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Help me get my husband back!(15 Posts)
hello all, let me explain the situation. My fantastic husband has (whist remaining absolutely fantastic) changed overnight since having dc (nearly 1 year old). Prior to dc's arrival our relationship was perfect. We laughed all the time, dh had a constantly sunny personality etc. We were together 10 years before dc's birth. Now my husband is not a sunny person any more. He works away often, and during and for the evening after being away with work he returns to his old sweet happy go lucky self - both when he is with me after bring away with work, or when on the phone to him.
When he is home for a long time, or on weekends, he gradually drifts into a grumpier person, with less patience and not much happiness about him compared to the 'real' him. Obviously we get less sleep, are constantly looking after our lo (who I admit is quite a demanding, high needs baby, but is a joy too), are very busy with chores etc. Lo is often poorly which adds to the stress, and overall it seems a lot of drudgery and tiredness, mixed in with lots of lovely times with dc. But dh just does not seem happy. When he is grumpy I ask him why, he explains there is so much to do and he is just 'getting on'. He misses being able to indulge in hobbies, or just pottering. He misses sleep. he has a demanding job and now misses having 'down time'. I asked him where the old, happy go lucky dh has gone, and he said that the old dh was carefree, free and with no responsibilities and that was the old him and this is our new life and the old him will never come back. . This upsets me so much. He is so kind and supportive and really shifts his weight and helps out when at home. He still loves me (I think!) but I miss the happiness so much. I miss him, his humour and companionship. We get little time together anyway and when we are together it is all about dc, as it should be. It just seems that the new life does not make dh happy and I only ever wanted him to be happy. We both chose to become parents but I was the main driver behind this. I make sure he has time to go pub with a friend, play sport or enjoy hobbies, but it's obviously not as regular as previously, but at least once or twice a week.
Does anyone have any experience of this/ advice?
I think you should be careful not to take on too much responsibility for his emotional well-being - saying you were the main driver in having children and making sure he gets down-time, it's all very well, but he is an adult. I think it will backfire on you to treat him like a delicate man-flower & mother him. Taking too much responsibility for his happiness can easily slip into taking the blame.
Things will be different, but when you're both getting more sleep, you'll both see each other more clearly again. Just strains of parenthood, I think.
A long time ago, I was a nanny specialising in 'difficult' children. Invariably the difficulty was in the parents, who had demanding lives of their own and powerful personalities. I came along and gave their kids full attention which, as you know, is what small children need. The kids became more tractable, the parents started to like their kids and then they'd get rid of me This usually took between nine months and two years.
So - yes, what everyone else said! It's part of the readjustment. Nobody tells you how damn difficult it really is (or if they did, you didn't want to hear it ).
It might be a good idea to discuss this clearly with DH. Have a bit of a mutual pity party, don't let him think you've gone off him ... it'll all be better in a years or so. Good luck!
I think this is just an adjustment problem. As others have said, having a child changes your life in a way you could never have dreamed. I also agree that you shouldn't be worrying so much about making sure your H has "treats" - you need some down time too.
Have you actually talked together about the difference your baby has made to your life - if not, I think you should. It sounds to me like he is feeling his "wings have been clipped" and in a way they have, as have yours. Are there any positives - how does he treat the baby, is he proud of her in any sense. Maybe he just can't see beyond the year old high maintenance baby and things will improve as she gets older.
FWIW I have seen one of my son and dils relationship alter a lot since the birth of their first child - they too are sleep deprived (and I agree with others that this is something that makes life so difficult) and it worries me but I think they are both feeling the same as your DH - that life was so carefree before, and of course when it is carefree we just take it for granted.
Really hope things improve for you both - but you must I think comunicate. His assertion that he will never be his carefree self again is in my view unnecessarily negative and rather unkind to you, since he must know that you are worrying about the situation.
Babies do grow up you know though sometimes it can seem like a never ending round of drudgery.....hope it will get better.
Thanks so much.madam,I agree I should stop putting pressure on dh to be carefree again, and I will take your advice on this. I know he is a good man trying his best to adjust. Zikes I agree I cannot take responsibility for his happiness, but I want to play my part in making him happy, but I will stop blaming myself like you say. Thanks again all x
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Are you the same person you were prior to having your child?
If you are making lots of effort to make his life better you are being his Mum not his wife.
You need to be a woman enjoying her life as well, someone he might want to spend time with and love, not a nanny for his baby.
If you can afford it, get a cleaner. Delegate as much of the drudgery as possible to a pro who can deal with it quickly.
There will still be chores to do, but you need to free up leisure time so that you can both enjoy your baby. Otherwise, you'll be sliding into depression and poor health.
Are the ILs nearby? Rope them in for some weekend babysitting or general help.
I wish I had done the above -- not that it would have saved my marriage, as XH was a mean-spirited, mendacious cheat, but it might have saved my health. Your DH, however, sounds rather nice. You'll get your lives back eventually, but take care not to grind yourselves down in the meantime. Get others to pitch in.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT
CHECK THE DATE OF THE OP, PEOPLE!
when we are together it is all about dc, as it should be
I realize that mumsnet will probably flame me for this, but your statement is so wrong. You were a couple before the child, and yes, children do and should be a large part of your life together. However, unless you find some you and me time with your husband, then your marriage may well flounder. (sincerely hope not)
Is it possible to get a child minder in, at least once or twice a month so you and your husband can spend time together, ( even overnight in a motel ) that way you will both get some alone time and probably a decent sleep.
We found it tough when our daughter was born, we have little outside help so didn't have time together at all. She is now 18 months and we make sure we take annual leave every now and again when she's at nursery so we can have a day together. We have also joined a gym with a crèche and put her in the crèche and go for lunch once or twice a month too. It helps us have some downtime.
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