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How did becoming a parent affect your relationship?

(9 Posts)
bunsmum Tue 16-Apr-13 21:44:50

I am 3 months pregnant with my first child and finding it terrifying. I am married to a wonderful, but very traditional man who treats me incredibly well. But I have this nagging anxiety that becoming a parent will change our relationship. All sorts of anxieties keep popping into my head - that he will love the baby more than me - that he won't love the baby at all - that he will see me as a mother only and stop having sex with me - that he will find me unattractive - that I will never get my body back - that if I dedicate my life to being a mother now and if he leaves me in the future, I will be trapped taking care of children, jobless, penniless and living in poverty.

All these anxieties stem out of an unhappy childhood with an abusive mother/cheatingfather and finding it hard to trust and fearing betrayal. I am having therapy for this but it's a long process. My husband has shown no signs that he would do any of these things and he understands the basis of my therapy and my problems with trust and insists that it would be dishonourable to do any of the above.

However the anxiety will not go away. I know it's irrational. What I'm looking to try and understand is HOW your relationships changed when you had kids? Did you feel jealous of the baby when your husband gave it attention? Did you wish your husband was giving it more attention? Did your sex life change forever? Did you see your husband looking at other women more?

Media leads us to believe that this cloud of bliss descends over both members of a couple but having seen a friend go through it recently, the bubble was swiftly burst.

MyShoofly Tue 16-Apr-13 21:50:51

We have two and our otherwise very sound relationship took some kicks in the month or two after each arrived. Mostly becasue we were very tired and sleep deprivation can make for some unflattering snappy behaviour. BUT both times we settled down, got a grip and got back on track.

Especially after our first there was an interesting shift in equality as I went from being a total equal in a modern relationship to a SAHM on maternity leave. There was that "I've been at work all day" argument which surprised me.

All I can recommend is talk, talk, talk. It all comes down to communicating and also being accountable for your own baggage and behaviour IMO.

2712 Tue 16-Apr-13 21:51:11

TBH having DCs killed my marriage, but that's only because my also very traditional DH saw me as "the little woman" and himself as the "breadwinner" which gave him the "right" to carry on his life pretty much as he had been doing pre-DCs.
Depends on whether your DH sees you as an equal or not really.

SucksToBeMe Tue 16-Apr-13 21:57:45

We were together for 7 years before, but am much happier now we have a child. We have much more to talk/laugh about and we are not as jealous as we were.
I posted on here a few weeks ago how my number was accidentally put in a advert of a massuer/prostitute. I got 50 calls from men looking for sex and DH wasnt even bothered! grin
Not that I would be shocked if he cheated though, I have not met a men in my 36years on this earth that I could hand on heart trust. <cynical>

bunsmum Tue 16-Apr-13 21:58:04

Because DH has a very traditional outlook he sees us as equals but, I think, with VERY different roles. He wants to worship me as some sublime mother nature - he wants me to be the perfect mother and the kids to be the perfect kids.

Every time I tell him the reality of it - poo, sick, wee, exhaustion, confusion, getting fat - he says STOP STOP. He can't hear it. He doesn't want to see the reality. And when I say to him WHY don't you want to hear the reality of it? You'll be IN the reality of it in 6 months! He says I know but I don't want to dwell on it.

LokiTheCynicalCat Tue 16-Apr-13 22:58:56

It has improved ours no end.

Together 11 years, married 5. It's not really a matter of being jealous of the attention/love for the baby, as when you have created something so wonderful the love your partner bears for this tiny being only serves to fulfil you the more. It deepens my love for my husband to see him be such an amazing dad, and to see the way my baby's face lights up when he comes home from work. Can't speak for him but I've noticed that awed look on his face when he watched me breastfeed, when I make the baby giggle with some new trick I've learned in the day, and when he sees our baby's eyes follow me around the room. We have a new quality to admire in each other - good and loving parents. It also gives us a long-term project to work on together. Now we need to plan raising the adult we want to know in 20 years time, discuss the skills we learned that we would like to share, discover our goals for education etc. So we can envisage our future together.

I was lucky - normal birth, healthy baby, who slept and still sleeps fairly well. Tiredness in the first few months made us snappy of course, and no matter how wonderful or understanding your DH is, they still won't completely understand how exhausting pregnancy/delivery/breastfeeding is, especially in the early days, and how long it takes to recover. DH wanted me to walk my parents to the train station 2 weeks after the birth, I had stitches and was exhausted from BFing etc and I couldn't make him understand that I couldn't do the journey there and back.

AThingInYourLife Tue 16-Apr-13 23:30:13

"He wants to worship me as some sublime mother nature - he wants me to be the perfect mother and the kids to be the perfect kids."

hmm

You're fucked. Someone who wants to worship you doesn't see you as an equal.

Our relationship has improved through doing this incredibly intense thing together. We have 3 kids now - 5, 3, 9 months.

We have far less time together when we aren't working. But we're good at pulling together.

We're kind to each other and have each other's back.

Gennz Tue 16-Apr-13 23:41:52

God buns no wonder you’re stressed. Your anxiety isn't irrational at all. He needs an attitude adjustment. How would he feel about you returning to work? Do you want to go back to work?

With any luck he'd get a wake up call when the baby is born but there are no guarantees, it sounds very stressful.

I don’t have kids (am 31, been with DH for 11 years, married for 4.5) and keep putting it off because I worry how it would affect our lifestyle, finances, my career, etc so I can understand where you’re coming from.

mameulah Wed 17-Apr-13 00:16:14

MyShoofly

Your post is very well written. And, I agree with every word you have said!

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