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Am I expecting too much from dh?

(37 Posts)
Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 07:38:23

We have 2 dc, ds is 5 & dd 16 months. As you will know this is full on and pretty exhausting most days. Since dd arrived my relationship with dh has really suffered. We are irritable with each other and were arguing alot.

We went to Relate which was good for us both and they gave us some ideas to improve things. But they just don't seem to be happening. We never spend much time together and what really bugs me is my dh just can't wait to go to bed (to sleep) in the evening. He will go as soon as we've eaten and cleared up, usually around 9.00pm. I am the opposite and like to stay up longer as it's the only time I get to do my own things.

I have told him many timed that I'd like him to stay up and talk and maybe watch something together. But if he does do it I know he wishes he wasn't and then I just feel it's tense. I know he gets tired but this is the only time of day we have alone and I just feel like he's only interested in sleep and I feel really lonely.

I know we love each other but I am finding this really hard as our relationship is nothing like it was pre dc. If I try to tell him how I feel he just says well I can't help being tired. To be fair his job involves driving quite alot which is tiring, but I work and look after dc so I'm exhausted too.

Am I making too much of this? Shall I just find my own hobbies, join a gym, make friends and do my own thing?
Is this normal for couples with small dc?

Mumsyblouse Sat 24-Aug-13 10:49:21

If he has a driving job (tiring) plus a 5.30am start, it would be dangerous for him not to get good sleep, he'd be out on the roads dropping off. Unfortunately this is part and parcel of the little kids lifestyle. He probably is exhausted and this is the only way he can keep working with a little one. If you feel sleepy in the day, you can doze a little on the sofa during baby's nap time/put the TV on (that's what I used to do anyway), he can't begin to think about this once he's on the road.

This will resolve in a couple of years once your 16 month old can stay in bed/occupy self say til 7am. Or think about a later bedtime for them.

It is hard though, and you do sound like you are lacking intimacy. Could you go out the night before his day off? Could you go to bed with him, read, watch TV. have a snuggle, even though it's earlier than you would like?

Also- does he snore or stop breathing slightly when he's sleeping? If he's got any type of sleep problem, he will be unnaturally sleepy in the daytime and this needs treatment. If he's truly exhausted beyond all reason, it might be worth him popping to the docs and checking out some obvious causes of tiredness (beyond having small children).

kutee Sat 24-Aug-13 10:50:02

To not want to stay up I'd not rejection. It's the reality of being a tired parent to young children, especially if you work full time.

Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 11:07:40

Thanks but just wanted to point out that I work every day too 8.30 - 2.00. Then I dash home to collect dd from childminder & ds from school. My dd does not nap in the day apart from morning at childminder. With the two of them there is no chance for me to have a doze or watch tv as I am constantly doing stuff with them or clearing up, getting tea etc. I also have a chronic condition which can leave me in pain as well as shattered. I am doing my best and I am not expecting my dh to stay up every night or to want to change him. I'm just trying to work out when we could have some decent time together once a week to stop my marriage going stale.

CoffeeandScones Sat 24-Aug-13 11:40:12

Staying up late doesn't mean rejection, but every single night? After they've been to Relate where this was presumably discussed?

I doubt the OP's DH is running himself to complete exhaustion every single night. It's not unreasonable to feel a bit rejected.

Jemster Sat 24-Aug-13 11:48:21

In fact sometimes DH has a nap himself at lunchtime in his car! He is a sales rep so yes some driving but not like a long distance lorry driver! And he still gets home at 5.00pm unlike alot of friends of ours.

Mumsyblouse Sat 24-Aug-13 12:14:27

Ok, so you don't get a chance to get a nap, but the reason your marriage is stale is because you are both exhausted. Going to bed at 9pm isn't unreasonable if you have to rise and work at 5.30am! I go to bed at 10pm to rise at 7/7.30 and I don't have little kids.

I get what you are saying, you feel he's not making the effort but I can't see how making a very tired person stay up late is going to help. If he's avoiding you, or up to something on the computer, that might also account for it.

What about the weekend days- surely time together then would be better. Or is he avoiding those as well?

TheFunStopsHere Sat 24-Aug-13 12:22:07

My XH did this. It was absolutely to avoid intimacy - not conscious on his part, but he always needed to be somewhere else, always needed to be going to bed, there was always something else stopping him from connecting with me, his children, his family, his friends.

Does he have friendships? Does he express emotions? It's very hard to have a real relationship when you're just passing ships in the night.

Mumsyblouse Sat 24-Aug-13 12:22:20

Can you get a babysitter/friend/grandparent to mind the kids for a night out?

I just think you are in that completely exhausting phase a couple of years in after the second where spending time together is almost impossible unless you have someone to help out (I suppose we went out/go out about once every six months). But this does get better as the children get more independent, plus they they stay up later anyway (mine are pre-teens and stay up til 9pm).

The only other options are that he's up to something (texting/on computer games) or that he's avoiding you. But I don't see how these will be improved by making him stay up past 9pm if he desperately wants to go to bed. He isn't showing willing and that is worrying really, but remember that your effort alone won't save the marriage, he has to want to try a bit too.

But 5.30 starts are grim and I certainly didn't stay up late (past 9/10) myself.

By the way- if the kids are in bed by 7/7.30, why can you not chat over dinner and washing up in a companionable way?

MissStrawberry Sat 24-Aug-13 16:55:18

Sounds like you are both unhappy and nothing will change until you talk and say what you want. If the other person doesn't feel the same then maybe you do need more relate sessions.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sat 24-Aug-13 19:30:09

I know if I had to get up at 5.30am every morning, I would definitely be going to bed at 9pm each night and I would be angry if my DH tried to make me stay up later - I need a reasonable amount of sleep.

Do you do things together as a family at the weekend? Do you have any friends/relatives that could look after your DCs for a night so you could go away.

Lazyjaney Sat 24-Aug-13 23:32:29

9 to 5.30 is 8 1/2 hours sleep, some people need 8 hrs+ to function, some don't, and when small kids are around it's the most exhausting time of your life.

Why are both of you up at 5.30, if this is such an issue let him sleep longer in the morning so he can stay up later at night.

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 26-Aug-13 20:38:41

I know how you feel, those kid free hours are so precious I don't want to spend them sleeping! You do need some time together without the DCs if you want to keep your relationship alive and your H needs to find some time for that to happen if he's too tired at night.

I would often stay up later than XH to avoid potentially having sex because I felt so distant from him while we were awake I really didn't want it, but got fed up of fending him off. Do you get on well in other ways? Would you be open to some intimacy if you went up at 9 too?

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