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Anyone ever had a bad year with dh but they got through it and all well now?

(39 Posts)
Chrysanthemumtea Sun 23-Feb-14 10:22:19

All fine except for past year or so dh and I griping and annoying each other. Quite often I wonder if I like him as a person.

Ds has just turned 1. (And we have dd who is 3). So we are tired and still in baby stage.

I think it took dh at least 8 months to bond with ds though they have now. He admits this himself. I think it took less time, four months or so, with dd and lots of this because she was poorly and I think he was holding back emotionally in case worse happened.

His workplace is tough at the moment - structural changes and people being 'disappeared' at short notice. So he is working long hours and it is on his mind all the time.

But he is short with me and the kids and far less affectionate than he used to be and generally grumpy. He is neglecting me (physically, emotionally) and crap at doing stuff round the house unless I specifically ask him to.

Also his mum was quite ill and he is only child. So lots of reasons for him to be sad and withdrawn.

In other ways he is great. When we do get time together it is nice. And when I initiate sex he responds. But he doesn't initiate. We do stuff as a family and he is always one of few dads at birthday parties etc and we make sure weekends are times as a family. But whenever we have a nice day eg yesterday it ends with a row. Or a day begins with a row then becomes nice after the row. But always at some point a row.

So my question - is this just part of the rocky road of marriage with young kids and all will be well? Anyone else had years that weren't great but come out of it with a strong marriage they want to be in. It's seven years and maybe I just have the clichéd itch.

Sortyourmakeupout Sun 23-Feb-14 10:29:48

We had four terrible years but having said that he always helped around the house and was there for me emotionally.

life is incredible tough with small children.

MillyBlods Sun 23-Feb-14 10:37:32

He does seem to have a lot on his plate at the moment. Talk to him about everything so he can offload. When you have these rows, what causes them?

insancerre Sun 23-Feb-14 10:44:09

yes, in a longterm relationship, you have to take the rough with the smooth
we have been married 27 years and we have had a couple of really rough spells
but we manage to get through them
honesty and communication is the key
but we don't row that often
he sulks and I ignore mostly grin but that's just for the little things
the big things we tend to sort out pretty well without arguing

findingherfeet Sun 23-Feb-14 10:47:43

Our DD arrived when me and hubs had been together for ten years, happy solid couple...but having a baby really rocked us! The first year was not easy and a big adjustment to being a family of three but i think we have moved onwards and upwards, marriage has highs and lows.

Young children definitely add pressure (and exhaustion) to a relationship so this isn't necessarily the end of the road for you guys , just hard.

I'm expecting second baby (in two days time!) and we've talked about my anxiety about how this will once again change dynamics of family but hopefully we'll be ok.

Try and keep talking/listening to each other.

Chrysanthemumtea Sun 23-Feb-14 10:51:20

Well two most recent rows for example.

Today he has taken kids to park so I can prepare for people coming for lunch (and, er, mumsnet). He was cross because I was going into too much details about what I need from shops and time he has to be back. He said I was micromanaging. Which I was but when I don't he bring back wrong ingredient or comes back an hour late.

Yesterday I initiated sex and it was great. Kind not had some before baby was born over a year ago. Downstairs on sofa not missionary. An hour or so later I asked if he thought I should take morning after pill as we got carried away so no condom and though we would like a third, not right now. He thought I was trying to stop him relaxing. But I said we can't exactly have a morning after pill conversation next week, it's now or never, and while I won't have an abortion I would take morning after pill if necessary.

MillyBlods Sun 23-Feb-14 10:57:37

Well he has clearly expressed how he feels with regard to the shopping. As regards to the sex, if your going to initiate it then maybe have condoms ready too smile

MillyBlods Sun 23-Feb-14 11:01:29

I think that the rows are caused by the way you both are communicating with each other, not just him.

Hassled Sun 23-Feb-14 11:03:46

The early years with small children changing your lives in a way no-one can ever really prepare you for, coupled with sleep deprivation and everything else means that even the strongest of relationships will have some wobbles. And add to that everything else he has going on - ill mother, work problems - I think you need to accept you're going to have to pick your battles and just ride it out.

You say you have good family time - but do you get quality time alone with each other? I know it can seem like too much faff to organise sometimes, but just a quick meal out or whatever - away from the kids - will help.

He does need to get his act together re the MAP question though. It sounds like he doesn't want to take responsibility for a decision - tough; he's part of it.

insancerre Sun 23-Feb-14 11:07:25

I have learnt not to always bite.
Some things I just let go.
I am a very tolerant person anyway and have worked woth pre-schoolers for over 20 years, so I apply my child pyschology to him. grin
I have learnt that he doesn't mean what he says, it is his way of having a bit of control in his life (much the same as children who argue over everything)
there is a lot going on for your DH, workwise and with his family and he is probably feeling overwhelmed and taking it out on you (cos he can)
I do this thing with DH where I let him rant and rave about work and stuff and pretend to listen, making appropriate noises at the right times, but don't engage.
It lets him get it out of his system and normal service is resumed. We usually have a 5 minute chat when he gets in from work. It was in a selfhelp book about relationships and it has really helped.

Granville72 Sun 23-Feb-14 11:24:58

We've had a rough time since little one (now 18 months) arrived. It's not easy with sleepless nights and no one prepares you for just how much a strain these little people put on every day life when they arrive in to your world.

My OH has announced yesterday that our relationship is over and doesn't want to make the effort to try and work it out, even for our little one. sad

mammadiggingdeep Sun 23-Feb-14 11:43:55

Granville sad sorry to hear that. Are you ok?

MillyBlods Sun 23-Feb-14 11:49:33

What are his reasons Granvill

Dahlen Sun 23-Feb-14 11:54:51

I know lots of couples who've had rough patches and come out stronger than ever. But I don't think any of them were rowing on a daily basis and in most cases the glue that kept them together and stopped them separating when things were bad was the fact that they were crazy about each other and could feel close - albeit temporarily - through sex.

Loving a spouse inevitably means a level of intimacy that has negatives as well as positives. You love the whole person warts and all. To some extent that means knowing that you'll be forgiven if you are occasionally guilty of being an arse.

However, if there's one person who you should treat with respect, love and courtesy, surely it should be your spouse?

IMO, no matter what stresses are going on, only the occasional outburst of twattery is acceptable in a relationship. IF it is ongoing, the person responsible for it is basically saying that they think their right to behave like a twat to let off frustration is more important than the person they love's right to a calm and safe home life. Throw in children and it's even worse. A lot of relationships would improve immeasurably if spouses treated each other with the same basic level of courtesy they'd afford a colleague and remembered to add a little kindness because that's surely what you'd do for someone you love.

I don't know who is responsible for what in your relationship, but if your DH's stressors are causing this, he needs to find more effective ways of dealing with stress. Talking to you, instead of picking fights, would be a good step forward.

Good luck.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 23-Feb-14 12:29:27

Slight eyebrow raising @ comment from him, post-sex (which you'd initiated) that you were trying to stop him relaxing by wondering aloud about the MAP. Trying to think of the word I'm after - ungracious?

There are certainly phases over a relationship, and work or family issues (bereavement, estrangement) can affect us. Mismatched libidos according to the Relationships board here are not uncommon. But underlying successful marriages are things like genuine affection, respect, a willingness to compromise. From your description I wonder if H has assigned you the role of Make It Better. To some extent once we are adults we all make our own happiness. He sounds as if he decided some while ago that's your job.

As pp has said, shouldn't partners and spouses be given the same consideration and thoughtfulness as colleagues?

How we keep the wheels on the wagon may not suit others. I haven't read that book insancerre mentioned but I sure as hell recognise that technique. As everyone else says, keep talking. And sometimes let there be gaps and silences. His remark about 'micromanaging' stung but weren't you telling us he was slow to bond with the DCs, if he's taking them out of your hair for a while don't spoil the moment!

The daily row doesn't sound ideal but maybe as suggested you both let off some steam. A flash point for us was often when DH was hungry and a chance remark saw him growling. I don't mean pander to your partner but if you don't feel combative, deflect or distract. MNers often ask, looking back - "Was he like this before you married?" Pre-DCs a lot of us were probably different. The light at the end of the tunnel isn't necessarily the divorce expess, bearing down on us.

Granville72 Sun 23-Feb-14 13:27:44

Said he's not happy and hasn't been for nearly the last 2 years, so pretty much when little when turned up. Doesn't want to try and salvage any of it, and I don't have enough time for him.

I told him that when I'm working 50 hrs a week, do 90% of the childcare (which is evidently my job as I'm the mum and a child-minder for profession), do the nights with little one, majority of the housework and garden, I have little time for myself let alone feel amorous enough or relaxed enough at night for sex.

So basically it's all my fault. I've asked him to help more around the house which he wont do, and when asked why, he responds with that I don't put the effort in for sex so why should he help and take some of the chores off me.

He doesn't see that I'm knackered, and by helping it would take some of the pressure off me and allow us to have more 'us' time.

LadyPersephonefernella Sun 23-Feb-14 13:38:37

We have a had terrible few years and are just about getting better now. DD is 4 & DS is 16 months. I went berserk with the hardship of being a SAHM of young children, him with work, we were utterly exhausted and still are. However we are now able to have a conversation that lasts longer than 30 seconds, make one-another a Cup of Tea, have the occasional meal together & look into each others eyes every now and then.

Our friends have children a year or two older then ours and ALWAYS tell us it gets easier - they have a life too : )

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 23-Feb-14 13:42:29

Granville72 - does HE have enough time for you? Does he intend to go through live without having any more children then since Mum is kind of busy looking after the small BABY rather than pandering to the BIG baby?

OP - go and get the MAP today. Having another baby now doesn't sound like it would help matters.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 23-Feb-14 13:43:55

Granville - you would be better off without him, seriously. Won't help as you won't fuck him enough? angry.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 23-Feb-14 14:08:16

Would you consider starting a thread Granville? Sorry things have got this bad. Either he has resented attention going to DS since he was born, or, H plucked the 2 years out of thin air, to make himself sound heroic for staying so long. It takes two to have a relationship.

nerofiend Sun 23-Feb-14 15:02:12

We went through a terrible time, soon after both our DS's were born. Rows all the time, both irritable, exhausted, never ending arguments. I wouldn't say we're perfect now, but I feel we are moving on and learning from those dark times.

We still love each other and I picture us together when we're old, but with young children it's always tough. My advice is not to give up, unless there's serious physical or emotional abuse, which doesn't seem to be the case in your post.

I feel we're much stronger as a couple now, and we can look back and see that it was all part of a process of growing up as a family.

MillyBlods Sun 23-Feb-14 15:43:57

Granville could he be with someone else?

ALittleStranger Sun 23-Feb-14 16:00:47

I'm going to cut against the grain and say the MAP conversation was badly handled on both their parts and his response was not unreasonable.

If you don't want a third child now then use contraception or if that/you fails say that you will take the MAP and both you need to talk about contraception. Asking should you take emergency contraception is an entirely different conversation, a big one at that, and yes one that would probably irk me if a rare moment of intimacy in a difficult marriage was now changing into a conversation about big future issues.

MillyBlods Sun 23-Feb-14 16:29:35

I stated earlier that I felt the op should have thought about contraception herself before she instigated sex with her DH. They didn't get carried away, she planned it so if she didn't want to get pregnant why would you not have condoms ready or stop the proceedings to make him put one on. To say to him after whether or not she should take the morning after pill is stressful as it implies that she is asking him whether they should risk it and if she is pregnant, would it be ok? That does sort of spoil the moment.

Chrysanthemumtea Sun 23-Feb-14 20:00:05

The sex wasn't premeditated. I initiated it, but on a whim, and should have thought of a condom but we got carried away. Anyhow conception unlikely as I am day 8 of cycle. Dd took years to conceive so is odd to worry about this now. Ds happened first go though. Anyhow we've agree it wouldn't be the end of the world but to be more careful in future.

But that was just an example of argument. I guess my question really is whether you've got it back to an even keel after tempestuous years. We've agreed we want to be together and grow old together and love each other. But these baby years are so hard.

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