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To wonder why so many relationships fail after having children

(78 Posts)
Yummymummy30s Tue 16-Aug-16 19:23:54

I have a few friends whose relationships went bad after having a child ; some were together years before having children. I have also read a lot of posts where the partner/husband had changed during pregnancy / not long after birth.
Is it more common for relationships to break down after having children? Why is this ??

Graceflorrick Tue 16-Aug-16 19:26:07

This hasn't been the case in my friendship group. We all seem much closer after having DC. My DH and I are certainly closer.

Philoslothy Tue 16-Aug-16 19:27:53

Children can put a lot of pressure on a relationship - particularly if it is not a secure relationship anyway. I love my husband to bits and have a very secure marriage but I can time never getting dragged into competitive tiredness with him - that alone could break an insecure marriage.

I think some people foolishly think that a baby will save a relationship or make somebody stay.

Mcnorton Tue 16-Aug-16 19:27:54

Having kids is ruddy stressful a lot of the time. My husband and I only ever argue about domestic stuff. If we had no child and lived apart we'd never disagree grin

absolutelynotfabulous Tue 16-Aug-16 19:28:34

Perhaps children put an extra strain on a relationship? I think most relationships necessarily shift to accommodate a child. Perhaps the shift is too great for many relationships to tolerate.

I was with DP for 25 years. The relationship has broken down. Not quite sure why, really, but probably a combination of subtle things. Oh, and cheating. His.

Philoslothy Tue 16-Aug-16 19:29:07

I think children can make an already secure relationship stronger. Children will blow wide open a relationship with cracks.

Amelie10 Tue 16-Aug-16 19:29:10

Same as Grace. I don't believe people change overnight though. I think the signs and issues are always there but it's easier to be in denial. That's just my opinion.

Arfarfanarf Tue 16-Aug-16 19:29:19

lots of reasons

because they weren't solid before the child and they stupidly thought introducing an infant into the mix would help

because one of them was a total arse and the other had their head in the sand and ignored all the red flags

because one of them was a lazy selfish git and this only became apparent when there was a small human utterly dependant on the both of them

sleep deprevation

the well known and quite alarming phenomenon where having a baby is the point at which a man becomes abusive towards his partner

because they were utterly utterly unprepared for the total upheaval that children bring and instead of facing that as a team - turned on each other

and lots and lots of other reasons.

PotteringAlong Tue 16-Aug-16 19:29:19

Because you're knackered and never spend time together and argue about little things and are too tired to sort it out and it all sort of spirals out of control.

CathFromCooberPedy Tue 16-Aug-16 19:30:00

Well how's your relationship yummymumny30s hmm

Relationships breakdown. This is predominantly a parenting forum so it will be skewed.

Trills Tue 16-Aug-16 19:31:40

Having children is hard.

Someone who is "nice enough" to be with when things are easy might not be god enough when things are hard.

meddie Tue 16-Aug-16 19:33:44

failure to adapt to the role of being a parent probably.

The marriages I have saw fail usually the main care fell on the woman, so not only is she never getting a break, but shes doing all the childcare, domestic chores, emotional work and he's throwing a strop because she isn't the same anymore, doesn't want to have sex at often or 'neglecting him'

All leads to massive resentment which kills love dead.

Trills Tue 16-Aug-16 19:33:50

Alternative possibility: people are having children because they think it will bring them closer together.

But anyone who thinks they need that is already in a relationship with problems, and is wrong.

Glitterkitten24 Tue 16-Aug-16 19:33:56

Children definitely put a strain on the relationship.
I completely forgot how rocky things were with me and dh after birth of first DC, and am now having the same issues after dc2 was born.

It's a combination of sleep deprivation, me being on mat leave so the housework/ money/work roles have all changed, and adjusting to the additional pressure of two dcs.
We will get through it, if we don't strangle each other first! smile (kidding, obviously, not condoning da!)

Lules Tue 16-Aug-16 19:34:49

Yep. Tiredness makes everything so so much harder. Less money. Very little time for yourself or each other. Possible mental health issues (PND, PPP). Issues with gender roles if the woman is on maternity leave/stops working. Loads of reasons. (I am speaking generally rather than referring to my own situation specifically)

PurplePenguins Tue 16-Aug-16 19:35:53

Some men don't want to give up their childless life and this puts a lot of pressure on the mother, some mothers become more controlling and treat DH like another child, some relationships were strong preDC and crack under the pressure, one wants to spend and the other save. All sorts of reasons 😊

PurplePenguins Tue 16-Aug-16 19:37:16

*weren't strong preDC

BikeRunSki Tue 16-Aug-16 19:37:38

Pressure on - free time, time to yourself, money, sleep, space. We have no regular or reliable babysitter, so DH and I rarely go out together. Discovering that - in practice - you have different parenting styles and aspirations, regardless what you may have talked about. Resentment of parents over balance of perceived time to yourself / time looking after children / time working.

mamas12 Tue 16-Aug-16 19:38:04

I think it's also to do with the pressure of trying to do it on your own
In years gone by, you lived near family and the family (good or bad) would help look after you when you hd a baby as well as your dh, so at least you could take a nap or not worry about the house and just proper,ly recover and within that was your relationship with your other half.
Now I'm not saying that's everyone's ideal with all the problems some families bring but at least the pressure was off on coping on your own.

DragonsEggsAreAllMine Tue 16-Aug-16 19:38:08

Numerous reasons, the relationship wasn't long enough to start with, it wasn't work so they had a baby to try and fix things, it wasn't working but the woman wanted a child, cheating with contraception etc.

WhatTheActualFugg Tue 16-Aug-16 19:39:11

Errr... I can only assume the OP not only doesn't have children but has never actually met a child - definitely not one of the baby varieties.

and they say there's no such thing as a daft question hmm

honeylulu Tue 16-Aug-16 19:47:32

I think a lot of men don't really want children but go along with it. Then it's hard work.
Lots of people (including me) had/have a romanticised notion of what marriage and then family life is like. And then find it's not like that. Children who won't sleep, who won't do as they're told. The sudden poverty having a baby can cause and how hard it is to struggle financially even though you're working your arses off. The focus on domestic drudgery/routine. The sudden imbalance if one partner becomes financially dependent on the other to become a SAHP.
Of the people I know (with children) wove divorced or separated recently the reasons given were as follows:
1. We had grown apart /never spent time together (Male - he'd also found someone else it emerged! )
2. I'm bored with family life and can't face this being all there is. (Male)
3. Very similar to 2 above (female)
4. Couldn't cope with partners financial irresponsibility once we had a child (female).
5. She never paid any attention to me any more once we had children (male)
Just a few ideas.

zeezeek Tue 16-Aug-16 19:48:50

What the - that's a mean post. It is actually a valid question and one which I have wondered too at various points in my life before and after children.

At the risk of sounding smug I've often wondered why couples I've known have split up when they've previously seemed so compatible and happy. Some of them had children, some didn't - sometimes it is a big event, like children, or illness, bereavement or other life events changing the dynamics. Other times it seems to be a number of little things over a long time that pushes people further apart, or even just realising they want different things from life.

It can be useful, however, to have threads like this to highlight difficulties that people have and could even help a relationship. I don't know, but I do remember that just after my eldest was born I had a conversation with my DH's first wife about why their marriage broke up that was helpful and illuminating and yes, it helped me to understand him.

Deliaskis Tue 16-Aug-16 19:49:18

From my observation, it is often because one (or both) partner(s) has never had to sacrifice (or even consider sacrificing) their own interests before having a child. It's perfectly possible to be in a long 'stable' relationship or marriage, for many years, without ever having to really do anything you don't want to do, because you have a lot in common, like the same things etc. Then a child comes along and one of you has to get up at night, one of you has to pace round the block with the pram trying to get them to sleep, you often can't socialise as frequently, you can't have impromptu weekends away, etc. I see a lot of people struggle with the notion of not having the freedom to basically do exactly what they want.

Lots of relationships are never really tested until children enter the picture. Those that are tested and last, end up stronger for it.

Trills Tue 16-Aug-16 19:52:52

It's perfectly possible to be in a long 'stable' relationship or marriage, for many years, without ever having to really do anything you don't want to do, because you have a lot in common, like the same things etc.

Very good point there.

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