that a lot of the world is set up for 2 adults and 2 children.

Asheth Sat 18-May-13 23:00:50

DC3 hasn't wrecked our marriage, although it is probably the only thing he hasn't wrecked.... grin seriously I would hate to put a figure on the cost of everything he's broken - he is a total destruction magnet!

StuntGirl Sat 18-May-13 23:10:29

Don't think its true. If it is I suspect there were already problems in the relationship and it would have happened anyway with or without the third child.

I do know someone who ran off with his secretary though (and come to think of it he has 3 kids grin)

IroningBoredDaily Sat 18-May-13 23:13:33

No way!!

I am one of 3 - my parents are still happily married.

Most of my close friends are one of at least 3 children - all their parents are still married.

Out of my close friends, around 8 of us have 3 children - all are happily married.

I have 3 children and can honestly say that our 3rd child has most definitely completed our family - she is an absolute delight. We are most definitely happily married too!!!

ProphetOfDoom Sat 18-May-13 23:23:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Irishchic Sat 18-May-13 23:23:46

We have 5 dc. my dh can't afford to run off on me grin

mumofweeboys Sun 19-May-13 04:59:12


We both made the choice to have a third and our wee bundle arrived a few weeks ago. Dh was great to start but I think he is now resenting that my time is being taken up with the new baby and has said as much that he needs attention too - needless to say I told him to wise up.

Manyofhorror3 Sun 19-May-13 07:35:30

The thing about 3 is that as a couple you're permanently outnumbered. That might not sound much but it means that it's very hard for both parents to do one-to-one attention and activities at the same time. So eg jenny wants ballet, johnny wants football and Joe wants swimming - one of the parents ends up being the bad guy and taking a child along to an activity they don't want. It's only a small thing but that resentment mounts up.
My 3 are very close in age and if I have them by myself I've straightaway run out of hands, so simple things like crossing the road are a world of stress.
For all 3 to have their own rooms that's a 4 bed house and if that's not possible then someone shares - more resentment, more drawing of boundaries and battle lines.
As a previous poster said, the world is set up for 2 adults and two children. With three in car seats/boosters sudden even your choice of car is minuscule.
Trips out are 33% more expensive! We went to a fete yesterday, and every ride was £2. Each child went on 5 rides, so our outlay was £30, not £20 that all our friends with two children paid. When it's like that every time you go out, it soon mounts up!

BornInACrossFireHurricane Sun 19-May-13 07:58:01

Someone mentioned upthread about divorce rates in parents of twins/multiples. Having twins has sent us to the brink at times, mainly due to being bloody knackered and sleep deprived.

We pesonally don't want anymore as it would finish us off but I do know couples very happy with having three (or more). Saying that they do have an age gap of at least 2/3 years between each child in general- maybe this makes things a little easier? In general, that is. Of course some children are just easier, some parents have more family support, better financial situations etc

PrincessScrumpy Sun 19-May-13 08:03:44

Oh dear our dc2 was in fact dtds which took us from 1 to 3 overnight... Happily married but 2dc would be a lot easier and financially more secure as i've had to give up work as childcare was more than I earn. Dh does feel the pressure to provide for us and after a bad night we both get a bit snappy but we know why. With 3DC, we can get through a whole day with out speaking to each other except through the children so now make more effort. Fingers crossed for us

Anomaly Sun 19-May-13 08:21:06

I think children can break a marriage irrespective of the number if one or both parents are unrealistic about the work involved. We've three and I love it! We are fortunately financially secure although I priced up all three kids before having any. I'm now a little bit scared of accidentally ending up with dc4 as I think that would be too much. DH is waiting to get done and we're very very careful.

I seem to know a very small number of divorced parents. Only one close friend is divorced and she married very young and split before having kids.

peteypiranha Sun 19-May-13 08:23:26

Definitely agree with the age gaps most here have age gaps of 3/4 years and are still working and having very active social lifes. Children are only really stressful if you have them close together as you dont get time to yourselves.

HollyBerryBush Sun 19-May-13 08:38:25

I'd disagree with that - closer is better - age gaps cause a problem in activities etc. Roughly the same age and you are moving out of various stages collectively.

Dancergirl Sun 19-May-13 08:47:11

Rubbish, we have 3 and it's not that hard.

I wouldn't say 3 is that large a family anyway, some have 4, 5 or more dc. If a husband is inclined to have an affair, he'll do it anyway irrespective of the number of dc.

PacificDogwood Sun 19-May-13 08:57:44

DS1 braught us to the brink.

We now have DS4, are still together.
I feel we are beginning to come out the other side now that DS4 is 3 (and at nursery twice a week).

peteypiranha Sun 19-May-13 09:29:24

I suppose it depends holly if you want to keep working then its much better having larger gaps.

wineoclocktimeyet Sun 19-May-13 09:33:07

I'd never made the connection before, but the 2 friends whose husbands have decided its too much hard work being a husband and a father, both have 3 children!

That said, I also have friends with 3 who ae still together

CissyMeldrum Sun 19-May-13 10:10:21

I have 3,3rd not planned,my eldest has SN but you is love isn't it

CissyMeldrum Sun 19-May-13 10:12:14

Forgot to say my husband is great.

janey68 Sun 19-May-13 10:12:14

Well, obviously it's far too simplistic to say that if you have 3 children you're at risk of hubby running off with his secretary and if you stick at none, one or two you'll be fine!!

BUT.. I think some of the posts above indicate how having a 3rd child could highlight particular stresses such as finance or space, it might limit some of the activities previously enjoyed etc which in turn is going to put pressure on a marriage.

I also know a couple of people who had a 3rd child after a big gap, and while both the couples are still together, I do know they've had a tough time of it. My take on that is that although the husbands went along with the idea of 3, in both cases it was the woman who was really driving the idea (older 2 kids in school and mum wanting a final 'bonus' baby) so I suspect those are the reasons behind it being an extra pressure. I know plenty of other families with 3 (or 4) children close together and although their lives are hectic, they seem to just get on with it.

So it's not the fact of having 3 kids, so much as the reasons behind having the 3rd

(Btw I don't like the term 'bonus baby' but I've heard it referred to that when a mum has a last one after a long gap out of her desire to do the whole baby thing again!)

jojane Sun 19-May-13 11:20:13

We have 3 and quote close together (6,4 and 2) it has been hard and we have had a couple of rough patches but we seem to be coming out the other side now ds2 is no longer a baby. Financially we are gradually getting better off. Most of my friends have 2 and it just 'seems' easier for them. I just seem to be chasing my tail all the time, house is always a mess, never get to the bottom of the washing basket etc!! Saying that ds1 is being assessed for aspergers and has only just gained control of his bladder so a lot of stress and worry would have been around whether we had 1 or 3 kids.

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