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big families/hardworking DH - does the parents' relationship have to suffer?

(9 Posts)
mrsmollie Sun 10-Jul-11 19:22:36

(Name change) I am mother of 4 DC aged between 6 and 13. My DH works long and hard, medical, often evenings and week ends. Most of the child rearing comes down to me. I have lots of interests and keep busy apart from looking after the DC and I do work when I can (freelancer). But I feel my DH and I are growing further and further apart, and rarely spend time just the two of us, or have joint interests. When he is at home, the DC demand their pound of flesh from him (understandably). I feel very much the last priority with him. Our sex life suffers from his exhaustion. I have been to Relate - I found it useful and some things have improved, but I beginning to think that coming up the priority list with my DH is nigh on impossible. Does anyone else find this, and if so, have they managed to fix it, or learn to live with it?

RandomMess Sun 10-Jul-11 19:45:44

Sorry we're in the same boat for slightly different reasons. Large family both work, dh depressed = no meaningful communication.

I'm learning to live with it, hoping that one dh will be better (in the same way one day your dc will be older and take less of his time and perhaps his working hours will improve?)

It isn't easy though sad

mrsmollie Sun 10-Jul-11 20:11:13

You are right. It's not easy...because I think the longer it goes on, the more permanent the damage that is done. Do you sometimes think, Random Mess, that your DH has become more of a 'business partner' than a soul mate/lover?

RandomMess Sun 10-Jul-11 20:19:21

confused yes I suppose so sad

I do wonder if in the years to come there will be anything left of "us" so even when the dc are much older and independent the dreams I have had of holidaying together enjoying our time together etc have slowly slipped away.

On a bad day I grieve on a better day I remember it could be far bloody worse. There are plenty of horrible husbands out there!

But I do miss him so very very much and at times resent the giving he does for others when he won't give to me.

Not sure I'm helping you here! The alternatives are splitting up but I'm not sure it would achieve anything apart from heartache with no certainty of ever meeting someone else confusedsad

I love my dh and dc so i guess I just need learn to accept the compromise I'm making.

cat64 Sun 10-Jul-11 20:24:14

Message withdrawn

mrsmollie Sun 10-Jul-11 21:48:55

Random Mess, If you don't mind telling me, how did you know your DH was depressed, and has he got medical help for it? I sometimes wonder if mine is under so much stress overall that he just retreats into himself more and more.
Cat64 Thank you. We are already at that stage of being able to leave the DC and be less hands on. The problem is that there are 4 of them so there is always someone wanting something from one of us, whether homework, a lift, a game of football. Normal family things. The messy, sleepless stuff is long over, but an 11 or 12 year old still need (a different sort of) attention.

RandomMess Sun 10-Jul-11 21:57:15

Hmmm I think he has always been a bit depressive (as have I), he developed a phobia about 18 months and since then it's all been very downhill.

He has sought treatment for the phobia so is on a waiting list for therapy, has refused medication angry but I think he's depressed.....

he has withdrawn emotionally, doesn't want to hear how I am at all, he takes anything I say as criticism or as genuinely being his fault - makes him feel guilty, he sleeps a lot, he is always tired, he makes more effort than ever before with the dc, housework etc etc but is avoiding getting in touch with his emotions (and therefore mine as well) because he just can't cope.

I've had his issued projected on me etc etc etc. Taken up more hobbies etc. A few months ago I forced a conversation with him and he admitted things weren't okay and I should leave as they will never be the same again confused

He is not the man I knew 2 years ago - on the surface everthing seems fine, rosy, good but at a deeper level it's really really not.

Anyhow in conclusion I think he's very depressed and am hanging on in there in the hope that things will improve, one day.

mrsmollie Sun 10-Jul-11 22:16:34

Sorry to hear your r'ship has taken such a turn. You have another dimension to deal with on top of what I posted about (and what I have, is bad enough!) I hope your DH gets help soon that works.
I do think relationships change over the years. I sometimes think that in the case of my DH and me, we have adapted to having DC and all the work involved so much, that we have lost a great deal of ourselves as a couple.

Our couple life has become family life.

(As individuals though, we have interesting and happy lives, but find the couple time more and more squeezed.)

RandomMess Sun 10-Jul-11 22:26:19

All I can suggest is that you book in couple time, make appointments in your schedules for the two of you, arrange a sitter etc and don't take no for answer! You both deserve it.

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